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1  Economy / Economics / a;osbfoawiben on: August 27, 2017, 07:15:14 PM
Account hacked. Apologies, cannot delete.

What’s the best-performing exchange-traded fund, mutual fund or index for 2017? An ETF that invests solely in bit-coin, the virtual currency. This ETF posted the highest year-to-date return through July, of 185 percent, according to Steele Expert, a database of mutual funds, ETFs and indices produced by Steele Systems, Inc. In comparison, the S&P 500 Index returned about 11 percent.

The same ETF beat all others over the three-year period ending July 2017. The ETF posted the highest three-year total return, 352 percent (65.4 percent average annual return). In comparison, the S&P 500 Index returned about 36 percent (10.7 percent average annual return).

The ETF has about $475 million in assets under management and invests in bitcoin, which according to its disclosure is “currently unregulated, highly speculative and volatile.”

If you have not followed the development of bitcoin since its introduction in 2009, let me share some basics. A virtual currency, bitcoin is an alternative payment system to currency issued by governments. A FINRA Investor Alert on bit-coin, called “Bitcoin: More Than a Bit

Risky,” puts it this way: “Think of [bit-coin] as a sophisticated computer program that encrypts, verifies and records bitcoin transactions.”

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, regulates all securities firms doing business in the United States. Bitcoin is “created” by “mining.”

Quoting from the alert: “Like mining for gold, the process is labor-intensive. Mining serves two purposes. First, miners use software algorithms to add transaction records to bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions and verify legitimate bitcoin transactions. For their efforts, bit-coin miners get transaction fees. In addition, if the miner finds a new “block,” the miner is awarded new bitcoins. A finite number of bitcoins can be mined (21 million, based on the mathematics underlying bitcoin mining).

You can buy bitcoins online and at exchanges, but you don’t get a physical paper or coin in exchange. Instead bit-coin exists in a “digital wallet.” The value fluctuates, and in fact is “extremely volatile, and subject to wide price swings,” according to the alert.

As a result, both regulators and speculators have been drawn to this virtual currency. Speculators are attracted by the possibility of outsized returns (and, as with any speculative “investment,” there is a potential for outsized losses).

And regulators raise warnings. Let me quote further from the alert.

“Buying, selling and using bitcoins carry numerous risks: “Digital currency such as bitcoin is not legal tender. No law requires companies or individuals to accept bitcoins as a form of payment. Instead, bitcoin use is limited to businesses and individuals that are willing to accept bitcoins. If no one

accepts bitcoins, bitcoins will become worthless.

“Platforms that buy and sell bitcoins can be hacked, and some have failed. In addition, like the platforms themselves, digital wallets can be hacked. As a result, consumers can — and have — lost money.

“Bitcoin transactions can be subject to fraud and theft. For example, a fraudster could pose as a bitcoin exchange, intermediary or trader in an effort to lure you to send money, which is then stolen.

“Unlike U.S. banks and credit unions that provide certain guarantees of safety to depositors, there are no such safe-guards provided to digital wallets.

“Bitcoin payments are irreversible. Once you complete a transaction, it cannot be reversed. Purchases can be refunded, but that depends solely on the willingness of the establishment to do so.

“In part because of the anonymity bit-coin offers, it has been used in illegal activity, including drug dealing, money laundering and other forms of illegal commerce. Abuses could impact consumers and speculators; for instance, law-enforcement agencies could shut down or restrict the use of platforms and exchanges, limiting or shutting off the ability to use or trade bitcoins.”

Also of interest is the bitcoin index (NYXBT).

On another note, not connected with the EFT, the Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading of the securities of a bitcoin company incorporated in Canada Thursday through the morning of Sept. 7.

The reason: “Concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of publicly available information about the company including, among other things, the value of [the company’s] assets and its capital structure.”

You can read more at the following link:
2  Other / Politics & Society / BREAKING: Clinton leaks, extraterrestrial intelligence, & zero point energy on: October 08, 2016, 12:35:53 AM

Dear John,   
Because the War in Space race is heating up, I felt you should be aware of several factors as you and I schedule our Skype talk.   

Remember, our nonviolent ETI from the contiguous universe are helping us bring zero point energy to Earth. 

