War on Rugs audited smart contracts and warned of projects it viewed as vulnerable to abuse.
It started its own token and partnered with another.
Things haven’t gone so well.
Talk about a long con.
Anti-scam watchdog War on Rugs, a self-described collective of smart contract auditors and blockchain devs, presented itself as a resource for checking a DeFi project’s credentials, warning of projects it viewed as vulnerable.
That recently included Shiba Inu, a meme coin that surged past a $5 billion market cap. As a result, War on Rugs accumulated nearly 100,000 followers on Twitter (not to mention its other channels) and an equal number of detractors, angry that WoR targeted tokens they held stock in. Not without reason. Many, if not most, of WoR’s scam advisories have so far failed to materialize, while at least one it recommended lost all its value.
Now, the aspiring hero has turned apparent villain, allegedly making off with more than $2 million worth of crypto in a series of suspected rug pulls.
Just last week, the group launched its Rug Ethereum token, an ironic response to Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin’s decision to liquidate the holdings of altcoin Shiba Inu sent to him by SHIB’s creators.
The Rug Ethereum (RETH) project levied a 4% tax on each transaction. Two percent went to holders and the remaining amount was used to borrow ETH that would then be dumped for Binance Coin (BNB). RETH gathered over 9,000 holders in under a week, either for ideological reasons or the chance to get in early on a project that isn’t directly listed on exchanges.
RETH came after WoR’s audit of Fairmoon, a clone of Safemoon—a token that discourages selling by taxing transactions and redistributing tokens to holders. WoR was no lover of Safemoon, trashing the project. It wrote of Fairmoon, however: “No backdoors or [denial of service] possible from the owner perspective.”
It did more than audit Fairmoon, however. WoR and its head, known as Shappy, became the de facto leaders of the group and took over access to the smart contract—and Fairmoon and WoR claimed to be working on a platform for launching decentralized crypto exchanges.
Last night, both got RETH and FAIR got rug pulled.
SHAPPY, EX LEADER OF WOR, HAS BETRAYED FAIRMOON AND RETH AND SCAMMED BOTH THE FAIRMOON AND WOR COMMUNITIES
WE HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND CULTIVATE A STRONG COMMUNITY, AND HE BETRAYED US.
WE ARE DEEPLY SORRY FOR THE LOSSES WE ARE ALL EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW
— FAIRMOON🌒 (@fairmooncoin) May 19, 2021
The RETH and FAIR smart contracts have been reset so that the taxable amounts go to 100%, making it worthless to sell. But Shappy could,transferring the Fairmoon out on PancakeSwap, a Binance Smart Chain-based decentralized exchange on which anyone can list a token, in exchange for 1,170 BNB (worth $446,500 after today’s market correction).
Fairmoon has lost nearly 100% of its value since yesterday. Trading activity for RETH, always valued at fractions of a penny (like many of these coins), is almostnon-existent.
Fairmoon has pled ignorance,posting on Twitter: “SHAPPY, EX LEADER OF WOR, HAS BETRAYED FAIRMOON AND RETH AND SCAMMED BOTH THE FAIRMOON AND WOR COMMUNITIES.” It did not respond to a Decrypt request for comment.
But according toWoR rival SaferDeFi, the rug pull has been going on since after the audit of Fairmoon. It alleges that a central wallet was “split to disguise the concentration among the holders.” Each of those wallets then dumped $1.8 million in holdings when FAIR hit its all-time high price. Between the liquidations and today’s disappearance, the group estimates WoR and/or Fairmoon took $2.3 million.
WoR, meanwhile, has gone AWOL.
“I decided to do what I did so you understand that you should stop being a clown and spring [buying] in everything,” it wrote before deleting all of its social media profiles, including Medium posts. “Hopefully after this you don’t trust anyone anymore, pending proper regulations.”
SUKU has partnered with Hedera to launch a new “environment-friendly” NFT platform.
The new marketplace aims to be carbon negative, according to the company.
NFTs continue to be a source of fascination for artists, athletes, celebrities, brands, and collectors. But even as prices boom, concerns over the environmental impact and carbon footprint of non-fungible tokens have grown louder, and remain a sticking point for many.
Los Gatos, California-basedSUKU, a supply chain as a service (SCaaS) company, aims to address the concerns with its new NFT platformINFINITE, launched on Wednesday.
NFTs are blockchain-based digital tokens that represent ownership deeds tied to digital or physical assets. The core of the NFT environmental issue is Ethereum mining; most NFTs are built on the Ethereum blockchain, and minting an NFT, like mining the cryptocurrency ETH, is an energy-intensive process.
Ethereum’s proof-of-work mining process, like Bitcoin’s, requires large mining computers that guzzle a lot of electricity. Because of that, “NFTs have become a schelling point for discussion of industry impact on the environment,” SUKU CEO Yonathan Lapchik tellsDecrypt.“It’s estimated that Ethereum uses about the same amount of electricity as the entire country of Libya.”
Ethereum is in the process of transitioning to aproof-of-stakemining method that will use dramatically less energy, but until it does, its current proof-of-work consensus greatly concerns environmentalists—even to the point wheresome artists have shamed othersfor selling NFTs.
SUKU’s INFINITE circumvents this thorny issue altogether by not using Ethereum at all. INFINITE uses theHedera Hashgraphdistributed ledger network, a proof-of-stake consensus protocol. “This is a great partnership for us,”Zenobia Godschalk, a spokesperson for Hedera, tellsDecrypt.“SUKU engaged with Hedera after researching multiple public network options, and the teams quickly aligned to work together on a number of fronts.”
On top of that, Lapchick claims that SUKU “ensures that NFTs issued on the platform actually help the environment rather than hurt it.” It does this, he says, by “leveraging carbon offsets made possible via a partnership with Moss.Earth.”Moss.Earth, is an environmental platform based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that provides carbon credit transactions to those who want to offset their emissions.
