Could Bitcoin hit $US500k? - Financial Review

Satoshi Nakaboto: Winklevii to turn Bitcoin Billionaires book (about themselves) into a film (current BTC/USD price is $9,743.21)

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Satoshi Nakaboto: Winklevii to turn Bitcoin Billionaires book (about themselves) into a film
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Bitcoin Price | Bitcoin Mining | Blockchain
The latest Bitcoin news has been sourced from the Bitcoin Price and News Events page. CoinSalad is a web service that provides real-time Bitcoin market info, charts, data and tools.
submitted by coinsaladcom to CoinSalad [link] [comments]

So, the Winklevii aim to start Gemini Exchange in Q1, what do you think will happen with the Bitcoin price?

So, the Winklevii aim to start Gemini Exchange in Q1, what do you think will happen with the Bitcoin price? submitted by ceno666 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin price manipulation @ $666 for hours. Winklevii manipulate Bitcoin price in an attempt impress Harvard grad hookers during orgy while playing daisy chain for satan in continuous loop.

submitted by zstfrlyf to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Send in the clowns: Dave Portnoy and the Winklevii

The Winklevii are claiming that Elon Musk will mine gold from asteroids and radically increase the physical gold supply, making gold less valuable and Bitcoin more valuable. For those who don't know, Dave Portnoy made his money pumping Robinhood stocks on his Barstool Sports blog. Dave has said he intends to "pump" cryptos, so far he has moved the prices of OXT Orchard token and Chainlink.
When IDIOTS like this are generating EMPTY HYPE, it's often a sure sign that markets are poised to dump, hard. Discuss.

EDIT: AAAANDDD IT'S GONE, Portnoy sold all of his LINK and BTC
submitted by wtfCraigwtf to btc [link] [comments]

/r/ethtrader quickstart guide - Acronyms, Jargon, and Personalities.

Hi there new ETH investor and/or new /ethtrader community member! Glad to have you aboard. We are a pretty lively bunch around here; inside jokes, memes, and jargon run rampant.

I figured I would create a sort of glossary to help you figure out what the actual fuck we are talking about.

Acronyms (thanks decronym)

BGD: Big green dildo, as in a big green candlestick on the price chart.

BTFD: Buy the fucking dip.

ATH: All time high, the highest price of a thing ever, 1400ish for ETH.

FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out, the urge to jump on the bandwagon when prices rise.

DeFi: Decentralized Finance, MakerDAO and Dharma and stuff. Loans basically.

CDP: Collateralized debt position. A DeFi thing.

FUD: FeaUncertainty/Doubt, negative sentiments spread in order to drive down prices.

MEW: My Ether Wallet, a website to make and interact with wallets.

TA: Technical analysis, predicting the future of the price based on the past.

2FA: 2 factor authentication, its a security thing, a second password of sorts.

ERC20: The standard for tokens built on ETH.

POS: Not piece of shit, or point of sale. Proof of stake, the new consensus mechanism coming to ETH soon™.

ICO: Initial coin offering, the birth of a new crypto, usually an ERC20. Like an IPO.

IEO: Initial exchange offering, like an ICO, but typically a bit more scammy.

EZPZ: e_z_p_z_, more on him later...

BAT: Not the animal, Basic Attention Token

OMG: Not oh my god, well sometimes oh my god, but mostly OmiseGo. Pronounced OH-ME-SAY GO btw.

MKR: MakerDAO.

REP: There is too many tokens to list here, just google it you will figure it out.

DYOR: Do your own research. People want to steal your money. Make sure you know what you are buying.

LN: A silly bitcoin thing.

GDAX: The old name for Coinbase Pro.


Bull: Confident the price will go up.

Confidant: misspelling of confident from e_z_p_z_. More on him later...

Bear: Confident the price will go down.

Cuecomber: Cucumber, another EZPZ classic. Can be used as in cool as a cucumber, or as in BGD (see? now you know what BGD means, damn this guide is helpful.)

The ratio: The trading pair ETH:BTC.

The flippening: The ETH marketcap being bigger than the BTC marketcap. Coming soon™ .

Soon™: The release date for everything crypto related.

Donuts: Like reddit karma but /ethtrader specific, and infinitely more valuable. Legend has it that if you get 10 million donuts Vitalik sends you 10 ETH for every 1 ETH you send him. The name comes from cyounessi's post here.

Moon: The price where you can buy a lambo.

Mooning: The price increasing rapidly. Maybe exposed butts depending on how you choose to spend your money.

Moonboy: A hopelessly optimistic/greedy person.

$13: The price was stuck here for a long time. Dark days for /ethtrader.

$420: The top of the bull market before last. Also weed dude hehehe.

$300: The price was stuck here for what seemed like forever. Oh how easy we had it back then...

$324: EZPZ's number. More on him later...

$80: The bottom of the previous bear market. We will definitely never see this price again.

HODL: Hold. From here.

SODL: Sold, same as above.

BUIDL: Build, you get the pattern.

Golden cross: Moving averages of prices crossing. A TA thing.

FIAT: Not the car. Fiat Money. USD, euros, pounds and so on.

Sharding: An ETH scaling method. Don't make sharting jokes, they anger Vitalik.

Ramen: The meal of choice when the price goes down.

Pamp: Pump

Bogdanoff: This. Just... Don't ask...

Weeks not months: In reference to Joe Lubin's prediction for ETH futures coming out. It has been 75 weeks since he said this.

The Winklevii: Founders of Gemini Exchange, the facebook guys.

Updoot the diddly: Or anything with that vague collection of letters, Upvote the daily discussion.

JT's fire pit: jtnichol posts pictures of food he is cooking in his backyard fire pit. Those posts make you hungry.

The DAO: Tumultuous times in ethereum history to say the least.Further reading here.)


vbuterin: The founder of Ethereum. We really really like him.

Joe Lubin: Co-founder of Ethereum, founder of ConsenSys. Memes aside. We like him.

carlslarson: Creator of /ethtrader. Overall good guy.

jtnichol: A mod of /ethtrader. Overall sweetheart.

The rest of the mods: Too many to list. It's a great group of people. They won't give you any trouble if you aren't being a dick.

dcinvestor: DC is a smart guy with good opinions. We really like him.

E_Z_P_Z_ the undisputed meme champion. A genuine crazy person. Made a bad sell on the way up, and wrote lengthy posts about how ETH was going back to $324 multiple times a day for months, often times with terrible spelling and grammar. When ETH did hit 324 he became something like a local hero. He is the heel of /ethtrader and we all love to hate him.

lamboshinakaghini: A fool, not to be trusted.

scienceguy9489: He used to regularly post TA. Sometimes he was right, sometimes he was wrong. The crucial thing was that he was memeable. He started to get a bit of an ego going, and was deleting his posts that were wrong, and keeping the correct ones. He recently made a return to /ethtrader and made a post that ETH was going to moon on a certain day and it ended up not being correct, which was just fuel on the meme fire. He goes by etherdamus now and runs a private TA group which has a fee to join.

singlestateserenity: He posts a haiku in the daily every day until we flippen bitcoin. Reading a nice haiku is a pleasant way to start your morning.

Everyone else: Well you will see them around and catch the vibe. There are just too many lovable and hateable people to list.
submitted by LamboshiNakaghini to ethtrader [link] [comments]

7th Gemini Auction: 2117 BTC for 603.20 USD
{ "closed_until_ms":1475010000000, "last_auction_price":"603.20", "last_auction_quantity":"2117.71454735", "last_highest_bid_price":"606.73", "last_lowest_ask_price":"606.99", "next_auction_ms":1475092800000 } 
As far as I know there are some people which are interested into these price changes (including me), so please refrain from posting complaints and just ignore this posting if you dont feel ok with it - thanks.
submitted by Taenk to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

After 363 days RemindMeBot finally delivered my comedy gold dividends.

After 363 days RemindMeBot finally delivered my comedy gold dividends. submitted by hfutrell to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin's market *price* is trying to rally, but it is currently constrained by Core/Blockstream's artificial *blocksize* limit. Chinese miners can only win big by following the market - not by following Core/Blockstream. The market will always win - either with or without the Chinese miners.

