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340 BTC

October, 2011 was when I first heard about Bitcoin. A friend excitedly told me about it, that the price had crashed, that it could be 'mined', and that it could be purchased on exchanges. He didn't own any, but he found it interesting, and so did I. I was instantly interested in acquiring some coins. That the price had 'crashed' meant a buying opportunity, and I further saw it as evidence that the system was somehow free, and had a life of its own. I did not purchase any right away, regretfully, since the coins were about $3 each. I did do some initial research, calculating mining profitability, and looking into the process for buying coins on MtGox. I also read about the thefts and hacks. I found it intuitive these incidents were matters of endpoint-security, and not reflective of a systemic weakness. Yet I would have much to learn if I was to avoid becoming a victim. I continued to casually follow Bitcoin developments, and occasionally checked the price.
Eight months later I came across a Timothy B. Lee article in Forbes that detailed the Bitcoin Richlist. It was my catalyst. It was time for a technical deep dive, time to understand what gave people the confidence to entrust millions of dollars of value to the system. Of everything I read that day, it wasn't the proof-of-work that seemed revolutionary, but simply the fact that a lost private key meant the coins would be irrecoverable. That signified Bitcoin put true and total control of money into the hands of users, and for that it was different and worthwhile. I decided to invest. All that was left was working out the mechanics of the transaction. And security. I was determined to not fall victim to a hack. An offline, paper wallet seemed like the easy choice. The price was in the $6 - $7 range.
My first purchase went though MoneyGram and Coinapult, with MtGox as my receiving wallet. I put in $150, and got out $130 worth of coins. The price had surged in the few days since I decided to buy, to slightly under $10 per coin. I transferred the coins off of MtGox and onto my paper wallet, and it all felt very real! I wanted to buy more, and settled on CoinFloor to avoid the hefty fees I paid the first time. CoinFloor also allowed for instant fiat funding via a deposit at a bank teller window. Depositing $900 directly into a bank account was not without risk, but CoinFloor came through and the money was credited within 5 minutes. It all went flawlessly, and soon with my 100 coins spread out over a few different paper wallets, I could rest easy, without fear of a hack.
Edit - I meant BitFloor, not CoinFloor
I occasionally checked the price, tested out Satoshi Dice, and read a little more on the technical underpinnings, but other than that, I mostly forgot about my Bitcoin investment for the next 6 months. Then, in early 2013, I read about a few seed rounds in Bitcoin startups, and I saw pictures of a Bitcoin booth at the CES is Las Vegas. Somehow that booth, with the Bitcoin logo, made it all seem even more legitimate. The price had climbed into the $14 - $15 range, and I wanted more coin. CoinFloor had been hacked and was out of commission. This time I would use the Dwolla to MtGox method of funding. I found myself seriously regretting not having done Gox's verification the previous summer, as the price quickly climbed while I waited. When my verification finally cleared, the price had shot up to $19, and I transferred in several thousand dollars and bought another ~150 coins. Over the next few months I kept buying until the price crossed $100 per coin. In total, I had put in about $10,000 for 340 coins. I worked part-time, with an annual income of about $25,000, so that $10,000 felt substantial.
The rise to $266 was exhilarating, as was the following surge to $1242. I mostly held, but sometimes tried to time the market with a small position (always 10% of holdings or less). I sold some coins the first time Bitcoin passed the $400 mark to recoup my initial investment, and I arbitraged when it was profitable. I lost a then-painful amount of fiat on MtGox, but not any coins. I held tight during the long bear market, with absolute confidence that the price would find a non-zero bottom, and it would only be up from there. The ecosystem was growing, the technology was maturing, and investment money was pouring in, and yet the price continued to decline. I would have loved to buy more, but doing so would have been truly irresponsible from a diversification perspective.
I have largely stayed away alt-coins, but I did mine-and-dump those I found annoying, and mined and held the one that I found interesting - Ethereum. I reluctantly pushed some BTC into Ethereum early this year, which turned out to be a good move. In total, over the past 5 years, I have returned about 200x on my initial investment, in the current form of about 250 BTC, about 700 ETH and approximately $300k of other liquid assets. The result is almost identical to a pure buy-and-hold from the beginning, but I felt the need to hedge as valuations changed over time. I feel no pressure to sell more coins, though I probably would convert a few in the $20k-$40k range, prices which I have long seen as likely, if not inevitable.
I am in my early 30's. Ask Me Anything! Though I might only have time to answer a few…
submitted by ThrowAway_OfCourses to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Okcoin.com vs Bitstamp

Here’s the next step in my journey to finding the best way to trade BTC/USD: analysis of Okcoin.com (one of the exchanges with the most action) vs. Bitstamp (a recently-hacked but widely used exchange).
Once more I’m scoring based on three factors: Cost, Speed, and Safety. After analyzing BTS and OKC, I think I’ll add a fourth: Functionality.
Cost:
(I conducted a similar round trip to the one on my last comparison Bitreserve vs. Coinapult. Bitreserve won that round by a mile.)
I set a 0.1BTC market sell order on both exchanges. Then I sold the resulting dollars with another market order. You can check out the screenshots here
OKcoin BTC=>USD=>BTC Roundtrip: I had some crazy remaining balance issues with OKC because they don’t make it easy to trade exact amounts, and I still have some $0.1041 in USD in my OKC wallet, I’ll have to manually account for this (more on this on this later).
