Comedian Bill Maher Doesn’t ‘Get’ Bitcoin; Money, Unlike Crypto, is ‘Generated by Something Real’

Comedian Bill Maher Doesn’t ‘Get’ Bitcoin; Money, Unlike Crypto, is ‘Generated by Something Real’

According to him, Bitcoin’s “power is based solely on enough children believing in it.” Let’s not tell him about USD or fiat money.

Television host Bill Maher is the latest to mock cryptocurrencies. Taking a jab at Dogecoin (DOGE) on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ show, the comedian said, as “Far as I can tell, it’s exactly the same as the other cryptocurrencies because the whole thing is a joke.”

Referring to it as an “Easter bunny cartoon cash,” he then compared it to Tinkerbell from Peter Pan, saying, “Its power is based solely on enough children believing in it.”

But this wasn’t all; he then shared his views on Bitcoin’s environmental impact, which he says involves “more energy than Netflix, Apple, Facebook, and Google combined.” Each transaction, according to him, “uses more electricity than a million Visa transactions and has the same carbon footprint as watching 85,000 hours of YouTube.”

Where are these estimates even coming from? No one knows.

Attacking the power used by Bitcoin mining, Maher cited Microsoft founder Bill Gates, “Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind.”

He then goes on to quote a journal that stated that “bitcoin’s growth could single-handedly push global temperatures above the tipping point of 2 degrees celsius.”

Here, Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics, posted a video in rebuttal, saying the paper quoted is not a solid basis for claims against Bitcoin as it has been widely critiqued both by academics and industry practitioners.

According to Maher, however, Bitcoin supporters are “money-hungry opportunist(s), and you’re not allowed to pretend you care about the environment.”

He then tries to explain that “money had to originate from and be generated by something real somewhere, to which cryptocurrency says no it doesn’t.”

“Cars are bad for the environment, but at least they take you somewhere,” added Maher. He then called out Tesla CEO Elon Musk for supporting cryptocurrencies.

“How can Tesla be all-in on saving the planet with electric cars and then participate in destroying it with this completely unnecessary online play-money?” Well, that should tell you something.

But he found support in Warren Buffett, quoting him on Bitcoin having no intrinsic value and that one just hopes for somebody to pay more money for them.

The crux is simple, as Maher said, “I still don’t get it,” despite claiming to have read about cryptos and had them explained to him. But he goes one step further, “neither do you or anyone else.” He also quoted The Black Swan author Nassim Taleb who called bitcoin an “open ponzi scheme.”

Of course, the crypto community took offense at his uninformed takes and shared Maher’s just as ridiculous takes on cell phones, social media, global pandemic, and more. Even a Maher fan tweeted,

“Huge fan Bill but this is terrible research. Don’t you think? Buffett is 100 years old; he doesn’t know tech. The USD is backed by nothing either & they don’t just print 1 trillion bitcoin out of nowhere, devaluing it like USD.”

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Author: AnTy

Norway Central Bank Governor: Bitcoin is ‘Too Costly’ to be Used and Doesn’t Preserve Stability

Norway Central Bank Governor: Bitcoin is ‘Too Costly’ to be Used and Doesn’t Preserve Stability

The world’s most cashless country doesn’t want its people to use Bitcoin as an alternative.

Norway has been steadily moving towards a cashless society, but the country’s central bank governor says people shouldn’t turn to Bitcoin as an alternative.

Oystein Olsen, the governor of Norges Bank in Oslo, says it’s inconceivable that Bitcoin will replace the fiat currency controlled by central banks, adding that while people like to talk about it, Bitcoin won’t be a threat to central banks.

Bitcoin is “far too resource-intensive, far too costly, and most importantly, it doesn’t preserve stability,” Olsen said in a phone interview.

“I mean, the basic property and task for a central bank and central-bank currency is to provide stability in the value of money and in the system, and that is not done by Bitcoin.”

