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100 Reasons to Buy Bitcoin

  1. Bitcoin is the most censorship resistant money in the world.
  2. You don't have to buy a “whole” bitcoin so don't freak out if you look at the price. You can buy a piece of one no problem.
  3. The Dallas Mavericks accept Bitcoin on their website. You don't trust Mark Cuban. He's the best shark.
  4. Bitcoin is the best performing asset of the last decade (better than S&P500).
  5. Diversify your current portfolio.
  6. It's not illegal in the USA.
  7. You holding just one satoshi slightly limits the supply and can rise the price for everyone else.
  8. [In late 2019] hash rate is the highest it has ever been
  9. Suicide insurance; if Bitcoin rises in price there is no worse feeling than regret.
  10. Some of the smartest people in computer science and cryptography are working on it. Trust nerds.
  11. Look at the all time historical chart. No technical analysis just tell me what you think when you look at it.
  12. Money is a belief system... and I want to believe.
  13. Transparent ledger, no funny business going on it's easy to audit.
  14. Elon Musk appears to be a fan. How's that for an appeal to authority
  15. There is a fixed limit in the number of bitcoins that will exist. 21 million bitcoin, 7 billion people on earth. Do the math.
  16. There are so many examples of governments inflating their currency to the point where it becomes unusable. Read the wikipedia page for Venezuela or Zimbabwe.
  17. Altcoins make sacrifices in either security or centralization. There are altcoins out there that claim to be innovating but just check the scoreboard nothing has flipped Bitcoin in market value or even gotten close.
  18. With technology developing at a rate faster than law, governments and for-profit businesses have the ability to monitor our purchases, location, our habits, and all of this has happened without consent. People made jokes and conspiracy theory, but sometimes conspiracy is real. Most people are good, but there is absolutely evil out there. There are absolutely evil people in positions of power. There are absolutely evil people that work together in positions of power. Does anyone actually believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide. Go read about Leslie Wexner. Go read the cypherpunk manifesto.
  19. The upcoming halvening in 2020 will reduce the number of Bitcoin created in each block, making them more scarce, and if history repeats more valuable.
  20. Bitcoin has lower fees than traditional banking.
  21. Gold has the advantage of being a physical thing. But unlike gold you know Bitcoin is not forged, or mixed with another metal, and you can easily break it into tiny pieces and send it over the internet to someone.
  22. Bitcoin could spark new interests maybe you start to read more into economics, computer science, or Brock Pierce.
  23. Bitcoin has survived with no leader, marketing team, public relations, or legal team.
  24. Because Wired magazine said Bitcoin was dead at $2, Forbes said it was dead at $15, NY Times at $208, and CNN at $333.
  25. Just do a cost benefit analysis. What happens if Bitcoin fails and it goes to zero vs. what happens if it succeeds, and becomes world money.
  26. Bitcoin encourages long term thinking, planning, saving. Due to inflation we are punished by holding on to cash. Look up the statistics on the average savings account while we are bombarded with consumerist bullshit like Funko pop heads, Loot crate subscription services, and new syrup flavors for coffee. Currently we are encouraged to spend now, seek immediate gratification, and ignore what we are becoming as Amazon picks out our clothes and toothpaste ships it to the house and we sit and watch streaming services where content is pushed to us and I'm supposed to buy that this garbage is actually “trending”. Our lives have become so comfortable that idiots spend $60 to escape a room and have someone take your picture when you get out. What would our ancestors think.
  27. Maybe you're a day trader looking to use a trading bot in an unregulated market.
  28. Bitcoin has 7 letters in it. Lucky number 7.....
  29. Bitcoin promises to bank the unbanked, and provide services to those not otherwise “qualified” to open a bank account.
  30. It's just cool, don't you want to seem smart to all your friends.
  31. The origin story is so nuts there's going to be a movie or several movies about the early days of Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto remains anonymous to this day. Imagine if the inventor of the cell phone was anonymous.
  32. If you have money to burn, don't buy soda, weed, or some girls private snapchat it's a dead end put it towards Bitcoin and give it to your child in the future.
  33. To avoid getting ripped off by foreign exchange fees just because you were born one place and your friends were born in another place.
  34. Can't live off the grid in your log cabin and still use Mastercard. Bitcoin is one piece of opting out.
  35. If one country adopts BTC as the national currency, it doesn't take much thought to realise that others will follow.
  36. Join a welcoming and unique community. Everyone is super nice because they want your money.
  37. You can stick it to the baby boomers.
  38. You can stick it to the vegans.
  39. You can stick it Roger Ver.
  40. Maybe your IQ is 70 and you'll do whatever CNBC Fast Money recommends.
  41. Maybe a hacker infects your computer, records you doing that thing, and threatens to release the tape if you do not pay them 1.5 Bitcoin.
  42. You're a risk taker looking for some risky investment.
  43. Aliens attack like Independence Day, blow up major cities in major countries, your money is still safe with Bitcoin. As long as there is a some guy, some person, living on an island with a copy of the ledger out there on your'e good. We're all good.
  44. Many proposals to scale the number of transactions, may the best plan win.
  45. One day you might have to use BTC to pay taxes, buy food, and charge your Tesla.
  46. You want to support a political group and remain private.
  47. You can trust math more than you can trust people to set an emission rate.
  48. Government don't know how much you have.
  49. The first response to Bitcoin being published by Hal Finney stated that Bitcoin was positioned to reach million dollar valuation. Hal was the first bull and passed away in 2014, missing a lot #doitforHal.
  50. Baddies can't freeze your money if they mad at you.
  51. The Big Bang Theory mentioned it, maybe you want to be like Sheldon the bazinga guy.
  52. Mid-life crisis.
  53. Be contrarian. In a world where everyone zigs it's sometimes good to zag.
  54. Don't have any hobbies, and you just need a reason to get up in the morning.
  55. Enjoy learning? Bitcoin is a topic where there is so much to learn, and so much development, that it really becomes a never ending journey. For someone who likes learning, it's more productive than speedrunning a video game.
  56. Yolo. You only live once. This isn't a dress rehearsal, if there's something your kind of interested in pursue it. That's true for anything not just Bitcoin. But if you're reading this I'm assuming you're interested.
  57. Bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme. The difference is Bitcoin does not need new people buying in to work, blocks being added will continue even if the community stopped growing.
  58. With religion on the decline maybe you want to join a cult. Crypto twitter is a great echo chamber to meet like minded people.
  59. Satoshi Nakamoto found a way to distribute a global currency in a fair way with the ability to adjust the mining difficulty as we go, it's really incredible. You still need computers and electricity to mine new bitcoin today but it's an extremely fair way for people to earn. There was no premine of Bitcoin. Everyone who has Bitcoin either bought it at what the market said, or they earned it.
  60. No CEO in charge of Bitcoin to make bad decisions or a board of directors that can make changes. The users, an ever growing number, are in charge.
  61. Bitcoin has no days off, it has no workers in charge who can get sick or take a holiday.
  62. Bitcoin has survived 10 years (and more). While there will always be dangers, I'd argue that those first few years it was most vulnerable to fail.
  63. Have some trust in the cypherpunks. Anyone who held and didn't sell bitcoin as it went from pennies to five figures is not looking to get rich. They want to change the world.
  64. Potential president Tulsi Gabbard disclosed owning some.
  65. Digital money is the future, anyone who has tried Venmo can see that. Well Bitcoin is a digitally native asset.
  66. Refugees can use Bitcoin to store their wealth as they flee a failing country.
  67. Bitcoin is an open source project. Anthony Pompliano likes to call it a virus but I like how the author of the Bitcoin Standard describes it. Bitcoin is like a song. As long as one person remembers it you can't destroy a song.
  68. Triple entry accounting. When humans first started recording who owes who what we had single-entry accounting. The king's little brother would keep everything written down, but we had to really trust this guy because he could simply erase a line and that money would be gone. When double-entry accounting started to spread 500 years ago it brought with it massive innovation. Businesses could now form relationships across the ocean as they each kept a record. We did not have innovation again until Satoshi's Bitcoin, where blockchain can be used as the neutral third party to keep record. It might not sound important but blockchain allows us to agree upon an objective reality.
  69. Bitcoin is non-political.
  70. Bitcoin is easy to accept. I mean kind of. It's certainly easier than setting up a bank account.
  71. A sandwich used to cost 10 cents in America, I walk into Subway and they don't even have $5 foot longs anymore. Inflation man..
  72. It's a peaceful protest.
  73. Critics say that mining wastes electricity, but if Bitcoin adoption continues the world will actually be incentivized to produce more renewable energy. There are so many waterfalls and sources of energy in the middle of nowhere right now. People might not see a reason to build a power plant over there now, but in the future it can make business sense. Take that waterfall mine bitcoin, and sell them to the people who can't mine. It allows for a business to sell their energy anywhere.
  74. Get into debates around Bitcoin, build those critical thinking skills.
  75. “Predicting rain doesn't count, building arks does”
  76. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”
  77. "I never considered for one second having anything to do with it. I detested it the moment it was raised. It’s just disgusting. Bitcoin is noxious poison.”
  78. The immaculate conception. No cryptocurrency can have a start the grassroots way Bitcoin did, it's just impossible given how the space has changed.
  79. There are more than 1000x more U.S. dollars today than there were a hundred years ago.
  80. Bitcoin is the largest transfer of wealth this decade from the least curious to the curious.
  81. The concept of the Star Wars Cantina, Galt's Gulch, or young Beat Generation kids sitting in a basement smoking cigarettes and questioning the world can only exist if money remains fungible.
  82. You can send money to your Dad even if he lives in a country run by bad boys.
  83. Memorize your key, and walk around the world carrying your money in your head.
  84. Free speech.
  85. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9JGmA5_unYGmA5_unY
  86. The Federal Reserve is objectively way too powerful.
  87. John Mcafe promised that if bitcoins were not valued at 1 million dollars by the end of 2020 he would eat his own penis on national television. It will be a sad day if we don't hit that 1 million.
  88. The Apple credit card.
  89. If we ever get artificial intelligence it'll be able to interact with Bitcoin.
  90. Katy Perry is aware of crypto so if by some chance you run into her, you get one chance to strike up conversation, so here's your chance to shine. You don't ask for a picture, you don't say she's pretty, or name your favorite song. Take your shot and ask about what type of cold storage she uses for her bitcoin.
  91. Many people are afraid of a world currency because it's associated with a centralized world power taking control. Bitcoin allows for neutral world money.
  92. Stick it to Mark Zuckerberg.
  93. Developers developers developers developers developer developers.
  94. About 85% of the supply has already been mined.
  95. Bitcoin can always improve. As long as the proposal is really good the code can be upgraded, and if the baddies invent ways to hurt the chain we can just fork off it's just code.
  96. Memes
  97. Name recognition and momentum above all other cryptocurrencies.
  98. 3% discount with Bitcoin at Crescent Tide Cremation Services. Nice cant wait to die.
  99. Like having a swiss bank account in your pocket.
  100. Blow up the banks (in minecraft).
submitted by Th3M0rn1ng5h0w to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

