May 2018 update – Triple Mining Pool has been closed since the end of 2015. This article is up for historical reference only. A look at the TripleMining Bitcoin Mining Pool (originally published March 2015) Please note: This review is based on a relatively small amount of hashing, a few hundred ghs. The stats outlined in this review may not apply to larger miners. We hacked our antminer S1’s to mine nine pools concurrently, letting us run proportional power across a wide variety of mining pools. This review is part of our series of bitcoin mining pool reviews. Triple Mining is a Source: https://bitcoinsinireland.com/triple-mining-bitcoin-mining-pool-review/
Why We Get Obsessed With Bitcoin
Bitcoin can be addictive—but what sparks that initial obsession? Here’s why people become Bitcoiners, from the minds of those most hooked.
You’ve probably seen the comic posted in one of the many online crypto communities; an adaptation of a popular Reddit meme. A jolly little character offers up two games, one adventurous, the other challenging.
His friend asks about a third option.
“When you play that game,” the first little guy replies, “days will blur together. Regular meals are a thing of the past. Friends will become concerned. And the whole time you’ll be unsure if you’re even having fun.”
That third game is, of course, Bitcoin.
That comic is familiar to those of us in the crypto industry. From traders staying up until the early hours, to crypto journalists working day and night to cover the fast-growing space, we all relate to it and that’s why it makes us laugh.
But what is it about Bitcoin that initially grabs us and sends us down the rabbit hole? Why do these lines of code reach out of the computer screen, grab our imaginations and pull us in?
During four interviews, with diehard Bitcoiners, Decrypt identified some common traits: a dislike for authority, with a political stance that leans towards libertarianism. But while they revel in Bitcoin’s attributes as a hedge against inflation, or its security, it wasn’t those factors that initially drew them in. Rather, it was the moment they first used Bitcoin or were able to visualise it, that flicked a subliminal switch. So, while the current narratives are important, what gets us obsessed with Bitcoin is something a little more intimate.
“A weapon for peace”
On a day in September 2015, David Bennett, senior administrator at the Texas Tech University, felt confined.
He was at work in his cubicle, lit by a lamp instead of the overhead fluorescent lights that were never turned on. The office was so buried in the middle of the gray, chunky concrete building that was the university’s library, he couldn’t even hear it when it rained—an event that, in the southern end of the High Plains desert landscape, would typically bring everyone running to the windows.
Bennett looked at his monitor. He was just about to send 0.2 Bitcoin, worth $80, from his Coinbase account to Jack Spirko of the Survival Podcast, so he could become a member. He had heard about Bitcoin online a few years ago, but it was only from listening to these podcasts that he was starting to learn more. He popped in Spirko’s address and hit send.
It quickly dawned on him that there were so many things he hadn’t done. He hadn’t put in his bank account details, his home address, his telephone number. He hadn’t authorised someone to take payments from his account. There would be no phoning the bank up to complain that further scam payments had been taken from his account. That was it, done.
He felt liberated.
“That started the whole trip down the rabbit hole,” he told Decrypt. “I sat back. I didn’t say anything then, but later told my co-workers about Bitcoin.”
Bennett soon became a regular listener of Bitcoin educator Andreas Antonopoulos as well as Trace Mayer’s weekly Bitcoin Knowledge podcast. Finding himself ill-content with just one podcast episode every week, he set up his own called “Bitcoin and …” where he discusses news on a daily basis.
To this day, he continues to maintain that Bitcoin is a weapon, but, in the words of Parallax Digital CEO Robert Breedlove, one for peace.
“Bitcoin is FU money”
It was a cold day in late October, 2019, when Phil Gibson, a software salesman, drove home for his lunch hour. His friend had convinced him to buy a range of altcoins, such as the Brave browser’s Basic Attention Token and business-focused Syscoin, on crypto exchange Binance. Only the friend had warned him to get a VPN first.
