Fred Wilson throws a little cold water on bitcoin - CNBC
Fred Wilson throws a little cold water on bitcoin - CNBC
Fred Wilson Schools Warren Buffet on the Value of Bitcoin
Union Square Venture’s Fred Wilson Calls Out Banks for
Fred Wilson throws a little cold water on bitcoin enthusiasts
Fred Wilson | Live Bitcoin News
Joined reddit to post my thoughts... take them as you will
So full disclosure... I’ve been invested in XRP since September. I purchased two positions within a week (delta = $0.01). Over the holiday season, this thing went crazy. On EST, I’ll admit it was very fun waking up every morning with gains. Since the new year, I know it hasn’t been so fun for many. When you’re at Xmas dinner at your uncle is talking about “cryptocurrency” and asking you how to buy XRP, you have the first sign you’re invested in something you can’t trust. Is all this stuff a bubble? Ain’t a doubt in the world. The question: how long do you hold (HODL for you in the crypto cult)? Seeing how I don’t want to pay cap gains, I invested in September both fully expecting to lose my investment, and prepared to not look at the price for 366 days. I can’t say I’ve stayed true to the latter. It’s addictive. What can I say? If you understand the startup world, and you’ve done your research on Ripple, you might agree with my guess that the fabulously wealthy founders and early employees never banked on XRP (alone) making them multi-billionaires. Believing in the technology is great. I do believe in Ripple, and perhaps XRP too, but if you really had the buying power, your best bet is buying shares of Ripple (the startup’s equity not the XRP token) on SharesPost. Of course this requires you to be an accredited investor. I am not one, so I bought XRP. Now, I’ve held. I saw this token go to >$3, and I held. It’s real money. Do I regret not selling? Absolutely. But why do I still hold? Even at ~$1.50 I’ve made a great amount. In my opinion, it’s better to have a horse in the race than sit on the sidelines with regret. This is my first post on Reddit. I did so because I figure there are probably others in my shoes that have ventured to this thread in the wake of their declining net worth. This “community” probably isn’t the smartest, but you have to have a little bit of naive hope to invest in this asset class anyway. These gains can change lives. I wouldn’t lose my house or family over it, because there’s no doubt it’s a bubble, but as far as cryptos/tokens, (bitcoin and equivalent are “currencies”) XRP offers the most utility for the best price on the common exchanges. ETH is probably more valuable to the holistic blockchain community, but that market hasn’t been established because it’s not yet fully understood. Payments and money transfers has been, and whether or not banks use XRP on xRapid, institutions will be too closely tied in the short term to ignore the opportunity to speculate on XRP. GS and MS are becoming actively involved in “crypto”. I assume BAC, JPM, BCS have to be taking a close look as well. This is the most friendly token they will come by. Mix in an add from Coinbase— their board including Fred Wilson will make them get over their platform limitations and capitalize on the “crypto-craze” by adding new tokens in 2018– and this token is a lock to exceed previous ATH. If XRP isn’t amongst those added, then they’re just plain incompetent or complicit in a scheme. If these factors don’t move XRP to >$5, then we truly are in a conspiracy controlled by whales, and it’s time to move back into equities. Can’t control what we can’t control... Long post I know. Not trying to feed the bull with some bull. This is an asset class I’d recommend anyone be involved in, even if only a small amount, and this is the only token I expect to survive the 2019/2020 bubble. Whether or not we drop back to $0.25 during that span remains to be seen, but if you remember the dot-com bubble, some pretty good investments survived. XRP stands the best chance based on utility alone. With that, I HODL in solidarity!
Battle Over Bitcoin: China Backs US Startup Coinbase And US Falls Behind In Virtual Currencies.
