Nov 282013

Real Value Bitcoin

The price of Bitcoin has been skyrocketing, increasing more than 10 times in the last two and a half months, and the media is going nuts. Nuts, because they don’t know a thing about Bitcoin. Every Tom, Dick and Harry with any major “respectable” outlet gets to write his “opinion”, each one a masterpiece onto itself (I forget, someone remind me of that analogy about opinions again please). Seems like the more respectable the outlet, the more ignorant the opinions. For instance, this guy, who thinks he “single handedly sent the price of Bitcoin soaring” (no that’s not a typo and no I am not drunk. Yet), writes for the highly respectable New York Times. Speaking of highly respectable New York Times, here’s A Prediction: Bitcoin is Doomed to Fail (yes, that’s the title, I don’t make titles up for the highly respectable New York Times), a highly respectable opinion of a highly respectable author of a highly respectable publication starting with the sentence “The developers of bitcoin are trying to show that money can be successfully privatized”. You can’t make this up. I stopped reading, and so should you.

So as the media continues to do whatever it does, there are other “real” developments in this space. All these people who have no idea what Bitcoin is, predict its doom because they don’t see a “real” value. They don’t see what it is “backed by”. They don’t consider it real money because they can’t go to the corner grocery store and buy their New York Times with Bitcoin yet. Behind this doom and gloom of course is real progress.

I wrote an article about two months ago, which asked What Would Happen if Bitcoin reaches $1000? I didn’t expect it to happen so soon but I also stand by it. Like my first point, “More (Stupid) News Coverage”. Also, my fifth point was Remittances. Remittances is a huge area where Bitcoin has a lot of potential to begin with. People using Bitcoin to send money will need to cover much less in fees than the average 8-10% today through wire transfers and Western Union, depending, once again, on the number of middle men (still waiting for the time when Bitcoin to sovereign money conversion will become moot!)

Today, there’s good development in the remittances space for Bitcoin. BitPesa in Kenya is working on this for the Kenyans. I’ll let you read the article, but the implications are clear. There is clearly “real” value for Bitcoin and slowly, one industry at a time, will be revolutionized. After all, what is fundamentally more disruptive than a redefined monetary system?

At the end of the day, remember that Bitcoin is a technology that will take time for mass adoption. It is well suited for certain purposes and ill suited for others (e.g. buying drugs. Cash is still the king in that aspect since it is anonymous and you can do a lot of bad things with cash without ever being tracked). As a base protocol, it has already seen a lot of success. The real value addition will happen with the services built on top of the Bitcoin protocol. With something that is fundamentally so different as Bitcoin, you need a fundamentally different paradigm to understand it, rather than narrow ‘gold 2.0’ or ‘volatile currency that can never survive’ type of perspectives. Now if only I were as highly reputable as the New York Times …

Photo Credit: Michelle Bender

Nov 182013


Crypto-equity, instead of just plain crypto-currency, might be the future of Bitcoin-like projects including alt-coins. So what is crypto-equity and has it been tried yet?

Crypto-equity was first successfully tried and implemented by Invictus Innovations (correct me if there are earlier instances) by launching ProtoShares, which is crypto-equity for several other projects in the pipeline, most notably BitShares. ProtoShares has been a pretty successful launch, even though it’s just been 2 weeks. In this short time-span, the market cap of ProtoShares has risen to be greater than Peercoin, which has been around for a much longer time. Why is it? Because ProtoShares is more than an alt-coin, it is crypto-equity.

What is Crypto-Equity?

