Even as crypto becomes mainstream, the illicit use of Bitcoin is growing

According to Telegraph an economist in the Kremlin explicitly stated that Russia will invest in Bitcoin in order to avoid US sanctions, and many have …

While cryptocurrency’s reputation as a conduit for buying drugs and laundering money are being steadily usurped by its role as a speculative asset (or inklings that it may end up actually being a useful payment platform), in actuality it is still being used prodigiously to avoid taxes, get around sanctions, and in 2018 the use of Bitcoin on darknet markets actually doubled. Crypto’s troubled past is by no means over, and is in fact growing along with its mainstream acceptance.

Forbes today published an article which noted that while speculation is currently the predominant use of cryptocurrency, it is not even the majority use. In fact, a plurality of crypto transactions are more in a gray area or are patently illegal.

Read more: McAfee: “Privacy coins will obsolete income taxes”

Tax evasion and the avoidance of international sanctions have turned out to be a popular use for crypto. According to Telegraph an economist in the Kremlin explicitly stated that Russia will invest in Bitcoin in order to avoid US sanctions, and many have predicted the same for Iran, which is creating its own centrally-backed cryptocoin. A recent report by Ciphertrace detailed that cryptocurrency, especially in countries with weak anti-money laundering regulation, has been an absolute boon for criminals or those who are attempting to avoid paying taxes.

According to Reuters, the use of Bitcoin to buy drugs, fake IDs, or pornography has in fact doubled throughout last year. Utilizing Bitcoin, about $2 Million flows into various darknet marketplaces each day.

The bottom line is that people are using Bitcoin where it is useful, and they aren’t using it where it is useless. Bitcoin’s volatility makes it an attractive investment for day traders or speculators, who attempt to buy it at a low point and sell it when it becomes more valuable. On the other hand, its ability to help make transactions anonymous make it useful to avoid government regulations and taxes. This leaves out what people claim makes crypto so valuable- a way to revolutionize the financial system and introduce a new way to exchange money, which is alienated by the intense volatility which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been contending with.

Chainanalysis makes a great point: bitcoin doesn’t care about legality or illegality of human action. It’s useful, and so its usage is growing.

“Transactions On Bitcoin Network Continues At Brisk Pace In Darknet”https://t.co/HfyWZ59cSIpic.twitter.com/irFvMBFioN

— Yuri de Gaia (@Y_deGaia) January 19, 2019

Bitcoin is solving its stability problem slowly but surely, with volatility at an all time low of late. Still, its worth noting that even if crypto can become a stable store of value, it still has a long way to go before it can become a competitor to centrally backed fiat currency. It has issues of scaling transactions and usability to contend with, along with security. Even if these issues can be tackled, its hard to imagine that darknet transactions, tax avoidance, and skirting regulation will suddenly go away. In fact, as crypto solves its basic problems and improves as a currency, its use as a vehicle for illegal activity will only rise.

Read more: ShapeShift cooperating with law enforcement not taken well by crypto community

While many crypto traders actually do not care about who uses crypto or what they use it for, the reality is that companies who want to make money off crypto are motivated to stay in the good graces of government. This means that even as Bitcoin becomes more stable, expect that exchanges, those who provide wallets, and other crypto companies will likely expand their cooperation with governments and introduce increased KYC and AML procedures.

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Entourage Star’s Crypto & Bitcoin Show Sparks Twitter ‘Backlash’ (Memes)

Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, Mati Greenspan, eToro’s in-house crypto researcher, once claimed that a lack of proper, non-bias, …

Entourage’s Connolly Wants To Bring Bitcoin To American TV

Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, Mati Greenspan, eToro’s in-house crypto researcher, once claimed that a lack of proper, non-bias, easy-to-comprehend education has been curbing Bitcoin (BTC) from adoption.

And it seems that some have picked up on Greenspan’s comments, with SingularDTV-backed BreakerMag recently revealing that Kevin Connolly of “Entourage,” a popular American comedy TV series, revealed that he would be joining the cast of “Cryptos,” a TV project purportedly still in “early development.”

Speaking to Breaker in an interview at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, Connolly revealed that curiosity surrounding crypto is there, and that “Cryptos” would capitalize on this interest and spin it into something positive.

