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Real estate is how ordinary people have stored value and ultimately accumulated wealth. Indeed, post World War II societies all but demanded access to credit through politics, and governments responded with in-kind favors to keep power. Compounding of easy, loose money spurred decades of growth in housing construction, materials, land, and requisite financial products. This, in turn, triggered the Business Cycle, and the basis for entire economies was exposed as theft and fraud. Bitcoin might be the chance to starve parasitical redistributive governments, ushering in an entire new way to build equity. 

Real Estate as Mal investment
The dean of the Austrian School of EconomicsLudwig von Mises, wrote extensively of malinvestment. Though kept alive in fringe American paleoconservative circles, and as libertarianism’s cult favorite economist, the notion hadn’t gained much popular traction until the US Great Recession of 2008.

My guess is he’s poised to make another appearance in the coming years.

Malinvestment starts the Business Cycle, that boom and bust you’re probably all too familiar with, according to Austrian theory. Central banks are its main culprit. Their monopoly of the money supply has created what is called fiat currency: a paper or digital money backed only by the full faith and credit of a given government. It is without restraint other than inflationary pressure, which governments for over a century have battled using central banks.

Inflation acts as debasement, enabling more tickets or digits to circulate than might otherwise under a sound or tight money, and it is a chance for politicians to promise goodies such as housing guarantees. The trade-off is to keep dollars, pesos, and won flowing enough to produce a wealth effect but not so much that government units of exchange become useless.

Buy Bitcoin, Not Real Estate

Central banks can then artificially slow the rate of fiat through the price of money, interest rates. It’s a faucet, controlling the flow.

Malinvestment is the inevitable result. Even with the myriad of tools available in our present age, you’d think someone crazy if they told you they could predict economic production levels, adequate investment allocations, research and development, etc. Yet that is what a central bank essentially does.

By socializing housing’s risk through mortgage guarantees, while privatizing profit, central banks signaled to property speculators, land holders, construction companies and equipment providers, brokers and investment funds that this industry was a “winner.” It created a classic moral hazard. Producers then dedicated resources and time toward housing because customers on the retail side were armed with hundreds of thousands of dollars in risk-free incentives.

Buy Bitcoin, Not Real Estate

It was simply a matter of time before markers were called on outstanding loans of credit, and creative financial instruments, which would have never existed otherwise, were revealed as hustles to take advantage of political cynicism.

As is now well understood, the US economy, the world’s reserve currency, collapsed in short order. Like dominoes clacking, people abandoned newly constructed homes, construction workers filed for unemployment insurance, entire housing neighborhoods ghosted, bankruptcies flooded federal courts for relief, foreclosures swept the world, and the globe’s biggest banks were added to welfare rolls, the dole. In a private, free economy malinvestment is a cruel mistress, unforgiving. In our modern central banking economies, it literally pays to match government folly absurdity for absurdity. They’ll bail you out.

Malinvestment’s keen insight is not the bust, but the blowing up of the bubble or boom. Understand boom times are suspect in a central bank economy, and much of modern economics comes into focus.
It was around this time too Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper was released in response. Getting out from under the petty machinations of politicians and the whims of their constituents might be finally achievable with the advent of bitcoin.

Buy Bitcoin, Not Real Estate
 

Real Estate versus Bitcoin

Real estate’s historic appreciation might be a chimera, an illusion, as a store of value. It might be the case real estate in a voluntary, organically free economy could be rather inexpensive and without much fuss with regard to equity.
It’s hard to know without running history’s tape backwards, having no recourse to coercive malinvestment and redistributive policies. We are where we are.

Paul Moore, in a column for Bigger Pockets, completely ignores theory and history as recent as nine years ago, and asserts “I’m particularly passionate about multi-family real estate.” In a post riddled with appeals to authority, anecdotes, and half-truths, he ‘bravely’ comes down on the side of real estate in my proposed debate.

Bitcoin is rank speculation, he argues, insisting it is sexy while investment, the adult way to wealth, should now and forever be boring. He also attributes a bitcoin price fall in November to Jamie Dimon. How Mr. Moore could know this to be the cause isn’t exactly explained, but that doesn’t stop him from rhetorically asking if some yahoo’s statements could ever move real estate markets in such a way. Um, 2008 called, Mr. Moore, and would love to chat.

Nevertheless he continues, “I wanted to know exactly how multi-family stacks up against the other asset classes,” he wrote. “The numbers say that multifamily and retail are: 3x better than the S&P 500, […] 9x better than NASDAQ, 4x better than private equity,” and so on. The rest of his assessment of bitcoin as an investment is hacky and stale, sprinkling words like scam and lottery to leave a decided impression before any real consideration. Oh, and he has charts.

Bitcoin has had close to a decade to burst, but instead has managed to remain resilient, and has advantages over real estate in terms of the future of wealth accumulation. Investors can buy it in fractions. Barriers to entry in the housing market are notorious, but all bitcoin takes is a smart-ish phone.

Indeed, future investors have been raised on real estate kool-aid: they’ve learned to spend rather than save, as fiat economies demand due to inflation, and now cannot afford the down-payment anyway. The average home price has been blown up to such an extent, even if they were savers they’d be out of luck. In fact, bitcoin’s relative ease of purchase and lack of central control apparently appeal to the next investment generation ahead of even government-boosted stocks.

And as a result, the future seems crypto: free from government machinations, borderless, permissionless. It might even end up bringing housing prices down, closer to reality.

Are you buying bitcoin or real estate? Tell us in the comments.

Posted By ALFWESH22 On Sat, 09 Dec 2017 20:06:35 +0000 PostPage

Despite its volatility, Indians are using bitcoin as an alternative way to invest and pay for items following the country's demonetisation move in 2016

Interest in bitcoin is growing in India despite a series of warnings from the central bank that the digital currency is a risky and unregulated investment.