Why public blockchains like BTC/ETH/most Alts should be avoided in favor of privacy protecting ones like Monero

I have been in the cryptocurrency market for quite some time, and I must say that the way business has conducted has changed in many ways from the good ol' days of wild west. In light of these changes, I feel like we have taken a dangerous route in the blockchain arena, and it is even more important to educate the new people who are entering the cryptocurrency arena for amazing price gains.
A number of new people who have entered always want to catch the new Bitcoin at a few cents in order to make to 1000X gains, and often do not think about the consequences of their actions. I fear that they might loose all their money, not because of price crash but because of something even more dangerous.
Before I proceed, I would like to present the state of crypto market back in 2014-2016.
Because of the way the people acted it was often said Bitcoin is anonymous and cannot be tracked and is only used by criminals. However, the truth cannot farther than this brainwashing statement that governments have given you. Because of which now citizens of most countries almost willingly without thinking give their whole life's information, because they are fooled into believing that privacy is only important to someone who has to hide. If you live in any democratic country, please open up the constitution of your country, and in almost every country privacy is a basic human right. There is a reason why it is in the constitution and not in the laws, because the writers of the constitution learned that governments never keep to their word, and there must be a way to prevent governments from changing certain sect of laws (which we call constitution).
Because the governments couldn't change privacy laws, to do surveillance of citizens, they had to use another approach - make them give their own data, by brainwashing them. I have a term for it opt in surveillance where the host willingly allows the attacker to surveil them. Until as recently 1990's people would freak out if their homes were tapped, or they were being followed everywhere with a guard appointment by the government. You might not ask the question why, because it has probably been taught by society and parents as second nature to us as we grow. The reason is our old war history, not because of the society. This what governments never want to share with you. This is what was done in many countries during the scary war times of World War 1, and World War 2, especially in Europe, with the most prominent one being in Germany. What is even more hidden is that it started in the beginning with all the good intentions of taking care of the citizens from criminals (which we call today terrorists), and slowly started encroaching even more into people's privacy like knowing their personal information about whether they were Russians/Jews/Germans/Polish, their jobs (what professions they did), their education level etc (today's similar system would be Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, etc). Please visit any museum in Europe to research about it more. It then moved to money like finding from banks how much people earned, how much land they owned etc (today's equivalent of public blockchain). This is where I'm worried. In effect once public blockchains become ubiquitous, the safety mechanisms put in place via writing Constitution would be completely broken in every democratic society.
Now before anyone dismisses my argument, please read the full post below on why.
Crypto market Post mid 2017
Now I'll connect the future dots for you. Ethereum and most of the altcoins (most of them being ERC-20) are based on a public blockchain, where you see exactly which address owns how many Ethereum, altcoins, bitcoins, litecoin etc. You can find a rich list of every token, with the exception of Monero (XMR). You can see who sent how many Bitcoins, Ethereum, etc to each other.
Till now this was only addresses. This is what you call pseudo annonymity. It means only partial annonymity. Because although you can see the transaction, and the amounts, contract data, being executed on the blockchain, they are only linked to generated addresses from the seed (which itself is generated randomly).
There is a core reason why the seed was generated randomly. One reason is to ensure that your money doesn't get access to it, based on Mathematics of NP hard problem - it is easy to generate the public key from the private key (your seed), but computationally almost impossible to get the private key from the public key. Your Bitcoin address is generated from that. There is a reason why addresses were generated that way, and not aliases were used (something that people find so human readable and easy to use). While addresses are hard to remember, they served a huge purpose which is being defeated now - privacy of your identity.
Unfortunately because most people these days do KYC/AML or connect mnemonics or even email addresses and names to these addresses (as a feature of ease of use for general public), it is now trivial to keep track of every transaction of every person on the planet on every token purchase except Monero on every food item purchased on every hooker paid ever in life on every hotel room booked on every bottle of beer bought on every packet of cigarettes bought on every secret trip from your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend on every medicine bought on every illness you had before on every new item you clicked at on every idea you supported on every real estate apartment you/your family/your friends every bought on every cellphone call you made on how much you/your family/your friends have in wealth. Literally the whole life history of you, your wife, your husband, your kids, your parents, your friends.
And this is will be visible to any attacker once they gain control of your personally identifiable information by
Attack scenrios
Ironically the biggest advantage of public non-private blockchains is also their Achilles heel. While these blockchains bring transparency from the fact that you cannot manipulate the data on the blockchain, it also means you can NEVER EVER delete the data. This means once an identity has been attached to your address, you are forever traceable. For my EU friends, your right to forget and most of the GDPR laws, would effectively be worthless. No one can be prosecuted either, because no one owns the network, no one can shut the network. Even if you transfer funds to another address, that transaction will be visible on the blockchain.
I hope I explained it well, and people do start valuing their privacy for the sake of their friends (who could also be put unknowingly in danger by accepting money from their friends in crypto), their family, and themselves. If you really want to own crypto, prefer privacy coins over any publicly visible coin. Move to a private coin while you can. It might be that no one will want to buy those tainted coins.
Peace Out.
submitted by encryptedsatoshis to Monero [link] [comments]

What incentive is there to actually use cryptocurrency as a currency

I live in Europe. If I want to pay for something, I pop my card in the machine, type in the pin and it's paid in 2 seconds. It's accepted virtually everywhere. Likewise for rent, utilities, bills and so on, I can do direct-debit or log on and pay them via online banking. If I want to buy something online, it's the click of a button. In Europe, the fees are pretty low. On top of all that, it's nearly all insured, and if I make any mistake payments are reversible
In regards to crypto, even if it were accepted everywhere, and the payments were as fast (if not faster) and there was the same level of insurance and recourse..
I still wouldn't want to spend my crypto.
For a start, it's volatile. Everything would turn into price speculation, from the weekly shopping, to paying rent, to buying a car. Buy one day earlier, one day later, could be paying 25% more.
There's also the regret, if for example I bought a nice TV this time last year with Ripple, it would have cost me the equivalent of several hundred thousand Euros worth of Ripple today (if I didn't replace the Ripple afterwards)
Which brings me to another point. Crypto is basically an investment for most of us, like stocks/shares. It's value has (on aggregate) been rising. So if I did spend it, I'd want to replace it after..
Which means spending crypto on the thing I want, then quickly going to an exchange, send cash to that exchange (could be a day or two getting there), then rebuy the crypto on the exchange (exchange risk, price fluctuation risk)
Why would I do that when I can just use the cash to buy the item in seconds in the first place. Without having to wait days or having to take on exchange/price risk.
Everyone I know into crypto holds (or trades) it like a speculative asset. Several of them have painful stories of spending e.g. 100's of Bitcoin on weed in the past and how much it would be worth now. However almost none of them ever express a need to spend it as a currency now (perhaps except for black market or novelty use)
I get that enthusiasts might want to spend their crypto on something, it's a novelty, it's cool to buy e.g. a second hand bike from someone paying with crypto
However, if these coins don't lose their volatility and risk, then the public are unlikely to want to use them as currencies..
And if the public don't want to use them as currencies, then acceptance by retailers will likely be as it is now - sparse
neither am I seeing the incentive for anyone in my family, my friends, my colleagues to use cryptos as a currency, when they can so much more easily use cash instead. I get that transfers can be faster, but later this year, European banks are trialing almost instant SEPA transfers with very low fees.
Perhaps if they got paid in crypto they would be more incentivized to use it.. but then the value would be highly volatile, which opens up nightmare scenarios of people not being able to cover basic bills and rent because there's been another significant crash in the market
Which in turn opens up even more questions about how the public could be protected from economic crashes or run-away inflation (or high deflation) if it were used on a national scale - but that's for another debate
The tech, blockchain, distributed ledger, decentralization, etc are fantastic.. will be great for business, streamlining industry, Fintech..
But I see little incentive to use what are essentially volatile speculative digital assets as a currency. And that's not even to touch on the technical issues, forks (another big gorilla in the room), significant bugs and all those associated risks
Just about anything can be used as a type of money (e.g. cigarettes in prison), and technically crypto can be great as a "type" of money. But that doesn't mean it's good as a currency. As something we want to spend.
TLDR; even if crypto is as convenient and accepted as cash is now, why would the public (outside of black market and niche use) want to spend it when it's volatile and it's value rises faster than the rate of inflation
submitted by hsloan82 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS, the central bank of central banks) on Cryptocurrencies today

