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Winklevoss twins: Bitcoin will be worth 40 times current value
Some suggestions for crypto reading material.
https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf I’m posting it because if you haven’t yet I think it’s important that everyone does. Save it, when you have time take a read. A lot of people jump into crypto only looking at charts, price and market cap. I think it’s important to understand the origins of it, not in a biblical sense like some people take it. Satoshi was a revolutionary thinker that changed the world forever. The philosophy behind crypto is subtly embedded in the bitcoin white paper and I get the sense that sometimes the true meaning behind crypto is forgotten, the philosophical value. While we are on the topic the Ethereum white paper is too long and technical to be considered a must read. You can get the understanding by reading the introduction, bitcoin comparison section and the conclusion. I will post that as well for comparison. https://ethereum.org/en/whitepape If you’ve gotten through those and you’re an avid reader I have a few books I would recommend. Bitcoin Billionaires was a very good book. Highly entertaining while also helpful to understand the story of Bitcoin. While told focused around the Winklevii who better to be the focus than the biggest whales in the game. Everything from Facebook, Mt Gox, parties, court rooms, prison and a success story for not only the Winklevoss twins but the story of the success of Bitcoin. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41433284-bitcoin-billionaires The Infinite Machine is sort of the equivalent for Ethereum. It is all about the origin story of Ethereum from birth to boom including the known characters and some connections maybe unknown to some. I would actually suggest reading this instead of the white paper. Camila Russo does a great job breaking it down in a way that can be understood. I also follow her Defi podcast The Defiant. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50175330-the-infinite-machine?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=W903QklCOW&rank=2 Mastering Monero, opinions of the coin aside, is very much worth reading. You will have a better understanding of privacy as a whole, not just privacy of Monero. From banking system explanations to dark web usage, or lack thereof, is covered in the book. It’s written by Monero users for Monero users and non Monero users. The Bitcoin mentions in the book aren’t FUD but instead written factually. It’s an easy enough read and it’s also available free or by donation. I donated for it but the PDF isn’t hard to get to. https://masteringmonero.com/free-download.html For the futurists, the dreamers and the hopefuls there is Blockchain 2025 written by Jared Tate. He speaks his mind and is honest as the sky is blue. He wrote the book not to promote DGB but moreso to discuss the role of blockchain beyond just cryptocurrency in the future. I’ve only just started it but so far it’s a good read. https://blockchain2035.com/ Another one, not crypto related, is The Wolf Of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort. “People don’t buy stock; it gets sold to them. Don’t ever forget that.” I also always reflect on the Mathew McConaughey movie monologue when I read the expert traders or see them on YouTube. It’s valuable to understand how the sharks in the system feed on the minnows. Do you have any reading suggestions?
I want to take this opportunity to thank the devs for what they've done for BTC
Cool. All our bitcoin are worth more now. Thanks winklevii. I just can't upvote a post that pretends that the twins actually did something to improve Bitcoin. They are just people with money, acting in their own self interest, taking risks and profiting handsomely. Yes, it's great that they believe in Bitcoin, and that they paint a more legitimate image of Bitcoin to the mainstream media and general public. I get it. I have no problem if that's the kind of discussion people want to have here. However, "what they've done for BTC" is get more speculative money involved. If y'all want to act like this is somehow improving Bitcoin, go ahead. This is a post thanking some folks who I feel deserve some thanks. Thank you, Bitcoin developers. You have spent many hours doing real work that results in real improvements. The value of Bitcoin/bitcoin wouldn't be much without quality code, peer review, and the personal passion/dedication of everyone involved. Without people actually improving Bitcoin, the twins would have no reason to play money games with stagnating technology. Devs, you da real MVP
You have no reason to ignore bitcoin right now or this upcoming SEC ETF decision.
As I see it there are 4 types of WSB folk. And if you are subscribed here you have no choice in this. Pick one. 1) You know bitcoin is shit. It's stupid, can't hold it, and gonna fail. So here's your chance to fucking prove it. Short the shit out of it. You have until the weekend. Set up an account with Gemini, GDAX, Bitstamp, Kraken, etc. and short the shit out of it. SEC rejects the Winklevii ETF and you win. Bitcoiners lose. Success. 2) You know bitcoin is the future and represents the internet of money. Or the token of the internet. It will enable smart contracts, programmable transfer of value so when your amazon drone drops off your monthly anal lube package your wallet automatically pays it with you knowing. So now go LONG ON BITCOIN. Set up an account with Gemini, GDAX, Bitstamp, Kraken, etc. and LONG the shit out of it. Cuz if you wait until after that SEC approves the ETF then you missed your chance. LONG before the other plebs catch on. 3) You sat on your ass and did nothing. You laugh from the sidelines, as the SEC rejects the ETF. But you have nothing to show for it, and you unsubscribe the fuck out of here. You can laugh as a lurker. 4) You sat on your ass and did nothing but the rocket is launching. Now you can play catch up and ask your wife to buy into COIN on nasdaq in 3 months time. Please remember to unsubscribe and fuck off. You have no choice but to take action. These are the doors. Pick one or fuck off.
The wilkelvoss are trying to make bitcoin legit according to esquire magazine
Every idea needs a face, even if the faces are illusory simplifications. The country you get is the president you get. The Yankees you get is the shortstop you get. Apple needed Jobs. ISIS needs al-Baghdadi. The moon shot belongs to Bezos. There's nothing under the Facebook sun that doesn't come back to Zuckerberg. But there is, as yet, no face behind the bitcoin curtain. It's the currency you've heard about but haven't been able to understand. Still to this day nobody knows who created it. For most people, it has something to do with programmable cash and algorithms and the deep space of mathematics, but it also has something to do with heroin and barbiturates and the sex trade and bankruptcies, too. It has no face because it doesn't seem tangible or real. We might align it with an anarchist's riot mask or a highly conceptualized question mark, but those images truncate its reality. Certain economists say it's as important as the birth of the Internet, that it's like discovering ice. Others are sure that it's doomed to melt. In the political sphere, it is the darling of the cypherpunks and libertarians. When they're not busy ignoring it, it scares the living shit out of the big banks and credit-card companies. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW It sparked to life in 2008—when all the financial world prepared for itself the articulate noose—and it knocked on the door like some inconvenient relative arriving at the dinner party in muddy shoes and a knit hat. Fierce ideological battles are currently being waged among the people who own and shepherd the currency. Some shout, Ponzi scheme. Some shout, Gold dust. Bitcoin alone is worth billions of dollars, but the computational structure behind it—its blockchain and its sidechains—could become the absolute underpinning of the world's financial structure for decades to come. What bitcoin has needed for years is a face to legitimize it, sanitize it, make it palpable to all the naysayers. But it has no Larry Ellison, no Elon Musk, no noticeable visionaries either with or without the truth. There's a lot of ideology at stake. A lot of principle and dogma and creed. And an awful lot of cash, too. At 6:00 on a Wednesday winter morning, three months after launching Gemini, their bitcoin exchange, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss step out onto Broadway in New York, wearing the same make of sneakers, the same type of shorts, their baseball caps turned backward. They don't quite fall into the absolute caricature of twindom: They wear different-colored tops. Still, it's difficult to tell them apart, where Tyler ends and Cameron begins. Their faces are sculpted from another era, as if they had stepped from the ruin of one of Gatsby's parties. Their eyes are quick and seldom land on anything for long. Now thirty-four, there is something boyishly earnest about them as they jog down Prince Street, braiding in and out of each other, taking turns talking, as if they were working in shifts, drafting off each other. Forget, for a moment, the four things the Winklevosses are most known for: suing Mark Zuckerberg, their portrayal in The Social Network, rowing in the Beijing Olympics, and their overwhelming public twinness. Because the Winklevoss brothers are betting just about everything—including their past—on a fifth thing: They want to shake the soul of money out. At the deep end of their lives, they are athletes. Rowers. Full stop. And the thing about rowing—which might also be the thing about bitcoin—is that it's just about impossible to get your brain around its complexity. Everyone thinks you're going to a picnic. They have this notion you're out catching butterflies. They might ask you if you've got your little boater's hat ready. But it's not like that at all. You're fifteen years old. You rise in the dark. You drag your carcass along the railroad tracks before dawn. The boathouse keys are cold to the touch. You undo the ropes. You carry a shell down to the river. The carbon fiber rips at your hands. You place the boat in the water. You slip the oars in the locks. You wait for your coach. Nothing more than a thumb of light in the sky. It's still cold