There is not a neuron in my brain that believes the price in 5 years time is going to be as ridiculously low as it is now. I’m all euphoria at this moment, seriously. – bitcoin.txt
The 5th of October in Bitcoin Price History
2011: $4.90 +82x
2012: $12.75 +2.6x
2013: $121.49 +9.5x
2014: $304.16 +2.5x
Blockchain Lands Biggest Ever Venture Funding Round in Bitcoin Industry
Blockchain announced that it has secured a record $30.5m Series A funding deal, co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Wicklow Capital.
Blockchain is the world’s most popular bitcoin wallet provider, search and technical information source with 2.3 million wallet accounts and a total $26bn in transaction volume.
At the beginning of 2013, it had just 110,000 accounts and by the end of October that year it had 500,000.
Blockchain will use the extra funding to grow its product and engineering teams, and expand and invest in developing markets. Wallet services would be the “central nexus of value creation” in the digital currency industry, said Liew – Jon Southurst
The Separation of Money and State
Last century saw the separation of church and state. This century we will see the separation of money and state – Roger Ver
Retarded Criticism of Price Volatility
There was no bitcoin 5 years ago and now you complain about volatility. It’s quite silly. – Jeffrey Tucker
How retarded or misleading can one be; to suggest that a commodity, or a would-be-money, is somehow fundamentally flawed, because it does not yet enjoy a great deal of liquidity and widespread adoption, or because it’s exchange price with the current money is volatile!? I mean: how else exactly do people imagine this phenomenon could possibly take place? . . .that one day, some magical company called Bitcoin Inc., should just pop on the scene and declare their unit in their digital blockchain ledger to be worth X amount, and it will just be so, because they declare it?
Only governments can do this, because governments have guns, and a slightly insane population of state-worshipers who believe that their proof-of-violence kind of money is somehow a good thing for society. Anyhow, regardless of how you feel about anarchy. . . it does not change the fact that valuation of a commodity is either forced and enforced. . . or it is emergent on a market. It takes time, to say the least. It cannot happen all at once, and it is going to be a messy, ugly, fits-and-starts, snafus, highly dis-equitable distributions initially, frauds, thefts, evolution of best practices and safeguards, etc. A process of getting a large segment of the population to not only wrap their heads around a new technology to some extent. . . but to build out infrastructure to make it easier to use, and to have a large enough network of people and businesses demanding and accepting bitcoin.
People need to get over their centralized, give-it-to-me now thinking; and understand the price discovery period which is going on with bitcoin – kwanijml
Global e-commerce giant Overstock.com has hired the developers behind peer-to-peer decentralized exchange Counterparty to develop a new stock market platform powered by cryptocurrency technology.
The developers will work on a platform called ‘Medici’, an evolution of Overstock’s previously announced ‘cryptosecurity’ offering that will allow not only Overstock, but other businesses, the ability to issue cryptosecurities to the investing public.
With the announcement, Counterparty founders Robby Dermody and Evan Wager told CoinDesk that they have now turned their focus primarily to the Medici project, though this will entail work for Counterparty as Medici will be built on top of the Counterparty protocol. Dermody and Wagner are now working to find replacement candidates to cover their duties at Counterparty while working on Medici.
Launched in January, Counterparty quickly built itself into a market leader using a DIY approach, the bitcoin protocol and Counterparty’s own native currency XCP to facilitate digital asset exchange. “They’re true to the ethics of bitcoin, true to the open-source nature, they’re true to the principles,” Byrne added.
Byrne went on to laud Krellenstein, Dermody and Wager for their dedication to philosophy, math and computer science, as well as their decidedly non-Wall Street approach to finance.
EXpress said that he would take Poloniex, a popular crypto-currency exchange, down with a ddos attack – and he successfully did shortly after making the claim. As a result, everyone participating in the discussion and aware of this problem became increasingly worried when he went on to further threaten to perform a 51% attack on Monero last Saturday.
Fortunately for all CryptoNote users, this time it looks like BitcoinEXpress was bluffing. Monero was not attacked and all CryptoNote coins safely live on to prosper for those that would like to use them, without exposing any ring signatures – Barbie Bitcoin
The Philippine Government’s Kleptocurrency
Filipino lawmakers unveil ‘E-Peso Act’ to create national currency for the digital age.
Regarding distribution, Cojuangco said the amount of E-Pesos in circulation would not exceed 1 billion units in the first two years. Further, the bill stated that the equivalent of 1% of the total amount of Philippines’ pesos in circulation would be minted by the Philippines’ Central Bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), during the first year following the E-Peso bill enactment.
