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Bitcoin: Why You Need It

Most people know little about Bitcoin. It’s a brand, like the internet was in the late 1990s that created great excitement in a small fanatical audience but confusion, indifference and often hostility in the mainstream and establishment.

“I don’t need email,” people said, while many would look blank and not know what it was. It wasn’t until the social media floodgates opened that the mainstream piled in. Now all the marvelous benefits and distractions of being connected are taken as read.

The benefits of crypto are not well understood or even considered beyond the possibility of a life change rising in value for coins that an investor might ride to riches. This may well be the future for Bitcoin so to start a list of reasons why you should hold some Bitcoin must start with:

1)  A lottery ticket to a ride that some see having a 1,000% upside.

It could happen. There are only going to be 21 million bitcoins (BTC), many of which like Roman gold coins are already lost forever. If bitcoin was to be worth just half of the gold in the world it would be  about $200,000 a coin. If all the BTC was worth $1 trillion then the price would be north of $50,000.

Today In: Money

With BTC currently at $7,400 and the ability for people to buy tiny amounts, there is a fun dividend in actually holding.

2) Blockchain is “the next big thing.”

If you want to catch that wave when it lands, you need to know a bit about it. Buying crazes on the basis of zero knowledge is the short cut to the poorhouse. Owning bitcoin and going through all the stages to “get” crypto will position you perfectly for the day “crypto IPO” hits. That day will come and it will be big. Owning bitcoin will position you to take advantage of that boom.

3) Portfolio diversification is crucial.

Everyone should have a little gold, for example, to buffer the roller coaster of other financial instruments. Bitcoin and gold are very similar in as much as they are havens. “Physical” bitcoin however is easier to store, faster to sell and has much greater upside if you are laying in assets for what you see as being extremely volatile times in the future. If you are not in the “bullets and corn beef” legion, the gold, silver and bitcoin are must haves, with bitcoin the king if you feel you might have to jump on a plane to safety. It’s easy to travel with bitcoin; with gold bars and sacks of silver, not so much.

4) Bitcoin is currently a great hedge especially for equities.

This is because for now at least, bad news for equities is good news for bitcoin. That bad news is currently the China trade war. The trade war is bad for equities and there is a clear link to moves in BTC and emergent good/bad news on the trade negotiations. Bitcoin sends the signal then the news appears, which one would imagine is because of the insider news flow in crypto-hungry China.

5) Bitcoin is useful money.

You can buy things with bitcoin, and with bitcoin debit cards you can use it to buy things anywhere that takes Visa/Mastercard. While this can prove expensive, a bitcoin debit card is another off ramp for holders wishing to spend their profits. Bitcoin is also a useful currency for B2B and while currently niche, bitcoin use for international payments is quickly expanding when products need to be bought quickly and the vendor needs to establish transfer of funds fast to cut out delays. For large sums bitcoin beats credit cards hands down as a bitcoin transaction can’t be reversed unlike a credit card payment that is always vulnerable to charge backs. Transfers can take days to materialize, so for anything that’s a “rush job” bitcoin is the best possible way to pay if the vendor takes BTC.

Every investor should buy some bitcoin, even if it’s just $1. It is always best to be too early to a financial phenomenon than too late and it turns out the bitcoin story is still in its early chapters.

If you are an investor, it was obvious you need to hold equities, bonds, gold and cash. That is still true but these days, you need to hold a little crypto, because it is a new positive sum financial instrument. If you don’t have Bitcoin, the world won’t end, but you will be less diversified and more at risk than an investor that does hold some. Bitcoin will continue to be the ‘kingpin’ of the emergent blockchain industry and everybody needs a little bit of exposure to that in the same way as they needed a little Amazon in 2002.

Forbes CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor cuts through the hype and identifies real investor opportunities in the emerging world of blockchain and crypto assets. Click to learn more.

Clem Chambers is the CEO of private investors website ADVFN.com and author of 101 Ways to Pick Stock Market Winners and Trading Cryptocurrencies: A Beginner’s Guide.

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

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I am the CEO of stocks and investment website ADVFN . As well as running Europe and South America’s leading financial market website I am a prolific financial writer. I wrote a stock column for WIRED – which described me as a ‘Market Maven’ – and am a regular columnist for numerous financial publications around the world. I have written for titles including: Working Money, Active Trader, SFO and Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities in the US and have written for pretty much every UK national newspaper. In the last few years I have become a financial thriller writer and have just had my first non-fiction title published: 101 ways to pick stock market winners. Find me here on US Amazon. You’ll also see me regularly on CNBC, CNN, SKY, Business News Network and the BBC giving my take on the markets.

Source: Bitcoin: Why You Need It

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Blow To Bitcoin As Top Accountants Make Serious Facebook Warning

bitcoin, bitcoin price, Facebook, libra, image

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have been largely ignored by the world’s regulators over the last ten years, with only some small attempts to protect investors from wild bitcoin price swings and dodgy crypto exchanges.

The bitcoin price, up some 200% so far this year, has somewhat recovered after a terrible 2018 largely due to interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from some of the world’s biggest tech companies, including social media giant Facebook which unveiled its planned libra cryptocurrency project last month and is scheduled for release some time in 2020—if the sandal-hit company can convince regulators of its merits.

