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Kate Hiscox: Bitcoin SV and the payment networks of tomorrow

Kate Hiscox is a serial entrepreneur with ambitious plans for her trading platform DRIVE Markets. With a background in supply chain businesses, Kate has recruited a team with wide experience of FX (foreign exchange) trading to create a suite of products that will work together to integrate fiat and crypto (CX) trading.

DRIVE recently received investment from Calvin Ayre, the owner of CoinGeek and a leading supporter of Bitcoin SV, who said that he likes “entrepreneurs who can cut through the noise and focus on technology that works. That’s why I like DRIVE.”

Hiscox plans to use the SV blockchain to record transactions: “the Bitcoin SV blockchain will be used by DRIVE Pay for our ledger specific requirements and BSV will be used as a bridge currency.”

On this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, Hiscox explains the thinking behind her plans to grow her business: “traders want to be able to trade crypto but they don’t have the right exchange [or] the right tools in place to do that. So we basically packaged something that would entice them.” That meant providing “the right infrastructure and trading experience so that ForEx (foreign exchange) traders can come over and trade crypto in a familiar environment.”

“The exchange business is very revenue-intensive,” Hiscox admits: “in launching multiple products that complement each other, by making the first one an exchange, the company will be profitable this year, in a very short amount of time.”

In creating a suite of new products, DRIVE has set itself some ambitious goals, but Hiscox is clear that each product must contribute to the bottom line: “anything we build has to make sense, has to grow revenue, has to complement the products that we already have.”

While some in the Bitcoin world are working on visionary projects that may not come to fruition for years, Hiscox is focussed on more immediate and more conventional business goals: “you can dream up all these wondrous things, but if you don’t have a customer at the end of the day and you’re not making any money, eventually you’re going to go out of business …That’s my thing, I think it’s evolution versus revolution.”

Hear the full interview with Kate Hiscox on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

Please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is episode 23 of a weekly podcast series. Just search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe on iTunes, listen on Spotify or visit the CoinGeek Conversations website.

Jack Liu: Just by living, you’re going to be making Bitcoin transactions

Jack Liu: Just by living, you’re going to be making Bitcoin transactions

“Three is kind of a lucky number,” says Jack Liu, “you’re not really going to get a fourth chance, fifth chance, a sixth chance—so I look at it as like this is all or nothing.”

Hong Kong-based entrepreneur Jack Liu sees the opportunities offered by Bitcoin SV (BSV) today as being the third and final chance to realise the potential he’s always seen for cryptocurrency.

After the decision was made, years ago, not to scale Bitcoin (BTC) and then the problems with Bitcoin Cash (BCH) that followed, Jack is now pinning his hopes on BSV. But to work, he says, reliable revenue streams must be developed for BSV—and fast.

“I think as much as today we sit here with amazing optimism for BSV, if we cannot get BSV adopted on a transaction level, you’re going to see divisions again within BSV. So you’ve got to get transactions going as soon as possible—and that’s where the urgency comes from.”

To that end, Jack and his team—formed since he left Circle just a couple of months ago—have already released two products, FloatSV, an exchange, and RelayX, a ‘superwallet’ that connects BSV with existing payment platforms such as Alipay and WeChat.

Jack’s concern is that transactions must sustain the network of BSV miners by providing them with micropayments. The danger is that the rival version of Bitcoin, BTC, is used purely as a store of value: “The great thing that banks would love to see is if they can make Bitcoin merely ‘digital gold’—they would love that because it would not alter the world that we live in …which is really not that interesting at all. If that was what you told me Bitcoin was going to be, I would never have joined this industry.”

Instead, Jack’s vision is to have BSV playing a part in every aspect of our lives, with micropayments being sent and received between people all the time—during work, rest and play: “I think in the future, if someone notices that you haven’t made a hundred transactions in a day, they might call the police and look for you—because just by living, you’re going to be making transactions.”

Although we may find ourselves making micropayments for things we now think of as free, Jack says that on the other side of the equation, “You probably will have hundreds more income streams daily.” But that doesn’t mean they’re all going to be big money-makers: “I mean income streams as in maybe you open a door for someone and they tip you one cent.”

But small payments made to people in developing countries for providing casual digital services, for instance, could make a big difference in those economies. The aim, Jack says, is for people to be able to start using RelayX with no BSV or fiat money. Instead, they would earn money through the app, and it would get into circulation that way.

