Enter UltraCoin: It Is To Banks As Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Is To The Music Industry

Reggie Middleton's picture


I'm rapidly unveiling what's been brewing in the BoomBust labs over the last few months - UltraCoin an intelligent derivative layer of smart financial contracts that sit on top of the Bitcoin architecture. In short, the recreation of the banking industry in software - without the trust and counterparty risk issues!

For those of you who are still skeptical re: cryptocurrencies, I please read the most excellent article by David Z. Morris, which also happens to grace the front page of Fortune magazine today.

Fortune Front CoverFortune Front Cover

I'll excerpt some choice snippets:

Some still doubt bitcoin's usefulness and durability, but 2014 may leave skeptics even further behind -- developers and entrepreneurs are already hard at work building features on top of the Bitcoin protocol that will allow for the decentralized execution of financial services, from currency hedging to loans to stock issuance to rental and purchase contracts...

In the long term, peer-to-peer finance threatens to weaken banks and other financial agents just as peer-to-peer file sharing did the music industry -- and some of the architects of this financial Napster seem gleeful about the possibility.

Ya damn skippy!!!

 That means loans without banks, contracts without lawyers, and stocks without brokers, executed and recorded across hundreds of servers at all corners of the earth.


Independent entrepreneurs are also working to build this infrastructure. One of these is Reggie Middleton, currently building a client called BTC Swap.

This will be marketed as UltraCoin! Wasn't completely ready for the interview, but will be shown live at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami Beach this weekend!

Middleton, gravelly voiced, dapper, and businesslike, doesn't fit the stereotype of woolly young bitcoin developers. But he slyly describes himself as "not quite an anarchist," and BTC Swap is a shot directly across the bow of the financial industry.

Believe it!

Still in early development, BTC Swap is planned to facilitate a variety of what Middleton calls "Zero-Trust Digital Contracts," which recreate financial functions in software code by matching offered and desired transactions between parties without the need for intermediary institutions. Because these contracts are automated, instantaneous, and executed with assets already represented in the Bitcoin blockchain, Middleton says they eliminate counterparty risk while also subtracting conventional banking and brokerage fees.

David was correct in that it was in early development when he saw it, but we've been busting our collective asses (analysts, financial engineers, software engineers, programmers, website designers, the whole crew) and we'll not only be demonstrating live but will be trading risk down in Miami, right in front of your eyes!

The most immediate function Middleton envisions for his system is for hedging bitcoin against existing national currencies. With bitcoin's valuation still showing huge volatility, Middleton claims the availability of distributed hedging will both ensure the value of bitcoin for individuals holding the asset and provide systemic stability. (Given persistent skepticism, there should be plenty of takers to short bitcoin against the dollar.) And the entire system relies on decentralization for its security and integrity: "My contracts are peer-to-peer," says Middleton. "If you hack my servers, there's nothing to get." Somebody call Target (TGT).

Somebody? Anybody? Target, drop me a line at reggie.middleton at ultra-coin.com if you want my assistance in getting in on this distributed, peer-to-peer bitcoin thingy. My next post will show how my UltraCoins can add 15% to Overstock.com's bottom line. That's pretty damn good if you ask me! As a matter of fact, it's pretty damn good even if you didn't ask me :-)

Such hedging functions have particularly unique promise because of the extremely low transaction costs of peer-to-peer currency. Bitcoin makes microtransactions ranging down to fractions of a cent viable, but Middleton says that "right now, if you do micropayments, the volatility of bitcoin can really take you out." Because of the low cost of Middleton's swaps, "I can let [payees] manage risk and decrease volatility at the micro-level."

Please pardon me for the heavy excerpts taken from this article, but it is really... just.. that.. good!!! And it gets even better. Check it out:

The functions that advocates say could be automated through the Bitcoin network seem nearly endless, including peer-to-peer investment funds, Kickstarter-like crowdfunding, binding arbitrations, and even non-financial transactions such as naming rights management and encrypted communication.

