Was Tether used to prop up BTC? US wants to know

With Bitcoin Core (BTC) continuing its descent into irrelevance, the highs of near $20,000 from the end of last year feel more distant than ever. But the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has cast fresh doubt on whether BTC was ever worth as much as its market price, after identifying irregularities that suggest market manipulation.

Federal prosecutors opened their probe into BTC markets several months ago, and continue to investigate the shady goings on behind the market price, Bloomberg reported.

Now, new evidence has emerged of alleged price manipulation, thought to involve stablecoin Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex, which is suspected of having been involved in outright manipulation of BTC’s price.

Bitfinex and Tether share a management team, and there have been numerous suggestions of investors buying up Tether tokens when the price of BTC dips, as part of an elaborate attempt to illegally shift market prices.

While the claims have previously been rejected by Bitfinex CEO JL van der Velde, the Justice Department probe makes the allegations even harder to ignore.

The probe adds another strand of investigation into the DOJ’s wider exploration of the management of Bitfinex and Tether. Last year, both firms were subpoenaed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which is known to be working in collaboration with the Justice Department as part of the investigations.

It is worth noting that neither the CFTC or the Justice Department have formally accused either firm of wrongdoing, though there seems to be mounting evidence that some of their suspicions could be proved correct.

The development comes at a time of disastrous trading for BTC, with prices plummeting as low as $4,225 on Tuesday, in what looks certain to cement the downward slide that has dominated this year.

Alongside market pessimism over the fundamental weaknesses in the token, the increasingly vocal criticisms from regulators have only hastened its decline.

Responding to the criticisms, van der Velde said that coins issued by Tether could not be used to prop up BTC prices, stressing, “Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the price of [BTC] or any other coin/token on Bitfinex.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Tokyo police arrest 8 linked to $68M crypto pyramid scheme

Police in Tokyo have arrested eight individuals in connection with a BTC pyramid scheme alleged to have swindled as much as $68.4 million from its victims, according to local press reports.

According to the Asahi Shimbun report, authorities confirmed the men have been taken into custody in connection with an investment company known as ‘Sener,’ which had been running seminars led by foreign speakers.

A video footage leaked online from these seminars showed the participants were offered monthly returns ranging from 3-20% on their investment, and were expected to invite other investors into the scheme in order to maximise their returns.

The suspects are alleged to have collected funds from unsuspecting investors in cash and BTC, covering about 6,000 individual victims over the duration of the scam. As a result, a separate group lawsuit has been filed on behalf of some 73 victims seeking $3.2 million in damages.

Local media are reporting that six of those detained have admitted to their involvement in the pyramid scheme, while two remain in denial of their role in the scam.

Police have suggested that the use of BTC was an attempt to avoid legal enforcement action, given its current ‘gray zone’ status under Japanese law. Cryptocurrencies are not yet considered securities in Japan, thus they fall largely outside of the remit of regulators such as the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

The scam is only the latest of its kind to target BTC fraud, with authorities around the world actively pursuing a number of high profile cases against similar cons and scams.

Japan is regarded as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction, despite significant hacks at some of its most high profile cryptocurrency exchanges, including Zaif and Coincheck.

In October, the country’s FSA gave self-regulating status to the crypto industry, appointing industry body JVCEA to oversee self regulation within the sector. The FSA current issues licenses to crypto businesses such as exchanges seeking to operate within the jurisdiction.

The arrests show the increasingly hardline response being taken by authorities in tackling the blight of BTC scams, which remain all-too-prevalent, regardless of the ongoing weakness in BTC markets.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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新BCH矿池MEMPOOL忠于“矿工选择”,支持BITCOIN SV

比特币现金(BCH)矿池Mempool正式投入运营

上周六,Mempool宣布其矿池同时在比特币现金网络以及比特币上对矿工“即时开放”。 对于BCH来说, Mempool将在即将到来的11月15日协议更新后运行Bitcoin SV全节点实现。这一实现方式旨在支持最初的比特币中本聪愿景(Satoshi Vision,简称“SV”)。

该矿池在其公告中写道:“Mempool坚信最初比特币白皮书中描述的中本聪愿景。 “Mempool将参与和专业挖矿组织之间的竞争,与其财库存款人分享池内收益。”

Mempool忠于“矿工选择、矿工为先”的中本聪愿景,让其比特币现金矿工选择以比特币现金(SV)或比特币的形式收取酬金。 该矿池表示,“由于市场中不同加密货币的流动性不同或与其金融基础设施的整合度不同,有些矿工对于使用哪种加密货币有自己的偏好。” 对于即将到来且争议不断的比特币现金硬分叉来说,许多矿工希望支持Bitcoin SV实现,但是担心收到的比特币现金无法立刻变现。 Mempool允许其比特币现金矿池中的矿工选择以比特币的形式收款,而比特币未来在比特币现金哈希算力大战后依旧具有流动性,这样就解决了矿工的担忧,或者也可以选择直接收取比特币现金(SV)代币。

