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

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

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

Preparing the Crypto Economy for Mass Adoption

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

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

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

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

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

bitcoin is bad for payments

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

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

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

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

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

Mastercard, Visa, Bitcoin

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

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

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

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

Bitcoin Is Not the Future of Crypto

bitcoin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bitcoin Is The New Gold

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

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

This is the question on bitcoin.

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

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

At $10,000 I will look to recalibrate.

For now the crypto winter is over.

Here is the chart:

The Bitcoin chart: the crypto winter is over

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Google searches for gold and Bitcoin in the US

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

Credit: Google

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

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

Google searches for gold and Bitcoin worldwide

Google searches for gold and bitcoin worldwide

Credit: Google

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

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

Forbes Special Offer: Be among the first to get important crypto and blockchain news and information with Forbes Crypto Confidential. It’s free, sign up now.

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

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

 

Clem Chambers Clem Chambers Contributor

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

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

Source: Bitcoin Is The New Gold

European Central Bank Just Showed Why Bitcoin is Better

The European Central Bank (ECB), the central bank for the Eurozone, is unwittingly boosting the case for cryptocurrency adoption, the community believes – and that’s exactly the last thing they want to be doing. This comes after they said they could always create money, and the crypto community was quick to reply with accusations of scamming.

The bank had started a Twitter thread under the hashtag #AskECB, and Twitter user @Gianluca844 took the chance to ask, “Where did you get the money for the [quantitative easing]?” The bank replied:

Quantitative easing (QE), also known as large-scale asset purchases, is an expansionary monetary policy whereby a central bank, which is the ECB in this case, buys predetermined amounts of government bonds or other financial assets in order to stimulate the economy and increase liquidity.

This operation started in 2015 and was finished by the end of 2018, during which the ECB has spent EUR 2.6 trillion (USD 3 trillion), buying up mostly government but also corporate debt, asset-backed securities and covered bonds, at a pace of EUR 1.3 million a minute, according to Reuters. That equates to roughly 7,600 euros (BTC 2.23) for every person in the currency bloc.

The cryptocurrency community took issue with the reply, with many tweeting gifs of the Bitconnect Ponzi scheme, which has since its downfall become synonymous with shady doings.

“Central banks are marketing bitcoin better than we can,” replied Twitter user @zackvoell, while user @wiz has more to say: “The world is now opening their eyes to your scam of robbing people of their purchasing power by endlessly printing bank notes on worthless paper. The global economy will implement a new Bitcoin standard to opt-out of your scam and prevent further theft by central banks.”

Source: European Central Bank Just Showed Why Bitcoin is Better

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce Offers Some Hope on Bitcoin ETF Approval

United States Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce, popularly known in the crypto community as “CryptoMom,” has offered hopeful remarks on the prospects of a Bitcoin ETF. Pierce made her latest statement on the ETF at a speech at the University of Missouri School of Law. Her remarks follow that of fellow commissioner Robert Jackson Jr., who said in an interview with Roll Call that a Bitcoin ETF would happen “eventually…………..

Source: SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce Offers Some Hope on Bitcoin ETF Approval

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