BTC=>USD: 0.1 BTC transferred at a rate of 291.09 USD / BTC = USD 29.109 credited (USD 0.0584 commission). USD=> BTC: USD 29.109 transferred to BTC at a rate of 291.14 USD/BTC = 0.0997BTC (BTC 0.0002 commission). Total Cost OKC: BTC: 0.0003 (0.3%)
Bitstamp BTC=>USD=>BTC Roundtrip: BTC=>USD: 0.1 BTC transferred at a rate of 289.70 USD / BTC = USD 28.97 credited (USD 0.08 commission). USD=> BTC: USD 28.97 transferred to BTC at a rate of 291.97 USD/BTC = 0.099355 BTC (USD 0.08 commission). Total Cost BTS: BTC: 0.00075 (0.75%)
OKC is half the cost of BTS and by far the cheapest exchange I’ve used. But I’ve got some real questions about how they operate within China’s legal system (more on that later too, under “Security,” because the cost savings don’t add up to much if the PRC government shuts down OKC and confiscates all their client funds).
Speed:
Because I only used market orders my BTC and USD sales were executed very fast on both exchanges. But if it were any other type of order or aven a larger order, the size of the market in the exchange would impact the speed and cost of the trade. One way to calculate the market size of an exchange is by its volume or the amount of BTC traded daily. According to exchange war OKC has a volume of about 28,000 + BTC daily while BTS has a mere 7,000 so Okcoin.com is probably a bit faster. But are those numbers accurate?
Functionality:
OKC has some cool features like, trail orders,trigger orders, TWAPs, and iceberg orders, and futures. BTS sticks to the more basic exchange functions like market order, stop order, and limit order, which is not bad if you’re a novice trader and want to keep it simple.
A thing I dislike about OKC is that whenever you place an order to buy or sell BTC you sort of have to take out a calculator to subtract the exchanges fee from your order. Because of this I have a remaining balance on my OKC account. It’s pretty annoying and feels like i'm being cheated out of my money. An exchange that deals with this pretty well is again Bitreserve, whenever you don’t have sufficient balance on a card to place an order the service will automatically help you re-adjust the amount.
Security:
So there’s still the last SAFETY factor, because price and speed don’t matter if the exchange gets hacked and all your BTC and Fiat gets stolen. Another aspect we have to talk about is how exchanges keep your fiat whenever you sell your bitcoin.
In case you don’t know, the way Bitcoins get stolen is pretty basic, hackers either hack your account or they hack into the exchanges hot wallet and just empty it (this happened at BTS recently).
OKC has a huge share of the bitcoin exchange market and I assume top players have gone through a thorough inspection of their security protocol.
What they basically do is: Cold store the bitcoin in addresses that have never touched the internet. Take strict measures about how the people in charge of cold storing the bitcoin and safe keeping those cold wallets on banks do their job.
Since their reportedly $5mm attack on their hot wallet BTS has implemented new security measures. They now use multi-sig (multi signature) technology provided by Bitgo. Bitgo’s 2-of-3 signature address provides BTS users a pretty safe wallet to keep their bitcoin. Although the exact details of Bitgo's and Bitstamp's integration are undisclosed (for obvious reasons) all you need to know is that withdrawing funds from the 2-of-3 address requires at least 2 of the 3 keys to sign. Find out more here.
Another risk is what the exchange does with the fiat in your account when you sell bitcoin. This part is pretty straight forward, the exchange has to have a bank where they keep the fiat people buy and from which they receive credit card payments from clients and reflect the balance on their accounts. BTS keeps their dollars at these two Slovenian banks: Raiffeisen Banka d.d. and Gorenjska Banka d.d. The bank (or banks) OKC uses to receive deposits is Barclays Bank Mozambique SA. FYI the reason their bank is off shore is because Chinese banks are not allowed to deal with any currencies except Yuan and they can’t have direct contact with bitcoin exchanges.
This talk by Zhang Weiwu, a top Chinese bitcoin columnist (whose predictions for the future of bitcoin have been spot on) helped me understand China's bitcoin panorama. The big take-away of Zhang’s talk for me is that the Chinese bitcoin industry is UNCERTAIN: either the government shuts it down because its growing uncontrollably fast or they adapt to it because they want to catch up on the rest of the world. Either way, OKC is playing a dangerous game of navigating around PRC bank regulations.
Wrapping up, OKC came on top of BTS on the price and speed comparison. As for functionality, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re a serious trader I would recommend you take your biz over to OKC. If you just want to dabble or get started you should start on BTS. As far as the safety factor goes, BTS wins that one until there’s more clarity from the PRC bigshots.
So...
Cost--Ok Coin wins. Functionality-- Ok Coin wins. Speed-- a tie. Security-- Bitstamp wins since their ecosystem is a lot more friendly towards bitcoin, even with the recent hack and have no proof of solvency.
Following a Uefaesque point awarding system: − 2 points awarded for a win − 1 point awarded for a draw − 0 points awarded for a defeat
OKcoin wins 5 points to 3!
