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Aujourd’hui — 21 juillet 2019Divers

Science décalée : Stonehenge a-t-il été construit avec du lard ?

Par webmaster@futura-sciences.com (Futura-Sciences)
La construction du monument de Stonehenge, érigé entre 2800 et 1100 ans avant J.-C, a fait l’objet d’innombrables théories. Une archéologue britannique suggère aujourd’hui que les mégalithes auraient été déplacés grâce à de la graisse de porc.

Neuralink, l'interface cerveau-machine d'Elon Musk est prête à être connectée !

Par webmaster@futura-sciences.com (Futura-Sciences)
Testé avec succès sur des singes, l'implant cérébral développé par la firme d'Elon Musk permettra à terme à des personnes paralysées de piloter un ordinateur par le cerveau. Le recrutement de cobayes est lancé avec des essais sur les Humains prévus en 2020.

Deutsche Bank Collapse Could Crash Global Financial Markets

Par Avi Mizrahi

German financial services giant Deutsche Bank AG is one of the largest and most important economic institutions in the world. Mainly due to self-imposed scandals, the bank is now having to taking drastic measures to stay afloat. Investors everywhere should note that if such a critical piece of the too-big-to-fail banking system falters, it could trigger another global financial crisis.

Also Read: Global Crypto War Is Heating up – Iran Next in Line With Its Own Gold-Backed Coin

Deutsche Bank Struggles to Survive

Deutsche Bank AG, the largest banking services group in Germany with well over a trillion dollars worth of assets, has been a major source of concern for international investors, economists and policy makers for more than a couple of years now. In fact, the International Monetary Fund called the bank in 2016 “the most important net contributor to systemic risks” to the global financial system. That same year, various financial publications around the world also started warning that Deutsche might be the “next Lehman Brothers,” referring to the investment bank whose collapse is considered to be a major part of starting the 2008 global financial crisis.

Now the German bank appears to be struggling again, with some commentators fearing it will not be able to survive. Just this month it was announced that Deutsche will undergo a major reorganization in order to stop the bleeding. As was widely reported, the restructuring process of the company will include downsizing about a fifth of its employees around the world, approximately 18,000-20,000 people. Additionally it was revealed that Deutsche will cut its investment in information technology by over a billion dollars per year, a move that will hinder it from catching up with competitors or being able to face new challengers in the fintech domain. Moreover, there are also reports in the market that some institutional investment funds are pulling out their assets from the bank, which might signal a lack of trust in the success of the reorganization efforts.

Costly Scandals and Billions in Fines

Before we ponder how the situation might unfold, let’s review how Deutsche Bank got to its current state. Over the last few years it has been involved in a number of scandals such as facilitating money laundering which cost the bank a fortune in legal expenses, reputational damage and massive fines. Its stock is now trading at a 30-year low, having lost over 70% in value since 2007. The bank also suffered frequent changes at the top because of this, replacing CEOs and other top executives at an alarming rate for a company of its kind in its industry. In November 2018, its headquarters were even raided by law enforcement officers and representatives of the German tax authority.

Deutsche Bank Collapse Could Crash Global Financial Markets

The myriad of legal troubles it’s faced have cost Deutsche Bank an incredible amount of money in the last few years. For example, in April 2015 it had to agree to pay a combined $2.5 billion in fines to American and British authorities for its involvement in the Libor scandal, where several banks were accused of colluding to fix interest rates widely used around the world. And in January 2017, Deutsche reached a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over its sale and pooling of toxic mortgage securities. In total, Deutsche Bank has paid more than $13 billion for litigation since 2012.

What Happens When Too-Big-to-Fail Fails?

So what will happen if Deutsche Bank does not succeed with its reorganization efforts and can no longer survive on its own? If it was operating in an economy governed by real free market principles, the bank would just go out of business the same way other companies do all the time. However, it is more than possible that politicians and bureaucrats will feel a need to intervene to prevent that from happening.

Bodies such as the German government and the European Central Bank (ECB) can say that the failure of the largest commercial banking institution in the economic heart of Europe would have disastrous ramifications for the continent and the world as a lack of investor trust will send an economic shockwave from Germany outward. For this reason they may claim to have no choice but to rescue Deutsche Bank with other people’s money. This can be done by several ways, including forcing other banks to buy out Deutsche (there were attempts to merge it with Commerzbank AG in the past), printing more fiat money and giving it away to Deutsche or even outright nationalizing the bank.

Deutsche Bank Collapse Could Crash Global Financial Markets

Whatever the case may be, it will have lasting implications on the global economy. Besides the knock-on effect on other financial institutions, a collapse of Deutsche Bank, as well as a rescue of it with European citizens’ money, could create serious political fallback. As we have seen with the last global crisis financial, disillusioned voters might feel that those in power are sacrificing their savings in order to help rich bankers from too-big-to-fail institutions, fueling a drift to populism in extreme right and left parties, further destabilizing the established order.

A new financial crisis triggered by a collapse of Deutsche Bank can also drive more people to discover cryptocurrency as an alternative to fiat, as the faults of the old system become obvious to understand. A costly and unfair rescue of the failing system will also have such an effect, evoking the Times headline “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks” from January 3, 2009, enshrined by Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin genesis block for a reason.

What do you think about the current state of Deutsche Bank and the likelihood of its possible collapse to crash the global financial markets again? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Deutsche Bank Collapse Could Crash Global Financial Markets appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Sunday's Best Deals: Everlane's Famous Tote, Stella Charity Glasses, CBD, Mushrooms, and More

Par Shep McAllister on Kinja Deals, shared by Shep McAllister to Lifehacker

A box to grow your own mushrooms, a massive deal on a powerful pressure washer, and Everlane’s royal-approved leather tote lead off Sunday’s best deals from around the web.

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Des scientifiques observent pour la première des molécules changer de forme

Par webmaster@futura-sciences.com (Futura-Sciences)
Lorsqu’une molécule gagne ou perd des électrons, ses propriétés chimiques et physiques changent, mais sa structure est elle aussi modifiée. C’est ce que viennent d’observer pour la première fois des scientifiques d’IBM à Zurich à l’aide d’un microscope à force atomique (AFM). Cet appareil, qui...

How the Blockchain Stops Cheaters: Cryptocurrency and Provably Fair Gaming

Par Graham Smith
How The Blockchain Stops Cheaters - Cryptocurrency Allows Provably Fair Gaming

Online casinos and betting sites have proliferated since the first of their kind came on the scene in 1994. Thanks to the convenience of playing from home, the allure of winning real money, and a degree of privacy, these popular sites continue to evolve. There have been major problems, though, regarding perceived fairness and randomness of play. Blockchain technology offers a solution in provably fair gaming, taking trust out of the picture almost entirely.

Also read: Why You Can’t Bet With Bitcoin at Online Casinos in the US

Mistrust of Old Models

Consumer mistrust of online gaming sites has been understandably high in the past, as the relationship between house and player is often shrouded in slick talk and foggy uncertainty. A 2013 survey of online gamblers showed that 91.5% of the 10,000+ interviewed wanted some kind of reputable, third party report to guarantee fairness in play. Things like hashing and open source, blockchain-based code are now making this possible.

How the Blockchain Stops Cheaters: Cryptocurrency and Provably Fair Gaming

What Is ‘Provably Fair’?

