Venezuela Announces “Petro” Cryptocurrency

Venezuelan Flag
Venezuela seeks to issue an oil-backed cryptocurrency.

Venezulan leader Nicolas Maduro announced on state TV that Venezuela will create its own cryptocurrency. Maduro announced the “21st century has arrived!” as he introduced the public to his idea during his portion of a 5-hour state TV slot. The new cryptocurrency will be called the “Petro”. Venezuela plans to back their cryptocurrency with their substantial nature resources including oil, diamonds, and gold. The hope of the Venezuelan government is that this will allow them to skirt US sanctions and conduct business with the world.

The Venezuelan bolivar has lost a remarkable 57% of its value in the last month alone as it continues its slide into oblivion. Wealthier Venezuelans are now mining and using cryptocurrencies as an alternative. Will the government cryptocurrency solve the Venezuelan currency crisis? It is difficult to know but it seems unlikely a government managed cryptocurrency will be any more successful than a failed government-managed fiat currency. Will the Venezuelan government even be able to successful implement this “Petro” cryptocurrency in its current state of dysfunction? Time will tell.

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Bitcoin Lightning Network

Lightning Network is a protocol on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.
The Lightning Network may solve the Bitcoin scalability problem.

Bitcoin scalability is a contentious and important issue at the moment. The issue of scalability and increasing transaction fees came to a head recently with the Bitcoin Cash fork. Proponents of Bitcoin Cash (an altcoin) wanted larger blocks. When segwit2x failed they hard-forked off from Bitcoin to create Bitcoin Cash. The issue is increasing fees for space inside a Bitcoin block. At the time of writing it can cost as much as $5 to ensure space in the next Bitcoin block!

Since Bitcoin is increasing in usage and popularity and Bitcoin blocks can currently hold just one megabyte of transaction data the blocks are filling to capacity. While this is good since it means Bitcoin is growing it also means the Bitcoin bottleneck problem is real. Each Bitcoin transaction bids to get data inside a block through the transaction fee. If your fee is too low your transaction may not get into a block and ultimately may get orphaned (lost forever).

There are two potential solutions to this problem. The first is to increase the data each block can hold from one megabyte to a larger amount, this is the solution Bitcoin Cash and others such as Bitcoin XT have tried to implement. The second is to layer another protocol on top of the Bitcoin block chain and this is the approach of the Lightning Network.

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Ethereum Rising

Ethereum is a great cryptocurrency.
Ethereum is a feature-rich technology and cryptocurrency.

The Ethereum project is on the rise. The popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum, is rising in both price per token and public popularity. The recent release of Solidity 0.4.19 has several bug-fixes but nothing nearly as exciting as the Ethereum project offers overall. If you are involved with cryptocurrency then you have probably heard of smart contracts. Smart contracts are contracts built with computer software. They are largely self-enforcing. Ethereum uses the EVM or Ethereum Virtual Machine to process smart contract byte-code (pre-compiled code designed to run on a virtual machine) distributed across thousands of nodes. This is an exciting project with a much broader scope than Bitcoin. Imagine contracts that execute themselves with no enforcement from a court — talk about introducing a whole new paradigm in business globally! This can bridge tons of problems of business and put a lot of lawyers out of business.

I encourage our readers to check out Ethereum if they are considering cryptocurrency investments. Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum compose the “cryptocurrency triad” that serves as a vanguard for the industry as a whole. Read more about the Ethereum project at Ethereum.org.

Dennis Rodman Has a New Sponsor – Potcoin

Potcoin Sends Rodman to North Korea

Dennis Rodman’s latest trip to North Korea was sponsored by the cryptocurrency “Potcoin”. Potcoin bills itself as “banking for the marijuana industry” and appears to have fully sponsored Rodman’s trip. Rodman engages in what he calls “basketball diplomacy” during his trips to NOKO. Last month (June 13, 2017) Rodman boarded an airplane for Pyongyang International Airport sporting Potcoin gear and CNN was there to cover it.

Around mid-last month (June 13, 2017 precisely) Dennis Rodman, the famous basketball player was seen wearing a Potcoin T-shirt and jet-setting to NOKO. As Potcoin’s website itself pointed out Dennis Rodman’s latest trip to North Korea is sponsored by Potcoin. Here’s Rodman decked out in Potcoin gear.

Dennis Rodman is promoting the digital cryptocurrency Potcoin.
Here Dennis Rodman is pictured wearing a Potcoin T-shirt. Potcoin sponsored his trip to North Korea. (Image from Potcoin.com)

So is Potcoin the next big thing?

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Yobit.net: Part of Trump’s Election or Just Extremely Shady?

Yobit.net Banned My Account During the 2016 Election

Was this a covert attempt to hide the 1000x value of “Trumpcoin” versus “Clintoncoin” on this Russian-controlled website or is Yobit.net an arm of the KGB (I mean, FSB, whatever)? In either case it feels extremely shady. Writing a cryptocurrency blog you are always wondering if you can monetize it with advertising but you want to be quite sure you are propagating legitimate organizations and actors. I would not trust Yobit.net simply because they offer 20% per trade on referrals but I have further reason to deeply mistrust this cryptocurrency actor. That 20% per trade commission on referrals seems scam-like. In fact, I know it most likely is.

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BITCOINTALK: Reinvents Itself As A High Quality Discussion Board

BitcoinTalk: A Previously Okay Forum, Now Far Better

Reinvention of Bitcointalk? The former home of the most intense fear, uncertainty, and doubt campaigns has brought some sensibility to itself in the cryptocurrency world. Long a boiling cauldron of insecurity and self-righteous scamming (as well as legitimate attempts at rationality) now has become a bastion of hope. I am only being semi-sarcastic. Observe: “Low Quality Topics Do Not Belong Here”, what a shocker!

BitcoinTalk has been there for years!

I am glad that Bitcointalk has elevated itself to the rightful position I felt it deserved to occupy for some time now. I think it is the biggest Bitcoin forum on the internet but it has also been in the past a source of discouragement to the community. A sense of duty has descended upon the community however and I feel it is now a worthwhile source to mention.

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AMD’s Epyc Chip Drives Stock Higher – Cryptocurrency Potential Examined

06/21/2017

AMD is surprisingly up from a low of about $2 in 2015. CNBC and Barron’s report that AMD stock is surging on news that the new Epyc processor will compete with Intel’s Xeon for datacenter technologies. If cryptocurrency miners are scarfing up AMD graphics cards now due to the wonderful performance-to-price ratio provided I can imagine further growth in this stock.

Let’s face it AMD is making a comeback. The stock is $13.52 in pre-market trading, that is up $0.88 as of writing just 20 minutes before the opening bell 6/21/2016. This has more to do with the release of the Epyc processor competing in datacenters with Xeon but we also know how much the cryptocurrency community appreciates GPU’s for mining new algorithms for which no ASICs are taped out yet.

CNBC erroneously refers to demand among Bitcoin miners for AMD technology but as we all know Bitcoin uses SHA-256 so unless AMD starts manufacturing SHA-256 ASIC chips this is related to algorithms that secure coins which are difficult to apply FPGA or ASIC technology to.

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