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The first reddit outtake from Digital Gold: newly unearthed emails from Satoshi in 2009 about what it would take for Bitcoin to catch on

This is a bit of an experiment: the first reddit outtake from Digital Gold, the story of Bitcoin, which I’m releasing with HarperCollins on May 19.
In the run up to the book’s release, I’m seeing how it works to post exclusive material to bitcoin — stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor but that should be fascinating for people steeped in Bitcoinia. I will also be putting up fun facts from the book on my Facebook page and Twitter.
This email exchange from 2009 occurred eight months after Bitcoin was initially released, early in the story of Digital Gold. The Finnish college student Martti Malmi was one of the few people helping Satoshi Nakamoto to keep the system up and running. Bitcoins themselves were worth essentially nothing at the time. The lack of interest kicked off this conversation in August 2009 about what Bitcoin might need to grow. Thanks to Martti for sharing this, and a lot of other stuff about those early days.
Satoshi: It would help if there was something for people to use it for. We need an application to bootstrap it. Any ideas?
Martti: I've been thinking about a currency exchange service that sells and buys bitcoins for euros and other currencies. Direct exchangeability to an existing currency would give bitcoin the best possible initial liquidity and thus the best adoptability for new users. Everyone accepts payment in coins that are easily exchangeable for common money, but not everyone accepts payment in coins that are only guaranteed to buy a specific kind of a product.
Satoshi: That would be more powerful if there was also some narrow product market to use it for. Some virtual currencies like Tencent's Q coin have made headway with virtual goods. It would be sweet if there was some way to horn in on a market like that as the official virtual currency gets clamped down on with limitations. Not saying it can't work without something, but a ready specific transaction need that it fills would increase the certainty of success.
Martti: At its simplest this exchange service could be a website where traders, who can be individual persons, can post their rates, and random users can leave trade requests. Some kind of an average rate estimate could be shown on the site. Small-scale trading by individuals would be outside legal hassle in most countries, and putting all the eggs in the same basket would be avoided.
Satoshi: Basically like an eBay site with user reviews to try to establish which sellers can be trusted. The escrow feature will help but not solve everything. It would be far more work to set up such a site than just to set up a single exchange site of your own, and there won't be enough users to make it go until later. I'm thinking it wouldn't make sense to make an eBay type site until later.
Martti: Another idea, which could be additional to the previous one, would be an automated exchange service. The service would automatically calculate the exchange rate and perform the transactions. This would be nicer to the user: completion of the transaction request would be certain and instantaneous. Making this service might actually be quite easy if there was a command line interface to Bitcoin: just take any web application framework and use PayPal back-end integration to automatically send euros when Bitcoins are received, and vice versa. This kind of business would also work great on larger scale if you set up a company and take care of all the bureaucracy needed to practice currency exchange. (I actually have a registered company that I've used for billing of some IT work, I could use that as a base.)
Satoshi: Even if you had automation, you'd probably want to review orders manually before processing them anyway. It wouldn't be hard to process orders by hand, especially at first. You could always set a minimum order size to keep orders more infrequent.
I’m hoping the community here can help get the word out about Digital Gold. The best way to help is to pre-order the book either on Amazon or on Overstock if you want to pay with Bitcoin.
submitted by nathanielpopper to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin: The Rise and Fall or There and Back Again

