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Currency

Community and decentralized approaches to money, exchange, and related concepts.

Blockchain platforms

These may or may not directly have to do with currency.

Coin Listings

  • CoinGecko - “Easiest Way to track Cryptocurrencies”

Bitcoin history and culture

History

Initial coin offerings and token economies

Internet of Things

Mining

Basics

Texts

  • Coinometrics - “Measuring cryptocurrencies in real time”
    • Levin, Jonathan. “The 50% Club.” Coinometrics. November 8, 2014.
      • Suggests that the 50% issue is not so clear, that miners below 50% could carry out an attack, and that the variability of the network allows those normally below the threshold to periodically jump above it.
    • Levin, Jonathan. “Why a Faster Bitcoin Network Would Keep Fees Low.” CoinDesk. September 6, 2014.
      • “Reducing the time that it takes for information about new blocks to spread through the network would reduce time spent on redundant blocks and hence also reduce the probability that any blocks found are discarded.”
  • F2Pool, also known as Discus Fish, based in China.
  • HashingIt.com - Analytics by Dave Hudson, who now works at PeerNova
      • “While less than ideal for users of Bitcoin, congestion of the network does have a potentially positive impact for one group: Miners. As block space becomes scarce, users of the network will have to attach larger fees to continue to see confirmation times of the order they are used to. When fees increase then miners reap the reward.”
      • Electricity costs “play a major role in defining the viability of mining hardware, help determine the upper limit on the worldwide hashing rate and the potential scale of future mining operations.”
      • “At this level [based on April 2014] the electricity bill for the worldwide hashing would currently be $413k per day (about $151M per year!).”
      • “It seems inevitable that technology will no longer offer a path to dramatically higher hashing rates at the same capital and operating costs”
  • Hearn, Mike. “Mining Decentralization: The Low-Hanging Fruit.” Bitcoin Foundation. July 3, 2014.
    • Describes some of the problems with alternatives to the centralized mining pools
    • Guo is founder of Avalon, maker of the first commercial ASIC miner
    • Early on, like 2011, the action was in mining. That was pretty much all one could do.
    • “The Holy Trinity of bitcoin is the hardware support, the meshnet for powering the infrastructure free of outside control, and then bitcoin itself.”
    • “I had this sort of epiphany. What I realized was that for true bitcoin adoption, we needed hardware. Tons of software was being developed but no hardware. So I set out to make an Android-powered tablet back then, a simple, cheap tool merchants could use as a point-of-sales.”
    • “Soon after, Occupy Wall Street happened. I knew someone who was doing tech ops and I wanted to help out, since bitcoin and Occupy are, in a way, philosophically aligned.”
    • “being on the ground in Shenzhen would eventually allow us to fast track our ASIC production when the time came.”
    • “We can’t have a monopoly in mining. It's not very good for decentralization.”
    • “We never intended for this to be a real business.”
    • “We wanted to start selling chips so people could make their own units, providing a hedge from a single entity becoming too powerful, and then move onto a new project. That was our main goal. We wanted to prevent this potential monopoly. As it turned out, we became the monopoly we tried to prevent.”
    • “Fun fact: none of the Avalon team have their own mining units (outside of test units).”
    • “We’ve had plenty of opportunities, such as keeping the technology to ourselves and simply mining, but that was never our intention. … If we wanted to maximize our profit, we could charge much more. For us, this has always been an ideal-oriented problem, not a business-oriented one.”
    • “if you don’t think this is a profitable endeavour, then please, for the love of God, don’t buy from us and stop complaining.”
    • “This is the gold rush. It’s first come, first serve. In reality, the first have come and have already been served. Batch one and two was where it was at.”
    • “Mining is sort of magical. I remember hearing a story at a team meetup in Beijing. There was this miner who had moved from Brazil, and he basically expressed that, sure, this thing is making me some money, but what it has really done is changed my life. He couldn't believe that this was real, mining around the clock in front of his house.”
    • “This machine liberates people. Suddenly, you can figure out what you want to do as a human being because it takes care of your living expenses. Eventually you’ll be able to hook it up to APIs where it will automatically order your groceries for you. It’s crazy but it’s going to happen.”
    • “We don’t look at it like a stock, we look at it like technology. It’s a platform.”
    • “it’s not about how much bitcoin is worth. The exchange rate is irrelevant. It’s about the concept of a peer-to-peer ledger keeping system, which so far is working swimmingly.”
  • P2Pool

