The Subversive Message Around Bitcoin Rings Hollow

What is to be made of arguably the most polished subversive message on bitcoin that was released recently?

A video venture called Silver Lake Studios released a video called “Move over PayPal – There’s a Newer Money in Town” that touts bitcoin as the epitome of subversive financial movements. The video follows a parody of PayPal’s Super Bowl commercial that PayPal forced down from YouTube.

But the Silver Lake video above remains on YouTube, yet it misses a fundamental point about bitcoin: there’s essentially an oligopoly controlling the majority of bitcoin blocks today.

Right now, F2Pool is the most active miner of bitcoins in the world, according to In the last 24 hours, for example, it mined around 36% of the 182 new bitcoin blocks. As you may know, any single entity that controls more than 50% of bitcoins can undermine the integrity of the currency miner by being “sure enough” of completing the next block and, thereby, have the ability to pervert the ledger. Together with two other miners — AntPool and BitFury — F2Pool has mined about 71% of the bitcoins over the 24 hours. These mining results mirror other recent totals.

For all the bitcoin-subversion talk, F2Pool is based in Hangzhou, China, and China is not exactly a “Let’s disrupt the status quo” nation. Yes, it’s about the blockchain now, not bitcoin, but it is interesting to see how the bitcoin “cool factor” can mask reality. It’s hard to be the “newer money” when the entire mining infrastructure is built on such unstable ground.

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at or 212-564-8972.

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