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Video Jim Blasko Explains BitCoin Spinoff 'Unbreakable Coin' (Video 1 of 2) 55

Las Vegas seems an appropriate place for cryptocurrency businesses to emerge, both because the coins themselves are so volatile that some gambling instinct may be required, and because Vegas is a high-tech outpost with lower taxes and lower rents than many other West Coast hot-spots, well-suited to risky startups with ambition but without huge venture backing.Jim Blasko moved there to work on low-voltage engineering for Penn & Teller, and is a qualified Crestron programmer, too (useful in a town that looks from the air like one giant light-show), but has shifted to a quite different endeavor, or rather a complex of them — all related to cryptocurrency. I ran into Blasko during this month's CES, at a forum with several other cryptocoin startups, and the next day we met to talk about just how hard (or easy) it is to get into this world as an entrepreneur.

Blasko has some advice for anyone who'd like to try minting a new cryptocurrency. Making your own coin, he says, is the easy part: anyone can clone code from an existing entrant, like Bitcoin, and rename the result — and that's exactly what he did. The hard work is what comes after: making worthwhile changes, building trust, and making it tradeable. Blasko's done the legwork to get his own currency, which he's bravely called "Unbreakable Coin," listed on exchanges like Cryptsy, and is working on his own auction site as well. He's also got an interesting idea for cryptocoin trading cards, and had a few prototypes on hand. (Part 1 is below; Part 2 to follow.) Alternate Video Link

Tim: So, Jim you have a couple of different Cryptocoin related businesses or enterprises that are all going on at once. But I’m going to start out talking about one thing that intrigues me, which is that you have created your own coin, can you talk about how that came to be?

Jim Blasko: Creating UnbreakableCoin?

Tim: Yes.

Jim Blasko: It started off with seeing what was happening out there with other Crypto coins, seeing what was going on. This was about a year ago now. I registered the name a few months before I actually finished the coin. I knew what I wanted to call it. I am a Crestron Control Systems programmer and those are systems that we use here in large houses or casinos and it controls everything, the lights, the security, the cameras, the doors, I mean, the sound, everything is controlled by Crestron these days. So, by taking that experience I have been working with that since 1998 and by taking that experience I said, let’s make our own Crypto coin, let’s use bitcoins core, so let’s call them bitcoin, but let’s modify it a little bit, so that it’s faster, so that it’s bigger, it gives us an opportunity to give the Crypto world a second chance because not everybody got into bitcoin, a lot of people found out about it later and it was like, oh man, so we thought we can do this, I thought at least that I can do this, I always say we because we have a team now and I don’t like to not include my team, my team is great, the Unbreakable team is awesome. But, I thought let’s make this coin and let’s not pre-mine it, let’s give it to the world from day one. So, like I said we took bitcoin, we just cloned it, we made it faster and little bigger and we just said, here it is world, here it is, start mining it.

Tim: When you call it unbreakable, talk about what makes it deserve that name?

Jim Blasko: Well, SHA-256D is the same encryption algorithm that the government uses and it’s pretty much the best thing on the planet, it is unbreakable, even the government says it’s about 10 to 15 years away from being cracked itself and by then they will have improvements to it to keep it from being that, so that’s what bitcoin is based on, SHA-256D, so that’s why I chose that instead of what the Scrypt coin. There are too many vulnerabilities in Scrypt that I don’t like and I saw that, if the government thinks SHA-256D is the best encryption, I think they are probably right, we got a pretty smart group of guys out there.

Tim: If they are telling the truth.

Jim Blasko: If they are telling the truth, but it seems to be, that’s what they send all the mission data over, SHA-256D encryption. So that’s pretty important stuff.

Tim: What kind of background did it take to get into actually doing the program?

Jim Blasko: The Crestron programming?

Tim: I mean, the Bitcoin work.

Jim Blasko: It actually started off with something like a program, it’s a very simple program called QT or Cute and this is where you can open up Bitcoin core, the source code, because Bitcoin is open source, Satoshi Nakamoto encouraged building off of the Bitcoin and so that’s what we did. So you start with that, you open it up, start making modifications recompile, you add your logos and boom! you got the Cryptocoin.

Tim: Is all your development public?

