bitcoin

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pages: 296 words: 86,610

The Bitcoin Guidebook: How to Obtain, Invest, and Spend the World's First Decentralized Cryptocurrency by Ian Demartino

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3D printing, AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, buy low sell high, capital controls, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, forensic accounting, global village, GnuPG, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Jacob Appelbaum, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, ransomware, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, Steven Levy, the medium is the message, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

And to all the freaks and geeks on the Internet for being the world’s greatest teachers. Thank you. CONTENTS Foreword Keywords Who’s Who SECTION I: WHAT IS BITCOIN? Chapter 1: Bitcoin 101: Blockchain Technology Chapter 2: A Practical Guide on How to Buy, Save, and Spend Bitcoins Chapter 3: Precursors, History and Creation, Satoshi’s White Paper Chapter 4: Who Runs Bitcoin? Chapter 5: What Gives Bitcoin Its Value? Chapter 6: Bitcoin: Anonymous or Pseudonymous? Chapter 7: Bitcoin and the Criminal Element Chapter 8: Mt. Gox: Bitcoin’s Defining Moment? Chapter 9: Other Bitcoin Scams and Common Tactics SECTION II: HOW TO INVEST IN BITCOIN Chapter 10: How to Buy Bitcoin with a Bank Account, Cash, or PayPal Chapter 11: Working for Bitcoin Chapter 12: Mining Chapter 13: HODL! Chapter 14: Day Trading Chapter 15: Altcoin Trading and Pump-and-Dumps Chapter 16: Peer-to-Peer Lending Chapter 17: Investing in Other Commodities Using Bitcoin SECTION III: WHAT CAN BITCOIN DO FOR ME?

Keywords altcoin: Short for “alternative cryptocurrency”; another cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin. There are more than a thousand altcoins currently in existence; most are nearly exact copies of more successful cryptocurrencies, but some very innovative ones have been produced as well. ASIC: Application-specific integrated circuit. A piece of hardware designed to do one thing and one thing only. In the cryptocurrency world, it mines for a specific algorithm (SHA256, Scrypt, etc.). BFGMiner: The second most-popular Bitcoin-mining software. Bitcoin/bitcoin: Bitcoin with a capital B refers to Bitcoin the system, the network or the currency as a whole; bitcoin with a lowercase b refers to individual bitcoins, as in, “I have five bitcoins.” Bitcoin-Qt: Also called Bitcoin Core, it is the primary implementation of Bitcoin and what all other wallets and services are based on.

If wallet A sends wallet B five bitcoins and then wallet B sends five bitcoins to wallet C, it is easy enough to assume wallet A was sending wallet C five bitcoins using wallet B as an intermediary. Combining several Bitcoin users’ transactions makes it more difficult to track but not impossible. If wallet A, wallet B, and wallet C send bitcoins to a mixing service (wallet D) and then pass that money onto wallets E and F but don’t want outside sources knowing who sent what to whom, simply sending their bitcoin to wallet D is not enough. If wallet A puts two bitcoins, wallet B puts six bitcoins, and wallet C puts nine bitcoins into the CoinJoin wallet—and then two bitcoins are sent to wallet E in one transaction, another six are sent to wallet E in a second transaction, and nine bitcoins are sent to wallet F—then we can safely assume that wallet A sent two bitcoins to wallet E, wallet B sent six to wallet E and wallet C sent nine to wallet F.

 

pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

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3D printing, Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zimmermann PGP

Abed, Gabriel Abridello, Mike accelerators Accel Partners Adams, Douglas Afghan Citadel Afghanistan Africa A-Grade Investments Ahmadi, Parisa AIG Airbnb Akimbo Alamgir, Nadia Alcoholics Anonymous Aleph Alibaba Alipay Alisie, Mihai Allaire, Jeremy al-Qaeda altcoins dogecoin litecoin Realcoin Alyattes, King Alydian Amazon Amazon Cloud American Express AME Ventures Amidi, Saeed Andolfatto, David Andreessen, Marc Andreessen Horowitz Andresen, Gavin Android angel investors anonymity anonymous remailers AntMinter Antonopoulos, Andreas ANX Apache tribe APIs (application programming interfaces) Apple Argentina exchange houses in trust problem in Aristotle Armstrong, Brian ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) chips Assange, Julian assassination AstroPay AT&T Atlas ATS Australia Austrian school of economics automobile loan payments Avalon Average Is Over (Cowen) Babylonians Back, Adam Bacon, Francis Bagehot, Walter Banco Popular Banga, Ajay Bank of America Bank of England (BOE) bankruptcy banks, banking central fees of fractional reserve Glass-Steagall Act and ledger and Medici modern payment system centered around people excluded from system of shadow system of tellers in too-big-to-fail Baran, Paul Barbados Barbie, Johann Barclays Barrett, John barter Beckstrom, Rod Bel Bruno, Joe Bell, Jim Bernanke, Ben Betamax BitAngels BitCarbon bitcoin(s): addresses in artwork and songs about balance in blockchain ledger in boom in brand of carbon footprint of as commodity community around creation of; see also Nakamoto, Satoshi crime and cryptography mailing list and culture of as currency defined as deflationary currency dollar and double-spending of early adopters of encryption in evangelists of exchange rate of fraud and future of Genesis Block in imitators of, see altcoins issuance of meetups for mining, see bitcoin mining and miners merchants accepting as movement as payments protocol as property regulation of, see regulation release of reward program in security and software for symbols of as technology thefts of traceability of transaction confirmation in transaction fees and transaction malleability bug and transaction volumes of trust and value of volatility of wallets for wealth concentration and Wild West phase of work in Bitcoin 2.0 (Blockchain 2.0) bitcoin barons bitcoin.com Bitcoin Decentral Bitcoin Faucet Bitcoin Forum Bitcoin Foundation Bitcoinica Bitcoin Magazine Bitcoin Market bitcoin mining and miners ASICs in cloud at data centers Dr. Evil attack scenario and energy used by 51 percent attack threat and forks in the blockchain and pools rigs for satellites for selfish bitcoinrichlist.com Bitcoin Suisse Bitcointalk.org Bitex.la Bitfinex BitFury BitGo bit-gold BitInstant BitLanders BitLicense Bitmain BitPagos BitPay BitPesa Bitreserve bitsats BitShares Bits of Coin Bitstamp Bitt BitTorrent BlackNet Bliley, Thomas blockchain forks in Blockchain Blockchain 2.0 (Bitcoin 2.0) BlockCypher blockexplorer.com blocks Bloomberg Businessweek b-money Boost Boring, Perianne Braendgaard, Pelle Brafman, Ori Braintree brand Branson, Richard Brazil Bretton Woods system Breyer, Jim Brightcove Brikman, Yevgeniy Britain Britcoin British West Indies Britto, Arthur Brown & Williamson Bry, Charles BTC China BTC-e Bush, George H.

One of the first was Peter Vessenes: Blog post, “Bitcoin Startup Incubator, CoinLab, Launches in WA,” Bitcoin News Network, September 25, 2011, http://www.btcnn.com/2011/09/bitcoin-startup-incubator-coinlab.html. Bitcoin Magazine, founded by Mihai Alisie: According to Bitcoin Magazine “About Us” page, http://bitcoinmagazine.com/about-us/. In September 2012, the Bitcoin Foundation was founded: Jon Matonis, “Bitcoin Foundation Launches to Drive Bitcoin’s Advancement,” September 9, 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/2012/09/27/bitcoin-foundation-launches-to-drive-bitcoins-advancement/. At that time, the Bitcoin Forum had about sixty-eight thousand members: Taken from statistics page at Bitcoin Forum, https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=stats. Beginning in March 2012, thefts totaling: “Bitcoinica, Twice Hacked in 2012, Is Being Sued,” Infosecurity Magazine, August 15, 2012, http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/bitcoinica-twice-hacked-in-2012-is-being-sued/.

Just as songs that are sung at football games, artwork depicting the Stars and Stripes on the back of Jeeps, and stirring recitals of the Declaration of Independence help to burnish Americans’ faith in their nation’s greatness, so, too, can cultural production help strengthen other communities—even one formed around a currency. And so we find bitcoin literature, bitcoin poetry, bitcoin artwork, bitcoin photography, and bitcoin songs. It’s a striking demonstration of how much this idea has captured people’s imagination. Nobody writes songs about PayPal. “Oh, bitcoin, I know you’re gonna reign, gonna reign,” John Barrett sings in his bluegrass “Ode to Satoshi,” recorded in a studio in East Nashville, Tennessee. “Till everybody knows, everybody knows, till everybody knows your name.” He’s not alone in his choice of song topic: “10,000 Bitcoins” is a love song by Laura Saggers; “Bitcoin Barons” is a rap piece by YTCracker; and there are a handful of others. Meanwhile, the German artist Kuno Goda painted 200 Bitcoins, with the bitcoin logo repeated two hundred times on a canvas—a play on Andy Warhol’s 200 One-Dollar Bills.

 

pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

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4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

Central Intelligence Agency Coinapult, 174, 338 Coinbase (Bitcoin service). See also Ehrsam, Fred about the founding and operation, 203–204, 211–213 investment by Andreessen Horowitz, 293–295 maintaining private keys, 281 regulation of virtual currencies, 271 regulatory compliance, 236–237 response to Mt. Gox collapse, 315 transaction fees, 290 working with banks, 305–306 CoinLab, 138, 144, 200, 213 COIN (Nasdaq ticker symbol), 353 Collins, John, 265–266 conferences (Bitcoin and others) 2011 CIA interest in Bitcoin, 81 2011 NYC Bitcoin World Expo, 102–106, 135 2011 Thailand, Bitcoin, 104 2012 Amsterdam, Bitcoin, 104, 297–298 2012 Federal Reserve on money transfer, 132–133 2012 NYC, Bitcoin, 104 2013 Allen & Co., 181, 349 2013 Argentina, Bitcoin, 277–283 2013 San Jose, Bitcoin, 214–216 2014 Allen & Co., 262, 349, 353–355 2014 Austin, Bitcoin, 331–336 2014 Bitcoin Pacifica (Lake Tahoe), 337–345 2014 SXSW, 334–336 2014 Utrecht technology, 298 The Construction and Operation of Clandestine Drug Laboratories (Jack B.

They were also downloading and running the Bitcoin software. The number of downloads would jump from around three thousand in June to over twenty thousand in July. The day after the Slashdot piece appeared, Gavin Andresen’s Bitcoin faucet gave away 5,000 Bitcoins and was running empty. As he begged for donations, he marveled at the strength of the network: Over the last two days of Bitcoin being “slashdotted” I haven’t heard of ANY problems with Bitcoin transactions getting lost, or of the network crashing due to the load, or any problem at all with the core functionality. But while the Bitcoin software itself was working well, new users quickly ran up against the limitations of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Those who immediately wanted to acquire more Bitcoins than were available from Gavin’s faucet were left with only a few meager options, one of them a creaky, unreliable service that Martti had set up a few months earlier.

At the same time that he was buying, Roger announced on the Bitcoin forums that his computer hardware company, Memory Dealers, would immediately begin accepting payment in Bitcoin. Not long after that, he turned a regular Memory Dealers’ advertisement that he paid for on Free Talk Live into an advertisement for Bitcoin and crowdsourced the copy for the ad from the Bitcoin forums. Soon enough, he had put up a gold-and-black billboard, on the side of an expressway in Silicon Valley, with an enormous Bitcoin emblem and the phrase “We Accept Bitcoin,” over the Memory Dealers web address. The crowd on the forums went wild. “God I love Bitcoin!” one user wrote. “We needed this,” another said. Roger said he was looking to do even more: “I promise I’m doing whatever I can to help make Bitcoin succeed (Billboards, National radio ads, etc.).” Roger’s appearance on the scene coincided with the first mainstream news coverage for Bitcoin, which helped push the price up, and, in turn, led to more mainstream news coverage.

 

pages: 233 words: 66,446

Bitcoin: The Future of Money? by Dominic Frisby

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3D printing, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer age, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, friendly fire, game design, Isaac Newton, Julian Assange, litecoin, M-Pesa, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing complete, War on Poverty, web application, WikiLeaks

And you can pay for things with them via electronic banking, by cheque, credit card, or in cash. But where on earth do you get bitcoins? There are three ways. You can get paid in bitcoins. You can buy bitcoins. And last of all (the very unconventional bit), you can make bitcoins. Yes, you can, literally, create money. You earn bitcoins by doing or selling something in exchange for bitcoins – just as you would earn normal money. If I do this job for you, you pay me in bitcoins. You buy bitcoins just as you would buy and sell foreign currency – from the Bitcoin equivalent of a bureau de change, known as a Bitcoin exchange, or directly from an individual. You hand over your dollars, pounds or whatever currency you’re using and you receive bitcoins. To create bitcoins, you run the Bitcoin software on your computer. It’s called ‘mining’ – more on that later.

Accessed June 16, 2014. http://on.mash.to/1tHF8y5. ‘Bitcoin Forum.’ Bitcoin Forum –Index. Accessed June 16, 2014. http://bit.ly/1tHF7KI. ‘Bitcoin? Here’s What Warren Buffett Is Saying.’ CNBC. March 14, 2013. Accessed June 16, 2014. http://cnb.cx/1tHF7KJ. ‘Bitcoin Project Milestones’. Bitcoin Project Milestones. Tiki Toki. Accessed June 16, 2014. http://bit.ly/1tHF8y6. ‘Bitcoin Wiki.’ Bitcoin. Accessed June 16, 2014. http://bit.ly/1tHF7KK. ‘BitcoinTalk.’ BitcoinTalk.com. Accessed June 16, 2014. http://bit.ly/1tHF8y8. Branwen, Gwern. ‘Bitcoin – worse is better.’ Gwern.net. July 20, 2010. http://bit.ly/1tHF7KL. Branwen, Gwern. ‘Silk Road: theory & practice.’ Gwern.net. June 2011. http://bit.ly/1tHF8y9. Brito, Jerry. ‘Online cash Bitcoin could challenge governments, banks.’ Time. April 16, 2011.

What actually happens when you send an email through Gmail to, say, someone with a Yahoo address is that a Google server reaches out to a Yahoo server and transmits a text file; then the Yahoo server says to its user, ‘you’ve got mail’. So, a protocol is an agreed system by which information is shared across a network. Bitcoin – with a capital ‘B’ – is another protocol. The function of the protocol is to send and receive payment information. With Bitcoin, your computer reaches out to another user’s computer, gives it some binary gibberish proving you control X number of coins at this address and want them to increase the balance at that address. The unit of money on the Bitcoin protocol is the ‘bitcoin’ (with a small ‘b’). As the dollar is the unit of money on the US banking network, so bitcoin is the unit of money on the Bitcoin system. So, Bitcoin is two things – a protocol and a unit of money. How do you get bitcoins? Using dollars or pounds is easy. You get paid in them. They’re in your bank account (hopefully).

 

pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

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AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, ethereum blockchain, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks

That’s the essence of a master-slave relationship. "Bitcoin is fundamentally different because in bitcoin, you don’t owe anyone anything and no one owes you anything. It’s not a system based on debt." Bitcoin is fundamentally different because in bitcoin, you don’t owe anyone anything and no one owes you anything. It’s not a system based on debt. It’s a system based on ownership of this abstract token. Absolute ownership. We have an expression in the United States, which is “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” In bitcoin, possession is ten-tenths of the law. If you control the bitcoin keys, it’s your bitcoin. If you don’t control the bitcoin keys, it’s not your bitcoin. You’re back to a master-slave relationship. "In bitcoin, possession is ten-tenths of the law. If you control the bitcoin keys, it’s your bitcoin. If you don’t control the bitcoin keys, it’s not your bitcoin." 2.4.

There is a beautiful site called bitcoinobituaries.com where you can read the pronouncements of the death of bitcoin since 2009 — regularly, like clockwork every three to six months, major newspapers, scientists, etc., saying, "That’s it. Bitcoin is dead." In fact, this has now become an amazing recruitment opportunity because all you have to do is wait for people to hear that bitcoin died, the CEO of Bitcoin was arrested, or bitcoin was shut down by Putin, and then, four months later, someone says, "You know there are some interesting new applications on bitcoin." And they go, “Bitcoin is still there?" “Bitcoin is still there” is the marketing slogan of this community. If we can just keep doing “bitcoin is still there,” people are surprised, they’re confounded. It doesn’t match their expectations. It’s not possible that bitcoin is still there because very serious people with very serious titles, working for very rich companies, told them that bitcoin was not going to be there.

When people hear that message, maybe the next day they come to one of these meetups and they meet a dentist who owns bitcoin, an architect who owns bitcoin, a taxi driver who uses bitcoin to send money back to their family—normal people who use bitcoin to give themselves financial power and financial freedom. Every time that message is broken by cognitive dissonance, bitcoin wins. All bitcoin really has to do is survive. So far, it’s doing pretty well. 3.11. Currencies Evolve In the new network-centric world, currencies occupy evolutionary niches. They evolve, like species, based on the stimulus they have from their environment. Bitcoin is a dynamic system with software developers that can change it. The question is, in which direction will bitcoin evolve? Which environmental niche will it attempt to fit in? And how will that be affected by the actions of the powerful? If they attack bitcoin, it evolves to defend itself against predators, just like any species.

 

pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

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23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

Broader Perspective blog, March 2, 2014. http://futurememes.blogspot.fr/2014/03/illiberty-in-biohacking-personal-data.html. 108 Prisco, G. “Bitcoin Governance 2.0: Let’s Block-chain Them.” CryptoCoins News, updated October 13, 2014. https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/bitcoin-governance-2-0-lets-block-chain/. 109 Hofman, A. “Couple to Get Married on the Bitcoin Blockchain at Disney Bitcoin Conference.” Bitcoin Magazine, September 23, 2014. http://bitcoinmagazine.com/16771/couple-get-married-bitcoin-blockchain-disney-bitcoin-conference/. 110 Marty, B. “Couple Make History with World’s First Bitcoin Wedding.” PanAm Post, October 7, 2014. http://panampost.com/belen-marty/2014/10/07/couple-make-history-with-worlds-first-bitcoin-wedding/. 111 Ploshay, E. “A Word from Jeffrey Tucker: Bitcoin Is Not a Monetary System.” Bitcoin Magazine, January 3, 2014. http://bitcoinmagazine.com/9299/word-jeffrey-tucker-bitcoin-monetary-system/. 112 McMillan, R.

PayPal had been known for being on the edge of financial innovation, but it then became more corporate focused and lost the possibility of providing early market leadership with regard to Bitcoin. Now, PayPal has been incorporating Bitcoin slowly, as of September 2014 announcing partnerships with three major Bitcoin payment processors: BitPay, Coinbase, and GoCoin.37 Also in September 2014, Paypal’s Braintree unit (acquired in 2013), a mobile payments provider, is apparently working on a feature with which customers can pay for Airbnb rentals and Uber car rides with Bitcoin.38 In the same area of regulation-compliant Bitcoin complements to traditional financial services is the notion of a “Bitbank.” Bitcoin exchange Kraken has partnered with a bank to provide regulated financial services involving Bitcoin.39 There is a clear need for an analog to and innovation around traditional financial products and services for Bitcoin—for example, Bitcoin savings accounts and lending (perhaps through user-selected rules regarding fractional reserve levels).

The account is necessarily incomplete, prone to technical errors (though it has been reviewed for technical accuracy by experts), and, again, could likely soon be out-of-date as different projects described here fail or succeed. Or, the entire Bitcoin and blockchain technology industry as currently conceived could become outmoded or superseded by other models. The underlying sources of this work are a variety of information resources related to Bitcoin and its development. The principal sources are developer forums, Reddit subgroups, GitHub white papers, podcasts, news media, YouTube, blogs, and Twitter. Specific online resources include Bitcoin industry conference proceedings on YouTube and Slideshare, podcasts (Let’s Talk Bitcoin, Consider This!, Epicenter Bitcoin), EtherCasts (Ethereum), Bitcoin-related news outlets (CoinDesk, Bitcoin Magazine, Cryptocoins News, Coin Telegraph), and forums (Bitcoin StackExchange, Quora). Other sources were email exchanges and conversations with practitioners in the industry as well as my experiences attending conferences, Bitcoin workshops, Satoshi Square trading sessions, and developer meetups.

 

pages: 52 words: 13,257

Bitcoin Internals: A Technical Guide to Bitcoin by Chris Clark

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bitcoin, fiat currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, transaction costs, Turing complete

doi=10.1.1.83.7634 [18] Nick Szabos, "Bit gold," December 27, 2008. http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2005/12/bit-gold.html [19] "Protocol specification," Bitcoin Wiki, May 5, 2013. https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Protocol_specification#Addresses [20] Leslie Lamport, Robert Shostak, Marshall Pease, "The Byzantine Generals Problem," ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems 4 (3) (1982): 382401. http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/lamport/pubs/byz.pdf [21] "Why was 21 million picked as the number of bitcoins to be created?" Bitcoin Stack Exchange, March 7, 2013. http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/8439/why-was-21-million-picked-as-the-number-of-bitcoins-to-be-created [22] "Technical background of Bitcoin addresses," Bitcoin Wiki, March 14, 2013. https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Technical_background_of_Bitcoin_addresses [23] "Why are Bitcoin addresses hashes of public keys?" Bitcoin Stack Exchange, May 8, 2012. http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/3600/why-are-bitcoin-addresses-hashes-of-public-keys [24] Raulo, "Optimal pool abuse strategy," February 4, 2011. http://bitcoin.atspace.com/poolcheating.pdf Notes 1Monetary inflation is a sustained increase in the supply of money, which typically results in price inflation.

If you are a business owner and just want to accept bitcoins, you can fill your wallet by publishing a Bitcoin address and requesting that customers send funds to that address. Mining, the means by which bitcoins are initially put into circulation, provides another way of obtaining bitcoins. When mining, you get paid bitcoins to run a computer that processes transactions for the bitcoin network. Mining will be discussed more in Chapter 9. * * * Figure 2.2: The "Receive coins" tab of the Bitcoin-Qt client where you can manage your addresses. * * * 2.3 Sending Payments Once you have bitcoins in your wallet, you will be able to see the balance in your wallet on the Overview tab of the Bitcoin client. You can then use the Bitcoin client to send funds to any other Bitcoin user. All you need is one of their addresses.

Bitcoin Stack Exchange, May 8, 2012. http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/3600/why-are-bitcoin-addresses-hashes-of-public-keys [24] Raulo, "Optimal pool abuse strategy," February 4, 2011. http://bitcoin.atspace.com/poolcheating.pdf Notes 1Monetary inflation is a sustained increase in the supply of money, which typically results in price inflation. It is a serious risk factor for fiat currencies because governments often produce money excessively, causing perpetual price inflation. 2The creator of Bitcoin defines a bitcoin as a "chain of digital signatures" in the public ledger known as the block chain.[1] 3The Bitcoin source code can be found at https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin 4According to the Bitcoin Wiki, the second biggest bitcoin based company is the underground drug website known as the Silk Road.[3] The sales figures were estimated by Carnegie Mellon computer security professor Nicolas Christin.[4] Six of the other businesses in the top 20 largest are gambling related.[3] 5The chart is from bitcoincharts.com 6See https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Tor 7These are foreign exchange fees, not Bitcoin transaction fees (which are much smaller). 8There is a 1 in 4.29 billion chance that a mistyped address passes the checksum test.

 

pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

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Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

Early adopters have tended to hold on to bitcoin as they hold on to gold, hoping that its value will increase in the long run, and therefore treating bitcoin as an asset rather than as a medium of exchange. According to economic theorists, low or no inflation motivates holders to hoard rather than spend their bitcoin. Still, if more trusted bitcoin exchanges facilitate consumers’ movement in and out of bitcoin, then the frequency and volume of trading could increase. If more merchants accept bitcoin as a medium of payment, then people who’ve been sitting on bitcoins may start to use their store for purchases, thereby freeing up more bitcoins. If merchants begin to issue bitcoin-denominated gift cards, then more people should be exposed to cryptocurrencies and become more comfortable transacting in bitcoin. And so, hypothetically, people will have fewer reasons to hoard bitcoin.

And so, hypothetically, people will have fewer reasons to hoard bitcoin. Advocates of the bitcoin protocol argue that, because bitcoins are divisible to eight decimal places—the smallest unit is called a Satoshi, worth one hundredth of a millionth of a bitcoin—the smallest denominations will buy more if demand for bitcoin increases. There’s also the possibility of tweaking the protocols to allow for greater divisibility, say, picopayments (trillionths of a bitcoin) and to remine stranded bitcoin after a period of dormancy. A fifth dimension is high latency: for the bitcoin blockchain network, the process of clearing and settling transactions takes about ten minutes, which is far faster end to end than most payment mechanisms. But clearing transactions at the point of sale instantaneously is not the issue; the real problem is that ten minutes is simply too long for the Internet of Things where devices need to interact continuously.

Buying Art Through the Bitcoin Blockchain: How It Works To purchase the piece, Don opened his bitcoin wallet app. He used it to create a message that specified the amount of bitcoin representing the purchase price of the piece, designated Artlery’s public key as the recipient of that bitcoin, and used his private key to “sign” or authenticate the message. Don double-checked all the fields because, unlike traditional payment methods, there was no reversing this bitcoin transaction. Then he broadcast the message not to his Canadian bank but to the entire network of computers running the full bitcoin blockchain. Some people refer to these computers as nodes, where some nodes are donating their processing power to solve the math problem associated with creating a block. As we’ve explained, the bitcoin community refers to them as miners and to their problem-solving work as mining, as in gold mining.

 

pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

As of the 2014 holiday season: Jillian Kumagai, “More Than 21,000 Retailers Accept Bitcoin Payments,” Mashable, November 15, 2014, http://mashable.com/2014/11/15/bitcoin-retailers-infographic/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link; Jon Matonis, “Top 10 Bitcoin Merchant Sites,” Forbes, May 24, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/2013/05/24/top-10-bitcoin-merchant-sites/; Benzinga, “What Companies Accept Bitcoin?” Nasdaq, February 4, 2014, http://www.nasdaq.com/article/what-companies-accept-bitcoin-cm323438; Jonas Chokun, “Who Accepts Bitcoins?” Bitcoin Values, http://www.bitcoinvalues.net/who-accepts-bitcoins-payment-companies-stores-take-bitcoins.html. On October 31, 2008, a research paper: Benjamin Wallace, “The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin,” Wired, November 23, 2011, http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/11/mf_bitcoin/. It called for the creation: Satoshi Nakamoto, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” Bitcoin, November 1, 2008, http://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf.

