Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Satoshi’s Millions and the Price of Publicity




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Welcome to the second instalment of Bitcoin in Brief, a daily feature from the news.Bitcoin.com team. In today’s roundup: examining the ownership of pre-2010 bitcoins, Vitalik Buterin calls out Craig Wright, and John McAfee’s price per tweet sets tongues wagging.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Blockchain Wars and a Sleuth of Bears

  • Vitalik Buterin Takes On Craig Wright

Vitalik Buterin is a man of few tweets, except for those times when he isn’t. In a monster 62-part tweetstorm, he covered the live panel debate with Roger Ver and Blockstream’s Samson Mow at Deconomy 2018. The Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash showdown, as it was billed, saw both figures let fly. Buterin was broadly supportive of the big blockers, tweeting “I’m on Roger’s side here; $50 fees [for BTC] should IMO count as a de-facto liveness failure”.

Bitcoin in Brief: Satoshi’s Millions and the Price of Publicity

Buterin also wrote: “I’m ok with the super-big-blocker position [advocated by BCH proponents] but only if sharding techniques…are used to make light client verification easier.” While the technicals of the debate are enthralling to those who care about bitcoin scaling and “Core vs Cash”, the biggest talking point was Vitalik Buterin taking to the floor to call out Craig Wright for being a “fraud”. Buterin really doesn’t like Wright, and the video of the ethereum founder heckling Wright has now been watched more than 129,000 times.

  • From One Satoshi to Another

Bitcoin in Brief: Satoshi’s Millions and the Price of Publicity
Craig Wright

Craig Wright is an intriguing character whose research papers have their moments. However, Satoshi’s identity will likely never be known, and his bitcoins may never move, along with a handful of others who amassed a small fortune pre-2010 when coins could be mined on “easy mode”, with a 50 BTC block reward. Earlier today Tuur Demeester dragged up a famous blog post from 2013 which postulated that most of those early coins were mined by Satoshi.

Blockchain researcher Antoine Le Calvez chipped in, adding: “1.76M BTC are still stored in legacy naked pubkey outputs (the same as very early coinbases). So 1/1.7M for a single early miner wouldn’t shock me. Whether it’s Satoshi or not is another question.”

Bitcoin in Brief: Satoshi’s Millions and the Price of Publicity
Gemini’s new fee structure

Major social media stars such as the Kardashians can earn up to $400,000 for a single promoted tweet or Instagram post. John McAfee, meanwhile, will shill your ICO for $105,000 per tweet. Whether that’s value for money (and whether it’s ethical) is a matter for debate, but other crypto influencers such as Jameson Lopp and Chris Burniske have publicly said they would never sully their reputation by posting promoted tweets. Given the option between a single McAfee tweet or a $105k marketing budget to play with, most ICOs would surely plump for the latter.

Gemini exchange has angered customers by upping its trading fees substantially. They’ve increased four-fold for the majority of traders, though there seems to be a workaround of sorts for customers who begrudge going from 0.25% to 1%, which is surely all of them.

  • Back to the Gold Standard

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives seeking to define the U.S. dollar as a fixed weight of gold. The document includes the finding that “The United States dollar has lost 30 percent of its purchasing power since 2000, and 96 percent of its purchasing power since the end of the gold standard in 1913.” If only there were some sort of deflationary digital alternative to the U.S. dollar that could be sent P2P anywhere in the world…

What other bitcoin stories caught your attention today? Let us know in the comments section below.


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