Solo Cryptosteel Capsule giveaway competition rules

May 2020

Really happy to be giving away this ‘Solo’ Cryptosteel Capsule on Instagram (@alistairmilne) … below are the terms and conditions!

The Competition

  1. No purchase is necessary to enter or to win the Competition and any purchase made will not increase the chance of winning.
  2. This Competition will run for the “Competition Period” which shall be from 13:00GMT on the 6th May 2020 until 23:59GMT on 13th May 2020 (the “Closing Date”). By entering this Competition you are deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions (“T&Cs”). The details of the Competition form part of these T&Cs. You should print and retain a copy of these T&Cs for reference. Any breach of these T&Cs may result in a prize being forfeited, at Alistair Milne’s discretion.
  3. By entering this contest, you agree to a complete release of Instagram from any or all liability in connection with this contest.
  4. This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram and Instagram shall in no way be liable for any losses whatsoever arising from this competition and/or the Prize. You are providing your information to Alistair Milne and not to Instagram.
  5. To participate in this Competition, entrants must meet the following requirements (the “Eligibility Criteria”):
    • be at least 18 years of age or older; and
    • have access to the internet; and
    • have a valid and active Instagram account

How to Enter

  1. During the Competition Period, Alistair Milne will post The Competition Post (“Competition Post”) on Instagram. There will be one prize. The Winner (as defined below) will be chosen at random. Every person who meets the Eligibility Criteria (“Entrant”) shall be entitled during the Competition Period, to do the following in order to enter (entries will not be deemed complete unless these steps are completed):
    • Instagram:
      1. Follow @alistairmilne
      2. Tag 2 friends who would love this account
    • The Competition must be entered in the Entrant’s own name and using the Entrant’s own Instagram account. The Competition may not be entered on behalf of anyone else and only one entry per person will be submitted.
    • Anyone found to use multiple accounts to enter will be ineligible.
    • No bulk, software-generated, automatic, or third-party entries shall be accepted. If a false name is used, that Entry will be disqualified.
    • Only entries that have been completed in full with a valid ‘Entry’ will be entered into the competition. Alistair Milne does not accept any responsibility for late entries and cannot be held responsible for any inability to submit entries as a result of computer service, systems, and/or server failure, error, interruption, defect or delay or any other technical malfunction including social media platform failure.

Winner Selection

  1. One Winner will be selected for the prize (described below). The Winner will be announced on a separate social media post as well as a comment added to the Competition Post within 48 hours following the Competition Period.

The Prize

  1. There will be one winner during the Competition Period (the “Winner”). One winner will win:
  2. If the Prize is no longer available due to circumstances beyond Alistair Milne’s control, a prize of equal or greater value will be provided. The Prize is only redeemable by the named Winner. It must not be sold on.
  3. Alistair Milne is not responsible for the Winner not collecting the prize.

Contacting The Winner

  1. Alistair Milne will make reasonable efforts to notify the Winner of the Prize by announcing this on the Alistair Milne’s social media as well as commenting on the comment used to submit the Entry, then proceeding to communicate over private messaging to gain more details. Alistair Milne is not responsible for any contact details which recorded incorrectly or security settings of the Instagram account prohibiting personal messaging. If having made those efforts it is not possible to contact the Winner within 1 week following the Winner Selection notification, Alistair Milne reserves the right to offer the Winner’s Prize to the next valid Entrant. Any reselection will be undertaken in accordance with these T&Cs.
  2. The Prize will be sent to the Winner following successful notification of the Winner. 

Limitations of Liability

  1. Alistair Milne reserves the right to withdraw, change or cancel the Competition at any time. Alistair Milne’s decision in all matters will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  2. The Prize must be taken as stated and unless otherwise specified cannot be deferred. There will be no cash or other alternative offered. Once a Prize has been allocated it cannot be transferred.
  3. Alistair Milne excludes all liability for any losses and/or damages of whatever nature and howsoever arising to the fullest extent permitted by applicable laws.
  4. All Entrants details will be used in relation to the administration of this Competition.