Recently, Kjell Inge Rokke, one of Norway’s most prominent businessmen, endorsed Bitcoin, saying it will ultimately be on the right side of monetary history. His Aker ASA also invested $58.6 million in Bitcoin and set up a new unit to establish Bitcoin mining operations and to invest throughout the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Trading above $54k, the leading cryptocurrency has become a trillion-dollar asset this year. According to Kjell, BTC price might one day even be “worth millions of dollars.”

The crypto asset hit a new ATH at nearly $62k earlier this month, surging more than 15x from its March low as institutions, hedge funds, high-net-worth individuals, pension funds, and insurance firms increasingly join the crypto market and invest in Bitcoin.

CBDC Won’t Disrupt The Private Sector

Amidst the growing interest and adoption of crypto assets, central banks from China, Sweden, Japan, and the US are developing their own digital versions of fiat currencies.

While Norway has become the world’s most cashless country, with only 4% of all payments conducted with coins and banknotes, as shared by Norges Bank Deputy Governor Ida Wolden Bache last November, the country isn’t leading in central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

Norges Bank, however, is due to publish a report on its CBDC project next month, which the officials affirm “will not change private sector credit intermediation.”

Earlier this month, Wolden Bache said the goal is that users “must be able to pay efficiently and securely in” Norwegian kroner.

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Author: AnTy

IRS Changes Tax Requirements; Purchasing Crypto with Fiat (USD) Doesn’t Need to be Reported

IRS Changes Tax Requirements; Purchasing Crypto with Fiat (USD) Doesn’t Need to be Reported

If a person has purchased cryptocurrencies with USD, such a transaction is not reportable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), clarifies the updated FAQ on Virtual Currency Transactions on the official website.

If your only transactions involving virtual currency during 2020 were purchases of virtual currency with real currency, you are not required to answer yes to the Form 1040 question, which wants to know about your crypto activity.

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This update by the IRS provides clarity to taxpayers who were unsure whether purchasing crypto in USD requires them to report it.

However, this only applies to real currency, that is, fiat, and not purchasing crypto with other cryptocurrencies as that is a taxable event.

Virtual currencies are treated as property under the IRS. If you hold the cryptocurrency for one year or less before selling or exchanging it, you will have a short-term capital gain or loss, and for more than one year, it counts as long-term capital gain or loss. The period for the same starts on the day after you acquired the virtual currency.

The IRS also considers airdrops, which results in you receiving a new cryptocurrency, a taxable event. Income from airdrops is calculated by the fair market value of the new cryptocurrency.

Virtual currency received as a bona fide gift is not recognized as income until sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of. Additionally, donating cryptocurrency to a charitable organization is not taxable as it is treated as a non-cash contribution.

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Author: AnTy

Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) Becomes Leader by Just Being the First Mover

This doesn’t bode well for Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which doesn’t have a redemption option. Already all three Bitcoin closed-end funds (CEF) in Canada went into discounts, but they do have redemption programs.

Last week, the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC), made its debut on the Toronto exchange, and it received an amazing response.

Launched on Feb. 18, it has already attracted more than $500 million of investor capital.

This week, TMX Group will be listing options around the Purpose Bitcoin ETF on the Montréal Exchange to cater to both the retail and institutional investors. Som Seif, founder, and CEO of Purpose Investments said,

“This is great news for investors and a powerful display of innovation in motion.”

“Not only does this provide investors with more ways to gain exposure to Bitcoin, but it also really cements the idea that Purpose Bitcoin ETF is the premier tracker of the cryptocurrency in North America.”

Now, another firm, Evolve Fund Group in Canada, has lowered the price on its Bitcoin ETF, EBIT, to 0.75% from 1% to compete. With this move, EBIT has now become cheaper than the 1% expense ratio of its competitor, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF.

