Dub 17

Argentina Central Bank’s Inability to Stop Inflation is Forcing People to Bitcoin

As Argentina’s inflation rate skyrockets to its highest level since 1992, people are increasingly turning to Bitcoin as an alternative.


Inflation in Argentina Surpasses 54 Percent

Argentina’s central bank already tightened monetary policy three times in the last month, and inflation is still accelerating at a rate of nearly 55 percent. Bloomberg notes:

The inflation rate rose to almost 55 percent in March, with consumer prices rising 4.7 percent in the month, exceeding all of the forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

The unstable economic environment is driving many traders and investors to focus on Bitcoin. Thus, the volumes of Bitcoin traded in Argentina are reaching all-time highs, the latest data from LocalBitcoins/coin.dance shows.

Argentina’s economy suffers from chronic inflation to such an extent that no monetary measure seems to work. According to the Financial Times,

Argentina is trapped in a vicious circle. Demand of just a few million dollars in an illiquid market can weaken the peso, as has been the case since early March. Exchange rate depreciation leads quickly to increases in inflation, portfolio dollarization, and higher interest rates — now the central bank’s only means of defending the currency.

‘Replace Argentinean Pesos with Bitcoin’

The fact that Bitcoin is inflation-resistant makes it particularly attractive in this environment.
Consequently, many see Bitcoin as a potential alternative. They are advocating, even to the government, greater integration of the cryptocurrency into Argentina’s economy.

Bitcoin has already become integrated into many business activities. For instance, in 37 cities, public transportation users are indirectly using Bitcoin to pay for their rides, while Bitcoin ATMs are becoming more conspicuous in Buenos Aires.

Most relevant, President Mauricio Macri’s administration has already shown interest in Bitcoin and, its underlying technology, blockchain. For example, in March 2019, the government announced a partnership with Binance Labs, the blockchain technology incubator of Bitcoin exchange giant Binance. At the announcement, the government promised to match 1:1 Binance investment.

Moreover, in March 2019, serial investor and Bitcoin proponent Tim Draper recommended that President Macri attract foreign investors by dramatically transforming the country’s economy and replace the Argentinean peso with Bitcoin.

Draper even made a bet with Argentina’s president on the price of Bitcoin,

[I]f the peso is valued more than Bitcoin, I double the investment I am making in the country; and if Bitcoin acquires more value than the peso… that would be a perfect solution because there is no confidence in the currency.

How do you think the integration of Bitcoin into Argentina’s economy could help to minimize inflation? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via LocalBitcoins/coin.dance, Shutterstock

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Dub 16

Bitcoin Consolidating Above $5K a ‘Positive Sign,’ Says Crypto Hedge Fund

It’s safe to say that Bitcoin has had a good Q1 2019, gaining upwards of 30 percent of its value since January 1st. Now, a new report has it that if the price consolidates above $5,000, this could lead to further increases throughout the year. 


Bitcoin Price $5K Consolidation a ‘Positive Sign’

According to a new report by BitBullCapital, a cryptocurrency hedge funds manager,”the fact that Bitcoin has managed to retain gains from early April is a very positive sign.

Moreover, CEO Joe DiPasquale outlines that the bitcoin price 00 is seeing consolidation above $5,000. If this continues for another week or two, it could lead up to a shot at the $5,500 level.

Going further, the report reiterates that the latest BTC/USD rally was caused by a large order, which was executed simultaneously on multiple exchanges and was likely an algorithmic one.

Notedly, such a move should have been viewed with a certain skepticism as it’s not organic or steady in its nature. However, it brought back substantial market momentum, which is considered to be a positive sign.

It’s worth noting, though, that Bitcoinist reported that another reason for the latest rally might be hidden in the increased activity across the board, as data shows that the number of active wallets has risen by as much as 40-60 percent.

This, with a significant uptick in institutional interest, are also likely the reasons why Bitcoin managed to sustain the recent gains.