The first collections on the INFINITE NFT website will feature digital art by musical artist and rapper Jeezy and Oasis Digital artist May Pang who previously worked with John Lennon and Yoko Ono sneaker designer Dan Gamache aka “Mache.”
Decentralized: Bitcoin is more decentralized than gold. There are over 100,000 nodes all over the world verifying the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin miners and developers are all over the world as well. Gold mining is subject to the jurisdiction they are located in and the local government can easily impose controls over the gold output since it is physical in nature. The same cannot be easily said with bitcoin mining since bitcoin is digital and can be instantly secured from control or confiscation by third parties. Central banks and governments control the vast majority of the global gold supply. Gold needs a custodian, or third party, to transact globally. Gold requires trust. We know banks control the custodian game, and governments and banks are closely intertwined. Bitcoin fixes this drawback of centralization and demanding trust. Bitcoin transactions, clearance and final settlement do not need trust in a third party. It is a peer-to-peer monetary system.
Censorship and seizureship resistant: As a peer-to-peer network, bitcoin is more censorship and seizureship resistant than gold, because bitcoin does not need to rely on centralized third parties to be transacted among people or entities. Since gold, by nature, needs to rely on third parties to be transacted at scale, those transactions can be censored or seized. Historically, people in oppressive nations have had to leave and migrate to other countries with nothing because they were robbed or their very own country did not allow them to leave with any material possessions. Bitcoin has liberated millions of people all around the world and allowed them to freely move to other cities, states and nations with all their wealth by just memorizing their 12-word seed phrase, which allows them access to their bitcoin. Bitcoin is liberating. Bitcoin is freedom.
Secure: Bitcoin is more secure than gold. Again, gold relies on banks and custodians for security, which is costly. Bitcoin is secured by cryptography and encryption. The Bitcoin network is the most secure network in the world. If you take physical possession of your gold you can only put it in one place to store and secure it. If that one place is robbed, then you’ve lost your gold. The Bitcoin network allows you to create Bitcoin addresses that require multiple private key signatures in order for the bitcoin to be spent or moved to a different address. This means that you can store your private keys in various geographically dispersed locations. Therefore, if someone gets a hold of one of your private keys, they cannot move your bitcoin, because they will need all required private keys you designated in your quorum in order to move your bitcoin.
Gold transactions typically require third-party involvement, where security is questionable at times. The only time you would not need a third party when transacting with gold is if you are in person with the other party you are transacting with and you happen to have the exact amount of gold they are requesting. If you do not, it is pretty tough to shave off exact amounts of the proper weight of gold needed for a specific transaction. You would also then have to assay the gold to ensure it is truly gold and not painted shiny tungsten (or some other metal or material), which has always happened throughout history and continues to happen. Bitcoin transactions are the most secure transactions in the entire world. They are performed using SHA256, which is an NSA-developed cryptographic hashing function. Because bitcoin can be secured in such a strong and geographically dispersed manner, it cannot be easily seized or stolen like gold has been all throughout history.
Scarce: Bitcoin is infinitely more scarce than gold. One of the main reasons gold was the best form of money and store of value for thousands of years was because of its scarcity. Bitcoin’s supply is programmatically fixed; it is absolutely scarce. Gold is somewhat scarce. Gold’s current annual inflation rate is about 2%. Gold miners are constantly uncovering new gold mines on land and in the ocean. Also, there is an infinite amount of gold floating around in the universe. Several companies have already speculated that they will mine gold on nearby asteroids at some point in the not-so-distant future. If the price of gold goes up, then more miners mine gold because their reward is greater and, therefore, the global gold supply increases (diluting your share and gold holdings) more than it would have if the price did not rise. With bitcoin, this phenomenon cannot happen. When the bitcoin price rises, the issuance and mining rate stays the same; it actually reduces by 50% every four years. Bitcoin’s stock to flow ratio gets better every ten minutes, everyday.
What is the exact current supply of gold? No one knows. There are estimates out there, but we cannot know for sure. We just have to guess and trust what other people tell us. What is the exact current gold mining rate? We think it’s around 2% but it could be more, we cannot know for sure. What will be the gold supply next year? Or in 10 years? What will the mining rate be then? Impossible to know all of these factors with complete certainty. You just have to trust other third parties. There is zero transparency in the current or future gold supply and mining rate. With bitcoin, we know all that, verified independently. Bitcoin’s issuance rate and monetary policy are fully transparent and unchanging. Bitcoin is simply the better form of money and store of value.
Bitcoin has a hard-capped supply of 21 million bitcoin. Each bitcoin can be divided into 100 million smaller units called satoshis (sats), just like how a dollar bill can be divided into 100 smaller units called pennies — same concept. No central authority, no miner, no developer, not even the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, can create more bitcoin. It is hard-coded into the network. Bitcoin’s current annual inflation rate is around 1.7%. In 2024, it will be reduced by 50% down to 0.85%, and the same thing four years after that, until all the bitcoin has been mined. For reference, 18.7 million bitcoins have already been mined and are out in the world. So only 2.3 million are left to be mined and the last bitcoin won’t be mined until the year 2140. This means that bitcoin is the most scarce asset our world has ever seen.
