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Bitcoiners let's talk now. Between waves?

I guess I'm gonna charge into a sub debriefing now without waiting, general debriefing didn't focus on specifics.

I was kinda in the dark in travels and the wifi at this hotel was so....not even gonna go there but I departed with the feeling that things had restabilized in bitcoin time, sequence of latest drama being something along the lines of:

1. Dip in price on MTGOX of "indeterminate epidemiology".

2. Flash crash attributed to a whale cashing out.

3. MTGOX halting cash-outs and with another lack of transparency that really just pushed it too far.

4. The ascendancy of Bitstamp as the main exchange.

5. Bitstamp falling prey to the malleability issue and halting activity (higher level of transparency helped).

6. MTGOX prices decouple from the rest of bitcoin community.

7. Silkroad2 reportedly gets ROBBED BLIND. KABLAM!

8. To my mind, PHENOMENAL comfort level betweeen $6-700 since.

You'd think we'd have had people checking prices constantly at Freedom Summit and have it on a wide screen but it was the opposite. Confidence was visible to the naked eye but it's someplace way, way, way high up there.

So some trends to be watching:

  • Are exchanges becoming a thing of the past? As bitcoin continues to function as a currency, facilitating both business and individual transactions, do we need them or where or why do we need them?
  • The debate between agorist/anarchist use of bitcoin, especially as security/anonymity vs. acceptance into normal accounting and reporting systems is on in a big way. The big money is on a kind of compliant model but there's heavy smarts on the opposite. Count on "dark wallet" and "deep web" terminology to be involved.
  • New features being discussed by guys like Paul Snow involve using transaction hashtags to refer to online contractural document retrieval systems to nail down stuff that we used to use international letters of credit and escrow accounts for (hello reporting/accountability systems again). Not to mention international law firms, brokers, brown-nosers and shilly-shallers.
  • Global bitcoin banking infrastructure. Where it survives I'm not gonna guess right now. Except maybe Chile. And Uruguay.
  • Whole bodies of law evolving to deal with the integration of bitcoin into our lives. There's already this dynamic. So who makes them up first? Us or them?
  • We know they are coming. "For the night is dark and full of terrors". What's next? Well so far we have attacks on the protocol, attacks on the exchanges, attacks on the wallets and attacks on bitcoiners. My best guess is they will attack our animals next so try to keep an eye on the cats and dogs.
  • Keep thinking global.

And that there is my bitcoin update. Oh yeah and my Mormon friend says bitcoin is unconstitutional. Takes a while to work your mind into how that makes sense.

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oh yeah and people are just sick of MTGOX

This was kinda implied but the expressions were explicit. The decoupling of GOX isn't a decouple anymore, it looks and sounds like a funeral dirge. The community is DONE WITH THEM. They have no competitive advantage left as a product/service, all they have now is a MEGA BOATLOAD OF BIG DEALS and if I was their partner I'd be looking to exercise any exit strategy I had built in or could pull with lawyers. But the value represented by those deals still exists, the incentives are still there and there's still a huge amount of interested money.

I'm thinking this will reorganize pretty fast.

ANOTHER NOTE I FORGOT: I'm hearing Berlin is the present bitcoin capitol of the universe.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most people who think sew actually rip.

Looking To Get Involved?

This may be a good start: (Knowledge is Freedom) (Knowledge is Freedom)

a few observations

2. Flash crash attributed to a whale cashing out.
from what i saw it was a fat finger mistake on btc-e.

4. The ascendancy of Bitstamp as the main exchange.
don't forget btc-e and like i said in your other post decentralized exchanges based on the btc protocol and trust-less escrow systems like open transactions are coming. us exchanges are coming too.

7. Silkroad2 reportedly gets ROBBED BLIND. KABLAM!
appears to be an inside job that was blamed on transaction malleability.

my Mormon friend says bitcoin is unconstitutional. Takes a while to work your mind into how that makes sense.
he's talking about old legal tender laws regarding gold and silver i believe. the gov probably won't tread in those waters though as that would expose their unconstitutional fiat frn's.
legal tender laws would not apply to any btc people unless all they took was btc at their business. businesses are required by law to take frn's as payment but can also take silver or btc etc from what i understand. i'm sure there's loop-holes and such though.

Official Daily Paul BTC address: 16oZXSGAcDrSbZeBnSu84w5UWwbLtZsBms
Rand Paul 2016

Wow. Fascinating.

2. LOL ok I guess that's possible. BTC-E is worthy of it's whole own discussion.

4. Affirmative, I'm hearing Open Transactions and Ethereum.

7. I wasn't gonna be the one to say it first but shall we say that this is an investigative no-brainer? Or is "sorry maw they done stole the mule" good enough for crypto? Gotta say, the whole SR thing stunk to me.

my Mormon friend: it's all about RELIGION.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most people who think sew actually rip.

Read the fine print

4. Affirmative, I'm hearing Open Transactions and Ethereum.

For the most part, all of them are closed eco-systems of new alt coins, not exchanges that let you trade bitcoin for litecoin or buy bitcoin for usd, etc. Here's my current understanding of some of the major competitors.

Open Transactions
is an open-source library that makes it easy to implement alt coins with features such as contracts, etc. It uses centralized servers but not the same way Ripple does: Putting it out there as an open-source library is brilliant, because if people adopt it and improve on it the improvements can be folded back into the library and the library grows stronger. It uses bitcoin ( as the "glue between servers" but I haven't yet figured out what that means. Promises a lot of things that would be highly desirable if everything works the way they describe. Very intriguing.

