MAINSTREETCRYPTO EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH ROGER VERsubmitted by blindedzeppelin to mainstreetcrypto [link] [comments]
Roger Ver, is one of the five founders of the bitcoin foundation. You could say he was ahead of his time, buying $25,000 worth of bitcoin when they were merely $1 each. He was the first major investor to invest millions in Blockchain.info, Ripple, Kraken, and Bitpay among others. Now he wants Bitcoin Cash, a fork of the legacy chain, to be used as a global P2P currency, and says it can scale just like Satoshi first laid out in the original Bitcoin whitepaper. -------------------------------------------------------------- Bitcoincash.org Rank: #5 Current Price: $257.65 Market Cap : $4,741,042,759 24 hour trading volume : 1.741 Billion USD -------------------------------------------------------------- Hi Roger, first and foremost, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this. You are truly a pioneer in the Bitcoin space, and all of us owe you a debt of gratitude. On behalf of all of us, I wanted to say thank you for advancing the space.
1. First, I want you to take a moment and appreciate how far bitcoin and cryptocurrency has come this past decade. Did you ever believe you would see such growth, interest, and adoption in such a short period of time or has it completely surprised you?
We always over estimate the amount of progress that will be made in the short term, but underestimate the amount of progress that will be made in the long term.
Crypto currency is another example of that.
2. At what point did it hit you that bitcoin was history in the making?
From the very first day I knew it was one of the most important inventions in the history of humankind.
The book Digital Gold goes over how I literally had to go to the emergency room because of the excitement I had for Bitcoin.
3. How did you first get into bitcoin, pre Bitinstant?
I first heard about it on the FreeTalkLive.com radio show.
A full history of the early years is covered well by Digital Gold.
4 .What economists and philosophers do you align with?
I think Murray Rothbard fits into both categories and his thinking influenced mine more than any other single author.
Others who have influenced me would include:
Ludwig von Mises
6. What has been your favorite moment in crypto history thus far?
My favorite moments were reading the underlying philosophy behind the Silk Road.
The government has done an amazing job distorting and smearing the underlying message behind the site.
My eyes started to tear up when I read this post on the front page of the Silk Road for the fist time:
I never bought or sold a single thing there, but I spent countless enjoyable hours reading their forums and exploring the site.
7. What are your future plans for Bitcoin Cash?
It isn’t just a hobby, it’s a global revolt. We will become money for the world.
8. Branding is so important. Bitcoin currently has greater brand recognition a la Coca-Cola, and is regarded by many as the “real” Bitcoin, even though this is widely disputed, especially by crypto-fundamentalists. Do you envision a Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi type scenario? Do you envision parity price-wise between the two on a long enough timeline?
Bitcoin Cash has more utility than BTC, so in the long run it will have a larger market cap. Currently we are in the era when Myspace was bigger than Facebook, but Myspace’s servers were being over loaded and causing a bad user experience.
Eventually people migrated to Facebook and eventually people will migrate away from BTC.
8. a) Have you ever thought of re-branding Bitcoin Cash?
No one is in control to do such a thing by themselves. The community can’t even agree on orange vs green for the colors.
9. Bitcoin Cash has the potential to truly be used as a global form of payment rather than merely a store of value, what else excites you the most about the potential of Bitcoin Cash?
10. I asked Adam Back the same question: If you could remove yourself from the equation, and remove bias, how would you objectively evaluate the pros and cons of Bitcoin Cash versus The Lightning Network?
Anyone can permissionlessly start using BCH to start sending or receiving payments world wide in about 30 seconds. (The time it takes to download an app)
It is accepted by more than 100,000 websites around the world, and has millions of users.
Lightning Network would take about a full day to setup and get working permissionlessly, and would take several hundred dollars of additional computer hardware.
Once it is setup, you can spend it at about 300 websites world wide, and it has maybe a few tens of thousands of users.
11. When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun? Favorite hobbies?
I enjoy reading, and Brazilian Jujitsu. I’m especially interested in doing more competitions before I get too old.
12. What are a few of your favorite books? What are some that have made a long lasting impact on you? (Can be fiction or nonfiction)
I loved the Age of Spiritual Machines. It painted a picture of how exciting the world is going to be thanks to More’s Law.
I also loved The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I see crypto currency being a world life parallel.
13. What are you most excited about for the future of blockchain technology and where do you see the space in 5 years?
I’m excited to see wide spread wallets with strong privacy, and more agorism starting to take place around the world.
14. What are your personal theories of who Satoshi was / were, what was their motivation, and do you think something like bitcoin would have inevitably been created eventually, had Satoshi never existed?
I don’t know who Satoshi is or was, but it was clear they were trying to build a peer to peer electronic cash system, not what BTC has become today.
It was an inevitability that someone would create something like Bitcoin eventually. People like David Friedman and others had been writing about it for decades in advance.
15. What advice would you give our viewers regarding blockchain, business, motivation, or life in general?
Read more books. Reading a book like having a one on one tutoring session from the author. It’s the best way to learn directly from the greatest minds the human race has ever produced.
If you were a director and could make only one film out of all the wild stories regarding crypto, what subject matter would you choose and why?
The Silk Road because it embodied the spirit of peer to peer cash and voluntaryism.
submitted by iTradeBit to u/iTradeBit [link] [comments]
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are reportedly suing early bitcoin investor and entrepreneur Charlie Shrem over thousands of bitcoin they allege he owes them from a previous business deal.
According to a report from The New York Times on Thursday, Shrem – who previously spent a year in prison for money laundering and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business related to the BitInstant exchange that he founded – had helped the Winklevoss brothers invest in bitcoin back in 2012.
Acting as their first crypto adviser, Shrem had accepted $750,000 to buy bitcoin on their behalf, according to the NYT citing a lawsuit launched by the twins in September and unveiled today. Later, in September 2012, they gave him $250,000 for the same purpose, the lawsuit alleges, but later realized that Shrem had not given them the full value of the amount in bitcoin.
They now claiming to be short by roughly 5,000 bitcoin, worth almost $32 million at today's prices. At the time of the deal in 2012, one bitcoin was worth approximately $12.50.
