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A freedom-oriented travel blog

Category: Bitcoin (page 1 of 2)

Budapest, a hidden library and a fellow Swedish bitcoiner

We left for Budapest after our first round to Prague to assist our friends, the King family, when Edward Satoshi King was about to enter the world. Budapest has been a city we’ve been waiting for a chance to visit, and now it was time for us to see this place.  We use the website Atlas Obscura to find places worth visiting when we arrive to a new place and that’s why we  ended up in Ervin Szabós library, a hidden gem in Budapest. We also went up on Gellért Hill – the view of Budapest and the Danube river are magnificent from the top.

We were fortunate to be in Budapest at the same time as another fellow Swedish Bitcoiner, Nanok Bie, the Editor-in-chief of news.bitcoin.com. We met up for dinner and we had a lot to talk about. Thank you Nanok for pleasant evening!


Vi åkte till Budapest efter vår första tur till Prag när vi var där för att hjälpa våra vänner, Kingfamiljen, när Edward Satoshi King skulle komma till världen. Budapest har varit en stad som vi har väntat på en chans att besöka och nu var det dags för oss att se den omtalande staden. Vi använder webbsidan “Atlas Obscura” för att hitta platser som är värda att besöka när vi kommer till en ny plats och därför slutade det med att vi bland annat besökte Ervin Szabós biblioteket, en dold pärla i Budapest. Vi åkte också upp på “Gellért Hill” –  utsikten över Budapest och Donaufloden är magnifik från toppen.

Vi hade också turen att vara i Budapest samtidigt som en annan svensk bitcoin-entusiast, Nanok Bie, chefredaktören för news.bitcoin.com. Vi åt middag honom och vi hade mycket att prata om. Tack Nanok för en trevlig kväll!

The mighty Danube (or Donau), the second longest river in Europe that divides Buda and Pest – the capital of Hungary. Budapest was our next home for a few weeks after we left Prague.

Gellért Hotel is where you want to get of if you want to walk up on Gellért Hill to get an amazing view over Budapest. This hotel opened its doors in 1912 and it is famous for its thermal baths .

The Liberty bridge stands in front of the Gellért  Hotel and is one of the bridges connecting Buda with the Pest side of Budapest.

It is a short, but steep walk up on Gellért Hill. The hill is named after Saint Gerard who was thrown to his death here in the 11th century.

We passed the most awesome playground we’ve seen so far during our travels. Take your children here if you’re in town.

Look at these slides!

South part of Buda from Gellért Hill.

You’ll find the Citadella, a fortress built in the 1850’s, and the Liberty statue on top of Gellért Hill. The Liberty Statue was erected in remembrance of what was then referred to as the Soviet “liberation” of Hungary during World War II. The first inscription stated “To the memory of the liberating Soviet heroes the grateful Hungarian people 1945”. After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the Hungarians changed the inscription to “To the memory of those all who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary” .

The Danube river originate in South Germany and then flows through 10 different countries (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine) before ending in the Black Sea.

Pontus took a picture of Ulrika at one of the viewpoints on Gellért Hill. From this place you see the Pest part of Budapest. Budapest is one of the most densely populated cities in the EU. There aren’t so many tall buildings here, but the city seems to stretch far out in to the horizon.

The Citadella was not open when we went there, so after enjoying the view we walked back down through the Jubileumi Park.

The Gellért Hotel from the side and the Gellért square where the tram and bus stops are.

We were fortunate to end up having dinner with another fellow Swedish bitcoiner our first night in Budapest. Nanok Bie is a journalist and currently Editor-in-Chief at news.bitcoin.com, so we talked about whats going on in the cryptocurrency world and of course the bubble that separates Sweden from the rest of the world. We had a lovely evening and we hope to meet Nanok again somewhere else in the world.

We use the website Atlas Obscura to find unexpected places to explore and in Budapest we found out about Ervin Szabós library from that site. The library is described as “a 19th century aristocrat’s mansion, turned into a library, hidden in a modern library” and it is exactly what it is.

You’ll find Ervin Szabós library tucked in the 4th floor in a rather dull “modern” library and you wouldn’t know it was there if you didn’t know about it beforehand.

The City Council purchased the building in 1931 and converted the palace rooms into reading rooms that is still used today.

There are five different rooms to explore, all built by a well-known Hungarian aristocrat, Count Frigyes Wenckheim at the end of the 19th century. The building is called the Wenckheim Palace, but the library was named after the director of the library, Ervin Szabó, a librarian and anarcho-syndicalist, who became a leader of the Hungarian anti-war movement during the first world war.

You can find both old an newer books, here but most of the books from Wenckheim’s time have been moved elsewhere or destroyed. More pictures from the library can be found in the slide show below.

 

 

 

 

Hacker’s Congress 2017, Paralelni Polis

Our visit to Prague this time was for the Hacker’s congress at Paralelni Polis, where we also held a presentation at a bitcoin meet up a few days before the conference started. We had really high expectations, because we visited last years version of Hacker’s congress and we had a really interesting and inspiring time, so we didn’t expect less for this year’s version. Hacker’s congress covers more topics than cryptography and programming – it is about finding freedom in an unfree world and how you can hack your life to become the greater you. A few of the talks are available at World Crypto Network if you are interested.