At the end I’d like to leave it to your better judgment to decide, you have all the facts to make an objective decision on which of these exchanges to use. As far as I’m concerned there is still room for exchanges to innovate and make strides to making the virtual currency world safer. An example of this would be Bitreserve’s real-time transparency. I’d like to see Bitstamp and OkCoin provide real-time proof of solvency and liquidity like Bitreserve does.
Till the next time,
mr.bitsy
submitted by mrbitsy to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Coinapult Locks vs Bitreserve price comparison

Now that Bitreserve is opening up, there is a lot of discussion of their fee structure. I have been using Coinapult's Locks service, which has a simple 2% spread. Bitreserve claims to do USD hedging for 0.45%, which would definitely be an improvement. Upon closer examination, though, this appears to be deceptive marketing.
The services
Coinapult Locks - https://coinapult.com/locks/info
Bitreserve - https://bitreserve.org/
Methodology
  1. Deposit 0.01 BTC into a hedged account.
  2. Withdraw whatever remains of my 0.01 BTC
  3. Calculate the round trip cost
I did the above steps for each of the 3 currencies shared between Coinapult and Bitreserve (USD, EUR, GBP). Coinapult also supports gold and silver, while Bitreserve supports CNY and JPY.
Coinapult results
USD
EUR
GBP
These came in almost exactly as advertised, and I was able to view these rates before completing the transaction. Each time the rate was guaranteed for 15 minutes, giving me time to evaluate the rate before committing to the transaction.
Bitreserve results
USD
EUR
GBP
Wow that was difficult. The "Bitcoin network fee" on deposits doesn't make any sense, as I paid network fees myself. Since it is likely a flat fee, I did the round trip percent calculations with and without this ridiculous and badly named fee. I also was not shown the price I would get before depositing, so I had to figure this out after completing the transaction. They are even worse for withdrawals, where the price was never shown to me, not even after completing the transaction. The only way I was able to determine a withdrawal price is by dividing the fiat deducted from my account by the amount of BTC I received.
Summary
[EDIT: Changed formatting to make numbers more readable.]
[EDIT 2: Proof of fees charged by bitreserve added below, since they have been called into question.]
submitted by irostmyhandle to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Okcoin vs.Bitstamp

Here’s the next step in my journey to finding the best way to trade BTC/USD: analysis of Okcoin.com (one of the exchanges with the most action) vs. Bitstamp (a recently-hacked but widely used exchange).
Once more I’m scoring based on three factors: Cost, Speed, and Safety. After analyzing BTS and OKC, I think I’ll add a fourth: Functionality.
Cost:
(I conducted a similar round trip to the one on my last comparison Bitreserve vs. Coinapult. Bitreserve won that round by a mile.)
I set a 0.1BTC market sell order on both exchanges. Then I sold the resulting dollars with another market order. You can check out the screenshots here
OKcoin BTC=>USD=>BTC Roundtrip: I had some crazy remaining balance issues with OKC because they don’t make it easy to trade exact amounts, and I still have some $0.1041 in USD in my OKC wallet, I’ll have to manually account for this (more on this on this later).
BTC=>USD: 0.1 BTC transferred at a rate of 291.09 USD / BTC = USD 29.109 credited (USD 0.0584 commission). USD=> BTC: USD 29.109 transferred to BTC at a rate of 291.14 USD/BTC = 0.0997BTC (BTC 0.0002 commission). Total Cost OKC: BTC: 0.0003 (0.3%)
Bitstamp BTC=>USD=>BTC Roundtrip: BTC=>USD: 0.1 BTC transferred at a rate of 289.70 USD / BTC = USD 28.97 credited (USD 0.08 commission). USD=> BTC: USD 28.97 transferred to BTC at a rate of 291.97 USD/BTC = 0.099355 BTC (USD 0.08 commission). Total Cost BTS: BTC: 0.00075 (0.75%)
OKC is half the cost of BTS and by far the cheapest exchange I’ve used. But I’ve got some real questions about how they operate within China’s legal system (more on that later too, under “Security,” because the cost savings don’t add up to much if the PRC government shuts down OKC and confiscates all their client funds).
Speed:
Because I only used market orders my BTC and USD sales were executed very fast on both exchanges. But if it were any other type of order or aven a larger order, the size of the market in the exchange would impact the speed and cost of the trade. One way to calculate the market size of an exchange is by its volume or the amount of BTC traded daily. According to exchange war OKC has a volume of about 28,000 + BTC daily while BTS has a mere 7,000 so Okcoin.com is probably a bit faster. But are those numbers accurate?
Functionality:
OKC has some cool features like, trail orders,trigger orders, TWAPs, and iceberg orders, and futures. BTS sticks to the more basic exchange functions like market order, stop order, and limit order, which is not bad if you’re a novice trader and want to keep it simple.
A thing I dislike about OKC is that whenever you place an order to buy or sell BTC you sort of have to take out a calculator to subtract the exchanges fee from your order. Because of this I have a remaining balance on my OKC account. It’s pretty annoying and feels like i'm being cheated out of my money. An exchange that deals with this pretty well is again Bitreserve, whenever you don’t have sufficient balance on a card to place an order the service will automatically help you re-adjust the amount.
Security:
So there’s still the last SAFETY factor, because price and speed don’t matter if the exchange gets hacked and all your BTC and Fiat gets stolen. Another aspect we have to talk about is how exchanges keep your fiat whenever you sell your bitcoin.
