Category Archives: Opinion

The end of an era and the beginning of something new

An open letter to the Bitcoin community by Jörg von Minckwitz

I have been in the crypto economy since the very early days. This was back in 2011 and since then I got to know the ups and downs of the market. I have seen the market crash from over $10 to almost zero, from $100 to under $10 and so on. On Monday morning, as I have always done for the last 6+ years, I was shocked after checking the Bitcoin price. The first thing that came to mind was: This is the end.

Bitcoin Electronic Money (Image: MaxPixel)
Bitcoin Electronic Money (Image: MaxPixel)

It took me a few hours to remind myself that I have been through this more times than I can remember or possibly count. The MtGox closure, “Bitcoin got hacked”, China banning Bitcoin mining, JP Morgan CEO calling Bitcoin “a fraud”, Bitcoin is only for money laundering and many more.

What scares me this time is that there are other players in the game now. In the early days, when the word hodl was more or less born, I had contact with most of the major players and actors in the space and there was always one thing that we all agreed on: We want to change the world. So we fastened our seatbelts and went on the fun and thrilling crypto ride together.

It is the end of an era for me. I say this because, for many in the crypto space, bitcoin and other cryptos are no longer about changing the world – it became a way to make more (and fast) money. That is one of the reasons why people tend to panic and sell – People are afraid of losing money.

In my humble opinion, this is not how bitcoin should be treated. Bitcoin is the biggest experiment in the world so far and it has the potential to change the world as we know it forever. It is not, nor was it designed to be, a tool to get rich quickly.

Read more: Bitwala

The Stories We Tell About Money (A History of Bitcoin)

In this talk, Andreas Antonopolous recounts the history of Bitcoin and what it represents, building upon all the stories we’ve been told over the centuries about what “money” is, how we perceive its value, and why the old answers have changed as we adjust to this new world of digital peer-to-peer currencies. He also discusses global threats to economic stability and trust in the financial system, including demonetisation and wealth destruction through inflation.

[For context, note that the talk was given in India and towards the end he makes some references to India’s demonetisation]

Bitcoin Is Back Above $11,500, But Bulls Not Out of the Woods Yet

Despite a sharp price recovery to over $11,500 today, bitcoin’s bulls are not out of the woods yet, the price charts suggest.

Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) has climbed 25.9 percent from the eight-week low of $9,199.59 hit yesterday at 15:44 UTC. As of writing, bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $11,590 levels.

Bitcoin (Image: Pixabay)
Bitcoin (Image: Pixabay)

The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has appreciated by 8 percent in the last 24 hours, according to data source OnChainFX.

However, the investor community isn’t convinced by the move, and comments on social media show that some believe the overnight recovery is nothing more than a “dead cat bounce.”

The price chart analysis indicates that only a close (as per UTC) above $12,500 (prices as per Coinbase) would add credence to rebound from sub-100-day moving average (MA) levels and confirm that a short-term bottom is in place.

Read more: CoinDesk

Get ‘Em While They’re Cheap? Two-Day Crypto Market Slump Offers Steep ‘Discounts’

A second day of losses throughout cryptocurrency markets is giving would-be traders a chance to buy that may not be repeated.

Bitcoin dropped below $10,000 on Cointelegraph’s price index Wednesday, Jan. 17. On the same day, Ethereum (ETH) went below $900, marking a price slide of over 30% for both assets this week.

Bitcoin price chart (Image: geralt/Pixabay)
Bitcoin price chart (Image: geralt/Pixabay)

Community and industry figures have reacted with mixed emotions to the downturn, which mimics behavior seen in January over the past three years.

Read more: CoinTelegraph

As bitcoin’s price plunges, skeptics say the cryptocurrency has no value – but they’re wrong

Bitcoin’s price has been on a wild ride since its inception.

2017 alone saw massive gains, starting the year at under $1,000 and, at its peak, breaking $19,000, according to industry site CoinDesk.

On Tuesday, it was trading at $11,943, a decline of 12 percent, according to CoinDesk.

As bitcoin’s popularity surges and its price rises and falls, more and more people are asking the same question: How does bitcoin, something that’s essentially invisible and intangible, have value?

Bitcoin Cryptocurrency (Image: MaxPixel)
Bitcoin Cryptocurrency (Image: MaxPixel)

Scarcity and utility

In economics, something has value if it checks the following two boxes: scarcity and utility. Scarcity just means that something has a finite supply. In the case of bitcoin, the cryptocurrency has a set cap of 21 million bitcoins.

