One of the most commonly repeated criticisms of Bitcoin is its energy consumption. It seems that every few months, some new report is penned stating that Bitcoin uses the same amount of electricity as an ever larger country.
However, demonising Bitcoin on such grounds is highly reductionist. After all, there is a lot more that goes into our current monetary system than just ten thousand or so supercomputers running day and night.
Bitcoin Can Clean Up Its Act, Can Fiat?
The main gripe environmentalists seem to have with Bitcoin is that it uses a lot of electricity. This, of course, is true. However, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Electricity around the globe is gradually getting greener. Renewable energy technology is improving every year. The shift from fossil-fuel-intensive Bitcoin mining operations based in China to those harnessing geothermal power or hydroelectricity is clear evidence that those running the equipment to secure the Bitcoin network are keen to increase profits margins by turning to these vast, largely untapped, and ultimately renewable energy sources.
Compare this to how the Federal Reserve and national banks operate. Buildings, manufacturing plants, machinery, and many other things all need constructing and operating to create a system that enough people will trust in for it to be of any use whatsoever.
This is bad enough. However, there is a hidden environmental cost of the current financial system that is rarely considered – the cash itself.
Around 7.4 billion bank notes were produced last year in the United States alone. The following Tweet highlights the financial cost of many of the processes involved with operating a functioning financial system:
People rarely consider that they actually fund the very fiat system that slowly (or rapidly) depletes the value of their labour over time. The Federal Reserve doesn’t foot the bill, the taxpayer does. By contrast, taxes don’t pay for Bitcoin miners, the Bitcoin network doesn’t need external funding. The users and the system itself pays for the security and trust is ensured mathematically – it doesn’t need to be bought.
Not only this but the notes themselves require immense resources to get into circulation. Of course, there is the cotton paper. However, there is also the special ink required to ensure the bills are difficult to counterfeit, the gelatin used to give them extra durability, and the cost to design a new note every few years to keep counterfeiters on their toes. This latter step often involves increasingly elaborate methods of printing that require more use of colour shifting inks, more intricate designs, raised printing techniques, and many other methods to make sure it’s easy to check that you have a real note and difficult to make a convincing fake.
Notes then need transporting, their quality checking (some are, of course, rejected causing greater waste), and all of this on top of the cost (both economically and environmentally) of running the institutions that we must request permission to transact through.
As if that wasn’t bad enough but the above Tweet reminds us that it’s a downright inefficient system. Despite the $800 million spent on just the manufacture of new money, there is still an estimated $3 billion in counterfeit bank notes circulating around the globe.
It is understandably incredibly difficult to quantify the total cost of the fiat monetary system. However for an environmentalist to lambaste a new technology for being energy intensive ultimately holds back human progress. Technology gets more efficient over time. It always has. There is nothing to suggest that Bitcoin mining will not get more efficient too. In fact, it already is doing thanks to operations tapping into hydro power in Canada and geothermal energy in Iceland.
Testing the Noncustodial Button Wallet With BCH Over Telegram Messenger
Users of the Telegram-infused cryptocurrency Button Wallet can now purchase digital assets through its partnership with the payment processor Wyre. Button Wallet allows users to store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies like BCH, ETH, BTC, LTC, and ETC through the Telegram messaging app. The following is an in-depth review of my experience using Button Wallet after hearing about the app on social media.
Sending Cryptocurrency via Button Wallet Through Telegram Messenger
In 2018, a startup launched a noncustodial light client application called Button Wallet in order to provide people with a way to store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies within the Telegram messaging platform. So far there’s been a few glitchy tip bots that people have tested using the messenger, but Button Wallet seems to be catching on as the startup claims to have roughly 100,000 accounts since launching last year. The team has detailed that Button Wallet was inspired by Wechat payments and soon the project hopes to launch on Facebook Messenger as well. This week news.Bitcoin.com decided to give Button Wallet a test run using some Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to see how well the application worked.