Although the cryptocurrency is reputed for its volatility, it has gained appeal along with other virtual currencies following India's demonetisation move in November last year.

Last week the virtual currency reached record levels of close to US$20,000 amid a buying frenzy, before dipping back to around $16,000.

“Bitcoin has seen a dream run in the last year,” said Vikram Pandya, the director of the fintech programme at SP Jain School of Management. “Like other countries, many people from India are attracted towards it with expectations of getting high returns in a quick time.”

Since the start of October, bitcoin has more than tripled in price and soared about 15 fold so far this. Its rapid rise has drawn in millions of new investors, which is boosting demand further. Its surge last week came as speculators feared missing out on what is expected to be a watershed for the cryptocurrency on Sunday, when one of the world's largest regulated exchanges begins futures trading of the digital currency.

“Unlike earlier times, rather than putting or investing their money in bank fixed deposits, saving policies, mutual funds and gold, they are becoming more aware about investing in bitcoin,” said Shivam Thakral, the cofounder and chief executive of BuyUcoin, a New Delhi-based platform for trading cryptocurrencies, including bictoin.

Bitcoin is now accepted by a growing number of retailers and other businesses in the country, such as restaurants, as cash liquidity has reduced following demonetisation, resulting in businesses moving towards alternative payment platforms.

Although the Indian government is trying to push Indians to move towards digital transactions to reduce the country’s heavy dependence on cash - which is hard to track and can facilitate black money flows - it has not yet thrown its weight behind virtual currencies such as bitcoin.

Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister recently said the government did not recognise virtual currencies as ”legal tender”. He earlier highlighted there are no regulations governing these currencies.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country's central bank, on Tuesday issued its third warning to members of the public about the risks of investing in bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

"In the wake of significant spurt in the valuation of many virtual currencies and rapid growth in initial coin offerings, RBI reiterates the concerns," RBI said in a statement.

It highlighted that it had not given "any licence or authorisation to any entity or company to operate such schemes or deal with Bitcoin or any virtual currency".

RBI said that dealing with virtual currencies came with "potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks”.

Mr Pandya said: “In India there is no specific legal framework to govern the cryptoexchanges and hence currently they are self-regulated. No one is entirely sure how bitcoin will continue to spread to the larger financial world."

Mr Thakral said that RBI is worried over the lack of control they have over virtual currencies, as well as being “genuinely concerned about people who have less knowledge about investment in crypt-currencies which is an unregulated market”.

“With the widespread prevalence of cryptocurrencies like bitcoins and many others, central authorities like RBI are in a fix since they have no control on the generation and usage of such currencies directly,” he added. “Since this technology is not in the control of central authorities, there are many Ponzi schemes prevalent in the market in the name of bitcoin. It has hence made it hard for the government to track and or stop them.”

A number of companies in India now tap into the interest in bitcoin. One of these is Unocoin, headquartered in Bangalore, which describes itself as India’s first entrant into the industry, operating the largest bitcoin-Indian rupee trading platform in the country. The start-up launched in 2013 and enables its more than 150,000 customers to buy, sell, store, use and accept bitcoin. In September 2016, the company raised $1.5 million in investment from a consortium of investors, and it has outlined ambitions to expand globally.

Posted By ALFWESH22 On Sat, 09 Dec 2017 16:54:07 +0000 PostPage

Speaking in an interview with Kitco News, Max Keiser shared his opinion on Bitcoin's recent market growth and criticized Warren Buffet and Jamie Dimon for their negative comments about the cryptocurrency.

It would be an understatement to say Bitcoin has had an eventful week, starting December at around $10,000 and stopping short of $20,000 on December 8 (some exchanges traded over $20,000). While the ride has been exciting, many, including American broadcaster Max Keiser believe it’s all because of professional investors pouring money into the cryptocurrency.

Speaking in an interview with Kitco News, Max went on to explain his opinion, and predicted that Bitcoin prices would continue to go higher until the upcoming future contracts are launched:
“I know what’s going on now is that all these guys [Professional Investors] are building up their inventory. They need an inventory; they need a basis for Bitcoin that’s relatively low going forward. They are going to ramp this all the way up at a much higher price before they launch these futures products. Then you’re going to see volatility, but from a much higher level, and then the game gets even more interesting. That’s what you’re seeing this past week and a half...”
In November, both, the Chicago Mercantile Group and the Chicago Board Options Exchange confirmed the dates of their much-anticipated Bitcoin futures contracts, with the former going live on December 18 and the latter starting this Sunday, December 10, 2017.

The announcements were followed by a major Bitcoin rally, spurred on by the anticipation of greater highs with institutional money entering the picture. There is, however, some doubt as to the positive impact of these futures products, as financial experts point at the ease with which they can allow investors to short Bitcoin (bet against it).
Commenting on the entry of professional investors, Max said:
“When CME said green-light the futures, it’s a relatively peanut market compared to bond futures, currency futures, stock futures - it’s minuscule. The pros have got to get massive inventory at hand so they can play the games they like to play.”
In response to a question about Bitcoin being termed a bubble, the Keiser Report host went on to compare the cryptocurrency to Snapchat, the messaging app, and cited how Snapchat’s growth in users is considered positive, and the same should be true of Bitcoin, which according to him, is also a messaging app in part.

Max also took a jab at Warren Buffet near the end of his interview, and included Jamie Dimon in the same comment:
“We are still talking about 10x gains from here in medium term. It [Bitcoin] will outperform stocks, bonds, gold. It’s going to outperform Warren Buffet. He famously compared Bitcoin to rat poison, and he is right! Guess what? Warren Buffet is the rat. Jamie Dimon is the rat.”

