bitcoin

Showing 26 posts tagged bitcoin

Currency as language.

On this wonderful journey of cryptocurrencies, I explained why in the next decade there will be a currency for everything (even people).

One of the rising protagonists of the cryptocurrency movement is Andreas Antonopoulos. He shares my vision of a world where there will be thousands of currencies. He has a knack for distilling some of the concepts into succinct terms. During the recent Coinsummit conference, he mentioned this future again and used a term that so aptly describes what is going to happen.

Currency will become a language.

Because (soon) anyone can create a currency that is instantly global and more to secure to counterfeiting than any other form of money we’ve seen. And when this happens, people will have free choice to affiliate their monetary value to any community they wish.

When you are faced with an option to use equally secure forms of money with equal monetary value, you are going to use the one that speaks to you: that represents the ideas you want to affiliate with. For example: let’s say there is a currency for death-metal fans & a currency for jazz fans. If you had the option to (without financial risk*) to use one that speaks to you (jazz), you’ll use that one. It becomes a vote for that community. It is the glue & lifeblood that builds a foundation for those networks of value. I like putting it in terms of this other post I made about music & people’s disdain for when artists go mainstream. The “law of hipster connection” states: 

The more obscure and deeper down the rabbit hole of music you go, the deeper and more intimate connections between individuals become.

Replace “music” with any “meme” (in the Dawkins sense of the word). I use art as an explanation as well.

Understanding others through a cultural meme is sort like a proof-of-work for connection. If I like something, and someone else likes it as well, it speaks to what has happened in our life and the roads we unknowingly shared to be able to come together and appreciate that meme (note. Again, I’m using meme in the correct way here, not referring to funny internet jokes).

This week, through serendipity of the internet, Marc, a musician from Johannesburg called me to explain just how excited he is about “The Cypherfunks" (internet band & cryptocurrency community). It is inevitable then that barriers of trust are completely destroyed, because we both "get" it. It is a wonderful feeling.

And so, currencies will become languages: indirect votes of the community you affiliate with. If I use Dogecoin, it represents the welcome, light-hearted and charitable community we’ve come to know and love. If I use FUNK, it represents the community of musicians coming together to make music with others across the world. The currency becomes loaded with meaning, and that meaning speaks.

And that is so exciting. So incredibly exciting. It speaks to people in terms of agency & in terms of connection. The great inventions of the world bring us closer, because deep down, one of our greatest desires is to rally against this shell that is our body. We touch. We talk. We fall in love so that the barrier between us and others fall down. And that makes these experiments all the more worthwhile.

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*Just a note on financial risk. Of course, if we assume a very liquid world containing various networked currencies, there’s going to be some risk in holding a currency. The natural order of things is for communities to arise and die, but sometimes your propensity of risk is to not necessarily want to be financially involved. There are however ways to mitigate this, and it is already becoming possible. An example is Coinbase’s (apparently) upcoming feature that when people spend their Bitcoin, it immediately transfers your dollars in your Bank account (through ACH) to Bitcoin and pays with that (or replenishes it, straight afterwards). This means. When faced with a situation to pay for something, you can choose a currency, as long as it is immediately exchanged into the other. For those with less propensity of risk , they can keep their currency in a system that is currently more stable, and then when paying, it becomes a vote for a more specific community. Paying with Bitcoin through Coinbase using this method is a vote for Bitcoin: a community that represents this potential. In the future, it could even be from Bitcoin -> other currency networks.

A blockchain as host for a decentralized virtual/augmented reality.

So. Now that Facebook has acquired Oculus, there’s talk (on the Oculus) sub-reddit about metaverses. Facebook could make & build a metaverse. And they suspect that, of course, there will be multiple metaverses created by different companies. However, we stare slap-bang right into a problem of ownership & centralization… Something humanity has managed to solve in the form of… a blockchain.

Bitcoin is a shared ledger, currently used for currency. But that shared ledger technology can be used for almost anything. The incentive of the “tokens” used in it, should just be aligned with incentives to keep the blockchain alive. So, an example of this is Namecoin: a tool store decentralized dns. But which has also now been used to create a decentralized directory of people: onename.io.

