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Crypto News Updates

The Fed, Markets And Inflation With Michael Lebowitz

In this episode of Bitcoin Magazine’s “Fed Watch” podcast, the hosts spoke with Michael Lebowitz, a portfolio manager for RIA Advisors.

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In this episode of Bitcoin Magazine’s “Fed Watch” podcast, Christian Keroles and Ansel Lindner spoke with Michael Lebowitz, a portfolio manager for RIA Advisors.

This is a change of pace for “Fed Watch,” reaching out to forward-thinking financial advisors to ask for their industry insight on the Federal Reserve, monetary matters and bitcoin. Lebowitz has made several appearances on “Real Vision” and numerous other macro podcasts, and notably appears weekly on RIA’s YouTube channel with business partner Lance Roberts. The latter source is where Lindner discovered his content, and he was impressed with the level of insight on monetary questions.

The conversation started off with asking Lebowitz about the general situation he sees out there in investing, but with a specific slant toward the elephant in the room of bitcoin. Lebowitz has in-depth knowledge of different asset classes and portfolio construction, which arose time and again in the 30-minute conversation.

Next, Lindner turned to some of Lebowitz’s recent articles on the Treasury General Account (TGA) and the “pent up demand” narrative. The TGA in general is an under-discussed topic, so in this episode, the participants tried to dive a little further into some of the details. In short, the U.S. Treasury has until August to reduce the TGA balance by roughly $1 trillion. This could have two interesting effects. First, that is a lot of money that must be spent into the economy and could cause prices to rise. Second, the Treasury will need to issue far less new debt in the form of new U.S. treasuries (USTs). That could put pressure on money markets, especially as the Fed is continuing to take USTs off of the market with quantitative easing. Lebowitz gave his insight on this unique confluence of forces.

Lebowitz’s second article of interest was on pent-up demand hitting the market this summer as people expect most of the virus restrictions to begin coming to an end at that time. He walked through some of the nuanced issues in regards to monetary and fiscal policy possibilities. We are in uncharted waters here, and Lebowitz did a good job of making the pieces fit into a narrative, but at the same time preaching caution and diversification. He leans toward deflation, with a healthy respect for inflation as he advises clients on their investments.

Lastly, this episode dove pretty deeply into broad future predictions. Of course, this involves bitcoin as a headline topic. Can the Fed do anything? Is U.S. dollar hegemony in jeopardy? Is the entire fiat financial model in jeopardy? These are the types of questions discussed. Lebowitz is not a bitcoiner, but has done a fair bit of research into bitcoin, blockchains and tokens. He is representative of financial professionals everywhere who are being forced to take a look down the bitcoin rabbit hole. He has not fallen in yet, but he and many others are going that direction.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Securing Your Bitcoin With Parker Lewis

Parker Lewis of Unchained Capital joined the “Bitcoin Magazine Podcast” to discuss education, storage and more.

Securing Your Bitcoin with Parker Lewis – Bitcoin Magazine Podcast (; 50:52)

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This week for the “Bitcoin Magazine Podcast,” host Christian Keroles sat down with Parker Lewis of Unchained Capital to discuss several key topics in Bitcoin. They opened the discussion with Parker’s “Gradually, Then Suddenly” blog series and how impactful it has been in educating institutions and Bitcoiners alike.

They went into depth on what Lewis thinks of when it comes to Bitcoin education and how Bitcoin goes from being counterintuitive to hyper-intuitive. They also discussed how to store bitcoin and how Unchained is making multisig more approachable for bitcoin holders. Please enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with Lewis of Unchained Capital and the “Gradually, Then Suddenly” series.

Follow Lewis on Twitter.

Follow Unchained Capital on Twitter.

Follow Keroles on Twitter.

Today, Unchained Capital announced a partnership with NYDIG, a key player in institutional services for Bitcoin. This interview was recorded prior to this announcement.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Crypto News Updates

Bitcoin Mining Hardware

Bitcoin mining hardware, also known as mining rigs, are computing devices made specifically to “guess” the correct bitcoin block hash as quickly and with as little power as possible. While the earliest Bitcoin mining was conducted by standard computer CPUs, mining operators were incentivized to achieve more hash power and did so partly through the creation of customized machines, first with graphics processing units (GPUs) and, later, with ASICs. The launch of Bitcoin ASICs in 2013 spurred professionalization of the mining industry, placing most of the computational power in specialized data centers, and the most effective mining rigs today all leverage ASICs.