Posted By ALFWESH22 On Sat, 09 Dec 2017 14:30:24 +0000 PostPage

As British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once averred, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Bitcoin is frequently on the receiving end of them all, whether it’s exaggerated statistics about energy consumption or damned lies conflating it with terrorism. We’ve rounded up 10 of the most pervasive mistruths and endeavored to set the record straight. The next time someone brings one up, send them here.

1. Bitcoin Funds Terrorism
We’ll start with the most asinine assertion, although all of the entries in this list are pretty dumb. You know what funds terrorism? Terrorists and terrorist sympathisers. If you want to blame a currency though, try the U.S. dollar which has been used to fund more wars, proxy wars, bombings, hijackings, and insurgencies than any other.

10 of the Biggest Lies Told About Bitcoin  

In 2016, Europol found no evidence that terrorists were using cryptocurrencies to fund their activities. That’s not to say it hasn’t happened and won’t happen. It’s telling however that the only people linking bitcoin with terrorism are governments seeking to crackdown on digital currencies. If a major terrorist attack funded by bitcoin were to occur, we’d never hear the end of it. So far there’s been a lot of noise but nothing to substantiate this claim.
Yaya Fanusie of the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance had this to say:
[There] are examples of terrorists using virtual currencies, but probably are not indicative of a major push. Right now, virtual currencies are harder to acquire and spend than, say, prepaid cards, or the most anonymous way to fund terrorism – cash. And most terrorists operate in a world where fiat, or government-backed, currency is needed for their expenditures, so a virtual currency where one has to figure out how to cash out without tipping off authorities only complicates a funding scheme.
2. Bitcoin is a Bubble
Where do we even start with this one? No, bitcoin is not a bubble. It’s not going to come crashing down to earth and it’s certainly not going to return to zero. We’ve long passed the point of no return for that to happen. That won’t stop the B-word being trotted out every time bitcoin gains or sheds another $2,000 however. There will be corrections along the way – no asset in history has ever ascended in a straight line – but bitcoin is not about to pop. It wasn’t a bubble at $3,000, it’s not a bubble at $11,000, and it still won’t be next week after a dozen more op-eds have posed this question.

3. Bitcoin is Volatile
For those who don’t relish risk, there are certainly less exciting assets to invest in. Nevertheless, the notion that bitcoin is volatile and needs to be “tamed” is misguided. Hugely respected crypto assets expert Chris Burniskebroke this down in a recent slidedeck, showing that bitcoin’s volatility is now lower than Twitter stock. There are still roller-coaster days, but for the most part the digital currency is blissfully calm.

10 of the Biggest Lies Told About Bitcoin
4. Bitcoin is Tulip Mania All Over Again
If you’re not familiar with the much-cited case of tulip mania which swept 17th century Holland, your search engine of choice will furnish you with the backstory. The craze culminated in the price of a particular bulb reaching 4,600 florins. From there, the only way was down.

It turns out that tulips lack any sort of intrinsic value and make a rubbish commodity, just like seashells and pretty stones. Bitcoins, on the other hand, are easy to divide, imperishable, transportable and scarcer than tulips.

5. Bitcoin is Used by Hate Groups
10 of the Biggest Lies Told About Bitcoin

We could launch into a lengthy explanation as to why it’s ridiculous to blame a currency for the actions of a tiny subset of its users, but sometimes the simplest responses are best:

10 of the Biggest Lies Told About Bitcoin
6. Bitcoin is Mostly Used for Illegal Purposes
That claim might have been true in 2013, but today thevast majority of bitcoin transactions are for legitimate purposes. Chris Burniske also provided further evidence of this in his slidedeck which was cited earlier. Still, that won’t stop benighted hacks from the mainstream media trotting out this old chestnut whenever they can, usually accompanied by some variation of this image:

10 of the Biggest Lies Told About Bitcoin
 

7. Bitcoin is a Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi or pyramid scheme involves older investors being paid back through the capital from new investors, until eventually the racket becomes unsustainable and the whole thing collapses on itself. The workings of bitcoin are completely transparent and its adoption and growth cannot be controlled by anyone. The price of bitcoin is determined solely by what the market is willing to pay for it, not by a necessity to pay back previous investors. Bitcoin is certainly not a pyramid scheme.  Bitconnect, on the other hand…

8. Bitcoin Can Be Hacked
Bitcoin exchanges and cloud-based wallets can theoretically be hacked, just like anything else connected to the internet. The underlying code powering the bitcoin blockchain cannot be hacked however. Bitcoin has been stress-tested more thoroughly than possibly any other piece of code ever written. If you’re worried about having your coins stolen,take our advice and use a wallet which you own the keys to rather than trusting a third party.

9. Bitcoin is a Fad
You know what else was a fad? The internet and cell phones.

10. Bitcoin Uses Exorbitant Amounts of Energy
10 of the Biggest Lies Told About Bitcoin  

We’ve debunked this loads of times, most recentlyhere, andWired have also explored the matter at length. Yes, bitcoin mining uses a lot of energy – though not nearly as much as reported – and yet every watt is worth it.

Rather than delve into lengthy technical explanations, here are a couple of pertinent facts to mull over: bitcoin mining uses a third less energy than is expended on Christmas lights in the U.S. each year. One study estimates bitcoin to use between 0.8 and 4.4 KWh per year. Compare this with the 138KWh per year spent on mining and recycling gold or the 650KWh expended by the global banking system annually and bitcoin looks like a model in efficiency.

To invoke an apposite quote, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on. The next time fake news defames your favorite digital currency, drop in this link and set the record straight. Bitcoin is many things but it’s none of the above.

