33 Indicators That Bitcoin Growth Isn’t Slowing Down in 2016

Georgi Georgiev has asked me to post his infographic on my blog, so here it is:

 

Here’s G’s accompanying text:

 

The Bitcoin Train Is Just Leaving The Station

 

Despite naysayers writing Bitcoin off as a fad, bubble, scam or something only computer geeks would ever use. The simple truth is that the cryptocurrency has had a major impact on society and if the indicators in Bargain Fox’s new infographic are anything to go by, the train is only just leaving the station.

 

The decentralised unit of exchange was created by somebody who calls themself Satoshi Nakamoto in January 2009. Although professor of Finance at UCLA, Bhagwan Chowdry recently said he would be nominating Nakamoto for the Nobel Prize in Economics, the mysterious figure has kept their identity hidden from the public, preferring instead for the technology itself to get the spotlight. Nobody owns bitcoin and it operates on a peer to peer basis across the internet.

 

The legend of Nakamoto and the “Genesis Block”  the first block in the blockchain, which referenced the global financial crisis, has given bitcoin a revolutionary quality. And with growing mainstream acceptance perhaps that revolution will be won.

 

Indeed, there are now over 100,000 merchants (online and offline) that accept bitcoin as a payment method. An increase on last year’s 65,000 number. This isn’t just down to customer demand either. Retailers can begin using the BitPay payment processor free of charge and even when they progress to the premium version they are only charged 1% of the transaction, much lower than Visa and Mastercard. Another benefit is that they do not have to deal with fraudulent chargebacks because there is no inbuilt authority or mechanism to force a refund like there is when a customer calls their credit card company. In August 2015 BitPay reached a record number of transactions, totalling 70,000 in one month. Everyone from Microsoft to small niche online stores are on board, so the uptake is only going to increase.

 

In terms of bitcoin’s total daily transaction value $289 million is roughly being moved around, which is more than Xoom ($15 million), Western Union ($216m), and hot on the heels of PayPal ($397m). The trading volume and growth at the exchanges is also on the rise, with Singapore based OK Coin growing a staggering 847% from this time last year. BitStamp which is used more by western traders also grew by 160%.

 

Everything just seems to be converging together. Thanks to $469 million in venture capital (way up from $2 million in 2012), user friendly technology for bitcoin is on a steep rise. Everything from backend exchange software, to payment processors, to bitcoin wallets, is becoming so much more accessible.

 

Perhaps the only hurdle remaining that prevents it becoming a true day to day currency is the volatility of its price. Unless they are profiting off the trades, people don’t want something that can buy them 5 large pizzas one day and then only a side of fries the next.

 

Fortunately all such markets that are small in size will exhibit harsh peaks and valleys in the beginning. The overall trend as BTC matures and becomes much larger, is that volatility is reduced.

 

Its value has been rising steadily since the start of the year, jumping by over $100 in the last two months alone. Experts predict that this steady growth will continue in to 2016.

 

While it certainly hasn’t been an easy ride for the cryptocurrency, what with the Silk Road drug market scandal, people losing thousands in the collapse of the Mt. Gox exchange, and national governments clearly not wanting it to exist in the first place. It has managed to gain broad appeal because it does what it promised.
As we approach its 7th  birthday BargainFox.co.uk has released an infographic revealing 33 indicators that suggest that bitcoin is going to continue its growth in all areas.

Infographic was done by BargainFox and SavvyBeaver . Source: https://www.bargainfox.co.uk/blog/infographic/33-indicators-that-bitcoin-growth-isnt-slowing-down-in-2016-infographic

 

Christmas pressies

Hmm, what to get that loved one or business associate for Christmas?

Well, surely you can get no better than an experience that simultaneously entertains, thrills and educates them as to a revolutionary new technology which is about to change the way the we operate; an experience Sir Richard Branson describes as ‘great’, Lord Ridley describes as ‘outstanding’ and Steve Baker MP describes as ‘thrilling’; an experience  that will be delivered free to any address in the UK, and for a few quid anywhere worldwide.

All for just £8.99.

Surely such a thing is not possible?

