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When Currencies Fail: A Glimpse Into The Future of The U.S. Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)

A Primer On The Dollar Crisis In Lebanon. When Currencies Fail: A Glimpse Into The Future of The U.S. Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)

A massive shortage of dollars is instigating economic chaos, including a more than 50% loss of value in the Lebanese pound and what looks like an enormous local premium for bitcoins. Presented in podcast and full-transcript formats.


The Lebanese pound has lost at least 50% of its value against the dollar since last year. About 220,000 people have lost their jobs. Food prices are up 58%. An estimated 75% of the population needs assistance of some kind. And over the last two nights, at least a dozen banks have been torched by protesters.

The catalyst? Not coronavirus but a massive dollar shortage destroying an economy that relies on inflows of U.S. dollars to function.

In this episode, NLW breaks down how Lebanon models what it looks like for a currency to fail, and why this likely isn’t the last emerging market currency to experience a similar crisis in the months to come.

Transcript

Welcome back to The Breakdown, an everyday analysis, breaking down the most important stories in Bitcoin, crypto and beyond with your host NLW. The breakdown is distributed by CoinDesk.

NLW: Welcome back to The Breakdown. It is Wednesday, April 29th and today we are going to be talking about Lebanon, specifically the currency crisis overlapping a political crisis overlapping a larger economic crisis that is engulfing Lebanon and I think has relevance for how we understand the dollar in the world, the dollar’s role in the world and the fallout from COVID-19.

I wanted to bring this episode to you because I noticed last week Lebanon start to emerge in the crypto sphere and there were two contexts:

The first was Dan Tapiero. He picked up on a piece by newsBTC noticing that Bitcoin seemed to be trading at fifteen thousand dollars in lebanon via localbitcoins.com which is a peer to peer platform for trading Bitcoin between people. He said the classic emerging market funding crisis was made worse by deflationary dollar peg that is breaking.

Study this case as it will be modeled for other weak emerging markets. It will be a key part of the macro story behind the upcoming Bitcoin price rally.

NewsBTC… They titled their article Bitcoin trades at 15 K in Lebanon amidst economic turmoil showing its real potential. That was part one of how this showed up on the Bitcoin radar. And of course you see Bitcoin trading at a seemingly 100% premium against what we were seeing it at. It’s going to cause notice.

The second context that Lebanon has had within the Bitcoin sphere, the Bitcoin Twittersphere, is images and videos of riots in Lebanon… Where protesters are smashing banks and setting fire to banks over the last two days. And that is happening, but it has a specific context and I think it’s incredibly important to dig into this because this is not just a single country, this is a country that is representative of I think a number of potential challenges that a variety of huge emerging market contexts are going to face in the coming months and the coming years.

And it deeply implicates the question of the role of the dollar in the world and the role of external currencies. So what I’m going to try to do today is give you a primer on how Lebanon got here, how this crisis happened, what this crisis means, and what the real implications are. Now, a couple caveats. First, I am obviously not a Lebanon expert. It is not my main field.

It is not my main point of view and I have put this primer together humbly by doing my own research of the last six months of Lebanese political and economic turmoil. That said, I do have some context in this region. I first went to the middle East in 2004 to study in Cairo. I went back and forth a number of times, probably a dozen times over the course of the next five years or so.

I thought that I was going to spend my life doing either Middle East conflict resolution or just conflict resolution more broadly and spent time all around the region, including in Lebanon and Syria. Again, this was a long time ago. I was in Lebanon last in 2006 and Syria last in 2006 as we know, those places are very different than they were then, but this is not a complete neophyte perspective. I guess I do have some time booked both in the region and spent looking at the history of the region.

I’m not going to get too deep into history today. I’m really just going to focus on what’s been happening over the last six months and put it in the larger global economic context we have. Here’s the TLDR on this. This is not a story of Bitcoin trading at a premium because people are desperate to get into Bitcoin.

This is a story of a local currency failing and people trying to find any on-ramp to access any US dollars that they can. That’s the real story and that’s the important piece of this conversation. Let’s do a little bit of Lebanon economic basics first. A key thing to note is that this is a country where almost everything consumed is imported.

That’s a really important note because as we’ll see, imports are purchased with dollars and then sold for Lebanese Lira. Even before all of this happened, Lebanon had a huge debt to GDP ratio, one of the worst in the country between 150% to 170% debt to GDP ratio. This is a country that borrows a lot. It has had a dollar peg since 1997 of approximately 1500 Lira to one US Dollar. It has had a dollar peg since 1997 of 1500 Lebanese pounds or Lira to one USD.

An article in the New York times described this rate thusly, they said, “but maintaining that rate required continually bringing new dollars into the country, usually by enticing wealthy investors to make large dollar deposits for high interest rates. A strategy that some economists have compared to a Ponzi scheme.” We’ll get into this more in the banking system more in a minute. But the key part for our purposes is that since 1997 the dollar has been pegged 1500 Lebanese pounds to one US dollar and it’s been maintained through central bank policy.

This is an economy that is 70% dollarized and it has only been sustainable because of diaspora inflows back to the country. So a huge number of Lebanese depositing money into the Lebanese banking system from abroad as well as from inflows from other regions. So Lebanese banks have attracted huge foreign inflows for years and years and years through offering high interest rates and basically that allows the country to pay for imports even though it has such low exports.

So in this way, the banking system is really key to the economy. The deposit base in fact in Lebanon is usually something like 2.5 to three times the size of the economy. However, the banking system is hugely compromised right now. And this is not just a coronavirus thing. In fact, as you’ll see, this story is not particularly a coronavirus issue, although as with everywhere else, the coronavirus shutdowns have exacerbated the situation, so the banking system is compromised. 70% of assets are lent to the state itself, but government bonds are trading 40 to 50 cents on the dollar.

