Monthly Archives: July 2017

One of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world will not support bitcoin cash

FILE PHOTO – A Bitcoin sign is seen in a window in Toronto
Thomson Reuters

    Bitcoin will likely split into two separate currencies following a brutal civil war among crypto-powerbrokers. Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, however, will not back bitcoin cash, a fork of the original bitcoin.

The conclusion of the bitcoin civil war is fast approaching.

And Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has made its position in the fight clear.

To recap, bitcoin has been embroiled in a years-long civil war because the underpinning network has slowed as the number of people using the currency has increased.

On one side of this war, there are the so-called core developers who want to keep the blocks that make up the network limited in their size to protect against hacks. On the other side, are the miners who want to increase the size of blocks to make the network faster.

There are several potential solutions for speeding up the platform. Until last week, the solution known as Segwit2x, which would increase the size of bitcoin blocks to two megabytes, was slated to become the standard after the August 1 deadline. Then, bitcoin cash came along. The new solution is a fork of the bitcoin system: it’s a new software that has all the history of the old platform but bitcoin cash blocks will be eight megabytes.

And if the fork in the bitcoin blockchain were to take place, Coinbase would not back the bitcoin cash version.

“In the event of two separate blockchains after August 1, 2017 we will only support one version,” David Farmer, director of Biz Ops at Coinbase, wrote in a blogpost. “We have no plans to support the bitcoin cash fork.”

Coinbase has served nearly 9 million customers across 32 countries, according to the firm’s website. The firm has enabled the exchange of over $20 billion worth of digital currency.

Farmer said Coinbase decided not to back bitcoin cash because “it is hard to predict how long the alternative version of bitcoin will survive.”

Bitcoin cash came out of left field, according to Charlie Morris, the chief investment officer of NextBlock Global, an investment firm with digital assets.

“A group of miners who didn’t like SegWit2x are opting for this new software that will increase the size of blocks from the current 1 megabyte to 8,” Morris told Business Insider.

According to Morris, as soon as the split takes place most people will see their bitcoin holdings double. But that doesn’t mean the value of investors’ holdings will double.

Morris told Business Insider that bitcoin cash (BCC) has been trading in the futures market for about $200 to $400. Thus, if a split were to occur BCC would trade somewhere in that range while the value of bitcoin would witness a decline equal to the value of the new bitcoin.

The fork, according to Morris, will most likely resemble the Ethereum split. Bitcoin’s rival, Ethereum, experienced its own fork in 2016, eventually leading to the creation of the version of the cryptocurrency we know today.

“It will be similar to what happened with Ethereum when Ethereum classic came on the scene,” Morris said.”The two currencies marketcap equaled out to the marketcap of the original Ethereum.”

But since Coinbase won’t back the new bitcoin cash, folks who hold their bitcoin on Coinbase’s system won’t see their bitcoin supply double. As such, if the price of bitcoin were to decline as a result of bitcoin cash entering the market place, then Coinbase users would witness the value of their total bitcoin holdings decrease.

That’s the reason Morris thinks people could benefit from putting their bitcoin into a private wallet.

“If you’re holding it in an exchange, then they might not give you the bitcoin cash,” Morris said.

Over the weekend, Coinbase experienced delays in its processing of bitcoin withdrawals. They are currently operating as normal.

Some athletes are motivated by anger — but the rest of us shouldn’t follow their lead

Anger is a double-edged sword. Pictured: Isaiah Thomas.
Maddie Meyer/Getty

No one holds on to anger like an athlete.

And for many of them, it can be downright motivational.

For instance, here’s NBA star Isaiah Thomas talking about how he uses slights from others as motivation to get better to ESPN in June:

“My mental edge is being counted out, being doubted. If you’ve ever been doubted in your life, you want to prove people wrong. So that’s what I always wanted to do. I’ve been doubted every step of the way.

“I use every little bit of negativity as motivation to keep getting better and to show people what I’m capable of doing.”