I'd like to hear your thoughts on his lecture held today at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.
Read the full transcript here or via pdf link. https://www.bis.org/speeches/sp180206.pdf
1/10 Money in the digital age: what role for central banks? Lecture by Agustín Carstens General Manager, Bank for International Settlements House of Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt, 6 February 2018
Introduction Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for that kind introduction, Jens. I am very happy to be here at this prestigious university and to be part of this impressive lecture series sponsored by Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe (SAFE), the Center for Financial Studies (CFS) and the Deutsche Bundesbank. I would also like to thank Professor Brigitte Haar for being such a generous host today. It is an honour to discuss money at an event organised by the Bundesbank, which has been a beacon of stability since its foundation some 60 years ago. As Jens can attest, being a central banker is a fascinating job. In fact, it is a privilege. During the last decade it has been anything but quiet in the central banking world. We have been confronted with extraordinary circumstances that have required extraordinary policy responses. In such an environment, it has been of the utmost importance to share experiences and lessons learnt among central banks, creating a body of knowledge that will be there for the future. One of the reasons that central bank Governors from all over the world gather in Basel every two months is precisely to discuss issues at the front and centre of the policy debate. Following the Great Financial Crisis, many hours have been spent discussing the design and implications of, for example, unconventional monetary policies such as quantitative easing and negative interest rates. Lately, we have seen a bit of a shift, to issues at the very heart of central banking. This shift is driven by developments at the cutting edge of technology. While it has been bubbling under the surface for years, the meteoric rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led us to revisit some fundamental questions that touch on the origin and raison d’être for central banks: • What is money? • What constitutes good money, and where do cryptocurrencies fit in? • And, finally, what role should central banks play? The thrust of my lecture will be that, at the end of the day, money is an indispensable social convention backed by an accountable institution within the State that enjoys public trust. Many things have served as money, but experience suggests that something widely accepted, reliably provided and stable in its command over goods and services works best. Experience has also shown that to be credible, money requires institutional backup, which is best provided by a central bank. While central banks’ actions and services will evolve with technological developments, the rise of cryptocurrencies only highlights the important role central banks have played, and continue to play, as stewards of public trust. Private digital tokens posing as currencies, such as bitcoin and other crypto-assets that have mushroomed of late, must not endanger this trust in the fundamental value and nature of money.
What is money? “What is money?” is obviously a key question for any central banker, and one on which economists have spent much ink. The answer depends on how deep and philosophical one wants to be. Being at a university, especially one named after Goethe, I think I can err on the side of being philosophical. Conventional wisdom tells you that “money is what money does”.1 That is, money is a unit of account, a means of payment and a store of value. But telling you what something does does not really tell you what it is. And it certainly does not tell you why we need or have money, how it comes about and what the preconditions are for it to exist. In terms of the “need” for money, you may learn that money is a way to get around the general lack of double coincidence of wants. That is, it is rare that I have what you want and you have what I want at the same time. As barter is definitely not an efficient way of organising an economy, money is demanded as a tool to facilitate exchange. What about the other side of the coin, so to speak? How does money come about? Again, conventional wisdom may tell you that central banks provide money, ie cash (coins and notes), and commercial banks supply deposits. But this answer is often not fully satisfactory, as it does not tell why and how banks should be the one to “create” money. If you venture into more substantive analyses on monetary economics, things get more complex. One theory, which proposes that “money is memory”, amounts to arguing that a “superledger” can facilitate exchange just like money. This argument says a ledger is a way of keeping track of not only who has what but also who owes, and is owed, what. I will come back to this later. Moving beyond this line of thought, other scholarly and historical analyses provide answers that are more philosophical. These often amount to “money is a convention” – one party accepts it as payment in the expectation that others will also do so.2 Money is an IOU, but a special one because everyone in the economy trusts that it will be accepted by others in exchange for goods and services. One might say money is a “we all owe you”. Many things have served as money in this way. Figure 1 gives some examples: Yap stones, gold coins, cigarettes in war times, $100,000 bills, wissel (Wechsel), ie bills of exchange or bearer notes, such as those issued by the Bank of Amsterdam in the first half of the 17th century. It includes an example from my own country, Aztec hoe (or axe) money, a form of (unstamped) money made of copper used in central Mexico and parts of Central America. 1 See J Hicks, Critical essays in monetary theory, 1979. 2 See D Lewis, Convention: a philosophical study, 1969.
Common to most of these examples is that the nominal value of the items that have served at one time as money is unrelated to their intrinsic value. Indeed, as we know very well in the case of fiat money, the intrinsic value of most of its representations is zero. History shows that money as a convention needs to have a basis of trust, supported by some form of institutional arrangement.3 As Curzio Giannini puts it: “The evolution of monetary institutions appears to be above all the fruit of a continuous dialogue between economic and political spheres, with each taking turns to create monetary innovations … and to safeguard the common interest against abuse stemming from partisan interests.”4 Money can come in different institutional forms and colours. How to organise them? The paper by Bech and Garratt in last September’s BIS Quarterly Review presented the money flower as a way of organising monies in today’s environment.5 It acknowledges that money can take on rather different forms and be supplied in various ways. The money flower Allow me to explain, noting that we do not sell seeds to this money flower! 3 Fiat means “by law“. So, in principle, it should be said that money exists by convention or by law. But if trust in money does not prevail, the legal mandate that conveys value to money becomes meaningless. 4 C Giannini, The age of central banks, 2011. 5 M Bech and R Garratt, “Central bank cryptocurrencies”, BIS Quarterly Review, September 2017, pp 55–70.
The money flower highlights four key properties on the supply side of money: the issuer, the form, the degree of accessibility and the transfer mechanism. • The issuer can be either the central bank or “other”. “Other” includes nobody, that is, a particular type of money that is not the liability of anyone. • In terms of the form it takes, money is either electronic or physical. • Accessibility refers to how widely the type of money is available. It can either be wide or limited. • Transfer mechanism can either be a central intermediary or peer-to-peer, meaning transactions occur directly between the payer and the payee without the need for a central intermediary. Let us look at where some common types of money fit into the flower, starting with cash (or bank notes) as we know it today. Cash is issued by the central bank, is not electronic, is available to everyone and is peer-to-peer. I do not need a trusted third party such as Jens to help me pay each of you 10 euros. Let us try another one: bank deposits. They are not the liability of the central bank, mostly electronic, and in most countries available to most people, but clearly not peer-to-peer. Transferring resources from a bank deposit requires the involvement of at least your own bank, perhaps the central bank and the recipient’s bank. Think here not only of commercial bank deposits but also bills, eg non-interest bearing (bearer) certificates, issued privately, as in the case of the Bank of Amsterdam mentioned earlier. Local or regional currencies are the ones that can be spent in a particular geographical location at participating organisations. They tend to be physical. The túmin, for example, was a local currency circulating (illegally) for some time around 2010 exclusively in the Mexican municipality of Espinal. What does digitalisation mean for the flower? Digitalisation is nothing new: financial services and most forms of money have been largely digital for many years. Much of the ongoing transformation is just adding a mobile version for many services, which means that the device becomes a virtual extension of the institution. As such, there is not a new model. The money flower then also easily accommodates these forms.
That is also the case for the digital, account-based forms of money that central banks traditionally have made available to commercial banks and, in some instances, to certain other financial or public institutions (ie bank reserves). It would also be the case if the central bank were to issue digital money to the wider public for general purposes. Each central bank will have to make its own decision on whether issuing digital money is desirable, after considering factors such as the structure of the financial system and underlying preferences for privacy. The central bank community is actively analysing this issue. A potentially important and leapfrogging digital-related development, however, is distributed ledger technology (DLT), the basis for Bitcoin. Many think DLT could transform financial service provision, maybe first wholesale, then possibly retail. For example, it could enhance settlement efficiency involving securities and derivatives transactions. A few central banks have conducted experiments in this area, for example the Bank of Canada, the Bundesbank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Bank of England.6 Yet doubts remain regarding the maturity of DLT and the size of associated efficiency gains relative to existing technologies. Moreover, their robustness, including to cyber-risk, is still to be fully understood and ascertained. Still, there are potential benefits, and I expect that central banks will remain engaged on this topic.7 For now, DLT is largely used to “create” bitcoin and other digital currencies. Such cryptocurrencies can be placed easily in the money flower. Nobody issues them, they are not physical and they are peer-to-peer. But beyond that, how should one think about them? What constitutes good money? Just because we are able to find a place for bitcoin in our money flower does not mean we should consider it as “good” money. As I mentioned before, trust is the fundamental tenet that underpins credible currencies, and this trust has to be earned and supported. There are many lessons from history and institutional economics on the earning of trust that we can use as we move further into digitalisation.8 Over the ages, many forms of private money have come and gone. It is fair to say that the same has happened with various experiments with public money (that is, money issued by a public entity that is not the central bank). While some lasted longer than others, most have invariably given way to some form of central bank money. The main reason for their disappearance is that the “incentives to cheat” are simply too high. Let me give three historical examples: one in Germany, another in the United States and the last one in Mexico. In Germany, the Thirty Years War (1618–48), involving small German states of the Holy Roman Empire and neighbouring regional powers, was associated with one of the most severe economic crises ever recorded, with rampant hyperinflation – just as happened three centuries later during the Weimar Republic – and the breakdown of trade and economic activity. The crisis became known as the Kipper- und Wipperzeit (the clipping and culling times), after the practice of clipping coins (shaving metal from their circumference) and sorting good coins from bad. This morning, we are launching a BIS Working Paper, by Professor Isabel Schnabel and BIS Economic Adviser Hyun Song Shin, which further details and explains this experience, as background to my speech. 6 See Bech and Garratt, op cit. 7 See Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, Distributed ledger technology in payment, clearing and settlement: an analytical framework, February 2017. 8 See D North, Institutions, institutional change and economic performance, 1990.
