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PrologueThis is a Concept Paper written to introduce the Function X Ecosystem, which includes the XPhone. It also addresses the relationship between the XPOS and Function X.
Pundi X has always been a community-driven project. We have lived by the mission of making sure the community comes first and we are constantly learning from discussions and interactions on social media and in real-life meetings.
As with all discussions, there is always background noise but we have found gems in these community discussions. One such example is a question which we found constantly lingering at the back of our mind, “Has blockchain changed the world as the Internet did in the ’90s, and the automobile in the ‘20s?”. Many might argue that it has, given the rise of so many blockchain projects with vast potential in different dimensions (like ours, if we may add). But the question remains, “can blockchain ever become what the Internet, as we know it today, has to the world?”
Function X, a universal decentralized internet which is powered by blockchain technology and smart devices.
Over the past few months, in the process of implementing and deploying the XPOS solution, we believe we found the answer to the question. A nimble development team was set up to bring the answer to life. We discovered that it is indeed possible to bring blockchain to the world of telephony, data transmission, storage and other industries; a world far beyond financial transactions and transfers.
This is supported by end-user smart devices functioning as blockchain nodes. These devices include the XPOS and XPhone developed by Pundi X and will also include many other hardware devices manufactured by other original equipment manufacturers.
The vision we want to achieve for f(x) is to create a fully autonomous and decentralized network that does not rely on any individual, organization or structure.
Due to the nature of the many new concepts introduced within this Concept Paper, we have included a Q&A after each segment to facilitate your understanding. We will continuously update this paper to reflect the progress we’re making.
Function X: The Internet was just the beginningThe advent of the Internet has revolutionized the world. It created a communications layer so robust that it has resulted in TCP/IP becoming the network standard.
The Internet also created a wealth of information so disruptive that a company like Amazon threatened to wipe out all the traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores. These bookstores were forced to either adapt or perish. The same applies to the news publishing sector: the offerings of Google and Facebook have caused the near extinction of traditional newspapers.
The digitalization of the world with the Internet has enabled tech behemoths like Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook to dominate and rule over traditional companies. The grip of these tech giants is so extensive that it makes you wonder if the choices you make are truly your own or influenced by the data they have on you as a user.
We see the blockchain revolution happening in three phases. The first was how Bitcoin showed the world what digital currency is. The second refers to how Ethereum has provided a platform to build decentralized assets easily. The clearest use case of that has come in the form of the thousands of altcoins seen today that we all are familiar with. The third phase is what many blockchain companies are trying to do now: 1) to bring the performance of blockchain to a whole new level (transaction speed, throughput, sharding, etc.) and 2) to change the course of traditional industries and platforms—including the Internet and user dynamics.
Public blockchains allow trustless transactions. If everything can be transacted on the blockchain in a decentralized manner, the information will flow more efficiently than traditional offerings, without the interception of intermediators. It will level the playing field and prevent data monopolization thus allowing small innovators to develop and flourish by leveraging the resources and data shared on the blockchain.
The Blockchain revolution will be the biggest digital revolutionIn order to displace an incumbent technology with something new, we believe the change and improvement which the new technology has to bring will have to be at least a tenfold improvement on all aspects including speed, transparency, scalability and governance (consensus). We are excited to say that the time for this 10-times change is here. It’s time to take it up 10x with Function X.
Function X or f(x) is an ecosystem built entirely on and for the blockchain. Everything in f(x) (including the application source code, transmission protocol and hardware) is completely decentralized and secure. Every bit and byte in f(x) is part of the blockchain.
What we have developed is not just a public chain. It is a total decentralized solution. It consists of five core components: Function X Operating System (OS); Function X distributed ledger (Blockchain); Function X IPFS; FXTP Protocol and Function X Decentralized Docker. All five components serve a single purpose which is to decentralize all services, apps, websites, communications and, most importantly, data.
The purpose of Function X OS is to allow smart hardware and IoTs to harness the upside and potential utility of the decentralization approach. We have built an in-house solution for how mobile phones can leverage Function X OS in the form of the XPhone. Other companies can also employ the Function X OS and further customize it for their own smart devices. Every smart device in the Function X ecosystem can be a node and each will have its own address and private key, uniquely linked to their node names. The OS is based on the Android OS 9.0, therefore benefiting from backward compatibility with Android apps. The Function X OS supports Android apps and Google services (referred to as the traditional mode), as well as the newly developed decentralized services (referred to as the blockchain mode). Other XPhone features powered by the Function X OS will be elaborated on in the following sections.
Using the Function X Ecosystem (namely Function X FXTP), the transmission of data runs on a complex exchange of public and private key data and encryption but never through a centralized intermediary. Hence it guarantees communication without interception and gives users direct access to the data shared by others. Any information that is sent or transacted over the Function X Blockchain will also be recorded on the chain and fully protected by encryption so the ownesender has control over data sharing. And that is how a decentralized system for communications works.
For developers and users transitioning to the Function X platform, it will be a relatively seamless process. We have intentionally designed the process of creating and publishing new decentralized applications (DApps) on Function X to be easy, such that the knowledge and experience from developing and using Android will be transferable. With that in mind, a single line of code in most traditional apps can be modified, and developers can have their transmission protocol moved from the traditional HTTP mode (centralized) to a decentralized mode, thus making the transmission “ownerless” because data can transmit through the network of nodes without being blocked by third parties. How services can be ported easily or built from scratch as DApps will also be explained in the following sections, employing technologies in the Function X ecosystem (namely Function X IPFS, FXTP Protocol and Decentralized Docker).
f(x) Chainf(x) chain is a set of consensus algorithms in the form of a distributed ledger, as part of the Function X ecosystem. The blockchain is the building block of our distributed ledger that stores and verifies transactions including financials, payments, communications (phone calls, file transfers, storage), services (DApps) and more.
