Hey bitcoiner!

On June 19 2011 The MtGox database was compromised and the user base was leaked, containing details of 60,000 usernames, email addresses and password hashes, some of which were overly simple to brute force passwords. Get your bitcoins off the exchanges!

Hot Off the Press:

πŸ“ˆ Bitcoin: The New Banksters’ Darling

🏦 Euro Banks Join the Bitcoin Custody Race

πŸ” Don’t trust Binance

🀐 The Silence of the SEC

πŸ₯’ Hong Kong’s Latest Bitcoin Fortune Cookie

✊ Freedom to Redditors

🐦 Twitter Exodus

⚑️ Zaps are Fighting for Survival

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Fresh Releases

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Mempool:

Lightning:

Mining:

You can get all the up-to-date data related to Bitcoin’s mempool, Lightning Network, as well as Mining data and more at ![img](https://mempool.space/>

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πŸ“ˆ Bitcoin: The New Banksters’ Darling

There’s an ever-growing list of companies jumping on the Bitcoin ETF bandwagon.

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Last week, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, led the charge by filing an application with the SEC for a spot Bitcoin ETF. Although prior attempts at SEC approval have not succeeded, who else stands a better chance than the top player in the investment game… Right? Hot on BlackRock’s heels, three additional companies - Invesco, WisdomTree, and Valkyrie - have thrown their hats in the ring, filing for their own Bitcoin ETFs. Interestingly, Invesco even ranks amongst the top ten global investment firms.

The jury’s still out on whether these developments are a boon or a bane. While a spot ETF has the potential to sway Bitcoin’s price in any direction, its contribution to the network isn’t crystal clear. After all, Bitcoin was born from the belief that individuals should be their own bankers, without leaning on intermediaries. In this light, the concept of an exchange-traded ETFdoes not align with Satoshi’s original vision.


🏦 Euro Banks Join the Bitcoin Custody Race

It’s becoming hard to ignore the trend of banks stepping into the Bitcoin realm.

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This week, the spotlight was on CACEIS, a French bank with a hefty $5.1 trillion under management, as they registered to become a Bitcoin custodian. But they’re not alone. Germany’s Deutsche Bank has also lodged an application with the local regulator to offer custodial services, a move that they had hinted at as far back as February 2021.

It’s undeniable that the world of traditional finance is making headway into the Bitcoin arena. Whether this signals a rise in adoption or simply means a tightening grip on everyday citizens, only time will tell. In the meantime, we suggest you keep your savings secure in non-custodial wallets - cold wallets if possible - and manage them yourself.


πŸ” Don’t trust Binance

Bitcoin Magazine has released a report warning its readers against using the Binance exchange

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The report brings to light concerns about Binance, the leading shitcoin exchange, and its potential murky accounting practices. The allegation is that Binance could be muddling its own capital with customer funds and using them for reserve attestations. Doubts have also arisen over the backing of shitcoins minted on the Binance blockchain, such the BUSD, with potential issues of insufficient collateral and possible double pledging being raised.

While the article stops short of explicitly accusing Binance of any fraudulent dealings, it underscores potential behaviors that might be ethically dubious. These matters could have a notable impact on bitcoin’s performance, at least in the short-term. It’s essential to bear in mind that issues with an exchange like Binance can affect bitcoin, as witnessed with MtGox and FTX. However, even if an exchange does collapse, the Bitcoin network continues undeterred, with the next block getting mined approximately every 10 minutes. Tick tock, next block.


🀐 The Silence of the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is being called out for delaying the release of documents related to the charges and arrest of ex-FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

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Congressman Bill Huizenga, a Republican representative from Michigan, has voiced criticism against the SEC for not providing the necessary paperwork linked to the allegations and detention of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, widely known as SBF. Huizenga argues that all the SBF-related documents thus far handed over by the SEC were already in the public domain. This implies a lack of engagement by the commission in response to inquiries from Congress. Further, the commission has fallen short in adhering to the preset deadline for document submission, leading to “serious questions about the SEC’s process and its cooperation with the Department of Justice” in relation to the SBF case. Other legislators have also raised concerns over the SEC’s oversight in the FTX context. As it stands, Bankman-Fried is grappling with two criminal cases, while civil suits have been put on hold.

All eyes are now on Gary as we anticipate his response to these delays. Given the known connections between him and SBF, and his conspicuous silence throughout the exchange scam, the unraveling of this complicated tale is indeed riveting.


