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Is Elon Musk and Vitalik Buterin The Reason For Dogecoin’s Listing At Binance? DOGE Soars

Dogecoin (DOGE) Binance

Dogecoin,
the “joke” cryptocurrency, has become a shocking digital currency success
story. Right now, it has some of the most influential crypto fans on the globe
rooting for it. Chief amongst them is Elon Musk, Vitalik Buterin, and John
McAfee.

Elon Musk has, for instance, tweeted in praise of token saying:

“Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool”.

The Tesla CEO was also the tongue in cheek CEO of Dogecoin as voted by the community. Musk did change his title to Dogecoin CEO for a while before updating it to “former CEO.”

Furthermore, Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum’s co-founder, has been a Dogecoin fan for years. In 2016, he, for example, tweeted that:

 “1. I’ve sold 0 DOGE 2. I’ve bought and am buying more 3. I do not intend to sell until Dog Sled Saga becomes more popular than Neko Atsume.”

As
a matter of fact, in his most recent tweet, he said he was “very
pro-Dogecoin
.”

Binance Lists Dogecoin

The coin is on a roll, and with all the positive affirmations coming it’s way, it’s gotten its listing at Binance. The Malta-based crypto exchange’s CEO Changpeng Zhao praised the token’s large user community. He also playfully mentions Dogecoin’s famed “ex-CEO”, read Elon Musk as a good listing influence. Following the listing at Binance, the tokens price spiked by 32 percent in minutes. 

The massive growth of Dogecoin is, of course, a good thing for the investors. Its two founders, nonetheless, have perhaps become more disillusioned than ever. Jackson Palmer, the originator of the idea, left the helm of the digital asset at its peak, saying that it lost its initial spirit. Additionally, Palmer had become very uncomfortable at the coin’s investors who were pumping massive amounts of cash at the crypto for “for sillies” asset. 

He
said that the coin was not created as an investment vehicle but rather a force
for good. After clashing with the community over his ideals, Palmer dropped the
fortune saying he was not going to lead a cult. Billy Markus, the coder, and
co-founder of the token, also bailed on it later on.  

The Future of Cryptocurrency Lies with
Dogecoin

Markus and Palmer do not have much Dogecoin because they did not pre-mine large amounts of it before launch. Being a parody token, all Markus mined is $10,000 worth of Dogecoin, which he split equally with Palmer. Apparently, this is all of the asset that these two co-founders have ever owned.

The network’s fabric is sourced mainly from Bitcoin’s with a few core elements changes done by Markus. He, however, created 100 billion coins to ensure that they are easy to mine. Due to its popularity, most of the coins have been mined or dug in community lingua. As a result, this simplicity of use of the fun cryptocurrency is perhaps the feature that endears it to its users. 

Because of its ease of use, the coin is popular in retail and online gambling. Besides, it has an infinite supply of tokens, which considerably lowers its transaction fees. Besides, Dogecoin’s transactions speeds are faster than those of many other platforms such as Litecoin. It is therefore proper to conclude that perhaps Markus and Palmer accidentally invented the token of the future. It is accessible, affordable, easy to use, and has a user-friendly interface that could rule the pack in the future.

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Hodler’s Digest, April 29 – May 5: Top Stories, Price Movements, Quotes and FUD of the Week

Stablecoin tether is apparently only backed 74% by cash reserves, and Elon Musk and Vitalik Buterin get friendly on Twitter.

Top Stories This Week

Fractional Reserve Stablecoin Tether Only 74% Backed by Fiat Currency, Say Lawyers

According to documents released by USD stablecoin tether’s (USDT) lawyers, the company behind the stablecoin only has enough fiat reserves to back a little less than three-quarters of its existing supply — 74%. Tether executives had previously publicly promised that each tether was backed one-to-one to the USD, a claim that has been disproven by the lawyers’ document release. The need to release the figures comes from the recent claims by the U.S. attorney general in New York that cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, which shares its CEO with Tether, used reserves to plug holes left from a problematic outsourcing agreement earlier in 2018. The document notes that the funds are invested, and the arrangement mimics a fractional reserve system.