Parisian “Gilet Jaunes” Bitcoin Mural

At the end of 2018, I was approached by artist ‘PBoy‘ about creating a Bitcoin puzzle inside a mural painting in Paris.  As I was already a fan of his work, I was pleased to provide the seed funding of $1000 as the reward for anyone who was able to decipher the clues and access the BTC stored at the address disclosed publicly.

I should make it clear – I had no input beyond providing the initial prize funds.  All credit for this wonderful and unique piece of art that engaged a broad audience goes to PBoy and his collaborators.

Work started on 2nd January 2019:


In the early hours of the 7th January, the finished piece was revealed to the world:


It didn’t take long for word to spread about this amazing piece of artwork, with its hidden treasure within!

The painting achieved media coverage not just in France, but worldwide … from Germany to Mexico:

The mural also got some mainstream French TV coverage:


Needless to say I am very pleased with the attention both the painting and Bitcoin has received as a result of PBoy’s hard work and priceless creativity.

For those curious about the solution:

We may surprise everyone with another puzzle in the coming months … stay tuned!

‘Old Man’ advice for the newly Bitcoin/crypto rich …

These were by far my most popular series of tweets on Twitter (over >1 million impressions).

They were published the day after the most recent Bitcoin all-time high of ~$19800 in December 2017

‘Old man’ advice for the newly Bitcoin/crypto rich …. 1/14

If selling around 10-20% of your portfolio of crypto-assets would give you life-altering money, please consider it seriously 2/14

Life is a marathon of ups & downs, not a sprint. Always think about downsides and protect yourself … for the future you’s sake 3/14

If you’ve been in Bitcoin/others for >12 months and still have debt, you’re being reckless. Pay it off. 4/14

It is boring, but buying a property should give you peace of mind for life … i.e. it is priceless security. If you can, do it. Be ultra-conservative about any borrowing 5/14

Another ‘boring’ idea is to have ~1 year of overheads in the bank … especially if you are a trader or running a startup 6/14

Securing yourself allows you to continue to take risks in life and pursue things that truly excite you. You will be liberated to consider possibilities & options that others can’t 7/14

If you are a trader, trading from a position of strength will make you better 8/14

Bitcoin may go to $50k, but that doesn’t matter – you will never regret setting yourself up for life 9/14

Enjoy yourself, but try to avoid large displays of wealth. No reason to paint a target on your back or attract the wrong kinds of people 10/14

Avoid believing that your wealth makes you extremely smart. It doesn’t. Stay grounded, remember where you started and treat everyone as equals 11/14

If investing outside of crypto for the first time, be extremely cautious and conservative until you build up knowledge & experience 12/14

Invest in yourself (your health, knowledge, etc.) Your health is your most valuable asset 13/14

Remember to give to those less fortunate than you 14/14

Advantages of the Legacy Chain

One does not simply replace Bitcoin. Especially without overwhelming consensus.

I thought I’d outline why Bitcoin (legacy / Core) has some significant advantages vs any hard fork without huge support:

1/  Bitcoin is the reserve currency of the ‘crypto’ world.  In the past 24hrs over half a billion USD of (non-fiat) tokens were traded vs BTC.  Bitcoin’s market is deeper than any other by a country mile.  No new token can compete with that.

Even if all the big altcoin exchanges added ‘B2X’ (for lack of a better ticker) pairs for everything (and they won’t for quite some time, if ever), they may never reach the volume vs Legacy BTC.

2/  Certainty vs uncertainty. Any new fork is plagued by questions over the dev team, roadmap, industry support, etc.. Legacy Bitcoin has no such questions as it has the longest track record and the largest pool of developers supporting it.  As the most friendly towards decentralisation and true peer-to-peer architecture, it has the least chance of being shut down or heavily damaged by attempts at government control.  The ‘Core’ development community is known to care about other issues like anonymity & censorship … we have no such information about those controlling the BTC1 Github repo.


3/  Track record.  A lot of people have become rich while Core have maintained their position as the ‘default’ Bitcoin client.  This buys a lot of loyalty from the very people that matter most … those buying and hodl’ing Bitcoin.  People are unlikely to sell the token they trust the most.

4/  Investors vs Miners.  A common thread among big-blockers is that miners are all that matter. Only their nodes count. Their decisions regarding forks are final. “We have 90% hashrate support”.  All hail our miner overloads?