Provably fair means that the mechanisms used to generate results on a gaming platform can be vetted by the user independently for authenticity and randomness. Prior to the rise of blockchain solutions, users had to simply trust that their online casino was generating results without altering them according to the player’s bet, or some other arbitrary factor.

The house could stand to win a lot more by knowing how players bet, and purposefully broadcasting results not favorable to the user. With blockchain-based gambling, however, all the information about every single bet and result, and how the outcomes were arrived at, is stored on a public ledger, and these algorithms can be verified by users.

Instead of relying on a website’s bold claim of “third party-verified gaming” players can now prove this fairness to themselves using randomly generated seeds and hashes, as well as verification tools unaffiliated with the site itself. While the words “provably fair” in and of themselves do not necessarily denote a trustless system (some sites can still “rig” outcomes in subtle ways if users aren’t careful), this innovation does take things leagues beyond “just trust us.”

How the Blockchain Stops Cheaters: Cryptocurrency and Provably Fair Gaming

How It Works

Let’s say online gamer Susan wants to play some dice games. She heads to a provably fair site and places her bet. Before her bet is placed, however, the site’s server provides her with a hash (a near impossible-to-reverse, fixed-length output scrambling of data) of the predetermined server-side result or outcome of the roll (server seed). Now, Susan’s browser — or Susan herself — provides a random seed (client seed) which modifies the predetermined hash to something neither she nor the gaming site can predict. When all this has taken place, the dice are rolled.

How the Blockchain Stops Cheaters: Cryptocurrency and Provably Fair Gaming

After Susan has finished her gaming session, she can check the hashes provided by the site against the seeds she provided, using a now unhashed server seed. Via verification tools, she can be sure that the outcomes of her rolls were generated both according to the gaming site’s original seed (unchangeable after being decided prior to the bet or roll), and her own random client seed (existing only in her browser) via a predetermined algorithm.

How the Blockchain Stops Cheaters: Cryptocurrency and Provably Fair Gaming

In essence, the process is like someone writing a math problem on a piece of paper (such as 2 + 2 = ?) but with one of the values written in invisible ink (2 + ? = ?) This person then folds the paper and places it in another person’s pocket. This other person removes the paper, and now secretly writes a new number in black ink, crossing out the first, visible integer. Both people can then examine the paper with identical “magic flashlights.” The intended result “4” can be understood via the original magic ink value of “2,” but now must be adjusted based on the newly placed first value in black ink. In this way, neither party is able to predict the result without the magic lights (open source code, seeds, and hashes) showing the invisible ink (unhashed server seed) and newly written number in black (client seed).

Though much more complex than the simple illustration given above, this is the basic idea. In provably fair gaming, nobody has to trust anyone else about the outcome being random and fair, as long as the underlying mechanisms are transparent.

How the Blockchain Stops Cheaters: Cryptocurrency and Provably Fair Gaming

Transparency Is Paramount

As alluded to earlier, not all sites claiming to be provably fair actually are, so it is important to exercise caution. Most online gamblers and gamers are not programmers, and wouldn’t know how to verify these things without some useful tools to help. Reputable sites include links to open source tools by which to check seeds and verify results. Oftentimes these tools are found on the sites themselves, and utilize the client’s browser. Beyond this, the algorithm used to generate randomness itself should also be clearly defined and open source.

In cases where this information is not transparent, platforms can potentially gather client browser data, and analyze the gambling patterns of individual players to avoid payouts. This is why a gaming site’s transparency and soundness of underlying mechanism is of utmost importance. It’s also why it’s good to manually generate new seeds with each play or session.

Less Trust Equates to More Reliability

Provably fair gaming and betting are continuing to evolve with the aid of blockchain innovation. Newly developing ideas such as atomic, on-chain betting would remove trust elements from transactions even further. As it stands, even on provably fair, completely reliable sites the player is still required to trust that they will indeed receive their payout after a randomly-generated outcome has given them a win. Using the opcode OP_Checkdatasig, however, it may be possible to remove this element completely, automating trustless gaming from start to finish.

Bitcoin.com’s Bitcoin Cash Games web portal is a provably fair gaming site that offers video poker, roulette, blackjack and more so players can wager BCH in a high stakes environment. We can 100 percent assure that our gaming platform can be played with confidence and that all deals are entirely fair. “The reason that we can guarantee provably fair gaming is that your web browser supplies a random number that we must incorporate into the random number generator in a provably consistent way,” explains Cashgames.Bitcoin.com.

How the Blockchain Stops Cheaters: Cryptocurrency and Provably Fair Gaming

Bridge to the Future: Fair Money and Fair Play

As online gaming — and finance itself — continue to evolve, permissionless systems are revolutionizing the way humans conceptualize fairness. Whereas altruistic, trust-based norms have held sway for most of history, it now appears that the best way to build trust might be by removing it completely. That is to say, in creating systems so transparent and understandable that bad actors and scammers will have nowhere to hide.

This is akin to the way people trust a well-tested bridge, and not a blindfolded promise from a stranger of safe passage. There’s always some element of risk, but knowing how the bridge was built, how often it is maintained, and seeing it for oneself is always preferable to being blindfolded and simply invited to walk across a canyon.

What are your thoughts on provably fair blockchain gaming? Let us know in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Fair use


Did you know you could win big with Bitcoin gambling? Choose from a range of BCH games including BCH poker, BCH slots, and many more. All games are provably fair—good luck!

The post How the Blockchain Stops Cheaters: Cryptocurrency and Provably Fair Gaming appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Et voici le drone lance-flamme

Par webmaster@futura-sciences.com (Futura-Sciences)
Aux États-Unis, la société Throwflame commercialise un véritable lance-flamme qui s’adapte aux drones de type industriel.

You Only Have 24 Hours to Bag the Famed Everlane Day Tote For Just $125

Par Chelsea Stone on Kinja Deals, shared by Shep McAllister to Lifehacker

The Day Market Tote | $125 | Everlane
The Day Square Tote | $125 | Everlane

Read more...

Crypto Bullishness Spreads on Capitol Hill

Par Kevin Helms
Cryptocurrency Bullishness Spreads on Capitol Hill

U.S. Congress has shown that it is starting to care about cryptocurrency as a number of lawmakers spoke up in favor of it this week. “The world Satoshi Nakamoto had envisioned is an unstoppable force” and “there’s no capacity to kill bitcoin” are some of the comments made by lawmakers. Meanwhile, the Fed chair said bitcoin is a store of value like gold and admitted that an era of many different currencies could return with the wider adoption of cryptocurrency.

Also read: G20 Leaders Issue Declaration on Crypto Assets – A Look at Their Commitments

Unstoppable Force, No Capacity to Kill Bitcoin

During congressional hearings on Facebook’s Libra this week, a number of U.S. lawmakers spoke in favor of cryptocurrency. Among them was Rep. Patrick McHenry, the Republican Leader of the House Financial Services Committee.

At the Committee on Financial Services hearing on July 17, McHenry said: “The reality is, whether Facebook is involved or not, change is here … Digital currencies exist, blockchain technology is real, and Facebook’s entry in this new world is just confirmation albeit its scale.” He elaborated:

The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin whitepaper, envisioned and others are building is an unstoppable force.

The lawmaker added: “We should not attempt to deter this innovation, and governments cannot stop this innovation and those that have tried have already failed.”