Mastercoin piggybacks on the bitcoin blockchain, essentially using the bitcoin blockchain as cloud storage. That allows trading mastercoin and bitcoin to be an integral part of the mastercoin protocol. Other than bitcoin, however, the only alt coins you'll be able to exchange via the mastercoin network are alt coins created within the mastercoin network. I'm extremely skeptical of their idea of manipulating an alt coin's money supply in order to control the price. They also seem to be constantly floundering on implementation details. I think the most brilliant thing they did was the IPO-style launch, an idea that's been copied many times since then. See also:

Ethereum is a self-contained eco system of alt coins. You can create alt coins within ethereum, and implement contracts and so on using them, but it won't enable you to buy bitcoins or exchange bitcoins for litecoins etc. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong about that. I'm basing this on reading their scripting language spec.) The designer's brilliant contribution is to have a new kind of blockchain that incorporates a very general scripting language that can implement contracts, derivatives, dividends, etc. It's a game-changing idea that will be (and already is being) widely copied and improved upon. So clearly a game-changer that I doubt any new entrants into the field will hardwire these sorts of things into their protocol, the way all the pre-Ethereum implementations do. However, they've floundered a bit on proof-of-work/proof-of-stake, blockchain design, etc. They were smart to delay the launch until they can hammer out some of these details a little better.

Protoshares is another self-contained eco system of alt coins. Their distinctive vision is that rather than using bitcoins directly in transactions, they want to have an alt coin in their eco system, bitbtc, whose price will (they assert) track the bitcoin price closely enough that you can use it as a proxy for btc. A bitbtc will be "backed" by another alt coin in their own eco system, not by bitcoins. They assert that the price of bitbtc will track the price of BTC closely because it has "btc" in the name (I'm not joking!) so traders will trade it in a way that keeps the prices linked. Similarly, they assert, bitusd and bitgold will closely track USD and gold, respectively, even though bitbtc, bitusd and bitgold differ only in the alt coin name. No joke. I find it hard to take this one at all seriously.

Slower to the guns.

Nobody I spoke to had anything serious to say about altcoins. Well actually there was some things said...hooo boy. OK let's not go technical, please allow me to put this in perspective in the terms I saw at the Summit:

do you understand this is huge? Good. Now imagine everything you have in altcoin can be instantly converted into beer. My advice is take everything you have in altcoin to the Texas Bitcoin Conference and buy a beer for a whale and that will not only get you farther, the opposite is for not having done so, you can take all of your altcoin and put it into a garbage can along with everything you have with the word "credibility" attached to it, light it on fire, throw it out he window, gather the ashes and throw them into a river that feeds to the ocean.

Hope that helps...

Most of those who think so actually don't and most people who think sew actually rip.


A lot of the alt coins now have some clear technical advantages over bitcoin. Not the clone coins, but the second generation alt coins. If bitcoin were being designed from scratch today it would look very different, because of what's been learned so far.

A lot of those advantages could only be folded back into bitcoin by doing a "hard fork." But in most cases a hard fork for bitcoin would be extremely difficult to pull off successfully, for a variety of reasons.

So yeah it's not really surprising that people who have a lot to lose if bitcoin loses its edge are pretty negative about alt coins. But look ( at how many of the top alt coins are not clone coins. In spite of the barriers to competition in terms of merchant solutions and exchanges, technical innovation is being rewarded. And as rapidly as the field is changing already, I think what we've seen so far has barely scratched the surface of what's ahead for cryptocurrencies.

Honestly if I wasn't doing business right now in bitcoin

I'd continue to lampoon it from the sidelines.

1. show me one business that accepts an altcoin and I'll at least pay attention?

2. Show me how to cash out into USD and show me who deposits them into my bank account.

3. Show me your whole pile of altcoin and show my one single silver dime and guess which one I'll give you $2.50USD for.

4. I'm a MERCHANT. I'm doing BUSINESS. I'm taking and making payments, business is getting done, I can draw down cash when I want.

I think you will admit that my perspective is nearly unassailable.

Clarity from something so volatile you say? Simplicity from a hideously crafted algo and a ton of supportive open source?

Yeah. All you have to do is understand who you are. I'm a DEVELOPER not an INVESTOR and not a SPECULATOR.

Make sense or do I need more all caps?

Most of those who think so actually don't and most people who think sew actually rip.

I'm not lampooning it

1. show me one business that accepts an altcoin and I'll at least pay attention?

Why wouldn't you want to accept Dogecoin, for example, if it's as easy with the above service as whatever you're using for bitcoin? I don't know what you're selling but if it's something that appeals to the Doge community there's a lot of love there to go around. I think that also answers the second point about how to accept Dogecoin or Litecoin or whatever, but cash out in USD. There may be other processors besides coinpayments, I didn't look hard.

3. Show me your whole pile of altcoin and show my one single silver dime and guess which one I'll give you $2.50USD for.

Why? Depending on which alt coins and the size of the pile, the alt coins could be worth a lot more than $2.50. The easiest way to cash out might be to convert them to BTC, but you might also be able to arrange a local trade especially with something popular like Litecoin or Dogecoin. A little more work to cash out, but whether that's worth the trouble would depend on how much it's worth, no?

I guess I don't see why you wouldn't want to accept alt coins for your business, and why you'd rather leave money on the table than deign to touch an alt coin.

And in any case, what makes sense for a merchant today is a very different question than the direction the for cryptocurrency technology in the future. My point there was that if you look at the top alt coins, most aren't doing well just because they happen to be popular (like Doge). The second generation alts are up there because they offer, or claim to offer, significant technical improvements over bitcoin. There's clearly demand for what they're offering, and the barriers to competition isn't going to last forever, and bitcoin's ability to evolve is limited.