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

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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In spite of some doubt, the creators confirmed that they had not withdrawn the puzzle by sacking the wallet, but that an external user had actually solved the riddle and claimed the funds.Bauch’s Work Spans the Gap Between “New Tech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.

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Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on January 24, 2020

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Cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC/USD) is trading at 8563. Cryptocurrency quotes are trading above the moving average with a period of 55. This indicates a bullish trend on Bitcoin. At the moment, cryptocurrency quotes are moving near the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator stripes.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on January 24, 2020

As part of the Bitcoin exchange rate forecast, a test level of 8420 is expected. Where can we expect an attempt to continue the growth of BTC/USD and the further development of the upward trend. The purpose of this movement is the area near the level of 9160. The conservative area for buying Bitcoin is located near the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator strip at 8400.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on January 24, 2020

Cancellation of the

option to continue the growth of the Bitcoin exchange rate will be a breakdown of the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator stripes. As well as a moving average with a period of 55 and closing of quotations of the pair below the area of ​​8320. This will indicate a change in the current trend in favor of the bearish for BTC/USD. In case of breakdown of the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator bands, we should expect an acceleration in the fall of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on January 24, 2020 implies a test level of 8420. Further, growth is expected to continue to the area above the level of 9160. The conservative buying area is located near the area of ​​8400. The breakdown of the cryptocurrency growth option will be the breakdown of the level of 8320. In this case, we should expect further fall.

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Billionaire investor advises people to stay away from Bitcoin

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  • Ray Dalio said that Bitcoin is too volatile to be a store of wealth, at present. Instead, he suggests a small allocation in gold.
  • He also noted that currently, “cash is trash” and that investors must look for a well-diversified portfolio.

The founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio, has warned people not to get involved with speculative currencies like Bitcoin in 2020. Appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dalio said:

There’s two purposes of money, a medium of exchange and a store hold of wealth, and Bitcoin is not effective in either of those cases now.

He believes that Bitcoin is too volatile to be a

store of wealth currently. Instead, he suggests a small allocation in gold. 

Because of the volatility, you can’t go next to it. Someday, you know, I would say Libra or something with more stable value has got more potential. But also, who is going to do the buying? Central bankers and others? What are they going to hold as reserves?

What has been tried and true? Are they going to hold digital Bitcoin? They are going to hold gold. That is a reserve currency, and it has been a reserve currency for 1,000 years… A bit of gold is a diversifier, and that’s the advice I can give.

He also noted that currently, “cash is trash” and that investors must look for a well-diversified portfolio. 

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Visa continues to dwarf Bitcoin in this important metric

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Despite optimistic predictions, Bitcoin still has a long way to go before it can compete with companies such as Visa. The fiat currency giant reported transaction volume of over $11.2 trillion in 2018, while Bitcoin network only managed to transact around $2.2 trillion until 2019.

Visa dominates all payment processors with $11 trillion transaction volume

While the crypto industry as a whole seems confident that digital assets will ultimately replace traditional fiat currencies, the reality is that there’s a long way to go before the two can even compete in the same category.

The growing transaction volume of most high-market cap cryptocurrencies definitely shows that major improvements are made. However, most of that growth fades away when compared to the big players in the payment processing industry.

According to its annual performance report, Visa saw a total transaction volume of just over $11.2 trillion. The volume is the sum of both the payment volume and cash volume, with the payment volume being the total monetary value of transactions on Visa-branded cards and payment products, the company explained in the report.

This is a huge increase from the $10.3 trillion the company reported in 2017 and an even bigger increase from the $8.1 trillion in total volume

reported in 2016.

Image showing total volume recorded by Visa in 2016, 2017, and 2018
Image showing total volume recorded by Visa in 2016, 2017, and 2018. (SourceVisa)

Bitcoin still has a long way to go to catch up with Visa

Bitcoin‘s numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as these. However, it’s worth noting that digital asset data can often be misleading and can never be taken at face value. As a Fidelity Digital Assets research put it, one of the most commonly overstated measures is Bitcoin’s transaction volume.

Most data providers use an unspent transaction output (UTXO) system, which doesn’t distinguish between economic and non-economic transactions. Because of that, the difference between the adjusted and unadjusted transaction value figures are often very significant.

According to the report, Bitcoin’s total adjusted transaction value from inception to Dec. 11, 2019, was approximately $2.2 trillion. It’s unadjusted transaction volume, however, stands at approximately $7.5 trillion.

Chart showing the difference between cumulative raw transaction value and the adjusted value
Chart showing the difference between cumulative raw transaction value and the adjusted value. (SourceCoinMetrics)

While the $2.2 trillion is a significant achievement for a system as young and as novel as Bitcoin is, it’s still a long way behind Visa. Bitcoin’s transaction volume was amassed over a period of more than 10 years, while Visa recorded its $11.2 trillion from September 2017 to September 2018.

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