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Coinlist (avc.com)
138 points by ttam on May 20, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 77 comments

I think the blockchains now are like the internet was in '95. Besides BTC's proof of work consensus algorithm the majority of the rest of technologies are in alpha/beta stages, ready to launch sometimes next year: proof of stake algos, smart contracts, blockchain based computing, the lightning network, most of the governments not knowing how to treat the crypto economy, etc.

While the market capitalization grew from 20 billion usd, close to 70 billion this year alone, I think the big growth will start next year, when some of these technologies will reach the production ready phase.

As a technologist, I wouldn't forgive it to me, in say 10 years, that I didn't tried to ride the blockchain train if it becomes mainstream.

I used the internet in '95. It was awesome: I played Trade Wars with my friends. I received and sent email with Juno. I chatted with random strangers on BBSes (a few were super weird, but whatevs).

Despite the limited options and the slowness of my 28k baud modem, the internet in '95 still fulfilled my needs for entertainment, communication and socialization. Blockchain today doesn't fulfill any human needs.

> Blockchain today doesn't fulfill any human needs.

I am more than happy to disagree with that. Bitcoin is a monetary system that is fully independent of any existing financial system, and it's super robust. It's a great hedge against the existing financial system.

It offers permanent, irreversible settlement in under an hour, with payments to anywhere in the world. It offers irreversible logging and time-stamping, in a way that is programmatic and accessible. People are using this today, every day and gaining value out of it.

It's money that you can own without anyone realizing that you have it. Including oppressive governments. It's money that can't be seized. It's money that can't be censored. You balance can't be frozen because PayPal wants to run an investigation, or found some tiny ToS violation.

Bitcoin has a huge amount of value that a lot of people are actively making use of. If you can't see that, it's either because you don't understand, or because you are outside the group of people who benefit from this truly unique money.

Can you share anything about how BitCoin has met any of your specific needs (without violating your privacy or anything, no pressure).

It all sounds great, in theory. I'm more interested in how it works out in practice though.

I've had my credit card frozen while traveling abroad. Was able to get by on bitcoin.

I've gotten refunds for things like plane tickets in bitcoin too. Way easier than setting up bank stuff or proving mailing addresses for checks, or going through the hassle of having them pick your flights, etc.

These are all first world use cases though. I also keep Bitcoin in case of substantial problems. The financial system melting, war, discrimination, or political change that might threaten the life I lead.

It also gives me independence in a way you can't get anywhere else. The US uses it's status as the world's reserve currency to make a lot of political moves. The USD is a huge engine for pushing US agenda. Bitcoin operates outside of that, and this is something I find valuable, and it makes it easier for me to sleep at night.

Thanks much, this feels like a much better line of reasoning to reach people like me!

Which airline refunds via BitCoin?

> It offers permanent, irreversible settlement in under an hour

I assume that's only true for those willing to pay higher transaction fees. Otherwise, it seems the transaction backlog is growing again. 165,00 as of May 12.


Exactly. One of my eternal questions about shiny new technologies is, "Great, but who's getting value from it on a daily basis?"

I keep asking this about Bitcoin, et al. For 6 years I've been getting, "Oh, it's just about to take off! You'll see soon!"

The Internet was definitely delivering value daily by 1990. It wasn't just a technological curiosity. Email, Usenet, mailing lists, file transfer, remote computing: all providing the sort of benefits that let researchers and academics justify paying to connect up.

I think cryptocurrencies and blockchains are technologically neat, and I appreciate them on that level. But neat technology doesn't always end up being useful.

The raison d'être of Bitcoin is that it makes the entire banking infrastructure (ie. the equivalent of the huge settlement industry currently in place to keep global finance running) accessible to everyone with a smartphone and internet access. Or think of it like this: Before the internet the knowledge you had access to depended mainly on the people and libraries around you. With the internet you gained access to all the knowledge in the world. Blockchains are doing the same with regards to the accessibility of financial resources and services.