I actually have much of this stuff oven already. All I need is the funds to help accelerate development becuase "you know who" is likely to get their bonus pool panties in a bunch and start coming after me :-)

And all could be executed without a cut for intermediaries. Bitcoin partisans, from developers down to rank-and-file users, often seem to revel in the idea that they are threatening the control and profits of Wall Street institutions, who they see as rent-seeking fat cats. If it were limited to the loss of fees on payments and transfers, bitcoin's threat to existing financial institutions would still be substantial. But with a full array of commission-free financial services on the horizon, there is even more reason to take heed.

Oh, and I love this part...

Middleton sounds a bit like an 18th-century pirate striking back against the Empire when he declares that "what I'm doing right now is a direct threat to fiat merchant banking." For him, excitement over value fluctuations in the bitcoin currency is missing the point: "It's not a threat as people sit there and ponder whether bitcoin is a bubble or not. But if people go through the protocol and use their imagination, the existing system is threatened."

And here comes the rain on the parade :-(

However, there is a substantial obstacle to this coming revolution. Despite the emergence in 2013 of entities like Coinbase that have drastically streamlined the process, it is still difficult to exchange bitcoin for national currencies in a quick, reliable manner. It's unclear how Middleton's automated dollar-bitcoin hedging will work without a lightning-quick and reliable dollar-bitcoin exchange platform.

UltraCoin was in early beta stage when David saw it. It'll be ready to strut much of its stuff in Miami, making things much clearer.

So, the true "automation" of bitcoin functions that integrate with the economy as a whole may require a reconciliation with existing trading platforms.

Oh, I wouldn't bet the farm on that one.


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Walt D.'s picture

The problem with Bitcoin is that essentially by-passes any foreign currency control. Currently, I think, you may not take more than $10,000 in cash out of the country without declaring it. You may not have a foreign bank account without informing the IRS. The IRS can obtain bank records and freeze bank assets. This is a lot easier than confiscating someone's computer if the Bitcoin records are stored there. Clearly, if the transactions are done online, the NSA will be able to find out.

Once a lot of people start using Bitcoin, the government will impose restrictions.

madtechnician's picture

Well the government tried to ban cocaine how well did that work out ? Banning cocaine has pushed it's price premium up by atleast 5000%.


What do you think will happen to bitcoin prices when currency controls and bank bail-in's are implemented ? Do you think it's price will increase or decrease , because - Remember it's now an international currency with no border restrictions and totally untraceable , you can put your bitcoins on a chip the size of your little finger nail or print the keys or email them to yourself ,  no metal detectors will beep at an airport from a USB thumb drive. How the fuck can they ban this ? And will anybody even take notice of a ban ? What exactly would they ban - a computer file ? A number ?

Walt D.'s picture

Governments make money (indirectly) from cocaine. (A several hundred billion dollar industry does not go unnoticed).

How do they ban bitcoin - same way they ban bearer bonds. They can require you to declare bitcoin ownership on your tax return - this is usually enough to scare people into compliance).

Don't forget, a few years ago number Swiss bank account were though to be secure. Sure you can not declare your bitcoins, and currently they will not know. But in the future? Confiscation and jail.

realWhiteNight123129's picture

Problem with Bitcoin:

Selenium based quantum dot computing will blow Bitcoin appart.


Advantage of Gold: So far NSA does not know how to recreate a supernova explosion. (the stuff that creates precious metals)

Gold is literally star dust, no wonder it looks good. Women like to wear things that enhance their beauty, no wonder they like to wear gold. 



madtechnician's picture

Sorry to piss on your bonfire but Quantum Computers will be easier to program to create recipies and techniques for manufacturing physical particles including metals ie gold in a lab than for cracking digital electronic encryption algorythms. Although theoretically it is possible to crack certain types of encryption with Q-bit Quantum Processors , bitcoin does not have the type of encryption which is susceptible to Q-bit QC cracking

Back to the drawing board..

ebworthen's picture

A good read here about the NSA and SHA-256 being designed by the NSA:


A related link, "Crypto prof asked to remove NSA-related blog post":


I'm with you Bitcoiners in spirit, just not wallet.

madtechnician's picture

SHA_256 was developed by the NSA - No secret there ....

peak.singularity's picture

That's not "manufacturing" that's transmutation! I don't think we're nowhere near making gold transmutation a process competitive with regular out of the ground mining...

