Bitcoin News

How Nvidia Took The Gamble Of Launching Latest Retail GPU Cards?

Chip maker Nvidia has launched its new series of graphics card this week. It appears that the company took the gamble of launching GeForce FRTX 2000 series of the graphics card at a time when the mining activities are not attractive for miners. That is mainly because of two reasons. The first is that the prices of most of the virtual assets are falling like a pack of cards while the second reason is that mining consumes a lot of power making it less attractive.

Retreat from Mining

Another significant factor is that Nvidia’s latest announcement came within few days of announcing a retreat from the retail mining of digital coins, ccn.com reported. The American firm has launched three series of graphics cards, which are RTX 2080, RTX2080 Ti and RTX 2070. The company is obviously banking on the strength that the range of cards would deliver a maximum of six times better performance from the previous generation graphics cards. Every graphics card is laced with turning architecture apart from the GeForce RTX platform’s support.

The chip maker has introduced a fresh series with the aim of pushing programmable shading, real-time ray tracing and artificial intelligence (AI) to the next or advanced level. Incidentally, these three techniques are applicable to games also. Ray tracing technique centers on including realism to the virtual world whereas the AI use is about running power algorithms for itself. This will develop clear, crisp and lifelike images apart from special effects.

As far as the sharding technologies, it enables users to have experience with games that maxed out settings besides largest frame rates. In any case, Nvidia’s GEForce RTX series seem to be not appealing to miners though it looks to be interesting for the gaming experience. The new architecture could lift the hashing power by anywhere between 25 and 35 percent. Incidentally, it is armed with Tensor cores, which performs AI computing hashpower.

However, there is a hitch for miners due to the costing. That is because card costs about 50 percent higher than the earlier generation. This meant that miners would desist from upgrading at this point of time given the existing market conditions on mining activities due to sluggishness in the cryptocurrency market. RTX 2080 Ti, which is a top performing chip, is priced at $1,199, which is more expensive than GTX 1080 Ti’s $599.

Not Attractive

If miners compare the costs and performance, it looks that the new series not better than the previous one. This is based on the bandwidth, CIDA core count, and memory speed. Unless the price falls on the new series, the chip will not be an attractive proposition to miners, who are already facing costs pressure.

In its latest revenue report, Nvidia expressed its displeasure with mining of cryptos. That is because the company suffered a significant drop in revenue from GPUs focused on mining. The company indicated that “Our revenue outlook had anticipated cryptocurrency-specific products declining to approximately $100 million, while actual crypto-specific product revenue was $18 million. Whereas we had previously anticipated cryptocurrency to be meaningful for the year, we are now projecting no contributions going forward.”

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Bank of Thailand Uses R3 Technology for Cryptocurrency Pilot

The Bank of Thailand has announced that it has made considerable progress on its new cryptocurrency pilot program. Powered by the R3 technology, the country’s central bank is looking forward to creating a digital currency of its own. The first phase of this project is set to complete in the first quarter of 2019. In a press release published on Tuesday, the bank said that it has partnered with eight financial institutions in the country for this project. Together, these entities will work on project Inthanon- the digital currency of the central bank.

Over the past few months, the debate around the creation and adoption of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) has increased. Several banks across the globe are interesting in exploring the uses of blockchain but are inching away from the cryptocurrency sphere. The Bank of Thailand has taken a refreshing new approach in this regard as it is already on its way to experimenting with a crypto coin.

The BoT is currently eyeing on running its Inthanon on R3’s proprietary blockchain technology platform called Corda. In the press release, the central bank stated, “The outcome and insights from Project Inthanon will contribute to the design of Thailand’s future financial market infrastructure. This is in line with similar projects embarked upon by other central banks such as the Bank of Canada, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. In addition to Project Inthanon, the BOT is conducting a DLT proof of concept for scripless government savings bond sale to improve operational efficiency.”

With the support of its eight partners, the bank will complete the design, development and testing of the project, more specifically, a proof-of-concept prototype. This prototype will be used for making domestic wholesale fund transfers using the CBDC. The testing will primarily be focused on creating liquidity saving mechanism and risk management strategies in the currency. When the first phase of the project completes in March, the bank will release a detailed summary of Project Inthanon.