Now. Thinking about virtual (& augmented reality for example), there WILL be incentives to create a metaverse not controlled by a central authority (such as Facebook). We’ll want to create objects in these spaces that are decentralized, and we have the technology to do so. Pure virtual reality might be some time off (as it is perhaps a bit more complex), but let’s look at augmented reality. If I place an augmented chocolate on the ground in front of my house, and someone else walks by with their (say Google Glass), they will need to be able to see it. So a bare minimum, this is already possible. You create a key-value system, similar to Namecoin, but call it AugmentedCoin. Similarly, you need AugCoins to store the coordinates of these virtual objects. The extra part is the reference to how this augmented object acts in the augmented space [if the reference is missing, it disappears?].

The beauty of this system too, is that proof-of-work can act as spam control. In order words, you can’t just place a shitload of bananas all over the meta-layer [over earth]. The basic form is that transaction fees limit continuous placing of objects. But you could also add another layer, where the higher fee becomes the first object (form of proof-of-sacrfice)?

Anyway. Just some quick thoughts. I do however think this is inevitable. It might some time to eke out the details (economics & technology), but it is entirely possible. If it can be decentralized, it WILL be decentralized.

The Cypherfunks. One month in.

Wow. What a crazy few weeks it’s been.

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[Thanks to Frederick for the photo]

On the 21st of February, the genesis block for The Cypherfunks was created: an internet band and currency. A project for musicians from around the world to come together and make music under one name [no permission is required]. The currency acts as quantification of the network.

Since then it has gotten wings in ways I did not imagine. As you can see from the photo above, never did I think I would be on national news in South Africa talking about it.

In other ways, it’s been more difficult than I imagined. Let’s talk about that first… Considering that this project comprises of 2 different communities, it’s been difficult to convince either of the benefit it provides. For the cryptocurrency, cypherfunks, is technically NOT an altcoin. It’s not supposed to compete with Bitcoin, Litecoin or Dogecoin. It’s a new way of crowdfunding, and it is using cryptocurrency as the method. For the musicians, explaining cryptocurrencies have also been an upwards battle. But it’s also more than that, it’s also explaining why cryptocurrencies is an effective way to attempt this experiment vs other forms of crowdfunding (in short: both are decentralized, that’s why crypto is better).

Chances are, the support behind this project is more than the price reflects (which is good and bad). Good, because there’s definitely support here that’s not obvious, but bad, because it’s not revealed in the price. For a project like this to succeed, liquidity is needed (from speculators).

On the plus side. It’s been amazing to see people from across the world get involved with project! 23 songs have been released, and people from Europe, Africa, America and Asia have gotten involved. It’s been exciting to see. Creatively, it’s also been a wonderful adventure (in just a month). I’m really proud about this collab (a totally original production fully within “The Cypherfunks”): https://soundcloud.com/simon-segfault/the-cypherfunks-weavers.

Such a nice blend of chillwave/electro-pop. Just the style I like. And it was birthed solely thanks to this project. In wonderful moments of serendipity, I met a journalist, Justin, at an informal dinner at one of Stellenbosch Unversity’s new student housings (which I was invited to thanks to Johannes). He invited me to an interview on RSG about the project. It was fun! And then the national news wanted an insert (thanks Naledi!). So odd, and wonderful at the same time.

Word of the project is proliferating to musicians across the world. For one month, it’s been such a great experience. I’ve met so many great people, listened to great music, appeared on national tv. And it’s only starting. So excited for where this will lead! Worth every penny so far!

It’s also birthed an entirely new start-up I’m so excited about, doing it with the coolest people. Will share it soon, once we have a prototype going.

We are the cypherfunks.

Country-based cryptocurrencies with self-regulating incentives.

Or: “Keeping a crypto-currency focused towards the country in question.”

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I’ve posted about this before, on how communities can create their own altcoins with self-regulating incentives. I’d just like to re-iterate how this could be done.