It called for the creation: Satoshi Nakamoto, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” Bitcoin, November 1, 2008, http://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf. Banks must be trusted: Joshua Davis, “The Crypto-Currency,” New Yorker, October 10, 2011, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/10/111010fa_fact_davis. The goal is for 21 million: “How Does Bitcoin Work?” Economist, April 11, 2013, http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/04/economist-explains-how-does-bitcoin-work. At that point, no more: Alice Truong, “Top 10 Bitcoin Myths Debunked,” CoinDesk, June 4, 2013, http://www.coindesk.com/top-10-bitcoin-myths-debunked/. Bitcoin, as a global payment system: Marc Andreessen, “Why Bitcoin Matters,” New York Times, January 21, 2014, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/why-bitcoin-matters/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0.

Prominent economist Nouriel Roubini sent out a string of tweets attacking the notion that Bitcoin is a currency. As Roubini tweeted: “Apart from a base 4 criminal activities, Bitcoin is not a currency as it is not a unit of account or a means of payments or store of value.” He went on to explain his rationale in further tweets: “Bitcoin is not a unit of account as no price of goods and services is set in Bitcoin unit nor it ever will. So it isn’t a currency.” “Bitcoin isn’t a store of value as little wealth is in Bitcoin and no assets in it. Also given price volatility it is a lousy store of value.” “Bitcoin isn’t means of payment as few transactions in Bitcoin. And given its volatility all who accept it convert it right back into $/€/¥.” Roubini went even further, calling Bitcoin a scam and a fringe movement: “So Bitcoin isn’t a currency. It is btw a Ponzi game and a conduit for criminal/illegal activities.

 

pages: 329 words: 95,309

Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner

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algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, demand response, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Google Glasses, high net worth, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, margin call, mass affluent, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, Y2K

Nevertheless, I have invested in Bitcoins and suggest you do too, as it is very likely that they will be a major store of value for years to come in the near term. Bitcoin’s timeline[29] 2008–2009 In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto posted a paper describing the Bitcoin protocol on the internet. In 2009, the Bitcoin network came into existence with the release of the first open source Bitcoin client and the issuance of the first Bitcoins. 2010 The prices for the first Bitcoin transactions were negotiated by individuals on the Bitcointalk forums. One notable transaction involved a 10,000 BTC pizza. On 6 August, a major vulnerability in the Bitcoin protocol was spotted. Transactions weren't properly verified before they were included in the transaction log or "block chain" which allowed for users to bypass Bitcoin's economic restrictions and create an indefinite number of Bitcoins On 15 August, the major vulnerability was exploited.

The most recent attempt to provide a good alternative that gained significant traction is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a digital currency designed to be controlled through encryption rather than a centralised authority. Operating in exactly the same way as cash, Bitcoins are fully exchangeable as an anonymous form of currency in real-time across the internet and, shortly, at Point-of-Sale. The core features of Bitcoin are that they can be: Sent to anyone with a Bitcoin address; Accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection; Anybody can start buying, selling or accepting Bitcoins regardless of their location; Completely distributed with no bank or payment processor between users (this decentralization is the basis for Bitcoin’s security and freedom); and Transactions are free (for now, this will change). Bitcoin is a fully encrypted, digital currency which, when you have some, can be used globally as easily as cash.

In late-2011, the exchange rate of Bitcoin crashed from over $30 in June to below $2 in October. In January 2012, Bitcoin was featured as the main subject within a fictionalized trial on the CBS legal drama The Good Wife in the third season episode "Bitcoin for Dummies". The host of CNBC's Mad Money, Jim Cramer, played himself in a courtroom scene where he testifies that he doesn’t consider Bitcoin a true currency, saying “There’s no central bank to regulate it; it’s digital and functions completely peer to peer.” In October 2012, BitPay reported having over 1,000 merchants accepting Bitcoin under its payment processing service. 2013 In February 2013, the Bitcoin-based payment processor Coinbase reported selling $1 million in Bitcoins in a single month at over $22 per Bitcoin. In March, the US government’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) established regulatory guidelines for "decentralized virtual currencies" such as Bitcoin, classifying American "Bitcoin miners" who sell their generated Bitcoins as Money Service Businesses (or MSBs), that may be subject to registration and other legal obligations.

 

pages: 267 words: 82,580

The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

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3D printing, 4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Chrome, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julian Assange, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, life extension, litecoin, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, moral hazard, Occupy movement, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, slashdot, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, The Coming Technological Singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

No one person or group is in charge of Bitcoin: everyone is. Bitcoin was introduced to the world in 2009 via a public post on an exclusive emailing list for cryptographers. It quickly developed a following, and soon became the currency of choice for the online drugs market Silk Road. A growing number of people started to exchange Bitcoin for dollars, which pushed its exchange rate from under $0.001 in October 2009 to $100 in April 2013. In October that year, a US Federal Reserve spokesman hinted that Bitcoin might one day become a ‘viable currency’, and the following month the value of a single Bitcoin jumped to over $1,000. Millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin are now traded every day. In some parts of the world you can live almost entirely on Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s dramatic rise to prominence resulted in an explosion of investment, exchange companies, and even ATM machines.

Although Amir’s technical know-how and experience are admired, his ideals and motivations have put him on the fringes of what has become an increasingly respectable Bitcoin community. Dark Wallet has pitted itself directly against organisations seeking to capitalise and control Bitcoin and its market. ‘Many prominent Bitcoin developers are actively in collusion with members of law enforcement and seeking approval from government legislators,’ reads the Dark Wallet blurb. ‘We believe this is not in Bitcoin users’ self-interest, and instead serves wealthy business interests that make up the self-titled Bitcoin Foundation.’ In a 2014 interview with Newsweek, the chief Bitcoin Foundation scientist, Gavin Andresen, said that he thinks of Bitcoin as ‘a just-plain-better, more efficient, less-subject-to-political-whims money. Not as an all-powerful black-market tool that will be used by anarchists to overthrow the System.’

He is frequently offered lucrative jobs in the tech sector, but lives instead in what he calls a ‘techno-industrial colony’ in Calafou, Spain. He’s been working on Bitcoin software day and night for over four years now, and arguably knows more about this strange new currency than almost anyone else alive. He is here to tell us about his latest Bitcoin project – something he calls the ‘Dark Wallet’. The reason Amir and so many others like him are excited by Bitcoin is that it’s a form of internet money with potentially far-reaching consequences. A Bitcoin is nothing more than a unique string of numbers. It has no independent value, and is not tied to any real-world currency. Its strength and value come from the fact that people believe in it and use it. Anyone can download a Bitcoin wallet on to their computer, buy Bitcoins with traditional currency from a currency exchange, and use them to buy or sell a growing number of products or services as easily as sending an email.

 

pages: 161 words: 44,488

The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology by William Mougayar

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Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, business process, centralized clearinghouse, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, global value chain, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, market clearing, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, prediction markets, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, smart contracts, social web, software as a service, too big to fail, Turing complete, web application

On a cold early January 2014 evening, Vitalik came down the stairs at Bitcoin Decentral in an old narrow building on Spadina Avenue, an hour prior to the start of one of the weekly Toronto Bitcoin Meetups, organized by Anthony Di lorio. I spoke to him for the first time, trying to understand something that was described to me, as “beyond Bitcoin.” For six months prior to that, I had been trying to understand Bitcoin, and this Ethereum technology was news to me. Soon after my conversation started, the room was filling with people entering the building, ready for the Meetup to start. There was a special buzz around because Vitalik had just published his white paper1 on a new blockchain platform that was supposed to be better than Bitcoin, and destined to become the next big thing. Curious and intrigued, I proceeded to bombard Vitalik with questions about Ethereum and its architecture.

Cryptographic proof is the trusted method that blockchains utilize to confirm the validity and finality of transactions between parties. The blockchain will redefine the role of existing intermediaries (if they accept to change), while creating new intermediaries, therefore it will disrupt the traditional boundaries of value. The blockchain has ten characteristics, and they all need to be understood in a holistic manner. NOTES 1. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-paper. 2. Bitcoin “maximalism” refers to the opinion that solely supports Bitcoin at the expense of all other blockchain or cryptocurrency related projects, because maximalists believe we only a need a single blockchain, and single currency in order to achieve desired network effects benefits. 3. The Untapped Potential of Corporate Narratives. http://edgeperspectives.typepad.com/edge_perspectives/2013/10/the-untapped-potential-of-corporate-narratives.html. 4.

Banks should not only see the blockchain as a cost savings lever. It is very much about finding new opportunities that can grow their top line. WHY CAN'T THERE BE A GLOBAL BANK? To a skeptic, it sounds like a rhetorical question, given that Bitcoin was destined to become the underpinning nerve for a new type of global financial system that is borderless. Bitcoin’s vision is a globally decentralized money network with users at the edges of it. We should ask the question—since Bitcoin is global and universal, why is not there a truly global Bitcoin bank? This is a tricky question, because Bitcoin’s philosophy is about decentralization, whereas a bank is everything about centrally managed relationships. However, a global bank with no restrictions on borders or transactions would be interesting to users that want to conduct global transactions wherever they are in the world with the same ease as using a credit card.

 

pages: 700 words: 201,953

The Social Life of Money by Nigel Dodd

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kula ring, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, late capitalism, liquidity trap, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mental accounting, microcredit, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, predatory finance, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, remote working, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, Scientific racism, seigniorage, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Wave and Pay, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

This is a transaction database shared by all nodes participating in the system. 25 But unlike credit and debit card transactions, where the bank or card company manages the ledger, Bitcoin ledgers consist of block chains. 26 See https://www.casascius.com/. 27 For example, on April 15, 2013, an Asus laptop was available for 6.2271 BTC, which the website states was equivalent to US$629 (see https://www.bitcoinstore.com/). 28 See “Bitcoin takes an important step toward becoming part of every web browser on the planet,” http://qz.com/78014/bitcoin-is-now-part-of-the-web-sort-of/, accessed May 10, 2013. 29 Around 70 percent of items sold on Silk Road are drugs; other items include erotica, books, and fake IDs. 30 See http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013–04–12/virtual-bitcoin-mining-is-a-real-world-environmental-disaster.html. 31 See http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/adam-smith-hates-bitcoin/?smid=tw-NytimesKrugman&seid=auto. 32 See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYHoE21kUcs. 33 One version of Bitcoin malware used Skype to turn infected computers into “slaves” of a Bitcoin generator (see http://www.securelist.com/en/blog/208194210/Skypemageddon_by_bitcoining). 34 The December 2013 crashes were linked to new Chinese government restrictions on Bitcoin transactions, see “China Bans Banks from Bitcoin Transactions,” Financial Times, December 5, 2013. China has the largest market in Bitcoins. Other major falls in Bitcoin’s value occurred from June 8 to 12, 2011 (when the price fell by 68 percent), on January 17, 2012 (36 percent), from August 17 to 19, 2012 (51 percent), between March 6 and 11, 2013 (33 percent), and on April 10, 2013 (61 percent).

See Forbes’s “An illustrated history of Bitcoin crashes,” http://www.forbes.com/sites/timothylee/2013/04/11/an-illustrated-history-of-bitcoin-crashes/. 35 The total value of all Bitcoins in the world exceeded $1 billion for the first time in March 2013. 36 See Slate, “Fool’s Gold,” http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/view_from_chicago/2013/04/bitcoin_is_a_ponzi_scheme_the_internet_currency_will_collapse.html. 37 “Bitcoin Is No Great Mystery,” see http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.ie/2013/04/bitcoin-is-no-great-mystery.html, accessed April 15, 2013. 38 Sociologically, on the other hand, the image we have of the “average” Bitcoin user is rather predictable. According to a Bitcoin users’ survey that ran between February and April 2013 (with 1,087 responses), the “average” Bitcoin user is overwhelmingly male (95.2 percent) (for a discussion of Bitcoin and gender, see Scott 2014), 32.1 years old, libertarian or anarchocapitalist (44.3 percent), nonreligious (61.8 percent), with a full time job (44.7 percent), and is in a relationship (55.6 percent).

This is one potential weakness of the system resulting from the hard limit on Bitcoin supply. The other failing—much more widely discussed—is an inevitable function of its success, that is to say, its proneness to bubbles and crashes. Since its launch, the Bitcoin network has grown rapidly to become the most widely used alternative money system. Various retailers of material goods, music download websites, game providers, gambling sites, software providers, and high-profile online businesses such as WordPress, Reddit, Namecheap, and Mega, accept Bitcoins. The bitcoinstore.com sells a wide range of consumer goods.27 There are Bitcoin gift cards, dedicated payment system and debit cards, and a series of exchanges (such as Bitcoin-Central and Bitcoin-24.com) in which Bitcoins can be traded for major currencies in real time.

 

pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

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3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

Satoshi Nakamoto, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” bitcoin.org, October 31, 2008. 28. Ibid. 29. Pedro Franco, Understanding Bitcoin: Cryptography, Engineering and Economics (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2014). 30. Ibid. 31. Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies (Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly Media, 2014). 32. Franco, Understanding Bitcoin. 33. Antonopoulos, Mastering Bitcoin. 34. Rob Wile, “The Chinese Are in Love with Bitcoin and It’s Driving the Digital Currency’s Prices into the Stratosphere,” businessinsider.com, October 29, 2013. 35. Rebecca Grant, “A Single Bitcoin Was Worth $10 a Year Ago—Today It’s Worth $1,000,” venturebeat.com, November 27, 2013. 36. Robert McMillan, “The Inside Story of Mt. Gox, Bitcoin’s $460 Million Disaster,” wired.com, March 3, 2014. 37.

It is addressing the problem of how people can transact securely without a central mediator and do so anonymously. And Bitcoin is most assuredly secure. For the record, the much-publicized bitcoin robberies and cyberattacks have been on some of the bitcoin exchanges and online wallet systems—one of them adapted from a gaming Web site that was never intended to secure banking records.36 Even so, they have nothing to do with the Bitcoin blockchain itself, which is, for all intents and purposes, impenetrable. Bitcoin’s failure to overcome our business culture’s bias for hoarding and scarcity may be a temporary setback, or it could prove to be a fundamental flaw in the way the system was designed. The Bitcoin blockchain generates an arbitrarily limited supply of bitcoins. It may have been meant to counteract what sometimes seems like the profligate pumping of money into the economy by central banks.

This is a money system that works through protocols—digital handshakes between peers—instead of establishing security through central authorities. Bitcoin is based on a database known as the “blockchain.” The blockchain is a public ledger of every bitcoin transaction ever. It doesn’t sit on a server at a bank or in the basement of a credit-card company’s headquarters; it lives on the computers of everyone in the Bitcoin network. When bitcoins are transacted, an algorithm corresponding to that transaction is “published” to the blockchain. The algorithm is just a description of the transaction itself, as in “2 bitcoins came from A and went to B.” Instead of a list of users and their bitcoin balances, the ledger simply lists the transactions in chronological order. It doesn’t follow people, it follows the money. It’s not a record of how much you have as much as a record of where the money came from and where it is going to.30, 31 To get a transaction into the ledger, two users must first agree to the exchange.

 

pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

The right place to start is by understanding Bitcoin. Understanding Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Exchange In the simplest possible terms, bitcoin is a digital currency. (I refer to the currency using lowercase “b,” and the platform, technology, or ecosystem using uppercase “B.”) You can acquire bitcoin by exchanging it for your dollars, euros, or yen, by providing someone with a product or service that they pay you for in bitcoin, or by “mining” bitcoin (more on this later). Your acquisition and subsequent possession of this bitcoin exists as one or more entries in a public ledger (the blockchain) in which you are identified by a secure anonymized “key.” Each time you use your bitcoin, the new transaction is recorded as yet another entry in the ledger. A lot of the attention paid to Bitcoin has focused on its success in creating currency without a government backer, about how bitcoin value measured in traditional money fluctuates a lot over time (although its exchange rate has stabilized considerably in 2015), and perhaps also about the use of bitcoin for commerce that many governments consider illegal.

A lot of the attention paid to Bitcoin has focused on its success in creating currency without a government backer, about how bitcoin value measured in traditional money fluctuates a lot over time (although its exchange rate has stabilized considerably in 2015), and perhaps also about the use of bitcoin for commerce that many governments consider illegal. Instead of rehashing those topics, I focus here on thinking about Bitcoin as one of many applications of a new set of enabling technologies. I also discuss two other related applications: OpenBazaar and La’Zooz. Through this discussion, some of the key elements of the economics and technology of decentralized peer-to-peer marketplaces will become more transparent. Bitcoin Many of the critical pieces of a decentralized peer-to-peer market are part of Bitcoin. Let’s say that you want to send your friend Clay digital money.

Furthermore, a ledger that has to be distributed across every client can grow awfully large over time, and scalability of blockchain-based applications remains an open question. Payment systems like Bitcoin, because of the way they delay settlement, may need to be rebuilt to handle the real-time payments that credit cards and mobile payment systems like PayPal manage with ease today. Part of the solution to both of these challenges will come from the creation of a greater fraction of “off-the-book” transactions, but this creates a new layer of intermediation. Off-the-book transactions also create new risks. Some of you may recall Mt.Gox, the exchange that held its users’ bitcoin in its own centralized Bitcoin accounts while maintaining a parallel off-the-blockchain system of keeping track of which users had how much bitcoin. Mt.Gox ceased operations in 2014 following the 2013 loss of the equivalent of $450 million of its users’ bitcoin because of what appeared to be a hacker having gained access to its Bitcoin accounts.

 

pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

Michael Carney, “GitHub CEO Explains Why the Company Took So Damn Long to Raise Venture Capital,” pando.com, June 20, 2013, http://pando.com/2013/06/20/github-ceo-explains-why-the-company-took-so-damn-long-to-raise-venture-capital. 20. “Benevolent Dictator for Life,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benevolent_dictator_for_life. 21. “Crypto-Currency Market Capitalizations,” http://coinmarketcap.com. 22. “Who Controls the Bitcoin Network?,” Bitcoin website, https://bitcoin.org/en/faq#who-controls-the-bitcoin-network. 23. Bitsmith, “Inside a Chinese Bitcoin Mine,” The Coinsman, August 11, 2014, www.thecoinsman.com/2014/08/bitcoin/inside-chinese-bitcoin-mine. 24. “Government as Impresario: Emergent Public Goods and Public Private Partnerships 2.0,” talk given by Nicholas Gruen as part of a luncheon series at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, January 14, 2014, http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/events/luncheon/2014/01/gruen. 25.

Some platforms are of little (or no?) value until they get big enough. Bitcoin figured out how to cross this chasm and how to finance this crossing. The size of the reward for publishing/mining declines over time, going from high to low. Cleverly, Bitcoin paid people who took the most risk—who participated in the beginning—more Bitcoins for mining than to people who did this same task later. Paying more early on attracts people when the platform has the least value. The reward structure effectively borrows value from the future (when an established Bitcoin currency will have value) to finance the infrastructure building of the nascent and risky idea (when there is very little value). This is genius. Lastly, because what the Bitcoin people have earned will only be valuable if the whole Bitcoin enterprise succeeds, these early participants have every incentive to spread the good word and do what they can to make sure that it does.

All of the transactions on the public ledger are there for all to see, and open source. In the potentiality of block-chain visionaries, the most useful programs, contracts, and methods will be the ones that are most copied, eventually becoming standards. The Bitcoin.org website explains how this is accomplished with Bitcoin: Nobody owns the Bitcoin network.… [It] is controlled by all Bitcoin users around the world. While developers are improving the software, they can’t force a change in the Bitcoin protocol because all users are free to choose what software and version they use. In order to stay compatible with each other, all users need to use software complying with the same rules. Bitcoin can only work correctly with a complete consensus among all users. Therefore, all users and developers have a strong incentive to protect this consensus.22 While the block-chain protocol has necessarily evolved over the last six years, the evolution is driven by consensus, with the most suitable and widely adopted changes being the ones that win out over the alternatives.

 

pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

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4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

If a large attacker were to control more than half of the verification network, they could generate unlimited BitCoins and destroy the currency by inflation. It depends on conventional broadband, so is vulnerable to surveillance. BitCoin transactions are public and individual BitCoin holders' transactions can be identified. It depends on a "digital wallet" held on a computer, which is vulnerable to malware attacks and physical seizure. The history of money on the Internet and the power of the banking industry suggest that BitCoin will come under serious attack in coming years. We can expect to see the same attacks that we've seen often before: Financial blockades, prosecutions, and technical attacks on BitCoin exchanges. Association of BitCoin users with terrorists and child pornographers. Surveillance of BitCoin transactions to break expectations of anonymity.

Cut down one Napster, and a dozen spring up in its place. Better, the Spider calculates, to buy time and find a way to control BitCoin, and make a profit from it. BitCoin is a surprisingly strong model in some ways, yet it still has several vulnerabilities. It will depend on exchanges for converting BitCoin to other currencies until it gains (if it ever does) a sufficient internal market. BitCoin transactions -- the blockchain -- are essentially public, and it's been shown that you can tie transactions back to individual identities. Lastly, and most importantly, the whole system depends on a distributed network of "miners," who recalculate transactions, and in the process generate new BitCoin. BitCoin depends on its miners to remain honest. If an attacker controls 51% or more of the miners, they can generate bogus transactions and crash the currency.

The same year that e-gold died, its successor popped up in the form of BitCoin, the first credible crypto-currency. While e-gold based its denomination on the tangible value of gold coins, BitCoin is backed by nothing more than mathematics. This has led people to accuse it of being a pyramid scheme, destined for collapse. BitCoin works by "mining" new coins as a side effect of doing the cryptographic bookkeeping for other people, processing the so-called "transaction chains." In the beginning, when transaction chains were short, they were easy to process, and people could mine thousands of coins on their PCs. Today, as chains are long, it takes more effort to mine coins. Every year, the number of coins that can be mined falls, so at some point there will be no new BitCoins. The BitCoin design and open source software was written by a prudently anonymous team calling themselves "Satoshi Nakamoto."

 

pages: 361 words: 97,787

The Curse of Cash by Kenneth S Rogoff

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Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, cryptocurrency, debt deflation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial intermediation, financial repression, forward guidance, frictionless, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, moveable type in China, New Economic Geography, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, payday loans, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, RFID, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, The Great Moderation, the payments system, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, unconventional monetary instruments, underbanked, unorthodox policies, Y2K, yield curve

Another major concern under a Bitcoin currency standard (or any digital currency) is inflation. It is true that the supply of bitcoins has been capped at 21 million coins, a limit that is expected to be reached sometime in the twenty-second century. Some people worry that this cap will eventually imply deflation, if world growth continues but the supply of bitcoins is fixed. They should be much more worried about inflation than about deflation. How is that? Because Bitcoin does not have a monopoly on the underlying technology, imitators can appear, and indeed they already have. Over time, Bitcoin 1.0’s first-mover advantage may fade, especially if Bitcoin 2.0 or Bitcoin 3.0 offers a superior mechanism (e.g., much lower maintenance costs and more surefire anonymity). If so, the problem will be inflation, not deflation. Can the government really copy the new technologies to create a superior clearing mechanism for its own electronic currency?

Already, markets are forming to exploit this capacity, for example, in applications surrounding Ethereum.4 That distributed-ledger technology could in theory someday produce a superior currency, however, hardly means that the world is already there in practice. One problem is that the value of Bitcoin 1.0 fluctuates wildly (figure 14.1), so it hardly fulfills the function of a stable store of value. In principle, it could become more stable if it gained more widespread monetary acceptance. Figure 14.2 shows that the price of gold in terms of dollars was much more stable under the gold standard, even in real (purchasing-power) terms. Whether this could happen without a government that aimed to stabilize the value of Bitcoin 1.0 is at best a conjecture. Figure 14.1: Market price of bitcoins (US dollars). Source: Blockchain.info. Figure 14.2: Real gold price (US dollars). Source: 1850–1920, National Mining Association; 1921–2015, Bloomberg. Another major concern under a Bitcoin currency standard (or any digital currency) is inflation.

The basic idea, in a nutshell, is to create a system in which diverse private-sector individuals (or entities) are incentivized to maintain independent ledgers of transaction trees (or blockchains), and new transactions cannot clear the books without achieving a critical mass of third-party acceptance. A fair dose of encryption technology is also included, and in Bitcoin, for example, individuals are allowed to use aliases with passcode-protected accounts to make it difficult to determine their identities. A lot of truly fascinating science supports the different systems, and one can find many excellent treatments.2 Governments around the world have already begun regulating cryptocurrencies more aggressively. In the United States, Bitcoin wallets must now comply with anti-money-laundering rules, and the Internal Revenue Service has begun to issue rulings on how Bitcoin earnings should be taxed. The European Union, too, is in the process of intensifying its regulations. Where governments have the greatest leverage is in regulating how financial institutions interact with cryptocurrencies.

 

pages: 378 words: 94,468

Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power

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air freight, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, double helix, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, Zimmermann PGP

A new kind of currency is making official control of this area even harder. Bitcoin is an electronic cash system, produced using cryptography. It is a peer-to-peer currency, made by users, meaning that no central authority issues money or tracks transactions. For every legal bitcoin user, selling web design services or carrying out coding jobs for which they are paid in the currency, there are many more using bitcoins to buy drugs on the Silk Road. Bitcoin is today the preferred choice of hundreds of online drug dealers. You can buy bitcoins using cash or other currencies in hundreds of ways, with varying levels of anonymity. Using bitcoins can be, depending on how you use them, almost completely anonymous. Originally, bitcoins were produced by ‘miners’ – a figurative term for computer owners who donated their processor time to the project and were rewarded with coins for their efforts.

Liberty Gold is a virtual metal-backed currency from Costa Rica, purchasable automatically from anonymous servers with Western Union cash payments, whereby participants swap the transaction number for invisible currencies which they can then swap into other currencies. You could for a short period in 2011 even buy bitcoin by SMS: users would buy a simcard from Poland, or Belgium, or one of a dozen other countries, charge it with cash, send a text and receive their coins to their handset. ‘Mixing’ services too, can tumble the coins in and out of thousands of other bitcoin transactions and accounts, making a dense web of mathematics even denser still. When most investigators can’t even understand the basics of encryption, the likelihood that they or a jury member will reach an understanding of bitcoin is minimal. And when most small-scale drug transactions are small, under £100, who’s watching? The answer, so far, is that no one has been busted using evidence from the bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin addresses, where you receive and store coins, are randomly generated strings of letters and numbers, and there’s no ID check system – and you can create another in moments.

The system was then flooded with speculators, forcing MtGox to limit withdrawals to US$1,000 worth of bitcoins a day to stem the flow and prop up the dollar-value of the currency.6 Network analysts Fergal Reid and Martin Harrigan of University College Dublin wrote a 2012 paper baldly titled ‘Bitcoin is Not Anonymous’. In it they demonstrated what the high-tech coining community knew – that the blockchain recorded all transactions. Reid posted in a comment thread following the release of his paper, ‘You don’t get anonymity automatically from the system. A lot of people out there think you do.’7 But the determined user can retain anonymity easily enough in the US at least, by entering a bank and paying cash into an exchanger’s account, for bitcoins are now traded just as dollars and euros are. (They now have a value that is decided by the market. The total bitcoin market capitalization stood at £72 million in November 2012 – with around 10 million coins valued by the secondary market at around £7.50 each.)

