Bitcoin Trends In The First Half of 2015

Our portfolio company Coinbase published a “Bitcoin Trends” blog post yesterday. It’s a quick and interesting read.

Here are my two favorite charts from it:

I’ve said this before and I will say it again, the exchange price of Bitcoin is not the most important number to look at. The things to look at are transaction volume on the network and developer adoption. On these two metrics, Bitcoin seems to be doing quite well.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Twain Twain

    The question is whether consumer adoption will match developer adoption.How did Facebook and Pinterest take off? Adoption by…WOMEN due to ease of use, functional utility as well as social engagement.Great article in the FT on the challenges for Bitcoin-Blockchain wrt crossing over the consumer chasm:*…Bitcoin-Blockchain is on my list of “things to make” with focus on (1.) and (2.).(1.) Human+Machine intelligent system.(2.) Social retail IoT with gestures.(3.) NO MORE WIRES!!!(4.) Virtual environment for consumer space simulations, based on a space-mining idea I did in Stanford Venture Lab back in 2012 BEFORE it was reported space mining has $100 trillion potential last week:*…(5.) Mesh network.(6.) Bitcoin-Blockchain.

    1. JamesHRH

      Cannot think of a more male idea than bitcoin.

      1. Shalabh

        I see it as more of an idea that excites geeks more than normal folks. I don’t think it has much to do with gender.Yes there are more active male devs than female devs, which may be causing the appearance that Bitcoin is more of a male idea.The truth is it is uninteresting to vast majority of both genders. But this is not a deterrent for Bitcoin. Most people don’t understand how money and currency exchange rate work, that hasn’t stopped anyone from using it.

      2. Twain Twain

        Oh there are two MUCH MUCH more male ideas than Bitcoin-Blockchain.(1.) The idea our intelligence, including our language, is mathematical which then affects Machine Intelligence and its ability to understand Natural Language as well as affecting our economic systems.(2.) The idea that the conscious atoms of the Universe just follows male quantum mechanics. This is why Einstein’s theory of relativity is comparatively female.Hence why Quantum Mechanics and Relativity are two different creatures and why none of those brainiac male astrophysicists and mathematicians have been able to cohere the two models yet.LOL!Hence why, as a intelligent woman, I apply my knowhow to solve the BIG, HARD problem of Human+Machine Intelligence before I do anything in Bitcoin-Blockchain.If Bitcoin-Blockchain fails, no one dies.If we don’t enable the machines to understand our language, values & cultures…=> MACHINES WIPE OUT HUMANS & OUR ECONOMY.The global financial crisis already showed us how stupid the machines and algorithms are.The Bitcoin-Blockchain won’t necessarily increase the intelligence. It just makes processing bits of information more transparent and efficient.

  2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Beauty of exponents is that while you see constant growth rates – you do not know the future and cannot project “the hockey stick” -So I wonder…Has the block-chain already taken off – or will we look back on current activity as part of the flat dull run-up level of interest before it really takes flight ?

