Srp 08

Bitcoin Could Copy Gold’s 2008 Boom And Bust Before All-Times Highs: Messari

Bitcoin could drop dramatically in the short term before experiencing a historic rise to new heights, one of the cryptocurrency industry’s best-known researcher says.


Bitcoin Mimicking Gold ‘Not Surprising’

Adding his weight to the current discussion on Bitcoin’s utility versus gold, Dan McArdle, co-founder of analytics firm Messari, said the cryptocurrency could copy the precious metal’s behavior in the coming years.

Specifically, he said in social media comments on August 7, BTC/USD might repeat what gold did after the 2008 financial crisis.

“I would not be surprised if BTC performs like gold did 2008-2011,” he wrote. 

Initial spike on fears of crises, big fall as liquidity crises actually sets in, followed by [an] even bigger rise as real debt/sovereign/currency fears take hold.

McArdle referenced fresh comments on gold by Raoul Pal, the serial asset manager who recently presented a buoyant outlook for both bitcoin and gold on the Stephan Livera podcast.

On the topic of gold’s current return to form in line with Bitcoin, he said markets were preparing for the dollar’s own winning streak to come to an abrupt end. The question, he argued, was when it would happen.

“Gold is rightly doing its job, sniffing out a BIG problem and is exploding higher, outperforming even the super strong dollar as gold begins to price in an end game of an eventual MASSIVE readjustment of the dollar (in 12 months? 18 months?),” he tweeted. 

Businesses Vouch For BTC As Safe Haven

As Bitcoinist reported, Bitcoin price bull runs since April have reignited a fierce debate about its potential long-term use as a gold-like safe haven asset.

More and more figures continue to go on record to say a shift into Bitcoin for investors looking for a hedge against inflation is happening, borne from a need to exit the Chinese yuan in particular. Those included Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, as well as multiple consultancy executives this week.

Others remain opposed, among them well-known gold bugs such as Peter Schiff, who has doubled down on his opinion that gold is ultimately far better as an investment than cryptocurrency. 

“The Chinese aren’t buying Bitcoin as a safe haven. Speculators are buying, betting that the Chinese will buy it as a safe haven!” he claimed this week in the latest of a series of suspicions regarding current pro-Bitcoin narratives.

Schiff spent an hour arguing over the issue with Bitcoin proponent Anthony Pompliano in a CNBC debate last week. 

What do you think about Messari’s outlook for Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!


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Srp 07

Binance Issues Statement on ‘False KYC Leak’; CEO Comments

Binance has formally denied that it has lost control of some of its user data as rumors continue to swirl around a possible hack.


Hacker ‘Extorting’ Binance

In a statement issued August 6, the major cryptocurrency exchange said it was investigating the claims, which revolve around a hacker demanding 300 BTC in return for withholding traders’ personal data, including passports. 

The threats, which Binance now acknowledge are genuine, came via a Telegram group which has amassed over 10,000 members. 

In the statement, Binance explained that the alleged data set showed “inconsistencies” compared to genuine user information, such as a lack of an internal watermark. It thus remains unknown as to whether any of the documents are genuine or related to Binance.

“We are still investigating this case for legitimacy and relevancy. After refusing to cooperate and continuing with his extortion, this individual has begun distributing the data to the public and to media outlets,” the statement warns.

“…At the present time, no evidence has been supplied that indicates any KYC images have been obtained from Binance, as these images do not contain the digital watermark imprinted by our system. With that said, our security team is hard at work pursuing all possible leads in an attempt to identify the source of these images.”

CZ Reprimands Users Accidentally Aiding Attacker

On social media, CEO Changpeng Zhao (known as ‘CZ’) requested users not share the address of the Telegram group or spread misinformation based on nonofficial sources.

“Don’t fall into the ‘KYC leak’ FUD. We are investigating, will update shortly,” he tweeted earlier Wednesday. 

Some sources, including CZ, state that the data involved stems from a previous scare in 2018 which involved both Binance and fellow exchange Kraken and the current hype is merely a regurgitation of old news. 

The statement further suggested this was the most likely explanation, noting that at the time, the would-be hacker refused to demonstrate the authenticity of the haul. 