 

pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

The system is designed to ensure no more than twenty-one million Bitcoins are ever generated, thereby preventing a central authority from flooding the market with new Bitcoins. Most people purchase Bitcoins on third-party exchanges with traditional currencies, such as dollars or euros, or with credit cards. The exchange rates against the dollar for Bitcoin fluctuate wildly and have ranged from fifty cents per coin around the time of its introduction to over $1,240 in November 2013. People can send Bitcoins to each other using computers or mobile apps, where coins are stored in “digital wallets.” Bitcoins can be directly exchanged between users anywhere in the world using unique alphanumeric identifiers, akin to e-mail addresses, and there are no transaction fees. Anytime a purchase takes place, it is recorded in a public ledger known as the “blockchain,” which ensures no duplicate transactions are permitted. Bitcoin is the world’s largest crypto currency, so-called because it uses “cryptography to regulate the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.”

,” io9, March 26, 2012. 47 “I will sell my kidney”: Dan Bilefsky, “Black Market for Body Parts Spreads in Europe,” New York Times, June 28, 2012. 48 “Donate a kidney”: Denis Campbell and Nicola Davison, “Illegal Kidney Trade Booms as New Organ Is ‘Sold Every Hour,’ ” Guardian, May 27, 2012. 49 At least one seventeen-year-old: “9 on Trial in China over Teenager’s Sale of Kidney for iPad and iPhone,” CNN, Aug. 10, 2012. 50 In a deeply disturbing report: European Cybercrime Centre, “Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online,” Oct. 2013. 51 Organized criminal networks: Paul Gallagher, “Live Streamed Videos of Abuse and Pay-per-View Child Rape Among ‘Disturbing’ Cybercrime Trends, Europol Report Reveals,” Independent, Oct. 16, 2013; Paul Peachey, “Number of UK Paedophiles ‘Live-Streaming’ Child Abuse Films Soars, Warns CEOP,” Independent, July 1, 2013. 52 In one incident: Ann Cahill, “New Age of Cybercrime: Live Child Rapes, Sextortion, and Advanced Malware,” Irish Examiner, Feb. 11, 2014. 53 The system is designed: “How Does Bitcoin Work?,” Economist, April 11, 2013. 54 Bitcoin is the world’s largest: Nick Farrell, “Understanding Bitcoin and Crypto Currency,” Tech Radar, April 7, 2014. 55 Because Bitcoin can be spent: Joshua Brustein, “Bitcoin May Not Be So Anonymous, After All,” Bloomberg Businessweek, Aug. 27, 2013. 56 There are now more than seventy: Alan Yu, “How Virtual Currency Could Make It Easier to Move Money,” NPR.​org, Jan. 15, 2014. 57 Hackers have been able to steal: Robin Sidel, Eleanor Warnock, and Takashi Mochizuki, “Almost Half a Billion Worth of Bitcoins Vanish,” Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2014. 58 Beyond crypto currencies: Marc Santora, William K. Rashbaum, and Nicole Perlroth, “Liberty Reserve Operators Accused of Money Laundering,” New York Times, May 28, 2013. 59 Known as the “PayPal”: United States Attorney’s Office of Southern New York, “Liberty Reserve Information Technology Manager Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court,” United States Department of Justice press release, Sept. 23, 2014. 60 The popularity of Darkcoin: Andy Greenberg, “Darkcoin, the Shadowy Cousin of Bitcoin, Is Booming,” Wired, May 21, 2014. 61 Operating under the motto: Andy Greenberg, “ ‘Dark Wallet’ Is About to Make Bitcoin Money Laundering Easier Than Ever,” Wired, April 29, 2014. 62 One such CaaS company: James Vincent, “Irish Man Arrested as ‘the Largest Facilitator of Child Porn on the Planet,’ ” Independent, Aug. 5, 2013. 63 Hundreds of crime-trepreneur purveyors: Kevin Poulsen, “FBI Admits It Controlled Tor Servers Behind Mass Malware Attack,” Wired, Sept. 13, 2013. 64 The trend is accelerating: Solutionary, an NTT Group Security Company, Security Engineering Research Team (SERT) Quarterly Threat Intelligence Report, 2013, 8, http://​www.​solutionary.​com. 65 For example, the hackers: Ibid. 66 Today, using the distributed computing power: “Cybercriminals Today Mirror Legitimate Business Processes,” 4. 67 This means that anyone: Simson Garfinkel, “The Criminal Cloud,” MIT Technology Review, Oct. 17, 2011. 68 “private organisation”: Misha Glenny, DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops, and You (New York: Knopf, 2011), 203. 69 China’s Hidden Lynx: Danny Yadron, “Symantec Fingers Most Advanced Chinese Hacker Group,” Digits (blog), Wall Street Journal, Sept. 17, 2013. 70 Off duty, however: Kim Zetter, “State-Sponsored Hacker Gang Has a Side Gig in Fraud,” Wired, Sept. 17, 2013. 71 Staffed 24/7: Kim Zetter, “Cops Pull Plug on Rent-a-Fraudster Service for Bank Thieves,” Wired, April 19, 2010. 72 As a result, less skilled criminals: Ablon, Libicki, and Golay, “Markets for Cybercrime Tools and Stolen Data,” 4. 73 Vendors offer one-stop shopping: Forward-Looking Threat Research Team, “Deepweb and Cybercrime,” 9; Ablon, Libicki, and Golay, “Markets for Cybercrime Tools and Stolen Data,” 4. 214 As an example: Taylor Armerding, “Dark Web: An Ever-More-Comfortable Haven for Cyber Criminals,” CSO Online, March 28, 2014. 74 Over the years: Donna Leinwand Leger and Anna Arutunyan, “How the Feds Brought Down a Notorious Russian Hacker,” USA Today, March 5, 2014. 75 When they did: Dan Raywood, “New Version of Bugat Trojan Was Payload in LinkedIn Spam and Not Zeus,” SC Magazine UK, Oct. 12, 2010. 76 Once it found it: Robert McMillan, “New Russian Botnet Tries to Kill Rival,” Computerworld, Feb. 9, 2010. 77 Like its rival Zeus: Kurt Eichenwald, “The $500,000,000 Cyber-Heist,” Newsweek, March 13, 2014. 78 The tool, perhaps one of the world’s most popular: Gregory J.

., a trend that is accelerating thanks to new forms of illicit finance that greatly facilitate its clandestine business operations. Dark Coins Bitcoin’s got its issues. But it is not competing with perfection. DAN KAMINSKY, SECURITY RESEARCHER Technology is enabling new forms of money, and the growing digital economy holds great promise to provide new financial tools, especially to the world’s poor and unbanked. These emerging virtual currencies are often anonymous and none have received quite as much press as Bitcoin, a decentralized peer-to-peer digital form of money. Bitcoins were invented in 2009 by a mysterious person (or group of people) using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, and the coins are created or “mined” by solving increasingly difficult mathematical equations, requiring extensive computing power. The system is designed to ensure no more than twenty-one million Bitcoins are ever generated, thereby preventing a central authority from flooding the market with new Bitcoins.

 

pages: 478 words: 149,810

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson

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4chan, Asperger Syndrome, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Firefox, hive mind, Julian Assange, Minecraft, Occupy movement, pirate software, side project, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

Another more direct route, which Topiary often used, was to simply transfer money between a few different Bitcoin addresses: Bitcoin address 1 → Bitcoin address 2 → Bitcoin address 3 → Liberty Reserve (a Costa Rican payment processor) account → Bitcoin address 4 → Bitcoin address 5 → second Liberty Reserve account → PayPal account → bank account. If even the hint of a thought occurred to him that there weren’t enough transfers, he would add several more paths. Then on Monday, June 6, Topiary checked the LulzSec Bitcoin account. Holy shit, he thought. He was looking at a single, anonymous donation of four hundred Bitcoins, worth approximately $7,800. It was more money than Topiary had ever had in his life. He went straight into the core group’s secure chat room. “WHAT THE FUCK guys?!” he said, then pasted the Bitcoin details. “NO WAY,” said AVunit. “LOL.

Topiary started requesting donations for LulzSec and used Twitter and Pastebin to provide the thirty-one-digit number that acted as the group’s new Bitcoin address. Anyone could anonymously donate to their anonymous account if he converted money into the Bitcoin currency and made a transfer. Bitcoin was a digital currency that used peer-to-peer networking to make anonymous payments. It became increasingly popular around the same time LulzSec started hacking. By May, the currency’s value was up by a dollar from where it had been at the start of the year, to $8.70. A few days after soliciting donations, Topiary jokingly thanked a “mysterious benefactor who sent us 0.02 BitCoins. Your kindness will be used to fund terror of the highest quality.” He used Twitter to drop hints about whom LulzSec would hit next.

They started private messaging Topiary with their unique Bitcoin addresses so he could send them their shares. Topiary had no intention of keeping quiet about the money or cutting a bigger slice for himself. Everyone was funneling the money through various accounts to keep it from being traced. Who knew if the donation had come from the Feds or opportunistic military white hats? “Guys be safe with the Bitcoins please,” said AVunit. “Let it flow through a few gateways.…Use one bit to get out of financial trouble and then sit on the rest.” “Okay, beginning the sends,” Topiary said. “All of you are now $1,000 richer.” “Excuse me while I light up a victory cigar,” said Pwnsauce. “I’m just going to stare at it,” said Kayla. “Let it grow as Bitcoin progresses.” So volatile and popular was the value of the Bitcoin crypto currency that by the following day one Bitcoin had risen to $26 in value, making their big donation worth $11,000.

 

pages: 382 words: 120,064

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, asset-backed security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, George Gilder, Google Glasses, high net worth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Infrastructure as a Service, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, performance metric, platform as a service, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, web application

Instead of enabling merchants to process credit card payments from Visa or MasterCard, Bitcoin bypasses the system entirely in favour of device-to-device transactions using near-field communications technology. Bitcoin’s new currency doesn’t require a third-party processor or a plug-in dongle. Because of this, Bitcoin can afford to charge users much less per transaction. At the moment, the average Bitcoin transaction fee is 0.99 per cent, while Square and PayPal’s processing apps charge 2.75 per cent and 2.7 per cent per swipe of your credit card. Like any currency, Bitcoins can also be exchanged for US dollars through a processing service. As of 11 April 2011, the going rate was round $4.90 per Bitcoin. In Africa, where inflation is out of control, many merchants are choosing to hang on to their Bitcoins so that they don’t have to push around wheelbarrows full of $100-billion notes. They’re looking at a rival currency to hold their assets, and it isn’t always the US dollar or euro.

There’s been a lot of discussion around the fact that Bitcoin’s anonymity enables the facilitation of illegal activities, money laundering and the like. Admittedly it is well suited to such abuse only because it is a totally open and community-regulated currency. However, suspicious transactions will still get flagged by the traditional banking system when cash is put into or taken out of the Bitcoin economy. So what’s holding Bitcoin back from shaking up the global economy and becoming a true rival currency, especially in the digital payments space? Security is the main concern. Unlike your credit card or existing bank accounts in the system, Bitcoin currently provides no protection or compensation in the event of fraud. Recently, a hacker managed to raid several Bitcoin accounts around the world and got away with $228,845.20 While current technology would enable tracking of IP activity around trades and the flow of Bitcoins, in the current instance of fraud, the weak link was the Bitcoin exchange, which didn’t have the monitoring tools in place to track the hack.

“Increasingly, these virtual economies are leading to real money trades,” notes Hunter, one of a handful of academics closely following this trend. Bitcoin is an experimental new digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. It uses peer-to-peer technology to operate, with no central authority, managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is also the name of the open-source software that enables the use of this innovative virtual currency. Over the past few years, the peer-to-peer currency it has created has gained a surprising foothold in the global market. There are now multiple Bitcoin-processing apps for Android and the iPhone, as well as an online payment system similar to PayPal. Instead of enabling merchants to process credit card payments from Visa or MasterCard, Bitcoin bypasses the system entirely in favour of device-to-device transactions using near-field communications technology.

 

pages: 325 words: 90,659

Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom Wainwright

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, bitcoin, business process, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, failed state, financial innovation, illegal immigration, Mark Zuckerberg, microcredit, price mechanism, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Skype

The effect is to make a user’s web-browsing history as good as untraceable, which is handy if you are a political dissident, spy, investigative journalist—or drug dealer. Then there is the problem of how to pay. For this, there is Bitcoin. The world’s foremost digital currency system, Bitcoin works without a central bank, instead relying on networks of computers to generate new “coins” by performing complex mathematical operations in a process known as mining. Setting up a Bitcoin account is a bit of a hassle, but not particularly complicated and, like the TOR browser, the currency is perfectly legal to use. Bitcoin’s value is ludicrously volatile: its price shot up from less than $15 at the beginning of 2013 to nearly $1,000 in November of that year, before falling back to $300 by the end of 2014. But online shoppers can live with this because, like TOR, Bitcoin provides them with a cloak of anonymity. The combination of untraceable browsing and anonymous payments has enabled an online criminal market to flourish.

Others, apparently including Evolution, vanish when the people running them decide to pull a fast one. (Evolution’s managers are thought to have made off with some $15 million in Bitcoin payments kept in escrow when the site mysteriously vanished in 2015.) And all such sites depend on Bitcoin and TOR, both of which could be pulled from under their feet if the governments of the world decided to ban them. There is no sign of that for now. Germany’s finance ministry has recognized Bitcoin as a currency, meaning its users can be taxed. In the United States, the Winklevoss twins, the nearly men of the dotcom boom who claimed that Mark Zuckerberg had stolen the idea for Facebook from them, have poured money into creating a Bitcoin exchange. Most democratic governments have so far been reluctant to outlaw the TOR browser, on the basis that it has legitimate uses as well as nefarious ones.

One academic study of the goods for sale on the original Silk Road estimated that about one-fifth of all its listings were aimed at dealers, and that these “business-to-business” transactions accounted for between 31 percent and 45 percent of the site’s trades by value.3 If that is the case, even drug users who buy their supplies “offline,” from a dealer or friend, may well be buying a product that was traded online at an earlier stage in the supply chain. Measuring the total value of the online drug economy is hard, not least because Bitcoin’s price is so volatile. The FBI originally estimated that the Silk Road had done $1.2 billion in business during its two and one-half years online. But it later scaled down this rough calculation: the estimate had been made when Bitcoin’s value was near its peak, whereas much of the Silk Road’s business was done when the digital currency was less valuable. The FBI did a revised estimate, using the currency’s varying value at the time that each different trade was made, and came up with the much lower figure of $200 million.

 

pages: 50 words: 15,603

Orwell Versus the Terrorists: A Digital Short by Jamie Bartlett

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augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Edward Snowden, ethereum blockchain, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Satoshi Nakamoto, technoutopianism, Zimmermann PGP

A decentralised world that is both private and impossible to censor. Back in 2009, in an obscure cryptography chat forum, a mysterious man called Satoshi Nakamoto invented the crypto-currency Bitcoin.fn3 It turns out the real genius of Bitcoin was not the currency at all, but the way that it works. Bitcoin creates an immutable, unchangeable public copy of every transaction ever made by its users, which is hosted and verified by every computer that downloads the software. This public copy is called the ‘blockchain’. Pretty soon, enthusiasts figured out that the blockchain system could be used for anything. Armed with 30,000 Bitcoins (around $12 million) of crowdfunded support, the Ethereum project is dedicated to creating a new, blockchain-operated internet. Ethereum’s developers hope the system will herald a revolution in the way we use the net – allowing us to do everything online directly with each other, not through the big companies that currently mediate our online interaction and whom we have little choice but to trust with our data.

The first thing that strikes you on signing up on these market sites is how eerily familiar they all feel – they’re just like eBay or Amazon. Every one of the thousands of products on offer has a detailed description, a photograph and a price. All products and vendors are rated out of five by buyers, who also provide detailed written feedback. There are customer service buttons and shopping carts and free-package-and-delivery and one-off specials. I, like thousands of others, placed an order; paid with bitcoin; and waited for my product to arrive in the post. Which it did, bang on time. The hardest thing is deciding what to buy, since there is an unbelievable choice of products on offer. The Silk Road 2.0 (which was closed by the FBI and other police forces in late 2014) was an anonymous market for anything, with few exceptions, which meant wares stretched from the mundane to the bizarre: listings I spotted on one visit included a complete box-set of The Sopranos and a hundred-dollar Marine Depot Aquarium Supplies voucher.

I became the moderator of an infamous trolling group and spent weeks in forums dedicated to cutting, starving or killing yourself. I explored the labyrinthine world of Tor Hidden Services in search of drugs, and to study child pornography networks. I witnessed online wars between neo-Nazis and anti-fascists on popular social media sites, and signed up to the latest porn channels to examine current trends in home-made erotica. I visited a Barcelona squat with anarchist Bitcoin programmers, run-down working men’s clubs to speak to extreme nationalists, and a messy bedroom to observe three girls make a small fortune performing sexually explicit acts on camera to thousands of viewers. By exploring and comparing these worlds, I also hoped to answer a difficult question: do the features of anonymity and connectivity free the darker sides of our nature? And if so, how? The Dark Net is not an effort to weigh up the pros and cons of the internet.

 

pages: 326 words: 103,170

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo

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Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, market bubble, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, packet switching, Paul Graham, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Vernor Vinge, zero day

Today, the most talked-about model for an all-digital currency is Bitcoin, a system based on the algorithmic creation of money mined from computation much as gold was once mined from the hills of California. Bitcoin’s most appealing property is that it is not controlled by any government. It is meant to be free from political pressures, from the influence of central bankers, and from the risk of national default. If you’re an Indonesian farmer or an Estonian cabdriver, the thinking goes, better to store your money in BTC than local cash. Bitcoin is easy to keep and transmit, and Bitcoin transactions can be made anonymously—which has attracted drug lords and tax evaders and bred a Bitcoin-fueled black-market economy too. Bitcoin or something like it will have a role in our future, but another kind of digital currency will appear too, and it will form itself into a kind of gateland.

Bitcoin or something like it will have a role in our future, but another kind of digital currency will appear too, and it will form itself into a kind of gateland. Instead of being anonymous, backed only by algorithms, and unlinked to a government, as Bitcoin is, this currency will be built for reliability, not mystery. Bitcoin transactions are cloaked in secrecy; this new currency will be transparent, traceable. Bitcoin is free from government interference; this digital currency will be backed by a major government and tied intimately into policy and credit. Imagine that the United States began to issue Bitdollars—traceable, controllable digital currency backed by the security of America’s economic position. While many people might still prefer Bitcoins (or Bitrubles or Bityuan), the answer to the question What’s your safety currency? won’t change much just because you put the prefix “Bit” in front of it.

If you look at a kid with a phone and think strong, you have a feeling for the potential of a network. If you look at an angry, barely educated terrorist wannabe and think junior varsity, you don’t. And, as a result, you may be about to have a very unpleasant surprise. A friend who controls the largest secure Bitcoin vault in the world put it to me once this way: “Platforms mattered once; now it is protocols.” His point was that the pipes and rules connecting the varied systems of our world fundamentally affect the distribution of power. The rules of the Bitcoin block chain or the implications of an addressing protocol such as IPv6 reveal something about how we’ll all connect in the future. They are examples of how the pulling pressure of networks will become operational. Try this: Ball up your right hand into a fist. Take your left hand and open the fingers wide.

 

pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review

sizable bag rental business: Emily Hamlin Smith, “Where to Rent Designer Handbags, Clothes, Accessories and More,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 12, 2012. phone app, such as M-Pesa: Murithi Mutiga, “Kenya’s Banking Revolution Lights a Fire,” New York Times, January 20, 2014. has $3 billion in circulation: “Bitcoin Network,” Bitcoin Charts, accessed June 24, 2015. 100,000 vendors accepting the coins: Wouter Vonk, “Bitcoin and BitPay in 2014,” BitPay blog, February 4, 2015. Six times an hour: Colin Dean, “How Many Bitcoin Are Mined Per Day?,” Bitcoin Stack Exchange, March 28, 2013. Knowledge-Based Trust: Hal Hodson, “Google Wants to Rank Websites Based on Facts Not Links,” New Scientist, February 28, 2015. tools are extensions of our selves: Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964).

And some admirable characters championing human rights were looking for a money system that would work outside of corrupt or repressive governments, or in places of no governance at all. What they together came up with is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a fully decentralized, distributed currency that does not need a central bank for its accuracy, enforcement, or regulation. Since it was launched in 2009, the currency has $3 billion in circulation and 100,000 vendors accepting the coins as payment. Bitcoin may be most famous for its anonymity and the black markets it fueled. But forget the anonymity; it’s a distraction. The most important innovation in Bitcoin is its “blockchain,” the mathematical technology that powers it. The blockchain is a radical invention that can decentralize many other systems beyond money. When I send you one U.S. dollar via a credit card or PayPal account, a central bank has to verify that transaction; at the very least it must confirm I had a dollar to send you.

When I send you one U.S. dollar via a credit card or PayPal account, a central bank has to verify that transaction; at the very least it must confirm I had a dollar to send you. When I send you one bitcoin, no central intermediary is involved. Our transaction is posted in a public ledger—called a blockchain—that is distributed to all other bitcoin owners in the world. This shared database contains a long “chain” of the transaction history of all existing bitcoins and who owns them. Every transaction is open to inspection by anyone. That completeness is pretty crazy; it’s like every person with a dollar having the complete history of all dollar bills as they move around the world. Six times an hour this open distributed database of coins is updated with all the new transactions of bitcoins; a new transaction like ours must be mathematically confirmed by multiple other owners before it is accepted as legitimate.

 

pages: 275 words: 77,017

The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers--And the Coming Cashless Society by David Wolman

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Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, cashless society, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, Diane Coyle, fiat currency, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, German hyperinflation, greed is good, Isaac Newton, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steven Levy, the payments system, transaction costs

It may be tempting to belittle alternative currencies as limited, unrealistic, or maybe a little hippie-ish, but they do work, so long as they don’t run into a counterfeiting problem, and so long as the supply of this money is intelligently controlled so as to avoid inflation (or worse). That’s why Bitcoin’s algorithmic approach to steering the money supply is captivating, although wild fluctuations in its value in the summer of 2011 suggest to some that The Economist is correct: “Bitcoin is technically sophisticated. As a monetary system, it looks primitive.”7 Alternative currencies are at a disadvantage due to their limited connection to the banking system. Credit is money too, after all, but there aren’t really loans out there denominated in Ven or Bitcoin, let alone Kilowatt Cards. Nevertheless, nothing but perception makes the issuing authority of the U.S. government more legitimate than the Ithaca HOURs Circulation Committee.

Projects like Hub Culture, Bitcoin, and Superfluid are trying to blend the interconnectivity of social networks with alternative currency models (although who knows if they’ll still be around by the time you read this). At Superfluid, users trade in Quids, which, as the website explains, are not dollars. “They’re placeholders for favors.” Hub Culture’s currency, Ven, is an attempt to bridge the divide between virtual currencies and real-world goods and services. People in the network transact in the “local” currency, which is priced from a basket of major sovereign currencies, commodities, and carbon futures. Your Ven can be exchanged for one of the major national currencies based on the same floating exchange rates that govern the value of world currencies against one another. Bitcoin has captured peoples’ imaginations because the money supply is determined by an algorithm, not bureaucrats or economists, and there is a cap to the number of Bitcoins that can be created: 21 million.

Bitcoin has captured peoples’ imaginations because the money supply is determined by an algorithm, not bureaucrats or economists, and there is a cap to the number of Bitcoins that can be created: 21 million. Two related experiments are the Wuffie Bank and Serios. Wuffie has tried to set up a currency based on reputation, as determined by an algorithm that measures the influence we have on others via our social networks. Serios is a currency of attention, based on the idea that in the age of information overload, an incoming e-mail loaded with 100 Serios is of more value than one loaded with just five Serios. Or think about the “Like” button on Facebook: when someone clicks this button on an article, product, or online video, she is assigning a tiny additional value that wasn’t there before.5 In the summer of 2011, the publishers of Longshot magazine decided that instead of making readers use a conventional paywall, they would ask for payment in U.S. dollars or by sharing the site with others via social media.

 

pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, web application

The ratio is still on the money, even today, which is something we can’t claim for state-backed or fiat currency because none of the fiat currencies in the world are backed by the gold standard any more. A new globally networked commercial economy needs a currency to match. Step forward crypto currencies such as bitcoin, which are the next evolution in how we trade. Bitcoin Bitcoin was the first fully implemented and distributed crypto currency. It works in much the same way as other emerging crypto currencies. Crypto currencies are simply decentralised electronic cash systems. The ‘money’ is created by using peer-to-peer networking, digital signatures and cryptography to generate a currency. Bitcoins are mined out of a digital network by computers plugged into a system trying to figure out a 64-digit code that unlocks 50 bitcoins at a time. The money, or bitcoins, is generally traded within the system by using specific peer-to-peer software. It’s a lot like BitTorrent client software.

It’s a lot like BitTorrent client software. All transactions are stored on a publicly distributed database so that the record of transaction is with everyone plugged into the system, rather than in a central storage location. It creates a form of decentralised stability and control in transactions, although the currency itself is highly volatile. A key difference with bitcoin is that the owner of each bitcoin stash is anonymous. The major advantages of bitcoin There’s a cap on the amount that will ever be in circulation (21 million) so it can’t be devalued by inserting more into the economy. There’s no centralised control agency that can destabilise the currency through its economic systems. It’s pan global and not controlled by a government (like gold). It’s digitally native and suits the future of commerce. It can transfer across borders without financial interruptions and fee gouging by existing finance systems.

Yes, banks don’t own currency, but the reason crypto currencies such as bitcoin are emerging is because of the banks themselves. Their opportunistic fee-taking is a counter move to the lower cost transaction (of all things) world we’re moving towards. Taking advantage of the system they feed off enables new systems to emerge. Banks haven’t provided simplified systems for modern-day digital trade and the net result is that this will eat into one of their revenue streams, another hardly noticeable leak in the industry bucket. It’s a form of system hacking, if you like. Unstable yet permanent Yes, bitcoin and crypto currencies are unstable and risky, but they’re in many ways no less stable than other stores of money. While bitcoin fluctuates wildly, its overriding direction is for more users, more traders who accept it and importantly its increasing value on the long-term trajectory.

