Communication Via the Blockchain with

Finding the right person for a job is difficult. Using blockchain technology, Experty looks to connect people to experts in a seamless, cost-effective way.

In the world today, communication is more important than ever. 20th-century technologies like the telephone completely changed how the world talked to each other, and the internet only added to it. Now, you can send a message to anyone, anywhere in the world, essentially for free via email or text. That’s huge for so many reasons, whether you’re trying to research something new, or if you’re a firm trying to use the talents of people globally.

Connecting Right to the Source

Experty allows for people to make phone calls or send messages directly to top consultants around the world with ease. There isn’t a “world directory” of advisors that you can look at depending on the project you’re working on. Usually, you need to find someone via word of mouth or trusting reviews on a website. But with Experty, you can have instant access to anyone on the network.

The expert doesn’t need to share his phone number or any other personal information, only his Experty profile. Calls are also instant, connecting you to a professional right away. Per-minute rates are posted by expert advisors, and using smart contract technology refunds can be awarded if the person’s inquiries were not answered. If everything works out, the experts are paid. Experty is one of the first knowledge monetization platforms in the world.

Built properly, this system has a host of use cases. This could revolutionize webinars, as people could literally pay for the knowledge they get and nothing more. One expert could speak to a whole group of people, spreading free information like we’ve never seen. Video calls can even be made over the network, again for a small fee. Scheduling, group calls, and screen sharing are all things you can use the Experty network for, all free of censorship and fraudulent actors.

Experty Use Cases

ICOs Using Experty to Quell Investor Worries

One really cool use case thought of by the development team is an “ICO Hotline.” Today, dozens and dozens of ICOs are being released with almost no regulatory oversite. The average person just doesn’t know which projects are legitimate and which are phony. A team launching a token sale could set up an account on Experty, giving investors a direct line to the development team who can, in turn, address their concerns.

The platform will run using the Experty token, which will be used to pay experts for their time. This token can then be converted into whatever crypto the advisor likes. This token will be initially distributed via an ICO which is set to launch soon. A hard cap of 100 million EXY has been put in place, which will account for 9,000 Ether. 33% of the tokens will be available for the general public during the ICO, with the sooner you invest the higher your token bonus will be. You can look at their site,, to learn more about the ICO and the project in general.

For more information about Experty, please visit and download the project’s whitepaper. To keep up with the latest news and updates, follow the Experty team on Twitter, read their blog on Medium, and connect with them via Telegram.

What are your thoughts on Experty? Can you think of other use cases for the platform? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Experty, AdobeStock

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China’s Regulatory Authority Warns About Risks of Initial Miner Offerings

China's Regulatory Authority Warns About Risks of Initial Miner Offerings

National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA) this Friday announced that IMOs (Initial Miner Offerings), represented by the token Wankebi and issued by Xunlei (NASDAQ: XNET), are ICOs in disguise and have emerged as a potentially risky model that warrants vigilance.

Also Read: Exchange Problems Mount at Kraken and Coinbase but Bitfinex Reopens Registrations

Risk Alert on Disguised ICO Activities

NIFA today released an announcement on its website warning about the risks of disguised ICO activities. The warning is in compliance with the Notice on ICO issued by seven ministries last September. It points out that ICO activities are suspected of “Three Illegals” —— illegal fundraising, illegal issuance of securities, and illegal sale of notes and bonds. It reads:

All institutions and individuals should immediately stop engaging in ICO activities. With the gradual phasing out of ICO projects nationwide, Initial Miner Offerings (IMO), represented by the token Lianke (formerly known as Wankebi) issued by Xunlei, has emerged as a potentially risky model that warrants vigilance.

Xunlei’s shares dropped over 27% in reaction to the announcement.

China's Regulatory Authority Warns About Risks of Initial Miner Offerings

The regulator believes that a series of “virtual digital assets” launched since last October are ICO tokens in disguise. These tokens include Lianke, LLT (Literally traffic coin), and BFC Points. Lianke issued by Xunlei is cited by NIFA as the primary example:

“Lianke issued by Xunlei, the issuing company in effect substitutes Lianke for the duty to pay back project contributors with legal tender, making it essentially a financing activity and a form of disguised ICO. In addition, with frequent promotional activities and publishing of trading tutorials, Xunlei has lured many citizens without sound discernment into IMO activities.”

