UPDATE: OK Reddit! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! If you post more questions I'll check back in a few hours and make sure I didn't miss you

Title of AMA We Are the Hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show! We just spent 4 days at Bitcoin2013, Ask Us Anything!:

Date/Time (EST): 12:00pm (Adam for the first hour, joined by Stephanie & Andreas after that)

Background/description of AMA subject: Lets Talk Bitcoin! is a twice weekly show about the future of money. Featuring new ideas, we focus on the people and projects who are building and powering the move towards Cryptocurrencies as the future of money.

*Adam B. Levine is a writer, editor & speaker who focuses on explaining complicated topics in understandable terms

*Andreas M. Antonopoulos is an expert in decentralized networks and secure systems

*Stephanie Murphy, PhD is a liberty loving scientist and syndicated radio host

Username being used for AMA: GamerAndy (Adam B. Levine), LTBStephanie (Stephanie Murphy, PhD) andreasMA (Andreas M. Antonopoulos)

Proof: http://letstalkbitcoin.com/post/51069051874/join-us-on-reddit-for-the-lets-talk-bitcoin-ama

Comments: 236 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

NickVerrall8 karma

Hi all! I was wondering, what do you think it would take to get bitcoin from a niche currency used mainly by internet denizens to go mainstraim? I know the slow creep of more small companies accepting bitcoin helps, but what do you think that final cusp will be, and will it ever come to that? Thanks for taking the time to do this!

gamerandy9 karma

There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.

Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.

Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.

But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.

Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.

It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.

7cardcha3 karma

"No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

I guess the Supreme Court has decided this does not apply to taxes, which is crap. Or are you talking about other countries?

Is my train of thought correct?

Thanks for this incredible AMA

gamerandy2 karma

Thank you :) I actually mean something along the lines of "It is illegal to trade dollars for any cryptocurrency that does not have a real name and social security associated with it"

That retroactively makes a whole lot of transactions not OK in the eyes of the regulators. We saw this recently with Mt.Gox - They signed a paper three years ago that said 'we are not a money transmitter" . Well, at the time they weren't! It was only years later when the rules changed that the statement became inaccurate, yet DHS shut down their conduit to US funds because of that little piece of paper.

ogkushog7 karma


gamerandy6 karma

There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens.

Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession.

With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement.

What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.

The recent bubble (in my opinion) was caused by media attention -> new users enter the market -> price goes up because demand outweighs supply -> media pays more attention because the price is going up -> more people get in not wanting to miss the opportunity -> price goes up -> etc

This can only go on for so long - The currency is deflationary, but there is a problem with exchanges where when volume is very high they start to lag because they cannot keep up with orders. Being unable to access your money in a fast moving market has the tendency to cause people to panic, and especially new users often rush for the exits when they think the price spike is over.

These things are going to happen, no way around it - But they're healthy, and if you look at the low points over time you'll notice that even there they are trending up because the supply/demand fundamentals basically require it.

ogkushog2 karma


gamerandy1 karma

DOS is a fact of life in any exchange, it's a method used to profit in a kind of pump-and-dump scheme related to volume. Pump up the volume until it crashes, take advantage of the panic. Businesses like Gox have an API that are too slow to handle even normal business, so whenever they get any kind of meaningful traffic spike whether from a user panic or otherwise, it's a major issue for them.

That needs to change, and at Bitcoin2013 in San Jose we saw at least 5 exchanges aiming to solve that problem, not least of which is Buttercoin - an open source exchange platform designed to do exponentially more trades without seeing any of these problems.

jonhannis6 karma

Do you believe bitcoin is important locally as well as on the internet? If so, how are you promoting bitcoin in your local communities?

gamerandy3 karma

Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.

If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.

Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.

Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.

coinoftherealm5 karma

It looks like your AMA is having a nice effect on the bitcoin exchange rate! You should do this more often!

andreasma10 karma

We take full credit for any rise and blame others for any decline. Feel free to tip us from your gains!

gamerandy3 karma


ken272385 karma

Hi everyone! thanks for doing this AUA.