WSJ: Facebook Seeks Reported $1 Billion for FB Coin Amid Talks With Visa, MasterCard

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal this week, social media giant Facebook is seeking investments worth $1 billion for its rumored cryptocurrency stablecoin. Citing unnamed sources, the WSJ writes that Facebook is currently talking with payment networks Visa and MasterCard about potential support for the plan. The project, known as FB Coin, has already been rumored for about a year, with various options for its form, including an option for payments on a combination of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. As Cointelegraph has previously reported, interest in a fiat-centric FB Coin has already reportedly come from within cryptocurrency circles, specifically in the form of VC investment mogul Tim Draper. The WSJ notes that a large fiat backing is necessary in order to avoid volatility.

Vitalik Buterin Tweets ETH Development Proposals After Elon Musk’s “Ethereum” Tweet Bait

Elon Musk, tech entrepreneur and Tesla CEO, and Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin engaged in a relatively one-sided Twitter discussion this week after Musk tweeted one word: “Ethereum.” In response, Buterin extended an invitation for Musk to attend Ethereum’s DevCoin in October, with Musk parrying back with a question concerning future Ethereum network development. Buterin then laid out a five-point list of his top picks for the network’s development: the creation of a “globally accessible financial system, including payments, store of value […] insurance,” as well as a disintermediated ETH-powered digital identity infrastructure. He also proposed the creation of registries and certificates that would be digitally signed, certified and even revoked on-chain.

ICE’s Bakkt Announces Acquisition of Digital Asset Custody Company

Bakkt, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-lead institutional cryptocurrency trading platform, аcquired crypto custodian service Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC) this week. In an announcement of several new measures that reportedly aim to stimulate regulatory feedback, the entire DACC team will be joining Bakkt, with DACC’s native support of 13 blockchains and 100+ assets designed to “serve as an important accelerator.” Bakkt also revealed in the same post this week that it has filed an application with the New York Department of Financial Services to operate as a trust company, which will enable the firm to serve as a qualified custodian for digital assets.

Iota Partners With Jaguar Land Rover on Crypto Rewards Program, Price Jumps 20%

Jaguar Land Rover, a United Kingdom car manufacturer, will use blockchain network Iota as a pilot to reward drivers with crypto in exchange for data reporting. As part of a plan to better gather information on both road conditions and vehicle performance, Jaguar will distribute Iota tokens to “Smart Wallets” tied to participating drivers. The partnership is part of Jaguar’s “Destination Zero” scheme, which has the goal of tackling accidents, congestion and emissions within the automotive industry. According to one executive, the partnership could enable the users of autonomous cars in the future to participate in the sharing economy.

Winners and Losers

Bitcoin has ended the week slightly up, trading at around $5,777, ether at $163 and XRP at $0.30. Total market cap is at around $183 billion.

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are spectrum network, tronclassic and travelflex. The top three altcoin losers of the week are bizkey, atomic coin and block-chain.com.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“Labor wants to address this, investing in Australians to develop job skills that are in high demand now and into the future.”

Ed Husic, Australia’s Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy

 

“Ethereum.”

Elon Musk

“There is an incredible amount of information moving with an international package. An incredible amount of paperwork [such as] certificates of origin, and certain commodities require specific licenses. That information moves sometimes in digital forms and sometimes paper forms. As we move toward a more digital world, blockchain is where you piece all that together.”

Rob Carter, the chief information officer of American delivery services company FedEx

 

“The Commission anticipates new applications for clearinghouse registration resulting from the explosion of interest in cryptocurrencies; an area in which protection of the cryptocurrencies will be one of the highest risks.”

Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

 

“Both blockchain and industrial cannabis are the future, and both are embraced by the younger generation […] we are always on the search for new business growth opportunities.”

Yao Yongjie, founding partner of the local government-backed Hangzhou Grandshores Fund

Prediction of the Week

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee Predicts New All-Time Highs for Crypto by 2020

Tom Lee, the founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors, predicted this week that crypto prices will hit a new historic high by 2020. In an interview with CNBC, Lee forecast that bitcoin’s projected upward growth is based on “11 signs that historically only take place in a bull market.” Out of those 11, three of the signs — blockchain, technical indicators and trading volumes — indicate that the crypto winter has come to an end. Lee notes that the trading volumes indicator is related to the increase in activity with over-the-counter brokers.

FUD of the Week

Hackers Used Microsoft Email Accounts to Steal Users’ Cryptocurrency, Report

Vice’s Motherboard reported this week that some users of Microsoft’s email services like Outlook, Hotmail and MSN have had their cryptocurrency holdings stolen. According to Microsoft, after an initial breach of consumer emails through a Microsoft support agent account took place earlier this year, hackers were reportedly able to change users’ passwords and access their crypto exchange accounts. Microsoft had initially reported that the contents of emails had not been accessible to the hackers, but reports have since surfaced that they had indeed been able to read email content.  

