1 Bitcoin = $3,755
Market Cap = $66 billion
Bitcoin Transactions on Darknet Markets Doubled Throughout 2018
Bitcoin transaction volumes on darknet markets rose throughout 2018 to an average of $2 million daily, nearly double the activity measured at the start of the year, according to Chainalysis.
However several factors could disrupt the rise of bitcoin flows into these markets this year.
These include more closures of markets by law enforcement and the movement of activity from these venues to encrypted messaging apps to avoid detection, Kim Grauer, senior economist at Chainalysis, said.
Bitpay Reports Processing Over $1 Billion Transactions in 2018
- B2B Business Grew Almost 255% YoY
- While other ventures had to downsize, Bitpay’s staff increased by 78% YoY
Payment processor Bitpay has released figures showing that the company maintained strong performance during 2018, despite the downturn in the market.
“Bitpay’s B2B business continues to grow rapidly as our solution is cheaper and quicker than a bank wire from most regions of the world,” said Stephen Pair, co-founder and CEO.
“To process over $1 billion for a second year in a row despite Bitcoin’s large price drop shows that Bitcoin is being used to solve real pain points around the world.”
“Bitcoin has the network effect around the world and we are still extremely bullish on Bitcoin and the Bitcoin ecosystem,” he added.
LocalBitcoin Venezuela Bigger than Stock Market
The Venezuelan stock market moved less than $300K today.
LocalBitcoin Venezuela has nearly the double in trading volume, about 650K.
You can check the stats, here: https://coin.dance/volume/localbitcoins/VES/BTC
Last week’s trading volume was 1300 BTC or an avg. of 185 BTC per day.
Russia Not Planning to Buy Up Troves of Bitcoin After All
Rumours Russia planned to buy bitcoin in bulk turned out to be unfounded as government official Elina Sidorenko explains the country does not possess sufficient infrastructure to support cryptocurrencies.
Sidorenko said: “Under this statement there is not a bit of common sense, much less ideas that would be considered in government circles. The Russian Federation, like any other country in the world, is simply not ready today to somehow combine its traditional financial system with cryptocurrencies. And to say that in Russia this idea can be implemented in the next at least 30 years is unlikely to be possible.”
Before any such acquisition can take place, mechanisms regulating where the assets would be stored or who would be responsible for them would need to be implemented, Sidorenko explained.
Market Cap = $125 billion
The inflation on those mimblewimble projects is very to extremely high.
If you want a lower inflation privacy coin to hold for appreciation monero is at the tail of its inflation curve, has better distribution, and more use cases.
Open Finance Applications
Nick Szabo: The potential of a Turing-complete blockchain: CFDs, derivatives, rule-based pools of money, trust-minimized intermediation of cash flows, tons of things.
paralleldown: Off top of my head – dharma, dydx, makerdao, augur/gnosis, set protocol, nexus mutual, compound are working on those things.
U.S. Now Says All Online Gambling Illegal, Not Just Sports Bets
AKA, “US government begins subsidy program for Bitcoin casinos”
Augur Has Surged 200% Over the Past Month
Problems with traditional prediction markets/sportsbooks/bookmakers that Augur solves:
- Global liquidity pool.
- Lower fees (at scale ~1/10th of say betfair).
- Novel market creation not controlled by one entity.
- No company in the middle spending 90% on marketing and taking the side of every trade (betfair being a notable exception to the latter part here).
- Operator risk / malfeasance a low risk, so having none of that isn’t _the_ #1 most interesting benefit. Although it does rarely / has happened, and happens more frequently in asian countries than EU (fraud rates higher there).
I think that if global low fee betting / trading isn’t a viable use of blockchain tech, then 99.9% of other use cases are unviable as well, as this is the closest one I see to solving real user problems.
E.g. most liquidity on betfair proper (not paddy) is sourced from market makers / bettors who all they do is prop trade on betfair, and they’re the most profitable bettors so they would make far more money if they could pay far lower fees.
Then you have markets where there’s very little competition, e.g. 365 in china and most of it doesn’t take place online.
So it still feels like a market which could be disrupted again. Betfair, Paddy Power, and Bet365 just don’t feel like the perfected iteration of betting to me. In iphone analogy, still feels like online betting is in its blackberry stage.
PRIVACY / SECURITY / INTERNET
Darknet Markets / Dropgangs
- People buy and sell drugs in Moscow by hiding them in public places (“dead drops”), revealing the coordinates to people who pay a Telegram bot with a cryptocurrency.
I live in Moscow. Everything described in this article [dropgangs, or the future of darknet markets] is 100% accurate, to the best of my knowledge.
Just a few weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine showed me one of the Telegram bots the article talks about. The bot operates several functions:
1 – You can share your location and see the drops nearby – then you can pay with crypto and access drop’s the precise location and identifying information instantly – when acquaintance was showing me the bot, he shared our location with it and there were ~5 drops nearby.
The whole Moscow is “mined” in this way – the acquaintance told me that once he was collecting a drop and accidentally found another one, while searching for his one.
There are “chaikas” (“seagulls”) — drug addicts who have no money and instead get drugs by searching for dead drops in city center – people used to mine parks but nowadays it’s dangerous because the police learns!
2 – Alternatively, you can order a delivery to your neighborhood and collect your drop a few days later – it’s best to have 50k rubles (~700$) on your when collecting the drop to pay off the police, if something goes wrong.
China’s Rich Brace for Tax Raid on $24 Trillion Wealth Pile
- Havens are disappearing, overseas earnings will become taxable
- Foreign assets to be easier to track, transfers may be levied
Changes to the tax regime as of Jan. 1 mean authorities will be paying closer attention to assets and investment holdings.
In the past, the rich could avoid paying taxes on overseas earnings by acquiring a foreign passport or green card, while keeping their Chinese citizenship. But this won’t work starting in January. That prompted many people to give up their Chinese citizenship in 2018.
In a nation where personal wealth is estimated to have climbed to a record $24 trillion in 2018 — $1 trillion of which is held abroad — that potentially offers rich pickings.
Anxiety over how the new rules will be enforced has already triggered a flood of Chinese clients seeking to create overseas trusts.
Tougher taxes at home could have implications beyond China’s shores, with the country’s wealthy having been on a buying binge in recent years, driving up prices for everything from property in Vancouver and Sydney, to famous artworks and fine wines.
THE ASCENT OF MAN
TeslaSuit Unveiled at CES 2019, Takes Virtual Reality to New Heights
One of the most exciting devices shown is something straight out of a movie: the Tesla Suit .
Simply put, whoever wears the suit feels like they are actually in whatever environment they see and hear.
The suit can give haptic feedback and even adjust the temperature inside, meaning if it’s hot or cold in the virtual reality, the suit can either make you feel warm or cold.
Virtual Realty, Universality and the Limits of Computation
What are the ultimate limits — the full scope — of virtual reality?
In one respect the scope of virtual reality is unlimited […] There is a comprehensive self-similarity in physical reality that is expressed in the Turing principle:
it is possible to build a virtual-reality generator whose repertoire includes every physically possible environment.
So a single, buildable physical object can mimic all the behaviours and responses of any other physically possible object or process.
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