“Uncoinventional” Bitcoin Only Tour Does Libertopia

city tacosWhen John and I were invited to speak at Libertopia this year, I was extremely excited about the prospect of visiting California again. The last time I had been that far West was February of 2011 for the Freedom Law School Conference in Ontario, California. I happened to be pregnant at the time and I also happened to be selected for the body scanner when trying to board our flight home. To make a long story short, we had to take a train back to Texas and I have not flown since.

Since we knew we would need to drive, I thought a second Uncoinventional Bitcoin-only family road trip was in order. This would allow us to see what has changed in the Bitcoin travel space since our June bitcoin-only trip, while inspiring others to get out and spend their BTC!

With these situational factors in mind (spending bitcoin only, driving, and having children with us), I knew that I would have to approach this conference differently than most people attending the event.

Logistics

While the Libertopia organizers got a great rate on the Town and Country hotel for attendees, it was not a rate that we could pay via bitcoin. This is because the hotel does not accept bitcoin directly, and the special block room rate was not available through hotel booking companies like CheapAir.

Our hotel hunt led us to the Ocean Beach Hotel. It was on the beach, a short walk to the dog beach, dog friendly, and cost less than the Town and Country hotel when booking through travel companies.

Usually I am very resistant to staying at a venue that is separated from the events we are speaking at. With two toddlers in tow, it is nice to be able to “escape” to a room for a nap, snack or family play time. The truth is, I have not had much fun attending conferences with the kids and I think it is because I try too hard to have one foot in both worlds – I want to participate in the conference, so I am there physically, but I am also a mom, so I am basically walking up and down the hallway outside the conference, chasing the kiddos while John works a booth.

This time, I was determined that it would be different. I decided to use the invitation to San Diego as an opportunity to expose my children to the beach and to fully embrace the role of mom when John and I were not presenting to Libertopia attendees. We also decided not to work a booth.

That was the best decision ever.

The Event

During Libertopia we spent our mornings at the beach, our afternoons at the conference and our evenings doing some bitcoin dining.

On Friday neither of us had a presentation. So we showed up to check in, mingle with like minded company, and check out the Town and Country Resort. It was a great place for a conference on so many levels.

The break out rooms were small and intimate and were connected to the main room through an open outdoor courtyard. This allowed attendees walking around to randomly peek in on break-out sessions and stay for a talk they may not have experienced otherwise. Many conferences put the break-out rooms so far away that a total lack of foot traffic creates a black hole of sorts.

The extensive outdoor walkways and driveways on the property allowed for great fun for our family as we zipped around on a scooter, a bike and sometimes a stroller. The whole place was basically one large flower garden, which gave a distinct feeling of tranquility, especially in contrast to typical indoor conference venues.

Bitcoin was a major theme of the conference. I was invited to speak on bitcoin-only travel.  I gave tips on how to get there, stay there, eat there and play there. I also suggested four bitcoin-friendly cities as potential destinations for bitcoin-only travel: New York City, Austin, San Diego and Cleveland Heights.

My favorite bitcoin-travel services also happen to be some of our sponsors:

GyftGyft allows you to use Bitcoin at hundreds of popular retailers through digital gift cards. Through Gyft, now you can buy groceries at Whole Foods, electronics at Best Buy, an even book hotel rooms.

CheapAirCheapAir allows you to buy hotels and airfare with bitcoin, litecoin and dogecoin! Follow their blog People of Bitcoin to learn about some fascinating Bitcoiners.

Airbitz – The Airbitz mobile digital wallet provides a a decentralized, secure, private, synchronized, and backed up Bitcoin wallet with a built in bitcoin business directory. Download the app here.

Brawker – Purchase anything with bitcoin through a proxy on Brawker. You can also acquire bitcoin while respecting your privacy.

Other bitcoin speakers included M.K. Lords, Davi Barker, Angela Keaton, and Drew Phillips.  They discussed how bitcoin can be used as a force for good and M.K. Lords discussed how bitcoin is changing the way the world views activists.

Another recurring theme at the conference was the idea of small groups, working together with other small groups to create a voluntary society. My husband John referred to these groups as Freedom Cells, and Bob Podolski and Clyde Cleveland referred to these groups as Octalogs.

The idea is simple: you form a cadre of tight knit friends and you work together on self-improvement, life skills, preparedness, etc… Your small group links up with other small groups and eventually you have enough people to opt out of the system entirely.

John’s full speech audio on Freedom Cells, and the creative uses of the bitcon blockchain to fulfill the vision of Freedom Cells is here.

We also hosted a screening of Sovereign Living, a documentary style reality show about our family’s attempts to get off all centralized lives.  It is produced by The Center for Natural Living which has the vision of a voluntary and natural world. The episodes will soon be available on WatchMyBit.com, the first ever micro-bitcoin payment video service.

