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Slack log for Ark token's value proposition discussion 16-07-18

Please find below a log of the discussion we had in slack regarding the ark token's value proposition. Some of the community members who happen to be long term holders of ark feel that the ark token's value proposition isn't clearly communicated by the team so they asked about it. I'm posting the entire discussion it here to make a permanent record since slack wipes messages after a while.
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arigard [7:21 PM]
Hey team, so I'm curious. Is there any update on a new white paper at all that was being mentioned? I've been holding Ark since it hit Bittrex and I personally don't really have a clear idea about how the token is going to work in the overall picture, or what really the direction is for the project once v2 is out. It feels like things have gone a bit flat recently, are there any updates on direction and what the plan is once V2 is live? Is there any idea about when it might go live? Or how the Ark token will fit into the economy (will it be a gas?). I see a lot of other projects i'm invested in coming up with very clear roadmaps/dates and direction about what they want to be and I still personally feel Ark's message is a little confused and hard to read especially for people who are not coders/developers.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:22 PM]
the roadmap is on the site, arkdirectory.com/kits has nice presentations and other goodies
roks0n (deadlock) [7:23 PM]
@Matthew_DC mentioned a couple of days ago that he’s preparing several blog posts which should explain most of these @arigard
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:23 PM]
the Blog also goes into lots of v2 details
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:24 PM]
Hi everyone.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:24 PM]
Ark is Ark, not like Eth with gas, hence no gas.
Hey @Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) welcome back
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:24 PM]
Hey rob, hi Rok :slightly_smiling_face:
roks0n (deadlock) [7:25 PM]
Rob, I think he means how everything will be connected with ArkVM etc.
similar conversation as the one few days ago (edited)
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:25 PM]
It's been a while, but I was head on in the project, sorry for not showing more often.
arigard [7:25 PM]
Yeah my main question is really I still don't know what will give the actual Ark token value .
goldenpepe [7:25 PM]
we dont know how the arkvm will work
All we can do is wait
Doubled1c3 (ArkStickers.com) [7:26 PM]
uploaded and commented on this image: bucket.jpg
@Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe)
goldenpepe [7:26 PM]
We can make assumptions but that's all they'll be
roks0n (deadlock) [7:26 PM]
@arigard this was the discussion: https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531422791000216
roks0n (deadlock)
definitely, I’m not blaming anyone :slightly_smiling_face: Was just curious if there were any developments in terms of the updated whitepaper because I was reading one of the threads on reddit from 6 months ago where it was mentioned you’re looking to hire someone write it up.
Posted in #generalJul 12th
arigard [7:26 PM]
And I kind of feel this is such a big elephant in the room for people in the long run.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:26 PM]
click on the link and read from that post on (edited)
arigard [7:26 PM]
ok
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:27 PM]
I saw that there has been some drawbacks with the V2 ?
(Not sure if it's exact, I only came a few times and seemed to understand it was so)
goldenpepe [7:28 PM]
There are just some incompatibilities between v1 and v2 in devnet
which is why devnet is currently down
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:28 PM]
ArkVM may be unnecessary as more modern approaches to handling contracts are available, one of the main issue is having them be distributed just like the tokens.
goldenpepe [7:28 PM]
There's a community run v2-only devnet though #devnet_unofficial
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:28 PM]
it's more like drawback with v1
arigard [7:30 PM]
I mean I've seen a lot of stuff in that discussion discussed over the past year and there still seems to be no concrete answers coming out and that is a bit of worry to me personally. It makes it look like the team doesn't even know. I think most that know of Ark understand it wants to create an easy way to deploy blockchains and work as a platform and have some inoperability options. But the fundamentals of how that work right now seems to be up in the air. In other projects I know what gives those tokens value, but in Ark I don't, so it's hard for me as an investor to really sell to someone else the benefits of the token when there is a big question mark still on it.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:33 PM]
do you know that Ark Deployer has been available for quite some time?
arigard [7:34 PM]
Yes, that doesn't really answer any questions though.
mak [7:34 PM]
Ark deployer helps the main chain's business case somehow?
arigard [7:35 PM]
What gives Ark token actual value? Like what is the reason people need to buy and hold the Ark token? That is my question.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:36 PM]
@mak what you're saying is kinda like answering you can use a hammer when asked what a nail do.
arigard [7:36 PM]
You don't need to buy the Ark token to deploy a chain. You can just do it.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:36 PM]
I mean, the Ark Deployer doesn't answer what's the Ark.
mak [7:36 PM]
@Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) my point was directed towards rob's comment. I think you misunderstood it.
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:37 PM]
@mak My bad then. I apologize.
Blockhunter [7:38 PM]
:boogieark9:
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:38 PM]
" I think most that know of Ark understand it wants to create an easy way to deploy blockchains and work as a platform and have some inoperability options. But the fundamentals of how that work right now seems to be up in the air."
This is why I wrote that.. there is no mystery of how that works. You are mistaken or uninformed.
arkenstone [7:38 PM]
That's the problem here because team is programming orientated but there hasn't been alot done on business aspect of the token and marketing investor point big view
mak [7:38 PM]
That only explains the value of the ark codebase not the blockchain though
arigard [7:38 PM]
I think you seem to be trying to turn the argument in a seperate direction.
It's a simple question.
What gives the Ark token value.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:39 PM]
The market does. It's on 19 different exchanges.
arigard [7:39 PM]
Seems like you are being unhelpfully obtuse. I'll rephrase.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:39 PM]
so one thing that is clear to me is interoperability using ACES, where ARK is used as a “middleman” between two different chains, so if there’s high volume between those chains, it means the volume of ark increases as well .. what I’d like to know is how things will work with arkvm and how it will all work with sidechains (on eth, all the side chains will basically link back to the main chain which will be the one responsible for security afaik?)
arigard [7:39 PM]
What gives the Ark token value in the Ark ecosystem.
Blockhunter [7:40 PM]
Vote for Pedro he will make all your dreams come true
arigard [7:40 PM]
Eth is a gas, Waves is a gas. Ark is... what?
mak [7:40 PM]
ACES can work with any chains though. Doesn't have to be ark main chain. So I guess tomorrow persona can become the settlement layer for the Ark ecosystem and there's no incentive to stop it from happening.
arigard [7:40 PM]
^
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
Mak, correct but if there are already lots of chains connected between ARK, it will be more appealing to link it through ARK directly
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:41 PM]
As I understand it, ACES could be using any given blockchain as the middle man...
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
it doesn’t mean that it can’t be copied tho
arigard [7:41 PM]
But there are no chains connected through Ark atm
That have any real value anyway
roks0n (deadlock) [7:41 PM]
eth and btc are
arigard [7:41 PM]
And they can be connected through any Ark clone.
bangomatic [7:41 PM]
I'd love to hear the Ark team chime in on this discussion
arigard [7:42 PM]
So anyone can come along and make another chain that can instantly overtake Ark at this present time if there isn't a failsafe reason for Ark to be the defacto currency.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:42 PM]
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422 you can't keep saying things like this as if they are true.
arigard
That have any real value anyway
Posted in #generalToday at 7:41 PM
Blockhunter [7:42 PM]
Interoperability to the moon
mak [7:42 PM]
"it will be more appealing to link it through ARK directly"
Currently Ark is the only mature chain because it's been around longer but the moment persona or some other bridge chain gets listed on an exchange that dynamic is no longer there. So why would you prefer Ark over persona when that happens. That's the question as far as I understand it. (edited)
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:43 PM]
Persona has other goals, not duplicating Ark goals
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:43 PM]
@bangomatic Hi!
arigard [7:43 PM]
What current sidechain of Ark has real value/position in the crypto market? Persona?
bangomatic [7:43 PM]
hey @Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe)!
mak [7:43 PM]
The blockchain as a transaction medium doesn't care about secondary goals.
It still has all the capabilities that Ark has.
Colby [7:43 PM]
What has value right now? :thinking_face:
rob [ Ark Labs ]
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422 you can't keep saying things like this as if they are true.
https://arkecosystem.slack.com/archives/C2ABRLZB8/p1531762883000422
Posted in #generalToday at 7:42 PM
arigard [7:43 PM]
Ark's ecosystem at present is not big enough to be a reason not to just take the tech and start your own.
To think otherwise is ludicrous.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:44 PM]
that's a fine opinion
Jarunik [7:44 PM]
it is harder than you think :slightly_smiling_face:
arigard [7:44 PM]
We aren't Eth with multi $100mn + start ups and even if we were, what's currently to stop one of those just overtaking Ark and leaving it behind?
Jarunik [7:45 PM]
i hope some ark clones get really sucessful to be honest :slightly_smiling_face:
Colby [7:45 PM]
Same here!
Jarunik
i hope some ark clones get really sucessful to be honest :slightly_smiling_face:
Posted in #generalToday at 7:45 PM
Blockhunter [7:45 PM]
HODL ROCKET TECHNOLOGY
mak [7:45 PM]
Same here but then there's no reason to hold Ark over something else
arigard [7:45 PM]
i hope so too if there is some reason for Ark to always be there at the top considering it's the Ark platform.
Colby [7:45 PM]
But the thing is that I am wondering, if ark clones get successful, what benefits does it give back to ark
Djenny Floro (Ark Tribe) [7:45 PM]
@Jarunik to create an ecosystem?
mak [7:45 PM]
Right now we have to consider Ark's value not the other bridge chains
arigard [7:45 PM]
But if there isn't a reason for Ark to exist at the top, why are we all holding it?
Colby [7:45 PM]
Haha I think we are all thinking the same :slightly_smiling_face:
arigard [7:45 PM]
It's a terrible business plan
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:46 PM]
the point of BridgeChains is to allow new projects with no access the market a path to them through Ark, and hence gain value.
Other blockchains connections are through ACES, such as BTC, LTC, ETH, and more coming..
Persona has a way to trade Ark <> Prs
arigard [7:47 PM]
What is to stop them from getting their own exchanges in the future and just using Ark as a stepping stone to becoming their own platform operator?
mak [7:47 PM]
Sure rob, but there's now 10 different projects doing the same and they are faster in development than the ark team is
arigard [7:47 PM]
^
Blockhunter [7:47 PM]
Ark is the Yoda of blockchain and they need a better catchphrase. Better than ark gives no dates or point click blockchain
arigard [7:48 PM]
This attitude seems horribly naive if this is the value proposition.
mak [7:48 PM]
All of us believe in the vision that Ark brought us but I personally am not sure if Ark is the best option to execute that vision in time
arigard [7:48 PM]
The issue is, we don't know what the value proposition is.
mak [7:48 PM]
Other projects seem much faster
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:48 PM]
if you are into speculation, which it seems you are, then on paper all of your projects with no code are better and have more value than Ark
arigard [7:48 PM]
That's not true at all. lol.
Matthew_DC [7:49 PM]
At the most base level, ARK is a common currency token that is essentially automatically compatible with every bridge chain that is built based on ARK and is optimized for transaction volume and throughput to avoid bloat of other mechanisms introduced by the other chains. That is at the most basic level. By holding the ARK token itself, you will be able to enact the functions of multiple bridged chains both issued by our team and others. You will also be able to utilize the ARK chain as a pegged token to many bridged chains but that process will be transparent to users as it will be done behind the scenes without the user needing to do any functions. To think that someone will fork the code and generate a more effective ARK main chain means you have no confidence in the ARK team as the primary developer of the technology itself. In this case, if we are not and someone pushes a better version of the network, then I would argue maybe they SHOULD be chosen. That is the point of a free and open market. Not to mention the potential for registering and providing snapshot hashes to the main ARK blockchain to provide added security measures to a bridge chain with lower security due to lower market share etc, those are just baseline reasons.
As I mentioned the other day, at face value, consider this. What brings value to Litecoin or Bitcoin or Doge? In essence, ARK is a more effective currency and base network than all of these aforementioned networks with all of the added benefits being added for additional use cases.
roks0n (deadlock) [7:50 PM]
will ark based chains be bridged via arkvm?
goldenpepe [7:50 PM]
They cant be
You'd need the VM on both sides
Matthew_DC [7:50 PM]
I am currently on a conference call and have a lot going on so I can't respond too much.
goldenpepe [7:50 PM]
You can use AIP11's new tx types to do a sort of escrow between chains though i think
mak [7:50 PM]
@Matthew_DC Are you saying that the bridgechains deployed by ark-deployer don't have the same features?
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:50 PM]
ArkVM is not for bridging chains
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
It can be
Coinme [7:51 PM]
And ICO's that will join Ark in the future will use it for buying their token.
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
But both chains will need to be running the VM
Matthew_DC [7:51 PM]
The ARK main chain will have specific methods of allowing token transfer and utilization between chains to include quasi-centralized methods through aces, decentralized aces based intermediary networks, Time locked transfers, among custom built smart contract like logic built into the core technology itself that doesn't make the network susceptible to the bloat and mis-utilization an vulnerabilities of full VM use.
goldenpepe [7:51 PM]
(which the main ark chain wont be)
mak [7:51 PM]
"ICO's that will join Ark in the future will use it for buying their token"
Or any other bridgechain that's listed on exchanges
@Matthew_DC So will all of the bridgechains, no? I could start an ACES node today for persona and it will have no difference from what you describe.
Matthew_DC [7:52 PM]
@mak no, we promised ARK would be open source and everything we build for the core ARK blockchain will be open source.
arigard [7:53 PM]
You can be open source and still protect your value..
Matthew_DC [7:54 PM]
The point of ARK from day 1 has been to create a better base layer blockchain technology and protocol for everyone everywhere to be able to use to create anything they can dream up.
