The feminine side of Bitcoin news: BTC-ECHO in conversation with Fortunalista

It’s no secret in the crypto world: the abstract theme Bitcoin attracts mostly male interested parties. Since money affects all of us, regardless of gender, it was important to me to shed light on the views of our “pioneers” in the scene. That’s why I had a little talk with Margarethe Honisch from Fortunalista.

Bitcoin news: Finances are not only a men’s topic

In the midst of discussions about price rises and wallets often found in Bitcoin news groups, I found an interesting article called “Why Bitcoin can change the lives of millions of women”. Bitcoin’s revolutionary potential is what unites most of us as enthusiasts across society. Blogger Margarethe Honisch explains how Bitcoin news can help women around the world achieve equality.

How she came to Bitcoin, how Bitcoin can now help in concrete terms, what her experiences have been and how Bitcoin will develop, we have put together for you in an interview!

Hey, Margarethe! I’m glad you could take the time for an interview. I don’t want to talk about the topic for long and prefer to hear your view of the crypto world.

How did you get to Bitcoin news? What aroused your interest back then?

I first heard about Bitcoin news about two years ago. The information was quite unclear to me and was almost always related to Darknet and Nerdgeld. At some point I finally noticed how the value was constantly changing positively and my investor heart was awakened. I finally informed myself more intensively about the Bitcoin news and its backgrounds and its origins. How and why did Bitcoin develop at all? What opportunities does it bring? The more I learned, the more enthusiastic I became and the fascination for Bitcoin and crypto currency was awakened.

Meanwhile I am not only investing in the Bitcoin, but also in various old coins. I think I’m probably what you call a risk investor. However, my experience with stocks has taught me to stay calm when the price falls again.

Many people, not least myself, have become aware of Bitcoin through its positive performance. The fact that you already had previous experience with stocks probably also benefited you. You also share your experiences with other people via your blog “Fortunalista”. What is it about?

Fortunalista is a financial blog that is aimed at women who don’t really want to finance. All my life I have never been interested in saving or investing because I found these topics incredibly stuffy and boring. At some point the penny fell – in the truest sense of the word – and I thought to myself that I couldn’t always hit all my money on the head. When I then began to read myself into the matter, I found it quite exhausting. I thought it might be possible to make the topic a little more interesting. So the idea was born to create a financial blog for women, which is entertaining and conveys everything important.

First of all, I want to motivate women to deal with their finances at all. We women in particular are most affected by poverty in old age for a wide variety of reasons. In my opinion, one cannot always rely solely on politics, but must also act oneself. I would like to give my readers the tools they need to be financially secure. Since I would like to show that one does not have to do without the pleasant things of the life despite savings plan, Topics like journeys or clothes are just as brought up for discussion as gender gap, shares and crypto currencies.

A super philosophy! Especially our crypto-world is also about personal responsibility, those who wait for politics may wait in vain – so rather take the helm yourself! Now the proportion of women seems to be relatively low, what experience have you had as a “pioneer”? Were there certain reactions from men or women? What do you think might be of particular interest to women?

In fact, I have found that both men and women look at me like a freak when I talk about Bitcoin. Above all, many people can’t believe that I know a little and invest a little.

But it becomes interesting when you try to explain to people in simple words what “this Bitcoin” actually is and what the advantages are. Most people saw it for a long time in the illegal corner. With

US economist Roubini: “It’s high time to end the blockchain hype”

HOME POLICY REGULATION US ECONOMIST ROUBINI: “IT’S HIGH TIME TO END THE BLOCKCHAIN HYPE.”
Nouriel Roubini and Preston Byrne Fellow of the British think tank Adam Smith Institute are sceptical about the blockchain hype. The scientists write in an article that Blockchain could be “one of the most highly acclaimed technologies of all time”. Roubini, who used to work for the US government, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, is nicknamed “Dr. Doom” because of many pessimistic forecasts, but in some cases he was right. For example, the economist warned early on of the bursting of the real estate bubble in the United States and the resulting consequences.

