Monday 26th May

BITCOIN

Getting to 1 Billion Users

We have around 5 million people who own some bitcoin in the world today

 

Stage 1: People holding bitcoin. Most people who buy bitcoins aren’t using them to pay for something.

Most people buying bitcoins are buying it to hold it, to save it. Some people would say to speculate, other people say to hoard, others would say to safe keep their savings.

We may get to adding a million people per day within the next 12 months. That just happens from doing exactly what we’ve been doing for the last 3 years. It will be repeated for the next 3-5 years and we get there.

Some people are looking for some big catalyst for bitcoin to get to the masses, but I think we don’t realize that if we can just keep the same phenomenon that we have been seeing for the last 3 or 4 years going on for another 3 or 4 years, we get there.

And that phenomenon is super simple, it’s not what we read in the press and in the blogs and what people are talking about with fancy complicated uses of bitcoin, it’s people buying a little bit, holding it, and telling their friends, and each person that buys one infects more than one person. That’s how we got here, and that’s how we can get to a billion people.

Hopefully we can have some surprises to the upside, but if we can just keep that thing going, that will get us there. Hopefully we can get there in 3-5 years if we keep doing what we’ve been doing for the last 3-5 years

 

Once we have a few hundred million or a billion people, stage 2 will be another 3-5 years of bitcoin becoming a payment mechanism.

 

And then finally, if it’s a widely adopted payment mechanism, it should become a unit of account

There is a high probability that over the next 2 decades we see a fantastic experiment for the history of civilization. After 5,000 years of a gold standard serving us really well, we finally get rid of the gold standard and it gets replaced by the bitcoin standard.  If that happens it will be the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of civilization. – Wences Casares, Xapo

 

Price Breakout

Like in September last year we see distinct ~$1M purchases. Breakout starts next month? – Oleg Andreev

 

Price breakouts not necessarily come from the masses, can also be initiated by small amount of high net worth investors / institutions – Tuur Demeester

BTC/USD breakouts will never be from the masses, just as they never were. Just as nothing good ever is – Bitcoin Pete

 

 

ALTCOINS

Darkcoin

Darkcoin is a Bitcoin clone which was released with basically no changes at all to the system, but with CoinJoin (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=279249.0) privacy as a sales pitch.

It’s certantly not the first time that I’ve posted about something technical where some altcoin then popped up with it as a sales feature on its whitepaper without even bothering to implement it. :-/

The funny thing is that CoinJoin’s primary advantage is the network support for it is already part of Bitcoin since day one. Maybe it’s not /completely/ pointless to launch a new cryptocurrency around CoinJoin simply because a commitment from a lot of users to use it might increase the anonymity set… but as far as I can it’s nearly completely pointless (esp since in Bitcoin some ordinary transactions look like CJs).

If you’re going to do something incompatible at the protocol much better can be done— as shown in practice by Bytecoin, or in theory in ZeroCash and ZeroCoin. … even there isn’t not a requirement to start up a whole new currency for it, but at least not pointless. CoinJoin isn’t the be all end all of transaction privacy, but at least you don’t have to switch currencies or convince people to deploy improvements to Bitcoin in order to make use of it. 🙂 – Greg Maxwell

 

 

COMPANIES

SpaceX

Billionaire Elon Musk, has announced his SpaceX firm is making ‘progress’ towards establishing a colony on the red planet by 2020, and expects to sell tickets for $500,000 (£296,900) a trip

Elon Musk has previously said he created SpaceX for the sole reason of developing rocket technology to get people to Mars

‘At Mars, you can start a self-sustaining civilisation and grow it into something really big,’ Musk said

Musk ultimately plans to use a reusable rocket fuelled by liquid oxygen and methane to reach the red planet – and he aims to get there three years before the Mars One colony arrive – Victoria Woollaston

 

Vinumeris

Mike Hearn has created a company, Vinumeris, through which he will make and release next-generation extensions to Bitcoin if he can successfully raise the funds to pay for his time. His first project? Lighthouse itself, which will not be fully released unless it is crowdfunded.

