Bitcoin Price Drops Further As Circle CEO Says ‘Core’ Crypto Assets ‘Undervalued’

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire has said he believes “core” cryptocurrency assets are undervalued as the Bitcoin price tumbles closer to $3500.


Allaire: ‘Markets Are Oversold’

In a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ session January 10, Allaire, whose company famously decoupled itself from Bitcoin in 2016, also forecast less correlated trading in altcoin markets.

Circle founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire - Bitcoinist.net

“My general perception is that the markets have been oversold and that some core assets have decoupled from their usage, which suggests they are undervalued,” he wrote.

…We also believe that many assets have traded in a tight correlation to BTC, which is irrational. As the markets mature, we expect less correlated trading as investors better understand the value, utility and adoption of specific crypto assets and networks.

Bitcoin price 00 had taken two knocks downward Thursday, falling from $4050 to current levels under $3700.

2019: Highs Or Lows For Bitcoin Price?

Opinions on the future for the largest cryptocurrency are mixed, with some well-known figures predicting lower lows in 2019 and others conversely anticipating new all-time highs.

This week, Civic CEO Vinny Lingham joined the first camp, telling Cheddar that BTC/USD was in for “one or two months” of sideways trading before making either an upwards or downwards move. The former, he warned, could see the pair drop below $3000.

As Bitcoinist previously reported meanwhile, trading guru Tone Vays has warned the Bitcoin price could challenge just $1000.

At the same time, Japanese exchange Quoine CEO Mike Kayamori told mainstream media he believes new all-time highs for Bitcoin will come “by the end of this year.”

For Allaire, optimism stems from the technical prowess of the Bitcoin network.

“We look at things like hashrate health, on-chain activity, as key indicators of usage and adoption and underlying unit economic support,” he said.

Circle’s new-found optimism on Bitcoin did not go unnoticed among commentators, who contrasted it with the company’s pivot away two years ago.

What do you think about Jeremy Allaire’s comments? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Getty Images

The post Bitcoin Price Drops Further As Circle CEO Says ‘Core’ Crypto Assets ‘Undervalued’ appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Atomic Swaps Are Coming to BTCPay This Year, Says Nicolas Dorier [Interview]

Bitcoinist caught up with Nicolas Dorier, a developer of open-source and self-hosted Bitcoin payment processor alternative, BTCPay, who spoke about upcoming features such as atomic swaps, and making BitPay obsolete for businesses that don’t care about handling bitcoin. 


‘Nothing is Unsolvable in the Long Run’

Bitcoinist: In August 2017, you posted one of the most epic tweets aimed at BitPay calling out their lies and vowing to make the company obsolete. Can you reflect on this? How far have you come in realizing this promise with BTCPay?

Nicolas Dorier: Their obsolescence comes from lots of factors. I made them obsolete for businesses, which do not care about handling Bitcoin or some small set of altcoins. Creating your own BTCPay server is easier than passing BitPay’s KYC.

If you need fiat, lots of new payment processors entered the market, which made Bitpay way less relevant than in the past (coingate, globee, opennode, coinify, coinpayments, blockonomics, strike, opennode etc.).

One of the devs of BTCPay, RockstarDev, is working on a solution to handle fiat in BTCPay though, but it is far from being ready. This competition got facilitated by a bunch of bad business practices and decisions they took in the past.

In general, should the Bitcoin community strive to replace centralized companies and services with open-source code like this if possible?

“Bitcoin community” is a tricky term, there is some loose set of shared values like financial sovereignty, but aside of that, individuals are building the tools they need to fix their own problems.

If centralized companies abuse an individual, then Bitcoin gives such individual a way to fix the problem by building the tools by himself or contributing to other projects which help him to fix it.

Fixing problems caused by censorship with bitcoin is more of a technical than a political, social or regulatory issue, this makes problems easily solvable.

How many merchants/businesses etc. are using BTCPay Server today? Can you share some names and figures?