    1. sigmaalgebra

      To try to predict what BitCoin and related efforts might do, I’d want first to understand the market, e.g., who wants to buy with BitCoin and who wants to sell and get paid with it.If that market looks good and is working, then it has one heck of a good network effect as in (A) so many sellers want to accept BitCoin because so many buyers want to pay with it and (B) so many buyers want to pay with it because so many sellers accept it. E.g., each seller that accepts BitCoin no doubt lets all their customers know this fact, and each customer knows when they hear the same fact from several sellers.So, roughly, first cut, the rate of growth will be proportional to both the number of happy customers paying with BitCoin and the number of potential customers in the total market not yet paying with it yet. Then the growth of BitCoin will be a lazy S curve from the solution of the simple differential equationy'(t) = k y(t) ( b – y(t) )for time t, the size y(t) of BitCoin at time t, the total size of the market b, and some constant k. So, just from freshman calculus, there is a simple closed form solution. Tweak k to get the growth to fit the history so far.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Thanks – My concern is more that even with trivial curve fitting as you describe, there is no certainty that the mapping between observed phenomena and model parameters is relevant (and if it is for how long).For example your model assumed a single market place. In fact there are many and the sum of n S curves that each have different parameters may take any monotonic form.As soon as you assume that some people will also cease to use bitcoin eg by dying, this model becomes even less useful.However I would contend that a period of acceleration is likely – but for how long and when peak second differential occurs and indeed the timing of a likely inflexion you refer to, I have no idea – and importantly nor does anyone else.If they did the future value would have been arbitraged as is obviously not the case.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          My concern is more that even with trivial curve fitting as you describe, there is no certainty that the mapping between observed phenomena and model parameters is relevant (and if it is for how long). To get a first-cut view of the S-curves we are talking about here, see the attached graph Growth Scenarios with several such curves. For this graph (given below), I took the mathematical answer I found, wrote a little code, generated data for several curves, pulled the data into an old copy of Excel, and had Excel draw the graphs and export the results to PhotoDraw which saved the results as a PNG file.Yes, I tried to have Excel do the arithmetic for the curves, but poor Excel choked, got slow, etc. and essentially died. Poor little Excel! So, for the arithmetic I wrote a little code, in the old interpretive language Rexx. For the function exp that is needed (see below), Rexx has one, likely from calling the one in C. The Rexx code ran right away, IIRC, before I could get my finger off the enter key. Then Excel effortlessly imported the data and drew the graph — essentially instantly. Lesson: Don’t try to do much arithmetic in Excel!Is there “certainty” here? You are correct: there isn’t.Uh, for when you find some certainty in the real world, please have me at the top of the list to be notified. I will take your call! Right: Death and taxes. In a community property state and with no pre-nup, gold diggers file for divorce and want a generous monthly allowance, the BMW 7 series, the kids, financial support for the kids, the golden retriever, the house, and all its contents. You get keep the WWII style Jeep and the restored Corvette. No one can tell what a woman will do next. I know about those. Other than those!But neither is this analysis really “curve fitting”. Instead, we can look at this work as an example of the framework, methodology described in…with the attached cartoon Decision Land. For how that methodology goes:FormulationSo, as in the cartoon, our real question is how will BitCoin, or whatever we are measuring about it, grow?Or, let us use notation:t — timey(t) — size of what we are measuring about BitCoin adoption at time tb — total size of the market that is involvedk — a constant to be determinedThen, as in the cartoon, to go logically from this real question to a mathematical question, we do a formulation of our math question, that is, make assumptions, that we can argue about, for our math:(1) Assume that t = 0 corresponds to the current time.(2) Assume, as you noted, that over the time interval of our analysis the fraction of users who are born or die is small enough to neglect.Then at time t, we have both (A) current usage y(t) and (B), call it, potential usage which is( b – y(t) ).We assume that we have reasonably accurate numerical values for both the current usage y(0) and the usage from the total market, that is, usage b.Yes, for b, we need to have some understanding of the market we are talking about; if we are to take BitCoin seriously, then we need to have some understanding of a market. Somewhere we do, right?So, we can see that really our work is essentially to interpolate, over time, between y(0) and b.(3) Assume that (A) both the current usage y(t) and the potential usage ( b – y(t) ) are directly proportional to the number of current users and the number of, say, potential users, and that (B) this proportionality does not change over time.(4) Assume that the growth is due to communications, directly or indirectly, about BitCoin from the current users to the potential users.In particular, assume that the rate of growth y'(t), that is, the calculus first derivative of y(t) with respect to time t, is directly proportional to both the current usage y(t) and the potential usage ( b – y(t) ), that is, essentially, to both the number of current users talking and the number of potential users listening.(5) Assume that y(t) is differentiable.Mathematical QuestionSo, for some constant k, we havey'(t) = k y(t) ( b – y(t) )Again, we have numerical values for y(0) and b.So, as in, say,Earl A. Coddington, An Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations,we have an initial value problem for a first order, linear, ordinary differential equation. This description, while true, is essentially over-kill because a mathematical answer needs just freshman calculus.Mathematical AnswerThen, from calculus, y(t) = y(0)b exp(bkt)/(y(0)(exp(bkt)-1)+b)Each curve in the attached graph Growth Scenarios is from one candidate value of the constant of proportionality k.The math and the computing are so solid that we have very high confidence that the mathematical answer is correct for the mathematical question and that the graph of the scenarios of the mathematical answer in Growth Scenarios is about as correct as such a simple graph can be — that is, we trust some simple software, Excel, PhotoDraw, and PNG.To pick a value for the constant k, use the growth record so far. This part would be a case of “fitting”.The result, then, is a mathematical answer that is an estimate of how the growth will go.To know how accurate the estimate is would need some more work beyond the scope so far.Real AnswerFor the real answer, we have to interpret the mathematical answer, e.g.:(A) The mathematical answer is a function that is continuous, differentiable, and even infinitely differentiable. The actual real growth will be discrete and not even continuous.(B) The real answer will be subject to fluctuations due to days of the weeks, news reports, legal actions, users getting married, divorced, rich, poor, sick, dying, new users coming of age and joining the market, etc.For your For example your model assumed a single market place. In fact there are many and the sum of n S curves that each have different parameters may take any monotonic form. yup. But, maybe, still, we are okay with an assumption that treating all the small markets — legal, illegal, transactions small, medium, large, domestic, international, etc. — as just one market is okay for the analysis here. And, really, we are freely talking about BitCoin, the blockchain, etc. and associated markets without being at all clear on what all the individual markets are. As we know there has been Silk Road I, Silk Road II, various sellers accepting BitCoin, maybe now some usage from the Greek financial crisis, maybe some usage from some of the Mideast chaos, maybe some usage from parts of the economy of Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, India, Mexico, etc. Yet, still, we freely discuss BitCoin and blockchain without details of all such markets.And, the main idea in the analysis is just essentially word of mouth virality or advertising, really, as here on AVC, and not particular to specific markets.So, maybe for the analysis here we don’t have to consider the details, which we don’t have, on specific markets.How else can we trust the mathematical answer?First-cut, we use some judgment.For more, we could do some experiments on sensitivity.For more, there is some history of such things working nicely well, at least from, say, 100,000 feet up. One of the old examples was the growth of TV sets — it followed just such an S-curve surprisingly well. Sure, there were various markets for TV sets — first time, B/W, for the living room, from vacuum tubes; color, from transistors; big screen; personal portable; etc. I’ve got three TV sets, each rock solid, sharp as a razor, outlast the Pyramids, but use only one of them and that just to play old movies on VCR on the way to sleep.Ah, last night Jar Jar Binks was such a doofus and Queen Amidala was so serious (Natalie Postman was one super serious teenage young woman) that I just turned the movie off and was asleep too soon to measure.For more, at one time this analysis pleased two guys from General Dynamics (GD) who were visiting at FedEx as GD was considering an equity investment. They and the rest of the BoD wanted some revenue projections, and I did the analysis and derivations here, with the SVP Planning picked a reasonable value of k, and drew the graph.The graph was presented at the next BoD meeting, and the two GD guys asked how the graph was found. For a few hours, the FedEx people at the meeting tried to answer and could not. The GD guys lost patience with FedEx, got plane reservations back to Texas, returned to their rented rooms, packed their bags, and as a last chance, returned to the FedEx HQ. FedEx was about to die. Meanwhile I’d gotten a phone call to come and explain. I did; the GD guys were happy and stayed; and FedEx was saved. The GD guys liked it.So, the lesson here really is as in the cartoon “Decision Land”. We can argue about the assumptions and interpretations, but for the logical connection from the real question to the real answer part of the connection uses some math and computing and is solid. Again, the rest we can argue about.With the whole argument, do we have “certainty”? Nope.Does this mean that we have to reject the argument? Well, if we do want a real answer, we reject this argument in favor of what? Just nothing? Not if we want a real answer.Are all such arguments just silly? Nope: Recently they were good enough to get to Pluto and send back clear pictures.For the “inflection”, sure, with this analysis, that’s when the number of potential users listening isn’t so big anymore. Can we have an idea just when this is? Sure: E.g., look at the graphs in the attached Growth Scenarios or, from the estimated value for k, just take the second derivative of the solution and see where it is zero. How else to find the inflection?

          1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            Wow – Really like the effort and the argument (and the cartoon).If you get bogged down in Excel and like paying with real data R-Statistics is a great language tool for this sort of curve fitting etc.Anyway for the effort – Respect (and FWIW I broadly agree with your conclusions)Re *Infection* – have you noticed that there seems to be a total misunderstanding of what it means amongst VC lay statisticians who like to talk BS

  3. Shalabh

    After yesterday’s ‘zero hand’ tweet by Dan Primack, I was sure Fred is going to blog about Bitcoin today :-). I agree those are the two most important metrics. Looking forward to reading comments with contrary view points.

    1. fredwilson

      There were zero hands for Twitter in 2007 and Etay in 2006 and Kickstarter in 2009. Zero hands in a room of VCs is the single best bullish indicator I know of. VCs are sheep being herded by hype

      1. Shalabh

        I couldn’t agree more. There were zero hands for AirBnB too. If you see something that others don’t, those are some of the most lucrative investments, specially from a VC strategy POV.