The bill would also commission the Central Bank to conduct researches and studies on technologies related to “Bitcoin and post Bitcoin cryptocurrencies” in order to gain proper knowledge and expertise, and help determine which technology would fit best to E-Peso – Diana Ngo
So a bunch of Filipino bureaucrats think they can sit in an office and make an altcoin to compete with bitcoin? Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard – Lee Banfield
EQUITIES / MARKETS
“Donna Steele Flynn, a former member of the House Ways and Means Committee staff who is now a tax specialist with Ernst & Young, said, ”The only reason this hasn’t gotten fixed is because the official Joint Tax Committee estimate in the past was that repeal of Section 1706 would cost a billion dollars in tax revenue over five years.”There is a political will on both sides of the aisle, but in terms of importance and number of people, a billion dollars is a lot of money for a relatively small number of people.”
decimation: in other words we realize the we are thieves and will happily make unprincipled exceptions when we decide we can do so.
decimation: in more other words, the ‘political will’ of a collection of elected lawyers with real estate side business all agree that they should not pay while others pay
asciilifeform: real estate ‘market’, pythonic strangler of all things alive.
USG Rigged Fiat Markets: A Massive Dekulakization Experiment
decimation: The other day I was trying to find an etf or stock that didn’t depend on ‘bezzle’ (ie usg fiat finance). I didn’t succeed.
mircea_popescu: this is roughly equivalent to, “the other day, i tried to find a natural process going backwards in entropy. i didn’t succeed.
decimation: yeah I figured it was hopeless, but I wanted to pretend like my bezzlars were not locked in a usg approved cage
mircea_popescu: the thing is, without bitcoin that cage can’t even be made apparent (insmuch as the most you could do, cca 2010 or before, was to move them into… another cage, worse made)
decimatio: with bitcoin, the ‘free market’ in us finance starts to look like a massive dekulakization experiment
“Owning” NYSE Stocks
Purpose-theory is a NYSE stock, it’s a mortgaged home, it’s a webwallet, it’s the appearance of ownership and control where there’s precisely none to be had. If you “own” these things, you are what’s owned. Full stop.
This is one of the primary reasons why Bitcoin is such a big fucking deal: because it makes ownership, as defined by one’s ability and authority to destroy something, possible for a unit of account. Not since physical gold was a thing has this been the case – Pete Dushenski
Medici: Crypto Stock Exchange
Overstock.com is building software, based on the bitcoin digital currency, that could allow the big-name retailer to issue corporate stock over the internet, sidestepping traditional stock exchanges such as the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange.
Code-named “Medici,” the project aims to democratize Wall Street in much the same way bitcoin seeks to democratize currency and payments. By operating separate from traditional stock exchanges and the big corporate banks, it could eliminate certain loopholes in the system and reduce the costs associated with issuing and juggling stock.
“There is an opportunity to recreate the financial world as we know it in the parallel universe that is the blockchain,” Byrne tells WIRED, referring to the online public ledger that keeps track of all bitcoin transactions. “We are writing rules for this whole new universe.”
Byrne is committing between five and ten percent of Overstock’s cash flow—”single-digit millions”—to the company’s cryptosecurity project. “Building this—and being the company that owns this—can be more valuable than Overstock,” he says. “It can be more valuable than Alibaba.” – Cade Metz
Byrne said the name Medici was chosen as a reflection of the project’s ambitious goals, as it takes the name of the famous 15th century Italian bank that made notable contributions to the fields of accounting and banking. – Pete Rizzo
COMPANIES / PROJECTS
1% Coinbase fee (disclosed to users) and 50 bps bid/ask spread (not really disclosed). Circle has neither – twobitidiot
That’s the key most tech blogs miss. Many sites may sell bitcoin “free” but it’s marked up. Circle is free – Charlie Shrem
Free conversion and no spread screams “fractional reserves.” I trust the motives of no startup that builds a platform which allows them to steal deposits. It’s not necessary to design systems that way, so why would anyone do it except bad reasons? With $30 million to work with, they don’t have any excuses for not building out a safer platform – Justus Ranvier
* OpenBazaar Beta 2.0 was just released: https://blog.openbazaar.org/launching-openbazaar-beta-2-0/ Thanks to the 40 people who contributed code in the past month! – OpenBazaar
* OpenBazaar is operative right now. People buying honey, books and pens. Not as scandalous as WIRED would like – Washington Sanchez
The Ghost Gunner – The $1,200 Machine That Let’s Anyone Make a Metal Gun at Home
Since he first launched Defense Distributed in 2012, Cody Wilson has demonstrated a knack for throwing technological gasoline onto political fires, from uncontrollable 3D-printed guns to Bitcoin money-laundering software. His latest creation promises to be equally controversial: He’s releasing the Ghost Gunner’s on the heels of a debate in California over a state law that would ban the manufacture of all guns without serial numbers.
