Mit ‘Bitcoin’ getaggte Artikel

Attention crypto traders, Bitstamp refuses to transfer money

Dienstag, 03. Oktober 2017

What’s the problem?

As most of you know, spring 2017 was crazy in $Crypto. So many coins made lift offs straight to moon (which basically means, weekly charts increasing by >10%). At one point in time, you might wanna take money off the table, e.g. preparing to pay taxes by the end of the year.
I’m a loyal customer with Bitstamp for years, but only in a one way street. Eventually Fiat (US$ or EUR) were transferred to Bitstamp to buy fractions of Bitcoins. But I’ve never tried to move money back to my regular account at comdirect. It actually never crossed my mind before, because I mostly HODL. This has changed dramatically in Q1and Q2.

After a little chitchat with a co-worker, I was made aware of a possible problem with the combination of Bitstamp and comdirect.

What happened?

Long story short: Bitstamp refuses to transfer money to my german bank. You should know, that comdirect is the online sibling of Commerzbank AG, one of Germany’s biggest banks. Both entities are listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Commerzbank even is part of Germany’s Top 30 index called DAX.

On August 11th I’ve made contact with Bitstamp customer service, after a transfer wasn’t even sent. From there on I’ve tried to get my money from Bitstamp to comdirect. In endless conversations with Bitstamp reps nothing changed their opinion on the subject. Lucky me, I have some sort of a direct line to comdirect, which lead to their customer service head calling me back several times, verifying, that neither comdirect nor Commerzbank have blacklisted neither Bitstamp or any other crypto exchange.

I’ve bent over backwards to encourage Bitstamp to talk to comdirect, not only in my behalf, but in general terms. I assume it’s a mutual interest for Bitstamp to sort out problems with a major bank in Germany for their clients. But man, was I wrong. They rejected my offers to hook them up several times and kept on asking for a statement of comdirect, that my transfer will go through.
In what world are you living? Thousands of SEPA are executed in minutes and Bitstamp expects, that the system somehow magically looks out for a specific one and let it go through? Well, at least Bitstamp has finally talked to my guy @ comdirect, but they won’t budge on the required statement.

Solution

It’s a good thing, I’ve checked on this problem way before year’s end. Today a nice chunk of Euros arrived from my Kraken account on my bank account with comdirect. No problem, no hassle, no arguments. Guess, comdirect isn’t the old grandpa, fighting against the new guy in town. Strangely it’s Bitstamp, which basically fights its own customers. Having said all this, I do not doubt, that Bitstamp suffered from rejections in the past, but what else do they expect from a customer to do? It is bad service from Bitstamp!

Well, I’ll move my business to Kraken. That’s so much easier than in the banking world.

I will always remember you Bitstamp, because I bought my first Satoshis with you.

New investment strategy, part III ($crypto15)

Dienstag, 18. Juli 2017

I’m switching to english, because what I’m going to say may be of interest for people outside of Germany also. On 17th September 2016 I’ve put some money aside to test p2p lending platforms and a roboadvisor (read here in german). Recently I’ve canceled the roboadvisor. Its performance in comparison to our german index DAX was average, to put it mildly.

Now I have a new bag available and because I’m deeply convinced that $Crypto is the future, I will open my personal $Crypto 15 index. This basically means, I will buy the top 15 currencies according to coinmarketcap.I personally think (and hope), that the turmoil at the markets in sight of the possible hard fork of bitcoin offer a unique buying opportunity. 

This $Crypto15 will represent equal shares, meaning every currency will be bought with the same value in Bitcoin. This is a little different than how one builds germany’s DAX for instance, but I strongly believe, that even smaller projects have the same potential than any other and should therefore weighted equally. Some may disagree with this approach, but that’s how I’ll proceed. Furthermore I won’t act on changes of those 15, meaning if the ranking based on market capitalization will change over the next 365 days, I do not adjust this portfolio accordingly. In Germany all profits are tax-free after this period of HODL. #ballsofsteel

For maximum transparency you will find a snapshot from 17th July 2017, which defines the selection of the 15. On a little side note, please acknowledge that I needed to include 18, so I could find trading pairs against BTC on Bitfinex and Bittrex. Bitconnect (BCC), Tether (USDT) and Veritaseum (VERI) didn’t make it into my bags. Bummer, I already have missed a cheap weekend, therefore I try to find a market entry in the next days. I bought the first batch of roughly 25% of the total volume yesterday.

