Wednesday 30th November

BITCOIN

bitcoin_logo_small-150x150

1 Bitcoin = $745

 

Bitcoin up 73% Year-to-Date

Bitcoin outperforming every other commodity/fiat currency in 2016. Will be best performing currency in the world 5 of the last 6 years. – Philip Francis

 

Early Adopters

Bitcoin is still in its early days. It’s easy to fool yourself into feeling late if you’re immersed in it day-to-day.

Most people don’t own any bitcoin… yet. I still often hear: “Oh, bitcoin? They got hacked right? Didn’t the company go bankrupt?” – Stephen Cole

 

LocalBitcoin Volumes Hit All-Time High

LocalBitcoins is doing record volumes. Congratulations boys! Its the simple business models addressing basic needs that will grow huge. – Beautyon

 

Cross Border Payments Settled via Bitcoin Increase Almost Tenfold in 2016

The monthly volume of cross-border payments settled via Bitcoin is increasing at an exponential rate, rising from nearly US$5 million to US$40 million from January to October of 2016. – Joseph Young

 

Shinhan Bank Using Bitcoin for New Remittance Service

South Korea’s Shinhan Bank, with local blockchain remittance startup Streami Inc. will start an overseas digital money transfer service from next month, becoming the first Korean financial institution to launch such a service transacting bitcoin abroad.

The bank will first start the Bitcoin remittance service between Korea and China and plans to expand its service to other countries starting next year. – Chung Ji-sung

 

Philippine Bitcoin Startup Raises $5 Million

Online payments startup Coins.ph has landed a series A funding round worth US$5 million.

“The funding comes at a time when we have already been able to validate some base assumptions in our business model, as well as build a loyal customer base,” CEO Ron Hose told Tech in Asia.

Coins says it has partnered with banks, financial institutions, and retailers to form a network with over 22,000 locations in the Philippines, where people can collect their cash. It claims to have signed up over 500,000 users so far, but doesn’t disclose active user or transaction numbers.

The service currently operates in the Philippines and Thailand. Coins doesn’t intend to explore more markets immediately, choosing to stay focused on its current ones, Ron says. “Growth is still our number one objective,” he explains. – Michael Tegos

 

London Banks Plan to Hoard Bitcoins to Pay Cyber Ransoms

  • Some people have to adopt Bitcoin whether they like it or not. – Kyle Torpey

Image result for bitcoin cyber ransom

Several of London’s largest banks are looking to stockpile bitcoins in order to pay off cyber criminals who threaten to bring down their critical IT systems.

The virtual currency is being acquired by blue chip companies in order to pay ransoms, according to a leading IT expert.

Moores declined to identify the banks buying up bitcoins but it is understood senior police officers have been made aware of the practice. – Jamie Doward

 

ECB Urges EU to Curb Virtual Money on Fear of Losing Control

The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) are illuminated with a giant euro sign at the start of the ''Luminale, light and building'' event in Frankfurt, Germany, March 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

The European Central Bank wants EU lawmakers to tighten proposed new rules on digital currencies such as bitcoin, fearing they might one day weaken its own control over money supply in the euro zone.

The European Commission’s draft rules, aimed at fighting terrorism, require currency exchange platforms to increase checks on the identities of people exchanging virtual currencies for real ones and report suspicious transactions.

In a legal opinion published on Tuesday, the ECB said EU institutions should not promote the use of digital currencies and should make clear they lack the legal status of currency or money.

“The reliance of economic actors on virtual currency units, if substantially increased in the future, could in principle affect the central banks’ control over the supply of money … although under current practice this risk is limited,” the ECB said in the opinion for the European Parliament and Council.

“Thus (EU legislative bodies) should not seek in this particular context to promote a wider use of virtual currencies.”

The ECB argues the Commission’s proposal does not go far enough as it does not cover the use of virtual money to buy goods and services.

“Such transactions would not be covered by any of the control measures provided for in the proposal and could provide a means of financing illegal activities.” – Francesco Canepa

 

IRS Casts Unusually Wide Net for Bitcoin User Data

  • This Coinbase data is going to be a helluva useful tool for conducting large scale blockchain analysis. – Matthew Green

The Internal Revenue Service has filed a “John Doe” summons seeking to require U.S. Bitcoin exchange Coinbase to turn over records about every transaction of every user from 2013 to 2015.