and the river stinks. That heron hasn't moved since yesterday. You hear Coach's voice before you see him. On you go, lads. You start at a dead sprint. The left rib's a little sore, but you don't say a thing. You are all power and no weight. The first push-to-pull in the water is a ripping surprise. From the legs first. Through the whole body. The arc. Atomic balance. A calm waiting for the burst. Your chest burns, your thighs scald, your brain blanks. It feels as if your rib cage might shatter. You are stillness exploding. You catch the water almost without breaking the surface. Coach says something about the pole vault. You like him. You really do. That brogue of his. Lads this, lads that. Fire. Stamina. Pain. After two dozen strokes, it already feels like you're hitting the wall. All that glycogen gone. Nobody knows. Nobody. They can't even pronounce it. Rowing. Ro-wing. Roh-ing. You push again, then pull. You feel as if you are breaking branch after branch off the bottom of your feet. You don't rock. You don't jolt. Keep it steady. Left, right, left, right. The heron stays still. This river. You see it every day. Nothing behind you. Everything in front. You cross the line. You know the exact tree. Your chest explodes. Your knees are trembling. This is the way the world will end, not with a whimper but a bang. You lean over the side of the boat. Up it comes, the breakfast you almost didn't have. A sign of respect to the river. You lay back. Ah, blue sky. Some cloud. Some gray. Do it again, lads. Yes, sir. You row so hard you puke it up once more. And here comes the heron, it's moving now, over the water, here it comes, look at that thing glide. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW The Winklevoss twins in the men's pair final during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. GETTY There's plenty of gin and beer and whiskey in the Harrison Room in downtown Manhattan, but the Winklevoss brothers sip Coca-Cola. The room, one of many in the newly renovated Pier A restaurant, is all mahogany and lamplight. It is, in essence, a floating bar, jutting four hundred feet out into the Hudson River. From the window you can see the Statue of Liberty. It feels entirely like their sort of room, a Jazz Age expectation hovering around their initial appearance—tall, imposing, the hair mannered, the collars of their shirts slightly tilted—but then they just slide into their seats, tentative, polite, even introverted. They came here by subway early on a Friday evening, and they lean back in their seats, a little wary, their eyes busy—as if they want to look beyond the rehearsal of their words. They had the curse of privilege, but, as they're keen to note, a curse that was earned. Their father worked to pay his way at a tiny college in backwoods Pennsylvania coal country. He escaped the small mining town and made it all the way to a professorship at Wharton. He founded his own company and eventually created the comfortable upper-middle-class family that came with it. They were raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, the most housebroken town on the planet. They might have looked like the others in their ZIP code, and dressed like them, spoke like them, but they didn't quite feel like them. Some nagging feeling—close to anger, close to fear—lodged itself beneath their shoulders, not quite a chip but an ache. They wanted Harvard but weren't quite sure what could get them there. "You have to be basically the best in the world at something if you're coming from Greenwich," says Tyler. "Otherwise it's like, great, you have a 1600 SAT, you and ten thousand others, so what?" The rowing was a means to an end, but there was also something about the boat that they felt allowed another balance between them. They pulled their way through high school, Cameron on the port-side oar, Tyler on the starboard. They got to Harvard. The Square was theirs. They rowed their way to the national championships—twice. They went to Oxford. They competed in the Beijing Olympics. They sucked up the smog. They came in sixth place. The cameras loved them. Girls, too. They were so American, sandy-haired, blue-eyed, they could have been cast in a John Cougar Mellencamp song. It might all have been so clean-cut and whitebread except for the fact that—at one of the turns in the river—they got involved in the most public brawl in the whole of the Internet's nascent history. They don't talk about it much anymore, but they know that it still defines them, not so much in their own minds but in the minds of others. The story seems simple on one level, but nothing is ever simple, not even simplification. Theirs was the original idea for the first social network, Harvard Connection. They hired Mark Zuckerberg to build it. Instead he went off and created Facebook. They sued him. They settled for $65 million. It was a world of public spats and private anguish. Rumors and recriminations. A few years later, dusty old pre-Facebook text messages were leaked online by Silicon Alley Insider: "Yeah, I'm going to fuck them," wrote Zuckerberg to a friend. "Probably in the ear." The twins got their money, but then they believed they were duped again by an unfairly low evaluation of their stock. They began a second round of lawsuits for $180 million. There was even talk about the Supreme Court. It reeked of opportunism. But they wouldn't let it go. In interviews, they came across as insolent and splenetic, tossing their rattles out of the pram. It wasn't about the money, they said at the time, it was about fairness, reality, justice. Most people thought it was about some further agile fuckery, this time in Zuckerberg's ear. There are many ways to tell the story, but perhaps the most penetrating version is that they weren't screwed so much by Zuckerberg as they were by their eventual portrayal in the film version of their lives. They appeared querulous and sulky, exactly the type of characters that America, peeling off the third-degree burns of the great recession, needed to hate. While the rest of the country worried about mounting debt and vanishing jobs, they were out there drinking champagne from, at the very least, Manolo stilettos. The truth would never get in the way of a good story. In Aaron Sorkin's world, and on just about every Web site, the blueblood trust-fund boys got what was coming to them. And the best thing now was for them to take their Facebook money and turn the corner, quickly, away, down toward whatever river would whisk them away. Armie Hammer brilliantly portrayed them as the bluest of bloods in The Social Network. When the twins are questioned about those times now, they lean back a little in their seats, as if they've just lost a long race, a little perplexed that they came off as the victims of Hollywood's ability to throw an image, while the whole rip-roaring regatta still goes on behind them. "They put us in a box," says Cameron, "caricatured to a point where we didn't really exist." He glances around the bar, drums his finger against the glass. "That's fair enough. I understand that impulse." They smart a little when they hear Zuckerberg's name. "I don't think Mark liked being called an asshole," says Tyler, with a flick of bluster in his eyes, but then he catches himself. "You know, maybe Mark doesn't care. He's a bit of a statesman now, out there connecting the world. I have nothing against him. He's a smart guy." These are men who've been taught, or have finally taught themselves, to tell their story rather than be told by it. But underneath the calm—just like underneath the boat—one can sense the churn. They say the word—ath-letes—as if it were a country where pain is the passport. One of the things the brothers mention over and over again is that you can spontaneously crack a rib while rowing, just from the sheer exertion of the muscles hauling on the rib cage. Along came bitcoin. At its most elemental, bitcoin is a virtual currency. It's the sort of thing a five-year-old can understand—It's just e-cash, Mom—until he reaches eighteen and he begins to question the deep future of what money really means. It is a currency without government. It doesn't need a banker. It doesn't need a bank. It doesn't even need a brick to be built upon. Its supporters say that it bypasses the Man. It is less than a decade old and it has already come through its own Wild West, a story rooted in uncharted digital territory, up from the dust, an evening redness in the arithmetical West. These are men who've been taught, or have finally taught themselves, to tell their story rather than be told by it. Bitcoin appeared in 2008—westward ho!—a little dot on the horizon of the Internet. It was the brainchild of a computer scientist named Satoshi Nakamoto. The first sting in the tale is that—to this very day—nobody knows who Nakamoto is, where he lives, or how much of his own invention he actually owns. He could be Californian, he could be Australian, he could even be a European conglomerate, but it doesn't really matter, since what he created was a cryptographic system that is borderless and supposedly unbreakable. In the beginning the currency was ridiculed and scorned. It was money created from ones and zeros. You either bought it or you had to "mine" for it. If you were mining, your computer was your shovel. Any nerd could do it. You keyed your way in. By using your computer to help check and confirm the bitcoin transactions of others, you made coin. Everyone in this together. The computer heated up and mined, down down down, into the mathematical ground, lifting up numbers, making and breaking camp every hour or so until you had your saddlebags full of virtual coin. It all seemed a bit of a lark at first. No sheriff, no deputy, no central bank. The only saloon was a geeky chat room where a few dozen bitcoiners gathered to chew data. Lest we forget, money was filthy in 2008. The collapse was coming. The banks were shorting out. The real estate market was a confederacy of dunces. Bernie Madoff's shadow loomed. Occupy was on the horizon. And all those Wall Street yahoos were beginning to squirm. Along came bitcoin like some Jesse James of the financial imagination. It was the biggest disruption of money since coins. Here was an idea that could revolutionize the financial world. A communal articulation of a new era. Fuck American Express. Fuck Western Union. Fuck Visa. Fuck the Fed. Fuck the Treasury. Fuck the deregulated