Blockchain Spectrum

The Blockchain Spectrum

Now, even if someone does not have the drawbacks of decades-long experience and mental models with a specific asset class, it is still very hard to understand Bitcoin.

Why? Because Bitcoin is the intersection of many, many different fields.

To truly understand Bitcoin, there is no other way than being a polymath.

Even if one has made it as far to (a) realize Bitcoin is something completely new and solely using existing heuristics and mental models will not work and (b) with Bitcoin, more than anything else, we do not know what we do not know — understanding still requires a very broad set of competences.

The correct approach to understand when one starts going down the Bitcoin rabbit hole is therefore to assume one knows nothing and any experience and insight one has from previous aspects of life brings
very little to the table.

First principles thinking is required.
We can, however, try to define a little deeper what Bitcoin is. Below is listed some different ways of wrapping one’s head around Bitcoin.

Not an exhaustive list.

A living organism

Bitcoin is Free and Open Source software. It is not a piece of IP owned by a centralized joint-stock company that needs to optimize for the bottom line of the next quarter and is incapable of cannibalizing itself. Since the Bitcoin whitepaper was released and the
genesis block was mined, we have seen an explosion of experiments, ideas and creative geniuses get involved in Bitcoin and crypto as a whole. To think of Bitcoin as a living, technological organism that adjusts, develops and constantly changes to survive can be useful.

A religion.

Money, as many have learned and realized in recent decade, is just a social
construction we are all part of. The value therefore comes from the amount of true believers.

Continuing this line of thinking, one could describe the religion as consisting of:

  • Prophet: Satoshi. No longer present. Impossible to ask questions.
  • Convictions: Decentralization.
  • Rituals: Running nodes. Mining. Hodling.
  • Holy scriptures: Bitcoin whitepaper. As with all holy scriptures, people interpret them in their own way.
  • Sacred objects: Genesis block, lowercase bitcoin
  • Sects: Different interpretations resulting in different factions/sects: small blockers, big blockers, etc.

An emerging economy

  • The consensus protocol can be thought of as the constitution
  • The society as the constituency (users on the demand-side; miners on the supply-side)
  • Core developers as the executive department who write the code and execute on the strategy, but amendments to the protocol (i.e., constitution) require approval from the constituency)
  • The native token is the internal currency
  • The investors underwrite the currency

Additionally, many one-liners and memes exist to describe Bitcoin. Not an exhaustive list.

  • Sound money
  • Digital gold
  • “An insurance policy against an Orwellian future”
  • “A tool for freeing humanity from oligarchs and tyrants, dressed up as a get-rich-quick scheme”
  • Censorship- judgment & seizure-resistant money
  • Peer to peer digital cash
  • Swiss Bank account in your pocket
  • Unstoppable and uncensorable hard money

Source: https://backed.ai/





The monetary properties of Bitcoin


bitcoin vs gold

bitcoin vs fiat

Bitcoin is a monetary good — a new form of money. As Bitcoin is a money, it must be compared to other monies to consider the comparative advantages of Bitcoin and from that consider further the probabilities of Bitcoin winning ground or not in the competition between monies.

Brief summarization of the monetary properties

Summarization of the monetary properties of Bitcoin compared to precious metals and fiat currencies

As the exhibit above showcases, Bitcoin offers many different distinct and compelling competitive advantages to the alternatives.

These include, but are not limited to:

1. Bitcoin is the first asset in the human history to provide any holder a very sure case of unseizability and censorship- and judgment-resistance for their funds.

Unseizability: With precious metals and fiat currencies, the custodianship is mostly in the hands of trusted custodians that is subject to any intervention by a government or authority.

Bitcoin, with self-custody being orders of magnitude easier than with precious metals and fiat currencies, and access to the corresponding private key of funds being the sole way to access and move funds, no one can seize your bitcoins.

Censorship- and judgment resistance: With precious metals and fiat currencies, the payment clearing for small value transactions can with not much hassle be somewhat censorship resistant if the involved parties are willing to transact in the physical units of precious metals and fiat currencies and to self-custody the funds going forward.

However, with non-small value transactions it is exceedingly inconvenient and costly for transactions of precious metals and fiat currencies to happen in the offline, with physical units and self-custody going forward, leaving the centralized intermediaries as the only option and these are subject to any intervention by a government or authority.

Bitcoin, with the payment clearing involving no centralized intermediaries but instead a decentralized and distributed setup requiring no AML/KYC, the result is that of a the payment clearing process being permissionless, allowing anyone with cryptographic access to funds to move them at their will.

2. Bitcoin provides an inherently apolitical global monetary unit. It is truly border-less, with no recognition of any jurisdictional rules and laws, allowing the jurisdiction of a counterpart in any transaction to be of no relevance.

◦ Fiat currencies are highly political and precious metals are less political than fiat currencies, but still much more political than Bitcoin.

◦ Bitcoin is truly border-less: any bitcoin funds can be accessed anywhere on the planet by having access to information that can even be stored inside a human brain and reliably retrieved at small effort — and, crucially, with no intermediary and no permission required the bitcoin funds can be moved to anywhere in the world with final settlement in the next block.

3. Bitcoin provides scarcity and salability through time characteristics vastly superior to any other monetary options, including fiat currencies and precious metals.

◦ The non-discretionary monetary policy of the bitcoin networking allowing for the asymptotic money supply* of 21 million BTC is built into the literal definition of the protocol. This is a drastic contrast to the arbitrary scarcity of fiat currencies governed by politics.

The scarcity of precious metals is much better than fiat currencies, but Bitcoin with the strictly fixed money supply outperforms any precious metal.

Bitcoin provides any holder a reassurance stronger than any other asset in the world that their ownership stake in the total quantity of Bitcoin on the market will never diluted.

One BTC of 21 million will always be one BTC of 21 million.

◦ Bitcoins are infinitely durable, impossible to counterfeit or dilute, can be stored at no cost and at no degradation.


* By inventing Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto created the first example of a digital good (in this case, monetary good) that is impossible to reproduce ad infinitum, thereby creating the first instance of human history of digital scarcity.

Less talked about it, but perhaps more important, Satoshi Nakamoto with Bitcoin also created the first example of a good being absolute scarce.

Previously, any consideration of scarcity of a good was relative. Any physical good is never absolutely scarce, onlyrelatively scarce when compared to other goods — simply because any limit on a physical goods is a function of the time and human effort put towards producing the good.

Bitcoin, with the asymptotic monetary supply built into the protocol, is therefore the first example of absolute scarcity in a liquid commodity and good that cannot have its fixed quantity of supply increased.


People’s Money

Power to the People

The seed has been planted
Make it Thrive !!!

Choose

Veritas non Auctoritas …

Choose Wisely




Bitcoin Mining – Where the Profitable Future Lies



The Times – January 3, 2009

Bitcoin Genesis Block
Mined 03 January 2009

Cypherpunks Write Code

CODE IS LAW
THE SOONER HUMANKIND ACCEPTS IT,
THE SOONER IT CAN BUILD AROUND IT

Yeah.. I wonder Why 😂


Bitcoin made easy

How a Bitcoin transaction works

A humble Miner


How Bitcoin Mining Works

Mining Difficulty

Bitcoin Halving

Bitcoin Previous Halvings

Pools

Bitcoin Wallets

Bitcoin Stakeholders

Bitcoin Facts

Power to the People

Totalitarian Governments can kiss my 256-bit key

Bitcoin – People’s Money

Bitcoin cannot be Shut Down


The power of the long tail…



Central Bank’s 3 Strategies

F**k them, Enough !!!