Jason King and Eirk Sords, called “true believers in blockchain’s potential” by Breaker, will be producing the show, and will be putting their experience in the broader blockchain industry to good use. Breaker described the show as follows:

Like “Entourage,” “Cryptos” centers on a small group of friends as they navigate a cutthroat industry. Unable to finance movies through traditional means, they launch a token and decentralized film studio, challenging the studio establishment.

This Went South… Real Quick

While Connolly and his peers seem dedicated to making “Cryptos” a reality, many ‘actual’ Bitcoin zealots and diehards quickly took to their respective Twitter feeds to poke fun at the surprising, innovative venture. In fact, nearly every single notable cryptocurrency Twitter handle, including The Crypto Dog, Boogie, among others, had something to say on the matter.

Boogie, a Bitcoin-friendly chartist, content creator, a meme artist, quickly overhauled “Cryptos’” poster, imposing the faces of crypto’s most notable commentators on the image’s each and every crevice. Boogie even joked that those who aren’t on the poster “can be extras.”

The real Crypto tv show.

If you’re not on the poster, you can be an extra 😉 pic.twitter.com/2nR4X5Q5FK

— ฿oogiecrypto ✪ (@BoogieCrypto) January 19, 2019

Whitney Merrill, a privacy/infosec lawyer at Electronic Arts and a self-proclaimed fighter for “privacy, digital civil liberties & the users,” made it clear that the show concept has been titled wrong, as she quipped that “crypto means cryptography.”

Tommy Mustache, a “crypto warrior for life” and a diehard Tron (TRX) fan, made his own poster, parodying the iconic “Goodfellas” poster with pictures of Charlie Lee, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao, and Justin Sun.

I heard there is a new Crytpo Hollywood movie coming out. In Asia, they already had a Triad Crypto TV show out already. pic.twitter.com/6WY4GXLeLI

— Tommy Mustache (@tommyp408) January 19, 2019

The Crypto Dog, a Bitcoin trader, chartist, and commentator that sports over 100,000 followers on Twitter, made fun of this industry’s current narratives, joking that this “summer’s block(chain) buster” will follow “five institutional investors trying to pump their ICO to the moon.” This, of course, is in reference to overhyped projects, the abundance of ICOs trying to turn a quick buck, and the Wall Street narrative that has taken this community by storm. Dog added that “the gang,” the five stars, will need “some real Proof of Work to HODL it together” so they won’t get “rekt.”

“This summer’s block(chain)buster ‘CRYPTOS’ will follow 5 institutional investors trying to pump their ICO to the moon.

The gang is going to need some real Proof-of-Work to HODL it together and not get rekt in this forked up industry!” pic.twitter.com/ZeVc15VWND

— The Crypto Dog📈 (@TheCryptoDog) January 19, 2019

Capitulative Cronkite, another pseudonymous trader, echoed Dog’s little joke, joking that a realistic depiction of crypto’s influencer would go as follows:

“Here’s Jimmy, known as CryptoAdamSandler to his group members. He’s still behind his computer. He’s angry again. He’s staring at a chart again.”

Panama Crypto even made a one-minute long parody trailer of the show, taking clips from “Wolf Of Wall Street,” “Silicon Valley,” and other finance-centric blockbusters and television programmes to effectively bash the concept.

Anyhow, the bottom line is that “Cryptos” isn’t popular, and may do more to give this sector a bad image, rather than a cheery front.

Title Image Courtesy of freestocks.org on Unsplash

Entourage Star’s Crypto & Bitcoin Show Sparks Twitter ‘Backlash’ (Memes)

Speaking to Breaker in an interview at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, Connolly revealed that curiosity surrounding crypto is there, …

Entourage’s Connolly Wants To Bring Bitcoin To American TV

Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, Mati Greenspan, eToro’s in-house crypto researcher, once claimed that a lack of proper, non-bias, easy-to-comprehend education has been curbing Bitcoin (BTC) from adoption.

And it seems that some have picked up on Greenspan’s comments, with SingularDTV-backed BreakerMag recently revealing that Kevin Connolly of “Entourage,” a popular American comedy TV series, revealed that he would be joining the cast of “Cryptos,” a TV project purportedly still in “early development.”