How Does Bitcoin Mining Hardware Work?

Mining hardware, or “rigs,” has several components that must be combined to create maximum efficiency. The ASIC design is most often thought of as the key variable, but hardware shell design and cooling mechanisms like fans affect how efficiently rigs can turn electricity into hash power, as well as the rigs’ reliability.

Mining rigs are powered by electricity, one of the major costs in mining, so the efficiency of using that electricity has a major impact on mining profitability, as does the ability to run these rigs continuously or with minimum interruption. An example of something that could cause a mining rig to fail is overheating, so mining hardware is thus also designed to (among other things) limit the likelihood of overheating. Major operations that run large quantities of mining rigs will make special accommodations to keep their hardware cool and running without interruption.

As bitcoin mining has grown from a hobby conducted by a few enthusiasts in their homes into a worldwide industry led by industrialized mining farms, ASIC manufacturing has become an industry in its own right, with models continuously updated and iterated upon and hardware design tested fastidiously.

Mining hardware manufacturers must rely on foundries for the production, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung being the only foundries today working on cutting-edge semiconductor nodes that have taken on bitcoin mining manufacturers as clients. These foundries have limited capacities, so the relationship between mining hardware manufacturers and foundries is crucial to their success.

In brief, the ASIC manufacturing process looks like this:

1. Receive wafers (thin slices of semiconductor) from a foundry

2. Test the wafers for fabrication errors using prediction models

3. Test and package the wafers within an integrated circuit (IC) design

4. Ship the ICs to printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers for mounting

5. Integrate the completed boards with other electronic components to create the final product

What’s the Best Mining Hardware?

Numerous companies manufacture bitcoin mining hardware, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested into production, research and development each year. Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturers like MicroBT, Canaan, Ebang, Bitfury, Innosilicon and Bitmain compete to offer the best mining rigs on the market. There are millions of individual ASICs running at any given time, though these are turned on and off based on the difficulty, competition and, ultimately, the profitability of bitcoin mining at any moment.

Ultimately, the best bitcoin mining hardware is the device that can guess hashes the fastest with the least energy consumption and most up time. The ideal setup for a mining operation must also take into account hardware costs, climate, shipping time and customs charges — so operators have many factors to consider.

Manufacturers and third parties sell bundles, such as shipping containers set up with a number of miners, liquid cooling setups and more, to factor for some of these additional variables. To focus specifically on the specs of the individual mining rigs being manufactured today, the chart below lays out the primary manufacturers and products involved. Pricing for mining rigs directly from the manufacturers and on the secondary market can be variable based on the price of bitcoin at the time, but the core functionality variables should remain constant, including a rig’s hashrate (TH/s) and power usage (W).

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Crypto News Updates

How To Get Bitcoin

Bitcoins can be obtained in numerous ways, each of which are entirely different from one another. It is important to note that bitcoins are incredibly easy to send. As a result, they take the form of a highly transferable commodity. This is important because, although this guide will walk through the common ways to get bitcoins, there are actually countless ways to get them as they can be sent in exchange for anything the other party is willing to accept.

Is A Whole Bitcoin Really “Too Expensive”?

Bitcoin is divisible by nine decimal places. As a digital currency, one of bitcoin’s biggest attributes is its ability to be sent in increments called “satoshis.”

As a result, bitcoin can be bought, sold or exchanged in increments much smaller than an entire bitcoin. For example, if one whole bitcoin is $10,000, a smaller amount of bitcoin — represented as 0.01 BTC, for example — would cost just $100.

In Bitcoin’s early days, and we mean really early, the practical way to obtain bitcoins was by mining. Mining is the process by which newly minted bitcoins are released. Back then, the difficulty of the network was low enough that regular computers’ processing units (CPUs) and graphic processing units (GPUs) could mine bitcoins at very little cost.

Today, the landscape around Bitcoin has matured into an industry worth billions. As a result, the methods around acquiring the digital currency have evolved to more than just mining. Nonetheless, mining is still possible.

