Bitcoin and Friends Episode 3 Summary and Analysis

Examples include the Mitalik character based on the Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. Similarly, Harold is a cautionary tale of early crypto adopters.

Bitcoin and Friends episode 3 recently launched. If you’re familiar with the program, you know the show is deeper than it looks and often requires some unpacking. If you aren’t familiar with it yet, you’re in for a trip.

What Is Bitcoin and Friends?

Bitcoin and Friends is a cartoon entirely funded by cryptocurrency donations. As soon as the group has enough money in donations to pay for an episode, they release a new one.

The episodes chronicle a gritty cartoon version of the early days of the cryptocurrency boom. The timeline doesn’t exactly line up but many of the major events and characters in the show are historically based. Examples include the Mitalik character based on the Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. Similarly, Harold is a cautionary tale of early crypto adopters. For more analysis, look at our previous articles on the show, linked in the next section.

Before we proceed, know that the following summaries and analysis will contain episode spoilers. So, if you’re interested in watching the show, you might want to do that first. Episodes are on YouTube and at the website linked above.

A final warning: the show includes drug references, sexual images, and some violence. So, you might not want to use it to educate your children about crypto.

A Look Back at Episodes 1 and 2

The first episode opened with Bitcoin waking up on a table in New Jersey during the Great Recession. Lost and confused, he meets Jones. Jones lost everything in the recession and now sells drugs out of an ice cream truck.

Jones introduces “B” to Harold and Mitalik. Mitalik explains the potential value of Bitcoin and the group set out in search of Satoshi Nakamoto. When the group find just some guy named Satoshi rather than the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, they follow itty bitties that B throws up.

Itty bitties lead them to Pal Fifty, who explains that Bitcoin is on the road to replacing cash.

The second episode opens with the graphic death of Pal Fifty. The group can no longer follow the itty bitties because there are too many miners, causing the coins to scatter. The group splits up.

B becomes depressed and does drugs with Jones, and Harold gives up on cryptocurrency altogether. Mitalik, alone, begins to create the Ethereum project.

Later, B’s mysterious “father” equips B with weapons to use on his journey. These are the Divisibility Dagger, the Sword of Scarcity, the Shield of Durability” and the Portability Pack of Teleportability.

While looking for B, Mitalik and Jones stumble into “freedom fest” where they learn about the Silk Road and meet Ross Fullbrick. At the festival, B uses his new weapons to defeat the US dollar in a boxing match. This gains the attention of big banker Jamus Sapphire.

Episode 3 Plot Synopsis

Episode 3 opens with a farmer being possessed by aliens in a sequence borrowed from the original Men in Black. It then returns to Jamus, unphased at the destruction of the US dollar at the end of the previous episode. The episode follows Jamus to a bank meeting where he introduces “Pulse Loans” – “If you have a pulse, you get a loan.” The idea is to drive people into debt so that they will move into low-income housing. This housing is owned by “Congressman Candy”, present at the meeting. We also learn that a group called “FUD” is controlling Jamus.

We also meet a new character called “Carl” who is released from the state mental ward and returned to FUD.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin and Jones meet with Fullbrick, who convinces B to work for the Silk Road. He explains that B’s destiny is to help fight the systemic use of force by decentralising money, and thus, power. Jones is unconvinced and returns to his search for B’s father. However, he is unable to recruit Mitalik, as he is busy on the Ethereum Project. He managed to create Ethereum but it appears as a disfigured character reminiscent of Frankenstein’s monster.

Ethereum; Source: YouTube screenshot

In the meantime, we learn that the job of the alien from the beginning of the episode is to destabilise the planet. Other aliens explain that decentralisation is the next step in a species evolution. Bitcoin will usher in a new era if we are not careful. We cannot allow humans to advance into a great civilisation. His job is to create a “great diversion”.

Carl cripples the Silk Road by putting in more orders than they can fill. So, Fullbrick sends B on vacation. B trades in his itty bitties for cash and goes on a spending spree. He also uses the tools given to him by his father to impress a group of friends. However, they abandon him when he runs out of money.

Bitcoin tries to impress new group of friends; Source: YouTube screenshot

Finally, the alien creates Litecoin by plugging his computer into a vat of cow dung.

References and Easter Eggs

Some of the characters we have already examined here and in our previous episode analysis articles. Ross Fulbrick is based on Ross Ulbricht, a real-life founder of the Silk Road.

Jamus isn’t likely to be any one person, but rather represents big banking in general. It is unclear whether Congressman Candy is based on anyone but is more likely to represent political corruption. Similarly, Carl is probably a composite of the law enforcement that pursued Ulbricht rather than any one person.