The first thing I did was go to the official Button Wallet website and press the blue “Use Telegram” tab to get started. As soon as the tab was pressed, I was redirected to my Telegram messenger platform and greeted by the Button Wallet bot. Similarly to many of the bots on Telegram, the Button Wallet bot responds to commands, but this app also provides buttons that are simple to press in addition to commands. In order to create an account, the bot asks for a valid email address and the platform will send you the private keys in the form of a QR code to the email.
The QR code can be used for fund restoration purposes, but it’s also used for the first transaction authorization. Button Wallet supports a variety of digital currencies including BCH, ETH, BTC, LTC, and ETC. I decide to send myself some BCH to the address given to me by the Button Wallet bot. In order to obtain your address, press the deposit tab and choose the kind of cryptocurrency you want to use.
After sending myself a few bucks’ worth of BCH to my address I had to wait for the transaction to confirm and it appeared in the balance section. I then chatted with a coworker who offered to create a Button Wallet account and I sent him $0.25 worth of BCH. My first attempts to send funds that day were unsuccessful. I assumed it might have been because the platform’s servers were busy due to the recent announcement about the partnership with Wyre.
Button Wallet Works Well Sending Microtransactions
The following day I spoke with Button Wallet’s support and the agent sent me $1 worth of BCH to try again. Since he sent me these funds, I haven’t experienced any errors sending small fractions of coin. So in order to forward my coworker some funds, I pressed the send tab and chose bitcoin cash as my preferred currency. The Button Wallet bot gives you a few increments to choose from, which includes $0.1, $0.25, $0.5 and $1. I chose to send $0.50 and the app redirected me to a unique URL invoice which shows the payment is being sent. After seeing the sent checkmark symbol, go back to the Telegram platform. The bot will give you and the recipient of the funds full details about the transaction.
When you send a person funds, you can copy and paste a traditional alphanumeric string address, but to send over Telegram all you have to do is type the @ and the individual’s handle. The person on the receiving end needs an account for this feature to work and it’s a good idea to copy and paste the person’s Telegram username so you don’t accidentally send funds to another user with a similar name. After sending $0.25 to my coworker he sent me back $0.1 (ten cents) soon after his money confirmed on the BCH chain.
Overall the Button Wallet app is pretty easy to use but it’s best to play around with it first to get a feel. It seems just from testing there could be issues if someone typed the wrong name and the mistyped handle resolved to a real account so it’s best to copy and paste this information. The way the increments are written for small USD amounts can be confusing at first and takes a second to figure out. Other than that, and besides the first day’s issues, the Button Wallet platform worked as intended and I’ve sent a few other coworkers some BCH microtransactions.
I didn’t bother sending BTC to the wallet because sending micropayments on the chain is difficult with current fees varying between $2-4 per transaction. Probably the most meaningful aspect of them all is that Button Wallet is noncustodial unlike many of the tipping wallets out there today. Still, the application should probably only be used for a small amount of funds and treated like a hot wallet.
What do you think about the Button Wallet application for Telegram Messenger? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse this product/service. Review editorials are intended for informational purposes only. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com or the author is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Jamie Redman, and Button Wallet.
Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH, and other coins, on our market charts at Markets.Bitcoin.com, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.
Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.
Report: Despite the Resurgence in Price, Bitcoin Sees Little Adoption
According to a Bloombergreport published May 31, 2019, bitcoin’s use for economic transactions is still tremendously low despite the recent surge in its price.
Not so Bullish Behind the Price
It would be fair to say that the recent spike in the price of bitcoin has been largely successful in lifting the morale of the cryptocurrency industry. The charts are dominated by green candles and the general outlook towards the cryptocurrency is bullish.
However, behind this renewed optimism, the grim reality of bitcoin’s low adoption continues to persist.
Citing data from blockchain research firm Chainalysis Inc., Bloombergreports that only 1.3 percent of bitcoin’s economic transactions came from merchants in the first four months of 2019. The world’s largest cryptocurrency which currently holds a market cap of more than $147 billion is yet to find that shot in the arm which could propel it into the mainstream.