That demand is shocking in sweep, and it includes: “complete user profile, history of changes to user profile from account inception, complete user preferences, complete user security settings and history (including confirmed devices and account activity), complete user payment methods, and any other information related to the funding sources for the account/wallet/vault, regardless of date.” And every single transaction

The demand is not limited to owners of large amounts of Bitcoin or to those who have transacted in large amounts. Everything about everyone.

Equally shocking is the weak foundation for making this demand. In a declaration submitted to the court, an IRS agent recounts having learned of tax evasion on the part of one Bitcoin user and two companies. On this basis, he and the IRS claim “a reasonable basis for believing” that all U.S. Coinbase users “may fail or may have failed to comply” with the internal revenue laws.

If that evidence is enough to create a reasonable basis to believe that all Bitcoin users evade taxes, the IRS is entitled to access the records of everyone who uses paper money. – Jim Harper

 

 

MINING

Bitcoin Network Difficulty Jumps

  • Up 10.675% In Latest Adjustment
  • Largest Jump Since Second Halving So Far
  • Yet another all time high for the network mining difficulty
  • Shows a substantial continued appetite for the extant 12.5 Bitcoin block subsidy.

Bingo Boingo

 

Bitcoin ASICs Do More Computation Than All CPUs on Earth Combined

Bitcoin ASICs are using state of the art Intel 12nm fab process. Today, they do more computation than all CPUs on earth combined can do. Just for bitcoin mining. – Steve Jurvetson

 

US Government Contractors

Local miner tells me that govt contractors have been asking questions about mining infrastructure… speculate away as to why that might be. – Jameson Lopp

 

 

ALTCOINS

  • Bitcoin is once in a lifetime event. You are going to have a bad time trying to replicate its success. – Steve

 

118 Altcoins Plotted vs. Bitcoin

Can you see why it’s really hard to beat bitcoin now? That red line is bitcoin, by the way.

It seems that alt-coins are best left for trading due to their volatility, but very risky as holds. Out of 700+ coins in my database I would say less than 5 have a shot of doing something interesting. – Willy Woo

 

Bitcoin vs The Top 10 Ranked Altcoins

Bitcoin vs Index Portfolio of top 10 alt-coins. Bitcoin 4.6x vs Index 1.2x

Bitcoin outperformed the alt-coin portfolio by 3.8x.

Surprisingly during the 2013 bubble, alts performed even higher, but lost more ground in the bear market thereafter.

This pattern of alts having an edge in bull markets happened twice. I make out the bottom of the market was mid-May 2015, since that time alts recovered with a 3.8x rally (from 0.308x to 1.17x), while Bitcoin recovered with a 2.7x rally (from 1.68x to 4.56x).

 

Bitcoin vs The 11th-20th Ranked Altcoins

Bitcoin vs alt-coins ranked 11th to 20th

To shake things up, here’s a portfolio with ten “small cap” alts ranked 11th through to 20th making up the index. The idea behind this one is to capture the coins that have more potential for growth and exiting once they graduate to the big leagues (or fade into oblivion).

These results were one of the more promising index allocations, the portfolio dropped less during the bear market and had impressive gains during bull markets, however bitcoin still won out with a 4.6x return vs 3.6x for the index which also exhibited more volatility.

 

Bitcoin vs. The Top 20 Altcoins

Over 3yrs, a monthly rebalanced top 20 altcoin basket returned 20% (with very high custodial risk).

Bitcoin: 360%.

 

Conclusion

Bitcoin is really hard to beat with altcoin index funds. Not only do they underperform Bitcoin by a significant amount, but as a combined basket their day to day volatility is higher.

There will be a bunch of altcoin funds hitting the crypto investment world in this coming year. Having seen the data, I would take the index based approaches to fund investment with a decent grain of salt. – Willy Woo

 

 

PRIVACY / SECURITY / INTERNET

5G

  • 5G will bring gigabit data, starting in 2018 and scaling in 2019-2020. – WSJD
  • This will be an interconnected world, it will be a world where humans are communicating with each other but also with machines, where machines are communicating with each other, and where people are not really aware of the connectivity anymore, they just are connected. – Philipp Metzger
  • There is nothing I’m looking forward more to then 5G – Mark Brienza

 

Qualcomm Powered 5G Devices May Arrive in First Half of 2018

Get ready for some insane download speeds.

