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Artist Tempts Bitcoin Enthusiasts with $10,000 Secretly Encoded in Lego Art



Artist Andy Bauch has rendered artworks made of images generated using real-time virtual wallet addresses. Feeding the string of address letters and numbers through an algorithm produced a series of patterns that Bauch has employed to generated Lego “paintings” that contain the wallet address for anyone to claim the funds in the form of bitcoin.

Every piece of art is a visual representation of a private cryptocurrency wallet key. In a show of art rewarding the buyer, anyone back-working the graphic representation can decipher the formula and thus the key to a stash of digital currency.

A Sign of Blockchain Impacting Artistic Endeavors
The artist began taking an interest in cryptocurrencies in 2013 but says he is not a “rabid promoter” of any particular coin nor the phenomenon itself. Bauch is rather a product of modern digital life distilling in the mind of the artist, producing aesthetically pleasing yet also digitized artworks.

His latest exhibition is being staged at Los Angeles’ Castelli Art Space. Titled “New Money,” the exhibition opened Friday, March 23, 2018. Saying that each individual art piece is “a secret key to various types of cryptocurrency,” Bauch is one of a handful of artists who have played around with cryptocurrency, secret messages, and graphics rendering.

In 2015, @coin_artist revealed a painting allegedly containing $50,000 worth of bitcoin for anyone who could decode the link to a wallet. Known as “The Mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto,” that puzzle remained unsolved until recently when on February 1, 2018, someone solved the riddle and drained the bitcoin wallet.

In spite of some doubt, the creators confirmed that they had not withdrawn the puzzle by sacking the wallet, but that an external user had actually solved the riddle and claimed the funds.Bauch’s Work Spans the Gap Between “New Tech and Humanity”
In preparation for his latest project, Bauch bought some bitcoin, litecoin and other virtual currencies and stashed them in wallets. He then fed the private encryption for each wallet into an algorithm that generated a variety of graphic images for each, from which Bauch chose the most pleasing.

Although he tweaked the process here and there in order to generate images that were both accurate in carrying the encoded information as well as appealing to his sense of aesthetics, he insists the code is decipherable and legitimate. Bauch tested and retested the reverse extrapolation to ensure that someone who figures out the code will be given correct information in the form of a wallet address to claim the contents.

Bauch said that a lot of his work is an attempt to “span this gap that often exists between new technology and humanity.” He enjoys using Lego as a medium as, for him, the final assembly is reminiscent of a highly magnified pixel deconstruction. Bauch is also employing the mass-produced blocks to create another series of portraits of people who have lost their jobs to technology.

The current artwork titles detail what type of digital coin the wallet that is rendered in the piece contains and also a period value of what the relevant currency was worth at the time he created the wallet. There will be a live feed of the market value of each wallet projected during the exhibition.

Art Meets the Digital World
Bauch and the “Satoshi Nakamoto Riddle” creators are not alone in their fascination with cryptocurrencies, although Bauch and others have perpetuated the original altruism and democracy imagined by the Bitcoin project. Another artist who responded to blockchain technology’s impact on the world was Brad Troemel. Probably most well-known for his collaboration with Tumblir that produced “Jogging,” he began including actual “Bitcoin pieces” that were shrink-wrapped into his works some years ago.

In Troemel’s case, the coins were emblazoned with the actual wallet keys and thus whoever bought the artwork immediately inherited the coin values as well. When interviewed about potential buyers of his works, Bauch said that he would “… give them a hint” to aid them in their quest to decipher the code and claim the currency. However, the codes have been cracked already, with a blog post from James Stanley explaining how he cracked the bitcoin keys in the Lego artwork.



Champion Shave to Launch Champion Coin ICO with Usain Bolt, Ronaldinho and Dominique Wilkins



Champion Shave to Launch Champion Coin in an ICO in 2019 Q2

Champion Shave, a superstar-owned shaving company, has outlined its intentions to launch its own cryptocurrency token. The company was established in 2016 by 100m world record holder, Fusain Bolt, soccer legend, Ronaldinho, and NBA legend, Dominique Wilkins.

Since its inception, the company has sold over 10 million razor products. The products are available in 17 countries across the world. According to Manny Bains, the CEO of Champion Shave, the firm is revolutionizing the men’s grooming sector that is valued at $47 billion. They intend to further this transformation by adopting a blockchain-based solution for their supply chain and customer data management.

Manny states that Champion Shave will use blockchain technology to track the entirety of the supply chain. This would reduce expenses and enhance efficiency by offering a transparent, unalterable and decentralized ledger for tracking movement of freight. Moreover, Champion Shave will conduct an ICO where it will issue its cryptocurrency token, called Champion Coin.

The objective of the Champion Coin and Champion Shave blockchain ecosystem is to eliminate intermediaries and charges in cross-border transactions. In addition to increased efficiency, Champion coin users will get rewards and discounts for shaving products.

Champion Coin ICO

The presale phase of the Champion Coin ICO is expected to start on October 29. The event will be backed by a specially curated marketing campaign meant to appeal to sports fans as well as crypto hobbyists. The main token sale is expected to go live in Q2 2019.

David Trezeguet, a former football star, will represent tie Champion Coin ICO during the Malta Blockchain Summit scheduled for November 1. Trezeguet said that he was excited by the launch of the token, adding that it would be useful to all members of the Champion Shave fraternity.