One of the reasons why bitcoin has failed to achieve widespread use could be attributed to its own proponents. People who hold bitcoin have, over time, developed the “HODL” mentality which advocates accumulation of the digital currency rather than spending it. That said, it would also not be fair to put the entire blame on hodlers as the extremely volatile nature of the cryptocurrency also gives them hopes of making strong profits in a matter of days.
Kim Grauer, a senior economist at Chainalysis, told Bloomberg:
“Bitcoin economic activity continues to be dominated by exchange trading.”
“This suggests Bitcoin’s top use case remains speculative, and the mainstream use of Bitcoin for everyday purchases is not yet a reality.”
The study by Chainalysis found that between January and April 2019, bitcoin transactions related to exchanges accounted for 89.7 percent, marginally lower than 91.9 percent for all of 2018.
Can Bitcoin See the Mainstream Light?
Although the figures don’t paint a healthy picture of bitcoin’s use among the common populace, the increasing number of organizations warming up to digital currencies is an encouraging sign.
As reported by BTCManager on May 24, 2019, major U.S. telecom operator AT&T announced that it would allow customers to pay bills using bitcoin.
Moreover, with second layer off-chain scaling solutions like Lightning Network witnessing strong growth, things could end up being way brighter for bitcoin in the future.
Startups that conducted initial coin offerings (ICO) years ago may be eligible for relief from potential enforcement actions by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency official said Friday.
For the last year and a half, the regulator has been filing cases against projects that raised money by selling tokens without registering them as securities. But in his opening remarks at the agency’s FinTech Forum in Washington, D.C., SEC Director of Corporation Finance William Hinman said that cryptocurrencies are capable of shifting from being a potential security to very clearly not being one.
“Digital assets may evolve into an instrument that no longer needs to be regulated as such,” he said.
Hinman has made a similar point before. In a 2018 speech, he implied that ethereum may have resembled a security during an ICO at its launch, but said that by last year, it was sufficiently decentralized that it had evolved away from being a security.
Though he did not reference ethereum on Friday, Hinman did use other examples to illustrate his point.
As one such example, he cited TurnKey Jets, which secured a no-action letter earlier this year, reassuring the firm that the SEC staff would not recommend taking enforcement action against it.
Hinman explained that the company’s token, network and use case were all fairly mature when the letter was issued, meaning the token had a functional use case and the network was fully developed.
Notably, though, Hinman said that even if some aspect of the project was not fully developed, the SEC may have still been willing to provide no-action relief.
“If they needed more relief on the secondary market for that token, that would not be outside the realm of a possible no-action letter,” he said.
Taking this example one step further, Hinman posed a hypothetical: What if a startup with TurnKey’s eventual model existed three years earlier, without a mature network or functional token?
If this hypothetical startup sold its token “in amounts that did not correlate to its use case but resembled funding,” that token would look like a security.
However, if three years later, that startup went to the SEC and showed that its token demonstrated utility aspects, the SEC may be willing to work with the company, Hinman said, adding:
“We’d likely be able to work our way through a no-action letter.”
Stephen Palley, an attorney with Anderson Kill who attended the forum, told CoinDesk that, in his view, Hinman was indicating that a token which resembled an investment contract could turn into something akin to a utility token.
Moreover, Palley said, it was interesting that the SEC has indicated it is using its framework to make this sort of determination.
In his remarks, Hinman noted that the SEC’s actions to date have been conducted in accordance with its existing statutes and rules.
“I mention this to show the flexibility of the regulatory framework we are working under,” he said.
William Hinman image via Nikhilesh De for CoinDesk
Throughout 2019, the entire crypto market has been led by the silver to Bitcoin being digital gold, Litecoin. The crypto asset’s halving is in less than 70 days, and investors are eagerly loading up their bags in anticipation of the pre-halving pump that’s become a meme across the crypto community.
Since Litecoin often leads rallies, dragging other crypto assets along for the ride, price charts of the asset paired against BTC could be telling as to where the Bitcoin price may be targeting if the parabolic rally is truly over and a short-term downtrend is ahead.
LTC/BTC Chart Could Show Sub-$5K Bitcoin Price Target
At the start of 2019, it was Litecoin that led the initial crypto rally out of the depths of the bear market. During that time, some altcoins had been exploding in value relative to BTC prompting many crypto investors to believe an alt season had been brewing. They were wrong.
