Midgets too tall an order for Braves

The game never felt out of control for the Braves but coach Mark Hurd said the game came down to rebounding saying, “ We had some break downs in our defense and it really boils down to us not being able to rebound. We stopped them on their first shot attempts but they had plenty of second chance …

Cole Pitts of Cherokee gets all ball on this stop of E-LCs Trevor Freisner during Lakes Conference basketball action Tueday at E-LC.
Photo by Denny Holton

ESTHERVILLE – The Cherokee boys basketball team was on the road on Tuesday to take on a senior-laden Estherville Lincoln Central team and ELC was able to get a great 27 point performance from senior Trevor Freisner on their way to a 48-28 victory over the coldd-shooting Braves.

The first half was a close contest as ELC led 17-5 at the end of the first quarter and the Braves turned up their defense in the second quarter, allowing ELC only seven points, but ELC led 22-12 at halftime.

In the third quarter for the Braves, senior Jack Benson lit up the nets drilling three long balls from behind the arc but ELC stayed pace with their lead and led 34-22 at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter belonged to ELC as their were able to show their experience and build their lead on the young Braves to pull away with a 48-28 win.

The Braves could not find a defensive answer for Friesner as he led the way with a game high 27 points.

For Cherokee, Jack Benson led the way with 13 points and Alex Paulsrud and Cole Pitts each added six points.

The game never felt out of control for the Braves but coach Mark Hurd said the game came down to rebounding saying, We had some break downs in our defense and it really boils down to us not being able to rebound. We stopped them on their first shot attempts but they had plenty of second chance points. They came out and punched us pretty hard and we are a young team that has to learn to play from behind.

It will be nice to play them at home later this year to see if we can get a lead early and force them to play from behind.

The Braves are now 1-3 overall this early season and are 0-1 in the Lakes Conference. The boys are on the road Friday for another Lakes Conference game at LeMars before having a non-conference game against Ridge View in Holstein on Saturday.

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Revolut Catches The Bitcoin Bug: Offers Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies Trading

Although Bitcoin has been in existence since 2009, when the anonymous programmer and cryptographer Satoshi Nakamoto created the cryptocurrency, 2017 has been the most fabulous year yet. Various institutional investors like the CBOE Global, the CME Group, the Swiss-based Falcon bank, the …

With the constant surge in the price of bitcoin, the Blockchain technology-based cryptocurrency also has become quite ubiquitous. Bitcoin has proven it’s just irresistible and too hard to ignore for institutional investors, FinTech companies and to some extent government.

Although Bitcoin has been in existence since 2009, when the anonymous programmer and cryptographer Satoshi Nakamoto created the cryptocurrency, 2017 has been the most fabulous year yet. Various institutional investors like the CBOE Global, the CME Group, the Swiss-based Falcon bank, the Shinhan bank of South Korea and now Revolut Fintech company has started offering bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading services.

Revolut Integrates Cryptocurrency Trading Into Its Mobile Banking Platform

Revolut is a London-based FinTech company founded in 2014 by Nikolay Storonsky. The FinTech firm which offers mobile banking services has now integrated cryptocurrencies trading into its mobile banking platform. Users of the Revolut app can now successfully buy, sell or trade bitcoin, ether, and litecoin along with support for 25 fiat currencies.

The CEO of Revolut, Nikolay Storonsky, who was present at TechCrunch’s Disrupt Berlin conference, announced that users of the app will now be able to trade cryptocurrencies with Revolut.

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If a Revolut customer suddenly runs out of fiat currency while trying to carry out a payment transaction using the Revolut debit card, the platform automatically converts into fiat; the necessary amount of cryptocurrency needed to complete the transaction provided the user has cryptocurrency in their Revolut app. In Storonsky’s announcement, he said:

“Despite being one of the hottest trends in the world right now, getting exposure to cryptocurrency has notoriously been time-consuming and expensive.”

While some see Revolut’s integration of cryptocurrencies into its platform as an unnecessary distraction from the company’s core operation, the CEO believes cryptocurrency use is gaining broader acceptance and would soon become a significant part of all banking. Storonsky noted that about 10,000 customers traded $1 million in cryptocurrency during Revolut’s week-long crypto beta test.

