About Georgi Georgiev

Kraken Received 3 Times More Law Enforcement Requests in 2018

Kraken Introduces Block Trading OTC Option for Trades of $100,000 or More

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has revealed that it has received three times more law enforcement requests in 2018 compared to 2017. The overwhelming majority of requesting authorities is in the US. 

A Chokepoint for Law Enforcement

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has released an infographic displaying the increasing number of law enforcement requests received in 2018. As it turns out, the bear market is not the only thing to be concerned with.

Evidently, the exchange has received 475 law enforcement requests in 2018 – a number three times larger compared to 2017.

The overwhelming majority of requests are coming from authorities in the US, with the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) leading the march with 91. The FBI has issued a total of 67 subpoenas, followed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with 40.

“You can see why many businesses choose to block US Users. Cost of handling subpoenas (regardless of licenses) is quickly becoming a barrier to entry,” tweeted the exchange.

It’s noteworthy that back in April, Kraken’s CEO and co-founder Jesse Powell, expressed his thoughts on the matter of information requests on behalf of lawmakers:

Having the kind of requested information “on hand” is not the same as having the resources to compile it neatly to fit to the framework of the request…

‘Cost Are Passed onto the Users’

As seen on the infographic, there are 11 different departments in the US alone who are looking to enforce their regulatory framework upon the cryptocurrency market.

Commenting on the matter was the host of CNBC’s Cryptotrader Ran NeuNer, who commented:

The cost of doing Crypto business in the USA as disclosed by Kraken. There are so many different and disjointed departments all looking to enforce their little piece of jurisdiction – ultimately these costs are passed onto the consumer.

What do you think of the increasing number of subpoenas issued against US users? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Apple Loses Almost As Much As Bitcoin’s Entire Market Cap in One Day

Apple stock APPL

Apple stock (APPL) has seen upwards of $60 billion erased from its valuation, an amount close to Bitcoin’s entire market capitalization, suggesting that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are still in the early stages of mass adoption. 

Worst Daily Plunge Since 2013

Apple, one of the world’s largest publicly traded companies, has lost around $65 billion of its market capitalization in a single day on January 3rd, 2019. This pushes its market valuation below $700 billion, which less than the market cap of rival Alphabet Inc (Google).

According to CNBC, the company sees its shares trading at the lowest prices since July in 2017, making this daily plunge one of the worst since January 2013.

Twitter user @Rhythmtrader was quick to notice that this daily decline in Apple’s market value is almost as much as Bitcoin’s entire market capitalization, noting that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, in general, are still in the early stages.

$1 Trillion Down the Drain

Cryptocurrencies have had a rough 2018, to say the least. The year saw about $700 billion wiped off the entire market’s capitalization, marking a decrease of more than 85 percent.

Looking at FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) stocks’ overall performance in the past few months, however, reveals that even the once red-hot tech stocks aren’t exactly booming either. These five companies have lost upwards of $1 trillion from their all-time highs.

Given the current instability in traditional markets, Senior Market Analyst at eToro, Mati Greenspan, says bitcoin could be seen as a safe haven asset by investors if stocks keep slumping while the cryptocurrency rises. He writes:

Correlations between $BTC and…

Gold (purple line) the US Dollar (blue line) and the US stock market (grey line).

A correlation of <0.1 is considered weak. If the stocks keep sliding and bitcoin rising, that grey line could plummet. Then Bitcoin might be seen as a safe haven.

What do you think of the steep decline in Apple’s market cap? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Nasdaq; Twitter / @MatiGreenspan, Shutterstock

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Overstock Becomes First Major US Company to Pay Taxes in Bitcoin

Investment Into Overstock's Cryptocurrency Exchange Causes Share Price to Rocket

Internet retailer Overstock has announced that it intends to become the very first major US-based company to pay a part of its state business tax in Ohio using Bitcoin. 

Taxes With Bitcoin

According to its own investor portal, US-based internet retailer Overstock is set to pay part of its Ohio state business tax using Bitcoin. Supposedly, by doing so, the retailer will become the first major US company to pay its taxes using the digital currency.

Speaking on the matter was Patrick M. Byrne, Overstock CEO and founder, who noted:

We have long thought that thoughtful governmental adoption of emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies (when accompanied by non-restrictive legislation over these technologies) is the best way to ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy. […] We are proud to partner with forward-thinking governments and officials like Ohio and Treasurer Mandel to help usher in an era of trust through technology for our nation’s essential financial systems.