Of those 30% of loans that are to the private sector, 25% of those are non-performing. And what that means when you add everything up from the central bank balance sheet is that half of the assets of banks are impaired. They’re problematic. This could be okay in some short term way if there were still huge inflows from abroad into the banking system, but there haven’t been in the same way because of regional turmoil.

There is the obvious crisis of the war in Syria, which has been ongoing and dragging the entire region down. There is trouble with Iran who basically uses Hezbollah to meddle in Lebanon’s affairs and has for decades. There is a crisis with the relationship with Saudi Arabia, which went really bad in 2017 to say the least and I will point you to more resources to learn about that, but when that relationship went bad, we saw some of the first gasps of dollar outflows in late 2017 1.5% of cash deposits were withdrawn from the Lebanese banking system in fear of what that regional turmoil might do.

So effectively we have a very unstable economy that is largely propped up by a robust banking sector that has been attractive to both foreign Lebanese as well as to the region for years, but as political crisis engulfs the region and compromises that banking system, it makes the system of continued inputs very compromised.

And so this is the context for where we started to see real problems happen last year. The center, underlying problem which metastasizes and metastasizes in this situation is not enough dollars to keep this economy going. As I was mentioning before, if you have a net import economy that uses dollars and your local currency interchangeably, what happens is that all of those purchases of imports happen in dollars, right?

If the U S is sending wheat or anything else to you, it’s going to bill you in dollars, not in Lebanese pounds, but then your local market, your local consumer base, uses those Lebanese pounds to buy that good. The peg keeps that system working, but if the peg starts to break, it can deteriorate incredibly quickly. Keep in mind as well that there is a dollar shortage around the world. This is not a Lebanon unique situation.

The U S dollar has been the strongest and clearest asset, the world’s global reserve currency, not just theoretically, but in a way that is profound for a long time. And so imagine the pressure of trying to get dollars everywhere, but manifested in a specific nation-context like Lebanon. That’s what we’ve been dealing with. So last August the 1500 Lebanese pound to us dollar peg started to break. In September, an economic state of emergency was declared and the government actually used WhatsApp to say that they plan to raise taxes to cover government expenditures.

This sparked protests because there was already a lot of questions around the legitimacy of government and corruption in government. So when the government said that they were going to come seize citizen money through taxes, basically to cover their expenditures, there was a wave of protests. This was exacerbated in October. On October 11th there was a nationwide strike demanding the ability to pay for fuel imports in Lira, in Lebanese pounds rather than dollars. A sign seen on Twitter said, we apologize to the Lebanese people due to the lack of dollars to buy fuel.

“We are closing our petrol station until we can secure this product in Lebanese pounds.” So again, this is the situation we were just describing. Petrol station owners sell their fuel in Lebanese pounds, but have to buy it in US dollars from importers. This also happened to mill owners. People who are bakers who buy imported wheat in US dollars. What happens of course, is that as the peg starts to come undone, that itself creates more demand for dollars, which causes the peg to come further undone. So put yourself in the situation of your average Lebanese person.

You’re seeing these strikes around fuel importers around bakeries who aren’t able to get the dollars they need to buy the imports that allow their businesses to work. You’re an average citizen. You say, well, damn, if there’s dollar shortages, I need to go get my dollars out, which causes a run on the bank.

Banks start to limit withdrawals, which is exactly what happened. Banks started to limit how much could be withdrawn in USD and that creates more demand for dollars. All of a sudden that activity moves to the black markets because if banks won’t allow people to withdraw money or get access to dollars, black markets will, but the black market price is not going to stay the same as that official peg. This keeps going on.

As people start to see the peg fall further, they want to minimize loss. They go from, “I don’t want to lose the value that I would have had at that official peg going on the black market” to “The black markets, the only place I can get those dollars, if it’s 2000 Lebanese pounds to the dollar, now, I want to lock in that loss rather than worry or take the risk of a loss of greater debasement of the value of the Lebanese pound in months to come.

So it’s a very vicious cycle. So, big protests start in October. Prime minister resigns at the end of October. Protests continue through November. Fast forward to February, early March… GDP is down from 55 billion to 44 billion. 220,000 jobs in a country of 5 million are lost between October to February. Food prices are up 58% and key parts of the industry are just totally left shuttered. So this is a quote from an article. Importers of critical goods such as medical supplies, say their requests for dollars have gone almost entirely unmet since February.

Leaving many hospitals dangerously low on everything from heart stents to dialysis equipment on March 7th an extraordinary thing happens for the first time Lebanon defaults on a foreign currency debt payment. This is one thing that was holding Lebanon together is that it had a relatively high standing in foreign markets because it didn’t do things like default on debt payments.

It did in March for the first time and then COVID-19 hits and the economy is locked down since the middle of March, which is just pouring gasoline on an absolute dumpster fire already. So let’s look again at what’s happening in the currency markets as this foreign currency default happens in the beginning of March, the official exchange rate remains at 1500 Lebanese pounds to the dollar, but on the black market, money changers are getting 2,500 pounds to the dollar.

There are a growing wave of people who are extremely worried, right? Think about middle-class Lebanese who are paid in Lebanese pounds, but who owe tuition or mortgages that are denominated in dollars. It’s the story that we hear over and over again in dollar denominated debt. No one can get dollars to bring in goods from abroad. So businesses are shuttering and to make matters worse, and this is how these economic crises play out.

