Top 10 Bizarre Facts About Bitcoin

Bitcoin has fast become a global phenomenon. Since its launch in 2009, the digital currency has won the approval of young, tech-savvy investors. Unlike the dollar or the euro, there is no central government regulating Bitcoin, which has made it particularly popular among anti-authoritarians and libertarians. Elon Musk recently invested $1.5bn (£1.1bn), sending the price skyrocketing. At its peak, one Bitcoin was worth over $48,000.

But the currency has a weird side. A really weird side. Retailers sell sex toys that mirror its fluctuations in value. A co-founder of LinkedIn made a YouTube rap battle to explain its pros and cons. There was even a dodgy action movie starring Kurt Russell about money laundering. Robin Hood hackers, tricksy TikTokers, and Marxist broadcasters. Bitcoin has inspired all manner of weirdness. Here are ten bizarre facts about the contentious cryptocurrency.

Man Accidentally Throws $290 Million Into Landfill

We have all lost a bit of money through thoughtless mistakes. Who among us has not left a banknote in their jeans pocket and accidentally put it in the wash? But imagine throwing an old hard drive into landfill, then finding out it contains over $290 million (£210 million) in Bitcoin. For James Howells from Newport in South Wales, this nightmare scenario is a living reality.

Howells purchased 7,500 Bitcoins shortly after the currency’s launch in 2009. After spilling drink on his laptop, he decided to stash the hard drive away in an office drawer. Years later, Howells had “totally forgot about Bitcoin altogether,” and, in 2013, he binned the hard drive. At the time, it contained around $7.5m (£4.6m).

As you can imagine, Howells is desperate to retrieve his lost hard drive. He has even offered to pay the local council a quarter of the money for permission to excavate the site. But Newport council says this is not possible under their licensing permit. Given the cost and potential environmental damage of excavation, they refuse to do so “without any guarantee of either finding it or it still being in working order.”

‘Robin Hood’ Hackers Donate Stolen Bitcoin

In October 2020, the shadowy altruists announced that they had given $10,000 to The Water Project. The Water Project is a charity that provides clean water to sub-Saharan Africa. They also donated to Children International, but the charity declined their money on moral grounds.




10 Amazing Facts About Bitcoin

“We think that it’s fair that some of the money the companies have paid will go to charity,” the group explained. “No matter how bad you think our work is, we are pleased to know that we helped changed someone’s life.



BitCast Sex Toys

Most investors enjoy the feeling of making a profit from their financial ventures. But now, thanks to BitCast, users can derive sexual pleasure from Bitcoin.

In December 2017, Camsoda launched an online service that allows people to link their sex toys to Bitcoin. BitCast tracks the currency’s market performance and feeds the information in real-time to your vibrator. If Bitcoin suddenly increases in value, you might feel an acute surge of pleasure. But if it drops, BitcCast will tell your toy to dial down its intensity.

7 Journalist Broadcasts The Communist Manifesto Into Space

JORDAN PETERSON Perfectly Explains Why MARXISM Will ALWAYS FailWorkers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your blockchains. In March 2019, a technology journalist used Bitcoin to transmit a short extract from The Communist Manifesto into space. Jordan Pearson beamed his rabble-rousing message up into the atmosphere then back to Earth via a network of satellites.

Blockstream offers a satellite service that broadcasts Bitcoin-related information to most of the world. In 2019, the company updated that service to include messages. So Pearson decided to send a section of Marx and Engels’ famous text because, in his words, “why the hell not?”

With help from journalist Dan Williams, Pearson confirmed that Blockstream had beamed his Marxist message across the globe. As Williams explained, anyone with the right setup can send and receive satellite messages.

6 TikTok’s Misleading Trading Advice

In 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning about unsound financial advice on TikTok. The FCA alerted users to accounts using the app to push high-risk trading practices. The worry is that TikTok users, many of them young and naive, are being drawn in by get-rich-quick schemes.

Some astrologers are even getting in on the act. Among the most popular is Maren Altman, an influencer with over a million followers. Altman creates surreal content that combines unsound financial advice, horoscopes, and a “sexy, Goth, dominatrix vibe.” In a recent video, she encouraged people to invest in Bitcoin based on the positions of the planets. “Venus is crossing Bitcoin’s sun,” she explained. “The sun is crossing Bitcoin’s Jupiter, and Bitcoin’s Jupiter is still doing cute shit.”