As for FUD, we don’t know much about the organization in the show. However, the acronym commonly stands for “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt”, though in the show it’s an acronym for Federal Undercover Detective Agency.

I probably don’t need to point out that the show’s depiction of the creation of Litecoin makes it a literal “shitcoin”, which is also a derogatory term for altcoins. The alien who creates Litecoin is obviously Charlie Lee.

Litecoin; Source: YouTube screenshot

The episode was composed more of symbolic actions than symbolic characters. B’s use of his weapons to impress others likely represents people not appreciating Bitcoin for its true potential. Similarly, the friends that abandon B are likely people who sell their Bitcoin when the value drops.

Once again, Bitcoin and Friends has given us a nitty-gritty representation of the early days of crypto. The next episode is well on its way, and we’ll be waiting for it.

Jon Jaehnig is an American freelance writer specializing in Technology and Health. Jon has degrees in Scientific and Technical Communication and Journalism from Michigan Technological University and lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife and cat. For more from Jon, you can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Litecoin Price and Hashrate Diving Down; What’s Next?

Blockstream CSO Samson Mow described Ethereum as a “technological dead-end” this week, while the coin’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, warned its …
Litecoin price and hashrate downNews

Anja van Oosterhout

Anja van Oosterhout| Aug 28, 2019 | 11:00


Litecoin’s hash rate has declined by over 30% since its block size halving event earlier this month, the latest data shows.


Litecoin Trades At Lows Against USD

The increasingly troubled altcoin, currently the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has lost 30% of its value since the halving, which occurred on August 5. Data from monitoring resource Bitinfocharts.com confirmed the drop.

At press time Wednesday, LTC/USD traded at $72.35, its lowest since the start of May.

The grim reading for Litecoin investors capitalizes on the teething problems which have beset for Litecoin and altcoins more broadly this year, as Bitcoin soars at their expense.

As Bitcoinistreported, investors were hopeful that the halving would push up demand and increase price performance. The event reduced the amount of LTC available for each mined block of transactions from 25 LTC to 12.5 LTC.

Bitcoin’s next halving is scheduled for May 2020, with mounting research pointing to a serious boost for markets as a result.

For Litecoin, however, that boost never came. In fact, miners appeared to conversely lose interest immediately after the halving.

A loss of hash rate means participation in mining is lower, which in turn reduces the security of a Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain such as Litecoin’s.

The statistics are the latest blow to the altcoin’s fortunes. Previously, publicity difficulties ensured, focused mainly on creator Charlie Lee’s sell-off of his holdings in 2017.

While Lee said he remains committed to Litecoin development, critics widely panned the move as an admission that the token’s value was unlikely to surpass its levels at the time.

XRP, Ethereum Feel Chill Of ‘Altcoin Winter’

That prophecy turned out to be true, as the altcoin winter of 2018 remains ongoing. As Bitcoinist noted, other major tokens have suffered a similar fate.

This week, Ripple, the entity linked to third-largest crypto XRP, entered into a partnership with MoneyGram. The move saw XRP volumes surge, but XRP/USD failed to react, instead continuing to fall.

Markets have felt constant pressure in 2019 due to Ripple’s huge sell-offs, which totaled more this year than any other in the coin’s history.

Ethereum too has felt the pinch. The largest altcoin currently languishes at multi-year lows against Bitcoin, as critics ramp up their rhetoric about its future.

Blockstream CSO Samson Mow described Ethereum as a “technological dead-end” this week, while the coin’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, warned its network was almost full this month.


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


Images via Shutterstock

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Cryptocurrency Market Emerging with an Increase in CAGR During 2019-2025 with Top Vendors …

Bitstamp. * Litecoin. * Poloniex. * BitFury Group. Analysis tools such as SWOT analysis and Porter’s five force model have been inculcated in order to …

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Hong Kong protests are accelerating bitcoin adoption

Hong-Kong based department store, Pricerite announced, on Facebook Monday that it will now accept bitcoin, ether, and litecoin at all its stores.

Businesses are turbocharging cryptocurrency adoption as demonstrations against Chinese interference in Hong Kong enter their 12th week.

Hong-Kong based department store, Pricerite announced, on Facebook Monday that it will now accept bitcoin, ether, and litecoin at all its stores.

Starting immediately, its new concept store at the popular MegaBox shopping centre in Hong’s Kong’s Kowloon Bay area, will convert crypto payments into Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) in real time at its cash registers. With Bitcoin’s Lightning Network that’s possible in a matter of seconds, according to Pricerite.

Bitcoin Cash is also provingpopular among protest supporters, and measures are being taken to further promote the cryptocurrency, as well as to support dissidents.