BSV is uniquely able to make this possible because its rivals “never had the vision that Satoshi did for the entire system.” Instead, they’re marketing individual use cases, which, when the market changes, will have to pivot: “they’re kind of opportunistic blockchains” whose protocol will inevitably change, making them unsuitable for established businesses to build on.

Hear the full interview with Jack Liu on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

Please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is episode 19 of a weekly podcast series. Just search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe on iTunes, listen on Spotify or visit the CoinGeek Conversations website.

Toronto: The past, present and future of Bitcoin

Toronto: The past, present and future of Bitcoin

You know you’ve been to a good conference when you leave with loads of interesting bits of information, combined with a better sense of the big picture. On both counts, CoinGeek Toronto was a resounding success. But it’s another measure that I’d say was even more important: there was a palpable feeling of confidence in the Bitcoin SV (BSV) ecosystem and where it’s heading.

At the last CoinGeek conference, in London in November, Jimmy Nguyen, president of the Bitcoin Association had stood on stage to say it was time for Bitcoin to “grow up and professionalise”. In Toronto, although he hadn’t entirely dropped his favourite mantra, he hardly needed it any more. The evidence was all around him.

To pick a couple of examples, almost at random: Cole Diamond, co-founder of CoinSquare, a Toronto startup, talked about using Bitcoin to bring the entire financial services industry onto one platform. The peer to peer lending it enables will reduce the cost of borrowing and mortgages. In case there was any doubt, at the end of his presentation, Cole remarked that “everybody in this room is on the right track”.

Cole was just one of several speakers who talked about how the Bitcoin world and the financial establishment were going to be able to work together productively.

Then there were the finalists of the BSV Hackathon competition, who were equally confident about the future. Attila from TonicPow explained that a “Tonic” is a peer to peer online ad. Why not use blockchain technology to connect website owners directly with those who want to pay them to advertise on their site? And Hayden Donnelly’s Polyglot product is designed to help people use the Metanet more easily. His aim is “to open up the Metanet for entry-level developers and everyday people.” (You’ll know he’s succeeded when Microsoft’s spell check stops putting a red line underneath every time you write “Metanet”.)

The Hackathon winner was UptimeSV, whose Dean Little explained plans for his BSV-based security product to prevent DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. He warned that as IoT (Internet of things) devices become more common, websites face an increasing danger of being attacked by “an army of smart fridges”.

If the Hackathon finalists were the up and coming generation, established BSV entrepreneurs like Jack Liu, Alex Agut and Rafael Seibane from HandCash and Ryan X. Charles of Moneybutton weren’t resting on their laurels. Jack’s new RelayX is integrating BSV and fiat payment platforms, Handcash is looking at ways to offer “Bitcoin as a service” and Moneybutton is powering ahead with new products such as Paymail, with a staff of only three: Ryan in Silicon Valley, with two colleagues in Argentina.

So much for the present and the future – what about the past? Well that was amply covered in Jimmy Nguyen’s interview with Dr. Craig Wright. It was a revealing and sometimes emotional session, going back to the origins of Bitcoin and Craig’s work as Satoshi Nakamoto, its pseudonymous creator. Craig said he’d started thinking about electronic money as far back as the 1990s, with an early idea for a paid network that he freely admits was “a failed, totally stupid concept”.

The work that led to the Bitcoin White Paper began in earnest around 2005 when he was studying at Newcastle University in New South Wales. On the question of whether he worked alone or had help, Craig replied that “everyone has help”. He mentioned Hal Finney and Dave Kleiman (“my best friend for a long time”) but to Jimmy’s direct “did you write the White Paper?” Craig answered definitively: “yes”.

“Who managed Satoshi’s email box?,” Jimmy enquired. “Primarily me,” Craig said. And it was “generally me” who answered posts on message boards, although it was occasionally Dave Kleiman.

On the first day that Bitcoin was released, it was managed on 69 computers, Craig said, some in his house, and some on a farm, a three hour drive away. When Microsoft decided to update its software in that first week, it messed up the whole Bitcoin system and Craig had to make numerous three hour drives between the house and the farm to sort things out.

Craig ended with a moving tribute to his wife and family for putting up with him, which more than one person told me afterwards had left them in tears. “I’m better than I was,” he said, but “I’ll never be nice.”

