Showing posts with label Bitcoin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bitcoin. Show all posts

Saturday, June 18, 2022

18: Bitcoin

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

News: May 17

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Bitcoin Supper

Friday, May 13, 2022

The Coinbase Turmoil

Top of Mind: Staying Focused During Market Downturns In times like these we need to step back, and zoom out. Nothing about Coinbase changed this week, we are the same company we were yesterday, or a year ago. If anything, we are in an even stronger position given our balance sheet. .......... I don’t know how long this down-cycle will last, or if we are at the bottom. I just know that we will make it through to the other side, and we come out stronger than ever if we focus on what matters: building. ............ We are not our stock price, or the price of bitcoin. Maintaining our focus on the long-term mission, regardless of what the world is doing around us, is the only way we’ll succeed with ambitions as large as ours. ........ There is a real art to tuning out all the noise in the world, and focusing on the rare bit of signal which helps you develop your own convictions. ..... The down markets bring a focus on innovation, and the short term thinkers tend to get distracted and leave the ecosystem. In up markets we get to focus on scaling, and a massive wave of adoption introduces crypto to more people for the first time. Every time a new hype/despair cycle emerges, my main takeaway is to be thankful that we persisted through the last one with our long term thinking. ........ If you can’t ignore the hype while things are trending up, then you can’t ignore the despair when things are trending down. Stay strong, keep a long term perspective, and let’s keep building.

Crypto’s emergence as a geopolitical force

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Bitcoin: Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon: 2014/2013

Why Bitcoin Matters BY MARC ANDREESSEN JANUARY 21, 2014 . A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers. ....... Political idealists project visions of liberation and revolution onto it; establishment elites heap contempt and scorn on it. ....... Personal computers in 1975, the Internet in 1993, and – I believe – Bitcoin in 2014. ...... First, Bitcoin at its most fundamental level is a breakthrough in computer science – one that builds on 20 years of research into cryptographic currency, and 40 years of research in cryptography, by thousands of researchers around the world. ........... Bitcoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate. ........ What kinds of digital property might be transferred in this way? Think about digital signatures, digital contracts, digital keys (to physical locks, or to online lockers), digital ownership of physical assets such as cars and houses, digital stocks and bonds … and digital money. .......

Bitcoin is an Internet-wide distributed ledger.

...... Bitcoin is the first Internetwide payment system where transactions either happen with no fees or very low fees (down to fractions of pennies). Existing payment systems charge fees of about 2 to 3 percent – and that’s in the developed world. In lots of other places, there either are no modern payment systems or the rates are significantly higher. ........... It’s not as much that the Bitcoin currency has some arbitrary value and then people are trading with it; it’s more that people can trade with Bitcoin (anywhere, everywhere, with no fraud and no or very low fees) and as a result it has value. ........ Critics of Bitcoin point to limited usage by ordinary consumers and merchants, but that same criticism was leveled against PCs and the Internet at the same stage. ........ “Let’s say you sell electronics online. Profit margins in those businesses are usually under 5 percent, which means conventional 2.5 percent payment fees consume half the margin. That’s money that could be reinvested in the business, passed back to consumers or taxed by the government. Of all of those choices, handing 2.5 percent to banks to move bits around the Internet is the worst possible choice. Another challenge merchants have with payments is accepting international payments. If you are wondering why your favorite product or service isn’t available in your country, the answer is often payments.” ............. the claim made by some critics that Bitcoin is a haven for bad behavior, for criminals and terrorists to transfer money anonymously with impunity. This is a myth, fostered mostly by sensationalistic press coverage and an incomplete understanding of the technology. Much like email, which is quite traceable, Bitcoin is pseudonymous, not anonymous. Further, every transaction in the Bitcoin network is tracked and logged forever in the Bitcoin blockchain, or permanent record, available for all to see. As a result, Bitcoin is considerably easier for law enforcement to trace than cash, gold or diamonds. .......... Bitcoin is a four-sided network effect. There are four constituencies that participate in expanding the value of Bitcoin as a consequence of their own self-interested participation. Those constituencies are (1) consumers who pay with Bitcoin, (2) merchants who accept Bitcoin, (3) “miners” who run the computers that process and validate all the transactions and enable the distributed trust network to exist, and (4) developers and entrepreneurs who are building new products and services with and on top of Bitcoin. ........... One immediately obvious and enormous area for Bitcoin-based innovation is international remittance. Every day, hundreds of millions of low-income people go to work in hard jobs in foreign countries to make money to send back to their families in their home countries – over $400 billion in total annually ............. banks and payment companies extract mind-boggling fees, up to 10 percent and sometimes even higher, to send this money. ........

