Transactions / Price
* If bitcoin price had gone in a straight line from 1yr ago to now (~$200-325), story would be about the amazing ecosys dev we’ve seen in 2014 – Dan McArdle
* 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
600%+ annual growth in merchants and retailers accepting bitcoin. 10,000 to 80,000, not bad.
On pace with website growth from 1994-1995 – Jeremy Allaire
There might be life in the old beast yet: Microsoft now accepts Bitcoin as a payment option on its Windows and Xbox stores — which means you can now use Bitcoin to purchase a new copy of Windows, the latest installment of Call of Destiny: Master Chief Edition, or even to buy the latest season of your favorite TV show – Sebastian Anthony
If you’re a retailer, there’s really no reason not to accept Bitcoin at this point – Dell
TIME inc. subscriptions confirmed. Fortune magazine has bitcoin option prominently displayed –artfully_doges
TIME inc. is now accepting Bitcoin as payment from their 130 million consumers across multiple platforms – Roger Ver
*The largest online poker room in the world, is preparing to accept Bitcoin – Dan Cypra
* My prediction is that within five years, half of the top 10 gaming operators will be Bitcoin only – Jon Matonis
We’re Not Going Back to The Old Way
We have a chance to rebuild the system. Financial transactions are just numbers; it’s just information. You shouldn’t need 100,000 people and prime Manhattan real estate and giant data centers full of mainframe computers from the 1970s to give you the ability to do an online payment.
You would not today, starting from scratch, invent any of these financial businesses in the same way. To me, it’s all about unbundling the banks.
We’re not going to go backward. When people start doing things a better way, it kind of doesn’t matter what the old way was – Marc Andreessen
Bitcoin Has Already Won
When people write the history of this thing, of bitcoin, they are not going to write the story of 6 million to a billion (users).
What is truly remarkable is the story of zero to 6 million.
It has already happened! And we’re not paying attention! That’s incredible. That’s what had one chance in a million, and it already happened – Wences Casares
Bitcoin is poised for exponential growth, so the opportunity costs of not being involved to the highest personal degree possible are incalculable.
Yet merchants, investment peddlers, and other hoarders have been able to convince countless bitcoiners to part with their future riches, despite the obvious downsides given you have a long enough time horizon to see the coming post-fiat world. They’ll tell you spending is vital, that Bitcoin 2.0 will be even better if only you give them some of your Bitcoin 0.9, or that your bitcoins are worth only $475 a piece. They’ll tell you this with a straight face, the wringing of their hands unseen across the Internet.
Bitcoin is exciting. Looking at a static wallet file and balance is not. Instead of holding and forgetting, many bitcoiners choose to “put that money to use,” and endless crypto-peddlers are ready to snatch your bitcoins up. They’ll offer you mining contracts, present their plans for a hedge fund, or entice you into investing in a Bitcoin company. Today, the most popular investment vehicle for bitcoiners are Bitcoin 2.0 schemes, ranging from Mastercoin to Ethereum.
Long term investors should use Bitcoin as their unit of account and every single investment should be compared to the expected returns of Bitcoin.
If hyperbitcoinization occurs, Bitcoin holders will see their purchasing power increase by orders of magnitude. Bitcoiners should think twice before throwing away even a couple millibits towards a project “just to see where it goes.” A running joke in the community is how expensive the two pizzas Laszlo bought were. We joke about a million dollar pizza, and hyperbitcoinization has not even occurred yet. I praise Laszlo for his entrepreneurial use of a new technology, but I do not wish for myself or others to be a Laszlo.
My friends and I joke about starving due to the intense deflation, but I can’t say I don’t look back and wish I had skipped a couple lunches in the crappy dorm cafeteria to buy $10 bitcoins when I had the chance. Hyperbitcoinization will not be a force to trifle with. Even a marginal bitcoin holding right now will constitute a very significant majority of a bitcoiner’s portfolio. Once it happens, there is no going back. One day, your Bitcoin balance will likely never see the decimal point move to the right again. – Michael Goldstein
The Formidable 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 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, August 28th 2014
*As of December 30th 2014 the bitcoin network stands at a staggering 290 petahashes
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.
What a coup! CounterpartyXCP
* Grabs the good stuff – Ethereum tech
* Ditches the bad stuff – Wonky economics, new chain. This is precisely what I’ve been telling people to do since Ethereum appeared. Ethereum has good tech, broken economics, and useless chain.
Core ethereumproject mistake: They let the fund raising dictate the tech. Ass backwards. Did not put product first. “Coin IPO” now locks ethereumproject into separate chain.