The steps taken by the central bank become more important in the light of recent events in the Thai cryptocurrency sector. In June this year, the government released their final framework to regulate digital currencies in the country, which included both ICOs and trading in these coins. The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) even approved seven digital coins which will be used to create financial benchmarks for exchanges and broker services in the country. Clear rules were laid out for the ICO industry as well. Earlier this month, the SEC even approved seven crypto exchanges in the country.

It is unclear whether Project Inthanon will remain a pilot within the central bank or see the light of the day. However, the swift action that Thailand has taken to regularize and regulate their cryptocurrency market is a lesson for several larger economies, especially the US where the SEC is still thinking about the feasibility of a crypto ETF and doesn’t have any federal regulations for the market.

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Blockchain Enters the Food and Agriculture Industry

Blockchain technology has been entering into new realms, and it seems like history is being made every other day. In a similar case, a unique decentralized solution for the food and agriculture industry is being developed by SOZO.

The new project is a combination of mutual efforts made by farmers and professionals that have extensive experience in food production, agriculture, logistics and retail sales. The founder and head of the company comes from a farming background. He has seven years of experience and knowledge about modernizing planting techniques and food logistics. He coupled it with a thorough R&D work and that helps in creating better solutions for the retail food industry.

Jansen Chok, founder SOZO, said, “Due to this considerable experience, I deeply understand how difficult and how costly it is for the food product to be produced, go through all kinds of middlemen before it finally reaches the end consumer.”

According to him, the contemporary agriculture industry is facing a lot of issues like lack of transparency and traceability of products origin, supply chain mismanagement and potential risk of fraud. Eventually, all these negatives result in financial and health loss.

When asked about the basic idea behind his company he defined SOZO as Uber and Airbnb of the agriculture space. They simply allow farmers to meet end users thus eliminating storage problems directly. The reduction in food supply chain helps them to achieve an economy of scale which not only provides more profit to the producer but also decreases food prices and raises their quality.

But, unlike most of the blockchain based projects, it never talks about the elimination of middlemen. Instead, they want to co-operate with all the existing market players to optimize the food industry that will result in the mutual benefit of all the involved parties SOZO’s ecosystem provides a flexible business model that hopes to create a free trade market while allowing middle parties to function as end customers for farmers. Hence, they will receive their share of profit only if they work within the guidelines issued by the SOZO platform.

As of now, the ambitious project is looking for collaboration with Malaysian retailers, so a more transparent market and a healthier food supply chain is established. In this manner retailers as well as farmers gain higher profits and consumers spend a lot less to buy products with certified quality and origins.

Talking about the firm’s infrastructure, Chok informed that they would be using a food tracking system based on the ever reliable blockchain system. The technology helps to develop a community which does not run on blind trust but where every single piece of data is recorded in the decentralized ledger which is immutable, fair and fast.

The news does not come as a shocker but an expected reality after blockchain’s usage in various different traditional economies. One should know that the breakthrough technology is being supported by almost all the governments around the world and its application has become a mandatory step now. SOZO’s success will be the deciding factor about blockchain’s applicability in food supply chain.

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Is Bitcoin Progressing Towards A New Rally?

In an unexpected turn of events, bitcoin jumped up from $5,850 to $6,500 in a matter of three days which hints towards a new bullish run for the entire market.

Following the progress made by bitcoin and its new-found drive, small-time digital currencies and tokens have also risen by abnormal margins between 30 to 40 percent in the past 48 hours.

Similarly, the prices for, VeChain, a China-based digital currency, rose over 50 percent while other tokens like ICON and Ontology went through 30 percent appraisal.

According to some market experts, the crypto space has touched its lowest low or the bottom. The event occurred after prominent investors like Bart Smith, Susquehanna digital asset lead, and BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes speculated a large drop in bitcoin’s value.

As per the popular investors, bitcoin and the whole crypto market was set to go through another correction stage before rising through a mid-term rally. They claimed that the coin needs to establish and stabilize a foundation before supporting the next bull run.

One should know that the market last went through such a recovery in April when prices for bitcoin bounced back from $5,900 to $10,000. Furthermore, the growth in valuation of the crypto space in the last three days also recorded an accelerated recovery in the value of tokens.

