Recently, I got into a minor Twitter “spat” with a journalist called Tim Mullaney about an article he’d written for the Independent and syndicated by MSN covering certain aspects of Bitcoin.
Now I should be clear. I don’t do negative, disrespectful or personal assaults on people or their views on Twitter (or, in fact in real life) because I think it’s unprofessional, unnecessary and, in the end, helps no-one.
Life’s tough enough. No-one needs the extra negativity, especially journalists who are always going to be under fire for making their views public. As Twitter spats go, therefore, it definitely falls in the “damp squib” category as you can see.
That said, Mr Tim Mullaney was dead wrong. Not just in my opinion, you understand, but factually wrong. In fact, given the contents of the piece, I contacted 99bitcoins.com, keeper of the famous Bitcoin Obituaries (a site that tracks how many times journalists have declared Bitcoin dead) and asked if this qualified as an entry.
Just 24 hours later I received a reply and Tim’s piece is now forever recorded as one of the 416 declarations of death (at time of writing) it has received in over twelve years of operation. All have thus far been proved incorrect.
But while I think there are many points in the article I consider tenuous at best and could address (but won’t), there is one overriding message that simply does not hold up under scrutiny — this idea of “no use case”.
I’ve always struggled with this one. Not only does it not even hold up with the tiniest casual glance — let alone actual scrutiny — it can be unequivocally disproved in seconds. It is the one anti-Bitcoin argument I have never been able to understand at any level.
But then I remembered, we’ve been here before. Not only that, but I’d personally been right on the cutting edge of “before”.
This is not history rhyming as Mark Twain would have us believe, it’s actually repeating.
And I can prove it.
All major new tech breakthroughs have no “use case”
Back in 1997, as an ambitious young man, I was working in brand marketing at Microsoft.
As brands to go, it was a pretty good one to have at such a young age and I reported to the UK Brand Manager directly on various projects. One of those big budget projects was the national “Get on the Net” campaign, designed to drive the adoption of the internet in the UK.
Of course, this wasn’t for altruistic purposes. It was underwritten by MSN (Microsoft Network) a new division of Microsoft tasked with both providing content for the new MSN “portal” sites and providing ways for the masses to access it. Getting people “on the net” would inevitably lead to subscription charges and software upgrades over time. It was essential to long term business.
Of course, this was long before ADSL or fibre connections. This was the age of desktop PCs with 4MB of RAM, 15″ square monitors, 500 MB hard drives and dial up technology. The only way people could connect to the service was to get a CD, install some proprietary software and physically switch the cable from the phone line to the computer whenever they wanted to use it.
The trick was to get CDs to everyone as fast as possible (and definitely before competitors) so we put them on the front of magazines, gave them out at exhibitions and promoted through internet cafes that were ubiquitous at this point. In fact, I owned three internet cafes myself at the time with permission to do so from my paymasters.
My role was to design and deliver the new CD, co-ordinate the marketing including TV ads, and do whatever it took to bring the internet to the masses.
It was a task I relished. Not only did I find the technology fascinating, it was inherently obvious to me that this thing was going to change the world.
Frankly, I was just excited to be part of it.
The internet? What’s it for exactly?
The only trouble was, it was soon clear that not everyone agreed with me. I remember being genuinely — and consistently — shocked.
At events or even in social situations, people would look at me in total confusion every time I talked about this internet thing and questions that we’d now consider bizarre were very common.
People simply couldn’t understand how it worked. The concept of having a computer connected to, well, anything was entirely foreign at that time. No-one had ever considered them anything except standalone devices, especially at home. If you wanted to move information between them, you used a floppy disc.
People were also concerned about what would happen if they accidently deleted someone’s website (yes, really!), or whether people could access their own PCs if they were using them on the internet. They also couldn’t understand the concept of single clicks or addresses or browsers.
It all just seemed like too much hassle. After all, what was the point? Who was actually going to use this apart from — maybe — research students? What, exactly, was its use case? And why on earth would you ever have internet at home?
Of course, people in the industry knew exactly what that use case was and where it was going, although I think it’s fair to say that even we never envisaged web 3.0 apps like Uber, Airbnb or Bitcoin. The media, of course, were just as clueless as anyone else in the early days and commentary was usually less than helpful, fueling the confusion.