 

pages: 422 words: 104,457

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin

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AltaVista, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Graeber, Debian, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, market bubble, market design, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, prediction markets, price discrimination, randomized controlled trial, RFID, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, security theater, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Zimmermann PGP

For instance, if I created: “How Spamgourmet Works,” https://spamgourmet.com/. So I started using: MaskMe, Abine, Inc., https://www.abine.com/maskme/. I hoped to buy bitcoins: “FAQ—Bitcoin,” accessed August 21, 2013, https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ#How_can_I_get_bitcoins.3F. Bitcoins can be used on: Adrian Chen, “The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug Imaginable,” Kotaku.com, June 1, 2011, http://kotaku.com/5805928/the-underground-website-where-you-can-buy-any-drug-imaginable. In May 2013, Kashmir Hill: Kashmir Hill, “Living on Bitcoin for a Week: The Journey Begins,” Forbes.com, May 1, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/05/01/living-on-bitcoin-for-a-week-the-journey-begins/. A digital cash start-up, E-gold: United States Department of Justice, “Digital Currency E-Gold Indicted for Money Laundering and Illegal Money Transmitting,” press release, April 27, 2007, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2007/April/07_crm_301.html.

I decided to try to find a more anonymous currency. I hoped to buy bitcoins, a virtual digital currency that was all the rage in the hacker community. But I couldn’t find a place that would let me buy bitcoins with a credit card. They all wanted my bank account number or a wire transfer—apparently because people often call their credit card company complaining that they didn’t receive their virtual coins. Bitcoins can be used on online “black markets” that can sell drugs and weapons. However, some brick-and-mortar businesses have started accepting bitcoins. In May 2013, Kashmir Hill, a reporter for Forbes, lived for a week only on bitcoins—subsisting mostly via a food delivery service in San Francisco that accepted the currency. However, all Bitcoin transactions are logged and publicly viewable. People’s names are not attached to their transactions, but a determined investigator could likely identify people behind certain Bitcoin transactions.

People’s names are not attached to their transactions, but a determined investigator could likely identify people behind certain Bitcoin transactions. This was not the anonymity I was seeking. * * * The deeper I looked at anonymous digital transactions, the less I liked them. They seemed to be havens for criminals. In 2007, a digital cash start-up, E-gold, was charged with money laundering. The indictment said the company knew that its services were used by identity thieves, child pornographers, and other criminals. The following year the company and its owners pleaded guilty to money laundering. And in 2013, federal prosecutors shut down the anonymous online currency exchange Liberty Reserve, charging that it was a $6 billion money-laundering operation for child pornographers and other criminals.

 

pages: 261 words: 86,905

How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say--And What It Really Means by John Lanchester

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asset allocation, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, forward guidance, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, High speed trading, hindsight bias, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kodak vs Instagram, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, loss aversion, margin call, McJob, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Nikolai Kondratiev, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, working poor, yield curve

If you’re wondering what Norway and Venuezuela have in common, the answer is nothing, except lots of oil. bitcoin An unregulated currency, created by someone or someones calling him, her, or themselves Satoshi Nakamoto, in 2008. It has no inherent value, so its worth depends entirely on the trust people have in it: in my view, that’s the most interesting thing about bitcoin, the fact it is a built-in lesson on the arbitrary nature of money values. Bitcoins are created by “mining,” i.e., by long slow computer calculations, and are stored and exchanged via digital “wallets.” This number crunching burns a lot of energy, and the cost of that energy is the real cost of creating bitcoins. The currency’s main use is in buying and selling things anonymously over the Internet, though there are also a few cafés and bars that take them.* The value of the bitcoin has gone up and down sharply in its short life.

.* The value of the bitcoin has gone up and down sharply in its short life. I’m writing this in March 2014: in the last few months the bitcoin has hit a high of over $1,200 and a low of $50. The currency lost 40 percent of its value in a single day, on 2 October 2013, when the FBI seized an illegal exchange called the Silk Road, where payment was taken in bitcoins—though it should be stressed that there is nothing illegal about bitcoins per se. In essence the bitcoin is (to quote the Economist) “a giant shared transaction ledger recording who owns each individual unit of the currency at any one time,” in which all transactions taking place in the currency are simultaneously visible to all its users. An interesting feature of the currency is how transparent it is: all bitcoin transactions are visible, though also anonymous—the combination of those two things is unusual.† Black-Scholes The name of the formula that made it possible to create prices in the derivatives markets; before the equation was discovered (or invented, depending on your view of what mathematics does), uncertainties about how probabilities changed made it impossible to create accurate prices for an option over time.

zombie bank A bank with so many dud assets on its books that it no longer functions as a lender, and at the same time is too big or politically important for anyone in power to admit the truth about its real position. Its condition is a form of living death, hence the name. In the debate between fast and slow zombies, zombie banks are as slow as it gets. * A list of businesses that take bitcoins is available at www.spendbitcoins.com/places/. † The current value of the currency is available at www.xe.com/currency/xbt-bitcoin, and the total number of bitcoins in circulation at blockexplorer.com/q/totalbc—today, the number is 11,888,600. Bitcoin’s FAQ, which I strongly recommend to anyone with an interest in the practical or theoretical questions raised by the currency, is at en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ. Afterword So what are we going to do with these tools, with this economic language? Where are we heading? The answer: it’s up to us. The future direction of the world economy is not written in stone, and the same goes for those in the US and the UK and in the developed world more generally.

 

pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

Quicken and Quickbooks have both had a major impact on traditional accounting firms. Now, similar to Mint for personal finance, Wave Accounting offers 100-percent-free small business accounting, although its real business model is to mine the data buried within those transactions. A little further out, the Bitcoin phenomenon continues to unfold. The smartest five VCs we know are all building or investing in between fifteen and twenty Bitcoin companies each. These investments could prove to be unimaginably disruptive. In fact, Salim believes Bitcoin to be the single biggest technology-enabler of the above list. Leading Bitcoin investor Brock Pierce frames it thusly: While the Internet is a medium for open communication—on top of which a layer of secure transactions has been attempted with great difficulty—the block chain itself is an ultra-low-cost infrastructure of secure, guaranteed transactions over which all manner of applications can be laid (currency being just one of them).

CFO – Chief Financial Officer The finance function, although historically very conservative and cautious, is about to face radical disruption from several technologies, including AI (Deep Learning), sensors and Bitcoin (the underlying block chain protocol in particular). Key Opportunity Implications and Actions AI accounting Automatic A/P, A/R software-enabling automatic reminders and payment, automatic tax management, and AIs watching for errant behaviors in transaction flows. Taxation without borders Governments are getting their act together regarding tax havens, which will likely continue to face ever-closer scrutiny in the coming years. Digital payment solutions More than 60,000 merchants already accept Bitcoin, which we predict will hit Wall Street in late 2014 and will most likely be mainstream by 2016. This is in addition to the growing impact of Square and PayPal.

We see a consistent set of steps around disruptive innovation comprising the following: Domain (or technology) becomes information-enabled Costs drop exponentially and access is democratized Hobbyists come together to form an open source community New combinations of technologies and convergences are introduced New products and services appear that are orders of magnitude better and cheaper The status quo is disrupted (and the domain gets information-enabled) We are seeing this evolution occur in drones, DNA sequencing, 3D printing, sensors, robotics and, certainly, Bitcoin. In each domain, an open source, networked community has sprung up, delivering an accelerated stream of innovation exactly in line with the steps listed above. The reason “Disruption is the New Norm” is that democratized, accelerating technologies, combined with the power of community, can now extend Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma to an unstoppable force. 4. Beware the “Expert” The old saw that an expert is “somebody who tells you why something cannot be done” is truer than ever before.

 

pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

A host of alternative currencies are blossoming on the Internet, and one in particular—an open-source project called Bitcoin—appears to be gaining steam. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority, allowing anyone to send “money” (the Bitcoin currency) to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and beyond the reach of governments. Bitcoin enlists participants in the community to manage transactions and issue money; the network, rather than a central bank, collectively creates the money. Lest you think Bitcoin is a nerd pipe dream, many companies—even large, publicly traded ones like LaCie—accept Bitcoin as payment.10 In the opinion of the tech entrepreneur and journalist Jason Calacanis, “Bitcoin is a P2P currency that could topple governments, destabilize economies and create uncontrollable global bazaars for contraband.”11 Recently, Bitcoin has faced significant setbacks, but it is a promising opening salvo in the advent of alternative, postgovernment currency.

Joshua Holland, The Fifteen Biggest Lies about the Economy: And Everything Else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs, and Corporate America (Hoboken: John Wiley, 2010), 105. 6. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/congress-hits-a-new-low-in-approval-obama-opens-election-year-under-50/ 7. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/frustration-index-still-hot-in-the-kitchen/ 8. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1913/poll-trust-washington-anger-government-gay-marriage-support-abortion 9. Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, The Groundswell, (Cambridge: Harvard Business Press, 2008). 10. http://www.wuala.com/en/bitcoin 11. http://www.launch.is/blog/l019-bitcoin-p2p-currency-the-most-dangerous-project-weve-ev.html 12. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/aug/08/london-riots-facebook-twitter-blackberry 13. http://articles.philly.com/2011-08-14/news/29886718_1_social-media-flash-mob-facebook-and-other-services 14. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0815/Flash-mobs-vs.-law-and-order-BART-protest-adds-fresh-twist 15. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/magazine/07Human-t.html 16. http://gizmodo.com/5927379/the-secret-online-weapons-store-thatll-sell-anyone-anything 17.

Lest you think Bitcoin is a nerd pipe dream, many companies—even large, publicly traded ones like LaCie—accept Bitcoin as payment.10 In the opinion of the tech entrepreneur and journalist Jason Calacanis, “Bitcoin is a P2P currency that could topple governments, destabilize economies and create uncontrollable global bazaars for contraband.”11 Recently, Bitcoin has faced significant setbacks, but it is a promising opening salvo in the advent of alternative, postgovernment currency. It’s possible now to build some of the structures parallel to the government with very little start-up cost—like revenue collection, for example. As people find the current system of government slow and frustrating, they’ll increasingly turn to the casual opportunities offered by radical connectivity to accomplish many of the same goals, even to the point of using alternative money like Bitcoin. An astonishing range of tools exist that complement and in some ways could replace government if given the opportunity. The Limits of Small The groundswell is exciting, but is it an unmitigated good thing? Not really. In some ways, it makes effective governance more difficult. At a meeting of mayors from around the country that I attended, I kept hearing a common refrain: they were drowning in the volume of direct contact with constituents.

 

pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Distributed capitalism equals ubiquitous capitalism. That’s the evolutionary logic of networked economics. In the financial market, Bitcoin already has its own trading indexes where hundreds of millions of dollars are speculated on the electronically networked currency. Digital money like Bitcoin represent a peer-to-peer alternative to centrally controlled currencies like the US dollar or Swedish krona, an alternative in which middlemen and thus banks and banking fees are eliminated. Writing in the New York Times to explain “why Bitcoin matters,” Marc Andreessen—who now is the managing partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a $4 billion Silicon Valley venture fund with $50 million invested in Bitcoin-based startups like the virtual wallet Coinbase—argues that this new digital money represents “a classic network effect, a positive feedback loop.”

Writing in the New York Times to explain “why Bitcoin matters,” Marc Andreessen—who now is the managing partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a $4 billion Silicon Valley venture fund with $50 million invested in Bitcoin-based startups like the virtual wallet Coinbase—argues that this new digital money represents “a classic network effect, a positive feedback loop.” As with the Web, Andreessen says, the more people who use the new currency, “the more valuable Bitcoin is for the people who use it.”107 “A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers,” writes Andreessen, predicting the historical significance of this networked currency. “What technology am I talking about? Personal computers in 1975, the Internet in 1993, and—I believe—Bitcoin in 2014.”108 What Silicon Valley euphemistically calls the “sharing economy” is a preview of this distributed capitalism system powered by the network effect of positive feedback loops. Investors like Andreessen see the Internet—a supposedly hyperefficient, “frictionless” platform for buyers and sellers—as an upgrade to the structural inefficiencies of the top-down twentieth-century economy.

“The Internet,” Joi Ito, the director of the MIT Media Lab, notes, “is not a technology; it’s a belief system.”14 Everything and everyone are being connected in a network revolution that is radically disrupting every aspect of today’s world. Education, transportation, health care, finance, retail, and manufacturing are now being reinvented by Internet-based products such as self-driving cars, wearable computing devices, 3-D printers, personal health monitors, massive open online courses (MOOCs), peer-to-peer services like Airbnb and Uber, and currencies like Bitcoin. Revolutionary entrepreneurs like Sean Parker and Kevin Systrom are building this networked society on our behalf. They haven’t asked our permission, of course. But then the idea of consent is foreign, even immoral, to many of these architects of what the Columbia University historian Mark Lilla calls our “libertarian age.” “The libertarian dogma of our time,” Lilla says, “is turning our polities, economies and cultures upside down.” 15 Yes.

 

pages: 466 words: 127,728

The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, jitney, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve

Among them are the rise of alternative currencies and of virtual or digital currencies such as bitcoin. Digital currencies exist within private peer-to-peer computer networks and are not issued by or supported by any government or central bank. The bitcoin phenomenon began in 2008 with the pseudonymous publication of a paper (by Satoshi Nakamoto) describing the protocols for the creation of a new electronic digital currency. In January 2009 the first bitcoins were created by Nakamoto’s software. He continued making technical contributions to the bitcoin project until 2010, at which point he withdrew from active participation. However, by that time a large community of developers, libertarians, and entrepreneurs had taken up the project. By late 2013, over 11.5 million bitcoins were in circulation, with the number growing steadily. The value of each bitcoin fluctuates based on supply and demand, but it had exceeded $700 per bitcoin in November 2013.

By August 2013, total student loans backed . . . : “The Rolling Student Loan Bailout,” Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323968704578652291680883634.html. “the test of a first-rate intelligence . . .”: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up (1936; reprint New York: New Directions, 2009). The bitcoin phenomenon began in 2008 . . . : Satoshi Nakamoto, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” November 1, 2008, http://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf. the history of barter is mostly a myth: David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years (Brooklyn, N.Y.: Melville House, 2011), pp. 21–41. “Sept. 11 was not a failure of intelligence or coordination . . .”: Thomas L. Friedman, “A Failure to Imagine,” New York Times, May 19, 2002, http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/19/opinion/a-failure-to-imagine.html.

The value of each bitcoin fluctuates based on supply and demand, but it had exceeded $700 per bitcoin in November 2013. Bitcoin’s long-term viability as a virtual currency remains to be seen, but its rapid and widespread adoption can already be taken as a sign that communities around the world are seeking alternatives to the dollar and traditional fiat currencies. Beyond the world of alternative currencies lies the world of transactions without currencies at all: the electronic barter market. Barter is one of the most misunderstood of economic concepts. A large economic literature is devoted to the inefficiencies of barter, which requires the simultaneous coincidence of wants between the two bartering parties. If one party wanted to trade wheat for nails, and the counterparty wanted wheat but had only rope to trade, the first party might accept the rope and go in search of someone with nails who wanted rope.

 

pages: 237 words: 64,411

Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Jerry Kaplan

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, bank run, bitcoin, Brian Krebs, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, Flash crash, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, haute couture, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, Satoshi Nakamoto, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, The Chicago School, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

The first glimmers of this are already visible. Bitcoins, for instance. It’s a new currency that exists solely in cyberspace and isn’t controlled by anyone. It was invented by an anonymous person or entity named Satoshi Nakamoto. No one may know who—or what—he is, but it’s clear that he doesn’t control the production, management, or value of his creation. Despite halfhearted attempts to regulate or legitimize bitcoins, neither do governments. Or anyone else, for that matter. As long as they can be converted to and from other assets of value—whether legally or illegally anywhere in the world—bitcoins will continue to exist and find adherents. What’s not clear is whether “Nakamoto-san,” whoever or whatever he is, is profiting from the invention. It’s entirely possible that a private stash of bitcoins is growing in value, unseen and in secret.

It’s entirely possible that a private stash of bitcoins is growing in value, unseen and in secret. The entity that originated the concept may have billions of dollars in private bitcoins sequestered in an electronic file somewhere. (As of this writing, the total market value of all bitcoins is around $5 billion.) But the potential of the technology underlying bitcoins goes far beyond simple currencies. The concept is now being expanded to include enforceable, unbreakable contracts between anonymous parties.18 So in the future, it’s entirely possible for you to be hired, paid, and fired by someone or something whose identity you don’t know. Why would you tolerate this? For the money, of course. Computer viruses are another example of feral computer programs. They reproduce and sometimes even mutate to avoid detection. Regardless of how they started out, they often aren’t controlled by anyone.

Paul Miller, “iOS 5 includes Siri ‘Intelligent Assistant’ Voice-Control, Dictation—for iPhone 4S Only,” The Verge, October 4, 2011, http://www.theverge.com/2011/10/04/ios-5-assistant-voice-control-ai-features/. 17. Loren Schweninger, Black Property Owners in the South, 1790–1915 (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1997), 65–66. 18. Vitalik Buterin, “Cryptographic Code Obfuscation: Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Are About to Take a Huge Leap Forward,” Bitcoin, February 8, 2014, http://bitcoinmagazine.com/10055/cryptographic-code-obfuscation-decentralized-autonomous-organizations-huge-leap-forward/. 19. For an excellent in-depth analysis of this problem, see Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). 20. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-lock_braking_system, last modified December 30, 2014. Index Absolute Sound (magazine), 193 Accenture stock price, 63 accident avoidance.

 

pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

Would it do more to ground money in a marking fabrication of total debt that is more relevant to economies defined by the paradoxes of Anthropocenic growth? Speaking of reserve currencies, Bitcoin introduces addressable scarcity not in direct relation to the sum of mined minerals or national currencies, but by the mathematics of solving increasingly difficult problems toward an eventual arbitrary limit of 21 million “coins.” There is much to explore with Bitcoin, blockchains and related initiatives, such as Ethereum, but it is also the monetary platform of choice of secessionist projects for which the metaphysical expulsion of externalities is the paramount program, as important if not more than the disintermediation of central banks. The version of Bitcoin that we have (other currencies may fork or follow) is exemplary of the future-archaic quality of many Stack innovations.

The smart grid is also a recording medium for the immanent representation of all things, passing through signification, toward enable an angelic harmony of things. See Sol Yurick, Metatron: The Recording Angel (Los Angeles: Semtiotext(e), 1985). 54.  The weight of virtual systems is amplified by the weight of virtual systems that monitor and mediate virtual systems. Consider the impact of bitcoin and coin mining. The key innovation is that “the work needed to commit a fraud is set to be higher in electricity costs than the economic benefit derived from it.” See http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-12/virtual-bitcoin-mining-is-a-real-world-environmental-disaster.html and http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/458439/cloud_real_ecological_timebomb_wireless_data_centres/. 55.  The Singularity born of spam is a plot device in Charles Stross, Rule 34 (New York: Ace, 2011). 56.  Mark P. Milles, “The Cloud Begins with Coal,” August 2013, http://www.tech-pundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Cloud_Begins_With_Coal.pdf. 57. 

It is, as Paul Krugman puts it, “both a 17th century and 21st century currency at once,” a currency mechanism that would freeze the sum total of possible liquid value tokens in the world, now and forever.64 In this regard, for certain persuasions, it is better than magic rocks (like gold) because incrementally more gold can always be mined, allowing rootless cosmopolitans to upset “the natural order” of hierarchical hereditary accumulation. If nothing else, Bitcoin has made money into a general design problem, as it should be, and not just the design of financial products or the look of paper bills, but of vessel abstractions of time, debt, work, and prestige. Better alternatives are needed soon, before today's digital platform currencies are prematurely entrenched in the wrong direction (artificially attenuated to closure and scarcity of the wrong stuff). Bitcoins also appear not only in mathematical space but through the energy-intensive mining of coins using special hardware with names like AntMiner, Minerscube, TerraHash HashCoins, and so on. The math is a function of the processing power of the servers, which is also a function of the amount of energy that a server pulls, which for some custom clusters is tremendous.

 

pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

The company also [released] a software development kit … that will allow third parties – like university robotics researchers – to create applications for Baxter.” In “The Robot Reality: Service Jobs Are Next to Go”, Blaire Briody, 26 March 2013, The Fiscal Times, http://www.cnbc.com/id/100592545 Shift 16: Bitcoin and the Blockchain The tipping point: 10% of global gross domestic product (GDP) stored on blockchain technology By 2025: 58% of respondents expected this tipping point to have occurred Bitcoin and digital currencies are based on the idea of a distributed trust mechanism called the “blockchain”, a way of keeping track of trusted transactions in a distributed fashion. Currently, the total worth of bitcoin in the blockchain is around $20 billion, or about 0.025% of global GDP of around $80 trillion. Positive impacts – Increased financial inclusion in emerging markets, as financial services on the blockchain gain critical mass – Disintermediation of financial institutions, as new services and value exchanges are created directly on the blockchain – An explosion in tradable assets, as all kinds of value exchange can be hosted on the blockchain – Better property records in emerging markets, and the ability to make everything a tradable asset – Contacts and legal services increasingly tied to code linked to the blockchain, to be used as unbreakable escrow or programmatically designed smart contracts – Increased transparency, as the blockchain is essentially a global ledger storing all transactions The shift in action Smartcontracts.com provides programmable contracts that do payouts between two parties once certain criteria have been met, without involving a middleman.

The technology that underpins the blockchain creates trust by enabling people who do not know each other (and thus have no underlying basis for trust) to collaborate without having to go through a neutral central authority – i.e. a custodian or central ledger. In essence, the blockchain is a shared, programmable, cryptographically secure and therefore trusted ledger which no single user controls and which can be inspected by everyone. Bitcoin is so far the best known blockchain application but the technology will soon give rise to countless others. If, at the moment, blockchain technology records financial transactions made with digital currencies such as Bitcoin, it will in the future serve as a registrar for things as different as birth and death certificates, titles of ownership, marriage licenses, educational degrees, insurance claims, medical procedures and votes – essentially any kind of transaction that can be expressed in code. Some countries or institutions are already investigating the blockchain’s potential.

Implantable Technologies 2. Our Digital Presence 3. Vision as the New Interface 4. Wearable Internet 5. Ubiquitous Computing 6. A Supercomputer in Your Pocket 7. Storage for All 8. The Internet of and for Things 9. The Connected Home 10. Smart Cities 11. Big Data for Decisions 12. Driverless Cars 13. Artificial Intelligence and Decision-Making 14. AI and White-Collar Jobs 15. Robotics and Services 16. Bitcoin and the Blockchain 17. The Sharing Economy 18. Governments and the Blockchain 19. 3D Printing and Manufacturing 20. 3D Printing and Human Health 21. 3D Printing and Consumer Products 22. Designer Beings 23. Neurotechnologies Notes Introduction Of the many diverse and fascinating challenges we face today, the most intense and important is how to understand and shape the new technology revolution, which entails nothing less than a transformation of humankind.

 

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lump of labour, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Blockchain People have gone mad trying to understand how the blockchain works, never mind trying to explain it. Its most famous application is Bitcoin, the world’s first completely decentralized digital currency.[cccxlix] In just a few years, the Bitcoin “economy” has grown larger than the economies of some countries. The value of a Bitcoin has fluctuated wildly, hitting a peak of $1,216 in November 2013. The insights which made Bitcoin possible were published in 2008 under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, and the blockchain is at the heart of it. The blockchain is a public ledger which records transactions. The clever bit is that the ledger is completely trustworthy despite having no central authority, like a bank, to validate it. It is trustworthy in that you can have full confidence that if someone gives you a Bitcoin, then you do own that Bitcoin: the person who gave it to you will not be nipping off to spend the same piece of currency elsewhere, even though it is entirely digital.

[cccxlii] https://edge.org/conversation/john_markoff-the-next-wave [cccxliii] http://uk.pcmag.com/robotics-automation-products/34778/news/will-a-robot-revolution-lead-to-mass-unemployment [cccxliv] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment [cccxlv] http://www.prisonexp.org/ [cccxlvi] http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/08/29/kevin-kelly/ [cccxlvii] https://www.edge.org/conversation/kevin_kelly-the-technium [cccxlviii] http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/165acton.html [cccxlix] http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/Brito_BitcoinPrimer.pdf [cccl] http://www.dugcampbell.com/byzantine-generals-problem/ [cccli] http://www.economistinsights.com/technology-innovation/analysis/money-no-middleman/tab/1 [ccclii] : The Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) in Northern California, The Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) in England’s Oxford and Cambridge respectively, and the Future of Life Institute (FLI) in Massachussetts.

 

Getting Started With Ledger by Rolf Schröder

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asset allocation, bitcoin

Assets:Broker -10 AAPL @ $60.00 Assets:Checking Now, looking at some reports: $ led --flat bal Assets 40 AAPL Assets:Broker $4,100.00 Assets:Checking -------------------$4,100.00 40 AAPL $ led reg Assets 42-05-01 Opening Balance 42-05-18 Buying Stock Assets:Checking Assets:Broker $5,000.00 50 AAPL 28 $5,000.00 $5,000.00 50 AAPL Assets:Checking 42-05-28 Selling Stock $-1,500.00 Assets:Broker -10 AAPL Assets:Checking $600.00 $3,500.00 50 AAPL $3,500.00 40 AAPL $4,100.00 40 AAPL Forcing Ledger to display everything in a specific currency is achieved using --exchange or -X: $ led --flat -X $ bal Assets $2,400.00 Assets:Broker $4,100.00 Assets:Checking -------------------$6,500.00 $ led -X $ reg Assets 42-05-01 Opening Balance 42-05-18 Buying Stock 42-05-28 Commodities reval ued 42-05-28 Selling Stock Assets:Checking Assets:Broker Assets:Checking <Revalued> Assets:Broker Assets:Checking $5,000.00 $1,500.00 $-1,500.00 $1,500.00 $-600.00 $600.00 $5,000.00 $6,500.00 $5,000.00 $6,500.00 $5,900.00 $6,500.00 While defining exchange rates on a per transaction base is handy for the daily work, it does not provide the possibility to reflect current market valuations. For example, if one bought some shares a year ago, their value has most probably changed. How could Ledger know? A simple text file can be used to associate specific dates to exchange rates. The file’s content may look like this: ; P ; P ; P On that particular day, 1 bitcoin was worth 4242 Ether. 2042/02/29 10:00:00 BTC 4242 ETH On that particular day, 1 bitcoin was worth $1337. 2042/02/29 10:00:00 BTC 1337 $ On that particular day, 1 share of AAPL was worth $3.14 2042/02/29 10:00:00 AAPL 3.14 $ Having defined such a database, one can get the current market values by: $ ledger --price-db <filename> --market balance Every once in a while, one can append current prices to the database. This allows the balance report to reflect the “real” values of any asset.