Bitcoin Mining

The incredibly low-cost days of mining bitcoin, which only lasted a couple years, were days where one bitcoin was so cheap that it financially made sense to mine them at a very low cost instead of buying them. For context, the first exchange rate given to bitcoin was in October 2009, 10 months after the first block was mined. The rate, established by the now-defunct New Liberty Standard exchange, gave the value of a bitcoin at US $1=1309.03 BTC. It was calculated using an equation that includes the cost of electricity to run a computer that generated bitcoins. This was the period of time where bitcoins, which were looked at as little more than a newly created internet novelty, could be mined in large quantities using an average computer.

Today, mining bitcoin is still a viable option, but different measures need to be taken in order to mine properly with the current level of difficulty.

Mining requires special hardware that performs the extremely rapid computations necessary to mine bitcoins. The hashrate, or the total power of all miners, is so substantial that hardware found in average computers (or any computers, for that matter) cannot perform mining calculations fast enough to produce any meaningful results. This specialized hardware is called an ASIC, or Application Specific Integrated Circuit.

Further Reading: What Is Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin Exchanges

Exchanges are by far the most common way to get bitcoin. Exchanges are platforms that allow users to purchase cryptocurrencies for a different medium of exchange, usually fiat currency. Exchanges do this through an order book, or a ledger, that matches instructions to buy or sell. These instructions are called “bids” and “asks,” respectively.

Whenever referring to the price of Bitcoin as it relates to fiat currency, the price being discussed is almost certainly an aggregate average of the price across various exchanges’ order books. Because bids and asks are instructions executed at a certain price, a large market buy would fill through several orders at incremental price levels and subsequently move the price of bitcoin up or down.

There are many well-known exchanges in most developed countries. Exchange usually require the use of a debit card or bank account in order to transfer funds over to the exchange.

OTC

One of the main purposes of using an over-the-counter (OTC) desk is to avoid affecting the price of bitcoin. In a practical sense, an OTC desk acts as a middleman for buyers and sellers to complete bitcoin transactions of custom sizes outside the operations of an exchange’s order book.

Instead of using an order book, OTC desks connect buy and sell orders directly between people. Desks are most commonly used for buying or selling incredibly large quantities of bitcoin, often surpassing millions of dollars in value. Some OTC desks even require a minimum trade value. Often, they are used specifically because a purchase or sale of such a large quantity need not affect the order books of exchanges. If a large order were to be filled on an exchange’s order book, it would significantly move the price of bitcoin. This is sometimes unfavorable for someone looking to buy or sell bitcoins without shifting the market price or without drawing attention to the transaction (OTC desks are not required to publicly disclose purchases).

Earning Bitcoin

Earning bitcoin in exchange for goods and services is just as feasible an option as mining or investing in the digital currency. There are businesses that allow people to earn bitcoin in exchange for services, including some freelance job listing sites where people are paid in bitcoin, as well as businesses accumulate bitcoin by accepting it as a payment method.

In some cases, earning bitcoin is the most practical option for someone if their business is already operating. There is no real transition most businesses need to undergo in order to earn bitcoin: It is as simple as providing the option for people to pay with it with services like BTCPay or BitPay. You can even just add a BTC wallet address to an invoice.

Earning bitcoin in this manner has some variables associated with it, like whether the business is accepting bitcoin directly or through Lightning micropayments. Options like this are important to consider for a business owner for reasons surrounding ease of use and level of privacy (Lightning micropayments are much more private and cheaper than transactions settled directly on the Bitcoin blockchain).

Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs (BATMs) are kiosks that look similar to traditional ATMs, but instead of connecting to a bank account, they connect to the internet and allow for cash and credit card transactions for bitcoin. Some BATMs offer bi-directional functionality, which allows users to both purchase and sell bitcoin using the kiosk. Most BATMs now require some sort of KYC/AML identity verification prior to finalizing a transaction, so users need to be prepared to scan their IDs into the machine. Common locations for BATMs include retail stores, shops, bars, restaurants, malls and airports.

In exchange for the convenience of using a BTAM, transaction fees charged by BATMs can be higher than the rates on exchanges — up to 7 percent higher, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

How To Buy Bitcoin In Europe

By Jamie Holmes

If you want to buy bitcoin in Europe, there are four ways you can do so:

  1. Through bitcoin exchanges like Kraken, Coinbase Pro and Bitstamp;
  2. Through decentralized (or peer-to-peer) exchanges, which offers users more privacy, e.g., Bisq, LocalBitcoins and HodlHodl;
  3. At Bitcoin ATMs, which are a convenient way to buy bitcoin;
  4. At retail stores. These are webshops or physical shops where you can buy bitcoin as you’d buy a lottery ticket or credit for your mobile phone.

