Bitcoin Year-In-Review 2017

As with the 2014 Edition, somewhat stillborn 2015 Edition, and triumphant 2016 Edition, it’s that time of year again when we review the past twelve months and take stock of what The Most Serene Republic of Bitcoin has accomplished. Without further ado :

    • USD lost 95% of its value relative to BTC.i
    • Network difficulty and hashrate increased nearly 5x.ii
    • Tx fees caught up to SWIFT.iii
    • Bitcoin Cash (BCH) altcoin hard-forked from the main chain.iv
    • SegWit activated.v
    • Qntra went
    • Phuctor went to sleep.vii
    • BingoBoingo set sails.viii
    • Potentially very, very silly WoT bet resolved.ix
    • The Lordship list expanded.x
    • ECu went floating.xi
    • Pete hosted Eulora auction.xii
    • lobbesbot incorporated Eulora auctioning.xiii
    • BitBet closed cleanly for the second time.xiv
    • ICOs buzzed and fizzled.xv
    • The Real Bitcoin Foundation celebrated its third birthday.xvi
    • TRB-I addressing scheme proposed.xvii
    • TMSR-RSA draft spec released.xviii
    • MP’s fabulous fash function implemented.xix
    • Finite Field Arithmetic (FFA) library launched.xx
    • Primorials were calculated.xxi
    • Thirty-six sigma events were also calculated.xxii
    • FUCKGOATS were tested.xxiii
    • EuCrypt library launched.xxiv
    • The Bitcoin Learning Tournament announced.xxv
    • Block cipher competition closed, unawarded.xxvi
    • deedbot wallet launched.xxvii
    • Light was found.xxviii

If I missed something, don’t be shy! History is still being written.