Politics

  • Bauwens, Michel. “A political evaluation of bitcoin.” P2P Foundation blog. September 9, 2014.
    • Despite critiques, stresses the significance of the innovation.
    • “Bitcoin is not a true peer to peer currency but leads to more extreme inequality,” citing inequality of coin ownership and mining power
    • “distributed technologies do not necessarily lead to distributed outcomes”
    • “The inequality of bitcoin ownership will inevitably further affect the structures that make bitcoin operational, leading to new kinds of monopolies.”
    • “Bitcoin funds a dangerous ideology”—“ The design of Bitcoin is anarcho-capitalist, i.e. it is designed to favour the freedom of property owners, and the more you own, the freeer you are. Because such propertarians do not want to see the existing inequalities in society, decreeing them to be the result of free choice, they inevitably ally themselves with oligarchic forces and support their political programs of the dismantling of social solidarity mechanism, and any regulation which limits the freedom of powerful corporate forces. The valuation of Bitcoin means an important transfer of social wealth to this political tendency.”
    • “Bitcoin, far from being a tool of distribued equality, which is already a false empirical claim at present, is an ideal tool for the development of hyper-capitalist economic models. In this sense, Bitcoin is an ideal tool for netarchical capitalism, the hierarchies that enable, but also control the networks, and capture value from it.”
  • Ehrbeck, Tilman. “Central banks want to issue national digital currencies, but are countries ready?” World Economic Forum. May 13, 2016.
  • Feuer, Alan. “The Bitcoin Ideology.” The New York Times. December 14, 2013.
  • Scott, Brett. “Visions of a techno-leviathan: The politics of the Bitcoin blockchain.” E-International Relations. November 26, 2014.
    • “to many onlookers Bitcoin is just a passing curiosity, a damp squib that will eventually suffer an ignoble death by media boredom. It is a mistake to believe that, though. The core innovation of Bitcoin is not going away, and it is deeper than currency.”
    • “Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies, though, are empowering right now precisely because they are underdogs. They introduce diversity into the existing system and thereby expand our range of tools. In the minds of hardcore proponents, though, blockchain technologies are more than this. They are a replacement system, superior to existing institutions in every possible way. When amplified to this extreme, though, the apparently utopian project can begin to take on a dystopian, conservative hue.”
    • “While anarchist philosophers often imagine alternative governance systems based on mutualistic community foundations, the ‘empowerment’ here does not stem from building community ties. Rather it is imagined to come from retreating from trust and taking refuge in a defensive individualism mediated via mathematical contractual law.”
    • “It carries a certain disdain for human imperfection, particularly the imperfection of those in power, but by implication the imperfection of everyone in society. We need to be protected from ourselves by vesting power in lines of code that execute automatically.”
    • “The bizarre thing about the concept of ‘exit to the internet’ is that the internet is a technology premised on massive state and corporate investment in physical infrastructure, fibre optic cables laid under seabeds, mass production of computers from low-wage workers in the East, and mass affluence in Western nations. If you are in the position to be having dreams of technological escape, you are probably not in a position to be exiting mainstream society. You are mainstream society.”
    • “It is only when we think in these terms that we start to see Bitcoin not as a realm ‘lacking the rules imposed by the state’, but as a realm imposing its own rules. It offers a form of protection, but guarantees nothing like ‘empowerment’ or ‘escape’.”
    • “Interestingly, it is a similar abstraction to that made by Hobbes. In his Leviathan, self-regarding people realise that it is in their interests to exchange part of their freedom for security of self and property, and thereby enter into a contract with aSovereign, a deified personage that sets out societal rules of engagement.”
    • “Don’t decentralised blockchains offer the ultimate prospect of protected property rights with clear rules, but without the political interference?”
    • “For much of modern history, the key issue with powerful institutions has not been their willingness to break contracts. It has been their willingness to use seemingly unbreakable contracts to exert power.”—“That is why liberation movements always seek to break contracts set in place by old regimes, whether it be peasant movements refusing to honour debt contracts to landlords, or the DRC challenging legacy mining concessions held by multinational companies, or SMEs contesting the terms of swap contracts written by Barclays lawyers.”
  • Scott, Brett. How Can Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology Play a Role in Building Social and Solidarity Finance?. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, February 2016.
  • Varoufakis, Yanis. “Bitcoin and the dangerous fantasy of ‘apolitical’ money.” April 22, 2013.

Complimentary currencies

Bibliography

Mutual credit

Timebanking

Bibliography