The Coming Digital Anarchy
Bitcoin is giving banks a run for their money. Now the same technology threatens to eradicate social networks, stock markets, even national governments. Are we heading towards an anarchic future where centralized power of any kind will dissolve?
Are we rapidly approaching a singularity where, thanks to Bitcoin-like tools, centralised power of any kind will seem as archaic as the feudal system?
If the internet revolution has taught us anything, it’s that when change comes, it comes fast – Matthew Sparkes
I do not worry about a 51% attack on bitcoin. It is neither likely, nor effective and it completely contravenes the incentives of miners – Andreas Antonopoulos
Ethical way to start a coin, the Satoshi way: announce in advance, zero pre-mine or pre-stake. Everybody starts from zero, even founder
The creation of a new digital commodity (coin) to kickstart a company seems risky right now – Jeff Garzik
I’ve been thinking about ethereum a bit recently. Parts of it are pretty interesting.
Some of it seems like needless re-engineering (like creating a new proof-of-work or a new currency). And in general, I suspect they’re trying to do too much– “complexity is the enemy of security”– and will end up either radically reducing the scope of what they’re trying to do or will get tired of playing whack-a-mole with security and DoS vulnerabilities.
Bitcoin already provides a global currency and distributed ledger– there is no need to re-invent those wheels. Combining real-world information with Bitcoin is where things start to get really interesting – Gavin Andresen
Last year, if you wanted to be a big player in the mining space, you probably had to fork out anywhere between $3-$5m to get into industrial mining. This year, that amount is about $10-20m; next year, it will be $30-$40m and up.
As the market expands, rising bitcoin prices will force more mainstream companies to invest in large data centers with bitcoin mining capabilities. You’re going to start seeing IBM and bigger companies getting into the game. Right now, the market is still too small, and this is just my opinion, but as the price moves up you’ll have more interest – Harry Yeh, Binary Financial managing partner
Australian multi-service bitcoin company digitalBTC will make history today as the first cryptocurrency-focused company to trade on a major mainstream stock exchange
DigitalBTC, which began as a mining operation but also engages in bitcoin trading and is developing retail and consumer applications, debuted on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this morning as Digital CC Limited (trading as digitalBTC; ASX code: DCC)
A liquid food product designed to be nutritionally complete. It’s a food, not a supplement. It has everything the body needs to be healthy, you can live on this entirely. It’s been 90% of my diet for the last year and a half – Rob Reinhart, Soylent
Made in Space
NASA has cleared a 3D printer for launch to the International Space Station in August. The printer was developed by California start-up Made in Space.
The technology means objects can actually be manufactured in space, meaning the need to launch components from Earth would be much reduced – making space exploration much cheaper and more efficient.
The printer will join the next cargo mission by private company SpaceX, which will fly to the space station for NASA using its Dragon Capsule in a launch sometime in August.
Once installed in the space station’s Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), it will print out 21 test parts and tools, which will then be returned to Earth for analysis – Russia Today
* Will Uber spell the end of private car ownership? With a near record-setting investment announced last week, the ride-sharing service Uber is the hottest, most valuable technology start-up on the planet – Farhad Manjoo
* Uber said it experienced an 850 per cent increase new users as London’s black cabs staged a protest that brought gridlock to the city centre. Up to an estimated 12,000 drivers took part in the “go-slow” demonstration, which began at 2pm, intent on causing disruption to the capital’s roads.
Uber described the union representing black cab drivers, the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), as “stuck in the dark ages”, and accused it of “holding London to ransom” with an economic impact of £125 million. Similar taxi driver protests took place today in Madrid, Milan, Berlin and Paris – Adam Withnall
* Lots of cities say they want to be the Silicon Valley of Europe. Uber tests whether they mean it – Paul Graham, Founder of Y Combinator
The Tor Challenge
Tor is among the most well-known open-source encryption tools available to the public. It has been around for over a decade, and has been thoroughly vetted by experts. But without more relays being added continuously to keep up with the increase in traffic, Tor will have trouble meeting the demand of the millions of users who need it. That’s why we’re urging everyone to engage with the Tor Challenge. Please head over to the EFF website to find out more
The Tor Challenge is based on the idea that we should all be doing more to ensure Tor’s future as a dependable tool. Existing relays are run almost entirely by volunteers. Even Edward Snowden understood the importance of relays — before he became famous, he ran at least three of them – Kevin Gallagher
India / Indonesia
Web-based $25 smartphones coming to India & Indonesia later this year — what a world we live in – Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz
What Defines your Nationality?
Language? Currency? Where you live+work?
Now Bitcoin, Google translate, telecommuting changes everything – Peter Diamandis, Co-founder of Singularity University
New Hampshire: The Free State Project
A Libertarian testing ground for Bitcoin, 3d Printers, and Drones.
Everyone I met in the Project owned Bitcoin and was willing to accept it for goods and services.
Erik Voorhees, a Bitcoin entrepreneur moved to New Hampshire in May 2011 to join the Free State Project. It was there that he first heard about Bitcoin after someone posted about it in the Free State Facebook group. “Very few Free Staters knew about about it at that point. They don’t like using government money, but they were more into gold and silver than virtual currency,” he says. “I went down the rabbit hole and couldn’t stop talking about it, and then warmed other Free Staters up to it.”
Voorhees notes that Roger Ver, a Bitcoin entrepreneur who lives in Tokyo, was also an early signer of the Free State petition, and bought Bitcoin ads on Free Talk Live, a libertarian radio station associated with the project
Most people in the Free State Project are technology-oriented, and many come from a programming or computer background. The libertarian way of thinking is pretty common among technologists,” says Lamassu’s Zach Harvey, 35. “They want to teach themselves as much as they can in order to be free, and you have to use technology these days to be free. Bitcoin is the perfect fit for this group, a government-free currency with freedom programmed in.
Cody Wilson compares the Free State Project in New Hampshire with Silicon Valley; both places have libertarian-leaning techies trying to make disruptive technologies popular. “Silicon Valley is more capitalized and less about practical liberty than the Free State community, which has a better stake in the freedom at the heart of these technologies,” he says. “It’s the hotbed of libertarian activism in the country – Kashmir Hill
Computer Program Passes the Turing Test?
I think this is premature. I am disappointed that Professor Warwick, with whom I agree on many things, would make this statement.
In my 2004 book The Singularity Is Near, I anticipated that there would be premature announcements of this kind.
I chatted with the chatbot Eugene Goostman, and was not impressed. Eugene does not keep track of the conversation, repeats himself word for word, and often responds with typical chatbot non sequiturs.
In my 1989 book The Age of Intelligent Machines, I predicted that the milestone of a computer passing the Turing test would occur in the first half of the 21st century. I specified the 2029 date in my 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines. After that book was published, we had a conference at Stanford University and the consensus of AI experts at that time was that it would happen in hundreds of years, if ever.
n 2006 we had a conference called “AI at 50” at Dartmouth College, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Dartmouth conference that gave artificial intelligence its name. We had instant polling devices and the consensus at that time, among AI experts, was 25 to 50 years. Today, my prediction appears to be median view. So, I am gratified that a growing group of people now think that I am being too conservative – Ray Kurzweil