Upcoming Smart Contracts Networks

Bitcoin Yearly Candles

Bitcoin Price History – Log Scale

Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Map

Defi Ecosystem in Ethereum

DeFi Stack: Product& Application View

Syscoin Ecosystem


Syscoin

BSC Ecosystem

Popular Cryptocurrency

Crpto Ecosystem

Public Companies that own Bitcoin

Top Banks investing in Crypto

Bitcoin Inflation vs. Time

When you’re Ready…



Choose Wisely

Make bitcoin thrive, let fiat become humus…



Veritas non Auctoritas
Facit Legem

Most people misunderstand what bitcoin miners actually do, and as a result they don’t fully grasp the level of security provided by bitcoin’s hashrate.

In this article, we’ll explain proof of work in a non-technical way so that you’ll be able to counter the misinformation about supercomputers and quantum computers attacking the Bitcoin network in the future. 

Simply put, mining is a lottery to create new blocks in the Bitcoin blockchain. There are two main purposes for mining:

  1. To permanently add transactions to the blockchain without the permission of any entity.
  2. To fairly distribute the 21 million bitcoin supply by rewarding new coins to miners who spend real world resources (i.e. electricity) to secure the network.

To understand what is actually happening in this lottery system, let’s look at a simple analogy where every Bitcoin hash is equivalent to a dice roll.


Luck, Gambling, and SHA-256


Imagine that miners in the Bitcoin Network are all individuals gambling at a casino. In this example, each of these gamblers have a 1000 sided dice. They roll their die as quickly as possible, trying to get a number less than 10. Statistically, this may take a very long time, but as more gamblers join the game, the time it takes to hit a number less than 10 gets reduced. In short, more gamblers equals quicker rounds.

Once somebody successfully rolls a number less than 10, all gamblers at the table can look down and verify the number. This lucky gambler takes the prize money and the next round begins.

Ultimately, the process of mining bitcoin is very similar. All miners on the network are using Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), which are specialized computers designed to compute hashes as quickly as possible.

To “compute a hash” simply means plugging any random input into a mathematical function and producing an output.

More hashes per second (i.e. higher hashrate) is equivalent to more dice rolls per second, and thus a greater probability of success.

Miners propose a potential Bitcoin block of transactions, and use this for an input. The block is plugged into the SHA256 hash function which yields a fixed-sized output, known as a hash. A single hash can be computed in less than a millisecond, as it involves no complex math.

If the hash value is lower than the Bitcoin Network difficulty, then the miner who proposed the block wins. If not, then the miner continues trying by computing more hashes.

The successful miner’s block is then added to the blockchain, the miner is rewarded with newly issued bitcoin for their work, and the “next round” begins.


Sources :

https://wikipedia.com/

https://braiins.com/

https://blockdata.com/

https://coin98analytics.com/

https://scoopwhoop.com/

https://stakingrewards.com/

https://syscoin.org/

https://galaxydigitalresearch.com/

https://surveycrest.com/

The Times

The Economist

"Internet of Money" - Andreas Antonopoulus

Hal Finney Quotes

Timothy C. May Quote

Free Spirit Digital Art

!°! If I forgot someone, sorry ! Do tell and I'll add you as a source of inspiration on the list !!! Thanks for understanding !!!


Questions, opinions, critics and requests always welcomed and as time allows will be accomodated !!! 🤓 🙂 😉


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If so, please consider a donation to help the evolution and development of more helpful articles in the future, and show your support for alternative articles.

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A world where anything is possible…
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The other 6 Billion

“THE FIAT STANDARD”




I am happy to share with you this chapter from my forthcoming book, The Fiat Standard, which will be out in November in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats.

Chapter 1: Introduction

On August 6, 1915, His Majesty’s Government issued this appeal:

“In view of the importance of strengthening the gold reserves of the country for exchange purposes, the Treasury has instructed the Post Office and all public departments charged with the duty of making cash payments to use notes instead of gold coins whenever possible.

The public generally are earnestly requested, in the national interest, to cooperate with the Treasury in this policy by

(1) paying in gold to the Post Office and to the Banks;

(2) asking for payment of cheques in notes rather than in gold;

(3) using notes rather than gold for payment of wages and cash disbursements generally”.

August 6th, 1915 – His Majesty’s Government

With this obscure and largely forgotten announcement, the Bank of England effectively began the global monetary system’s move away from a gold standard, in which all government and bank obligations were redeemable in physical gold.

At the time, gold coins and bars were still widely used worldwide, but they were of limited use for international trade, which necessitated resorting to the clearance mechanisms of international banks. 

Chief among all banks at the time, the Bank of England’s network spanned the globe, and its pound sterling had, for centuries, acquired the reputation of being as good as gold. 

Instead of the predictable and reliable stability naturally provided by gold, the new global monetary standard was built around government rules, hence its name. The Latin word fiat means ‘let it be done’ and, in English, has been adopted to mean a formal decree, authorization, or rule.

It is an apt term for the current monetary standard, as what distinguishes it most is that it substitutes government dictates for the judgment of the market.

Value on fiat’s base layer is not based on a freely traded physical commodity, but is instead dictated by authority, which can control its issuance, supply, clearance, and settlement, and even confiscate it at any time it sees fit.

With the move to fiat, peaceful exchange on the market no longer determined the value and choice of money. Instead, it was the victors of world wars and the gyrations of international geopolitics that would dictate the choice and value of the medium that constitutes one half of every market transaction.

While the 1915 Bank of England announcement, and others like it at the time, were assumed to be temporary emergency measures necessary to fight the Great War, today, more than a century later, the Bank of England is yet to resume the promised redemption of its notes in gold.

Temporary arrangements restricting note convertibility into gold have turned into the permanent financial infrastructure of the fiat system that took off over the next century.

Never again would the world’s predominant monetary systems be based on currencies fully redeemable in gold.

The above decree might be considered the equivalent of Satoshi Nakamoto’s email to the cryptography mailing list announcing Bitcoin, but unlike Nakamoto, His Majesty’s Government provided no software, white paper, nor any kind of technical specification as to how such a monetary system could be made practical and workable. Unlike the cold precision of Satoshi’s impersonal and dispassionate tone, His Majesty’s Government relied on appeal to authority, and emotional manipulation of its subjects’ sense of patriotism.

Whereas Satoshi was able to launch the Bitcoin network in operational form a few months after its initial announcement, it took two world wars, dozens of monetary conferences, multiple financial crises, and three generations of governments, bankers, and economists struggling to ultimately bring about a fully operable implementation of the fiat standard in 1971.

Fifty years after taking its final form, and one century after its genesis, an assessment of the fiat system is now both possible and necessary. Its longevity makes it unreasonable to keep dismissing the fiat system as an irredeemable fraud on the brink of collapse, as many of its detractors have done for decades. Many people at the end of their life today have never used anything but fiat money, and neither did their long-deceased parents. This cannot be written off as an unexplained fluke, and economists should be able to explain how this system functions and survives, despite its many obvious flaws.

There are, after all, plenty of markets around the world that are massively distorted by government interventions, but they nonetheless continue to survive. It is no endorsement of these interventions to attempt to explain how they persist.

It is also not appropriate to judge fiat systems based on the marketing material of their promoters and beneficiaries in government-financed academia and the popular press.

While the global fiat system so far avoided the complete collapse its detractors would predict, that cannot vindicate its promoters’ advertising of it as a free-lunch-maker with no opportunity cost or consequence. More than fifty episodes of hyperinflation have taken place around the world using fiat monetary systems in the past century. Moreover, the global fiat system avoiding catastrophic collapse is hardly enough to make the case for it as a positive technological, economic, and social development. 