But 2017-Type Run ‘Not in the Near Future’

On the other hand, the cryptocurrency hedge fund also believes that a run similar to that back in 2017 is unlikely to be seen “in the near future.”

It notes that for this to happen, there needs to be a major catalyst such as “global governmental approval and integration with mainstream services and portals.”

…[W]e do not believe a run similar to the 2017 drive can be seen again, at least not in the near future and particularly not in the absence of major catalysts such as global governmental approval and integration with mainstream services and portals… [W]e do expect steady growth in the years the come, building the foundation for a surge when the timing is right.

DiPasquale also says that there is a real risk for the cryptocurrency failing to maintain its current range and to retest the $5,000 level in the coming weekend if the trading volume starts to drop. Reads the report:

If $5,000 breaks, we are likely to see support around $4,700 – $4,800 and reconsider market sentiment and fundamentals.

However, Bitcoinist reported that the Mayer Multiple by Trace Mayer, a key indicator which called 2015’s bottom, is flashing again, suggesting that the price may have already bottomed.

Other Cryptocurrencies Would Benefit

On another note, it also outlines that an increase in Bitcoin’s price could also cause other cryptocurrencies, especially those closely related to it, to surge as well.

This already happened with Litecoin, which gained upwards of 55 percent following Bitcoin’s rally.

The cryptocurrency has since lost some of its gains but is still substantially higher than prices from last month.

BitBull Capital manages cryptocurrency hedge funds, and is the “the first cryptocurrency fund of funds,” BitBull Fund manages a strategically selected bundle of 10 of the more than 600 crypto hedge funds for its investors, including gaining access to exclusive, closed funds and $M-minimum funds.

What do you think of the recent report? Do you think we’ve entered a new bull run or are the bears still in charge? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, TradingView

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Dub 15

Mexico Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record After Trump’s Remittance Threat

Bitcoin price remaining above $5000 resulted in new trading highs for several countries worldwide last week, the latest data shows.


Mexico, Venezuela Post Record Localbitcoins Volumes

According to monitoring resource Coin Dance, which tracks trading volumes on peer-to-peer exchange platforms Localbitcoins, Paxful and Bisq, certain markets continued to see spikes in Bitcoin activity.

As Bitcoinist reported, the moves form part of a trend which accelerated in many places in line with Bitcoin price climbing steeply earlier this month.

As with the previous week, it was Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, Kazakhstan and others leading the way over the past seven days, Localbitcoins data confirms.

The period to April 13 was especially successful for Mexico, which set a new all-time trading record of 10.67 million pesos ($568,000) on Localbitcoins.

The peak contrasts sharply with the previous week, in which 8.6 million changed hands, and just clipped the previous record of 10.62 million set in March 2018.

Topping the list of motivations for the behavior remains US foreign policy, president Donald Trump threatening to target traditional fiat-based remittance channels. This, Bitcoinist explained, opens up the door to Bitcoin as an alternative.

A glance at other jurisdictions tracked by CoinDance tells a similar story, while Venezuela joined Mexico in beating all its previous weekly records.

In terms of the country’s highly-volatile fiat currency, the Sovereign Bolivar (VES), last week saw the equivalent of 30 billion units trade across Localbitcoins, beating the previous all-time high of 26.4 billion set the week before.

Kazakhstan, Tanzania Get Taste For Bitcoin

Beyond South America, as before, Kazakhstan continued its trading boom, also setting higher volumes last week than ever before – 55 million tenge ($145,000).

The uptick accompanies political upheaval in the Central Asian country, after veteran president Nursultan Nazarbayev unexpectedly quit his office last month.

In a fresh wave of interest, Tanzania also produced recent highs, with 165 million shillings ($71,000) across Localbitcoins. The country’s all-time high of 294 million from April last year, however, remains intact.

As Bitcoinist noted, the Bitcoin price surge also led to the reemergence of other Bitcoin financial phenomena. Focused on Asia, both Chinese and South Korean buyers began paying fiat premiums for cryptocurrency this month.