thievery of the twenty-first century. To the earliest settlers, bitcoin suggested a moral way out. It was a money created from the ground up, a currency of the people, by the people, for the people, with all government control extinguished. It was built on a solid base of blockchain technology where everyone participated in the protection of the code. It attracted anarchists, libertarians, whistle-blowers, cypherpunks, economists, extropians, geeks, upstairs, downstairs, left-wing, right-wing. Sure, it could be used by businesses and corporations, but it could also be used by poor people and immigrants to send money home, instantly, honestly, anonymously, without charge, with a click of the keyboard. Everyone in the world had access to your transaction, but nobody had to know your name. It bypassed the suits. All you needed to move money was a phone or a computer. It was freedom of economic action, a sort of anarchy at its democratic best, no rulers, just rules. Bitcoin, to the original explorers, was a safe pass through the government-occupied valleys: Those assholes were up there in the hills, but they didn't have any scopes on their rifles, and besides, bitcoin went through in communal wagons at night. Ordinary punters took a shot. Businesses, too. You could buy silk ties in Paris without any extra bank charges. You could protect your money in Buenos Aires without fear of a government grab. The Winklevoss twins leave the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2011, after appearing in court to ask that the previous settlement case against Facebook be voided. GETTY But freedom can corrupt as surely as power. It was soon the currency that paid for everything illegal under the sun, the go-to money of the darknet. The westward ho! became the outlaw territory of Silk Road and beyond. Heroin through the mail. Cocaine at your doorstep. Child porn at a click. What better way for terrorists to ship money across the world than through a network of anonymous computers? Hezbollah, the Taliban, the Mexican cartels. In Central America, kidnappers began demanding ransom in bitcoin—there was no need for the cash to be stashed under a park bench anymore. Now everything could travel down the wire. Grab, gag, and collect. Uranium could be paid for in bitcoin. People, too. The sex trade was turned on: It was a perfect currency for Madame X. For the online gambling sites, bitcoin was pure jackpot. For a while, things got very shady indeed. Over a couple years, the rate pinballed between $10 and $1,200 per bitcoin, causing massive waves and troughs of online panic and greed. (In recent times, it has begun to stabilize between $350 and $450.) In 2014, it was revealed that hackers had gotten into the hot wallet of Mt. Gox, a bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo. A total of 850,000 coins were "lost," at an estimated value of almost half a billion dollars. The founder of Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht (known as "Dread Pirate Roberts"), got himself a four-by-six room in a federal penitentiary for life, not to mention pending charges for murder-for-hire in Maryland. Everyone thought that bitcoin was the problem. The fact of the matter was, as it so often is, human nature was the problem. Money means desire. Desire means temptation. Temptation means that people get hurt. During the first Gold Rush in the late 1840s, the belief was that all you needed was a pan and a decent pair of boots and a good dose of nerve and you could go out and make yourself a riverbed millionaire. Even Jack London later fell for the lure of it alongside thousands of others: the western test of manhood and the promise of wealth. What they soon found out was that a single egg could cost twenty-five of today's dollars, a pound of coffee went for a hundred, and a night in a whorehouse could set you back $6,000. A few miners hit pay dirt, but what most ended up with for their troubles was a busted body and a nasty dose of syphilis. The gold was discovered on the property of John Sutter in Sacramento, but the one who made the real cash was a neighboring merchant, Samuel Brannan. When Brannan heard the news of the gold nuggets, he bought up all the pickaxes and shovels he could find, filled a quinine bottle with gold dust, and went to San Francisco. Word went around like a prayer in a flash flood: gold gold gold. Brannan didn't wildcat for gold himself, but at the peak of the rush he was flogging $5,000 worth of shovels a day—that's $155,000 today—and went on to become the wealthiest man in California, alongside the Wells Fargo crew, Levi Strauss, and the Studebaker family, who sold wheelbarrows. If you comb back through the Winklevoss family, you will find a great-grandfather and a great-great-grandfather who knew a thing or two about digging: They worked side by side in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. They didn't go west and they didn't get rich, but maybe the lesson became part of their DNA: Sometimes it's the man who sells the shovels who ends up hitting gold. Like it or not—and many people don't like it—the Winklevoss brothers are shaping up to be the Samuel Brannans of the bitcoin world. Nine months after being portrayed in The Social Network, the Winklevoss twins were back out on the water at the World Rowing Cup. CHRISTOPHER LEE/GETTY They heard about it first poolside in Ibiza, Spain. Later it would play into the idea of ease and privilege: umbrella drinks and girls in bikinis. But if the creation myth was going to be flippant, the talk was serious. "I'd say we were cautious, but we were definitely intrigued," says Cameron. They went back home to New York and began to read. There was something about it that got under their skin. "We knew that money had been so broken and inefficient for years," says Tyler, "so bitcoin appealed to us right away." They speak in braided sentences, catching each other, reassuring themselves, tightening each other's ideas. They don't quite want to say that bitcoin looked like something that might be redemptive—after all, they, like everyone else, were looking to make money, lots of it, Olympic-sized amounts—but they say that it did strike an idealistic chord inside them. They certainly wouldn't be cozying up to the anarchists anytime soon, but this was a global currency that, despite its uncertainties, seemed to present a solution to some of the world's more pressing problems. "It was borderless, instantaneous, irreversible, decentralized, with virtually no transaction costs," says Tyler. It could possibly cut the banks out, and it might even take the knees out from under the credit-card companies. Not only that, but the price, at just under ten dollars per coin, was in their estimation low, very low. They began to snap it up. They were aware, even at the beginning, that they might, once again, be called Johnny-come-latelys, just hopping blithely on the bandwagon—it was 2012, already four years into the birth of the currency—but they went ahead anyway, power ten. Within a short time they'd spent $11 million buying up a whopping 1 percent of the world's bitcoin, a position they kept up as more bitcoins were mined, making their 1 percent holding today worth about $66 million. But bitcoin was flammable. The brothers felt the burn quickly. Their next significant investment came later that year, when they gave $1.5 million in venture funding to a nascent exchange called BitInstant. Within a year the CEO was arrested for laundering drug money through the exchange. So what were a pair of smart, clean-cut Olympic rowers doing hanging around the edges of something so apparently shady, and what, if anything, were they going to do about it? They mightn't have thought of it this way, but there was something of the sheriff striding into town, the one with the swagger and the scar, glancing up at the balconies as he comes down Main Street, all tumbleweeds and broken pianos. This place was a dump in most people's eyes, but the sheriff glimpsed his last best shot at finally getting the respect he thinks he deserves. The money shot: A good stroke will catch the water almost without breaking its seal. You stir without rippling. Your silence is sinewy. There's muscle in that calm. The violence catches underneath, thrusts the boat along. Stroke after stroke. Just keep going. Today's truth dies tomorrow. What you have to do is elemental enough. You row without looking behind you. You keep the others in front of you. As long as you can see what they're doing, it's all in your hands. You are there to out-pain them. Doesn't matter who they are, where they come from, how they got here. Know your enemy through yourself. Push through toward pull. Find the still point of this pain. Cut a melody in the disk of your flesh. The only terror comes when they pass you—if they ever pass you. There are no suits or ties, but there is a white hum in the offices of Gemini in the Flatiron District. The air feels as if it has been brushed clean. There is something so everywhereabout the place. Ergonomic chairs. iPhone portals. Rows of flickering computers. Not so much a hush around the room as a quiet expectation. Eight, nine people. Programmers, analysts, assistants. Other employees—teammates, they call them—dialing in from Portland, Oregon, and beyond. The brothers fire up the room when they walk inside. A fist-pump here, a shoulder touch there. At the same time, there is something almost shy about them. Apart, they seem like casual visitors to the space they inhabit. It is when they're together that they feel fully shaped. One can't imagine them being apart from each other for very long. The Winklevoss twins speak onstage at Bitcoin! Let's Cut Through the Noise Already at SXSW in 2016. GETTY They move from desk to desk. The price goes up, the price goes down. The phones ring. The e-mails beep. Customer-service calls. Questions about fees. Inquiries about tax structures. Gemini was started in late 2015 as a next-generation bitcoin exchange. It is not the first such exchange in the world by any means, but it is one of the most watched. The company is designed with ordinary investors in mind, maybe a hedge fund, maybe a bank: all those people who used to be confused or even terrified by the word bitcoin. It is insured. It is clean. What's so fascinating about this venture is that the brothers are risking themselves by trying to eliminate risk: keeping the boat steady and exploding through