Watching two bitcoin ‘celebs’ arguing poolside will scare you off crypto forever

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Making pool parties seem lame since 2009.
Image: screenshot/coinsbank

The cruise ship wasn’t big enough for the both of them. 

On September 10, somewhere in the Mediterranean, two well-known rivals in the cryptocurrency space stood awkwardly poolside. A crowd, sporting a mix of cryptocurrency-themed t-shirts and bikinis, lounged nearby on the ship’s upper deck. One man, sweatpants sloshing in the water, steadied a tripod. The Bitcoin versus Bitcoin Cash debate was about to begin. 

It only took 37 seconds to spiral out of control. 

The CoinsBank Blockchain Cruise, chartered to take cryptocurrency die-hards from Barcelona, to Monaco, to Ibiza, and then back, was in its fourth day, and a highly billed event had managed to drag a few likely hung over attendees out from their below-deck cabins. Jimmy Song, a venture partner at Blockchain Capital LLC, was to argue the relative merits of Bitcoin (BTC). Early Bitcoin adoptee and Bitcoin Cash evangelist, Rover Ver, was to speak on behalf of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). 

Bitcoin Cash was born following a 2017 Bitcoin hard fork, and despite BTC’s and BCH’s shared history, the two cryptocurrencies and their respective boosters have become the blockchain’s very own Montagues and Capulets — each disparaging the other at every conceivable opportunity, with both sides lobbing accusations of fraud and deception. 

It was perhaps to be expected that the debate wouldn’t go smoothly, but just how quickly it went off the rails surprised even those in attendance. 

Song, cowboy hat atop his head and microphone in hand, attempted to introduce the format of the event — a “Lincoln-Douglas style debate” — but was soon interrupted by Ver. 

Couldn’t even get started.

Image: screenshot/coinsbank

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Shouts of “no Roger” emanated from the crowd, as Ver told the audience to “calm down.”

It quickly spun out from there, with Song repeatedly telling Ver to “sit down” as Ver angled for the microphone. 

“Do you want to debate me or not,” Song demanded. “OK then sit down,” he repeated as he stood behind the podium. 

Bickering over whether or not Ver would get a one-minute introduction before the official start of the debate continued on, with Song addressing the crowd and Ver shouting at the top of his lungs. 

They heatedly yelled over each other as the crowd jeered. 

Three minutes had passed, and things were not going well. And then someone handed Ver a mic.

You better believe Song wasn’t having that, and so he stormed offstage saying he was “refusing to do the debate.”

Finally with the stage all to himself, Ver attempted to speak but was immediately shouted down by an angry, shirtless man yelling from the pool. And that’s all just the first five minutes. The video is over 40 minutes long. 

In the end, despite all the bullshit, one clear consensus did manage to emerge: If these people are the future of finance, then we should all pray for a return to the past. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/blockchain-cruise-bitcoin-fight/

The 21-day bitcoin challenge

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There is a documentaryiQiyi, China’s Netflix equivalent, about a Chinese bitcoin enthusiast who attempts to survive 21 days by merely living on 0.21 bitcoin, or $1,300, without any help or donations.

He You Bing is traveling and carrying nothing with her, and she has to retrieve food, housing, and basic necessities all through bitcoin transactions done on her phone. Interestingly, she is also doing this challenge in some of China’s largest cities including Beijing and Shenzhen.

Her name is something of a nom de guerre – a nickname, with “You Bing” directly translating to “having a disease,” and the whole name alludes to the girl’s over-enthusiasm for bitcoin.

It’s a fascinating time for making this attempt. In the last few weeks, there have been numerous reports of China’s crypto bans – including Beijing and Shenzhen banning public cryptocurrency-related speeches, events, or activities, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Also included in the purported ban were a number of WeChat media accounts that promoted cryptocurrencies, which have been permanently blocked. Furthermore, Beijing blocked access to the websites of over 120 offshore exchanges in the mainland and banned large crypto purchases through popular Chinese payments platforms Alipay and WeChat transactions.

Given the sheer number of these bans, readers who live outside of China may be led to think that there is a bleak outlook for the cryptocurrency environment on mainland China. But He You Bing’s Bitcoin challenge reveals a refreshing perspective on the crypto awareness of people living in these local cities as well as the power of WeChat. $1,300 may not sound like much for 21 days of travel in the U.S., but in China, where a cheap meal costs just $1, it can go a long way. The real question is, will people accept bitcoin?

