All posts in “Bitcoin”

Cryptocurrency ad bans are a step in the right direction

Google just banned cryptocurrency and ICO ads, a move that follows Facebook’s decision to do the same. The language is stark: You are no longer allowed to advertise “Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice).”

This is good news.

In the Wild West of crypto things can head in one of two ways. First, the industry can ignore rationality and decorum and pump and dump ICOs all day long until the SEC, the FBI and European authorities shut down every single one. Or, if the industry takes the slow and steady route, builds self-regulatory bodies and avoids scammy pump-and-dump tactics, then perhaps the industry can grow into maturity.

Currently the methods for token sale marketing are ridiculous. Most recently I spotted a token advertisement that featured a scantily clad young lady in a compromising position — all in an effort to see financial instruments. Further, “crypto geniuses” like James Altucher have polluted all of our feeds for the past few months with strange claims and spurious product offerings. Enough is enough.

The sad part is that cryptocurrencies have to become boring before they can work. I always go back to the early days of Linux. There were flame wars, screeds and practitioners of dark FUD. No one could agree if KDE or Gnome was a better desktop environment and woe were you if you picked the wrong one. The world was full of angry, aggressive and passionate people.

Fast-forward a few decades and now those same people are typing softly in cubicles making millions of dollars. Their early zeal, while seemingly silly, paid off. And now Linux is completely boring, a tool programmers use to spin up and down servers in a heartbeat.

Cryptocurrency has to head in this same direction.

Until it is hidden, until it is unclear where the blockchain stops and the rest of the world starts, and until we rid ourselves of the get-rich-quickers and the outright scams, the industry will not rise to the rank it deserves. Fools and their money are soon parted. Google and Facebook are right to do something to protect them.

Crypto author Paul Vigna talks about the future of token sales

Paul Vigna, along with his writing partner Michael Casey, are crypto gurus. A crypto critic and Wall Street Journal reporter, Vigna sees through the hype and looks for the value inherent in the crypto system.

Vigna and I spoke during this, the 100th episode of Technotopia. Vigna has a lot to say about the market and feels that his new book, the Truth Machine, picks up where his and Casey’s first book, The Age of Cryptocurrency left off. Now that some of the bloom has gone off the crypto rose, Vigna says things are getting more serious and far more interesting.

Technotopia is a podcast by John Biggs about a better future. You can subscribe in Stitcher, RSS, or iTunes and listen the MP3 here.

Join Michael Casey and Paul Vigna in New York tomorrow

A reminder that I’m going to have Paul Vigna and Michael Casey, authors of The Truth Machine, onstage with me next week at Knotel, a co-working and event space in Manhattan. I’d love for you to come.

You can RSVP here and space is limited. It’s happening Tomorrow, February 28, at 7pm and will feature a 35-minute talk with two of the top writers in crypto. These guys literally wrote the book on bitcoin and their new book is about to hit store shelves. I will also have a maximum of five crypto pitches on stage after the talk so if you’d like to pitch please fill this out. If you don’t hear from me you weren’t picked for this round.

Featured Image: D-Keine/Getty Images

Even Steve Wozniak said he fell victim to a bitcoin scam

Even the Woz has been stung by a cryptocurrency scam.
Even the Woz has been stung by a cryptocurrency scam.

Image: Anton Novoderezhkin\TASS via Getty Images

Like a growing number of people, Steve Wozniak has been stung by a cryptocurrency scam.

The Apple co-founder told the Economic Times of India that he had seven bitcoins stolen from him via fraud. 

While there’s been plenty of attention on pesky fake Elon Musk cryptocurrency scams, the Woz was swindled by an arguably antiquated tactic: A stolen credit card. 

“The blockchain identifies who has bitcoins… that doesn’t mean there can’t be fraud though,” he told the newspaper. 

“I had seven bitcoins stolen from me through fraud. Somebody bought them from me online through a credit card and they cancelled the credit card payment. It was that easy! And it was from a stolen credit card number so you can never get it back.”

Wozniak added that he initially bought the bitcoins as an experiment, curious if one day he could use the cryptocurrency instead of cash or credit cards. 

Still, he told CNBC in 2017 that he bought them at $700 a piece, after watching bitcoin rise from a price of $70 many moons ago. However, he’s pretty much sold them all, keeping just a handful — mainly because he doesn’t care about the wild rollercoaster that is bitcoin’s price. 

With an estimated net worth of $100 million, Wozniak doesn’t really need to worry.

[embedded content]

Why investor Jalak Jobanputra is betting big on crypto

When investor and entrepreneur Jalak Jobanputra first visited a blockchain conference five years ago she got goosebumps. The experienced investor had heard of cryptocurrencies but now that they had truly come into maturity she was excited. Now, five years later, she’s building her entire VC practice around blockchain and sees bright days ahead for the technology.

Join us Jobanputra, the founder of FuturePerfect Ventures, as we talk about her take on crypto, the future of investment, and the direction she’s headed in terms of investment and startup innovation.

Technotopia is a podcast by John Biggs about a better future. You can subscribe in Stitcher, RSS, or iTunes and listen the MP3 here.