MPEx vs. The Play Bitcoin Exchanges

Sorta like people who bought houses in the 1960’s or early 1990’s, nearly everyone who bought bitcoin >1 year ago fancies themself an “investor.” For those who’ve never made another investment in their lives, the unexpected kiss of Lady Luck (or Lady Intervention) hubristically culminates in what economists like to call “the wealth effect,” resulting in what blackjack players like to call “doubling down.”

In the housing market, this results in HELOCs for renovations and the purchases of rental property, all of which underpins further debt-fuelled insanity in the fiat consumerist economy. Of course, since Bitcoin is the killer of Nietzschian nihilism, our new economy works nothing like that. In fact, it’s just the opposite, though that doesn’t prevent Fiaters from imposing their broken ideas onto Bitcoin for as long and as vocally as they can. As such, it’s hardly surprising that the self-ascribed Bitcoin “investors” look for returns on their returns. While some look to dice or BitBet, most look to…

Bitcoin stock exchanges!

What better way to invest in the future than by investing in BTC-denominated “securities” and “assets?” Right?!

There are, and have been, a number of places where BTC-denominated listings have appeared in the mere 5.5 years of Bitcoin’s history, none of which have managed to survive and thrive quite like Mircea Popescu’s deceptively austere implementation : MPEx.i Compared to MPEx, the murky and fly-by-night operations of GLBSE, BitFunder, BTCT, Havelock, Cryptostocks, Picostocks, and BitcoinBourse are but play exchanges populated by Zerg.

So let’s count the ways the MPEx beats the rest.


Whereas MPEx currently trades between 20,000 – 30,000 BTC per month, Havelock is lucky to trade that much per quarterii and the others are a fraction of even that. That is, until they wither and die.iii

Hilariously, when asked about his trading volume and order book, BitcoinBourse operator and linguistic midget “dotcoin” could barely even grok the reason why he should need such high falutin’ things on his play exchange. Take note of his general ineptitude in this lulzy conversation on -assets yesterday:

jurov: dotcoin and what about publishing order book and volume?
dotcoin: login to see order book
jurov: and volume is not available even on login…

dotcoin: but what you critic this time jurov? the order book? last time was the dividends, next time is what ? should i go to your site and start searching

dotcoin: hm you needs now what jurov a order book?
dotcoin: and after
dotcoin: ?
jurov: no you need one

dotcoin: so why you not create your own stock exchange i ask myself if you can do all better

dotcoin: i mean before bitcoinbourse was not good enough for you guys,
dotcoin: than we create and redesign new
dotcoin: than you always not happy with it

kakobrekla: dotcoin a scam in a nice box is still a scam
kakobrekla: not trying to imply you have a nice box, just saying. 

jurov: so dotcoin, you insist the orderbook is completely fine despite everyone else saying it is not?
jurov: okay. so why you can’t publish trades? that’s completely normal thing all exchanges do

dotcoin: not saying that, but is momently status of order book
dotcoin: but what exactly you want see, you see already how many shares from company xyz was listed and how much was left on sale!

jurov: dotcoin you ever use any stock exchange? every one of them publishes what trades were done
dotcoin: but guys you talking about things like cryptostocks do
dotcoin: the merchant have to know where the shares are gone
dotcoin: not the public
dotcoin: there are offers to buy and sell, of course, the only one not is there are not showing sold shares thats correct

davout: dotcoin: <<< on the right side of this page is also an order book
dotcoin: yes guys think like taht is under development
dotcoin: many other things in todo list, so i not give them so much priority yet as i don’t know this classifieds me as scammer
dotcoin: this not needs a month.

OMFGWTFBBQ!!!!11 Volume is the least of BB’s problems, wouldn’t you say?

So MPEx takes the volume cake with an unmatchable number and size of trades that comes in spite of MPEx offering just a small fraction of the “securities” or “assets” that the play exchanges offer. But when dotcoin is the competition, it’s not really a fair comparison, neh?


Whereas BitcoinBourse claims braindamage such as:

dotcoin: we hidde nothing thats is do anyone from you go inside the bourse and take a view and read all? than you see there is nothing hidden there is all transparentiv

Yikes. No monthly statements, no URLs pointing to evidence, just meaningless words.

Compare this fucktardation with MPEx, which has an order book (!), publishes volumes (!), has solved HFT,v and publishes monthly reports using a fairly revolutionary accounting methodology: MPEx-AN0-v1.