Finding acceptance with bitcoin

Through daily video-log like documentaries, Bing is filmed running around asking different business vendors whether they accept bitcoin. The vendors, varying from small hole-in-the-wall eateries to employees from large chain stores like Uniqlo, express their reactions that are telling of their preconceived notions, or lack thereof, of bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Similar to the U.S., people’s attitudes vary from ignorance and distrust to welcoming. It’s eye-opening to see how different Chinese people think about bitcoin.

On the first day of her challenge, Bing arrives in Beijing, where she wants to go to an amusement park. The entrance fee is 2 Chinese Yuan, or around 30 cents in USD, but the park didn’t accept bitcoin. Bing also asked several fast food restaurants whether they accepted bitcoin so she could buy food, but neither of them did.

As she approaches these vendors, rather than paying in bitcoin, she often has to explain what a bitcoin is in the first place, and finds very little success along the way. One feat on her first day is that she was able to find an unlocked Ofo bike, a dockless bike that can be unlocked and paid for with one’s cellphone. With it, she biked around in an attempt to reach out to more vendors. By the end of the first day, Bing didn’t succeed in finding a food place that accepted bitcoin, and she subsisted on four packets of ketchup and food samples from a supermarket. She slept in a 24-hour McDonald’s on her first night.

The second day, Bing foraged for food. She grabbed fruits from wild trees. Her food intake for the second day consisted of some fruits on a tree and someone else’s leftover burger at a McDonald’s. She ended up getting a stomach ache and threw up, sleeping in another 24-hour McDonald’s. 

Bing was becoming hopeless by the third day. She was on the the verge of fainting and the filmmakers sent her to a hospital. At this point, the challenge had gathered some attention, and supporters were able to contact the filmmakers. They then brought Bing food and she paid for it by bitcoin. On the third night, she slept in an art gallery.

It’s not the currency, it’s the community

Bing’s story soon spread and people started finding her through WeChat where they would offer to exchange bitcoin to fiat. At that point, the challenge would have become too easy, so the filmmakers changed the rules so that Bing had to transact offline and exchange Bitcoin with people in real life.

On the sixth day, Beijing was having the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit, so the filmmakers moved to Shenzhen to continue the challenge. The audience started getting suspicious of the filmmakers, asking whether they were related to scam projects. The filmmakers said that they were approached by crypto projects but that they declined them. By then, six support groups in WeChat had been created to support Bing, with every WeChat group having 500 people (500 is the max number of people one can have in a WeChat group). These chatroom participants included bitcoin believers, real estate agents, and advertising salesmen.

Despite the current ban on crypto activities, the documentary shows that bitcoin is alive and well in China within digital communities, albeit not prevalent in the physical world. Most of Bing’s days are documented on iQiyi. And her encounters are telling of what is actually happening in China when it comes to cryptocurrency and mobile technology adoption. Notably, Bing was able to get through living in China simply through her phone. The power of WeChat brought her supporters directly to her.

By day seven, Bing got in contact with some of her WeChat supporters and was able to purchase face wash from them. The next day, she found a restaurant that accepted bitcoin. She got someone to buy her clothes at Uniqlo by exchanging bitcoin with them and then also found someone who was willing to book a hotel for her by exchanging bitcoin.

Gradually, Bing’s bitcoin challenge started a small movement, where her supporters would also approach shops to ask whether they accepted bitcoin and relay the information to her.

On a daily basis, the filming team recorded how many business and pedestrians Bing reached out to and the number of successful bitcoin transactions she made. From the initial ten days to now, Bing has gradually gained confidence. She now has a strategy on how to find people to exchange her bitcoins and what to exchange them for. Over time, the number of inquiries Bing did increased from ten to twenty a day to over a hundred per day. The number of successful transactions was still only a handful a day, however.

Bing’s story continues, and she is now at day 19. She and the filmmakers have migrated to the southern city of Guangzhou. As she assimilates into this new lifestyle, Bing found people to exchange Bitcoin to fiat with her to purchase her train tickets, her hotel rooms, and her meals. Nonetheless, more often than ever, the pedestrians and small business vendors she approached were ignorant, skeptical, and did not want to be part of the filming.

Finding utility in bitcoin

Recently, China Daily covered Bing’s challenge. The documentary has gotten some media attention in China, and companies and institutions have asked to donate and sponsor the filmmakers. They have claimed that they have turned them all down.