Will Function X launch a mainnet?Yes. The f(x) chain is a blockchain hence there will be a mainnet.
When will the testnet be launched?Q2 2019 (projected).
When will the mainnet be launched?Q3 2019 (projected).
How is the Function X blockchain designed?The f(x) chain is designed based on the philosophy that any blockchain should be able to address real-life market demand of a constantly growing peer-to-peer network. It is a blockchain with high throughput achieved with a combination of decentralized hardware support (XPOS, XPhone, etc.) and open-source software toolkit enhancements.
What are the physical devices that will be connected to the Function X blockchain?In due course, the XPOS OS will be replaced by the f(x) OS. On the other hand, the XPhone was designed with full f(x) OS integration in mind, from the ground up. After the f(x) OS onboarding, and with adequate stability testings and improvements, XPOS and XPhone will then be connected to the f(x) Chain.
What are the different elements of a block?Anything that is transmittable over the distributed network can be stored in the block, including but not limited to phone call records, websites, data packets, source code, etc. It is worth noting that throughout these processes, all data is encrypted and only the owner of the private key has the right to decide how the data should be shared, stored, decrypted or even destroyed.
Which consensus mechanism is used?
Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT).
What are the other implementations of Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT)?Flight systems that require very low latency. For example, SpaceX’s flight system, Dragon, uses PBFT design philosophy. [Appendix]
How do you create a much faster public chain?We believe in achieving higher speed, thus hardware and software configurations matter. If your hardware is limited in numbers or processing power, this will limit the transaction speed which may pose security risks. The Ethereum network consists of about 25,000 nodes spread across the globe now, just two years after it was launched. Meanwhile, the Bitcoin network currently has around 7,000 nodes verifying the network. As for Pundi X, with the deployment plan (by us and our partners) for XPOS, XPhone and potentially other smart devices, we anticipate that we will be able to surpass the number of Bitcoin and Ethereum nodes within 1 to 2 years. There are also plans for a very competitive software implementation of our public blockchain, the details for which we will be sharing in the near future.
f(x) OSThe f(x) OS is an Android-modified operating system that is also blockchain-compatible. You can switch seamlessly between the blockchain and the traditional mode. In the blockchain mode, every bit and byte is fully decentralized including your calls, messages, browsers and apps. When in traditional mode, the f(x) OS supports all Android features.
Android is the most open and advanced operating system for smart hardware with over 2 billion monthly active users. Using Android also fits into our philosophy of being an OS/software designer and letting third-party hardware makers produce the hardware for the Function X Ecosystem.
What kind of open source will it be?This has not been finalized, but the options we are currently considering are Apache or GNU GPLv3.
What kind of hardware will it work on?The f(x) OS works on ARM architecture, hence it works on most smartphones, tablet computers, smart TVs, Android Auto and smartwatches in the market.
Will you build a new browser?We are currently using a modified version of the Google Chrome browser. The browser supports both HTTP and FXTP, which means that apart from distributed FXTP contents, users can view traditional contents, such ashttps://www.google.com.
What is the Node Name System (NNS)?A NNS is a distributed version of the traditional Domain Name System. A NNS allows every piece of Function X hardware, including the XPhone, to have a unique identity. This identity will be the unique identifier and can be called anything with digits and numbers, such as ‘JohnDoe2018’ or ‘AliceBob’. More on NNS in the following sections.
Will a third-party device running the f(x) OS be automatically connected to the f(x) blockchain?
Yes, third-party devices will be connected to the f(x) blockchain automatically.
f(x) FXTPA transmission protocol defines the rules to allow information to be sent via a network. On the Internet, HTTP is a transmission protocol that governs how information such as website contents can be sent, received and displayed. FXTP is a transmission protocol for the decentralized network.
FXTP is different from HTTP because it is an end-to-end transmission whereby your data can be sent, received and displayed based on a consensus mechanism rather than a client-server based decision-making mechanism. In HTTP, the server (which is controlled by an entity) decides how and if the data is sent (or even monitored), whereas in FXTP, the data is sent out and propagates to the destination based on consensus.
HTTP functions as a request–response protocol in the client-server computing model. A web browser, for example, may be the client and an application running on a computer hosting a website may be the server. FXTP functions as a propagation protocol via a consensus model. A node that propagates the protocol and its packet content is both a “client” and a “server”, hence whether a packet reaches a destination is not determined by any intermediate party and this makes it more secure.
f(x) IPFSIPFS is a protocol and network designed to store data in a distributed system. A person who wants to retrieve a file will call an identifier (hash) of the file, IPFS then combs through the other nodes and supplies the person with the file.
The file is stored on the IPFS network. If you run your own node, your file would be stored only on your node and available for the world to download. If someone else downloads it and seeds it, then the file will be stored on both your node the node of the individual who downloaded it (similar to BitTorrent).
IPFS is decentralized and more secure, which allows faster file and data transfer.
f(x) DDockerDocker is computer program designed to make it easier to create, deploy, and run applications. Containers allow a developer to package up an application including libraries, and ship it all out as a package.
As the name suggests, Decentralized Docker is an open platform for developers to build, ship and run distributed applications. Developers will be able to store, deploy and run their codes remote in different locations and the codes are secure in a decentralized way.
Beyond crypto: First true blockchain phone that is secured and decentralized to the coreXPhone is the world’s first blockchain phone which is designed with innovative features that are not found on other smartphones.