Genesis Block operates 14 crypto currency ATMs in Hong Kong, trading under the name “CoinHere.” In July, the ATM operator distributed water paid for with international donations made in bitcoin cash.

The water bottles had a QR code that allowed recipients to donate bitcoin cash to fund additional supplies for protestors.

The exchange also provided umbrellas to the protestors. The umbrellas featured the bitcoin symbol, and were a nod to the 2014 ”Umbrella Revolution“ in Hong Kong, during which hundreds of thousands of residents took to the streets in protest.

With the threat of Chinese troops massing on the Hong Kong border, the demonstrations against Chinese influence have increasingly taken on an economic form.

On August 16, demonstrators announced a new tactic: withdrawing cash in mass from ATMs and banks and converting it to U.S. dollars, according to Business Insider.

Posts on Hong Kong social media boardLIHKG, the local equivalent to Reddit, show hundreds of photos of people withdrawing hard currency from banks and ATMs. Protesters are even making trips to multiple ATMs to circumvent the HK$20,000 (~$2,500) limit per transaction.

Since 1983, the Hong Kong dollar has a linked exchange rate system that pegs it to the U.S. dollar at a 7.8 to 1 ratio. But crypto businesses are banking on raising awareness that digital money could provide an even better alternative to the threat of devaluation should there be worst-case scenario: a mainland military crackdown.

However, Hong Kong’s exchange rates are also subject to cryptocurrency premiums, common during times of economic oppression, as has recently been seen in Argentina. As bitcoin demand increases, its price may be over inflated on local exchanges, a phenomenon which has become known in South Korea as the “Kimchi premium.”

At the start of the protests in June, local cryptocurrency exchange Tidebit reported a sharp rise in the price of bitcoin,according to Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at crypto exchange eToro. And there was also a steady rise in demand for bitcoin cash onLocal.Bitcoin.com and crypto marketplace,Paxful.

On a global scale, however, the situation in Hong Kong has had minimal impact on cryptocurrency prices—so far.

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Crypto Custody Market Overview — Who Are the Biggest Players?

Cryptocurrency custody providers seem to be springing up all over the global digital landscape in 2019, and the crypto platform Coinbase emerging as …

Cryptocurrency custody providers seem to be springing up all over the global digital landscape in 2019, and the crypto platform Coinbase emerging as the leader in the sector. At their very core, custody platforms are designed to serve as independent storage/security units that are aimed primarily at institutional investors. These solutions, more often than not, tend to make use of a combination of various hot and cold storage technologies.

Also, while cryptocurrency exchanges and regular wallet systems conventionally utilize private keys (and other such security protocols) to protect an individual’s holdings, these alphanumeric phrases can be quite difficult to remember and have the potential to be stolen (or hacked) by individuals with sufficient knowledge of such things. In this regard, custody platforms help in eliminating any fears that investors may have because they are designed specifically to prevent the loss of one’s savings due to wallet thefts, misplaced private keys, etc.

Another reason why crypto custodians are gaining widespread traction is because of their regulatory-compliant design. In this regard, per the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), institutional investors that possess customer assets worth $150,000 or more are required by law (Dodd-Frank Act) to place their holdings under the control of a “qualified custodian.” To be more specific, the entities that the SEC lists under the aforementioned umbrella include:

  • Banks.
  • Savings associations.
  • Registered broker-dealers.
  • Futures commission merchants.
  • Foreign financial institutions are also included in this definition.

There currently exist a very small number of traditional financial entities that are offering their customers custodianship-related offerings.

On the issue, Gongpil Choi, director of the Korea Institute of Finance — an agency that works hand-in-hand with the local government to research and evaluate financial policies that are designed to strengthen the country’s financial sector — was quoted as saying: “Even the traditional financial sector has seen the establishment of the custody market. Cryptocurrencies are more risky than traditional assets and the custody market in crypto will become a rapidly growing market.”

Coinbase is dominating the custody market

Coinbase’s recent foray into the institutional-grade custody solutions market indicates the firm’s resolve to dominate this rapidly growing domain. Additionally, the premier crypto exchange recently announced several acquisitions related to areas such as investment management and financial licences — thereby showcasing its serious shift to and focus on the institutional market. On the matter, Kenneth Yeo, CEO of Singapore-based crypto options trading platform Sparrow, pointed out in an email to Cointelegraph:

“Global market uncertainties (the trade war and political turmoil) have resulted in crypto increasingly becoming a safe haven. More and more crypto firms are gaining awareness of the huge potential and the current market gap for onboarding institutions to the crypto world. This marks an important shift among crypto giants to win over Wall Street.”