He’s not alone. Many athletes believe anger helps them perform better.

But while professional athletes are at the top of their field, it doesn’t mean everything they do is worth imitating in pursuit of success. Discipline? Yes. Workout schedule? Maybe. Angry grudges? No.

Anger is a double-edged sword

Even among athletes, the relationship between anger and performance is unclear. For example, a 2011 study on high-level karate athletes found that although anger helped some of them in certain situations by giving them more energy, in other cases it hurt them, leading them to use their energy ineffectively.

Further, most people (non-athletes) have to be even more careful with anger. Even if it can be conducive to physical activities, it’s much less so for mental ones.

Psychologist Roger S. Gil explains to Lifehacker that though channeling anger can be effective, “[i]t helps when the activity that needs to get done is physical (i.e. requiring you to use your hands or body) since anger tends to speed us up. It’s important not to do anything that requires too much thought since our minds are likely going to be clouded by the anger and we will not be able to make sound choices.”

While anger is not necessarily always a bad thing, it’s clear that we have to be careful in when, and how, we use it.

Grudges are unproductive and unhealthy

And that’s just talking about anger. A grudge is a different animal – a persistent anger you hold over perceived slights for a prolonged period of time.

Holding a grudge has been shown to be very detrimental for productivity and health.

TalentSmart founder Travis Bradberry notes that focusing attention on past events that angered you “create and prolong negative emotions and stress, which hinders performance.”

Further, holding a grudge allows the initial feelings of anger to fester, eventually leading to resentment and thoughts of revenge. All these negative emotions can block you from feeling happiness. Instead of holding a grudge, consider practicing forgiveness instead, which has been shown to lead to less stress and significantly better mental and physical health.

It can be tempting, even exciting, to relish in anger, picturing ourselves getting revenge on the people that we think wronged us. The reality, however, is that you may just be hurting yourself.

10 DAYS: Anthony Scaramucci’s wild ride in the Trump administration

Only 10 days after he was hired as President Donald Trump’s communications director, Anthony Scaramucci is unexpectedly out of a job.

Even though he was eventually let go at the urging of chief of staff John Kelly, the former communications director managed to cause quite a stir in his brief time at the White House – whether through his expletive-laden rant against White House “leakers” or his $180 million conflict of interest with a company that has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Here is how “The Mooch” spent his short-lived but extremely colorful time as Trump’s chief spokesperson.

DAY 1: Scaramucci gets the job

New White House Communications Director Scaramucci addresses daily briefing at the White House in Washington
Thomson Reuters

On July 21, Trump announced that Scaramucci would be replacing ousted Sean Spicer as the White House’s official communications director. The choice to go with a bombastic Wall Street financier sent ripples of shock and doubt throughout political circles. Scaramucci, meanwhile, held an immediate press conference in which he promised to be transparent and work well with reporters.

Day 2: Fighting ‘media bias’

Hollis Johnson

One day after he was hired, Scaramucci resorted to some of the same tactics as his predecessor Spicer – he gave an interview in which he praised Breitbart for its Trump coverage and slammed other outlets for their “media bias.”

Day 3: Tweet purge

Anthony Scaramucci.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Immediately after getting hired, Scaramucci deleted many of his old tweets. Not long after, he justified the decision by saying things he wrote and thought before he became communications director were “a distraction” from his current role promoting Trump’s agenda.

Day 4: $180 million conflict

Four days into his career as Trump’s communications director, details about Scaramucci’s investments started to resurface in the news. Earlier that year, Scaramucci announced that he would be selling his firm, SkyBridge Capital, to Chinese investors that included a group with strong ties to China’s Communist Party. The deal put Scaramucci at a direct conflict of interest with the White House.

On the same day, Scaramucci’s ex-wife gave birth to the couple’s second child – which Scaramucci missed due to attending a Boy Scouts jamboree with Trump.

