From the Front Page - Guest Blog
October 7th, 2015 by Philip Farah
How Blockchains Are About to Disrupt Industries, Governments, and People’s Lives
Most people are familiar with the trajectory of digital evolution to date, from Web 1.0 (a one-way content distribution net) to Web 2.0 (an interactive social net) and possibly Web 3.0 (where smart applications monitor data and make decisions as human’s agents, and in doing so interact with both humans, other apps, or IoT-enabled machines).
What might be less well-understood is the disruptive power of a new wave of digital capabilities enabled by cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin) and the underlying distributed ledger technology enabling the P2P exchange of digital value (e.g., the blockchain).Read More
44,326 viewsSeptember 28th, 2015 by John LightThis is part 2 of my review of Blockstack Summit 2015, a conference I helped organize for developers of decentralized applications. You can read part 1 of my review here. As the lunch hour at Blockstack Summit drew to a close, I began to prepare for the workshop agenda planning session. This session, inspired by the unconferences I had attended in the past and further helped along by Christopher Allen, would last about an hour and see the group vote on proposals for topics to be discusse... Read More
46,179 viewsSeptember 22nd, 2015 by John LightI awoke on September 12, 2015 to the sound of Slack notifications going off just a few feet away from me. It was the morning of Blockstack Summit, and I was due to arrive at NYU for a sound check in less than two hours. I reached over and grabbed my phone to see who was pinging me and saw a message from Guy Lepage, UI/UX designer at blockchain authentication company and Blockstack sponsor Onename and one of the several people who helped me organize the Summit. “I'm at the office, ne... Read More
50,154 viewsAugust 27th, 2015 by John LightEarlier this summer, a group of developers from several blockchain projects started a forum to discuss the development of a standardized software stack for the development of decentralized applications. Just like the LAMP stack helped democratize webapp development, this new “Blockstack” would democratize decentralized application development. The initial group of about half a dozen Blockstack developers has quickly grown into a community of almost 200 decentralized application ... Read More
50,074 viewsAugust 24th, 2015 by djc
[This article first appeared on August 23 on the blog The Wall Street Technologist.]
One of the ongoing issues with Bitcoin, besides the scalability issues, is the fact that it lacks a clear governance model. The fact that we don’t have one is likely an artifact of Satoshi not really knowing how far Bitcoin would go. Indeed, it was designed to be an (almost) foolproof solution to the problem of consensus without governance.Read More
August 18th, 2015 by TravisPatron
Travis Patron is a digital money researcher and author of the 2015 Bitcoin Investor's Report. Here he explains why the blockchain represents a snapshot of the bitcoin digital economy at any given point in time.
Over the course of the last several months, one of the most consistent debates in the circles of bitcoin enthusiasts has been whether a blockchain can function successfully without the "inconvenience" of its underlying cryptocurrency.Read More
5,789 viewsJuly 20th, 2015 by Rock Siles Barcellos
Hello there! My name is Rock Barcellos. (It's my name, for real.) I'm an illustrator from Brazil and I have been participating here at Let's Talk Bitcoin! for a while, offering my services as an illustrator off and on.
This post came from an idea I had, and I wanted to give it a shot and share it with everyone. Basically, in this piece, I wanted to think about the role and importance of the peer-to-peer concept throughout history, putt...Read More
June 25th, 2015 by Kristov Atlas
3,177 viewsMay 30th, 2015 by Charles Hoskinson
Original post from http://hoskinsoncharles.blogspot.ca/2015/05/thoughts-on-ross.html
From time to time, I enjoy investing an afternoon considering politics and the state of affairs here in the United States. Our country is the first hyperpower forcing all other nations to consider us in whatever policy happens to be the day's grock. This reality is divorced from ethical or moral metrics and the war on drugs is no different.
For whatever reason (religious, practical, dystopian, etc), po...Read More
3,072 viewsFebruary 8th, 2015 by Arturo
I finished 2014 with so many great experiences in Argentina that the final outcome of educating and assisting in the Bitcoin adoption there didn't disappoint me. ...
What I didn't expect was that a "tico" (Costa Rican) would contact me and ask whether I wanted to give a Bitcoin talk in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. I was already going to visit Costa Rica on my way up from South America as I headed to Canada, so I accepted the invitation.Read More
1,896 viewsJanuary 23rd, 2015 by Ryan Walker
I attended the University of Colorado Boulder Bitcoin Club's official hackathon, Coin-orado, this past November. Over 50 participants, including many exciting Bitcoin personalities, gathered for the event. Here's my recap.