Cryptocurrency Bullishness Spreads on Capitol Hill
Rep. Patrick McHenry

While speaking at length about innovation, McHenry stated: “Some politicians want us to live in a permission-based society where you need to come to government and ask for its blessing before you can begin to even think about innovating. Those are the politicians that would rather kill it before it grows, but there are others.” He proceeded to urge his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to unite in support of innovation, declaring that his party is ready to work with innovators to implement technology in the U.S. “before we lose out to other countries around the world.”

McHenry additionally emphasized: “Due to the nature of the technology of Bitcoin, governments cannot kill it, nor should they. You can’t kill digital currencies broadly. They will be enduring. They will be strong. That is the new framework of the next generation of the internet — that is clear.”

Cryptocurrency Bullishness Spreads on Capitol Hill

On the same day, McHenry appeared as a guest on CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss the hearing. When asked whether, in the long term, he believes that regulators and politicians will allow the emergence of new types of currencies, the representative replied:

I think there’s no capacity to kill bitcoin. Even the Chinese with their firewall and their extreme intervention in their society could not kill bitcoin.

Bitcoin Is Store of Value Like Gold

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also made some bullish statements about cryptocurrency when he testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on July 11 regarding monetary policy and the U.S. economy.

Powell was questioned about the impact of a cryptocurrency system on the U.S. reserve currency. “If a cryptocurrency system were to become prevalent throughout the globe, would that diminish or remove the need for a reserve currency in the traditional sense?” asked Senator Mike Crapo, Chairman of the Banking Committee.

Crypto Bullishness Spreads on Capitol Hill
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

“I think things like that are possible,” the Fed chair admitted but noted that “We haven’t seen widespread adoption.” Nonetheless, he opined:

That’s not to say we won’t see it and if we do see it, yes you could see a return to an era in the United States where we had many different currencies … in the so-called, I guess, national banking era.

After using bitcoin as an example, saying that almost no one uses it for payments, the Fed chair explained that “They use it more as an alternative to gold, really. It’s a store of value. It’s a speculative store of value like gold.”

President Donald Trump also made his first-ever tweet about bitcoin on July 11. Even though he wrote that he is “not a fan of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” many in the crypto community view the first direct tweet about bitcoin by a U.S. president as a bullish sign.

Cryptocurrency Bullishness Spreads on Capitol Hill
President Donald Trump

Congress Has Started to Care

Rep. Tom Emmer also spoke at the congressional hearing on July 17. He revealed in a tweet afterward that the hearing was not only about Libra but “an opportunity to amplify a discussion on cryptocurrencies.” He suggested that “Lack of understanding by Congress and regulators will stifle blockchain technology, which stands to be a force of change for good.” During the hearing, he remarked:

I’m sure you’re aware bitcoin is now 10 years old and now suddenly, magically Congress is responding. In other words, after more than a decade, Congress has apparently started to care.

“Unfortunately some people want to unnecessarily restrict it or even ban it. They fear change,” the representative described. “Nothing has been more clear on this committee than the blind aversion to change that some of our members have constantly espoused, even when it wasn’t required or even the subject of the hearing.”

Crypto Bullishness Spreads on Capitol Hill
Rep. Tom Emmer

Emmer continued:

My colleagues are incredibly fearful of money laundering and criminal activity and cryptocurrencies, but the dollar and all fiat-backed currencies have been proven to be the largest means of illicit behavior and money laundering.

Nonetheless, “this does not mean we need to suppress individual freedom,” he stressed. “Individuals insistent on the exclusion of middlemen and the freedom of the individual will continue to create open networks separate from central control.” Libra, however, relies on middlemen instead of minimizing them, he explained, but believes that Facebook’s coin “presents an incredible opportunity for everyone on this committee to learn more about actual cryptocurrencies.”

‘We Will Allow for Proper Use’

Earlier this week, on July 15, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a press conference at the White House where he talked about regulatory issues surrounding Libra and other cryptocurrencies.

Despite stating that “Many players have attempted to use cryptocurrencies to fund their malign behavior,” calling it “a national security issue,” he emphasized that “the U.S. welcomes responsible innovation, including new technologies that may improve the efficiency of the financial system and expand access to financial services.” Regarding Libra and other cryptocurrencies, the treasury secretary confirmed that “our overriding goal is to maintain the integrity of our financial system and protect it from abuse.”

Vaneck director Gabor Gurbacs commented on Mnuchin’s speech:

I thought Treasury Secretary Mnuchin had a fair and balanced view on bitcoin and digital assets. Secretary Mnuchin told the general public to play by the rules, don’t do anything illegal and there are paths forwards.

Crypto Bullishness Spreads on Capitol Hill
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

In a July 18 interview on Squawk Box, Mnuchin expressed concerns about cryptocurrency, echoing President Trump’s stance when he tweeted that “Unregulated cryptoassets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”

Responding to Squawk Box co-host Joe Kernen suggesting that “Cash is laundered all the time and it’s all we’ve ever used for nefarious activities and we’ve certainly had plenty of them,” Mnuchin contradicted:

I don’t think that’s accurate at all that cash is laundered all the time. We have the strongest AML system in the world.

Kernen argued that “There’s been a lot of nefarious activities historically, and it’s never involved bitcoin, so obviously it’s been successfully done with cash,” but Mnuchin insisted: “I don’t think it’s successfully been done with cash, I’ll push back on that and we’re going to make sure that bitcoin doesn’t become the equivalent of Swiss-numbered bank accounts which were obviously a real risk to the financial system.”

Cryptocurrency Bullishness Spreads on Capitol Hill

The treasury secretary also recently called on all countries to apply the crypto standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). By adopting these guidelines, “the FATF will make sure that virtual asset service providers do not operate in the dark shadows,” Mnuchin noted. “We will allow for proper use [of cryptocurrency], but we will not tolerate the continued use for illicit activities.”

What do you think of these lawmakers’ opinions on cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, C-span, and CNBC.


Are you feeling lucky? Visit our official Bitcoin casino where you can play BCH slots, BCH poker, and many more BCH games. Every game has a progressive Bitcoin Cash jackpot to be won!

The post Crypto Bullishness Spreads on Capitol Hill appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Getting ready for TEDSummit 2019: Photo gallery

Par Brian Greene

TEDSummit banners are hung at the entrance of the Edinburgh Convention Centre, our home for the week. (Photo: Bret Hartman / TED)

TEDSummit 2019 officially kicks off today! Members of the TED community from 84 countries — TEDx’ers, TED Translators, TED Fellows, TED-Ed Educators, past speakers and more — have gathered in Edinburgh, Scotland to dream up what’s next for TED. Over the next week, the community will share adventures around the city, more than 100 Discovery Sessions and, of course, seven sessions of TED Talks.

Below, check out some photo highlights from the lead-up to TEDSummit and pre-conference activities. (And view our full photostream here.)

It takes a small (and mighty) army to get the theater ready for TED Talks.

(Photo: Bret Hartman / TED)

(Photo: Ryan Lash / TED)

(Photo: Bret Hartman / TED)

TED Translators get the week started with a trip to Edinburgh Castle, complete with high tea in the Queen Anne Tea Room, and a welcome reception.