Jim Blasko: I am sorry.

Tim: Is all your development public?

Jim Blasko: Yes, all of our code is open source code just like bitcoin, it’s on GitHub, I am the only person who has actual access to it. So, nobody can go in there and make modifications, they can ask us, how can you commit this and I would like this to be part of your code, but, for right now we are just going to leave it the way it is, we have been asked several times, I have been asked a lot to implement certain things into our code, but I like keeping it pure to Bitcoins core because that is one hell of an unbreakable code, it really is. So it makes sense to call it Unbreakable coin.

Tim: What type of challenges have you come into so far?

Jim Blasko: That is the hardest part about the Crypto world is actually getting people to like bitcoin, getting people to know about it, giving it a purpose.

Tim: More than a hundred of them are out there right now.

Jim Blasko: There is thousands of Crypto coins now. There is only 200 of them exchanged on Cryptsy, which is the largest Bitcoin exchanger here in America and we are one of them, which I am very proud of that, all the 1000s and 1000s of Crypto coins out there, they chose us because our code is clean, they checked it, they said it’s easy to work with their systems that they have existing, so they implemented it right away and since then we don’t have a very large market cap yet, still cheap to buy unbreakable coins for those who are selling or wanting to buy it, it’s still pretty cheap about half of penny right now in USD value or about 1200 _____4:47 today which is very low, but that’s going to change, we’re getting out there, the world is starting to know about UnbreakableCoin and there is a team behind it, an actual office behind it, there is a company backing it, there is good developers making products and services that are built around it. So we are trying to expand not just ourselves but Crypto in general and UnbreakableCoin was our way in. So now we’ve got all these other products that we have been releasing coming out like which is going to become the paid up version for, the world’s first Crypto auction where you can buy a Bitcoin, bid in Bitcoin, anybody can buy and sell their goods and you can pay, the sellers can continue to accept 100s of Crypto currencies as a payment. So, no more credit card chargebacks, no more problems of that nature, it has become a Crypto only site and that’s just one of the projects. We’re trying to expand it so that everybody can get involved. Now moms and dads and anybody out there who don’t know how to mine, they can sell their old stuff and get some Crypto currency, get Bitcoin for their old goods.

Tim: Yeah, with bitcoin and I think it’s true of any that are built along similar lines, the hardware it takes to actually getting to mining yourself has gotten rather prohibitive?

Jim Blasko: Well, it started with CPU mining before, I heard that, then guys figured out hey, we can make these video cards do the mining, and that was better, but then some very smart people came up with these little ASIC chips and that has just taken the world over, and with any coin like Unbreakable coin we need mining to keep the coin running, no mining it does become breakable because mining is what makes a wallet work, it’s a pattern where everybody has got to be connected together and creating hash and breaking these blocks that allows the block chain to keeping rolling forward, keeps the wallets in sync and the whole system running. So in that sense, yeah, mining is very important. These days it’s gotten easier actually, you’ve got to spend a little more money where you go buy like a computer price device and that’s strictly for mining, but that’s where it’s going and those are not going to stop, we’ve got some new computers that are coming out they’re going to rival that that soon, and they’re just going to always battle back and forth on that.

Tim: It’s a little bit sad though that it’s no longer part of the – I think part of the fun of having Bitcoin as it used to be, and as we knew that in the background where you use these a few CPU cycles actually somehow making your own now.

Jim Blasko: I think with anything this big times like that are short lived, you know the corporations are going to jump in, the corporations are looking at like the Intel, Intel processing company, I think they are looking at how many video cards got sold for Bitcoin miners, and it must have blew their mind, you couldn’t buy a video card here in Vegas anywhere for a while, I mean you go in there to buy a $600 video card it wasn’t on the shelves they came in that morning they were gone that morning.

Tim: It’s an interesting city, there are a lot of Bitcoin related businesses that are here in a relatively small piece of desert.

Jim Blasko: Yeah. Yeah, I think that we are becoming sort of the Crypto capital of the United States here in Vegas, it’s starting to grow into that, you get a lot of techies who are coming over from California because it’s just too expensive to live there, they come here, they live in Vegas, it’s cheaper, they can have their businesses here, it’s cheaper, the taxes here are better, and we are a growing technology state, with the – the gaming never stops, that’s a technology of a monster of its own. And that’s never going to stop and I think we’re going to see Crypto gambling here very soon.

