Three Economists of the FUDpocalypse | Hodler’s Digest

The market was in a decline this week, Bitcoin
is teetering below $6,200. EOS suffered the worst loss, falling nearly
7% within 24hrs. Also, Elon Musk is impressed by criminals,
the three economists of the FUD-pocalypse have arrived, and it turns out the Google
co-founder spends quality time with his son in a “side hustle” mining Ether. Here is your weekly Hodler’s Digest! We begin this week with a special report on Russia Today, a grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment presented by the special counsels office. The indictment charges 12 Russian military officers by name for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. The U.S. Department of Justice indicted twelve Russian nationals for federal crimes — funded by crypto. The Russian government’s Main Intelligence
Directorate allegedly used Bitcoin to fund hacking into the computer networks associated
with the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, and U.S. elections-related state boards. Russian officials allegedly obtained “thousands
of stolen emails and documents” that they released through the domain while
promoting themselves as “American hacktivists.” The DoJ reports that the indictment does not
claim that the alleged criminal activities “altered the vote count or changed the outcome
of the 2016 elections.” The indictment includes the claim that more
than $95,000 was laundered through cryptocurrencies to fund the hacking and spear phishing attacks. These attacks target specific individuals
or organisations with the intention of stealing data for malicious purposes. Hillary Clinton was hacked that very same
day, the 27th of July 2016. Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Russia woes continue, a Greek court agreed on Friday to extradite Alexander Vinnik to France. New research suggests that crypto may become the mainstream means of payment. A new study conducted by Imperial College
in London and trading platform eToro has found that cryptocurrencies could go mainstream. Crypto, the study claims, already meets at
least one of the three main criteria for money–acting as a store of value. However, it is yet to meet the remaining two
criteria Acting as a medium of exchange
Serving as a unit of account. One battle might be won, but not the war. In order to become money, cryptocurrency needs
to solve six main challenges: scalability, usability, regulation, volatility, incentives,
and privacy. The study is cautiously optimistic, it outlines
that crypto is the “natural next step” for money and can become a mainstream payment
instrument “within the decade.” It reminds readers, however, that the very
first email was sent in 1971, so don’t expect mainstream adoption overnight. This study flies in the face of FUDmeisters
everywhere. Like the head of the Bank for International
Settlements who said last week that cryptocurrency “cannot assume the functions of money,” Rome wasn’t built in day, but neither did
it fall in a day. It took about 109,500 days. So 10 years seems pretty fast…for banks
to do the same. In Silicon Valley, even family time is tech
related. Google co-founder Sergey ’rocking a kaftan
like its no big deal’ Brin and his son have been mining Ethereum. “A year or two ago, my son insisted that we
needed to get a gaming PC,” “I told him, ‘Okay, if we get a gaming PC,
we have to mine cryptocurrency. So we set up an Ethereum miner on there, and
we’ve made a few pennies, a few dollars since.” He later admitted that Google had been slow
to adopt blockchain and that it was not on the ‘bleeding edge’ of tech. He doesn’t know too much about crypto, but
finds the technology “extraordinary.” “I see the future as taking these…research-y,
out-there ideas and making them real.” 100 years ago, Russian born Brin may very
well have been mining with his son in an actual coal mine. Mining Ethereum in 2018 may not be all that
lucrative with a gaming PC, but at least it doesn’t break any child labor laws. We will know the apocalypse is here when the
four Horsemen arrive, for the end of Bitcoin we only need three
economists, apparently. Joseph Stiglitz, Kenneth Rogoff, and Nouriel
Roubini all came out against crypto with the usual FUD:
Bitcoin will fail as a currency, it has no intrinsic value and suffers price volatility. YADAYA
Nobel Prize-winning economist Stiglitz was particularly cutting, he said it contradicts
the idea of “a transparent banking system” and it allows for “nefarious activity,”
which “no government can allow.” *AHEM* hate to be a stickler Mr Stiglitz,
but the entire history of banking is riddled with ‘nefarious activity’ from the Medicis
to the Lehman brothers, and beyond, a lot of which the government allowed. Stiglitz went on:
“Once it [the cryptocurrency market] becomes significant they will use the hammer.” Rogoff and Roubini, AKA Dr.Doom, concurred. “Dr. Doom” thinks Bitcoin fulfills “none
of” the characteristics of money and is too volatile to be a store of value. The three economists of the FUDpocalypse is
in theatres soon. Elon Musk: modern day Da Vinci or Silicon
Valley’s the Donald? Despite his genius, Elon Musk has been pretty
hard to love of late. There was the meltdown during a conference
call, he suggested a rating system for journalists’ credibility and reports abounded that Tesla
workers are not paid or forced to use their vacation during factory shutdowns. This week he tweeted Vitalik Buterin was not amused Good to know that amongst the billionaire
boys club, there are grownups in the room. China’s crypto crackdown seems to have worked. Before the Bitcoin ‘purge’ last year,
China accounted for the majority, now trading Yuan for Bitcoin has plummeted below 1% of
the global volume. Japan, which has taken the opposite approach
and opened itself up to the crypto world by introducing a licensing system for digital-assets
last year, is now the crypto trading hub, with the yen accounting for over 44%. In January, Bobby Lee, who was forced then
to shutdown BTCC operations in China, said he was hopeful that the Chinese government
would eventually lift the ban, but couldn’t predict a time frame:
“Frankly speaking, I don’t know what kind of time frame that is, whether it’s a few
months, a few years or even a few decades, so it’s hard to tell.” China is the ultimate centralised state, philosophically
the polar opposite of Satoshi’s original dream, so it’s perhaps unlikely to be anytime
soon. If China eventually does lift the ban on crypto,
what year do you think it will be? 2030? 25230? Predictions in the comments please. And as always like, subscribe, and hodl!

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