Cash injection Bitcoin: federal states fill their coffers

The German states are crypto millionaires. Last year, the authorities confiscated up to two and a half million euros in the form of crypto currency. According to Wirtschaftswoche, the majority of the assets are said to have come from raids in the criminal milieu. A large part of the assets from auctions and sales has already flowed into the state coffers. The money will now be used to help the victims of crime.

Organized crime, drugs, human trafficking, illegal downloads – the anonymity of Bitcoin casts long shadows. However, its prominence in criminal milieus has become an unexpected financial injection for the German federal states in 2017. According to Wirtschaftswoche, last year Bitcoin assets worth at least two and a half million euros were confiscated from criminal businesses. It is said that up to two million euros have already been collected from sales and auctions.

Bitcoin loophole: a danger for prices?

Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg should benefit the most. With Bitcoin loophole worth almost 616,000 and 520,000 euros, they collected about half of the unexpected money blessing. Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse will also have important Bitcoin loophole assets thanks to the raids.

While Bavaria already sold parts of its stocks last year at comparatively unfavourable rates, the importance of crypto currencies is growing noticeably in the wake of climbing rates. One cannot bet with resales ?like speculators on rising courses?, so a befasster public prosecutor opposite the economic week, nevertheless these might promise high yields for the countries despite a limping first quarter.

Although these are doing comparatively well, the earnings should nevertheless represent a welcome financial injection.

It is already certain that some of the sales will benefit victims of crime. In addition, the proceeds of similar conventional inflows from crime control are likely to be used in the future to plug old household holes. In Hesse, for example, cities and municipalities have been waiting for more from the capital Wiesbaden for some time, despite a black zero in the state budget. Last year, Rhineland-Palatinate complained about unplanned additional expenditures of 160 million euros.

In future, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the confiscated Bitcoin will also register to react to the growing importance.

„Next year, we also want to identify confiscated Bitcoins in the crime statistics for the first time, the agency said last year.

The news spy: Bitcoin confiscation worldwide

However, financial injections from the news spy, Bitcoin & Co. are anything but a German phenomenon. On the contrary: worldwide sales of confiscated Bitcoin accounts flush welcome additional income into sometimes more, sometimes less needy state coffers. At the beginning of the year, for example, the US state of Utah auctioned off over 50 million US dollars worth of Bitcoins. The coins had fallen into the hands of the authorities in the fight against drug trafficking.

In addition, almost 2,000 Finnish Bitcoins are currently waiting for their auction. They could currently strengthen the state coffers of the country with up to 11 million euros.

However, Bulgaria is probably the largest Bitcoin holder in Europe. As it became known last year, the Balkan state should be in possession of up to 200,000 Bitcoins. In the course of a sale this would mean gigantic plus of more than one billion euro for the Bulgarian household. At the moment, however, they want to wait and see, „invest and save“, according to government sources.

Many investors are probably worried that even at comparatively low prices, sales in the millions could ultimately influence Bitcoin prices. The massive sales of the insolvent crypto exchange Mt.Gox, for example, were viewed with great suspicion by investors. Insolvency administrators sold scarcely 36,000 Bitcoin of the Japanese enterprise since beginning of the year. With it up to a billion US Dollar at possible sales value is to have been lost and courses suffered.

Although the German stocks are beyond these astronomical dimensions, should Bitcoin whale Bulgaria decide on similar sales, this should have a noticeable effect on the prices.

Helix Co-Founder Marcel Fohrmann in Tech Interview: „Our Tangle is Decentralized“

Helix is still a young Berlin blockchain start-up working on tangle technology. Tangle is known to many in connection with IOTA. The promise is huge: no scaling problems, no costs. However, quite a few criticize the central role of the coordinator. Helix wants to do it better and has found a way to enable decentralization in the tangle as well. In order not only to scratch the surface, the following interview also goes into technical detail – not IT’s get their money’s worth, however. When you hear the keyword tangle, you immediately have to think of IOTA.

What does your tangle have in common with that of the Bitcoin secret, how does it differ?

The Tangle is first and foremost a revolutionary and impressive invention by the Bitcoin secret, which inspired us strongly. It’s a very fitting name for a seemingly chaotic memory arrangement. In this sense the Helix-Tangle does not differ from the IOTA-Tangle. Transactions are mapped in a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) for further processing, which brings advantages in terms of scalability – a decisive advantage over a Bitcoin secret blockchain.

In the tangle, new transactions are linked to the graph by a „tip selection“ algorithm, which uses weights of transactions to simulate a „random walk“, which in turn delivers two transactions to be referenced as a result. In practice, some transactions end up as so-called „orphans“ who are never referenced by newly linked transactions. Our data science team has practically analyzed existing tip selection methods, found various optimization possibilities and implemented realistic simulations of the solution approaches.