Once Found, Can Be Reported

NIFA calls on consumers and investors to recognize the nature of relevant models and make rational investments, instead of “blindly following speculation and hype”. It clarifies that crypto exchanges and related projects are not necessarily “a foreign company” by simply deploying a foreign server:

Any illegal financial activities in the form of IMO, ICO activities targeting domestic residents through deployment of foreign servers, and exchange services for “virtual currencies”, once found, can be reported to relevant regulatory agencies or NIFA,”  warned NIFA. “Any such activities suspected of violating criminal laws can be reported to the police.

NIFA went on, asking its members to enhance self-regulation, resist illegal financial activities, and to refrain from participating in any activities involving ICO or speculation in “virtual currencies”.

The post featured a number of negative comments.

China's Regulatory Authority Warns About Risks of Initial Miner Offerings

“I’m fully aware of the risks, mind your own business,” wrote one user. “Hmmmm, bitcoin surged more than 1000 percent since China’s ban in September.”

What do you think of NIFA’s announcement? Are IMOs actually ICOs in disguise? Leave your comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Cailian Press.

Keep track of the bitcoin exchange rate in real-time.

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Big Money! Casascius 1 BTC Coin Sells for $28,700

A certified Casascius 1 BTC coin just sold for $28,700 on eBay, an amount much higher than the current $14,300 that a single bitcoin is going for.

It may be that cryptocurrency is moving into the realm of collectability as well as a means of financial transaction. A Casascius 1 BTC coin that was originally released back in 2011 as part of the coin’s second series just sold on eBay. The winning bid was an eye-opening $28,700.

Bidding War

Overall, the Casascius coin had 166 bids placed upon it. The seller bravely started off the auction at 1 cent. This was pretty gutsy as the coin contains 1 Bitcoin in value, which currently stands at $14,399.

The auction got off with a bang as the first bid raised the price to $10,100, and the action just heated up from there. For a couple of days, bidders nibbled away at a $20,000 bid that someone had put into place. On the last day of the auction, the price went from $17,200 all the way up to $28,700.

The coin has an ANACS rating of MS 65, which equates to an absolute mint state. The Bitcoin value of the coin is unredeemed, and the private key is contained on a piece of paper that has been sealed to the coin with a tamper-evident hologram sticker.

What is a Casascius Coin?

These coins are rather unique. Their creator is Mike Caldwell, who decided to transform virtual currency into physical coins. Caldwell minted coins that included the key to access a specific amount of Bitcoin, normally 1 BTC. However, he did make denominations up to 1000 BTC.

The coins were pretty popular, but Caldwell was shut down by the federal government. Back in 2013, Caldwell received a notice from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), a part of the US Treasury Department. They felt that his business equated to transmitting money. If he wanted to continue, he would have had to do a tremendous amount of registering and complying with both state and federal regulations.

Overall, Caldwell minted 27,673 coins, boasting a total amount of 59,383.9 BTC. At the current value of Bitcoin, the total amount of coins he made is worth a staggering $854,920,910.

Just like other collectables (looking at you, action figures!), a mint Casascius coin that has never been spent tend to be worth more than the value of a single BTC. If you have the urge to expand your coin collection, there are additional Casascius coins to be found on eBay in both loaded and unloaded varieties.

Would you have bid upon this particular auction? If so, how high would you have gone? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Bitcoinist archives.

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The Satoshi Revolution – Chapter 4: Crypto. A New Paradigm of Privacy and ID (Part 2)

Crypto. A New Paradigm of Privacy and ID

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations.
Section 2 : The Moral Imperative of Privacy
Chapter 4: When Privacy is Criminalized, Only Criminals will be Private
by Wendy McElroy

Crypto. A New Paradigm of Privacy and ID (Chapter 4, Part 2)

[A]ll those who used their knowledge in a bid to enact social change saw cryptography as a tool to enhance individual privacy and to shift power from big, central institutions to the human beings who live in their orbit.

–Paul Vigna, Business Reporter at Wall Street Journal

Cryptocurrencies bypass central banks by privatizing the issuance of money and  its transfer across borders. The globe should erupt in applause at the return of financial control to the individuals who produce wealth. Finally, financial justice.   

But a global party over currency freedom would be inadequate because it would overlook another revolutionary aspect of crypto. Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain are a new paradigm of privacy that will replace the old one as surely as the new currency broke the death grip of central banks. Revolutionary forms of “identity” verification, like blind signatures, have redefined the concept of privacy and returned it to the free market where sharing information advances individuals…but only when and if the individual consents. (See earlier discussion of blind signatures.)  They forge a vision that is uniquely suited to the preservation of freedom in the digital age.