Coin-orado, Colorado’s first official Bitcoin competition, took place on November 14th, 2014 in Boulder, Colorado. The 24-hour event, organized by club co-founder Broc Kanady -- a senior ma...Read More
4,067 viewsJanuary 12th, 2015 by Michael Manville
The proliferation of cryptocurrencies has caused many to question the very definition of currency. The introduction of user-created assets, network tokens, app coins, and other Bitcoin 2.0 jargon represents our attempt to name something similar but somehow different than currency. Bitcoin itself has many attributes that fit the definition of currency, and yet, many of its attributes do not resemble currency at all.
Regardless of the terms used to define a currency, currency does not have ...Read More
5,592 viewsNovember 20th, 2014 by Adam B. LevineThis is an open letter written by Jason King, founder of Sean's Outpost in response to Ben Doernbergs' recent questions on the topicIt can be very uncomfortable to be criticized. Especially in the context of what we have accomplished here at Sean's Outpost. My first impulse is to be extremely defensive. After all, we have accomplished so much. Sean's Outpost is active pretty much everyday. We are the largest provider of meals to the homeless in Escambia County Flori... Read More
4,523 viewsNovember 18th, 2014 by Tawanda Kembo
I live in Zimbabwe and have been a Bitcoin evangelist here for about a year now. Although conventional wisdom tells us that Bitcoin is likely to have higher adoption in developing countries than in developed ones, the reality is very different. In this article, I explore the reasons for slow adoption in developing countries. Finally, I suggest solutions for improving the situation.Read More
3,141 viewsOctober 16th, 2014 by Luis buenaventura
Over the past two months, our Bitcoin startup out of the Philippines has been quietly pushing the term rebittance to describe a style of Bitcoin-powered money transfer that begins with BTC and ends with local fiat currency. On October 14, we launched the first version of an informational one-pager that explains how it works and how it compares with traditional bank-to-bank money transfer.Read More
4,594 viewsOctober 5th, 2014 by Ryan Walker
While the significance of putting a man on the moon is obvious, what is often lost is an appreciation for the enormity of prior achievements and the conditions required to make it possible. The establishment of the nation-state as a societal structure unleashed the untapped potential of collectively incentivized human action. Had it not been for its existence, how many more centuries may have been required for mankind to reach such literal and figurative heights? Akin to the establishment of the nation-state, the ascension of decentralized autonomy may further catalyze collective human action to even greater levels of achievement, including the reaches of singularity.Read More
4,981 viewsSeptember 3rd, 2014 by Tron Black
It is no coincidence that the value of bitcoin goes up as the mining difficulty rises. It is also no coincidence that the mining difficulty goes up as the value of bitcoin rises. There is a very tight linkage between the two. To understand why, it is important to first understand how mining affects the difficulty.
Mining for profit is very similar to a regular manufacturing business. There are capital costs which include the mining hardware (ASICS -- Specialized mining hardware, GPUs -- Graphics cards, CPUs -- regular computers, and perhaps AC -- Air Conditioning). Then there is the variable cost which is electricity. The goal is to maximize the profit, which means getting the most out of the hardware, and then knowing when to stop mining and sell the hardware. Most miners sell their newly mined bitcoin immediately to recoup their costs, which decreases the value of bitcoin because of the market sell pressure. Those that hold bitcoin do better in most cases, and miners that hold also benefit the long-term value of Bitcoin -- more on this in another article.
The difficulty goes up as more miners deploy more mining hardware. The Bitcoin network automatically adjusts the difficulty up or down every 2016 blocks, or roughly every two weeks so that each mined block, worth 25 BTC, takes about 10 minutes to find. Every machine, even a weak laptop, has a shot at finding the block on a pro-rata basis of how many hashes they calculate. By joining a mining pool, miners can spread the reward in the same way that office workers get together and buy batches of lottery tickets to get a higher chance of getting a smaller payoff. In a pool, if one of the miners finds a block, the bitcoin reward is shared with all his fellow pool miners.
How and why is the bitcoin price correlated with the difficulty?
Every miner looks at the cost of equipment, the cost of electricity and then makes two educated guesses. First, ‘How fast will the difficulty rise?’ And second, ‘How fast will the value of bitcoin rise?’ These two numbers are critically important and impossible to know in advance, but looking back at historical rates and projecting forward gives an idea of what they might be.
Efficient market theory says that it will eventually be the same cost to purchase a bitcoin as it will be to mine a bitcoin. Why is this? Because if it’s cheaper to mine a bitcoin than to buy a bitcoin, miners will buy more hardware, burn more electricity, mine, and sell bitcoin into the market pushing the market rate down until mining is no longer profitable. If it is cheaper to buy a bitcoin, then the money that might possibly go into mining will instead purchase bitcoin pushing the market price up.
