"My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive."
This is what Boris Johnson, British foreign secretary, said. Yet one day he may be Prime Minister
I would say 99.99% of people don't know why a bitcoin is valuable, while 100% they think they know
One of the most original, successful and unorthodox entrepreneur asked me to work at a book on cryptocurrencies. This reminded me that my chances to become a cryptocurrency guru are as good as being reincarnated as an olive.
All I can write is a journey. For a question with no reply doesn't mean can't be a book by itself
The illusion of immortality
The following data are from Blockchain Capital Bitcoin Survey Fall 2017.
30% OF MILLENNIALS PREFER $1K OF BITCOIN OVER $1K OF GOVERNMENT BONDSWhich means 70% of the millennials prefer traditional bonds
42% OF MILLENNIALS AGREE THAT MOST PEOPLE WILL BE USING BITCOIN IN THE NEXT 10 YEARSWhich means 58% do not agree
The knowledge and interest for people 65+ are almost zero. This is because a bitcoin investor must live long enough to see the future profits and handle the downturns. The 65+ know they are mortals and live with fear of God. The millennials think they will live for ever an their ambitions are the engine of their own success.
A short FAQ of bitcoin
This a FAQ | Bitcoin from Telegraph
What is it?
A digital currency, used to make payments of any value without fees. It runs on the blockchain, a decentralised ledger kept running by “miners” whose powerful computers crunch transactions and are rewarded in bitcoins
Who invented it?
Satoshi Nakamoto, a secretive internet user, invented bitcoin in 2008 before it went online in 2009. Many attempts to identify Satoshi have been made without conclusive proof
What’s it for?
People see value in money free from government control and the fees banks charge; as well as the blockchain, to verify transactions. Bitcoin has been seen as a tool for private, anonymous transactions, and it’s the payment of choice for drug deals and other illegal purchases
Is it worth anything?
Yes. As of 15 February 2018, there were around 16,867,100 bitcoins in circulation. Each is worth USD 10,133 around after a recent high of close to $20,000 for a market value of $171 billion.
The mysterious Satoshi
During October 2008, a white paper appeared in the cryptocurrency mailing list metzdowd.com under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. It outlined a new system to move and store money online that was anonymous, cheap and, crucially, secure.
Before Satoshi’s paper, digital currencies were prone to the ‘double spend’ problem. When a unit of currency is spent, there is often no way of knowing if it has been spent before - it needs a trusted authority to confirm the transaction is real. This is a role usually undertaken by banks.
Satoshi’s proposed payment method used a purely peer-to-peer system, meaning that a community, rather than banks or credit card companies, would verify transactions.
The first heist in cryptocurrencies
History was made January 28, 2018
"Mr Aston lives with his 31-year-old business partner Amy Jay, in the affluent and picturesque village of Moulsford in Oxfordshire
In June 2017, he established his own digital currency firm just before Bitcoin’s huge surge in value in July, according to Companies House.
Four armed robbers in balaclavas forced their way into the home of Danny Aston, 30, who runs a digital currency trading firm, before reportedly tying up a woman and forcing Mr Aston to transfer an unknown quantity of the cryptocurrency.
The astute combination of mediocrity
What should you do for a career if you're not really good at anything?
According to Quora's Maria Nikols
We’re forever being sold a lie on how to prosper in life: discover what you’re best at, work hard at it, swim in an ocean of riches and happiness.
That works brilliantly if you were born the best at something, but for everyone else, it’s kinda soul-crushing. What if you don’t have any world class skills?
What if you’re just okay at lots of things?
"Bill Gates is not the best programmer in the world, nor is he the world’s greatest speaker, salesperson, visionary or accountant. He’s good-to-passable at these things though, and he’s learned to weld his skills together into something far more valuable."
"Even when your skills are mediocre, an astute combination of mediocrity can turn you into something priceless."
Life, like bitcoins, is irrational
The bitcoin is tangible proof that the irrational can be something productive and we create reality from legends.
Probably the best way to learn what a token (the humble name of a coin) of cryptocurrency is to make one yourself . Followup the link Give the gift of a personal #cryptocurrency this Valentines!
According to greatest Talmudist alive, Adin Steinsaltz, life as we see it is not all there is. There is more to existence than our physical and material concern. The holy person is someone, possibly your grocer - but you may feel that he is connected with something "other" ... beyond our ordinary comprehension.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the unknown person or people who designed bitcoin and created its original reference implementation in 2008. He is not a religious saint, but definitely a person who is saintly. We sense that he or she is attached to a higher realm, or has someone's knowledge beyond what we can understand
Two iconic companies founded in the 19th century
Kodak was founded by George Eastman and Henry A. Strong on September 4, 1888. It held a dominant position in the photographic film for a century. After re-emerged from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013, it still has 1.8 billion dollars in revenues and 6,100 employees
Ericsson was founded in 1876 by Lars Magnus Ericsson; as of 2016, it is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. It dominated worldwide the telecom industry for a century and still plays a key role, but it is challenged by the environmental business reality, now digitalized. It has over 100,000 employees.
