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Anarchy and Bitcoin with Jeff Berwick: The Musings of The Dollar Vigilante

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The internet can be a very chaotic place. It has caused dramatic shifts in how we communicate and how we consume information. Being a platform that allows literally an infinite variety of content, it is unsurprisingly a fertile place for anarchy to grow and economy to evolve.

One fascinating way in which the internet is facilitating economic evolution is through cryptocurrency. Today I’ve interviewed a prominent supporter of crypto, Jeff Berwick. Libertarian and anarcho-capitalist, Jeff is best known for founding Stockhouse, a penny stock promotion and marketing site. He was an avid early investor in bitcoin and appears publicly on mainstream news outlets like Fox news. The following is a candid peek at Jeff’s view on Bitcoin, politics, and the future of crypto.

How did you first get into the world of cryptotech? Do you have a technical background?

I did have a technical background, having founded Canada’s largest financial site, Stockhouse.com, in 1994, but I don’t think that played a big part in my interest in cryptocurrencies. What played a bigger role was my understanding of Austrian Economics and knowledge of how the modern central banking scam works. Armed with that knowledge, when I first heard about bitcoin at $3 in 2011 I immediately knew it would change the world.

I understand that the implementation of Bitcoin ATMs got off to a rough start. What happened? Does it have a future?

I was involved in the world’s first fully functioning bitcoin ATM in 2013 but had a falling out with the founders of the company and moved on. AS for bitcoin ATM’s themselves, they definitely have a future as more and more people discover the value of bitcoin.

What’s your opinion on the new virtual currencies like Dogecoin, litecoin and ethereum?

Well, dogecoin and litecoin aren’t exactly “new” ass they have been around for a while. Ethereum is a bit newer although it has been in development for years. And, of course, there are hundreds of other cryptocurrencies now. When it comes to currency nothing comes close to bitcoin in terms of size and user base. There are a few other cryptos that are trying to improve on bitcoin though and some have done well in 2016, like Monero.

What other applications do you see for the use of Blockchain?

Well, it’s already happening. We now have social media networks, like Steemit, based on the blockchain. Of course, any private contract can be on the blockchain using cryptos like Ethereum. Your own identity and citizenship can be put on the blockchain via Bit Nation. And the entire internet is trying to be put on the blockchain by Maid Safe. The applications are unlimited.

Bitcoin had a good year. How much do you think politics influenced that?

Well, politics is just using violence to get the things you want. So, in that sense, politics didn’t have any particularly big influence than it normally does on bitcoin this year. Every year governments try to stop bitcoin but they can’t. Governments continue to enslave their own citizens and this causes many of them to begin to use bitcoin as a means of escape. But the main reason for bitcoin’s excellent year was more people are using bitcoin, more people are producing services and goods connected to bitcoin and central banks across the world continue to inflate their fiat currencies to worthlessness.

Who did you vote for?

I don’t vote. Government is an immoral and illegitimate idea and is the biggest problem in the world today.

As a self -proclaimed anarcho-capitalist, what roles do you see cryptocurrencies playing in anarchism?

Most governments cannot grow very large without a central bank to print money to allow the to go into more debt than they otherwise would be able to do. Cryptocurrencies hold the potential to make central banks and fiat currencies obsolete and, with them, big government. Eventually, we could see cryptocurrencies be the biggest reason for complete anarchy on Earth and we’d then know a time of peace and prosperity like we’ve never known.

What advice would you give a nontechnical person who wanted to get into cryptocurrency?

You don’t have to be technical to use cryptocurrency anymore than you need to be technical to do online banking. If you can move a mouse and read what’s on the screen that’s pretty much all you need. I suggest trying to earn income in bitcoin by telling your employer you want to receive bitcoin or selling your products for bitcoin and then you can begin to see how amazing it is. Orm alternatively, just open an account at an exchange and buy some. I wrote a book called Bitcoin Basics which you can get with a subscription to our Dollar Vigilante newsletter at dollarvigilante.com/subscribe.

I heard you got into a shipwreck and survived by floating on a broken surfboard. How long were you lost at sea? Did you see any sharks?

Yes, I once tried to sail around the world and lasted exactly one year to the day before sinking in El Salvador. We were only out there a few hours before some local sailors saved us and the government took credit even though they didn’t even show up until the next day. We didn’t see any sharks but the government was certainly preying upon us.