Why mine at all? Because the efficient market theory breaks down at the compressed timescales involved in bitcoin. Rational market forces haven’t gone away, but they simply can’t adapt as quickly as the bitcoin ecosystem changes. If you are prepared to mine when the price rockets on speculation and before the difficulty adjusts to compensate, there are significant profits to be made.
We’ve all heard stories from the early Bitcoin days, literally only a few years ago, when mining bitcoin with a laptop would yield blocks of fifty bitcoin. We’ve also heard stories of those same people turning off their computers because it just wasn’t worth it. “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!”, you want to scream knowing that those same bitcoins are now worth tens of thousands of dollars. But those folks were operating logically. The cost of electricity exceeded the value of the bitcoins at the time. It was better to buy bitcoin on the open market with the same money that would have been spent on electricity, although few did.
So what changed from those easy, breezy, laptop mining days? The difficulty has changed. By design, half of all the bitcoins that will ever be mined were mined in the first four years. Does this mean they were easier to find in the beginning? Yes, but not because they were just laying scattered around somewhere. The careful and considered design of the software by its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, made them statistically easier to mine at the beginning and harder as more miners join the party. These details are controlled not by smug elite bureaucrats, but by the Bitcoin software, and while software can easily be changed, it’s necessary that all miners use software that follows the same rules. Since the rules are working well for the miners, it is nearly impossible to change the rules by getting most of the miners to switch software.
Now there are fewer bitcoins left to mine, and the reduced number of bitcoins are distributed proportionately among the miners based on the resources they marshal for mining. Add more miners and each miner gets fewer bitcoins until some miners drop out because their mining equipment is not as efficient or their electricity costs are too high. Efficiency is the reason that mining with a laptop is no longer recommended.
Mining is a great way to equitably distribute bitcoin and it does two other interesting things at the same time. First, it takes value away from bitcoin because resources are spent on mining equipment and electricity instead of purchasing bitcoin on the open market. Second, it increases the mining difficulty making each new bitcoin more expensive to obtain and therefore more valuable. These two competing forces are in tension.
In summary, value and difficulty are tightly correlated because when the difficulty rises to the point that mining is unprofitable, it makes more sense to purchase bitcoin which adds buying pressure to the market and vice versa. The value of a bitcoin is dependent on a high difficulty and the mining difficulty is dependent on a high price. With a few exceptions, like the recent exponential efficiency gains from improved hardware, the bitcoin value and mining difficulty will both go up, or both go down, but they will not separate - at least for very long.Read More
4,627 viewsAugust 27th, 2014 by Robert Ross
My name is Robert Ross and I am the founder of FoldingCoin (http://www.foldingcoin.net). This story I am about to tell will sound very familiar to other BTC and ALT miners but for those who always wanted to mine but never could, please read as you will like the possibility of perhaps being able to mine a coin.
When I first heard about Bitcoin the date was March 19th 2013 and Bitcoin was trading around $57 per each BTC. The thing was, I didnt even care about the price at the time. I was so interested in my friend telling me about the qualities that BTC had to offer. Even though I have been in the IT world for years I had never even heard of the concept of grid computing. I was completely inspired by this new technology that after talking about it with my friend for about 3 hours, we saw the time was only 8:30pm, so we headed down to an electronic store and bought ourselves 2 Radeon HD 6970s and started mining our first Bitcoins at around 3 oclock in the morning.
Then all we talked about was how great Bitcoin will be for the word, until the great day of April 9 when the price started to go crazy. We then went out and got another new computer with 2 Radeon HD 7950s going because we saw the potential of making money. From that time until July 2013 we went from mining BTC to ALT coins because of the ASICs. But as all you other miners know, the ALT coin game ended around March for GPUs and CPUs when the Scrypt ASICs came out. So in March I turned my rigs (totalling 34 GPUs and 8 CPUs) off and looked for a new solution. Then for the first time I discovered grid computing outside of Bitcoin.
I first found a site called BOINC http://boinc.berkeley.edu/ and I was instantly hooked on research. Apparently Bitcoin was not the first grid computing project out there. BOINC offered hundreds of different projects ranging from finding aliens to creating medicines. I thought this might be the answer. After I installed BOINC on my machines, I learned that most projects were not ATI friendly (most miners will have ATI cards) and the installation was not as user friendly as I would have liked for a general PC user.
Then I discovered a different project not on the BOINC platform that was called Folding@Home http://folding.stanford.edu/, which only worked on one project, and which folds proteins for medical research. It takes your CPU and GPU power to simulate the folding of proteins in your body, which helps medical researchers better understand how different proteins work. This work can lead to the development of new medical papers and new medicines used for all of humanity http://folding.stanford.edu/home/faq/faq-diseases/. Because their focus is on one project, the development of their program is further along than most BOINC projects. It is easy to set up, with little configuration, and the development team seems to be significantly stronger at Stanford than at other BOINC projects. Within five minutes of setting up the folding program on all my rigs, I was folding proteins.