矿工可以使用该矿池简单易用的网站设置页面,选择自己所挖掘的加密货币以及希望以哪种加密货币收款,此外还可以选择奖励模式,即PPLNS“Pay-per-last-N-shares” (根据过去的N个股份來支付收益)或PPS“Pay-per-share ” (每股付费+)。

Mempool矿池的另外一个独一无二的特点是财务存款,可以让矿工兑换自己收到的比特币现金,甚至可以将比特币转换为比特币现金(SV)。 据Mempool表示,未来这将“有助于让矿工收到的回报保持稳定并且分享矿池的收益。”

如果矿工在挖掘一种区块链,但是希望收到另一种加密货币(例如,挖掘的是比特币现金(SV),但是希望收到比特币),那么Mempool财务部门将负责进行支付。 财务部门为每种加密货币单独设立账户,当挖出一个区块时,区块奖励会分发到相应的账户,然后通过相应的账户付款给矿工。

为了计算某个矿工可以收到的数字货币的数量,Mempool根据Poloniex和BitAsiaEx的数据来建立了一个不断浮动的24小时平均价位。 Mempool表示,账户余额只能在收到100次区块确认后才能提取,从而确保矿池不会受到区块链重组的影响。

该矿池还指出:“我们鼓励您持有您认为未来会升值的加密货币。 决定权在您手中。 如果比特币现金成为了世界货币,随着时间的推移如果使用比特币现金的人逐渐增多,对比特币现金的需求也会不断上升。”

Mempool目前正在限时特惠零矿池手续费(只针对单独区块链的独立挖矿)以及零兑换费。 11月15日,整个矿池将主要开采比特币现金(SV)区块链,但是矿工仍然可以通过财务部门将回报兑换为比特币。 未来,矿池手续费和加密货币兑换费将由矿工自身承担并根据其份额分配到相应的财务账户中。然而目前,可以将其作为一种将比特币转换为比特币现金(SV)的简易方法。

此外,Mempool还取消了独自开采一条区块链所收取的费用,并对此解释道:“自发行起,我们应该就能够进行独自开采比特币现金,但是为了独自开采比特币现金并且保持盈利,我们需要增加至少2个哈希算力。 因此,在我们发展壮大之前,我们将使用合作方的矿池,将我们的哈希算力指向该矿池并与其合并。 该合作伙伴的矿池手续费从5%起,带入的算力越多,价格将越便宜。

Mempool使用可一种创新方法来展示矿工抉择的力量,承诺为了实现中本聪愿景,将召集矿工来支持Bitcoin SV 的路线图。

如需了解更多该矿池的独特之处,请联系Mempool。
To learn more about the mining pool’s unique features, contact Mempool.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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New BCH mining pool Mempool stays true to ‘miners choice’ philosophy and supports Bitcoin SV

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) mining pool Mempool is in business.

On Saturday,  Mempool announced the “immediate availability” of its mining pool for miners not just on the Bitcoin BCH network, but also on BTC. For BCH. Mempool will run the Bitcoin SV full node implementation, which is designed to support the original Satoshi Vision (SV) of Bitcoin, in the upcoming November 15 protocol upgrade.

“Mempool believes in the Satoshi Vision that is described in the original Bitcoin whitepaper,” the mining pool said in its announcement. “Mempool will participate in competition between professional miners and share pool fees with its treasury depositors.”

True to the Satoshi Vision’s philosophy of “miners choice, miners first,” Mempool gives its BCH pool miners the choice to get paid either in Bitcoin BCH (SV) or in BTC. According to the mining pool, “Some miners have different preferences on coins based on the coin’s liquidity in the market, or their integration with their financial infrastructure.” During the upcoming contentious hard fork of BCH, many miners wish to support the Bitcoin SV implementation, but may be concerned about earning BCH coins that may not be immediately liquid. Mempool solves that concern by allowing its BCH pool miners to choose to receive payouts in BTC which will remain liquid during the BCH hash war, or alternatively choose to receive BCH (SV) tokens.

Using the settings page in the pool’s easy-to-navigate website, miners can choose which coin they mine, which coin they want to receive for payment, and what payout model they want—either Pay-per-last-N-shares (PPLNS) or Pay-per-share (PPS).

Another unique feature of the Mempool mining pool is the treasury deposit, which allows miners to convert their payouts into BTC, or even swap their BTC to Bitcoin BCH (SV). This, according to Mempool, will “help stabilize the payouts to the miners and share the fees that the pool collects” in the future.

If the miners want to get paid in a coin different than the chain they mined (for example, getting paid BTC even though they mine BCH (SV)), the payout will come from the Mempool treasury. The treasury uses a separate account for each coin, and when a block is mined, the block rewards are distributed to the treasury accounts used to pay the miners.