Earlier in November, Bitcoinist reported that Overstock’s share price soared as the company announced plans to sell its retail-oriented business and to focus on previously acquired blockchain startups.

‘Ahead of Its Time’

Paying taxes with Bitcoin in Ohio became possible in late November 2018 at OhioCrypto.com.

According to State Treasurer John Mandel, who pioneered the idea, Overstock’s move to pay its taxes with the cryptocurrency is ‘ahead of its time’:

We applaud Overstock for becoming the first national brand in America to register to pay taxes via cryptocurrency. Their embrace of blockchain technology was ahead of its time and we’re proud to have them join OhioCrypto.com.

In an interview for Fortune, Mandel also added that paying taxes with Bitcoin reveals certain financial advantages. According to him, taxpayers who use credit cards pay 2.5 percent service fees, while those who use Bitcoin will only incur a fee of 1 percent. Early filers like Overstock, however, won’t incur any fees at all.

What do you think of Overstock paying part of its state business tax in Ohio using Bitcoin? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Fred Wilson: 2019 Will Find the Bottom and ‘Slowly’ Enter a Bull-Run

Fred Wilson Union Square Vetures

Fred Wilson, the co-founder of Union Square Ventures, holds that 2019 will see the cryptocurrency market bottom out and ‘slowly’ enter a new bull run. However, he’s also concerned by actions of ‘misguided’ regulators. 

2019: Finding the Bottom

Venture capitalist and co-founder of investment firm Union Square Ventures, has laid down his predictions on the overall state of the cryptocurrency market in 2019.

The investor believes that we are currently in the process of bottoming out. However, he thinks that this would take much of 2019 but it will be followed by “some bullish runs.”

I expect we will see some bullish runs, followed by selling pressures taking us back to retest the lows. I think this bottoming out process will end sometime in 2019 and we will slowly enter a new bullish phase in crypto.

Unlike others who’ve based their positive predictions on catalysts such as further market adoption, institutional money entering the market, infrastructure, and so forth, Wilson sees the premise of a new bullish run in the face of the results of promises made back in 2017.

I think the catalyst for the next bullish phase will come as the result of some of the many promises made in 2017 coming to fruition in 2019 […] I think we will see a number of “next gen” smart contract platforms ship and challenge Ethereum for leadership in this super important area of the crypto sector.

Another area where Wilson thinks 2019 will bring ‘meaningful progress’ and further adoption is stablecoins. He’s not alone on the matter.

Bitcoinist reported earlier in November that CoinJar’s co-founder Asher Tan also believes in the potential of stablecoins to solve the problem of volatility in the cryptocurrency space.

Regulatory Concerns

The venture capitalist also shares that there will be pressure on the cryptocurrency industry, in general. According to him, it will stem from ‘misguided regulators’.

The area I am most concerned about are actions brought by misguided regulators who will take aim at high quality projects and harm them.

Back in October, industry proponent Jeremy Allaire, CEO of investment application Circle, called for globally coordinated cryptocurrency regulations. At the same time, the Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) J. Christopher Giancarlo urged regulators to apply a “do no harm” approach to cryptocurrency legislation.

Last but not least, Wilson thinks that scams, hacks, and overall failures are going to remain a “drag on the sector.” However, he also holds that this is normal and ‘always the case’ with emerging tech.

What do you think of Fred Wilson’s prediction of the cryptocurrency industry’s condition in 2019? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia.org

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BTC Price Historic Yearly Lows Reveal How Bitcoin ‘Hodlers’ Are Created

BTC price is currently sitting at yearly lows though it is still around 400 percent higher than 2017’s low. In fact, a historic look at yearly lows reveals the massive Bitcoin price gains and how ‘hodlers’ are potentially created. 

BTC Price: A Different Perspective

2017 was the year of all-time highs (ATH) values in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin (BTC) 00, the world’s leading cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, had an unparalleled bull-run resulting in an ATH value of about $20,000.

2018, on the other hand, was a year of a prolonged bear market. The market’s forerunner saw a steep decline of about 80 percent.

While everyone seems to be fixating on the ATH and whether we’ll reach them again, Twitter user @1stCrassCitizen, however, takes a different perspective. He writes:

I’ve been saying it for years. Don’t look at ATH’s, look at yearly lows. That will tell you the growth in hodlers.

  • 2012 – $4
  • 2013 – $65
  • 2014 – $200
  • 2015 – $185
  • 2016 – $365
  • 2017 – $780
  • 2018 – $3200

That tells you the growth in the people who won’t sell at any price.