While episodes of currency debasement have occurred throughout history, this one stands out for two reasons. First is the severity of the crisis and its rapid regional spread. Debasement proceeded at such a pace that public authorities quickly lost control of the downward spiral. Second is how the debasement was brought under control. This occurred through standardisation of wholesale payments by public deposit banks, for example the Bank of Hamburg and the Bank of Amsterdam. These were in many ways examples of the precursors of modern central banks. As the working paper argues, monetary order could be brought to an otherwise chaotic situation by providing reliable payment means through precursors to central bank money, which at the end means the use of a credible institutional arrangement. In the period in the United States known as the Free Banking Era, from 1837 to 1863, many banks sprang up that issued currency with no oversight of any kind by the federal government.10 These so-called free bank notes did not work very well as a medium of exchange. Given that there were so many banks of varying reputations issuing notes, they sold at different prices in different places, making transactions quite complicated. And as supervision was largely absent, banks had limited restraint in issuing notes and did not back them up sufficiently with specie (gold or silver), thereby debasing their values. This era of “wildcat banking” ended up being a long and costly period of banking instability in the history of the US, with banking panics and major disruptions to economic activity. It was, after some further hiccups, followed by the establishment of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. Let me present a final example, from Mexican monetary history. A little known fact is that Mexico had the first series of hyperinflations at the beginning of the 20th century. My country had a revolution from 1910 to 1921, in which no central government existed in an effective way, with many factions fighting and disputing different territories. A winning faction would arrive in a territory, print its own money and make void previously issued cash. So different bills issued by different factions coexisted, leading to chaos and hyperinflation. To give you an idea of the disorder, in 2015 four trunks full of bills were returned to Mexico after having been appropriated by the US Navy in 1914, when the US occupied the port city of Veracruz. In the trunks, the Bank of Mexico discovered dozens of types of bills that the central bank had not even known existed.11 At the end of the conflict, a new constitution was drafted, having as a central article one which gave the Bank of Mexico the appropriate institutional framework, designating it the exclusive issuer of currency in the country. Once this was in place, hyperinflation ceased, illustrating the importance of controlling fiscal dominance (which tends to be the result of the abuse of publicly issued money). Based on these experiences, most observers, and I suspect all of you here, would agree that laissez-faire is not a good approach in banking or in the issuance of money. Indeed, the paradigm of strict bank regulation and supervision and central banks overseeing the financial and monetary system that has emerged over the last century or so has proven to be the most effective way to avoid the instability and high economic costs associated with the proliferation of private and public monies. 9 I Schnabel and H S Shin, “Money and trust: lessons from the 1620s for money in the digital age”, BIS Working Papers, no 698, February 2018. 10 See G Dwyer, “Wildcat banking, banking panics, and free banking in the United States”, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review, vol 81, nos 3–6, 1996; A Rolnick and W Weber, “New evidence of the free banking era”, The American Economic Review, vol 73, no 5, December 1983, pp 1080–91; and C Calomiris, “Banking crises yesterday and today”, Financial History Review, vol 17, no 1, 2010, pp 3–12. 11 See Bank of Mexico, “La SRE entregó al Banco de México un acervo de billetes de la época del porfiriato”, press release, 1 June 2015, www.banxico.org.mx/informacion-para-la-prensa/comunicados/billetes-y-monedas/billetes/%7B3A41E6F8-FBD8-2FA7-DA0B-66FCCE46430A%7D.pdf.
The unhappy experience with private forms of money raises deep questions about whether the proliferation of cryptocurrencies is desirable or sustainable. Even if the supply of one type of cryptocurrency is limited, the mushrooming of so many of them means that the total supply of all forms of cryptocurrency is unlimited. Added to this is the practice of “forking”, where an offshoot of an existing cryptocurrency can be conjured up from thin air. Given the experience with currency debasement that has peppered history, the proliferation of such private monies should give everyone pause for thought. I will return to this shortly. We have learned over the centuries that money as a social institution requires a solution to the problem of a lack of trust.12 The central banks that often emerged in the wake of the private and public money collapses may not have looked like the ones we have today, but they all had some institutional backing. The forms of this backing for their issuance of money have differed over time and by country.13 Commodity money has often been the start. History shows that gold and other precious metals stored in the vault with governance (and physical) safeguards can provide some assurance. Commodity money is not the only or necessarily sufficient mechanism. Often it also required a city-, state- or nation-provided charter, as with the emergence of giro banks in many European countries. Later, the willingness of central banks to convert money for gold at a fixed price (the gold standard) was the mechanism. Currency boards, where local money is issued one-to-one with changes in foreign currency holdings, can also work to provide credibility. The tried, trusted and resilient modern way to provide confidence in public money is the independent central bank. This means legal safeguards and agreed goals, ie clear monetary policy objectives, operational, instrument and administrative independence, together with democratic accountability to ensure broad-based political support and legitimacy. While not fully immune from the temptation to cheat, central banks as an institution are hard to beat in terms of safeguarding society’s economic and political interest in a stable currency. Where do cryptocurrencies fit in? One could argue that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ attractiveness lies in an intelligent application of DLT. DLT provides a method to broadcast transactions publicly and pseudonymously in a way that achieves in principle ledger immutability.14 Who would have thought that having people guessing solutions to what was described to me by a techie as the mathematical equivalent of mega-sudokus would be a way to generate consensus among strangers around the world through a proof of work? Does it thus provide a novel solution to the problem of how to generate trust among people who do not know each other? If DLT provides the potential for a superledger, could bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies then substitute for some forms of money?15 We do not have the full answers, but at this time the answer, also in the light of historical experiences, is probably a sound no, for many reasons. In fact, we are seeing the type of cracks and cheating that brought down other private currencies starting to appear in the House of Bitcoin. As an institution, Bitcoin has some obvious flaws. 12 See M King, “The institutions of monetary policy”, speech at the American Economic Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, 4 January 2004. 13 See Giannini, op cit. 14 See Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, op cit. 15 See N Kocherlakota, “Money is memory”, Journal of Economic Theory, vol 81, pp 232–51, 1998. In fact, he shows in a very stark setting that having a costless means to record the memory of all economic actors, both present and past, can do as much as money, and sometimes more. Conversely, money effectively functions as memory by providing an observable record of past transactions – that is, agents can tell whether a potential trader is running a current deficit or surplus with society by looking at the money balances that trader is carrying. The finding, however, is theoretical and not robust to slight changes in assumptions, including the risk of loss of data.
Debasement. As I mentioned, we may be seeing the modern-day equivalent of clipping and culling. In Bitcoin, these take the form of forks, a type of spin-off in which developers clone Bitcoin’s software, release it with a new name and a new coin, after possibly adding a few new features or tinkering with the algorithms’ parameters. Often, the objective is to capitalise on the public’s familiarity with Bitcoin to make some serious money, at least virtually. Last year alone, 19 Bitcoin forks came out, including Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Diamond. Forks can fork again, and many more could happen. After all, it just takes a bunch of smart programmers and a catchy name. As in the past, these modern-day clippings dilute the value of existing ones, to the extent such cryptocurrencies have any economic value at all. Trust. As the saying goes, trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair. Historical experiences suggest that these “assets” are probably not sustainable as money. Cryptocurrencies are not the liability of any individual or institution, or backed by any authority. Governance weaknesses, such as the concentration of their ownership, could make them even less trustworthy. Indeed, to use them often means resorting to an intermediary (for example, the bitcoin exchanges) to which one has to trust one’s money. More generally, they piggyback on the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system and on the trust that it provides. This reflects their challenge to establish their own trust in the face of cyber-attacks, loss of customers’ funds, limits on transferring funds and inadequate market integrity. Inefficiency. Novel technology is not the same as better technology or better economics. That is clearly the case with Bitcoin: while perhaps intended as an alternative payment system with no government involvement, it has become a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster. The volatility of bitcoin renders it a poor means of payment and a crazy way to store value. Very few people use it for payments or as a unit of account. In fact, at a major cryptocurrency conference the registration fee could not be paid with bitcoins because it was too costly and slow: only conventional money was accepted. To the extent they are used, bitcoins and their cousins seem more attractive to those who want to make transactions in the black or illegal economy, rather than everyday transactions. In a way, this should not be surprising, since individuals who massively evade taxes or launder money are the ones who are willing to live with cryptocurrencies’ extreme price volatility. In practice, central bank experiments show that DLT-based systems are very expensive to run and slower and much less efficient to operate than conventional payment and settlement systems. The electricity used in the process of mining bitcoins is staggering, estimated to be equal to the amount Singapore uses every day in electricity,16 making them socially wasteful and environmentally bad. Therefore, the current fascination with these cryptocurrencies seems to have more to do with a speculative mania than any use as a form of electronic payment, except for illegal activities. Accordingly, authorities are edging closer and closer to clamping down to contain the risks related to cryptocurrencies. There is a strong case for policy intervention. As now noted by many securities markets and regulatory and supervisory agencies, these assets can raise concerns related to consumer and investor protection. Appropriate authorities have a duty to educate and protect investors and consumers, and need to be prepared to act. Moreover, there are concerns related to tax evasion, money laundering and criminal finance. Authorities should welcome innovation. But they have a duty to make sure technological advances are not used to legitimise profits from illegal activities. 16 See Digiconomist, “Bitcoin energy consumption index”, digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption.
What role for the central bank? Central banks, acting by themselves and/or in coordination with other financial authorities like bank regulators and supervisors, ministries of finance, tax agencies and financial intelligence units, may also need to act, given their roles in providing money services and safeguarding money’s real value. Working with commercial banks, authorities have a part to play in policing the digital frontier. Commercial banks are on the front line since they are the ones settling trades, providing real liquidity, keeping exchanges going and interacting with customers. It is alarming that some banks have advertised “bitcoin ATMs” where you can buy and sell bitcoins. Authorities need to ensure commercial banks do not facilitate unscrupulous behaviours. Central banks need to safeguard payment systems. To date, Bitcoin is not functional as a means of payment, but it relies on the oxygen provided by the connection to standard means of payments and trading apps that link users to conventional bank accounts. If the only “business case” is use for illicit or illegal transactions, central banks cannot allow such tokens to rely on much of the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system and freeload on the trust that it provides. Authorities should apply the principle that the Basel Process has adhered to for years: to provide a level playing field to all participants in financial markets (banks and non-banks alike), while at the same time fostering innovative, secure and competitive markets. In this context, this means, among other things, ensuring that the same high standards that money transfer and payment service providers have to meet are also met by Bitcoin-type exchanges. It also means ensuring that legitimate banking and payment services are only offered to those exchanges and products that meet these high standards. Financial authorities may also have a case to intervene to ensure financial stability. To date, many judge that, given cryptocurrencies’ small size and limited interconnectedness, concerns about them do not rise to a systemic level. But if authorities do not act pre-emptively, cryptocurrencies could become more interconnected with the main financial system and become a threat to financial stability. Most importantly, the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies should not make us forget the important role central banks play as stewards of public trust. Private digital tokens masquerading as currencies must not subvert this trust. As history has shown, there simply is no substitute. Still, central banks are embracing new technologies as appropriate. Many new developments can help. For example, fintech and “techfin” – which refers to established technology platforms venturing into financial services. These are changing financial service provision in many countries, most clearly in payments, and especially in some emerging market economies (for example, China and Kenya). While they introduce the possibility of non-bank financial institutions introducing money-type instruments, which raises a familiar set of regulatory questions, they do present scope for many gains. Conclusion In conclusion, while cryptocurrencies may pretend to be currencies, they fail the basic textbook definitions. Most would agree that they do not function as a unit of account. Their volatile valuations make them unsafe to rely on as a common means of payment and a stable store of value. They also defy lessons from theory and experiences. Most importantly, given their many fragilities, cryptocurrencies are unlikely to satisfy the requirement of trust to make them sustainable forms of money. While new technologies have the potential to improve our lives, this is not invariably the case. Thus, central banks must be prepared to intervene if needed. After all, cryptocurrencies piggyback on the institutional infrastructure that serves the wider financial system, gaining a semblance of legitimacy from their links to it. This clearly falls under central banks’ area of responsibility. The buck stops here. But the buck also starts here. Credible money will continue to arise from central bank decisions, taken in the light of day and in the public interest. In particular, central banks and financial authorities should pay special attention to two aspects. First, to the ties linking cryptocurrencies to real currencies, to ensure that the relationship is not parasitic. And second, to the level playing field principle. This means “same risk, same regulation”. And no exceptions allowed.
submitted by stellan0r to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