Speaking to Breaker in an interview at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, Connolly revealed that curiosity surrounding crypto is there, and that “Cryptos” would capitalize on this interest and spin it into something positive.

Jason King and Eirk Sords, called “true believers in blockchain’s potential” by Breaker, will be producing the show, and will be putting their experience in the broader blockchain industry to good use. Breaker described the show as follows:

Like “Entourage,” “Cryptos” centers on a small group of friends as they navigate a cutthroat industry. Unable to finance movies through traditional means, they launch a token and decentralized film studio, challenging the studio establishment.

This Went South… Real Quick

While Connolly and his peers seem dedicated to making “Cryptos” a reality, many ‘actual’ Bitcoin zealots and diehards quickly took to their respective Twitter feeds to poke fun at the surprising, innovative venture. In fact, nearly every single notable cryptocurrency Twitter handle, including The Crypto Dog, Boogie, among others, had something to say on the matter.

Boogie, a Bitcoin-friendly chartist, content creator, a meme artist, quickly overhauled “Cryptos’” poster, imposing the faces of crypto’s most notable commentators on the image’s each and every crevice. Boogie even joked that those who aren’t on the poster “can be extras.”

The real Crypto tv show.

If you’re not on the poster, you can be an extra 😉 pic.twitter.com/2nR4X5Q5FK

— ฿oogiecrypto ✪ (@BoogieCrypto) January 19, 2019

Whitney Merrill, a privacy/infosec lawyer at Electronic Arts and a self-proclaimed fighter for “privacy, digital civil liberties & the users,” made it clear that the show concept has been titled wrong, as she quipped that “crypto means cryptography.”

Tommy Mustache, a “crypto warrior for life” and a diehard Tron (TRX) fan, made his own poster, parodying the iconic “Goodfellas” poster with pictures of Charlie Lee, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao, and Justin Sun.

I heard there is a new Crytpo Hollywood movie coming out. In Asia, they already had a Triad Crypto TV show out already. pic.twitter.com/6WY4GXLeLI

— Tommy Mustache (@tommyp408) January 19, 2019

The Crypto Dog, a Bitcoin trader, chartist, and commentator that sports over 100,000 followers on Twitter, made fun of this industry’s current narratives, joking that this “summer’s block(chain) buster” will follow “five institutional investors trying to pump their ICO to the moon.” This, of course, is in reference to overhyped projects, the abundance of ICOs trying to turn a quick buck, and the Wall Street narrative that has taken this community by storm. Dog added that “the gang,” the five stars, will need “some real Proof of Work to HODL it together” so they won’t get “rekt.”

“This summer’s block(chain)buster ‘CRYPTOS’ will follow 5 institutional investors trying to pump their ICO to the moon.

The gang is going to need some real Proof-of-Work to HODL it together and not get rekt in this forked up industry!” pic.twitter.com/ZeVc15VWND

— The Crypto Dog📈 (@TheCryptoDog) January 19, 2019

Capitulative Cronkite, another pseudonymous trader, echoed Dog’s little joke, joking that a realistic depiction of crypto’s influencer would go as follows:

“Here’s Jimmy, known as CryptoAdamSandler to his group members. He’s still behind his computer. He’s angry again. He’s staring at a chart again.”

Panama Crypto even made a one-minute long parody trailer of the show, taking clips from “Wolf Of Wall Street,” “Silicon Valley,” and other finance-centric blockbusters and television programmes to effectively bash the concept.

Anyhow, the bottom line is that “Cryptos” isn’t popular, and may do more to give this sector a bad image, rather than a cheery front.

Title Image Courtesy of freestocks.org on Unsplash

Constantinople Hard Fork Now Scheduled For Activation By February Ending

A new date has been given for the activation of the Constantinople hard fork by the core developers of Ethereum. The team lead at Ethereum, Peter …
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A new date has been given for the activation of the Constantinople hard fork by the core developers of Ethereum. The team lead at Ethereum, Peter Szilagyi revealed this through a tweet on the 18th of January.

Seems we’re going with block 7.28M for the #Ethereum Constantinople refork scheduled for the 27th of February! Will be a single fork on mainnet and a post-Constantinople-fixup fork on the testnets to get them back in line feature wise with the main network.