(Photo: Bret Hartman / TED)

(Photo: Bret Hartman / TED)

(Photo: Bret Hartman / TED)

A bit of Scottish rain couldn’t stop the TED Fellows from enjoying a hike up Arthur’s Seat. Weather wasn’t a problem at a welcome dinner.

(Photo: Ryan Lash / TED)

(Photo: Ryan Lash / TED)

(Photo: Ryan Lash / TED)

TEDx’ers kick off the week with workshops, panel discussions and a welcome reception.

(Photo: Dian Lofton / TED)

(Photo: Dian Lofton / TED)

(Photo: Ryan Lash / TED)

It’s all sun and blue skies for the speaker community’s trip to Edinburgh Castle and reception at the Playfair Library.

(Photo: Bret Hartman / TED)

(Photo: Bret Hartman / TED)

(Photo: Bret Hartman / TED)

(Photo: Bret Hartman / TED)

Cheers to an amazing week ahead!

(Photo: Ryan Lash / TED)

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brianwgreene89

L'étrange pyramide « ratée » de Snéfrou peut maintenant se visiter

Par webmaster@futura-sciences.com (Futura-Sciences)
Le gouvernement égyptien vient d’annoncer l’ouverture au public de la pyramide de Snéfrou, aussi appelée pyramide rhomboïdale. Située à Dahchour, au sud du Caire, cette pyramide a été construite vers 2.600 avant J.-C. et mesure 105 mètres de haut. Considérée comme l’ancêtre de la pyramide de...

Apollo 11 au cinéma dans un film inédit qui fait revivre la mission

Par webmaster@futura-sciences.com (Futura-Sciences)
En ce mois de juillet 2019, la planète entière s’apprête à célébrer le 50e anniversaire des premiers pas de l’Homme sur la Lune. Et le film documentaire « Apollo 11 », déjà sorti aux États-Unis et au Royaume-Uni notamment, va vous faire partager l'émotion du direct. Pour revivre l'événement...

Ce simple bout de verre peut reconnaître des chiffres !

Par webmaster@futura-sciences.com (Futura-Sciences)
Rendre un objet inerte doué d’intelligence ressemble à un scénario de science-fiction. C’est pourtant ce qu’ont réussi à faire des chercheurs de l’université de Wisconsin avec un morceau verre capable de reconnaître des images sans aucune source d’électricité.

How to Get an Airline to Match Your Elite Status From Another

Par Emily Price

I flew 7,000 miles on Alaska Airlines last year, but I currently hold the airlines top-tier of status “Gold 75k” an accolade reserved for passengers that have flown 75,000 miles or more on the airline over the course of the previous year. It’s a designation that’s scored me First Class upgrades on at least a half…

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Why You Can’t Bet With Bitcoin at Online Casinos in the US

Par Jamie Redman
Why You Can't Bet With Bitcoin Using Online Casinos in the US

Since the dawn of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency landscape has seen a lot of digital currency gaming websites where users can wager their coins in games like poker, dice, blackjack and slots. Because public blockchains are transparent, the protocols have made online gaming provably fair. However, throughout most states in the U.S., residents cannot participate in online gambling as politicians from the ‘Land of the Free’ stop them from making bets with their own money.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development

Government: Here to Tell You What You Can and Can’t Do With Your Own Money on the Internet

Online gaming with bitcoin has been around ever since the digital currency was launched. Back in the early days, players used well known gambling sites such as Satoshidice, Sealswithclubs, and Just-Dice.com. These websites have seen large amounts of players and millions of dollars worth of crypto bets using these platforms. In fact, six years ago today Erik Vorhees sold Satoshidice for 126,315 BTC, which at the time were worth $11.5 million. However, even though there’s a bunch of bitcoin online gaming sites today, most people in the U.S. cannot participate as online casinos block residents. So when a person is inside the country, usually the online gaming site’s server can tell that their IP address stems from within the U.S.

Why You Can't Bet With Bitcoin at Online Casinos in the US
Bitcoin.com’s Bitcoin Cash Games offers provably fair gaming for citizens not living in the U.S.

For instance, when a visitor from the U.S. visits Bitcoin.com’s Bitcoin Cash Games, they are greeted with a geo-blocking message explaining that they cannot play any of the games with real money. However, visitors from the U.S. can play with test tokens for fun on the BCH gaming casino.

“Our servers have detected that you are trying to play from inside the USA,” explains Cashgames.Bitcoin.com. “Unfortunately strangers living in Washington D.C. think that they have the right to tell you what you can and can’t do with your own money on the internet.” The message adds:

Because they would likely hurt us if we were to allow you to play on our provably fair site, we’ve had to disable deposits for USA players.

Thanks to All the Patriotic Acts GW Bush Pushed Through, Law Enforcement Can Criminalize Anyone Offering Online Gambling Services to US Citizens

It’s odd that the country that supposedly promotes freedom does not allow its citizens to do what they want with their money online. At the moment, there are four states that allow regulated online poker: Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Native American reservations as well. The reason why people don’t play poker or gamble online in the U.S. is because of legislation called The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). The act passed in congress and was signed into law by then President George W. Bush. The law is tricky and was tacked onto the year’s Port Security Bill and excluded fantasy sports websites that meet certain regulatory requirements. Essentially, the law does not prosecute individual Americans but rather aims its sights at foreign companies and offshore gambling operators. UIGEA gives U.S. law enforcement the power to criminalize anyone offering online gambling services to U.S. citizens.

Why You Can't Bet With Bitcoin at Online Casinos in the US

Many people think it’s foolish that U.S. residents cannot participate in online gambling because Americans love to wager. Plus there are legal regions throughout the country like Atlantic City and Las Vegas where people can go to gamble in person. But because they are so far and few between, millions of people don’t have the ability to get to a casino. So Americans often wonder why certain states allow online gambling, while the majority of them do not.

Online gambling could boost the U.S. economy if the UIGEA was repealed because currently the majority of online casinos operate overseas. The money would be funneled into the U.S. economy by millions of people who want to wager, while also creating jobs for people who specialize in customer service and software development. Even though the UIGEA was enacted in 2006, there have been many attempts to provide casino games to Americans. For example, in 2011 U.S. law enforcement agencies busted three extremely large online casino operations — Full Tilt Poker, Pokerstars and Absolute Poker. According to prosecutors, the websites violated the UIGEA and law enforcement said they fooled financial institutions into processing billions that stemmed from Americans gambling on the platforms.

Maybe It’s Time to Reject the Small Number of Humans Called Politicians?

Libertarians reject the reasons why the U.S. government has banned gambling and believe vices like drugs and wagers are not crimes. The reason why U.S. residents can’t gamble online in the country is because the government uses a monopoly of force and coercion that only allows citizens the right to play state-operated lotteries and regulated platforms. Because of this system, politicians have more opportunities to take funds when it comes to state lotteries and tax companies that are regulated. If they were to legalize online gambling, they would have less control over these types of funds and revenue would be siphoned from approved operators. In a world based on voluntary consent, a small group of elected officials wouldn’t be able to inflict their unfair rules on the rest of humanity. The philosophy of Voluntaryism asserts that all monopolies that use force as the means to gather certain ends is immoral.

