The bitcoin big bang how alternative currencies are about to change the world

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THE BITCOIN BIG BANG How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World Brian Kelly Cover image: © Cover design: Wiley Copyright © 2015 by Brian Kelly All rights reserved Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey Published simultaneously in Canada No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600, or on the Web at Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748-6008, or online at Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales materials The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation Y ou should consult with a professional where appropriate Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages For general information on our other products and services or for technical support, please contact our Customer Care Department within the United States at (800) 762-2974, outside the United States at (317) 572-3993 or fax (317) 5724002 Wiley publishes in a variety of print and electronic formats and by print-on-demand Some material included with standard print versions of this book may not be included in e-books or in print-on-demand If this book refers to media such as a CD or DVD that is not included in the version you purchased, you may download this material at For more information about Wiley products, visit ISBN 9781118963661 (Hardcover) ISBN 9781118963647 (ePDF) ISBN 9781118963654 (ePub) For my wife, Dawn, this book is a testament to your unwavering faith in my stupid ideas CONTENTS Preface Acknowledgments About the Author Chapter 1: Bitcoin Is a Bubble The Quest to Buy Bitcoin Bitcoin Enlightenment Currencies Are a Matter of Trust What Is Bitcoin? Is It a Currency? It's Revolutionary Chapter 2: Understanding the Digital Gold Rush The Language of Bitcoin How Do I Buy Bitcoin? Who “Gets” It? The Gold Rush Is Just Starting Chapter 3: Bitcoin Is More than Digital Gold Searching for Satoshi The Search Why Is Satoshi a Genius? Bigger than Satoshi Chapter 4: Byzantine Generals' Problem How Does Bitcoin Solve the BGP? 51 Percent Attack An Elegant Solution Chapter 5: A Decentralized Financial System Grand De-Central Station What's at Stake? Central Banks Bitcoin Is the Catalyst Chapter 6: What Do You Call a Bitcoin Miner? A Banker How Does a Bitcoin Transaction Work? What Is Cryptography? Still Want to Be a Miner? Do We Need Another Bitcoin? Chapter 7: Nautiluscoin—0 to $1 Million in 60 Days Creating the Coin Did It Work? Chapter 8: Building the Nautiluscoin Economy Dynamic Proof-of-Stake Other Policy Tools Alternative to Gold Money, Made Better Financial Market Integration Special Drawing Rights Why NAUT? Chapter 9: Investing and Trading in Alternative Currencies A New Investment Class Valuation Exchanges Investment Vehicles Asset Class Growth Chapter 10: Regulation Regulatory Agencies Challenges to Regulation Pushing on a String Chapter 11: Smart Money: Set It and Forget It Rules of the Road Smart Contracts and Property Ethereum Cryptoequities: A New Type of Investment Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Professor Money Chapter 12: Everything You Know about Business Is Wrong Cryptonomics Growth Share Matrix Learning Curve Effects Porter's Three Generic Strategies Human Resource Management Fueling the Sharing Economy The Future Just Might Work Appendix 1: Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Guidance: FIN-20 13-G00 Issued: March 18, 2013 Subject: Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies Currency vs Virtual Currency Background Definitions of User, Exchanger, and Administrator Users of Virtual Currency Administrators and Exchangers of Virtual Currency Providers and Sellers of Prepaid Access Dealers in Foreign Exchange Notes Appendix 2: New York State Department of Financial Services Proposed New York Codes, Rules and Regulations: Title 23 Department of Financial Services Chapter I Regulations of the Superintendent of Financial Services Part 200 Virtual Currencies Section 200.1 Introduction Section 200.2 Definitions Section 200.3 License Section 200.4 Application Section 200.5 Application Fees Section 200.6 Action by Superintendent Section 200.7 Compliance Section 200.8 Capital Requirements Section 200.9 Custody and Protection of Customer Assets Section 200.10 Material Change to Business Section 200.11 