altcoin

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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

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

Performed by Brian Beamish. Youtube.com/coinigy. April 25, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wj9ITc0444. Chapter 15: Altcoin Trading and Pump-and-Dumps Shame on you guys. You can’t advocate for Bitcoin and the transformative changes it enables while also pumping some ridiculous alt-coin. —Blogger Matt Branton, The Branton Bits, April 7, 2014 The same strategies that apply to Bitcoin can be applied to altcoins; the principles are the same. However, altcoins—especially once you get past the top few in market-cap size—are more susceptible to pump-and-dump tactics. Pump-and-dumps are not unique to cryptocurrency.

Investing in an altcoin, any altcoin, is at least twice as risky. The investor is betting that the digital currency revolution as a whole will be successful. But he or she is also betting that it will be successful enough to increase the value not only of Bitcoin but also his or her altcoin of choice. As is true in any speculative investment, investing isn’t always the same as believing. There is money to be made in day trading. The long-term holders of various coins, however, are betting that the coin developers and marketers will be able to stay afloat in the sea of other altcoins and offer enough unique features that people will choose it over Bitcoin.

Few have the innovation that Namecoin brought to the table in 2011. There are far too many altcoins out there to be viable. My general advice is to stay away from altcoins altogether unless you are really interested in being on the cutting edge. The next few years, most predict, will be a massive bloodletting for altcoins. A lot of them are kept afloat purely by speculative trading and pump-and-dump tactics. They have no use in the long run and therefore are unlikely to survive. The problem is that altcoins are too easy to create. Ars Technica published an article on this topic. Its author, Cyrus Farivar, created and released a coin to illustrate the ease of the process.


pages: 434 words: 77,974

Mastering Blockchain: Unlocking the Power of Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts by Lorne Lantz, Daniel Cawrey

altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, capital controls, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency peg, disinformation, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Dogecoin, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Firefox, global reserve currency, Internet of things, Kubernetes, litecoin, Lyft, margin call, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Network effects, offshore financial centre, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, software as a service, Steve Wozniak, tulip mania, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WebSocket, WikiLeaks

The SV group also wanted the block size to be set at 128 MB and stay at that number. The differences proved irreconcilable, leading to another hard fork. Altcoins The term altcoin is usually used to refer to forks of the Bitcoin Core software. The early altcoin frenzy began in 2011, after Bitcoin had gained some degree of traction, had gone through its vulnerability attack, and developers had begun to trust the technology. Here are some of the earlier altcoins: Ixcoin This fork was an early premined altcoin (see the next section for more on premining). After generating 580,000 coins ahead of time, the founder(s) launched Ixcoin on message boards and mailing lists with the idea that the original developer(s) would generate a lot of value for the existing premined coins.

Index A ABI (application binary interface), Interacting with a smart contract addressesBitcoin, Public and Private Keys in Cryptocurrency Systemsassociating with an identity, The Evolution of Crypto Laundering generating with public/private keys, Public and Private Keys in Cryptocurrency Systems in UTXO transaction model, The UTXO Model Ethereumfor smart contracts, Deploying a smart contract stealth addresses on Monero, How Monero Works whitelisting, Counterparty Risk adjustable blocksize cap (Bitcoin), The Bitcoin Cash Fork adoption of blockchain, The Future of Blockchain airdrops, disbursement of cryptocurrencies via, Airdrops airgapped computers, Counterparty Risk altchains, Understanding Forks altcoins, Understanding Forks, Altcoins-Counterpartyearlier, sample of, Altcoins Litecoin, Litecoin other, More Altcoin Experiments Amazon Quantum Ledger, Blockchain as a Service analysis, Analysis-Hunting for Bartanalytics services for cryptocurrency blockchains, Analytics fundamental cryptocurrency analysis, Fundamental Cryptocurrency Analysis-Tools for fundamental analysistools for, Tools for fundamental analysis Tullip Mania or the internet, Tulip Mania or the internet?

