Overstock’s former CEO Patrick Byrne, who departed from the company at the end of August, raised more eyebrows with his message on selling his remaining shares in the company.
Libertarian, Bitcoin-Loving Byrne Hounded by Deep State
Byrne explained that the reason he shed all his OSTK shares was to hamper the Deep State from harming him, by harming Overstock. Calling the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) an organ of the Deep State, Byrne left the company for good.
With the post-tax proceeds of the share sale, Byrne announced investments in silver, gold, and “two flavors of crypto”, without disclosing which coins he chose.
The crypto is stored in the place where all crypto is stored: in mathematical mist, behind long keys held only in the memory of someone who is quite good at storing such things in memory (with paper backups in the hands of a priest I met 35 years ago who never sits foot in the West),
Byrne also predicts financial turmoil in the world economy, at which point he believes the stash of gold, silver, and crypto coins would be valuable enough to buy back into Overstock.
I have to wait six months for it to be legal, but anytime after March 17, 2020 I can provide a capital injection if needed by buying back into Overstock. Please remember that as you watch the global chaos,” wrote Byrne, adding that he saw the US economy “cratering
Overstock Security Tokens Lagging
Overstock was one of the retail platforms that speeded up cryptocurrency adoption, starting as far back as 2014. In the past months, Overstock launched one of the first crypto trading platforms dedicated to security tokens. The tZero market opened with Overstock’s own security token, which was also released to retail investors this August.
However, the antics of Byrne may have put off investors from buying into the token. Additionally, security tokens have proven to be immensely unpopular with both traditional investors and cryptocurrency traders.
Just before the announcement, NASDAQ:OSTK had risen to a yearly peak of $26.72 as of September 12. After the sale, OSTK slid to $16.19, following exactly one week of selling Byrne’s stock. The sale was for a total estimate of about $20 million.
What do you think about Overstock? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has sparked the wrath of BitMEX, one of its biggest competitors after claiming to have invented an essential bitcoin trading tool.
Hayes to CZ: Attend My Bitcoin Derivatives Trading 101
In a Twitter debate which continues to play out, Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ in cryptocurrency circles went head to head with BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes.
Zhao appeared to say Binance had invented a price mechanism which protected traders from a recent technical flaw.
As Bitcoinist reported, Binance’s new Bitcoin futures order book suddenly dipped $300 this week. Normally, all users with exposure in that range would be liquidated, but Binance ensured no one lost funds.
“NO ONE was liquidated, as we use the index price (not futures prices) for liquidations (our innovation),” CZ wrote on Monday.
He added the issue was due to a mistake on the part of another market maker, who was the only party out of pocket.
While user funds stayed intact, however, a separate argument broke out with BitMEX. Hayes said that his company had first used the index price for Bitcoin liquidations.
“Next time I’m down in Singapore… please attend my running a crypto derivatives platform 101. I teach advanced cntl+C cntl+V methods. Price of entry … 51% of your equity,” he taunted Zhao on Twitter.
When we launched, we pioneered the way liquidations were treated so as to create a fairer marking system based on an index price. It’s great to see traders on other exchanges being protected and benefitting from our innovation.
The Binance CEO then appeared to U-turn, telling Hayes he had never meant that the tool was not his.
“I read the tweet again, it was misleading in the way it was written. I didn’t mean the index price liquidation is our invention. but anyway… no edit button,” he responded.
Testing Times For Trading Giants
It remains unclear what Zhao originally meant by the tweet, which earned him considerable negative publicity. Twitter users began comparing him to Justin Sun, the CEO of Blockchain platform Tron, who himself became notorious for his PR stunts.
At the time of the order book incident, Zhao also sparked controversy by labeling the market maker a malicious attacker in public. It later transpired he had no proof of wrongdoing.
“Had a chat with the client. It was an accident, due to a bad parameter on their side. Not intentional. All good now,” he subsequently wrote.
Both BitMEX and Binance are facing challenges in the second half of 2019’s Bitcoin boom year.
Hayes continues to grapple with an investigation by US regulators, who suspect BitMEX did not do enough to uphold a ban on US residents using its services.
Zhao is overseeing the debut of Binance’s US market. The exchange froze out US investors last week and plans to use the new platform as a segregated compliant trading environment.
What do you think about Binance and BitMEX’s argument? Let us know in the comments below!
The prices of digital coins that offer Masternode staking have suffered in 2019, crashing additionally despite the incentive to hold onto the assets. The market prices have also sunk against Bitcoin (BTC).
