Digital currency - Wikipedia - en.wiki.hereiszyn.com
Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi
Until one understands the basics of this tech, they won’t be able to grasp or appreciate the impact it has on our digital bank, Genesis Block. https://reddit.com/link/ho4bif/video/n0euarkifu951/player This is the second post ofCrypto-Powered— a new series that examines what it means forGenesis Blockto be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols. --- Our previous post set the stage for this series. We discussed the state of consumer finance and how the success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy finance — a weak foundation that is ripe for massive disruption. Instead, the future of consumer finance belongs to those who are deeply familiar with blockchain tech & decentralized protocols, build on it as the foundation, and know how to take it to the world. Like Genesis Block. Today we begin our journey down the crypto rabbit hole. This post will be an important introduction for those still learning about Bitcoin, Ethereum, or DeFi (Decentralized Finance). This post (and the next few) will go into greater detail about how this technology gives Genesis Block an edge, a superpower, and an unfair advantage. Let’s dive in… https://preview.redd.it/1ugdxoqjfu951.jpg?width=650&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=36edde1079c3cff5f6b15b8cd30e6c436626d5d8
Bitcoin: The First Cryptocurrency
There are plenty of online resources to learn about Bitcoin (Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, Naval, Alex Gladstein, Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon). I don’t wanna spend a lot of time on that here, but let’s do a quick overview for those still getting ramped up. Cryptocurrency is the most popular use-case of blockchain technology today. And Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be invented.
Bitcoin is the most decentralized of all crypto assets today — no government, company, or third party can control or censor it.
Bitcoin has two primary features (as do most other cryptocurrencies):
Send Value You can send value to anyone, anywhere in the world. Nobody can intercept, delay or stop it — not even governments or financial institutions. Unlike with traditional money transfers or bank wires, there are no layers of middlemen. This results in a process that is much more cost-efficient. Some popular use-cases include remittances and cross-border payments.
A few negative moments in Bitcoin’s history include the collapse of Mt. Gox — which resulted in hundreds of millions of customer funds being stolen — as well as Bitcoin’s role in dark markets like Silk Road — where Bitcoin arguably found its initial userbase. However, like most breakthrough technology, Bitcoin is neither good nor bad. It’s neutral. People can use it for good or they can use it for evil. Thankfully, it’s being used less and less for illicit activity. Criminals are starting to understand that transactions on a blockchain are public and traceable — it’s exactly the type of system they usually try to avoid. And it’s true, at this point “a lot more” crimes are actually committed with fiat than crypto. As a result, the perception of bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been changing over the years to a more positive light. Bitcoin has even started to enter the world of media & entertainment. It’s been mentioned in Hollywood films like Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and in songs from major artists like Eminem. It’s been mentioned in countless TV shows like Billions, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Gray’s Anatomy, Family Guy, and more. As covid19 has ravaged economies and central banks have been printing money, Bitcoin has caught the attention of many legendary Wall Street investors like Paul Tudor Jones, saying that Bitcoin is a great bet against inflation (reminding him of Gold in the 1970s). Cash App already lets their 25M users buy Bitcoin. It’s rumored that PayPal and Venmo will soon let their 325M users start buying Bitcoin. Bitcoin is by far the most dominant cryptocurrency and is showing no signs of slowing down. For more than a decade it has delivered on its core use-cases — being able to send or store value.
At this point, Bitcoin has very much entered the zeitgeist of modern pop culture — at least in the West.
When Ethereum launched in 2015, it opened up a world of new possibilities and use-cases for crypto. With Ethereum Smart Contracts (i.e. applications), this exciting new digital money (cryptocurrency) became a lot less dumb. Developers could now build applications that go beyond the simple use-cases of “send value” & “store value.” They could program cryptocurrency to have rules, behavior, and logic to respond to different inputs. And always enforced by code. Additional reading on Ethereum fromLinda XieorVitalik Buterin.
Because these applications are built on blockchain technology (Ethereum), they preserve many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin: no one can stop, censor or shut down these apps because they are decentralized.
Just as tokens grew in popularity in 2017–2018, so did online marketplaces where these tokens could be bought, sold, and traded. This was a fledgling asset class — the merchants selling picks, axes, and shovels were finally starting to emerge.
I had a front-row seat — both as an investor and token creator. This was the Wild West with all the frontier drama & scandal that you’d expect.
Binance — now the world’s largest crypto exchange —was launched during this time. They along with many others (especially from Asia) made it really easy for speculators, traders, and degenerate gamblers to participate in these markets. Similar to other financial markets, the goal was straightforward: buy low and sell high. https://preview.redd.it/tytsu5jnfu951.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fe3425b7e4a71fa953b953f0c7f6eaff6504a0d1 That period left an embarrassing stain on our industry that we’ve still been trying to recover from. It was a period rampant with market manipulation, pump-and-dumps, and scams. To some extent, the crypto industry still suffers from that today, but it’s nothing compared to what it was then.
While the potential of getting filthy rich brought a lot of fly-by-nighters and charlatans into the industry, it also brought a lot of innovators, entrepreneurs, and builders.
The launch and growth of Ethereum has been an incredible technological breakthrough. As with past tech breakthroughs, it has led to a wave of innovation, experimentation, and development. The creativity around tokens, smart contracts, and decentralized applications has been fascinating to witness. Now a few years later, the fruits of those labors are starting to be realized.
I know that for the hardcore crypto people, what we covered today is nothing new. But for those who are still getting up to speed, welcome! I hope this was helpful and that it fuels your interest to learn more. Until you understand the basics of this technology, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the impact that it has on our new digital bank, Genesis Block. You won’t be able to understand the implications, how it relates, or how it helps. After today’s post, some of you probably have a lot more questions. What are specific examples or use-cases of DeFi? Why does it need to be on a blockchain? What benefits does it bring to Genesis Block and our users? In upcoming posts, we answer these questions. Today’s post was just Level 1. It set the foundation for where we’re headed next: even deeper down the crypto rabbit hole. --- Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/ Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
Crypto-Powered: Build on Legacy Finance, Prepare To Die
The success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy financial infrastructure. https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/7sbwo5nh7g951/player This is the first post of ourCrypto-Poweredseries where we look at what it means forGenesis Blockto be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols. --- Today we start a new series called Crypto-Powered. This will be similar to our last series, Spreading Crypto, but now we’re exploring a new theme. At Genesis Block, we’re building a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain technology, and decentralized protocols. Yes, lots of buzzwords. What does any of it mean?How does it give us an unfair advantage? What superpowers are unlocked?What are the benefits for users? In this series, we’ll answer all of these questions. Grab some popcorn. Sit down. Put your feet up. Make yourself comfortable. Let us take you on a journey. Let us be your tour guide down the crypto rabbit hole… But hold on! Pump those brakes. Before we dive into the crypto rabbit hole, we need to establish some context. We can’t talk about the future of money unless we first understand the problems of money today. We need to understand what’s broken with legacy finance. So let’s do a quick primer on the current state of finance. That will set the stage for the rest of the series. Alright, let’s go.
Fintech & Unbundling
Over the last decade, legacy financial institutions (banks in particular) haven’t been meeting the needs of younger, more digital generations. As a result, fintech startups have emerged and effectively unbundled the consumer banking stack. Whether it was Robinhood for investing, TransferWise for cross-border payments, SoFi for student loans, Wealthfront for wealth management, or Digit for saving… these innovative upstarts all focused on a single use-case and nailed it. https://preview.redd.it/iwrpg6ek7g951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=7648d28955ea4e12795826dc78cdf70d41ffaef1 While great for a period, this led to a lot of fragmentation. Users needed to split their finances across many different services and keep track of what money was where. The cognitive load for many users became overwhelming.
While many of these high-flying fintech unicorns have seen incredible success, I believe it will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy financial infrastructure. It’s a realization I’ve come to only recently. In years past, whenever I met a fintech entrepreneur, they’d always suggest that they’d never do a startup in traditional finance again. Too complex. Too expensive. Too slow. I always shrugged it off. Wimps. How hard can it be? I really didn’t believe or understand that pain until we started Genesis Block. And it wasn’t until we began integrating with some of our partners (Evolve Bank & Trust, I2C, Visa, etc) that I really started to understand. https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/vei2flrq7g951/player The rumors are true. Those fintech entrepreneurs were all right. The pain is real.
Trying to innovate in legacy finance is like running on a hamster wheel blindfolded while powerful, evil rats randomly throw explosives inside.