Lebanese banks, which are terrified of bank runs, are continuing to reduce how much people can actually take out of their accounts and they’re doing so with caps, they are setting the exchange rate price lower than what the black market is saying. Then we get to April and things get really bad. The official peg is still at 1500 but it’s gone to 3,500 in black markets. A few weeks into April bank start making some small concession.

They allow small depositors to cash out dollar savings, but at 2,600 pounds, so this is obviously more than the 1500 but way less than the 3,500 pounds that the black market was saying a dollar was worth. The blame game heats up between the prime minister and the central bank governor in a televised speech, the prime minister said the central bank is either incapable, absent, or directly inciting this dramatic depreciation.

There’s clear politicking involved in, like I said at the beginning, there’s so much to Lebanese politics that I can’t get into it now, but it’s worth looking into, but there’s credence for these accusations, at least in the context of regular citizens and protestors because the Lebanese bank has at this time been trying to buy up all the dollars they can from money transfer companies at a rate of 3,625 Lebanese pounds to the dollar.

So in short, the Lebanese bank is trying to buy as many dollars as they can get their hands on at a rate that’s much higher than the exchange rate that they’re allowing Lebanese citizens to withdraw at, which is obviously going to cause incredible foment. There’s no way that people are going to just let that pass, especially when the prime minister is saying that the central bank governor is to blame for this crisis, which brings us to this week and the videos and images you’ve seen on Twitter of banks burning around Lebanon.

Aljazeera called this the night of the Molotov and for the last two nights at least a dozen Lebanese banks have been torched, vandalized as part of this growing frustration. Effectively these protests are now turning violent because the desperation is getting to reach a fever pitch with no end, no clear plan in sight. Even before all this, it was estimated that poverty was around 50% in the country at the beginning of the year.

Now, the social affairs minister of the country is estimating that some 75% of the population require aid. Meanwhile, the economy, what’s left of it is still shut down because of the coronavirus. That’s where we are now. We have a crisis in freefall which has lost at least 50% of its value against the dollar and realistically more since the middle of last year with a rate of descent that is increasing.

We have a political instability where an already compromised and unloved government is blaming the central bank for this machination. We have an economic system that’s based not on economic fundamentals but financial engineering that requires an ever growing influx of foreign investment, foreign currency into the system that once that dries up just shuts down. All told what you have is that complete currency collapse and by extension economic collapse of a nation that has at times been one of the bright lights of a very troubled region.

Let’s return back to the article that got Bitcoin’s attention in the first place. This idea that Bitcoin was trading at 15,000 Lira in Lebanon amidst economic turmoil showing its real potential. The article was based on the sell price on local bitcoins.com of a Bitcoin going for as high as 22,678,227.03 Lebanese pounds per token. If you divide that by the official expressed Lebanese pound to dollar rate, which is 1500 you get this 15,000 number.

That’s where it comes from. It is factoring in or it is assuming that the exchange rate of 1500 is the actual exchange rate. As we’ve discussed, the real exchange rate in Lebanon right now is somewhere between 2,600 which is what the banks are offering people to withdraw there. Lebanese pounds at or 3,600 which is what the central bank is paying for dollars on the open markets and what Lebanese are paying in the black markets.

When you divide this offer of 22 million Lebanese pounds per Bitcoin by those numbers, you get a number that looks pretty much exactly like what Bitcoin was selling for everywhere else. Does this mean that we shouldn’t see Bitcoin as an interesting, relevant asset for this region? Should we dismiss this idea that it is “showing its real potential?” My answer is “absolutely not”, but we have to understand how Bitcoin and other digital assets are functioning in the real world right now.

The story of Lebanon that I’ve just told, which is the very TL;DR version is a story where people don’t have control over their money. Their money is predicated on a banking system that has its own interests, its own machinations, its own incentives that for a while aligned with theirs. But as soon as it didn’t, shut down their ability to actually control their wealth and effectively enabled their wealth to be reduced by a factor of 50% in the course of just a few months.

Imagine that you had been saving in a bank doing what you’re supposed to do, being a good citizen, putting away your money for years and years and years and over six months. It’s cut in half simply by the debasement of the currency. That’s what we saw. What Bitcoin is reflective of and how people are using it in this crisis is trying to escape a local monetary regime that is crumbling.

What the world is doing though, and I think that we have to expect this is going to be the case for some time, is they’re escaping, not into Bitcoin per se, but the dollar. The dollar is the world’s escape valve currency. Even in Lebanon, before this turmoil, the whole system was predicated on being able to move easily into the dollar. The problem is that as the dollar becomes the only asset for the entire world, there’s a shortage of them and it becomes harder and harder to get into the dollar.

Now, the interesting thing is as we watch the total circulating supply of USD based stable coins rise, I think that’s part and parcel of this as well. It is people trying to get dollar exposure and escape from local monetary regimes by accessing the digital currency world. This is not a diminishment of Bitcoin, but we also need to be clear that it’s not some super premium because Lebanese who are desperate are trying to get into this new currency.

Lebanese who are desperate are trying to get to the currency that they’ve always used to actually pay the key debts that they have, which is dollars. We live in a dollar denominated debt world until that is no longer the case, part of Bitcoin’s role is going to be to help people escape out of these local monetary regimes, which are collapsing and get money to where it needs to be into different currencies. Even synthetic ones. I don’t think that’s a knock on Bitcoin. I think it’s in fact an affirmation of its power as an uncontrollable non-sovereign currency.