Furthermore, Helix relies on a binary instead of a trinary interpretation of the tangle. Although we understand the advantages of a trinary tangle design, especially when executed in dedicated hardware, Helix pursues the goal of the highest possible end-user compatibility. Accordingly, cryptography was also implemented in binary form, whereby we adhere to the NIST standard and do without highly experimental procedures. In addition, we currently consider it very risky to make speculations about resistance to quantum computers, but we are also working very intensively on this challenge.

Another problem of cryptosoft is the incomparability of elements

Timestamps, for example, cannot be semantically validated. Unlike cryptosoft, it is difficult to derive an intuitive linear order from the tangle. So there are cryptosoft elements that are not a scam. Therefore, we work in close cooperation with research institutes on a method to efficiently arrange subsets of the tangle without losing semantic validity. This is the basic prerequisite for the planned support of Smart Contracts, for which the order in which transactions are executed is of crucial importance. For example, smart contracts that are used in exchanges must have a way of viewing the order of bids in order to transfer the digital asset to the first bidder.

How OneName Bitcoin makes payments as simple as Facebook Sharing

Although the Bitcoin protocol has been described as a simple solution to the problems plagued by digital currencies and the traditional monetary system, some aspects of construction violate the central tenet of tech design: „Keep it simple, stupi“ (often abbreviated as KISS).

Nowhere is this more evident than in the design of Bitcoin revolution addresses

Strings of 27 to 34 alphanumeric characters offer privacy and Bitcoin revolution security, but do not make it easy for users to exchange payment information. Except perhaps for the sometimes cumbersome QR code technology explained on

Therefore, OneName is looking for a solution to eliminate this pain and replace the long Bitcoin payment addresses with leaner and social solutions. Once registered on OneName the payment becomes as easy as adding a plus sign in front of the username (e.g. +pete_rizzo_).

All users must enter their e-mail address and choose a username when registering. Many have already done so. The OneName website boasts users like Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam and Dogecoin Foundation member Ben Doemberg.

Even though OneNames sounds simple at first glance, what happens in the background is much more complex. OneName is not an application or a company, but an open source protocol which is based on the Namecoin and creates its own applications.

According to developers Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea, OneName’s goal is to give users back control of their data from centralized companies like Facebook LinkedIn, Twitter and Co.

Ali explains Bitcoin loophole

„If people use the Bitcoin loophole analogy, they’re still keeping their money in banks now. Banks or third-party providers are also companies like Facebook or LinkeIn. App developers who want to access this data can’t get past these companies.“ More about it here: Is Bitcoin Loophole a Scam? Read This Review Before You Sign Up!

OneName, it seems, has one thing ahead of most Bitcoin startups: it’s looking for a way to replace these influential intermediaries.

The whole picture

With OneName, according to Shea, the user will regain control over his data and can share it with the developers if he wants to. Without the consent of a third party.

Shea says OneName has already received requests from developers like the news service Venmo to use the OpenSource system to create alternative payment systems.

Ali adds:

„Any application based on applications like Facebook can build on OneName, but would be inherently decentralized. There are simply no limits, it’s entirely in the hands of the developers.“

Today, developers are still limited in app development because large corporations monopolize this data. Companies like Whatsapp or Snapchat, he argues, were able to grow faster because they had unlimited access to mobile phone technology and the ability to generate image data.“

Shea says it’s the best example of what the ability to have unlimited access to user data can do for companies. He reiterates that WhatsApp was recently sold for $19 billion.

LocalBitcoins: New records in Latin America

The trading volume on the LocalBitcoins crypto exchange has reached new highs for some North and South American countries.

Latin America’s P2P markets have grown strongly in recent weeks. This is shown by figures from the statistics website The figures for Chile, Peru and Venezuela were particularly striking. But a record was also broken in Canada: Never before have so many Canadian dollars been exchanged for Bitcoins on LocalBitcoins as in recent weeks.

Venezuela – Deceptive cryptosoft numbers

At the latest since the introduction of the controversial cryptosoft Petro the interest in crypto currencies grows in Venezuela. On LocalBitcoins traders have swapped record sums of Bolivar for Bitcoins. In the first week of June, the BTC market recorded transactions worth 487 BTC or seven trillion bolivar. More about it here:

But beware: the figures should be treated with caution given the hyperinflation the country is struggling with.

Inflation rose to a horrendous 13,800 percent in April. To tackle the problem and loosen the stranglehold of the financial markets, President Maduro introduced a kind of state crypto currency, the Petro, in February. Next, he plans to set up a crypto bank.

Peru – New records for BTC and crypto trader

Measured in fiat currencies, Peruvian crypto trader volume on local bitcoins reached its highest level since December last year. The previous record was over 1,500,000 Peruvian sols (equivalent to about 386,000 euros), achieved in the week of 23.12.2017. Almost half a year later this crypto trader figure has almost doubled: More than 2,760,000 PEN (approx. 711,400 Euro) were traded on LocalBitcoins in the last week of May.

