The Bitcoin Saga

The blockchain claims another.

Ex-NFL star Ricky Williams studies astrology – and it’s telling him to invest in Bitcoin

Williams has spent a chunk of his post-football life studying everything from holistic medicine to astrology and he tells CNBC Make It that the studying the cosmos actually informed his decision to invest in the recent cryptocurrency boom.

“When I look at things, I tend to look at astrology to get insight,” says Williams, who tells CNBC Make It that his readings of astrological charts have pointed him in the direction of Bitcoin.

“The insight that got me interested in Bitcoin was the planet Uranus is about to enter into Taurus,” says Williams.

Uranus, he explains, “is about revolution; it’s about a change in the way we do things; it’s about innovation.” And Taurus “is about resources and finances,” says Williams.

Williams bills himself as a professional astrologer, and he even has a website where you can book a personal astrology reading with the former NFL star (at $300 for a 90-minute session). Williams also turned his passion for holistic medicine into a post-NFL career with the launch of Real Wellness, a line of cannabis-based products, in March.

It’s true. Uranus does revolve.

Sit on this and spin.

WSJ: One in six ICOs is an obvious outright fraud

Lower than I would have expected, but this doesn’t cover the ones which merely have no realistic way of being worth anything in the long run.

Ah, it’s so refreshing to read an article about Justice Department doings that don’t have anything to do with Trump shenanigans.

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2018-05-24/bitcoin-manipulation-is-said-to-be-focus-of-u-s-criminal-probe

The investigation is focused on illegal practices that can influence prices – such as spoofing, or flooding the market with fake orders to trick other traders into buying or selling, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the review is private. Federal prosecutors are working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a financial regulator that oversees derivatives tied to Bitcoin, the people said.

Bitcoin extended its Thursday declines after Bloomberg News reported the investigation, and was down 3 percent to $7,409 as of 9:32 a.m. London time. It’s down more than 20 percent since a May 4 peak.

Such concerns have prompted China to ban cryptocurrency exchanges and nations including Japan and the Philippines to regulate them, contributing to a slump that has sent Bitcoin below $8,000 this year. Still, digital coins continue to be a global investment craze, drawing legions of loyalists to industry conferences, generating celebrity endorsements and increasingly attracting the attention of Wall Street.

Traders Colluding?
The illicit tactics that the Justice Department is looking into include spoofing and wash trading – forms of cheating that regulators have spent years trying to root out of futures and equities markets, the people said. In spoofing, a trader submits a spate of orders and then cancels them once prices move in a desired direction. Wash trades involve a cheater trading with herself to give a false impression of market demand that lures other to dive in too. Coins prosecutors are examining include Bitcoin and Ether, the people said.

Ask.fm (who?) is entering the crowded crypto market and leaves a man behind to die as part of its ICO promotion.

It was a stunt designed to play on one of cryptocurrencies most resilient memes: “to the moon” – the idea that prices will skyrocket, leaving currency holders rich in the process. But it was a stunt that left one Sherpa presumed dead on Mount Everest.

ASKfm, one of the world’s top 10 social media networks, was about to release a brand new Initial Coin Offering (ICO), giving early investors the chance to pre-buy some of its cryptocurrency before its launch. To promote the ICO ASKfm sent four “crypto enthusiasts” on an expedition to Mount Everest.

The plan: bury $50,000 worth of ASKT, ASKfm’s cryptocurrency, in a nano ledger at the top of the mountain.

While others try sophisticated marketing techniques, these guys went out there and put themselves right on top of the highest mountain on the planet. An elegant way to boast ideological superiority to every other crypto. A way quite strangely unexplored before. Even memes-wise, think about the closest starting point to reach the moon. It seems so obvious, yet no one has done it.

But the Medium statement didn’t mention Lam Babu Sherpa, a man who helped the ASKfm’s four-man team get to the top of Mount Everest. According to extensive reports by the Financial Times and climbing site Rock and Ice, Lam Babu Sherpa was left behind during the descent from Mount Everest and is now presumed dead.

The buried Nano Ledger containing ASKfm’s cryptocurrency is still on the mountain.

More unintended (maybe?) consequences.

Hackers hacking hacked hacks hack.

Do they have some sort of deposit/wallet/coin insurance these victims could have purchased, or is that sort of thing just limited to Star Citizen ships?

The crash widens bitcoin’s year-to-date losses to as much as 50%, wiping about $120 billion off its market value this year.

Although Coinrail didn’t specify the value of the heist, a wallet address that has been linked to the alleged attacker appeared to have stolen more than $40 million worth of cryptocurrency, TechCrunch noted.

Other major cryptocurrencies including ethereum and ripple also tumbled, with about $45 billion wiped off the total crypto-market value in the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.

About $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen by hackers in the first half of this year, according to a recent report from cybersecurity company Carbon Black.

The price plunges were also linked to a report on Friday from the Wall Street Journal (paywall) that US regulators are investigating four major crypto exchanges, including Coinbase and Bitstamp, for price manipulation.

It’s rather shocking that the industry hasn’t gotten better at defending itself or setting proper security standards.

It’s almost like the vulnerability is a feature, not a bug.

If you’re prone to shock it might be advisable to sit down before continuing on.

SAN FRANCISCO — A concentrated campaign of price manipulation may have accounted for at least half of the increase in the price of Bitcoin and other big cryptocurrencies last year, according to a paper released on Wednesday by an academic with a history of spotting fraud in financial markets.

The paper by John Griffin, a finance professor at the University of Texas, and Amin Shams, a graduate student, is likely to stoke a debate about how much of Bitcoin’s skyrocketing gain last year was caused by the covert actions of a few big players, rather than real demand from investors.

This is good news. If it was manipulated it can happen again and I can again make some money off it.

Well said. News like this merely highlights opportunity for clever opportunists.

This could possibly be a wonderful opportunity to make money, and then buy Hammocks.

It’s almost like this whole blockchain thing was all hot air.

The number of CryptoKitties transactions decreased in June by 98.4% compared to its peak of 80,500 transactions back in December 2017, according to data from Bloxy. The game is still among the most popular options for ethereum-related gaming, but public interest in buying and selling them seems to have waned significantly in recent months.

Another day, another hack.

Wow, $30,000,000 sounds like a big deal, but…

$30 million in hacked cryptocurrencies may seem like a vast sum, however, while putting into the context of the whole cryptocurrency market, it is unjust to say that this hack should have caused the market to drop over by over three percent.

Oh.

Well, at least we aren’t going to let the hacked exchange off the hoo-

It is great to see that Bithumb had their hands on the trigger in case anything went wrong, quickly moving all assets to cold storage to mitigate any further risk.

Okay, great work guys. Glad to hear only $30m got lost. It could have been a lot worse to be sure. Get back to me when we aren’t talking about literal sofa cushion money though.

Notice for the suspension of all deposit and withdrawal service
We checked that some of cryptocurrencies valued about $30,000,000 was stolen. Those stolen cryptocurrencies will be covered from Bithumb and all of assets are being transferring to cold wallet.

At $274,000,000 in transactions a day, it’s good to see the company step up here to help maintain investor confidence in the system.

So, I thought I’d check up on that Turkish likely Ponzi scheme. Guess what? It was a Ponzi scheme and the guy apparently absconded to Uruguay with anywhere from $20m to $100m.

Chris Roberts moving to Uruguay confirmed?

My friend thinks that virtually all of these hacks are inside jobs. Banks have elaborate rules and security procedures in place to prevent insider from stealing (and yet it still occurs). Once the key to your wallet is stolen it’s really hard to trace the money.