Standing at the kitchen table with his laptop out, Gibson tried paying for NordVPN. But his debit card refused to work, flagging an error message. He tried his credit card. Still no dice. He got on the phone to his bank, to find out what was going on. While he was waiting on hold, it dawned on him that it was probably to do with what he was buying. The customer service assistant came back on and confirmed his suspicions.
Gibson was angry that the bank was banning him from spending his money how he wanted. He ignored the idea of calling his local branch and looked for another way. He noticed the VPN provider accepted Bitcoin, so he took out CashApp, bought Bitcoin and paid for the VPN directly.
“Once I saw that it worked, it was just amazing,” he said. “Bitcoin is FU money—it’s a hell of a drug.”
While he had heard about Bitcoin in 2017 during its epic run to $20,000, this was the moment he truly understood its value. It slotted straight into his libertarian-leaning beliefs and he started binging Bitcoin information, such as the Bitcoin audible podcast by Guy Swann.
But there was one thing about Bitcoin that—unlike the fiat money he had in his bank account—really resonated with him.
“It’s mine,” he said. “Even if I sound like Gollum.”
“It sort of clicked”
Economics student Marty Bent was sitting alone in the library of DePaul University in Chicago, one evening in the summer of 2012. Outside of his evening classes, he had spent the day working at a managed futures fund where he wrote almost exclusively about central banks and monetary policy. With his anti-authority bent, it was clear to him that governments were getting it all wrong.
“I was pretty glued to what the central banks were doing for three to four years. In the depths of QE2, QE3, Operation Twist, I quickly learned the central banks didn’t really have any idea of what they were doing,” he said, referring to examples of quantitative easing and bond buying by the Federal Reserve.
In that moment, he wasn’t studying for his economics lessons the next evening, nor was he preparing for the next day’s commentary at his day job. Instead, he was on BitcoinTalk, poring over everything there was to know about Bitcoin.
Bent said, “I was reading up on Bitcoin and getting a better understanding of the technology and the monetary policies behind it—and it sort of clicked.”
Bent soon started making Twitter lists of prominent Bitcoiners to keep track of what was going on. In the winter of 2013, he used his bonus check to buy his first Bitcoin for $800. Soon after that, it shot up to $1,200 and, driven by the feeling of euphoria, he was suddenly telling his coworkers all about it.
A “lightbulb moment”
In early 2017, Robert Breedlove was in his home office in Las Vegas, reading a paper on his iMac. Breedlove was a libertarian who had long wondered about money—what it was, and why governments had a monopoly on it. He had read a book called The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, and one Christmas, he had even handed out copies of an abridged version—called Dishonest Money—to his family.
So, it’s unsurprising that, at that very moment, he was reading Nick Szabo’s explanation of smart contracts, a technology for coding agreements between two parties. Breedlove had known about Bitcoin for several years but it was at this moment, when he finally got what it was for.
“When i read Nick Szabo’s work on smart contracts—which was actually written in the late 90s—that was when I had my lightbulb moment,” he said. “Oh my gosh, this whole finance industry is basically this intermediate function that could be disrupted by smart contracts.”
It was Szabo’s example of a vending machine that struck him. “A canonical real-life example, which we might consider to be the primitive ancestor of smart contracts, is the humble vending machine,” Szabo wrote.
At that moment, Breedlove could visualize how Bitcoin or Ethereum could play the part of the vending machine, removing the need for the legacy finance industry—while rivalling state-backed fiat currencies. “That’s when I realised that the tech was really going to be a big deal,” he said.
He soon came to believe that it was Bitcoin that had the strongest foundation to disrupt the concept of money. After reading The Bitcoin Standard, by Saifedean Ammous, he devoured books by economists Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and Friedrich Hayek. He went on to become the CEO of Parallax Digital, which invests in Bitcoin-focused products, and has written a 62-tweet-long thread that sheds light on Bitcoin “in an exoteric nutshell.”
Simplex Debuts Fiat On-Ramp for Blockchain Game Townstar
Blockchain technology continues to see increased utilization in the gaming industry with the novel tech providing a robust base layer for monetizing in-game assets. Developers are also able to leverage decentralized ledger technology (DLT) in maintaining full control of their digital metaverses without recourse to third-party publishers and hosting services.
