1 Bitcoin = $256
It will be the most globally liquid and trusted asset in history – Pierre Rochard
South East Asians Get to Grips with Bitcoin
Bitcoin-based financial services, such as low-cost overseas remittances for foreign workers, are increasingly common in Southeast Asia.
In the Philippines, where bitcoin-based remittance services started ahead of other countries, the number of transactions was between 10,000 and 20,000 in the past year, an industry official said. The number, however, is increasing at a double-digit percentage rate monthly – Jun Suzuki
Bitcoin: A Money Without Politicians, Bankers and Corruption
The collapse of the Euro and Greece’s problems make this idea very attractive.
All you need to do is have a phone or a laptop. Everyone has them. The seeds are already sown. All that is needed is the rain. It’s coming. – Beautyon
The Only Way to Freedom is Through Its Practice Here and Now
* Every single transaction that takes place outside the nexus of state control is a victory for those individuals taking part in the transaction – The Dread Pirate Roberts, 2012
* The smallest act like buying a drink with Bitcoin is a hammer that chips away at the enemy’s power –Beautyon
Bitcoin vs. Government Money
In the 20th century 200,000,000 men were murdered by the State through it’s ability to create infinite amounts of money on printing presses.
The absolute and permanent destruction and replacement of the mass murder money of the State is the greatest cause any man can work for – Beautyon
The Technical Doubts Have Evaporated, Now Fear is Setting In.
First they said Bitcoin was a Ponzi Scheme, then they said it was only for “techies” then they said it was a bubble, then they said some other nonsense about it.
Now, no one says any of those things, and they are onto the next iteration of their FUD; for example, the transaction rate is “not fast enough”. They have conceded that Bitcoin works exactly as specified, and are running out of novel attacks.
The rumblings of complete capitulation are starting to be written, and its a distinct pleasure to read them – Beautyon
Bitcoin’s Success is Deeply Disturbing to the Statists
What the Statists do not like about Bitcoin not being under central control, is that its success is a strong, undeniable signal that control by democratic government is not needed for essential societal functions like money, and that there are better ways to organize every aspect of society that do not require government.
The idea that money will no longer be the special preserve of the State and its corrupt central banks is deeply disturbing to these men, and so, they do anything they can (which is precisely nothing) and say anything they can (which is too much) to undermine the idea that Bitcoin does not need to be centrally controlled – Beautyon
If Google Mined Bitcoin
All of Google today would represent less than 1% of mining. The sheer degree of what is happening in mining hasn’t been appreciated in the press.
If we assume there are 10 million Google servers and each of these servers is running. You can multiply that through and you get about one petahash. If they turned off all their data centers and pointed them at bitcoin, they’d be less than 1% of the network – Balaji S. Srinivasan, 21 & Andreessen Horowitz
US Dollar: The Fed’s 2% Inflation Target
The Federal Reserve right now is trying to ward off technological deflation by having a target 2% inflation rate a year.
Yet economists I have read peg technological deflation at around 3% to 4% a year presently.
When nanotechnology really takes off and prices plummet 75-80% and technological deflation goes from 4% to 10% and then possibly 20% a year or more what is the FED going to do?
Will we have a race between technological deflation and the “printing press?” A fight between two exponential functions-the singularity versus exponential inflation and debt! It’s absurd!
You can’t stop the acceleration of the fall in prices set off by the law of exponential returns by a tsunami of inflation and debt like they have been doing for the last 100 years. The Welfare state and its old failed neo-Fabian ideas are done. Rumpelstiltskin economics, the art of spinning worthless paper into a currency that is forever losing its value is over – C. James Townsend
We just crossed the 200,000-transaction mark.
It took us about 10 months to get to the 100,000-transaction mark, and in 4 months we went from 100 – 200 so that rate is definitely kicking up.
If we keep this rate up we’ll be at about 500,000 transactions by the end of the year, which is great –Robby Dermody, Counterparty
Markets are More Distorted Than Ever Before
The current cycle is very unusual, because never before have we seen authorities, central banks in particular, intervening on such a large scale and pumping so much money into global financial markets. Hence, global financial markets are more distorted than ever before and accordingly, the risks are very high.
