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Image of The Week, 12-16 of November: Forbes, USA Today, Financial Times and Other

Oleg Koldayev

We're presenting “image of the week”. Bitnewstoday.com has chosen only the most important news about the digital economy and virtual currencies. Only the most valuable stories from only the trusted sources. Each and every event from this list will change the world of the digital economy either way. The most important stories in the most indicative quotes are below!

12 of November

PROVE IT! (Forbes)

Blockchain still has yet to be proven useful

Cryptocurrencies have failed, and blockchain still has yet to be proven useful. There are two common patterns in technological invention and its subsequent commercialization. The first is a technological breakthrough that sparks interests in commercializing it. The second is an existing demand waiting for a new technology to be invented to meet the need.

The technology of blockchain and its application called Bitcoin, however, came as a single package: digital currency without a central bank, with transactions verified and recorded in a distributed ledger, the blockchain. But now it is abundantly clear that cryptocurrencies have utterly failed in their purported function as money since they don’t fall under any textbook category of the currency. But what with the blockchain itself? Once we unbundle the package of blockchain and cryptocurrency, we are then back to the first pattern of technology commercialization: an invention looking for a viable commercial application. Because blockchain was invented to create Bitcoin, what else can blockchain do on its own is a matter of exploration. As yet, nothing has been proven.


Privacy poisoning might ruin blockchain

You might not have heard of “privacy poisoning” but it is stated to become a big problem for public blockchains (a.k.a permissionless blockchains) in coming years. Unless you’ve had your head under a rock this year, you’ve probably heard about the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations — or GDPR as most call it. GDPR states that users should have the right to control their data, and that companies that process this data should be held accountable if this is prevented in some way.

However, this creates a paradox as public blockchains are supposed to be immutable. The unchangeable nature of data stored “on chain” and the right to control our own data under GDPR simply appear to be irreconcilable. Sadly, as most public blockchains rely on a decentralized and immutable history of records most of them won’t be compliant with GDPR and they risk being “privacy poisoned.”

13 of November


Elon Musk crypto fraud continues

In the latest version of a classic cybersecurity breach, the hackers apparently briefly gained control of big-box chain Target's Twitter account on Tuesday morning. Although Target said it regained control of the account within a half-hour, the hackers were able to post a tweet promising to give out 5,000 Bitcoin in "the biggest crypto-giveaway in the world!".

In multiple cases, hackers have impersonated Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and made a similar Bitcoin pledge. To do so, they installed Musk's Twitter photo on the verified Twitter accounts they hacked and changed the accounts' display name to his. Musk's genuine Twitter account has not been compromised.

HARD LABOUR (The Next Web)

Mining, it ain't what it used to be

Japanese internet giant, GMO, has posted a loss of over $5.5 million dollars for its cryptocurrency mining division for the third quarter of this year, according to its recent financial report.

There are no signs that the mining industry is improving either, GMO’s third quarter loss is over $2 million greater than the loss the company posted Q2. According to the report, GMO mined a total of 1,590 Bitcoin and 25 Bitcoin Cash during Q3, but that wasn’t enough to draw a profit against the increasing energy required to mine cryptocurrency.

14 of November


Christie’s auctioneers set history in stone

Major auction house Christie’s has made history by tracking $317.8 million worth of art auctions via blockchain, as one of the greatest privately owned collections of American Modernist art went under the hammer overnight.

In a record-breaking slew of auctions, 42 pieces were sold, with details of the auctions recorded on a permissioned (private) implementation of the Ethereum blockchain managed by software company Artory.


Bitcoin Cash is set to hard fork, and people are losing their heads

Nothing says the future of finance like a good old-fashioned meltdown, and the upcoming bitcoin cash hard fork has that in spades. This is thanks, in no small part, to a man named Craig Wright. Wright, derisively known as "Faketoshi" for his dubious claim that he is in fact Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, has gone on a strange rant in support of his version of Bitcoin Cash's (BCH) future known as Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision).

Deep into a rambling, multi-day tweet bender, Wright has taken it upon himself to spew invective at anyone he believes threatens his plans for Bitcoin SV — especially those defending the Roger Ver-backed rival project Bitcoin ABC. 

15 of November

EVIL CHILD (Financial Times)

ECB official dubs Bitcoin “evil spawn of the financial crisis”

One of the eurozone’s top central bankers has dubbed Bitcoin “the evil spawn of the financial crisis”. Benoît Cœuré, a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, became the latest central banker to lay into the cryptocurrency, saying the problems of Bitcoin were “plentiful”.

“Lightning may strike me for saying this in the Tower of Basel — but Bitcoin was an extremely clever idea. Sadly, not every clever idea is a good idea,” the executive board member said in Basel on Thursday. “I believe that Agustín Carstens summed its manifold problems up well when he said that Bitcoin is ‘a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster’.”


Hedge fund circuit says crypto adoption growing despite falling prices

The falling prices of digital currencies are not the best gauge on what’s actually happening in the crypto space. This is the belief of Circuit Capital founders, a new hedge fund that is surprisingly bullish on the industry despite the market’s failure to retrace January’s massive correction.

Circuit partner Eugene Ng believes that focusing too much on the falling price of cryptocurrencies might have diverted people’s attention from the positive developments happening in the space. For instance, Ng argues that adoption has actually been growing non-stop the entire time. This explains why most crypto businesses are gearing up for expansion if they have not already done so, as well as the movement of talent into the industry.

16 of November


The Bitcoin Cash clash over hash war has no real winners

Bitcoin Cash has forked into two rivalling cryptocurrencies – BAB, maintained by Bitcoin-ABC, and BSV, maintained by Craig Wright’s nChain – it remains to be seen which network will surface as the dominant chain.

The most concerning development is that it appears both newly-spawned Bitcoin Cash forks are currently losing from the split. Most exchange services have temporarily halted Bitcoin Cash trading until consensus has been reached about the hard fork, but chances are both cryptocurrencies will experience a significant drop in price.


Ron Paul releases new survey pitting Bitcoin and crypto against traditional investments

Former US Representative and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul posted a poll on Twitter asking followers if they’d prefer Federal Reserve Notes, gold, Bitcoin or US 10-year Treasury bonds if they were given a $10,000 gift that they couldn’t touch for 10 years.

At time of writing, Bitcoin was in the lead, with 51% of the votes. Gold is next at 37%, followed by 10-year US Treasury bonds at 10% and Federal Reserve notes at 2%. Despite Bitcoin’s 12% dip over the past two days, the poll results largely reflect Paul’s fan base. The popular libertarian, who has 638,000 Twitter followers, has said that America should “end the Federal Reserve,” and revert to the gold standard

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