5 Crypto, The Bitcoin-Based Crime Drama Starring Kurt Russell

CRYPTO Official Trailer (2019) Kurt Russell, Luke Hemsworth Movie HDIn 2019, Kurt Russell appeared in a strange financial crime drama based around corruption in the New York Bitcoin market. The movie, Crypto, received a tepid reception from both critics and regular viewers. Some described it as a “so-bad-its-good” tech drama. They said it reminded them of the cheesy Internet movies of The 1990s, like The Net and You’ve Got Mail.

The plot is mostly nonsense. It centers on a lucrative money-laundering scheme set up by a shadowy gang of Russian cybercriminals. And the cringe-worthy tagline—”Fear is the ultimate currency”—does the movie no favors either.

4 Larger Energy Consumption Than Argentina

Bitcoin uses more energy than the whole of Argentina, say analysts at Cambridge University. Bitcoin is created through an energy-expensive process called mining. Mining is a strange mix of puzzle-solving and verifying transactions. Both of these tasks eat up a vast amount of computer power.

In total, mining consumes 121.36 terawatt-hours of energy a year. That same amount could power every kettle in the UK for the next 27 years. Researchers say that if Bitcoin were a country, it would be in the top thirty global energy users.

The amount of energy used depends on the price of Bitcoin. As the price rises, the currency becomes more desirable. Miners are willing to burn through more electricity to get their hands on the next batch.

3 Some Say It Could Save The Porn Industry

The pornography industry is in crisis. Sex workers are increasingly struggling to put food on the table. While major platforms like PornHub generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year, some performers are expected to work for little money or the empty promise of exposure.

Some porn actors say that Bitcoin could hold the solution, but not everyone is convinced. For the last few years, Pornhub has allowed viewers to pay for content in cryptocurrency. For many sex workers, this is a key component of their online revenue. Viewers can pay their favorite performers directly over the internet. Porn actors are profiting from what they see as a more democratic way to sell their content, offering custom videos and live streams to a considerably-sized audience of customers.

But not everyone in the industry has welcomed Bitcoin with open arms. They point out that only a handful of users are prepared to pay for porn using Bitcoin. Many, they argue, are unwilling to pay at all. In 2018, a study by The Next Web found that less than one percent of Pornhub accounts paid in cryptocurrency. With MasterCard and Visa both recently parting ways with the adult platform, online payments are expected to dry up.

“There is no empathy or compassion for creators, at any level. If they are amateurs, then their porn ‘isn’t good enough to be paid for.’ If they are pros, then posting their content for free is ‘fine because they’re hoes with too much money,”’ argues Canadian performer God Ciara. “They view men who make money from porn as geniuses, but the women are just sluts with an iPhone.”

2 India’s Bitcoin Kidnappings

India has been hit by a wave of kidnappers demanding payment in Bitcoin. In December 2020, an eight-year-old boy was kidnapped in Karnataka while walking with his grandfather. They insisted that his father, a wealthy investor, pay 100 Bitcoin ($2.3m) for his son’s return.

Luckily, state police rescued the boy before his father paid. Six people were arrested. This kidnapping was the third case of attempted Bitcoin extortion to take place in the country since 2018. In Gujarat, one businessman even tried to fake his own kidnapping, hoping to scam $3m in Bitcoin.

1 LinkedIn Founder Creates Bitcoin Rap Battle

Bitcoin Rap Battle Debate: Hamilton vs. Satoshi (BITCOIN GIVEAWAY) [feat. EpicLloyd, TimDeLaGhetto]. In September 2019, Reid Hoffman released a Bitcoin-themed rap battle video on YouTube. Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, was inspired after watching the musical Hamilton. He thought hip-hop would be an excellent way to explore the “vigorous debate raging between cryptocurrency and centralized currencies.”

The video sees Alexander Hamilton go head to head with Bitcoin’s enigmatic creator Satoshi Nakamoto. The unlikely MCs throw a wild array of boasts and insults at each other. “The banks serve Wall Street. Crypto serves all streets,” Nakamoto declares. Hamilton fires back, “Untraceable money—wow, so clever. One typo in your address? Now it’s gone forever.”

