New York Times on League Finale (LoL)

Quite the feature for esports, on the League finals that culminated a journey from Taiwan to Singapore to Korea, where it started in Busan and ended in Seoul.

Perhaps LoL and Dota will pave the way like football, rugby and soccer has, or basketball for the virtual world.

“Couples going to game clubs is about as common as couples going to the movies.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/technology/league-of-legends-south-korea-epicenter-esports.html

But in South Korea, more than anywhere else, it has already oozed into mainstream culture. Couples going to game clubs is about as common as couples going to the movies.

“Fourteen years ago, you had a government that gave a thumbs-up to e-sports — it was professionally organized, and it was on television, so it became a mainstream thing,” said Jonathan Beales, an e-sports commentator. “The way soccer is around the world.”

After gunning down a friend with an assault rifle in the game Sudden Attack, Kang Mi-kyung, 15, said she was at the PC bang about five times a week.

“I love this game, though I think it’s too violent,” she said, adding that she comes mostly to see friends, including some male friends she does not see at her new high school.

Most recently he helped convince Chung-Ang University, a top Korean college, to admit two students based on their successes in e-sports.

Reddit plans own coin to give back to community, searches for cryptocurrency engineer with job listing

The tech crunch article as Reddit tries to create its own currency as a means to reward its online community after its successful funding round:

http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/30/reddit-scoops-up-50m-series-b-from-sam-altman-a16z-sequoia-at-500m-valuation/

Reddit, the so-called front page of the internet, has raised $50 million in Series B on a $500 million valuation with intentions to give back 10 percent of the round’s equity to the community. The monster round is led by Sam Altman, CEO of Y Combintaor, with participation from Andreesen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital, as well as individual investors like Peter Thiel, Ron Conway, Jared Leto (randomly), Calvin Broadus Jr. AKA Snoop Dog (also randomly), Josh Kushner, Jessica Livingston, Kevin and Julia Hartz, Mariam Naficy, and Reddit CEO Yishan Wong.

[–]yishan[S,A] 497 points x4

Ok, here it is:

CAVEAT: KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS PLAN COULD TOTALLY FAIL

We are thinking about creating a cryptocurrency and making it exchangeable (backed) by those shares of reddit, and then distributing the currency to the community. The investors have explicitly agreed to this in their investment terms.

Nothing like this has ever been done before. Basically we have to nail down how to do each step correctly (it is technically, legally, and financially complex), though in our brief consultation with an ex-SEC lawyer, he stated he could find nothing illegal about this plan. Nevertheless, there are something like 30 different things we have to pull off to make this work, so we’re going to try.

(Also, I know this totally contradicts what I said over here but that was before Sam proposed this plan to me, and the idea of being able to distribute ownership of reddit back to the community – a long-held dream of many of us, frankly – is important enough to try and do this)

Again, we want to emphasize that this plan is in its earliest stages right now and could totally fail (if it does, we will find another way to get the shares to the community somehow), but we are going to try it because… well, because we are reddit and we do these kinds of things.

And the cryptocurrency engineer job listing:

https://www.reddit.com/r/redditjobs/comments/2c9d61/cryptocurrency_engineer_redditcom_san_francisco/cjegpne

https://jobs.lever.co/reddit/6ce6a242-00d1-49c4-9bed-c34f26445ee7

Cryptocurrency Engineer, reddit.com

San Francisco
Engineering
Full-time

reddit is looking for a couple engineers with extremely strong discrete mathematics or computer science backgrounds to explore new technology applications and infrastructure involving the blockchain and cryptocurrency. You should have direct working experience with C or C++, plus at least a handful of other languages. For reference, reddit is written in Python on Pylons talking to Cassandra, PostgreSQL, Memcached, ZooKeeper and more all running on Linux. It is hosted on Amazon AWS. Almost all of our code is open source and we believe strongly in contributing back to the community. Your work will be visible to the world. You should have at least 3 years professional programming experience in small and medium-sized companies. You must have a BS or higher in computer science, mathematics, or physics.

–]yishan[S,A] 6 points

Hello everyone, yishan here.

You are partially correct, but we are not necessarily focused on contributing directly to the core bitcoin codebase or forking it. Rather, we want to ensure that whoever we hire is able to fully understand bitcoin at its lowest technical level, i.e. be able to examine the code itself in the course of developing tools, features, infrastructure, whatever. Essentially, we want someone who could contribute to the bitcoin codebase even if we aren’t intending to. It’s sort of like how if you want someone to work on mysql at your company, you need someone who has the technical capability to write (and read/evaluate) patches to the mysql codebase even if they’re not necessarily going to do so.

What we are interested in doing is evaluating the cryptocurrency landscape to see what high-leverage projects reddit can and should undertake that only reddit is in a position to undertake which would benefit cryptocurrency and related technologies in general. We’re not interested in creating a competing “Yet Another <Whatever>” if someone else is already doing it. For this we need someone who can understand cryptocurrency very well and consequently, see what tools, features, and infrastructure may be missing or which the world needs next… and then to build it.

Korea’s coinplug gets $2.5million investment

From coindesk, it looks like coinplug closed a decent series that included Tim Draper and plans to use it for its bitcoin atms. (Korbit had a round with Japan’s Softbank ventures in korea)

Over in Taiwan, it looks like the Family Mart kiosk has allowed for 2800 machines access to bitcoin purchases.

http://www.coindesk.com/coinplugs-2-5-million-funding-round-reveals-bitcoin-growth-korea/

Coinplug’s $2.5 Million Funding Round Reveals Bitcoin Growth in Korea

(@southtopia) | Published on October 8, 2014 at 10:37 BST

South Korean bitcoin multi-services company Coinplug announced yesterday it has closed a Series A funding deal worth $2.5m from mainly local venture capitalists. The new investment brings the firm to a total of $3.3m raised so far.