Gox-Bitfinex multisignature wallet contracts, Multisignature Contracts-Multisignature Contracts N Namecoin, Altcoins naming services, Naming Services network hash rate, Block discovery networkscentralized versus decentralized versus distributed design, Distributed Versus Centralized Versus Decentralized Corda, The Corda networknodes having visibility into transactions, Corda ledger DAG design, DAGs Libra's centralization challenge, Novi transactions confirmed by network on Bitcoin, Transaction life cycle New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), FinCEN Guidance and the Beginning of Regulation NiceHash, NiceHash Nightfall blockchain, Nightfall nodes, Distributed Versus Centralized Versus Decentralizedin Avalance consensus mechanism, Avalanche Libra, validator and full nodes, How the Libra Protocol Works Lightning, Lightning nodes and wallets in proof-of-stake networks, Proof-of-Stake nonces, The mining processin block discovery on Bitcoin, The mining process running out of nonce space or overflow, The mining process in Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper, The Whitepaper noncustodial wallets, Wallet Types: Custodial Versus Noncustodial(see also wallets) nonfungible tokens, Fungible and Nonfungible TokensERC-721 standard for, ERC-721 Nothing-at-Stake problem, Proof-of-Stake Novi wallet, Novi NuBits, NuBits NXT blockchain, NXT O oligarchical model dominating the web, Web 3.0 Omni Core, Understanding Omni Layerlimitations of, Deploying and Executing Smart Contracts in Ethereum Omni Layer, Understanding Omni Layer-Adding custom logicadding custom logical operations to Bitcoin, Adding custom logic-Adding custom logic how it works, How Omni Layer works limitations of, Deploying and Executing Smart Contracts in Ethereum technical stack, overview of, Understanding Omni Layer Tether project built on, Tether opcodes, Gas and Pricing Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, The More Things Change operating system platform (EOS), Blockchains to Watch operators, ERC-777, ERC-1155 Optimistic Rollups, Other Altchain Solutions, Lightning nodes and wallets options, Derivatives OP_RETURN field, Adding custom logictranslation of metadata in, Adding custom logic Oracle, Blockchain Platform, Blockchain as a Service oracles, Important Definitionsmanipulation in Fulcrum attack, The Fulcrum Exploit order books, Order Booksthin, slippages and, Slippage over-the-counter (OTC) market, Slippage P paper wallets, Wallet Type Variations Parity, Parity Parity hack (2017), Parity participants, Participants passwordssecurity vulnerabilities, Zero-Knowledge Proof Thinbus Secure Remote Password protocol, Zero-Knowledge Proof pay-to-play, Tools for fundamental analysis payment channels, Lightningnode dropping or losing connection to, Lightning nodes and wallets opening by sending funding transaction, Funding transactions withdrawing funds from, Off-chain transactions payment systemsLibra, Borrowing from Existing Blockchains permissioned ledger uses of blockchain, Payments physical cash versus digital, Electronic Systems and Trust Permacoin, Alternative methods permissioned ledger uses of blockchain, Permissioned Ledger Uses-Paymentsbanking, Banking central bank digital currencies, Central Bank Digital Currencies gaming, Gaming health care, Health Care Internet of Things, Internet of Things IT systems, IT payments systems, Payments permissioned ledgers, Databases and Ledgers permissionless ledgers, Databases and Ledgers person-to-person trading of cryptocurrency, Evolution of the Price of Bitcoin phishing attacks, Security Fundamentals Plasma implementation of sidechains, Other Altchain Solutions Ponzi schemes in cryptocurrency, Skirting the Laws PotCoin, More Altcoin Experiments precompilation of zk-SNARKs, zk-SNARKs preminingissues with, Litecoin premined altcoin, Ixcoin, Altcoins prices (gas), Gas and Pricing Primecoin, Altcoins privacyand censorship resistance with dapps, Use Cases Ethereum-based privacy implementations, Ethereum-Based Privacy Implementations future developments in blockchains, Privacy information security in decentralizing finance and the web, Privacy-Ring Signaturesring signatures, Ring Signatures Zcash, Zcash zero-knowledge proof, Zero-Knowledge Proof zk-SNARKs, zk-SNARKs insufficient anonymity on Bitcoin, The Evolution of Crypto Laundering paired with scalability, Mimblewimble blockchain protocol, Mimblewimble, Beam, and Grin privacy-focused blockchains, PrivacyMonero, Blockchains to Watch-How Monero Works Zcash, Zcash privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, Privacy-Focused CryptocurrenciesDash, Dash Monero, Monero Zcash, Zcash private blockchain networks, Privacy private blockchains, The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance private keys, Public/private key cryptography(see also public/private key cryptography) products/services, buying or selling, Evolution of the Price of Bitcoin proof-of-history, Alternative methods proof-of-stake, Proof-of-Stake-Proof-of-StakeByzantine fault-tolerant algorithm, HotStuff, Borrowing from Existing Blockchains Casper algorithm in Ethereum 2.0, Ethereum Scaling proof-of-stake velocity, More Altcoin Experiments proof-of-storage, Alternative methods proof-of-work, Block Generation, Proof-of-Work-Confirmationsbit gold's client puzzle function type, Bit Gold block discovery, Block discovery confirmations by miners of blocks to include in blockchain, Confirmations criticisms of, Proof-of-Stake, Ripple and Stellar CryptoNote protocol, Monero Ethereum's Ethash protocol, Ethereum: Taking Mastercoin to the Next Level longest chain rule, The mining process mining process for block discovery on Bitcoin, The mining process mining process on Bitcoin, The mining process in Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper, The Whitepaper transaction life cycle, Transaction life cycle use by B-Money, B-Money use by Hashcash, Hashcash X11 ASIC-resistant, Dash protocols, Electronic Systems and Trust pseudonimity, KYC rules and, KYC and pseudonymity public keys, Public/private key cryptography(see also public/private key cryptography) public/private key cryptographyBitcoin's use of, Public/private key cryptography examples of public and private keys, Naming Services generating keys, Generating keys private key storage for digital wallets, Authoring a smart contract private keys for wallets, Private Keys public and private keys in cryptocurrency systems, Public and Private Keys in Cryptocurrency Systems-Public and Private Keys in Cryptocurrency Systems unauthorized access to private key, Bitcoin Transaction Security use in controlling access to personal information, Identity and the Dangers of Hacking pull transactions, Bitcoin Transaction Security, ERC-777 push transactions, Bitcoin Transaction Security, ERC-777 Q Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), Blockchain as a Service Quorum blockchain, Quorum, JPMorgan R ransomware, CryptoLocker and, CryptoLocker and Ransomware rate limiting, Exchange Risk, Rate Limiting real estate transactions, using tokens on a blockchain, Tokens on the Ethereum Platform recovery seed, Recovery Seed recursive call vulnerability, Forking Ethereum and the creation of Ethereum Classic regulationof cryptocurrency exchanges, Jurisdiction FATF and the Travel Rule, The FATF and the Travel Rule FinCEN guidance and beginnings of, FinCEN Guidance and the Beginning of Regulation-FinCEN Guidance and the Beginning of Regulation regulatory challenges in cryptocurrency market, Regulatory Challenges-Basic Mistakes regulatory issues with ICOs, Tokenize Everything regulatory arbitrage, Avoiding Scrutiny: Regulatory Arbitrage-Crypto-Based StablecoinsICOs as example of, Initial Coin Offerings relational databases, Databases and Ledgers replay attacks, Replay attacksprotecting against, on Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, The Ethereum Classic Fork replication systems, Databases and Ledgers REST APIsEthereum network, Interacting with Code WebSocket versus, REST Versus WebSocket ring confidential transactions, Blockchains to Watch, How Monero Works ring signatures, Monero, Ring Signatures, Blockchains to Watchhiding public address of sender on Monero, How Monero Works Ripple, Other Concepts for Consensus, Rippleblock times, Float Configuration 2 Robinhood mobile app, Brokerages Rollups, Zero Knowledge (ZK) and Optimistic, Other Altchain Solutions, Lightning nodes and wallets Royal Mint, The Royal Mint S Santander, blockchain-issued bonds, Banking SAP, Blockchain as a Service, Blockchain as a Service satoshi, Gas and Pricing Satoshi Nakamotobitcoin address related to, The Evolution of Crypto Laundering efforts to establish identity of, Storing Data in a Chain of Blocks identity, guesses at, Bahamas Satoshi's Vision group (Bitcoin SV), The Bitcoin Cash Fork whitepaper, The Whitepaper savings services (DeFi), Savings scalabilitycentralized versus decentralized exchanges, Scalability discontent over Bitcoin network's scaling, The Bitcoin Cash Fork EOS solution to blockchain issues, Tokenize Everything privacy paired with, Mimblewimble blockchain potocol, Mimblewimble, Beam, and Grin Scalable Transparent ARguments of Knowledge (STARKs), STARKs scaling blockchains, Scaling Blockchains-Other Altchain Solutions, The Scaling Problem-Ethereum ScalingAvalanche consensus mechanism, Avalanche DAG network design, DAGs Ethereum, Ethereum Scaling-Ethereum Scaling Lightning solution, Lightning, Lightning-Lightning nodes and wallets Liquid multisignature wallet, Liquid other altchain solutions, Other Altchain Solutions SegWit, SegWit sharding, Sharding sidechains, Sidechains STARKs, STARKs Schnorr algorithm, Privacy Scott, Mark, Skirting the Laws SCP consensus protocol, Stellar scripted money, Improving Bitcoin’s Limited Functionality Scrypt mining, Altcoins, Litecoin Secret Network, Privacy securitiestokens proposed in ICOs, Different Token Types unregistered securities offerings, Skirting the Laws Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), FinCEN Guidance and the Beginning of Regulation securityBitcoin transaction security, Bitcoin Transaction Security custody infrastructure for exchanges, Counterparty Risk detection of blockchain tampering with Merkle roots, The Merkle Root early vulnerability on Bitcoin, An Early Vulnerability exchanges taking care of private keys, Counterparty Risk flash loans exploiting vulnerabilities in DeFi platforms, The Fulcrum Exploit fundamentals for cryptocurrencies, Security Fundamentals-Recovery Seed identity and dangers of hacking, Identity and the Dangers of Hacking information security in decentralizing finance and the web, Privacy Lightning Network vulnerabilities, Lightning proof-of-stake consensus algorithm, criticisms of, Proof-of-Stake recursive call vulnerability, Forking Ethereum and the creation of Ethereum Classic replay attacks vulnerability, Replay attacks, The Ethereum Classic Fork sharding, vulnerabilities with, Other Altchain Solutions theft of cryptocurrencies in exchange hacks, Exchange Hacks-NiceHash theft of cryptocurrencies in other hacks, Other Hacks-Summary transaction malleability vulnerability, Lightning nodes and wallets security token offerings (STOs), Different Token Types security tokens, Token Economics seeds (recovery), Recovery Seedstorage of, Authoring a smart contract SegWit (Segregated Witness), SegWit, Lightning nodes and wallets self-sovereign identity, Identity and the Dangers of Hacking SHA-256 hash algorithm, Introducing the Timestamp Server, Hashes SHA256 and RIPEMD160 functions, Generating keys shadow market for disinformation, Tools for fundamental analysis sharding, Other Altchain Solutions, Shardingin Ethereum 2.0, Ethereum Scaling Shavers, Trendon, Skirting the Laws Shrem, Charlie, Skirting the Laws sidechains, Other Altchain Solutions, SidechainsLiquid technology and, Liquid Optimistic Rollups and, Lightning nodes and wallets Silk Road, Catch Me If You Cancriminal investigation tracking bitcoin address to operator, The Evolution of Crypto Laundering provision of bitcoin to users without KYC/AML, Skirting the Laws SIM swapping, SIM Swapping-SIM Swapping Singapore, regulatory arbitrage, Singapore single-shard takeover attacks, Other Altchain Solutions slashing algorithms, Proof-of-Stake slippage, Slippage smart contracts, Mastercoin and Smart ContractsDAML language for distributed applications, DAML for decentralized exchanges, Decentralized Exchange Contracts, Custody and counterparty risk deploying and executing in Ethereum, Deploying and Executing Smart Contracts in Ethereum-Interacting with Codeauthoring a smart contract, Authoring a smart contract deployment, Deploying a smart contract-Deploying a smart contract Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), The Ethereum Virtual Machine executing a smart contract, Executing a smart contract gas and pricing, Gas and Pricing interacting with a smart contract, Interacting with a smart contract programmatically interacting with Ethereum, Interacting with Code reading a smart contract, Reading a smart contract writing a smart contract, Writing a smart contract deployment for dapps, Challenges in Developing Dapps EOS platform, Blockchains to Watch ERC-20 compliantevents supported by, ERC-20 example of, ERC-20-ERC-20 methods implemented, ERC-20 ERC-compliant, library of, Decentralized Exchange Contracts flash loanscreating the contract, Creating a Flash Loan Contract-Deploying the Contract deploying the contract, Deploying the Contract manipulation of oracles in Fulcrum attack, The Fulcrum Exploit steps in process, Flash Loans Libra support for, Borrowing from Existing Blockchains Omni Layer providing, Understanding Omni Layer publicly viewable record of method call to Uniswap smart contract, Custody and counterparty risk-Exchange rate sending tokens to via push and pull transactions, ERC-777 third-party auditors of, Fungible and Nonfungible Tokens Uniswap contract viewable on Ethereum, Infrastructure social media, campaigns to influence cryptocurrencies, Tools for fundamental analysis soft forks, Understanding Forks software development, changes from use of cryptcurrency and blockchain, Web 3.0 software forks, Understanding Forks software wallets, Wallets Solidcoin, Altcoins Solidity language, Authoring a smart contract South Korean exchanges, Regulatory Challenges speculation in cryptocurrency, Market Infrastructure, Tulip Mania or the internet?