In order to promote the idea of voluntaryism over the use of force, coercion and violence, Bitcoin.com’s Bitcoin Cash Games not only apologizes to U.S. residents for being unable to play, but provides a short video called “Government Explained.” The video has been viewed over 668,000 times and involves the story of an inquisitive alien that visits the planet to check on our progress as a species. The alien finds out that humans live under the rule of governments, which do a lot of things that we as citizens do not approve of like pollute the earth and cause endless wars. After a few initial questions, the alien wants to understand more about what government is, what it does, and why it exists.

Why You Can't Bet With Bitcoin at Online Casinos in the US
The video “Government Explained” was produced and voiced by Graham Wright, based on part of the talk by Larken Rose at the Free Your Mind Conference 2011.

“Let me get this straight — Because you’re worried about the small number of nasty people that are willing to kill, enslave and steal, you think it’s necessary for your survival to have a system where some humans among you, for a short while, get to call themselves the government, and they get to order everyone else around like slaves and, if they want, commit mass murder, using money they stole, using threats of violence?” the alien says. “Politicians get to kill, enslave and steal because if they didn’t, someone else might? And you try to elect good honest people to be politicians but what happens every time is that the people you elect turn out to be corrupt, evil, lying crooks — That’s your system?” The human describing the way governments work responds by admitting:

Yeah, that’s pretty much government.

If you question why the U.S. government prohibits online gambling, then you should check out the video Government Explained, written and voiced by Man Against The State’s Graham Wright. The story is based on part of a talk by Larken Rose at the Free Your Mind Conference in 2011. Since its release, the video has been translated into German, Spanish, French, Polish, Slovak, Slovenian, Greek, Russian and Chinese. Vices are not crimes and people should be able to spend their funds the way they want, at any time they want without a body of politicians telling them they can’t. Cryptocurrency-powered online casinos will continue to grow popular over the next few decades and it’s a shame that citizens from the so-called Land of the Free cannot participate. All because of a small number of bureaucrats from Washington D.C who claim to be protecting people from gambling abuse and getting victimized. Ironically, representatives have no issues with state-operated lotteries they control because it creates a lot of revenue for the state.

If you want to learn more about voluntaryism check out these websites: Voluntaryist.com, Man Against The State, and the essays Vices are Not Crimes and No Treason by Lysander Spooner.

What do you think about the fact that U.S. residents cannot play at online bitcoin casinos and wager their cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com, Bitcoin Cash Games, Government Explained and Pixabay.


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section. You can also enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely.

The post Why You Can’t Bet With Bitcoin at Online Casinos in the US appeared first on Bitcoin News.

How to Stream the Veronica Mars Movie Before Binging Season 4

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G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan Spurred by Facebook’s Libra

Par Kevin Helms
G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan Spurred by Facebook's Libra

G7 finance chiefs met this week and Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency was high on their agenda. They agreed on several crypto initiatives and fast regulatory responses to projects such as Libra, calling for them to meet the highest standards of financial regulation.

Also read: G20 Leaders Issue Declaration on Crypto Assets – A Look at Their Commitments

A Call for Urgent Action

The G7 finance ministers and central bank governors met in Chantilly, north of Paris, for a two-day conference on July 17 and 18. Other than France, which chairs this year’s meetings, the G7 comprises Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. In addition, the European Union has participated fully in the G7 since 1981 as a “nonenumerated” member. At the end of their meeting, the ministers issued the Chair’s Summary of the decisions made.

G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan Spurred by Facebook's Libra
Group photo showing some of the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors who attended the two-day meeting in Chantilly.

“Ministers and governors acknowledged that while innovation in the financial sector can bring substantial benefits, it can also entail risks,” the statement reads. “They agreed that stablecoins and other various new products currently being developed, including projects with global and potentially systemic footprint such as Libra, raise serious regulatory and systemic concerns, as well as wider policy issues, which both need to be addressed before such projects can be implemented.” The summary details:

Regarding regulatory concerns, ministers and governors agreed that possible ‘stablecoin’ initiatives and their operators would in any case need to meet the highest standards of financial regulation.

“Regarding systemic concerns, ministers and governors agreed that projects such as Libra may affect monetary sovereignty and the functioning of the international monetary system,” the Chair’s Summary continues.

G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan Spurred by Facebook's Libra
G7 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Chantilly.

“On Libra, we had a very constructive and detailed discussion with a very large and shared consensus on the need for action,” a French official told the AFP news agency. After chairing the first day’s meeting, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire was quoted by Reuters as saying:

The sovereignty of nations cannot be jeopardised … The overall mood around the table was clearly one of important concerns about the recent Libra announcements, and a shared view that action is needed urgently.

G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan in Response to Facebook’s Libra
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

“The issuance of a currency does not belong in the hands of a private company because it is a core feature of a sovereign state,” German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz proclaimed. Asserting that Facebook’s plans do not “seem to be fully thought through,” he is convinced Libra “cannot go ahead without all legal and regulatory questions being resolved,” the news outlet added. A senior Japanese finance ministry official who was at the meeting told the press:

Most G7 members saw Libra as posing a serious problem from the perspective of consumer data protection and the impact on monetary policy.

Facebook recently unveiled its plans for Calibra, a new subsidiary aimed at providing financial services via the Libra network. “The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology,” the company described.

Global Coordination and G7 Working Group

The G7 has set up a working group on stablecoins, coordinated by Benoit Coeure, Chair of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI). Its preliminary findings were provided at the meeting.

The group consists initially of senior officials from the G7 central banks, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank for International Settlements and the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Chair’s Summary reveals, adding that it will be expanded to representatives from G7 ministries of finance. The group will also coordinate with the G20 and other relevant standard-setting bodies. Its final report and recommendations are expected by the time of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings in October.

G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan Spurred by Facebook's Libra
Benoit Coeure, Chair of the CPMI.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda believes that, given the potential impact of Libra on the global economy, the G7 working group would evolve over time to include a broader range of regulators, elaborating:

If the Libra is aspiring to be used globally, countries must seek a globally coordinated response … This is not something that can be discussed among G7 central banks alone.

Central bankers have emphasized that Facebook needs a banking license if it wants to take deposits, with some expressing concerns about allowing people to transact anonymously.

Japan’s Own Crypto-Focused Working Group

In response to Facebook’s Libra plans, Japanese regulators also set up a working group ahead of the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting to discuss the potential impact of the planned digital currency on monetary policy and financial regulation, Reuters reported government sources revealing.

This working group consists of Japan’s central bank, Ministry of Finance and Financial Services Agency (FSA) which is in charge of the country’s banking regulation. “The group has started comprehensive discussions on various aspects of stablecoins,” Mainichi publication reported Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso as saying after the G7 meeting. Sources told Reuters that the group “will seek to coordinate policies to address the impact Libra could have on regulation, monetary policy, tax and payments settlement.”

G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan Spurred by Facebook's Libra

The officials explained:

Japan hopes to rally support from other countries to expand the task force into a bigger group of tax and financial regulators, given the wide range of policies that could be affected by digital currencies.

As this year’s chair of the G20 meetings, Japan will look at ways to align separate efforts made by the G7 and G20 to address the policy implications of Libra, the officials noted.

At the G20 summit last month, the G20 leaders declared that “crypto-assets do not pose a threat to global financial stability at this point.” However, they “are closely monitoring developments and remain vigilant to existing and emerging risks.” The leaders also asked the FSB and other standard-setting bodies “to advise on additional multilateral responses as needed.”