Also, MPEx PR is the MPEx shoots straight while the other exchanges look for input from “the community” and trip over themselves to appease the teeming masses. The approach taken by the play exchanges, as with anything aimed at the lowest common denominator, always ends in tears and losses. Why? Because the masses aren’t the “investors” they imagine themselves to be, they’re children, regardless of the date on their birth certification.

MPEx just offers the best, lays it all out there, and challenges users to step up to the plate or STFU. It’s certainly not for everyone. And that’s exactly the point.


We know that Bitcoin isn’t about the technology anymore, it’s about the people, so now we’re comparing Mircea Popescu with a full cast of shady characters. It’s barely fair to compare MP with Duncan L. Niederauer, so comparing him with dotcoin, Ukyo, burnside, etc. is like comparing a Geländewagen to a Geely.

The operators of play exchanges are not only lacking the mental equipment to keep up, but the capital equipment too, as demonstrated by the fact that they can’t afford their own time and are always “busy working hard.” Compare this with MP, who spends an inordinate amount of time in #bitcoin-assets, while keeping tabs on more than we know and starting even more new projects.vii He’s always there to have a conversation, whether you’re a reporter, the SEC, or a wannabe businessman.

No other operator of any kind, whether in fiat or in Bitcoin, is so accessible. This is both reassuring and enlightening. Imagine having daily conversations with Steve Jobs in the early 1980’s or Mayer Amscheld Rothschild in the early 1800’s. It’s sorta like that.

Other operators hide behind aliases and made-up shell corporations. Mircea Popescu blogs like a madman and hosts conferences in his backyard.

Stocks, Funds, Futures:

Ah yes, the meat and potatoes itself: that which is “invested” in.

Let’s start with an example from one of the play exchanges. So Havelock Investments, originally based in Ontario, Canada and now ostensibly based in Panama, let Canadian CAD-BTC exchange CaVirtex walk away with 4,000 BTC from their “IPO.” And they hosted NeoBee for chrisakes. Basically, they provide a platform for garbage so that they can collect trading fees.

MPEx ,on the other hand, only offers stocks, funds, and futures backed by MP himself. And dude is the richest mother in Bitcoin, worth somewhere around 1,000,000 BTC. He owns a healthy chunk of every stock offering, ensuring that he acts in the interest of shareholders, and he provides all necessary options liquidity himself. MPEx also led the only legitimate stock sale to date with SatoshiDice and has been offering futures for over two years, despite morons’ claims of FIRST and BEST!

So there you have it, strategic superiority.

There may come the day when other Bitcoin exchanges compete, but today, the rest are just for play. There’s only MPEx.

And then there was one?

There were never any more.

___ ___ ___

  1. Looking to register for MPEx? You’ll need more than an e-mail address like you do on the play exchanges. For MPEx:

    1. Get bitcoins
    2. Set up GPG/PGP and upload the public key to bitcoin-otc.
    3. Read the MPEx FAQ vehehery carefully. Several times.
    4. Upload the MPEx GPG key (A57D509A) to your keychain
    5. Send Mircea Popescu or MPEx an e-mail indicating “I understand that I will be required to pay 30 50 BTC as fees for registering this account, and I agree and promise to do so.”

    Yup, 3 5,000,000,000 satoshis to get a seat at the MPEx table. If you still want to invest in MPEx securities but want to dodge the fee and are okay taking on counterparty risk, you can use a broker, such as jurov’s CoinBr. To test the MPEx waters, I registered for CoinBr yesterday and will be sure to let you know how I fare.

  2. Havelol, as it’s affectionately known, recently published their Q1 report as a fucking Powerpoint. To boot, this report boasts of “average visitor duration” as if they’re selling fucking click ads. It shouldn’t be surprising that they were in the red for February and March. This, despite listing known scams like NeoBee and the even lulzier NeoBeeQ.
  3. GLBSE, BitFunder, and BTCT are all dead as doornails.
  4. via #bitcoin-assets.
  5. How has MPEx solved high-frequency trading, the bane of the NYSE, NASDAQ, etc.? By not allowing instantaneous cancellation of orders. Simple.
  6. MPOE-PR lit up the Bitcointalk forum like no one else. She recently retired as the forum is a hollow ghost town and beating up goons that mercilessly eventually takes a toll.
  7. S.MPIF, a managed bitcoin investment fund, was just launched 2 weeks ago. S.LIMBS, whatever it may be, looks like it isn’t far away either.