Although it seems like a gimmick, Hoffman’s video neatly sums up the conflicting attitudes towards Bitcoin. The rap battle shows how stubbornly some investors reject digital currencies. But it also explains that diehard Bitcoin fans refuse to grasp the currency’s many flaws.

By: Benjamin Thomas

Source: Top 10 Bizarre Facts About Bitcoin – Listverse


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The Coronavirus Cryptocurrency Craze Who’s Behind The Bitcoin Buying Binge


Trading of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies increased sharply at the beginning of 2020, then jumped to a new high in February—a level that was sustained for the height of the Coronavirus crisis from March through May.

According to Coin Metrics:

“If historical growth rates can be maintained, Bitcoin’s current daily volume would need fewer than 4 years of growth to exceed daily volume of all US equities and fewer than 5 years to exceed daily volume of all US bonds.”

Where is this Coronavirus-fueled trading volume coming from and who will drive the future growth?

Who’s Buying Bitcoin?

A new study from Cornerstone Advisors revealed that 15% of American adults now own some form of cryptocurrency—a little more than half of whom invested in cryptocurrency for the first time during the first six months of 2020.

On average, these new investors obtained roughly $67.5 billion in cryptocurrencies, roughly $4,000 per person. The self-reported value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum for Americans who owned these assets prior to this year is about $111 billion, or close to $7,000 per person.

At 15% penetration, the US cracks the top 10 countries with the highest adoption of cryptocurrencies according to data from September 2019 (although a lot has changed since then).

The Demographics of Bitcoin Buyers

Who fueled this Bitcoin buying binge during the crisis?

  • High income, well-educated men. Nearly eight in 10 of 2020 crypto buyers were men with an average annual income of $130,000. Four in 10 have a Master’s degree or higher (70% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher).
  • Millennials and Gen Xers. Millennials (26 to 40 years old) comprised 57% of the consumers buying cryptocurrency in 2020 with Gen Xers (41 to 55 years old) accounting for 30%. Overall, 27% of Millennials and 21% of Gen Xers now hold some form of cryptocurrency, in contrast to 7% of Gen Zers, and 3% of Baby Boomers.
  • Bank of America customers. Overall, 21% of all consumers call Bank of America their primary bank. Of the consumers buying cryptocurrencies during the Bitcoin binge, almost half—47%—are customers of Bank of America. You’d think Bitcoin buyers would be customers of the digital banks, but only 6% of them call a digital bank their primary bank—in line with the population as a whole.

The Bitcoin Benefit

It’s hard to prove that holding cryptocurrencies is the cause of this, but 44% of Americans who have already invested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies said that their financial health is “much better” since the beginning of the Covid crisis. That’s in contrast to just 5% of all other US consumers.

First Time Investors

From a demographic perspective, the first-time investors are very similar to the previous group of crypto holders, but they’re different in at least one significant way: They’re changing up the financial institutions they do business with.


Among the consumers who invested in cryptocurrency for the first time in 2020, half of them switched their primary banking relationship in the past six months—one-third did so in the past three months alone.

The Apple Effect

Apple Card holders only comprise 5% of all credit card customers, but among those that do have the card, 47% own some form of cryptocurrency—two-thirds of whom purchased crypto in 2020.

The Next Wave of Investors

The 11% of Americans who expect to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are somewhat different, demographically, from the current set of investors. Specifically, they are:

  • Women. Women only make up 22% of current cryptocurrency investors. In the next wave of investors, they account for 35% of the total.
  • Minorities. African-American and Hispanic consumers, who comprise 28% of all Americans, account for 23% of current crypto investors. Among those that anticipate investing in the next 12 months, 37% are from these two ethnic groups.
  • Younger and older. Just 6% of Gen Zers and Baby Boomers already have cryptocurrencies. In the next wave of investors, 17% are Gen Zers and 11% are Baby Boomers.
  • Less educated. Among current crypto investors, just 18% have not earned at least an Associate’s college degree. Among the consumers expecting to invest in cryptocurrencies in the next 12 months, that percentage rises to 36%.

One area of concern regarding the next wave of investors: Just 30% consider themselves to be “very financially literate,” in comparison to 54% of those who already hold cryptocurrencies.

