Cryptocurrency advocates often ponder over mass adoption. But in truth, the usability of cryptocurrency, or lack of, presents a significant hurdle for no-coiners. On top of fears over security and the association with illicit activities, mass adoption will remain a distant fantasy unless it gets easier to buy, store and use cryptocurrency.Crypto Is Full Of ScammersToday, blockchain puts us at the cusp of a technological revolution, but everyday people are put off by its complexity. The good news, however, is that this is typical behavior. After all, when the internet first came out, it was also the reserve of “techies,” yet decades later has become ubiquitous.All the same, one issue that presents a problem is the scam reputation that cryptocurrency has amongst the general population. This alone is enough to turn tentative interest into outright rejection. And with CiperTrace reporting thefts, scams, and fraud totaling $1.2 billion in Q1 2019, it’s easy to understand why many outsiders feel this way.Ciphertrace Q1 Anti Money Laundering report out today – https://t.co/qQBq5HK8jL— nickfx (@nickfx) May 1, 2019As well as that, the “shadowy” nature of cryptocurrencies doesn’t help the cause. And the fact is, criminals, do favor the remote and (semi) anonymous properties of transacting in crypto. On this point, economist, Joseph Stiglitz called for cryptocurrencies to be shut down. Speaking to CNBC, he said:“I think we can actually have a better regulated economy if we had all the data in real time, knowing what people are spending.”Responsibility Of Crypto Is Too Much For SomeAs much as early adopters value the independence of a trustless system, in reality, most people want an intermediary. Without a third party layer of protection against loss of private keys, fraud, and mistakes, having sole responsibility for managing your cryptocurrencies can be a frightening prospect for some.And third parties, such as banks, offer a convenient solution in sorting out mistakes. Being able to call a number and speak to someone, who will immediately deal with your problem, provides a level of reassurance that doesn’t exist in crypto. With that in mind, perhaps the mainstream isn’t ready for the responsibility that comes with being your own financial custodian.Mass Adoption Will ComeBut then again, Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, thinks it’s only a matter of time. In a recent AMA, he spoke about volatility, scalability, and usability as the obstacles to mass adoption.In terms of volatility, Armstrong cited the increasing use of stablecoins as a way to offer price stability. He also addressed scalability by talking about the development of the Lightning Network, which he sees as rivaling Visa for TPS one day. However, he was less optimistic about usability, admitting that the space faces many challenges in this respect. He said:“[On apps] it’s still too complicated to go there. To be able to sign in to your wallet, whether that’s a Chrome extension or on mobile. It should work like WeChat, or something like that. Where when you go to the app, it already knows who you are, and it has your payment method already attached. And with one tap you can complete an action or pyament. So we need to get that useability simplier, and simplier and simplier.[embedded content]
As Bitcoin breaks significant resistance at $6,000 and $8,000, all within the space of a week, interest is reaching fever point. But despite the strong performance, which some say is buoyed by economic uncertainty over the US-China trade war, there are those among us who remain skeptical.Bitcoin FOMOAn impressive week for cryptocurrencies saw Bitcoin break the $8,000 mark on Tuesday. Up 120% since the start of the year, this momentum is continuing to lead the rest of the market into a bull run. Unsurprisingly, mainstream news outlets and everyday people are once again talking about Bitcoin.In view of this, Bitcoin advocate, Thomas Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors, believes no-coiners will FOMO into cryptocurrencies. Speaking to CNBC, he said:“There have been positive developments, including some of the announcements coming out of Consensus, like the BAKKT launch and merchants starting to accept Bitcoin. But, what’s getting investors quite optimistic is that, now Bitcoin is approaching that $10,000 level, I think there’s an increasing chance that traditional non-crypto investors are going to start looking at crypto again.”Lee went on to talk about the importance of getting new investment into the space. Which he believes will be the key catalyst for pushing prices back towards all-time-highs.All-Time-HighsThomas Lee has continually pushed bullish sentiment, even during the height of crypto winter, which saw Bitcoin lows of around $3,200. And as each day passes, it looks more and more certain that we have finally left the bear market behind. Part of the reason behind the upswing may relate to economic uncertainty caused by the US-China trade war, which Lee mentioned in the CNBC interview.Last week, Trump announced a tariff hike on Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. This move was the culmination of months of political wrangling, which only served to strain already tense relations.The trade war between the US and China is escalating after President Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% on Friday.Now, the White House’s top economic adviser is contradicting the President, admitting Americans will pay the tariffs. pic.twitter.com/BzTMIouWw9— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 13, 2019The traditional financial markets reacted severely, seeing a 600 point drop on the Dow Jones. At the same time, Bitcoin broke $6,000. While these events may be coincidental, some analysts, including Lee, see Bitcoin as a safe haven during times of uncertainty.Indeed, Travis Kling, founder of Ikigai Fund, spoke about Bitcoin being the solution to an unsustainable economic system. Where investors look to trusted alternatives as a hedge. He said:“This is a hedge against irresponsiblity from governments and central bankers…the world is waking up to the value of a hedge against quantitative easing.”🤯 Bitfinex’s insolvency – didn’t crash the market😳 Binance hack – didn’t crash the market🧐 FinCEN’s crypto doc – didn’t move the market🤮 Sherman’s crypto ban BS – didn’t move the market🤬 China/US trade war tension? gonna MOON 🌝 the market— Dovey Wan 🗝 🦖 (@DoveyWan) May 10, 2019The Bears Aren’t DoneAll the same, even though things are looking up for Bitcoin, and the cryptocurrency markets as a whole, not everyone believes Bitcoin will see a major rally.Greg Thomson, writing at the start of the year for Hacked, cited a variety of reasons why Bitcoin will go to zero, chief amongst which was the lack of demand for decentralization. He wrote:“We all talk about decentralization and freedom as though it were obvious that these things are what people desire. Throughout all of human history people have organised themselves into hierarchies, with a centralized governing figure at the very top; be it God, the King or the latest President.A lot of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency movement is about personal freedom, personal responsibility, emancipation from centralized power – but I ask: just what makes you think that’s what people want?”And more recent than that, following Lee’s CNBC interview, the cynics were quick to criticize Lee. All without any basis of an argument, only negativity and pessimism. One thing is sure, only a return to $20,000, and beyond, will be enough to satisfy the naysayers.Tom Lee is here harvesting more crypto fools pic.twitter.com/hWLPHmJtEK— Jango Fett 916 (@jangofett916) May 14, 2019Really Tom? pic.twitter.com/8BgGZazevW— BW (@abcdbandit2017) May 14, 2019
Following a fantastic week for Bitcoin, which peaked at around $8,300, the inevitable market slump has happened. Analysts have attributed this to large sell orders placed on Bitstamp. But despite the loss of momentum, the sentiment remains bullish, which goes to show that confidence in Bitcoin is as strong as it has ever been.The Market Slump Was ExpectedFriday saw red across the market, with only a handful of top 100 cryptos being able to stave the pullback. The price of Bitcoin fell 8% to $7,300, with Ethereum closely mirroring this, falling 7% to $240.However, today’s blip has not shaken investor confidence. And if anything, was an expected happening. Founder of Onchain Capital, Ran NeuNer, a prominent analyst in the space, had previously announced the start of the bull market. But yesterday, before the pullback happened, warned of an incoming retracement.This market it going up too fast… tread carefully.— Ran NeuNer (@cryptomanran) May 16, 2019Also, Tone Vays shared his analysis of the Bitcoin market. He predicts a pullback before breaking the $9,000 level. Speaking from Consensus 2019 on Wednesday, he said:“Now that we’ve broken past 7,500, my next level of resistance is between this dotted line at 9,000, and this blue line, the Fibronacci line, at 9,442. So somewhere in here is the next good selling opportunity. But you want other things to line up. Ideally I want this to happen in three weeks, but it’s happening on a weekly nigh. The last two weeks have been insanely huge, so we can still get a reasonable pullback, and still get into that area.
Keep FOMO In Check
This pullback is a gentle reminder to keep the FOMO in check. In particular, to invest only what you can afford to lose. Case in point, CNBC ran a story last summer on everyday people who lost out in the bear market. Pete Roberts, who put his life savings into crypto at the height of the previous bull run, said:
“I got too caught up in the fear of missing out and trying to make a quick buck. The losses have pretty much left me financially ruined.”
And Kim Hyon-Jeong, who used savings, an insurance policy, and a loan to invest $90,000 said:
“I thought that cryptocurrencies would be the one and only breakthrough for ordinary hard-working people like us. I thought my family and I could escape hardship and live more comfortably but it turned out to be the other way around.”