Between the relentless propaganda of its enthusiasts and the rabid venom of its detractors, this book attempts to offer something new: an exploration of the fiat monetary system as a technology, from an engineering and functional perspective, outlining its purposes and common failure modes, and deriving the wider economic, political, and social implications of its use. I believe that adopting this approach to writing

The Bitcoin Standard contributed to making it the best-selling book on bitcoin to date, helping hundreds of thousands of readers across more than 20 languages understand the significance and implications of bitcoin. Rather than focus on the details of how bitcoin operates, I chose to focus on why it operates the way it does, and what the implications are. 

If you have read the Bitcoin Standard and enjoyed my exploration of bitcoin, I hope you will enjoy this exploration of the operation of fiat.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, I believe that by first understanding the operation of bitcoin, you can then better understand the equivalent operations in fiat.

It is easier to explain an abacus to a computer user than it is to explain a computer to an abacus user.

A more advanced technology performs its functions more productively and efficiently, allowing a clear exposition of the mechanisms of the simpler technology, and exposing its weaknesses.

For the reader who has become familiar with the operation of bitcoin, a good way to understand the operation of fiat is by drawing analogy to the operation of bitcoin using concepts like mining, nodes, balances, and proof of work.

My aim is to explain the operation and engineering structure of the fiat monetary system and how it operates, in reality, away from the naive romanticism of governments and banks who have benefited from this system for a century.

The first seven chapters of The Bitcoin Standard explained the history and function of money, and its importance to the economic order. With that foundation laid, the final three chapters introduced bitcoin, explained its operation, and elaborated on how its operation relates to the economic questions discussed in the earlier chapters.

My motivation as an author was to allow readers to understand how bitcoin operates and its monetary significance without requiring them to have a previous background in economics or digital currencies.

Had Bitcoin not been invented, the first seven chapters of The Bitcoin Standard could have served as an introduction to explaining the operation of the fiat monetary system.

This book picks up where Chapter 7 of “The Bitcoin Standard” left off. The first chapters of this book are modeled on the last three chapters of the Bitcoin Standard, except applied to fiat money. 

How does the fiat system actually function, in an operational sense? The success of bitcoin in operating as a bare-bones and standalone free market monetary system helps elucidate the properties and functions necessary to make a monetary system function.

Bitcoin was designed by a software engineer who boiled a monetary system down to its essentials. These choices were then validated by a free market of millions of people around the world who continue to use this system, and currently entrust it to hold more than $300 billion of their wealth.

The fiat monetary system, by contrast, has never been put on a free market for its users to pass the only judgment that matters on it. The all-too-frequent systemic collapses of the fiat monetary system are arguably the true market judgment emerging after suppression by governments.

With bitcoin showing us how an advanced monetary system can function entirely independently of government control, we can see clearly the properties required for a monetary system to operate on the free market, and in the process, better understand fiat’s modes of operation, and all-too-frequent modes of failure.

While fiat systems have not won acceptance on the free market, and though their failings and limitations are many, there is no denying the fact that many fiat systems have worked for large parts of the last century, and facilitated an unfathomably large number of transactions and trades all around the world. Its continued operation makes understanding it useful, particularly as we still live in a world that runs on fiat. Just because you may be done with fiat does not mean that fiat is done with you!

Understanding how the fiat standard works, and how it frequently fails, is essential knowledge for being able to navigate it.


This is a preview chapter from my forthcoming book, The Fiat Standard, which will be out in November in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats.

To begin, it’s important to understand that the fiat system was not a carefully, consciously, or deliberately designed financial operating system like bitcoin; rather, it evolved through a complex process of compromise between political constraints and expedience.

The next chapter illustrates this by examining newly-released historical documents on just how the fiat standard was born, and how it replaced the gold standard, beginning in England in the early twentieth century, completing the transition in 1971 across the Atlantic.

This is not a history book, however, and it will not attempt a full historical account of the development of the fiat standard over the past century, in the same way the Bitcoin Standard did not delve too deeply into the study of the historical development of the bitcoin software protocol. The focus of the first part of the book will be on the operation and function of the fiat monetary system, by making analogy to the operation of the bitcoin network, in what might be called a comparative study of the economics of different monetary engineering systems. 

Chapter 3 examines the underlying technology behind the fiat standard. Contrary to what the name suggests, modern fiat money is not conjured out of thin air through government fiat.

Government does not just print currency and hand it out to a society that accepts it as money. Modern fiat money is far more sophisticated and convoluted in its operation. The fundamental engineering feature of the fiat system is that it treats future promises of money as if they were as good as present money because the government guarantees these promises.

While such an arrangement would not survive in the free market, the coercion of the government can maintain it for a very long time. Government can meet any present financial obligations by diverting them onto future taxpayers or onto current fiat holders through taxes or inflation; and, further, through legal tender laws, the government can prevent any alternatives to its money from gaining traction.

By leveraging their monopoly on the legal use of violence to meet present financial obligations from potential future income, government fiat makes debt into money, forces its acceptance across society, and prevents it from collapsing.

Chapter 4 examines how the fiat network’s native tokens come into existence, using fiat’s antiquated and haphazard version of mining.

As fiat money is credit, credit creation in a fiat currency results in the creation of new money, which means that lending is the fiat version of mining.

Fiat miners are the financial institutions capable of generating fiat-based debt with guarantees from the government and/or central banks.

Unlike with bitcoin’s difficulty adjustment, fiat has no mechanisms for controlling issuance. Credit money, instead, causes constant cycles of expansion and contraction in the money supply with eventual devastating consequences, as this chapter examines.

Chapter 5 explains the topography of the fiat network, which is centered around its only full node, the US Federal Reserve.

The Fed is the only institution that can validate or refuse any transaction on any layer of the network.

Another 200 or so central bank nodes are spread around the world, and these have geographic monopolies on financial and monetary services, where they regulate and manage tens of thousands of commercial bank nodes worldwide.

Unlike with bitcoin, the incentive for running a fiat node is enormous.

Chapter 6 then analyzes balances on the fiat network, and how fiat has the unique feature where many, if not most, users, have negative account balances.

The enormous incentive to mine fiat by issuing debt means individuals, corporations, and governments all face a strong incentive to get into debt.

The monetization and universalization of debt is also a war on savings, and one which governments have persecuted stealthily and mostly quite successfully against their citizens over the last century.

Based on this analysis, Chapter 7 concludes the first section of the book by discussing the uses of fiat, and the problems it solves.

The two obvious uses of fiat are that it allows for the government to easily finance itself, and that it allows banks to engage in maturity-mismatching and fractional reserve banking while largely protected from the inevitable downside.

But the third use of fiat is the one that has been the most important to its survival: salability across space.

From the outset, I will make a confession to the reader. Attempting to think of the fiat monetary system in engineering terms and trying to understand the problem it solves have resulted in giving me an appreciation of its usefulness, and a less harsh assessment of the motives and circumstances which led to its emergence.

Understanding the problem this fiat system solves makes the move from the gold standard to the fiat standard appear less outlandish and insane than it had appeared to me while writing The Bitcoin Standard, as a hard money believer who could see nothing good or reasonable about the move to an easier money. 

Seeing that the analytical framework of “The Bitcoin Standard” was built around the concept of salability across time, and the ability of money to hold its value into the future, and the implications of that to society, the fiat standard initially appears as a deliberate nefarious conspiracy to destroy human civilization.

But writing this book, and thinking very hard about the operational reality of fiat, has brought into sharper focus the property of salability across space, and in the process, made the rationale for the emergence of the fiat standard clearer, and more comprehensible.

For all its many failings, there is no escaping the conclusion that the fiat standard was indeed a solution to a real and debilitating problem with the gold standard, namely its low spatial salability.

More than any conspiracy, the limited spatial salability of gold as global trade advanced allowed the survival of the fiat standard for so long, making its low temporal salability a tolerable problem, and allowing governments worldwide tremendous leeway to bribe their current citizens at the expense of their future citizens by creating the easy fiat tokens that operate their payment networks.