it at the same time. It is when they're together that they feel fully shaped. One can't imagine them being apart from each other for very long. For the past couple years, the Winklevosses have worked closely with just about every compliance agency imaginable. They ticked off all the regulatory boxes. Essentially they wanted to ease all the Debting Thomases. They put regulatory frameworks in place. Security and bankability and insurance were their highest objectives. Nobody was going to be able to blow open the safe. They wanted to soothe all the appetites for risk. They told Bitcoin Magazine they were asking for "permission, not forgiveness." This is where bitcoin can become normal—that is, if you want bitcoin to be normal. Just a mile or two down the road, in Soho, a half dozen bitcoiners gather at a meetup. The room is scruffy, small, boxy. A half mannequin is propped on a table, a scarf draped around it. It's the sort of place that twenty years ago would have been full of cigarette smoke. There's a bit of Allen Ginsberg here, a touch of Emma Goldman, a lot of Zuccotti Park. The wine is free and the talk is loose. These are the true believers. They see bitcoin in its clearest possible philosophical terms—the frictionless currency of the people, changing the way people move money around the world, bypassing the banks, disrupting the status quo. A comedy show is being run out in the backyard. A scruffy young man wanders in and out, announcing over and over again that he is half-baked. A well-dressed Asian girl sidles up to the bar. She looks like she's just stepped out of an NYU business class. She's interested in discovering what bitcoin is. She is regaled by a series of convivial answers. The bartender tells her that bitcoin is a remaking of the prevailing power structures. The girl asks for another glass of wine. The bartender adds that bitcoin is democracy, pure and straight. She nods and tells him that the wine tastes like cooking oil. He laughs and says it wasn't bought with bitcoin. "I don't get it," she says. And so the evening goes, presided over by Margaux Avedisian, who describes herself as the queen of bitcoin. Avedisian, a digital-currency consultant of Armenian descent, is involved in several high-level bitcoin projects. She has appeared in documentaries and on numerous panels. She is smart, sassy, articulate. When the talk turns to the Winklevoss brothers, the bar turns dark. Someone, somewhere, reaches up to take all the oxygen out of the air. Avedisian leans forward on the counter, her eyes shining, delightful, raged. "The Winklevii are not the face of bitcoin," she says. "They're jokes. They don't know what they're saying. Nobody in our community respects them. They're so one-note. If you look at their exchange, they have no real volume, they never will. They keep throwing money at different things. Nobody cares. They're not part of us. They're just hangers-on." "Ah, they're just assholes," the bartender chimes in. "What they want to do," says Avedisian, "is lobotomize bitcoin, make it into something entirely vapid. They have no clue." The Asian girl leaves without drinking her third glass of free wine. She's got a totter in her step. She doesn't quite get the future of money, but then again maybe very few in the world do. Giving testimony on bitcoin licensing before the New York State Department of Financial Services in 2014. LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS The future of money might look like this: You're standing on Oxford Street in London in winter. You think about how you want to get to Charing Cross Road. The thought triggers itself through electrical signals into the chip embedded in your wrist. Within a moment, a driverless car pulls up on the sensor-equipped road. The door opens. You hop in. The car says hello. You tell it to shut up. It does. It already knows where you want to go. It turns onto Regent Street. You think,A little more air-conditioning, please. The vents blow. You think, Go a little faster, please. The pace picks up. You think, This traffic is too heavy, use Quick(TM). The car swings down Glasshouse Street. You think, Pay the car in front to get out of my way. It does. You think, Unlock access to a shortcut. The car turns down Sherwood Street to Shaftsbury Avenue. You pull in to Charing Cross. You hop out. The car says goodbye. You tell it to shut up again. You run for the train and the computer chip in your wrist pays for the quiet-car ticket for the way home. All of these transactions—the air-conditioning, the pace, the shortcut, the bribe to get out of the way, the quick lanes, the ride itself, the train, maybe even the "shut up"—will cost money. As far as crypto-currency enthusiasts think, it will be paid for without coins, without phones, without glass screens, just the money coming in and going out of your preprogrammed wallet embedded beneath your skin. The Winklevosses are betting that the money will be bitcoin. And that those coins will flow through high-end, corporate-run exchanges like Gemini rather than smoky SoHo dives. Cameron leans across a table in a New York diner, the sort of place where you might want to polish your fork just in case, and says: "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet." He can't remember whom the quote belongs to, but he freely acknowledges that it's not his own. Theirs is a truculent but generous intelligence, capable of surprise and turn at the oddest of moments. They talk meditation, they talk economics, they talk Van Halen, they talk, yes, William Gibson, but everything comes around again to bitcoin. "The key to all this is that people aren't even going to know that they're using bitcoin," says Tyler. "It's going to be there, but it's not going to be exposed to the end user. Bitcoin is going to be the rails that underpin our payment systems. It's just like an IP address. We don't log on to a series of numbers, 115.425.5 or whatever. No, we log on to Google.com. In the same way, bitcoin is going to be disguised. There will be a body kit that makes it user-friendly. That's what makes bitcoin a kick-ass currency." Any fool can send a billion dollars across the world—as long as they have it, of course—but it's virtually impossible to send a quarter unless you stick it in an envelope and pay forty-nine cents for a stamp. It's one of the great ironies of our antiquated money system. And yet the quark of the financial world is essentially the small denomination. What bitcoin promises is that it will enable people and businesses to send money in just about any denomination to one another, anywhere in the world, for next to nothing. A public address, a private key, a click of the mouse, and the money is gone. A Bitcoin conference in New York City in 2014. GETTY This matters. This matters a lot. Credit-card companies can't do this. Neither can the big banks under their current systems. But Marie-Louise on the corner of Libertador Avenue can. And so can Pat Murphy in his Limerick housing estate. So can Mark Andreessen and Bill Gates and Laurene Powell Jobs. Anyone can do it, anywhere in the world, at virtually no charge. You can do it, in fact, from your phone in a diner in New York. But the whole time they are there—over identical California omelettes that they order with an ironic shrug—they never once open their phones. They come across more like the talkative guys who might buy you a drink at the sports bar than the petulants ordering bottle service in the VIP corner. The older they get, the more comfortable they seem in their contradictions: the competition, the ease; the fame, the quiet; the gamble, the sure thing. Bitcoin is what might eventually make them among the richest men in America. And yet. There is always a yet. What seems indisputable about the future of money, to the Winklevosses and other bitcoin adherents, is that the technology that underpins bitcoin—the blockchain—will become one of the fundamental tenets of how we deal with the world of finance. Blockchain is the core computer code. It's open source and peer to peer—in other words, it's free and open to you and me. Every single bitcoin transaction ever made goes to an open public ledger. It would take an unprecedented 51 percent attack—where one entity would come to control more than half of the computing power used to mine bitcoin—for hackers to undo it. The blockchain is maintained by computers all around the world, and its future sidechains will create systems that deal with contracts and stock and other payments. These sidechains could very well be the foundation of the new global economy for the big banks, the credit-card companies, and even government itself. "It's boundless," says Cameron. This is what the brothers are counting on—and what might eventually make them among the richest men in America. And yet. There is always a yet. When you delve into the world of bitcoin, it gets deeper, darker, more mysterious all the time. Why has its creator remained anonymous? Why did he drop off the face of the earth? How much of it does he own himself? Will banks and corporations try to bring the currency down? Why are there really only five developers with full "commit access" to the code (not the Winklevosses, by the way)? Who is really in charge of the currency's governance? Perhaps the most pressing issue at hand is that of scaling, which has caused what amounts to a civil war among followers. A maximum block size of one megabyte has been imposed on the chain, sort of like a built-in artificial dampener to keep bitcoin punk rock. That's not nearly enough capacity for the number of transactions that would take place in future visions. In years to come, there could be massive backlogs and outages that could create instant financial panic. Bitcoin's most influential leaders are haggling over what will happen. Will bitcoin maintain its decentralized status, or will it go legit and open up to infinite transactions? And if it goes legit, where's the punk? The issues are ongoing—and they might very well take bitcoin down, but the Winklevosses don't think so. They have seen internal disputes before. They've refrained from taking a public stance mostly because they know that there are a lot of other very smart people in bitcoin who are aware that crisis often builds consensus. "We're in this for the long haul," says Tyler. "We're the first batter in the first inning." GILLIAN LAUB The waiter comes across and asks them, bizarrely, if