Craig’s final message was one which felt appropriate to end the whole conference. Despite the complex and technical nature of Bitcoin, Craig is clear that the point of it is to allow people to deal with people. This is not a technology that is designed to take over and dominate our lives: “I don’t want a world where we have people isolated by machines”.

It was an ambition that many of the entrepreneurs who’d spoken earlier had echoed in practical terms: we need to work to get the technology out of people’s way; the goal is to make the world and our transactions with each other, simpler, more accountable and frictionless. Craig thanked everyone for what they were doing in taking forward what he’d started. The audience rose to give him warm, appreciative thanks – both for the openness of his interview with Jimmy and, it felt, for Bitcoin itself.

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WeatherSV predicts sunny future for Bitcoin SV

Raising blockchain transaction volumes is seen as the key to the success of Bitcoin SV (BSV). So what are those transactions going to be? Well, ideally they’ll emerge from a thriving ecosystem of products built for the BSV blockchain, whether financial or otherwise.

And that ecosystem will only grow if developers can turn their creative ideas into useable, well-designed applications. And that will only happen if creating a BSV product doesn’t require you to risk the best years of your life making something that may not succeed in the market.

We may just be reaching the tipping point where building products is easy enough for people to take a chance on it, thanks to the availability of open source tools that BSV supporters such as unwriter have been tirelessly creating.

One use of unwriter’s work has been in WeatherSV, an experimental project created by Paul Chiari (above), an IT professional in Australia. Paul is interested in agritech—technology to help the farmers in his Queensland community. He sees the BSV blockchain as ideal for storing data that ‘Internet of Things’ devices out on farms could send back via wide, low power wireless networks. As a step towards building systems like that, he’s been experimenting with data distribution and storage on the blockchain—and the result is WeatherSV, which has been taking off to a degree he never expected.

WeatherSV takes open source weather data collected from 40,000 weather stations round the world and presents that information to its users, storing it on the BSV blockchain. In addition, it asks users to pay the equivalent of AU$5 in BSV, using Moneybutton to add their nearest weather station to the app’s output. Hundreds of channels have already been opened—from, recently, Conakry, in Guinea (temperature now 31°C) to Kashi, in China (22°C)—and the number is growing all the time.

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WeatherSV has already exceeded Paul’s expectations: “We just did this as a hobby project …we did it for a bit of a laugh.” But with its recent growth, WeatherSV is currently producing well over 12,000 transactions a day. Now Paul says he’s talking to a potential investor about expanding the project and sees the possibility of 50,000 transactions a day.

His experience has led him to encourage others to roll up their sleeves and have a go at building on BSV: “Doing this stuff, and learning as you go and experimenting with it, it’s fantastic,” he says. With the existing software available to incorporate into projects like WeatherSV, “The heavy lifting is being done and you’ve just got to jump on board and have a go.”

To hear more about Weather SV from Paul Chiari, and what he’s learnt building it, listen to this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast:

Please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is episode 20 of a weekly podcast series. Just search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe on iTunes, listen on Spotify or visit the CoinGeek Conversations website.

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Calvin Ayre: Courts could rule on ‘consumer fraud’ of cryptos that claim to be Bitcoin

In a wide-ranging interview, the businessman Calvin Ayre, a major supporter of the work of Dr. Craig Wright, says that a forthcoming legal case being brought to prove that Dr. Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, could also lead to a ruling that would stop cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin SV (BSV) using the name Bitcoin at all. To do so makes them guilty of “consumer fraud,” Ayre warned.

“It’s a consumer fraud of some sort for all these exchanges all over the world to be telling people that this is Bitcoin and letting these tokens use the Bitcoin name when the technology is not Bitcoin anymore. It’s a type of consumer fraud and I think that that needs to be fixed as well.”

Ayre sees the impact of the libel actions being brought by Wright as going far beyond those directly affected in the cases. He believes that a definitive proof that Wright was Satoshi will transform the sector:

“This court case and this proof is not aimed at convincing these people attacking him. They’re completely irrelevant. This is all about going over their heads, getting them out of the way. And Craig, with this court decision, talking directly to the people that matter – mainstream media, business and technical, governments and enterprise and startup decision makers. Those are the only people important here.”

Ayre says it’s “quite likely” that the cases, which are being brought in London, will be decided by the end of the year.

In the longer term, Ayre believes that Dr. Wright’s vision of a Metanet based on the BSV blockchain will be “the Internet of the future – where we actually can commercialize and put a value to the data that flows around the world on the Internet today. And so this is much bigger than just payments. But if we’re talking just about payments, I mean, what would be nice is for people to be able to seamlessly and frictionlessly with relatively low cost, send payments anywhere they want anywhere in the world.”