Crypto-equity looks like a regular crypto-currency in that it has a blockchain, proof-of-work and other elements. However, it differs in one fundamental respect: there is a promise to fork crypto-equity into a future product by the development team. This means anything this dev-team makes in the future, you’ll get an automatic share in it if you hold crypto-equity. This is a pretty neat concept and has several advantages such as –

  • Show People the Team is Serious: There is no pre-mine or other incentive for the development team. All they have is crypto-equity. For it to have value in the future, the team needs to be committed to their idea. The team mines crypto-equity just like everyone else. However, they will likely be more invested in this and spend more on hardware because they believe in their ideas.
  • Good Compensation for the Development Team: Pre-mining is frowned upon on the community and with good reason. Through crypto-equity, the dev team is on the same level playing field as everyone else in the world. However, it is likely that they will invest more in mining because of higher stakes. When future ideas of this dev-team take off, they get a higher compensation through a stake in everything they create, since they hold a higher percentage of crypto-equity.
  • Investing in Ideas: Crypto-equity allows you to invest in ideas before they become reality and before they are fully implemented.
  • You can Own Many Things: The team can create several new products and you get a share in each one of them through crypto-equity. Thus the crypto-equity continues to have value as long as new products are being created.
  • A Ready Community: In addition, anyone else holding the same crypto-equity could fork it to create a new product, so as to leverage an already enthusiastic population of people. When you launch, you have a core group that has invested in crypto-equity and they will automatically be invested in your idea as well. This makes it easier to raise a community around your new products.

In the case of Invictus and ProtoShares, the holder of ProtoShares automatically gets ownership in BitShares, DomainShares, and other products to be released by Invictus. If you have a good idea, you might want to buy some ProtoShares yourself and fork your product off of it, because you give the already formed community an investment in your idea, thus increasing the chances of its success.

Crypto-equity is a great way to build a new product in this space, and I think it will catch on with more and more teams adopting the idea.

Photo Credit: Kevin Trotman

Nov 172013

One Bitcoiners

There are only so many members allowed in this club. About 21 million, theoretically, but probably close to 1-2 million now and perhaps never exceeding 5 million. That’s a few million people out of a population of 6.5 billion. Are you one of them? Welcome to the elite club of One Bitcoiners.

No matter how divisible Bitcoins are, there is still a psychological charm of saying you own a full Bitcoin. One full Bitcoin. What it’s value is in terms of government money or goods and services it can buy fluctuates greatly. Recently, it’s been on the rise. It’s usually pretty volatile. But the underlying is still the same – One Bitcoin.

Who are these one Bitcoiners? Either the early adopters or the rich adopters. Some have contributed greatly to the underlying infrastructure and made it possible for the world to use Bitcoin and continue to innovate on top of the protocol. Think of the core developer team. Others, meanwhile, are the rich who have money to buy up some Bitcoin. Think the Winklevii. No matter. They are all early in terms of what Bitcoin can become. A generation down the line, it would hardly matter if you knew of Bitcoin in 2011 or 2012, considering you still hold on to your prestigious One Bitcoin.

The early team consists of a dizzying array of people on the ‘fringe’. The cypherpunks. The cyberpunks. The anarchists. The libertarians. The dreamers. The thinkers. The technolophiles. People who envision a world different from the rest, and are happy to remain on the fringes. Only this time around, they might see their initial love turn into something more mainstream and make them wealthy in the process. Who knew.

Wealth creation is seldom egalitarian, but the egalitarian nature of Bitcoin is how the barriers to entry are nil at the initial stages and then it gradually keeps increasing, rewarding the early adopters. It’s not limited to the current power structure of the wealthy and elite, although it helps if you’ve got a few hundred million lying around. The people who’ve created this idea and worked at its concept are people who love and believe in the idea, irrespective of their background. If Bitcoin does catch on in a big way, the next generation would be within its rights to complain about our generation having it easy. They wouldn’t be able to fathom how hard the initial days were, with constant life-threatening onslaughts coming from all sectors, from politicians to media to hackers.

What the future holds is hard to speculate. Buried deep inside the day to day fluctuations of Bitcoin vs. the US Dollar is an idea, a silent revolution that can truly remake the world we know. It has the potential to do things never thought possible and open up new facets of the economy, giving power back to the people in a truly decentralized way. It’s about the potential, it’s about an uncertain future we can all help create, a part of one big story.

Remember the One Bitcoiners were once just ordinary folk who believed in an idea and were willing to take a chance on that idea. And today, they are One Bitcoiners. It will forever remain a highly selective club and no matter how good the people are, the masses cannot get entry to the club. Which side of the gate are you at?