___ ___ ___

  1. Compare with a 40% spanking in 2016. Too volatile! Too crashing!!1 Better make some “bitcoin” futures and settle them in cash. That’ll solve all your problems.
  2. Difficulty increased from 317`688`400`354 to 1`590`896`927`258 while hashrate increased from 2`274`102`150 GH/s to 11`388`083`790GH/s.
  3. Instant Bitcoin transactions are in the order of 900 satoshis per byte as of this writing, which works out to 0.002 BTC for a median 226 byte tx. That’s about $34 Trumpbucks, which seems high compared to the freeeeee transactions of yesteryear, but BTC still requires fewer forms to fill out, fewer hours at the bank, and just minutes instead of weeks for the receiver to receive. SWIFT and the rest of its necrotic fiat infrastructure are still dead in the water even at 10x the BTC tx price.
  4. Bigger bloxx! Lower fees!1 The end result was abject failure. BCH is now trading at half what it did at launch relative to BTC. But if you still haven’t cashed out, there’s still my open offer to broker your nearly worthless BCH into sexy, sexy BTC. Thinkaboutit.
  5. For any of the Three Little Pigs building their straw houses on this miner-empowering lulzfest : inb4 toljaso. Also, TRB still doesn’t recognise your existence.
  6. Server hosting troubles abounded in the Republic in 2017 and news service provider Qntra was tragically caught in the crossfire.
  7. Told you there were server hosting troubles! Phuctor was previously hosted somewhere in the Baltics but the whole hosting business model seems to select for varying degrees of scamminess and ineptitude. Phuctor was not immune from this.
  8. In light of the dim prospects for Qntra in particular and mankind in general without proper server hosting, BB took it upon himself to leave Egypt’s Land in a laudable effort to establish a WoT-worthy ISP.
  9. Phew! When I won the bet on March 15th, BTC was maaaaybe $1200 and none of us fully anticipated just how much more worthless USD would become in 2017 (see footnote i). Needless to say my liability would already be USD$ 282`150 as it stands today were not the pain plan already well underway.  
  10. shinohai was added under the title “Baron Titsbare” and Framedragger was added as “Lord Scanner” before the latter moved countries this summer and has now been essentially dark since July with only a single sign of lyf in October. mike_c was removed from the fourth Lordship list not for working for OkCupid per se, but for having been largely absent from channel discussions for, as MP put it, many months. 
  11. It was previously fixed at 1 ECu = 1 satoshi and it’s now 10-to-the-satoshi with further inflationary events all but assured. And would you believe that this is still a better deal than USD
  12. It was record-setting at the time. Given the new lobbesbot function, this is a record that may well stand the test of time.
  13. The robots tookurjerbs!!! Hats off to lobbes for the fine work. Let the bots do the drudgery, even if it was kinda fun drudgery.
  14. Znort, who beat me in The Great Auction, found the continued management and operation of the parimutuel betting site worth less than the bother. Hopefully she made her 86 BTC’s worth.
  15. The Kickstarter campaign of 2017 was very much the “Initial Coin Offering.” Few if any delivered products or made any meaningful progress towards that end despite their prodigious use of blockchain technology. Weird, huh ? Maybe that talking head on BNN didn’t know what the fuck she was talking about after all. It’s a thought.
  16. In minor milestones for TRB, I even submitted my first patch : getpeerinfo.  
  17. Following discussion in the forum, the point were laid out thusly.
  18. An “extremely early” draft at that. FFA is leading toward this future.
  19. PeterL, ben_vulpes, and sina all independently crafted their own brews.
  20. Stanislav wrote a “fits-in-head” set of routines for multiple-precision arithmetic to replace OpenSSL and other similarly unauditable atrocities. The first three chapters of FFA have already been published but more are expected.
  21. ben_vulpesdiana_coman, and PeterL all took successful cracks at the MP-proposed problem.
  22. Where Taleb shied from the light, I entered stage right.
  23. Efforts to test the fully auditable True Random Number Generator on MacOS and OpenBSD were met with misery and confusion. Only Linux was up to the task. Thank goodness for diversity!
  24. diana_coman released an important library for Eulora communications.
  25. There’s at least 1 BTC up for grabs. Y’know, in case you’ve got kids to feed. That’s also a lotta ramen!
  26. If you thought the 1 BTC for the Learning Tournament was sweet, sink your salivating mouth into the 10 BTC award for a new block cipher! Alas, 22 months came and went and the desired item was neither produced, nor, in the end, that desired
  27. trinque developed an online, IRC-accessed wallet based on PGP identification that is available to anyone with a key deedbot-registered key. It’s also currently free to use.
  28. While not exactly Bitcoin-related, “Finding the light” did serve to better explain another piece of the world around us. And isn’t that why we do what we do ?

8 thoughts on “Bitcoin Year-In-Review 2017

  1. farmer says:

    Something I don’t understand about Bitcoin being sovereign is… you still need to cash out to fiat if you want to own real state… what’s the point then of having $millions worth of Bitcoin? you can only buy things that would keep you under the radar (irrelevant things mostly).
    Even if you found out some guy selling a house in exchange of BTC, the government would find out and demand taxes, demand origin of your BTC, the whole thing.

    The fee problem also requires you to keep using fiat for a lot of things. At this rate, $100 per transaction will be the new normal. Less and less use-cases. This will always give fiat a space to exist. As long as you need fiat, fiat is still relevant. And as physical cash is removed in the coming years, demand for a crypto alternative will be high.

    Can Bitcoin keep going up as fees are eventually $1000, $10000… what are the use cases by then? How do you see Bitcoin in 10 years?

    How possible is it that in the future a new technology allows for fast cheap transactions, while remaining a solid store of value (as good as Bitcoin is at least) at the same time?

    Thanks, I’ll keep reading the blog, some good Bitcoin bits.

    • Pete D. says:

      Dear farmer,

      1. Owning real estate isn’t the be all and end all of a successful life, regardless of what the Ministry of Truth taught us in school. There are many relevant things that you might like to spend your money on, including, but not limited to, fine art, jewelry, meals at Michelin-starred restaurants, rented villas in faraway lands, flights on private jets, and so on and so forth. Even if you really have to buy some real estate to feel good about yourself, so what if you cash some coins out. That’s not inherently evil or anything. And if that real estate absolutely has to be in a jurisdiction that’s nosy about these kinds of things, so what if you have to pay their taxes. If you don’t like it, either don’t buy the place or don’t pay the taxes and deal with the (likely modest or even non-existent) consequences.

