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Warren Buffett: ‘Gambling Device Bitcoin Hasn’t Produced Anything’

Turns out 88-year-old Warren Buffett isn’t warming up to crypto after all. Speaking at what’s been dubbed the “Woodstock of Capitalism”, the billionaire investor told shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway how he really feels about bitcoin. His company’s annual shareholder event is being held in Omaha today, and he just couldn’t resist lamenting the digital currency that he just doesn’t understand. Buffett reportedly stated:

“It’s a gambling device… there’s been a lot of frauds connected with it. There’s been disappearances, so there’s a lot lost on it. Bitcoin hasn’t produced anything.”

At least Buffett didn’t call it “rat poison squared” like he did last year. His partner in crime, Charlie Munger, reportedly once compared crypto trading to “dementia.” Buffett’s shareholders probably come to Omaha just to hear what he’ll say next about the crypto revolution taking the economy by storm.

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The bitcoin price is barreling for $5,700. | Source: CoinMarketCap

BITCOIN ‘ISN’T AN INVESTMENT’

Buffett didn’t stop there. He went on to insult investors who not only have benefitted from the peer-to-peer nature of bitcoin but he also suggested that it’s not an investment at all. Tell that to the 100-million strong crypto community, many of whom have seen their portfolios balloon since the bitcoin price hit a new 2019 high this week. Buffett is digging his own grave, so to speak, saying:

“It doesn’t do anything. It just sits there. It’s like a seashell or something, and that is not an investment to me.”

Bitcoin’s market cap is now $101 billion; it’s increased from $89 billion in the past two weeks or so. If that’s a seashell, then take us to the beach so we can start collecting them.

berkshire hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway shares are underperforming the S&P 500 year-to-date. | Source: Yahoo Finance

WARREN BUFFETT’S BUTTON ICO

He went on to seemingly poke fun at ICOs next because he couldn’t possibly mean bitcoin when he says:

“I’ll tear off a button here. What I’ll have here is a little token…I’ll offer it to you for $1000, and I’ll see if I can get the price up to $2000 by the end of the day… But the button has one use and it’s a very limited use.”

Hmm, let’s see. Bitcoin is a store of value that rivals gold. It is a peer-to-peer digital currency that gives migrants a way to send money to their families faster and cheaper than any money-transfer service without the blockchain can do. And it’s decentralized, so it’s not subject to the whims of any central bank or government that turns on the printing press and causes inflation.

IMF to crypto: “please be gentle with our house of cards” https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/11/cryptocurrencies-fintech-clearly-shaking-the-system-imfs-lagarde.html 

Cryptocurrencies are ‘clearly shaking the system,’ IMF’s Lagarde says

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that new technologies like digital assets and cryptocurrencies are having a clear impact on the banking sector.

cnbc.com

Whether he realizes it or not, Buffett is spreading FUD about bitcoin and the blockchain, saying:

“Blockchain…is very big, but it didn’t need bitcoin. J.P. Morgan, of course, came out with their own cryptocurrency.”

Blockchain pioneer Wences Casares once said that people who fail to recognize the value of bitcoin but believe in blockchain tech demonstrate an “ignorance for how the system works.” We’ll leave Warren with Wences’ words of wisdom:

“Blockchain doesn’t exist without bitcoin…If you were to remove the bitcoin, miners would disappear and so would the blockchain.”

Source: Warren Buffett: ‘Gambling Device Bitcoin Hasn’t Produced Anything’

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You Can Now Buy Crypto With Visa and Mastercard via Binance App for Android – Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (April 25), Binance announced that its mobile app for Android now lets you buy with Mastercard or Visa some of the most popular cryptocurrencies that are listed on Binance.com.

According to Binance, this support for cryptocurrency purchases via debit/credit cards, which is possible as a result of the partnership with Fintech startup Simplex that was announced on January 31, is available in version 1.5.8.0 or higher of the “Binance – Cryptocurrency Exchange” app for Android.

Since January 31, it is has been possible to buy on the main Binance website (Binance.com) Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCHABC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and XRP using debit/credit cards (Mastercard and Visa). Then, on March 12, it became possible to do the same on Trust Wallet (Binance’s official non-custodial wallet app). And now, the Binance app for Android joins the party by offering the same feature.

Here is what you need to do to buy crypto via debit/credit cards on the Binance app for Android:

  • Tap on the “Credit Card” button, which is the last button on the toolbar you see in the middle of the “Home” screen. This takes you to the “Buy Bitcoin” screen.

