Lessons From the First Digital Gold Boom

With cryptocurrencies having captured everyone’s imagination, we often forget that the digital gold boom of the 2000s was the first digital currency revolution. Jackson’s initial success with e-gold encouraged a swarm of copycats: GoldMoney, eBullion, OSGold, INTGold, Pecunix, 1mdc, and more. These currencies were swapped on hundreds of digital gold exchanges located around the globe. The industry even had its own magazine, DGC Magazine, and trade association, the Global Digital Currency Association. At its peak in 2005, e-gold had around 1.2 million accounts with transactions totalling $1.5 billion. It was almost as large as PayPal.

Billionaires Buying Bitcoin: Bill Pulte Announces 11 BTC Purchase

The number of billionaires holding Bitcoin continues to grow. The latest magnate to go public with his BTC purchase is the philanthropist Bill Pulte, who now wants to promote the benchmark crypto’s adoption.


Billionaire Bill Pulte: “Cryptocurrency can help the world’s poorest.”

Bill Pulte is the head of Pulte Capital Partners, one of the directors at Pulte Homes, and the inventor of Twitter Philanthropy. He is also the grandson of the billionaire founder of the home-construction giant PulteGroup (PHM), which boasts a market cap of $10.9 billion.

Now, like many other billionaires, Pulte is joining the crypto community. In effect, on December 12, 2019, he announced that he had bought 11 BTC.

Through social media, Twitter, in particular, Pulte promotes the welfare of the poor. He claims to have a million followers, which he refers to as teammates.

Pulte wants to change the world. And, using BTC could certainly prove an effective way to instill change. Indeed, Pulte asserts,

“Cryptocurrency can help the world’s poorest…especially those who are “unbanked” … as a philanthropist, I, therefore, want to promote adoption. Leave a comment [on] why you need Bitcoin and I’ll pick one person to send some satoshis to … Yes, this is real.”

Bitcoin Is transforming Philanthropic Work

For some time, Bitcoin has been used for charitable purposes. Indeed, many donors benefit from the cryptocurrency’s versatility. For example, Bitcoin helps donors to make their philanthropic work more effective, improve transparency, and enhance tax benefits.

Thus, a growing number of charity organizations, such as the Red Cross, Save the Children, United Way, and Greenpeace, are accepting Bitcoin and making use of blockchain technology to become more efficient. Unicef also accepts Bitcoin and Ethereum.

BitGive, for example, is a worldwide philanthropic organization that uses Bitcoin to better serve its beneficiaries. BitGive’s mission states, “Leverage the power of Bitcoin and blockchain technology to improve public health and the environment worldwide.”

Executive Director of BitGive Connie Gallippi, explains:

“Bitcoin allows BitGive to confirm remote transactions, significantly lower transfer fees, provide transparency in real-time, execute cryptographically-secured transactions, and obtain fast settlements.”

Purchasing only 11 bitcoins could be just the start. Pulte might soon see the value of Bitcoin for his philanthropic work. And most likely, he will start buying more coins, eventually joining the long list of billionaires holding Bitcoin, which includes Blythe Masters, Dan Morehead, Tyler, and Cameron Winklevoss, and Michael Novogratz.

What do you think about billionaires buying Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @pulte, BitGive

This Week in Bitcoin: $8 Billion BTC Trust and Maximalists Misbehaving

This Week in Bitcoin: $8 Billion BTC Trust and Maximalists Misbehaving

This Week in Bitcoin: $8 Billion BTC Trust and Maximalists Misbehaving

This Week in Bitcoin is your roundup of the prime talking points from across the cryptosphere. From the major news to the minor debates that erupted into huge arguments, we’ve captured the flavor of the frenetic soup that is Bitcoin and all that simmers in it. In this edition, the deadline for the $8 billion Tulip Trust looms closer and bitcoin maximalists are caught behaving badly.

