Richard Branson to Host Bitcoin Summit on Private Island

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Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson is set to bring “the greatest minds in cryptocurrency” together to discuss bitcoin and the blockchain on his personal private island this May. Taking place on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands from the 25th to 28th, Branson’s event will feature discussions moderated by Hernando De Soto, president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, Wall Street Journal senior columnist Michael J Casey and Matthew Bishop, US business editor for The Economist. Branson has been enthusiastic in his praise for the bitcoin, having previously invested in payment processor BitPay and accepted the digital currency for his space travel enterprise Virgin Galactic. The event’s welcome message frames the gathering in terms that emphasise the lasting impact of blockchain technologies, stating: “Come visit with Sir Richard Branson on his private island for a set of intimate discussions highlighting critical issues and solutions and to lay out the framework for a world where the humankind is fully benefiting from the amazing technology behind the blockchain.” Besides the Virgin Group founder, the event will be hosted by BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov and venture capitalists Bill Tai, Suzi Mai and George Kikvadze. In total, the event will include 30 luminaries from the bitcoin and larger …

MIT Media Lab Announces Launch of MIT Digital Currency Initiative, Headed by Former White House Senior Adviser

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A few days ago Bitcoin Magazine reported that Joi Ito, director of the prestigiousMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, was about to unveil a plan for the institute to become what he called an independent, neutral home to help with Bitcoin standards development. “I think within a couple of weeks we’ll be announcing something which will be a little bit more substantive,” said Ito. “And I’m not pushing it, but I’m offering MIT as a neutral academic home for some of the conversations and the technical coordination.” MIT has now formally announced the launch of a Digital Currency Initiative, to be directed by former White House senior adviser for mobile and data innovation Brian Forde, who joined the MIT Media Lab as director of digital currency. Forde will work with researchers across the institute and leading experts at other universities around the world to address some of the most critical challenges to creating a safe, stable and secure digital currency. “As a technologist, there’s no more exciting place to work than the MIT Media Lab,” said Forde. “The innovations that come out of the Media Lab have made a truly global impact. I look forward to working with the …

This Chip Turns a Dumb Phone Into a Bitcoin Wallet

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itSIM is a small, dual-chip overlay that is physically placed atop a phone’s regular SIM card. Once there, theBitSIM turns that phone – even if it’s a “dumb” phone – into a Bitcoin wallet. It does so by submitting transactions to the Bitcoin network as encrypted text messages. The phone owner’s private key – stored in the BitSIM overlay – is unlocked with a PIN. Founder Leon-Gerard Vandenberg says that BitSIM “interposes SIM commands between the original SIM and the phone. So the phone thinks there’s a SIM there, and the original SIM thinks there’s a phone there – it’s a SIM port redirector for SIM commands.” BitSIM is privately raising funds for its first production run with a crowdsale through Seedco.in. They hope to have a product to ship by Christmas. Vandenberg recently said in an interview with Brave New Coin: “Anything running on top of the Bitcoin protocol is also within the reach of BitSIM users, such as Counterparty assets or via ChromaWallet. On a smartphone BitSIM would cooperate with theHIVE wallet and their full Hive app store as well, which expands services. So BitSIM is a platform [where] it will be possible for a BitSIM developer community …

Did Bitcoin Create more Jobs than the US Federal Government Did in 2014?

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Introduction: Ever since Bitcoin’s Genesis Block was mined back in 2009, Bitcoin has been growing exponentially to the extent that its value increased from less than one cent to $1124.76 in November, 2013. Claimed to be the best financial innovation throughout the last 500 years, bitcoin is continuously macadamizing the path for creation of unique business ideas, projects and startups that can conceive thousands of jobs and opportunities for bitcoin enthusiasts all over the world. Bitcoin – A Whole New World: Although Bitcoin had been around since 2009, it only gained considerable attention in late 2010 following the release of the WikiLeaks by Julian Assange who faced an organized financial blockade by the US Federal government as Paypal, Bank of America, Western Union, Mastercard and Visa refrained from transmitting donations to WikiLeaks. Accordingly, Assange started accepting donations via Bitcoin which boosted its price during the early months of 2011. Furthermore, the launch of Silk Road, an online market for illicit drugs that only accepted bitcoin for payments, early in 2011 was responsible for another bitcoin bullish rally during that period which pushed the price up to $31.91 as of the 8th of June, 2011. Not only computer geeks and hackers …

BITCOIN IS 100 TIMES MORE POWERFUL THAN GOOGLE

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Allow me to introduce you to someone who has the potential to be very important in the future of Bitcoin. His name is Balaji Srinivasan, and he is the chairman and co-founder of 21 Inc. What is 21 Inc? 21 Inc. is the Bitcoin startup that secured the most venture capital of any Bitcoin company in history, at $116 million. What do they need $116 million in venture capital for? They are investing in “future proprietary products designed to drive mainstream adoption of Bitcoin.” With that in mind, the research of 21 Inc. has highlighted some interesting Bitcoin factoids. One Srinivasan released at the second annual Bitcoin Job Fair held last weekend in Sunnyvale, California regarding how big Bitcoin has become in the computing world. Google is big, but Bitcoin is bigger. How big is it? Honestly, I looked online to find out what a petahash rate and a gigahash rate was, and that is one long rabbit hole, so I’ll leave the technical ramble to techies like Mr. Srinivasan. He makes the comparison to Google based on the fair assumption that they are using 1e7 servers, for 1e7 H/s per Xeon, and ~10 Xeons/server = 1 PH/s. One petahash …

“Popcorn Time has exploded over the last year as a free and likely illegal alternative to Netflix, with no monthly fees, more content, and in some cases better quality video.”

Why Bitcoin’s Killer App Is Going to Look Like Popcorn Time

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A recent WIRED article entitled “Popcorn Time’s Piracy App Is Sneaking onto iPhones” reads: “Popcorn Time has exploded over the last year as a free and likely illegal alternative to Netflix, with no monthly fees, more content, and in some cases better quality video.” In case you don’t know, Popcorn Time is built on the Bittorrent protocol. And many – if not most – Popcorn Time users have never heard of Bittorrent. Sound like a predecessor for Bitcoin’s killer app? Swap out a few words and see: “Fill-in-the-blank-Bitcoin-app has exploded over the last year as a free and likely illegal alternative to state-sanctioned banking, with no fees, more payment options, and in some cases built-in merchant discounts.” Peer-to-Peer Brings the Fear The evolutions of Bittorrent and Bitcoin closely mirror one another. Bittorrent was launched in 2001. Over the years, it’s weathered tiresome attacks by Hollywood’s political wing, the MPAA – attacks that were pushed all the way to the ISP level. Internet service providers began attempting to throttle torrent traffic, largely in response to legal threats from the MPAA. End users were even “fined.” The company that maintains the Bittorrent protocol, Bittorrent, Inc., went so far as signing a legal …