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Posts tagged ‘bitcoin’

Synereo – the first fully decentraliezd attention-based social network

I would like to introduce you to Synereo, the world’s first fully decentralized, attention-based social network.

I wrote before about the need for a decentralized internet, which is rapidly being built. Synereo is building the social networking platform for that model. One important difference between them and other decentralized open source social networks (Diaspora anyone?) is that Synereo has an internal tradeable token that can be used to monetize the network, fund development, and attract users (free amps anyone?)

In a world where users are products, Synereo’s model turns users into active agents that get rewarded for the actions, content and attention.

I haven’t had the chance to really dig into their model or tech stack, although I know and highly appreciate the founder. The tech isn’t really ready yet, they are just raising funds now (the sale of ‘amps’ ends in 16 days).


* Disclaimer – I am not invested in Synereo, nor do I own any ‘amps’.

Meet the Israeil Bitcoin Activists

On Dec 7, we will have a special Bitcoin meetup – Meet the Activists. Be there or be fiat.

This special event, which continues an annual tradition, will give you a rare opportunity to learn who’s who in the Bitcoin world and what are all the exciting initiatives in this sphere. ~50 key figures of Israel’s Bitcoin community, industry and academia will each take the stage for a few minutes to talk about themselves and their Bitcoin projects.


My Bitcoin Story

Recently I gave a talk in our Bitcoin meetup group (Hebrew).

Nothing unusual here, I gave plenty of talks in the last years … except this is the first time the topic of a talk I gave, was … myself. It was the second talk in the series “Bitcoin People”, that covers the key people in Israel’s Bitcoin community. If you’re interested and know Hebrew, feel free to check it out.

New businesses accepting Bitcoin is never a bad thing

An opinion I’ve heard recently from several angles is this:

As more and more business adopt Bitcoin (, Newegg, Overstock etc.), the value of Bitcoin today “should have been higher” than the current $480. One theory behind the fact that Bitcoin hasn’t increased nine month and is still down from its all-time high of $1200, is that new businesses adopting Bitcoin is actually bad for the price. It goes something like this:

New businesses accept Bitcoin, but convert everything to cash. The added sell pressure when these businesses sell their coins decreases the price of bitcoins.

I call bullshit.

I agree that most businesses that adopt Bitcoin sell 90-100% of their coins.

However, in my opinion that does not translate into any downward pressure whatsoever. To understand why, you need to look at the motivation of people who are using their coins.

If the only way people could cash out of Bitcoin was to dump them on stores in exchange for products and services, I would agree with this theory – people would have been waiting for any chance to sell, and now that there are more and more chances to cash out, they do it. However, that’s not the reality.

In most countries there have exited for years now multiple legitimate ways of cashing out bitcoins to fiat, ranging from OTC/Local Bitcoins to exchanges to dealers. If there are liquidity issues in some countries, it’s for cashing out large sums of money … for small sums you can always find a local trader to do a cash deal.  Any ‘new liquidation venue’ effect that can possibly be from a new store that starts accepting Bitcoin is far less than the positive effects of both the P.R, and the actual added utility given to all Bitcoin users by each new store.

A model I like to think about Bitcoin’s network effect is a three-fold one. Very crudely, you can think of this network effect as a multiple of three factors, U x B x G – for Users, Businesses, and Governments. Bitcoin emerged in 2009 a a purely user currency … it took until 2010 for the first pseudo-retail transaction to happen, and until 2011 for the first brick-and-mortar business to accept Bitcoin. Each new Bitcoin user adds incentive for businesses and governments to support it. Each new business attracts users and regulatory attention. New regulation, if it’s done right, makes it easier and safer for users and businesses.

So, every new business increases B, which has a huge effect today on adoption since U is pretty big (in the millions+) and G is progressing nice and steady. This positive effect of business adoption certainly outweighs any possible sale/liquidation pressure.

Chat with a skype sexbot

[21:51:09] firm xori: are you online?
[21:51:13] *** Ron Gross has shared contact details with firm xori. ***
[21:51:15] Ron Gross: yeah
[21:51:34] firm xori: I’m 23/F looking for someone to talk too…
[21:52:03] Ron Gross: ?
[21:52:29] firm xori: My real name is Amanda and from Cali, can i ask u something?
[21:52:35] Ron Gross: please do
[21:53:04] firm xori: Do you like big booty girls with big tits? lol seriously cuz thats what i have. Is that too much for you to handle?
[21:53:31] Ron Gross: I’ll answer this if you answer me how much is 7 times 6… can you do that for me?
[21:53:42] Ron Gross: (I assume you know what a CAPTCHA is)
[21:53:54] Ron Gross: (If not, you should Google it)
[21:54:05] firm xori: ok this is really turning me on, i wanna show you what i’m wearing right now.. is that ok?
[21:54:21] Ron Gross: Hmm, I guess you’re a bot then. I am so shocked and surprised by this.
[21:54:38] Ron Gross: You’re sexy for a bot.
[21:54:54] firm xori: 🙂 (heart) you make me smile a lot 🙂 (heart) i want you to hold on really hard 😉 i’m going to setup my camera for you.
[21:54:59] Ron Gross: Do you find math sexy? I do!
[21:55:20] Ron Gross: (man, these sexbots needs to improve a lot!)
[21:55:29] firm xori: Ok this is super easy just like goto and accept the invitation on that website.
[21:55:38] Ron Gross: Oh no I don’t.
[21:55:51] Ron Gross: That smells like a phishing attempt… no thank you, just text for me!
[21:56:20] Ron Gross: BTW, if you want to know what a sexbot is – go read this:
[21:59:25] Ron Gross: What, that’s it? You gave up on me?
[21:59:36] Ron Gross: Show me some virtual tits!
[21:59:57] firm xori: fill out your cc info baby for Age verification ONLY, your card will not be charged. ok i’m ready for u now
[22:00:36] Ron Gross: Do you accept Bitcoin?
[22:00:45] Ron Gross: I prefer that over credit cards.
[22:00:52] Ron Gross: I’m actually willing to pay!
[22:01:00] Ron Gross: Shut up and take my money!
[22:01:04] firm xori: I want you to talk to me dirty baby. i really like that. What color Panties do you think i should wear?
[22:01:15] Ron Gross: Panties is lowercase p…
[22:01:47] firm xori: I’ll do anything you want me to do. I know how to make u happy, I can show you what fits in my mouth…
[22:03:37] Ron Gross: Can you fit a watermelon into your mouth?
[22:04:03] Ron Gross: Anyway, since you don’t accept Bitcoin, I don’t have any way to pay you… I’m certainly not giving my credit card info to some random chatbot.
[22:04:07] firm xori: I’m So Horny right now! Do Whatever You have to, to get in! i’ll spank my ass and tits until they are red for u!!!
[22:04:12] Ron Gross: Your loss … bye bye!