In case you don’t know, the way Bitcoins get stolen is pretty basic, hackers either hack your account or they hack into the exchanges hot wallet and just empty it (this happened at BTS recently).
OKC has a huge share of the bitcoin exchange market and I assume top players have gone through a thorough inspection of their security protocol.
What they basically do is: Cold store the bitcoin in addresses that have never touched the internet. Take strict measures about how the people in charge of cold storing the bitcoin and safe keeping those cold wallets on banks do their job.
Since their reportedly $5mm attack on their hot wallet BTS has implemented new security measures. They now use multi-sig (multi signature) technology provided by Bitgo. Bitgo’s 2-of-3 signature address provides BTS users a pretty safe wallet to keep their bitcoin. Although the exact details of Bitgo's and Bitstamp's integration are undisclosed (for obvious reasons) all you need to know is that withdrawing funds from the 2-of-3 address requires at least 2 of the 3 keys to sign. Find out more here.
Another risk is what the exchange does with the fiat in your account when you sell bitcoin. This part is pretty straight forward, the exchange has to have a bank where they keep the fiat people buy and from which they receive credit card payments from clients and reflect the balance on their accounts. BTS keeps their dollars at these two Slovenian banks: Raiffeisen Banka d.d. and Gorenjska Banka d.d. The bank (or banks) OKC uses to receive deposits is Barclays Bank Mozambique SA. FYI the reason their bank is off shore is because Chinese banks are not allowed to deal with any currencies except Yuan and they can’t have direct contact with bitcoin exchanges.
This talk by Zhang Weiwu, a top Chinese bitcoin columnist (whose predictions for the future of bitcoin have been spot on) helped me understand China's bitcoin panorama. The big take-away of Zhang’s talk for me is that the Chinese bitcoin industry is UNCERTAIN: either the government shuts it down because its growing uncontrollably fast or they adapt to it because they want to catch up on the rest of the world. Either way, OKC is playing a dangerous game of navigating around PRC bank regulations.
Wrapping up, OKC came on top of BTS on the price and speed comparison. As for functionality, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re a serious trader I would recommend you take your biz over to OKC. If you just want to dabble or get started you should start on BTS. As far as the safety factor goes, BTS wins that one until there’s more clarity from the PRC bigshots.
So...
Cost--Ok Coin wins. Functionality-- Ok Coin wins. Speed-- a tie. Security-- Bitstamp wins since their ecosystem is a lot more friendly towards bitcoin, even with the recent hack and have no proof of solvency.
Following a Uefaesque point awarding system: − 2 points awarded for a win − 1 point awarded for a draw − 0 points awarded for a defeat
OKcoin wins 5 points to 3!
At the end I’d like to leave it to your better judgment to decide, you have all the facts to make an objective decision on which of these exchanges to use. As far as I’m concerned there is still room for exchanges to innovate and make strides to making the virtual currency world safer. An example of this would be Bitreserve’s real-time transparency. I’d like to see Bitstamp and OkCoin provide real-time proof of solvency and liquidity like Bitreserve does.
Till the next time,
mr.bitsy
Edit: The paragraph on Bitgo multi-sig might have been unclear. Edit: Specified that I used okcoin.com. Edit: Found a bank Okcoin uses. Edit: Reasons for my conclusion.
submitted by mrbitsy to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[uncensored-r/Bitcoin] 340 BTC

The following post by ThrowAway_OfCourses is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been silently removed.
The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link:
np.reddit.com/ Bitcoin/comments/79d20u
The original post's content was as follows:
October, 2011 was when I first heard about Bitcoin. A friend excitedly told me about it, that the price had crashed, that it could be 'mined', and that it could be purchased on exchanges. He didn't own any, but he found it interesting, and so did I. I was instantly interested in acquiring some coins. That the price had 'crashed' meant a buying opportunity, and I further saw it as evidence that the system was somehow free, and had a life of its own. I did not purchase any right away, regretfully, since the coins were about $3 each. I did do some initial research, calculating mining profitability, and looking into the process for buying coins on MtGox. I also read about the thefts and hacks. I found it intuitive these incidents were matters of endpoint-security, and not reflective of a systemic weakness. Yet I would have much to learn if I was to avoid becoming a victim. I continued to casually follow Bitcoin developments, and occasionally checked the price.
Eight months later I came across a Timothy B. Lee article in Forbes that detailed the Bitcoin Richlist. It was my catalyst. It was time for a technical deep dive, time to understand what gave people the confidence to entrust millions of dollars of value to the system. Of everything I read that day, it wasn't the proof-of-work that seemed revolutionary, but simply the fact that a lost private key meant the coins would be irrecoverable. That signified Bitcoin put true and total control of money into the hands of users, and for that it was different and worthwhile. I decided to invest. All that was left was working out the mechanics of the transaction. And security. I was determined to not fall victim to a hack. An offline, paper wallet seemed like the easy choice. The price was in the $6 - $7 range.