Number of Infected Electrum Bitcoin Wallets Reaches 152,000

With the ongoing Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack on the servers of the Electrum bitcoin (BTC) network, research this week found that the number of infected wallets has reached 152,000. Research firm Malwarebytes, stating that the volume of funds stolen is now at around $4.6 million, pinpointed a loader dubbed Trojan.BeamWinHTTP, which is also involved in downloading the previously detected Electrum DoSMiner. According to the research, most of the bots are located in the Asia Pacific region, Brazil and Peru, with the botnet that is attacking the Electrum infrastructure constantly growing. Cointelegraph had already reported in early April that the DoS attack on the Electrum network reportedly involved a malicious botnet of more than 140,000 machines.

SEC Suspends Trading in Securities of Crypto Exchange Bitcoin Generation

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has temporarily suspended securities trading at crypto exchange Bitcoin Generation. According to the SEC’s announcement, the suspension will be in effect from 9:30 p.m. EDT on April 29 until 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 10. The government regulator cites “concerns about the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace” surrounding its outstanding common stock, promotional activities and the impact they had on the market, as well as the current financial condition of the company. The announcement urgest brokers and dealers not to enter quotations relating to Bitcoin Generation’s securities unless they strictly comply with the commission’s rules.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Bitcoin Surges Past $5,700 in Hours: Experts Explain Factors of Overnight Rally

After bitcoin’s price surge this week, Cointelegraph took some expert opinions that could explain how the top crypto hit its highest peak in about six months.

‘Cryptokicks’: What We Know About Nike’s Potential Gateway Into Crypto

When the media uncovered Nike’s trademark for “Cryptokicks” last week, speculation abounded as to how serious the sneaker giant was about getting into crypto. In this analysis, Cointelegraph runs down the likelyhood of “cryptokicks” being introduced to the market.

How Security Tokens Can Prevent an Impending Financial Crisis

As one could argue that cryptocurrencies, bitcoin specifically, were created as a way to prevent a future repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, three technology and financial experts weigh in on the importance they see in security tokens.

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Of Elon Musk and Why Twitter Erupted After Tweeting “Ethereum”

Ethereum

Well, Elon is known for his stance. He’s a fan of Dogecoin,
that’s from his Apr-2 post. He may have posted out of jest but what is emerging
is that he may be interested in blockchain. Bitcoin, Ethereum and any other
tech based off the distribution of blockchain. Analysts, governments and
investors say the technology will shape lives.

The IMF and World Bank for example do mention Bitcoin,
Ripple and blockchain in almost all reports touching on disruption of
traditional financial systems. Thing is, the financial system is at a cusp, it’s
yearning for a change and that means overhauling of the underlying and
incorporating the latest trends advocating transparency, speed and well, low
cost. Ripple is ahead and Ethereum is trying experimenting with DeFi. Will it
flourish? Only time has the answers.

For now, it’s all about Elon Musk, the maverick leader and
brains behind both Tesla and Space X. Yesterday he stirred the community and
because of all the attention his on-word tweet generated, Vitalik Buterin had
to reply inviting Musk to the next Devcon scheduled for Oct 2019 while at the
same time listing some opportunities that the network can do like “A globally accessible financial system,
including payments, store of value, also more advanced stuff like insurance,
Identity: “sign in with Facebook” -> “sign in with an
Ethereum account, no intermediaries”.
Also web of trust…and we
reckon, many more because, well, there are infinite opportunities thanks to
smart contracting as all things that can be recorded can be stored in the
blockchain.

Here’s Why Twitter Lit up, People Are Rooting for Ethereum

Why this interest? Why the reaction and optimism around
Ethereum? It’s for a simple reason. From an investor’s perspective, many of
them don’t want to risk the next move up. That’s FOMO right there. The dreaded
fear of missing out on a profit generating, moon-sling like those of late 2017
more so with the awareness that ETH crowd-funded, raising $15 million, made the
network open source with each coin retailing at 30 cents.

Secondly, the increasing demand for public blockchain of which Ethereum stands out. Ethereum as a people’s project is an improvement of Bitcoin and through it developers from any part of the world can participate in improving the source code. That means more and more people and organization are rooting for the network despite the proliferation of so-called “Ethereum 2.0 Killers”.