Tim: Can I ask you about that, what’s your prognosis for that? What do you see?

Jim Blasko: It’s going to take one guy to risk it at first, and once he risks it I think the rest of the corporations are out here, because there’s some casinos that are still small privately owned and then you’ve got the corporate casinos the MGMs, these – the MGM is not going to be like the first place to take it, but I think the smaller casino maybe like the D Casino they might take it for gaming at some point, they already take it for food and drinks and – so I don’t think it’s that much different really.

Tim: There is certainly online gambling with the Cryptocoins going on right now.

Jim Blasko: Yeah, that’s still a great area, it’s a very great area, I thought about doing that because I’m in Las Vegas, why not make the Crypto gambling site, it made lot of sense to me.

Tim: One of the few places that it’s at least legally possible.

Jim Blasko: That’s right, I could have legally done it here, but I think it becomes an issue once at least state lines, and if somebody over there in Utah you know decides they will use our Crypto gambling site then it would be a bad thing, so I didn’t do it.

Tim: Yeah, states have been using a geolocation to track down gambling in all kinds of ways.

Jim Blasko: And to be honest online gaming here is suffering, since the big crackdown, there – I think there Ultimate Bet opened up here in Vegas and they just recently shut down, so and that was part of the station casino, that was – it’s a big ring of casinos out here and they couldn’t keep it going.

Tim: Jim, I want you to talk about and not forget is that you’ve got next to you for a couple of cards and I am wondering if you could show those off a little bit and talk about them.

Jim Blasko: Yeah. This is AllStar Crypto these are just prototypes, this is a project that we’re going to try to get you this year and basically it’s like baseball cards, for Crypto currency, and some of the packs will contain like a scratch off card with a private key underneath, that you will be able to import to your wallet, now I thought a couple of people say that’s like lottery and I say that’s not like lottery because it comes in a pack and you don’t know if you’re going to get one and it’s much like baseball cards, or basketball cards anybody who wants a Kobe Bryant autograph card, might go out and buy 10 packs they’re probably not going to get one in pack.

Tim: You could argue they’re gambling too.

Jim Blasko: You could argue they’re gambling too. So to me it’s baseball cards, my father owned a chain of baseball card stores in Florida for a while, he needed to travel the state and sell the sports cards and, so that’s where the idea kind of came from, I know that there is that – let me have a physical product aspect that doesn’t exist with Bitcoin, okay. Nobody really has something physical, now you see these coins being made and stuff like that, but this is a something that I thought all ages could get into younger generation, older generations something they could hold maybe in trade, it’s a whole new aspect, that’s something I hope to release this year, which is the auction site for Bitcoin and not for – well that users, sorry, that uses Bitcoin, it’s kind of like eBay, but a crypto version and that’s really kind of our baby right now.

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Jim Blasko Explains BitCoin Spinoff 'Unbreakable Coin' (Video 1 of 2)

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @05:46PM (#48860251)

    Unbreakable Coin

    A kick in the groin

    Best taken in stages

    As it comes from Lost Wages

    Burma Shave

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Las Vegas seems an appropriate place for cryptocurrency businesses to emerge"

    Cryptocurrency: as valuable as a straight flush...

  • Could be worse. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The hard work is what comes after: ... building trust, ...

    By being based in Las Vegas?

    Well, it could be worse. He could be based on Wall Street.

  • Unbreakable coin, well, except for this one time. . .
  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:04PM (#48860395)

    "Trusting a guy named Jim Blasko, who's offering you a can't-miss, get-rich-quick way to mint money out of Las Vegas is a no-brainier. Give him all your money!"

    Did I mention that grandma was senile at the end?

  • Useful changes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xylantiel ( 177496 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:15PM (#48860493)
    How about a cryptocurrency that targets an inflation rate that is known to be economically stable, say 2%, by standardizing on a openly evaluated standard basket of goods. You know, how actual currencies work but without the middlemen of the reserve banks. Most of the discussion of cryptocurrencies don't even distinguish growth of money supply from inflation, even though they are two entirely different (though related) things. The cryptocurrencies currently termed "inflationary" just grow their money supply. That's not even what is meant by "inflation" when discussing real currencies like the dollar or the euro.
    • Re:Useful changes (Score:4, Interesting)

      by neilo_1701D ( 2765337 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:45PM (#48860737)

      I don't think inflation means what you think it means.