 

pages: 268 words: 74,724

Who Needs the Fed?: What Taylor Swift, Uber, and Robots Tell Us About Money, Credit, and Why We Should Abolish America's Central Bank by John Tamny

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Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, Carmen Reinhart, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, NetJets, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Uber for X, War on Poverty, yield curve

Assuming a legal definition for the dollar, it’s folly to assume that private issuers wouldn’t create a dollar measure redeemable for 1/1000th of a gold ounce. Today, retailers accept all kinds of credit cards, and if private money were legalized, so would they accept certain brands of a “dollar” legally defined as 1/1000th of an ounce of gold. Gradually, a few currencies would win out as money par excellence. Interesting here is that Bitcoin isn’t one of those currencies. Thanks to the creators of Bitcoin’s Friedmanite focus on coin supply, the value of each Bitcoin is notoriously volatile. That’s a problem, because money is best when it’s stable. Future private currencies will focus on stability of value over supply, and the result will be quite special. Along the lines of the above paragraph, arguably the best answer in light of the U.S. Treasury’s sad oversight of the dollar in modern times is to fully legalize private money without any Treasury or congressional input.

INDEX Adapt (Harford), 32, 64–65 The Age of Reagan (Hayward), 49, 169 Allison, John, 119, 152, 172–73 Altig, David, 156 Amazon, 97–98, 108, 125, 143, 155 Ambassador Hotel, 34, 35–36 Apple Computer, 30–31, 125, 143 Apple Music, 9–10 Austin, Texas, 123, 148 Austrian School of economics, 79, 87, 88–89, 90, 91–95, 113–14, 141 See also von Mises, Ludwig Bain Capital, 126 Baker Hughes, 73 Baltimore, Maryland, 135, 139–40, 143 Baltimore Ravens, 17 The Baltimore Sun, 135 banking bank cash reserve and capital requirements, 98–102 federal deposit insurance, 101–2 housing boom and “easy credit,” 113–22 inability of banks to multiply money and credit, 86–92, 96 insolvent banks and necessity of the Fed, 164–65 interbank lending rates, 114–16, 156–58 lending practices, 86–90, 98–102, 109–10 necessity of traditional banks, 105–12 proposed Glass-Steagall reintroduction, 102–3 and Wall Street, 126, 129–31 Bank of America, 89, 103, 108, 120 Bank of Bird-in-Hand, 111 Bank of Japan, 152, 159 Bartley, Robert, 70, 71, 72 Bartley, Robert L., 157–58 The Battle of Bretton Woods (Steil), 95, 169 Bear Stearns, 120 Beatty, Warren, 23–24, 28 Beckworth, David, 138–39 Berkshire Hathaway, 62, 85 Bernanke, Ben, 41–47, 72, 106, 128, 149, 154, 164 Bezos, Jeff, 59, 97–98, 150 Biden, Joe, 59 billion-dollar “unicorn” companies, 28, 148 Biography of the Dollar (Karmin), 100 Bitcoin, 144 Blinder, Alan, 1 Bloomberg news organization, 42 Blumenthal, Michael, 117, 170 Bonnie & Clyde (film), 23 Brady, Tom, 16 Bretton Woods monetary conference, 95, 169 Brookes, Warren, 49, 50, 69, 72, 97 Brown, James, 25 Buffett, Warren, 59, 62, 78, 85, 150 Burns, Arthur, 169, 170 Bush, George W., 71, 72–73, 118–19, 121, 171 cab fares during periods of heavy demand, 11–12 Candy, John, 22 Capital City (Kessner), 30 capitalism credit and crowdsourcing, 110 failure as feature of, 58, 89, 100, 125 and filling of unmet needs, 112, 179 turning scarcity into abundance, 53–54, 81 car companies, 56–57 car manufacturing process, 65–66 Carroll, Pete, 18–20 Carter, Jimmy, 117, 170 Cassel, Gustav, 119 Cato Institute, 135 The CEO Tightrope (Trammell), 123–24 The Changed Face of Banking (Smith), 111, 129 Chinese economy, 94, 96, 118, 135–36, 137, 138 Chinese stock market, 152–53 Citadel hedge fund, 41, 42, 43 Citigroup, 128 Cleveland, Ohio, 137–38 Clinton, Bill, 51–52, 71, 72, 171 Clinton, Hillary, 48, 51–52, 59 coaching and recruiting of college athletes, 15–21, 78–79 Cochrane, John, 102 computer company failures, 57 Congress.

 

pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, Zipcar

While social currencies cued to locales are proliferating, global alternative currencies that bypass national boundaries are scaling in on the Internet. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency network with millions of bitcoins in circulation. The bitcoin is tradable with other world currencies, and as of November 2013, it was selling around 400 U.S. dollars per bitcoin.25 The creators of the currency, Amir Taaki and Donald Norman, say the idea came to them when they were in Amsterdam, and a friend from the United Kingdom asked them to wire some emergency funds. Their only two options were Western Union and MoneyGram, both of which took a usurious 20 to 25 percent of the transfer in fees. They created bitcoin, an Internet currency, to bypass the fee gouging.26 Futurist Heather Schelgel, who advises the world’s leading banks on transaction standards, doesn’t believe that global, Internet-based currencies will replace traditional currencies, but adds that “as communities begin to realize the possibility of expressing themselves through money, I expect you’ll see hundreds of BitCoin [sic], or something similar—or something we haven’t even thought of yet.”27 Others are even more bullish.

They created bitcoin, an Internet currency, to bypass the fee gouging.26 Futurist Heather Schelgel, who advises the world’s leading banks on transaction standards, doesn’t believe that global, Internet-based currencies will replace traditional currencies, but adds that “as communities begin to realize the possibility of expressing themselves through money, I expect you’ll see hundreds of BitCoin [sic], or something similar—or something we haven’t even thought of yet.”27 Others are even more bullish. Jean-Francois Noubel, a cofounder of AOL France, believes it is shortsighted to think that the same disruptive power of a distributed, collaborative, and latterly scaled Internet that gave rise to eBay, Facebook, Amazon, Etsy, and thousands of other ventures wouldn’t make its way into the financial domain. Noubel says he wouldn’t be surprised to see “millions of free currencies circulating on the Net and through our cell phones” in the years ahead.28 Social Entrepreneurship New business models are beginning to emerge alongside new funding vehicles and social currencies to accommodate the requisites of two very different economies—one, a capitalist economy operating in the market, and the other a social economy operating on the Commons.

Helena Smith, “Euros Discarded as Impoverished Greeks Resort to Bartering,” Guardian, January 2, 2013, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/02/euro-greece-barter-poverty -crisis (accessed January 3, 2013); Ariana Eunjung Cha, “Spain’s Crisis Spawns Alternative Economy that Doesn’t Rely on the Euro,” Guardian, September 4, 2012, http://www.guardian .co.uk/world/2012/sep/04/spain-euro-free-economy (accessed June 4, 2013). 25. Saabira Chaudhuri, “Bitcoin Price Hits New Record High,” Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303789604579195773841529160 (accessed November 13, 2013). 26. Garland, “The Next Money.” 27. Ibid. 28. Judith D. Schwartz, “Alternative Currencies Grow in Popularity,” Time, December 14, 2008, http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1865467,00.html (accessed June 5, 2013). 29.

 

pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, market design, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, Zipcar

To solve this problem, competing exchanges, such as the alternative trading system IEX, are using their own supercomputers to precisely time the order of bids, thereby eliminating the advantages of a Goldman Sachs.36 Architecture can level the playing field, making markets more competitive and fair for all. One of the most innovative forms of architectural control ever invented made its appearance in 2008, when an anonymous coding genius known as Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper on the Cryptography mailing list defining the Bitcoin digital currency and the so-called blockchain protocol governing it. Although Bitcoin is notable as the world’s first unforgeable digital currency that cannot be controlled by a government, bank, or individual, the blockchain is truly revolutionary. It makes possible fully decentralized, completely trustworthy interactions without any need for escrow payments or other guarantees. The blockchain is a distributed public ledger that enables storage of data in a container (the block) affixed to other containers (the chain).37 The data can be anything: dated proof of an invention, a title to a car, or digital coins.

Our goal here is to provide not a comprehensive or systematic overview but simply a sketch which we hope will convey the growing scope and importance of platform companies on the world stage. INDUSTRY EXAMPLES Agriculture John Deere, Intuit Fasal Communication and Networking LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, Instagram, Snapchat, WeChat Consumer Goods Philips, McCormick Foods FlavorPrint Education Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, edX, Duolingo Energy and Heavy Industry Nest, Tesla Powerwall, General Electric, EnerNOC Finance Bitcoin, Lending Club, Kickstarter Health Care Cohealo, SimplyInsured, Kaiser Permanente Gaming Xbox, Nintendo, PlayStation Labor and Professional Services Upwork, Fiverr, 99designs, Sittercity, LegalZoom Local Services Yelp, Foursquare, Groupon, Angie’s List Logistics and Delivery Munchery, Foodpanda, Haier Group Media Medium, Viki, YouTube, Wikipedia, Huffington Post, Kindle Publishing Operating Systems iOS, Android, MacOS, Microsoft Windows Retail Amazon, Alibaba, Walgreens, Burberry, Shopkick Transportation Uber, Waze, BlaBlaCar, GrabTaxi, Ola Cabs Travel Airbnb, TripAdvisor FIGURE 1.2.

Transportation services requested via Uber are delivered on real city streets using actual cars; dinner reservations made via Yelp result in physical meals consumed around real tables in actual restaurants. Exchange of currency. When goods or services are exchanged between platform participants, they are typically paid for using some form of currency. In many cases, this is traditional currency—money transmitted in one of a variety of ways, including credit card data, a PayPal transaction, a Bitcoin transfer, or (rarely) physical cash. However, there are other forms of value, and therefore other ways in which consumers “pay” producers in the world of platforms. Video viewers on YouTube or followers on Twitter pay the producer with attention, which adds value to the producer in a variety of ways. (If the producer is a political pundit or business leader, for example, he gains value in the form of growing influence as a thought leader; if she is a singer, actor, or athlete, she gains value in the form of a growing fan base.)

 

pages: 66 words: 10,995

Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook: Top 30 Autoimmune Paleo Recipes Revealed ! (The Blokehead Success Series) by The Blokehead

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bitcoin

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QH01KH4 The Ultimate Body Weight Workout: Transform Your Body Using Your Own Body Weight http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QF5VCW4 Art Creative Confidence: How To Unleash Your Confidence, Be Super Innovative & Design Your Life In 30 Days http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PSFV3EO Doodling: How To Master Doodling In 6 Easy Steps http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PRHKE0W Mind Mapping: Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide in Creating Mind Maps! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PSI0VVW Minimalist: How To Prepare & Control Your Minimalist Budget In 30 Days Or Less & Get More Money Out Of Life Now http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PUMNOT2 Bitcoin: The Ultimate A - Z Of Profitable Bitcoin Trading & Mining Guide Exposed! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PUMNI48 Emotional Vampires: How to Deal with Emotional Vampires & Break the Cycle of Manipulation. A Self Guide to Take Control of Your Life & Emotional Freedom http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QAJ7HGA Religion For Atheists: The Ultimate Atheist Guide & Manual On The Religion Without God http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QEYMAXQ Scrum - Ultimate Guide to Scrum Agile Essential Practices!

 

pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

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3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

industry cooperation with law enforcement was sufficient: “Social Media Talks About Rioting ‘Constructive,’ ” BBC, August 25, 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14657456. Bitcoins: Bitcoin is the most successful experiment in digital currency today; it uses a mix of peer-to-peer networking and cryptographic signatures to process online payments. The value of the currency has fluctuated wildly since its inception; the first publicly traded Bitcoins went for 3 cents, and a little more than a year later they were valued at $29.57 apiece. Bitcoins are held in digital “wallets,” and are used to pay for a wide range of virtual and physical goods. At the illicit online market called the Silk Road, where people can use encrypted channels to buy illegal drugs, Bitcoins are the sole currency and generate approximately $22 million in annual sales, according to a recent study.

Governments will claim that without restrictions or loopholes for special circumstances, capturing criminals and terrorists (among other legitimate police activities) and prosecuting them will become more difficult, planning and executing crimes will be easier and a person’s ability to publish slanderous, false or other harmful information in the public sphere without accountability will improve. Democratic governments will fear uncontrollable libel and leaking, autocracies internal dissent. But if illegal activity is the primary concern for governments, the real challenge will be the combination of virtual currency with anonymous networks that hide the physical location of services. For example, criminals are already selling illegal drugs on the Tor network in exchange for Bitcoins (a virtual currency), avoiding cash and banks altogether. Copyright infringers will use the same networks. As we think about how to address these kinds of challenges, we cannot afford to take a black-and-white view; context matters. For example, in Mexico, drug cartels are among some of the most effective users of anonymous encryption, both P2P and through the Internet. In 2011, we met with Bruno Ferrari, then the country’s secretary of the economy, and he described to us how the Mexican government has struggled to engage the population in the fight against the cartels—fear of retribution is enough to prevent people from reporting crimes or tipping off law enforcement to cartel activity in their neighborhoods.

INDEX Aadhaar Abbottabad, Pakistan, 2.1, 5.1 Abkhaz nationalists Abuja, Nigeria Academi, LLC accountability, 2.1, 4.1, 6.1, 7.1 activist groups additive manufacturing Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), n Afghanistan, 1.1, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1 reconstruction of, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 Africa, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2 African Americans African National Congress (ANC) African Sahel African Union Age of Spiritual Machines, The: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (Kurzweil), con.1 Agha-Soltan, Neda Agie, Mullah Akbar Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (1994) Ahmadinejad, Mahmoud al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades al-Assad, Bashar Alcatel-Lucent AlertNet Algeria, 3.1, 4.1 alienation Al Jazeera al-Qaeda, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, con.1 al-Shabaab, 2.1, 5.1, 7.1, 7.2 Amazon, itr.1, 1.1, 1.2 data safeguarded by Amazon Web Services American Sentinel drone Android anonymity, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1 Anonymous, 5.1, 5.2 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty antiradicalization antiterrorism units, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 Apple, itr.1, 5.1 data safeguarded by apps, 2.1, 5.1 Arab Spring, itr.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 AR.Drone quadricopter Argentina Armenia arms-for-minerals trade arrests artificial intelligence (AI), itr.1, 1.1 artificial pacemakers Asia Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Assange, Julian, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 5.1 Astroturfing Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal, 3.1, 3.2 Athar, Sohaib, n, 269 ATMs augmented reality (AR), itr.1, 2.1 autocracies, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2 data revolution in dissent in information shared by online discussions in Ayalon, Danny Baghdad Baghdad Museum Bahrain Baidu.com, n Bamiyan Buddhas Bangladesh bank loans Basque separatists Batbold, Sukhbaatar battery life Bechtel Belarus Belgium Ben Ali, Zine el-Abidine, 4.1, 4.2 Berezovsky, Boris Better Angels of Our Nature, The (Pinker), 6.1 big data challenge Bill of Guarantees bin Laden, Osama, 2.1, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, nts.1 biometric information, 2.1, 2.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 Bitcoin, 2.1, nts.1 BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), 2.1, 2.2, 4.1, 5.1 Black Hat Blackwater Blockbuster, n Bloomberg News Bluetooth, 2.1, 2.2, 6.1 body scan body temperatures Boko Haram Bosnia brand Brand, Stewart, n Brazil, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 Bush, George H. W., n Bush, George W. Cain, Herman calendar reminders California camera phones Cameron, David Canada Carnegie Mellon Carvin, Andy celebrities, 2.1, 2.2 cell towers censorship, 5.1, 6.1 censorship-circumvention applications Central Asia centralized authority Chalabi, Ahmed charities Charity Navigator, 7.1, nts.1 Chavez, Hugo Chechnya, 3.1, 3.2 Chemical Weapons Convention Cherry, Steven, n Chery Automobiles Chile, 3.1, 6.1 China, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3n, 141, 4.1, 6.1, 7.1 censorship in cyber attacks of, itr.1, 3.1, 3.2 “human-flesh search engines” in, 6.1, 6.2 intellectual property in Internet in, 3.1, 4.1 news covered up in shanzhai network in, 1.1 choices cholera Christian Science Monitor, 209 Church of Scientology CIA, 5.1, con.1 circulatory system Cisco citizen journalism citizen participation citizenship Clarke, Richard Clean-Slate Design of Resilient, Adaptive, Secure Hosts (CRASH) Clinton, Bill Clinton, Hillary, itr.1, 4.1 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cloud-based data storage, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 cloud storage CNN Effect, n Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Code War Cohen, Rebecca Colao, Vittorio, 4.1, 4.2, 7.1 Cold War, 3.1, 6.1, 6.2 collaboration collective editing Colombia, 5.1, 7.1 commerce, 2.1, 6.1 commercial opportunities Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) communications communication technologies advance of cultural breakthroughs and Comodohacker computer modeling, n computer theft computer viruses, in Syria computer worms confirmation bias conflict-related internal migration Congo, 1.1, nts.1 warlords in connectivity, itr.1, itr.2, itr.3, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, con.1 and decline of warfare, 6.1, 6.2 education and and end of control exiles and and government maneuverability health and news enhanced by obstacles to reconstruction and, 7.1, 7.2 revolutions and, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 for states and citizens states’ power enhanced by terrorism aided by and WikiLeaks-like platforms Constantine, Larry, n Constitutional Democratic Rally copper cables copyright, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 Copyright Act (1987) Copyright Treaty (1996) corporations, coping strategies for privacy and security concerns corruption Côte d’Ivoire counter-radicalization.

 

pages: 302 words: 73,581

Platform Scale: How an Emerging Business Model Helps Startups Build Large Empires With Minimum Investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, frictionless, game design, hive mind, Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social software, software as a service, software is eating the world, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, TaskRabbit, the payments system, too big to fail, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Wave and Pay

They provide an early glimpse into a future where value creation may not need a supply chain, instead being orchestrated via a network of connected users on a platform. h. Cryptocurrencies Platform theory helps to explain the workings of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. Decentralized management – through mechanisms like the blockchain – has the potential to change governance structures for the next generation of platforms, much like social feedback tools power curation on many of the current generation of platforms. While we do not explore Bitcoin in detail in this book, the principles laid out apply equally well to understanding all emerging platforms that the book may not explicitly cover. PLATFORM SCALE IMPERATIVE At their core, platforms enable a plug-and-play business model. Other businesses can easily connect their business with the platform, build products and services on top of it, and co-create value.

YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are described as social platforms, while Uber, Airbnb, and their ilk are referred to as “marketplace platforms.” All these businesses are vastly different from each other. To complicate matters further, the Nest thermostat is called a platform. Nike is working on a platform to connect its shoes, while GE claims to be using a platform approach to manage its factories. The Internet of Things and Bitcoin may have nothing in common, but they are both platforms. While all of the above subscribe to the general definition of the platform as a plug-and-play business model that enables interactions, each is vastly different from the others. This chapter proposes a unifying architectural framework to explain the different configurations of platforms. THE PLATFORM STACK: AN ARCHITECTURAL FRAMEWORK Across all platforms, the following three distinct layers emerge repeatedly: Platform Stack Figure 6a a.

Solving the chicken-and-egg problem on such platforms requires solving quality control issues rather than gunning for a critical mass of users. 4.6 THE CURIOUS CASE OF NEW PAYMENT MECHANISMS Why M-Pesa Works Finding adoption for a new payment mechanism has always involved solving a chicken-and-egg problem. Ranging from the introduction of new forms of currency in medieval to early modern times, and the adoption of credit cards to the rise of PayPal (as alluded to in many of the strategy discussions in this section) and the recent rage around Bitcoin, new payment systems have regularly offered some of the most complex chicken-and-egg challenges. Both buyers and sellers need to adopt the same exchange mechanism, almost simultaneously. The staging that is possible in some platforms – attracting one side first and then the other – does not work in the case of payment mechanisms. In such scenarios, the solution to finding adoption often lies in providing backward compatibility with existing solutions.

 

pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

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4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Neal Gorenflo of non-profit Shareable writes that the theme “brought the elephant in everybody’s room to the fore—the gaping contradiction between the utopian possibilities and the hyper-capitalist realities of the sharing economy.” 23 If the newly-skeptical OuiShare attendees are going to find a way to convert the Sharing Economy into something useful, something that actually delivers on the promise of community and human-scale exchange, it must leave aside its identification with technology. There are few signs that it will do so; Gorenflo reports that the “blockchain” technology underlying Bitcoin is the new thing: “Everybody was talking about the blockchain from keynotes to side conversations.” To look for a technical fix, a designed-in mechanism for solving social problems, will only end up going down the same path. Bitcoin itself has already cycled through the familiar trajectory of rebellious alternative, promising a currency independent of the state, through to a venture-capital-funded investment vehicle in which 0.1% of the participants own 50% of the coins. The debate needs to move away from its exclusive focus on technology companies.

The problems lie with the ­companies themselves, and with the financial interests using those companies to drive a broader agenda of deregulation in search of private wealth. The Sharing Economy may be new, but it does have a history and a context, and we need to explore these to understand its agenda, and to understand how it is evolving. Chapters 7 and 8 explore the origins of the Sharing Economy in Internet culture: the values and practices that permeate Silicon Valley companies and the wider world of technology enthusiasts, from open source programmers to Bitcoin advocates to the “maker movement” and beyond. Any short description will undoubtedly be an oversimplification, and of course there are disagreements and disputes among its adherents, but a coherent Internet culture does exist. It embraces values of rebellion, drawing from a loose set of attitudes sometimes called the hacker ethic. Facebook’s headquarters are at “One Hacker Way” and it has the word HACK laid out in 12-meter letters in the stone.

In one part of his speech, participants are taking part in a political action: So what we’re talking about here is not just people sharing their skills, or their apartment, or their car, but also their collective power to expand the Sharing Economy together, and to stand up against entrenched interests who stand unfairly in their way. So “people power” if you like, or more accurately “peer power.” But a moment later, he is more interested in building businesses: I attended a meeting of Sharing Economy participants . . . they were developing ideas—brilliant ideas actually—to share customers with each other, across verticals. One person even suggested that there could be a peer economy currency—maybe Bitcoin. Or even points to encourage people to cross verticals and recruit new people into this new economy. So it is not surprising that almost all the campaigns at Peers were focused on the well-funded sectors of the Sharing Economy represented by Airbnb and Lyft. The highest-profile campaigns, such as the 2014 ridesharing initiative in Seattle, operated side-by-side with well-funded efforts driven by Lyft and Uber themselves.

 

pages: 322 words: 84,752

Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up by Philip N. Howard

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, Brian Krebs, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, national security letter, Network effects, obamacare, Occupy movement, packet switching, pension reform, prediction markets, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

Lita Person, Mobile Wallet (NFC, Digital Wallet) Market (Applications, Mode of Payment, Stakeholders, and Geography)—Global Share, Size, Industry Analysis, Trends, Opportunities, Growth, and Forecast, 2012–2020 (Portland, OR: Allied Market Research, November 2013), accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/mobile-wallet-market; Marion Williams, “The Regulatory Tension over Mobile Money,” Australian Banking and Finance, February 17, 2014, accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.australianbankingfinance.com/banking/the-regulatory-tension-over-mobile-money/. 30. “University of Cumbria Becomes First in World to Accept Tuition Fees in Bitcoin,” India Today, January 22, 2014, accessed September 30, 2014, http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/british-university-to-accept-tuition-fees-in-bitcoin/1/339087.html. 31. Philip N. Howard and Nimah Mazaheri, “Telecommunications Reform, Internet Use, and Mobile Phone Adoption in the Developing World,” World Development 37, no. 7 (2009): 1159–69, doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2008.12.005. 32. “The Big Mobile-Phone Reset,” Economist, September 7, 2013, accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.economist.com/news/business/21585006-weeks-two-telecoms-deals-will-be-followed-others-industry-undergoes-big. 33.

Such virtual currencies are designed to free money, or more abstractly “value,” from the control of a particular country’s central bank. The World Bank estimates that by 2020, the economy of mobile-phone money exchanges might top $5 trillion and include the two billion people who otherwise have no access to banks.29 Some of the oldest institutions around—universities—have started accepting virtual currencies like Bitcoins for tuition.30 It was easier for governments to hoard and guard their gold than it is data, information infrastructure, and intellectual property. States don’t control public information infrastructures upon which value is exchanged. For the first time, governments don’t control the information infrastructure upon which public life is lived. They can manipulate devices, but so can many other actors.

See also M-Pesa Barlow, John Perry, 163 behavior, prediction of, 141 Beinecke, Jessica, 194 Belarus, protests in, 85, 115 Belgium, minorities in, building collective identity, 145 Ben Ali, Zine el-Abidine, 50, 216, 221 Bennett, Lance, 138–39 Berners-Lee, Tim, 37–38 big data, 61, 295; analyzing, 176, 179, 180–81; in authoritarian regimes, 195; bringing stability, 68; collection of, overseeing, 112; definition of, 141; growth of, 179, 256; management of, 256; providing collective security, 112, 140–45; providing connective security through, 107; solving social problems with, 176, 178; taking down dirty networks, 99; tracking international criminal activity, 177–78 bin Laden, Osama, 38, 53, 60–61, 114, 176 Bitcoins, 56 Black Code (Deibert), 179 blogging, 76–78, 84–85, 127, 130, 171 Bloomberg News, 192 Blue Coat Systems, 215 Boeing, 115, 212 Boko Haram, 81, 83, 135 Bolivia, 215 Bosykh, Alexander, 198–99 botnets, 2–4, 202–3, 205 bots: attacking security companies, 32; dominating digital networks, 34; evolution of, 203–4; in financial markets, 34; identifying, 210–11; political, 204–11, 233, 234; as political tools, 29–33; pro-regime, 29–30; threats posed by, 208, 209–11; Twitter-based, 30–31; types of, 203; usage of, by country, 206–7; use of, 203–8; wartime use of, 34 bot wars, 53 Bouazizi, Mohamed, 50–51, 137, 221 Bouteflika, Abdelaziz, 92 Brazil: elections in, 128–29; internet rights in, 165 Breivik, Anders Behring, 216 Bretton Woods system, 231 Bring Back Our Girls, 81 British Empire, 1, 4–5, 15, 67, 107–8, 146–47, 231 broadcast licenses, 249–50 Brown Moses.