But we have to speak about what is actually true, not just go for the headline. So hopefully this has been an interesting or enlightening look at what’s going on in Lebanon. As I said, I am not a Lebanese expert. I put this together on the basis of just my own research and reading, but I fear that it is reflective of a lot of places we’re going to see around the world that face this same perfect storm of a bad local monetary regime and currency crisis that ensues, a shortage of dollars that makes it worse and the lack of a fundamental basis for the economy that can solve it.

Anyways, guys, let me know what you thought about this episode. Hit me up @NLW on Twitter and if you liked it, share and subscribe. Let me know because this is a little bit of a departure, although to me, I think this is the type of issue that is sort of the most important for us to really, really understand. If we want to think about how digital currencies and Bitcoin specifically have a role in the world to come. Thanks as always for listening and until tomorrow, be safe and take care of each other. Peace!

Updated: 5-22-2020

Don’t Buy Bitcoin, Says Wealth Exec As Lebanon Chooses BTC Over Fiat

Bitcoin and gold are “too speculative” and it’s better for investors to trust the government to pay them back, claims Peter Mallouk.

Bitcoin (BTC) is not what young investors should buy after the coronavirus crash, says the man who once said that the biggest cryptocurrency faces an “inevitable death spiral.”

Speaking to CNBC on May 21, Peter Mallouk, president and chief investment officer at wealth management firm Creative Planning, claimed that stocks and bonds were better options than Bitcoin and even gold.

Mallouk: “No Need” To Buy Bitcoin Or Gold

“There is no need to go over into the speculative world,” he told the network, arguing that assets such as Bitcoin and gold “see a lot more booms and busts.”

Basically, we define ‘speculative’ as anything that doesn’t produce income and bring it to you as an investor.

Mallouk was speaking as Bitcoin far outperformed stocks, bonds, oil and gold year-to-date. As Cointelegraph reported, the cryptocurrency’s 2020 performance has no comparison, having entirely erased the losses from its crash which also took down traditional markets. Their recovery, however, has been much less certain.

Even Mallouk himself appeared to doubt the appeal of his own advice. While recommending buying bonds, he could not avoid mentioning the amount of blind faith required in the issuer.

“If you’re loaning money to a company or government, that company or government is promising to pay you back,” he continued.

It’s no different from loaning money to your brother — hopefully, your brother’s really economically stable, you loan him money, he’s going to pay you back.

It is precisely this lack of the need to trust that Bitcoin has become the top investment available in terms of its “hardness” as money. Unlike with fiat, companies or bonds, there is no need to worry whether the actions of a small number of people will destroy an investment’s value.

Lebanese Investors Vote For BTC

Lay consumers have once again been voting against fiat investment en masse and in favor of Bitcoin this week. According to a survey of Lebanese residents currently circulating on Twitter, 57.5% of the 6,661 respondents would prefer to receive their salary in Bitcoin.

The sentiment comes as the value of the local currency, the Lebanese pound, continues to freefall. Earlier this month, a dollar peg in place since 1997 vanished, adding to the rout.

At the same time, Gemini co-founder Tyler Winklevoss is sounding the alarm over governments’ gold buying strategies. The Bank of England blocking access to Venezuela’s reserves “may cause some governments to rethink their gold strategy,” he argued on Thursday.

Mallouk meanwhile is convinced that Bitcoin will fail. In December 2018, around the time that BTC/USD hit lows of $3,100, he said that for him, “Bitcoin is dead.”

“It won’t go quietly, but the recent precipitous drop may be the beginning of its inevitable and inexorable death spiral. Or there could be a dead cat bounce,” he wrote in Forbes.

Either way, I see bitcoin as a dead man walking.

According to the current count of such “obituaries” by 99Bitcoins, Bitcoin has now died and come back to life 380 times.

Updated: 6-12-2020

Lebanon’s Central Bank Burns As Protesters Rail Against Fiscal Failures

A spiralling currency crisis in Lebanon sparked widespread protests targeting central banks an increasing embrace of digital assets.

Protesters in Lebanon have set fire to the central bank in Tripoli in a show of anger with the country’s deepening economic crises and stagnant political orthodoxy.

Joyce Karam of United Arab Emirates-based media outlet TheNational reported June 11 that the Lebanese pound (LBP) is trading for more than 5,000 per $1 in spite of the country’s official peg of 1,507 per dollar— a 20% depreciation since April, and over 230% since the peg was respected in January.

However, recent reports also indicate that an increasing number of protestors are embracing Bitcoin (BTC) as a means of bypassing Lebanon’s failing monetary system.

Banks Burn As Unrest Grows

On June 12, Reuters reported that Lebanon’s central bank will begin injecting funds into its currency market in a bid to stem the rapid depreciation that has escalated tensions and local unrest.

The report notes some currency dealers have already responded to the central bank’s move, lowering prices down to roughly 4,500 pounds per dollar. Government officials have also pledged to take action intended to reduce its value by to roughly 3,000 pounds per $1.

However, recent attempts by politicians to quell the country’s deepening economic crisis have been largely unsuccessful, with protestors having erupted into multiple demonstrations targeting banks with rocks and fire in recent months while Lebanese officials racked up record debts.

Bitcoin Grows In Popularity As Currency Plummets

Amid the turmoil, an increasing number of Lebanese citizens are turning to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, with Nikkei Asian Review reporting that digital assets are “being embraced as an alternative to dollar assets” among the country’s protesters.

However, confusion surrounding the value of Lebanese fiat has led to erratic prices being listed on peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplace Localbitcoins — with current buy listings ranging from 19 million LBP to 57 million LBP per BTC, while sell offers range from 12.5 million to 40 million.