To calculate the number of coins a miner will receive Mempool uses Poloniex and BitAsiaEx to create a moving price average on a 24-hour period. The account balances can only be withdrawn after 100 block confirmations to ensure that the pool will not be affected by chain reorgs, according to Mempool.

“We encourage you to hold the coin you believe will be more valuable in the future. The decision is in your hands. If BCH becomes cash for the world, it could have more and more people using it over time and become more in demand than BTC,” the mining pool noted.

Mempool is offering a 0% mining fee (for solo mining a chain) and 0% conversion fee for a limited time. On November 15, the whole pool will focus on mining the BCH (SV) chain, although miners can still receive their payouts converted into BTC by the treasury. In the future, the mining pool fee and coin conversion fee will be coming from the miners themselves and shared among the relevant treasury accounts according to their share. For the moment, however, think of it as a way to easily convert BTC into BCH (SV) coins.

Mempool also hashed out the fees for solo mining a chain, explaining, “We will be able to solo mine BCH from the launch, but to solo mine BTC profitably, we need to have at least 2 exahash. So before we grow large enough, we will use a partner pool to point our hash to and combine with theirs. The partner pool fee starts at 5% and goes down the more hash you bring.”

Mempool uses a creative approach to demonstrate the power of miner’s choice, and its own commitment to gathering miners to support Bitcoin SV’s roadmap for the Satoshi Vision.

To learn more about the mining pool’s unique features, contact Mempool.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Welcome to the distributed collaborative entity: Terra firma societies are possible with crypto, and it’s not a fantasy

If all goes well, construction begins late next year. EYRC Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture already have renderings. Roughly 100 square miles. 67,000 acres in Storey County, Nevada, USA. Desert. Population roughly 4,000. $300 million spent. 70 staffers. A town to be built by the river, with a gaggle of homes, a school, drone delivery systems … you get the idea.Welcome to the distributed collaborative entity: Terra firma societies are possible with crypto, and it’s not a fantasy

It’s being referred to as a kind of first, a “distributed collaborative entity,” if you will. The originator, the bankroller, promises it isn’t just another get rich real estate scheme, using crypto buzzwords like distributed and blockchain. Even NV Energy has agreed to process payments from the community via blockchain. It’s happening.

In fact, the patron is so serious he’s vowed to place decision-making in the hands of investors, residents, employees, all held in a kind of corporate legal apparatus. Ninety percent of dividends generated by the project will be turned over to that corporate entity as well, operating “on a blockchain where everyone’s ownership rights and voting powers will be recorded in a digital wallet,” writes Nathaniel Popper in a fantastic profile for the New York Times.

Blockchains, LLC

Governor Brian Sandoval proclaimed it, “Innovation Park,” broadening the name of just one plot to be located on the overall property sprawl. And maybe it’s not a coincidence. Low-to-no state taxes have lured tech giants nearby: Switch, Google, Apple, and Gigafactory (Tesla’s building, thought the largest in the world) are neighbors.

Incorporated in Sparks, Nevada, Blockchains is the limited liability corporation heading up the project at the behest of founder Jeffrey Berns. He made enough money in class-action litigation to invest in an earlier iteration of Ethereum (ETH). Shorting just prior to its price collapse last year afforded him the opportunity outlined above.

Popper continues, “Every resident and employee will have what amounts to an Ethereum address, which they will use to vote on local measures and store their personal data. Mr. Berns believes Ethereum will give people a way to control their identity and online data without any governments or companies involved.”

Welcome to the distributed collaborative entity: Terra firma societies are possible with crypto, and it’s not a fantasy

Not the first, nor the last

“This will either be the biggest thing ever, or the most spectacular crash and burn in the history of mankind. I don’t know which one. I believe it’s the former, but either way it’s going to be one hell of a ride,” Berns told the New York Times.

Among the many issues facing these kinds of projects is scaling. Ethereum has a notorious problem on that front, and a real world application might just be the motivation for eggheads and super smart developers to move their talents over and attempt workable solutions using live ammunition.

It’s not the first, but it does seem to be moving along at a pace like no other project on a similar basis, similar idealistic train of thought. Coincidentally, another like-minded project, Bitcointopia, recently came to a kind of strange conclusion as its ‘visionary’ was arrested and held on federal charges, mostly unrelated.

The ballad of Morgan Rockcoons

It too boasted of experimental societal goings on, schools, houses, the whole schmear. Only it would live on the Bitcoin Core (BTC) blockchain. It too claimed Nevada as its to-be home, 3D printed homes. Maybe shipping container homes to begin with. Drones. Driverless public transportation. You, again, get the idea.

