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Inside Bitcoin

Inside Bitcoin (Aug 23rd, 2019)

Happy Friday everyone!

I hope you're all doing well and looking forward to the weekend. The week has flown by, hasn't it?

I just wanted to add a note to today's Inside Bitcoin newsletter to update you on my Top 100 Bitcoin Twitter list, which you can find here.

Here are some of the people I've added this week: Jihan Wu, co-founder of Bitmain, a Bitcoin mining company, Matt Odell, a Bitcoin investor and entrepreneur, Arianna Simpson, early crypto investor and CEO and founder of investment fund Autonomous Partners, and Tyler Winklevoss, co-founder of the Gemini exchange.

Let me know of any others that you think should be added as I'm always open to hearing about new people in the space.

Also, is there anything that you'd like to see more/less of with the Inside Bitcoin newsletter? I'm happy to take any suggestions that will help to grow audience numbers and to keep frequent readers interested.

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Market Watch: The market remains in the green during early trading Friday. Once again Bitcoin remains stuck within the $10,000 mark. Will prices change much over the weekend? Lesser-known altcoin such as RChain Token, however, is enjoying a surge of over 200% in value over a 24-hour period.

  • Bitcoin: $10,196 (⬆️ 1.01%) // $182.4 billion market cap.
  • Ethereum: $191 (⬆️ 1.57%) // $20.5 billion market cap.
  • XRP: $0.272 (⬆️ 0.76%) // $11.6 billion market cap.
  • Bitcoin Cash: $310 (⬆️ 2.23%) // $5.5 billion market cap.
  • Top 100 Winner: RChain: $0.188 (⬆️ 219%) // $70 million market cap.
  • Top 100 Loser: RIF Token: $0.147 (⬇️ 7.42%) // $70 million market cap.

Prices are as of 10:05 a.m. EDT.

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1. A would-be donor to the Amazon wildfires has seen their $100,000 donation rejected by crypto payments processor BitPay. The unknown donor tried to send the payment to Amazon Watch, a charity that is working at supporting the Amazon's ecology and its people. However, the payment failed to pass BitPay as it was too high, according to a tweet by Amazon Watch. The organization reached out to BitPay to help resolve the problem. The payments platform said that it would "escalate the issue to see if the donor can be contacted," and that Amazon Watch should upgrade their approved volume to accept funds higher than $100,000. The number of wildfires in Brazil, which environmentalists claim have been started by cattle rancher and loggers, are, reportedly, 80 percent higher than last year. –COINTELEGRAPH

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2. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is, reportedly, disrupting services at cryptocurrency platforms. Binance and KuCoin are just a few of the exchanges that have reported issues. Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao tweeted that Amazon's cloud service was causing "500 error messages on APIs" while the withdrawal process was affecting users globally. He added that they are working with the cloud provider to solve the problem. One Twitter user questioned why they were using AWS, to which Zhao replied that they use different cloud service provides "for different purposes." KuCoin posted a message stating that "overheating of part of our chassis" in AWS, Tokyo, meant that some of its services might become unavailable. –COIN DESK

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3. Follow Friday: Didi Taihuttu

In October 2017, Taihuttu and his wife Romaine, along with their three girls, Joli, Juna and Jessa, known as The Bitcoin Family, sold everything they owed all for Bitcoin. They then moved to a campsite in the Netherlands. Their venture couldn't have been better timed. The crypto market was going through a boom and Bitcoin was steadily creeping toward its all-time high of $20,000, which it achieved in mid-December.

Since 2017, it has been a continual adventure for the family of five who, to this day, use crypto as a means of living and traveling. I interviewed Didi at the beginning of the year and he said that they had visited 40 countries, exploring the acceptance of crypto at them all. He also mentioned that they didn't sell everything to become crypto millionaires, but to change their way of life and that of their children, and to support the "crypto revolution."

While the market hasn't been anything like it was in 2017, the family are still believers in where the crypto industry is heading. At the time of my interview with him, he indicated that Bitcoin may hit "$40,000, $100,000, and even $200,000" in the next five years.

