2013: A Year in Review

I started this “blog” in January 2013 as part of a Global Career Development Class I took in Barcelona. It has evolved from a trial in blogging, personal branding, and learning WordPress to a tech site discovered by people around the world. Well sort of, according to stats at least.

I started writing about my network marketing goals with ACN and my experiences while abroad. I wrote about places I went, how to operate MLM organizations, then I started writing about new tech trends. I started writing down everything I thought of in my Iphone notes.  100s of ideas and notes. Then I would take my notes and put them into a blog article. It was anything I was learning in Europe whether it be a cool quote I didn’t want to forget, a new way to think about business, problems to solve, skills to learn, and ultimately things I thought I would be invaluable to my future in business. About mid summer I realized my blog had transformed. I was back in the Bay Area, I was reading, golfing, looking for synergies in technology, something I could capitalize on, and I was still writing on this site.

I caught on to a few things like how to use Categories and Tags appropriately to optimize the SEO. I learned how to use featured images instead of just a media input. I could post in HTML on my Iphone5 from anywhere I could find WiFi.

I then started going into what I thought would trend. What people were searching for and what was going to be viral next on the internet. I wrote about QR Codes, Hotspot 2.0, the Urban Operating System, International Business, and most recently Bitcoin.

In the months of October, November, and December, my mind was captivated and still is about the possibilities of the Bitcoin protocol/ Bitcoin Mining/ the worldwide distributed ledger. I started seeing my website get hundreds of visitors a day from all around the world. I then went to Reddit and started posting my blog articles there to drive traffic. I realized that if I was on of the first to write about technology that others were interested in and I tagged it appropriately then it would be one of the first sites to pop up when people Googled it.

Going into 2014 I will continue to write about what I believe will have the biggest disruptive and revolutionary effects in the fields of Business, Information, and Technology.

I didn’t mean to have a blog like this, and a year ago if you told me I would have one I would have laughed at you. This tech blog transpired from a year of a intellectual growth and ultimately what I learned will have the most profound effects on the future.

The Intrinsic Value of Digital Commodities

Bitcoin is more than just a digital commodity. It is more than just digital currency. In context it is the first application of many to the distributed consensus asset ledger. The protocol is a frictionless digital api for trading and storing scarce resources of virtually any magnitude. 

Bitcoins, altcoins, stocks, gold, programmers, or any asset; are valuable because they are scarce within context. Any commodity is valuable in relation to the context of it’s existence. Ask anyone who has ever bought an item in Farmville, an extra life in Candy Crush, or upgraded their player in Temple Run.

The reason why a digital commodity such as Bitcoin has intrisic value is because of the protocol it operates within. There is no central authority or fiat distributor. As a result there is a finite number of Bitcoin therefore it will eventually become scarce and there is no way of insolvency. The distribution of more bitcoin is derived from mathematics. The intrinsic value is in the technology that enables the protocol and facilitates the distribution of any scarce asset; digital or physical.

Many people say that bitcoin will be bigger than the internet.The value of the http protocol is in the applications built on it such as e-mail, PaaS, e-commerce, streaming media. The value of the bitcoin protocol will also be in the applications built on it. Anything that removes barriers and friction in operations will in time become more valuable.

It is about speed, and cognitive ease. In a recent article I read, the key to making a fortune online, EvWilliams told the XOXO crowd, is to remove extra steps from common activities.

“Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.”

People who understand how to channel that tendency will be disproportionately powerful. When adopted, Bitcoin will provide the most efficient, effective, and secure means of global finance organization, communication, automation, and ultimately connection.

Technology, Energy, and Connections

The way we utilize our Technology, Energy, and Connections will revolutionize and shape the next 50 years.

I have no idea what the outcome will be, but I have an idea of what might influence it.

  • Business to Business or B2B is where the money is at. B2B = $.
  • Technological Mergers and Acquisitions, where the money is at. M&A = $.
  • These are forms of connections. Connections add value. The people on a team matter the most, no matter what venture.
  • It’s about building something useful. Sharing it with others for validation, seeing if it is the best possible solution to a common problem. Pivoting in the right direction when it’s not the best possible solution.
  • There is a need to be connected. All business is people business. Create capital or create market channels.
  • People study other languages for years. Not just idiomatic languages but also computational languages. Why do I have the desire to learn to speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Mandarin, Japanese. Why do I have the desire to program computers in HTML5, CSS, Javascript, JQuery, Python.
  • We want to build and share. Github, fork, opensource, P2P, Firebase.
  • 3G, 4G, LTE, now 5G.
  • Bigger, Faster, Stronger. More bandwidth. WiFi. LiFi. Hotspot 2.0.
  • Longer battery life. Off the grid. Solar energy will be our primary energy source. methane + oxygen.
  • molten salts. energy storage. Wireless bluetooth low energy charging, syncing, sharing. Motion QR code. Security.Ionic wind electricity and electromagnetism. Graphene, printed electronics.
  • Higher efficiency, higher effectiveness. Low activity, high return.
  • Building on a Raspberry Pi reduces the size and locational means of computing.
  • 3D printing breaks down manufacturing barriers.
  • Hyperdeflation of education via websites like Khan Academy, Udacity, Coursera, Codecademy, Duolingo.
  • With smartphones, people now have the ability learn, monitor, and reach anyone, anything, at any time, anywhere.
  • However still have to go to the doctor or have to prick there finger for blood to check blood sugar level.
  • wearables, genomics, sensors, implants.
  • Fleets of drones will disrupt supply side logistics. Autonomous vehicles, Uber, Airbnb, the share economy.
  • Bitcoins or whatever emerges as the accepted digital programmable currency will disrupt  finance and prevent insolvency.
  • Crowdfunding will empower entrepreneurs in developing nations.
  • International business will be introduced in the digital world and the confirmed in person.
  • Stock sentiment will be analyzed by big data such as tweets(Topsy)and consumer trends in browsers.
  • Simply people are building better “x” and now have the ability to scale “x” to the world like never before because of the internet.