Not to be the doom and gloom person but in the future what do you think will/would be the "last nail in the coffin" for Bitcoin?

gamerandy5 karma

It depends what you mean by "last nail in the coffin"

If you mean it actually is removed from the internet, that would require the removal of the internet. In the same way you can't stop bittorrent traffic, neither can you really stop cryptocurrency traffic - They're both P2P so barring going to peoples houses and uninstalling the software, or blowing up the internet it's pretty hard to do.

If you mean "It won't ever reach mainstream adoption" - That could happen because it is made illegal, or has harsh regulatory requirements put on it that make people feel like they can't safely transact with it at their business because using it puts their business at risk.

syndicated_writer4 karma

What's going on with Homeland Security, Mt. Gox and Dwoalla? Did that come up at the conference?

andreasma8 karma

A lot less is going on that the media noise would suggest.

The fact is that Mt. Gox used a single bank account to connect their exchange to dollar deposits through Dwolla. When setting up that account, almost 3 years ago, the owner of Mt.Gox has signed the account application and where asked if the business was exchanging currency or acting as a money transmitter, said "No". That was a mistake, and unfortunately it was not rectified in the 3 years elapsed.

The Feds are mostly concerned (if we look at their actions as a way to understand their intent), with money laundering happening through bitcoin. Exchanges are subject to two regulations that are relevant: AML and KYC - Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer. The AML rules are about monitoring, issuing and accepting Suspicious Activity Reports on transactions that exceed certain thresholds (eg. $10,000) etc. The KYC regulations require banks, money transmitters and exchanges to collect identifying documents on customers they transact with. That means keeping copies of ID, passport etc.

While Mt. Gox appeared to be complying with most of those, they failed to comply in the case of their USD bank account by misstating their operation. So that account was frozen.

Note also, that MtGox was not frozen, neither was Dwolla. It was one account. So far, that is a specific, narrow and targeted action, not an attack on bitcoin in general. There is no reason to draw any conclusion beyond "MtGox needs to do a better job with regulatory compliance and the Feds were just doing their job".

syndicated_writer2 karma

Very thorough answer, thanks.

I've been following bitcoin for years. I worked for weeks on a lengthy piece about bitcoin only to have it pulled at the last minute by my editors who were bugging about Silk Road.

The case I made was the government should be encouraging and experimenting with digital currency instead of trying to fight it. Because if our government doesn't do it, some other government will come up with something like bitcoin redeemable for gold or cash. I'm actually surprised that hasn't happened already.

gamerandy2 karma

We're starting an original content blog, if you want to write about these topics hit me up at [email protected]

coinoftherealm3 karma

Have any of you heard about how in Africa much of the exchange in value is done with mobile phone minutes? It seems to me - whatever the US attempts to do with Bitcoin - there will be other places that it will bubble up in. What about Argentina and other places where they actually understand what damage a desperate government can do to a currency?

gamerandy2 karma

I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with https://phoneacoin.com/ and others.

Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.

No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.

clain46713 karma

not to be rude, but how do you expect for a currency without a standard like gold silver etc. to not crash down in a blaze of glory?

gamerandy5 karma

What standard is your currency backed by?

andreasma4 karma

World currencies have been disconnected from gold and silver since 1944 after the Bretton Woods conference. Today's currencies are all tied to the world reserve currency - the dollar, which is not backed by gold and is not convertible to gold.

Essentially, currencies have value because people are willing to give you something of value based on trust, a shared illusion if you like. There is no intrinsic value to any currency. Arguably, even gold has little intrinsic value other than jewelry and as an electrical conductor. The rest is all value that is based on the transactability of the currency and the shared association with value. Bitcoin has utility, transactability and people will give you valuable things for it. Therefore it has value.

clain46710 karma

yes, but they started being worth a set value. bitcoin was never backed by anything so its value was kind of made up. how do you expect to make a non goverment currency anybody with a computer can print to retain value?

gamerandy2 karma

Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.