Easily portable: Bitcoin can be transferred anywhere in the world in just a few minutes, without anyone or any entity stopping it. Bitcoin is sent today in many parts of the world via radio, satellite and mesh networks. None of those options require the internet. Again, gold, by nature, physically needs someone to transport it to other cities, states, countries, continents and so on. This is costly, time consuming and logistically challenging. Gold is physical, which hurts it as a useful form of money in today’s global, digital, 21st-century society. It is simply impractical to use. It is extremely heavy and costly to store it and secure it. It would take weeks to send gold to another country and it would cost a lot of money. You would also have to trust so many third parties in that process. Being non-tangible is a major feature of bitcoin, not a flaw. It allows it to not be bound by the physical world. Holding gold has continuous costs like storage, maintenance and security. You can hold, store and secure a billion dollars worth of bitcoin for the same cost of holding, storing and securing $1,000 worth of bitcoin. You cannot say the same with gold, because it is physically heavy. Transporting $10 worth of bitcoin is just as easy and costs the same as transporting $1,000,000,000 worth of bitcoin. Transporting those two different amounts in gold poses extremely different requirements and problems. Gold is nowhere near as salable across space as bitcoin is. Bitcoin solves all those drawbacks of gold. Bitcoin is highly salable across time and space.
Hard to create: Bitcoin is the hardest money humanity has ever had. Gold used to be the hardest money our world has ever had until bitcoin came along. It is extremely hard to create bitcoin which is a very good thing. You want to use money that is hard to create because that means that your hard work and your time won’t be so easily diluted away by the easy creation of more units of the money you earned from your labor. How many tens of trillions of dollars has our governments around the world printed in the last 12 months alone (2020–2021)? It is hard to keep track because they constantly print so much of it. Fiat currency is easy money, which makes it a bad form of money. It forces you to consume or invest constantly because if you do not, then your purchasing power drastically shrinks over time. That is why everything always gets more expensive, because central banks and governments always print more dollars — because they can and because it is so easy. They just click a button and voila: there is now $5 trillion more dollars in existence just like that! Bitcoin is the only money we can all trust because we can independently verify its supply, issuance and unchanging monetary policy. Bitcoin is the most fair, ethical and logical money we have.
Deflationary or disinflationary: Bitcoin is disinflationary which is good. This means that your bitcoin holdings will retain and even gain in value, or purchasing power, over time, because issuance is decreasing toward zero. Gold is inflationary because the supply is always increasing at around 2% every year, and again, the gold supply is infinite. The bitcoin supply is finite. This also means that bitcoin is more stable than gold. The 21 million hard-capped bitcoin supply is unchanging. Life gets cheaper over time when you are on a bitcoin standard.
Highly divisible: Bitcoin is highly divisible which is great for making micropayments if needed. Remember, one bitcoin can be divided into 100 million smaller units called satoshis, or sats. It is pretty tough to take your gold bar to the store and buy a cup of coffee with it. The cashier does not have the ability to shave off the exact amount needed to pay for the coffee. You also cannot take your gold bar and buy something online with it. Sure, we have gold coins, but again, they are highly localized. Gold coins do not work in our current global, digital society. Amazon cannot accept your gold coins in their one-click checkout via your mobile device. Again, we come to the issue of assaying the gold, verifying it is real gold. If the coins have some sort of stamp or are inscribed to portray authenticity, then that brings us back to the centralization aspect that a government or bank controls the money; they are the ones inscribing or stamping the gold coins for use. If you use their money, you are subject to their terms, conditions, decisions and monetary policy..
Borderless, global and permissionless: Bitcoin is borderless because it is decentralized. Bitcoin does not require governments or companies to verify or approve transactions, and governments couldn’t, even if they wanted to. Again, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network. Bitcoin is not bound by capital controls, sanctions, surveillance and other oversight. that governments impose.
If you send gold across the world to another country, your country and the receiving country could impose taxes, restrictions, capital controls and surveillance. on your gold and the transaction itself. You have no privacy in non-localized gold transactions. You have to trust way too much. With bitcoin, you can send it to anyone, anywhere in the world, within just a few minutes and no government or entity can stop it, control it or impose surveillance. You don’t need permission to hold your bitcoin or transact with your bitcoin. Bitcoin gives you freedom and self-sovereignty. It’s quite a beautiful thing.
Non-sovereign: Gold in its purest form can be non-sovereign but because of its physical nature, it needs to be centralized in order for it to be used as a standardized form of money globally, which is how we arrived at dollars in the first place. Paper notes are easier to carry around and transact with because banks could denominate the exact same piece of paper to be worth $1 or $100 for instance. The paper dollars were backed by gold at first. But in 1971, the United States went off the gold standard and all other countries as well (various timeframes). Now, fiat currencies are backed by nothing because governments wanted to print as much currency as they wanted. They are addicted to it and it only gets worse over time. We started by printing millions, then billions, and now we are printing tens of trillions of dollars. This is why gold has essentially always been “sovereign” to an extent, and again, the vast majority of the global gold supply is held by governments and central banks. Gold-backed currencies failed. They require too much trust. We have to trust that the banks are actually holding the amount of gold reserves they say they do. We have to trust they won’t debase the currency. Bitcoin is non-sovereign. No bank or government controls it and never can control it. Bitcoin’s monetary policy and supply cannot be manipulated by anyone or any government. Bitcoin is everywhere and it is nowhere.
Trustless: Bitcoin is trustless money. With gold, you have to hope and pray new massive gold mines are not uncovered tomorrow. You have to trust governments and banks to not suppress the gold price. You have to trust that governments won’t debase gold coins, which they always have throughout history. Gold coins would start out as 100% pure gold, and then the government wanted to create more money so they would mix other inferior metals with the gold coins or engage in coin clipping, and various other forms of debasement. Bitcoin cannot be debased. You have to trust third parties when transacting with gold. You have to trust that the gold is real, unless you have the highly specialized skills and equipment to test the authenticity of the alleged gold you are receiving. With bitcoin, you do not have to trust any government or third party when transacting. You could say you have to trust that miners will mine the next block of bitcoin transactions but that’s the same as saying, “Well, you have to trust that humans want to make money.” It’s a moot point. There are miners all over the world viciously competing for Bitcoin block rewards. This competition has only grown more fierce over time. You also don’t have to trust that miners aren’t going to uncover blocks tomorrow morning with millions of bitcoin in them. Bitcoin is trustless, which is how money should be. Bitcoin is all about trust minimization.
