August 2014

MONTHLY REPORT – AUGUST 2014

BITCOIN

Dell Servers Purchased with Bitcoin

Michael Dell posted to his Twitter account that Dell servers were bought and paid for in Bitcoin. This order was for more than 85 BTC or more than $50k USD.

Since Dell was taken private recently, it seems as if the company is responding faster and regaining the momentum that they used to have.

Dell would have had to take either a wire transfer or credit card. The wire transfer is a pain for everyone and far from instant, and the credit card would have cost ~$1,000 in fees for that one purchase. Taking the cost and hassle out transferring property will truly speed up the economy. It will truly make a business more profitable by reducing accounting costs and speeding up cash flow. This purchase is what I think Bitcoin is all about – btcrack 

 

No Dollars After 2016

Amagi Metals, an online dealer in precious metals and coins, announced that they will stop taking US dollars for payment at the end of 2016. Instead, Amagi plans to be trading exclusively in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

“We want to be a leader in the sound money movement,” Macaskill says. “With the adoption of cryptocurrencies increasing every day, their viability is virtually assured. History shows that paper currency, backed by nothing of value, will ultimately fail. It’s only a matter of time until no one will be accepting the dollar. By trading exclusively in cryptocurrencies, we’ll still be in business when that time comes.”

Amagi Metals has been accepting cryptocurrencies since November of 2012 with a major focus on Bitcoin. Bitcoin now accounts for over 40% of the company’s customer payments – Amagi Metals

 

Government Attempts to Ban Bitcoin

How would this go down exactly? Could they pass a law that makes the blockchain stop working? Would the full nodes suddenly stop relaying transactions? Compare this to bittorrent, a similar technology that is similarly hated by legislators. Did bittorrent go away? No! It’s still just as popular as ever; maybe you don’t hear about it much in the news, but it’s still a huge percentage of the total internet traffic. That isn’t to say that the government’s have no options; their options just suck.

Bitcoin is here to destroy socialism (that is, pretty much all current forms of government); who cares what they have to say about it? It’s like a convict telling his executioner that he’ll ban the electric chair. The executioner just laughs and throws the switch – Daniel P Barron

 

Hal Finney (May 4, 1956 – August 28, 2014)

* Hal is a rare genius who never had to trade his emotional intelligence to get his intellectual gifts. He is a fine human being, an inspiration for his attitude toward life. I wish I could be like him. – Phil Zimmerman, PGP

* Hal was the most focussed, most grounded of our generation. His posts were a joy. May future generations benefit – Ian Grigg

* Reusable proofs of work, PGP development, very useful comments, among many other contributions — we will miss you Hal Finney – Nick Szabo

* I am most proud of my work on PGP. Although I would not be surprised if my small contributions to Bitcoin, particularly my optimization of the elliptic curve math, may be the lasting contribution of my work – Hal Finney

* I’m comfortable with my legacy. – Hal Finney

 

 

MINING

Inside one of the World’s Largest Bitcoin Mines

A week after I visited the last bitcoin mine in northeast China, I was able to arrange a trip to a larger, even more secretive operation. These exclusive photos provide a glimpse inside one of China’s largest bitcoin mines

This entire facility has several petahashes of mining power, accounting for perhaps 5% of the entire bitcoin network – Bitsmith

 

Miners Selling 70-90% of Their Bitcoin

As mining costs rise, miners come under pressure to sell their freshly unearthed bitcoin to recoup the costs of their investment in equipment. Citi notes that about 3,500 BTC are mined daily (about $2 million worth per day)

Mark Lamb, chief executive at Coinfloor, a London-based bitcoin exchange, said that sell-side pressures have intensified in recent months, with miners and merchants as the most likely traders. “Last year miners were selling a much lower percentage of new bitcoin mined. Nowadays it’s estimated that they’re selling 70–90% of their bitcoin” – Joon Ian Wong

 

The Bitcoin Network

At 5 petahashes (in November 2013) the bitcoin network was already the world’s most powerful computer network (256 times faster than the top 500 supercomputers combined)

It hit 100 petahashes of processing power on 5th June 2014.

As of 28th August 2014, the bitcoin network has reached 220 petahashes 

The network is over 400 times more powerful than 1 year ago

Bitcoin has existed for for 5 years and 9 months. The network has grown more in the last 3 months than it did in its first 5 years and 6 months of existence  – Lee Banfield

 

 

ALTCOINS

Cryptonote Coins

The technically best anon coins (so, CryptoNotes; ie Monero) are really the only interesting alts (cuz Bitcoin will nvr do that) – Dan McArdle

CryptoNote is getting crowded. Now at least 12 coins implementing CryptoNote: https://cryptonote.org/coins/ – Kristov Atlas

 

Anonymous Coins

Even if New York somehow succeeding in regulating bitcoin, which I think is extremely unlikely, all they would so is encourage the development of alternatives that are much more stealthy and much more anonymous. These already exist, and at the moment no one feels the need to switch from bitcoin to these alternatives, until of course New York starts getting more and more aggressive with their enforcement actions at which point the people of New York may find it necessary.