Massive Gains in 2 Years or Less

The above shows that long-term ‘hodlers’ should historically do very well despite the relatively short-term declines in Bitcoin’s price.

BTC price yearly lows

Relative to today’s price, this is especially true for people who have bought in 2016 or earlier. Regardless of whether they bought at the bottom or at the yearly high, these ‘hodlers’ have still made at least 1000% returns in USD terms.

Going further, Bictoinist recently reported that Bitcoin has increased in value with more than 82,000 percent in the last seven years, outperforming even stocks like Amazon (AMZN) over the period.

The cryptocurrency’s daily moving average is also 0.325 percent in the positive.

Will 2018’s $3,200 price set the new floor for hodlers moving forward? Share below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Grew 82,000% in 7 Years But ‘Died’ 91 Times in 2018

Bitcoin died dead bitcoin obituaries

Bitcoin died 91 times in 2018 alone and 337 in total. But despite the latest bear cycle, hard data shows that Bitcoin has grown with more than 82,000 percent in the last 7 years. 

Bitcoin ‘Died’ 91 Times in 2018

According to website Bitcoin Obituaries – there were 91 publications in 2018 proclaiming Bitcoin’s demise.

Interestingly, there were 125 ‘obituaries’  in 2017, the frequency of which actually peaked right when Bitcoin was nearing its all-time high price of $20,000 in December.

Overall, since 2010, doomsayers have buried Bitcoin exactly 337 times, according to the website.

But how dead can something be when it’s been running 24/7 with 99.98% uptime for over a decade now?

82000% Growth in the Last 7 Years

It’s true that 2018’s prolonged bear market took its toll on bitcoin’s price. BTC 00 is currently trading at more than 80 percent below its all-time high price.

Nevertheless, if one only measures Bitcoin by its price in dollars, it still turns out that Bitcoin is not only not dead – it has actually grown by more than 82,000% in the last 7 years.

What’s more, its fundamentals are still intact, said Spencer Bogart earlier this month, while other metrics like hash rate (network security) and layer-two scaling solutions (i.e. Lightning Network) have actually seen unprecedented growth.

Furthermore, since January 1, 2011, BTC’s daily moving average is 0.325 percent in the positive.

Bitcoinist reported last month that BTC returns have also outperformed Amazon stock (AMZN) over the past seven years.

BTC Adoption is Real

Regardless of how many times naysayers have proclaimed its demise, Bitcoin’s ownership is also rising.

As reported in October, four different studies by the Ontario Securities Commission and the Central Bank of Canada indicate that 3 to 5% of Canadians own Bitcoin.

Another survey by market research agency YouGov revealed that up to 9 percent of UK residents own the cryptocurrency while 90 percent of them have heard of it.

What is more, the US even saw its first county and then state (Ohio) to begin accepting bitcoin for tax payments.

And for something that’s supposedly ‘dead’, 2018 saw over $410 billion transacted via BTC or an average of $13,000 per second (despite its decreasing value in dollars this year) .

Finally, this is not the first time the cryptocurrency has suffered 80 plus percent drops. As it turns out, though, each time it comes back up, reaching a much higher high.

What will 2019 bring for Bitcoin? How many times will Bitcoin die in 2019? Share your prediction below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, coin.dance

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EXCLUSIVE: Mystery ‘8 Whale’ Moves 5% of Total Bitcoin Supply in the Past Month

Bitcoin 8 whale

A new Bitcoin mystery has emerged. 848,000 BTC or almost 5 percent of the total supply, is contained within 106 addresses, each one holding exactly 8,000 BTC. What’s more, all were recently created as bitcoin reached the lowest price in over a year. 

Weird Coincidence?

According to the ‘Rich List’ on BitInfoCharts, there are 106 Bitcoin addresses which reveal freakishly close similarities. These addresses number from 125 to 231 on the given list. Strangely, each one of them contains exactly 8,000 BTC.

Each one has its transactions deliberately structured to amount to give the number 8,000. For instance, some of the addresses have two transactions, adding up to exactly 8,000 BTC, while others have more than 10 in different bits and chunks to add up to the exact same number.

Just a popular, nice big round number you say?

Well, 10,000 is even nicer, and rounder. But there are only about 20 such addresses and they don’t share the same similarities as the 8K BTC bunch.

But it gets even weirder.