Currently, we stand at the forefront of an evolving age of economics and figures like Jeff are the radical trailblazers testing the waters. As it stands, Bitcoin holds a reputation mostly associated with criminals like Silk Road’s Dread Pirate Roberts and hackers. But when you look at history, you’ll find that most revolutions begin with revolutionaries who are initially viewed as radical and even criminal.

Like Chelsea Manning going from holding the longest criminal sentence (for a whistleblower) to being commuted, how quickly will the public adopt the utility of crypto? This process has already begun. The internet has been proven to facilitate paradigm shifts in business and culture. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before this applies to our money as well.

What's up! I'm Katrina 🚀 I'm wandering, collecting, witnessing and learning. I'm drawn to all things found at the intersection of art and technology. If I could go back in time, I think I'd be best friends with Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla and Cleopatra. When I'm not obsessing about the human endeavor or the nature of time, I'm probably cooking or dancing.

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Business

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy And The Race To Space

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People are looking to the stars again — even though they might just be looking for Elon Musk’s midnight-cherry Tesla Roadster that’s somewhere in orbit between Mars and the asteroid belt. The successful launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which sent that car on its potentially billion-year journey, has everyone scrambling to get their rocket program on the same level as SpaceX. What does the Falcon Heavy launch mean for the future of space travel and the possibility of a new space race?

The Falcon Heavy

On Feb. 6, Elon Musk and SpaceX celebrated the maiden voyage of the Falcon Heavy. This miracle of engineering was launched successfully at 3:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, powered by a whopping 27 Merlin engines — nine inches each of the side booster rockets, and nine more in the center core.

The two booster rockets successfully separated and landed almost simultaneously at Landing Zones 1 and 2 back at Cape Canaveral in a mind-blowing feat of synchronization — if you haven’t had a chance to watch the replay of this landing, you should. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

The third core, which was supposed to land on the autonomous droneship Of Course I Still Love You about 300 miles off the Florida coastline, didn’t fare as well. According to the post-launch press conference, the core didn’t have enough fuel to reignite all three of its engines for its final landing burn. It hit the water at about 300 miles per hour — hard enough to take out two of the engines on the droneship.

If the cameras on Of Course I Still Love You weren’t damaged in the crash, we may be in for some spectacular crash footage in the coming weeks.

It’s not a great loss, though — Space X wasn’t planning to reuse any of the cores from the Heavy’s maiden launch. The two Falcon 9 boosters that landed successfully are Block 4 style rockets — the ones that will be used for future Heavy launches will be Block 5.

Despite the spectacular failure of the center core, the launch itself was a complete success — pretty good for something Elon Musk was expecting to explode before it even made it off the launchpad. As Musk put it, “Crazy things can come true. When I see a rocket lift off, I see a thousand things that could not work, and it’s amazing when they do.”

Now that it’s off the ground and proven its viability as a reusable heavy lift option, the Falcon Heavy is much cheaper than any other currently available options. “At $90 million per launch, it’s the cheapest heavy lift option available,” said William Ostrove, a space industry analyst. “The Delta IV Heavy, for example, typically costs $350 million to $400 million per launch.”

The Future of SpaceX

Now that his Roadster is traversing the solar system, what is next for Elon Musk and SpaceX?

In the short term, the next big milestone for SpaceX and for the Falcon Heavy specifically is to get certified by the U.S. Air Force to carry secure and government payloads. The Falcon 9 received this certification back in 2015 and has since carried several military and classified payloads into their places in orbit. The next flight for the Falcon Heavy is scheduled for June for the Air Force — and depending on its outcome, it could be the flight that qualifies the Heavy for military and government contracts.

Next year, in addition to continuing to develop the Falcon Heavy, there are two more projects on SpaceX’s plate — Crew Dragon and the BFR.

Crew Dragon is an upgraded incarnation of the currently used Dragon capsule, but instead of just hauling cargo to the International Space Station autonomously, Crew Dragon will be outfitted for carrying astronauts into orbit and beyond.

This will likely become an essential part of the space program, or at least in getting America’s astronauts to space, especially with the current administration’s plan to defund the International Space Station by 2025 and hand it over to private investors, shifting that funding toward the goal of putting humans back on the Moon.

