• Distance: 36.7km
• Time: 1h22m
• Elevation: 184m
• Calories burned: 691
• Average speed: 26.7km/h
We got the band back together! First (of 8) ride of the Tour. Fine weather and a flat course were ideal for those of us who had not been on the turbo trainer all winter and offered a the perfect opportunity to catch up. Lots of updates to share since the last ride back in September. New deals, funds raised from angels and VCs, new hires, growing sales, GDPR bonanza... So much to talk about!
Post ride, over a well-earned burger or fishcakes back at the Bear & Ragged Staff (under new ownership and great food), we debated the blockchain and the rollercoaster ride of Bitcoin which, since our last gathering had had its 15 minutes of fame, peaking at $19k before sliding back to $7k. Some had profited along the way - a dev colleague of one of the riders had cashed in and made enough money to put down a deposit on a house (some feat in the Oxford housing market)! Beyond the hype, some serious applications have evolved such as the way De Beers are using the blockchain to ensure blood diamonds don’t enter the supply chain. We moved on to mining for Bitcoins and how in the early days this was even done in a back room down Oxford’s Cowley Road. But now, mining is the preserve of giants with vast computing power, access to cooling and cheat electricity. Where could this lead to? Well, Professor Ludovic Phalippou of Said Business School shared this cheery thought on LinkedIn:
COULD BITCOIN (LITERALLY) DESTROY US ALL ???! Imagine people pushing the price up (probably simply because it has gone up a lot in the past, they missed out, ..., the usual story). What is special about bitcoin is that anyone can manufacture a coin. As the price goes up, more people want to manufacture coins. Manufacturing a coin uses a shocking amount of electricity. This means that we can end up in a situation where electricity prices increase sharply, most of the electricity production goes to manufacture a virtual coin (for speculative reasons). Consequence: more nuclear waste, more people unable to heat up their house, more poverty. Nothing to stop this spiral. This will be the most damaging of all bubbles ever because it can lead to mass poverty and environmental damage.
Armageddon is nigh! In the meantime, we’ll keep cycling. Hope you can join us in two weeks!