it is hard to think of any one thing that would have a faster and more positive effect on so many people in the world’s poorest countries.

......... Bitcoin generally can be a powerful force to bring a much larger number of people around the world into the modern economic system. Only about 20 countries around the world have what we would consider to be fully modern banking and payment systems; the other roughly 175 have a long way to go. ........ Bitcoin, as a global payment system anyone can use from anywhere at any time, can be a powerful catalyst to extend the benefits of the modern economic system to virtually everyone on the planet. ........ A third fascinating use case for Bitcoin is micropayments, or ultrasmall payments. ........ Bitcoins have the nifty property of infinite divisibility: currently down to eight decimal places after the dot, but more in the future. ......... So you can specify an arbitrarily small amount of money, like a thousandth of a penny, and send it to anyone in the world for free or near-free. ......... Future email systems and social networks could refuse to accept incoming messages unless they were accompanied with tiny amounts of Bitcoin – tiny enough to not matter to the sender, but large enough to deter spammers .......... Bitcoin is a financial technology dream come true for even the most hardened anticapitalist political organizer. ......... in 1999, the legendary economist Milton Friedman said: “One thing that’s missing but will soon be developed is a reliable e-cash, a method whereby on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B without A knowing B or B knowing A – the way I can take a $20 bill and hand it over to you, and you may get that without knowing who I am.” ........ almost no country’s regulatory framework for banking and payments anticipated a technology like Bitcoin......... Far from a mere libertarian fairy tale or a simple Silicon Valley exercise in hype, Bitcoin offers a sweeping vista of opportunity to reimagine how the financial system can and should work in the Internet era, and a catalyst to reshape that system in ways that are more powerful for individuals and businesses alike.

Why I’m interested in Bitcoin . Some people assume that all Bitcoin advocates are motivated by a libertarian political agenda. That is certainly not my agenda. I’m a lifelong Democrat who supported Obama in the last two elections. I think the Federal Reserve plays an important function .......... it is also true that almost every significant computing movement had early proponents who were ideologically motivated ....... The developers of the first personal computers were closely aligned with the 60s counterculture movement. Open source software was originally created by people who believed that all software should be available for free. Early advocates of blogging and collaborative systems like Wikipedia were trying to democratize the production and dissemination of information. This isn’t coincidental: broad-based technology movements have depended on non-economic participants early on since it often took years for commercial participants to get involved. ........... the 2008 financial crisis. I thought the government did what it had to do at the peak of the crisis but missed an important opportunity afterwards to reform the financial system. ....... there were two ways to improve the system: from above through regulation (which I support), or from below through competition. ........ I started getting interested in Bitcoin about two years ago. Like a lot of people I initially dismissed Bitcoin as a speculative bubble (“Internet tulip bulbs”) or a place to stash money for people worried about inflation (“Internet gold”). At some point, I had an “aha!” moment and realized that Bitcoin was best understood as a new software protocol through which you could rebuild the payments industry in ways that are better and cheaper. ........

banks and payment companies charge $500B per year in fees to provide a service that mostly involves moving bits around the Internet

............. Let’s say you sell electronics online. Profit margins in those businesses are usually under 5%, which means the 2.5% payment fees consume half the margin. That’s money that could be reinvested in the business, passed back to consumers, or taxed by the government. Of all of those choices, handing 2.5% to banks to move bits around the Internet is the worst possible choice. ......... the most exciting aspect of Bitcoin (and this is admittedly more speculative) are all the interesting new business and technology models that “programmable money” could enable. .......... I think Bitcoin could enable a micropayment system for the open web, and thereby provide a business model beyond banner ads for many important services such as journalism. .......... Bitcoin is a serious proposal for dramatically improving the payments industry. There are plenty of open questions but I think it’s an experiment worth running.