Photo Credit: Doug Wheller

Nov 132013

Bitcoin Price Crash

As the price of Bitcoin hovers around $400, with the price rising more than $50 in a day and more than doubling in a month, people seem to be anticipating a crash. This isn’t unusual or unexpected. BTC/USD has a history of high volatility and subsequent recovery. In fact, almost ironically, it’s the people who know Bitcoin the longest who seem to anticipate a crash soon considering the crashes in the past. However, as wrong as it might seem looking into the future, this could be a crash that would never come.

Firstly, it is almost naive to think that one can predict the next crash based on the previous two well-known crashes. This is because the history of BTC/USD is so little, projecting trends almost makes no sense. There are too many factors at play. The recent price rise can be attributed to everything from institutional investors to favorable media coverage to Chinese appetite for Bitcoin. How are we to know how these factors affect the price now and in the future?

At the core, remember that Bitcoin is still a nascent technology and will invariably go through the technical adoption curve. That takes time. The price might be volatile, but many other metrics are steadily increasing. How many people have heard about Bitcoin, and how many people own any number of Bitcoin, would be on a gradual rise. The number of businesses accepting Bitcoin is on a steady rise. The number of Bitcoin startups in on the rise.

We didn’t see much price appreciation this year from March-October even though this adoption increased several fold. BitPay has over 10,000 businesses now and growing. It’s better to concentrate on such concrete statistics than just the price, which can be subject to large speculative power.

Speaking about this time, there seems to be a constant and steady demand for Bitcoins even with a lot of trading and speculating going on, at ever increasing prices. The bigger fish are in the market, who can afford to pay big bucks for the Bitcoin they acquire. Of course, I am not predicting that the price won’t crash, but it is quite possible that it wouldn’t. The market dynamics are different in each rise and crash, and this might very well be the rise without an immediate crash.

Oct 212013
Dawn of Autonomous Corporations Bitcoin

Still waiting for Bitcoin to be accepted at Amazon and eBay? Forget it. Bitcoin will power the next generation of corporations and the only way to deal with those corporations will be through Bitcoin (that’s right, they won’t, or rather can’t, accept fiat like US Dollar). These ideas may seem futuristic, but they are not more than 5 years away, maybe 10.

Autonomous Corporations

That’s right, autonomous corporations will be a new breed of corporations that act and behave, for all practical purposes, just like regular corporations. However, no one ‘owns’ them. Not the creator, not the customers, not the governments, no one really. Sound familiar?

Bitcoin can be thought of as the first real autonomous ‘corporation’ although you probably don’t see it that way. Think about it – it provides a payment protocol and employs miners to maintain that protocol. The employs are rewarded with ‘stock’ that is split at most into 21 million units. You don’t have to think of Bitcoin this way to get to autonomous corporations, though it will help.

The idea is the same – this corporation has revenues, expenditures and profits. However, once again, no one owns this entity, it owns itself. The reason it exists is to provide a service at an extremely competitive price that no human-based corporation can provide, so they’ll work higher up the chain to provide ‘value-added’ services.

How Does this Work?

  • The corporation is completely decentralized, so no one can really shut it down. It lives in the cloud. It finds the cheapest and most reliable servers and lives there. This is also the biggest source of the corporation’s expenditure.
  • Revenues come from people using the service. For instance, if it is a file-sharing service, like StorJ, revenues could be anything that regular file-sharing services have – paid hosting, advertising, etc.
  • People will make all attempts to rob this poor corporation of its money. This means it needs to keep the private key really private and decentralized. This also means major code changes, written by humans, will need to be tested on a child first.
  • It also needs to establish a protocol for communication (HTTP might not cut it in a decentralized network) through which people will interact with the corporation.

This kind of corporation isn’t restricted to live online. If the hardware exists (which might take time), you could have, say, self-driving cars owned by this corporation. These are being worked on right now, and the first ones shouldn’t be that far away into the future. See also Vitalik’s series on decentralized autonomous corporations.