Chinese miners should think very, very carefully:
The market will always win - with or without you.
The choice is yours.
The present post also inspired nullc Greg Maxwell (CTO of Blockstream) to later send me two private messages.
I posted my response to him, here:
If Chinese miners continue using artificially constrained code controlled by Core/Blockstream, then Bitcoin price / adoption / volume will also be artificially constrained, and billions (eventually trillions) of dollars will naturally flow into some other coin which is not artificially constrained.
The market always wins.
The market will inevitably determine the blocksize and the price.
Core/Blockstream is temporarily succeeding in suppressing the blocksize (and the price), and Chinese miners are temporarily cooperating - for short-term, relatively small profits.
But eventually, inevitably, billions (and later trillions) of dollars will naturally flow into the unconstrained, free-market coin.
That winning, free-market coin can be Bitcoin - but only if Chinese miners remove the artificial 1 MB limit and install Bitcoin Classic and/or Bitcoin Unlimited.
Previous posts:
There is not much new to say here - we've been making the same points for months.
Below is a summary of the main arguments and earlier posts:
Previous posts providing more details on these economic arguments are provided below:
This graph shows Bitcoin price and volume (ie, blocksize of transactions on the blockchain) rising hand-in-hand in 2011-2014. In 2015, Core/Blockstream tried to artificially freeze the blocksize - and artificially froze the price. Bitcoin Classic will allow volume - and price - to freely rise again.
Bitcoin has its own E = mc2 law: Market capitalization is proportional to the square of the number of transactions. But, since the number of transactions is proportional to the (actual) blocksize, then Blockstream's artificial blocksize limit is creating an artificial market capitalization limit!
(By the way, before some sophomoric idiot comes in here and says "causation isn't corrrelation": Please note that nobody used the word "causation" here. But there does appear to be a rough correlation between Bitcoin volume and price, as would be expected.)
The Nine Miners of China: "Core is a red herring. Miners have alternative code they can run today that will solve the problem. Choosing not to run it is their fault, and could leave them with warehouses full of expensive heating units and income paid in worthless coins." – tsontar
Just click on these historical blocksize graphs - all trending dangerously close to the 1 MB (1000KB) artificial limit. And then ask yourself: Would you hire a CTO / team whose Capacity Planning Roadmap from December 2015 officially stated: "The current capacity situation is no emergency" ?
Blockstream is now controlled by the Bilderberg Group - seriously! AXA Strategic Ventures, co-lead investor for Blockstream's $55 million financing round, is the investment arm of French insurance giant AXA Group - whose CEO Henri de Castries has been chairman of the Bilderberg Group since 2012.
Austin Hill [head of Blockstream] in meltdown mode, desperately sending out conflicting tweets: "Without Blockstream & devs, who will code?" -vs- "More than 80% contributors of bitcoin core are volunteers & not affiliated with us."
Be patient about Classic. It's already a "success" - in the sense that it has been tested, released, and deployed, with 1/6 nodes already accepting 2MB+ blocks. Now it can quietly wait in the wings, ready to be called into action on a moment's notice. And it probably will be - in 2016 (or 2017).
Classic will definitely hard-fork to 2MB, as needed, at any time before January 2018, 28 days after 75% of the hashpower deploys it. Plus it's already released. Core will maybe hard-fork to 2MB in July 2017, if code gets released & deployed. Which one is safer / more responsive / more guaranteed?
"Bitcoin Unlimited ... makes it more convenient for miners and nodes to adjust the blocksize cap settings through a GUI menu, so users don't have to mod the Core code themselves (like some do now). There would be no reliance on Core (or XT) to determine 'from on high' what the options are." - ZB
BitPay's Adaptive Block Size Limit is my favorite proposal. It's easy to explain, makes it easy for the miners to see that they have ultimate control over the size (as they always have), and takes control away from the developers. – Gavin Andresen
More info on Adaptive Blocksize:
Core/Blockstream is not Bitcoin. In many ways, Core/Blockstream is actually similar to MtGox. Trusted & centralized... until they were totally exposed as incompetent & corrupt - and Bitcoin routed around the damage which they had caused.
Satoshi Nakamoto, October 04, 2010, 07:48:40 PM "It can be phased in, like: if (blocknumber > 115000) maxblocksize = largerlimit / It can start being in versions way ahead, so by the time it reaches that block number and goes into effect, the older versions that don't have it are already obsolete."
Theymos: "Chain-forks [='hardforks'] are not inherently bad. If the network disagrees about a policy, a split is good. The better policy will win" ... "I disagree with the idea that changing the max block size is a violation of the 'Bitcoin currency guarantees'. Satoshi said it could be increased."
"They [Core/Blockstream] fear a hard fork will remove them from their dominant position." ... "Hard forks are 'dangerous' because they put the market in charge, and the market might vote against '[the] experts' [at Core/Blockstream]" - ForkiusMaximus
Mike Hearn implemented a test version of thin blocks to make Bitcoin scale better. It appears that about three weeks later, Blockstream employees needlessly commit a change that breaks this feature
This ELI5 video (22 min.) shows XTreme Thinblocks saves 90% block propagation bandwidth, maintains decentralization (unlike the Fast Relay Network), avoids dropping transactions from the mempool, and can work with Weak Blocks. Classic, BU and XT nodes will support XTreme Thinblocks - Core will not.
More info in Xtreme Thinblocks:
4 weird facts about Adam Back: (1) He never contributed any code to Bitcoin. (2) His Twitter profile contains 2 lies. (3) He wasn't an early adopter, because he never thought Bitcoin would work. (4) He can't figure out how to make Lightning Network decentralized. So... why do people listen to him??
I think that it will be easier to increase the volume of transactions 10x than it will be to increase the cost per transaction 10x. - jtoomim (miner, coder, founder of Classic)
Spin-offs: bootstrap an altcoin with a btc-blockchain-based initial distribution
More info on "spinoffs":
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

By far, THIS is the most damning part of the "BitLicense."

Unless you're a Winklevii, most in the community seem to agree that the BitLicense regulation proposals are archaic, and that it will hinder startup growth, etc.
The most important point that people seem to overlook is this piece of regulation, section 200.8(b):
Each Licensee shall be permitted to invest its retained earnings and profits in only the following high-quality, investment-grade permissible investments with maturities of up to one year and denominated in United States dollars:
(1) certificates of deposit issued by financial institutions that are regulated by a United States federal or state regulatory agency;
(2) money market funds;
(3) state or municipal bonds;
(4) United States government securities;
(5) United States government agency securities
BitLicense businesses cannot invest or hold their ANY of their profit in Bitcoin, ONLY in US Dollars.
You will be told this regulation is to protect the business (and therefore, its consumers) from Bitcoin exchange rate fluctations, but if Bitcoin businesses are forbidden from holding their profits Bitcoin, then what are those businesses forced to do?
Sell their Bitcoin - driving down prices, reducing demand.
This part of the regulation has one purpose, and that is to prevent the rise of Bitcoin as a reserve currency. It simply makes no sense that a BITCOIN BUSINESS cannot hold ANY of its earnings in Bitcoin.
This was written by the banks, for the banks. Don't support it, and don't be blinded by the "This is actually good news!" mentality. It's not, unless you're looking forward to JPMorganCoin.
EDIT: Even more telling, the specific piece of regulation that I refer to above is NOT mentioned on the summary page of the regulations provided by New York State:
submitted by AmericanBitcoin to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Where Art Thou, Bullwhale? Or, Why I Am Disappointed in the Markets Lately

I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed in the markets lately. In order to be able to say that here, though, I'll have to include a paragraph or two's worth of disclaimers throughout to head off some of the most popular retorts. Please, allow me to elucidate, and in the process indulge in a lazy Sunday thought experiment:
I'm disappointed, not because the Bearwhale entity is back (after smartly waiting for the market to unwind some pent-up bullish exuberance), but mainly because the market isn't doing a damn thing about it. Again. I've bemoaned this situation in the past, but I don't think I clarified my views well enough. If I may, I'd like to take another shot:
The Bearwhale's strength seems to be that that their actions, when present, serve to either establish or reinforce the prevailing downtrend. That trend is then followed by the herd, who have been conditioned so many times that "the trend is their friend" that most don't even think twice about it. While this seems to be the main feedback loop that the Bearwhale relies on, the downtrend is also further exacerbated by the constant selling pressure from miners, as well as hodlers loaning their BTC out for crumbs (not realizing that their collective actions serve to devalue their holdings way more than those crumbs they receive in return).
While the Bearwhale entity's goals are nearly impossible to determine with any confidence, their tactics are certainly to be admired. They are taking great advantage of some very powerful market forces—the reflexivity of the market, combined with the "tragedy of the commons" inherent in two areas: mining, and availability of margin—to effectively corner the market downwards for their benefit.
To be clear: this isn't the part I'm disappointed in, though. The fact that they're back and are continuing doesn't surprise me, either, given not only that they've been doing it so effectively and for so long, but also that exactly this sort of behavior was predicted almost three years ago:
Bitcoin takes the monetary system back essentially a hundred years. We know how to beat that system. In fact, we know how to nuke it for profit. Bitcoin is volatile, inherently deflationary and has no lender of last resort. Cornering and squeezing would work well - they use mass in a finite trading space. Modern predatory algos [...] would rapidly wreak havoc.
So, while I am weary of the effects of the Bearwhale's actions this year, I am neither disappointed nor surprised by them. After all, as Right_In-The-Pussy astutely pointed out, "free market something something". What I am disappointed by, though, is that no entity or entities in this glorious free market, throughout all this time, have deemed the situation worthy of responding by putting the screws to the Bearwhale in return.
(At this point, a commotion is heard as a hundred traders rush to leave comments filled with scathing retorts of smart-assery.)
Now, hear me out here, folks.
Let's first take a step back, and examine the situation at large:
If we surmise that the Bearwhale operates roughly as laid out above (and more or less as speculated throughout this forum) it is probably fairly safe to assume that "the beatings will continue until morale improves"; that is, that they will probably keep up their dumping scheme unless and until the market pushes back strongly enough to convince them that the support is no longer worth fighting at that level.
This is a grim prospect for Bitcoin, because the longer this keeps up and the lower we go, the less likely it will seem to be that the Bearwhale is benevolent (i.e. manipulating out of self-interest or related motives, but ultimately interested in and aligned with Bitcoin's long-term success). It becomes exceedingly likely that they are purely profit-driven, and will have no qualms about trying to drive the price straight into the ground. As has been noted many times on this forum and elsewhere, this can and will wreak havoc on the entire ecosystem: mining, merchants, VC investments, adoption, name it.
Which is why, when the Bearwhale continued to push the market downwards into the lower $300s and beyond (with more and more traders gleefully shorting alongside them), I posted this:
It's really less about profit, and more about the ratio of profit vs. progress. These days, there's too much of the former going on at the expense of the latter, and nobody seems too worried about offing the golden goose in the process.
At these price levels, we are starting to exceed certain tolerances; Bitcoin may be Honey Badger, but Honey Badger can't continue to lose this much blood without feeling some very negative long-term effects. As we continue to slide, Bitcoin's prospects (first growth, then viability in general) increasingly come into question.
So, the question that should be on the mind of all Bitcoin faithful is: what can be done about this? The situation is grim: hodlers are stuffed to the gills and despondent, miners are only as faithful as the protocol forces them to be (100 blocks), margin trading is toothpaste that can't be put back in the tube, and the ten-month downtrend is a positive feedback loop that almost ceaselessly continues to spread pain and suffering....