Well, fingers crossed, this turns out to be a good idea.

Bitcoin rally

Freitag, 26. Mai 2017

It’s really hard these day not to register the run of bitcoin versus other fiat currencies such as Euro or US Dollar. Almost every publication in the financial world has written a piece about the digital currency, which was invented roughly 8 years ago from an anonymous source. Me personally, I thought by the end of the year 2017 it would have reached $2000; in my best case scenario $2500. Both marks are already history and May isn’t over yet.

For a person who educates people about blockchain (or Distributed Ledger Technologies #DLT) for a living, I see it first hand how hard it is to grasp the idea, that a bunch of computers in a network, running the same software, provide a currency (or value exchange). Now add the fact, that this currency rises in value literally like a rocket and you have a wall of doubts. The wall consists of a lack of understanding, which I totally get. It took me a while to roughly understand what the heck is going on with those cryptos and I’m far from getting it 100%. On the other hand, I absolutely embrace the idea, that something new could put our financial world upside down for a greater good. Because nobody in his right mind can state, that the power of the banking industry isn’t hurting all of our daily lifes. Those banksters are crooks.

Bitcoin and its brothers and sisters give the power back to the people. This scares the shit out of the most powerful industry the world has ever seen. The industry, which oppresses the planet to gain more money to spend on yachts or private jets. In days full of #fakenews it is easy to paint a dark picture of this new threatening technology. First they laughed about it, then they were trying to fight it with false allegations such as

Bitcoin is used for terrorism

As if terrorism was funded with bitcoins. Last time I checked, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are big supporters of terror and the $ and € keep on flowing into the country from Germany, France, USA etc. Weapons, human trafficking and drugs are widely dealt with in one currency only, which is the US Dollar. And you cannot trace US Dollar bills, but you can trace every single bitcoin!

Bitcoin has no value

A couple of days ago I read this piece „Don’t touch bitcoin“ (in german) where the author interviewed a guy called Manfred Hübner from sentix. Sentix does polls for a behavioural market sentiment. So Manfred basically states the following:

Bitcoins are not founded by anything. Gold, on the other hand, has the precious metal in itself as a counterpart, paper money has the promise of a state as a means of payment

At least he got something right by putting Bitcoin and Gold in one single sentence. Gold has absolutely no value, it is a yellow shining metal. But as history told us for thousands of years, girls and boys loved that shiny color. It helped, that gold wasn’t available at every single street corner, instead people must put a lot of effort in finding it. So basically gold digger trusted a bank to receive fiat money, if they will exchange gold. It’s trust! By the way, Venezuela is a not so shiny example what happens, if the people loose their trust in the currency. At the end of the day the Euro has a value, because Europeans trust in it.
I know, it’s a big loop for guys like Manfred, but the people in the bitcoin (replace this with any other crypto) community trust in the fact, that they are able to purchase goods, trade stocks or exchange values with the digital gold. So bottom line, this argument is rubbish.

The intrinsic value of a bitcoin is 0 and it will eventually fall.

Well, what’s the intrinsic value of Gold or Silver? Ok, granted, Silver is used in some industries to build stuff. But c’mon, again it’s called trust. By the way, why people buy US Dollar as a safe haven may be the case, because 8 out of 10 cases it’s the very same USA who started the crisis. Makes kinda sense, doesn’t it? So again, this argument is rubbish.

If banks or states are to rely on crypto currencies in the future, then they will set up their own and not use existing ones.“

That’s my favorite. He doesn’t get the concept of bitcoin at all. Take Gold for an example. Even that most of it was already digged out of the mud, it still has value. But at one point in the future, all Gold will be on the market. Same with Bitcoins. Take Euros for example. The ECB is flooding the markets with billions of new bills and this doesn’t make a financial expert cringe? Every little street market operates on the principle of offer and demand. If there would be an endless amount of tomatoes, what would that do to the price of tomatoes? Right, it’ll go near to 0. The old system grasps any straw to stay in power, whereas in a Bitcoin world they ain’t having it anymore. His argument is not false, but it shows his lack of understanding the pure principles Satoshi has built it on.