Change of Control; Mergers and Acquisitions Section 200.12 Books and Records Section 200.13 Examinations Section 200.14 Reports and Financial Disclosures Section 200.15 Anti–money Laundering Program Section 200.16 Cyber Security Program Section 200.17 Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Section 200.18 Advertising and Marketing Section 200.19 Consumer Protection Section 200.20 Complaints Section 200.21 Transitional Period Index End User License Agreement List of Tables Chapter Table 6.1 Table 6.2 Chapter Table 8.1 Chapter Table 9.1 Table 9.2 Table 9.3 List of Illustrations Chapter Figure 5.1 A Simple Transaction in a Centralized Financial System Figure 5.2 Types of Systems Figure 5.3 A Transaction Using the Decentralized Bitcoin Network Figure 5.4 Bitcoin Aims to Disrupt a $459bn+ Industry Chapter Figure 6.1 Bitcoin Price versus Network Difficulty and Hash Rate Figure 6.2 Homemade FPGA Mining Rig Figure 6.3 Dave Carlson in His $8 Million per Month Bitcoin Mine Figure 6.4 Bitcoin Mining Pool Market Share Chapter Figure 8.1 Chain of Causality for Monetary Policy Figure 8.2 Dynamic Algorithmic Monetary Policy Creates Smooth Economic Growth Pattern over the Long Run Figure 8.3 Nautiluscoin Policy Tools Chapter Figure 9.1 A $100,000 Portfolio That Is Invested $60,000 in SPY and $40,000 in TLT Figure 9.2 Rolling 6-Month Correlation between S&P 500 and 10-Year Yield Figure 9.3 HGY00—High-Grade Copper—Daily Line Chart Figure 9.4 Price of Bitcoin Rises Chapter 12 Figure 12.1 The Growth Share Matrix Figure 12.2 Ford Model T Price Experience Curve: 1909–1916 Figure 12.3 Three Generic Strategies Preface Every so often I find myself with the insatiable desire to jump off a cliff and think about the consequences later Some may call it curiosity, while others think I am just plain crazy I typically relish the skepticism, as I have found that the best opportunities arise when everyone else thinks I am a little nuts The Bitcoin Big Bang was one of these times —actually, truth be told, this time I was the one who was skeptical Despite my fear, uncertainty, and doubt, I jumped anyway When I began writing The Bitcoin Big Bang, it was for selfish reasons: I had bought Bitcoin near the peak and now was in a losing trade and needed to know everything about this “investment.” I figured I could turn my research into a book and learn a few things in the process I did not know that I had stumbled on one of the most fascinating and promising technological advances since the Internet When I first heard of Bitcoin, it was through the currency markets, and that is where my journey to Bitcoin Enlightenment began I mistakenly assumed that Bitcoin was an interesting new currency that had held little promise After all, was the U.S government really going to allow an unregulated currency based on computer code to replace the dollar? What I now realize is that the currency is not the innovation; the blockchain technology is the game changer The currency—bitcoin —is a fascinating alternative currency that has the potential to disrupt the global payment networks However, it is the blockchain technology that is revolutionary The concept of the blockchain enables the transfer of secure information over an unsecured network This may sound like a small step, but it is the first time in human history that this has been possible The blockchain solves a multidecade-old problem in computer networking, and it can be applied to more than just currencies It has the potential to end identity theft, create a secure Internet without the need for passwords, and revolutionize the way corporations business When Jeff Bezos left a lucrative job as an investment banker to start an Internet bookstore called Amazon, everyone thought he was crazy At that time, video stores like Blockbuster were in their prime and smartphones were landlines with an answering machine attached Today, that same company (Amazon) is a leader in streaming video content to a handheld computer called a smartphone I not know what alternative currencies will look like or accomplish over the next 20 years, but I know that when a revolutionary technology is born, the world changes My goal with the book was to answer four questions: What is Bitcoin, and why is it revolutionary? How does it work? Why are digital currencies a new type of investment? How are alternative currencies going to change the