Now, forensic accountancy firm BTVK has warned the bitcoin and crypto “wild west” could be coming to an end, with global regulators closing in on bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges as a result of the spotlight brought by Facebook’s libra project.

“Laws are in development as we speak,” Alex Hodgson, senior consultant at BTVK, told the Telegraph newspaper following the release of its report into bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. “Facebook has well-publicized issues in the past, and in response to that [regulators] are going above and beyond.”

“If cryptocurrency markets were like the ‘wild west’ in their early years, that period may be coming to a close as lawmakers look to toughen up the way in which markets are policed,” the report authors wrote. “In the meantime, it would be wrong to assume that investigators are powerless in the world of virtual currencies. They have many tools, old and new, at their disposal which mean that cryptocurrency markets should not be seen as a safe hiding place.”

Facebook is still reeling from a data-sharing scandal that saw many of its most senior executives hauled before governments around the world to answer questions on Facebook’s use of data and its work with third parties, such as Cambridge Analytica.

Earlier this month, U.S. president Donald Trump sent the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry for a loop when he tweeted his opposition to bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and Facebook’s libra, suggesting they are all “unregulated crypto assets” that can “facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”

Following his comments, other senior U.S. officials echoed his comments, while U.S. senators called Facebook’s libra plans “unacceptable.”

Elsewhere, former International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, who is set to replace Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank (ECB), earlier this year warned that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are “shaking the system”—something that could signal a change in the ECB’s approach to bitcoin and crypto.

bitcoin, bitcoin price, Facebook, libra, chart

The bitcoin price has rallied hard this year but global regulators are “closing in.”

In the U.K. bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were placed under the oversight of the country’s banking regulator in January with it expected to issue final guidance sometime over the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, a government panel in India has recommended a ban on all “cryptocurrencies created by non-sovereigns” due to “serious concern [there is a] mushrooming of cryptocurrencies almost invariably issued abroad and numerous people in India investing in these cryptocurrencies.”

The report out of India does support the possibility of a state-issued digital currency in India, however.

Follow me on Twitter.

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk

Source: Blow To Bitcoin As Top Accountants Make Serious Facebook Warning

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

 

Image result for Bitcoin (BTC) Poised to Dump on Crypto Suckers

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

Bitcoin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ethereum, EOS, Tron

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

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

Ripple and XRP 

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

Litecoin

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

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

Source: Pivot – Blockchain Community

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

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

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

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

Read More: The Great Physical Bitcoin Robbery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More: I Broke Bitcoin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impressive Bitcoin Price Smashes Through $6,000 as Crypto Stars Align – DailyCryptoTimes

The bulls are back. After a prolonged period in a sideways range, the bitcoin price has finally established a powerful uptrend. As BTC  breaks the $6,000 level, enthusiasm is returning in waves to the cryptocurrency industry. Even the Binance hack has failed to put a dampener on a buoyant BTC/USD.

Bitcoin has broken critical resistance at $6,000. | Source: CoinMarketCap

Bulls Are Unstoppable As BTC/USD Clears $6,000 Hurdle

Why all the enthusiasm about the bitcoin price breaking $6,000? This level has been closely watched for some time. A bounce through this technically significant price point has been long-awaited, and there are several bulls desperate to dive into the marketplace. Speaking to Forbes, Tim Enneking of Digital Capital Management is hugely confident that a clear break will lead to further gains in the original digital currency. He said:

“6k will probably [be] a tough nut to crack, but once it definitively falls, there will almost certainly be a strong surge higher.”

It’s not hard to find analysts who think this rally has legs. Here is TradeBlock’s director of digital currency John Todaro outlining once again how strong the momentum is in bitcoin:

“The market over the past 1-2 months has seen significant upward momentum and has brushed off numerous negative headlines within the space. If we break above the $6,000 level, we could continue to trade higher as momentum builds and negative news reports have a limited downward impact.”

Bitcoin Ignores Binance Hack

Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Because of this, it seems safe to assume that the recent hack of 7,000 BTC should have been disastrous for the BTC/USD price. So far this has not been the case at all. Bullish trends look their most potent when they ignore headwinds and keep surging. This is precisely the characteristic that bitcoin is displaying as it keeps breaking out to fresh yearly highs.

Novogratz Sees Bitcoin at $20,000 in 18 Monthsf

In an interview on Fox Business, Bitcoin perma-bull Mike Novogratz was spreading his usual brand of positivity. As you can see in the following video, he doesn’t have much time for Warren Buffett’s negativity. Novogratz expects BTC/USD to be back to its historic highs of $20,000 within 18 months.

Whether you look at fundamental or technical analysis, it’s hard to come up with a reason to bet against BTC’s bounce through $6,000. Crypto adoption is picking up pacesearch interest is returning, and the dip buying is back.

The main threat looks to be overbought conditions, but shorting bitcoin when it’s in this kind of mood has historically been like trying to hold back the tide.

Source: Impressive Bitcoin Price Smashes Through $6,000 as Crypto Stars Align – DailyCryptoTimes

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.

bitcoin

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’

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

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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

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