Newegg goes to BitPay, 1-800 Flowers goes to Coinbase. Barry Silbert explains why he is betting his career on bitcoin. A Kuwaiti Investment Bank has recommended that Gulf oil producers consider trading oil using bitcoin rather than dollars. And this is perhaps the last day that I care about soccer for the next four years. Slow news day Tuesday…
There’s a non-bitcoin subject I wanted to talk about briefly today, which I’ve been struggling with for a while. Should people who haven’t hacked or taken computer science classes at a young age bother learning to code?
On paper, it sounds like a no-brainer. Yes. The internet is eating the world, and even gobbling up high finance through a wave of technological disruptions in payment technology, peer-to-peer lending, and even wealth advisory. And yes, it’s a challenge to carve your non-technical niche if you aren’t a seasoned vet with nuanced trading expertise or business development experience. And sure, learning to think like an engineer would be an excellent exercise for the mind.
But will learning code honestly prove valuable to your career, or are you already too far behind the eight ball at a certain age? Should a jack of all trades strive to add a proficiency check mark to a resume in an industry that screams for more experts? There has to be some type of neuro-plasticity / required income graph which identifies the intersection at which you’ve missed the brogramming boat, no?
Of course, if you’ve crammed your fat head with ten years of non-engineering knowledge and can’t live on an entry level developer’s salary, you probably don’t want to consider switching careers. But objectively, given the constraints of our scarcest resource - time - is it worth even learning the basics?
I’m not sure, but this old dog kind of wants to learn some new tricks. I just started the intro to Computer Science / Python course on Udacity late last week, so let me know if you’d like to tutor me. Coin flip that I make it through the course, and an even lower probability that I ever write a piece of code that can be considered useful. But I hope it will be a complete waste of energy.
Wish me luck or drop me a line letting me know I’m an idiot. I’m curious to hear what the general response is from this industry especially, where almost all of the demand for talent is technical in some way, shape or form.
Y’all can give me a B- for my post yesterday. Not because I mailed it in intentionally, but because I knew that my rundown of the USMS’s Silk Road bitcoins was missing something.
What I neglected to think through, specifically when it came to large institutional bidders like SecondMarket and Pantera (who both failed to win a single lot of bitcoins), was that there was no incentive for them to place market rate bids. In SecondMarket’s case (and possibly Pantera’s), the company was aggregating bids on behalf of customers who were presumably looking to buy cheap bitcoin, but didn’t have the interest or dry powder to make full bids themselves. This would seem to attract a number of “just in case” lobs into the USMS.
Even more importantly, it makes no sense whatsoever for an established market participant to make competitive offers in this type of auction. The simple reason: it’s a non-exclusive bidding process, and these companies have invested significant resources into developing their own proprietary procurement channels. If you are Pantera or SecondMarket and you have built a rolodex of miners and exchanges that you trade with regularly who already sell north of 30,000+ freshly minted bitcoins per month, there’s zero reason to pay a premium or even pay the market rate to Uncle Sam.
[These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. And to you they’re gold. And you don’t get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just…throwing them away.]
Now for Today’s Tid Bits:
Online Retail Giant Newegg Now Accepts Bitcoin
Los Angeles based-company Newegg, a popular online computer hardware and software retail giant now accepts bitcoin. The company was founded in 2001 and currently has 2,600 employees. The move was highly anticipated following the news that Newegg’s rival, TigerDirect began accepting bitcoin in January. The company will use BitPay as a payment processor to convert bitcoin sales into US dollars.
Bitcoin in 10 Years: Barry Silbert’s Prediction
Billy Silbert, founder and CEO of SecondMarket Holdings and the Bitcoin Investment Trust, shared his four predictions for bitcoin in the next ten years. He believes all e-commerce sites will adopt bitcoin, as will Facebook, Western Union and MoneyGram will be decimated, and bitcoin will fuel new micropayment-based online business models. Not to mention, he also believes another bitcoin bubble is in the works.
Kuwaiti Investment Firm Recommends Bitcoin for Oil Trading
There are many political and monetary reasons for OPEC member states to consider trading their oil and gas in currencies other than the USD. Iran and Russia already encourage their trading partners to pay with yen, yuan or even rubles, but the new report (Disruptive Technology: Bitcoins, Currency Reinvented) issued by asset management firm Kuwait Financial Centre, suggest that these states would also benefit if they were to use bitcoin in oil trading. However, it remains doubtful that the fledgling bitcoin derivatives market could support such trading activity on a large scale.
MasterCard Patent Would Add Bitcoin to Global Shopping Cart
In MasterCard’s latest attempt to improve its global online shopping cart, the financial services giant has filed a patent that would seek to incorporate bitcoin to the shopping cart. MasterCard claims the patent was filed in order to provide “additional convenience to consumers,” not represent a commitment to bitcoin. The filing has not yet been approved nor have the bitcoin related patents from Visa and Western Union, MasterCard will have to get in line.
Who Won the FBI’s Bitcoin Auction? Well, We Know Who Didn’t
SecondMarket and US investment firm Pantera Capital, have both confirmed they were outbidded in Friday’s auction. The 12-hour auction on Friday had 45 registered bidders, 63 bids, and about $17.7 million in bitcoin. The bidding price of the coins has yet to be revealed.
IRS Says Bitcoin Not Reportable on FBAR (For Now)
For those who have more than $10,000 in a financial account outside of US, yesterday you were required to submit an electronic filing with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). However, this required electronic filing does not yet apply to Bitcoin holdings. But this may change very soon, the IRS offers this advice on the matter: “stay tuned.”
Charlie Shrem Update
Former Bitcoin Foundation member, BitInstant founder, and Payza consultant is still on house arrest, but manages to get around. Shrem has spoken at industry events, and currently works as a consultant. Shrem has pleaded not guilty to federal charges for his connection with Silkroad; his trial is scheduled for September.
Techies and finance peeps alike. What are your recommendations for learning the art of the beautiful code?
P.S. There are just TWO DAYS left to register for the Bitcoin Finance 2014 Conference (Bitfin) in Dublin, Ireland on July 3-4. Not only is Bitfin a generous Daily Bit sponsor, but they boast the best Bitcoin event to date for those interested in interactions and integration with the broader financial establishment (banks, payment networks, etc.). Check it out.