The focus on crypto as a remedy for government surveillance is understandable. Privacy has been nationalized by governments that twist the definition of “identification” to serve their own elitist goals. Government documentation is now the only way most people can prove their identities in order to access the basic necessities of modern life. In most Western nations, undocumented people cannot board a plane or train, or drive a car. They cannot open a bank account, acquire a credit card, access medical care, cash a check, take a regular job, attend school, get married, rent a video (let alone an apartment), or buy a house. They are second-class citizens to whom the government denies the opportunity to advance through labor, education, entrepreneurship, or other merit. Government has made identification into a prerequisite of modern life.

Meanwhile, those who are “identified” become vulnerable. Their bank accounts are frozen, health care denied, credit cards canceled, wages garnished, records subpoenaed, and get arrested. In a fully nationalized ID  and reporting system, the government knows who everyone is, what everyone thinks and possesses, and where to find them. The nationalization of privacy is a lynchpin of totalitarianism. No wonder the government’s appetite is so voracious. No wonder  those who resist the onslaught on privacy are presumed to be criminals on that basis alone. As Phil Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy, stated, “If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy.”

Society was not always this way. It does not need to be so in the future. Just as cryptocurrencies allow individuals to bypass central banks, they provide a path to shape entirely non-governmental identification systems.

The need is urgent. It is not merely that nationalized privacy is a powerful tool of government oppression, there is also a crying free-market need for privacy and identification systems.

Free-Market ID

Most people flatly accept the government’s narrow, antiquated and self-serving view of what constitutes privacy; it is the ability to protect of personal data – an ability and “protection” of which the government lays an absolute claim of jurisdiction. Free-market ID is the antithesis of government or social control, as its very definition indicates. It goes far beyond the verification of an individual’s identity or address. Indeed, it may not even include a traditionally-valid name or address.

To appreciate the new paradigm of privacy offered by cryptocurrencies, a tour of the past benefits of free-market ID is valuable.

When commerce was conducted on the barter level, people personally knew or had reliable information about the individuals with whom they directly traded. Then commerce expanded to include complex exchanges with total strangers; direct barter was replaced by indirect exchange, which often required some trust. A bedrock of trust has always been the ability to answer the question, “Who am I dealing with?” Past a primitive organization of society, therefore, there has always been a need for identification.

To appreciate the scope and the advantages free-market ID, consider a widespread method of identification from centuries ago that is making a comeback: letters of introduction and recommendation. The dynamic: Person A carried letters of identification to Person C, to whom he or she is a stranger. The letters had been written by Person B, whom Person C knew and respected. In short, Person B vouched for the identity of the letter bearer.  

This is the first and most basic service rendered by free-market ID: authentication. There are a myriad of reasons that would make people want to verify their identities. They could be picking up packages, confirming a reservation, joining a club, voting, or applying for a job.

The free-market function of authenticating identities can be easily provided by  businesses that run background checks and issue their own ID cards. Market incentives would make those businesses meticulously careful about the accuracy of documents. If nothing else, someone who was defrauded by accepting a fraudulent or careless one could sue. Even if the business prevailed in court, its reputation would be damaged or ruined. And free-market ID companies would live or die on the basis of reputation.

Governments have monopolized the authentication function of ID and distorted it to serve the purposes of authority alone. That is, the people being IDed do not request the “service”; it is required of them and, then, it is used as a weapon against them. Private ID still exists in bastardized form. Employers issue private ID to employees, financial institutions give customers cards that access their accounts. But such privatization is illusory. Before an employer or a financial institution can issue any ID, the “beneficiary” must be screened by government requirements, such as the provision of a tax number. The recipients of “private” ID  are monitored through reporting requirements.

 Second, free-market IDs offered certification. Letters of introduction were often letters of recommendation, as well. They attested to the character, the station, and the specific abilities or talents of the bearer. Other forms of ID performed the same function: university degrees, endorsements from employers, membership in professional organizations, and financial statements from banks. The certifications allowed strangers to assess whether a bearer was qualified to occupy a job or to perform a particular task. Reputation offered a similar ID.

