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The Bitcoin Bugle: Billionaire-On-Billionaire (Verbal) Violence

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A middle-aged white guy (who is also an innovator in the field of conflict-of-interest resolution) has some harsh words for an older white guy who had the audacity to question the validity of something that appears highly validity-impaired at the moment.

Marc Andreessen on Tuesday lumped in Warren Buffett with other "old white men crapping on new technology they don't understand…."

Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire-Hathaway, famously dismissed Bitcoin in a recent television interview, where he called it "a mirage."

That proved too much of a softball for Andreessen and his fellow Andreessen Horowitz general partner Balaji Srinivasan, who quipped "Bitcoin has outperformed Berkshire Hathaway by a lot."

True, but even truer before certain incidents cut bitcoin’s returns in half, which would seem to invite someone to call those returns a mirage. Perhaps in a few months Srinivasan can offer a new bon mot if a bitcoin grandchild can save Iceland.

Auroracoin is among the first serious attempts to use a new Bitcoin-inspired crypto-currency to save a flailing European economy.

Based off of Litecoin, itself an alternative to Bitcoin, Auroracoin is the brain child of Iceland’s own Satoshi Nakamoto-like character, who uses the pseudonym Baldur Friggjar Odinsson. While it launched in February, things will get really interesting when it officially begins to get distributed to the 330,000 citizens of the island nation on midnight local time on March 25. The distribution process has been dubbed an “air drop” and will take place in stages over the next year, during which time each citizen is basically allowed to claim a total of 31.8 Auroracoin….

“The whole point of auroracoin is to provide Icelanders with an alternative to the króna, a currency they are forced by pain of imprisonment to use,” Odinsson told the Wall Street Journal recently. “Icelanders will be free to sell auroracoins anywhere they like and buy anything they like, be it dollars or other foreign currency on offshore currency exchanges. They won’t need permission from the Central Bank or politicians.”

Now, why ever would Warren Buffett call bitcoin a mirage? Might it have something to do with the 650,000-850,000 of them that were?

Shuttered bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox said Wednesday that it is working with authorities looking into the disappearance of roughly 650,000 bitcoins from its vaults and vowed to recover from the damage caused by the scandal.

In a statement from Chief Executive Mark Karpelès, the company, now in bankruptcy protection, said it has been consulting with Tokyo's metropolitan police department over the disappeared bitcoins.

"Mt. Gox Co. Ltd hereby announces that it has submitted necessary electronic records and other related documents," it said, adding that the company "continues to make efforts to clarify facts as quickly as possible and to recover from damages."

Marc Andreessen on Warren Buffett: Old white guy who doesn’t get tech [CNET]
National Bitcoin Alternative Auroracoin Launches To Save Iceland’s Economy [Forbes]
Mt. Gox Cooperating With Police [WSJ]