May 2014

MONTHLY ROUNDUP – MAY 2014

BITCOIN

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 – David Smith

 

Price Breakout

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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. :-/  Greg Maxwell

 

Altcoin Speculation

I couldn’t give a shit about all this altcoin speculation stuff. I think it’s all rubbish, including the really unfortunate idea to release ZeroCash as an altcoin – Greg Maxwell

 

It’s difficult just to find 10 altcoins that aren’t blatant premine /instamine/ fastmine pump and dump scams, never mind 10 coins that genuinely improve on bitcoin.

Founders who have a decent name, brand, logo (blackcoin) or a seemingly decent feature (darkcoin) could not resist the temptation to cash in on a quick instamine pump and dump over a couple of months, rather than build a coin up that aims for real merchant adoption over a period of many years.

Bitcoin is a remarkable experiment. Despite having 5 years to create a better model, most competitors have failed to balance the tough problem of allocating a coin in a sustainable way.

Even after 5 years, nothing comes close to bitcoin in integrity and utility – Lee Banfield

 

 

EQUITIES

Overstock

I’m exploring listing Overstock on a block chain kind of stock exchange – Patrick Byrne, Overstock CEO

 

 

COMPANIES

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

 

Microsoft (Skype)

Skype video phone call at codecon with real time voice translation German to English. Awesome. Future. Well done.

Skype voice language translation product will be launched this year – Mark Suster, Upfront Ventures

I can’t help but be reminded of Google no longer understanding how its systems are learning to identify objects in photos so accurately – the technology is hugely impressive and, in developing a mind of its own, kind of disturbing – David Meyer

 

 

PRIVACY

All of the documents newly reported in “No Place to Hide” are now online, with some others http://glenngreenwald.net/  http://glenngreenwald.net/pdf/NoPlaceToHide-Documents-Compressed.pdf  – Glenn Greenwald

 

 

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

 

 

PLACES

Wall Street

I think that criminality on Wall Street goes far deeper than anything you could imagine, even in this audience – Patrick Byrne Overstock CEO at Bitcoin 2014

 

China

When a nation’s debt outstanding explodes from $1 trillion to $25 trillion in 14 years, that’s not capitalism, even if its red. #China – Rothbardian

 

Bali

Tourists traveling to the tropical holiday island of Bali would “only need to bring bitcoin” under a new initiative called ‘Bitislands’ that is aiming to convince all local businesses to accept the digital currency, including money changers.

This is the first attempt to convert an entire island.

The project’s first goal is to set up an office and Bitcoin Information Center in Bali, and the island’s first offline bitcoin exchange. The Bitislands team is inviting bitcoin fans worldwide to support the initiative through donations, spreading the word and even volunteering in Bali itself.

Bali is probably a more perfect location for mass bitcoin adoption than most would assume. It has begun to attract digital nomads and other entrepreneurs from around the world as the perfect place to run a laptop-based startup – Jon Southurst

 

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