What other bitcoin lies should have made this list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Posted By ALFWESH22 On Sat, 09 Dec 2017 13:16:43 +0000 PostPage

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang claimed that the virtual currencies like Bitcoin will play a key role in the future of society. He even compared the volatility and technology of Bitcoin to the “early days of the Internet.”

In an interview at the sidelines of the Fortune Global Forum held in China in late 2017, Yang said that Bitcoin and the other digital currencies like Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash are the future of the financial system, although they are not there yet.
“Bitcoin as a digital currency is not quite there yet. People are not using it to transact. People are using it as an investable asset. I personally am a believer in where digital currency can play a role in our society. Especially in, not only the front end of doing transactions but also in the back end of creating a much more efficient system and a much more verifiable system”.
Other positive comments on Bitcoin and the other virtual currencies
Despite some criticisms and doubts against Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies, there are technology luminaries like Yang who support and believe their potential.

Among the believers is technology firm Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who claimed that he considers Bitcoin as a digital currency that is “more genuine and real” than the US dollar and better than gold as a store of value.

In an email interview with Cointelegraph, entrepreneur and investor Jonha Richman shares that she believes in the potential of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. In fact, like Yang, she believes that more and more traditional money will flow into Bitcoin in the coming months as cryptocurrencies are slowly starting to hit the much awaited mainstream adoption.

With these positive pronouncements on virtual tokens, the number of individuals who are attracted to the cryptocurrency market continues to grow. In fact, Bitcoin recently toppled Visa’s market cap with its latest all-time high price.

Posted By ALFWESH22 On Sat, 09 Dec 2017 12:53:03 +0000 PostPage

Property Investors from Wenzhou, Zhejing Province, which has a reputation as the home of China’s savviest businessmen, are dabbling in the cryptocurrency market for new investment opportunities. Instead of holding Bitcoin, their focus is on forked coins. 

“Bitcoin Will Evolve into a Capital Game”
In 2008, a Wenzhou merchant surnamed Chen set up a real-estate speculation squad with twenty of his friends. They bought houses on the same street, negotiated on the sale price, and went to the same agent to sell houses. If anybody sold at a lower price, Chen would kick him out of the squad. Now as housing prices decline month-over-month due to the central government’s tightened property policy, Chen has sold off his houses and used the profits to invest cryptocurrencies.

He started with Bitcoin, but only focuses on forked coins. “Bitcoin will evolve into a capital game for rich bankers and financiers,” Chen explained. “I don’t have enough capital to compete with them, but the bitcoin price will keep rising and simultaneously the price of forked coins will increase.” He learned the concept of a fork when he realized he had received some free Bitcoin Cash in his account this August.

Bitcoin users usually get free forked coins at a rate of 1:1 like BCH and BTG, but some forked coins are distributed at a rate of 1:10 like BCD, even 1:10000 like Bitcoin X. Chen believes that this is the most direct way for forked coins to attract users. Normally, when a new coin is created, it is hard for it to gain brand recognition. These forked coins, however, don’t have to work their way up like other coins did, because they have the same userbase as Bitcoin.

Are Forked Coins Sustainable?
“Forked coins were worthless at first, but as trading volumes soars, price rises and falls, they are attracting more attention,” said Chen. Over the past three months, he has first invested in Bitcoin Cash (BCH), then Bitcoin Gold (BTG) and now Bitcoin Diamond (BCD). He bought BCH when the price was 2000 rmb ($300) and sold out when it hit 19000 rmb ($2800). He is looking for the next BCH.
Chen believes that four factors matter most for a forked coin to sustain.
First, the team. Who is behind the project? Do they have the ability to develop? Second, the price. If the price is already too high, then there is no room to rise further. Third, the user base. Is it listed on multiple exchanges? A coin must go global to rein in political risks. Fourth, patience. Forked coins will gain more traction, but it takes time.
Chen is now inviting public figures and big whales to join his crypto squad. He sees his squad as a small venture capital fund. As long as a project initiator has resources and welcomes small investment, he would get involved.
His investment portfolio is 10% BTC, 40-50% forked coins and 10% ICO tokens. He explained that his investment philosophy is to invest in the unknowns. “The world is changing so fast, it’s easy to miss an opportunity before you realize it. Keep an eye on what you don’t understand and that’s where opportunities lie.”

Do you see great potential in forked coins? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Posted By ALFWESH22 On Sat, 09 Dec 2017 12:45:23 +0000 PostPage

It’s now possible to buy real gold with digital gold, should customers desire, according to an announcement from APMEX.

According to the post, the company has integrated with BitPay merchant services and is now able to receive digital currencies, with buyers receiving the 4% discount usually reserved only for cash payments. The post continues by explaining why Bitcoin is a good integration for the company, saying:
"Buyers can make purchases with Bitcoin at any time, from nearly anywhere, just as with most credit cards. International orders become significantly easier as cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is accepted worldwide without conversion. Also, many customers prefer Bitcoin payment because of the anonymity offered by a Blockchain purchase.”
Gold or digital gold
While the site offers crypto holders the chance to diversify into precious metals, many in the crypto world have already seen the price of Bitcoin investments explode over the past weeks. With the price now firmly stabilizing over $15,000, many investors expect still further growth, which may keep them from making the trade.

Posted By ALFWESH22 On Sat, 09 Dec 2017 12:29:47 +0000 PostPage

Ameer Rosic is a serial entrepreneur, Blockchain evangelist and the founder of BlockGeeks, an online education platform. He also is a YouTube personality, crypto-expert and jawline enthusiast.

Ameer Rosic sat down with Stephen Chase, Cointelegraph's VP for Strategic Partnerships, after moderating this year’s BlockShow Asia to talk about his journey from getting kicked out of high school to becoming one of the most comprehensible voices in the world of cryptocurrency, the trials and tribulations of creating an education platform and the undeniable reality of Bitcoin.

