Bitcoin in Freefall

Bitcoin in Freefall- Down over 60% in 2018 and there’s no bottom in sight.

I woke up today to a nightmare; Bitcoin dropped below $6,000 overnight and is staying there.  Bitcoin in freefall was something Jack Lee didn’t predict; he predicted Bitcoin at about $25,000 as of July.  While Bitcoin price history has proven his prediction, even now, isn’t impossible but it seems very improbable.  The usual talking heads are offering theory after theory as to why the price of Bitcoin continues to plunge but there’s no way to know who is right or if anyone is right.  Bitcoin in freefall is all we know.

Bitcoin in freefall has led me to shutdown my Bitcoin miners.  I am running Avalon 741s which, given today’s Bitcoin market climate, makes mining unprofitable.  In fact, I would lose money on a daily basis.  I wish I was running some Avalon 841s because they would make Bitcoin mining profitable – even at today’s prices. Speaking of which, Bitcoin in freefall has led to a plunge in Bitcoin mining hardware prices too.  Bitmain’s flagship S9 Bitcoin miner was never available for lower prices and, heck, totally available.  Ditto Canaan’s Avalon 841. Equally noteworthy is that ASIC Bitcoin miners are AVAILABLE.  Last year you had to stay up late – perhaps all night – and sit at a supplier’s website on the CHANCE you can buy Bitcoin miners in the few minutes you had before they sold out.  See the silver lining in this? Bitcoin in freefall has made it possible for aspiring Bitcoin miners to start their operation for thousands of dollars less — PER UNIT.

bitcoin in freefall

As with every other Bitcoin price trend – up or down – Bitcoin in freefall brings a wide range of impossible-to-prove theories such as the recent hacks, Tether price manipulation, etc. etc. In other words, nothing new.  To put the current price of Bitcoin in perspective; it’s still 300% higher than it was this time last year.  Here’s some more positive perspective; everyone remains bullish on Bitcoin in the long term.

McAfee Says Adios to ICOs

McAfee Says Adios to ICOs – Bows to SEC Threats, Eliminates ICO Activities

When McAfee says adios to ICOs that’s really saying something. He baffled and bluffed Belize law enforcement.  He showed guile in Guatemala and returned to the US despite a pretty tight dragnet.  But Mr. McAfee realizes when he’s outgunned and outnumbered vis a vis the SEC.  This Tweet yesterday says it all…

McAfee Says Adios to ICOs

So what did the SEC say that forced McAfee to Say Adios to ICOS ? Details aren’t available at this time but we suspect a cease and desist letter.  Since there aren’t clear laws or policies where ICOs are concerned with either the SEC or the FTC, we can only speculate that Mr. McAfee received a very stern letter from the SEC which probably said something to the effect of “Knock it off!”

McAfee’s cryptic comment about an ICO alternative is intriguing.  He has shown a capacity for innovation and brilliance so we can be sure of a fantastic new idea.  What it might be and how it could sidestep existing laws remains to be seen.  The only thing clear right now is that McAfee Says Adios to ICOs under legal pressure.  This should worry everyone and anyone where ICOs are concerned especially the ominous warning from McAfee that anyone doing ICOs “can all look forward to arrest.”

No one should be surprised by a legal crackdown on ICOs.  Exit scams have cost investors millions upon millions of dollars through cloned white papers, stolen identities and out-and-out deception from would-be ICO issuers touting their new coin’s usefulness, expected wide acceptance, etc. while promising ICO issuance bonuses intended to entice even the most cynical ICO investor.

While McAfee Says Adios to ICOs he also said he is staying very involved in the cryptocoin markets themselves.  He’s still an ardent supporter of Bitcoin and his unwavering support and endorsement of Bitcoin should be carefully noted.

 

 

Apple Bans Cryptocurrency Mining

Apple Bans Cryptocurrency Mining – So What?

While this could be considered a trampling on a consumer’s rights to do what they please with their property what’s there’s no big deal that Apple bans cryptocurrency mining.  The only possible, feasible mobile-based cryptomining would be for Electroneum and even when ETN was at its peak price it would take decades to mine any serious amount of cryptocoin.

Bitcoin miners aren’t the least bit concerned that Apple bans cryptocurrency mining.  Except maybe Electroneum fans. I mean, seriously, it would take a smartphone – or even a top-of-the-line Mac – hundreds of years to mine a single Bitcoin.

Apple is cracking down on cryptocurrency activity on its devices is a laugh.  As a public relations professional I see this announcement as nothing more than a PR play as there are no serious repercussions.

During Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last week, the company released new App Store guidelines that ban cryptocurrency mining on both iOS devices and Mac. AppleInsider first spotted the changes to the policy on Monday and nobody understands why Apple bothered.