As we take stock of a whole century of operation for this monetary system, a sober and nuanced assessment can appreciate the significance of this solution for facilitating global trade, while also understanding how it has allowed the inflation that benefited governments at the expense of their future citizens.

Fiat may have been a huge step backward in terms of its salability across time, but it was a substantial leap forward in terms of salability across space.

Having laid out the mechanics for the operation of fiat in the first section, the book’s second section, Fiat Life, examines the economic, societal, and political implications of a society utilizing such a form of money with uncertain and usually poor inter-temporal salability.

This section focuses on analyzing the implications of two economic causal mechanisms of fiat money: the utilization of debt as money; and the ability of the government to grant this debt at essentially no cost.

Fiat increasingly divorces economic reward from economic productivity, and instead bases it on political allegiance. This attempted suspension of the concept of opportunity cost makes fiat a revolt against the natural order of the world, in which humans, and all other animals, have to struggle against scarcity every day of their lives.

Nature provides humans with reward only when their toil is successful, and similarly, markets only reward humans when they are able to produce something that others value subjectively.

After a century of economic value being assigned at the point of a gun, these indisputable realities of life are unknown to, or denied by, huge swathes of the world’s population who look to their government for their salvation and sustenance.

The suspension of the normal workings of scarcity through government dictat has enormous implications on individual time preference and decision-making, with important consequences to many facets of life.

In the second section of the book, we explore the impacts of fiat on family, food, education, science, health, fuels, and security. 

While the title of the book refers to fiat, this really is a book about bitcoin, and the first two sections build up the analytical foundation for the main course that is the third part of the book, examining the all-too-important question with which “The Bitcoin Standard” leaves the reader: what will the relationship between fiat and bitcoin be in the coming years?

Chapter 16 examines the specific properties of bitcoin that make it a potential solution to the problems of fiat.

While “The Bitcoin Standard” focused on bitcoin’s intertemporal salability, The Fiat Standard examines how bitcoin’s salability across space is the mechanism that makes it a more serious threat to fiat than gold and other physical monies with low spatial salability.

Bitcoin’s high salability across space allows us to monetize a hard asset itself, and not credit claims on it, as was the case with the gold standard.

At its most basic, bitcoin increases humanity’s capacity for long-distance international settlement by around 500,000 transactions a day, and completes that settlement in a few hours.

This is an enormous upgrade over gold’s capacity, and makes international settlement a far more open market, much harder to monopolize.

This also helps us understand bitcoin’s value proposition as not just in being harder than gold, but also in traveling much faster.

Bitcoin effectively combines gold’s salability across time with fiat’s salability across space in one apolitical immutable open source package.

By being a hard asset, bitcoin is also debt-free, and its creation does not incentivize the creation of debt. By offering finality of settlement every ten minutes, bitcoin also makes the use of credit money very difficult. At each block interval, the ownership of all bitcoins is confirmed by tens of thousands of nodes all over the world. There can be no authority whose fiat can make good a broken promise to deliver a bitcoin by a certain block time.

Financial institutions that engage in fractional reserve banking in a bitcoin economy will always be under the threat of a bank run as long as no institution exists that can conjure present bitcoin at significantly lower than the market rate, as governments are able to do with their fiat. 

Chapter 17 discusses bitcoin scaling in detail, and argues it will likely happen through second layer solutions which will be optimized for speed, high volume, and low cost, but involve trade-offs in security and liquidity.

Chapter 18 builds on this analysis to discuss what banking would look like under a Bitcoin Standard, while chapter 19 discusses how savings would work under such a system.

Chapter 20 studies bitcoin’s energy consumption, how it is related to bitcoin’s security, and how it can positively impact the market for energy worldwide.

With this foundation, the book can tackle the question: how can bitcoin rise in the world of fiat, and what are the implications for these two monetary standards coexisting?

Chapter 21 analyzes different scenarios in which bitcoin continues to grow and thrive, while Chapter 22 examines scenarios where bitcoin fails.

I hope you enjoyed this preview chapter from my forthcoming book, The Fiat Standard, which will be out in November in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats.



All the Credit goes to Saifedean Ammous


Shared with 💚 by Free Spirit

✌ & 💚

BitHouse with 💚

Crypto Terminology

Crypto Terminology


Glossary of Terms


Bags

Cryptoassets being held, generally as longer-term plays; sometimes used self-deprecatingly for soft or losing positions one should close, but can’t for whatever reason. “Too bad none of my alt bags saw the moon that I did today. #cryptoeclipse”

Bitcoin Maximalists

The truest believers in bitcoin’s original mission and design, often paired with a disdain for altcoins.

Block

Blocks are found in the Bitcoin block chain. Blocks connect all transactions together.

Transactions are combined into single blocks and are verified every ten minutes through mining.

Each subsequent block strengthens the verification of the previous blocks, making it impossible to double spend bitcoin transactions (see double spend below).

BIP

Bitcoin Improvement Proposal or BIP, is a technical design document providing information to the bitcoin community, or describing a new feature for bitcoin or its processes or environment which affect the Bitcoin protocol.

New features, suggestions, and design changes to the protocol should be submitted as a BIP.

The BIP author is responsible for building consensus within the community and documenting dissenting opinions.

Black Swans

A black swan is an event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and is extremely difficult to predict.

Black swan events are typically random and unexpected.

The term was popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor, writer, and former Wall Street trader.

Block Chain

The Bitcoin block chain is a public record of all Bitcoin transactions. You might also hear the term used as a “public ledger”.

The block chain shows every single record of bitcoin transactions in order, dating back to the very first one.

The entire block chain can be downloaded and openly reviewed by anyone, or you can use a block explorer to review the block chain online.

Block Height

The block height is just the number of blocks connected together in the block chain. Height 0 for example refers to the very first block, called the “genesis block”.

Block Reward

When a block is successfully mined on the bitcoin network, there is a block reward that helps incentivize miners to secure the network.

The block reward is part of a “coinbase” transaction which may also include transaction fees.

The block rewards halves roughly every four years; see also “halving”.

BTFD | #BTFD

“Buy the Fucking Dip” Advice to other traders to pick up a coin that’s presumably hit its bottom.

“$GNT Golem making moves. Underpriced @ 7.5K If U are buying GNT under 10K still a good price 3 X LETS GO $ETH #CRYPTO #trading #BTFD”

Change

Let’s say you are spending $9.90 in your local supermarket, and you give the cashier $10.00. You will get back .10 cents in change.

The same logic applies to bitcoin transactions.

Bitcoin transactions are made up of inputs and outputs.

When you send bitcoins, you can only send them in a whole “output”.

The change is then sent back to the sender.

Cold Storage

The term cold storage is a general term for different ways of securing cryptocurrency offline (disconnected from the internet).

This would be the opposite of a hot wallet or hosted wallet, which is connected to the web for day-to-day transactions.

The purpose of using cold storage is to minimize the chances of your bitcoins being stolen from a malicious hacker and is commonly used for larger sums of bitcoins.

Cold Wallet and Hot Wallet

Cold storage is an offline wallet provided for storing cryptocurrency.

With cold storage, the digital wallet is stored on a platform that is not connected to the internet, thereby, protecting the wallet from unauthorized access, cyber hacks, and other vulnerabilities that a system connected to the internet is susceptible to.

Confirmation

A confirmation means that the bitcoin transaction has been verified by the network, through the process known as mining.

Once a transaction is confirmed, it cannot be reversed or double spent.

Transactions are included in blocks.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is the broad name for digital currencies that use blockchain technology to work on a peer-to-peer basis.

Cryptocurrencies don’t need a bank to carry out transactions between individuals.

The nature of the blockchain means that individuals can transact with each other, even if they don’t trust each other.