Powered by Function X, an ecosystem built entirely on and for the blockchain, XPhone runs on a new transmission protocol for the blockchain age. The innovation significantly expands the use of blockchain technology beyond financial transfers.
Unlike traditional phones which require a centralized service provider, XPhone runs independently without the need for that. Users can route phone calls and messages via blockchain nodes without the need for phone numbers.
Once the XPhone is registered on the network, for e.g., by a user named Pitt, if someone wants to access Pitt’s publicly shared data or content, that user can just enter FXTP://xxx.Pitt. This is similar to what we do for the traditional https:// protocol.
Whether Pitt is sharing photos, data, files or a website, they can be accessed through this path. And if Pitt’s friends would like to contact him, they can call, text or email his XPhone simply by entering “call.pitt”, “message.pitt”, or “mail.pitt”.
The transmission of data runs on a complex exchange of public and private key data with encryption. It can guarantee communication without interception and gives users direct access to the data shared by others. Any information that is sent or transacted over the Function X Blockchain will also be recorded on the chain.
Toggle between now and the futureBlockchain-based calling and messaging can be toggled on and off on the phone operating system which is built on Android 9.0. XPhone users can enjoy all the blockchain has to offer, as well as the traditional functionalities of an Android smartphone.
We’ll be sharing more about the availability of the XPhone and further applications of Function X in the near future.
DApps for mass adoptionSo far the use of decentralized applications has been disappointing. But what if there was a straightforward way to bring popular, existing apps into a decentralized environment, without rebuilding everything? Until now, much of what we call peer-to-peer or ‘decentralized’ services continue to be built on centralized networks. We set out to change that with Function X; to disperse content now stored in the hands of the few, and to evolve services currently controlled by central parties.
Use Cases: Sharing economyAs seen from our ride-hailing DApp example that was demonstrated in New York back in November 2018, moving towards true decentralization empowers the providers of services and not the intermediaries. In the same way, the XPhone returns power to users over how their data is being shared and with whom. Function X will empower content creators to determine how their work is being displayed and used.
Use Cases: Free namingOne of the earliest alternative cryptocurrencies, Namecoin, wanted to use a blockchain to provide a name registration system, where users can register their names to create a unique identity. It is similar to the DNS system mapping to IP addresses. With the Node Name System (NNS) it is now possible to do this on the blockchain.
NNS is a distributed version of the traditional Domain Name System. A NNS allows every piece of Function X hardware, including the XPhone, to have a unique identifier that can be named anything with digits and numbers, such as ‘JohnDoe2018’ or ‘AliceBob’.
Use Cases: Mobile data currencyAccording to a study, mobile operator data revenues are estimated at over $600 billion USD by 2020, equivalent to $50 billion USD per month [appendix]. Assuming users are able to use services such as blockchain calls provided by XPhone (or other phones using Function X) the savings will be immense and the gain from profit can be passed on to providers such as DApp developers in Function X. In other words, instead of paying hefty bills to a mobile carrier for voice calls, users can pay less by making blockchain calls, and the fees paid are in f(x) coins. More importantly users will have complete privacy over their calls.
Use Cases: Decentralized file storage
Ethereum contracts claim to allow for the development of a decentralized file storage ecosystem, “where individual users can earn small quantities of money by renting out their own hard drives and unused space can be used to further drive down the costs of file storage.” However, they do not necessarily have the hardware to back this up. With the deployment of XPOS, smart hardware nodes and more, Function X is a natural fit for Decentralized File Storage. In fact, it is basically what f(x) IPFS is built for.
These are just four examples of the many use cases purported, and there can, will and should be more practical applications beyond these; we are right in the middle of uncharted territories.
Decentralized and autonomousThe f(x) ecosystem is fully decentralized. It’s designed and built to run autonomously in perpetuity without the reliance or supervision of any individual or organization. To support this autonomous structure, f(x) Coin which is the underlying ‘currency’ within the f(x) ecosystem has to be decentralized in terms of its distribution, allocation, control, circulation and the way it’s being generated.
To get the structure of f(x) properly set up, the founding team will initially act as ‘initiators’ and ‘guardians’ of the ecosystem. The role of the team will be similar to being a gatekeeper to prevent any bad actors or stakeholders playing foul. At the same time, the team will facilitate good players to grow within the ecosystem. Once the f(x) ecosystem is up and running, the role of the founding team will be irrelevant and phased out. The long term intention of the team is to step away, allowing the ecosystem to run and flourish by itself.
UtilityIn this section, we will explore the utility of the f(x) Coin. f(x) Coin is the native ‘currency’ of the Function X blockchain and ecosystem. All services rendered in the ecosystem will be processed, transacted with, or “fueled” by the f(x) Coin. Some of the proposed use cases include:
Example 1: A developer creates a ride-hailing DApp called DUber.
DUber developer first uploads the image and data to IPFS (storage) and code to DDocker, respectively. The developer then pays for a decentralized code hosting service provided by the DDocker, and a decentralized file hosting service provided by the IPFS. Please note the storage hosting and code hosting services can be provided by a company, or by a savvy home user with smart nodes connected to the Function X ecosystem. Subsequently, a DUber user pays the developer.
Example 2: User Alice sends an imaginary token called ABCToken to Bob.
ABCToken is created using Function X smart contract. Smart nodes hosted at the home of Charlie help confirms the transaction, Charlie is paid by Alice (or both Alice and Bob).
