The same year Bitcoin was released by its anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, Keene’s privately-run cold weather shelter and drop-in center, Hundred Nights, was also launched. I reported at the time on founder Don Primrose‘s courageous civil disobedience of opening without the permission slips from the local ruling gang known as the “City of Keene”.
Hundred Nights, Downtown Keene, NH
Ever since, I’ve been a supporter of the unique approach that Hundred Nights has taken to helping the homeless. Rather than give them a place to stay every day of the year, Hundred Nights opens for the hundred coldest nights. At 7am, all those staying overnight have to get their stuff and leave for the day. They aren’t completely out in the cold, as Hundred Nights also operates a drop-in center open year-round, where the homeless can work on finding jobs, putting together a resume, or just get warm.
Recently, the Monadnock Decentralized Currency Network (MDCN) donated 1% of a Bitcoin Core (BTC) to the auction that Hundred Nights put on in December. The MDCN also offered to match the dollar amount of the winning bid on the coin as a BTC donation to Hundred Nights, up to a maximum of one whole BTC (which at the time was worth about $15,000). Turns out, despite having the chance to bid, a room full of mostly older folks only resulted in one bid… of $25. It was a lady buying it for her son, who had been telling her about cryptocurrency.
Hundred Nights’ BTC Wallet QR Code is 13rPdujR7Gg2v8pGHEF1UwCAP9gVjb6j8v
Given that the bid was so low, it was decided that a matching 1% of a BTC (worth around $150 at the time) would also be donated to Hundred Nights, rather than just $25. I dropped in to the office of Hundred Nights’ Executive Director Mindy Cambiar and helped walk her through signing up with Coinbase. While I’m not a big fan of Coinbase as a company, they do make it easy for people with bank accounts to acquire cryptocurrency as well as convert it to USD if they need or want, so I still recommend them to newbies. Indeed, within a short time, Hundred Nights was ready to accept cryptocurrency donations and the addresses are up now on their website. Whether you live in the area or not, if you’re a cryptocurrency user, please send them a donation to thank them for embracing the future of money!
As of now, Keene’s independent homeless charity is now accepting cryptocurrency including Bitcoin Core (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)! Here are the addresses to which you can contribute: (more…)
All Cryptocurrency’s Total Global Value Over $420 Billion!
What a ride! The total market cap of Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies combined passed $420 billion for the first time yesterday! For some perspective, keep in mind that the global market cap passed $100 billion for the first time in early June. It hit $200 billion five months later in early November, then about three weeks later hit $300 billion. It only took ten more days for the total market cap to pass $400 billion.
With some exceptions, overall, the rest of the cryptocurrency prices trend upward when Bitcoin Core (BTC) is going up. Bitcoin Core has been on a meteoric rise, with nearly a 2000% increase in its US dollar value in the last twelve months! Yesterday, BTC eclipsed over $16,000 according to BitcoinAverage.com. Two days prior to that, it was at $12,000.
When will these steady gains come to an end? Hard to say. Many fear a huge crash is coming, but then again cryptocurrency is uncharted territory. Just because there was a big crash in bitcoin in 2013 doesn’t mean anything for what’s happening now. The market was so small then by comparison to today. If you look at the market cap chart above, you can see that “big” crash at the end of 2013 – but it barely registers as a little speed bump, peaking then at around $13 billion, when compared to the monstrous $420 billion of value in all cryptos today.
Corner News’ owner Roberta Mastrogiovanni poses with her store’s brand new Bitcoin Vending Machine!
Obviously, rule number one of investing is don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose. If you’ve got money in cryptocurrency and you’re spooked and want to cash out, go ahead, just don’t cash it all out. Also, consider diversifying into other cryptocurrency besides BTC. That said, rule number one of bitcoin has always been to hold on for the ride. Don’t let the downs get to you. They will come at some point; the only question is how deep the price drop will be and for how long. It’s important to keep perspective – we’re still in the early days of this. Even though bitcoin is coming up on its ninth year of existence, it’s still young compared to all other forms of money that have been with us for centuries. This is new territory and anything can happen.
