Říj 17

Debunking Dr. Doom’s Latest Comments About Crypto

In a recent debate with Roger Ver hosted at the CC Forum event in London, Dr. Nouriel Roubini shook his fist at crypto assets once again, making a series of accusations on any and all coins.


Former Bitcoin.com CEO, Roger Ver, faced off as a defender of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and the wider crypto ecosystem this week, against the renowned Professor of Economics. While the clash was exciting to say the least, it was by no means a close battle.

Roubini’s comments on crypto were particularly close-minded and showed a clear lack of understanding about the emerging industry. His beliefs about the traditional financial world were also a bit off too.

Here’s 5 things Nouriel Roubini got wrong.

(1) Crypto Coins are ‘Not a Means of Payment’

Dr. Roubini insisted that crypto coins are “not a means of payment”. He insisted that the networks are too slow, handling only five transactions per second whereas “with Visa system you can do 25,000 transaction per second”. His chief concern was the volatile price, and the fact that merchants could not rely on a stable exchange rate. However, using crypto as a payment option opens up markets that would not be otherwise open.

In-game payments happen faster, countries where citizens have access to the internet but are unbanked now have a fully array of financial services and P2P platforms available to them. Roger Ver also added that BCH and other coins could lead to even more active internet trading, as more sites take crypto on board.

It’s really hard to claim that cryptocurrencies aren’t money when you can spend them at over 100,000 websites on the internet

(2) Coins Crashed and Never Recovered

Dr. Roubini’s argument points out that many coins lost significant portions of their value since 2017.

Typical cryptocurrency has lost most of its value. Even Bitcoin is 60% below the peak, the other top 10 are 75% below their peak, and the other thousands of shitcoins are 95% below their peak.

It’s true, Bitcoin (BTC) is down around 60% from its peak. However, some coins have also manage to bounce and regain a fair valuation. The peak trading values in 2017 were a one-off anomaly that erased value for some of the risk-takers. But the crypto sector is agile, the market is still immature and it continues to exist and transfer value even at lower market prices. New use cases for coins and tokens are discovered, and crypto-based finance is taking root.

It’s worth noting that this week, the stock price of Belgian bank, Dexia, has crashed 99.99% since May 2007 and is about to be delisted. Not just crypto projects had hit zero hey Nouriel?

(3) “Nobody is Using Crypto, It’s a Joke”

This one is easy.

Bitcoin right now has close to half a million active addresses, with constant growth since the launch of the coin. There is a marked growth in BTC addresses containing upward of 1,000 BTC, showing a certain interest in investment. Miners are also showing their vote of confidence, harnessing immense resources to produce blocks. And there is a market for newly mined BTC with no transaction history, showing that crypto networks do indeed have value for instant, censorship-resistant transactions.

(4) Criminals Only Use Crypto

Actually, being a criminal and using BTC turned to be a very bad move of late. Law enforcement plus Chainalysis ended up unraveling one of the biggest darknet sites serving gigabytes of child pornography. And how did they do it? They followed the blockchain trail, and ended up finding the users in the real world. Any other transfer of funds would not be available and made public for analysis, taking many more months to get court orders.

Dr. Roubini is behind the curve once again, as crypto has found its own tools to perform KYC on the blockchains themselves. Startups like CypherTrace go even deeper too, tracking as many as 700 different projects.

(5) Fintech is Apparently Much Better

Fintech is growing with paces as fast as crypto coins. And some tools and platforms are indeed highly innovative. But even fintech is not for everyone. Firstly, there are mystifying regional restrictions. Then, there are rather high fees that work much like a bank. Then, a fintech tool will hold onto your funds – and even have a section of its small script to freeze the account.

With crypto, on the other hand, the funds are always under your control, with no silly restrictions on only sending a few thousand dollars. Nodes are all over the globe to verify the transaction, and there is no human factor. Fintech may also require a bank relationship, which somewhat defeats its purpose.

Dr. Roubini has mentioned similar sentiments in the past years. But the crypto space has evolved, constantly adding new features and use cases. And while there are face-blanching days of volatility, it seems like Bitcoin is here to stay.

What do you think about Dr. Roubini’s stance on crypto assets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @TuurDemeester, video via Youtube @bitcoin.com

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Říj 16

Bitcoin Studies- Coming to a University Near You?