they're twins. They nod politely. Who was born first? They've heard it a million times and their answer is always the same: Neither of them—they were born cesarean. Cameron looks older, says the waiter. Tyler grins. Normally it's the other way around, says Cameron, grinning back. Do you ever fight? asks the waiter. Every now and then, they say. But not over this, not over the future. Heraclitus was wrong. You can, in fact, step in the same river twice. In the beginning you went to the shed. No electricity there, no heat, just a giant tub where you simulated the river. You could only do eleven strokes. But there was something about the repetition, the difference, even the monotony, that hooked you. After a while it wasn't an abandoned shed anymore. College gyms, national training centers. Bigger buildings. High ceilings. AC. Doctors and trainers. Monitors hooked up to your heart, your head, your blood. Six foot five, but even then you were not as tall as the other guys. You liked the notion of underdog. Everyone called you the opposite. The rich kids. The privileged ones. To hell with that. They don't know us, who we are, where we came from. Some of the biggest chips rest on the shoulders of those with the least to lose. Six foot five times two makes just about thirteen feet. You sit in the erg and you stare ahead. Day in, day out. One thousand strokes, two thousand. You work with the very best. You even train with the Navy SEALs. It touches that American part of you. The sentiment, the false optimism. When the oil fields are burning, you even think, I'll go there with them. But you stay in the boat. You want that other flag rising. That's what you aim for. You don't win but you get close. Afterward there are planes, galas, regattas, magazine spreads, but you always come back to that early river. The cold. The fierceness. The heron. Like it or not, you're never going to get off the water—that's just the fact of the matter, it's always going to be there. Hard to admit it, but once you were wrong. You got out of the boat and you haggled over who made it. You lost that one, hard. You might lose this one, too, but then again it just might be the original arc that you're stepping toward. So you return, then. You rise before dark. You drag your carcass along Broadway before dawn. All the rich men in the world want to get shot into outer space. Richard Branson. Jeff Bezos. Elon Musk. The new explorers. To get the hell out of here and see if they—and maybe we—can exist somewhere else for a while. It's the story of the century. We want to know if the pocket of the universe can be turned inside out. We're either going to bring all the detritus of the world upward with us or we're going to find a brand-new way to exist. The cynical say that it's just another form of colonization—they're probably right, but then again maybe it's our only way out. The Winklevosses have booked their tickets—numbers 700 and 701—on Branson's Virgin Galactic. Although they go virtually everywhere together, the twins want to go on different flights because of the risk involved: Now that they're in their mid-thirties, they can finally see death, or at least its rumor. It's a boy's adventure, but it's also the outer edge of possibility. It cost a quarter of a million dollars per seat, and they paid for it, yes, in bitcoin. Of course, up until recently, the original space flights all splashed down into the sea. One of the ships that hauled the Gemini space capsule out of the water in 1965 was the Intrepid aircraft carrier. The Winklevosses no longer pull their boat up the river. Instead they often run five miles along the Hudson to the Intrepid and back. The destroyer has been parked along Manhattan's West Side for almost as long as they have been alive. It's now a museum. The brothers like the boat, its presence, its symbolism: Intrepid, Gemini, the space shot. They ease into the run.
Ten Non-sensationalist Bitcoin Predictions for 2014
Happy New Year! Since everyone else is doing it, I thought that it would be fun to put together a list of my ten predictions for Bitcoin in 2014. (Spoiler: I am not going to predict the final price per bitcoin because those predications are universally garbage. Unless you are tothemoonguy.) Without further ado, and in no particular order: 1) Regulatory Victories: Major nations in Europe and North America (including the U.S.) regulate Bitcoin as a commodity or security. Few if any treat Bitcoin as a true currency. That means that Bitcoin gains and losses will be taxable at long- and short-term rates, and wallet services will need to work quickly to provide accurate trading forms (with offsetting lots) for customers. Day-traders (including hobbyists) will likely need to register with the appropriate regulatory bodies to get preferential tax treatment. Silicon Valley tax lawyers rejoice when they see an influx of new business from Bitcoin's paper millionaires who are now panicked about paying taxes on the toys they purchased with appreciated bitcoin, cars, apartments, etc. By the end of 2014, China decides to get back into the game so they don't miss out on the next major tech boom. 2) Pot & Porn: Regardless of your personal values, marijuana and pornography are massive industries which straddle the line between legal and illegal. Don't expect BitPay or Coinbase to service these markets any time soon. Do expect one or more Bitcoin startups to focus nearly exclusively on these gray markets. Some will call them Silk Road Lites, I'll call them major money makers. (More tomorrow.) 3) Academic Interest: More academic study will lead to greater insights into the Bitcoin blockchain, price movements, and intrinsic value. I am personally interested, among other things, in using some of the blockchain's information to come up with a "fully-diluted" price for a bitcoin. Something that factors in a) the future bitcoins that will be mined on schedule, b) the estimated "dead" bitcoin from early miners who discarded or lost their private keys, c) the average sent vs. receipted split in bitcoin transactions, which affects the meaningfulness of "bitcoin days destroyed" - a weighted average bitcoin addresses that monitors how long they have been inactive. (Full topic next week.) 4) Wall Street Interest: 2014 will be the year that Bitcoin went Wall Street, if not mainstream. The Winklevii are still working on getting their ETF listed on major exchanges. SecondMarket's Bitcoin Investment Trust is a hot investment vehicle and now it seems that Fortress Investment Group and Pantera Capital have raised nearly $150mm for a new Bitcoin-related fund. Expect this to be the tip of the iceberg. I think we could see a major bank's trading desk integrate Bitcoin, and wouldn't be surprised to see a tiny startup like Coinsetter get swooped up for an eye-popping amount as a strategic acquisition / acquihire. 5) Volatility is Addressed: Bitcoin is still missing mainstream consumers. Without consumers, there will be limited demand for merchants to accept bitcoin. Without a vibrant transaction system, there will be limited value in bitcoin to investors. Without consumers, merchants and investors, bitcoins become worthless and the Bitcoin technology loses steam. Expect some new ventures to successfully tackle this volatility problem, including my company Inscrypto. Bitcoin doesn't need to be a currency, it simply needs to look and feel and act like one for non-investors. 6) Financial Cowboys Get Rich: Holy crap, I wish that I were a tech-savvy Wall Street guy because Bitcoin is a FinTech experts wet dream. Institutions might have to wait until the regulatory bodies green light their activity in Bitcoin, but individual day traders have no such restrictions. There are massive arbitrage opportunities between exchanges. Chartists can actually make money by exploiting trends that make the illiquid market inefficient for the time being. Trading algorithms may be written that improve system-wide liquidity and enrich their authors. Wild. 7) Entrepreneurs Solve Problems: Some of bitcoin's biggest critiques (volatility, illiquidity, etc.) will yield tremendous innovations in 2014. All an entrepreneur with a bitcoin obsession needs to do is spend a day on /bitcoin and he'll come up with a dozen startup ideas. As one MIT Sloan student asked me: "Can't you just take anything in financial services and make a bitcoin version?" Pretty much, yeah. That's why so many people are salivating. 8) Bitcoin Remains the Dominant Crypto: Bitcoin's healthy alt-currency ecosystem is good for Bitcoin the technology platform because it provides a back-up plan to any existential threat to bitcoin the currency. That said, the majority of developer talent is building on top of the Bitcoin protocol first, and the new layers and applications that are created this year will continue to strengthen the overall Bitcoin ecosystem. Expect Bitcoin to remain the gold standard of crypto-currencies, and Litecoin and others to maintain their silver, bronze and honorable mention status. 9) Bitcoin as Legal Tender: No, it's not going to happen in the U.S. any time soon. But I'd expect some countries to start storing bitcoin in their central banks in the new year. It's got similar properties to gold as a long-term store of value and the potential for exponential growth. In addition, I'd expect at least some government to accept bitcoin for taxes. Could be a national government or a struggling domestic municipality, maybe Vicco, Kentucky. 10) Price Appreciation: I'm not going to venture a guess into the future value of Bitcoin, but suffice it to say, I believe strongly that the currency will continue to appreciate significantly. Regulatory clarity, greater consumebusiness exposure, insane levels of developer interest, eye-popping investor interest from Wall Street and the VC community, and layers of innovations on top of the underlying Bitcoin protocol will outweigh any negatives. Moreover, the early adopters in Bitcoin aren't selling any time soon. Over half of Bitcoiners polled by Coindesk believe that Bitcoin will go above $10k USD in 2014. Absurd, but shows that this community isn't simply waiting to cash out when the Greater Fools make their buys. So there they are. My professional crystal-ball predictions for 2014, which are incredibly safe and non-sensational. I look forward to checking in on them in six and twelve months, and hopefully becoming a rich man in the process. To the moon!