39 thoughts on “MPEx vs. The Play Bitcoin Exchanges

  1. […] @coindesk You too, Ben? Where did you get the idea that @BitPay was the “biggest?” It’s called MPEx. Cripes. @Mircea_Popescu Mircea Popescu: @bitcoinpete @bendavenport @coindesk Well maybe they mean […]

  2. For some reason MPEx is the only exchange that offers GPG based contracts. Options were essentially the trade of GPG contracts on an open market. It will be interesting how other contracts are developed and traded…

  3. […] make seemingly audacious claims such as “The Bitcoin Foundation is a joke,” or “MPEx is the only Bitcoin exchange that doesn’t come free with a Happy Meal,” or […]

  4. […] The Mt. Goxes of the space draw the attention of the fiat mainstream to the dangers of Bitcoin, as well they should. Bitcoin is a poisonous offering and should be treated with the utmost caution. This is also why reading logs for 6 months isn’t fucking optional. Also, the “shady crypto exchanges” are well documented and are most certainly to be avoided. As we’ve discussed previously, there’s MPEx and then there’s the play Bitcoin stock exchanges. […]

  5. […] If you’re looking for a more legitimate operation, there’s a 99% chance it’s listed on MPEx. […]

  6. […] every “investment” and on the Bitcointalk forums and the other play Bitcoin “security” exchanges. […]

  7. […] be shit. This works in every aspect of finance and society. If you don’t believe me, take the Bitcoin Securities Exchange scene for […]

  8. […] is listed on MPEx, that stock exchange thing, and therefore in that WoT thing. And as a further reminder that Bitcoin does strange things to […]

  9. […] comprehensively account. The list of non-scams is much easier to formulate: they’re either on MPEx on otherwise in the WoT. That’s it, that’s all. […]

  10. […] previously explored the difference between MPEx and the play Bitcoin stock exchangesi but we haven’t looked very closely at what listing on MPEx entails. Given that War of Lifeii […]

  11. […] number of people. They’re the same ones that fuck around on Havelock and the other play Bitcoin stock exchanges. I’ve met them. Nice people. Seriously fucking delusional. […]

  12. […] it up a notch is Mircea Popescu. Popescu is the founder of MPEx which IPO’d SatoshiDice and was subsequently sued by the SEC (SatoshiDice settled with the SEC […]

  13. […] is where things get crafty. Just yesterday, Qntra was listed on MPEx, the Bitcoin stock exchange. Shares will not be for sale through an IPO, however […]

  14. Pete D. says:

    Just found this very telling Security Comparison of Bitcoin-Denominated Instrument Exchanges article on Trilema and thought it should be appended here.

    The Trilema article was from back in August 2012 and it’s pretty lulzy to see how much of a smack down MPEx put on icbit, Cryptostocks, and GLBSE back then.

    Thank the stars that there’s at least one sliver of sanity in this space.

  15. […] As it stands, the least slick website in Bitcoin is the most legitimate – that’d be MPEx. Take that in your irony pipe and smoke it. […]

  16. […] the enlightened and civilised era of Bitcoin investment, if you want to purchase a foreign bond, you need a counterparty to get you in the door. Brokers […]

  17. […] noise to competent signal. As such, the barriers to entry, whether it’s for a school a stock exchange or a country, should be as high as humanly possible, that is, as high as the market will […]

  18. […] like MPEx does for finance. […]

  19. […] stock markets – or should I say The Bitcoin Stock Market: MPEx – is a little different.iii In case you haven’t heard, MPEx is sort of in a field of […]

  20. […] to the contrary is really quite humourous. Hell, Garzik would probably deny having even heard of MPEx, the central hub for the listing and trading of legitimate Bitcoin […]

  21. […] So whydja want it ?viii shinohai: Likely the same ppl that bitch about MPEx having that 90’s coded website when it works perfectly fine *for what it was designed to […]

  22. […] only make you wary of state-blessed companies like Apple and JP Morgan, but even businesses like MPEx. A perfect record of security, safety, or profit is only perfect until it isn’t. […]

  23. […] others. Compare this with the hundreds and thousands of coins that flowed to v1 during its time on MPEx. […]

  24. Leclerc says:

    Let us revisit this – and please, correct me if I am wrong;

    The observed volume for the last few months has been at around 1 BTC per month, if that. Approximately all of which came from Qntra crackpot writers dumping newly created shares into Mirceas bid in the order book as soon as shares got released — in order to buy fresh supply of crack cocaine on whatever-the-current-silkroad-is.