BTCC started trading just a day before Evolve’s offering. However, compared to BTCC’s more than half a billion in assets, EBIT has only captured $28 million. Ben Slavin, head of ETFs for BNY Mellon Asset Servicing said,

“BTCC illustrates the importance of first-mover advantage in ETFs.”

“A one-day head start was all that was required to establish a clear lead for Bitcoin ETFs in Canada.”

On the first day of trading, more than $165 million worth of shares in the Purpose product changed hands, while for EBIT, it was just $14.6 million.

According to James Seyffart of Bloomberg, the launch of Bitcoin ETF in Canada doesn’t bode well for Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) either because it doesn’t have a redemption option yet.

He noted how all three Bitcoin closed-end funds (CEF) in Canada went into discounts, BTCG down under -16%, immediately when BTCC began trading. But Candian CEFs have redemption programs, so that should limit discounts around month-end, he said.

As a matter of fact, on Thursday, the premium on GBTC also went negative to its lowest level. This huge demand for the Candian fund has also ramped up the interest in the US for issuers to gain first approval in launching a Bitcoin ETF. Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store, an advisory firm said,

“Prospective Bitcoin ETF issuers in the U.S. must be salivating after witnessing the debut of BTCC, but they’re also likely feeling much more pressure now.”

“It’s reasonable to assume the winner of the U.S. Bitcoin ETF race stands to benefit significantly.”

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Author: AnTy

Rapper Soulja Boy Reveals His Crypto Bags

And they are heavy… CT doesn’t know if to be sympathetic or call him out.

Rapper and entrepreneur Soulja Boy took the road the Crypto Twitter (CT) advised him against.

On Friday, he announced his crypto picks that involve BNB, DGB, TRX, KLV, ZPAE, and FDO.

While Binance’s BNB is the only coin among the top 10 cryptos, Tron (TRX) and DigiByte (DGB) are other known projects with a market cap of $2 billion and $350 million, respectively.

However, the other three unknown projects record volume ranging from just $45k to $200k, which makes it easy to pump and dump the coins’ prices. When it comes to market cap, Klever only has an $18 mln while ZelaaPayAE a mere $148k, but Coinmarketcap doesn’t have any for Firados.

The market consensus for his crypto buys were various versions of bad decisions, absolute dog s–t, and of course, Have Fun Staying Poor (HFSP).

This has the market speculating that this could be paid promotions and tried to warn him by providing a historical context of Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and entertainment mogul DJ Khaled who was sued for promoting the illegal cryptocurrency scam Centra Tech ICO without disclosing their endorsement deal.

Soulja Boy was also looking to buy XRP. Still, he couldn’t, as the majority of the cryptocurrency trading platforms have suspended support for the digital asset after the SEC sued Ripple and its two top executives for allegedly selling unregistered securities.

If you are wondering if he even considered Bitcoin, Soulja Boy said he “did” buy the leading digital asset as he has known about Bitcoin and even wrote a song about it a few years back but said, “It’s these new coins that are kinda interesting to me right now.”

Earlier this week, he shared his interest in creating his own cryptocurrency and the non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

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Author: AnTy

Ripple Partner MoneyGram ‘Doesn’t Utilize ODL or RippleNet’ Despite Being Paid Millions in XRP

Ripple Partner MoneyGram Says it ‘Doesn’t Utilize ODL or RippleNet’ for Which it was Paid Millions in XRP

“It’s still business as usual,” says Ripple CEO, maintaining that the company remains “on the right side of the law and of history.”

Amidst the ongoing distancing from XRP, Ripple partner MoneyGram also issued a statement.

“The Company has not currently been notified or been made aware of any negative impact to its commercial agreement with Ripple,” said MoneyGram, one of the largest companies involved in cross-border P2P payments and money transfer.

The statement came in light of the recent lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against Ripple Labs Inc.

“MoneyGram is not a party to the SEC action,” said the company adding, they will continue to monitor for any impact as things unfold.