Is Bitcoin (BTC) teachable? As Satoshi Nakamoto once commented on Bitcointalk, “If you don’t believe me or don’t get it, I don’t have time to try to convince you, sorry.”


Universities Already Hold Courses on Blockchain

In 2019, multiple blockchain or BTC courses already exist – so why not an entire undergraduate program dedicated to various issues of crypto coins.

Leading US institutions are already offering introductory courses, with the lead taken by IT or economics departments. However, Crypto Twitter comments expanded the issue, suggesting that the study program should be much wider, encompassing both psychology and maybe even the legal issues of digital coins.

The proposal for a Bitcoin major raised issues of governance, and of the new types of blockchains created through delegation. But commenters also pointed to the fact that undergraduates rarely receive an explanation on the workings of central banks.

Bitcoin and crypto proponents have a problem with the possibility to raise unlimited funds, simply by tweaking the balance of central banks. Thus, the money supply remains agile, reportedly to encourage the economy. In the past decade, however, unprecedented quantitative easing led to negative interest rates, and fears that fiat money has overplayed its hand.

The interest in Bitcoin and the idea of sound money has followed the interventions of central banks. In the past days alone, the crypto space watched as the Fed poured in tens of billions in overnight repo facilities, to stave off an interbank liquidity crisis. The pouring of trillions of newly printed money into the economy is seen as a confusing tool that erases the meaningfulness of money. Without scarcity, Bitcoin proponents believe, money is prone to inflating illogical asset bubbles.

Bitcoin Projects Target Students

University students have been targeted by crypto projects in the past. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) popularized itself by sending small amounts of BCH to students. And now, the same technique is applied by the Bitcoin SV community.

BSV, which lost credibility within crypto social media, leading to delistings from major exchanges, keeps attempting to gain popularity and proponents by other means.

While universities are yet to dedicate entire majors to Bitcoin, adoption is growing. Recently, the Oxford English Dictionary officially added the word “satoshi” to the official dictionary.

What do you think about a Bitcoin university major? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @zhusu @Centbee

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Říj 05

Coincheck Rolls Out Bitcoin (BTC) Payment for Gas

Tokyo-based crypto exchange Coincheck has launched a program that will allow users to pay for gas using bitcoin (BTC).


Coincheck Debuts Bitcoin Rebate Promo

The Japanese crypto trading giant announced the move in a press statement issued on Friday (October 4, 2019). The program is a result of a partnership between Coincheck and a couple of gas companies in Tokyo.

Dubbed “Coincheck Gas,” users of the platform can pay their domestic gas bills in bitcoin. According to the press release, BTC payments for gas under the program will attract a 3% discount.

Also, the company says it will gift users 3% of their monthly gas bills in bitcoin sent to their Coincheck wallets. Coincheck Gas is a follow-up to “Coincheck Electricity” which the company rolled out back in 2016.

These services are part of efforts by Monex — Coincheck’s parent company to boost mainstream BTC adoption. The company also has other programs that allow customers to swap loyalty points for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Monex has also extended its bitcoin utilization drive to shareholders. As previously reported by Bitcoinist, the company says it will award BTC to its shareholders who own more than 100 shares and has a Coincheck wallet.

Monex acquired Coincheck back in 2017 after the exchange suffered a massive crypto heist. The hack saw the platform lose more than $500 million in NEM tokens.

Crypto Rebates Can Boost Adoption

Coincheck is the latest company to roll out a bitcoin rewards program as crypto rebates begin to gain in popularity.

Back in July, Bitcoinist reported that Lolli — a browser extension service, had inked a deal with Hotels.com to offer valuable BTC rebates to customers.

Crypto rebates likely form an avenue to encourage greater cryptocurrency adoption. The method arguably provides greater penetration for virtual currencies in the mainstream retail arena.

Non-crypto owners can easily acquire bitcoin and other digital currencies while shopping on their favorite merchant websites online. Crypto rebates also constitute one of the few cryptocurrency adoption avenues that target consumers instead of retailers.

The expectation is that these new BTC owners that emerge from crypto rebate promos will be incentivized to spend their earnings creating more utility for digital currencies.

Merchants will, in turn, look to accept crypto payments to the benefit of the emerging digital economy.