Otherwise, here's a discussion about the speedup that a quantum computer would make to bruteforcing the SHA256 algorithm used by bitcoin : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=122591

So bitcoin DOES seem to be susceptible to "quantum cracking", but we're still quite far away from it being practical.

And there's the little detail of such quantum computing also greatly reducing the time to break many of the other cryptographic algorithms used for instance in regular banking transactions, credit cards... they might be even more vulnerable to quantum computers than bitcoin!

madtechnician's picture

I was talking about Quantum Computers we could actually build here on earth. Even the most efficient Quantum Computer would require our Sun's entire energy output for around 2 minutes to crack SHA256 , this would have to be built in space and somehow harness massive amounts of energy from the sun. What you have seen on the bitcoin forum may be a theoretical way to do that , but we are indeed a long way from building a Quantum Computer out in space the size of a small planet. And regarding the metals , I was not talking about transmutation I was referring to the manufacturing of matter at the atomic level from actual components of matter. Transmutation is an entirely different process where you convert one atom into a different atom using nuclear fusion or fission.

Matt's picture

1. First of all, what exactly do people mean when they say "Quantum Computing"? Are we talking about Quantyum Logic, where if we do not know if it is true or false, we can simultaneously process both possibilities as if both are true, or are we talking about quantum entranglement, or something else?

2. If we are talking about using Quantum Logic, of which there already exists a 512-qubit computer, unless this makes SHA-256 obsolete, it will simply raise the difficulty and miners will simply buy quantum computers.

3. If quantum computers make SHA-256 obsolete, or an NSA backdoor does, then a new crypto will be implemented to replace it. Unless you are proposing that at some point, any encryption will be instantly broken and no new possible encryption will be created.

peak.singularity's picture

That's a good question : can you change the SHA-256 algorithm to something else without splitting the bitcoin network?

Matt's picture

As far as I understand, it would require a hard fork; anyone who did not upgrade would have a seperate set of records. Only the mining pool operators and people running the full client would need to upgrade; at least as I understand it, the light clients would not notice the change.

peak.singularity's picture

Where do you get your information for that energy value? The Landauer limit is kTln2, which for 25°C is 2.85x10^?21. Times 2^64 operations that's only 0.053 J. Modern classical computers are a million times less efficient, but even if you think that quantum computers will be 1000 times less efficient than classical ones, that's still only ~53 MJ...

Gold is an element, an atom, a basic component of matter. Combining sub-atomic particles (protons and neutrons) _is_ transmutation.

madtechnician's picture

I am not even going to start with the math , but think about this: 2 raised to the power of 256 , your numbers are as meaningless as is quoting The Landauer Limit

Nuclear transmutation: the conversion of one chemical element or isotope into another through nuclear reaction

peak.singularity's picture

Haven't you read the discussion on the bitcointalk forums? The whole reason to use quantum computers is that they would allow a quadratic speedup lowering the number of operations needed to "crack" SHA-256 to 2^64. That is a number of operations that the current classical _desktop_ computers can actually execute in a timeframe of several years. Of course the quantum computers are extremely far from this yet, and I don't know what is their current energetic efficiency, but improving them over the course of several decades to the point where they reach this computing power, without requiring such extreme amounts of energy, doesn't seem impossible to me.