“On initial review of the images made public, they all appear to be dated from February of 2018, at which time Binance had contracted a third-party vendor for KYC verification in order to handle the high volume of requests at that time,” it reads.

“Currently, we are investigating with the third-party vendor for more information.”

Binance has remained broadly free of serious security compromises in its brief history. An exception came earlier this year when a hacker managed to steal user funds worth $41 million. Binance subsequently refunded users from its own pocket.


What do you think about the alleged Binance user data? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Bitcoinist Image Library, Twitter: @cz_binance

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Srp 05

BitMEX Shed $524 Million In ‘Worst Month’ July: Data

Bitcoin derivatives giant BitMEX continues to feel the pressure this week as data shows July delivered its worst performance in history. 


BitMEX $524 Million Lighter In July

As Blockchain intelligence resource Token Analyst reported, BitMEX saw over half a billion dollars leave its platform last month. 

The news came via historical statistics which have since appeared on social media, underscoring the company’s woes in what for others has become a highly-profitable bull market.

“Bitmex had $524M net outflows in July. It had never had more than $100M in a single month,” the Twitter account known as Ceteris Paribus, which reported the Token Analyst findings, summarized Sunday.

By contrast, 2018 saw inflows of $1.3 billion, with inflows beating outflows every month, despite the bearish sentiment which characterized markets at the time. 

BitMEX sees giant volumes during periods of Bitcoin price volatility, with traders even becoming well known for gaining or losing huge amounts in leveraged trades. 

Hayes Juggles CFTC Investigation Fallout

In July, rumors began circulating that US regulators were investigating BitMEX over executives’ alleged failure to prevent US citizens from using its services. 

Due to regulatory issues, US residents are currently shut out from many crypto-based products and services, with authorities concerned not enough is being done to prevent traders circumventing roadblocks. 

The exact nature of the investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) remains unclear, with official sources yet to confirm events. 

Scrutiny appeared to follow criticism of both BitMEX and its CEO Arthur Hayes by Nouriel Roubini, the serial Bitcoin naysayer with whom Hayes had a fierce debate several weeks previously. 

After video evidence of the debate took longer than planned to go public, Roubini hit out at Hayes, questioning the legality of his operations in a dedicated research piece.

“…Despite the overwhelming evidence of rampant fraud and abuse, financial regulators and law-enforcement agencies remain asleep at the wheel,” he claimed.

Hayes meanwhile has since gone quiet, posting only on social media, in which he said he had “traded in a yacht for the jungle” and that he would return to normal duties in September.

The first days of August meanwhile appeared to spell some light relief, with inflows beating outflows after a major cashing out effort by investors at the end of July. 

Other activities also continue, BitMEX investing as part of a funding round for Rain, the Middle East’s first regulated cryptocurrency exchange, in a deal revealed last week.


What do you think about BitMEX’s performance? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @ceterispar1bus

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Čvc 24

Bitcoin Price To Hit $42000 In 2019; $356,000 By 2021: Pantera Capital

Bitcoin price action could hit a massive $42,000 figure by the end of this year, the CEO of crypto investment firm and hedge fund Pantera Capital thinks. 


Bitcoin Price Trend Line Can Lead To Huge Gains

Speaking on the latest episode of the Unchained Podcast on July 23, Dan Morehead said that the firm was sticking by its trusted Bitcoin price analysis to determine future performance.

This, he confirmed, includes the possibility of BTC/USD hitting $356,000 in 2021 if its historical compound annual growth rate persists.

At the bottom of the 2018 bear market, when Bitcoin traded at $3100, Pantera considered what growth would be if the price returned to its historical trend line and then kept up that performance in future years.

“That put Bitcoin at $42,000 at the end of 2019, which I know sounds crazy, but essentially we’re halfway back there,” Morehead said.

“It’s right on the trend line, and I think it’s a good shot that by the end of the year, we hit that, and then if you just extrapolate that line out for another year, it’s $122,000 per Bitcoin and in one more year $356,000[.]”

Morehead: Markets Will Accept ‘Crazy’ Price Increases

Bitcoin’s volatile last few weeks has concerned analysts who were already considering where the three-month-long bull market which began in April would end. 