It is. Here. What’s more, buy a copy,  and I’ll write you a bespoke message on the inside cover for the business associate/loved one/both of your choice.

And, if you want to enlighten them, you could always go for the Life After The State option at £10.99. I’ll sign that too.

On the originality of ideas

A friend sent me this the other day and it made me laugh.

 

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I was googling to try and find out who wrote it, and it turns the out the original was by a French cartoonist called Kadey. Whoever did the English version, as well as pasting out the French and replacing it with English, also deleted Kadey’s signature. Naughty.

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Not giving credit where it’s due is rather a sore spot with me, as anyone who followed the story of Ross Ashcroft and Four Horsemen will know, hence this post now.

But, of course, it may be that Kadey got his idea from Gary Larson – he of The Far Side.

god-farside

There’s no such thing as an original idea, we all know that. Ideas evolve. Great thinkers are often just product of the collective conscious at that time, while IP, copyright and patenting laws, designed to protect, are often subverted for the purposes of rent-seeking. But there is a fine line between directly nicking something – as happened to Kadey – and taking an idea and moving it forward (as happens all the time in film, literature and music – especially sampling). Quite what that line is, I’m not sure.

For more on sampling and the originality of ideas this Marc Ronson Ted Talk is excellent:

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The Money Pit

This Thursday night (October 29th) sees episode 1 of The Money Pit, starring Jason Manford and yours truly.

Dominic Frisby and Jason Manford in The Money Pit

So tune into Dave at 7.30.

Here’s the blurb from Dave: forty total strangers put their own money on the line in the quest to invest in fledgling businesses that could make their fortunes. But they’ll have to club together to raise enough money to get the businesses to their target – and that’s when tempers flare and the game-playing begins. Inspired by the growing trend of crowd-funding, anything can happen in the Money Pit.

It was great fun to do and my thanks go to exec producer Michele Carlisle, producer Pat Doyle, director Charlie Anderson, commissioners Richard Watsham and Iain Coyle, and to Jamie Isaacs, Liberty Bell and UKTV for making it happen. Thanks also to Jason, all the production team, the crazy crowdfunders and the entrepreneurs who needed their money.

I’ll see you at the BAFTAs.

Frisby & Manford again

 

Life After The State reduced from £6.99 to £2.99 and the Amazon vs publisher wars

You’ve now doubt read about the ongoing war between Amazon and book publishers.

BookCoverAmazon’s business model is predicated on getting the best possible product to the customer at the cheapest possible price with the best possible service, even if that means squeezing the supplier and obliterating the competition. Publishers – the suppliers – are, quite understandably, not so happy to be squeezed. They’re trying to fight back, to defend their profits and, to an extent, their writers’ livelihoods by keeping book prices, as much as they can, up.

My publisher, Unbound, recently signed a deal with Penguin Random House (PRH) to distribute their books. And so, suddenly, I found myself unwillingly caught up in the crossfire of Amazon-PRH wars.

PRH – for reasons I completely get – want to keep the kindle prices of their books somewhere close to the print prices. And so Life After The State was priced at £6.99. But people stopped buying it. Why shouldn’t they, when there are so many kindle books available for 99p, £1.99 or £2.99?

In the Amazon rankings, Life After The State has always been in the top ten, and often top of the obscure category ‘political economy’. But priced at £6.99, it slid to 396th. At its peak (when I was on the Today programme) Life After The State got to top the of non-fiction, and it remained for a long time in the top 10 for economics. It slid 840th earlier this week. The price of £6.99 effectively killed sales of kindle version of the book.

I kept begging and nagging Unbound to reduce the price, but they couldn’t. Now though, thanks to the wonderful negotiating skills of Jason Cooper at Unbound, PRH have reduced the price to £2.99. We have already “soared” back to 168th in the political economy charts. ( I know how ridiculous that sounds).

Life After The State was a work of, I don’t know, passion, love, something. It was never about the money. I just wanted as many people as possible to read it and see the light about our stupid government systems, which create so much inequality, waste and unnecessary unhappiness. With everything that is going on in the world, there should still be an appetite for the book. At the new price of £2.99,I’m hoping that appetite will be rather sated.

Thanks to PRH for compromising – and thanks Jason!