Coinbase The press tends to portray Bitcoin as either a speculative bubble or a scheme for supporting criminal activity. In Silicon Valley, by contrast, Bitcoin is generally viewed as a profound technological breakthrough......... The designers of the Web built placeholders for a system that moved money, but never successfully completed it. Bitcoin is the first plausible proposal for an economic protocol for the Internet........ But to proliferate widely, Bitcoin needs a killer app the same way HTTP had web browsers and SMTP had email clients. That’s why today I’m excited to announce that Andreessen Horowitz is leading a $25M financing of Coinbase, a service that provides an accessible interface to the Bitcoin protocol. ....... Consumers can use Coinbase to convert to and from other currencies and to pay for goods and services. Merchants can use Coinbase to accept payments and convert currencies. Developers can build new services using Coinbase’s API....... Coinbase has grown extremely fast and is now the most widely used Bitcoin service in the US.

The New California Dream Is in Portugal . a nation that now boasts an 89 percent vaccination rate, the world’s highest. Once derided as Europe’s budget-vacation destination, Portugal is now Europe’s top tourist spot several years running. ....... On so many levels, the country can seem like California’s European twin, albeit without the apocalyptic wildfires and lingering droughts. Lisbon especially teases Californians with echoes: as in San Francisco, there’s a stunning red-painted suspension bridge, this one straddling the Tagus River instead the Golden Gate (built by the same engineer who built the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge), seven steep hills, and iconic, many-hued cable cars. World-class surfing can be had 30 minutes away in Ericeira, and NazarΓ©. ......... “It feels like San Francisco–it even has a Golden Gate Bridge, and then that coastline from Lisbon to Cascais – the surf’s incredible.” ....... Many Californians’ new freedom to work from anywhere only elevates Portugal’s allure. The pandemic laid bare fissures in the state that have been building for years: out-of-control housing prices, an intractable homeless crisis, rising crime rates. We’ve witnessed a massive exodus the past year for the supposedly greener pastures of Austin and Miami. Or maybe not. Postal data proved this “phenomenon” was grossly exaggerated; most Bay Area evacuees moved ten miles to Alameda County, up to Sacramento or south to San Diego. ...... The Portuguese prize California’s billions in venture capital, deep entrepreneurial networks, expertise in sales, marketing and scaling startups. In return they offer driven, gifted employees who are fluent in English (the country ranks 7th in the world in speaking English as a second language), and friendly to boot. ......... Family comes first in Portugal, and the country offers a work-life balance that younger Americans especially demand ......... “The challenging part of SF was the lack of infrastructure for families,” he recalls.

“The competitive nature of daycare and the costs…it’s like putting your kid through Harvard.”

Portugal promised a balance of “just a beautiful country to raise our children.” ......... She quickly made friends and business contacts; blasting out 250 LinkedIn emails to Portuguese CEOs in the hope that one of them might talk with “a skinny tattooed girl,” she was stunned when “twenty-five of them had coffee with me.” Fiorentini is now head of personnel at the Lisbon office of Kencko, a healthcare startup. ........ “They often joke that once upon a time Portugal and California were one, and they split” ..... “The climate is the same, the plants are the same, it’s pretty wild.”