There was skepticism, claims of government conspiracies to keep tabs on the population and plain hatred of the concept. Several times I received “Get on the Net” CDs back in the post, defaced and labelled with colorful — but very clear — anti-internet sentiment. Once I was even verbally assaulted by an angry man at large scale event when I offered him a free CD resulting in several colleagues coming to my rescue.
Of course, these are the exceptions that stick in your mind. The vast majority of people were generally amenable to the concept and were intrigued to know more, but even they still struggled with what they would actually use it for.
This was partly because there really wasn’t very much that could be done on the internet at the time coupled with the fact that it was quite hard to use, but there was also a general lack of vision on behalf of the average person.
This was beautifully summed up in this quote by my old boss, Peter Shackleton, in an article published in May 1997 about the “Get on the Net” campaign which read as follows:
Most people have heard about the Internet but have not used it because they think it holds no relevance to their lives
And it was true. The single biggest question, for example, was always a variation of this one, over and over again:
Why would you buy something online that you can’t see properly, pay extra for delivery, wait for delivery and then hope it was OK, when you can just buy it instantly in a shop where you can actually see it?
It seems incredible now given the power, speed and reach of companies like Amazon, but it must be remembered that even Amazon itself was under pressure to make a profit at the time. Many doubted it ever would.
Even in my own internet cafes, where we trained and introduced new users by the thousands over the years, the divide between people who understood what they were using and those who didn’t was clearly evident.
By way of example, our Guildford branch had the misfortune to be located next to a popular bar. During the early years, the bar’s inebriated patrons would walk past the floor to ceiling windows and observe the library-like concentration on the faces of the users therein as they left to go home.
They simply couldn’t resist shouting comments or banging on the glass to show their disdain, often making customers jump in their seats. As was clear from their comments, they believed that only sad geeks, lonely nerds and “dodgy people” would ever use the internet — a phraseology that seems eerily familiar now when Bitcoin is mentioned.
Funny thing is, somewhere around the early noughties, they all seemed to disappear.
A use case for Bitcoin?
Of course, all major tech breakthroughs have gone through similar acceptance cycles.
It was the same with cars, electricity, phones, computers, the internet and so many other major inventions. Reviled by critics, ill-informed media, existing large organizations (usually ones who have a lot to lose) and even governments, they rely on the network effect to overpower what is eventually revealed to be a short-sighted or self-interested position. In the end, the critics have to adapt. Or die.
Bitcoin is no different.
And while I am accepting of this process — having lived through it twice already with both the internet and mobile phones — I find myself being even more passionate this time round.
Because this time it’s not all about me. This time it’s not just about lining my own pockets or making my own life easier.
Like many other people in their fifties, I’ve been thinking more and more about what my responsibilities are to the next generation. And, since Bitcoin has the potential to improve more lives than almost any invention that has come before it, it feels like I should be doing everything I can to make sure it succeeds. Even better, it has the potential to do so for some of the least fortunate people on the planet.
I love that. It motivates me on a level I can’t even explain.
With that in mind, let’s put aside Bitcoin’s more obvious uses for now.
Let’s ignore storing hard value for long periods of time against an backdrop of ever diminishing fiat value. Or moving money almost instantly across the planet directly to the intended recipient for peanuts with a 100% success rate and a built in tracking system. Oh, and while we’re there, let’s forget that no-one can stop you doing it.
Let’s also pretend you can’t spend it with Paypal, Visa or Mastercard like you can any other currency, let alone the thousands of companies, charities, sports organizations and retailers who take Bitcoin in its pure, native form. (Incidentally, this is certainly more than the “five” indicated in the original article. And yes, they are all legal.)
Let’s imagine the fact that a truly scarce asset that can be accessed on equal terms by anyone on the planet regardless of race age, sex or economic background — something the human race has never had before — is no longer important somehow.
Let’s focus instead on the things that us Westerners take for granted and don’t immediately see.
What about being one of the 1.7 billon people globally who find themselves outside the banking system and have to deal only in the more expensive (and usually corrupt) cash economy who can now be their own bank with any smart device?
What about the billion people — around 13% of the entire global population — who lost some, most or even all of their net wealth due over the last 18 months to the mismanagement of their sovereign currency by their governments who can now have the option to preserve their life savings in an incorruptible non-sovereign asset for future generations?
To me, and many others, these are not “no use case” scenarios. They are the reason I write these articles, record podcasts and spend all my time introducing new people to Bitcoin all over the world, just as I did with the internet over 25 years ago.