      The supply of money has nothing to do with inflation; inflation is the change in the cost of good or services over time. As the cost of goods or services increases, a unit of currency buys less of those goods or services. Increasing the supply of money drives inflation up over time (supply of money increases; purchasing power increases; demand increases & the supply - demand curve settles on a new equilibrium state, as the supply side now has to compete for goods and services).

      You're right in that an inflation rate of ~2% is economically stable: because inflationary effects are generally lagging in time it allows for an accumulation in wealth. But the currency has nothing to do with inflation; that's all economic conditions.

      A currency whose value (somehow) tracked inflation would not have the outcome you might desire. Ultimately, a currency must trade against another currency so that country A can buy and sell goods and services to country B. If the value of country A's currency was tied to their inflation rate, residents of country A would get a rude shock whenever they wanted to buy goods made by country B (which doesn't have this inflation rate lock-in): the cost of those goods has gone up - which leads to inflation in country A anyway.

      Economics is economics, no matter if dealing with a real currency or a crypto currency - and crypto currencies behave more like a commodity anyway.

      • > The supply of money has nothing to do with inflation;

        That's not quite true.

        In virtual gaming currencies, which are monotonically increasing, games such as Ultima Online, World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, PoE, etc. which have infinite supply (for all practical purposes),have the cost of items goes down as more and more people become wealthier.

        This is most evident in Path of Exile's temp leagues, where every new "season" the cost is exuberantly high and comes down from the stratosphere as the season progresse

    • Re:Useful changes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by leonbev ( 111395 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @09:28PM (#48861889) Journal

      A low inflation rate kind of kills the motivation to "mine" the coin and help the transaction network run, doesn't it? One of the reasons why Bitcoin (and the clones like Litecoin and Dogecoin) popular is that the early adopters could get a bunch of it while it was cheap and then watch it quickly go up in value.

      I might be willing to devote about of $100 of power/time/compute cycles for a cryptocurrency that might be worth $500 a few years from now. If I knew that the currency was going to be worth $110 (best case scenario!) a few years from now, I'm not going to waste my time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mbkennel ( 97636 )
      | How about a cryptocurrency that targets an inflation rate that is known to be economically stable, say 2%, by standardizing on a openly evaluated standard basket of goods. You know, how actual currencies work but without the middlemen of the reserve banks

      Because you can't do that without reserve banks. And you can't have banks without a way of pricing money through time, and you can't price money through time without a debt market.

      Hey cryptocurrency boosters, are you up to loaning bitcoin or something les
    • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @09:49PM (#48862041)

      Inflation is neither necessary nor desirable.

  • by gatfirls ( 1315141 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:24PM (#48860575)

    I was told bitcoin was perfect conceptually the only issue is with the businesses/exchanges/etc? What gives?

    Then again this guy sounds like he knows what he's talking about, I'm all in!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Unbreakablecoin, that's not even on the first page of altcoins on Coinmarketcap. There are 165 cryptocurrencies with a higher market cap. Why exactly is this notable?

    I really, really hope that no one involved in getting this story to Slashdot's front page hold any "ubreakablecoins".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So what is the cost of this ad? /. shoudl just post their rates so that we all know how much it costs to buy an article.

  • by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:44PM (#48860727)

    People who term their items as "unbreakable" are usually the first to get broken because it's like issuing a challenge to people. Nothing is unbreakable.

    • People who term their items as "unbreakable" are usually the first to get broken because it's like issuing a challenge to people. Nothing is unbreakable.

      I know one thing that is certainly breakable which ultimately creates security for damn near everything else.

      A person's ability to actually give a shit.

      Yes, that's right, we broke people's attention spans decades ago.

      You don't need systems to be unbreakable. You merely need to be hard enough for no one to care to try.

