Which Would You Buy: A New CDO-Squared or a Bitcoin Start-Up?
APR 26, 2012 9:47am ET By Marc Hochstein
Peter Thiel, who founded PayPal, is teaching a course on start-ups at Stanford, and one of his students, who apparently is the world’s greatest note-taker, has posted a reconstruction of one of the class discussions on his Tumblr. David Brooks summarizes Thiel’s ideas in his Times column this week, but really, just read the lecture. It’s a fascinating, provocative reconsideration of widely held assumptions about the desirability of competition and the undesirability of monopolies.
Turning to today’s would-be disruptors in financial services, a group of prominent VCs are investing $500,000 in a start-up called CoinLab. Doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but it’s noteworthy because CoinLab’s business model involves Bitcoin, the decentralized digital currency that Sen. Chuck Schumer thinks is a threat to society. Nothing obviously illicit about CoinLab, though. As we understand the model from reading the write-ups in Forbes and Ars Technica, CoinLab generates revenue for online gaming companies, by essentially renting players’ computers to “mine” Bitcoins in the background while games are being played.
As for me it is notable as one of very few fully positive press appearances for BitCoin.