Should other crypto companies launch similar bitcoin rebate programs to boost overall cryptocurrency adoption? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Bitcoinist Image Library

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Říj 02

Congressional Candidate Wants To Make America Great (At Crypto) Again

Stanford engineer, Agatha Bacelar, has thrown her hat into the ring in the US Democratic congressional primaries. Running on a pro-crypto ticket, Bacelar is up against senior democrat, Nancy Pelosi, in California’s 12th congressional district. Naturally, she is accepting campaign donations in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.


Put A Crypto Advocate In Congress

Although not currently listed amongst the issues on which she is running, Bacelar really pushes her crypto-credentials on her donations page. Presumably this is so as not to put-off any crypto-sceptic/phobic/agnostic potential supporters.

However, the page for cryptocurrency donations is emblazoned with the message to ‘Put A Crypto Tech Advocate In Congress’.

Bacelar notes that only 3% of representatives have a background in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. This leads the country to suffer from a lack of comprehension around crypto and its global relevance.

Bacelar, of course, presents herself as the antidote to this, and vows to not let the US get left behind.

Stopping The Exodus Of Crypto Innovation

Whilst San Francisco was once a headquarters of the crypto-industry, its once bright future has dimmed according to Bacelar. Federal intervention and regulation has forced crypto-innovators to look elsewhere, and many startups overlook the US completely.

She claims that she will, “bring informed, practical, and future-savvy tech regulation to the forefront of the picture in Washington,” and that in Congress she will create, “a viable future for cryptocurrencies and bringing the American crypto industry back home.”

Gunning For House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi

The 27 year-old Brazilian-American candidate hopes to unseat incumbent, Nancy Pelosi, who has been in politics longer than Bacelar has been alive. In part, this is down to the location of Pelosi’s district in tech-hub (and presumably crypto-positive) San Francisco. However, Bacelar also cites a belief that “the political establishment wants to hold back a future where economic freedom is afforded to all,” continuing:

We need a future where we are able to use the incredible people-power of blockchain technologies to build a better, more just, and innovative society.

Bacelar is not the only pro-Bitcoin candidate running for office. Democratic presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, has hinted at paying a proposed $1,000 per month universal income for every citizen using bitcoin.

Do you think US Congress needs more crypto-focused members? Add your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock

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Zář 20

Why Bitfinex No Longer Rules Over Bitcoin (BTC)

Trading volumes for Bitcoin (BTC) on the Bitfinex exchange seem to vanish into thin air. Analysts noted that about a year ago, Bitfinex served as the primary exchange for BTC price discovery – but that situation changed, and now the market carries only about 3% of its former volumes.


Fallen From Power

On Bitfinex, BTC volumes are just around $57 million, a small fraction of the total $17 billion daily volumes. The exchange, once a powerhouse of activity, seems to have dwindled to the size of a small-scale market. Total volumes are now around $137 million in 24 hours. The drop in volumes is also surprising since Bitfinex is one of the exchanges considered to have realistic volumes compared to the number of user visits.

Bitfinex is now ranked 54th by volumes on CoinMarketCap. Curiously, this shift in activity happened while the exchange carried out multiple incentive programs to attract more traders. In the past, Bitfinex only accepted a minimum of $10,000 in deposits.

Later, the constraint was removed, and Bitfinex now offers mid-range verified accounts some perks that were only available to “whales”. But the fish are not biting, not even with the more recent incentive to trade UNUS SED LEO (LEO), a new native exchange token minted by Bitfinex.

No Tether, No Volume

One of the reasons for the lowered volumes is that Bitfinex has stopped a rather apparent practice of regularly unleashing bots to boost the BTC market price. Additionally, the platform no longer carries the bulk of Tether (USDT), and the Tether treasury is careful not to send coins on the exchange.

In the past, an easy link could be noted between newly minted coins that ended up on the Bitfinex wallet. Following that event, a BTC rally would follow.

Now, Bitfinex is warier. The exchange was hit with a heavy loss, after having $850 million locked up with Crypto Capital – a global payment service that was caught with shady banking practices. On top of that, there is the ongoing court case with the New York Attorney General, still going through the practices of iFinex and Tether to determine any illegal activity.

The decline in Bitfinex volumes also follows stricter policies for US-based exchanges. The exchange had to delist multiple assets and block the accounts of unverified users. During that time, new exchanges expanded, taking over the market share. Binance took the lead and also became one of the biggest holders of USDT.

