Monday 9th June

BITCOIN

The Bitcoin Network

Ahead of yet another 12-14% difficulty increase coming in the next 15 hours, the Bitcoin network has reached nearly 100 petahashes of processing power, less than 8 piddling months after hitting 1 petahash.

Let that sink in.

It’s insane. It’s beautiful. It’s utterly mesmerizing. – Peter Dushenski

 

It’s Really Happening

Every day I see more and more people getting involved, more businesses starting, more ATM booths launching, restaurants, online things and all sorts of stuff. It’s happening at a pace that is faster than any single person could ever hope to keep up with.

I see it. It’s really happening. Bitcoin is right on the verge of becoming a prominent currency all over the world and then from there the next step is replacing all these pieces of paper that are issued by governments around the world.

As one of the earliest, if not the earliest investor in the bitcoin space, I get to meet with traditional venture capitalists that are interested in investing in bitcoin things. And one on one privately, they tell me “Roger, I really agree with all these things you’re saying about the government, about how they go around murdering people all over the world and I can’t say that publicly but thank you so much for saying those things and I really appreciate it and really support you, and I’m with you in regards to that”.

They don’t say it publicly but when I meet with them one on one I can’t count how many have said that.  There’s a couple that don’t, and love the state and worship the state, but there’s a lot more of them that actually aren’t interested in governments controlling people and it’s really exciting to see these sorts of people getting involved – Roger Ver

 

 

ALTCOINS

Ethereum

The idea of a generalized blockchain platform with Turing complete language that can enable a myriad of applications to be custom written for that language.

I think that is a tremendous innovation, and I’m not saying Ethereum will be it but what Ethereum does will happen one way or another, perhaps by Ethereum, perhaps by a clone of Ethereum or perhaps by something that comes even later, but it gives you a glimpse into just what is possible.

The design pattern of a Turing complete platform based on the blockchain for negotiating contracts is brilliant and genius on a level almost equivalent to Satoshi in terms of taking existing technologies and just pushing them to a whole other level. I think Vitalik is one of the most brilliant people ever for building and designing it and coming up with the idea – Andreas Antonopoulos

 

Mastercoin

Mastercoin’s market cap has been as high as $50 million, making it one of the most valuable altcoins, but its cap is less important than its trading volume when it comes to actually realizing that value. And its trading volume has been one of the lowest of the altcoins.

It’s hard to sell it. “With $23,000, the price of a Honda Civic, you could crash the Mastercoin market to $0,” says Dan Held, founder of Bitcoin market information app ZeroBlock, and director of product for Blockchain. “Owners of Mastercoin are stuck holding an absolutely illiquid currency.” – Kashmir Hill

 

 

 

COMPANIES / PROJECTS

SpaceX

The reason SpaceX was created was to accelerate development of rocket technology, all for the goal of establishing a self-sustaining, permanent base on Mars – Elon Musk, Founder & CEO of SpaceX

 

Mars One & Copenhagen Suborbitals

Back in 2006 I was invited to join a group at ESA – working concepts for lunar and Martian habitat design. My group was chosen to work Martian concepts and during that week in ESTEC / ESA I was working closely with a very cool and dedicated guy called Bas Lansdorp.

Eventually, we each went to our part of the world and Bas co-founded Mars One and I co-founded Copenhagen Suborbitals. Needles to say, we have been following each others projects and I must say I am a big fan of the Mars One project and have maintained my respect for Bas and his dedication and efforts – Kristian von Bengtson, Co-founder Copenhagen Suborbitals

 

Uber

How’s this for “holy shit” perspective: uber only investment to grow faster & larger than bitcoin in any 5yr period ever – TwoBitIdiot

The Uber network valued at $17bn is worth 2x the Bitcoin network – Jackcliu

I don’t think people know exactly how much Bitcoin needs to appreciate for various use cases – Romanizer

 

Uber & Lyft Ignore Cease and Desist from the State

Uber and Lyft car services have said they will continue to operate in Virginia, despite a cease-and-desist letter from the state saying the service is illegal because it hasn’t received authorization from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Uber sent an email to all registered customers Friday, saying:

“You may have heard that Uber received a cease and desist letter from the Virginia DMV yesterday. We wanted to write to let you know that Uber will operate as usual, and we plan to continue full-speed ahead with our commitment to providing Virginians access to safe, affordable and reliable rides.”

In a response to the company’s email to customers, the National Taxicab Association issued a statement saying Uber had “declared war on the rule of law.”

NTA said Uber was “facing lawsuits, cease and desist orders, and warnings over its lax insurance and background checks across the nation” and that the “company’s arrogance is staggering.” – Scott Neuman

 

 

EQUITIES

BitFury

BitFury Group Ltd. last week secured one of the largest rounds of funding in the bitcoin sector, bringing in $20 million. It is already one of the world’s largest bitcoin mining companies, which use semiconductors and servers to produce fresh bitcoin.

