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This is a big deal. Samsung Galaxy s10 has a built in cryptocurrency wallet
Samsung is one of the first major smartphone makers to include a cryptocurrency wallet in its latest flagship Galaxy S10 phones. The wallet lets users store bitcoin, Ethereum, and a beauty-related cryptocurrency called Cosmo Coin. It's a cold storage wallet, meaning it's not connected to the internet. The Galaxy S10 phones also support select decentralized apps (Dapps?). Currently, Samsung's main Dapp that's available is called Cosmee, and it lets users earn Cosmo tokens in exchange for leaving beauty reviews in the app. Cosmochain, the South Korean blockchain startup behind Cosmee, describes its app to The Verge as a blockchain-powered beauty review app the blockchain is supposed to be a useful way to record all the reviews reliably.

This week?s Bitcoin crash was all about fraud and regulation - The Verge clock menu more-arrow no yes Verge3.0_Logomark_Color_1
Cryptocurrencies have had a rough week: the value of bitcoin plunged to a mere 50 percent of its 2017 peak, and other currencies, such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin have seen double-digit losses compared to their heights from last year. Tuesday also witnessed the collapse of BitConnect, an anonymously operated crypto exchange that had been repeatedly accused of running a Ponzi scheme via its proprietary BCC currency. Taken together, these events may simply act as another reminder of the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, which saw bitcoin rise to a peak of $19,783 on December 17th. Bitcoin has gone through multiple crashes before: in spring 2011, in November 2013, and in January 2017. However, this current bubble comes against a new backdrop: a global tide of regulation against the inchoate cryptocurrency industry. On one hand, these regulations may be scaring bitcoin investors into selling their coins now before the full impact of regulation makes itself felt. On the other, it may also be threatening suspect exchanges such as BitConnect, with its own token declining in value by 46 percent between December 17th and January 15th the day before it announced its closure.

Here?s what happened to the cryptocurrencies that celebrities vouched for - The Verge clock menu more-arrow no yes Verge3.0_Logomark_Color_1
We're a full year and a half into cryptocurrency mania, and while the craze has calmed down, celebrities and companies alike are still coming out with partnerships with initial coin offerings and digital coins. Some celebrities have even made it their sole mission on tour, social media, and in panel discussions to promote digital coins. Over the last year, dozens of celebrities have come out in support of cryptocurrency, whether it be their own coins or companies who have reached out to them. In fact, the trend of celebrities promoting cryptocurrency has gone so far that the US Securities and Exchange Commission created a fake ICO complete with its own set of celebrity endorsements. If you click buy on the page, it brings you to a lecture from the SEC, warning you, a celebrity endorsement does not mean that an investment is legitimate or that it is appropriate for all investors.

50 Cent admits in bankruptcy document that he never actually owned any bitcoin - The Verge clock menu more-arrow no yes Verge3.0_Logomark_Color_1
50 Cent admitted that he did not, in fact, make $8 million in bitcoin by accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment for his album Animal Ambition back in 2014. In a Friday court document obtained by The Blast, the rapper admits that he has never owned bitcoin, and only went along with the initial report from TMZ because so long as a press story is not irreparably damaging to my image or brand, I usually do not feel the need to publicly deny the reporting. He added, This is particularly true when I feel the press report in question is favorable to my image or brand. It did make 50 Cent initially look like a baller when, at the height of bitcoin's value, he appeared to be $8 million deep in cryptocurrency. But, to prove that he is bankrupt, he ultimately had to reveal that he does not own any bitcoin. It's unclear whether 50 Cent is lying to bankruptcy court or earlier on social media. His reps did not immediately respond to comment.