    • Pete D. says:

      Yes, let’s revisit.

      GLBSE – Dead
      BitFunder – Dead
      BTCT – Dead
      Havelock – Alive but very sick
      Cryptostocks – Alive but very sick
      Picostocks – Dead
      BitcoinBourse – Dead

      In addition to which, we can hardly ignore the fact that MPEx’s listings aren’t perpetual mining bond scams that are still trying to squeeze juice out of rockheads, as Cryptococks and Havelol are. S.MG has made a bewilderingly complex game with arguably the very first viable altcoin, S.QNTR continues to the the home of unhappenings on the web, and S.NSA is shipping a very important product as we speak. By any sort of measure, MPEx is still the leader in the industry.

    • Leclerc says:

      Thanks for approving my comment.

      It is evident very easy to be the ‘alive and still doing most volume’ among corpses. 1 BTC per month will do it. A homeless person can gather ballpark that amount picking up lost change from the floor – given city is of a considerable size.

      And yes, we can ignore the fact that MPEx listings are not perpetual mining bonds. Recall F.GIGA.ETF? Agreed, its been de-listed quite some time ago, so in that sense it failed even in the perpetual department.

      You mention S.MG, lets take a look. In the last statement we can see Mircea buying 100 BTC worth of less useful in-game currency and pronouncing a great victory for the game – it is doing so well that he ends up injecting in his own capital (for the lack of anyone else doing so) and still coming up short of being able to cook the books to any profit or bring traction to the game. Thinking there is something else there is delusional at best.

      S.QNTR does in fact continue — printing shares that are being insta-dumped into MPs bid. This tell-tale sign is ~all of the volume MPEx sees during the month — I imagine I can spare my words drawing the picture further.

      Yes, S.NSA is apparently shipping TRNG, however their reoccurring expenses are considerable for such a tiny organization, we shall see how long that can last.

      The fact remains that the industry leader is doing 1 BTC volume per month and for this a good explanation exists. For now we can simplify this to be a rounding error and the volume is ~0.

    • Pete D. says:

      Let’s do some quick math to assess this “homeless person can gather ballpark that amount picking up lost change from the floor” proposition :

      MPEx trades 1 BTC per month. The NASDAQ trades $50 bn per day or $1 tn per month (MPEx is open 24/7 while the NASDAQ is only open on “business days”). Relative to the size of the capital available to be allocated to each and their respective number of listing, MPEx trades 1 BTC / 3 listings / 21`000`000 BTC per month and NASDAQ trades $1 tn / 3`000 listings / $1.5+++ qn per month. By this measure, MPEx’s average listing is ~1/14th the size of an average listing on the mighty NASDAQ (and gaining with every dollar printed), which I think you’ll agree is considerably more than a random vagrant can scrape together over any given period of time.

      As to S.MG, while I can’t say I’ve played it, if you have any experience with start-ups at all, you’ll recognise that founders must input more than just their sweat capital into projects in order for them to be successful. Perhaps it’s still too early to say whether Eulora will in fact be a success, but I’d be reasonably surprised if it wasn’t in the mid-term.

      As to S.QNTR, that’s a mighty tall conjecture to say that a bid belongs to any one individual or another. Do you have any support for this ?

      As to S.NSA, $600 a month is a “considerable” recurring expense for a start-up ? On what planet ??

    • At any point throughout the 1600s, you “could have” obtained a letter patent and contributed your brawn to the shape of the known world and your spunk to the viability of the citizenry of the Atlantic and Pacific Rims. Some men did ; some men did not.

      The window closed at some point, which is to say that at some point after, you “couldn’t have” obtained the letter nor contributed in the letter’s manner. This does not invalidate the previous history – the fact that you today are too late to meaningfully participate in the sexual economy of the mulatto and creole-producing hacienda does not mean the world isn’t full of mulattos and creoles who came out of native women who superior white men fucked cuz they felt like it and without asking anything.