        1. fredwilson

          As I have self reported and also allowed Paul Graham to publicly post his emails with me on Airbnb, I was one of those hands that did not go up on Airbnb. As the name of this blog suggests I am a VC and guilty of VC behavior too

          1. Shalabh

            I was not implying that. Anyway most truly disruptive ideas seem too weird to be successful. So I won’t take this against any VC including you Fred 🙂

          2. LE

            The only mistake, if you want to call it that, that you made with airbnb was not listening and understanding the younger members on your team who (from what you said in a post iirc) were in favor of the idea.In no way can you beat yourself up for missing any investment, even airbnb, since the same gut has helped you avoid ideas that never panned out as well. Many more than ones that you passed on I am guessing.I would never think airbnb would work either. Certainly not on as large of a scale as it has. I can’t wrap my head around renting out a room in my place (regardless of money) and I don’t like staying in people’s homes. Period. The security issues alone to me are a non starter.But perhaps if I had young people telling me their thoughts in a convincing and convicted way, backed up with data or a trove of anecdotes I would. Maybe. Not definitely. And they would have to do it in a way that was convincing, not just “we think it’s good and we would use it”.Conclusion: If you are not winning you are not gambling enough. However if you are not passing on investments that worked and that you missed you are probably spreading money over to many investments and therefore you aren’t an investor, are you?

          3. sigmaalgebra

            AirBnB: Maybe they continually track the reputation, behavior, etc. of both the renters and the owners, each one by one. Maybe that’s how they made the situation reasonably safe. Maybe. If so, then that point would have been crucial in the planning and investment proposal.

      2. LIAD

        …from a few hours ago…

        1. awaldstein

          YupTrue for Twitter for certain. Not true for Facebook from a connecting power point of view.

        2. fredwilson

          When you have operated in the world we have operated in for a couple decades you learn a thing or two

        3. Twain Twain

          Pattern recognition by investors broadly follows this.They fit all the data points under the normal distribution curve.They may focus on the “Long Tail” and completely miss the outliers beyond the curve that are the exceptional returns.Not the fault of investors.It’s the fault of the mathematicians for not having had the imagination to invent something better than the existing Probability & Stats tools for people, including investors.Let’s say there may be some crazy mathematicians out there who are super-contrarian…

          1. Girish Mehta

            I think most investors know/recognize that venture returns follow a power law distribution rather than a normal distribution….power law distribution has a ‘fatter tail’ relative to a normal distribution.

          2. Twain Twain

            None of the existing curves are en pointe.However, there is this super-cool one from Peter Thiel I quite like.

        4. LE

          That is a version of what Paul Graham has said something like “all the obvious and easy ideas have been done already” (I can’t find the exact essay).

          1. LIAD

            many have said it. just like reid’s language and his timing

        5. Richard

          One has to think that Tesla will be the Wikipedia example for this?

      3. kirklove

        Oh snap!

      4. LE

        Well at least they were right about “ETAY” (sic)!!

      5. Jess Bachman

        Sounds like a fun investment thesis.

      6. sigmaalgebra

        > VCs are sheep being herded by hypeBut, but, but, what about their “deep domain knowledge” they got from looking at 9 foil pitch decks with 35 point fonts?

      7. pointsnfigures

        Ain’t that the truth.

    2. Jess Bachman

      Im lost, whats this ‘zero hand’ think people keep mentioning. Can’t find Primacks tweet either.

        1. Jess Bachman

          LOL, I thought it was some investment term. Explains why googling “zero hands” turned up short. Thanks.

          1. Shalabh

            Lol. Been there!

  4. JimHirshfield

    Hockey stick

  5. kidmercury

    the hater perspective:bitcoin transaction volume can be easily gamed. how about transaction fees, which point to miner compensation?…×pan=2year&scale=0&address=that chart is log scale 7 day moving average to help smooth it out and understand the trend. looks fairly neutral, though fanboys/girls can focus on the spike in the past month.remember that chart is priced in BTC; if we price in USD or any other nation state currency, it looks more like it is declining.

    1. Shalabh

      I like the idea of using transaction fees, which can less easily be gamed, however, fees is a function of total amount and not of no. of transactions.Even if the total amount hasn’t increased much, the no. of daily transactions is more telling of large scale adoption of Bitcoin.Also, converting the fees to any other currency will defeat the purpose of using transaction fees as a proxy for transaction volume. It starts getting affected by bitcoin price movements.

    2. ZekeV

      The recent spike in tx fees is more of a unique event. Someone spammed the network with a large number of low-value txs. Confirmation times went up significantly, and a market for confirmations started to develop — users voluntarily paying higher fees in an attempt to have their tx included in a block solution. So in some ways, the spike is a symptom of a problem. And from my perspective, a sign of healthy, self-repairing behavior by the network. It’s not really an indicator of “adoption” or anything so boring as that.

      1. fredwilson

        Yup. And the Coinbase blog post made that clear. I apologize for not mentioning that in my post

        1. Richard

          Long term, the lowest merchant transaction costs will rule the day. The competitive advantage over paypal may be that users are more likely to maintain a balance with coinbase, which should drive TX down further.

    3. Richard

      Inportant metric would seem to be vs early paypal

    4. pointsnfigures

      Trading volume on Bitcoin exchanges can be easily gamed as well-and I am sure it is.

  6. lynnerae

    Agree with the belief that price — at this point — is not the point. The underlying blockchain technology, and all that it represents, is the real driver here. I think the blockchain will be to global financial transactions what the internet has been to the global flow of information and communication.

  7. William Mougayar

    Bitcoin’s price has been relatively stable for all of 2015, and it’s a good thing to see volatility go down. Truth is the field is a huge R&D laboratory of ideas, startups and implementations by larger companies too.Sign that the blockchain is reaching mainstream is a Dilbert cartoon:

    1. Twain Twain

      Haha, that’s brilliant, thanks for sharing.Magenta, that’s got more RAM than mauve. Don’t ask how I know this!Blockchain, if it was to have a color, would be cerulean.

    2. kidmercury

      here’s a chart of bitcoin/USD exchange rate year to date:…price declined by 50% from peak to trough in this year. it rallied just under 50% from mid-june to mid-july.i suppose it is subjective, though personally i don’t think 50% swings in a year, let alone a month, constitutes stability.

      1. William Mougayar

        Ok, but relatively, aside from the 170$ dip, the fluctuation band has narrowed drastically.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Kid is correct. Affordability doesn’t mean stability. Bitcoin’s price trades more like onions.

          1. William Mougayar

            well, i’m happy with bitcoin’s price stability.

      2. William Mougayar

        Kid, the facts are that Bitcoin’s one-year price volatility has dropped to an all-time low of 57.4% — down from almost 150% early last year. Look at this chart.