Indeed, virtual currencies are nothing new to the Chinese. For example, more than 100 million people on the social platform QQ have used the Q coin for more than 10 years. And after China’s state-run China Central Television, or CCTV, ran a half-hour-long documentary on bitcoins, downloads of apps for processing and “mining” bitcoins soared in the world’s second largest economy. Bitcoin, long the plaything of the Western ubernerd, now appears poised to grow substantially in China and other markets, like the euro zone, where government meddling in native currency valuations has left many distrustful of the money in their bank accounts. Americans don’t have this problem -- yet. And that may be a problem in itself. According to bitcoin proponents, if the U.S. tries to ignore the nascent currency, writing it off as a financial fad with less value than the seemingly stable dollar, Americans risk ceding to the Chinese and others control of the future of what could be the most disruptive force in monetary exchanges since the credit card. In turn, the dollar and the ability of the U.S. to navigate global currency conflicts could be seriously weakened. “Here’s the bottom line: Bitcoin has much higher popularity outside the U.S. and much higher potential outside the U.S.,” observed Andreas M. Antonopoulos of the Bitcoin Foundation. “If you go to an American and say, ‘Hey, there’s this new thing, bitcoin,’ they say, ‘Well, what’s wrong with the dollar?’ That question is different in other countries.” Bitcoins are a finite, Web-based currency created in 2009 by a group of hackers working under the nom-de-Internet Satoshi Nakamoto. Exactly 10,952,975 bitcoins are in circulation, all of which have been purchased on exchange networks or mined. The currency is mined using software that processes transactions on the bitcoin network, adding groups of transactions, called blocks, to the chain. Miners are paid about 25 bitcoins per block. That digital money can then be used to purchase a variety of goods online, from legitimate software to heroin on the infamous virtual black-market Silk Road. Bitcoin surged in value to $266 last month, thrusting the currency into the mainstream spotlight as investment poured in from sources as diverse as the hapless Brothers Winklevoss (of Facebook infamy) and Union Capital Ventures principal Fred Wilson (an early investor in Zynga, Twitter, and Kickstarter). Suddenly, everyone was talking about buying bitcoins. But the bubble burst in late April, and in the U.S. at least, bitcoin faded from the news. That was not the case in China, where Antonopoulos said downloads of bitcoin clients have eclipsed those in the U.S. Bitcoins are mined in several steps. After downloading a bitcoin client, such as Coinbase (which serves as a wallet in which to store the bits of code that constitute the digital money), miners often join pools where they share computing power to decode algorithms in which bitcoins are hidden. The concept of bitcoins and bitcoin mining is cryptic for many people, even some otherwise forward-thinking American investors. The irony is that, for now, American startups are leading the bitcoin charge, and the U.S. government was the first to issue guidance on using the currency as payment -- a seemingly tacit recognition of bitcoin’s validity as legal tender. Why China Poses A Threat Feng Li, the IDG partner who chose to fund Coinbase, said the Chinese have yearned for access to a virtual currency since the central government cracked down on the use of Q coins. Q coins were introduced in March 2002 by Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0700), the parent company of the country’s most popular instant-messaging service, QQ , and they currently average an annual transaction value of more than 1 billion yuan ($163 million). That value is growing at about 15 to 25 percent each year. Q coins, purchased with yuan, are predominantly used to buy virtual products and services in QQ and its related online games and social media. Originally, Tencent regulations prevented Q coins from being traded between users or converted back to yuan, but allowed users to trade points and purchase Q coins with their game accounts, then use the black market to convert them into cash. That caused concerns at the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank. In January 2007, converting game points to Q coins was banned, and Tencent reiterated that Q coins constitute a product, not a currency, which seemed to satisfy the concerns. “There has already been proof with the Q coin,” Feng said of the Chinese likeliness to start using bitcoin. “It’s been very well circulated and very well adopted.” Already, shops on Taobao -- the Chinese equivalent to eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), owned by Alibaba.com Ltd. (HKG:1688) -- accept bitcoins as payment for goods, as does the similar service, Tencent’s PaiPai.com. The Chinese are embracing bitcoins in other ways. The first bitcoin fund began to raise money in June, with the goal of raising 20 million yuan. The fund’s investment threshold is 10,000 yuan, and it will mature in four years. Q coin’s popularity isn’t the only reason bitcoin has appeal in China. As it turns out, China is the perfect place for bitcoin mining. While much of the developed world is well into the transition from personal computers to mobile devices, China’s PC market is still thriving, which provides the necessary computing power to run a successful business converting electricity into mined coins. Price caps on electricity already create wasteful use of energy in China, so running a code-crunching computer for hours on end isn’t as costly an investment as it would be in the U.S. And so-called “gold-mining” or “gold-farming” businesses already exist in China’s cybersphere. None