In the last few days, there’ve been more than a few ‘Muricans spouting off about BitPay’s latest round of VC funding. Headlines featuring Virgin’s Richard Branson,i PayPal’s Peter Thiel, and Yahoo’s Jerry Yang did little more than confirm the narrow-minded self-importance of everyone fucktarded enough to regurgitate this shit. CoinDesk, the official outlet for people who can’t find the new morning paper, wrote:
Atlanta-based bitcoin merchant processor BitPay has officially raised $30m in Series A funding in the largest-ever financing round for a bitcoin company.ii
Proclamations of being the First! Largest! Bestest! have been coming out of the United States of Egypt for at least a century now, and up until quite recently, without doing any research whatsoever, such claims had more than a fair chance of being accurate. The US had a hell of a century, to be sure. As such, there are now several generations of US citizens who’ve never known anything other than their own dominance and superiority, giving them the confidence to use words without doing research.
But this is 2014 now and the US ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog with its hind legs broken. As such, Americans have unknowingly entered the Era of Asterisks, where all of their claims must be qualified with “…in the US” for the first time in their lives. It’s going to be an adjustment, sure, but so was Detroit.iii And guess what? The strong adapt and the Apollonian dead weight doesn’t. Just as it should be.
We can’t really blame underpaid, undereducated “journalists”iv for forgetting asterisks and vomiting all over the screen like they did with the BitPay thing. If Glenn Greenwald needs Edward Snowden to coach him through PGP/GPG, these kids have no hope. Still, we might expect more from folks who have a few million to their credit, even if it is in fiat. For example, from a Twitter conversation yesterday:
Ben Davenport:v Congratulations to @BitPay on closing $30M Series A from @IndexVentures, largest funding event in Bitcoin to date.
Pete Dushenski: You too, Ben? Where did you get the idea that @BitPay was the “biggest?” It’s called MPEx. Cripes. @Mircea_Popescu
Mircea Popescu: Well maybe they mean “largest among our largely irrelevant pool of inbreeding” or something.
Ben Davenport: Legitimately curious. I don’t remember seeing that MPEx had raised anything in that neighborhood.
Mircea Popescu: @bendavenport @bitcoinpete Probably because you’ve not put in your 6 months of #bitcoin-assets lurkingvi like #bitcoin aspirants should.
Ben Davenport: Guilty as charged. No need to be coy about details though. MPEx is on AngelList, so you must admit Ohio mattersvii
Mircea Popescu: It closed 5% for 38k BTC ~ a year ago. It may take another 5 to 10% in a year or two, but again Ohio won’t matter. Cause BTC.
Ben Davenport: But at the time that was a $4M raise. Still a ridiculously good pre-money, but can’t really compare to a $30M raise.
Mircea Popescu: Yes, but you see, BTC still doesn’t care about Ohio. Your 30mn is 20k BTC and no more. MPEx mkt cap is… 1mn BTC, not less.viii
Ben Davenport: You’re conflating mkt cap (which is suspect here due to illiquid market) with investment size.
Mircea Popescu: @bendavenport MPEx is actually trading on a liquid market. Bitpay is… you know. Not. And the discussion was “largest”, nothing else. That aside, you’re trying to impose an irrelevant unit of account (usd). Bitcoin stuff is Bitcoin stuff, and 20k BTC < 30k BTC
Ben Davenport: Largest *raise*, not largest company. $GOOG valued at 418M BTC. So what?
Mircea Popescu: “Largest raise by someone I know”, aka “best all-white jazz band”. Just a little #racist dontchathink.
Because Bitcoin matters and the US doesn’t. Welcome to the Era of Asterisks.
Welcome to Bitcoin’s century.
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- Mr. Make $100K by Starting With $1M. [↩]
- For the record, Bitcoin corporations 1) don’t measure shit in fiat, and 2) don’t need bank accounts anymore than Jesus needed a pitchfork. This is important. Bitcoin is the unit of account and the bank account. It can be no other way. “Bitcoin companies” haven’t caught up to this yet… [↩]
- Detroit isn’t some American anomaly, it’s the canary in the coal mine. [↩]
- Here’s looking at you, Pete Rizzo and Seth Fiegerman. [↩]
- From Mr. Davenport’s AngelList profile: “I have been focused intensely on Bitcoin and startups in the cryptocurrency space since mid 2011, and have been a seed investor in BitPay, Coinsetter, itBit and Yoyocard.” We know that BitPay does merchant processing, Coinsetter drops coins on the exchange floor, itBit provides a “deeply liquid marketplace” of a paltry 1,000 BTC/day, but Yoyocard? Apparently, “Yoyocard’s mission is to make the financial system more accessible.” Derp. [↩]
- IRC Yeshiva anyone? [↩]
- If you once tweeted about the United Nations, must the United Nations admit that you matter? Mmm… not quite. [↩]
- By this calculation, which presumable accounts for the illiquidity of the fiat-btc market, BitPay’s market cap of $160M is 106,667 BTC, which is a shit-ton for a company that doesn’t publish its financials, but still less than 11% of the big bad MPEx. [↩]