Bitcoin is increasingly gaining popularity as an alternative store of value in country’s facing violent hyperinflation, with Venezuela long comprising a leading market by volume on Localbitcoins.

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New ‘Simpsons’ Episode Features Jim Parsons Giving A Crypto Explainer For The Masses (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto-currency Founder Met With Warren Buffett For Charity Lunch (#GotBitcoin?)

Witches Love Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s Potential To Benefit The African And African-American Community

Coinbase Becomes Direct Visa Card Issuer With Principal Membership

Bitcoin Achieves Major Milestone With Half A Billion Transactions Confirmed

Jill Carlson, Meltem Demirors Back $3.3M Round For Non-Custodial Settlement Protocol Arwen

Crypto Companies Adopt Features Similar To Banks (Only Better) To Drive Growth (#GotBitcoin?)

Top Graphics Cards That Will Turn A Crypto Mining Profit (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Usage Among Merchants Is Up, According To Data From Coinbase And BitPay

Top 10 Books Recommended by Crypto (#Bitcoin) Thought Leaders

Twitter Adds Bitcoin Emoji, Jack Dorsey Suggests Unicode Does The Same

Bitcoiners Are Now Into Fasting. Read This Article To Find Out Why

You Can Now Donate Bitcoin Or Fiat To Show Your Support For All Of Our Valuable Content

2019’s Top 10 Institutional Actors In Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

What Does Twitter’s New Decentralized Initiative Mean? (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank Goes Public On New York Stock Exchange (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Best Q1 Since 2013 To ‘Escalate’ If $9.5K Is Broken

Billionaire Investor Tim Draper: If You’re a Millennial, Buy Bitcoin

What Are Lightning Wallets Doing To Help Onboard New Users? (#GotBitcoin?)

If You Missed Out On Investing In Amazon, Bitcoin Might Be A Second Chance For You (#GotBitcoin?)

2020 And Beyond: Bitcoin’s Potential Protocol (Privacy And Scalability) Upgrades (#GotBitcoin?)

US Deficit Will Be At Least 6 Times Bitcoin Market Cap — Every Year (#GotBitcoin?)

Central Banks Warm To Issuing Digital Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Meet The Crypto Angel Investor Running For Congress In Nevada (#GotBitcoin?)

Introducing BTCPay Vault – Use Any Hardware Wallet With BTCPay And Its Full Node (#GotBitcoin?)

How Not To Lose Your Coins In 2020: Alternative Recovery Methods (#GotBitcoin?)

H.R.5635 – Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020 ($200.00 Limit) 116th Congress (2019-2020)

Adam Back On Satoshi Emails, Privacy Concerns And Bitcoin’s Early Days

The Prospect of Using Bitcoin To Build A New International Monetary System Is Getting Real

How To Raise Funds For Australia Wildfire Relief Efforts (Using Bitcoin And/Or Fiat )

Former Regulator Known As ‘Crypto Dad’ To Launch Digital-Dollar Think Tank (#GotBitcoin?)

Currency ‘Cold War’ Takes Center Stage At Pre-Davos Crypto Confab (#GotBitcoin?)

A Blockchain-Secured Home Security Camera Won Innovation Awards At CES 2020 Las Vegas

Bitcoin’s Had A Sensational 11 Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Sergey Nazarov And The Creation Of A Decentralized Network Of Oracles

Google Suspends MetaMask From Its Play App Store, Citing “Deceptive Services”

Christmas Shopping: Where To Buy With Crypto This Festive Season

At 8,990,000% Gains, Bitcoin Dwarfs All Other Investments This Decade

Coinbase CEO Armstrong Wins Patent For Tech Allowing Users To Email Bitcoin

Bitcoin Has Got Society To Think About The Nature Of Money

How DeFi Goes Mainstream In 2020: Focus On Usability (#GotBitcoin?)

Dissidents And Activists Have A Lot To Gain From Bitcoin, If Only They Knew It (#GotBitcoin?)

At A Refugee Camp In Iraq, A 16-Year-Old Syrian Is Teaching Crypto Basics

Bitclub Scheme Busted In The US, Promising High Returns From Mining

Bitcoin Advertised On French National TV

Germany: New Proposed Law Would Legalize Banks Holding Bitcoin

How To Earn And Spend Bitcoin On Black Friday 2019

The Ultimate List of Bitcoin Developments And Accomplishments

Charities Put A Bitcoin Twist On Giving Tuesday

Family Offices Finally Accept The Benefits of Investing In Bitcoin

An Army Of Bitcoin Devs Is Battle-Testing Upgrades To Privacy And Scaling

Bitcoin ‘Carry Trade’ Can Net Annual Gains With Little Risk, Says PlanB

Max Keiser: Bitcoin’s ‘Self-Settlement’ Is A Revolution Against Dollar

Blockchain Can And Will Replace The IRS

China Seizes The Blockchain Opportunity. How Should The US Respond? (#GotBitcoin?)

Jack Dorsey: You Can Buy A Fraction Of Berkshire Stock Or ‘Stack Sats’

Bitcoin Price Skyrockets $500 In Minutes As Bakkt BTC Contracts Hit Highs

Bitcoin’s Irreversibility Challenges International Private Law: Legal Scholar

Bitcoin Has Already Reached 40% Of Average Fiat Currency Lifespan

Yes, Even Bitcoin HODLers Can Lose Money In The Long-Term: Here’s How (#GotBitcoin?)

