Thursday, 24 May 2018

"TMZ" staffer to Kanye West: “I actually don"t think you"re thinking anything”

On Tuesday, TMZ staffer Van Lathan said what’s likely on the minds of many Kanye West fans. As seen in a TMZ video, Lathan took the hip-hop legend to task for implying that slavery was “a choice” for African Americans.

Ye was visiting TMZ headquarters for an interview about his recent full-throated support for president Donald Trump. Naturally, the conversation produced no shortage of controversial quotes.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” West told TMZ in the gossip outlet’s newsroom. “You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all?”

It was the last straw for Lathan, who, when prompted by Ye, gave the rapper a piece of his mind.

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Source: YouTube

“Do you feel that I’m being free and I’m thinking free?” West asked everyone in the TMZ newsroom.

“I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything,” Lathan replied as he stood up in the back of the room. “I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought.”

“While you are making music and being an artist and living a life that you’ve earned by being a genius,” Lathan continued, “the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice. Frankly, I’m disappointed. I’m appalled. And brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that’s not real.”

A stunned West approached Lathan apologetically.

“I’m sorry I hurt you, bro,” he said.

“You gotta be responsible, dog,” Lathan responded as the camera cuts off.

It didn’t end there.

After going silent for several hours, West let loose on Twitter Tuesday evening, tweeting a screenshot of a text conversation with rapper Big Sean before an ongoing attempting to clarify his comments about slavery.

All of this was the culmination of two weeks of startling behavior from Yeezy — and it wasn’t even the only high-profile West interview to make the rounds on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, West tweeted out another interview he had done recently, with radio host Charlamagne Tha God. The nearly two-hour conversation had been hyped up by Ye previously, who called their Q&A “one of the best interviews of all time,” and declared the Power 105.1 FM shock jock “the new Oprah.”

The interview with Charlamagne touches on a range of topics, including questions about West’s mental health, his 2016 hospitalization and his onstage rants during concerts. The perplexing back and forth provides a window into where West is right now and what’s been going on in his life for the past couple of years.

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Source: Kanye West/YouTube

“The thoughts I’m getting out on Twitter now, I think everything is therapeutic but I’m not doing it as a form of personal therapy,” West said during the interview. “I decided to use this platform to express some breakthroughs that I’ve had since going to the hospital.”

West has been making headlines since April 21, when he tweeted his admiration for fellow Donald Trump supporter Candace Owens. He followed that up with a week of controversial tweets in support of Trump, including a picture of himself wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.

Since then, however, West has also shared his admiration of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez and support for Black Lives Matter Greater New York president Hawk Newsome.

In his talk with Charlamagne, the 40-year-old emcee said he knew people were going to question his mental stability because of his recent behavior.

“People will take something that’s enlightened, put it in a different context and then call it crazy to try to diminish the impact and the value of what I’m actually saying,” West said. “There will be flaws in the way I communicate today. We’re human beings. We’re flawed. I’m not media-trained. I’m not studied in that. I’m not trying to say the right thing. I’m just saying what I feel out of love.”

Ye also addressed his battle with addiction, saying his wife being robbed, his struggles in the fashion industry in 2016 and his demanding Saint Pablo Tour all contributed to his eventual mental breakdown.

“It’s like all these things were almost set up to put me on meds, to break me down,” he said. “The robbery, I don’t know where that came from. Was that a bigger plan, a bigger setup? Just being on stage four times a week, you get exhausted out there.”

“Did you ever go to therapy?” Charlamagne asked.

“I use the world as my therapist,” West responded. “Anyone I talk to is my therapist.”

The rapper also discussed issues surrounding race and slavery. Apparently, West wasn’t thrilled when the U.S. Treasury announced plans to replace Andrew Jackson’s face with Harriet Tubman’s on the $20 bill.

“That was the moment that I wanted to use bitcoin,” he told Charlamagne. “It’s like, why you gotta keep reminding us about slavery? Why don’t you show us … put Michael Jordan on the $20 bill.”

On his Red Pill podcast earlier in the day, before telling off Ye, Lathan interviewed Charlamagne and asked whether the interview, which hadn’t been released yet, would give fans hope that the West they’d grown up loving wasn’t completely gone.

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Red Pill Podcast with Van Lathan: Worldstar Island w/ Charlamagne Tha God | TMZ TMZ/YouTube

“We’re out here in the wind listening to this dude not knowing what to make out of what,” Lathan said. “Is there anything in this interview that might make me view this situation any differently at all?”