It feels like you are never making any progress and at any moment you can be destroyed. Luckily at Genesis Block, we’re only integrating with legacy finance at the edges — the onramps and offramps (money in, money out). We’ve worked with great partners and so far have been able to navigate the treacherous terrain.
Legacy Finance is Broken
You must be wondering why and how is it so bad. It’s all the things you’d expect… The antiquated tech stack of financial institutions. The frustrating process of working with big, bureaucratic, slow-moving organizations. The prehistoric payment systems that haven’t improved in decades (for example, ACH payments and their strange batch processing practices). The countless unnecessary middle-men on every card swipe (merchant, acquiring bank, processor, card network, issuing bank). The slow settlement times. Systems rife with fraud. An industry oozing with predatory practices and unethical behavior. The moth-eaten laws & regulations that are NOT innovator-friendly (mostly due to powerful Wall Street incumbents who control politicians). https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/2hdxxch38g951/player The list goes on and on. Maybe someday we can dedicate an entire series to it. It’ll be a good bedtime story.
The more familiar I become with how legacy finance works, the more convinced I am that the future of money cannot be built on that foundation.
The fintech darlings of Silicon Valley are all building on extremely shaky ground that is ripe for massive disruption. They will spend so much time looking backward (integration, compatibility, regulation) that they will have very little time to look forward (innovation, progress, disruption). They will be tangled in the quagmire of archaic tech and the tentacles of outdated regulation. I don’t believe the ultimate winners in consumer finance will come from the current cohort of fintech unicorns. And that’s because these companies are all building on the pipes of legacy finance.
The future of consumer finance belongs to those who build with blockchain technology & decentralized protocols at its core, and know how to best take it to the billions of people around the world.
That’s our thesis at Genesis Block. Our last series went deep on how the tech reaches and touches end-users. This new series is all about what’s under the hood — crypto & blockchain — and how that gives us an unfair advantage in the world of consumer finance.
While some fintech products are giving users the ability to buy & hold crypto (Robinhood, Revolut, Cash App), they aren’t leveraging the technology beyond that. And they most certainly aren’t building their infrastructure around it. So let’s ask the dumb VC question that some of you are thinking: what if these fintech companies or big banks just copy what we’re doing at Genesis Block? What if they add blockchain and crypto? https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/c0je9dvx8g951/player Sorry, you can’t just “add crypto” as if a pizza topping in a Doordash order. That’s not how it works. I mean, you can say you are doing that, but it’s not real. That’s just Innovation Theater. The systems behind banks and fintech are deeply integrated with legacy financial rails. Trying to retroactively add blockchain in any meaningful way would be like trying to make a 2020 Lambo with a 1910 Ford Model T engine. No matter how talented their engineers are, it just ain’t gonna happen. Not unless they burn it all down and start over. Massive risks. A classic case of Innovator’s Dilemma. Will anyone have the courage? I don’t know. I think they are much more likely to acquire someone like Genesis Block than gamble their entire business on it. But we aren’t cheap. These new, decentralized protocols are complex, fast-moving, and full of snags. Our team has been in this space for many years — we understand the security tradeoffs, the protocol nuances (we spent a lot of time actually building them), and enough self-awareness to know what we don’t know. Our team at Genesis Block can run circles around traditional banks and fintech companies. Certainly, they have large audiences and strong balance sheets — which can’t be underestimated. But when it comes to unlocking the enormous, new value to users, as long as the incumbents are building on legacy financial infrastructure, they simply cannot compete with us.
The empires created in the 21st-century world of finance will be crypto-native companies that deeply understand decentralized tech and know how best to leverage it. It will be the teams who build on “crypto rails” first, with bridges back to legacy finance second.
That’s our thesis at Genesis Block. In this series, we intend to lay out a convincing argument for why that’s true.
So now that the stage is set and we’ve introduced the series, I think you’re ready to start learning why blockchain technology is our superpower, our unfair advantage. You are ready to dive into that crypto rabbit hole. But first, a word of caution. Once you go in, you may never want to come out. It’s what happened to me and so many others. Once you see the potential & promise of this incredible technology, you won’t be able to ignore it. You won’t stop thinking about it. It’ll capture your imagination like few other things can. Don’t be afraid of it. Let it take you. --- Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/ Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
Mitch McConnell's Brother-in-Law One of the Masterminds of Trump-Russia
Jim Breyer, Mitch McConnell's brother-in-law, Facilitates Russia’s Takeover of Facebook through Yuri Milner In 2005 Jim Breyer, a partner at Accel Partners, invested $1 million of his own money into Facebook and gained a seat on the board (1). In Feb 2009 Jim Breyer visited Russia with a number of other Silicone Valley investors. While there, Yuri Milner, a Russian tech entrepreneur who founded DST with close ties to the Kremlin, hosted a dinner to cap the entire event (2). As one Moscow source put it:
DST has the backing of the big boys at the top in the Kremlin, which is why it will go from strength to strength (5)
Milner found out Breyer liked Impressionist art and took him to Russian’s Hermitage Museum to view Matisse paintings otherwise closed off to the public. Three months later Yuri Milner’s DST invested into Facebook at a bloated value. (2)
Mr Milner dismissed suggestions that at a valuation of $10bn he overpaid for his stake in Facebook, especially given that the social networking site has yet to prove it has turned to profit. (3) it’s seen as a desperate and rather vulgar deal on the one hand—Milner buying a small stake in Facebook, valuing the entire company at $10 billion—and, on the other, Facebook debasing itself by taking Russian money. Russian money! In fact, it seems rather like a desperate deal for both parties (in the midst of the banking crisis, Facebook has only two other bidders for this round—and none from the top VC tier) (4)
By the end of 2009, DST would own 10% of Facebook. Later revealed by the Paradise Papers, DST’s investments into Facebook were financed by the Russian government through state-owned Gazprom. That’s right, in 2009 Russia owned 10% of Facebook. (6) Soon after, the two continued to work together on other investments. Breyer introduced Milner to Groupon, and Milner helped Breyer’s Accel invest into Spotify (7). In 2010 an Accel representative joined a gaggle of Silicon Valley investors to Russia and signed a letter promising to invest into the country (8).
Jim Breyer and Rupert Murdoch Then in Nov 2010 Jim Breyer invested into Artsy.net, run by Rupert Murdoch’s then-wife, Wendi Deng, and Russia oligarch Roman Abramovich’s then-wife, Dasha Zhukova. Jared Kushner’s brother, Josh, also invested in the fledgling company (1). At the time Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation had a joint venture with the Russian mob-linked oligarch Boris Berezovsky, called LogoVaz News Corporation, that invested in Russian media (4). It was Berezovsky’s protege close to Putin, Roman Abramovich, who tied Berezovsky to the mob.
According to the Mirror Online, Abramovich paid Berezovsky tens, and even hundreds, of millions every year for "krysha", or mafia protection. (5)
In June 2011, Rupert Murdoch ended his foray into social media by selling Myspace to Justin Timberlake (2) and elected Jim Breyer to the board of News Corp (3).
Jim Breyer invests in Wickr with Erik Prince In 2012 Breyer invested in a encrypted messenger app, Wickr. Other investors include Gilman Louie and Erik Prince. To understand the connection, we need to go back to 1987. Breyer, newly hired to Accel Partners, made his first investment with Louie’s video game company that owned the rights to the Soviet Union’s first video game export, Tetris (1). Louie went off to become the founding CEO of the CIA-backed In-Q-Tel which invested in Palantir. Palantir’s founder, Peter Thiel, sat on the board of Facebook with Breyer (2)(3). On the board of In-Q-Tel is Buzzy Krongard (7), the man who helped Erik Prince’s Blackwater receive their first CIA contract, who also joined the board of Blackwater in 2007 (6). Around that same time, 2012-2013, Prince met Vincent Tchenguiz, founder of Cambridge Analytica's parent company, SCL (8), and was introduced to Cyrus Behbehani of Glencore, one of the purchasers of Rosneft stock detailed in the Steele Dossier (9). Cyrus Behbehani sat on the board of RusAl with Christophe Charlier, who is also Chairman of the board at Renaissance Capital (10), an early investor of DST (11).
Jim Breyer and Yuri Milner invest in Prismatic That same year, 2012, Jim Breyer invested in Prismatic, a news aggregate app, with Yuri Milner.