With just over 8,400 followers on Twitter, Didi regularly posts tweets. Some of his most recent include holding a poll as to whether Craig Wright is the real Satoshi Nakamoto? and where the family currently are on their travels, which may be in Turkey. Aside from investing and using crypto to fund their lifestyle, they also speak at conferences and have written a book, currently available in Dutch.

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4. At least three founding members of the Libra Association are considering distancing themselves from Facebook's Libra stablecoin amid increased regulatory scrutiny. Two have, reportedly, held discussions to determine what the "right next steps" should be. A third is concerned that support for the proposed coin will attract unwanted attention to its own business. The Libra Association, which is the governing body for Libra, currently has 28 founding members such as Mastercard, Visa, and Uber, all of which have signed a non-binding agreement to support the project. The Winklevoss twins indicated earlier this week that they would be open to joining the Libra Association claiming that the coin is a positive step for the market. –FINANCIAL TIMES

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5. A 27-year-old man from London has had Bitcoin worth around $1.1 million confiscated to compensate victims. Grant West was arrested in 2017 for his involvement in what has been called a "one-man cybercrime wave." He's reported to have had financial information of over 100,000 people on his laptop, which was being sold on the dark web. However, compensating the victims hasn't been easy due to changing Bitcoin prices. If West fails to comply with the order he faces an additional four years in jail. He was sentenced last May to 10 years and eight months in prison. –THE GUARDIAN

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6. Zakk Lakin, a 24-year-old software developer at U.K.-based cryptocurrency firm CoinCorner, has said that his lifestyle hasn't changed much after deciding to take his entire salary in Bitcoin. In an interview, Lakin states that it's easier to buy things with crypto than people think. For permanent outgoings like rent or direct debits, he converts the amount needed into pounds the day he gets paid to avoid any problems with price movements. He believes this is the way forward and that over time he'll use fiat less as more places start accepting crypto. –MIRROR

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7. A1, considered one of the biggest mobile providers in Austria, is to accept crypto payments at certain store locations. According to Austrian news technology site Futurezone, the company is testing crypto payments in Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Dash, and Stellar. Speaking about the trial, Markus Schreiber, head of A1's business marketing, said that "cash is a discontinued model." Seven locations have been picked for the pilot program: Vienna Kärntnerstraße, ViennaMitte The Mall, Krems Bühl Center, Graz Herrengasse, Innsbruck Kaufhaus Tyrol, Salzburg Europark, and Linz Landstraße. –FUTUREZONE

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8. In a Q&A, Evan Kuhn, the co-founder of Toronto-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinberry, has indicated that using Bitcoin to pay for taxes in Canada is more efficient than through bank cards. Kuhn was answering a question relating to the use of Bitcoin for property tax payments. In response, he said that when homeowners use their service, the company converts funds into Canadian dollars, which are then paid to the town. He added that it costs the town less in processing fees. Compared to a three percent credit card fee, Coinberry only charges 0.5 percent, Kuhn said. –MANSION GLOBAL

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9. Three University of California campuses have launched a new blockchain accelerator initiative in partnership with MouseBelt, a blockchain development and investment firm. The campuses UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Davis are hoping that it will provide students with the skills to undertake careers in the industry upon graduation. –DECRYPT

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10. Two Indian-Canadian nationals have been charged in a Bitcoin fraud case involving over $200,000. Karanjit Singh Khatkar, 23, and Jagroop Singh Khatkar, 24, are reported to have used Twitter to trick a woman from Oregon into transferring around $233,220 into their account. The two used a fake Twitter name, @HitBTCAssist, to give the impression that the victim was talking with a customer representative at Hong Kong-based online platform, HitBTC. Last July, Karanjit was arrested in Las Vegas; however, Jagroop remains at large. –NDTV

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This newsletter was written and curated by Rebecca Campbell. She has been writing and reporting on various industries for the past 10 years, more specifically tech in the last three. Connect with her on Twitter.

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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