Again, I understand the theory of Bitcoin. What I'm pointing out is that the actual use of Bitcoin does not yet appear to support the theory.

Here you are basically reiterating the metaphor "the blockchain is like the Internet was back in the day". Since that's what I was responding to, I already am familiar with the metaphor. Repeating it doesn't help me.

What I'm saying is that for the metaphor to be useful in terms of evaluating the commercial/societal impact of a technology, I want to see evidence of utility that is similar to what we could see for the early Internet.

So who do you believe the early vanguard is? Who is actually getting value? Who are the people previously isolated from global finance that are now making daily or at least weekly transactions?

I see you're already aware of M-Pesa, which is only a couple of years older than Bitcoin. But M-Pesa has, per CNN, "30 million users in 10 countries and a range of services including international transfers, loans, and health provision. The system processed around 6 billion transactions in 2016 at a peak rate of 529 per second." Bitcoin's numbers are orders of magnitude smaller, and it's my impression that it would be much smaller still if we subtracted the speculative transactions to match what people use M-Pesa for.

The most important (legal) use case is probably as an alternative to international wire transfers or services like Western Union. There are a few startups in this space, like luno or localbitcoins.

Apparently I'm not being clear here. I understand the theory. I am looking for proof of actual daily use among specific groups of real-world users. And by real-world, I mean people who are not in it for the tech, but just regular people who are doing it because it's the best solution for their needs.

That startups exist doesn't prove anything about use. What I'm looking for is traction.

I found a good article that you might be interested in: https://www.saveonsend.com/blog/bitcoin-money-transfer/ (make sure to read the comments as well for some actual use cases!) Growth in usage for international remittances indeed seems to be minimal. An important takeway from the article is that changes to people's behaviours take much much longer than we usually expect. In the countries mentioned, people still rely on cash agents rather than using the available (and cheaper) online banking tools. A similar story can be observed in e-commerce. 25 years after the invention of the WWW e-commerce has only reached 10% of all sales. A similar development can be expected when consumers are changing their banking behaviours. These things take a lot of time.

Now, regarding actual demand for blockchain assets (outside of speculation): Previous price rallies in 2016 were most likely caused by the Chinese as a method for capital flight ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-02/bitcoin-surges-abov... ). Another recent surge in ethereum prices was caused by more and more ICOs, which use ethereum as way to crowdfund their project. So those two I believe are currently the most important sources of demand: Tax evasion / capital flight and funds raising.

Except for the unfortunate fact that the only parts of the banking infrastructure that people actual care about in daily life are already accessible via smartphone and internet. Once again, this reduces to a solution in search of a problem.

The full suite of banking services that are accessible to you (sending money to any person in any country, buying shares, investing in funds, mortgages, insurance, etc.) are accessible to fewer people than you might think. Most people from Africa, Asia and South America don't have access to such services. Access to a deposit account provided by their local phone company is just starting to become widespread (eg. MPesa).

People in Africa and Asia actually have access to better and more ubiquitous direct payment mechanisms that I do here in western Europe. Those systems happen to run through telcos and the phone networks, but they work well and are available to billions of people. These technologies get the job done and show that there is no need for blockchain tech in this arena. Please try again.

Deposit accounts just cover a fraction of the financial services we regularly use in the developed world. They still lack retirement schemes, insurance and investment funds, etc. Blockchains (due to working in a trustless environment) could make these services possible in countries lacking the required settlement infrastructure and legal frameworks. The services provided by their telcos are also usually limited to a deposit account in the local currency. They don't provide access to international financial markets, ie. they can't invest in a retirement fund in London or buy Euros. And just like the internet allowed hackers to access information that their government censored, blockchains give people access to financial assets which their government could previously restrict.

If you're a plaintain farmer in Ethiopia and are already doing payments with your phone, blockchains are low on my list of missing links for participating in a well-diversified & feature-rich UK-based retirement plan software as a service.

Why not? It might help them save some of their funds for retirement. But what could be even more valuable to an Ethiopian farmer is access to a futures market. Then he could hedge the price risk for his crops.