Global Network for Crypto Payments

The Japanese government is also setting up “an international network for cryptocurrency payments, similar to the SWIFT network used by banks, in an effort to fight money laundering,” Reuters reported Thursday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The plan, proposed by the country’s Ministry of Finance and the FSA, is for the network to be in place in the next few years, the publication noted. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental standard-setting body in areas such as money laundering, will monitor the system’s development and Japan will cooperate with other countries. The FATF approved the plan for this new network in June, according to the source.

G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan Spurred by Facebook's Libra

Moving Beyond Current Regulations

Japan’s finance minister urged his G7 counterparts Wednesday to comprehensively assess Libra for any new challenges that may fall outside of existing regulations, emphasizing:

Applying existing regulations alone may not be enough. A comprehensive examination is needed to see if Libra poses new challenges that existing rules do not take into account.

“On the other hand, authorities need to respond in a timely fashion so they’re not behind the curve,” the finance minister opined.

G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan Spurred by Facebook's Libra
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso.

Libra Grilled by US Lawmakers

Facebook executive and Calibra CEO David Marcus appeared before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee this week. The committees asked him questions such as how Libra could affect global monetary policy and how customer data will be protected.

“Facebook has demonstrated through scandal after scandal that it doesn’t deserve our trust … We’d be crazy to give them a chance to let them experiment with people’s bank accounts,” Senator Sherrod Brown said in his opening remarks.

Rep. Andy Barr said to Marcus: “Tell me how Libra will not undermine sovereign currencies and central banks, or is the very point to undermine central bankers and to provide a greater freedom away from central banking?” The Facebook executive responded: “I want to be very clear, we do not want to compete with the dollar or sovereign currencies.”

G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan Spurred by Facebook's Libra
Calibra CEO David Marcus.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman compared the potential consequences of Facebook’s crypto project to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. “We’re told by some that innovation is always good … The most innovative thing that’s happened this century is when Osama bin Laden came up with the innovative idea of flying two airplanes into towers,” he claimed. Sherman asserted that if successful, Libra could be “one of the biggest things this committee will deal with this decade,” then questioned why Marcus appeared in Congress for Facebook instead of CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“I don’t think you should launch Libra at all,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney told Marcus, while Rep. Madeleine Dean said, “I think before you move on to Libra, you ought to clean up the messes of the past.” According to Marcus:

Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals.

What do you think of how the G7 countries plan to handle cryptocurrencies including Libra? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, the French government, Nikkei Asian Review, Kyodo News, and Reuters.


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The post G7 Agrees on Crypto Action Plan Spurred by Facebook’s Libra appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Des apps pour revivre l'épopée d'Apollo 11 en réalité virtuelle et augmentée

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Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development

Par Jamie Redman
Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades, and Platform Development

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) platform and protocol development have seen a lot of delivered code and projects over the last two years. The upgrades will help Bitcoin Cash scale to the masses, and many of the added features are protocol developments that are unique to BCH.

Also read: Indian Government Breaks Silence on Crypto Regulation

BCH Infrastructure and Blockchain Development

In less than two weeks, BCH fans around the world will be celebrating the anniversary of the blockchain split that occurred on August 1, 2017. Since then there’s been a lot of Bitcoin Cash development and a total of four BCH upgrades. In the following report, news.Bitcoin.com summarizes a list of completed BCH developments that reveal how much has been accomplished in two years. All of the completed BCH features can be seen on the analytics website Coin Dance, alongside other developments in the works. BCH developers also have plans to upgrade the chain this November and the specifications in regard to the consensus rule changes are being reviewed before the feature freeze on August 15, 2019.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development
A statement about Bitcoin Cash according to Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin’s recent interview with the publication Coinspice.io.

Re-enabled Satoshi Opcodes

Back in the early days of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto added operation codes to the protocol that could push data or perform certain functions via the Bitcoin Script language. Not long after, the opcodes were disabled after developers found a bug in a specific opcode called OP_LShift. In May 2018, Bitcoin Cash developers re-enabled the Satoshi operation codes (opcodes) that can allow for a variety of decision-based transactions, compilers, and other functions depending on the opcode used.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development
A long list of Bitcoin opcodes.

OP_Checkdatasig Implementation

The opcode OP_Checkdatasig is a Script operation that checks the validity of a signature using a message and public key. Essentially the operation calculates the hash within a transaction in order to validate signatures in an automated way. OP_Checkdatasig allows for data to be imported that can be validated through the use of an oracle. The opcode has facilitated some very cool concepts like a noncustodial escrow system, an onchain SLP token auction console, a BCH recurring payment system, an endowment platform, and an onchain game of chess.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development

32MB Block Size Increase

The Bitcoin Cash chain implemented a 32MB block size increase in May 2018. The BCH block size is a lot larger than BTC’s 1MB limit and 4X larger than the 8MB size BCH started out with two years ago. 32MB blocks are not processed yet, but large blocks were tested on the BCH mainnet in September 2018 during the stress tests. During the first week of that month, BCH miners processed a few 15MB blocks and the largest was 23MB that week. However, prior to the blockchain split which created Bitcoin SV the mining pool, BMG processed multiple 32MB blocks on November 10, 2018.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development

Graphene Version 1

On July 25, 2018, the Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) development team announced merging Graphene version 1 into the BU client. Graphene is a block propagation concept that aims to be 10X more efficient than compact blocks. The code merge provides the first functional implementation of graphene blocks according to BU’s George Bissias who also stated that the “code will also require further optimization.” In the past, developers have mentioned that Graphene blocks could be optimized with a different transaction ordering process like canonical ordering.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development

Canonical Transaction Ordering

Prior to the implementation of Canonical Transaction Ordering or CTOR, consensus rules processed transactions in a list form and the list was topologically sorted. After the November 15, 2018 upgrade, the BCH chain can now work with blocks as a set, as opposed to a list ordering, and the process is done in a canonical fashion. As mentioned above, according to some, Graphene can leverage CTOR when it comes to concepts like Graphene compression rates. By itself, developers believe CTOR is important for the future of BCH scaling in order to alleviate computational load and allow for giant-sized blocks.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development
The CTOR whitepaper.

Schnorr Signatures

At block 582680, the BCH chain upgraded by adding Schnorr signatures, a signature scheme invented by Claus Schnorr. The recent Schnorr addition acts as the foundation for a variety of different techniques that can improve scaling and privacy. The day before Schnorr was implemented on BCH, independent developer Mark Lundeberg told news.Bitcoin.com that the Schnorr foundations could remove 4% of the current transaction storage. Lundeberg also detailed that in the future after further Schnorr upgrades, the scheme could provide for public signature aggregation and more complex sign-to-contract concepts.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development

A Number of Accomplishments Worth Celebrating

This is just the tip of the mountain when it comes to BCH platform and protocol development. Other notable developments include Cash-ID, an open protocol that allows secure authentication; Hash-DB, a database written by Flowee specifically for the Bitcoin Cash UTXO set; Cashshuffle, a stable mixing application release that helps preserve an individual’s transaction privacy when using the BCH network; Neutrino, a lightweight SPV wallet that uses BCHD and allows client-side filtering. Cashshuffle participants have already shuffled more than 100,000 BCH since March 27. Then there’s the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) which has boosted the concept of tokenization solutions using the BCH chain. SLP infrastructure is growing as various wallets like Crescent Cash, Badger, Ifwallet, and the social media platform Memo.cash all support SLP tokens. Moreover, developers have produced other features like X-Versionmessage, Cash Accounts, Cleanstack and the Segwit recovery option alongside other protocol developments.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development

Bitcoin Cash developers are also working on features for the upcoming November 2019 BCH upgrade. The draft specification summary for the next set of implementations include various protocol enhancements like enabling Schnorr signatures for OP_Checkmultisig(Verify), a minimal push and minimal number encoding rules in Script, enabling NULLDUMMY and the rule that limits signature operations in Script will be changed.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development

On July 11, during the 12th Bitcoin Cash Development video meeting, programmers explained that people can review the code and consensus ruleset changes before developers enact the feature freeze on August 15, 2019. There are also other developments under discussion like Avalanche, Merklix Trees, Blocktorrent, and projects still being worked on like Cashscript, Cashfusion, Spedn, and Xthinner.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development
Tokenization on the BCH chain has been very popular using SLP.