— Péter Szilágyi (@peter_szilagyi) January 18, 2019

The New Date For Constantinople Hard Fork Activation

The tweet post of Peter Szilagyi on the 18th of January revealed a new date for the activation of the Constantinople hard fork. Szilagyi stated in the announcement that the activation will now take place at the block number 7,280.000 and it will be Mined on the 27th of February 2019.

Also, Szilagyi, a team lead at Ethereum noted in the announcement that the upgrade would be implemented as a single fork on mainnet and also as a post-Constantinople fix-up fork on the testnets to get them back in line feature-wise with the main network.

The new date fixed is a shift from the earlier scheduled date of January 16 by the Ethereum developers. This was delayed because of a recently found vulnerability detected by a smart security audit firm chain security.

The vulnerability which was also detected in Constantinople code enables a reentrance attack. This enables a potential attacker to steal Cryptocurrency from a smart contract by constantly requesting funds from it while it is fed with false information about the Ethereum balance of the malicious actor. The detection of this vulnerability has saved the blockchain of an impending disaster in the future as the loophole is being patched ahead of the Constantinople fork activation.

Constantinople Hard Fork and Its Recent Impact

The Constantinople hard fork is an upgrade to the Ethereum network. The process involves separate Ethereum improvement proposals EIPs purposely to soften the transition of the Ethereum network from the current proof of work PoW to proof of stake PoS which is considered as a more efficient consensus algorithm.

The implementation of the Constantinople hard fork is expected to change the Ethereum blockchain by preventing any form of backward compatibility. This means that the network nodes must either update synchronically with the entire system or run as a separate blockchain entity. This upgrade has received support from major exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, Huobi, and OKEx.

Meanwhile, ahead of the previously scheduled upgrade on January 16, Ethereum price had experienced a bullish move. However, the delay caused a bearish trend to set in, as Ethereum moves in contrast to the crypto market trend.

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Bitcoin: After Breaking Above $3700 It Could Soon Surge Towards $4100, Says Analyst

After a several day period with little volatility in the cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin has now surged above $3,700, which proved to be a level of …

After a several day period with little volatility in the cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin has now surged above $3,700, which proved to be a level of resistance over the past week. Today’s price surge, despite being relatively small, could be significant in leading Bitcoin’s price back towards $4,100.

One analyst also believes that Bitcoin’s latest price move could prove to be positive for the altcoin markets.

Bitcoin Surges Towards $3,800

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up 2.6% at its current price of $3,750. Since last Monday, Bitcoin has been stuck below the $3,700 region, which quickly became a level of relative resistance for the cryptocurrency.

Yesterday, Luke Martin, a popular cryptocurrency analyst, noted that he thinks that Bitcoin was stuck below a trading range between approximately $3,700 and $4,100, which would mean a break above the former price could lead to surge towards the latter price in the low-$4,000 region.

He also noted that a break above $3,700 could prove positive for the altcoin markets.

“$BTC battling to reclaim the range all week. If price can get back above 3700 I’m more excited about alt positive momentum continuing,” Martin said in a tweet.

Today, after Bitcoin broke above $3,700, Martin followed up on this tweet, noting that he still agrees with the conditions mentioned in the first tweet, and that he still believes the range extends upwards of $4,000.

“$BTC breakout past 3630 level and the 3700 swing high resistance all week. Same thought as first chart and now the condition looks like it will met [sic]. I’ve loved mid-cap alt exposure this week for the first time in a while. Bitcoin moving higher means that window still there imo,” he said.

Analysts Have Conflicting Opinions on Current Trading Ranges

Although Martin believes Bitcoin is currently caught in a micro trading range between $3,700 and $4,100, other prominent analysts have offered somewhat different views.

Earlier this month, Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, said that he believes Bitcoin is currently caught in a range between $3,550 and $4,200, which, if this range is valid, somewhat negates the importance of $3,700.

“It seems now, that bitcoin has opened a new mini-range within that from $3,550 to approximately $4,200… unless there’s a breakout of the key levels there really isn’t much to write home about,” he said.

How the markets fare over the weekend will likely set the tone for the following week.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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