I can’t. BTCPay Server is by definition not centralized so I have no way to know. Some merchants add themselves to this page.

The only number I can share: Our slack has 1100 members, twitter account almost 10K followers, github 700 stars. Some third-party BTCPay servers are hosting multiple merchants. BTCPay jungle, for example, is hosting around 300 merchants.

The biggest users I know are Coincards (selling gift card), Cheapair (selling plane tickets), Gab (selling membership for a free speech Twitter-like platform), Casa Hodl (selling bitcoin nodes in a pluggable box), TorGuard (VPN provider) and Halong mining (was a ASIC manufacturer in 2018). There might be bigger merchants.

I think there are between 2000 and 20.000 merchants using BTCPay. I know… it is a very rough estimation.

What kind of businesses can benefit from using BTCPay, in particular? Why?

Kind of everything. Stickers sellers, t-shirt sellers, gift card sellers, plane tickets, ASIC seller, sex workers, privacy service providers.

BTCPay is not only for the merchant, but it is also a very useful tool for the individual as you can have your own donation page, with a crowdfunding feature and it can be used as a multi-coin wallet.

How does fiat conversion work if one uses a self-hosted solution like BTCPayserver? Has there been any progress on this end since we last spoke?

Soon (TM). A developer, RockstarDev, is working on something, but myself I don’t really know what. It has been hard for me to work on it, as I have no interest in converting my coins to fiat.

You also integrated Lightning Network payments. How feasible is it to use LN right now for the average user? Is LN living up to its promise?

Yes, it works very well. There are some rough edges still, I think it is usable for the average user but not instinctive yet. It is also risky, there is no perfect backup solution yet.

In BTCPay, you can have your lightning node in 1 click, but if your server is gone, your money on the lightning node is also gone with it. So put what you can afford to lose.

What issues still need to be addressed for LN payments to really take off?

1. Proper backup solution.
2. More reliable payments
3. More liquidity to route higher value payment

Nothing is unsolvable in the long run.

Has the drop in BTC price affected your work or has it actually made it easier to ‘buidl’?

Yes, it burned the weed and cleared out the noise. I enjoy coding these days and I am way less nervous than at the beginning of 2018.

In September, BTCPay Server stated that it’ll stop supporting Shapeshift after they introduced KYC requirements promising to open-source the service. Has there been any progress on this front?

Yes, one contributor, MrKukks added support for Changelly and Coinswitch. I don’t like it because both are centralized solutions.

I will release an atomic swap solution inside BTCPay this year, then I will try to evolve it closer to what Shapeshift was after.

What’s next in store for BTCPay and Nicolas Dorier? What technologies are you most excited about related to Bitcoin in 2019?

The crowdfunding feature (MrKukks), there will have atomic swap (me), some fiat solutions (by RockstarDev). There is not really any midterm/long term roadmap, developers working on what they think is cool, shipping one working pull request at a time. 🙂

I am excited about Lightning becoming more and more reliable. I hope 2019 will see a proposal for Layer 1 enhancement, which will allow scaling better.

I am excited about schnorr sig, SIGHASH_NOINPUT, taproot, and grapfroot for the crazy amount of possibilities it offers, while being very easy to code. I am excited of seeing more and more people running Bitcoin and/or BTCPay Server on small devices (raspberry pi) like what nodl.it, lightninginabox or Casa Hodl is doing.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes, come on our slack and look Bitcoinshirt’s videos, you will have fun. 🙂

What are your thoughts on what BTCPay has been doing and future plans? Share below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Atomic Swaps Are Coming to BTCPay This Year, Says Nicolas Dorier [Interview] appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Nick Szabo: Central Banks Might Switch From ‘Physically Vulnerable’ Gold to Bitcoin

Nick Szabo

Central Banks might resort to cryptocurrency reserves as means of supplementing national gold reserves according to veteran cryptographer Nick Szabo. He also holds that the use of digital currencies will rise in countries with distraught economies. 