Apple Bans Cryptocurrency Mining

If a ROOM filled with Apple’s most powerful Macs were working in concert to mine Bitcoin they couldn’t produce one in a solid year.  So when Apple bans cryptocurrency we have to contain our laughter.

Heck, if an entire freighter loaded with Apple iPhones were hijacked and diverted to mine cryptocoin the pirates’ third generation of offspring might have enough cryptocoin to buy a sandwich.

This is a ludicrous stance by Apple to maintain their media presence without any realistic impact on cryptocurrency mining one way or the other. Nobody in the world broke into tears or fits of frustration learning the news that Apple bans cryptocurrency mining.  No plans were dashed.  No dreams were smashed.

And in any case, anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of Linux could easily bypass this restriction on the Mac – but why would that want to? They would lose money every minute a Mac was devoted to mining any cryptocoin these days.

Bitcoin Predictions 2018

Bitcoin Predictions 2018 – This week has been a bloodbath for the cryptocoin world.  Bitcoin will emerge bigger than ever.

Bitcoin Predictions 2018 are becoming crystal clear as many lesser cryptocoins faced slaughter and certain destruction this week.  The path of destruction is too vast to fully document but we’ll go with the basics; Monero, Zcash, Dash and other cryptocurrencies were delisted on Korbit and Coincheck. Monero mining was hacked concerning Apple Mac users. Verge faces new competition from VIT courtesy of porn star and Trump accuser Stormy Daniels vis a vis PornHub. Oh and Monero was delisted on Changelly.

And all of this on the heels of a scathing article on cryptocurrency fraud in the Wall Street Journal.

Are you with me so far with Bitcoin predictions 2018?

The current cryptocoin massacre in the press, from cryptocurrency exchanges and hackers are going to leave a lot of cryptocoins permanently maimed if not murdered outright.  That’s what makes these Bitcoin Predictions 2018 so sweet; they are so right.

Yes,  I am aware of the Bitcoin price manipulation investigation and that’s fine.  Bitcoin itself is not under investigation, just a few bad actors who allegedly played the price as they wished.

When the smoke clears and the dust settles Bitcoin will not only remain the king of cryptocurrency, it will emerge stronger than ever.  Bitcoin bulls Tom Lee, John McAfee and others are holding to the view that Bitcoin prices will be at an all time high before 2018 closes.  As a Bitcoin miner myself watching Bitcoin transactions minute by minute I agree; Bitcoin predictions 2018 are very positive ones with Bitcoin reaching astonishing new highs leaving so many other cryptocoins in the dust.  On that note, I predict the collapse of 20% or more of cryptocurrencies on the markets today.  Cryptocoin investors are advised to take a conservative stance and stick to safer coins.  Cryptocoin speculation is a very risky business these days,

Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index

Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index – Cryptocoin is Definitely Mainstream Now.

I caught Michael Novogratz sitting down with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business just now I froze as I heard about The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index for the first time.  What first stunned me was the Bloomberg name.  Bloomberg has not been known to be altogether objective on their coverage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.  Their involvement along with billionaire Michael Novogratz makes this new offering a cryptocoin investment worthy of close inspection.

Why? Michael Novogratz started investing in Bitcoin when it was just $96 dollars.

The investment philosophy of The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index mirrors that of most mutual funds; devote capital to multiple investments so as to balance risk against reward.  As such the fund is currently focused on ten cryptocoins (Bitcoin – 30 %, Ethererum 30%, Ripple at an astonishing 14$ followed by Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin and others). with plans to expand to including 15 cryptocurrencies in the near future.

Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index

Mike and Maria got into a deep discussion of the allocations to the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index and I found myself shaking my head in agreement and appreciation to the approach.  While there’s been talk for a long time of a crypto index fund I’m impressed by the implementation and administration of this new cryptocoin index.

The weighted average of the The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index distributes risk and reward very evenly among some of the most recognizable cryptocoins. I’m not particularly fond of seeing Ripple in their portfolio as the flow and supply of XRP can be too easily manipulated.  Yet Ripple remains on the radar of many digital currency traders so I can understand the allocated weight of Ripple in their investment mix.

The emergence of this cryptocoin investment index fund is just another sign of things to come.  For mainstream investors unsure of which cryptocoins to invest in, the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index may be the best way to go.

Cisco Systems Granted Patent For Mining Cryptocoin

Cisco Systems Granted Patent For Mining Cryptocoin – Legendary Network Company Promises Legendary Cryptocoin Mining Solutions

I almost got too excited too fast when I discovered that Cisco Systems Granted Patent For Mining Cryptocoin.  As a “retired” CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) I was popping out of my chair by the excitement of imaging legendary Cisco hardware powering cryptocoin mining.  I’ve configured and deployed citywide networks of Cisco networking gear and was almost giggling in glee at the prospect of CIsco’s military-grade networking hardware deployed on crypto mining.

