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Larry's Newsletter - Issue #8

Hello happy readers! Lots of cool stuff happened this past week - I've been busy in Taipei buzzing ar

Larry Salibra

December 21 · Issue #8 · View online
The most interesting things I've seen in blockchain, tech, and our decentralizing world as seen from the world's border with China.

Hello happy readers! Lots of cool stuff happened this past week - I’ve been busy in Taipei buzzing around on futurist electric scooters that are so centralized that even Big Brother would feel uncomfortable - so apologies in advance for missing any interesting news items. Let’s get going!

Block size: It's economics & user preparation & moral hazard
The Future of Bitcoin Mining
Reddit: The last straw: an egregious, privacy-violating inquisition by Coinbase
Secret Code Found in Juniper's Firewalls Shows Risk of Government Backdoors
Decentralising Facebook with Blockchains and Userfeeds.
My Strong Encryption Will Never Die
Past week
Bitcoin in Taiwan
I’ve spent the past week in Taipei where I spent some time with the leaders of several of Taiwan’s largest Bitcoin/Blockchain companies. Their story is mostly the same as business’s in Hong Kong: traditional finance institutions are approaching them interested in blockchain but not Bitcoin. Interestingly, they haven’t had problems maintaining banking relationships here in the “other China.” If that continues, it could give this island nation a leg up on other jurisdictions.
Scoot to the Future!
I also spent some time investigating Taiwan’s Gogogoro, a cute looking electric scooter that positions itself as the Apple or Telsa of two wheeled transportation. 
In Gogoro’s vision of the future, you buy the vehicle and pay a monthly subscription to use their batteries and recharge stations. You can’t charge your batteries at home, but instead you pull up to one of their recharging stations, pop out your bike’s 2 batteries, push them into the charging station and grab two (hopefully) fully charged new batteries. The whole process takes less than a minute. 
They track your bike and its “diagnostic” information, and it becomes useless if you don’t pay the monthly fee. You can’t use other batteries or recharge stations. You can’t operate the vehicle outside of range of a recharge station. Centralization to the max.
Is this the future? I’m not sure. More thoughts later…stay tuned!
Below is a picture from earlier tonight of the bike Gogoro lent me parked at one of their Gostation battery exchange points in Tamshui north of Taipei.
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