Also read: Accused Onecoin Co-Conspirators Fight Criminal Charges in the US

Monday: $8 Billion BTC and Post-Fork Fixes

On Monday, September 9, we led with the story of the Tulip Trust, which is due to deliver $8 billion in BTC to Craig Wright in less than three weeks. Supposedly. We also covered the SEC approving a bitcoin futures fund, and the new IRS tax form targeting crypto owners in Monday’s regulatory round-up.

Also on Monday, in the wake of Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork, researcher Antoine Le Calvez showed how thousands of dapps failed due to the changes made to smart contracts, which caused them to run out of gas. He noted how even crypto exchanges were affected, with Gemini unable to “sweep user deposits into its hot wallet after the fork, each attempt resulting in an out-of-gas error.” The Ethereum ecosystem suffered another blow on December 9 when a different researcher explained how a well-funded attacker could “turn $20M into $340M in 15 seconds” by exploiting the Makerdao contract.

On crypto Twitter, a debate broke out over Bitcoin’s lack of privacy. Business-owner Jason Smith explained his reservations with paying overseas staff in BTC, confessing: “I became frustrated with how open Bitcoin is. It exposes way more than one wants to the staff. That lead me to consider the improbability of the world adopting a financial tool that doesn’t afford business decent levels of privacy.” Ironically, Smith was formerly opposed to privacy coins, before undergoing a volte-face and paying his overseas employees in zcash.

Tuesday: Blockstream Alienates Everyone

On December 10, Blockstream caught flak after its plans to raise $50M by issuing a BTSE exchange token were leaked. The revelation that Blockstream was projecting an increase in revenue of 3,700% for 2020 to justify the token sale forced Samson Mow onto the defensive, a position he’s occupied on crypto Twitter for weeks, as the company’s beleaguered CSO has poured fuel on fires that were of his own making. As Cobra Bitcoin put it, “Liquid is just Blockstream’s platform for scam token issuance as a service. And how exactly does an exchange forecast going from $2M in revenue in 2019 to $100M+ in 2020?” The BTSE row was to rumble on all week, with Samson Mow and Adam Back digging themselves deeper into the hole they had constructed.

This Week in Bitcoin: $8 Billion BTC Trust and Maximalists Misbehaving

Elsewhere, in The War on Cash, Marty Bent highlighted tough new laws in Greece and Italy effectively criminalizing the use of cash, opining: “The governments of these countries are herding their citizens into the digital panopticon that is the current global financial system so that they can milk them for all of that sweet sweet tax money.” In related news, we covered Italians’ love of cash and growing appreciation for crypto. And in unrelated news, Ross Ulbricht had a stab at predicting when bitcoin’s next all-time high will occur.

Wednesday: Jack Tries Some Blue Sky Thinking

On December 11, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got the cryptosphere all of a stir when he revealed Blue Sky, a “small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media,” funded by Twitter. “It would be incredible for the future of free speech and censor-resistant information to see a decentralized twitter protocol with various clients and front-ends built atop that standard,” enthused Messari’s Ryan Selkis.

Jack Dorsey

“A tech CEO that understands Bitcoin and decentralized social networks,” tweeted Blockstack’s Muneeb. “Facebook is trying to start Libra. My guess is Jack will prefer to extend existing open crypto networks instead.”

Thursday: Bitcoin Maximalists Bust out the Banhammer

Crypto is full of contradictions, with one of the greatest being the glee with which certain proponents of censorship-resistant money will censor their opponents’ opinions. We’re looking at you, bitcoin maxis, with your high follower count and low tolerance for dissenting voices. The loss of Crypto Deleted, a Twitter account that screenshotted the foolish tweets hastily purged by members of the cryptorati, was led by Jameson Lopp.

Critics of the circle-jerking maximalists, including Romano, were quick to point out their hypocrisy. “Imagine writing a blog post that ultimately led to mass reporting and suspending an account that you didn’t agree with. And then imagine celebrating it – as a cypherpunk nonetheless,” chipped in Larry Cermak.