In China, over-the-counter purchasers of stablecoin Tether (USDT), from which they can diversify into other assets, faced higher CNY prices than their USD counterparts.

South Korean exchanges meanwhile saw the return of the so-called ‘Kimchi Premium,’ a mark-up for Bitcoin and other assets in won terms which last week averaged around 1.5 percent.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, overall 24-hour trading volumes for Bitcoin on regular exchanges totalled approximately $10.9 billion Monday. Adding altcoins, the figures reaches just over $38 billion.

What do you think about last week’s Localbitcoins volumes? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Coin.dance

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Dub 14

It’s ‘Irresponsible’ For Investors Not To Have Any Bitcoin Exposure – Says Xapo CEO

Xapo CEO, Wences Casares, believes that it would be “irresponsible” for any investor not to have at least a one percent position in bitcoin as it could have a bigger impact on the world than the internet. 


Minimal Bitcoin Exposure, Maximum Gains

In an essay published by Kana and Katana back in March 2019, the Xapo chief laid down an argument for Bitcoin to take up one percent of every investment portfolio. According to Casares, a $10 million with a one percent allocation to BTC could yield close to $25 million within seven to ten years.

Casares based his analysis on his forecast that BTC could top $1 million within the stated timeframe. Conversely, if Bitcoin fails, the portfolio would only have lost the original one percent – $100,000.

Wences Casares

According to Casares:

Bitcoin offers a unique opportunity for a non-material exposure to produce a material outcome. It would be irresponsible to have an exposure to Bitcoin that one cannot afford to lose because the risk of losing the principal is very real. But it would be almost as irresponsible to not have any exposure at all.

Investment legend, Biller Miller is a popular example of Casares’ logic. In July 2017, Miller took up a one percent position on BTC. By mid-December 2017, BTC accounted for 50 percent of Miller’s total asset under management, simply because BTC/USD gained almost 700 percent in value during that period.

The 2018 bear market probably, reduced Bitcoin’s proportion with respect to the rest of Miller’s portfolio. However, with BTC price still double what it was in July 2017, Miller’s bitcoin bag is still in the green.

Bitcoin Resembles the Early Internet

For Casares, whose company stores over $10 billion in BTC for clients in Swiss ‘bunkers,’ the signs pointing towards Bitcoin’s long-term success continue to become evident as time passes. For one, the Xapo chief says Bitcoin resembles the early internet in many ways.

Casares highlighted how since the establishment of the Internet, the world has seen little of protocol developments and with more emphasis on creating companies. Bitcoin, according to the Xapo CEO represents a new paradigm-altering protocol that could have even greater ramifications than the Internet.

Coming from a purely technical standpoint, Casares does agree that there exists the possibility that Bitcoin might not necessarily fail, but become obsolete. He says companies could create solutions on a protocol level that appeal more to users than Bitcoin’s current state.

Casares has previously made expressed similar sentiments, describing Bitcoin as an intellectual experiment that could still fail.

However, Bitcoin’s leaderless open-source and borderless approach to both its tech and economics are diminishing this possibility alongside its ever-growing network effect and first-mover advantage.

Meanwhile, there is a growing unease with the policies of governments and central banks that are making BTC become an even more attractive proposition to investors as a hedge.

Forget Altcoins, BTC is the Real Deal

Casares also adds that the other over 2,000 altcoins don’t stand a chance. The Xapo CEO says Bitcoin as a protocol is already on its way to succeeding in ways altcoins can’t.

5 Altcoins with Major Events the week of April 1, 2018 (Gains Likely to Beat BTC Returns!)

Elaborating on the gulf in utility and adoption, Casares noted:

Over 60 million people own Bitcoin and over 1 million people become new owners every month. The other 1,000 cryptocurrencies [that process at least one transaction per day] have less than 5 million owners combined, so Bitcoin will add more users in the next 5 months than those 1,000 cryptocurrencies added in their combined history.