    • Which is better than the alternative where people don't term their items unbreakable, and no one tries to break them, and we might be tempted to think they are unbreakable because they've never been broken.
  • I'll wager (Score:3, Funny)

    by Drunkulus ( 920976 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:45PM (#48860743)
    200 quatloos on the newcomer!
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @08:08PM (#48861331)
    All these bitcoin spinoffs / wannabes simply want to reset the ponzi scheme with the reinventors sitting at the top, holding all the easily mined out coins. That's it.
    • This.
      Alt coins are almost always premined - the people trying to get you to use them and trade them have a massive pile in their name.

  • by SkunkPussy ( 85271 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @08:19PM (#48861421) Journal

    Every new altcoin should be regarded as a pre-mined pump and dump scam until proven otherwise.

    The great strength of bitcoin is its network effect.

    Every new coin has to demonstrate how they will gather sufficient network effect to make themselves useful, the equivalent of overtaking facebook, google or amazon. It could certainly be done but think how many years it is since facebook overtook myspace! It doesnt happen very often.

    • "The great strength of bitcoin is its network effect."

      Which is pretty much all it has going for it, since the only problem it solves causes issues that can only be resolved by bypassing Bitcoin with third party vendors.

      It's really odd to see so many people (though really compared to the US economy it's peanuts) jump in without understanding just how futile an attempt at crypto Bitcoin is.

      "Every new coin has to demonstrate how they will gather sufficient network effect to make themselves useful"

      Nope. The ne

  • Another one? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @10:18PM (#48862199) Journal

    There are over a hundred different altcoins by now. What makes this one so different that it's Slashdot-front-page worthy?

    • There are over a hundred different altcoins by now. What makes this one so different that it's Slashdot-front-page worthy?

      It has hit Slashdot front-page, therefore it has got exposure to some high profile geeks (or it would, if there were any high profile geeks left reading Slashdot).

  • Is Bitcoin perfect? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by swb ( 14022 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @06:49AM (#48863785)

    After a lot of widespread adoption, is bitcoin considered more or less perfect, or are there weaknesses or problems that should be changed/rethought? Not just software wise, but maybe in terms of assumptions like the maximum number of coins that can be minted or the nature of the blockchain network, etc.

    I always wonder how you "improved" a cryptocurrency once it gained some widespread adoption? It seems like network effects and investment would make it kind of easy for an alternate currency that appears "good enough" for initial investors to get somewhat established would be impossible to fix or migrate off of, short of a panic situation where some serious flaw causes holders to be forced to dump it for something else.

    Most new cryptocurrencies seem to be either just clones of bitcoin or pump and dump schemes where it's pre-mined for get-rick-quick promoters (or at least they get labeled as such). But those invested in an established one like bitcoin could also be seen as working their own vested interests, be they financial or otherwise, and either ignoring weaknesses or badmouthing potential competitors because they are invested in it.

    I'm sure the former is more true than the latter, which is why I'm curious if bitcoin is as good as it can get or if after a period of adoption if there are things that could/should have been done differently.

  • > "if the government thinks SHA-256D is the best encryption, I think they are probably right, we got a pretty smart group of guys out there."

    Awesome. Best laugh I've had in a while. Who is this crackpot and why is he getting airtime?

  • Investing in "unbreakable coin" looks a lot like traveling on an "unsinkable ship" to me.

  • A little background on me and my team of ultra miners,.. First off I am not affiliated with ULTRACOiN. We are friends but that’s it. I am affiliated with UnbreakableCoin / UNB staff proof here>> [] My team has been mining crypto’s for a little over a year now. Also been with UNB Since day one when UNB was 1st launched. UnbreakableCoin: ZERO PREMiNE Algorithm Type: SHA256d Total Coins: 80 Million Jim Blasko, is one of very few dev’s who are both Ethical and Tru
  • Jim Blasko is the most open and honest coin Dev I have ever talked to. Jim does not hide behind a screen name and a avatar . Unbreakable had a fair launch on cryptocointalk and no pre-mine as you can see from the block explorer. Unbreakablecoin is incorporated(Unbreakable Crypto Products LLc) and has a office and phone number. You can call Jim with any questions you might have. Does your favorite coin or any other Alt coin have that? No... Saying Jim paid for his interview is nothing but FUD. Put up proof

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10