        1. kidmercury

          Lol sure, bitcoin volatility has dropped from “heart attack inducing” to simply “shocking beyond belief.” When compared to the normal world of prices, only penny stocks have this type of volatility.

          1. William Mougayar

            OK. I’m glad I got you to admit that it has improved at least 😉

    3. Matt A. Myers

      Blockchain is really separate from Bitcoin though. There is a solid potential for blockchain, however for a currency I’m not sure.You’ve recently invested in a company that is built on top of Bitcoin, and you seem to really like what Vitalik is doing with Ethereum – I’m curious which you see more potential or value with?

      1. William Mougayar

        Both of them, i.e. Bitcoin related ones, and blockchain related business (non-Bitcoin specific).For Bitcoin, its blockchain works hand in hand with the currency. The mining is used to secure the network.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I’m not wondering about the technical aspect and value, I’m wondering what your take is on its other values and impact. It’s easy to be excited about technology facilitating something – even with some technological challenges that probably need to be solved – however if you ignore the other impacts a certain structure causes then you’re more or less tricking yourself.

      2. Sebastian Wain

        > Blockchain is really separate from Bitcoin though. There is a solid potential for blockchain, however for a currency I’m not sure.Paraphrasing my previous comment: there is a lot of potential for the currency via micropayment channels.

    4. Pascal Cuoq

      William, I have bad news: someone on the internet photoshoping a buzzword into a Dilbert cartoon does not make it mainstream.

      1. William Mougayar

        It’s a good step in that direction at least.

  8. JLM

    .There is no question that the number of daily transactions is a useful metric in gauging growth and in that regard one has to take note of and be encouraged by that trend. There is a bit of well deserved skepticism as it relates to the reliability of that information which should be evaporated with the passage of time. If this trend continues, then the suspicion as to the quality of the information is logically overcome.To put this in perspective, the NYSE processes about 4-5MM transactions daily with a value in excess of $50B. Not suggesting they are comparable or should be just providing a frame of reference as to “big” looks and feels like.I wonder what the nature of these increasing transactions are. What is bitcoin being used for? Or is it all just investment dithering and not really fueling underlying business?The demograpics of who is using bitcoin are also very interesting and I urge folks to follow Fred’s link and look at them.It is a day for bitcoin supporters to smile. And the skeptics to pay attention.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. ZekeV

      The tx volume is exact, not an estimate. However, it’s quite difficult to estimate the volume of real economic activity behind those tx. Blockchain tries to do this in a statistic they provide of tx volume (excluding certain known addresses). In this case, the spike in tx is most easily explained as a unique event due to some shenanigans on the network (see Fred’s comment below, and the explanation in Coinbase’s post).It’s a positive indicator to the extent it shows what *might* happen if the network reaches its bandwidth limits, and how that could be resolved organically.

      1. JLM

        .An exact accounting of bogus transactions is a bogus statistic, no?Angels? Pin heads?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. ZekeV

          No, it’s a factual number, how many records were created at a given block height. It means what it means. If you try to read too much into it, that’s where it becomes a statistic, and we all know the limits of statistics.

        2. LE

          Newspaper, blogger and media reporting of this will highlight the large numbers and the increase and then put in the classic “to be sure” sentence or paragraph calling into question the reliability of the numbers.Happening right now with Trumps disclosure of his 10 billion in assets.Trump: “I have 10 billion in Assets”Forbes: “We put him at 4 billion”Others: “We need to see how he arrived at that number before we call it valid”In any case the number 10 billion has gotten a great deal of play and will continue to do so. When the real number comes out (if it does) or the backup that will be buried on page 3 so to speak.You remember the Elton John song of course “and all the papers had to say was that Marilyn was found in the nude”.

          1. JLM

            .From my perspective, I don’t care if it’s a single billion. That is a lot of cheddar and the rat who assembled that much cheese has to be taken seriously by everyone who hasn’t done as well.He can still only eat two tacos at a time or a single burrito.Particularly, the Burnet Road Burrito–soft scrambled eggs, cheese, crumbled bacon, sausage bites and a mouth burning salsa.What I want to see is a schematic of the comb over.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. LE

            I know and all the people who make fun of Trump for bragging (and call him a clown) fail to realize how much money that bragging and hyperbole has made for him.But they also don’t realize his knowledge and attention to details that matter.He (and I really really really like this) is a detail oriented person who truly understands how things are built and is hands on. He got that from his father Fred. You know when I visited Trump tower recently I noticed that the girl in the lobby selling Trump products was keeping herself busy pretending to fold and arrange shirts when she didn’t need to do that. Instead of hanging there doing nothing (we are talking about a 20 foot counter here). No doubt that came down from Trump himself. Little details like that. And she was attractive as well. And nicely groomed. Light years away from “mall grade” help but in a “mall grade” job in a sense.Trump: “Know everything you can about what you are doing”:Later on, when I worked with him in his office, it was definitely more formal. He told me to “know everything you can about what you’re doing”. He was extremely knowledgeable and could even help out the carpenters. His four-step formula for success was simple: get in, get it done, get it done right and get out. He worked quickly but thoroughly, creating a brand with his developments. He had great integrity, which he believed was the best way to promote yourself.I didn’t agree with everything he said. I wanted to develop in Manhattan, which he couldn’t understand. He was satisfied with Brooklyn and Queens. I also wanted to build skyscrapers; in fact, I’d glue my building blocks together as a child in order to build them. When I built Trump Tower, he suggested I use brick instead of glassI had an electrician working in the attic who needed to replace some wires that an animal had removed the insulation on. (He would also eat any burritos up there I am sure). I told the electrician “I want the new wire in conduit not exposed I don’t want this problem again”. It amazed me that this house, built in 1988, near trees and in an area that clearly had animals would even run wire and not put it in conduit. That type of lack of attention to obvious details bothers me to no end. Same thing that happened when Verizon in the mid 90’s wanted to put in a T1 line in a building. They wanted to run the wire 200 feet through other units and leave it at that. I said “put it in conduit so I don’t have any problems with a worker cutting a line by mistake”. I knew enough to ask for them to do that. I am sure in the construction of your office building you have a 1000 examples just like that of things that you did that you didn’t have to do that made it better.