Back in August 2018, Casares declared that altcoins will eventually face a “mass extinction event.” Commentators like Matt Hougan of Bitwise and Barry Silbert of Digital Currency group also believe that most altcoins will not survive the crypto version of the dot-com bubble bursting. After which, most altcoins will go to zero.

Bitcoin’s superiority becomes even more apparent given that its value transfer dwarfs all cryptocurrencies despite having fewer BTC transactions per day than some altcoins.

Should investment portfolios consider taking up a one percent position on Bitcoin? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


Image via Twitter (@wences), realidadeconomica.com.ar

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Dub 13

Uber IPO: Cryptocurrency Will Be a ‘Huge Beneficiary’

Uber Technologies Inc. expects a valuation of about USD 100 billion when listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Large IPOs such as Uber’s and others could bring spectacular benefits to the crypto industry. At the same time, business solutions allowing Uber users to pay with Bitcoin are now moving to center stage.


Uber IPO: Bigger Than Bitcoin’s Market Cap

On April 11, 2019, Uber filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to offer shares of its common stock. In its recently released prospectus, Uber does not mention the magnitude of the IPO, which could be one of the biggest ever.

However, according to The Financial Times,

The company is aiming to raise $10bn from its IPO and recently told some of its investors that it could be valued at $90bn to $100bn, according to people familiar with the matter. The company was last valued at $76bn in a private fundraising in August.

Thus, the estimated valuation would surpass today’s Bitcoin market capitalization of about $89 billion.

The transportation company bases its projections on its leading technology, expertise, and massive network, which comprises millions of drivers, users, shippers, and other participants around the globe.

Moreover, Uber details in its prospectus financial data as follows:

  • Revenue derived from our Ridesharing products grew from $3.5 billion in 2016 to $9.2 billion in 2018.
  • Gross Bookings derived from our Ridesharing products grew from $18.8 billion in 2016 to $41.5 billion in 2018.
  • Consumers traveled approximately 26 billion miles on our platform in 2018.

Uber has become omnipresent. Its global ridesharing footprint covers 63 countries, encompassing a population of over 4 billion people, as shown in the graph below:

Digital Currency Group CEO, Barry Silbert adds that billions of dollars in private company stock will be unleashed from IPOs this year.

“The crypto asset class is going to be a huge beneficiary,” he says

You Can Already Use Bitcoin

Uber’s direct acceptance of payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may still be a long way off, however.

In the meantime though, some Uber drivers around the world are unofficially accepting BTC instead of their local fiat currency.

Some users in Argentina, for example, have expressed interest in paying for Uber with bitcoin while some drivers wouldn’t mind receiving some bits instead of the depreciating peso.

For instance, an Uber driver, under the Reddit username bjandrus, wrote that he was already accepting bitcoin off the books for rides. However, he complains, the process is problematic because the Uber app does not support BTC payments.

It remains to be seen which ride-sharing company will officially begin accepting bitcoin first.

However, paying for Uber in bitcoin indirectly is already possible. For example, there’s the gift card option from Bitrefill and others, including the Coinbase e-gift card supported in select EU countries and Australia.

There are also third-party services as well as cryptocurrency debit cards that allow you to pay for anything, including Uber, Lyft etc. using bitcoin.

https://twitter.com/VenditExchange/status/1088929593577357313

How do you think IPOs such the one expected from Uber could benefit the crypto industry? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Uber Technologies Inc., Shutterstock

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Dub 10

Full Blocks ‘Only Way’ For Bitcoin to Stay Trustless, Say Seoul Meetup Founder

Bitcoin blocks will ultimately fill up and fees will increase accordingly, another community figure has warned as a spike in volume continues.


Somsen: Make ‘Smarter Use’ Of Block Space

In a series of tweets April 10, Ruben Somsen, podcast host and long-time convenor of the Seoul Bitcoin Meetup, argued that despite fees increasing, they are part of Bitcoin’s overall transformation into a global payment system.