The cryptocurrency network keeps track of all the transactions and ensures that no one tries to renege on a transaction.

Cryptocurrency 2.0

Also known as a decentralized app,(Dapp) a cryptocurrency 2.0 project uses the blockchain for something other than simply creating and sending money.

They typically involve decentralized versions of online services that were previously operated by a trusted third party.

Cryptography

Cryptography is used in multiple places to provide security for the Bitcoin network.

Cryptography, which is essentially mathematical and computer science algorithms used to encrypt and decrypt information, is used in bitcoin addresses, hash functions, and the block chain.

Cypherpunk

1. A person with an interest in encryption and privacy, especially one who uses encrypted email.

2. Cypherpunk, a term that appeared in Eric Hughes’ “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto” in 1993, combines the ideas of cyberpunk, the spirit of individualism in cyberspace, with the use of strong  encryption ( ciphertext is encrypted text) to preserve privacy.

Cypherpunk advocates believe that the use of strong encryption algorithms will enable individuals to have safely private transactions.

They oppose any kind of government regulation of cryptography.

They admit the likelihood that criminals and terrorists will exploit the use of strong encryption systems, but accept the risk as the price to be paid for the individual’s right to privacy.

Dark Web

The part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.

The Dark Web poses new and formidable challenges for law enforcement agencies around the world.

Decentralized

Having a decentralized bitcoin network is a critical aspect.

The network is “decentralized”, meaning that it’s void of a centralized company or entity that governs the network.

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer protocol, where all users within the network work and communicate directly with each other, instead of having their funds handled by a middleman, such as a bank or credit card company.

Difficulty

Difficulty is directly related to Bitcoin mining (see mining below), and how hard it is to verify blocks in the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin adjusts the mining difficulty of verifying blocks every 2016 blocks.

Difficulty is automatically adjusted to keep block verification times at ten minutes.

Dogecoin

Dogecoin is an altcoin that first started as a joke in late 2013. Dogecoin, which features a Japanese fighting dog as its mascot, gained a broad international following and quickly grew to have a multi-million dollar market capitalization.

Double Spend

If someone tries to send a bitcoin transaction to two different recipients at the same time, this is double spending. Once a bitcoin transaction is confirmed, it makes it nearly impossible to double spend it. The more confirmations that a transaction has, the harder it is to double spend the bitcoins.

DYOR | #DYOR

“Do Your Own Research.” The trader’s caveat that advice shouldn’t be taken at face value.

“$BCY has an appealing risk/reward here. Could take a few months to play out, however, and will require patience. #DYOR”

Exit Scam

Traditionally a term for darknet markets and vendors that, after building up a good reputation, accumulate bitcoins and disappear; exit scams are also feared by ICO participants who worry that, once they’ve raised hundreds of millions in hard-to-trace money, the developers will take the money and run.

Fiat

Government-issued money.

Full Node

A full node is when you download the entire block chain using a bitcoin client, and you relay, validate, and secure the data within the block chain.

The data is bitcoin transactions and blocks, which is validated across the entire network of users.

FOMO | #FOMO

“Fear of Missing Out.” When a coin starts to moon, dumb money rushes in. “$LGD on a TEAR right now!!! It has major highs right now! Some major #FOMO going on!!! Sell while it’s high. It WILL drop before fight!!!”

FUD

“Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.”

Another non-crypto term that describes attempts to scare weak-handed coin-holders into selling their positions, often with rumors of exit scams or hacks; the cheap, dumped coins are then picked up by the FUD-ers.

Fungibility

Fungibility is a good or asset’s interchangeability with other individual goods or assets of the same type.

Assets possessing this fungibility property simplify the exchange and trade processes, as interchangeability assumes everyone values all goods of that class the same.

HODL

HOLD ON FOR DEAR LIFE!

The intentionally misspelled word hodl has its roots in a December 2013 post on the Bitcoin Talk forum, “I AM HODLING”; when the author, GameKyuubi, couldn’t be bothered to fix his typo, the community instantly turned it into a verb: to hodl.


Along with other terms, hodl is an effective litmus test for sussing out newcomers, carpetbaggers, and tourists.

Halving

Bitcoins have a finite supply, which makes them scarce.

The total amount that will ever be issued is 21 million.

The number of bitcoins generated per block is decreased 50% every 210,000 blocks,roughtly four years.

This is called “halving.”

The final halving will take place in the year 2140.

Hash

A cryptographic hash is a mathematical function that takes a file and produces a relative shortcode that can be used to identify that file.

A hash has a couple of key properties:

• It is unique. 

Only a particular file can produce a particular hash, and two different files will never produce the same hash.

It cannot be reversed.

You can’t work out what a file was by looking at its hash.

Hashing is used to prove that a set of data has not been tampered with.

It is what makes bitcoin mining possible.

Hash Rate

The hash rate is how the Bitcoin mining network processing power is measured.

In order for miners to confirm transactions and secure the block chain, the hardware they use must perform intensive computational operations which is output in hashes per second.

Hash Converter

Use an online hash converter, such as https://hash.online-convert.com and enter the text you want to convert.

Then, try changing just a letter in the input text to see how the resulting hash varies significantly

Hard Fork

A hard fork is when a single cryptocurrency splits in two.

It occurs when a cryptocurrency’s existing code is changed, resulting in both an old and new version.

Meanwhile a soft fork is essentially the same thing, but the idea is that only one blockchain (and thus one coin) will remain valid as users adopt the update.

So both fork types create a split, but a hard fork is meant to create two blockchain/coins and a soft fork is meant to result in one.

Segwit was a soft fork, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and Segwit2x are all hard forks.

Immutability

In object-oriented and functional programming, an immutable object (unchangeable object) is an object whose state cannot be modified after it is created.

This is in contrast to a mutable object (changeable object), which can be modified after it is created.

Lambo | #Lambo

A running joke among traders, you’re cryptorich when you can buy a Lamborghini; though absurd, it’s not unheard of — when Alexandre Cazes, the suspected founder of a major darknet marketplace, was found hanged in his Bangkok jail cell, Thai media reported that he owned four Lamborghinis.

Mining

Bitcoin mining is the process of using computer hardware to do mathematical calculations for the Bitcoin network in order to confirm transactions.

Miners collect transaction fees for the transactions they confirm and are awarded bitcoins for each block they verify.

Moon | #Moon

A rapid price increase.

Peer-to-Peer

Typically, online applications are provided by a central party that organizes all the transactions.

Your bank runs its own computers, and all the customers log into the bank’s computer to handle their transactions.

If Bob wants to send money to Alice, he asks the bank to do it, and the bank controls everything.

In a peer-to-peer arrangement, technology cuts out the middleman, meaning that people deal directly with each other.

Bob would send the money directly to Alice, and there wouldn’t be any bank involved at all.

Pool

As part of bitcoin mining, mining “pools” are a network of miners that work together to mine a block, then split the block reward among the pool miners.

Mining pools are a good way for miners to combine their resources to increase the probability of mining a block, and also contribute to the overall health and decentralization of the bitcoin network.

Private Key

A private key is a string of data that shows you have access to bitcoins in a specific wallet.

Think of a private key like a password; private keys must never be revealed to anyone but you, as they allow you to spend the bitcoins from your bitcoin wallet through a cryptographic signature.

Proof of Work

Proof of work refers to the hash of a block header (blocks of bitcoin transactions).

A block is considered valid only if its hash is lower than the current target.

Each block refers to a previous block adding to previous proofs of work, which forms a chain of blocks, known as a block chain.

Once a chain is formed, it confirms all previous Bitcoin transactions and secures the network.

Pump

A rapid price increase believed to be the result of market manipulation, a.k.a. pump and dump.