In the last year, the narrative around bitcoin has gradually centered on becoming a “store of value” in the U.S. given the increasing transaction costs on the blockchain. Bitcoin transaction prices have increased from 30 cents at the beginning of 2017 to $40 at end of 2017 during the peak of bitcoin prices. As a result of such large fluctuations in fees, transactions no longer happened as frequently as before. Bitcoin’s transaction cost is now back down to about 60 cents this year.

However, as the market has come down in the last few months, bitcoin has once again become a “safe haven” for individuals to go to, and as a result, bitcoin now makes up more than 56% of the total cryptocurrency market cap, up from 34% at the beginning of January 2018.

Bing still gets people suspecting that she is trying to scam them. Since the rise of crypto prices and bitcoin reaching almost as high as $20,000 at the end of 2017, there have been numerous scam coins coming out everywhere. In China, there are often obscure and random coins that appear with no real value-add, no relationship to any blockchain, and are devised purely to fool non-savvy citizens who think they can make a quick buck. In fact, one of the purposes of Beijing’s ban on commercial venues hosting cryptocurrency events was aimed at purging coins from scamming the public.

Bing will continue and finish her bitcoin challenge, but the greater challenge is on all of us in the blockchain community to continually improve this technology for broader consumption.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/16/the-21-day-bitcoin-challenge/

The true origin of Bitcoin’s early success

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/business/bitcoin-history-silk-road/

Good guy Bitcoin developer helps fix ‘critical’ bug in Bitcoin Cash

Cool move.
Image: Gettyimages

Proponents of Bitcoin and its competing cryptocurrency Bitcoin Cash, which was created as a “fork” of Bitcoin’s code and history, aren’t exactly in love with each other. Social media channels are full of squabbles over which coin is better and which one is more deserving of the “Bitcoin” name. 

But one Bitcoin Core developer — meaning, a person who develops code for Bitcoin — rose above the petty quarrels and did a big favor for Bitcoin Cash. 

In April, Cory Fields discovered what he describes as a “critical vulnerability” in Bitcoin Cash, and alerted Bitcoin Cash developers which implemented a fix before a malicious actor could exploit it. 

After Fields had noticed a suspicious change in Bitcoin Cash’s code, it took him “less than 10 minutes” to find the bug, which was serious enough to cause a chain split, which (if unintentional) can cause huge damage to a cryptocurrency. 

But it wasn’t just a simple matter of finding the bug and reporting it. “This was a bug in publicly-available, open-source software; any number of people could have already discovered it. There was nothing to stop anyone else from making the same discovery and taking advantage of it before a fix could be fully deployed,” he wrote in a Medium post published Friday. 

“Suppose that I privately disclosed the bug using my name — only for someone else to find it independently and exploit it anonymously the next day,” he wrote. “…billions of dollars could have been lost as a result of this exploit. People have been killed for much less. So not only was anonymity important, I considered it a necessity for my safety.”

Fields decided to report the bug anonymously, and luckily, he was able to reach Bitcoin Cash’s dev team before anyone else had noticed the bug (or, at least, had time to exploit it). 

Bitcoin ABC (the name of Bitcoin Cash’s software implementation) has posted an incident report after the bug was fixed in May, and promised it would take “several actions in order to prevent such an event from occuring again,” as well as set up a formal bug bounty system. 

Fields’ move was lauded by several notable cryptocurrency figures, including Civic CEO Vinny Lingham who tweeted that “Responsible and ethical behavior by everyone in the community, regardless of ideological beliefs, should be applauded.” Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, retweeted Lingham’s tweet. 

Once the second most valuable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash has dropped to fourth place by market cap according to CoinMarketCap, and is roughly eleven times smaller than Bitcoin. And while there’s still a lot of friction between fans of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, Fields’ example shows that it’s still possible to help each other out to the ultimate benefit of all.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/08/10/bitcoin-cash-bug-found-bitcoin-dev/

Bitcoin payments at Starbucks aren’t happening anytime soon

Sorry, fiat only.
Image: Chris Wong/S3studio/Getty Images

Recent news that Starbucks has partnered with Microsoft, the International Exchange, and a few other companies to launch a cryptocurrency venture called Bakkt has fueled reports that Starbucks is getting ready to start accepting Bitcoin in its stores. 

Speaking to Motherboard, however, the company has stated that this is not true. 

“Customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin,” a Starbucks spokesperson told the outlet, refuting a CNBC story published Friday.

