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How Bitcoin’s Lightning Can Be Used for Private Messaging

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Bitcoin’s lightning network might have a use case beyond faster and more scalable payments.

Last week Lightning Labs developer Joost Jager revealed an experimental, new proof of concept: Whatsat, a version of lightning that can be used to send private messages.

Like bitcoin, it’s censorship-resistant. But, unlike encrypted apps that morph messages into unreadable, garbled text to keep messages from prying eyes, there’s no central entity to stop users from employing the network.

Jager told CoinDesk:

“Lightning is a peer to peer network in which anyone can participate. There is no central entity that has the ultimate power to decide on [what] users are allowed to communicate.”

Private messaging is a hot topic in the digital age, as it’s easy for bad actors to intercept messages that aren’t encrypted. Apps such as Signal and Wire give users more privacy, but private messaging is still far from everywhere.

“I like to compare private messaging with talking to someone in person privately. We can do this without asking for permission,” Jager argued. “It is a freedom that is so natural, that we hardly even realize how important it is. As we humans continue to digitize ourselves further every day, I think it makes sense to extend this freedom into the digital domain.”

Whatsat is a passion project for Jager, not something he’s working on for Lightning Labs. The app is at an early stage, not to be used with real bitcoin yet.

Accidental messaging system

Jager said it’s always been possible to add extra data to lightning payments. But a recent change to lightning’s specifications has standardized how this built-in messaging system works, so lightning network software remains compatible.

There are other technologies that can be used to decentralize messaging, Jager said, but he argues there are some advantages built into lightning that other apps don’t have.

“Lightning is not the only way to decentralize this, but it does have the advantage that it is also a payment network,” he said. “Running any sort of centralized or decentralized service costs money and with lightning it is easy to pay for that on a per-message basis.”

It’s hard for chat platforms and social networks to achieve “network effects,” whereby they become exponentially more useful as more people use them. But twinning payments and messaging might help lightning.

“It is a question of how many [peer-to-peer] networks you want to participate in. It simplifies things if you get the two major uses, payment and chatting, from a single network,” Jager said.

Getting so many people to join such a project could be a challenge, Bitcoin Core contributor Sjors Provoost argued on Twitter. He suggested someone build “bridges” to popular existing apps, like WhatsApp or Signal, so users don’t have to download a whole new program to participate in the lightning chat.

Messages sent on lightning are free for now. Whatsat “relies on the fact that there is no charge for a failed payment. The payment reaches the recipient, the recipient extracts the message and they fail the payment,” Jager said. But, should he develop the idea further, it’s likely to charge a nominal amount. Lightning payments currently cost a median of .0001 satoshis, a single satoshi (or 100 millionth of a bitcoin) currently being worth a fraction of a penny.

“There surely are people willing to pay for it, but for what price would make it a no-brainer for almost anyone?” Jager asked. “Suppose the average user sends 30 messages per day. That comes down to about 1 satoshi per message with the current bitcoin exchange rate.”

That’s about a dollar per year.

“If the lightning network matures to a system that can sustainably handle 1 [satoshi] payments, I think a future of permissionless private messaging is unlocked,” Jager said.

Source.coindesk

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Turned Sell On Rallies Towards $9K

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  • Bitcoin price is trading in a bearish zone below the $8,880 and $9,000 resistances against the US Dollar.
  • The price is struggling to recover and it is likely to face sellers towards $9,000.
  • Yesterday’s major bearish trend line is intact with resistance near $8,980 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • There are a few key supports on the downside near the $8,600 and $8,500 levels.

Bitcoin price is facing an increase in selling below $9,000 against the US Dollar. BTC might correct higher, but sellers remain in control near $8,880 and $9,000.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Yesterday, there was a decent recovery in bitcoin above $8,850 and $8,900 against the US Dollar. Moreover, BTC climbed above the $9,000 resistance and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

However, the upward move was capped by the $9,150 resistance. A high was formed near $9,150 and the price started another decline. It broke many supports near the $9,000 and $8,900 levels.