Binance App for Android - Screenshot 1 - 25 Apr 2019.jpg

  • On the “Buy Bitcoin” screen, you can choose from a dropdown list the cryptocurrency you want to buy (BTC, XRP, ETH, LTC, or BCHABC), specify the quantity of a particular cryptocurrency that you want to buy, and choose the fiat currency (USD or EUR) you want to pay with.

Binance App for Android - Screenshot 2 - 25 Apr 2019.jpg

  • You will then be shown the total amount (including the fee) that you will get charged if you go ahead with the purchase.

Binance App for Android - Screenshot 3 - 25 Apr 2019.jpg

  • Once you tap on the “Buy Now” button on this screen, you will be shown a “Confirm Your Order” screen.

Binance App for Android - Screenshot 5 - 25 Apr 2019.jpg

  • If you then tap on the “Accept, go to payment” button on the confirmation screen, you will be taken to the checkout screen on Simplex.com, where you will be asked to enter into a form your personal details (email, phone number, date of birth) and your card details.

Binance App for Android - Screenshot 6 - 25 Apr 2019.jpg

Source: CryptoGlobe

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

NYSE-Linked Bitcoin Exchange Bakkt Just Unveiled a Major Acquisition

Bakkt – the cryptocurrency startup launched by New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) owner Intercontinental Exchange – just yanked the lid off the full range of its blockchain ambitions.

The firm announced today that it has acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC) as part of its efforts to gain regulatory approval for its crypto products.

Reportedly, Bakkt is less concerned with merely building a Bitcoin exchange than they are with offering institutional custody and payment platform services, all of which still requires regulatory approval.

Bakkt Acquires Crypto Custodian DACC

bakkt bitcoin futures

Bitcoin startup Bakkt acquired a crypto custodian to help bring its regulated platform to market. | Source: Shutterstock

The company recently announced its application for a BitLicense, and it is also pushing to become a trust company in New York. The company’s efforts have been repeatedly stalled by regulatory delays, despite positive news around its partnerships with Starbucks, Microsoft, and others.

Coinbase previously acquired a trust charter with the New York Department of Financial Services. Becoming a trust can be a faster process than becoming a BitLicense recipient, which can take several years. Bakkt says in a new blog post that it’s applied for a charter, and recently we reported that they’re also seeking a BitLicense.

Bakkt wants to offer Bitcoin futures contracts that pay out in cryptocurrency, which would set them apart from other Bitcoin futures offerings. Bakkt has several other ambitious projects in mind, but it must get through several layers of red tape before it finally launches.

Adam White wrote in Bakkt’s blog today:

“To provide regulated custody, we have filed with the New York Department of Financial Services for approval to become a trust company and in this capacity serve as a Qualified Custodian for digital assets. […] It is with that same commitment to setting a new standard for securely storing digital assets that we’re excited to announce that we have acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC). DACC shares our security-first mindset and brings extensive experience offering secure, scalable custody solutions to institutional clients. The team’s experience integrating multiple blockchains and operating cutting-edge consensus mechanisms is a valuable addition to our team and future product line.”

Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler told Fortune:

“From the ground up what ICE has been building for two years is the safest version of a custody solution for digital assets.”

Custody: The Key to Mass Bitcoin Adoption?

bitcoin wallet crypto

A lack of regulated custodians has kept many crypto-curious institutions out of the burgeoning asset class. | Source: Shutterstock

Bakkt and Coinbase have both claimed that offering secure, modern custodial solutions for cryptocurrency will encourage institutional investors to expand their portfolios to include the speculative asset class. Thus far, Coinbase and Circle’s offerings have yet to make a significant dent in the overall market.

Fidelity, a traditional assets management company, also nears completion of its custodial solution. A range of options doesn’t necessarily equate to investor interest, but their availability may play a vital role during any future bull run. Institutional investors will, at a minimum, have several popular options to choose from if they consider getting into the market, opportunities that didn’t exist in previous times.

Bakkt’s current push is three-pronged:

  • They’ve acquired a company already engaged in playing custodian to digital assets.
  • They’ve applied for a BitLicense.
  • They’re working to become a registered trust.

There are other avenues they might still pursue, such as operating without New York as an available market at first. What is clear is that the company is anxious to get into the game, and the recent bull market activity is probably not far from their mind.