The ARK token is a core payment layer for the ecosystem including any applications we build ourselves, sponsor, partner with, or support.
mak [7:54 PM]
It seems like the team's vision for Ark is as a software product only and there's no business plan for the main chain. Which is fine but it's not explained as such. (edited)
Blockhunter [7:55 PM]
Great to see such active discussions
goldenpepe [7:55 PM]
I think what Matt is trying to portray is this:
A single universal Ark Ecosystem wallet holding ARK that has a nice UI with a list of dapps in the ecosystem
You select a dapp
You send a tx from the wallet using Ark
----------------Everything below this line is transparent to the user-----------------
The Ark transaction has instructions in the smartbridge field
The Ark gets converted to dappCoin via an intermediary like ACES (trustful) or a trustless escrow smart contract
The intermediary received Ark and uses the dappCoin on the dapp chain to do whatever it is the user wanted to do using the instructions in the smartbridge field
The dappchain responds to the request to the intermediary
Intermediary sends an Ark tx with the results of the dapp computation/action in the smartbridge field
---------------Everything above this line is transparent to the user-------------------
After 8+ seconds, user's wallet shows them the result of their interaction with the dapp bridgechain
That's where the value of Ark will come from
The Ark coin will be a universal "omni-coin"
Matthew_DC [7:56 PM]
:this: This
goldenpepe [7:56 PM]
That will instantly shapeshift into bridgechain coins to interact with the bridgechain dapp
mak [7:58 PM]
I understand what your point is and I agree it will work but only as long as none of the bridge chains are on an exchange
when for example persona gets listed on binance the scenario changes
and now either chain can become the backbone of the ark ecosystem
arigard [7:58 PM]
Yes. We see that. But hypothetically what is to stop a bridged Ark chain from becoming bigger than Ark and then going on to become that gateway? At this point it just seems to be hopium that the Ark network will always be the one people look to. But in one year, or two, or five, it might not be the case. What is to stop Ark being just sidelined if another team come along with develop on what Ark has built and propel it forward and take the mantle?
goldenpepe [7:58 PM]
What you say will be a problem only if the utility of the dapp coin is greater than the utility of the ark omnicoin
Would you rather hold a coin that can do one thing and is forever tied to a single chain
arigard [7:59 PM]
But in other crypto's an app becoming sucessfull is a benefit. In Ark's network it could be a negative.
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
Or would you rather hold a coin that can interact with that single chain and 3232523432 others
arigard [7:59 PM]
But why can't another coin become an omnicoin?
If there are no limitations against it
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
Why can't another coin become ethereum?
mak [7:59 PM]
"What you say will be a problem only if the utility of the dapp coin is greater than the utility of the ark omnicoin"
Or if it gives out better staking returns etc like persona because of higher inflation rate
goldenpepe [7:59 PM]
if there are no limitations against it
You can literally go on AWS right now and deploy an ethereum clone chain
arigard [7:59 PM]
It can, but an ETH token can't oust ETH
That's the difference. We are giving people an easy route here.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [7:59 PM]
do you often think your children should not surpass you? Or is that the hope?
Matthew_DC [8:00 PM]
Well it's about security, trust, potential vulnerabilities due to added functionality, the ability of the bridgechain team to create interactions and focus on use cases for their token outside of their core use, etc.
But that's the point of open and free markets
goldenpepe [8:00 PM]
There is a solution to your concern @arigard
Matthew_DC [8:00 PM]
What is to stop someone from being better than Bitcoin?
arigard [8:01 PM]
I think all these strawman arguments are fun, but they still aren't adressing the issuel
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
Instead of having Ark Deployer literally cloning the ark codebase, have it be a turnkey solution to run a layer 2 chain
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
You could go fork Ethereum right now and have an exact copy of the capability of the main Eth chain.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
bridgechain dapps can be "colored coins"
that are forever tied to the main chain
arigard [8:01 PM]
Yeah but you wouldn't have those businesses on the chain.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
but that would introduce bloat
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
So you are saying the utility of Ethereum is adoption.
arigard [8:01 PM]
And those businesses won't have the potential to become the main ETH.
Matthew_DC [8:01 PM]
Which is the case for the value of any token.
goldenpepe [8:01 PM]
@arigard It sounds like you want ark to become Ethereum Plasma
arigard [8:02 PM]
I just want an answer.
Matthew_DC [8:02 PM]
How many companies are pulling their ERC20 tokens off of Ethereum because of the issues?
Colby [8:02 PM]
Yeah but correct me if im wrong
goldenpepe [8:02 PM]
There is no answer that will satisfy what you are asking
arigard [8:02 PM]
And i keep getting strawmanned.
Colby [8:02 PM]
Ethereum projects NEED eth for gas
Matthew_DC [8:02 PM]
We talk to people almost every day that are looking to leave Ethereum.
Colby [8:02 PM]
Ark is needed for?
arigard [8:02 PM]
^
Colby [8:02 PM]
This is all I am wondering, where does the ark coin fit into it
I love the idea
goldenpepe [8:02 PM]
@arigard You want ark-based coins to rely on Ark
The team wants the Ark chain to not be bloated
The solution to this is unironically ethereum plasma and sharding
Colby [8:02 PM]
but have been waiting for a while to know how the Ark coin will actually be used
goldenpepe [8:03 PM]
Shards in ethereum are basically "bridgechains"
arigard [8:03 PM]
Ok, and those teams might be big enough and clued up enough to eventually knock Ark from being the de facto omni coin. That's the worry.
If this is in fact the possibility.
Then it should be clear.
mak [8:03 PM]
"You could go fork Ethereum right now and have an exact copy of the capability of the main Eth chain."
@Matthew_DC Ethereum has value because all the dapps live on it which is not true for ark
arigard [8:03 PM]
Because as an investor it worries me, a lot.
I don't know where the value of Ark as an investment is 100% right now.
Jarunik [8:03 PM]
Ark is basically the inverse approach to Ethereum. Eth goes for big one-fits all first and tries to shard ... Ark is creating shards and then combines them
goldenpepe [8:03 PM]
There is no solution to what @arigard and @mak are saying right now
Literally no existing solution
Only proposals like sharding
arigard [8:04 PM]
And all this noise about defensiveness doesn't help. These are legit concerns.
Matthew_DC [8:04 PM]
When was it not clear that if a company comes along and builds a better more used product it could potentially take over market share?
That's how all free markets work.
You can't believe in open source and build and open source product without that risk.
arigard [8:04 PM]
But that isn't the same thing. Ark is literally building THE tools for people to then do that.
mak [8:04 PM]
@Matthew_DC Just to clarify I appreciate the work you guys are doing but I want to make an informed investment decision about holding the ark token
arigard [8:04 PM]
As a platform.
Jarunik [8:04 PM]
yes ... that is the idea how to grow
arigard [8:04 PM]
if you cloned Bitcoin back in the day you were a seperate currency.
Jarunik [8:04 PM]
provide good tools for others to create chains
arigard [8:04 PM]
This is a platform, its totally different.
And what we are discuswsing here is who runs that platform.
Matthew_DC [8:05 PM]
If someone launched an Ethereum chain right now and gained adoption there is a huge potential that all tokens decide to move their ERC20 tokens to the new chain and it becomes the new Ethereum and you have in essence lost all value because Ethereum is not capable of being used on the bridge chain as a currency.
ARK maintains it's value if for no other reason than the pegged value to any chain we personally create to include VM chain, token issuance chain, etc.
arigard [8:05 PM]
If it's built by Ark, does Ark always retain control? if not, why? What happens if Ark ends up building tools for a subsidary project that propels itself above them. Investors will just move to that coin.
Matthew_DC [8:05 PM]
Because it's an open decentralized system.
The problem is people don't actually believe in decentralization if it possibly harms their potential for monetary gain.
rob [ Ark Labs ] [8:06 PM]
we hope bridgechains get popular because that also means more for Ark in many ways.
arigard [8:06 PM]
You can be decentralized without being 100% altruistic. It's not mutually exclusive.
mak [8:06 PM]
@goldenpepe Since you guys claim that there's no solution for this how about I present one which @Matthew_DC can decide if it's useful or not. Make delegate voting for the ArkVM happen on the main chain. So anyone who wants to become a delegate for the VM needs to hold money on the main chain.
arigard [8:07 PM]
It just seems people are being dogmatic about this.
And if this isn't about investment. Why have an ICO?
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
Ethereum being the core chain for all ERC20 token based businesses centralizes the industry in a massive way. Not only is Ethereum itself centralized in the way it's mining structure was developed, but it also is centralized in that if the Ethereum network is compromised, thousands of companies assets and business are now compromised.
We don't believe that is the future.
mak [8:07 PM]
I'm not saying that this should be done for all sidechains. Just for the VM and it will be a special case.
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
We believe in a different business model.
That has been at the core of every description and explanation I have given from day 1.
arigard [8:07 PM]
Ok and that's fine, but my point is this should be made very clear if it's the case.
From the team officially.
goldenpepe [8:07 PM]
@mak now you're strawmanning me
Matthew_DC [8:07 PM]
Where is it not clear?
goldenpepe [8:08 PM]
I was addressing the fact that the idea that bridgechains shouldnt be independent and should be tied to Ark being in conflict with the Ark team's idea that the main chain should not be bloated with dapps
The only plausible solution to that right now
is Ethereum Plasma
Sharding
yokoama (thefoundry Delegate) [8:09 PM]
Sharting
mak [8:09 PM]
"We believe in a different business model."
I respect that. But it changes the ark's value proposition to just being a source of funding to the ark team and a means of speculation.
goldenpepe [8:09 PM]
Shards in ethereum are like bridgechains but the coins are all erc20s that rely on ethereum
Matthew_DC [8:09 PM]
People said ARK's DPoS mechanism would be a failure when we changed the voting structure because they said it wouldn't be secure enough. It has turned out to be massively secure compared to the centralized cartel run solutions of other DPoS chains. This is another fundamental issue where we believe we have a model that will work and will create value and thousands of use cases for the ARK token in a seamless way for the average user.
goldenpepe [8:09 PM]
and the shard blocks dont interfere or bloat up the "main" eth chain
mak [8:09 PM]
@goldenpepe I'm not suggesting deploying dapps on main chain. Just that the voting should take place there so there is always incentive to keep money on the main chain.
Matthew_DC [8:10 PM]
At no point did we say ARK was gas and have constantly made sure to outline the differences between ARK and Ethereum.
I believe the Eth model is flawed.
goldenpepe [8:11 PM]
The current ethereum model is flawed
If sharding works then it's going to solve a lot of its issues
(i dont hold any ethereum btw)
arigard [8:12 PM]
At no point have we actually had an updated white paper discussing this question in detail, clearly. It's not on the website and if it is it's buried somewhere in a blog post. The fact these discussions keep cropping up is proof of this.
nukacolaplease [8:12 PM]
I think we don't understand clearly what makes Ark important after the launch of the sidechains, Ark will be only an "exchange token"? The sidechain doesn't need Ark for operating
goldenpepe [8:12 PM]
+1 on needing a new whitepaper
Matthew_DC [8:12 PM]
replied to a thread:
This is a means of centralization of the network. Instead, by utilizing a form of pegged bridge chains, we can maintain a similar effect without creating centralization and reliance on 1 chain for others to properly function.
arkenstone [8:12 PM]
I think these things should be clearly written in a new WB and officially made public and promoted
goldenpepe [8:12 PM]
A new whitepaper would clear up so much FUD
pieface [8:13 PM]
Yeah I think a new WP is needed for sure
arigard [8:13 PM]
So don't start going "Oh everybody knows this, it's clear" Show me where on the front page of the website it tells you how the token mechanics will work in the ecosystem? It's not good it being on some powerpoint on a google drive, or hidden in comments in the slack.
mak [8:13 PM]
I though there wasn't going to be a new whitepaper.
arigard [8:13 PM]
It needs to be clear to investors how it works, exactly.
goldenpepe [8:13 PM]
I agree with arigard here
I only know what I know because I live on slack
Matthew_DC [8:13 PM]
The solutions are still in development and there are always opportunities to continue to adapt the model, that's why I have these conversations and ask for feedback regularly, but the core fundamental belief of how open and free decentralized markets should work most likely won't change.
arkenstone [8:13 PM]
Same here
goldenpepe [8:14 PM]
The vast majority of ark holders have no idea
they just bought bc of the cool red triangle
arigard [8:14 PM]
Stop playing cute, this is people's money you are asking for. So at least give them the benefit of being honest that there is no inherent business model reason why Ark will be necessary in the future.
And let them make their decisions.
roks0n (deadlock) [8:14 PM]
I agree, it took me months of following discussion on slack and digging around reddit to get information
arigard [8:14 PM]
With proper information.
mak [8:14 PM]
replied to a thread:
It's centralizing value onto one chain but doesn't bottleneck the ecosystem so I don't see anything being wrong with that.
Matthew_DC [8:15 PM]
replied to a thread:
I'm not arguing with you and I made a clear post here within the last 2 days that our website messaging is shit and needs completely redone.
If the ARK network is compromised or the consensus mechanism of the ARK main net is compromised then all subsequent networks reliant on that consensus would be compromised as well.
mad4thrash [8:15 PM]
In my opinion Ark's value come from (in the future) the fact that by holding one coin I can interact with every bridgechain plus any ACES services
Matthew_DC [8:16 PM]
So what I am saying is that we have to be cautious of these kinds of decisions and ensure that we aren't inadvertently creating attack vectors to take down partners, businesses, and other industries using the technology.
I'm sorry guys, I have to go, but I would love to continue this conversation on Reddit or here at a later time.
mak [8:16 PM]
"all subsequent networks reliant on that consensus would be compromised as well"
^ Correction: only the VM chain will be compromised since I'm not advocating that all bridgechains should vote on the main chain.
Matthew_DC [8:19 PM]
In an isolated case, if we can map it out and vet the concept, I'm more than happy to hear it out and have the conversation.
Solowatch [8:19 PM]
So I think we can all agree an updated Whitepaper is due
Matthew_DC [8:20 PM]
This is a community project and we are shaping pieces of it together as we continue to build. We have already made changes based on community feedback on many occasions.
So I would love to see someone post a proposal to reddit or even as an AIP at some point that we could discuss.