My first purchase went though MoneyGram and Coinapult, with MtGox as my receiving wallet. I put in $150, and got out $130 worth of coins. The price had surged in the few days since I decided to buy, to slightly under $10 per coin. I transferred the coins off of MtGox and onto my paper wallet, and it all felt very real! I wanted to buy more, and settled on CoinFloor to avoid the hefty fees I paid the first time. CoinFloor also allowed for instant fiat funding via a deposit at a bank teller window. Depositing $900 directly into a bank account was not without risk, but CoinFloor came through and the money was credited within 5 minutes. It all went flawlessly, and soon with my 100 coins spread out over a few different paper wallets, I could rest easy, without fear of a hack.
I occasionally checked the price, tested out Satoshi Dice, and read a little more on the technical underpinnings, but other than that, I mostly forgot about my Bitcoin investment for the next 6 months. Then, in early 2013, I read about a few seed rounds in Bitcoin startups, and I saw pictures of a Bitcoin booth at the CES is Las Vegas. Somehow that booth, with the Bitcoin logo, made it all seem even more legitimate. The price had climbed into the $14 - $15 range, and I wanted more coin. CoinFloor had been hacked and was out of commission. This time I would use the Dwolla to MtGox method of funding. I found myself seriously regretting not having done Gox's verification the previous summer, as the price quickly climbed while I waited. When my verification finally cleared, the price had shot up to $19, and I transferred in several thousand dollars and bought another ~150 coins. Over the next few months I kept buying until the price crossed $100 per coin. In total, I had put in about $10,000 for 340 coins. I worked part-time, with an annual income of about $25,000, so that $10,000 felt substantial.
The rise to $266 was exhilarating, as was the following surge to $1242. I mostly held, but sometimes tried to time the market with a small position (always 10% of holdings or less). I sold some coins the first time Bitcoin passed the $400 mark to recoup my initial investment, and I arbitraged when it was profitable. I lost a then-painful amount of fiat on MtGox, but not any coins. I held tight during the long bear market, with absolute confidence that the price would find a non-zero bottom, and it would only be up from there. The ecosystem was growing, the technology was maturing, and investment money was pouring in, and yet the price continued to decline. I would have loved to buy more, but doing so would have been truly irresponsible from a diversification perspective.
I have largely stayed away alt-coins, but I did mine-and-dump those I found annoying, and mined and held the one that I found interesting - Ethereum. I reluctantly pushed some BTC into Ethereum early this year, which turned out to be a good move. In total, over the past 5 years, I have returned about 200x on my initial investment, in the current form of about 250 BTC, about 700 ETH and approximately $300k of other liquid assets. The result is almost identical to a pure buy-and-hold from the beginning, but I felt the need to hedge as valuations changed over time. I feel no pressure to sell more coins, though I probably would convert a few in the $20k-$40k range, prices which I have long seen as likely, if not inevitable.
I am in my early 30's. Ask Me Anything! Though I might only have time to answer a few…
submitted by censorship_notifier to noncensored_bitcoin [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: I'm Patrick Byrne, a pro-freedom supporter of cryptocurrency and school vouchers, early critic of Wall Street, three time cancer survivor, journalist at DeepCapture.com, and CEO and founder of Overstock.com. AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-05-02
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
What would you say to other CEOs and decision makers who are hesitant to utilize bitcoin? It depends upon what their hesitancy is.
There are business reasons to do it: save on transaction fees, eliminate fraud and charebacks, etc. There may be business reasons not to do it as well, such as the risk of volatility (but this concern can be obviated by trading out of Bitcoin immediately upon receipt, a service that the firms like Bitpay, Coinapult, and Coinbase all offer, I believe).
But if they are pro-freedom, they should want to get behind it on principle alone. Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
Hi Patrick, do you have any thoughts on where the economy is heading? Are we truly in a recovery as the powers that be suggest? Do you have examples you see in business that say one way or the other? No we are not in a recovery. We have re-inflated a bubble and called it a recovery.
The government lies to us about the stats. Think of it this way: assume Alleged GDP (that is, "Nominal GDP") is growing at 3%. Inflation is calcualted to be 2%. So Real GDP is growing 3% - 2% = 1%. That is the basic equation. However, what if they are lying about inflation? Imagine it were really 5%? Then the truth, God's-eye-only view would be 3% - 5% = -2%. That is, if inflation is understated, then growth is overstated. I think this is likely the case. I think we are in a shallow dive that they are trying to make look like a level or small climb. See John Williams' site Shadow Government Statistics for more.
The Fed's policies are all about driving up asset prices (homes, stocks) in order to create a wealth effect. Your 401k goes from being worth $300,000 to $500,000. You think, "Gosh I made $200,000! I'll go out and spend $50,000 of it."
The Snoop Dogg Overstock commercial was awesome! When can we expect to see more ads from him? Thanks. It was even more fun hanging out with the guy for four hours. He is one smaaart dude. He asked me more intelligent questions about our business than any of the 80 or so VCs with whom I ever dealt. No kidding.
Also, he rolls a mean cigar.
Shouldn't the government be spending our tax dollars on putting wall street guys who caused the financial crisis in jail (instead of making them pay fines) ? Not one of them has ever been criminally convicted. But I do think the government should put more resources into policing Wall Street. The last I checked, the SEC budget was about $800 million. I think it was around the size of the budget for the Denver police force. It should be about 10X that. However, they should unplug the SEC and ship it to the DOJ. The only thing that scares these guys on Wall Street is an orange jumpsuit, and only the DOJ can issue those.