Unicef To Accept Donations In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Former Prosecutor Asked To “Shut Down Bitcoin” And Is Now Face Of Crypto VC Investing (#GotBitcoin?)

Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ Is Bringing Blockchain To Zurich

Next Bitcoin Halving May Not Lead To Bull Market, Says Bitmain CEO

Tim Draper Bets On Unstoppable Domain’s .Crypto Domain Registry To Replace Wallet Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Developer Amir Taaki, “We Can Crash National Economies” (#GotBitcoin?)

Veteran Crypto And Stocks Trader Shares 6 Ways To Invest And Get Rich

Have I Missed The Boat? – Best Ways To Purchase Cryptocurrency

Is Chainlink Blazing A Trail Independent Of Bitcoin?

Nearly $10 Billion In BTC Is Held In Wallets Of 8 Crypto Exchanges (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Enters Settlement Talks With Alleged Fraudulent Firm Veritaseum (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockstream’s Samson Mow: Bitcoin’s Block Size Already ‘Too Big’

Attorneys Seek Bank Of Ireland Execs’ Testimony Against OneCoin Scammer (#GotBitcoin?)

OpenLibra Plans To Launch Permissionless Fork Of Facebook’s Stablecoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Tiny $217 Options Trade On Bitcoin Blockchain Could Be Wall Street’s Death Knell (#GotBitcoin?)

Class Action Accuses Tether And Bitfinex Of Market Manipulation (#GotBitcoin?)

Sharia Goldbugs: How ISIS Created A Currency For World Domination (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Eyes Demand As Hong Kong Protestors Announce Bank Run (#GotBitcoin?)

How To Securely Transfer Crypto To Your Heirs

‘Gold-Backed’ Crypto Token Promoter Karatbars Investigated By Florida Regulators (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto News From The Spanish-Speaking World (#GotBitcoin?)

Financial Services Giant Morningstar To Offer Ratings For Crypto Assets (#GotBitcoin?)

‘Gold-Backed’ Crypto Token Promoter Karatbars Investigated By Florida Regulators (#GotBitcoin?)

The Original Sins Of Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Is The Fraud? JPMorgan Metals Desk Fixed Gold Prices For Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Israeli Startup That Allows Offline Crypto Transactions Secures $4M (#GotBitcoin?)

[PSA] Non-genuine Trezor One Devices Spotted (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Stronger Than Ever But No One Seems To Care: Google Trends (#GotBitcoin?)

First-Ever SEC-Qualified Token Offering In US Raises $23 Million (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Prove A Whole Blockchain With One Math Problem – Really

Crypto Mining Supply Fails To Meet Market Demand In Q2: TokenInsight

$2 Billion Lost In Mt. Gox Bitcoin Hack Can Be Recovered, Lawyer Claims (#GotBitcoin?)

Fed Chair Says Agency Monitoring Crypto But Not Developing Its Own (#GotBitcoin?)

Wesley Snipes Is Launching A Tokenized $25 Million Movie Fund (#GotBitcoin?)

Mystery 94K BTC Transaction Becomes Richest Non-Exchange Address (#GotBitcoin?)

A Crypto Fix For A Broken International Monetary System (#GotBitcoin?)

Four Out Of Five Top Bitcoin QR Code Generators Are Scams: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Waves Platform And The Abyss To Jointly Launch Blockchain-Based Games Marketplace (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitmain Ramps Up Power And Efficiency With New Bitcoin Mining Machine (#GotBitcoin?)

Ledger Live Now Supports Over 1,250 Ethereum-Based ERC-20 Tokens (#GotBitcoin?)

Miss Finland: Bitcoin’s Risk Keeps Most Women Away From Cryptocurrency (#GotBitcoin?)

Artist Akon Loves BTC And Says, “It’s Controlled By The People” (#GotBitcoin?)

Ledger Live Now Supports Over 1,250 Ethereum-Based ERC-20 Tokens (#GotBitcoin?)

Co-Founder Of LinkedIn Presents Crypto Rap Video: Hamilton Vs. Satoshi (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Insurance Market To Grow, Lloyd’s Of London And Aon To Lead (#GotBitcoin?)

No ‘AltSeason’ Until Bitcoin Breaks $20K, Says Hedge Fund Manager (#GotBitcoin?)

NSA Working To Develop Quantum-Resistant Cryptocurrency: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Custody Provider Legacy Trust Launches Crypto Pension Plan (#GotBitcoin?)

Vaneck, SolidX To Offer Limited Bitcoin ETF For Institutions Via Exemption (#GotBitcoin?)

Russell Okung: From NFL Superstar To Bitcoin Educator In 2 Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Miners Made $14 Billion To Date Securing The Network (#GotBitcoin?)

Why Does Amazon Want To Hire Blockchain Experts For Its Ads Division?

Argentina’s Economy Is In A Technical Default (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain-Based Fractional Ownership Used To Sell High-End Art (#GotBitcoin?)

Portugal Tax Authority: Bitcoin Trading And Payments Are Tax-Free (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin ‘Failed Safe Haven Test’ After 7% Drop, Peter Schiff Gloats (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Dev Reveals Multisig UI Teaser For Hardware Wallets, Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Price: $10K Holds For Now As 50% Of CME Futures Set To Expire (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Realized Market Cap Hits $100 Billion For The First Time (#GotBitcoin?)

Stablecoins Begin To Look Beyond The Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)

Bank Of England Governor: Libra-Like Currency Could Replace US Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)

Binance Reveals ‘Venus’ — Its Own Project To Rival Facebook’s Libra (#GotBitcoin?)

The Real Benefits Of Blockchain Are Here. They’re Being Ignored (#GotBitcoin?)