CT: How did you manage to find yourself here talking with us about such a new industry?
AR: I stumbled upon this industry about three years ago. I had an underwear company in Hong Kong and I sold my shares for that. Then, my journey started off with the exact same questions like, where can I learn more about this stuff? I understand technology. I am not a developer, but I do understand technology and the most common answer I got was 'go to Reddit' and I forking hate forums, I'm not going to Reddit, I am not spending hours. I wanted someone to just tell me, right? Time is the most important thing to me. I want to conserve my time. So I realized, nothing exists and I've got to create my own and that is where BlockGeeks came from. And then, I love video; I love YouTubing. I've been doing that for about four-five years and I just do it for fun. People think that it's a professional thing, but it is far from it. I do it for fun. There is no business behind it. Whatever I think about, I do it.
Education Platforms With Dmitry Buterin: A Love Story


CT: Not monetarily, but deep in your heart what is the best thing that has happened to you personally since you started this series?
AR: This dates before I started doing Blockchain. For me, I'm a big proponent of education. I never went to high school, I got kicked out. I started doing business when I was fifteen years old. I'm 32 right now, so I've had many.
I love the fact that no matter where you are in the world, with Internet connection and a hand-held device you can get an education for free. For me, my biggest love and what illuminates my heart is the fact that people, out of their own volition, without any authority, without anybody telling them to learn, they willfully learn by themselves.

CT: Have you and Vitalik thought about building a school or educational platform for cryptocurrency?
AR: That's what BlockGeeks is about. I live in Toronto and we have a really robust Blockchain community in Toronto. We have a huge Bitcoin crew over here, we have hyper ledger, and I am lucky enough to know Vitalik (Buterin)'s father Dmitry who is my business partner at BlockGeeks. We are the world's largest online community for training developers. We have 3.5 mln visitors a month and 6,000 students right now. On BlockGeeks we have three full-time Blockchain engineers who are creating curriculum and we're just moving forward.

The Blockchain Educators: Challenging the Future
CT: What is the biggest challenge you've come across with the online training?
AR: I'll tell you exactly what that is. Number one, finding teachers that can teach. And number two, finding teachers that actually know about this space. That was mission impossible. We didn't find anybody. So, what we found was very-very smart engineers that have a love of teaching and we trained them in Blockchain. It's all video based, so we have videographers and they spend every single day making very high-quality courses; study at your own pace, bit by bit.

CT: Have you thought about incorporating a coin or a token of sorts into this educational platform?
AR: Not in BlockGeeks. We are launching a Bounty soon to incentivize students to put their knowledge to good use, but we don't plan to tokenize. For me, I see no need to tokenize BlockGeeks, I see no need to Blockchain it. It actually takes away from the benefit of my students. The reality of Blockchain is that it's slow, it's clunky. I need hundreds of transactions per second and if you're an ERC20 token, you can only do about 70 transactions per second. That's not to say that other platforms can't come around, but the reality is that the technology is not capable, yet. We have a couple of years for this reality to actually catch up with us.

CT: Who would you ideally like to work with on your platform to better serve your consumer?
AR: On our platform, ideally we're doing something right now like that. We're doing scholarships, so we are trying to work with the biggest companies in the Blockchain space like L4V or Venture Fund. We are launching a huge scholarship for people who can't afford to it. Even though we are trying to make it as affordable as possible--it's only fifty dollars a month for all access to our courses, full Q&A, support from our teachers. We try to make it as affordable as possible, so you tell us why you can't afford it and tell us what you want to learn and you're in.

Expanding the Bitcoin Family: Take the Red Pill
CT: What do you want the world to know about how they should look at cryptocurrency and how they should look at Blockchain?
AR: My advice for people is that no matter who you are whether you're an entrepreneur, whether you're working nine to five, whether you're a mother, whether you're a father, whether you are somebody in the bureaucratic government. Take your time to just understand one aspect that you care about. Most people try to understand everything, they try to become an expert. I tell people 'try to understand one thing; understand that Bitcoin--if you could even just understand--that Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a cryptocurrency has these features,' that is a huge step forward. Then with that knowledge, you can go down the rabbit hole.

The biggest problem in the tech world: show me the code!
CT: How can we create a social cause pool, almost off of your scholarship idea, with all of these companies that are involved with Blockchain technology?
AR: Funny you should say that what I want to do and I have to figure out the reputation system and we're working on this, we want to build our own LMS. At the end of the day, I'm a fintech company and I know many companies. Regardless of the Blockchain space; the biggest problem in the tech space is a lack of really good developers. A certification doesn't mean you're a good dev, nothing--I mean, congratulations you have a forking PDF. I want to see your GitHub portfolio, I want to see how many questions you answer on stack exchange. I actually want to see the work that you've put in. Just show me, show me you're a developer, show me the code.

I was thinking of this a while ago. Companies need really good developers. Imagine we need to go to Africa, I am a firm believer that I don't need to be there. I shouldn't be there. I should just give you, who is there, the opportunity to do your best, that's it. You don't have the same opportunity as I do and I get that, but I should not forking be there. I don't want to be in your way, there is no reason for me to be in Africa. I just need to give you the opportunity. So, imagine we have a system where, let's say I'm in Kenya and I really want to do coding and I have very basic skills of coding. I can go to somewhere maybe like BlockGeeks where I put my portfolio, my profile saying 'listen, I want to learn about this, I don't have the financial means, and I'm willing to go through a process to get hired ‘cause that's what I want.'

Posted By ALFWESH22 On Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:38:24 +0000 PostPage

Bitcoin has sustained its phenomenal rise and already surpassed the $18,000 per token level as of Dec. 7, 2017.