The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.

The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?

fried_dough2 karma

What are some of the more exciting things you (each of you?) envision for Bitcoin in the short to medium term?

gamerandy2 karma

Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.

From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.

Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.

metacoin2 karma

Just wanted to say I love your show. I encourage you to please continue making high-quality podcast episodes. Thank you.

gamerandy3 karma

I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.

John-WOW2 karma

I'd like to thank all three of you for doing this podcast, it's always thought provoking and fun to listen to. Plus, Stephanie does have a very sexy voice... But I do have a question,

How do miners determine which transactions will be confirmed first and which get put to the back of the line? Shouldn't they be confirmed in a 'first come, first serve' basis?

*edit: As well, do you still plan on using some time on the show to go into more detail about mining? I think it was mentioned a few weeks ago that the topic might be explored in further detail.

gamerandy2 karma

Right now, I don't know the answer to that question.

But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.

There will be fewer miners who accept free or very low fee transactions, so there you go.

coinoftherealm2 karma

You commented on a recent episode about how Satochi Dice was going to block US traffic to the site due to uncertain regulations. Can't bitcoin work around that? If you send bitcoin to the addresses of the various bets - it still works right? Thanks for your show - I await each new podcast.

gamerandy2 karma

Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.

I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here http://letstalkbitcoin.com/post/51080936970/bitcoin-2013-conference-coverage-interview-with

confident_lemming2 karma

What recording tools are you using?

gamerandy3 karma

We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)

Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.

I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"

aenor2 karma

How did you meet/find Andreas and Stephanie and how did you persuade them to be part of your show?

gamerandy4 karma

I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.

I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.

Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.

aenor1 karma

Thanks for responding! Andreas is my fave (though I enjoy yours and Stephanie's comments too).

gamerandy1 karma

Everybody has their favorite :) I think the fact that we all have people disagreeing with us at times means we're doing the job, and providing multiple and varied perspectives.

quezi1 karma

I know very little about this subject but find it interesting, so some (probably stupid) questions:

Who invented Bitcoin? What is to stop whoever did so initially issuing themselves the equivalent of $79 zillion in Bitcoin currency prior to it taking off? Is there commission charged on each transaction that occurs? If so, how much, and who receives this?


gamerandy1 karma

The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".

He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.

mrsbass791 karma

My partner is buying into bitcoin as well as litecoin. Any advice for him? (I personally don't understand it)

gamerandy1 karma

Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)

aenor1 karma

In the 2008 financial crash, govts bailed out the banks because there was no other way to maintain the whole financial ecosystems of payrolls, invoices and trade, all of which go through the banking system.

Can you envisage another financial crash in the future where govt says, "We don't need to do a bailout, as we've got this alternative payment system" and then instructs businesses and employees to just get themselves a bitcoin address and work through the Bitcoin system?

gamerandy2 karma

Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.

Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.

sdogpuppy1 karma

Assuming bitcoin reaches critical mass, how does bitcoin cope with the criticism of rewarding early adopters? Do you see a potential uproar about inequity?

gamerandy3 karma

Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.

We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.

One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.

It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.

coinoftherealm1 karma

Would any of you hazard a guess at the bitcoin exchange rate at the end of 2013?

gamerandy2 karma

Sure, i'll make a wild guess.


if and when a large user comes onboard, I think thats the next price at which we'll bounce around for a while, just like 100 became the sticky point after the last major bout of adoption.

confident_lemming1 karma

What type of notes and agenda does the team coordinate on before a show?

gamerandy2 karma

We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.

The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.

Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON

andreasma2 karma

We have some basic items we want to cover which we develop during the week and in between shows. We have a shared discussion board (basecamp), which we use to collaborate on ideas.