Source: NYSE-Linked Bitcoin Exchange Bakkt Just Unveiled a Major Acquisition

Sleeping with the Enemy: Why Institutional Adoption is Bad for Bitcoin

bitcoin, wall street, crypto, nyse

If recent noises coming out of Wall Street are anything to go by, it looks like 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the institutions for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

However, the arrival of the institutions as they stampede over that hill represents a double-edged sword. On the one hand, prices will almost certainly pump in the short to medium term, even if just by association alone.

On the other hand, we appear to be in the process of welcoming into our beds the very enemy that cryptocurrency was set up to defeat – the old, deep-rooted bloodlines of the financial elite.


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So yes, the institutions are absolutely coming to crypto, and if you think that’s a good thing, then this may be a good time to ask where your loyalties actually lie.

Cryptocurrency’s Overton Window Threatens to Get Smaller

gemini bitcoin crypto exchange

Gemini, the crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, is touting its status as a “regulated” platform to lure institutions. | Source: Shutterstock

The Overton window refers to the range of ideas that are permitted to be discussed in the public sphere. The topics outside the window aren’t necessarily banned or censored – they’re just buried so deep that most people don’t know they exist. Not until years later when you stumble across them in some shady corner of the internet, usually presented in the form of a rouge-colored pill.

As has already been witnessed in the r/bitcoin subreddit, when people have a vested interest to protect, they will quite happily make adjustments to the length and breadth of the Overton window to keep its range of view to their liking.

Deleting unfavourable comments from a crypto subreddit isn’t all that surprising, especially given how much rabid coin holders want to protect their investments. But there’s ample evidence to suggest that the rampant censorship on r/bitcoin began only when the institutions arrived.

Those institutions are the financial backers behind Bitcoin’s leading development group – Blockstream. They include AXA Venture Partners, an investment wing of AXA Group – the second largest financial services firm in the world. Blockstream has helped guide the development of Bitcoin since 2016, and if you didn’t already know that, then it may be because the Overton window has been set up specifically so that you don’t.

Without veering into the Bilderberg conspiracy, the censorship of r/bitcoin offers a taste of how the ‘old money’ institutions react to cryptocurrency’s open-source, decentralized ideals. They laugh, then proceed to take your money.

Recuperation: Absorbing Bitcoin Without Killing It

facebook privacy scandal

It’s hard to believe that Facebook was once hailed as a technological messiah. Will crypto suffer a similar fate? | Source: JOEL SAGET / AFP

“Whoops! The web is not the web we wanted in every respect.”

Those words were uttered by Sir Tim Berners-Lee earlier this year, as the man who invented the World Wide Web bemoaned the fact that the original dream of the internet had not come to fruition.

Berners-Lee was comparing the early 1990s notions of what the internet promised to be – free, open, anonymous, decentralized – with the internet we’ve come to know today – censored, controlled, tracked, and spied upon, thanks to the collusion of governments and big tech corporations.

Note: the internet didn’t need to be destroyed to have its disruptive potential neutralized; it only had to be brought round to the accepted way of doing things. This is a process which has happened often enough to gain its own name – recuperation, defined as:

the process by which politically radical ideas and images are twisted, co-opted, absorbed, defused, incorporated, annexed and commodified within media culture and bourgeois society, and thus become interpreted through a neutralized, innocuous or more socially conventional perspective.”

Some Bitcoin enthusiasts were predicting a fate of recuperation for the crypto space back in 2014, such as this early Bitcoin miner by the name of Stefan Molyneux.

Zooming in on the internet analogy, in 2011 Facebook was being hailed as a technological messiah for the inadvertent role it played in helping to organize the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt. Fast forward a few years, and Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has become one of the biggest threats to privacy in internet history.

Crypto is the Cure: But Will We Take Our Medicine in Time?

bitcoin crypto

Bitcoin’s future success or failure as a tool of freedom will not come down to the efficiency of its technology, but whether or not people can step up to the responsibility of being their own caretaker. | Source: Shutterstock

The only way to avoid the snare of the banksters, the globalists, the mainstream, the man – whoever it may be – is to become independent and self-sufficient enough that we no longer need to buy what they’re selling. Under those conditions, no amount of propaganda or salesmanship would have an effect, since there would be no gaping hole left in our lives for them to fill.

The ears of libertarians should be picking up about now, and rightly so. The plight of libertarianism as a political ideology is very analogous to the plight of Bitcoin in its quest to liberate the masses from financial bondage.

