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Don’t understand the appeal of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency? Ask a millennial

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The following is adapted from Ethan Lou’s new book “Once a Bitcoin Miner: Scandal and Turroil in the Cryptocurrency Wild West”.

I grew up in Wuppertal in West Germany, the birthplace of aspirin and heroin, which were invented by the same man within two weeks in the 19th century. My childhood began shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and my doctoral student father supported the family with the modest income typical of his position. I remember when he brought me home an old bike all the way from another town. I hated it and never rode it. I think it used to belong to a girl. The plastic trim on the spokes was too pink and, like the hand-me-downs I wore, the bike was too big.

When I turned 18, I found myself in a labor market shaken by the 2008 financial crisis, a milestone marked by hardship and uncertainty. Banks had increasingly benefited from offering risky mortgages to those who were not supposed to get them and then building complicated investment products on them. When these borrowers were unable to repay, it set off an avalanche in the connected financial system and people around the world lost their homes, jobs and retirement benefits.

That same year, a faceless person known only as Satoshi Nakamoto published a nine-page whitepaper created with non-branded software: “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. Whoever was behind the pseudonym, this person or group had been fueled and driven by the financial crisis.

Satoshi Nakamoto processed Bitcoin’s first transaction records – called the Genesis block – on January 3, 2009, and contained a message directly related to this dirty business. The creator cited an article in the Times of London about a possible second government bailout for the banks. Billions should be given to usurers – again – to save them from a storm of their own power.

And that storm had spawned something: Bitcoin had emerged from an opposition to the world’s financial status, a frustration to the same desolation that had surrounded me all my life. Many may not understand the appeal of cryptocurrency or the ardor of its followers, but for me and my generation it may be only natural that we should be drawn to this so-called “millennial gold”, albeit for inexplicable reasons.

I first heard about Bitcoin in my sophomore year, but can’t remember whether it was 2012 or 2013. My friends Dillon and Clinton don’t remember either. It’s been too long and chances are we had too much marijuana that day. Clinton has the worst memory: “Don’t think I was there.”

I was at the University in Toronto, where I studied journalism. The three of us were in Clinton’s city-subsidized apartment, in a building full of drug dealers and hoarders, a place that one newspaper columnist described as “crazy threatening and macabre” because of its frequent mysterious deaths. We were on the dark web that day, the unexplored armpit of the internet, for a reason that is often behind the questionable choices young men make, not dissimilar to the reason people risk their lives climbing high piles of rock or aiming at angry farm animals ride just to see how long they can stay on top.

The dark web is not covered by mainstream search engines and is only accessible through specialized software, most commonly a browser called Tor. The dark web has many legitimate uses, but it is better known for the illegitimate ones.

If you can imagine anything – anything – then you can find it on the darknet. Al-Qaeda and pedophiles and all forms of the grotesque lurk on its pages.

My friends and I stumbled upon the term “Vore” and clicked on a related link only to find out it was cannibalism porn. We didn’t linger long enough to see if it was real or staged. Elsewhere on the Darknet, various marketplaces offered stolen credit card data and passwords, drugs and weapons. You could also hire someone to tell the police the right words to have a tactical team raid a house of your choice, a process known as “swatting”. My friends and I even found alleged murders on offer – just amazing.

Whatever the service or product offered, the sellers required payment in Bitcoin.

Not long after its release, the world’s first cryptocurrency had seen its first major use case. Like the BitTorrent file sharing protocol, Bitcoin works over a network of its users without a central administrator. All dark web transactions were theoretically out of the reach of a government. I couldn’t help but feel like this had greater value, even if I couldn’t pinpoint it, and I would return to the subject soon.

After that year at university, I spent the summer interning a newspaper in Saint John, NB interviewing a Bitcoin proponent for an article: Anthony Di Iorio, who later co-founded the Ethereum blockchain network and became a billionaire. On that day in 2013, we both had a long conversation about cryptocurrency.

While the properties of Bitcoin had an impact on everything from monetary policy to geopolitics, my personal takeaway from our conversation was its price movement – with Bitcoin at around $ 100, Anthony predicted, “I think it will eventually run into the thousands . ”

I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I walked home to my furnitureless rental apartment that day, past the rusty trash cans at the discounter that inexplicably carried cheerful sayings like “smile”, “enjoy life” and “never” give up . “They spat out a breath of expired milk, which, damp from the sea air, smelled of cheese.