Highly liquid: Bitcoin is far more globally liquid than gold is. The bitcoin derivatives markets are growing exponentially larger each month that passes. Large institutions are buying billions of dollars worth of bitcoin without moving the market. Let’s say you have a gold bar and I have a bitcoin, who can trade it for something the fastest? Bitcoin has a 24/7/365 global market that is over a $1 trillion market cap. There are thousands of bitcoin exchanges worldwide that are accessible from anywhere in the world. You can trade your bitcoin for thousands of other currencies (fiat and crypto) instantly on your mobile device. With gold, you would have to physically go to a storefront that is probably only open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and have them trade your gold in for your local currency only.
Easily verifiable: Bitcoin is far more easily verifiable than gold is. Anyone in the world can easily and cheaply run a Bitcoin node, on a simple laptop, and instantly verify their own transactions and bitcoin holdings. There are hundreds of wallets that can verify your bitcoin as well, instantly. With gold, you have to have a specific set of skills and expensive equipment in order to truly verify the authenticity of your gold. Fake gold is uncovered all the time around the world because it is fairly easy to counterfeit.
Non-confiscatable: Bitcoin cannot be confiscated if you store it appropriately. If you send your bitcoin to your own address and memorize your 12-word seed phrase, then no one, no government, no entity, can ever take your bitcoin. It is literally impossible. However, gold on the other hand can be seized or confiscated, because it is physical. In fact, gold has been banned before and confiscated in 1934. This ties in with the section above explaining how bitcoin is more secure than gold. Bitcoin can be absolutely secured; gold cannot.
Utility: Some critics wrongfully say that bitcoin has no utility. They essentially say, “If I can’t touch it and use it to make something, then it must have no value and it must be fake!” Bitcoin’s utility and value comes from its characteristics of being decentralized, permissionless, global, immutable, scarce, fully auditable, instantly transferable, non-seizable and highly divisible. These things, and more, are bitcoin’s utility, which are extremely better than gold. Utility does not only refer to what you can physically build or use something for. Utility is anything that something is used for. Bitcoin is useful, valuable and used for dozens of different reasons by millions of different people all over the world in different situations. That is reality, even if goldbugs do not want to acknowledge it. Holding bitcoin does not destroy utility value like holding gold does. Bitcoin is just pure money, and nothing else, and that is an enormous benefit. Gold just sitting in a vault destroys its utility value as it cannot be used in industry, such as in jewelry, electronics, dentistry and more. Hoarding gold causes the price to increase dramatically and, therefore, does not allow the market to be able to use it as much as they otherwise would in those industries. This is not good for humanity because we are forced to settle for cheaper, inferior substitutes. Holding bitcoin does not destroy any utility value. In fact, hoarding bitcoin increases its utility value because all the use cases I mentioned above become even more valuable use cases as bitcoin’s purchasing power increases. Now that we have bitcoin, it is better for humanity that gold becomes an industrial metal only and ceases being a monetary metal.
Energy usage: Bitcoin uses far less energy in the aggregate compared to gold. As we established earlier, the vast majority of bitcoin has already been mined. Bitcoin mining is what requires a lot of energy usage, not bitcoin transactions. Gold mining on the other hand is increasing its energy usage over time, as more machinery is created to mine more gold and new methods are invented. Gold mining first started with a person using only an iron pickaxe. Now, there are enormous, industrial-sized machines used in gold mining which consume vast amounts of energy and create pollution in the process. Gold mining is one of the most destructive industries in the world for the global environment. It displaces communities, contaminates water, causes injury to workers and destroys pristine environments and ecosystems. Gold mining pollutes the air and surrounding environments with mercury and cyanide, endangering the health of people and ecosystems. Gold mining is getting worse over time for our Earth in terms of energy usage, pollution and destruction, while bitcoin mining is decreasing toward zero.
Bitcoin miners use mostly clean, renewable energy sources. Bitcoin mining does not need to occur near populated areas, meaning it is done in the most efficient parts of our world. Bitcoin is driving renewable energy research and development. A lot of bitcoin mining is conducted with excess or otherwise wasted and stranded energy, because they are monetarily incentivized to do so. Bitcoin mining companies are paying for hydroelectric plants and solar farms to produce more efficient, cheaper and safer energy. Bitcoin mining operations currently help reduce flare gas and capture that energy for their mining operations. Gas flaring is a major global environmental problem and bitcoin mining is actively helping to reduce those horrible and dangerous emissions. As stated earlier, bitcoin transactions hardly require any energy at all. However, gold transactions can require enormous amounts of energy and resources. When gold is transported from one location to another, or even when countries repatriate gold from other countries, enormous amounts of energy is required in those transactions.
Programmable: Bitcoin is programmable money. Since its inception in 2009, it has had numerous improvements to the protocol that have made the network stronger, faster, more secure, more private, more compatible and more efficient. Gold cannot be programmed to become better money. It is the same metal today that it was 5,000 years ago.
Fungible and uniform: Bitcoin is more fungible and uniform than gold. Every single bitcoin is 100% the exact same as all other bitcoins. And the same goes for satoshis. Gold, on the other hand, is much more complicated and nuanced. Gold in its pure bullion state is fungible, but there are all sorts of variations of gold in the world, post-mining. When gold is mined, it must be melted down and formed into something uniform or standard before it can even be effectively used as a monetary good. Then you ask yourself, is this piece of gold 100% pure gold, or is there some other metal or material mixed in with it? Does this piece of gold have the exact same shape, weight, purity, and so on that this other piece of gold has? Again, do you have those skills or specialized equipment to make that determination? You have to trust that, whoever made the gold bar or gold coin, made it purely of gold. Bitcoin solves gold’s fungibility problem.