Bitcoin Exchanges

Bitcoin exchanges are the most popular method to acquire bitcoin (BTC), which is not surprising since it is the cheapest way of buying cryptocurrency.

Buying bitcoin on an exchange is a relatively simple and user-friendly way to acquire bitcoin in any amount.

  • Create an account on the exchange.
  • Verify your identity, typically through linking your bank account, uploading identification, or linking a credit card. (This often takes a day to complete.)
  • Once you’re approved, simply make your purchase and the bitcoin is transferred to your account once the transaction is complete.

Most exchanges these days offer ways to set up re-occuring purchases. This makes it easy to set up daily, weekly or yearly purchases in manageable denominations and is a painless way to grow your bitcoin holdings.

These exchanges, however, are vulnerable to hacks and other security issues. Any bitcoin you leave on the platform is technically not yours, until you withdraw it to a wallet you control. If the exchange get hacked, they’ve potentially lost your bitcoin. You are also required to submit personal information and documents as evidence.

So it is best to get your funds via bank transfer into the exchange, buy your bitcoin, and then withdraw it to a wallet that is safe and allow you to hold your private key under your control.

Below is a short list of the most popular exchanges where you can exchange euros (EUR) or pounds (GBP) for bitcoin.

  • Kraken is the premier European exchange. Actively trading since September 2013, Kraken has high standing in the cryptocurrency community, and the largest volume for BTC-EUR of any exchange. It provides secure purchasing through the exchange of multiple currencies, (U.S. & Canadian dollars, the euro, and the Japaniese yen).
  • Coinbase Pro has the second largest BTC-EUR volume after Kraken. It is also one of the longest-running bitcoin exchanges. Once your account or credit card is linked to Coinbase Pro, you can easily schedule reoccuring purchases on a timer. Want to buy $50 a week? Coinbase makes that simple!
  • Bitstamp is a bitcoin exchange located in Luxembourg. It allows trading in USD and Euro (among other currencies) with bitcoin, ether, and litecoin. The exchange also has added Ripple and other cryptocurrencies to its roster. The company was originally founded to offer an alternative to Mt. Gox in Europe.
  • Bitfinex boasts the third-largest trading volume in the world. It allows you to leverage up to 3.3x your trading power by providing traders access to the peer-to-peer funding market.
  • Binance Jersey, an extention of Binance in the U.S., opened in 2019 and offers access to bitcoin using euros and British pounds.

Decentralized/Peer-to-Peer Exchanges

Decentralized, or peer-to-peer, exchanges are different from regular exchanges as they allow you to control your funds throughout the entire experience, they do not require identification to buy bitcoin, and you can transact with different methods such as cash.

Think of these exchanges as a giant swap meet where regular people can exchange their bitcoin for fiat in a person to person exchange. These markets allow the sellers to set their own price and decide which types of payments they will accept. These exchanges act as more of a matchmaking service than a typical exchange like the ones above.

  • LocalBitcoins is perhaps the best-known peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace. It facilitates over-the-counter trading of local currency for bitcoins. Users post “ads” on the site where they set the exchange rate and their stock. Users can then connect with these sellers to make the purchase.
  • Mycelium wallet’s P2P Marketplace also lets you meet in person to buy bitcoin.
  • Paxful’s platform offers users the ability to trade in a peer-to-peer fashion online.
  • Hodl Hodl is another decentralized exchange where you can buy bitcoin. It imposes fewer restrictions on buyers and sellers globally compared to LocalBitcoins. You can buy bitcoin from one of the sellers on these platforms either online or in person. There is a premium on the price you pay, as every seller adds their own markup on the price of bitcoin. But, generally, it is a good way to acquire bitcoin if you are conscious about privacy.
  • Bisq (formerly known as Bitsquare) is another noteworthy decentralized exchange. It allows users to control their own funds and buy bitcoin through a peer-to-peer network. Founded in 2014, the company is committed to Bitcoin and open-source software. You will have to download the desktop software to access the Bisq marketplace. After configuring your payment method details for euros or pounds, you will have to browse the order book to find existing offers. Then you can buy bitcoin as you normally would on a regular exchange.