Patrick, What was your evolution toward being "pro-freedom" like? Were you always so? Was there some event that turned you in that direction? I grew up in New England and thought of myself as a Yankee Republican. Then the Republicans went crazy getting worked up over things that are none of the government's damn business. The old man with whom i sued to build stone walls in Vermont, Earl Barre, taught me that government should pave the roads, run the Post Office, and stay the hell off my porch. I think he must roll over in his grave to see the kinds of things Republicans care about today.
My friend, mentor, and teacher Milton Friedman used to say, "I'm a small-l libertarian and a small-r republican." Sounds right.
PS Thanks for seizing the term. We have a lot of people in our society who call themselves "progressives". If they can hijack the word "progress" I can hijack the word "freedom".
Hello Patrick, Thank you for doing this. Do you know when Overstock.com will be accepting bitcoin for international shipment? I've been waiting this for months! (I'm in Canada) Working on it now. Phase II was getting so we could issue credits back in Bitcoin. I think it came live last week. Phase III will be accepting it internationally. Should happen late summer +/-.
Hi Patrick! You've gotten a lot of praise for accepting Bitcoin, I think its great. But I'm curious what you've found to be the biggest challenge or drawback with accepting this new form of currency. What is something new merchents need to keep in mind before accepting bitcoin? It has been unbelievably seamless.
Coinbase made it easy. But Bitpay and Coinapult do as well, I hear.
Once integrated, it has not demanded an ounce of effort.
Where do you see Bitcoin in 1 year? What about 5? Or 10? I have no theories as to valuation.
Adoption... I would imagine SpaceCash (of one flavor or another) will gradually increase until you see 2-3% of transactions occur within it. If that day ever comes, it will leap quickly to 15-30%. (Lots of things are like that in life, rates of HIV infection in the adult population being one of them, for example.)
What percentage of transactions (# or revenue) are paid for in Bitcoin on Overstock.com? Tiny. <.1%
Did you ever reveal who the "Sith Lord" is??? Inquiring minds want to know! It was an amalgam of two people. 1) Steven A. Cohen of SAC Capital (hence, all my references to "someday I am going to sack up and tell the world...")
2) Michael Milken, who, I believe, is the Hannibal Lecter of the financial world. Read Den of Thieves. Since he was let out of prison (on his 98 count indictment) he spent a lot of money burnishing his image, but he is a really bad guy.
Is naked short selling still a problem? What do you see currently as the biggest risks to our financial system? "Is naked short selling still a problem? " Not so much, or at least, not as obviously as previously.
"What do you see currently as the biggest risks to our financial system?" Chains of title. You think you own something because you have some paperwork that says you do. However, in the central clearing systems of our economy there is slop. The slop was designed in as a way of providing fault tolerance. However, crooks figured out how to game that slop and create circumstances where more than one person thinks he owns the same thing.
Fractional reserve banking without a reserve requirement.
Nice to see you on Reddit, Mr. Byrne. I like Schiff. Opponents say, "Even a broken watch is right twice per day." But he shares my Austrian views.
Here is my question. Peter Schiff and many others think that a collapse of the dollar is imminent. What do you think about that? And what impact this collapse will have on digital currencies like Bitcoin? Yogi Berra said something to the effect, "Anything that cannot go on forever won't." We are living on borrowed time in many ways. However, it is like seeing a bridge built for 10 cars, that now has 80 driving across it. Will it collapse? I have no idea. I thought it would ahve collapsed at 20.
Did you have better experiences at Stanford, Cambridge, or Dartmouth? Which school influenced you the most, both culturally and intellectually? The day I got to Dartmouth I swore to myself that while I was there I would never enter a church, a party, or a fraternity. never did. Never had a single beer with anyone in college, went to a party, anything. I was a total grind. I did play football two years, then split, went to Asia, mucked around, came back just to graduate.
Cambridge - Marshall Fellow - Did a Master's in moral philosophy but was mostly an invalid, and spent my time with a handful of people, just reading for two years. Was in the uber-Lefty envornment of King's College (where the British traitors come from). When I got there I was Left-Curious, but when I split I was into Sowell and Milton Friedman.
Stanford - PhD They were great to me. I was an invalid there as well for much of the experience. Started in mathematical logic, ended up doing stuff in development economics, jurisprudence, and political philosophy. As a grad student my major influences were the other grad students, with whom one forms close bonds. Martin Jones (Oberlin?) and Taylor Carmen (Barnard?). Ask them.
What convinced you to damn the torpedoes and what other examples, successful or not, can you give of this full speed ahead orientation with respect to your life? So that has focused my mind tremendously. Lot of things I want to get done, and none of them have to do with knuckling under to the Combine. In fact, they largely have to do with blowing up the Combine. (Gold star to the first who can say where the expression "Combine" comes from.)
Combine = "Our Benefactors" in the half-life universe. HL3 confirmed! One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Organised crime on Wall St -- Can you elaborate? Yes. Wall Street started to be infiltrated by Organized Crime. It sttarted with Michael Steinhardt in the 1970's (his dad, Sol Steinhardt, was the biggest Mob fence in America, and went to Sing Sing, from whence he put his son Michael through Wharton, who then started what was arguably the first hedge fund in 1968, funded over time by cash from his dad's cronies.)