They will not tolerate any forms of military violence on Earth or in space.


All hail Kek
3  Other / Meta / Ignoring user also ignores quotes containing said user? on: June 04, 2015, 02:41:32 PM
Can we implement this please? It'd be most useful.
4  Other / Off-topic / What do your BitcoinTalk statistics say about your sleep schedule? on: April 11, 2015, 07:25:00 PM;u=49247;sa=statPanel

It appears I generally/naturally have a biphasic sleep cycle, aka the siesta sleep schedule  Cool
I am no slave to a 9-5 society!
5  Bitcoin / Press / [2015-03-27] Evolution Marketplace Collapse Violates Bitcoin Fungibility on: March 29, 2015, 02:08:51 AM

Quote from: Jimmy Thommes
Evolution marketplace is the latest online “darknet” trading market to close its operations. This time however, it wasn’t the authorities seizing the site as with the Silk Road scenario, but by the administrators of the website themselves. The drama that has been ensuing in the aftermath of this collapse, and large scale theft of customer & vendor funds, has been interesting to watch. Hundreds of thousand of dollars worth of bitcoin in the website’s escrow service have been taken by the administrators. The coins were then sent to BTC-e, the money launderer’s exchange of choice due to its location and the lack of information users must submit to use.

Beneath this unraveling of yet another tor marketplace, something very strange has happened. BTC-e has tracked those stolen funds via the bitcoin blockchain, and disallowed the withdrawal of those funds on behalf of any of their users. While their effort to halt the laundering of obviously stolen coins in the thousands is admirable, it is a scary precedent: bitcoin is clearly not perfectly fungible. Each coin has its own unique history of transactions and if a coin comes from a questionable or known fraudulent address, then services can be denied to that specific coin. A coin is not a perfectly identical currency unity, but is as unique as a piece of real property or collectible. The collapse of the evolution marketplace, and the denial of service to these stolen funds via services such as BTC-e demonstrates that bitcoin fungibility is not perfectly viable.

Again, Aristotle's definition of money:
1.) It must be durable. Money must stand the test of time and the elements. It must not fade, corrode, or change through time.

2.) It must be portable. Money hold a high amount of 'worth' relative to its weight and size.

3.) It must be divisible. Money should be relatively easy to separate and re-combine without affecting its fundamental characteristics. An extension of this idea is that the item should be 'fungible'. describes fungible as:

"(esp. of goods) being of such nature or kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind."

4.) It must have intrinsic value. This value of money should be independent of any other object and contained in the money itself.

Quote from: cont'd...
What kind of solution does bitcoin offer for retaining the identicality of its currency, and therefore its fungibility? There are known ‘tumbling’ and ‘mixing’ services, but the effectiveness of these technical applications has been called into question.

The open-source nature of blockchain technology that bitcoin has touted since its inception, makes it so that transactions are entirely transparent and naked to surveillance. There are however, other closed blockchain coins that do offer improved fungibility among their currency. A select few anonymous cryptocurrencies, for better or worse, have been in existence in various forms with different anonymizing properties for the last few years. Darkcoin is one such relatively anonymous cryptocurrency, and is seen as the front-runner in the market currently.

The price of Darkcoin (soon to be renamed Dash [Digital Cash]) has spiked ~30% from $3.30 to $4.50 a coin in the wake of BTC-e halting Bitcoin withdrawals for tainted bitcoins. Darkcoin is unique in that it allows for passive tumbling of your coins that is built into the wallet itself. This passive tumbling mixes your coins with those who running Darkcoin nodes so it serves two purposes: Anonymizing your coins and incentivizing those to run nodes by earning Darkcoins through running anonymizing nodes. Right now Darkcoin has more nodes than Bitcoin with a tiny fraction of the market cap.

Another coin that is a frontrunner for anonymity in cryptocurrencies is Monero (XMR). It is not a Bitcoin clone, and the wallet is only officially available via command line – no graphical user interface is available for this piece of technology yet.

Monero groups all transactions with everyone else who transacted on that block through what is called ‘ring signatures’, and obscures where the coins came from and went, by forcing them to become a part of a group of transactions. This promises a high level of anonymity. Monero is also enjoying a healthy increase in value in recent weeks.