Ethereum huge: persistent state, permissionless flexibility to create own Nakamoto-consensus apps. No opnn on price of ether. Ethereum has vast potential, whereas Bitcoin won’t ever do anything well beyond implementing a currency – Nick Szabo
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
Pierre Rochard: Ethereum will have to overcome Bitcoin’s liquidity advantage, take on risks of a rewrite from scratch, and implement complex features. The first challenges economic law, the second two are Herculean feats of software engineering. God speed.
Oh and they have to do it all before their theoretical competitive advantages are eroded by incumbents and challengers –
Jimmy Song: Don’t forget all the coin cloners that have access to the same open source code
Pierre Rochard: yes, that makes their pre-sale especially amazing
It’s very hard for us to have any meaningful conversation about appropriate equity valuations in a world of long-term zero interest rates – Sam Altman
“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
US Government 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 (inasmuch 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
COMPANIES / PROJECTS
Open Source Distributed Systems
The smartest 1% are creating open-source, distributed systems of resistance to render the state irrelevant through technology and encryption – Roger Ver
Censorship Resistant Marketplaces
If a system wants to be censorship resistant it has to have two very important qualities.
1) Decentralize the Locus of Control: If your organization has a headquarters, a CEO, a bank account, then men with guns can show up, they can shut it down or they can co-opt it.
2) Protect the Participants: You can do this with anonymity networks like Tor.
If you can trade guns and drugs on dark markets, you can trade more pedestrian items. Censorship resistant dark markets can circumvent capital controls for industries that are not explicitly prohibited.
There are at least two important elements of that:
1) Tax avoidance: Taxes make everything extremely expensive because they are multi-tiered (supplier taxes, transportation taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, social security taxes, health care taxes)
2) Go beyond trade barriers: Restrictions on what goods we can sell, to whom, where we can send them, how we can send them, etc.
Circumvention of capital controls is the killer feature of dark market places that is going to drive more and more industries into the dark market. I don’t mean all the companies that currently exist are going to be trading over Open Bazaar. Maybe Amazon or Overstock never wishes to do that, but more and more of the industry will go into these dark market places and eventually replace some of these old companies.
I am anticipating, in addition to a technological singularity, we will also see a private property singularity, where technology allows us to circumvent state regulations. As this happens, economic growth is going to get faster and faster and faster, it’s going to accelerate until the point where it’s going to be very difficult to predict what the market place will look like a year from now, and then a month from now, and then a week from now…
This technology gives us anonymous exchange on market places and anonymous money (using something like dark wallet). Politicians will not like this but they will be powerless to stop it.
The world 10-20 years from now, because of these mechanisms, is going to be so unrecognizable to us that it’s going to blow our minds. It’s partly to do with technology, but it’s got a lot to do with economic liberation as well. The story of the Silk Road is a blueprint for economic global liberation –Kristov Atlas
We aren’t setting up a marketplace. We are creating a platform that let’s anyone create their own marketplace in a decentralized network. We aren’t charging for use and don’t have plans to make money on this. CC_EF_JTF
* OpenBazaar is operative right now. People buying honey, books and pens. Not as scandalous as WIRED would like – Washington Sanchez
* Congrats to openbazaar team and to mankind alike as its fully decentralized global marketplace goes public! – Vortex
* Decentralized market & currency exchange. Probably only one of the most significant projects on Earth – AnonyOdinn
* Decentralized marketplaces for the masses, using bitcoin, are more important than sidecoins, tokens & crowdfunding – Washington Sanchez
OpenBazaar vs. Alibaba
* Alibaba has made more money in the last 20 days than Amazon has made in the last 20 years – Bill Gross
* Alibaba’s market cap of $250bill is higher than Wal-Mart – Lee Banfield
OpenBazaar is an open source, peer-to-peer marketplace. Instead of buyers and sellers going through a centralized platform, like Alibaba, OpenBazaar allows for direct, person-to-person commerce. Trust, security, and dispute resolution are all handled by the users of the system. Since there are no middlemen, there are no fees. Since there are no gatekeepers, there is no censorship.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. revealed its plans for what could be the world’s biggest initial public offering. The Chinese e-commerce behemoth’s potential $24 billion sale would value the company at around $155 billion. Although Alibaba has diversified into payment processing, a shopping search engine, and cloud computing services, the vast majority of its revenue comes from charging fees to the users of its marketplace platform.
If Alibaba is, at its core, a trusted third-party that facilitates commerce between two distributed participants, then what use is it when the participants can provide all the added benefits of having a trusted third-party between themselves?
This is the promise of OpenBazaar.
