I first met Adam B. Levine at the Inside Bitcoin conference in New York City in the summer of 2013. After that conference I worked with him to transcribe the interviews he had done for the Bitcoin Foundation's elections last year.
After going through those interviews and seeing his work at Let's Talk Bitcoin, I am extremely impressed with the amount of work he puts towards covering Bitcoin and cryptocurrency stories in a way that could be read online or heard while driving into work.
We were chatting recently and he started sending several white papers to me describing new Distributed Autonomous Corporations (DACs) he had concocted. I got a hold of him recently to hear more about his two DACs.
Adam B. Levine: I'm not really sure how excited I am [about] them LTBcoin and Goxcoin being in the same article.
Ruben Alexander:Why would you say that? : )
ABL: Goxcoin is a lemonade/lemons situation, which can be perceived as opportunistic.
LTBcoin is distinct and has been in the works since November.
RA:That is a very amazing comparison. Mt. Gox is a lemon tree and Goxcoins are lemonade.
RA: I think they are extremely important. I have heard some people say. "DACs are the future. Ethereum will change the world." But they have no idea what they are talking about, nor do they know the difference between Ethereum and Mastercoin. I think your two DACs are inspiring and can help people start to think big. Bigger than the realm of finances.
ABL: Use cases are extremely important, I have several others Im consulting on that will also be groundbreaking.
RA:As far as Goxcoin goes, can you describe what was going through your head when you thought to make a DAC to solve that Chernobyl sized problem at MtGox?
ABL: The original idea was to buy the company, and tokenize the coins into equity in a new exchange called Gox.
Save the day, so to speak. I was brought in to consult on the process, but it became clear after not too long that this would not be so simple, so I proposed the shift.
Goxcoin as currently envisioned, represents one bitcoin worth of verified claim on any recovery from MtGox.
RA:There were people who expressed fear and felt powerless over the Mt. Gox situation. The system as youve proposed it totally turns the tables on a mismanaged company. What did you do to mentally prepare yourself to tackle this problem?
ABL: Honestly I fell into it, just like everything else I do. These 2.0 applications arent genius, theyre obvious. You start down the path and literally trip over use cases that are so important its like money just lying on the ground.
I like to say all the fruit in cryptocurrency is low hanging, but early DACs like Goxcoin, which is really a recovery token or lawsuitcoin, are literally obstacles in the path that need to be overcome the first time, showing forward. Theyre going to change the way the world works.
RA:What has been the #1 most common response from the Bitcoin community about Goxcoin?
ABL: The response has been very positive once people understand. The name has been the most problematic thing, there are several other proposals floating around under the name Goxcoin that are more like jokes. Block rewards that are only awarded sometimes, etc.
RA:lol. You state that you dont need Gox DB to operate, but that it will help. In the case that you dont get the DB how will Goxcoin operate?
ABL: The issuance is the most difficult part by far. We are working with efforts like mtgoxrecovery.com who will handle plaintiff claim verification, and interface with the bankruptcy court on behalf of their membership.
Plaintiff groups will then bring their court certified claims to humint, who will make sure they are valid and then use those as Proof of Goxxed to create one Goxcoin for every bitcoin verified by the court.
So there can be one plaintiff group or many, and theyll all use the same Goxcoin.
Its important to mention this will be built on Mastercoin as a User Created Asset, which can have multiple issuances. Humint is working to develop the Proof of Goxxed protocol that will govern the conditions for the creation of new Goxcoins.
RA:Can you please share your thoughts on the difference between Mastercoin and Ethereum?
ABL: With Goxcoin thats really it we need a solution now. It allows people who want to have risk to have it, and people who dont want to have it to get it out of their head. That's the worst part about gox. You went from people having a liquid, deflationary asset to a locked-in inflationary claim, and thats the worst outcome possible.
RA:We were chatting a few days ago and you started tossing whitepapers at me about an LTBcoin. From what I saw, It takes the content reward system youve spoken of at previous conferences but on a whole new level. It seems like it could help blogs, podcasts monetize their efforts without having to wait or use ads. Can you summarize what this LTBCoin DAC will accomplish?