Investing becomes very difficult in such an unprecedented environment, as it can’t be compared to previous situations.
Zero or even negative interest rates have distorted the valuation and pricing of virtually all assets. We know that the longer a distortion prevails, the more investors get used to it and it becomes the “new normal” to them. That’s where the problem lies! – Felix Zulauf, Zulauf Asset Manangement
Nasdaq Tests Bitcoin Blockchain
The world’s second largest exchange will be running a surprisingly forward-thinking pilot program. Nasdaq’s platform will trade shares by trading bitcoins. This is not blockchain-technology standing alone, this is Bitcoin being used by Wall Street – Peter Van Valkenburgh
NASDAQ knows that the security of the Blockchain make it a perfect way to distribute and control shares. Starting from scratch is stuipd.”Bitcoin based Colored Coins” That is what NASDAQ is using. Why do these words choke in the throats of “Blockchain not Bitcoin” pundits? – Beautyon
Utilizing the blockchain is a natural digital evolution for managing physical securities, Bob Greifeld, Nadaq CEO
I wonder where they got this idea? #medici – Patrick Byrne
According to Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld, the distributed ledger function of the blockchain will “modernize, streamline and secure typically cumbersome administrative functions, and will simplify the overwhelming challenges private companies face with manual ledger record-keeping.”
Nasdaq joins the blockchain-integrated securities exchange market field just a few weeks after Overstock’s Medici Project filed S-3 forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission, outlining its intention to issue new stocks or securities, including the potential to issue digital securities – Christie Harkin
World’s First Cryptobond has First Buyer
Overstock.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:OSTK) announced its CEO Patrick M. Byrne today made the first purchase of the world’s first cryptobond for $500,000.
“It’s not exactly Jonas Salk injecting himself with his polio vaccine, but I wanted to own the first cryptosecurity ever issued,” stated Byrne. “I intend to demonstrate my belief not just in Overstock, but in the TØ.com platform that we built and, indeed, in the cryptorevolution itself.”
* This pioneering event is part of Overstock.com’s larger cryptofinance initiative known as Medici, and uses the company’s own TØ.com platform. TØ.com is powered by the blockchain and the Open Assets protocol.
* Those who purchase cryptobonds through TØ.com will be able to track their ownership on the bitcoin blockchain
* Trades on TØ.com securely settle same day, as opposed to the customary three day settlement on Wall Street (referred to as “T+3″).
COMPANIES / PROJECTS / PRODUCTS
Dark Net Markets Continue to Grow at Strong Rates
Dark Net markets have grown over 37 percent in product listings in the last year despite sweeping police actions and the constant threat of multimillion-dollar thefts looming large.
The most enduring institution on the Dark Net is Agora. Founded in December 2014, amid the rubbled of of Silk Road’s fall, Agora now accounts for 37 percent of all Dark Net product listings.
This is the fourth straight year of strong growth among major black markets even as the biggest and most famous markets—like Silk Road,Evolution, Silk Road 2.0—are left for the history books.
At this time last year, the Dark Net markets, which are only accessible through the Tor network, had just crossed the 50,000 product threshold. That’s up from around 18,000 products in October 2013, when federal agents seized Silk Road and arrested its founder, Ross Ulbricht.