50 Cent accidentally made $8 million in bitcoin - The Verge clock menu more-arrow no yes Verge3.0_Logomark_Color_1
In 2014, rapper 50 Cent let people buy his album Animal Ambition using bitcoin. He then let his account lie unused for years, and only just recently discovered that he's now a bitcoin millionaire, as first reported by TMZ. At the time, a single bitcoin was worth only $662, and the rapper's fans could pick up the album for a fraction of that. In total, he pulled in over $400,000. Since then, the value of bitcoin has soared: the price of the cryptocurrency rose as high as $17,000 earlier this month, only to drop under $10,000 in recent weeks. (At the time of writing, bitcoin is now worth a little more than $11,000.) After sitting untouched in his account for years, 50 Cent's earnings are now worth $7 million to $8.5 million, based on the current fluctuating bitcoin valuation.

Watch John Oliver explain Bitcoin using $15,000 Beanie Babies and rap videos - The Verge clock menu more-arrow no yes Verge3.0_Logomark_Color_1
John Oliver is known for his eloquent explanations of complex topics like net neutrality. Now, he's turning his attention to the internet's favorite topic of the moment: Bitcoin. It's everything you don't understand about money combined with everything you don't understand about computers, quips Oliver, correctly. The 25-minute video uses $15,000 Beanie Babies, an interview with a man using chicken McNuggets as a metaphor for blockchain, a video of Brock Pierce (The Mighty Ducks child actor turned crypto-entrepreneur) talking about his unicorn wedding at Burning Man, and a HODLGANG rap music video to explain the phenomenon. (Hodl is a slang term used in the Bitcoin community meaning hold on to the cryptocurrency and not sell.)

Kodak announces its own cryptocurrency and watches stock price skyrocket - The Verge clock menu more-arrow no yes Verge3.0_Logomark_Color_1
There's a growing list of companies that have added language about blockchain or cryptocurrency into their names and mission statements, and it makes sense. Companies that do so see their stocks rise in value afterward. The latest company to jump on this trend is, unexpectedly, Kodak, which just launched its own KodakCoin, a cryptocurrency for photographers. As soon as the news was announced, Kodak's stock (KODK) jumped up, and as of this writing, its stock price is $5.02, a 60 percent gain. KodakCoins will work as tokens inside the new blockchain-powered KodakOne rights management platform. The platform will supposedly create a digital ledger of rights ownership that photographers can use to register and license new and old work. Both the platform and cryptocurrency are supposed to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management, according to the press release. The digital currency is meant to create a new economy for photographers to receive payment and sell work on a secure platform.

?Blockchain? is meaningless - The Verge clock menu more-arrow no yes
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies have entered the mainstream discourse, but they've also been joined by a concept that is widely circulated, but poorly understood: the blockchain or just blockchain. The idea of a blockchain, the cryptographically enhanced digital ledger that underpins Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies, is now being used to describe everything from a system for inter-bank transactions to a new supply chain database for Walmart. The term has become so widespread that it's quickly losing meaning. What is a blockchain The word is a buzzword that is increasingly ill-defined, David Gerard, author of Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts, said in an email.

These tiny Bluetooth chips that will run off of electricity pulled from the air. Perfect for future IOTA hardware?
The Internet of Things promises to connect billions of otherwise ordinary devices to the internet, but when each one needs to have its own battery, there's a limit to how small or cheap they can become. A new paper-thin Bluetooth chip that's able to operate entirely without a battery could be about to solve this problem. The postage stamp-sized chip from Wiliot is able to harvest energy from the ambient radio frequencies around us, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular signals, and use them to power a Bluetooth-equipped ARM processor that can be connected to a variety of sensors. Wiliot says that the size of the Bluetooth chip, combined with the lack of any battery, means it can be produced cheaply and mounted on almost anything. The company gives several potential use cases for the technology. For example, it could be embedded in consumer products to provide easy access to a digital manual when the original paper version is long lost, or it could be put on a clothing label and used to communicate the optimal settings to a washing machine.