In the past few weeks, country-coins have been making big splashes, with Auroracoin almost hitting $1 Billion cap (although a bit misguided as the amount of coins in supply weren’t ALL the coins). The others one that splashes are coins such as Mazacoin (of the independent Lakota nation) & Spaincoin.

It is permission-less innovation. A cryptocurrency is automatically a global network. The way in which these coins focus on a country is to pre-mine a large portion of it (say %50), and then manually distribute it to citizens of the country. This is called an airdrop. You can read how Auroracoin will do it in Iceland. The gist is that using ID, you verify your citizenship and can claim a portion of the pre-mine.

The problem with this method, is that over time there is no guarantee that Auroracoins will stay in the system or in the hands of Icelanders. A strong mining group outside of Iceland can mine it or a wealthy individual over time can just buy a lot of it. While this, to some extent is “fine”, there is no self-regulating incentive to KEEP the center of the system within Iceland. Auroracoin can be adopted by Iceland (officially), but that still doesn’t stop it from it flowing out of the network it is INTENDED to support.

What is needed, is for the money supply to consistently stay at the center of the intended network: ie Iceland.

Now. The next part is a bit more decentralized, and ideas that could make it more decentralized are welcomed.

Each block’s coinbase MUST have an additional hardcoded address [preferably a multi-sig M-of-N for security if possible]. That address belongs to the central bank or government. It gets 10% of each block [for example]. Every year, citizens can claim 3% of it [a yearly ‘airdrop’]: equally [like claiming pension currently]. The other 7% goes to the central bank & government. That is the “tax” the citizens pay towards the government. That is what they will use instead of all other forms of tax [perhaps a bit drastic] to build roads, schools, policing, and so forth.

Considering that that address is known, extreme transparency of public funds are now possible as well. Every transaction from that address must be signed by multiple people, and every transaction must be explained by the government what it was spent on.

This means: the incentives are aligned. Other miners can be a part of the blockchain, but they will inherently do it to form of an incentive structure of belief of the country in question. ie, Miners will mine the USD country-coin, because they believe in the power of the US to utilize it effectively. It also means, coins generally stay within the country, as the incentives remain there.

It also means, in order for the country to use the coins better and put it to better use, they need to remain honest and build the country to the best of their ability. Let it float freely. The more valuable it becomes, the more the country and all of it citizens can do with their country-coin.

So, here’s an example:

Let’s do one for South Africa. Let’s call “E-money Mzansi”. It’s a sha256 coin modeled off of Bitcoin. It has similar timeframes. 4 years halving. Except, its nominal amount is increased a bit so that each citizen could have about 1000 coins each. Eventually supply will thus be (correcting for expected population growth) about 70 Billion. So block rewards are adjusted accordingly.

Each block has an extra coinbase address where 10% of the reward goes to the South African Reserve Bank. If it is NOT there, it is not a valid block. And then those coins are then used as described above.

Some technical considerations:

That hardcoded address is extremely, extremely vulnerable. Once compromised, it’s game over. M-of-N only keeps it safer for a while. Also, not ideal.

Forks. It is possible for citizens to just fork off that requirement for that hardcoded address. However, the government will only work on their fork: the one with their address in it. Citizens only get yearly airdrops from their fork (which will give poorer citizens that rely on it incentive to stay on that chain too), and government contractors will also work from their fork, and will then proliferate into the rest of society.

To start with this know, might be a bit difficult. You could go the current country-coin route and do it without permission. The developers of the coin simply keep the private key of the central address, until the government comes on board. Or you could actually go to a central bank and ask them (good luck with that). Another, more interesting way, is to kickstart this with a new political party. Chances, the rest of the crypto-world will absolutely love what you are doing and because cryptos float so easily, you’ll see money flowing in from around the world, strengthening your cause dramatically.

You could also radically do this without permission from the government. Create your own group and transparently commit to use the money to better the lives of ALL South African. Donating money to community projects that benefit South Africa.

I want some thoughts? I know some people are anti-centralization and anti-government. If you are, then also please give comments also, but please be constructive rather than just harping on about how bad they are. I do think it provides a very, very interesting alternative.