Cryptocurrency Over Gold

Speaking at the Israel Bitcoin Summit at Tel Aviv University on January 8th, legendary cryptographer, Nick Szabo, said that national central banks might resort to cryptocurrency reserves as means of supplementing existing national gold reserves.

One of the reasons for this to happen, according to Szabo, is the potential lack of trust between foreign banks or governments:

There’s going to be some situations where a central bank can’t trust a foreign central bank or government with their bonds for example. […] One solution that’s been developed is to have the Swiss government hold it for you – that’s not a trust minimized solution. The Swiss government itself is subject to political pressures and so a more trust minimized solution is cryptocurrency.

In addition, Szabo also notes that gold reserves are “physically vulnerable,” saying:

The other problem with gold reserves is that they’re physically vulnerable. When the Nazis conquered countries in Europe, the first place they went to was a central bank’s gold reserves.

Bitcoinist reported on the uncanny resemblance in the historical performance of gold and Bitcoin in the past. Unlike gold, however, Bitcoin “has more utility” admitted US economist and Bitcoin-critic Paul Krugman.

The Winklevoss twins also recently stated that “Bitcoin is better at being gold than gold,” predicting that it should surpass the precious metal’s $7 trillion dollar market cap in the future.

Helping Distraught Economies

Another thing the Bitcoin pioneer shared was that censorship-resistant cryptocurrencies will grow in popularity in countries, which suffer from failed monetary planning, as well as those which have been blacklisted from trade.

There seems to be substantial merit to his thoughts. Venezuela, for example, is a country which is currently being torn by hyperinflation. In fact, the Director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund, Alejandro Werner, said that 10 million percent inflation rate is not out of the picture:

Yes, 10 million percent because prices in Venezuela are doubling or tripling every month. And that, when you take it to 12 months, generates an exponential inflation rate.

As Bitcoinist reported in late December, the country saw its biggest jump in bitcoin volume on LocalBitcoins.

What is more, a Russian university lecturer with ties to the government, Vladislav Ginko, has recently revealed that the country is planning to invest in Bitcoin as a means of avoiding US sanctions.

Whether this is true remains to be seen, but US sanctions indeed have little effect on a neutral global digital currency like Bitcoin

“Because of US sanctions, Russia’s elite is forced to dump US assets and US dollars and invest hugely into Bitcoins. The central bank of Russia sits on $466 billion of reserves and has to diversify in case there are limited opportunities to do it (in the future),” Ginko said.

What do you think of Nick Szabo’s statements? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Nick Szabo: Central Banks Might Switch From ‘Physically Vulnerable’ Gold to Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Daily On-Chain Bitcoin Transactions Hit Yearly High

Despite the prolonged bear market of 2018, the year has seen a steady increase in the number of confirmed Bitcoin transactions. They are currently at their highest point since mid-January 2018. 


Real Adoption

Regardless of the sharp decline in Bitcoin price in 2018, the cryptocurrency has seen a steady increase in the number of transactions throughout the entire year.

Data from Blockchain.com shows that the number of confirmed Bitcoin transactions is currently higher than that on January 17th, 2018 when BTC price 00 was around $11,000.

It’s also worth noting that the proportion of Bitcoin payments made using the Segregated Witness (SegWit) protocol has also increased continuously throughout 2018. They currently comprise over 40 percent of all transactions carried out on Bitcoin’s network.

Moreover, the Bitcoin network is now regularly producing blocks which are over the 1MB block size limit which was in place before SegWit.

The above goes to show that despite the falling prices, Bitcoin continuous to see increased usage and adoption.

Lightning Network on the Rise

2018 has also seen Bitcoin pass other significant milestones throughout the year. The Lightning Network scaling solution has been increasing its capacity to reach more than 5,200 nodes and over 19,000 channels.

The network’s capacity is currently 566.74 BTC according to monitoring website 1ML.

Additionally, the LN is an off-chain scaling solution. This means that the actual number of daily transactions is likely a lot higher, particularly as people now have the ability to send and receive Lightning payments from their smartphones.