The Internet was definitely delivering value daily by 1990

Yes, the Internet was delivering daily value in 1990, but only to a very, very small group of users. I was in grad school then, but the Internet was not a factor in my environment. Networking was carrying floppies from here to there.

Same thing with cryptocurrencies. It's delivering value to a small group of users, though that group is much more than the small group served by the Internet in 1990. Mining and trading in cryptocurrencies have millions for some, so it's serving them well.

Mining and trading do not create value. Like speculation in other commodities, it's basically gambling. Except that the markets for, say, oil futures let people buy insurance to mitigate risks in the underlying commodity that they don't want to take. But since Bitcoin doesn't have a similar underlying value yet, the speculation can't be justified as possibly creating value.

The one group I have to admit is getting value from Bitcoin is criminals. E.g., it's the technology of choice for ransomware. But that just doesn't strike me as a use case that will help Bitcoin cross the chasm.

The answer is simple.

They created an artificial gold rush so they could sell shovels.

Bitcoin is most useful as an alternative to awful systems like Western Union. The rest of these systems seem to be research projects at this stage. Not saying they won't mature, but they're not like the Internet in 95. More like the Internet in 75.

Ok. Who's using it as an alternative to Western Union today on a regular basis? I live in a city, SF, that has plenty of signs up to attract people sending money back to their family back home. But I've never seen a single sign getting people to use Bitcoin for that.

It's certainly possible that Bitcoin is like the Internet was in 1975. But at that point, they hadn't even invented TCP/IP, which came in '82. At that point, ARPANET was just one of many approaches to networking, including BITNET, Merit Network, Tymnet, and Telenet. Not to mention the circuit-switched networks that were probably dominant in revenue terms. It seems totally plausible to me that Bitcoin and/or blockchains could end up as a similar "people used it for a little while but it's hard to remember why" thing.

Or, worse, it could end up like the OSI protocol stack: a collection of exciting ideas that nobody ever really got working to deliver much value in the real world.

> all providing the sort of benefits that let researchers and academics justify paying to connect up.

Well you could say the same about Bitcoin as it's current price comes from people willing to buy Bitcoin using their USDs.

How many people paid an ISP in the hope that someone would pay them more for their account at a later date?

If you're buying bitcoin because of some utility it offers you beyond speculation, the price doesn't really matter. You just exchange one monetary denomination for another and do whatever you plan to do with it.

When you buy something like an internet connection or any other good or service you perform a cost benefit analysis. For example, if internet connections were 100x their current price, many fewer people would have one.(And interestingly for a network like the internet, the higher the cost to access, the less users, and thus less useful because of the network effect.)

Perhaps this isn't on the same scale as the internet in the nineties but there are needs being met with this tech. I pay contractors in bitcoin. It saves on transaction fees and is really easy to do. It is especially useful for international payments.

It's funny that the examples you mentioned don't fulfill any human needs either. Why is the market cap 70 Billion? Because humans love to speculate. Couldn't that be called a human need?

I think one of the really good applications of blockchain technology, is to build a system superior to DNS: https://ens.domains/ The names are assigned in automated way, based on the highest bid. The name auction is run by a piece of code (which you can see here: https://github.com/ethereum/ens/blob/master/contracts/HashRe...). All domain name businesses (like Godaddy) could be automated away by a piece of code. That seems powerful to me.

I remember the internet in '95 and it sucked. The modem was loud as hell, everything took forever to load, there was very little content, and my parents would yell at me when they wanted to make a phone call.

I do not remember having any of those problems when using Internet at work.

Smart contracts are in Bitcoin from the very beginning: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Contract

What did change that made blockchains production ready?

Please stop pumping little mini Ponzi ICO's. Please stop shoving new tokens to get rich under the guise of "anti-spam." Please stop trying to get rich on tokens. Storj and it's stupid token preceded this stupid token.

