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The 2018 Year of Cryptocurrency Challenge – Week 7

At the beginning of 2018, I wrote an article outlining a New Year’s resolution that I thought could help boost cryptocurrency adoption and awareness in 2018, as long as enough people were doing it. Last week was the sixth installment of my year of cryptocurrency challenge. With the crypto markets recovering slightly and the industry’s fair share of drama, I was able to have some pretty good conversations.

TRY TO SPEAK TO AS MANY PEOPLE ABOUT CRYPTOCURRENCY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN

The cryptocurrency markets began recovering (though they’re still bearish) these past couple of weeks, and panic selling seemed to slow down. However, in most of the interactions I had, I tried to steer the conversation away from price and toward technology and community. Here are some of the highlights.

  1. A friend of mine in the armed forces recently asked me about Bitcoin. A service buddy of his had told him to purchase a little bit of it, and he was impressed by the volatility. However, he wanted to know more about the technology that underpinned the coin itself. I was happy to help explain how mining and blocks worked to him. He picked it up right away, and after I explained what a consensus algo was (proof of work), he started asking all the right questions, like “Are there other consensus algos if it takes so much energy to mine a block on the Bitcoin network?” It was seriously the quickest I’ve ever seen anyone pick up this concept. Maybe he was trolling me and already knew, ah well.
  2. A friend from undergrad heard that I was involved in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space and reached out to me recently. He actually was the first person to introduce me to the concept in passing, but he wasn’t all too impressed in 2011 with the idea or community. However, our recent conversation revolved around cryptocurrencies and their role as the locus of distributed dingpolitik communities. It was fascinating to explore the topic of how communities have built themselves around digital material culture and economics while being (mostly) remote.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT CRYPTO

I’ve never really cared who Satoshi Nakamoto was. I think that their exodus from the space was the best thing for it. Instead of actually having Satoshi tell us what (s)he would do, we’ve had to speculate. That speculation isn’t really productive or fruitful, so most of us have moved on from even trying. That is a good thing, as it means we get to define the space.

That said, I listened to a podcast recently on which the host and the guest did talk briefly about who they thought Satoshi was. They referenced a Gizmodo article that they had found convincing, and I read it as well. What was wild to me about this was that Dave Kleinman (Gizmodo’s alleged Satoshi) makes a lot of sense, particularly because of the Satoshi fortune having never been sold even when Bitcoin hit $20,000; Kleinman is dead. It will always remain a mystery, I think, and nothing more than a passing thought in my mind.

BE GENEROUS – GIVE AND USE YOUR COINS

This week I was actually the recipient of some coins. I’m not sure if this qualifies as satisfying my end of the challenge (though I did tip some users on /r/dogecoin), but it does for my friend who is also participating in this challenge. She tipped me some Dogecoin for helping her figure out what was going on in a Slack workspace. I helped her troubleshoot it and she was generous enough to send me 50 Doge for my efforts.

Have you been participating in the challenge as well? How’s it going? Tell us in the comments or tweet at us.

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Bitcoin Price Watch: Is the Recent Drop Part of a Bigger Picture?

At press time, bitcoin is retaining its $6,100 price from yesterday. The currency fell to this position from $6,700 after Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) sent notifications to more than five digital currency exchanges saying that they must heighten their security measures against money laundering after noticing weaknesses in their infrastructures. Bitcoin has continued to suffer drops over the past week. Its initial slump to $6,700 occurred after hovering at the $7,600 mark for some time, and now the price is just $100 away from its February low. While bitcoin did drop below $6,000 during yesterday’s evening hours, things didn’t last, and the coin quickly pushed itself back up to $6,100, where it has been ever since. Bitcoin has allegedly lost over 70 percent of its value since December, when it managed to strike near the $20,000 range. However, many analysts are unconcerned about the currency’s recent behavior, saying it’s all part of a downward trend that was predicted long ago. Digital currency investor Marius Rupsys, for example, has consistently mentioned this idea, stating that while bitcoin pushes steadily lower, the question remains regarding when “big investors will come back.” “Retail traders might be actively buying and selling, but their volumes aren’t sufficient to move the market significantly to either side,” he comments. “’Wait and see’ is for larger investors, who try to get into crypto assets using OTC.” He added: “The volume is going down consistently on all major exchanges (i.e. Bitfinex), so this sell pressure is reducing as less and less people are willing to sell. I am waiting for volume to pick up, which is likely to push the price upwards given sellers sold and new investors want to get in, though it is very difficult to know when that will happen. Therefore, my position is to wait for price action with volume.” Other analysts, however, aren’t so sure, and predict a case of the old gloom-and-doom for bitcoin should the currency fall any lower. Publisher of the newsletter Crypto Patterns Jon Pearlstone, for example, states: “If bitcoin breaks the 2018 lows, watch for a spike in volume and a possible fast drop in price towards the $5,000 level.” Bitcoin is not alone in its demise. The currency is joined by entities like Litecoin – which has struck its lowest point in roughly seven months – and ether, which is currently trading at $479 – about 60 percent lower than its all-time high last December. Overall, the cryptocurrency market has crashed, falling to about $259 billion at press time from $813 billion (almost $1 trillion) last year. Figures like Phillip Nunn – CEO of the Manchester-based financial firm Blackmore Group – are sticking to their guns that bitcoin will reach new heights by the end of the year. Nunn is certain that bitcoin will strike $60,000 by the time 2018 closes, and despite the massive drops, we can’t help but consider bitcoin’s behavior last year, when it rose from $5,000 to nearly $20,000 in just one month between November and December. Could the currency do something extraordinary like that again before things tumble further? Nothing’s impossible, we suppose…. Bitcoin Charts by TradingView

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