May 22, 2010 was the day software developer Laszlo Hanyecz agreed to pay 10,000 Bitcoins for two delivered Papa John’s pizzas.
Call that a waste of money, now that BTC is worth over $8,000?
Not really. Instead buy this man a drink for being the first person to use BTC as a payment. Even though it was pizza worth around $41.00 at that time, it is considered the first truly successful use of BTC. It is a medium of exchange and electronic payment system after all. This proved the use case for it. Now today it is much different of course, because BTC has become many times more valuable with a larger market cap.
Laszlo was no idiot who wasted away his BTC. He is actually one of the original volunteer developers who helped in the early days of Bitcoin. He got rewarded with BTC, and he probably should still have some around. 10,000 BTC today will probably set you for life. In the significance of the moment, what Laszlo did was actually quite bold. He used BTC in a real world situation, even if it was just to buy pizza.
Since then, BTC has had a bad rap from mainstream finance people e.g. Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffet. They associate it as “rat poison” with no instrinsic value used by criminals for illegal transactions i.e. The Silkroad. Then again this argument falls apart when you point out that cash is the most used currency for illegal transactions, which cannot be easily traced while BTC can be traced on the blockchain (transparency). The drug deal on the corner is most likely done with the use of cash rather than BTC. Perhaps Jamie Dimon has come around because he sees the potential for the blockchain rather than Bitcoin itself. Mr. Buffet though, has not, but we are talking about a successful investor in the tradtional finance economy. Today it is a different story with how our economy is transforming digitally.
Today BTC is used more as a store of value, like gold. It can also be used to transfer value across borders, pay for retail items e.g. Overstock accepts BTC and lock into a deposit as a digital asset for loans or future payments. There are new non-mainstream financial instruments that allow holders to use their BTC to make investments into funding projects, donations and even pension funds. More new services will surely come as financial giants enter the cryptocurrency space.
Pizza is great comfort food. When you know you can buy it with cryptocurrency, it just gives a better feeling of what is to come as it evolves. For now if you have 10,000 BTC, HODL it. With that much BTC, you can buy pizza anytime for the rest of your life.
Note: This opinion piece are thoughts about Bitcoin and is not meant to be financial advice. Do your own research always.
At the time of this writing it is the start of blockchain week In New York City. One of the hot topics that will be discussed has to do with the most recent Binance hack that led to $40.7 Million of stolen Bitcoin (worth 7,000 BTC at the time of the incident). This is actually not the first time Binance has been hacked, they have a track record. Despite their concern for cybersecurity, it seems their system is not really that secure. This is not to say that Binance does not take cybersecurity seriously, because they do. They implement a 2FA type of authentication which requires using either an authenticator that generates a random code or the code is sent via an SMS text message to a smartphone. It is pretty secure after the fact, yet it was foiled time and time again. At this point the best that Binance can do is to track the stolen BTC and get the cooperation of other digital exchanges to freeze the funds. We actually know which address moved the coins (The transaction was traced from this link).
Fortunately, Binance has what it calls a SAFU (Secure Asset Fund for Users) which is a way of providing an insurance to users on the exchange in case of emergency. Changpeng Zhao or CZ, Binance CEO, has guaranteed that those who lost Bitcoin from the hack will be compensated for their losses. That is good to know, but will this be the end of these type of hacks? It has already happened before, so there is likelihood that it can happen again. That is unless Binance will add new security measures that tighten their systems even more. Then that gives hackers a new problem to deal with.
Now here is what is concerning. In an official statement made by Binance regarding the hack:
“The transaction is structured in a way that passed our existing security checks. It was unfortunate that we were not able to block this withdrawal before it was executed. Once executed, the withdrawal triggered various alarms in our system. We stopped all withdrawals immediately after that.“
The fact that it “passed our existing security checks” is a cause for concern that is what they are working to improve. According to this Coindesk article, Binance is going to do a revamp of their security system. They will certainly look into improving their API for 2FA as well as their withdrawal validation process. If a hacker can easily hack a user’s API key or 2FA credentials, you don’t really have a secure system. It was probably not an easy feat for the hackers, so now Binance should make it even more difficult to decrease the likelihood of any successful breach.
Phishing attacks are one of the exploits hackers use to get information from users. Once they trick a user to giving them that information, the hackers then use it to access the exchange. That is really all you need to do to get past Binance’s security check. Binance implements withdrawal limits for unverified users but for those who are verified, the hacker can wipe out their entire balance on the exchange.