We’re all subject to our emotions and beliefs. I got spooked and sold some of the Shire Free Church‘s bitcoin for cash prior to the much-feared “Segwit2x” fork of Bitcoin that was supposed to happen in November, but never materialized. That bitcoin would now be worth three times as much USD had we held it. (more…)
After months of buildup, fighting, and controversy, the potential forkers of Bitcoin have blinked. Thankfully, they’ve called off their plans to cause a potentially damaging and very contentious schism to the Bitcoin network. Today, several of the “Segwit2X” developers appear to have written an email canceling the much ballyhooed “upgrade” that was attempting to become the “real” bitcoin.
Is the Bitcoin geek war finally over, or just getting started?
I wrote a very detailed article explaining what was happening with this potential fork and you can read that here to get caught up. Here’s a brief recap of how we got to where we are:
Bitcoin has been going through some ugly growing pains. Its network is full of transactions. Fees have been skyrocketing as a result. Bitcoin transactions that a few years ago were no more than a few cents are now regularly $3-5 dollars. This has killed Bitcoin’s usefulness for small transactions. After arguing online for years about how to solve the issue technically, a group of dozens of companies and mining pool operators came together in May to propose a compromise called “Segwit2X”. This would implement “Segregated Witness” and then three months later increase the block size to 2 MB from 1 MB. Both of these changes were supposed to increase capacity.
Segwit was implemented by late August via “soft fork”, which means that nodes on the network who don’t update their software are still okay, because soft forks are backwards-compatible. New features added in the fork still support all the old features in the previous software version. The fork that was coming next week and is now supposedly canceled was to be a “hard fork”, which means software prior to the fork would no longer be compatible with the changes made, in this case increasing the block size to two megabytes. In theory this should have doubled the headroom in the network, decreasing fees. However, the plans are now off, after multiple original signers of the “New York Agreement” have backed out. (more…)
Do you take the road less traveled?
After squabbling for years over how to fix the growing pains of the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency, one of the sides in the ongoing Bitcoin Geek War has finally made a bold move. This week, on August 1st, a small number of the “big blockers” performed a “hard fork” and broke away from the main Bitcoin blockchain, creating a new currency, “Bitcoin Cash“. This had the added benefit of giving everyone who already held Bitcoin an equal amount of the new Bitcoin Cash! Ever heard the phrase, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”? Bitcoin’s first fork into two has proven that statement wrong. Read on to learn more about this historic week in Bitcoin.
Bitcoin has Forked into Two!
The blockchain is the distributed, decentralized ledger that contains every transaction that has ever occurred on the Bitcoin network. It’s approximately 150 GB in size. Since the hard fork, there are now two “Bitcoin” blockchains competing for market dominance. Both of them have the exact same transactions from the beginning of Bitcoin nearly a decade ago, running until August 1st, 2017, when at just after 2pm Eastern time the first “Bitcoin Cash” block was mined into existence, at greater than 1 MB – in fact, its size was about 4 MB.
Since the original Bitcoin blockchain has a 1 MB limit per block, it was at this point that the one blockchain became two. The supermajority of miners are still mining the original Bitcoin chain, let’s call it “Bitcoin Core” or BTC. However, a small portion of miners have joined the mining of the new “Bitcoin Cash” or BCH. If you thought Bitcoin Core’s growing pains were challenging, take a look at how Bitcoin Cash had to start:
In Bitcoin, there’s a thing called mining difficulty that is basically designed to increase as more people enter mining and compete to discover scarce Bitcoins. However, should people leave the mining game, the difficulty will decrease. In BCH’s case, when they started their fork, their network was at the same difficulty level as BTC, but with a fraction of the total mining power. That’s why it took six hours for the BCH miners to find their first block! Normally Bitcoin blocks are expected to be found every ten minutes. So, this means BCH transactions were, in the beginning, taking hours to confirm! They are as of this writing, still taking longer than BTC transactions.
Bitcoin mining doesn’t actually look like this.
Worse still, no one who wanted to sell their newfound BCH was easily able to do so for at least the first couple days of its existence. Due to concerns about certain technical attacks that are possible in the time after a fork, cryptocurrency exchanges were extra cautious before allowing BCH deposits to trading accounts. However, while they weren’t allowing people to deposit BCH, they WERE allowing them to trade it. Huh? How can one trade something on an exchange to which one can’t deposit? Remember, after the fork, the people with BTC in their exchange accounts were given a balance of the same amount of BCH. (Except at the Bitfinex exchange, who screwed over their customers.) So, since trading was happening but no one could deposit, the price of the new BCH trended upward, even reaching as high as $800-$1,000 on some exchanges. (more…)