Bitcoin was built to protect and store wealth across time and space. Bitcoin gives people so many more freedoms than gold does. Bitcoin is a technology that survives for the very same reason the wheel, knife, phone or any useful technology survives: It offers its users benefits from using it. Bitcoin is sound, pure free market money. Bitcoin is demonetizing gold.
Gold is old, antiquated and archaic. It’s the year 2021, it’s about time we stop using rocks as money or a store of value. It worked great for cavemen and non-digital societies. However, we are more advanced than that now. Upgrade your money.
If you fail to transcend conventional thinking at a time when conventional thinking is losing touch with reality, then you will be more likely to fall prey to an epidemic of disorientation that lies ahead. Disorientation breeds mistakes that could threaten your business, your investments, and your way of life. — “The Sovereign Individual” by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg
Follow me on Twitter @RolandStautz
The Stautz Podcast: YouTube.com/c/Stautz
This is a guest post by Roland Stautz. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
Crypto analyst and trader Nicholas Merten is analyzing Bitcoin’s long-term trajectory.
Merten tells his 453,000 YouTube subscribers that BTC is now pressing up on a well-established resistance level, and he’s looking to buy the dip.
“It does hold significance and no wonder Bitcoin is facing some resistance. Again, we pressed this since March during this time period… But we talked about that this is not a terrible thing.”
As for Bitcoin’s current market trend, the DataDash founder believes that Bitcoin is consolidating in preparation for the next phase of its bull market.
“As much as we’re expecting Bitcoin to possibly go sideways for a little while and possibly go to lower price ranges than where it’s at now, we believe that this is a cycle midpoint.”
Cycle midpoint is where, generally speaking, you have a rally in this case. You set a pretty significant top for the next weeks or months and then after that, you start to continue that cycle and really set in an official market top for the overall cycle.”
Merten also shares some key fundamental and technical reasons why he believes the top for Bitcoin is not yet in.
“I don’t believe guys that in this era of massive money printing and also as crypto generally grows as a new alternative asset class, that Bitcoin $65,000 would be the top. I don’t think a simple, a little over 3x from the all-time highs back in 2017 is enough for this cycle. In previous cycles, we’ve seen much larger gains. From the previous 2013 high to here in 2017, we made a 1,500% leap up. Just to compare it here, this is the market peak: we’ve only got up about 236%.”
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Saxo Markets now supports the trading of three major cryptocurrencies in its foreign exchange markets. The new offering makes it possible for its Singaporean and Australian clients to trade bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), and litecoin (LTC) against the U.S. dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen. Meanwhile, the price of most cryptocurrencies has continued to crash, with the global crypto market now valued at just $1.84 trillion.
Saxo Bank Adds Support for Bitcoin & Altcoins
Despite the ongoing correction in the global cryptocurrency markets, Saxo Markets, the digital investing platform from the stables of Saxo Bank, a Denmark-based financial institution specializing in online trading and investment across global financial markets, has added support for the trading of three established cryptoassets on its platform, including bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and litecoin (LTC).
Persourcesclose to the development, Saxo Markets clients can now trade BTC, ETH, and LTC against the US dollar, the euro, and Japanese yen on the platform, in a secure manner. However, the offering will be initially available to only customers in Singapore and Australia, with support for other jurisdictions expected to go live in the coming weeks.
Established in 1992, Saxo Markets claims to be fully licensed and regulated in 15 jurisdictions across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, enabling its customers to trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, forex, CFDs, and now cryptocurrency on 36 major international exchanges.
Notably, the firm has made it clear that its latest crypto offering comes in the form of derivatives. In essence, traders will not be able to hold the underlying digital currencies, thereby saving themselves the stress of storing the digital currencies.
Commenting on the development, Adam Reynolds, Asia Pacific CEO, Saxo Marketssaid:
“Trading via ETNs for example lets more investors access this product in a way that works for their portfolio and makes the most of its volatility. It’s also fundamentally less risky than using cryptocurrency wallets where access can, and has, been lost to dramatic effect.”
The Musk-Powered Bitcoin Dip Deepens
The global cryptocurrency market is experiencing its first major correction since this season’s bull run began, with both established and small-cap cryptocurrencies going through a serious bloodbath.
The bitcoin price has crashed by a massive 32.47 percent this week, ether (ETH) is down by 36.60 percent, Binance coin (BNB) is losing by 39.96 percent, while the prices of cardano (ADA), dogecoin (DOGE), XRP, and polkadot (DOT) have also decreased by 11.10 percent, 24.72 percent, 14.42 percent, and 11.13 percent respectively, according to CoinMarketCap.
While the latest price correction has been largelyattributedto Elon Musk’s recent negative comments on bitcoin (BTC), it’s worth noting that the dip has also gulped down almost the entire gains Tesla accumulated from its$1.5 billion BTC purchaselast February, when the price of bitcoin was hovering around$38k.
The past week was quite the rollercoaster in the cryptocurrency market – both in terms of price and sentiment.
And by sentiment, I mean the community’s affection to one of the most influential, popular, and rich people on the planet. Of course, I’m talking about Tesla’s CEO – Elon Musk.
Before I go in details with my opinion as to why I believe Bitcoin doesn’t need him (or anyone else of his kin, for that matter) and if it does – it means it failed, I’m going to give a short outline on what happened that caused bitcoin’s price to drop so sharply in the past few days.
What the Hell Happened?
Elon Musk’s relationship with Bitcoin is one that went through quite a few phases. It’s important to differentiate, though – as he himself stated, he draws a line between specific assets and crypto in general.
Without going too much back in time, let’s see what happened in 2021. In January, he put Bitcoin as the only word in his Twitter bio.
It was also around that time when he said that he doesn’t mind getting paid in the primary cryptocurrency.
In February, he continued showing his positivity on Bitcoin.
