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Bitcoin’s Stolen Revolution

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Evan Shapiro is CEO and co-founder of O(1) Labs, the team behind Coda Protocol, a lightweight chain that affords all participants fully P2P, permissionless access from any device.

Who controls Bitcoin?

A hint: It’s not you. And it’s a far cry from the decentralized utopia many claim it to be. Systems of power are rapidly asserting control over Bitcoin. And their incentives are not your incentives. As an industry, we’re at a critical juncture, and we have to choose. We either demand that the properties of user ownership and censorship resistance pioneered by Bitcoin persist. Or, we accept the facade of false-decentralization that has been erected by a centralized regime. Our revolution is being stolen, but it’s not too late to take it back.

First, let’s take a look at who controls the Bitcoin blockchain. Sixty-five percent of its hashrate is in one country: China. Globally, about 10 different organizations control 90% of the hashpower. The big pools are all linked together with dedicated networking connections. If I described to you a council of 10 companies dictating the future of a product, and more than half are in China and beholden to a centralized government, would you call that decentralized? No, but that’s the state of Bitcoin today. 

See also: Justin S. Wales – Why Bitcoin Is Protected by the First Amendment

Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you say, “even a 51% attack would be fine by me, because they are still economically aligned in the best interest of the protocol.” You’d be very wrong, but you wouldn’t be the first person to assume that a centralized power could represent your interests well. There are countless examples in history of misplaced trust in a centralized authority. Some of those authorities were beloved revolutionaries, leaders, countrymen and members of their community. Everyone thought, “They love their country, they won’t do anything to cause it harm.” 

Robert Mugabe, the former dictator of Zimbabwe for 30 years, started his career as a beloved political revolutionary. He was instrumental in gaining independence from colonial rule. At the time, it would have been hard to think of someone who loved his country more. But that was at the beginning, before he amassed centralized authority. He ended his career causing mass starvation and social upheaval because of brutal, misinformed and, ultimately, failed social and monetary policies. 

The problem is never just a single leader, it’s the system in which they are operating. Without checks against centralized power, what remains is to trust it will all be ok. And it never is. So, why would this time be any different? Because Bitcoin is somehow inherently different? Because the person, or people, who created it had revolutionary ideas? Come on.

Crypto was supposed to protect us from this, but instead, it’s given us new names with the same misaligned incentives.

The analog of social and monetary policies for cryptocurrency is the rules of the protocol. When discussion turns to updating (or not updating) these rules, control suddenly becomes very important. Important decisions, such as whether to scale the network as congestion gets increasingly worse, or to update the inflation schedule when block rewards disappear in 2021, will be left to a small council of miners. 

In turn, they can use those opportunities to make decisions in their favor, to consolidate power, to siphon more value off the network, to gain favor of local governments, or any other number of things people in positions of power do to maintain their advantage. Perhaps their intentions are good. Maybe they don’t even want to be in that position? We have no way of knowing. And that’s the problem. 

When you’re one of 10 players who meets regularly to determine the future of gold 2.0 – and you are de facto controlled by the Chinese government – maybe you won’t be the unbiased party you aspire to be. We have no option but to trust that everything will work out OK. So, after over a decade of Herculean efforts, billions of dollars invested and the hopes of an entire generation of developers and technologists, we’re essentially back in the same place we started at before cryptocurrency. 

The other half of the puzzle is that even outside of centralizing consensus, you are rarely, if ever, as sovereign as you think. Institutions oversee every step. When you make a bitcoin transaction on Coinbase or Binance, you don’t make the actual transaction. Coinbase and Binance does. You don’t directly “use” crypto anymore than you own your own data on Facebook. You’re a customer of a new breed of big tech.

See also: Nic Carter – Bitcoin’s Patronage System Is an Unheralded Strength

This isn’t Coinbase, Binance or any other exchanges’ fault. They have provided a level of access to millions of users that would be impossible otherwise. This is how it has to be right now, because crypto is so hard to actually use. Connecting to the network is completely inaccessible to anyone without access to server hardware and deep technical knowledge. Access to this revolutionary technology is locked behind some heavy and high gates.

Until we can remove these barriers, big tech exchanges are the only option. You may not be a customer of Goldman Sachs or Bank of America (yet), but you’re dealing with the same type of players with a different face, setting the rules to maximize profit from you for their shareholders, and collecting every mouse click and transaction. Crypto was supposed to protect us from this, but instead it’s given us new names with the same misaligned incentives.

Crypto wasn’t supposed to be like this. We wanted a permissionless system where users set the rules. We wanted a revolution. We got a new financial toy for a small handful of wealthy companies and individuals. 

Some may say that’s exciting. But I say crypto can be more. If this is the peak of crypto impact, we’re in for a sad reality when we wake up and realize that all we did was transfer financial power from an old guard of centralized institutions, to a new guard playing the same game. This revolution isn’t over, but we urgently need to steal it back.

Disclosure

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoins-stolen-revolution

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Bitcoin Technical Analysis: BTC Retreat Imminent After Hitting Barrier At $10,800

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  • Bitcoins bullish momentum loses steam on encountering the 50-day EMA resistance.
  • Declines linger as long as BTC cannot climb above the 50% Fibonacci level.

Bitcoin explored levels in the key support range between $10,000 and $10,200 earlier this week. The last few days have been used by the bulls to correct the retracement from the resistance at $11,200. Initially a hurdle at $10,600 sent buyers back to the drawing board. However, Bitcoin sprung upwards once again on Thursday. This time the hurdle at $10,600 was easily pushed into the rearview. Unfortunately, bulls seem to be struggling with the resistance at the 50% Fibonacci taken between the last swing high of $12,484 and a swing low of $9,050.