Enter the Bullwhale: the Hero We Don't Deserve, but the One We Need Right Now

Ok, fine...we don't need a Bullwhale—the markets at large could (and probably eventually will) coalesce like a school of fish around some "way too low" price point, establish unyielding support, and send a resounding message (as happened recently at $300). In the meantime, we could all wait around and see how low the Bearwhale will take us, and what sorts of very unfortunate things happen in the interim as a result. One way or another, Bitcoin will most likely survive...and the scars will add character, right?
But gosh, we certainly could use a Bullwhale's help here. We could use some now more than ever, but really, we needed one ever since the Bearwhale got started putting their boot to the market's neck earlier this year. Hell, a Bullwhale's job would have been much easier back then—having at their disposal a vast army of bubble believers and lunar lunatics which has since then gradually eroded. In the interim, bulls have not just been decimated, but almost put on the endangered species list at this point.
So, who could save Bitcoin from the beatings and turn the market around? A variety of actors could step in, and like the Bearwhale, the most important factor is the scale at which they can operate—their intentions could be benevolent, selfish, or a combination; it doesn't so much matter, as long as the effected direction is up.
This could be someone from the idealogical crowd like Byrne & Co., wanting to stick it to the entrenched market establishment; maybe Soros, wanting to further an Open Society (and in the process, lending more credence to his theories of fallibility and reflexivity); or Draper, the Winklevii, Silbert, et. al., wanting to protect their investments and further their Bitcoin-related aspirations; or perhaps one or more early adopters with some choice connections for fiat liquidity, weary of watching their beloved protocol get beat down and their holdings depreciate.
It could be an entity with potentially mixed Google, for example: they could adopt Bitcoin in a flash and spark a rally, positioning themselves as the market leader of an open ecosystem of the kind that they like, while also raking in a boatload of money in the process. Paypal, Amazon, etc. could make similar plays, though I suspect they're less likely to do so.
Or, it could be an actor every bit as selfish as the Bearwhale entity—just a mirror image of them. Someone who realizes that there's more to be made in the long term supporting Bitcoin's growth rather than sabotaging it.
After all, the powerful market mechanics harnessed by the Bearwhale can be harnessed equally well by a Bullwhale. Those that have been around long enough know what it looks like when these kinds of forces finally turn around. All it takes is a convincing reversal on high volume (like we had at $300), followed up by some continued encouragement (which we didn't have, in turn giving the Bearwhale the encouragement they needed to start messing around again). If timed right, not much encouragement is even needed; just enough to convince the market that the Bearwhale has been neutered.
How? Send some chunky wires to all the major exchanges, and then simply wait to reverse the playbook on them. 400 BTC is dumped in a minute? Buy up 600 the next. 800 follows, ten minutes later? Enter a 2,000 BTC market buy. How long until the Bearwhale gets the message? And even if they don't, more critically: how long until the market does?
Traders may be hard to convince at first—and the skepticism can't be blamed at this point, given how long this has been allowed to drag on. But again, a few plays straight from the Bearwhale's playbook (but reversed) will do the trick: a couple of three- or four-digit BTC buys in the morning, two or three hours apart...a couple more buys of similar magnitude in the evening...and some salubrious support in the meantime—say, a 300 BTC wall, with another 1,000 not far behind it?—will turn bears into bulls faster than you can say "irrational exuberance."
The first-mover advantage will be massive.
Sooner than one might think, the artificial trend will have morphed into a real one. Daily Discussions will once again be filled with traders quibbling about whether $3k or $8k will me a more appropriate cash-out point in the oncoming bubble. Miner selling will dry up, and margin longs will break the stratosphere. Potential Bearwhale-like attacks just need to be quickly countered for a little while longer, and inevitably rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth FOMO will take over, a rush of new participants will flood in...and, well, we know what happens from there. At this point in this and any related scenario, it would appear that the ceiling becomes a lot higher than the floor; that is, that we'd likely go up a lot higher than we could have ever possibly gone down (about $350, as of this writing).
So...why hasn't it happened? Where art thou, Bullwhale? I am disappointed by thine absence.
As always, constructive discussion is welcomed and appreciated.
submitted by two_bit_misfit to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