Masternodes Promise High Returns
The promises for passive earnings from various Masternode forms have failed to materialize, shows recent research by Messari. Categorizing coins based on their Masternode functionality, it is easily visible that holding onto the coins has led to deeper losses, often not offset by the node rewards.
Masternode networks have weathered a rough 12 months priced in BTC.
The Dash (DASH) network suffered a loss of 70.66%, a significant blow against those that bought a Masternode of 1,000 DASH.
Blocknet (BLOCK) suffered one of the deepest losses of more than 80%. The Blocknet node requires 5,000 BLOCK coins, a relatively tame sum with the current price of $1.03. But during peak trading in early 2018, BLOCK commanded prices near $50.
Holding Coins in a Masternode is Extreme Risk Exposure
There are perhaps hundreds of coins with various forms of staking, and master nodes are similar to keeping coins locked up. As it is easily seen, the number of locked coins failed to support the market price.
But master nodes have worked in the past, to create hype around a certain project. VeChain was one of the projects building a variety of entry-level and high net worth nodes. Leading up to the network snapshot, market prices increased significantly, only to slide later. On top of that, VeChain rewards were paid in VeThor (VTHO) tokens, which also depreciated.
Masternode projects are sometimes seen as outright scams, as small-scale startups or coins pivot to build nodes, in an effort to boost buying. For some coins and tokens, the annualized returns of a master node are outlandish. In the case of the Soverain (SOVE) project, the returns go as high as 1,078.58%.
SOVE is an asset that just started trading in September 2019, and its price is highly volatile, peaking above $3, before crashing toward $2.70. Given the extremely thin volumes and limited listings, SOVE is also threatened by losses. With a masternode requiring 3,000 SOVE, the investment remains a great risk.
Curiously, EOS is one of the better bets as a staking coin, though it does not require the purchase of a staking node. But holding 1,000 EOS in 2019 would yield around $74 in staking rewards. The market price will have grown from around $2.67 in January, to a current level of $4.07, adding to the gains if the coins are sold.
What do you think about master nodes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Binance is all set to launch its fifth phase of lending products on 20th September 2019 at 6:00 AM (UTC), where 14-day fixed-term lending products will be made available. The exchange has included privacy coins Monero(XMR), ZCash(ZEC) and Dash to list of its lending products. The service is available to users on a first-come-first-serve basis. […]
Binance Adds 3 Privacy Coins to Its Lending Program
Since the Bitcoin Cash upgrade in May 2018, software developers have unleashed a slew of microblogging protocols that utilize OP_return transactions. One application called Member is a BCH-based browser that makes use of these types of transactions and the extra space added to the data carrier size. While still in its infancy, the Member platform has matured into a censorship-resistant Reddit but with geolocated posts, reputational ratings, and native BCH tipping.
Years ago, Reddit was an interesting online place that allowed many groups to connect, share news and content, and discuss in a forum-like atmosphere. These days, Reddit is synonymous with mass censorship and deplatforming as the corporate entity has banned a variety of subreddits this year. The crypto community caught wind of Reddit censorship last year when the company removed the subreddit /r/darknetmarkets. Reddit users can’t even trust the company’s founder and CEO Steve Huffman who was forced to apologize when he got caught altering pro-Trump related thread comments.
Bitcoin supporters have seen severe forms of censorship on the subreddit /r/bitcoin as the owner and moderator Theymos and his minions deleted thousands of comments from visitors and suppressed the conversation during the block size debate. Last May, a former moderator who worked alongside Theymos told Bitcoin.com’s podcast host Matt Aaron how he was removed from the group of administrators after he failed to toe the line. Censorship like this has driven the BCH community to foster censorship-resistant microblogging communities like Memo. In tandem with Memo, another application called Member could push the Reddit-like forum concept to new heights using the BCH chain.
Member has been around for some time now but the application has matured a great deal since news.Bitcoin.com reported on it last year. The application’s creator, a developer called Freetrade, describes the platform on Github, calling it a BCH blockchain browser. “It reads and allows users to create actions in the Memo/Member protocol — The client is an HTML5/JS BCH blockchain browser app with no outside js dependencies and it can be run from a website, or from a local file system,” Freetrade’s Github repo details. “Currently it connects to the Member server to get content, and uses Bitbox to get utxos and broadcast transactions.”
Getting Acquainted With the Member App
In order to use Member, you need to have an account with the social network and microblogging app memo.cash where all posts are permanently recorded to the Bitcoin Cash chain. You can sign up for Memo here and it’s a good idea to fund your Memo wallet with a small fraction of BCH so you can post on memo.cash and the Member platform as well. To access Member, go to the website and press the “Login” tab at the top right side of the screen. You can also sign up directly from the Member Login page by pressing the “Create New Account” tab.