Day 5: Bro talk on CNN

Anthony Scaramucci.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In a Sunday CNN “State of the Union” interview, Scaramucci said that his new press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, should “continue to use the hair and makeup person.” Even though he later justified his remark by using the hashtag #humor, his words caused one of the first major stirs in Scaramucci’s brief time as communications director.

Day 6: Sanders strikes back

Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On Monday, Sanders struck back at Scaramucci’s claims by saying “he was able to go ahead and get his hair and makeup done.”

Day 7: ”They’ll all be fired by me’

Anthony Scaramucci on CNN with Chris Cuomo making controversial claims
CNN screenshot

“They’ll all be fired by me,” Scaramucci told New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza in an expletive-laden interview that attacked numerous members of Trump’s team on July 27. He went on to lash out against “leakers” after Lizza had tweeted that Scaramucci had had dinner at the White House, which Scaramucci called a leak.

Scaramucci then said that former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus would be “asked to resign very shortly.”

“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c— …,” Scaramucci went on to tell Lizza. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f—— strength of the President.”

Day 8: The rant ripples

Anthony Scaramucci.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Scaramucci’s rant – along with his suggestions that the FBI investigate Trump’s rivals – caused serious ripples in the White House, where officials accused both him and Trump of attempting to exercise unprecedented control over the Department of Justice.

“All of the episodes are disconcerting,” William Yeomans, a former deputy assistant attorney general who spent 26 years at the DOJ told Business Insider.

Sure enough, as Scaramucci promised the day before, Reince Priebus resigned as chief of staff to be replaced by John Kelly, formerly secretary of Homeland Security.

Day 9: Family drama

Lewandowski says hello to reporters as he and Gorka, Manigault and Scaramucci accompany Trump for an event celebrating veterans at AMVETS Post 44 in Strutters, Ohio.
Thomson Reuters

At around the same time, news that Scaramucci’s wife had reportedly filed for divorce because of his political intentions surfaced in the media.

Day 10: Republicans call for end to chaos

Anthony Scaramucci.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

By July 30, Republicans were calling on new chief of staff John Kelly to rein in the chaos in the White House. Part of that chaos included the fallout from Scaramucci’s rant to New Yorker’s Lizza.

Day 11: The end.

And then on July 31, Scaramucci was unexpectedly dismissed from his role as communications director – leaving many dumbstruck as to who would take his place.

North Korea’s latest ICBM test failed critically in the last few seconds before impact

North Korea’s July 28 launch of the Hwasong-14.
Rodong Sinmun

North Korea launched an intercontinental-ranged ballistic missile Friday that spent a whopping 47 minutes in the air, demonstrating a range that could easily strike the United States’ West coast – but it failed critically in its last few seconds.

The missile’s reentry vehicle, or where North Korea would put its warhead, burned up during the final seconds before touching down on the ground, Mike Elleman, the senior fellow for missile defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said on press call organized by North Korea analysis website 38 North.

Elleman said that footage of the reentry vehicle showed it brightly streaking across the sky at 6 kilometers per second before going dim just a few kilometers above the ocean.

When a ballistic missile’s reentry vehicle gets about 30 kilometers from earth, contact with air causes heat and friction that makes the incoming warhead glow. A successful warhead should then “continue to glow and increasingly glow until it impacts the ground, or in this case the ocean,” said Elleman.

The North Korean reentry vehicle, however, became “very dim,” according to Elleman, indicating that it went to pieces before impact.

While North Korea could have been using a lighter reentry vehicle to boost its perceived range, or purposefully designing the reentry vehicle to disintegrate to avoid the US or Japan from recovering, Elleman said those scenarios are unlikely.

icbm intercontinental ballistic missile trajectory north korea RTX39Y5I

Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

“The reentry vehicle sees its highest stress level at elevations above ten kilometers. They would need to test it in that environment. Purposefully destroying it before it has the opportunity to survive or fail would defeat the purpose of the test,” said Elleman.