Bitcoin price is going skywards

Another argument many publications use over the last weeks. Blablabla. So did Facebook and Tesla. What they all have in common? They are disruptors. They do things differently and the old world doen’t cope well with dramatic changes.

Barely anyone is talking about the fact, that Ether (the token from Ethereum) has risen 2000% since January this year.

Is there a bubble or not?

How would I know (for sure)? Of course it is a risky investment, but so is Tesla. Considering the market cap of Bitcoin today, it is a drop in the ocean in the financial markets. 40bn US$ is nothing compared with the value of Gold. That is over 200x more valueable than Bitcoin. For me personally Bitcoin is undervalued, because

  1. it is way more practible as Gold. Have you every tried to send a Gold coin to a friend? Bitcoins move in minutes across continents
  2. it is a store of value and a safe haven, because no one can tamper with it. There were countries which enacted a Gold ban. Try this with Bitcoin. You can carry them on an USB stick, send them anywhere and nobody can stop you
  3. it is the world’s biggest trust machine. The one and only immutable notary, where no human is able to interfere with

I’ve put a lot of thought in my predictions for the BTC/USD by the end of 2017. I remain cautiously optimistic and set the price tag to $4500.

Ledger Wallet protects your bitcoins

Bitcoin Shop Vienna

Mittwoch, 15. Februar 2017

Vienna hosts a global summit on blockchain technology in the energy sector.

I arrive in town a day prior the event. After wheels down my first stop is the newly opened Bitcoin Shop in Mariahilferstrasse. Literally in the middle of one of the most busiest shopping areas in Vienna, BitTrust  advertises the famous crypto currency in 2 floors. The product offering varies in an bi-directional ATM, prePaid Bitcoin cards and last but not least, notary certified cold wallets starting at 5000€ each.

But it’s not only about selling. The second floor is mainly for workshops and keynotes. BitTrust is going to educate walk-ins, business men and also please the community. What a nice concept, let’s hope it pays off!


Ledger Wallet protects your bitcoins

Valentins day love message

Dienstag, 14. Februar 2017

My Valentins day love message goes to Bitcoin

Today is Valentine’s day and across the globe lovers show their loved ones how much they care. Rest assured, I do that too. Privately. But my blog covers my professional life and without being unfaithful to my loved one, I openly declare,

I love Bitcoin.

And here is why:

It dawned on me discussing blockchain technology with our new intern. His master thesis will cover the impact of blockchain on the energy sector. As usual Bitcoin fired up a fierce discussion about the future of fintechs and banks, the central banks in particular. But Bitcoin should only play a minor role in the thesis. More or less a footnote in blockchain history, because it is just one application out of many. That is true, bitcoin is money. Programmable money.

The inventors of Bitcoin thought of literally everything when creating Bitcoin. A truly digital currency + book keeping, which cannot be altered by humans. While I searched for arguments pro bitcoin, one could literally watch his mind racing. Me? I again caught fire.

  1. This decentralized network is immune to attacks on a server. You can’t take it down by killing one machine. Instead you would have to kill every single computer in the network at the same time. I guess, we can scratch that one of the list of potential threats.
  2. All machines run an identical protocol. At various occasions the machines check, if everybody else is working according to the rules agreed on in the protocol. Therefore Man in the middle, Trojan horses or similar attacks won’t work. The virus cannot spread, because surrounding computers will block the infected machine and its tampered ledger.
  3. Here comes the most amazing part. How do you achieve anonymous participants heading in one direction, reaching for the same goal, namely providing an indisputable, decentralized, tamper-proof digital ledger of transactions?
    Rewards. Once someone could possibly receive a reward, he most certainly will act according to the rules. Think of the lottery. Every Saturday millions of citizens invest their hard earned money to buy a lottery ticket. They are fine with the slim chance of winning the jackpot. Eventually they only stand a chance of winning, if they will make the correct amount of crosses, otherwise their ticket is voided.
    Okay, back to Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto knew that very well. Therefore a rule called „proof of work“ was invented. All computer run the identical protocol, which enables them to process new transactions. They neatly pack them into containers (called blocks) in a certain way by solving a mathematical riddle. This riddle is really outlandish complicated and requires a lot of CPU power and energy. Basically all computer participate in a race who packs the block quickest while obeying the rules. Remember, all surrounding machines will check the result before spreading it. 
  4. Actually it’s a race with a terrific democratic angle. Whichever result has spread to +50% of the network first, drives home the reward.
  5. This reward consists of digital coins called bitcoin. A token of appreciation for the hard work straight from the protocol.
  6. In case someone adds a tremendous amount of CPU power to the network, this is also accounted for. The difficulty of the riddle depends on the CPU power, which goes both ways. If computers are added, it rises. In case of decreasing CPU power the difficulty also goes down. The system remains in balance.
  7. Theoretically one could own the network with 51% of the CPU power. Maybe the last few blocks could be altered and of course new ones could be bent to the will of the attacker.
    But at what costs? The currency would collapse and the coins of the attacker turn worthless.