The key to making that vision a reality is being able to scale blockchain transactions – having large numbers of transactions happening quickly and frictionlessly. Ayre says that “only one blockchain platform massively scales already – original Bitcoin SV – and it has a roadmap to massively massive scaling in the near future!”

Scaling is the theme of the forthcoming CoinGeek conference in Toronto: “all the world’s experts in scaling on blockchains will be there,” Ayre promises. But if that sounds a little dry, he adds: “it’s going to be like Woodstock, you know, you’re going to be able to say, ‘hey, I was there, the CoinGeek Scaling Conference’.”

As to his own motivations for getting involved in the crypto world after a hugely successful career building businesses in online gaming, Ayre says “I’d already been successful. I’m not doing this completely for money …I legitimately wanted to get involved with a project that would be a legacy project for me, which would actually have lasting impact on the world, improve the world, make the world a better place.”

But he admits the money is also a driver: “of course, as a businessman, I’m always interested in proving that I’m right about things. And the only way that you do that in business is by having your businesses make money …And so I’m driven by all these factors together. And you know, it depends on how I feel in any time in the day, which is the most important one.”

Although working in Bitcoin might seem very different from online gaming, Ayre says his own experiences in the two have much in common: “I’m in at the earliest stages of the industry. So it’s industry building, it’s dealing with the fact that people don’t understand how the existing laws apply to this new thing. There’s a ton of similarities.”

Ayre has always said that a 2006 article in Forbes magazine that described him as a billionaire has meant that he’ll be stuck with that label forever. As to what he’s actually worth today, he says he’s not sure:

“Honestly, it’s really difficult to do valuations to tell what you’re worth, especially if you’re investing in …early stage private companies where a lot of the value is in some kind of future concepts. So I think I’m going to wait a few years before I do have some kind of an appraisal of what I’m really worth. Right now I’m actually just having too much fun to worry about it.”

To hear the full interview with Calvin Ayre, listen to this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast, or watch on YouTube.

And please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is episode 18 of a weekly podcast series. Just search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe on iTunes, listen on Spotify or visit the CoinGeek Conversations website.

Jimmy Nguyen: We should use the delisting of BSV to argue for better regulation

Jimmy Nguyen: We should use the delisting of BSV to argue for better regulation

News that crypto exchange Binance was hacked, with 7000 Bitcoin – currently worth almost $41 million – stolen in a single transaction, highlights the need for tighter regulation of crypto exchanges.

Regulation was also the subject of an interview with the President of the Bitcoin Association, Jimmy Nguyen last week, in the light of recent decisions by a few exchanges to delist Bitcoin SV (BSV).

“The big lesson we’ve learnt [from the delisting episode] is how the cryptocurrency world as a whole needs to grow up and professionalise,” said Jimmy.

The delisting decisions of Binance and Kraken “had nothing to do with technical issues with BSV or its network” Jimmy said. “It all had to do with dislike of Craig Wright, a key backer of BSV, and his choice to invoke legal remedies to pursue libel claims against certain people who he believes have been defaming him online.”

The delistings raise wider, long-term issues, Jimmy believes: we don’t want a world in which “the CEOs of a couple of powerful exchanges …could negatively impact the worldwide market for an asset on their exchange and others just because they don’t like one person.”

It’s a “perfect example of why we need more regulatory oversight”. Jimmy acknowledges that the exchanges are private businesses and so, in some sense, can do as they choose. But he says their freedom is limited by the fact that “they create and influence the public markets for investment …The cryptocurrency world wants these assets to be treated seriously, as alternatives to money for example, and if that’s what we want, then exchanges …need to be held to reasonable standards.”

Jimmy criticised as “absolutely ridiculous” the use of Twitter polls as a factor in delisting decisions. He called for “objective criteria” in making such decisions, and on regulators to “be looking at exercising more regulatory oversight to make sure crypto exchanges can never do this again”.

He said that while some jurisdictions, such as the EU or the USA might take the lead, there would be no need for all territories to agree on exactly the same standards – just as there is variation in other kinds of financial regulation. It’s not the blockchains, but the companies that use them that should be the focus of regulation. In making decisions about which currencies to list, exchanges could use criteria such as trading volume, hash rate and the level of application development for example.

