Archive for September, 2016

Free $1B (or maybe $50M) idea: Pryntcoin

Posted on September 12, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The problem: Printing tickets, articles, documents that require a signature, and whatever else you find on your phone is hard to do. Increasingly we are a mobile first or mobile only society…1099 workers, digital nomads, consultants…tons of people aren’t going to an office everyday that has a printer set up…and nobody outside of maybe AOL’s remaining dial up customers is going to Staples and buying a desktop printer for the home these days…

BUT…sometimes, despite how digital our consumption has become…we need to print shit…and if you’re like me (and i’m a bit ashamed of this)…sometimes we would just prefer to read something when it’s printed…

SO…we still need to print…increasingly we don’t have access to a printer in those times of need…

Solution: Queue…Queue is a printer that follows you wherever you go. Easily print any document or article you find the web directly from your phone, wherever you are. No more going to staples or kinkos…signing in to those shady ass computers…emailing yourself docs and paying $.50 a page plus the half hour it takes dealing with all that crap while trying to shield your eyes from fluorescent overhead lighting.

Product: Queue is actually technically an application that sits on top of Pryntcoin. Pryntcoin is a blockchain enabled protocol for sharing excess printing resource with mobile users wishing to print in their local geography. It is governed by a cryptocurrency who’s protocol defines the economic incentives and rules of engagement for anyone with a printer to earn coin in exchange for printing documents of passers by. It is also the currency by which, you, as a user, can print anything from your phone, to nearby printer without the hassle of kinkos or fedex.

How it works in practice:

Users of Queue (everyday consumers) can add documents or URLs to the print queue via a dedicate Queue mobile app, or via their share sheet in IOS and Android. Much like you can see your printing queue on your desktop machine, the app let’s you visualize your upcoming print jobs and importantly let’s you determine when you want to print them. You can print at any time, regardless of where you are relative to an active Prynter on the network, but the Queue app will also push notify you when you are in the vicinity of a Pryntcoin printer, at which point for a small fee paid in Pryntcoin, you can send your job to a nearby computer and pick it up on the go. You can specify how far you are willing to walk to get your printouts, or…if you are rich…you can specify an incentive, also paid in Pryntcoin, for the printer or a 3rd party person/service to bring that printout to you wherever you are. You can keep sitting on the steps of Union Sq, watching all the skateboarders and thinking of your next great idea, and someone will come and drop said printouts in your lap. Importantly, every Queue printout will have a cover page with Queue branding and a unique QR code which can be scanned at the time of dropoff/pickup as a form of signature written to the blockchain to govern the release of Pryntcoin associated with this printout.

Prynters in the Pryntcoin network:

Anyone with a printer…be it a bodega on the corner, an accountant working out of her home on the second floor of a brownstone in the east village, or a checked out employee working at a law office with tons of printers…can join the Pryntcoin print network in order to earn Pryntcoin in exchange for printing documents. Much like miners dedicate computing resource to earn Bitcoin, printers in the network dedicate excess printing resource in order to earn Pryntcoin. The protocol that governs the Pryntcoin network handles geofencing and indicates to the network who is within the proximity of a Queue user in need, that is eligible for the Pryntjob, and the first printer in the network who claims the job, prints said users documents.

Collateral: importantly…the network must ensure that Queue users and prynters are able to conduct this exchange of value even when they don’t know or trust each other. It is easy to protect a Queue user, simply by saying “funds in a smart contract on the blockchain are not released until the Queue user sends a signature to the chain that they have received the printout. But how do we protect the Prynter from wasting their time and ink and paper if a Queue user requests a job and then flakes before picking it up? Simple…all Queue users must hold and post a small amount of Pryntcoin to the blockchain when requesting jobs…This way, if they send a job that is accepted, but not picked up…the Prynter has the ability to collect collateral held in a contract on the chain. I think dispute resolution would be baked into the protocol such that users of the Queue app agree to use one of the emergent decentralized dispute resolution services to determine dispute outcomes. Regardless, collateral is not released without resolution…and that illiquidity is in and of itself enough friction to prevent frivolous flaky behavior.

In Summary: the Queue app and service becomes more valuable as more Prynters (printing nodes) join the network. Geographic density truly creates the user experience of a mobile user never beeing more than a few blocks from an available low cost printer. Between collateral that incentives users to hold pryntcoin, an economic incentive for idle printers to contribute work to the system, and an underlying coin that can be earned and spent within the context of a real world application…while importantly enabling the transfer of value of a fungable and underutilized asset (printing resource)…Pryntcoin and it’s killer application, Queue, represent a viable crytpocurrency that can cross the chasm from theortically intriguing to actually useful…Should the Prynycoin blockchain successfully bootstrap and achieve reasonable liquidity…the coin could come to be exchanged for many types of real world work beyond printing…most immediately available would be another semi-fungable unit of value in the form of “courier work”…nodes in the system operating to earn pryntcoin in the form of document delivery associated with the Queue application, could soon come to operate as crypto-incented couriers for a variety of last mile physical delivery jobs…the protocol for ensuring document handoff via QR code, baked into the blockchain governance can transcend the print use case…and with printing and delivery under it’s belt as the first to real world use cases for the exchange of value governed by Pryntcoin, pryntcoin will join the ranks of Bitcoin and Etherium as an enduring and long lasting cryptocurrency that enables decentralized applications that seek to enable the masses to exchange assets and labor freely without a central authority taking a cut or determining who can and can’t participate.