The Winklevoss brothers claim they appealed to Shrem for the cryptocurrency they say they were due, but that it was not forthcoming. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that extravagant purchases Shrem has made since leaving jail two years ago – despite having previously said he had almost no money at the time of serving the sentence – including two Maserati sports cars, two powerboats and a $2 million property in Florida, are likely being funded by the alleged misappropriated cryptocurrency.
"Either Shrem has been incredibly lucky and successful since leaving prison, or – more likely – he 'acquired' his six properties, two Maseratis, two powerboats and other holdings with the appreciated value of the 5,000 Bitcoin he stole ..." the lawsuit states, according to the NYT.
Shrem has now had some assets frozen by the judge presiding in his previous trial, according to the court documents.
In a statement reported in the NYT, Shrem's lawyer, Brian Klein, said:
"The lawsuit erroneously alleges that about six years ago Charlie essentially misappropriated thousands of Bitcoins. Nothing could be further from the truth. Charlie plans to vigorously defend himself and quickly clear his name." Shrem started his ordered two year prison term in March 2015, though ultimately only served one year.
It is with great regret to inform you that we will be ceasing our US operations effective today. If you reside outside the United States this does not affect you.The announcement came on their Facebook page, /vaultofsatoshi.
We’ve made this decision not because of any specific legal challenge or threat, but because we feel the regulatory environment in the US is becoming increasingly hostile toward Bitcoin, and more specifically toward exchanges trading in digital currencies. We’re heeding the warnings of Bitcoin Foundation and BitInstant founder, Charlie Shrem, who recently conducted a troubling interview with “Let’s Talk Bitcoin.” If you want to hear more about the situation exchanges face operating in the US, we recommend you listen to episode 87 of “Let’s Talk Bitcoin” here .
We’ve made repeated attempts to comply with FinCEN regulations, but their online form submission process will not allow us to post reports from our headquarters in Ontario, Canada. They refuse to accept printed paper reports, and their drop-downs don’t include Canadian options, making it impossible to the file the required documentation properly in order to comply. Despite repeated inquiries into how to properly file reports from Canada, we have yet to receive a satisfactory response. They’ve literally made it impossible for us to run our business in compliance with their regulations.
We make this decision with a heavy heart, and will be revisiting it as we continue to monitor the regulatory and legal position of the US government (and all of its individual States) towards digital currency exchanges. Each State has their own requirements for how to handle a business like ours, and the setup and compliance costs are astronomical. We’d like to get back into the US digital currency exchange market as soon as possible, but cannot do so until the regulatory situation is clarified and settles down. We will be exploring re-launching on a state-by-state basis, but we do not yet have a timeline in place.
If you are a US-based customer, unfortunately your account will soon be demoted to level 1, and you will be limited to coin-to-coin trading, which will be launching within the coming weeks. Any dollars currently in your account will be refunded to you via check, which you should receive within 2-3 weeks’ time. Please make sure your address is correct.
If you’re a US-based customer and have recently submitted documents for verification, unfortunately, we will not be able to verify your account at this time.
To all of the amazing American users who have helped us build Vault of Satoshi into what it is today: we value you tremendously and we hope that we have not lost your trust and support. We deeply regret that we can no longer service your cryptocurrency exchange needs, and we’ll do everything we can to re-gain your business and re-launch in your country in the near future, stronger than ever before.
To Canadian and International users, we’ve got exciting plans ahead and are continuing our to expand and cement our position in this industry. Stay tuned for more amazing innovations from our team here in Canada. Thank you once again for your incredible and humbling support.
Yeah ok keep pumping out the articles about this so funny I would bet the articles stating bitcoin went to 1000$ on fraudulent money is 100% posted by insider traders or Wall St.. And Its no secret Wall St is driven by insider trading. Heck you can watch a documentary that shows how they do insider trading using loopholes of having a couple people down the line get the info that they "donate" money to for information. But anyways I just wanted to post another rant and laugh... Also, if you want to claim bitcoin is fraudulent based on a couple people who traded 36 million dollars worth of a coin worth 250 Billion on average give or take 50 billion or 0.000144% of bitcoin then I guess all banks should close tomorrow since 90% of all money banks handle have traces of cociane on them and clearly came from fraudulent places.
Again, I will state bitcoin will rise and fall like it always does pretty much only falling from fake news pumped in sync with sell offs to try to get more for cheap, and thats fine its so obvious to me also I have traded since before Mt.Gox and the coins never went to its peak and stayed there untill after the fall of Mt.Gox. The timeline may show that right before Mt.gox froze the price of BTC was going up. Until around that time but anyone who used MT.Gox knows that no one could move, trade or withdraw there funds long before it was froze and it finally froze from the lawsuits regarding this so essentially Mt.Gox was out of the game.
And for those who like facts here you are I will include the links also
"On 15 May 2013, the US authorities seized accounts associated with Mt. Gox after discovering that it had not registered as a money transmitter with FinCEN in the US.
On 17 May 2013, it was reported that BitInstant processed approximately 30 percent of the money going into and out of bitcoin, and in April alone facilitated 30,000 transactions,
On 23 June 2013, it was reported that the US Drug Enforcement Administration listed 11.02 bitcoins as a seized asset in a United States Department of Justice seizure notice pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881. It is the first time a government agency has claimed to have seized bitcoin.
In July 2013 a project began in Kenya linking bitcoin with M-Pesa, a popular mobile payments system, in an experiment designed to spur innovative payments in Africa. During the same month the Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department in Thailand stated that bitcoin lacks any legal framework and would therefore be illegal, which effectively banned trading on bitcoin exchanges in the country. According to Vitalik Buterin, a writer for Bitcoin Magazine, "bitcoin's fate in Thailand may give the electronic currency more credibility in some circles", but he was concerned it didn't bode well for bitcoin in China.
On 6 August 2013, Federal Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas of the Fifth Circuit ruled that bitcoins are "a currency or a form of money" (specifically securities as defined by Federal Securities Laws), and as such were subject to the court's jurisdiction, and Germany's Finance Ministry subsumed bitcoins under the term "unit of account"—a financial instrument—though not as e-money or a functional currency, a classification nonetheless having legal and tax implications.