Confidence In Bitcoin
Having said that, those of us still left in crypto are the die-hard followers that believe in what blockchain is trying to achieve. With that comes an acknowledgment that all markets run in cyclical patterns.
But most of all, what’s different this time around is real confidence in the fundamentals of Bitcoin. That is, at this stage, there are no longer any doubts over Bitcoin’s legitimacy as an asset class or technology. As such, pullbacks along the way are nothing to concern ourselves with.
Nice qualitative data point there.
It’s leaving the experiment phase. People believe, heck some KNOW, that this is the future of money/value/contracts.
— Anton Pagi (@AntonPagi) May 17, 2019
New Zealand exchange Cryptopia has gone into liquidation. Yesterday, rumors of another hack were circulating after users were unable to access the website. However, this morning, an announcement made on their Twitter account declared the company had ceased trading. Taking this into account, is now the time to start using decentralized exchanges?Cryptopia Limited appoints Grant Thornton as Liquidators – https://t.co/A35rq1Jls3— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) May 15, 2019Cryptopia Has Closed For GoodLaunched in 2014, with amongst the lowest fees (0.2% per trade) in the industry, Cryptopia carved out a reputation for being a no-frills exchange that was willing to list relatively unknown coins.They enjoyed relative success. But things took a turn for the worst late last year when trading volumes plummeted. In the weeks before today’s announcement, daily volumes were typically around $200k. In the current climate, this would place Cryptopia within the top 40 exchanges.Sadly, in what is another blow for the crypto industry in general, as of today, trading on Cryptopia has been suspended.Cryptopia joins the sad list of dead exchanges. In 5 years I’ve watched over 10 exchanges shutdown yet you still leave funds on their sites? Heres a small list: Cryptsy, mtgox, cryptorush, mintpal, cavirtex, vaultofsatoshi, quadriga, coinedup, vircurex, coinedup, cryptopia.— Needacoin (@needacoin) May 15, 2019The Cryptopia Hack Highlights IncompetenceAt the start of 2019, hackers stole $16 million from Cryptopia. There were reports that staff struggled to control the breach, meaning hackers were able to sustain their attack for a further two weeks following the initial incident.Moreso, almost halfway into the year, normality has still not returned. With some users taking to social media to voice their displeasure at this. And rightly so, as this time frame is unacceptable for any online business, let alone a crypto exchange.@Cryptopia_NZ It’s been almost 5 months now since the #CryptopiaHack & we are still awaiting for our funds. Unable to withdraw, trade or use our funds since 5 months in a bear market. I hope you understand what it means for all of your users? I really hope to see some +ve action!— Crypto babushka (@Cryptobabushka) May 8, 2019The liquidators, Grant Thornton, have released a statement saying the company has failed to recover from January’s attack. They go on to say that the investigation could last for several months, due to the complexity involved:“The highly publicised hack of Cryptopia’s exchange in January 2019 had a severe impact on the company’s trade. Despite the efforts of management to reduce cost and return the business to profitability, it was decided the appointment of liquidators was in the best interests of customers, staff and other stakeholders.”Decentralized Exchanges Are The FutureUndoubtedly, the scale of incompetence surrounding Cryptopia will filter out over the coming months. But for now, given concerns over security, investor attention is turning towards decentralized exchanges.Not only are they inherently more secure, as a centralized wallet cannot be targetted. But given the escalation of privacy encroachment, through KYC and AML regulation, decentralized exchanges offer an alternative that is more aligned with cryptocurrency ideology.In recent times, development into their usability has taken priority. Kirill Shilov, CEO of Geek Forge, said:“Two years ago, using a decentralized exchange (DEX) was a lot of trouble and people were losing their funds after making small mistakes like typing in the wrong address, but nowadays these platforms have become much more user-friendly than you’d expect.And this trend has been noticed by the industry’s big players. Towards the end of April, Binance announced the launch of Binance DEX. Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao reiterated the benefits of a decentralized system by saying:“We believe decentralized exchanges bring new hope and new possibilities, offering a trustless and transparent financial system. With no central custody of funds, Binance DEX offers far more control over your own assets. We hope this brings a new level of freedom to our community. We will work closely with projects and teams to grow the entire ecosystem.”And with that in mind, there is little excuse not to make the switch.CZ thought binance was immune to hacks. Every exchnge is prone to hacking, there is no denying that. Now people are afraid to keep the funds in CEXs. They started to look for non-custodial, fast, secure, with high liquidity/volume, decentralized exchnages @nashsocial $NEX #DEX— CryptoFox®⚡ (@cryptoofox) May 10, 2019
From today, US customers have the option of paying at 15 major retailers with bitcoin. This is made possible through a partnership with payment provider Flexa, with their SPEDN app, and Gemini exchange. But does this have enough mass appeal to lure no-coiners?The Flexa NetworkFlexa co-founder and CEO, Tyler Spalding launched the company in February 2018, along with Trevor Filter and Zachary Kilgore, who were former colleagues at Raise, the gift card buyback company.Their goal was to develop an industry disrupting payment infrastructure, with a view to improving crypto usability. And having earned the moniker “crypto Stripe,” it’s clear Flexa have made significant inroads in this respect.According to their Medium post, the network is a bespoke design that will cut processing cost, eliminate fraud, and preserve your privacy:“So, instead of bolting cryptocurrency payments on top of debit cards, we took the opposite approach. Over the past year, we’ve built new connections with tens of thousands of merchant point-of-sale terminals nationwide, to bypass the existing payments infrastructure and push cryptocurrency-based payment authorizations directly to merchants on your behalf.”The Flexa network is open for business: https://t.co/aieW8ZezmU— Flexa (@FlexaHQ) May 13, 2019Partnering With GeminiHaving said that, the Flexa network still relies on existing legacy infrastructure, in the digital scanners used for phone payments, such as via Apple Pay or Google Pay.Under this system, retailers receive payment by scanning a QR code. And Flexa works in the same way. However, under Flexa’s system, users deposit Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, or Gemini Dollars from their Gemini account into the SPEDN app. At the point of sale, Flexa converts cryptocurrency balances into USD for payment to the merchant.The potential implications of this are massive, and may well boost mainstream acceptance. Not only that, but Tyler Winklevoss believes retailers can also benefit, he said:“Merchants who are currently subject to overly complex, expensive legacy systems of credit and debit cards stand to benefit significantly. In fact, major retailers pay billions of dollars each year in processing costs (costs that are often borne at least in part by the consumer). With Flexa, merchants (i) get significantly less expensive and fraud-resistant transactions. (ii) can use the same payment hardware they currently use. (iii) receive payment in fiat currency, not crypto. We believe that not only will this result in cost-savings to the merchant, but to the consumer in the long-term as well.Limited AppealBuying coffee using cryptocurrency is now a reality. However, purists remain unconvinced by the centralization of the Flexa network.Satoshi: I built a payment system which allows any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party. It’s called Bitcoin.Gemini / Flexa / Spedn app: We’re the trusted third parties that are needed for Bitcoin adoption!🙄— SamPatt (@SamuelPatt) May 13, 2019At the same time, there are doubts about the lack of enticement Flexa offers no-coiners. A Reddit user said:“A consumer will not buy crypto just to use this BUT someone already investing in crypto will have reason to use this…”As such, spending crypto at retailers is great news, but there is no denying the limited appeal of Flexa’s system. With that in mind, we are still waiting for our iPhone moment.
