Businessweek writer Max Raskin shares how there are a number of ways that Bitcoin is a value transfer system unlike any other. Excerpts:
“There’s one currency in Iran that has kept its value and can be used to purchase goods from abroad: bitcoins, the online-only currency.”
“’I believe that bitcoin is, or will be in the future, a very effective tool for individuals who want to avoid sanctions, currency restrictions, and high inflation in countries such as Iran,’ [Jeremias Kangas of LocalBitcoins.com] wrote in an e-mail.”
“Regulators can’t easily track the transactions, since bitcoins aren’t issued from a central server.”
“At online store coinDL.com, shoppers can use bitcoins to buy Beyond Matter, the latest album from Iranian artist Mohammad Rafigh. Anyone in the U.S. downloading songs, which fetch .039 bitcoins or 45¢ each, risks violating U.S. sanctions.”
“Rafigh has translated some bitcoin software into Farsi for his friends. ‘I love Iran, and if bitcoin is good for me, it can be good for more Iranians like me.’”
“Iranians working or living abroad can send bitcoins to their families, who can use one of the online currency matchmaking services to find someone willing to exchange bitcoins for euros, rials, or dollars.”
“The uncertainty [of Iran’s rial] has led some Iranian software developers to ask clients to pay them in bitcoins. ‘Anyone with a computer is able to own, send, and receive them.’”
Bitcoin is helping WordPress (@WordPressDotCom) solve a problem they have — PayPal blocks access from over 60 countries and and that hinders WordPress in performing its mission of making publishing accessible and easy for anyone, anywhere. So WordPress’ Andy Skelton (@skeltoac) announced that WordPress now accepts Bitcoin payments. Excerpts:
“We don’t think an individual blogger from Kenya, Haiti, Cuba, or Iraq should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control.”
“Unlike credit cards and PayPal, Bitcoin has no central authority and no way to lock entire countries out of the network. Merchants who accept Bitcoin payments can do business with anyone.”
“[Payment transfer] typically processes in a few seconds, less time than it takes to fill in a credit card form.”
“With Bitcoin we join a new digital economy that doesn’t leave anyone behind, essentially making financial transactions open source — something WordPress.com is behind 100%.”
“Our payment processing partner for Bitcoin is BitPay.com. They track the exchange rates, generate the quotes and the wallets, receive your BTC and finally send us USD.”
“Bitcoin is famous for its irreversible transactions but we will still honor our refund policy. If a refund is granted on a purchase made with BTC we will [issue] a refund in BTC.”
- http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=124481.0 (Further discussion on this topic)
You are on a mission to mine asteroids for precious Bitcoins. Use your heavy duty mining fighter rig to blast open the asteroids and retrieve the Bitcoins. This Bitcoin Miner is no joke and you should load up your rig right now and start blasting away at those…
Audio - Jon Matonis Interviewed By James Puplava
James: Governments, if they had their way, would do away with cash. That way they could monitor and track all transactions and supervise the underground economy. Do you think physical cash will ever by fully extinct?
Jon:The cashless society utopia is a hot topic right now. The [proponents] all seem to neglect the privacy and non-traceability aspect of cash. I always encourage people to resist any attempts at digital cash unless you can still have the same two core attributes as cash has.
James: How many years before the government sees Bitcoin as a threat.
Jon: They will definitely try to come after Bitcoin, just as they have against BitTorrent and the file sharing of films, music and other copyrighted material. They are not successful at preventing file sharing so they go against the end-points and the aggregators like Kim Dotcom in New Zealand. They can attack the perimeter but that doesn’t address the problem. The analogy can be carried over to Bitcoin as well — they aren’t going to be able to bring down the peer-to-peer network and instead would likely control the flow of funds to and from the exchanges. With one or two thousand exchanges worldwide there would be resiliency.
James: What are Bitcoin’s strengths and weaknesses?
Jon: The main strength is the resiliency of the network and that the network itself is immune from shutdown by State actors or non-State actors. […] I’m convinced that no matter what type of digital currency system that people come up with, if you don’t address the confiscation issue you are only setting yourself up for abysmal failure down the road. As soon as you become successful, you have a target on your back.
Length: 31 minutes. (mp3)
Bitcoin Money blog (@BitcoinMoney) gives a monthly wrapup on Bitcoin for the month of October, 2012. Excerpts:
“The closing price of $11.20 USD was down more than a dollar from the previous month’s close resulting in a nearly 10% drop for the month. For 2012, where the price opened at a $4.72 level, the price rise from January 1st is now at the level of 137%.”