Welcome to the distributed collaborative entity: Terra firma societies are possible with crypto, and it’s not a fantasy

The San Diego Union Tribune detailed how “Morgan Rockcoons, 31, envisioned a new kind of community, one not dependent on the U.S. dollar, an experiment based on artificial intelligence and automation and technology. He has likened it to the futuristic city Walt Disney dreamed up as Epcot — Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow — decades ago in Florida.”

Welcome to the distributed collaborative entity: Terra firma societies are possible with crypto, and it’s not a fantasy

Rockcoons began selling plots. One problem. He didn’t own the land, and therefore wasn’t permitted to sell parcels. Last week, he was booked on wire fraud, charges stemming from trading BTC while avoiding legal requirements. Rockcoons maintains his innocence in that case. However, with Bitcointopia, 25 plots were sold for a couple thousand a pop (in BTC, of course). Feds maintain all Rockcoons had right to were two lots, less than five acres total and far short of the 1,000 acres he allegedly put up for sale.

Dreamers

“The bitcoin community, we’re a lot of dreamers. We want to see the world change, and this was like the start of a seed to change,” the project’s marketing head explained. True enough, and though it’s important to balance probably legit projects such as Blockchains, LLC with that of Bitcointopia, it’s also just as vital to not completely sour on the idea no matter how ambitious, far-fetched, or failed each turns out.

In Puerto Rico, wide-eyed crypto evangelists are attempting to bring innovation and growth to an island plagued by worse human made disasters than well-known natural ones. It has been basically bankrupt for years, the public sector sucking every last dime from whatever remains of its producer class. The group, led by eccentrics to be sure, has been heavily criticized and mocked. That’s a mistake.

Welcome to the distributed collaborative entity: Terra firma societies are possible with crypto, and it’s not a fantasy

It’s a mistake to overlook those who’re trying. Even the scams, which I understand hurt a lot of innocent people. The community just needs to keep forging ahead, be it seasteading or chopping our way through the jungles of Chile to erect Gault’s Gulch, supporting Liberland, or even pooling crypto profits to buy sovereign land. All of it adds up to something, and it will yield fruit. Just keep building. Buidl.

Edward Kelso is a financial technology journalist based in Southern California. Follow him on Twitter.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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NY court orders crypto scammer to pay $3 million

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has ordered the perpetrator of a BTC Ponzi scheme to pay about $3 million in penalties and restitution.

In a press release, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which filed the anti-fraud enforcement action against Gelfman Blueprint, Inc. (GBI) and its CEO Nicholas Gelfman, noted that it was the first suit of its kind, of a scam involving BTC, filed by the agency, back in September 2017.

Gelfman was said to have operated a scheme in which from 2014 to 2016, he solicited more than $600,000 from at least 80 people. Gelfman had led his clients to believe that their funds were pooled and traded using a strategy derived from a computer trading program called ‘Jigsaw.’ “In fact, as the [court] Orders indicate, the strategy was fake, the purported performance reports were false, and—as in all Ponzi schemes—payouts of supposed profits to GBI Customers in actuality consisted of other customers’ misappropriated funds,” the CFTC said.

Gelfman was said to have also staged a computer hack that supposedly resulted in the loss of funds.

CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald said, “the CFTC is determined to identify bad actors in these virtual currency markets and hold them accountable.”

CFTC stated that even though GBI and Gelfman were made to pay $554,734.48 and $492,064.53, respectively, in restitution to customers, and $1,854,000 and $177,501 in civil monetary penalties, “orders requiring repayment of funds to victims may not result in the recovery of any money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets.”

Apart from the monetary penalties, the court also banned permanently GBI and Gelfman from trading.

The commission considers cryptocurrencies as commodities, and therefore falling under its scope. However, the agency may soon seek authority of blockchain applications beyond just cryptocurrencies.

CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz recently warned of smart contracts, which like cryptocurrencies use blockchain technology, being used as “predictive event contracts” by which future events could be betted on, which would put such contracts under the mandate of the CFTC, and could hold smart contract developers liable.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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1Broker reopens platform to allow withdrawals

1Broker, a BTC futures trading firm, announced that it would be reopening withdrawals as of Thursday. The announcement comes several weeks after the firm was accused of acting as an unregistered security-based swap dealer, as well as for allegedly violating money-laundering and wire fraud laws.

1Broker started having issues when the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) filed charges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against its CEO, Patrick Brunner, and its parent company, 1Pool, for not complying with the law. According to reports, an agent went undercover and made a few transactions on the platform, in violation with established regulations, including proper Know Your Customer processes as stated by the law.

1Broker reopened its platform in a read-only mode earlier this month. During this time, the platform announced that they are seeking legal counsel to help them work out the issues and to resume operations.

Many of its clients are happy with the latest announcement from 1Broker. Initially, when the domain was seized, the trading platform claimed to have enough funds to cover all withdrawals request by the customers and claimed it was waiting on approval from the authorities in order to process the transactions. Customers were allowed to start withdrawing at 12:00 UTC on Oct. 11.