Constructive Reflections

Now that bitcoin has become a mainstream meme in our society, I think it is important for events featuring bitcoin lectures, panels and talks to prioritize the payment method when selecting an event venue. I would suggest working with the venue to ensure those who travel on bitcoin have access to any deals you work out on price.

I would also suggest that all conferences include children in some way. So many people who want to change the world leave their family behind to attend these events. To truly change the world we need to make sure our children have access to the information, skills, knowledge and relationships that we did not have access to until most of us became adults.

My final suggestion is to put the vendor area outside of the main stage area. I understand the sentiment of having everyone together, but it is much easier for vendors to have conversations with people if the booths are not in the middle of a conference room where people are trying to listen. This will be an important factor when more children are worked into the mix.

Overall, Libertopia was one of the better conferences I have ever attended. I look forward to a return in 2015!

 


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We are going full Bitcoin!

Boost VC Is Going Full Bitcoin

 

We are going full Bitcoin!
Our team is excited to announce, after raising $6.6m to fund 200 companies, that we will be accepting 20–30 Bitcoin companies into our next Boost tribe. Tribe 5 will consist of 100% Bitcoin companies. Under this umbrella we will be looking at payments, exchanges, block chain technology, Sidechains, and companies that service Bitcoin companies. We are very excited about the focus that this will bring us. Long term we hope to be able to breach other “before-the-chasm” industries, but Bitcoin is our first exciting step.

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Slur.io – You Are Going to Hate It

A website subtitled “You are going to hate it” is certainly an attention catcher, and the proposal of Slur.io catches attention very much indeed: Slur.io will be an open source, decentralized and anonymous marketplace for the selling of secret information in exchange for Bitcoin. Slur will operate over the Tor network. Both buyers and sellers […]

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Mine for Citizen Science!

It’s difficult to think of the huge computing power dedicated to Bitcoin and altcoin mining, much higher than the combined computing power of the 500 most powerful supercomputers on the planet, without thinking that perhaps all that computing power should be put to good use. The Bitcoin network can be thought of a distributed supercomputer […]

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Bug in Cryptsy Market Bugs Mining Pool Operator

The analogy below is a snippet from an explosive, outraged Reddit post about cryptocurrency popular exchange Cryptsy by user ProHashing. He is a representative of the company by the same name as his username, which is based in State College, Pennsylvania, United States and owned by the brothers Chris and Steve Sokolowski.  …imagine that you […]

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Block Erupter USB Miner: A Beginner’s Guide

Bitcoin mining has evolved rapidly over the past few years. From CPUs, to GPUs, to FPGAs, to ASICs, the most up-to-date and powerful miners change constantly. When the first ASIC miners were shipped to customers in early 2013, miners became incredibly more powerful than before. Among the first ASIC miners announced was the Block Erupter […]

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Multigateway: The First Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange

nxt

Disclosure: I own stake in a variety of the assets related to Supernet projects.


Soft launch of the Supernet v0 wallet was announced November 14th by James on the Slack channels with a cheerful:

“Supernet v0 launched yesterday, took everyone by surprise. gotta love decentralization :)” -JL777

Users of the Supernet may now withdraw Bitcoin, Litecoin, Peercoin and NXT directly out to Visa and Mastercards around the globe! Payouts are done in US dollars and local banks set fiat exchange rate. This is a server provided by Coinomat.

Users can also be relieved to trade on the first live decentralized crypto currency exchange!

The software is available for download at the Multigateway website and functions similar to the NXT wallet client, with the exception of some Supernet magic.

The Multigateway (MGW) is not only safer, but it may also be the cheapest. It charges no deposit fees and the withdrawal fees equal the minimum transaction fee per coin. Currently, users must convert their coin manually, be it Blackcoin or Dogecoin to NXT, in order to transfer to another crypto coin. But will soon change with InstantDEX which expected to allow 3 second or less conversions, programmable trade bots and much more!

Investors can invest in MGW, but the real ROI is expected from InstantDEX which will have competitive fee and leverage MGW’s minimal fees and tech.

Under the hood

MGW works by creating assets on top of NXT’s long standing decentralized asset exchange.

Coin assets such as mgwBTC are traded for deposits of Bitcoin, Blackcoin, Viacoin, etc. at a ratio of 1 to 1. MGW is a full reserve, decentralized exchange with live proof of solvency!

Deposited crypto currencies are stored on server clusters of 3. These are secured through multisignature transactions, where 2 out of 3 servers must agree for withdraws to occur.
Each server is monitored and secured by an independent party, partnered up with the Supernet.