of that will come as a surprise to any “World of Warcraft” player: Gamers in Chinese urban sweatshops are known to sit in front of glowing blue screens for hours, slaughtering players in the game for their spoils or mining gold deposits found in the sprawling milieu of Blizzard Entertainment’s international blockbuster. Those treasures are then sold to players in the game for real money. China has a heavily controlled currency, which also makes bitcoin attractive. “The more controlled the currency is, the harder the transactions are, the more friction there is in the national currency, the more appealing the coin is,” Antonopoulos said, noted that the most appealing place to use bitcoin would be a country whose economy is a veritable train wreck -- like Zimbabwe, except that the southern African nation lacks the necessary technology. “I would say China is perfect,” he said. “It’s got the penetration, it’s got the smartphones, it’s got the Internet and the people are familiar with virtual currencies. And, it’s got the not-as-appealing national currency.” Regulation In The U.S. Guidance issued in March by the U.S. Treasury Department said that companies issuing or exchanging online cash, including bitcoin, would be subject to the same scrutiny as traditional firms such as the Western Union Co. (NYSE:WU) to prevent money laundering. Less than two months later, the Department of Homeland Security proved that edict had teeth. Federal officials obtained a warrant Tuesday to seize an account tied to Mt.Gox, the Tokyo-based exchange company that handles about 80 percent of all bitcoin trades. Authorities accused Mt.Gox’s U.S. subsidiary, Mutum Sigillum LLC, of failing to register as a money-services company with the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. An account held by the online-payments firm Dwolla was subsequently seized. Many feared the warrant execution could cast a chill over the bitcoin industry as a sector centered on a borderless, decentralized money came under the scrutiny of the federal government. That proved not to be the case, Coinbase’s Ehrsam said. “For bitcoin to go mainstream, or as it goes mainstream, it will be used in a higher and higher amount of transactions,” he said, adding that Coinbase is registered as a money-services firm. “There’s no way there will be all this money flowing through an unregulated system.” Chris Larsen -- the CEO of OpenCoin, a fellow San Francisco-based payment platform that processes most national currencies as well as bitcoin and its own virtual cash, Ripple -- agreed. “They definitely are regulating them, [and] we actually think that’s a really good thing for the industry,” he told IBTimes. “I thought the guidance was a good idea. One of the things the guidelines seem to make clear for the first time is that a virtual currency could be used for goods and services.” The Price Of Regulation But such regulation is a slippery slope, said Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Perhaps it begins with measures to prevent money-laundering, he said. But what measures would the government take to prevent the untraceable currency from being used for child pornography or human trafficking? “Bitcoin has the potential to be a disruptive technology that would be beneficial to the economy, and we don’t want to kill off that potential to get at the other potential for bad stuff,” he observed. Brito, who plans to speak next month at a conference on virtual currencies organized by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, added: “We’re already the first country to enforce money-laundering laws against bitcoin. But the U.S. would be shooting itself in the foot if it went too far [with regulations] and either outlawed bitcoin or made the legal guidelines impossible to comply with.” Will China Step In? So far, Chinese bitcoin merchants have little to fear. For many, the CCTV segment on bitcoin seemed to be a signal from Beijing, which heavily controls the channel’s content, that the currency is worth exploring. Some of those interviewed speculated that the Communist Party wants to see bitcoin stockpiled in China, allowing the government to invest in it if, or when, the dollar is shaken from its perch as the world’s reserve currency. It remains to be seen whether -- or, more likely, when -- China will intervene in the trade of bitcoin in its own economy. But for the U.S. to experience widespread adoption of the currency, which is considered a necessary step for gaining a grasp on the bitcoin market, limited government control will have to allow the money, like the Internet that birthed it, to develop organically.
Bitcoin Cash can turn in to the biggest non violent protest against the establishment ever : "We simply stop using their money." Which is a great way of getting edgy teenagers to join us. There is an almost infinite supply of edgy teenagers in the world. (153 points, 42 comments)
The next wave of attack will be all the big internet giants supporting Bitcoin Core and LN. Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, I bet you that the more successful Bitcoin Cash becomes the more you will see big cooperation’s be forced to go with compromised Bitcoin. (25 points, 28 comments)
Just because the nChain patents aren't on the base protocol level doesn't mean it's a good idea, BCH could end up with patents which are so part of its normal use it will effectively be part of it. (13 points, 33 comments)
BCH showerthought: The first one or two killer apps for Bitcoin Cash that drive mass adoption will be the thing that decides the standards/denominations based on what people are using and catches on. Not a small forum poll or incessantly loud Twitter spam. (167 points, 24 comments)
How do investors participate in cryptocurrencies in a decentralized way?