Introducing “The Cypherfunks”: a decentralized band & cryptocurrency.

For the past 3 weeks I’ve been building “The Cypherfunks”, and it is now ready for pre-announcement.

"The Cypherfunks" is a decentralized band and cryptocurrency: sustaining a new type of music collective.

To quote the website:

The idea is to create a music collective anyone can be a part of (in all manners of affiliation). The time is ripe to attempt such an experiment thanks to the Internet, technology and cryptocurrencies. With the age of the Internet, it’s a given that the sum of the talent outside any group is always greater than those inside. We see this with open source companies and projects such as Linux. Collectively, the sum of contributions made possible through the Internet to a mutual goal, always results in wondrous new concepts.

"The Cypherfunks" is such a new experiment towards music. We are all part of one big band. We release music under this collective, and we all have equal rights to "The Cypherfunks". Music is to be produced, reproduced, shared, reshared, sampled, resampled in all forms and manner. Like Lennon and McCartney famously collaborated within The Beatles, so can any form of affiliations come together as "The Cypherfunks" to create and remix. Anyone can also play and gig as "The Cypherfunks".

As bedroom producers, and garage acts, we know that this is a passion: a passion we would like to continue doing. In order to sustain this: “The Cypherfunks” is also a cryptocurrency. We can tip, pay and transact with others in and outside of the collective. Like a rendition? Tip a fellow member. Perhaps “The Cypherfunks” want to play at a local venue, but don’t have enough money? Donate through the Internet.

The cryptocurrency also means that if the collective releases great music, we ALL become successful: enabling us to continue churning out great music to share and remix. It is music, decentralized: attempting to be the world’s biggest, and most diverse band. We are ALL “The Cypherfunks”. A decentralized band. An “open-source” band.

Everything is working. Just have to do some final small adjustments, and it is good to go. This is my first attempt at creating a cryptocurrency, so I anticipate some hiccups initially. I hope you will bear with me, as we jam and music together!

The tentative release date is: 21 February 8am UTC. This gives me the whole of Friday (I’m GMT+2) to help and work out problems if there will be any.

This IS a community project. I’m only the lead developer. We need miners, developer, musicians, listeners, fans, etc. So join! You are welcome!

More details on the website: http://thecypherfunks.com

Follow @thecypherfunks where I’ll be posting most of the updates in the run-up to the launch.

Thanks to the people who has been a soundboard for various parts of it so far: Christopher Franko, Bryce Weiner, Candice Holdsworth, Niel de la Rouviere, the “Crypto Klets Kamer”.

Here’s the first song that forms part of the collective: a happy epic anthem about “The Cypherfunks”.

Woohoo! Let’s go!

Bitcoin’s biggest innovation.

There’s so many facets to cryptocurrencies. Since I’ve been deep into the trenches, there’s just so many new great things about it that hasn’t been able before.

Things like smart property, decentralized contracts (that can disrupt civil law, arbitration, etc), payment channels, colored coins, decentralized autonomous corporations (2), trust-less storage and autonomous agents. I lose track sometimes. I’m sure I missed some.

When you can decentralize trust into a shared ledger, it brings about quite interesting new features as you can see by the examples above.

But. There’s one part of the cryptocurrency revolution that stands out.

Just like the web brought about the democratization of information and communication, so cryptocurrencies will do to value.

Let me reiterate:

Web - Democratization of information.

Cryptocurrencies - Democratization of value.

In humanity’s history, the systems that were capable of sustaining a currency were your larger institutions: governments (and more recently, banks). The reason was: only they were capable of protecting the currency from being counterfeited. Part of the faith required in using any form of currency is the belief that it is prohibitively difficult to counterfeit. If I on my own, start printing some paper money, and tell people to use it, they are going to laugh at me. The only way to make sure people don’t laugh at you, is to make sure you are big enough (in systems scale), so that faith can be put in your capability that it is not being counterfeited.

Even the mightiest institutions in the world have to constantly keep up: with an estimated $60 - $100 million counterfeit USD alone being in circulation (of the $1,29 trillion in circulation). Not a lot: a respectable 0.01 of cash in circulation. But, where does that leave any other institution? Nearly impossible. A lot of smaller banks failed due to the troubles of counterfeit bonds, and notes. It has been left to the devices of a select few institutions.