MoneyGram came into a commercial agreement with Ripple in June 2019 to use the fintech’s foreign exchange (FX) blockchain trading platform, On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) for the purchase or sale of four currencies. For this, Ripple paid millions of dollars in XRP to MoneyGram. However, the company revealed that, as a matter of fact,

“MoneyGram does not utilize the ODL platform or RippleNet for direct transfers of consumer funds – digital or otherwise.”

Throughout this collaboration, MoneyGram actually continued the use of other traditional FX trading counterparties and says it “is not dependent on the Ripple platform to accomplish its FX trading needs.”

“There were a discussion on Twitter about precisely how MoneyGram used ODL, other ways they could use it, and the advantages and disadvantages of each mechanism,” commented David Schwartz, CTO of Ripple on MoneyGram distancing itself from the company.

This week, XRP got into hot water as the SEC charges Ripple and its two executives, board member and former CEO Chris Larsen and current CEO and board member Brad Garlinghouse for allegedly selling unregistered securities.

This resulted in the price of the digital asset crashing more than 60% and taking the entire crypto market down with it, only to recover the gains to trade around $0.30 XRP -6.52% XRP / USD XRPUSD $ 0.30
-$0.02 -6.52%
Volume 9.97 b Change -$0.02 Open $0.30 Circulating 45.4 b Market Cap 13.43 b
6 h Ripple Partner MoneyGram Says it ‘Doesn’t Utilize ODL or RippleNet’ for Which it was Paid Millions in XRP 10 h Oldest Crypto Exchange Bitstamp to Suspend XRP Trading & Deposit on Jan. 8 2 d XRP Carnage Begins as the Delisting Commences
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All of this also resulted in the suspension of XRP trading and deposits on several trading platforms. Just yesterday, the oldest crypto exchange Bitstamp suspended the XRP services for its US customers, starting January 8.

OSL, Beaxy, and CloseTowers are other exchanges that suspended XRP trading on their platform while Bitwise Asset Management also liquidated its position in the digital asset.

Garlinghouse meanwhile, maintains that Ripple remains “on the right side of the law and of history.”

“It’s still business as usual,” said Ripple CEO in a publicly shared note sent to the company’s employees this week.

“The SEC is completely wrong on the facts and law and we are confident we will ultimately prevail before a neutral fact-finder.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin & Digital Currencies Won’t Succeed: Founder of World’s Largest Hedge Fund

Ray Dalio continues to have his concerns about Bitcoin, which he doesn’t prefer over the traditional safe-haven gold, unlike the latest converts like legendary investors Paul Tudor Jones, Stanley Druckenmiller, and Ben Miller.

In his latest interview with Yahoo Finance, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates shared his views on digital currencies, which he said is of two types; the first one is the bitcoin type of currency, which will be an “alternative currency in terms of its supply & demand and an alternative storehold of wealth.”

The second ones are the digitized version of fiat currencies, central bank digital currencies (CBDC), and “we’re going to see a lot more of that,” he said.

But his problem with Bitcoin is that though theoretically, it’s good to be a currency, it has to be an effective medium of exchange, store hold of wealth. Moreover, governments want to control it.

He argued, “I can’t take my bitcoin yet and go buy things easily with it.” As for being a storehold of wealth, it is volatile, and so much of it is based on pure speculation as such not an effective one at that, making it not suitable as a “transaction vehicle.”

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Interestingly, while BTC has recorded +120% year-to-date performance, Bridgewater Pure Alpha II Fund is down by 18% YTD.

Another problem with Bitcoin, according to Dalio, is, “if it becomes material, governments won’t allow it. I mean they’ll outlaw it.”

“They’ll use whatever teeth they have to enforce that they would say you can’t transact the bitcoin, you can’t have a bitcoin,” which would make one a felon to use it. He points out how governments even outlawed gold.

Cash is a Risky Asset

According to Dalio, gold will be a vehicle that central banks and countries will use as an alternative to cash, which won’t be devalued by printing it, and already the precious metal is the third-largest reserves of the US.