All of these (noticeably non-SegWit and non-multisig) addresses have received the funds within the same time period: from November 30th to December 6th.

All 106 addresses account for 848,000 BTC moved or 4.86 percent of the total supply.

The transactional structure, the matching amount of BTC in each address, as well as the accumulation period indicate that all of these addresses have likely been created by the same entity.

So is it a major exchange moving funds?

Probably not. For one, creating over a hundred different wallets with the exact same number of BTC is not typical of an exchange. Additionally, most known exchange wallets are marked as such and many are found in the top 10 of the richest wallets list.

What’s more, these addresses comprise a staggering amount of almost 850,000 BTC. Compare this to Binance, which holds around 165,000 BTC in two different labeled cold wallets, despite it being the largest crypto exchange by volume.

If this mysterious ‘8 whale’ is indeed one entity, the total amount dwarfs even the richest wallet address on the list belonging to Bitfinex with around 138,000 BTC.

$3.18 Billion Worth of BTC at Year Low Prices

Even more interesting, all of the 106 wallets have been created while Bitcoin was trading at its lowest price 00 in over a year.

The highest price of BTC during the mentioned 7-day period of creation was around $4,320 according to CoinMarketCap. Prior to November this year, the last time Bitcoin was trading under $4,320 was in October 2017.

It’s unclear what the purpose of this structuring is or who, in fact, ultimately controls the private keys.

We also don’t know whether the entity controlling this massive amount of BTC (assuming it’s the same entity) is simply trying to not put all the eggs in one basket or is distributing the funds for some other purpose.

Whale breaching and diving.

Could a super-wealthy investor or fund manager be moving this many bitcoins over-the-counter? Are they Chinese? (The number 8 is indeed culturally significant in China and associated with fortune.)

But if this was indeed ‘buying’ – wouldn’t the price shoot up during the given period considering roughly $3.1 billion was moved at today’s prices?

Perhaps it’s an early adopter who’s spreading out their holdings to mitigate risk and/or collect forked coins? Or maybe it’s a major institution moving its funds around? Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust, for example, was reported earlier this month to now control 1 percent of total supply. Could there be an even bigger unknown institutional player moving billions beneath the surface?

One can only guess.

However, with the prices and transaction fees being as low as they are, it’s safe to say that whoever did this, likely did it at the right time.

What do you think of this peculiar accumulation of 8K BTC addresses? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Major Hong Kong Winemaker is Buying a Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange

Hong Kong wine bitcoin Madison Holdings Group

A major winemaker, listed on the GEM board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is to acquire a majority stake in a Japanese cryptocurrency trading platform. The deal is meant to “achieve a better return” to the company’s shareholders.

In Search for Diversification

Madison Holdings Group – a $534 million winemaking company listed on the GEM board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is reportedly set to purchase a majority stake in Japanese cryptocurrency trading platform BitOcean.

According to the release, Madison will buy 67.2 percent of BitOcean from independent third parties for approximately $15.12 million, while also paying another $15 million in different fees. BitOcean is amongst the operators which are currently registered with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).


Speaking on the matter was Raymond Ting Pang-wan, chairman at Madison, who said the deal is part of the company’s diversification strategy:

Our wine business is stable and profitable, but then it is small. It is hard to make wine trading into a very big business. This is why we have to diversify into financial technology and the cryptocurrency business – to achieve a better return for our shareholders.

Nevermind the Falling Prices

Despite the prolonged 2018 bear market, which saw Bitcoin price (coin_price) lose over 80 percent since its all-time high value in January, Madison’s chairman doesn’t seem to be concerned at all. He said:

Bitcoin is cheap, which has created a good opportunity for us to enter the market. We are eyeing the long term, so we are not worried about short-term volatility.

Ting also outlined that Japan is a particularly appropriate destination for a cryptocurrency trading platform, as it “represents about 20 percent of bitcoin trading worldwide.”

Bitcoinist reported that the Japanese Yen is set to surpass the US dollar in Bitcoin/fiat trading.

What is more, according to the chairman of the Hong Kong Securities Association, the deal represents a “small investment” of the company, given its overall market capitalization of approximately half a billion dollars. Hence, it’s not such a huge risk for its financial well-being.

However, lawmaker Kenneth Leung Kai-Cheong urges investors to be rather careful:

Madison has built up its reputation through trade in fine wines, it is a newcomer to the virtual currency business. Investors need to pay attention to the risks involved when a company operates in two separate business lines.