Yeo also believes that as the digital asset industry continues to mature, an influx of more sophisticated products that can rival traditional market offerings, such as derivatives, will be observed. Also, owing to the fact that Bitcoin’s appeal seems to be growing rapidly across the globe, mainstream entities are no longer ignorant of this asset class and are looking to expand their reach into this relatively untapped space.

Lastly, the recent increase in demand for crypto custody solutions (over the past 12 months or so) is quite natural, especially considering that institutional folks are buying over $200 million to $400 million worth of crypto per week these days. Similarly, in the crypto Wild West — where security breaches and hacks are quite common — Yeo pointed out that over the first half of 2018 alone, over $1.1 billion in crypto was lost due to theft and fraud. In this regard, custodians are able to provide traditional finance institutions with a sense of monetary security and long-term stability. Yeo added:

“We’ve experienced significant demand and interest from institutional investors for regulated custody solutions, it is no wonder that services such as custody solutions have been gaining traction. On top of custody, yield and risk management products have been highly sought after in the space.”

Coinbase takes over Xapo’s custody business

Around two weeks back, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong confirmed that his company had entered into an official agreement with storage giant Xapo in order to take over the firm’s custody business. If that wasn’t enough, the move reportedly put Coinbase at the helm of institutional management (for crypto), with the premier trading platform currently holding over $7 billion worth of digital assets in its coffers.

And while the financial specifics of the deal have not yet been made public, a source linked closely with media giant Fortune claimed that Coinbase paid around $55 million (a sum that was higher than what Fidelity had allegedly offered) to finalize the agreement.

Coinbase Custody’s Assets Under Custody (AUC) comprises funds that are owned by more than 120 clients (across 14 different nations). Additionally, in May of this year, the exchange’s AUC crossed the $1 billion mark. As a result of this latest deal, Xapo’s institutional custody business will be able to complement Coinbase’s associated infrastructure (related to this domain).

Coinbase’s cryptocurrency custody service was launched in July last year for institutional clients based across Europe and the U.S. Some of the currencies that are supported by the platform include Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), XRP and Litecoin (LTC).

Xapo is licensed and regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission and has been classified by the regulator as being an electronic money institution. Not only that, the platform was also awarded a BitLicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services last year, thereby making it the sixth digital entity (at the time) to have gained the license.

Related: Crypto Custody: Adoption Shortcut or Blockchain Purists’ Nightmare?

Since its market inception, Xapo has been able to raise a little over $40 million from a number of established financial institutions such as Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Fortress Investment Group and Emergence Capital Partners.

Last but not least, over the past year or so, the crypto market has grown to encompass a number of new offerings (primarily related to Bitcoin futures) that have been released by various big-name players such as Bakkt and Binance. On the issue of expanding its product profile range, Coinbase released a post on its website stating that in the future, the company is looking to explore new ways to monetize and leverage crypto assets — primarily by means of staking, borrowing against crypto portfolios, and lending digital currencies to trusted counterparties.

Custody solutions are on the rise

According to a research piece released by the Bank of New York Mellon, the demand for crypto-centric custody solutions is currently at an all-time high. This is because many analysts believe that such offerings will help bridge the gap that currently exists between the institutional investment market and the digital industry.

In this regard, a fair few banks have reportedly been testing and rolling out their very own custody platforms. For example, Swiss bank Vontobel recently launched its Digital Asset Vault, which provides its clients with access to more than 100 banks and wealth managers — primarily as a means of giving instructions regarding the purchase, custody and transfer of digital assets using the institution’s existing infrastructure and regulated environment. Similarly, German stock exchange Börse Stuttgart, State Street, Fidelity as well as Coinbase are offering their customers similar services.

Current regulations in the U.S. require advisers to keep their client’s crypto assets with an authorized custodian. And since there exists no singular definition as to what the term “crypto safekeeping” means across Europe, the European Securities and Markets Authority has requested a number of countries located within the region to create a framework that establishes more clarity regarding the matter.

It is just the start

The wait for Bakkt’s much-hyped futures and custody platform will finally end later next month — on Sept. 23. According to a blog post released by the Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE — the governing body behind the New York Stock Exchange — Bakkt has been cleared by the NYDFS to serve as a qualified custodian.

Similarly, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, has also given Bakkt permission to trade Bitcoin futures. Lastly, company officials have confirmed that the platform will be developed to a point (in the near future) so that customers will be able to physically settle contracts in BTC. Bakkt was supposed to go live late last year. However, due to certain regulatory issues, the platform was unable to obtain the necessary clearance to start selling its BTC futures contracts until mid-September.

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