We’ve seen this happen before, it was the evolutionary path taken from Napster to BitTorrent.

In retrospect the media recording companies should have made a deal with Napster. Instead what they did was to ignore reality, to ignore the fact that they live in a post scarcity economics environment in terms of music production and distribution and to think that they could continue to extract extravagant profits from CDs.

Their entire industry collapsed in on itself because when they stomped on Napster they got Kazaar and when they stomped on Kazaar they got Limewire and when they stomped on Limewire they kept stomping and eventually they got BitTorrent. And BitTorrent turned around and bit their arse –Andreas Antonopoulos

Antonopoulos talks about a necessary evolution from bitcoin, but we’ve already been through this process to get here. They stomped on centralized digital currencies like Liberty Dollar and Liberty Reserve and eventually they got Bitcoin. Instead of switching to a stealthier altcoin, it’s much easier just to use bitcoin in stealthier ways by using services like Dark Wallet – Lee Banfield

 

 

EQUITIES

Expensive US Stocks

Using Professor Robert Shiller’s cyclically adjusted price / earnings ratio for the broad US stock market, US stocks have only been more expensive than they are today on two occasions in the past 130 years: in 1929, and in 2000 – Tim Price, PFP Wealth Management

 

Very Overvalued

I cannot see how a soft landing would be possible here.

Net corporate debt is at all-time highs (so don’t let anyone tell you that corporate balance sheets are strong), interest rates are essentially pinned at zero, and the Fed’s balance sheet has exploded. Based on the Q-ratio—the most robust and predictive valuation measure there is—the stock market is more overvalued today than it was at every major top over the past century, save 2000.

How could this get corrected in an orderly way? – Mark Spitznagel, Universa Investments LP

 

Mason Graphite

Tesla mentioned that they’re going to build this giant ‘gigafactory’ and in view of the current technology in which greater than 50% of the electric battery is comprised of graphite, do you think that there are any companies out there that could supply natural graphite to Tesla for its Gigafactory? – James West

Yes. I have a little bit of an interest in one that I think has the largest deposit of graphite in the world, and it’s run by an extremely knowledgeable group of people, and I know, that if graphite has a future, which it does, and graphene, then this company (Mason Graphite, LLG:CN) is going to do extremely well.

And I do know, from what the scientists tell me, that graphene has a huge future, whether it’s in automobiles – in everything. The scientists say – this is not Jim Rogers talking – the scientists say, graphene is going to be as important to the world as the internet. It’s going to be as important to the world as electricity. Now, I’m not a scientist, and I don’t know, but I do know a couple of guys won the Nobel Prize recently because they came up with graphene, so people who are more knowledgeable than me think that graphene, and therefore graphite, has a staggering future – Jim Rogers

 

 

COMPANIES

German Court Bans Uber

They’ll ignore this “ban” just like they did the injunction in Virginia and the other one. Uber is an app that runs over the net. They are not responsible for what German drivers do with their phones. The worst that can happen is the board are banned from entering Germany. Cry me a river, they’ll miss Oktoberfest!

SOMEONE has to be the first to stand up and say NO to the disgusting violent filth of the State, and it’s evil clients.

The first one will be gunned down or incarcerated, that is why nobody dares to do it – Rothbardian

Uber already ignores bans, so do the millions torrenting and sharing files for DECADES. The Sate is NOT OMNIPOTENT. – Beautyon

 

Uber knows they have the upper hand and that if they cave they will be damaged. They should not cave and should disobey. All of this transfers to Bitcoin perfectly. Banks are now mobile phones. Transfers can’t be stopped. There is no central point to attack. There is nothing that the State can do to stop Bitcoin and no protest can be effective. Bitcoin is even more powerful than Uber because there is no company that owns it. It is totally decentralized and headless. There is no one to surrender, capitulate, comply, or cave in. Once Bitcoin is on a Billion phones, it’s 100% GAME OVER for the State –Beautyon

 

 

PLACES

USA

Who in good conscience wants to go their entire working lives supporting a government that wastes tax dollars on bombs, drones, spying on citizens, and bankrupting unborn generations? It’s no wonder why the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship is increasing exponentially… and will likely continue to do so.

Renouncing US citizenship was free of charge until a couple of years ago. Then, overnight, the State Department imposed a $450 fee.

Yesterday they increased it once again– to $2,350. That’s a 422% increase.

In its explanation, the State Department whined that the costs of processing renunciations had simply become too high. It’s curious that a government which denies inflation even exists would complain about the consequences of it – Simon Black

 

You have to fill out a form if you want to renounce your citizenship—which, by the way, you can only get from a foreign embassy or consulate. Those forms used to be free. Now they’re about $500 apiece. So think about that. If they can charge you $500 for that form, they could charge $5,000, they could charge $5,000,000. They could basically make it impossible for you to leave. And they’re trying to make it more difficult ever since Eduardo Saverin from Facebook went to Singapore.