At the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, the company announced its very first 5G modem, the Snapdragon X50, which will support download speeds at up to 5 Gbps.

Furthermore, we’re told that X50-powered devices “are expected to be available during the first half of 2018.”

The timing makes sense as the finalized 5G standard should arrive in the same year, and operators like Verizon will certainly be needing test devices soon.

That said, Qualcomm does stress that this modem is designed for early 5G deployments, in the sense that it’s leaning more towards the experimental soft rollouts, so chances are it may be a while before mainstream devices integrate the X50 (or even a newer modem chip, for that matter).

It’ll be years before we go fully 5G so early deployments will likely have limited coverage, but don’t worry, as the X50 can seamlessly switch between 5G and Gigabit LTE, so long as it’s paired with a Snapdragon processor with an integrated Gigabit LTE modem — like the X16 announced earlier this year.

Such a boost in connection speeds will let us look forward to new use cases in the mobile world — real-time augmented reality plus virtual reality, super high quality multimedia content, instantaneous cloud computing applications, you name it. – Richard Lai

 

The Internet of Things

It is estimated that there are anywhere between 7 billion and 19 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things at the moment.

Conservative predictions suggest that this figure will balloon to between 30 billion and 50 billion within five years. – Jamie Doward

 

SpaceX Plans Worldwide Satellite Internet with Low Latency, Gigabit Speed

SpaceX has filed an application for satellite space station authorizations with the US Federal Communications Commission.

The company wants to launch 4,425 satellites into low-Earth orbits, with altitudes ranging from 715 miles to 823 miles.

If SpaceX achieves its goals, it could be a boon for consumers in rural areas who lack fast connectivity and customers anywhere else who want more competition.

Musk has been working on the satellite Internet project for at least two years, and SpaceX received $1 billion in funding from Google and Fidelity Investments in January 2015 to support satellite manufacturing and space transport.

SpaceX recently said that its satellite service’s commercial availability date has not yet been determined, but the application’s technical description mentioned 2019 as a possible time for launching satellites into orbit. – Jon Brodkin

 

China Launches World’s Longest Quantum Communication Line

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China has launched a quantum communication line 712 kilometers in length that is meant to safely transmit sensitive information. It is expected to be extended to 2,000 kilometers soon.

It transmitted a secure video conference between Hefei and Shanghai in one of its first test communications.

The line, already three years in the making and yet to be finished, will ultimately connect Shanghai to China’s capital, Beijing, and run through another major city, Jinan, with a total of 32 relay points.

Quantum communication uses quantum entanglement of photons to ensure that nobody taps into the line, as doing so would inevitably corrupt the signal.

The Chinese network is valuable for both research on how the technology can be used, and practical purposes, such as delivering secure messages between the connected cities.

China has already launched a quantum communication satellite that will eventually be connected to the Shanghai-Beijing line via a station in Beijing. – Jose Miguel Gomez

 

 

MARKETS

Nvidia 

The world realizing Nvidia’s potential in AI. – Stephen Cole

NASDAQ: NVDA

 

 

Moore’s Law is Now in NVIDIA’s Hands

  • We’ll soon see the power of computing increase way more than any other period. There will be trillions of products with tiny neural networks inside. – Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of NVIDIA

Intel has long ago ceded leadership for Moore’s Law. And so, understandably, they have trumpeted the end of Moore’s Law for many years. To me, it sounds a lot like Larry Ellison’s OpEd declaring the end of innovation in enterprise software, just before cloud computing and SaaS took off. In both cases, the giants missed the organic innovation bubbling up all around them.

For the past seven years, it has not been Intel but NVIDIA that has pushed the frontier of Moore’s processor performance/price curve.

For a 2016 data point, consider the NVIDIA Titan GTX. It offers 10^13 FLOPS per $1K (11 trillion calculations per second for $1,200 list price), and is the workhorse for deep learning and scientific supercomputing today. And they are sampling much more powerful systems that should be shipping soon. The fine-grained parallel compute architecture of a GPU maps better to the needs of deep learning than a CPU.