Mastering Blockchain, Second Edition by Imran Bashir

3D printing, altcoin, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, connected car, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, Debian, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Dogecoin, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Firefox, full stack developer, general-purpose programming language, gravity well, interest rate swap, Internet of things, litecoin, loose coupling, MITM: man-in-the-middle, MVC pattern, Network effects, new economy, node package manager, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer, platform as a service, prediction markets, QR code, RAND corporation, Real Time Gross Settlement, reversible computing, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, single page application, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, smart meter, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, web application, x509 certificate

For example, if ten bitcoins were destroyed then altcoins can have a value no greater than some bitcoins destroyed. This means that bitcoins are being converted into altcoins by burning them. Proof of ownership: Instead of permanently destroying bitcoins, an alternative method is to prove that users own a certain number of bitcoins. This proof of ownership can be used to claim altcoins by tethering altcoin blocks to Bitcoin blocks. For example, this can be achieved by merged mining in which effectively bitcoin miners can mine altcoin blocks while mining for bitcoin without any extra work. Merged mining is explained later in the chapter.

Methods of providing an initial number of altcoins are discussed as follows: Create a new blockchain: Altcoins can create a new blockchain and allocate coins to initial miners, but this approach is now unpopular due to many scam schemes or pump and dump schemes where initial miners made a profit with the launch of a new currency and then disappeared. Proof of Burn (PoB): Another approach to allocating initial funds to a new altcoin is PoB, also called a one-way peg or price ceiling. In this method users permanently destroy a certain quantity of bitcoins in proportion to the quantity of altcoins to be claimed. For example, if ten bitcoins were destroyed then altcoins can have a value no greater than some bitcoins destroyed.

If the primary goal is to build a decentralized blockchain platform, they are called alternative chains; if the sole purpose of the alternative project is to introduce a new virtual currency, it is called an altcoin. Alternative blockchains will be discussed in detail in Chapter 16, Alternative Blockchains. This chapter is mainly dedicated to altcoins whose primary purpose is to introduce a new virtual currency (coin) although some material will also be presented on the topic of alternative protocols built on top of bitcoin to provide various services. These include concepts such as Namecoin, where the primary purpose is to provide decentralized naming and identity services instead of currency. Currently, as of late 2018, there are hundreds of altcoins on the market, and they hold some monetary value such as Namecoin, Zcash, Primecoin, and many others.


pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Dogecoin, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Marc Andreessen, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, underbanked, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

We’re not going to have hundreds of altcoins. We’re not going to have thousands of altcoins. We’re going to have hundreds of thousands, and then millions of altcoins. Then, there will be thousands of altcoins being created every day to organize local communities to express fads, to create popularity contests, to codify the latest internet meme. "We’re not going to have hundreds of altcoins. We’re not going to have thousands of altcoins. We’re going to have hundreds of thousands, and then millions of alt-coins." 7.3. Authority by Production With so many altcoins, how do you tell which ones have value and which ones don’t?