During the show we chat about what we want to cover and then start a topic. We have no idea what we will say or what the other person will say. It is live and conversational. We sometimes restart a sentence if we get tongue-tied and Adam cuts out the first attempt.

Adam then edits for quality and content, mostly removing gaps and noise and cleaning up. He re-arranges the conversations to make a show from the parts.

confident_lemming1 karma

Oh dear. You're not all perfectly grammatical orators on the first try? I'm crushed!

gamerandy2 karma

I really value my own time, and I know other people out there do too. I try to make the show as information dense as possible, thats the criteria we've been operating under from really day one.

We're actually talking about cutting the show in half and releasing it more often (still recording the same amount) because people can get tired of listening to such dense content for an hour or more.

SoggyLettuce1 karma

Do you foresee companies like paypal incorporating bitcoin into their businesses in the future as a more credible exchange than these ones that are currently running?

gamerandy2 karma

No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.

Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.

MeanOfPhidias1 karma

I'd like to hear more about what was covered regarding the opinion of legislation and regulation.

I think the market has done fine for bitcoin so far. I think the market will continue to take care of bitcoin. The idea of giving in willingly to regulation makes me cringe.

Was regulation more of a "Yeah, pffft, legislation haha", was it fear, was it "Yay regulation wooooo"

What's the deal?

gamerandy1 karma

There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad.

The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.

I don't know who is right, it's a mess of a situation because the "guidance" that comes from formal channels is heavily up for interpretation and ambiguous at best.

newtovic1 karma


gamerandy2 karma

For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.

The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"

h6180339881 karma

Hi. Just made an account to comment on this. I appreciate your time here and hopefully you'll read this.
I haven't gotten into bitcoin or mining but been reading about it due the recent craze. You might not consider my opinion relevant but I think that for bitcoin to really work at a global scale, the speculation must be removed. This way, I believe, you can actually see other currencies fluctuate compared against bitcoin. To put it in perspective, for example, 1 Calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius; if you could lock the value of 1 bitcoin to something unchangeable, it would mean you could use it to evaluate other currencies worth. Might sound crazy I know, and it would be difficult because in this capitalist world you can put a price on everything; but let's say you lock 1 bitcoin to 1 ton of water (even though the price of water does fluctuate around the world) or maybe something closer to the digital life, maybe 1 bitcoin = 1 licence of winrar.
Don't take my words too seriously, but I've been trading forex and futures markets since 2008, and speculation is the mother of all evil. Thanks again for this AMA. Have a nice day.

gamerandy3 karma

There is a temptation to say "it's too volatile, we should just peg it to something, anything!"

The problem with that, is a peg needs to be supported by someone or some organization able to honor the peg and with Bitcoin there is no such organization.

Right now we're in what's called a revaluation - Nobody knows what the price of Bitcoin will wind up being, but the fundamentals say it will be much higher should it continue finding adoption. Speculators serve a purpose in essentially onboarding risk so that people who want to use the currency don't have to.

If Bitcoin were useless this would be a problem, but it genuinely is good as cash on the internet, makes wire transfers easy, fast and cheap, and so serves a useful purpose that you can't really find in the world right now.

Eventually the number of people who want Bitcoins will be saturated and the market will level out. Until then, I expect periods of calm punctuated by jumps higher and smaller drops lower. The trend is up, but the short-term is impossible to predict and very dependent on exchanges like Mt.Gox functioning at a higher level than they currently do.

greatestmofo1 karma

How would Bitcoin change our financial system as we know it?

gamerandy4 karma

In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"

Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.

I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.

We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.

RowdyOtis1 karma

People say bitcoin is not a viable option for the common people right now. What would you say a good way would be to bring people skeptical of bitcoin into the bitcoin community?

