Cryptopocalypse -- Bitcoin drops almost 40% in one day

Stock investors who are reeling after today's disaster on Wall Street can take comfort in the fact that people hodling Bitcoin fared even worse. The price of a bitcoin dropped from $7900 to $4900 in less than a day.

From Coindesk

Nearly $63 billion has been wiped from the markets as the total market capitalization of all crypto fell from $223 billion to $161 billion, with BTC falling more than 39 percent over the past 24 hours to levels not seen since April 2019.

Balances containing 100 or more bitcoin have fallen to their lowest point since Dec. 31, 2019 signaling a flight to cash as other supposed safe-haven assets like gold fell 3.5 percent.

Image: Trading View Read the rest

CoronaCoin: A coronavirus speculative deathwatch cryptocurrency

“CoronaCoin” exists. Some cryptocurrency developers on 4Chan cooked up a digital coin that allows traders to bet on the global coronavirus outbreak, based on how many people become infected and/or die. Read the rest

Ex-Microsoft engineer convicted of 18 felonies after stealing $10M in digital currencies from Microsoft to make extravagant purchases

'Used accounts and passwords of other employees to embezzle digital currency' — DoJ

Drug dealer lost his bitcoin PIN codes... and $60 million

Drug dealer Clifton Collins, 49, invested his earnings in bitcoin, eventually racking up $60 million. For safekeeping, he printed the PIN codes to access his accounts and stored them in a fishing rod case at his house. But after Collins was busted on a weed charge and sent to jail, his landlord had all of Collins's stuff hauled to the dump. From The Guardian:

According to the Irish Times, which first reported the story, workers at the dump told the Irish police force, the gardaí, they remembered seeing discarded fishing gear. Waste from the dump goes to Germany and China to be incinerated. The fishing rod case has never been found.

Collins, 49, has apparently told the gardaí he has come to terms with the loss of the fortune and considers it punishment for his own stupidity.

The high court in Dublin ruled this week that Collins had forfeited the accounts because they were proceeds from crime...

The Criminal Assets Bureau thought it had hit the jackpot when it confiscated the accounts. Authorities hope they may some day access them.

"Irish drug dealer loses £46m bitcoin codes he hid in fishing rod case" (The Guardian)

And in case you missed this excellent tale:

• "‘I Forgot My PIN’: An Epic Tale of Losing $30,000 in Bitcoin" by Mark Frauenfelder Read the rest

US Marshals are bad at bitcoin hodling

The US Marshals, the agency tasked with the management of criminal assets, should have held onto the bitcoin they've seized. According to security company CEO Jameson Lopp's US Marshals Bitcoin Auction realtime schadenfreude tracker the weak hands at the federal law enforcement agency have resulted in missing $1.7 billion in potential gains.

From Decrypt:

Of course, the true value could be far higher. Some 50,000 Bitcoin seized from the original Silk Road was auctioned off in June 2014. Sold at the height of the Bitcoin market, in 2017, that’d be worth $1 billion alone.

It’s impossible to work out the real value of lost gains: there are too many factors at play, and the final auction hasn’t even happened yet. Last week, the US Government announced an intention to auction off over 4,000, worth around $40 million.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash Read the rest

SatoshiQuest is a game where players compete to find hidden bitcoin treasure in Minecraft

It costs $1 in bitcoin to receive an in-game life on the SatoshiQuest Minecraft server. From there, you can start looking for bitcoin treasure (equal to 90% of the money collected from all the players) hidden within the blocky simulated world.

From Coindesk:

The first round of SatoshiQuest began on Jan. 26 and the game resets once treasure has been found. The server checks the bitcoin spot price every 15 minutes, automatically updating the participation fee to keep it at $1.

The project is open source, with the code available on GitHub.

Ninety percent of total game fees go towards the treasury address, with the remaining 10 percent going towards developer costs. After finding the treasure, winners receive 85 percent of the balance, while the remaining 5 percent is kept the wallet until the next round. The reward is only paid out if the treasury wallet balance exceeds the transaction fee.

[via Super Punch]

Image by allinonemovie from Pixabay Read the rest

The bubbles in VR, cryptocurrency and machine learning are all part of the parallel computing bubble

Yesterday's column by John Naughton in the Observer revisited Nathan Myhrvold's 1997 prediction that when Moore's Law runs out -- that is, when processors stop doubling in speed every 18 months through an unbroken string of fundamental breakthroughs -- that programmers would have to return to the old disciplines of writing incredibly efficient code whose main consideration was the limits of the computer that runs on it. Read the rest

The mysterious correlation between avocado and Bitcoin prices

For a while, I blamed myself. I had that noticed my paltry Bitcoin investment was doing well, so I threw some extra cash in, just to say what it would do. That was just this past July. Days later, the value tanked. By September, I was down nearly 25 percent. Things have started to settle, but it's seemed so unpredictable that I've been hesitant to celebrate.

Now I know the truth. It wasn't my fault. It was the avocados—those same god damn avocados that ruined everything for millennials like me. But at least I got to enjoy them for cheaper while I stuffed my face to escape the pain of my crashing investment.

