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The Bitcoin Big Bang: How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World


Praise for The Bitcoin Big Bang

"Is Bitcoin the investment of the century or one giant bubble about to pop? The Bitcoin Big Bang provides the background and context to understand why many investors, economists, technologists, and thought leaders are calling Bitcoin and the blockchain the most important invention since the Internet…or even the printing press."
—Barry E. Silbert, Founder, SecondMarket and Founder, Digital Currency Group

"Want to know why prominent venture capitalists have compared Bitcoin today to the Internet in 1994? Brian Kelly goes beyond the hype to explain why this technology is transformative and prepares you for the digital currency revolution."
—Melissa Lee, Host, CNBC's Fast Money

"Whether Bitcoin is a currency or not doesn't matter, according to Brian Kelly. It's the technology behind Bitcoin that will shape financial services in the years to come. The Bitcoin Big Bang is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the dramatic changes about to happen in how we pay for goods and services."
—Dan Nathan, Founder, and Contributor to CNBC's Fast Money and Options Action

BRIAN KELLY is a CNBC contributor who regularly appears on Fast Money, Halftime Report, and The Kudlow Report. His 20 years of success in U.S. and foreign currency and equities trading have gained him enormous respect among the clients of his investment management firm, Brian Kelly Capital, LLC, which focuses on global macro and currency investing. Brian holds an MBA from Babson Graduate School of Business, with a concentration in finance and econometrics.

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Author xv

Chapter 1 Bitcoin Is a Bubble 1

The Quest to Buy Bitcoin 3

Bitcoin Enlightenment 6

Currencies Are a Matter of Trust 8

What Is Bitcoin? 10

Is It a Currency? 13

It’s Revolutionary 17

Chapter 2 Understanding the Digital Gold Rush 19

The Language of Bitcoin 22

How Do I Buy Bitcoin? 26

Who “Gets” It? 30

The Gold Rush Is Just Starting 31

Chapter 3 Bitcoin Is More than Digital Gold 33

Searching for Satoshi 34

The Search 37

Why Is Satoshi a Genius? 44

Bigger than Satoshi 46

Chapter 4 Byzantine Generals’ Problem 49

How Does Bitcoin Solve the BGP? 52

51 Percent Attack 55

An Elegant Solution 57

Chapter 5 A Decentralized Financial System 59

Grand De-Central Station 63

What’s at Stake? 69

Central Banks 72

Bitcoin Is the Catalyst 73

Chapter 6 What Do You Call a Bitcoin Miner? A Banker 75

How Does a Bitcoin Transaction Work? 77

What Is Cryptography? 78

Still Want to Be a Miner? 82

Do We Need Another Bitcoin? 88

Chapter 7 Nautiluscoin—0 to $1 Million in 60 Days 91

Creating the Coin 94

Did It Work? 104

Chapter 8 Building the Nautiluscoin Economy 107

Dynamic Proof-of-Stake 110

Other Policy Tools 113

Alternative to Gold 115

Money, Made Better 116

Financial Market Integration 117

Special Drawing Rights 119

Why NAUT? 119

Chapter 9 Investing and Trading in Alternative Currencies 121

A New Investment Class 123

Valuation 129

Exchanges 133

Investment Vehicles 134

Asset Class Growth 136

Chapter 10 Regulation 139

Regulatory Agencies 140

Challenges to Regulation 147

Pushing on a String 147

Chapter 11 Smart Money: Set It and Forget It 149

Rules of the Road 151

Smart Contracts and Property 152

Ethereum 155

Cryptoequities: A New Type of Investment 160

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations 161

Professor Money 162

Chapter 12 Everything You Know about Business Is Wrong 163

Cryptonomics 166

Growth Share Matrix 169

Learning Curve Effects 171

Porter’s Three Generic Strategies 172

Human Resource Management 173

Fueling the Sharing Economy 174

The Future Just Might Work 176

Appendix 1 Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Guidance

FIN-20 13-G00 1 Issued: March 18, 2013

Subject: Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Persons

Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies 179

Currency vs. Virtual Currency 180

Background 180

Definitions of User, Exchanger, and Administrator 181

Users of Virtual Currency 181

Administrators and Exchangers of Virtual Currency 182

Providers and Sellers of Prepaid Access 185

Dealers in Foreign Exchange 186

Appendix 2 New York State Department of Financial Services Proposed New York Codes, Rules
and Regulations

Title 23. Department of Financial Services

Chapter I. Regulations of the Superintendent of Financial Services

Part 200. Virtual Currencies 187

Section 200.1 Introduction 188

Section 200.2 Definitions 188

Section 200.3 License 190

Section 200.4 Application 191

Section 200.5 Application Fees 193

Section 200.6 Action by Superintendent 193

Section 200.7 Compliance 195

Section 200.8 Capital Requirements 196

Section 200.9 Custody and Protection of

Customer Assets 197

Section 200.10 Material Change to Business 197

Section 200.11 Change of Control; Mergers and

Acquisitions 198

Section 200.12 Books and Records 200

Section 200.13 Examinations 201

Section 200.14 Reports and Financial Disclosures 202

Section 200.15 Anti–Money Laundering Program 203

Section 200.16 Cyber Security Program 207

Section 200.17 Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery 210

Section 200.18 Advertising and Marketing 211

Section 200.19 Consumer Protection 212

Section 200.20 Complaints 215

Section 200.21 Transitional Period 215

Index 217