You said "manufacturing physical particles including metals ie gold in a lab". Gold being a basic element, to "manifacture" it from something else (another element), you need to mess up with protons and neutrons. To do that, nuclear reactions are required, which typically involve millions of time more energy than chemical reactions (that don't affect the atomic nucleus, but only the electrons orbiting it) - that's why atomic bombs are so powerful (but they use naturally "unstable" nuclei, like uranium, which lowers the energy required to start the reaction, then the chain reaction effect is responsible for the explosion), and also why transmutation is such an energy intensive process. (Ironically, it would seem that it's easier to transmute gold into lead, than the opposite.)


outamyeffinway's picture

Right, the ZH haters keep looking for the death of BTC. Pissed that it just keeps carrying on without them as they liken themselves the most intelligent and informed people on the planet.

realWhiteNight123129's picture

Personally I like bitcoin, but there is a bit of a problem of track-record. But I am perfectly ok with people using bitcoin. People are free, that is the point of free money.

I would just not trust this because bitcoin is perishable actually (your hardrive can fry go into water, burn, be cracked by Q-bit or what have you.)

Bitcoin relies on technology and technology changes, we have no way to know what hte power of future computers will be, and they are most likely to surprise many people.

We have no way to know if we will be able to produce a supernova explosion in bottle, but for me I would think the later is less likely. Added to the fact that Bitcoin is perishable I just prefer gold, but you people do what you want, this is a blog where people advocate freedom.

The other thing is that Bitcoin is not a commodity unlike Gold. Gold has always followed the price of food or minerals. For minerals the techniques of extractions of certain metals are different but in the end Gold extraction, other metals extraction share the limitation of the physical world of the earth. Agriculture has other forms of limitations.

Bitcoin exists in pure abstraction, so its price does not track other commodities. People are not computers, they do not eat computing power, they eat food and consume physical commodities. So Bitcoin price evolution could completely detached form commodities, that is a major inconvenience.

At the same time you could use your bitcoins to buy computers (digital world) and keep gold to buy food and other commodities (Gold is a better proxy). Hayek advocated multiple currencies.


madtechnician's picture

It is perfectly normal human behaviour to blindly attack and then run away from something you do not understand. After attacking and running away , the more intelligent members of the species will spend some time trying to learn and figure out exactly what it is they are dealing with , some of them will continue to fight and be swallowed up in a sea of misunderstanding , while some of them will learn and move into the future.

ebworthen's picture

Oh Reggie, I'm worried for you...

Radical Marijuana's picture

I think that cryptocurrencies are a parasite on top of a parasite. All the fundamentals of the political economy inside of the human ecology have become runaway insanities, due to the long history of Neolithic Civilization being based on the triumphs of deceits, backed by destruction, enabling the contemporary world to become almost totally dominated by fundamentally fraudulent monetary systems. Cryptocurrencies are NO cure for that craziness, but rather, merely another level added on top of the previously existing social insanities.

Cryptocurrencies are more wrinkles in the globalized systems of electronic fiat money, backed by the threat of force from weapons of mass destruction. While there is no doubt that the banksters were top predators in the human systems that have degenerated to become parasites, the crypocurrencies are merely "alternatives" that operate as parasites on top of those parasites. The basic realities regarding human ecology and political economy continue being operated through frauds, backed by force, while cryptocurrencies are another level of hyper-complexity entangling that mess to become even worse. Cryptocurrencies like to pretend that they are fighting against the financial frauds, but really, they are merely another level of financial frauds.

The only theoretically possible good solutions would require overall better understanding of the combined money/murder systems, whereby the debt controls are backed up by the death controls. Cryptocurrencies are even more insulated and alienated from those deeper realities that money is measurement backed by murder. Cryptocurrencies are NOT moving closer to understanding the real world as an energy system, but rather moving even further away, through more layers of encoding bullshit about themselves. Cryptocurrencies are an extension of the basic ways that technology typically gets socially applied, to do the same old stupid things, but with way more capable power behind accomplishing those stupid purposes.

The background problem to having "actionable intelligence" within the currently established systems is that does not care about how totally psychotic those systems have really become, but rather, only cares about trying to benefit from understanding those systems, in order to better position one's self within those systems. Although I would agree that Reggie Middleton has had a good track record of providing that kind of "actionable intelligence," overall, the deeper problems are way, way, way worse than any possible "solutions" which continue to work within the frame of reference of those established systems.