“I don’t think digital currencies will succeed in the way people hope they would,” he said.

His views on digital currencies are based on the “new era of monetary policy” we are in, which he believes is the third one where the free market will play a much less role in determining capital market flows.

“The two dimensions of the big change environment you’re going to see: much more government influences and direction of where money goes,” said Dalio, adding “the government will play a bigger” which means there’ll be much more debt that is monetized and that has implications for the value of financial assets and the value of the currencies.

By printing the money, governments have already diminished the value of cash and the value of bonds as they promise to receive a lot of currency, Dalio said.

All of this is shifting wealth to financial assets and, as always, sends stocks and gold higher. Another clear thing is that “cash is a risky asset,” he added.

“So many people think if I go to cash, I’m going to be safe because it’s much less volatile, but please realize in this environment of producing a lot more cash the real returns go down, it’s a seductive risk, risky asset,” because of inflation, said Dalio.

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Author: AnTy

As Digital Gold, Bitcoin is “Just Going to Keep Going Higher,” says Galaxy’s Mike Novogratz

Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz doesn’t see Bitcoin as a currency; rather, he doubles down on the digital currency as digital gold.

“I don’t think Bitcoin is going to be used as a transactional currency anytime in the next five years,” said Novogratz, founder, and CEO of Galaxy Investment, in an interview with Bloomberg. “Bitcoin is being used as a store of value.”

As a digital gold, he sees Bitcoin going a lot farther.

“And so Bitcoin as a gold, as digital gold is just going to keep going higher,” said Novogratz.

“More and more people are going to want it as some portion of their portfolio.”

This week, BTC price broke into a new 2020 high with a surge above $13,000 after PayPal announced support, a move heralded as game-changing.

According to him, other companies like Mastercard, Visa, and American Express will follow suit “within a year.”

“It’s no longer a debate if crypto is a thing if Bitcoin is an asset if the blockchain is going to be part of the financial infrastructure,” he said.

“It’s not if, it’s when, and so every single company has to have a plan now.”

All of this has been because of the coronavirus pandemic, which Novogratz said has “accelerated adoption of crypto.”

This acceleration happened in two ways: “the macro story with Bitcoin” and the digitalization of the financial services system, which is currently centered on the Ethereum network and, as per him, “going to mostly be built” on it only as well.

Already, the digital currencies are leading the rally, beating not just traditional assets but also the banking stocks, which are down 20 to 60%.

“The entire payment system of the financial system is going to change, and it’s going to change much faster than people thought.”

And this financial infrastructure is going to be built around blockchain, he added.

In a separate interview with CNBC, he talked about expecting the Democrats to win both the White House and Congress and the tax plan of Joe Biden will create buy the dip opportunities as the next stimulus will provide a ton of cash and people will continue to “pour into speculative assets.”

“We’re going to have some volatility around Joe Biden’s tax plan, and maybe it gets people a better chance to buy stocks, but people are going to be buyers on dips.”

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Author: AnTy

“I Don’t Build For Speculators, I Build For Developers,” Says YFI Creator Andre Cronje

DeFi darling YFI’s creator Andre Cronje clarifies that he doesn’t “build for speculators.”

“I do not build to make a number go up. I build for developers,” said Cronje in a post on Thursday.

YFI, the governance token of Yearn.Finance is known as the fairest launch of the DeFi world, which was launched as a zero valueless, 0 supply token with no allocation to the project team members.

The token surged to its all-time high of $43,680 in just two months of its launch and is currently trading around $14,200.

Thrice, there have been reports of Cronje quitting the project only to backtrack. According to him, this project isn’t about him anymore, it’s a big ecosystem with a team, and he is just a contributor.

“Test in prod.”

While token investors seek to gain from their token investments, Cronje said having tokens means “you want to be a contributor, not a bystander,” and they shouldn’t be treated as stocks.