Between July and August, the majority of the tokens like VeChain, Ontology, and ICON suffered almost an 80 percent dip against bitcoin, which itself dropped down by 40 percent. It happened due to the amount of risk involved in high risk and high return trades due to a volatile and unstable crypto exchange market.

But, the previous three days have come as a reversal which forced a shift in the momentum of tokens. Ethereum based tokens that looked tiny against bitcoin and US dollar in July and August have experienced huge gains in the last 48 hours.

As more investors are moving their funds from stablecoins and premier cryptocurrencies to tokens, they are taking high risk moves under considerations that hint towards a solid mid-term rally.

A highly respected investor and analyst, Smith, stated that commencement of a Bitcoin exchange-traded note (ETN) in US markets is bound to attract new investors in the upcoming months.

He added, “It’s $8 million traded today (via the ETN). So, if you had that repeat in a fund over and over again, that would add up pretty quick. I would think that if this volume persisted over time that the ETN could be a big deal, but the market didn’t move, and the market is in show-me mode.”

Although, bitcoin is enjoying a new momentum yet its rise above the $7,000 mark can also conclude in another fall as noted in February, April, and June.

Even after the possible unfavorable condition, the next few weeks will support a rise in value. The increase in investments shows the degree of confidence traders now have in the asset class. It will be interesting to see whether bitcoin makes a huge return or disappoints its supporters once again.

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How Bitcoin and Digital Coin Market Took A U-Turn?

How Bitcoin and Digital Coin Market Took A U-Turn?

The cryptocurrency market is undergoing a phase of not only uncertainty but also a bloodbath after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). It is not just bitcoin or Ethereum, but other digital currencies to are going through a phase of horror. The current week has not only wiped out over $19 billion but also brought back nearer to the one existed in November 2017. This is nothing but a U-Turn after peaking in December last year.

Manipulating the Market

Several speculators in the virtual currency sector have started to believe or charge that the SEC is only trying to manipulate the market. As if that was not enough, there were reports suggesting that Whales are trying to make a move due to the recent events or news, ambcrypto.com reported. Though there is a general belief that this was the reason behind the price crash of bitcoin, speculators are not sparing the initial coin offerings (ICOs) for the price drop of Ethereum.

Their contention is that the ICOs have started to make money from the market to realize profits since their projects have failed to take off as promised or expected. There is no doubt that this kind of negative factors has played a big part in dragging down the price of most of the digital coins besides their market dominance. In the process, the overall market capitalization has also taken a beating, which was quite natural under the circumstances.

On Tuesday at about 7.00 a.m. Eastern Time, the overall market cap is approximately $193.7 billion. This would mean that the market has already wiped out over $19 billion since the start of the current week and reached the lowest point in the current year. Significantly, this level or around $194 billion of market cap was seen in November last year. The threat of further loss cannot be ruled out in the present circumstances.

Importantly, it is not just the market cap that has taken a U-turn to November. The leading digital coin, Bitcoin, dominance also witnessed a similar fate. The virtual asset’s dominance is at about 53.75 percent currently and is seeing a constant increase in the current month. At the same time, this meant that its dominance level was more or less similar to the one seen on November 15 when it was around 53 percent.

Second Dominance

Ethereum is the second dominant force in the crypto-coin market with 14 percent. The digital currency has hit the most as its lifetime low on Monday trading below the $300 mark and is struggling to cross the level. The price of Ethereum is about $265 with a market cap of $26.85 billion. During the last 24-hour period, the virtual asset has shed 17.76 percent, and for the 7-day period, the loss was 35.3 percent.

As far as bitcoin price is concerned, it traded below $6,000 mark for a brief period on Tuesday and bounced back to trade above the level. The digital coin is trading about $6,062 and lost 6.43 percent in the 24-hour period whereas the loss in the 7-day period was 14.25 percent.

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African Governments Negative about Crypto Crash Implications

African Governments Negative about Crypto Crash Implications

A recent report published by Ecobank Transnational Inc. noted the potential risks involved in cryptographic asset trading. The pan-African banking conglomerate praised the benefits associated with blockchain technology but also seemed apprehensive about its negatives.

