At the worlds largest blockchain conference, female leaders in the industry sought to shake off bitcoins boyish image
Satoshi is female was one of the more pervasive slogans at Consensus 2018, the worlds largest blockchain conference that saw thousands of crypto-believers descend on midtown New York for a packed, three-day meet-and-greet last week.
Satoshi refers to Satoshi Nakamoto, the still mysterious creator of Bitcoin who has never been identified but who, nonetheless, is credited as the founding father of cryptocurrency, or a digital form of money, and blockchain, a public and uneditable system for recording transactions. Both developments are hailed by their evangelists as potentially revolutionary technological tools.
As crowds packed Manhattans midtown Hilton to listen to leadingtechnology figures such as Twitters Jack Dorsey and the cryptography pioneer Bailey Whitfield Whit Diffie, the question of Satoshis gender was purely symbolic. But it was also understood by many attendees: blockchain should not simply perpetuate the white male tech nerd stereotypical worldview of Silicon Valley.
We think cryptocurrencies should be built with a different system and values in mind, said Nyla Rodgers, the creator of the Satoshi Is Female group. Silicon Valley is completely run by men. Women only receive 2% of venture capital funding so their ideas never rise to the top. Weve been living with a very one-sided view of the world.
The expression of a male-led crypto world is already self-evident. The frothy, unstable cryptocurrency sector is dominated by images of Lamborghinis Lambos and going moon as cryptocurrencies surge in price.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain has already received bad press for being overly gendered and insufficiently woke. In February, the North American Bitcoin Conference wrapped up 10 hours of speeches by inviting 5,000 attendees to what it called a networking party in a 20,000 sq ft strip club.
To women in the crypto sector attending Consensus, theres no time to lose if blockchain technology isnt going to follow the same path as Silicon Valley.
A recent study found that while there was improvement in the number of women in the industry in the wake of several sexism and discrimination scandals, the participation of racial minorities was worsening.
The blockchain sector has only been around for 18 months so we, as women, can help define what the culture looks like at the beginning, said Rodgers who is raising money to fund women-led tech groups, many in the developing world, through her charity Mama Hope. The urgency is there for women and minorities to create a system that actually values them.
On the first day of New Yorks crypto-week, the entrepreneur Cindy Chin held a seminar Women on The Block with the express purpose of creating a sense of inclusion in the blockchain world.
We think theres an opportunity to change what has really been an all-male space, Chin says. We want to be part of the conversation, we want to drive the leadership, to be part of the deal-flow and we want to be invested in we want the money!
Read more: http://imgur.com/gallery/ravJO42
Hoping to invest in the next Bitcoin? Keep an eye on Facebook. No, but really. According to a Cheddar report, the company is hard at work on its own cryptocurrency.
Cheddar, citing sources familiar with the matter, claims that Facebook users could use the new “digital token” to buy and sell through the platform. The social network is also “exploring other ways” that it could use such a currency.
Mark Zuckerberg announced in January that Facebook planned to “go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of” new technologies such as cryptocurrency.
Four months later, it seems his vision is coming to fruition. Earlier this week, Facebook announced that its head of Messenger, David Marcus, would spearhead a group researching potential uses of blockchain across Facebook’s platforms. Marcus is a former Paypal president and CEO, and a member of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s board of directors, so it’s pretty clear what they’re going for here.
We’re a bit puzzled as to why exactly Facebook would want to create a new currency, but it would certainly make it easier for customers in different countries to buy and sell through the platform without extra conversion fees. It could also be a transaction resource for Facebook buyers in countries with more volatile currencies.
At least, that may be what Facebook tells us in order to pass this all off as a project for the greater good. Of course, it’s also likely to come with a transaction fee, so we’re guessing it won’t hurt Facebook’s bottom line.
Amber AI’s PTD2 fund surged 30% in first three months of 2018
Hedge fund advised by BitSpread made 5.7% in quarter
Bitcoin’s terrible start to 2018 is highlighting the appeal of cryptocurrency hedge funds that make money in both bull and bear markets.
Funds specializing in virtual currency market making and arbitrage strategies delivered first-quarter gains even as their mostly bullish peers lost 40 percent on average. That’s a big reversal from last year, when digital assets soared and market-making funds lagged far behind their long-biased counterparts.
Pivot Digital Trading-2, managed by Hong Kong-based Amber AI Group, generated some of the biggest gains among cryptocurrency funds that avoid directional bets. It rose 4.3 percent in March to bring its first-quarter return to 30 percent, according to the firm. Market Neutral Liquidity SP-Institutional, domiciled in the Cayman Islands, earned 5.6 percent in the first quarter, said Cedric Jeanson of BitSpread Group, investment adviser to the portfolio.
The results suggest some managers are finding ways to profit from wild swings in cryptocurrencies without having to predict whether the coins will rise or fall. Such tactics may appeal to investors who want exposure to digital assets without their extreme volatility.
As a group, cryptocurrency hedge funds are still highly correlated to the market. A Eurekahedge index for the category posted its biggest three-month slump on record last quarter as Bitcoin sank more than 50 percent. The index soared 1,709 percent in 2017, when Bitcoin jumped about 1,400 percent.
Among funds that lost money was Silver 8 Partners. It dropped 25 percent in March and 32 percent in the first quarter, according to a commentary sent to investors. Silver 8 invests in digital assets, along with fintech, blockchain and machine learning companies.
"High levels of uncertainty and low market liquidity make investments in blockchain-related assets volatile," the firm said in a newsletter. "They tend to overreact to cycles of euphoria and pessimism, where the market price itself acts as a catalyst for further momentum."
The fund has made more than 1,000 percent for investors since its inception in 2016, including a more than 750 percent gain in 2017.