EDCON: A Cryptofriendly Guide To Paris

where is the venue?

EDCON will take place at ESCP Paris the 17th and 18th February but you can come before and hang out with Asseth (see below "Meet blockchain minded people"). The campus address is 79 avenue de la république 75011 paris. Close subway stations are St Maur (line 3) and Ménilmontant (line 2), it is also close to the hub République (lines 3, 5, 8, 9 and 11).
For sightseeing in the neighborhood there is the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery with numerous celebrity tombstones ranging from the playwright Molière, to the economist Gustave de Molinari and the singer Jim Morrison.

where to eat

Farther away from the venue

Where to shop

Several shops are accepting Bitcoin in the Passage du Grand-Cerf.

Where to drink

Ménilmontant/Belleville

Travel guides usually describe these areas as "cosmopolitan and colorful," which basically means they're filled with Asian grocery stores and sports bars owned by immigrants. For the story, Fox News dubbed the place a “No Go Zone” before giving proper excuses. Everyone's realized they're the best place for cheap drinks and good atmosphere. On the Boulevard de Ménilmontant you'll easily find bars serving pints for €4.
CAFÉ CHERIE 44 Boulevard de la Villette, 75019 Friendly, cheap and cheerfull, with people in their thiriest and lots of students from abroad. The place hosts a “blind test” (music quiz) every Wednesday. Definitely a go to if you are in the neighborhood.

SentieEtienne Marcel

SOF'S BAR, 43 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002. The first place to accept Bitcoin and the beloved den of the cryptocommunity in Paris

Drugs (don't do)

Paris is no Amsterdam, the purchase of cannabis is punishable by a fine anywhere between €50 and €1,700. However, though the laws are strict, the police don't always enforce them. Often, they simply confiscate the gear. If that doens't stop you be aware that Drugs in Paris have a pretty unexceptional reputation and tend to be cut with all sorts of crap.

Alcohol:

It is ok to drink/buy drinks if you are 18 and over. Most of the places where you can have food also sells something to drink (wine or beer). You might think that being in France is a good opportunity to drink good wine and honestly it is, just don’t expect a random café or bar to sell quality wine see the “bar à vins” section of this guide instead. Anyway your best bet is usually to go for the beer or try the French beer mix: sour orange and beer “picon bière”. Drinking in the street is tolerated but people will probably look down on you. Being drunk in the street is quite tolerated as long as you don’t bother anyone, otherwise the Police can arrest you for “ivresse manifeste sur la voie publique” (obvious drunk behavior on the public street).

MAKING FRIENDS AND HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?

France as the rest of Europe is witnessing a rise of far right movements but Paris remains a very progressive town as all the big cities. Most of the people in Paris don’t care about races, religion and so on, but well, there are douchebags everywhere and Paris is no exception. Terrorist attacks have been a great trauma for the city and most of the people in their twenties or thirties have a link to a victim so it’s best to avoid the subject. Good conversation topics to break the ice are soccer, pollution, the political performance of François Hollande, and bad memories of taxi rides.

WHERE TO STAY

If you're planning on staying in Paris for more than three days, you'll probably turn to Airbnb rather than looking for a hotel. This is a wise decision, particularly when you consider how overpriced Parisian hotels are and that February is a school holiday so a lot of families are on vacation with their kids. The best neighborhood (cheapest) to head to is probably Charonne, especially if you're with a partner. It's one of the few areas that's both clean and located in Eastern Paris, which is where you want to be to find bars open after 7 PM and streets frequented by locals. If you are looking for flat mates you can certainly find some on our event slack (auto-invite).
If you really must stay in a hotel, les Piaules is both very cheap and close to the venue. For a more expensive and confy experience we suggest Le Citizen Hotel or basicly anything you can fin on booking.com

LGBT PARIS

Although it can depend on which neighborhood you're in, generally Paris is very welcoming for LGBT people, and it's very unlikely that you'll have any trouble for holding hands with your partner when you travel in the center (1-10th arrondissement). The most gay-friendly neighborhood is Le Marais (4th arrondissement), which is in the center of Paris.
There were a lot of people in France who were reluctant to legalize same-sex marriage, those people do not represent a majority in Paris. However, it is generally recommended to avoid any emotional demonstrations in the arrondissements of the north of Paris (17-20th arrondissements).

MEET BLOCKCHAIN MINDED PEOPLE

Asseth (Association Ethereum) is setting up meetups the days before EDCON for you to gather and meet other blockchain developpers. To get in touch with us:
Meetups are about to be announced for Monday 13th February (Start-ups from France and abroad), Tuesday 14th (Social drink and food + project presentations), Wednesday 15th (hands on Oraclize - bring your laptop!), and Thursday 16th (Panel Talk, "Computation above and beyond the blockchain").
La Maison du Bitcoin 35 Rue du Caire, 75002. The name speaks for itself, located in Central Paris, you can buy ETH or BTC there, it's also the home of the french start-up Ledger.

HOW TO AVOID TOURIST SCAMS

Scammers are everywhere in Paris, especially in the big tourist spots. You'll find most of them at La Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Notre-Dame, on the Place Saint-Michel, in Châtelet, and near the Eiffel Tower. This is where criminal groups spend their time robbing tourists by trapping them into playing bonneteau—a game of "chance" played with three cards- stay away from them.
In these places, as well as the Pont des Arts and Saint-Germain, you may be assailed by supposedly deaf beggars who will ask you to sign a petition for (nonexistent) research studies on deafness. If they don't pick your pockets when you are signing they'll ask you for a few euros and won't leave you alone till you've given it to them.
At Barbès-Rocherchouart you'll find plenty of people willing to sell you phone cards or cigarettes imported from Africa. They're mostly nice, and their prices are pretty cheap, but their products suck. Also, be wary of pickpockets on the metro—especially at Saint-Denis or on Line 13.
Another well-known con is the "gold ring scam." This can happen anywhere in Paris but tends to follow the same routine. You'll be accosted by guys who'll tell you they found a ring on the floor. It will look gold and have something stupid like "20K carats" stamped on it.
You'll also be accosted—getting accosted happens a lot in Paris—by people trying to sell you roses. They're so persistent it's pointless trying to ignore them, so just say "no" firmly and go back to your conversation.

HOW TO BEHAVE AS A TOURIST

It's well known that Parisians are assholes, and we're not going to dispute that. However, the cryptocommunity is friendly and welcoming. Also the truth is, Parisians actually don't mind tourists that much. Avoid standing still at the end of an escalator and you will be fine.

GETTING AROUND

Use CityMapper for iOS or Android for transportation in the city using public transport. Usual GPS based applications work fine.

From the airports (Charles de Gaulle and Orly):

The easiest way from the airports to the city is Uber or taxi but they are costly (40 to 60 € for the one-way trip to you hotel). Other means of transportation include: RoissyBus or OrlyBus (coaches from the airport to the center of Paris), approx. 11 € Train: RER (and OrlyVal from Orly airport) to the city), approx. 13 € (from Orly) or 10 € (from Charles de Gaulle)

From a Trainstation

Trainstations are all located in Paris. See below, take the subway or a cab.

Inside Paris

Subway tickets cost 1.90€ by 1 and 14.50€ by 10. They can only be used once. Avoid Taxi and Uber during the day, the trafic is a huge mess from 8am to 9pm since recent decision to close some critical streets.

PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID

Indiana Cafés These Tex-Mex restaurants are pretty much everywhere in the city, and it's basically the French equivalent of Hard Rock Café. Zero character and gross food. Rive Gauche This area on the southern bank of the Seine gets called "bohemian," "countercultural," and "creative," which are all euphemisms for "horrendously overpriced."
Metro Line 13 More than 600,000 people ride this line every day. Unless it's a matter of life and death, don't be one of them. It's the most overcrowded line in Paris, everyone hates it.

TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES

Tipping

When you go to a restaurant, tips are included in the total price. French waiters don't need to kneel before their clients to survive until the end of the month. Of course, if the waiter or the waitress is really friendly or helpfull you can always leave a few euros. No need to give tips at bars. In taxis, just hand €10 if the fare is €9.90—taxis are so expensive anyway that you might reconsider using them.