Authorities are still seeking a permanent injunction against Brunner and 1Pool. They are also seeking to have the two pay monetary penalties.

1Broker, in its announcement, did not state if and when they will reactivate their operations and it is unclear when the authorities will allow the company to resume them. According to 1Pool, the platform has been running smooth and has created a respected working relationship with its customers. It stated that the company has been complying with established laws and hopes to clear the misunderstanding soon.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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BTC cult gets creepier at Baltic Honeybadger 2018 Conference

For the second year, Rīga, Latvia was host to the Baltic Honeybadger conference (BH). Billed as “the first major event in Latvia dedicated to Bitcoin and the technologies built around it,” the website read, their “goal is to create an educational and community-driven event with high-profile speakers from all around the world and with different backgrounds — from technical engineers and cybersecurity professionals to business owners and bestselling authors.” And if there was any doubt, they’re “not promoting various so called altcoins, ICOs, banks and other blockchain-based ‘snake oil.’”

Of the two day conference, the final morning in Rīga began 9 a.m. in the Riseba, Arhitektūras un mediju centrs H2O 6. Bitcoin Maximalism Dissected by Giacomo Zucco was that day’s kickoff presentation. Mr. Zucco is a lesser-known personality in the space, CEO of the Italy-based Blockchainlab, and a polemicist who increasingly divides the world between those who embrace Bitcoin core (BTC) and those who are evil dupes.

BTC cult gets creepier at Baltic Honeybadger 2018 Conference

For the uninitiated, bitcoin maximalism was essentially a neologism fashioned a slur by Vitalik Buterin, one of Ethereum’s founders. The insinuation was how certain factions within the ecosystem refused to consider anything other than the BTC ticker as a viable cryptocurrency project. Little did he know a group of pasty social media mavens would embrace the phrase, fully remaking it into a kind of religion complete with dietary restrictions.

Such factions embraced Mr. Buterin’s characterization, doubling down on the concept, all the while themselves insisting BTC needed to be changed in rather significant ways—by their own admission, the Satoshi Nakamoto white paper left a lot to be desired, and this became the entry point into altering BTC away from its once cash-like qualities, and on purpose.

Chris Pacia of OpenBazaar and a tweetstorm

“As some background to this presentation,” Mr. Zucco, self-described bitcoin maximalist, begins, “the idea for this presentation comes from an infamous tweetstorm. Basically, there was a day in May where basically Chris Pacia asked why do I think that bcashers are either malicious or stupid. He seemed interested in an honest debate about that. I tried to formalize my argument about why I do think that bcashers are either malicious or stupid.”

Mr. Pacia is a very well-known and sober voice within the community. His credits include being lead back-end developer for OpenBazaar. He often has tried to be a go-between, offering to debate publicly those who demonize and hector Bitcoin Cash (BCH) enthusiasts. It was here Mr. Zucco was able to use the good name of Mr. Pacia and gain some notice. Their back and forth on Twitter eventually was turned into an essay by a maximalist admirer, one summarizing Mr. Zucco’s position while arguing against Mr. Pacia’s larger block, pro BCH stance.

BTC cult gets creepier at Baltic Honeybadger 2018 Conference

Making the Strongest Case for Small Blocks,” then, was published by blogger Sosthène on the Le Blog de Sosthène. Written originally in French, its English version is careful to take Mr. Zucco’s broken Italian-English tweetstorm and form it into sensical statements. It doesn’t take long to figure out where all of this is headed.

After the fork creating Bitcoin BCH, Sosthène writes Bitcoin Cash “became a tool of agitprop leveraged by a small group whose leaders are a prooved [sic] scammer and a narcist [sic] sociopath that have made up a new narrative in which Bcash is the true and unique Bitcoin.”

BTC cult gets creepier at Baltic Honeybadger 2018 Conference

Unironic irony

“Bitcoin is not a business,” Sosthène continues, insisting such truths are a prerequisite for understanding BTC’s purpose, “nor is it a currency and most importantly it is not a payment network. Factually, Bitcoin is a software, it is code, information, period.” You get the idea. The blog post is referred to as a way for listeners to get a fuller fleshing out of Mr. Zucco’s ideas, such as they are.

At any rate, Mr. Zucco anticipates the most common objections to the maximalist position, seizing on how people “have this vision of bitcoin maximalists as something that is emotional …,” he explained, and how “maximalists are ‘toxic;’ if you see the word ‘toxic,’ you should walk away because it’s usually someone who can’t conversate with you logically. Some people say maximalists are creating a bad environment and people feel unwelcome because of this. Maximalist means rude; you have to be kind of a dick in order to be maximalist, and it’s like… rude… we are maximalists, we don’t eat carbs, we are sad,” Mr. Zucco said tongue firmly in cheek.