The wilkelvoss are trying to make bitcoin legit according to esquire magazine

Every idea needs a face, even if the faces are illusory simplifications. The country you get is the president you get. The Yankees you get is the shortstop you get. Apple needed Jobs. ISIS needs al-Baghdadi. The moon shot belongs to Bezos. There's nothing under the Facebook sun that doesn't come back to Zuckerberg.
But there is, as yet, no face behind the bitcoin curtain. It's the currency you've heard about but haven't been able to understand. Still to this day nobody knows who created it. For most people, it has something to do with programmable cash and algorithms and the deep space of mathematics, but it also has something to do with heroin and barbiturates and the sex trade and bankruptcies, too. It has no face because it doesn't seem tangible or real. We might align it with an anarchist's riot mask or a highly conceptualized question mark, but those images truncate its reality. Certain economists say it's as important as the birth of the Internet, that it's like discovering ice. Others are sure that it's doomed to melt. In the political sphere, it is the darling of the cypherpunks and libertarians. When they're not busy ignoring it, it scares the living shit out of the big banks and credit-card companies.
It sparked to life in 2008—when all the financial world prepared for itself the articulate noose—and it knocked on the door like some inconvenient relative arriving at the dinner party in muddy shoes and a knit hat. Fierce ideological battles are currently being waged among the people who own and shepherd the currency. Some shout, Ponzi scheme. Some shout, Gold dust. Bitcoin alone is worth billions of dollars, but the computational structure behind it—its blockchain and its sidechains—could become the absolute underpinning of the world's financial structure for decades to come.
What bitcoin has needed for years is a face to legitimize it, sanitize it, make it palpable to all the naysayers. But it has no Larry Ellison, no Elon Musk, no noticeable visionaries either with or without the truth. There's a lot of ideology at stake. A lot of principle and dogma and creed. And an awful lot of cash, too.
At 6:00 on a Wednesday winter morning, three months after launching Gemini, their bitcoin exchange, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss step out onto Broadway in New York, wearing the same make of sneakers, the same type of shorts, their baseball caps turned backward. They don't quite fall into the absolute caricature of twindom: They wear different-colored tops. Still, it's difficult to tell them apart, where Tyler ends and Cameron begins. Their faces are sculpted from another era, as if they had stepped from the ruin of one of Gatsby's parties. Their eyes are quick and seldom land on anything for long. Now thirty-four, there is something boyishly earnest about them as they jog down Prince Street, braiding in and out of each other, taking turns talking, as if they were working in shifts, drafting off each other.
Forget, for a moment, the four things the Winklevosses are most known for: suing Mark Zuckerberg, their portrayal in The Social Network, rowing in the Beijing Olympics, and their overwhelming public twinness. Because the Winklevoss brothers are betting just about everything—including their past—on a fifth thing: They want to shake the soul of money out.
At the deep end of their lives, they are athletes. Rowers. Full stop. And the thing about rowing—which might also be the thing about bitcoin—is that it's just about impossible to get your brain around its complexity. Everyone thinks you're going to a picnic. They have this notion you're out catching butterflies. They might ask you if you've got your little boater's hat ready. But it's not like that at all. You're fifteen years old. You rise in the dark. You drag your carcass along the railroad tracks before dawn. The boathouse keys are cold to the touch. You undo the ropes. You carry a shell down to the river. The carbon fiber rips at your hands. You place the boat in the water. You slip the oars in the locks. You wait for your coach. Nothing more than a thumb of light in the sky. It's still cold and the river stinks. That heron hasn't moved since yesterday. You hear Coach's voice before you see him. On you go, lads. You start at a dead sprint. The left rib's a little sore, but you don't say a thing. You are all power and no weight. The first push-to-pull in the water is a ripping surprise. From the legs first. Through the whole body. The arc. Atomic balance. A calm waiting for the burst. Your chest burns, your thighs scald, your brain blanks. It feels as if your rib cage might shatter. You are stillness exploding. You catch the water almost without breaking the surface. Coach says something about the pole vault. You like him. You really do. That brogue of his. Lads this, lads that. Fire. Stamina. Pain. After two dozen strokes, it already feels like you're hitting the wall. All that glycogen gone. Nobody knows. Nobody. They can't even pronounce it. Rowing. Ro-wing. Roh-ing. You push again, then pull. You feel as if you are breaking branch after branch off the bottom of your feet. You don't rock. You don't jolt. Keep it steady. Left, right, left, right. The heron stays still. This river. You see it every day. Nothing behind you. Everything in front. You cross the line. You know the exact tree. Your chest explodes. Your knees are trembling. This is the way the world will end, not with a whimper but a bang. You lean over the side of the boat. Up it comes, the breakfast you almost didn't have. A sign of respect to the river. You lay back. Ah, blue sky. Some cloud. Some gray. Do it again, lads. Yes, sir. You row so hard you puke it up once more. And here comes the heron, it's moving now, over the water, here it comes, look at that thing glide.
The Winklevoss twins in the men's pair final during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. GETTY There's plenty of gin and beer and whiskey in the Harrison Room in downtown Manhattan, but the Winklevoss brothers sip Coca-Cola. The room, one of many in the newly renovated Pier A restaurant, is all mahogany and lamplight. It is, in essence, a floating bar, jutting four hundred feet out into the Hudson River. From the window you can see the Statue of Liberty. It feels entirely like their sort of room, a Jazz Age expectation hovering around their initial appearance—tall, imposing, the hair mannered, the collars of their shirts slightly tilted—but then they just slide into their seats, tentative, polite, even introverted.
They came here by subway early on a Friday evening, and they lean back in their seats, a little wary, their eyes busy—as if they want to look beyond the rehearsal of their words.
They had the curse of privilege, but, as they're keen to note, a curse that was earned. Their father worked to pay his way at a tiny college in backwoods Pennsylvania coal country. He escaped the small mining town and made it all the way to a professorship at Wharton. He founded his own company and eventually created the comfortable upper-middle-class family that came with it. They were raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, the most housebroken town on the planet. They might have looked like the others in their ZIP code, and dressed like them, spoke like them, but they didn't quite feel like them. Some nagging feeling—close to anger, close to fear—lodged itself beneath their shoulders, not quite a chip but an ache. They wanted Harvard but weren't quite sure what could get them there. "You have to be basically the best in the world at something if you're coming from Greenwich," says Tyler. "Otherwise it's like, great, you have a 1600 SAT, you and ten thousand others, so what?"
The rowing was a means to an end, but there was also something about the boat that they felt allowed another balance between them. They pulled their way through high school, Cameron on the port-side oar, Tyler on the starboard. They got to Harvard. The Square was theirs. They rowed their way to the national championships—twice. They went to Oxford. They competed in the Beijing Olympics. They sucked up the smog. They came in sixth place. The cameras loved them. Girls, too. They were so American, sandy-haired, blue-eyed, they could have been cast in a John Cougar Mellencamp song.
It might all have been so clean-cut and whitebread except for the fact that—at one of the turns in the river—they got involved in the most public brawl in the whole of the Internet's nascent history.
They don't talk about it much anymore, but they know that it still defines them, not so much in their own minds but in the minds of others. The story seems simple on one level, but nothing is ever simple, not even simplification. Theirs was the original idea for the first social network, Harvard Connection. They hired Mark Zuckerberg to build it. Instead he went off and created Facebook. They sued him. They settled for $65 million. It was a world of public spats and private anguish. Rumors and recriminations. A few years later, dusty old pre-Facebook text messages were leaked online by Silicon Alley Insider: "Yeah, I'm going to fuck them," wrote Zuckerberg to a friend. "Probably in the ear." The twins got their money, but then they believed they were duped again by an unfairly low evaluation of their stock. They began a second round of lawsuits for $180 million. There was even talk about the Supreme Court. It reeked of opportunism. But they wouldn't let it go. In interviews, they came across as insolent and splenetic, tossing their rattles out of the pram. It wasn't about the money, they said at the time, it was about fairness, reality, justice. Most people thought it was about some further agile fuckery, this time in Zuckerberg's ear.
There are many ways to tell the story, but perhaps the most penetrating version is that they weren't screwed so much by Zuckerberg as they were by their eventual portrayal in the film version of their lives. They appeared querulous and sulky, exactly the type of characters that America, peeling off the third-degree burns of the great recession, needed to hate. While the rest of the country worried about mounting debt and vanishing jobs, they were out there drinking champagne from, at the very least, Manolo stilettos. The truth would never get in the way of a good story. In Aaron Sorkin's world, and on just about every Web site, the blueblood trust-fund boys got what was coming to them. And the best thing now was for them to take their Facebook money and turn the corner, quickly, away, down toward whatever river would whisk them away.
Armie Hammer brilliantly portrayed them as the bluest of bloods in The Social Network. When the twins are questioned about those times now, they lean back a little in their seats, as if they've just lost a long race, a little perplexed that they came off as the victims of Hollywood's ability to throw an image, while the whole rip-roaring regatta still goes on behind them. "They put us in a box," says Cameron, "caricatured to a point where we didn't really exist." He glances around the bar, drums his finger against the glass. "That's fair enough. I understand that impulse." They smart a little when they hear Zuckerberg's name. "I don't think Mark liked being called an asshole," says Tyler, with a flick of bluster in his eyes, but then he catches himself. "You know, maybe Mark doesn't care. He's a bit of a statesman now, out there connecting the world. I have nothing against him. He's a smart guy."
These are men who've been taught, or have finally taught themselves, to tell their story rather than be told by it. But underneath the calm—just like underneath the boat—one can sense the churn.
They say the word—ath-letes—as if it were a country where pain is the passport. One of the things the brothers mention over and over again is that you can spontaneously crack a rib while rowing, just from the sheer exertion of the muscles hauling on the rib cage.
Along came bitcoin.
At its most elemental, bitcoin is a virtual currency. It's the sort of thing a five-year-old can understand—It's just e-cash, Mom—until he reaches eighteen and he begins to question the deep future of what money really means. It is a currency without government. It doesn't need a banker. It doesn't need a bank. It doesn't even need a brick to be built upon. Its supporters say that it bypasses the Man. It is less than a decade old and it has already come through its own Wild West, a story rooted in uncharted digital territory, up from the dust, an evening redness in the arithmetical West.
These are men who've been taught, or have finally taught themselves, to tell their story rather than be told by it. Bitcoin appeared in 2008—westward ho!—a little dot on the horizon of the Internet. It was the brainchild of a computer scientist named Satoshi Nakamoto. The first sting in the tale is that—to this very day—nobody knows who Nakamoto is, where he lives, or how much of his own invention he actually owns. He could be Californian, he could be Australian, he could even be a European conglomerate, but it doesn't really matter, since what he created was a cryptographic system that is borderless and supposedly unbreakable.
In the beginning the currency was ridiculed and scorned. It was money created from ones and zeros. You either bought it or you had to "mine" for it. If you were mining, your computer was your shovel. Any nerd could do it. You keyed your way in. By using your computer to help check and confirm the bitcoin transactions of others, you made coin. Everyone in this together. The computer heated up and mined, down down down, into the mathematical ground, lifting up numbers, making and breaking camp every hour or so until you had your saddlebags full of virtual coin. It all seemed a bit of a lark at first. No sheriff, no deputy, no central bank. The only saloon was a geeky chat room where a few dozen bitcoiners gathered to chew data.
Lest we forget, money was filthy in 2008.
The collapse was coming. The banks were shorting out. The real estate market was a confederacy of dunces. Bernie Madoff's shadow loomed. Occupy was on the horizon. And all those Wall Street yahoos were beginning to squirm.
Along came bitcoin like some Jesse James of the financial imagination. It was the biggest disruption of money since coins. Here was an idea that could revolutionize the financial world. A communal articulation of a new era. Fuck American Express. Fuck Western Union. Fuck Visa. Fuck the Fed. Fuck the Treasury. Fuck the deregulated thievery of the twenty-first century.
To the earliest settlers, bitcoin suggested a moral way out. It was a money created from the ground up, a currency of the people, by the people, for the people, with all government control extinguished. It was built on a solid base of blockchain technology where everyone participated in the protection of the code. It attracted anarchists, libertarians, whistle-blowers, cypherpunks, economists, extropians, geeks, upstairs, downstairs, left-wing, right-wing. Sure, it could be used by businesses and corporations, but it could also be used by poor people and immigrants to send money home, instantly, honestly, anonymously, without charge, with a click of the keyboard. Everyone in the world had access to your transaction, but nobody had to know your name. It bypassed the suits. All you needed to move money was a phone or a computer. It was freedom of economic action, a sort of anarchy at its democratic best, no rulers, just rules.
Bitcoin, to the original explorers, was a safe pass through the government-occupied valleys: Those assholes were up there in the hills, but they didn't have any scopes on their rifles, and besides, bitcoin went through in communal wagons at night.
Ordinary punters took a shot. Businesses, too. You could buy silk ties in Paris without any extra bank charges. You could protect your money in Buenos Aires without fear of a government grab.
The Winklevoss twins leave the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2011, after appearing in court to ask that the previous settlement case against Facebook be voided. GETTY But freedom can corrupt as surely as power. It was soon the currency that paid for everything illegal under the sun, the go-to money of the darknet. The westward ho! became the outlaw territory of Silk Road and beyond. Heroin through the mail. Cocaine at your doorstep. Child porn at a click. What better way for terrorists to ship money across the world than through a network of anonymous computers? Hezbollah, the Taliban, the Mexican cartels. In Central America, kidnappers began demanding ransom in bitcoin—there was no need for the cash to be stashed under a park bench anymore. Now everything could travel down the wire. Grab, gag, and collect. Uranium could be paid for in bitcoin. People, too. The sex trade was turned on: It was a perfect currency for Madame X. For the online gambling sites, bitcoin was pure jackpot.
For a while, things got very shady indeed. Over a couple years, the rate pinballed between $10 and $1,200 per bitcoin, causing massive waves and troughs of online panic and greed. (In recent times, it has begun to stabilize between $350 and $450.) In 2014, it was revealed that hackers had gotten into the hot wallet of Mt. Gox, a bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo. A total of 850,000 coins were "lost," at an estimated value of almost half a billion dollars. The founder of Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht (known as "Dread Pirate Roberts"), got himself a four-by-six room in a federal penitentiary for life, not to mention pending charges for murder-for-hire in Maryland.
Everyone thought that bitcoin was the problem. The fact of the matter was, as it so often is, human nature was the problem. Money means desire. Desire means temptation. Temptation means that people get hurt.
During the first Gold Rush in the late 1840s, the belief was that all you needed was a pan and a decent pair of boots and a good dose of nerve and you could go out and make yourself a riverbed millionaire. Even Jack London later fell for the lure of it alongside thousands of others: the western test of manhood and the promise of wealth. What they soon found out was that a single egg could cost twenty-five of today's dollars, a pound of coffee went for a hundred, and a night in a whorehouse could set you back $6,000.
A few miners hit pay dirt, but what most ended up with for their troubles was a busted body and a nasty dose of syphilis.
The gold was discovered on the property of John Sutter in Sacramento, but the one who made the real cash was a neighboring merchant, Samuel Brannan. When Brannan heard the news of the gold nuggets, he bought up all the pickaxes and shovels he could find, filled a quinine bottle with gold dust, and went to San Francisco. Word went around like a prayer in a flash flood: gold gold gold. Brannan didn't wildcat for gold himself, but at the peak of the rush he was flogging $5,000 worth of shovels a day—that's $155,000 today—and went on to become the wealthiest man in California, alongside the Wells Fargo crew, Levi Strauss, and the Studebaker family, who sold wheelbarrows.
If you comb back through the Winklevoss family, you will find a great-grandfather and a great-great-grandfather who knew a thing or two about digging: They worked side by side in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. They didn't go west and they didn't get rich, but maybe the lesson became part of their DNA: Sometimes it's the man who sells the shovels who ends up hitting gold.
Like it or not—and many people don't like it—the Winklevoss brothers are shaping up to be the Samuel Brannans of the bitcoin world.