Member will tell you to connect your wallet address to get started so you can post. After pressing “Ok,” Member will direct you to a page that shows your new BCH address so you can send a small fraction of funds. If you already have an account or started by signing up for memo.cash using the link mentioned above then Member asks you to paste your Memo private key (compressed WIF format, starts with ‘L’ or ‘K’) into the Login window. After these steps are complete, you are free to explore the Member app but also to create posts, upvote, tip people BCH, and initiate a geolocated post.
To create a new post on Member, simply press the “New post” tab on the upper left side of the user interface. The platform will open a window that allows you to customize a new post with a title and text. You can also post a memorandum or post directly to the memo.cash feed. After creating a post, other Member users can reply to the thread just like a traditional Reddit post and they can “like” the post as well. Moreover, you can be tipped bitcoin cash as Member offers a native BCH wallet that allows for tipping users. If you observe Member’s main feed, it’s set up similarly to the front page of Reddit and there’s a large variety of threads and discussions hosted on the feed. Additionally, you can check the most recent posts on the Member feed by pressing the “Posts (new)” tab on the upper left side of the screen.
Geolocated Posts, 2,000 Characters, and a Reputation System
You can also tether your location coordinates to a custom message using the Member app. At the top left side of the screen simply press the “Map” tab and the website will take you to a map of the world. Like a traditional geolocation map, your browser will ask you if you want to give the Member map your location coordinates so you can get a visual look at your area. The choice is optional but if you do, you can tie a special message to your location that’s written on the BCH chain. Essentially you or anyone can tether a message to any location in the world for less than a U.S. penny at any time. Just click the map with your mouse pointer to select the message location, write it and post it to the Member map. After a few minutes of exploring the Member app’s features, the platform is relatively easy to understand and use.
Member’s creator Freetrade has been hard at work adding more services to the application like reputational ratings and increased character limits for messages. The software engineer recently made it so Member users can reply with much longer character limits. “Member now allows 2,000 character replies by chaining transactions together — Member also treats topics more like subreddits,” Freetrade toldBCH supporters on September 15. This announcement got the /r/btc community on Reddit pumped due to their intolerance of censorship. “Wow, now we’re talking,” a BCH proponent opined after Freetrade revealed the 2,000 character extension. “Reddit is slowly dying because of censorship and abuse from admins — If we could create a decentralized alternative on BCH that would be huge,” he added. In addition to the character extension, Freetrade has introduced a web of trust infrastructure to the Member platform. The new idea allows you to rate other Memo profiles using the Member app by giving them a public trust rating. Freetrade has shown that as the reputation system matures, robust trust graphs could be created.
There’s been a lot of development within the BCH ecosystem and Member’s improvements have bolstered a microblogging and censorship-resistant Reddit-like experience. As with most peer-to-peer and decentralized blockchain applications, Member needs to gather more users over time. Memo and Member have seen a lot of lively users since they were created and both have grown a great deal. While projects like Blockpress have fallen to the wayside and are now defunct, the Memo and Member apps have remained strong after the long crypto winter and the blockchain split in November 2018. One difference between the two clients is the Memo protocol browses both BCH and BSV blockchains but the Member app only browses the BCH chain. Freetrade continues to work on making the Member client more robust and has put together a list of certain elements of the project he could use help with.
What do you think about the Member client? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Member, and Pixabay.
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Comparing cryptocurrency trading to gambling is like comparing crypto tribalism to religion: the analogy is correct, but it’s also tired. What bears emphasizing, then, isn’t that crypto trading and crypto gambling are often indistinguishable, but the extent to which the two disciplines permeate the cryptosphere. From the most popular dapps to the leading hacks, everything of interest within the space can be interpreted as a form of gambling. It’s the reason why crypto is so fascinating and so addictive.
The gamification of everything is the endgame of life itself. Soon it will be impossible to go for a jog without receiving a high score or being showered in shitcoins for your efforts. Competition is what drives us as humans. The desire to be better than one’s fellow man or woman is the reason we’re here today on the internet, and not still living in mud huts. Combining money, mathematical puzzles, economics and copious amounts of game theory, crypto is a heady concoction of all the things that spur a man to get out of bed in the morning and conquer the world.