Over 68,738 products are listed across 10 major black markets; two thirds of the inventories are drugs – Patrick Howell O’Neill
OpenBazaar Gets $1m Cash Infusion
Two of the biggest names in the venture capital world announced today that they’re getting behind a libertarian-themed tech project—a vote of confidence for an experimental enterprise that aims to facilitate free and “censorship resistant” trade. – Jim Epstein
Chris Dixon leads the investment for Andreessen Horowitz, and managing partner Brad Burnham does the same for Union Square Ventures. Both are investing $500,000 in this seed round, and are joined by angel investor and board member William Mougaywar, who is investing $10,000 – Rob Price
On OpenBazaar, everyone can host their own store and connect to a larger ecosystem. They’ll have control unparalleled in big stores, from which they can sell, buy, auction, lend, crowdfund, arbitrate, and even build new ways to do business – Patrick Howell O’Neill
The seed funding will be used to pay the developers so that they can work full time on the project and speed up development. The developers previously relied on bitcoin donations – Alyssa Hertig
The point of OpenBazaar is to remove the endless restrictions and high fees associated with currently available ecommerce sites and online payment rails. As lead developer Brian Hoffman put it, “The Internet has decentralized communications, and Bitcoin has decentralized money, but online commerce still relies on numerous intermediaries.” – Kyle Torpey
There is no central team of moderators who can reject certain products, services, or merchants. There is no ability for the OpenBazaar team to charge fees, track user data, or restrict trade in any way, which creates a completely new paradigm for online trade – Kyle Torpey
“Will there be illegal trade on OpenBazaar?” Hoffman asked. “We probably won’t know (unless everyone is told) because it’s encrypted and private and we certainly can’t stop it. We do feel however that non-darknet marketplace content will overwhelm that kind of stuff dramatically if we are successful.” – Patrick Howell O’Neill
It’s pretty mind-boggling that the most respected VC funds are backing a decentralized marketplace. Props to Brad Burnham for not avoiding the hard questions in that blog postannouncing the investment – Zooko
The purpose of OpenBazaar is to promote unfettered trade.
When I first interviewed him last December, Hoffman told me that he was inspired in part by getting to know his wife’s Iranian family. “It gave me a first-hand look at how hard it is for people to conduct any kind of online commerce across borders,” he said. “Just to get an iPhone in Iran is such an encumbering process.” – Jim Epstein
Here are its key characteristics:
* OpenBazaar removes the intermediaries and allows people to trade directly with each other.
* The OpenBazaar network is decentralized, and free to use.
* Because the network has no central point of control, there are no intermediaries to collect fees, monitor data, or restrict trade.
* The code is open source, allowing for permission-less innovation.
* OpenBazaar is available to anyone in the world; there are no geographical restrictions and it uses the global digital currency, Bitcoin.
As a platform, it consists of the following elements:
- The peer-to-peer network, i.e. its plumbing
- The trade protocol, i.e. the fundamental rules that govern a type of trade between peers
- The Client/App, i.e. what the users interact with to execute trades
The Funding is Being Used to Create OB1 Which Offers Services to OpenBazaar Users
While OpenBazaar is a non-profit project, the funds are being used to create OB1, a for-profit company that will build revenue-generating value-added services — such as shopfronts or escrow services — on top of the OpenBazaar protocol layer – Rob Price
Up until now, OpenBazaar’s programmers have been volunteering their nights and weekends, but that “wasn’t cutting it,” Hoffman says.
So the OpenBazaar team formed a for-profit venture called “OB1,” which is the direct recipient of the venture capital funding that was announced today. Hoffman says that OB1 will eventually provide ancillary services on the platform, such as hosting listings and arbitrating disputes between buyers and sellers for a fee. But until it has customers for these services, the company will focus full time on core development.
The biggest hurdle ahead will be enticing merchants to start selling their products through this decentralized marketplace. eBay takes about a 10 percent cut of every sale, while OpenBazaar is free to use. But there are network effects at play. The OpenBazaar team will need to convince sellers that a critical mass of customers will find their products if they list them on its experimental platform.
Hoffman says he hopes to raise more funding for advertising and promotion, and having the imprimatur of Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures should help with that considerably –Jim Epstein
If we fast forward into the future, I believe that the OpenBazaar promise has the potential to change how we conduct global commerce. Once the network and contractual infrastructure is in place, and via the strength of their community’s ecosystem, the possibilities are there.
From the get go, OpenBazaar has an unfair advantage. It will be the first large scale eCommerce network that is solely based on a single universal currency: Bitcoin.
I am excited to be participating in their inaugural round of financing alongside Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, and humbled by the privilege of a first row seat into their amazing laboratory of innovation.
Given my previous history in eCommerce (I wrote the book Opening Digital Markets in 1997), running PeerIntelligence in 2001, and more recently via my Bitcoin and blockchain work, the OpenBazaar represents the ideal intersection of my three interests: ecommerce, peer-to-peer, and Bitcoin.