Then I got some of the details and was a little less excited. Network colossus and IT stalwart  and networking company, Cisco, was granted a new patent a few days ago for a new cloud computing app which will be centered around crowdsourcing and can be applied to cryptomining.

When I think of Cisco I don’t think of cloud computing.  I think of EPIC routers like the 3640 or the legendary 7400 series.  Or an Armageddon-proof Catalyst switch that can handle the Internet traffic of a small town without breaking a sweat.

[ sigh ]

The patent was awarded to Cisco by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, and it includes a system that enabling users to allocate their processing power to different tasks.  As a result, they will be able to make a new cloud application and use it for various purposes, one of which could be cryptocoin mining.

The company states that the processing power can be shared with ISPs (Internet Service Providers),  application publishers among others.

The patent filing states that the model they developed delivers capabilities for scaling processing power, speed, reliability and cost.

 

Let’s focus on the headline: Cisco Systems Granted Patent For Mining Cryptocoin

The company postulates their new cloud-based solution can be applied to mining cryptocurrencies.  The effectiveness of this remain to be seen as there is a never-ending “arms race” for ever faster mining rigs and ASICS that run at ever-increasing efficiency.  When I imagined the possibilities behind the news that Cisco Systems Granted Patent For Mining Cryptocoin I imagined a MASSIVE blue-green box that would run 24×7 for years on end minding Bitcoin or another cryptocoin.

As a seasoned Bitcoin miner overseeing ASIC miners 24×7 I don’t see ANY cloud solution beating the basics of cryptocoin mining; run your own hardware on your own network.  Time will tell.

 

Bitcoin ATM Machine Review

Bitcoin ATM Machine Review – They Work But They Could Work Better.

Any Bitcoin ATM Machine Review must start with warning potential users of a Bitcoin ATM Machine to start out with some patience.  That’s because of the Bitcoin blockchain and the fact that Bitcoin miners like me need to validate the transaction so expect to wait 30 minutes or more before your transaction is completed.

I didn’t mind waiting a half hour for cash for the Bitcoin I sold.  I passed the time pleasantly exploring the finer points of vaping.  That’s because the Bitcoin Machine Review is of a machine posted in a vaping store.

Bitcoin ATM Machine Review

Let’s start this Bitcoin ATM Machine Review with the price of Bitcoin at the time I made the sale.

Here’s the actual price of Bitcoin according to Coinbase…

Bitcoin ATM Machine Review

And here’s the Bitcoin price displayed on the opening screen of the Bitcoin ATM Machine…

Bitcoin ATM Machine Review

My initial reaction? OH COOL! The exchange price of this machine is almost $1,000 higher! #WINNING!

Here’s where my Bitcoin ATM Machine Review takes a darker turn.  I start to sell Bitcoin and see this…

Bitcoin ATM Machine Review

Wait a minute! WTF?! The actual transaction price is $1700 LOWER than what the opening screen said 30 seconds ago?! WTF? WHY?!

Since the mission was to write a Bitcoin ATM Machine Review I went ahead with the transaction despite the glaring contradictions in BTC Price….

Bitcoin ATM Machine Review

And to be fair to Coin Cloud ATM – The owners and/or operators of this Bitcoin ATM machine I received my funds within about 30 minutes. This delay could not be any fault of theirs; the Bitcoin blockchain and the present workload of Bitcoin miners dictated the delay. Bitcoin atm machine review

Bitcoin ATM Machine Review

The thing is, I ended up spending $23 in Bitcoin ATM machine fees to get $220.  That’s more than 10% and that’s absolutely ridiculous.

bitcoin atm machine review

I get the fact that Bitcoin ATM machines aren’t so common yet.  I understand that there are costs involved in purchasing, deploying, operating and maintaining any ATM machine and through reasons of pure economics a Bitcoin ATM machine will be more expensive than a standard ATM machine today.

HOWEVER – the fact that this machine displayed a higher Bitcoin price on the opening screen and then a lower price when a transaction actually started without any clear or open disclosure of actual fees really sucks.  Then bear in mind that if this WERE an ordinary ATM machine there’s no possible way it would charge me a $22 ATM fee on a $220 withdrawal.

It’s cryptocoin shenanigans shit like this that is practically BEGGING for government regulation of cryptocoin.

So this Bitcoin ATM Machine Review is a mixed bag; yes they work and yes they allow you to buy or sell cryptocoin relatively quickly.  But as shown here there are downsides too.  HUGE downsides. Caveat Emptor!