Roubini and Byrne hardly leave a good hair on crypto currencies and Bitcoin code

The latter are less efficient than existing databases, the latency is higher, and they need significantly more storage space and computing power than centralized applications, according to onlinebetrug. Blockchains with proof-of-stake or zero knowledge mechanisms are slowed down by the cryptographic verification of all transactions. Blockchains based on the proof-of-work method used for many crypto currencies would also require enormous amounts of energy. Bitcoin code could be useful in cases where a compromise between speed and verifiability is worthwhile. Roubini and Byrne complain, however, that the technology is rarely advertised:

“Blockchain investment proposals usually make wild promises of overthrowing entire industries, such as cloud computing, without conceding any obvious limitations to the technology.

The scientists raise the question of why banks that already use efficient systems to process millions of transactions on a daily basis should switch to noticeably slower and less efficient technologies. For the purposes of financial institutions, a single, globally distributed blockchain like Ethereum could “never be useful”.

No universal Bitcoin code

The assumption that Bitcoin code is a new, universal protocol is wrong, as TCP-IP or HTML were for the Internet. Blockchains themselves were based on basic protocols. In addition, blockchains must take into account the limitations of their users’ hardware and protect themselves from attacks. This explains why the Bitcoin client Bitcoin Core can only process five to seven transactions per second, while Visa can process 25,000 transactions per second. Roubini and Byrne consider the problem of blockchain scaling “more or less unsolved”. The scientists are also harshly going to court with the utopia of “lack of trust”, which allegedly produces the blockchain by making intermediaries superfluous. This is “absurd” for one simple reason alone: https://www.forexaktuell.com/en/bitcoin-code-scam/

“Every existing financial contract can either be changed or intentionally broken by contracting parties. To automate these possibilities away through a rigid ‘lack of trust’ is not economically feasible, not least because all financial contracts would then have to be secured 100% in cash, which is crazy from the perspective of capital costs”.

“Energy-inefficient dinosaur.”

“It’s high time to end the hype,” Roubini and Byrne sum it up. Bitcoin is a slow, energy-inefficient dinosaur that will never be able to process transactions as quickly or cheaply as an Excel spreadsheet. Ethereum becomes vulnerable to manipulation through plans for an insecure proof-of-stake authentication system. And the ripple technology for cross-border interbank financial transfers will soon be “left behind in the dust” by Swift. The fact that Roubini and Byrne describe Swift in their article as a “non-blockchain” consortium is not entirely correct: As BTC Echo reported, the organisation, which standardises news and transaction traffic between financial institutions around the world, is certainly concerned with distributed ledger technologies (DLT), for example for applications in securities markets or for reconciling nostro accounts.

The scientists’ conclusion: “Ultimately, block-chain use will be limited to specific, clearly defined, complex applications; transparency and security against manipulation require more than speed”. One example is communication with self-propelled cars or drones. When it comes to crypto currencies, the conclusion is even more pessimistic. “Most coins hardly differ from railway shares of the 1840s, which collapsed when the bubble – like most bubbles – burst.”

Despite Hard Fork: Ethereum Blockchain still under attack

Even though yesterday’s Ethereum Hard Fork went according to plan, the Blockchain attacks continue as usual.

This time the Ethereum Blockchain was due for hard forking last Tuesday because the Blocckhain has been the target of a sustained DoS attack for a month now. After weeks full of problems with transaction processing and generating new blocks, the development team behind Ethereum has decided to change some network features. Miner and users promptly followed up and updated their clients (also known as the “hard fork”).

The smooth transition to a new transaction record was also what the developers expected, because this time the Hard Fork was just a technical change – unlike the Hard Fork to solve the DAO debacle. Here the blockchain has been rewritten.

But the developers didn’t expect the Bitcoin profit

The attackers seem to have put on another gear. They are using a probably unpredictable Bitcoin profit, which could only be fixed now.

According to Hudson Jamson of the Bitcoin profit Foundation, the developers are currently working on a solution: “We are currently working on a client update to mitigate the problem until the second hard fork. Second Hard Fork follows. Since the attackers used different attack vectors, the developers had planned two consecutive hard forks from the beginning.

