Bitcoin Transformations roundup: Virgin, Samsung, Yahoo


From Richard Branson

have invested in Bitcoin because I believe in its potential, the capacity it has to transform global payments is very exciting.

Through making investments in the likes of Square and Blockchain, I hope to be a part of what could be a democratisation that helps to put more power and control back into the hands of the everyday citizen.


Korea Herald, which quoted Vessenes as saying “Samsung will be biggest beneficiary of the bitcoin market.” Vessenes backed up the logic behind his speculation by saying that the most efficient chipmakers make far more money than those with less efficient chips. With Samsung Electronics being already one of the most prominent chipmakers in the world, it’s no surprise that he would come to this conclusion.

“At least half a billion U.S. dollars, up from $10 million two years ago, will be spent on purchasing Bitcoin mining systems worldwide next year or in 18 months.”


You read that correctly…I believe that Bitcoin is the most important technological breakthrough in the history of money.

he Middleman is Obsolete

With 31,000 lines of code, the creator of Bitcoin (Satoshi Nakamoto) made the middleman obsolete. Bitcoin does to the financial middleman what email did to the US Post Office.

The history of business is replete with examples of industries that have been transformed beyond recognition by disintermediation. When was the last time you walked into a travel agent’s office? Or asked a real estate agent for a brochure? Or looked in the phone book? Because of the need for trust and security there is one industry that has been missing from the list—financial services. Now the Bitcoin protocol can disrupt the trusted third party of financial services allowing peer to peer lending, banking and transacting to flourish.


Patek Phillipe Supercomplication sells for $24 million

While game items can fetch $38,000 to 6 digit barriers, in the physical realm outside the tesseract the Patek Phillipe line of pocket watches has fetched a new high:

The Patek Philippe Supercomplication pocket watch sold for 23.2 million Swiss francs ($24 million) at Sotheby’s in Geneva, setting the new record price for any timepiece sold at auction. It has held the record since 1999 when it last sold at Sotheby’s for $11 million.

Henry Graves Jr., a New York banker, ordered the Supercomplication in 1925, aiming to surpass James Ward Packard, an Ohio-based auto manufacturer who had been buying complicated pieces from Patek Philippe for years. Graves paid $15,000 for the watch, which was delivered in 1933, and it is often credited with keeping the Swiss watchmaker in business during the Great Depression.

Here’s a quick wiki guide to what complications are (before the age of the iwatch)

In horology, the study of clocks and watches, a complication refers to any feature in a timepiece beyond the simple display of hours and minutes. A timepiece indicating only hours and minutes is otherwise known as a simple movement. Common complications in commercial watches are day/date displays, alarms, chronographs, and automatic winding mechanisms.

And BBC’s helpful guide

Could be a good addition taking it into a wormhole or a blackhole

Tech bubbles and froths

TechCrunch has “Fab” down to $15million from the skyhigh $1 Billion valuation “just over a year ago” (raising $150million)

Zerohedge calls it “not so fab anymore”, and has its funding rounds

Big names include Tencent, Andressen Horowitz and Docomo

And comparisons to TechCrunch Bubble index

Across on the other side of the world

Major China VCs warn of bubbles

Wang admits startup valuations are far too high in China, often outpacing their American counterparts. Thanks to oversized early stage funding rounds, a bubble is definitely present. But this trend is already beginning to correct itself, according to his observations.

Is it time yet?

SVBJ: 3 generations of Draper on Bitcoin

The Draper family has thus spanned three lines of VC, with grandpa Draper of Draper Richards, Pa Draper of the famous Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Draper Jr founding Boost VC

Boost VC incubator cofounder Adam Draper is an unabashed enthusiast of the virtual currency. His dad, Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, is a dabbler in bitcoin startup investing. But grandfather Bill Draper of Draper Richards is apparently not at all a bitcoin fan.

The Drapers appeared at beGlobal, a Korean entrepreneurial conference, where they spoke about their experiences in Asia and views on the state of startups and venture.


Virgin: Bitcoin will do to banking what cellphone did to communication

In Virgin’s entrepreneur series, Dominic Frisby makes the case for bitcoin, comparing it to the telecommunications industry

Much as telephones moved from landlines into the handphones of today, bitcoin will allow for more inclusion financially, expanding access into the capabilities and benefits of banking without the gated walls.

So, with some seven billion people on the planet, the vast majority of whom, one assumes, are not hermits and like communicating, you might expect that 1.3 billion figure to have been higher. Along comes the mobile phone and the point is proved. There are now 6.3 billion users in a global population of 6.9 billion people. More people have a mobile phone than have a toilet, a recent UN study showed.

Quite simply, many people couldn’t get access to the basic financial services needed to get a landline. Landlines were, except for pay-phones, credit-based. You needed a bank account. Many people might have liked a landline, but couldn’t. The financial system actually prevented them. The telecoms companies concluded that the demand was not there, they did not put in the infrastructure and people were held back by their inability to communicate.

