Craig Wright goes to war again! This time against Ran Neuner.
The CNBC host announced an interview withWright on Twitter with a mildly interesting revelation.
The man the crypto community have dubbed ‘FakeSatoshi’ then accused on Neuner of breaching an agreement and threatened ‘something wasabout to occur’ and Ran, along with his organization, will be out of it andon the fringe.
Last time we checked both CNBC and Ran Neunerare still in operation.
In other news, Tim Draper has made anotherbold prediction, this time he looked into his crystal ball and saw that in 5 years,only criminals will be using cash.
He said in an interview: “The criminalswill still want to operate with cash because they catch everybodywho is trying to use Bitcoin.
” As bold and bullish as ever, Draper went on toquestion the security of his crypto holdings: “My bank is constantly under a hack attack,” he said.
Perhaps he is right to distrust the bank, this week a French court fined major Swissbank UBS over $5 billion dollars for illegally soliciting clients and laundering the proceedsof tax evasion.
Also this week, stablecoins are key to adoptionreport, Lightning Network relay, Elon Musk is bullish on crypto and Vitalik Buterin discloseshis crypto holdings.
Hint, he has a lot of ETH.
Ladies and gentleman, I’m Molly Jane, andthis is your weekly Hodler’s Digest.
Let’s take a look at the markets.
Last week’s remarkable rise in Bitcoin prices sparkedgreat enthusiasm in the crypto community.
Bitcoin’s price rallied by almost 10%, andmany crypto enthusiasts have already been speculating that the crypto winter is finallyover and a new bull run is imminent.
However, some big names in the industry weremore cautious.
Popular crypto journalist Joseph Young remindedthe community we are still far from all-time highs, while also notinga reduction in selling pressure.
Binance’s CEO CZ was equally cautious incommenting on the market spike, expressing surprise for the community’s excitement.
Looking for the causes triggering the rally,some analysts said that JPMorgan launching its own centralized token was definitely anencouraging sign for many institutional investors, a point mocked by many in the crypto community.
Others even pointed at this week’s China-UStalks deemed to bring an end to the trade war that has been ravaging the global marketsince last year as a possible reason.
We talked to some analysts asking them theirperspective on the current status of the crypto market.
The reason for the crash is just the naturalebb and flow of this volatility of crypto with these higher highs and higher lows.
And the reason for it going up over the lastfew days is just the normal, we've seen bounces, even in December we saw a bounce up to $4,000.
So we keep on seeing it bouncing up back over the $3,500 level.
I think we'll continue to see that.
And for my fund BitBull, we do research, webelieve we'll continue to go steadily up with volatility and reach about $5,000 by the endof the year for Bitcoin.
We saw JPMorgan do launch their coin whichwill help the institutions.
It's a stable coin, intended for institutionsto more easily purchase other digital assets with.
So yes, that actually did help.
As a fund we do social media sentiment analysisand press sentiment analysis and it was very up over the last yearsince that JPMorgan announcement.
We'll continue to see volatility in crypto.
We do see it appreciating as an asset, a changefrom $4,000, where it is today, to $5,000 is quite a gain especially compared with otherassets that you could put your money into.
But it's not going to bea straight Bull Run yet.
I don't think that the trade war, thatwe see between the U.
and China or between any countries for that matter, has been adominant factor influencing those forces.
The forces are much more endemic and specificto the way that Bitcoin functions.
It's pretty plausible to assume that thismay be that market juncture where some of the professional investors are choosing todeploy real capital into the market for Bitcoin and maybe other cryptos,which to me, if it's true, certainly does indicatea potential bull market.
We also spoke to Brian Kellyabout more credible reasons that the crypto markets are experiencing an upswing: What I think has really happened is you'veseen just a massive shift in sentiment in the crypto markets.
Two or three weeks ago you were at a marketwhere no matter how good the news was it didn't really impact the price of Bitcoin.
Now we're in a market where you're startingto get some positive news flow and it's starting to potentially support the price.