How to get your free Isracoins

Disclaimer – please do not view this post as an investment advice. Unlike previous similar posts, I am not evaluating Isracoin as an investment. I have no idea whether it’s a good one or not. I’m just posting for the “cool factor”.

I’ve been involved with the Isracoin project on and off for the last several months. Its goal is to create “an Israeli Bitcoin”, under the premise it can outpace Bitcoin in its adoption in Israel. It has good things going for it, and some negative things … I have my fair share of constructive criticism on how Dan manages the project. However, whatever else you can say – they reached a very important milestone.

Every Israeli Citizen is eligible to receive some Isracoins (ISR) today. Here is how you do it three simple steps:

  1. Pick a Isracoin wallet
  2. Approve the Facebook Application
  3. Enter your Israeli ID and your Isracoin address (you’ll find this in your wallet)

That’s it – it’s that simple.

Congrats to Dan on launching this phase, you deserve some kudos!


Can someone translate this blog post to Hebrew, and link to it in a comment?

Pre-emptive protection bounty

A PGP-signed version of this post can be found here.

So .. Roger Ver, the Bitcoin Jesus, just got his (first?) death threat ( I knew this day would come. He just posted an outstanding bounty of  37.6 BTC for whoever provides the authorities with information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the criminal making these threats. Roger, we are all with you, and I pray and hope nothing bad will happen to your or your family. I will also take this chance to post an identical preemptive bounty on myself:


While this post is standing on my site –, I hereby offer an outstanding bounty of 37.6 BTC (currently about 25,000 USD) for whoever provides concrete evidence that will lead to the apprehension (by a ‘legal authority’), trial and conviction of any individual or group that make similar death threat or other criminal offence against me, my family, or my friends. I pray and hope such a day would never happen, and that this post always remain just a deterrent. I wish you all peace, love, and a wonderful day.

P.S As someone pointed out to me, this post actually incentives people to send me death threats if the value they attach to 37.6 BTC is greater than the penalty. The purpose of this post is to deter “real” death threats and serious crimes. So – I will amend the bounty conditions – the bounty will only be paid if I deem the death threat or crime “real”, and/or causing a monetary damage of at least 37.6 BTC. E.g., if someone actually plots to steal my scooter which is worth about 3K USD, and then an accomplice “reveals him”, I won’t pay 37.6 BTC for a 3K USD scooter. I hope you get my drift. I will be the final judge of “how real the criminal intent is”.

P.S.S Yes, the threat that Roger received might be a fake one. I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out whether a death threat I receive is real or not. As a public figure in the Bitcoin space, I want to make sure any such death threats are never made, and that bad people stay the fuck away. I realize that posting this post may be perceived as a taunt or drawing fire … but the truth of the matter is that I’m drawing enough fire as it is. I’m a public figure in the Bitcoin space, and I have had paranoias about similar threats targeting me for a while. This post is aimed at making sure these paranoias never become real. Some people would say this post actually serves the opposite purpose. I respectfully disagree. References:

Circle is out of stealth – a major Coinbase/PayPal competitor

Update – the best way I found to explain Circle is – “Circle is the first bank that fully integrates Bitcoin. They’re not quite an official bank yet, but they’re probablly going down that ‘upgrade path’.” is one of the most talked about Bitcoin startups, that were in stealth until yesterday. They raised 20-30 million USD in the last year, and now we finally know what they do:

Circle provides a Bitcoin wallet that:

  1. Has a beautiful, clean interface
  2. Is automatically secured with multisig, cold storage and 2-factor auth
  3. Is insured
  4. Has zero fees
  5. Is linked to credit cards for deposits and withdrawals
  6. And … is actually denominated in USD, not BTC.

Circle is positioning itself as sort of a cross between Coinbase and PayPal, more like the latter than the former. Your balance is always maintained in USD, and that is only converted to Bitcoin when it leaves the system. It’s Bitcoin without the volatility and security problems, pure and simple. The USD denomination is key – it is not a real Bitcoin wallet, because you cannot use that to speculate on Bitcoin price – if you deposit $100 worth of bitcoins into Circle, you will always have $100 there, regardless of any fluctuations on the Bitcoin price. I am excited to see their bold vision, and am looking forward to seeing the interplay between it and the Bitcoin ecosystem on the one hand, and the traditional players like PayPal on the other.

If you want to learn more, check out this 9 minute video by their CEO.