Handy Phrases

Bonus:

French Casually Explained

See you in Paris,

xoxo Asseth

submitted by Jey_s_TeArS to ethereum [link] [comments]

Of Wolves And Weasels - Day 54 - Weekend Wrapup #1

Hey all, GoodShibe here!
It's been quite a week, lots of hard work being done by the Dogecoin community, lots of great ideas coming online.
So, let's take a moment to look back at what we, as a community, have accomplished in the last 7 days!
(With a great note of thanks to hail_pentabarf for helping me put this list together!)
Top Memes/Laughs
Announcements
Art/Music
Shops/Businesses:
DOGE Development/Software/Websites
Now Accepting Dogecoin
Community Efforts Underway
Community Efforts Completed
In The News
Did I forget anything? I'm sure I did. If so, please let me know in the comments!
It's 9:59AM EST and we're at 55.77% of DOGEs found. Our Global Hashrate is on the rise from ~68 to ~72 Gigahashes per second and our Difficulty is dropping from ~1205 to ~1097.
Sorry for the lateness of today's post, I got up at 6am and started this, and I could still be going!
As always, I appreciate your support!
GoodShibe
TL;DR: We've had a busy week!
EDIT: Also! Now's a really good time to subshibe to /GoodShibe - some good things going to be coming out of there starting this Monday!
submitted by GoodShibe to dogecoin [link] [comments]

Profit Trailer : A Newbie Guide to Setting up your first Crypto Trading Bot!

Hello Everyone! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard all about BitCoin, LiteCoin, Ethereum and a whole host cryptocurrencies. As cryptomining profitability fades underneath increasing difficulties and the rising cost of mining machines, the world is dazzled by the utterly insane profit margins to be made in TRADING cryptocurrencies. This typically leads the average Joe to look into and, likely, invest some money into the cryptocurrency market. And, as time progresses (especially if profits are being made), one inevitably must make a choice to use a trading bot or not.
Now, I’m not trying to sell you one way or the other. My goal here is to take one of the newest and seemingly most profitable of the numerous trading bots out there, Profit Trailer, and break down getting the bot installed and running. There are numerous guides to Profit Trailer Installation and all of them are good. Crypto Gnome has some excellent information at https://github.com/CryptoGnome/Profit-Trailer-Settings/wiki/Setup-Guide. I’m not trying to knock him or anyone else with a guide out there. BUT………….
There are a few things that, in the course of installing this bot for a family member who has gotten on the crypto wagon in a big way, I noticed were lacking in the main set of guides. This being that not one of them had been designed with the true noob in mind. Each assumed a level of knowledge and discourse that can ( and would) leave a newbie cursing the fact they just spent .03 of a Bitcoin on something that refuses to even start.
Anyway, the point is, if you don’t have a tech savvy person handy, you could be left with, at best, the program downloaded but unable to start it or at worst, out a nice chunk of your crypto because of failing to understand EXACTLY what is needed to make the bot operate. Any suggestions on how to make this guide more complete, such as adding specific exchange instructions would be most appreciated.
Have an account at either Bittrex, Poloniex or Binance ACTIVE! I have read horror stories regarding buying this bot and installing it without having your account open and logged into. Just in case there is truth to them, better to be safe than sorry. Open your account of choice ( we used Binance so that is the exchange that this guide refers to. ) Use the account interface to create TWO(2) sets of API keys. One will be public, one will be secret in each set. You will notice that, at least on Binance, that each set of keys will have 2 permissions checked and one, withdrawals, unchecked. This is as it should be. If for some reason the withdrawals permission is checked, delete the key and start over. I would suggest that, for ease of use sake, you label each of the sets of keys. The first should be labeled (yourexchange)Default and the second should be labeled(yourexchange)Trading. This will help you recognize which keys are which later in the setup process. Copy these into a Notepad file, Word file, write them on your bedroom walls in blood, just keep BOTH SETS OF THESE API KEYS SAFE! Anyone with these keys has access to your exchange account. The first key will be initially used when you buy the Profit Trailer bot. The others will be used when you set up Profit Trailer. Ensure that you have JAVA 8 installed and running on your computer. It is extremely important that it be JAVA 8 and not 9. Profit Trailer WILL NOT WORK WITH THE JAVA 9 JRE. This problem was likely the biggest hurdle with Profit Trailer until I realized what was happening. Download and install Notepad++. Very Important. Some guides make it sound like you can do the settings changes on a regular NotePad file. This may be true, but Notepad++ is an actual IDE (software writing program for the uninitiated) that will give you the same view that all the guys in their YouTube Videos have up when they discuss their settings. Just saying guys, you’ve got people who, while they might know how to trade, might not know squat about IDE’s and their function. Buy the bot. This can be accomplished at https://profittrailer.com/pt/CryptoGnome/ At check out, you will be asked for the FIRST of the API keys you created. This will be the, first PUBLIC key you created. Pay for the bot. Wait for BitCoin to go from wallet to Profit Trailer creators. Have a beer….Smoke a cigarette….watch a movie. Seriously, you’re gonna be waiting awhile. One good idea while you spend hours waiting for the license key to be sent to you is to ensure that, if you have a newly created exchange account, you should place some cryptocurrency/money in the account…otherwise you’ve got another wait. Most guides say to next get a VPS(Virtual Private Server or Cloud Server). I was unable to get a VPS enabled at the time of this installation, so I will be posting another article regarding that process as soon as I can get it up and running on this installation. UPDATE We now have a Windows VPS running. You can visit Profit Trailer And You: A Newbie Guide To Setting Up Profit Trailer Part 2: Windows VPS here. Get Profit trailer Up and Running!!!! Here’s what you’ve been waiting for and trust me, all the other “prep stuff” will make this part a whole lot smoother. First, go to https://github.com/taniman/profit-trailereleases download the latest version of Profit Trailer. Next, unzip the files and navigate to the new folder. Open the file named application.properties with Notepad++ and then stare at it. I mean… really stare at it. Scary huh? Looks like you’re about to start coding the next Destiny game doesn’t it? Relax. this is a simple IDE that is giving you a series of settings that have to be adjusted manually instead of using a graphics user interface like the ones we’ve all grown to know and love. What you really need to know is what you are looking at. You’re going to see things like “trading.exchange” and “default_apiKey”. Each of these lines will have an equals sign on the end of them. Concentrate on what’s on the right side of the equals sign, cause that’s where your info is going to go. Remember those API keys you made? Well, here’s where they go.
Update these settings:
trading.exchange = THE EXCHANGE YOU ARE USING e.g. BITTREX (This MUST BE IN ALL CAPS. using lower case letter will give you an error code on startup)
default_apiKey = THE FIRST API KEY YOU CREATED (The key you labeled (yourexchange)Default )
default_apiSecret = THE FIRST SECRET KEY YOU CREATED
trading_apiKey = THE SECOND API KEY YOU CREATED (The key you labeled (yourexchange)Trading )
trading_apiSecret = THE SECOND SECRET KEY YOU CREATED
server.password = PASSWORD HERE (This is a password you create here. it is not tied to any other account)
Click save
You with me so far? Keep in mind that, so far the bot IS NOT RUNNING. we haven’t turned on anything yet, so don’t worry.
Most of the other guides say to start the bot up at this point and I would tend to agree, except you may want to look at the default settings in the pairs and DCA files to ensure that they are set the way you want them. DCA settings are a huge factor in Profit Trailer and I would suggest watching several videos regarding them. I do not claim to be a crypto expert and do not pretend to understand all the terms. The Profit Trailer Wiki at https://wiki.profittrailer.io/doku.php/dca.properties has in depth articles dealing with each of the settings and I suggest getting very familiar with them and understanding exactly what each does before turning the bot on.
Ok, with that being said, if you feel like your settings are just the way you want them, open up the pairs.properties file in Notepad++ and change “ALL_trading_enabled=false” to “ALL_trading_enabled=true” and save the file. Next you will want to click ‘run’ on the ProfitTrailer.cmd file. This will actually start the bot and will open an old style black Windows command line window. Ignore this as it is just the bot starting up, not where you will see what the bot is doing and open your web browser and enter http://localhost:8081/monitoring in the URL field. This will bring up a login page. Use the Password you created in the application.properties file here. This opens the web monitoring dashboard for your bot.
Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of following each step and understanding what each of the settings in Profit Trailer are and what they do. There are several important safety valves in Profit Trailer to keep the bot from chewing through your crypto like cookie monster on a 3 day bender.
One is “ALL_max_cost = x.xxxxx” in pairs.properties. This sets the amount of coin, in BitCoin, that the bot will use for trading. Just because you have have 1.5 BTC in your exchange account doesn’t mean you’ve gotta let the bot play with it all. “ALL_min_buy_balance = x.xx” in the pairs.propertiesfile will accomplish the same thing, just specifying an amount in the account that the bot will not take the account below. There are several important safety triggers in the DCA files as well, one being “min_buy_balance = x.xx” which will keep a specified minimum of BTC in your account, below which NO DCA buys will occur. This is an important distinction from the “ALL_min_buy_balance = x.xx” found in the pairs.properties files; DCA buys will STILL OCCUR even if the account is at or below the minimum specified in the pairs.properties file. Confused yet? It makes sense really, but if you’re like me, DCA really doesn’t mean anything to you. ( It’s Dollar Cost Averaging and it’s a profit mechanism used by Profit Trailer) What it really means is that, if you don’t know or understand what you are doing, it can cause big problems trading. Use your safety triggers and brush up on your trading terms cause soon you’ll be hip deep in EMAGains and Dust Bags…..whatever that means.
Any info on other exchange procedures with reagrds to setting up Profit Trailer would be greatly appreciated. I am not affiliated with or paid by any exchange, developer or site.
Credit & Thanks for this guide by: https://steemit.com/@demonsthenes
submitted by treasuregnome to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

EDCON starts tomo, time to have a look at the city guide (upd)

where is the venue?