If I were running a company that did a quarter-trillion dollars worth of transactions and my whole business revolved around being the middleman to every one of those, I would definitely be concerned about the development of OpenBazaar – Valerian Bennett
After Silk Road 2.0 Bust, Eyes Turn To ‘Untouchable’ Decentralized Market
* The end of centralized marketplaces is nigh – OpenBazaar
* Estimated a complete version of the software will ship around spring 2015 – Patrick Howell O’Neill
* If you’re thinking about OpenBazaar as Silk Road 3.0, you’re thinking about it much too narrowly. I actually think it’s much more powerful as eCommerce 2.0. – Sam Patterson, OpenBazaar Operations Lead
* Much of the hard work Open Bazaar would have had to do has been done. They are building on very robust platforms and wont have big problems. Open Bazaar is “Silk Road Infinity” https://openbazaar.org/ It cannot be stopped, or shut down, just like BitTorrent cant be shut down –Beautyon
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
INTERNET / PRIVACY / SECURITY
81% of Tor users can be de-anonymised by analysing router information – Martin Anderson
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
The Dawn of Trustworthy Computing
“Block chain computer” (not just “block chain”) & “fiduciary code” very helpful concepts for building mental model – Richard Gendal Brown
The most elegant explanation of on-chain computing, well, ever. By Nick Szabo – Stephan Tual
This Nick Szabo post on the ‘rise of trustworthy computing’ is one of the top 10 things I have read on blockchains – Antonis Polemitis
This new Nick Szabo article “The dawn of trustworthy computing” is a roadmap to about a dozen new companies – BTCplainEnglish
Today’s computers are not very trustworthy, but they are so astronomically faster than humans at so many important tasks that we use them heavily anyway. We reap the tremendous benefits of computers and public networks at large costs of identity fraud and other increasingly disastrous attacks.
Recently developed and developing technology, often called “the block chain”, is starting to change this.
A block chain computer is a virtual computer, a computer in the cloud, shared across many traditional computers and protected by cryptography and consensus technology. A Turing-complete block chain with large state gives us this shared computer.
QuixCoin is a recent and Ethereum is a current project that has implemented such a scheme. These block chain computers will allow us to put the most crucial parts of our online protocols on a far more reliable and secure footing, and make possible fiduciary interactions that we previously dared not do on a global network
Much as pocket calculators pioneered an early era of limited personal computing before the dawn of the general-purpose personal computer, Bitcoin has pioneered the field of trustworthy computing with a partial block chain computer.
Bitcoin has implemented a currency in which someone in Zimbabwe can pay somebody in Albania without any dependence on local institutions, and can do a number of other interesting trust-minimized operations, including multiple signature authority. But the limits of Bitcoin’s language and its tiny memory mean it can’t be used for most other fiduciary applications, the most obvious example being risk pools that share collateral across a pool of financial instruments.
A block-chain computer, in sharp contrast to a web server, is shared across many such traditional computers controlled by dozens to thousands of people. By its very design each computer checks each other’s work, and thus a block chain computer reliably and securely executes our instructions up to the security limits of block chain technology, which is known formally as anonymous and probabilistic Byzantine consensus (sometimes also called Nakamoto consensus).
Trust-minimized code means you can trust the code without trusting the owners of any particular remote computer. Regardless of where any of the computers or their owners are, the block chain computer they share will execute as reliably and securely as consensus technology allows, up to the aforementioned limits. This is an extremely high level of reliability, and a very high level of security, compared to web server technology.
While there is much futurism in many block chain discussions, including many trying to solve problems that aren’t actually solved by the block chain, I will generally stick to low-hanging fruit that could be usefully implemented on Quixcoin, Ethereum, or similar technology in the near future, often interfacing to still necessary parts of traditional protocols and institutions rather than trying to reinvent and replace them in whole – Nick Szabo
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?
* 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
Many have asked me why I relocated from Texas to Switzerland. Perhaps the best response is a question of my own: Can any software from the United States be safe?
When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was asked why she and her colleagues did not reveal the extent of government-mandated surveillance on email and internet searches, she explained the reason was because they were threatened with prison. No wonder that many crypto innovators—Monetas included—have started setting up shop in Switzerland.
Silent Circle, an innovator in secure communications, just moved their headquarters to Switzerland, a move they characterized as “extremely important.”
Why? “Switzerland’s strong privacy laws, legendary neutrality, and economic business advantages.” Additionally, “Switzerland has the world’s best privacy legislation that is actually written into the constitution.”
Clearly the United States doesn’t meet those standards. Lavabit founder Ladar Levison certainly doesn’t think so. He said, “This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.”