"Now, we live in a new world, a world in which currency is a choice, and not just a choice in terms of use… It’s also a means of expression." As I thought about the evolution of alt-currencies, as they’re called, I realized I was asking the wrong questions. How many currencies will there be? How many altcoins will there be? How will altcoins compete in a world of cryptocurrencies as we move into the future? Will there be hundreds of altcoins? If there are hundreds of altcoins, what does that mean for the value of each of the altcoins? How do they compete? That was the wrong way of thinking about it. I saw currency as a zero-sum game, just like it had been imposed on my worldview from the nation-states that created currency.

I don’t know if you noticed, but Ethereum had a pretty big presence here. An interesting question comes up, actually quite a few people have asked me: "Does Ethereum threaten the future of bitcoin? Does it steal some of its thunder?" Those are questions I’ve heard several times, and I’ve heard people refer to that issue in trying to understand altcoins - wondering whether altcoins essentially threaten the dominance of bitcoin, if they make bitcoin weaker, if they distribute the value of the network too broadly. 7.1. Born into Currency I’ve been thinking about this question for quite a while. I think, fundamentally, it’s a question that evokes the old paradigm of currencies.


pages: 233 words: 66,446

Bitcoin: The Future of Money? by Dominic Frisby

3D printing, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, capital controls, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer age, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Dogecoin, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, fixed income, friendly fire, game design, Isaac Newton, Julian Assange, land value tax, litecoin, M-Pesa, mobile money, Money creation, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, QR code, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, 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

Instead, coders began to develop alternative cryptocurrencies, aping some aspects of Bitcoin but changing others. These were known as altcoins. There are now 300 or more kinds of altcoin. Many of them are scams and get-rich-quick schemes. Many of them are simply experiments. Most of them will amount – or already have amounted – to nothing. But some of them are quite legitimate. At present, they comprise just a few per cent of the entire cryptocurrency market cap. At $500 a coin, the market cap of Bitcoin stands at around $6.5 billion. All the other altcoins combined amount to about $350,000. Bitcoin has attracted all the publicity. Bitcoin has all the infrastructure and investment.

‘Well, I think that what is more interesting is to find a good altcoin – to find a real network that’s growing that’s not Bitcoin. I think Bitcoin itself is a very interesting investment. You should probably have some money there. But on the side if you want to make the real money, the catch-up trade – some altcoins. I think your first trade should just be $50 to try and learn how the system works. Don’t do anything until you’re absolutely comfortable with how the system works. Then I suggest you go and put 90% of your crypto book into bitcoins and 10% into altcoins. To find the good ones, don’t believe the stories and avoid hype.

But with the failure of companies such as MtGox, you can bet there are many stories that are as disheartening as the above are amusing. The world of crypto-currencies (there are now over 300 altcoins) has attracted all sorts of crooks and fraudsters, as well as those who religiously think they are changing the world. There are scams and get-rich-quick schemes galore. It has become a free-for-all, like the gold rushes of the Wild West. Over time, things should settle. But one of the things you quickly notice is the sense of humour to it all. Many altcoins are based around a joke – ‘Coinye West’, for example. (When my father read this he asked, ‘What’s the joke?’) Many are simply in it for the laugh.


pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, basic income, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Dogecoin, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lifelogging, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, QR code, 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, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

Computer virus detection software arose in response to computer viruses; and so far some features of the same constitutive technologies of Bitcoin (like Tor, a free and open software network) have been deployed back into detecting malicious players. Another significant barrier to Bitcoin adoption is the ongoing theft, scandals, and scams (like so-called new altcoin “pump and dump” scams that try to bid up new altcoins to quickly profit) in the industry. The collapse of the largest Bitcoin exchange at the time, Tokyo-based MtGox, in March 2014 came to wide public attention. An explanation is still needed for the confusing irony that somehow in the blockchain, the world’s most public transparent ledger, coins can disappear and still remain lost months later.

Crypto Money Expo, December 5, 2014. http://cryptomoneyexpo.com/expos/inv2/#schedule and http://youtu.be/qdGoRep5iT0/. Index A address, How a Cryptocurrency Works Airbnb, Government Regulation Alexandria, Freedom of Speech/Anti-Censorship Applications: Alexandria and Ostel altcoin, Summary: Blockchain 1.0 in Practical Use altcoin wallet, How a Cryptocurrency Works alternative currencies, Summary: Blockchain 1.0 in Practical Use-Relation to Fiat Currency, Cryptocurrency Basics-Ledra Capital Mega Master Blockchain List anti-censorship, Freedom of Speech/Anti-Censorship Applications: Alexandria and Ostel APIs, Blockchain Development Platforms and APIs Aráoz, Manuel, Proof of Existence archiving, Blockchain Ecosystem: Decentralized Storage, Communication, and Computation art (see digital art) artificial intelligence (AI), The Blockchain as a Path to Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain AI: Consensus as the Mechanism to Foster “Friendly” AI-Smart Contract Advocates on Behalf of Digital Intelligence artworks, Smart Property (see also digital art) Ascribe, Monegraph: Online Graphics Protection autocitation, Blockchain Academic Publishing: Journalcoin automated digital asset protection, Digital Asset Proof as an Automated Feature automatic markets, Automatic Markets and Tradenets autonomy, Smart Contracts B bandwidth, Technical Challenges banking industry (see financial services) betting, Bitcoin Prediction Markets, Smart Contracts big data, Blockchain Layer Could Facilitate Big Data’s Predictive Task Automation .bit domains, Namecoin: Decentralized Domain Name System "Bitbank", Financial Services Bitcoin colored coins, Smart Property concept, Preface digital divide of, Digital Divide of Bitcoin M2M/IoT payment network, M2M/IoT Bitcoin Payment Network to Enable the Machine Economy MOOCs, Blockchain Learning: Bitcoin MOOCs and Smart Contract Literacy neutrality, Blockchain Neutrality origins and applications overview, What Is Bitcoin?

The concept and operational details are described in a concise and readable white paper, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”7 Payments using the decentralized virtual currency are recorded in a public ledger that is stored on many—potentially all—Bitcoin users’ computers, and continuously viewable on the Internet. Bitcoin is the first and largest decentralized cryptocurrency. There are hundreds of other “altcoin” (alternative coin) cryptocurrencies, like Litecoin and Dogecoin, but Bitcoin comprises 90 percent of the market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies and is the de facto standard. Bitcoin is pseudonymous (not anonymous) in the sense that public key addresses (27–32 alphanumeric character strings; similar in function to an email address) are used to send and receive Bitcoins and record transactions, as opposed to personally identifying information.


pages: 309 words: 54,839

Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts by David Gerard

altcoin, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Dogecoin, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Extropian, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, functional programming, index fund, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, margin call, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, prediction markets, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Satoshi Nakamoto, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, slashdot, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, tulip mania, Turing complete, Turing machine, WikiLeaks

For you to be contacted, you would have to post here or in PM to say you might lend me bitcoins, and approx. how many you’d be willing to lend me.283 Nicolle has not been seen online since the 120,000 BTC hack.284 Bitfinex does answer one common question asked of Bitcoin sceptics: “If you’re so critical of Bitcoin, why don’t you short it?” “Well …” Chapter 9: Altcoins Bitcoin was an open protocol implemented in open source code. So alternate cryptocurrencies, or altcoins, quickly sprang up – mostly slightly-tweaked versions of the Bitcoin code, many generated automatically at the now-defunct service coingen.io. Other blockchains might have different hashes, block sizes, block times or consensus models (how to choose who adds the next block).