In October 2013, the FBI seized roughly 26,000 BTC from website Silk Road during the arrest of alleged owner Ross William Ulbricht. Two companies, Robocoin and Bitcoiniacs launched the world's first bitcoin ATM on 29 October 2013 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, allowing clients to sell or purchase bitcoin currency at a downtown coffee shop. Chinese internet giant Baidu had allowed clients of website security services to pay with bitcoins.
In November 2013, the University of Nicosia announced that it would be accepting bitcoin as payment for tuition fees, with the university's chief financial officer calling it the "gold of tomorrow". During November 2013, the China-based bitcoin exchange BTC China overtook the Japan-based Mt. Gox and the Europe-based Bitstamp to become the largest bitcoin trading exchange by trade volume.
In December 2013, Overstock.com announced plans to accept bitcoin in the second half of 2014. On 5 December 2013, the People's Bank of China prohibited Chinese financial institutions from using bitcoins. After the announcement, the value of bitcoins dropped, and Baidu no longer accepted bitcoins for certain services. Buying real-world goods with any virtual currency has been illegal in China since at least 2009."
In fact I was trading the Down swings around this time and remember it quite clearly and the price most deffinatly did not shoot up with any relation to Mt.Gox if anything Mt.Gox was the reason for the fall from the news and panic!
Also, WAKE UP PEOPLE. Wall St's total value is what 2.7 Trillion that took like 100 years to get. Does no one else realize the magnitude of Bitcoin to them. Bitcoin in 10 years or less including its many other Coins under it is worth 658-758Billion or 0.65-0.75T in 1/10th the time Wall St did it and its getting bigger all the time.
I've said it before and Ill say it again there scared because Bitcoin, (and altcoin), traders are used to volatility, We can loose 70% of our gains or investment in a day or an hour and still keep on truckin. But that type of volatility scared the pants off the big traders because they also have investors to explain these situations to and they have no merits to base there explanations on since nothing in the real world short of good and bad news or money in and money out of coins affects the prices very much. And for this reason Wall St will never like it and the fact its outside of there nice controlled systems they designed that benefit the rich and rape the poor. And this new system which does not allow credit, or BS is a new realm to them. Sure there might be some insider trading some of the time but the order books and live stats are available to anyone and everyone equally, unlike stocks where you need crazy memberships just to get short 15 minute delayed stats on the live markets and only the top accounts with over 50,000$ invested can even dream about getting anything better. And you have to pay 6.99-24.99 Per trade the lesser being for the 50k investor, leaving no learning curve for the small guys. So in my opinion its still a way better system and anyone can easily do some research like I have today and not panic sell from every little BS article and simple trade for yourselves. And Bitcoin to Altcoin trades BTW will cost you 0.06-0.08% and Bitcoin/Altcoin to USD (Or your Currency) will cost you 0.18-0.24% on most exchanges or platforms.
If you've read my rant this far I thank you for your time. Some article just really grind my gears :D
PS - Below is some handy trading platforms and tools
I would also like to take a moment just to say anyone interested in a FreeTrading Platform should check out Qt Bitcoin Trader from source forge. Or if your a bit more advanced there is a nice program you can try for free and the trial is the the same as the full version (I have used both since I bought it shortly after) and that is called LeonarDo by margin software a very talented German company.
Qt Bitcoin Trader - https://sourceforge.net/projects/bitcointrade Leonardo - https://marginsoftware.de/product.html
|Hi all! I was wondering, what do you think it would take to get bitcoin from a niche currency used mainly by internet denizens to go mainstraim? I know the slow creep of more small companies accepting bitcoin helps, but what do you think that final cusp will be, and will it ever come to that? Thanks for taking the time to do this!||There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.|
|Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.|
|Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.|
|But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.|
|Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.|
|It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.|
|I guess the Supreme Court has decided this does not apply to taxes, which is crap. Or are you talking about other countries?||Thank you :) I actually mean something along the lines of "It is illegal to trade dollars for any cryptocurrency that does not have a real name and social security associated with it"|
|Will bitcoins ever be able to be traded like other recognized currencies in similar ways to Forex? More specifically, will there ever be retail brokers offering margin trading accounts that allow you to buy and sell bitcoin with leverage?||There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens. Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession. With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement. What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.|
|Do you believe bitcoin is important locally as well as on the internet? If so, how are you promoting bitcoin in your local communities?||Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.|
|If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.|
|Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.|
|Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.|
|What are some of the more exciting things you (each of you?) envision for Bitcoin in the short to medium term?||Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.|
|From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.|
|Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.|
|Not to be the doom and gloom person but in the future what do you think will/would be the "last nail in the coffin" for Bitcoin?||It depends what you mean by "last nail in the coffin"|
|How did you meet/find Andreas and Stephanie and how did you persuade them to be part of your show?||I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.|
|I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.|
|Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.|
|Thanks for responding! Andreas is my fave (though I enjoy yours and Stephanie's comments too).||Everybody has their favorite :) I think the fact that we all have people disagreeing with us at times means we're doing the job, and providing multiple and varied perspectives.|
|What recording tools are you using?||We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)|
|Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.|
|I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"|
|Assuming bitcoin reaches critical mass, how does bitcoin cope with the criticism of rewarding early adopters? Do you see a potential uproar about inequity?||Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.|
|We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.|
|One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.|
|>It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.|
|What do you make of the download trend of the bitcoin client software in China? Isn't this a big story?||China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.|
|You commented on a recent episode about how Satochi Dice was going to block US traffic to the site due to uncertain regulations. Can't bitcoin work around that? If you send bitcoin to the addresses of the various bets - it still works right? Thanks for your show - I await each new podcast.||Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.|