This led me to an idea. Why not distribute a CounterParty asset to those that fold on the network? So me and my team have created FoldingCoin (FLDC) http://www.foldingcoin.net. The advantages of this can be far greater than having an ALTcoin with its own blockchain.
Since FLDC shares the bitcoin blockchain, folders rely on Bitcoin and CounterParty developers to introduce new updates to the coin, such as security, stability, and GUI. This allows our team to not focus on development of the coin itself, but rather focus on the adoption, distribution, and economy of the coin.
No energy is wasted securing a blockchain, all resources can be used strictly for Folding@Home work units.
The only chance for a 51% attack is if it happens to the Bitcoin network. BTC miners approve the transactions
When you send FLDC to another wallet you are also sending a small amount of BTC in addition to FLDC
Distribution has been locked by the CounterParty protocol ensuring that even the developers of the coin cannot introduce more into the market
Possibility of having holders of FLDC to vote on different changes to the coin, similar to how SWARM has holders vote on company decisions.
This is not only a coin, but an alternative to traditional mining. And for those that always wanted to mine but never could, you now can take any CPU (yes even a pentium III) and begin to help Stanford reach its goal of 1 million computers (at the time of writing 170,000 computers are connected http://folding.stanford.edu/home/) because even if you do not produce nearly as much as some of the top folders on the team, your CPU is still essential in creating one great big grid computing system. The value backing FLDC is the fact that it represents a certain amount of time spent doing computational work for the Folding@Home Network. Most coins contribute only a blockchain that will die after awhile to the world, FLDC offers something else.
Our team is also currently developing a use for the coin, and that is to become the currency of MeetUp.com groups. We are still working hard on how to make this happen, but the general idea is, that since most everybody has a computer, this coin can easily be created by anyone a part of any MeetUp.com group. FoldingCoin.net will give any MeetUp group 10,000 FLDC (from our personnal funds) to any MeetUp organizer that wishes to implement this program in their MeetUp. FLDC can be distributed to members as organizers see fit. Perhaps they give 100 FLDC for attending a meeting, or 200 FLDC for bringing a friend. Maybe even 1000 FLDC for bringing a professional speaker to their meeting. Since each MeetUp is unique the rewards program may vary, but we are working on a general guideline. And this is not to be limited to just crypto MeetUps, if this is used by any MeetUp it will not only help create medicines for Stanford, but help the adoption of BTC and FLDC.
This also gives a chance to eliminate cryptoswitching that hurts the difficulty of each ALTCoin. Since there is no blockchain and difficulty, once you fold with Stanford there is no other coin that you can switch to automatically. And Folding@Home has an established amount of folders, besides the BTC network, it is the larger grid computing system in the world. And bringing all miners to their program can as much as triple their current network.
Please consider helping to join our team and create medicines that will help all of humanity and help make FLDC a great coin. Even if you dont want to fold please consider buying FLDC off of those that have them to show that you support the fact that they fold. Email me at email@example.com with any questions. Thank you everyone for being the greatest online community in the world!Read More
October 07, 2015The Rise of the Internet of Value (IoV)
September 28, 2015Blockstack Summit 2015 Review, Part 2
September 22, 2015Blockstack Summit 2015 Review, Part 1
August 27, 2015The Road to Blockstack Summit
August 24, 2015Articles of Bitcoin Constitution: A Genesis Block of Governance
August 18, 2015'Money Is Now an Image'
July 20, 2015Peer to Peer Since the Beginning [Updated With Video]
June 25, 2015Brooklyn Graffiti Artist 'Gadse' and the Spread of Bitcoin
May 30, 2015Charles Hoskinson: Thoughts on Ross
February 08, 2015A Bitcoin Talk in Costa Rica
January 23, 2015Coinorado: Colorado's First Bitcoin Hackathon
January 12, 2015The Future Of Currency: Time-Based Asset Tokens and Experience Coins
November 20, 2014Jason King Responds to Sean's Outpost Transparency Questions
November 18, 2014Bitcoin Adoption in Developing Countries May Take Longer Than Expected
November 15, 2014On Monetization: Profit in a Decentralized Future
October 16, 2014Introducing Rebittance.org
October 05, 2014On Singularity - Part 2: Decentralized Autonomous ... Human Beings
September 09, 2014The Possibility of Alternative Incomes
September 03, 2014Bitcoin Value and Mining Difficulty
August 27, 2014FoldingCoin: Mining for Medicine at Home