HSBC Expands shitcoin services, while spot bitcoin ETF awaits introduction.

HSBC, the largest bank in Hong Kong, has introduced its new services. However, instead of offering direct Bitcoin or Ether ETF trading, they are providing exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on futures contracts. It tracks the dynamics of futures exchange-traded funds traded on CME. The available options include CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF, and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF. While this move aims to expand Bitcoin and Ethereum exposure for local users, we’re still eagerly waiting for a spot Bitcoin ETF to be introduced in Hong Kong. HSBC has also launched a Virtual Asset Investor Education Center to educate and protect investors from “crypto-related risks”.. The center can be accessed through HSBC’s virtual asset-related products and platforms.

This is not the first time we have seen “paper bitcoin ETFs”. Such products are pretty popular on the US market. But this is the very beginning for Hong Kong, and we sincerely hope that soon, Hong Kong citizens will be able to buy spot Bitcoin ETFs on a par with standard bitcoins.

Could somebody please tell them that instead of making their customers aware of crypto risks, they could have explained everything with one sentence: “there are two things on the market, Bitcoin and scam”.

Hong Kong’s leading bank, HSBC, has unveiled its new offerings. However, instead of facilitating spot Bitcoin ETF trading, they’re launching ETFs based on futures contracts. These mirror the progress of futures exchange-traded funds listed on CME. The available choices include the CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF, and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF. While this initiative seeks to increase Bitcoin and EthereumπŸ’© access for local users, we’re still keenly awaiting the introduction of a spot Bitcoin ETF in Hong Kong. HSBC has also established a Virtual Asset Investor Education Center 🀑 to impart knowledge and shield investors from potential “crypto-related risks”. The center can be accessed via HSBC’s virtual asset-centric products and platforms.

Perhaps HSBC could have simplified their warning about crypto risks to their customers with just one phrase: “There’s bitcoin and there’s scam”.

Byte-size Buzz:

  • Fold has made an upgrade to their custodial strategy, aiming to improve customer buying experience.

  • Prime Trust faced a “shortfall of client funds” and was unable to satisfy all withdrawal requests.

  • A spa service in New York heats pools with ASICS.

  • Binance has launched a regulated trading platform in Kazakhstan.

  • Chainalysis report states that mining pools are being used for money laundering.

  • BinanceUS resumes USD withdrawals.

Like What you are reading?

Herald

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✊ Freedom to Redditors

Reddit’s recent pivot to paid APIs has sparked a heated debate and stirred its user base, leading us to ponder: Could Nostr be the sanctuary disgruntled redditors seek?

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In April, Reddit announced a significant change - the launch of paid APIs, a move that could drive third-party app developers into a corner. To illustrate, Apollo, the most popular Reddit-based app, would be facing an enormous $20M yearly bill to maintain its operations at the current level.

The unsettling revelation has brightly illuminated the risks associated with reliance on centralized platforms. Scores of subreddits, housing tens of millions of users, retaliated by going private in protest. Despite this massive uproar, Reddit’s top brass remained unmoved.

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Scrambling for alternatives, subreddit moderators turned to various solutions, including Mastodon, a familiar platform albeit with its own censorship woes, and ActivityPub-compatible platforms.

Shitcoiners rushed to invent blockchain-based social media and even offered half a million dollars to those who offer them a working solution…

If simple API requests are too expensive, how exorbitant would it be to record each interaction on a truly decentralized blockchain?

Why is Bitcoin Herald paying so much attention to Reddit’s deadlock? It’s simple: This issue isn’t exclusive to Reddit, it pervades all social media and online communication in general. Nostr appears to be a viable solution. Sure, it’s young, raw, and could be more developer-friendly. However, it shows immense promise. While other alternatives like Blue Sky are centralized and Mastodon is fragmented, a dedicated Nostr client with Reddit-like functionalities is already being actively developed:.

On top of that some nostriches have embraced the new development by Jingles and we’ve now got a 150k sats bounty for developing an icon for the app.

(the contest has been extended for one more day)

Further bolstering its credibility, general-purpose Nostr clients like Satellite have begun implementing moderation community functionality, and Amethyst has plans to follow suit.