Nine months after being portrayed in The Social Network, the Winklevoss twins were back out on the water at the World Rowing Cup. CHRISTOPHER LEE/GETTY They heard about it first poolside in Ibiza, Spain. Later it would play into the idea of ease and privilege: umbrella drinks and girls in bikinis. But if the creation myth was going to be flippant, the talk was serious. "I'd say we were cautious, but we were definitely intrigued," says Cameron. They went back home to New York and began to read. There was something about it that got under their skin. "We knew that money had been so broken and inefficient for years," says Tyler, "so bitcoin appealed to us right away."
They speak in braided sentences, catching each other, reassuring themselves, tightening each other's ideas. They don't quite want to say that bitcoin looked like something that might be redemptive—after all, they, like everyone else, were looking to make money, lots of it, Olympic-sized amounts—but they say that it did strike an idealistic chord inside them. They certainly wouldn't be cozying up to the anarchists anytime soon, but this was a global currency that, despite its uncertainties, seemed to present a solution to some of the world's more pressing problems. "It was borderless, instantaneous, irreversible, decentralized, with virtually no transaction costs," says Tyler. It could possibly cut the banks out, and it might even take the knees out from under the credit-card companies. Not only that, but the price, at just under ten dollars per coin, was in their estimation low, very low. They began to snap it up.
They were aware, even at the beginning, that they might, once again, be called Johnny-come-latelys, just hopping blithely on the bandwagon—it was 2012, already four years into the birth of the currency—but they went ahead anyway, power ten. Within a short time they'd spent $11 million buying up a whopping 1 percent of the world's bitcoin, a position they kept up as more bitcoins were mined, making their 1 percent holding today worth about $66 million.
But bitcoin was flammable. The brothers felt the burn quickly. Their next significant investment came later that year, when they gave $1.5 million in venture funding to a nascent exchange called BitInstant. Within a year the CEO was arrested for laundering drug money through the exchange.
So what were a pair of smart, clean-cut Olympic rowers doing hanging around the edges of something so apparently shady, and what, if anything, were they going to do about it?
They mightn't have thought of it this way, but there was something of the sheriff striding into town, the one with the swagger and the scar, glancing up at the balconies as he comes down Main Street, all tumbleweeds and broken pianos. This place was a dump in most people's eyes, but the sheriff glimpsed his last best shot at finally getting the respect he thinks he deserves.
The money shot: A good stroke will catch the water almost without breaking its seal. You stir without rippling. Your silence is sinewy. There's muscle in that calm. The violence catches underneath, thrusts the boat along. Stroke after stroke. Just keep going. Today's truth dies tomorrow. What you have to do is elemental enough. You row without looking behind you. You keep the others in front of you. As long as you can see what they're doing, it's all in your hands. You are there to out-pain them. Doesn't matter who they are, where they come from, how they got here. Know your enemy through yourself. Push through toward pull. Find the still point of this pain. Cut a melody in the disk of your flesh. The only terror comes when they pass you—if they ever pass you.
There are no suits or ties, but there is a white hum in the offices of Gemini in the Flatiron District. The air feels as if it has been brushed clean. There is something so everywhereabout the place. Ergonomic chairs. iPhone portals. Rows of flickering computers. Not so much a hush around the room as a quiet expectation. Eight, nine people. Programmers, analysts, assistants. Other employees—teammates, they call them—dialing in from Portland, Oregon, and beyond.
The brothers fire up the room when they walk inside. A fist-pump here, a shoulder touch there. At the same time, there is something almost shy about them. Apart, they seem like casual visitors to the space they inhabit. It is when they're together that they feel fully shaped. One can't imagine them being apart from each other for very long.
The Winklevoss twins speak onstage at Bitcoin! Let's Cut Through the Noise Already at SXSW in 2016. GETTY They move from desk to desk. The price goes up, the price goes down. The phones ring. The e-mails beep. Customer-service calls. Questions about fees. Inquiries about tax structures.
Gemini was started in late 2015 as a next-generation bitcoin exchange. It is not the first such exchange in the world by any means, but it is one of the most watched. The company is designed with ordinary investors in mind, maybe a hedge fund, maybe a bank: all those people who used to be confused or even terrified by the word bitcoin. It is insured. It is clean. What's so fascinating about this venture is that the brothers are risking themselves by trying to eliminate risk: keeping the boat steady and exploding through it at the same time.
It is when they're together that they feel fully shaped. One can't imagine them being apart from each other for very long. For the past couple years, the Winklevosses have worked closely with just about every compliance agency imaginable. They ticked off all the regulatory boxes. Essentially they wanted to ease all the Debting Thomases. They put regulatory frameworks in place. Security and bankability and insurance were their highest objectives. Nobody was going to be able to blow open the safe. They wanted to soothe all the appetites for risk. They told Bitcoin Magazine they were asking for "permission, not forgiveness."
This is where bitcoin can become normal—that is, if you want bitcoin to be normal.
Just a mile or two down the road, in Soho, a half dozen bitcoiners gather at a meetup. The room is scruffy, small, boxy. A half mannequin is propped on a table, a scarf draped around it. It's the sort of place that twenty years ago would have been full of cigarette smoke. There's a bit of Allen Ginsberg here, a touch of Emma Goldman, a lot of Zuccotti Park. The wine is free and the talk is loose. These are the true believers. They see bitcoin in its clearest possible philosophical terms—the frictionless currency of the people, changing the way people move money around the world, bypassing the banks, disrupting the status quo.
A comedy show is being run out in the backyard. A scruffy young man wanders in and out, announcing over and over again that he is half-baked. A well-dressed Asian girl sidles up to the bar. She looks like she's just stepped out of an NYU business class. She's interested in discovering what bitcoin is. She is regaled by a series of convivial answers. The bartender tells her that bitcoin is a remaking of the prevailing power structures. The girl asks for another glass of wine. The bartender adds that bitcoin is democracy, pure and straight. She nods and tells him that the wine tastes like cooking oil. He laughs and says it wasn't bought with bitcoin. "I don't get it," she says. And so the evening goes, presided over by Margaux Avedisian, who describes herself as the queen of bitcoin. Avedisian, a digital-currency consultant of Armenian descent, is involved in several high-level bitcoin projects. She has appeared in documentaries and on numerous panels. She is smart, sassy, articulate.
When the talk turns to the Winklevoss brothers, the bar turns dark. Someone, somewhere, reaches up to take all the oxygen out of the air. Avedisian leans forward on the counter, her eyes shining, delightful, raged.
"The Winklevii are not the face of bitcoin," she says. "They're jokes. They don't know what they're saying. Nobody in our community respects them. They're so one-note. If you look at their exchange, they have no real volume, they never will. They keep throwing money at different things. Nobody cares. They're not part of us. They're just hangers-on."
"Ah, they're just assholes," the bartender chimes in.
"What they want to do," says Avedisian, "is lobotomize bitcoin, make it into something entirely vapid. They have no clue."
The Asian girl leaves without drinking her third glass of free wine. She's got a totter in her step. She doesn't quite get the future of money, but then again maybe very few in the world do.
Giving testimony on bitcoin licensing before the New York State Department of Financial Services in 2014. LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS The future of money might look like this: You're standing on Oxford Street in London in winter. You think about how you want to get to Charing Cross Road. The thought triggers itself through electrical signals into the chip embedded in your wrist. Within a moment, a driverless car pulls up on the sensor-equipped road. The door opens. You hop in. The car says hello. You tell it to shut up. It does. It already knows where you want to go. It turns onto Regent Street. You think,A little more air-conditioning, please. The vents blow. You think, Go a little faster, please. The pace picks up. You think, This traffic is too heavy, use Quick(TM). The car swings down Glasshouse Street. You think, Pay the car in front to get out of my way. It does. You think, Unlock access to a shortcut. The car turns down Sherwood Street to Shaftsbury Avenue. You pull in to Charing Cross. You hop out. The car says goodbye. You tell it to shut up again. You run for the train and the computer chip in your wrist pays for the quiet-car ticket for the way home.
All of these transactions—the air-conditioning, the pace, the shortcut, the bribe to get out of the way, the quick lanes, the ride itself, the train, maybe even the "shut up"—will cost money. As far as crypto-currency enthusiasts think, it will be paid for without coins, without phones, without glass screens, just the money coming in and going out of your preprogrammed wallet embedded beneath your skin.
The Winklevosses are betting that the money will be bitcoin. And that those coins will flow through high-end, corporate-run exchanges like Gemini rather than smoky SoHo dives.
Cameron leans across a table in a New York diner, the sort of place where you might want to polish your fork just in case, and says: "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet." He can't remember whom the quote belongs to, but he freely acknowledges that it's not his own. Theirs is a truculent but generous intelligence, capable of surprise and turn at the oddest of moments. They talk meditation, they talk economics, they talk Van Halen, they talk, yes, William Gibson, but everything comes around again to bitcoin.
"The key to all this is that people aren't even going to know that they're using bitcoin," says Tyler. "It's going to be there, but it's not going to be exposed to the end user. Bitcoin is going to be the rails that underpin our payment systems. It's just like an IP address. We don't log on to a series of numbers, 115.425.5 or whatever. No, we log on to In the same way, bitcoin is going to be disguised. There will be a body kit that makes it user-friendly. That's what makes bitcoin a kick-ass currency."
Any fool can send a billion dollars across the world—as long as they have it, of course—but it's virtually impossible to send a quarter unless you stick it in an envelope and pay forty-nine cents for a stamp. It's one of the great ironies of our antiquated money system. And yet the quark of the financial world is essentially the small denomination. What bitcoin promises is that it will enable people and businesses to send money in just about any denomination to one another, anywhere in the world, for next to nothing. A public address, a private key, a click of the mouse, and the money is gone.
A Bitcoin conference in New York City in 2014. GETTY This matters. This matters a lot. Credit-card companies can't do this. Neither can the big banks under their current systems. But Marie-Louise on the corner of Libertador Avenue can. And so can Pat Murphy in his Limerick housing estate. So can Mark Andreessen and Bill Gates and Laurene Powell Jobs. Anyone can do it, anywhere in the world, at virtually no charge.
You can do it, in fact, from your phone in a diner in New York. But the whole time they are there—over identical California omelettes that they order with an ironic shrug—they never once open their phones. They come across more like the talkative guys who might buy you a drink at the sports bar than the petulants ordering bottle service in the VIP corner. The older they get, the more comfortable they seem in their contradictions: the competition, the ease; the fame, the quiet; the gamble, the sure thing.
Bitcoin is what might eventually make them among the richest men in America. And yet. There is always a yet. What seems indisputable about the future of money, to the Winklevosses and other bitcoin adherents, is that the technology that underpins bitcoin—the blockchain—will become one of the fundamental tenets of how we deal with the world of finance. Blockchain is the core computer code. It's open source and peer to peer—in other words, it's free and open to you and me. Every single bitcoin transaction ever made goes to an open public ledger. It would take an unprecedented 51 percent attack—where one entity would come to control more than half of the computing power used to mine bitcoin—for hackers to undo it. The blockchain is maintained by computers all around the world, and its future sidechains will create systems that deal with contracts and stock and other payments. These sidechains could very well be the foundation of the new global economy for the big banks, the credit-card companies, and even government itself.
"It's boundless," says Cameron.
This is what the brothers are counting on—and what might eventually make them among the richest men in America.
And yet. There is always a yet.
When you delve into the world of bitcoin, it gets deeper, darker, more mysterious all the time. Why has its creator remained anonymous? Why did he drop off the face of the earth? How much of it does he own himself? Will banks and corporations try to bring the currency down? Why are there really only five developers with full "commit access" to the code (not the Winklevosses, by the way)? Who is really in charge of the currency's governance?
Perhaps the most pressing issue at hand is that of scaling, which has caused what amounts to a civil war among followers. A maximum block size of one megabyte has been imposed on the chain, sort of like a built-in artificial dampener to keep bitcoin punk rock. That's not nearly enough capacity for the number of transactions that would take place in future visions. In years to come, there could be massive backlogs and outages that could create instant financial panic. Bitcoin's most influential leaders are haggling over what will happen. Will bitcoin maintain its decentralized status, or will it go legit and open up to infinite transactions? And if it goes legit, where's the punk?
The issues are ongoing—and they might very well take bitcoin down, but the Winklevosses don't think so. They have seen internal disputes before. They've refrained from taking a public stance mostly because they know that there are a lot of other very smart people in bitcoin who are aware that crisis often builds consensus. "We're in this for the long haul," says Tyler. "We're the first batter in the first inning."
GILLIAN LAUB The waiter comes across and asks them, bizarrely, if they're twins. They nod politely. Who was born first? They've heard it a million times and their answer is always the same: Neither of them—they were born cesarean. Cameron looks older, says the waiter. Tyler grins. Normally it's the other way around, says Cameron, grinning back. Do you ever fight? asks the waiter. Every now and then, they say. But not over this, not over the future.
Heraclitus was wrong. You can, in fact, step in the same river twice. In the beginning you went to the shed. No electricity there, no heat, just a giant tub where you simulated the river. You could only do eleven strokes. But there was something about the repetition, the difference, even the monotony, that hooked you. After a while it wasn't an abandoned shed anymore. College gyms, national training centers. Bigger buildings. High ceilings. AC. Doctors and trainers. Monitors hooked up to your heart, your head, your blood. Six foot five, but even then you were not as tall as the other guys. You liked the notion of underdog. Everyone called you the opposite. The rich kids. The privileged ones. To hell with that. They don't know us, who we are, where we came from. Some of the biggest chips rest on the shoulders of those with the least to lose. Six foot five times two makes just about thirteen feet. You sit in the erg and you stare ahead. Day in, day out. One thousand strokes, two thousand. You work with the very best. You even train with the Navy SEALs. It touches that American part of you. The sentiment, the false optimism. When the oil fields are burning, you even think, I'll go there with them. But you stay in the boat. You want that other flag rising. That's what you aim for. You don't win but you get close. Afterward there are planes, galas, regattas, magazine spreads, but you always come back to that early river. The cold. The fierceness. The heron. Like it or not, you're never going to get off the water—that's just the fact of the matter, it's always going to be there. Hard to admit it, but once you were wrong. You got out of the boat and you haggled over who made it. You lost that one, hard. You might lose this one, too, but then again it just might be the original arc that you're stepping toward. So you return, then. You rise before dark. You drag your carcass along Broadway before dawn.
All the rich men in the world want to get shot into outer space. Richard Branson. Jeff Bezos. Elon Musk. The new explorers. To get the hell out of here and see if they—and maybe we—can exist somewhere else for a while. It's the story of the century. We want to know if the pocket of the universe can be turned inside out. We're either going to bring all the detritus of the world upward with us or we're going to find a brand-new way to exist. The cynical say that it's just another form of colonization—they're probably right, but then again maybe it's our only way out.
The Winklevosses have booked their tickets—numbers 700 and 701—on Branson's Virgin Galactic. Although they go virtually everywhere together, the twins want to go on different flights because of the risk involved: Now that they're in their mid-thirties, they can finally see death, or at least its rumor. It's a boy's adventure, but it's also the outer edge of possibility. It cost a quarter of a million dollars per seat, and they paid for it, yes, in bitcoin.
Of course, up until recently, the original space flights all splashed down into the sea. One of the ships that hauled the Gemini space capsule out of the water in 1965 was the Intrepid aircraft carrier.
The Winklevosses no longer pull their boat up the river. Instead they often run five miles along the Hudson to the Intrepid and back. The destroyer has been parked along Manhattan's West Side for almost as long as they have been alive. It's now a museum. The brothers like the boat, its presence, its symbolism: Intrepid, Gemini, the space shot.
They ease into the run.
submitted by thegrandknight to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