Monday, March 21, 2022

News: March 21

Keeping It Simple . Investing is humbling. At 60, with 35 years of venture investing experience, I still get most things wrong. ........ how I bumped into Rikki Tahta walking through the garment district in NYC in the spring of 2011 and Rikki told me he was working on a Bitcoin startup. I replied, “a what coin startup?”. And Rikki told me to read the Bitcoin White Paper. I did and I was hooked. ........ I didn’t even understand parts of the white paper. ....... I understand how important permissionless servers and applications (web 1.0) turned out to be and so I understood how important permissionless money was going to be. ......... I bought Bitcoin and went about finding a Bitcoin investment to make.

That was Coinbase.

........ I met Mena Trott at a Nick Denton party in NYC in 2003 and she explained blogging to me. I was struck by the idea that anyone could be a publisher. ........ That led me to Twitter a few years later when I saw that most people would prefer to write a text message to the world over a long-form blog post. ........... aha moments come around every so often and you just need to let them grab you and take you a foundational investment. You don’t need to do much due diligence on these. I did none on Twitter, Coinbase, or Dapper. What I did do is use the products, get in the game, feel the power, and get conviction.

How to Think about the "Current Thing" Deciding in which direction you want people to be sheep ........ Let’s say you’re an intelligent person who in late February knew nothing about Russia, Ukraine, or American foreign policy. Which websites should you read to become informed? You notice that many sources seem to always take the “current thing” perspective, while others have the opposite bias. There are only so many hours in a day, and the judgment calls one must make in researching an issue are too numerous to list. Are those whose first instinct is to trust and promulgate the dominant narrative the most or least reliable sources of information? Given enough familiarity with an issue, an individual should be able to calibrate his views on it, but priors have a role in telling him where to start, and can determine which conclusions he reaches in situations where there isn’t enough time to thoroughly study a topic. .......

The current current thing is of course the war in Ukraine.

........ COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine are pretty important. But terrorism, white supremacy, and police shootings of black men are such tiny problems in modern America that if we were a logical society we would all but ignore them. Something like the process of aging, a major tragedy every human is experiencing every moment of their life, isn’t even considered a problem that policy should try to solve. ........ Parents who never thought twice about the flu but are worried about their healthy toddlers dropping dead of COVID are now able to find one another, along with credentialed influencers who appeal to their worst fears. Politicians, journalists, and others that are part of the discourse are radicalized by and responsive to such influences.

Those that never thought about Yemen want to start a nuclear war over Ukraine.

Emotions are getting more extreme, and the more an issue happens to engage a disproportionate share of the attention of neurotics the less we are able to approach it in a rational way. .......... If your model of the world says that modern society has a strong tendency to overreact to the issue of the day, you might prefer your leaders to have purely reactive instincts if such figures are the only alternative to the side associated with the establishment that decides what the current thing is in the first place through what is clearly an extremely flawed process. I’m not saying this is the high-IQ case for Trumpism, but it does point in the direction of what it might look like.

The Blockchain Challenges Assumptions

The Blockchain is nothing but the Internet gone deeper. The user interface looks no different to the end user and should get even easier. It is early innings. It is being built. Heck, the Internet is still being built. When we went mobile, it was still the Internet. Now it was mobile. The Internet is an added intelligence layer. The air around you now has intelligence. It always did. But now it is physical. It is in the four dimensions you are aware of. It is limited. It is spotty. But it is there.

The Internet challenged assumptions. The Blockchain is challenging deeper assumptions. It is challenging money. Money is pretty basic. It is said money might be the most mentioned word in the Gospels. Money seems to be fundamental to how human societies get organized. Money used to be conch shells. Money has been digital for a while now. But we still have had to think paper money, or gold. It seems money is just trust. It can be conjured out of think air. If we can just learn to trust each other more, we can have more money. The Blockchain is the vehicle we are building to load up on that trust.

If we could add intelligence to paper money, say if every bit of cash were connected somehow to the Internet Of Things, we might not even need to get rid of it. With purely digital money, bookkeeping is baked in, it moves at the speed of light. It is here, suddenly it is on the other side of the earth where it is night time. It is teleportation, not of us, but of money. We have no need for teleportation, but money does. There are too many poor people on the other side of the world.