Because of this, the leading virtual currency’s market capitalization (cap) has also swelled to a new record high of $305 bln, surpassing that of payments technology firm Visa, whose market cap is currently pegged at $254.74 bln.

In his tweet, Pension Partners Director of Research Charlie Bilello said that Bitcoin’s cap has already surpassed that of Visa’s. Visa is currently the biggest electronic payment processor in the world with a revenue of $8.9 tln and 141 bln transactions annually.

 Charlie Bilello @charliebilello
Bitcoin's market cap just passed Visa's.

Yes, that Visa:
Largest electronic payment processor in the world
$8.9 trillion in 141 billion transactions per year
Across 160 currencies and over 200 countries$BTC.X $V
    Bitcoin’s continuous growth and adoption
    With its continuous phenomenal rise in the past few days, a growing number of people are paying increased attention to Bitcoin. Due to its constantly changing price increases, it has already become hard to keep monitoring the price of the cryptocurrency. It seems that in just a split second, the price crashes through another milestone to post yet another record high.

    Majority of the players in the industry also agree that the upward trajectory of Bitcoin’s price will continue in the near future.

    Because of Bitcoin’s phenomenal growth, major players in the financial industry are slowly turning to the virtual currency to benefit from its popularity. Among the players are the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the CME Group, which already announced that they will be separately launching Bitcoin futures products within the next few weeks. These moves are expected to further propel Bitcoin’s price to new record highs.

    Posted By ALFWESH22 On Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:45:56 +0000 PostPage

    AngelList Co-founder Naval Ravikant has claimed that Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies have what it takes to solve the money problems of different kinds of people around the world. He added that the general public is looking for potential alternative places to store their money and watch it grow.

    In his presentation at the Token Summit II that was held in San Francisco, California on Dec. 5, 2017, he talked about the phenomenal trading performance of the leading digital currency Bitcoin and the other virtual currencies and the reason behind it. He claimed that Bitcoin’s staggering upward movements are driven by the people’s hunger for an alternative investment that meets their needs.

    He claimed that the fear by some market observers that Bitcoin is nearing ‘bubble’ territory is unfounded. However, he has not ruled it out entirely, but he claimed that the fiat currencies are also a bubble that never pops.
    "Money is a bubble that never pops. It's a consensus hallucination."
    Other highlights of Ravikant’s speech
    Ravikant also told attendees at the event that some of the things in the digital currency industry have been overhyped. He cited as an example the very high regard shown by industry players in the concept of decentralization. He also claimed that there are lots of virtual tokens that are being traded at very high values but don’t deserve it. He, however, did not name any tokens.
    "One indicator we are in a very frothy environment is we have a lot of tokens trading at very high values that are junk. Right now, I think the market isn't distinguishing quality."
    In his presentation, the AngelList co-founder also cited some virtual currencies that he is interested in and the reasons why he likes them. Among them are Bitcoin, for storing value, Zcash, for an easy transaction, Basecoin, for a stable unit of account, and Tezzies, for access to the Tezos smart contract platform.

    Posted By ALFWESH22 On Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:12:13 +0000 PostPage

    Bulgarians have lost all of their bitcoin exchanges overnight thanks to a sudden banking crackdown. In a well-orchestrated operation, Bulgaria’s major banks swung into action and blocked the accounts of multiple cryptocurrency exchanges.

    Bulgarian Bankers Battle with Bitcoin
    Cryptocurrency exchanges, like their crypto-loving customers, have an achilles heel: a reliance on legacy banking. Moving bitcoin around is easy. Moving fiat currency in and out of an exchange is often much harder – especially when you’ve just had your banking facilities withdrawn. On December 7, the blanket ban was reported on a Bulgarian bitcoin forum, whose moderator wrote:
    We expected this to happen, but not so fast. It seems that the panic of the financial system is quite large.
    Bulgaria, like its neighboring Balkan states, is a tech-savvy country that has embraced bitcoin and the financial freedom it brings. Its legacy banking system seems to have acted against the exchanges out of resentment and self-interest rather than due to orders issued at state level. In the same forum thread, the CEO of one of the affected changes replied:
    UBB [bank] informed us a few days ago that they were closing down our accounts for trading in cryptocurrencies. After a conversation with one of the bank’s bosses, I realized it was the decision of the bank’s owner, it was not for regulation.
    As it stands, all of the country’s exchanges are either offline or severely restricted in terms of the service they can offer, with many displaying notices explaining the situation they find themselves in. Affected exchanges include Cix.bg, Crypto.bg, and Cryptobank.bg. The latter is still trading, but can only accept funds via ewallet.
    Bankers Have Shut Down All of Bulgaria’s Bitcoin Exchanges
    It Never Rains, It Pours
    Cryptobank’s shutdown is a double blow for customers of the exchange, coming in the same week that Cryptobank.bg suspended ethereum trading due to “the Cryptokitties game that blocks transactions and passes quickly to send four times as much gas”. For Bulgarians seeking to stock up on cryptocurrency,Localbitcoins.com displays a limited number of sellers based in Sofia and Plovdiv, and there is still access to exchanges in neighboring countries via sites such as Bitcoin.de.

    Bankers Have Shut Down All of Bulgaria’s Bitcoin Exchanges  

    Bulgaria is by no means the only country to be affected by banking clampdowns on bitcoin. The stench of fear from the financial world’s old guard is almost palpable, as bitcoin’s inexorable rise heralds the shape of money to come.

    The Eastern European country’s banks have given cryptocurrency exchanges short shrift, but it’s likely they’ll be more accommodating when their government come to cash out its bitcoin gains. In May, a series of raids by Bulgarian law enforcement resulted in the seizure of over 213,000 BTC. Today, that haul has swollen to be worth $3.5 billion – or 6% of Bulgaria’s GDP.