The flow of f(x) CoinFour main participants in f(x): Consumer (blue), Developer (blue), Infrastructure (blue), and Financial Service Provider (green)
Broadly speaking, there can be four main participants in the f(x) ecosystem, exhibited by the diagram above:
Figure: four main participants of the ecosystem The rationale behind f(x) Coin generation is the Proof of Service concept (PoS)Service providers are crucial in the whole f(x) Ecosystem, the problem of motivation/facilitation has become our priority. We have to align our interests with theirs. Hence, we have set up a Tipping Jar (similar to mining) to motivate and facilitate the existing miners shift to the f(x) Ecosystem and become part of the infrastructure service provider or attract new players into our ecosystem. Income for service provider = Service fee (from payer) + Tipping (from f(x) network generation)
The idea is that the f(x) blockchain will generate a certain amount of f(x) Coin (diminishing annually) per second to different segments of service provider, such as in the 1st year, the f(x) blockchain will generate 3.5 f(x) Coin per second and it will be distributed among the infrastructure service provider through the Proof of Service concept. Every service provider such as infrastructure service providers, developers and financial service providers will receive a ‘certificate’ of Proof of Service in the blockchain after providing the service and redeeming the f(x) Coin.
Example: There are 3 IPFS providers in the market, and the total Tipping Jar for that specific period is 1 million f(x) Coin. Party A contributes 1 TB; Party B contributes 3 TB and Party C contributes 6 TB. So, Party A will earn 1/10 * 1 million = 100k f(x) Coin; Party B will earn 3/10 * 1 million = 300k f(x) Coin. Party C will earn 6/10 * 1 million = 600k f(x) Coin.
Note: The computation method of the distribution of the Tipping Jar might vary due to the differences in the nature of the service, period and party.
Figure: Circulation flow of f(x) Coin
The theory behind the computation.Blockchain has integrated almost everything, such as storage, scripts, nodes and communication. This requires a large amount of bandwidth and computation resources which affects the transaction speed and concurrency metric.
In order to do achieve the goal of being scalable with high transaction speed, the f(x) blockchain has shifted out all the ‘bulky’ and ‘heavy duty’ functions onto other service providers, such as IPFS, FXTP, etc. We leave alone what blockchain technology does best: Calibration. Thus, the role of the Tipping Jar is to distribute the appropriate tokens to all participants.
Projected f(x) Coin distribution per second in the first year
According to Moore’s Law, the number of transistors in a densely integrated circuit doubles about every 18 -24 months. Thus, the performance of hardware doubles every 18-24 months. Taking into consideration Moore’s Law, Eric Schmidt said if you maintain the same hardware specs, the earnings will be cut in half after 18-24 months. Therefore, the normal Tipping Jar (reward) for an infrastructure service provider will decrease 50% every 18 months. In order to encourage infrastructure service providers to upgrade their hardware, we have set up another iteration and innovation contribution pool (which is worth of 50% of the normal Tipping Jar on the corresponding phase) to encourage the infrastructure service provider to embrace new technology.
According to the Andy-Bill’s law, “What Andy gives, Bill takes away”; software will always nibble away the extra performance of the hardware. The more performance a piece of hardware delivers, the more the software consumes. Thus, the developer will always follow the trend to maintain and provide high-quality service. The Tipping Jar will increase by 50% (based upon the previous quota) every 18 months.
Financial service providers will have to support the liquidation of the whole ecosystem along the journey, the Tipping Jar (FaaS) will increase by 50% by recognizing the contribution and encouraging innovation.
From the 13th year (9th phase), the Tipping Jar will reduce by 50% every 18 months. We are well aware that the “cliff drop” after the 12th year is significant. Hence, we have created a 3year (two-phase) diminishing transition period. The duration of each phase is 18 months. There are 10 phases in total which will last for a total of 15 years.
According to Gartner’s report, the blockchain industry is forecast to reach a market cap of
3.1 trillion USD in 2030. Hence, we believe a Tipping Jar of 15 years will allow the growth of Function X into the “mature life cycle” of the blockchain industry.
f(x) Coin / Token AllocationToken allocation We believe great blockchain projects attempt to equitably balance the interests of different segments of the community. We hope to motivate and incentivize token holders by allocating a total of 65% of tokens from the Token Generation Event (TGE). Another 20% is allocated to the Ecosystem Genesis Fund for developer partnerships, exchanges and other such related purposes. The remaining 15% will go to engineering, product development and marketing. There will be no public or private sales for f(x) tokens.
NPXS / NPXSXEM is used to make crypto payments as easy as buying bottled water, while f(x) is used for the operation of a decentralized ecosystem and blockchain, consisting of DApps and other services. NPXS / NPXSXEM will continue to have the same functionality and purpose after the migration to the Function X blockchain in the future. Therefore, each token will be expected to assume different fundamental roles and grant different rights to the holders.
65% of allocation for NPXS / NPXSXEM holders is broken down into the following: 15% is used for staking (see below) 45% is used for conversion to f(x) tokens. (see below) 5% is used for extra bonus tasks over 12 months (allocation TBD).
Remarks All NPXS / NPXSXEM tokens that are converted will be removed from the total supply of NPXS / NPXSXEM; Pundi X will not convert company's NPXS for f(x) Tokens. This allocation is designed for NPXS/NPXSXEM long term holders. NPXS / NPXSXEM tokens that are converted will also be entitled to the 15% f(x) Token distribution right after the conversion.
UsageManagement of the Ecosystem Genesis Fund (EGF)
The purpose of setting up the Ecosystem Initialization Fund, is to motivate, encourage and facilitate service providers to join and root into the f(x) Ecosystem and, at the same time, to attract seed consumers to enrich and enlarge the f(x) Ecosystem. EIF comes from funds raised and will be used as a bootstrap mechanism to encourage adoption before the Tipping Jar incentives fully kicks in.