          3. JLM

            .I remember when Trump renovated the ice rink in Central Park. This has always been one of my favorite stories about private biz v public undertakings.The City of NY had screwed around for almost three years and spent $12MM. They just couldn’t get the damn job done. It was a disaster.Trump convinced Mayor Koch — who was no fan of Trump’s — to let him finish the job up. He proposed to use his own money and to be allowed to recoup his investment by operating it.He announced a $3MM budget and a 6 month schedule which the City said was unrealistic. Koch let him take a crack at it. It was pretty clear that Koch wanted Trump to fail.He was done in 2 1/2 months. Was almost a million dollars under budget.Talk about attention to detail. I remember him saying at a press conference — he had a boat load of press conferences — that the railings around the rink were the exact same as Aristotle Onassis yacht railings.He put his money where his mouth was and turned a failure into a huge triumph. There is a lot to dislike and find fault with about the man — but getting shit done under pressure and risking his own money is not one of them.He turned it into a marketing and branding triumph. The Zamboni had his name on it.Check me on the details on this story. I think it was 1986.Donald Trump is a doer. An obnoxious doer but a doer.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. LE

            Oh sure I remember the rink story.Trump is hyper-focused and understands all parts of the puzzle. So he knows what he can get people to do and can take issue with bullshit “can’t do that” type of answers. When I was in the printing business I knew how to run all of the equipment. That type of knowledge is extremely helpful in overcoming bullshit employee stuff (I learned all of this on my own as I am proud to say ..)Most importantly human nature knowledge as well. No doubt Trump leaned on his contractors (and also those who didn’t do work for him who had hopes of working for him) in order to get this done. I got packrat to give me a volume quote for storage pods just by telling them I was testing out the product for usage by the rest of the condo owners. Concocted a story to pull that off. And I’m not even Trump. Imagine what a guy like that can do.And no question that those people were spurred on not just by the work (we are not talking about a big job by NYC standards, right?) but similar to the same way people fawned over Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet. Celebrity. The fact that Trump got so much press meant that the electrical worker could tell his buddies that he was doing the Trump job. So you see how that notoriety (and yes you remember back then what a big deal he was even in the 80’s) helped him achieve his goals. Had he not been such a braggart (and obnoxious) might not have worked as well. So all of this dovetails together quite well.And of course how are you even going to put a world class person like Trump in the same room as people who work for the city who don’t have the authority or don’t get any credit for going above and beyond their day to day jobs? And quite frankly the majority of them are mediocre. [1] Is that even possible? (Remember the stories about Fedex in the early days of how employees were rewarded and celebrated in stories for how they go packages delivered? How do you duplicate that?)[1] And some, I assume, are good people.

          5. JLM

            .It is also called “leadership.” Simply, leadership.An issue I have been following is the Veterans Administration which is still hopelessly fucked up.I would love to see Trump wade into something like that — administrative rather than physical plant or built environment — and turn it around. It requires a complete re-tooling from top to bottom.It is a disaster and a national disgrace. In this instance, the corruption is the people themselves.#someIassumearegoodpeopleJLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. LE

            An issue I have been following is the Veterans Administration which is still hopelessly fucked up.A few years ago I bought a medical office condo which was occupied by an Internal Medicine MD. The idea was that my wife would take over the doctors practice and he would go work for the VA where he had already applied and was accepted for a job iirc.So the negotiations began to buy the practice and the property that went with it. About 3 weeks in the accountant calls me and says “we need to accelerate this process the doctors wife won’t let him practice anymore because he is now dangerous.” (or something like that..)I remember when I first toured the practice a month or two before. The Doctors said to me “you know I was in the Navy!”. Then halfway through the building tour (small place single practitioner) he says “did you know I was in the Navy?”. And shows me some pictures on the wall. Then again he said the same thing 5 minutes later. Clearly something was wrong.Anyway, this doctor managed to pass the interview at the VA and was heading to work for them if his wife hadn’t intervened. (He was only early 70’s late 60’s I think..)

          7. LE

            Re: “Wade into the VA” I am hopeful that he could do something.However one big difference between public entities and private entities is how you handle the people that work there that can’t be fired? How do you get rid of or replace all of the deadwood that is labor widgets? Is it even possible to rejuvenate all of that mediocre deadwood? It’s not just a leadership problem, right?

          8. JLM

            .The real answer may be to disband the VA and give every veteran an insurance card with Humana’s name on it. It would likely be cheaper.What is happening now is a gross violation of the compact we have made with our warriors.”Fight our nation’s wars, go in harm’s way, risk your life, and we will take care of your medicine for the rest of your life.”The VA is killing people while pretending they deserve performance bonuses.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          9. LE

            What is happening now is a gross violation of the compact we have made with our warriors. “Fight our nation’s wars, go in harm’s way, risk your life, and we will take care of your medicine for the rest of your life.”Nothing is worse than that. What I hate about the lameness and mediocrity of the lemmings and lack of quality in how they go about what they do. They just don’t give a shit as a group. These are really “bank branch grade” employees. My wife had a local college girl doing babysitting work for us for the kids (afterschool). She didn’t even clean up the pizza after feeding them dinner. Just left the box (consistently) on the table with the pizza in it. Who fucking does that? You need to be told to do that? Isn’t it obvious (came from a “good” family btw.) Never showed any initiative and just kind of phoned in the job. No ump. Turns out she is now working as a bank teller. How appropriate. Ask perfect daughter if she cleaned up after babysitting for Dixie Chicks kids way back…or just left the stuff out to rot.

          10. pointsnfigures

            Yup. The VA doesn’t seem to be about helping vets, it seems to be about administering bureaucracy. That’s horrible. On the flip side, my friend that was a MOH recipient got very good care at the VA before he passed away.

          11. Salt Shaker

            Interesting how Mitt got hammered for his wealth and Trump comes off as “everyman,” irrespective if he has $1B, $4B or $10B stuffed in his mattress. Trump boasts about his wealth, yet somehow appears relatable. Have you ever seen pix or footage of his home? It’s a mini-Versailles, as garish and ostentatious as anything you’ll ever see. Of course, the Dems are absolutely loving all this! It contributes to GOP dysfunction, lack of unity, strategy, etc. At some point, Trump’s ego trip of a journey will end (you can’t believe he honestly wants to be President?) and he’ll set sail w/ his diminishing polling numbers and enhanced national profile. Of course, this all presumes El Chappo doesn’t get him first or he implodes on his own. (I’m frankly betting on the latter.) Nothing wrong with stirring the pot, especially when the status quo is not particularly appealing, but too many confuse bravado w/ substance.