The impact, he argued, does not have to be a negative one.

“Blocks WILL be full sooner or later. We’re not making smart use of block space, so we’re likely to experience a bumpy fee ride until people adjust their behavior,” he wrote.

…It costs miners virtually nothing to add a transaction. Block space is given to the highest bidder – if nobody bids, it’s practically free. If you think mass replicated immutable blockchain data is at least worth something, then it logically follows that blocks WILL be full.

Bitcoin Transaction Fees Surpass $1 For First Time Ever

The topic of Bitcoin transaction fees has returned to the spotlight over the past week after Bitcoin price shot up to $5300 in a matter of days.

A surge in network activity followed, with fees rising as blocks suddenly became fuller. As Bitcoinist reported, the change led to criticism of certain players, such as wallets which are not helping decrease network load. Somsen agreed.

“Wallets need to get smarter,” he continued.

Fee estimates aim for the next block by default. The result? A bidding war. Better to use Replace-By-Fee (RBF) + under-bidding and automated fee bumps to get a cheaper confirmation within a user-defined time limit. This smooths out the fees.

Off-Chain No Magic Bullet?

He added upcoming technological improvements, in the form of Schnorr signatures, Taproot, MAST, MuSig and SigAgg, would also help keep fees under control, but that the wholesale rollout of these tools was still a long way off.

On the topic of off-chain scaling, something many believe will ultimately avoid the need to pay significant network fees, Somsen also gave cautionary advice.

“…All off-chain solutions, whether it’s third party services or Lightning, do NOT make you immune to on-chain fees,” he countered. “When there are issues, people have to go back on-chain. If you can’t afford to pay the fee, you are stuck and won’t be able to exit from misbehavior.”

He concludes:

There’s simply no other way for Bitcoin to stay trustless. If you personally don’t need trustlessness, you can always transact cheaply off-chain via third parties. But if we sacrifice trustlessness on the base layer, it’ll be gone forever.

Lightning itself remains a technology in its infancy, despite mounting publicity from well-known figures from both within and beyond cryptocurrency.

Considered an experiment on a technical level, Lightning currently contains capacity for just under 1100 BTC ($5.79 million) in transactions, a figure which has nonetheless shot up 40 percent over the past month alone.

What do you think about Ruben Somsen’s prognosis? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of

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Dub 08

Bitcoin Goes Mainstream As Miss Universe Receives Lightning Torch

Bitcoin adoption took a step in a new direction this weekend after a former Miss Universe contestant joined the Lightning Torch transaction relay.


Rosa-Maria Ryyti HODLs Lightning Torch

In what appears to be an unexpected choice, Jeremias Kangas, founder of P2P trading platform Localbitcoins, opted to pass the Torch outside the cryptocurrency community – to Miss Universe Finland 2015, Rosa-Maria Ryyti.

Lightning Torch began in January this year as a stress test for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, a solution which will allow Bitcoin to scale up to meet the needs of mass adoption.

While Lightning itself has only existed on the Bitcoin mainnet for around 15 months, the Torch has demonstrated the network’s resilience, with various high-profile figures becoming involved.

The relay works by nodes on the network accepting, adding the Torch transaction and adding a nominal amount of bitcoin, currently 10,000 satoshis, before passing it forward.

So far, the Torch has had around 275 owners, with Ryyti opting to hand it to Colombian Bitcoin guru BTC Andres. In total, there will only be enough ownership spots for the sum of the transaction to reach 5 million satoshis.

“I was honored to receive the torch from pioneer Jeremias Kangas and now there are only 8 places left,” she told her 35,000 Instagram followers.

The funds raised will be donated to Bitcoin Venezuela.

Ryyti also set up an account on Tippin.me, the Lightning-enabled tips service used in Lightning Torch.

