April 2013: $260, “Bitcoin is a bubble.”
Jan 2015: $260, “Bitcoin bubble has burst.”
Bitcoin has died for the 26th time: Bitcoin Obituaries
I’m sure you’ve heard this: “Bitcoin is worthless, but blockchain is awesome”.
That’s bullshit. And whoever said that is an idiot – Thomas Forgac
Number of Wallets December 2014 = 7.9 million
There were 1.4 million new bitcoin wallets created in Q4, representing 21% growth quarter-over-quarter.
CoinDesk is forecasting 12 million total bitcoin wallets by the end of 2015
Over the past year, there was a 79-fold increase in daily multisig transactions.
At the beginning of 2014, only 0.02% of all BTC were secured with multisig; that number is now more than 5%.
More evidence that Bitcoin investors are wildly incompetent: “Bitreserve Raises US$9.5 Million”:
Halsey wasted his fortune (How Halsey Minor Blew Tech Fortune on Way to Bankruptcy). But sure, why not give him $9.5 MM more “to reach cash-flow positive”.
Bitcoin price went down in 2014 due to (much needed!) capex spend on mining. It will stay down in 2015 if investors don’t get it together – Pierre Rochard
Fred Wilson: I believe we are witnessing a transition from one phase (monetary and speculation driven) to another phase (new applications and bitcoin as a platform) and there will be a shakeout as the transition happens
Pierre Rochard: Most people who don’t understand the bitcoin mining capex cycle come to this erroneous/premature conclusion. The monetary and speculation driven phase of Bitcoin is just getting started. New apps are likely 5-10 yrs away from maturing to usable.
There is such a thing in technology as being too early. Happens all the time. Very likely that the “bitcoin 2.0” “appcoin” etc is too early.
Alex B: Curious to compare mining investment last year vs. VC’s “tech platform”. Probably closer than one would think.
Pierre Rochard: I know for a fact that mining investment was greater than VC investment in 2014.
The dollar ended 2014 up 12.8 % against a basket of major currencies, its best performance since 1997 – Rodrigo Campos
Namecoin was the first credible fork of the Bitcoin codebase and remains one of the few altcoins of enduring interest.
The Namecoin project was born out of a desire to expand the principles that laid the foundation for Bitcoin’s success in reinventing money to doing the same for Domain and other name services. Namecoin was even early enough to get suggestions and code commits from Satoshi Nakamato himself.
A healthy well adopted implementation of Namecoin could be nearly as great of a boon for a free Internet as Bitcoin has been as a free medium of trade – Bingo Boingo
Dan McArdle: Why haven’t .bit TLDs taken off at all yet? Mainstream takes a long time, obv, but I’d expect a little use in the Bitcoin community at least
Justus Ranvier: Because there’s no reliable way to integrate a .bit resolver into a DNS stack. All the software that claims to do this sucks.
Dan McArdle: Yeah, I realize there are many un/under-developed pieces. Just seems odd that so little dev has happened on it in 3.5yrs. Curious if there’s a fundamental market/econ/whatever problem that I’m missing (besides the usual chicken/egg).
Celebrating the One Year Anniversary of the Counterparty Project
Over the last year, Counterparty has evolved from a simple idea into the most advanced platform for creating financial instruments on top of Bitcoin.
* In October, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne announced partnership with Counterparty on a project named Medici, a front-end and portal to the decentralized stock exchange of the Counterparty platform. The goal of the project is to build a cutting-edge stock market on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, and help Bitcoin do for Wall Street what it has already begun to do for payments.
* November saw the celebration of the 100,000th transaction on the Counterparty network. On November 11th, we reached this major milestone and are seeing an increasing number of transactions on a daily basis.
* Without a doubt, the most exciting news in November came from our development team who have successfully ported Ethereum Project’s programming language and virtual machine over to the Counterparty platform and enabled the execution of Turing Complete Ethereum code directly on the Bitcoin blockchain.