Additionally, there was a close below $8,850 and the 100 hourly simple moving average. Finally, the price broke the $8,700 level and traded to a new monthly low near the $8,612 low.

It is currently correcting higher above the $8,700 level. Besides, bitcoin is trading above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $9,150 high to $8,612 low. On the upside, there are many resistances, starting with $8,800 and up to $9,000.

The first major resistance is near the $8,880 level and the 100 hourly SMA. It also represents the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $9,150 high to $8,612 low.

The main resistance on the upside is near the $9,000 level. More importantly, yesterday’s major bearish trend line is intact with resistance near $8,980 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. Therefore, bitcoin is likely to face a strong resistance near the $8,880 and $9,000 levels.

On the downside, an initial support is near the $8,680 level. The first key support is near the $8,600 level, below which there is a risk of an extended decline towards the $8,500 support area.

Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin Price

Looking at the chart, bitcoin is showing signs of a short term upside correction above $8,700. Having said that, the bears are likely to protect gains near the $8,880 and $8,980 resistance levels. Only a close above $9,000 might start a strong recovery in the near term.

Technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD is struggling to gain strength in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is currently recovering towards the 50 level.

Major Support Levels – $8,600 followed by $8,500.

Major Resistance Levels – $8,880, $8,980 and $9,000.

Source:newsbtc


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Facebook ordered by Dutch court to take down fake Bitcoin ads

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With the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin, scams pertaining to the same have also been on a surge. Pictures of celebrities touting investments related to Bitcoin have time and again surfaced all over the internet. John de Mol, a Dutch television producer, is the latest to fall prey to such fake advertisements.

Advertisements of the celebrity promoting Bitcoin-related investments were found to be appearing on Facebook. Soon after the Dutch media tycoon came across the same, he urged Facebook to take it down. The social media giant, however, did not respond to recurring requests

A Dutch court has now ordered Facebook to take down the fake advertisements, ruling that if it fails to do so, the social media platform would have to pay a fine of 1.1. million Euros. Additionally, the Dutch media tycoon had also called out Facebook for allegedly handing over his personal information to the scammers in question.

Since Facebook has policies regarding the publication of advertisements on its platform, the court ruled,

“Facebook’s arguments that it is just a neutral funnel for information and therefore cannot be obligated to act, is not acceptable.
The company plays too active a role with respect to advertisements, which form its primary business model to argue that.”

The social media platform has now, reportedly taken down the fake advertisements in question.

This isn’t the first such case, however. Previously, pictures of the Founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, Martin Lewis, were used in over 100 Facebook ads to promote a similar Bitcoin scam.

Even prominent Hollywood actress, Kate Winslet, wasn’t immune to such a scam, with Winslet’s image and fake quotes attributed to her being used to promote a Ponzi coin, Bitcoin Code. Winslet went on to respond to the scam via legal means.

Source: ambcrypto


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Bitcoin price prediction: BTC/USD capped by resistance levels at $8,900 and $9,025 – Confluence Detector

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  • BTC/USD had a heavily bearish Monday, where the price dropped from $9,035.30 to $8,721.25.
  • The confluence detector shows one strong support level on the downside at $8,525.

BTC/USD has had a bullish start to Tuesday and is currently priced at $8,738.65. This follows an extremely bearish Monday wherein the price dropped from $9,035.30 to $8,721.25. The daily confluence detector currently shows two healthy resistance levels at $8,900 and $9,025. On the downside, there is a support level at $8,525.

BTC/USD daily confluence detector

fxsoriginal

$8,900 has the one-day Fibonacci 61.8% retracement level and one-week Fibonacci 23.6% retracement level, while $9,025 has the 4-hour Bollinger band upper curve and one-week Fibonacci 38.2% retracement level. 

On the downside, the $8,525 support level has the one-month Fibonacci 61.8% retracement level and one-day Pivot Point support one.

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