BitFury hopes next year to become the first bitcoin company to go public, according to Mr. Kikvadze. The company had about $30 million in revenue in 2013, and expects $210 million in revenue for this year, on $120 million in EBITDA, Mr. Kikvadze said

BitFury is slated to open the world’s largest data center aimed at producing bitcoin near Tbilisi. It will have electric power capacity of 20 megawatts – Yuliya Chernova

 

NASDAQ, NYSE, S&P 500

There are technologies that will enable us to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have in the past 200. They will have transformational impact hard for us to imagine today.

A good example is the financial industry. Already we see new approaches to the markets with the introduction of digital currency known as bitcoin and block-chain trading.

There is also an arms race going on with the use of artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Look at what’s happened with algorithmic high-frequency trading. You have to ask, ‘Will the NASDAQ or the NYSE still exist a decade from now?’

There is so much tech disruption going on, I don’t think investors and money managers are aware of the rate of change coming down the pike. The rate of change is too hard to fathom. But they need to be aware that many of today’s F500 are in danger. A study from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University estimates that 40 percent of today’s F500 companies on the S&P 500 will no longer exist in 10 years – Peter Diamandis, Co-founder of Singularity University

 

 

PRIVACY

On 6/5, 65 Things We Know About NSA Surveillance That We Didn’t Know a Year Ago – from EFF – Glenn Greenwald

 

 

PLACES

Dubai

Long an important stop on the trade routes between Europe and Asia, the United Arab Emirates is a key point on aviation’s new Silk Road. Dubai handled 66.4 million passengers last year, making it the seventh-busiest airport in the world.

This year it should pass Tokyo, London’s Heathrow, Los Angeles and Chicago’s O’Hare, and climb to third place–behind only Beijing and Atlanta. Dubai’s main problem is dealing with the rapid growth in traffic–next year it expects to handle 75 million passengers. The reality is that the current airport here is now capacity-constrained.

But Dubai is quickly building a gigantic new airport, the five-runway Al Maktoum International Airport in the city’s Jebel Ali area will be able to accommodate 160 million flyers a year after it’s completed in 2020. Part of the airport is already open for cargo planes and short passenger flights. Once it’s done Dnata will find itself operating the world’s largest air-freight facility, capable of handling 12 million tons of freight a year. (Hong Kong International Airport, now the world’s busiest air-cargo center, handled 4.12 million tons last year.)

Research consultancy Oxford Economics estimates that aviation accounts for 250,000 jobs and 28% of Dubai’s gross domestic product – Natalie Robehmed

 

Hong Kong

Inside the world’s first Bitcoin store in Hong Kong, a visitor from Tokyo hands over a wad of thousand-dollar bills and waits for a clerk to process the transaction on a laptop. Moments later, a notification on his phone shows that bitcoins have been added to his “digital wallet”, one more transaction in a city that has become a regional hub for the crypto-currency.

As in so many areas, straightforward regulations and high-quality local talent have been the key to Hong Kong’s early success. The former British territory’s status has been enhanced by mainland China making it hard for the Bitcoin business—banning financial institutions from dealing in bitcoins and closing the bank accounts of online trading platforms.

Many observers believe Hong Kong’s transparent legal framework and its position on China’s doorstep can make it a leading global centre for Bitcoin, just as it has been for many other commodities. Authorities in the city have made their position clear. John Tsang, Hong Kong’s financial secretary, told a room of teenagers recently: “Bitcoin is not a currency. Just like your armour in World of Warcraft, since we don’t regulate those, we won’t be regulating Bitcoin.” – The Economist

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

Tech Gives People Superpowers

New “superpowers” just in the last ~10 years

* Google, Wikipedia = superpower to ask any question, get any answer, as many as you want, for free — from the world’s total knowledge base

* Facebook = superpower to always be connected with everyone important in your life, regardless of geography, all the time, for free

* eBay, Etsy, Alibaba = superpower to take goods you make or want to resell to a global market of buyers, with transparent & fair pricing

* GPS + Google Maps + smartphones = superpower to never be lost, always be able to find anything, and always know where your kids are

* Spotify, Beats = superpower to listen to the entirety of recorded music in human culture as much as you want, anytime you want

* Lyft, Uber, AirBNB, HotelTonight = superpower to be able to easily move around and then stay places with transparency and safety

* Skype, Slack, Asana = superpower to form into teams and collaborate on projects with people all over the world regardless of geography

* Github = superpower as a programmer to build new software with unprecedented ease and power, on top of a global base of existing code

* AWS = superpower as a programmer to access a global supercomputer with miraculous power on demand for mere dollars

These are only a few examples — there are probably 100 more new tech superpowers just in the last 10 years of similar magnitude.

I am firmly convinced many people are fundamentally underestimating the power and potential of these new superpowers in the years ahead. We are only at the very beginning of understanding what people all over the world are going to be able to create and build from here – Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz

 

* Possibly the greatest tech breakthrough of all is Kindle/iBooks/Nook. The ability to carry 99%+ of all human knowledge in your hands. – Chris Dixon, Andreessen Horowitz

 

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