Prismatic’s technology works by crawling Facebook, Twitter and the web (“anything with a URL”) to find news stories. It then uses machine learning to categorize them by Topic and Publication. Prismatic users follow these Topics and Publications, as well as Individuals and the algorithm then uses these preferences and user-activity signals to present a relevant Newsfeed. (1)
Sounds like the beginning of what could be a propaganda dissemination tool. That goes in-line with Yuri Milner’s vision of Social Media. Milner’s theory:
“Zuckerberg’s Law”: Every 12 to 18 months the amount of information being shared between people on the web doubles... Over time people will bypass more general websites such as Google in favor of sites built atop social networks where they can rely on friends’ opinions to figure out where to get the best fall handbag, how to change a smoke detector, or whether to vacation in Istanbul or Rome. “You will pick your network, and the network will filter everything for you,” Milner explained. (2)
So how does Milner intend to utilize the data gathered through social media? Let’s see what Milner did to Russia’s top social media site, VK:
In January 2014, Durov sold his 12 percent stake to Ivan Tavrin, the CEO of major Russian mobile operator Megafon, whose second-largest shareholder is Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia’s most powerful oligarchs, a man who has long been lobbying to take over VK. Then, in April 2014, Durov stated he had sold his stake in the company and became a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis back in February after "coming under increasing pressure" from the Russian Federal Security Service to hand over personal details of users who were members of a VK group dedicated to the Euromaidan protest movement in Ukraine. (3)
The Euromaidan protest ousted the Russian-backed president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Paul Manafort had worked to install. (4)
Facebook talks US Elections with Russia In Oct 2012 Zuckerberg traveled to Moscow and met Dmitry Medvedev where they had a very interesting conversation:
Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Medvedev talked about Facebook’s role in politics, though only jokingly in reference to its importance in the American presidential campaign, according to Mr. Medvedev’s press office. (1)
While there he also visited Victor Vekselberg's Skolkovo, who’s currently under investigation by Mueller for donations to Trump (2).
As Obama’s effort to reboot diplomatic relations [with Russia] sputtered, federal officials began raising alarms about the Skolkovo Foundation’s ties to Putin. “The foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research, development facilities and dual-use technologies” (3)
And took time to teach Russian's how to hack Facebook friend data, the same hack used by Cambridge Analytica, Donald Trump’s campaign data firm.
In a 2012 video, Facebook's Simon Cross shows the Moscow crowd how they can "get a ton of other information" on Facebook users and their friends. "We now have an access token, so now let's make the same request again and see what happens," Cross explains (YouTube). "We've got a little bit more data, but now we can start doing really interesting stuff. We can get my friends. We can get some more information about one of my friends. Here's Connor, who you'll meet later. Say 'hello,' Connor. He's waving. And we can also get a ton of other information as well." (4)
Facebook later hired the individual who hacked Facebook and sold the data to Cambridge Analytica (5). A month after that visit, Putin propaganda mouth-piece Konstantin Rykov, claims he began helping with Trump’s presidential aspirations (6). Days later, Trump registered “Make America Great Again” (7). The following year, Russia's Troll Factory, the Internet Research Agency, was created as was Cambridge Analytica.
Andrei Shleifer and Len Blavatnik Len Blavatnik, a US-Russian oligarch currently under investigation by Mueller, graduated from Harvard in 1989 and quickly formed Renova-Invest with Viktor Vekselberg, another oligarch under Mueller’s investigation (7)(8). Since then Blavatnik has maintained close ties to the university. In 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Andrei Shleifer led a consortium of Harvard professors to assist Russia’s vice-president, Antaoly Chubais, with the privatization of Russia’s state-run assets. Scandal broke when it was revealed Shleifer, through Blavatnik’s company and with Blavatnik’s guidance, invested in the very companies he worked to privatize. (6) Years later, Shleifer continued to fund loans to Blavatnik for Russian ventures through his hedge fund, managed by his wife, Nancy Zimmerman (9), and created the Russian Recovery Fund which bought $230 million of Russian debt from Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management (10), who’s seed fun, Tiger Global, later invested in Milner’s DST. Len Blavatnik and Viktor Vekselberg are major investors in Rusal (11). Schleifer is still a professor at Harvard.
Breyer and Harvard On April 2013, two months after Breyer was elected to the board of Harvard (1), Len Blavatnik, donated $50 million to the school (2) and joined the Board of Dean’s Advisors (3)(4) and Harvard’s Global Advisory Council (6) alongside Breyer. The next month Breyer announced plans to step down from the board of Facebook with an intention of focusing on his latest Harvard appointment (5). In 2016 Len Blavatnik donated over $7 million to GOP candidates, including $2.5 million to Mitch McConnell himself (7).
Breyer invests in Russian Companies In 2014 Breyer’s Accel Partners invested in Russian hotel booking site, Ostrovok, along with Yuri Milner, Esther Dyson (1), Mark Pincus, and Peter Thiel (2). Accel Partners also invested in Avito.ru in 2012 (3) and KupiVIP.ru in 2011 (4).
Jim Breyer, Blackstone Group, and Saudi Arabia In 2011 Schwarzman was named to the board of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (2), headed by Kirill Dimitriev. In June 2016, during Trump’s presidential campaign, Jim Breyer met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman, or MBS (8). The next month Breyer joined the board of Blackstone Group (1) alongside Stephen Schwarzman and Jacob Rothschild (3). In the past Blackstone Group had loaned Kushner Companies a combined $400 million over multiple projects (7). In the 2018 election cycle, Schwzarman donated $5 million to the pro-McConnell superPAC, Senate Majority PAC (13). Jacob’s brother, Nat, is business partners with both Oleg Deripaska (4), Rupert Murdoch, and Dick Cheney (5). Nat is also a major investor in Glencore, one of the purchasers of Rosneft stock detailed in the Steele Dossier (6), and RusAl. In January 2017, Breyer’s business partner at Wickr, Erik Prince, was introduced to Dimitriev by MBS’s emissary, George Nader, and the Crown Prince of the UAE (10). On October 22, 2018, three weeks after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, when most American investors were spooked away from Saudi Arabia, Jim Breyer showed up at an MBS-hosted Saudi business summit alongside Kirill Dimitriev of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (9). That same day, MBS pledged $20 billion for Blackstone Group's new infrastructure fund (11) to fund Elaine Chao's $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan (12). Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnells wife and Jim Breyer's sister-in-law, is Trump's Secretary of Transportation.
Hello again. It's been a while. People have been emailing me about once a week or so for the last year to ask if I'm coming back to Bitcoin now that Bitcoin Cash exists. And a couple of weeks ago I was summoned on a thread called "Ask Mike Hearn Anything", but that was nothing to do with me and I was on holiday in Japan at the time. So I figured I should just answer all the different questions and answers in one place rather than keep doing it individually over email. Firstly, thanks for the kind words on this sub. I don't take part anymore but I still visit occasionally to see what people are talking about, and the people posting nice messages is a pleasant change from three years ago. Secondly, who am I? Some new Bitcoiners might not know. I am Satoshi. Just kidding. I'm not Satoshi. I was a Bitcoin developer for about five years, from 2010-2015. I was also one of the first Bitcoin users, sending my first coins in April 2009 (to SN), about 4 months after the genesis block. I worked on various things:
My main effort was an implementation of a Java library called bitcoinj. This was the engine used in the first p2p mobile wallet ("Bitcoin Wallet for Android"), and the first p2p desktop wallet that was faster to run than Bitcoin [Core] itself (MultiBit). These together were responsible for around 2.5 million user installs at a time when downloading the full block chain was becoming too slow for normal users to tolerate and the only alternative was a "bitbank" or cloud-hosted wallet. It was used in the first trustless gambling site (SatoshiDice), over 100 products and projects, and many academic research papers.
With Gavin Andresen and others I designed some upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol like Bloom filtering and BIP70.
With Matt Corrallo I implemented and demonstrated the first version of (micro)payment channels. I put together a demo of a file server that charged micropayments using a GUI called Payfile (mentioned in New Scientist here). I used to have a video of this but unfortunately it no longer seems to be on YouTube. Payment channels went on to be used in the design of the Lightning Network.