Bitcoin ATMs in Europe

Bitcoin ATMs are a novel way of buying bitcoin and are generally suitable for small purchases, but these machines are usually confined to metropolitan areas.

While ATMs are a more expensive way of buying bitcoin, there are a handful in Europe that do not require identification. Most will ask for some sort of verification, usually your mobile number, and may ask for more depending on local regulations and the size of the transaction. Bitcoin ATMs are also the quickest way of converting cash or money in the bank to bitcoin, unless you live in a rural area.

As of mid-2019, the supportive regulations of Austria, the U.K., the Czech Republic, Spain and Slovenia have resulted in the highest densities of bitcoin ATMs in these countries and their capital cities. Even smaller nation states like Albania, Latvia and San Marino have at least one bitcoin ATM.

Finally, the Swiss federal railways SBB have used its existing infrastructure to install hundreds of bitcoin ATMs across its network in 2018.

If you live in Europe, check out CoinATMRadar’s map to see if there’s a bitcoin ATM near you.

Merchant Stores

Webstores such as Bittylicious, BitPanda and LiteBit offer Europeans a way to purchase bitcoin online with their credit or debit card.

There are also physical stores where you can buy bitcoin.

  • At the time of this writing, in Austria there are over 4,000 stores where you can buy vouchers that contain bitcoin, called Bitcoinbon.
  • Across France, there are tabacs that have started selling bitcoin vouchers as recently as January 2019.

And in London, U.K., there is a growing list of stores working with Cashin to provide an easy way to buy bitcoin via the Lightning Network. You simply download the app, choose the amount you want to buy and then display the QR code on your phone to the teller. On receipt of your QR code, you can then exchange your cash for bitcoins. With Cashin’s app, you can buy just under £600/€670 worth of bitcoin without having to provide identification.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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What Are Atomic Swamps?

Atomic swaps are a peer-to-peer, trustless method of exchanging coins on different blockchains. In essence, atomic swaps allow you to exchange, for example, bitcoin with litecoin, while avoiding the need to trust an exchange or any other third party.

Further Reading: What Is Bitcoin?

Atomic swaps can be performed in one of two ways: Firstly, atomic cross-chain trading can be done directly between two blockchains with different native coins — known as an on-chain atomic swap. Secondly, you can use off-chain channels that are offshoots of the main blockchains involved — known as off-chain atomic swaps.

On-chain atomic swaps provide more security since the mechanism is embedded into the blockchain itself and the transaction will either finalize or be cancelled. On the other hand, off-chain atomic swaps are faster and provide more throughput than on-chain atomic swaps but are more complex to perform and still a few years away from practical implementation.

Further Reading: What Is a Blockchain?

A Brief History of Atomic Swaps

Also known as atomic cross-chain trading, the idea of atomic swaps has been around since July 2012, with Sergio Demian Lerner’s initial attempt at creating a trustless exchange protocol called P2PTradeX. The idea was further refined and formalized by Tier Nolan in May 2013.

Nolan’s algorithm was refined even further by former Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn and others. Their improved approach allowed the direct exchange of coins on Bitcoin-derived blockchains, without specific support from the protocol.

A successful mechanism to carry out Nolan’s formal description of an atomic swap did not occur until 2014, when the developer jl777 carried out a test for swapping litecoin with dogecoin. Decred later simplified the code to make atomic swaps more widely available, successfully executing an atomic swap with litecoin in September 2017.

The first bitcoin-to-litecoin off-chain atomic swap using the Lightning Network was conducted in November 2017. These off-chain atomic swaps are largely just demonstrations at the moment and have only been exhibited with two coins that support the same Lightning specification, namely BOLT.

Further Reading: What Is an Altcoin?

How Do Atomic Swaps Work?

Let’s say Alice and Bob want to exchange one bitcoin for 100 litecoin. Alice has one bitcoin and prefers 100 litecoin; Bob has 100 litecoin and prefers one bitcoin.

To make the exchange, Bob first creates a secret number, a “value.” He then also generates a hash from this value, and he shares this hash with Alice. (But he doesn’t share the value itself!)

Now Bob creates a bitcoin transaction, “locking up” one bitcoin. This bitcoin can be claimed in a follow-up transaction in two ways. Either, it can be claimed by Alice, with her signature, in combination with the secret value. The Bitcoin network will recognize the secret value if it matches the hash, which is included in this transaction. Or, it can be claimed by Bob, with his signature, but only after two weeks have passed.