Monetas is based in Zug, Switzerland. Our software is built to Swiss quality standards, and the privacy and security of our users is paramount. – Chris Odom, Monetas
US Government Normalizes Relations with Cuba
A hotel worker in Havana tells a friend of mine who’s there today: “It is a day of jubilation for Cuba.” –David Corn
High time to normalize relations with Cuba. Can’t tell you how many Cuban-Americans I know with business plans ready to go – Ian Bremmer
Free trade, once bestowed and enjoyed by citizens, is not easily taken away again. Cuba could be the next Hong Kong – Jeff Garzik
* How impoverished are those who cannot feel a thrill as we explore – David Brin
* 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
* Fly for 10 years, travel for 6.4B KM and land on a 2.5 sq. mile comet traveling at 36,000 MPH. Damn impressive – Antonis Polemitis
* I now have to leave our Comet Landing party to go drive a rover on Mars. If that isn’t proof we live in the future, I don’t know what is – Mike Seibert, Driver for Mars Rover Opportunity
5,000 Days of Orbital Colonization
In an anniversary that beautifully showcases the enduring greatness of man’s progress in space, yesterday marked the 5,000th day of continuous human habitation aboard the International Space Station – L. Lawless
Made in Space
A private Dragon cargo ship built by SpaceX arrived at the International Space Station today (Sept. 23) to deliver more than 2 tons of astronaut supplies and experiments for NASA, including the first 3D printer in space.
The 3D printer built by Made in Space will churn out a few initial test parts and send them back with Dragon. Researchers with the California-based Made in Space and its partners at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, want to learn as soon as possible how the quality of items printed in microgravity compares with the quality of parts made on Earth – Megan Gannon
19th December 2014 – First Ever Hardware ‘Emailed’ to Space
* Made in Space Email Wrench to the International Space Station.
* So far, 21 objects have been created via the ISS’ 3D printer.
It looks like the first file made on Earth and sent to space was a resounding success! This opens the door to a bright future for space travel and manned trips. If, for example, humanity does ever colonize Mars or go back to the moon, any broken or needed tools can be produced on an as-needed basis –Sarah Anderson
Double Amputee Becomes First to Control Robotic Arms with his Mind
Skype Translator: Breaking Down Language Barriers
The Skype Translator, derived from decades of research in speech recognition, automatic translation, and machine learning technologies. We are on the verge of having a tool, available to all, that allows us to speak universally with anyone on the planet.
Imagine being able to speak in German, and have your message conveyed grammatically and semantically correct in English. That future is here. – Peter Lee, Microsoft Research VP
Linear vs. Exponential Thinking
I’m currently 17 do you think I will see things such as life extension due the the eradication or management of Cancer, dementia, 3D organ printing etc within my lifetime? What are some technologies that seem way off to your average person that may become a reality within the next decade?
If you’re only 17, you will see a hell of a lot more than just life extension! You’re going to see colonies on Mars. You’re going to see us turn most everything we think of as science fiction today into science fact. We’re living during a time of accelerating change. Don’t think with your linear mind! Yes, we will solve cancer. Yes, we will solve dementia. Yes, we will start regrowing organs. All of this will happen faster than you can imagine.
I think the average person is a linear thinker and most of the extraordinary breakthroughs that will happen this decade will initially seem far off. Then, when the breakthroughs occur, they will take them for granted. So just think about artificial intelligence becoming your physician, or artificial intelligence becoming your personal tutor better than the best Harvard professor, or 3-D printing organs, or extending the human lifespan 30 years, or landing the first private citizens on Mars with in the next 15 years. These things all sound crazy until we make them happen – Peter Diamandis, Co-founder of Singularity University
30 steps linearly gets you to 30…30 steps exponentially gets you to a billion – Ray Kurzweil
Actualizing the Human Imagination
As David Deutsch said in his book The Beginning of Infinity, if you look at the physical topography of Manhattan, the forces of economics, culture, and intent have already trumped geology. Literally the forces of mind create more physical topographical change than the forces of geology. Mind has trumped matter.
And as Ray Kurzweil wrote in his magnificent, magnificent book The Singularity is Near, it turns out that we are central after all. We are not just a pale blue dot.
Our ability to create virtual models in our heads combined with our modest looking thumbs was sufficient to usher in the secondary force of evolution called technology. It will continue until the entire universe is at our fingertips.
Having invented the gods, we can turn into them.
That is the human story.
That is turning ourselves inside out.
That is actualizing the human imagination – Jason Silva
Is The Singularity Near?
The answer is yes, depending on what you mean by near, but it may well be within our lifetimes – Marvin Minsky, “The Father of AI”
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
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