As President of the Bitcoin Association, Jimmy said he has already been in touch with regulators. He’s been asked to review a number of proposals from different countries in recent months for digital asset business regulation.

“Let’s be honest, we need to create more confidence for financial institutions as well as the ordinary consumer, to invest in and use cryptocurrency. Everyone in the crypto world should want that.”

Jimmy highlights the recent story about the New York Attorney General’s Office bringing a case against Bitfinex and Tether as also showing the need for regulation. Depending on the outcome of that case, it may be found that “a lot of our current cryptocurrency market is inflated with purchases that aren’t really backed by funds.”

Jimmy said it’s “ironic” that no exchanges have suggested delisting Tether over what is potentially – and he acknowledged that this has yet to be decided in court – “massive fraud in the Tether/Bitfinex ecosystem”. And yet the exchanges that delisted BSV were doing so on the basis of Craig Wright simply using due legal process to defend his own rights. “That hypocrisy is staggering,” Jimmy says, “and it’s exactly the kind of exchange environment we should not have”.

To achieve mass adoption, the ordinary consumer needs to feel safe. “BSV may have triggered the controversy …but what we’re urging in terms of more regulatory oversight and a compliance regime is going to be good for all participants in the cryptocurrency world.”

New exchanges that are specially designed for BSV will be one of the subjects under discussion at the CoinGeek conference in Toronto at the end of May. Please join us there to continue this debate.

What can’t you do on the blockchain?

What can’t you do on the blockchain?

Last year’s trade shows for crypto and blockchain were all about ICOs—initial coin offerings. This year, ICOs are out, says Richard Kastelein from Blockchain News. Instead there’s a new collection of financial products—which may or may not suffer the quickly deteriorating reputation of ICOs.

Perhaps more significant, today there are real use cases of blockchain being taken up by big business. Overall, Richard says we’re witnessing “Wall Street meets Main Street.” He points to Walmart’s requiring the adoption of a blockchain system by all its spinach and lettuce suppliers. And other retailers are following fast, Richard says: “that’s proof that this blockchain stuff works.” There are also projects to track diamonds and timber, to prove the claimed provenance of individual items. Supply chains are turning out to be the “most valid use cases” so far.

As to what will be next year’s trend, Richard predicts that it will tokenizing. He notes that Singapore Airlines have already tokenized their air miles system. And there’s potential for more tokenization in relation to loyalty programmes and brands: “how can you reward people that become ‘prosumers’ for you?”—the brand ambassadors. ‘Tokenomics’ is about “trying to achieve an end result and then gamifying the system to achieve that result.”

It’s a natural development for the Bitcoin blockchain, Richard says, because it’s the same principle that Satoshi used when devising the network: “This is what Satoshi did with Bitcoin as well: he created a way for people to be honest in the mining process and have a surefire way to let people create ledgers that can’t be challenged.”

Richard Kastelein was talking to CoinGeek as one of the exhibitors at the recent London Blockchain Expo. Another exhibitor was nChain, which also traces a direct line back to the vision of Satoshi Nakamoto, as a strong proponent of Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision). Osmin Callis, from nChain’s Professional Services department was pleased to find many of the big consultancies represented at the show: “We’ve been talking to PWC. We’d already had discussions with the blockchain strategic lead at Dell—we saw her again.” Overall, Osmin said she was “very optimistic …I think we’ve got some amazing possibilities open.”

But it wasn’t all mainstream stuff at Blockchain Expo: Sergio Rigert of Gingr, a Swiss startup, explained what his company is planning to do on the blockchain: “My business is revolutionising the oldest industry in the world, which is the prostitution industry.” Gingr will be the Uber or Airbnb of prostitution, Sergio says. Bookings will be made using the Gingr Coin. If you’re wondering whether the idea of an immutable ledger would be a selling point to clients of this particular kind of business, Sergio has reassurance to offer: “Your data won’t be exploited …we just have it in our system, which is separate, in a separate server, so when you actually do a transaction, you’re just getting a number.”

To hear more from Sergio, Richard and Osmin, listen to this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast, or watch on Youtube.

And please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is episode 17 of a weekly podcast series. Just search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe on iTunes, listen on Spotify or visit the CoinGeek Conversations website.