Currently trading under $9800, Bitcoin is now 30% below its recent highs of $13,800, challenging even other, less optimistic, prediction models which put it at $21,000 by the end of the year. 

As Bitcoinist noted, $9800 support is all that stopped markets from falling further this week, as traders nurse 11% monthly losses.

For Morehead, however, the psychology behind bigger numbers for the Bitcoin price has already proven its nature. 

“…($42,000, $122,000 and $356,000) sound crazy, but (in) our first research piece that we wrote on Bitcoin, we predicted it would go to $5000, and when it was at 100 bucks, everyone thought that was totally nuts, but these numbers, in 2 or 3 years, people look back and go, oh yeah, that makes sense,” he continued.

Similar logic could lend weight to some of the boldest Bitcoin price forecasts still on the market, including John McAfee’s infamous $1 million bet with himself. 

Others, such as investor Tim Draper’s $250,000 price tag by 2023, also ensure Morehead is not alone in his bullish outlook.


What do you think about Pantera Capital CEO’s Bitcoin price predictions? Let us know in the comments below!


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Čvc 11

Binance Debuts Margin Trading As Bitcoin Volatility Hits Markets

Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance has formally launched margin trading for most of its users following months of speculation. 


Long-Awaited Bitcoin Trading Feature Goes Live

In a blog post July 11, executives released the platform’s latest product, along with a dedicated guide on how it works. 

Margin trading, while available on several major exchanges to date, incurs a significant risk of funds loss if the trader controlling them is not aware of their technical characteristics.

“Margin trading is the latest development in Binance’s effort to push the industry forward and toward the freedom of money, expanding its trading offerings,” the blog post reads. 

“Margin trading allows traders to borrow funds to increase leverage, providing higher profit potential than traditional trading. However, this also comes with a greater risk, given the current volatility of the cryptocurrency market.”

The unveiling ends a period of several months during which Binance slowly dropped hints it was working on margin trading, followed by evidence of testing.

Risky Bitcoin Business

In June 2019, demand for leveraged financial tools tied to Bitcoin 00 and other cryptocurrencies is higher than ever, as markets return to levels not seen since before the 2018 bear market. 

Huge amounts of capital come and go at the hands of margin traders daily, social media users often noting how sudden movements in the Bitcoin price trigger giant liquidations in a matter of minutes. 

This week, a Bitcoin uptick saw $44 million worth of liquidations on derivatives giant BitMEX in just a single morning.

Margin trading essentially involves borrowing funds to use as collateral while betting on a token’s price moving in a certain direction. Should the bet go wrong, the trader faces liquidation.

Bitcoin Sheds 11 Percent

Binance’s product is now available to everyone with an eligible account; this means that those residing in the US, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Cuba are currently unable to join in. 

The situation remained the same as Binance rolled out previous new tools such as its expanded decentralized exchange (DEX), while executives admitted that it would be impossible to prevent anyone from using a decentralized structure. 

News of the margin trading meanwhile went some way to stemming losses of Binance’s in-house Binance Coin 00 token, which delivered 24-hour losses of 6 percent.

Following a downturn in the Bitcoin price, altcoin markets have broadly slumped, shedding up to 20 percent overnight as BTC/USD fell by around $1500.

Last month, BNB had reached new all-time highs of close to $40 per coin.


What do you think about Binance’s margin trading launch for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter: @binance

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Čvn 01

This IEO Crypto Token is Up 800% After Binance DEX Launch

Crypto figures were urging caution June 1 after the first token to trade on both Binance and Binance DEX saw suspiciously high trade volume.


Harmony Outperforms BNB Crypto Token

Harmony (ONE), which constitutes Binance’s latest initial exchange offering (IEO), saw over $600 million in volume in the 24 hours to press time, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

The token is the first to debut on both Binance’s regular platform and its newly-launched decentralized exchange, Binance DEX.

Executives had generated considerable buzz around the move through a concerted publicity campaign prior to the launch, which included a giveaway to promote ONE among prospective investors.

Analyzing the trade figures, however, veteran crypto social media voices appeared less than impressed.

“It’s up by 800%+ from (the) IEO. Wouldn’t recommend chasing this,” the Twitter account known as Squeeze summarized, noting ONE/USD trading at $0.025.