I love Ericsson. I am part of "gig" economy, the 57 million US freelancers. I really enjoyed being part of this company. Every person I met is a gifted professional, fanatically loyal to be part Ericsson. I felt that we counted as human beings, we were all important. The satisfaction at work dominates our lives and is essential for our happiness.
Kodak Cryptocurrency move
On January 8 Kodak made a surprise announcement.
Kodak-branded mining rig called the KashMiner, which was showcased at this year's CES. It's created and run by a company called Spotlite, and has licensed the Kodak name. : Users pay $3,400 to rent the mining machine for two years. But here's the catch: You have to give back half your profits
The initial coin offering (ICO) for the Kodak-branded cryptocurrency, dubbed KodakCoin, has been scheduled for January 31, but it has been delayed for several weeks following a pre-sale during which 8 million KodakCoins were sold.
Why has been Kodak ICO delayed? We read in a statement on Kodak Website that the interest for KodakCoin is over 40,000 interested buyers. The delay is being attributed to an extended process of verifying that those trying to invest are actually accredited in the U.S., meaning that they have a net worth of more than $1 million or an income of at least $200,000 per year.
According to CoinDesk
The project is the result of a deal between Kodak and WENN Digital, and is intended to serve as the underlying token for a decentralized photo rights management platform. The value Kodask stock grew 3x followed by 10% decrease after ICO date was pushed ahed for a few weeks.
Stock price of Kodak after the delay in ICO of KodakCoin
Harvard Business Review advise to Kodak
According to an article from 2016 in HBR
Kodak was so blinded by its success that it completely missed the rise of digital technologies. But that doesn’t square with reality. After all, the first prototype of a digital camera was created in 1975 by Steve Sasson, an engineer working for … Kodak. The camera was as big as a toaster, took 20 seconds to take an image, had low quality, and required complicated connections to a television to view, but it clearly had massive disruptive potential.
Spotting something and doing something about it are very different things. So, another explanation is that Kodak invented the technology but didn’t invest in it. Sasson himself told The New York Times that management’s response to his digital camera was “that’s cute – but don’t tell anyone about it.” A good line, but not completely accurate. In fact, Kodak invested billions to develop a range of digital cameras.
So here is the advice to Kodak from top business gurus at Harvard University on how Kodak could have had avoided the downfall
If your company is beginning to talk about a digital transformation, make sure you ask three questions:
What business are we in today? Don’t answer the question with technologies, offerings, or categories. Instead, define the problem you are solving for customers, or, in our parlance “the job you are doing for them.”
What new opportunities does the disruption open up? Perceived as a threat, disruption is actually a great growth opportunity. Disruption always grows markets, but it also always transforms business models.
What capabilities do we need to realize these opportunities? Another great irony is that incumbents are best positioned to seize disruptive opportunities. After all, they have many capabilities that entrants are racing to replicate, such as access to markets, technologies, and healthy balance sheets. Of course, these capabilities impose constraints as well, and are almost always insufficient to compete in new markets in new ways. Approach new growth with appropriate humility
"The American icon had the talent, the money, and even the foresight to make the transition. Instead, it ended up the victim of the aftershocks of a disruptive change. Learn the right lessons, and you can avoid its fate." ends the article.
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.
Ericsson lessons from Kodak
The first question is, does it make sense in a digital world to issue crypto tokens?
I don't know the answer. I can humbly just bring suggestions to the business minds and turnaround professionals who run a company the size of Ericsson. Do they consider the three questions above from HBR relevant?
I think with headlines in Financial Times as Ericsson shares down 9% on fifth consecutive quarterly loss the answer could be yes.
If Kodak issues a coin to serve as the underlying token for a decentralized photo rights management platform, their business partners are the paparazzi (according to malicious critics on twitter)
Ericsson engineer Joe Armstrong developed Erlang with the logic of telecommunications in mind: millions of parallel conversations happening at the same time, with almost zero tolerance for downtime. Why Ericsson cannot make a product like Whatsup. which sold for 19 billion to Facebook? Ericsson can make it free for any company using open source Erlang, up to, say, 1 million dollars in profits and but charge a license fee as a percentage if the company makes larger profits?