          12. JLM

            .Without disagreeing with much you say, I suggest that the essential difference between Mitt Romney and Donald Trump is the fact that The Donald is prepared to fight barehanded.He’s also pretty damn good at it.Not unfair to also note that The Donald’s magnitude of financial success dwarfs Mitt’s — who is no slouch on his own.Do not miss that the Republicans cleaned the Democrats clock in the 2014 elections taking the Senate, increasing their House majority, grabbing Governorships and state legislatures. It was the biggest sweep in a century.While it is entertaining to poke fun at GOP dysfunction, lack of unity and strategy ask yourself — how did this bunch of boobs sweep all these elections and why won’t they do it again?Trump has injected a righteous indignation over the issue of immigration. I live in a state in which murderers are released routinely on street corners in Corpus Christi, San Antonio and El Paso. I can take you to those exact street corners and show them to you.I can take you to the border and we can watch people walking into our country — no fence.The Donald’s contribution will be to stir the pot, inject the right issues into the debate and to call names. He will mock the dynastic aspirations of both the Bush’s and the Clinton’s — a worthy service to the nation in my view.Say what you want about the guy but he has been hugely successful, is a doer and is willing to mix it up.Right now America is tired of being told “we are the problem”. We are a great nation whose leadership constantly denies that fact.What The Donald is tapping into is our own manifest destiny and greatness. We need a leader who is willing to lean forward in his saddle. We are hungry for that.He is feeding that hunger.Taken together with the results of 2014 — a wholesale repudiation of the President’s policies in the secrecy of the election booth — this could make 2016 a big year for the Republicans.I don’t see The Donald being inaugurated President. I do see him having a huge influence on who is.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          13. Salt Shaker

            I don’t have issues with Trump’s general stand on immigration, but I do have serious issues w/ his presentation. I have friends in Houston who also own a home in the border town of Laredo. Not sure they even go there anymore cause it’s so dangerous. An assistant in my dentist’s office in NYC is from a highly successful, well to do Mexican family. Two of her brothers have been kidnapped and unfortunately one was murdered. Mexico is an anarchy state…and our borders are still a mess.If success in biz has now become a part of the senior criteria for Presidential consideration, then I’d be far more comfortable w/ pragmatists such as Gates, Buffet and Bloomberg than a Trump. Just because he can successfully push people around in the NY/NJ RE and development market doesn’t mean those skills are transferable on a national/international stage, particularly given the absence of long term relations that have contributed mightedly to his success locally.Not sure how he’s polling in New York, even among likely Republican voters. My friends clearly aren’t statistically projectible, but I don’t know of a single person in NYC–his home market–who has a high opinion of him. Wealth and all, he’s looked upon as a cartoon character.

          14. LE

            then I’d be far more comfortable w/ pragmatists such as Gates, Buffet and Bloomberg than a TrumpGates/Buffet made a great deal of money but in no way is in the same league as a Bloomberg or Trump. Different type of businessman. Different skill set. Was pretty much running a large corporation (non hands on, Gates was) riding a wave of opportunity (PC revolution). Mom did the intro to IBM (was on the Red Cross board knew the IBM president). If that didn’t happen nobody would know about Bill Gates at all. Trump did NYC real estate prior to the run up as well. No outlier opportunity, just hard work. Not saying he wouldn’t have made money or done well, he would have. But that spark is why he is who he is today. Plus he didn’t grow Microsoft on his own either. He had a great deal of help. Not seeing anyone who worked for Trump ever talked about as doing anything else anywhere else of note. (They have stuck with him or are otherwise unremarkable either way it’s a good sign ..)Put Trump on an Island and he will survive and prosper, anywhere anyplace any time period. He interfaces with the natives quite well. Buffet admired of course. But doesn’t run companies, he is an investor who has other people working for him (not taking away from his greatness, another model just like different players on a ball team not everyone is a pitcher, right?)By the way, note that Trump is much older than Gates and is still (like Warren) firing on all cylinders. Gates is out to pasture. He isn’t even in the business game anymore. Gates is a non starter. Serious business people don’t retire in their late 40′ to 50’s they go on (like Warren) until they die more than they don’t.Just because he can successfully push people around in the NY/NJ RE and development marketWell besides the fact that he has real estate elsewhere I am guessing you have never dealt with unions in NYC or the clusterfuck of shit that has to be navigated in any large US city. It is quite formidable. And Donald did this as a very lean organization at a very young age. Not the same as Gates who ran a huge corporation with thousands of departments simply having others carry out his wishes. Donald able to get this done with way less of a chain of command. Different type of guy.Once again, not taking away or raining or any of the people that you named parades but we are talking about different individuals.

          15. JLM

            .I cannot agree more with you. It is not possible.In addition to getting along w/ the natives if stranded on an island, Trump would be banging the best looking one and have #2 in the “on deck” circle.Sorry, that was crude and beneath me.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          16. LE

            Trump would be banging the best looking one and have #2 in the “on deck” circle.The above was so good I fear that you will delete it. So I am memorializing here in case you do.

          17. LE

            Oh one last thing about “the man”. My older cousin dealt with Trump directly on some “putka” property that Trump needed to rent for something (wasn’t a big deal at all and not a large parcel). Trump handled it himself personally. Not his employees. My cousin was mildly successful but not the type that you would expect to be doing deals with Trump. This was in the 90’s iirc.

          18. sigmaalgebra

            To do something good, a necessary condition is to be willing to do something at all. Well, Trump is willing to do some things, e.g.. now on immigration, later, maybe more.Who else in the field is willing actually to do something on any current, significant issue? I know; I know; at least one of the Repubs wants a flat tax. That’s nearly saying nothing because there’s no chance of anything like that happening within time relevant to the election and term of office.One approach to politics is to never say much of anything so that never say much of anything wrong or very much offend anyone — except end up offending everyone who realizes that the politician is really being just unresponsive and disrespectful of the voters and their interests.Trump is willing to address significant, real issues, and so far that’s rare.

          19. Rob Larson

            Don’t disagree with anything you say here, but I wonder why you believe that Trump building his business “without much help” would necessarily translate into being a better president. Seems like being the president would rely on a different set of skills, including knowing how to recruit, rely on and get the best from a large contingent of people. You could make the argument that a Mitt or Warren who have had their fingers in every segment of the economy and have relied on lots of people to do that would be better prepared for the job. Even Bloomberg, having spent time in office will have had time to learn how an executive in government can be effective. (all of this is ignoring political ideology / orientation of course–we can pretend that all the above were middle-of-the-road politically)

          20. LE

            All good points actually. But that doesn’t explain how someone like Obama was able to even keep his head above water at all. He never so much as ran a lemonade stand and never governed over anybody. And quite frankly never accomplished much at all.Mitt didn’t really even manage people or an organization either. He was an investor. And Warren likewise doesn’t really manage people he has people running with complete authority and he doesn’t get involved in any day to day things at all.The “without much help” really points to his ability to learn quickly and be a quick study. Highly intelligent not in a book smart way (although he did go to Wharton, big deal so did I) but in, and this is important, an intuitive street smart way.Lastly in order to be President someone has to want to be President. Warren, Gates etc. have not ever desired to (publicly) be President. So it’s a non-starter right there. To me it’s actually laughable that people would want Gates to be President. Ditto for Buffett. But not as laughable as Elizabeth Warren.