The EGF is divided into 5 parts:
SummaryTime moves fast in the technology world and even faster in the blockchain space. Pundi X’s journey started in October 2017, slightly over a year ago, and we have been operating at a lightning pace ever since, making progress that can only be measured in leaps and bounds. We started as a blockchain payment solution provider and have evolved into a blockchain service provider to make blockchain technology more accessible to the general public, thereby improving your everyday life.
The creation of Function X was driven by the need to create a better suited platform for our blockchain point-of sale network and through that process, the capabilities of Function X have allowed us to extend blockchain usage beyond finance applications like payment solutions and cryptocurrency.
The complete decentralized ecosystem of Function X will change and benefit organizations, developers, governments and most importantly, society as a whole.
The XPhone prototype which we have created is just the start to give everyone a taste of the power of Function X on how you can benefit from a truly decentralized environment. We envision a future where the XPOS, XPhone and other Function X-enabled devices work hand-in-hand to make the decentralized autonomous ecosystem a reality.
You may wonder how are we able to create such an extensive ecosystem within a short span of time? We are fortunate that in today’s open source and sharing economy, we are able to tap onto the already established protocols (such as Consensus algorithm, FXTP, etc), software (like Android, IPFS, PBFT, Dockers, etc.) and hardware (design knowledge from existing experts) which were developed by selfless generous creators. Function X puts together, aggregates and streamlines all the benefits and good of these different elements and make them work better and seamlessly on the blockchain. And we will pay it forward by making Function X as open and as decentralized as possible so that others may also use Function X to create bigger and better projects.
To bring Function X to full fruition, we will continue to operate in a transparent and collaborative way. Our community will continue to be a key pillar for us and be even more vital as we get Function X up and running. As a community member, you will have an early access to the Function X ecosystem through the f(x) token conversion.
We hope you continue to show your support as we are working hard to disrupt the space and re-engineer this decentralized world.
ReferencePractical Byzantine Fault Tolerance
Byzantine General Problem technical paper
Global mobile data revenues to reach $630 billion by 2020
NPXSXEM token supply
NPXS circulating token supply and strategic purchaser
[total supply might differ from time to time due to token taken out of total supply aka “burn”]
ELC: SpaceX lessons learned (PBFT mentioned) https://lwn.net/Articles/540368/
|What would you say to other CEOs and decision makers who are hesitant to utilize bitcoin?||It depends upon what their hesitancy is.|
|There are business reasons to do it: save on transaction fees, eliminate fraud and charebacks, etc. There may be business reasons not to do it as well, such as the risk of volatility (but this concern can be obviated by trading out of Bitcoin immediately upon receipt, a service that the firms like Bitpay, Coinapult, and Coinbase all offer, I believe).|
|But if they are pro-freedom, they should want to get behind it on principle alone. Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."|
|Hi Patrick, do you have any thoughts on where the economy is heading? Are we truly in a recovery as the powers that be suggest? Do you have examples you see in business that say one way or the other?||No we are not in a recovery. We have re-inflated a bubble and called it a recovery.|
|The government lies to us about the stats. Think of it this way: assume Alleged GDP (that is, "Nominal GDP") is growing at 3%. Inflation is calcualted to be 2%. So Real GDP is growing 3% - 2% = 1%. That is the basic equation. However, what if they are lying about inflation? Imagine it were really 5%? Then the truth, God's-eye-only view would be 3% - 5% = -2%. That is, if inflation is understated, then growth is overstated. I think this is likely the case. I think we are in a shallow dive that they are trying to make look like a level or small climb. See John Williams' site Shadow Government Statistics for more.|
|The Fed's policies are all about driving up asset prices (homes, stocks) in order to create a wealth effect. Your 401k goes from being worth $300,000 to $500,000. You think, "Gosh I made $200,000! I'll go out and spend $50,000 of it."|
|The Snoop Dogg Overstock commercial was awesome! When can we expect to see more ads from him?||Thanks. It was even more fun hanging out with the guy for four hours. He is one smaaart dude. He asked me more intelligent questions about our business than any of the 80 or so VCs with whom I ever dealt. No kidding.|
|Also, he rolls a mean cigar.|
|Shouldn't the government be spending our tax dollars on putting wall street guys who caused the financial crisis in jail (instead of making them pay fines) ? Not one of them has ever been criminally convicted.||But I do think the government should put more resources into policing Wall Street. The last I checked, the SEC budget was about $800 million. I think it was around the size of the budget for the Denver police force. It should be about 10X that. However, they should unplug the SEC and ship it to the DOJ. The only thing that scares these guys on Wall Street is an orange jumpsuit, and only the DOJ can issue those.|
|Patrick, What was your evolution toward being "pro-freedom" like? Were you always so? Was there some event that turned you in that direction?||I grew up in New England and thought of myself as a Yankee Republican. Then the Republicans went crazy getting worked up over things that are none of the government's damn business. The old man with whom i sued to build stone walls in Vermont, Earl Barre, taught me that government should pave the roads, run the Post Office, and stay the hell off my porch. I think he must roll over in his grave to see the kinds of things Republicans care about today.|
|My friend, mentor, and teacher Milton Friedman used to say, "I'm a small-l libertarian and a small-r republican." Sounds right.|