Coinbase Going Backwards

Coinbase Going Backwards – Elimination of Key Client Services + Needlessly Complicating Merchant Transactions = Disaster

Coinbase going backwards has made life much more difficult the past few weeks.  Up until March I could sell Bitcoin and turn it into usable cash in less than 30 minutes right from my laptop.  Then Coinbase utterly eliminated PayPal which now means I need to wait DAYS for a bank transfer.  In the “good old days” of just last month I could’ve sold Bitcoin on Coinbase, had the proceeds transferred directly to PayPal within seconds and then have the money sitting in my checking account in less than 30 minutes.  All I would need to do is agree to PayPal’s pittance of a 25 cent transfer fee via debit card.

But alas PayPal has disappeared from Coinbase altogether which has rendered this quick, inexpensive solution impossible.

But wait it gets better.  An email I received from Cheapair just last week is further proof of Coinbase going backwards:

A Letter to Our Bitcoin Customers
Dear Traveler,

Since 2013, CheapAir.com has been accepting Bitcoin as a payment option for flight and hotel bookings and we hope to continue to do so well into the future. During this time, it has been a thrill to meet so many extremely smart, incredibly passionate members of the Bitcoin community and we appreciate to no end the support and loyalty that the group has shown us.

However, today we face some challenges and we’re asking for your help in finding solutions. We were recently informed by our processing partner, Coinbase, that they will no longer support “custodial” solutions for merchants, and are removing a number of the tools and features that we rely on to accept Bitcoin from CheapAir.com shoppers. These changes are scheduled to occur in a matter of weeks.

Rather than dwell on this, we are taking this as an opportunity to deliver to you an even better solution with even more digital payment options. In the coming weeks, we hope to:

  • Begin accepting additional digital currencies like Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Litecoin. We have already begun testing these.
  • Establish a dedicated customer service phone line and email inbox staffed with advisors who have a deeper understanding of digital currencies and how they work. Admittedly, that’s been a challenge with our call center team (my fault, not theirs) and I know this has led to some frustration.
  • Automate some processes that have been semi-manual, so we can issue refunds more quickly, or generate/re-generate a BTC invoice for a booking made over the phone or by email.

To go where we want, however, we need a reliable processing partner. The reality is, as much as we love Bitcoin, our travel supplier partners (airlines and hotels) just aren’t there yet. Because we have to immediately transfer to them most of what you pay to us, we have no choice but to convert BTC to fiat as payments come in. Coinbase has been providing that service for us, but at the end of the month they are getting out of that business, leaving us scrambling for an alternative.

Our intention at this point is to use BitPay as a processor. We have had a great experience with them so far and our integration is largely complete. But our one giant concern is that Bitpay does not support “non-payment protocol wallets” (wallets that aren’t BIP-70 compliant). So if you do not have a compatible wallet, you would have to get one and use it as an intermediate stage for your Bitcoin payment.

We understand what Bitpay is trying to accomplish. The issues they are trying to address–delayed or incorrect payments–are real and were especially rampant back in December and January when transaction volumes spiked. On the other hand, I am not keen on the idea of asking our customers to, in many cases, do more work or change wallets just to be able to transact with us.

This is where we’d love your input. Do you buy from other Bitpay merchants? Do you find the BIP-70 wallet requirement to be reasonable or too onerous? Candidly, would this make you more or less likely to do business with us?

Please feel free to reach out with thoughts or suggestions by commenting on our blog, tweeting @CheapAir, or emailing me directly at jeff@CheapAir.com.

Thank you again for your continued support,

Jeff Klee
Founder and CEO

 

So Coinbase lost a large corporate client and Bitpay wins one. That’s the very nature of the free market at work.

Regular readers will easily recall how I bought a plane ticket with Bitcoin via Coinbase on CheapAir.com earlier this month in a simple, hassle-free transaction.

I am truly disappointed in Coinbase. For so long I’ve been seeing them do so many good things to move cryptocoin forward into mainstream acceptance. Up until recently I have truly been a fanboy. All of the recent announcements of promising new hires not withstanding, it’s impossible not to see that Coinbase going backwards is a real thing. And a real sad thing.

Coinbase going backwards needs to stop. Coinbase gave up so much ground they won by their asinine actions lately. They need to resume forward thinking and decisive action if they hope to maintain their dominant position as a cryptocoin exchange.

As an extension of my thinking I am going to visit a Bitcoin ATM machine here in the Las Vegs valley. I expect an attempted robbery vis a vis their published exchange rate, transaction fees, etc. Expect a full report from me within the next 48 hours. Personally, I expect to give Coinbase an expanded business model as a result. Stay tuned!