Hagan Homes, one of Northern Ireland’s biggest residential property developers, will now be accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method, the Belfast Telegraph reported Feb. 22. Jamesy Hagan, the managing director of Hagan Homes, said there is both an increasing international interest in working, living, and investing in Northern Ireland, as well as a “significant growth in the use of Bitcoin worldwide:” The Belfast Telegraph writes that Hagan Homes is reportedly the first house-building firm in the Republic of Ireland to accept BTC payments. Hagan did recognize the challenges in accepting Bitcoin as payment. He noted the current volatility in the crypto markets, with BTC’s price going from $20,000 to $7000 in the span of just a few months.
Laszlo Hanyecz, the man that completed the world’s first documented Bitcoin (BTC) transaction for a physical item in 2010 — 10,000 BTC for two pizzas — has now bought two more pizzas using the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Hanyecz posted on the Lightning-dev mailing list today, Feb. 25, that he had to get his friend in London to “sub contract” out the pizza delivery to a local pizza place in order to pay on the Lightning Network, because “pizza/bitcoin atomic swap software” is yet unavailable. However, according to Hanyecz, the transaction still “demonstrates the basic premise of how this works for everyday transactions. It could just as well be the pizza shop accepting the payment directly with their own lightning node.” The original BTC-pizza transaction took place on May 22, 2010 and has been celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day ever since. There is a Twitter feed dedicated to a daily posting of what 10,000 BTC equals according to that day’s market value — today’s value is tweeted as $97,560,750. This time around Hanyecz paid 649000 satoshis, or 0.00649 bitcoins, which equals around $62 for both pizzas. In order to receive the pizza, Hanyecz decided that the best way to prove he had paid for it was to show the driver the first and last four characters of the hex string of his Lightning payment hash preimage, and if it matched with what the driver had, he would get his pizza.
Icelandic information technology service Advania has confirmed with their security footage that the police have apprehended the right two men for the three burglaries at data centers in Iceland last December and January, local news outlet Visir reported Feb. 21. Visir had earlier reported that there were three burglaries in total, from a period of Dec. 5, 2017 to Jan. 16., 2018, and that 600 graphics cards, 100 power supplies, 100 motherboards, 100 memory discs, and 100 CPU processors had been taken from a house in the municipality of Reykjanesbær. The burglars also broke into data centers in municipality of Borgarbyggð, with a total of 600 PCs stolen from both places. Advania announced that the thieves had broken into a new building under construction in Reykjanesbær in mid-January, but that the building had fortunately been well-covered with security cameras. Advania told Visir that what was stolen was “not a device that stores data and there was only a financial loss,” but that they cannot specify what kind of equipment was stolen due to the ongoing investigation. Several of Advania’s data centers are designed specifically for Bitcoin (BTC) mining, and Iceland as a country has become a hotspot for crypto miners drawn to the naturally cold climate and access to renewable sources of energy.
Sunday, Feb. 25: the crypto markets are down almost all across the board, but not by very much. Of the top ten coins listed on CoinMarketCap, no coin is down more than 5 percent in the 24-hour period by press time. Only altcoins Litecoin (LTC) and IOTA out of those top ten coins are in the green. Litecoin is trading for about $208.53, up almost 2.8 percent over a 24-hour period by press time. IOTA is up even more, roughly 5 percent over a 24-hour period, trading for about $1.80 by press time. Bitcoin (BTC) has spent the past day and a half below $10,000, a mark that it had broken through again on Feb. 15. This week saw BTC almost hitting $12,000 before slowly dropping until it hit an intra-weekly low today. BTC is currently trading for around $9,552.92, down a little more than 3 percent over a 24-hour period by press time. Ethereum (ETH) is down 1.21 percent over a 24-hour period by press time, trading for around $827.65.
Total market cap is almost $420 bln by press time, down from the intra-week high of over $500 bln, but higher than the intra-week low thus far of around $417 bln.
Matthew Lesko, the US author who made himself a name in the 90s writing books on how to get “free money” from the United States government, claimed that cryptocurrencies are a scam and Bitcoin is a “gamble,” talking to CNET in an interview on Feb. 20. Lesko, who runs his own website, YouTube channel and various podcasts, all dedicated to to the topic of obtaining federal grants from the US government, says that “many people are interested” in Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Lesko recommended these people to “stay away” from digital currencies unless they “have money to lose.” Lesko argues that cryptocurrencies are actually a “scam”, since they are not backed by anything and are not regulated, unlike the US dollar. He believes that “if there’s no regulation, you get screwed.” In 2004 the New York State Consumer Protection Board criticized Lesko’s commercials and books, stating that many of his readers did not get the “free money” he promised. According to Lesko himself, Blockchain experts today implement the same “exaggerations” he used in his 90s “free-money” infomercials.