Thu 20 Mar 2014 9:09PM

The Altcoin Observer - Meeting 1, Start Here!

ABL Adam B. Levine Public Seen by 13

We need to organized - The purpose of this meeting will be to decide on parameters of the first issue of TAO.

We'll decide who is in which role for this one (these positions can change issue to issue)

We'll decide which type of coin to do the first issue on and unless an obvious one emerges, talk about the research process we want to follow.

We'll talk about compensation, and what that looks like

And we can talk about LTBCOIN and how TAO will interact with it.

Are there any other topics we should hit?
What times would work for people? When should we do this?


Shattered Zen Fri 21 Mar 2014 5:02PM

I am available any time on the weekends but I commute and work long hours during the week. Do you want suggestions here or would you prefer to discuss everything once a meeting is established?


Adam B. Levine Fri 21 Mar 2014 6:21PM

I'd like to hash out most of the convo here, please feel free to contribute.


Shattered Zen Sat 22 Mar 2014 3:41AM

I'd suggest doing a current trends section, maybe a quick analysis of current market cap just to summarize a little of what is going on at the time of the show. These two areas would be market wide and in addition to the singular focus of one alt coin per issue. My reasoning for this is to capture a snapshot of the current space with each issue and make potential investors aware of happenings in the overall market.

As for my personal role, I would love the opportunity to contribute in anyway possible, I really dig the show, the network and what you are trying to do, if that means writing or researching, either is fine. I personally am happy to be tipped in LTB coin for my trouble, once again, I'm looking to be of help if I can, that is my main motivation.

For the topic of the first issue, I would recommend Auroracoin because we will see how its supposed "airdrop" plays out in the next few days. Its likely to be a hot topic either for its success or utter failure and I think that there are some lessons to be learned from it no matter which way the cookie crumbles such as the dangers of preemptive speculation in untested platforms and the dangers of placing faith in organizations or persons who refuse to implement trusted third parties for distribution.


Shattered Zen Sat 22 Mar 2014 3:50AM

Quick bio / background on myself, I work in communications / security, I have a BS in Business Management and I mine bitcoin and altcoins as a hobby. I spend roughly 6 hours a day commuting and much of that is listening to various virtual currency podcasts or reading Coindesk / doing research while on the train. If you'd like a formal resume I can e-mail.


edd Sat 22 Mar 2014 10:43AM

I don't work or even sleep on any type of set schedule so any time is just as likely to find me available as any other.

I'm relatively active at bitcointalk and run BitBrew.net so many of you probably already know me. Alt-coins haven't really been my thing, but I think that needs to change. I am more than happy to learn as much as possible and then pass it along to others.


Tom Sherlock Sat 22 Mar 2014 6:39PM

In terms of availability, weekends are tough. I usually spend that with my famliy (wife and two girls). I might be able to drop in every now and then, but wouldn't be able to stay long enough for a meaningful synchronous conversation. I suppose could be available late Fri nite or late Satur nite, say after midnight NJ time. Otherwise best time would be 9am to 11am (NJ time) M-F. I work from home as a self-employed Drupal developer.

I would be very interested in doing both writing and research. I don't have a preference in which role I start as long as I am able to do both.

I like Shattered Zen's suggestion that we focus on Auroracoin. It is a very interesting very story, a solution that avoids banks and circumvents state capital controls, etc.

Mazacoin also looks interesting.

There is the 'low-tech' PunkMoney circulating on Twitter, created by Eli Gothill (webisteme.com)

Otherwise, we might want to eventually do a sidebar on non-cryptocurrencies (community currency, complementary currency, local currency). This space has been around since the 1980's with varying degrees of failure and success: Ithaca HOURS, Berkshares, TimeBanks, Bristol Pound, Brixton Pound, etc.

I would accept payment in LTBcoin. But I wouldn't mind a small percentage in Bitcoin as well, unless this is going to be entirely on the LTBcoin platform.

The abbreviation for the publication could also be an acronym and pronounced like the work tao and have a Chinese-like logo.


Shattered Zen Sat 22 Mar 2014 9:16PM

I like the idea of the logo that Tom suggested, that would be catchy and pretty stylish. I also really like the suggestion of doing highlight pieces on other currencies like the Brixton Pound, after reading an article on coindesk a few months ago I was amazed at how much it has in common with Bitcoin.


Adam B. Levine Sat 22 Mar 2014 10:16PM

Hey guys,
I think we should be more ambitious than auroracoin. This is sorta the lazy, natural "well we've got to do something to keep people interested in new mostly mined coins" thing. No innovation, not any different than Bitcoin just a different distribution gimmick. We've now seen the gimmick repeated with Spaincoin, and HuntingtonBeachcoin and I'm sure dozens more soon just as Dogecoin begat kitteh and myriad other random mispelled animal tokens.