It has been a great year, and we have even bigger plans for 2015: hiring new developers, releasing the desktop wallet, launching smart contracts on mainnet, electing the official Board of Directors, working with exchanges to support XCP, working with other business who want to build their products on Counterparty, and much more – Robby, Counterparty
Ethereum ppl very smart, can’t be counted out. However, Bitcoin network effect + Counterparty hard to overcome – Balaji S. Srinivasan, Andreessen Horowitz
The ethereumproject has one _great_ thing (contract lang) and many flaws (fund raising drives tech, broken econ, PoS,..)
Proof of Stake, which is heavily flawed, not an “upgrade”. In PoS, stakeholders are censors: They may arbitrarily censor transactions (fundamental to consensus), like miners. In PoS, stakeholders are gatekeepers. You must get your stake from an existing stakeholder. Central bankers baked in. Proof of Work is more permission-less, and features greater separation of powers.
PoW has flaws, but it is not a closed system that suffers from costless simulation & other math-provable problems – Jeff Garzik, BitPay
COMPANIES / PROJECTS
The Uber network ,valued at $41bn, is worth 11x the Bitcoin network (up from 2x in June 2014) – Lee Banfield
Protesters in Moscow Form Mesh Network
FireChat top-trending search on Apple’s App Store in Russia.
FireChat uses a technology available on newer smartphones, called mesh networking, that facilitates wireless communication directly between devices. It uses a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals to connect with phones running the app.
The major automakers now see a world of completely self-driving cars.
At the International Consumer Electronics Show, the huge technology industry event in Las Vegas, Dieter Zetsche, the head of Mercedes-Benz cars and chairman of of Daimler AG, focused most of his keynote address on unveiling a fully autonomous prototype vehicle.
Raj Nair, the chief technical officer and global product chief at Ford, said that he expected some manufacturer to introduce a completely autonomous vehicle — one that requires zero human intervention — within five years. – Molly Wood
“I’m not so sure about Soylent. Oh, please pass the packaged chips, cookies, microwave burritos, soft drinks, & synthetic nacho cheese!” – Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz
INTERNET / PRIVACY / SECURITY
“No decrypt available for this PGP encrypted message.” TOP SECRET / COMINT / REL TO USA, AUS
“PGP is simply the best thing going.” Please to PGP (Guide for Linux, OS X, Windows)
Set aside all the excuses, all the disinfo, all the ego, and maximize your use of PGP in 2015. Just do it. Message me if you need help.
Using PGP is not about ~ muh government ~ or ~ privacy ~. It’s about the virtues of trust, integrity, and diligence (Meditations on Cypherpunk Nightmares)
What’s Not Broken?
What’s not broken: OTR, GnuPG, RedPhone/Signal, Tails, and Tor
The NSA doesn’t have superpowers, they have backdoors. Math is their weakness. – Jacob Appelbaum
Newly revealed documents show NSA attacks on TLS & SSH, naming OTR & GPG the last secure encryption tools (Prying Eyes: Inside the NSA’s War on Internet Security) – Klaus Fl
Documents leaked by former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that, despite its vast abilities to hack into online communications, as of 2012 the NSA struggled to decipher emails and chat logs encrypted with certain tools.
The documents described how the NSA had “major problems” following users across the Tor network, as used to access websites on the dark web, like now-shuttered narcotics retailer Silk Road. But that isn’t to say that using Tor is completely safe, as malware installed on your computer can still track what you’re doing, and police have made arrests with the help of social engineering undertaken by officers using Tor.
Messages sent through encrypted email providers like Zoho were also outside of the NSA’s grasp, as were files encrypted by open-source disk-encryption programme TrueCrypt, while PGP encryption tools also made the NSA’s life difficult.
VPNs (virtual private networks) were easy pickings for US spies, with documents showing how the NSA planned the capacity to tap 20,000 VPS connections per hour.