“What might be surprising is that the month ended down just 10% after the disaster that October 2012 essentially was for the Bitcoin ecosystem as a whole.”
“A promise of relief arrived with the announcement of Bitcoin-Central’s BTC/GBP market. Further relief arrived with Blockchain.info/wallet’s Instant Online Bank Transfer which is now available in the UK and elsewhere in the EU.”
“Emerging during the darkest part of the shutdown storm was Coinbase’s launch of its BTC/USD exchange. This allows a Coinbase user to make bitcoin purchases paid for with funds drawn from the user’s bank account.”
“Banking issues were just one challenge for the exchanges as heavy distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks took many exchanges down at one point or another during the month.”
“The current development focus is on resolving the immediate scalability issues that exist when running a full Bitcoin.org client node. Significant progress with this occurred in October when the ultraprune capability was merged into mainline — a prerequisite to it being included in a future release.”
“The 230,400 bitcoins issued which Bitcoin miners took in during the month is valued at $2.70 million using the average daily valuation for the month of $11.72. Miners fared less well in October as the result of a rising difficulty — 15% higher at the end of the month versus the level at the beginning as well as the decline in the exchange rate.”
“Later this month, at block 210,000, the block reward mining subsidy drops by half. This halving of the amount of currency issued means miner’s revenues will drop in half as well.”
“The herd-like mentality of speculators means that demand can disappear in an instant and a deep selloff can result. Twice during October were cliff dives of 15% or more.”
“A significant indicator that Bitcoin has the potential to become much more widely used surfaced with the ECB’s policy brief on Virtual Currency Schemes. The 55-page brief describes Bitcoin as having the potential to have a negative impact on central banks.”
Trillions of dollars worth of stock certificates and other paper securities that were stored in a vault in lower Manhattan may have suffered water damage from Superstorm Sandy.
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., an industry-run clearing house for Wall Street, said the contents of its vault “are likely damaged,” after its building at 55 Water Street “sustained significant water damage” from the storm that battered New York City’s financial district earlier this week.
The vault contains certificates registered to Cede & Co., a subsidiary of DTCC, as well as “custody certificates” in sealed envelopes that belong to clients.
The DTCC provides “custody and asset servicing” for more than 3.6 million securities worth an estimated $36.5 trillion, according to its website.
Coinbase, the Bitcoin startup that aims to make Bitcoin as easy to use as PayPal, just took a big step closer to reaching their goal.
Just launched is Coinbase’s “linked bank account” feature which provides an easy way for those in the U.S. to buy bitcoins and have the funds come directly from a linked bank account. Additionally, proceeds from cashing out bitcoins are paid out directly as an ACH/direct deposit bank transfer.
This is not the first link between the ACH banking network used in the U.S. and bitcoin exchanges, but this is the first to provide buying power instantly without having to wait for the funds to first transfer. The coins that are purchased cannot be withdrawn until the bank transfer completes but the price paid is locked in at the time of purchase.
There are two methods for linking a bank account:
- The “instant verification” method requires that the bank account’s username, password and other login credentials (e.g., login PIN) are provided
- Alternatively the “deposit verification” method causes two small deposits to be sent. This is the same method that PayPal provides when verifying a linked bank account with that service.
Coinbase does charge a fee of 1% plus a $0.15 per-transaction fee however there are few methods for buying bitcoins that come with a lower cost and the convenience from not having to spend more than a minute of time to purchase bitcoins adds value in itself.
The service is limited for now to $100 per purchase, but Coinbase expects to increase this once they confirm they are sufficiently preventing abuse (read fraudulent ACH transfers) — something that has either dogged or killed every other exchange that has tried, resulting in inconvenient hurdles and verification requirements for the remaining few who still offer ties to the ACH banking network.
Additionally, “down the road” Coinbase would like to expand the service to its customers outside the U.S. as well.
A Bitcoin-related service must protect the customers funds it holds from theft or other loss. The level of security necessary to ensure this is very expensive but Coinbase is well funded, allowing them to invest the resources necessary to provide this protection.
This new feature is Coinbase’s response to the call for an easier way to buy and sell bitcoins. With a continously growing number of offerings where bitcoins are used for payment, this improved method for getting coins will allow Bitcoin’s reach to widen significantly.
The Bitcoin client MultiBit needs text translation work performed.
Translations submitted through MultiBit’s Crowdin.net page.
Further discussion is available on the BitcoinTalk forum.