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Mark Allison: Bitcoin is a thing of beauty, like a Michelangelo

Mark Allison has been a freelance IT consultant for 20 years, specialising in data. He works for investment banks, retailers, insurance companies, hedge funds and payment processors. Many of the people he deals with are sceptical about Bitcoin—and have been more so since the crash in its value last year.

But Mark is optimistic about Bitcoin’s prospects and has been following the sector closely. Now he’s spending his evenings and weekends building products for Bitcoin SV (BSV).

“I see huge potential,” he says. Bitcoin could allow governments and banks to be more transparent. “If we do move over to Bitcoin as a currency …I think everyone’s going to be better off.”

He understands the scepticism among his City and IT colleagues: “because BTC [Bitcoin Core] has these limits in place, it couldn’t scale, so people who did go out and buy Bitcoin and try to use it, were like, ‘well, it’s not actually very good, is it?’.” With transaction fees rising to around $50, its prospects for being used as a global cash seemed “ridiculous.”

But Mark says the limits on transactions and high fees were artificial and the appearance of Bitcoin SV (BSV) has given him even more hope because it returns to the ideas of the original Bitcoin White Paper, of which Mark is a huge fan:

“When you consider Bitcoin as a whole, I see it like a Michelangelo painting: it’s a thing of beauty. If you look at the economics behind it, all the incentives behind it—how the miners are incentivised—if you look at the computer science breakthrough that happened to solve the Byzantine Generals problem, if you look at the game theory behind it, if you look at the law: all of these elements all come together in one package, and it’s just a beautiful thing.”

The developers at nChain are removing many of the limits imposed on BTC, and then “Bitcoin can really realise its potential.” It will make business more efficient by reducing their costs. All it will take it one large business to start using it.

The first big users of Bitcoin may turn out to be supply chain companies or payment processors, Mark believes. Converting to the blockchain would allow them to dispense with data centres full of servers. As for private blockchains, Mark believes “the whole point of a blockchain is for it to be a public ledger.”

Dr Craig Wright, Jimmy Nguyen and others have spoken of the need to achieve massive scaling on the BSV network—and Mark agrees: “we need to scale now.” With the mining block subsidy being halved again next year in line with how Bitcoin was set up, eventually “if there’s not significant volume, then the miners are going to leave—so we’ve got this ticking time bomb”. The answer to that problem is BSV, Mark says. It’s not only a stable platform in terms of the protocol, but nChain is committed to scaling. “If we don’t scale, it’s going to fail,” Mark says. “We need to see consistent large blocks though real world usage” for instance for data that needs to be immutably stored with proof of existence.

Mark believes that will happen—and “I really would love to see everybody using Bitcoin …If we moved over from an inflationary model to a stable model, we’re going to be much wealthier because money’s not going to be abused any more.”

To help things along, Mark has been making his own applications for BSV. The first is a Chrome extension for the Handcash wallet. To make it, Mark had to teach himself Javascript, among other things, over two or three weekends. After about a month, he says, he “managed to cobble something together that kind of worked”. You can try the Handcash Handle Converter for yourself: it converts a Handcash handle into a Bitcoin address. Or, thanks to fellow developer Derek Moore, who made use of Mark’s open source project, you can get the same functions on a website, handcash.to.

Mark’s second project is an analytics database, SVCharts, which produces Bitcoin trends, such as mining fees: “ultimately what I want to have is a self-service analytics platform.” The project includes an interesting monetisation model using MoneyButton.

You can watch the whole interview with Mark Allison on YouTube or listen on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast:

 

Please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is episode 14 of a weekly podcast series. Just search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe on iTunes, listen on Spotify or visit the CoinGeek Conversations website.

Canadian Billionaire Calvin Ayre Brings Popular CoinGeek Conference on Cryptocurrency to Toronto May 29-30

Have BSV, will travel – to Toronto

CoinGeek’s Toronto conference in May is offering an amazing deal. Pay in Bitcoin SV (BSV) and save yourself enough for a night on the town. Yes, there’s a discount of more than a third of the price – CAD$150 off the CAD$399 ticket – just for paying in the original Bitcoin.

And CoinGeek has made it easy to pay. Just register your details as you head for the checkout, to take advantage of this special bonus offer. When you’re paying, instead of the usual credit card option, just pick the button for BitcoinSV via CoinGate.

When you’ve agreed to the terms and conditions and clicked Place order, you’ll find that, with a little help from our friends at CoinGate, you’re given the price in BSV – currently an absolute bargain at only 2.763289 BSV.