“It might give you faith that we haven’t lost Kanye West,” Charlamagne replied. “He’s not completely gone. I just think that he’s challenging everything he’s ever believed in his life.”

This all comes as West prepares to release his next solo album, on June 1, and a collaborative album with Kid Cudi on June 8. Yeezy recently dropped two new tracks, “Lift Yourself” and “Ye Vs. The People,” the latter of which features T.I. debating Ye on the virtues of supporting Trump as president.

“I just want Kanye to sit down with some more educated people on both sides,” Charlamagne said during his interview with Lathan. “There’s nothing wrong with listening to people on both sides. I just feel like this Donald Trump thing is something we’ve never seen before.”

May 1, 2018, 8:21 p.m.: This story has been updated.



Analyst: Bitcoin Price Will Surpass All-Time High, $20k Decline Was Normal


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Mati Greenspan, a senior analyst at eToro and a well-known bitcoin expert, told the Express in an interview that the correction of bitcoin from the $20,000 mark was expected, and he sees the bitcoin price surpassing its all-time high in the future with absolute certainty.

Different Market

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I’m really not a fortune teller or anything like that. I believe that more than fear of regulation that decline from the $20,000 peak was more of just a normal retracement,” Greenspan said, emphasizing that an abrupt increase in value of an asset is often followed up with a retracement.

“Whenever the bitcoin price moves and jumps into a new order of magnitude, we need to see some sort of retracement on that. It’s the same thing that when it jumped up from eight cents to $3.50 then it had a retracement back to a dollar. That’s a very normal thing after that kind of leap. So if we look at it now I believe we are about five or six percent up over the price a year ago,” he added.

Several analysts over the past few months have stated that the correction of bitcoin from $20,000 to $6,000 is reminiscent of its slump in 2014, during a period in which bitcoin failed to recover for over 12 months following an initial 80 percent decline in value caused by the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox.

However, the market is in a different state and the global cryptocurrency exchange market has a daily trading volume of $30 billion. The liquidity and volume of the market are incomparable to the levels in 2014 and the involvement of institutional investors and large-scale retail traders has led to various public instruments such as bitcoin futures that have allowed the market to mature.

Most recently, CCN reported that Goldman Sachs, one of the largest investment banks in the finance sector, has officially decided to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk after teasing its entrance into the bitcoin market for well over six months.

Rana Yared, an executive at Goldman Sachs, said that most traders and investors at Goldman Sachs remain skeptical towards cryptocurrencies. But, due to overwhelming demand from its clients and the willingness of its investors to own bitcoin as an alternative store of value, Yared said that the bank had to start facilitating the demand for bitcoin.

“I would not describe myself as a true believer who wakes up thinking Bitcoin will take over the world. For almost every person involved, there has been personal skepticism brought to the table. It resonates with us when a client says, ‘I want to hold Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value,’” said Yared.

All-Time High

Greenspan, billionaire investor Mike Novogratz, and cryptocurrency investment firm Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead, along with many other major cryptocurrency investors have noted that the bitcoin price is likely to surpass its all-time high in 2018. Given its growth rate over the past month and its swift recovery, it will be possible for bitcoin to reach the $20,000 mark if it can sustain its trading and transaction volume.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Bitcoin Price Challenges $10K Amid Bullish Sentiment, Ethereum Reclaims $800

Bitcoin prices reached $9,786 Friday, May 4, as momentum continues to build for a challenge to resistance around $10,000.

Data from Cointelegraph’s price index and market visualization tool Coin360 revealed two attempts to retake the significant boundary Friday, both of which almost touched $9,800 before correcting downwards.

At press time, BTC/USD was hovering around $9,730, up around 5.6 percent in the past 24 hours, and almost 50 percent since the start of April.



This week has produced continued upside throughout the market, the news marked by a sudden announcement from Goldman Sachs that it has chosen to offer clients Bitcoin trading products.

Beginning with futures trading, these are due to start “within weeks,” an executive in charge of the project told the New York Times, with buying and selling likely to appear later.

Reacting to the plans, cryptocurrency industry figures appeared buoyant, entrepreneur Alistair Milne drawing comparisons to heightened market sentiment in December 2017 as the first regulated Bitcoin futures launched in the US.

Away from Bitcoin, Ethereum also produced significant gains this week.  The world’s largest altcoin by market cap reached a multi-month high, climbing over $800 today for the first time since March 6.

ETH Value & Volume

Investors have welcomed updates from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who earlier in the week released a proof of concept update for the network’s capacity expansion using so-called sharding.

