The Two Crypto Economies

Bitcoin has always been hard to understand. Even Satoshi, its author, complained about that. The problem isn’t so much its complexity, but its newness – there’s really almost nothing to compare it to. Having nothing to compare to is also a problem related to the prices of Bitcoin and the other cryptos. We’ve never seen currencies start from nothing and grow into serious players. We’ve always had silver and gold, …

Our Moment at the Crossroads

Earlier this year I wrote an email to several friends, describing my feelings upon arriving at a crossroads for myself and my work. Surprisingly, nearly all of them wrote back that they were feeling the same thing. And so I think a lot of us have arrived at some type of crossroads lately. Why Now? How and why we feel to be at a crossroads is a very personal thing …

The ECB and the Feds Are Treating Bitcoin Very Differently

Having been involved with digital currencies for quite a long time, I get more information on the subject than most people, and that includes information on what regulators are doing. I’ve been seeing differing strategies among the central banks for some time. But some information I obtained recently made the Euro–American difference very plain to me, and I think I should pass it along. The US Model It seems to …

An Interview on Technology and Choice

Here’s an interview Paul did with John Ferguson of Technology & Choice last week, carried on the Let’s Talk Bitcoin network.

Why We’ll Win

A free, post-scarcity world will not be prevented by archaic systems scratching and clawing to retain their domination. We will evolve freely, unburdened by an unfortunate past. This will happen, and today I’m going to tell you why. But more than that, I want you to understand that we deserve to win, and that the future – the world of our children, grandchildren, and so on – very much needs …

The True Vision of Satoshi Nakamoto

I had planned to write about the philosophy of Satoshi Nakamoto, based upon his writings. Recently, however, I’ve heard about food fights in the Bitcoin Cash camp, centering on “Satoshi’s Vision.” One thing I’m certain about is that Satoshi would not want to be the subject of fights.

Bitcoin and the Beatles

I’ve been involved with cryptography since the mid-1990s. That’s when I had my “aha” moment and realized that cryptography creates a terra nova the lords of force can’t penetrate. Progress, however, was disturbingly slow. We had great ideas, brilliant people, and even some impressive projects. But nothing really stuck. Disheartened, most of us gave up on our world-changing dreams. Then, to our great surprise, Bitcoin stuck. And now, finally, I’m …

Bitcoin and the Power Grid

“Bitcoin is evil” articles exist in profusion, and these days I pretty much ignore them. But one of the recent types – raising awareness of Bitcoin’s environmental unsustainability – has engaged me. As it turns out, I have an unusual background to bring to this topic, and I think I should contribute. So, here we go: Another Apocalypse? Let’s be honest and admit that most of the “environmental movement” sells …

ROSC 19: Back to the Shadows

I got a strange phone call the other day. The person on the other end played like it was a wrong number, asking for Angie something, but they were listening to my voice way too closely. What they were doing, I was pretty certain, was to see if it was really me using the phone billed to me. The next day, I stopped by Jay’s Bar*, partly because I was …

ROSC 17: The Rise of the Elderly

Under the mindset of the factory era, old people were expected to move quietly to the side after they stopped working. From there they were to quietly dote on grandchildren, then get sick and die. That, however, has changed. For one thing, people are living longer and retaining their health into advanced ages. Also, old people never really were fit to be pushed off the stage. Certainly old people tend …

The Essential Goodness of the Crypto Community

Quite a few people have been complaining about the cryptocurrency community lately. And to be fair, they have legitimate reasons: Many get-rich-quickers, corporate sellouts, and outright scammers have shown up recently. But it’s far too easy for us to focus on the malicious and the misguided. The bulk of the crypto community are decent people, even if they’re unsure of the best paths forward. (No surprise in that, with perfect …

ROSC 16: Rebels with Full Bellies

Thank God for experience. Last week we had another of our meetings at Jay’s bar, and it almost turned into a disaster. Only long experience saved it. Everything was proceeding nicely until I saw my old friend Martin walking up to the bar with a man who creeped me out. This guy was perfectly attired and wore the same type of overcoat I used to see in and around power …

Is Bitcoin “Bigger than General Electric”?

I’ve seen a lot of headlines like these lately, and so I’ll take a moment to point out how wrong-minded they are. To compare Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) to a company is just wrong. As I keep saying, Bitcoin is not an investment. That is, It’s not a share of ownership in a corporation, like a stock. It’s not a promise of debt repayment, like a bond. Bitcoin is a …

ROSC 15: Building Ourselves a City

Theorizing is one thing; doing is quite another. No matter how good you think your theories are, applying them to the real world is always a revelation. More than that, actually doing is far more fun that theorizing. And right now hundreds of thousands of young people (and a lot of older ones too) are building the economy of the future. It’s a magnificent thing to be part of. The …

Advice To Bitcoiners Who Are Finding Themselves Rich

A lot of Bitcoiners are waking up to find themselves rich these days, and I suspect that most of them have little experience handling significant amounts of money. And so, having been around the block a few times, I think I should pass along some lessons. Shut your mouth. Seriously. Tell your spouse, of course, and if there’s someone else you trust deeply, but after that shut up. If asked …

ROSC 14: The Bitcoin House

It’s been a strange but recurring theme in my life that when a cluster of bad things hit, something good follows close behind. Often, I learn later that the good thing was initiating just as the bad things struck. But whatever that is and however it works, it happened to me again. There is currently so much going on that I barely know where to begin.

The Day Bitcoin Was Hacked

In the ninth year of Satoshi, at 9:30am UTC on a cold February morning, Bitcoin was hacked. The hacker (or hackers) found a way to take advantage of a command in Satoshi’s original code. Then, using some very impressive number-crunching power, they played man-in-the-middle and intercepted transactions as they approached the big Bitcoin miners.

If You Love Bitcoin, Promote Good Altcoins

Bitcoin spawns strong emotions in people, once they wrap their minds around it. And for good reason, of course: Bitcoin is the future, being born in our midst. One of the ways this goes off the rails, however, is when people think about Bitcoin in the old way. In particular, they think of the crypto-economy as if it were a zero-sum game. They fear the altcoins (Litecoin, Ethereum and the …

ROSC 4: The Sanitarium

When I walked into our latest TCM lunch, I saw a few new members, two of whom were young women. That made me feel good, because there had been a flaw in most 20th century liberty movements, in that they never drew many women. Liberation movements of the past featured lots of women, many of whom showed more courage than the men. So, I took it as a healthy sign …

The Rise of the Superfluous Class, Part 2

You’ve gotta love serious people. “Dan,” my new friend from the superfluous class, showed up to Jay’s precisely on time. And he didn’t waste my time with a confirmation call; he just did what he said. We walked in together. I greeted Michele (again, that’s mi-KEL-ay, the Italian version of Michael), who pointed to his largest table. By the time we sat, he was on his way over with a …