Then comes the crypto magic: use the QR code or copy the address to send your payment. It’s as simple as that. You’re saving money, transaction fees and time – you won’t have to wait for your next credit card statement.

The Toronto conference will be celebrating the achievements and the incredible potential of Bitcoin SV, so it wouldn’t make sense for its organisers not to “eat their own dog food”, as they used to say in the world of Internet startups.

So whether you’re a BSV newbie or an old hand, take advantage of your access to BSV, to save some money – and prepare yourself for the future.

Michael Hudson: Money is just a measure of someone’s time and skill

Michael Hudson: Money is just a measure of someone’s time and skill

Michael Hudson says he founded Bitstocks in 2014 to help the “everyday investor” understand cryptocurrencies. That meant trying to “get rid of all these nerdy, geeky terms” and offering advice to people who want to gain access to crypto markets.

This year he’s launching Gravity, Bitstocks’ own “holistic ecosystem”, which is the company’s next step in making the crypto world easy to use for experts and non-specialists alike. Gravity is “a modern interpretation of what banking should look like in a new Bitcoin world.”

Michael has thought deeply about the theory of money – the intellectual framework through which the power of crypto can be explained: “money is just a measure of someone’s time and their skill. The more skill someone has, the less time it takes to perform a task. The more money you have, the more people you can hire with the skill, reducing the time. Money is a time measurement: the more you have, the more you condense time”.

Having been in crypto for five years – an eternity! – Bitstocks has experienced the rollercoaster ride of successive bull and bear markets. But Michael admits that the current downturn, stretching all the way back to the start of 2018, is different.

That’s because for the first time, there’s a level of “regulatory oversight” that’s never been part of the crypto world before. With more than 4000 cryptocurrencies out there, Michael predicts that “99 per cent of them are going to fall on the wrong side of regulation. So we see this as massively clearing up the market”.

In fact, Michael thinks that when it comes to the various competing cryptocurrencies, eventually “it’s inevitable that there’s only going to be one” – and Michael believes that will be Bitcoin SV (BSV). Success for BSV is all about encouraging more transactions, or “building density” in order to strengthen the network. BSV’s commitment to a stable protocol makes it the best candidate for that leading role: “you have to lock down the foundation, and then I’ll build my house on it”. All the other blockchains are “built on quicksand”.

Michael’s hopes for cryptocurrency extend way beyond London’s financial sector, and into the developing world: “Africa is a huge agenda for us here at Bitstocks”. Despite Western preconceptions, Michael says, African countries already have “the necessary prerequisites that allow them to step into modern banking”. For instance, with smartphones, you have “the hive mind of the world in the palm of your hand”.

The unique value of crypto as the basis of an economy is that “in crypto, there’s nobody to distort the value.” That’s partly because of the limited supply, for instance on the Bitcoin blockchain. That means that “as long as I’m measuring and weighting my time and skill in Bitcoin, over time, I know I’m always going to get a better return – because the value that I took initially, will be worth more four years down the road”.

Listen to more from Michael Hudson on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast:

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Jack Liu: Fulfilling the vision for Bitcoin

Jack Liu: Fulfilling the vision for Bitcoin

Senior executive Jack Liu is leaving his job at Circle to help fulfil the destiny that he sees for Bitcoin. He’s set out his thinking in a manifesto that, appropriately enough, he’s posted on the Bitcoin SV blockchain.

Starting with a quotation from the English poet and visionary William Blake (“to see a world in a grain of sand”), Jack’s message take the form of a letter “to my future self”. In it, he writes about the utopian future he hopes he’ll one day inhabit.

There’s no mention of Bitcoin in his post, but there are hints of themes that will be familiar to those who have speculated on the kind of changes that a complete crypto revolution might entail.

So, for instance, he hopes for his future self that “your world will be frictionless and marked by truth, freedom and fairness. Your world will truly be one that is defined by human imagination and honest work.”

Ideas that Bitcoin could allow the fair valuation of all work are hinted at in the desire that “people would be able to afford the one luxury that could not be bought – time – by reaping the true value of their labor.”

Jack’s taken risks to follow his belief in Bitcoin ever since he quit a well-paid job in investment banking and moved to Silicon Valley six years ago, to investigate the crypto business.

Since then, he’s worked in many different roles in crypto, most recently as Managing Director, Asia for the crypto finance company, Circle. Many of those roles, including Chief Strategy Officer at OKCoin, have meant building products that create better bridges between the worlds of fiat and crypto.