          21. Rob Larson

            I agree with that. And I laughed out loud at your Elizabeth crack.Except: I think you are selling Mitt short. He took over Bain (consulting) as CEO when they were in trouble and turned them around, putting them back on solid ground. You can argue that a professional service firm is not a “real company” and I’d agree to a point, but then neither is the government. He similarly was CEO (and founder) of Bain Capital, managing a bunch of smart, self-important investment professionals. And his role as an investor was very hands on in the companies. Their philosophy was to wade into the weeds and get their hands dirty, creating real value in the companies they invested in. To this day, Bain Capital has a reputation of being one of the most “hands on” PE shops around (and consequently one of the most demanding of new associates). It might not have been fun to have him own and muck around with a company you were CEO of, but value was clearly created–the results speak for themselves: the five funds invested while Mitt led the company returned $4.2B on $900M invested, a 4.5x multiple, with >50% annual IRR.I think Mitt would have made a truly great president. Unfortunately he was a terrrrrible candidate. Because he never developed the “connect with the average Joe” skills that you pointed out that the Donald has.

          22. sigmaalgebra

            > Mitt didn’t really even manage people or an organization either.The Olympics?Massachusetts?

          23. LE

            Yep you are right.

          24. james brown

            It’s true that Trump is a successful business man, it also true that he was essentially bankrupt in the early 1990’s despite inheriting a significant real estate operation. It was simply the calculation of his lenders that they had a better chance getting some money back with him still associated with the business that kept him from being tossed out in the street. I will say he learned from the experience, he does a much better job of isolating himself from risk – note that bondholders in a variety of his businesses – hotels, casinos, apartment buildings all took serious baths over the years. if you value your wealth DO NOT invest with him.

          25. JLM

            .His presentation — 2×4 to the forehead — is terrible except for the publicity it has garnered for his Presidential campaign.The Texas side of Laredo is just like Mexico. I turned down several good business opportunities in Laredo because I was unwilling to have employees in that city. Too damn dangerous.Business success is just an indicator of the ability to lead, not the only criteria. Bloomberg was a good example of an effective business and political leader. He pushed NYC toward the tech world — fair statement?He also squandered a lot of credibility making war against Big Gulps.New York polling is not significant or important for any Republican. The Dems own the City and the upstate isn’t big enough to overcome that disadvantage.Superman was also a cartoon character.As I said, I don’t see him being President or getting the nomination but I do see him nudging the discussion in a useful direction. I am sick of an open border and the Obama administration’s releasing murderers into my state.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          26. sigmaalgebra

            > I don’t see The Donald being inaugurated PresidentOkay, but, then, someone will have to beat him unless he just withdraws for no good reason.Who’s going to beat him?

          27. JLM

            .If the Republican party is smart they go with Kasich (brings Ohio) and Rubio (Hispanic and brings Florida). After all, the election is really all about the Electoral College.In that regard, The Donald could be an incredible campaigner for them as their anointed Rottweiler. He could “dog” Hillary across the country.There is, however, very limited evidence that the Republicans — myself included during those fleeting chameleon moments when I embrace my Republicanness — are smart though they did get it almost perfect in 2014.I am also becoming less convinced that Hillary gets the nod or that if she does she isn’t mortally wounded in the process. Right now, she doesn’t look like an experienced or accomplished campaigner.Folks fail to remember that Obama came from nowhere and made her look old and pathetic a few years ago when she was also the “anointed one.”Going to be interesting.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          28. sigmaalgebra

            I’m no expert at politics. You might be right.From what little I know about Kasich, he looks okay. I haven’t kept careful notes on Rubio, but from just impressions I got he seems a bit wacko on some issues. Also, is he native born, or is it not politically correct to ask?But for Kasich to win, he will have to mount a campaign, e.g., against Bush III who does have a big war chest. So does Trump.So, maybe Kasich never gets money enough to make a big push in the eye of the public or the primaries, and the Bush and Trump money drown him out.I don’t think that Trump is in this just to be a loyal Republican party attack dog. Instead, I think he actually wants to win and thinks he has a chance.But Trump is a doofus, buffoon, fool, egotistical narcissist, etc. with no significant political experience, etc. and could never be effective? Hmm …?Once he started talking seriously, in the polls, in a few days he went from near 0 to the leader of the Repub pack — high teens as the favorite or some such. Pretty effective few days for a ‘doofus’.Apparently the media that tried to discount Trump because of his style knew less about the effectiveness of that style than Trump did. Somehow the media was really eager to criticize the Trump style instead of the Trump content.Then, for Kasich, due to the money issue, the real fight would be between Bush and Trump. It might be close, but Trump would make it a fight; it wouldn’t be a Papal or royal investiture for Bush; Bush would have to come ready to fight, game face on, etc., and I’d bet on Trump.That Trump crude buffoon stuff is an act, one he has practiced well, is good at, has under control, has found to be useful, and turns on and off at will. It would be foolish for Bush, etc., to conclude that Trump is just a buffoon. E.g., McCain shot his mouth off, about Trump getting “crazies” all wound up (it wasn’t just crazies), and right away Trump came back with a claim about McCain’s class standing at Annapolis. If are going to make a criticism of Trump, then better have some good material and expect to get something back.

          29. JLM

            .The harsh reality of politics is that you have to be able to raise and feed the money beast. A lot of good guys go unfunded. The Republican “establishment” has a lot to say about this.Here’s a good article that I was directed toward about Trump that touches on a bit of what you have independently observed.http://iconicvoices.jmc.asu…The big thing for Trump is how he does in the debates. As you keenly observe, he went from zero to the leader of the pack in no time.He is tapping into something and if it is the “crazies” then I guess I’m a crazy.McCain would never have gotten in to Annapolis and would never have gotten a chance to fly — guys at the bottom of their class don’t get to fly — if his father and grandfather were not Admirals. It is, after, the McCain family business.Being the “goat” — bottom of your class — amongst your peers is not something to brag about.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          30. LE

            1) Short answer is same reason people fawn over rich or glamorous movie stars basically.2) Other part is understanding human nature and the working man on an intuitive level.Mitt comes across like a detached “tool”. Trump comes across as inspirational. But it’s not just about the money. Mitt is the guy who fired your beer buddy. Trump is the mafia don who gives out Turkeys at Christmas. Knows how to grease palms. Knows how to say “good job” w/o sounding like a corporate guy saying “good job” with a fake smile. The smile is genuine and it says “I like you good job”.Trump learned how to relate to the everyday working man because he has spent time (when he was with his Dad and also on his construction projects) learning what makes “Joe six pack” tick.In a small way I do the same. Which is why I know it when I see it. I have spent a great deal of time with “those type of people” (even as a kid and, yes, it helped me in my first business) and it has done wonders (on a small scale) in being able to motivate workers and get the best out of them. So I can vouch for the concept being a practitioner of that type of “manipulation” (doesn’t mean it’s not genuine of course) and I know what it can do.