Many analysts note that this set cap makes bitcoin more desirable than other assets, even gold. That’s because unlike with gold, there’s no need to worry about a digital Gold Rush. A treasure trove of bitcoin won’t ever be “discovered,” causing the crypto’s price to crash with an influx in supply.

“There are potentially millions of times more gold underground than actually has been extracted,”

said Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors. Lee was chief equity strategist at J.P. Morgan before co-founding Fundstrat in 2014.

Read more: CNBC

Mastering [alt]coins: The Poor Man’s Guide to Getting Crypto Rich

So you missed out on the crypto boom?

You had dreams of telling your boss where to shove it while you drove off in your shiny new pink Cadillac looking for the meaning of life but it didn’t happen.

Maybe you sat on the sidelines waiting for a good price that never came? These prices are crazy, you thought, they’ve got to come back down! Who would pay $10,000 for a single Bitcoin? It was only $1,000 a month ago. And so the prices kept blowing past you.

Or maybe you made all the mistakes in the Cryptocurrency Trading Bible parts one and two? You over traded, chased rallies too late, FOMOed, sold out too fast and in general did a lot worse than the market because you didn’t learn your lessons. The price to becoming a good trader is really, really high. Most people never make it. To get great at trading you have to lose a bunch of money fast and fail to outperform the market before turning it around.

If you’re lucky, you learn those lessons and wind up a savvy trader who trades well whether the market is up or down.

But the odds are against you. Human nature is against you. Emotions are against you. Everything is against you.

And yet there is hope.

Cryptocurrency Art Gallery: Litecoin, Ether, Ripple, Bitcoin and Namecoin (Image: Namecoin/Flickr)
Cryptocurrency Art Gallery: Litecoin, Ether, Ripple, Bitcoin and Namecoin (Image: Namecoin/Flickr)

You didn’t miss the boat. Well not totally. You can still swim out to it if you paddle real hard.

It’s not over. A mere 1% of people own crypto. Crypto can solve dozens of previously intractable problems, like digital identities, supply chain integrity, data breaches and many, many more.

But it’s going to take awhile. The crypto superhighway is still under construction. They’re paving the roads and pouring the cement. Nobody is living in the McMansions yet.

But…but…but bubble. Tulips. It’s all going to crash isn’t it?

Yeah. So what?

Let me let you in on a little secret. Ready?

Read more: HackerNoon

The Obvious Bitcoin Christmas Gift Guide 2017

It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to all the cool swag you’ll receive on Christmas Day, and hand out of course, cos’ let’s not forget that Xmas is also about giving.

Whether you’re an experienced bitcoiner seeking gift ideas for one of your own, or a complete novice cursed with a crypto crazy nephew, the following guide covers all bases, price brackets, and payment types. Hand your loved one a bitcoin-branded gift this Christmas and watch their face light up like a green trading candle breaking out.

Take a Little, Give a Lot

The Ultimate Bitcoin Christmas Gift Guide 2017Should any of the entries on this list prove too darn irresistible, by all means treat yourself. You’re entitled to a reward for all the hodling you did this year while your mates were rinsing their hard-earned on holidays, designer threads, and vice. Just remember that there’s more happiness in giving than receiving.

Bitcoin (Image: AllanLau2000/Pixabay)
Bitcoin (Image: AllanLau2000/Pixabay)

To get the ball rolling, we’ll start with a practical selection of gifts for bitcoiners. The decadent and downright silly stuff comes later. If the following suggestions don’t sate your thirst for gift ideas, incidentally, our Christmas guide from last year is also rocking.

Practical Bitcoin Christmas Gifts

If your favorite bitcoin obsessive doesn’t already have one, give them a hardware wallet for safely storing their cryptocurrency. We’re wallet agnostic, but market leaders Trezor and Ledger are both excellent choices. There’s also Keepkey.

Gift-Wrapped Computer Tech

Pretty much any piece of computer gear can be branded as bitcoin-ready, but the following suggestions all have specific applications. If you’re tech-savvy enough to pick out the right product for your beloved bitcoiner, try these for size:

Computer monitor: A second screen for watching cryptocurrencies pumping and dumping in realtime is sure to go down well.

Hard drive: Cryptocurrency hobbyists interested in running a node or downloading a full wallet client are gonna need somewhere to store the blockchain. A few extra GB – or even TB – will be welcomed.

Cellphone: Another practical (if unexciting) gift is a cheap cellphone that can be stashed in a safe place and used for 2FA access and email verification when signing into exchanges. If their Twitter bio says “crypto trader” – regardless of the reality – a second cell will secure their bags by reducing the risk of SMS porting, among other things.