|I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here Link to letstalkbitcoin.com|
|I'd like to thank all three of you for doing this podcast, it's always thought provoking and fun to listen to. Plus, Stephanie does have a very sexy voice... But I do have a question,||Right now, I don't know the answer to that question.|
|How do miners determine which transactions will be confirmed first and which get put to the back of the line? Shouldn't they be confirmed in a 'first come, first serve' basis?||But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.|
|*edit: As well, do you still plan on using some time on the show to go into more detail about mining? I think it was mentioned a few weeks ago that the topic might be explored in further detail.||There will be fewer miners who accept free or very low fee transactions, so there you go.|
|How would Bitcoin change our financial system as we know it?||In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"|
|Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.|
|I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.|
|We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.|
|Have any of you heard about how in Africa much of the exchange in value is done with mobile phone minutes? It seems to me - whatever the US attempts to do with Bitcoin - there will be other places that it will bubble up in. What about Argentina and other places where they actually understand what damage a desperate government can do to a currency?||I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with Link to phoneacoin.com and others.|
|Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.|
|No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.|
|Who invented Bitcoin? What is to stop whoever did so initially issuing themselves the equivalent of $79 zillion in Bitcoin currency prior to it taking off? Is there commission charged on each transaction that occurs? If so, how much, and who receives this?||The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".|
|He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.|
|Great podcast, can't wait for the next one!||It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.|
|You discussed mesh networks in 3rd world countries and how bitcoin could be used in such a scenario. If the [mesh] network is disconnected from the internet, how would transactions on the blockchain be verified? Couldn't the time the mesh network was disconnected make it vulnerable to hacking the [mesh network's] blockchain?||More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)|
|1) The price for one Bitcoin seems to fluctuate quite a bit. The most successful currencies remain relatively stable over time (e.g. the Dollar). Will Bitcoin ever need to reach a certain level of stability to be a successful unit of trade? and if so, what do you think needs to happen before then?||1 - Yes! Once everyone who has purchased Bitcoin has purchased them, the price will stabilize. In practice this will start happening long before absolute stability, and as soon as people start thinking about prices in terms of BTC instead of their local currency it almost doesn't matter.|
|2) If Bitcoin ever becomes a widely accepted form of payment (seems a lot of businesses already accept it), how do you think the US government will proceed/react/regulate/etc. considering that technically only the feds can issue currency?||2 - "The Feds" are not the only ones who can issue currency - They have legal tender laws which mean people MUST accept their money, but nothing prevents you from circulating a voluntary currency like Bitcoin.|
|Do you foresee companies like paypal incorporating bitcoin into their businesses in the future as a more credible exchange than these ones that are currently running?||No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.|
|Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.|
|Thanks for the well thought out response, I genuinely appreciated that you took the time for this! I do have a follow up question, how does one get bit coin in an easy way? Lets say I have 300$ that I want in bit coin.. whats the best way to approach this?||Probably a company like bitinstant.com, bitstamp.com, or btcquick.com - For larger amounts they don't make too much sense but at that level its your best bet.|
|Not to be rude, but how do you expect for a currency without a standard like gold silver etc. to not crash down in a blaze of glory?||What standard is your currency backed by?|
|Hi There. I was at the San Jose convention hall last weekend attending Big Wow Comicfest and that's where I saw Bitcoin2013!||Mostly Bitcoin 2013 was an opportunity for people building the future of Bitcoin to meet each other and network. There were speakers talking about a wide variety of issues, and vendors of Bitcoin services who were showing their latest innovations and systems.|
|What information was presented at this event that couldn't be done justice disseminated over the internet?||The information will eventually be online, but the probably 200 people I got to meet in real life will not (in real life)|
|What resources do you think I should review as a total newbie to bitcoin? Or if possible, what's the one sentence pitch to get a newb involved?||For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.|
|The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"|
|Would any of you hazard a guess at the bitcoin exchange rate at the end of 2013?||Sure, i'll make a wild guess.|
|If and when a large user comes onboard, I think thats the next price at which we'll bounce around for a while, just like 100 became the sticky point after the last major bout of adoption.|
|How do bitcoins relate to the law? For example, what would be the crime if somone hacked your account and stole your bitcoins? It's not exactly theft of money, or is it?||Bitcoins are your property, it's illegal for someone to steal your property whether it is money or not. Right now there is little that can be done about theft, but eventually I expect a class of "Blockchain Forensic Investigators" to emerge who will track down your stolen coins for a % based fee.|
|On your last show you mentioned the diversity of the Bitcoiners who attended BitCoin2013 - which nation was most represented in your opinion? Were there any Chinese nationals present (we've heard that they've suddenly gotten the bitcoin bug in the last month)? Did the other nations talk about regulatory problems or is that just a US concern?||I met the gentleman from BTC-China, but other than that I actually didn't see any obvious chinese nationals. We saw lots of eastern europeans and south americans.|
|Other nations are not talking about the regulatory issue as far as I can tell, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what the US does, which is not abnormal in a very new situation like this.|
|Isn't having an inherently deflationary currency a terrible idea? How is bitcoin different from geeky goldbuggery?||Because you can't divide a gold coin into .0001 without incurring cost and expense. That's not the case with Bitcoin, so the deflationary aspect of it is largely moot.|
|There is a tendency to listen to modern "economics" which makes this arguement, saying that the money supply must expand because otherwise it drives down profitability in a race to the bottom.|
|I think in practice we'll find that people don't work against their own best interest, and while during the initial adoptions stages of Bitcoin there will be significant discounts offered to those who pay with Bitcoin vs. legacy currency, once the market becomes saturated and the price levels out those discounts will be scaled way back.|
|Right now it makes sense to heavily discount, because the expectation is that the value of the Bitcoins will go up during this period of adoption, that won't always be true and the discount is a reflection of anticipated future returns.|