The Crypto Opportunity For Banks

The surge in cryptocurrency investing has been a boon for Square. Bitcoin revenue for its Cash App for Q1 2020 was $306 million, up from $65 million in Q1 2019. Not surprisingly, reports indicate that PayPal intends to offer crypto purchasing through its PayPal and Venmo apps.

While many banks prevent their customers from buying cryptocurrencies using the cards they issue, the mainstreaming of crypto investing raises new questions for bnaks—not just regarding allowing their cards to be used, but whether or not they should provide more cryptocurrency investment-related services altogether.

A new announcement from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) may be opening the door to that. According to an article here in Forbes, the OCC letter:

“Clarifies that national banks have the authority to provide fiat bank accounts and cryptocurrency custodial services to cryptocurrency businesses. This clarification may open the doors for larger financial institutions to be provide bank accounts to cryptocurrency companies, as well as actually provide custodial services for customers’ private keys.”

Among the large banks, a few appear to have a head start over the others. A site called Moon Banking provides a “crypto friendliness” score for banks, with USAA and Ally Bank leading the way in the US.

All banks—in particular, community banks and credit unions—should look at opportunities to provide Bitcoin wallets and other cryptocurrency trading services as a way to differentiate their services.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Ron Shevlin is the Managing Director of Fintech Research at Cornerstone Advisors. Author of the book Smarter Bank and the Fintech Snark Tank on Forbes, Ron is ranked among the top fintech influencers globally, and is a frequent keynote speaker at banking and fintech industry events.



Bitcoin Falls More Than 8% As Crypto Markets See Red


Bitcoin prices dropped by more than 8% today, approaching the $9,000 level as digital currency markets suffered widespread losses.The world’s most prominent cryptocurrency fell to as little as $9,108.47 close to 1 p.m. EDT, CoinDesk figures show.

At this price, it had declined more than 8.5% in less than 24 hours, after rising to $9,962.18 the night before, additional CoinDesk data reveals.The largest digital currency by market capitalization was not alone, as at the time of this writing, all of the top 10 cryptocurrencies were in the red, with 9 in 10 being down at least 5%, according to CoinMarketCap.

Digital currencies were not the only asset class to record losses today, as stocks experienced notable declines.The S&P 500 index, for example, dropped nearly 6% today, Google Finance data showed.

There was a massive decline “in the equity markets today, with large cap U.S. stock indices plunging more than 5-6%,” said John Todaro, director of digital currency research for TradeBlock.“There was a general flight to cash today, with even gold ETFs trading down. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were not immune to the sell-off and in a heightened correlation between assets, nearly everything traded lower,” he noted.

Other analysts provided similar perspectives, with Avi Felman, head of trading at BlockTower Capital, stating that: “The recent sharp drop in the equity markets is rattling investors who have watched Bitcoin struggle to break 10,000 even in a risk on market.” “Now that equity markets are suggesting there may be continued downside, digital asset investors are reminded of the last time equity markets fell out (which coincided with a large bitcoin drawdown) and are selling out of fear about a potential resumption of the equity bear market,” he claimed.

Denis Vinokourov, head of research for London-based digital asset firm Bequant, also spoke to the widespread declines, attributing them to bearish forecasts for the job market and the recent dovish comments made by the Federal Reserve. Because of these factors, “stocks fell across the board and it appears that crypto markets are once again not immune when it comes to cash crunches and margin calls.”

“The move is likely exacerbated by already bearish market positioning seen in the options market,” he said. Hugo Renaudin, CEO and co-founder of LGO, summed these comments up nicely, stating that “cash is still king, and when the uncertainty on future prospects rise, investors favor cash over ‘risky’ assets.”

“This happens across any market from equity to bitcoin: when markets go down, correlation goes to one.”

Technical Factors

While the aforementioned analysts primarily focused on factors like a decline in equities and a flight to cash helping fuel losses in bitcoin, analyst Marouane Garçon spoke to technical factors. “This tends to be the norm whenever Bitcoin gets close to $10,000,” he stated. “It’s a very strong resistance. I was expecting this.”