You can see a trend here - I was always interested in developing peer to peer decentralised applications that used Bitcoin. But what I'm best known for is my role in the block size debate/civil war, documented by Nathaniel Popper in the New York Times. I spent most of 2015 writing extensively about why various proposals from the small-block/Blockstream faction weren't going to work (e.g. on replace by fee, lightning network, what would occur if no hard fork happened, soft forks, scaling conferences etc). After Blockstream successfully took over Bitcoin Core and expelled anyone who opposed them, Gavin and I forked Bitcoin Core to create Bitcoin XT, the first alternative node implementation to gain any serious usage. The creation of XT led to the imposition of censorship across all Bitcoin discussion forums and news outlets, resulted in the creation of this sub, and Core supporters paid a botnet operator to force XT nodes offline with DDoS attacks. They also convinced the miners and wider community to do nothing for years, resulting in the eventual overload of the main network. I left the project at the start of 2016, documenting my reasons and what I expected to happen in my final essay on Bitcoin in which I said I considered it a failed experiment. Along with the article in the New York Times this pierced the censorship, made the wider world aware of what was going on, and thus my last gift to the community was a 20% drop in price (it soon recovered).
The last two years
Left Bitcoin ... but not decentralisation. After all that went down I started a new project called Corda. You can think of Corda as Bitcoin++, but modified for industrial use cases where a decentralised p2p database is more immediately useful than a new coin. Corda incorporates many ideas I had back when I was working on Bitcoin but couldn't implement due to lack of time, resources, because of ideological wars or because they were too technically radical for the community. So even though it's doesn't provide a new cryptocurrency out of the box, it might be interesting for the Bitcoin Cash community to study anyway. By resigning myself to Bitcoin's fate and joining R3 I could go back to the drawing board and design with a lot more freedom, creating something inspired by Bitcoin's protocol but incorporating all the experience we gained writing Bitcoin apps over the years. The most common question I'm asked is whether I'd come back and work on Bitcoin again. The obvious followup question is - come back and work on what? If you want to see some of the ideas I'd have been exploring if things had worked out differently, go read the Corda tech white paper. Here's a few of the things it might be worth asking about:
Corda's data model is a UTXO ledger, like Bitcoin. Outputs in Corda (called "states") can be arbitrary data structures instead of just coin amounts, so you don't need hacks like coloured coins anymore. You can track arbitrary fungible assets, but you can also model things like the state of a loan, deal, purchase order, crate of cargo etc.
Transactions are structured as Merkle trees.
Corda has a compound key format that can represent more flexible conditions than CHECKMULTISIG can.
Smart contracts are stateless predicates like in Bitcoin, but you can loop like in Ethereum. Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum we do not invent our own VM or languages.
Transactions can have files attached to them. Smart contracts in Corda are stored in attachments and referenced by hash, so large programs aren't duplicated inside every transaction.
The P2P network is encrypted.
Back in 2014 I wrote that Bitcoin needed a store and forward network, to make app dev easier, and to improve privacy. Corda doesn't have a store and forward network - Corda is a store and forward network.
It has a "flow framework" that makes structured back-and-forth conversations very easy to program. This makes protocols like payment channelss a lot quicker and easier to implement, and would have made Lighthouse much more straightforward. A big part of my goal with Corda was to simplify the act of building complicated decentralised applications, based on those Bitcoin experiences. Lighthouse took about 8 months of full time work to build, but it's pretty spartan anyway. That's because Bitcoin offers almost nothing to developers who want to build P2P apps that go beyond simple payments. Corda does.
The flow framework lets you do hard things quickly. For example, we took part in a competition called Project Ubin, the goal of which was to develop something vaguely analogous in complexity to the Lightning Network or original Ripple (decentralised net-out of debts). But we had about six weeks and one developer. We successfully did that in the time allowed. Compare that to dev time for the Lightning Network.
Corda scales a lot better than Bitcoin, even though Bitcoin could have scaled to the levels needed for large payment networks with enough work and time. It has something similar to what Ethereum calls "sharding". This is possible partly because Corda doesn't use proof of work.
It has a mechanism for signalling the equivalent of hard forks.
It provides much better privacy. Whilst it supports techniques like address randomisation, it also doesn't use global broadcast and we are working on encrypting the entire ledger using Intel SGX, such that no human has access to the raw unencrypted data and such that it's transparent to application developers (i.e. no need to design custom zero knowledge proofs)
[GIVEAWAY] Para quem nunca ouviu falar de criptomoedas, ou quer experimentar uma versão mais soft das bitcoins - DOGECOINS!
EDIT: Wow tantos comentários Olá a todos! Este tópico será para enviar dogecoins a todos aqueles que desejarem e também para testar o "bot das gorjetas" no portugal. Acho que fazermos uma pausa da conversa das praxes faz-nos bem a todos. Mas antes, comecemos do início: O QUE SÃO CRIPTOMOEDAS?! As criptomoedas são um meio digital de troca, tendo começado com as Bitcoins em 2009. As informações a reter são:
Existe um número limitado de moedas, simulando a escassez do ouro (por exemplo, o limite de bitcoins são 21 milhões)
As moedas são geradas por um processo chamado mining, onde os computadores da rede (ou seja, de qualquer pessoa) podem receber bitcoins se conseguirem resolver um problema matemático complexo de criptografia.
O valor das criptomoedas em geral (quer seja bitcoins ou outras moedas) é actualmente muito volátil, mas parece que de forma geral o valor vai aumentando à medida que aumenta o número de empresas e serviços que aceitam estas criptomoedas.
Um exemplo desta volatilidade: No início de 2013 um bitcoin valia ~9.5€, e em dezembro um mesmo bitcoin já valia cerca de ~905€. Esta variação de valor pode parecer atractiva, mas também fez da comunidade uma comunidade mais séria, focada apenas no lucro e egoísmo. É aqui que entram as Dogecoins OK, BITCOINS SÃO FIXES, MAS O QUE SÃO DOGECOINS E O QUE TÊM DE ESPECIAL? As Dogecoins são uma variação das Litecoins, que por sua vez são uma variação de Bitcoins. Como o código Bitcoin é open-source na teoria (e práctica) qualquer pessoa pode fazer a sua própria moeda. As Litecoins foram feitas como uma espécie de prata ao "ouro do bitcoin", e têm sido a base da maior parte de criptomoedas alternativas criadas. As Dogecoins, criadas no início de Dezembro de 2013, começaram por ser uma forma de paródia de todas as outras criptomoedas alternativas que têm surgido (sexcoin, bbqcoin, etc), usando o meme Doge como inspiração. Contudo, a paródia começou a tornar-se bem real, porque ao contrário de Bitcoins e Litecoins, que fomentam a acumulação das mesmas criptomoedas com o pensamento de que irão valer mais no futuro, as Dogecoins existem em muito maior quantidade, e têm sido usadas muito mais como moeda de troca do que como investimento (que é, afinal de contas, o objectivo inicial destas criptomoedas!) As dogecoins também tornaram-se a criptomoeda de eleição para enviar gorjetas, através do reddit, twitter, imgur e até SMS. Por último, a comunidade Dogecoin no reddit tem demonstrado ser a mais generosa, tendo doado dinheiro para a equipa da Jamaica poder ir às Olimpíadas, assim como o atleta da Índia e outras variadas doações. E é por isso que estou aqui! Para partilhar com vocês algumas dogecoins de forma generosa! RECEBI DOGECOINS ATRAVÉS DO BOT, O QUE FAÇO AGORA?! Sigam as instrucções aqui. Basicamente: - Quando receberem a gorjeta (através de uma mensagem privada de confirmação), enviem uma mensagem com +accept para o bot - O bot têm andando bastante sobrecarregado por isso pode demorar algum tempo entre eu comentar e vocês receberem uma mensagem de confirmação! (Pode demorar mais de 16h :O ) - Se ainda não receberam nenhuma gorjeta mas já se querem registar com o bot, enviem uma mensagem com +register para o bot - Depois, saquem o cliente oficial dogecoin, esperem que sincronize com a rede, e cliquem em "Much Receive". Podem usar o endereço existente (uma série de números e letras) ou criar um novo. Esse será o vosso endereço público para receber dogecoins. Para enviar as dogecoins que receberam no reddit para esse endereço, enviem uma mensagem com withdraw, colocando o vosso endereço onde diz "ADDRESS". E é tudo! O que podem fazer com dogecoins? Podem comprar produtos e serviços de forma rápida e segura! Alguns websites que listam empresas e serviços que aceitam dogecoins:
meaning of ++ When claims of rights disagree A right is a moral construct, a sort of axiom upon which a sense of justice developed, such as Ken Schoolland has done in the previous post. There are bound to be dissenters from his idea of justice, so who is right about rights? On the R, we believe the individual is sovereign, while the state, if it is privileged to exist at all, is duty bound to provide security for the people (not itself). On the L, they believe the State is sovereign, and the individual, if he is privileged to exist at all, is duty bound to serve the State (the persons who are operatives of the State). Obviously, R and L cannot coexist in harmony. The only JUST way to resolve moral disputes is SEGREGATION. Split the people who disagree into "camps" or "campuses" of agreement so that "birds of a feather can flock together". As campuses evolve over time, some may grow and visa versa, as long as citizens have the privilege to migrate out. I call this a privilege because the destination a migrant may choose has the right to deny entry. A migrant must have the default privilege of going wherever he/she is accepted. Anything less is involuntary confinement (prison). How is the split achieved? Issue a constitution that defines the qualities of a citizen, and forcibly eject everyone who fails the definition. This is an act of (group) self-defense, so force is justified. Just a speculation, but if Reech and Leech were separated into their own segregated societies as just suggested, the Reech would prosper but the Leech would quickly run out of Reech people to plunder, as the Reech would have naturally migrated to where they are appreciated