Public Address

A public bitcoin address is cryptographic hash of a public key.

A public address typically starts with the number “1.”

Think of a public address like an email address.

It can be published anywhere and bitcoins can be sent to it, just like an email can be sent to an email address.

Private Key

A private key is a string of data that shows you have access to bitcoins in a specific wallet.

Think of a private key like a password; private keys must never be revealed to anyone but you, as they allow you to spend the bitcoins from your bitcoin wallet through a cryptographic signature.

Rekt | #Rekt

Meaning “wrecked”.

“I never sell because of #FUD, and I never buy because of #FOMO.

That’s the easiest way to get #Rekt

Sats

Satoshis, currently the smallest unit of a single bitcoin, useful for tracking coin prices. “At the rate $XRP’s moving, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hits 10K sats by the end of the day.”

Security Tokens

A security token (sometimes called an authentication token) is a small hardware device that the owner carries to authorize access to a network service.

The device may be in the form of a smart card or may be embedded in a commonly used object such as a key fob.

Shitcoins

Pejorative term for altcoins, especially low-cap coins, often affectionately used by shitcoin hodlers.

SEGWIT

SegWit is the process by which the block size limit on a blockchain is increased by removing signature data from Bitcoin transactions.

When certain parts of a transaction are removed, this frees up space or capacity to add more transactions to the chain.

Transaction

A transaction is when data is sent to and from one bitcoin address to another.

Just like financial transactions where you send money from one person to another, in bitcoin you do the same thing by sending data (bitcoins) to each other.

Bitcoins have value because it’s based on the properties of mathematics, rather than relying on physical properties (like gold and silver) or trust in central authorities, like fiat currencies.

Wallet

Just like with paper dollars you hold in your physical wallet, a bitcoin wallet is a digital wallet where you can store, send, and receive bitcoins securely.

There are many varieties of wallets available, whether you’re looking for a web or mobile solution.

Ideally, a bitcoin wallet will give you access to your public and private keys.

This means that only you have rightful access to spend these bitcoins, whenever you choose to.

Whale

Anyone who owns 5 percent of any given coin, often used as a boogeyman to explain unwanted price movements.

“Nice support $NEO. Clear whale manipulation.”


Blue Pill vs. Red Pill
Choose wisely

When You’re ready …

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BitHouse with 💚


Happy 13th BirthDay bitcoin

bitcoin – People’s Money

Brief history of Bitcoin

On January 3rd, 2009 Satoshi Nakamoto published the Genesis Block with the first 50 Bitcoins on Sourceforge. He also left a message on the blockchain at the time, quoting the headline in the British newspaper Times:

On January 3, 2009, the minister was on the verge of bailing out the banks.

Nakamoto started writing the white paper in 2008 and published it in October of that year.

The concept of a decentralized, anonymous, trusted currency emerged after the 2008 financial crisis, which left responsibility for the banks.

Satoshi neither supports the modern banking system nor does he like partial reserve banks.

A partial reserve bank is a bank that takes deposits and issues loans or investments, but only has to reserve a fraction of its liabilities for deposits. Basically, the bank is using money that it doesn’t own.

Satoshi wants to get rid of banks and seedy middlemen whom he believes are corrupt and unreliable. As such, he created a more community-centric digital currency.

13 years later, Bitcoin is still going strong with a market cap of nearly $ 900 billion. It is currently held by billionaires, banks, celebrities, governments, and corporations. This is evidence of how far BTC has come in its brief existence.

The precarious banking situation and economic uncertainty are also in crisis again.

The price of Bitcoin on its birthday 🎂

13 years: $ 47,310
12 years: $ 33,400
11 years: $ 7,319
10 years: $ 3,783
9 years: $ 14,764
8 years: $ 1,084
7 years: $ 432
6 years: $ 275
5 years: $ 816
4 years: $ 13
3 years: $ 5
2 years: $ 0.29
1 year: $ 0.05


Happpy Birthday bitcoin !!!

Thanks for all the teachings and wealth of Knowledge I do now have thanks to you !!!


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Kudos to @ChessurKot

I 💚 it so much i had to share it !!!

Amazing poster and imagination !!!

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Satoshi Nakamoto Quotes

CODE IS LAW

“ It might make sense just to get some in case it catches on.

If enough people think the same way, that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Once it gets bootstrapped, there are so many appli­ca­tions if you could effort­lessly pay a few cents to a website as easily as dropping coins in a vending machine. ”

Get some in case it catches on

“ In this sense, it’s more typical of a precious metal.

Instead of the supply changing to keep the value the same, the supply is prede­ter­mined and the value changes.

As the number of users grows, the value per coin increases.

It has the poten­tial for a positive feedback loop; as users increase, the value goes up, which could attract more users to take advan­tage of the increasing value. ”

Potential for a positive feedback loop

“ Maybe it could get an initial value circu­larly as you’ve suggested, by people foreseeing its poten­tial useful­ness for exchange. (I would definitely want some)

Maybe collec­tors, any random reason could spark it.

I think the tradi­tional quali­fi­ca­tions for money were written with the assump­tion that there are so many competing objects in the world that are scarce, an object with the automatic bootstrap of intrinsic value will surely win out over those without intrinsic value.

But if there were nothing in the world with intrinsic value that could be used as money, only scarce but no intrinsic value, I think people would still take up something. (I’m using the word scarce here to only mean limited poten­tial supply) ”

“ A rational market price for something that is expected to increase in value will already reflect the present value of the expected future increases. “

Rational market price

In your head, you do a proba­bility estimate balancing the odds that it keeps increasing. ”

Probability

“ I’m sure that in 20 years there will either be very large trans­ac­tion volume or no volume. ”

In 20 Years

“ Bitcoins have no dividend or poten­tial future dividend, there­fore not like a stock.

More like a collectible or commodity.“

Collectible vs Commodity

” [Lengthy exposition of vulnerability of a systm to use-of-force monopolies ellided.]

You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.

Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own. “

Pure P2P networks

” It’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly.

I’m better with code than with words though. “

Libertarian Viewpoint

” The proof-of-work is a Hashcash style SHA-256 collision finding.

It’s a memoryless process where you do millions of hashes a second, with a small chance of finding one each time.

The 3 or 4 fastest nodes’ dominance would only be proportional to their share of the total CPU power.

Anyone’s chance of finding a solution at any time is proportional to their CPU power.

There will be transaction fees, so nodes will have an incentive to receive and include all the transactions they can.

Nodes will eventually be compensated by transaction fees alone when the total coins created hits the pre-determined ceiling. “

Transactions Fees

” Right, it’s ECC digital signatures.

A new key pair is used for eveey transaction.

It’s not pseudonymous in the sense of nyms identifying people, but it is at least a little pseudonymous in that the next action on a coin can be identified as being from the owner of that coin.”

Pseudonymous

Bitcoin is a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer
network to prevent double-spending.

It’s completely decentralized
with no server or central authority

New electronic cash system

Total circulation will be 21,000,000 coins.

It’ll be distributed to network nodes when they make blocks, with the amount cut in half every 4 years

first 4 years: 10,500,000 coins

next 4 years: 5,250,000 coins

next 4 years: 2,625,000 coins

next 4 years: 1,312,500 coins
etc…

When that runs out, the system can support transaction fees if needed.

It’s based on open market competition, and there will probably always be nodes willing to process transactions for free.

Open Market Competition

” I would be surprised if 10 years from now we’re not using electronic currency in some way, now that we know a way to do it that won’t inevitably get dumbed down when the trusted third party gets cold feet.

It could get started in a narrow niche like reward points, donation tokens, currency for a game or micropayments for adult sites.

Initially it can be used in proof-of-work applications for services that could almost be free but not quite.

POW applications

It can already be used for pay-to-send e-mail.