Other ways a Binance user account was compromised can be from spyware, keyloggers or remote viewing software like VNC. Having an antivirus and cyberbsecurity software installed on a computer can help detect these malware. Another way to foil these attacks is to not keep funds stored on an exchange. Using a cold storage (not connected to the Internet) on a hardware wallet provides more security. In fact, some smartphones like the HTC Exodus and Samsung Galaxy S10 provide hardware wallet support for cryptocurrency now. For the strictest security, keep your digital assets safe in cold storage and not on hot wallets or custodial services like digital exchanges.
According to CZ:
“We are working with a dozen or so industry-leading security expert teams to help improve our security as well as track down the hackers.”
That’s right. Binance is definitely going to need more help in cybersecurity to fix this problem. Remember, it is not the blockchain that got hacked, it is Binance’s system. Binance also announced support for hardware devices with 2FA, a more secure way to connect to Binance. A system like that would require hackers to have possession of the actual hardware device. Think of this as a sort of physical key, that only gives access to the user who owns it.
The risk of a more digital world is computer hacking. Binance has been successfully hacked in the past. A user lost 2 BTC when a hacker used the credentials from their hacked e-mail address. Another hack occurred in July 2018, which was a “potential” hack that led to the theft of $45 Million of Syscoin and dumping of BTC. It was not Binance’s direct fault, but more on the Syscoin wallet. Regardless, it was a system anomaly that Binance admins detected. Binance immediately shutdown and then reset their API keys. That’s exactly what they did with the most recent hack. It seems that the answer to the problem is just shutting down and resetting everything. However, that does not solve the problem apparently.
Due to this large loss of BTC, someone from the BTC development community reached out to CZ. A suggestion was made to reorg the BTC blockchain and give back the stolen funds to their respective owners. Now the reaction to this was not good at all and thankfully, CZ decided not to do this. That would require Binance to use a “51% attack” to gain majority hashing power on the Bitcoin network to overturn transactions. The problem with this is an ethics issue because it would require Binance to get a consensus among miners and nodes on the network to support this plan. It goes against the main ideology of the blockchain, which is about decentralization and immutability. When you get a collusion of miners to provide Binance with majority hashing power, it centralizes the network to benefit one organization. This may also lead to inconsistencies on the blockchain if several bad actors try to mine on their own chain to gain control of the network. The idea that a consortium of miners with hashing power can overturn a trnsaction goes against immutability on the blockchain. It would be a terrible idea to do this.
The result of a reorg may lead to more factions in the Bitcoin community. There might even be a fork and this is not going to be good for the price of BTC as a store of value. It may even ruin the market leading to turmoil and massive sell offs as users collect their money. There needs to be a clear direction for BTC and a reorg is probably not in everyone’s best interest since it really only benefits Binance and the hacked accounts. This is not a consensus of the network’s interests.
The good thing is that the hack did not affect BTC prices. FUD didn’t lead to any massive dump or sell off, proving that there is confidence in the market. Taking care of the real problem, which is cybersecurity, is what needs to addressed. Binance vows to increase their security which is the most important feature right now for any digital exchange. Users need their funds to be safe from hackers, so this is going to be the responsibility of digital exchanges.
It goes without saying that supply and demand are perhaps amongst the most important trading fundamentals.
In almost every aspect of our lives, when it comes to buying something, we are constantly looking for a bargain price. When it comes to selling, on the other hand, we’re always seeking an opportunity to make the most out of it by selling at the highest price.
When it comes to trading, however, it appears that this is not always the case. We are oftentimes pushed to buying when the price is high while selling when the price is low. More often than not, traders, especially those who don’t have enough experience, end up selling their shares or even cryptocurrencies at a knockdown price because it pains them to hold them any longer.
Professional traders, on the other hand, are always looking to buy at a wholesale price and to sell at a retail price. This applies to the cryptocurrency market as well. It is at this point that a transfer of funds tends to take place from novice accounts to professional ones. The point at which this takes place is commonly referred to as a supply or demand zone.
HOW TO NOTICE A SUPPLY OR DEMAND ZONES?
A supply or a demand zone can be identified only when the price starts to speed away from an area on the chart. If you’re using a trading platform such as Evolve.Markets, you will be able to properly observe price fluctuations because of their comprehensive charts and monitoring tools. Evolve.Markets gives traders access to high leverage cryptocurrency trading on Metatrader 5.
In any case, when this move takes place, it indicates that there has been a buying or selling interest at its origin. Once this takes place, it is important not to chase the move but rather to wait for the price to return to this zone so that we can either buy or sell at a wholesale price.
A notable characteristic of a demand zone is that it would often times also act as a broad area of support. While it is truly broader than a typical support line, it does bear similar qualities. Price usually tends to jump off that zone, going in an upwards direction.