EDCON will take place at ESCP Paris the 17th and 18th February but you can come before and hang out with Asseth (see below "Meet blockchain minded people"). The campus address is 79 avenue de la république 75011 paris. Close subway stations are St Maur (line 3) and Ménilmontant (line 2), it is also close to the hub République (lines 3, 5, 8, 9 and 11).
For sightseeing in the neighborhood there is the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery with numerous celebrity tombstones ranging from the playwright Molière, to the economist Gustave de Molinari and the singer Jim Morrison.

where to eat

Farther away from the venue

Where to shop

Several shops are accepting Bitcoin in the Passage du Grand-Cerf.

Where to drink

Ménilmontant/Belleville

Travel guides usually describe these areas as "cosmopolitan and colorful," which basically means they're filled with Asian grocery stores and sports bars owned by immigrants. For the story, Fox News dubbed the place a “No Go Zone” before giving proper excuses. Everyone's realized they're the best place for cheap drinks and good atmosphere. On the Boulevard de Ménilmontant you'll easily find bars serving pints for €4.
CAFÉ CHERIE 44 Boulevard de la Villette, 75019 Friendly, cheap and cheerfull, with people in their thiriest and lots of students from abroad. The place hosts a “blind test” (music quiz) every Wednesday. Definitely a go to if you are in the neighborhood.

SentieEtienne Marcel

SOF'S BAR, 43 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002. The first place to accept Bitcoin and the beloved den of the cryptocommunity in Paris

Drugs (don't do)

Paris is no Amsterdam, the purchase of cannabis is punishable by a fine anywhere between €50 and €1,700. However, though the laws are strict, the police don't always enforce them. Often, they simply confiscate the gear. If that doens't stop you be aware that Drugs in Paris have a pretty unexceptional reputation and tend to be cut with all sorts of crap.

Alcohol:

It is ok to drink/buy drinks if you are 18 and over. Most of the places where you can have food also sells something to drink (wine or beer). You might think that being in France is a good opportunity to drink good wine and honestly it is, just don’t expect a random café or bar to sell quality wine see the “bar à vins” section of this guide instead. Anyway your best bet is usually to go for the beer or try the French beer mix: sour orange and beer “picon bière”. Drinking in the street is tolerated but people will probably look down on you. Being drunk in the street is quite tolerated as long as you don’t bother anyone, otherwise the Police can arrest you for “ivresse manifeste sur la voie publique” (obvious drunk behavior on the public street).

MAKING FRIENDS AND HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?

France as the rest of Europe is witnessing a rise of far right movements but Paris remains a very progressive town as all the big cities. Most of the people in Paris don’t care about races, religion and so on, but well, there are douchebags everywhere and Paris is no exception. Terrorist attacks have been a great trauma for the city and most of the people in their twenties or thirties have a link to a victim so it’s best to avoid the subject. Good conversation topics to break the ice are soccer, pollution, the political performance of François Hollande, and bad memories of taxi rides.

WHERE TO STAY

If you're planning on staying in Paris for more than three days, you'll probably turn to Airbnb rather than looking for a hotel. This is a wise decision, particularly when you consider how overpriced Parisian hotels are and that February is a school holiday so a lot of families are on vacation with their kids. The best neighborhood (cheapest) to head to is probably Charonne, especially if you're with a partner. It's one of the few areas that's both clean and located in Eastern Paris, which is where you want to be to find bars open after 7 PM and streets frequented by locals. If you are looking for flat mates you can certainly find some on our event slack (auto-invite).
If you really must stay in a hotel, les Piaules is both very cheap and close to the venue. For a more expensive and confy experience we suggest Le Citizen Hotel or basicly anything you can fin on booking.com

LGBT PARIS

Although it can depend on which neighborhood you're in, generally Paris is very welcoming for LGBT people, and it's very unlikely that you'll have any trouble for holding hands with your partner when you travel in the center (1-10th arrondissement). The most gay-friendly neighborhood is Le Marais (4th arrondissement), which is in the center of Paris.
There were a lot of people in France who were reluctant to legalize same-sex marriage, those people do not represent a majority in Paris. However, it is generally recommended to avoid any emotional demonstrations in the arrondissements of the north of Paris (17-20th arrondissements).

MEET BLOCKCHAIN MINDED PEOPLE

Asseth (Association Ethereum) has been setting up meetups the days before EDCON for you to gather and meet other blockchain developpers. To get in touch with us:
Meetups went well on Monday 13th February (Start-ups from France and abroad), Tuesday 14th (Social drink and food + project presentations), Wednesday 15th (hands on Oraclize - bring your laptop!).
Check you the pictures : Here and there
Thursday 16th it's Panel Talk, "Computation above and beyond the blockchain"
Of course you can visit La Maison du Bitcoin 35 Rue du Caire, 75002. The name speaks for itself, located in Central Paris, you can buy ETH or BTC there, it's also the home of the french start-up Ledger.

HOW TO AVOID TOURIST SCAMS

Scammers are everywhere in Paris, especially in the big tourist spots. You'll find most of them at La Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Notre-Dame, on the Place Saint-Michel, in Châtelet, and near the Eiffel Tower. This is where criminal groups spend their time robbing tourists by trapping them into playing bonneteau—a game of "chance" played with three cards- stay away from them.
In these places, as well as the Pont des Arts and Saint-Germain, you may be assailed by supposedly deaf beggars who will ask you to sign a petition for (nonexistent) research studies on deafness. If they don't pick your pockets when you are signing they'll ask you for a few euros and won't leave you alone till you've given it to them.
At Barbès-Rocherchouart you'll find plenty of people willing to sell you phone cards or cigarettes imported from Africa. They're mostly nice, and their prices are pretty cheap, but their products suck. Also, be wary of pickpockets on the metro—especially at Saint-Denis or on Line 13.
Another well-known con is the "gold ring scam." This can happen anywhere in Paris but tends to follow the same routine. You'll be accosted by guys who'll tell you they found a ring on the floor. It will look gold and have something stupid like "20K carats" stamped on it.
You'll also be accosted—getting accosted happens a lot in Paris—by people trying to sell you roses. They're so persistent it's pointless trying to ignore them, so just say "no" firmly and go back to your conversation.

HOW TO BEHAVE AS A TOURIST

It's well known that Parisians are assholes, and we're not going to dispute that. However, the cryptocommunity is friendly and welcoming. Also the truth is, Parisians actually don't mind tourists that much. Avoid standing still at the end of an escalator and you will be fine.

GETTING AROUND

Use CityMapper for iOS or Android for transportation in the city using public transport. Usual GPS based applications work fine.

From the airports (Charles de Gaulle and Orly):

The easiest way from the airports to the city is Uber or taxi but they are costly (40 to 60 € for the one-way trip to you hotel). Other means of transportation include: RoissyBus or OrlyBus (coaches from the airport to the center of Paris), approx. 11 € Train: RER (and OrlyVal from Orly airport) to the city), approx. 13 € (from Orly) or 10 € (from Charles de Gaulle)

From a Trainstation

Trainstations are all located in Paris. See below, take the subway or a cab.

Inside Paris

Subway tickets cost 1.90€ by 1 and 14.50€ by 10. They can only be used once. Avoid Taxi and Uber during the day, the trafic is a huge mess from 8am to 9pm since recent decision to close some critical streets.

PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID

Indiana Cafés These Tex-Mex restaurants are pretty much everywhere in the city, and it's basically the French equivalent of Hard Rock Café. Zero character and gross food. Rive Gauche This area on the southern bank of the Seine gets called "bohemian," "countercultural," and "creative," which are all euphemisms for "horrendously overpriced."
Metro Line 13 More than 600,000 people ride this line every day. Unless it's a matter of life and death, don't be one of them. It's the most overcrowded line in Paris, everyone hates it.

TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES

Tipping

When you go to a restaurant, tips are included in the total price. French waiters don't need to kneel before their clients to survive until the end of the month. Of course, if the waiter or the waitress is really friendly or helpfull you can always leave a few euros. No need to give tips at bars. In taxis, just hand €10 if the fare is €9.90—taxis are so expensive anyway that you might reconsider using them.

Handy Phrases

Bonus:

French Casually Explained

See you in Paris,

xoxo Asseth

submitted by Jey_s_TeArS to ethereum [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.
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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.
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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 Google.com. 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.
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Weekly Roundup