I'm probably being very naive here, but before I get too excited there's something I wanna know; As I understand it the Winklevii ETF plans to buy coins & hold them on behalf of their investors, and buy more coins as more money goes into their ETF.... Well does Barry Silbert's BIT fund do the same? Because the way I read it (perhaps incorrectly) the fund works by tracking the bitcoin price fluctuations. I want to know if Silbert's fund will CAUSE the fluctuations by buying up coins the same way the Winklevii's ETF would do. In other words, if you're an investor in Barry's BIT fund & hold shares in it, is it not just the case your share value increases by the btc price rising from 250 to 300 - almost like you're just watching the btc market from the sidelines (without actively affecting the price yourself) and then betting on the ups and downs... Hoping someone can clarify
Someone at work asked me about bitcion today. This is my response.
Don't get me started on bitcoin. Anyone not interested can stop here :) We're still in the early stages with bitcoin - it could "go to zero" as we say, but I don't think so. The awesome thing about it is that it's a technology you can invest in directly. I wouldn't bet your retirement account on it, but I will suggest everyone put at least some % of their investment in it. You can buy as little as $10. I'm about 50% in bitcoin myself, but then I'm a little deranged. 5% is good depending on your tolerance for risk. The easiest way to get some: https://coinbase.com/ A more advanced exchange with limit orders & such: https://www.bitstamp.net/ Soon we will see an exchange-traded fund tracking bitcoin (brought to you buy the winklevii, co-creators of facebook). This lets you invest in it (but not worry about storing it) through your regular brokerage account. Beware by the time that's available, you will probably have missed out on a bit of the action. That's the SEC's job you know, keeping normal people from investing in things until all the bankers get the first crack at them. While the SEC is keeping you down, the US Marshals are selling a big chunk of bitcoin seized from the silk road. Minimum ticket to entry? $200K. We're all waiting to see what price the seized coins go for. Investing might make you rich (here's hoping), but being a true believer comes from understanding and using the technology. I'll send you a small amount to play with. This is a good trustworthy web-based wallet: http://blockchain.info/ Here's one example of why it will take off: http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/06/25/bitbeat-why-bitcoins-scoring-goals-in-argentina/ Here in the US, we have nice friendly banks and central bankers. In other places however, bitcoin could be a lifesaver. Even here, our dollars are devalued at an astonishing rate. Whether you think that's good or bad, you can see why holding bitcoin would appeal to some (bitcoin's inflation is destined to slow down and then stop entirely). IOW, you don't have to think it's sound finance to believe it will increase in value. ATMs, armored cars, neighborhood banks, western union, etc. Bitcoin makes all these things obsolete. It also stops credit card leaks. Individual people may have their coin stolen, but Target won't be able to leak everyone's private data - they won't have possession of it. It can be more libertarian. You can "be your own bank". There is a bitcoin equivalent to occupy wall street: vacate wall street. Move your money out of their system and watch it collapse. OK, now I'm getting really off the rails. Currently flirting with $600: http://bitcoinity.org/markets/bitstamp/USD
It’s time for more bitcoin conference porn! The fall schedule (glut) kicks off today in London with an Inside Bitcoins conference. Unfortunately, I’ll miss it. Instead, I’ll be at MIT giving a presentation on how students there can scale from “Zero to One” in Bitcoin. My favorite slide of the short overview, which is also relevant to #bitcoinconf attendees is without a doubt how to simply “sound smart” as a newcomer to Bitcoin. That’s really half of the battle; I’ve learned from personal experience. Leaders in this industry who are exponentially smarter than me were willing to talk to me as a peer mere weeks after I first learned about bitcoin last November, mostly because I faked it ‘til I made it.* So I feel a moral responsibility to share ten things that can make any newb sound like a seasoned vet. Much like a pick-up artist**, you’ll have to craft your own style and will look silly occasionally, but at least you can sleep easy knowing that you will fool 99% of onlookers with this framework. Here are my top ten tips for sounding smarter than you really are when it comes to Bitcoin… 1) Know simple BTC grammar. Discredit anyone who misspells bitcoin as BitCoin or bit coin, and gently correct those who conflate Bitcoin the protocol (capitalized) with bitcoin the currency (lower-case). This is a slam dunk, I’ve-been-here-a-while, pro tip. Don’t be a jerk about it, but politely help this other newcomer scale to your level of intelligence. Congrats, you’re already ahead of the curve. 2) Acknowledge that bitcoin is a crappy currency, but a high-potential commodity. Bitcoin is volatile and will be for a very long time. It’s designed to appreciate in value or to fail — without much middle ground. As a unit of account or store of value, it’s terrible, but it is also a very high-potential commodity. Holding the “currency” means (among other things) that you are betting bitcoin displaces gold as a long-term reserve — that one inherently worthless commodity (gold) will be replaced by another (bitcoin), because bitcoin will at least be tied to a very valuable network. You also believe that as the critical exchange, investment, and derivative infrastructure is built out, mainstream people will use what are essentially fiat-denominated bitcoins anyway (thanks to hedging wizardry). Oh, and on that last point, you’ll stop referring “dollars” and instead reference “fiat.” 3) Point out that all currencies fluctuate in relative value, but at least BTC appreciates. This is in some ways a close corollary to #2. People like to criticize bitcoin’s “extreme” volatility, but the truth is that the currency’s volatility is falling and will continue to fall steadily as it grows larger. Moreover, it will look less volatile relative to the currencies of many smaller, developing economies, especially those with high inflation like Argentina or Nigeria. (BTC is the 90th most popular global currency by M1.) At least with bitcoin, you have a ~50% chance on any given day that you’ll enjoy upside volatility, instead of slow and steady devaluation. Many people outside of the US and Europe are going to play those odds. 4) Understand that Bitcoin is not decentralized, it is distributed. There are basically 10 people in the world who ultimately control Bitcoin right now, so it’s not decentralized. You’ve got 5-10 Bitcoin core developers who contribute updates to the code base only if they are accepted by the 5-10 mining behemoths that call the shots. In theory, anyone can “fork” the Bitcoin core if they don’t like the miners’ rules, but most people will agree that this is infeasible at best. It doesn’t help that no one knows who controls most of the global mining power or even who invented Bitcoin. Sounds shady, and in truth, it is more of a black box than most will admit. The good news is that the block chain is universally distributed, so at least people can see the global ledger of transactions, even if they don’t appreciate that a group smaller than the Fed actually controls Bitcoin. Brownie points if you know who Gavin Andresen is, because many newbs don’t! I’ll put it to you this way: Gavin is bitcoin’s Mark Zuckerberg to Satoshi’s Winklevii — if only the Winkevoss twins had come up with a clever seigniorage model for social networking and faded to the background gracefully once they had Zuck on board. Gavin and the other core developers aren’t household names by pure chance — the media is simply too obsessed with the mysterious Satoshi. 5) Admit that Bitcoin is not cheaper than credit cards. A common pitch is that bitcoin is much cheaper than credit cards, but this simply is not true in most real-world use cases. Bitcoin merely appears less expensive for most retail transactions because those charging the transaction fees - the miners - care more about the large 25 BTC / block mining reward subsidies than they do the variable transaction fees. For now. As mining gets more expensive and the mining reward shrinks over the next decade, bitcoin’s transaction fees will start looking a heck of a lot more like interchange rates. In addition, if you go up one level to the payment processors like BitPay and Coinbase, either the merchant or the consumer (or a combination) is paying 100-150 basis points to cover bitcoin transaction costs - not a tremendous price difference from card networks. Bitcoin has many advantages over credit cards — security, interoperability, universality, etc. — but cost generally isn’t one of them. 6) Remittances aren’t a near-term killer app; cross-border transactions are. As much as bitcoiners like to bash Western Union and Money Gram, and as despicable as some of these remittance platforms can be, they still exist for a reason. Doing safe, secure and legal remittance is more expensive than it seems at first glance. And while it’s nice to think that crypto could flow freely to those already familiar with mobile money, this theory has one big flaw: the infrastructure and awareness for bitcoin isn’t even close to there yet in developing economies. Sure, a migrant worker could send bitcoin to a relative’s mobile phone in Zimbabwe, but good luck safely exchanging that for usable day-to-day currency - especially at a cheaper rate than the evil remittance empires. Business to business cross-border transactions, on the other hand, are infinitely more likely to succeed on a faster timeline. More sophisticated parties, with better access to bitcoin exchanges and financial services, solving a more straightforward and nominally larger problem. 