At the end of 2013, I tried LSD for the first time with my buddy Dillon, with whom I had previously discovered the Dark Web, in his small room in a shared apartment. We all lived in one of these places. Mine was about $ 500 a month and the streetlights shone right through my windows and hookah smoke kept creeping out of the misty cave below. It was the hallmark of student life, even if many lived there long after graduation.

Unknowingly, Dillon and I took three times the standard dose and followed Bilbo Baggins through the vast and lawless plains of Middle-earth in The Hobbit.

In terms of the original books, I’ve always loved The Hobbit more than the related Lord of the Rings. I read the former as an adult, but the latter when I was no older than 13, when I understood little and remembered even less, partly because I wanted people to leaf through a big book and assume that it was me smart and beyond my years for reading such a great book.

“Seeing the hobbit with Dillon, what attracted me most was the grumpy dwarf Thorin, bitter and lonely after years of wandering who never frowns until the end. “The young dwarven prince took work where he could find it,” says Bilbo in the opening speech. Thorin is looking for enchanted gold and a home – “you don’t have one,” Bilbo later says to him. That day it reverberated inside me with an intensity that made my heart spin. When the year ended and Anthony’s prediction turned out to be correct, I took the plunge and bought Bitcoin.

With that I have crossed a threshold and the line between journalist and adventurer would become blurred. I would go on a journey in the next few years – through wealth, absurdity, wonder and suffering.

I had the rare pleasure of meeting Gerald Cotten, the founder of the collapsed QuadrigaCX exchange, who has now been pronounced dead. I wandered among an eclectic bunch and made my way into a new world, tough and unpredictable, some of whom ended up embroiled in a case before the Alberta Securities Commission.

I even ended up in North Korea and spent a week in close company with Virgil Griffith of the Ethereum Foundation, who later denied trying to help the totalitarian state break through blockchain sanctions because he was in prison for 20 years USA threatened.

In retrospect, if I was looking for a simple explanation for all of this, I could say that it was triggered by my conversation with Anthony Di Iorio. But really, it was sown for years in my identity and existence during that time.

In 1975, young adults in the United States were half as likely to own homes as their peers. More than half of Millennials had delayed important life events such as marriage or having children due to debt. Full-time employment for Canadian men between the ages of 17 and 24 had declined by nearly 80 percent over the past 40 years. In the UK, these issues resulted in millennials being the first generation to be in poorer health than their parents.

Looking up those numbers, I also read that a millennial male up to the age of 18 would have been irreversibly damaged by all that processed modern junk food. It didn’t have much to do with economics, but it still made me sad to learn that something was wrong with the basic function of myself and my fellow human beings. How I ended up investing in Bitcoin – maybe it was only natural.

Adapted from “Once a Bitcoin Miner: Scandal and Turbulence in the Cryptocurrency Wild West”. Copyright Ethan Lou, 2021. Published by ECW Press.

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Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency providers at high risk of financial crime – FMA

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The Financial Market Authority has found that cryptocurrency service providers are at high risk of being targeted by money launderers and terrorist financiers.

Photo: 123RF

The industry received the rating in the FMA’s most recent sector risk assessment (SRA), in which various types of financial service providers were described with regard to illegal financial behavior.

The risk profile for the majority of the nine sectors supervised by the FMA has not changed since 2017.

However, Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) that enable cryptocurrency, token or crypto-asset transactions were added and received the highest risk rating.

“Since our last assessment, the risks of virtual assets, especially cryptocurrencies, have come to the fore,” said FMA supervisory director James Greig.

“Virtual assets allow for a higher level of anonymity and have a global reach, making cross-border payments easy.”

A sector risk rating was determined on the basis of its complexity, liquidity of the transactions and the anonymity granted to clients.

This included the size of the company, the type of products offered, their value, how products can be bought and sold, customer types and country risks.

Virtual Asset Service Providers, or VASPs, that enable cryptocurrency transactions were added to the list and received the highest risk rating.