What do you make of Bitfinex’s decline? Add your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @Prestonjbyrne

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Zář 18

ING Survey: Europe Still a Patchy Landscape of Crypto Adoption

European countries present a patchy landscape of cryptocurrency acceptance. Most consumers remain skeptical, but there is an emerging class of true believers, shows the latest ING survey, “From cash to crypto: a money revolution.”


True Believers and Enthusiasts Boost Adoption

The insurance giant went through another annual analysis of attitudes to cryptocurrencies. The research found out that outside of a small group of true believers and enthusiasts, Europeans are cautious about the promises of crypto coins. ING queried respondents in 15 countries, with close to 1,000 respondents in each country.

“The crypto type”, as ING names this group of respondents, is the most positive about the future of cryptocurrencies. But extreme enthusiasts are not the most knowledgeable about crypto assets. The researchers discovered that knowledge and understanding of crypto coins do not correlate with a positive attitude or expectations.

Respondents comfortable with crypto assets are already used to various forms of cashless payments. This is especially true of male respondents with relatively high incomes, ING discovered. But the general European consumer still prefers traditional modes of payment, including physical cash.

Turkey, Romania, and Poland hold the lead when it comes to positive attitudes about digital assets. In the case of Turkey, the country has shown strong adoption of multiple crypto schemes, as locals attempt to mitigate the crash of the lira exchange rate. In Turkey, 62% of respondents had a positive attitude to crypto assets.

Most Europeans Cautious About Cryptocurrencies

One of the curious discoveries was that Europeans were very cautious about sending money via social media. When queried about Facebook’s use as a platform for payments, as much as 60% of Europeans responded negatively. Even in crypto-friendly Turkey, the usage of Facebook or other social media for payments was viewed with relatively low approval rates, with 43% against.

Europeans get informed about digital coins mostly from online media, ING discovered. But there are multiple regional differences, as some countries have stronger online communities or news portals.

Given that Europe is one of the hotspots when it comes to crypto exchanges, the ING survey shows that the general population is still largely unaware of crypto assets, and still far from quick or mass adoption. The UK, which is the leading country for crypto exchanges, was not included in the survey.

The survey also excludes the notoriously crypto-friendly Baltic countries, where adoption and startups are relatively higher.

What do you think about cryptocurrency adoption in Europe? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Zář 09

How Much Do People Actually Know About Bitcoin Around the World?

Bull runs, futures, institutions, Bakkt; Bitcoin is gaining ground like never before. But how much do everyday people know about Bitcoin around the world?


Knowledge About Bitcoin Around the World

This summer, I took some time out. My travels led me to a few of the world’s most progressive Bitcoin countries, excluding Malta and Switzerland.

I was excited to see the depth of knowledge about cryptocurrency around the globe and how people use it or talk about it in their everyday lives. But what I found was a little bit shocking. 

How much do people know about Bitcoin around the world? In 99.9% of cases, absolutely nothing. Here’s a break down by the supposedly forward-thinking-on-cryptocurrencies places I visited.

Spain

In Barcelona in July, they held the Barcelona Trading Conference. As the name suggests, it was a meetup for exchanges, market makers, liquidity providers and the like. Of course, the talk at the conference was all the usual chestnuts. 

Bitcoin Around the World Barcelona Trading Conference

The price of Bitcoin, the future of blockchain and exchanges, the slowness of DEXs, the need for a better UX, clumsy regulation worldwide, and some waxing lyrical about commission-free trading. 

At the conference and the after-party, everyone, of course, knew about Bitcoin. But, stray a little from the convention centers and the 5-star hotels and the knowledge of Bitcoin in Barcelona was painfully low. 

The very city the Catalan Vice President Pere Aragonès has just declared a leader in the space and announced a whole bunch of wooly initiatives which he took no questions on, had a collective knowledge of Bitcoin hovering around zero.

It’s not that everyday citizens failed to understand how Bitcoin worked. It was that, in my experience, the majority had not even heard the word before. Let that sink in for a moment when you begin getting excited about retail FOMO.

To be clear, we’re not talking about people invested in the space. My research was more on a layperson level. We’re talking taxi drivers (who usually know a little about everything), wait staff, idle conversations with hotel guests in elevators, and even an old college friend of mine. He’s from Finland and he had heard of Bitcoin. But his level of knowledge and interest went no further than that.