Today, government licensing and regulation have replaced the formerly free-market process of verifying credentials. Everything from neurosurgery to braiding dreadlocks requires a government license that substitutes for reputation and other forms of verifying worth. Those who believe no contradiction exists between government sanction and free-market reputation should consider: however impeccable a caregiver’s reputation may be, he or she cannot practice medicine without government permission. The two are incompatible. Indeed, those with licenses are the most vocal critics of free-market practitioners with whom they would be forced to compete.  

Third, in some cases, free-market IDs authorized specific actions. Letters of recommendation often assigned limited rights to the bearer. For example, an attorney’s firm might assign a limited power to a representative so that he or she could settle a case on the behalf of a client. Today, the tasks that can be authorized on the “free market” are strictly defined by government. The latter controls the process of implementing tasks, and it demands that results be filed with appropriate agencies. Indeed, government controls the most common form of assigning limited rights through ID. Law enforcement acquires the “right” to aggress against peaceful people by virtue of wearing badges.

Objections to Free-Market IDs.

Common objections to the free-market IDs arise. They are antiquated and unsuited to the modern world; they are not anonymous; as a means of  establishing widespread trust or reputation, they can be slow; and, they are not uniform. If examined, however, these objections turn into advantages.

Antiquated. Examples from the 19th and early 20th century may seem antiquated. Or, rather, some do and some do not. Letters of recommendation, in one form of another, have been updated and are still in widespread use; a job application that includes contact information for former employers is an example. The relevant point: the free market responds amazingly well to a surrounding society’s need for identification. It did so centuries ago, for centuries before that, and it will do so today; this is evidenced by blockchains that automatically verify digital transactions by accepting them. Bitcoin exemplifies the free-market’s adaptation on stilts.

No Anonymity. The primary purpose of early IDs was to verify identity, not to render anonymity. The sharing of information occurred at the request of the bearer and, to my knowledge, the data was not disclosed to other parties, such as government agencies. The current drive for anonymity derives from a desire not to share information because it will be disclosed to unwanted others, especially to government.

The defining feature of free-market privacy is the same as that of free-market currency: control is in the hands of the individual. Each person decides their own comfort levels on questions such as “privacy versus convenience.”  Even  decentralized exchanges now offer a sliding scale of choice to users, from open identification to anonymity.  

Slow to Establish Trust or Reputation. This may have been true in the past, when mail and people took weeks or months to travel. Everything moved slowly. But it is now a fast-moving world. Nevertheless, establishing a reputation on the basis of personal dealings and real-world achievements can be more gradual than waving a government piece of paper or badge in the air. Which is more real? Once established, which is the more resilient? The fact that establishing a reputation or a business may take time is hardly a criticism.

No uniformity. Another word for this condition is “diversity,” and it is an extreme advantage of free-market ID. Government ID is homogenized because the goal is to force everyone into the same mold, to enforce conformity to the same laws and reporting requirements. Uniformity furthers the goals of government and social control. When ID furthers the needs of individuals, then the form it takes is dictated by those needs. A driver may require a certification of competence in order to obtain a desired insurance policy. But he or she should not need to provide a tax number. Diversity indicates nothing so much as flexibility in the light of what is appropriate.


Cryptocurrencies offer a revolutionary approach to privacy, which gives control of personal data back to individuals. This aspect of the Satoshi Revolution is often overlooked: a paradigm shift is occurring.

The old paradigm is for authorities to coerce and to centralize vast quantities of data on and, then, to make a great flap over the security of that data. “Privacy” becomes a matter of how diligently the centralized authority guards the information that it warehouses and employs. Privacy is nationalized and becomes a matter of national security.

The new paradigm of privacy: individuals control their own personal data and use it for their own benefit. Consider what happens in the transfer of bitcoin. The participants decide if wish to identify publicly or to remain pseudonymous; they choose to go through an anonymizer, or not, and to use a different address for each transaction, or not. The blockchain doesn’t care. It authenticates the transaction, rather than the individuals, in much the same manner that vendors used to authenticate a gold coin without caring who handed it to them. In short, peer-to-peer crypto verifies transactions, not individuals. It is the privatization of privacy.

Cryptocurrencies are on the cusp of changing the landscape of personal transactions. When smart contracts become common practice, then verification of contracts and the authorization of their terms will be increasingly a matter of algorithms, not of bureaucratic permission. Technology will lead the way to freedom.


[To be continued next week.]

