March 2014

MONTHLY ROUNDUP – MARCH 2014

 

BITCOIN

The Mega-Master Blockchain List

84 things that can be put in the blockchain – Antonis Polemitis

 

Institutional Investment

Requests from 38 institutional investors representing +$250 billion to meet with me re bitcoin at Barclays Emerging Payments Forum tomorrow – Barry Silbert

 

Andreessen Horowitz

Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen is doubling down on bitcoin amid turbulence in the virtual-currency world, in a bet that widespread adoption of the currency will fuel the growth of new businesses and technologies.

Mr Andreessen says bitcoin reminds him of the early days of the internet. “I’m having deja vu,” Mr Andreessen says.

“I’m completely unfazed and I plan to invest more”

Andreessen’s firm Andreessen Horowitz, has already invested $50 million in bitcoin and plans to invest hundreds of millions more over the next several years. – Gregory Zuckerman

 

The Thinkers Who Paved the Way

At a recent Bitcoin event in Austin, Texas, I heard the speech I always wanted to hear or even give.  It was about the cyberpunk/anarchist origins of Bitcoin technology

A system that not only operated outside the state but actually works to subvert the role of power in general. They imagined the possibilities of a global digital order that immunized itself against the great problems of our time. – Jeffrey Tucker

 

Distributed p2p Trustless Infrastructures for Transaction Processing.

In time this will be seen for the incredible invention that it is. Having invested millions of dollars in eCash technologies, zero-knowledge systems, crypto & cypherpunk dreams — I will admit — I completely missed this realization when I first looked at bitcoin.

This blockchain has self-funded advances in ASIC processing, new cloud hashing architectures and new models for collaborative crowdsourced innovation. More then $300million in new capital investments have gone into blockchain SHA256 based architectures in the last year. Think about that.

Satoshi built on 30+yrs of science and innovation when launching the blockchain. It didn’t come from nothing. He built on my partner Adam Back’s invention of hashcash. He built on the thinking of Wei Dai, Ian Grigg, Nick Szabo, Ian Goldberg, David Chaum, Stefan Brands, Steve Schear, John Gilmore, Ryan Lackey, Ben Laurie, Jim McCoy, Bram Cohen, Paul Kocher, Zooko, Adam Shostack, Len Sassaman and many more including Ulf Moeller (who we sadly lost to a sensless murder). There is a community of cryptographers who put in the time and thinking that helped Satoshi build bitcoin.

Companies will fall and mistakes will be made, but the blockchain will endure. – Austin Hill

 

 

ALTCOINS

Ethereum

We’re working heavily with OpenTransactions.

OpenTransactions technology allows you to do a lot of the same things that Bitcoin does except with much lower fees. You could do High Frequency Trading 10,000 transactions a second, almost no charge. You can do micro transactions.

It’s not going to be blockchain based and decentralized in the same way that Bitcoin is, but the servers are auditable so it’s very low trust in that sense.  If Mt Gox had been running an OT server as their backend, we would have known something was up. – Vitalik Buterin

 

 

EQUITIES

China

Markets hold breath as China’s shadow banking grinds to a halt. Fresh loans in China’s shadow banking system evaporated to almost nothing from $160bn in January. China accounts for half of all the $30 trillion increase in world debt over the past five years. – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

China is braced for a wave of industrial bankruptcies as its slowing economy forces companies with sky-high debts to the wall, the country’s premier has said. – Philip Inman

Li Xinchuang top man in iron/steel association says problem so severe it’s beyond imagination. Links 2 metals, shadow financing. – http://www.georgemagnus.com/china-is-shaking-sending-ripples-from-perth-to-peru/#more-1129 – George Magnus

 

 

COMPANIES / SERVICES

Proof of Existence

With tech like proofofexistence.com, the future is one where argument from cryptography will supersede argument from authority. – Balaji S. Srinivasan

“How to” article I wrote re: using blockchain tech to prove existence of a doc (for lawyers and clients) http://empoweredlaw.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/using-blockchain-technology-to-prove-existence-of-a-document/   – Empowered Law

 

Alibaba

Best all time venture investment in absolute dollars?