Matt's picture

1. How are cryptocurrencies fraud?

2. Cryptocurrencies are not backed by any State, so I don't see the force/violence/murder angle?

3. The production of cryptocurrencies is directly based off the cost of electricity, how is that not the closest possible currency to viewing the world as an energy system?

4. What do you suggest as a superior alternative?

Radical Marijuana's picture

Cryptocurrencies take for granted the systems that they operate within. However, there is no private property without some system of public violence to back those claims up. Cryptocurrencies are getting a free ride on the backs of the systems that pay for the police and army to back up their measurements. Those systems have enabled the best organized gangs of criminals to apply the methods of organized crime in order to take over covert control of the powers of governments. Thus, the entire civilization is so profoundly based upon fraud that nobody can really operate outside of that, while most people simply take it for granted, in the way that cryptocurrencies mostly do. However, any "rule of law" has a cost, and the worst of those paradoxical costs is when the "rule of law" itself goes rotten, which is the case now.

Cryptocurrencies are nothing but encoded electricity, where their "value" is supposed to be in the quality of their code. There is some merit to that. However, as a means of staking ownership claims, there is nothing to back up cryptocurrencies but the quality of their ability to encode information. As usual, the best and the worst come as a package deal. What is good about those complementary currencies is that they are not backed by the power of a state, but that is also what is bad about them. Cryptocurrencies are not meaningfully enough connected to the ability to understand and operate human energy systems as a whole. That is why I regard them as merely parasites on top of parasites. They have no way to prevent their own grid going down, or being subverted on a physical level.

What I suggest as a superior alternative is pie-in-the-sky radical truth, based on the view that money is measurement backed by murder. What there "should" be is political economy integrated into human ecology, so that the death controls that back up the debt controls are admitted and operated through a greater use of information, with higher consciousness. However, in fact, what I expect is that the debt slavery systems will continue to be driven to generate numbers which are debt insanities, whose final results will cause death insanities. MAYBE, after some of that, human beings will be able to go through enough paradigm shifts in their perception of politics to face more of the radical truth that money IS, and MUST BE, measurement backed by murder.

Unless cyptocurrencies are connected to the physical power to back them up, then they are coasting as parasites on top of the parasites, like the banksters are now able to operate fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems, backed up by the force of governments, which do everything they do through the maximum possible deceits and frauds. My superior alternatives are perhaps too silly to be suggested, but nevertheless, what they "should" be is that the world is no longer so totally dominated by the best professional liars and immaculate hypocrites, that get to do what they do while explaining that using false fundamental dichotomies and impossible ideals. My superior alternatives would require regarding human civilization as a general energy system, which would include understanding how and why that system ended up being controlled by the people who were the best at being dishonest, and backing that up with violence. There is only one theoretically better solution to make and maintain a better monetary system, and that is to make and maintain a better murder system to back that up.

I will not retreat from the theoretical necessity and the abstract correctness of that assertion. However, that does not mean that I believe that is going to be what actually happens. Rather, I believe that civilization is going to continue to drive itself through mad self-destruction, due to being controlled by triumphant deceits, backed by destruction, too much, for too long. Since there is nothing in any of the current complementary cryptocurrencies that directly addresses how they are going to be money systems that are backed by better murder systems, but rather, they all tend to cruise on top of the already established systems, of bankster controlled governments, operating their force backed frauds, there is almost nothing in cyptocurrencies that integrates their encoded energy systems within the global energy systems.


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ptoemmes's picture

If, no WHEN, you are successful "they" will come and by "they" I mean the legal, captured regulatory apparati (oh yes, more than one worldwide), etc, etc, etc.

So, pleading ignorance as to how to even ask: How do Zero-Trust Digital Contracts sustain the onslaught?  And, if you can without spilling too many IP beas, how?

Gawd I hope you win.



madtechnician's picture

no , "they" will be broke and out looking for a proper job which actually creates value instead of sitting behind a desk looking at porn all day long and searching for wealth creating people that "they" can screw over for a few bucks.