This isn't the first time someone has noticed the correlation, either. Back in April, the price of both jumped 35 percent. The avocados made sense—at the time, Trump had threatened to completely close the US-Mexico border, which would have seriously diminished our access to those delicious Aztesticles. Of course, we can always grow more avocados, whereas there will only ever be a finite 21 million theoretical Bitcoins in the world.

Clearly, there's a deeper meaning here. Correlation is not necessarily causation, it's true. But it's hard to deny the synchronicity, so weighted as it is with meaning. Perhaps the answer lies in the last untried home investment for millennials: Bitcoin Toast.

Think about it. Read the rest

Talking corruption, technology, empiricism and fairness with the Bitcoin Podcast

I'm something of a Bitcoin skeptic; although I embrace the ideals of decentralization and privacy, I am concerned about the environmental, technological and social details of Bitcoin. It was for that reason that I was delighted to spend a good long time chatting with the hosts of the Bitcoin Podcast (MP3), digging into our points of commonality and difference; despite a few audio problems at the start, the episode (and the discourse) were both fantastic. Read the rest

Someone made a single bitcoin transaction of over a billion dollars

I would say 94,504 bitcoins is real folding money, buy you can't fold bitcoins. In any case, someone moved $1,018,147,900 worth of bitcoin between wallets and no one knows for sure who it was. The Token Analyst tweeted, "We took a look and saw that a large percentage of it could be traced to @HuobiGlobal addresses."

Huobi Global is a Singapore based cryptocurrency exchange.

Image: Token Analyst/Twitter Read the rest

What will happen when Bitcoin mining rewards go away

Approximately once every ten minutes, the Bitcoin network issues one "miner" with a block reward of freshly minted bitcoins. When bitcoin launched in 2009, the block reward was 50 bitcoins. Every four years, the reward is cut in half. Currently the block reward is 12.5 BTC. In May 2020 it will go down to 6.25 BTC. (Here's an interesting page with live data about bitcoin and mining rewards.) The only other incentive besides block rewards are transaction fees miners require to add a transaction to a block.

So what happens when the mining reward becomes so small as to be inconsequential (it will reach zero in about 120 years, and the reward we be on the order of 0.00000001 BTC, or about 1/100 of a penny at the current exchange rate). In this video Heidi of Crypto Tips describes of the scenarios that could play out.

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IRS sends warning letters to 10,000 cryptocurrency holders

The IRS knows about the cryptocoins and wants you to pay taxes on them. The Wall Street Journal reports that the warning letters are going out.

An IRS spokesman declined to say whether the letters stem from information turned over by digital-currency platform Coinbase. In mid-March of 2018, Coinbase provided data—under a federal court order—on about 13,000 accounts requested by the IRS. ... The Coinbase customers whose information was turned over bought, sold, sent or received digital currency worth $20,000 or more between 2013 and 2015. For federal tax purposes, cryptocurrencies such as as bitcoin are treated as investment property akin to stock shares or real estate.

You may not be interested in paying taxes, but the government is interested in the companies that helped you not pay taxes and it turns out those companies are happy to help the government help you pay your taxes. QED! Read the rest

Study finds 95% of all Bitcoin trading volume is fake, designed to lure in ICOs

A report from Bitwise -- an investment firm lobbying for FEC approval for a cryptocurrency based exchange-traded fund -- found that 95% of the trading volume in Bitcoin was fake, ginned up through techniques like "wash trading" where a person buys and sells an asset at the same time. Read the rest

Facebook is working on a crypto coin for WhatsApp

Facebook is said to be developing a 'stablecoin,' which is a kind of digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar.

Crypto CEO dies with the password to unlock $200+ million of customers' Bitcoin

"After Gerry’s death, Quadriga’s inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost," said his widow.

What it's like to be a woman reporter on a cryptocurrency cruise where nearly all the other women are sex-workers

Laurie Penny (previously) got sent on the 2018 CoinsBank Blockchain Cruise -- a four-day cruise filled with "starry-eyed techno-utopians and sketchy-ass crypto-grifters" who solved the fact that there almost no women signed up using the "free market": they paid teen sex workers from Ukraine to ship out with them. Read the rest

Ohio becomes first state to accept bitcoin for tax payments from business owners

Ohio has become the first state to allow businesses to use cryptocurrency – bitcoin, specifically – to pay their taxes. And the state doesn't plan to HODL, either. As soon as they receive it they will sell it off for US dollars. (With bitcoin plummeting over 40% over the last month, their decision not to HODL is a practical one.)

Via Mashable:

According to The Wall Street Journal, businesses can start registering this week on for the chance to pay their taxes in bitcoin. And yes, it's only bitcoin — sorry ether fans.

"Under the leadership of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, taxpayers are able to pay their state business taxes with cryptocurrency for the first time anywhere in America," explains the Ohio crypto website. "Ohio has become the first state in the United States, and one of the first governments in the world, to accept cryptocurrency."

So with bitcoin in a downward spiral and no plans to horde the cryptocurrency in hopes of a longterm gain, why would Ohio accept it in the first place? According to The Wall Street Journal:

The idea to accept the digital currency for taxes came from state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who has held the office since 2011 and started taking an interest in bitcoin several years ago. Mr. Mandel, 41 years old, views the new program both as a convenience for filers and an opportunity for “planting a flag” for Ohio in the currency’s adoption.

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