As a non-programmer (only basic knowledge), I participate in bitcoin and ethereum by investing in the currency using one of the many exchanges (i.e. coinbase, kraken, poloniex...). As Fred Wilson said back in March, Coinbase is essentially becoming the modern day Goldman Sachs. This leads me to my question: Is it possible, as an investor, to participate in these cryptocurrencies in a decentralized way? I can't seem to answer this, so I would be interested to hear what others have to say. Thank you
VCs not Investing in Blockchain: VC investment in blockchain and Bitcoin companies hit a new low in number of financed companies. While the total sum of investment was relatively high, half of it came from financial institutions and tech giants rather than VCs.
But Banks & Tech Corporations Do: Microsoft, Intel and Amazon, together with top financial institutions such as Bank of America and Citigroup are presenting new blockchain solutions to developers, but the VCs are still lagging behind them in terms of investment and involvement in the industry. Exceptions: Lightspeed, Union Square, and Andreessen Horowitz each hold an average of five portfolio companies in the blockchain and bitcoin space.
ICO Storm: ICOs are exploding, bringing in $1.73 billion dollars since the beginning of 2017, five times the total capital raised by ICOs by the end of 2016. Fight or Flight: VCs are afraid to jump into blockchain investment because of the competitive threat ICOs pose; because of heavy regulation, due to treating crypto tokens as securities; because of too many bankruptcies and too few success stories; inability to create monopolies; Blockchain’s lack of scalability; and because of the inability to separate Blockchain infrastructure from the shady aspects of Bitcoin. Blockchain technology has been a buzz word for quite some time, yet it is Terra Incognita for most industry leaders, and is a space that still suffers from underinvestment. As the black swan of the tech world, blockchain hasn’t managed to acquire the place other buzz-related technologies, such as self-driving cars or A.I., acquired long ago. Associated with the high volatility of Bitcoin, and some of the shady activities that have exploited the digital currency, blockchain is still raising too many question marks in the eyes of the VCs, the same people who usually pioneer investment in revolutionary innovations.
But there are other possible reasons for the lack of Blockchain support by VCs. A major force behind VC objection to blockchain technology is called ICO, or Initial Coin Offering. ICOs are a blockchain, token-based fundraising alternative that is quickly becoming popular, making VCs and their traditional, slow, and sometimes heavily taxing process completely redundant. ICOs not only simplify the investment process, but also provide ways for startups to share equity and other benefits with their investors, their users, suppliers, and the entire community around them. In that light, ICOs are filling the financing gap that VCs and other investors are leaving behind. So far, 2017 is the breakthrough year for ICOs as $1.73 billion has been raised by startups using token sales, and ICO fundraising is forecasted to reach $1.8 billion by October. Notable ICOs include those of Tezos ($208M), EOS.IO ($200M), Bancor ($153M), and Status ($95M), as well as about 60 token sales in total. Have the investors made a profit? It depends, but the total market cap for all Altcoins (Cryptocurrency excluding Bitcoin) has risen from $2.2B on January 1st to roughly $71B yesterday. This is an increase of over 3200%, so yes, some investors are definitely happy. For unbiased ICO reviews go to Coin.best. For unbiased research reports on startup companies go to Zirra But Blockchain technology extends way beyond ICOs and even digital coins. Leaving currency aside, blockchain turned out to be a viable system of value sharing with no need for a trusted third party, such as a bank, or any centralized system. Blockchain can be used as a trusted digital ledger for an infinite selection of applications: it can be used as the infrastructure of a digital wallet, a voting system, or a platform that authenticates identity, ownership or certification, or certifies the traces of a supply chain. Microsoft and Intel have developed their blockchain frameworks for enterprises and financial institutions such as Citigroup and Bank of America has been investing in blockchain startups. Yet VCs are not buying. Is it moral bias? Fear from the impact of ICOs? Seeing something the others don’t or simply “staying behind the curve”? It’s difficult to tell. Fact is, VCs are not aligning behind blockchain, leaving a vacuum that quickly fills up while posting possibly the biggest gamble for the future of their own ventures. How alienated are VCs from the blockchain industry? According to a recent study by CB Insights, traditional equity-based investment (non-ICO) in blockchain companies hit in the second quarter of 2017 their lowest point since 2013, to 16 financing rounds. However, these 16 rounds totaled in $232 million, which was actually as high as the entire VC investment in self driving cars in the entire first half of the year. But VCs were just a small part of that picture. Almost half ($107 million) of the VC-based quarterly funding for blockchain companies went to the banking consortium R3, which was actually funded by the largest financial institutions such as Bank of America, Citigroup, Barclays, Credit Suisse, HSBC and tech giants such as Intel. Another $40 million went to the Bitcoin-based digital wallet Blockchain, from cryptocurrency-oriented investors such as Digital Currency Group, and mainstream VCs such as Lightspeed and Mosaic. As the graph below shows, top VCs are hardly in the blockchain game, hesitant to invest in more than one or two companies per quarter altogether around blockchain technology. Only a portion invested in more than one company in the space in total. Notable VCs Lightspeed, Union Square, and Andreessen Horowitz each hold an average of five portfolio companies in the blockchain and bitcoin space. So, who are the most dedicated investors in bitcoin and blockchain technology? The leaders are cryptocurrency-dedicated funds and hedge funds such as Digital Currency Group, Blockchain Capital, Pantera, Fenbushi Capital and Future Perfect. They are joined by a small group of innovative VCs ,managed by partners who are keen to cryptocurrencies such as Marc Andreessen (Andreessen Horowitz), Fred Wilson (Union Square), and Tim Draper (Draper Associates). Blockchain is not waiting for VCs to enter the game. It is exploding. Here are 3 major signals for this: 1.ICOs are exploding: In the meantime, it seems like everyone but VCs have joined the blockchain party. The ICOs were the ones who took the bigger bulk of business press attention in the second quarter, raising about $750 million for 60 companies. However, VCs and other institutional investors were not among the investors, as long as ICOs are not regulated and are outside the charter of investment given to general partners by their limited partners. 2.Cryptocurrency, not just Bitcoin, is experiencing great momentum. The graph below tells the story. Bitcoin is barely the whole picture. Other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Ripple are on the rise. This graph shows the total market capitalization for the top seven cryptocurrencies excluding Bitcoin: Here, Ethereum and Ripple can be seen gaining more and more market share of the entire cryptocurrency market: 3.Enterprises are pouring in: Technology corporations and financial institutions didn’t wait for the VCs to come and adopted their solutions for blockchain-based decentralized networks. Among tech giants, leaders Microsoft and Intel have been pushing blockchain agendas for internal use among their customers, which are mainly big companies. Earlier this week, Intel and Microsoft joined forces to launch Coco, a blockchain framework for business that processes about 1,600 transactions per second, 1000X more than comparable blockchain frameworks, such as Ethereum consortium. The new platform uses Ethereum-based smart contracts and enables confidentiality and security over the network with the aid of other distributed ledger systems. With Coco, fashion retailers, for example, might form a blockchain consortium to verify authentic designer merchandise, and track delivery, payments, and stock inventory. Earlier in 2015, Microsoft announced a cloud-based blockchain developer environment for Azure, its cloud platform. Since then, the company has partnered with numerous blockchain technologies such as HyperLedger Fabric, R3 Corda, Quorum, Chain Core, and BlockApps. Competitor Amazon made a similar move, partnering with blockchain investment firm Digital Currency Group to offer an experimentation environment for startups and developers and partnering with a few blockchain companies on its AWS cloud platform. Google too is in the game, although not directly, investing through its VC in Ripple, the third largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and Ethereum, and in Blockchain, a bitcoin wallet startup. At least two large-scale blockchain projects are permissioned by global enterprises: Open-source project Hyperledger, established by the Linux Foundation, is partnered with Intel, J.P Morgan, SAP, Fujitsu, Accenture, Daimler, and R3. Many of these organizations are also a part of the Ethereum Alliance, with the addition of enterprises such as Microsoft, BBVA, Credit Suisse and more. So, to sum up, why are VCs so afraid of blockchain? There are quite a few reasons for this: Fear of the impact ICOs have on traditional VC business: VCs have sustained many threats, from family offices taking up innovation, crowdfunding, and private equity firms digging into