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 ohiocrypto.com 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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Using data-science to evaluate whether Xi Jinping's anti-corruption sweeps were really about consolidating power

China-watchers observed the rise-and-rise of Chinese premier Xi Jinping with caution and sometimes alarm, but also held out some hope that despite his authoritarian tendencies and thin skin, Xi was genuinely committed to rooting out the rampant corruption that has plagued the country since its rapid industrialization under Deng Xiaoping: the creation of an untouchable elite and a hereditary princeling class immune to civil justice; looting by respected members of the business community; and a sense that the looters are exfiltrating their money, bypassing currency controls, and stashing the booty in apartments overseas, fueling both the Bitcoin and real-estate bubbles worldwide. Read the rest

Audio represetation of Bitcoin's price history

As the price goes up and down, the generated audio tone changes in this interesting and insightful audio piece!

I'd been looking for a used video card over the last couple of weeks, but gave up despite the amazing prices being listed. The eBayers are unresponsive to questions and the Craigslist sellers talk like drug dealers. That $225 GTX 1070 you have your eye on is being pulled from a mining rig where it's spent months running 24/7, accumulating all the grease, fur and pain that will be its only friends in the bubble mailer it will be sent to you in.

I ended up ordering this from Amazon despite the still-outrageous price of new video cards. Read the rest

French spy used darknet to sell access to national mass-surveillance databases

A cop working for the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure (the French national domestic surveillance agency) used the darknet marketplace Black Hand to sell access to France's prodigious national surveillance apparatus to criminals: give him a phone number and he'd track its location; give him a name and he'd tell you whether that person was under police investigation and disclose the contents of the associated files; he'd also sell you everything you needed to forge papers and other official documents (he took payment in Bitcoin). Read the rest

Bitcoin’s software had a bug that could have wrecked the cryptocurrency

Bitcoin’s core developers discovered a vulnerability in its software that would have allowed a miner to insert a “poisoned block” in its blockchain, which would have crashed the nodes running the Bitcoin software around the world, reports Vice’s Motherboard. Read the rest

Cryptocurrencies hawked by celebrities mostly a bust

Some things in life are obvious. The Pope's catholic, the sky's is blue, cryptocurrencies hawked by celebrities were bad investments, if not outright swizzes.

STEVEN SEAGAL

Last year, the actor became the brand ambassador for the cryptocurrency called “Bitcoiin,” which was just one letter away from the original thing. This past March, New Jersey regulators sent the Bitcoiin founders a cease-and-desist order, saying the coin was never registered as a security in the state.

Soon after, Seagal and the anonymous founders parted ways with the coin. Since then, his Twitter account has been largely silent and so has his Instagram, except for a mysteriously incongruous post on Thursday asking for donations for a homeless shelter in Russia.

Read the rest

Porn blackmailers supercharge their scam with password dumps, make bank

The porn extortion scam works like this: you get an email from a stranger claiming that he hacked your computer and recorded video of you masturbating to pornography, which he'll release unless you send him some cryptocurrency. Read the rest

A hard look at the wastefulness of "proof of work," the idea at the core of the blockchain

David Gerard is a technically minded, sharp-witted, scathing critic of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; his criticism is long, comprehensive and multipartite, but of particular interest is is critique of "proof of work" (an idea that is central to the blockchain, but which many cryptographers are skeptical of). Read the rest

People are stashing irrevocable child porn links, dox, copyright infringement, and leaked state secrets in the blockchain

By design, data placed in the blockchain is visible to everyone in the world and can never be removed; everyone who mines bitcoin makes a copy of the blockchain, and so any illegal content stashed in the blockchain ends up on the computers of every miner. Read the rest

Browser plugin replaces the word "blockchain" with "multiple copies of a giant Excel spreadsheet"

Cynthia Lee, inspired by a tongue-in-cheek request by Christopher Mims, created a Chrome browser extension that replaces the word "blockchain" with the phrase "mulitple copies of a giant Excel spreadsheet."

WHAT: This is a Chrome browser extension that can help readers contextualize news stories with hype about blockchain technology, by reminding you that blockchain is, in essense, a giant Excel spreadsheet.

WHY: For fun.

The results:

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