 

pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Consider this February 18, 2016, story from NewScientist.com: Extortion is bigger business than ever, and now it doesn’t have to rely on people depositing bags stuffed with cash. Earlier this month, cybercriminals attacked a hospital in Los Angeles, then demanded payment in bitcoin to let the hospital regain access to their computers. It’s the most high-profile case yet of cyber-extortion using software known as ransomware. The attack on Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center effectively knocked it offline. As a result, patients had to be diverted to other hospitals, medical records were kept using pen and paper, and staff resorted to communicating by fax. The attackers demanded 9,000 bitcoins—around $3.6 million. After a two-week stand-off, the hospital yesterday paid out $17,000 … “Ransomware has really exploded in the last couple of years,” says Steve Santorelli, a former UK police detective who now works for Team Cymru, a threat intelligence firm based in Florida.

One ransomware package, CryptoLocker 3.0, is thought to have earned attackers $325 million in 2015 alone. “These guys are crazy sophisticated,” says Jake Williams, the founder of cybersecurity firm Rendition Infosec … Ross Anderson, a security researcher at the University of Cambridge, says bitcoin has helped cybercriminals to access payments without being caught. “In the old days, collecting ransom was really hard. The police would just put a radio tracker in the carpet bag full of £20 notes, and they would always get the guy. Now it’s possible to collect ransoms by bitcoin. Lots of people are doing it.” Last story: In a February 9, 2016, worldwide threat assessment report to the Senate Armed Services Committee, James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, added gene editing—for the first time—to a list of threats posed by “weapons of mass destruction and proliferation.”

“And we can make that guarantee work because, again, we know you, and we have all the data … We have one hundred ninety million customers worldwide and are adding fifteen to twenty million new ones a year.” These guarantees are also driving more globalization. Slowly but surely people are using PayPal to do away with cash. Like all big financial players, PayPal is experimenting with the emerging technology known as “blockchain” for validating and relaying global transactions through multiple computers. Blockchain, which is most famously used by the virtual currency Bitcoin, “is a way of enabling absolute trust between two parties making a financial transaction,” explained Schulman. “It uses Internet protocols to make the transaction go around any nation-state in a way that is visible to all the participants and goes beyond all middlemen and regulatory bodies—and therefore has the promise of lower costs.” At the speed that the digitization of money is happening, I am sure I will be writing about blockchain in the paperback edition of this book.

 

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

The physical footprint of digital empires has certainly jacked up the cost of living in San Francisco. Amazon’s demand for programmers, salespeople, warehouses, and data servers is redrawing Seattle’s skyline. Hundreds of towns from California to Missouri have blocked Walmart from opening stores that threaten their retail outlets, but they can’t stop Amazon from doing the same by delivering straight to one’s door. At the same time, Bitcoin began as a niche crypto-currency, but people increasingly live off it in the “real” world; if it acquires a banking license to issue credit, it could outmaneuver banks in reaching the bottom billions. Mobile transmission technologies are eclipsing the need for giant towers, and more digital payment and e-commerce mean fewer physical coins: Sweden is going cashless and Canada has stopped minting pennies, something the United States might do as well, meaning less consumption of nickel and other metals.

Today approximately thirty corporations control 90 percent of world Internet traffic; Google alone manages an estimated 20 percent of the Internet’s content through websites, storage, and enterprise apps. ISPs, the current backbone of the Internet, prefer self-management and self-regulation to heavy state involvement. Furthermore, the publicly accessible Web is but a small fraction of the total Internet. The Dark Web of anonymous Tor-encrypted networks and Bitcoin transactions, the Deep Web of unindexed pages, corporate intranets, and other publicly unsearchable databases make up the vast majority of the Internet’s content. Though the Internet has no central authority, it is moving from its halcyon days as an ungoverned stateless commons with only technical supervision into a geopolitical arena of intense complexity. The Web’s founding father, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has warned against strategic manipulation and advocated a cyber Magna Carta that guarantees the Internet remain a neutral utility.

Palestine and Kurdistan act like virtual states through their Internet servers hosted in friendly territories, illustrating how the Internet enables even stateless communities to conduct elections and manage international diplomatic and economic relations. But alliances can also be illusory in cyberspace. Indeed, cloud communities take on not just governments but also each other, such as when Anonymous declared war on ISIS in 2014 or when a hacker group stole $5 million worth of Bitcoin from Europe’s leading exchange Bitstamp in 2015. The supply chain world’s blending of geopolitical and commercial agendas very much applies to cyberspace as well. The NSA revelations legitimized a surge of techno-nationalism. Particularly in China, where PLA officers were directly named in an American industrial espionage investigation, Microsoft and Cisco were suddenly delisted from government and corporate procurement mandates, replaced by indigenous products such as a Chinese operating system.

 

pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

“Macroeconomic Impacts of Canadian Immigration: Results from a Macro Model.” British Journal of Industrial Relations 51(1): 174–195. 45. Murray, Sarah (2015). “The Safe Cities Index 2015: Assessing Urban Security in the Digital Age.” The Economist Intelligence Unit. London: The Economist. 46. Wile, Rob (2014, June 14). “It’s Clear That the Future of Bitcoin Is Not in the US.” Business Insider. Retrieved from www.businessinsider.com; SourceForge (2015). “Bitcoin.” Retrieved from sourceforge.net/projects/bitcoin/files/stats/timeline. 47. International Monetary Fund (2015). “House Price-to-Income Ratio around the World.” Global Housing Watch. Retrieved from www.imf.org/external/research/housing. 48. Allen, Kate and Anna Nicolaou (2015, April 16). “Global Property Bubble Fears Mount as Prices and Yields Spike.” The Financial Times.

What they give back to their host city more than makes up for the cost.44 In 2015, The Economist’s Safe Cities Index ranked Toronto “the best place to live” in the world—confounding those who want to argue that immigration is a bad thing.45 Other big cities showing how to become new global crossroads through deliberate design include Mumbai (global offshore services), Lagos (African trade and finance) and Tel Aviv (technology). Smaller cities, if well run, can become major intersections at a niche or regional level. Copenhagen may never challenge New York or London for traditional financial flows, but it is rapidly becoming a hub for crypto-currencies. Per capita, more Bitcoins are used in Scandinavia than anywhere else.46 Regina, a small city in the middle of the Canadian Prairies, in 2010 opened one of Canada’s largest inland ports, a 1,700-acre Global Transportation Hub, to interconnect North America’s major rail and trucking networks. A city in the middle of nowhere is equidistant from everywhere, and as global trade volumes swell, such places can make themselves essential nodes to help balance loads across different transportation systems.

 

pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig

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affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor

There are three big properties we might want from such names: •secure: that when you type the name in you actually get my website and not the website of an imposter •decentralized: that no central authority controls all the names •human-readable: that the name is something you can actually remember instead of some long string of randomness In a classic paper, my friend Zooko argued that you can get at most two of these properties at any one time. Recently, DNS legend Dan Kaminsky used this to argue that since electronic cash was pretty much the same as naming, Zooko’s triangle applied to it as well. He used this to argue that Bitcoin, the secure, decentralized, human-meaningful electronic cash system was impossible. I have my problems with Bitcoin, but it’s manifestly not impossible, so I just assumed Kaminsky had gone wrong somewhere. But tonight I realized that you can indeed use Bitcoin to square Zooko’s triangle. Here’s how it works: Let there be a document called the scroll. The scroll consists of a series of lines and each line consists of a tuple (name, key, nonce) such that the first N bits of the hash of the scroll from the beginning to the end of a line are all zero.

 

pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

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Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

The result has been mostly favorable coverage for Andreessen Horowitz and the start-ups in its investment portfolio. When Andreessen put money into Rockmelt, a middling start-up with the lame idea of developing a new kind of web browser, the tech press went into a frenzy; a few years later, when Rockmelt was sold for scrap to Yahoo, nobody held Andreessen’s feet to the fire. When Andreessen Horowitz piled money into Bitcoin-related companies, the tech press began writing that Bitcoin was the next big thing. Nobody blinked when two companies in Andreessen’s portfolio, Instagram and Oculus, were acquired by Facebook, where Andreessen sits on the board of directors. These deals were even more remarkable than the Netscape and Loudcloud acquisitions, since while those earlier companies were sold for billions while not turning a profit, Instagram and Oculus were sold for billions without even generating revenue.

Says another venture capitalist: “If you take money from Andreessen Horowitz, your valuation doubles or triples just because they’re involved. Why? Because they’re Andreessen Horowitz.” Andreessen is a physically imposing man: six feet, four inches tall and heavyset, with an enormous shaved head. He’s an avid Twitter user, sometimes posting more than one hundred tweets a day, pontificating and picking fights. When Warren Buffett expressed skepticism of Bitcoin, a technology in which Andreessen has invested heavily, Andreessen called Buffet “an old white man crapping on tech he doesn’t understand.” Andreessen was quite literally the poster boy for the first dotcom bubble, posing for a February 1996 Time cover sitting barefoot on a throne, a millionaire boy king, twenty-four years old. The first bubble, I believe, became a formative experience for Andreessen and shaped his behavior when he entered the venture capital business.

 

pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E

These teams need high-level support and freedom from the usual metrics of return on investment, at least for a while. The theory is fairly easy but putting it into practice is hard: most will need external help, and many will fail. Of course the disrupters can also be disrupted. A service called La’Zooz (16) is planned, based on the blockchain technology you will have heard about in connection with Bitcoin, which may provide serious competition for Uber. 3.2 – Killer robots It is not only commerce where AI is threatening disruption. Human Rights Watch and other organisations are concerned that within a decade or two, fully autonomous weapons will be available to military forces with deep pockets. (17) They argue that lethal force should never be delegated to machines because they can never be morally responsible.

v=HW5Fvk8FNOQ (21) http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf (22) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2981946/Self-driving-cars-30-cities-2017-Pilot-projects-aims-mass-roll-driverless-vehicles-safe-they.html (23) http://www.alltrucking.com/faq/truck-drivers-in-the-usa/ (24) http://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/bus-drivers.htm (25) http://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/taxi-drivers-and-chauffeurs.htm (26) http://www.cristo-barrios.com/discografia/iamus-2/?lang=en (27) http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-great-forgetting/309516/ (28) https://twitter.com/MFordFuture/status/606939607356219392/photo/1 (29) http://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/34u1a9/technostism_the_ideology_of_futurology/People also talk about a financial singularity arriving if and when cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin based on the blockchain technology disrupt traditional banking. Are we perhaps nearing peak singularity, or a singularity singularity? (30) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html (31) http://www.nature.com/news/flashing-fish-brains-filmed-in-action-1.12621 (32) http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2007/dec/20/research.it (33) http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/is-deep-learning-a-revolution-in-artificial-intelligence (34) http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/may/21/google-a-step-closer-to-developing-machines-with-human-like-intelligence (35) . https://intelligence.org/2014/05/13/christof-koch-stuart-russell-machine-superintelligence (36) http://uk.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-killer-robots-will-be-here-within-five-years-2014-11#ixzz3XHt6A8Lt (37) I am grateful to Russell Buckley for drawing my attention to this illustration

 

pages: 282 words: 80,907

Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design by Alvin E. Roth

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, centralized clearinghouse, computer age, crowdsourcing, deferred acceptance, desegregation, experimental economics, first-price auction, Flash crash, High speed trading, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, law of one price, Lyft, market clearing, market design, medical residency, obamacare, proxy bid, road to serfdom, school choice, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, two-sided market

Thus ever since the big shakeout, no new credit cards have joined the ranks of the majors; the barrier to market entry has proved to be too great. That said, in recent years the Internet revolution has opened the door to competition from wholly new directions—including new kinds of payment services, such as PayPal; an international network of automatic teller machines to challenge old standbys such as traveler’s checks; and maybe even new types of “virtual money” such as Bitcoin. As I write this in 2014, Apple has announced a new payment system on the latest iPhones, and we can reasonably expect that it and/or other new payment systems that make use of mobile devices will become commonplace. The bank that handles Amazon’s transactions, or the one that manages the account of your favorite restaurant, is typically different from the bank that issued your credit card and takes your payment.

See also labor markets for college admissions, 5–6, 169, 170–73 in law firm recruiting, 65–68 signaling in, 169–73 strategic decision making in, 10–11 apps, 21–22 Arunta people, 71–72 Ashlagi, Itai, 48, 149, 239, 243, 244 auctions, 121–22, 180–89 ascending bid, 182, 184, 188–89 eBay, 104–5 first-price, 184–85 package bidding in, 188–89, 225–26 price discovery in, 185–89 sealed bid, 182–84 second-price sealed, 182–84 simultaneous ascending, 187–89 for spectrum licenses, 185–89 for targeted ads, 189–92 automatic teller machines, 24 Avery, Chris, 91, 239 BandwidthX, 105 bankruptcy, 201 banks and banking, 178, 200–201 banner ads, 191–92 barriers to entry, 24 barter kidney donation as, 31–32 repugnant markets and, 202–5 Becker, Gary, 245 behavioral economics, 52 Beran, Bob, 146 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston), 42 Bitcoin, 24 BlackBerry, 22 black markets, 207 blocking pairs, 139–43 Bloomberg, Michael, 106, 107 Bolton, Gary, 118, 240 Boston Globe, 126 Boston Pool Plan, 138 Boston Public Schools, 11, 122–28, 162–65. See also algorithms Bowl Championship Series, 63–64 boxing, 7 Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston), 42 British National Health Service, 140–41 Brown, Janice Rogers, 97 Budish, Eric, 82, 86, 88, 239, 246 Burns, Adele, 42 Burns, Jack, 42 busing, 166–67 California Penal Code, 195–97 Carnegie Mellon University, 180 Catholic Church, 207 cell phones, 186.

 

pages: 457 words: 126,996

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

Thankfully, he reigned in my imagination and clarified: “The IRC channel—we had a channel called #kittencore, and another called #upperdeck. The only difference is that #upperdeck had all the same people in #kittencore but one less.” I asked why they kept one person in the dark. He replied, “Because he came very late into it and we became reluctant to have him in the center and also because he came just as we were splitting the bitcoins.” “Micro-micro-politics and cabals nested within cabals,” I replied. It is precisely this mixture of concreteness and abundance—one channel, exactly the same as the other, minus one person, since he is too new and not yet trustworthy—which makes Anonymous both so difficult to describe and so resistant to being slotted into a pre-fabricated mental template. Within Anonymous, the pressure and desire to efface the public presentation of self allows the participants to perform an admixture of their souls, conjuring into existence something that looks always emergent and in flux.

In this case that just didn’t happen, and when the database was targeted—albeit in a determined criminal attack—the security measures in place were simply not good enough.”12 In the midst of the turmoil, Sony executives in turn pointed the finger at Anonymous, claiming to have found a file left on the group’s server identifying it as the responsible party. But no Anonymous or LulzSec hacker has ever admitted or been charged for this crime (and five of them, along with two associates, have been found guilty of scores of hacking crimes that involved their hard drives being trucked away for forensic analysis). The PSN hack, a mystery in 2011, is still unsolved today. “Laundering money, funneling bitcoins, PPI scaming, botnets, database dumping” The drama that surrounded OpSony’s fouling of the PlayStation Network provided the immediate context for LulzSec’s germination. In mid-April, a few of the hackers on #internetfeds managed to weasel their way into fox.com and steal a sales database. Alongside personal information on Fox employees and journalists, it included over seventy thousand email addresses and passwords for people who had signed up to receive updates about auditions for Fox’s forthcoming TV talent show, The X Factor.

Expect more to come, and if you’re like us and like seeing other people get mad, check out our twitter! twitter.com/LulsSec tflow: perfect Falcon: though that’s @LulzSec Falcon: shit son I wrote that off the top of my head in 2 minutes, BRB getting a cookie Topiary and Sabu offered prescient predictions: Sabu: oh man lol Sabu: this is going to be fun Falcon: LulzSec at its finest Falcon: laundering money, funneling bitcoins, PPI scaming, botnets, database dumping Falcon: the lulz they do go on All that hype, however, was for naught. The first dump yielded little in the way of media response. LulzSec was still totally unknown; it was Friday after all, a terrible day to release something new to the media. But AnonOps was going through serious drama, and these hackers, secure in their newfound identity as LulzSec, could turn to the juicy gossip about an AnonOps operator named Ryan Cleary, who had recently gone rogue.

 

pages: 464 words: 116,945

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, California gold rush, call centre, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, falling living standards, fiat currency, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Food sovereignty, Frank Gehry, future of work, global reserve currency, Guggenheim Bilbao, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peak oil, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wages for housework, Wall-E, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

But what I think his analysis also makes clear is that the evolution of an alternative to capital would require as a necessary but not sufficient condition a radical reconfiguration of how exchange is organised and the ultimate dissolution of the power of money not only over social life but, as Keynes indicates, over our mental and moral conceptions of the world. Envisaging a moneyless economy is one way to get a measure of what an alternative to capitalism might look like. The possibility of this, given the potentialities of electronic moneys or even substitutes for money, may not be so far off. The rise of new forms of cybercurrency, such as Bitcoin, suggest that capital itself is now on the way to invent new monetary forms. It is opportune and wise, therefore, for the left to frame political ambitions and political thought around this ultimate objective. An alternative monetary politics of this sort becomes more imperative when we consider a particularly dangerous immediate problem. The contemporary form that money assumes has achieved the status of a double fetish – an abstracted representation (pure numbers stored on a computer screen) of a concrete representation (like gold and silver) of the immateriality of social labour.

One crucial break occurred with the abandonment of a metallic base to the world’s monetary system in the early 1970s: thereafter the relation of the world’s money to social labour became at best tangential and we have the long chain of financial and commercial crises around the world after the mid-1970s to prove it. The money form has acquired a good deal of autonomy over the last forty years. Fiat and fictitious values created by the world’s central banks have taken over. This leads us back to some reflections on the relation between the path of technological evolution we have here described and the evolution of monetary technologies. The rise of cyber moneys, like Bitcoin, in some instances seemingly constructed for purposes of money-laundering around illegal activities, is just the beginning of an inexorable descent of the monetary system into chaos. The political problem posed by the question of technology for anti-capitalist struggle is perhaps the most difficult to confront. On the one hand we know all too well that the evolution of technologies, marked as it is by a good deal of autonomous ‘combinatorial’ logic of the sort that Arthur describes, is a form of big business in which class struggle and inter-capitalist and interstate competition have played leading roles for the ‘human purpose’ of sustaining military dominance, class power and perpetual accumulation of capital.