Most of them front speed and scalability at the expense of
decentralization and open-source operations. Worse still, most are backed by VC
capital through SAFTs where their tokens were sold through secret deals allowing
for plutocratic governance especially when tokens have voting weights. During
these private sessions, the price and amount of token sold are not divulged to
the public despite the transparency code expected from blockchain companies. As
a Redditor put it, by the time ordinary
investors participate through secondary market, the prices of these tokens have
been marked out profiting the wealthy:

“Almost all were and are funded by VCs and the wealthy via SAFTs, often through secret deals where price and amount of tokens are not disclosed. The public is generally not allowed to participate until the tokens get marked up 5x, 10x or 100x before an exchange listing. So you will end up with the vast majority of tokens owned by a very few, already very wealthy people.”

Bottom line is this, Ethereum may be presently slow, but it
secure. It may not be scalable, but it is permission less and participatory.
Besides, it is developing and has the backing of the developer community.

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Dogecoin (DOGE) Is Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s ‘Favorite’ Crypto

Dogecoin Signal Boosted By Musk

Elon Musk is obviously a mythical figure in the world of technology, crypto included. Thus it made sense when the official Dogecoin Twitter handle’s April Fools’ joke mentioned the Tesla and SpaceX chief executive.

When the public was asked to vote for the next CEO of Dogecoin, a pseudo-role (with zero power) that has existed as a joke for years now, they brought up Elon Musk as a candidate. In fact, the world-renowned entrepreneur got more votes that Vitalik Buterin, Charlie Lee, and Metal’s Marshall Hayner. Nice.

In response to this poll, which ‘crowned’ Musk the chief executive of a decentralized meme cryptocurrency, the Tesla founder was gracious. He wrote that Dogecoin “might (actually) be [his] favorite crypto,” adding that “it’s pretty cool.” While many cast this aside as another April 1st joke, it is important to note that this quippy tweet was posted on April 2nd. Maybe Musk isn’t kidding.

Elon Still Likes Other Cryptos (Like Bitcoin)… We Think

Musk’s most recent run-in with this budding industry is the latest occurrence in a long line of events. As reported by Ethereum World News previously, the well-known Silicon Valley guru, took to the New York-based ARK Invest’s “FYI” Podcast to touch on Tesla’s plans, autonomy, other innovations, such as crypto. Per The Block, who compiled his comments regarding cryptocurrencies, Musk made his comments with explicitly bullish tones.

After discussing Tesla’s most recent advancements, the hosts of the podcast, the CEO and an analyst at ARK, a disruptive innovation-centric investment group, took a brief aside. They asked Musk if he agrees with Dorsey’s recent comments on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies at large. Interestingly, the SpaceX visionary responded with an answer, albeit somewhat cursory.

He tacitly agreed, noting that the “Bitcoin structure was (is) quite brilliant,” adding that Ethereum and “maybe some of the others” have merit too. Musk did admit that he isn’t too enamored with Bitcoin’s Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, noting that it is energy intensive.

Yet, he explained that fundamentally, crypto assets are great as they bypass currency controls, especially in nations embroiled in financial and political turmoil, like Venezuela. He added that cryptocurrencies are also a “far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper,” subsequently quipping that he’s sure of this “without a doubt.”

This was the first time that Musk openly acknowledged the merits of digital money, but this came after he tussled with the topic behind closed doors for months. Seen below is an image of Musk holding a crypto-related book snapped at South By Southwest.

Image result for elon musk book bitcoin

Months after the above image went crypto-viral, the eccentric billionaire bashed Ethereum Twitter scammers, poked Jackson Palmer the co-creator of Dogecoin, revealed he owned a mere $1,000 worth of digital assets (it’s not like he needs the gains), and jokingly asked his followers if they wanted to buy BTC. It is clear that Musk is keeping a close eye on the industry, but what form will his next foray take?

Photo by Jannes Glas on Unsplash

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Crypto Scores Big-Name Backer in Chicago’s Mayor: “Alternative Currencies Will Happen”

Chicago’s Mayor Takes To The Stage To Laud Cryptos

Very often do incumbents of legacy industries mention crypto assets. And even if they do, their comments are often laced with a negative tone, as they are wary of the purported criminal activity-enabling potential of assets like Bitcoin.

But, this narrative took a sudden turn on March 18th, as Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s incumbent mayor, took to the stage of a local FinTech gathering to make mention of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Per Forbes, his statements were rather positive.