The report stated, “African governments worry that if its citizens become overexposed to cryptocurrency investments, the repercussions of a future crash could be felt in the broader economy, hence their skepticism of licensing their use.” – Ecobank Transnational Inc.”

It also revealed that Swaziland and South Africa are two of the most crypto friendly nations of the continent with lenient regulatory stances. On the other hand, nations like Namibia has completely banned digital currencies.

One should know that RSA welcomed a new crypto trading platform named Bitfund. Joshua Miltz, CEO BitFUnd, claimed that his company would allow investors to trade in less popular and newer virtual currencies.

He informed that majority of crypto investors in RSA have only acquired bitcoin BTC and ethereum ETH. However, they are not sure about buying coins from the minor leagues as dealing in altcoins with an exchange is a pretty technical and lengthy operation.

Thus, the firm is focused on simplifying the whole procedure of purchasing altcoins while its developers have also been in compliance with regulatory framework managing crypto investment.  The report further mentioned that there had been no distinct craze for the new technology in sub-Saharan Africa. Even after being warned by financial regulators about the risks involved, few locals have been trading digital coins continuously.

One primary reason given for Africa’s behavior is that it wants to learn from the mistakes committed by its neighbors. Thus, the continent is losing the advantage a first mover gets and might suffer for not entirely understanding the crypto space. Meanwhile, Ecobank has also completed an index to record the crypto regulation process in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As far as the Portuguese speaking Angola and French-speaking Benin is concerned, there have been no public announcements made about crypto regulation. Through these nations have shown no interest in crypto adoption yet they have a positive outlook towards blockchain technology.

Most shockingly, Congo, one of the least developed countries in the world, has joined hands with World Economic Forum to launch a pilot program. The blockchain based system will be tracking real-life details of the cobalt extracting process.

As per Google trends, Ghana, a country in West Africa, tops the list of nations that have searched about digital currencies and related commodities. Moreover, the nation has also witnessed the launch of Finchcoin. It is formally regarded as the first indigenized digital coin on the continent.

It looks like the continent, as a whole, is too scared to adopt a technology which can be used to uplift it from widespread poverty and underdevelopment. Even though the infrastructure and knowledge levels are not impressive, but a too safe attitude will again leave the continent behind in the race of new world technology. It would be better if a proper system for crypto regulation gets developed for a slow and steady improvement.

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Cryptocurrency Crimes: Iranian Crypto Ransomware Likely To Escalate

Cryptocurrency Crimes: Iranian Crypto Ransomware Likely To Escalate

A recent report published by management consulting firm, Accenture, indicates that malware used by Iranian technology-criminals demanding ransom in cryptocurrencies is set to escalate.  Increase in such ransomware crimes is attributed to the continued pressure by the latest US sanctions against Iran.

The report also states that Iranian crypto-seeking criminals may not mount a cyber attack against Europe or the United States of America.  Instead, they would focus on their immediate neighbors Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their collusion with the United States new president Donald Trump to impose new sanctions and to withdraw from the nuclear deal that was in effect historically.

 Five types of ransomware

Accenture has identified five types of ransomware of which some of them are known to make staggering demands for cryptos as ransom.  Their analysis led to the identification of hackers belonging to a specific geographical region, Iran.  Additionally, the samples of the messages of ransomware were written in the local Iranian language of Farsi.  Additionally, other clues also indicated that the computer systems for the ransomware demands were Iranian in origin.

The first of such ‘demands’ discovered in November 2017, when a z Script variant was found by Accenture.  Called as “wanna smile” this ransomware was known to demand bitcoin payment of 20 coins in a ransom note written in Farsi.  It also included advertisement of payment processes and exchanges located in Iran for the victims to acquire the cryptocurrency.

In February 2018, Accenture discovered another ransomware named “Black Ruby.”  In this, the malware was programmed to exclude computers that have IP addresses belonging to Iran.  All other computer systems were encrypted and unscrambled such that the target files that infect the machine would direct the computer system to mine for the cryptocurrency Monero or XML.  This malware demanded a ransom of bitcoins valued at $650.

In its analysis, the company found that the increase in ransomware activity by Iranian criminals was an indication that they were financially motivated to pressurize global organizations to gain cryptocurrency and make financial gains.

