Ep195: Confessions of a Bitcoiner, South Korea Scandal Fit for a Movie, Crypto Security

Andy from a Bitcoin ATM company joins us in-studio to talk about his disillusionment with Bitcoin. Danish law enforcement have new tools that link Bitcoin darknet buyers and sellers. Controversial Bitcoin-for-pot bill in Washington State Senate not happening this term. United Arab Emirates is considering legalizing Bitcoin. South Korea’s bizarre presidential scandal is destined to be made into a movie.

All this and more on the Neocash Radio podcast, episode 195 — Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017!

We’ve written out short overviews of the topics discussed on today’s show below! Be sure to listen in to the whole podcast to get more information, insights, and thoughts on each of them from JJ, Darren, and Randy!

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Traditional Markets Crypto Markets
Gold $1,238 Bitcoin (BTC) $1,129
Silver $17.99 Litecoin (LTC) $3.78
Oil $53.84 Zcash (ZEC) $27.79
Dow Jones 20,775 points Ethereum (ETH) $12.66
30Y UST Yield 3.033% DASH $22.09
Euro (EUR) $1.06 Monero (XMR) $12.80
Chinese Yuan (CNY) $0.15 Augur REP $4.70
British Pound (GBP) $1.25 1 Doge = 1 Doge

 Special guest Andy joins us in-studio

On today’s podcast, our friend Andy (who works for a Bitcoin ATM company) joins us in the Neocash Radio studio to talk about his disillusionment with the current state of Bitcoin. The current difficulties facing the Bitcoin network—higher transaction fees, a growing backlog of unconfirmed transactions, possible spam attacks, and a group of developers trying to co-opt the Bitcoin blockchain—are not new topics to our loyal podcast listeners.

Andy also shares his thoughts on encrypted messaging, cybersecurity, and why he’s branching out beyond Bitcoin and researching more privacy-centric digital currencies like Monero.


Bitcoin Unlimited: on-chain scaling -- Roger Ver interview -- Neocash Radio podcastRelated listening: We’ve also got a special bonus interview with Roger Ver that we recently posted! Listen in as Bitcoin Angel Investor and Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver talks with us about how the current Bitcoin block size limit is throttling the Bitcoin network, and how Bitcoin Unlimited could be poised to increase the block size and allow the Bitcoin network to scale.


Danish Police use Bitcoin Blockchain to Arrest Darknet Buyers

A new specialized program is being used by Danish law enforcement to track Bitcoin transactions from seller to buyer. Danish police are the first to use blockchain analysis to make arrests; this is the second case in Denmark where bitcoin-tracing evidence has played a major role in the trial.

While Bitcoins do not store (and thus cannot reveal) any personal information about their users, transactions are all listed on a blockchain—the distributed public ledger which allows Bitcoin to operate with no central authority. But it is the public ledger that also allows any kind of trace:

“First, transactions where bitcoins are used to purchase goods are analyzed by exploiting the possibilities of blockchain technology, which bitcoin is based on. This information is then compared with listings of bitcoin-buyers and bitcoin-sellers.

 

The comparison is then used to identify the people involved in particular dealings. [Kim Aarenstrup, the head of Denmark’s National Cybercrime Center] didn’t want to go into specifics of how far-reaching this new method is, but one can imagine that it must be substantial since the FBI and Europol are already using the system.”

 


United Arab Emirates may Officially Recognize Bitcoin

Last we we talked about Dubai and the pro-blockchain stance the crown prince has stated. This week we have news about the Central Bank of UAE and a document they recently published titled, “Regulatory Framework for Stored Values and Electronic Payment System.” A section basically outlaws virtual currencies which caused a stir. When pressed about Bitcoin and digital currencies Central Bank Governor Mubarak Rashed Khamis Al Mansouri confirmed that the document doesn’t apply to Bitcoin and digital currencies, adding that the central bank is carefully considering “legalizing” Bitcoin.


Samsung’s Acting Chief Arrested In South Korea’s Crazy Presidential Corruption Probe

Lee Jae-yong (center), vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, arrives Monday for questioning as a suspect in the corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye

Lee Jae-yong (center), vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, arrives Monday for questioning as a suspect in the corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korea’s President Park Geun-Hye. [Image via Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images]

The acting chief of Samsung—Lee Jae-yong—was arrested on bribery and embezzlement charges in Seoul, South Korea last week. Lee is accused of laundering $37 million in company funds to Choi Soon-sil, a close “confidante” of the president’s, in order to ensure government support of a controversial merger between two Samsung subsidiaries that would create a smooth leadership transition in Lee’s favor, who is standing in as chairman for his ill father, Lee Kun-hee. The controversial merger passed, though it required “support” from the national pension fund, which was allegedly granted in return for the “donations.”

While government corruption certainly isn’t news, this is where the story takes a more-bizarre-than-usual turn… South Korea’s first female president, Park Geun-hye, is the daughter of former Korean president (and military dictator) Park Chung-hee, who was assassinated in 1979 after nearly two oppressive decades. Her mother had been assassinated five years earlier.

Shortly after her mother’s assassination, she was reportedly approached by Choi Tae-min, the founder of a cult-like sect called the Church of Eternal Life. Choi told Park that he was able to channel her deceased mother, and that she’d asked him to help her. The relationship between the two—with Choi being 40 years older than Park—drew attention, and he was viewed as a Rasputin-like character who was able to wield massive influence over an elected ruler.

“In a 2007 diplomatic cable made public through WikiLeaks, the American Embassy in Seoul reported rumors that Mr. Choi ‘had complete control over Park’s body and soul during her formative years and that his children accumulated enormous wealth as a result.'”

The Korean CIA director who reportedly assassinated Park’s father told a court that one of the reasons he killed Mr. Park was what he called “the president’s failure to stop Mr. Choi’s corrupt activities” and his failure to keep Mr. Choi away from his daughter.

Protesters in South Korea wearing masks of scandal-ridden President Park Geun-hye and her close associate Choi Soon-sil, who wielded a great deal of influence over the country's first female president.

Protesters in South Korea wearing masks of scandal-ridden President Park Geun-hye and her close associate Choi Soon-sil, who wielded a great deal of influence over the country’s first female president.

Now, Mr. Choi’s daughter, Choi Soon-sil is being investigated for allegedly siphoning more than $70 million of funds from companies like Samsung to curry favor with President Park. Though she has no security clearance and is considered just a “civilian,” Choi was reportedly allowed to edit presidential speeches, and was consulted for virtually everything, according to sources.

Lawmakers in South Korea voted to impeach Park late last year, and an investigation is ongoing; meanwhile, power has been transferred to the Korean prime minister.


Washington State Bill to Ban Bitcoin for Marijuana Sales Fails

According to this recent article from Bitcoin.com:

“A possible ban on bitcoin for marijuana purchases in Washington State has failed, according to a source close to the matter, who wished to remain anonymous. SB 5264, the much-discussed ban on virtual currency for marijuana, failed to make it out of committee. Further, a Senator that brought the bill forward, most likely Senator Ann Rivers, has withdrawn her support of the bill after a hearing in the Washington State Senate highlighted Bitcoin’s positives, not its potential negatives.

 

The bill to ban virtual currency use in the cannabis industry was brought forth by the founders of Payqwick, which some refer to as the ‘Paypal of Pot.'”

Opponents of the proposed Bitcoin ban pointed out that cash is dangerous to hold, dangerous to move, and can make businesses targets for robberies. Likewise, receipts of cash sales are far less credible than Bitcoin transactions recorded to a blockchain, a publicly visible distributed ledger.


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