Google "Operation Uptick": the largest Mob arrest in US history was 120 goons from around Wall Street.
The Gambinos and Genovese fought over Wall Street in the 1990s. The Genovese won. Wherever Genovese are, there is Russian Orgnized Crime (the Genovese sponsored the Russian OC into the US like you or I would sponsor a family from Laos). See "Red Mafiya."
Anywhere you see "bucket shops" you are seeing OC.
I also work as an editor and journalist at DeepCapture.com, which explores this subject in hundreds of posts.
Mr. Byrne, No opinion on such companies.
What is your take on companies that operate solely in Bitcoin (i.e. Blockchain, Bitcoinstore.com, etc)? Are you offering your employees to take a percentage of their salary in Bitcoin? Not offering it to employees yet, but there is always the year-end bonus to consider!
Thank you for doing this AMA, and thank you for your activism and conviction you have shown over the years! Hindsight is 20/20, what is one decision that you would make, or wouldnt make, if you had to start Overstock.com all over again? When someone is dishonest, do not try to cajole or coach them. Get rid of him.
Hello patrick first i will like to say thank you for all you do. i have 3 questions 1. who are your favorite philosopher's and what book on philosophy do you recommened for enlightenment? Who are your favorite philosopher's and what book on philosophy do you recommened for enlightenment?
I admire tesla as a person and for his work, have you heard of the keshe foundation? where do you stand on free energy? I admire tesla as a person and for his work, have you heard of the keshe foundation? where do you stand on free energy? NO THOGHTS.
Will the criminal cabal who runs the united corporation of america fail? Will the criminal cabal who runs the united corporation of america fail? I'M WORKING ON IT, I'M WORKING ON IT.
I'm a computer programmer, so I'd like to ask a technical question if it's not a secret - what do you use for source control? Ironically enough: Subversion.
As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give to someone just starting up their own (tech) company? Calculate how much capital it is going to take to start your business, and how many years. Then square both those numbers.
I'd like to thank you for the nice red lounge chairs I got from Overstock. I was able to get a good price for them at a garage sale later. My question is how do you ensure a stable inherent value in cryptocurrency? Unlike Gold, which is a tangible thing, or a Federal Reserve Note which has value simply because the government says it does, with something like Bitcoin how can it retain value and trust without some "official" endorsement and tie in to a national currency? - if you DID tie it to something like the dollar.. then what would be the point? Right. Some say that Bitcoin is a figment of someone's imagination. But as I said on Fox or CNN or something recently (search my name on Youtube, you'll find it), I would be happy to debate the metaphysical properties of Bitcoin versus whatever the metaphysical properties are of those 65 billion figments Janet Yellen createde last month.
An opponent would say that those 65 billion figments are backed by the taxing authority of the US government. To which I respond: But if that taxing authority is tapped out (which it obviously is, otherwise we would not be in the fiscal state we are as a country) then those 65 billion things are backed by... nothing. At least there are a limited number of Bitcoin figments!
You have previously mentioned in a interview with Forbes that you are very intersted in a "Bitcoin version of the stock market" and having the ability to conduct more than just simple transactions via a blockchain. I am a bit confused about what you are asking. My fight with Wall Street came about because I became convinced in 2004 that the market's mechanisms for clearing and settling trades had been corrupted by bad elements. It all started there. Hence, the peer-to-peer aspect of Bitcoin et. al. deeply attracats me.
NXT - the first second generation cryptocurrency is doing this with it's new features being launched in the upcoming weeks and months. Have you looked into it and / or considered accepting it for overstock? I do not know NXT, but I am interested in finding (and even potentially investing in) efforts to create a peer-to-peer capital market. In fact, if a good solution emerges, you might even see Overstock be the first issuer of a stock or bond in such a market, just to help things get going! (Incidentally, we were the first to do a Dutch auction IPO, for precisely that reason.)
Clearly bitcoin has the potential to rid the world of much corruption. Have you thought of publicly endorsing it in this manner. Because most people do not understand the countless benefits that this technology has to offer to our society. All our new commercials end with a "Now Accepting Bitcoin" under the logo. Look for them.
Your top executives (Stormy Simon, Johnathan Johnson, Dave Nielsen) make $350K a year in salary, while Amazon pays their around $160K. This information is made public in SEC fillings. How is your executive compensation determined? One must look at cash and non-cash together.
When and from whom have you first heard of Bitcoin, and what was your first reaction? About two years ago I read a short piece about it in Wired, or Fast Company (perhaps). It struck a bell, from my computation studies at Stanford. I was also struck by how it has properties similar to gold's.
Edit: I also want to thank you for pioneering the way with cryptocurrencies and exposing Wallstreet corruption. Your work is very much needed and greatly appreciated! However, I think the crowdfunding movement is spectacular, and might be considered as well.
You mentioned the term bust out in your presentation on Ecomonic Warfare. You taught that an example of this was the S&L crisis. Where do you see the next bust out occurring? I don't know. Wherever you see an industry get over-leveraged, I suppose. Look for whatever sector has the most cronies of Michael Milken: thta would be a good guess.