Additionally, in May, a group of BCH supporting businesses and individuals initiated a fundraiser to help bolster the future of open source Bitcoin Cash development. BCH proponents can visit the Bitcoin.com/fundraise page to donate to BCH projects like Bitcoin ABC, Unlimited, BCHD, Bcash, Verde, Flowee, and Bitprim.

Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development

The fundraiser aims to raise 1,600 BCH by August 1 and there are still 12 days left to go. At that time, Bitcoin Cash fans will be celebrating the large number of accomplishments the protocol has achieved in the last two years. BCH supporters will surely be tipping their hats to platform and protocol developers who have contributed an enormous amount of time, energy, and innovative concepts to the BCH chain.

What do you think about all the developments achieved in the last two years? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com/fundraise, SLP, Cashshuffle, Github, Blog.vermorel.com, Twitter, Coin Dance, and, en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Script.


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section. You can also enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely.

The post Bitcoin Cash Milestones: Delivered Code, Upgrades and Platform Development appeared first on Bitcoin News.

7 Unorthodox Ways to Mine Bitcoin

Par Kai Sedgwick
7 Unorthodox Ways to Mine Bitcoin

Bitcoin isn’t crazy – in fact it might just be the soundest monetary system this generation has ever known. Some of the techniques miners have devised to extract it, however, are extremely unorthodox, ranging from the ingenious to the downright crazy. Here are seven of the strangest attempts at extracting bitcoin ever conjured.

Also read: Bitcoin Mining Helps Oil Companies Reduce Carbon Footprint

Bitcoin Mining Takes Many Forms

The process of adding bitcoin transactions to a newly created block and propagating it to the network is known as mining. To create the next block, miners must solve a mathematical puzzle whose answer is a number ranging anywhere from 0 to 4,294,967,296. In exchange for performing this task, miners are rewarded the transaction fees included in that block, plus a reward that currently stands at 12.5 BTC, dropping to 6.25 BTC in 2020. That, in a nutshell, is bitcoin mining.

Given the lucrative rewards at stake – the block reward alone is worth $130,000 at current prices – it is no surprise that there are so many miners clamoring to solve the math problem that grants them authority to publish the next block. Bitcoin mining is an arms race, math the process as rationally as possible, seeking to maximize your hashrate (the number of computations your miners can perform per second) while minimizing your fixed costs such as electricity. As the following examples show, however, not all miners are in it for monetary gain; some are more interested in pushing the limits of what is physically and practically possible.

7 Unorthodox Ways to Mine Bitcoin

Method 1: With Waste Gas

“Stop burning, start earning” is the slogan of Upstream Data, which provides mobile mining datacenters that can be installed at oil company facilities that need to vent gas. As news.Bitcoin.com reported, they “can bring in over 15 times more revenue than the market price of the fuel, while limiting carbon footprint.” Ignore the screeching environmentalists – Bitcoin is greener and cleaner than mainstream media will ever acknowledge.

Introducing our newest #bitcoin mining product, the Ohmm® Mini! This datacenter was designed to be stackable in a 4' cube and is perfectly suited for any oil and gas wellsite.

In the background you can see a flare stack that will soon be removed.😎 /1 pic.twitter.com/wlYO8mi38a

— Upstream Data (@UpstreamDataInc) July 19, 2019

Method 2: With a Moon Computer

The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) was created in the 1960s to guide a U.S. rocket to the moon. It passed the test with flying colors, but in today’s fast-paced tech world, 16-bit computers no longer cut it. That didn’t stop one intrepid soul from attempting to mine bitcoin on an AGC. As he conceded, however, “Unfortunately, the computer is so slow that it would take about a million times the age of the universe to successfully mine a Bitcoin block.”

7 Unorthodox Ways to Mine Bitcoin
The Apollo Guidance Computer used to mine bitcoin.

Method 3: With Pencil and Paper

The same guy who attempted to mine bitcoin with an Apollo computer previously tried to mine BTC by solving the mathematical problems by hand. Technically it worked, though as Ken Shirriff concluded, “One round of the algorithm takes 16 minutes, 45 seconds which works out to a hash rate of 0.67 hashes per day.” The Apollo Guidance Computer, in comparison, managed one hash every 10.3 seconds. Still, as a proof of concept, manual mining is pretty cool.

Method 4: With a Nuclear Reactor

Okay, so no one’s built a nuclear reactor for the sole purpose of mining bitcoin, although if they did, they might just be able to 51% attack the network. A single reactor power plant produces 5.1 TWh annually, around 10% of the Bitcoin network’s annual consumption. Due to their sheer might, nuclear reactors face an unusual problem: they actually produce too much energy. As news.Bitcoin.com previously reported, “Slamming on the brakes does not save any fuel; rather, energy literary ends up being wasted.” You know what’s always on the lookout for excess energy? Bitcoin.

7 Unorthodox Ways to Mine Bitcoin

Method 5: With a Mosque

A mosque might sound like a strange tool with which to mine bitcoin, but when that mosque is subsidized with free electricity, it becomes the most attractive mining location in the world. Despite reports of a government crackdown on the practice, mosque mining is alive and well in Iran. It’s not the only country whose entrepreneurs have capitalized on this loophole, either, with a Russian church also having been caught mining.

7 Unorthodox Ways to Mine Bitcoin

Method 6: While Growing Tomatoes

It’s no secret that cryptocurrency mining generates heat. Some enterprising individuals have found ways to repurpose that heat, turning a byproduct into a valuable commodity in its own right. In 2018, for example, Kamil Brejcha used excess heat from mining to grow ‘cryptomatoes’ in a greenhouse.

Who would imagine that mining cryptocurrencies and agriculture can work together? The first batch of cryptomatoes is ready to be harvested. We are using the excess heat for the tomato greenhouse and it is working:-) pic.twitter.com/U7qqKTshqO

— Kamil Brejcha (@KamilBrejcha) March 10, 2018

Method 6: While Heating Your Home

Harnessing the heat from crypto mining to warm your home is a more obvious application for the primary byproduct of bitcoin extraction. The colder the climate, the more you’ll appreciate the toasty glow of your miners in winter. In Siberia, miners have even constructed an underfloor heating system that repurposes the excess heat expelled.

Method 7: While Making Rum

Heating your home while cryptocurrency mining is all well and good, but true patricians use their miners to make rum. That’s what Avi Aisenberg did in 2017, using the heat to warm his rum barrels, creating a spicy spirit that he dubbed EtherRum.