Emanuel, who formerly served as President Obama’s chief of staff, remarked that for nations facing finanicial imbroglios, namely Iran and Venezuela, harnessing crypto assets could be a good escape mechanism. He went on to explain:

One day, somebody’s going to figure out – whether that’s Argentina, ten years from now, five years from now – how to use cryptocurrencies to stay alive when their facing a financial crisis, and then you’re going to find out that this moment has arrived.”

Emanuel’s comments are rather reminiscent of those made by humans right advocate Alex Gladstein, who wrote an op-ed in TIME Magazine on a similar subject matter. According to reports from this very outlet, Gladstein explained that he sees Bitcoin, privacy-centric digital assets (ZCash, for example), and similar technologies as a way out of authoritarianism.

The mayor of one of America’s biggest cities was open in stating that his knowledge of the technology is lackluster, but explained that he sees blockchain’s “trend lines are affirmative for its future.”

Emanuel Joins Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, Others In Bitcoin Love

Emanuel’s public show of affection for cryptocurrencies comes after some of the world’s largest Silicon Valley stars, entrepreneurs, and the like have lauded Bitcoin.

As you, the reader, likely know, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter and Square, has become somewhat of a BTC crusader in recent months. After adding the cryptocurrency, which he has called a contender for the Internet’s native currency, to Square’s Cash App in early-2018, Dorsey has gone, as CNBC puts it, “all-in” on the space. After confirming that he would add the Lightning Network to Cash App, he scooped up a Trezor hard wallet to store his holdings.

Most recently, he called on three to four developers and one designer to join Square Crypto, a recently-launched division meant to bolster the Bitcoin ecosystem through development and newfangled products.

Nearby, Elon Musk, a world-renowned entrepreneur and visionary of what’s to come, has expressed a similar sentiment on the future of digital assets. Musk told ARK Invest’s CEO that he expects for paper money to be ousted by cryptocurrencies, before adding that he sees Bitcoin’s structure as “brilliant.” The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, however, made it clear that he only owns less than $1,000 worth of BTC.


Photo by Matthew Hamilton on Unsplash

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Scammers, Satoshi and Tesla Miners: Elon Musk’s Complex Relationship With Crypto

Tesla CEO said that Bitcoin’s structure is “quite brilliant.”

Last week, technology entrepreneur and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Bitcoin’s (BTC) structure is “quite brilliant,” adding that digital currency is “a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper.”

Notably, that was perhaps the most straightforward comment on cryptocurrencies and blockchain from Musk so far, as he normally tends to avoid the topic. However, there have been a few encounters between the tech mogul and crypto to date — after all, given Musk’s previous experience at PayPal, he couldn’t pass up the innovative digital payment method.

Here’s how his relationship with crypto has evolved since 2014, when he made his first public comments about Bitcoin.

October, 2014: Elon Musk argues that Bitcoin will be mostly used for illegal transactions

On Oct. 8, 2014, Musk was interviewed by Walter Isaacson on stage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit. At some point, Isaacson asked the Tesla CEO whether he thought that Bitcoin would be disruptive to fiat currencies, to which he replied:

“I think Bitcoin is probably a good thing. I think it’s primarily going to be a means of doing illegal transactions. But that’s not necessarily entirely bad. You know, some things maybe shouldn’t be illegal.”

Musk then added:

“It will be useful for legal and illegal transactions. Otherwise, it would have no value as a use for illegal transactions, because you have to have a legal-to-illegal bridge.”

The entrepreneur followed his comments by disclosing that he didn’t own any BTC at the time.

November 2017: Musk clarifies he is not Satoshi, says he owns “part of BTC”

On Nov. 22, Sahil Gupta, who is allegedly a former intern at SpaceX, wrote a Medium entry speculating that Musk could be Satoshi Nakamoto, the original creator of Bitcoin.

Specifically, Gupta emphasized Musk’s background in economics, experience in production-level software and history of innovation to postulate that Musk could have invented Bitcoin.

The theory was very soon disproved by Musk himself, who tweeted that Gupta’s suggestion “is not true.” The SpaceX CEO added, however, that he now had “part of BTC” a friend sent him a few years back.  

