Tonight’s video is “The Wizard of Speed & Time,” a 1979 short film by Mike Jittlov. Thanks M. Christian for this suggestion.
About a week ago I wrote about dogecoins, the new digital currency based on a joke, But because global economics in the year almost-2014 is a hilarious space age charade, dogecoins were actually “functional” as a currency and have “value.” Which is why a whole bunch got stolen, reports Read Write:
A storage system for meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin was hacked on Wednesday night. Users began reporting their Dogewallets had been compromised on the forum doges.org. Millions of Dogecoins were stolen. … Dogecoin’s hack is a reminder that anything stored online—currency or otherwise—is susceptible to theft.
Another digital currency story crossed my path today, “The Bitcoin Industry Takes Root in Austin” from Silicon Hills News:
A new industry is brewing in Austin in a back room at Scholz Garten where dozens of people meet regularly to talk about Bitcoins. They are pioneers in the crypto-currency marketplace, founded in 2009 with the birth of Bitcoins. … Sunday night, about 40 people attend the Austin meetup, held just a few days before Christmas, to find out more about the popular, yet highly volatile digital currency. Some of them run their own Bitcoin startups, while others just wanted to learn more about this emerging currency. A Bitcoin ‘tipjar’ sat at the bar with a QR code for people to scan with their mobile phone to donate money to support the meetup.
… The focus of the Austin meetup group is to foster the development of this new industry by supporting Bitcoin startups, Snow said. About a half-dozen entrepreneurs plan or have launched Bitcoin companies in the Austin area, Snow said. Chief among them is CoinTerra, which designs and produces Bitcoin mining computer systems. The startup launched last summer with $1.5 million in angel funding. It sells ‘GoldStrike’ processors and 2/TH/s TerraMiner IV Bitcoin miner rigs – both representing the highest performance Bitcoin miner hardware, which costs $5,999 per machine.
… David Johnson, one of the founders of Bit Angels, an investment group targeting Bitcoin and crypto-currency startups, is based in Austin. It has made several investments into Bitcoin startups. Other startups like Bitstein Consulting, founded in 2013 by Michael Goldstein, a University of Texas computer science student, help businesses adopt Bitcoins. He has helped Brave New Books [a Libertarian bookstore], which now accepts Bitcoin as payment for merchandise. … Cryptotrustpoint.com, a mediation service for exchanging Bitcoins into U.S. dollars, plans to launch early next year in San Antonio, said Joshua Schechter, one of the founders. It is working with San Antonio-based startup Akimbo, which is a debit card company.
Reading such heated prose about the future of Bitcoin in Austin took me back to my days as a tech support drone for an over-funded, over-staffed and ultimately bankrupt dot-com era company here in the silicon hills. My thoughts wandered even further back into history — to the Dutch tulip craze, where deals happened in a bar and each transaction by the increasingly drunken flower brokers was celebrated by a toast. I think digital currencies have potential, but we won’t know what it really is for years.
What’s on your mind tonight? The watercooler is an open conversation.
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