    Do you think banks should have the right to cut off bitcoin exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.

    Posted By ALFWESH22 On Fri, 08 Dec 2017 09:15:51 +0000 PostPage

    It seems almost too much to imagine, but the market cap for Bitcoin alone has now reached over $300 bln. The combined market cap for all cryptocurrencies is quickly closing in on $450 bln.

    Just two weeks ago the market cap for all cryptocurrencies crossed the $300 bln mark, with Bitcoin holding strong dominance of that market. However, since that time, Bitcoin’s meteoric rise has left the rest of the market in the dust, with its own market cap nearly doubling in the past two weeks.

    Bitcoin Price

    Factors
    The price rise to over $17,000 has been the cause of the market cap growth, as substantial amounts of money have entered the marketplace. The prospect of Bitcoin entering futures markets both in the US and abroad has provided a reason for institutional investors to participate in a significant way.

    While cries of a bubble continue to be made public, others such as investor Mark Yusko suggest that the price has only just begun to rise. Bitcoin’s continuous front-page coverage in mainstream media only helps. Even if the coverage is negative, it gets people thinking about the currency.

    At press time, Bitcoin was trading on GDAX at $17,340.

    Posted By ALFWESH22 On Fri, 08 Dec 2017 08:37:23 +0000 PostPage


    Keith Ellison’s first hint that bitcoin was poised for a breakthrough was over the summer when a friend planning her nuptials sent an unusual text.

    “She wanted to know whether to accept the wedding band’s offer of a discount in exchange for bitcoin,” said Ellison, a Manhattan Beach investment analyst, who advised the friend to decline.

    Given the way bitcoin’s value was rising, there was no guarantee the friend would be able to afford the band when the bill eventually arrived.

    “A lot of people are getting caught up in the mania,” said Ellison, who bought one-third of a bitcoin in July for about $1,000 and has seen it appreciate more than five-fold. “Even random wedding bands are encouraging people that likely know nothing about bitcoin to pay in bitcoin.”

    Once the domain of technologists, libertarians and criminals, bitcoin has crossed into the mainstream, attracting interest from all walks of life with its soaring returns — while reviving memories of the dot-com bubble of the turn of the last century.

    Bitcoin, a form of digital money unadministered by a central authority, shot past $16,000 apiece Thursday, up from about $1,000 at the start of the year. It was going for about $220 in early 2015 — meaning anyone who invested a mere $13,000 in bitcoin back then would now own $1 million in the emerging currency.

    Returns like that are why investors are flocking to bitcoin to hold like stores of gold rather than use for frequent payments.

    Others are getting into the business of mining bitcoin, the digital equivalent of printing cash in which a group of computers solves encrypted math problems to verify bitcoin transactions. The energy-intensive process poses a problem for bitcoin’s ability to scale up and handle massive numbers of transactions, but not serious enough to discourage the cryptocurrency’s supporters.

    “There’s a lot of excitement that this thing we all believed in and thought could be a game changer is now entering the mainstream,” said Brian Klein, a partner at the Century City law firm Baker Marquart, who started evangelizing the potential of cryptocurrencies as early as 2013. “If it really succeeds, there’s no reason to think the price couldn’t rise to $1 million in 10 years. It got to $15,000 much quicker than anyone anticipated.”

    Klein admits there’s also a chance bitcoin could nosedive — it’s been prone to wild swings, including on Thursday. But as an attorney who represents many early adopters of the cryptocurrency, he expects bitcoin to stabilize after some growing pains.

    Klein’s expertise has made him a favorite among friends and acquaintances looking to pick his brain about bitcoin. Some previously skeptical friends have told him they regret not investing in bitcoin earlier. One colleague even reported that his house cleaner had inquired about buying bitcoin.

    The frenzy has tested bitcoin exchanges struggling to keep pace with demand and prices. Coinbase, the world’s biggest exchange, said Thursday users were struggling to log in and that the platform was running slow due to record traffic.

    Interest is expected to grow even more after bitcoin futures contracts will become available for trading later this month. That’s been met with some criticism by brokerages who say regulators haven’t fully assessed the risks of the new products.

    “This is irrational exuberance,” Royal Bank of Scotland Chairman Howard John Davies told Bloomberg Thursday. “This is a very, very unusual market that shows we’re not in a normal two-way trading market.”

    The burgeoning cryptocurrency industry is starting to draw scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. On Monday, the agency’s new cyber unit froze the assets of Canadian cryptocurrency firm PlexCorps during its initial coin offering — a sort of IPO for cryptocurrencies. The SEC’s complaint alleges PlexCorps falsely promised a 13-fold profit for investors in less than a month.

    In November, the SEC warned celebrities not to promote initial coin offerings on social media. Stars such as DJ Khaled and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. have taken to social networks to boost some cryptocurrencies.
    The novelty of bitcoin — and the unseen legal consequences — hasn’t spooked major companies from accepting the tender.

    Last month, accounting firm PwC said it had started accepting bitcoin as payment for services. That follows a slew of other companies that had embraced the currency earlier.

    E-commerce firm Overstock.com Inc. began accepting bitcoin as a form of payment in January 2014. The Salt Lake City company’s chief executive, Patrick Byrne, said at the time that the cryptocurrency appealed to him because it was free of government meddling. The company has since begun accepting other cryptocurrencies such as ethereum.

    Expedia.com accepts bitcoin for hotel bookings, and technology giant Microsoft allows customers to trade in bitcoin at current market value and add it to their Microsoft account to be used to buy things in the Windows Store or stores that have Xbox games, Xbox music or Xbox video. Even the Sacramento Kings accept bitcoin to pay for team merchandise and tickets.

