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The Power of One: Do Whales Have the Power to Rock Bitcoin’s Boat?

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Fri, 09/14/2018 - 10:34
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  • Cryptocurrency market may be growing, but it is still small enough that individual players can make a big splash in the way the price moves

Cover image via U.Today

In most major markets today, the price fluctuation has a lot to do with news or group sentiment, it is not very often that an individual can affect the price of gold, for example. However, the cryptocurrency market, while being worth billions, still is prone to the odd splash from a big whale.

Whales are big money players within a market, and because of Bitcoin’s humble beginnings, where they were worth a few cents at a stage not too long ago, there are a lot of people out there who have quite a big haul from holding onto their coins.

But then, there are also people who have made their fortunes in Bitcoin that have enough to rock the boat, such as those tied to the infamous Silk Road, as well as people involved in Mt.Gox and its subsequent hack.

So, with Bitcoin suddenly plunging in price a week ago, with no real catalyst being offered, was it one individual flexing their weighty wallet? And if so, what are the dangers of having individuals with so much power in what is supposedly a decentralized system?

Latest Whale theories

The sudden drop that saw the cryptocurrency market plunge a few billion in terms of market capitalization in the last few weeks has been questioned relentlessly with a catalyst yet to be found. Goldman Sachs was lined up as a reason for the sudden fall, yet they denied it when they decided to delay their trading desk.

This made the speculators start revving up a few conspiracy theories, and those on Reddit delved deep into the working of the transparent Bitcoin address system.

50 transactions involving a total of 50 500 Bitcoin originating from one whale’s wallet were moved between Aug. 23 and 30. Based on Aug. 22nd’s closing price, they would be worth about $320 mln.

Some speculated that the money being moved was from a wallet tied to Mt. Gox, especially ahead of claims being allowed to open against the former exchange for corporations to recoup their money. There was also the belief that the move could have been from the Tokyo Whale, Nobuaki Kobayashi, the lawyer for the Mt. Gox trust, who has in the past made big money moves.

Even Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht, who went by the alias “ Dread Pirate Roberts, was hauled up in debate while he sits behind bars. Much of Robert’s funds were seized, but because of the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency, it is impossible to tell if he is totally devoid of all his Bitcoin fortune.

The power of one

The potential that one individual, moving a lot of money, that is not that hard to have come by in certain circumstances, affecting the market as it did is quite disconcerting. Bitcoin’s decentralized nature is supposed to be offering power back to the people and allowing a democratic system of finance.

However, in terms of its market, and as a commodity, there is already a lot of evidence that it is not as decentralized as many would like to believe. Banks and financial institutions have a lot of say in how the market moves with their own speculation of joining in or slating publically the cryptocurrency market.

If it is also true that individuals have as much sway as they do to manipulate the market, and bend it for their own personal gains, then it proves that the cryptocurrency market is still very small, and it has a long way to go before it can be considered truly matured.

But it is nothing new, there was, in 2017, an instance where an individual labeled Spoofy, was credited with affecting the market. It came down that this trader, or small group of traders, was purposely manipulating the market with a big bank balance.

Not only about manipulation

However, in the case of the latest conspiracy theories about the 50,500 Bitcoins that were moved, they might also have nothing to do with the cryptocurrency market crashing, even if it was a Mt.Gox move or something to do with Silk Road.

This is actually really interesting because of the Reddit detective work that’s been happening and just people making these assumptions that this whale is cashing out,” said Kim Grauer, senior economist at Chainalysis. “It leads to conspiracy theories that someone’s trying to sabotage Bitcoin- just from someone doing an administrative move of their funds for security purposes, or we don’t even know why they have done it.”

About the author

Darryn Pollock is an award winning  journalist from Durban, South Africa. He picked up Vodacom’s Regional Sports Journalist Award in 2017 while expanding his Blockchain and cryptocurrency reach.  He is a contributor to Forbes, Cointelegraph, Binary District, and of course, U.Today. Darryn’s belief is that Blockchain technology will be the driving force of the next technological wave and it is the obligation of journalists and writers to tell its emerging story with integrity and pride.

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Weirdest Crypto Names You Can Find: from Jesus Coin to FirstBlood

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Fri, 11/29/2019 - 16:31
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  • Can Bread coin feed you and Jesus Coin buy you a pass to heaven? See a selection of the weirdest crypto coin names prepared for you by U.Today

Cover image via 123rf.com

It seems that while making up names for new coins, their creators think as wide and deep as they can. And after they do that, it appears they ultimately choose what comes to their mind first, they want to have fun, give users an idea of what the coin can be utilized for.

Sometimes, unless there is some special story behind a coin’s title, people seem to use their favorite movies, names of Greek or Scandinavian gods, or references to the Bible, favorite novels.

FirstBlood (ranked 322) is a good example here. It is trading at $0.099154, with the market cap totaling $8 483 439 and daily trading volume amounting to $895. Name taken from a famous in the past action movie about John Rambo.

First blood
Image via CoinMarketCap

Ubiq (ranked 540). The name of a popular novel by Philip K. Dick.

U.Today’s selection of coins with weird names

All coin names below are on the CoinMarketCap list. They are divided into several topics or utility purposes that their creators might have kept in mind when making them. Their ranking on CoinMarketCap is shown in brackets.

Names to do with the Bible

Jesus Coin (1673), Noah Coin (221), Haven Protocol (576).

Jesus Coin
Image via CoinMarketCap

Outstanding personalities of the past

Davinci Coin (332), Mao Zedong (1176). The latter sounds like it is more suitable for China instead of the ‘China Coin’ (DCEP) that the local central bank is working on.

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Titles that sound to be used on adult websites

Eroscoin (1220), Titcoin (1753), Bitcoin Adult (1846), Desire (1855), HOT Token (2248), Sexcoin (2266).

Earlier U.Today reported that the adult content giant PornHub accepts Verge, Tron’s TRX and some believe it may also be accepting XRP in the future, now that PayPal backed off from collaborating with PornHub.

Just peculiar names for cryptocurrencies

Some names of coins sound like these assets were created just for fun.

Bread, aelf (ELF), DeepOnion, Evil Coin, BROTHER, BUDDY.

Cabbage, Dynamite, HiCoin, DeepBrain Chain, TrollCoin, Nuggets, BunnyToken.

Separately, two coins should be noted – TrumpCoin and PutinCoin. The latter is trading at $40 but at the time of writing is falling by around 45 percent.

There is even Bitcoin CZ – sounds like it was created by a big fan of Changpeng Zhao.

Another coin worth mentioning is WHACKD coin created by John McAfee. It is based on the popular meme "Jeffrey Epstein Didn't Kill Himself", since it is to do with Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier, who was accused of a sexual abuse but committed suicide in the prison cell. Many, including John McAfee, believe it was a murder, not suicide.

About the author

Yuri is a journalist interested in technology and technical innovations. He has been in crypto since 2017. Believes that blockchain and cryptocurrencies have a potential to transform the world in the future. ‘Hodls’ cryptocurrencies. Has written for several crypto media. Currently is a news writer at U.Today.

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