Please join me in wishing OpenBazaar and their community good luck as they take a leap ahead. Their ambitions are big, but so are the opportunities ahead for them, and for the future of global commerce – William Mougayar
How to Make Money on OpenBazaar
There’s a ton of ways to make money on it. Just think about it for a few minutes and you’ll see all the businesses that can pop around it.
My first business around openbazaar is about letting people that have no desire in setting up and running a p2p node, if all you want is to start shopping or selling, you just fire up a node in the cloud with http://www.provistor.com
We basically allow you to run OpenBazaar in a couple clicks on the cloud.
So hosting is one business.
Reputation, store reviews, centralized catalogs, professional escrow services, call centers to assist stores, delivery services, improved search, advertising, you name it, this thing is a whole new industry. Billions to be made. Just look at all the ways Amazon makes money, and start giving that to multiple parties.
PRIVACY / SECURITY / INTERNET
The fact that this company has a NPV >0 is proof that Bitcoin is failing in terms of privacy. Fix it. –Justus Ranvier
Spring 2015 Wallet Privacy Rating Report
After several months of discussion and work, we created a rating criteria for Bitcoin wallets to measure their effectiveness at protecting user privacy.
Our criteria considers user protections on the blockchain, protections when receiving balance information and broadcasting signed transactions, and compatibility with complementary technologies such as Tor.
How well are these wallets protecting user privacy? Not all that well, as it turns out.
As you might expect, the privacy-centric Darkwallet came out on top, but with a mere score of 54 out of 100. The lowest ranking wallet was Coinbase’s, with an 11 out of 100. Please read our report for the complete results, as well as details on our methodology – Open Bitcoin Privacy Project
Overall Wallet Privacy Rankings:
1) Darkwallet (54/100)
2) Armory (54/100)
3) Mycelium (50/100)
4) Bitcoin Wallet (46/100)
5) Electrum (46/100)
6) Airbitz (45/100)
7) Blockchain (Web) (22/100)
8) Multibit Classic (19/100)
9) Blockchain (Android) (14/100)
10) Coinbase (11/100)
The Greatest Weapon of Oppression in the History of Man
The government’s motives are reflected in its symbols. Here’s a sampling:
* The NSA bird holds a key to unlock everything that is not public – in other words, what is private is the government’s business. Know It All. Collect It All. Exploit It All.
* The Earth-sucking octopus represents one of a fleet of NROL surveillance satellites.
* Total Information Awareness is a program set up years ago that had the same agenda as the dystopian film Minority Report: arrest people before they commit a crime. The sinister inspiration for the Total Information Awareness logo is echoed on the one dollar bill, which features the all-seeing eye of God.
Symbols of mass surveillance
Understanding the motives helps us see every justification of mass surveillance for what it really is – a veiled threat: If they don’t do it, terrorists will kill you. Terrorism, the mortal danger to civilization which kills fewer people than autoerotic asphyxiation, bathtub falls, toddlers, and lightning.
Mass surveillance equals perpetual uncertainty. No matter how honest and benevolent you consider the current American government, no one knows what laws a future regime will impose.
The highest profile shills for mass surveillance are the usual suspects: politicians and mega-corporation execs who have the most to gain. Former U.S. Senate majority leader Trent Lott: “What are people worried about? What is the problem? Are you doing something you’re not supposed to?”
I was in Amsterdam when the Snowden story broke. CNN was non-stop asking politicians and pundits, “Is Edward Snowden a traitor?” Those who said he betrayed America also said something else: Mass surveillance is only an issue if you’re a criminal. If you’ve got nothing to hide then you’ve got nothing to fear.
To apologists of mass surveillance, what did Anne Frank have to hide?
Walking from Anne Frank’s Secret Annex into CNN’s nothing-to-hide mass surveillance chorus provided a rare moment of clarity in my life. Her father’s disclosure a decade earlier of a single piece of data, their religion, destroyed his family. The disclosure was a legal requirement to be issued a passport.
Otto Frank never would have disclosed his family’s religion had he known it would lead to the murder of his loved ones a decade later. His family would have fled Germany and attempted toillegally immigrate elsewhere, as millions have done throughout history.