(A long-winded history of Bitcoin's journey towards its prominense)
A great deal of things that are common place today used to be basically unthinkable. Unified cryptographic currency was devised by sci-fi and cyberpunk authors in the XX century ("Credits" in various sci-fi and cyberpunk novels). That being said,the first protocol of “digital money” was proposed by two cryptography scientists, David Chaum and Stefan Brands, in 1982, and Wei Dai described “b-money” in 1998.
As recently as 2008 the mythical Satoshi Nakamoto published the operation principle of his payment system. He created the working client code in 2009, and this makes Bitcoin only 8 years old. At first hardly anyone believed in it. Now there are over 9000! — actually over 300,000 — transactions daily!
There…
Bitcoin is famous for its striking highs and shattering lows. We could calculate its first exchange rate: In September 2009 one Martti Malmi sent to a recipient 5,050 bitcoins for 5,02 US dollars, which he got via PayPal. Thus, one dollar was equal to 1,006 bitcoins, well, or 1 BTC was equal to 0,000994 US dollar! It looks like there are too many zeros after the decimal point, such small values are way to difficult to comprehend... So, was it approximately one tenth of one cent? :-D
…and Back Again
Imagine the torment of one American guy, who paid ฿10,000for two pizzas in May 2010. In today's money they worth $80,000,000. One slice of pizza costs $5,000,000. The closest contender for the title of the most expensive pizza — Louis XIII — comes at a measly sum of $12,000!
Even more hard cheese got on the plate of James Howells — our next exhibit: In 2013 he rushed to the city landfill for his laptop as he remembered that had had there his HDD with the private key to his wallet of 7,500 bitcoins! He had mined it on his laptop in early 2009. In 2013 it cost approximately $7,500,000; this handy sum motivated him to lead an unsuccessful excavation expedition to the landfill site. In 2017 there is $60,000,000 at stake, and I bet that in 10–20 years' time some rich nob is going to buy out the whole landfill and we will see the dirtiest dig for the filthiest amount of bitcoins!
A trip down memory lane
Well, let us have our dig and unearth Bitcoin's highs and lows for the first 8 years of its life. On the day of creation, i.e.
05.10.2009
official exchange rate was the following: $1 = ฿1,309,03 (so ฿1 = $0,00076). Back at that time there was no need in satoshi (one-hundred-millionth of a bitcoin); mining was hardly worth the wear and tear of hardware and electricity bills...
Mid 2010:
$0.08 = ฿1
Late 2010:
$0.5 = ฿1
2011:
09.02.2011:
$1 = ฿1
02.06.2011:
$10 = ฿1
09.06.2011:
$31.91 = ฿1
12 June 2011 — a steep decline to $10.
Late 2011:
$10 = ฿1
2012—relative stability in the $8–14 band for ฿1
2013:
28.02.2013
$31.91 = ฿1
22.03.2013 — a noticeable growth:
$74.90 = ฿1
10.04.2013 — another noticeable growth:
$266 = ฿1
02.10.2013 — a steep decline to:
$109.71 = ฿1
06.11.2013 — a rapid rise to:
$269 = ฿1
17.11.2013 — another rapid rise to:
$503.1 = ฿1
Late November 2013: another rise to $1,242 for ฿1!
Then Bitcoin became really jerky:
02.12.2013 — a steep decline to $1,000 for ฿1,
17.12.2013 — a two-fold decline to less than $600 for ฿1!
2014:
was one of the most unsuccessful years for Bitcoin — it had been on decline nearly all year... The only rise it had all year fell on 1–5 January when Bitcoin rose from $770 to $950, and then, in early February, it fell back to 700 greenbacks. And that was just a beginning of the steady decline — by the end of December, it lost the foothold and fell as low as $310, that is, three times its highest (at that time) rate!
2015:
Bitcoin is still jerky: In mid-January, the rate had reached a new low of $177. However by 3 March it gradually rose to $281. The growth continued until October 2017 and exceeded $500, but went down a little bit in December to the $355–380 band. On December 16, 2015, Bitcoin's exchange rate grew to $455.99, and then sagged again.
2016:
Bitcoin exchange rate chart looks quite steady: It started with $500 in January; by 15 June it reached $768, then went down a bit, then continued its growth to a grand for one BTC!
2017:
is phenomenally good for Bitcoin. But itsvolatilityhas been shown in all its glory! Judge for yourself:
02.01.2017 ฿1 = $1,017
12.01.2017 ฿1 = $810
04.03.2017 ฿1 = $1,264
11.05.2017 ฿1 = $1,819
24.05.2017 ฿1 = $2,445
27.05.2017 ฿1 = $2,052
11.06.2017 ฿1 = $2,973
15.06.2017 ฿1 = $2,442
20.06.2017 ฿1 = $2,754
16.07.2017 ฿1 = $1,914
20.07.2017 ฿1 = $2,866
26.07.2017 ฿1 = $2,559
14.08.2017 ฿1 = $4,327
21.08.2017 ฿1 = $4,005
01.09.2017 ฿1 = $4,921
14.09.2017 ฿1 = $3,243
18.09.2017 ฿1 = $4,100
22.09.2017 ฿1 = $3,617
20.10.2017 ฿1 = $5,993
24.10.2017 ฿1 = $5,513
08.11.2017 ฿1 = $7,444
12.11.2017 ฿1 = $5,848
17.11.2017 ฿1 = $8,040
And, as analysts has predicted, Bitcoin will easily take the next milestone — $10,000 — at the end of this year or in the beginning of the next one! So, no matter how jerky Bitcoin is a lot of people would like to take a bite out of its crypto-yumminess! Those who have passed on that treat will bite their nails later. Even if you want to buy, say, a giant rubber duck.
In a few years you can buy MANY — due to the enormous growth of Bitcoin!
Author: Dickinson-Junior
submitted by Dickinson-Junior to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

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Building Bitcoin, Voluntaryism, and Online Identity with Martti Malmi

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