Friday: Tether Time

Friday 13th was to prove unlucky for Tether, which found itself on the receiving end of yet another legal brief from the New York Attorney General. “If these allegations are true Bitfinex/Tether’s chances in this case should be toast,” tweeted ‘lex node’ who broke down the filing for those who couldn’t face trawling through the full document. Others demurred, however, asserting that the NYAG’s latest doc contained nothing new.

Friday was a bad day for crypto regulatory news: BTC payments platform Bottle Pay revealed it was shutting down due to impending KYC/AML regulations, writing:

To maintain our integrity as service providers, and to protect the interests of our team, investors and users, we have taken the painful decision to shut Bottle Pay down completely rather than become subject to these new regulations.

Meanwhile, over on crypto Twitter, bitcoin maximalists finished the week the way they’d started it: by acting hypocritically and getting called out for it. This time it was Peter McCormack’s turn to get grief for his double standards and general sycophancy.

Finally, in real news, Dutch banking giant ING declared it was developing a crypto custody service, and the European Central Bank’s Christine Lagarde outlined her plans to keep the ECB “ahead of the curve” when it comes to digital currency and stablecoins.

Popular on News.Bitcoin.com This Week

What stories caught your attention this week? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

Kai Sedgwick

Kai’s been manipulating words for a living since 2009 and bought his first bitcoin at $12. It’s long gone. He’s previously written whitepapers for blockchain startups and is especially interested in P2P exchanges and DNMs.

巴比特独家 | 6大实用案例速览,医疗、能源、金融领域都怎么结合区块链?

近来,各界对于区块链的关注热情高涨,讨论无非3个层次:谈概念、谈技术、谈应用。首先是概念,过去两年区块链时常被“污名化”,但在中央政治局第十八次集体学习之后,它被彻底“正名”,并和ICO、空气币、炒作等划清界限。其次是技术,联盟链和公有链逐渐形成融合发展的态势,链、BaaS、业务三位一体的布局是大厂的普遍选择,侧链、跨链等layer2方向也得到公链的普遍认同。

于是到今天,业界最多诘问的话题就是:区块链到底怎么应用?诚然,概念耳熟能详,技术不求甚解,唯有应用,才是企业家和普通用户最为关心,最能理解,最具期待的。

12月12日,由中关村大数据组委会主办的区块链与数字经济高峰论坛暨2019第八届中关村大数据日在北京召开,吸引了来自学界、业界的相关专家、学者、企业家等众多单位的积极参与。

笔者仅将会议中各嘉宾提及的区块链应用案例选取出来,直观的呈现给大家,我们一起看看,区块链究竟被哪些企业用在了哪些场景?

 

案例1:生态环境监测


 

中科院软件所区块链与应用联合实验室副主任陈峰介绍了享链的技术与应用实践。享链是中科院软件所和贵阳市政府共同成立区块链技术与应用联合实验室,历时3年研发,对标Hyperledger的联盟链产品,包括享链核心组件Repchain、享链BaaS云平台、享链盒子等系列产品。陈峰分享了享链的2个案例。

生态环境监测,目前解决方案已在贵州省贵阳市乌当区普渡河生态监测项目及高新区白鹭湖生态监测项目中落地。数据质量是环境监测工作的生命线,但现在许多机构提供的数据质量低下,有时甚至存在逻辑缺失的现象,浪费国家科研经费的投入。近些年,我国环境监测数据造假的新闻时有发生,这已经成为环保的最大痛点之一。

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利用区块链技术可以实现对河流水质的“穿透式监管”。如图所示,在河流上部署很多监测点位,通过传感器收集、传输、存储和分析数据,接入到享链盒子里,上链数据都会存证证书,防止恶意篡改,这就从源头上解决了数据造假问题。通过该平台,一方面可以实现环保数据全方位、无死角的监控,另一方面改变了以往完全依赖巡查、事后补救的管理手段,促进了政府管理模式的创新。

 

案例2:医疗废弃物追踪解决方案


 