CommBank Develops Blockchain Market To Boost Biodiversity (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Approves Blockchain Tech Startup Securitize To Record Stock Transfers (#GotBitcoin?)

SegWit Creator Introduces New Language For Bitcoin Smart Contracts (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Earn Bitcoin Rewards For Postmates Purchases (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Price ‘Will Struggle’ In Big Financial Crisis, Says Investor (#GotBitcoin?)

Fidelity Charitable Received Over $100M In Crypto Donations Since 2015 (#GotBitcoin?)

Would Blockchain Better Protect User Data Than FaceApp? Experts Answer (#GotBitcoin?)

Just The Existence Of Bitcoin Impacts Monetary Policy (#GotBitcoin?)

What Are The Biggest Alleged Crypto Heists And How Much Was Stolen? (#GotBitcoin?)

IRS To Cryptocurrency Owners: Come Clean, Or Else!

Coinbase Accidentally Saves Unencrypted Passwords Of 3,420 Customers (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Is A ‘Chaos Hedge, Or Schmuck Insurance‘ (#GotBitcoin?)

Bakkt Announces September 23 Launch Of Futures And Custody

Coinbase CEO: Institutions Depositing $200-400M Into Crypto Per Week (#GotBitcoin?)

Researchers Find Monero Mining Malware That Hides From Task Manager (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Dusting Attack Affects Nearly 300,000 Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

A Case For Bitcoin As Recession Hedge In A Diversified Investment Portfolio (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Guidance Gives Ammo To Lawsuit Claiming XRP Is Unregistered Security (#GotBitcoin?)

15 Countries To Develop Crypto Transaction Tracking System: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

US Department Of Commerce Offering 6-Figure Salary To Crypto Expert (#GotBitcoin?)

Mastercard Is Building A Team To Develop Crypto, Wallet Projects (#GotBitcoin?)

Canadian Bitcoin Educator Scams The Scammer And Donates Proceeds (#GotBitcoin?)

Amazon Wants To Build A Blockchain For Ads, New Job Listing Shows (#GotBitcoin?)

Shield Bitcoin Wallets From Theft Via Time Delay (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockstream Launches Bitcoin Mining Farm With Fidelity As Early Customer (#GotBitcoin?)

Commerzbank Tests Blockchain Machine To Machine Payments With Daimler (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Historical Returns Look Very Attractive As Online Banks Lower Payouts On Savings Accounts (#GotBitcoin?)

Man Takes Bitcoin Miner Seller To Tribunal Over Electricity Bill And Wins (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Computing Power Sets Record As Over 100K New Miners Go Online (#GotBitcoin?)

Walmart Coin And Libra Perform Major Public Relations For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Judge Says Buying Bitcoin Via Credit Card Not Necessarily A Cash Advance (#GotBitcoin?)

Poll: If You’re A Stockowner Or Crypto-Currency Holder. What Will You Do When The Recession Comes?

1 In 5 Crypto Holders Are Women, New Report Reveals (#GotBitcoin?)

Beating Bakkt, Ledgerx Is First To Launch ‘Physical’ Bitcoin Futures In Us (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook Warns Investors That Libra Stablecoin May Never Launch (#GotBitcoin?)

Government Money Printing Is ‘Rocket Fuel’ For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin-Friendly Square Cash App Stock Price Up 56% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Safeway Shoppers Can Now Get Bitcoin Back As Change At 894 US Stores (#GotBitcoin?)

TD Ameritrade CEO: There’s ‘Heightened Interest Again’ With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Venezuela Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record Thanks To 10,000,000% Inflation (#GotBitcoin?)

Newegg Adds Bitcoin Payment Option To 73 More Countries (#GotBitcoin?)

China’s Schizophrenic Relationship With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

More Companies Build Products Around Crypto Hardware Wallets (#GotBitcoin?)

Bakkt Is Scheduled To Start Testing Its Bitcoin Futures Contracts Today (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Network Now 8 Times More Powerful Than It Was At $20K Price (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange BitMEX Under Investigation By CFTC: Bloomberg (#GotBitcoin?)

“Bitcoin An ‘Unstoppable Force,” Says US Congressman At Crypto Hearing (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Network Is Moving $3 Billion Daily, Up 210% Since April (#GotBitcoin?)

Cryptocurrency Startups Get Partial Green Light From Washington

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee: Bitcoin Pullback Is Healthy, Fewer Searches Аre Good (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Lightning Nodes Are Snatching Funds From Bad Actors (#GotBitcoin?)

The Provident Bank Now Offers Deposit Services For Crypto-Related Entities (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Could Help Stop News Censorship From Space (#GotBitcoin?)

US Sanctions On Iran Crypto Mining — Inevitable Or Impossible? (#GotBitcoin?)

US Lawmaker Reintroduces ‘Safe Harbor’ Crypto Tax Bill In Congress (#GotBitcoin?)

EU Central Bank Won’t Add Bitcoin To Reserves — Says It’s Not A Currency (#GotBitcoin?)

The Miami Dolphins Now Accept Bitcoin And Litecoin Crypt-Currency Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

Trump Bashes Bitcoin And Alt-Right Is Mad As Hell (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Sachs Ramps Up Development Of New Secret Crypto Project (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain And AI Bond, Explained (#GotBitcoin?)

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Outperformed Indexes In First Half Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

XRP Is The Worst Performing Major Crypto Of 2019 (GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Back Near $12K As BTC Shorters Lose $44 Million In One Morning (#GotBitcoin?)