“I’ve been eyeing this for a while. This has very huge hype. But not gonna buy at this price. Will wait for dips in the coming weeks. If it moons hard, I don’t mind missing this. Plenty of other choices.”

Binance DEX Whirlwind

Harmony was little known before its Binance hook-up, with the launch of the DEX having already sparked major excitement among traders.

As CoinMarketCap confirms, Binance’s decentralized platform saw larger volumes in five hours than its biggest competitor, IDEX, achieved in 24.

“By tomorrow it will have done more volume than all DEX’s combined,” trader and journalist Dan Clarke forecast Saturday.

As Bitcoinist reported, Binance itself has seen a broad turnaround in its recent fortunes since recovering from a $41 million hack at the start of May.

Following a week of downtime, full functionality resumed May 15, with the platform’s in-house token, Binance Coin 00, forming the basis of a separate giveaway to reward users who stayed loyal during the platform’s difficulties.

BNB subsequently outperformed, reaching new all-time highs against the US dollar this week as it passed $35 for the first time.

The token, which can also be used against discounted trading fees on Binance, is now the seventh-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. 24-hour volume at press time was $560 million – still just short of ONE.

Separately, the exchange’s own research this week announced a changing trend in the crypto industry more broadly. After over a year of low appeal, non-crypto lay consumers were finally beginning to pay attention to Bitcoin 00 and altcoins again.

In addition, institutional investor interest was developing much more quickly, analysts said, a phenomenon which itself was contributing to the base of new Binance traders.

What do you think about Binance DEX and Harmony? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Tradingview.com

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Kvě 18

These 13 Bitcoin Lightning Network Upgrades Will Solve Its ‘Biggest’ Hurdles

The Bitcoin Lightning Network will overcome some of its “biggest hurdles to use” in the near future as new features roll out from developers.


From Experiment To Bitcoin Killer App

That was according to Guy Swann, the presenter of the Cryptoconomy podcast, who this week dedicated two episodes to introducing Lightning and analyzing its upcoming changes.

As Bitcoinist has frequently reported over the past year, Lightning represents the ‘next level’ of payments using Bitcoin, and is widely considered to be the way in which the largest cryptocurrency will scale up to meet the needs of billions of future users.

Readers can find more information on the protocol, which debuted on the Bitcoin mainnet at the start of 2018, here.

Looking forward, Swann presented a list of no fewer than thirteen upcoming improvements to Lightning which he says will boost its mainstream appeal.

The basis for the list came from a blog post by Bitcoin business Bitrefill, which offers a range of products and services payable using Lightning.

Top on the list for Swann was Atomic Multipath Payments (AMPs) – or breaking a single payment down into several smaller ones, and sending them over multiple Lightning channels.

“Payments become much more reliable, no longer limited to 1 channel capacity,” he summarized.

[AMP] Removes the biggest (in my opinion) hurdles to payment issues, single channel capacity & liquidity.

Swann is by no means alone in being concerned about those aspects of using the network. As Bitcoinist reported last year, despite its rapid growth, the vast majority of Lightning payments worth more than several US cents failed.

Not Just Lightning Atomic Swaps

Due mostly to its age, Lightning remains a highly-technical tool which lacks a user-friendly interface. Developers are still working on making its base layer suitably robust, themselves stressing the fledgling ecosystem is still an experiment.

Activity is gathering pace, however, and soon for example, Lightning will offer not just major efficiency gains for Bitcoin users, but those of other coins at the same time – via Atomic Swaps.

“Channels don’t have to only send (Bitcoin). Any blockchain… with (Lightning) can connect payments across blockchains. Useful for decentralized swapping of coins, & sending bitcoins to pay invoices in multiple cryptocurrencies,” Swann explained.

Other improvements focus on more specific weak areas in the current Lightning setup. The full list is as follows:

  • Atomic Multipath Payments (AMPs)
  • Atomic Swaps
  • Channel Factories
  • Dual-Funded Channels
  • Eltoo
  • Neutrino
  • Rendezvous Routing
  • Sphinx
  • Splicing
  • Submarine Swaps
  • Trampoline Payments
  • Turbo Channels
  • Watchtowers

As Bitcoinist reported, despite its technical level, Lightning gained significant publicity in 2019 thanks mainly to a public outreach project by Bitcoin user Hodlonaut.