The bill, widely known as the “Ghost Gun ban” and introduced by Los Angeles state senator Kevin de Leόn earlier this year was designed to criminalize either 3-D printing or finishing an 80 percent lower without a government-assigned serial number in California. The legislation passed California’s senate and assembly, but was vetoed Tuesday by the state’s governor Jerry Brown, who wrote that he “can’t see how adding a serial number to a homemade gun would significantly advance public safety.”
“This wouldn’t be worth doing if Kevin de Leόn didn’t know about it,” Wilson says. “What excites me is giving this world to the politicians. Our strategy is to literalize and reify their nightmare, to give them the world they’re talking about.”
Wilson’s goal of enabling anyone to privately fabricate an untraceable gun is part of a larger anarchist mission: To show how technology can render the entire notion of government obsolete. He’s spent the last two years developing firearms designed to be printed as easily as ink on a page, neutering attempts at gun control. “This is a way to jab at the bleeding hearts of these total statists,” Wilson says. “It’s about humiliating the power that wants to humiliate you.” – Andy Greenberg
Hong Kong is the New Playground for Mesh Networking. Driven by Need, Enabled by Density
More than 100,000 people in Hong Kong downloaded an app called FireChat in a recent 24-hour period. The app allows protesters to keep chatting, even when their phones lose mobile network connectivity.
FireChat works by connecting users in a daisy chain, or mesh network, via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No mobile network is required, and users can choose to remain anonymous. “With FireChat, it’s completely decentralized,” said Micha Benoliel, CEO of Open Garden, the app’s developer. “And that means you can get connectivity from the people and devices around you — directly.”
Benoliel, who was in Hong Kong as protests escalated over the weekend, said the protesters were well prepared and well organized, and had anticipated that large crowds would complicate communication.
“They knew that at some point the cellular networks would be shut down or would just be overloaded by a number of people gathering in the same place, so they know that Firechat is a way to remain connected and communicate,” Benoliel said – Charles Riley
* So far, mesh networks have proven themselves quite effective and quickly adopted during times of disaster or political unrest, as they don’t rely on existing cable and wireless networks. In Iraq, tens of thousands of people have downloaded FireChat as the government limits connectivity in an effort to curb ISIS communications. Protesters in Taiwan this spring turned to FireChat when cell signals were too weak and at times nonexistent. – Elise Hu
* Bitcoin could enable new ways to share and trade networked resources. For example, people have been trying for years to create mesh networks with only occasional success. It is possible that these systems mostly failed because they didn’t offer the right incentives to share resources. Bitcoin provides a mechanism for network nodes to pay for resources at the protocol level – Chris Dixon
PRIVACY / SECURITY
Whether they store bitcoins online, on hard drives or in cold storage, he implored users to switch to more secure multi-signature (‘multi-sig’) wallets as soon as possible – Jon Southurst
What’s up with all this multisig propaganda? Just use a wallet that supports offline tx signing like armory. Paper wallets have always been bullshit for this exact reason. They are vulnerable at the moment of spending. Offline transaction signing beats paper wallets. What I’m more suspicious of is all these calls for non-private multisig services – Justus Ranvier
I think multisig storage is great for amounts you don’t feel safe storing at home, much like expensive jewelry – Martijn Meijering
Offline Armory wallet serves that purpose, and you can use multisig for the paper backups, and avoid the pitfalls of paper wallets. A multisig service involving some other web site does not increase your security, but does reduce your privacy. You can print split paper backups for an Armory wallet and store the individual pieces separately – Justus Ranvier
Bitcoin vs. Darkcoin
While Bitcoin offers nothing resembling anonymity to persons who do not care to work in the betterment of their interests, Bitcoin offers opportunities to get great anonymity and protection in accordance to the quality of their effort. Anonymity is like censorship. You can get anonymity through the expenditure of work and resources. You can avoid censorship by expending work and resources.
Darkcoin instead promises anonymity without work so long as you merely trust. Trust that these Master nodes actual provide the service promised. Trust that this protocol which is still being built is actually capable of fulfilling its promises. Trust that the developers are not merely rats or stool pigeons offering a honey pot in the hope that by entrapping others they might find absolution for their own sins. Trust that the people behind Darkcoin even intend that the system can work in such a way as they promise instead of merely supposing the project as a cash grab before rising off into the sunset.