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The Relative Strength Index (RSI) has recovered from levels closer to the oversold but is holding ground at the midline. A sideways movement suggests that bulls are getting exhausted. It is essential that the resistance at $10,788, a confluence formed by the 50-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) and the 50% Fibonacci level is overcome.

Read also: Bitcoin Price Prediction: BTC Upward Momentum Stalls Under $10,600 But Bulls Eye $11,000

BTC/USD daily chart

BTC/USD price chart
BTC/USD price chart by Tradingview

The movement to the north will give the flagship cryptocurrency energy to bring down the resistance at $10,800. Buyers will also get an opportunity to shift their focus to $11,000 and $11,200, respectively.

It is worth mentioning that the failure to rise above the immediate resistance at the confluence could culminate in Bitcoin settling for a retreat in order to create demand at lower levels. On the downside, support is envisaged at the 100-day EMA. If declines overshoot this zone, the support range at the beginning of the week will come in handy. Note that, September’s primary support at $9,800 remains intact and the last resort that could be used to halt declines eyeing $9,500 and $9,000.

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Bitcoin Intraday Levels

Spot rate: $10,706

Percentage change: -0.32%

Relative change: -0.34

Trend: Short term bearish bias

Volatility: Low

Read more: Four Things to Know About Purchasing Bitcoin Safely


To get the daily price analysis, Follow us on TradingView

Author: John Isige




John is a talented writer with over two years of experience actively contributing to the cryptocurrency industry by providing credible, interesting and easy to read the content. His main focus is on cryptocurrency price analysis and industry news coverage. Lets follow him on Twitter at @jjisige

Source: https://coingape.com/bitcoin-technical-analysis-btc-retreat-imminent-after-hitting-barrier-at-10800/

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Coronavirus vaccination in Brazil to be monitored using blockchain

Brazil planning to issue coronavirus vaccines starting January 2021 Blockchain technology will be used to trace the vaccination Brazil eyeing China’s CoronaVac Brazil is dispensing coronavirus vaccination nationwide, and the plan is to leverage blockchain to monitor the progress. A new YouTube webinar shared by Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security engaged in talks […]

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  • Brazil planning to issue coronavirus vaccines starting January 2021
  • Blockchain technology will be used to trace the vaccination
  • Brazil eyeing China’s CoronaVac

Brazil is dispensing coronavirus vaccination nationwide, and the plan is to leverage blockchain to monitor the progress. A new YouTube webinar shared by Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security engaged in talks regarding the value of blockchain technology in various areas.

During the discussions, talks on the influence blockchain technology have had in tracking the novel coronavirus pandemic emerged. On September 9, Brazil’s health minister reportedly announced that COVID-19 vaccinations would commence January next year. The South American country is now planning to utilize the National Health Data Network (RNDS), which is based on the blockchain during the exercise. 

Coronavirus vaccination to start in January

The blockchain system, created using Hyperledger’s Fabric blockchain structure, will keep an eye on anybody who has been vaccinated. According to Raposo Oliveira, the coordinator of system developments in Brazil’s Ministry of Health, the coronavirus vaccine is within the blockchain system. It will assist in tracking whoever takes a vaccine.

After each coronavirus vaccination, the blockchain system will get information regarding who got the vaccine. Afterward, the system will record the data on the blockchain. According to Oliviera, the blockchain system’s goal is to boost information exchange within the Health Care Network, enabling progressive care in both the public and private health sectors.

Furthermore, the RNDS system allegedly enables more significant cases and vaccination tracing, efficient data management, and clarity. Moreover, apart from monitoring coronavirus vaccinations, the system also contains other patients’medical history patients, including the diagnosis and medications.

The fight against coronavirus

Brazil is adapting to a coronavirus vaccine created as a partnership between the British Pharmaceutical firm, AstraZeneca, and Oxford University. The vaccine is called the Oxford Vaccine. Furthermore, Brazil is watching a vaccine from China dubbed CoronaVac. Notably, the vaccination was developed as a vaccination partnership between two nations. 

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Mandatory KYC verification may contradict privacy laws in South Korea

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With the South Korean government preparing to implement know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance processes, there is confusion among legal experts as to whether the requirements contradict other laws.

According to Digital Today, the new requirements would contravene the existing Personal Information Protection Act, which stipulates that local companies cannot legally request social security numbers.

The measure also cover financial institutions, however they can request it under exceptional circumstances, such as for major banking transactions.

The Enforcement Decree of the Special Payment Act is expected to come into force in March 2021 and will require “virtual asset services providers” to confirm the real names of customers by verifying them against personal data such as social security numbers.

One special note made by the Financial Information Analysis Institute addressed the current situation of the ambiguity in the upcoming AML-KYC bill on crypto exchanges. It argued that because an exchange is hosted purely on the internet it is not just a financial institution but is more like a “mail-order seller like an internet shopping mall.”

“It does not mean that virtual asset operators are given the status of financial business operators or incorporated into institutional financial companies through the enforcement of the revised special money law.”

Local legal experts specializing in the crypto industry stated that due to the ambiguity of the upcoming new AML-KYC compliance measures, “there is still a long way to go, even if such content is included in the Virtual Asset Business Rights Act.”

The crypto bill, to be implemented in March next year as well, calls for existing crypto exchanges to meet requirements for a real-name account and ISMS authentication and report their operations within six months after the law’s implementation.

However, legal experts believe that the issue should be discussed as soon as possible by clarifying the status of the crypto exchanges within the upcoming AML-KYC new measures and if legal exemptions could be applied to the crypto exchanges in terms of asking for social security numbers.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/mandatory-kyc-verification-may-contradict-privacy-laws-in-south-korea

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