Bitcoin’s LN promises to not only handle millions of transaction per second (compared to Visa’s 45,000 tps) but also enables sending fractions of a penny (and even a fraction of a satoshi, something that’s not possible on-chain) to anyone in the world.

In a recent attempt to gain further awareness, artist Cryptograffiti has auctioned a tiny piece of painting to the lowest bidder. The final price of the painting was 1 milli-satoshi, which is the equivalent of  $0.000000037.

What do you think of the current state of Bitcoin? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Blockchain.com; Transactionfee.info, SHutterstock

The post Daily On-Chain Bitcoin Transactions Hit Yearly High appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Bitmain Replaces CEO Jihan Wu After Bitcoin Cash Gamble Fails

Bitmain Woes

Inside sources say that Bitmain Technologies plans to name a replacement CEO to take over from co-founders Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan.


New Bitmain CEO

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the Bitcoin mining behemoth is looking to name a new CEO to replace the company’s co-founders. Anonymous sources say, Haichao Wang, the current Engineering Director is the front-runner for the job.

Jihan Wu

While there is no official word from Bitmain, these sources say the company entered a leadership transition period in December 2018.

Back in November 2018, Bitcoinist reported Wu’s demotion from director to a supervisor. Also, in late December 2018, reports broke out in Chinese media of the imminent resignation of both Wu and Zhan.

There is also no definite timetable for the completion of the leadership reshuffle. Sources indicate that both Wu and Zhan will become co-chairs of the company. The new CEO will handle the daily administration of the firm while the pair will still have the final say on big decisions.

According to SCMP sources, both Wu and Zhan had disagreements as co-CEO. Wu, in particular, has come under intense criticism for the company’s bet on Bitcoin Cash. Zhan, on the other hand, has led Bitmain’s diversification efforts, especially into the artificial intelligence arena.

Turning the Tide

If the reports are accurate and Bitmain does get a new CEO, a daunting task awaits the selected individual. After a stellar 2017 and a promising start to 2018, the second half of the year appeared to fizzle out for the Bitcoin mining behemoth.

Bitmain is yet to release its Q3 2018 financial report, but speculation is rife of losses north of $740 million. A lot of the financial trouble stems from inventory losses, as well as the expensive Bitcoin Cash hash war of November 2018.

Recently, the company even began laying off a significant portion of its workforce. In December 2018, Bitmain fired its R&D department based in Israel. This move was followed by another massive downsizing, nixing the company’s Bitcoin Cash development team.

The company’s IPO plan is also another casualty of the financial turmoil within the company. Despite announcing plans for an IPO listing in Hong Kong earlier in 2018, all signs point to such plans being unfeasible, for the present time, at least.

Will a new CEO be able to steer Bitmain in a better direction? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Bitmain Replaces CEO Jihan Wu After Bitcoin Cash Gamble Fails appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Bitcoin Price Tanks $250 In Minutes But Analysts Say Bullish Trend Intact

The Bitcoin price abruptly fell $250 January 10 as a fresh wave of volatility washed away the calm which had characterized markets this week.


Easy Come, Easy Go

Data from Bitcointicker shows a curious retracing for Bitcoin Thursday, the largest cryptocurrency dropping from $4050 to $3800 in minutes.

The move down cancels out gains from January 7, which saw BTC/USD 00 make an identical move in the other direction – from $3830 to $4020.

Bitcoin remains 11 percent up on the month to date, while more broadly, its price remains down by over a third compared with three months ago.

On social media, commentators were speculating as to why Monday’s gains had disappeared, with theories appearing to favor moves by exchanges.

Bitcoin Price Plan Still On Track

As Bitcoinist reported, volatility amounting to hundreds of dollars becomes immaterial taken within the wider context of Bitcoin price activity in recent months.

Despite falling below $4000, BTC/USD remains well above the worst case scenario forecast by analysts such as Tone Vays, who warned the pair could yet fall to $1300 or even lower. The clinching factor, he said in December, was Bitcoin staying above its 200-week moving average.