Blockchains are useful for an extremely limited set of circumstances. They enhance trust at extreme throughput and expense. If you can solve trust almost any other way, its better. disclaimer, I'm long as fuck bitcoin, however I know that it's still risky, and has a rather unaddressed lists of vulnerabilities in it's wiki, and has very limited use cases beyond emergent ponzi value.

That being said, creating a digital scarcity to act as functional proxy for human productivity, thus money, is hampered by every new shitcoin. Digital scarcity can be ruined for a couple decades, and every new shitcoin enhances that negative outcome. Utility before pump and dump please.

Here's some pricing. Storj is used here for "filecoin" appears to not yet have a price.

  | Provider                      | $/GB/Month | $/GB |
  | Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage    | 0.5¢       | 2¢   |
  | Amazon S3 Storage             | 2.1¢       | 5¢   |
  | Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage | 2.2¢       | 5¢   |
  | Google Cloud Storage          | 2.6¢       | 8¢   |
  | Storj                         | 1.5¢       | 5¢   |

I guess some years ago you were calling Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme. HN has always been hard to change minds on this.

HN really needs to start cracking down on the coin pumping, out right ponzis have no place here.

If you think particular submissions are inappropriate for HN, flag them. If you think particular comments are inappropriate for HN, downvote them. Similarly, up-vote submissions and comments you believe are substantive and contribute meaningfully. Each of us plays a role in curating HN.

100% agreed

> creating a digital scarcity to act as functional proxy for human productivity, thus money, is hampered by every new shitcoin

This seems contradictory to me. Anyone can create a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. If people exercising that ability hurts scarcity, is there really any scarcity in the first place?

It sounds like you want to simulate scarcity through a gentleman's agreement, but it's not clear why the the creators of these "shitcoins" would cooperate.

All currencies are an agreed upon abstraction of estimated future value. Some are less gentlemanly than others (inflation gives more value to the people that receive the money first in the money multiplier cycle.) Inflating digital scarcity by creating endless new liquidity pools which are not fungible with the largest liquidity pool reduces consensus, liquidity, and cooperation. The trade is in the hopes that the other projects create something useful and good beyond their liquidity/currency value. So far, they've caused more harm than good. You can fork technolgy and lower margins to 0, you can't fork network effect/adoption which is why VC's care so very much for network effect in their investments. It's one of the few ways to beat a billion dollars out of a capitalist society built to reduce margins and pricing power over time.

Thus, it's amazing that digital scarcity is working at all, it was tried and failed before with Chaumian cash, this one is working, but it could driven to failure be endless fragmentation, or at least slowed greatly. Speaking a common language is great. Fungibility is great.

If you are building awesome tech, do it, you don't need a "new" token to side step fundraising regulations. This idea that you can avoid securities law by offering securities but calling them "coins" is pretty silly.

Investing in token sales shouldn’t just have the potential for profit, it should also be simple, understandable, and enjoyable. It’s time to take token sales mainstream.

- coinlist homepage

Because there isn't enough speculation in the space already. Wonder when this bubble pops?

The pitch must have been something like "did you know that there are over 800 coins listed on Coin Market Cap and that 795 of them are nothing more than vehicles for speculation. What if...what if we created a platform which allowed us to launch the next line of speculation?"

The person in the meeting who asked about practical use and societal benefit got overruled pretty quickly because all the VCs saw was $$$.

Also, this isn't taking token sales mainstream, token sales are already mainstream. This is making token sales available to the privileged (accredited investors) before they are available to the public.

On the plus side, token sales are actually mainstream - so companies will actually be able to choose this hacked together version of the old public securities model and controlling their own destiny via DAOs and, well, simply setting up shop outside of the US. Choice is a good thing for companies, and it's a clever compromise - but if the only way VCs can invest is with hacks like this, I'm not feeling bullish on America's chance of participating in this new economy.

I don't know how you consider token sales mainstream. I wrote a post explaining how difficult it is to participate in a token sale. www.arilewis.com/blog/2017/5/15/my-mom-cant-buy-an-ico

It's very plausible that there could be a bubble, but just to give some context, the cryptocurrency market is valued at $68 billion dollars. The Bloomberg US Internet Index went from $2.948 trillion at its peak to $1.193 trillion. We are nowhere those types of valuations.