Adverts seen at Consensus 2019 are fuelling rumors that eBay will incorporate crypto payments on their website. While there has been no official announcement to this effect, the internet is already awash with hearsay on which cryptocurrencies eBay will use. At the same time, this has put their relationship with PayPal back in the spotlight. Did eBay ditch PayPal over their refusal to incorporate crypto payments?Consensus 2019Consensus 2019 kicked off today in Manhattan, New York. The annual blockchain event provides a forum for members of the crypto community to debate the issues. This year’s line-up includes many notable figures within the space, such as Ryan Selkis, CEO of Messari. As well as several government representatives including SEC Commissioner, Hester Peirce.Photos shared from the event showed several interesting placards from eBay. They read, “virtual currency. It’s happening on eBay.” And “Reach 179 million active buyers in the world’s largest marketplace.”As an event sponsor, it’s clear that eBay is interested in exploring how blockchain can benefit their business. But of more considerable significance is the endorsement of crypto from a major internet retailer, which gives further confirmation of changing sentiment towards cryptocurrency.What Is Happening On eBay?Although the company has not announced the integration of crypto payments on its platform, that hasn’t stopped rumors of it happening. If true, the next question is, which coin(s) will make the cut? With one Twitter user suggested BNB.“Leaked from Consensus, eBay possibly announcing the support of cryptocurrencies on their website.” – @PatronsOfTheMoon Telegram. #share #bitcoin #cryptocurrency pic.twitter.com/xqbpdysUic— wolf (@ImNotTheWolf) May 12, 2019BNB is primarily used for obtaining discounted trading fees. But then again, the coin’s use case goes beyond that. Partnerships with various organizations, including Pundi X and TravelbyBit, show that BNB does offer payment functionality.As well as that, Changpeng Zhao’s (CZ) past comments on Amazon indicate he is at least thinking about e-commerce. In this tweet, CZ spoke about the advantages of internet businesses using crypto payments:“For any internet (non-physical) based business, I don’t understand why anyone would not accept crypto for payments. It is easier, faster and cheaper to integration than traditional payment gateways. Less paperwork. And reaches more diverse demographic and geography.”Will not surprise me if it’s bnb as @cz_binance himself has said one of the key areas of bnb would be in e-commerce !— Blockchain enthusiast – .net fullstack guy (@shotemba) May 13, 2019Did eBay Split With PayPal Over Crypto?When considering eBay payments, it’s difficult not to think about PayPal. Although they started life as part of the same company, they split into separate entities during 2015. Since then, eBay has chosen Adyen to replace PayPal. But the fact that buyers can still use PayPal, with a new deal negotiated until 2023, only adds to the confusion over their relationship.PayPal CFO, John Rainey, has gone on record to express caution over cryptocurrencies, in particular, their volatile nature, which he believes makes them unsuitable as a payment method. Speaking to CNBC last year, he said:“Right now, we don’t see a lot of interest from our merchants. But if it’s something that stabilizes in the future and is a better currency, then we’ll certainly support that.” On explaining the problem with volatility for sellers, he said: “If you’re a merchant and you have, let’s say, a 10 percent margin on a product that you sell and you accept bitcoin, for example, and the very next day it moves 15 percent, you’re now underwater on that transaction.”All the same, by refusing to integrate cryptocurrency into its primary business, competitors such as Robinhood and Cash App, have first mover advantages over PayPal. On top of which, by focusing on merchants, PayPal is overlooking the needs of buyers. Which is something fundamentally divergent to eBay’s approach.Split From Paypal Will Enable eBay to Begin Accepting Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies https://t.co/ETp2iPv3N9— Realtor Jill (@jillybe) February 3, 2018
After a rough week for crypto, Bitcoin managed to defy expectation by breaking $6k resistance. With this, Bitcoin dominance is also up, to 58% at the time of writing, a level not seen since the last bull run. Naturally, Bitcoin maximalists are pleased with how 2019 is panning out so far, but what does this mean for altcoins?Bitcoin Dominance Is Rising Against The AltcoinsFollowing April’s price jump, market sentiment has continued to remain bullish. Yesterday’s breakout has only added to expectations of an end to the bear market. And all signs point to that.For example, Binance Research recently released a chart on YTD returns of major asset classes. It shows Bitcoin as the best performing asset, with crude oil and tech stocks making second and third place respectively. Not only that, but taking into account the recent spike, Bitcoin’s YTD is closer to 70% return since January 1.What bear market? #Bitcoin $BTC has outperformed most traditional asset classes since the start of 2019 📈 pic.twitter.com/sgLxKJhaST— Binance Research (@BinanceResearch) May 7, 2019Given Bitcoin’s strong performance of late, talk, once again, is on Bitcoin dominance. CEO of Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz speaking to Bloomberg before yesterday’s price spike, said Bitcoin had won the battle for store of value:“We’re going to struggle around 6,000 for a while, we’re going to take out 6,000 and be much higher. What’s interesting is, we had this bubble, everything went up, it was all store of value. And when it was all store of value, you had unlimited supply coming in…And then the market got rational. The only store of value in the market right now is Bitcoin. It doesn’t need to change. It is gold…And all the other cryptos [are disadvantaged because they] have to prove use case.”Will Altcoins Rise Again?Not only must alts justify a use case, but given changes in the market place, “winging it” is no longer enough. Speculative investors, with little knowledge or interest in the underlying tech, exited during the bear market. Those left are generally sophisticated investors who are clued up on value indicators, terminology, and TA.The death of over 900 altcoin projects and the continuing struggle of many more is not a coincidence. Now, the market has a greater awareness of what’s valuable, projects with no fundamental value will continue to die.ALTS are not dying! We are getting closer to the next alts season imo. Here is my Altcoins market cap analysis.