investing in startups directly. But never has the danger been so clear and imminent as with ICOs. In the long term, ICOs as a funding vehicle for start-ups could rival the traditional VC model. Blockchain tokens issued by start-ups during an ICO are a more liquid asset than any stock in a private company held by VCs. In the current situation, venture capital funds are an illiquid asset class, and they have to wait 7-10 years to realize their results and measure the IRR. But blockchain tokens are immediate and can disclose a company’s momentum in real time. Naturally, VCs would feel suspicious regarding a real-time investment model that challenges them. Also, ICO might bring to the table another new kind of investor, making deals less exclusive than what they used to be, on a scale that crowdfunding hasn’t done yet. On the other hand, this will demand disclosure by startups of performance indicators in the public domain. In that way, GPs and LPs will have a clearer idea of the performance of their portfolio. Inability to separate blockchain as an infrastructure for businesses from Bitcoin and ICOs: Blockchain is a technology concept that can turn over industries. It is a secured and distributed electronic ledger, which allows all transactions – such as payments, loans, and contracts- to be tracked in real time. Bitcoin is a coin that can be used for digital transactions, and ICOs are a method for raising money using the offering of digital coin based tokens. Most VCs will not even go so far as understanding these nuances, not to mention acting rationally upon each of these sectors. Inconvenient Regulation: Last month the SEC declared blockchain tokens to be considered securities, rather than assets. This decision puts the U.S in an inferior position relative to countries such as Switzerland and Singapore that treat blockchain tokens as assets. In order to attract investors and make the ICO process easier, U.S blockchain companies might list in those countries, or else use regulation S and D exemptions with the SEC in order to raise funds. That limits American funding to a mere 99 accredited investors, but does not limit global investments. Few exits and high rate of failure: As an immature discipline, Bitcoin and blockchain companies not only have a poor history of exits, but also a high rate of failure. According to research focused on cryptocurrency investments listed on the Coindesk database, 14% of a total number of VC-backed blockchain and Bitcoin companies went bankrupt or were sold in a fire sale. 85% of them were focused on Bitcoin. The numerous M&As in the business mainly concentrated around Bitcoin exchanges, and do not seem to be related to VCs. Blockchain was unscalable and not business oriented until recently: Putting aside cryptocurrency mining, which consumes a lot of energy, blockchain frameworks are not efficient enough for business applications. Ethereum, for example, processes around 16 transactions per second. However, Microsoft has recently showcased a blockchain framework that processes 1,600 transactions per second. Inability to create a monopoly: Investor Peter Thiel once said that “entrepreneurs starting a company should aim for monopoly and avoid competition.” However, the idea behind blockchain, a decentralized and public network, is intolerant to monopolies. Investing in ICO is still dangerous: In the current situation, direct investment in ICOs entails perils for VCs besides regulation. This includes a complicated process of cashing out (of a digital coin), currency’s high volatility, the high cost of capital in due diligence, and a reduced defensibility in the case of a large investment, according to a paper by Lerer Hippeau investment firm. How Can VCs Get Involved with Blockchain? It might be a little too late for VCs to join the blockchain revolution. The original early stage cherry-picking model of VCs calls for identifying a revolutionary technology before anyone else, rather than jumping on an already moving wagon. In addition to traditional equity investment in blockchain-oriented companies, VCs can act prudently, starting with new and creative formations. For instance, they can raise blockchain dedicated funds or hedge funds, re-contracting their LPs regarding the new rules of the game, such as raising a part of the fund through ICO or investing in liquidated securities such as cryptocurrency tokens. Another option is to invest in the economy created by an ICO, or in its token adoption, rather than buying tokens in the ICO itself. This can be done by providing money, real estate, computing power, guidance or support to developers that are building on top of the blockchain protocol. We at coin.best provide unbiased ICO reviews through an objective analysis and rating system, allowing blockchain investors to better understand the ICO market