Sure, but the internet at its peak was providing _real_ goods and services, not just a _financial_ service.

Yes! A VC telling us that bypassing VCs and enabling people to invest in what they want directly is bad. News at 11.

But no, you see, they are worried about SEC compliance. Aren't you glad VCs are looking out for your interests?

@aaron-lebo: How will liquidation work for tokens offered during ICO at forums like CoinList? Will the concept same as 1. shutdown 2. M&A 3. IPO of offering companies ?

Is there some sort of aggregator for these early crypto offerings? Still kicking myself for not participating in the Ethereum pre-sale after a friend linked it to me and I just wrote it off completely. Love me some gambling.

Check the bitcointalk forums. There are lots of altcoin announcement threads. Most are absolute drek and not worth your time, and most of the comments are people deceiving others or themselves by engaging in pumping/bashing. I scanned those a little more when I started, but they're awfully crowded now.

I think GP means an aggregating fund, not a news aggregator.

Is there a mining aggregator? I've got a few decent GPUs around, enough to mine a couple hundred bucks worth of, eg Monero a month. I'd love to run a script to automatically jump in on new coins where GPU mining is feasible. Not the most profitable at the moment, but more like speculation. Am I stuck with dredging through news and manually mining each one?

Next one is MobileGO ICO which closes in like 3 days.. has raised the most so far in ICO than any other coin..

Check out TokenMarket [1], it might serve your need.

[1] https://tokenmarket.net/ico-calendar

Looks like there are at least three semi serious storage related blockchains: sia, filecoin and storj.

Are any of these reasonable to actually use at this point? It looks like siacoin doesn't actually allow for true backups yet. Filecoin hasn't launched. Haven't looked into storj much yet.

None of them are ready to use in a serious capacity yet. However, Sia's network has been live for 2 years now, and people are forming smart contracts, getting paid to host data, and backing up real files on the network. The fundamentals are solid -- it's just Bitcoin with one extra transaction type -- but there's a lot of potential left to be explored.

Based on the Filecoin announcement, they are building something very similar to Sia. It appears to depart from traditional Bitcoin proof-of-work consensus though. I'm looking forward to reading their whitepaper.

Disclaimer: I'm one of the co-founders of Sia.

I was under the impression that you can't currently recover your files from a seed on sia. Is that correct?

I was also wondering if siacoin is LN compatible. Can you speak to that? It looks like there is something similar up, but will I be able to pay for storage with any other LN compatible coin?

I'd have loved to see the value of coins like these that are supposed to provide a specific economic utility have their value essentially determined by it. For instance you could simply mint new bitseconds * mining efficiency each time that someone issues a proof of storage over a given time period. This way the value of bitseconds shouldn't never go above the real price for storage over time.

Obviously you'd need to set the mining efficiency below 1 to encourage people to actually store user files, or else it'd always be more profitable to just store for the mining rewards.

Sia to the moon?

Once upon a time I stumbled upon vitalik's post 'Secret Sharing and Erasure Coding: A Guide for the Aspiring Dropbox Decentralizer'[1] and thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. I think storj is a working implementation of that (more or less).


This article is about how Juan Benet's Protocol Labs is getting into cryptocurrencies to fund protocol development. The basic idea seems be that a new protocol will have a cryptocurrency attached to it that will capture some of the value the protocol provides, and this will provide funds for developing additional new protocols.

In addition, if I understand it correctly, they are developing a way of making investing in the development of new protocols into securities that ordinary people can buy, instead of raising funds from VC's.


If you like to follow good blockchain progress to move beyond proof of work take a look at https://dfinity.network using threshold relay chains.

It's too weird and obscure to become a tech bubble, but making "pre-purchasing new digital coins" easier is not something I would support or encourage in any way.

I get (and agree) with your point but aren't they making it harder than other coins here by limiting the pre-sale to accredited investors?