Now that Bitcoin’s rally is seemingly over following yesterday’s violent rejection at $9,000 that sent Bitcoin downward to retest support at $8,000, crypto analysts are looking to price charts in an attempt to determine the targets for Bitcoin’s short-term downtrend. One analyst, Bitcoin Jack, believes there are similarities between Bitcoin’s price chart and the LTC/BTC chart that could be telling about where Bitcoin may be headed.
In the charts, Litecoin painted a bottoming pattern, then rallied through two levels of resistance higher, followed by a rejection at the third level that resulted in a retest of the first resistance turned support. This would place Bitcoin’s short-term correction target at roughly $4,700, according to the above the pattern on the LTC/BTC chart.
Parabolic Rally Correction Was Long Overdue
As the saying goes, what goes up must come down. And after Bitcoin’s parabolic rally that took the price up well over 100% in the matter of two months, crypto investors, traders, and analysts have been anticipating a somewhat large correction.
While Bitcoin declines, it could present an opportunity for that alt season to rear its head once again. BTC dominance has broken through support, and while there was a bounce yesterday, BTC dominance is expected to drop further, giving altcoins room to shine once again. And with Litecoin’s halving just ahead, all of the conditions are right for Litecoin to lead the crypto market recovery.
However, at times, Bitcoin price falling often pulls the value of altcoins down along with it. Should that happen, altcoins could reach further lows while Bitcoin finds support outside of the bear market depths.
The Dadiani Syndicate, a cryptoasset investment company, has reportedly received a request from a client who wants to purchase approximately 25% of bitcoin’s (BTC) circulating supply.
This, according to a Forbes article, published on May 30, 2019, which noted that the Dadiani Syndicate is a peer-to-peer (P2P) network that allows investors to settle cryptocurrency trades between each other.
Broker Client Wants to Acquire 25% of Bitcoin’s Circulating Supply
Notably, the Dadiani Syndicate, which describes itself as “the world’s first special purpose company turning digital wealth into real wealth”, had (last year) auctioned 49% of American artist Andy Warhol’s artwork “14 Small Electric Chairs” for bitcoin and other cryptoassets.
According to Eleesa Dadiani, the Founder of Dadiani Fine Art and the Dadiani Syndicate:
One of our clients approached us and said they were interested in acquiring 25% of all bitcoin currently available. There are a number of entities who want to dominate the market.
“Less Than 5 Million Bitcoins” Circulating in the Crypto Market
Dadiani, whose Fine Art Gallery reportedly became the first in the United Kingdom to start accepting bitcoin, pointed out that buying a quarter of the (approximately) 17.7 million BTC in circulation would significantly impact the digital asset market. She remarked:
A buyer of this size is going to push the price up to make this kind of accumulation even more expensive,”
Dadiani also revealed that “even a greater number” of bitcoins are being held by cryptoasset investors. She believes that these hodlers will not be willing to part with their cryptocurrency holdings “for any price.” This, as she estimates that there are “probably less than five million” bitcoins currently circulating in the crypto market.
The price of bitcoin, the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, has increased by more than 120% since January of this year. On May 30, 2019, the bitcoin price briefly surged past the $9,000 mark, however the flagship cryptocurrency is currently trading at $8,281.27, down 5% in the past 24 hours.
White Company Transacted $250 Million in Cryptocurrency on Behalf of Clients
Notably, the Dadiani Syndicate is not the only cryptocurrency-related firm that focuses mainly on high net worth individuals (HNWIs). The White Company, a digital asset concierge service founded by Elizabeth White, facilitated over $250 million in crypto transactions (in 2018).
White, a New York resident, believes we need to make cryptocurrencies more spendable. In an interview with CryptoGlobe in February of this year, White predicted:
The future economy will be 100% digital asset based. Every asset, from money to investments (like Apis Token which was the first tokenized hedge fund), to real estate, or ownership of anything will be represented on the blockchain. It’s more efficient and more secure.