The app essentially does the same thing as Kickstarter. You announce a project and a funding goal and solicit pledges from supporters that will only be collected if you meet your goal. The difference is that because Lighthouse is decentralized, there is no intermediary Kickstarter-like company managing the crowdfund.

There are two important consequences of doing it this way. No company means no fees, like the 5 percent cut of any money raised that Kickstarter takes.

And perhaps more important, no intermediary means no one to tell you what you can and can’t raise money to do. Last year, Indigogo cancelled Cody Wilson’s crowdfunding campaign to finance the design of a 3D printed gun – Jerry Brito

 

 

PRIVACY

Zerocash

Website for the Zerocash protocol is live zerocash-project.org

 

Revealing the Names of Citizens Targeted by the US Government

One of the big questions when it comes to domestic spying is:

* Who have been the NSA’s specific targets?

* Are they political critics and dissidents and activists?

* Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists?

* What are the metrics and calculations that go into choosing those targets and what is done with the surveillance that is conducted?

 

Those are the kinds of questions that I want to still answer. 

As with a fireworks show, you want to save your best for last.

The last one is where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicoloured hues.

– Glenn Greenwald

 

 

PLACES

Maison Du Bitcoin (Paris)

On the first floor, you’ll find an open space that will welcome cryptocurrency related startups. In the back, there is a Bitcoin ATM, and downstairs, you can take a look at a cryptocurrency mining rig

Here are some starups currently occupying Paris’ Maison Du Bitcoin:

Betarigs is a marketplace you can use to rent cryptocurrency “mining rigs” from anywhere in the world. As of the time of this writing, the site already has 6,000 machines connected, equivalent to 5 percent of the world’s total mining capacity. The site already has around 1,000 daily transactions.

Brawker is set to simplify the way you acquire and spend Bitcoin on ecommerce websites.

Paymium is an exchange that allows you to convert Bitcoins into euros for a 0.5 percent fee. The startup already boasts more than 50,000 clients and around 100 daily transactions.

Electrum is an easy-to-use Bitcoin wallet that sits on your computer.

– Nicolas Silvay

 

Crimea

I blew the dust off the book, ‘Singapore: From Third World to First’ by Lee Kuan Yew to have another read when I became minister,” Oleg Savelyev said in an interview in his office in the Economy Ministry in Moscow. We will pursue Singapore’s model in Crimea, we’ll ensure a comfortable business environment there.

Lee, who ruled Singapore from 1959 to 1990, turned the former impoverished British colony into one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The World Bank ranks Singapore No. 1 on its annual ease of doing business survey. Russia is 92nd, just behind Albania and Barbados.

“Regulatory principles in Crimea will be much better, simpler than in the rest of Russia,” said Savelyev, 48, who was added to the European Union’s sanctions list last month. “The region will not have the stifling bureaucratic system that Russia is notorious for. Our task is not to replicate the Russian model, but to create a much better one.”

The peninsula will be designated a special economic zone, unique among the 84 regions of the world’s largest country. Businesses there will operate under English commercial law rather than Russian legislation to attract foreign investment. – Evgenia Pismennaya

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

Virtual Reality

Oculus is hard at work on its long-awaited headset for consumers, which the company predicts will be released later this year, or more likely early next year, or perhaps even not so early next year. Whenever it comes, we’ll finally have something that has eluded us for more than 30 years: immersive, affordable virtual reality.

Chris Dixon was among the six Andreessen Horowitz partners who got a look at the new model. “I think I’ve seen five or six computer demos in my life that made me think the world was about to change,” he says. “Apple II, Netscape, Google, iPhone … then Oculus. It was that kind of amazing.” By December, Oculus had closed Series B funding—with Andreessen Horowitz leading—for $75 million.

The hardware problems have been solved, the production lines are almost open, and the Rift will be here soon. After that it’s anybody’s guess. “I’ve written 2 million lines of code over the past 20 years, and now I’m starting from a blank page,” John Carmack says. “But the sense that I’m helping build the future right now is palpable.” – Peter Rubin

 

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