., Disposable Women and Other Myths of Global Capitalism, New York, Routledge, 2006 Index Numbers in italics indicate Figures. 2001: A Space Odyssey (film) 271 A Abu Ghraib, Iraq 202 acid deposition 255, 256 advertising 50, 121, 140, 141, 187, 197, 236, 237, 275, 276 Aeschylus 291 Afghanistan 202, 290 Africa and global financial crisis 170 growth 232 indigenous population and property rights 39 labour 107, 108, 174 ‘land grabs’ 39, 58, 77, 252 population growth 230 Agamben, Giorgio 283–4 agglomeration 149, 150 economies 149 aggregate demand 20, 80, 81, 104, 173 aggregate effective demand 235 agribusiness 95, 133, 136, 206, 247, 258 agriculture ix, 39, 61, 104, 113, 117, 148, 229, 239, 257–8, 261 Alabama 148 Algerian War (1954–62) 288, 290 alienation 57, 69, 125, 126, 128, 129, 130, 198, 213, 214, 215, 263, 266–70, 272, 275–6, 279–80, 281, 286, 287 Allende, Salvador 201 Althusser, Louis 286 Amazon 131, 132 Americas colonisation of 229 indigenous populations 283 Amnesty International 202 anti-capitalist movements 11, 14, 65, 110, 111, 162 anti-capitalist struggle 14, 110, 145, 193, 269, 294 anti-globalisation 125 anti-terrorism xiii apartheid 169, 202, 203 Apple 84, 123, 131 apprenticeships 117 Arab Spring movement 280 Arbenz, Jacobo 201 Argentina 59, 107, 152, 160, 232 Aristotelianism 283, 289 Aristotle 1, 4, 200, 215 arms races 93 arms traffickers 54 Arrighi, Giovanni 136 Adam Smith in Beijing 142 Arthur, Brian: The Nature of Technology 89, 95–9, 101–4, 110 artificial intelligence xii, 104, 108, 120, 139, 188, 208, 295 Asia ‘land grabs’ 58 urbanisation 254 assembly lines 119 asset values and the credit system 83 defined 240 devalued 257 housing market 19, 20, 21, 58, 133 and predatory lending 133 property 76 recovery of 234 speculation 83, 101, 179 associationism 281 AT&T 131 austerity xi, 84, 177, 191, 223 Australia 152 autodidacts 183 automation xii, 103, 105, 106, 108, 138, 208, 215, 295 B Babbage, Charles 119 Bangkok riots, Thailand (1968) x Bangladesh dismantlement of old ships 250 factories 129, 174, 292 industrialisation 123 labour 108, 123, 129 protests against unsafe labour conditions 280 textile mill tragedies 249 Bank of England 45, 46 banking bonuses 164 electronic 92, 100, 277 excessive charges 84 interbank lending 233 and monopoly power 143 national banks supplant local banking in Britain and France 158 net transfers between banks 28 power of bankers 75 private banks 233 profits 54 regional banks 158 shell games 54–5 systematic banking malfeasance 54, 61 Baran, Paul and Sweezy, Paul: Monopoly Capitalism 136 Barcelona 141, 160 barrios pobres ix barter 24, 25, 29 Battersea Power Station, London 255 Battle of Algiers, The (film) 288 Bavaria, Germany 143, 150 Becker, Gary 186 Bernanke, Ben 47 Bhutan 171 billionaires xi, 165, 169, 170 biodiversity 246, 254, 255, 260 biofuels 3 biomedical engineering xii Birmingham 149 Bitcoin 36, 109 Black Panthers 291 Blade Runner (film) 271 Blankfein, Lloyd 239–40 Bohr, Niels 70 Bolivia 257, 260, 284 bondholders xii, 32, 51, 152, 158, 223, 240, 244, 245 bonuses 54, 77, 164, 178 Bourdieu, Pierre 186, 187 bourgeois morality 195 bourgeois reformism 167, 211 ‘Brady Bonds’ 240 Braudel, Fernand 193 Braverman, Harry: Labor and Monopoly Capital 119 Brazil a BRIC country 170, 228 coffee growers 257 poverty grants 107 unrest in (2013) 171, 243, 293 Brecht, Bertolt 265, 293 Bretton Woods (1944) 46 brewing trade 138 BRIC countries 10, 170, 174, 228 Britain alliance between state and London merchant capitalists 44–5 banking 158 enclosure movement 58 lends to United States (nineteenth century) 153 suppression of Mau Mau 291 surpluses of capital and labour sent to colonies 152–3 welfare state 165 see also United Kingdom British Empire 115, 174 British Museum Library, London 4 British Petroleum (BP) 61, 128 Buffett, Peter 211–12, 245, 283, 285 Buffett, Warren 211 bureaucracy 121–2, 165, 203, 251 Bush, George, Jr 201, 202 C Cabet, Étienne 183 Cabral, Amilcar 291 cadastral mapping 41 Cadbury 18 Cairo uprising (2011) 99 Calhoun, Craig 178 California 29, 196, 254 Canada 152 Cape Canaveral, Florida 196 capital abolition of monopolisable skills 119–20 aim of 92, 96–7, 232 alternatives to 36, 69, 89, 162 annihilation of space through time 138, 147, 178 capital-labour contradiction 65, 66, 68–9 and capitalism 7, 57, 68, 115, 166, 218 centralisation of 135, 142 circulation of 5, 7, 8, 53, 63, 67, 73, 74, 75, 79, 88, 99, 147, 168, 172, 177, 234, 247, 251, 276 commodity 74, 81 control over labour 102–3, 116–17, 166, 171–2, 274, 291–2 creation of 57 cultural 186 destruction of 154, 196, 233–4 and division of labour 112 economic engine of 8, 10, 97, 168, 172, 200, 253, 265, 268 evolution of 54, 151, 171, 270 exploitation by 156, 195 fictitious 32–3, 34, 76, 101, 110–11, 239–42 fixed 75–8, 155, 234 importance of uneven geographical development to 161 inequality foundational for 171–2 investment in fixed capital 75 innovations 4 legal-illegal duality 72 limitless growth of 37 new form of 4, 14 parasitic forms of 245 power of xii, 36, 47 private capital accumulation 23 privatisation of 61 process-thing duality 70–78 profitability of 184, 191–2 purpose of 92 realisation of 88, 173, 192, 212, 231, 235, 242, 268, 273 relation to nature 246–63 reproduction of 4, 47, 55, 63, 64, 88, 97, 108, 130, 146, 161, 168, 171, 172, 180, 181, 182, 189, 194, 219, 233, 252 spatiality of 99 and surplus value 63 surpluses of 151, 152, 153 temporality of 99 tension between fixed and circulating capital 75–8, 88, 89 turnover time of 73, 99, 147 and wage rates 173 capital accumulation, exponential growth of 229 capital gains 85, 179 capital accumulation 7, 8, 75, 76, 78, 102, 149, 151–5, 159, 172, 173, 179, 192, 209, 223, 228–32, 238, 241, 243, 244, 247, 273, 274, 276 basic architecture for 88 and capital’s aim 92, 96 collapse of 106 compound rate of 228–9 and the credit system 83 and democratisation 43 and demographic growth 231 and household consumerism 192 and lack of aggregate effective demand in the market 81 and the land market 59 and Marx 5 maximising 98 models of 53 in a new territories 152–3 perpetual 92, 110, 146, 162, 233, 265 private 23 promotion of 34 and the property market 50 recent problems of 10 and the state 48 capitalism ailing 58 an alternative to 36 and capital 7, 57, 68, 115, 166, 218 city landscape of 160 consumerist 197 contagious predatory lawlessness within 109 crises essential to its reproduction ix; defined 7 and demand-side management 85 and democracy 43 disaster 254–5, 255 economic engine of xiii, 7–8, 11, 110, 220, 221, 252, 279 evolution of 218 geographical landscape of 146, 159 global xi–xii, 108, 124 history of 7 ‘knowledge-based’ xii, 238 and money power 33 and a moneyless economy 36 neoliberal 266 political economy of xiv; and private property rights 41 and racialisation 8 reproduction of ix; revivified xi; vulture 162 capitalist markets 33, 53 capitalo-centric studies 10 car industry 121, 138, 148, 158, 188 carbon trading 235, 250 Caribbean migrants 115 Cartesian thinking 247 Cato Institute 143 Central America 136 central banks/bankers xi–xii, 37, 45, 46, 48, 51, 109, 142, 156, 161, 173, 233, 245 centralisation 135, 142, 144, 145, 146, 149, 150, 219 Césaire, Aimé 291 CFCs (chloro-fluorocarbons) 248, 254, 256, 259 chambers of commerce 168 Chandler, Alfred 141 Chaplin, Charlie 103 Charles I, King 199 Chartism 184 Chávez, Hugo 123, 201 cheating 57, 61, 63 Cheney, Dick 289 Chicago riots (1968) x chicanery 60, 72 children 174 exploitation of 195 raising 188, 190 trading of 26 violence and abuse of 193 Chile 136, 194, 280 coup of 1973 165, 201 China air quality 250, 258 becomes dynamic centre of a global capitalism 124 a BRIC country 170, 228 capital in (after 2000) 154 class struggles 233 and competition 150, 161 consumerism 194–5, 236 decentralisation 49 dirigiste governmentality 48 dismantlement of old ships 250 dispossessions in 58 education 184, 187 factories 123, 129, 174, 182 famine in 124–5 ‘great leap forward’ 125 growth of 170, 227, 232 income inequalities 169 industrialisation 232 Keynesian demand-side and debt-financed expansion xi; labour 80, 82, 107, 108, 123, 174, 230 life expectancy 259 personal debt 194 remittances 175 special economic zones 41, 144 speculative booms and bubbles in housing markets 21 suburbanisation 253 and technology 101 toxic batteries 249–50 unstable lurches forward 10 urban and infrastructural projects 151 urbanisation 232 Chinese Communist Party 108, 142 Church, the 185, 189, 199 circular cumulative causation 150 CitiBank 61 citizenship rights 168 civil rights 202, 205 class affluent classes 205 alliances 143, 149 class analysis xiii; conflict 85, 159 domination 91, 110 plutocratic capitalist xiii; power 55, 61, 88, 89, 92, 97, 99, 110, 134, 135, 221, 279 and race 166, 291 rule 91 structure 91 class struggle 34, 54, 67, 68, 85, 99, 103, 110, 116, 120, 135, 159, 172, 175, 183, 214, 233 climate change 4, 253–6, 259 Clinton, President Bill 176 Cloud Atlas (film) 271 CNN 285 coal 3, 255 coercion x, 41–4, 53, 60–63, 79, 95, 201, 286 Cold War 153, 165 collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) 78 Collins, Suzanne: The Hunger Games 264 Colombia 280 colonialism 257 the colonised 289–90 indigenous populations 39, 40 liberation from colonial rule 202 philanthropic 208, 285 colonisation 229, 262 ‘combinatorial evolution’ 96, 102, 104, 146, 147, 248 commercialisation 262, 263, 266 commodification 24, 55, 57, 59–63, 88, 115, 140, 141, 192, 193, 235, 243, 251, 253, 260, 262, 263, 273 commodities advertising 275 asking price 31 and barter 24 commodity exchange 39, 64 compared with products 25–6 defective or dangerous 72 definition 39 devaluation of 234 exchange value 15, 25 falling costs of 117 importance of workers as buyers 80–81 international trade in 256 labour power as a commodity 62 low-value 29 mobility of 147–8 obsolescence 236 single metric of value 24 unique 140–41 use value 15, 26, 35 commodity markets 49 ‘common capital of the class’ 142, 143 common wealth created by social labour 53 private appropriation of 53, 54, 55, 61, 88, 89 reproduction of 61 use values 53 commons collective management of 50 crucial 295 enclosure of 41, 235 natural 250 privatised 250 communications 99, 147, 148, 177 communism 196 collapse of (1989) xii, 165 communist parties 136 during Cold War 165 scientific 269 socialism/communism 91, 269 comparative advantage 122 competition and alienated workers 125 avoiding 31 between capitals 172 between energy and food production 3 decentralised 145 and deflationary crisis (1930s) 136 foreign 148, 155 geopolitical 219 inter-capitalist 110 international 154, 175 interstate 110 interterritorial 219 in labour market 116 and monopoly 131–45, 146, 218 and technology 92–3 and turnover time of capital 73, 99 and wages 135 competitive advantage 73, 93, 96, 112, 161 competitive market 131, 132 competitiveness 184 complementarity principle of 70 compounding growth 37, 49, 222, 227, 228, 233, 234, 235, 243, 244 perpetual 222–45, 296 computerisation 100, 120, 222 computers 92, 100, 105, 119 hardware 92, 101 organisational forms 92, 93, 99, 101 programming 120 software 92, 99, 101, 115, 116 conscience laundering 211, 245, 284, 286 Conscious Capitalism 284 constitutional rights 58 constitutionality 60, 61 constitutions progressive 284 and social bond between human rights and private property 40 US Constitution 284 and usurpation of power 45 consumerism 89, 106, 160, 192–5, 197, 198, 236, 274–7 containerisation 138, 148, 158 contracts 71, 72, 93, 207 contradictions Aristotelian conception of 4 between money and the social labour money represents 83 between reality and appearance 4–6 between use and exchange value 83 of capital and capitalism 68 contagious intensification of 14 creative use of 3 dialectical conception of 4 differing reactions to 2–3 and general crises 14 and innovation 3 moved around rather than resolved 3–4 multiple 33, 42 resolution of 3, 4 two modes of usage 1–2 unstable 89 Controller of the Currency 120 corporations and common wealth 54 corporate management 98–9 power of 57–8, 136 and private property 39–40 ‘visible hand’ 141–2 corruption 53, 197, 266 cosmopolitanism 285 cost of living 164, 175 credit cards 67, 133, 277 credit card companies 54, 84, 278 credit financing 152 credit system 83, 92, 101, 111, 239 crises changes in mental conceptions of the world ix-x; crisis of capital 4 defined 4 essential to the reproduction of capitalism ix; general crisis ensuing from contagions 14 housing markets crisis (2007–9) 18, 20, 22 reconfiguration of physical landscapes ix; slow resolution of x; sovereign debt crisis (after 2012) 37 currency markets, turbulence of (late 1960s) x customary rights 41, 59, 198 D Davos conferences 169 DDT 259 Debord, Guy: The Society of the Spectacle 236 debt creation 236 debt encumbrancy 212 debt peonage 62, 212 decentralisation 49, 142, 143, 144, 146, 148, 219, 281, 295 Declaration of Independence (US) 284 decolonisation 282, 288, 290 decommodification 85 deindustrialisation xii, 77–8, 98, 110, 148, 153, 159, 234 DeLong, Bradford 228 demand management 81, 82, 106, 176 demand-side management 85 democracy 47, 215 bourgeois 43, 49 governance within capitalism 43 social 190 totalitarian 220, 292 democratic governance 220, 266 democratisation 43 Deng Xiaoping x depressions 49, 227 1930s x, 108, 136, 169, 227, 232, 234 Descartes, René 247 Detroit 77, 136, 138, 148, 150, 152, 155, 159, 160 devaluation 153, 155, 162 of capital 233 of commodities 234 crises 150–51, 152, 154 localised 154 regional 154 developing countries 16, 240 Dhaka, Bangladesh 77 dialectics 70 Dickens, Charles 126, 169 Bleak House 226 Dombey and Son 184 digital revolution 144 disabled, the 202 see also handicapped discrimination 7, 8, 68, 116, 297 diseases 10, 211, 246, 254, 260 disempowerment 81, 103, 116, 119, 198, 270 disinvestment 78 Disneyfication 276 dispossession accumulation by 60, 67, 68, 84, 101, 111, 133, 141, 212 and capital 54, 55, 57 economies of 162 of indigenous populations 40, 59, 207 ‘land grabs’ 58 of land rights of the Irish 40 of the marginalised 198 political economy of 58 distributional equality 172 distributional shares 164–5, 166 division of labour 24, 71, 112–30, 154, 184, 268, 270 and Adam Smith 98, 118 defined 112 ‘the detail division of labour’ 118, 121 distinctions and oppositions 113–14 evolution of 112, 120, 121, 126 and gender 114–15 increasing complexity of 124, 125, 126 industrial proletariat 114 and innovation 96 ‘new international division of labour’ 122–3 organisation of 98 proliferating 121 relation between the parts and the whole 112 social 113, 118, 121, 125 technical 113, 295 uneven geographical developments in 130 dot-com bubble (1990s) 222–3, 241 ‘double coincidence of wants and needs’ 24 drugs 32, 193, 248 cartels 54 Durkheim, Emile 122, 125 Dust Bowl (United States, 1930s) 257 dynamism 92, 104, 146, 219 dystopia 229, 232, 264 E Eagleton , Terry: Why Marx Was Right 1, 21, 200, 214–15 East Asia crisis of 1997–98 154 dirigiste governmentality 48 education 184 rise of 170 Eastern Europe 115, 230 ecological offsets 250 economic rationality 211, 250, 252, 273, 274, 275, 277, 278, 279 economies 48 advanced capitalist 228, 236 agglomeration 149 of dispossession 162 domination of industrial cartels and finance capital 135 household 192 informal 175 knowledge-based 188 mature 227–8 regional 149 reoriented to demand-side management 85 of scale 75 solidarity 66, 180 stagnant xii ecosystems 207, 247, 248, 251–6, 258, 261, 263, 296 Ecuador 46, 152, 284 education 23, 58, 60, 67–8, 84, 110, 127–8, 129, 134, 150, 156, 168, 183, 184, 185, 187, 188, 189, 223, 235, 296 efficiency 71, 92, 93, 98, 103, 117, 118, 119, 122, 126, 272, 273, 284 efficient market hypothesis 118 Egypt 107, 280, 293 Ehrlich, Paul 246 electronics 120, 121, 129, 236, 292 emerging markets 170–71, 242 employment 37 capital in command of job creation 172, 174 conditions of 128 full-time 274 opportunities for xii, 108, 168 regional crises of 151 of women 108, 114, 115, 127 see also labour enclosure movement 58 Engels, Friedrich 70 The Condition of the English Working Class in England 292 English Civil War (1642–9) 199 Enlightenment 247 Enron 133, 241 environmental damage 49, 61, 110, 111, 113, 232, 249–50, 255, 257, 258, 259, 265, 286, 293 environmental movement 249, 252 environmentalism 249, 252–3 Epicurus 283 equal rights 64 Erasmus, Desiderius 283 ethnic hatreds and discriminations 8, 165 ethnic minorities 168 ethnicisation 62 ethnicity 7, 68, 116 euro, the 15, 37, 46 Europe deindustrialisation in 234 economic development in 10 fascist parties 280 low population growth rate 230 social democratic era 18 unemployment 108 women in labour force 230 European Central Bank 37, 46, 51 European Commission 51 European Union (EU) 95, 159 exchange values commodities 15, 25, 64 dominance of 266 and housing 14–23, 43 and money 28, 35, 38 uniform and qualitatively identical 15 and use values 15, 35, 42, 44, 50, 60, 65, 88 exclusionary permanent ownership rights 39 experts 122 exploitation 49, 54, 57, 62, 68, 75, 83, 107, 108, 124, 126, 128, 129, 150, 156, 159, 166, 175, 176, 182, 185, 193, 195, 208, 246, 257 exponential growth 224, 240, 254 capacity for 230 of capital 246 of capital accumulation 223, 229 of capitalist activity 253 and capital’s ecosystem 255 in computer power 105 and environmental resources 260 in human affairs 229 and innovations in finance and banking 100 potential dangers of 222, 223 of sophisticated technologies 100 expropriation 207 externality effects 43–4 Exxon 128 F Facebook 236, 278, 279 factories ix, 123, 129, 160, 174, 182, 247, 292 Factory Act (1864) 127, 183 famine 124–5, 229, 246 Fannie Mae 50 Fanon, Frantz 287 The Wretched of the Earth 288–90, 293 fascist parties 280 favelas ix, 16, 84, 175 feminisation 115 feminists 189, 192, 283 fertilisers 255 fetishes, fetishism 4–7, 31, 36–7, 61, 103, 111, 179, 198, 243, 245, 269, 278 feudalism 41 financial markets 60, 133 financialisation 238 FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate) sections 113 fishing 59, 113, 148, 249, 250 fixity and motion 75–8, 88, 89, 146, 155 Food and Drug Administration 120 food production/supply 3, 229, 246, 248, 252 security 253, 294, 296 stamp aid 206, 292 Ford, Martin 104–8, 111, 273 foreclosure 21, 22, 24, 54, 58, 241, 268 forestry 113, 148, 257 fossil fuels 3–4 Foucault, Michel xiii, 204, 209, 280–81 Fourier, François Marie Charles 183 Fourierists 18 Fourteen Points 201 France banking 158 dirigiste governmentality under de Gaulle 48 and European Central Bank 46 fascist parties 280 Francis, Pope 293 Apostolic Exhortation 275–6 Frankfurt School 261 Freddie Mac 50 free trade 138, 157 freedom 47, 48, 142, 143, 218, 219, 220, 265, 267–270, 276, 279–82, 285, 288, 296 and centralised power 142 cultural 168 freedom and domination 199–215, 219, 268, 285 and the good life 215 and money creation 51 popular desire for 43 religious 168 and state finances 48 under the rule of capital 64 see also liberty and freedom freedom of movement 47, 296 freedom of thought 200 freedom of the press 213 French Revolution 203, 213, 284 G G7 159 G20 159 Gallup survey of work 271–2 Gandhi, Mahatma 284, 291 Gaulle, Charles de 48 gay rights 166 GDP 194, 195, 223 Gehry, Frank 141 gender discriminations 7, 8, 68, 165 gene sequences 60 General Motors xii genetic engineering xii, 101, 247 genetic materials 235, 241, 251, 261 genetically modified foods 101 genocide 8 gentrification 19, 84, 141, 276 geocentric model 5 geographical landscape building a new 151, 155 of capitalism 159 evolution of 146–7 instability of 146 soulless, rationalised 157 geopolitical struggles 8, 154 Germany and austerity 223 autobahns built 151 and European Central Bank 46 inflation during 1920s 30 wage repression 158–9 Gesell, Silvio 35 Ghana 291 global economic crisis (2007–9) 22, 23, 47, 118, 124, 132, 151, 170, 228, 232, 234, 235, 241 global financialisation x, 177–8 global warming 260 globalisation 136, 174, 176, 179, 223, 293 gold 27–31, 33, 37, 57, 227, 233, 238, 240 Golden Dawn 280 Goldman Sachs 75, 239 Google 131, 136, 195, 279 Gordon, Robert 222, 223, 230, 239, 304n2 Gore, Al 249 Gorz, André 104–5, 107, 242, 270–77, 279 government 60 democratic 48 planning 48 and social bond between human rights and private property 40 spending power 48 governmentality 43, 48, 157, 209, 280–81, 285 Gramsci, Antonio 286, 293 Greco, Thomas 48–9 Greece 160, 161, 162, 171, 235 austerity 223 degradation of the well-being of the masses xi; fascist parties 280 the power of the bondholders 51, 152 greenwashing 249 Guantanamo Bay, Cuba 202, 284 Guatemala 201 Guevara, Che 291 Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao 141 guild system 117 Guinea-Bissau 291 Gulf Oil Spill (2010) 61 H Habermas, Jürgen 192 habitat 246, 249, 252, 253, 255 handicapped, the 218 see also disabled Harvey, David The Enigma of Capital 265 Rebel Cities 282 Hayek, Friedrich 42 Road to Serfdom 206 health care 23, 58, 60, 67–8, 84, 110, 134, 156, 167, 189, 190, 235, 296 hedge funds 101, 162, 239, 241, 249 managers 164, 178 Heidegger, Martin 59, 250 Heritage Foundation 143 heterotopic spaces 219 Hill, Christopher 199 Ho Chi Minh 291 holocausts 8 homelessness 58 Hong Kong 150, 160 housing 156, 296 asset values 19, 20, 21, 58 ‘built to order’ 17 construction 67 controlling externalities 19–20 exchange values 14–23, 43 gated communities ix, 160, 208, 264 high costs 84 home ownership 49–50 investing in improvements 20, 43 mortgages 19, 21, 28, 50, 67, 82 predatory practices 67, 133 production costs 17 rental markets 22 renting or leasing 18–19, 67 self-built 84 self-help 16, 160 slum ix, 16, 175 social 18, 235 speculating in exchange value 20–22 speculative builds 17, 28, 78, 82 tenement 17, 160 terraced 17 tract ix, 17, 82 use values 14–19, 21–2, 23, 67 housing markets 18, 19, 21, 22, 28, 32, 49, 58, 60, 67, 68, 77, 83, 133, 192 crisis (2007–9) 18, 20, 22, 82–3 HSBC 61 Hudson, Michael 222 human capital theory 185, 186 human evolution 229–30 human nature 97, 198, 213, 261, 262, 263 revolt of 263, 264–81 human rights 40, 200, 202 humanism 269 capitalist 212 defined 283 education 128 excesses and dark side 283 and freedom 200, 208, 210 liberal 210, 287, 289 Marxist 284, 286 religious 283 Renaissance 283 revolutionary 212, 221, 282–93 secular 283, 285–6 types of 284 Hungary: fascist parties 280 Husserl, Edmund 192 Huygens, Christiaan 70 I IBM 128 Iceland: banking 55 identity politics xiii illegal aliens (‘sans-papiers’) 156 illegality 61, 72 immigrants, housing 160 imperialism 135, 136, 143, 201, 257, 258 income bourgeois disposable 235 disparities of 164–81 levelling up of 171 redistribution to the lower classes xi; see also wages indebtedness 152, 194, 222 India billionaires in 170 a BRIC country 170, 228 call centres 139 consumerism 236 dismantlement of old ships 250 labour 107, 230 ‘land grabs’ 77 moneylenders 210 social reproduction in 194 software engineers 196 special economic zones 144 unstable lurches forward 10 indigenous populations 193, 202, 257, 283 dispossession of 40, 59, 207 and exclusionary ownership rights 39 individualism 42, 197, 214, 281 Indonesia 129, 160 industrial cartels 135 Industrial Revolution 127 industrialisation 123, 189, 229, 232 inflation 30, 36, 37, 40, 49, 136, 228, 233 inheritance 40 Inner Asia, labour in 108 innovation 132 centres of 96 and the class struggle 103 competitive 219 as a double-edged sword xii; improving the qualities of daily life 4 labour-saving 104, 106, 107, 108 logistical 147 organisational 147 political 219 product 93 technological 94–5, 105, 147, 219 as a way out of a contradiction 3 insurance companies 278 intellectual property rights xii, 41, 123, 133, 139, 187, 207, 235, 241–2, 251 interest compound 5, 222, 224, 225, 226–7 interest-rate manipulations 54 interest rates 54, 186 living off 179, 186 on loans 17 money capital 28, 32 and mortgages 19, 67 on repayment of loans to the state 32 simple 225, 227 usury 49 Internal Revenue Service income tax returns 164 International Monetary Fund (IMF) 49, 51, 100, 143, 161, 169, 186, 234, 240 internet 158, 220, 278 investment: in fixed capital 75 investment pension funds 35–6 IOUs 30 Iran 232, 289 Iranian Revolution 289 Iraq war 201, 290 Ireland dispossession of land rights 40 housing market crash (2007–9) 82–3 Istanbul 141 uprising (2013) 99, 129, 171, 243 Italy 51,161, 223, 235 ITT 136 J Jacobs, Jane 96 James, C.L.R. 291 Japan 1980s economic boom 18 capital in (1980s) 154 economic development in 10 factories 123 growth rate 227 land market crash (1990) 18 low population growth rate 230 and Marshall Plan 153 post-war recovery 161 Jewish Question 213 JPMorgan 61 Judaeo-Christian tradition 283 K Kant, Immanuel 285 Katz, Cindi 189, 195, 197 Kenya 291 Kerala, India 171 Keynes, John Maynard xi, 46, 76, 244, 266 ‘Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren’ 33–4 General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money 35 Keynesianism demand management 82, 105, 176 demand-side and debt-financed expansion xi King, Martin Luther 284, 291 knowledge xii, 26, 41, 95, 96, 100, 105, 113, 122, 123, 127, 144, 184, 188, 196, 238, 242, 295 Koch brothers 292 Kohl, Helmut x L labour agitating and fighting for more 64 alienated workers 125, 126, 128, 129, 130 artisan 117, 182–3 and automation 105 capital/labour contradiction 65, 66, 68–9, 146 collective 117 commodification of 57 contracts 71, 72 control over 74, 102–11, 119, 166, 171–2, 274, 291–2 deskilling 111, 119 discipline 65, 79 disempowering workers 81, 103, 116, 119, 270 division of see division of labour; domestic 196 education 127–8, 129, 183, 187 exploitation of 54, 57, 62, 68, 75, 83, 107, 108, 126, 128, 129, 150, 156, 166, 175, 176, 182, 185, 195 factory 122, 123, 237 fair market value 63, 64 Gallup survey 271–2 house building 17 housework 114–15, 192 huge increase in the global wage labour force 107–8 importance of workers as buyers of commodities 80–81 ‘industrial reserve army’ 79–80, 173–4 migrations of 118 non-unionised xii; power of 61–4, 71, 73, 74, 79, 81, 88, 99, 108, 118–19, 127, 173, 175, 183, 189, 207, 233, 267 privatisation of 61 in service 117 skills 116, 118–19, 123, 149, 182–3, 185, 231 social see social labour; surplus 151, 152, 173–4, 175, 195, 233 symbolic 123 and trade unions 116 trading in labour services 62–3 unalienated 66, 89 unionised xii; unpaid 189 unskilled 114, 185 women in workforce see under women; worked to exhaustion or death 61, 182 see also employment labour markets 47, 62, 64, 66–9, 71, 102, 114, 116, 118, 166 labour-saving devices 104, 106, 107, 173, 174, 277 labour power commodification of 61, 88 exploitation of 62, 175 generation of surplus value 63 mobility of 99 monetisation of 61 private property character of 64 privatisation of 61 reserves of 108 Lagos, Nigeria, social reproduction in 195 laissez-faire 118, 205, 207, 281 land commodification 260–61 concept of 76–7 division of 59 and enclosure movement 58 establishing as private property 41 exhausting its fertility 61 privatisation 59, 61 scarcity 77 urban 251 ‘land grabs’ 39, 58, 77, 252 land market 18, 59 land price 17 land registry 41 land rents 78, 85 land rights 40, 93 land-use zoning 43 landlords 54, 67, 83, 140, 179, 251, 261 Latin America ’1and grabs’ 58, 77 labour 107 reductions in social inequality 171 two ‘lost decades’ of development 234 lawyers 22, 26, 67, 82, 245 leasing 16, 17, 18 Lebed, Jonathan 195 Lee Kuan-Yew 48 Leeds 149 Lefebvre, Henri 157, 192 Critique of Everyday Life 197–8 left, the defence of jobs and skills under threat 110 and the factory worker 68 incapable of mounting opposition to the power of capital xii; remains of the radical left xii–xiii Lehman Brothers investment bank, fall of (2008) x–xi, 47, 241 ‘leisure’ industries 115 Lenin, Vladimir 135 Leninism 91 Lewis, Michael: The Big Short 20–21 LGBT groups 168, 202, 218 liberation struggle 288, 290 liberty, liberties 44, 48–51, 142, 143, 212, 276, 284, 289 and bourgeois democracy 49 and centralised power 142 and money creation 51 non-coercive individual liberty 42 popular desire for 43 and state finances 48 liberty and freedom 199–215 coercion and violence in pursuit of 201 government surveillance and cracking of encrypted codes 201–2 human rights abuses 202 popular desire for 203 rhetoric on 200–201, 202 life expectancy 250, 258, 259 light, corpuscular theory of 70 living standards xii, 63, 64, 84, 89, 134, 175, 230 loans fictitious capital 32 housing 19 interest on 17 Locke, John 40, 201, 204 logos 31 London smog of 1952 255 unrest in (2011) 243 Los Angeles 150, 292 Louis XIV, King of France 245 Lovelace, Richard 199, 200, 203 Luddites 101 M McCarthyite scourge 56 MacKinnon, Catherine: Are Women Human?

 

pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

THE COLOSSUS IS A BFG NICHOLAS HUMPHREY Emeritus professor of psychology, London School of Economics; visiting professor of philosophy, New College of the Humanities; senior member, Darwin College, University of Cambridge; author, Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness A penny for your thoughts? You may not choose to answer, but the point is that as a conscious agent, you can. That’s what it means to have introspective access. You know—and can tell us—what’s on stage in the theater of your mind. Then how about machines? A bitcoin for the thinking machine’s thoughts? But no one has yet designed a machine to have that kind of access. Wittgenstein remarked that if a lion could speak, we wouldn’t understand him. If a machine could speak, it wouldn’t have anything to say. What do I think about machines that think? Simple. I don’t think there are, as yet, any such machines. Of course, this may soon change. Far back in human history, natural selection discovered that given the particular problems humans faced, there were practical advantages to having a brain capable of introspection.

The interesting issues unique to AI are adaptability, autonomy, and universality. Systems that use machine learning are adaptable. They change over time based on what they “learn” from examples. (While it remains linguistically controversial whether machines think, the vernacular has accepted the usage “machines learn.”) Adaptability is useful. We want, say, our automated spelling-correction programs to learn new terms, such as “bitcoin,” without waiting for a new dictionary edition to list them. But sometimes an adaptable program can be nudged, example by example, to the point where its responses are inaccurate. Just as bridge designers must deal with crosswinds, so the designers of AI systems must deal with these issues. Some critics worry that many AI systems are built with a framework that maximizes expected utility. Such a system estimates the current state of the world, considers all possible actions it can take, simulates their possible outcomes, and then chooses the action leading to the best distribution of possible outcomes.

To keep clean our consciences, we need only to create a thinking machine and then vilify it. WHEN THINKING MACHINES BREAK THE LAW BRUCE SCHNEIER Security technologist; fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School; chief technical officer, Co3 Systems, Inc.; author, Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World Last year, two Swiss artists programmed a Random Botnot Shopper, which every week would spend $100 in bitcoin to buy a random item from an anonymous Internet black market—all for an art project on display in Switzerland. It was a clever concept, except there was a problem. Most of the stuff the bot purchased was benign—fake Diesel jeans, a baseball cap with a hidden camera, a stash can, a pair of Nike trainers—but it also purchased ten ecstasy tablets and a fake Hungarian passport. What do we do when a machine breaks the law?

 

pages: 587 words: 117,894

Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know by P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman

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4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business continuity plan, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fault tolerance, global supply chain, Google Earth, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, packet switching, Peace of Westphalia, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

Alertpay, on the other hand, was repeatedly warned by its acquiring banks for dealing with online scams and child pornography sites before being shut down in 2011. To evade the growing security and control of the payment networks, some bad actors turn to digital currencies. These are alternate currencies that can be traded just like other forms of money, provided that you can find someone in the online world to accept them. Examples range from Bitcoin to the Linden Dollar used in the online world Second Life. Proponents of these currencies often make the argument that they are more efficient ways to trade in a virtual world that doesn’t have clear national boundaries. Especially compared to developing world currencies, they can be more stable than government-backed money, as well as offer the more than 2.5 billion people in the world who don’t have access to traditional banks a way to connect and trade.

asymmetric cryptography: The practice of securing data using a public key, which is shared with everyone, and a private key that remains secret. Data encrypted with the public key can only be decrypted with the private key, and vice versa. This allows secure communications without a shared secret. Autonomous System (AS): An independent network serving as a node in the interconnected Internet. Traffic between ASs is governed by the Internet protocols and routing policies. Bitcoin: A popular digital currency, first developed in 2008, that offers significant anonymity and requires no centralization or coordinated control. botnet: A network of “zombie” computers controlled by a single actor. Botnets are a common tool for malicious activity on the Internet, such as denial-of-service attacks and spam, since they provide free (stolen) computation and network resources while hiding the identity of the controller.