Vårt besök i Prag den här gången var för den årliga “Hacker’s Congress” vid Paralelni Polis, där vi också höll i ett föredrag på ett bitcoinmöte några dagar innan konferensen startade. Vi hade väldigt stora förväntningar, då vi besökte förra årets version av “Hacker’s Congress” som var otroligt bra och inspirerande, så vi förväntade oss inte mindre för årets version. “Hacker’s Congress” täcker fler ämnen än kryptografi och programmering – det handlar om att hitta frihet i en ofri värld och hur du kan hacka ditt liv för att bli ett större du. Några av föreläsningarna finns tillgängliga på World Crypto Network för dig som är intresserad.

It was time for the 2017 version of Hacker’s Congress and these were the topics covered during the Congress.

The Hacker’s Congress was held at our favorite place in Prague, Paralelni Polis which means parallel city in English.

This year 5% of the attendants were Swedish, and we have met many of them before, so we went out for dinner with a few of the Swedes. One of them brought a really nice cap to the table!

Adam Back was one of the speakers talking about Bicoin and he devoted his talk to the scalability and fungibility problems of bitcoin. His talk is one of the recorded talks uploded to the World Crypto Network hosted by Tone Vays.

Tone Vays was another speaker who mainly focused on talking about the history of the Bitcoin price. We’ve heard this before at Anarchapulco 2016 so it was not so much new things for us.

Pamela Morgan made people start thinking about what will happen with your cryptocurrencies when you die.

Peter Todd was here taking about Proof of Work and what a blockchain and mining are trying to prevent. Really good talk.

Giacomo Zucco had a great talk about the antifragility of bitcoin.

Hacker’s Congress is a three day conference and you can only pay for food and beverages in bitcoin and litecoin. No Fiat-money here!

Julia Tourianski a.k.a brave the world, had a talk about what she’s learned about people after she discovered bitcoin.

Jeffrey Tucker had an interesting talk over Skype about bitcoin and Austrian economics, which is in line with how we see bitcoin.

In the breaks, we tested Paralelni Polis own beer.

Our focus was bitcoin, but other topics was also interesting for us. Pavol Luptak talked about the possibilities with the new technologies available.

Paul Rosenberg talked about bio hacking and the CRISPR-technique.

Juraj Bednar had an inspiring talk about positive libertarianism or how to be free in an unfree world.

And Arto Bendiken had a highly interesting talk about anarchy and tribalism – Ulrika thought that this was one of the best speeches at this year’s Hacker’s Congress.

You could try the new fashion make up at the Hacker’s congress so you can avoid the face recognition algorithms in a public space, It is not for avoiding face detection algorithms, for that you need scarf and sunglasses etc to cover up you face.

Panel discussions on different topics were also on the agenda. Here, Smuggler, Frank Braun, Jim Bell. Paul Rosenberg and Joerg Platzer about the impact of cryptoanarchy and decentralization to our future.

Lastly, the crew of Hacker’s Congress said goodbye and welcomed us to the next year’s version of HCPP.

Life nomadic with Bitcoin and an unschooling family

We got invited to hold a lecture about our nomadic lifestyle and why we want to opt out from the current economic system at the Bitcoin meet up here in Prague. We gladly accepted and below you can watch the whole lecture and the Q&A afterwards. It was really fun to see that so many were interested in hearing about the nomadic lifestyle we have and why we want to opt out from the current economic system.

We have also spent time with the King family that uses unschooling to help their kids learn about the world and life, so we also want to show you a few pictures from inside such a cool family. Caroline is also one of the persons behind the Prague Worldschooling-group, so check out what they are up to.


Vi blev inbjudna att hålla en föreläsning om vår nomadiska livsstil och varför vi vill opta ut från det nuvarande ekonomiska systemet på Paralelni Polis här i Prag under ett Bitcoin meetup. Vi accepterade inbjudan gladligen och nedanför kan du titta på hela föreläsningen, samt frågestunden efteråt. Det var jättekul att se att så många var intresserade av att höra om den nomadiska livsstilen vi har och varför vi vill opta ut från det nuvarande ekonomiska systemet i världen.

Vi har också spenderat tid med Kingfamiljen som använder “unschooling” för att hjälpa sina barn att lära sig om världen och livet, så vi vill också visa dig några bilder från insidan av en sådan cool familj. Caroline är också en av personerna bakom Prags “Worldschooling”-grupp, så kika gärna på vad de gör.

 

 

This is a few of the unschooling books that are used to teach the kids. You won’t find these kind of topics in the Swedish state curriculum.

Winston is using these cards to teach his youngest brother the periodic table, but we think that Edward is a little bit to young for that. Also not a thing you would see in a Swedish classroom for 7-year olds.

We also wanted to help to educate the kids and when Henry and Winston showed interest in climbing we brought them to the boulder bar here in Prague.

They advanced quickly so now they are having rope climbing lessons!

We also introduced them to zombie hide and seek so we had to have som breaks just resting on the mattress.

Take every question you get from a child as a learning opportunity. Here Ulrika talks about how animals have different defense systems during our bouldering session.

Virtual reality is another thing we tried with the King children.

And we showed them how to build your own microscope with your smartphone and a laserpointer.

a wasps eye up close

A close up on a human thumb.

the root of a strand of hair

Close up on brave boys sacrifice for science – learning about the blood system.

Through Atlas Obscura, we found an underground alchemy lab that where only re-discovered after a massive flooding 2002. So we thought that this would be an interesting thing for the boys to look at.

Atlas Obscura is a great website that we use to find interesting things to see and do.

The secret alchemy lab is from the 16th century and they were built for the king Rudolf II for the purpose to try to make gold and to make the legendary philosopher’s stone.

