Episode 172 – Debt, Default, and Army Accounting

Here are the TL;DR headlines from today’s show:

G20 news. Andreas Antonopoulos has a new book out. The state of Florida is confounded by bitcoin. Apple arbitrarily denies Dash from Jaxx wallet app. New TV show starting that focuses on cryptocurrencies. We go over some objections to Bitcoin. Puerto Rico misses payment on interest headed toward default on principle. US Army engaged in criminal accounting and possible money laundering. European Central banks just can’t get enough money printing. Crisis-Torn Venezuelans Opt For Dash and Bitcoin. 51 crew attack low hash-power ethereum blockchains. The FBI wants to have access to everything, everywhere…

All this and more here on Neocash Radio episode 172! Recorded September 7th, 2016 in Manchester, NH!

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!

Stream this episode of Neocash Radio here:

Direct Download – Neocash Radio episode 172 (MP3)
Subscribe to the Neocash Radio podcast on iTunes!

Traditional Markets
Gold $1344.80
Silver $19.75
Oil $46.14
DOW Jones 18,526
30Y UST 2.234%

Crypto Markets
Bitcoin (BTC) up $615
Litecoin (LTC) $3.97
Dash $11.47
Ether (ETH) $11.62
Monero (XMR) $11.99 up almost 50% from last week
1 doge = 1 doge

G20 Economic Forum Took Place in China Last Weekend
G20, or Group of 20, is an annual international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies. This year’s host city was Hangzhao in eastern China; preparations to make everything look perfect for the bureaucrats were exhaustive, with more than 2 million residents sent on mandatory vacation subsidized by the government at a cost of more than $1.1 billion USD.

About one-third of the city’s population left as a result, and the government also banned around 50% of all car transportation during the summit. For security theater, 172 traffic checkpoints were set up to leave “no blind spot” in the city streets. A total of 1.5 million assistants were reportedly recruited to help organise the summit, with “volunteers patrolling residential areas to maintain order.”

Andreas Antonopoulos Releases New Book; Appears on the Joe Rogan Experience
Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos made his fourth appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience today. Antonopoulos also announced the release of his new book—The Internet of Money—described as “a collection of talks about why bitcoin matters, for everyone.” (Available in paperback and as an Amazon Kindle eBook)

Update on the continued Florida Bitcoin-Status Saga
A Florida judge recently threw out a case against a man accused of money laundering with Bitcoin. The Miami Judge ruled Bitcoin was not money, yet the state of Florida then appealed that case. Now, a state senator is looking to introduce a bill to officially define (and regulate) Bitcoin as a monetary instrument.

Apple Sets 9/16 Deadline for Removing Dash Altcoin from Jaxx Wallet
We reported last week that Apple ordered Jaxx to remove Dash functionality from its wallet app, citing that only Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, the DAO, and Ripple had been approved for iOS devices and the Apple Store. Apple has now set a firm deadline, demanding that Dash be removed from the Jaxx wallet by September 16. Although it’s not clear why Apple would want to arbitrarily limit its customers’ choices, Dash will still be available to users running Jaxx on Android devices.

‘StartUp’: New TV Drama Series About Cryptocurrencies Premieres
A new dramatized TV series that focuses on digital currencies like Bitcoin debuted on Sony’s Crackle streaming service this week. The show—StartUp—is a fictional drama that circles around the creation of a new digital currency which they call “GenCoin.”

It’s a safe bet to assume this show wasn’t written for hardcore crypto-lovers, but it may very well introduce many more people to the idea of digital currency. Just the fact that there’s a TV show being made about it says something about the growth and adoption of digital money! Let’s hope they showcase the numerous benefits of this technology and not just the usual “drugs, guns, and terrorism!!” fearmongering that pervades much of mainstream media’s Bitcoin coverage.

"StartUp" cryptocurrency TV show on Crackle

Opinion Piece: 5 Myths about Bitcoin
Dan Patterson recently wrote an opinion piece for Tech Republic dispelling what he views as myths about Bitcoin and blockchain technology. And we chime in with our thoughts on his thoughts! 🙂

Puerto Rico misses an interest payment on debt
Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank, which has been listed in a state of emergency, failed to pay investors $9.9 million of interest due Sept. 1., according to a regulatory filing.

Regulators claim the bank is insolvent, defaulting on debt payments since May with a cash shortfall of as much as $1.3 billion.

U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds
The Defense Department’s Inspector General said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up. Defense Finance and Accounting Services also made an excuse that 16,000 financial data files had vanished from its computer system.

As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded. For years, the Inspector General (the Defense Department’s official auditor) has inserted a disclaimer on all military annual reports, stating that “the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive.”

European Central Bank to extend Quantitative Easing?
European Central Bank ratesetters meet Thursday in Frankfurt, and several analysts believe that ECB president Mario Draghi might announce an extension to the bank’s quantitative easing (aka money devaluation). The controversial program, which spends €80 billion per month on corporate bonds, is due to end in March 2017, but multiple sources believe Draghi could announce an extension for either this week or in December. The European Central Bank has previously hinted of an extension if they did not see “a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation” consistent with their targets. This at a time when ECB interest rates have been held at a record low of -0.4%.

Crisis-Torn Venezuelans Opt For Dash and Bitcoin
Venezuela-based cryptocurrency brokerage Cryptobuyer recently announced that Dash had been integrated on its platform alongside Bitcoin. Cryptobuyer’s local partner, TigoCTM, has been installing Crypto Teller Machines in Venezuela so that even those without access to a phone or a computer can access Dash and Bitcoin, allowing immediate cash withdrawals and deposits, as well as allowing for sending/receiving remittance payments.

The Bolivar—the national currency of Venezuela—has plummeted by nearly 40% compared to the U.S. dollar in a year. According to LocalBitcoins, Bitcoin trading volume in Venezuela hit another all-time high last week approximately $16.45 million USD – more than double LocalBitcoin’s volume in the U.S. for the same week.

Krypton & Shift Abandon Ethereum-Based Blockchains After 51% Attacks
An anonymous group of hackers calling themselves the “51 crew” reportedly attacked the Krypton blockchain twice and the Shift blockchain once in the past week. 51 crew employed a deadly blockchain exploit which allowed them to create their own version of the valid blockchains offline and force their fraudulent chains into being accepted as the real chains by using large amounts of hashing power while performing DDos attacks on Krypton and Shift nodes.

According to Krypton founder Stephanie Kent: “This exploit exists for all Ethereum-based blockchains coded in golang. Specifically, it most easily targets chains with overall low network hashing rates of 100GH/s or less. Krypton, Shift, Soil, and Expanse are all vulnerable. It might even be possible, by a large mining farm such as the one owned by Chandler Guo, to attack Ethereum Classic in this manner.”

To prevent further 51% attack exploits and protect coins from being stolen through a double spend on exchanges, Krypton has decided to temporarily move from an Ethereum-based proof-of-work blockchain to a Bitcoin-based proof-of-stake blockchain, and Shift is currently working to secure their chain before they migrate balances to the Lisk codebase, which uses Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS).

FBI Director Says Planned Attack on Encryption After the Elections
FBI Director James Comey said the federal government is planning to ramp up its efforts to break data encryption in 2017.

He told a group of cyber security specialists at the Symantec Government Symposium in Washington DC that they want to “collect information this year” to prepare enforcement of backdoor government access to private data and devices in the future.

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