Teenage bitcoin millionaire Erik Finman is now saying that the cryptocurrency is “dead.”
“Bitcoin is dead, it’s too fragmented, there’s tons of infighting, I just don’t think it will last,” Finman told MarketWatch. “It may have a bull market or two left in it, but long-term, it’s dead.”
Finman famously took a $1,000 gift from his grandmother to buy bitcoin, going on to make more than $4 million during the crypto’s $20,000 run.
In addition, Finman said Litecoin is also on its way out. “Litecoin has been dead for a while,” he said. “It’s like when the sun is going down and there’s that eight minute period just before it goes dark. Litecoin is in its seventh minute.” He added that project-based cryptocurrencies have the best chance of success, with Ether and ZCash on the top of his list.
Finman’s comments come as The New York Post reports that “mining” bitcoin has now become unprofitable due to the crypto’s falling price; it is now getting under $3,200, an 84 percent decrease from the highs seen just one year ago.
But Nick Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, doesn’t believe this is the end. “I’ve had a lot more questions about Bitcoin in the last 30 days and I tell people I don’t think we’re at the bottom yet,” he said. “We’re in what I call a ‘technological winter.’ It’s like what happened in the Nasdaq bubble. There was a recovery but it took many years.”
“A lot of miners definitely are losing money but there’s still miners that can make money,” he added.
Of course, there has also been a growing concern over the use of cyrpto to launder money, and a new Bloomberg report revealed that bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) might be used to engage in the criminal activity.
Currently, there are more than 4,000 of these machines worldwide and 2,389 in the U.S., with new ones installed at a rate of about five a day, according to Coin ATM Radar. And anyone can purchase a machine for a few thousand dollars, and go on to obtain a federal money transmission license on the U.S. Department of the Treasury website in about 15 minutes. By one expert’s analysis, more than half the machines in the U.S. aren’t verifying identifications or placing limits on transactions, which could result in more than $500 million in illegal cash being laundered annually.
“There are people clearly trying to launder money through our BTMs in small amounts,” says Arnold Spencer, general counsel at Dallas-based Coinsource, the largest BTM operator in the world. “We’re catching most of them, if not all of them.”
In other news, Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson believes crowdfunding with a cryptocurrency may be the best way to fund Donald Trump’s controversial wall on the Mexican border.
During an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, Davidson suggested that he has proposed a private funding program where“the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” (including residents of Mexico) would be able to fund the wall’s construction.
“You could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins, but you could raise the money and frankly if we get it right at the Treasury you could even pay with Mexican pesos.”
Coinbase has announced that its U.S. customers can now make withdrawals into their PayPal accounts.
“Before today, you needed an ACH or Federal Wire account to withdraw funds. These traditional finance networks can add up to two business days to a withdrawal,” wrote Coinbase’s Allen Osgood. “We’re always looking for ways to not only meet the bar set by traditional finance, but raise it. That’s why we rebuilt our integration to ensure that the speed and reliability of PayPal withdrawals does just that.”
And the European Parliament wants to create measures to boost blockchain adoption in trade and business across the region.
The resolution, called “Blockchain: a forward-looking trade policy,” aims to explore how blockchain could improve EU trade policies.
“The EU has an opportunity to become a leading actor in the field of blockchain and international trade, and it should be an influential actor in shaping its development globally, together with international partners,” according to the resolution.
As Coindesk pointed out, this is the latest step in the region’s acceptance of blockchain. Earlier this month, seven European countries — France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain — signed a joint declaration to promote the use of the technology to transform their economies.