Disclosure: I own some bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ether and EOS.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I am a financial writer and editor with strong knowledge of asset markets and investing concepts. Currently, I serve as VP of Content for financial services firm Quantum Economics. I have worked for financial institutions including State Street, Moody’s Analytics and Citizens Commercial Banking. An author of more than 500 publications, my work has appeared in mediums such as New York Post, Washington Post, Fortune, CoinDesk and Investopedia. Previously, I created all the industrial finance training for a company with more than 300 people. I have spoken at industry events across the world and delivered speeches on financial literacy for Mensa and Boston Rotaract. I currently hold Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ether and EOS.




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Bitcoin Futures Trading Spells Danger Ahead


Since last October there has been a growing debate as to whether bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies by association) are safe havens or risky, speculative assets. The stress test of the coronavirus crisis has helped to clarify this.

During the past two months, bitcoin has moved in sync with the S&P 500, betraying the fact that it is a risky asset. Gold, typically seen as a safe haven, has also risen but that is likely a response to falling interest rates, huge liquidity injections from the Fed and other central banks, and the possibility of monetary debasement.

Fed liquidity boosts bitcoin futures trading

The recovery in bitcoin has come alongside the overly generous provision of liquidity by the Fed, and the worrying development is the explosion in open interest in bitcoin futures (up to three times the average of the last year).

This points to the risk that bitcoin has now become a speculative plaything (several large hedge funds have become active in the bitcoin market) in markets and is at risk of a correction should risk appetite change.

Underlying this, on longer horizon view, bitcoin has also tended to move in sync with equities, for instance the peak in bitcoin in December 2017 prefigured weakness in equities.

Still within the less ‘independent’ crypto currency community there is a view abroad that bitcoin and crypto currencies are a ‘safe haven’ in the same way people might for instance, regard gold. Recent behavior suggests this is not the case.

From the point of view of cryptocurrencies as assets, very basic data analysis suggests that optically bitcoin has a low correlation with safe havens like gold. This does not mean that bitcoin is a good diversifier or a safe haven. It has been highly volatile over the past two years and is subject to trading and liquidity risks not normally associated with safe havens.

A further clue as to the true nature of cryptocurrencies as investable assets comes from the community of people who hold and trade them. The micro-structure (or plumbing) of markets, as well as the anthropology and sociology of those who populate them (which will have to be the subject of a future missive) is crucial to the way they behave and subsequently to their risk characteristics. Note that the current spike in bitcoin futures trading coincides with a huge spike in Robinhood account trading and in retail buying of call options.

Bitcoin futures activity explodes

Though admittedly not scientific, nor thorough, I suspect that many bitcoin traders also trade equity futures and currencies and use the same equity trading rules (technical) to buy and sell bitcoin (cryptos now have their own rating system, FCAS). If this generalization holds, it suggests that risk budgeting may drive a positive correlation between cryptocurrencies and equities, especially at market highs and lows.

Another observation is that for its size (the top ten cryptocurrencies barely add up to the market cap of JPMorgan JPM ) the crypto market attracts an inordinately large amount of attention, which may draw money in at high points. To my mind this points to bitcoin having a pro-cyclical bias in terms of its riskiness as a trading asset.

On a structural basis the coronavirus crisis may create greater interest in cryptocurrencies – especially given how the crisis have underlined the role of the digital economy and how higher taxes will be required to pay for the stimulus programs enacted.

However, the disarray surrounding Facebook’s Libra project is a sign of the operating and regulatory complexities facing cryptocurrencies. More powerful still is the incentive that central banks and fiscal authorities around the world have for the bitcoin not to succeed. Witness as an example the vigour with which the Chinese – who tightly control money flows – have clamped down on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Madness of crowds

The next steps in the crypto or digital currency (they are almost the same in that crypto currencies are digital currencies that use cryptography) industry for central banks to issue their own coins, and for the digital payments industry. More thorough regulation, cleaner cross-border payment processes and more reliable identification mechanisms will be part of the workload of central banks and governments.

In the short-run, keep an eye on the growing number of speculators in the bitcoin market – financial history shows that when new assets attract crowds, it invariably ends badly.

I am the author of a book called The Levelling which points to what’s next after globalization and puts forward constructive ideas as to how an increasingly fractured world can develop in a positive and constructive way. The book mixes economics, history, politics, finance and geopolitics. Markets are the best place to watch and test the way the world evolves. Most of my career has been spent in investment management, the last 12 years at Credit Suisse where I was the chief investment officer in the International Wealth Management Division. I started my career as an academic, at Oxford and Princeton.



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