Starbucks’ press release, dated Aug. 1, said Bakkt will be a “regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets” that will enable customers and institutions “to buy, sell, store, and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.”

But Bakkt will initially only let users trade and convert Bitcoin into fiat currencies, which (obviously) can be used at Starbucks.

Being the first significant foray the cryptocurrency space by Starbucks, as well as a platform that will likely bring Bitcoin to the attention of mainstream users, Bakkt is a boon for cryptocurrency proponents. But right now, it appears Starbucks is more interested in helping customers turn bitcoins into dollars than actually using them for purchases at its stores. 

A Starbucks spokesperson told Motherboard that the company will “continue to talk with customers and regulators as the space evolves,” but it appears that directly spending Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency at Starbucks is still ways off. 

Bitcoin’s price has been on the decline since late July, when it hit a two-month high of $8,340 according to CoinMarketCap. Right now, Bitcoin is trading at $6,993 with a market capitalization of $120 billion. 

Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/08/06/starbucks-bitcoin/

Crypto prices drop after SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision

Bitcoin is going down again.
Image: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Image

The prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum and all other major cryptocurrencies are sharply down Wednesday following an announcement by the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it will postpone the decision on approving what would be the first-ever Bitcoin ETF. 

The SEC, which recently rejected a proposal by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss to launch a Bitcoin ETF, now has to approve or disprove another similar proposal, issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust. But the regulator has extended the deadline in which it must reach a decision to September 30, 2018. 

A document posted by the SEC Tuesday says it has received more than 1,300 comments on this proposal; the regulator found it “appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change.”

In July, the SEC extended the deadline for deciding on Direxion’s Bitcoin ETF proposal to September 21, with similar reasoning. 

These delays aren’t overly negative for Bitcoin; in fact, given that one SEC commissioner dissented from the regulator’s decision to reject the Winklevoss brothers’ proposal for a Bitcoin ETF, the fact that the SEC needs more time to make a decision on another proposal might be a positive sign for Bitcoin proponents. 

However, it appears that anything resembling bad news can send the crypto market plummeting these days. Shortly following the announcement, the price of Bitcoin dropped by more than 6% and is currently trading at $6,580. Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, fared even worse, having dropped by more than 8% at one point. It’s currently trading at $375, its lowest level since April. Ripple, Bitcoin Cash and EOS — the third, fourth and fifth largest coins by market cap — have all dropped more than ten percent in the past 24 hours. 

The market capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency market is also sharply down at the time of writing. At $230 billion, it’s at its lowest point since November 2017. 

Despite short periods of optimism here and there, the prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum and most other major cryptocurrencies have been on the decline since their January highs, when the total crypto market cap was over $800 billion. The launch of a Bitcoin ETF would likely be a big boost for Bitcoin and other coins, as it would open the doors to institutional investors to invest in the crypto market. 

Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/08/08/bitcoin-etf-postponed-bitcoin-ethereum-price/

The SEC rejects the proposal for first Bitcoin ETF again, but there’s a silver lining

Better luck next time, guys.
Image: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

The SEC has rejected a second proposal to list and trade shares of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust on the Bats BZX Exchange, which would essentially be the launch of the first Bitcoin ETF. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, founders of the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange and big proponents of Bitcoin, have already been rejected in March 2017

The SEC dismissed the amended proposal on Thursday with a 3 to 1 vote, disproving BZX’s claim that Bitcoin markets are “uniquely resistant to manipulation,” and questioning whether BZX can do enough to deter fraud and manipulation on the market. 

But this time there’s a but. 

Following the SEC’s decision, which sharply drove the price of Bitcoin down from $8,287 to about $7,900, the SEC published Commissioner Hester Peirce’s dissent from the SEC’s decision. 

“Contrary to the Commission’s determination, I believe that the proposed rule change satisfies the statutory standard and that we should permit BZX to list and trade this bitcoin-based exchange-traded product (“ETP”),” Peirce wrote. 

She argues, essentially, that this is a case of catch 22: the Bitcoin market has its problems but these problems would be “mitigated by institutionalizing the market”. In other words, allowing the first Bitcoin ETF to launch would improve the Bitcoin market precisely in the way the SEC would want it to. 

“The disapproval order discourages new institutional participants from entering this market. Worse, it suggests that approval for bitcoin ETPs will come only when bitcoin spot and derivatives markets have matured substantially, yet, at the same time, contributes to further delay in their maturation, as potential institutional investors may reasonably conclude that the Commission will continue to repress market forces for the foreseeable future,” Peirce wrote. 