Thanks to editor/novelist Peri Dwyer Worrell for proofreading assistance.
Reprints of this article should credit and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters

Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

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How to Dollar-Cost Average Buy and Hodl Cryptocurrency Like A Boss

How to Dollar-Cost Average Buy and Hodl Cryptocurrency Like A Boss

If you’ve been into cryptocurrencies long enough, you’d know that the price of bitcoin changes very often. There are plenty of bitcoiners who buy the dips and sell the tops, but those plays can have potential risks that people just holding their assets don’t have to face. Now, these types of investors are purchasing small amounts of bitcoin and using a strategy called dollar cost averaging.

Also read: Paul Krugman Is Excited to See Bitcoin Have Issues

Day Trading Bitcoin and Intra-Range Strategies Can Be Risky

Many people know that if you have bitcoins, you can sell them when you think the market has reached resistance or a high that will be followed by a significant dip. It’s at these times you can make some good money flipping bitcoins. For instance, if you purchase BTC at a low entry point and the price gains by 20 percent and you sell the BTC at that high then there’s potential to gain more bitcoins, if it drops back down to any number below the top sale. You can do it just a few times a month, or you can make a career out of trading cryptocurrencies. However, this type of trading technique comes with many risks that can leave traders high and dry. One risk that’s tethered to this kind of exchange is leaving funds on a trading platform that could cease operations in a blink of an eye. Lastly, bitcoin prices don’t follow most people’s predictions, and you may miss the highs and lows and lose significant amounts of funds forecasting the wrong market events.

Dollar-Cost Averaging Cryptocurrency Purchases: The Hodler’s Choice
Watching for dips and tops can be time-consuming and stressful.

Dollar-Cost Averaging: The Hodler’s Choice

Investors that are hedging bitcoin like hoarders or ‘hodlers’ for much longer term gains use a strategy called ‘Dollar-Cost Averaging’ (DCA). This technique is used by those who believe in the long-term progress of bitcoin and other digital assets. Using the DCA method means purchasing a fixed dollar amount of bitcoins no matter what the price happens to be. Further, the DCA technique requires purchasing the fixed dollar price using a scheduled calendar as well.

Dollar-Cost Averaging Cryptocurrency Purchases: The Hodler’s Choice
An example of ‘Dollar-Cost-Averaging.’

The ‘Hodler’s approach’ is far less stressful than those who day trade or play intra-range strategies. Those who purchase bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies using the DCA technique don’t have to watch the charts all the time or set price alarms so they can catch rises and dips. DCA investors are investing in the digital asset for the long haul, and everyday price volatility is meaningless to the hodler to a degree. Another aspect of buying a fixed dollar amount using a schedule means the investor doesn’t have to transfer funds to an exchange or keep funds there for faster trades. DCA investors can hoard their savings using cold storage and only send when they are ready to sell.

Recurring Purchases

There are a few companies like Coinbase and, that offer recurring purchases. This means the platform will let you set a desired amount of bitcoin you want to purchase on a set schedule. The service will then deduct funds from your bank account or card listed, and you can acquire bitcoins using the DCA method in a more automated fashion.

Dollar-Cost Averaging Cryptocurrency Purchases: The Hodler’s Choice
Many bitcoiners and cryptocurrency enthusiasts take pride in holding their bitcoins tight.

Holding Cryptocurrencies for a Long Time Seems to Be Paying Off

Dollar-cost averaging isn’t for everyone, and some people believe buying dips and selling at tops is a far more profitable means of investing. However, most people would agree that DCA is a safer method of investing because it’s less stressful and you don’t have to keep money on an exchange or pay lots of fees to send money to trading platforms.

Dollar-Cost Averaging Cryptocurrency Purchases: The Hodler’s Choice

Basically by using the DCA method users can get an average cost of their overall investment over time. With the way things have been going with cryptocurrencies over the long term just holding digital assets has been a profitable means of investing.                   

What do you think about Dollar-Cost Averaging? Do you use this method of investment or do you day trade? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Wealthy Academy Global. 

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

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Japan’s ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ Idol Group Performs First Crypto Educational Concert

Japan’s ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ Idol Group Performs First Crypto Educational Concert

Japan’s new female idol group “Virtual Currency Girls” performed their first live concert on Friday in Tokyo. Their songs incorporate reminders, advice, and warnings related to cryptocurrency trading. The girls receive their salaries in bitcoin and the show’s tickets and merchandise are also sold for the cryptocurrency.

Also read: South Korea Urges 23 Countries, EU, and IMF to Collaborate on Curbing Crypto Trading

Virtual Currency Girls’ First Concert

Japanese 8-member idol group Virtual Currency Girls performed their first concert in Tokyo on Friday. The group was formed last week, as previously reported.