Virtual Asset Service Providers, or VASPs, that enable cryptocurrency transactions were added to the list and received the highest risk rating.
Photo: Delivered

The FMA expects all reporting offices to familiarize themselves with the risks and weak points in connection with VASPs and virtual assets and, if necessary, to include them in the risk assessment.

The main regulatory agency of cryptocurrency service providers is the Department of Internal Affairs, with the FMA overseeing a very small number of VASPs.

The 2021 sector risk assessment also confirmed the high risks associated with derivative issuers.

This follows on from the recent measures taken by the FMA against a handful of companies that failed to meet their obligations to combat money laundering.

“Derivatives issuers are inherently high risk because their products are highly liquid, accounts are easy to open, and they can have many overseas clients in higher risk countries,” Greig said.

Greig also said the rapid growth of retail investment platforms meant they could be targeted by money launderers as their compliance with their anti-money laundering commitments may not have kept pace.

This became clear at the beginning of the year when the FMA informed the retail trading platform Sharesies of failing to verify the identity of almost 8,000 customers and of insufficient customer due diligence.

“These platforms are highly liquid, so large volumes of trade can take place without suspicion, and customers can quickly create online accounts without personal verification, which favors anonymity,” said Greig.

“While these platforms often have sophisticated systems for monitoring accounts, they need to collect sufficient information about the nature and purpose of the investment.”

The FMA expected all entities subject to the FMA reporting obligation to review the new SRA and update their own risk assessments accordingly and to take into account all new risks and findings, said Greig.

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Cryptocurrency ‘mainstream’ in Australia | Bega District News

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News, latest news

Cryptocurrency has become mainstream in Australia, and according to a survey by a leading exchange, more and more women are punted. More than a quarter (28.8 percent) say they own or have owned cryptocurrencies, according to the Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) 2021 published on Tuesday. The proportion of women who deal with cryptocurrencies has doubled this year from 10.3 percent to 20 percent. Despite the amazing volatility, most of those surveyed (89 percent) made or even broke money this year. Adrian Przelozny, CEO of the Independent Reserve, said the sector urgently needs regulation to provide more security for both investors and cryptocurrency companies. “Our IRCI results this year support this as 28.6 percent of Australians who currently do not own cryptocurrency tell us that if there was better consumer protection, they would invest,” he said. Now in its third year, the annual survey of over 2,000 people tracks awareness, acceptance, trust and trust in the cryptocurrency. 26.6 percent said they would buy crypto if regulation of the industry improved. “While Australian regulators and government agencies may have taken a while to delve into cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, the Australians themselves have moved faster and we really see crypto as an asset class from the edge of the mainstream over the past year,” said Przelozny. According to the survey, Bitcoin remains the most famous and popular cryptocurrency ahead of Ethereum. The age group of 24 to 34 year olds trusted crypto the most. 27.6 percent said they shopped to get rich while people over 65 years of age said they did shopping to get rich Stay skeptical. The latest data from the Australian Tax Service shows that more than 800,000 people are making transactions in cryptocurrency. The Independent Reserve cryptocurrency exchange was developed and established in Australia in 2013 and is now licensed in Singapore. Australian Associated Press

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December 7, 2021 – 10:16 a.m.

Cryptocurrency has become mainstream in Australia, and according to a survey by a leading exchange, more and more women are punted.

More than a quarter (28.8 percent) say they own or have owned cryptocurrencies, according to the Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) 2021 published on Tuesday.

The proportion of women who deal with cryptocurrencies has doubled this year from 10.3 percent to 20 percent.

Despite the amazing volatility, most of those surveyed (89 percent) made or even broke money this year.

Adrian Przelozny, CEO of the Independent Reserve, said the sector urgently needs regulation to provide more security for both investors and cryptocurrency companies.

“Our IRCI results this year support this as 28.6 percent of Australians who currently do not own cryptocurrency tell us that if there was better consumer protection, they would invest,” he said.

Now in its third year, the annual survey of over 2,000 people tracks awareness, acceptance, trust and trust in the cryptocurrency.

26.6 percent said they would buy crypto if regulation of the industry improved.