Reddit /r/ethereum, 26 April 2016. [351] “Post-Mortem Investigation (Feb 2016)”. King of the Ether. (archive) [352] “Hi! My name is Rubixi. I’m a new Ethereum Doubler. Now my new home – Rubixi.tk”. Bitcointalk.org Bitcoin Forum > Alternate cryptocurrencies > Marketplace (Altcoins) > Service Announcements (Altcoins), 11 April 2016. (archive) [353] Vitalik Buterin. “Live example of ‘underhanded solidity’ coding on mainnet”. Reddit /r/ethereum, 10 April 2016. [354] brockchainbrockshize. Comment on “Attacker has withdrawn all ETC from DarkDAO on the unforked chain”. Reddit /r/ethereum, 25 July 2016

Chapter 7: Spending bitcoins in 2017 Bitcoin is full: the transaction clog Bitcoin for drugs: welcome to the darknet Ransomware Non-illegal goods and services Case study: Individual Pubs Chapter 8: Trading bitcoins in 2017: the second crypto bubble How to get bitcoins From the first bubble to the second Bitfinex: the hack, the bank block and the second bubble Chapter 9: Altcoins Litecoin Dogecoin Ethereum Buterin’s quantum quest ICOs: magic beans and bubble machines Chapter 10: Smart contracts, stupid humans Dr. Strangelove, but on the blockchain So who wants smart contracts, anyway? Legal code is not computer code The oracle problem: garbage in, garbage out Immutability: make your mistakes unfixable Immutability: the enemy of good software engineering Ethereum smart contracts in practice The DAO: the steadfast iron will of unstoppable code Chapter 11: Business bafflegab, but on the Blockchain What can Blockchain do for me?


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

Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disinformation, disintermediation, Dogecoin, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, Money creation, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, 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, uber lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

One was that by 2011, bitcoin was inspiring imitators—some outright copies, others clear attempts to remove what were seen as some of bitcoin’s flaws. Altcoins, as they came to be known, would use the same or similar aspects of bitcoin’s system, all made possible because of bitcoin’s open-source protocol and its lack of an owner. Anybody can download the software, copy it, and build something new from it. Lawsuits for copyright or patent infringement are simply not a concern. As of this writing, several hundred of these digital coins exist, most too small to be worth mentioning, but a few with sizable followings. They all fall well short of bitcoin in ranks. Litecoin, the oldest and largest of the altcoins, had a market cap of about $150 million at the time of writing.

But others are openly hostile to what they see as interlopers, fearing that the nascent movements gathering around them could detract from the broader mission of change. At the same time, the community development around some of these altcoins is instructive to the broader question of how communities develop around cryptocurrencies. Bitcoiners can learn from how passions have been stirred by some of them. Case in point: dogecoin, an altcoin that started out as a joke by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer in December 2013 that quickly took on a life of its own. The “doge” was appropriated from an Internet meme that started with a 2005 puppet show on YouTube, in which one of the puppets misspells dog as doge, and the other mispronounces it as “dohj.”

When GoCoin decided that it would start offering payment-processing services in dogecoin as well as bitcoin and litecoin, Chairman Brock Pierce explained that it was driven by the power of its community. “Community is everything for a currency,” he said. The question is whether the emergence of altcoin communities such as this one undercuts the wider bitcoin community or benefits it. Some wonder whether these imitators will simply take market share away from bitcoin—though with bitcoin’s market capitalization more than ten times that of the combined ninety-nine next biggest altcoins, no such threat had arisen as of September 2014. Others think that by expanding both the range of technological innovation and the branding and cultural production associated with cryptocurrency, these alternative communities are helping a wider cryptocurrency community to fulfill a grander, shared purpose


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Kings of Crypto: One Startup's Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street by Jeff John Roberts

"side hustle", 4chan, Airbnb, altcoin, Apple II, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bonfire of the Vanities, Burning Man, buttonwood tree, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, double helix, Elliott wave, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, Flash crash, forensic accounting, hacker house, hockey-stick growth, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, offshore financial centre, open borders, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, ransomware, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart contracts, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, transaction costs, WeWork, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

In 2017, the media offered numerous accounts of ordinary individuals who had ridden the crypto wave to windfalls. Now, the stories took a sadder turn. The New York Times told of the hard lessons learned by an Englishman who had thrown his savings of $23,000 into altcoins and now held only $4,000. On Reddit, the stories were darker. One user told a discussion board how his wife had left him after he dumped all of their money into Tron, a once-hyped altcoin that hit a high of 23 cents but now trades for a penny. Other Reddit readers consoled each other with assurances that the market would bounce back or, in some cases, shared the numbers of suicide prevention hotlines.

And in a market where crypto coins of all stripes kept soaring higher and higher, why not take a flyer on a brand-new ICO before the rest of the market bid up the price? Each day, it seemed, another obscure coin enjoyed a 100 percent pop, which in turn inspired yet another ICO. The crypto media called this flood of new currencies “altcoins”—as in, alternatives to bitcoin. Longtime bitcoin believers had their own name for the tokens: “shitcoins.” Shitcoin critics claimed the new tokens were spun up on shaky technology and then flogged in fly-by-night marketing schemes. It was during this craze, at an exclusive investor conference in New York, that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, likely horrified by the rampant speculation, tore into cryptocurrency, including bitcoin.

The problem became so pervasive that Vitalik changed his Twitter name to “Vitalik Not Giving Away Ethereum Buterin.” On Telegram, the messaging app hugely popular with the crypto community, crooks organized conspiracies to manipulate the market. One Telegram group known as “the Big Pump” would pick a little-known altcoin and agree to buy it en masse. The influx of buyer interest, they hoped, would cause a stir in the market and lead naive outsiders to run in and buy the coin too, causing its value to soar. The Telegram insiders would then sell off their positions, completing the crypto version of a classic investment scam, the pump and dump.


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The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous

Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, conceptual framework, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, delayed gratification, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, global reserve currency, high net worth, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, iterative process, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, market bubble, market clearing, means of production, Money creation, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Network effects, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Stanford marshmallow experiment, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

Being the first such invention, Bitcoin demonstrating its value as digital cash and hard money was enough to secure growing demand for it, allowing it to succeed when the only person behind it was an anonymous programmer who practically spent no money on promoting it. Being fundamentally knock‐offs that are very easy to recreate, all altcoins do not have this luxury of real‐world demand, and must actively build and increase this demand. This is why virtually all altcoins have a team in charge; they began the project, marketed it, designed the marketing material, and plugged press releases into the press as if they were news items, while also having the advantage of mining a large number of coins early before anybody had heard of the coins.