|PS Thanks for seizing the term. We have a lot of people in our society who call themselves "progressives". If they can hijack the word "progress" I can hijack the word "freedom".|
|Hello Patrick, Thank you for doing this. Do you know when Overstock.com will be accepting bitcoin for international shipment? I've been waiting this for months! (I'm in Canada)||Working on it now. Phase II was getting so we could issue credits back in Bitcoin. I think it came live last week. Phase III will be accepting it internationally. Should happen late summer +/-.|
|Hi Patrick! You've gotten a lot of praise for accepting Bitcoin, I think its great. But I'm curious what you've found to be the biggest challenge or drawback with accepting this new form of currency. What is something new merchents need to keep in mind before accepting bitcoin?||It has been unbelievably seamless.|
|Coinbase made it easy. But Bitpay and Coinapult do as well, I hear.|
|Once integrated, it has not demanded an ounce of effort.|
|Where do you see Bitcoin in 1 year? What about 5? Or 10?||I have no theories as to valuation.|
|Adoption... I would imagine SpaceCash (of one flavor or another) will gradually increase until you see 2-3% of transactions occur within it. If that day ever comes, it will leap quickly to 15-30%. (Lots of things are like that in life, rates of HIV infection in the adult population being one of them, for example.)|
|What percentage of transactions (# or revenue) are paid for in Bitcoin on Overstock.com?||Tiny. <.1%|
|Did you ever reveal who the "Sith Lord" is??? Inquiring minds want to know!||It was an amalgam of two people. 1) Steven A. Cohen of SAC Capital (hence, all my references to "someday I am going to sack up and tell the world...")|
|2) Michael Milken, who, I believe, is the Hannibal Lecter of the financial world. Read Den of Thieves. Since he was let out of prison (on his 98 count indictment) he spent a lot of money burnishing his image, but he is a really bad guy.|
|Is naked short selling still a problem? What do you see currently as the biggest risks to our financial system?||"Is naked short selling still a problem? " Not so much, or at least, not as obviously as previously.|
|"What do you see currently as the biggest risks to our financial system?" Chains of title. You think you own something because you have some paperwork that says you do. However, in the central clearing systems of our economy there is slop. The slop was designed in as a way of providing fault tolerance. However, crooks figured out how to game that slop and create circumstances where more than one person thinks he owns the same thing.|
|Fractional reserve banking without a reserve requirement.|
|Nice to see you on Reddit, Mr. Byrne.||I like Schiff. Opponents say, "Even a broken watch is right twice per day." But he shares my Austrian views.|
|Here is my question. Peter Schiff and many others think that a collapse of the dollar is imminent. What do you think about that? And what impact this collapse will have on digital currencies like Bitcoin?||Yogi Berra said something to the effect, "Anything that cannot go on forever won't." We are living on borrowed time in many ways. However, it is like seeing a bridge built for 10 cars, that now has 80 driving across it. Will it collapse? I have no idea. I thought it would ahve collapsed at 20.|
|Did you have better experiences at Stanford, Cambridge, or Dartmouth? Which school influenced you the most, both culturally and intellectually?||The day I got to Dartmouth I swore to myself that while I was there I would never enter a church, a party, or a fraternity. never did. Never had a single beer with anyone in college, went to a party, anything. I was a total grind. I did play football two years, then split, went to Asia, mucked around, came back just to graduate.|
|Cambridge - Marshall Fellow - Did a Master's in moral philosophy but was mostly an invalid, and spent my time with a handful of people, just reading for two years. Was in the uber-Lefty envornment of King's College (where the British traitors come from). When I got there I was Left-Curious, but when I split I was into Sowell and Milton Friedman.|
|Stanford - PhD They were great to me. I was an invalid there as well for much of the experience. Started in mathematical logic, ended up doing stuff in development economics, jurisprudence, and political philosophy. As a grad student my major influences were the other grad students, with whom one forms close bonds. Martin Jones (Oberlin?) and Taylor Carmen (Barnard?). Ask them.|
|What convinced you to damn the torpedoes and what other examples, successful or not, can you give of this full speed ahead orientation with respect to your life?||So that has focused my mind tremendously. Lot of things I want to get done, and none of them have to do with knuckling under to the Combine. In fact, they largely have to do with blowing up the Combine. (Gold star to the first who can say where the expression "Combine" comes from.)|
|Combine = "Our Benefactors" in the half-life universe. HL3 confirmed!||One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.|
|Organised crime on Wall St -- Can you elaborate?||Yes. Wall Street started to be infiltrated by Organized Crime. It sttarted with Michael Steinhardt in the 1970's (his dad, Sol Steinhardt, was the biggest Mob fence in America, and went to Sing Sing, from whence he put his son Michael through Wharton, who then started what was arguably the first hedge fund in 1968, funded over time by cash from his dad's cronies.)|
|Google "Operation Uptick": the largest Mob arrest in US history was 120 goons from around Wall Street.|
|The Gambinos and Genovese fought over Wall Street in the 1990s. The Genovese won. Wherever Genovese are, there is Russian Orgnized Crime (the Genovese sponsored the Russian OC into the US like you or I would sponsor a family from Laos). See "Red Mafiya."|
|Anywhere you see "bucket shops" you are seeing OC.|
|I also work as an editor and journalist at DeepCapture.com, which explores this subject in hundreds of posts.|
|Mr. Byrne,||No opinion on such companies.|
|What is your take on companies that operate solely in Bitcoin (i.e. Blockchain, Bitcoinstore.com, etc)? Are you offering your employees to take a percentage of their salary in Bitcoin?||Not offering it to employees yet, but there is always the year-end bonus to consider!|