|Was it bad when people saved money in banks that paid 10% interest? No, that's called capital formation. There is a thought that given a deflationary currency nobody will spend any money, that's nonsense. Just because your currency gains value over time doesn't mean that you no longer have costs that must be paid for. What Deflationary currencies do is say "Ok, you could spend it on that, but is it worth it relative to what you'll gain by not?"|
|That's a good thing. Our system right now works on the opposite theory - Spend money NOW because if you're dumb enough to keep it in the bank it will actually lose value over time between the couple points of "official" inflation and less than 1% artifical interest rates. The situation is like this now because the fed is trying to make people spend as much money as possible with the hope that the flows will "restart the economic engine"|
|Too bad this isn't how things work, not that it'll stop us from trying it over and over again.|
|In the 2008 financial crash, govts bailed out the banks because there was no other way to maintain the whole financial ecosystems of payrolls, invoices and trade, all of which go through the banking system.||Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.|
|Can you envisage another financial crash in the future where govt says, "We don't need to do a bailout, as we've got this alternative payment system" and then instructs businesses and employees to just get themselves a bitcoin address and work through the Bitcoin system?||Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.|
|What type of notes and agenda does the team coordinate on before a show?||We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.|
|The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.|
|Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON.|
|I first learned about Bitcoins on an episode of The Good Wife. The one with Jason Biggs as the creator of BitCoin. Have you watched that episode and how accurate does that episode portray what's happening with Bitcoin in terms of legal stuff?||Not having seen it but knowing TV, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "not very well" Satoshi has not been identified, was a throw-away identity that was cryptographically secured, so probably never will.|
|Are there any conferences in Chicago anytime soon? I think a Q&A in public would be helpful for your show as well as bitcoin.||I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.|
|We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.|
|Oh dear. You're not all perfectly grammatical orators on the first try? I'm crushed!||I really value my own time, and I know other people out there do too. I try to make the show as information dense as possible, thats the criteria we've been operating under from really day one.|
|We're actually talking about cutting the show in half and releasing it more often (still recording the same amount) because people can get tired of listening to such dense content for an hour or more.|
|US Treasury recently issued a directive stating they would be monitoring any entity attempting to exchange virtual currency for USD (or any other currency, goods, or services), indicating that federal authorities take a dim view of what amounts to private coinage. Do you anticipate a Supreme Court case here defining what is and is not private coinage? 2.And given bitcoin's noted extra-legal uses, do you have any indication it is being decrypted by NSA? 3.Taking it a step further, do you think it could be a national security-sponsored international sieve for money laundering?||It may eventually go to Supreme Court.|
|I think the market has done fine for bitcoin so far. I think the market will continue to take care of bitcoin. The idea of giving in willingly to regulation makes me cringe.||There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad. The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.|
|Thanks so much for doing this, I love the Bitcoin system, but hate the volatility. How do you recommend dealing with that? I've heard to convert it quickly to the currency of choice after any exchange has been made to avoid any more changes to the price.||The easy solution is just buy and hold - If you need to buy something, do it when you need to and not before. Do not pre-order anything.|
|What is your prediction of the price for 1 btc in USD, exactly one year from now? Just for fun, since I know it is impossible to even guess the day to day price swings.||As a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.|
|My partner is buying into bitcoin as well as litecoin. Any advice for him? (I personally don't understand it)||Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)|
|Hello, I just wrote a long post about the functions of using BTC to facilitate a 'free bank' using the principals of free money, similar to the WIR bank. Link to en.wikipedia.org Do you think that something like this would be possible using Bitcoin?||Probably. Not really my area of expertise.|
|Why did bits take a dive at the same time gold took a tank?||I don't pay attention to price, sorry.|
|We take full credit for any rise and blame others for any decline. Feel free to tip us from your gains!||Lol.|
|Just wanted to say I love your show. I encourage you to please continue making high-quality podcast episodes. Thank you.||I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.|
|Bitcoins are the stupidest investment anyone could ever make. Pass.||Link to static.quickmeme.com|
|Unfortunately, quickmeme doesn't let you copy image urls directly.||Link to i.qkme.me|
|Yes, but they started being worth a set value. bitcoin was never backed by anything so its value was kind of made up. how do you expect to make a non goverment currency anybody with a computer can print to retain value?||Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.|
|The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.|
|The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?|
|Because the governments "pie" does infact have limits to making it, and only dropped gold standard after over 150 years of the doller having a defined worth, unlike bitcoin, where a random hacker can just print endless money.||I'd direct you to security researcher Dan Kaminsky. Link to www.businessinsider.com|
|You'll find it's a little harder than you're describing. Like, impossible.|
|Most proponents of Bitcoin seem to believe that there will be a point where one coin exceeds a value of $100 or even $1000. Sure, that is definitely possible and I can accept that it may happen one day. However, since each coin has this intrinsic potential value.. why would anyone spend them on trivial stuff like food now? How can you spend something that you believe will continue to grow in value effectively to infinity?||That seems like a fair complaint to me, in general. In practice, and as opposed to Krugman's thoughts on the matter, we have many thousands of happy Bitcoin transactors, I think people like to spend their bitcoins with others, give them away, and use them for things. I do know some Bitcoin businesses that try never to spend their coins. That said, we have had some periods like last year where EVERYBODY wished they'd spent their coins.. To my mind volatility is a worse 'evil' than being deflationary. As I said above, I think most government economists wish an inflationary currency (and many bitcoiners hate this, and talk a lot about how much they hate it), but I think there's definitely a place in the world for a deflationary value system. An interesting thought experiment for you -- if you forked the Bitcoin blockchain and changed issuance so that it tracked say, USD or USD/EUR inflation rates for issuance, would it have the same uptake or not?|