LTBStephanie3 karma

I think the best way to bring people into the bitcoin community is to make them an owner. I have done this with several friends and it's gotten them really excited. I also help set them up with a wallet. Educational resources like http://www.weusecoins.com/en/ or http://bitcoinquickstart.info/ also help. If you don't know the answer to a question you're welcome to refer the question to us at Let's Talk Bitcoin - it would probably make a great topic for the show!

RowdyOtis1 karma

Are there any conferences in Chicago anytime soon? I think a Q&A in public would be helpful for your show as well as bitcoin.

gamerandy2 karma

I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.

We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.

tehhunter1 karma

Bitcoins are the stupidest investment anyone could ever make. Pass.

qrios1 karma

Unfortunately, quickmeme doesn't let you copy image urls directly.

honestbleeps1 karma

I imagine it's too late to get an answer right now, but what the hell I'll try...

Since my job doesn't pay me in bitcoin, the only way I can participate in a bitcoin economy is to find a way to convert my USD to BTC.

Unfortunately, it's still way too hard to get bitcoins from fiat. Sure, if you're motivated it's not that big of a deal - but the barrier to entry for average joe is a bit high.

All the time in /r/bitcoin I see people arguing that BitInstant is somehow a huge boon to bitcoin, but paying 4% transaction fees to get BTC completely defeats the purpose for me. That's even more than PayPal charges!

How do you see that changing in the future -- or do you?

gamerandy1 karma

If you expect Bitcoin to appreciate by more than 4%, there is your reason for jumping through the hoops. Right now it's a pain to both get in and out, it's because the legacy finance system refuses as a whole to interface with Bitcoin exchanges, so companies that bridge the gap pop up to fill the void. Most of the companies out there facilitating are doing just that, Bitpay, bitinstant, etc.

If it was easier to get bitcoins, there would be more demand to the same amount of supply, so by buying now if you think it will get easier to buy later you are locking in a "lower" price.

If you think Bitcoin is going to become worthless, you're buying at a high price. Something for everyone.

aenor1 karma

On your last show you mentioned the diversity of the Bitcoiners who attended BitCoin2013 - which nation was most represented in your opinion? Were there any Chinese nationals present (we've heard that they've suddenly gotten the bitcoin bug in the last month)? Did the other nations talk about regulatory problems or is that just a US concern?

gamerandy1 karma

I met the gentleman from BTC-China, but other than that I actually didn't see any obvious chinese nationals. We saw lots of eastern europeans and south americans.

Other nations are not talking about the regulatory issue as far as I can tell, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what the US does, which is not abnormal in a very new situation like this.

noel201 karma

Hello, I just wrote a long post about the functions of using BTC to facilitate a 'free bank' using the principals of free money, similar to the WIR bank. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIR_Bank Do you think that something like this would be possible using Bitcoin?

gamerandy1 karma

Probably. Not really my area of expertise

JamesTheJerk1 karma

why did bits take a dive at the same time gold took a tank?

gamerandy1 karma

I don't pay attention to price, sorry

coinoftherealm1 karma

What do you make of the download trend of the bitcoin client software in China? Isn't this a big story?


gamerandy2 karma

China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.

That said, it's the same everywhere - Argentina and Iran are both undergoing hyperinflation of their local currencies, Bitcoin could let citizens withdraw from the unstable local currency and find relative safety as a denizen of the internet, investing in the money of the internet.

China is a huge market, but the world is even bigger.

purplecabbage1 karma

Great podcast, can't wait for the next one!

You discussed mesh networks in 3rd world countries and how bitcoin could be used in such a scenario. If the [mesh] network is disconnected from the internet, how would transactions on the blockchain be verified? Couldn't the time the mesh network was disconnected make it vulnerable to hacking the [mesh network's] blockchain?

gamerandy2 karma

It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.

More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)

murf431431 karma

What is your prediction of the price for 1 btc in USD, exactly one year from now? Just for fun, since I know it is impossible to even guess the day to day price swings.

gamerandy1 karma

as a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.