“While Australian regulators and government agencies may have taken a while to delve into cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, the Australians themselves have moved faster and we really see crypto as an asset class from the edge of the mainstream over the past year,” said Przelozny.

According to the survey, Bitcoin remains the best known and most popular cryptocurrency ahead of Ethereum.

The age group of 24 to 34 year olds trusted crypto the most. 27.6 percent said they shopped to get rich, while people over 65 remain skeptical.

The latest data from the Australian Tax Service shows that more than 800,000 people are making transactions in cryptocurrency.

The Independent Reserve cryptocurrency exchange was developed and established in Australia in 2013 and is now licensed in Singapore.

Australian Associated Press

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bitcoin volatility, $196M Bitmart hack, new OpenSea CFO

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The entire cryptocurrency market suffered a slump over the weekend.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, plunged to a low of nearly $ 43,000 on Saturday night. The price has since bounced back and is currently trading at around $ 49,149, according to Coin Metrics.

Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, also fell to around $ 3,500 on Saturday. Ether is currently trading at around $ 4,179.

Aside from the volatility this weekend, here are seven things that have happened in crypto over the past week.

1. Metaverse Land Sales Exceed $ 100 Million In One Week

Virtual real estate has become more and more a coveted commodity.

Sales of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens representing Metaverse land, exceeded $ 100 million in the last week alone, cryptanalysis firm DappRadar reported on Tuesday.

The Sandbox, an Ethereum-based metaverse and game that allows users to purchase land and in-game assets as NFTs, had a trading volume of more than $ 86 million. Decentraland, a virtual reality platform operated by Ethereum, had traded more than $ 15 million for land NFTs.

“With record sales and constantly rising NFT prices, virtual worlds are the new top product in the crypto space,” wrote DappRadar in a blog post.

2. Jack Dorsey’s Square changes company name to block

On Wednesday, Jack Dorsey’s payment company Square announced that it was renaming itself to Block effective December 10th.

Block “has many related meanings for the company – building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities gathering at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a chunk of code and obstacles to overcome,” Block said in a statement.

Square Crypto, a separate part of the company dedicated to advancing Bitcoin, will change its name to Spiral.

“We built the Square brand for our seller business where it belongs,” said Dorsey, co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same. No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to develop tools to improve access to the economy. “

The name change came after Dorsey announced his resignation as CEO of Twitter. Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal will take on the role, the company announced on Monday.

3. Facebook withdraws from the crypto advertising ban

4. BadgerDAO DeFi project hacked, approximately $ 120 million loss

On Wednesday evening, BadgerDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization focused on bridging Bitcoin with decentralized financial applications, was reportedly hacked and lost about $ 120 million, according to blockchain security and data analytics firm Peckshield.

An investigation to find out what happened is still ongoing.

Meanwhile, BadgerDAO has frozen all smart contracts, which are digital agreements written in code and stored on the blockchain. Again, according to the BadgerDAO website, users will not be able to request deposits, rewards, or withdraw funds.

This is happening amid many new DeFi-related hacks, which is why financial experts caution against doing thorough research before investing in projects. They recommend investing only what you can afford to lose.

5. Hackers take $ 196 million from Bitmart crypto exchange

The Bitmart cryptocurrency exchange had been hacked, the company confirmed in a statement on Saturday evening.

Bitmart called it “a large-scale security breach” and estimated that hackers withdrew about $ 150 million, but Peckshield estimates the loss was closer to $ 200 million.

In the statement, Bitmart said all withdrawals have been temporarily suspended and a security clearance is ongoing.

As of Sunday, CNBC reached out to several Bitmart employees asking for more clarity about the hack and whether the targets would be reimbursed. CNBC hasn’t heard anything yet.

6. Charlie Munger Says He Wishes Cryptocurrencies “Never Made Up”

Billionaire investor Charlie Munger is still not a fan of cryptocurrency.

“I wish they had never been invented,” said Munger, according to The Australian Financial Review, at the Son conference in Sydney on Friday. “I admire the Chinese, I think they made the right decision to just ban them.”

This isn’t a new attitude for the 97-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. In May, during a question-and-answer session at Berkshire’s annual shareholders meeting, Munger said his aversion to Bitcoin had increased amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

7. OpenSea appoints former Lyft CFO. a

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