|Thank you for doing this AMA, and thank you for your activism and conviction you have shown over the years! Hindsight is 20/20, what is one decision that you would make, or wouldnt make, if you had to start Overstock.com all over again?||When someone is dishonest, do not try to cajole or coach them. Get rid of him.|
|Hello patrick first i will like to say thank you for all you do. i have 3 questions 1. who are your favorite philosopher's and what book on philosophy do you recommened for enlightenment?||Who are your favorite philosopher's and what book on philosophy do you recommened for enlightenment?|
|I admire tesla as a person and for his work, have you heard of the keshe foundation? where do you stand on free energy?||I admire tesla as a person and for his work, have you heard of the keshe foundation? where do you stand on free energy? NO THOGHTS.|
|Will the criminal cabal who runs the united corporation of america fail?||Will the criminal cabal who runs the united corporation of america fail? I'M WORKING ON IT, I'M WORKING ON IT.|
|I'm a computer programmer, so I'd like to ask a technical question if it's not a secret - what do you use for source control?||Ironically enough: Subversion.|
|As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give to someone just starting up their own (tech) company?||Calculate how much capital it is going to take to start your business, and how many years. Then square both those numbers.|
|I'd like to thank you for the nice red lounge chairs I got from Overstock. I was able to get a good price for them at a garage sale later. My question is how do you ensure a stable inherent value in cryptocurrency? Unlike Gold, which is a tangible thing, or a Federal Reserve Note which has value simply because the government says it does, with something like Bitcoin how can it retain value and trust without some "official" endorsement and tie in to a national currency? - if you DID tie it to something like the dollar.. then what would be the point?||Right. Some say that Bitcoin is a figment of someone's imagination. But as I said on Fox or CNN or something recently (search my name on Youtube, you'll find it), I would be happy to debate the metaphysical properties of Bitcoin versus whatever the metaphysical properties are of those 65 billion figments Janet Yellen createde last month.|
|An opponent would say that those 65 billion figments are backed by the taxing authority of the US government. To which I respond: But if that taxing authority is tapped out (which it obviously is, otherwise we would not be in the fiscal state we are as a country) then those 65 billion things are backed by... nothing. At least there are a limited number of Bitcoin figments!|
|You have previously mentioned in a interview with Forbes that you are very intersted in a "Bitcoin version of the stock market" and having the ability to conduct more than just simple transactions via a blockchain.||I am a bit confused about what you are asking. My fight with Wall Street came about because I became convinced in 2004 that the market's mechanisms for clearing and settling trades had been corrupted by bad elements. It all started there. Hence, the peer-to-peer aspect of Bitcoin et. al. deeply attracats me.|
|NXT - the first second generation cryptocurrency is doing this with it's new features being launched in the upcoming weeks and months. Have you looked into it and / or considered accepting it for overstock?||I do not know NXT, but I am interested in finding (and even potentially investing in) efforts to create a peer-to-peer capital market. In fact, if a good solution emerges, you might even see Overstock be the first issuer of a stock or bond in such a market, just to help things get going! (Incidentally, we were the first to do a Dutch auction IPO, for precisely that reason.)|
|Clearly bitcoin has the potential to rid the world of much corruption. Have you thought of publicly endorsing it in this manner. Because most people do not understand the countless benefits that this technology has to offer to our society.||All our new commercials end with a "Now Accepting Bitcoin" under the logo. Look for them.|
|Your top executives (Stormy Simon, Johnathan Johnson, Dave Nielsen) make $350K a year in salary, while Amazon pays their around $160K. This information is made public in SEC fillings. How is your executive compensation determined?||One must look at cash and non-cash together.|
|When and from whom have you first heard of Bitcoin, and what was your first reaction?||About two years ago I read a short piece about it in Wired, or Fast Company (perhaps). It struck a bell, from my computation studies at Stanford. I was also struck by how it has properties similar to gold's.|
|Edit: I also want to thank you for pioneering the way with cryptocurrencies and exposing Wallstreet corruption. Your work is very much needed and greatly appreciated!||However, I think the crowdfunding movement is spectacular, and might be considered as well.|
|You mentioned the term bust out in your presentation on Ecomonic Warfare. You taught that an example of this was the S&L crisis. Where do you see the next bust out occurring?||I don't know. Wherever you see an industry get over-leveraged, I suppose. Look for whatever sector has the most cronies of Michael Milken: thta would be a good guess.|
|I've heard from multiple sources that the stock market is due for a major retraction this year because its been artificially propped up by the FED's QE. Your thoughts?||It is true that the Fed is propping it up, but they are not going to stop. They cannot stop lest we slide back into a deeper recession/depression.|
|However, eventually reality has a way of happening.|
|Remember, we used to refer to "The Great War" before we learned enough to start numbering them. The same will be true someday of "The Great Depression".|
|What do you think of the issues cryptocurrencies have been having in terms of security (Mt Gox "break-in", Flexcoin, etc all)? Will people ever be able to overcome their bias of Bitcoin or will it need to rebrand as a more secure currency or more user friendly to gain wider acceptance?||So did Target.|
|It won't "rebrand" deliberately because there is no owner. It will morph and evolve to be better and better. I suspect that as other currencies develop traction, Bitcoin will harvest their better attributes and make them its own. However, switching costs are not too high... Other currencies may fare well.|