After examining the Frank family passports in the Secret Annex, it later struck me how much more information is extracted by the US census and annual American Community Survey. Where were you born? Are you “Black, African Am., or Negro?” Are you Pakistani? Latino? Are you unemployed? What is your profession? How much money do you make? Do you own or rent? How much do you spend on utilities? Who lives with you? Do you have children? How well do you speak English? Do you speak another language at home? What is your marriage status? Have you been divorced? Where did you go to school? Have you been employed by the U.S. military? Which wars did you fight in? And on it goes…
Living under mass surveillance is living with a noose around your neck.
Millions of Americans today are caged and millions more are on probation or parole. The “land of the free” is the most imprisoned nation in the world on both a total and per capita basis. The prison-industrial complex is booming. New prisons are being built every day. Prosecution isn’t a constraint either since only a handful of cases see a trial.
You can’t know what circumstances will cause you to hang. History is loaded with never-saw-that-coming catastrophes. The 20th century alone is an inconceivable horror – 262 million corpses engulfed in various government wars and genocides. That’s equivalent to every single adult living in America today suddenly perishing.
All the nightmare regimes of the past that kids study in school predate the era of computerized mass surveillance. The ability to lock down people’s lives instantly… to track them, analyze them, trap them, financially paralyze them, impersonate them, frame them, and apprehend them is unprecedented.
Governments always seek to control the governed, but mass surveillance is the most powerful weapon of control ever devised. Because of its novelty, invisibility, and deep complexity, many people can’t comprehend its implications and therefore don’t defend against it.
Mass surveillance is a silent, invisible weapon. The only time you’ll actually feel immediate danger is when it’s too late – David Montgomery
Against All Odds and Regular Predictions of its Imminent Demise, Moore’s Law Endures
Fifty years ago, on April 19, 1965, chemist and reluctant entrepreneur Gordon E. Moore set out to graph the rapid rate of improvement in semiconductor-chip performance—and ended up discovering the heartbeat of the modern world.
That discovery is what became known as “Moore’s Law,” which is the observation that performance (speed, price, size) of integrated circuits, aka microchips, regularly doubled every 18 months.
Against all odds and regular predictions of its imminent demise, Moore’s Law endures.
If some of the recent breakthroughs in atomic-level transistors, nanotechnology and biological computers prove fruitful, Moore’s Law could again accelerate, or at least continue to rule, for decades to come.
It now seems more likely than ever that a thousand years from now, what will be remembered most about our time will be its stunning efflorescence of innovation and entrepreneurship. By then Moore’s Law will have become Moore’s Era – Michael S. Malone
Moore’s Law Keeps Going, Defying Expectations
Moore never thought his prediction would last 50 years. “The original prediction was to look at 10 years, which I thought was a stretch,” he told Friedman last week, “This was going from about 60 elements on an integrated circuit to 60,000—a 1,000-fold extrapolation over 10 years. I thought that was pretty wild. The fact that something similar is going on for 50 years is truly amazing.”
Many technologists have forecast the demise of Moore’s doubling over the years, and Moore himself states that this exponential growth can’t last forever. Still, his law persists today, and hence the computational growth it predicts will continue to profoundly change our world.
As he put it: “We’ve just seen the beginning of what computers are going to do for us.” – Annie Sneed
The computer revolution is going to keep going. Moore’s Law has a lot of steam left in it. You might be hearing that Moore’s Law is going to fall off a wall… well, maybe there’ll be some fluctuations, but it’s going to keep going – Ralph Merkle
Moore’s Law Marches On: Breakthrough Puts 10-Nanometer Chips Within Reach by 2017
A Japanese research consortium has achieved a breakthrough in chipmaking technology that could boost semiconductor performance while significantly reducing production time.
The consortium, called the EUVL Infrastructure Development Center, or Eidec, has developed a highly sensitive resist for use in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, a cutting-edge method for producing semiconductors.
The new material will reduce lithographic exposure time and allow chips to be produced 10 times faster than with conventional EUV technology.
The breakthrough also has major implications for chip performance.