Read more: News.Bitcoin

Stop Dwelling on Your “I Should Have” Bitcoin Anxiety

So let’s get this straight: you should be a bitcoin millionaire right now only you’re not

because you a) sold too soon b) bought too late c) disregarded your mate’s advice d) lost your hard drive e) went all in on feathercoin. Welcome to the club. You’re not alone, but that knowledge will come as little comfort when you’re lying awake at night cursing your stupidity. We can’t turn back time, but we can dispense some sound advice that should help put your hard luck story in perspective.

Missed the Boat and Skipped the Party

If you’re late to the bitcoin party – or worse still, if you left before the party got truly started – the regret can be crippling. Every new all-time high drives another dagger into your stricken heart, while the sight of young bucks who’ve never read Satoshi’s white paper drunk on bull market gains is sickening. At least one story has surfaced of an early adopter spiraling into depression after losing all their bitcoins and eventually committing suicide.

Bitcoin (Image: MichaelWuensch/Pixabay)
Bitcoin (Image: MichaelWuensch/Pixabay)

But this is meant to be an uplifting piece, not a morbid one. Thankfully, most people who missed the boat suffer nothing worse than a bad case of hindsight. If that’s you, stop beating yourself up. There are three reasons to be cheerful, but before we consider them, let’s consider the psychology of luck.

Queuing Theory Said This Would Happen

You’re shopping for groceries and pick the queue that looks fastest. To your chagrin, the one next to you turns out to be quicker, leaving you waiting in line behind the old lady clutching over 9,000 coupon codes. Sound familiar? There’s a simple reason why, statistically, you’re more likely to pick the slowest queue: with a queue on either side, the odds of calling it correctly are just one in three.

What’s that got to do with cryptocurrency? Well, if you bought bitcoin in 2013, for example, the odds of having hodled till now are much lower than one in three. In fact they’re more like 1 in 20. When you see bitcoin whales screenshotting their phat portfolios, it’s easy to assume that this is the norm; that everyone else is getting served fast in the store but you. The reality is that most people are in the same boat as you – one which is several lengths behind the boat they’d rather be in.

Read more: News.Bitcoin

Don’t fall for the hype — Why Bitcoin’s $10,000 Price Doesn’t Reflect Its True Value

Here are some examples of financial news headlines from the last few days:

Bitcoin finally hits $10,000! — The Economist, Nov. 28th, 2017

Bitcoin surpasses the $10,000 milestone! — CNBC, Nov. 28th, 2017

BITCOIN SOARS ABOVE $11,000! — The Guardian, Nov. 29th, 2017

News outlets haven’t even had 24 hours to let the “10K” news simmer and it already climbed to $11,500. By the time they published the “11K” piece, it already dropped back to $9,000. Then, as soon as they entered the last word on their “Bitcoin is crashing!” article, it’s back at $11,000 per BTC.

Bitcoin (Image: Pixabay)
Bitcoin (Image: Pixabay)

Amazing! But this is not unprecedented.

We’ve seen this before, back in 2013, a media frenzy when Bitcoin was approaching $1,000 that fueled that year’s bubble. In January of that year, one bitcoin was trading at around $15.00, rocketed to $266 by April, and then crashed back to $50 really quick. By November, it had already broken $1,000, peaking at $1,242 on Mt.Gox. That’s an almost 100-fold increase in 11 months, an order of magnitude larger than this year’s (2017) 10-fold run up.

Funny thing is, the charts then are almost identical to the ones today, and news articles look exactly the same. Just add one zero.

The media gobbles this up because people are fascinated by this stuff. Stories of people finding 5000 BTC in an old hard drive that they bought for $25 in 2009, a man throwing away 7500 BTC by accident and scouring a landfill to try and find it, a man buying pizzas for 10,000 BTC — It’s the sizzle to the steak and it sells.

The Other Side

People love it when things go up, but what goes up must come down, and Bitcoin is not immune to this. History shows three major “Bitcoin Bubbles”, and a LOT of volatility in between. Swings of 20–30% in one day are not uncommon in the Bitcoin world, but to most people this can be quite terrifying. For example, in the same day when Bitcoin broke $11,500 a couple of days ago, Bitcoin crashed back to $9,600, and lost 20% of its value overnight.

It isn’t just that, there are more. There’s that time it crashed from $260 to $50. Bitcoin was declared dead.

Read more: Decentralize Today