Bigger And Bigger

Ryyti’s advocacy of Bitcoin predictably struck a chord with the cryptocurrency community. On social media, the model gained considerable acclaim, despite a conspicuous lack of feedback from non-crypto followers from Instagram.

The event is not the first time the Torch has ventured outside of crypto, with perhaps its other outing also becoming its best-known when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took over in February.

Jack Dorsey Joe Rogan Podcast JRE

As Bitcoinist reported, his custody was more than a token gesture, Dorsey subsequently pledging to integrate Lightning in both Twitter and his payments startup Square. The latter is currently hiring developers for its dedicated venture, dubbed Square Crypto.

BTC Andres meanwhile held the Torch for only a short time before passing it elsewhere among the South American Bitcoin community.

Currently, the invoice lies with DJ Booth, creator of Lightning-enabled Bitcoin crowdfunding platform Tallycoin, where Torch creator Hodlonaut is currently raising funds for the plight of Venezuelans.

According to monitoring resource 1ML.com, Bitcoin mainnet Lightning currently has 7876 nodes, over 39,000 channels and a total capacity of 1080 BTC. The figures represent monthly growth of 9.8 percent, 14.7 percent, and 40 percent, respectively.

Last week, a dedicated exchange appeared in the form of Bolt, which aims to allow Lightning-based trades between Litecoin and Bitcoin using a technology known as cross-chain atomic swaps

What do you think about Miss Universe Finland 2015 participating in the Lightning Torch? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives, Instagram

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Dub 06

Bitcoin Price Bulls Show Up on Saturday, Push BTC Back Above $5100

BTC bulls continue to push the bitcoin price higher, with the market-leading cryptocurrency up 2.56 percent on Saturday — as of this writing. 


Bitcoin’s Hourly EMA Ribbon Providing Support

On the one-hour chart for Bitcoin, the exponential moving average (EMA) ribbon has, thus far, provided significant support for the price of BTC.

bitcoin hourly ema ribbon

Bitcoin chart provided by TradingView.

The bitcoin price only dropped below the EMA ribbon once, on April 4 for a few hours, since commencing on its uber-bullish breakout rally. Since then, the ribbon has held strong as support for Bitcoin (BTC). This strong support has undoubtedly assisted in the price jumping up in recent hours.

Bitcoin’s Weekly EMA Ribbon Under Siege

Bitcoin’s recent price surge has, thus far, topped out almost exactly at the upper band of the weekly EMA ribbon. However, price continues to knock on the door, with the bulls working hard to get a weekly close above $5400. Such a weekly close would be exceptionally bullish but nonetheless remains a tall order.

bitcoin weekly ema ribbon

Weekly Stochastic RSI Refuses to Come Down

One potentially alarming factor for the sustainability of this impressive bitcoin rally is the fact that the weekly Stochastic Relative Strength Index (Stochastic RSI) refuses to come down from its extremely overbought levels. Instead, it is simply moving sideways while remaining maxed out.

bitcoin weekly stochastic rsi

What goes up most certainly must come down, but the Stochastic RSI is far from the be-all-end-all of technical indicators. The bitcoin price could well keep surging towards what will undoubtedly prove to be a staunch resistance at $6,000 before the weekly Stochastic RSI comes back down to Earth.

Where Does Bitcoin Price Go From Here?

Nobody has a crystal ball, but it stands to reason that bitcoin could very well continue to rally as FOMO (fear of missing out) continues to build. However, there remains very little chance that the price of BTC will be able to sustain levels above $5,500 for very long without a corrective move.

The $6,000 mark will almost certainly provide extremely strong resistance. Should price reach this point, a profit-taking event or corrective move is probable. Such a move could potentially turn out to be a significant shakeout before truly confirming a bull run — but such speculation on the future movements of Bitcoin are purely educated guesswork at this stage.

Trade Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies on online Bitcoin forex broker platform evolve.markets.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not intended as investment advice.