On broader terms, Peirce also believes that “the disapproval order demonstrates a skeptical view of innovation, which may have an adverse effect on investor protection, efficiency, competition, and capital formation well beyond this particular product.”

Peirce’s dissent is interesting, as it shows how the SEC might be swayed to change its decision on cases like this in the future. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ bid was rejected, but there’s another active application for a Bitcoin ETF, coming from the VanEcx SolidX Bitcoin Trust. The SEC did not comment on that application at this time, and it still has until August 16 to do so according to CNBC

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/27/bitcoin-etf-rejected/

Russian hackers used bitcoin to fund election interference, so prepare for FUD

The indictment filed today against 12 Russians accused of, among other things, hacking the DNC and undermining Hillary Clinton’s campaign also notes that the alleged hackers paid for their nefarious deeds with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This unsavory application of one of tech’s current darlings will almost certainly be wielded against it by opportunists of all stripes.

It is perhaps the most popular and realistic argument against cryptocurrency that it enables anonymous transactions globally and at scale, no exception made for Russian intelligence or ISIS. So the news that a prominent and controversial technology was used to fund state-sponsored cyber attacks will not be passed over by its critics.

Department of Justice indicts 12 Russian intelligence officers for Clinton email hacks

You can expect bluster on cable news and some sharp words from lawmakers, who will also probably issue some kind of public denouncement of cryptocurrencies and call for more stringent regulation. It’s only natural: their constituencies will hear that Russians are using bitcoin to hack the election systems and take it at face value. They have to say something.

But this knee-jerk criticism is misguided and hypocritical for several reasons.

First is that it’s not as anonymous and mysterious as critics make out. The details in the indictment actually provide an interesting example (far from the first) of the limits of cryptocurrency’s ability to obscure its users’ activities.

The painstaking research of the special investigator’s team revealed the approximate amounts and methods involved, and although there is a veneer of anonymity in that addresses are not inherently tied to identities, it is far from impossible to establish ownership. Not that they didn’t try, as the indictment shows:

The Defendants conspired to launder the equivalent of more than $95,000 through a web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

They also enlisted the assistance of one or more third-party exchangers who facilitated layers transactions through digital currency exchange platforms providing heightened anonymity.

But the process of laundering, after all, becomes rather difficult when there is an immutable, peer-maintained record of every penny being pushed around. Small slip-ups in the team’s operational security allowed investigators to tie, for example, an email address used to access a given bitcoin wallet with the one used to pay for a VPN.

[U]sing funds in a bitcoin address, the Conspirators purchased a VPN account, which they later used to log into the @Guccifer_2 Twitter account. The remaining funds from that bitcoin address were then used […] to lease a Malaysian server that hosted the dcleaks.com website.

It’s likely that the very same distributed ledger technology that allows for anonymous international payments in the first place also creates an invaluable investigative tool for those savvy enough to take advantage of it. So although bitcoin has its shady side, it’s far from perfect secrecy, especially when exposed to the privileges of a federal investigative team.

The second reason the criticism will be hollow is that it doesn’t provide much in the way of new capabilities for those who wish to keep secret their activities online.

There are established methods used by nation-states and garden-variety hackers and criminals alike that minimize or eliminate the possibility of tracking. Money laundering is performed at huge volumes worldwide and there are shady banks, loopholes and puppet organizations peppered across the globe.

Cryptocurrencies are convenient for paying for things online because there are a number of vendors (dwindling, but they exist) that accept it straight, or if one is not available it is reasonably liquid and can be shifted easily. I feel sure that our own intelligence services are making good use of it.

On that note is the third reason this FUD will be risible: If we are going to address the problem of dark money influencing politics, using bitcoin for hacking activities doesn’t even amount to a rounding error and it is cynical prestidigitation that makes it appear more than such.

I won’t belabor the point, because it is surely topmost in many an American’s mind that cash funneled through Super PACs and offshore accounts, backroom deals and stock trades, favors for lobbyists and corporate “donators” and 20 other forms of pay-for-play in Washington are more of a clear and present danger than a handful of Russian operatives ineffectually obscuring peanuts payments for hosting fees and bribes.