It would be relatively easy for central banks to get any of the teams behind this currency to destroy it, or alter its operation in a way that prevents it from competing with national currencies. No single altcoin has demonstrated anything near Bitcoin's impressive resilience to change, which is down to its truly decentralized nature and the strong incentives for everyone to abide by the status quo consensus rules. Bitcoin can only make this claim after growing in the wilds of the internet for nine years without any authority controlling it, and very ably repelling some highly coordinated and well‐funded campaigns to alter it. In comparison, altcoins have the unmistakable friendly culture of nice people working together on a team project.

Should the teams behind any particular altcoin decide to change its monetary policy, it would be a relatively straightforward thing to achieve. Ethereum, for instance, does not yet have a clear vision of what it wants its monetary policy to be in the future, leaving the matter up to community discussion. While this may work wonders for the community spirit of Ethereum, it is no way to build a global hard money, which, to be fair, Ethereum does not claim to do. Whether it is because they are aware of this point, or to avoid run‐ins with political authority, or as a marketing gimmick, most altcoins do not market themselves as competitors to Bitcoin, but as performing tasks different to Bitcoin.


Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World by Jeffrey Tucker

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, altcoin, bank run, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Dogecoin, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Google Hangouts, informal economy, invisible hand, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, Money creation, obamacare, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, TaskRabbit, the payments system, uber lyft

Answer: As in any sector, there are scams, among which is “pump and dump,” meaning that developers release a coin, fuel the hype, and then sell it. Which ones are real and which ones are not is impossible to say. There are serious risks to such altcoins and it will be some time before the altcoin market becomes stable and reasonably disciplined by market forces. This is part of what happens in any startup technology. Question: Can you tell me about one or two popular altcoins? How are they different? Will they replace bitcoin? Answer: Litecoin is the second most popular cryptocurrency. It is based on a different algorithm from bitcoin, and it has an infinite inflation rate.

Answer: The blockchain is growing in size, and, yes, that is a problem. But developers are always at work on fixes to improve the efficiency and scalability of the ledger, which will grow until the end of time. This is beauty of open-source software. Every problem cries out for a fix, and the fix is then forthcoming. Question: What is an altcoin? Answer: Altcoin stands for alternative to bitcoin, which is mostly based on the bitcoin protocol. There are tens of thousands or more in circulation. Some are serious, many are scams, and most fall somewhere in between. They do provide an excellent testing ground for future developments in cryptocurrency.

Security for your property is at a premium until the market shakes itself out. Question: What is Dogecoin? Tell me about it. Answer: It’s very cool, or maybe it is a silly fad. The market has to decide. Dogecoin is one of many currencies built on a Litecoin protocol, which in turn was built on bitcoin. There are tens of thousands of so-called altcoins in circulation today. This is market competition at work. They all live in their own ecosphere. May the best coin win! Question: How does the U.S. government classify BTC? Answer: The Treasury Department says bitcoin is property subject to taxation. FinCEN, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury whose mission it is to safeguard the U.S. financial system, says it is a foreign currency subject to regulation.


pages: 416 words: 106,532

Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske, Jack Tatar

Airbnb, altcoin, asset allocation, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, Blythe Masters, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversification, diversified portfolio, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Hangouts, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Network effects, packet switching, passive investing, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk free rate, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Sharpe ratio, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, smart contracts, social web, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, two and twenty, Uber for X, Vanguard fund, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Those with the foresight to have bought Google during its “Initial Public Offering” (IPO) would have seen a 1,800 percent appreciation by August 2016, and those who bought Amazon’s IPO would have seen a 1,827 percent appreciation.10 Blockchain architectures and their native assets are well on their way to becoming the next great meta-application to leverage Internet infrastructure. They already provide services that include global currencies, world computers, and decentralized social networks, among hundreds of others. The native assets historically have been called cryptocurrencies or altcoins, but we prefer the term cryptoassets, which is the term we will use throughout the book. The terms cryptocurrencies and altcoins convey only a fraction of the innovation that is occurring in the cryptoasset economy. Not all of the 800 existing cryptoassets are currencies. We are not just witnessing the decentralized creation of currencies but also of commodities and polished digital goods and services, as blockchains meld technology and the markets to build Web 3.0.

As of January 1, 2017, already 76.6 percent of bitcoin’s supply had been brought into existence,13 and by the time the next block reward halving happens in 2020, 87.5 percent of the bitcoin ever to be minted will be in existence. A few years after 2100, we will reach a supply of 20,999,999 bitcoin, which is effectively 21 million. It is bitcoin’s scarce supply schedule that makes many think of it as digital gold.14 THE BIRTH OF ALTCOINS Within a couple years of launching, it had become clear that bitcoin was the first fully decentralized cryptocurrency to gain significant adoption, but there were some aspects with which people were not fully satisfied. For example, bitcoin’s 10-minute block time meant that, depending on when a consumer hit send, it could take up to 10 minutes, sometimes more, for the transaction to be appended to Bitcoin’s blockchain.

The new software operated similarly to Bitcoin, but required its own set of developers to maintain it, miners to provide the hardware, and a separate blockchain to keep track of the debits and credits of the new native asset. Through this combination of open-source software and ingenious programmers, many other cryptocurrencies have been brought into existence. Those that are only slight modifications of Bitcoin are often referred to as altcoins. BITCOIN’S FIRST DIGITAL SIBLING Namecoin15 was the first significant fork away from Bitcoin. Interestingly, it was less about creating a new currency and more about utilizing the immutable nature of the blockchain, a use case we’ll address more in the next chapter. A website created with Namecoin comes with the .bit domain (as opposed to the .com domain) and provides security and censorship resistance to those sites registered with it.16 Namecoin grew out of an idea on the Bitcointalk forum in 2010 that focused on BitDNS (DNS stands for domain naming service, which handles all web addresses).17 In 2013, a service called NameID was released that uses the Namecoin blockchain to enable the creation of and access to websites that have a Namecoin identity.


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Bitcoin for the Befuddled by Conrad Barski

Airbnb, AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, buttonwood tree, cryptocurrency, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Isaac Newton, MITM: man-in-the-middle, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, node package manager, p-value, peer-to-peer, price discovery process, QR code, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, software as a service, the payments system, Yogi Berra

Some exchanges facilitate only USD to BTC operations, whereas others offer multiple currency pairs. You might notice that some Bitcoin currency exchanges offer currency pairs you have not heard of—for example, LTC, FTC, TRC, PPC, XPM, and so on. These other digital currencies—called alternative coins or altcoins—were created after, and largely inspired by, Bitcoin. To learn more about such digital currencies, check out “The Strange World of Altcoins” on page 181. Many exchanges also have different BTC/USD exchange rates! This means you can sell bitcoins at a higher price on one exchange and buy them for a lower price on the other exchange. So this is free money, right? Well, yes and no.