The first fork served to correct the “gas price”, since the attacker or attackers used the incorrect calculation of the gas price to flood the block chain with transactions and contracts, forcing the individual nodes with CPU- or memory-heavy operations to their knees. The second fork is designed to eliminate all “spam accounts” created by the attackers. The attackers currently create so many accounts that they clog up the entire network and cannot be dismantled.

What happens next to the Bitcoin profit?

Even after the second hard fork you are not sure how to proceed like this: https://www.forexaktuell.com/en/bitcoin-profit-scam/. Maybe the attackers will then find another gap. The wave of attacks has sparked a big discussion about how the Bitcoin profit developers can protect the network from such attacks in the short, medium and long term.

Some say the attacks are an inevitable consequence of how the Ethereum network is built – more platform functionality, unlike other blockchain networks, means a larger attack surface at the same time.

After the new wave of attacks, BitGo developer Jameson Lopp wondered how many hard forks the network would need to finally plug all the holes.

“The real problem is that there is not enough testing,” says IBM blockchain specialist Martin Hagelstrom. “Even if the developers talk about the problems, they don’t seem to be fully aware that there is 1 billion US dollars in their network.

Other observers, however, were optimistic, including Marco Streng, CEO of Genesis Mining. He says he is impressed by what the Ethereum network has been through in recent months and how they have mastered it:

“All this is a clear sign that Ethereum will come out of this stronger than they have ever been before”.

Author’s opinion (Mark): Yes, the technology isn’t yet secure against every conceivable type of attack, and the development team behind Ethereum is trying to plug the holes. First the DAO disaster, which of course wasn’t the Ethereum Enwtickler’s fault alone, and then the ongoing DoS attack that brings the whole network to its knees. I agree with Jameson Lopp to a certain extent. The technology has obviously not been sufficiently tested for such a big undertaking. Everyone here wants to be the first and bring the best solutions onto the market. Only these should then be thought through accordingly. We’re not talking about an apple pie that can be forged here and there, but about 1 billion US dollars.”

re:publica Special: BTC-ECHO Searches for Blockchain Innovations

Also on the last day of the re:publica in Berlin BTC-ECHO was there again and looked for blockchain lectures and discussions. If you want to know what the re:publica had to offer in terms of blockchain on the first day, you are welcome to read our part 1.

Bitcoin news in the energy sector

The freelance energy journalist Ralph Diermann gave an exciting insight into which Bitcoin news blockchain solutions would be conceivable in the energy sector and which concrete projects already exist in his lecture “Electricity trading via the garden fence – blockchain in the energy sector” found here https://www.forexaktuell.com/en/bitcoin-news-trader-scam/.

The disruptive potential of the blockchain in the energy sector is in no way inferior to that in the financial sector, stresses Ralph Diermann. The blockchain is in a position to turn the entire energy sector upside down, albeit in the long term.

The current situation of the Bitcoin formula

Up to now it has not been possible for private individuals to sell Bitcoin formula to other private individuals. If the solar system on the roof produces more electricity than is consumed, the only option is to sell it to the energy service provider at a specified Bitcoin formula. The energy service provider as a third party therefore has full control over the electricity transactions and the offer and sales prices.

It is also not possible to choose the electricity provider flexibly, depending on where the electricity price is currently the cheapest, so that the end device (e.g. washing machine) could automatically choose the cheapest electricity provider. The highly regulated and oligopolistic energy sector is currently still drawing sharp lines for innovations.

Blockchain as a solution
In order to break down these rigid and inflexible structures, the blockchain as a decentralized peer-to-peer solution can give back more autonomy to power consumers and private producers. The blockchain infrastructure is able to switch off the energy service provider in its intermediary function. This would make it possible to trade electricity from solar roofs within a residential area with each other without having to go through the energy supplier.

There are already projects that have put this project into practice. With the help of the Ethereum blockchain, this approach has already been successfully tested in New York (article).