Bitcoin drops 50 percent from its peak value as it falls below $10,000 - The Verge clock menu more-arrow no yes Verge3.0_Logomark_Color_1
Bitcoin dropped below $10,000 today, and it's now worth just over half of its peak value. The cryptocurrency opened at $11,348, according to CoinDesk, and dropped over $1,600 to hit a low of $9,685, though it's since recovered slightly and is currently trading at $9,702. Other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, and Litecoin have also posted deep losses of between 30 to 40 percent, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin had a stellar year in 2017, starting at around $800 and steadily gaining value, before touching an all-time high of $19,783 on December 17th. The cryptocurrencys price was buoyed as more and more investors poured money into the hype, with some even reportedly taking out mortgages for funds to invest. While there's no immediate reason for today's dip, bitcoin has been falling over the past week. Investor sentiment may have also been hit after Bitconnect, a platform for virtual currencies, announced it's shutting down its exchange platform because of bad press, two cease and desist letters, and DDoS attacks. Bitconnect has also been accused of being a Ponzi scheme.

South Korean millennials are reeling from the Bitcoin bust - The Verge clock menu more-arrow no yes
For months, Seoul resident Ye-won Oh monitored cryptocurrency markets voraciously, refreshing her phone practically every minute of every day. In early 2017, she invested $40,000 in Ethereum, which has become wildly popular in South Korea. Like many young Koreans living through Korea's difficult economy, she came to see her investment as the only way out. The 20-something has an impressive resume: a senior role at a flourishing startup, a college degree from overseas, and work experience at some of Korea's most enviable firms. But she and her husband can't afford housing in a city where the average deposit for an apartment rental is more than $400,000. People like us, people just starting our careers and college students, it's really hard for us because there's no way to build up a stable life, Oh says.

Leading crypto wallet adds Bluetooth support for mobile bitcoin access
On Sunday at CES, the crypto wallet company Ledger revealed its latest device the Bluetooth-enabled Ledger Nano X. The device is roughly similar to the previous Nano S, offering more support for multiple wallets and coin types but leaving internals otherwise the same. But Bluetooth will allow the X to connect to mobile devices through the new Ledger Live app, a powerful new way to access hardware wallets through your phone. Hardware wallets let you hold bitcoin locally without keeping them in an exchange, a more flexible version of simply writing down your key on a piece of paper. The devices typically require a PIN to unlock and support multiple physical devices tied to the same key, providing strong protection against theft or accidental loss. Ledger's previous hardware wallet, the Nano S, was a favorite among many in the community. Ledger CEO Eric Larchevêque has said the Nano's will fall in price after the Nano X is released.

Will they Support IOTA for payment?
Volkswagen has an interesting solution to the dilemma of owning an electric vehicle without a permanent place to charge it: they'll bring the charging station to you. The German automaker offered a glimpse of its new mobile charging strategy last week, which envisions mobile charging units that can be delivered directly to electric cars in need of power, rather than frazzled EV owners having to use their last bit of juice to find the closest charging station. These portable DC charging stations could be perfect for owners who, for example, live in cities, park their cars on the street, or lack a garage where they can charge their EVs overnight. It's a helpful strategy that could go a long way toward making EV ownership in big cities work.

TheVerge: "How bitcoin grew up and became big money"
Depending on how you count its birth, bitcoin turned 10 years old today. The first lines of code were committed to the bitcoin blockchain on January 3rd, 2009, a few months after the publication of the original whitepaper. These lines of code, known as the genesis block, are credited to the person or persons known as Satoshi Nakamoto. On January 12th, Nakamoto sent 10 bitcoin to Hal Finney, and a new finance counterculture was born. At this point, the bitcoin's worth was negligible. Users essentially gave each other bitcoins as rewards for good comments in forums. The first real transaction took place on May 22nd, 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoin, or about $30. (At current prices, 10,000 bitcoin would be worth $38 million. I hope that pizza was tasty.)

Hopefully OB can continue to get traction - Dirty dealing in the $175 billion Amazon Marketplace
Last August, Zac Plansky woke to find that the rifle scopes he was selling on Amazon had received 16 five-star reviews overnight. Usually, that would be a good thing, but the reviews were strange. The scope would normally get a single review a day, and many of these referred to a different scope, as if they'd been cut and pasted from elsewhere. I didn't know what was going on, whether it was a glitch or whether somebody was trying to mess with us, Plansky says. As a precaution, he reported the reviews to Amazon. Most of them vanished days later problem solved and Plansky reimmersed himself in the work of running a six-employee, multimillion-dollar weapons accessory business on Amazon. Then, two weeks later, the trap sprang. You have manipulated product reviews on our site, an email from Amazon read. This is against our policies. As a result, you may no longer sell on, and your listings have been removed from our site.