The HTTPS standard, which provides a secure connection between browsers and websites, also became a victim of the NSA, as by late 2012 the agency expected to be able to intercept 10 million connections daily – Alistair Charlton
The NSA’s strength as they disclose here is not math or science advances that allow them to seemingly magically break strong encryption, but the size and scale of their operations along with their ability to recruit collaborators like Microsoft and subvert standards committees. According to this dump much of the math and science goes into perverting systems before they are born rather than making progress against existing strong encryption.
* HTTPS fares poorly against state level actors. Between flaws brought into the protocol and its implementations like Heartbleed, the Windows Heartbleed analogue, and poor cipher defaults the assumption should probably be that HTTPS isn’t offering much additional security. It is also probably far too early to put much hope into the prospect of cleaner HTTPS implementations like LibreSSL offering great security for HTTPS traffic though LibreSSL’s seems to be affected by less new security advisories than OpenSSL.
* All Skype traffic has been theirs for the taking since 2011 thanks in large part to Mircosoft’s collaboration.
* Sometimes they can grab plaintext of data transmitted via SSH. Friends don’t let friends use passwords for SSH authentication.
* The NSA really loves sucking up VPN traffic and often successfully giving it a good read.
* Contents of email encrypted with PGP/GPG generally seems safe if sent using sane settings. This is going to mean large RSA keypairs, at least 2048 bits but preferably 4096 bits or longer. For message signing use the most secure message digest hash available which is probably going to be SHA-512. For maximum security keep keys and key operations away from Internet connected computers.
* Some chat encryption protocols like OTR seemed to give them trouble when intercepted over the wire according to disclosed documents. As Internet chat involves realtime encryption and decryption of messages at the endpoints and taking key operations for encrypted chat offline would be exceedingly difficult, there is they real chance that if they suspect you might be sufficiently interesting they would compromise your machine to make your keys available to themselves.
Jonathan Levin: With 18,000 bitcoin unspent outputs from bitstamp, its hard to mix them. Creating smaller chunks may be the first step but still far out.
Peter Todd: Park it in Darkwallet and let coinjoin mix it; deposit/withdraw from darkmarket’s, etc. Lots of methods.
The Bitcoin Scene in Bali
1 – Bitislands
Bitislands is aspiring to convert a majority of merchants to accept bitcoin. With bitcoin, you can buy jewelry and paintings, pay for your accommodation, rent a motorcycle, and also learn how to catch the waves at surf schools!
2 – 37coins
37coins is a Bitcoin Wallet for the Low-teched and Unbanked. You can send Bitcoin via SMS to everywhere in the world.
3 – Hubud
Hubud is a co-working space located in Ubud, the cultural hub of Bali. Hubud began accepting bitcoin last July. A Lamassu Bitcoin ATM machine was installed at Hubud last November. This is the second Bitcoin ATM in Indonesia. The first was introduced in Kuta, Bali.
4 – Bitcoin Filter
Bitcoin Filter’ is a weekly Meetup. If you go to Hubud on Tuesday evenings, you can meet all kinds of amazing bitcoiners.
Beijing is home to over 50 Fortune 500 enterprises, ranking first in world cities – China Xinhua News
Manufacturing: China, USA, Vietnam
As of 2013, nearly $1 trillion of foreign direct investment was parked in U.S. manufacturing, by far the number-one manufacturing investment destination in the world.
The most recent official data reveal all-time highs for manufacturing sector output, value-added, revenues, exports, profits, and foreign direct investment.
With its pre-eminence in innovation and entrepreneurship still intact, the United States is situated at the top of the global value chain. Staying there will require Americans to remain skeptical of top-down industrial policy – Daniel J. Ikenson
Microsoft to layoff 10,000 workers in Guangdong, heading to Hanoi in Vietnam
The base salaries for workers in Guangzhou and Shenzhen are $395 and $295 per month, respectively. In Hanoi? $145.