I want to do to content creation what BitTorrent did to content distribution flatten the structure, cut out the middlemen and give the people what they want."
ABL: I want to reinvent the media model, just like always, Ruben. Basically I want to take the hierarchical structure that journalism and content creation have followed where approval is required and initiatives flow from the ideas at the top to the hands at the bottom and turn it on its head. I want to do to content creation what bittorrent did to content distribution flatten the structure, cut out the middlemen and give the people what they want.
To do this, were redefining mining as whatever provides value to the system and viewing the initial distribution of the tokens (LTBcoins) as the way to incentivize that value.
So for the Lets Talk Bitcoin network, you can add value by producing content, consuming content, or helping us deliver content to people who want to consume it better or faster. Every week new LTBcoin is created and distributed according to our published five year plan.
RA:If this paradigm shift really helps dynamically redirect the content and listeners receive, how many writers, producers, or content creators do you expect to support with the LTBcoin?
ABL: Were about a month into building a new platform that will support our move from a single show and blog into a network of content. I think we can support over a hundred creators with our particular site, but the beautiful part about this model is that it works for everything.
When this succeeds, LTB doesnt turn into a corporation with a thousand employees People who helped us build this will spin off and start their own networks, using the same model where the creators and the content are the differentiating factor.
The model grows horizontally, not vertically.
RA:By "everything" you mean any type of content that could be produced? Audio, video, text, or a mix of all three?
ABL: Not everything should be enormous, but there is value in small things. With our ACTs (autonomous content teams) and Proof of Publishing protocols, I think well see all kinds of collaborative craziness come out of this.
We have minimum quality standards and editorial curation, but stylistically I cant wait to see what people come up with given the opportunity.
The other side of all this content is the ability for users to curate for themselves. All our upcoming portals (web and app) give LTB listeners/readers the ability to turn categories and shows off and have them excluded from their main page feed.
The model is very much, be the guardian of quality and let the people decide for themselves what they want.
RA:When is the LTBcoin DAC's launch date?
ABL: Im ready to go, forums will be launching at ltbcoin.com this weekend and were just waiting on the CounterParty web wallet to be suitable for human use, its in final alpha testing.
We were early with Bitcoin Tipping, I like breaking new ground and using LTB as a vehicle to prove these new models enabled by Cryptocurrency. I think well be seeing quite a few network coins aside from LTB before the end of 2014!
To answer your actual question, before the end of the month or Im going to be annoyed. I wanted to launch last week but [am] still waiting on the tech.
LTBcoin is useful for anyone who believes the LTB network will be more successful later than it is now. The asset itself is deflationary, and issued over a 5 year period of time with the vast majority issued in the first three years. This is essentially the bootstrapping period, and instead of relying on sponsors or patrons to compensate our content creators we make them the first recipients of the largest portion. The audience has a smaller portion given to them through a variety of means including giveaways, contests, a game show, and for contributing to the site (commenting, tipping, etc).
If youre an advertiser, it makes sense for you to acquire some LTBcoins as quickly as possible because theyll be cheaper, less understood and more plentiful at the beginning than at any other time in the process. Sponsor time on LTB has a price set, and if multiple sponsors want the same time it becomes a bidding war payable in LTBcoin.
If you as a listener of Lets Talk Bitcoin! believe well continue to grow in popularity, it makes sense for you to acquire LTBcoin and hold onto it since as a deflationary asset, it should be more valuable later than it is now. This adds value to the LTBnetwork; that person then becomes a stakeholder who benefits from the success of the network, and reduces the amount of LTBcoins available on the market to purchase which helps support higher prices.
If you create content, it makes a ton of sense to get involved with LTB as quickly as possible The coins created for content are distributed based on how many other pieces of content are published that week at rates defined in our Proof of Publishing protocol. You can choose to sell them, hold them, or use them to buy exclusive content or services for your show/blog from other content creators on the LTBcoin.com marketplace.
There are several smart contracts or Bitcoin 2.0 projects out and Tim Swanson has done a fantastic job of categorizing them, and he has addressed any unclear aspects by speaking with those directly involved in the respective teams. Many thanks to Tejano at the ltbcoin forum for sharing this post with me.