Thursday 7th August

BITCOIN

Bitcoin

This is a miracle, this is unbelievable, and it represents hope – Jeffrey Tucker on Bitcoin

 

Bitpay

Bad day for Visa… BitPay’s New Plan: Free, Unlimited, Forever http://blog.bitpay.com/2014/07/29/bitpay-s-new-plan-free-unlimited-forever.html – Erik Voorhees

Electronic transaction processing specialist Global Payments has announced a new partnership that will find the firm referring select US and international customers to bitcoin payment solutions provider BitPay. Global Payments, which saw revenue of$2.4bn in 2013, boasts more than 1 million merchants globally – Pete Rizzo

 

Wikipedia Finally Accepts Bitcoin Donations (But Wants Your Personal Data)

It is not a “win” if Bitcoin becomes an identifiable and traceable method of payment. Wikipedia is poisoning peoples idea of what BTC is. Anyone using their page will be tricked into thinking “thats the way Bitcoin works” when of course, that is not true. Wikipedia CHOOSE evil – Beautyon

 

Wikileaks

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, was able to guide his organization through massive legal and financial hardships thanks to “strategic [early] investments” in Bitcoin that paid off by growing more than 8,000 percent, Assange wrote in a new book.

WikiLeaks’ public bitcoin address shows a yield of more than $2.2 million in bitcoins from investments and donations. Edward Snowden has also received tens of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoins in donations.

One of the most severe tests WikiLeaks has ever faced was a financial blockade enforced by Bank of America, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, and Western Union that followed the release of 251,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables and the files of Guantanamo Bay prisoners in Nov. 2010.

In When Google Met WikiLeaks, Assange’s upcoming book featuring a 2011 face-to-face conversation with Google executive Eric Schmidt, Assange explained the then-new cryptocurrency to the leader of the world’s most powerful technology company. At the time, Bitcoin had just surpassed the U.S. dollar in price.

While talking to Schmidt, Assange recommended he “should get into the Bitcoin system now” in order to reap the most rewards.

Bitcoin was first announced and popularized in 2009 through the Cypherpunks mailing list—a famous and prolific two-decade old Internet freedom email list. Assange is the single most famous member of the Cypherpunks list, a group that includes technological and political visionaries from around the globe – Patrick Howell O’ Neill

 

 

ALTCOINS

Ethereum

Ethereum have any new useful ideas? seemed more kitchen-sink coin from current ideas. execution = script or development record? – Adam Back, Creator of Hashcash, 1997

Ethereum has the best ideas in block chain tech. Execution, not so much. They’ve combined most of the best ideas. Not about who originated. Execution = development record: not finishing what they start. – Nick Szabo, Creator of Bit gold, 1998-2005

 

Counterparty

Security audit completed by petertoddbtc with no major vulnerabilities discovered: https://t.co/xfbEFvDCkx – Counterparty

 

 

MINING

The New Gold Rush – Ghash.io

Since opening its doors on 3rd August of last year, major bitcoin mining pool operator GHash.io has generated nearly $250m in bitcoin.

As of July, GHash had 220,000 registered users.

GHash miners using their own equipment contribute roughly 41 PH/s, with an additional 5 to 6 PH/s coming from the pool’s cloud hosting service.

Unsurprisingly, the site has utilized a tremendous amount of electricity during operation. Since launch, miners on GHash have consumed 159,519,788 kilowatt hours worth of power – Stan Higgins

 

 

EQUITIES

Quantitative Easing

For all the people who chased stocks because of QE. Stocks take the stairs up but they take the elevator down. Declines always much faster – Jonathan Tepper

 

A Blockchain Based Stock Exchange

Overstock.com and its swashbuckling CEO, Patrick Byrne, are hoping to create a new kind of corporate stock based on the computer software that drives bitcoin, aiming to overhaul the stock market in much the same way that bitcoin overhauled how we store and exchange money.

On Tuesday afternoon, Overstock—one of the world’s largest online retailers, with $1.3 billion a year in sales—unveiled a webpage that explores how a public company could issue a “cryptosecurity” to potential investors.

In other words, all stock trades would be governed by tools in the hands of the general public rather than by a traditional stock exchange, such as the NASDAQ or the New York Stock Exchange, and these trades would be mathematically verified and recorded in an online ledger that anyone can view at anytime—something that, Byrne believes, could eliminate some serious flaws in the world of high-stakes trading.

Overstock has already held extensive discussions with the founders of a project called Counterparty, which offers software that could help drive such a cryptosecurity, and if he decides this kind of thing is possible, he intends to “open source” a blueprint of his plan, so that any other company can make use of it – Cade Metz

 

 

COMPANIES / PROJECTS

Monetas

Our team has grown to 20 software engineers and we are expanding rapidly. We’re building a more scalable, high performance, high security version of the Open Transactions server.

We’re working on voting pools and the audit server that enables them. I encourage everybody to check out our wiki where you can see we’ve been posting a lot of technical data recently on the nitty gritty, just exactly how these voting pools will work for safe bitcoin storage so that the transaction server becomes unable to steal your bitcoins in order to prevent future Mt Gox like incidents – Chris Odom, Monetas July 2014 Update

 

Bitmessage

Is integrated into Monetas. Bitmessage is like email, but without the server. It’s email decentralized. This is what makes the holy grail breakthrough possible, which is decentralized exchange. It solves one of the core problems in the bitcoin ecosystem, and it will make possible a whole new generation of products and services.

