QUARTERLY ROUNDUP – Q1 2014

BITCOIN

Bigger Than the Internet

Whenever I use Bitcoin, the reality strikes me. There is no way that national monies can survive the competition. The future is so clear.

Pulling money away from the State, or at least diminishing the monopoly that governments around the world have on money is going to unleash productivity and innovation like we’ve never seen before. This is bigger than railroads. I think it’s bigger than the internet itself. – Jeffrey Tucker

 

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 Mega-Master Blockchain List

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

 

OpenTransactions

Any entity that you see in the Bitcoin community that you have to trust is going to go away. It’s going to cease to exist. Silk Road was a neat concept, but even if they hadn’t been shut down they would have ceased to exist because they acted as a trusted entity. Mt Gox someday will cease to exist. Satoshi’s dream was not that you have to trust a new bunch of trusted entities. His dream was to eliminate these entities entirely. – Chris Odom

OpenTransactions makes all centralized distribution metacoins look like scams. #truthhurts Bryce Weiner

 

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

 

 

ALTCOINS

Ethereum

Want to see the future? How code is going to build a new civilization that bypasses the nation state? Watch this:.. – Jeffrey Tucker

 

The most innovative block-chain based cryptocurrency since Bitcoin itself, and the only one that I would bother acquiring units of –  Chris Odom, Open Transactions

 

I am studying ethereum, have been for more than a month now and having discussions about it. After all, I believe in multi-crypto-coin world. People asking my opinion on ethereum. It’s too soon for me to form one, but I like coins with a purpose, a clear distinction and it has both. I look for several things in an alt-coin. A distinguishing and significant feature, transaction volume, mining and dev team strength. From a technical perspective, I’m fascinated by the byte-code-like turing-complete Tx script in ethereum. You can write compilers – Andreas Antonopoulos

 

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

 

 

EQUITES

Tesla

The first cross-country Tesla (TSLA) trip took less than a week and cost $0 – Damon Lavrinc

 

Robot Stocks

Revenue for the global industrial robotics market is expected to cross $37 billion by 2018. The $37 billion market for industrial robotics by 2018 may sound insignificant next to Bill Gates prediction of a robot in every home and a $1 trillion global business by 2025. This is where Google’s acquisition of Nest and other robotic manufacturers may earn a big slice of the market, together with the Roomba from iRobots and other manufacturers.

The potential market for Robots is starting to whet the appetite of investors, consider Adept Technology and iRobot.

Stocks in Adept are up 498.42% over the last 5 years. iRobot stocks are up 386.75% — compare these to the Nasdaq composite which is up 154.88% and The Dow Jones which is up 88.73% over the same period. – Colin Lewis

 

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

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

 

 

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/

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

To The Moon

This is an amazing project! It doesn’t get cooler than this: http://www.rockethub.com/34210  – check it out… students landing on the moon. – Peter Diamandis, Co-founder of Singularity University

 

Life Expectancy

My health regime is a wake-up call to my baby-boomer peers, most of whom are accepting the normal cycle of life and accepting they are getting to the end of their productive years. That’s not my view. Now that health and medicine is in information technology it is going to expand exponentially. We will see very dramatic changes ahead.

According to my model it’s only 10-15 years away from where we’ll be adding more than a year every year to life expectancy because of progress. It’s kind of a tipping point in longevity. – Ray Kurzweil

 

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

 

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