I'd like to see the first issue focused perhaps on NXT which is complex, poorly understood, highly advanced and has one of the strangest stories I've yet seen.

If you've got another suggestion I'm open, but lets focus on coins that differentiate beyond distribution.


Shattered Zen Sun 23 Mar 2014 12:26AM

In that line I would agree that NXT shows potential, but does it really do anything new other than have a somewhat complex PoS concept through forging? It's wallet software isn't that great and it has been stale for the most part since launch. In my opinion Counterparty would be better. I'll do some reading tonight and see if I can find any good ideas.


Adam B. Levine Sun 23 Mar 2014 12:56AM

Check out http://nxtclient.org, download and install NXT solaris and tell me that "forging" is the reason why it's innovative.

NXT people think power consumption matters but it's all about user created assets, arbitrary derivatives, distributed markets and tools. The software is crazy powerful and it's even way ahead of Counterparty.

I didnt use it for LTBCOIn only because I wanted to be able to use Bitcoin addresses, but I actually agree - we should cover both NXT and Counterparty, possibly in the first issue since they have many similarities.


Shattered Zen Sun 23 Mar 2014 1:13AM

I'd like to do a NXT/Counterparty comparison that would showcase both projects, I'm going to spend some time reading up on both tonight, I will post some ideas and thoughts in the AM.


Rob Sun 23 Mar 2014 7:29AM

Regards timing for live meetings, earlier in the day is likely to be better for me as I'm 5-8 hours ahead of the US here. I don't know anything about NXT so the comparison you're proposing should be fun.


Shattered Zen Sun 23 Mar 2014 7:09PM

Still reading up on some stuff, will try to get some ideas posted tonight.


Shattered Zen Mon 24 Mar 2014 4:11AM

Some questions regarding NXT. The client seems to have potential but its a giant pain to get working, I had trouble with it myself and after some research on the forums, it seems alot of people are shying away from adopting it after their first experience with the wallet/client software. If the development team is serious about adoption, is there a reason they chose to go with such a consumer unfriendly approach? After getting into the software it was also not easy to sift through and I don't like that you essentially have to recall the wallet every time or you lose everything if something happens to the pass phrase. For people to be comfortable investing time and money into something, they have to have something that works and I'm sorry but there is no way the average joe is getting that client working without some better instructions than whats posted. Shouldn't some initial investment have gone into ensuring the GUI was user friendly? People complain about the complexity of bitcoin clients, this is ten times worse for someone fresh off the street to wrap their head around...


Adam B. Levine Mon 24 Mar 2014 3:46PM

I think the most interesting part about NXT is they are a 100% new, open source codebase that notably differs from bitcoin in one monumental way. Bitcoin in its most popular by far incarnation is actually one giant application that rolls in all the features you could want into one big beefy, slow core and then you run that core but only use the parts of it you actually need.

NXT is built as a simple, fast core that does not have bells and whistles, but is built to have bells and whistles added in layers on top. As these systems continue to be built, this will be demonstrated by increased slowness in the bitcoin application environment, while nxt shouldn't have any such problem.

People do not like what they do not understand, I see that universally. We cannot be afraid of complexity, if underneath that complexity is something worth understanding or even using.

That is what we are doing here, digging through the bullshit so we can find whats real, whats valuable, and what is not. And then share that information with our audience.

The fact that it is difficult to learn just means if there's something worth learning about, we'll be that much earlier. We are in this to find the buried treasure, and you don't do that by digging in other peoples holes.


Eric Fuller Mon 24 Mar 2014 5:00PM

Hi Guys! Thanks for adding me to the group. I've been researching and following alt currencies for several months with the goal of identifying which are long term buy and hold prospects.

It's true that there is a ton of bullshit out there, but buried in it are diamonds like XCP, PTS(BTS), NXT, MSC, etc. I believe these organizations are creating tech that will change the world. The Apples and Googles of the future are being born before our eyes. Exciting stuff!

I'm happy to help write about NXT, and happier to write counterpoint content about XCP. I barely missed the burn, bought in literally the day after via the forum thread. I've researched the hell out of it. Also know a fair amount about PTS (even claimed a bounty writing an AGS guide).

Are we at this point just charging forward, creating content and throwing it up for bid?


Adam B. Levine Mon 24 Mar 2014 5:26PM

Right now we're gathering the initial group and ideating.

A double issue, XCP vs NXT is looking like it'll be the first destination.


Tom Sherlock Mon 24 Mar 2014 6:09PM

Regarding Auroracoin, I think you're downplaying it by qualifying it as simply a gimmick to get people's attention on the latest crypto-coin. From my perspective, the Auroracoin could potentially have political and social ramifications if recognized and adopted by the Icelandic people ( I'm not familiar with Spaincoin, although I have heard of the Scotcoin.).