When you look at what the world of information looked like before the web, the pattern shows its colours. While it was easier than making a currency, information was still locked up in institutions that had the power to spread it. Media was in control: book publishers, newspapers, TV stations, radio, etc. The power of the man on the street was classifieds in their local newspaper and word-of-mouth.

We all know how that story played out. Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia. FREE information sharing, instantly across the globe. And we are all better off because of it.

Now, when you see what’s happening with cryptocurrencies, the same pattern emerges. Cryptocurrencies allow anyone to create one where counterfeiting IS NOT POSSIBLE. All you need is an electronic device to do some hashing (even smartphones can churn).

The power of the value maintainers are given to the hands of anyone and everyone. Currently, you can even create an altcoin with just a form. And it just going to become A LOT easier. Soon Jimmy in primary school can create a currency that’s STRONGER in terms of trust/security than any fiat currency.

Can we even fathom what this entails?

As Andreas Antonopoulos, eloquently stated: “We can now decouple monetary value from a currency”.

This will give freedom of choice, and agency to everyone who wants to opt-in. Freedom to store value wherever you decide it to be. The first obvious choice would be to take your value away from corrupt regimes and countries that mismanage a currency. People were once powerless against information spread by the media, and now we have the choice to make up our mind, enquire and research on our own. It doesn’t even have to be anti-statist, just like mass media now is still around (in a different form). It’s about empowering people.

People around the world have in JUST 2 months put their value ($50 million of it), in Dogecoin. And if you are a part of it, you know it’s (primarily) not about “sticking it to the man” and “regaining back control”. It’s fun, a great community, giving and welcoming. They’ve donated money to service dogs and olympians. It’s about people choosing to put value where people want their value to be.

You might scoff, and wonder “why the fuck would people do that”? And the beauty of it: you don’t HAVE to join. The information revolution brought about people sharing weird erotic fanfiction with others. Being a part of this information revolution doesn’t mean YOU have to read it. But it gives CHOICE, and freedom that you can find that information. With cryptocurrencies, it will be the same: freedom to affiliate value wherever you want it to be.

Just like some people have used the freedom of information to topple corrupt regimes, a lot of it was also about human connection (blogging, social networks, etc), and empowering others (wikipedia). Then there’s also doge and funny cat videos.

We’ll see cryptocurrencies undergo the same use cases: to subvert monetary mismanagement (see Argentina), but to also create the Dogecoin’s of the world AND all of the above will make it all worthwhile.

In what seems like a fun joke, the Dogecoin community had a big party in NYC recently, and put the Doge face on the Wall Street Bull.

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In the next decade, we’ll look back and realise just how much this picture meant. Now, we don’t quite know just what we are in for.

It’s a grand time to be alive.

The Bitcoin ‘waves’ of adoption: decentralized funding rounds.

I’ve been fascinated by the rate of Bitcoin’s adoption (and correlation to price). Here’s an interesting graph:image

From this post. And a bigger version.

This is a trend I’ve noticed too. Past performance don’t indicate future performance, but it is still interesting to wonder if there is any credence to these patterns. It seems that with each big ‘rally’ it was an order of magnitude higher. 0.1 - 1. 1 -> 10. 10 -> 100. 100 -> 1000. When it rallies, it rallies close to these patterns (an order of magnitude rally).

When the price rises, the media suddenly starts attributing external factors to it: trying to tie some reason for the price rise. When Zynga news broke, Bitcoin rallied, and media attributed it to that. But now, with even more massive retailers like Overstock, TigerDirect, Fancy, Porn.com, etc accepting it… the price didn’t climb. By correlation to Zynga, it should’ve rallied substantially more.

And then I look at the graph above, and wonder if there isn’t perhaps some other forces at stake here: tied to complexity and systems theory. It seems price leads adoption, not the other way around. It’s as if when a rally happens, it pulls the momentum of this complex network forward, and now allows more freedom and space for the actors in the system to catch up. That’s why: after a price rally, the ecosystem grows, and grows. But it’s not linear. With each wave, it’s been the same. Once the size of the ecosystem catches up to the price, it rallies again.

