Market Signals

Crypto-currency investment continues to be highly-rewarding for the early adopters:

While blockchain developers have long aimed to provide users of digital currency with privacy, the technology offered by Zcash could offer its users a hereto unforeseen level of anonymity. Now, investors have taken note. […] This hype is evidence in the sharp price gains that Zcash futures contracts have enjoyed ahead of the cryptocurrency’s 28th October launch. […] The contracts, which trade against the price of bitcoin, have surged from a low of $18 (0.027 BTC) on 15th September to a high of $261 (0.379 BTC) as of yesterday, a change that represents an increase of nearly 1,300%. […] … At the time of its initial crowdsale, the price of one ethereum token (1 ETH) was roughly $0.30. Today, it’s $11.93, or a nearly 4,000% increase. A similar appreciation has been observed in bitcoin, which rose from $0 to $685, and Augur’s reputation toke (REP), which rose from roughly $0.50 to more than $6 today.

Monetary exit-pressure is clearly non-negligible.

More Zcash release news here.

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The Third Web

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The 21 Inc Bitcoin Computer is an engine for the next phase of the Internet.

Yahoo Finance explains:

Most people on Wall Street, as well as regular, everyday investors (and Yahoo Finance readers like you) still don’t quite understand what bitcoin is, or why it matters. Many think it’s a scam or some kind of illegal tool for hackers. (The negative publicity around stories like the Silk Road trial didn’t help.) Srinivasan’s argument is: You don’t need to know what it is or how it works for it to be important to your digital life. He explains it this way to a layperson: “I ask people, ‘Do you use Linux?’ They’ll probably say no. But if you’re using Google.com, or Facebook.com, or Yahoo.com, you actually are using Linux, even if you don’t know it. So Linux is there, everywhere, it’s just behind the scenes, and it just sounds very technical because it solves problems for developers. And I think it’s going to be the same thing with bitcoin.”

Srinivasan frames bitcoin as the next major “system resource” in computing, something that will be a key component in every computer, just like a hard drive, RAM, and bandwidth. Bitcoin, he says, can be the resource that computers trade with other computers (without you having to worry about it), creating a “machine economy.” Once a computer can send a small amount of money as part of its operating system, “it can effectively rent or sell resources to other computers,” Srinivasan says. That was the idea behind the bitcoin computer: “If you had 500 of these things, what could they do together?”

Quotable (#163)

The frontier of automation:

In theory, distributed autonomous organizations (of which the DAO is one of the first examples) are a hardcoded solution to the age-old principal-agent problem. Simply put, backers shouldn’t have to worry about a third party mismanaging their funds when that third party is a computer program that no one party controls. […] At a time when the financial services industry is trying to automate old processes to cut costs, errors and friction, DAOs represent perhaps the most extreme attempt to take people out of the picture. …

Wright Mess

Here‘s the pitiable letter putting an end to the most recent Satoshi Nakamoto identity drama:

I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot.

When the rumors began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this.

I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I’m sorry.

And goodbye.

The farce nevertheless drags on.

Quotable (#156)

There’s going to be a lot of embarrassment to share out, when this nonsense blows over:

The truth is, the Bitcoin community is not just sceptical of anyone who claims Satoshi’s throne – it is resentful. The mystery of Satoshi and the democratising effect of there being no known founder has long been a central feature of the currency. Garrick Hileman, of the Cambridge Centre of Alterative Finance, is worried about the implications of Wright’s claim. ‘Satoshi as an absentee landlord was useful, it allowed entrepreneurs and innovators to take ground – and that may well be gone now. We’ve seen the old man behind the curtain – he’s no longer the wonderful wizard of bitcoin.’

(Via dmf.)

More delusion in the same vein, here. (Also, less delusion.)