Having since managed to do just that, attention is now focusing on 2019 and a potential slow run-up to new all-time highs later.

On Twitter, the account known as planB suggested the Bitcoin price to maintain a shorter-term goal – the 200-day moving average – this year, followed by growth to $100,000 in 2021. By the time of the May 2020 block reward halving, however, Bitcoin will still only trade around $8000.

Fellow analyst and Bitcoinist contributor Filbfilb was additionally eyeing support at $3600 and $3100.

“Fail at that level and we confirm an M top and [Bitcoin price] will retest 3.1k,” he noted.

Meanwhile, altcoins continue to follow and react to Bitcoin’s movements. Ether (ETH) dropped 8.3 percent in the 24 hours to press time compared with Bitcoin’s 5.4 percent, while Bitcoin Cash (BCH) delivered 10.6 percent losses.

Only TRON’s TRX token appeared to weather the storm, despite moderate losses still posting a 17 percent daily improvement.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s latest price moves? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, bitcointicker.co

The post Bitcoin Price Tanks $250 In Minutes But Analysts Say Bullish Trend Intact appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Bitcoin Price Tanks $250 In Minutes But Analysts Say Bullish Trend Intact

The Bitcoin price abruptly fell $250 January 10 as a fresh wave of volatility washed away the calm which had characterized markets this week.


Easy Come, Easy Go

Data from Bitcointicker shows a curious retracing for Bitcoin Thursday, the largest cryptocurrency dropping from $4050 to $3800 in minutes.

The move down cancels out gains from January 7, which saw BTC/USD 00 make an identical move in the other direction – from $3830 to $4020.

Bitcoin remains 11 percent up on the month to date, while more broadly, its price remains down by over a third compared with three months ago.

On social media, commentators were speculating as to why Monday’s gains had disappeared, with theories appearing to favor moves by exchanges.

Bitcoin Price Plan Still On Track

As Bitcoinist reported, volatility amounting to hundreds of dollars becomes immaterial taken within the wider context of Bitcoin price activity in recent months.

Despite falling below $4000, BTC/USD remains well above the worst case scenario forecast by analysts such as Tone Vays, who warned the pair could yet fall to $1300 or even lower. The clinching factor, he said in December, was Bitcoin staying above its 200-week moving average.

Having since managed to do just that, attention is now focusing on 2019 and a potential slow run-up to new all-time highs later.

On Twitter, the account known as planB suggested the Bitcoin price to maintain a shorter-term goal – the 200-day moving average – this year, followed by growth to $100,000 in 2021. By the time of the May 2020 block reward halving, however, Bitcoin will still only trade around $8000.

Fellow analyst and Bitcoinist contributor Filbfilb was additionally eyeing support at $3600 and $3100.

“Fail at that level and we confirm an M top and [Bitcoin price] will retest 3.1k,” he noted.

Meanwhile, altcoins continue to follow and react to Bitcoin’s movements. Ether (ETH) dropped 8.3 percent in the 24 hours to press time compared with Bitcoin’s 5.4 percent, while Bitcoin Cash (BCH) delivered 10.6 percent losses.

Only TRON’s TRX token appeared to weather the storm, despite moderate losses still posting a 17 percent daily improvement.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s latest price moves? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, bitcointicker.co

The post Bitcoin Price Tanks $250 In Minutes But Analysts Say Bullish Trend Intact appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Bits of Gold CEO: B2B Demand Increased Despite Falling BTC Price [Interview]

israel bitcoin bits of gold

Bitcoinist caught up with Youval Rouach, co-founder and CEO of Bitcoin of Gold, an Israeli Bitcoin cryptocurrency trading platform. Rouach explains the regulatory situation in Israel for cryptocurrencies and his company’s plans moving forward. 


Bitcoinist: When did Bits of Gold launch? Why did you decide to start this business?