Then, another comparison comes along… Funding rounds of companies. “Price” leads adoption. VCs provide funding so that the companies can act on improving the network of the company. But it’s a leap of faith. The VC’s have to believe in the future potential and value of the company.

This, is the same with Bitcoin. One of the first, well-known ‘VC’ investments in Bitcoin was someone paying $42 for 10 000 (buying a guy a pizza). Someone was willing to take a risk to buy what could possibly be worth millions. That’s the same in VC. At first, small seed rounds, big risk. Then larger amounts of cash on the table as time goes on. But each time, price enables further adoption. That pizza was investment in Bitcoin, and kickstarted Bitcoin’s capability to create adoption.

With each ‘funding round’, all owners of Bitcoin become wealthier, and then have the capability to further create new parts to the ecosystem. Case in point: I can take time off now after my masters and work on Bitcoin stuff, because those that I bought last year has now appreciated.

What’s interesting to compare as well: with tech companies. Facebook, Dropbox, and Twitter all were valued around $8-10 billion after 5 years (Bitcoin’s age). And when an IPO, happens? Who are the underwriters? “Wall Street”. What’s one of the predictions to happen this year with Bitcoin? Institutional money is going to start pouring in.

As mistaclutch on Twitter replied to me when I linked this picture. It’s probably just apophenia: a tendency to seek patterns in random data. It’s still interesting to speculate. ;)

Personal coins and agency.

Since I’ve embarked on exploring the concept of personal coins, the most important part that I’m excited about is the agency it provides.

People form part of networks on various scales. You are a part of your family, your suburb, your town, your province/state, your country, your continent, the world, etc. All at different levels.

With each network you are a part of, you can play some role. The larger the network, the more difficult it becomes to make an impact (on a meaningful scale).

With cryptocurrencies, scarcity can be applied to any form of network: at any scale. Thus being able to quantify that network. Because of this revolutionary concept, owning a part of a network introduces agency to individuals on a scale never imagined.

Simply, by growing a network, you can create wealth. This exists on same scale today, through stocks, in companies. If you hold Apple stock, being an Apple enthusiast and talking about it, creates some ripple effect that might lead into an increase in price. But an individual can only do SO much in a network as big as Apple’s. However, now because we are able to quantify networks of any scale, the barrier to entry is much, much lower.

This means, any person now has the agency to do more with their lives than just having to resort to a job as the ‘value exchange’. The current mode of earning value (for most people) is intra-value trading in a network. The ‘network’ is the currency of the country you are living in. What’s happening is people are trading ‘stocks’ or parts of the ownership in the network of their country.

But the network you are a part, which that currency represents is your country… You CAN improve the value of it, but on a national scale it’s much more difficult to make a significant impact. But with smaller networks (of currencies), as the scale goes smaller, you have more control. Resulting in a new form of “wealth creation” that’s now available to people, that’s not a job. And it is much more feasible, as the barrier to entry to influencing smaller networks is lower.

The network you have most control over (and have the capability to influence), is the one you find yourself: resulting in personal coins.

Personal coins shouldn’t be about greed, or seeing it as obnoxious, or egotistical. It’s about granting agency to individuals in a world that’s being increasingly automated by software.

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Some of these ideas and concepts, I’m writing up in a book, which I plan to announce soon.

P.S. Speaking of personal coins. I’m putting Simoncoin on hold for now. I don’t think the current pure altcoin implementation is the best way to go. I’m looking at other implementations first.

Update on personal coins. What needs to happen for mainstream use.

In the past month since I announced my own planned personal coin, there’s been some new tech journalists launching their own: such as Alex Hern, and Joe Weisenthal. I’ve also discovered the first personality currency was Cinnamon Coin based on Cinnamon Carter. Indirectly, the Coinye West coin (or rather Coinye Coin due to “legal pressure”) is also coming.