Japan’s ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ Idol Group Performs First Crypto Educational ConcertThe show, which lasted about half an hour, began with each member briefly introducing themselves as a cryptocurrency. They are bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), monacoin (MONA), neo (NEO), nem (XEM), and ripple (XRP). The group’s leader is reportedly Naruse Rara who represents bitcoin cash.

After a round of introductions, the group launched into their opening song called “The Moon, Cryptocurrencies and Me”. It incorporates warning messages of the risks of cryptocurrency trading as well as other basic security reminders such as “Be careful about your password! Don’t use the same one!,” Reuters described. Another line says “It’s hell if you buy at a high price!” and “Don’t underestimate the market,” according to the Financial Times.

Japan’s ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ Idol Group Performs First Crypto Educational Concert

The girls wear maid costumes which “aim to raise the group’s popularity with the use of a globally recognizable ‘uniform’,” Naruse explained.

Spreading Crypto Knowledge

The group explained that they are not about promoting investments, but rather to educate people about cryptocurrencies in an entertaining way. “We want to promote the idea through entertainment that virtual currencies are not just a tool for speculation but are a wonderful technology that will shape the future,” the Mirror quoted the girls.

Referring to cryptocurrencies, Naruse said at the concert, “Our brains are fried as we are studying every day,” Arab News reported and quoted her saying:

They’re so convenient you kind of have to wonder why we didn’t have them [cryptocurrencies] before…We want everyone to learn more about them.

Getting Fans into Crypto

Japan’s ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ Idol Group Performs First Crypto Educational Concert“All merchandise sold at the venue is paid for in bitcoin, as are concert tickets and the members’ salaries,” Reuters noted.

The group also held a “meet-and-greet” event, which is common for idol groups. “Fans could take a picture, shake hands and even chat with one of the performers for 0.001 bitcoin (about $15),” according to Sputnik. After the show, “several fans admitted that they [the group] had given them ‘a good introduction’ to the world of cryptocurrencies,” the news outlet added. In addition, Reuters quoted Kensaku Nagao, a 46-year-old fan of the group, saying:

I know absolutely nothing about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but I want to make sure I have some on hand for further concerts and to buy merchandise.

Another fan, 43-year-old Hiroshi Kasahara, who runs an ad agency, said: “I have been trading stocks and forex but not bitcoin or other virtual currencies as I was a bit scared of them…But [now] I feel like opening an account” if the group accepts payment only in bitcoin, he was quoted by Arab News.

“I may well give it a try as it can be a catalyst to make life more convenient and fun,” said Makoto Sato, a 42-year-old office worker who said the idol group had given him “a good introduction” to the world of cryptocurrencies.

What do you think of Virtual Currency Girls? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Cinderella Academy, Virtual Currency Girls, AFP, Youtube, Naruse Rara, and Twitter.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

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1200% Bitcoin Outperforms Dollar and All Fiat for Third Year in a Row

Bitcoin was the best-performing currency in the world for a seventh time in 2017, beating major cryptocurrencies and all fiat yet again.*

2017 Was Bitcoin’s 3rd Best Year

Bitcoin’s 1200% annual growth last year took it easily to the top of the league against the global fiat basket, while only a handful of less mainstream altcoins posted bigger returns for investors.

2017’s Bitcoin harvest for hodlers was the best since 2013, which was the cryptocurrency’s best ever year that spawned near 5500% returns.

2011 contributed 1387% gains, while 2010 offered up 480%. By contrast, 2016 delivered “only” 130%.

*While altcoins, such as Ripple, broke records with annual dividends topping 16,000% last year, these are not included in the table due to their still somewhat limited status as assets. Bitcoin is more widely-accepted and has dedicated financial instruments catering to a broad range of private and institutional investors.

In terms of investor activity, however, 2017 led Bitcoin to new heights not anticipated for at least several more years.

As BitGo engineer and online commentator Jameson Lopp notes reporting data from Blockchain, $375bln in BTC changed hands over the course of the year. This is the equivalent to around $12,000 each second.

2018 Full Of Promise For BTC Investors

Trading volumes are only set to grow in the new year, as is evident by Bitcoinist reporting this week how the incoming Wall Street bonus payments on January 15th are slated to produce a “buying spree” across cryptocurrency markets.