BTC cult gets creepier at Baltic Honeybadger 2018 Conference

The above stereotype is well-earned. A quick trip to an open conference, Twitter, YouTube will disabuse anyone of the notion maximalists are somehow being maligned unjustly. No, no. Maximalists have worked extremely hard and consistently for their dickish label. They are for sure toxic to any healthy debate and future innovation in the crypto space.

In fact, the uniformity in argumentative style, the insults, the dismissive tones, the dogmatic clinging to groupthink, have all combined to basically make BTC maximalists a cult. And it’s not even a cool cult with sex orgies and parties. It’s just a bunch of sullen dudes who’ve held on to a speculative science project that, had they jumped-in late 2017, has plummeted in price … thus almost defeating their entire reason for being. At least Scientology has Tom Cruise.

BTC cult gets creepier at Baltic Honeybadger 2018 Conference

Carnivory
The next part of his presentation veers into a very strange place. I am sure it is meant to be funny, ironic, and truthful all at the same time. But the reaction by fellow maximalists to it says more about the BTC cult that I could ever in one installment of A Power of Facing.

Modeling in a jokey way so-called Universal Truths of Buddhism, Mr. Zucco outlines “four universal truth of maximalists. The first truth is that everything which is not bitcoin is a scam. The second universal truth is that every attempt at changing bitcoin is a scam. The third universal truth is that every attempting at pushing people to spend bitcoin is a scam. The fourth universal truth is that we shouldn’t be nice to scammers.”

BTC cult gets creepier at Baltic Honeybadger 2018 Conference

The meme has made its way around the Crypto Twitter, and it has become a kind of Rorschach for the maximalist camp. The slide with four points was immediately retweeted by supporters with a Hell Yes! zeal. Dickishness was on full display, especially as they championed the final bullet point. Intolerance in the least charitable manner seemed to carry the day. It wasn’t until a few who actually attended or viewed the presentation informed brutish cheerleaders much of it was on the jokey side of things that maximalists began to lighten up. A little. They then turned it back on BCH supporters who pointed to the slide’s bald assertions, suggesting BCH enthusiasts lacked a sense of humor. This simple display alone reminded me of cultish inside jokes, where members laugh maniacally at their leaders’ assumptions without explanation. Really creepy.

Lest readers feel I am being unfair with the cult charge, consider the fad these idiots are currently embracing, so-called carnivory. That’s right, an all meat diet. Oh, you’re reading, you mean paleo or keto. No. All meat. That’s it. And water. It’s one thing to grope and grasp at a theory of money, and struggle to find a balance between mediums of exchange and settlement layers, fungibility, tech security … but to take diet advice, like real life health advice, from dudes who cannot get laid … well, that’s just fucking stupid.

C. Edward Kelso is a financial technology journalist based in Southern California. Follow him on Twitter.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Ebang E11 miners boast of up to 44 TH/s; Squire taps Samsung for next-gen ASIC chips

One of Bitmain’s biggest rivals, Ebang Communication, has announced three new crypto mining rigs, which reportedly feature hashrate speeds of up to 44 trillion hashes per second (TH/s).

The China-based ASIC mining chip maker revealed its E11 series miners at the World Digital Mining Summit in Georgia. On its website, Ebang stated that sales for Ebit Miner E11, E11+ and E11++ will be “forthcoming.”

Like its E10 product line, Ebang’s E11 series features a 10nm chip. According to a product flyer posted by Blockstream CSO Samson Mow on Twitter, the E11++ offers efficiencies of 45 J/TH at 44 TH/s “for the entire miner at the wall, not the chip.” E11+ is capable of 37 TH/s, while E11 can reach 30 TH/s.

Eban’s E11 miners are expected to come out ahead of its competition, such as the Whatsminer M10, the Bitfury Clarke, and Bitmain’s yet-to-be-released 7nm miner. Announced just last week, Whatsminer M10 is a 16nm ASIC miner from Pangolin, which is specifically designed for the SHA256 algorithm and can mine Bitcoin BCH, as well as BTC, at 33 TH/s. In comparison, Bitfury’s 14nm Clarke fully customized ASIC promises up to 120 gigahashes per second (GH/s) hashrate.

Bitmain claimed it has a 7nm chip capable of up to 41 J/TH power efficiency—which falls in comparison to Pangolin’s E11 miner series.

Red flags over the competitiveness of Bitmain’s chips have been raised recently. According to analysts from Sanford C Bernstein & Co, the Beijing-based ASIC device manufacturer has begun to lose the competitive edge that allowed it to control as much of 85% of the market for crypto mining chips.

