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From the Front Page - Interviews


    The Bitcoin Game #10 - Talking Taxes with Jake Benson

    February 15th, 2015 by Rob
    Welcome to episode 10 of *The Bitcoin Game*, I'm Rob Mitchell. I wanted to really have fun and celebrate this 10th episode. I never knew if I'd be able to get ten episodes out, so this is quite an achievement for me. With that in mind, I decided to focus on something the entire cryptocurrency community loves to talk about… Taxes! While cryptocurrency taxes may not be a favorite topic, I actually had a lot more fun than I expected, speaking to Jake Benson, CEO and founder of LibraTax. Thi... Read More
    Categories: Interviews, Conferences

    Bitcoin in Middle Earth: A Trip to Queenstown, NZ

    February 8th, 2015 by TatianaMoroz
    In November, I went all over the world—Vegas to Melbourne, then Sydney to Queenstown. I haven't posted everything from this trip yet, because frankly, there is so much content to go through, it's a bit overwhelming. But I did do some fun interviews that were easy enough to edit, so I wanted to share them here. One of the first friends I made in Bitcoin was Andreas Antonopoulos, when he heard me sing the Bitcoin Jingle for the first time I ever sang it in Buenos Aires. Read More

    The Bitcoin Game #8 - Danno Ferrin, Bitstamp & Visualization

    January 18th, 2015 by Rob
    Welcome to *The Bitcoin Game*, I'm Rob Mitchell. Danno Ferrin's current day job is working on Java for the Oracle Corporation. But for fun, Danno uses his programming skills to create visualization software for the BItcoin blockchain. In the wake of the large Bitstamp theft, Danno has been able to analyze some of the Bitcoin movements, using his software. Danno might be one of the most knowledgeable people about the loss, other than insiders like Bitstamp employees and the actual hacker (I ha... Read More
    Categories: Interviews

    TBS EP10 - Peertracks - Eddie Corral and Cédrik Cobban

    January 13th, 2015 by Lij Shaw
    **First of all let me say hello again.** It is great to be back! I stepped down from Bitcoins and Gravy (and left you in the very capable hands of John Barrett) to focus on my own podcast [TheToyBoxStudioShow.com](http://thetoyboxstudioshow.com) to help audio professionals take their recording studio to the next level. **I am incredibly honored to be back here with you all at Let's Talk Bitcoin!** **I missed you guys.** **Lij Shaw** [TheToyBoxStudioShow.com](http://thetoy... Read More

    Decentralizing Internet Plumbing: Episode 1 - Oleg Khovayko

    December 25th, 2014 by mdw
    ## Welcome to the pilot episode of Decentralizing Internet Plumbing We intend to cover topics involving blockchain-based approaches to fixing some of the problems related to the current Internet infratructure. This includes core services like the Domain Name System (DNS), messaging sysytems like email and chat services, cloud storage systems, distributed applications and more. ## Episode 1 - Show Notes Mike and Dante discuss recent events: - `bitcoin.com.au` seized and ... Read More

    The Bitcoin Game #6 - Adam B. Levine

    December 8th, 2014 by Rob
    Hello, welcome to *The Bitcoin Game* #6. I'm your host, Rob Mitchell. I spoke to Adam B. Levine a few weeks ago. We talked about his original Bitcoin podcast, *The Daily Bitcoin*, and why it morphed into *Let's Talk Bitcoin*, with Andreas Antonopoulos and Stephanie Murphy. In this interview, I found out how insanely early Adam wakes up each day, his takes on crypto crowd-funding platforms, as well as some of his grave concerns about potential U.S. governmental actions against crypto-projects ... Read More

    The Bitcoin Game #4 - David A. Johnston

    November 14th, 2014 by Rob
    Welcome to episode number four of The Bitcoin Game. I'm your host, Rob Mitchell. In this episode I talk to serial entrepreneur and angel investor David Johnston. We discuss the distributed app projects he's involved in, his impressive business background, how he went all in on Bitcoin several years ago, and much more. David is a real champion of decentralization open source projects. Listen for the magic word, and submit it to your LetsTalkBitcoin.com account to claim your share of the we... Read More
    Categories: General, Interviews