They also made different elixirs to prolong life, make you healthy or become more happy. There was a whole room underground dedicated to dry the “magical” herbs.

From the laboratory, there are long, underground tunnels connecting the laboratory to the castle and other places in Prague.

A sign from King Rudolf II where he gives the scientist the approval to run the alchemy lab.

They sell elixirs that are prepared by a local monastery under strict conditions according to their original recipes. More pictures from the lab can be found below.

 

We also went to the Magical cavern in Prague, a painting gallery by the artist Reon Argondian. He turned his home into the Kingdom of Argondia and he also sells the paintings that are on display.

The paintings shows the magical creatures living in the Kingdom of Argondia.

They also have sculptures, who seems to have an apetite for small children :). More pictures from the Magical cavern can be seen below.

 

Paralelni Polis, Cryptocurrencies and Steampunk in Prague

Paralelni Polis is a place where we feel comfortable in and it is the center of Bitcoin-activity here in Prague. We spent our days in Prague with the King family or sitting here in this place with our computers. We just let our pictures speak this time, so enjoy the cryptocurrency world in Prague and our visit to a really cool, steampunk-inspired bar!


Paralelni Polis är en plats där vi känner oss hemma och det är centrum för Bitcoinaktiviteten här i Prag. Vi tillbringade våra dagar i Prag med Kingfamiljen eller så satt vi på PP med våra datorer. Vi låter våra bilder tala denna gång, så njut av kryptovalutavärlden i Prag och vårt besök på en riktigt cool, steampunkinspirerad bar!

Paralelni Polis is another reason why we like Prague so much. Here is where the Institute of Cryptoanarchy is located and where the Hacker’s Congress 2017 will be held in a few weeks. We will  be there, will you :)?

Close up on the sign outside the entrace.

Paralelni Polis accepts only bitcoin and litecoin, so you have to hold some cryptocurrency or change fiat money to real money at the atm inside the cafe when you want to buy any food or drinks here.

Coffee, beer and internet access is all we need 🙂

Paralelni Polis hosts regular Bitcoin meet ups, mostly in Czech. Occasionally there are English-speaking meet ups, like this one where a really cool it-woman, named Gili, talked about traveling the world, how to live of only cryptocurrencies while not having any bank accounts. It was awesome to meet and speak with Gili and hope that we will meet somewhere else in the world.
We will also hold an English-speaking Bitcoin meetup here on October 3rd, so come by and say hello to us if your’e in Prague!

Bitcoin is hot in Czech Republic so we got to appear on Czech national TV, in the background (can you spot us?), when they had a half-hour long programme about Bitcoin. They aired live from Paralelni Polis, so they wanted us to look busy meantime 🙂 Thanks Rebecca for the screenshot!

We also met up with Daniel, a fellow Cor.ax-conference attendee. We introduced him to Paralelni Polis, the King family and Bitcoin, and it was nice to get to know each other here in Prague.

Alza.cz is i huge electronic retailer that has just started to accept bitcoin as payment. They even have a Bitcoin atm, so we took Daniel here so he could get his first bitcoins.

At Alza you can buy everything from kitchenware, mobile phones to Tesla cars. If you buy anything with bitcoin, then be aware that you need to wait for one confirmation for smaller cheaper stuff to six confirmations if you purchase more expensive stuff. We can recommend to either buy online first or go to the Vietnamese market next door to have lunch while your’e waiting.

If you’re not into cars, then perhaps electric motorbikes would interest you. They also have a game room and a VR-corner, so there is no problem to spend a few hours inside this store.

Daniel stayed a few days in Prague and we went out for dinner during his last night in Prague and then we thought that we would check out a cool, steampunk-inspired bar here in Holešovice. From the outside the Cross Club (the name of the bar) looks like a tiny bar with a small outdoor seating area, but we were so wrong.

The cross club just blew us away, with its interior design and lightning. It is spread out like a labyrinth on several floors with different dance floors, a pinball room and bars. This is a DJ-booth on one of the dance floors.

One of the bars at Cross Club. This night club is a really cool experience that we can recommend if you come to Prague!

The outdoor area we first saw is just a tiny part of the night club. There is so much to explore here and you find cozy corners everywhere, so Ulrika thought that this night club was well-suited for introverts, not so much open areas and you can easily find a booth or a corner where you can get away from people 🙂 Daniel took a picture of us together (Thank you Daniel for the picture!). More pictures from Cross Club can be found in the slide show below

 

We hanged out with the King boys so that their parents could prepare for the coming birth, and it was Winston and Henry who showed us the way to another cafe in Prague, where they also accept bitcoin as payment.

The boys were eager to show us all the games the cafe have and the cool interior of the place.

We ordered fika and played Monopoly here, but “A Maze in Tchaiovna”-cafe offers a lot of different things from poetry nights, Ted-talk nights, free Language lessons etc to more adults only activities. Just check out their schedule online!

Absolutely love to see this sign! It is also lovely to see how interested Winston and Henry are in crypto-currencies and how much they understand. Henry created his own bitcoin-wallet necklace with his public and private key printed on the back, of course BIP-38 secured 😉 He was so proud of it so Ulrika had to make a short movie of him with his very own bitcoin-wallet. Then it was time for Edward to meet his family, but more of that in our next blog post.