ETH/USD was up over 10 percent in the past 24 hours, trading around $798 to press time. The coin’s monthly gains have surpassed a whopping 110 percent.

Elsewhere in altcoins, Ripple (XRP) is up almost 7 percent on the day, while Bitcoin Cash (BCH) posted only modest gains of about 2 percent in the same period.



Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Bitcoin (BTC) Technical Analysis – 2nd Time A Charm?

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Back in 1Q18 in the January-through-March period, all eyes (including yours truly) were focused on the developing inverted Head-and-Shoulders (H&S) pattern forming with Bitcoin (BTC).

While reminiscing back in time, we couldn’t help wondering at that time, whether there were far too many eyes looking at and anticipating a break into higher ground out of the developing inverted H&S pattern. As the pattern played out, the end result was a failure and down the slippery slope did BTC find itself before ultimately bottoming-out at the 6.4K level.

Well, as it turns out, we’re once again in a similar position with BTC forming yet another potential inverted H&S pattern and we ask ourselves the same question today as we did just a couple of Months ago, “Are there far too many eyes (ourselves included) witnessing another replay of the same scene, albeit, just a different time?”

With that said, let’s take a look at the technical picture and try to determine whether this time around is any different and whether both investors/traders may be treated to a better result.

As we can see from the daily chart above, BTC was forming the noted inverted H&S pattern back in 1Q18. We can also witness that the pattern failed at the Neckline via the dark blue line despite BTC trading above all of its important moving averages (20/50/200DMA’s) and subsequently, was treated to a rather harsh sell-off down to the 6.4K level.

Fast forward to today, and here we are once again with BTC forming yet another inverted H&S pattern below its 200DMA yet, trading above both its 20 and 50DMA’s with the Neckline offered via the purple horizontal line.

Thus, are we setting up for yet another disappointment or, will the second time around be a charm for BTC?

While it’s far too premature to declare, moving forward, both investors/traders may want to focus their attention on the following levels for further evidence and clues.

If at any time moving forward, BTC can clear the 9768; 9900 and perhaps more importantly, the 10,112 level/s and capable of holding such figures, the probability for a positive outcome for the developing pattern will certainly provide clues/evidence that the second go-around may just be a success.

If, on the other hand, BTC is unable to clear the 10,112 level and hold, or, perhaps more importantly, witness upside ‘Follow-Through’, BTC may just find itself on the receiving end of a similar result as we witnessed back in 1Q18.

Nevertheless, the inverted H&S continues to develop. We await the verdict. While it was six times – 6X a charm for Vinny in the film “My Cousin Vinny”, perhaps BTC will fair better in its second attempt at delivering the goods, producing a happy ending.

Happy Trading!

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Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

Image courtesy of Matt Wolynski via Flickr

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Power-hungry bitcoin "burns up the planet"

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One of Bitcoin"s Biggest Investments Might Finally Be Paying Off

Bitcoin appears to finally be making headway with one of its less-appreciated, but critical challenges: recruitment.

Simply put, the number of developers contributing to the cryptocurrency’s open-source code is suddenly on the rise. Sure enough, there have been at least 21 code submissions approved from new contributors over the past 50 days – and that’s no small feat given developers have struggled for years to entice new coders to work on the project.

And while the number of merges over the nearly two-month period didn’t jump up drastically, seeing new names within the Github repository is a welcome sight given that most of the hundreds of contributions to bitcoin over the past several years have been coded by a few dozen veterans.

According to several developers CoinDesk interviewed, there isn’t a direct correlation they can point to explain the increase, though there are likely contributors. Indeed, for some it’s a strong sign serious investments of time and effort in training and academic programs are finally paying off.

“Many educational and training efforts have lately helped to introduce new developers to Bitcoin Core and the bitcoin software ecosystem,” Ferdinando Ametrano, a professor at Politecnico di Milano who has served as a program director at bitcoin developer conferences, told CoinDesk.

Ametrano is, of course, talking about efforts such as Chaincode Labs, which has a residency program in New York where prolific bitcoin developers like John Newberry have been giving their time to helping new recruits.

After attending Chaincode’s first residency in 2016, Newberry has now taught 11 participants from places like Israel and Hong Kong.

Newberry told CoinDesk:

“It feels like we’re busier now than we were six months ago. It’s almost impossible to keep up.”

But Newberry isn’t the only one teaching.