As simple as it can be.$ALTS $BTC pic.twitter.com/aIRJuUCuh4— Dude 👨💼 (@Dudesignals) April 23, 2019Speaking about the relationship between Bitcoin and the alts, crypto advocate and CEO of The White Company, Elizabeth White said:“Altcoins used to be the ultimate speculative play in 2017, as soon as Bitcoin rose, people took profits and moved to altcoins hoping they would follow. The market quickly adjusted and in 2018 everything moved together, both up and down. The majority of speculative altcoins (i.e those outside the top 20) will end up thinly traded and die off because most of them have not done anything and have completely failed to realize their promises.”And if past performance is anything to go by, a rise in Bitcoin price should also mean a surge in altcoin price. But this time around, taking into account improved market knowledge, perhaps there will be a decoupling of this relationship. And useless projects will fade away as Bitcoin takes off.
The aftermath of the Binance hack has left the industry confounded. While the price of Bitcoin remains steady, following a slight dip on the news, the incident has once again raised questions over security and, given Changpeng Zhao’s (CZ) motion to “rollback” the network, whether Bitcoin is as decentralized as we are led to believe.Binance HackYesterday, Binance released a statement to say hackers had stolen 7,000 BTC in a single transaction. The security breach involved multiple methods of attack, including phishing and viruses, to obtain user API keys, 2FA codes, and potentially other info.According to the statement, the theft relates to the company’s hot wallet, and no user accounts were affected. In a further attempt to reassure account holders, Binance has said losses would be covered by claiming on SAFU funds.Have to perform some unscheduled server maintenance that will impact deposits and withdrawals for a couple hours. No need to FUD. Funds are #safu.— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) May 7, 2019Cyber Security Is A Game of Cat And MouseThe Binance hack has amplified concerns over security, which is already something that plagues the industry. Moreso, the largest, and perhaps most reputable exchange falling victim puts a severe dent in the credibility of crypto as a whole.Sadly, as cryptocurrency becomes increasingly mainstream, so will the occurrence of increasingly sophisticated hacks. Colin Baker, writing for ZDNet talks about cybersecurity being a game of cat and mouse. He said:“While defenders have improved their ability to tackle attacks and take down cybercrime infrastructures, their adversaries have achieved considerable advances too.. Including the ability to perform persistent attacks based on hardware, far below the radar of available defence tools and methods.”All the same, speculation is rife on how hackers were able to execute with such precision. And with that, one Twitter user attributed the hack to an insider job. While others scorned the suggestion, as far-reaching, given the lack of information available.No idea how you conclude that from the highlighted portion….— spiker (@johneakin84) May 8, 2019Is Bitcoin Decentralization A Front?Following the hack, CZ held an AMA where he discussed the incident. In updating us on the situation, he said:“Right now, our main effort is to focus on rebuilding and recovering the system. We need to make sure we completely eradicate any trace of the hackers in all of our accounts, in all of our data. That’s a very tedious process, so unfortuntely, before we finish that, we will not be able to release withdrawls or accept deposits… We estimate this will take about a week.”Additionally, when talking about how Binance will address the hack, he said:“There’s the other topic of, do we want to issue a roll back on the Bitcoin network? Because right now, the 7000 BTC is far higher than if we distribute that to miners… To be honest, we can probably do this within the next few days. But there are concerns about if we do a roll back on the Bitcoin network of that scale, it may have some negative consequences, in terms of destroying creditbility for Bitcoin…”The fallout from this statement has been unfavorable. Not only is the community questioning whether a rollback is possible, or not, but of the idea of “undoing” a transaction is of most concern. As a result, some have accused the Bitcoin network of being centrally managed.As unfortunate as this incident is, rolling back the Bitcoin network would be disastrous for Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general. Since the AMA, CZ has confirmed that Binance will take the hit, and a rollback will not happen.However, this brings to light the power of exchanges and mining groups to control what should be a decentralized network. Taking this into account, is it time we stop labeling Bitcoin as decentralized?After speaking with various parties, including @JeremyRubin, @_prestwich, @bcmakes, @hasufl, @JihanWu and others, we decided NOT to pursue the re-org approach. Considerations being:— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) May 8, 2019
Ben Mezrich, the author of The Accidental Billionaires, later adapted for film as The Social Network, will be releasing a new book this month – The Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption. It gives an account of the rivalry between Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins, which sets the twins down a path of investing in Bitcoin, and later, opening the Gemini exchange.