Portugal

Portugal is busy making a name as a trailblazer in the space. The country recently announced that it will not be charging tax on all earnings in cryptocurrency. 

In fact, at the end of last month, the local Portuguese Jornal de Negócios reported that the country’s tax authority had declared that all cryptocurrency trading and payments in Portugal are 100% tax-free.

Portugal also signed a 10-year deal with Web Summit, one of the largest technology conferences in the world, recently for Lisbon to host the cutting-edge conference about all things AI, IoT, blockchain and other emerging techs. 

With all this in the background, I assumed the Portuguese would have one of the highest levels of knowledge of Bitcoin around the world. That sadly was not the case.

Bitcoin Around the World Lisbon, Portugal

Granted, I spent most of my time in a surfing town some 30 kilometers from the capital. But I did visit Lisbon several times.

With such a technology-focused government and tax authority luring cryptocurrency entrepreneurs to the country, the layman in the cobbled streets of the hilly capital remains almost completely in the dark. 

Singapore

With some 634 companies incorporated in Singapore this February with a combined market cap of approximately $8.3 billion, Singapore has been confirmed a “hotbed” for cryptocurrency many a time.

Compared to other countries in the region, its regulation is relaxed and the scene burgeoning with seven Bitcoin ATMs here.

Bitcoin Around the World Dingapore

Surely, this pristine city where every clock, train, and tram works to perfection would be full of bars and restaurants of everyday citizens chatting about the halvening, the store of value versus payment method debate, and how high the price will go.

Again, not exactly. As Bitcoin around the world goes, knowledge was higher in Singapore according to my research. But we’re working from a very low base. There was one Grab driver who had heard of it–but it made no mark on his life whatsoever. 

The rest of the people I spoke to (a selection of everyday people working in mostly simple jobs, although I did fly business class and speak to a few passengers there as well) knew nothing about Bitcoin at all and were certainly light years away from using it.

Indonesia

Indonesia frequently grabs the headlines for high adoption and sales on LocalBitcoins. Its regulation is progressive, recognizing Bitcoin as a commodity, and you often hear about how countries with uber-high inflation and a lot of zeros in their national currency are being “saved” by Bitcoin.

Bitcoin around the world Indonesia

Also, how companies are making remittances possible through Bitcoin and how it’s changing the lives of people across the country. Well, if it is, it’s still a decidedly small number. In this cash-based society where I blitzed through millions of Rupiah a day, they’re a long way off Bitcoin adoption.

To clarify, I was not in Jakarta or Sumatra. I was in Bali, where I visited a selection of different places. Some ramshackle market stalls where WhatsApp rules the roost and will soon be opening WhatsApp Pay. It makes sense. Having a wallet stuffed full of useless paper notes is rather inconvenient, as is paying 35K for icecream.

35k icecream

But from the market stalls to the farmlands, from its biggest city Denpasar to the many Australian tourists I met there (business people, marketers, advertising execs) their knowledge of Bitcoin was once again, a resounding ZERO.

Nope. Never even heard of it.

Mass Adoption Is Light Years Away

What my explorative summer made me realize is just how small all this whole space still is. Endless debates about institutions, Bakkt, Facebook, Microsoft, hard forks, mining, infighting, the halvening, even U.S. presidential candidates bigging it up or tearing it down, you simply assume that everyone else knows about too. 

When you write articles about how Argentinians and Venezuelans are buying up Bitcoin like it’s going out of style, and how it will save them from losing their savings: it feels as if mass adoption is just around the corner.

But with only around 34 million Bitcoin wallets and roughly 50 million users worldwide, that’s still less than 1% of the population using it. And from my own experiences off the beaten path, it can’t be much more than that who have actually heard of it. 

Facebook Libra or no, Microsoft, Santander, Bakkt… Bitcoin still has a very very long way to go before it even reaches the consciousness of everyday people around the world.

How far away do you think mass adoption is? Add your thoughts below!


Images are author’s own

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Srp 19

P2P Bitcoin And Dash Transactions Soar In Venezuela

Venezuela’s inflation rate topped 130,000% in 2018 as peer-to-peer Bitcoin and Dash transactions reached new all-time highs month after month. 