享链医疗废弃物追踪解决方案,该解决方案已经应用于福建省。

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中国2018年的医疗废物总产量突破200万顿,构成严重的公共卫生和环境挑战。医疗废弃物处理牵扯到很多环节,从产生到集中处理周期长,要经历科室分类、打包、暂存、院内转运、集中贮存、院外转运、终端处置等环节。由于忽视了从源头到末端的全过程监管,医疗废弃物甚至催生出“黑色产业链”。

40121576299573_.pic

国家卫健委在2019年开始了区块链试点项目,将享链用于医疗废弃物的数据采集、交接记录、医院内流转路线监控、医疗废弃物仓库库存监控等一系列管理措施。“在这个案例中,我们会部署一系列节点,比方医院护工把医疗废弃物收集、扫码、封袋,运输过程中医疗废弃物称重、运输、交接,以及最后的销毁,都会通过APP将数据存下来,保证医疗废弃物从源头到末端的全过程监管。” 陈峰表示。

 

案例3:电力大数据安全可信共享


 

国家电网有限公司大数据中心副主任陈春霖分享了能源革命和数字革命融合发展的思考:“智能电网是国家工业经济发展的基石;大数据时数字经济时代最重要的生产资料,区块链是价值互联网的重要载体。”陈春霖还分享了2个应用案例。

电力大数据安全可信共享。数据共享普遍存在共享难、变现难、保护难、合作难等难点。由于缺少成熟的隐私保护和数据安全管理机制,数据价值得不到有效挖掘,这影响了信息的互联互通,也制约着生产效率的有效提升。

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应用区块链可追溯不可篡改的技术特性,将数据资源目录和数据服务hash上链,实现数据源确权溯源与服务数据的隐私保护。将需求数据抽取和数据计算结果的hash上链,实现数据的可信计算服务,支撑多方交互的电力大数据安全可信共享。

 

案例4:基于数据侧链的供应链金融


 

下面这个案例是国家电网基于数据侧链的供应链金融数据共享平台:

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制造企业的资金回笼时间比较长,国家电网大数据中心作为国网物资数据托管方,提供供应链金融数据在隐私保护下有条件可信共享服务,帮助入链中小供应商盘活应收账款,降低融资成本,增加金融机构财务收益。这个平台已经在浙江一些产业机构发挥了作用。

 

案例5:区块链+金融相关案例


 

虽然归为一个案例,但其实是十多个应用,由北京众享比特科技公司创始人严挺分享。

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可以看到,主要是金融的应用,包括建行福费廷、中信信用证、江苏银行票据贴现、南京银行清分业务、招商银行贷后资金管理、中国银行业协会贸易金融跨行交易平台、苏宁金融黑名单共享平台、北京益高安捷再保险项目;其他场景还包括政务(南京发改委“绿色积分”)、激励(咕噜链)、溯源(略阳乌鸡)、存证(联通在线)、能源(克莱沃)等。

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严挺表示,现在单纯使用区块链技术的案例是有的,但未来更多是和大数据、人工智能进行结合。他还特别强调,做区块链一定要开源开放,把大家的代码融会贯通,绝对自主可控不谈开源,这个行业就没得玩了,闭门造车一年挣几个亿也并不是什么生意。

 

案例6:钢贸供应链全流程区块链解决方案


 

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云象区块链董事总经理邓旭介绍了多个案例:一是云象和港交所做的新三板股权登记,解决存货质押问题;二是云象和民生银行、中兴银行做的电子信用证业务,加强银行与银行间的协同,加快流转速度,这个案例被评为2017年中国信息通信研究院的最佳金融案例;三是云象和浙江金融资产交易中心做的债权型理财产品的发行审核对帐系统,把核心交易流程放在区块链上,解决了资产从哪里来到哪里去的信息披露问题;四是上图所示的钢贸行业供应链全流程解决方案,其中包括订单、仓单的贷前、贷中、贷后,应收和预付等场景。邓旭表示:“产业区块链的时机已经来临,行业机构间将走向更加开放的发展模式,协同合作将会更加紧密。”