The bitcoin blockchain is self contained. Human error or interference is impossible or economic suicide. The only interface to the real world is left to the free markets: trading bitcoins. The purity of this token is valued in trust and trust only. Bitcoinistas agree on accepting the digital token for a certain amount of fiat money, trade goods for an exchange rate or simply move values border- and frictionless around the world.

A storage of value which

  • cannot be manipulated by politicians or banksters
  • represents a finite amount of coins and
  • fits into your smartphone

Do you feel the love too? Ok, then think about the term „bitcoin is programmable money“…

Ledger Wallet protects your bitcoins

Bitcoin und die Blockchain

Dienstag, 23. Februar 2016

Entstehungsgeschichte

Eine Person oder eine Gruppe mit dem Namen Satoshi Nakamoto erfand 2008 die Technik hinter Bitcoin (mehr dazu hier). Der Kern der Erfindung ist ein Zahlungsmittel und Buchungssystem, daß

  • transparent
  • dezentral
  • sicher
  • nicht inflationär
  • und anonym

ist. Die Kombination aus Bitcoin (Zahlungsmittel) und Blockchain (Buchungssystem oder Kassenbuch) stellt laut Netscape-Gründer und Starinvestor Marc Andreessen die dritte zentrale Tech-Entwicklung dar, die sämtliche Rahmenbedingungen grundlegend verändert hat: 1975 der PC, 1993 das Internet und 2008 der Bitcoin!

In diesem System sind beide miteinander verwoben und weder der Bitcoin noch die Blockchain können eigenständig überleben – oder weniger drastisch gesagt funktionieren.

Blockchain

Die Blockchain ist eine durch Verschlüsselung geschützte, öffentliche geteilte Datenbank (Kassenbuch, Journal, o.ä.) mit Einträgen, die sich unendlich weiter fortschreiben, ohne das alte Einträge geändert oder gelöscht werden können.
Das fantastische an der Software ist, dass ein Netzwerk von Computern gemeinsam dieses eine öffentliche Kassenbuch über das Internet teilt und synchronisiert. Denn dort sind alle Transaktionen gebucht und jeder Teilnehmer am Netzwerk besitzt eine Kopie des Kassenbuchs.
Dank komplizierter mathematischer Prinzipien einigen sich alle beteiligten Computer permanent und völlig autonom auf den korrekten Zwischenstand des Kassenbuchs. Das bedeutet, jede Transaktion ist transparent (also öffentlich zugänglich) und die Rechner einigen sich darauf, dass die jeweilige Transaktion zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt stattgefunden hat. So, als wäre bei jeder Transaktion ein Notar anwesend, der die Richtigkeit der Daten verifiziert. Wofür also bisher Institutionen wie Banken notwendig waren, die die Rechtmäßigkeit der Zahlung bestätigten, erledigt dies das dezentrales Netzwerk eigenständig.
Die neuen Transaktionen werden in sogenannten Blocks gebündelt und an den vorherigen Block angehängt. Erneut kommen Verschlüsselungstechniken zum Einsatz, die die Unversehrtheit und Richtigkeit der Daten von Block zu Block sicherstellen und eine anschließende Bearbeitung der Transaktionen verhindert.

Somit ist gewährleistet, dass jeder Zugang zu einer gemeinsamen, einzigen und sicheren Informationsquelle hat. Datenbank Entwickler wissen um die Probleme, dezentrale Daten synchron zu halten. Erschwerend kommt hier noch hinzu, dass im Falle von Bitcoin/ Blockchain Teilnehmer im Netzwerk sind, die man nicht kennt. Dies ist eine weitere technische Revolution.