Note: if you are cryptographically inclined, and a little bit crazy, and choose to build Pryntcoin and hopefully also the Queue application, please write into the protocol that 10% of all issued Pryntcoins will be allocated to Pryntcoin’s creater: jordan cooper.

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Dummies guide to abstract crytpothinking

Posted on September 9, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized |

For the past 3-4 months I’ve spent a substantial amount of effort trying to understand the world of cryptocurrency. The most well known cryptocurrency is, of course, Bitcoin, and the underlying technology that powers Bitcoin is known as blockchain. I’m sure for 90% of readers, this is not new information…nor is it probably news that there are newer cryptocurrencies that are being built that leverage blockchain technology, but that have different properties than Bitcoin. You’ve probably even heard of Etherium, and maybe you know that Etherium has acheived a $1B market cap on the promise of making the Blockchain accessable to programmers who wish to build decentralized applications on top of the blockchain without the hassle of bootsrapping a secure blockchain from the ground up. You might know that Bitcoin can be mined in an exchange of computing power for currency…and maybe not know that all cryptocurrencies are not mined, and that mining is just one form of distribution when a new coin or currency is birthed into the world. Mining is a job that creates value for the network, and coin is the reward for those willing to do it. that work let’s those not wishing to work, enjoy the value of the network (in Bitcoin’s case, money transfer), and holder’s of Bitcoin pay for that work, effectively through the acceptance of inflation on their holdings as new coin is issued to miners as they work. Maybe, you have heard of Steem, which created it’s own blockchain and crptocurency that rewards behavior and participation within a Reddit like media application (which is sometimes refferred to as a protocol vs application, although it feels more like an application than a protocol to me). You probably have not heard of Monero, Dash, Maidsafecoin, Lisk, NEM, Emercoin…or any of the other 20 coins that have a marketcaps north of $20M. And you definitely haven’t heard of the next 20 coins that are currently being designed, white papered, tested, and that will ostensibly be issued over the next 12-18 months. I use the terms “coin” and “cryptocurrency” interchangably here…coin is just shorter and simpler to write. There is something happening in this world…and through fits and starts…and mistakes…and hundreds of millions lost and hundreds of millions gained…I do believe we are getting closer to the potential of cryptocurrencies…and i use the plural because it’s not gonna be one to rule them all…i don’t think…but rather many with distinct uses and applications that will likely be transferrable with each other and traditional FIAT currencies to varying degrees of liquidity determined by the protocols that govern them. The state of this ecosystem is still such that white papers and complex, overengineered economic and technical systems must be digested in order to desire participation, but that complexity is slowly being abstracted away into more approachable and visible real world value…and it will continue to do so until coins begin to sneak into mainstream life and the systems that both govern and enable it.

Since Bitcoin captured the attention of the world a few years ago, with skyrocketing appreciation…most folks have scratched there head to bridge the gap from the theoretical promise of the coin, to the actual real world applications it might achieve. With Bitcoin, like most coins on this list, you kind of have trouble answering basic questions like “why is this better than US $?” “Why should I hold it?” “Why should I accept it?”, etc…for a while, when you really boiled it down…you got to ideological arguments around decentralization (which simply means a redistribution of power and control away from centralized intermediaries and incumbents, to “the people” effectively…or the users of a given service or currency). There’s this notion of trust…and the most paranoid of us, who champion decentralization…are circumspect of authorities whom the vast majority of mainstream population choose to trust in exchange for ease of experience. Banking with Bank of America is easy…but ya gotta trust bank of america…paying with US $ is easy, but ya gotta trust the US Government…paying with Bitcoin is a pain in the fucking ass…but you don’t have to trust anyone…and that feels good for a small minority of decentrally minded folks…

I believe that for a coin, or protocol or decentralized application to succeed against it’s centralized and well established counterpart, the mere ideology of decentralization is not enough to overcome the incumbent. Recently, however, I believe we are starting to see glimpses of coins and contemplated applications atop those coins, that don’t simply replace a centralized system with a decentralized alternative, but rather that contemplate a new societal or consumer oriented system that has no centralized counterpart, because it is something that could only exist from the bottom up, but that has not yet materialized, because there was no good way to transfer value between bottom up nodes around a public or shared service until a blockchain based coin enabled that transfer in the absence of trust, but reflective of the incentive structure necessary to harness bottom up work or value contribution around a mainstream life need.

I realize this is quite abstract, but the marriage of value transfer and distributed but well coordinated work or asset contribution by human beings, or in many instances machines owned and paid for by human beings, represents an efficiency in system design on par with the emergence, say, of parallel computing. We will simply be able to do and sustain systems and services via cryptocurrencies that were not possible on existing financial and societal rails.

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    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I've started a few companies and a venture capital firm. You can email me at (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it)


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