The situation is similar with Bitcoin: The previous record was 80 BTC trading volumes per week. It was already set in December 2015. In the week from 26.05.2018 the market volume reached a new high of 106 BTC. In the following week the volume „shrank“ again, but at 88 BTC it is still at a far above-average level.

Chile – High for Fiat
If you calculate in BTC, Chile has not broken any records in recent weeks. For over a year now, the weekly trading volume has not exceeded the 40 BTC mark. The peak of a full 143 BTC dates back to July 2015.

The situation is completely different for Fiat volume. Traders on LocalBitcoins, for example, conducted transactions worth 235,000,000 Chilean pesos (around 217,000 euros) in the first week of May this year. This is a new record. Even though the volume fell again in the following weeks, Chilean sales on LocalBitcoins continue to grow.

Canada – LocalCoin records peak in May
Also from the North of America there is good news for LocalBitcoins: In Canada, traders have set a new trading volume record in both the crypto and fiat sectors. In the penultimate week of May, this was 1,200 BTC or around 12,000,000 Canadian dollars (just under 10,440,000 euros). By way of comparison, the previous highs were 909 BTC or around 8,000,000 CAD.

However, it remains uncertain whether this will lead to an upward trend: In the last two weeks, the Canadian trading volume on local bitcoins has shrunk again to 78 BTC or CAD 760,000.

Dread Pirate Roberts, Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht & the Bitcoin Course

On September 5, 2018, the Bitcoin exchange rate fell briefly by five percent just below the US$ 7,000 mark. This reduced Bitcoin’s market capitalization from 127.3 billion US dollars to 120.9 billion US dollars. What had happened? One of the tracks leads to DarkNet.

The Bitcoin exchange rate drops – suddenly around 6 billion US dollars are „missing“ in market capitalisation. While the Bitcoin price in Iran is climbing to undreamt-of heights, for the rest of the crypto market it is sinking by almost 400 US dollars, depending on the crypto exchange. The community is mainly driven by a question: Why is the Bitcoin price falling? One possible answer leads to the dark side of the network.

On Reddit, the user sick_silk already predicted major price movements on August 30, 2018. He spoke of a Silk Road Wallet that had become active again after a long absence. So it should be a total of 111,114.62 Bitcoin with a value of at that time approximately 844 million US dollars, which were moved gradually on different crypto exchanges. These, it is assumed, belong to the infamous DarkNet black market Silk Road.

Who ran the news spy?

Remember: the news spy was a scam where you could buy illegal goods such as drugs, weapons or forged papers. It was operated in DarkNet, accessible via the TOR network – the Internet under the Internet, if you will. Bitcoin was the preferred means of the news spy – he promised fast transactions and above all anonymity.

One of the administrators of the online black market published his posts under the name Dread Pirate Roberts. In the haze circles of the Silk Road he was ultimately known, there was consensus that the pseudonym „Dread Pirate Roberts“ concealed the operator or operators of the Silk Road. And it was exactly one of those operators who was made a few gross blunders that led to his true identity.

The mistakes of the Bitcoin secret

So it happened that Dread Pirate Roberts was looking for help for his Bitcoin secret project under the pseudonym altoid in the bitcointalk forum.

It was about using the Bitcoin secret: Here he made a first mistake and revealed the wallet address of his service in line six:

Later he was to advertise his online black market under the same pseudonym in the Bitcoin talk forum and other relevant channels. His biggest mistake was probably to search for developers for Silk Road under the pseudonym – in connection with his original (!) e-mail address:

Therefore, it was easy for the investigators to convict the presumed operator of the Silk Road. Among other things, the authorities intercepted Ulbricht’s mail – and found a total of nine ID cards with different names and addresses, but they all had the same face: that of Ross Ulbricht.

On the developer platform Stack Overflow, he also posted instructions on how to gain access to hidden services (such as Silk Road) under his real name. He changed it to „frosty“ for a short time. In retrospect, however, the authorities were able to identify him and initiate the process. Sentence: two life sentences plus 40 years and no right to a pardon. He was arrested on 1 October 2013. He was sitting in a café in San Francisco near a friend’s house.

Ross Ulbricht in prison, Wallet remains active
About 15 days later, an entry appeared on the Bitcointalk forum. The user assortmentofsorts came across a Bitcoin Wallet address that caught his attention. It contained the proud sum of 111,114.62 Bitcoin. As it turned out later, the operator or operators had tried to obscure the origin of the address with a Bitcoin tumbler. Assortmentofsorts, however, used a shortest path algorithm to find out what the original address looked like:

It was this address that altoid had accidentally left on the Bitcoin Talk forum. Apparently it was the wallet address of the Silk Road. Then it became quiet around the wallet. There were still some smaller Bitcoin transactions here and there, but by and large nothing more happened. Until recently.

Sick_Silk is looking for owner of the Bitcoin-Wallet
So posted a certain sick_silk on August 30, 2018:

And indeed: It was worth it.

Because as sick_silk reports under just this link, the owner or owners of the wallet began to have great fun.