See DARPA Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), 16, 18 Afghanistan, 96, 101 air gap, 53, 63, 168 Alexander, Keith, 134, 144, 167 Algeier, Scott, 224 Alperovitch, Dmitri, 91–92, 94–96, 146, 232 Al-Qaeda, 96–100, 105 Anonymous, 78, 80–84, 112 Arab Spring, 88, 109 Assange, Julian, 51–54, 84, 195 Assente, Michael, 233 asymmetric cryptography. See cryptography Automated Teller Machine (ATM), 32, 85, 244 Autonomous System (AS), 24–25 Axelrod, Robert, 182, 193 Baker, Stewart, 215 Barlow, John, 84, 181 Baruch Plan, 160, 162 Bataller, Erik, 226 Beijing Olympics, 75, 92 Bellovin, Steve, 166, 169 Bernard, Baruch. See Baruch Plan Biden, Joe, 195 Big Data, 250 Bin Laden, Osama, 101–102, 105 biometric, 32, 244 Bitcoin. See digital currency black market (digital), 73, 90, 98, 109, 158, 178. See also Silk Road blue-team. See red-team Botnets and attribution, 72–73 combating against, 176, 187, 208 definition of, 44–45 Braithwaite, Bill, 231 Brammer, Robert, 240 Brenner, Joel, 121, 234 Britain, 83–84, 105, 181 Brookings Institution, 21–23, 57, 249–250 Brown, Brittany, 102 Bucci, Steven, 242 Bush, George W., 15, 199 Byzantine Hades, 75 Cartwright, James, 156 cats, 10, 21, 38, 174, 193, 219, 252, 254 cell phone.

 

pages: 589 words: 147,053

The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life When Robots Rule the Earth by Robin Hanson

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8-hour work day, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, business process, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, demographic transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, experimental subject, fault tolerance, financial intermediation, Flynn Effect, hindsight bias, job automation, job satisfaction, Just-in-time delivery, lone genius, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nash equilibrium, new economy, prediction markets, rent control, rent-seeking, reversible computing, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, statistical model, stem cell, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

“Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?” Journal of Economic Perspectives 18(1): 51–74. Myers, David, and Ed Diener. 1995. “Who Is Happy?” Psychological Science 6(1): 10–19. Nagy, Bela, J. Doyne Farmer, Quan Bui, and Jessika Trancik. 2013. “Statistical Basis for Predicting Technological Progress.” PLoS ONE 8(2): e52669. Nakamoto, Satoshi. 2008. “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” November. https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf. Navarrete, C. David, Robert Kurzban, Daniel Fessler, and Lee Kirkpatrick 2004. “Anxiety and Intergroup Bias: Terror Management or Coalitional Psychology?” Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 7(4): 370–397. Nguyen, Anh Ngoc, Jim Taylor, and Steve Bradley. 2003. “Job Autonomy and Job Satisfaction: New Evidence.” Doctoral dissertation, University of Lancaster, Lancaster.

 

pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

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4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator

If you’re willing to tolerate an error rate of just 1% or 2%, storing your findings in a probabilistic data structure like a Bloom filter will save you significant amounts of both time and space. And the usefulness of such filters is not confined to search engines: Bloom filters have shipped with a number of recent web browsers to check URLs against a list of known malicious websites, and they are also an important part of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Says Mitzenmacher, “The idea of the error tradeoff space—I think the issue is that people don’t associate that with computing. They think computers are supposed to give you the answer. So when you hear in your algorithms class, ‘It’s supposed to give you one answer; it might not be the right answer’—I like to think that when [students] hear that, it focuses them. I think people don’t realize in their own lives how much they do that and accept that.”

weighs in at about seventy-seven characters: Kelvin Tan, “Average Length of a URL (Part 2),” August 16, 2010, http://www.supermind.org/blog/740/average-length-of-a-url-part-2. the URL is entered into a set of equations: Bloom, “Space/Time Trade-offs in Hash Coding with Allowable Errors.” shipped with a number of recent web browsers: Google Chrome until at least 2012 used a Bloom filter: see http://blog.alexyakunin.com/2010/03/nice-bloom-filter-application.html and https://chromiumcodereview.appspot.com/10896048/. part of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin: Gavin Andresen, “Core Development Status Report #1,” November 1, 2012, https://bitcoinfoundation.org/2012/11/core-development-status-report-1/. “The river meanders”: Richard Kenney, “Hydrology; Lachrymation,” in The One-Strand River: Poems, 1994–2007 (New York: Knopf, 2008). use this approach when trying to decipher codes: See Berg-Kirkpatrick and Klein, “Decipherment with a Million Random Restarts.”

Thomas Bayes’s Rule defined BBC BBC News Beautiful Mind, A (Nasar) beauty Bedarf, Erwin Bélády, László “Les” Bélády’s Algorithm Belew, Rik Bell, Alexander Graham bell curve Bellman, Richard Bellows, Meghan Belmont Report benchmarks Berezovsky, Boris Berkeley, Bishop George Berlin Wall Bernard, Claude Berry, Don best-case performance Bezos, Jeff big data Big-O notation. See also constant time; exponential time; factorial time; linearithmic time; linear time; polynomial time; quadratic time Big Ten conference Bikhchandani, Sushil bill-paying schedule Bing Binmore, Ken births, male vs. female Bitcoin “Blind Variation and Selective Retention” (Campbell) blocking Bloom, Burton H. Bloomberg Businessweek Bloom filter Blum, Avrim Boguslavsky, Leonid bookbinding Booker, Christopher bracket tournaments Bradáč, Zdeněk breaking symmetry Brighton, Henry bubbles, financial Bubble Sort Bucket Sort bufferbloat buffers Buffon, George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de burglar problem Burks, Arthur business.

 

pages: 478 words: 126,416

Other People's Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People? by John Kay

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, Irish property bubble, Isaac Newton, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, market design, millennium bug, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, Yom Kippur War

The complete dematerialisation of payments potentially deprives governments and established banking institutions of their traditional mechanisms of control: monopoly of currency issue and access to physical records. The invention of the credit card means that it is no longer necessary to have cash or deposits to make a payment, only a certificate of anticipated future resources sufficient to settle the transaction: a change that is potentially the end of money as we have known it. The evangelists for bitcoin, the much-hyped digital currency that is a strange mixture of the visionary and the fraudulent – are, in a sense, not imaginative enough. They are simply trying to reproduce in the electronic world a commodity – currency – that has long existed in the material world. The larger question is whether currency as we have known it is any longer necessary at all. I once joked with beginning students that money existed because when a pipe burst it took too long to find a plumber in need of economics lectures – but today it is possible to locate that plumber.

.: ‘The Fall of Rome’ 119 Augar, Philip 114–15 Australian central bank 243 automobile manufacture 44 AXA 27, 200 B Bagehot, Walter 244 bail-outs 75, 138, 150, 260, 268, 271 balance sheets 221 Bank of England 245 derivatives 193 Deutsche Bank 191, 192, 192, 222 Federal Reserve System 245 financial institutions’ claims against each other 190 Halifax 140, 164, 190 Japanese banks 221 of large US banks 38 of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 75 need for new capital 137 removal of debt from the public-sector balance sheet 158 value of securities 41 Baltic Exchange 17 Bank for International Settlements (BIS) 221 ‘bank levy’ 266 Bank of America 113, 135, 150, 185, 186, 193, 300 Bank of England 98, 139, 247, 260, 264 advocacy of City of London interests 20 balance sheet 245 central bank for the UK 183 and Diamond 35 direct funding to HBoS and RBS 135 Eurodollar market 20 nationalised (1946) 243 and Overend, Gurney & Co. 31 saves Scottish banks 26 and Soros 23 Bank of Italy 243 Bank of Japan 221 Bank of New York (now incorporated into BNY Mellon) 24 Bank of Scotland 11, 12, 14, 24, 26, 34, 78, 124, 125, 129, 135, 139 Bank of Spain 183 banking annualised shareholder returns of major banks 134 assets 91 bank managers 11–12, 27, 84, 125, 129, 197, 198, 281 banking crises (1800–2010) 37 Basel rules on bank lending 21, 151, 220–25 career in 11–12 cartelised 219 co-operative banks 169 complexity 276–7 conglomerate banks 133, 136, 137 deposit and investment channels 25–6 deposit-taking banks 259–60, 288–9, 290 equity in 282 inter-bank lending 244 long history of banking institutions 24 nationalisation 301 retail banks 33, 185, 198, 220, 284, 290, 291 ‘reverse-engineering’ products 21 run on bank 90 savings banks 169 size in 276 transformation of investment banking 15 universal banks 220 zombie banks 38, 39, 219 ‘banking book’ 320n20 Banque de France 243 Barclays Bank 24, 34, 35, 113, 135, 139, 166, 185, 186, 261, 266, 267 Barings Bank 31, 130, 134 Basel agreements 21, 151, 220–25, 234, 270, 298 Bausparkassen 149, 154 BBC 58 Bear Stearns 48, 90, 135 Berkshire Hathaway 107–8, 203, 212, 282 Berle, Adolf 51 Berlin financial centre 26 Bernanke, Ben 40, 57, 58, 73, 104 beta (β) parameter 206 beta-blockers 47 bezzle 127, 128, 132, 136, 176, 177, 190, 201, 244, 280 bias to action 203–8, 211, 273, 291 ‘Big Bang’ (1986) 28 ‘Big Dig’ tunnel, Boston 158 biotechnology 168 bitcoin 187 Black, Fischer 19, 69 Black, James 47 ‘Black Monday’ (19 October 1987) 242 ‘black swans’ 67 Black-Scholes model 20, 69 BlackRock 200, 207, 213, 253 Blair, Tony 262 Blankfein, Lloyd 14–15, 143, 160, 300 Blodget, Henry 199, 293 Bloomberg 281, 302 Bloomingdale’s department store 46 BMW 170 BNP Paribas 33, 50, 193, 200 BNY Mellon 200 Bogle, Jack 207 Bolton, Anthony 108, 109 bond trading 20 bonus culture 50–52 Born, Brooksley 57 Bovis 158 Bowie, David 21 Bradford and Bingley 135 Brandeis, Louis: Other People’s Money 114 Brecht, Bertolt: Happy End 188 Bretton Woods conference (1944) 17, 18, 36, 221 Britain assets and liabilities of British banks 1 English law 263 failure of UK banking sector (2008) 276–7 and FISIM 264 global dominance of the finance industry 218, 265 housing 149, 174 British Telecom sale 158, 250 Brittan, Samuel 58, 70 Brokaw, Tom 258 broker-dealer 29, 84, 117, 198 brokers 29–30 Brooke, Rupert 95 ‘Heaven’ 87 Brooks, Rebekah 292, 295 Brown, Gordon 24, 231, 235, 262 Browning, Robert: ‘A Toccata of Galuppi’s’ 262 BTR 45 Buffett, Warren 69–70, 100, 107, 108, 109, 112–13, 124, 127, 131, 132, 192, 203, 205, 212, 267, 268, 282 building societies 25, 149, 150, 151, 154, 290 Building Societies Act (1986) 150–51 Bundesbank 243 Burke, Edmund: Letters on a Regicide Peace 173 Burrough, Bryan and Helyar, John: Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco 46, 164, 204 Burroughs, William S. 259 Bush, George W. 58, 255 buy-outs 166 buy-side analysts 199 Byng, Admiral 71[?

 

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Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

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3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

The amount of gold recovered from the earth thus far would fill only a little more than three Olympic swimming pools.2 ‡The gold standard is admittedly something of a red herring (gold herring?), in that it isn’t a mainstream idea, though it remains commonplace in certain streams of American political thought. It is relevant, however, because the idea that there must be a hard limit to the amount of money in the world also drives most Silicon Valley–styled schemes to create new forms of money, like Bitcoin. If the world were to run on a gold standard, then that stash would have to function as the memory of the global computer that humanity uses to plan its economic future. Therefore, the gold standard is a fundamentally pessimistic idea. Limiting our model of how to invent the future to the memory capacity of around 50 billion troy ounces§ is just a way of saying the future holds nothing of surprising value.

Brian, 169n artificial hearts, 157–58 artificial intelligence (AI), 23, 61, 94, 95, 114, 116, 136, 138n, 147, 155, 157, 178, 191, 192–93, 325, 330, 354, 359n artificial memory, 35 art market, 108 Art of the Long View, The (Schwartz), 214 ashrams, 213 assets, 31, 60 “As We May Think” (Bush), 221n asymmetry, 54–55, 61–66, 118, 188, 203, 246–48, 285–88, 291–92, 310 Athens, 22–25 atomic bomb, 127 “attractor nightmare,” 48 auctions, 170, 286 aulos, 23n austerity, 96, 115, 125, 151, 152, 204, 208 authenticity, 128–32, 137 authors, 62n automata, 11, 12, 17, 23, 42, 55, 85–86, 90–92, 97–100, 111, 129, 135–36, 155, 157, 162, 260, 261, 269, 296n, 342, 359–60 automated services, 62, 63, 64, 147–48 automated trading systems, 74–78, 115 automation, 7, 85, 123–24, 192, 234, 259, 261, 343 automobiles, 43, 86, 90–92, 98, 118–19, 125n, 302, 311, 314, 343, 367 avatar cameras, 265 avatars, 89n, 265, 283–85 baby boomers, 97–100, 339, 346 bailouts, financial, 45, 52, 60, 74–75, 82 Baird-Murray, Kathleen, 200n “Ballad of John Henry, The,” 134–35 bandwidth, 171–72 banking, 32–33, 42, 43, 69, 76–78, 151–52, 251, 269n, 289, 345–46 bankruptcy, 2, 89, 251 bargains, 64–65, 95–96 Barlow, John Perry, 353 Barnes & Noble, 62n, 182 barter system, 20, 57 Battlestar Galactica, 137, 138n “beach fantasy,” 12–13, 18, 236–37, 331, 366–67 Beatles, 211, 212, 213 behavior models, 32, 121, 131, 173–74, 286–87 behavior modification, 173–74 Belarus, 136 belief systems, 139–40 Bell, Gordon, 313 bell curve distribution, 39, 39–45, 204, 208, 262, 291–93 Bell Labs, 94 Bentham, Jeremy, 308n Berners-Lee, Tim, 230 Bezos, Jeff, 352 big business, 265–67, 297–98 big data, 107–40, 150, 151–52, 155, 179, 189, 191–92, 202–4, 265–66, 297–98, 305, 346, 366, 367 big money, 202–4, 265–67 billboards, 170, 267, 310 billing, 171–72, 184–85 Bing, 181–82 biodiversity, 146–47 biological realism, 253–54 biotechnology, 11–13, 17, 18, 109–10, 162, 330–31 Bitcoin, 34n BitTorrent, 223 blackmail, 61, 172–73, 207, 273, 314, 316, 322 Black Monday, 74 blogs, 118n, 120, 225, 245, 259, 349, 350 books, 1–2, 62, 63, 65, 113, 182, 192, 193, 246–47, 277–78, 281, 347, 352–60 bots, 62, 63, 64, 147–48 brain function, 195–96, 260, 328 brain scans, 111–12, 218, 367 Brand, Stewart, 214 brand advertising, 267 Brandeis, Louis, 25, 208 Brazil, 54 Brooks, David, 326 Burma, 200n Burning Man, 132 Bush, George H.

 

pages: 230 words: 61,702

The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data by Michael P. Lynch

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, Internet of things, John von Neumann, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, patient HM, prediction markets, RFID, sharing economy, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, WikiLeaks

And question 4—a question of a sort that probably wouldn’t even have been posed before the Internet—is addressed by any number of sites giving me rankings and reviews of restaurants. Not everything about Google-knowing is new, however. And that itself is important to appreciate. One humorous illustration of this came in 2013, when the website College Humor asked: what if Google was a guy? The ensuing video was hilarious and a bit disturbing. The questions we ask our search engines (“Hedgehog, cute,” “Bitcoin unbuy fast,” “college girls?”) seem all the more ridiculous (and creepy) once we imagine asking them of an actual person—like an amiable but overworked bureaucrat behind a desk. But it also reminds us of a fact about how we treat Google and other search engines—a fact that is obvious enough but often overlooked. We treat them like personal reference librarians; we ask them questions, and they deliver up sources that claim to have the answers.

 

pages: 252 words: 75,349

Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door by Brian Krebs

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barriers to entry, bitcoin, Brian Krebs, cashless society, defense in depth, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pirate software, placebo effect, ransomware, Silicon Valley, Stuxnet, the payments system, transaction costs, web application

To create these safeguards, most established crime forums require new applicants to list at least two existing and trusted forum members as references or “vouches,” signaling that one or more existing members of the forum can vouch for the applicant’s skills and integrity and have invited the novice to apply for membership. New applicants generally also must proffer a nonrefundable deposit, usually in the form of a digital currency such as WebMoney or bitcoins. Assuming the applicant’s references confirm that members know him and can vouch for his skills, the applicant is granted limited access to the forum, which he can then use to introduce himself to the broader community, plead his case for membership, and list any unique talents that his full membership would bring to the forum. Existing members may use this trial period to haze or verbally abuse the applicant, or to test his knowledge of programming, hacking, or skill sets related to his claimed area of interest or speciality.

 

pages: 300 words: 77,787

Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights by Lars Kroijer

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Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, BRICs, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, compound rate of return, credit crunch, diversification, diversified portfolio, equity premium, estate planning, fixed income, high net worth, implied volatility, index fund, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, market bubble, passive investing, pattern recognition, prediction markets, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

If you wanted to protect against this extremely unlikely possibility I would suggest that you diversify across different product providers, products, brokers and custodians. 1 Many companies in the world equity portfolio have large net cash holdings (Apple has over $100 billion in cash at the time of writing) unlike governments which are typically large net debtors. In a really nasty world scenario those cash holdings could prove invaluable and ensure survival longer than many governments. To ensure that you actually own those underlying stocks you would need an ETF to be physical instead of synthetic, where you take credit risk with the issuer. 2 The emergence of virtual currencies/commodities like Bitcoin may provide financial shelter in the future and a potential alternative to gold. These currencies are still in the nascent stages, but if they end up as a recognised asset that can be stored securely I would not be surprised to see its value go up at times of turmoil and stress in the financial markets. chapter 17 * * * A wish list aimed at the financial sector Frustratingly, some simple tools that could help the investor make the best investment decisions are not readily available from the index trackers, banks or financial advisers that have the greatest interaction with individual clients.

 

pages: 315 words: 85,791

Technical Blogging: Turn Your Expertise Into a Remarkable Online Presence by Antonio Cangiano

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Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, bitcoin, bounce rate, cloud computing, en.wikipedia.org, John Gruber, Lean Startup, Network effects, revision control, search engine result page, slashdot, software as a service, web application

Furthermore, you may have to motivate such users by recognizing them in a page on your blog. Another problem with donations is that if you try to earn money from your blog with ads, sponsorships, and affiliate offers, very few readers will feel like donating to you. And if you get rid of those revenue channels, you generally won’t be able to make up for them with donations alone. I have tried a variety of donation-related approaches, including accepting Bitcoins and receiving micropayments via Flattr and Readability.[93] Earnings were abysmal when compared to other revenue sources. One donation approach that I have seen work many times is having infrequent fund-raising posts,[94] in which the blogger outlines the expenses and time commitment required to keep up the blog and requests (perhaps once a year) that readers to chip in to reach a specific amount of money.

 

pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

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Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, wages for housework, women in the workforce

There will be, writes former JP Morgan manager Detlev Shlichter, a ‘transfer in wealth of historic proportions’ from those holding paper assets – whether in bank accounts or pension funds – to those holding real ones, above all gold. Out of the ruins, he predicts, will come a system where all loans have to be backed by cash in the bank, known as ‘100 per cent reserve banking’, together with a new Gold Standard. This will require a massive one-off hike in the price of gold, as the value of all the gold in the world has to rise to make it equal to the world’s wealth. (A similar rationale stands behind the Bitcoin movement, which is an attempt to create a digital currency, not backed by any state and with a limited number of digital coins.) This proposed new world of ‘real’ money would come at a massive economic cost. If bank reserves have to match loans made, there can be no expansion of the economy through credit, and there can be little space for derivatives markets, where complexity – in normal times – aids resilience to problems such as drought, crop failure, the recall of faulty motor cars etc.

 

pages: 336 words: 93,672

The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World's Leading Neuroscientists by Gary Marcus, Jeremy Freeman

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, bioinformatics, bitcoin, brain emulation, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Glasses, iterative process, linked data, mouse model, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, speech recognition, stem cell, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, Turing machine, web application

Once one realizes what a GPU can do, and realizes that a GPU is just a different kind of computer, the notion that the brain might somehow not be a computer loses all its force. Many pathways in the visual cortex, for instance, seem to perform transformations on representations of visual scenes, for example, extracting, in parallel edges across a scene. Digital designs like ASICs that are dedicated to specific tasks (like BitCoin mining) show that programs are optional, too; up to certain limits, many programs that might be loaded into memory and executed sequentially can be translated into parallel circuitry that is hardwired and run without a stored program. In my own view, it is obvious that brains (especially those of vertebrates) are computers, in the sense of being systems that operate over inputs and manipulate information systematically.

 

pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

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Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Landlord's Game, lone genius, megacity, Minecraft, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

But, as always, what began with an attempt to create and share new kinds of sounds ended up triggering other revolutions in other domains. The first true peer-to-peer networks for sharing information were designed specifically for the swapping of musical files. It is still too early to tell, but this innovation may turn out to be as influential as those piano keyboards and pinned cylinders, if in fact peer-to-peer platforms like Bitcoin eventually become an important part of the global financial infrastructure, as many people believe. It is entirely possible that the most significant advance in the history of money since the invention of a government-backed currency will end up having its roots in teenagers sharing Metallica songs. Whenever waves of new information technology have crested, music has been there to greet them.

 

pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

All economic exchanges would take place online. Following this line of thought, Glushkov included in his initial OGAS draft proposal a noteworthy provision to eliminate all paper currency, providing in its place wireless money transfers, or a “moneyless system of receipts” over the OGAS network.31 Although modern readers may be tempted to see in his proposal a prototype of the modern-day ATM, e-commerce digital money transfers, PayPal, or BitCoin, Glushkov framed paperless money transfers in the politics of his time and place, calling it the fulfillment of a Marxian prophecy of a future Communist society without hard currency. Read backward in presentist terms, as historians are loath to do, the proposal, if realized, would have transformed the Soviet Union into, in Vladislav Zubok’s phrase, “a computerized socialist utopia, the motherland of the Internet and also possibly the ATM.”32 I maintain that the historical lesson is that whatever our present-day language and whatever the future imaginations of hard currency, the past brims with a variety of visionaries who thought about the future of money as virtual, when as history instructs, the dominant form of currency has already always been, since ancient Mesopotomia, the arithmetic matter of credit and debit—itself a form of expectant funds, or money transfers made virtual across time, not space.33 After reviewing the proposal, Keldysh, then president of the Soviet Academy of Science and a major supporter of Glushkov, asked to meet with Glushkov privately and urged Glushkov to strike from his original OGAS proposal the recommendation of a networked society without hard currency out of fear that it would raise “unneeded emotions.”

 

Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution by Wendy Brown

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Food sovereignty, haute couture, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, late capitalism, means of production, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, young professional

But none of this helps us grasp the imperatives that issue from the systemic drives of capitalism — the imperative of cheapening labor and expanding markets, the imperative of economic growth, the imperative of constant renovations in production (and now in financial instruments) to generate profit, and so forth. Certainly, neoliberalism ushers in a new order of economic reason, a new governing rationality, new modes and venues of commodification, and of course, new features of capitalism C h a r t in g N eo l ib e r a l P o l i t i c a l R at i o n a l i t y   75 and new kinds of capital — from sharing economies to Bitcoin, from derivatives to human capital — but its systematic imperatives cannot be reduced to any of these things. These imperatives can be radically refashioned and reorganized (as financialization itself makes clear), and they are not matters of instinct or of hydraulics, yet they are fundamental life drives no less fierce than those of a living being. To be very clear, my argument is not that there is only one capitalism, that capitalism exists or operates independently of discourse, or that capitalism has unified and unifying logics.

 

pages: 348 words: 39,850

Data Scientists at Work by Sebastian Gutierrez

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business intelligence, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, DevOps, domain-specific language, follow your passion, full text search, informal economy, information retrieval, Infrastructure as a Service, inventory management, iterative process, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, technology bubble, text mining, the scientific method, web application

With Quid, we have a lot of users who are asking questions that we think are valuable ones to have answered well, so the question is then, are we really helping them answer those questions well? In this case, it’s really good to keep the users continually in mind. Its good to understand them well enough that you can then regularly use the product the way they would, and see where it falls short, and make sure you’re working towards fixing that. For us that has also meant, does the product satisfy our own curiosity? Can I quickly learn about Bitcoin or the microbiome or Apple using it? It’s definitely the case that it’s really easy to get into weeds with the stuff, as there are always thousands of options of different algorithms you could try and different tweaks you could do. You have to work hard to stay focused on the big picture. Some of it is also having hunches about what’s going to have the most value. I think you have to go there and make those decisions.

 

pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

Others must be entirely free to engage in frontal criticism of the content of religious belief, just as the Christian, Muslim or Sikh must be free to regard propagating religion as the most important thing in his or her life. The philosopher Thomas Scanlon suggests that instead of ‘In God We Trust’, Americans might inscribe on their coins the words ‘In Tolerance We Trust’.103 (As he also points out, one would have to be careful not to speak the first two words too fast, making it ‘intolerance we trust . . .’.) ‘In Tolerance We Trust’ seems to me the best motto for the Bitcoin of cosmopolis. We should have no illusions. Religion will continue to be one of the most difficult areas for free speech. Tolerance is difficult. Even for someone who does not feel impelled to challenge frontally the religious beliefs of others, finding the right mix of tact and honesty, imaginative sympathy and steadfastness is a daily challenge. Even the nuanced principle and commentary I have offered here will face this ultimate objection: are you not, in fact, asking us to place one belief above all others—the belief, that is, that everyone should learn to rub along together in this way, giving and receiving the same freedom?