Another possible contributor is Jimmy Song’s Programming Blockchain Workshop, which has found the high-profile developer and Blockchain Capital partner teaching roughly 250 people since the workshop launched (in multiple locations across the U.S.) in September.

And demand has been so high that he’s offering a few more sessions over the next few months.

Inclusivity boost

Of note, though, is that those surveyed believe these programs could do more than boost contributions to the code by expanding and diversifying bitcoin’s pool of contributors.

“One of the things that surprised me is what kinds of people take my class. I expected it to be all developers,” said Song.

But as it turned out, participants ranged from teenage girls to hedge fund managers and retirees.

“Growing the developer team, in numbers and in quality of contributions and everything else, is important because you need a diversity of views,” Song said. “You don’t want it to just be a couple of people that do everything.”

Others agree the current hegemony within the bitcoin developer community could set back the cryptocurrency eventually.

Matt Corallo, a long time Bitcoin Core contributor, tweeted in April about the importance of diversifying the ranks, saying:

Song echoed that, noting that bugs can creep in when there are too many developers with the same mindset working on a project.

Newberry continued, explaining that the Chaincode residency and other new educational programs for bitcoin development are touching on one of the key challenges the industry has typically faced – a lack of face-to-face learning opportunities.

He told CoinDesk:

“It’s very difficult if you don’t have that face-to-face interaction with other contributors.”

‘So welcomed’

This seems to have played out with Janey Gak, who recently attended one of Song’s workshops and is now developing a cryptocurrency wallet for users in developing countries like Afghanistan.

Not only did she learn the technical aspects of bitcoin that she needed to be able to build the app, but also plans on bringing what she knows (and learns) about Afghanistan and the developing world to the Core development community.

And this, according to Song will further decentralize the network and benefit the protocol by having a diverse pool of people to check code.

Echoing this, Newberry told CoinDesk, “All bugs are shallow given enough eyes. We all see bugs other people don’t see. Having that wide range of backgrounds and experiences is very beneficial to the quality of the project.”

And adding more developers is particularly helpful given that there are only a few dozen people right now with enough experience to properly review prospective contributions, creating a bottleneck. Currently, fewer than two dozen developers work on bitcoin’s software full-time out of roughly 40 regular contributors.

But according to Gak, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to attract more developers like herself, since experienced bitcoin developers have been so responsive.

Gak told CoinDesk that after Song’s workshop, several developers reached out to her to offer their help on her project.

“The community is full of very supportive people,” she said, adding:

“I’ve never felt so welcomed in my life.”

And perseverance

But still, hurdles stand in the way.

The complexity of the protocol on which billions of dollars in value currently depends makes the onboarding process for new developers no small task.

Plus, many of bitcoin’s developers work on the project on a volunteer basis, not always the most appealing idea. Although, several sponsorships, including ones from the MIT Media Lab, are allowing bitcoin developers to turn their labor of love into a full-time gig.

Yet still, this type of expertise is rare, with demand currently exceeding the supply of capable developers by far.

Although, this is a challenge shared by all open-source endeavours.

“I’m not sure finding people is a bitcoin-specific problem,” veteran bitcoin contributor Michael Ford told CoinDesk. “Any large open-source project will always struggle to find people who are willing to work or give up their own time for free.”

Although, certain idiosyncrasies may compound the issue in bitcoin’s case.

For instance, Newberry said that Bitcoin Core’s rigorous review process can be off-putting for prospective contributors.

“Maybe frustration is a challenge for people,” he said. “It feels like the review burden at Bitcoin Core is very high compared to other projects.”

Indeed, Christopher Coverdale, a developer who recently contributed to Bitcoin Core for the first time, told CoinDesk he noticed it takes an unusually long time to get up to speed on the network’s meticulous standards. And while Coverdale plans to continue participating, he added that it requires perseverance.

“The senior developers and reviewers have far too many pull requests to review and have important projects to work on, so understanding that pull requests might be reviewed a week later is perfectly normal,” Cloverdale said, adding:

“I’ve also found that patience is really important when contributing to bitcoin.”

Programming Blockchain workshop image via Jimmy Song

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.



Monday, 21 May 2018

Revenues Down, Hashrates Up: 2018 Mining Outlook By The Numbers

Bitcoin (BTC) mining may well be the lifeblood of the cryptocurrency but the industry is in a constant state of flux for a number of reasons. 2017 was a banner year for cryptocurrencies in general, but Bitcoin was the standout as it soared to an all-time high of $20,000 in December.