Except this time the stakes are bigger and Bitcoin’s use case is more important than anything that has come before it for millions, probably billions, of people. Just ask anyone in El Salvador who relies on remittances from the US for example.
So the next time someone tries to convince you that Bitcoin has no use case, ask them what their alternativesolution for all these problems would be instead.
And if it’s not as comprehensive or as inclusive as Bitcoin’s is, it may be time to walk away.
The Central Bank of Portugal (Banco de Portugal) has recently granted operating licenses to the local crypto exchanges for the very first time. Mind the Coin and Criptoloja are the two exchanges that have been granted allowances and are now classed as virtual assets service providers.
Central Bank of Portugal Classifies Criptoloja and Mind The Coin as VASPs
Following the recent announcement by the Central Bank of Portugal, Criptoloja and Mind the Coin has been classified as the only two virtual assets service providers issued on their official website.
Well, this is not a sudden decision as the decision of the Central Bank of Portugal has been nine months in the making and Criptoloja has recently made their initial registration back in the month of September of the year 2020.
The license provides permission to Criptoloja and Mind the Coin to execute the exchange services between the fiat currencies and virtual assets.
As witnessed throughout history, Portugal has been considered one of the most crypto-favoring countries in Europe.
In addition to this, Jean Galea, the investor, and blogger revealed back in the month of May that the nation is on the path of becoming a haven for all the individuals who are involved in the crypto space due to the exemption of VAT and taxes on the capital gains in the country.
Tehran Government Prohibits IBA Following Several Accusations
The Tehran government has reportedly blocked all the activities of the Iran Blockchain Association, IBA, on Sunday following the various accusations including that the association was executing operations against its own articles of association.
Along with this, the IBA was ordered to submit explained reports about how it is doing financially and its activities to the Social Affairs Organization of Iran.
In response to this, the Head of the IBA, Sepehr Mohammadi said that the newly issued notice was neither received by the association nor its board members. He commented:
“Obviously, vested interests will do anything to stop IBA’s efforts. They managed to publicize the notice before IBA was informed.”
REV price has tested and fallen below the 23.6% FIB retracement level of $0.0111. The price may soon fall below the 23.6% FIB extension level of $0.0109 as well. If the price retests and breaks out of these levels in a few hours, then probably a price uptrend has set in. In that case, we can expect the price to rise tomorrow as well.
Revain is a blockchain-based review and rating platform where users can voice their opinions, rate and review products, and discover new products as well. Users can receive REV tokens as rewards or incentives for high-quality reviews. This ecosystem is powered by AI technology to filter out low-quality reviews, conduct plagiarism checks, and identify the best reviews eligible for winning rewards. Let us look at the technical analysis for REV as below.
On Jun 14, 2021, REV opened at $0.01. On Jun 20, 2021, REV closed at $0.01. Thus, in the past week, there has been no significant change in the REV price. In the last 24 hours, REV has traded between $0.011-$0.0114.
Currently, REV is trading at $0.011. The price hasn’t changed much from the day’s opening price of $0.01. Thus, the market seems neutral with equal pressures exerted by the bulls and the bears.
The MACD and signal lines have converged with the zero line and may turn negative soon. Moreover, a bearish crossover by the MACD line over the signal line has occurred. Thus, the overall market momentum is bearish. Hence, we can expect the price to start falling.
Currently, the RSI indicator is at 47%. It faced rejection at 50% and fell to the current level. Hence, selling pressures are high. Thus, the RSI indicator is giving further credence to the bearish signals shown by the MACD oscillator.
However, the OBV indicator is upward sloping. Thus, buying volumes are much higher than selling volumes. High buying activity will exert upward pressure on the REV price. There is bullish divergence here.
In short, when we look at all three oscillators together, we can say that the overall market momentum is negative. However, we can expect a trend reversal soon as heavy buying volumes are likely to weaken the bearish trend.
REV Technical Analysis
Currently, the price is below the third Fibonacci pivot resistance level of $0.0112. It may soon fall below the Fibonacci pivot point of $0.0108. Thereafter, we have to wait and watch if the price resumes its upward journey or falls further.
The price has tested and fallen below the 23.6% FIB retracement level of $0.0111. The price may soon fall below the 23.6% FIB extension level of $0.0109 as well. If the price retest and breakout of these levels, then probably a price uptrend has set in. In that case, we can expect the price to rise tomorrow as well.
