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Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies, digital currency, cryptography.
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Bloomberg Icon Bloomberg

A big crypto sell-off is happening for Bitcoin and Ether

Bloomberg is citing a sell-off of Bitcoin, Ether, and dozens of smaller digital tokens. The "crypto exodus" is happening due to a "sense of panic" hitting crypto investors. It's been a brutal August for Bitcoin and Ether, with Bitcoin touching below $6,000. “The big story in the market today is the huge weakness in Ethereum,” Timothy Tam, chief executive officer of CoinFi said in a phone interview — “Bitcoin has held up relatively well versus Ethereum. It’s still quite weak versus the U.S. dollar.” While cryptocurrencies rallied in July on hopes that a Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund would attract new investors, U.S. regulators have yet to sign off on multiple proposals for such a product. The letdown has coincided with growing concern that entrepreneurs who raised crypto-denominated funds via initial coin offerings (ICO) are now cashing out of holdings such as Ether, the token for the Ethereum blockchain that is a popular platform for crypto projects. What do you think? Are you selling, buying, or holding?

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Bitcoin grist.org

Bitcoin’s energy use got studied (wow)

Eric Holthaus writes for Grist: Bitcoin’s energy footprint has more than doubled since Grist first wrote about it six months ago. It’s expected to double again by the end of the year... And if that happens, Bitcoin would be gobbling up 0.5 percent of the world’s electricity, about as much as the Netherlands. I can't be the only one paying attention to Bitcoin's rise in energy usage... That’s a troubling trajectory, especially for a world that should be working overtime to root out energy waste and fight climate change. By late next year, Bitcoin could be consuming more electricity than all the world’s solar panels currently produce — about 1.8 percent of global electricity... That would effectively erase decades of progress on renewable energy.

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Recode Icon Recode

Is Bitcoin the greatest scam in history?

Scam shouldn't be used as a label for Bitcoin at large, but the hype machine and pump-and-dump schemes around Bitcoin are most certainly teetering on the lines of being a scam. Bill Harris, former CEO of Intuit and founding CEO of PayPal and Personal Capital, writes: Promoters claim cryptocurrency is valuable as (1) a means of payment, (2) a store of value and/or (3) a thing in itself. None of these claims are true. Means of Payment. Bitcoins are accepted almost nowhere, and some cryptocurrencies nowhere at all. Even where accepted, a currency whose value can swing 10 percent or more in a single day is useless as a means of payment. Store of Value. Extreme price volatility also makes bitcoin undesirable as a store of value. And the storehouses — the cryptocurrency trading exchanges — are far less reliable and trustworthy than ordinary banks and brokers. Thing in Itself. A bitcoin has no intrinsic value. It only has value if people think other people will buy it for a higher price — the Greater Fool theory.

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Tim Coulter Avatar The Changelog #287

Truffle framework and decentralized Ethereum apps

We talk Tim Coulter about how Truffle (Ethereum Swiss Army knife), how he got into Ethereum and dapp development, Solidity vs JavaScript, smart contract testing, EthPM which is like npm but for Ethereum, Why decentralization? Why dapps? Basically, why rebuild the internet? And last but not least - who's using Truffle and what have they built with it?

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Kevin Owocki Avatar The Changelog #281

Gitcoin: sustaining open source with cryptocurrency

We're joined by Kevin Owocki, the founder of Gitcoin. Gitcoin is a platform to monetize or incentivize work in open source software. We talked about how Gitcoin sits at the intersection of sustaining open source and cryptocurrencies, their history and roadmap, their decision to leverage the brand name of Git, bug bounties, funded issues, web3, MetaMask, and the future of Gitcoin and how open source benefits.

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Stripe Icon Stripe

Stripe is ending their Bitcoin support

For Stripe, Bitcoin isn't scaling well to make it "useful for payments," and it's expensive in both time and money to process transactions. However, Tom Karlo said "Bitcoin has evolved to become better-suited as an asset rather than a means of exchange." A line in the sand has been drawn for Bitcoin as a useful payment currency. Therefore, starting today, we are winding down support for Bitcoin payments. Over the next three months we will work with affected Stripe users to ensure a smooth transition before we stop processing Bitcoin transactions on April 23, 2018. Clearly the value of Bitcoin is still there as an asset. It's just not working out (for Stripe) as a means of exchange for payments. Though they remain optimistic. Despite this, we remain very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall. Tom also provided some insights to where things are heading for crypto and payments. We may add support for Stellar (to which we provided seed funding) if substantive use continues to grow. It’s possible that Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, or another Bitcoin variant, will find a way to achieve significant popularity while keeping settlement times and transaction fees very low.

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Node.js github.com

Zenbot

a command-line cryptocurrency trading bot using Node.js and MongoDB. This is on version 4, so a boat load of effort has been invested in this tool. In light of that, I find this statement from their README funny and somewhat sad: Zenbot 4 is functional, but is having trouble reliably making profit. At this point, I would recommend against trading with large amounts ...

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Cryptocurrency grist.org

Bitcoin Could Cost Us Our Clean-Energy Future

If you’re like me... ...you’ve probably been ignoring the bitcoin phenomenon for years — because it seemed too complex, far-fetched, or maybe even too libertarian. But if you have any interest in a future where the world moves beyond fossil fuels, you and I should both start paying attention now. We should be paying attention because the energy usage behind Bitcoin is astounding. What they might not have accounted for is how much of an energy suck the computer network behind bitcoin could one day become. Simply put, bitcoin is slowing the effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. What’s more, this is just the beginning. Given its rapidly growing climate footprint, bitcoin is a malignant development, and it’s getting worse. Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day. The aggregate computing power of the bitcoin network is nearly 100,000 times larger than the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers combined. The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge — an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year.

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Chris Beams Avatar The Changelog #269

Bisq, the Decentralized Bitcoin Exchange with Chris Beams

Chris Beams joins the show to talk about Bisq, the P2P decentralized Bitcoin exchange and open-source desktop application that allows you to buy and sell bitcoins in exchange for national currencies, or alternative crypto currencies. We get some background on the issues faced by crypto exchanges like CoinBase, and the now defunkt Mt. Gox. We discuss whether or not Bitcoin is a censorship resistant payment system and what it means to have anonymous transaction currency options. Bisq also has an interesting white paper about its own DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) to support its contributors and we discuss that in detail at the end of the episode.

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