... article: Why Know-Your-Customer Rules Won’t Work With Bitcoin (CoinDesk) In one of your hearings, Jeremy Liew already gave you the perfect answer: there's no such thing as eliminating bad behavior... it's a trade-off. Fred Wilson and Barry Silbert both gave excellent insights on how regulation should look like: costly compliance will do no more than push innovation towards other more friendly jurisdictions, and it would help a lot if you could be very clear about which players (e.g. payment processors, miners) won't be regulated. First of all, a reality check. Even if the government of every major country outright ban cryptocurrencies, they won't go away. And let's not be naive: cryptocurrencies will facilitate malicious money transactions. The US could for instance try to ban tumblers, but they will exist outside the US. In the near future, it will be impossible to prevent people from using Zerocash as a Bitcoin side-chain to anonymize their bitcoins. Most of these people just want privacy, and didn't commit any crime. So how do you minimize bad behavior? Overregulation is definitely not the answer. A serious money launderer will not buy or sell bitcoins from an exchange in the US anyway (even if totally unregulated), the same way terrorists do not communicate through unencrypted emails sent from their home internet connection. Bad behavior demands very specialized uses of the available tools. Please keep in mind how we treat today this trade-off issue for other related tools: cash and the internet. Their regulation strongly favor convenience and openness over bad behavior obsession. And indeed it should be just like that. People are allowed to use cash with very little restrictions, even if it's perfect for selling drugs. On that same note, the possibility of a child pornographer being empowered by the internet should not be an excuse to impose restrictions on every internet user. The world of finance will be much better off with a thriving cryptocurrency ecosystem, the same way the world of communication is much better off with a free and open internet. Cryptocurrency holds amazing possibilities for humanity, and it's a platform for a whole new world order. IMHO someone who is not quite convinced of it yet probably hasn't studied the subject deeply enough. I'm sure this community would love to help you and your staff on that learning process. Please take your time to understand very well even the technical details of what you are trying to regulate. Bitcoin is a tool. It will enable everybody, from good actors to bad actors. Government should try to fight wrongdoing itself, and not the general use of this tool, because its long term benefits to society far outweigh the dangers.
Now Accepting Bitcoin New Age Media Management, a New York City-based management firm, is betting on Bitcoin, and plans to accept the crypto-currency beginning March 14. Though some might question the move given Bitcoin's current spate of bad press, New Age founder Adam Lopez has no qualms about taking the crypto-currency, which is unregulated, has no central bank and has fluctuated wildly since the first Bitcoins were issued about five years ago. "It's breaking into a lot of merchant circles very quickly and we wanted to be the first in the entertainment space to accept it," Lopez told Pollstar. "No one has really come forward saying they'll accept this for everything from artist commissions to consultation payments to anything we deal with across the board. "We pride ourselves on being very tech forward. This is something our team has been researching for eight months to a year - watching prices, the stock as it rises and falls, and we felt like right now, despite it getting a little bad press recently, was the right time to make it public." The bad press stems from news that one of the most prominent exchanges for Bitcoin trading - the Japan-based Mt. Gox - announced it was filing for bankruptcy last month after about 850,000 Bitcoins valued at more than $400 million disappeared from its digital coffers. In a news conference, Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès explained the exchange had been hacked, and "there was some weakness in the system, and the Bitcoins have disappeared. I apologize for causing trouble," he said, according to the Wall Street Journal. Another Bitcoin bank, Flexcoin, called it quits March 2, announcing on its site, "Flexcoin was attacked and robbed of all coins in the hot wallet. The attacker made off with 896 BTC. . As Flexcoin does not have the resources, assets, or otherwise to come back from this loss, we are closing our doors immediately." Elsewhere, Autumn Radtke, the CEO for virtual currency exchange First Meta, was found dead in her Singapore home in what's been reported as an apparent suicide. Bitcoin has taken hits previously. After the FBI shut down online black-market site Silk Road in October 2013, seizing 144,000 Bitcoins, the value of the crypto-currency plummeted. It has since recovered and many have