And the use of “man,” on this occasion is deliberate. There are many reasons why crypto has been historically male-dominated, some of which are too contentious or tangential to delve into here. This much, however, needs said: men are greater risk takers in life. It’s why their fortunes are more likely to fall in the extremes than in the mean: atop the mountain or in the gutter, but rarely in between. It’s also why crypto’s greatest success story so far has been letting men do what they were gonna do anyway: gamble, both literally and loosely, while striving to stack more sats than their peers.
Gambling on a Future for Dapps
What is altcoin trading if not a game to end up with more BTC than you started out with? Whether you get there through charting ichimoku clouds or rolling high-low in a crypto casino seems immaterial. To understand the extent to which gambling dominates the cryptosphere, there’s only one place to start – the dapp store. Hit up your favorite dapp tracker (Dappradar or State of the Dapps are probably best) and take a look at the most popular decentralized applications on each chain.
State of the Dapps notes six of the dapps in its top 10 as being gambling. Dappradar, which records more crypto networks, including Tron, also has six gambling applications in its top 10. Leading the pack is Wink, the betting platform that uses the same principles as Bitcoin.com’s Cashgames: instant wins, micropayments, and provably fair gambling. Wink can be accessed as a conventional casino or on a game by game (i.e dapp by dapp) basis. In most respects, Wink is indistinguishable from any other crypto casino, with the primary difference being the way in which it’s accessed.
Online casinos can be banned and geo-restricted, as often occurs at national level. Dapps, while not the censorship-resistant paradise their proponents would have them, are a lot harder to block. It’s no surprise that many of the most popular gambling dapps have struck gold in Asia, where download links are shared in Wechat groups and where wagering on life is a way of life for many.
Trading or Wagering?
Not all gambling dapps can be neatly filed into the gambling category. How to interpret Bulls vs Bears for example? Like many of the leading dapps on Tron and EOS, it’s dubbed as gaming, rather than gambling, and as a skill-based endeavor, that’s technically correct. Players don’t compete against the house, and since the game calls for predicting crypto market trends, there’s skill involved. With talk of a “dynamic wagering environment” and large jackpots, though, it’s clear who the dapp’s target demographic is. Like many new dapps trying to bootstrap, Bulls vs Bears relies on giveaways (in this case TRX tokens for signing up) as a means of getting bodies through the door, or rather users on the protocol.
In condensing the act of trading into basic binary options – high/low, bull/bear, the dapp bestows the same duality that bifurcates so many other domains in life, from U.S. politics to dead rappers. Are you a bull or bear? Republican or Democrat? Biggie or Tupac fan? Somewhere out there is a dapp for that, where you can wager on binary options for all the things you love and hate.
Further blurring the lines between what constitutes gambling and what’s trading is Guesser. Built on Augur, it’s technically a prediction market that uses crowdsourced wisdom to determine probable outcomes. In reality though, it’s a betting dapp, and a very neat one at that. Guesser appears to have given up all pretences of operating a prediction market, inviting users to “Bet up to” a certain amount on each market.
There’s More Than One Way to Beat a Dapp
While crypto users have been filling Telegram and Wechat groups with gambling dapp strategies, a handful of more enterprising individuals have been working on their own means of beating the system. In crypto, as in everything else, there’s always a way to fast track your way to riches, provided you don’t mind breaking a few rules along the way.
Eosplay is the sixth most popular gambling dapp on EOS. For a short while, over the weekend, it was also the most profitable for whoever rented a bunch of resources and used them to clean out 30,000 EOS from the contract. Call it genius, cheating or a bit of both, it was an effective case study in unorthodox ways to beat the house.
Just to summarise, someone rented a load of resources from REX and is using it to exploit a gambling dapp called EOSPlay. They seem to have walked away with about 30k EOS so far. Don’t panic, just wait and resource usage should go back to normal.
People can moan about the rough edges around defi protocols, the unreadability of bitcoin addresses, and the complexity of wallet recovery, but not everything in crypto is quite so wonky. Gambling has been a mainstay since the beginning of Bitcoin, and developers have gotten extremely efficient at it. If crypto builders can approach other ecosystem verticals with the same gusto with which players and devs have approached gambling dapps, mainstream adoption is just a UX breakthrough away. Where there’s a will to innovate, there’s a way, and when there’s money wagering on it, no problem is too big to solve.
From casinos to bitcoin, formerly fringe interests have now been normalized, thanks to those willing to put a punt on them when no one else would. Where gamblers lead, the mainstream tends to follow.
Do you think gambling is one of the best use cases for crypto to date? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Did you know you could win big with bitcoin gambling? Choose from a range of BCH games including BCH poker, BCH slots, and many more. All games are provably fair—good luck!