7) Pick at least one bitcoin company to hate, and know why you hate them so much. I honestly don’t think I’ve met a single person in this industry who hasn’t completely crapped all over at least one leading bitcoin company behind closed doors. In fairness, even when I’m not playing devil’s advocate, I have still been legitimately guilty of giving the business to all of these companies myself. But for most non-bully-pulpiteers, it’s simply easier and less abrasive to whisper criticisms. It doesn’t matter whether you pick Circle (“Wall Street sell-outs”), Coinbase (“young, naive and overextended”), Xapo (“shady insurance dealings”), Blockchain (“short-sighted ideologues”), or BitPay (“first, but not best”). All that matters is that you hate at least one of them. 8) Tell everyone how much you love Andreas, but that he’s too political for your liking. First you have to watch an Andreas Antonopoulos presentation and learn how to spell Antonopoulos. He speaks beautifully and sincerely and intelligently, and if Aaron Sorkin ever wrote a show about bitcoin, Andreas would be the protagonist, a la President Bartlet (West Wing) or Will McAvoy (Newsroom). He’s a perfect embodiment of what bitcoin should be — indeed, it’s fun to believe in his type of future — but the realist in you knows to just eat popcorn while watching this artist at work. You don’t actually need to believe what he says for bitcoin to go mainstream. In fact, if you are easily influenced, you probably shouldn’t because many of his most strongly held beliefs simply aren’t practical. 9) Learn the defensive pitch for the Bitcoin Foundation. It goes something like this: “You know, it’s not that easy to herd cats in this industry and these guys have been very valuable in serving as a voice for such a diverse community. At the end of the day, none of the leading entrepreneurs have time to do much advocacy work outside of their own companies, and the Bitcoin Foundation is crucial in promoting investment in the Bitcoin core technology. It’s easy to criticize them — and look, they’ve definitely made some mistakes — but like most non-profits, these guys are underpaid, overworked and only get criticism, never praise.” The more you say this, the truer it sounds. (See TBI, March 2014, for why this is ironic.) 10) Rehearse this phrase or some close iteration of it. "Ethereum is really interesting, but it just seems like they will have an uphill battle to beat out Bitcoin innovations like side chains and tree chains given Bitcoin’s network effects."*** If you want to immediately be deified like a core developer, state this with confidence and maintain eye contact with your listener during cocktail hour, then just shake hands and walk away. This is a newb trump card, and it sounds smart on so many levels that you will leave your audience with no choice but to admire your crypto fluency. Uttering this phrase without stammering usually comes with an admission ticket to any conference VIP after-party you’d like. (I usually just use one of my several aliases, until one of them is on the list.) Good luck! *Still trying to make it. **There are actually a surprising number of former and current pick-up artists in bitcoin. No joke. (I’m not one of them.) ***Full disclosure: I have said this verbatim and still don’t know what it means. But it sounds smart. http://two-bit-idiot.tumblr.com/post/97561749484/sound-smart-at-bitcoinconf
The truth about MtGox will come out and charges will be laid.
Some big banks will reverse their anti-bitcoin stance and will accept accounts denominated in Bitcoin, though only for high value customers like major businesses and such.
Kinda nailed it? Banks certainly are on the doorstep of doing stuff like this, Ukraine etc. and "blockchain" technology certainly is big right now. I may have been a little early though.
Bitpay, Coinbase, Circle or one of the other big, yet reputable Bitcoin processors will get bought out/acquired, signalling that big players are finally moving into Bitcoin adoption in a very serious way.
No dice, seems that these little piggy banks are not ripe enough for acquisition just yet....
Bitlicense, for all it's negative press and dislkie by Bitcoin users, will usher in a surge of new investment in the Bitcoin space. A number of other states and a few other countries will also pass, or be crafting legislation so that Bitcoin commerce has a solid legal framework for companies to operate around. Some will be absurd, but some will not be as bad (none will be glowingly positive though).
Sorry guys, dropped the ball on this one. My prediction is bad, and I should feel bad. Though the sliver lining is that countries and states are definitely building legal frameworks to accommodate Bitcoin, and other cryptos so it wasn't a totally bad prediction, just the bitlicense bit.
The ETF will sit on the tarmac for almost the whole year before it suddenly and unexpectedly gets the green light late in 2015.
sigh... On the upside GBTC is going swimmingly and at least the Winklevii have their Gemini exchange up and going. God knows when their etf is ever going to fly though.
Australia will do nothing about the ATO's ruling on Bitcoin and will remain a backwater for Bitcoin businesses, even though Bitcoin use by Australians will increase....
...The ATO will start pursuing people that conduct business in Bitcoin without declaring tax as tax evaders and will waste money and resources pursuing individuals/businesses that don't disclose Bitcoin commerce or retain the double GST for Bitcoin related sales. Ironically the cause of this this will be the result of their own idiotic rulings in the previous year. The ATO will be left red faced, and some Australian politicians will begin to craft legislation to recategorise Bitcoin as a currency, as it should have been originally.
Ok that didn't quite happen AFAIK there's been no crackdown, but I do remember that senate hearings or meetings were in place to legislate the legality of Bitcoin as a currency. I guess time will tell.
The Usability Front:
Trezor will be accessible and ubiquitous among nearly every major Bitcoin wallet, both desktop, web, and mobile. And a number of other new hardware wallets will have hit the market, though Trezor will still be the stand out must have security item in 2015. Satoshi Labs will also release a more compact and more feature rich hardware wallet towards the end of the year.
Still not there, but the number of other hardware wallets has definitely increased substantially, with even more on the horizon so here's hoping that next year we'll see ubiquitous and universal compatibility among more hardware wallets.
The Core software Front:
Sidechains proof of concept will be in the wild, and the attention will be massive, though there will be lots of arguing among bitcoiners over decentralisation, fork related issues, stability, security, etc. This year will be very much an embryonic year for sidechains where many problems are thrashed out and refinements will occur, in anticipation for a final stable release, though no direct action will be taken to fork so that sidechains will be possible, there will be a massive concentration of effort on sidechain development in 2015.
If only, sidechains was not the star this year, and we all know why too...
Gavin, and the other core developers will announce a desire for a hard fork, which will set a schedule for raising the transaction and max block size limit, as well as other fork related improvements. Others will try to hijack the fork announcement to also get their own pet hard fork changes in and it will take months for the arguing to die down before people become convinced that controversial changes simply aren't going to get into the fork if it happens. Miners will already be positioning for a fork by the time the discussion dies down and most will already be indicating their acceptance, which will be implemented in 2016.
FYI, there was absolutely ZERO noise about the block increase when I made this prediction, so I'm going to say that I nailed the specifics, but I obviously was NOT prepared for monumental clusterfuck shitfest that Blockstream, Core and their little cliquey circle was going to unleash onto the general community. Nor did I anticipate how the miners would reel in horror at what should have been fairly straightforward upgrade that even now, seems quite rational and acceptable. It's obvious now that there was a huge amount of hidden resentment and resistance to any block increase by many devs and other members in the community, so in retrospect the years of stalling makes far more sense now. At the very least I'm just glad their true colors are out in the open for everyone to see, rather than hidden behind excuses, lies, and half truths.
Other likely developments:
Lighthouse and Open Bazaar will make big news as they start to draw away ebay and kickstarter users, but will also make news for all the wrong reasons as the media demonises the platforms as being simply an evolution of the Silk Road.
Another missed opportunity. At least OB is still going strong and hasn't fizzled like some other projects. Keep up the great work Open Bazaar devs!
Western Union and the big CC companies will still pretend that Bitcoin isn't happening, but there will be obvious signs of them repositioning to push back against Bitcoin users.
Nailed it. :) For people that don't agree, all I have to say is this, "blockchain technology" ;).
2015 is finally going to see bail-ins for at least 2 large countries and 3 or more will have entered major recessions this year. One or two countries will hit hyperinflation and their currencies won't be traded by years end. Even in light of this, most people will still not buy Bitcoins and it will still be seen as a geek thing, so many less savy people will still be avoiding Bitcoins for all the wrong reasons.
I guess I far too optimistic :), looks like these dinosaurs still have some fight in them left. Though Europe and the Greek crisis did almost happen, so I only just narrowly missed calling a huge financial catastrophe this year. Doesn't mean it isn't going to happen, just not this year I guess.
And finally, price:
I reckon if most of the thing's I mentioned above come to pass, I wouldn't be surprised at the price rising to $3850 USD at the most extreme, and It will happen in August. But will quickly fall back to $2300 USD by the end of the year.
Goddamnit. Oh well, I guess it's understandable now that the blocksize issue has been completely blown out of proportion and turned the entire ecosystem on it's head.
All in all I think I did pretty damn well considering. I reckon if the move to increase the blocksize had gone according to BIP101, we would have seen a far more positive end of year though. The controversy has almost certainly taken the wind out of the innovation sails so to speak as it's clear in my predictions that I expected things to have moved along far more than it has.
