Monday 20th January

BITCOIN

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1 Bitcoin = $823

 

Saudi Arabia & The Petrobitcoin

Watch Mid East pouring in, big movers & shakers in Riyadh very excited, ppl here ready to dump $ – Karl Gray

If Riyadh moves even a tiny amount from sovereign funds, it’s game over. I plan on visiting ME a lot this year. – Andreas Antonopoulous

KSA is 2nd top remittance-sending country, after USA – William Mougayar

 

BitLegal

It’s been getting very hard to keep up! http://BitLegal.net  lists the legal and regulatory status of Bitcoin around the globe – Julia@dcmagazine

 

Existential Threat

I fully expect that one or many governments will come down hard on bitcoin at some point. Primarily they’ve concerned themselves with things like money laundering, tax evasion, drug trade, terrorist financing, those kind of things. I think the government is concerned about those activities and that’s why they care about and watch bitcoin.

I do not believe that they yet realize the actual existential threat that bitcoin poses to their own money, and I think that is half way because of hubris (you can’t challenge the US dollar, especially a stupid made up magic internet money could never challenge the mighty greenback) and the other half is just terrible misunderstanding of how money and economics works.

You can see the types of economists that run in the political circles. They would never tell you that something like bitcoin (with all the many flaws they will point out in it) could ever come close to being an actual challenger to the dollar. They don’t even think in those terms. They don’t realize that money is a marketable good like anything else and that money competes with other money in a marketplace.

They don’t see the world from that perspective, so I think ultimately bitcoin is going to blindside them as far as replacing fiat. But they’re not worried about that right now, they’re worried about the little petty crime stuff. – Erik Voorhees

 

The Experiment

I think that at least as far as the US government goes, it’s going to be pretty tolerant of bitcoin for a while. Of course in bitcoin time a while isn’t that long, maybe the 1-5 year horizon I think they’ll be pretty accommodative,  primarily because they don’t want to be seen as squashing a brand new technology when the economy isn’t very good and when there are obvious benefits to using this system.

But then I fully suspect after that as bitcoin gets strong enough and stabilizes, which it will, people will start preferring to use it instead of dollars, and that’s a very scary proposition to an organization whose power comes in large part from it’s ability to control and manage and create the money that not only it’s own country uses, but around the world the reserve currency.

And as they realize that, whenever it is, they’re going to come down hard and everyone in bitcoin should probably be aware that that’s likely and that’s just going to be part of the experiment to see what happens when that occurs – Erik Voorhees

 

ALT-COINS

Ethereum

Ether will be sold in a Mastercoin-style fundraiser at the price of 1 ether for 0.0001 BTC – Bitcoin News Alerts

 

The 19-year-old behind Ethereum is insanely smart

Vitalik Buterin is 19 years old, and he has never been paid in dollars. Ever since he started earning a full-time salary he has been paid solely in Bitcoin. His new project is called Ethereum, a new digital currency that Buterin created and which he’s launching in about two weeks.

In a whitepaper that he showed me at CES in Las Vegas, Buterin writes Ethereum is “a superior foundational layer offering a uniquely powerful scripting system on top of which arbitrarily advanced contracts, currencies and other decentralized applications can be built.”

Buterin is opening up Ethereum to allow other things such as integration with stocks and bonds and algorithmic trading to be built on top of it. – Zara Stone

 

SHA-256 Altcoins

Keep your eye on SHA-256 altcoins for the next six months. Smaller miners have to go somewhere or sell their equipment. 3Th/s and under is a “small miner” – Bryce Weiner

 

EQUITIES

Five Ways to Play Bitcoin on the Public Market

– WPCS International (NASDAQ)

SmartTrans (ASX)

Overstock (NASDAQ)

Bitcoin Investment Trust (SecondMarket)

Zynga (NASDAQ)

Joon Ian Wong

 

COMPANIES, SERVICES & WEBSITES

Porn.com

In December, Porn.com announced that it would now accept confidential bitcoin payments for its premium services, and Bitcoin users quickly shot up to 10 percent of all sales.

Bitcoin now accounts for a staggering quarter of all Porn.com sales. – Kate Hakala

 

Google

Google is testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears http://googleblog.blogspot.mx/2014/01/introducing-our-smart-contact-lens.html

Jose Galvez

 

THE SINGULARITY

The Machine Intelligence Research Institute

The creator of Ripple and original founder of Mt. Gox, Jed McCaleb, recently made a donation worth roughly $500,000 in XRP to artificial intelligence researchers the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI).

Going on the XRP-USD exchange rate at the time of the donation, McCaleb’s became the largest single contribution in the Institute’s history.

MIRI is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization focusing on safety issues related to the development of ‘Strong AI’, or smarter-than-human artificial intelligence. Known as the Singularity Institute until January 2013, MIRI has a mission to ensure the creation of such intelligence has a positive impact on humanity.

Among its advisory board are names often associated with future studies, Transhumanism and the technological Singularity: Nick Bostrom, Aubrey de Grey, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Foresight Nanotech Institute co-founder Christine Peterson. Ray Kurzweil was also a director from 2007-10

Jed McCaleb left his main role at Ripple Labs in July last year, but is still a director there. He is known to have an interest in AI research and development, and the technological Singularity. – Jon Southurst

 

Genome Sequencing

Cost of sequencing a genome has improved faster than Moore’s Law http://www.genome.gov/images/content/cost_per_genome_apr.jpg

Chris Dixon

 

PLACES

Bangkok

The first Bangkok Satoshi Square is this Tuesday 7pm at Garden Lounge, Emporium – Adam Nyback

 

New Hampshire

NH, home of @FreeStateNH seems to have the highest per capita Bitcoin usage in the USA! http://finance.yahoo.com/news/map-shows-states-where-buying-220258597.html … libertarians love Bitcoin! – Roger Ver

 

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