Here are som links, if you want to take a closer look on anything we written about in this blog post:

SatoshiPay – nanopayments with bitcoin

A bitcoin meet up in Ubud organized by SatoshiPay, a Berlin-based company, was something we wouldn’t miss and we were lucky that the meet up happened before we left Ubud for this time. The founder of SatoshiPay was on a quick visit to Bali and he invited the bitcoin community to a demonstration of SatoshiPay and general discussions about cryptocurrencies and smart solutions using block-chain technology. We thought that SatoshiPay presented a very cool payment solution for content creators and content customers on the web, so we wanted to mention them here on our blog.
There are several companies that deal with solutions for micro payments, for example Strawpay, a Swedish company, and  BitCash. SatoshiPay, like the rest of the mentioned companies, enables very small payments with bitcoin to get access to content on websites, both for access to entire articles or parts of articles, to play music and videos, or to download purchased  files from a website, such as pdf files and music files.
What SatoshiPay also has done is to enable you as a private individual to be paid when uploading content to a website as well, such as text, images or music. So, it’s a two-way system that SatoshiPay claims they are the only ones in world offering right now, where you both can pay others for content you appreciate and consume, and also get the opportunity to get paid to upload your own creations or content you contribute, such as for example answers to a survey. We find this to be an awesome solution to the copyright issues.

Other things that have happened are that we’ve now left Ubud to meet up Ulrika’s family in Kuta and it will be great to spend time with the family in one of our favorite places on earth. The last days in Ubud, including the bitcoin meet up, are now documented using the image format below.


En bitcointräff i Ubud anordnat av SatoshiPay, ett Berlinbaserat företag, var något vi inte ville missa och vi hade tur att träffen hände innan vi skulle lämna Ubud för denna gång. Grundaren till SatoshiPay var på en snabbvisit till Bali och passade på att bjuda in till demonstration och allmänt prat om kryptovalutor och smarta lösningar med blockkedjeteknik. Vi tyckte att SatoshiPay presenterade en väldigt häftig betalningslösning för innehållsskapare och konsumenter av innehåll på webben, så vi ville nämna dem på vår blogg.
Det finns flera företag i världen som håller på med mikrobetalningar, exempelvis Strawpay, som är ett  svenskt företag,  och BitCash.  SatoshiPay möjliggör väldigt små betalningar med bitcoin för att få tillgång till innehåll på hemsidor, både för få tillgång till hela eller delar av artiklar, spela upp musik och videos eller att ladda ned köpta filer från en hemsida, exempelvis pdf-filer och musikfiler.
Det som SatoshiPay även gjort är att möjliggöra att du som privatperson kan få betalt för att ladda upp innehåll, exempelvis text, bilder eller musik, till hemsidor också. Det är alltså ett tvåvägssytem som SatoshiPay hävdar att de är ensamma om  i världen just nu där du både kan betala andra för innehåll du uppskattar och få möjlighet att få betalt för att ladda upp dina egna skapelser, och exempelvis svar på enkätundersökningar. Jättesmart lösning på upphovsrättproblemet tycker vi.

Andra saker som har hänt är att vi nu lämnat Ubud för att möta upp Ulrikas familj i Kuta och det ska bli så härligt att få umgås med familjen på en av våra favoritplatser på jorden. De sista dagarna i Ubud, inklusive bitcointräffen, finns nu dokumenterade i bildformat nedan.

Bitcoin meetups are of course always at a bitcoin-friendly place.

This time the meeting was in a new place that we haven’t tried before. The Seeds of life café serves raw food and vegan of course and we can really recommend the Moussaka dish they serve on Thursdays, it is so good!

The drinks we’re on SatoshiPay, while the founder Meinhard Benn demonstrated the app for us. SatoshiPay is a really cool way to pay creators directly online and get paid if you upload content to a website.

We’ve  also moved in to Ubud Town for our last few days in this part of Bali for a while. This was our new view  overlooking the rooftops of Ubud, and we can also see the mountains in the background on days with good weather.

Our homestay had an interesting and smart way of using their small space for growing food and herbs.

It’s almost impossible to find bad restaurants in Ubud, the food is really good in almost all places we tried. We do have our favorites here and Rendez Vous Doux is  one of our favorite restaurants in Ubud, with a friendly french owner.

Their Gado-Gado, an indonesian dish, is the best in Ubud according to Pontus.

Good bye Ubud!

Bitcoin + Bali = True

If someone mentions Bitcoin and Bali in the same sentence we immediately think of Ubud and the Bitcoin community here. There are several restaurants, businesses, and co-working spaces around Bali where you can use bitcoin and meet a great group of bitcoin enthusiasts. These people are building solutions to be able to opt out of the current corrupt economic system and contribute to helping people to be part of a healthy and transparent financial system.

In Ubud, the co-working place Hubud is where you’ll find The Filter, a forum and educational place about Bitcoin, the activity can also be followed via their Youtube-channel. On Hubud, you can also find a bitcoin ATM where you can exchange your Indonesian rupiah to bitcoin.
Gary has organized weekly Bitcoin meetings in Hubud co-working space in Ubud for many years and has been a driving force for building a growing Bitcoin community. We met him when we were here 1.5 years ago and now we have the privilege to live in his house while he is away traveling in other parts of the world.

Other bitcoin-friendly co-working spaces in Ubud are The Onion and Outpost. The website bitcoinsinbali.org  gives a good overview of the Bitcoin activity happening on the island. Also Kuta is home to the largest Bitcoin exchange in Indonesia, Bitcoin Indonesia , which has over 270 000 customers.
According to coinmap.org there are over 60 companies in Bali which accept bitcoin as payment, and the website bitislands lists 14 restaurants, 9 service companies, 8 hotels, 2 travel agents, 4 transport companies , 4 clothing and jewelry stores, 2 spas, and 2 adventure agencies that accept bitcoin.