December 2017: Musk says that he has never heard about Bitcoin

On Dec. 22, Neeraj K. Agrawal, an employee of nonprofit crypto research institution CoinCenter, took to Twitter to ask Musk whether he created Bitcoin, to which the tech tycoon replied that he “never heard of it,” linking a satirical article on The Onion titled “Bitcoin Plunge Reveals Possible Vulnerabilities In Crazy Imaginary Internet Money.”

January 2018: Musk references crypto hype to promote a flamethrower  

In January 2018, when major altcoins were enjoying their all-time highs following the Bitcoin’s record-breaking ascent, Musk used the consequent crypto hype to promote a flamethrower released by his tunnel construction firm, the Boring Company:

“The flamethrower is sentient, its safe word is ‘cryptocurrency’ and it comes with a free blockchain.”

February 2018: Musk comments on Twitter crypto scams, reveals how much BTC he is holding

In February last year, the SpaceX CEO addressed a growing Twitter trend, whereas scammers would pose as famous figures like Musk or Donald Trump and trick users into sending them cryptocurrency.

Replying to one of the tweets asking why such spamming was so widespread, Musk claimed that he had already contacted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey regarding this issue.

“I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from .25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago,” he also disclosed, which seems to check out with the aforementioned comment about his crypto holdings.

At the time, his BTC tokens amounted to around $2,531. As of now, that number would be even more modest, being set at around the $975 mark.

Interestingly, just few days prior to Musk’s tweet, Tesla’s Amazon Web Service’s (AWS) software container was hacked by cryptojackers. Specifically, fraudsters accessed Tesla’s AWS access credentials by penetrating a nonpassword-protected Kubernetes software container. Then, they used that container to mine Bitcoin for an unknown amount of time. The attack was well coordinated, as the hackers set up their own mining pool software, then connected the malicious script to an “unlisted” endpoint, and kept their CPU usage at a low level to prevent being spotted.

Prior to that, in December 2017, an owner of a Tesla S electric car reported that he had been mining Bitcoin with his car’s supercharger, placing a mining rig in the trunk.

March 2018: Musk is spotted holding a book about cryptocurrencies

In March, a photo of Musk holding a book titled “Cryptocurrencies Simply Explained” surfaced online. The picture was taken at South by Southwest festival, where the entrepreneur allegedly took one item from the crowd to sign. According to the book’s author, Julian Hosp, Musk kept the book.

Elon Musk

Source: photo by Ryan Chylinski on Twitter

October 2018: Musk jokes about selling Bitcoin, gets banned from Twitter

On Oct. 22, Tesla CEO provoked some rumors about his company’s involvement with cryptocurrencies by posting a tweet that said “wanna buy Bitcoin?” The image attached to the post was taken from the Cryptocurrency Girls website, which depicts major cryptocurrencies as anime characters.

Later, Musk confirmed it was a gag. “I was just joking,” he said during a recent podcast hosted by advisory services firm ARK Invest. “Bitcoin and Ethereum scammers were so rampant on Twitter, I decided to join in and I said at one point wanna buy some Bitcoin?”

After the tweet, the entrepreneur’s account was briefly suspended “because of some automatic rule against selling Bitcoin or something,” as he explained.

November 2018: Fraudsters steal $157,000 worth of crypto after hacking verified Twitter accounts

On Nov. 5, British news agency Telegraph reported that fraudsters stole 120,000 euros (around $157,000), after posing as Musk and promoting a fake cryptocurrency giveaway on Twitter.

Specifically, the hackers broke into Twitter accounts of clothing retailer Matalan and Pathé UK, the British arm of the French filmmaker, and posted messages advertising the giveaway. Since both accounts were verified, the followers were more likely to take their message at face value.

The post claimed that Musk was leaving Tesla and was giving away free Bitcoin via a typical form for Twitter crypto-related scams: The followers were encouraged to send a small amount of Bitcoin to a given wallet address and promised a much larger amount in return.

According to the Telegraph report, more than 300 people had fallen victim to the scam.

February 2019: Musk says that Bitcoin’s structure “is quite brilliant,” adding that there is “some merit to Ethereum as well”

On Feb. 19, ARK Invest published a podcast featuring Musk, who made his stance on cryptocurrencies clearer, and — for the first time since 2014 — made some serious comments on the topic. At first, however, when the interviewer asked Musk to go off-topic and talk about cryptocurrencies, he started to laugh it off. “Crypto? Seriously?” he exclaimed.

Nevertheless, in response to a question about whether Bitcoin will become the only native cryptocurrency of the internet, Musk said:

“I think the Bitcoin structure was quite brilliant. It seems like there’s some merit to Ethereum as well, and maybe some of the others.”