This week’s deal notably included bitcoin venture capitalist Tim Draper, but was led by Mirae Asset Venture Investment, an arm of Seoul-based financial industry giant Mirae Asset. The round also included major Korean VC firm Bokwang Investment Corp, Capstone Partners and DSC Investment.

Coinplug had previously received two funding rounds worth $400,000 each in a combination of fiat currency and bitcoin, in November 2013 and April this year. Draper was also involved in April’s round.

Bitcoin Meetup October 16 @ Hospoda (Singapore)

It has been a while since the previous bitcoin meetup in Singapore, and people have opined that the crowd follows the price exponentially. But though there was lower turnout, people still turned up to learn more about bitcoin.

Hospoda is a bitcoin accepting place that specializes in Czech craft beer between Little India and Bugis on 180 Albert St.

(There are more videos online describing bitcoin these days too)

I arrived just as the skype session with Bitcoin Meetup japan ended. Basically they were buying each other drinks over skype, scanning in the QR codes and transferring bitcoin over the ether and waters. That pretty much distilled a use application of bitcoin right there! Value transfer without borders.

The crowd was also quite different this time, with fewer returning faces (though many of the pioneers here have taken their hiking stick to expand overseas). The meetup still brought in a varied mix into Hospoda. The next round might have more returning to Singapore after time overseas though.

 

Singapore’s GIC leads Square $6 billion round, follows Temasek Bitcoin experiment

GIC is the other Singapore sovereign wealth fund after Temasek, which had undertaken a company wide bitcoin experiment. Square is also known for its bitcoin adoption, with Jack Dorsey of twitter fame at its helm.

New York Times reports that GIC led the round of $150 million to close Square at $6 billion valuation:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/05/square-raises-150-million-at-a-6-billion-valuation/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&smid=tw-nytimesbits&_r=1&

This latest round, which was led by a new investor, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, places Square in the company of Internet start-ups like Pinterest and Spotify, which also have valuations around $5 billion to $6 billion. Some previous investors, including Goldman Sachs and Rizvi Traverse Management, also participated in the round, according to this person.

The move comes amid a time of great tumult in the payments industry. Apple, the consumer technology giant, introduced its new commerce product, Apple Pay, along with its new smartphones, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Ebay announced that it wouldspin off PayPal, the company’s big payments business. And in August, Amazon introduced its own version of a credit card reader, which has a low processing fee rate to lure new merchants.

 

League of Legends World Championships Group Stages Singapore, Kabum!

Quite the world tour for the LoL championships, starting in taiwan and routing to singapore, before flying to korea’s busan and then seoul for the finale.

Singapore’s tickets were $25, $45 and $65 with an extra $3 for online booking. The $25 were actually pretty sweet but had very little seats and sold out fast. $65 gets you two random posters. Everyone had a special skins card, SKT or TPA theme. You can sell SKT for about $25-$30 which means the cheap tickets actually pay for themselves. TPA fetches a bit lower. The irony was that the cheaper seats had a better view of the action than the expensive seats.

lol worlds

There were quite a lot of merchandise on sale too (but not as heavy on your wallet as the Dota 2 secret shop)

merch

The jacket went for $90 and the shirts from $30. The plush was about the same.

cosplay

And there was cosplay

 

Seems like pretty good games reserved for the last day, with Crumbz the prophet getting the games right. Kabum! managed to take their incredible upset against alliance to go 5-1, and effectively took Alliance out of the running later. Also good games by cloud9 taking rat strategies to score a few wins against korea’s team before handing it back.

The day’s phototaking session was with cloud 9 before the tournament flew off to Busan.

Paypal on Bitcoin

Beyond Braintree, Paypal has also teamed up with Bitpay, Coinbase and Gocoin for further bitcoin integration.

This should spur up further adoption in other areas of technology.

We chose to work with BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin because of our commitment to offering innovative and safer ways for businesses to accept payments. All three companies have taken steps to ensure that they know their customers and that those customers are offered certain protections. We believe digital goods merchants will be excited to work with these industry-leading companies to sell ringtones, games and music and get paid with Bitcoin.

To be clear, today’s news does not mean that PayPal has added Bitcoin as a currency in our digital wallet or that Bitcoin payments will be processed on our secure payments platform. PayPal has always embraced innovation, but always in ways that make payments safer and more reliable for our customers. Our approach to Bitcoin is no different. That’s why we’re proceeding gradually, supporting Bitcoin in some ways today and holding off on other ways until we see how things develop.

But giving our digital goods merchants an easy, one-stop way to test the waters with this new form of payment isn’t the only way we work with Bitcoin.  For some time now, we’ve helped merchants selling Bitcoin mining equipment to accept PayPal payments. This will continue. But to safeguard customers, we’ve decided not to work with merchants who pre-sell these products.  This is consistent with our approach to pre-sales of other goods; we hold off anytime we determine that pre-selling may not provide a good buyer experience.

More at their blog entry:

https://www.paypal-community.com/t5/PayPal-Forward/PayPal-and-Virtual-Currency/ba-p/828230

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