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Bitcoin investors hoping to make billions may end up with a sack of fool’s gold | Technology

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Sifting the Yukon river for gold was a waste of time for most of the 100,000 prospectors seeking to make themselves rich in the 1890s. The same can be said of the bitcoin miners who dream of striking it rich by getting their hands on some of the extremely lucrative and painfully elusive electronic currency.

Relatively few people have managed to decipher the codes needed to extract bitcoins from the 21 million locked inside the mathematical problems set by its creator, the software engineer whose true identity is unknown but who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

Those who have employed enough computer power and code-cracking know-how can consider themselves rich now that the value of one bitcoin has soared from $753 last December to around $10,000. The rest have deployed huge amounts of energy and time for no return.

Should anyone be worried about this turn of events? Or will it go down as a moment in history when an asset was mined, some people got rich and … that was it?

The ambitions of the bitcoin community mean the creation of a new currency must be taken more seriously. Its stellar rise in the last 18 months is likely to have sucked in thousands of speculators, many of them ordinary investors.

And with mainstream financial exchanges looking to host bitcoin as a tradeable asset, or list derivatives of bitcoin on their trading boards, thousands more will be sucked in over the next 18 months.

Where ordinary investors, hunting in large numbers, seek a return on their savings in a high-risk environment, governments are usually minded to regulate.

The idea behind bitcoin was that it should be like any commodity that, once discovered, became increasingly difficult to extract. Like gold, it would become a store of value and make those clever enough to find it and believe in it very rich.

The distributed ledger designed to make each bitcoin account secure and accountable without the need for third parties, like banks, to be involved became for many participants a potential template for all future deposit saving and trading.

To that end, it was also viewed as a replacement currency to the dollar, euro or pound – one that could not be manipulated by central banks, which are only too keen to print extra notes, and thereby devalue the currency, in times of trouble. It is a seductive package that has led many in the banking industry – those most under threat – to call it a fraud.

Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein said so last week, adding his voice to JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon.

Dimon described it as fraud that would ultimately blow up and said the desire to hide funds from regulators and the police meant it was only fit for use by drug dealers, murderers and people living in places such as North Korea. Blankfein was more concerned that its volatile price, which dropped 20% in less than 24 hours after topping $11,000 last week, disqualified it from being a sensible currency.

Sir Jon Cunliffe, a deputy governor of the Bank of England, summed up the view of many in the City when he said calmly that bitcoin was a sideshow and too small to pose a systemic threat to the global economy.

To cover his flank against accusations that the Bank, which is the UK’s chief financial regulator, was too dismissive of the issue, he also cautioned that bitcoin investors needed “to do their homework”.

No doubt all bitcoin investors think they have done their homework. And regulators probably think they have enough work to do. But while it is easy to say that a fool and their money are soon parted, anyone who interacts with the financial services industry is a potential victim. And, with this in mind, regulators should be ready to impose all the usual tools of misselling rules and compensation schemes on this freshly minted industry.

At the moment, bitcoin is having a free ride. The tipping point is close. Regulators should be prepared.

A lover of all things tech, love all things that uses creative juices (not an innuendo) an avid blogger and part time vlogger, now stop reading and go check out some awesome posts on this site.

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Adult Film Star Brenna Sparks Discusses Transforming the Sex Industry With Bitcoin

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news.Bitcoin.com spoke with the adult film star Brenna Sparks about how she’s been relentlessly promoting cryptocurrencies to her co-workers and peers throughout the sex industry. Sparks is a big believer in Bitcoin technology and thinks that someday in the future it will revolutionize the entire adult industry. Furthermore, Sparks is planning to film a few tutorials on how to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but with a catch — Brenna plans on filming the educational videos naked. We decided to chat with Brenna about cryptocurrencies so our readers can get an in-depth view of how digital currencies like Bitcoin could transform the sex industry from someone who has a close perspective on how these business models operate.

Cryptocurrency Will Solve All of the Current Problems in the Adult Industry 

Brenna Sparks (BS): Silkroad! I lived in a boring old town with nothing to do, and I wanted to get weed but didn’t know any dealers. I heard about Silkroad and was guided to using Bitcoin like that, spending hundreds of Bitcoins like it was nothing. Back then I bought my Bitcoins from Silkroad members, using Greendot Moneypaks. I literally gave them money and hoped that I could trust this criminal to give me the Bitcoins! Ahhh…good times. At least, I wasn’t Goxxed.

Adult Film Star Brenna Sparks Discusses Transforming the Sex Industry With Bitcoin

BC: You recently wrote a blog post about cryptocurrencies providing workers in the adult industry censorship resistance from payment processor discrimination. What prompted you to write that post?