While funds from Amber AI and BitSpread tend to not post such high returns during boom times, they provide investors with some protection when prices of digital assets fall.
PDT2, as the Amber AI fund is otherwise known, trades the 25 largest digital currencies on exchanges including Huobi, OKEX, Bitfinex, Binance, Kraken and BitStamp, said Tiantian Kullander, one of the four former Morgan Stanley traders who started the firm with a one-time programmer at Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News.
The fund began trading early this year and oversees about $25 million, said Kullander. Its quantitative trading strategies include market-making, short-term trend following and exploiting pricing discrepancies between different currency pairs and exchanges.
Market Neutral Liquidity SP-Institutional, with more than $100 million of assets under management, makes markets for currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, BitSpread’s Jeanson said.
Bitcoin bashing has been a popular sport among the very rich for quite a while, but this week the usual suspects have considerably upped their game.
These days, it’s no longer enough to call Bitcoin a bad or dangerous investment. If you want to convince the world that Bitcoin is no good, you need to conjure up a string of adjectives so scathing that it makes the Bitcoin sound worse than the plague.
Just yesterday, in an interview with Yahoo Finance, Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charles Munger called Bitcoin “anti-social,” “stupid,” “immoral,” and a “turd.” He likened it to organ trading, said people pushing Bitcoin are a “disgrace,” and he somehow managed to squeeze the word “dementia” in there, too.
And I didn’t just make the plague thing up; in an earlier comment, dating Dec. 2017, Munger actually likened Bitcoin to that largely eradicated, extremely infectious disease — though he mercifully didn’t specify whether he’s talking about the pneumonic or the marginally less horrible bubonic form.
Munger’s boss, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, shares his outlook on Bitcoin. He, too, has recently become creative when it comes to bad-mouthing the popular cryptocurrency. A few days ago, he told CNBC that Bitcoin is probably “rat poison squared.”
I’m not exactly sure how you square rat poison, but it sounds very bad — far worse than regular rat poison. Though, to be completely frank, rat poison is only bad if you ingest it. Perhaps Buffett, who’d built his empire with long-term investments in no-nonsense stocks including Coca-Cola and Apple, is referring to owning a rat poison manufacturing business. That doesn’t sound so bad, unless you’re a rat.
On Monday, Bill Gates himself joined the party, calling Bitcoin a “greater fool theory” type of investment. He added that he would short it if there was an easy way to do it, which was somewhat odd as there is a pretty easy way to short Bitcoin, as noted by investor and cryptocurrency proponent Tyler Winklevoss.
If you’re keeping count, that’s two out of three richest people on the planet. Jeff Bezos, if you have something bad to say about Bitcoin, you had better start working on your derogatory remarks because the bar has been set high.
I get it: Journalists like to ask rich people and famous investors about Bitcoin and they oblige them with answers. But some of these comments are borderline comedy, and are more likely to provoke a few laughs than to sway anyone’s opinion.
Obviously, if you’re looking for quality information on Bitcoin, you probably shouldn’t listen to people who keep setting unrealistic price goals or just keep yelling “HODL,” either (in cryptocurrency lingo, “hodl” means holding on to an asset for dear life and never selling it, no matter the losses). There are plenty of smart, reasonable people in the cryptocurrency space who’ll likely skip the price talk altogether and focus on the technology, which is at the very least promising.
Bitcoin’s price has pulled back somewhat following the remarks from Buffett, Munger and Gates, despite The New York Times‘ report that the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company ICE is looking to launch a Bitcoin trading platform. Historically, however, scathing remarks from famous investors have done little to stifle its price growth. Perhaps what’s needed is stronger words still — or perhaps the crypto crowd doesn’t really care about comments from people who are otherwise more or less uninterested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH .
Warning: mild spoilers for ‘Silicon Valley’ season 5.
From the fertile mind of Bertram Gilfoyle comes yet another pearl of innovation.
Silicon Valley has been known to foray into the real world with its inventions (see Jian-Yang’s Not-Hotdog app).
In a recent episode it was revealed that Satanist coder Gilfoyle mines Bitcoin, but only when it exceeds a certain value. To keep track of when the value of Bitcoin dips below or above this value, Gilfoyle has an alert set up which plays a snippet of “You Suffer” by Napalm Death, a death metal band.
This has inspired an Icelandic website building company called Viska. They have set up an actual website called Bitcoin Volatilitywhich does exactly the same thing. Set a value, and the site will play the same fragment of “You suffer” whenever Bitcoin crosses your threshold.
Now you can be even more like Gilfoyle. Pledge your allegiance to the Church of Satan and you’re almost there!
I’ll say this for venture capitalist Tim Draper: he is fully committed to the gimmick.
Appearing on the Fox News show of sentient bowtie Tucker Carlson, Draper donned a Bitcoin tie and big Bitcoin broach to discuss his plan to divide the state of California up into three separate states: Northern California, Southern California, and
While the “Cal 3” plan is Draper’s big current initiative — he says the proposal has garnered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot — Draper is a huge proponent of Bitcoin and has been for a while, having scooped up thousands of bitcoin seized from dark web marketplace Silk Road and auctioned off by the U.S. government.
Besides appearing on Carlson’s show, Draper also hosted a 2018 Block (Chain) Party on Thursday night where he came away with rather lofty expectations for the future value of the volatile cryptocurrency.
Serious winds (of change) at our block (chain) party last night. Predicting bitcoin at $25k by 2022.
— Tim Draper (@TimDraper) April 13, 2018
As for the tie, Draper actually has worn a Bitcoin tie before, and he has a penchant for questionable tie choices overall. Most prominent is the tie he used to flash for his previous splitting up California plan, Six Californias.
Maybe once Bitcoin hits that high value again, Tim can afford some slightly more stylish ties.