Meet Crypto’s New Best Friend: Fiat

At VideoCoin, our utility token VID plays an incredibly useful function in securing and powering the network, ensuring the most qualified network operators are serving customer needs. The VID token does not act as a payment mechanism. Instead, it’s a reputational staking mechanism for building the global infrastructure that runs the worker nodes on the VideoCoin Network. Miners are continuously selected by the VideoCoin Network services algorithm as operators to process video files based on three factors: quoted price, number of staked tokens, and performance. This drives the least expensive and highest quality network operators to perform—the best rise to the top. Staking is the perfect use for tokens in a utility model. Instead of burdening the network with payment friction, our tokens power the network to function securely and in return, workers receive staking rewards in fiat. 

Monero Compliance Workgroup Says XMR Exempt From Funds Travel Rule

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

The Boom of Crypto Lending and DeFi – Another Bubble?

Written by: Nick Mantoni, who is a market analyst and a cryptocurrency writer with 3 years of experience of working on blockchain startups as a PR and event manager. His studies have been covered by such media outlets like Forbes, Finance Magnates, and Hackernoon and CCN.com.


The innovative cryptocurrency market suddenly recovered after last year’s price collapse of most cryptoassets, as seen in the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 100 Index.

In trying to avoid fixing losses in the midst of a crypto winter, some holders borrowed funds secured by digital assets or deposited coins to lend them to get a small but passive income with somewhat minimal risk.

The decentralized finance (DeFi) sphere where this is happening is now rapidly gaining popularity. It comprises open-source projects and is designed to make the world of finance open and free with the help of blockchain and smart contracts.

Unstoppable Growth

According to estimates by the brokerage dealer, Genesis Global Trading in the third quarter of this year, the volume of issued crypto loans increased to $870 million. Compared to the same period the year before, this indicator grew 3.5 times, and the total volume of issued loans now exceeds the $3 billion mark.

Researcher Jack Purdy has noted that the volume of loans issued by the Celsius Network alone since the beginning of the year has doubled. Celsius is but one of the many platforms in the DeFi space letting users earn interest on their cryptocurrency holdings.

DeFi and a New Stage in the Popularity of Ethereum

The DeFi services market has been growing and developing rapidly, thereby expanding the list of supported assets and enriching them with additional functions. A year ago, total value locked in DeFi was only close to $200 million. Now, this figure has exceeded $689 million.

Vlad Miller, CEO of Ethereum Express, a specialized platform for the multi-thousand-strong community of crypto experts and enthusiasts, said:

Over the past year, the decentralized finance segment has grown more than 3 times – from ~ 900 thousand ETH to ~ 3.3 million ETH ($ 599 million). DeFi’s prospects are incredibly huge: previously inaccessible investment opportunities are opening up. A variety of financial instruments will generate more demand and facilitate the mass adoption of cryptocurrency – to borrow money or invest it at a percentage, the user does not need an identity card, it is enough to have only a crypto wallet.

How Decentralized Is DeFi?

Despite the rapid growth of the sector and the expansion of the asset range involved in it, seemingly decentralized DeFi services are influenced by large players, including Namely, Polychain Capital, and a16z.

According to CoinDesk, on November 18, 150 unique addresses voted for the proposal to switch Maker to a multi-collateral system. However, at that time, 80,000 MKR estimated to be worth $662 each belonged to only five addresses, which accounted for more than 50% of voters.

In light of such an oligopoly, the participation of small players in the voting process is symbolic, and the process itself appears to be virtually devoid of real decentralization and represents only an imitation of democracy.

CoinShares chief strategy officer Meltem Demirors even believes that in its current form, the DeFi ecosystem consists mainly of “centralized products and services.” Their advantage is only in more advanced user experience compared to blockchain protocols:

We hope that over time, the elimination of intermediaries will become possible.

Another ICO-Like Bubble?