As it gripped people around the world, the demand for Bitcoin saw the price of the currency surge higher and higher. This made mining a lucrative business. As new users flooded the market looking to buy Bitcoin, demand skyrocketed which saw miner’s revenue follow suit.

Transaction volumes and the price of Bitcoin dictate how profitable mining is so big industry players have been doing their best to find countries that offer the best margins in terms of electricity costs and overheads. According to figures from Elite Fixtures, countries like Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago and Taiwan offer the cheapest electricity rates for miners.

Putting all of that aside, miners faced decreasing revenue streams around the world as Bitcoin’s price declined over the past four months. Fundstrat’s Tom Lee gave a bleak outlook for miners in March, reporting that the cost of mining a single Bitcoin was around $8038 – including electricity costs, cooling and the cost of equipment.

While margins may well have decreased, let’s take a look at the overall mining stats around the world to see if we’ve had growth in mining capacity despite a less than ideal outlook for Bitcoin.

Revenues slump, but hashrates up

As data from shows, Coinbase block rewards and fees paid to miners grew exponentially as Bitcoin approached it’s all time high.

Miners Revenue


Likewise, miners revenue began to wane as Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency markets were battered by a humbling correction for the next three months. This in turn eats into the profitability for miners.

Nevertheless, hashrates have continued to increase throughout this period, indicating that the global mining pool continued to grow despite Bitcoin’s spiralling correction in the first quarter of 2018.

Hash Rate


As of May, Bitcoin’s hashrate is approaching the all-time high hashrate of 32.168 PH/sec – signalling that new miners are constantly joining in to validate transactions and mine blocks.

Chinese stranglehold

Another interesting factor in the mining industry is the makeup of the biggest mining pools around the world.

Data shows that Chinese mining pools still have a massive stake of the global Bitcoin mining sphere. According to all time block statistics, F2Pool, AntPool, BTC Guild, SlushPool an GHASH.IO have mined the most blocks since Bitcoin’s inception.

BTC Guild and GHash have since closed down, but they mined enough BTC during their time that they still dominate the overall amount of blocks mined.

Pool Distribution


Meanwhile Chinese mining pools F2Pool and Antpool continue to operate and have mined the most blocks since 2009.

But if we take a look at hash rates from the last three months,, AntPool and ViaBTC account for over 50 percent. The first two companies are run by Bitmain, while ViaBTC is also a Chinese operation.



Chip manufacturers unfounded concerns?

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, has reduced its financial outlook this year – due in part to concerns about cryptocurrency mining profitability in 2018.

According to CNBC, the company is concerned that uncertainty in cryptocurrency mining demand will negatively affect its revenue this year. TSMC produces specialised cryptocurrency mining processors, with Chinese mining giants Bitmain one of their main clients, as well as GPU manufacturers nVidia and AMD.

The company believes there could be less demand for its 28nm chip, which is used in cryptocurrency mining hardware. Furthermore, Morgan Stanley analysts believe that increasing difficulty will hurt mining profitability as the year goes on, as reported by Fortune:

“We estimate the break-even point for big mining pools should be [Bitcoin trading at] $8,600, even if we assume a very low electricity cost ($0.03 kW/h) … the injection of new mining capacity will further increase the mining difficulty in 2H18. Even if Bitcoin’s price stays the same…we believe mining profits would drop rapidly, according to our simulation.”

Their outlook was more favourable for companies specialising in manufacturing specialised ASIC chips – predicting they would continue to be profitable until 2020 if Bitcoin’s value remained above $5000.

This is validated somewhat by the lowered outlook for Nvidia and AMD by Wall Street firm Susquehanna last month. The analyst reevaluated price targets of the GPU manufacturers citing competition from Bitmain and it’s Bitcoin and newly launched Ethereum ASIC miners.

ASIC pools dominating

Concerns of dwindling mining demand seem unfounded if we consider the data from

Hashrates from the last three months clearly indicate that mining is dominated by pools of miners using ASIC hardware. There seems to be a discrepancy between mining demand and the perception of manufacturers providing hardware.

Perhaps their forecasts came too early, reacting to what was a dismal first quarter for cryptocurrencies in general. However, the markets have recovered somewhat in April, which in turn has revitalised the profitability of mining due to higher transaction volumes.

The simple fact that Bitcoin operates on the proof-of-work concept dictates that there will always be a demand for miners but profitability will always be the determining factor in demand. This is why the likes of Bitmain are setting up operations in countries with cheaper electricity costs. Their business depends on Bitcoin, but their margins are dictated by their ability to keep overheads low.