As Deutsche Bank Axes 18K Jobs, Bitcoin Offers A ‘Plan ฿”: VanEck Exec (#GotBitcoin?)

Argentina Drives Global LocalBitcoins Volume To Highest Since November (#GotBitcoin?)

‘I Would Buy’ Bitcoin If Growth Continues — Investment Legend Mobius (#GotBitcoin?)

Lawmakers Push For New Bitcoin Rules (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook’s Libra Is Bad For African Americans (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Firm Charity Announces Alliance To Support Feminine Health (#GotBitcoin?)

Canadian Startup Wants To Upgrade Millions Of ATMs To Sell Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Trump Says US ‘Should Match’ China’s Money Printing Game (#GotBitcoin?)

Casa Launches Lightning Node Mobile App For Bitcoin Newbies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Rally Fuels Market In Crypto Derivatives (#GotBitcoin?)

World’s First Zero-Fiat ‘Bitcoin Bond’ Now Available On Bloomberg Terminal (#GotBitcoin?)

Buying Bitcoin Has Been Profitable 98.2% Of The Days Since Creation (#GotBitcoin?)

Another Crypto Exchange Receives License For Crypto Futures

From ‘Ponzi’ To ‘We’re Working On It’ — BIS Chief Reverses Stance On Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

These Are The Cities Googling ‘Bitcoin’ As Interest Hits 17-Month High (#GotBitcoin?)

Venezuelan Explains How Bitcoin Saves His Family (#GotBitcoin?)

Quantum Computing Vs. Blockchain: Impact On Cryptography

This Fund Is Riding Bitcoin To Top (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Surge Leaves Smaller Digital Currencies In The Dust (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Exchange Hits $1 Trillion In Trading Volume (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Breaks $200 Billion Market Cap For The First Time In 17 Months (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Make State Tax Payments In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Religious Organizations Make Ideal Places To Mine Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Sacs And JP Morgan Chase Finally Concede To Crypto-Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Heading For Fifth Month Of Gains Despite Price Correction (#GotBitcoin?)

Breez Reveals Lightning-Powered Bitcoin Payments App For IPhone (#GotBitcoin?)

Big Four Auditing Firm PwC Releases Cryptocurrency Auditing Software (#GotBitcoin?)

Amazon-Owned Twitch Quietly Brings Back Bitcoin Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

JPMorgan Will Pilot ‘JPM Coin’ Stablecoin By End Of 2019: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Is There A Big Short In Bitcoin? (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase Hit With Outage As Bitcoin Price Drops $1.8K In 15 Minutes

Samourai Wallet Releases Privacy-Enhancing CoinJoin Feature (#GotBitcoin?)

There Are Now More Than 5,000 Bitcoin ATMs Around The World (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Get Bitcoin Rewards When Booking At Hotels.Com (#GotBitcoin?)

North America’s Largest Solar Bitcoin Mining Farm Coming To California (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin On Track For Best Second Quarter Price Gain On Record (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Hash Rate Climbs To New Record High Boosting Network Security (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Exceeds 1Million Active Addresses While Coinbase Custodies $1.3B In Assets

Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Lightning Comes To Apple Smartwatches With New App (#GotBitcoin?)

E-Trade To Offer Crypto Trading (#GotBitcoin)

US Rapper Lil Pump Starts Accepting Bitcoin Via Lightning Network On Merchandise Store (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitfinex Used Tether Reserves To Mask Missing $850 Million, Probe Finds (#GotBitcoin?)

21-Year-Old Jailed For 10 Years After Stealing $7.5M In Crypto By Hacking Cell Phones (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Shop With Bitcoin On Amazon Using Lightning (#GotBitcoin?)

Afghanistan, Tunisia To Issue Sovereign Bonds In Bitcoin, Bright Future Ahead (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Faithful Say Blockchain Can Remake Securities Market Machinery (#GotBitcoin?)

Disney In Talks To Acquire The Owner Of Crypto Exchanges Bitstamp And Korbit (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange Gemini Rolls Out Native Wallet Support For SegWit Bitcoin Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

Binance Delists Bitcoin SV, CEO Calls Craig Wright A ‘Fraud’ (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Outperforms Nasdaq 100, S&P 500, Grows Whopping 37% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Passes A Milestone 400 Million Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)

Future Returns: Why Investors May Want To Consider Bitcoin Now (#GotBitcoin?)

Next Bitcoin Core Release To Finally Connect Hardware Wallets To Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)

Major Crypto-Currency Exchanges Use Lloyd’s Of London, A Registered Insurance Broker (#GotBitcoin?)

How Bitcoin Can Prevent Fraud And Chargebacks (#GotBitcoin?)

Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)

Zebpay Becomes First Exchange To Add Lightning Payments For All Users (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase’s New Customer Incentive: Interest Payments, With A Crypto Twist (#GotBitcoin?)

The Best Bitcoin Debit (Cashback) Cards Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Real Estate Brokerages Now Accepting Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Ernst & Young Introduces Tax Tool For Reporting Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Recession Is Looming, or Not. Here’s How To Know (#GotBitcoin?)

How Will Bitcoin Behave During A Recession? (#GotBitcoin?)

Many U.S. Financial Officers Think a Recession Will Hit Next Year (#GotBitcoin?)

Definite Signs of An Imminent Recession (#GotBitcoin?)

What A Recession Could Mean for Women’s Unemployment (#GotBitcoin?)

Investors Run Out of Options As Bitcoin, Stocks, Bonds, Oil Cave To Recession Fears (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Is Looking To Reduce “Marcus” Lending Goal On Credit (Recession) Caution (#GotBitcoin?)

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