Sunday 11th May

BITCOIN

Blockchain

Blockchain is about to cross 1.6million wallets – Zeroblock

 

The Currency Revolution is already Well Underway.

BitPay is worth $160M, Coinbase has 1.1M accounts, Xapo debit card. – David Seaman

 

Venture Capital Investment

Venture capitalists have publicly disclosed investments of $64 million this year and are on track to top $200 million by the end of the year. The venture capital investment provides two huge benefits.

First, it provides the capital for bitcoin businesses like Coinbase to scale to millions of customers. Second, it incentivizes entrepreneurs around the globe to focus on ways bitcoin can provide value to consumers. – David Smith

 

The Decentralized 21st Century

One of the most interesting things I’ve learned/discovered is extent to which the 20th century was the product of centralizing technologies. Centralized broadcast media (movies, news, radio). Centralized production (factories) of centralized arms (tanks, aircraft, nukes). All run by extremely powerful centralized states. It can well be said that the 20th century was the centralized century.

Tech started decentralizing with late 70s PC, then 1991 internet, and now bitcoin. 21st century may be in many ways opposite of 20th. – Balaji S. Srinivasan, Andreessen Horowitz

 

Crackdowns on Bitcoin

At the end of the day, people wearing costumes and shiny badges can do whatever they want, but it doesn’t make it right and it doesn’t mean they have the moral authority to do so.

In the last century alone, governments rounded up more than 250 million innoncent people and executed them, so I’m not particularly interested in what the politicians think, and that’s one of the things that has me so excited about bitcoin, that it’s technologically beyond the control of politicians.

All in all it’s going to be a wonderful, wonderful thing. It’s going to lift so many people out of poverty all over the world, and if the politicians try and stop that, that’s on them. That’s them committing evil trying to prevent people from improving their situation in the world and I want no part of that whatsoever. – Roger Ver

 

China is the only country which understands the danger bitcoin poses to the current system. Always fun to see them try to ban something inevitable. – Nick Jachelson

 

 

EQUITIES

Twitter

Right now institutional investors must be laughing all the way to the bank as scared folks sell twitter at the worst possible time. $twtr Jason Calacanis

 

 

COMPANIES / PROJECTS

3D-Printing Equipment

The revenues of makers of 3D-printing equipment and supplies grew by almost 40% last year –  econ.st/1qe3AX0 pic.twitter.com/8wmWeUoKqF – The Economist

 

Soylent

In the May 12, 2014, issue of The New Yorker, in “The End of Food” (p. 28), Lizzie Widdicombe meets the founder of Soylent, a synthetic meal replacement, and—in part, by subsisting on it herself—looks at how it could someday revolutionize humanity’s approach to food.

In 2012, a young Bay Area entrepreneur named Rob Rhinehart and his roommates were living off the last remaining funding for a failed technology startup. In a bid to save money, Rhinehart attempted various inexpensive—and unsustainable—diets. Having begun to see food itself as an engineering problem, he “took a break from experimenting with software”.

He compiled a list of nutrients required for survival, ordered them from the Internet—mostly in powder or pill form—and poured everything into a blender, with some water.

Rhinehart started living on it and shared his findings in a blog post called “How I Stopped Eating Food,” in which he championed the physical effects (clearer skin, thicker hair) and noted that his food costs had dropped from four hundred and seventy dollars a month to fifty.

“Last week, the first thirty thousand units of commercially made Soylent were shipped out to customers across America,” Widdicombe writes. In addition to crowd-funding money, its production was financed by Silicon Valley venture capitalists.  – Marc Frauenfelder

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

Is the goal to solve problems or to try to solve problems?

Ex: healthcare vs life extension, higher ed v direct brain/machine interface.

Many examples like this can be given. A new technology that is ambitious, but if achieved completely obviates much of what is being done.

The tech in these areas is often way beyond where the public perceives; eg recent life extension results are very promising. – Balaji S. Srinivasan, Andreessen Horowitz

 

 

PLACES 

Japan

Japan 20 years later remains amazing nation with enormous opportunity; I think a glorious economic renaissance is quite possible.

How will they overcome their demography problems, given that the birth-rate continues to plunge?

The ultimate answer would be immigration. Will be interesting to see if they ever reach that conclusion. Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz

 

Bitcoin Nodes

Germany is now #2 in global active #Bitcoin nodes

Netherlands still leads the globe in active #Bitcoin nodes per capita – Jon Matonis

 

Miami and South Florida are Destined to become the Silicon Valley of International Finance

I maintain a list of South Florida superlatives at BitcoinOfTheAmericas.com that highlights some of the features that make South Florida perhaps the premier base of operations for a Bitcoin firm.

Already, Bitcoin is used widely in South Florida to remit value to Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, all of which have currency controls. We are also hearing that South American investors are beginning to use Bitcoin to buy commercial and residential real estate in Miami.

One reason why you do not see as much activity here as you might see in New York City or San Francisco is that people sending money — often, substantial amounts — surreptitiously to friends and family members in authoritarian regimes and real estate investors skirting currency controls are not especially eager to brag about it and post their home addresses on CoinMap. Bitcoin usage in South Florida is much higher than one might expect. It’s just that people here have a long history of not drawing attention to themselves in matters of money.

This is driven in large measure by the fact that we are closer to dozens of foreign capitals than we are to Washington D.C., and all five major languages native to the Western Hemisphere — English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Creole — are spoken widely in South Florida. We also are at the boundary of the eight-million-pound gorilla of capital markets on the one side and a half-billion individuals on the other side who do not have efficient access to capital, credit and banking services.

Miami is one of the top five interconnected cities worldwide, ahead of San Francisco, New York City and Austin. It is also home of NAP of the Americas, one of the biggest Internet landing points in the world. Nicest of all, Florida’s 0% personal state income tax is mandated by the state constitution.

This summer, we begin incubating startups that build on South Florida’s strengths in trade, and to seek investment from foreign investors who want to take advantage of business- and investment-related visa programs, rather than appeal to conventional venture capitalists for funding.

Where all of this will lead remains to be seen, but I haven’t felt this excited in nearly two decades, when the Internet as we know it was just getting underway. Being involved with Bitcoin startups is like being young again. – Charles Evans

 

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