Supply zones, on the other hand, tend to act in a similar way as resistance levels. Again, they are broader but the price tends to go downwards after reaching them.
So, naturally, by looking at a longer term chart, you might be able to identify which areas in the price action tend to see supply or demand and base your moves on that. You’d want to purchase when you’re at the demand zone and sell at the supply zone.
4 RULES TO FOLLOW
When it comes to supply and demand trading, there are a few important things to be considered. Hence, here are four of the main principles to follow.
A supply zone typically tends to show narrow price behavior. Lots of candle wicks, as well as strong back and forth action often tends to cancel a supply zone for future trades. The narrower the zone before a strong breakout is, the better the chances are for a good reaction next time
TIME YOUR EXITS
As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to see the price spending too much time at a supply zone. Good supply zones, as we said above, tend to be narrower and they don’t hold for too long. A shorter zone of accumulation works better for finding your re-entries during pullbacks which are aimed at picking up the open interest.
Coined by Richard D. Wyckoff, the “Spring” pattern describes a price movement which is into the opposite direction of the following breakout. It looks like a false breakout after the fact, but when it happens it tends to trap traders into following the wrong direction.
Keep in mind that each time the price revisits a supply zone, more and more orders which haven’t been filled previously are filled. Therefore, the level is continuously weakened. Hence, it’s better to make sure that the zone is fresh, meaning that the price hasn’t come back to it yet after the initial creation of the zone.
In any case, these are just a few of the rules that you might want to be following.
Disclaimer: This article is not investment advice and should not be construed as such. It is for educational purposes only. BCoingrapiq is not responsible for any investment decisions made by readers of the website. Always consult a trained financial professional before making any investment decisions and be prepared to lose your entire investment.
The smartphone has become our digital Swiss army knife. We use it not only to make calls, but to send text messages, check the latest traffic conditions, get update on the weather, read the news, make electronic payments and take photos. I know people who would not survive a day unless they have their smartphone. In the Digital and Information Age, it has become a necessity of modern living.
What if you were told that smartphones can also use cryptocurrency for making payments and transactions? That would make it your digital wallet. The integration of cryptocurrency with smartphones are a precedent for mass adoption and this allows for more convenient ways to manage digital assets. It makes perfect sense if you think about it. Currently you would need a hardware wallet for fully securing your cryptocurrency from online hacking. Applying that same device on a smartphone adds more convenience and utility since it is integrated with something you use everyday rather than being separate.
Bringing cryptocurrency to smartphones is happening in different ways. All these products are targeted at mobile users. They are either directly wired as part of the smartphone’s electronics or can be installed as a DApp (distributed application). Let’s go over some of those applications.
HTC has a special smartphone that integrates with the blockchain, to protect your digital assets called Exodus. The phone itself is great, but it is the cryptocurrency support features that is really the selling point for it. The Exodus provides the Zion Vault Trusted Execution Environment that allows users to hold their own private keys. It tries to remove the hassle of creating your own digital wallet so this is really good for beginners. You start by entering a 6-digit pin, then get a 12-digit recovery phrase and you are all set. The recovery phrase is very important in case you get locked out or forget your pin. Write it down on a piece of paper or take a screenshot of it and store it safely and securely. The Exodus also has a way to allow your social contacts to help in recovery in case something really serious happens using a feature called Social Key Recovery.
The thing to know here is that your Zion Vault is not tied to a personal account like Facebook or Google. You are your own sovereign identity of your account. Not even HTC controls it. This means that you are in full possession of your digital assets, which is why it is important that security features are in place to keep it safe from hacking or vulnerable situations. Your private keys are stored in hardware, not software, much like using a hardware wallet. This makes it harder for hackers to steal since it cannot be targeted on the network.
The Exodus is also a device compatible with Web 3.0 applications. This takes us from the semantic web to a more intelligent web. Since the Exodus is also blockchain-centric, it brings a world of innovation at your fingertips. A more secure way to trade is certainly a benefit for using the Exodus. You can be anywhere that has a connection to the Internet and use your smartphone to trade and make payments at your convenience. The added layer of security that HTC has put in place is what gives peace of mind while using it.
Samsung Galaxy S10
A cryptocurrency wallet feature has been available on the SamsungGalaxy S10model smartphone. I was confused at first at what Samsung was up to then I realized they were going to integrate a cryptocurrency wallet that will also hold private keys on the device. Much like the HTC Exodus, it aims to secure and protect your digital assets stored on your smartphone. Hodlers will be able to store their Ethereum private keys in a cold storage type of digital wallet. That means it is stored directly in the smartphone and not on the Internet. Your actual digital asset is actually always on the blockchain as a data value of your balances. Other coins the wallet supports are the Cosmo Coin and a gaming cryptocurrency called Enjin.