Youval Rouach: Bits of Gold was founded by my brother Jonathan (Co-Founder and CEO of QED-it) and I at 2013, and on January 13th we are celebrating exactly 6 years of activity. We decided back then that we need to spread the word about Bitcoin and we knew that Israel should have its own cryptocurrency trading platform.

Do you operate only in Israel? Why is the company registered in Bulgaria?

Bits of Gold is registered and licensed in Israel and serves mainly the Israeli market. Bits of Gold also has a daughter-company registered in Bulgaria that processes the credit cards transactions, since the Israeli acquirers (that also are in control of the issuers of the credit cards, which is twisted by the way) prohibit the process of credit cards for cryptocurrency transactions. We definitely have plans to use both our Israeli and Bulgarian entities to expand our services to Europe and other international markets.

What kind of demand for trading bitcoins have you seen through the years? Can you provide some numbers?

The overall demand for Bitcoin over the last six years has obviously increased significantly and is usually correlated with the rate of Bitcoin, at least when it comes to the retail market.

I believe that correlation can help you assume the numbers. The interesting part is the increased demand for B2B trading services during the last year, even though the Bitcoin rate decreased since December 2017.

We see the crypto ecosystem evolve in front of our eyes as a wider range of businesses seek to trade cryptocurrencies. Our main focus is still private users, but there is a lot of potential for business and institutional deal flow in 2019.

You previously stated that you have no plans to launch in the US because of the regulatory climate there? Is this still the case?

We do our best to work in the safest ways possible in this volatile regulatory environment. Our legitimacy is derived from our regulatory moves and decisions and we owe that to our customers. The United States has a unique legal framework for crypto business that is currently not fit for our activities, hence we’ve decided to keep strengthening our existing infrastructure.

What other jurisdictions are you looking to expand to?

The European Union will probably be our next target market.

What do you see as the biggest barrier to bitcoin adoption?

I believe that fulfilling the prophecy of Bitcoin as a means of international payment system is the Holy Grail for worldwide mass adoption. On the way to that goal, I guess that institutional and banking activity in the ecosystem will also help a lot to create the confidence needed by the public for adoption.

Where does Israel stand as a bitcoin-friendly location in terms of development, regulations, businesses etc.?

I have to divide this into two opposite answers. On one hand, Israel is a very advanced country in terms of crypto regulation – there are already laws regarding Anti Money Laundering, Taxation, Licensing, and even drafts and reports about Securities.

More than $8.5 Million in Bitcoin Seized by Israeli Police

On the other hand, the Banking regulation is still vague and unclear, and that creates a really bad business environment for current and new ventures in the ecosystem. The Bank of Israel has not enforced yet any policy that will help the commercial banks deal with crypto-related companies and manage their risks properly.

As for us, we are in personal touch with all the relevant authorities and regulators and participate in the different “Round Tables” regarding the aforementioned regulatory processes.

What developments are you most excited about for cryptocurrencies in the near future?

I’m definitely excited by the upcoming rise of stablecoins and other programmable assets such as security tokens and other asset-based tokens. We believe this is the next generation of our business, which will have the potential to dramatically change the ecosystem.

What’s next for Bits of Gold in 2019 and beyond?

We are very thrilled to launch our new website in Q1 of 2019, which will reveal a whole new array of products and services, such as our API and other tools for businesses. As I mentioned, we are strong and stable enough to expand to international markets, starting with Europe, and you also might see us entering major partnerships with other players in the industry.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Bits of Gold CEO: B2B Demand Increased Despite Falling BTC Price [Interview] appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Hedge Fund Chairman Bill Miller Skeptical of ‘Overdone’ Ripple

Miller Value Partners (MVP) chairman & CIO Bill Miller has reiterated his faith in Bitcoin while publicly voicing suspicion about Ripple.


Miller Consolidates Bitcoin Holdings

Speaking to CNBC in an interview January 9, Miller, whose fund began buying up Bitcoin in 2014, said he had since “spun off” its Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash holdings into a separate fund.