There is a poetic beauty to the computational similarity of a processor optimized for graphics processing and the computational needs of a sensory cortex, as commonly seen in neural networks today.

I was going to update the Kurzweil Curve (the meaningful version of Moore’s Law) to include the latest data points, and found that he was doing the same thing.

Here is the preliminary version. The 7 most recent data points are all NVIDIA, with CPU architectures dominating the prior 30 years:

ec

It’s what gives us hope for the future and I think it’s the most important thing ever graphed.

Here is the prior version

ec-1

Moore’s Law is now in NVIDIA’s hands. Consider the GTX Titan X for 2016. 11 TFLOPS for $1,200. That would be on the order of 10^13 for the far right side of the graph, perfectly on the line.

Steve Jurvetson

 

 

Building an AI Portfolio

The following stocks offer exposure to Artificial Intelligence. – Lee Banfield

 

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL)

Stock Price: $776

Market Cap: $531 billion

Image result for google deepmind

Healthcare Images – Google Deepmind

Machine Learning – GoogleML

Autonomous Systems – Google Self-driving Car

Hardware – GoogleTPU

Open Source Library – TensorFlow

 

IBM (NYSE: IBM)

Stock Price: $162

Market Cap: $154 billion

Image result for ibm watson

Enterprise Intelligence – IBM Watson

Healthcare – IBM Watson Health

 

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN)

Stock Price: $752

Market Cap: $355 billion

Image result for amazon alexa logo

Personal Assistant – Amazon Alexa

Open Source Library – DSSTNE

 

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)

Stock Price: $60

Market Cap: $473 billion

Image result for cortana logo

Personal Assistant – Cortana

Open Source Libraries – CNTK, AzureML, DMTK

 

 

Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA)

Stock Price: $94

Market Cap: $50 billion

Image result for nvidia

Hardware

 

Samsung (SSNLF:US)

Stock Price: $1,250

Market Cap: $176 billion

Image result for viv ai

Personal Assistant – Viv

 

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM)

Stock Price: $68

Market Cap: $100 billion

Image result for qualcomm logo

Hardware

 

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA)

Stock Price: $188

Market Cap: $29 billion

Image result for tesla logo

Autonomous Vehicles

 

Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN)

Stock Price: $133

Market Cap: $20 billion

Image result for illumina grail

Healthcare, Cancer Detection – Grail

 

Mobileye (NYSE: MBLY)

Stock Price: $37

Market Cap: $8 billion

Image result for mobileye

Autonomous Vehicles

 

 

COMPANIES / PROJECTS / PRODUCTS

Software Development

It doesn’t matter that there are bad actors in software development; what matters is that there are good actors. Only good actors matter.

GPG, BitTorrent and Bitcoin are three examples of how good actors are all that’s needed. All examples of very powerful new principles. – Beautyon

 

 

PLACES

Mexico City: Drones Carrying Uber Ads Hover Directly Over Highway Traffic

Reg Saddler

 

Switzerland: Bitcoin Gaining Ground 

  • Switzerland’s national railways firm SBB has launched a service on its 1,000-plus ticket machines to sell bitcoin. Customers can trade Swiss francs for bitcoins in a two-year experiment that will test Switzerland’s appetite for the cryptocurrency, the state-owned company announced. – Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi
  • Starting in 2017, it will be possible to pay invoices from EY Switzerland in Bitcoin, EY employees will receive a digital wallet, and a Bitcoin ATM will be put into operation in the main building. EY is one of the largest professional services firm in the world and is a member of the “Big Four” accounting firms. – EY Switzerland

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

I’ll be surprised if this event occurs before 2005 or after 2030. – Vernor Vinge, 1993

I’m reasonably confident that my kids who are in their 20s are not going to have to die. I’m 49 years old and I’m hoping I can make it, because I think we’re decades away from beating death, not centuries. – Ben Goertzel

 

My Writing Profile Picture

Follow me on Twitter @leebanfield1

Bitcoin: 1Jwh6nZiASJf4d3hNytjxqiimWBmEJvJ4S

Bitmessage: BM-2cXjeAykLT7gbjzNHZFnCxdawvyryyb4Nf

 

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