Derzeit ist das Wort Blockchain in aller Munde. Dabei werden verschiedene Prinzipien miteinander vermischt und das Verständnis zusätzlich erschwert. Man unterscheidet prinzipiell zwei Typen von Blockchains, die in der Art und Weise wie sie zu der Übereinstimmung der Richtigkeit der Daten gelangen deutlich unterschiedlich arbeiten:

Teilnahme ohne Zustimmung

Bitcoin ist open source, also offen und zugänglich für jedermann. Das bedeutet gleichzeitig, dass sich die Teilnehmer im Netzwerk, sowie auch die teilnehmenden Computer gegenseitig nicht kennen und demnach misstrauen.
Die Integrität einer solchen Blockchain wird über einen rechen-intensiven Prozess “proof of work” sichergestellt. Die dafür notwendige Rechenleistung ist enorm und steigt ständig. Die darauf spezialisierten Computer werden auch “miner” genannt. Die miner halten das Netzwerk am Laufen und erhalten als Belohnung für die Aufrechterhaltung der Integrität (“proof of work”) Bitcoins. Hier zeigt sich mehr als deutlich, dass Bitcoins und Blockchain nicht getrennt werden können.

Kleine Randbemerkung: Beim aktuellen Kurs von ca 420$/ Bitcoin können zu deutschen Stromkosten Bitcoins nicht mehr gewinnbringend geschürft werden, abgesehen davon, dass das Gerät vermutlich im Winter als Heizung für eine 100qm Wohnung dienen kann.

Teilnahme nur mit Zustimmung

Darunter fallen viele Projekte von Banken, wie z.B. R3, deren Blockchains privat sind und sich die Teilnehmer untereinander kennen. In der Regel gibt es auch gegenseitige Verträge und Verpflichtungen. Weil sich die Teilnehmer in diesem Netzwerk kennen, bedarf es nicht dem Prozess “proof of work” und auch keiner Entschädigung für die Anstrengungen, das System am Laufen zu halten.

Bitcoin

Der Bitcoin entsteht also als Ausgleichszahlung für die “miner”. Ein Bitcoin läßt sich in 100 Mio Einheiten teilen und die zu schürfende Menge an Bitcoins ist auf 21 Mio Stück begrenzt. Deswegen gilt der Bitcoin als nicht inflationär und steht unmittelbar im Zusammenhang mit der Finanzkrise und den Exzessen der (Noten-) Banken. Er unterbindet die stetige Steigerung der Geldmenge, wie es bei den FIAT Währungen durch die regulären Banken mittels Kreditvergabe (Geld in Form der Zinsen wird aus dem Nichts erschaffen), sowie der Druckerpresse der Notenbanken (FED, EZB usw.) geschieht. Dabei ist es egal, ob ein Bitcoin einen $ Wert, einen Unternehmensanteil, eine kW Stunde Strom oder eine Geburtsurkunde repräsentiert.

Die bei der Transaktion anfallenden Gebühren betragen nur etwa 1 Prozent! Das ist weit weniger als bei Kreditkartenzahlungen (2-3 %) oder beim grenzüberschreitenden Geldtransfer (bis zu 10%) und eröffnet die Möglichkeit von Micropayments, die insbesondere für die Nutzung von Medienprodukten wie Zeitungsartikel oder Musiktitel in der Diskussion waren. Dabei ist die Zahlung mit Bitcoins anonym, denn die Blockchain kennt nur Kontonummern (auch “wallets” genannt), nicht jedoch die Eigentümer der Wallets.
Die Anonymität ist vielen Politikern ein Dorn im Auge, weil dies kriminelles Handeln begünstigt. Folgt man dieser Argumentation, müsste allen voran der US$ verboten werden, denn mit ihm werden weltweit die meisten Drogen und Waffen gekauft, gefolgt vom Euro.
Ledger Wallet protects your bitcoins

In meinem nächsten Beitrag ich widme ich Anwendungsgebieten für Bitcoin bzw. Blockchain. Anbei noch ein anschauliches Video zur oben beschriebenen Thematik (in englischer Sprache).