$20MM into Alibaba by SoftBank now worth $60Bn. – Michael Kim

 

Uber, Lyft, AirBnB

Los Angeles city officials somewhat humorously decided to “ban” Uber, Lyft, and Rideshare (a similar service); the companies just ignored the rule.

AirBnB was banned in Portland. As usual, New York City is a role model for how eager lawmakers are to side with special interests – the city charged a man with a $40,000 fine last year for renting out his apartment with AirBnB.

Change is simply proving too big a pill to swallow for many city officials and hotel lobbies. But there is much cause for hope. Most people are rightly outraged by the indefensible anti-competitive actions taken against innovative firms.

Cronyism may have been a competitive political strategy for a very long time, but the status quo is being challenged, and the continued successes of Uber, Lyft, and AirBnB are just the beginning. – Veronique de Rugy

 

 

PRIVACY / SECURITY

How covert agents infiltrate the internet to manipulate, deceive, and destroy reputations – Glenn Greenwald

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

Inspiration Mars Foundation

In 2013, Dennis Tito’s Inspiration Mars Foundation announced plans to launch a spacecraft on a mission to fly past Mars without landing, in 2021.

For Mars flight, the capsule would have to be modified to support two astronauts for the 501-day round trip. An inflatable habitation module could be docked to the front of Dragon for additional living space and for carrying more supplies. – Karl Tate

 

Mars

Elon Musk wants to die on Mars. Not because it is fun to die, but because that is fucking important. – Max Levchin

In 10 years I hope to live on Mars. The fact is, we have the existing technology — right now — to land humans on Mars.

If everything goes according to plan, I could be saying goodbye to Earth as soon as 2024. As an astronaut candidate for a manned mission to Mars, I’m prepared to spend the next ten years training for a new reality.

Mars One is a private company with a stated goal of colonizing the Red Planet, and plans have already been laid out for how the roughly $6 billion mission would unfold. Virgin Galactic, Sierra Nevada, and XCOR Aerospace are all developing suborbital vehicles for space tourism, and Planetary Resources has its sights set on mining asteroids.

It might sound like science fiction, but this is how far we’ve come as an industry. – Kellie Gerardi

 

Human Longevity

Our new company, Human Longevity (HLI), will be sequencing 40,000 genomes in the first year, growing to 100,000 genomes per year. It’s not just a long life we’re striving for, but one which is worth living. In success, 100 Yr old will be the new “60″ – Peter Diamandis

Craig Vente, the US scientist who raced the US government to map the human genome over 10 yrs ago, and created synthetic life in Y 2010, is now on a mission to treat age-related disease.

Mr. Venter  has teamed up with stem cell pioneer Dr. Robert Hariri and X Prize Foundation founder Dr. Peter Diamandis to form Human Longevity Inc, a company that will use genomics and stem cell therapies to find treatments that allow aging adults to stay healthy and functional for as long as possible.

HLI’s funding is being used to build the largest human sequencing operation in the world to compile the most comprehensive and complete human genotype, microbiome, and phenotype database available to tackle the diseases associated with aging-related human biological decline.

In addition to gathering whole genome sequences, the company will gather genetic data on the trillions of microbes;  including bacteria, viruses and fungi living in and on humans.

The company’s initial treatment targets will be some of the toughest age-related diseases: cancer, diabetes and obesity, heart and liver diseases, and dementia.

From your genome, we will know everything about who your ancestors were genetically, what you got from them, your type of memory, your type of fundamental metabolism, even whether you are an optimist or a pessimist – Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence

 

 

PLACES

Silicon Valley

Brilliant piece on the crazy future of Silicon Valley by @rezendi — I agree 100%! – Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz — http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/01/this-industry-is-completely-ridiculous-lets-hope-it-stays-that-way/

 

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