US exit from the accord

The report published by Accenture security iDefense is the result of 2 years of analysis by the premier consulting firm.  The company had invested in evaluating the pattern of cyber threats an identified that the emerging trends from Iran are all set to intensify.

The research from the management firm attributes the reason for future escalation in threats from the West Asian country due to the pressure exerted by the new economic policy,  where new sanctions by us government would be imposed on the country. Lately, the US had exited from the earlier Iranian nuclear accord and forced Iran into a defensive position with long-term economic impact.

Tough economic situations

The reimposition of economic sanctions according to the research firm is a trigger point for ransomware demand and threats by Iran-based criminals to penetrate cybersecurity walls across the world.  The economic sanctions are expected to impact Iran’s financial and economic status and would lead to criminals using crypto-ransomware for ‘financial gains.’

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Bitcoin Superstore Ready to Accept XRP

Bitcoin Superstore Ready to Accept XRP

Bitcoin superstore declared that it is ready to accept XRP as means of payment in its online retail platform. As a result, clients could now be in a position to acquire from more than 200,000 online stores either with the help of XRP or five other digital currencies. They are Dash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin cash and bitcoin core. Among the popular brands that are available currently on superstore are Nike, Starbucks, Walmart and Amazon.com offering gift cards.

Payment Mode

Before making the payment through digital coins, users should, first of all, enter the URL of the site, product name and the price of it along with the shipping costs. After this, the user would be asked to move to the next page, and the product is getting added to the cart. At this point in time, users could select the form of payment. This included fiat currency or digital currencies and could be checked out, ambcrypto.com reported. Though there could be a diversified opinion about the virtual assets, there is continued development seen in the space.

The move has been welcomed by those who are using the cryptocurrencies. A twitter comment from Chinazepplin said, “Great work! So essentially anything at Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks, etc. could now be purchased with XRP through the Bitcoin Superstore platform.” This demonstrated how people are viewing the development of virtual currencies and its use case in different space. It also appears that those people are not worried about the drop in prices of most of the digital coins and the uncertainty surrounding it.

There was both excitement and criticism for the post of Bitcoin Superstore, and that was quite predictable only. While several users have welcomed the move to add XRP token, there are some others who have their own concerns on the announcement. For instance, some people think that it was mistakenly used Ripple rather than XRP in the post. None-the-less, the move was termed as a ‘lovely initiative’ through a twitter comment said: “you’re kicking off very bad.”

That is because Ripple is a company whereas XRP is regarded as the digital currency, which the company is referring to. The Twitter account user wanted the company to make it explicitly clear about accepting XRP as a token and not Ripple. Another Twitter user also voiced a similar point after terming it an awesome one. At the same time, the user wanted the headline to be changed because of the difference between Ripple and XRP.

What This Means To XRP

At the same time, everyone should be looking for the impact on XRP though the community might have been excited about the news. However, this does not mean that this news is sufficient enough to boost the price of the digital coin. For instance, TRON has struck several alliances and listed on exchanges apart from acquiring BitTorrent. Still, these developments do not reflect in the coin price.

Aside from direct payments, the user could also get gift cards apart from adding anything between $25 and $500 to them. The move could go probably in the right direction of becoming integrated with payment modes.

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Bitcoin Demanded From Ugandan Singer after Hacking

Bitcoin Demanded From Ugandan Singer after Hacking

Uganda-based singer and celebrity, Zari Hassan, has to encounter the hacking issue in respect of her Instagram posts. Significantly, she has a following of about 4.2 million in the social media that was hacked by cyber criminals who demanded $4,000 worth of bitcoin to restore the account. It has become a passion for such hackers to demand by way of bitcoin that is enjoying the highest value among the digital currencies in the globe. Initially, the hackers have gone to the extent of deleting all posts of the celebrity.

Return of Posts

However, it looks mysterious as to how the account has been restored since there was no payment of bitcoin to the cybercriminals. The celebrity’s content had returned when it was checked last, trustnodes.com reported. The cybercriminals have also issued a threat to Zari Hassan about posting porn in her account since she refused to heed to the demand made by the hackers. Incidentally, there were no such port posts when it was visited last.