Chapter 2: Bitcoin Basics Chapter 3: Storing Your Bitcoins Safely, Securely, and Conveniently Chapter 4: Buying Bitcoins Chapter 5: Lost at Sea: A Cryptographic Adventure Chapter 6: Why Bitcoin Is a Big Deal Chapter 7: The Cryptography Behind Bitcoin Chapter 8: Bitcoin Mining Chapter 8.5: The Strange World of Altcoins Chapter 9: Understanding the Different Types of Bitcoin Wallets Chapter 10: Bitcoin 2030 Appendix A: Hello Money! A Simple JavaScript Program Appendix B: Bitcoin Programming with BitcoinJ Index CONTENTS IN DETAIL PREFACE Acknowledgments Chapter 1: WHAT IS BITCOIN? Why Bitcoin Now?

A Parable of Two Generals Applying the Parable to Bitcoin Preventing Attacks with Mining Distributing New Currency with Mining How Does Bitcoin Mining Work? How Miners Solve a Block Anatomy of a Block Pooled Mining Bitcoin Mining for Profit Theoretical Hash Rate Limits Decentralization in Bitcoin Mining 8.5 THE STRANGE WORLD OF ALTCOINS Chapter 9: UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BITCOIN WALLETS Wallet Software Design Fundamentals Offline vs. Online Transaction Signing Random Key Generation vs. Deterministic Key Generation (vs. Single Key Generation) Full vs. Simplified Payment Verification Other Common (and Not So Common) Bitcoin Wallet Features Future Wallets Which Wallet Is Right for You?


pages: 349 words: 102,827

The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-Hackers Is Building the Next Internet With Ethereum by Camila Russo

4chan, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, altcoin, always be closing, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asian financial crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, diversification, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, East Village, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hacker house, Internet of things, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, mobile money, new economy, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X

From 2008, when Satoshi Nakamoto created the first decentralized digital currency, to 2011, Bitcoin ruled alone. But by December 2013, dozens of new coins, also known as alt-coins, had been created, and the speculation around them helped fuel the rally that year. When the early Ethereum team gathered in Miami, the first alt-coin bubble in cryptocurrencies’ short history had just reached its high point. As they schemed and dreamed of greatness, they were also planting the seeds for what would become a much bigger alt-coin boom. But that would be a few years later. That week the only thing people in the house cared about was that they were witnessing the birth of the next Bitcoin as in, the next big thing in cryptocurrencies.

Back on the road, he continued studying to get an online master’s degree in digital currencies from the University of Nicosia, said to be the first university to offer such a thing, and decided to code up an Ethereum smart contract for a homework assignment. He had recently stumbled into the Ethereum Reddit page and posted the contract and a blog post explaining it, to get feedback. Griff seldom participated in the Bitcoin and altcoin forums because he felt they were too negative and critical, so he was amazed when nobody ridiculed his amateurish code. Ethereum developer Alex Van de Sande even took the time to edit it. “This is home,” Griff thought. He immediately looked for work in the Ethereum community and asked to join Slock.it, what he thought was one of the most exciting crypto projects out there.

“We believe in a strong separation of concerns, where system forks are only possible in order to correct actual platform bugs, not to bail out failed contracts and special interests.”7 Others supporting the survival of the old chain were Bitcoiners who wanted to make a point: Ethereum is a silly little alt-coin with sycophantic followers bowing to their supreme leader, Vitalik Buterin. As he tried to make sense of what was happening, Vitalik got a message from Gregory Maxwell, a prominent Bitcoin developer. He wanted to buy Vitalik’s coins on the old chain. With his offer, he was signaling his support for Ethereum Classic.


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

Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, 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, independent contractor, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, 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 intelligence, social software, standardized shipping container, 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, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

Ten minutes is also too long for financial transactions where timing matters to get an asset at a particular price, and where latency exposes traders to time-based arbitrage weaknesses such as market timing attacks.6 The immediate solution for entrepreneurs has been to fork the bitcoin code base, that is, to modify the source code by tweaking a few parameters, and to launch a new blockchain with an altcoin in place of bitcoin as incentive to participate. Litecoin is a popular altcoin with a block time of 2.5 minutes, and Ripple and Ethereum are entirely reengineered blockchain platforms that have latency of seconds, not minutes. A sixth dimension is behavioral change in a deeper sense than Netiquette. Today, many people count on their bank or credit card company, even talking with a real person, when they make an accounting error, forget their passwords, or lose their wallets or checkbooks.

Irrevocability of a transaction and instant reconciliation of financial reporting would eliminate one aspect of agency risk—the risk that unscrupulous managers will exploit the cumbersome paper trail and significant time delay to conceal wrongdoing. Value Innovation: The bitcoin blockchain was designed for moving bitcoins, not for handling other financial assets. However, the technology is open source, inviting experimentation. Some innovators are developing separate blockchains, known as altcoins, built for something other than bitcoin payments. Others are looking to leverage the bitcoin blockchain’s size and liquidity to create “spin-off” coins on so-called sidechains that can be “colored” to represent any asset or liability, physical or digital—a corporate stock or bond, a barrel of oil, a bar of gold, a car, a car payment, a receivable or a payable, or of course a currency.

In a 137-hour session, it mined 152.8 microbitcoin (μBTC), roughly three and a half U.S. cents at the time. But at ten cents per kilowatt-hour, Bob’s computer used about fourteen cents of electricity. Bob concluded, “The days of mining bitcoins from your PC are now over.” So any design change to the original bitcoin protocol, whether through an altcoin or an upgrade, must keep in mind appropriate economic incentives to sustain miner decentralization, so that the network gets good value from miners in exchange for the large sums of bitcoin. Bitcoin core developer Peter Todd likened this task to designing a robot that can buy milk at the grocery store.


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The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Blythe Masters, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, cashless society, cloud computing, computer age, computerized trading, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cyber-physical system, dematerialisation, disinformation, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Garrett Hardin, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, linked data, litecoin, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market clearing, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, off grid, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, ransomware, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, social web, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, the market place, too big to fail, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, web of trust, zero-sum game

It’s forcing the incumbents within them to see the spotlight that this new technology shines on the inefficiencies of their old, centralized work processes. And some of the ideas being developed there will no doubt be of great value to the wider ecosystem of blockchain development. But we believe the “permissionless” ideal first laid down by Bitcoin and since followed by countless alternative “altcoins” and blockchains is a vital one for the world to focus on. As we stated in The Age of Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was merely the first crack at using a distributed computing and decentralized ledger-keeping system to resolve the age-old problem of trust and achieve this open, low-cost architecture for intermediary-free global transactions.