ConsenSys plans to spin out most of its startups, and it?s going to mean layoffs -- As many as 50 to 60 percent of the company?s employees could be let go [The Verge]
Layoffs are coming to ConsenSys, the Ethereum-focused startup incubator and blockchain technology conglomerate. According to sources at the company, ConsenSys is quickly spinning out startups that it previously supported, which will drastically impact its workforce and leave an uncertain fate for one of the blockchain world's most ambitious and well-funded startups. ConsenSys runs an internal incubator called ConsenSys Labs that houses startups spokes, in company parlance. ConsenSys Labs incubates around 36 spokes, according to an email sent by Shawn Cheng, a partner at Labs. Spoke team sizes range from 5 employees to as many as 50, says a source familiar with the spokes, who also speculates the total number of employees who will be let go could be as high as 50 to 60 percent of ConsenSys approximately 1,200-person workforce.

Opera launches a cryptocurrency wallet in its Android browser
Web browser Opera has launched a built-in cryptocurrency wallet on its Android app, the company announced today at a blockchain event in London. The wallet will first support ethereum, with support for other coins likely to come later. Ether investors using Opera would potentially be able to more easily access their tokens using the feature. Users can use the cryptocurrency wallet by first downloading Opera on Android (it's not available on iOS) and then purchasing some ether tokens to store inside. From there, users can access a selection of mini apps inside the browser. Opera first announced it was testing such a feature back in July. By now, cryptocurrency prices have taken a large fall as compared to the price spikes at the end of last year. Previously, Opera indicated its awareness of cryptocurrency and the recent influx of scams by introducing anti-cryptojacking software in its web browsers.

Bitcoin has lost 40 percent of its value in the last two weeks
Bitcoin is in the middle of an astounding price drop, reaching prices as low as $3,520 in recent days and wiping out all gains from coins purchased this year. As of press time, the price was hovering around $3,900, a roughly 40 percent drop from two weeks ago. The result is the worst price drop since April 2013, refreshing old doubts about the soundness of bitcoin as an investment vehicle. It's a dramatic turn from 2017, when the value passed $15,000 in the beginning of December to peak just below $20,000. After that, prices plummeted. By January of this year, it lost half of its peak value, and continued to drop. The drop has been particularly dramatic in the last couple of weeks.

Nearly 150 West Virginians voted with a mobile blockchain app
This election season, the state of West Virginia implemented a blockchain-based voting app for the first time. The app, created by a company called Voatz, was first tested in two counties during the primaries earlier this year. After a successful test, it was used during the midterm election this past week at a wider scale. StateScoop reported that as few as 13 people used the app to vote in county primaries, a number that grew to nearly 150 people voting from 24 out of the 55 counties in the general midterm. A majority of these voters are currently deployed military members or Peace Corps volunteers.

PayPal is canceling accounts used by the Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes, and antifa groups
PayPal said today that it will cancel accounts used by far-right group the Proud Boys as well as multiple accounts from anti-fascist groups. The move will make it much harder for the groups to raise money online. The decision is the latest act of de-platforming by the tech industry, which has been grappling with how to effectively handle users that promote hateful or violent ideologies. The news was first reported by BuzzFeed News's Blake Montgomery. The ban will include the Proud Boys account as well as an account used by its founder, Gavin McInnes, PayPal said. The company is also canceling accounts for Atlanta Antifa, Antifa Sacramento, and the Anti-Fascist Network. PayPal had previously canceled accounts for Antifa Philadelphia, Antifa Arkansas, Belfast Antifa, and Rose City Antifa. The company also canceled an account used by Tommy Robinson, former leader of the far-right group the English Defence League.

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