|Every once in a while I hear stories about security breaches including 240,000 bitcoins that went missing the other month. How do you ensure security of account holders funds?||The practical security aspects of running Bitcoin businesses are a REAL need, and it's something we want to help on with advice, and possibly opt-in certification at some point. I say more about this elsewhere in the AMA.|
|Furthermore, most sites I've came upon that sell goods seem poorly managed and difficult to use. Is there a Bitcoin equivalent to sites like Ebay and Amazon?||Re: bitcoin site usability -- I agree, it's often terrible! I'm not sure why this is, except to say that bitcoins make transacting online so easy that even people who can't afford a designer can do it.|
|A: How does the intrinsic non-fiat nature of the currency affect its susceptibility to market fluctuation? I.E. Better or worse stability than fiat currency?||So far, because market cap is so low, (Roughly $100mm of value), Bitcoin exchange rates are highly susceptible to people pushing it around. This is really tough for everyone. There are a bunch of businesses that might not be viable until you have some exchange rate certainties that extend beyond a short (one day-ish) window.|
|B: What can be done to improve the resistance to massive fluctuations in value stemming from exchange market manipulation or normal use?||There are some macro-economic things that could be done, like exchanges publishing all trades to a central area, and implementing locks if prices rise / fall too suddenly, but those all have their own effects to consider. I think the fundamental thing to do is help Bitcoin acceptance and uptake grow, increasing the size of the pie until there are a much smaller number of parties that could push the price around.|
|C: Is there anything that can be done to the standard to improve stability or is it all up to the markets to implement safeguards?||So, we all do have a part in that stabilization for sure. There's also the angle of creating whole supply chains that are bitcoin denominated -- paying our staff in Bitcoins only is an attempt to work on that angle.|
|What do you say to people that claim Bitcoin is nothing but a pump-and-dump pyramid scheme designed to benefit it's creators? That they're sitting on a huge pile of bitcoins obtained by them before the currency was made available to the public when mining was far easier then dumping huge batches of Bitcoins destroying the price over and over again to enrich themselves and fuck everybody else? And that they get more chumps into the system to inflate the price again, by going around the internet and promoting Bitcoins as an alternative currency rather than a complete fraud?||This borders on the troll-ish, but I will say that the Bitcoin network autosizes coin generation based on how many people wish to do it. That is, people opt in to make the coins and secure the network. Nobody is forced to.|
|Is the Bitcoin Foundation a non-profit, tax-exempt organization in the United States? Who among the directors and the board has experience running a non-profit? Why is the ED also a member of the board? How does the ED have the time to run the organization given his obligation to CoinLab? Why haven't I seen any of the involved parties at either of the last two Bitcoin conferences? Can we get somebody who isn't a white male involved?||We're a 501(c)6, Washington DC Nonprofit.|
|I have experience launching a non-profit, hence my job.|
|ED's typically get a salary and work full time at the job; we didn't know if we'd have budget to pay someone who could operate such a thing, so we went with this structure. I anticipate that I will step down from being the ED at the earliest moment we know we have someone better to do it; running CoinLab is plenty of work for me.|
|Our assistant director Lindsay Holland is not a white male.|
|In general, Bitcoin is a white male sausage-fest, though. I urge you and all Bitcoiners everywhere to work on changing that.|
|What is the future of bitcoins? Do you think they will ever make government-issued currency obsolete?||I don't know the future of Bitcoin, but I hope that I and the Foundation are a part of it!|
|I don't believe Bitcoin will ever obsolete a government currency, but I only speak for myself when I say that. Bitcoin is a fascinating and novel technology with a HUGE number of potential benefits to the world, so I'm into it. I don't see a government wishing to cede control of its currency to anything like the technocratic / consensus model that Bitcoins are governed by, though.|
|That said, I do hope that Bitcoins will be able to help people in areas of the world that need better money features. Mpesa is a great example of something that helps Kenyans (and people from a few other countries) by changing how money is used. Bitcoin has the potential to help people like that, all over the world, whether or not the 'market' is large enough in that country.|
|I personally think that sort of thing is SUPER exciting.|
|Could you describe the bitcoin foundation for me?||Sure! It's a trade organization, member-driven. Its goal is to promote, protect and help standardize Bitcoin. Our initial goals are to provide funding for the core development team, run a 2013 Silicon Valley Conference, and create some opt-in certification methods and best practices for businesses dealing with Bitcoin.|
|Join us.. :)|
|Standardize?||I can tell you hate our goals, so I won't spend a long time trying to convince you. But, I will say that businesses often need a long, secure timeframe to make investment decisions, and they need to have some sense that what they work on or invest in will be roughly similar at the end of their investment to the beginning.|
|Why do you want to "standardize"?||For instance, imagine ebay deciding to take bitcoins. The person-hours to get that done inside ebay are staggering to imagine, from wallet scalability issue to accounting treatments, refunds, ... It would be a major endeavor.|
|What gives you that authority?||It would be great for bitcoin if ebay took bitcoins. Seriously great, but they can't right now until they feel there is some generally stable path going forward.|
|Why is the core development team so deserving of funding when they can't even make a decent client?||You might hate everything about that, and that's cool. I urge you to go ahead, fork the code, advocate as much as you like for something else. Bitcoin's free, both the protocol and the software. Nobody is stopping you.|
|Is there any legal action to be done if someone steals your bitcoins?||Yep, if you're in the US, file a police report, and call FBI Cybercrimes division.|
|As an individual member of the Bitcoin Foundation, what do I get? Any perks or privileges? Email aliases, voting rights, a newsletter, etc? Or are these memberships mostly a way of providing financial support to the foundation?||The bylaws are up now, so you can read in great detail what the organization will provide its members: Link to github.com|
|In short, though, rights to vote people on / off the board of the Foundation, soon access to private forums, probably discounts to the bitcoin 2013 conference, happiness at supporting the dev team.|
|I would like to provide email aliases, we've got Patrick and Jon working on any possible gotchas there, though.|
|Many aren't taking bitcoin seriously because of the security issues some have had. What steps are you taking to legitimize this currency?||Like Jeff says below, I would distinguish between fundamental protocol security and security practices.|
|Bitcoins fundamental protocol security seems pretty good at this point; I'm sure we'll all be keeping an eye on that quite intently into the future.|
|Practical Security has been, largely, terrible in the Bitcoin space for most businesses, Mt. Gox perhaps excepted. The amount of work it takes to secure 80 byte strings that may be valued in the million dollar range is non trivial. Think securing missile codes as to the level of security needed.|