Bitcoin Thrives in Broken Economies

For the past few years, the Venezuelan economy has been rocked by political and economic instability that has led to shortages of food and medicine, nationwide blackouts, riots and unstoppable hyperinflation that rivals that of the Zimbabwe dollar in the 1990s. 

In fact, Venezuela had the highest inflation rate of 2018 and at its peak, it was 130,060%. Surprisingly, in May 2019 Venezuela’s central bank publicly published economic data for the first time since 2015 and the data shows that Venezuela’s inflation rate in 2016 was 274%, 863% in 2017 and 130,060% in 2018. 

Hyperinflation in Venezuela is so bad that most citizens have to spend all their money immediately because if they hold off for a few days the currency will continue to lose value against the rising price of basic daily staples. 

The majority of Venezuelans do not trust the bolivar, and in the past those who were unable to spend their income on the spot sought to purchase gold or the US dollar as a hedge against inflation.

Both options come with risks as organized crime and price gouges are always prepared to take advantage of those holding physical currency. 

Crypto Finds a Real World Use Case in Latin America

Fortunately, cryptocurrencies are easier to ‘hold’ and have become a safer option embraced by a growing number of Venezuelans. Both Dash and Bitcoin have become popular mediums of exchange and store of value currencies. 

A recent study from the Ledger Journal investigated the role Bitcoin played in countries experiencing economic uncertainty and contributing analyst Jackie Johnson found that: 

In countries where residents are under pressure from economic mismanagement, Bitcoin trading becomes critical. Two factors drive Bitcoin trading: one, there is pressure to purchase Bitcoin using local currency before it loses even more value; and two, there is a need to redeem for the local currency either past purchases or purchases made outside the country by friends/family, enabling residents to cope with rising prices. This results in an increase in Bitcoin trading in the local currency.

Johnson’s findings are supported by data from LocalBitcoins which shows explosive growth in the number of peer-to-peer Bitcoin transactions and all throughout 2018 and 2019 Venezuela and Argentina have continuously notched new all-time highs for peer-to-peer Bitcoin transactions. 

Despite the growth in Bitcoin transactions Venezuelan economist Danial Arraez says that mass adoption is still a distant target. Arraez said: 

In the country there is still not enough adoption of bitcoin, because with few exceptions, cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and altcoins, are, in most cases, a proxy currency (substitute) to facilitate fiat exchange, with the USD-VES pair being the most traded, but without being able to set aside the VES-CLP (bolivars in Chilean pesos), VES-COP (in Colombian pesos), VES-ARS (in Argentine pesos), VES-BRL (in Brazilian real) and VES-PEN (in Peruvian sol) pairs.

Interestingly, a Rhythm, a popular crypto analyst recently tweeted that if a person held $1 million worth of Venezuelan bolivars since 2013, this amount would now be worth less than $0.37. 

Bitcoin might not have reached the level of mass adoption in Latin America, but if the situation doesn’t change it appears that will only be a matter of time before it does. 

Do you think Bitcoin mass adoption will first occur in Latin America or a different region? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images from Bitcoinist Image Library, Twitter: @RhythmTrader, Shutterstock

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Kvě 28

Bitcoin Officially Mainstream As Microsoft Adds Excel Currency Option

So now it’s official. Bitcoin has finally become truly mainstream. Microsoft has added it as a currency option in Excel.


Bitcoin’s Path To Mainstream Status

There are a number of hurdles one must overcome to become truly mainstream, and Bitcoin just crossed the big one. Microsoft has added the cryptocurrency as a currency option in its Excel spreadsheet program.

Here are just some of the other important steps to mainstream acceptance that Bitcoin has attained:

  • Celebrity endorsements – From dead rappers (a big plus), to Miss Universe, to the latest influx of NFL stars. They all love(d) themselves a bit of Bitcoin.
  • Be more popular than Star Wars, Ed Sheeran, and the British Royal family. And Elon Musk.
  • Be seen in Starbucks – Okay, so we’re still waiting for this one, but we’ve been promised it’s on the way.
  • Feature in a Kurt Russell film – An often overlooked, but nevertheless essential step into the heart of the people. Post-apocalyptic dystopias would be nowhere without Russell.

Microsoft ❤︎ Cryptocurrency

Of course, Microsoft has long had its beady corporate eye on the crypto-space. Back in 2017, it set out an ambitious strategy to jump on the blockchain bandwagon. Most recently, this has seen it become an integral partner in several luxury brands’ move into blockchain authentication.