Jarunik [8:20 PM]
If you write a white paper it will be outdated soon :smile:
Solowatch [8:21 PM]
Well a V2 whitepaper shouldn’t be outdated soon
I don’t care about a V1 or V1.5 whitepaper lol
I want a whitepaper for V2 that’s clearly explaining all these concerns that the community has
arkenstone [8:22 PM]
:this:
Solowatch [8:23 PM]
I wrote a few questions down that I’ll post in here later today that @rob [ Ark Labs ] asked for. Please add to it if I missed anything once I do.
arkenstone [8:23 PM]
And I think now it's the time do it. Present it with full package on mainet launch.. (edited)
Solowatch [8:23 PM]
Or PM and I’ll add them before posting
mak [8:25 PM]
Anyways thanks for listening and responding @Matthew_DC. Some of us have been trying to discuss this with the ark team but didn't get much feedback until today.
arigard [8:25 PM]
Yeah +1
arkenstone [8:28 PM]
Alot of early investors are getting worried
submitted by moazzam2k to ArkEcosystem [link] [comments]

Mining is how you vote for rule changes. Greg's comments on BU revealed he has no idea how Bitcoin works. He thought "honest" meant "plays by Core rules." [But] there is no "honesty" involved. There is only the assumption that the majority of miners are INTELLIGENTLY PROFIT-SEEKING. - ForkiusMaximus

The title of this post is a compressed summary combining some important quotes from several recent comments by u/ForkiusMaximus, which I thought were worth highlighting here in a post of their own.
His comments remind us that Bitcoin was already brilliantly designed by Satoshi so that the majority of "honest" "intelligently profit-seeking" miners will always be economically incentivized to use their hashpower to vote for the rule changes which will maximize their (and everyone else's) Bitcoin profits - and they will always do this regardless of any censorship or centralized dev teams.
Meanwhile, Core/Blockstream (and their supporters) totally fail to understand this subtle but vital point: they think that devs somehow control Bitcoin, by forcing people to run certain code... or moderators somehow control Bitcoin, by censoring certain forums... or now non-mining nodes can somehow control Bitcoin by suggesting a futile and pointless "user-activated soft-fork" (UASF) - ie a fork not supported by actual mining hashpower.
This all shows that Core/Blockstream (and their supporters) have a fundamental misunderstanding of the most important aspect of Bitcoin - the fact that:
This is why the 21 million coin cap will never get increased.
And this is why blocksizes will always continue to moderately increase.
Not because some dev team made it "hard" to modify these settings in the code.
And not because some moderator censored some discussion about some alternative clients.
The reason Bitcoin works is simply because the vast majority of miners are "honest" "intelligently profit-seeking".
This is why mining support for Core/Blockstream's centrally-planned blocksize has dropped to 2/3 of network hashpower (despite their big team of "experts" and all their censorship and fiat funding).
And this is why 1/3 of mining hashpower has already started voting for some form of market-driven blocksizes...
... not because BU or Classic suddenly "gave" them this power (after all, they always had this power themselves)...
... but simply because the vast majority of miners are "honest" "intelligently profit-seeking", and they know that bigger blocks will bring higher profits.
So, miners have always been able to use their hashpower (and even modify the Bitcoin client source code if they wanted) in order to vote for rule changes which would support bigger blocksizes and higher Bitcoin profits for everyone - with or without any help from BU, Classic, etc. - and there is nothing that any dev team (or any censored forum) can do to prevent miners from doing this.
So it is inevitable that miners will use their hashpower to vote for bigger blocksizes, because this means much higher Bitcoin profits for them (and also bigger Bitcoin profits for the rest of us :-)... simply because (as Satoshi clearly did understand, but most Core/Blockstream devs clearly do not understand):

The vast majority of miners are "honest" "intelligently profit-seeking".

The original comments by u/ForkiusMaximus providing an explanation of these important (but often subtle) concepts are shown below - with some text bolded & italicized for empahsis.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5z3hv5/bloomberg_antpool_will_switch_entire_pool_to/dev7drt/?context=3
We don't have to trust [miners] to be "honest" as Satoshi unfortunately worded it.
Replace the term honest with "intelligently profit-seeking."
Bitcoin assumes miners are intelligently profit-seeking, meaning that they have a decent enough read on what the ecosystem wants that they can and will make any necessary changes to please the ecosystem and thus boost their own bottom line.
Greg's recent comments on BU totally discredited him, as he revealed himself to have no friggin' idea how Bitcoin works.
He actually thought "honest" meant something like "plays by Core rules." That's a completely broken understanding of Bitcoin, and implies centralization.
It's the kind of misconception I'd expect from a run-of-the-mill nobody on a forum, not from the mighty leader of Core/BS. I'm kinda pissed I wasted mental clock ticks trying to debate this guy without realizing he has not just a flawed understanding, but zero understanding of how Bitcoin works at all. And of course all his supporters parrot his nonsense view of how Bitcoin supposedly works.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5yxreu/classic_fearmongering_example_by_bitcoin_core/dev0x5d/?context=3
Mining control is the key invention of Bitcoin. It's how it doesn't just devolve into yet another failed subjective monetary scheme. If you don't like it, you should figure out another scheme. Perhaps proof of stake is more your thing?
Also, it's pretty amazing that you think just because BU makes it more convenient for miners to do what they always could do, that that somehow dooms Bitcoin. If that dooms it, it was already a dead man walking.
How do you propose to stop miners from altering their own blocksize settings?
If you have no answer, you have no grounds to attack BU without falling into the category of being a Bitcoin skeptic.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5zoywt/the_largest_problem_of_bitcoin_is_that_most/df0jutk/
It's actually fairly subtle: mining IS how you vote for rule changes, BUT miners have every incentive to vote with the market, so they DON'T have any meaningful ability to push rules on the community (even under BU).
There is no trust or "honesty" involved, as Satoshi unfortunately worded it. There is only the underlying assumption that makes Bitcoin work: the assumption that the vast majority of miners are INTELLIGENTLY PROFIT-SEEKING.
The only way this system can break is if the majority of miners seek something other than profit (say a government took the major mining pools over and somehow hashers couldn't switch away in time), or the miners misjudge what the market wants (due to a failure of market communication).
However, in this case and on these timescales it is obvious the current crop of miners are generally profit-seeking. And if they are misjudging the market, we have a remedy: we can resolve that through fork futures trading on the exchanges.
Note that this is just moving the decision from the first kind of investors (miners) to the general investing public. Miners are a first-line proxy for investors in general. If they fail to reflect investor will, investors are free to take it to the market by forking and trading the two sides of the fork (preferably as futures so as to avoid scrambling to upgrade urgently).
Also important would be to maximize freedom of discussion so that market communication is not distorted. Finally, the whole idea of the UASF people, that we would poll the ecosystem somehow to prove the economic majority wants some change, already means that merely showing this proof to the miners should convince them, as they are intelligently profit-seeking. But that obviates the need for a UASF in the first place (!).
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5yyotu/if_blockstream_core_offchain_solutions_are_any/deu0hpn/
I used to think they don't understand markets, but in fact they are stuck at an even more basic level than that.
I took a spin through the wreckage of /Bitcoin today for the first time in weeks. It was pleasantly surprising to see how with the ramping up of miner support for BU, the Core arguments have been reduced to obvious fundamental misunderstandings of Bitcoin that are now trivial to rebut.
In a word, they haven't actually grasped the concept of incentives.
This goes all the way to the top, not just the supporters but the key Core devs themselves. They don't understand markets, yes, but it's not like they are even close. They lack the understanding of even the fundamental building blocks of markets.
When you think about it, governance by incentives is pretty subtle. Even if one reads the whitepaper and goes, "Oh yeah I see, miners would be motivated not to kill the golden goose in that situation," it is quite another matter to fully internalize the fact that the only reason Bitcoin is a thing at all is because of the assumption that miners are not idiots. Or more accurately, that miners as a group will never have a gross failure to correctly apprehend the wishes of the market.
This is the source of all the weird claims about miners controlling or not controlling Bitcoin.
Core and Blockstream dev Matt Corallo thinks that if miners were allowed to (not mentioning how they could be disallowed to), they would mine extra coins for all the "extra profits." Again this goes beyond failing to understand markets, all the way down to failing to understand or take seriously incentives as a concept at all. I'm not blaming him, he's a coder; I blame those who take his commentary on non-coding matters seriously, merely by dint of his coding skill.
A constant refrain from Core supporters as BU gain hashpower is that "miners don't control Bitcoin." This is actually correct: miners don't control Bitcoin, they won't act against the economic majority. But not because they can't. They certainly can, just like oncoming traffic can swerve toward you on the freeway. But they don't, because that would destroy them as well.
Thus is the subtlety of governance by incentives. Miners have control, but they won't use it to do anything that displeases the ecosystem, on balance. Or they might, but in that case Bitcoin is a failed concept as its fundamental assumption is then proven to be broken.
Many or most anti-BU arguments unwittingly take that form: they start with the premise that Bitcoin is broken [i.e., miners are idiots or that they grossly fail to read the market] and reason from there to conclude that BU is broken. Examples include the median EB attack, the various big block attacks, and the bizarre claim that BU has a "new security model" because it "lets miners do something they couldn't before" (ironically implying Core has snuck in a new security model where they try to restrain miners by making it inconvenient for them to change a blocksize setting).
Hence we see that it isn't merely a matter of Core and Blockstream people having initially dismissed Bitcoin and then later seeing the light when the price rises forced them to look deeper. They in fact still haven't seen the light. They never fully understood the basic dynamic that makes Bitcoin tick, let alone understanding higher level concepts like markets. This is why they so easily fall into the central planning mindset, seeing Bitcoin as a fragile little thing that must be defended by their wise paternalistic guidance.
The Core devs have replaced the fundamental assumption in the whitepaper, that most miners are honest (I prefer "most miners are not idiots" as it is harder to misinterpret), with the fundamental assumption that the right set of people (or the right repository governance structure) is in charge of the "reference implementation."
This manifests as a kind of envy toward the miners and comes with all the other curious trappings of the Core worldview: the code is the spec, hard forks are dangerous, Core = Bitcoin, anything that deviates from Core diktats is an "altcoin," it doesn't count as censorship to delete discussion of alternative clients as they are "off topic," nodes > miners, anything that makes it a bit easier for miners to do something Core doesn't like is an "attack" on Bitcoin, centralized control by Core is necessary to preserve decentralization, UASF is a viable idea, Segwit has consensus among "the Bitcoin experts," and so on.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5yvtrn/new_atl_alltime_low_for_bitcoin_core_client/detpkdj/
Estimated Core hashrate down below 2/3 already.
Core has lost supermajority status, even with all the historical inertia, miner conservatism, and crackerjack programmers they are reported to have on their side. Even with the "consensus" of "the experts."
Even with two years of mindbendingly extreme censorship in their favor on the two biggest Bitcoin discussion forums.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5yvuw7/while_nobody_was_paying_attention/detqbnd/?context=3
The Core devs have directly created this situation by keeping the blocksize cap locked down long after it became controversial. The logic of how users make needed changes to the protocol, as mentioned in the whitepaper, requires that users be able to easily adjust any settings that are controversial, so as to be able to "vote with their CPU" power in a smooth manner.
Core tries to leverage their waning "reference implementation" status to rig the vote by deliberately leaving the now maximally controversial blocksize limit hard-coded, forcing the user to venture out into relatively new dev team offerings if they want to cast a vote. This is exactly how you create the conditions for a contentious split. They have brought this upon themselves entirely.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5z6w2u/bitcoin_on_linux_should_be_a_virtual_package/dewjwlh/
Adam implies BU is pre-alpha, yet it is winning in the only arena where people actually put their money where their mouths are.
How pathetic does it make Core that they are losing to a pre-alpha client?
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

Coin-a-Year: Nyancoin

Hello cryptocurrency lovers! Welcome to Coin-a-Year, the laziest series yet in the Coin-a-Day publishing empire. This year's coin is Nyancoin (NYAN). I originally covered Nyancoin in an article here in /cryptocurrency published January 4th, 2015.
Without (much) further ado, I'm going to include the original report next, unmodified. This is unlike my Coin-a-Week series, where I use strikeout and update in-text. Because this is going to be a longer update, I'll just make all further comments and updates below, just realize that all information below is as of January 4th, 2015 and thus is more than a year out of date as of posting now, at the end of February 2016.
Since I use horizontal rules as internal dividers in the original post, I'll use a double horizontal rule to divide the original text from this prelude and the following update.
Coin-a-Day Jan 4th
Welcome to the fourth installment of Coin-a-Day! To see convenient links to the introduction and the previous entries, please see /coinaday. Today's coin is Nyancoin (NYAN).
Summary
• ~173.6 million available currently [1]; 337 million limit [2]
• All-time high: ~0.000024 BTC on February 16, 2014 [1]
• Current price: ~3 satoshi [1]
• Current market cap: ~$1,275 [1]
• Block rate (average): 1 minute [1] [3]
• Transaction rate: ~25? / last 24 hours; estimated $3-4 [4]
• Transaction limit: 70 / second [5]
• Transaction cost: 0 for most transactions [6]
• Rich list: ??? [7]
• Exchanges: Cryptsy [8]
• Processing method: Mining [10]
• Distribution method: proof-of-work block rewards and 1% premine for "bounties, giveaways & dev support" [2] [10]
• Community: Comatose [9]
• Code/development: https://github.com/nyancoin-release/nyancoin ; there hasn't been a released code change in 10 months. The new developer has talked about some changes, but has not made a new release. He has given advice about how to keep the network running and operate the client. [10]
• Innovation or special feature: First officially licensed cryptocurrency (from Nyancat) [2]; "zombie"-coin [11]
Description / Community:
So you're probably wondering why in the world we're talking about a coin which has been declared dead and already written off. I actually first selected this coin to illustrate a "deadcoin", but the more I dug into it, the more I was amazed at the shambles I discovered. I am combining the description and community sections for this coin, because the community (or lack thereof) is the central issue for Nyancoin.
Substantially all, if not literally all, of the original infrastructure is gone. From the announcement post, the original website has expired. The nyan.cat site itself survives, but has no reference to the coin. The github repo remains, but then there was never much changed from the bitcoin/litecoin original. In fact, the COPYING file doesn't even list "Nyancoin Developers". None of the original nodes seem to be running anymore. @Nyan_Coin hasn't tweeted since July 6th. And that was just to announce posting an admittedly cute picture to facebook which makes a claim for a future which seems never to have developed. Of the original 15 pools, I think all are dead except p2pool, for which at least one node still supports NYAN. The original blockchain explorer, nyancha.in, is still running. The faucet is dead or broken. The original exchanges no longer list it (two of the three having died; SwissCEX having ended its trading as of the first of this year). And so forth.