There are highly anonymous currencies which have been on the radar of enthusiasts for a while now, but with exchanges choosing to treat stolen coins differently, and therefore violate perfect fungibility, anonymous digital currencies may be continue to gain traction and attract a viable market share from cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

I think Peter Todd summed the situation up best, "Want your bitcoins to be valuable? Then treat them all equally. BTC-e is setting a terrible precedent."
6  Economy / Economics / [2015-02-05] Danmarks Nationalbank: Interest Rate Reduction on: February 05, 2015, 06:49:19 PM

Effective from 6 February 2015, Danmarks Nationalbank's interest rate on certificates of deposit is reduced by 0.25 percentage points to -0.75 per cent. The lending rate, the discount rate and the current account rate remain unchanged at 0.05 per cent, 0.0 per cent and 0.0 per cent, respectively.

The interest rate reduction follows Danmarks Nationalbank's purchase of foreign exchange in the market.

Following the decision by the Swiss National Bank to discontinue the minimum exchange rate and the decision by the European Central Bank to launch an expanded asset purchase programme, there has been a considerable inflow of foreign currency.

The traditional monetary policy instruments of the fixed exchange rate policy are interventions in the foreign exchange market and influencing the interest rate spread relative to the euro area. Danmarks Nationalbank's interventions in the foreign exchange market amounted to kr. 106.3 billion in January and the rate on certificates of deposit has been lowered several times. Additionally, the Ministry of Finance has decided to suspend the issuance of domestic and foreign bonds until further notice, based upon the recommendation of Danmarks Nationalbank. These measures have been taken with the intention to inhibit the inflow of foreign exchange.

"The fixed exchange rate policy is an indispensable element of economic policy in Denmark – and has been so since 1982. Danmarks Nationalbank has the necessary instruments to defend the fixed exchange rate policy for as long as it takes", says Lars Rohde.

Lars Rohde continues: "There is no upper limit to the size of the foreign exchange reserve. The sole purpose of the monetary policy instruments is maintaining a stable krone exchange rate against the euro. The revenue of Danmarks Nationalbank is positively affected by the increase of the foreign exchange reserves."

Enquiries can be directed to Karsten Biltoft on tel. +45 3363 6021.
7  Bitcoin / Press / [2014-06-18] GigaOM: Bitcoin gets its own bowl game, thanks to BitPay on: June 18, 2014, 02:52:28 PM
Dogecoin has Nascar, but now bitcoin has college football. ESPN Events is expected to announce today that the cryptocurrency will star in the new Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, thanks to a three-year sponsorship from payment services provider BitPay. Bitcoin holders can use the currency to purchase tickets and concessions at the game. The bowl, formerly known as the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl, will also have new conference affiliations, featuring one team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and one from the American Athletic Conference. Tickets for the Dec. 26 game in St. Petersburg, Florida will be available through Ticketmaster or can be paid for with bitcoin through the bowl’s site.
8  Other / Politics & Society / 2007-10-3 4-Star General Wesley Clark: The US will attack 7 countries in 5 years on: June 07, 2014, 08:19:33 AM

"We're gonna start with Iraq, then we're gonna move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran."
"Seven countries in five years? Is that a classified memo?"
"Yes sir!"
"Well don't show it to me"
9  Other / Politics & Society / "US confirms American carried out Syria suicide bombing" on: June 07, 2014, 03:35:51 AM

AFP – An American fighting for a hardline Islamist group carried out a deadly suicide bombing, US officials said Friday, in the first such case in the war.

The confirmation came amid growing fears over the flood of foreigners into Syria, with no end in sight in the three-year war that has already left 162,000 people dead.

“The American citizen involved in the suicide bombing in Syria is believed to be Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Abu-Salha is thought to have been behind a truck bombing against regime forces on Sunday in the northern province of Idlib.

Interesting...first time I've heard of this happening. Prayers go out to those struggling.
10  Bitcoin / Press / [2014-02-13] Forbes: Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Responds To Widespread Bitcoin Cri on: February 13, 2014, 04:07:17 PM
Who is to blame?

When asked whether the problem was caused by the Bitcoin protocol itself or Mt. Gox’s implementation, Karpeles told Forbes that the Bitcoin client is simply not designed to handle the sort of load that Mt. Gox experiences.