Perhaps the administration would prefer scripture: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

If anything these indictments are evidence only that cryptocurrency is here to stay, usable by you, or me, or an rival nation-state, or our own — just like any other financial instrument.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/13/russian-hackers-used-bitcoin-to-fund-election-interference-so-prepare-for-fud/

Congressman proposes banning bitcoin at House hearing

Burn the coins!
Image: D-Keine/getty

Look, cryptocurrency is complicated. We get it. What with all the different coins, tokens, ICOs, exchanges, scams, protocols, and DApps, it’s borderline impossible for the casual observer to keep it all straight. 

And so, with that in mind, let us now turn to approximately three combined hours of our elected officials rambling on about the blockchain and our decentralized future.

The fun started early Wednesday, when members of the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing to discuss the future of the crypto-verse. 

“We should prohibit US persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies.”

“This hearing will shed light on the promise of digital assets and the regulatory challenges facing this new asset class,” committee chairman Rep. K. Michael Conaway of Texas (R-Texas) explained. “Our committee has a deep interest in promoting strong markets for commodities of all types, including those emerging through new technology.”

But that wasn’t the only fun to be had today. Later in the afternoon, the House Financial Services Committee met to “examine the extent to which the United States government should consider cryptocurrencies as money and the potential domestic and global uses for cryptocurrencies.”

And what did we learn from this esteemed group? Well, for starters, that bitcoin’s got to go. 

“We should prohibit U.S. persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies,” Rep. Brad Sherman of (D-Calif.) blasted from the podium. “Mining alone uses electricity which takes away from other needs and-or adds to the carbon footprint. As a store, as a medium of exchange, cryptocurrency accomplishes nothing except facilitating narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and tax evasion.”

Good ol’ Sherman.

Image: screenshot/house financial services committee 

Did you catch that? Mining uses electricity, and therefore should be banned. 

But not everyone agreed with Sherman. Conaway, in his closing statements, seemed to argue in favor of bitcoin — at least as opposed to more privacy-focused cryptocurrency like Monero or Zcash. 

“As long as the stupid criminals keep using bitcoin, we’ll be great,” he observed when commenting on the pseudonymous nature of bitcoin. 

Hear that, stupid criminals? Stick to bitcoin

Other fun gems include Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) admitting that “there’s a lot of things here that don’t make much sense to me.” And yet, Peterson actually seemed to have some relevant statistics at hand, like the fact that “over 80 percent of the initial coin offerings are scams.” 

Good on you, Peterson. 

Over all, the two hearings painted a picture of our elected officials attempting to wrap their heads around this brave new cryptoworld. And hey, that’s a good thing. Everyone has to start somewhere. 

After all, we can’t all be self-assured teen crypto millionaires

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/18/congressional-cryptocurrency-hearing-ban-bitcoin/

Bitcoin just passed $7 thousand so BRING ON THE MEMES

$1,000,000 here we come!
Image: PESHKOVA/GETTY

Oh hell yeah. Bitcoin’s back, baby.

After languishing in the depressing realm of the six thousands for what seemed like forever, the price of bitcoin has skyrocketed straight to the moon! 

Well, skyrocketed past $7,000, anyway.

Yes, friends, it’s time to join the hordes of true believers on Twitter and Reddit in celebration. And while you’re at it, you definitely want to ignore the fact that last December, bitcoin briefly hit $19,000, which means that the current price is less than half of that. But you’re not going to let a little thing like context get in the way of your fun, right? 

Right. Let’s start things off with r/Bitcoin, which celebrated the destruction of the so-called “7k wall.” 

TFW you miss these memes.

Image: screenshot/reddit

And there’s definitely nothing remotely ironic about this roller coaster that only goes up. 

Always up.

Image: screenshot/reddit

Also, it isn’t a party without bitcoin choking out Warren Buffett!

Invest in memes.

Image: screenshot/reddit

Twitter also dropped some of the old-time favorites.

Meanwhile, presidential candidate John “I’ll eat my own dick on TV if Bitcoin doesn’t hit $1,000,000 by 2020″ McAfee has been surprisingly quiet about this rally, but we should expect celebratory comments from him any time now. 

Of course, those meddlesome nocoiners are trying to rain all over this cryptocurrency parade. 

But don’t let them yuck your yum! This price spike is totally organic, has nothing to do with fraud, and can only continue going up forever!

So bask in that sweet, sweet $7,000 feeling — it’s not like it could all come crumbling down in the blink of an eye. Again.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/17/bitcoin-passes-7-thousand/