And yet:

I'm not dead! I'm getting better!

No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment.
[Of course, that scene finishes with knocking out the "recovering" patient so he can be taken away...not to mention the absurdity of including Monty Python in a financial article, but moving right along.]
There is still just enough left to Nyancoin to keep it twitching, even if it is on life-support. Whether it's an individual node or whether it's a pool, there are blocks being produced at a steady rate as intended. Transactions are being processed. There is still a market. There is still a block explorer. And there is a dev. It is like a case study in the absolute minimum necessary to keep a coin alive. The most likely outcome is almost certainly a final collapse when one critical piece or another of the infrastructure goes away. And yet in the meantime, a person can own a million NYAN for $8 [12], and then move this coin quickly and easy, albeit with no particular external demand. It's like the world's most hyped testnet.
I think this case presents an interesting example of what happens to an altcoin when its initial support dries up. NYAN coin is more fortunate than some, actually, as there are some where there are no longer any nodes running it nor the original announcement thread (in fact, there was actually a second Nyancoin launched around the same time. But it died hard and its original announcement thread was deleted and at this point I would have no idea how to access it; so "Nyancoin" thus illustrates how hard a coin can die (Nyancoin 2) as well as how it can hang around despite being proclaimed dead, with far more justification behind that pronouncement than there has been for bitcoin (NYAN) ).
Footnotes
[1] http://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/nyancoin/
[2] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=402085.0 Regarding the premine, it's unclear to me where this money is now, since the original poster hasn't been active on BCT since May and the original site is down. However, given that it's only 1%, and about $25 in value right now, there seem to be more significant concerns for NYAN.
[3] http://nyancha.in/chain/Nyancoin - Nyan blockchain explorer; blocks are somewhat inconsistent but somewhere around the 1 minute average
[4] There doesn't seem to be anything automatically doing these stats, so I did visual inspection on about 1500 blocks (about one day) excluding the block generation reward (~250k/day). Most blocks are otherwise empty. I counted about 24 transactions or so scrolling through, with an outlier around 300k NYAN and another around 100k NYAN. In total, about 500k NYAN, excluding the block rewards. This is very approximately $3-4.
[5] Nyancoin is a basically unmodified, slightly out-of-date bitcoin as far as code goes, and ignoring the change in block rate and total coin supply, as well as the difficulty retarget after every block. So for purposes of estimating maximum possible transaction throughput, I start with bitcoin's estimated 7 transactions per second, and multiply by 10 for having a block on average every minute rather than every 10 minutes. In any event, this limit is not likely to be reached in the foreseeable future.
[6] Like bitcoin, transaction fees appear to be optional in Nyancoin. Unlike bitcoin, there is almost no transaction volume, and coins tend to sit for a relatively long time before being moved. So zero-fee transactions appear to be the norm from looking at a couple transactions on the block explorer.
[7] I couldn't find one. See the disclosure section of this article: your humble correspondent is likely represented in some way on a top 100 if one were to be made or if one exists, despite not holding it directly, depending on how the exchange holds it.
[8] I could not find any other exchanges still listing Nyancoin. SwissCex appears to have disabled it as of a couple days ago. Cryptsy has a notice that the NYAN/BTC market will be closing, but its NYAN/LTC market appears strong.
[9] Essentially all of the original sites, pools, faucets, etc. are dead and there has been very little to replace it. There is basically a single node, or perhaps a very few, which are running the blockchain. However, there is a developer still trying to hold things together, maxvall_dev, maxvall on BCT. He is the last hope for the NYAN.
[10] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=597877.0 This is the thread where maxvall took over as dev, and it also discusses switching to PoS, which hasn't happened as far as I know.
[11] "zombie"-coin: Not to be confused with ZMB (my god, does it ever end?). This is my term to describe a coin which is "undead": by rights it should be dead. And yet it's still walking around and acting like it's alive. What is it? What's going on? It's quite debatable whether this gives it any special value, but I find it an interesting state, and it's why this was chosen for early coverage. There are plenty of actually popular and successful coins, and we will go onto covering more normal selections; we're looking for variety rather than repetition. But I think this is an interesting example for what can go wrong, and yet in the midst of that, how little it takes for a coin to survive. In fact, it's almost like an alternate history bitcoin to me; this shows the concept that "it was run on one computer before; it can be run on one computer again" to some extent. And there are even some strange pragmatic benefits as well, like having no competition for getting a transaction into a block and thus zero transaction fees.
[12] And, in fact, the author chose to do so today, spending about 0.03 BTC for about 1 million NYAN.
Additional Reading
/nyancoins - Like NYAN: mostly dead, but not quite
http://nyan-coin.org/ - new official website
BCT thread listing nodes, xpool (p2pool), for mining information.
americanpegasus predicting in February that NYAN will hit $1; always an entertaining read
Giveaway
Instead of a challenge today, since NYAN has enough challenges, I decided I would give away 10,000 NYAN to at least the first ten people who ask for it. This still remains at my discretion, but honestly, if you really want, say, 50,000 NYAN and create four new accounts to do so, I'll probably be too amused to say no. I don't expect to get ten requests. If I get more, I'll probably still fulfill them, but as with everything else, this is left to my whim.
Donations and Disclosure
Okay, this is an important one today because of the tiny market here. I actually hold less USD value in NYAN than in BTC, DOGE, and PPC (although my value in PPC might be about equivalent actually), but I hold more of the total market in NYAN than any of those three. And I'll probably be buying more. So I have a conflict of interest in writing this article.
I am not providing financial advice and I do not make any recommendations of any sort on any matters. Make your own decisions; do your own research. Please, I do not want to hear about anyone doing anything "on my advice." I am not offering advice.
I personally hold just over 1 million NYAN on Cryptsy right now.
Perhaps it would be better if I didn't write any articles about anything I were invested inspeculating on, but I started this series for my own education to further my speculation, so unfortunately, dear reader, your needs come second to my own. tanstaafl; you get what you pay for, and I'm giving you my thoughts.
If by some strange quirk of fate you actually own NYAN and enjoyed this article and wished to donate some to me, K7Ho9HghBF6xWwS6JsepE6RAEPyAXbsQCV is mine (first non-empty account I've posted; transferred 1000 NYAN into here earlier from Cryptsy to test that the network and my wallet were actually working).
Thank you all for reading and commenting! I've already learned a lot from this process and I look forward to more!
Upcoming coins:
• January 5th: Nxt
• January 6th: Darkcoin
• January 7th: Namecoin
I'll use alphabetic labeling for footnotes in the updates to avoid any confusion with the footnotes in the original. For simplicity, unchanged items, like the 337 million limit and the 1 minute will not be mentioned, and we'll start with the summary changes.
Updates:
Summary
  • ~263.7 million NYAN currently exist [a]
  • Current price: ~7 satoshi [b]
  • Current market cap: ~$8,000 [c]
  • Transaction rate: ~185 / last 24 hours; ~3,300,000 NYAN (~$100) [d]
  • Exchanges: Cryptopia [e]
  • Community: We're not quite dead yet; in fact, I think we're getting better! [f]
  • Code/Development: I have an early draft of NYAN2, but I'm about six months past my initial goal for having it available to use. Life/work/lack of build machine/procrastination. NYAN2 will be a rebase onto a modern LTC codebase which will soft fork to fix a current vulnerability to a fork bug. For now, the network still runs on the same code that it did when I wrote the first article.
Discussion
I'm going to consider the community first, since I pointed it out as the weakness and central topic in the last one, then talk about the technical situation briefly, and then review the financial results.
The community has been excellent, if I do say so myself. We've got working infrastructure going thanks to the contributions of many Nekonauts (see [f]). Some original Nekonauts have returned or at least popped in from time to time, and new ones like myself have found Nyancoin (I would say given what I wrote in the original, I was still a skeptic of it at that point. Not that skeptics can't be Nekonauts, but I think I'd put my conversion to the cult of nyan shortly after writing that, even though I was already a nillionaire then for the heck of it.)
While I do look forward to seeing the community continue to grow in future years and consider that important, I don't think the community is our weakest point any longer; I think it's now our strongest point. I've tried to encourage the community's revival as best I could, including giving away tens of nillions in total, and lots of long rambling articles on my views on ethics and philosophy and frankly it's worked better than I would've really expected (or at least it has coincided with an effective recovery of the community). The community also helped me through at least a couple hard times personally in there as well.
The technical situation in Nyancoin is mostly unchanged but slightly improved, although with two additional known vulnerabilities. It's unchanged in that it's the same client. It's improved in that we have an active nyanchain explorer host (nyan.space), and we have a public draft of a plan for a soft forking security fix update in the near future (hopefully by the end of March (although I've slipped these deadlines before and may well miss March for release by a bit, I do think I'm inching closer now and then)).
The most serious vulnerability is to forking. This is the bug which hit Peercoin if I recall correctly. NYAN2 is intended to solve this through its soft fork from the LTC fix upstream (from the BTC fix upstream). In the meantime, we've been lucky we haven't been attacked. The tiny marketcap probably helps with not being a particularly attractive attack target. We're not exactly about to pay ransom to move faucet outputs. But that's no excuse; we want this fixed and should have it finally done "soon" (tm).
The less serious vulnerability is to a time warp attack in the difficulty function (Kimoto Gravity Well), which relates to general weaknesses it has and issues we've had with large gaps in the block chain because of spikes in the difficulty function causing it to be unprofitable and driving away most of the hash, and then low difficulty and price rise making it attractive to more hash, creating a spike and causing it again. While this is irritating, the chain still works, even if there are fits and starts at times. An important part of the reason I can get away with this is because there is at least one Nekonaut-supporting miner, CartmanSPC, who rescues us from time to time, and did so during the course of this article being written. We have a bunch of pools, but sometimes the hash just isn't there to get us unstuck when the difficulty goes high enough. Another part of the reason I consider it not an especially serious issue is because there's a workaround which works for me (classic bad developer logic): I use a large transaction fee (generally 337 NYAN, although I might have halved it after the most recent halving, I'll probably use 337 again) on my personal wallet by default. If necessary, I use a couple of them. It can make NYAN profitable to mine again despite the higher difficulty and "unstick" the chain. The difficulty function can go back down again in the next block if the gap has been long enough, so that can be enough to keep it going again for a while (although it can also get stuck again irritatingly fast at times). A fix for this will be putting in a better difficulty function for NYAN3, which will require a hard fork. This is tentatively scheduled for feature freeze around the middle of this year, coding to follow, activation sometime early 2017.
Financial has been our most disappointing performance. A graph of the 1 year performance right now on coinmarketcap looks pretty sad, showing our fall from a little over 60 satoshi down to around 7 satoshi now.
We rose too high, too fast, and I didn't stick with the safe high paying job like a sane person. Instead I hit the road, went to jail, and worked minimum wage. That doesn't sound like a sentence from a cryptocurrency financial review, does it? But the performance of NYAN since the article has been the story of my personal finances, which is the story of my life since then.
So, autobiographical coinaday interlude, trying to keep it generally to the most salient points. Well, in 2014 I had been on my way home to Minnesota from California when I was pulled over leaving Eureka, Nevada for speeding (got sloppy and went 45 approaching the 45 sign and thus technically still in the 35; bored cop seeing out-of-state plates). My vehicle reeked of weed, what with having been in Mendocino County previously with no intention of traveling out of the county much less state anytime soon but family emergency brought me back, and the end result was a citation for possession of cannabis and paraphernalia along with the speeding.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2015, I'm settled into a good software position and start looking more at cryptocurrency in my spare time. I write the coin-a-day series for a bit and then got annoyed and quit after a while when trying to do one a day on top of an actual job was too much for me (along with some annoyance over criticism; I can be rather thin-skinned at times). But I had gotten interested in Nyancoin, and started buying it up more and more with extra money I was making.
And then comes the crash. I had to stop putting as much in as I realized that where I was living and what I was working on wasn't going to work out for me and I needed to figure something else out. So, as I seem wont to do, I went on a roadtrip. I quit my job. And I went back for the court date for my citations and refused to pay, instead spending 10 days in jail rather than pay ~$1400 (I actually had the money in cash available to me if I chose to pay as a backup if I chickened out, but the judge annoyed me enough that I really preferred to be jailed instead of paying, as stupid as that sounds since I'm quite sure the judge didn't care in the least one way or another).
After that, I went back to roadtrip lifestyle for a while. It was a nice period. A lot of beautiful scenery; a lot of reading. Eventually, I busted up my car pretty badly...a couple times actually, the second time for good. Fast forwarding through the rest of the year, I worked a couple minimum wage jobs to pay bills and avoid cubicle life and kill some time until I figured out what I was going to do next. Just recently I quit as delivery boy after getting a speeding ticket (I swear, I'm not as horrible of a driver as this makes me sounds, although I have had a bad tendency to speed in the past, which I really have curbed to almost nothing; but I'm clearly not good enough) and am currently writing a Coin-a-Year article with a friend's incentive and applying to do documentation and development with the Nu project.
Okay, so what did any of that have to do with NYAN? Well, it's the mess of a life that has led to the fall of the price from 60 satoshi to 7 satoshi. If instead my life history for the time since the article had been simply "I was happily employed writing software", then I don't believe we would have dropped below 20 satoshi. It's easy to see in hindsight. If anyone can lend me a time machine, I'm sure I can get some condensed instructions which should improve performance significantly. Otherwise, just going to have more chalked up for the "character building" tally.
So, lessons learned if you are the major buy support for your coin: you need long-term reserves. Whatever you put in bids can be taken out in a moment by a dump for no apparent reason. This is particularly true if you may be quitting your cushy, high-paying job and wandering around without income for an extended period of time. Rather obvious, but hey, maybe someone else can learn from my mistakes. If I'd been bidding as cautiously as I am now from the beginning, I think the price would probably be somewhere from 10-20 satoshi now instead of around 7 satoshi.