Revolut Promises Cryptocurrency Users Best Rates

Revolut has promised to give its customers the most competitive rates on crypto transactions when its cryptocurrency trading feature gets into full operation. Revolut has said it would charge a flat rate of 1.5 percent without any hidden charges and customers will be able to buy cryptocurrencies using all Revolut’s base currencies thereby eliminating extra foreign exchange fees that are charged when purchasing with other fiat currencies like the Swiss francs for instance.

With the integration of Cryptocurrency into Revolut’s platform, the FinTech giant is sure living up to its slogan, “The Global Money App’ Beyond Banking”; this crypto innovation will undoubtedly attract even more customers to Revolut sooner than later.

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40% of the World’s Bitcoins Are Held by Just 1000 People

Consider the so-called “father of bitcoin,” the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, who began mining bitcoin when the software to mine the coins first became available in 2009. An account that is likely his now contains about 980,000 bitcoins, worth roughly $15.2 billion. That’s about 5% of all bitcoins …

Considering getting into bitcoin as prices soar above $15,500? It’s not hard to see why—the asset has gained $8,000 in the last month.

But realize this about the historically volatile currency: An estimated 1,000 people own about 40% of the world’s total bitcoin, for an average of about $105.6 million per person, according to Aaron Brown of AQR Capital Management, per Bloomberg Businessweek.

That’s in part a lucky pool of investors who bet on a cryptocurrency strongly linked to the dark net just a few years earlier. But newer bitcoin investors trying to jump on board should be aware: That also means those 1,000 or so people have outsized ability to influence bitcoin prices. That’s potentially even more risky considering bitcoin’s value isn’t based on any underlying asset, but rather largely on human sentiment.

“As in any asset class, large individual holders and large institutional holders can and do collude to manipulate price,” Ari Paul, co-founder of BlockTower Capital and a former portfolio manager of the University of Chicago endowment, told Bloomberg.

It’s likely that at least some of these owners already know each other, having probably gone into bitcoin at a time when mining the cryptocurrency was easier and there were fewer people involved. (The process by which new bitcoins are released is called mining. Because of the way bitcoin works, mining the cryptocurrency becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on.)

Consider the so-called “father of bitcoin,” the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, who began mining bitcoin when the software to mine the coins first became available in 2009. An account that is likely his now contains about 980,000 bitcoins, worth roughly $15.2 billion. That’s about 5% of all bitcoins currently in circulation.

Meanwhile, because bitcoin is so new, regulators are still scratching their heads over how to manage the industry. That means, unlike with securities, large investors currently don’t have to disclose their bitcoin ownership, further mudding the waters.

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Bitcoin is none of the things it was supposed to be

The first stop for anyone seriously interested in Bitcoin is the Bitcoin white paper: the canonical document written by Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, in 2008. “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party,” Nakamoto wrote when …

On Thursday, the price of Bitcoin fluctuated by thousands of dollars in a 24-hour period. The Coinbase app — which lets you buy and sell cryptocurrencies, and is the number two free app in the App Store as of this writing — started freezing and throwing errors, which the company said was due to high traffic. At one point, I tested the app by trying to sell some of my (very small) amount of Bitcoin, and the app simply buckled. “Bitcoin sales are temporarily disabled,” it said in an error message.

This is not how Bitcoin was supposed to work.

In fact, most of the current Bitcoin economy, worth around $276 billion at the time of writing, is antithetical to the premise of Bitcoin.

Macallan Rare Cask


Let’s go back to the beginning of Bitcoin. The first stop for anyone seriously interested in Bitcoin is the Bitcoin white paper: the canonical document written by Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, in 2008. “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party,” Nakamoto wrote when he posted the proposal to a cryptocurrency mailing list. This sentence describes everything Bitcoin was intended to be, and the qualities that first got people excited about it, the key terms being “cash,” “peer-to-peer,” and “no trusted third party.”