The new Chinese middle class is demanding higher wages, bringing an end to the era when companies could enter China and find an unlimited workforce willing to work for less than $100 per month. This is forcing companies like Microsoft to recalibrate, and Vietnam is waiting with open arms.
Samsung, Intel, and LG have also set up operations in Hanoi. Microsoft operations in Mexico and Brazil will see an increase as a result of this shift away from Southern China – Matt Allen
Extreme exponential growth that began in the early 20th century could already be acknowledged as the beginning of the singularity as a whole. Does anyone else notice this larger pattern with the knee of the curve starting at the end of the scientific revolution and the rapid climb representing the information era? – Wheelspawn
Telepresence & Virtual Environments
Within a couple years there should be thousands of live streaming telepresence panoramas that we can teleport between – John Carmack, Oculus VR CTO
Today I use telepresence robots to telecommute around the globe, attend an XPRIZE meeting in India, or if I’m overseas, pop home for breakfast or dinner with my kids.
The product I personally use comes from Suitable Technology and is called the “Beam.” I have about 15 beams across my different companies.
With the creation of new VR technologies (Oculus Rift technology, Samsung Gear) and 360-degree camera technology (Immersive Media, Jaunt), we’ll be able to slide on a pair of Goggles and “go” anywhere in the real and virtual world.
Companies will forgo bricks and mortar, and instead allow its work-force, from around the world, to beam into the same environment and work cooperatively. Think about a ‘kinder-gentler ‘ version of the Matrix – Peter Diamandis
What will be the purpose & justification for immigration restrictions in a world with ubiquitous, ultra-hi-def, free telepresence? – Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz
Edward Snowden arrives at Hamburg Airport for tomorrow’s 31C3 conference – Michael
Let me tell people about Bitcoin in cold NYC, from a warm beach, via the doublerobotics robot – Roger Ver
Bitcoin entrepreneur Roger Ver has been effectively locked out of his native USA after this week being denied a non-immigrant visa for the third time.
Ver became a citizen of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, a small Caribbean nation, in February 2014 and handed in his US passport a month later.
A frequent attendee and guest speaker at bitcoin conferences worldwide, he makes a point of wearing a ‘borders are imaginary lines’ T-shirt when going through immigration at airports – Jon Southurst
The Declining Lethality of Heart Disease, Cancer, & Stroke (USA)
Cancer down 20% from 1990 peak.
Heart disease down 68% in last 50 years. Strokes down 79%
Life Extension: Rapamycin
Developed as an anti-rejection drug for patients who have just undergone kidney transplants, rapamycin has recently been shown to extend the lives of mice by more than 10%.
“If you give rapamycin to 20-month-old mice – when they are in their equivalent of our middle age – you can see pretty profound benefits in terms of rejuvenating their bodies and increasing their lifespans,” said Dr Matt Kaeberlein, of the University of Washington in Seattle. “That is why we are so excited about the drug.
It was also the first drug shown to extend lifespan in a mammalian species – Robin McKie
Life Extension: Resveratrol Found to Activate Response at 1,000x Lower Doses
The first studies of resveratrol in the early 2000s had suggested that it exerts some of its positive effects on health by activating SIRT1, also thought to be a longevity gene. But SIRT1’s role in mediating resveratrol’s reported health-boosting effects has been questioned lately.
The team’s experiments showed, however, that the TyrRS-PARP-1 pathway can be measurably activated by much lower doses of resveratrol — as much as 1,000 times lower — than were used in some of the more celebrated prior studies, including those focused on SIRT1. “Based on these results, it is conceivable that moderate consumption of a couple glasses of red wine (rich in resveratrol) would give a person enough resveratrol to evoke a protective effect via this pathway,” Sajish said.
Resveratrol is a compound produced in grapes, cacao beans, Japanese knotweed and some other plants in response to stresses including infection, drought and ultraviolet radiation – KurzweilAI
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