Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
Bitcoin advocates have spent the past few years trying to sell cryptocurrency to the skeptical mainstream, who tend to be scared that bitcoin is an untrustworthy mirage fit only for drug dealers and criminals. But now that there laws are in the works to help bitcoin become a part of the legit world of financial tech, activists are saying that those laws undo everything bitcoin stands to offer in the first place.
New York State’s attempt to help bitcoin go legit has been the proposal of a “BitLicense,” a license from the Department of Financial Services (DFS) for cryptocurrency businesses that would allow bitcoin startups to operate legally. The license would force companies to comply with a list of legislative demands, including keeping currency receipts, having compliance officers and telling the DFS every time a potential emergency arises.
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Most of us do contribute to some sites like this. We write reviews, post pictures, and make lengthy or funny comments. We even recruit new users for them by inviting our friends, family, and our co-workers to join them.
In other words, we are the reason these sites are so popular. We are the reason these sites are so valuable.
Our contributions are the reason people come to these sites day after day, so why don’t we get some ownership for our contributions.
Hits and Misses
Bitcoin has had a history of milestones: the first pizza paid for with Bitcoin, the first house bought in Bitcoin, the first sports team sponsored in cryptocurrency — but for the first time in history, Bitcoin is about to bring two people together in crypto-anarchic matrimony.
This weekend at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Bitnation’s David Mondrus and Joyce Bayo will have a wedding ceremony that concludes with the newlyweds recording their wedding agreement on the Blockchain via Bitcoin ATM. It’s the world’s first ever “Bitmarriage” as the Bitnation blog puts it in a post that’s the world’s first love-story/blockchain-explainer hybrid.
Yesterday, a rumor surfaced on deep web blog DeepDotWeb that Comcast was going to start blocking users of Tor, an anonymous web browser. Comcast Vice President Jason Livingood immediately and rightfully called bullshit, because for all of its customer service foibles, Comcast knows that preventing people from browsing the Internet anonymously would be a daring infringement on user privacy.
The confusion came to rest shortly after the posting of a Business Insider story called “Comcast Denies It Will Cut Off Customers Who Use Tor, The Web Browser For Criminals.” Besides reaffirming the simple notion that you shouldn’t just believe something you read on a subreddit, the story — which was viewed over 22,000 times — reaffirms the notion that Tor is a tool for evil.
Social Network of No
A hacker has appeared to have gained access to Satoshi Nakamoto’s email account, and is now threatening to sell the elusive Bitcoin creator’s personal information to anyone with 25BTC — or around $12,000 — to spare.
The hacker took to anonymous posting site Pastebin to lay out the terms of their shady offer, the Guardian reports.
App creators are often surprised by how people end up using their creations. Unfortunately for *diaspora, a hands-off social network that allows people to control their own decentralized groups, their software is being used by terrorists.
Terrorist organization ISIS has now fled other social networks to the aptly named diaspora*, a company that, by its own admission, can’t actually kick anyone off of their network. diaspora* has responded by publishing a blog post advising their citizen moderators how to deal with accounts that could belong to terrorist organizations:
diaspora* is a completely decentralized network which, by its nature, consists of many small servers exchanging posts and messages. There is no central server, and there is therefore no way for the project’s core team to manipulate or remove contents from a particular node in the network (which we call a “pod”). This may be one of the reasons which attracted IS activists to our network.
My homie George Ruan is a serial entrepreneur with experience in China. Both of us are passionate about Bitcoin. China is my favorite country, and – especially with the advent of Bitcoin – the Chinese Internet intrigues me. Chinese people do everything better than us, so I am pretty sure someday the Chinese Internet will be much better than our crappy Internet. The Chinese version of Genius is going to be way better, for sure, since the entire website is a Confucian concept…
George was kind enough to sit me down and school me to the memes. He is currently the CEO of Honey, dope startup in Pasadena.
Since cryptocurrency cultists began buzzing about bitcoin years ago, they’ve hinted that bitcoin’s technology might have much bigger implications than the ability to just move around digital coins. As Bitcoin startups become fintech’s latest craze, these kinds of applications are starting to rear their head in the startup community.
Blocksign, a startup that launches this morning, is using bitcoin’s giant records database, the Blockchain, to build an entirely un-financial application. Their service lets you sign legally binding documents and agreements in the same system that keeps all records of bitcoin transactions.
At first, bitcoin was just the purview of cryptography nerds and libertarian redditors. Since then, digital currencies have been used to fund everything from World Cup betting rings to congressional elections. Now that bitcoin is out in front of legislators and safer than ever to use, investors are starting to pour record amounts into bitcoin startups.
From April through June of this year, bitcoin startups pulled in a record $76.8 million in investments, which is almost as much as the entirety of 2013, CB Insights reports.