Monday 2nd December

BITCOIN

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1 Bitcoin = $998

 

Bitcoin Mints Its First Billionaire: Its Inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto

In January of 2009, Satoshi started mining the first crop of bitcoin, creating what is known as the “genesis block.” By year-end, over 32,000 blocks had been added to this original block, producing a total of 1,624,250 bitcoins.

Since all transactions are public on the blockchain, we know that only a quarter of those bitcoins have ever changed hands, which means Satoshi is believed to be sitting on a stash of roughly one million bitcoins. With Bitcoin surging past $1000, that stash is worth about $1.1 billion – Alec Liu

 

The First International Internet Currency

Bitcoin in its infancy. For a currency, a $10bn valuation is not huge, it is insignificant. For the first international Internet currency, it is TINY – Andreas Antonopoulous

 

Bitcoin Exceeded the Price of Gold

As bitcoin’s price crosses that of gold, it shouldn’t be taken as an indication that bitcoin is better. They’re just different, and a proper understanding of the monetary virtues of both gold and bitcoin puts one ahead of just about everyone else on earth.

Gold continues to work even when the Internet does not, and it is a long-standing, stable, and well-understood commodity. It’s immune to bugs, hackers and the loss of community support. This is very special, and cannot be replaced by bitcoin for a very long time – Erik Voorhees

 

Complex Contracts on the Blockchain

Beginning to see complex contracts on the blockchain, mostly escrow and two-factor keying (a form of multisig). And so It begins. The potential of bitcoin’s Tx Script to encode complex multi-party contracts, replacing legal structures and counterparty recourse is huge. – Andreas Antonopoulous

 

ALT-COINS

Litecoin

Litecoin is not interesting to me. It offers no significant benefit over Bitcoin whatsoever. It has a little value purely as a backup blockchain in case some critical flaw destroys Bitcoin’s blockchain (assuming the same flaw doesn’t affect LTC). Other then that, why should anyone care about it?

Litecoin, and the other alts, are 99.9999% speculation. Speculating on altcoins, in general, is pure greater fool theory in action, because there is no significant fundamental utility, no “improvement delta” over Bitcoin itself. People are going to get burned with them, and it’s unfortunate because Bitcoin is seeing returns of 10,000% per year and apparently that’s just not enough for some people =)

Don’t let speculative experiments at the margin distract from the most mind-blowingly awesome monetary system mankind has ever seen – Erik Voorhees

 

Litecoin & Primecoin

“Waiting for the 2.5 min LTC block is only 1/4th as secure.” – Erik Voorhees

That’s actually false. There’s a long math-heavy explanation about this in Bitcoin Magazine (issue 13 I believe); essentially, if you try to actually calculate how secure N confirmations are against an attacker with X% mining power, the chance of success can be calculated to be (X / (1-X))N – the block interval shows up nowhere in the calculation. Hence, six 10-minute confirmations and six 1-minute confirmations provide essentially the same level of security

One of the major use cases of Primecoin (1 minute block time) is actually that it lets you move money between exchanges for arbitrage very quickly, as exchanges wait for 6 confirmations for security. Also, many websites (eg. SatoshiDice) wait for 1 confirmation before acknowledging a payment, so Primecoin and Litecoin win out somewhat there.

All in all, I think altcoins are fine at the relative price level they have toward BTC – Vitalik Buterin

 

MINING

Most interesting aspect of LTC is scrypt. TBD whether PoW on SHA256 leads to too much concentration – Andreas Antonopoulous

 

EQUITIES

Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF)

What Bitcoin does most fundamentaly is eliminate labour in financial transactions, conflict resolution, wills, accounting, IPOs, and lending (there is an entire stock market running on Bitcoin).

And it doesn’t just eliminate some of it. It can eliminate most, if not all of it. As you can imagine, the finanical services sector is completely insane in terms of how big it’s become. It’s between 8-15% of the entire economy in the West, and if you can eliminate a significant proportion of that (say 70-80%) then that means that 8 to 10 to 15% of the world’s economy can go back in the hands of the people and away from those glass towers of financial institutions – Stefan Molyneux

 

COMPANIES & SERVICES

Foundation for Economic Education (fee.org)

I’ve decided to donate 10,000 bitcoins, now worth well over $1million, to the organization that published the books and articles that allowed me to understand just how important bitcoin would become. – Roger Ver

 

PLACES

Kenya

BitPesa Ltd., a Kenyan start-up, will take on remittance providers like Western Union Co. (WU) by using Bitcoin to cut transaction costs for Kenyans working abroad who send home $1.2 billion a year.

Western Union and MoneyGram International Inc. deduct $10 to $17 to wire $200 to Kenya from the U.S., including charges to exchange funds, in a process that can take an hour to five days, according to the World Bank’s Send Money Africa price database.

Overseas transfers to the East African country are growing almost five times faster than the sub-Saharan African average of 6.2 percent this year. The region is the world’s most expensive for remittances because of factors such as limited competition and regulatory barriers – Eric Ombok

 

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