Musk then stressed that “it would not be a good use of Tesla resources to get involved in crypto,” because his company is “trying to accelerate the advance of sustainable energy.” Thus, he pinpointed crypto’s high-energy consumption as one of its disadvantages:

“One of the downsides of crypto is that, computationally, it is quite energy intensive. So there have to be some kind of constraints on the creation of crypto. But it’s very energy intensive to create the incremental Bitcoin at this point.”

As for the pros, Musk noted that he liked cryptocurrencies for their ability to transfer value and bypass currency controls:

“It bypasses currency controls. Paper money is going away, and crypto is a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper. That’s for sure.”

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Tron (TRX) Enters Merchandising Phase With T-Shirts and More at Crypto and Proud

Merchandising is one of the best ways companies and/or firms give their fans a chance to become part of ‘the magic’ of what they are trying to achieve by solving real life problems. We have seen it with Elon Musk who has sold out caps and flame throwers as part of his revolutionary idea of easing Los Angeles traffic through the Boring Company.

The Tron (TRX) Foundation is also offering the Tron Community a chance to be part of the project by partnering with Crypto & Proud to provide merchandise for the global community. Fans of Tron can buy assorted merchandise using their TRX. Justin Sun made the announcement via a tweet as follows:

#TRONICS can buy #TRON Products using $TRX on @cryptoandproud. The first #TRON Basic collection is available now! As our partner, @cryptoandproud will expand the collection with more #TRON Merchandise and create their own unique products for #TRON.

Plans are underway to expand the collection of Tron merchandise at Crypto & Proud. The current Tron inventory at the online store includes the following:

  1. T – Shirts
  2. Polo shirts
  3. iPhone X Cases

The medium announcement by the Tron Foundation went on to state that Crypto & Proud ships internationally, thus providing a convenient solution for any TRX HODLer from any corner of the earth:

Besides working as a store Crypto & Proud is able to provide merchandise partner support and complete larger orders for their client’s team, business partners, supporters, community, influencers and others. Crypto & Proud ships internationally with tracking and accept over 50 crypto currencies in store and for their services.

In conclusion, the partnership between the Tron Foundation and Crypto & Proud provides an avenue for the Tron Community to be part of ‘the magic’ of decentralizing the web by purchasing genuine Tron merchandise. As Tron also embraces another new phase of Decentralized Applications on its blockchain thanks to the Tron Virtual Machine (TVM), the future does indeed look bright for the project.

[Photo courtesy of medium.com/tron-foundation]

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein should be taken as is. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available.

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Elon Musk: “I Want Ethereum (ETH) Even If It Is A Scam”

Elon Musk, who is unarguably the world’s foremost entrepreneur, has finally made his section mention of Ethereum (ETH). While this would normally be seen as a potential turning point for this nascent industry, Musk’s mention of the popular cryptocurrency was through the lens of it possibly being a scam… uh oh!

On Tuesday, Techmeme, a San Francisco-based technology-centric news aggregator, posted a tweet that highlighted Twitter’s removal of 486 accounts that were reportedly participating in malicious schemes.

Elon Musk, who has been subject to attack via Twitter accounts acting in malintent, fittingly responded to the tweet, noting that this was a “great action” made by the social media giant that will “increase usage by real users.” While this original statement made no mention of crypto, another user of platform responded to Musk, poking fun at Ethereum scambots in the following statement:

Elon so you won’t send me that ETH after all?

As reported by Ethereum World News in early July of 2018, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO (amongst other accomplishments) is no stranger to Twitter scambots, as he acknowledged the bots that plagued his profile for months, by asking “who is running the Ethereium scambots” at an earlier date.

Back to the matter at hand, Musk, who is clearly aware of these bots as established, jokingly fired back a reply, adding that the ETH that was ‘promised’ “is coming, I swear.” As such a reply wasn’t unexpected by the man himself, Twitter users quickly flocked to the thread to further the conversation. After likely receiving hundreds, if not thousands of messages regarding ETH, other crypto assets, and blockchain tech, the world-renowned entrepreneur made one final comment on the situation, stating that “at this point, I want ETH even if it is a scam.”

While this is clearly a joke, it’s comforting knowing that Elon Musk, a role model to millions of individuals around the world, has taken some interest, albeit small, in this nascent industry that has the potential to reach a global audience.