“I was a little slow on the uptake… I do think at this point that bitcoin is a good thing.” – He said, adding that he’s a supporter.
It’s worth noting that, back then, the overwhelming majority of people were highly enthusiastic that one of the brightest minds of our generation has jumped on the bitcoin bandwagon.
Right around that time, Tesla, the company that Musk spearheads, announced a whopping $1.5 billion BTC buy, sending the price to a new all-time high and becoming the stepping stone for what would later become an even more impressive surge.
At the time, though, Musk threw one comment which raised a few eyebrows. It came as a response to a Bloomberg interview of Changpeng Zhao – the CEO of Binance.
“Tesla’s action is not directly reflective of my opinion. Having some Bitcoin, which is simply a less dumb form of liquidity than cash, is adventurous enough for an S&P500 company.”
It’s also worth noting that during all this time, Musk has been heavily pushing Dogecoin (DOGE) – a meme-inspired cryptocurrency with little to no development activity in the past few years, which was admittedly created as a joke.
Nevertheless, a month after its bitcoin buy, Tesla also announced that the company will accept bitcoin payments for its vehicles, sending the price yet in another considerable advance.
Everything was going great for crypto proponents, and not many were those who were concerned with Musk’s involvement in the field – on the opposite, many called for other companies that will follow Tesla’s example and add BTC to their balance sheets.
In retrospect, it may have been inevitable. See what I did there? Of course, not many were those who were expecting a complete u-turn of the kind, though going back through the history of events could have hinted that we had this coming.
A few days ago, on May 12th, Tesla announced that it had stopped accepting bitcoin as payment for its products. The company cited environmental concerns with the mining process, and Musk was very quick to support it.
Energy usage trend over past few months is insane https://t.co/E6o9s87trw pic.twitter.com/bmv9wotwKe
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021
Quickly enough, the Bitcoin community reacted in a somewhat expected yet (in my opinion) unfortunate way. Proponents started calling Musk a hypocrite for creating government-subsidized vehicles while using fossil fuels to send his rockets to outer space.
While he didn’t really bat an eye for a few days, it seems that people got under his skin. The tipping point came on May 16th when Musk responded to a question pinning Bitcoin and Dogecoin against each other. He said that if DOGE manages to “speed up block time 10x, increase block size 10x & drops fee 100x – then it wins hands down.”
This fired up the community even more. Following up were a few comments on Peter McCormack’s Twitter thread that he saw as “obnoxious” and making him “want to go all-in on Doge.”
Furthermore, Musk said that “Bitcoin is actually highly centralized, with supermajority controlled by a handful of big mining (aka hashing) companies.” His irritation was evident in one more of the answers under the same thread:
Hey cryptocurrency “experts”, ever heard of PayPal? It’s possible … maybe … that I know than you realize about how money works.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2021
Things Escalated Quickly
At this point, it was becoming pretty evident that Musk’s tweets have a direct impact on bitcoin’s price, which was bleeding at the time.
Many shared the opinion that bitcoin proponents shouldn’t piss off Elon Musk because of price implications. And, to clarify, I do not share this belief – if Musk is spreading false information or, at the very least, highly questionable facts without serious research, he should be called out for it, irrespective of what it does to bitcoin’s price. But more on that later.
Musk also went so far as to agree with an account that many in the community consider to be a scammer.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2021
He later confirmed that Tesla hadn’t sold any bitcoins.
Down to the Issue
Bitcoin doesn’t need to rely on Elon Musk anymore, so that it needs any other billionaire endorsing it. Bitcoin was here long before Musk started getting involved publicly in cryptocurrency and long before Tesla accepted it for payments and put it on its balance sheet.
Bitcoin was here before Michael Saylor started endorsing it and before MicroStrategy bought almost 100K of it.
Bitcoin was here before Paul Tudor Jones invested in it and before Anthony Scaramucci started shilling it.
Bitcoin went through massive challenges in the face of a few hard forks, and the market consensus is as definitive as it gets. Despite the recent drop in bitcoin’s dominance, it’s still worth 40% of the entire cryptocurrency market.
But we’re in a bull market. In a bull market, people tend to forget about fundamentals and fixate on price. This led to the glorification of individuals who’ve done little to nothing to push bitcoin forward (don’t read everyone from the abovementioned, I don’t necessarily mean any of them).
Catering to the whims of a single person or company is just as bad as being centralized. Bitcoin is sound money that users can take full custody of and still be easily portable and verifiably scarce. And it surely doesn’t need billionaires endorsing it. Remember – people change their minds, and Musk is the perfect example.
Whether he knew of bitcoin’s “mining issues” in advance or not is absolutely irrelevant – the fact is that he has a serious platform to voice his opinions, and his opinions move markets, and more importantly – they influence people.
I may not necessarily agree with everything McCormack said and the tone he used (though amusing, I can also see how it can be taken as an offense), but he’s 100% right about one thing – Elon Musk is deleting hard work without putting in the research.
The Other Issue
Every single post that Musk puts on Twitter is absolutely swarmed by crypto-related comments. This shows the state of affairs at the moment – the market is saturated with people who fixate on one thing only – “when moon?”
The response to Musk’s bitcoin comments was also completely shocking for me. The toxicity coming from some of the most popular BTC proponents was downright baffling to me.
If I know one thing about disputes, it’s that using ad hominem arguments means you lose.
*The above is the sole opinion of the writer. Featured image courtesy of Financial Times
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The divisibility of bitcoin is what allows it to be utilized by any amount of people in a myriad of use cases.
Bitcoin is unique in that when the last bitcoin is mined, around the year 2140, there will be approximately 20,999,999.9769, rounded off to 21 million, bitcoins in circulation. Also, by 2140, there’s going to be more people on the planet than there are right now (expectedly).
Here’s a question to ponder on: Are 21 million bitcoins enough for the human race?