So I would say stuff like Jack Dorsey andTwitter and the Lightning Network and saying that and Square as well and saying that it'snot a matter of, if it's a matter of when Lightning Network comes to Square.
Comments like that, comments like Elon Muskthis morning saying that Bitcoin is better than paper money and it's going to disruptpaper money.
I think that's really interesting and thosetype of comments are starting to support this kind of more bullish sentiment that we'rehaving in the marketplace.
Jack Dorsey recently reiterated his view that Bitcoincould become the internet’s “native currency.
” One more major figure to do something similaris, volatile investor and human meme, Elon Musk, who this week came out in favor of Bitcoin.
In an interview, the Tesla CEO saidBTC’s structure is “quite brilliant,” adding that the digital currency is “a farbetter way to transfer value than paper.
” However, he expressed someconcerns about crypto.
But overall he was pretty bullish: “Cryptobypasses currency controls.
] Paper money is going away, and cryptois a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper, that's for sure.
" Last year, Musk tweeted that he only owned 0.
25 BTCthat a friend had given to him “many years ago,” and besides that, he"literally owns zero crypto.
” It is always good to hear big industry figureslike Musk and Dorsey being pro-crypto, but sometimes their positions on crypto can seema bit contradictory and even misguided.
If we take a look at Dorsey for example, heappears to believe in decentralization when it comes to Bitcoin, but not so much whenit comes to his own platform, Twitter.
He has faced a lot of criticism lately withregards to censorship.
We spoke about this notion of decentralized socialmedia and more with Minds.
Com CEO Bill Ottman.
I think the values of Bitcoin and Twitterare very different.
You know, okay, it's good that Dorsey is talkingabout Bitcoin, but then he also has the cash appand he's selling Bitcoin.
So he's leveraging it and he's evangelizingit to a certain degree.
Okay, that is positive.
I don't think it's fair to ride this highhorse and at the same time not be fully representing the values.
It's sort of unacceptable I think, thesedays for none of the major platforms to be walking the walk in terms of transparency,you know, making clear steps towards decentralization.
The JPM coin has put stablecoins in theheadlines once again.
Of course, the digital currency launched bythe bank is not designed for the crypto market and is unlikely to increase adoption.
However, there are many other interesting projectsout there that could, and pave the way for 2019 to become the year of the stablecoin.
Dai launched by Maker Dao, for example, isboth decentralized and crypto-collateralized, every token is backed by ETH.
We spoke to Rune Christiansen, founder ofMakerDao about the project: It was very important for us to build astablecoin that had both the stability, but also the decentralization and be able to combinethose together into what we consider then the ultimate stablecoin.
The end result is a stablecoin model thatis backed by collateral sitting on the blockchain.
It's an autonomous system that just runs itselfthrough smart contract code and then uses that code to basically ensure that there'salways a lot of collateral in the system, and that collateral is always more than theamount of stablecoins in circulation.
So for instance right now there's somethinglike 80 million DAI in circulation, $80 million worth of stable circulation.
And backing those there are about somethinglike $240-250 million worth of Ethereum tokens that sort of providethe backing for the value.
With more and more coins entering themarket, the US dollar is fast becoming the most tokenized asset, leading a report publishedthis week to conclude that stablecoins will play a key role in theadoption of crypto technologies.
The report titled “The State of Stablecoins 2019:Hype vs.
Reality in the Race for Stable, Global, Digital Money” looked at 44 different cryptoand stablecoin companies and analyzed their key features.
The report identifies countries like Venezuelaand Angola as “battlegrounds” not just for the adoption of stablecoinsbut for the adoption of crypto in general.
Also, while the companies surveyed might eventuallyoffer interest rates for holding stablecoins, at the moment people arehappy to hodl for free.
We talked to George Samman, blockchain andcrypto advisor, about the upsides of stablecoins, the downsides and the challenges they facein 2019, including the possibility of the Fedcoin.
I think stablecoins solve a real problemfor them, where if you bought, if you're in Argentina or Venezuela and you bought Bitcoinat $15,000 and now it's a $3,000, you know, you still hold your own money, you still havethat money, you don't need to necessarily worry about the government hyperinflatingit and all that, but you've lost a fair bit of value in it as the price of Bitcoin hasgone down, whereas with the stablecoin it basically trades within a range tied to USdollar or gold which are very much less volatile.