Experts have further tipped the likely go-ahead for Bitcoin ETFs by US regulators for 2018, as the climate changes from that which led to several rejections by the US Securities and Exchange Commission last spring.

A spokesperson from CBOE, which launched Bitcoin futures trading in December, revealed before Christmas:

Given the success of the launch of our bitcoin futures, several partners are very interested in moving forward with the development of an exchange-traded product.

Data also shows that Bitcoin-driven ETFs were also the best performers in their class for 2017.

Overall, the virtual currency that dominated headlines throughout the year is just keeping its winning streak going.  It’ll be interesting to see if it continues to grow substantially throughout 2018.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s performance this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Reddit, Twitter/@lopp, and Pixabay.

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The Podcast Network Presents: This Week In Bitcoin

The Podcast Network Presents: This Week In Bitcoin

This week the cryptocurrency portal launched a new podcast called “This Week In Bitcoin” with host Matt Aaron, who discusses the previous week’s hottest news in fifteen minutes. The weekly roundup is just one of the many exciting developments lined up for 2018 happening within the podcast network.

Also Read: Paul Krugman Is Excited to See Bitcoin Have Issues

The Podcast Network Presents: This Week In Bitcoin

This week podcast network host, Matt Aaron, started the first of many This Week In Bitcoin shows. The week’s theme for the show, which aired on January 12, was regulation, as much of the topics over the past seven days in Bitcoinland revolved around regulatory actions from various governments — most notably in South Korea. Aaron also discusses the recent regulatory crackdowns on initial coin offerings (ICO) which the crypto-community has witnessed a lot more recently. Aaron also reveals his prediction for 2018 price drops by saying that he believes a majority of the dips in value will be due to regulations and government interference.

As the podcast network host explains, regulatory actions were abundant this week especially in South Korea. Korean officials have been investigating exchanges and even throwing around the word ‘ban,’ creating a lot of uncertainty within the crypto-community. Aaron discusses the investigations taking place at exchanges like Coinone, and Bithumb.

In addition to the regulation talk, Aaron discusses recent news about The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) not accepting bitcoin. Of course, the news spread like wildfire, as many people disliked the idea that a bitcoin themed event couldn’t accept BTC transactions because of delays and high fees.

All in all, it was an interesting week in the world of cryptocurrencies, and our new podcast “This Week In Bitcoin” with Matt Aaron got right down to the nitty-gritty. Check out the new show here, and make sure you tune in and listen every Friday for a bite-sized podcast of the week’s hottest stories and moments.

What did you think of the week in bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock and

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Hodl the Chicken as KFC Introduces the Bitcoin Bucket

Crypto comes to the fast food world as KFC Canada introduces the Bitcoin Bucket, a meal for $20 worth of the digital currency.

There are some brands that have become incredibly iconic over the years. One such brand is Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC for short. KFC has spread from a regional chain to franchises spanning the globe. Their “finger lickin’ good” food has been devoured by millions of loyal customers. Now their famous fried chicken is getting a crypto boost as KFC Canada has rolled out the Bitcoin Bucket.

walrus KFC Bitcoin Bucket

Crypto Gets You Tasty Fried Chicken

In a really awesome marketing ploy, the Canadian branch of the fast food company is jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon in a clever way. The Bitcoin Bucket rolls off the tongue and is very catchy.

People can pick up the new bucket by spending the equivalent of $20 in the virtual currency. The meal comes with 10 original recipe chicken tenders, waffle fries, a medium side, gravy, and 2 dipping sauces.

This is a pretty tasty meal, even though I would be bummed as it doesn’t come with biscuits. I am jealous that it does feature waffle fries, a menu item that has long been vacant where I live.

Amazing Tweets

While the Bitcoin Bucket in itself is interesting, it’s the tweets put out by KFC Canada that are really the icing on the cake. The various tweets are really funny and show that whoever is behind the campaign knows how to keep people engaged.

Here is a sampling of some of the tweets:

Sure, we don’t know exactly what Bitcoins are, or how they work, but that shouldn’t come between you and some finger lickin’ good chicken.

That’s 0.000662 herbs and spices in Bitcoin.

Avoid bucket FOMO. Invest now!

#BitcoinBucket is currently sold out. There will be a restock tonight. We’re mining for more as fast as we can.

The latest, and likely first, venture into the crypto-chicken space.

According to the website, the Bitcoin Bucket is currently sold out. However, a recent tweet says that more buckets are on the way, which means that the promotion was very successful.