Bitcoin is still small in Bali, but we can see that a lot has happened here in Ubud since we were here 1.5 years ago and it is positive that the ecosystem is growing.
To learn about how bitcoin is different from the present economic system you can read the articles on Pontus educational website
startusingbitcoins.com.


Nämner någon Bitcoin och Bali så tänker vi genast på Ubud och Bitcoin-samhället som finns här.
Det finns ett flertal restauranger, företag och co-working ställen där man kan använda bitcoin och träffa ett härligt gäng bitcoin-entusiaster som bor på Bali. Dessa människor bygger lösningar för att kunna välja bort det nuvarande korrupta ekonomiska systemet och bidrar till att hjälpa människor att vara del i ett sundare och transparent ekonomiskt system.

I Ubud på co-working platsen Hubud finns The Filter, en mötesplats och utbildningplats om Bitcoin, vars aktivitet även kan följas via deras Youtube-kanal. På Hubud finns även en bitcoin bankomat där man kan växla indonesiska rupier till bitcoin.
Gary är en eldsjäl som organiserat Bitcoin-möten varje vecka på Hubud coworking space i Ubud sedan flera år tillbaka och varit en drivande kraft för att bygga upp ett växande Bitcoin-community. Vi träffade honom när vi var här för 1,5 år sedan och nu kunde vi få förmånen att bo i hans hus medans han är iväg och reser i andra delar av världen.

Andra bitcoin-vänliga co-working arbetsutrymmen i Ubud är The Onion och Outpost. Hemsidan bitcoinsinbali.org ger en bra överblick över den Bitcoin-aktivitet som pågår. I Kuta på Bali ligger även Indonesians största bitcoin-valutaväxlingsföretag Bitcoin Indonesia som har över 270 000 kunder.
Enligt coinmap.org finns det drygt 60 företag på Bali som accepterar bitcoin som betalning  och på hemsidan bitislands  listas 14 restauranger, 9 företagstjänsteföretag, 8 hotel, 2 resebyråer, 4 transportföretag, 4 klädes och smyckesbutiker, 2 spa-salonger samt 2 äventyrs- och upplevelseföretag som accepterar bitcoin.

Bitcoin är fortfarande litet i Bali, men vi kan se att mycket har hänt här i Ubud sedan vi var här för 1.5 år sedan och det är positivt att ekosystemet växer.
Om du vill veta mer om hur bitcoin skiljer sig från det nuvarande ekonomiska systemet så kan du se på Pontus föredrag från konferensen Internetdagarna i Sverige november 2016.

The Bitcoin center at Jalan Sugriwa.

We hang out at the Onion where you can eat and use their co-working space by paying with bitcoin.

Look for the orange and white bitcoin sign when you are in Ubud.

The backyard at the Onion.

It’s easy to pay with bitcoin using your mobile wallet of your choice.

On Hubud, you can use the bitcoin ATM to exchange your IDR to bitcoin.

Kismet is a restaurant in Ubud with nice food and the option to settle your bill with bitcoin. Kismet also have good wifi connection, but you’re not allowed to have computers on their dinner tables between 6 pm and 22 pm.

Meet up with the local bitcoin group! Lovely meeting and catching up with you guys!

Satoshi Square – Bangkok Bitcoin meetup

Satoshi Square is the name for Bitcoin-meetups that is occuring all over the world, where Bitcoin enthusiasts meet up to buy and sell Bitcoin between each other, discuss the latest news about Bitcoin and also explain to curious newcomers what Bitcoin is about. The Satoshi Square Bangkok was started by a Swedish Bitcoin-enthusiast, who lives part of the year in Bangkok. Meetups are held every Monday. It is one of the larger Bitcoin-meetups that we have been to, and every time between 20 and 30 people are joining the meetings here in Bangkok, most are expats living here full-time or part of the year, but also a few Thais show up at the meetings.

At this meeting we had the privilege to meet people who got interested in Bitcoin from both through their interest in the technology and through their political ideology, and the discussions went hot on both of these subjects. We met a person who was in to Bitcoin very early. He told us how already in 2010 they understood what bitcoin would entail and just waited for states or mafias trying to hack the Bitcoin-network. David Barnes, the managing director of Bitcoin Co. Ltd., and Chris de Rose, from the Bitcoin Uncensoredpodcast, was there at the meeting. We also finally got to meet Happy George, or Mr. Liberland as he puts it. We heard about him on a Bitcoin meetup in Kuala Lumpur in 2015. If you hang around in the Liberland chat groups you know who he is.

We also got a very nice surprise! Our friend Stefan realized that we were in Bangkok at the same time as him, so he accompanied us to the Satoshi Square meeting. It was awesome to meet him here. He is a Swedish ancap, who lives in Singapore. We can really recommend his Youtube-channel where he compares Sweden and Singapore from an ancap-perspective.

We really recommend that you go to one of the Satoshi square-meetups if you’re visiting Bangkok!


