Making big waves
Investors include the new presence of NYSE, banks, Docomo and former Citigroup CEO
Coinbase, a software company that allows people to buy bitcoin and enables businesses to accept it as payment, has closed a giant $75 million investment. In real U.S. dollars.
The round is by far the biggest investment in a bitcoin company to date. Beyond its size, the funding is sure to make waves in financial services thanks to the participation of three industry investors: the New York Stock Exchange, USAA Bank, and BBVA, a multinational bank with a large presence in Spain and Mexico. Former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit also personally invested in the company.
The investment was led by DFJ, the venture capital firm that Re/code reported in November would likely lead the round at a valuation of $400 million or more. Previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital participated, in addition to new investor NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese telecom company.
The virtual currency bitcoin is getting a very real boost on Monday with the opening of the first licensed U.S. exchange.
Coinbase Inc., a startup backed by $106 million from the New York Stock Exchange, banks and venture-capital firms, said its exchange will offer greater security for individuals and institutions to trade bitcoin and monitor real-time pricing of the cryptocurrency.
The exchange could bring needed legitimacy to the currency, which isn’t backed by a central government and is traded over virtual exchanges, primarily overseas. Coinbase said it has insurance, offering traders some assurance that their money won’t disappear.
On reddit, some are pretty witty
|Gnomes versus Goblins|
|Burly Rockjaw Trogg||Metabolized Magic|
|Hobgoblin||HERE, TAKE BUFF.|
|Stonesplinter Trogg||Metabolized Magic|
|Tinkertown Technician||Might of Tinkertown|
|Anodized Robo Cub||Attack Mode|
|Dark Wispers||Dark Wispers|
|Gahz’rilla||Might of Zul’Farrak|
|King of Beasts||The King|
|Metaltooth Leaper||Metal Teeth|
|Upgraded Repair Bot||Repairs!|
|Velen’s Chosen||Velen’s Chosen|
|Goblin Auto-Barber||Extra Sharp|
|Iron Sensei||Ironed Out|
|Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil||Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil|
|Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil|
|Floating Watcher||Brow Furrow|
|Mal’Ganis||Grasp of Mal’Ganis|
|Screwjank Clunker||Screwy Junk|
|Siege Engine||Armor Plated|
|Armor Plating||Armor Plating|
|Rusty Horn||Rusty Horn|
|Whirling Blades||Whirling Blades|
|Shade of Naxxramas||Consume|
|Dark Cultist||Power of the Ziggurat|
|Mark of The Wild||Mark of the Wild|
|Power of the Wild||Leader of the Pack|
|Mark of Nature||Mark of Nature|
|Savage Roar||Savage Roar|
|Soul of the Forest||Soul of the Forest|
|Ancient of War||Rooted|
|Hunter’s Mark||Hunter’s Mark|
|Bestial Wrath||Bestial Wrath|
|Timber Wolf||Furious Howl|
|Scavenging Hyena||Well Fed|
|Leokk||Eye In The Sky|
|Mana Wyrm||Mana Gorged|
|Ethereal Arcanist||Raw Power!|
|Blessing of Might||Blessing of Might|
|Blessing of Wisdom||Blessing of Wisdom|
|Sword of Justice||Justice Served|
|Aldor Peacekeeper||Stand Down!|
|Blessing of Kings||Blessing of Kings|
|Blessed Champion||Templar’s Verdict|
|Inner Fire||Inner Fire|
|Power Word: Shield||Power Word: Shield|
|Divine Spirit||Divine Spirit|
|Shadow Madness||Dark Command|
|Cold Blood||Cold Blood|
|Deadly Poison||Deadly Poison|
|Edwin VanCleef||VanCleef’s Vengeance|
|Ancestral Healing||Ancestral Infusion|
|Totemic Might||Totemic Might|
|Rockbiter Weapon||Rockbiter Weapon|
|Ancestral Spirit||Ancestral Spirit|
|Power Overwhelming||Power Overwhelming|
|Blood Imp||Blood Pact|
|Inner Rage||Inner Rage|
|Commanding Shout||Commanding Shout|
|Cruel Taskmaster||Whipped Into Shape|
|Hungry Crab||Full Belly|
|Young Priestess||Elune’s Grace|
|Bloodsail Raider||Treasure Crazed|
|Dire Wolf Alpha||Strength of the Pack|
|Blood Knight||Shadows of M’uru|
|Bananas (King Mukla)||Bananas|
|Questing Adventurer||Level Up!|
|Shattered Sun Cleric||Cleric’s Blessing|
|Ancient Mage||Teachings of the Kirin Tor|
|Dark Iron Dwarf||Tempered|
|Defender of Argus||Hand of Argus|
|Twilight Drake||Hour of Twilight|
|Captain Greenskin||Greenskin’s Command|
|Frostwolf Warlord||Frostwolf Banner|
|Emboldener 3000 (Geblin)||Emboldened!|
|Stormwind Champion||Might of Stormwind|
2 writers at Wall Street Journal have written a book about bitcoin
In the video, they talk about how it makes people reassess and rethink what money is.
Bitcoin’s unidentified creator—a person or persons operating under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto —has provided a novel solution to a problem that has dogged societies for centuries: the distrust among strangers in commercial transactions with one another. In any exchange, how could someone feel secure unless there is a face-to-face handover of physical currency or some other valuable good?
When banks were invented in Florence in the late 1400s, a centralized solution emerged: People didn’t have to worry about trusting strangers anymore; they could just trust their banks to absorb the credit risk. Using internal ledgers to keep track of everyone’s balances, banks became the middlemen through which exchanges could now occur.
Banking unleashed the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and the modern age. But a new problem arose: As the world’s monetary intermediaries, banks became powerful—perhaps overly powerful—repositories of information and influence. The financial system was and remains vulnerable to bank failures, as we were painfully reminded during the financial crisis of September 2008.
One month after that meltdown, Satoshi Nakamoto released the initial document describing bitcoin. For the first time, people had a decentralized solution to the financial-trust problem. Here was a new form of currency that could be transferred online without involving fee-imposing, third-party institutions.
But many still ask: How can a bitcoin have value if it isn’t “backed” by gold or a government? If you can’t hold a currency in your hands, if it doesn’t bear some central authority’s insignia, how can it be worth anything?
Here we have to remind ourselves of some economic fundamentals: Money’s essence doesn’t reside in tangible currencies, which have no intrinsic value—beyond, say, a dollar bill’s modest usefulness as a bookmark. Much the same can be said of bitcoins, which are made up of bits and bytes.
In the broadest sense, money is, instead, an all-encompassing, society-wide system for keeping up with who owns or owes what. Physical currencies are simply symbols or tokens in that system, representing a shared standard of value for tracking wealth holdings. What Nakamoto’s blockchain invention offers is an online, decentralized and fully public mechanism for recording those shifting balances. It deals directly with the essence of money.
Chugga chugga! (Guess the next would be portals online)
Boost has since gone full bitcoin
(Singapore too has a representative in Boost in the form of Coinhako, which has since gone on to secure personal investment from Tim Draper)
But this bitcoin boot camp was hardly a shoestring effort: Mr. Gamido and the other fledgling entrepreneurs were bankrolled in part by one of Silicon Valley’s most storied families, which has emerged as among the alternative currency’s biggest supporters.
The program, called Boost, was founded by 28-year-old Adam Draper. His father, Tim Draper, is founding partner in Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the venture-capital firm that helped back Skype and Tesla, among others.
Tim Draper, 56 years old, is also one of the world’s largest bitcoin holders after winning a government auction of nearly 30,000 bitcoin this summer.