The BFR — short for Big F*****g Rocket — is designed for use a lot closer to home, at least to start. Once completed, the BFR will be even larger than the gargantuan Falcon Heavy. A BFR with a capsule could potentially turn a 12-hour airline flight into a 30-minute hop around the globe. It could also change the way we look at travel to the Moon, Mars and other planets, as well as facilitating asteroid mining to allow us as a species to take advantage of the resources in the rest of the solar system.

Experts estimate the BFR, once it’s off the ground, could turn space into a multi-trillion-dollar industry — currently, space travel is worth about $300 billion.

The New Space Race

The U.S. hasn’t really been in a “space race” since the 1960s, when we threw everything at the wall to see what would stick. This grand idea resulted in the Apollo program, and we sent men to the Moon for the first time. During his Falcon Heavy post-launch news conference, Elon Musk set forth a challenge: “We want a new space race. Space races are exciting.”

They most certainly are — and Musk isn’t the only billionaire with his eyes turned toward the stars. Jeff Bezos, the mind behind Amazon, is also throwing his hat into the ring, as is Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic, Tory Bruno of the United Launch Alliance and the Sierra Nevada Corp.

Bezos’ entry into the space race is his company Blue Origin — he’s launched and landed his New Shepherd rocket multiple times, even before SpaceX managed a successful landing, though all his flights were suborbital. Bezos was planning on his first space tourism launches in 2017, but that fell through. Musk and Bezos regularly launch friendly barbs at one another on Twitter, but when it comes down to it, they each support the other’s endeavors.

Virgin Galactic, headed by Richard Branson, has been trying to make it into orbit for a while now, and has even started selling $250,000 tickets. Unfortunately, Virgin Galactic has hit a few roadblocks, namely the explosion of the space plane during a test flight in 2014 that killed the copilot of the flight.

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) is the mind behind NASA’s Space Launch System and the Delta IV Heavy rockets. Bruno and Musk are butting heads on Twitter, but Musk isn’t worried. He’s actually said if ULA can launch a national security mission before 2023, he’ll eat his hat — with a side of mustard.

The Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) is one of the most exciting entrants in this space race. Their space plane, dubbed Dream Chaser, completed its first successful suborbital test flights in 2017 and recently landed a contract with NASA for an ISS resupply mission in 2020. Musk might have some stiff competition if SNC can manage to nail this launch.

SpaceX might be the first one out of the gate, but they’re not the only game in town anymore — and that’s exactly how Elon Musk wants it. “I think it’s going to encourage other companies and countries to say, ‘Hey, if SpaceX, which is a commercial company, and it can do this and nobody paid for the Falcon Heavy, it was paid with internal funds,’ then they could do it too. So I think it’s going to encourage other countries and companies to raise their sights and say, ‘We can do bigger and better,’ which is great,” Musk said at the post-launch press conference.

The Falcon Heavy launch was history in the making, and being able to witness this launch is an amazing feeling. You can expect SpaceX to continue to push forward in their quest to find new and innovative ways to explore the solar system, but they’re not the only company we need to watch anymore — they’re just the only ones with rockets in the air. Elon Musk may have provided the spark to start this new space race, but he’ll have to come up with some amazing innovations to stay on top!

And if this launch has taught us anything, it’s that we need to keep looking at the stars — and believe crazy things can happen.

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Business

We need to talk to Marketing and PR Agencies about Amazon

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Owner’s Magazine is writing an article featuring the top Marketing and PR Agency’s perspectives on why Amazon should choose their city as it’s next HQ. We’re reaching out to all marketing and PR agencies in each of the 20 cities on Amazon’s list for a private interview. If you’re a marketing or PR agency, then we want to talk to you to get your perspective of your city. Your interview and responses will be featured in an article published featuring your city.

Here are requirements to qualify to be featured in article:

  1. Must be legally classified as a Marketing or PR Agency (cannot only be a service you offer)
  2. Company must either be headquartered in a prospective HQ2 city or have an active office there (No satellite offices)
  3. Company must be at least $1MM+ revenue anually

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Business

0 – 100 With Peter Hwang CEO of Bite App Inc.

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bite app inc.

0 – 100 With Peter Hwang CEO of Bite App Inc. Exclusive interviewed Peter Hwang, current CEO of Bite App Inc., a startup company based in Philadelphia that’s changing the way you discover your next meal.

“Bite is a mobile app that makes deciding what to eat easy by mitigating the time and energy required to evaluate a restaurant dish. It also provides a platform for users to share useful, concise reviews that help improve others’ dining experiences.”

 

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