As “free speech money,” it’s not surprising that Bitcoin should attract free thinkers and free spirits in its droves. Their out of the box ideas can be seen in the multiple techniques devised for mining and in ever more efficient (and occasionally less efficient) ways. As the mining arms race intensifies, expect to see smarter solutions that derive greater hashrate at lower cost while further reducing Bitcoin’s environmental impact.

What other unusual ways do you know of mining bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post 7 Unorthodox Ways to Mine Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Hayek’s 1984: Rediscovered Footage Shows Austrian Economist Predicting Bitcoin

Par Graham Smith
Hayek's 1984: Rediscovered Footage of the Austrian Economist Predicting Bitcoin, Prescribing Subversion

Born in 1899 in Vienna, Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek is a legend of sorts in voluntaryist, libertarian, and crypto-economic circles. Freshly rediscovered video footage of the Austrian School philosopher and social theorist from 1984 is now making the rounds on crypto Twitter. In a stunning soundbite of an already well-known quote, Hayek declares that the only way to return to sound money is to take it out of the hands of government. He goes on to describe in spine-chillingly fortuitous fashion a money that requires no permission, and no central “authority.”

Also read: Money Laundering Fines Worth Billions Help Bankers Avoid Prosecution and Unpleasant Labels

The Prescience of Hayek

“I don’t believe we shall ever have a good money again before we take the thing out of the hands of government, that is, we can’t take them violently out of the hands of government, all we can do is by some sly roundabout way introduce something they can’t stop.” So spoke Friedrich Hayek in 1984. Reevaluating those words 35 years hence and it is hard not to interpret them in the context of Bitcoin.

Hayek's 1984: Rediscovered Footage Shows Austrian Economist Predicting Bitcoin

Hayek was not alone in predicting the coming phenomenon of crypto in the 1980s. The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto of 1988 also called it way beforehand. As did American economist Milton Friedman in 1999:

The one thing that’s missing, but that will soon be developed, it’s a reliable e-cash. A method where buying on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B, without A knowing B or B knowing A. The way in which I can take a 20 dollar bill and hand it over to you and there’s no record of where it came from. And you may get that without knowing who I am. That kind of thing will develop on the Internet.

The common thread among these striking predictions is, of course, the internet. Many thought it was crazy back in the early and mid-90s to talk of “working online” or “online shopping.” To try and imagine a permissionless future currency not regulated by the government would have been beyond the pale for most. And yet, bitcoin is here. They were right.

The Keynesian/Austrian Clash

Hayek was a key thinker and innovator of the Austrian school of economics. The Austrian system is a classic economic model in which government interference in the free market is undesired and viewed as harmful and illogical. The conflicting viewpoint and economic model which holds sway today, the Keynesian system, submits that governments must be actively involved in economies via centralized regulation and force-backed implementation of monetary policy.

While the view of almost all modern nation states is that interest rates must be set via policy—this would, in fact, be defined as a form of policing—adherents to the Austrian School view the market as an organic entity functioning by its own natural rules. Boom and bust cycles in business, and things like stock market crashes are the natural consequence of artificially instituted credit bubbles.

Hayek's 1984: Rediscovered Footage Shows Austrian Economist Predicting Bitcoin

The Knowledge Problem

Friedrich Hayek’s most important contribution to the Austrian school, arguably, is the concept known as the knowledge problem, or the “local knowledge problem.” A kind of derivative and extension of fellow Austrian School thinker Ludwig von Mises’ economic calculation problem, the knowledge problem deals with the fundamental dysfunction of central planning. In his 1945 work “The Use of Knowledge” Hayek states:

…the knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place. It is with respect to this that practically every individual has some advantage over all others because he possesses unique information of which beneficial use might be made, but of which use can be made only if the decisions depending on it are left to him or are made with his active cooperation.

In this sense, centralized economic planning is doomed to fail. Whereas aggregated data, stats, and relatively “stable” numbers may present one picture, these are the effects of individual market actors and their demonstrated preferences, and not central planning. That is to say, relative stability is achieved as a byproduct of individual, independent, atomized market signals. This in spite — and not because — of central planning.

Hayek's 1984: Rediscovered Footage Shows Austrian Economist Predicting Bitcoin

Individual Nodes in a Free Market ‘Blockchain’

Unique, diverse knowledge possessed by each individual market actor (i.e. “The factory is out of nails, I must replace them” or “I could invent this great device, if only I had more affordable access to that specific resource”) cannot be processed, understood, or adequately detected by a synthetic, centrally regulated entity according to Austrian school thinking.

Supply and demand cannot be “felt” accurately. Thus, huge boom and bust cycles are seen, and are considered relatively stable when in fact this is a kind of ex post facto approach to the data. In a very real sense, Austrian economic theory advocates decentralized, “permissionless” networks of nodes (autonomous market actors) much like bitcoin and the decentralized network of actors on the blockchain.

Hayek's 1984: Rediscovered Footage Shows Austrian Economist Predicting Bitcoin

1984’s Non-Dystopian Prognosis

Though Keynesian policy currently holds sway, many take issue with the fact that prescribed government interference and assistance seems so often to take the form of disruptive market corrections. Hayek viewed economic cycles as signals that an organic adjustment was in progress. Much like a headache can signal dehydration or stress in the body, decreased demand and less spending signal hesitance on the part of market actors, and a call to readjust and recalibrate according to fresh, real-time market signals.

As witnessed with the mega bank bailouts of recent times, however, this Austrian “bitter pill” is not really allowed to function. Instead, Keynesian economists create more credit (and debt which taxpayers must ultimately hold) to save bad actors and institutions that would have failed otherwise. The predictions of Hayek, Mises, Friedman, and their fellows stand in stark contrast to those of noted, award-winning Keynesians.

Hayek's 1984: Rediscovered Footage Shows Austrian Economist Predicting Bitcoin
Award-winning Keynesian economist Paul Krugman.

Keynesian Predictions

Mises predicted the now-witnessed collapse of major socialist states choosing to ignore the economic calculation problem in modern times. Hayek and Friedman predicted — among other things — the advent of cryptocurrency. As for John Maynard Keynes, father of the Keynesian School, he predicted a 15-hour workweek back in 1930, as automation and a prevalence of riches would make toil unnecessary:

But beyond this, we shall endeavour to spread the bread thin on the butter-to make what work there is still to be done to be as widely shared as possible. Three-hour shifts or a fifteen-hour week may put off the problem for a great while. For three hours a day is quite enough to satisfy the old Adam in most of us!

The ‘Adam’ he speaks of is the Adam of the Christian Bible, who was cursed to work the ground for his sustenance and so habitually feels the need to toil. He goes on: “The love of money as a possession … will be recognised for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease.”

Almost 100 years out, one might wonder why the altruism supposedly being exercised by Keynesian central planners hasn’t kicked in for everyone yet. Some have argued it has, as there is now at least more of a chance that this or that average Joe could get rich and afford a 15-hour workweek. Whichever predictions one chooses to abide by, one thing is for sure: bitcoin is here, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.

What are your thoughts on the Keynesian vs. Austrian debate, and Hayek’s quote? Let us know in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Fair use


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post Hayek’s 1984: Rediscovered Footage Shows Austrian Economist Predicting Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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