Bitcoin Weekly Recap 8-12-2016
U.S. Auction of 2,700 Bitcoin Slated for August 22
On Monday, the United States Marshals Service announced that it will be conducting an online auction of more than 2,700 Bitcoin that it had seized in relation to nine different cases ranging from criminal and civil cases to administrative matters. The coins up for auction have an estimated market value of roughly $1.6 million. The auction will be the fifth of its kind for the Marshals Service, and will once again include Bitcoin seized as part of the Silk Road investigation and prosecutions. Anyone wishing to participate as a bidder at the sale will have until August 18th to register.
As Venezuelan Misery Deepens, Bitcoin Transactions Skyrocket
Last month, we reported on the ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela – a crisis that has seen a country with perhaps the largest oil reserves in the world watch as its economy collapses around it. For various reasons, the nation’s troubles have received relatively scant attention in the American press, but enough news is being shepherded out of Venezuela to paint a fairly clear picture of a country that has essentially become a living example of socialist dystopia.
Deprivation has become so widespread throughout the country that there have even been reports of people breaking into a zoo to eat the animals. Of course, that may have been a kindness of sorts, given that Reuters and other news outlets reported last month that an estimated 50 zoo animals had been so deprived of food that they starved to death this year.
Hyperinflation is the order of the day, and the government that created most of these problems has only doubled down on its socialist urges. In response to these and other problems, that government has continued to pursue its socialist policies – with little real regard for how those decisions impact the people whose interests it should be protecting. With the country’s economy in ruins, Venezuelans are increasingly turning to Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, capital controls, and a weakened bolivar.
Reports indicate that Venezuelans exchanged about $142 million worth of bolivar for Bitcoin, an amount that represented a significant increase over the $117 million in similar transactions just a week prior. That’s good news for the three Bitcoin exchanges currently operating in the country, and should be even better news for Venezuelan citizens seeking shelter from the country’s economic storm. Given that most international experts are predicting even worse times ahead for the country over the next year, digital currency may be the only lifeline the people of Venezuela are likely to see for quite some time.
Bitfinex Bounty Offered for Bitcoin Recovery
As Bitfinex resumed trading this week – after losing roughly 120,000 Bitcoins to theft last week, reports suggest that the company is now offering as much as $3.6 million in bounty to anyone who can provide information that leads to the recovery of those stolen coins. That total bounty will consist of 5% of the stolen coins, which amounts to about 6,000 Bitcoin. If the stolen Bitcoin are recovered as a result of information provided by multiple sources, then the bounty would be shared on a proportional basis.
Yikes! Irish Survey Suggests Roughly 17% of Users Suffer Loss or Theft of Bitcoins
A recent study conducted by a company in Ireland indicates that about one of every six Bitcoin users around the world ends up being the victim of theft or loss of those assets due to hacking, exchange unreliability, or various technical problems. The study was the result of a survey of 770 Bitcoin users scattered across 68 different countries, and it found that even many of the coin’s most ardent supporters remain dissatisfied with issues surrounding security.
The survey also discovered that the Bitcoin realm continues to be dominated primarily by men, and that most of those users are older than twenty and younger than fifty. Other interesting results included the discovery that 44% of those who responded to the survey admitted that they had engaged in Bitcoin gambling.