Another model would be the collective financing of a photovoltaic system within a multi-party building. Billing could also be automated using smart contracts.

We have already reported on many projects presented by Ralph Diermann in the past. Who would like to experience more, can read itself gladly the following articles:

Solar storage for grid stability from TenneT and sonnen (article)
Wien Energie (Article)
Share and Charge from slock.it (article)
It will be some time before the blockchain has established itself in the energy sector, Diermann says. Regulation and deadlocked structures make rapid disruption unlikely.

Meetup on Non-Financial Blockchain-Use Cases
Meetups were held at the re:publica to ensure that the participants not only listened passively to the speakers in their presentations, but were also actively involved in the discussion. In the small chair circles, everyone was invited to join in the discussion.

The Blockchain-Meetup discussed the question how the Blockchain can be used outside the financial sector and especially in development aid. It quickly became clear that it is not always as simple as it seems at first glance.

Although the implementation of Smart Contracts can enormously accelerate processes and reduce costs, the question remains how to ensure that everything is “fair” in programming. How can it be ensured that the programmer considers all interests equally and is free of conflicts of interest? How can errors in the Smart Contract be dealt with? What are the risks posed by interfaces to the outside world? No simple questions.

In addition, possible areas of application of the blockchain were discussed in regions whose infrastructure and institutional structure is inadequate for sufficient supply of the population. One example was refugee camps in Jordan, where the UN uses the Ethereum blockchain to distribute relief supplies (article). Another example was the consideration of how insurance policies that run through a blockchain can help earthquake victims.

The many ideas were discussed even after the official time had expired.

ICOs: Healthy speculation or blistering?

With over five million US dollars, Humaniq has made speeches about his ICO. That was on April 19, 2017 and was eclipsed as a gigantic ICO, just a week later by the gigantic ICO of Gnosis. It took just a quarter of an hour for the tokens to be sold to investors for 12 million US dollars.

But these are just two examples: If you compare the amount of money that projects received through ICOs with what VC companies provided as funding, the ratio between these funding strategies is almost 50/50.
What can worry you, however, is that more than 75% of investors are not looking for long-term investments, but are speculating on strong increases in value.

There is nothing against investments with high risk and high reward opportunities. But the lack of structure, the novelty of the ICOs and the opacity of many initial coin offerings should remind you to be prudent.

The next hot currency for the Bitcoin trader

A big problem with speculation is that ultimately weak projects are highly speculated about their actual value by a lot of capital like this: https://www.geldplus.net/en/bitcoin-trader-review/.

Unlike applications from classic Web 1.0 or Web 2.0 like Facebook, Pinterest or Google, blockchain applications have a rather thin, minimalistic application layer on an extensive Bitcoin trader blockchain layer. In the case of classic webapps, this is rather the other way around: on a minimalist HTTP or TCP/IP protocol there is an extensive application layer.

This means that applications can move from one blockchain to another – depending on the success of the blockchain. For example, there have been applications that have migrated to the Ethereum blockchain – one example is Storj.
However, this also means that an enormous number of often thin applications are started on existing blockchains.

“The boom in ICOs can be traced back to the app explosion of the early 2010s,” says Brad Hines of the e-commerce website NerdPlaythings.com, “As you search for interesting ICOs, you have to dig through hundreds of crypto currencies that often don’t really differ.”

Hines added that not all ICO tokens were successful and many were quickly thrown back by Exchanges.

The experience with Bitcoin has made many crypto trader greedy

“Oh. If I had invested in 2012, I would have been a multimillionaire now” – that’s how many crypto trader read a review. Accordingly, it is not surprising that many crypto trader people sense an opportunity within the framework of the ICOs.

In such an environment it is important to make conscientious, well-founded investment decisions. Unfortunately, the initiators of the ICOs do not make this easy, since there is no standard with regard to the presentation of possible risks. As the project The DAO showed, additional significant risks can occur that were not previously clear.

The search for an ICO standard
To be fair, many people think that the ICO model is currently in an optimization process, so there is hope that this process will become more standardized and thus risk-free.