world? Byrne, Patrick Byzantine Generals' Problem California gold rush, history of Carlson, Dave Cellphones, as smart property Central banks centralized systems, defined history of (See also Federal Reserve) money supply and economic growth Nautiluscoin Stability Fund as “central bank” Challenge, defined Chile, currency of China Bitcoins banned by digital currency regulation in Hong Kong economy and Qing Dynasty monetary system Clear, Michael CloudHashing CNBC Coinbase “Coincidence of wants” CoinDesk Cold wallets Collision resistant, defined Colored Coins Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures (CUSIP) ConAgra Continental currency, history of Counterfeit, avoiding Credit cards Bitcoin as competition of processing fees of security issues of Crypto 2011 Cryptoequities Cryptography Bitcoin creation and Bitcoin mining techniques cryptographic hash functions cryptographic key pair defined encryption and SHA-256 (Secure Hash Algorithm) See also Cryptonomics Cryptography Mailing List Cryptonomics DAOs and decentralization and defined Experience Curve and future of Growth Share Matrix and sharing economy concept of Three Generic Strategies and Currency Bitcoin as Bitcoin currency exchanges fiat currency for bitcoins growth of alternative currencies history of, in U.S pegged currency failures trust in See also Alternative currency investment Davis, Joshua Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) Byzantine Generals' Problem and Bitcoin technology cryptonomics and DAOs, defined decentralized financial systems, defined Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Denationalization of Money, The (Hayek) Denmark, digital currency regulation in Department of Finance (New York) DigiByte DigiShield Digital Asset Transfer Authority (DATA) Digital signature Digital wallets See also Wallets Distributed financial systems Dividends, programming into transactions Dixon, Chris Dual encryption, credit cards and Dutch East India Company EBay Ekanadham, K Electricity, used for mining Encryption Byzantine Generals' Problem and dual encryption and credit cards scrypt SHA-256 (Secure Hash Algorithm) See also Cryptography Eshet, Mary Ethereum Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) code Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) Exchanges, for digital currency Experience Curve Facebook Fast Company Fast Money Federal Reserve Great Recession and quantitative easing by regional Federal Reserve Banks Fees credit card processing fees miners' revenue and Fiat currency, for bitcoins Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) 51 percent attack Financial Crimes Enforcement Division (FINCEN) (U.S Treasury) Financial services industry Bitcoin as disruption to centralized systems decentralized systems distributed systems history of Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) (Denmark) Fitch, Jon Gambling, Bitcoin and Garzik, Jeff Geithner, Tim Gold “gold rush” history as medium of exchange Nautiluscoin as alternative to “Nixon Shock” and gold standard stable purchasing power and “Gold Standard, Deflation, and Financial Crisis in the Great Depression, The” (Bernanke) Goodman, Leah McGrath Great Depression Great Recession Bitcoin creation and centralized financial systems and impact on Iceland Growth Share Matrix Hash value Hayek, Friedrich Henderson, Bruce Hong Kong, monetary system of Hot wallets Huber, R V Iceland, digital currency regulation in “Idea of Smart Contracts, The” (Szabo) Interest rates, purchasing power and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) See also Taxes International monetary exchange central banks and currency peg failure example free-floating exchange rates International Monetary Fund (IMF) Internet Byzantine Generals' Problem and inception of IOU enforcement IrishCentral ITunes (Apple) Japan, Mt Gox and JPMorgan Kickstarter Kimoto Gravity Well (KGW) King, Neal Kinney, Alva Lamport, Leslie Lawsky, Benjamin Lawson, Nigel Ledgers See Blockchain Lee, Charles Lehman Brothers Lerner, Sergio Litecoin Little, Frank “Losing positions” Major, John Malkiel, Burton Markowitz, Harry Marshall, James MasterCard Mastercoin McCaleb, Jed Medici Bank Medium of exchange, Bitcoin as Merchants, bitcoins accepted by Merkle, Ralph Mind Candy Miners/mining affordability of large mining operations ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) miners Bitcoin transactions