Still, Tezos’s contribution to the development of more robust governance systems has been an important one. Every new idea will have shortcomings, yet, if developed by serious engineering teams, each idea can move the ball forward toward decentralization, functional governance, scalability, and privacy. This has been so with altcoins such as Litecoin, whose alternative approach to the proof-of-work algorithm showed that it was possible to stall the entrance of high-powered, industrial players into the mining network. Others—notably Vertcoin, discussed in chapter four—have improved on Litecoin’s model. Vertcoin has avoided Bitcoin’s unwelcome experience, in which the unrestrained competition for block rewards fostered a concentration of computation-heavy, electricity hungry mining operations.

That’s because those who gain the most tokens are those with the most powerful computers. Yet not every mining-based cryptocurrency needs to end up as Bitcoin has, where only the biggest, most powerful computing operations—now managed on an industrial scale—can effectively compete for coins. Some new altcoins are designed to be “ASIC-resistant.” This means that the protocol’s in-built consensus algorithm—the puzzle miners must solve to win coins—compels their computers to carry out various functions that can’t easily be performed by existing versions of the super-fast Application-Specific Integrated Chips now uniformly embedded into the equipment of the biggest bitcoin miners.


pages: 80 words: 21,077

Stake Hodler Capitalism: Blockchain and DeFi by Amr Hazem Wahba Metwaly

altcoin, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, congestion charging, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Internet of things, Network effects, passive income, prediction markets, price stability, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Skype, smart contracts, underbanked

Stable-coins are cryptocurrencies linked to an asset outside of the cryptocurrency community, for instance, the dollar or euro. The main objective here is to stabilize the price. Backed Stable-coin The advantage of asset-based cryptocurrency is that coins are stabilized by assets that fluctuate outside the cryptocurrency space. Since Bitcoin and Altcoins are highly correlated, cryptocurrency holders cannot avoid significant price declines without leaving the market or seeking refuge in an asset-based Stable-coin. Additionally, if these coins are managed in good faith and have an asset redemption mechanism, they are unlikely to be lower than the underlying physical asset's value due to arbitration.


pages: 661 words: 185,701

The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution Is Transforming Currencies and Finance by Eswar S. Prasad

access to a mobile phone, Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, algorithmic trading, altcoin, bank run, barriers to entry, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, buy and hold, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, central bank independence, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversified portfolio, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, full employment, gig economy, global reserve currency, index fund, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, litecoin, loose coupling, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, Money creation, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, profit motive, QR code, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, risk/return, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart contracts, special drawing rights, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, WeWork, wikimedia commons, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The Tether white paper, issued in June 2016, is available at “Tether: Fiat Currencies on the Bitcoin Blockchain,” Tether, https://tether.to/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/TetherWhitePaper.pdf. The rebranding of Realcoin as Tether is described in Pete Rizzo, “Realcoin Rebrands as ‘Tether’ to Avoid Altcoin Association,” Coindesk, November 20, 2014, https://www.coindesk.com/realcoin-relaunches-tether-avoid-altcoin-association. The description of Tether and the quotes draw on material posted at https://tether.to/. For a chart of Tether prices, see https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/tether/. Various websites report divergent price histories for Tether; this seems to depend on the exchange from which they are reporting prices.

The larger point is that the desire to use cryptocurrencies without forsaking stability has spawned many mongrels that represent a wide range of approaches to ensuring stable values. One of the earliest stablecoins, Realcoin, was launched in early 2014. In November 2014, Realcoin rebranded itself as Tether to avoid being associated negatively with Altcoins, which were being panned at the time as weaker and less reliable cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin. Tether describes itself as a “blockchain-enabled platform designed to facilitate the use of fiat currencies in a digital manner.… Tether currencies are not money, but are digital tokens formatted to work on blockchains.”


pages: 161 words: 44,488

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

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, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, fixed income, global value chain, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, market clearing, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, prediction markets, pull request, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, smart contracts, social web, software as a service, too big to fail, Turing complete, web application, Yochai Benkler

Recording the maintenance history of critical pieces of medical equipment, for example, an MRI scanner, providing a permanent audit trail. Carrying a secure wallet with our full electronic medical record in it, or our stored DNA, and allowing its access, in case of emergency. Verifying provenance on medications, to eliminate illegal drug manufacturing. “CaseCoins:” originating specific altcoins that create a cryptocurrency market around solving a particular disease, such as FoldingCoin, a project where participants share their processing power to help cure a disease, and get rewarded with a token asset.10 Energy Blockchain applications can help achieve a more efficient management of the power distribution grid, low-cost microtransactions between peers or machines, secondary markets creation, or rule-based payments.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Money creation, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Pier Paolo Pasolini, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, surveillance capitalism, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Nakamoto’s longing for money free from trust simply shifted the location of that trust. The blockchain technology at work in Bitcoin is flexible; it can be rearranged for cooperation rather than competition, for reputation tracking rather than anonymity, for democracy rather than oligarchy. Some early experiments along these lines, among the hundreds of “altcoins,” did away with intensive mining altogether. But unlike Bitcoin, they were short on financing and evangelists. A lot of the people I knew who had been around for the early days of cryptocurrency—software hackers who became overnight whizzes in monetary theory—were soon building Bitcoin-like systems for the very banks they thought they would utterly disrupt.


pages: 324 words: 89,875

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy by Alex Moazed, Nicholas L. Johnson

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, disintermediation, future of work, gig economy, hockey-stick growth, if you build it, they will come, information asymmetry, Infrastructure as a Service, intangible asset, Internet of things, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Gruber, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, money market fund, multi-sided market, Network effects, patent troll, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, platform as a service, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, source of truth, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the medium is the message, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, white flight, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

Given the large (and growing) number of bitcoin miners out there, this is currently a borderline impossible task. If one miner were to gain control of a significant portion of the network, the entire blockchain would be endangered. But thus far this hasn’t been a real threat. Currently, Bitcoin is by far the largest blockchain network. However, many others (often collectively referred to altcoins) make small alterations to the Bitcoin protocol to adapt it for other uses. But as the nature of the blockchain suggests, a larger blockchain network is a more useful and more secure one. As a result, at present, Bitcoin is effectively the only game in town. However, there are signs that this could change in the near future.


pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta-analysis, mobile money, Money creation, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, twin studies, uber lyft, women in the workforce

As Dominic Frisby remarks, not only has bitcoin’s evolution so far been chaotic, unplanned and organic, but the people around it are ‘an eclectic mix of all sorts from the computer whizz to the con artist to the economist; from the opportunist to the altruist to the activist’. None the less, it is worth remarking just how much the humble bitcoin has achieved in a world where it has no intrinsic value whatsoever, which bodes well for future crypto-currencies online. There are now more than three hundred rival online crypto-currencies competing with bitcoins – altcoins, they are called – and though none has yet gained anything like the market share of bitcoin, it may only be a matter of time. Just imagine what might happen if decentralised crypto-currencies really do take off. If people started putting their savings in them, and financial firms started offering interesting crypto-currency-based products, governments would find their room for manoeuvre much diminished.