called for increased regulations, which Lopez thinks could eventually help legitimize the virtual currency. But it's also going to take buy-in from huge e-commerce companies such as the Amazons of the world before Bitcoin might gain wide acceptance. New Age Media Management's interest was piqued through the entertainment investment space and its dealings with venture capitalists. "You have the Winklevoss twins, people like Fred Wilson, and Google ventures who have all invested $30 or $35 million apiece into this venture," Lopez said, adding it's important to separate the currency from the technology as they're investing in "the technology of it. That's really where the money is - investing in the technology of this being accepted and getting merchants on board." Overstock.com is one such merchant. The company announced in January it would accept the virtual currency and said March 4 it expects Bitcoin sales to reach $10 million or $15 million this year, up from the $5 million it had expected, the WSJ reported. Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has also backed Bitcoin for its commercial space flights. The Winklevoss twins, coincidentally, announced March 5 they'd booked their Virgin Galactic flights using the crypto-currency. Aside from the potential investment aspects of Bitcoin, Lopez noted his company could save thousands on fees by accepting the virtual currency. "The transaction fees are incredibly lower," he said. "Sometimes you'll have a 3 or 4 percent transaction fee if you go through somebody like PayPal or a credit card where as with Bitcoin you're looking at something like half a percent. That makes all the difference when you're doing transactions in the tens of thousands of dollars and saves you that much more money." It's an idea that makes sense, and just one reason Lopez is so confident about accepting the crypto-currency. "Bitcoin is definitely in the infancy stages so it's going to fluctuate a lot in price and in interest but we feel like a lot of our artists and the VCs we work with are very excited about the concept," he said. -Dana Parker-McClain
Startup Idea - Ticketing on top of Bitcoin (AVC.com)
Ran across this post from Fred Wilson yesterday and think its a rather interesting concept both for ticketing and for other transactional exchanges. As I'm embarking on my first season as a season ticket holder I'm discovering that dealing with and distributing tickets is going to be a bit of a headache. Definitely some tools out there that simplify things but nothing looks like its a silver bullet. So if you're looking for new project and know a bit about Bitcoin I'd personally love to see something done with this idea. Fred Wilson's post - http://avc.com/2014/11/ticketing/
Fred Wilson, a prominent Venture Capitalist in Silicon Valley, Bitcoin Exchange Guide is a hyperactive hybrid of heavy-handed cryptocurrency content curation creators from christened community contributors who focus on delivering today's bitcoin news, cryptoasset user guides and latest blockchain updates. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson is backpedaling after one of his many lame predictions blew up in his face. Again. This time, Wilson dissed Ethereum while praising bitcoin and brown-nosing Facebook's beleaguered Libra 'cryptocurrency.' The Union Square Ventures co-founder distanced himself from Ethereum, saying it disappoints him. “Ethereum, as many of you know, confounds me,” Wilson Wilson: ETH Isn’t Doing So Hot. In a recent post, Wilson spoke negatively regarding the currency he once predicted would surpass bitcoin’s overall value by the end of 2017. Not only did this For all the excitement around digital currency technology in New York this week, venture capitalist Fred Wilson said it will probably take much longer for bitcoin (Exchange: BTC=) to go mainstream In other words, this is the perfect buying opportunity, says bitcoin enthusiast Fred Wilson. A prominent bitcoin exchange is in major trouble, prices are fluctuating rapidly and the virtual
Fireside Chat with Fred Wilson moderated by Maria Gotsch - FinTech Innovation Lab New York 2020
Ever since bitcoin entered the mainstream lexicon, Sarah Lacy has asked almost all of our PandoMonthly guests for their thoughts on the controversial crypto-currency. Rather than comb through each ... Fred Wilson Partner, Union Square Ventures Maria Gotsch President & CEO, Partnership Fund for New York City. Tip Jar: 1FEqW7sQrxqQbVtx3TpYMKYUuLU9CUEfmo Nathaniel Popper, Gavin Andresen & Fred Wilson How Would You Explain Bitcoin To A 3 Year Old? Legendary VC Fred Wilson hates corporate VCs, ... CB Insights 8,240 views. 50:46. Fred Wilson on his continued belief in Bitcoin and the blockchain - Duration: 9:32. Coin Center 5,809 views. As Fred Wilson put it, “It’s a shame that the average Facebook user has not been able to own shares in Facebook during its increase in value from zero to $100bn.”