He further explained his famous statement “test in prod,” which he has “come to regret” as it was used so that people use the protocol with caution —

“It exists to deter people from just using systems without investigation.”

It also doesn’t mean he doesn’t test. While explaining his development cycle, Cronje said it involved various stages; the first involved making sure everything is functional, the second is interaction testing followed by composite testing.

Stage four is fake prod, which replicates ETH mainnet and integration testing. Deploying to mainnet happens in stage 5. The last stage is prod deployments that coincide with UI’s and information sharing through medium articles.

“Testing is an iterative process. I have discovered issues on mainnet I never encountered locally, I have failed to replicate mainnet systems locally, and I have encountered errors locally that I can’t replicate on mainnet.”

“Continue building.”

Talking about EMN, which rug pulled on $15 million, he said its “code functioned as designed and at stage 5, 2 different versions were deployed.

As for LBI, which he explicitly asked not to use as they were valueless, unlike YFI, it is “working as intended,” and he’s using it to create real-world examples of how such templates function.

Overall, his focus is on building, which he will continue to, and he doesn’t foresee ETH disappearing or other builders stopping.

Despite Cronje’s explanation, YFI is not showing strength yet and continues to drop with the rest of the market.

“This post should make many people support Cronje while making many others wonder if he is a hypocrite or lives in a bubble. Either way, the Cronje premium had turned into a discount,” said trader and economist Alex Kruger.

While some traders see YFI as “finished” until it brings something new, others are still bullish given that it is still 64% away from its highs, high vol capitulation at $12k, very low supply, and an army of devs building stuff on it that will inevitably get hyped. In the meantime, Cronje said,

“I wish to develop, deploy, and share what I build with fellow developers so that we may collaborate and build more.”

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum 2.0 Not Coming in Q1 or Q2 of 2020 But On the 5th Anniversary of ETH 1.0

  • “95% confidence” in July 2020 launch on 5th anniversary of Ethereum 1.0
  • If ETH 2 doesn’t launch in 2020 “it would be a failure”
  • Ethereum Foundation team members say Eth1 not as dependent on Eth2 that it can’t manage in the worst case

If you have been waiting for Ethereum 2.0 anytime soon, you have to wait even longer. The postponed date of this launch in Q1 now won’t be possible.

During the Ask me Anything (AMA) session, Justin Drake, Researcher at Ethereum Foundation said it is “unlikely” that this phase will be launched in this or next quarter if “we want three clients to be production-ready for launch.”

Drake further explained the need for three clients, “Ideally no single client has more than a 50% share of validators.” Parity launched late and never caught up, as such it is now about 80% Geth and 20% Parity, he said.

But he has “95% confidence” that Phase 0 will be launched in July 2020 — the 5th anniversary of Ethereum 1.0. And if the launch doesn’t happen in 2020 “it would be a failure,” said Drake.

Danny Ryan, another remember of the Research Team at Ethereum Foundation is confident that Phase 0 will “certainly launch in 2020,” as audits are out and testnets are “getting stronger every week.”

Scalability not an issue even if Eth2 gets delayed further

The launch of the new phase can only happen when two parallel tracks are complete which would take roughly five months. The first one involves deposits that includes building and testing the default deposits UI followed by an audit of the deposits by a third-party and then deploying the deposit contacts and permanently point depositcontract.eth to it.

On the client’s side, they will independently work towards production quality through single-client testnets and then multi-client test and final third-party audits.

Even if ETH2 gets delayed further, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin says they have stateless clients that prepare the eth1 chain for a merger with eth2 and improve scalability independently.

Buterin isn’t worried about scaling as he explained the Istanbul hard fork already reduced gas costs of CALLDATA to 16 per byte and increased the theoretical maximum throughput to ~2500 tx/sec.

Diederik Loerakker of the Ethereum Foundation is still confident in Eth1 which he said is “not as dependent on Eth2 and can manage even in the worst case.”

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Author: AnTy