“There is currently no set of best practices for these initial coin offerings,” said William Mougayar, founder of Startup Management and author of The Business Blockchain.

Ultimately, however, this is not surprising: a big advantage of the ICOs is the fast access to capital. As Gnosis shows, an ICO can implement seed funding in extreme cases in just a few minutes.

This of course makes speculation dangerous as well, since the true and hypothetical value of an investment is indistinguishable and therefore signs representing the health and future position of an asset can be overlooked.

Liquidity is the trump card
That being said, it’s too easy to call all speculation evil. Speculation is ultimately even necessary to improve the liquidity of an asset. This is necessary for assets that would otherwise not be sufficiently visible. Speculation increases the trading volume of an asset, which preserves the liquidity of the investment.

To illustrate this, let’s look at an example beyond the crypto world: Let’s say someone has an eye on a fancy car that is to be sold for 30,000 euros. The potential buyer has however only 12,000 euro – however a collection at original-packed Comicbücher in the value of 20.000 euro. Currently the collection is not liquid, since he cannot use these in the purchase for the car.

The buyer must find someone who buys the collection – if necessary with a discount, it should go fast – and wait accordingly, until the sale of the comic books is completed.

But the car lover is faced with a problem: even if he can sell his collection quickly at ComicCon – it is not now. Au

The consequences for Bitcoin owners

Bitcoins are distributed to Bitcoin addresses, which can be imagined as a Swiss numbered account. The distribution of the Bitcoins to the addresses can be fully traced at any time using the transaction history recorded in the block chain. Bitcoin Cash has taken over this transaction history up to the time of the fork. The initial distribution of the currency units of Bitcoin Cash therefore corresponds exactly to the distribution of the Bitcoins on August 1.

Many users, however, do not hold their Bitcoin themselves, but keep deposits at a Bitcoin exchange. This takes care of the technical handling of account management. The exchange thus controls the Bitcoin addresses and thus also the handling of the new Bitcoin Cash. Many stock exchanges have announced that they will provide their users with access to the Bitcoin Cash that is attributable to their Bitcoin holdings, and some have already done so. The most prominent exception is Coinbase, which has announced by e-mail to its users that it will boycott the new currency and not distribute the Bitcoin Cash amounts. After a massive protest and a wave of migration, Coinbase has now given in and wants to support Bitcoin Cash after all.

To whom Bitcoin Cash belongs – to the investor or the stock exchange?

With the Bitcoin Cash a considerable economic value developed. In the meantime, the new units have been valued at 1/4 of the Bitcoin value. At the time of this writing they are at 8% of the Bitcoin value. This corresponds to a market capitalization of more than three billion dollars. The question is therefore: Who owns Bitcoin Cash – the Bitcoin investor or his stock exchange?

Technically this means that with the new blockchain an identical Bitcoin Cash address has been created for each Bitcoin address, which contains the same number of (Bitcoin Cash) currency units. The result is similar to a stock split: 10 Bitcoin becomes 10 Bitcoin + 10 Bitcoin Cash. Those who use their own “wallet” and thus have control over their Bitcoin address(es) can trade both currencies independently since the hard fork.

No legal vacuum

Can the question be clarified legally at all or do crypto currencies float in a legal vacuum? It is true that the existing laws are not made for crypto currencies. How one can grasp Bitcoins under the existing right terms, is therefore partly controversial. This situation is however nothing new for the right. Jurists apply daily regulations to circumstances, which were not considered with the remission of the regulations. Legal tools for such cases are in particular

the broadening interpretation of existing regulations according to “sense and purpose”,
the filling of regulatory gaps through the appropriate application of rules that are not 100% relevant, but fit the bill (“analogous application”), or
the “supplementary interpretation of contracts”, i.e. the filling of gaps in contracts in good faith.
Therefore, nobody has to fear a legal vacuum at Bitcoins. The European Court of Justice, for example, has shown that the law can provide answers. It ruled in 2015 that although Bitcoins is not a legal tender, it must be covered by a certain exception in the law and is therefore not subject to VAT.