Satoshi Square är en samling av träffar över hela världen där Bitcoin-entusiaster möts upp för att köpa och sälja bitcoin mellan varandra, diskutera de senaste nyheterna om Bitcoin och även förklara för nya nyfikna vad Bitcoin handlar om. Satoshi Square Bangkok är startad av en svensk Bitcoin-entusiast som bor delar av året i Bangkok. Träffarna går av stapeln varje måndag. Det är en av de större Bitcointräffarna vi varit på. Varje gång dyker det upp mellan 20 och 30 personer på träffarna, de flesta är expats som lever här hela eller delar av året, men det brukar även dyka upp några thailändare på träffarna.

På denna träff fick vi förmånen att träffa människor som kommit till Bitcoin både via sitt teknologiska intresse och politiska ideologi och diskussionerna gick varma om båda dessa områden. Vi träffade en person som var väldigt tidig med i Bitcoin som kunde berätta om hur de redan 2010 förstått vad Bitcoin skulle komma att innebära och bara väntade på att stater eller maffior skulle försöka hacka Bitcoin-nätverket. David Barnes, som har Bitcoin Co. Ltd i Thailand,  och Chris de Rose från Bitcoin Uncensored var där på träffen. Vi fick även äntligen träffa HappyGeorge, eller mr Liberland som han själv uttrycker det.  Vi hörde talas om honom redan på en Bitcointräff i Kuala Lumpur 2015. Ni som hänger i Liberland-chattgrupper vet nog vem det är.

Sedan fick vi en väldigt trevlig överraskning! Vår vän Stefan insåg att vi var i Bangkok samtidigt, så han följde med oss på Satoshi Square-träffen. Det var verkligen jättekul att träffa honom här. Han är en svensk anka boendes i Singapore. Vi kan verkligen rekommendera hans Youtube-kanal där han jämför Sverige och Singapore ur ett ankperspektiv.

Är ni i Bangkok så kan vi verkligen rekommendera att ni tar er till en Satoshi square-träff!

 

It is easy to find the meetup point when you have a big sign that shouts out “Bitcoiners here”. It was interesting that four out the six first persons here originated from Sweden.

More people dropped by during the evening, so we had to extend our table!

Ulrika with Happy George himself 🙂

Go Liberland!

 

Pontus pratar Bitcoin / Pontus talks Bitcoin

(Please scroll down to the orange text for the English version)

Novembermörkret faller över Sverige och vi är fortfarande kvar här. Vi har valt att prioritera våra familjer och vänner, så bloggen har legat lite i träda de senaste två månaderna.  Förutom att vi umgås med familj och vänner, så har rapporten “Blockchain – Decentralized Trust” som Pontus författat publicerats och han har hållit två föreläsningar om Bitcoin och blockkedjeteknik de senaste månaderna, där den första videon finns att se längre ned i inlägget och videon från den andra föreläsningen hittar du här. Nu har det blivit klart att han ska hålla en tredje föreläsning på konferensen Internetdagarna. Så vill ni lyssna på när Pontus jämför Bitcoin med fiat-valutor så får ni gärna komma till Internetdagarna i Stockholm den 22:a november. Konferensen Internetdagarna pågår under 21-22 november i Stockholm Waterfront Congress Center (nära centralstationen) och här hittar ni programmet för Bitcoinspåret.

Vi har träffat Bitcoinentusiaster över hela världen, men det blir faktiskt första gången som vi ska få träffa Bitcoinentusiaster i Stockholm.  Vi hoppas att vi kan träffas där!


The November darkness falls over Sweden and we are still here. We have chosen to prioritize our families and friends, so the blog has been a bit on the side the last two months. In addition to spending time with family and friends, the report “Blockchain – Decentralized Trust” which Pontus has authored have been published, and he has held two lectures on Bitcoin and blockchain technology during the recent months, where you can find the video from first lecture further down and the video from the second lecture is available hereIt is now decided that he will hold a third lecture in Sweden on the conference The Internet Days. If you want to hear Pontus compare Bitcoin with fiat currencies you are welcome to come to the Internet days in Stockholm on November 22. The Internet Days conference will be taking place during the 21-22 of November in the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Center (near the central station) and you can find the program for the Bitcoin session here

We have met Bitcoin enthusiasts all over the world, but this will actually be the first time that we will meet Bitcoin enthusiasts in Stockholm. We hope we can meet you there!

Pontus höll den första föreläsningen under Freeedomfest Stockholm i Augusti i år. Den handlade om hur Bitcoin jämför sig mot andra valutor och potentialen för Bitcoin att decentralisera många fler områden än pengar. Pontus held his first lecture at Freeedomfest Stockholm in August this year. It was about how Bitcoin compares to other currencies and the potential for Bitcoin to decentralize many more areas than money.

Pontus höll den första föreläsningen under Freedomfest Stockholm 27 augusti, vilket anordnas av Ludwig von Mises institutet i Sverige. Den handlade om hur Bitcoin jämför sig mot andra valutor och potentialen för Bitcoin att decentralisera många fler områden än pengar. / Pontus held his first lecture at Freedomfest Stockholm, hosted by the Swedish Ludwig von Mises institute on August 27. It was about how Bitcoin compares to other currencies and the potential for Bitcoin to decentralize many more areas than money.

 

Pontus höll sin andra föreläsning när Pontus, Davids och Claudias rapport "Block chain - decentralized trust" skriven på uppdrag av Entrepenörskapsforum publicerades i oktober detta år. Den förelsningenhandlar om blockkedjeteknikens potential och innehåller även en paneldebatt där teknikens risker och möjligheter diskuterades. Föreläsningen kan du hitta här. Pontusheld his second lecture when Pontus, David's and Claudia's report "Block chain - decentralized trust", written for the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, was publiced in October this year. The lecture is about the potential of the block chain technology and also includes a panel discussion where the potential and risks of the technology was discussed. The lecture can be found here.