and allowed to keep their property. Since Leeches suck, they would starve. We were talking about money, and about 3 basic types: Aristotle's classic commodity money, modern token money, and fiat currency. The first 2 real, the 3rd a fraud that exists because of laws and threats. Store of Value ++ Recalling Aristotle's attribute of money, Portability, let's introduce the concept of value density to measure it, and compare, shall we? Let's compare two commodities, gold and water. Depending on circumstances, water can be far more intrinsically valuable than gold, but it is much less value dense. Our planet has oceans of it. Increased supply means diminished price. Gold is $788.86 / cm3. Water is extremely variable in price, but let's take bottled drinking water, (most likely at the top end of the price range) for example. At Sam's Club you can get 40 bottles at 16.9 oz per bottle for $3.98, and water has mass density 1 gm/cm3, which converts to $0.000207678 / cm3. Gold is 3,798,491 times more value dense than Sam's Club bottled water. Recalling Aristotle's attribute of Durability, water is very durable, but easily spoiled with impurities (a sort of corrosion). This idea of spoiling brings us to the concept of isolation, or containment. Traditionally, money is stored with at least two tools: a vault and accounting. Both need to have high integrity to safely store money. Classic money did not rely on accounting. Gold is its own accountant, its amount fixed, and whoever has it, owns it. Self-accountability is an intrinsic feature of precious commodity. However, external accounts CAN be made of gold. The accounts can represent the gold, so the accounts themselves can be used as money. These accounts are social constructs which rely on trust. Next, let us move on to modern money storage. Modern money is token, or representational, like poker chips. Since this is a social construct which relies on the trustworthiness of the ability to redeem tokens for something real, we are now in the realm of casino managements, and governments with their freakin' laws and special interests. Gov'ts are already pushing to end printed money, and force everyone to use digital fiat currency units within the existing financial services sector (privileged accountant banksta middlemen). Accounting practice keeps track of de jure ownership. Once you have that, de facto ownership loses nearly all its importance, because the tokens are not intrinsically valuable, and redemptions are made only if the de jure relationship can be established. This is where crypto-currencies, with their intrinsic (built-in) fraud-proof accountability/ provenance really start to shine. Cryptos are a classic form of money. WTF? you are thinking. Bitcoin (BTC), for example (the pioneer) is not "backed" by anything. That's assuming it's a token money. Au contraire, it's a classic type, with intrinsic value, which is its accountability. BTC provenance is recorded on a distributed ledger, called the blockchain. Now, this intrinsic value is not like the value of a precious metal. Bitcoin is privacy-secure, fraud proof, and in total control of its owner, needing no intermediate party (bank or credit card) to confirm and transfer funds. Bitcoin is self contained (on the blockchain and in your wallet) just as a gold coin is self contained. But to carry several tons of gold, you need a heavy truck. The equivalent value in Bitcoin, indeed ANY amount of Bitcoin, can be stored on a memory chip smaller than a dime. To ship a ton of gold around the world, you need a series of reliable carriers, guards, and security agents. To send any amount of Bitcoin around the world, you just do it on the Internet, takes a few seconds, perfectly secure, receipt confirmed in seconds or less; cost nearly zero. People are already familiar with credit cards and smart phone apps that make payments quick and easy. BTC is currently a little more of a technical challenge, but with all these new features, no wonder it is so popular! Cryptos are new. Bitcoin's specification was published 2009. Already, newer cryptos are being created with features similar to BTC. Now I'm going to offer you, dear reader, some ideas about future money that follow logically from BTC's example. Here we do a fast forward. Imagine the Globalist/ secret-society project for world domination is crushed. Nation states have won their independence from the Globalist unions. Continuing the trend, states have been split by a plethora of secession movements into a multitude of small territories, somewhat as it was in middle age Europe. Fiat currencies are defunct. Big banks have been broken into small banks, and most of those have gone out of business. Manipulation of commodities markets has been squelched. Inflation is no longer an official goal set by the bankstas. (Inflation is a clandestine tax which erodes value of money by increasing the supply.) A stable store of value is now the goal. The Internet has taken over many past industries and the people have come to power. Money is not issued by government, nor by international banking cartel, but there is now a large diverse competitive market of money types offered by various businesses. They are all digital crypto-currencies. They have taken on a similarity to credit cards/ smart phone/ smart watch apps. However, they have various features that serve the interests of their owners. A new feature many of these currencies have, is they pay a yield for holding them. Gold does not do that, it just sits, corrosion-free. Digital money has morphed into income-producing securities. If cryptos can be used as tokens as well as a reliable means of accounting that cuts out the middleman bankstas, whooee, money opens up a new world of opportunity for entrepreneurs to help people develop income opportunities. Bless the Internet, as the Internet blesses us! 19 Industries The Blockchain Will Disrupt 10 min. Liberty and Equality are not compatible As you can read in The Protocols of Zion (Basic Doctrine) the secret societies employ their mind control slogan "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" to sell the gullible masses on their class warfare agenda. Trouble is, if citizen's innate talents and efforts are able to put into storage the products of their life and liberty (Property), there are bound to be huge differences between citizens. The Zionists want to grab the stored wealth by gov't force. That is why they want a Tyranny of Democracy. They do mind control on the masses, which then mimic the tyranny wanted by the controllers. Equality "It's not dispossession - it's an expansion of equality!" ABCNews/ Uncomfortable interview w/ Jared Taylor 14 min. The conventional ideas of equality were non-existence of privileged classes (no nobility, as intended in Declaration of Independence), no special laws, justice is blind, and equality of opportunity. But nowadays, we have two more kinds of "equality," elite persons who are above the law, (like Jon Corzine (note portrait of Paul Warbrug behind him), the Clintons, and Bill Cosby) and equality of achievement (social justice) because some minority groups were mistreated in the past by our ancestors, so now we have to give them special privileges and affirmative actions. In other words, rob from the "haves" and spread the wealth to the "have nots." This government intervention displaces results from actions, ie. promotes irresponsibility; and punishes achievement, which is a bad idea regarding personnel management. This robbing of the Reech is a Leech axiom. Intro to Bitcoin Vinny Lingham 12 min. What the #?!* is Bitcoin? Jeremy Rubin 16 min. Lauren Southern speaks about Crypto-Currency 9 min. rising food prices, cooler weather, and Cryptocoins 2. min. ETHEREUM JUST EXPLODED TO $350 SGT rept. 8 min. Ethereum will pass bitcoins for #1 cryptocurrency 6 min. Is China Gaming Bitcoin? | China Uncensored 9 min. ALL Crypto Currencies HUGE DROP After Bitcoin Exchange Cyberattack 06/15/2017 10 min. Understanding the Boom in Cryptos (now in the speculation phase); Chas. H. Smith China Becomes First Country in the World to Test a National Cryptocurrency (Future Society) cryptocurrency news headlines Ever wonder how Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) actually work? 26min. Cryptocurrency innovations 12 min. StackExchange, Cryptos
TL;DR: This non-technical intro covers what Bitcoin is, its benefits over current payment technologies, and the threats to its success. The goal is to get a beginner quickly up to speed and making sense of the headlines. The primer is divided into two parts, and the second part is linked to at the bottom. Suggestions for additional resources are provided at the end of Part 2. There was a recent post asking "I've been hearing a lot of talk about Bitcoin the past few months, and I want to get started, but I want to know what it is, and the benefits of using Bitcoin over other forms of currencies." While it's relatively easy to find resources on the technical underpinnings of Bitcoin, or on how to purchase your first bitcoins, it's difficult to find summaries of the many issues it faces as a technology. Media stories can be confusing to navigate, with some heralding Bitcoin as the next great revolution, and others deriding it as a tool for criminals. I thought this would be a good opportunity to post an early draft of my primer covering the important non-technical aspects of Bitcoin. It should be enough to get a beginner off to a good start. Part 1 is below, and Part 2 is linked to at the bottom. Comments are appreciated! WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? We can now communicate in a truly global way, thanks to the World Wide Web. Instead of sending letters, we send e-mail. Instead of expensive long-distance phone calls, we have Skype and Google Hangouts. Instead of looking up information with a card catalog, we search Google or go to Wikipedia. Unlike our communications systems, our traditional payment systems are not global, despite the fact that we live in an increasingly global economy. Bitcoin is the first web-native payment protocol and consensus network that supports global, decentralized peer-to-peer payments (I'll explain more about what that means in a bit). At first, you can think of it as a global form of cash for the internet, but it's actually more than that. It has the potential to do for the world economy what the World Wide Web did for communications. At present, we largely rely on payment systems that were designed before the web even existed. Our methods of payment depend on a patchwork of local currencies and banking systems. Traditional payment systems, such as credit cards as we currently know them, were introduced in the U.S. in the late 1950s! People have recognized the need for a new payment network for a long time and have been trying to invent a form of e-cash for decades. The main problem is that digital money, like anything that's digital, is easy to copy. We can't have people copying their money and fabricating billions of e-dollars for themselves, because