On the other hand, from a technological perspective, I agree there is nothing new here. Now, if it turns out the dev team is not genuine in their interest in the economic freedom of the Icelanders, then maybe you have an editorial or opinion piece here.

However, I am not about to make a stand for the Auroracoin as the feature for the first issue. NXT or XCP vs NXT is acceptable. Are the different enough from other projects such as Mastercoin, Bitshares, Colored Coins and Ethereum?

Shattered Zen has suggested doing a comparison article between NXT and XCP. Will this be a greatly detailed article, or will it address only high-level issues. Will it focus on user experience only? How about the administrative perspective? What about looking at code? Or a step above and focusing only functionality without actually looking at code?

What other kinds of topics can be covered besides a comparison of these two projects? How many articles are projected for the first issue?


Eric Fuller Mon 24 Mar 2014 6:22PM

XCP and NXT are both developing bitcoin 2.0 tech, but so is MSC and PTS. Is a comparison complete without discussing them all?

It seems more apropos to compare NXT with PTS since they both operate on independent blockchians. Pairing MSC against XCP would be more appropriate since they both piggyback on the BTC blockchain.


Tom Sherlock Mon 24 Mar 2014 6:50PM

BTW, indepent of this conversation, a few days ago, I had downloaded and installed NXT server on my MacBook Pro and got 4 NXT from the faucet. I am able to view the NXT server through my browser, but I haven't done much more with it.


Adam B. Levine Mon 24 Mar 2014 7:49PM

I'm thinking three articles total, annotated and commented by the managing editor.

Maybe it's better to skip the comparisons until later and just pick one to drill down for the first issue with the idea that we'll cover them all.

@tomsherlock Auroracoin is different because Iceland has actual capital controls on it restricting its ability to get into cryptocurrency. In that way auroracoin helps because it gifts valuable cryptocurrency which can then be exchanged for other cryptocurrency they would not otherwise be able to get.

The clones of it are what i'm talking about. They didn't have the idea, they are just piggybacking on it and saying "Look, they're successful with it over there so you could get in even earlier over here!". Just as Doge begat kitteh as I earlier mentioned.

Anything original that succeeds will generate clones.


Eric Fuller Mon 24 Mar 2014 9:35PM

@adamblevine Agree that comparisons should come after an initial evaluation. I see four closely competing coins (NXT, XCP, PTS, MSC)...if you're thinking three articles, which coin would we skip?


Shattered Zen Mon 24 Mar 2014 11:38PM

NXT would be much better I agree if other applications could influence its base layer, especially if they can make the experience more user friendly. I'm still extremely impressed with the counterparty features you discussed implementing in your second LTBcoin Q&A. The idea of issuing time sensitive assets as votes is great, especially because you could have the ability to sell those temporary assets for permanent ones on issues you didn't feel particularly strong about. IE if I don't care about what color the LTBcoin logo is that we are voting on I can sell my votes in that particular instance and if someone is willing to pay me for the leverage my votes provide I can still gain influence through selling those temporary assets.

What would be interesting is seeing an organization or company utilizing these platforms as a way to control a virtual currency. For example, company launches virtual currency "A" as a type of private scrip and currency "B" as a stake holder coin to pay dividends through and cast votes. A company could theoretically sell the second currency on a one for one basis, then use the accumulated funds for purchasing stock or real property, paying some portion of future profits to the stake holders of currency "B". Your sponsor coins for example could be used in this way.

Are we concentrating on NXT specifically then or should we still research a comparison? What are the exact parameters for the article as far as word count and scope?


Adam B. Levine Sat 29 Mar 2014 3:28AM

Sorry for my delay, @ericfuller - We would be writing three articles about NXT for this issue, then three on the next in the next issue etc.


Shattered Zen Thu 3 Apr 2014 3:21AM

So are we looking at three comparison articles? Or is one article going to give an overview of the coin, another giving comparisons etc?


Shattered Zen Sun 6 Apr 2014 8:35PM

I've got one of the NXT clients up here at home and am currently playing around with it for educational purposes, I've also been fiddling with some ideas for a logo for the paper. Any updates Adam?


James Poole Mon 7 Apr 2014 11:48PM

Any updates on this? I would like to submit an article for consideration of the first issue. The title of the article would be "Why Nxt is Next" and would focus on some of the technical reasons I think it could take off as the preferred platform for smart assets (in the short term). I am currently working on producing the first draft, so let me know if you think this lines up with the direction you guys were picturing it going.

I also think we should lead with an "intro to Nxt" that would provide some standard items that should be explained for any Alt-Coin that gets covered (pre-mine?, open source?, security mechanism?, distribution plan?, future plans?, etc).

Finally, I think it would be nice if @adamblevine could pull some strings with his connections and hook someone up for an interview with a dev/marketer from Nxt and do some sort of Q&A.

That's my 2 satoshis...