|I admire your position and fight for school vouchers, now that charter schools have become more common, do you feel that charter schools can replace the need for school vouchers? Charter schools are less controversial but not as readily available due to the lottery system.||1) Backpack funding (e.g., Oakland) - Send your kid to any public school in the district that you want, and the funds travel with him (in his "backpack" so to speak). Something like Henry Ford saying, "You can buy a Model T in any color you want as long as it's black." But it's a start.|
|2) Charter schools - As you say, these have momentum.|
|3) Vouchers (or their economic equivalent, tuition tax credits). These create the most freedom of all the methods.|
|Thanks for doing this Mr. Byrne. I was curious if overstock held a small % of the btc from purchases or is it all automatically sold on the market?||10%.|
|Sorry if this has been mentioned already but how would you suggest the community as a whole informs the general public about bitcoin? Obviously mainstream media isnt doing a great job since their main focus are the negative stories relating to bitcoin since thats what sells.||Like Ho Chi Minh, make it a war of the ants against the elephants.|
|My company's CEO thinks there are more important things to take care of rather than bitcoin payments. What would you say to him?||Beat the rush.|
|Hi Patrick! I'd just like to say it's great working here at Overstock. Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?||Having been nibbled to death by a duck, I would rather fight the horses of whatever size.|
|What do you like about Utah and what do you do for fun here?||What do you like about Utah and what do you do for fun here? BUILD OVERSTOCK.|
|Any chance the Ostk benefits would include more than the Snowbird pass discount? Maybe more resorts discounts benefits?||Any chance the Ostk benefits would include more than the Snowbird pass discount? Maybe more resorts discounts benefits? NO. WOULD RATHER JUST PAY THE CASH.|
|I'm sorry that you contracted cancer numerous times, do you have any ideas about what caused it? Also, Bitcoin :-}||Nope. Just lucky I guess.|
|What was the last thing you bought from overstock.com?||A book about Camille Claudel, I think.|
|What the fuck was the deal with Snoop? Stormy just wanted to meet the guy, so you waste MILLIONS on an ill-fated promotion that is so at odds with your brand?||You mean this? Link to www.youtube.com|
|Note our appearance in his video: Link to www.youtube.com|
|It has 2.5 million hits. Seems to have struck a chord for some.|
|What are you, racialist?|
|"three time cancer survivor" Did you grow up under power lines? Or did you just like the way lead-based paint tasted?||Some guys just get lucky.|
|Related note: Seriously, no one is out to get you! Quit moving your damn office every three months!||3) I move my office because we are a flexible, agile environment. Sounds like that was something you could not grasp during your tenure here.|
|Do you know who's behind the Satoshi twitter account?||No.|
|I work over at castle and I challenge you to a game of ping pong.||You're on.|
|My paycheck against yours?|
|(Joke: I don't get paychecks, I believe.)|
|Truly. The beautiful thing about bitcoin is that we can all be a small part of this change. The peer to peer aspect makes it truly pro-freedom.||True dat.|
|Thank you for accepting bitcoin Patrick. I've made several purchases on Overstock instead of Amazon because of it.||Thanks. Spread the word! We took a chance by taking it. Help make it pay off by getting more people to think like you.|
|(Notice Amazon recently dissed Bitcoin? They do not want to appear as Me-too'ers.)|
|Hello Mr. Byrne,||I became a strong believer in several ways. 1) As a grad student at Stanford I studied computation thory, which underlies public key encryption, and so when cryptocurrencies came along it was not as magical-sounding to me as it might have been. 2) I am a proponent of the Austrian School of Economics, which, in general, eschews fiat currency in favor of a gold standard. The goal is not really the gold standard, however: the goal is to have a form of money that is intrinsically limited. Bitcoin et. al. accomplishes that. In addition, cryptocurrencies are SpaceCash (a word I think I just made up) that can be beamed across the galaxy! (Henceforth in my answers I will use "SpaceCash" top refer to all cryptocurrencies.)|
|Clearly bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have the potential to change how our world does money for the better. What made you such a strong believer in bitcoin, and how would you spread this knowledge to other CEOs like yourself.|
|It's my understanding that since Overstock.com uses a Coinbase to facilitate the transaction Overstock does not sit on any Bitcoin; just the cash after the fact.||Correct. Acutally, I think we are accumulating 10% of what gets spent with us in Bitcoin, as Bitcoin.|
|Just want to say you sound like a really cool mega rich person.||Thanks. If so, it helps that I was a really cool person before I became a rich guy.|
One hexadecimal digit is of one nibble (4 bits). Two nibbles make 8 bits which are also called 1 byte. MD5 generates an output (128 bit) which is represented using a sequence of 32 hexadecimal digits, which in turn are 32*4=128 bits. 128 bits make 16 bytes (since 1 byte is 8 bits). Bits and Bytes. At the smallest scale in the computer, information is stored as bits and bytes. In this section, we'll learn how bits and bytes encode information. Bit. a "bit" is atomic: the smallest unit of storage A bit stores just a 0 or 1 "In the computer it's all 0's and 1's" ... bits Anything with two separate states can store 1 bit A nibble has 4 bits (although it doesn't have to). That also means that when you view a byte's value in hex-notation, one hex digit corresponds to one nibble. That's one reason why going from hex to binary is much easier than from decimal to binary. The question reads: You know a byte is 8 bits. We call a 4 bit-quantity a nibble.If a byte-addressable memory has a 14-bit address, how many nibbles of storage are in this memory? My answer: Now I Nibble. A nibble is 4 bits. Byte. Today, a byte is 8 bits. 1 character, e.g., "a", is one byte. Kilobyte (KB) A kilobyte is 1,024 bytes. 2 or 3 paragraphs of text. Megabyte (MB) A megabyte is 1,048,576 bytes or 1,024 kilobytes. 873 pages of plain text (1,200 characters). 4 books (200 pages or 240,000 characters). Gigabyte (GB)
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