The send dialog is resizeable and you can enter as long of a message as you like.

It’s sent directly when it connects.

The recipient doubleclicks on the transaction to see the full message.

If someone famous is getting more e-mail than they can read, but would still like to have a way for fans to contact them, they could set up Bitcoin and give out the IP address on their website. “

Pay-to-Send Email

“Send X bitcoins to my priority hotline at this IP and I’ll read the message personally.”

Send bitcoin

You can securely control neither your land nor your digitally centralized financial assets without the help of government. Thus the locality & importance of legal ownership in these things. You can securely control your globally seamless Bitcoin without the help of government.

Nick Szabo

From the People For the People !!! Be your Own Bank !!! REVOLUTIONARY IMMUTABLE PUBLIC COLLABORATIVE OPEN RESISTANT DECENTRALIZED

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Bitcoin (BTC) :

1P1tTNFGRZabK65RhqQxVmcMDHQeRX9dJJ


LiteCoin(LTC) :

LYAdiSpsTJ36EWCJ5HF9EGy9iWGCwoLhed


Ethereum(ETH) :

0x602e8Ca3984943cef57850BBD58b5D0A6677D856


EthereumClassic(ETC) :

0x602e8Ca3984943cef57850BBD58b5D0A6677D856


Cardano(ADA) :

addr1q88c5cccnrqy6xesszzvf7rd4tcz87klt0m0h6uvltywqe8txwmsrrqdnpq27594tyn9vz59zv0n8367lvyc2atvrzvqlvdm9d


BinanceCoin(BNB) :

bnb1wwfnkzs34knsrv2g026t458l0mwp5a3tykeylx


BitcoinCash (BCH)

1P1tTNFGRZabK65RhqQxVmcMDHQeRX9dJJ


Bitcoin SV (BSV)

1P1tTNFGRZabK65RhqQxVmcMDHQeRX9dJJ


ZCash(ZEC) :

t1fSSQX4gEhove9ngcvFafQaMPq5dtNNsNF


Dash(DASH) :

XcWmbFw1VmxEPxvF9CWdjzKXwPyDTrbMwj


Shiba(SHIB) :

0x602e8Ca3984943cef57850BBD58b5D0A6677D856


Tron(TRX) :

TCsJJkqt9xk1QZWQ8HqZHnqexR15TEowk8


Stellar(XLM) :

GBL4UKPHP2SXZ6Y3PRF3VRI5TLBL6XFUABZCZC7S7KWNSBKCIBGQ2Y54


Bitcoin and it’s History

Finance, like most human inventions, is constantly evolving.

In the beginning it was basic: food was traded for livestock, and livestock for resources like wood, or maize. It progressed to precious metal, such as silver and gold. And now, the next step in financial evolution has come to light.

This new form of currency has been constantly evolving over the past decade, developed by an unknown person and maintained by a collective group of the brightest minds in technology.

It’s a new form of money that is created and held digitally, and the most important part, of course, is that no government owns it, or decides its value – the peer-to-peer network community does.

We call this new money, ‘Bitcoin’.

Historically, U.S. currency has been based on gold – you could give a dollar to the bank and receive a set amount back in gold. In contrast, Bitcoin isn’t based on silver or gold – it’s based on mathematical proofs validated by a public ledger called blockchain technology.

Bitcoin is generated through a complex sequence of mathematical formulas that run on computers; the network shares a public ledger using blockchain technologies that record, and validate, every transaction processed.

A single institution, such as the government, does not control the Bitcoin network.

The idea behind the technology has always been – and remains – one of decentralization – that is, remaining completely independent of a central authority, like a bank, a government, or a country.

Anyone can access the open-source software that makes Bitcoin work, and its those individuals interested that maintain it.

But, who invented Bitcoin? Is it a valid and legitimate currency like USD? And why did nobody think of this before?

But before we begin, let’s talk about the creator of Bitcoin – or rather, the anonymous pseudonym that first published a concept.

How Did Bitcoin Start?

There are many questions about Bitcoin, but the most common one to be asked is, “Who created it?”

That answer is not straightforward, because the identity of the creator remains a mystery. All we have is a pseudonym – Satoshi Nakamoto.

The accounts are no longer active; the coins in his wallet have never been spent.

Satoshi Nakamoto has disappeared from the world, or so it would seem.

Fast Company recently published an article suggesting that Satoshi Nakamoto could be a group of people, including Neal King, Vladimir Oksman, and Charles Bry. Apparently, these three people filed for a patent related to secure communication just two months prior to the purchase of the Bitcoin.org domain. Perhaps it’s a coincidence; perhaps it’s not.

What we do have, however, are facts:

  • On October 31st, 2008, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was posted to a cryptography mailing list, published under the name “Satoshi Nakamoto”. The whitepaper outlined the foundation of how Bitcoin would operate.
  • On August 18, 2008, an unknown person or entity registered the Bitcoin.org domain.
  • On January 8th, 2009, the first version of Bitcoin is announced, and shortly thereafter, Bitcoin mining begins.

The mystery that surrounds Satoshi Nakamoto is fitting; privacy was a key value for both Bitcoin, and its users.

Others have tried to claim his mantle – most recently an Australian man named Craig Wright, who has since withdrawn his claim.

While we may never know who first created Bitcoin, we do know that the technology he started has left ripples in the financial industry.

Bitcoin has risen to fame thanks to individuals such as the Winklevoss twins controlling and growing the market, and major events that have defined this new technology’s existence such as the Mt. Gox Ponzi scheme disaster.

The people involved and the events that occur are a constant reminder that this market is unregulated and seem to fall in line with Satoshi Nakamoto’s goal of creating a decentralized network.

What is Bitcoin Used For?

Currency must have value to ensure stability.

The most common way for a person to judge a currency’s value is what they can use it on; Bitcoin is no different, and a host of vendors and merchants now accept it alongside, or in place of, fiat money.

One early adopter of Bitcoin was the computer retailer Dell. In fact, when Dell started accepting Bitcoin, it became one of the largest companies to do so internationally.

While the digital currency may total for just a fraction of the retailer’s total transaction volume, there are other key reasons why the growth of Bitcoin could be aboon for the retailer.

Dell reported earnings of $59 billion during 2015. Traditional transaction fees range from 2 to 3 percent of the purchase price – with Bitcoin, it’s much, much lower, nearing non-existent – saving the retailer a lot of money in the future.

Other companies, such as Expedia and Cheapair, have also started accepting Bitcoin, along with technology conglomerate Microsoft : users can add funds to their accounts with Bitcoin to purchase apps, games, and other types of digital content.

The acceptance of Bitcoin is a strategic decision on the part of these companies, most of which are reaching out to solidify their position with tech-savvy audiences.

There’s a lot of benefit to Bitcoin, and a variety of reasons for its use, including :

  • Faster Payment: Accepting wire transfers and checks is time consuming, and it can take several days for payment to clear. Bitcoin is faster and can take a matter of minutes, rather than days to process payment.
  • Lower Transaction Fees: The cost to accept Bitcoins is lower compared to other payment methods, such as credit cards or Paypal.
  • Independent of Governments: Since Bitcoin is decentralized, you own it – no authority has the right to take away your Bitcoin. People with concerns about mainstream banking systems unravelling find this a major benefit.
  • Elimination of Chargebacks: Once Bitcoin is sent, that’s it – you can’t chargeback, like you would with a credit card payment, which eliminates ‘chargeback fraud’ often used by criminals and scammers.
  • Protection Against Inflation: With a fiat currency, the government can print as much money as it desires – this drastically decreases the value of currency, and may result in inflation. In contrast, Bitcoin has a fixed number – after they have all been ‘mined’, no more Bitcoins will be created. Scarcity is an important aspect of currency which protects it from inflation.
  • Ownership of Currency: With Bitcoin, you own your coins. With other forms of digital fiat – such as Paypal – your assets may be held, and your account eventually suspending, locking you out of your earnings. Bitcoin puts you in control.