ELI5: What is an ETF and why should I care.

A friend of mine emailed me this article earlier today about the Winklevii's attempt to get their Bitcoin ETF approved by the SEC. I've heard of this before but I don't understand what the benefits of investing in a Bitcoin ETF are vs speculating on the price of BTC. What am I missing here?
submitted by blarrybob to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Ten Non-sensationalist Bitcoin Predictions for 2014

Happy New Year!
Since everyone else is doing it, I thought that it would be fun to put together a list of my ten predictions for Bitcoin in 2014. (Spoiler: I am not going to predict the final price per bitcoin because those predications are universally garbage. Unless you are tothemoonguy.) Without further ado, and in no particular order:
1) Regulatory Victories: Major nations in Europe and North America (including the U.S.) regulate Bitcoin as a commodity or security. Few if any treat Bitcoin as a true currency. That means that Bitcoin gains and losses will be taxable at long- and short-term rates, and wallet services will need to work quickly to provide accurate trading forms (with offsetting lots) for customers. Day-traders (including hobbyists) will likely need to register with the appropriate regulatory bodies to get preferential tax treatment. Silicon Valley tax lawyers rejoice when they see an influx of new business from Bitcoin's paper millionaires who are now panicked about paying taxes on the toys they purchased with appreciated bitcoin, cars, apartments, etc. By the end of 2014, China decides to get back into the game so they don't miss out on the next major tech boom.
2) Pot & Porn: Regardless of your personal values, marijuana and pornography are massive industries which straddle the line between legal and illegal. Don't expect BitPay or Coinbase to service these markets any time soon. Do expect one or more Bitcoin startups to focus nearly exclusively on these gray markets. Some will call them Silk Road Lites, I'll call them major money makers. (More tomorrow.)
3) Academic Interest: More academic study will lead to greater insights into the Bitcoin blockchain, price movements, and intrinsic value. I am personally interested, among other things, in using some of the blockchain's information to come up with a "fully-diluted" price for a bitcoin. Something that factors in a) the future bitcoins that will be mined on schedule, b) the estimated "dead" bitcoin from early miners who discarded or lost their private keys, c) the average sent vs. receipted split in bitcoin transactions, which affects the meaningfulness of "bitcoin days destroyed" - a weighted average bitcoin addresses that monitors how long they have been inactive. (Full topic next week.)
4) Wall Street Interest: 2014 will be the year that Bitcoin went Wall Street, if not mainstream. The Winklevii are still working on getting their ETF listed on major exchanges. SecondMarket's Bitcoin Investment Trust is a hot investment vehicle and now it seems that Fortress Investment Group and Pantera Capital have raised nearly $150mm for a new Bitcoin-related fund. Expect this to be the tip of the iceberg. I think we could see a major bank's trading desk integrate Bitcoin, and wouldn't be surprised to see a tiny startup like Coinsetter get swooped up for an eye-popping amount as a strategic acquisition / acquihire.
5) Volatility is Addressed: Bitcoin is still missing mainstream consumers. Without consumers, there will be limited demand for merchants to accept bitcoin. Without a vibrant transaction system, there will be limited value in bitcoin to investors. Without consumers, merchants and investors, bitcoins become worthless and the Bitcoin technology loses steam. Expect some new ventures to successfully tackle this volatility problem, including my company Inscrypto. Bitcoin doesn't need to be a currency, it simply needs to look and feel and act like one for non-investors.
6) Financial Cowboys Get Rich: Holy crap, I wish that I were a tech-savvy Wall Street guy because Bitcoin is a FinTech experts wet dream. Institutions might have to wait until the regulatory bodies green light their activity in Bitcoin, but individual day traders have no such restrictions. There are massive arbitrage opportunities between exchanges. Chartists can actually make money by exploiting trends that make the illiquid market inefficient for the time being. Trading algorithms may be written that improve system-wide liquidity and enrich their authors. Wild.
7) Entrepreneurs Solve Problems: Some of bitcoin's biggest critiques (volatility, illiquidity, etc.) will yield tremendous innovations in 2014. All an entrepreneur with a bitcoin obsession needs to do is spend a day on /bitcoin and he'll come up with a dozen startup ideas. As one MIT Sloan student asked me: "Can't you just take anything in financial services and make a bitcoin version?" Pretty much, yeah. That's why so many people are salivating.
8) Bitcoin Remains the Dominant Crypto: Bitcoin's healthy alt-currency ecosystem is good for Bitcoin the technology platform because it provides a back-up plan to any existential threat to bitcoin the currency. That said, the majority of developer talent is building on top of the Bitcoin protocol first, and the new layers and applications that are created this year will continue to strengthen the overall Bitcoin ecosystem. Expect Bitcoin to remain the gold standard of crypto-currencies, and Litecoin and others to maintain their silver, bronze and honorable mention status.
9) Bitcoin as Legal Tender: No, it's not going to happen in the U.S. any time soon. But I'd expect some countries to start storing bitcoin in their central banks in the new year. It's got similar properties to gold as a long-term store of value and the potential for exponential growth. In addition, I'd expect at least some government to accept bitcoin for taxes. Could be a national government or a struggling domestic municipality, maybe Vicco, Kentucky.
10) Price Appreciation: I'm not going to venture a guess into the future value of Bitcoin, but suffice it to say, I believe strongly that the currency will continue to appreciate significantly. Regulatory clarity, greater consumebusiness exposure, insane levels of developer interest, eye-popping investor interest from Wall Street and the VC community, and layers of innovations on top of the underlying Bitcoin protocol will outweigh any negatives. Moreover, the early adopters in Bitcoin aren't selling any time soon. Over half of Bitcoiners polled by Coindesk believe that Bitcoin will go above $10k USD in 2014. Absurd, but shows that this community isn't simply waiting to cash out when the Greater Fools make their buys.
So there they are. My professional crystal-ball predictions for 2014, which are incredibly safe and non-sensational. I look forward to checking in on them in six and twelve months, and hopefully becoming a rich man in the process. To the moon!
submitted by twobitidiot to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

a question about Barry Silbert's BIT fund:

I'm probably being very naive here, but before I get too excited there's something I wanna know; As I understand it the Winklevii ETF plans to buy coins & hold them on behalf of their investors, and buy more coins as more money goes into their ETF.... Well does Barry Silbert's BIT fund do the same? Because the way I read it (perhaps incorrectly) the fund works by tracking the bitcoin price fluctuations. I want to know if Silbert's fund will CAUSE the fluctuations by buying up coins the same way the Winklevii's ETF would do.
In other words, if you're an investor in Barry's BIT fund & hold shares in it, is it not just the case your share value increases by the btc price rising from 250 to 300 - almost like you're just watching the btc market from the sidelines (without actively affecting the price yourself) and then betting on the ups and downs...
Hoping someone can clarify
submitted by heniferlopez to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Someone at work asked me about bitcion today. This is my response.