A form of transaction relay, the project, Lightning Torch, raised money for the plight of Venezuela’s citizens using Bitcoin, ultimately seeing participation from well-known figures both within and outside the cryptocurrency industry.

What do you think about the Lightning Network? Let us know in the comments below!


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Kvě 08

‘Shocked He Went There:’ Crypto Takes Sides On Binance’s Alleged Bitcoin Reorg Plan

Cryptocurrency’s best-known figures continue to debate exchange Binance’s handling of its $40 million hack amid claims executives planned to undo past Bitcoin transactions. 


Binance CEO Rejects Reorg

In a lengthy debate still playing out on social media, Binance received mixed reviews after CEO Changpang Zhao appeared to suggest there was a plan to conduct a reorganization (‘reorg’) of the Bitcoin blockchain. The step would theoretically allow the transactions involving the bitcoins hackers stole from Binance May 7 to no longer fall under their control.

At the same time, an entire day’s worth of user transactions would become void.

Reorgs to fix erroneous transactions are extremely difficult to do for decentralized blockchains — and, in the case of Bitcoin’s, de facto impossible due to the consensus demands required.

As Bitcoinist previously reported, more centralized blockchains can conduct similar activities more easily. EOS, for example, reversed transactions late last year in an episode which likewise attracted negative attention.

While Zhao subsequently explained that the idea remained hypothetical following discussions and that Binance would not pursue any form of the reorg, some reactions criticized him for mentioning the topic.

Mike Novogratz, the Galaxy Digital CEO and major Bitcoin bull, vented rare comments on the topic after Zhao drew a comparison between his plan and efforts by Ethereum (ETH) developers several years ago.

“I am shocked that (Zhao) even went there. Talk of forking or reorganizing the blockchain is close to heresy,” he wrote on Twitter. “When the (Ethereum) community did it the project was like 5 months old. A baby. Bitcoin now has $100 (billion) market cap and is a legitimate store of wealth.”

Back: Reorg ‘Not Happening’

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also added a rebuttal, arguing Ethereum’s actions did not constitute a reorg.

“Ethereum did a surgical irregular state change. We never even considered actually rolling back the chain to undo the hack; the collateral damage from that (reverting a day of *everyone’s* transactions) would have been huge and possibly fatal,” he tweeted.

Binance’s back-up fund will cover losses endured by users, while the event appeared to have little impact on buoyant cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin price shedding $200 but subsequently rebounding.

Mentioning the press handling of the hack as complicating perceptions, veteran cryptographer and Hashcash inventor Adam Back meanwhile took the opportunity to reiterate the difficulty of manipulating the Bitcoin blockchain.

“A Bitcoin reorg is just not happening, and I doubt any Bitcoin industry, miners nor developers considered it either,” he summarized, referencing previous, considerably larger, exchange hacks which came and went without such measures coming to pass.

What do you think about Binance’s remedial measures? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter.

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Kvě 01

No Cash For Sale: In World First ‘Bitcoin’ City

The UK’s Sun newspaper is touting the ‘World’s first Bitcoin city’ today, where all cash is banned. Backers of the venture hope that Melaka Straits City in Malaysia will attract 3 million crypto-tourists per year.


Take Me Down To The Bitcoin City…

Visitors will be able to exchange their normal money for digital currency when they arrive.

proclaims The Sun. Or “just use the digital currency they already own,” you might suggest – but you’d be wrong.

Melaka isn’t so much a ‘Bitcoin City’, as a ‘Crypto City’, and a ‘One Horse Crypto City’ at that. The digital currency you will (be forced to) change your ‘normal money’ into, is the DMI coin. Through Android, iOS, and PC apps, tourists will use these to pay for public services with their phones and computers.

DMI is a company that provides mobile enterprise, business intelligence, and cybersecurity services. It collaborated on this project to develop the DMI platform and coin.

…where the Cash is Banned…

The Chinese government-backed development will convert 835 acres of the Malaysian state of Malacca into the ‘tourist blockchain-destination of the future’. As well as the 3 million annual tourists it hopes to attract, Melaka will host businesses and education services.