By the end of this decade there will be 5 Billion people connected in the digital world. A mixture of languages, cultures, skills, efficiencies, and deficiency’s. All in the cloud. We are all now nodes on the network , we can all reach each other all the time with very little effort. Ultimately, it will be an age for the many entrepreneurs around the world who learn the harness the technological advancements, build synergies with creative imagination, and use them for ethical and financial profit.

Bitcoin Mining 101

Bitcoin Mining 101

There are a few factors that affect the ability for one to mine bitcoins. It can seem like a rather confusing concept. It is. Good luck.

Bitcoin mining comes down to a few things: computer hardware required, electricity and mining pools.

To start off here are a few terms to know:

Bitcoin Algorithm/Difficulty: a math problem that when solved (mined) release a bitcoin block.

Bitcoin Block: What miners are trying to discover with their computers. Currently, one block is worth 25 BTC.

Hash Rate: the rate at which your computing power is outputting to solve the math problem, aka uncover a bitcoin block.

Mining Pool: a pool of people combining computer power to discover a block. When a block is discovered the pool members are rewarded.

Need capital to invest in mining hardware.

The cost of computer hardware is your initial investment when you want to start mining bitcoin.

The price of hardware is proportional to how much computing power and therefore hash rate you want to achieve. The price of hardware also is affected by the price of Bitcoin (keep that in mind).

More computing power = more hash rate

more hash rate = more bitcoins mined/time

more bitcoins mined/time = more money/time

Mining Hardware

ASIC BlockErupters miners at 336m/hashes each off of Amazon. Cost around 70-100 $.

If you want to make investment in hardware you can:

A. Buy a ton of these ASIC miners.

B. Buy a RedFury USB miner for 2.6g/hash or ASICMiner Blade for 10g/hash

C. Buy expensive supercomputer miners offered by companies like CoinTerra, Butterfly Labs, KncMiner for a very expensive hardware investment of upwards of 2,400$ to around 5,000$  for 60 g/hash.

Ultimately, you will benefit financially in proportional to how much you want to invest in computing power.

Need electricity to operate the stacks of hardware and keep them cool.

A big issue with bitcoin mining is Return on Investment. The major issue with the ROI of bitcoin mining is not only in the hardware itself, it is because you have to keep these computers running at all times and this leads to increases in energy bills. Often the increase in electricity cost often offsets any profit that one may get while mining bitcoins. However if you buy the hardware and the price of Bitcoin goes up, you can always sell back the hardware that appreciated and make a profit.

You could setup the rig in a state or country where you can get the best rate of USD/kWh. So instead of setting up your rig in california at 15 cents per kWh you can set up your rig in another state where it more around 10 cents. Or you can set up a rig internationally somewhere like Indonesia where electricity only costs three cents per kilowatt hour. Another way to reduce costs is by installing PV or solar thermal systems that can provide off-grid energy to your mining rig.

You also will need to have a fan or some type of cooling system on the mining hardware. This keeps the efficiency of the miners high and will make them last longer over time.

Set Up a Bitcoin Miner with a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi + Raspian Software on SD Card + WiFi + cgminer + USB powered hubs + ASIC Miners

First things first you are going to need to buy the essentials to make a Raspberry Pi computer. This is a ARM computer board that operates on Linux. The following is hardware you can buy off Amazon and will need to make a Raspberry Pi Bitcoin Miner:

Setting up your Raspberry Pi is not too difficult. First you need to download Raspbian Operating System to your SD Card. For windows this can be done using win32diskimager, a program that can be downloaded to write images to SD cards. You will need to visit the RaspbianImages site and extract the image. Insert the SD card into your PC and write the image to the SD card.

You can buy the SD card with the software pre installed on it from above, either way will work fine.

Next plug in your keyboard and mouse, your Raspbian SD Card, your HDMI cord from the Raspberry Pi to your TV, and lastly plug in the micro USB power cord.

You will see your Raspberry Pi boot up and it will ask your for:

Login: Pi

Password: Raspberry

Then in the command line: startx

You should see the Raspberry Pi Desktop. You now have a functioning Raspberry Pi computer.

Next plug in your USB powered hub into the wall and into the Raspberry Pi.

You will then need to set up your Edimax EW-7811Un WiFi. Instructions on how to configure the dongle can be found here. Plug in the wifi dongle to your USB powered hub. You should see a blue light blinking meaning it is connected to the WiFi.

You can also use an Ethernet cord and connect it to the Pi.

After your WiFi/Internet is set up you are ready to set up your miner.

Software

Now you have to: Download cgminer and join a mining pool.

CGminer runs a command line mining software. Instructions on how to install and configure cgminer on raspberry pi can be found here.

Next you will need to join a Mining pool.

A mining pool is group of bitcoin miners that are all combining their computing power to solve the math problems and discover a block. When a block is discovered by your pool you are rewarded for your contribution. People join pools because it is more lucrative than mining on your own unless you have a TON of computing power.

I recommend joining Slush’s pool. You just have to setup an account by email.

After you have downloaded cgminer and configured it to your mining pool, plug in your ASIC Miner Block Erupters into your powered USB hub. You should see the idle green led lights on. Start the cgminer program and the idle green lights will go off which means they are now mining bitcoins.

If you have any questions, contact me by email dominicsteil@hotmail.com . I probably will able to troubleshoot what you’re having difficulty with.

Tips Appreciated: 1FiYresjQP7GV9EUxr9fudWm3Xz7WC2VMC

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Once again, Good Luck!