The Beauty Of Divisibility
The Bitcoin protocol can absorb huge amounts of capital through its transactions across digital borders. It is able to do this through one of its key characteristics: divisibility.
Divisibility is one of the properties of any form of money, commodity, fiat or cryptocurrency that makes something of use or value into exchangeable money. In order to exchange goods of varying values, money has to be broken down into smaller units so it can be accounted for. In order to adopt and encourage the practical usage and purchase of bitcoin as an everyday currency alternative, bitcoin divisibility is crucial. Just like a one dollar bill can be broken down into 100 pennies, bitcoin can also be divided into smaller units. As the value of one bitcoin has increased, it is reasonable to buy a fraction of the digital currency instead of an entire bitcoin all at once. Bitcoin is divided into units as small as 0.00000001 BTC, which makes bitcoin perfect for micropayments. The divisibility of bitcoin comes from the currency’s maximum supply and other factors, such as the block reward. The smallest fraction of a bitcoin, 0.00000001 BTC, or 1 satoshi, was named to honor its mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. A single bitcoin is made up of 100,000,000 units called “satoshis.” Bitcoin’s divisibility could be a factor that contributes to its adoption because it will facilitate a wide range of payments that will not be possible with traditional currencies and payment methods. Online monetization and international remittances services can benefit from this feature. Successful currencies are divisible into smaller units. In order for a single currency system to function as a medium of exchange across all types of goods and values within an economy, it must have the flexibility associated with this divisibility.
A further breakdown: 21 million bitcoins is vastly smaller than the circulation of most fiat currencies in the world. Fortunately, bitcoin is divisible by up to eight decimal points. This allows for quadrillions of individual units of satoshis to be distributed throughout a global economy.
This is why bitcoin has a much larger degree of divisibility than the U.S. dollar, as well as many other fiat currencies.
For example, whilst the U.S. dollar can be divided into 1/100 of one USD, one Satoshi is 1/100,000,000 of one BTC. It is this extreme divisibility which makes bitcoin’s scarcity possible. If bitcoin continues to gain in price over time, users with tiny fractions of a single bitcoin can take part in everyday transactions. In contrast, without any divisibility, a price of $1,000,000 for one BTC would prevent the currency being used for most transactions.
Traditional cross-border payment solutions usually require a minimum amount and generate a fee, making micropayments unfeasible; however, micro cross-border payments are possible with bitcoin and more use cases will continue to appear as it evolves.
There are over two trillion galaxies with over one hundred billion stars in each. Such large numbers exist in the physical world but are difficult to understand. If my math is correct, 21,000,000 bitcoins can be broken down into over two quadrillion satoshis, which is an insane number that I find difficult to even wrap my head around. You may be put off by the current price of bitcoin. A friendly reminder that you don’t need to buy a whole coin to join in on the future.
Keep Stacking Sats Plebs!
There is enough room to split bitcoin to get it into the hands of those who really need it the most. Have a great day!
This is a guest post by Paul Opoku. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
The price of Bitcoin has tumbled over 25% in seven days, hitting a low of $42,025 over the weekend, as investors took profits en masse. (It is now trading at $38,163 after further declines.)
Bitcoin, as well as peers such as Ethereum which have also slumped by similar amounts in the last week, has sold off after a staggering year-to-date run that saw it double since the start of 2021.
Amid a wave of profit-taking last week, much of the reason for the sell-off is being placed on Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO, after he issued a series of tweets about Bitcoin, its energy usage and the company’s position in the crypto asset.
‘We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.
“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels, and we believe it has a promising future but this cannot come at a great cost to the environment.
“Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.”
Nonetheless, Musk himself seemed to counter many rumors on Tuesday after clarifying that Tesla had not sold any of its Bitcoin recently.
Facebook to launch US stable coin
The group behind Facebook’s Libra project plans to launch a US dollar stablecoin after scaling back its global ambitions amid resistance to its plans in Switzerland.
In a statement, the Diem Association, which was formerly known as Facebook’s Libra project and is made up of 26 financial firms and non-profits, said it was relocating its main operations from Switzerland to the United States.
It has said it will now run a blockchain-based payment system that allows real-time transfer of Diem stablecoins, with plans to register as a money services business with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Stablecoins, digital currencies pegged to a fiat currency, are being used increasingly via numerous networks. California-based Silvergate Bank will issue the Diem USD stablecoin and manage the Diem USD reserve, with a pilot expected before a full rollout.
The Diem Association said,
“We are committed to a payment system that is safe for consumers and businesses and makes payments faster and cheaper.”
EOS doubles after raising $10 billion to launch exchange
EOS coin saw its price double in a day last week after the company behind the coin said it had raised $10 billion to build a next-generation cryptocurrency exchange.
Block.one, the company behind the EOSIO software, said it was launching a subsidiary to create the crypto exchange, with billionaire backers including Peter Thiel among the investors in the project.
The platform, called Bullish Global, will be a blockchain-based exchange and is set to be released this year.
Thiel was quoted saying,
“Bullish’s balance sheet is strong, and its vertical integration offers stability and liquidity to the cryptocurrency space. I’m happy to join Bullish as an investor and advisor as it gets started on a long and fruitful journey.”
EOS’ price soared in response, jumping to a peak above $14 last week, before retreating back to trade around the $10.50 mark. It started May priced at just $6 (and is now trading around that same level.)
eBay to allow NFTs on the platform
eBay has said it will allow the sales of NFTs on its platform in the future amid a recent frenzy for the tokenized collectibles.
The e-commerce company is expected to slowly build up sales of digital collectibles on the platform, starting with a smaller group of verified sellers.
eBay executive Jordan Sweetnam told Reuters,
“In the coming months, eBay will add new capabilities that bring blockchain-driven collectibles to our platform.”
eBay has already invested heavily in infrastructure for physical collectibles like trading cards, as well as items like sneakers and watches, which they help verify for buyers.