Pontus höll sin andra föreläsning när Pontus, Davids och Claudias rapport “Block chain – decentralized trust” skriven på uppdrag av Entrepenörskapsforum publicerades i oktober. Den föreläsningen handlar om blockkedjeteknikens potential och innehåller även en paneldebatt där teknikens risker och möjligheter diskuterades. / Pontus held his second lecture when Pontus, David’s and Claudia’s report “Block chain – decentralized trust”, written for the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, was published in October. The lecture is about the potential of the block chain technology and also includes a panel discussion where the potential and risks of the technology was discussed.

Rapporten kan även hittas som onlineversion här. The report can also be found as an online version here.

Här finns rapporten som pdf / Here is the report as pdf Blockchain – Decentralized Trust

internetdagarna

Den 22:a november står Pontus åter på scen och ska tala om hur Bitcoin jämför sig mot andra valutor. Denna gång på Internetdagarna i Stockholm. Klicka på bilden för att se hela programmet för konferensen. / Pontus will be back on stage on November 22 and talk about how Bitcoin compares with other currencies. This time the lecture will be held on the Internet Days in Stockholm. Click the image to see the whole program for the conference.

Freedomfest Stockholm 2016!

Ulrika kan stolt meddela att Pontus är en av årets talare på Freedomfest 2016 i Stockholm den 27:e augusti! Har ni tid och vill höra mer om frihetliga tankar och om Bitcoin så är ni varmt välkomma till en hel dag med frihetliga föreläsningar! Vår vän Caroline King, som driver bloggen den andra resan, ska prata om frihetligt föräldraskap och Martin Eriksson, grundaren av bubb.la, berättar hur frihetliga nyheter sprider sig över världen! Missa inte heller vår nya vän Martin Jacobsson, som är handen bakom i fablernas land. Flera andra personer står på talarlistan, bland annat personen bakom bloggen läkare utan vänster, samt flera andra intressanta talare! Det ska bli jättekul att ses i Stockholm i augusti!


Ulrika is proud to announce that Pontus is one of this year’s speaker at the Freedom Fest 2016 in Stockholm on the 27th of August! You’re welcome to a full day of freedom lectures, if you have time and want to hear more about libertarian ideas and Bitcoin! Our friend Caroline King, who runs the blog “den andra resan“, will talk about peaceful parenting, and Martin Eriksson, the founder of cor.ax, is going to tell us about how libertarian news are spreading across the world! Do not miss our new friend Martin Jacobson, who is the hand behind “I fablernas land“. Several other people are on this year’s speaker list, including the person behind the blog “Läkare utan vänster“, and several other interesting speakers! It will be great to see you in Stockholm in August!

Caroline och hennes familj träffade vi på Bali för ganska exakt ett år sedan! We met Caroline and her family in Bali exactly a year ago!

Caroline och hennes familj träffade vi på Bali för ganska exakt ett år sedan! We met Caroline and her family in Bali exactly a year ago!

Vi fick möjlighet att bistå Martin med arbetsyta och wifi för inspelning av radio bubb.la i Acapulco tidigare i år! We were able to help Martin with a workspace and wifi for recording of radio bubb.la in Acapulco earlier this year!

Vi fick möjlighet att bistå Martin med arbetsyta och wifi för inspelning av radio bubb.la i Acapulco tidigare i år! We were able to help Martin with a workspace and wifi for recording of radio bubb.la in Acapulco earlier this year!

Pontus och Ulrika på en jättetrevlig bitcointräff i Kuala Lumpur på deras resa med att söka upp Bitcoin-intresserade människor i världen! Pontus and Ulrika at an awesome Bitcoin meetup in Kuala Lumpur on their travel to meet Bitcoin-minded people in the world!

Pontus och Ulrika på en jättetrevlig Bitcointräff i Kuala Lumpur på deras resa med att söka upp Bitcoin-intresserade människor i världen! Pontus and Ulrika at an awesome Bitcoin meetup in Kuala Lumpur on their travel to meet Bitcoin-minded people in the world!

Elliptiska kurvor och Bitcoin / Elliptic curves and Bitcoin

(Please scroll down to the orange text for the English version)

En av fördelarna med att vara en del i en ankgemenskap är att man lär känna väldigt intressanta människor som kan olika saker. Denna vecka anordnande en vän till oss en föreläsning om matematiken bakom Bitcoin och vi såg med spänning fram emot föreläsningen. Vår vän är matematiker från Finland och hans föreläsning handlade om primtal, modulär aritmetik och elliptiska kurvor över begränsade fält, som är vad Bitcoin delvis bygger på. Det var en oerhört givande föreläsning för oss båda. Ulrika blev överlycklig över att nu fått lära sig hur man utför division i modulär aritmetik, då hon håller på att lära sig själv om modulär aritmetik och hittills bara har utforskat multiplikation.
Föreläsningen gick igenom hur modulär aritmetik fungerar för addition, subtraktion, multiplikation och division. Sedan hur ekvationer för olika kurvor ser ut och hur de beter sig i ett vanligt enkelt tvådimensionellt (kartesiskt) koordinatsystem och hur man avgör om en viss punkt i koordinatsystemet finns på en viss kurva eller inte. Sedan kom vi in på elliptiska kurvor och vilka särskilda egenskaper de har, som att addition av två punkter alltid blir lika med en annan punkt på kurvan.