Adding to its growing appeal, Nostr has already proved its mettle as a Twitter alternative, outdoing the social media giant in terms of user monetization. Last week, the one millionth zap was sent on Nostr.

We believe that the future belongs to communications and monetary censorship-resistant protocols. It’s why we, at Bitcoin Herald, focus on these crucial topics, not fleeting ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes. Join us in learning about Bitcoin and Nostr as the fight for freedom continues.


🐦 Twitter Exodus

The stringent policies and escalating censorship under Twitter’s new CEO are pushing users towards alternatives like Nostr.

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Twitter’s recent trajectory has seen its user numbers dwindle. Shadow bans and the introduction of a $8 monthly fee for more visible tweets have left users feeling frustrated. In response, many are exploring different social media platforms. The Dewey Square Group’s report shines a light on this shift, revealing a surge in the popularity of censorship-resistant protocols.

For the first time, Nostr has been featured in the report. Although still in its infancy compared to platforms like Mastodon, it’s enjoying an impressive growth in user engagement.


⚑️ Zaps are Fighting for Survival

Damus app developer is trying to find a workaround to fight Apple’s hegemony.

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Last week we reported on Apple’s attacks on the apps suppporting Lightning Network. This week, Will Kasarin, developer of the most popular nostr client for iOS, Damus, released an updated Test Flight version of the app. The new version masterfully circumvents the technogiant’s nonsensical requirements while still leaving the ability to send zaps within the app.

The idea was to redirect the zappers from the note they want to support to the user profile page and make it look like the content creator, rather the note is being zapped. Unfortunately, Will reported today that this approach was rejected by Apple.

Regardless, these solutions are merely fleeting. As Will highlighted, the App Store’s guidelines are crafted in such a way that allows the tech giant to discard any app supporting bitcoin payments without fretting about repercussions.

As disheartening as it may seem, this is actually good for Nostr. The community is conscious of the issue, and it’s not too late to address it. We’re not wholly plunged into an Orwellian dystopia yet, making it an opportune moment to delve into censorship-resistant protocols and seek out or develop solutions to the mounting challenges related to the attacks on free speech.

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Bitcoin:

  • Mutiny Wallet and Node updates grant smoother and more secure UX, though “still a bit reckless”.

  • Voltage has launched the Surge Node monitoring tool.

  • Electrum v4.4.5 brought a number of bug fixes.

  • Blockstream Green Mobile v4.0.9 and Desktop v1.2.2 Update. iOS, Android, Desktop.

  • Stacker.News App v1.0.5 provides Improved layout, bug fixes and more.

  • LDK Node v0.1.0 annouced a ready-to-go Lightning node library built using LDK and BDK.

  • StartOS v0.3.4.3 provides improved Tor reliability.

  • Trezor Suite v23.6.1 introduced Smoother Coinjoin process

  • Sparrow v1.7.7 offers improved fee rates chart, improvements for high fee environment and more.

  • BitBox App v4.37.1 released, Shift Crypto renamed to BitBox.

Nostr:

  • NDK v0.5.4 released.

  • The Nostur update for iOS and macOS brings support for the web of trust and long-form posts. Download link.

  • Snort is actively building the live streaming functionality: https://live.snort.social/live/.

  • Gossip v0.7.0 updated version released.

  • Register to attend the Nostrasia conference online. Admission to the conferences in Japan and Hong Kong is free, but seats are limited.

  • Coracle now supports shortcodes, reviews, long-form posts.

  • Nostr Nests, a live audio streaming service on Nostr, has opened its code. Support the development of the project.

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Reason TV’s “Bitcoin Under Attack” by Jim Epstein, Liz Wolfe and Zach Weissmueller:

Interview with Caitlin Long on fractional vs. full reserve banking:


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Bitcoin, Best Brews and Prague

Our report on BTCPrague conference: Bitcoin, Best Brews and Prague

prague

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  • TFTC #427: Killer Whale Liquidity Crisis with John Titus. Listen on Fountain.

  • Stephan Livera Podcast #488: Future Visions of Lightning, Greenlight & Breez SDK with Christian Decker and Roy Sheinfeld. Listen on Fountain.

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πŸ”© Boltz

Transfer sats between LN and onchain in a couple of clicks.

Boltz, a service dedicated to swapping sats between the main Bitcoin chain and the Lightning network, is now available as a progressive web app that can be installed on your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer in two clicks. The service also supports Liquid swaps.