Bitcoin makes this possible, for the first time ever, because it provides a payment protocol that is independent of an entity and since this autonomous corporation cannot deal with banks (for all practical reasons), Bitcoin solves the major missing piece of the equation – payments. Bitcoin makes it possible to program a corporation to accept payments and make payments without having to deal with any intermediaries that cannot be trusted. If you want to deal with such a corporation, you better have Bitcoin or any other potential decentralized crypto-currency.

The last pieces of centralization are removed with a system like Namecoin that is decentralized DNS system that the autonomous corporation uses as its website/front where it interacts with people. There will ideally be a decentralized identity system, like the Keyhotee system. Communication can take place through something like Bitmessage or through the Keyhotee mailing system that is decentralized. The autonomous corporation cannot afford a central point of failure for essential functions.

Value of Bitcoin

This is just one example where a protocol like Bitcoin can completely revolutionize the world we live in. Lets look at the big picture. Who cares if eBay accepts Bitcoin? The real value of Bitcoin lies in economies that don’t yet exist. Now that Bitcoin has reached another high since the last run-up, there will be several calls of a bubble. Lets not forget the real strengths of Bitcoin in the day to day price fluctuations. These don’t measure the value of Bitcoin and what it can be. And all people seem to care about is drawing parallels to tulips!

Jan 2014 Update

This post generated a lot of very good discussion on Hacker News. This is a follow-up post expanding on some thoughts in the original article.

I want to follow up on my original article on how a technology like Bitcoin can enable autonomous corporations to take root. A few commentators didn’t like the use of the word ‘corporation’, considering the legal implications of such. I guess autonomous entities would be more accurate, but I’ll stick with corporations for the sake of consistency. If you don’t like it, just replace corporation with entity.

Also, as another note, I discuss two broad structures of autonomous corporations. Neither of them is anywhere close to ‘singularity’. This could be considered AI but it isn’t anything remotely ‘futuristic’ in the way that these would be our overlords. In fact, many of these ideas are already in existence today, starting with Bitcoin, and many others would become reality in the near-future, in say 5-10 years time. These autonomous corporations are fully autonomous, but still fairly ‘dumb’. The real power comes from services they can provide that have real economic value, based on a completely human-run world.

Structure of Autonomous Corporations

There are two broad categories of autonomous corporations that can exist. I discuss both of these below. The main structure to look for is where the ownership and control lies. On the control side of things, by virtue of being autonomous, this corporation/entity has no central control, not even the inventors/founders. By nature of its design, it controls itself (think Bitcoin) and it lives and dies by this principle. I’ll discuss these in more detail below.

1. Distributed Ownership, No Centralized Control

Ownership is where an autonomous corporation will differ significantly from a regular corporation. In a publicly traded corporation, for example, the ownership is distributed but the control is centralized with the management. In an autonomous corporation, there shouldn’t be any centralized control.


The simplest base case of this form of ownership and control structure is of course Bitcoin. The ownership is distributed as ‘shares’ – think of each Bitcoin as representing one share in the corporation. The corporation provides some service (value transmission, store of value, asset registry, implementation and enforcement of contracts, etc.) and the value is distributed to the shareholders. However, the Bitcoin network also needs some external help to survive, so it pays ‘miners’ to perform a proof-of-work computation to secure the ledger and prevent double spending. This is paid from two different sources – stock payment (creation of new Bitcoin) and charging service fee (transaction fees). After 2140, only the latter is left.

Shareholder value is distributed in the form of capital appreciation for Bitcoin and most other crypto-currencies. There are proposals for including dividends in newer ideas like Bitshares.

On the employee front, the employees are different from owners although employees are paid in company stock. The employees include miners who secure the network. The development is open source and therefore not really ‘paid for’ although the early development team knew about the project and mined, and therefore has a stake in Bitcoin. This can potentially, down the road, create the infamous Principal Agent Problem but we are pretty far away from that stage.