Byzantine Generals' Problem and cryptography techniques for (See also Cryptography) defined examples of operations field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) impact of, on Nautiluscoin miners as “middlemen,” 78 mining pools network difficulty role of miners stable purchasing power and Mintpal Mobile phones, as smart property Mochizuki, Shinichi Modern Portfolio Theory Money, functions of Money supply Money transmitters/money transmission services MPEx Mt Gox failure of founding of as largest exchange security of Musk, Elon Nakamoto, Dorian S Nakamoto, Satoshi Bitcoin inception and “Bitcoin P2P E-Cash Paper” identity of Napster National Banking Acts (1863, 1864) Native Americans, wampum of Nautiluscoin creation of cryptonomic decision-making process and developing economy of financial market integration of as gold alternative Hayek's theory and Nautiluscoin Stability Fund and pegged currency issues and proof-of-stake (PoS), method proof-of-stake (PoS), multipool purchasing power and Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and transparency of Nebraska Consolidated Mills Network difficulty Newsweek New York Department of Finance New Yorker Nixon, Richard “Nixon Shock” Nodes Nonce Oksman, Vladimir Open source, digital currencies as Options Clearing Corporation Overstock Parker, Sean Paulson, Hank PayPal Pease, Marshall Peer-to-peer network(s) Bitcoin as P2P lending Western Union as P2P network Penenberg, Adam People's Bank of China Perplex City (Mind Candy) Peso (Chile) Popeil, Ron Porter, Michael Pound sterling, currency peg failure and P2P Foundation Profit motive, cryptonomics and Proof-of-stake (PoS) method Proof-of-work (PoW) method Public/private key pair Qing Dynasty Quantitative easing Regulation Ripple Satoshi (bitcoin denomination) SatoshiDice Satoshi (name of Bitcoin inventor) See Nakamoto, Satoshi Scrypt Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) SecondMarket Inc Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Security issues of bitcoin purchases blockchain and (See also Blockchain) Byzantine Generals' Problem and credit data and of hot and cold wallets regulation and of revealing personal information Sharing economy concept SHA-256 (Secure Hash Algorithm) “Shelling out” Shiller, Robert Shostak, Robert Silk Road (website) Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) 60/40 portfolio model Smart contracts Smart money Bitcoin as cryptoequities and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) and Ethereum and generally protocols smart contracts and smart property Social networks Bitcoin as Facebook and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Soros, George S&P 500 SPAM, deterring S&P Capital IQ Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) Steffens, Lincoln Stone, Oliver Store of value, Bitcoin as Szabo, Nick TARP Tate, Jared Taxes IRS and guidance on digital currency New York tax-free zones using digital currency for Thiel, Peter Thomas, Stefan Three Generic Strategies Times of London Two Generals' Problem United Kingdom, currency peg failure in United States, digital currency regulation in Unit of account, Bitcoin as University of California–Berkeley U.S Department of Commerce U.S dollar early history of gold standard and U.S Treasury Valuation, of digital currencies Vault, for bitcoins Vietnam, digital currency regulation in Volcker, Paul Voorhees, Erik Wallets digital wallets hot and cold wallets public/private key pair software wallet and web wallet, defined Wall Street (film) Wall Street Journal Walters, Alan Wampum “We Are All Bitcoin” (Garzik) Wells Fargo Western Union William III (King of England) Wilson, Fred Winkelvoss ETF World Bank, creation of ZipCar Zuckerberg, Mark WILEY END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT Go to to access Wiley's ebook EULA .. .THE BITCOIN BIG BANG How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World Brian Kelly Cover image: © Cover design: Wiley... What is Bitcoin, and why is it revolutionary? How does it work? Why are digital currencies a new type of investment? How are alternative currencies going to change the world? To this end, the book... dive into how Bitcoin acts as a tool to verify, clear, and convey financial transactions The revolution is the combination of the blockchain and the miners—together, these components become the
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