Chips in the 7-10 nanometer class would boast a 100-300% increase in processing capacity over conventional chips. This would allow people to use their smartphones to send and receive 4K video, which has a resolution four times greater than full high-definition.
The capacity of memory card could also be significantly increased, with just one SD card capable of storing several terabytes of data.
The consortium plans to advance its EUV research in cooperation with Intel, Samsung Electronics, and the world’s largest chip foundry, Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg., or TSMC.
These chipmakers are looking to use EUV lithography to mass-produce 10-nanometer-class chips by 2017 and 7-nanometer-class chips by 2019 – Kotaro Hosokawa and Masahide Kimura
An Asymptote Toward Zero
The event horizon of a coming economic singularity where all prices drop down an asymptote toward zero as technology advances exponentially.
As ephemeralization escalates, as we can do “more and more with less and less until we can do almost anything with practically nothing,” as Buckminster Fuller stated, old technology, old energy sources etc slowly vanish.
What we, the human race, are facing as we race toward the event horizon of the coming economic and technological singularity is something that no human society or culture has ever experienced before. – C. James Townsend
* Cost of digital processing, storage and bandwidth all crashing to price point of $0 (Oracle Sales Erode as Startups Embrace Souped-Up Free Software)- Max Keiser
* Things getting cheap = we becoming rich – Max Roser
* Under a deflationary, i.e. free-market, monetary system, all prices would look like this – Rothbardian
Milestone: Solar Now Produces Over 1% of Global Electicity
Half way through the genome project, 7 years into a 15 year project we had finished 1 percent. And the critics that were in the main stream said “I told you, this is going to take 700 years.” My response was “no, we are almost done, 1% in a geometric progression is only 7 doublings from a 100%.” And indeed it continued to double every year and was done 7 years later – Ray Kurzweil
The Singularity vs. The State
Plato’s cave is our status quo and we sit in our chains and are mesmerized by the pretty pictures on the wall. It is high time humanity grew up and finally left the cave.
No matter what the political state and its crony’s do, or try to do, they will fail as more and more individuals unite to help bring about the coming economic and technological singularity.
How can you regulate or ban such things as guns when you can print an entire AK 47 at home on a 3D printer?
Or because prices have dropped so low that you can have a fully equipped bio-lab in your garage how then can you suppress say an antiaging technology or a cure for cancer?
The techno-libertarians, techno-progressives and Transhumanist’s are becoming a force to be reckoned with (though I am concerned with the influence of technocracy among many Transhumanist’s) and if the political state moved to ban such things as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb etc you would have a riot on your hands and it is only going to get worse for the State.
I think more and more neo-leftist’s are going to wake up and realize with the Libertarians, that Statism is an old failed religion and that their empowerment and freedom will truly come from the evolutionary forces released by the Technium.
The left-wing Hegelian’s foresaw that the State was destined to wither away and a new holographic system, a holoarchy, would arise that would allow individuals to perfect themselves and to become the best they could be in a social and economic structure that gave them the time and abundance to do so.
If the techno-libertarians have taken up this course of action because we on “the left” have ignorantly abandoned it, then that is to our shame. We will have to play catch up and join them on the evolutionary journey to a new earth, one in which the arising Noosphere, the Global Brain, has fully evolved and the present order has been transcended.
I truly believe that the political State’s days are numbered, especially as profits and prices drop as technological deflation accelerates the emperor will be seen by more and more people to be naked and standing in their way to the fuller life they wish to live.
The coming singularity is already showing us that the locus of power is shifting back to individuals united and interrelated in a new distributed network system. We have to have faith and trust in this new arising paradigm and complex system and help it along, to be its midwives, but instead I see too many people manipulated and moved by ideological fearmongering to prop up the old order and its outmoded ideas.
The old order has no answers for us and no solutions; in fact it has caused all of our problems that we are now dealing with.
I think in the end it may very well wither away from disuse as more and more people leave it alone and turn to technological solutions and innovations to solve their and the world’s problems as A.J. Galambos theorized that we would finally learn to invent the technology that will give us the ability to have absolute liberty and freedom. To be in total possession of our primary property, which are ourselves, and all of our creative talents. – C. James Townsend
Follow me on Twitter @leebanfield1