Bitcoin was the first truly autonomous corporation that opened the doors for future ideas. There are several interesting ideas that improve upon this or experiment with different value propositions.

Proof of Stake or Owners as Employees

The principal agent problem can be overcome by proof of stake, first implemented in Peercoin. I won’t go into the full details here, but know that it is imperfect, but a way to avoid the ‘miners’ working off on their own, that doesn’t benefit the ‘owners’ (e.g. centralized pool controls and corresponding power abuse). This isn’t perfect, but it’s a start. It also doesn’t need a lot of expenditure in terms of employee compensation and can thus retain more shareholder value. Distribution is always a challenge though, e.g. NXT, but if a beneficial service can be provided, its effects are minimized.

Additional Services to Increase Shareholder Value

Primecoin was the first to provide additional services besides value transfers/asset registers etc. to branch out beyond the regular value sources of crypto-currencies. The proof of work involves computing cunningham chains that are useful in Mathematics. Namecoin does the same through a decentralized DNS system that is very useful as there is no central point of failure. Although these don’t have a tremendous economic value at this stage, this is the first idea how an autonomous corporation can use distributed computing to solve problems and thereby increase the overall value for shareholders.

Hiring Additional Employees

Remember how we said that these aren’t ‘highly intelligent machines’ that can do everything by themselves? They need humans in the form of development work, mining, etc. Memorycoin, a new altcoin, pushed the envelope to include, within the protocol of the blockchain to hire 5 employees for development, marketing, network effects, etc. This is the first instance of a blockchain hiring people directly to do activities that promote the autonomous corporation and increase its overall value instead of just securing the network. These positions are paid in company stock just like for miners. Read more about it here.

In addition to hiring employees, Memorycoin created the first real voting mechanism in the blockchain, where one-coin-one-vote system was implemented. This could branch off into several future corporate decisions, so instead of having a board of members decide future direction, it could be the owners themselves in a purely democratic voting system.

Further Reading:
Bootstrapping a DAC
DACs Revisited

2. Self Ownership, No Centralized Control

These are a very different type of autonomous corporations that retain control of their ownership, so they are 100% self-owned instead of distributing equity. The corporation retains the full proceeds of its economic activity instead of being distributed among shareholders. Think of this as a private, non-publicly traded corporation.

Since there is no ‘stock’, this corporation needs to figure out ways to pay its employees, contractors, vendors, service providers, etc. in real money rather than stock. The only way for such a fully autonomous entity to hold and spend money is through crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.

There needs to be an economic incentive for people to design these autonomous entities, and if there isn’t capital appreciation (remember not even the founder holds any ‘stock’ in this entity), then there needs to be another mechanism. This should be a debt-based rather than an equity-based incentive structure.

This means, every autonomous corporation starts off with a debt to its founder. After it gets enough revenues and converts this into earnings, it pays the owner back, at which stage, it is completely debt-free. I’ll discuss why this model is useful below when I discuss further financing and future development – the creation of ‘children’.

If it’s no longer economically viable to operate, the corporation can shut down or try to enter a new market, just like any other ‘real-world corporation’.

There are a few challenges in this design –

  • Spending and securing Bitcoin: Human-run cloud operators will try to steal the Bitcoin by trying to grab the private keys.
  • Future development: Hiring humans can be tricky because they can try to get away with shoddy work or worse, try to create a backdoor to steal the corporation’s money.
  • Financing: Sometimes, the corporation might need money for a profitable project. It needs to work through financing requirements, especially at the initial stages of development.
  • Independence: The autonomous corporation needs to figure out a way to live on a distributed network and migrate with ease. Otherwise, it is at the mercy of one cloud service provider who can decide to shut this down.
  • Transparency: There should be a way to increase the customer’s trust and help troubleshoot problems if they encounter any.
  • Dispute Resolution: There needs to be a way to address disputes. Transparency helps, and in an ideal world, everything is dispute-free but there needs to be a fair ‘trial’ in case things go wrong.

One can work out, bit by bit, the solutions to all these problems. Here are some ideas in this direction. Needless to say, it requires a lot of community effort in this direction with various iterations.