Matt Corrallo also launched an altcoin maker: coingen. I was planning to make something similar, but I veered off into a more esoteric level: thinking of baking in alt coins securely onto the Bitcoin blockchain.

Slowly, but surely, it is starting…

To mint personal currencies, there’s currently 2 ways I see it can happen:

Pure altcoin & colored coins.

Pure altcoin:

This is what we are seeing with Dogecoin, Litecoin, and new personal coins such as Herncoin and Stalwartbucks. The concept is fine, BUT it lacks security: both in terms of technical chutzpah required by developers AND the problem of having chains with small hashing powers.

With coingen, in some manner, Matt has made it easier to create one, but it is still difficult to maintain one. A pure altcoin unfortunately also suffer from low hashing power risk. Someone can quickly come and derail a coin (if they were so inclined).

Colored coins:

Colored coins is the process of using Bitcoin as a proxy for other assets: basically allowing anyone to mint anything on the blockchain. You ‘color’ some satoshi that represents new assets. These assets can then be traded similarly to Bitcoin: they just then don’t use the nomimal value of BTC, the currency. So I can mint 1 million Simoncoin. This works well, because it uses the security of the Bitcoin blockchain AND it is now starting to be relatively easy, thanks to development in the area.

The problem with colored coins however, are that it is centralised. Making a personal coin decentralized will breed more trust, as I can’t manipulate AND I have additional incentive to be continuously involved in order to sustain it. In other words, I’d rather get involved with someone willingly relinquishing their personal coin to a decentralized approach.

So how do you combine them? Colored alts. And that’s what I’ve conceptually designed. Using the Bitcoin blockchain, users can mint any decentralized currencies on top of it.

Here’s the concept I’ve posted on the colored coins Google group. And here it is quickly on the Bitcointalk forums. I’m still looking for comments, but I think I’m in the right direction.

I believe a future of personal currencies means stripping away the worry of managing the technical sides (for everyday users). As you can see, it is tech journalists and tech savvy people playing with personal coins. This means, removing the worry of security AND the worry of maintenance.

So, I’ll see how far I get with it, as I would like to technically design it as well. This way I feel Simoncoin will have the best rate of success (you don’t want people moving coins halfway through). Making it future-proof. It also means anyone can hopefully create a personal coin by just a tap on their phone.

Announcing Simoncoin - world’s first individual altcoin.

In the previous post, I explain how it came to this. I’m going to run this experiment, and it’s going to be risky, but I would love to see this future come to fruition.

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Simoncoin is an investment in me, and my capability to make the world a better place.

It’s an experiment that I have conviction on! The cat is out of the bag. Whether this is how the future will look, it remains to be seen, but I do believe that individual cryptocurrencies lights up a path to a future where we can invest in each other’s capability to make the world a better place. Someone won’t have to work menial jobs just to get by. You can become a very ‘wealthy’ person simply by being altruistic: giving back to a community, helping elders across the street or fighting injustices.

Perhaps the future versions will be different: minting colored coins on the Bitcoin blockchain, or using systems such as Open Transactions. But for now, let’s start with this.

For now. Simoncoin is going to be launched in January 2014. I’m busy creating my own fork, setting the monetary policy, creating wallets, creating a block explorer, pools and so on, before the launch. Most of the basic altcoin code is done. I need to set up the rest of the infrastructure though, as well generate the merkle root. But I’m going on holiday with the family soon, and I want to be present and not want to worry about fixing bugs.

Allowing people to easily create their own cryptocoins is a next step: and then creating an exchange for all of them is what I want to work on for next year. If you like this idea and want to get in touch (as developer or investor, don’t hesitate to contact me).

After this, creating a system where each altcoin can float and make it possible to pay with any altcoin (no matter how new) at any store. (ie altcoin -> BTC -> Bitpay).

In the far future, if this idea takes off, creating a system where buying another person’s coins could simply be as easy as walking past them: making it possible to easily and quickly invest in small gestures of goodwill.

EDIT (23 January).

Simoncoin is on hold for now. I’m trying to figure out the best way implement this idea. I believe the current way is probably not the best implementation.