    My Fascination with Daniel Krawisz and His Negative Stance on Altcoins

    November 10th, 2014 by TheBitMom
    Daniel Krawisz has made a name for himself as the philosophical opponent to competing currencies. He takes issue specifically with competing cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, and other alternatives to Bitcoin. Read More

    The Bitcoin Game #3 - Joseph VaughnPerling

    November 7th, 2014 by Rob
    Welcome to episode number three of The Bitcoin Game. I'm your host, Rob Mitchell. In this episode I talk to Joseph VaughnPerling at his alpaca ranch. We discuss Monero, the Crypto Kingdom game, Bitcoin's maximum block size proposal, the Bitcoin Specie Project, Sidechains, and a few tangents. Listen for the magic word, and submit it to your LetsTalkBitcoin.com account to claim your share of the weekly distribution of LTBcoin. The magic word must be submitted within four days of this epis... Read More

    The Bitcoin Game #2 - Factom

    October 27th, 2014 by Rob
    Welcome to episode number two of The Bitcoin Game. I'm your host, Rob Mitchell. In this episode I talk to Peter Kirby about Factom, a distributed application that functions as a scalable permanent system of record. We also talk about the Texas Bitcoin Conference, and finally, discuss the price and value of Bitcoin. Listen for the magic word, and submit it to your LetsTalkBitcoin.com account to claim your share of the weekly distribution of LTBcoin. The magic word must be submitted within fo... Read More

    The Bitcoin Game #1 - Southern California Job Fair

    October 15th, 2014 by Rob
    Welcome to the first episode of The Bitcoin Game. I was fortunate that Dan Roseman of the Bitcoin job board Coinality.com, decided to bring his Bitcoin Job Fair to Southern California on October 4th, 2014. The event was held at the Plug And Play Tech Center in Santa Monica. In this podcast you'll hear interviews with principal members of four Bitcoin businesses that were hiring at the job fair (there were many more than just these four!). I started with a quick chat with ExpressCoin CEO Will ... Read More

    Erik Voorhees Explains Why Some Bitcoin Companies Are Blocking American Users

    October 14th, 2014 by kyletorpey
    Although Americans generally believe that they live in the home of free markets, the United States’ role as a leader of economic freedom has been declining for decades. The United States ranked 12th on the latest version of the Heritage Foundation’s economic freedom index and is now relegated to the designation of “mostly free.” The myth of unbridled economic freedom in America is being exposed by Bitcoin. Read More
    Categories: General, Interviews

    The Real Sunny

    July 21st, 2014 by SeanM

    Sunny King delivers innovation.

    Sunny King, a pseudonym, is the creator of two crypto-currencies: PeerCoin and PrimeCoin. Each providing important advancements to the technology powering crypto-currencies. With PeerCoin, Sunny was the first to create a crypto-currency that uses proof-of-stake to secure the blockchain instead of proof-of-work. A method that requires very little energy for mining. 

    Next with PrimeCoin, Sunny was the first to show that a proof-of-work algorithm exists other than cryptographic hash functions. PrimeCoin uses mathematical algorithms to find chains of prime numbers.

    Because of these creations Sunny is a heavyweight when it comes to this space, and ends up doing many interviews.  However they are mostly technical.

    So the intent of this interview was to include a personal side. You will find that at times Sunny remains vague and declines some questions. However Sunny does express personal views I have not seen before, hopefully making for an interesting read and a glimpse into the person behind-the-mask. 

    Whether we like it or not 
    Sunny still remains like Satoshi: an intelligent, and mysterious figure, who shares free market principles and hopes for a better future through software innovations.


    Interview on July 10th, 2014 via Google Chat – [email protected] 

    Sean Mikha:Hi Sunny! Thanks for joining us today for the featured interview article in www.LetsTalkBitcoin.com. The purpose of this interview is to get a real understanding of the day-to-day life, experiences, and thoughts of one of the great crypto-currency inventors. The person 'behind the mask', so to speak.

    I completely understand your discretion and needs for privacy. However my plan is to be forward. I will ask questions that you may not want to answer, so let me know and be candid. It is totally fine, and I will not ask the same question again. I will also plan to send you a transcript of the final article before publishing so you verify content.