those e-dollars would become worthless. Bitcoin is a major breakthrough in computer science that has solved the problem of copying money (called "double spending"). HOW COULD MONEY WITH NO CENTRAL ISSUING AUTHORITY EXIST? When we say Bitcoin is decentralized, we mean that it's run by the users. How? Here's a brief, non-technical overview. The users include people who use bitcoins for transactions (consumers and merchants), developers who create new ways to use Bitcoin, and miners. Miners run specialized computers all over the world that verify transactions (checking that no double spending has occurred); they are rewarded with newly "mined" bitcoins (this is how new bitcoins are created, instead of them being issued by a government). All the transactions are recorded on a public ledger called the blockchain (since the blockchain puts everyone in agreement with the transaction history, it's the consensus mechanism alluded to earlier). Bitcoin with a capital "B" refers to both the protocol (the technical specification of how this system works and the code that implements it) and the whole payment network of users. When written with a lowercase b, bitcoin usually refers to the currency that is transacted across this system. (It turns out that Bitcoin, as a protocol, supports many other applications in addition to the bitcoin currency. In a way, it's similar to how the internet is used for more than sending e-mail, but I won't get into additional applications here.) So, what are some advantages of Bitcoin? WHAT MAKES BITCOIN DIFFERENT SECURITY You buy something online at Target by typing in your credit card number. Target gets hacked (as we saw early this year), and hackers now have your account number, which is basically the key or password to your credit line. Now consider e-mail. When you send someone e-mail, do you need to give them your password in order for them to read the e-mail? No. You have a public e-mail address that you can share with them, if they need to reply to you. Bitcoin is like that. You have a public key (like your e-mail address) and a private key (like your password). You can send and receive payments without giving away the keys to your funds. So, things like the Target debacle could not happen. Yes, people's coins do get stolen, and there are still security issues, but often these have to do with people who are not knowledgeable about Bitcoin and who try to store the coins themselves (as opposed to storing them with a reputable third party), and they end up not securing their private keys properly. Or, they'll print what's called a paper wallet with unencrypted private keys and send it through the USPS (you wouldn't send a lot of cash in an envelope through USPS, would you? I'm hoping you answered no!). Please do not do this! So, people need to learn that Bitcoin is like cash in some ways; if you lose it, you're not getting it back (although some efforts at insuring bitcoins are starting to crop up). As the industry grows, storing coins securely will become easier for the non-techie. Remember, it used to require lots of technical knowledge just to get on the World Wide Web. LOW FEES It's difficult to overstate the importance of this. Low fees will help workers sending money abroad to family, they'll help small business owners and larger merchants, and they'll enable new business models. Currently, people can pay around 10% to send international remittances (e.g. if they're sending $200 to family abroad, they might pay $20 in fees), and the international remittance market is huge. For example, in 2010, India received 55 billion U.S. dollars in remittances; perhaps half of this was for family maintenance. Remittance fees are therefore a big burden on lots of families worldwide. Merchants pay around 2-2.5% on all the money they bring in through credit cards. Small businesses accepting payments through PayPal pay 2.9% +.30. An individual bringing in about $3000 monthly could pay around $90 per month to be able to accept payments. Typical Bitcoin transactions range from free to .0001 BTC, or about $.06 per transaction, regardless of the number of Bitcoins sent. (Fellow redditors, please chime in on this if you have helpful sources). Low fees also enable microtransactions, which are very small payments, and these can support entirely new business models. For example, consider an online newspaper that charges a large monthly fee. Many users just want to read one article. With microtransactions, it's conceivable that users could instead just pay a few cents per article. This was previously impossible, because the fees paid by the newspaper to collect the payment would be larger than the payment itself. Why are the payments so cheap? What's the catch? Bitcoin payments are peer-to-peer, so there aren't third parties charging fees. Most of the fees charged by credit card companies, as I understand it, go toward fraud prevention, but Bitcoin does not suffer from the same security flaws. GLOBAL SOLUTION Bitcoin is built for a web-connected world. It's not issued by any particular government and can be sent between two parties anywhere in the world without going through intermediate banks and exchanges, which reduces cost. ACCESS FOR THE UNBANKED Roughly half of the world's adult population is unbanked, i.e. does not have access to a bank account. Not having access to a bank account makes it difficult and expensive to send payments, to store funds securely, and so on. In short, it's a major hardship. It's not that the unbanked have no money. Often, there is just no access to a reliable banking infrastructure where they live. In the developed world, it’s possible to be denied access to a banking account because of having overdrawn an account many years ago. "Mistakes like a bounced check or a small overdraft have effectively blacklisted more than a million low-income Americans from the mainstream financial system for as long as seven years" according to the New York Times. A million people is a small number compared to half the world's adult population, but this shows that access to banking can be difficult for a lot of people in developed nations as well. As the Bitcoin industry grows, it will become easier for individuals to securely store their money (people in developing nations often do have access to cell phones, and payment applications for such cell phones are already being developed). In this way, developing countries can leapfrog traditional banking infrastructure as they did with telecommunications networks by going straight from having no land lines to having cell phones. PREVENTION OF RAMPANT INFLATION In many countries, such as Venezuela, Argentina, and Iran, the local currency can be highly inflationary. People's hard-earned assets become less and less valuable. This can happen when a country prints too much money. With Bitcoin, the rate at which new bitcoins enter the economy is strictly controlled by the protocol. Eventually, there will be a maximum of 21 million bitcoins in circulation. After that, no more bitcoins will be produced. Right now, the price of Bitcoin is very volatile, but much of this volatility is the result of Bitcoin being new. If it succeeds in becoming more widely adopted by merchants and consumers, and if more institutional investors start getting into Bitcoin, and if regulatory clarity increases from governments, this volatility will diminish. (All of these things are starting to happen.) A related aspect of Bitcoin that is novel is that if it becomes widely adopted, then in the medium term, its value will increase fairly dramatically, instead of decreasing as with inflationary currencies. Basically, the bitcoin supply won't increase too much, but the goods and services paid for with that supply will increase. So, the value of the bitcoins will need to go up to accommodate that change. (In the short-term, the price is determined more by speculation, but it's this speculation that makes bitcoins valuable enough to actually be useful). Bitcoins constitute a new kind of asset class. People can use them as a currency, but they can also use them as an investment (especially now, while it's still early). These two aspects of the currency will pull in opposite directions for now (if it'll grow in value, should I really spend it?). People here on bitcoin might tend to hope that this tension will be resolved, as Bitcoin will be made popular by its many advantages. No one knows how it will play out. PERMISSIONLESS APPLICATIONS LAYER Early on in Bitcoin's history, a famous economist (who I won't name, so as not to make personal attacks) who vastly underestimated the potential of the World Wide Web as a transformative economic force, made a similar estimate of Bitcoin's potential. In this terrific article, a research fellow at George Mason University explains that this economist was making the same mistake in both cases. In the early days of the internet, it wasn't clear to everyone why it was better than the existing telecommunications networks. It turns out that the primary feature that set it apart is its permissionless applications layer. In other words, the internet is built on a protocol for data transfer, but developers can do whatever they want with the data at the ends of the network, without having to modify the network itself or get permission from internet service providers. For example, AT&T experimented with video calls as far back as the 1960s. It wasn't until the World Wide Web that cheap video calls were made possible by the likes of Skype and Google. In a similar way, Bitcoin is a protocol for transferring data and recording it on a public ledger, and developers can create new features on top of the protocol. This is why Bitcoin has been called "the internet of money." A helpful analogy to keep in mind is that internet:communication::Bitcoin:finance. This is fleshed out in the "terrific article" I linked to. NO CHARGEBACKS Let's say someone steals your credit card information and fraudulently uses it to purchase goods. You dispute the charge, and you get your money back (hence the term chargeback). Since the money goes back to you, it's taken away from the merchant, despite the fact that the merchant has already given away the goods. Chargebacks can also happen if the consumer is unsatisfied with the goods, and for other reasons as well. This can be very costly for merchants. Bitcoin payments are irreversible, so chargebacks do not happen. This is very helpful to merchants, but it means that when you purchase faulty goods as a consumer, you might not have a formal process in place to get your money back. A trustworthy merchant could voluntarily send your money back, but there is no third party bank that can reverse the payment. ACCEPTING BITCOIN IS EASY All you have to do is post your public key (like an e-mail address), and people can send you payments. TO BE CONTINUED I've run out of room. In Part 2 of this primer, pseudonymity is discussed, along with threats to Bitcoin's success. Edits: Wording under "SECURITY," per BitCamel; typos; linked to remittance data.