What do you think about the current price of Bitcoin (BTC)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images via TradingView, Shutterstock

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Dub 05

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Clashes With Bitcoin-Basher ‘Dr. Doom’

Perennial Bitcoin basher and anti-cryptocurrency campaigner, Nouriel Roubini and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin had a heated debate at the second edition of the Deconomy blockchain event in Seoul, South Korea.


Broken Record: Roubini Has Nothing New to Say

Nouriel ‘Dr. Doom’ Roubini – a New York University economics professor regurgitated his old hits, calling cryptocurrency a bubble and saying that it was only useful to criminals and tax evaders looking to launder money with virtual currencies as the “New Swiss bank.”

However, having made the above assertions, Roubini then goes on to say:

I don’t think crypto payments for criminal activity is going be the future of it. They’re not anonymous and even for cryptos that try to be anonymous like Monero, kleptocratic governments will make sure your wallet is registered.

Dr. Doom also relived some other hits like price manipulation claims, pump and dump schemes, exchange hacks as well as ICO fraud as reasons why cryptocurrencies are worthless. Roubini debunked the assertion that virtual currencies represented an emerging financial system, instead, calling them an inefficient barter system that will never overcome the “trilemma of decentralization, security, and scalability.”

Dr. Doom v Vitalik Buterin Cryptocurrency Debate

In response, Buterin countered Roubini on many of his claims especially regarding the anonymity of cryptos providing cover for criminal activities. According to the Ethereum co-founder, any convenience  offered by cryptocurrencies as a payment means is enjoyed by all; whether for “unconventional activities” or otherwise.

Buterin: ‘There Are Definetely Some Real Concerns’

Buterin also chided Roubini’s skewered criticism which fails to take into account the many benefits of cryptocurrency adoption. The Ethereum co-founder pointed to the convenience of making international payments via virtual currency, as well as, the added benefit of cryptocurrencies being censorship-resistant.

As for the perceived inefficiencies in the technology, Buterin highlighted the continuous stream of technological advancements currently ongoing in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Commenting on cryptocurrency trilemma, Buterin opined:

There are definitely some real concerns but they’re an artifact of the tech as it exists in 2019, rather than inherent. The trilemma didn’t come with mathematical proofs. It is not impossible to have scalability and decentralization and security.

Facts Trump Sentiments When It Comes to Cryptocurrency

Some of Roubini’s criticisms come from a lack of understanding of the technology

Nocoiners like Roubini present Bitcoin to be this shadowy construct that allows criminals to carry out illegal activities with ease. However, the facts say differently.

Japan’s National Police Agency earlier in the year revealed that 98.3 percent of all recorded money laundering cases in the country for 2018 didn’t involve cryptocurrency. Intelligence agencies still report that terrorists have trouble adopting cryptocurrency to fund jihadist activities.

Danske Bank

Meanwhile, major banks like Danske Bank get indicted for money laundering to the tune of $325 billion. As reported by Bitcoinist, anti-Bitcoin banks have paid more than $240 billion in fines for money laundering indictments since the financial crisis of 2008.

Warren Buffett is another Bitcoin basher who has previously called the top-ranked cryptocurrency “rat poison.” Never mind that Berkshire Hathaway (owned by Buffett) has a ten percent stake in Wells Fargo, a bank with 93 violations and more than $14 billion in penalty fines.

Do you still pay attention to the opinions of nocoiners like Roubini? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives, Twitter (@DecentralizedF and @inside_r3)

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Dub 05

Why Bitcoin May Be The Greenest Technology Ever

The benefit for the planet may be incalculable by switching to a sound money like Bitcoin from inflationary ‘cheap’ money that incentivizes waste, incessant growth, and profligate consumption. 


New Technology Requires New Thinking

Today, most commentators attempt to define Bitcoin using analogies. They compare it to things they’re familiar with like stocks, commodities, or a payment service like PayPal. 

Just like the automobile was first described as a horseless carriage, Bitcoin today is presented largely as digital pseudo-money that’s not backed by any government.