What do you think of Madison’s decision to acquire BitOcean? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Ethereum ICO Treasury Withdrawals Hit 2018 High in December

Ethereum ETH withdrawals

Projects which had their initial coin offerings (ICOs) on the blockchain of Ethereum have quickly liquidated their ETH holdings since June of 2018. Treasury withdrawals hit a year-high in December with more than 420,000 ETH being liquidated.

420,000 Ethereum Sold in December

Upwards of 420,000 ETH has been liquidated from ICO treasuries so far in December, making the month the largest withdrawal period this year according to Diar. 

The market research firm also reveals some statistics for 2018’s prolonged bear market. In January, the total amount of ETH held in ICO treasuries was 4,623,148. Currently, this number has been reduced to 3,052,168 ETH. The average monthly withdrawal is 2.45 percent while December has seen 12.20 percent of Ether withdrawn from treasuries or a total of 423,816 ETH so far.

November was also a month of a massive selloff as over 290,000 ETH were liquidated, led by Tezos’ 82K ETH drawdown.

Sold at Year-Low

Almost half of the total withdrawn amount of ETH in December can be attributed to one single project – Filecoin. It sold off all of its holdings of 216,906 ETH.

Another project which liquidated almost all of its ETH holdings was Substratum, withdrawing 8,931 ETH in December.

Kyber, on the other hand, withdrew 66,454 ETH and is currently left with a little over 3,000 ETH in the treasury. The reasons for the selloff are undisclosed.

Looking at ETH’s 00 yearly price chart, however, shows that the third quarter has been particularly unforgiving for the cryptocurrency. In December, it fell down to as little as $83, which is almost 95 percent down from its all-time high values at the beginning of the year.

What do you think of Ethereum’s peaking treasury withdrawals? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Lightning Network Milestone: ‘Micro-Auction’ Art Piece Sells for $0.000000037

lightning network auction

A ‘Black Swan’ art piece by Cryptograffiti has auctioned to the lowest bidder for a milli-satoshi or just $0.000000037 thanks to the Bitcoin Lightning Network, making the winning likely the world’s cheapest auction. 

The ‘Black Swan’

A Reddit user going by the name Cryptograffiti shared his story of creating and auctioning a tiny piece of art called “Black Swan.”

Black swan

The piece is exactly what you would expect it to be – a black swan sitting next to what seems to be a pond of leaves. Interestingly enough, though, the artist only used pieces from a fiat dollar bill and counterfeit detector pen ink to create the piece.

Its dimensions are impressively tiny. The piece measures 1.44 in x 1.75 in (3.55 cm x 4.44 cm).

More interestingly, though, was the way the artist decided to sell the piece. Cryptograffiti explained:

Yesterday I auctioned this piece to the lowest bidder to help promote the lightning network and poke fun at MSM’s focus on Bitcoin’s price.

And so, the piece has been sold for 1 milli-satoshi or $0.000000037 through the Lightning Network, which makes it possible to send a fraction of a Satoshi, the lowest possible amount that could be transferred otherwise on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Many Reddit users immediately recognized the significance of this milestone as it is possibly the world’s cheapest auction ever to be held.

Lightning Network’s Potential

Cryptograffiti also shares his excitement for a future time where micropayments are possible and omnipresent.

I’m excited about a future where micropayments are omnipresent. Artists paid by the view…writers by the poem…musicians by the listen. Everyday interactions complemented by positive monetary reinforcement such as tipping someone who let you merge into traffic. […] Hopefully, this micro auction inspires others to think big about the future of Bitcoin. – He writes.

The artist has his own online merchandise store where users can purchase all kinds of crypto-related designs from t-shirts to mugs. In an interview for Bitcoinist, Cryptograffity explained the inspiration for his artwork, saying:

Well my art, as well the merch, is all about spreading the movement…awareness. I see each shirt as little mini billboards. And I think it’s important to bring a little humor into the mix even with something as important and disruptive as cryptocurrency/blockchain.

This isn’t the first instance of showcasing the capabilities of the Lightning Network to successfully carry out microtransactions.

In June, Bitcoinist reported on the release of a new platform called Poketoshi which enables users to play the popular Pokémon game, paying 10 Satoshi per move ($0.00040447). Before that, creative developers allowed users to paint on a digital canvas called Satoshi’s Place. It’s comprised of 1 million pixels, each one of which cost 1 satoshi to paint.

Do you like the art piece? Will Lightning network change the way users interact and trade online? Share your thoughts below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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