People forget the Bluetooth technology is also developed by Ericsson
These are some examples where an Ericsson token ICO makes sense. There is a potential to see the shares of Ericsson jump three times to USD 20 per share, simply because it announces the Ericsson professional token.
A well-executed Ericsson 2018 crypto-token ICO may lead in 2018 to a price above 2014 level
Maybe this is wishful thinking, but the risk for a pivot is very small It is a way to recapture the value of Ericsson intellectual rights. This will not be a casino chip or a speculative token. This will be based on the value of the entire sales past, present, and future of Ericsson, and an incentive to a true turnaround.
What is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is similar to a religion
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, made possible through the blockchain technology. It has its own bible and a saint no one has ever met in person, Satoshi Nakamoto. This a very common name in Japan, like John Smith in the US.
The bible is called Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System and was published in 2008 on the cryptography mailing list
Because is hard to define what bitcoin is, bitcoin-wiki lists 35 myths so far
Bitcoin is just like all other digital currencies; nothing new
Bitcoins don't solve any problems that fiat currency and/or gold doesn't solve
Miners, developers or some other entity could change Bitcoin's properties to benefit themselves
Bitcoin is backed by processing power
Bitcoins are worthless because they aren't backed by anything
The value of bitcoins are based on how much electricity and computing power it takes to mine them
Bitcoin has no intrinsic value (unlike some other things)
and so on
This one of the many explanations on Internet
"To build an electronic cash system like this that's fully decentralized. we need two address two big issues a fully decentralized digital cash system
How to introduce new coins into the system? Obviously a viable payment network needs some way to create new coins, but if you let anyone create new coins whenever they want, the currency will quickly become worthless.
The second challenge is known as the double-spending problem. The rules of bitcoin say that each transaction output can only be spent once. If someone tries to spend the same output twice, the bitcoin community needs some way to detect this double-spending attempt and reject the later transaction.
The obvious solution is to have a company manage a shared record of all transactions. That's how conventional payment networks like MasterCard and PayPal work. But bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto wanted to build a network that wasn't controlled up by any single organization".
A rebellion started against any centralized control of institutions of fiat money. Money that represents the confidence in economies managed by people, and made of worthless pieces of paper. Fiat money has no intrinsic values. In making the bitcoin, no treasury, no PayPal or Visa, no government, in general, should be allowed to manipulate us.
A shared ledger called the blockchain that is maintained by computers, called nodes, operating on a peer-to-peer network. Thousands of computers around the world keep separate copies of the entire blockchain, storing every transaction that has happened since the network was launched in 2009. The network rewards nodes who help to create the blockchain by allowing them to create new bitcoins—solving the coin-distribution problem while simultaneously creating an incentive to help solve the ledger-updating problem.
This is not a metaphor. There are actual poems written by people who get emotional. 99.99% of people who trade in bitcoin have no idea how it works and why it has such wild increases in value over a short period of time
Here is a poem sample
Are you sick of governments having far too much control?
With the power to print money to fill the debt black hole.
The power to control you and tell you what to do.
Like Iraq, Afganistan and quantitive easing 2.
The system of control they use to keep you in line
is worthless fiat money and inflation over time.
Instead of blaming bankers step up to the plate
take responsibility for rolling back the state.
The power of the internet is an incredible tool
for learning, sharing and trying to look cool.
It’s free from all the bureaucrats and effectively lawless
But look at how amazing it is and all that it has brought us.
Charles Kindleberger opinion
Not many people heard of him, except bankers with a Ph.D. degree. Charles Kindleberger designed the Marshall Plan
His books contain everything that happened before. The idea that a computer code shared by many people is 100% objective and free from people manipulation is a salt statue. From Economist
The developers behind distributed ledgers, often talk as if governance is something they are beyond. They are not. Computer code is just a set of rules. Code is governance. And it can change.
Take bitcoin: if a supermajority of the computers running the bitcoin distributed ledger run an upgrade, the upgrade becomes the new code. But behind each computer is a human, making decisions. Distributed-ledger developers talk about a consensus-driven model, where you improve the system by bringing everyone on board. So do central bankers.
Different humans have different interests. In bitcoin, the people who own the computers verifying transactions—the “miners”—want code that increases fees for miners. People who use bitcoin want code that keeps those fees low.
Then the existence of a computer code that is impartial and can not be manipulated by people is hard to imagine.
It like saying we do not need humans to run a driverless taxi service. But of course, we need humans to monitor the safety, make software patches and add new computer applications and manage the whole operation.
Future will tell whether the poet fears "The system of control they use to keep you in line is worthless fiat money and inflation over time." can be indeed eliminated
Dec 27 , 2017, bitcoin one-day variation