The 5 reasons why I believe Bitcoin will continue to grow by leaps and bounds: crypto-mania and the crypto revolution, increased media coverage, flight capital, money laundering, and darknet online shopping. I elaborate on each of those here:
AlphaBay grew into a business with 200,000 users and 40,000 vendors — or 10 times the size of Silk Road — the Justice Department said Thursday. The site recently come under scrutiny because many of its vendors sell synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, which play a central role in the nationwide overdose epidemic. Even before AlphaBay went down, it had several large competitors. In the last few weeks, a site known as Dream Market has emerged as the leading player. On Thursday, Dream Market had 57,000 listings for drugs and 4,000 listings for opioids.
MtGox for show, the mortgage crisis of 2008 for a pro
Blythe Masters is the woman who is credited with inventing the credit default swap in the mid-90s while at JPMorgan, the invention of which fueled the mortgage crisis of 2008 when a whole unregulated mess of interwoven scams collapsed almost overnight. As an extra, she was also implicated in fraudulent energy trading in California while serving as head of JPMorgan's Global Commodities team. Now she's back, but with Bitcoin! She's joined Digital Asset Holdings, a startup which aims to make trading financial instruments faster and cheaper by using the blockchain, seemingly by passing the costs onto the Bitcoin network. This is clearly good for Bitcoin, as it might actually interest businesses looking to reduce costs - Goldman Sachs have estimated $74bn in potential savings could be made. And Bitcoin markets have a clear history of above-board behaviour, right? This could be moon, gentlemen. If it worked and wasn't a massive scam, the hilarity would be in the outrage from butters when they realise the killer application for Bitcoin wasn't drugs or CP, it was banking - it would be their worst nightmare come true. NY Times : Former JPMorgan Executive Blythe Masters Joins Bitcoin-Related Start-Up Zero Hedge : Bitcoin Default Swaps: Blythe Masters Joins Bitcoin Startup FT (requires registration) : Masters joins cryptocurrency start-up
WSJ, NYT, Yahoo Finance, Independent (UK), Wikipedia report that Blockstream is funded by top insurer AXA, whose CEO is on the board of HSBC and *chairs* the Bilderberg Group. Blockstream President Austin Hill desperately tweets trying to dismiss these facts as "batshit crazy Illuminati theories"!
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/489ckf/austin_hill_borgstream_president_on_twitte https://twitter.com/austinhill/status/703958443141369856 https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/47zfzt/blockstream_is_now_controlled_by_the_bilderberg/ Sorry Austin Hill, but you can't have it both ways. If you accept millions of dollars from one of the biggest insurance companies in the world (AXA Strategic Ventures, investment arm of AXA Group) - whose CEO sits on the board of HSBC (one of the biggest banks in the world) - and who is also leader of the ultra-secretive financial power elite group known as the Bilderberg Group, then people are going to talk about it - and people are going to be curious and concerned about how this could influence Blockstream's corporate goals and strategies. But in a pathetic attempt to deflect public awareness and transparency about the secretive, elite Bilderberg Group investors who Blockstream now reports to, Blockstream Presdient Austin Hill austindhill is now desperately tweeting attempting to claim that sources such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Independent (UK), Yahoo Finance and Wikipedia are "batshit crazy with illuminati theories about who is involved in Blockstream"... But the Reddit post to which he is evidently referring simply quotes those reputable sources like WSJ, NYT, etc. - providing information that is part of the public record (but which Austin Hill evidently doesn't want too many people to pay attention to). No "batshit crazy Illuminati theories" here. Just simple googling and grassroots journalism which any concerned user of Bitcoin could do in a few minutes. The Bitcoin-using public is just following the money. And asking the following simple and obvious question: Could Blockstream's ongoing inexplicable attempts to cripple the Bitcoin "Core" implementation by driving people off-chain possibly be explained by the fact that one of Blockstream's co-lead investors (AXA Strategic Investments) is the investment arm of a company (AXA Group) whose CEO (Henri de Clastries) is not only on the board of one of the biggest "fiat" banks in the world (HSBC), but is also the head of the notorious ultra-secretive financial power elite Bilderberg Group? The simple facts - which Austin Hill cannot deny, no matter how much he dismissively tweets about "batshit crazy Illuminati theories" - are as follows: (1) Blockstream just got another $55 million in venture capital in recent its Series A funding round - in addition to its previous $21 million in venture capital; (2) The co-lead of this recent funding round is AXA Strategic Ventures - which is the investment arm of French insurance giant AXA Group; (3) The CEO of AXA Group is Henri de Castries, who also sits on the board of one of the biggest banks in the world, HSBC; (4) Since 2012, Henri de Castries is also been chairman of the Bilderberg Group, one of the world's most secretive organizations composed of "the elite of the elite" from banking, finance, and government; (5) As we all know by now, the two main goals of Blockstream (and, apparently, of at least some of the investors it reports to) are: (a) to discourage people from transacting directly on the Bitcoin blockchain, and (b) to prematurely create fee markets. (6) Blockstream's two main strategies for achieving these goals are: (a) to spread FUD and lies claiming that Bitcoin cannot scale, in order create artificial scarcity of space for transacting directly on the Bitcoin blockchain by their ongoing, unjustifiable refusal to release a Bitcoin implementation supporting blocks bigger than 1 MB; (b) to steer people onto Blockstream's complicated, centralized, expensive off-blockchain transacting "solutions" such as Lightning Network - which will "lock up" more funds from users, and steal fees from miners. There are no "batshit crazy illuminati theories about who is involved in Blockstream" in anything of the above. These are just the facts, on the public record. Now, the only "theories" involve wild speculation regarding: Why is Blockstream attempting to cripple Bitcoin? But Blockstream brought these "theories" on themselves - by refusing to release any code (until maybe July 2017) which would allow blocks to be bigger than 1 MB - when research has shown that Bitcoin infrastruture and Bitcoin operators could easily support 3-4 MB blocks already, and when the Bitcoin network is rapidly becoming congested and clogged jeopardizing its usefulness for transacting. Here is the exposé which got Austin Hill so upset - the top story on /btc this past weekend:
Blockstream is now controlled by the Bilderberg Group - seriously! AXA Strategic Ventures, co-lead investor for Blockstream's $55 million financing round, is the investment arm of French insurance giant AXA Group - whose CEO Henri de Castries has been chairman of the Bilderberg Group since 2012.
Blockstream Announces $55 Million Series A Investment Bringing Total Capital Raised to $76 Million The round is being led by Horizons Ventures, AXA Strategic Ventures, and Digital Garage, with participation from existing investors including AME Cloud Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Future\Perfect Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Mosaic Ventures, and Seven Seas Venture Partners.
Ex-C.E.O. of Diageo and AXA Chairman [Henri de Castries] to Join HSBC Board
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/14/business/dealbook/hsbc-board-henri-de-castries-paul-walsh.html?_r=0 If Blockstream President Austin Hill austindhill wishes to dispute any of these well-known facts, he is welcome to try. Frankly it is rather pathetic of him to think he can simply dismiss facts on the public record by trying to refer to them as "batshit crazy Illuminati theories" - in his hopeless attempt to deflect public attention away from the fact that it is solely his company Blockstream, and its refusal to let blocks grow bigger than 1 MB, which to blame for:
congesting the Bitcoin network,
suppressing Bitcoin adoption and price, and
driving people to use alt-coins
... all of which are threatening to strangle Bitcoin in its infancy. But hey, who knows, maybe that's not a "bug" - maybe that's a "feature"! In other words, maybe maybe that's what the chairman of the global banking power elite Bilderberg Group behind Blockstream really wants to do to Bitcoin: embrace, extend, and extinguish it with their apparently Straussian agenda.