The NFT market shows little sign of slowing, with British auction house Christie’s selling nine CryptoPunk NFTs for nearly $17 million last week, according to a tweet posted on May 12.
Ethereum founder Vitalik donates $1.2 billion to India relief fund
Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has pledged $1.2 billion to India’s Covid-19 relief fund.
The 27-year-old programmer, who created Ethereum in 2013, transferred new Dogecoin copycat Shiba Inu tokens which had been gifted into his Etherscan public wallet – at a combined worth of more than $1 billion dollars – to the India Covid Relief Fund.
Buterin handed the assets over to a relief project established by Polygon chief Sandeep Nailwal, who created the fund last month in response to the Covid-19 crisis in India.
Buterin had already personally gifted $600,000 to help kick off the fund previously.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his firm has “diamond hands,” implying that Tesla will not sell its Bitcoin holdings.
Musk’s statement comes in the wake of a cryptocurrency market crash that brought Bitcoin prices down to $30,400.
Justin Sun of TRON and Michael Saylor of Microstrategy also announced their dedication to holding Bitcoin.
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Following today’s cryptocurrency market crash, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has tweeted that his firm has “diamond hands.”
Tesla has 💎 🙌
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 19, 2021
Tesla Will Hold In Spite of Crash
Musk’s statement implies that Tesla intends to keep holding its $2.5 billion worth of Bitcoin despite the asset’s falling price.
Today’s drop was apparently motivated by China’s decision to restrict crypto payments. In just hours, Bitcoin fell to $30,400, a low point not seen since late January. Though prices have partially recovered to $38,000, the coin is still well below last week’s high of $50,000.
Musk’s tweet is relevant in light of the fact that earlier crashes have been blamed on his actions and comments.
On May 12, Musk announced that Tesla would suspend Bitcoin payments due to the coin’s high energy consumption. That news caused Bitcoin to crash from $57,000; prices continue to decline.
Additionally, Musk’s recent Saturday Night Live appearance failed to attract investors to cryptocurrency. Instead, the price of Dogecoin dropped by approximately 30% following a professional investor skit from Musk that seemingly disappointed investors.
Other Whale Investors Will Hold
Musk is not the only one to announce that he and his company are holding crypto assets in the midst of the market crash.
TRON CEO Justin Sun announced today that he has bought $289 million worth of BTC and ETH. Meanwhile, Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor has tweeted that his business entities hold 110,000 BTC ($4.2 billion) and have not sold any of those holdings.
Those large investors could help cryptocurrency prices stay fairly high and combat any future price losses on the horizon.
Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.
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The big crypto sell-off continues. Earlier in the morning, bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, briefly fell below $30,000 and had continued to trade south of $40,000 – the first time since early February – for a few hours before making a comeback above the key level. Other major cryptocurrencies followed suit, with ether (ETH) falling by 22% in the past 24 hours, Binance coin (BNB) by 23% and Cardano (ADA) by 18% as of May 19, 16:09 p.m. ET.
More than 700,000 futures traders liquidated their positions, amounting to $8.48 billion, over the 24 hours preceding late Wednesday morning, according to Bybt, a cryptocurrency futures trading and information platform. More than 50% of traders were short on cryptocurrency exchanges Binance, Bybit and Huobi, though long positions prevailed at other major marketplaces, including FTX and Deribit.
Despite this volatility, long-term bulls remain defiant and believe that the downturn is not indicative of any fundamental shift in bitcoin and crypto’s long-term trajectory.
“The pullback we’re seeing today is driven by panicked selling and forced deleveraging, primarily from retail investors in overseas markets,” says Matt Hougan, chief investment officer at Bitwise Asset Management, issuer of the world’s largest cryptocurrency index fund. The news of Tesla backtracking on accepting bitcoin for its electric cars, China reiterating its anti-crypto stance, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) deciding to review the regulatory guidance on digital assets fueled the panic but did not “fundamentally change the long-term trajectory of bitcoin, ethereum or other crypto assets,” writes Hougan in an email to Forbes. “I suspect after the deleveraging exhausts itself we will settle into a stronger base. It’s the flipside of a market that is (even after today’s pullback) still up 300%+ over the past year.”
Cathie Wood, founder, CEO and chief investment officer of Ark Invest, reiterated her view bitcoin will rise to $500,000 on Bloomberg TV. “We go through soul-searching times like this and scrape the models, and yes, our conviction is as high,” says Wood. “I think we are in the capitulation phase, which is a really great time to buy, no matter what the asset is.” During the interview, Wood also addressed Elon Musk’s environmental concerns, hinting at the speedy adoption of renewable energy sources by bitcoin miners.
“This bitcoin correction, while extreme if it happened to the equity market in such a short period, is right in line with moves we have seen many times in bitcoin,” says famed value investor Bill Miller in a written comment. The current volatility is “pretty routine”, writes Miller, comparing bitcoin’s price swing to “Black Thursday” of March 2020, when the cryptocurrency lost almost half of its value, crashing from nearly $8,000 to around $4,700 in a matter of hours.
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Additionally, two public companies that have put billions of dollars in bitcoin on their balance sheets, Tesla and MicroStrategy, both continue to hodl the cryptocurrency.
Tesla’s chief Elon Musk tweeted “Tesla has diamond hands” through a combination of text and emojis, implying that the company would not be selling its $1.7 billion bitcoin stake.
Also in a tweet, Michael Saylor, founder and CEO of MicroStrategy, announced the company has “not sold a single satoshi”. MicroStrategy is the largest publicly traded hodler of bitcoin, with more than $3.2 billion worth of cryptocurrency in its treasury. A day earlier, the company purchased an additional 229 bitcoins for $10 million in cash at an average price of $43,663 per bitcoin. Saylor has not been immediately available for comment.