It is not the only project of this type currently in development, either as a new city or the implementation of a crypto-economy in and existing city. Amongst others, these include so-called libertarian city, Liberstad in southern Norway, although the changes aren’t always for tourism reasons.

…it’s a Bit Like Disney?

While a true ‘Crypto City’ could do wonders to demonstrate the Bitcoin economy working at a holistic level, this does not seem to be it. It is hard to see how this is any different to exchanging your cash for Disney Dollars to spend while in the resort.

It also seems interesting that the Chinese government is backing this venture, as they’ve been coming across as ever-so-slightly anti-crypto. Perhaps it’s just a case of ‘not in their own back yard’?

Will this new crypto city succeed? Share your thoughts below!


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Dub 27

How Legit Are Bitcoin Lotteries, Really?

Some websites have begun offering Bitcoin lotteries. If you’re thinking about trying your luck with them, here are some things to know first.


The Legality Varies Based on Where You Live

Bitcoin is still largely unregulated. However, many countries started setting rules to regulate Bitcoin gambling, including lotteries. It’s smart to see what the laws in your country are before getting started.

Look for Bitcoin Lotteries Offered By Regulated Gambling Sites

Prior to entering a Bitcoin lottery, read the website’s fine print and determine whether you’re dealing with a regulated provider. If so, that means the site must follow the gambling regulations of the respective company, and it might give you some recourse if something goes wrong when attempting to collect winnings.

One of the questions most often on people’s minds is whether Bitcoin lotteries are legitimate. You’ll have better luck finding a regulated one if you look for regulated providers. Keep in mind, though, that many Bitcoin gambling sites get regulated in Curaçao, a place with looser regulations than many other nations.

A Bitcoin lottery site called Kibo Lotto took that approach in late 2018. Crypto-Games.net also operates a lottery site that appears to have ties to Curaçao based on a logo in the site’s footer, as does Bitplay Club. One potential advantage to Bitplay Club is that it promises “provably fair” games through algorithms that show transparency.

There are also sites, like Yet Another Bitcoin Lottery (YABTCL) with no indication of regulation. Playing there arguably raises the risks.

Most Bitcoin Lotto Games Have Familiar Instructions

In states that have traditional lottery programs, such as Virginia, it’s easy to find databases that give people the information they need to know to start playing.

For example, Virginian adults can play daily lotto games, as well as jackpot games. There are also instant-win games, such as scratcher cards. Most of the Bitcoin lottery sites provide similar offerings. So, you shouldn’t need to spend much time learning how to play.

Lottoland Launches World’s First Regulated Bitcoin Lottery

In 2017, a gambling site called Lottoland attracted attention for creating what it advertised as the first regulated Bitcoin jackpot. When playing the Pick 6 game offered at Lottoland, people have a 1-in-7 chance of winning a prize. The system set up there is a good example of a well-known lottery game structure. People mark their chosen numbers on an electronic ticket.

Play the World’s Biggest Lotteries with Bitcoin at LottoPark

Few Long Established Sites

While researching Bitcoin lottery sites, it becomes clear they often don’t have staying power. Three sites mentioned in media sources (BTCFreeLotto.com, 10XBTC and World Super Lotto) have since stopped operating. Similarly, Kibo Lotto, the site mentioned earlier, is still in the coming-soon stage according to its website.

There’s also a mobile lottery ticket app site called Jackpocket that reportedly started offering Bitcoin as a method of paying for lottery tickets in 2016. However, there are no newer mentions of that option in the media or within the Jackpocket homepage or help database. In that case, Jackpocket itself is more established but seems to have moved away from dealing with Bitcoin.

Play With Caution

The information here emphasizes why you should be exceptionally careful when playing Bitcoin lotteries. Plus, watch out for related social media posts. In one recent incident, hackers took over the official Twitter feed of the South African cricket board and used it to try and interest people in a Bitcoin lottery.

Lotteries require people to weigh the risks with the possible rewards, and doing that is especially necessary with the Bitcoin varieties.

Have you tried any of the Bitcoin lotteries or is simply holding BTC the best strategy? Let us know below!


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