Bill Miller cnbc

“We’ve retained about a ten percent weighting in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash together, and the other 90 percent is now in a separate fund,” he told the network.

The partners can decide what to do; they can hold it, they can sell it, they can put the money back into the hedge fund – whatever they want.

MVP’s average acquisition price per bitcoin 00 was just $350, Miller revealed.

Despite 2018 becoming notoriously difficult for hedge funds, many have sought to wait out the ongoing bear market across cryptocurrencies in the hope of an influx of institutional activity in the coming year.

That influx is set to kick off later sometime in early 2019 with the launch of Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt platform, which will initially offer physically-delivered Bitcoin futures. The company announced it had raised $182.5 million last week.

Ripple ‘Overdone, Let’s Just Say’

Asked about interest in altcoins, meanwhile, Miller said that MVP “had not made up its mind” about offering other cryptoassets. Singling out Ripple (XRP) 00, the executive appeared mistrusting, questioning the transparency of the project and related company Ripple.

“If you look at something like a Ripple, I think that’s way overdone, let’s just say,” he continued.

The XRP thing doesn’t have to be used on the Ripple network; you can use other things… If you look on Coinmarketcap.com it says there are 38 billion of them but there’s actually around 100 billion because the company has retained 61 billion on their own balance sheet.

Miller is far from alone in his skepticism of Ripple and XRP in particular. As Bitcoinist reported, both entities continue to attract criticism over their alleged relationship with one another and giant social media presence monitoring and tackling negative opinion.

What do you think about Bill Miller’s views on Bitcoin and Ripple? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CNBC

The post Hedge Fund Chairman Bill Miller Skeptical of ‘Overdone’ Ripple appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

France Starts Selling Bitcoin At 6 Tobacco Shops – 6,500 By Next Month

Tobacc france bitcoin

An initiative to sell Bitcoin (BTC) in France’s 24,000 tobacco kiosks has tentatively launched despite votes of no confidence from the central bank and other sources.


6 Tobacconists Today, 6500 By February

As Reuters reported January 8 quoting organizer Adil Zakhar, six ‘Tabac’ shops in Paris began offering prepaid Bitcoin cards this week, with plans to roll out the scheme in rapid fashion to over 6500 as soon as next month.

“Some people find it complicated to get bitcoins online,” Zakhar told the publication.

They trust their local tobacco shop owner more than they would trust some remote anonymous website.

As co-founder of technology company KeplerK, Zakhar is presiding over a hotly contested move to bring Bitcoin into the French mainstream.

As Bitcoinist and others wrote in November, when the plan was announced, it met with opposition from parties including the Bank of France (BoF), officials denying they had sanctioned any form of Bitcoin sales by tobacconists.

This appeared to contradict the position of the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR), which operates under the auspices of the BoF and had given the go-ahead to KerplerK.

“…[N]o such deal is either being envisaged or under discussion,” the BoF said at the time.

Bitcoins And Bank Runs

The commencement of sales thus marks a further point in the confusing legislative environment surrounding cryptocurrency which has persisted in France.

yellow vest Paris Protests euro bitcoin

At the same time, both Bitcoin and banks continue to hit the mainstream media for other reasons.

Earlier this week, Bitcoinist reported on a fresh project by political grassroots movement the Gilets Jaunes, organizers calling for a run on the banks this Saturday, January 12.

Aiming to pressure the government “without the least bit of violence,” the so-called ‘Referendum des Percepteurs’ (‘Collectors’ Referendum’) closely mirrors a similar event in the Bitcoin world from last week – Trace Mayer’s Proof of Keys.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency users continue the search for a Bitcoin bounty hidden as part of a wall mural by Paris-based artist Pascal Boyart. An open wallet for contributions to the prize fund currently contains 0.287 BTC ($1155).

What do you think about France’s tobacconist Bitcoin sales? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post France Starts Selling Bitcoin At 6 Tobacco Shops – 6,500 By Next Month appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.