It's especially unfortunate given that I wanted to be able to demonstrate the more consistent growth possible building a stable store of value, as opposed to the pump and dumps common in altcoins. And instead we had a pump-and-dump looking graph ourselves after I bid up higher than I was able to sustain, and a large (10+ nillion) instadump crashed the market all the way back down to 1 satoshi momentarily. We've had a few large (2+ nillion) dumps since, but nothing that large. We haven't generally had that large of bids though either.
It's hard to know when I've exhausted the supply at a price level, when it sometimes waits for a couple weeks or even more and then fills all the bids at once. But I want to maximize the minimum price paid because I think that's important for building confidence in a store of value long-term, which is one of my core goals for NYAN.
At the same time, we're still up from the lowest parts of the floor and where I found it. Since I own about 30% [g], the very cheapest supply has been taken off the market. I plan to keep on buying up "cheap NYAN" as much as I can. I've bought up to 60 satoshi before, I'll probably buy up that high this time around. I've got a token 100,000 NYAN ask at 300 satoshi; I hope never to sell lower.
Conclusions
Now I try to wrap it all together as if I saw this all coming and am the wise expert, despite having had about 90% drop in price in the last year after bidding too high. My original concept was taking the "minimum viable coin" and reviving it to a powerhouse as a textbook example in how to do it.
Part of my core concept in this is the arbitrariness of value: throughout history, humans have chosen any number of things as a store of value for the time: salt, large rocks, certain metals, disks, marked sticks, and so forth. While there has generally been a certain logic in the choice, in that there is a locally restricted supply in one way or another, and so forth, from the perspective of other centuries or cultures the choices can seem quite strange. Growing up, I was always struck by how strange the notion of salt being limited and valuable seemed in a world where people were trying to reduce intake and large amounts could be bought for trivial sums. And yet, a key nutrient necessary for life fundamentally makes more sense as being valuable than notched sticks or printed paper or a piece of plastic with some encoded information.
Humans have perpetually come up with stranger and stranger ways of storing and transferring value. Each new step, as always, comes with its own disadvantages and, frankly, has generally appeared nonsensical at best and fraudulent at worst to the status quo. Which doesn't mean that each new attempt is valuable. The gold bugs always like to point out that every fiat currency ultimately returns to its true value of zero. And the skeptics of cryptocurrency argue that all cryptocurrencies will eventually return to their true value of zero.
It's certainly possible. And it's possible the USD will hyperinflate someday. I tend to try the moderate view for a plausible guess of the future. By that type of logic, I would guess that over the course of decades, USD will in general lose value, and cryptocurrency will tend to slowly gain value. That might not seem the moderate view, but USD not losing value over decades would be truly shocking. And hyperinflation has been predicted since the USD went off the gold standard, or before. So some amount of inflation less than hyperinflation seems like the safe guess (but then, the Titanic arriving would also have seemed like the safe guess to me). And with cryptocurrency, I think it's clear by now the technology will continue to survive. So my first question is with what overall value as a market? It could go down, of course, but that seems unlikely in an already small, young market. Even if all the current crop die off and are replaced, whatever cryptocurrencies are around should be able to do better than a handful of billion in market cap in my view.
I believe that cryptocurrency has a bright future ahead of it. The best coins should ultimately survive and thrive. But I've been wrong on most of my major calls so far, like for instance when I thought BTC was over-priced around $5-$10.
I think Nyancoin can have an important role to play in the future of cryptocurrency in the years and decades to come, but it's a massively speculative long-shot. See also Nyancoin risks document. But like Linus Torvalds' autobiography, I try to keep "Just for Fun" as a core motto and principle. It's makes for a good hobby project because there will always be more to work on, with a core community motto of
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!
Disclaimers / Sponsorship:
As I said before:
I am not providing financial advice and I do not make any recommendations of any sort on any matters. Make your own decisions; do your own research. Please, I do not want to hear about anyone doing anything "on my advice." I am not offering advice.
And I'll reiterate that I own about 30% [g] of the current supply of NYAN, which makes me by definition maximally biased.
Also, I'm not sure what's up with the address from the first post. It doesn't show up in my current wallet as a recognized address. So, anyhow, don't send there. :-) If you'd like to donate, please consider sponsoring a coin-a-day or coin-a-week article.
This is the first sponsored article. This Coin-a-Year article has been brought to you by spydud22 's generous patronage. I'd been meaning to do a Coin-a-Week article on Nyancoin for a while, but between wanting to "wait until the price recovered a bit" and general procrastination, then it seemed like it would make a good Coin-a-Year article, and then I wanted to wait until the price recovered a bit more...anyhow, so thank you spydud22, for causing me to finally do this. :-)
Footnotes
  • [a] nyan.space/chain/Nyancoin ; as of block 1091430, 263738786.71890615 NYAN outstanding. This is slightly over 50% more than the last report, which is what we would expect, since it had existed for about a year then, and has approximately annual halvings. The first year generated about 50% of total supply; the second year generated about 25% of total supply. We should expect in a year to have about 17% (one-sixth) more than we have now.
  • [b] https://www.cryptopia.co.nz/Exchange?market=NYAN_BTC ; this is the only market reflected in coinmarketcap and it is the primary one on which I trade. Cryptopia also has other base pairs which operate at significantly higher spreads (lower bids; higher asks) and have minimal volume. In the time since the last report, NYAN has traded as high as 60 satoshi (and briefly a little higher at times), but over the last almost twelve months since a peak about a year ago, the price has been generally declining overall, as a gross oversimplification of a lot of movements. This has been an effect of me not being able to keep buying as much and there being large dumps I wasn't expecting from time-to-time. Now I'm taking the approach of building large (one or more nillion (million NYAN)) bids on each price as I slowly work my way back up again in order to be able to handle possible dumps with less price shock.
  • [c] coinmarketcap.com/currencies/nyancoin/ ; as noted in [b], this only reflects the /BTC basepair on Cryptopia but that's where most of the volume is anyhow. Of course, the market is also not particularly liquid since I'm the primary buyer and have rather limited means currently.
  • [d] I haven't setup a script to count this yet, among many things on my to-do list for someday, so I went through by hand from what was the then-latest block of 1091430 on nyan.space back to 1089766 which was the first block generated less than 24 hours before. There was actually a three and a half hour block gap at that point, such that the next prior block was about 24 hours and 15 minutes before 1091430 while 1089766 was only about 20 hours and 45 minutes prior, and has a disproportionate number of transactions and value compared to a typical block (8 and ~313,000 NYAN respectively) from the build-up during the gap. But since that gap conveniently started right about at the start of the 24 hour period, doesn't really skew our results here.
Note that there are often times where the UTXO created during one transaction during the day is spent during a later transaction in the day. This can be considered the "same" Nyancoin being "spent" twice in the same day in our total. But in practice, I believe what's happening here is the faucet is breaking off small (10-50 NYAN) pieces from a larger (~40,000 NYAN) chunk, and so that pops up a bunch of times. So the total NYAN blockchain volume as counted for this topline number should not be interpreted as "NYAN spent in the day" but "NYAN moved on the chain", where the "same coin" can move many times. So it's a very easily gamed metric and not a strong / resistant metric like the market price tends to be (at least relatively speaking), but it's a fun number to calculate and provides a little bit of information.
The transaction count can also be easily inflated and certainly, for instance, having the faucet does generate transactions which are a very common transaction.
And this is also just an arbitrary 24 hour period compared to a previous arbitrary 24 hour period. Nonetheless, I do think there's clearly a bit more activity on the Nyanchain, even though the typical block is still empty and the number of transactions and volume is still tiny compared to the major cryptocurrencies.
Here's an arbitrary example of the faucet transactions Note the zero transaction fee, which I love that the miners support (the defaults are all quite low as well).
Here's an example of what may be the smallest transaction by NYAN volume of the day; but no, I followed its small, spent output, and it led to this gem which also links to this. I have no idea what's going on here, but it's hilarious and I love it. How's that for microtransaction support? :-)
  • [e] Obviously Cryptsy went down. We had had more than enough red flags with Cryptsy (including one time where I was able to withdraw 6 nillion more than I had in my balance) and got onto Cryptopia. spydud22 basically accomplished that for us, although I helped out in the tail end of the campaigning.
  • [f] Our community is still small (I wish there were literally dozens of us!) but we've had valuable activity from multiple people, including, just as highlights, vmp32k who hosts nyan.space, a clone of the original nyancha.in, jwflame who created the excellent nyancoin.info intro site, with the awesome status page (which currently notes that "the last 500 blocks actually took 111 minutes, which is approaching the speed of light, causing the universe to become unstable"), KojoSlayer who runs the faucet and dice, spydud22 who got us on Cryptopia, and many other Nekonauts have made worthy contributions, and the Nekonauts mentioned have done more than just that listed. So while we are small, we are active at least from time to time and technically capable.
Even though our posting rate is still around 1 post a day or so on average, and so still a relatively quiet subreddit (and it is our main (only?) hub), it's still a very noticeable and significant difference from how /nyancoins looked when I was reviewing it for the original piece here. Here's an attempt to approximate what was there using Reddit search ; archive.org has a snapshot on January 19th, 2015, which is well into the early revival mania and one from August 14th, 2014, before four and a half months of little to no activity. Apparently archive.org unsubscribed to /nyancoins in that interval itself...
  • [g] Maybe up to around 35% by now; maybe still around 30%. I haven't updated hodling report lately; it was 30% last time I recall, but I've bought more and more has been made since.
submitted by coinaday to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Satoshi is Black! How hip-hop culture has taken a fancy to Bitcoin

Astute Jay-Z, forgetful 50 Cent, a former drug dealer advising a cannabis ICO and other hilarious, but logical stories about the relationship between rappers and cryptocurrency.
A young youth, yo rockin the gold tooth, ‘Lo goose Only way, I begin to gee off was drug loot And let’s start it like this son, rollin with this one And that one, pullin out gats for fun But it just a dream for the teen, who was a fiend Started smokin’ woolies at sixteen
Life is hard when you’re 16 with gold teeth and not enough money for decent clothes. Especially in a black neighbourhood where 80% live on unemployment benefits and half deal drugs. When you’re going mad because there’s nothing to do and the girls don’t want you because you’re a deadbeat who doesn’t have a gun.
Cash, Rules, Everything, Around, Me C.R.E.A.M. Get the money Dollar, dollar bill y’all
To try to solve this problem in the past, a black guy would find a gun, rob a grocery store and be put in jail. Or imagine all that to write some verses. After all, hip-hop is the music of self-made men and the oppressed. If Fitzgerald wrote Great Gatsby in the 90s, it would definitely have been accompanied by a dope beat.
But today black guys are moving to the rhythm of Bitcoin. Oh yeah, baby!
Figured out I went the wrong route So I got with a sick ass click and went all out Catchin keys from across seas Rollin in MPVs, every week we made forty Gs Yo nigga respect mine, or anger the tech nine Ch-chick-POW! Move from the gate now
Sometimes it seems that not only Jesus and the US president were black, but Satoshi Nakamoto too. Only a 16-year-old with gold teeth could think up something so hyped that it can lift any sensible guy out of the ghetto and to the moon. No one has to rob grocery stores to have cash, chicks and sweet rides anymore.
We’re only kidding, just in case you were wondering 🙂
Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah decided to help his brothers get access to digital gold and has started to install cryptocurrency vending machines alongside his partners. They are also knocking up an online platform that will make it quick and easy to buy cryptocurrency for fiat money. During the ICO, Cream (that’s right, in honour of the track) Capital plans to raise 30 million dollars. The CNT token will give its hodlers all sorts of bonuses when using their services. There’s no more info at the moment, but the message is clear: Crypto, Rules, Everything, Around, Me!
I’m the one-man army, Ason I’ve never been tooken out, I keep MCs looking out I drop science like girls be droppin babies Enough to make a nigga go cra-a-azy
Ol’ Dirty Bastard has been dead for 14 years, but a cryptocurrency is being launched in his honour. The musician’s son has decided to release Dirty Coin (ODB). Everyone who buys this token on the TAO blockchain will be a sponsor for Bastard Jr.’s new album and have the opportunity in the future to get their hands on all sorts of goodies for fans (concert tickets, autograph sessions and merchandise) for mere pennies. There you go, a young black guy and he’s already making his own cryptocurrency. Good man. They just need to do something with the name – at the moment, Dirty Coin sounds like an obvious ICO scam promising to revolutionise the world of escort services.
I told him, “Please, don’t die over the neighborhood That your momma rentin’, Take your drug money and buy the neighborhood, That’s how you rinse it.”
The most successful black businessman and rapper Jay-Z has been on the crypto scene for ages. He sold concert tickets for BTC before it was mainstream. And why the fuck not? He’s got so much “money to burn” that he can afford to experiment once in a while. If it didn’t work out, no one would have known. And now, riding the wave of success, he can blow his own trumpet. Recently, Shawn Corey Carter invested in popular investment app Robinhood, which Snoop Dogg and Nas had already put their faith in. Rumour has it, incidentally, that the latter has links to Coinbase: it’s said that he gave them some money way back in 2014 and is already skimming off the cream. Basically, these guys know how to avoid scam ICOs and shitcoins.
And I’m grindin’ til I’m attacked They say “You ain’t grindin’ til you tired” So I’m grindin’ with my eyes wide Looking to find, a way through the day
Is it possible to have a rapper without weed? It’s doubtful such a specimen even exists. So there’s no surprise that The Game is listed as an adviser to the Paragon ICO. The startup plans on using blockchain to combat the black market for cannabis in the states where smoking it is legal. Like, everyone will be able to see where all these sativas and indicas are made, who is selling them and who is buying them. In addition, the team plans to grow some crops themselves and set up a coworking space for rastamen. They’ve come to the right place – The Game will certainly be able to give some good advice. Back in the day, the rapper was kicked out of university for drugs, but he didn’t let it get him down and started to earn a living from dealing. So it’s just one of those times when all the stars align.
I was a poor nigga Now I’m a rich nigga Getting paper now you can’t tell me shit nigga You can find me in the fo’ dot six nigga In the backseat fondling ya bitch nigga
Anyway, the sickest story so far involves 50 Cent. In 2014, he released his last album (so far) Animal Ambition. And sold it for Bitcoin! Back then, those sales were worth $400k at an exchange rate of $662, so he ended up with 604 BTC in his wallet. And only remembered about them this winter. This is a tale so fantastic that even Dickens and his Christmas Carol could only dream about it.