It's still not owning your money, it's stillnot having control of your money.
And of course, you have, since it's programmablethey can seize it any time they want from you and track and trace that money at will.
It's like saying that said coins would wipeout Bitcoin in my opinion.
I think like what's going to actually leadand pave the way is not the ones that are, you know, staying backed to traditional assets,it's going to be ones that reimagine things in ways that we haven't thought of and howyou can use your money.
I don't see currency, fiat currency goingaway anytime soon, but I see, I certainly think that what we're starting to see is themoney is being reimagined and governments aren't going to be the only ones who are trustedand who can create money going forward.
So to me that's exciting.
The BTC Lightning Network is growing.
This week, Bitcoin’s second layer reachedan all-time high total capacity of over 700 BTC, corresponding to $2.
The Lightning Network operating on top ofthe Bitcoin blockchain is designed to allow pretty much instant Bitcointransactions without fees.
The recent hype surrounding the network ispartly due to the Lightning Torch event, launched on Twitter earlier this month by an anonymousBitcoin enthusiast called “hodlonaut.
” The Twitter movement mimics a marathon inwhich users can send a small amount of Bitcoin on the Lightning Network to a trusted person,who will do the same, passing the torch further.
The Lightning Torch aims at demonstratingthe Lightning Network’s efficiency in transferring very small sums of BTC with no third parties involved,which would not be possible on other networks.
Every time the torch is passed on, the amountof Bitcoin gathered increases.
The initiative quickly gained visibility thanksto major personalities of the crypto industry jumping in, including Binance’s CZ, Tron’sJustin Sun and Litecoin’s Charlie Lee.
Even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey supported themarathon, with many wondering wether Twitter could ever implement the Lightning Networkamong its own features.
In order to send the micro payments, Torchbearers have been largely using Tippin, a browser extension enabling tipson the Lightning network.
By installing the app, for now still in beta,users can see a Tippin button appearing on their Twitter interface.
To get more insight about how the LightningTorch started, we reached out to hodlonaut, the initiator of the event himself.
I didn't have much ambition with it.
It originated from me wanting to actuallyuse Lightning since I think it's very fascinating to utilize these amazing rails to send paymentsaround the world.
I just came up with a tweet and let's seewhat happens with this.
I think the torch has become somewhat of asymbol of this economic free speech and also the spirit of the community.
The coolest thing about this is that so manynormal people handled it and chose to pass it on.
We're going to donate it to BTC Venezuela.
BTC Venezuela is working for grassroots Bitcoinadoption in a country that is currently in hyperinflation.
Also they do a lot of humanitarian effortslike feeding people.
They're going to get the torch.
And I also made this tallycoin fundraiserwhich will be donated to them.
The transaction limit in the Lightning Networkis 4.
29 million satoshi.
But this fundraiser has already raised fourtimes that amount and I know several people have pledged to donate the same amount asthe torch.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin disclosedhis cryptocurrency holding in a Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit this week.
Vitalik joined other Ethereum Core developerswho decided to prove their accountability in front of the community, showing the absenceof any possible conflict of interest.
According to Vitalik’s disclosure, the majorityof his fortune is unsurprisingly made up of Ethereum.
Precisely, he owns 350,000 ETH, amountingto $51 million.
Although Buterin disclosed he also ownsnon-Ethereum-based tokens including Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Zcash,these tokens make up less than 10 percent of his total ETH fortune.
Besides having some non-financial interestsin a series of crypto-related projects, Vitalik revealed being a shareholder of developmentand blockchain research firm Clearmatics, as well as StarkWare, a scalabilityand privacy-focused startup.
Apart from his salary at the Ethereum Foundation,in the last 12 months Buterin received compensation also for advising a numberof non-Ethereum projects.
Commenting on the self-disclosure, Buterinencouraged more people involved in protocol decision-making to follow his example.
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