  • Bitcoins can be secured by using the N of M signature transactions and Shamir’s secret sharing to help secure keys across multiple instances, so no one agency can steal the Bitcoins.
  • Any changes to the source code of the autonomous corporation needs to be tested on children. Since the parent is paying for the development work that creates the children, the child-corporations come into existence exactly like the first parent – through a debt to the parent instead of the creator. The parent monitors the child, and if it is happy with its existence, will adopt the new source-code conditionally.
  • Financing needs to be through debt issuance. Debt issuance can be complex, e.g. which party gets priority if money is running low. This part can be very innovative, and I suspect a heavy use of smart contracts.
  • The code needs to be modular and easy enough to compile and execute on several servers and in case of any problems, kill the process, remove all traces of code and migrate to a new process. This also needs to make sure there are no traces of private keys left and if there are, then migrate the money to a new wallet.
  • I think all the logs can be published and made public on a website, with a decentralized DNS using namecoin (so there’s no central point of failure). The corporation can also hire programmers (or this could be done at inception by the creator) to create additional pages on the website that parses the data and displays relevant information.
  • Dispute resolution needs to be done in a decentralized way, perhaps through random assignments of people using the network and giving them a small financial incentive for the same. The identities of these people need to be anonymous. There are lots of improvements on this model of course.

These are obviously starting-point ideas. There is a lot of innovation possible in this space, and we can only imagine the kinds of interesting creations possible in the future.

Further Reading:
Video of Mike Hearn Speaking at Turing Festival 2013

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Share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo Credit: Jarod

Oct 182013

When Bitcoin reaches $1000

The recent standoff in US Congress regarding increasing the debt-limit had a small effect on Bitcoin but not that much. It is doubtful that even if the US defaults/defaulted on its debt, Bitcoin would see a huge influx (read Danny Bradbury’s Coindesk article for a good analysis). However, I think the price of Bitcoin measured in USD will be on an upward trend now that the infrastructure around the Bitcoin protocol is more stable, there are established exchanges and merchants are adopting the crypto-currency. It is probably only a matter of time before a Bitcoin is worth more than $1000. How would this affect the Bitcoin users, and how will things be then? Here’s what I think –

  • More (Stupid) News Coverage: The media will find another reason to write about Bitcoin and crypto-currencies and there will be more ‘pundits’ in the financial media talking about Bitcoin who haven’t gotten the slightest clue about Bitcoin. This is happening already but will only accelerate. Brace up CNN and Bloomberg.
  • Get used to mBTC: Things will be priced more and more in milli-BTC rather than BTC, as 1mBTC will be equivalent to $1. There will be too many zeroes after the decimal point and that can confuse the people buying things in Bitcoin.
  • Extensions of the Bitcoin Protocol: Bitcoin isn’t just an ‘internet gold’ or a ‘credit card killer’. It is, first and foremost, a technological revolution and there is absolutely no reason to think that innovation will stall. I predict a number of extensions of the Bitcoin protocol to include more mainstream features like escrow payments, conflict resolutions, N of M signatures, assurance contracts, etc. and also alt-coins that are merge-mined with Bitcoin such as Namecoin was.
  • More Push from China: Bigger Chinese businesses will probably be ahead of the adoption curve than the US business. Alibaba will probably start accepting Bitcoins before Amazon does.
  • Remittances: At least one serious company will solve the problem of remittances using Bitcoin seriously where it will make the transfer using Bitcoins and will provide and end-to-end service that uses just local currencies but at a much lower fees/rate. A country like Argentina is perfect because it is a good case of ‘balance of payments’ in that there are willing locals who would buy Bitcoin as a store of wealth and workers from other countries willing to remit in Bitcoin.
  • Mini-celebrities: The people behind the Bitcoin businesses and developers will get more media coverage and spotlight. Perhaps a Time Magazine cover for Gavin Anderson? The founder of Bitcoin is faceless, but that doesn’t mean the media will not love to create some. Sadly, I doubt it will be the actual developers and probably more clueless self-proclaimed financial pundits but maybe the main-stream media can do something sensible for a change.
  • Legislation in US Congress: Bitcoin will be discussed in Congress and laws written around crypto-currencies. It is hard to predict which direction it will take though – whether it will leave room for US innovation or just try to kill it. In any case, it wouldn’t matter too much to Bitcoin as the rest of the world is too important to ignore, whether the US is aboard the ship or not.