The OpenSSL behavior behind HeartBleed spent two years in the wild. The Bash behavior behind “Shell Shock” is an artifact of last century. What kind of serious project would forsake the eyes, resources, and brutal mathematics behind the success of Bitcoin’s engineering simplicity while introducing complexity and fragility under the banner of usability? – Bingo Boingo
Ho Chi Minh City
The GDP in Ho Chi Minh City was estimated to rise by 10.3% in the 3rd quarter, higher than 8.7% in the 2nd quarter & 7.7% in the 1st quarter – AFC Vietnam Fund
Buenos Aires has one of the largest and most active bitcoin communities on the planet. It also has the third highest concentration of bitcoin meetups, behind New York and Tel Aviv – Belen Marty
On the other half of Malaysia lies an obscure offshore financial center that has quietly been attracting a small following of businesses since establishing itself 23 years ago. The autonomous region of Labuan is Asia’s well-kept secret and is home to several thousand international corporations, including Malaysia’s Air Asia – Andrew Henderson
I’m sitting here at PunSpace the coworking space in Chiang Mai, and about an hour ago 20 armed uniformed police and immigration officials stormed in and detained everyone. Currently 18 tourists are in a police van being taken to Thai Immigration near the airport – JohnnyFD
It turns out that the reason for the raid wasn’t because we were working online, it was because they thought PunSpace was illegally hiring western staff without work permits. They did not know the concept of a co-working space or why we would pay to use an office and not just check our email at a coffee shop or in our hotel.
* Hopefully after this fiasco Thai immigration now has a better understanding of what a co-working space and a digital nomad is, and now they will realize that not only are we not being paid by places like PunSpace to work there, we are in fact, paying them, and bringing money into the Thai economy and not taking any local Thai jobs away – JohnnyFD
* Tech In Asia reports Thai authorities say they weren’t targeting digital nomads in particular, but just making sure everyone was having their passports on them. That seems like a face saving argument. Other people mentioned to me this was planned for at least a month. I think they were surprised by the amount of bad PR this got. Not a good time for bad PR with Thai tourism down due to the coup either. Time to get your act together, Thailand – levels.io
Will I live to see it? I’m middle aged. Maybe I won’t.
But on the time scale of human history, whether this happens in 30 years or this happens in 200 years… 200 years is 1/1,000th of the time there has been human beings. It’s a drop of water in the ocean. It isn’t important. On the scale of historical events, this is about to happen – Perry Metzger
Not Everyone Loves Humanity
Elon Musk has been pushing this line – Mars colonisation as extinction insurance – for more than a decade now, but not without pushback. ‘It’s funny,’ he told me. ‘Not everyone loves humanity. Either explicitly or implicitly, some people seem to think that humans are a blight on the Earth’s surface.
They say things like, “Nature is so wonderful; things are always better in the countryside where there are no people around.” They imply that humanity and civilisation are less good than their absence. But I’m not in that school,’ he said. ‘I think we have a duty to maintain the light of consciousness, to make sure it continues into the future.’ – Ross Anderson
Colonizing the Whole Solar System
At our current rate of technological growth, humanity is on a path to be godlike in its capabilities.
If we can establish a Mars colony, we can almost certainly colonise the whole Solar System, because we’ll have created a strong economic forcing function for the improvement of space travel. We’ll go to the moons of Jupiter, at least some of the outer ones for sure, and probably Titan on Saturn, and the asteroids. Once we have that forcing function, and an Earth-to-Mars economy, we’ll cover the whole Solar System. But the key is that we have to make the Mars thing work. If we’re going to have any chance of sending stuff to other star systems, we need to be laser-focused on becoming a multi-planet civilisation. That’s the next step. – Elon Musk
If an Advanced Civilisation Existed at Any Place in this Galaxy, at Any Point in the Past 13.8 billion Years, Why Isn’t it Everywhere?
Elon Musk told me he often thinks about the mysterious absence of intelligent life in the observable Universe. The failure of these searches is mysterious, because human intelligence should not be special. Ever since the age of Copernicus, we have been told that we occupy a uniform Universe, a weblike structure stretching for tens of billions of light years, its every strand studded with starry discs, rich with planets and moons made from the same material as us. surely some of these places nurture those first fragile cells, until they evolve into intelligent creatures that band together to form civilisations, With the foresight and staying power to build starships.
So far, technological intelligence has sprouted only from one twig. It’s possible that we are merely the first in a great wave of species that will take up tool-making and language. But it’s also possible that intelligence just isn’t one of natural selection’s preferred modules. We might think of ourselves as nature’s pinnacle, the inevitable endpoint of evolution, but beings like us could be too rare to ever encounter one another. Or we could be the ultimate cosmic outliers, lone minds in a Universe that stretches to infinity.
Musk has a more sinister theory. ‘The absence of any noticeable life may be an argument in favour of us being in a simulation,’ he told me. ‘Like when you’re playing an adventure game, and you can see the stars in the background, but you can’t ever get there. If it’s not a simulation, then maybe we’re in a lab and there’s some advanced alien civilisation that’s just watching how we develop, out of curiosity, like mould in a petri dish.’
Musk flipped through a few more possibilities, each packing a deeper existential chill than the last, until finally he came around to the import of it all. ‘If you look at our current technology level, something strange has to happen to civilisations, and I mean strange in a bad way,’ he said. ‘And it could be that there are a whole lot of dead, one-planet civilisations.’ – Ross Anderson
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