The number of Multisignature parties is not limited by MGW, but by the the Bitcoin protocol.

According to JL777, core Bitcoin devs have coded multisignature transactions beyond m of 3 as non standard. This means miners and nodes need to compile these manually or enable this feature on their own accord, which most don’t. It is not enabled by default. This may be driven by concerns of blockchain bloating.

Because of this, it takes a long time for greater multisig transactions to be confirmed by the BTC network, which would not allow MGW to operate properly and would be the end of InstantDEX. If this was to change or if coins that have solved this problem were to join the MGW then further distributed clusters could be set up, and the possible combinations are stellar.

Though going from 1 out of 1 one key or a central trusted party, to 2 out of 3 may seem like not that much of a change, it is actually massive. Its the difference between a central point of failure and a network. It is perhaps the simplest differentiation between a centralized and decentralized model. However, collusion among parties is still a concern, which is why reputation may be essential to this experiment of multi signatures.

With that in mind, I will highlight the core parties that have stepped up to secure the core MGW cluster as of time of publishing.

MGW clusters

There are two MGW clusters. MGW#0 controls BTC, LTC, DRK, BTCD and VRC coins. This is the main Supernet cluster and is secured by Coinomat, MyNXT.info team and Frohike.

Coinomat is an automatic crypto coin and fiat exchange that serves as a gateway from Visa and Mastercard to crypto currencies. It also provides instant conversions among various crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Peercoin.
The second key holder of MGW#0 is MyNXT.info “a group of 15 people between investors, advisors, developers and designers,” says abuelau, a Sr. Member of the NXT community, early adopter, and member of the team. MyNXT.info is an NXT blockchain explorer, mobile wallet and web advertizment agency, fully powered by NXT.
MyNXT were motivated to join “after we saw the hacks on MtGox and Bter,” said abuelau, adding: “Every time I need to exchange NXT or other coins I am nervous with the possibility of losing my coins while they are at the exchange, so anything that helps make it more secure is welcome.”

Frohike is “a German unix server administrator. He specializes in server hardening and security. He’s been involved since June in the team… working with James and recently he joined SuperNET as server admin for the forum and websites,” said VanBreuk, Hero Member of the NXT community and general manager of the MGW development process.

I reached out to Frohike for comment but he did not reply but publishing time.

Unlike cluster number two, live proof of solvency for MGW#0 is not active yet, since they are migrating coins and assets to production servers. The website and api for this monitoring is expected to be available, soon according to VanBreuk.

The second cluster called MGW#2 is responsible for controlling Blackcoin, Viacoin and Dogecoin!

This one is secured by Cobaltsky, Hero Member of the NXT community, artist and developer. Along side Marcus03 Sr. Member who is also developing an NXT mobile wallet and Jeffdiesel, also a Hero Member.

Live proof of solvency for MGW#1 can be currently found here.

For more information on the progress of MGW clusters, follow the main NXT thread.

Decentralizing everything

Anyone can set up their own MGW cluster, as you would expect from a community focused on decentralization. However, for the time being, interested parties must reach out to JL777 or other core Supernet developers to be given access to the private repo. This might change in the future after the main development is finished.

Coin developers, businesses and individuals interested in joining the Supernet are welcome to reach out at the Supernet forums publicly or contact JL777 directly through a private message.

More blockchain technologies wanted!

The Supernet is putting out a call for innovative and active crypto coin communities. Its very difficult to be noticed and compete as a crypto coin these days; there’s over 500 coins on coinmarketcap and great coins may be getting lost among the masses.

The Supernet has some general standards by which to review coins. A solid answer to the question “What value can your crypto coin tech bring to customers?” may be all you need to join.

NXT Phasing

Keep in mind, however, that MGW is still in its beta stages. Compared to 1 out of 1 cold storage solutions for the average exchanges, or deposit accounts for bank like crypto coin organizations, MGW is many times more decentralized, both for its trading platform and its distributed multisignature servers.

However, until NXT releases its “Phased transactoins” feature, the NXT asset side of things will not support multisignature. This means that the coin assets that mirror each crypto coin are controlled manually and could be exploited by dumping them on the market.

MGW beta will end when phasing is live on the NXT network. Until than, each MGW key holder is responsible for a third of a hot wallet with relevant coin assets. The amount of coin assets on the hot wallet are the average expected volume per coin.

The remaining ‘unbound’ assets, which are not expected to be traded for the crypto currencies yet are currently being held in escrow by anon136’s renown escrow services.
Its time to take distributed finance to the next level, and the Supernet’s Multigateway has just raised the bar.

Worth a Tip? NXT-UWQK-YZ7T-GDS6-GMW8P


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