How is this meaningfully different than Siacoin et al?

coinlist announces SAFT - Simple Agreement for Future Tokens, inspired by YC Safe! https://coinlist.co/about/help/saft/

anybody know why this is generally relevant w.r.t the regulatory landscape around bitcoins ?

there is something odd about a new modern company like this not using SSD drives https://coinlist.co/static/media/landing.6efaa9c2.png

CoinList uses this background photo b/c those HDDs are shiny like silver coins.

The actual representation of tokens as a uint256 variable in Solidity contract is not as sexy ;)

Can't wait for the SEC to come in and crack down on the crypto space.


Calm down folks, Coinlist is not for you (and not for me):


They require you to be an accredited investor. For those who don't know what it is:

It's the single biggest reason why rich become richer and the rest stay the same. In short, you have to have at least $200k yearly income (per individual) or $1M liquid net worth in order to be an accredited investor according to SEC.

I hate so much this regulation! Just because of some retarded voters can't realize risks they taking, the rest must be out of all sweet deals angels and VCs are making.

What the government tells you: stay where you are or invest in crappy index fund and it takes you about 23 years to get $1M if you invest $1000 each single month and every single year index grow 10% which never happens by the way.

I'm so so glad that first time in history the government forgot to put their heavy hand and I had a chance to invest in Ripple before Google Ventures did. So now, for the first time in my entire life, I'm enjoying the same rate of grow as Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

So folks enjoy the crypto-party, dance till music stops!

It won't last long before the government with support from leftists impose new regulations when a few retards lose their money in obviously scammy ICOs.

Google ventures bought a share of ripple labs. Sounds like you sunk money into useless and worthless ripple coins which are currently in a pump and dump due to there low float and majority control by a few insiders. You are invested in the penny stock of cryptocurrencies. I hope it ends well for you but I doubt it will.

> useless and worthless ripple coins


Can you find anyplace in that doc where it shows an individual being able to send ripple. It's a banking platform unless you are a bank xrp has no value.

I love how you believe that the government is standing in the way of you making a fortune investing. That's precisely why the laws exist. How quickly we forget average peoples buying million dollar homes without understanding the basics of interest rates.

> How quickly we forget average peoples buying million dollar homes without understanding the basics of interest rates.

If they are so stupid to buy a million dollar home without even having income (NINJA loans), it doesn't mean I must be out of all possible deals I can make.

And yes, by sharply increasing the barrier of entry, the government effectively standing in the way of me of making a fortune!

I'm not saying that I definitely make a fortune if there is no such requirement. I'm saying my chances would be significantly better (by the way, it doesn't imply that chances would be big, it's would be just better).

Unlike leftists, I never asking any help from the government. I never dare to think that rich owe me money! I never dare to blame the government if I lose my money in risky investment!

May be I'm sound aggressive but unlike leftists I'm super peaceful since I don't think anybody owe me anything!

I just want the government leave me alone.

I'm assuming US regulation is not much different than Swiss regulation here but nobody is ultimately stopping you from investing in those companies. You can invest in any company you like and as much as you like it's just that you can't do it through an intermediary like coinlist. But if you ask the founders for shares they could offer you as many as they like. It might not be worth the extra work for small investments but it's not impossible for you to invest. The purpose of such laws isn't to keep out small investors from lucrative deals - VCs would profit the most if small investors could participate as well and massively drive up the price. The intent of such laws is to create a more thorough funding process which makes financing rounds less lucrative and less likely to succeed for scammers.

> Unlike leftists, I never asking any help from the government. I never dare to think that rich owe me money! I never dare to blame the government if I lose my money in risky investment!

I do not agree that denying help from others is a virtue.

Let's say you have health issues and need medical treatment that costs thousands of dollars, but you don't have them right now because of life circumstances. Wouldn't you agree that you would benefit from a government that pays for your medical treatment?

Or would you just say "Oh bad, didn't consider that. My fault, that I am fucked now. Well. That's life."

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