News roundup for the previous week.
In International news
  1. China’s ‘New Silk Roads’ Reach Latin America
  2. #ChineseAmerican figure skater Nathan Chen wins praise for boldness in PyeongChang: "As I got older, there were more and more Asian kids at competitions that I was going to - that felt cool to me," Chen added, hopes that he too, like his early inspiration, Michelle Kwan, can inspire a new generation
  3. Duterte wants to create ‘balance’ by sending troops to China for training. Mr Duterte said there was a need to “balance” the training of Filipino soldiers, who have a strong bond with the United States military
  4. US National Space Council discusses space threats and opportunities reportedly posed by China
  5. China swept both men's and women's titles at the 2018 ITTF_Team World Cup after beating Japan twice in the finals… "
  6. #Nepal to Deepen Ties with China to Get More Leverage in Dealings with India: Nepal's new Prime Minister K P Oli has said he wants to deepen ties with China to explore more options and get more leverage in his dealings with India "in keeping with the times"
  7. Singapore and China work to boost Chongqing's connectivity
  8. Does anybody know more about the "Ethnic Chinese" ID Card that the government plans to implement for overseas Chinese?
  9. China is now offering a 5-year visa for foreigners of Chinese descend... Has anyone applied for this?
  10. China calls for direct dialogue between DPRK and U.S.
  11. China's peacekeeping force in Mali awarded the Peace Medal of Honor by the UN
  12. Eurasia high speed railway from Germany to China can be built by 2026
  13. CGTN Wang Guan on Confucius Institutes and Chinese students being threats: "Now is some hardliners final attempt to contain a rising ethnic Asian society"
  14. “The UK Is Not a Safe Place” – Concerns over Second Chinese Female Student Reported Missing in London
  15. India Turns to China-Based AIIB for Loans to Fund its Infrastructure Dream
  16. US Slams, China Praises Pakistan's Counterterror Efforts
  17. Parents of Chinese student killed by British driver reject not-guilty verdict
  18. Duterte Allies Seek to Emulate China’s Anti-Poverty Programs
  19. Philippines says in talks with China state firm on joint sea exploration
  20. Beijing blasts Western critics who ‘smear China’ with the term sharp power. Advisory body spokesman says some Westerners are ‘stuck in the cold war era’
  21. Tragedy far from home: Chinese students who went missing abroad
  22. Ng On-yee: #Snooker's new world number one. Has just become the first Asian woman to top the World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) rankings. The fact that her father was an amateur player and worked at a local snooker parlour meant that she could train there for free
  23. A Chinese initiative is setting the pace in retail
  24. Trump risks more than a trade war by targeting China
  25. Russia, China agree joint data center for lunar projects & deep space exploration
  26. UCLA players release from China secured before Trump got involved
  27. China denies using citizens overseas to project influence abroad. Senior official says history and contributions of overseas Chinese should be recognised, not ‘slandered or belittled’
  28. Documentary film ‘Abacus: Small Enough to Jail’ nominated for Oscar. A documentary about a Chinese underdog, which took on the US government, is the story of a family-owned bank in New York’s Chinatown – the only bank prosecuted following the financial crisis 10 years ago
  29. Trump on China abolishing term limits: 'Maybe we'll give that a shot'
In Domestic news
  1. Proposed constitutional amendment would grant more Chinese cities legislative power
  2. Proposal to abolish term limit for president could buy more time to pursue reforms
  3. More women, farmers and workers, but fewer officials will sit on China's top legislature, as election results for the new NPC were approved. The new lineup has 742 women, 24.9% of the total, up 1.5%. A total of 468 deputies are workers and farmers. Their share has grown by 2.28% to 15.7%
  4. Funding Infrastructure: Why China Is Running Circles Around America
  5. Elon Musk: China’s progress in advanced infrastructure is 100 times faster than the US
  6. Taiwan is gearing up for a independence referendum (possible official name change)
  7. China’s Brain Drain Is Ending. Officials say they are seeing a payoff from their investments in higher education.
  8. China media makes war threat over U.S. Taiwan bill
  9. China vows deeper friendship with Taiwan amid tensions
  10. What Do China’s Democratic Parties Actually Do?. The CCP is not China’s only political party. Here’s a closer look at the role and function of the other eight
  11. Back from the brink: 8 endangered species inching away from extinction in China
  12. China's C919 large passenger aircraft has received 30 new orders from a domestic leasing company, taking total orders to 815
In SciTech news
  1. Hisense 150" 4K 'Laser TV'震撼CES 2018; 欲进军OLED市场
  2. Does China Control The EV Revolution?
  3. Daimler's Chinese billionaire investor Li Shufu wants its electric car technology
  4. Huawei announces Balong 5G01, first commercially available 5G chipset
  5. China's hypersonic aircraft would fly from Beijing to New York in two hours. The double-wing plane just aced wind tunnel tests at speeds of nearly 5,600 miles per hour
  6. China spends $279 bln on R&D in 2017: science minister
  7. Meet the female engineers and managers of China's space program: The space program looks like it should be a geeky boy's dream. But in China, a large portion of the sector is controlled by female technicians
  8. Watch out America, China's A.I is getting smarter!
  9. #AI sector sees big investment, financing in 2017: received about 180 billion yuan (28 billion U.S. dollars) of investment and financing last year
  10. Alibaba Cloud steps up its game as it offers #quantum computing service
  11. Huawei Mate 10 Pro Showcase - CES 2018
  12. Mine It to the Limit! Chinese Firm Makes Billions From #Cryptocurrency. Bitmain managed to take this activity to a whole new level by raking in more money last year than Nvidia. Bernstein estimates that Bitmain currently has an estimated “70 to 80 percent of market share in bitcoin miners and ASICs”
  13. Chinese scientists develop #AI system to diagnose human diseases: The tool may ultimately aid in expediting the diagnosis and referral of these treatable conditions, thereby facilitating earlier treatment and resulting in improved clinical outcomes
  14. China’s government aims to raise as much as 200 billion yuan ($31.5 billion) to invest in homegrown chip companies and accelerate its ambition of building a world-class semiconductor industry
  15. Get your food served by a robot at restaurants on SW China's rest stops: The smart tables can do much more than help you order food. It can be a game machine, a tour guide or even an e-commerce platform
  16. Huawei MateBook X Pro Hands-On at MWC 2018
  17. Huawei's AI phone tested by driving car at dog
  18. Vivo Apex Concept Phone hands-on
  19. Legit Chinese Brand GPUs? Hands on with the Yeston 3GB GTX 1060
  20. Apple is under fire for moving iCloud data to China
  21. China testing 400km/h "maglev" trains
  22. China to recruit ‘civilian astronauts’
In Economic news
  1. China's Fosun buys majority stake in French luxury brand #Lanvin: The French fashion house was established in 1889. Currently, Lanvin operates in more than 50 countries with women's wear, menswear, children's wear and accessories including footwear and leather goods
  2. China Gives Australia’s Number Two Gas Producer A Boost
  3. #Xiaomi hopes to boost global market sales with new Microsoft agreement: The new strategic contract will see the two companies working together on cloud computing, AI and new equipment for notebook computers
  4. Even the World Bank is starting to take notice: China’s ‘unprecedented poverty reduction’ and the role of the CPC
  5. Tech Mogul Gets $13 Billion Richer Just by Leaving New York for China
  6. Chinese investment flowing out to healthcare. This is what they're looking for.
  7. China's #BYD named No. 2 on list of World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in energy: BYD ranked No. 2 for "introducing the first electric trucks," according to the rankings compiled by the Fast Company, a monthly American business magazine
  8. China’s per capita disposable income up 9.0 percent in 2017
  9. China Contributed 30% to Global Economic Growth in 2017
  10. Tencent chief 'Pony' Ma is now China's richest man, doubling his wealth to $47 billion last year
  11. China becomes Vietnam's top export market in first two months of 2018
  12. Russia remains China's top oil supplier as pipeline expands
  13. dotard declares steel trade war against china..... and shoots himself in the foot
  14. Trump Roars; China Yawns - Steel tariffs are only going to hurt one country's economy.
  15. China is quickly becoming the dominant force in startups
  16. China vows to work with other nations to counter Trump tariffs
In Military news
  1. China aims for nuclear-powered aircraft carrier by 2025
  2. J-16 fighter jet video released by PLA Air Force
  3. Chinese military #drone sales hover over Middle East: Defence analysts believe that the drone, the Wing Loong II, is now being used by the United Arab Emirates military while the UAE remains barred from buying weaponised drones from the United States
  4. China's Ready For War: China's Military Capabilities 2018
  5. PLA's Lego Grenade (The scalable offensive hand grenade)
  6. As US loses ground in Mideast, the stage is set for China and Russia to mull military alliance with Iran
Other Notables
  1. Tencent Employees line up "旺"字 outside of HQ building to get red envelopes, CEO 马化腾发钱发到手软
  2. WeChat Users sent 0.688 billion Red Envelopes in a single day (Feb. 15th, average about 8000 Red Envelopes sent per second)!One user sent the most number that day, 1203 Red Envelopes
  3. The Western Hypocrisy in Academic /Classroom freedom: Chinese students being reported to their parents in China about their pro-Western opinions is "disturbing" "spying" and "censorship", while Western media have been rampantly investigating Chinese students as "spies" for their pro-China views
  4. Considering the amendment of Presidential term limits in a geopolitical context
  5. What are some Sino approved documentaries?
  6. CHINA MAC ft. JEZZ GASOLINE "MAC TALK" TEASER # 1 DIRECTED BY MO KNOWLEDGE
  7. China doesn’t care about your opinion
  8. CGTN: Do Chinese students in US threaten US security?
  9. If the US didn’t pass the 22nd Amendment, they’d still have Slick Willy. And would that be such a terrible thing?
  10. Anyone in the know about the status of cryonics in China?
  11. With all the talk about the President term limits possibly being removed, what is happening with the retirement age rule?
  12. ‘Put out your cigarette or leave China,’ commuters confront foreigner smoking on Beijing subway
  13. Higher Brothers x HARIKIRI - Nothing Wrong
  14. 10 Misconceptions Everyone Believes About China (Generally pretty accurate)
  15. Boost Your Vocab with This Catchy Song-The King asked me to patrol the mountains
  16. Footage discovered showing mass grave for wartime 'comfort women'
  17. Forget all you read on Western propaganda about the Tiananmen incident. Video debunks Western claims of PLA shooting peaceful demonstrators
  18. So what would happen to Logan Paul if he disrespected China/Chinese people like he did in Japan?
  19. Q&A with CGTN chief reporter Wang Guan
  20. Exquisite ice sculptures decorate Harbin
  21. #NBA powerhouse Cleveland Cavaliers @cavs celebrate Chinese #LunarNewYear at home game against @BrooklynNets
  22. Why China Is Running Circles Around America
  23. Can this subreddit please differentiate between the DPP and the KMT?
  24. How the West got China wrong
  25. [XD] Story confirmed by official source: Picture shows Jack Ma between two police officiers!
  26. No Matter What the Western Propaganda Says, Chinese Democracy is Alive and Well!
  27. End of Chinese Emperors (221 BCE — 1911 CE) - from Fairbank Center's China Questions book
  28. Instant Pot Beef & Vegetables Congee Rice Poridge (Jook or Juk)
  29. Traditional Chinese hanfu | Ming dynasty fashion by 清辉阁
  30. 2012新年综合晚会选编_合唱《没有共产党就没有新中国》【高清720P】 - YouTube
  31. The Husband Tag! 夫妻默契大考驗!
  32. Chinese President Xi Jinping: What Is His Background?
  33. China's box offices pulled in more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.594 billion) in February, reaching a new high for the Chinese film industry as well as setting a new world record
  34. The West is starting to use feminists like Leta Hong Fincher to destabilize Chinese society. Thoughts?
  35. More black and white stills for Zhang Yimou’s period wuxia film Shadow
submitted by AutoModerator to Sino [link] [comments]

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