It has not been clear whether the hacking has been done with any other motive since the hackers have not been able to get the amount despite its threat of posting porns. Also, the account of the celebrity has now come back to normalcy. If the report is to be true, there was no bitcoin address that showcased either the income or the outgoing transactions to suggest any payment was made. There was also no clue as to how the account has been retrieved.

Interestingly, the hacking happened while Zari was busy in celebrating the birthday of her daughter. It is not that how the account was restored, but it is also not known as to who is the brain behind in the entire episode of hacking. There was also no clue as to how the celebrity account was hacked in the first place. Demanding bitcoin as ransom is nothing new since the digital currency prefers anonymity to the users and the criminals want to capitalize on it.

However, the amount of bitcoin worth $4,000 appeared to be a small one if anyone looked at it from the global perspective. On the other hand, from the Ugandan perspective, the GDP per capita is only $2,500. Therefore, the ransom demand amount is nearly double the annual wages of a Ugandan. There is also another theory that the methodology adopted by the hackers has failed to work going by the recovery of the account without any data losses.

Page Hacked

On her part, Zari Hassan disclosed that her pages were hacked by cybercriminals. Therefore, she wanted her followers to ignore if anything was posted by the hackers. This is in response to the threat of posting porns in her Instagram account.

Though there are no posts, no one is ready to leave it out and conclude that the issue is resolved. However, users would have to wait and watch when the celebrity is provided access to her content completely again. Significantly, the hackers have not hacked either the cryptocurrency exchange or the user account of those having the digital currencies.

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Look At the Stylometric of Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto

There has always been a craze to know more about a person involved in any disruptive thing. Satoshi Nakamoto is generating a lot of interest among different sections of people just because he created the most disruptive digital currency, bitcoin. The last few years have seen a number of people hunting for him throughout the world as the cryptocurrency community could come across only a selected few like him to redraw the entire virtual currency market.

Likes of Nakamoto

The climatic rise of digital currencies has raised a question as to who is Satoshi Nakamoto, and a lot of people are curious to know about the creator. He is already said to be holding more than one million of bitcoin core, as well as; bitcoin cash apart from any other fork developed from the original protocol. That makes him an extremely wealthy person. The last couple of years have also seen some people claiming to be like Nakamoto. This included Craig Wright, Nick Szabo, Ian Grigg and Dorian Nakamoto.

Aside from these, a man hailing from Hawaii has claimed that he was Satoshi whereas another person wrote the first chapter of memoirs of Nakamoto. Several people have started to consider the 21-page personal memories as phony while some armchair detective discovered that there were no literary quirks of Nakamoto apart from finding unique misspellings and double space in the memoir. It is not easy to copy the style of Nakamoto as pointed out some stylometric analyses based on the emails of Satoshi.

For instance, stylometrists indicated about the change of a cryptographic researcher using the similar phrases such as “for our purposes, it should be noted, preclude, and can be characterized.” This turned out to at an extremely low at 0.8 percent whereas few others came near to the linguistic stylings of Nakamoto. Those who came close to included Timothy May, Wei Dai, Hal Finney, Ian Grigg and Nick Szabo.

Significantly, Szabo recorded the biggest number of algorithmic similarities during his initial papers while studying with Nakamoto. All the five have their own comparable writing styles though they have been named as suspects in stylometric studies. Michael Chon, a data scientist, explained that every character was used in stylometric analysts against the writings of Nakamoto, according to news.bitcoin.com.

Linguistically Similar

Chon has detailed that based on the algorithm’s classification, everyone has expected Nick Szabo’s linguistic to be similar to that of Satoshi, who wrote bitcoin paper. On the other hand, Ian Grigg is termed as linguistically similar to Nakamoto. He said, “Wei Dai has the highest similarity score to the Bitcoin paper, and Hal Finney has the highest similarity score to Satoshi’s email exchanges. From gensim, Timothy C. May has the highest similarity score to the Bitcoin paper, and Ian Grigg has the highest similarity score to Satoshi’s email exchanges. An unusual result is that Ian Grigg has a similarity score of .99996 to Satoshi’s email exchanges.”

Non-profit organization’s representative, Troy Watson, disclosed that its research found Gavin Andresen as the real Satoshi Nakamoto. However, it is a different issue that not everyone has taken it seriously.

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