    Sunny KingOh thanks :)

    SMPreviously in your interview for Bitcoin Magazine with Vitalik Buterin (Aug 2013), you answered that you have not revealed your identity because of the political situation. Looking back over the year with the political situation now changing (federal government auctioning off Bitcoins, name-brand companies like Overstock.com, Expedia, and DISH Network accepting Bitcoin). Along with the fact that other crypto-currency inventors such as (Dan Larimer of BitShares, Charlie Lee of Litecoin) have exposed their real identity for over a year now. Do you feel your secrecy concerns are still valid?

    SK: People are easily getting complacent of the situation. Meanwhile during the year we have seen Russian and Chinese central banks showing concerns and restrict cryptocurrency, and some central banks of small countries even outright banning cryptocurrency. So it's certainly not all rosy. The political concerns have always been there. We know that the world is loosing freedoms at a rapid rate. So I think sooner or later we have to deal with the conflicts between freedom in cryptocurrency world and the reality in the political world.

    SMOk so it sounds like you believe that there are still some events unforeseen that need to come to pass before you consider it secure for you to reveal your identity. You somewhat alluded into the same interview with Vitalik that you currently live in the US. Or at least I assumed you do. Do you live in the US today?

    SKI have never alluded to that, no I don't think. Maybe in the future. I don't know yet. Everyone has different situation. So other developers might be more optimistic regarding the political situation in the world today, many of the peercoin/primecoin community also open to their identities.

    SMOk that was my assumption on the US thing. Sorry. Can you tell me about some of the fear and concerns you have (wherever you live) if you were to reveal your identity? Government raids, prosecution? Hackers messing with your identity? Others?

    SKSure all of these are quite possible. You never know what the governments are capable of these days. Even many years ago cryptographers have to live in fear of persecution. So in my opinion it certainly could be a lot worse today when not only cryptography is involved, but money is involved as well.

    SMWhat are your major philosophies on freedom? Who do you look up to? Who have you read?

    SKGenerally I am in favor of free market principles, you can say I am a libertarian, but I don't outright reject the existence of government, but I think it's better to give people more free choice, not always forcing people do this or do that. In terms of economics I am more subscribed to classical and austrian theories, not very much in favor of the central planning 'modern' theories.


    SMAny particular people you want to mention you look up to or have read? It can also be current people (other crypto developers).

    SKCan't say i read very deep in theories, but let's say Bastiat and Rothbard are among my favorites. Of course I respect Satoshi's work very much
    SMDo you think Satoshi was one person or a group of people?


    SKProbably one person. He is brilliant.

    SMYes it is pretty amazing what he/she has created. Not sure if anyone has asked you: are you one person or a group of people?

    SKI am just one person

    SMWhere did you get the name Sunny King?   

    SKWell it's just a pseudo name, no need to read too much into it

    SMDo you invest your own money in any crypto-currency? If so, which ones?

    SKFor myself, not very much. I wish I could have invested in bitcoin two years ago, probably like many of you I wasn't able to do for various reasons. It's tough. So no, I am not fit to provide any advices :P

    SM: How much money would you say you've earned from crypto-currency? If you have not converted to fiat, how much would you say your stake in PeerCoin is worth? In PrimeCoin? If you can't give us exact, maybe a range, if you can share?

    SKSorry I don't wish to disclose such information. Both peercoin and primecoin were released with open mining, so I don't have any advantages over other miners. Meanwhile many developers are releasing coins with IPO format so they can hold large sum of stakes without much investment whatsoever. Let's just say I have earned my living. So I don't have to earn huge sums from cryptocurrency to sustain my work. That's also the reason that I don't ask for any donations for my work. Also I don't aspire an extravagant lifestyle so I think I am doing quite okay.

    SM: Do you do development full time?

    SK: Yeah pretty much

    SM: Do you regular read, visit sites, or visit chat forums (besides PeerCoin/PrimeCoin) in the crypto-currency space?

    SK: I do visit our forums regularly


    SM: Any others? Blogs or Reddit?

    SK: sure occasionally, and some media sites as well

    SM: Do you listen to Let's Talk Bitcoin?