BS: It’s something that isn’t talked about often. Most of the people in the industry don’t really discuss how we can make our industry more advanced and safer from a tech perspective. Everyone, just sort of deals with it and has an “if it ain’t totally broke, it doesn’t need fixing” perspective. Also, because of the taboo nature of the adult industry, many of the industry issues have a hard time getting heard by the rest of the world, so problems have been slowly piling up in the background over the years. 

My belief is that I should alert the world of potential opportunities, because if the current people in the industry don’t want to build it further, someone else will. The crypto industry is full of visionaries, so I believe sharing these problems with the crypto community will gain attention from one of these visionaries who could actually make these changes happen, because it’s become obvious that no one in the adult industry will do it. As time goes on, I’ll grow to be more elaborate on the matter.

BC: What do you think about libertarian and free market views involved with cryptocurrencies?

BS: This question reminds me of a time a while back when I thought to myself, “What if I could choose where my tax money went to? What if I could see exactly where it all went and when?” A few years later, this started becoming a clear reality with cryptocurrencies. The technology that exists today can completely turn the government upside down, and that would be a good thing. Technology is the way of the future.

Technology brings order, brings stability, brings growth, brings hope for a better future, not a government.

I believe cryptocurrency provides many of the things a libertarian wish they could have. It’s a medium that allows us, merchants of the world, to exchange in a modern and reliable way that is free from the government, built on protocols that are open to the public to view and contribute to. Cryptocurrencies are changing the way we interact at an increasingly massive scale. We can fund whatever we wish to fund, we can raise money in ways and speeds that were never possible, and for things that we, as individuals, want or need. It provides visionaries the ability to test the most ambitious ideas that no investor would ever be able to fund, which in my opinion translates to an increase in technological growth rate.

Adult Film Star Brenna Sparks Discusses Transforming the Sex Industry With Bitcoin

Finally, cryptocurrencies automate a giant list of tasks that we unnecessarily delegate to our government. In other words, the government is doing too many things that it doesn’t actually need to be doing. Humans may have various views on what is important to them, but we also share many as well. For example, a majority of human beings can agree that we need hospitals, we need proper health care, we need safe roadways and safe buildings. Even if some disagree, it doesn’t matter, it’ll get funded because that’s something a majority mass will agree with, we don’t need a government to “guarantee” that. Just as well, we don’t need a government to tell us what is legal tender, we can do that ourselves.

We don’t need a government producing that legal tender either, computers do a far better job at producing an acceptable medium of exchange. Finally, we don’t need a government deciding what matters on our behalf. I believe a country of millions is much more capable of making decisions than a small handful of “elected” individuals. Governments of the past and present serve as a means to an end, that’s all. The future is in less governing, and eventually no governing or autonomous governing that corresponds to a successful self-governed society (or societies). This is not to say that we don’t need a government, but rather that we need a lot less of it.

Working at a Crypto-Friendly Establishment Felt Futuristic

BC: What are your favorite cryptocurrencies right now?

BS: Besides Bitcoin, I would say – SONM (SNM), Odyssey (OCN), Spankchain (SPANK), and Ark (ARK).  

BC: How do you envision cryptocurrencies helping individuals in the adult industry in the future?

BS: I talk about this further below, but basically cryptocurrency will solve all of the current problems in the adult industry without creating major new problems in the process.

BC: You recently tweeted that you planned on giving cryptocurrency lessons naked. Do you still plan on giving these lessons?

BS: Yes, I’m in the process of filming it right now. At first, I thought about filming and releasing each video at a time, but I’ve decided to film multiple videos to ensure and schedule each release. My calendar is all over the place so I figured this is the best way to approach it.

BC: When you work at clubs like the Legends Room how many tips have you gotten in cryptocurrency, and can you tell our readers what it’s like working at a crypto-friendly establishment like that?

BS: I was tipped pretty often in cryptocurrency, mainly because the clients had crypto and wanted to actually use it.

Working at a crypto-friendly establishment felt futuristic, for lack of a better word. It really feels like you’re in a new world and it just feels right. When it came to using it, everything was straightforward and comfortable.

Cryptocurrency Takes the Best Parts of Cash and Debit Cards and Removes the Other Junk

BC: Do you still use the Bitcoin.com Wallet?

BS: As of this moment, no. Reason being is that most of my coins are in deep cold storage.

BC: Are there any other people you know that work in the adult film industry that also accept cryptocurrencies?