Upset about burdensome Bitcoin regulations? Reminder: an effective way to make laws accommodating to Bitcoin is to become lawmakers. This community is full of intelligent, charismatic people, people who should be able to trounce opponents if they put their mind to it. People often fall into a default mode of convenience and impatience. People want things quick and simple, but that's not always how life works. It's one thing to vociferously protest the system, but another to change it to your liking. Bankers understand that. Over 7,000 Occupy Wall St. protesters went to jail for "breaking the law". Bankers repeatedly broke the law. How many bankers went to jail? Zero. There is a difference in approach. Bankers take time to lobby politicians openly and in secret, while also becoming politicians themselves (see Goldman Sachs). If you think a political system can run on auto-pilot and still maintain the interests of the people think again. Yes, Bitcoin itself is resilient to regulation. However, businesses that want to use it are not. While this community leans younger, oftentimes age requirements for holding office are as young as 18. At all government levels Bitcoin supporters in office would be a boon. It seems much of today's youth are stuck in neutral with few job prospects. Perhaps this is a great way to get to work.
This is a continuation of Part 1. PSEUDONYMITY Unlike credit card transactions, in which you give your name, Bitcoin transactions are pseudonymous (a pseudonym being an identifier other than your real name). Instead of having your name on your account, you have a public key, which is just a sequence of letters and numbers, like the one below. 3J98t1WpEZ73CNmQviecrnyiWrnqRhWNLy That's your pseudonym. People who are concerned with privacy view this as an advantage, since it enables you to make payments without revealing your identity. Critics worry that this system facilitates crime, and proponents counter that cash is much better for criminals. Why? Your account may be represented by some random sequence, instead of your name, but all Bitcoin transactions that have ever occurred are available for scrutiny on a public ledger called the blockchain. This data opens up the possibility of investigative methods to which cash is not susceptible. Also, those who are concerned about criminals may be missing the point. It's sort of like censors in the mid-twentieth century who hadn't conceived of the World Wide Web (preventing kids from being exposed to profanity these days is a bit more difficult, to say the least). The thing they're missing is that Bitcoin is only one of many cryptocurrencies, and others (such as zerocoin) are being developed that will provide much greater privacy. File sharing on the internet is another example of how those seeking to overregulate Bitcoin might be missing the point. Early on, we had Napster, which was shut down due to concerns over copyright infringement. The effect of this shutdown appears to have been essentially the opposite of the intended effect. Instead of stopping illegal file sharing, it accelerated the development of file-sharing technologies that were even more difficult to stop. Since demand still existed, Kazaa came to the fore, and now we have BitTorrent. It's "hard to put the genie back in the bottle," as Ben Lawsky, New York's Superintendent of Financial Services, has pointed out. When it comes to reducing crime, overregulation of Bitcoin could lead to an increased resistance to law-enforcement efforts, as we saw with file-sharing, while at the same time taking away from its many benefits. THREATS TO BITCOIN'S SUCCESS When evaluating Bitcoin's chances for success or trying to understand price fluctuations, it's important to keep several key issues in mind. ADOPTION Both merchant and consumer adoption are important, and both have been growing. On the merchant side, we now have large reputable companies accepting Bitcoin, such as Overstock.com, Expedia, and Dish Network. See, for example, the list of companies working with Coinbase. On the consumer side, one way to track growth is to look at the number of bitcoin wallets (wallets are to Bitcoin what accounts are to the traditional banking system). This number has also been growing steadily. The website http://www.bitcoinpulse.com/ is one place to track such things. Another interesting thing to watch will be the MIT Bitcoin Giveaway, in which $100 in bitcoins will be given to every MIT undergraduate in the fall 2014 semester. ROBUSTNESS OF THE TECHNOLOGY One possible threat is that some kind of bug or design flaw will cause the system to crash. The technology has been around since 2009, and Bitcoin has been resilient so far. For example, it survived a distributed denial of service attack early this year. There are a number of design issues to consider, such as scalability, mining centralization, and so forth, but there are a lot of people working on these issues. In fact, Bitcoin is considered by some to be supported by the largest research and development community in the world. Something like 10,000 of the smartest people in the world are working on issues such as scalability and user-friendliness. COMPETING TECHNOLOGIES There is a chance that another technology that is superior to Bitcoin will emerge to kill it. At present, however, Bitcoin is the clear leader among cryptocurrencies, and it becomes more difficult to overtake as time passes, due to the network effect. Already, Bitcoin is supported by a massive amount of infrastructure, in the form of mining equipment, exchanges, startup companies backed by venture capitalists like Andreessen Horowitz, software applications, and so forth. REGULATION There is some chance that governments could slow the growth of the Bitcoin economy, for example by issuing regulations that make it difficult for exchanges to operate. Regulations in China led to a sharp decrease in the price for a time. Many governments have reacted more favorably. In the U.S., the regulatory outlook has been improving. We've seen increased clarity from the IRS and are expecting favorable regulations to come out of New York sometime this month, which may make it easier for exchanges to get established in New York. This could lead to more liquidity and would reduce the risk of shock from one exchange going down. Moreover, the U.S. just sold about 18 million dollars' worth of seized bitcoins in an auction, which provides additional legitimacy to the currency. A FINAL NOTE: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL RAMIFICATIONS For better or worse, one thing large-scale technologies seem to have in common is their unpredictability. Who would have predicted that a social media platform called Twitter with a cute little bird logo would end up facilitating political revolutions throughout the Arab world? FURTHER RESOURCES This article by Marc Andreessen gives a good overview. A nice way to get started is also to just check out bitcoin regularly. The users here range from noobs to developers and Bitcoin entrepreneurs. So, you’ll see more technical talk and in depth discussion than you see in typical media stories, and you can ask if you don’t understand. You can also try the Bitcoin 101 Blackboard Series, which I hear is quite good. For a quick video on the technical aspects of Bitcoin, you can try the video Bitcoin Under the Hood or the shorter, less technical version of this video. For another explanation of the technical underpinnings, you might try the Khan Academy videos. If you're looking to purchase your first bitcoin, then depending on where in the world you live, you might consider getting started with Coinbase. It's reputable and very easy to use. Many people will advise you not to store your coins on a web wallet, but buying a few coins (or a fraction of a coin) on Coinbase is a good way to start as a beginner. Please be aware, though, that this is a new industry and purchasing Bitcoin in any form carries risk, so do your research. I wouldn't want to be the one recommending Coinbase just before someone manages to hack it! I hope that helps! Edit: formatting and typos; added quote from Ben Lawsky.
CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index. CoinDesk launched a proprietary Bitcoin Price Index on September 11, 2013. The Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) represents an average of bitcoin prices across leading global exchanges that meet criteria specified by the BPI. It is intended to serve as a standard retail price reference for industry participants and ... The bitcoin blockchain is a public ledger that records bitcoin transactions.  It is implemented as a chain of blocks, each block containing a hash of the previous block up to the genesis block [lower-alpha 4] of the chain. A network of communicating nodes running bitcoin software maintains the blockchain. : 215–219 Transactions of the form payer X sends Y bitcoins to payee Z are ... Bitcoin and its alternatives are based on cryptographic algorithms, so these kinds of virtual currencies are also called cryptocurrencies. Digital versus traditional currency. Most of the traditional money supply is bank money held on computers. This is also considered digital currency. One could argue that our increasingly cashless society means that all currencies are becoming digital, but ... limit my search to r/Bitcoin. use the following search parameters to narrow your results: subreddit:subreddit find submissions in "subreddit" author:username find submissions by "username" site:example.com find submissions from "example.com" url:text search for "text" in url selftext:text search for "text" in self post contents self:yes (or self:no) include (or exclude) self posts nsfw:yes (or ... The New York Times DealBook Summit. Watch from anywhere in the world, free of charge. Take your place alongside the most consequential newsmakers in business, policy and culture.
MadBitcoins Live: Bitcoin $525, Amagi to refuse Fiat, Coinbase bans Gambling, Live Free or Bitcoin
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