The promise is that fundmental problems will be solved. I grew up in the Third World. The fundamental problem is that of identity. Vicious political battles are fought in countries that primarily export people as to who is and who is not a citizen. The truth is, everyone is. It is a fundamental human right to be a citizen. Every single person has a right to be a citizen of some country. I ask, why not every country? The Blockchain could add 10 trillion dollars to the global GDP overnight by simply making every single human being a citizen of every country and it could do that. Without asking for permission.

After identity, there is the problem of the bank account. Banks shush shush most people. With the Blockchain, your bank account is automatic.

And then credit and pay. In a knowledge economy we are now in, it makes sense to simply pay every single person a basic living wage, and then build a robust economy on top of that. Not having to worry about your next meal does not make you lazy, or 99% of the people, over 99, in the rich countries would be lazy.

And theft. Poor countries are poor primarily because the local corrupt loot and move their money to rich countries, and rich countries are hand over fist. The Blockchain could make all that transparent. And then regulations could kick in. As in, maybe you belong in jail not in the Swiss Alps.

Cisco was one of the companies that built the Internet. And it made money. Everybody who buys a portion of a Bitcoin is helping pay to buid the Blockchain, and is investing in it to reap rewards. The Blockchain went IPO a long time ago.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Which Coin To Hold?

Saturday, March 19, 2022

News: March 19

What will happen to cryptocurrency in the 2020s
What happened in crypto over the last decade

DISCUSSING THE IMPACT OF BIDEN'S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON CRYPTO In this episode of "Bitcoin Bottom Line," the hosts and guest discuss the potential impact on Joe Biden's crypto-related executive order. .
Mobile is the Future of Voting – Nimit Sawhney, CEO, Voatz

BITCOIN CAN BE THE FOUNDATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS The bad guys can’t stop Bitcoin, but Bitcoin can stop the bad guys. ....... 60 years ago, it was not Syrians, Afghans, Iranians and people from various African states who had to leave their homes and sought refuge. It was Kazakhs, Ukrainians, Jews, Poles, Russians and Germans who needed a new home before, during and after World War II. Displaced by an occupying power, by the ruling government and by hunger and war. ...... Reading these 30 articles, it becomes clear that the potential bad guy is often seen on the side of the state or government. ........ Bitcoin separates money from authorities. Bitcoin cannot be steered, created, destroyed or controlled in anyone's favor. Bitcoin is independent, antifragile, democratic and secure. .........

Proof-of-work makes Bitcoin the only independent cryptocurrency.

.......... 2.2 billion people are unbanked or underserved financially. ....... Bitcoin is the fulfillment of the desire for sound money. It exists. Compared to all other articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there is almost no need to fight for this right. It is unstoppable!

BITCOIN IS A MONETARY SYSTEM OF INTEGRITY Many of the failings we see in society today are a result of the values of fiat money being absorbed. ........ each individual is incentivized to seek the greatest fiat returns for their individual words and actions, as all are stuck on the fiat flywheel – all struggling to simply remain afloat amongst a sea of debt. ......... Integrity, the most important of all values, as none of the above virtues carry weight if integrity is found lacking, or inconsistent. Integrity encapsulates the basis for which an individual’s words and actions are deemed worthy of trust. ....... A society’s functionings (and provided incentives), when based upon a currency that is solely rooted in a lack of integrity such as a fiat currency, produce a citizenry that ultimately adopts the values of the currency itself. .

WHY THE PROPOSED EU BITCOIN BAN WOULD HAVE BEEN A MISTAKE The proposal, while shot down, is an example of growing misdirection in regulatory stances. .... You might not trust me, because Bitcoiners are all far-right drug-dealing gamblers that are environmentally bankrupting the planet as a hobby, according to the media. Let me tell you that I’m opposed to all of these things and yet spend the majority of my time educating others about the positive impact Bitcoin can have (and already has had) on the world. The good part is that you don’t have to trust me. .