|Many bitcoin businesses can't afford (or don't wish to) this sort of security. I'm hoping we can provide some tools and pointers for these businesses and their users to help people understand what they're getting into when they transact with a bitcoin business, and what their risks are.|
|The Bitcoin Foundation Membership (VIP) fees are definitely disproportionate. Why? Are we now heading for a two-tier bitcoin community?||We got requests from large supporters to make a more expensive membership tier. I'm slow, but not so slow that I said 'no'.|
|I'm slow, but not so slow that I said 'no'. - So you said 'YES'?||Someone said "Please make higher corporate member fees: Linux Foundation Top Tier member fees are $500k. Your plan is too low."|
|I said "OK, Thank you for that advice. We should do that."|
|Is the foundation primarily focused on US or also europe and the rest of the world?||Right now Jon Matonis is considered our "Europe Expert" on the board. There's a huge amount of work to do just in keeping track of how Bitcoin is categorized and regulated around the world. I would expect the Foundation to put some time and energy into helping with that process, but it's not our first goal.|
|What would you or the Fundation do if the government declares Bitcoin ilegal?||Advocate that such a thing is silly, unenforceable, and counterproductive.|
|Thats no answer to the question. Have you got any plans for the "unthinkable"?||That really is what I would do. What do you suggest?|
|What are your thoughts on transparency of the foundation? How much revenue is there and how it is spent, will that info be public?||We're aiming to be highly transparent. I proposed today that we publicize our cold wallet public keys so that people can check our balances. This got pushed back a month while we work on some logistics. I will follow up about this, though. I think having auditable books from day one is really cool.|
|What are your thoughts on fiat currency?||I love it and wish more of it. I'm totally grateful that nations have standardized and created currencies for their people, so that I can travel and buy stuff without worrying about the reputability of a local bank when I go to exchange my money.|
|I read something recently about a Bitcoin based debit card system. How is that coming along?||I don't know, but I want one! The Foundation would like one, too. We are trying to run the Foundation with only Bitcoins, so it would be nice to fuel up a debit card for some expenses.|
|Create an opt-in certification process for Bitcoin businesses. How will you be going about this? What will certification entail?||TBD, But I am imagining that businesses could vet their processes and procedures against a set of published standards, pay for an audit, and then be able to help their users understand what level of security they provide, e.g. "Bronze certification -- the site could be trusted with 50 bitcoins of stored value per person."|
|Does the foundation intend to have control over bitcoin.org and thereby over the main distribution channel for Bitcoin-Qt?||We're a member organization. Some of our members do have access to and influence over bitcoin.org and bitcoin-qt. I have no idea if they would like us to help manage bitcoin.org, since we just launched yesterday.|
|If the decision makers for bitcoin.org and bitcoin-qt want us to help out in those areas, I wouldn't mind. I don't think either of those things is super strategic to helping Bitcoin right now; there's more need for messaging and some financial security for the core team, and the other stuff we said we're going to work on this year. bitcoin.org and -qt publishing don't seem broken to me or risky right now.|
|Given that Mt Gox has a (rightfully deserved) place on he board, what steps can and will you be taking to ensure that independent exchanges are encouraged and not ignored? Also what steps, if any, can and will you take to ensure the public that the commercial interests of those on the board do not conflict with the decentralised ideals and paradigm of Bitcoin itself?||I don't know how we'd encourage or ignore exchanges, since everyone is welcome to join.|
|I do think this individual / corporate angle is at the heart of the Bitcoin, though; it's got a lot of parties that care about it, passionately. Some are investing millions of dollars. Some are tirelessly advocating for Bitcoin. Many sit around and troll and waste people's time.|
|I guess that partly we expect our board members will act with integrity, and that if they aren't representing the needs of their member class, they'll get replaced with someone who will.|
|I also don't know how we would, practically, decentralize Bitcoin, even if we wished such a thing. I don't think anyone on the board thinks Bitcoin is doing badly. We're all really excited about it and want to help. I personally believe if corporations (a small group or just one) ever provably controlled Bitcoin, they would become vastly less appealing and useful. So, we're on watch.|
|Not as on watch as a paranoid bitcointalk forum troll wants us to be, but we're on watch.|
|Why do you require a real name and real address, when bitcoins core values are to be anonymous?||The Foundation's core values include openness and transparency. I think the Bitcoin anonymous thing is overblown and a bit of a myth, by the way. Every bitcoin transaction links two addresses; often people can be determined from those addresses.|
|At any rate, we wish to make sure you can't stuff the ballot box during voting, and we wish civil productive discourse among our members, so we need real names and addresses.|
|If you just want to support us without joining, you can always send money to our vanity donation address: 1BTCorgHwCg6u2YSAWKgS17qUad6kHmtQW.|
|What is the current, largest obstacle when it comes to wider Bitcoin adoption?||I think Bitcoin adoption is growing nicely. There seems to be a sort of stair-step function where people figure out something new and broadly appealing to do with them, and it makes a big jump. I expect we'll see that many times over the next five or ten years.|
|Doubts about the network's scalability, uncertain status about its legality or something else?||Bitcoin's brand seems bad to me; mostly the highly publicized exchange attacks worry people. It's too hard to have a secure cold storage wallet for even a very smart individual. I'd like to see some of those things improved.|
|Does Bitcoin have any plan to combat criminals using the currency to purchase things on online black markets?||I can't speak for Bitcoin, but the Foundation has no criminal combatant plans. We do want our members to use their real names and promise that they only engage in activities legal in their jurisdiction, though.|
|That's mostly just a way of us saying who we want to hang out with, and expressing some community values we think will help our organization be a success.|
|Did you expect for the Bitcoin concept to explode as it has?||I sort of did, but I definitely didn't put my wallet behind that explosion. Sigh.|
|Also, where do you see it going in the future?||I talk elsewhere in the AMA about what I'm hoping for Bitcoin.|
|Will the foundation be sponsoring Bitcoin software outside of Bitcoin.org?||What do you mean? Like if Jeff Garzik made cool software that would help the Bitcoin world but didn't release it at bitcoin.org would we try and help him?|
|The answer is yes.|
|I.e., the Foundation would provide a service with recommendations such as wallet security for an exchange, but I don't think the Foundation should be in the business of "certifying".||Yeah, there's an interesting set of questions there about certification. I would LOVE to see a certification that brought with it the ability to be insured against loss and theft. Think how nice it would be for an exchange or wallet business to be able to offer that insurance. That said, I don't know of any bitcoin company that has such insurance yet. I think we have some work to do vetting out the processes and procedures, and then some sales and relationship work with insurance companies first. At any rate, we won't be stumping up security for certified companies through the main Foundation corporate vehicle ever. But I think the membership will want to discuss what a good set of next steps is toward that goal, if we're all sold on trying to make it happen.|