Efter vi gjort allt detta med förenklade exempel så var det dags att studera den specifika elliptiska kurva som används i Bitcoin för den assymetriska krypteringen som används för att generera den privata och publika nyckeln som en bitcoin-plånbok i sin enklaste form består av. Den privata nyckeln skall hållas hemlig och är den som behövs för att signera en överföring av bitcoin från dig till någon annan. Den publika nyckeln behöver som namnet antyder inte hållas hemlig och är något förenklat den address som du ger ut för att andra personer ska kunna överföra bitcoin till dig. För mer detaljerad information om hur detta fungerar så kan ni läsa Pontus guide till hur man förvarar bitcoin säkert. Men om ni inte kan så mycket om Bitcoin alls så börja med att läsa Pontus guide om vad Bitcoin är och hur det skiljer sig från andra sorters valutor.

Anledningen till att man använder modulär aritmetik för den elliptiska kurvan i Bitcoin är för att få en kurva med ett begränsat antal punkter (en begränsad kropp), istället för en kurva med oändligt antal punkter. Man använder också bara primtal för den modulära aritmetiken då primtal aldrig generar samma punkt två gånger på den elliptiska kurvan, vilket andra tal gör.
En publik nyckel i Bitcoin representerar en specifik punkt på den elliptiska kurvan inom den begränsade kroppen skapad av modulär aritmetik. Den privata nyckeln är hur många gånger en definierad startpunkt på den elliptiska kurvan, som kallas generatorn (G), adderas med sig själv för att ge punkten för den publika nyckeln. Har man bara tillgång till en publik nyckel så är det omöjligt att gissa den privata nyckeln, dvs hur många gånger punkten G ska adderas med sig själv, utan att prova alla möjliga kombinationer. Däremot  är det enkelt att räkna fram punkten på kurvan för den publika nyckeln om man vet vad den privata nyckeln är. En privat nyckel (hur många gånger punkten G ska adderas med sig själv) väljs som ett slumpmässigt tal mellan 1 och ungefär 10^77 (2^256, eller 256 bitar). Detta tal är oerhört stort, i storleksordningen av antal atomer i universum. Säkerheten i Bitcoin bygger på att det är omöjligt att testa alla kombinationer för att avgöra vilken “atom” i universum som är din privata nyckel.

Det blev också en hel del diskussioner om matematik och speciellt skolundervisning generellt i Finland, Sverige och andra delar av världen, och vi fick vädra våra argument om varför vi aldrig kommer sätta våra eventuella framtida barn i det svenska skolsystemet.


One of the benefits of being part of an ancap community is that you get to know very interesting people that know different things. This week, a friend to us arranged a lecture on the mathematics behind Bitcoin and we looked forward with excitement to the lecture. Our friend is a mathematician from Finland, and his lecture was about prime numbers, modular arithmetic and elliptic curves over finite fields, which is part of what makes Bitcoin possible. It was an incredibly rewarding lecture for both of us. Ulrika was overjoyed to learn how to perform division in modular arithmetic, because she has been teaching herself about modular arithmetic and only explored multiplication so far.

The lecture went through how addition, subtraction, multiplication and division works in modular arithmetic. Then we explored how the curves for different equations look like, how they behave in a normal simple two-dimensional (Cartesian) coordinate system and how to determine whether a certain point in the coordinate system exist on a defined curve or not. Thereafter, we continued with elliptic curves and what special properties they have, such as how the addition of two points on the curve is always equal to another point on the curve.
After we have done all this with simplified examples, it was time to study the specific elliptic curve used in Bitcoin for the asymmetric encryption used to generate the private and public key, which is a bitcoin wallet in its simplest form. The private key must be kept secret and it is required for signing a transfer of bitcoin from you to someone else. The public key, as the name suggests, do not need to be kept private, and the public key is somewhat simplified, the address you give out to other people so they can send bitcoins to you. For more detailed information on how this works, you can read Pontus guide on how to store bitcoin safely.  If you do not know much about Bitcoin at all, we suggest you start with reading Pontus guide on what Bitcoin is and how it differs from other kinds of currencies first.

The reason for using modular arithmetic for the elliptic curve in Bitcoin, is to obtain a curve with a limited number of points (a finite field), instead of a curve with an infinite number of points. Also, only prime numbers are used for the modular arithmetic, because prime numbers never generate the same point twice on an elliptic curve, which other numbers do.
A public key in Bitcoin represents a specific point on the elliptic curve within the finite field created by the modular arithmetic function. The private key is the number of times a defined start point, called the generator (G), on the elliptic curve, is added to itself to end up on the point on the curve which is the public key. It is impossible to guess the private key, ie how many times G must be added to itself, if you only have access to a public key, unless you try all possible combinations. However, it is easy to calculate the point on the curve that is the public key, if you know what the private key is. A private key (how many times the point G is added to itself) is chosen as a random number between 1 and approximately 10 ^ 77 (2 ^ 256 or 256 bits). This number is extremely large, the same order as the number of atoms in the universe. The safety of Bitcoin is based on that it is impossible to test all the combinations to determine which “atom” in the universe that is your private key.

We also had a lot of discussion about mathematics and about public schools in general, in Finland, Sweden and other parts of the world, and we got to air our arguments about why we never want to put our possible future children in the Swedish school system.20160328_171715.jpg

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En bra översikt över elliptiska kurvor och hur de används inom kryptografi / A good overview of elliptic curves and how they are used in cryptography:

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