Don't get me started on bitcoin. Anyone not interested can stop here :)
We're still in the early stages with bitcoin - it could "go to zero" as we say, but I don't think so. The awesome thing about it is that it's a technology you can invest in directly. I wouldn't bet your retirement account on it, but I will suggest everyone put at least some % of their investment in it. You can buy as little as $10. I'm about 50% in bitcoin myself, but then I'm a little deranged. 5% is good depending on your tolerance for risk.
The easiest way to get some:
A more advanced exchange with limit orders & such:
Soon we will see an exchange-traded fund tracking bitcoin (brought to you buy the winklevii, co-creators of facebook). This lets you invest in it (but not worry about storing it) through your regular brokerage account. Beware by the time that's available, you will probably have missed out on a bit of the action. That's the SEC's job you know, keeping normal people from investing in things until all the bankers get the first crack at them. While the SEC is keeping you down, the US Marshals are selling a big chunk of bitcoin seized from the silk road. Minimum ticket to entry? $200K. We're all waiting to see what price the seized coins go for.
Investing might make you rich (here's hoping), but being a true believer comes from understanding and using the technology. I'll send you a small amount to play with. This is a good trustworthy web-based wallet:
Here's one example of why it will take off:
Here in the US, we have nice friendly banks and central bankers. In other places however, bitcoin could be a lifesaver. Even here, our dollars are devalued at an astonishing rate. Whether you think that's good or bad, you can see why holding bitcoin would appeal to some (bitcoin's inflation is destined to slow down and then stop entirely). IOW, you don't have to think it's sound finance to believe it will increase in value.
ATMs, armored cars, neighborhood banks, western union, etc. Bitcoin makes all these things obsolete. It also stops credit card leaks. Individual people may have their coin stolen, but Target won't be able to leak everyone's private data - they won't have possession of it. It can be more libertarian. You can "be your own bank". There is a bitcoin equivalent to occupy wall street: vacate wall street. Move your money out of their system and watch it collapse.
OK, now I'm getting really off the rails.
Currently flirting with $600:
submitted by haight6716 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

A list of resources for traders and market/adoption watchers

Hi all,
Much love to the community here. Decided to stop lurking and post something potentially useful for the newbies and old timers alike.
I've put together a small list of sites that provide insights and visualizations into the bitcoin and a few other crypto currency markets. There are important sites or projects that I'm missing, so please comment with other similar resources you may be using. I know that there are whole host of tools we could add to this list. I'll update the list as comments come in! I'll also add a more detailed description to each link soon.
submitted by btcarb to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

How to tell who's side the economic majority is on

It's funny how each side claims they are on the economic majority. Just because you say something over and over doesn't make it true. There are actually only a few signals we can go by when we try to determine "what side is the economic majority on?"
While we could go line by line and overview what each company has said in the past (coinbase supports bigger blocks but also segwit - just like me, the winklevii support core developers) etc... what matters is really the price. The price is what miners follow. I've made a series of post in the past week that sort of line up the logic that I am getting at here.

1 Miners have always had the capability of banding together and increasing the block reward. This is a definite possibility. But it hasn't happened. Why ? Because the price would plummet if they tried that. And since they have capital costs invested in mining equipment this would do no financial good. What this means is miners actually follow the price.

2 The price of bitcoin IS the economic majority. If some /bitcoiner says: Even if the majority hard fork goes with bitcoin unlimited the "economic majority" will be with core. This is actually false. It is false because the only way this could be true is if the miners are irrational and don't care about the price. Because the economic majority will buy and use the coin they want and consequently this will affect the price.

3 Did you see the recent guide to how the bitcoin unlimited fork will work? For TWO weeks there needs to be a greater than 75% hash power majority. During those two weeks everyone in the bitcoin ecosystem will know that the miners are signaling for bitcoin unlimited. If the "economic" majority do not like this the price will fall. Since the price will fall if they do not like this guess what will happen? The hashrate won't stay at 75% it will drop. Why? Because miners are rational and they follow_the_price. We have seen evidence of this before. Remember

I'm tired of bitcoiners saying they have the economic majority when in reality they don't have a clue because all they are reading is a small censored circlejerk of information.
Many of the "small blockers", even the intelligent and notorious ones like Gmax seem to have this mental disability that makes them incapable of grasping that miners act rationally and that if they don't then you have to assume that bitcoin won't work because it_relies_on_that.
I can't wait for the day that the corefork and all of the bad personalities surrounding it are gone or insignificant enough to appear that way. With that said we can do the line by line overview now if you guys wanna
submitted by specialenmity to btc [link] [comments]

Cost basis $340, sell for short term capital loss? or wait, soon turns into long term capital.

Hey guys! Looking for opinions! Rode to the top at $1100 or so, sold and waited for the price of $340 to buy again in bulk. This was based on a historical volatility trade where I was seeking a ~73% decline in prices. There was a pattern % corrections after each rally before... 97%, 85%......
This is the lot of BTC I am concerned about. (I have other smaller lots).
In May this will become a long term capital investment after it hits one year in age. This means that if I sold it for a loss after may, I wouldn't be able to deduct it against my other short term capital gains in other asset classes. Short term gain tax can only be offset by short term losses, and associated carry over losses, if I recall correctly. Long term capital gains can only be offset by long term capital losses, and long term associated carry over losses.
I'm actually not sure about the carry over losses part, if that also uses the distinction of long term/short term. But this entire dilemma is based around that.
Now, my forecast is based on information I know, that could increase the price, versus what will decrease the price.
For the next two weeks, people may be riding off of the CNN expose' on bitcoin, getting their coinbase accounts set up with their tax refunds etc.
The next two weeks also features the USMS auction, which means nothing in regards to the price.
There is always the ambiguous and looming SecondMarket ETF coming to the stock market, and the Winklevii's.
Aside from that, nothing really.
I make much greater returns outside of bitcoin, and my position size is now too large to play around in altcoins. (Although Paycoin looked really liquid, my gambling appetite isn't available for that anymore).
So, in theory I could hop out of bitcoin, and hop back in pretty quickly, ideally with capital gains. (It really bugs me that I can't sell liquid options on my bitcoin holdings, I would do this 90% of the time)
So should I sell now, later? Before may? Why/why not
I use bitcoin for various financing and acquiring other cryptocurrencies that have other useful features.
I don't mind if bitcoin goes down, although I would like to use the sell (as a loss) to offset some tax, potentially.
submitted by cqm to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Bitcoin ETFs, Options, Futures

TLDR: Will the eventual creation of Bitcoin ETFs hobble the upward price trajectory (vs fiat), due to the creation of artificial supply?
Something to ponder: Over the past 12 years, if everybody who had wanted exposure to the price of gold had bought bullion instead of GLD paper (and other Gold ETFs), what would the price of gold be right now?
In coming years, Wall St will succeed at creating a huge scaffolding of derivative financial instruments around Bitcoin. These futures markets, options markets, and ETFs surrounding Bitcoin will vastly outsize the actual underlying asset, and many traders, investors, and funds will prefer to own those derivatives instead of the actual thing. In the coming Bitcoin derivatives world -- as compared to actual Bitcoin --transaction fees will be lower, volume greater, shorting easy, and regulation robust.
I realize that one Bitcoin ETF already exists, but it's not relevant to this discussion because it's traded on the pink sheets and is not really mainstream.
So, in the future, if an ETF can create as many Bitcoin "shares" as they want, and if financial institutions can continuously create new Bitcoin ETFs, and hedge funds can short massive amounts of Bitcoin via derivatives, doesn’t it seem likely that due to the gigantic artificial supply created by all these derivatives would drain the energy out of the natural upward momentum of Bitcoin?
I pose this question because so many in the Bitcoin community think that if the Winklevii could get their ETF approved, it would be a huge win for Bitcoin. I’m not so sure.
submitted by channing_pollock to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

When will owning 1 BTC be considered a lot?

I think about this issue a lot. With 12M BTC currently in existence, if bitcoin had 12 million users then there would only be enough for each user to have a single bitcoin. Bitcoin is an amazing idea and the fact that it doesn't even have 12 million users yet is pretty mind blowing, when you think about Facebook's billion plus users, Twitter's 500M+, or even games like Angry Birds or Temple Run that easily have a hundred million users.
Of course, we all know that hundreds of thousands (if not more than a million) bitcoin have already been lost. Then you have your major holders, like Satoshi (1M+ BTC), the Winklevii, and any number of other people with a massive position on Bitcoin. Then you have all the small time users with anywhere from 5 to 100 BTC.
I believe that hitting the point where owning an entire bitcoin to be considered a lot is probably right around the corner. What are the implications of this happening? At the current price of ~$700, buying a whole bitcoin is still possible for most people, but already out of the realm of possibility for a whole bunch of people (e.g., minimum wage employees with no savings cushion to drop into the currency).
What will happen to the price when 1 BTC becomes a lot? Will this event be the catalyst for a widespread switch to using mBTC as a unit of denomination? What should this event be called?
I think most people in this subreddit would agree that this happening is a given, I'm just posting this as a small thought exercise to see what different perspectives the users of this community have on the matter.
submitted by BeijingBitcoins to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

How to sound like a genius as a Bitcoin newb.