    The clamor and skyrocketing values for bitcoin have naturally sparked fears of a bubble akin to the one marred by pseudo-internet companies nearly two decades ago.

    Bitcoin advocates argue that crash was short-lived and that the internet remains indispensable — along with companies such as Amazon that survived the crash to become one of the biggest companies in the world.
    For some new adherents, the lure of potential fortune far outweighs the risks.

    Jeanne Macbeth, an Uber driver and production manager at a Christian missionary magazine, said she would soon leave Southern California for Washington state to go to school. She’s hoping to work with a former Tesla employee who quit the electric car company to mine cryptocurrencies full-time.

    She noted that electricity prices were lower in Washington, making it far cheaper to mine bitcoin.
    “It does seem to be a moment to get in on the ground floor,” said Macbeth, 32. “It’s kind of like investing in Amazon in 1999.”
    --
    The language of digital money
    Cryptocurrency: Any digital money that is created, controlled and transferred using computer encryption. Most popular cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ethereum, are not issued or backed by a central government, though some governments have tinkered with creating digital currencies of their own.

    Bitcoin: The original cryptocurrency, created in 2009. The currency traded for a few hundred dollars per coin for most of the past few years but has seen its price skyrocket this year, climbing from about $1,000 to upwards of $15,000 — with a few deep plummets along the way.

    Blockchain: An accounting tool that underpins bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and that is thought to have numerous applications outside of cryptocurrency, such as logging stock and real estate transactions. The blockchain is a "distributed ledger" — that is, a transaction record that is not managed by a central government or bank but run publicly online.

    ICO: An initial coin offering, or the sale of a new cryptocurrency to investors. Sometimes these offerings are structured as sales of coins that can later be used to purchase goods or services from the company issuing the coins. But ICOs to this point have been largely unregulated and investors may find the "coins" they purchase are worthless.


    Posted By ALFWESH22 On Fri, 08 Dec 2017 08:26:56 +0000 PostPage

    Bitcoin has breached the $US 16,000 mark, extending the digital currency's record-breaking surge.

    According to Coindesk.com, Bitcoin reached $US16,050.83, having soared over 50 percent in a week.

    The new high comes days before the launch of Bitcoin futures on two exchanges, including the world's largest futures exchange, CME.

    Spread betting firm CMC Markets said the rise had all the symptoms of a bubble market, warning "there is no way to know when the bubble will burst".

    Critics have said Bitcoin is going through a bubble similar to the dotcom boom, whereas others say it is rising in price because it is crossing into the financial mainstream.

    Financial regulators have taken a range of views on the status of digital currencies and their risks.
    The UK's Financial Conduct Authority warned investors in September they could lose all their money if they buy digital currencies issued by firms, known as "initial coin offerings".

    But last week a US regulator agreed to let two traditional exchanges, CME Group and CBOE Global Markets, begin trading in Bitcoin-related financial contracts.

    The announcement from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that it will allow investors to buy and sell "future" contracts in bitcoins - an agreement to buy the crypto-currency, for example, in three months time at a certain price - was seen as a watershed moment for Bitcoin.

    Cambridge Global Payments director of global product and market strategy Karl Schamotta said that move was behind the latest rally: "The perception in households around the world that the CME and the CBOE are providing legitimacy to Bitcoin is really what is driving the massive rally here."

    But Leonhard Weese, president of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, said the rise in Bitcoin's value was "mostly motivated by fear of missing out and greed".

    Bitcoins are created through a complex computer process known as mining, and then monitored by a network of computers across the world.

    A steady stream of about 3600 new bitcoins are created a day - with about 16.5 million now in circulation from a maximum limit of 21 million.

    What is Bitcoin?
    There are two key traits of Bitcoin: it is digital and it is seen as an alternative currency.
    Unlike the notes or coins in your pocket, it largely exists online.

    Secondly, Bitcoin is not printed by governments or traditional banks.
    A small but growing number of businesses, including Expedia and Microsoft, accept bitcoins - which work like virtual tokens.

    However, the vast majority of users now buy and sell them as a financial investment.

    Posted By ALFWESH22 On Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:00:47 +0000 PostPage

    A crackdown on organized crime by Bulgarian law enforcement in May resulted in the seizure of more than 200,000 bitcoins – an amount worth more than $3 billion at today's prices.

    According to a press release dated May 19 from the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC), a regional organization comprised of 12 member states including Bulgaria, a total of 213,519 bitcoins were seized that month. Twenty-three Bulgarian nationals were arrested during the operation, and officials said at the time that the arrests and subsequent asset seizures followed an investigation into an alleged customs fraud scam.

    As of press time, the amount seized is worth approximately $3.3 billion, at a price of roughly $15,600, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

    Authorities commented at the time:
    "The offenders choose the bitcoin way of investing/saving the money, because it is rather difficult to be tracked and followed."
    They further alleged that those involved developed a virus which was used to hack into Bulgarian Customs computers, allowing the perpetrators to skip paying fees when transporting goods into the country. The virus was uploaded to government machines by bribed agents, according to the release. operation.

    In all, the alleged perpetrators avoided paying some 10 million leva (Bulgaria's national currency), worth roughly $6 million.

    What remains unclear at this time is what the Bulgarian government is doing with the seized bitcoins.
    According to a report from Bivol.bg, the Bulgarian government declined to release further details, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.

    Notable in the release is a notation that, at the time it was published, a single bitcoin was worth $2,354. The release stated that the total seized value was $500 million – less than one-sixth of its current value today.

    Posted By ALFWESH22 On Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:49:12 +0000 PostPage

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA512 Bitcoin Core version 0.13.2 is now available from: https://bitcoin.org/bin/bitcoin-core-0.13.2/