I think this is the biggest thing holding bitcoin back.
I haven't been involved in bitcoin long, only about a year. But within the year I've become infatuated with the potential of crypto and the implications that would result from widespread adoption. I understand its utility as a decentralized, instantaneous transacting currency. But I think the problem with many bitcoiners is many don't take a step back and realize why this isn't expanding at a more dramatic rate. Many bitcoiners look at the time magazine, the overstock, and the microsoft news as evidence of bitcoin "on the cusp of global adoption." Many bitcoiners look at the ATMs sprouting, the Winklevii BTC investment funds, and all the niche bitcoin businesses as evidence of a growing footprint in new market spaces. They look at these "news pieces" and ask, why isn't the price going up? Well, before answering why the price isn't going up, let's first acknowledge that, yes, we should be valuing the technology and not the day to day value against the dollar. The market price doesn't change the software, it's still as good at $0.10 as it is $1,000. But the price is a good indicator of new users. If new users are prone to coming into bitcoin, the price will grow. The price will grow because more people are converting fiat and buying into bitcoin. And the price will grow because speculators see the prospect of user base growth, and will invest in anticipation of profiting from the influx. So, yes, speculators largely dictate the price, and the price isn't that important when it comes to the technology, but it does reflect its prospect as a widely adopted currency. As of right now, its prospect is slowly dwindling because bitcoiners are spending their bitcoin at coinbase and bitpay operated business like Microsoft and Time Magazine, and these purchases are instantly converted out of bitcoin and into fiat. The purchasing of bitcoin is out-frequented by the selling of bitcoin. Why is that? And that brings me to the original point of this thread. The biggest thing holding bitcoin back is the fact that it's hugely inconvenient to purchase bitcoin. It just is. Coinbase is great, it really is. It's a staple of reliability and safety. It's a model of what all bitcoin businesses should try to emulate. There are way too many bitcoin businesses out there like Mt. Gox with infrastructure as weak as an old bridge over a river - untrustworthy, corrupted, and not prepared for high growth. Coinbase is great, but it is not efficient. It took me over a week to get my account bank-approved, and multiple days to get my bitcoin. This is way too long. The quickest way to get bitcoin is through craigslist or localbitcoins, and that's like playing russian roulette from a trust standpoint. People who are interested after reading about bitcoin, maybe even interested in trying it, many are not going to waste the time and effort for weeks of waiting and trading bank information in order to try it. A car salesman tries his best to get you inside the car to test-drive it, because he knows you're much less likely to buy the car if you read about it, see it, and then go home to forget about it. Bitcoin needs to find a way to get people in the car right away, right when they're interested in trying it, before they can lose their attention span. What bitcoin needs is one trustworthy, safe, extremely user friendly site that can transact bitcoin instantaneously. No wait times, no bank trading information, just some credit card or debit card numbers. Once this is in place, everyday people can conveniently buy bitcoin and demo the technology. They can spread the word and recommend it to others. But this will never happen if it continues to be so hard to get.
Forgive me if this has been asked before. I never see it addressed under "common myths" or FAQs. I was explaining Bitcoin to someone and they asked this question, for which I had no satisfactory answer: Can't giant investors in BTC simply cash out all at once and crash the value of everyone else's BTC? What's to stop the Winklevii from stockpiling a significant portion of the total available currency, and then doing just that? Such investors have every incentive to get more people on board, buying in to inflate the bubble. Then, as there are no regulations, they could collude with others to cash out and leave everyone hanging with a bunch of worthless bits. The more I think about it, I wonder why the hell wouldn't someone do that?
Why buy-and-hold is still the best strategy right now.
Either you think BTC stands some chance of success or you think it does not. If you don't, you should just cash out now. Why gamble trying to call the top of the bubble? You will probably be left holding the bag. I think it does stand some chance of success. I know we will be in for some massive dips too. But I don't know where they will be. So what better strategy than buy and hold? And dollar cost average? Why will it succeed? Wall Street money is just now starting to show up to the party. WSJ recommends, basically, a couple of percent in BTC. Advisers are starting to recommend 1-5% of gold holdings of their clients be switched over to BTC, just in case of success. Winklevii are getting set up. Second Market is seeing big influxes of Wall Street cash: money managers' personal stash, not from their funds! More important, they report that the big banks are angling to make money on bitcoin. That means the 10s of billions are set to flow in over the next year. China has already made a move, and that's the cause of our current bull run. But what about India and Korea and Indonesia and Singapore? Almost no volume whatsoever. They're not going to sit idly by while the Chinese get rich. And Chinese will have bitcoins to trade for goods, e.g., imports. We will see bitcoins flowing out of China into neighboring states in the next quarter and the next year. Honduras is very pro-bitcoin and they've even changed their constitution to allow free trade zones that may be bitcoin based. There's an exchange opening in the Caribbean next year. Germany now has regulatory certainty. It's only a matter of time before M-Pesa gets a bitcoin option, so SMS will be enough to trade bitcoins for all Africans. In short, even though the world's two biggest economies have already discovered the utility and value of a P2P distributed cryptographically secured ledger, even those societies' major institutions have not really started investing, and all around the world, the infrastructure and regulatory environment is just in its infancy. What will we see by next year at this time? Stable and friendly regulatory protocols, solid tax guidance, and shittons of investment in bitcoin infrastructure around the globe. The race is on. And we will see a broadening of bitcoin's global base. The unbanked will discover it, through something like M-Pesa. What price will that justify? Hard to say, but I think it will be higher than the present price. Will we touch $250 before that time? Maybe so, maybe not. Does anyone know? How could they? And if you buy and hold, you avoid all fees, spreads, etc. tl;dr If you think btc is undervalued, you can't do better than buy and hold.
My thoughts and issues with the current state of Bitcoin(and the future?)
Hi there, Bitcoin is great. Great tech. Blockchain is groundbreaking. Blah, blah, blah. I'm a fan. But there a lot of issues I see that would worry investors and people who would be open to adopting.
First off, I know how divisible they are and that it doesn't really matter if some are lost forever, I'm aware. But it concerns me greatly--partially because of the hack-heists too--that some of these seemingly dead wallets with large amount of bitcoin might just decide to you know, dump one day. Nakamoto's wallet concerns me too, considering the guy is very much loaded at the moment. Whether people here think he cares about wealth or not, it's just a great concern that one guy could decide to crush the market on a whim, which he could. Also, if adoption grew by a large volume, with every day folk using it, a crash of that magnitude could essentially kill any desire people would have to use it.
-Another thing and this is obvious and I know concerns others here--the price. I'll keep this short. Yes, I'm aware that the value of bitcoin has increased by a bajillion percent over the past few years, but to see it at 26 or so percent of its value this time last year doesn't do much to instill confidence. -We used to see bumps. There would be good news and a bump in value. Microsoft would've been huge news in '14. It would've skyrocketed. Coinbase's market would've had Wall Street going crazy. But now, good news is met with an uneven response and often results in a slight bump followed by a sell off. Though there's decreased volatility, the trend continues to be angled downward. -I strangely feel like it would take Justin Bieber selling his next album only in bitcoin for it to get REAL attention. At least in the states. Laugh it off, but that's what it takes these days. The Winklevii's opinions are trumped by Bieber. Just rambling, but let's hope for a good year.
Bitcoin is The Only Fixed Asset in the Galaxy, The Winklevii Told Dave Portnoy Although gold and Bitcoin are considered similar asset classes because of their maximum supply, that of the precious metal may increase substantially in the following years if Elon Musk’s SpaceX decides to mine gold and other metals from asteroids. The Winklevoss twins believe that if Elon Musk decides to mine gold from asteroids, it would plummet the value of the precious metal and highlight Bitcoin’s merits. Although gold and Bitcoin are considered similar asset classes because of their maximum supply, that of the precious metal may increase substantially in the following years if Elon Musk’s SpaceX decides to mine gold and other ... Bitcoin could be worth 40 times its current value one day, Cameron Winklevoss, one half of the famous twins, told CNBC on Wednesday.; The cryptocurrency had a market capitalization or value of ... Tyler Winklevoss, one half of the duo known in popular culture as the Winklevii, thinks that the cybercurrency Bitcoin may be a better long-term bet than gold. Bitcoin prices can reach over $500,000 apiece amidst government-led inflation of fiat currencies and the business interests in mining gold from asteroids, said crypto exchange Gemini founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in a blog post yesterday.. The twins acknowledged that gold has historically served as a reliable store of value, with investors seeking a safety net against inflation causing ...
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