Could Twitter Be To Blame For The Crypto Scambot Debacle? 

Although Twitter has taken actions against the aforementioned 486 accounts, as per an article from The 

Next Web’s crypto-centric column, the San Francisco-based social media firm might just be exacerbating the problem. Security researcher Troy Mursch recently revealed that accounts impersonating the Tesla executive were actually ‘recommended’ for Mursch to follow.

Not only were these accounts impersonating Musk, but unsurprisingly, they were also advertising malicious links for an “official 5,000 ETH giveaway” from Elon Musk himself. Evidently, Twitter’s attempt to amend this problem has been widely unsuccessful, with Mursch later taking to Twitter to post even more images of the same issue.

This issue has become so widespread that Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin even tagged Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, asking him to fix the issue, while also asking developers to establish a second-layer solution to filter out these bots. So far, nothing seems to have resulted from Buterin’s cries for help, as these bots remain a rampant force to be dealt with.

Title Image Courtesy of Heisenberg Media @ Flickr
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A Look Into The Mind Of An “ETH Giveaway” Twitter Scammer

Crypto Pet Peeves — Twitter Scam Bots

Ethereum giveaway scam bots are the pet peeve of any cryptocurrency Twitter user, with these malicious accounts littering the comment sections of tweets. Nearly everyone in this nascent community has seen them, but for those who don’t know what these bots are, here’s a bit of an explanation.

These so-called “giveaway scam bots” are fraudulent Twitter accounts that pose as celebrities, entrepreneurs or even cryptocurrency personalities to garner attention or cryptocurrencies. The most notable cases of these scams include Twitter ‘giving away ETH’ scams, with scammers requesting for users to send a certain amount of Ether to an address, in exchange for a substantially larger payout. Obviously, nothing ever comes of these requests, as the unfortunate few who send their funds to the addresses never receive anything in return.

As reported by Ethereum World News, cybersecurity researchers recently uncovered that there were upwards of 15,000 individual accounts dedicated to garnering scammed cryptocurrency. While this figure may not tell the whole story, with bots getting banned left and right, Duo Security’s search spanned 88 million Twitter accounts, so the firm’s claims hold some credence at the very least.

These pesky scam bots have become so widespread that Vitalik Buterin, a well-known co-founder of Ethereum, had to go as far as changing his username to set his account apart from scam accounts. Along with changing his name, the Ethereum co-founder even called out Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to fix the issue.

Moreover, not only has this issue affected well-known individuals in the crypto community, but it has also affected mainstream celebrities, with accounts being made in the likeness of Elon Musk’s Twitter page being seen on a near-daily basis. In fact, these accounts have become so common that Elon Musk himself acknowledged them, poking fun at the “scambots” concept in the following tweet.

While the extent of these scams is easily apparent, little is known about the operation itself, or the people behind it. But as Boing Boing reports, Adam Guerbuez, a cryptocurrency evangelist, recently received some insight on this whole scam bot debacle.

Up Close And Personal With A Scam Bot Operator 

Guerbuez, the aforementioned cryptocurrency evangelist and personality, first encountered this form of cryptocurrency scam on his Twitter, with an account promising his followers “free” Ethereum. While Guerbuez obviously knew that this tweet was made in malintent, out of curiosity, he asked the scammer if they could discuss the whole operation.

Oddly enough, the scammer agreed, likely due to the fact that the operator was a big fan of Guerbuez’s social media outlets. According to the unnamed individual, these scams can rake in upwards of $50,000 a day, with a good day potentially pulling in a staggering $100,000 in Ethereum. While the claims were not backed up by any evidence, taking into account the prevalence of these scams, it is more than likely that these figures are well warranted.

The scammer went on to explain the inner workings of his/her/their operations, adding that the bots are run by small teams that enlist the help of many automated practices. The scammer wrote:

“Well, the process from generating accounts, to tweeting to rotating ETH wallet address is all done automatic by our bots. The only manual process is cashing out.”

Closing off the interview, the scammer, referred to as “ETHGiveaway” by Boing Boing, explained that Twitter verified accounts (the accounts with a blue checkmark beside their name) while costing upwards of $1,000, are of no use to scammers anymore, as “mooches (scammed individuals) will send ETH to any account we make.”

Although Twitter may be doing its best to crack down on these scams, it is still evident that these fraudulent accounts are as common as ever in this nascent cryptosphere.

Photo by Marius Ciutacu on Unsplash

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