Samsung’s crypto feature uses an app called Samsung Blockchain KeyStore. It is limited in availability upon its first release. Not all countries where you can buy the S10 will have support for the wallet, though it is clear the feature will be available in South Korea and the US. How it expands this feature remains to be seen as it is going to be a competitor with other hardware wallets. Samsung has apparently investedin one of them, Ledger Nano as reported by Cointelegraph.
According to Samsung:
“Galaxy S10 is built with defense-grade Samsung Knox, as well as a secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services.”
It just didn’t seem to be that secure. It has reportedly been hackedalready. It wasn’t the actual digital wallet that was hacked, it was the fingerprint sensor. That does give bad actors a way to access your private keys should your smartphone fall into the wrong hands. That is some news for concern that Samsung will have to address, but the responsibility will rest on the owner of the smartphone eventually. Keeping their smartphone physically secure is still the best way to prevent this.
Sirin Labs Finney
Sirin Labs lays claim to developing the first blockchain-enabled smartphone, ahead of HTC. It just so happens that HTC was the first to release their product commercially. The Finney has a built-in hardware wallet for storing private keys safely and access to a DApp to manage your digital assets. Finney is also from an open source project that has its own coin called SRN which can be used to purchase the smartphone.
The main feature that Finney has crypto enthusiasts excited about is that it provides a Token Conversion Service, which enables automatic exchanges between supported tokens and coins. This removes the use of digital exchanges like Binance and Coinbase to convert from one cryptocurrency to another. The last I checked the supported coins on the Finney include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Sirin’s own SRN.
Perhaps it is the robust cybersecurity features that make Finney a serious contender for blockchain smartphone. Sirin Labs claims military grade security with intrusion prevention and encrypted messaging features. This gives the Finney additional advantages in features that help in securing your digital assets.
Perhaps it is the Opera browser which provides the easiest way to get cryptocurrency. It is the first major browser to provide blockchain integration with a digital wallet. At the moment it only supports Ethereum, but there are plans to support other cryptocurrency. It is as simple as installing the Opera browser on an Android device (supported) and coming to iOS devices as well. What I like about the Opera cryptowallet is its ease and accessibility. It is just one touch away from your Android screen. You don’t need to configure anything else, the cryptowallet has already been set up and ready for use.
The integrated cryptowallet in Opera is an example of a Web3 application. This brings the security of the blockchain to the openness of the world wide web. Even the web’s founder Tim Berners-Lee believes that Web3 applications are going to very useful. The benefits you get with using the Opera cryptowallet is direct P2P (peer-to-peer) payments to other people, merchants and trading on digital exchanges. You have your own bank in your browser on your smartphone. Another good thing the wallet supports are digital collectibles like ERC721 and tokens like ERC20. This makes it easy to use without having to code a smart contract on the Ethereum network.
Mobility On The Blockchain
All these applications are targeted for mobility on the blockchain. What better way than to implement it on a smartphone. There are other types of apps available now that you can install on your smartphone that provide similar functionality. They will either provide you with full ownership of your private keys, offer a cold wallet function or in some cases a custodial wallet service (your private keys are kept by the service provider). Depending on how much control you want, there is an app available for it.
It is important to remember that you cannot recover your digital assets on the blockchain if you forget your password or passphrase or do not know your recovery phrase. HTC provides different ways to recover it but on Opera if you don’t have the 12-word recovery phrase (you can find this by selecting the “Backup phrase” option) your funds are gone since Opera does not have a way to recover it for you. These are the drawbacks of having complete ownership of your cryptocurrency.
Another use of these features are to access DApps, a collection of decentralized applications all over the Internet. Developers are building on top of the Ethereum platform in different ways. This is a showcase of the software that allows users to execute smart contracts that perform a service or to just enjoy playing games. So it provides a portal to access common DApps from Cryptokitties to DEX (Decentralized Exchanges).
Ease Of Use
One of the main complaints new users have is that using cryptocurrency is not intuitive and user friendly. The HTC, S10 and Opera browser are providing an easy way to get on-board. It should be easy enough for everyone to use. Its usefulness can all start with being able to simply buy a cup of coffee. When more applications like these become available and easier to use, then we have greater adoption.
New products that can quickly on-board users to cryptocurrency can lead to more liquidity in the market. As more people adopt it, there is also the growth in hype that can at times be misleading. Newbies to cryptocurrency may not fully understand how volatile the market is and what its real world uses are. For that reason, marketing these products is good for the hype. In the long run however, it is going to be whether cryptocurrency are going to be commodities needed for every day life. Then surely we already have a device we can use for it, the smartphone.