The Wisp's picture

And then the Grid went down and I sat there with my Case of Bullets

outamyeffinway's picture

Oh the grid going down one, someone always pulls that out of the hat. At least try to be original.

Harry Quant's picture

Outgoing Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano warns of an ‘unprecedented natural disaster.’

“A massive and serious cyber-attack on the U.S. homeland is coming, and a natural disaster — the likes of which the nation has never seen — is also likely on its way."


If BTC or any other crypto becomes a true threat to wallstreet, you can bank on them pulling out ALL the stops.

madtechnician's picture

In that case - surely "a non-centralised financial network is one of our best protections from such an event."

madtechnician's picture

Nobody bothered to tell these prepper types that if the grid did actually go down or we had a Solar Flare big enough to take down the grid all of the Nuclear Powered plants cooling systems would shut down , all life as we know it would be over in 60 - 90 days killed off by massive radiological fires. It is in all of our best interests that we do not allow such a shutdown and as well as non-centralised power generation , a non-centralised financial network is one of our best protections from such an event.

semperfi's picture

how about:  and then the NSA stole all your bitcoins

madtechnician's picture

But all the ZH 'experts' said it was a Ponzi , a Tulip , a Pump & Dump , a Scam & if not any of them then it was obviously created by the Fed.

They all said it was going to crash in 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012 , 2013 ??

WTF ? now it's upto 20 Terrahash / sec and growing exponentially ?


Papasmurf's picture

WTF ? now it's upto 20 Terrahash / sec and growing exponentially ?

Most bubbles go up exponentially in the later phases as irrational entheusiam builds.  Bitcoin will be no different.  As with all bubbles, some will profit greatly while others will loose everything.   

outamyeffinway's picture

And you should also know that bubbles only happen in developed markets. You can't look at something starting from ground zero and going up to xn and saying it's a bubble. It's called "participation".

madtechnician's picture


Is this a Bubble or an Adoption S Curve ?



Amagnonx's picture

I read the article from Fortune today, before seeing this - and it was an excellent article - with a great of information that I have previously tried to explain to the BTC haters, with little impact.


BTC is revolutionary, and no matter how critically I look at it, no matter what theoretical attacks and problems my mind conjures - BTC still looks like the honey badger to me.


Though I did like the gold Aurums (article) as well - I have been hoping someone would do that for ages (put gold into notes), and the tech they used to create them looks great - Ill be getting some as soon as they accept BTC.  I do wonder why they dont have some that have a bit more gold though, 1/10th of a gram is a bit small - I hope they expand and include notes up to at least 1g each (around $40 todays prices).


... and of course, great work Reggie - killing it.

Matt's picture

I bet if those Aurum notes go into production, the markup will be ridiculous. Like $20 or $50 for a 1/20 gram note.

LawsofPhysics's picture

And the hucksters huck...

same as it ever was...

ghostzapper's picture

Who is the contact for potential investors?

ebworthen's picture

Satoshi Nakamoto.

I hear he loves:  My Little Ponies, Anime, and a complete lack of anonymity.

outamyeffinway's picture

You forgot the Unicorn oh clever one.

ebworthen's picture

"Rarity" is a glamorous unicorn with a flair for fashion design.

Friendship is Magic.

ghostzapper's picture

Typical.  ZH is filled with guys that have declared themselves "sharp", "smarter than everyone else", and "on the cutting edge with a contrarian twist".  In other words they are too cool for school.  The thing is I haven't seen them prove anything that would make me respect their views.  

ebworthen's picture

I thought your initial post was satire.

I'd try this:   support@boombustblog.com (from "Contact" tab on the BoomBustBlog web page).

There are also "Subscribe" and Feedback" flags on the right of the page:


Reggie sometimes reads and replies to the comments on his ZH posts too so you might bet a better answer.

DontGive's picture

Java?! C'mon!


Hope there will be alternatives to Java..

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Python is less overhead, lighter weight scripting, better native device support.

Oh, and is use by Google.

DontGive's picture

Anything but effin Java. Guess once standards are figured out, there will be alternatives.


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