Ebang Communication, along with another Bitmain rival Canaan Creative, have announced plans to hold initial public offerings (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, targeting to raise as much as $1 billion. Bitmain is also supposedly preparing for a September IPO, but recent reports indicate the company is suffering from inventory losses, a lack of new manufacturing and the dwindling crypto mining market, which has already caused Nvidia to pull back on its production and financial forecasts.

Squire taps Samsung to manufacture ASIC chips

Meanwhile, another player is gearing up to join the ASIC crypto miner market.

On Tuesday, Canada’s Squire Mining Ltd. announced that it has chosen Samsung Electronics as its foundry partner to manufacture its next-generation ASIC chips in South Korea. Gaonchips is designing the chip for mining of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as well as alt coins such as those using SegWit technology.

The FPGA (field programmable gate array) prototype for Squire’s first ASIC chip is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2018.

In a statement, Squire said, “Our front-end development team of engineers and programmers is currently working with Gaonchips to develop the company’s initial ASIC chip to mine Bitcoin Cash, [BTC], and other associated cryptocurrencies using a wafer process technology that, once confirmed and accepted as meeting certain prescribed specifications and criteria, will form the basis of an initial mass production test run of the ASIC chip by Samsung Electronics.”

Squire’s joint venture with Hong Kong-based tech firm Future Farm Developments Ltd., Arasystems Technology Corp., which will manage the development, manufacturing and assembly of Squire’s ASIC chip-powered mining rigs.

The pilot production test run of Squire’s initial ASIC chip and mining systems for Bitcoin BCH is expected to be completed by the end of fourth quarter of 2018. Squire Mining will then deliver the ASIC chips and mining rigs to associates of Bitcoin BCH’s largest mining company, CoinGeek.com, which has been granted the exclusive right to market, promote, solicit, sell and distribute Squire’s new ASIC chips and mining rigs to Bitcoin BCH and other alt coin miners throughout the world.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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All hell breaks loose: Bitcoin BCH vs. BTC debate

Get those Bitcoin Core (BTC) supporters and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponents out on a leisurely cruise from Barcelona, on to Monte Carlo, France, Italy, to Ibiza and back again to Barca over five days, and they’ll cool way out.

Arrange a good-natured debate between a legendary ecosystem investor, passionate BCH protestlytizer Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com, versus BTC developer, budding technical author, and coding evangelist Jimmy Song. Sun, poolside, a paradisal venue for disputation, argument of the refined sort—what could possibly go wrong?

All hell breaks loose: Bitcoin BCH vs. BTC debate

That idea lasted a full 30 seconds, and then all hell broke loose.

First, a disclosure: I am a paid shill, a full-on fanboy of Roger Ver. I think he’s a heroic figure, one seldom appreciated. I won’t toady it up and insist he can do no wrong, but even when he’s wrong-ish, he’s almost just about right. I also used to enjoy Jimmy Song’s YouTube episodes about coding and his program, Morning Brief. Mr. Song and I agree quite a bit on economics and political worldview. There is a lot to like about him. Oh, I am paid in Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

No more easy smile

Before the formal debate had even begun, stage right, off the platform, Mr. Song was holding court, as an Eazy-E circa early NWA looking Roger Ver and a gaggle of folks wearing BCH PLS t-shirts leered on. Mr. Song, decked out in a multi-gallon cowboy hat, sports coat, and matching suit attire, animatedly accused Mr. Ver of stacking the crowd with BCH supporters. He frantically pointed to them one by one, angrily insisting the fix was in.

And maybe it was, crowd wise. But, then again, video audio can be heard clearly enough, a tad later in the debate, how a healthy gaggle of Mr. Song supporters managed to find their way poolside. So maybe Mr. Song was making something out of nothing, fighting nerves. That normally relaxed Jimmy Song face, easy smile, was gone. It was replaced by someone who very much felt wronged, and wronged from the outset.

All hell breaks loose: Bitcoin BCH vs. BTC debate

The two men managed to hammer out to their satisfaction enough to ascend the stage. A lone podium with a single microphone was between to chairs—Mr. Song, back and to stage right; Mr. Ver, stage left, immediately to the left side. Mr. Ver wore a snapback baseball cap, black, with BCH PLS embroidered atop. He also hid behind very black sunglasses and a wry smile as he sat, giving Mr. Song the floor.

Jimmy Song came prepared. He whispered something about a page missing from his prepared remarks, and then appeared to attempt wrestling a format structure to the debate. Almost immediately, Mr. Ver, still seated, offered mild protest about not having agreed to any such format, nevermind a “Lincoln-Douglas” style exchange.

This Song is done

It wasn’t too much longer when Mr. Ver decided to stand and talk over Mr. Song’s presumption at an agreed-to format. Roger Ver teased at grabbing the microphone, and Mr. Song dutifully un-holstered it from the podium, away from Mr. Ver. The two men argued more about time and whether Mr. Song’s introduction of the format constituted his introduction or counted against Mr. Ver’s time. Exasperated, Mr. Song’s face shook, and he threatened to not debate should this persist.