Similarly, Bitcoin mining has been heavily criticized in the mainstream media. Headlines like Bitcoin uses more energy than *insert country* are not uncommon; and are regularly rehashed and republished.

Such findings, however, have been debunked time and time again. (Here’s a great article explaining Bitcoin’s energy use.) Meanwhile, similar concerns related to the banking system are deliberately ignored.

But Bitcoin is not like the inflationary fiat money that drives the global economy today. It possesses the properties of sound money. Unlike the dollar, it is deflationary, non double-spendable and un-counterfeitable. This makes it a completely different animal and requires some new thinking to understand its potential.

Inflation Incentivizes Profligate Consumption

Dollar hegemony, Keynesian thinking and inflation have now shaped economic policy for generations. Permanent Quantitative Easing (QE) and even negative interest rates are becoming the new normal. So it’s not surprising that something like Bitcoin is incomprehensible to most people today. 

Inflationary monetary policies force businesses into high time preference thinking. This means chasing quick quarterly profits, borrowing ‘cheap’ money, and doing whatever it takes to grow at all costs.

Today, most corporations hide behind a veneer of environmentalism to sell more products. Earth tone tote bags, less-plasticky plastic bottles, green logos, recycled materials etc. Anything to boost profit margins and ease over-consumption worries in the minds of the buyers. In result, if the product is ‘eco-friendly’ consumers feel less guilty about buying that new smartphone every year.

Cheap Money Doesn’t Care About the Future

The inflationary money phenomenon results in what is known as the Cantillon effect, where those closest to the money printers set the tone of economic activity.

Big businesses benefit, in particular, as they get special access to the central bank’s discount window. This ‘cheap money’ incentivizes borrowing and high time preference choices that tend to prioritize quantity over quality.

This also has a big impact on the time preferences of the population too. High inflation, or the reduction of purchasing power of money, means individuals will also have a high time preference.

This is especially evident in hyper-inflationary economies. People will rush to spend their money as soon possible knowing that it’ll be worthless the next day.

Starving Venezuelans Turn to Bitcoin Mining in Desperation

Bitcoin investor, Jimmy Song, explains the difference between a low time preference versus a high time preference individual. He says:

A low time preference person is willing to forego things now for something better later.

A bunch of high time preference people will not think very much about the future. Instead of saving for tomorrow, they’ll spend now, consume and not be very productive. They won’t be saving for tomorrow, starting businesses or building large scale projects as they all require a lot of planning.

Sound Money is Green Tech

So perhaps we should not be focusing on whether Bitcoin ‘wastes’ more or less electricity than today’s financial system. Instead, we should be asking whether sound money would change how we value our time, labor and our environment, particularly for future generations. 

“[Unrealized capital gains tax] and fiat money have a similar outcome. Distortion of time preference from investing in the future towards present consumption. Encouraging hedonistic activity and thus more environmental destruction, says Bitcoin Center NY co-founder, Austin E. Alexander.

In other words, Bitcoin could curb the high time preference, growth-focused economic policies of today that incentivize profligate consumption, environmental harm and yes…lots of wasted energy.

This is why the consequences of a Bitcoin standard may be “incalculable,” says economist and author of The Bitcoin Standard, Saifedean Ammous. He explains:

The benefits incurred from [switching from the horse to the automobile] are incalculable for us, primarily by not having to deal with horse manure as a permanent fixture of life. In a very similar way, the benefits of bitcoin lie in the horrors it would allow us to avoid by taking money production out of the hands of the state’s violent Keynesian barbarians.

Bitcoin, on the other hand, provides a nuetral, sound money alternative. Its digital scarcity as a result of its 21 million cap and counterfeit-proof nature, makes it deflationary.

Switching to a Bitcoin standard would certainly help lower individuals’ time preferences and yes, may ultimately be very, very good for the environment.

Do you agree that a sound money like Bitcoin may be good for the planet? Share your thoughts below!


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