The fate of libertarianism depends not on its efficacy as a system of governance, but rather on the ability of the average citizen to live up to its ideals. Likewise, Bitcoin’s future success or failure as a tool of freedom will not come down to the efficiency of its technology, but whether or not people can step up to the responsibility of being their own caretaker.

In today’s culture of dependence, the prospect of either of these eventualities coming to fruition seems slim. The education required to foster this new mentality of independence isn’t found in the public school system. If the sudden increase in Bitcoin’s use in Venezuela is anything to go by, then as is often the case as we look through history, we may first need to suffer catastrophe before we can see where we’ve gone wrong.

Perhaps a catastrophe similar to, or worse than, the one which caused a cipher named Satoshi Nakamoto to commence work on Bitcoin in 2008.

“03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”

Bitcoin’s Future is Not Set – its Fate is what it makes for Itself

bitcoin, institutional investor

It’s unlikely that the established financial order will just saddle up and play along with the quasi-anarchist rules set up by a freakish band of coders and cypherpunks.| Source: Shutterstock

Look, if the institutions arrive and all they do is use cryptocurrency to diversify and boost their pension funds, then all is well. Prices will increase through increased demand and exposure, and all of us early adopters will reap the benefits of this adoption in the long run.

It’s unlikely, however, that the established financial order will just saddle up and play along with the quasi-anarchist rules set up by a freakish band of coders and cypherpunks. Yes, they’ll use the technology, but that doesn’t mean they’ll play by its rules.

This has been seen already as firms like JP Morgan and Facebook turn to creating their own cryptocurrencies – based on their own private protocols, with their own self-tailored rules. Strangely enough, this could turn out to be the most amicable solution between the cryptosphere and the institutions – they have their ‘cryptos,’ and we keep the real thing.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

Source: Sleeping with the Enemy: Why Institutional Adoption is Bad for Bitcoin

Crypto Market Begins to Fall Rapidly Again: Bitcoin Below $3,500

Bitcoin fell below $3,500 as $5 billion was wiped out of the crypto market, and major digital assets like Ethereum recorded a six percent drop against the U.S. dollar. The 4.8 percent drop in the combined valuation of all cryptocurrencies in the global market comes after a strong sell-off on January 11………

Source: Crypto Market Begins to Fall Rapidly Again: Bitcoin Below $3,500

Bitcoin Payments Down 80% in 4th Quarter of 2018: Chainalysis Data – P. H. Madore

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Citing Chainalysis data, Reuters is reporting that Bitcoin retail payments were down 80% in September, and no mention of a rebound was present.

Several things are to blame, including scalability of Bitcoin transactions (and the expensive nature of them as a result) and the volatility of the currency itself. In order to have mass adoption and continued growth in the retail payments sector, more retailers will have to accept the currency. In order for that to happen, market conditions must be met and retailers must see it as an added value.

BitPay has recently taken a number of measures to make its service more attractive to retailers who want the US dollar value of their sales protected. Beyond the base value of allowing retailers to accept Bitcoin and cash out dollars, BitPay has added three “stablecoins” to its arsenal, giving retailers more flexibility and increasing the likelihood that some of them will remain in the crypto market with their money, at least tangentially.
Lightning Network Yet Unproven

There is also the advent of the Lightning Network, which eliminates the problems of high transaction fees, network congestion, and the ceiling on the number of transactions that can be processed. At least in theory. The way payment channels work, a retailer that wanted to be able to process $1 billion in transactions in a given length of time would have to open up a channel that would allow for that.

Bitcoin retail transactions generally increase with the ticker price, as the buying power of a single unit goes up dramatically. The continuing relative difficulty of acquisition makes it less attractive to spend coins on a regular basis unless you’re seeing an increase in the amount of things you can purchase. At the same time, the regulatory situation is still murky regarding all types of crypto transactions. In some cases a user might be charged capital gains tax if he spends his Bitcoin to acquire goods or services.

Chainalysis spoke to 17 major Bitcoin payment processors to determine the 80% overall drop (in value, not necessarily BTC transacted). Public data obtained on Coinpayments.net, which processes transactions for dozens of traditional cryptocurrencies, showed that it had seen a drop of 50% in the first half of the year.

Actual Bitcoin transactions have been steady, although not extreme, with a high in January of more than 350,000 on a single day


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