          31. Twain Twain

            “Mitt comes across as a detached “tool”. Trump comes across as inspirational.”What Mitt created (Bain Capital) is only relatable to the elite in Private Equity who have MBAs.Meanwhile, what Trump does and invests in more immediately tap into people’s frames of reference: buildings, TV shows (‘The Apprentice’), Miss Universe etc.Plus he’s honed his media skills for decades whereas Mitt was a “suit” who was used to addressing CEOs and senior mgmt rather than the layperson.

    2. LE

      I wonder what the nature of these increasing transactions are. What is bitcoin being used for?I’m blind also so let me try to lead you and hopefully someone will help out here.As I understand it, and I hope someone jumps in and either confirms or corrects me, a bitcoin transaction can be small enough to just mark the completion of another transaction that was done that has no relationship to a money transaction at all. (Do I have that right?). As such it could be a fraction of what might even be considered an exchange of a penny stock. Consequently viewing an enormous increase in transaction volume could be a similar artifact to the way that “hits” on a website were viewed in the mid 90’s before mainstream people realized that web server guys were counting and reporting every image request on a server as a “hit” and the public (and the newspapers) thought that mean “viewed the entire web site”. (A typical webpage back then could have a hundred images per page or more..)

    3. William Mougayar

      If you think “distributed ledger” instead of transaction database, that should clarify things a bit further. The blockchain isn’t going to disrupt the existing transaction systems that work well, but it will disturb the post-trade infrastructure via new/better/faster workflows for trade ownership records and settlements. (I’ve been working on a long post re: blockchain and financial services, due in a 1-2 days)

      1. Tom Labus

        Please let us know when done, thanks. Looking forward to it

  9. TM

    I think the blockchain will not succeed with bitcoin/financial transactions. We already have a very save system to transact and exchange money with someone – banks. Ok they might charge fees. Though most people are ok with paying a fee for safety. Bitcoin would replace one safe system with another safe system.I see tremendous potential for the blockchain in areas that are not save yet. Think about setting up a blockchain based cadastre or a register of companies in a corrupt state. Then the blockchain replaces an unsafe and unreliable system. It solves a real problem, not just swaps a function.

  10. Michael Ferrari

    By this point in time, I thought there would have been more daily transactional volume.

  11. Matt A. Myers

    There are some interesting comments on HN when this was posted -“The main trend for Bitcoin in 2015 is that not much happened. The price is within 10% of where it was at the beginning of the year. Transaction volume in dollars is flat, or down a little. Many of the companies which were accepting Bitcoin no longer are; those that are report low transaction volumes. (There are lots of merchants which “accept Bitcoin” because it’s an option in some shopping cart programs, but those just send the Bitcoins to Coinbase, which converts them to dollars and sends the funds to the merchant.)The big trends in Bitcoin seem to be:- Amateur hour is over. The remaining exchanges are bigger and seemingly more stable, although none of them are up to bank-level yet. New York’s Bitcoin regulation seems to have been accepted.- Mining is more centralized than ever. Most of the big Bitcoin miners are in cold areas of China with cheap power. China has well over 50% of the hash rate now. This may just be a way to convert yuan to dollars. (China has currency controls, but encourages exports. For a few months, it was legal in China to buy Bitcoins with yuan through regular payment channels, then sell the Bitcoins outside China for dollars. That drove the $1000 Bitcoin bubble, and was shut down by the People’s Bank of China last year, causing the Bitcoin crash. Mining Bitcoin in China, and selling it outside China, is considered “exporting” and is a legal way to convert yuan to dollars.)- Since the shutdown of Silk Road I and Silk Road II and the related arrests, Bitcoin is no longer considered a safe way to buy drugs. This doesn’t seem to have affected the price much one way or the other.- Bitcoin ATMs are disappearing. In the SF bay area, Hacker Dojo and Workshop Cafe got rid of theirs, and Nakamoto’s doesn’t have theirs working. Hero City (a co-working space) may still have one.History of Bitcoin: 2013: Wow! 2014: Aargh! 2015: Meh.”- by Animats at… with interesting thread of replies to it.And another one -“I’m calling statistical shenanigans. While the data presented is likely correct, the narrative is completely misleading.> While the price is down 9% YTD (as of July 13), it’s up over 213% over a two year time frame.So they are ignoring the price drop from $1,000?> This has attracted more institutional investors to the market and volatility has decreased as a result.Chart indicates a gradual decrease, it’s hard to establish causality. Also, it ignores the fact that 50% volatility for a currency is absurd.> As of June 30, there were 6,109 Github repositories referencing Bitcoin. By comparison, there were 2,352 Github repositories referencing Stripe and 2,318 repositories referencing Paypal.Comparing a currency with a currency processor is blatantly comparing Apples and Oranges. How many GitHub repositories are there mentioning Coinbase?”- by minimaxir at… with a few interesting comments as well.

    1. David Semeria

      Excellent summary, Matt

  12. jmar42

    Transaction(velocity) and Github are meaningless when market cap is so tiny. Shouldn’t price go up if velocity and Github numbers work??

  13. John

    I’d like to see the transaction chart by country. I think that would say a lot about what’s happening with Bitcoin and how/where it’s being adopted. Have you ever seen a breakout like that?

  14. Federico Wengi

    Hello AVC readers,I would also have a close look at volatility. To me volatility is fundamental and not yet where it needs to be. It is hard to compare the graph that coinbase shared but at least it is developing in the right direction.I have written my comments to the coinbase blog post here if you care to have a read.

  15. Andrzej Lipski

    So you mean to say one of your favorite charts is how many spam transactions it takes to cripple the bitcoin network?

  16. pointsnfigures

    Yup. The killer app hasn’t been developed yet. When it does, Bitcoin will stick hard. I still think there needs to be a way to manage risk. There are exactly 0 Bitcoin exchanges where I would feel safe trading.

    1. Marissa_NYx

      My team are developing a “build a bitcoin business challenge ” to blow the minds of STEM students and teachers . We figure the creators of the next gen killer Blockchain / Bitcoin app is sitting in a classroom somewhere around the world , learning how to code . We want to inspire these students and their teachers to think not just code , but start thinking about building their entrrpreneurial mindset so they can create opportunities . If they can collaborate and communicate their ideas and understand how to build a business , they will be a force to be reckoned with . If anyone in the AVC knows of a Bitcoin company or entrepreneur who would like to help write the challenge , I’d love to hear from them.