North Korea can now range US cities, but it can’t expect to hit them with any reliability or accuracy, Elleman said, who added that the country would need two or three more tests to get the technology reliable.

Shooting a missile straight up and down, as North Korea has done in recent tests, doesn’t have the same challenges as shooting one on a trajectory that could actually cover ground.

If North Korea shot a missile at the US, it would enter the atmosphere at a shallow angle and undergo longer exposure to intense heat and pressure, which could destroy the missile or knock it off course.

“The bottom line is if they want high reliability, they’re going to need to launch a missile on a flatter trajectory,” said Elleman. Overflying a country and not just shooting into the ocean would be politically more dangerous for North Korea, and could potentially look like a real attack on another country.

This video shows what it looks like when an ICBM reentry vehicle lands.

Reentry vehicles are not the only obstacle to a truly reliable system. North Korea must still master missile guidance and navigation. Despite these engineering challenges, North Korea gains a tremendous amount of knowledge from each launch, and the failure of the last stage does not mean the test was a waste.

Elleman concluded that North Korea could achieve its dream – a reasonably reliable ICBM – by the end of the year.

Reddit’s valuation is now approaching $2 billion

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman

After its greatest-ever funding round, Reddit, the popular online message board is now valued at $1.8 billion.

The San Francisco-based website raised $200 million from big-name Silicon Valley investors Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Coatue Management, Vy Capital, Fidelity, Y Combinator President Sam Altman, and SV Angel’s Ron Conway, reports Recode.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told Recode the money will be used to expedite the streamlining of the website’s famous home page, as well as to help Reddit break into the world of user-uploaded video.

“Reddit feels old. We don’t want to be associated with old,” Huffman told Recode.

Reddit was launched in 2005, and still looks almost exactly the same. According to Recode, the new home page will have a similar feel to Facebook’s News Feed. Huffman explained that the goal is for new users to be able to visit the site for the first time and immediately understand its purpose.

The push into user-uploaded video will also allow Reddit to get in on valuable video advertising dollars. Currently, the company is not profitable.

Correction: A previous version of this story said Huffman compared Reddit’s new homepage to Facebook’s. It was Recode that made this comparison, not Huffman.

Trump thought Scaramucci’s expletive-filled tirade to a reporter was ‘inappropriate’

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that President Donald Trump believed Anthony Scaramucci’s vulgar rant to New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza last week was “inappropriate” for a White House communications director.

“The president felt Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position,” Sanders said during Monday’s press briefing, adding that Trump didn’t want to “burden” his new chief of staff John Kelly.

Sanders declined to elaborate on what exactly Trump had found to be inappropriate about Scaramucci’s comments.

Scaramucci was ousted from his position earlier on Monday, reportedly at the request of Kelly.

Last week, Scaramucci was incensed that news of his private dinner with Trump and conservative Fox News commentator Sean Hannity had been leaked to Lizza, and called him on the phone to try to get the reporter to reveal his source.

When Lizza refused to do so, Scaramucci threatened to fire everyone in the White House communications office and then pinned the blame on former chief of staff Reince Priebus, calling him “a f—ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”

Scaramucci also went off on White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, implying that Bannon was only interested in getting attention from the media.

“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c–k,” Scaramucci said to Lizza.

Kelly was reportedly put off by Scaramucci’s attitude and felt he lacked discipline and squandered his credibility.

As a result, Kelly had a one-on-one conversation with Scaramucci immediately after being sworn in as the new chief of staff and informed him that he was being dismissed.

This chart shows how drastically young Americans are cutting traditional TV from their lives

It’s no secret that cable companies are struggling as Americans cut the cord and make the jump from TV subscriptions to online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. As this chart from Statista shows, Americans between 18 and 24 years old are among the biggest cord cutters. The group has cut their TV usage by 12 hours per week since 2011 according to data from Nielsen’s quarterly total audience report.