Is Bitcoin a Commodity, or a Currency?

Bitcoin is both. While it can be used to purchase items from major retailers, it’s also treated as property by government jurisdictions, such as the IRS.

The IRS issued a guide on Bitcoin for tax purposes, stating it will treat virtual currencies as property for federal purposes. They go on to state that:

In some environments, virtual currency operates like “real” currency — i.e., the coin and paper money of the United States or of any other country that is designated as legal tender, circulates, and is customarily used and accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance — but it does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction.

The notice provides that virtual currency is treated as property for U.S. federal tax purposes.

Typically, property is almost always something tangible that can be held in the physical realm.

The IRS goes on to state that:

General tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency. Among other things, this means that:

  • Wages paid to employees using virtual currency are taxable to the employee, must be reported by an employer on a Form W-2, and are subject to federal income tax withholding and payroll taxes.
  • Payments using virtual currency made to independent contractors and other service providers are taxable and self-employment tax rules generally apply. Normally, payers must issue Form 1099.
  • The character of gain or loss from the sale or exchange of virtual currency depends on whether the virtual currency is a capital asset in the hands of the taxpayer.
  • A payment made using virtual currency is subject to information reporting to the same extent as any other payment made in property.

In addition to the IRS’s guidance, the United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission in 2015 that Bitcoin is, in fact, a commodity.

The Future of Currency

Bitcoin has garnered a lot of attention over the past decade, despite constant declarations of its death – 99 Bitcoins keeps a running tab of ‘Bitcoin obituaries’.

Despite all of this, Bitcoin’s future has remained bright. Greater adoption rates, and an increasing number of brands accepting the currency (you can get a full list qui) means the long-term view on Bitcoin is that it will see market maturity as time progresses.

Mainstream investing vehicles, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Futures trading, including Bitcoin will be a major help to reaching that market maturity. Bitcoin Futures are already trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), and legislation to create a crypto ETF is in the works.

These securities will help stabilize cryptocurrency prices and mitigate volatility, which will help the public’s confidence grow in favor of Bitcoin.

It’s important to understand that, much like the early days of 1992, Bitcoin is a new technology – and new technologies can take decades to reach critical mass.

But, much like the Internet, no one wants to miss out on the ‘next big thing’ – and Bitcoin is the biggest thing yet. Constant updates are occurring to Bitcoin thanks to what is called a “hard fork”.

These constant updates ensure that digital currencies continue to experience growth through technological development.


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Anarchy Legacy

A Crypto Anarchist’s Legacy

Airfoil Dec 20, 2018

Timothy May on the cover of the second issue of Wired magazine with 2 fellow cypherpunks

Sadly, this past week we lost an icon that helped to spur the cypherpunk movement. Timothy May, who wrote The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto in 1988, lauched a movement that is still very prominent today.

For the uninitiated, a Crypto-Anarchist focuses on subverting the current laws and using new technologies to the benefit of the common man.

In the original manifesto, May says crypto-anarchy focuses on “encryption, digital money, anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero-knowledge, reputations, information markets, black markets, collapse of governments”.

The manifesto was written just before the first crypto wars began during the early 1990’s.

The governments of the world fiercely opposed the general public using cryptographic encryption protocols.

The idea that a normal citizen could completely hide what they say in an electronic message was their biggest concern.

The governments cited national security as a concern (We’ve heard this excuse used many times before).

Tim May was embroiled in the center of this alongside his group of fellow cypherpunks.

RSA Security, a leading computer securty company founded by world-renowned cryptologists, created this poster against a hardware chip that used a US-government supplied encryption standard

The legislation of the anti-encryption laws would also affect payment processing technology. There was a large push back from tech companies that would have to deal with these issues first-hand.

The crypto wars of the 1990’s ended with the concession from the government that encryption was readily available around the world.

The public had won their first bout against the government surveillance state. Alongside the public, you had the cypherpunks and large tech companies that were all fighting a common threat.

There was not much of an issue in terms of encryption for quite a few more years.

Every few years afterward, the idea of backdoors into encryption schemes were brought up but nothing ever came about these new ideations.

The Crypto Wars Redux

The expansion of computational power and development of more efficient processing equipment closed the gap as to who can gain access to encryption software.

The widespread availabilty of software/hardware that can perform these cryptographic calculations involved in encryption and the ease of use has made it possible for the layman to encrypt their own personal messages, video calls,emails, and notes.

Encrypting an email with someone who has never imported a key to their keyring, or generated their own PGP public/private key pair is a thing of the past.

Many of the services that exist today offer these solutions out of the box. The process has become much easier for all parties involved.

Anyone that is now using this technology benefits from this on a privacy and security level.

With all parties benefitting, the leviathan rears its head once more. Australia has passed an anti-encryption bill that will force large tech companies to allow the Australian government to obtain hardware access(citing national security as a major reason).

Outrage has spilled out of the larger tech companies. The end-to-end zero knowledge messaging/calling app, Signal, has taken a stand against this bill.

This sounds very similar to the issues Tim May was battling with during the early days of the First Crypto War.

The cypherpunks came out on top and I’m sure this legislation will face a similar fate.

May’s Impact on the World

The imprint that Timothy May left on the world is profound. The mass adoption of encryption as well as cryptocurrencies shows just how far ahead of the times he was.

May urged the importance of privacy.

He insisted on the use of encryption to keep your communications private.

Currently on a majority of mobile phones there are applications that provide encrypted communications. Whatsapp uses the Signal protocol which was developed by cypherpunk Moxie Marlinspike.

The rise of cryptocurrencies is an ideal that May was very hopeful for.

May did come out against the anti-privacy issues of bitcoin.

There are projects that offer solutions for this privacy debate.

Much of the developer-base of these certain cryptocurrencies have their foundation based in the cypherpunk tradition.

The Cryptocurrencies that aim for a privacy by default mechanism are monero and the soon to launch GRIN which uses the Mimblewimble Protocol (To see an extremely entertaining introduction to the GRIN project via talk-to-text chat for privacy preservation, listen to the creator of Grin).

Zcash is moving in the direction of private by default and the superior cryptography of the ZK range proofs will help to create a very private cryptocurrency.

Cody WIlson and Amir Taaki who worked on projects focused on the crypto-anarchic tradition including Dark Wallet and Defense Distributed

The impact Tim May made on the world by helping to create a social movement shows the importance and strength of his ideals.

He has impacted a generation of people that are growing up in the digital age.

He influenced builders in the 21st century.

You have people creating new currencies, exposing government surveillance on a national scale, circumventing the broken bueracratic system by creating their own markets, anonymous internet protocols, as well as making encryption applicable to the common man (You can find a list of prominent cypherpunks here and also here).

There isn’t enough that can be said about the applications in which he believed could positively affect us.

May was cognizant of the encroaching all-seeing eye of the state but I believe we are in much better shape now than we’ve ever been.

There may be negative news about what we currently face as individuals, from the unprecedented surveillance of the Snowden leaks to the aforementioned Australian anti-encryption bill, but looking at the grand scheme of our daily lives, these tools and their functions have helped to create a much better day than May could have imagined in 1988.

He was a proponent for the industriousness of human nature to outpace the slow moving regulation that would try to bog down any progress.

You can listen here to what he thought people/creators should do when they develop ground breaking technology.

Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!

Timothy C. May – “The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto”

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Arise…

Timothy C. May

Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wired fences!

Timothy C. May

Wonder In Peace bright mind!

Thanks for the guidance and wisdom!

The world will never know how much they owe you!

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