Simplex and Bitrue Partner for GALA Trading
According to a press release shared with Blockonomi, Simplex is now providing a fiat on-ramp for the purchase and sale of GALA tokens via a collaboration with Bitrue crypto exchange. GALA which is an ERC-20 token can be traded inside Townstar, a blockchain-based game developed Zynga co-founder Eric Schiermeyer.
By providing a fiat gateway for GALA token trading Simplex is broadening the utility for the token. GALA tokens were previously only used as a reward for running a Gala Games Soft Node.
Commenting on the implication of broadening the utility for GALA tokens, Simplex CEO Nimrod Lehavi remarked:
We’re excited to announce our partnership with GALA, who are leading the way in connecting crypto and casual games. Casual games are an innovative application that will open up the ecosystem to many new users. Simplex is thrilled to work alongside GALA and Bitrue to enable billions of people to easily and securely onramp to the community.
By introducing a token economy for GALA “coins,” Simplex and Bitrue might be creating an avenue for expanding the adoption of crypto and blockchain in the gaming space. Such a trend may also be net positive for the blockchain industry as the gaming arena offers another expansion vector for the nascent technology.
Simplex continues to provide fiat on-ramps for numerous cryptocurrencies. As previously reported by Blockonomi, the company removed know-your-customer (KYC) verification requirement for transactions below $150 back in May.
Blockchain and In-game Token Monetization
Trading in-game assets is only one of the developmental activities occurring within the intersection of the blockchain and gaming industries. With advancements in supporting protocols like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality, gaming enthusiasts can now enjoy truly immersive and interactive virtual worlds on their favorite titles.
Blockchain and crypto offer a viable path to monetizing the gaming industry where in-game assets can now economic value in the real-world. Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are already becoming popular with companies developing assets like rare trading cards, digitized fashion items, and even virtual land.
Indeed, virtual land platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox have seen massive buy orders from individuals and corporations alike. Earlier in September, crypto exchange behemoth Binance announced the acquisition of over 4,000 LAND tokens which is the native coin of The Sandbox virtual world.
DLT can even offer a bridge that connects different gaming metaverses allowing the transfer of assets across games. Such transfers can even be made seamless once Web 3.0 becomes fully realized.
US Space Force Uses Blockchain to Bolster Security
Blockchain security firm Xage is taking blockchain technology interstellar in a partnership with the US space force.
- The US Space Force has awarded blockchain firm Xage with a cybersecurity contract.
- Xage’s security protocol will decentralize USSF data systems to ensure maximum uptime and security.
- the partnership could prove astronomical for blockchain tech adoption.
Blockchain-centric cybersecurity firm Xage has secured a contract to create a decentralized end-to-end protection protocol for the US space force (USSF).
The CyberSec firm will be engaged in securing data across the USSF’s military and civilian assets, with a solution geared to enable granular identity-based verification for access to any USSF system. This includes systems deployed both on earth and in space, regardless of their generation.
“By protecting data across a diverse architecture, commercial operators, and multiple parties, the USSF can create trusted situational awareness in real time, and block various dangerous spoofing or command intrusion attacks,” said a press release.
Originally an arm of the US Air Force, the UFFS became an independent organization at the end of last year. With a mandate to protect the interests of the US in space and accelerate the development of new military space capabilities, the UFFS demands a robust security system.
Per Xage, the blockchain-protected protocol will distribute and decentralize UFFS data ensuring against single points of failure. As such, even in the case of compromised or disconnected ground resources, UFFS satellites in space will continue to function.
“The USSF requires decentralized enforcement of security to establish space domain resilience and objective situational awareness––across every asset and data element,” Xage CEO Duncan Greatwood said, in a statement. “We built the Xage solution to serve the needs of complex critical infrastructure systems, and are excited to bring the Xage solution to the Space Force in the form of a blockchain-protected space system security,” he added.
It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for blockchain.
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