BS: Yep! There is a growing number of talent, both male and female, like Shelby Paris, Holly Hawkes, and Kyle Mason. I also have directors approaching me for help regarding crypto on set and on my social media. It’s growing quietly, but noticeable. I believe camgirls and individual content produces will be the ones that utilize it the most though, especially in the early stages. I can only see it becoming a standard in the adult industry once a large number of people have become familiar enough with it.  

BC: Do you envision cryptocurrencies taking over the adult industry online in the future as far as payments are concerned for subscriptions, cam shows, pics, movies, and other services?

BS: I definitely think so. For one, cam sites already use a token system so it’ll be quite easy for camgirls to pick up on it. Escorts can perform a transaction safely and discretely, especially when using a privacy-oriented coin like Monero or Bitcoin Private. Production companies can skip using checks and performers can get paid same day. Production companies won’t need to pose under different company names to get around bank etiquette. Performers don’t need to explain where their legally obtained funds came from. Individual content producers can easily set up a reliable payment method for their customers without running through a processor that will shut them down and take their money.

Adult Film Star Brenna Sparks Discusses Transforming the Sex Industry With Bitcoin

These are just common issues and aren’t even all that creative. This whole industry can be flipped around by cryptocurrency, for the betterment of it. Bottom line is, people love cash, but it’s becoming more and more inconvenient to carry it. If a company like Brazzers had to pay everyone on set using cash, it’d be a nightmare for whoever is responsible for distributing the money. Our evolving lifestyle is pushing us to move our cash into a bank account and turn it into digital money which we can then use with a debit card, but then that has its plethora of problems and limitations attached to it too, many of which severely impact the adult industry.

Cryptocurrency takes the best parts of cash and debit cards and removes the other junk. I think life has shown that humans are very flexible with what they consider is money and what isn’t. Cryptocurrency is just the natural step forward when it comes to using money in a modern society and I am convinced that that majority of us will adapt to it.

BC: Since you got into bitcoin do you have a lot of cryptocurrency followers now on social media?

BS: There has been a growing number of crypto followers on my twitter and it’s all been pretty gradual. One day I figured I’d start mentioning crypto in passing, which led to more and more engagement from the crypto community. Now I’m starting to think that the future of my social media will consist mostly of crypto fans, which I’m okay with!

Check out our podcast series ‘Humans of Bitcoin’ featuring Brenna Sparks below.

What do you think about cryptocurrencies transforming the adult industry? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Brenna Sparks and the Rub PR


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BCH Miners Discuss Funding Development With a Fraction of Block Rewards

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On May 19 a group of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) miners met after the Coingeek Conference in Hong Kong to discuss a new proposal which would fund BCH development and professional programmers who work on the protocol. The funding would stem from a portion of the miners block reward, and attendees discussed donating between 1-5 percent of rewards to fund developers.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Warren Warned by Billboards, Coinbase Tempted by Banking

A Positive Meeting Takes Place in Hong Kong Between BCH Industry Executives, Mining Pools, and Developers

After an innovative event at Calvin Ayre’s Coingeek Conference in Hong Kong members of the Bitcoin Cash industry including high profile executives, and lead developers met to discuss a new proposal. Attendees of the meeting included executives from the pool BTC.top, Coingeek, Viabtc, Jihan Wu and Jiazhi Jiang from Bitmain’s Antpool, Roger Ver and other representatives from the Bitcoin.com pool, Amaury Séchet of Bitcoin ABC, Electron Cash founder Jonald Fyookball, and Jerry Chan from SBI Bits.

The meeting discussed how attendees envisioned where BCH development would go and how to continue funding the project in the future. Moreover, other blockchain projects that fund development through mining rewards were also discussed between the meeting participants. Alongside this, the attendees talked about how the funds would be distributed and how miners could use their signatures to vote on certain development projects. Members deliberated different concepts like an OP_Code ‘Timelock’ method — a smart contract technique that restricts the spending of coins until a certain block height or time.

BCH Miners Discuss Funding Development With a Fraction of Block Rewards

Bitcoin Cash Miners Discuss Voting on Proposals

“Virtually all of the mining pool representatives agreed to support a proposal that would allow miners to vote to fund community proposed initiatives, voting on them in the same way that vote signaling works now,” a representative from Bitcoin.com who attended the meeting explained to our newsdesk.

If a proposal crossed a 75% threshold, it would pass — And would be funded with some predetermined amount from every block found.

As mentioned above, a percentage of 1-5 percent of the block reward was considered, but for now, there have been no agreed terms set at the meeting. An example of how much funding a small percentage of the block rewards would be, shows that roughly 1 percent of a month’s work of block rewards is about $650,000 USD if BCH prices are above $1,200 per coin.

What do you think about miners donating block rewards to help fund BCH development? Let us know your thought on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com, and Pixabay. 

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