It is likely the development of crypto lending and DeFi will trigger an increase in demand for coins used as collateral. Those who urgently need money, but have no desire to sell digital assets at a low price, will be most actively borrowing through these services.

Borrowers will include residents and companies from countries with high bank interest rates, cryptocurrency traders, as well as those who are trying to hide their financial activity from a state.

The crypto-loan market is now considered a $5 billion industry that, according to Bloomberg, is now being actively studied by former Wall Street traders seeking to learn a new field.

During one of the latest Youtube blockchain podcasts, Wings representatives said:

The market really got signs of a bubble. But we all know that cryptocurrencies are markets that gamblers love. This can really get the attention of regulators. In any country, loan activity and earnings on this loan are always regulated.

However, let’s not forget that cryptocurrencies are not in some kind of parallel universe. This area is inevitably subject to economic laws and credit cycles, where there is not only revival and expansion, but also depression and stagnation.

Crypto lending, including DeFi, is becoming a popular alternative to bureaucratic traditional finance, where the profitability of instruments falls amid extremely low-interest rates.

DeFi gives finance flexibility and its users the ability to earn a small percentage in a bear market, as well as borrow funds at an acceptable rate. In addition, decentralized markets for synthetic assets are steadily developing, opening up new opportunities for traders.

Nevertheless, there are risks in any field, and lending services are no exception. Until now, there are no 100% decentralized DeFi-applications, and the influence of large players is felt during the voting for assets to secure loans, which are “surprisingly coincidental” in the Coinbase listing.

Be that as it may, this segment is still underdeveloped and not so large. Its advantages over the traditional banking system with expensive loans and low-yield deposits are undeniable. This means that there is a potential for market growth.

Featured image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

US Fed to Print $425B for New Year’s — 3 Times Bitcoin’s Market Cap

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

Bitcoin is This Decade’s Best Investable Asset

Bitcoin has had its share of unnerving time periods – but over the last decade, it has been one of the best investable assets. Appearing as a “black swan”, BTC reached extraordinary valuations.


Bitcoin Became a ‘Wild Card’ for Personal Finance

Acquiring $1 worth of BTC in 2010 would translate into more than $90,000 today, even after the correction from peak prices.

To compare, even after an extremely successful decade for stocks, $1 invested in big indices of US equities would have reached $3.46.

Of course, not everyone can sell at peak valuations without crashing the price, and stock indexes are historically less volatile and more liquid. But bitcoin is a wild card for personal finance, helping build wealth for small-scale investors facing both risky markets and stagnated real income.

BTC Investment Offset Worldwide Economic Risk, Sluggish Stocks

Bitcoin investment is not limited to US-based persons and caused a boom of investments in Korea and other Asian countries. Relatively stagnant stock returns caused buyers to adopt crypto assets, moving beyond BTC and into the zone of much riskier assets.

It is possible that other asset classes have reached significant growth in nominal terms in the past decade. The years after 2009 arrived with significant quantitative easing, which boosted asset valuations. The accusations of “bubble” were mentioned multiple times, but those were called for multiple asset classes, from real estate to stock valuations.

The next decade may arrive with slightly slower growth, but most indicators also point to a recession being avoided in 2020. BTC, so far, has not faced a recession and has existed in an environment of investment exuberance.

As for BTC, its fame arrived relatively late in the decade, gaining traction after 2016 and peaking in 2017.

From then onward, despite the correction, the bitcoin ecosystem has grown and the presence of the asset was established. With mainstream futures markets and exchange-traded products in Europe, BTC is starting to look less like an Internet meme, and more like an asset class to compete with mainstream markets.

Despite crashes, bitcoin has posted higher lows each year, finally gaining enough liquidity and support from futures markets to go through periods of relative stability.

BTC also built a business around the activity of mining, using up spare hydroelectric power to essentially build a new type of value. December 2019 is considered the final stretch of the decade for bitcoin, at least since the start of its trading. BTC trades at 00, on slowing volumes ahead of the holidays.

What do you think about bitcoin’s performance this decade? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!