Now the government is trying to come up with all sorts of ways to punish Americans who try to give up their citizenship, and this really is the sign of a nation in decay. Fifty years ago, nobody would want to give up American citizenship. They would cherish it. The fact that so many people are paying tremendous amounts of money to get this albatross off their neck shows you how much times have changed, that an American passport is not an asset to be cherished but a liability that people are willing to pay to get rid of – Peter Schiff, March 12th 2014

 

Bali

Spearheaded by the co-founders of Bitcoin Indonesia, the nation’s largest bitcoin exchange, the group came one step closer to its goal with the launch this month of a Bali-based booking agency called Bitcoin Tour. The new travel agency claims clients can receive discounts of up to 75 percent if they exchange their digital currency for hotel reservations at “almost all star-rated hotels” in Indonesia.Travelers can also exchange bitcoins for train and plane tickets on all major Indonesian carriers.

Bitcoin Tour is part of the broader Bitislands project, which boasts a center for Bitcoin exchange along the main drag of Kuta, Bali’s answer to the Jersey Shore. Bitislands has a team of volunteers who spread information about the cryptocurrency to businesses throughout the tourist centers of Legian, Seminyak and Ubud.

30 businesses on the island accept Bitcoin at the point of transaction. Bali now boasts more establishments that accept Bitcoin than neighboring Java (including Jakarta), despite having a population that’s 35-times smaller.

One of the newest additions to the Bitcoin bandwagon is Hubud, a co-working space in the expat hub of Ubud.

“Our decision was quite simple: We have a very nomadic community that values having a transnational currency to be able to pay with for almost no transaction cost,” cofounder Steve Munroe explains.

Hubud began accepting bitcoin in July and has had 20 transactions to date for memberships, travel excursions and other services. The space hosts weekly Bitcoin meetups, two of its members just launched Coin Academy, and another is working on a bitcoin payment processing app. Munroe says Hubud is now exploring the options of a bitcoin ATM and a bitcoin exchange desk – Mark Johanson

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

Personalized In-home Health Monitoring

Mitera is building a device for early disease detection through saliva analysis using nanotechnology – 

 

Cost of Genetic Sequencing Has Dropped 100,000x in the Last 14 Years

Change is coming at breakneck speed. How fast? In the 1980s and 1990s the PC revolution was driven by an insight that legendary Intel cofounder and chairman Gordon Moore had as a researcher in 1965: The number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years.

But over the past 13 years the cost of sequencing DNA has dropped 1,000 times more than Moore’s Law, from $100 million per human genome to only $1,000.

“The road maps that we have are pretty breathtaking as far as where the technology can move in the next three to five years.”

Matthew Herper

 

Human Cryopreservation

Some bitcoin enthusiasts have used their cryptocurrency to travel around the world. Others have spent it on a trip to space. But the very earliest user of bitcoin (after its inventor Satoshi Nakamoto himself) has now spent his crypto coins on the most ambitious mission yet: to visit the future.

Now Finney has become an early adopter of a far more science fictional technology: human cryopreservation, the process of freezing human bodies so that they can be revived decades or even centuries later.

Around the time of his diagnosis, Finney said he found that his cryonics plan gave him some comfort, too. “It was actually extremely reassuring as the reality of the diagnosis sunk in,” he wrote in 2009. “I was surprised, because I’ve always considered cryonics a long shot. But it turns out that in this kind of situation, it helps tremendously to have reasons for hope, and cryonics provides another avenue for a possibly favorable outcome.”

No human, to be clear, has ever been revived from a state of cryonic freezing. Many scientists consider the idea impossible. But Finney’s wife Fran says that doubters never stopped her husband from exploring a technology that intrigued him.

“Hal respects other people’s beliefs, and he doesn’t like to argue. But it doesn’t matter to him what other people believe,” says Fran, who alternatingly spoke about her husband in the present and past tense. “He has enough confidence in how he figures things out for himself. He’s always believed he could find the truth, and he doesn’t need to convince anyone.”

He’s always been optimistic about the future,” says Fran. “Every new advance, he embraced it, every new technology. Hal relished life, and he made the most of everything.”

Fran Finney says that her husband had no illusions about the certainty of his resurrection. But until his final moments, he put his faith in the progress of technology. “He never said to me, ‘I will come back.’ But he told me, ‘I hope to be back,’” Fran says. “Hal liked the present. But he looked towards the future. He wanted to be there. And this is his way to get there.” – Andy Greenberg

 

Your mind is software. Program it. Your body is a shell. Change it. Death is a disease. Cure it. Extinction is approaching. Fight it – Blake Masters

 

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Follow me on Twitter at:

@leebanfield1

 

Bitmessage: BM-2cXjeAykLT7gbjzNHZFnCxdawvyryyb4Nf

 

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