      Different windows presumably opened, and closed, hence. The situation of the fellow sitting on his ass in New York or Lima cca 1851 going “oh noes, letters patent are no longer issued, what a scam was that age of sail, and California doesn’t exist because I haven’t heard of it” is common, but not desirable.

      Go out and seek your fortune young man, don’t sit on ass bitterly pretending to a relevancy you don’t have. They who do may judge the world, not they who did nothing.

  25. Leclerc says:

    MPEx monthly trade volume is what some people you hang out with pay for electricity bill. This itself is already hilarious, let alone looking at where that volume comes from. And you fail by trying to ‘save it’ by saying how little assets are listed — there is a good reason for why the count has been going down steadily. The disease is systemic. I guess when it is at 0, the volume per asset will not be NaN, but infinite? Maffs.

    You have not played Eulora, why not? I imagined all mindless followers did.

    Yes I have support for the ‘mighty tall conjecture’, but this is actually irrelevant for this discussion. Besides, attentive observer(s) already noticed same. The fact remains and is merely interesting, not significant. More important is the type and direction of volume on the exchange – the whatever little money flow there is, is directed out, not in. This usually happens in the fall, before the winter comes.

    And in regards to considerable recurring expense — it is considerable solely because S.NSA is tiny, not in the absolute sense. It took 3 years+ to deliver a half-product (remember, they are shipping ‘Fuckgoats’, not the announced ‘Cardano’) and it is estimated that the resulting profits will be able cover a few months of Phuctor server. A year, if lucky.

    You have been warned.

    • Leclerc says:

      The comment above belongs to the previous thread.

      I apologize for the mess.

    • Pete D. says:

      1. What disease is systemic in MPEx ? Are we talking herpesviridae or retroviruses here ? Perhaps poxviridae ? Because the only disease I see is the one culling the herd. This is a Good Thing given the veritable minefield of the early days. Quality over quantity and all that.
      2. There’s actually not as much overlap between #eulora and #trilema as your naively presuppose. Different strokes. Though one wonders what else you naively presuppose…
      3. “Attentive observer(s),” being unnamed as they are, aren’t people and don’t count. See this old article.
      4. Trolololol I’ve been warned ??! Against what exactly ? Impending stock exchange collapsopocalypse ?? Very cold winters ??! FTR I got out 99.5% of my skin in the MPEx game at the onset of the Great Divestment, just shortly before S.MPOE closed and at ~10% premium thereto.
      5. Would you happen to be offering shorts to any of the MPEx listings extant ? If you’ve also a PGP key registered with deedbot, there might be some money to be made from your otherwise idle speculation.

    • PeterL says:

      “It took 3 years+ to deliver a half-product (remember, they are shipping ‘Fuckgoats’, not the announced ‘Cardano’) ”

      I could be wrong (have not ordered one yet myself), but isn’t the cardano a sub-piece of the FUCKGOATS? So they are delivering a bigger, more complex, more useful item (but later) than what they originally planned to sell?

    • Pete D. says:

      From the logs :

      mircea_popescu: pete_dushenski the original planned item (cardano) was an over-engineered, incorrectly defined, too broad and too complex toaster-and-shoe-shiner.
      mircea_popescu: this is not directly obvious from a theoretical view. a major reason why defensive business management and practical engineering pay off is that you get to catch this sort of thing and fix it.
      asciilifeform: the toaster is still happening — in pieces that can be assembled to same.
      asciilifeform: and tested ~individually~.
      mircea_popescu: fuckgoats is basically one part of the original cardano, specifically, the one actually worth making, turned up to 11.

  26. it is doing so well that he ends up injecting in his own capital (for the lack of anyone else doing so)

    Players had already bought in for ~50 bitcoin, some of which was Mircea, but mostly it was Diana, Hannah, and myself — the result of official minigame auctions. I can’t speak for them, but much of my apprehension in investing further comes from my lack of understanding in how the game works. Historically it’s always been the case that whatever Mircea offers as far as trades go has been a +ev deal for all involved, but that can’t last forever I suspect.

  27. […] 2014 article on contravex garnered some recent discussion loosely centered on whether I suck or not. This is unresolvable in […]

  28. […] to “cloud mine” your ASICs, Bitstamp promised to keep your coins safe, BitcoinBourse promised to let you trade securities, and on and on and on. But would you, in your wildest dreams, […]

  29. nou says:

    Perhaps its time to revisit this. Sometimes only reality can tell people they are being stupid.

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