But only if it’s true, because Curtis Jackson is quite the wheeler-dealer and trickster. Firstly, he declared a fraudulent bankruptcy to avoid paying compensation as a result of the lawsuits and secondly, he’s stuck in a creative rut and wants to stay in the limelight.
To sum up, rap and crypto are made for each other. Loads of hype, cash and Lambos. But we prefer the development of blockchain itself to all the fuss surrounding it. On the other hand, it’s definitely a positive thing that cryptocurrencies have become a serious part of the mainstream. Indeed, alongside the comical cases, it will find a lot of useful and cool applications.
That’s why we have an idea for a startup… We launch RAP Coin and raise $50m from an ICO. We immediately blow 10 million bucks on a fucked up party with Lambos, golden Escalades, coke, weed, hookers, whisky and the best sound system in town. Oh wait! That’s already happened 🙂
The rest of the money will go towards creating a foundation that will take promising rappers from the mean streets, dress them in decent gear, introduce them to hot chicks and producers, and give them rubber guns, gold chains and new Jordans. Of course, only through blockchain. They will subsequently grow into new stars and – if they don’t snuff it from an overdose, get sent to jail or go bankrupt – will certainly reward investors with 20% of their income for 5 years.
So, friends, forget about all the shitty ICOs you’ve just heard about. The future belongs to RAP Coin. Feel the flow!
If you really want to help reveal scams and have blockchain move in the right direction, send us info and share your leaks and findings. We’ll post everything and smash the scammers into moon dust.
In blockchain we trust!
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Tommy Chong Interview on incarceration and cancer - how cannabis helped.

Tommy Chong has been around so long that he’s a cannabis icon, not just to baby boomers who fondly remember the Cheech and Chong albums and movies, but also to the zillions of fans of That 70s Show, where he starred as Leo (an old hippie who sells weed1). More recently, Chong appeared on Dancing With The Stars, as well as doing voice acting in animated TV shows and even children’s films (Ferngully: The Last Rainforest and Zootopia) over the decades. While some of today’s cannabis activists have derided the Cheech and Chong culture because of their perpetuation of negative stereotypes, it’s important to remember that those albums and movies were all for fun, and that – at the time – those stereotypes did not even exist. While prohibitionists have indeed attempted to use Cheech and Chong movies as “proof that stoners are lazy and stupid”, the joke’s really on them: Cheech and Chong are actors, no matter how much marijuana they smoked in real life, and “Up In Smoke” is no more a documentary of stoners than “Airplane!” represents a true look at life in airline cockpits.
Few news stories have made it clear, but Tommy Chong is a quiet hero who chose to go to federal prison in 2003 to protect his family. From Wikipedia (emphasis ours): In 2003 Chong became caught up in two American investigations, code-named Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter, which tried to trace drug traffic and users through businesses selling drug paraphernalia, mostly bongs. Operation Pipe Dream was run from Pittsburgh. US Attorney for Western Pennsylvania Mary Beth Buchanan oversaw the case. The estimated cost of Operation Pipe Dream was over $12 million and included the resources of 2,000 law enforcement officers. Fifty-five companies that sold drug paraphernalia over the Internet were the subject of the investigation, and Nice Dreams was one of them. Chong was charged for his part in financing and promoting Chong Glass/Nice Dreams, a company started by his son Paris. His case never went to trial, as his attorney negotiated a plea agreement with the US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania’s Office. He admitted to distributing 7,500 bongs and water pipes on the Internet through Nice Dreams, a family company. Chong agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute drug paraphernalia in exchange for non-prosecution of his wife, Shelby, and his son, Paris. Chong cooperated with the government and was the first of the Operation Pipe Dreams defendants to plead guilty. Then we have Chong’s incarceration and cancer. In the interview, Tommy talks about the prison that was built over oil fields, and that’s true, but it understates the case. The entire town of Taft, where the prison is located, is actually located over the oil fields, as well as several nearby towns. When you factor in the toxic waste dump, it’s easier to understand why lots of people in that area have become suspicious that it was located in a poor Hispanic area, and why many babies have died or been born with mortal defects there.
By the way, here’s where the prison is located, and here’s the dump. You can easily zoom out, and turn the satellite/Google Earth data on, and see how the dump is right up the valley from the prison, so that the air will blow straight down there under the right conditions.
The facts revealed in this interview will likely surprise and even upset some people, but it’s good to remember that Tommy Chong is still with us, and that there are undoubtedly few people on the planet as committed to cannabis as he is. – DF Tommy Chong smokingTC: This is Tommy Chong speaking.
OH: Hello Mr. Tommy Chong! How are you? TC: I’m very well, thank you. How are you?
OH: Okay! I’m really happy to talk to you for Beyond Chronic today. First of all…how is your health, man? TC: Good! Yeah, I just got a clean bill. Just had my blood test, everything’s good, looks like I’m cancer-free at the moment., so that’s good news.
OH: That’s awesome news! Since we’re mostly a medical website, can you give us some details about how you were using cannabis for your cancer and when you started using it medically?
TC: Well, I’ve been using cannabis, you know, for many, many years now, over 50 years. And I’m not a huge smoker, but I smoke it when I got it, you know, one of those kind of guys. A few years ago, I got put in [prison] for bongs…that was in ’03. And I think that’s where the cancer started, because the [prison] was built near a toxic waste dump near Bakersfield, over an old oil field, where they used to hold the oil. And they have a thing there called “Valley Fever“, which is a wasting disease. When I was incarcerated, every time the wind blew, they would make all the inmates go inside because of the bad quality of the air.
And so it was during that time, you know, when I got out of jail, then I started having symptoms and then I went to the doctor, and I found out I had prostate cancer. It’s a slow-acting cancer, so after a biopsy and a few consultations with different experts, we decided to not do anything. And then move forward to around 2013 or 2014, I got asked to be on a show called Dancing With The Stars, and it was physically very taxing, a lot of stress. And I think that’s where I contracted the cancer of the rectum.
And up until then, for my prostate cancer, I was doing a very holistic diet, you know. A lot of green, a lot of vegetables. I quit eating meat, I quit drinking alcohol, and I think it helped. But when I was diagnosed with the rectal cancer, that was right after Dancing With The Stars. I had a choice of going strictly with the cannabis – which I was talked out of. I have a lot of friends who are doctors, and they talked me out of it. They said that no one has survived rectal cancer with marijuana. So then I opted for the operation, and the chemo treatment, and the radiation…as well as the cannabis. Now, I think more than anything, the cannabis has helped me heal, because once I was operated on – you know, it was a five hour operation – and they closed off the rectum, and they gave me a colostomy bag. And I lost some 30-odd pounds, almost 40 pounds. So I was quite skinny. I went down to almost 130. And so I ended up coming back from that. TC: And so right after the operation, as soon as I got home, I got off the hard drugs and I got on to the marijuana. And it helped me right off the bat. I had no appetite in the hospital; that’s where I lost all my weight. But as soon as I got home and started smoking pot, I got my appetite back.
And then the other thing I learned while I was recovering in the hospital: I was in a lot of…discomfort, you know, from laying immobile for 5 hours while they operated on me, and then laying on my back after that to recover. And so I asked the doctor if it was OK if I did crunches, you know, like abdominal work. Because I could do that, I could do planks, I could do a lot of exercises laying on my back. And the doctor gave me the green light. So I would spend a great deal of my time doing crunches, and ab work, and working up a nice sweat. And so I think that really helped with my recovery, because it was within a month that I was walking and playing golf and getting back all the weight I’d lost. And now, like I said, I’m cancer-free.
I was injecting some cannabis oil right after the operation, to help with my healing. But that’s untested, and I stopped doing it, because I was a little worried about injecting anything in my body without knowing exactly where it came from, and everything.
I smoke a little pot, every day, and I’m healthy as can be. I just finished a golf tournament yesterday, and I did the whole 18 holes. I need to rest quite a bit, you know. Whenever I do anything, I need to take 15 or 20 minutes, maybe longer, to regroup.
But I’m dancing tango, and I’m playing golf, and I’m quite active, you know, and for my age and everything, and what I’ve gone through, I’m very happy. And I look good. I can not only do that workout, but I can do upper and lower body workouts with weights. In fact, I’m working on an exerciser that’s going to be on the market, for old people. For guys like me that have limited abilities to work out and stay in shape.
More than anything, the weed really helped with my mental state, because marijuana works on the brain. And if anything, it soothes the brain. You know that old joke about potheads having bad memories? Well, the bad memories are like pain, discomfort, and fear. So you lose all that, and the body reacts by healing faster and stronger. Tommy ChongOH: Wow (long pause, because this was pretty heavy).
Well, I’m really glad to hear you’re better, because when I heard the cancer came back, it sounded pretty dire. So this is very good news.
TC: Yeah! In fact, a lot of websites had me [as] dead.
OH: Well, all these guys are trying to make money off of any damn thing, you know.
TC: (laughs) Yeah, yeah, that’s a lot of hits, isn’t it?
OH: Yeah, I wasn’t even going to bring up what happened to you in 2003, because you really got railroaded on that one.1
TC: Well, I have no real proof on that, but my wife and I both agreed that I was healthy when I went in, and unhealthy when I came out, so that’s the only conclusion we could reach.
Although the diet was good. I had a special friend, you know, that worked the garden, we had our own garden, so I was eating healthy. But it was just the atmosphere that I was around, that toxic waste dump that they built the prison on, I’m quite sure that had an effect.
OH: Oh, yeah. And also, just being in there is so much stress, even if you weren’t in one of those nasty prisons where guards beat the shit out of people, it’s still very bad for your whole approach to life when you’re sitting there in a cage like that.
TC: It can be. You know, I actually turned it into a religious retreat, because we were allowed to…well, if you kept your nose clean and you behaved yourself, you had a lot of freedoms. Because it was minimum security; “Camp Cupcake”, we called it. It’s a Bernie Madoff kind of prison. And I was treated like a celebrity, so I never had that kind of stress. But the stress on my family…my wife having to fend for herself in this world…and that [eventually] worked out really well. But having the federal government come after you for something as innocuous as water pipes, you know…that was a little much.
George Bush, he paid the price. He’s in disgrace now, so the karma really came back on those guys. And [as far as] the cancer…I look on everything with a very optimistic eye. Because I’m a body builder by trade, you know, that was my intent all my life. As soon as I discovered weightlifting, all I wanted to do – my plan in life – was to work out, lay on the beach, and get high…smoke dope. And that’s really what I’m doing.
OH: Well, that brings up another idea…the election couldn’t get much crazier. Have you thought of running for president?
TC: (laughs) Well, first of all, I’m not American-born, so I couldn’t pass that test. What I did, I endorsed Bernie Sanders, but you know, my take on the election is that I lived through Nixon and Reagan. We survived Nixon and Reagan and George Bush, and so we can survive anything that comes along. But I really sincerely believe that Donald Trump and the Clintons made a deal, and Trump said, “Don’t worry, I’ll get you elected. Just watch me.”
OH: Well, it’s pretty crazy out there, that’s for sure.
So your name is synonymous with smoking, but because you’ve been very concerned about your health, I was wondering whether you use a vaporizer at all.
TC: I use a bong. I kind of came up with my own bong made out of kombucha bottles. You know, there’s a kombucha that I really like, it’s a fermented drink that they sell in Whole Foods. And the bottle makes a perfect water pipe, because you can take it apart and clean it real easy.
So my preferred method of ingesting my medicine is the Tommy Chong Not-A-Bong. I don’t call them “bongs”, because they’re more like art pieces. Just before I got busted, I had an art show with my bongs, and I called them art, and the Feds never touched me! (both laugh)
OH: Man…you just can’t really get into their heads. They’re in some other world. All of us heads from the 60s kind of gave up on legalization back in the 70s after NORML screwed the pooch with that crazy shit that went on. So what can you say now that it’s finally starting to happen?
TC: Well, you know, everything takes time. There’s a big shift in our whole way of living, and it started maybe 10 years ago when [smartphones] came into existence. Up until then, we were at the mercy of the press, and so-called experts that would tell us what to think and how to think. But now the [smartphone] has freed everybody, and so everybody gets better. No matter what you say, people will check you out on their phone. My take is that legalization [started coming about] because of that.
So, because they found out that marijuana works well on little babies with epilepsy, Sanjay Gupta of CNN did a big report on that. And when they found out that marijuana does have medical uses, it debunked all the myths and all the lies that the establishment had spread around about marijuana.
Marijuana: The New Bitcoin? And so the policies have to change, because everything is exposed. We see the corrupt prison system, we see the corrupt police system, we see the corruption in the government, from the top on down. You know, it’s built based on lies. However, the marijuana industry itself, because it was an underground industry, showed us the way we could exist on this planet. Because marijuana has become like currency. Anytime you grow a crop like marijuana, or wheat, or corn, or anything that people consume on a daily basis, you’re [getting] into a huge economic area. By making marijuana illegal, the agricultural people can’t grab hold of it like they did with corn and wheat. So those companies are scrambling around trying to get hold of it, but they can’t, because it’s a cottage industry, and it will always be a cottage industry. Because the minute the big companies try to make it their own, like they did with soybeans…like Monsanto, they put their own patent on seeds, and you can’t do that with marijuana.
And it grows everywhere in the world. And it really is currency, if you think about it. Like when Mexicans sneak across the border, they’re more apt to carry a bag of pot then they are a fistful of money. Because the pot can be exchanged for money, anywhere in America. Anywhere in the world! You got a bag of pot, there’s someone who wants to buy it from you. So in a weird way, marijuana has [become] and is becoming the new currency of the world.
OH: I know some people like Bitcoin, and some people like good seeds, right?
TC: (laughs) Yeah! You can smoke it, you can eat it, you can wear it, it’s a perfect plant!
OH: I’d love to talk to you all day about weed, but your PR people really want me to ask about your new emoji app.
TC: Well, the emoji…there again, it’s like Bitcoin. It’s a way of selling my brand, with a very easy price on people. But it’s my brand, it’s my signature, it’s who I am. My emojis are spreading around the world very quickly, and people are picking up on them.