He added that the exchange chose to develop its own implementation to overcome lagging and crashing. However, as the Bitcoin protocol was constantly updated, Mt. Gox simply could not keep up. Karpeles explained:

    “With bitcoin 0.8.0 [...] a breaking change has been included that would prevent transactions to be accepted if their signature did not include the right number of zeroes in front of the signature values (in an effort to reduce risks of transaction malleability). We did not notice this change but a few of the transactions we were sending would become invalid because of this.”
11  Economy / Goods / wtb audeze lcd-3 on: January 31, 2014, 08:16:27 PM
long shot, but please write here if you're offering
12  Economy / Speculation / vokain's FREE analysis!! (with chart) on: November 21, 2013, 04:50:57 PM

trend is your friend!

13  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-09 Zerohedge: As BitCoin Touches $400 The Senate Starts Seeking Answers. on: November 10, 2013, 11:32:58 AM
Yet another overwhelmingly well received article about Bitcoin on zerohedge. They're on to something guys Smiley

Moments ago BitCoin hit $395, and will likely cross $400 in the immediate future (the chart looks a little less scary in log scale).

So as more and more pile into the electronic currency, some due to ideological reasons, some simply to chase momentum, some out of disappointment with the manipulated gold price looking to park their savings in an alternative, non-fiat based currency, which a year ago traded 40 times lower, the attention of the government is finally starting to shift to what has been the best performing asset class in the past year, outperforming even the infamous Caracas stock market.

Which means one thing: Congressional hearings.
14  Bitcoin / Press / 10-29-2013 The Guardian: Man buys $27 of bitcoin...forgets...finds..worth $886k on: October 30, 2013, 06:37:11 AM
Kristoffer Koch invested 150 kroner ($26.60) in 5,000 bitcoins in 2009, after discovering them during the course of writing a thesis on encryption. He promptly forgot about them until widespread media coverage of the anonymous, decentralised, peer-to-peer digital currency in April 2013 jogged his memory.

I know it was released earlier tonight, but this article should be one of the more bullish adoption catalysts as more press outlets pick up the story and everyday  Main St. investors become more incentivized to participate in the Bitcoin market. Things like this really resonate with the common man.
15  Economy / Speculation / "Man buys $27 of bitcoin, forgets about them, finds they're now worth $886k" on: October 30, 2013, 06:32:23 AM
Kristoffer Koch invested 150 kroner ($26.60) in 5,000 bitcoins in 2009, after discovering them during the course of writing a thesis on encryption. He promptly forgot about them until widespread media coverage of the anonymous, decentralised, peer-to-peer digital currency in April 2013 jogged his memory.

I know it was released earlier tonight, but this article should be one of the more bullish adoption catalysts as more press outlets pick up the story and everyday  Main St. investors become more incentivized to participate in the Bitcoin market. Things like this really resonate with the common man.
16  Bitcoin / Press / 10-25-2013 YCombinator: Silicon Valley's Ultimate Exit on: October 29, 2013, 12:13:21 PM
Balaji Srinivasan at the Startup School 2013

Watch this carefully.

Back in May, while at the Silicon Valley conference, I penned an update to my subs entitled Silicon Valley versus Wall Street.  

Guess who I'm putting my money on?

This video is a watershed moment, and then the roaring applause. "Holy shit. It'shappening.jpg."
17  Economy / Speculation / xpost from Press: Joe Lewis plans to invest $200M into Avalon (hoax) on: August 05, 2013, 02:35:54 AM

anddddd SPECULATE!

Mod edit: Hoax:
18  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-08-04 WSJ: Famed Trader Joe Lewis Backs Bitcoin (hoax) on: August 05, 2013, 02:22:23 AM
Correction posted:

Investor Joe Lewis isn't investing in a bitcoin venture called Avalon and doesn't lead a Zurich-based private-equity fund called the Phoenix Fund. An article on the supposed investment was inaccurately published and has been removed.

and with that, any credibility I reserved for the modern press (and high academia for that matter—author was a journalism graduate of the University of Edinburgh!) has now vanished. What kind of publication like the WSJ hires reporters that do not do their due diligence in corroborating with primary sources when claiming speculation as facts? Sucks.