      2. “The government” in your country of residence may be so nosy as to put their pig snouts where they don’t belong (ie. in the affairs of gentleman and/or mafioso), but that doesn’t logically follow that all governments are so intrusive, or that all are so expensive to purchase favour with, that one may live with a police detail keeping intruders out rather than having SWAT teams swarm in.

      3. Fiat isn’t going anywhere but whether it’s “relevant” or not depends very much on what that means to you. Air, for example, is very relevant, but not very well priced. In most places it’s free. So you’ll need fiat to buy cigarettes and sandwiches but the number of people who will even consider accepting fiat for their McLarens 720s or Miami condos is going in one direction only : down. For buying those little daily things, fiat is great and there’s no need to replace it, but that doesn’t make it relevant in the historical sense even if it’s relevant in the expediency of the moment.

      4. Physical cash might be on the decline, but not everywhere and not so quickly. Even should it be abolished where you live, there will always be jurisdictions in the world that will be happy to ask fewer questions rather than more. Even if you have to exchange your BTC for the local cryptocoin, it doesn’t follow that you’re going to have the CRA/IRS equivalent breathing down your neck. Some such agencies have better things to do than harass the guy spending $1mn a month on champagne and caviar.

      5. I’m not sure that there’s a practical ceiling on Bitcoin tx fees in dollar terms, but that’s really the dollar’s problem, not Bitcoin’s. Furthermore, the problem readily isolates itself into one for fiat, not Bitcoin, ie. how can the physical world possibly produce anything of value worth the bother ? If fees are $10k per tx, what you’re buying had better be $100k+, which is G-Wagon territory. See where I’m going with this ? It’s the fiat world that has it’s work cut out for it.

      6. In 10 years, Bitcoin will still be Bitcoin. We’ll all be that much older, that much more tired of the “it’s a bubble” smack talk, and that much wealthier in fiat terms even if we’ve hardly moved up or down in BTC terms. The Bitcoin market will be that much more like fine art market but without all the “verified” scamatronics. Nothing we could possibly want will cost more than a few bitcents.

      7. Not sure how possible a cheap, fast, value-retaining currency would be. In addition to proving that computers don’t work as well as we thought they did, that code isn’t as deterministic as we thought it was, that scarcity broadly equals value, that Voltaire was right about fiat, and a million other experimentally proven theories besides, Bitcoin may well demonstrate that value retention is incompatible with low transaction costs, much less storage costs, certainly in the medium-term.


    • super mario says:

      Owning real state seems attractive to me because you can live in it or rent it to other people. There will always be a demand in certain locations.
      Im stuck in my parents basement and would rather invest once and own than lose BTC paying rent forever, if I live there I can keep saving.

      Once BTC hits 6 figures I will buy a decent house, it will suck losing a couple BTC but that’s life. And yes I will pay taxes, what options do you really have? You said above “If you don’t like it, either don’t buy the place or don’t pay the taxes and deal with the (likely modest or even non-existent) consequences.”

      Im pretty sure if you try to buy real state (or anything flashy, like a sports car) without paying taxes you are going to be fucked in most cases, being realistic.

      If you are some billionaire playing in cheat mode I guess you can get away with it but some dude that only has a couple million is a peasant. Im in Europe so I was considering going to Portugal, apparently tax on crypto is very small there. But it would suck since you lose all of your friends connections and family. Or at least spend a lot of time outside of your native country if you want to keep tax residence abroad. Also alienated by a foreign language.. all these things one must consider.

      About buying Mclaren… I wouldn’t feel safe spending more than 0.1 BTC on such things. It would be cool but not too smart unless you are loaded and have a solid revenue of passive income to cover all needs guaranteed. Hopefully 0.1 can buy you an used BMW or a GTR in the future, that would do for me.


    • Pete D. says:

      Two thoughts :

      1. De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum.
      2. TNSTAAFL

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  4. Ion says:

    Nice review. I am 23 and discovered/bought Bitcoin only in december 2017. Being young in a shithole is what kept me far away from this space.

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