OH: It’s very cool.
TC: Yeah, they’re very cool. I think I’m the first to do weed-friendly emoji.
OH: What about your Chong’s Choice strains?
TC: How Chong’s Choice came about…we were approached by people who wanted to do strains. Like there’s a strain out in Colorado called the Chong Star, after Dancing With The Stars. But that’s only one strain. And what we did was we got a business partner who came in and put a distribution center for us: Chong’s Choice. All the top growers in the different states, they contact us and we make sure that they’re vetted, that what they grow is the best. And once we find the good growers, then we put our brand and packaging on it, and it hits all the dispensaries, and eventually it’ll be hitting the public, as the laws change.
But right now, like the Marlboro Man, I’m gonna have the Chong’s Choice brand for pot. OH: And who better, right?
TC: Who better?!
OH: Yeah! And it’s 4:20, man. It’s 4:20 PM and I’m talking to you. It’s great.
TC: Isn’t it great? Yeah! Something good always happens at 4:20 for me.
OH: Well, I don’t want to keep you. I just want to say…thanks for being you.
TC: (laughs) Oh, you’re welcome, my friend. Call me any time.
OH: Thanks…and here’s my catchphrase: Nugs and hugs!
TC: Ha, nugs and hugs, I love that. Take care.
OH: Thank you!
This was shared with us at /CBD by the owners of www.beyondchronic.com. We talked with them, and they were willing to let us put the article on here completely. They are a great site, and have good articles. This was the full interview. Read more about it here. http://beyondchronic.com/2016/06/tommy-chong-beyond-chronic-interview-part-one/
submitted by BuddhaSpader to CBD [link] [comments]

How To Make Profit When Crypto Currencies Are In Red

Earning money from Bitcoin has taken various forms since the world’s top digital currency became more popular. Some of them are new while others have been known to spread in reach along with the currency. Below are some of the best ways to earn money with bitcoin.
Mining Despite claims that bitcoin mining is no longer profitable due to the high cost of the energy required to get the miners powered, the increasing difficulty rate and the recent halving of the bitcoin block reward, mining activities are still being carried out though at a more larger scale and with sophisticated mining equipment.
Mining pool To make a profit mining has made joining a mining pool a great way to reap a small reward over a short period.
A mining pool allows miners to pool their resources together and share their hashing power while splitting the reward equally according to the amount of shares they contributed to solving a block.
Though the calculation of share of the bitcoins mined can be complex, the two most popular calculation schemes to ensure fairness for all parties are the Pay-per-Share (PPS) – offers an instant payout for each share that is solved by a miner from a pool’s existing balance thus transferring much of the risk to the pool’s operator.
Mobile Games Some important applications have come about in the Bitcoin Android space. Some of them have been written about on CCN before. One of them is Oh Crop!, a game much like Plants vs. Zombies in which the player must defeat evil plants. Players earn free bitcoin in the faucet-like scenario where they view a video advertisement and receive a disbursement. There is also Coin Flapper which presents a situation for the recovering Flappy Birds addict to play and get rewarded for the time spent with a freely earned bitcoin balance.
Earn free bitcoins by watching short videos
One of such platforms is vidybit. All you need is an email for a Xapo account or bitcoin address. Then watch a short video for less than a minute and get free bitcoins. Your account will instantly be credited for each video watched. Those who opt to use a bitcoin address will need to earn 5430 satoshi before payment is sent. BitcoinGet also enable a user to earn bitcoins for watching videos, completing tasks, and completing offers.
Earn money from trading bitcoins Aside the fear of exchanges being attacked by hackers and funds stolen as it was the case with Bitfinex and others, one can earn bitcoins by trading in it as well as with other digital currencies. Basic speculation would do – buy when it is lower, wait until the price increases then sell it at a higher rate to generate profit. Repeat the process over and over again. Understanding market trends and price patterns are key in this regard. Trading in bitcoin could also be through arbitrage – buy it cheap here and sell it at a higher rate there.
submitted by mehra11vinod to Thecryptoadvice [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: Charles Stross, science fiction writer

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2012-07-02
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
Are you planning a kickstarter game like Neal Stephenson? If you did what would it be about? Reverse order: no, I'm not planning a kickstarter game. And I'm not really a game designer. (Writing novels takes up about 100% of my available working time.)
Fellow early adopter here. TI gave me a TIPC with a 1200 baud modem and sent me home. I tripped over the usenet and compuserve by accident. What happened to keep you off for 6 months?! Left university and got a job with a company who had no internet connection, back in the days when a 2400 baud UUCP dial-up cost £900 a year (or about a months' gross salary). Remedied this by changing jobs :)
Hallo Charles. I'm in the UK. I just wrote a book and (it looks like) a good publishing house are going to pick it up. It is sort of sci-fi. For starters, there's a long-standing (50 year old) flame war within the field over whether it's "sci-fi" or "SF".
My question: all agents I've spoken to think that while selling a book to publishers it's best to avoid using the term "sci-fi" if possible. Ideally they want to sneak sci-fi stuff in, "under the radar", so it can get the sort of backing that only a big publisher can provide. Secondly, all these labels boil down to is a bunch of marketing categories that tell bookshop staff where to file the product (which they don't know from a hole in the road) on the shelves where customers can find it. SF has traditionally been looked down on by the literary establishment because, to be honest, much early SF was execrably badly written -- but these days the significance of the pigeon hole is fading; we have serious mainstream authors writing stuff that is I-can't-believe-it's-not-SF, and SF authors breaking into the mainstream. If you view them as tags that point to shelves in bricks-and-mortar bookshops, how long are these genre categories going to survive in the age of the internet?
How do you feel about this? Cheers. Note: this skepticism breaks down in the face of, for example, the German publishing sector, where booksellers are a lot stuffier and more hidebound over what is or is not acceptable as literature.
Could you give an example or two of large British publishers that you think are doing a good job in this respect? Ignoring genre barriers, taking risks etc? AhahahaHA!!
Sorry, no I can't. But not for the reason you think. Thing is, my agent is based in New York. And due to a historic accident, my publishing track is primarily American -- I'm sold into the UK almost as a foreign import! So I'm quite out of touch with what's going on in UK publishing. (Even my Kindle is geared to the US store.)
Did you end up with an American agent because all the British agents passed on you? Or did you actually want to do things that way? A bit of both. I wanted an agent who would actually sell stuff. After two British agents failed comprehensively, I was reading Locus (the SF field's trade journal) and noticed a press release about an experienced editor leaving her job to join an agent in setting up a new agency. And I went "aha!" -- because what you need is an agent who knows the industry but who doesn't have a huge list of famous clients whose needs will inevitably be put ahead of you. So I emailed her, and ... well, 11 years later I am the client listed at the top of her masthead!
One last question (if you can be arsed). When you look at the publishing process (particularly the point at which agents have to sell books) what do you think needs to be fixed/tinkered with? Are editors too short-sighted? In your experience is their predilection for putting things in boxes limiting? Biggest message: find your customers and sell them what they want to buy. DRM is bad for business. Territorial rights restrictions are bad for business. Amazon are utterly hateful and evil -- they will kill you and establish a monopoly if they can -- but their one redeeming feature is that they're good to customers: so learn from them.
Basically if you could sit all the big editors down and briefly lecture them on doing their job what would you say? Thanks Charles. It's not the editors I'd lecture, but the senior executives who give the publishing CEOs their marching orders (editors are a level below that). All the editors I deal with are extremely smart, clueful folks who are often frustrated by corporate policies -- because the publishing houses are divisions within large media conglomerates, and they're small, low-profit subsidiaries at that (and so don't get much say in group-wide policy).
Have you considered selling books via Baen? They seem to have the right idea, and you're in the right genre. Link to www.baen.com. Not up to me, up to my publishers.
For someone who is unfamiliar with your work, what book would you suggest as a good starting point (if it's available for Kindle, I will get it as soon as I see your answer)? Any plans to follow in L. Ron's footsteps and start a religion? I'm an atheist (subtype: generally agree with Richard Dawkins but think he could be slightly more polite; special twist: I was raised in British reform Judaism, which is not like American reform Judaism, much less any other strain of organised religion). So: no cults here. Starting points: for a sampler, you could try my short story collection "Wireless". Which contains one novella that scooped a Locus award, and one that won a Hugo, and covers a range of different styles.
Thank you so much for releasing Accelerando as a freebie! I'd just picked up Stanza on my iPhone and was going through the free Sci Fi (or SF) books. That ebook got me hooked, so was a pretty savvy marketing move. Book depository is nothing new; there've been outlets selling books internationally via mail order for many decades -- the only change is that it's now easier to find and use such services.
So, is there an official term for "Polite Atheist"? Someone who doesn't believe, yet isn't offensive about it? I'm not sure. The trouble is, if you go too far towards being polite, the label that applies is "doormat".
Hi! Would you consider Halting State and Rule 34 Cyberpunk? I was heavily reminded of Neal Stephensons early books (the craziness of Snow Crash mixed with more current-day themes like Cryptonomicon). "Halting State" and "Rule 34" are cyberpunk only insofar as we are living in a 1980s cyberpunk dystopia, and these are very much novels of our time (plus 10-20 years). What I've learned during my life is that the near future is 90% identical to the present -- if you buy a new car today, it'll probably still be on the road in 2022. Another 9% is predictable from existing tech roadmaps: Intel's projected roadmap for where their processors are going, SpaceX's order book for satellite launches, and so on. And 1% is totally bugfuck crazy and impossible to predict. (Go back to 1982 and the idea that the USSR would have collapsed and been replaced by hyper-capitalist oligarchs would have earned you a straitjacket, never mind a book contract. Go back to 1992 and the idea that the USA and Iran would be fighting a proxy war on the internet would have ... well, ditto.)
While I love the Laundry books I consider A Colder War one of your best works, is there a chance that we will get another 'serious' story with Lovecraftian themes? Lovecraftian seriousness: well, book 5 or 6 of the Laundry series is due to get epically grim.
Case Nightmare Green? Yup.
It's always interesting to learn how different authors approach their craft. What's your "ritual" when writing? TL;DR: I don't have one.
Longer version ... (I want to apologize for keeping this short: I have carpal tunnel issues so I might have to switch to speech recognition soon) ...
I write exclusively using computers. Pens and typewriters can fsck right off -- I wrote my first half million words in my teens on a manual typewriter (had to trade it for a new one due to keys snapping from metal fatigue) so I am not a pen or typewriter fetishist.
I write almost entlirely on Macs, because: Windows gives me hives. (I first ran into Windows as of Win 2.11/386, back in the eighties. It did not leave a good taste. I then became a happy UNIX bunny. Mac OSX is the last UNIX workstation class OS standing. So I've learned to put up with its other foibles.)
I have no set writing routine other than: plant bum in chair in front of keyboard/on sofa under laptop, and start going. Oh, and I drink tea pretty much continuously at a rate of around 1 imperial pint/hour, which sort of enforces screen/keyboard breaks.
(I want to apologize for keeping this short: I have carpal tunnel issues so I might have to switch to speech recognition soon) I write exclusively using computers. Does this mean you use speech recognition while writing too? or have you been writing before the AMA and you're at your fatigue point? Speech recognition is utterly crap for writing fiction. If you try reading a novel aloud you'll soon figure out why -- written prose style is utterly unlike the spoken word.
Why Mac rather than Linux? (Esp. considering your background, e.g. Computer Shopper etc.) Excellent design values. ("Why drive a Porsche if you could drive a backhoe? The backhoe's got more torque and you can do cool things with it like digging holes in the road!" "Yes, but the backhoe isn't a Porsche ...")
It gets out of my way and lets me get stuff done. Seriously, Windows seems designed to make easy tasks hard and hard tasks impossible; Linux would be fine if it came pre-tuned to the hardware, but I've got a long term 30% failure rate getting any given laptop to run it properly with full device support -- I can do without the choice between badly designed, bulky, inconvenient machines that work with Linux, and taking pot luck that the latest well-designed sleek ultrabook will actually, um, boot.
TL:DR; I've reached an age at which I'd rather pay more for something that "just works" than roll up my sleeves, reach for a spanner, and make it work. Time is money, and the older we get the less of it we've got left ...
It's said that people have to write a million words of crap before they can rite good stuff. True, in your opinion? No. I wrote two million words of crap. Maybe I'm just a slow learner ...
Do you just put up with the carpal tunnel when writing? Up to a point. I don't want to permanently damage myself! On the other hand, a couple of days off the keyboard tends to make things somewhat better.
What are your views about people pirating your books? Back before the internet we had a name for people who bought a single copy of our books and lent them to all their friends without charging: we called them "librarians". Frankly, I couldn't care less about you loaning a copy of one of my books, on paper, to a friend. In fact, I think it's a good idea. Spreads the word, right? What I do have a problem with is people who sell my work for financial gain without paying me a cut of the proceeds. If money is passing hands, then the customer feels that they've paid for the right to read the work. But if they haven't paid me (or my publishers), then that's siphoning money out of my income stream. Today, we see some "file sharing" sites that rely on fans uploading cracked copies of ebooks, and which then make money off those books by charging for downloads (via cash subscriptions or advertising). Again: I take a dim view of this. They're making money off the back of my work without paying me.
2: Mr. Stross answered this question in far more detail while I was typing the above edit. Thank you! [Edit/afterthought] More often than not, piracy is a symptom of an under-provisioned market. People want to buy mp3s but can't? Piracy ensues. Then Apple strong-arms the music studios into the iTunes store and music piracy drops somewhat. The same, I believe, is also happening with ebooks.
Do you make a point of turning unpromising-sounding premises into something really extra-ordinary? Or are the back-of-book blurbs just over-simplifying? The back-of-book blurb is not written by the author (any more than the author paints the cover illustration). The sole job of the back-of-book blurb and the cover is to make a reader who is unfamiliar with the author or the book pick the product up in a store, because retail psychology studies show that consumers who handle the merchandise are more likely to buy it.