Either way, hopefully that this is a case of any news is good news, and that this brings serious discussion to the table for those with the means to utilize the clear opportunity of first-mover advantage and take Bitcoin seriously.


Joe Lewis, a billionaire foreign-exchange trader who teamed up with hedge-fund manager George Soros in 1992 to bet against the Bank of England, is the latest high-profile financier to throw his weight behind the virtual currency called bitcoin.

Mr. Lewis leads the Phoenix Fund, a Zurich-based private-equity fund that on Tuesday plans to invest $200 million in Avalon, a company that makes computer servers aimed at creating bitcoins, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that exists online and isn't backed by any government or central bank. Bitcoins were invented in 2008 by a computer programmer who goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, who describes it as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.

The Phoenix Fund's investment in Avalon reflects the growing popularity of virtual currencies, which are also coming under scrutiny from regulators. Other bitcoin enthusiasts include Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who are best known for their role in the creation of Facebook Inc. FB +1.50% They have proposed an exchange-traded fund that is tied to bitcoins.

Bitcoins are created through a process called mining, in which computers solve complex mathematical algorithms to earn the bitcoins. The total number of bitcoins that can be mined is limited to 21 million. There are now about 11.5 million bitcoins in circulation, according to Blockchain, a website that monitors bitcoin transactions.

The Phoenix deal will also involve Taiwanese microchip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., 2330.TW +0.50% which is set to supply the state-of-the-art microchips that will power the hardware.

The Phoenix Fund was set up this year to invest in bitcoin mining-hardware companies. It looked at several of Avalon's rivals in the sector, including Butterfly Labs and KnCMiner but decided against investing, according to a person familiar with the private-equity firm's strategy.

Investors in the Phoenix Fund, which includes a small number of individuals who made their fortunes in currency trading, believe that the currency will become more stable and popular if more parties are involved in the mining process, this person said.

Mr. Lewis moved into currency trading in the 1980s and 1990s. In September 1992, Mr. Lewis teamed up with Mr. Soros to bet on sterling crashing out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, an event that was later named "Black Wednesday." Mr. Lewis didn't respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Lewis had big losses investing in U.S. brokerage firm Bear Stearns Cos, in which he began amassing a stake during 2007, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

Mr. Lewis is the main investor in an unlisted company called Tavistock Group, which has investments in more than 200 companies across the globe.

Tavistock Group includes ENIC Group, which has a Bahamas-registered subsidiary called ENIC International Ltd., through which Mr. Lewis owns 85% of the shares in U.K. soccer club Tottenham Hotspur.

The Phoenix Fund is independent of Tavistock.

The bitcoin deal was put together by Andrew Laurus, a former government-bonds salesman at Lehman Brothers who is also an investor in the fund. Avalon was set up by Yifu Guo, a pioneer in the bitcoin-mining industry. He was part of the team that developed the first ASIC bitcoin mining hardware. ASIC stands for application-specific integrated circuit, a type of custom-designed microchip. Mr. Guo couldn't be reached for comment.

Separately, Coinflash, a company that planned to set up kiosks for bitcoin enthusiasts to buy the virtual currency, is shutting down before it even opened its doors. "Due to an unforeseen change in our personal circumstances, we've made the difficult decision to suspend Coinflash's services indefinitely," the San Diego-based company said in an email statement.

Coinflash was established earlier this year and had planned to open the bitcoin kiosks in California and New York this summer.

As part of the deal, Avalon will gain access to TSMC microchips based on 20-nanometer processes, which are much faster than other chips. TSMC recently won a contract to supply chips to Apple. The increased processing power should give Avalon an edge in solving the algorithms that control the supply of bitcoins.

—Robin Sidel contributed to this article.
Write to Harriet Agnew at

'You mean I can't just buy Bitcoin?'  Grin
19  Economy / Services / wanted: creative and great illustrator on: July 31, 2013, 03:22:26 AM
20  Bitcoin / Mining / Incredible, absolutely incredible. Great job guys! on: July 31, 2013, 03:18:34 AM
I typically stick to the speculation side of bitcoin, but I know all that would be impossible with you guys. Keep on keepin on!

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