    SK: uh i probably should :p in the past i read bitcoin magazines more often

    SM: What is your favorite food?

    SK: haha I don't know ... how about chinese dim sums?

    SM: Do you have a formal education in computer science?

    SK: Let's just say I do have some experience in computer programming. Also designing algorithms and a cryptocurrency system requires a lot more than a degree in computer science.

    SM: Ok but you can't tell us if you went to a college for any of those subjects or not?

    SK: sure does it matter that much? I did, but to be fair I think especially in this Internet age, one can indeed self educate in these subjects, so I would generally not judge people with their degrees but instead of their actual communications and work produced.

    SM: Ok so you went to college for computer science?

    SK: Let's keep that private matter still.

    SM: What is your favorite hobby? Besides crypto-currency?

    SK: I do some meditation, tennis etc.

    (Start of technical focused questions)

    SM: What led to the creation of the proof-of-stake algorithm? What inspired you? Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you came up with it?

    SK: That was in 2011, we had a small study group on bitcoin

    Back then there were already a few 'altcoins' floating around, and more being created, but of course not as much as nowadays. We were thinking about something different, not a clone of bitcoin, but different algorithms, for example, addressing the energy problem of bitcoin

    That's how we started looking into alternative consensus mechanism, that using coins itself to secure cryptocurrency. We came up with the ideas ourselves, but later we learned that some people were discussing related ideas on bitcointalk forums in 2011 as well. Overall I think proof-of-stake is a good term describing the general ideas. The difference is, in 2011 we were pretty much the only people committed to use pure proof-of-stake as consensus mechanism. Everyone else were just trying to see if proof-of-stake can provide some patchwork to bitcoin's proof-of-work.

    SM: Would you say you were the first 'altcoin' to implement proof-of-stake?

    SK: Yes we are the first to have implemented proof-of-stake, any kind. Most other proof-of-stake coins are still a clone/fork from our system.

    SM: Can you tell us who the "we" is? Are they still involved in the crypto space? Did they go on to make other altcoins?

    SK: Mainly my co-author of the peercoin paper, Scott. He hasn't been very active in the past year. No I don't think he made any other coin, at least not that I am aware of.

    SM: Anyone else?

    SK: There was another guy making minor contributions and studying with us. But mainly just me and scott.

    SM: Ok, same question for PrimeCoin. What led to the creation? What was the inspiration, etc..

    SK: Primecoin was conceived in March 2013. I came to the idea that prime number search can indeed serve as proof-of-work consensus, which most people believed only hashcash could work as such mechanism 

    That was back then. 

    Of course after primecoin people would know better. So far primecoin's proof-of-work is still pretty much the only alternative proof-of-work in production other than hashcash. Oh by alternative proof-of-work I mean alternative proof-of-work consensus

    Interestingly primecoin also tries to address bitcoin's energy problem, from a different angle. In a free market, there is bound to be coexistence of energy intensive currencies and energy efficient currencies, meaning, people have free will to consume energy to produce currency, for example, mining gold. So primecoin would demonstrate, such energy consumption can be made energy-multiuse, while preserving the critical decentralization property.
    SM: When you say energy multi-use you are referring to the fact that bitcoin hashing or mining provides no meaningful by-product whereas PrimeCoin delivers the chains of prime numbers?


    SK: Yes, primecoin is the first cryptocurrency with such property

    SM: Now with PrimeCoin running for over a year, has anything meaningful come out of the mining effort against the coin? Do you have plans to make any tweaks to it or have faith it will deliver value in the future if it has not already?

    SK: If you are fascinated with prime numbers sure enough primecoin has already delivered, it now holds 5 out of 21 world records in simultaneous prime numbers. For immediate practical benefit, there are firms attempting FPGA/ASIC development at primecoin mining, which is a lot more challenging than hash based ASIC, thus providing immediate value to cryptography and computing industry.

    SM: So you do believe that the algorithm used in PrimeCoin has the potential to affect scientific knowledge still? Some have argued that since PrimeCoin is not finding a single large prime number, and instead just the chains, it doesn't hold scientific value.