As Bitcoin drops below $34,000 and July draws near, traders believe the flagship cryptocurrency is headed for a bumpy ride, owing in no small part to Grayscale’s substantial BTC unlocking. The largest Bitcoin fund is gearing up to release shares equivalent to 16,000 BTC in the market, fuelling fears of enhanced volatility.
Grayscale BTC Unlocking Could Spike Volatility
The Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust was founded in 2013 to enable institutional investors to gain exposure to BTC through its share offering, without caring for the management and storage of these holdings. This means an investor never directly owns a Bitcoin but shares of the fund, each of which represents the ownership of 0.092 BTC.
In exchange for GBTC, investors pay a 2% commission to the fund and agree to its policies, one of which dictates that their investment would be locked up for a minimum of six months. As a result, GBTC holders have to wait for half a year before they can cash out the return on their investments.
The fund’s increasing popularity has drawn many accredited investors to GBTC in the last two years. Subsequently, some of them had their investments unlocked recently. However, the giant unlocking on June 18 will see the fund release more than 16,000 Bitcoins, estimated to be worth $650 million.
It remains unclear whether investors will dump their assets in response to the upcoming BTC release, but the rise in the asset’s liquidity has the potential to trigger price volatility.
Bitcoin Mining Hash Rate Declines To Its Lowest In 180 Days
China’s crackdown on crypto mining operations within its territory is making a dent in the industry. Large-scale bans have resulted in a steep fall in the Bitcoin network’s tera hashes per second(TH/s). In the last 24 hours, the network performed 127.65M TH/s compared to its all-time high of 180.66M TH/s on May 14.
The Chinese authorities have been steadily tightening their grip around mining companies. Several provinces such Xinjiang, Qinghai, and most recently Sichuan have been directed to discontinue power supply to operations associated with mining. The country has also prohibited financial institutions from offering services related to crypto trading.
Mining operations for AntPool, Foundry USA, SlushPool, and OKKONG, were impacted heavily by the recent moves. Meanwhile, the Huobi mining pool managed to attain an exceptional 10.74% growth in its computing power.
With work on the Central Bank Digital Currency(CBDC) underway, China aims to be at the forefront of blockchain technology by 2025. At the moment, China is offering CBDC to its citizens via digital yuan lotteries. A total of 200,000 red packets are up for grabs, with each packet containing 200 yuan. The country has also updated 3,000 ATMs in Beijing to accept digital yuan, along with two banks that are already providing exchange services.
Coinbase-backed cryptocurrency financial services company Amber Group raise worth $1 billion in funds, aiming at providing investors with many different cryptocurrency products for investment.
The latest funding round continues a flurry of funding activity in the cryptocurrency sector. The financing was led by the well-known investment China Renaissance. In addition to Coinbase, other investors include Tiger Global Management, headquartered in New York. Amber Grouphas raised $100 million before this round of financing as investors rush to back companies in the industry.
This Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency financial services startup company stated that the new funds raised this time will be used for strategic acquisitions, such as cybersecurity. In order to fulfil regulatory safety and compliance, acquisition targets mainly focus on companies with regulatory licenses in certain jurisdictions.
Michael Wu, CEO of Amber Group, said:
“I think regulation is always a challenge for this industry because it’s a very global industry. It’s always about staying ahead or at least staying aware of the different regulations. We always take a very conservative approach to that.”
The CEO also said the fresh capital raised would be used to “hire even more aggressively” and to make strategic acquisitions in areas such as cybersecurity.
According to PitchBook data, in Q2 of this year, the total amount of venture capital investment in cryptocurrency and blockchain startups was approximately $14 billion, compared to $600 million in the same period last year.
With the participation of institutional investors and large companies, both ordinary investors and institutional investors have increased their interest in cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, this year.
Amber Group’s revenue mainly comes from the so-called net interest margin, a measure of lending profitability, to make profits, which takes 70%~80%. The main model is to accept customer deposits and provide deposit interest rates and then lend funds to other entities with a higher interest rate. About 15% of revenue comes from transaction fees.
Amber Group CEO Michael Wu said the company is bringing a “private banking experience to everyday customer.”
The group’s current main service targets are primarily institutional investors and wealthy people, providing products, including services such as algorithmic trading and lending products. In addition, the company is striving to gain individual investor customers. And it is expected to achieve $500 million in revenue by the end of this year.
Wu stated that:
“We don’t advocate heavy speculation or high use of leverage, rather we want our customers to be more long term, focus on risk management and get stable and attractive yield.”