Secure Boot

On a more Bitcoin-specific note, it is developing a Digital ID system on the Bitcoin blockchain and is a major investor in the Bakkt Bitcoin-futures platform.

Not forgetting that Bing is one of the market leaders when it comes to blocking cryptocurrency ads… no wait, hang on.

Naturally, the cryptocurrency community has shown a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to Microsoft. After all, the company does have some previous when it comes to adopting popular ‘new’ technologies.

In general, the modus operandi has been:

  • Technology becomes popular
  • Microsoft wishes it had thought of the idea first
  • Microsoft tries to buy the technology, with no success
  • Microsoft creates its own poorly implemented version of the technology
  • Poorly implemented version becomes the industry standard

So you can see why folk are concerned… Still, surely Microsoft can’t mess up the simple addition of a currency symbol?

And this does mean we finally hit the big time, baby!

Have you tried bitcoin in Microsoft Excel? Share your experiences below!


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Kvě 24

University Students Choose One Dollar Over One Bitcoin

YouTube channel, Capital Creators, performed an experiment offering students the choice of one dollar or one bitcoin. The overwhelming majority chose the dollar.


So this is the part where I mercilessly mock the US education system and berate US students for being so dumb, right? Well actually, no. It would seem far more productive to address why the students valued the dollar more, and help them to make the right choice next time.

Reasons One Might Choose $1 Over 00

Well, actually around $5400 when the video was shot, but you get the idea. Why did the majority of CU Boulder students want a dollar rather than a bitcoin?

One of the most common answers given was that the dollar was there and physical, and the respondent knew the value of it. So did the students think the value of a bitcoin was less than a dollar? Surely the majority must have been aware of bitcoin when it hit $20,000 and mainstream media? Did they really think it had dropped to nothing?

In reality, those asked simply didn’t understand or know enough about Bitcoin to assign it a value. The mainstream media’s generally negative or non-existent coverage meant that Bitcoin just wasn’t on their radar anymore.

Bitcoin Is Risky, But A Dollar Gets Me A Snack

One respondent vaguely knew that bitcoin is password-protected, and forgetting the password would mean losing her bitcoin. However, she reasoned that she wasn’t going to lose a dollar… because of course, nobody’s ever lost a dollar.

Many people reasoned that a dollar could get them immediate gratification in the form of a snack from the vending machine. This point is hard to argue… except of course a bitcoin is worth eight thousand of these dollars!

But aside from this, it does suggest that the micro-payments use-case is an important one when it comes to mainstream adoption. The sooner we can all pay for carbonated sugary beverages and snacks with a user-friendly and stable implementation of Lightning Network payments, the better.

And The Ones Who Chose The Bitcoin

One guy who chose the bitcoin explained that it was because he “followed bitcoin.” However, he had no way of receiving it because “he’d have to set up the app,” and was of the belief that “no-one ever trades it.” So even someone who ‘follows’ bitcoin, one would imagine through specialist media like Bitcoinist, didn’t have a wallet on his phone.

Another guy was aware that the price was going back up, and chose the Bitcoin. He had previously invested when BTC was going up, made $1,000 in a week and then lost it all. But he also had no way to accept bitcoin.

Of course, there may have been others who were more clued up but didn’t make the final edit of the video.

A Different Kind Of Bitcoin Bubble

As Bitcoiners, it’s sometimes easy to forget that outside of our little crypto-bubble is a whole world of no-coiners. If we want Bitcoin to reach mass adoption then we should consider it our duty to spread the word.

Whilst none of the participants in this experiment were ever actually going to get a bitcoin, the host did bring them up to speed. After hearing more about bitcoin’s value, utility, and how it works, the majority changed their choice.

The host also got them to download a wallet app and transferred them a token amount of bitcoin. This is exactly how I was introduced to bitcoin several years ago when our esteemed editor met me at a networking event. 20 minutes later I was the proud owner of $1 worth of bitcoin (worth over 30 dollars today!).

So I encourage you now to do exactly this. Offer everyone you know one dollar (few will refuse it), then help them to install a wallet and send it to them. Explain that they can just keep checking it to see its value, or they can add to and/or use it.

Oh, and tell them that if you’d given it to them six months ago it would be worth over two dollars by now.

What do you think of the students’ responses? Share your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock

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