Bitmessage gives us totally p2p communications, from which we can have decentralized discovery of market participants. This integration with Bitmessage has lots of potential implications, not just for cross server trading, but also p2p based legacy bank integration, the ability to move funds in and out of legacy banks in a p2p way.

Also it makes possible what we call “the bazaar”. This is like ebay except without the server. Anyone can have venues and vendors and post ads, have listings, ratings and reputations in a completely decentralized and p2p way.

You could also take the concept of the bazaar and have an App store, a completly decentralized p2p App store –  Chris Odom, Monetas July 2014 Update

 

 

PRIVACY

Coinjoin / Zerocash

“Bitcoin is traceable” is a misleading statement; we’re fixing that flaw. #coinjoin #zerocash #bitcoin4bankers – Peter Todd

 

Tor Attacked

On July 4 2014 we found a group of relays that we assume were trying to deanonymize users. They appear to have been targeting people who operate or access Tor hidden services.

While we don’t know when they started doing the attack, users who operated or accessed hidden services from early February through July 4 should assume they were affected – Arma

 

CIA Spying

The state will surely treat CIA agents breaking into Senate computers as harshly as it did Aaron Swartz downloading research papers, right? – Aaron Ross Powell

 

When Google Met Wikileaks

New Assange book: “Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google’s grown big & bad. But it has.” http://www.orbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/wikileaks2.html – Wikileaks

 

 

PLACES

San Francisco Bay Area

By living in the Bay Area you are basically agreeing to be a beta tester for all the crazy ways we’ll live in the future – Aaron Levie

 

Singapore

It’s awesome how much people know there. It’s like a modern version of ancient Athens, except instead of philosophy or drama being the thing, it’s the modern social sciences, economics, engineering, the biosciences. The citizenry is working at such an elevated level, so broadly.

I think it’s one of the most phenomenal aspects of the modern world, and hardly anyone is noticing it – Tyler Cowen

 

Crypto Valley: Zug, Switzerland

The neutral European nation is becoming a “mecca” for financial cryptography, says Chris Odom, the Chief Technology Officer at Monetas and the founder of the decentralized Open Transactions platform for encrypted financial tools.

Mr. Odom announced that he had finally moved his family from Austin, Texas, to Zug, Switzerland to be with the rest of the company’s team and help build the German-speaking region’s “Crypto Valley”.

Who are his new neighbors?

* Ethereum

* Bitcoin Suisse, a bitcoin ATM provider

* ProtonMail, which provides decentralized, securely encrypted email

* Threema, a secure version of What’sApp

* Silent Circle, whose BlackPhone project aims to provide secure, encrypted mobile telephony

Why the growth in Switzerland?

Odom attributes it to the country’s “legendary neutrality,” as well as its respect for privacy and security. It is already a tech hub for established names such as International Business Machines Corp. and eBay Inc . He points out that outside of its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, Google Inc.’s biggest engineering office is in Zurich – Michael J. Casey & Paul Vigna

 

 

THE SINGULARITY 

Rosetta Spacecraft Makes Historic Arrival at Comet

“After ten years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, looping around the Sun five times and clocking up 6.4 billion kilometres, we are delighted to announce finally we are here” –  Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General

“We’re going to have a ringside seat to see, for the first time, a comet turn into a comet, to develop its tail and explain what for centuries mankind has been puzzled by” – David Southwood

 

Life Expectancy

Within the next three decades, Aubrey de Grey believes there’s a 50/50 chance we’ll have marshaled the necessary therapies to add 30 years to life expectancy.

As a natural byproduct of these enabling technologies, those extra years ought to be healthier and more active. And that will only be the beginning. Those who live 30 more years will be alive to see additional advances add more years, and so on. The best we can do is keep our eyes on the prize. And for de Grey, the prize is clear, “I don’t want us to go on dying the way we always have.” – Jason Dorrier

 

Exponential Progress

In just 20 years, a 200x reduction in volume, 1000x in weight, and 20x the speed & resolution! https://twitter.com/Bill_Gross/status/493980133720485888?refsrc=email – Bill Gross, Idealab

 

Another Milestone

Another milestone in human progress ignored by the event-driven, data-obtuse MSM: Guinea worm is almost eradicated. http://www.vox.com/2014/7/22/5912139/guinea-worm-is-almost-eradicated-in-one-of-the-biggest-public-healthSteven Pinker

 

Evidence of Abundance: Maternal and Infant Mortality

100 years ago, child birth was risky and infant mortality rates were horrific.

How would you feel if 30% of infants died? Or if 900 expectant mothers out of every 100,000 died giving birth?

We see another precipitous drop when we look at children who die before the age of 5. Through improvements in technology, medicine, and even reduction in local conflicts, we’re now able to keep children alive into adulthood — feed them, take care of them, protect them — and this is changing the world – Peter Diamandis, Singularity University

 

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