I've heard from multiple sources that the stock market is due for a major retraction this year because its been artificially propped up by the FED's QE. Your thoughts? It is true that the Fed is propping it up, but they are not going to stop. They cannot stop lest we slide back into a deeper recession/depression.
However, eventually reality has a way of happening.
Remember, we used to refer to "The Great War" before we learned enough to start numbering them. The same will be true someday of "The Great Depression".
What do you think of the issues cryptocurrencies have been having in terms of security (Mt Gox "break-in", Flexcoin, etc all)? Will people ever be able to overcome their bias of Bitcoin or will it need to rebrand as a more secure currency or more user friendly to gain wider acceptance? So did Target.
It won't "rebrand" deliberately because there is no owner. It will morph and evolve to be better and better. I suspect that as other currencies develop traction, Bitcoin will harvest their better attributes and make them its own. However, switching costs are not too high... Other currencies may fare well.
I admire your position and fight for school vouchers, now that charter schools have become more common, do you feel that charter schools can replace the need for school vouchers? Charter schools are less controversial but not as readily available due to the lottery system. 1) Backpack funding (e.g., Oakland) - Send your kid to any public school in the district that you want, and the funds travel with him (in his "backpack" so to speak). Something like Henry Ford saying, "You can buy a Model T in any color you want as long as it's black." But it's a start.
2) Charter schools - As you say, these have momentum.
3) Vouchers (or their economic equivalent, tuition tax credits). These create the most freedom of all the methods.
Thanks for doing this Mr. Byrne. I was curious if overstock held a small % of the btc from purchases or is it all automatically sold on the market? 10%.
Sorry if this has been mentioned already but how would you suggest the community as a whole informs the general public about bitcoin? Obviously mainstream media isnt doing a great job since their main focus are the negative stories relating to bitcoin since thats what sells. Like Ho Chi Minh, make it a war of the ants against the elephants.
My company's CEO thinks there are more important things to take care of rather than bitcoin payments. What would you say to him? Beat the rush.
Hi Patrick! I'd just like to say it's great working here at Overstock. Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck? Having been nibbled to death by a duck, I would rather fight the horses of whatever size.
What do you like about Utah and what do you do for fun here? What do you like about Utah and what do you do for fun here? BUILD OVERSTOCK.
Any chance the Ostk benefits would include more than the Snowbird pass discount? Maybe more resorts discounts benefits? Any chance the Ostk benefits would include more than the Snowbird pass discount? Maybe more resorts discounts benefits? NO. WOULD RATHER JUST PAY THE CASH.
I'm sorry that you contracted cancer numerous times, do you have any ideas about what caused it? Also, Bitcoin :-} Nope. Just lucky I guess.
What was the last thing you bought from overstock.com? A book about Camille Claudel, I think.
What the fuck was the deal with Snoop? Stormy just wanted to meet the guy, so you waste MILLIONS on an ill-fated promotion that is so at odds with your brand? You mean this? Link to www.youtube.com
Note our appearance in his video: Link to www.youtube.com
It has 2.5 million hits. Seems to have struck a chord for some.
What are you, racialist?
"three time cancer survivor" Did you grow up under power lines? Or did you just like the way lead-based paint tasted? Some guys just get lucky.
Related note: Seriously, no one is out to get you! Quit moving your damn office every three months! 3) I move my office because we are a flexible, agile environment. Sounds like that was something you could not grasp during your tenure here.
Do you know who's behind the Satoshi twitter account? No.
I work over at castle and I challenge you to a game of ping pong. You're on.
My paycheck against yours?
(Joke: I don't get paychecks, I believe.)
Truly. The beautiful thing about bitcoin is that we can all be a small part of this change. The peer to peer aspect makes it truly pro-freedom. True dat.
Thank you for accepting bitcoin Patrick. I've made several purchases on Overstock instead of Amazon because of it. Thanks. Spread the word! We took a chance by taking it. Help make it pay off by getting more people to think like you.
(Notice Amazon recently dissed Bitcoin? They do not want to appear as Me-too'ers.)
Hello Mr. Byrne, I became a strong believer in several ways. 1) As a grad student at Stanford I studied computation thory, which underlies public key encryption, and so when cryptocurrencies came along it was not as magical-sounding to me as it might have been. 2) I am a proponent of the Austrian School of Economics, which, in general, eschews fiat currency in favor of a gold standard. The goal is not really the gold standard, however: the goal is to have a form of money that is intrinsically limited. Bitcoin et. al. accomplishes that. In addition, cryptocurrencies are SpaceCash (a word I think I just made up) that can be beamed across the galaxy! (Henceforth in my answers I will use "SpaceCash" top refer to all cryptocurrencies.)
Clearly bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have the potential to change how our world does money for the better. What made you such a strong believer in bitcoin, and how would you spread this knowledge to other CEOs like yourself.
It's my understanding that since Overstock.com uses a Coinbase to facilitate the transaction Overstock does not sit on any Bitcoin; just the cash after the fact. Correct. Acutally, I think we are accumulating 10% of what gets spent with us in Bitcoin, as Bitcoin.
Just want to say you sound like a really cool mega rich person. Thanks. If so, it helps that I was a really cool person before I became a rich guy.
Last updated: 2014-05-06 21:05 UTC
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Майнинг на своем компьютере! Выгодный зароботок на minergate

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