Traditional TV networks are feeling the pain and trying to find ways to stay in the game. AT&T bought Time Warner as it chases audiences moving their TV watching onto mobile devices, and Discovery Communications just bought Scripps Network as an attempt to increase its share of the market and remain attractive to distributors.

Meanwhile, Netflix original shows like “Orange is the New Black” and “Stranger Things” dominate conversations. And subscribers at Netflix and Amazon Prime, which offers original video programming through its streaming service, continue to grow rapidly.

As young Americans begin to start their own homes, they are likely to bring their TV watching habits with them, and traditional TV companies will have to continue to fight to stay relevant. Chart Of The Day 7/31

BI Graphics

Dodgers reportedly trade for Yu Darvish in what could be MLB’s scariest reclamation project

The Los Angeles Dodgers landed right-handed starting pitcher Yu Darvish in a trade with the Texas Rangers before the trade deadline on Monday, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

According to ESPN, the Dodgers sent the Rangers three minor-league prospects.

The move should bolster an already-stacked Dodgers team that boasts the best record in MLB and give them one of the league’s most interesting reclamation projects.

Darvish has struggled this season, going 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Most recently, Darvish allowed 10 runs in a 22-10 loss, his last start with the Rangers.

However, Darvish is only four seasons removed from leading MLB in strikeouts and was a Cy Young candidate early in his career before struggling with injuries. Darvish was considered the biggest name available at the trade deadline.

As the team awaits the return of Clayton Kershaw, who is out with a bad back, the Dodgers now have an extra arm – one with significant potential if he can recover. If Darvish begins to look like his old self with the Dodgers, they’ll have a formidable addition to a rotation that already leads the league in ERA and shutouts.

Pandora topped Q2 revenue targets and its stock just had a wild rebound

Pandora reported its Q2 2017 earnings on Monday.
Thomson Reuters

Pandora released its Q2 earnings on Monday, topping Wall Street’s revenue target and sending shares soaring 7% in after hours trading.

The stock move was a rebound from a sell off earlier in the day that sent Pandora shares down 5% in regular trading, after the company announced it would shut down its services in Australia and New Zealand, and operate exclusively in the United States.

Here’s what it reported:

    Earnings per share (non-GAAP) – Pandora said it lost $0.21 per share in the second quarter, compared to analyst estimates of losses of $0.24 per share. In the same period last year, Pandora posted losses of $0.12 per share. Revenues (GAAP) were $376.8 million, compared to analyst estimates of $368.87 million. In the same period last year, Pandora posted $343 million in revenues. Net losses (GAAP) were $275.1 million. In the same period last year, Pandora posted $76.3 million in net losses. Subscription revenues were $68.9 million, up 25% from last year. Ad revenues were $278.2 million, up 5% from last year. Ticketing service revenues were $29.7 million, up 31% from last year.

Scaramucci is out as Trump’s communications director after 10 days — and Twitter went nuts

It only took 10 days from the time Anthony Scaramucci was announced as the new White House communications director for news to break that he was leaving the role.

On Friday, July 21, President Donald Trump offered Scaramucci the job. And on Monday, July 31, the White House announced that Scaramucci was leaving at new chief of staff John Kelly’s request.

The brief tenure was immediately mocked on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of the best “Mooch” memes:

The movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” seemed like a perfect fit.

Trump and Scaramucci have been friends for years.

Some speculated White House chief strategist Steve Bannon would be pleased with the news.

“The Daily Show” referenced Trump’s TV show “The Apprentice.”

The New York Post thought it was more like the TV show “Survivor.”

A “Simpsons” reference always resonates.

Trump’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, who started Monday, reportedly requested Scaramucci’s removal.

Some reflected on Scaramucci’s turbulent personal life in the last week.

The “Seinfeld” current day Twitter account chimed in.

Others wondered who might be next to go.