    SK: That's certainly debatable. For example, the 'Twin Prime Conjecture' is considered by many mathematicians as one of the top problem in number theory, versus, finding the largest Mersenne prime (currently the record for largest known single prime number). So it's not obvious that infinite existence of Mersenne primes are more valuable than infinite existence of twin primes. In my opinion, Cunningham chains and bi-twin chains are among the most beautiful prime number structures, but that could just be my taste.

    SM: Does PrimeCoin provide value towards solving the 'twin prime conjecture'?

    SK: It provides financial incentive to these math research, that if your theory advancement can provide better mining algorithm for primecoin mining. Twin prime is a special case of bi-twin chain, a bi-twin chain of length 2, that is.

    SM: I see. So what you’re saying is you have opened the door with PrimeCoin. You proved its possible to do a proof-of-work consensus other than hash cash and have potential math research along with the fact that FPGA / ASIC development incentive may lead to problems being solved that have never happened before.

    SK: It's possible, when you have asic primality testing chips, the computation capability in these fields would make a giant leap. That could also indirectly help theoretical research.

    SM: I understand there is developments in PeerCoin such as innovations with the 'cold minting'. I haven't checked PrimeCoin recently is there any other developments coming with it?Or any areas you want to touch up on? How it might change or where Primecoin will be in 2 years?

    SK: We were planning a minor protocol update with primecoin. I am also investigating the possibility of sidechain technology, so when it's ready, we plan to support both peercoin and primecoin sidechains

    SM: oh that’s awesome, I have heard you refer to it as the back-bone so I assume this will allow the ability to now scale out new types of applications and properties

    SK: Yeah I have been contemplating of data application for quite a while since 2012. For scalability reasons data for specific use is better stay out of the currency block chain. That's why side chain is a significant advancement.

    SM: When you say data application since 2012, are u talking about something like Storj? But on a side chain?

    SK: Right. Namecoin and ripple have been the pioneers in data applications. The problem is the impact on base currency scalability. It would be a lot better with sidechains, each application can use a different sidechain, say if you use email you deal with an email sidechain, so the scalability of email sidechain does not impact the scalability of another sidechain and the base currency blockchain.

    SM: In your research of side chains have you looked at tree chains by Peter todd? https://github.com/petertodd/tree-chains-paper

    In an interview with Let's Talk Bitcoin, he has some big concerns about side chains and why they won't work. I won't elaborate here as we are running out of time. But have you had a chance to look?

    SK: Not yet. I would love to look into it soon. Thanks for the pointer.

    SM: In your interview with the PeerCoin community on Saturday May 24th, you said*: "The BitShares team is working on another one, but I also have doubts there." In reference to proof-of-stake and their implementation of delegated proof-of-stake or (DPOS). What doubts do you have about BitShares implementation? Can you elaborate? 

    *From <http://www.peercointalk.org/index.php?topic=2862.0

    SK: I don't know enough details of bitshare's DPOS proposal, the main issue I am concerned is related to the cost of 51% attack on the delegates. But I think they are doing good work researching proof-of-stake in general. So I think it's a lot more meaningful than just clone peercoin's design.

    SM: Any thoughts or concerns on NXT?

    SK: NXT bears some similarity to ripple. Although it uses peercoin's consensus algorithm (or a close variation of it) rather than ripple's mechanism. I think it also aims to provide data applications inside blockchain, like namecoin and ripple.

    SM: What best practices would you recommend for people starting either new coins or communities?  Many people start new coins or communities because others fail. With your past experience and success with PrimeCoin and PeerCoin. What advice would you give others?

    SK: I would say be ethical. Everyone has different opinion this we all understand, it's a free market. But I think in order to win the battle of freedom, we would also need to look in the mirror, does free market equate to no ethics and endless fraud? Maybe the loss of freedom in society is also related to our own corruption. So I think it's always important to look at ourselves for higher ethical standard.

    SM: Well Sunny, what a great answer, and a perfect way to end our interview! I want to thank you so much for taking the time with us today and going over all these tough questions! I hope we can chat again sometime in the future, AND, if you ever decide to reveal your identity will you do an article with us first please?

    SK: Sure you have it :) Read More
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