Bitcoin, at its core, was supposed to be a way to pay for goods and services online — in Nakamoto’s words, Bitcoin would replace existing systems for “commerce on the internet.” In the early days of Bitcoin, evangelists tried to use it for everything, including salaries, pizza, and Bitcoin swag. This was in the spirit of Nakamoto’s proposal, but the network effects were not there. There simply weren’t enough merchants accepting Bitcoin, or enough customers holding the currency.

“We have proposed a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust.”

the Bitcoin white paper, 2008

This led to the rise of startups like BitPay, which facilitated Bitcoin payment for merchants like Microsoft and Overstock. BitPay was part of the early crop of Bitcoin’s finance industry, and while it and similar startups increased the usefulness of Bitcoin, they represented the sort of middleman Bitcoin was supposed to disintermediate.

After nearly nine years in existence, the closest thing to the kind of Bitcoin-powered payments Nakamoto envisioned is on dark-web markets: the websites like Valhalla or the now-defunct Silk Road that can only be accessed through the anonymizing network Tor. Bitcoin is the default currency on the dark web — but the speculators driving the current bubble are making it difficult to use Bitcoin for actual transactions. “Fuck you Bitcoin,” one buyer commented on the dark-web subreddit. “Went to do a direct deal today with a vendor, realized my $250 purchase would end up costing me $315 or so with fees and would still take probably 24 hours to get to him.” “I personally think there needs to be a grand movement on markets and vendors… to move to an alternative crypto, one that is not so god damn volatile and that can actually be viable,” wrote another.

What about Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer network with no trusted third parties? “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without the burdens of going through a financial institution,” the Nakamoto wrote. This system very quickly fell apart.

In theory, you should be able to get your hands on Bitcoin without having to trade it for any real- world currency or interact with any financial institution. The function of the financial institutions is replaced by elegant cryptography and the distributed network of Bitcoin users’ computers. All you need to acquire Bitcoin is a computer connected to the internet. You download the Bitcoin client and either have someone send you Bitcoin in exchange for a good or service, or use your computer’s processing power to maintain the network and get rewarded in Bitcoin. Once you have Bitcoin, you can use the same tools to store and spend it.

But only the earliest, most dedicated Bitcoin users adopted this system; almost immediately, middlemen starting showing up. In October 2009, New Liberty Standard published a Bitcoin exchange rate based on the cost of electricity for a computer to mine Bitcoin, which established that one U.S. dollar was worth 1,309.03 BTC. In February 2010, The Bitcoin Market, the first of many Bitcoin exchanges, popped up. The notorious Mt. Gox exchange was established later that year. Even the dark-web markets, home to the purest use of Bitcoin, were middlemen, delivering messages between buyers and sellers and serving as an escrow service.

Bitcoin was designed so that users had to take care of their private cryptographic keys for every address they used, and Nakamoto advised making a new address for every transaction. This proved too confusing and burdensome, so along came wallet services, which stored users’ Bitcoins like a bank account and substituted a password for the private key. (The first wallet I used was MyBitcoin.com. It was “hacked” and I lost half my Bitcoins.) There are many, many other types of middlemen in the Bitcoin system now, including sellers of Bitcoin-specific hardware and server farms that have monopolized the creation of new Bitcoins.

The price of Bitcoin increased by thousands of dollars in one week.

The price of Bitcoin increased by thousands of dollars in one week. Coinbase

The existence of these middlemen also obviates another one of Bitcoin’s features: privacy. Middlemen like Coinbase are bound by know-your-customer laws and collect extensive information on their users.

The Bitcoin network is still technically peer-to-peer, but with so many middlemen, it might as well not be. This is not entirely the fault of the greedy middlemen; Bitcoin is simply too intimidating for most non-programmers to use without the help of apps like Coinbase.


Back to the current bubble. Remember how Coinbase, the San Francisco-based startup which raised more than $200 million in venture capital, put a freeze on my money? Whether it was out of incompetence or an attempt to save itself from selling at an inflated price (at one point, the price of Bitcoin was $3,000 higher on Coinbase than on other exchanges), this was exactly the kind of thing Bitcoin was supposed to prevent.