Right now, Alice can’t claim the bitcoin, because she doesn’t know the secret value, and Bob can’t claim the bitcoin, because two weeks haven’t passed.

Next, Alice creates a litecoin transaction, “locking up” 100 litecoin. The 100 litecoin locked up in this transaction can be unlocked in a follow-up transaction in two ways as well:

Either, it can be claimed by Bob, with his signature, in combination with the secret value. Or, it can be claimed by Alice, with her signature, but only after a week has passed.

This means that Bob can now claim the 100 litecoin: He does know the secret value. He just needs to do it within a week, because after that week Alice can claim her 100 litecoin back.

Now, if Bob does claim the 100 litecoin with a follow-up transaction, he broadcasts the secret value: it is now included in the Litecoin blockchain. So, if Alice keeps an eye on the Litecoin blockchain, she can just take the secret value, and, in turn, use it to claim the bitcoin on the Bitcoin blockchain. (She just needs to do it within two weeks, before Bob can claim his bitcoin back.)

Indeed, Bob can only claim the 100 litecoin if he lets Alice claim her bitcoin: a trustless trade.

The Future of Atomic Swaps

As the technology of atomic swaps matures, we should see increased adoption among decentralized exchanges and wallets. At this point, we are already starting to see some uptake of atomic swaps, such as with Altcoin.io, Atomic wallet and Liquid wallet.

Further Reading: What Are Bitcoin Wallets?

If atomic swaps become widely used, they could play a part in eventually making centralized cryptocurrency exchanges obsolete.

But first, atomic swaps need to be integrated across existing wallets and services. There also needs to be an improvement in the user experience to make cross-chain trading easy for the average person.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Taproot Activation And LOT=True Vs. LOT=False

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In this episode of “The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado,” hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discussed activation of the Taproot soft fork upgrade, and more specifically, the lock-in on timeout (LOT) parameter.

The LOT parameter can be set to either “true” (LOT=true) or “false” (LOT=false). LOT=false resembles how several previous soft forks were activated. Miners would have one year to coordinate Taproot activation through hash power; if and when a supermajority (probably 90 percent) of miners signal readiness for the upgrade, the soft fork will activate. But if this doesn’t happen within (probably) a year, the upgrade will expire. (After which it could be redeployed.) LOT=true also lets miners activate the soft fork through hash power, but if they fail to do this within that year, nodes will activate the soft fork regardless.

Van Wirdum and Provoost discussed the benefits and detriments of each option. This also includes possible scenarios of what could happen if some users set LOT to true, while other users set LOT to false, and the associated risks. Finally, the hosts discussed what they think is most likely going to happen with Taproot activation.

The post Taproot Activation And LOT=True Vs. LOT=False appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Interview: James O’Beirne On Bitnomial And Bitcoin Dependencies

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For this episode of the “Bitcoin Magazine Podcast,” host Christian Keroles sat down with Bitcoin developer and economist James O’Beirne.

O’Beirne is a Bitcoin Core developer with very unique experiences across disciplines, being both a Bitcoin Core contributor as well as a learned macroeconomics scholar. He took Keroles through his journey from Chaincode Labs in New York to DG Lab and now, to his current project, Bitnomial bitcoin derivatives exchange.

O’Beirne also walked through his designing of a basic command line interface for Coldcard, which he built with no outside dependencies. They closed out the conversation by discussing O’Beirne’s experiences with trading during the depth of the 2020 economic fears and why his experiences with gold solidified his position that bitcoin is an order of magnitude improvement. 

Topics:

  • Being a long-time libertarian and Austrian economist
  • Learning Bitcoin
  • O’Beirne’s history in the Bitcoin space
  • Trading bitcoin in 2020
  • Trading gold In 2020
  • Why bitcoin is better than gold
  • Why dependancies are bad for Bitcoin

The post Interview: James O’Beirne On Bitnomial And Bitcoin Dependencies appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Tether, Powell Testimony And Bitcoin Hegemony

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In this episode of Bitcoin Magazine’s “Fed Watch” podcast, hosts Christian Keroles and Ansel Lindner gave an update on bitcoin’s price action over the last two weeks, spoke about the Tether settlement with the NYAG, provided expert commentary on Chairman Powell’s recent testimony and dove deeply into how bitcoin fits into the macro landscape.