The Candian province of Quebec is attempting to woo bitcoin miners by providing cheap energy. The region’s energy regulator, Régie de l’énergie, has set aside an additional 300 megawatts of electricity, specifically for cryptocurrency mining. This is on top of the existing 368-megawatt provision.Quebec Offers Cheap, Environmentally Friendly Hydro-Electricity For Bitcoin MinersFollowing regulatory uncertainty over crypto mining in China, mass mining operations are in the process of eyeing alternative locations. And given Quebec’s abundance of cheap, green hydroelectric power, the region is setting out its stall in a bid to attract miners.Hydro-electricity is the dominant source of power in the area, accounting for 97% of Quebec’s supply. The state-owned operator, Hydro-Québec, runs 63 hydro-electric power stations and generates around 37,000 megawatts of electricity. This is enough to power 28 million homes.The proposed allocation of 668 megawatts for mining equates to the average energy usage of around half a million homes. This represents just under 2% of total output.Hydro-Québec Changes Opinion On Bitcoin and Crypto MiningSpeaking in 2018, before China’s bombshell announcement, Jonathan Côté, Engineer at Hydro-Québec expressed reservations about crypto mining. He said:“There’s definitely a gold rush feeling with some of them and they aren’t all well organized. We’re interested, but we are being cautious.”However, as evidence of the industry’s development since then, such skepticism no longer exists. Today, Hydro-Québec is a party to developing Quebec as a cryptocurrency mining hub. Indeed, such is the appeal, the energy regulators have rejected a proposal, from Hydro-Québec, for miners to bid for energy. Instead, under the proposed scheme, miners are subject to fixed standard tariffs, the same as any commercial operator in the area.Cryptocurrency Mining To Benefit The Local EconomyAll the same, qualifying for the energy allocation is subject to a selection process by the energy regulator. Interested parties must submit a proposal outlining their activities. The tendering process will identify the most beneficial projects by looking at the number of jobs created, the payroll generated by those jobs, details on investment in the area, and in keeping with Quebec’s green credentials, plans for re-using the heat generated.How a Crypto Mining Venture Is Heating Homes and Businesses in Canada: A Canadian startup called Heatmine is hoping to generate warm feelings toward cryptocurrency mining by using excess heat from computers for building heating in Quebec. The company is… https://t.co/Bbyn83uMHS pic.twitter.com/ABocuK3mU8— Green Guru (@green81guru) November 28, 2018An influx of bitcoin mining operators will benefit the local economy, especially in re-generating small towns ravaged by economic change. Mayor of Powerview-Pine Falls, in the province of Manitoba, Bev Dubé, expressed delight at the economic benefits this could bring:“I’ve been here 40 years, through all the loss of industry and I can’t help but think, you know, is this another world changing technology coming in? And if we could have any part of it … well it’s exciting to think they’re coming to us.”However, others are not convinced. Jason Cross, a tech writer at the Motherboard Vice, highlighted the uncertainty of mining as a business due to volatile price movements. He said:“You can never tell what is going to happen to the trade price of cryptocurrencies, but most people probably don’t expect the situation to suddenly and quickly reverse itself.”As well as that, there are still sections of society who do not believe in cryptocurrency. Regardless of the economic benefits mining could bring, the battle to convince non-believers is the real challenge facing the industry.Appalling allocation of resources by Quebec. Crypto currencies are garbage, and subsidizing them with cheap electricity isn’t helping anyone. They might as well be running their ‘mining’ rigs in hard NOP loops. https://t.co/Qw9ajF5anJ— Dr Earl Oliver (@eaoliver) April 29, 2019