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Debating Satoshi Nakamoto’s Original Vision Between Blockchain Ledgers or Tokens



According to Adam Krellenstein, co-founder and CTO at, says that ten years after the anniversary of Bitcoin’s creation, the community is in a crisis. is a fintech company that focuses on traditional financial markets and blockchain technology.

Mr Krellenstein says that he has been working during the last decade in order to produce new blockchain protocols that go beyond Satoshi’s original proposal. However, it seems that the industry is still struggling to answer important questions related to the nature of this technology and how it should improve society.

The author explains the struggle to understand the relationship between Bitcoin and distributed ledger technology (DLT). For him, there are some blockchains that want to create smart contracts, while others aim at creating tokens. Additionally, there is a debate on whether blockchain networks should be permissioned or not. Krellenstein believes that token systems are more useful than smart contracts when they are based on a public blockchain consensus protocol.

He mentions that Satoshi Nakamoto was right about the best use of blockchain technology. In this way, he created a payment system and a virtual currency (Bitcoin) that is nowadays the most popular and, perhaps, one of the most resilient in the market.

However, Krellenstein says that he spent a lot of time thinking about this issue and that he analyzed it very well when he created the cryptocurrency Counterparty and Symbiont. He goes on describing how Counter-party and Symbiont work and how they were created.

On the matter, he explained:

“Counterparty is a public blockchain smart contracts platform, albeit one focused on token issuance and trading, while Symbiont is a fintech company that develops and licenses its permissioned blockchain-based smart contracts system to improve the infrastructure of traditional financial markets.”

He said that while working on Counterparty and watching Ethereum – one of the largest virtual currencies and blockchain networks in the market – he saw that although both systems were built to support smart contracts, they were primarily used to create and transfer tokens.

Moreover, he explains that their vision was to create a trustless network of decentralized finance, and in order to do so, they implemented smart contracts for token balances, prediction markets, transparent elections and many other features. Nonetheless, those using Counterparty were focusing around its token rather than on other applications.

Krellenstein says that Ethereum makes it difficult to create real applications using the Solidity language. For him, one of the most advanced Ethereum smart contracts is related to CryptoKitties, something that is very similar to other games launched on Counterparty before. Although both platforms, Counterparty and Ethereum, were created to perform many other powerful things, they are exclusively used for tracing tokens.

This is why he thinks that smart contract systems for the general public are not a good idea. Additionally, he says that efficiency is sometimes more important than universality and that interaction among individuals is not yet as complex enough to justify a not efficient decentralized computer program.

Permissioned blockchains could work properly for some participants such as insitutions, governments or corporations. With these blockchains, it is possible to improve consistency and correctness of the current infrastructure.

This is something that some companies such as JP Morgan are already implementing and something that they properly understood.Quorum is the network that has been developed by the recognised bank and that is being used by different institutions and parties.

Krellenstein explains that blockchain can be valuable when replacing a consistent centralized system with a consistent decentralized one. He concludes saying that blockchain technology could become valuable as well when turning an inconsistent decentralized system into a consistent decentralized system.

“The conclusion that I’ve come to is that, just as was originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto, the greatest use of a public blockchain is in fact as a digital currency and payment system,” he says. “Generalizations of Satoshi’s innovations in the time since he launched bitcoin, manifest partly in the enterprise DLT space, are not competitive with bitcoin.”

Perhaps, instead of replacing fiat currencies, blockchain technology could be used to build new databases that support workflows that are un-amenable to management within traditional client-server frameworks.

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Coinbase Adds Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) Stablecoin, Doubles Down on Digital Dollar Doubts



Coinbase Adds Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) Stablecoin

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency giant Coinbase just announced that it has added support for USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin designed by competing crypto exchange Circle, the owner of Poloniex.

One USDC is a 1:1 representation of a US dollar on the Ethereum blockchain. Each USDC is 100% collateralized by a corresponding USD held in accounts subject to regular public reporting of reserves. The underlying technology behind the USDC was developed collaboratively between Coinbase and Circle.

“Coinbase and Circle share a common vision of an open global financial system built on crypto rails and blockchain infrastructure, and realizing this vision requires industry leaders to collaborate to build interoperable protocols and standards,” Circle co-founders Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville said

Distinctly, USD Coin will be the first stablecoin supported by Coinbase. Circle was the first issuer of the coin in September. The consortium, called Centre, will serve as a platform for users to make deposits from traditional bank accounts, convert fiat currency into tokens issued by members to facilitate transactions and provide the ability to shift back to the greenback.

Use cases of USDC

To start off with, two Ethereum wallets can quickly send and receive any amount of USDC at any time of day. Large transfers for business purposes become as easy as small e-commerce payments. Consumers can use the Coinbase app to send USDC to someone while remaining confident the value is stable.

There is a burgeoning ecosystem of crypto dApps, exchanges, and blockchain-based games. A USDC follows the ERC20 standard, which means it can be used with any app that accepts tokens based on that standard. The USDC can thus be used as a stable digital dollar to buy items in the crypto ecosystem, from Cryptokitties to tickets for blockchain-based games.

Additionally, for developers and fintech companies, a digital dollar like USDC is easier to program with. For example, given the private keys for USDC, a program can easily send and receive them back and forth using the public Ethereum blockchain.

Final Take

Recently, there has been a large amount of new issuance of stable coins recently as industry enthusiasts try to find more uses for crypto. Tether is the largest of the bunch but is plagued by doubters amid concern as the company has refused to be audited and won’t disclose its banks. Critics of Tether have called into question whether that cryptocurrency is truly backed by the equivalent amount of U.S. dollars.

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