A few exchanges more, and Mr. Song exited for the first time. He diva’d, almost hopping, off the stage in a huff. Mr. Ver commandeered the microphone, explaining the ambush Mr. Song complained of was actually happening to him. Mr. Song had rigged the format to suit his debating style, and without consulting Mr. Ver. After having said his peace, Mr. Ver essentially begged Mr. Song back to the stage, “C’mon Jimmy!”

Protestations more, and Jimmy Song did return. He moved to the podium, categorically insisted this to be the reason no one wants to debate Mr. Ver, and set about making his case as to why Bitcoin Cash is fiat money. Graciously, Mr. Song began, “I’d also like to thank Roger Ver, particularly for his early evangelism of Bitcoin. We may be debating today, but there is a lot that we do agree on philosophically and I admire your contributions toward the cause of liberty.”

Pleasantries dispensed, Mr. Song began to lay out a case Bitcoin Cash as it is presently configured behaved much like government money, specifically following along the lines of mid 20th century English economist John Maynard Keynes. Mr. Song insisted, “The economic philosophy of BCH is Keynesian in that central authorities intervene to ‘spur innovation’ or ‘solve problems’. The method of payment use case has been subsidized by central authorities through large blocks, despite all market signals to the contrary. My opponent says things like ‘transactions should be free’ as if they’re entitlements. The smart contract use case has also been subsidized by central authorities, despite there being very little utility or demand for such a thing. BCH is very much paternalistic.”

1 million dollar wager

He further explained BCH was centrally controlled by a large mining concern, one that attempts to peg it to BTC, a policy Mr. Song concluded has done little but fail. “BCH is a fiat money, and their main appeal is that they’ll be better than the fiat central bankers that you already know,” he stressed. “The promise of BCH is governance as a benevolent ruler versus granting you self-sovereignty over your own money. This is the major difference between BTC and BCH and is the reason why BCH is no different than any altcoin.”

At almost exactly 16 minutes into the debate, Mr. Ver offered his rebuttal. After reminding the assembled this was not an agreed-to format, Mr. Ver dismissed Mr. Song’s thesis as “a bunch of nonsense.” Mr. Ver then went on to offer a confidence play, a challenge. “I’ll bet a million dollars in whatever cryptocurrency you want that within 10 years Bitcoin Cash will have a larger market cap than the BTC version of Bitcoin today. I yield the rest of my time to you, Jimmy.”

All hell breaks loose: Bitcoin BCH vs. BTC debate

Very much stunned by the offer, Mr. Song once again regained the microphone. Since Mr. Ver didn’t address his points one by one, Mr. Song decided Mr. Ver had conceded that much of the debate. Mr. Song then continued reading from his prepared remarks, pouding home the point BCH was centralized.

One of the key points of centralization, Mr. Song said, was the very contentious debate happening within the Bitcoin Cash universe at the moment. Normally once aligned forces were now at one another’s throats, Mr. Song said. This was evident the factions were fighting for control. And if something can be controlled, that means it is too centralized.

This Song is done, again

Roger Ver again took his turn, and immediately reversed the claim. It is precisely the sign of a vibrant, healthy community when different ideas can be debated and discussed, he answered. Even when the debates run hot, Mr. Ver said, people have the chance to humble themselves and listen.

He said BTC was so centralized, so controlled, developers and those challenging their assumptions have been literally banished. The consensus among BTCers, in fact, was a sign of centralization, of control. Mr. Ver then pointed to his favorite target, the Reddit sub forum r/bitcoin.

All hell breaks loose: Bitcoin BCH vs. BTC debate

BTC proponents have silenced BCH voices among them, Mr. Ver said, and wasn’t this a sign of a closed, unhealthy community. And as to its being a fiat currency, BCH is exactly the opposite, Mr. Ver maintained. A primary definition of a fiat currency is its being dictated, its use mandated by government force. Enthusiasts have literally thousands of choices among cryptocurrencies, and BCH is just one. “Cryptocurrencies are the currencies of freedom!” he shouted.

Mr. Song regained the podium, reading from prepared remarks. He attempted to fit those into the context of the debate, mentioning many times BTC is a meritocracy and how no one was entitled to be heard in the community. Mr. Ver then responded by suggesting he hadn’t argued for entitlement but more for an ethos, a way of acting inside the space. That it has changed in favor of one group to the exclusion of any other voices troubled Mr. Ver. The rest of what was to constitute the debate actually turned interesting, as the two men traded questions and answers between themselves. At the 44-minute mark, Mr. Song announced he was finished, disgusted, and he left unceremoniously. A member of the crowd jumped on stage in proxy. This Song was done, again.

C. Edward Kelso is a financial technology journalist based in Southern California. Follow him on Twitter.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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