What do you think?

Photo Credit: iSchumi

Oct 142013

Ross Ulbricht Silk Road Meme

That silk road was bused by the feds and the alleged owner Ross Ulbricht is in custody is old news. The FBI transferred all the Bitcoins they could seize in a Bitcoin wallet with the message ‘Silkroad Seized Coins’. You can see the wallet here. Of course, people wanted to send a message to the FBI and among the various sob stories asking for donations to clever businesses promoting themselves, there were of course the interesting quotes that people wanted to share. Here is a collection-

Quotable Quotes

  • Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. -Abraham Lincoln
  • All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come. ~Victor Hugo
  • You can jail a Revolutionary, but you can’t jail the Revolution. — Huey Newton
  • “They’ll say we’re disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war” – Howard Zinn
  • If the people allow private banks to control the issue of their currency-will deprive the people of all property-more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies-The issuing power should be restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs~Jefferson
  • The designer of a new kind of system must participate fully in the implementation. — Donald E. Knuth
  • If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny. – Thomas Jefferson
  • “Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” -Thomas Jefferson

Thoughts on Drugs

  • Take the drugs, take the domain, but don’t take the people’s bitcoins. This seizure was only legal because bitcoin is not recognized as a currency.
  • You see, I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don’t believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and burn them.
  • I think it’s interesting the two drugs that are legal, alcohol and cigarettes, two drugs that do absolutely nothing for you at all; and the drugs that might open your mind up to realize how badly you’re being fucked every day of your life?
  • Why do we put people who are on drugs in jail? They’re sick, they’re not criminals. Sick people don’t get healed in prison. You see? It makes no sense.
  • Marijuana: a drug that kills … no one – and let’s put it in a time frame – ever. Illegal.
  • There is nothing wrong with drug use or trade, since both are voluntary acts and do no harm to the third parties. (Unlike the government apparatus which is based on use of and threats of violence.) Why on the Earth should _this_ be prosecuted?
  • The only way to have a drug-free world is to have a people-free world. And even then, the animals will get stoned.

Thoughts on Government

  • What we’re doing isn’t about scoring drugs or ‘sticking it to the man.’ It’s about standing up for our rights as human beings and refusing to submit when we’ve done no wrong.
  • I am so sad and ashamed at the current state of affairs in America. I love this country but I am overwhelmed by the wealth disparity and complete dysfunction of our federal government. What legacy are we leaving our children?
  • We the PEOPLE Claim the Common Law and waive any and all benefits. US Government, you have not only FAILED the people. We the PEOPLE stand united against this usurpation. We the People do no longer consent, and demand you to abate at law.
  • The mythology of government Is worshipped by the superstitious They fear and don’t understand Real freedom If I am to be free I must allow Others to be free
  • Isn’t the government supposed to be shut dooown? Will you be able to shut any website down in a month’s time with no money?
  • This page shows how Bitcoin is more transparent than the US government.

Thoughts on Politics

  • Obama. Your war on drugs is terrorism. If you banned breathing we would all be criminals. Prohibition is terrorism. Your war on immigrants is terrorism. Human beings are not illegal because of superstitious imaginary lines on a map.
  • Obama :- Satoshi will make more positive change to the world than you ever promised.
  • I loved when Bush came out and said, “We are losing the war against drugs.” You know what that implies? There’s a war being fought, and the people on drugs are winning it.
  • This is a donation for the US government which is in desperate need for money these days. Consider this a small contribution to get around the fiscal cliff.
  • You can shut down Napster but you can’t stop file sharing. Same for Silk Road.