He explained the motivation behind his move: “this industry is so messed up right now,” he said. The problem is that today “we have one use case” – betting on the price of cryptocurrency. And that’s spawned numerous pointlessly competing coins. To realise the full efficiency gains that Bitcoin makes possible, Jack argues, we need more kinds of transactions, not just financial speculation: “a thousand different use cases, not a thousand different coins”.

As he explained in a recent podcast, he has a much bigger vision for crypto. Speaking to CoinGeek, Jack said that although he is “super-bullish” about the future of Bitcoin (“I’m a growth mindset person”), his latest message is intentionally cryptic – no pun intended. But it’s only the first announcement of his future plans, with more details to follow.

One of Jack’s concerns is the urgency of the need to increase the number of transactions on the blockchain because of the halving of the block reward next year. That way, miners will be compensated by transaction fees to make up for lower mining rewards. As to whether that can be done by next year, Jack sounds confident – and hints that his current plan involves working on a solution.

Finally, I asked why Jack is putting his faith in Bitcoin SV rather than other currencies. “I don’t think I’m picking BSV,” he said, “I think I’m picking Bitcoin.”

If Jack is right, “we are about to enter a new phase in the global economy”. Talk of a crypto bear market will end as the cyclical economy will be relegated to history. Fasten your seatbelts and stand by for a brighter Bitcoin future.

jimmy-nguyen-why-nchain-has-filed-so-many-patent-applications

Jimmy Nguyen: Why nChain has filed so many patent applications

Jimmy Nguyen is the first and founding President of the Bitcoin Association. He also chairs the Strategic Advisory Board for nChain – the two organisations being, as he puts it, “key supporters and backers of Bitcoin SV”.

As to why nChain is so busy filing patent applications, Jimmy says “it’s a bit of a race to the patent office. If we don’t file applications for some inventions, some other company’s going to come along and file something that bleeds over and blocks or claims a territory.”

Jimmy wrote about the issue on this website recently, noting with amusement that critics would doubtless make something of the fact that nChain had filed it’s 666th patent (see The devil is in the patent details).

“I know there are many people out in the cryptocurrency world who are sceptical and concerned about nChain’s IP programme.” But Jimmy says that nChain’s work is only possible if it can be protected, just as other businesses such as IBM and Bank of America are prolific in filing patents: “we are a private enterprise that invests a lot of money, time and team members into R&D development to unlock some amazing inventions – particularly out of Craig Wright’s head [nChain’s Chief Scientist]. And that has value to the world, but it costs money. And we will only invest in that if we can protect that.”

In defence of nChain’s patent filing, Jimmy says “we are doing work to try to grow the entire Bitcoin ecosystem”. As a business model, that means selectively charging developers for licencing nChain IP. Some nChain IP will be licenced for free for products supporting the SV blockchain: “that is a way for us to …entice companies to build on the Bitcoin SV blockchain. It’s a way of wielding IP power – I say, for good”.

On the question of Bitcoin SV governance, Jimmy says he can “definitely see a world one day where there is some type of …governing body.” Similar to the governance of the World Wide Web, it might include “some collection of main players in the ecosystem that have discussions and hopefully reach agreements on standards.” One important aspect would be to achieve interoperability – between wallets for instance.

Jimmy is sceptical about companies trying to create their own private blockchains instead of using a public one like SV: “essentially, if it’s all maintained by one company, that’s not really a blockchain …When a company comes along and says ‘I’ve got a new blockchain project’ and if they are the only ones who get to tell you whether you get to act on that blockchain, and they control the permission to it and they run the mining nodes on it, that’s not really a blockchain – it’s like a private database.” For Jimmy, the idea of a blockchain entails some public element: that makes the blockchain ideal for business uses, rather than for the more limited use inside a single company.

Pressed on whether he believes Craig Wright is, as he claims, Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious originator of Bitcoin, Jimmy offers a personal view from working closely with Craig that “he has an understanding of [the Bitcoin protocol] that is beyond anyone I’ve ever seen …and I think that it’s very clear that he was working at the very beginning of Bitcoin”. Jimmy ends with a smile: “and from that, people can draw whatever conclusions they want!”

Listen to more from Jimmy, including his thoughts on the “unlikely trio” of senior figures in the world of Bitcoin SV that he forms with Craig Wright and businessman Calvin Ayre:

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