|What's the advantage to using bitcoins over government issued currency, basically why should I invest my $US in bitcoins?||Some people have ideological preferences for Bitcoins money issuance scheme.|
|Some are nerds, and like it for nerdy reasons.|
|Some just like being able to pay whom they choose when they choose.|
|Some deal with payment infrastructures that are scary (Paypal freezes are scary), or slow (wiring money in and out of small country central banks is REALLY slow).|
|Also, they're neat.|
|How does it feel to know that a kitten wearing a top hat has more upvotes than you?||That kitten is so damn cute. I spent some of my AMA time going "AWWW"|
|How will you try to keep BIG businesses from buying their way into "THE" Bitcoin Foundation?||Bitcoin is inherently free, it's peer to peer, it can be forked, it's not controlled by the Foundation, especially one that's one day old.|
|So, I look forward to large donations from BIG businesses. We will use that money to further the Foundation's mission. Our members will, no doubt, be highly engaged in discussions about what to do with large donations. I'm looking forward to it.|
|What is your opinion on Canada's new digital currency, "Mint Chip"? How does this affect Bitcoin?||I don't know much about it, but I think it's cool from what I do know, (and is it technically flawed? I don't recall). I'm all for money system experimentation, as you might guess.|
|You are starting to get increased media/congressional notice. Are you at all worried about being shut down and prosecuted like E-Gold was?||Who is we? The Foundation is a member organization, nothing else.|
|There are some bitcoin exchange operators that actively flout the same AML laws that got the E-Gold founders in trouble.|
|There are some that try hard to do the right thing, jurisdiction by jurisdiction.|
|Personally, I don't worry about the ones trying to comply, and I don't transact with the ones flouting the laws.|
|Why do you have different vote classes, is one class worth more then another?||Corporate members vote their seats, Individual members vote theirs.|
|Anecdotally, there are fewer corporate members, so a corporate membership vote has a greater proportional influence over a board seat than an individual membership.|
|so a corporate membership vote has a greater proportional influence over a board seat than an individual membership. - So there may be poll when votes of both classes come together? Like asking ALL members to opt out changes to the source code?||I would be stunned if we voted on source code, ever. I don't think anyone thinks that is in the remit of the Foundation.|
|Pragmatically, the dev team is one arm of bitcoin source code governance, and miners are the other, since they can refuse to work with code changes they don't like if they do it in bulk.|
|The board meets often, and should be listening to its constituents; sign up as a member, and then mail your appropriate rep. As a sample of what we discussed today: "Should we do an AMA? Who will get member signup confirmations out? Can we publicize Patrick's bylaws yet?" were the scintillating topics of conversation.|
|Will I be getting an e-mail with receipt for my payment confirming my membership subscription?||Yes, we are ACTIVELY working on it. Apologies.|
|What's the dev's payroll?||TBD, now that we know what our member signups are.|
|I don't know if we'll release payroll or budget numbers outside the membership -- something we have to discuss.|
|What power does this foundation have over Bitcoin? Why did you make Satoshi the founder without his permission?||We have no power over Bitcoin whatsoever.|
|I think we felt a foundation that didn't somehow acknowledge Satoshi would be a bit churlish, like ignoring Linus completely while making the Linux Foundation. Satoshi is, as always, free to participate as he/she chooses.|
|Has there been a growth in algorithmic trading of Bitcoins in the past year? If so, is that growth in algos added stability to the Bitcoin Market?||I have no idea. But I'm curious about this too!|
|Why hasn't (almost) anybody heard of you before today?||I keep a low profile. Until yesterday. Also, I gave up on the forums a long time ago; not productive enough for me.|
|That was very informative, thanks. Not that hard to grasp when somebody spells it out.||The reason you do it is to provide a second element of value to a chain of transactions; the first element of value is consensus -- what everyone else says happens.|
|Is there a reason for doing this? Or just a way to pace the grinding nature of mining bitcoins?||The second, arguably more powerful one is provable computation time spent on creating the consensus. So you can look at a set of bitcoin transactions and say "Ah ha, that had roughly [say] $1mm worth of computation time put in to securing and validating it! I believe it's safe to consider my $55 transaction secure."|
|Just out of curiosity, do you have any idea how many people have applied so far?||Yep. We'll release end of first-month member numbers in 29 days. :)|
|How does one go about buying bitcoins?||Probably the fastest way is to ask a friend who has some.|
|Next would be to use a service like Link to bitinstant.com.|
|How long are terms for each board member?||Two years.|
|Will the Bitcoin Foundation promote a Vulnerability Reward Program ?||I would like to see that, but I think the first things to do in terms of importance are on our published list.|
|Will the funds for a permanent memberships be put into an endowment, or will they be spent immediately?||We haven't discussed it. Budget discussions are next couple of weeks, now that we have our heads around some numbers.|
|We also have to discuss if the foundation wishes to go long bitcoin, or instead spend to its annual budget. All TBD; if you have opinions send them on to your member reps.|
|I'm curious about this too. I'm not sure I understand how they work entirely. Maybe somebody could Explain like i'm five...||Totally. They are confusing; it's a truly novel solution. Essentially it mixes something non-intuitive and magical-seeming (public key cryptography) with something very hard to imagine a solution for (distributed timestamping among non-trusted parties).|
|We will be seeing the concept extended out into a number of technology arenas over the next 25 years I imagine. It's an incredibly powerful solution-space.|
|I spent maybe an hour on the wiki reading the FAQ and everything, and it still makes references to "blocks" and "mining blocks" and those that mine have the option of transaction fees.. and I'm still not really sure what is happening.||Yep, like I said. I've been thinking hard about them for two years, I have a cryptography background, and I still have 'a-ha!' moments weekly, at the very least.|
|There are a couple pretty good bitcoin explanation videos out there, but I'm not up to date on what the best one is. Maybe someone helpful can post a link.|
|After establishing support for food and shelter for Gavin, will there be opportunities for other bitcoin developers to apply for grants - maybe for specific implementations or features desperately needed.||I'd love it. I think Gavin will be working out the specifics of what we want to do. I'd LOVE to see money put into a huge test suite, personally.|
|Thank you for furthering the effort of Cryptocurrency, I have written several policy papers in this arena, and look forward to the day where the deep web stigma is removed from the currency.||Thanks FapNowPayLater! We genuinely appreciate the support.|
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