Sorry, but no.

It is the investment community … the traders, hodl’ers, users, etc. that put money IN to Bitcoin.  Miners are for-profit organisations and therefore slaves to economics & subservient to the investors … they simply cannot and will not mine a coin at a loss for any length of time.  Miners follow the money, they do not lead the money.  This has never been illustrated more clearly than by Bcash and the joke that is their difficulty adjustment algo.

A rational miner fears the market negatively valuing the tokens they are trying to mine. They are extremely sensitive to profit & loss (no matter how rich they pretend to be).  The richest people in Bitcoin are the Bitcoin hodl’ers … and they have no overheads.

When Bitcoin crashed to around $1800 over fears of a ‘split’ caused by UASF, the miners started to signal for BIP91 (SegWit activation) the very next day.  Investors wear the trousers.  QED.

5/  Forks / air-drops.  The more of these that happen, the more people will want to hold Legacy BTC … as the coin that has the strongest history for such events.

6/  Development talent.  No elaboration necessary.

7/  Businesses will not commit commercial suicide.  The largest Bitcoin companies are already showing they will support both tokens in the interim and therefore allow the market to decide the victor.  Advantage Legacy Bitcoin … a new token cannot practically be called Bitcoin / $BTC as that name is already taken and it would invite chaos.  See the Coinbase and Bitfinex announcements.

… so, in the absence of enormous market manipulation (that would only succeed for a short time anyway – see Bcash), it is nearly unthinkable to anyone of sound commercial mind that $B2X trades above 1 BTC in value.  Which therefore means it will not be the chain with the most cumulative work for any significant period … which means no-one will be able to sensibly argue it is Bitcoin.

The largest available futures market for $B2X currently values it at around 0.25BTC.  I doubt the market is 300% wrong.

Whatever happens, I welcome the fact that those with differing opinions may support the fork/chain/dev team of their choice.

Any tips to my son, please:
Bitcoin address: 1AzmnauEdrTZbhrE7z3o4JPe2bTJKMXLyv

Bitcoin Compromise FTW

As I write, the mainstream media is starting to pick up on the Bitcoin Unlimited vs Bitcoin Core ‘split’ and get excited about the possibility of a contentious fork.  Make no mistake, everyone hostile to the concept of Bitcoin is enjoying this.  ‘Divide and conquer’ springs to mind.

FWIW, here is my idea of what a compromise might look like as a first step to reuniting the Bitcoin community.  I doubt anyone will like it – but maybe people can live with it … or it might inspire other ideas for a more collaborative way forward.

First:  Bitcoin Unlimited undertakes to implement SegWit (e.g. like Bitcoin EC might), which should allow its activation & the benefits that brings.  Wallets representing the majority of Bitcoin Txs are SegWit ready, so hopefully fee pressure drops quickly. We all want that.  If you don’t like SegWit, you don’t have to use it.

Second:  some Bitcoin Core contributors and others *volunteer* to help Bitcoin Unlimited / Bitcoin EC.  BU needs to be brought up-to-date to get the benefits from Core 0.14 code.  It also needs rigorous peer review and testing.  Break it and fix it, over and over.  No-one wants to see Bitcoin nodes be taken offline en-masse.  We all want Bitcoin to be robust.


Third:  explore ways to prove EC works or enhance it so it does – e.g. as a sidechain (mergemined) or used to define the size of extension blocks.  We need to think about the ways EC can be abused by bad actors and how to fix those problems.  If time is spent fixing BU and addressing every concern, perhaps it can achieve consensus.  Failing that, it could be useful in other ways.

Fourth:  everyone stops the threats.  I know people are passionate, but it just destroys confidence  (and therefore value).  We all need to think ‘how can I deescalate this?’ before speaking or writing.

Fifth:  remember Bitcoin is not yours.  Every Bitcoin business and influencer is partially responsible for the wealth of ~millions of people.  Many of whom cannot afford to lose 50% due to forks or disputes & have no voice.  Be responsible in your actions and words.

In short, lets prove the naysayers wrong … again.  Consensus will not be achieved via threats or abuse from either side.