Hi Charlie! I've read much of what you've written, and I just have to say that you have a creativity rarely matched in SF - please keep it up. That said, what gadget do you think is going to have the greatest impact on the way we live in the next few coming years? Something like the Google glasses? Ultra-low power consumption ubiquitous embedded processors powered by ambient light or EM radiation are going to do insane things to our cities in the next 15-30 years -- far more significant than google glasses, which are just a slightly different UI (you can do much the same stuff already using a smartphone with motion/orientation/positioning sensors) ...
The radical transparency surveillance state that Brin predicted, open to all? Or data inequality leveraged by the HFT engines of the rich corporations to give them the edge to make a buck of it? Now add ambient genome sensing -- not human genomes, but the microbiome soup we live in (remember, sequencer costs are currently obeying Moore's Law) and start wondering where it's all going!
Been a fan for a long time. Got hooked via Accelerando (which I understand is something of an old shame at this point?), and stayed hooked via Halting State and the Laundry Files. Thanks for the AMA. :D. It's not an old shame, it's simply that I wrote it circa 1998-2004, and my views have changed somewhat over the intervening decade ...
Can you please expand on that? In what way did your views change? Accelerando is one of my all time favourites. Sure. See: Link to www.antipope.org
Link to www.amazon.com
Progress always get met with "but consider the ethics..". OK, let me ask you this: if you have a no-shit AI in a box, and it's running, when you switch it off/reboot it/reformat it/send it to the scrap heap, are you murdering a sentient being? Yes/No? Please justify your reasoning.
Now consider: your no-shit AI is the adversary in a computer game environment. What happens when you kill it (in-game)? What happens when you get tired of the game and delete it?
Hint: some fun background reading would be Ted Chiang's "The Lifecycle of Software Objects".
Have you ever used unused (or used) ideas from your D&D days in your stories, or vice versa? No. My D&D days are 30 years gone; it'd be a rare idea to survive from that long ago.
If you could meet any dead science fiction author for a day, who would you meet and what would you do? Roger Zelazny. And probably a pub crawl then a curry.
How hard was it for you to break into the US market? If I'd known how easy it would be, I'd have done it earlier!
If you could choose between The Merchant Princes becoming a video game, a movie series, a TV series, and a limited HBO TV series, what format would you choose? Who would you pick for a director and some of the leads? Would you want to do the screenplay yourself? None of those are media formats I consume, so I have no opinion on the options. (Nor do I have any idea who the currently interesting directors or actors are.) If I wanted to be in movies, I'd have gone into scriptwriting: the fact that I write novels should be a big hint about what I prefer to do!
(Final Q: I dislike Dr Who and Star Trek, so I shan't comment further.)
"I dislike Dr. Who and Star Trek..." This is like finding out your dad really can't beat up everyone else's dad. They've achieved cult following through character development, but as SF they both have gigantic structural flaws at the plot and tech level; great gaping internal inconsistencies! (Although I'm kind of fond of the meta-theory that explains Star Trek as being propaganda intended for external consumption by the Federation, which is actually the Soviet Union in Space in the 24th century.)
Next you will tell me Nutella doesn't really taste good. Damn you Charles Stross! Damn you to hell! I will still read your books, but I will do so with a smug expression of annoyance ;) Nutella is okay, but Marmite rocks as a sandwich topping!
You must try Vegemite. I like vegemite too.
(Alas - this may be TMI - I have a mild yeast intolerance; if I consume too much wheat beer or marmite or vegemite and my next morning will be exceedingly interesting, in a most unpleasant way.)
I saw that you started writing at the age of 15, novels at that. I'm a younger person myself, and for me and the rest of novel-aspiring-youth, what do you have to tell? Tips, motivation, etc.? Write. Every day, if possible.
Finish stuff.
Send it out, and when it comes back, send it out again.
Step 3 may be a bit premature if you're thinking about professional publication, but at the very least: workshop with other writers, learn to critique their work, learn to understand and listen to their criticism of your work, then apply the skills you learned dissecting other folks' writing to your own stuff.
Do you ever read something someone else has written and think "damn, now I cant do that". Who do you read? (if you have time) Yes, I sometimes get the "Damn, too late, [X] got there first" idea. But seriously? I have time to write 1-2 novels per year, and get roughly novel-sized ideas every month. I have to perform triage on my own writing impulses. So it's usually quite easy to shrug and write something else instead.
What I read: while I'm writing, I tend to go off reading fiction for relaxation -- especially the challenging stuff. It's too much like the day job. When I do get to chow down on a book, I try to read ones that are nothing like what I'm writing. So, as I'm currently working on a space opera (of sorts) I'm mostly indulging in urban fantasy.
Wow, I didn't realise the ideas flew in so fast. Is it morbid to ask if you worry about getting it all written before you die? (Im thinking of Terry Pratchett here...) Yes, I worry about that. I'm 47. I reckon I can count on 30 more writing years, averaging a book a year (I can't keep up the 2-2.5 a year I used to do these days). And these days I've gotten round to wondering, for each new idea, "do I want to be remembered for this?" before I get to the point of spending a year on it.
Asimov or Clarke? Neither, although I'm marginally less averse to Clarke's style.
Out of curiosity, what about Heinlein? (As a writer, at least - let's leave politics aside for the moment.) I have written a Heinlein tribute novel.
In general, who in sci-fi/SF inspired you, and/or inspires you now? (Unfortunately, while most authors who do that -- Scalzi, Varley, Robinson, et al -- pick Heinlein juveniles, I went for a dirty old man Heinlein tribute novel. Hence "Saturn's Children" and a novel that hinges on the word spung!).
Have you ever been afraid to actually publish a book for fear of what your fans may think? And how do you deal with writers block, or just actually getting the damn thing started? And lastly, do you read books that aren't in your current genre? And if so, what's your favorite? Publishing is the final step in making a book; if I was afraid to publish one, I wouldn't write it in the first place. (But in general, a little controversy isn't harmful: if anything, it gets people interested. I don't think most of my opinions, political or social, are so far outside of the mainstream that they'd cause massive outrage on a scale liable to provoke death threats or referrals to prosecutors for outraging public decency, so why worry?)
Writers block: when I get it, it's because my subconscious spotted that I'd make a huge structural mistake in constructing a novel before my conscious mind became aware of it, and threw on the brakes. So I've learned not to sweat it: take two days off, then back up a chapter, read through, and try to work out why I'm suddenly uneasy about continuing.
While writing a novel I almost completely stop reading books in the same sub-genre for the duration.
Hi there, funnily enough i just finished the Atrocity Archives, which i bought because i bought the Laundry RPG a while back. Awesome book. Loved it. Can't wait to run the game. So do you play Call of Cthulhu or the Laundry at all? Or are you just into the writing side? Strictly writing side. I was heavily into AD&D in my teens (late 1970s-early 1980s) but fell off the RPG habit in the mid-80s and have never gone back to it; my lifestyle today isn't very compatible with having a regular gaming group (too much travel).
Which do you enjoy writing more; the Laundry series or harder scifi like Glasshouse and Accelerando? That's a very hard question.
If I write too much of anything for too long, I burn out on it. So it helps to vary my output from year to year. That's partly why the Laundry books are coming out at 2-5 year intervals rather than every 12 months.
As someone who grew up reading Ian Fleming and HP Lovecraft, I think they're well worth the wait! (Just pre-ordered the latest iteration) Also, do you find it difficult to write your more abstract stories like Accelerando? I tried to explain it to a friend once, but failed miserably. Accelerando was murder. It took me more than five years, in the shape of nine stories. One of which (#5) was so difficult that by way of finding an excuse to dodge having to work on it I accidentally barfed up the first two volumes of the Merchant Princes series.
I am a huge fan of yours. Three of my favorite short stories are Missile Gap, A Colder War, and Unwirer. Well, I guess I just really love the whole "Wireless" collection. What inspired you to cross Lovecraft with The Cold War? Fear of nuclear annihilation. I'm a child of the cold war: I didn't live more than 10 miles from a major WarPac nuclear target until the Berlin Wall came down and the CW ended. Knowing you can die horribly at any moment because of decisions made by alien intelligences thousands of miles away who don't even know you exist -- there's something Lovecraftian about that, isn't there?
At what age did you start writing novels? I began my first novel when I was 15. It went through three drafts, of around 40,000 words each. If I find it, I'll burn it. (If you read it, you'd thank me :)
Hahahha I'm 15 now. Every time when i have to do an assignment for school, i don't really know how to start, could you give me some advice, please? Nope. Because I'm nearly a third of a century older than you, and any advice I could give you about school assignments would be slightly out of date ...!
The modern solution is to just wikiwalk until inspired. Or tropeswalk! Actually, no, don't do that. You'll get sucked into TVTropes and suddenly notice that the sun's peeking through your window, you're knee-deep in villain archetypes, and the assignment's due in three hours. Your warning comes too late. Actually, I was semi-immunized to TVTropes by being sent a copy of the Turkey City Lexicon by Bruce Sterling at an impressionable age: Link to www.sfwa.org
What do you think of TV Tropes, in general? Like all good things, it's possible to overdose on it.
But for someone who is starting out on developing their critical skills, just being aware of its existence is great: it can make the difference between trying to write a story around a cliche or an original idea, and better still, studying it can eventually clue you in on how to breathe new life into tired tropes.
One of the things that I liked about Halting State and Rule 34 was that they are set in a plausible near future where technology has made individuals much more productive than people from 50+ years ago. Given that with technological assistance one worker can now supervise many machines working to produce goods do you think that there will be a resurgence of a leisure class in the first world? Do you think that we are getting to the point where instead of overpaying people to do manual factory work there is room for another model that still resembles modern life? I have no answer to this question. Keynes asked it more than fifty years ago; something has clearly gone wrong, given that the folks with jobs seem to work endless hours while many people can't get a job at all.
Nice to see a bit of social marketing, it will be interesting to hear how it compares to the publishers' marketdroid efforts in terms of sales (if you can tease out the stats). Now the important question, favourite beer? My regular session beer is Deuchars IPA (Link to www.caledonianbeer.com) It's not an American-style bitterness wars IPA; it's a light, Scottish ale with just enough hops to tell you what it is, and it's weak enough that you can keep drinking it continuously for hours without any risk of waking up in a puddle with KICK ME tattooed on your bum.
Any other writing aids? Link to www.antipope.org
What's your policy/opinion on adverbs? I ask because guys like Stephen King encourage writers to murder every adverb before it ever hits the page, whereas guys like William Gibson (my favorite author) use them liberally. I have no policy, for or against: only a personal style. (Which is to say, I use them when I think it's appropriate to; for example, an internal monologue by a locquacious and verbose narrator is more likely to be larded with adverbs than an exchange of instant messages between cops at a crime scene.)
I'm a new but big fan. The first book of yours that I read only a few months ago was Accelerando and it absolutely blew my mind! Not only that but it made me very excited for the near future, I see Google Glasses as being a very exciting tech that leads into your vision. Bitcoin: probably not, but it's intriguing enough to be at the root of an entire interstellar finance system in "Neptune's Brood" (due next July, 2013).
PS I'm really looking forward to seeing you when you come to Perth West Aus next year. Maybe I can buy you a beer! Perth, beer? Sure!
Bitcoins as... urrrrgh. Okay. I'll have to read that, then. Hope you got the failure conditions right! I hybridised it with Chaum's digicash. With the added twist that participants in exchanges had to be in different solar systems. It's called "slow money" for a reason ...
How do you make sure you aren't "inadvertently plagiarizing?" I think up ideas a lot but am sure they have already been done somewhere or that I am ripping something off I have read and cannot recall specifically. Original creativity seems difficult. First: plagiarism requires you to copy someone else's words. You can avoid this by, er, not copying! Writing your own story around the same ideas is not plagiarism; at worst, it's being unoriginal.
thanks for the books...I love science fiction and appreciate the work that goes into putting out novels to entertain us. Having said that, you're right: coming up with truly new ideas is hard. But I've got a method: I look for a couple of obvious ideas that have been done before (try: folks who can travel at will to parallel universes; in their home world they're the aristocracy, because: magic powers) and then look for the second-order side effects: stuff that other authors didn't dig into (for example: wrt. the previous idea, what are the consequences of these folks' ability for the ongoing economic and political development of their world? Can it have negative consequences? If so, what are they?)
How long did it take you to become comfortable writing in the second person? I finished reading Rule 34 and it was the first novel* i had read in this style. It took me about a hundred pages of "Halting State" to get the hang of it, and another hundred pages to feel comfortable. I also needed a reason to start doing it (2nd person is the natural voice of the text adventure game -- "you are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike").
A trilogy? Does this mean that a third book is on contract, or that you just have it kicking around in your head? EDIT: Nevermind, you answered this already. Looking forward to it! "The Lambda Functionary" is on contract for delivery on July 1st, 2013 and publication around July 3rd, 2014. And I haven't even begun writing it yet. Ulp.
Connected intelligence (as in, human intelligence augmented by online sources) seems to be on the perpetual 'five years out' list - do you think projects like Google Glass will finally make this a reality? What sort of timescale would you envisage for mass-adoption? (crosses fingures for a 'yes') Hmm ... what's wrong with a smartphone with always-on 3G or 4G data and google/wikipedia? Doesn't that qualify?
How much pre-planning would you say that you do before starting on a new book? Or do you subscribe more to the "Let's just start writing and see where it takes us" camp? Both :)
No two books come out the same way. Some I write by the seat of my pants; others are planned in minute detail.
The one thing that does happen, every time, though, is that I never get to write a book until I've already been thinking about it for a period of months to years. Unless it's "Glasshouse" (time from initial idea to starting writing: 9 days).
Rule 34 was one of my favorite reads last year, but I found the title to be a bit of a red herring since (without spoilers) neither memes nor porn ended being a big part of the story's resolution (other than the department Kavanaugh is in when she started). Was that intentional? What is ATHENA if not a meme with legs? (The relative lack of porn I'll grant you ...) Link to www.antipope.org
Hi Charles, I'm Chinese and I live in Asia and most of the sci fi actually comes from the west. Is this due to cultural reasons, literacy or how technology/future seems to resonate more if written from a western perspective? Also, how can one become a successful sci fi/fantasy writer outside of Europe/America? I have no idea, frankly ...
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