But with the cell phone, you don’t need a bank account. You can buy the credit you need with cash. There are not the same barriers to entry. Anyone can get one – and they have.

And the developed world will have a potential 3.5 billion new people to outsource jobs to, to sell products to and to receive products from. That is a lot of new trade. In fact, the money that the unbanked 3.5 billion make from ecommerce might enable them to buy the sanitation, education and healthcare they have been so deprived of and escape the poverty that has so blighted them.

How mobile money has turned Kenya into Africa’s tech hub 

It began in Kenya in the early 2000s with the M-Pesa. M stands for mobile. Pesa is Swahili for money – so you have ‘mobile money’. People started transferring their mobile phone minutes – their airtime credits – to friends or family. This airtime, of course, has a definite value. Based on a ‘real thing’ it would become a modern day commodity currency. You can now send airtime, M-Pesas, by SMS.

Coindesk: Bitcoin ATM up at Google Campus London

Google’s London co-working space has a new addition:

more at coindesk

Following the launch of its new bitcoin ATM, visitors to Google’s ‘Campus London’ co-working space will now be able to buy bitcoin and spend the cryptocurrency on a coffee or muffin.

Bitcoin centre

Google Campus is open to registered users, who can pay to rent dedicated space in the seven-storey building located in Shoreditch, the part of East London known as ‘Silicon Roundabout’.

Google Campus had more than 22,000 registered users last year and more than 100,000 visitors, who attend the regular events held there, according to its 2013 annual report.

Reddit’s pick for Treasure Redemption Token

What’s the best chest to exchange for the treasure redemption token? (self.DotA2)

submitted by SilverXerion

Pretty much the title.

bdzz 3 points

Champion’s Chest or Hero’s Heirloom

Both have great sets like the Kunkka or DK one and the rare drop, the Pudge hook, is really nice.

Or whatever you want actually. Might be one with an unusual courier?

flamindude99 1 point

Champion’s chest has decent sets plus the chance to get a pudge hook which sells for ~25-28 dollars on the market, it’s your best bet for value. Besides that, anything you find attractive I guess, or even Trove carafe since it has immortals.

darkspear 1 point

I used for trove carafe because I wanted the earthshaker inmortal (got it in the 4 chest)

Peter Thiel on Bitcoin

Peter Thiel is known for Paypal and Facebook and a few more

Here is what he has to say in an AMA

[–]PeterThiel[S] 184 points

PayPal built a payment system but failed in its goal in creating a “new world currency” (our slogan from back in 2000). Bitcoin seems to have created a new currency (at least on the level of speculation), but the payment system is badly lacking.

I will become more bullish on Bitcoin when I see the payment volume of Bitcoin really increase.

btc sub reaction

Bank of England on Bitcoin

And their paper:

Reddit discussion

edit: the video is brilliant.

TL;DR of paper 1:

  • decentralised ledger is a major innovation in the field of transactions, the last being double-entry bookkeeping in C16.
  • decentralised ledgers eliminate credit risk, liquidity risk and operational risk.
  • Thus they are more efficient and more robust.
  • As with money held as bank deposits, most financial assets today exist as purely digital records. This opens up the possibility for distributed ledgers to transform the financial system more generally. (e.g. coloured coins).

The article is thorough and accurate.

… digital currencies may be thought of as an ‘internet of money’. But since the potential applications are, in principle, broader than just payments, the distributed ledger technology may perhaps be better described as a first attempt at an ‘internet of finance’.

[–]_supert_ 4 points

edit: the beginning of the video is a fantastic advert for BTC!

TL;DR of paper 2:

A well-argued point from paper 2:

A significant risk to digital currencies’ sustained use as payment systems is therefore that they will not be able to compete on cost without degenerating — in the limiting case — to a monopoly miner, thereby defeating their original design goals and exposing them to risk of system-wide fraud.

However they then make a wrong statement that the increasing hash rate per address is indicative of rising tx fees in real terms. It seems to neglect the increasing efficiency of ASICs.

There is also the usual argument about bitcoin’s fixed supply being unable to respond the changing demand for money resulting in volatile price of money (e.g. price deflation).

They seem quite worried about a 51% attack.

The greatest hypothetical risk to monetary stability that might be posed by digital currencies is if the economy were to become, for example, ‘Bitcoinised’ — where everybody sought to conduct the totality of their day-to-day transactions entirely within the alternative currency and switch into sterling only when strictly necessary for interaction with the state (such as to pay taxes). This would represent a significant change. Since in this extreme scenario all payments would be conducted away from sterling as base money for essentially all of the economy, the Bank’s ability to influence price-setting and real activity would be severely impaired. But such an outcome is extremely unlikely …

The paper also explores the possibility of a bitcoin-denominated ‘free banking’ system arising.

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