This marks the first time that a parent restaurant company is accepting cryptocurrency. There have been specific franchises in the past that have done so, such as Burger King Arnhem. A recent trend is food companies creating their own coins to expand loyalty programs and take advantage of the blockchain system. Companies that have done this include Burger King Russia and Hooters.

What do you think about the KFC Bitcoin Bucket promotion? Are you now hungry? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of KFC Canada and Twitter/@kfc_canada.

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Canadian Entrepreneur Seeks to Recycle Heat Generated by Cryptocurrency Mining

Canadian Entrepreneur Seeks to Recycle Heat Generated by Cryptocurrency Mining

A Canadian entrepreneur has sought to recycle the heat generated through bitcoin mining by growing plants and fish suited to the temperatures produced by cryptocurrency mining rigs by utilizing an aquaponic system.

Also Read: Bitcoin Pushes Canada Toward State Crypto Coin

Canadian Entrepreneur Recycles Heat From Cryptocurrency Mining to Grow Food

Canadian Entrepreneur Seeks to Recycle Heat Generated by Cryptocurrency MiningBruce Hardy, a Manitoba-based entrepreneur, has sought to repurpose the heat produced by his bitcoin mining rig to produce edible plants and fish that are suited to the temperatures generated by cryptocurrency mining equipment. Mr. Hardy owns and operates 30 mining rigs, which are housed in a 20,000-square-foot building situated in the Rural Municipality of St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba. The heat produced by the miners is then circulated throughout the building, and used to grow edible plants and fish.

Approximately 800 Arctic Char are raised in a large fish tank located on the first floor of the building. The water that the fish are raised becomes highly rich in nitrates – and thus comprises an excellent plant fertilizer. With the press of a button, Mr. Hardy is able to remotely pump the nitrate-rich water to feed the lettuce, basil, and sprouted barley fodder which is grown aquaponically on the floor above the fish. “It’s all connected, much like Earth,” Mr. Hardy told local news. Mr. Hardy is also the president of Myera Group – a company that seeks to develop innovative and sustainable systems for food production.

Mr. Hardy states that he has mined bitcoin for approximately two years. After initially investing in large-scale air conditioning to cool his mining rig, Mr. Hardy states that he realized the heat produced by mining could be diverted to be used for agricultural production. “When bitcoin came, they were an excellent proxy for what a server could do in terms of emulating heat, and whether we could use that heat for agricultural purposes,” said Mr. Hardy.

The Reeve of the Rural Municipality of St. Francois Xavier, Dwayne Clark, has spoken in support of Mr. Hardy’s project, stating “From what we’ve seen so far, it looks like a popular move for the community. It’s already cleaned up what used to be an eyesore for a number of years.” Mr. Hardy also attested to the benefits reaped by the local community through his operations stating that “The revenue from those bitcoins has helped me to keep staff on, it’s helped me create these displays so we can show people what we’re doing in agriculture innovation.”

Manitoba Increasingly Attracts Cryptocurrency Miners

Canadian Entrepreneur Seeks to Recycle Heat Generated by Cryptocurrency MiningMr. Hardy states that the project is still in its infancy, with only a quarter of the building’s second floor presently housing mining equipment and plants. Mr. Hardy claims to have received interest in his operation from Chinese investors and Australian researchers, and hopes to soon be able to expand his project to fill the unused space in his building.

Canadian provinces such as Manitoba are increasingly being seen as an enticing locating for cryptocurrency companies to establish operations in, owing to the province’s cheap and plentiful hydropower. “Hydro is one of our best assets in the province,” said Mr. Hardy, “If we can take our energy and use it here in Manitoba, we value-add that energy, and we can do all sorts of great things,”

Aside from offering cheap commercial hydroelectricity, Manitoba experiences among the lowest temperatures of major cities in North America – which has recently garnered the attention of major cryptocurrency mining companies seeking to flee the regulatory uncertainty presently associated with China. According to Manitoba Hydro, the company has received over 100 inquiries from cryptocurrency miners in the past three months about specific sites, including from North American brokers representing Chinese investors.

Despite such, Reuters reports that “Manitoba Hydro is asking the province’s utilities board to approve a rate increase of 7.9 percent across the board, effective April 1, 2018,” – which would render the cost of electricity in Manitoba considerable higher than that offered by the nearby Canadian province of Quebec.

Do you think that more companies will seek to repurpose the heat produced by cryptocurrency mining for food production? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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