Bitcoin’s price action has been quite volatile, but bitcoiners are used to that. After breaking out of January’s consolidation it rose 50 percent to threaten the round $60,000 level before pulling back and consolidating. There is some apprehension about this pull back, because many people were ready for the price to go up and never come down again. Of course, there will be periods of gains followed by times of consolidation. Nothing to get concerned with at this point.

Tether was also involved in some very bullish news this week when it was announced that its parent company had settled with the New York Attorney General (NYAG) to pay an $18 million fine. Despite claims from the NYAG of wrongdoing, no convincing evidence was produced to justify pursuing the case further. This new appears to be quite bullish for the bitcoin industry as Tether provides a significant portion of liquidity on the fiat side of trades.

Next, the co-hosts brokedown some of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony given to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. At the time of recording, the proceedings were just ending and the tweets about Powell’s bitcoin and “digital dollar” comments were already starting to fly. Ultimately, there was nothing new on this front from the Fed’s chief — he reiterated previous comments using very similar rhetoric, with the sole exception of adding that a digital dollar was a “high priority.”

The basic position of the Fed on a digital dollar remains cautious. It is working with partners like the University of Texas and MIT on research initiatives but it takes its role as provider of the reserve currency very seriously. It will not move quickly on a digital dollar. As comparison, the European Central Bank is on the forefront of this movement for different reasons, but even it is admittedly still four years away. If there is to be a digital dollar, separate from the market that is providing digital dollars already very successful, as Tether it, it will be at least five to eight years away.

Powell also spoke about inflation. Much information can be gathered by a careful listening to his word choices. He said that we may see prices picking up as the economy reopens. But that is not a strong statement, it is one made from an academic framework, not real-world data. He also said that the Fed has the tools to keep inflation under control. But there was no mention of the tools to keep deflation under control, which is the primary atmosphere we are dealing with at this time. Lastly, in regards to recent rises in longer-term U.S. Treasury rates, Powell said that rates are moving up because of expectations of economic recovery. This is a subtle but important point that Lindner emphasized: Powell is not saying rates are moving up because of actual recovery, only the expectation of recovery. And what happens when those expectations turn negative?

This wide-ranging podcast episode ended with a foray into how bitcoin fits into the world of macroeconomics and even geopolitics going forward. We are aware that bitcoin is making an entrance onto the broad international monetary scene, but what will that look like later this year and going forward? Where does bitcoin fit? You’ll have to listen to find out what Lindner and Keroles said, it might surprise you.

The post Tether, Powell Testimony And Bitcoin Hegemony appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Bitcoin, Lightning And Podcasting 2.0

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This week on the “Bitcoin Magazine Podcast,” host Christian Keroles sat down with long-time Bitcoin podcaster and advocate Anita Posch. Posch is the host of the fantastic “Anita Posch Show” where she highlights the efforts of Bitcoiners around the globe, especially bitcoiners in Africa and LATAM. 

In this episode, Keroles and Posch focused on new podcasting technology being built on top of the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Podcasting started as the ultimate way for individuals to broadcast information without corporate influence. It was a medium for the people. Since it’s humble beginnings, podcasting has turned into a cultural phenomenon, but it has also become corrupted. Current podcasting infrastructure no longer supports the censorship-resistant dream of its origin. Bitcoin looks to be an answer here for creators to cultivate community and monetize directly with P2P cash. 

Listen in to this episode to learn more about Posch and the crossroads between Bitcoin and the future of podcasting. 

The post Bitcoin, Lightning And Podcasting 2.0 appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Interview: Bitcoin In Nigeria With Ahyke Otutubuike

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This episode of Bitcoin Magazine’s “Bitcoin In Asia” featured Ahyke Otutubuike, a technical writer and Bitcoin user based in Nigeria. 

Nigeria has been in the news this month as its central bank issued a directive, prohibiting regulated financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges and companies that touch crypto, essentially unbanking them. Ahyke had a piece in Bitcoin Magazine this past week explaining the situation and adding context for Bitcoin’s place in Nigeria’s economy overall, he added additional analysis in this episode. He discussed the momentum for Bitcoin in Nigeria and its main use cases, national economic factors behind the central bank’s move, what he sees as the main drivers of the action and what comes next.

The post Interview: Bitcoin In Nigeria With Ahyke Otutubuike appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: Bitcoin magazine