It’s time for more bitcoin conference porn! The fall schedule (glut) kicks off today in London with an Inside Bitcoins conference. Unfortunately, I’ll miss it. Instead, I’ll be at MIT giving a presentation on how students there can scale from “Zero to One” in Bitcoin.
My favorite slide of the short overview, which is also relevant to #bitcoinconf attendees is without a doubt how to simply “sound smart” as a newcomer to Bitcoin. That’s really half of the battle; I’ve learned from personal experience. Leaders in this industry who are exponentially smarter than me were willing to talk to me as a peer mere weeks after I first learned about bitcoin last November, mostly because I faked it ‘til I made it.*
So I feel a moral responsibility to share ten things that can make any newb sound like a seasoned vet. Much like a pick-up artist**, you’ll have to craft your own style and will look silly occasionally, but at least you can sleep easy knowing that you will fool 99% of onlookers with this framework.
Here are my top ten tips for sounding smarter than you really are when it comes to Bitcoin…
1) Know simple BTC grammar. Discredit anyone who misspells bitcoin as BitCoin or bit coin, and gently correct those who conflate Bitcoin the protocol (capitalized) with bitcoin the currency (lower-case). This is a slam dunk, I’ve-been-here-a-while, pro tip. Don’t be a jerk about it, but politely help this other newcomer scale to your level of intelligence.
Congrats, you’re already ahead of the curve.
2) Acknowledge that bitcoin is a crappy currency, but a high-potential commodity. Bitcoin is volatile and will be for a very long time. It’s designed to appreciate in value or to fail — without much middle ground. As a unit of account or store of value, it’s terrible, but it is also a very high-potential commodity. Holding the “currency” means (among other things) that you are betting bitcoin displaces gold as a long-term reserve — that one inherently worthless commodity (gold) will be replaced by another (bitcoin), because bitcoin will at least be tied to a very valuable network. You also believe that as the critical exchange, investment, and derivative infrastructure is built out, mainstream people will use what are essentially fiat-denominated bitcoins anyway (thanks to hedging wizardry). Oh, and on that last point, you’ll stop referring “dollars” and instead reference “fiat.”
3) Point out that all currencies fluctuate in relative value, but at least BTC appreciates. This is in some ways a close corollary to #2. People like to criticize bitcoin’s “extreme” volatility, but the truth is that the currency’s volatility is falling and will continue to fall steadily as it grows larger. Moreover, it will look less volatile relative to the currencies of many smaller, developing economies, especially those with high inflation like Argentina or Nigeria. (BTC is the 90th most popular global currency by M1.) At least with bitcoin, you have a ~50% chance on any given day that you’ll enjoy upside volatility, instead of slow and steady devaluation. Many people outside of the US and Europe are going to play those odds.
4) Understand that Bitcoin is not decentralized, it is distributed. There are basically 10 people in the world who ultimately control Bitcoin right now, so it’s not decentralized. You’ve got 5-10 Bitcoin core developers who contribute updates to the code base only if they are accepted by the 5-10 mining behemoths that call the shots. In theory, anyone can “fork” the Bitcoin core if they don’t like the miners’ rules, but most people will agree that this is infeasible at best. It doesn’t help that no one knows who controls most of the global mining power or even who invented Bitcoin. Sounds shady, and in truth, it is more of a black box than most will admit. The good news is that the block chain is universally distributed, so at least people can see the global ledger of transactions, even if they don’t appreciate that a group smaller than the Fed actually controls Bitcoin.
Brownie points if you know who Gavin Andresen is, because many newbs don’t! I’ll put it to you this way: Gavin is bitcoin’s Mark Zuckerberg to Satoshi’s Winklevii — if only the Winkevoss twins had come up with a clever seigniorage model for social networking and faded to the background gracefully once they had Zuck on board. Gavin and the other core developers aren’t household names by pure chance — the media is simply too obsessed with the mysterious Satoshi.
5) Admit that Bitcoin is not cheaper than credit cards. A common pitch is that bitcoin is much cheaper than credit cards, but this simply is not true in most real-world use cases. Bitcoin merely appears less expensive for most retail transactions because those charging the transaction fees - the miners - care more about the large 25 BTC / block mining reward subsidies than they do the variable transaction fees. For now. As mining gets more expensive and the mining reward shrinks over the next decade, bitcoin’s transaction fees will start looking a heck of a lot more like interchange rates. In addition, if you go up one level to the payment processors like BitPay and Coinbase, either the merchant or the consumer (or a combination) is paying 100-150 basis points to cover bitcoin transaction costs - not a tremendous price difference from card networks.
Bitcoin has many advantages over credit cards — security, interoperability, universality, etc. — but cost generally isn’t one of them.
6) Remittances aren’t a near-term killer app; cross-border transactions are. As much as bitcoiners like to bash Western Union and Money Gram, and as despicable as some of these remittance platforms can be, they still exist for a reason. Doing safe, secure and legal remittance is more expensive than it seems at first glance. And while it’s nice to think that crypto could flow freely to those already familiar with mobile money, this theory has one big flaw: the infrastructure and awareness for bitcoin isn’t even close to there yet in developing economies. Sure, a migrant worker could send bitcoin to a relative’s mobile phone in Zimbabwe, but good luck safely exchanging that for usable day-to-day currency - especially at a cheaper rate than the evil remittance empires.
Business to business cross-border transactions, on the other hand, are infinitely more likely to succeed on a faster timeline. More sophisticated parties, with better access to bitcoin exchanges and financial services, solving a more straightforward and nominally larger problem.
7) Pick at least one bitcoin company to hate, and know why you hate them so much. I honestly don’t think I’ve met a single person in this industry who hasn’t completely crapped all over at least one leading bitcoin company behind closed doors. In fairness, even when I’m not playing devil’s advocate, I have still been legitimately guilty of giving the business to all of these companies myself. But for most non-bully-pulpiteers, it’s simply easier and less abrasive to whisper criticisms. It doesn’t matter whether you pick Circle (“Wall Street sell-outs”), Coinbase (“young, naive and overextended”), Xapo (“shady insurance dealings”), Blockchain (“short-sighted ideologues”), or BitPay (“first, but not best”). All that matters is that you hate at least one of them.
8) Tell everyone how much you love Andreas, but that he’s too political for your liking. First you have to watch an Andreas Antonopoulos presentation and learn how to spell Antonopoulos. He speaks beautifully and sincerely and intelligently, and if Aaron Sorkin ever wrote a show about bitcoin, Andreas would be the protagonist, a la President Bartlet (West Wing) or Will McAvoy (Newsroom). He’s a perfect embodiment of what bitcoin should be — indeed, it’s fun to believe in his type of future — but the realist in you knows to just eat popcorn while watching this artist at work. You don’t actually need to believe what he says for bitcoin to go mainstream. In fact, if you are easily influenced, you probably shouldn’t because many of his most strongly held beliefs simply aren’t practical.
9) Learn the defensive pitch for the Bitcoin Foundation. It goes something like this: “You know, it’s not that easy to herd cats in this industry and these guys have been very valuable in serving as a voice for such a diverse community. At the end of the day, none of the leading entrepreneurs have time to do much advocacy work outside of their own companies, and the Bitcoin Foundation is crucial in promoting investment in the Bitcoin core technology. It’s easy to criticize them — and look, they’ve definitely made some mistakes — but like most non-profits, these guys are underpaid, overworked and only get criticism, never praise.” The more you say this, the truer it sounds. (See TBI, March 2014, for why this is ironic.)
10) Rehearse this phrase or some close iteration of it.
"Ethereum is really interesting, but it just seems like they will have an uphill battle to beat out Bitcoin innovations like side chains and tree chains given Bitcoin’s network effects."***
If you want to immediately be deified like a core developer, state this with confidence and maintain eye contact with your listener during cocktail hour, then just shake hands and walk away. This is a newb trump card, and it sounds smart on so many levels that you will leave your audience with no choice but to admire your crypto fluency. Uttering this phrase without stammering usually comes with an admission ticket to any conference VIP after-party you’d like. (I usually just use one of my several aliases, until one of them is on the list.)
Good luck!
*Still trying to make it.
**There are actually a surprising number of former and current pick-up artists in bitcoin. No joke. (I’m not one of them.)
***Full disclosure: I have said this verbatim and still don’t know what it means. But it sounds smart.
submitted by twobitidiot to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

2015 A year of Destruction, Growth or Moon. Let's see how everyone's predictions from the beginning of the year panned out!

Well, it's been a tumultuous year. But let us reflect and find out who was right, who was wrong, and who is poor. Since I'm banned from the old sub I can't post there so I'm doing it here. The old thread contained some pretty good predictions. I myself made some pretty thorough, and specific predictions to add some spice, I offer a copy here for everyone to critique, so let's see how I went...
Here's my predictions post from the beginning of the year
Well, my 2014 prediction was pretty obvious and a bit boring so I'll try to be a little more creative this time around. I'm going to spice it up with several predictions just to make it interesting. Keep in mind this is purely speculative prediction.
Controversy Front:
Nailed it.
Kinda nailed it? Banks certainly are on the doorstep of doing stuff like this, Ukraine etc. and "blockchain" technology certainly is big right now. I may have been a little early though.
No dice, seems that these little piggy banks are not ripe enough for acquisition just yet....
Legal Front:
Sorry guys, dropped the ball on this one. My prediction is bad, and I should feel bad. Though the sliver lining is that countries and states are definitely building legal frameworks to accommodate Bitcoin, and other cryptos so it wasn't a totally bad prediction, just the bitlicense bit.
sigh... On the upside GBTC is going swimmingly and at least the Winklevii have their Gemini exchange up and going. God knows when their etf is ever going to fly though.
Called it.
...The ATO will start pursuing people that conduct business in Bitcoin without declaring tax as tax evaders and will waste money and resources pursuing individuals/businesses that don't disclose Bitcoin commerce or retain the double GST for Bitcoin related sales. Ironically the cause of this this will be the result of their own idiotic rulings in the previous year. The ATO will be left red faced, and some Australian politicians will begin to craft legislation to recategorise Bitcoin as a currency, as it should have been originally.
Ok that didn't quite happen AFAIK there's been no crackdown, but I do remember that senate hearings or meetings were in place to legislate the legality of Bitcoin as a currency. I guess time will tell.
The Usability Front:
Still not there, but the number of other hardware wallets has definitely increased substantially, with even more on the horizon so here's hoping that next year we'll see ubiquitous and universal compatibility among more hardware wallets.
The Core software Front:
If only, sidechains was not the star this year, and we all know why too...
FYI, there was absolutely ZERO noise about the block increase when I made this prediction, so I'm going to say that I nailed the specifics, but I obviously was NOT prepared for monumental clusterfuck shitfest that Blockstream, Core and their little cliquey circle was going to unleash onto the general community. Nor did I anticipate how the miners would reel in horror at what should have been fairly straightforward upgrade that even now, seems quite rational and acceptable. It's obvious now that there was a huge amount of hidden resentment and resistance to any block increase by many devs and other members in the community, so in retrospect the years of stalling makes far more sense now. At the very least I'm just glad their true colors are out in the open for everyone to see, rather than hidden behind excuses, lies, and half truths.
Other likely developments:
Another missed opportunity. At least OB is still going strong and hasn't fizzled like some other projects. Keep up the great work Open Bazaar devs!
Nailed it. :) For people that don't agree, all I have to say is this, "blockchain technology" ;).
I guess I far too optimistic :), looks like these dinosaurs still have some fight in them left. Though Europe and the Greek crisis did almost happen, so I only just narrowly missed calling a huge financial catastrophe this year. Doesn't mean it isn't going to happen, just not this year I guess.
And finally, price:
Goddamnit. Oh well, I guess it's understandable now that the blocksize issue has been completely blown out of proportion and turned the entire ecosystem on it's head.
All in all I think I did pretty damn well considering. I reckon if the move to increase the blocksize had gone according to BIP101, we would have seen a far more positive end of year though. The controversy has almost certainly taken the wind out of the innovation sails so to speak as it's clear in my predictions that I expected things to have moved along far more than it has.
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