Monday 30th December

BITCOIN

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1 Bitcoin = $737

 

Volatility

Bitcoin volatility has already become smaller than it was in the early days –Bitcoin Volatility

 

Asia’s Richest Man Invests in Bitpay

The Bitcoin ecosystem may have found its biggest individual backer yet in Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man.

Li is now an investor in Atlanta-based BitPay, the startup with ambitions to become the PayPal for the virtual currency world. He has made this investment through his venture capital company, Horizons Ventures, an early investor in companies such as Facebook, Waze, Skype and Summly.

Li’s investment in BitPay comes at a time, when regulators in India and the People’s Bank of China, have issued advisories against the virtual currency, and even questioned the legitimacy of Bitcoin – Pankaj Mishra

 

Indian Law Enforcement Agencies Raid Bitcoin Exchanges

For the last several months RBI, the Indian central bank, has been trying to prop up the rupee by blocking gold imports. Now, RBI discovered that Indians are using bitcoins to avoid capital controls and to invest in assets unsusceptible to inflation. To a certain extent, bitcoin is becoming India’s “digital gold”, attracting the ire of the country’s authorities.

On Thursday, officers from the federal Enforcement Directorate raided the offices of the biggest Indian bictoin exchange located in Ahmedabad. A law enforcement officer who took part in the raid shared the details with DNA India: “We have found that through the website 400 persons have recorded 1,000 transactions. At present, we believe that this is a violation of foreign exchange regulations of the country. If we are able to establish money laundering aspect then the owner can be arrested.”

After the raids, all bitcoin trading platforms operating in India halted their operations – Valentin Madrasescu

 

EQUITIES

Organovo Holdings

After 3D printing has produced ears, skin grafts and even retina cells that could be built up and eventually used to replace defective eye tissue, researchers expect to be able to produce the first functioning organ next year.

The company producing the liver, Organovo (ONVO), has overcome a major stumbling block that faces the creation of any organ: printing the vascular system needed to provide it with life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients.

‘We have achieved thicknesses of greater than 500 microns, and have maintained liver tissue in a fully functional state with native phenotypic behavior for at least 40 days,’ said Mike Renard, Organovo’s executive vice president of commercial operations.” – Lucas123

 

COMPANIES, SERVICES, & WEBSITES

Tippercoin

Twitter just became the world’s easiest money transfer network. Where’s this leave our banking partners? http://www.tippercoin.com/ U.S Dept of Fear

 

Spending Bitcoin

List of websites where you can use Bitcoin https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade – Chris Dixon

 

Snapchat

Do we want an erasable Internet? Interesting question to ask – Jeff Garzick

This is going to sound silly, but I think Snapchat was the most important technology of 2013.

To me, the app’s exploding popularity suggests that society is yearning for a new way to think about data. Snapchat is one of the first mainstream services to show us that our photos and texts don’t need to stick around forever: that erasing all the digital effluvia generated by our phones and computers can be just as popular a concept as saving it.

If the Snapchat model takes off—if other sites and services began to promote the idea of erasability as a competitive feature—the Internet would look very different from the Internet of today. It would be a more private network, one without the constant worry of every ill-considered picture or thought being held up for ridicule by the whole world, forever. But it also might be a less useful Internet, a network on which you couldn’t look up an old photo every time you felt nostalgic, or where computers wouldn’t always feed you suggestions based on your history, since your history wouldn’t be complete.

Do we want to live on that Erasable Internet, the Snapchat Internet, instead of the Internet built by Facebook and Google? – Farhad Manjoo

 

SECURITY / PRIVACY

Disconnect.me

Do you use Disconnect.Me? You should

Anonymous

 

PLACES

Estonia

1) tech, 2) smart, 3) bow ties. move to Estonia? – Jeffrey Tucker

 

Chile

A group of self-described anarchists, libertarians and Ron Paul supporters fleeing the crumbling world economic system have founded Galt’s Gulch, a community in Chile inspired by Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”—and with an economy based entirely on Bitcoin Or that’s the goal, anyway.

“Our farm workers and suppliers still want to get paid in pesos,” Ken Johnson, the project’s founder and managing partner, explains. “But Bitcoin as the John Galt coin? Why shouldn’t it be?”

Lots are priced in both dollars and Bitcoin, with big discounts for buyers who pay in that crypto-currency. Many early adopters of Bitcoin find themselves sitting on small fortunes, and Mr Johnson hopes to tempt them to diversify into real estate. So far nine clients have paid in Bitcoin, totaling around $1.5m in revenue.- The Economist

 

THE SINGULARITY

2013 was Definitely a Good Year

If you measure progress by the number of children who die of preventable causes, or by the number of people who escape extreme poverty—as I do—then 2013 was definitely a good year.

Child mortality went down—again. One of the yearly reports I keep an eye out for is “Levels and Trends in Child Mortality.” The title doesn’t sound especially uplifting, but the 2013 report shows amazing progress—for example, half as many children died in 2012 as in 1990. That’s the biggest decline ever recorded. And hardly anyone knows about it! If you want to learn more—and I’d urge you to—the report has a good at-a-glance summary on page 3.

The poverty rate went down—again. If you want to read just one article that explains the state of the world’s poor and the future of the fight against poverty, check out “Not Always With Us,” which the Economist ran in June. It gives a short but thorough overview of the progress so far—the poverty rate has dropped by half since 1990—and the prospects for keeping it going – Bill Gates

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