Bitcoin was supposed to disintermediate the finance industry — the system of banks and middlemen and transaction fees in which a single entity can hold your money hostage. Instead, it replicated this system and made it worse. Ordinary users all trust third parties to verify transactions and hold their money. The price is so volatile that no one wants to use Bitcoin for payments. And thanks to the current bubble, the electricity required to maintain the Bitcoin network is skyrocketing.

“Bitcoin was supposed to demonstrate the power of a true free market,” the developer Adam Chalmers tweeted on Wednesday afternoon, when the average price of Bitcoin was around $13,000. “Instead it’s full of scams, rent-seekers, theft, useless for real purchases and accelerates climate change. Mission accomplished.”

A screenshot of the Coinbase app as it displayed an error: “Bitcoin sales are temporarily disabled.”

A screenshot of the Coinbase app as it displayed an error: “Bitcoin sales are temporarily disabled.” Adrjeffries / Twitter

When Nakamoto created the first Bitcoins, he included a bit of text: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” The line served as a precise way to date the start of the blockchain, but it also seemed to be a reference to the ongoing financial crisis. In his other writings on forums and mailing lists — hundreds of posts before he mysteriously disappeared in April 2011 — Nakamoto expressed anger at the financial system that had precipitated the crisis. “He wanted to create a currency that was impervious to unpredictable monetary policies as well as to the predations of bankers and politicians,” wrote The New Yorker.

Nakamoto was a libertarian who wanted to create a system for payments that would circumvent governments, bankers, and corporations. Instead, Bitcoin is now a get-rich-quick scheme that retains none of the exciting, anarchist features it proposed and has created a secondary economy with financial shenanigans that mirror the ones that led to the global financial crisis. Goldman Sachs says it is “exploring” a Bitcoin trading operation, and on Monday, two finance companies will launch Bitcoin futures contracts so that even more betting on the price can take place. It’s as if we invented the internet and then turned it over to AT&T to operate with switchboards.

In an email to the Metzdowd cryptography mailing list in January 2009, shortly after Bitcoin launched, Nakamoto wrote about his vision for the currency. At first it would start “in a narrow niche like reward points, donation tokens, currency for a game or micropayments for adult sites,” he wrote. “Once it gets bootstrapped, there are so many applications if you could effortlessly pay a few cents to a website as easily as dropping coins in a vending machine.” Instead, it got Wall Streeted.

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Bitcoin Gold (BTG) plunges -6.32% on December 7-8

Bitcoin Gold (BTG) had a bad 24 hours as the crypto declined $-15.45 or -6.32% trading at $228.93. According to Global Crypto Analysts, Bitcoin Gold (BTG) eyes $251.82 target on the road to $581.14. BTG last traded at HitBTC exchange. It had high of $257.93 and low of $208.34 for December 7-8.

December 8, 2017 – By Hazel Jackson

Bitcoin Gold (BTG) had a bad 24 hours as the crypto declined $-15.45 or -6.32% trading at $228.93. According to Global Crypto Analysts, Bitcoin Gold (BTG) eyes $251.82 target on the road to $581.14. BTG last traded at HitBTC exchange. It had high of $257.93 and low of $208.34 for December 7-8. The open was $244.38. About 101,408 BTG worth $23.63M traded hands.

Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is up 70.35% in the last 30 days from $134.39 per coin. Its up 0.00% in the last 100 days since when traded at $0.00 (non existent) and the annual trend is up. 200 days ago BTG traded at $0.00 (non existent). BTG has 16.79 million coins mined giving it $3.84B market cap. Bitcoin Gold maximum coins available are 21.00 million. BTG uses Equihash algorithm and PoW proof type. It was started on 25/10/2017.

Bitcoin Gold is a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain that occurred at block 491407. It implements a new PoW algorithm Equihash which makes it ASIC-resistant and can only be mined by GPUs rigs. The purpose of Bitcoin Gold is to make mining decentralized again following Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of 1 CPU = 1 vote.

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