Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bitcoin Rings in New Year with 18% Pop - Threatens 3-Month High

Bitcoin trading continues to be very bullish, with $4.995 USD/BTC hit on the Mt.Gox USD market at approximately 1300 GMT thanks to a couple of very large trades.


The market has since consolidated in the $4.65-$4.70 range, but looks primed for another push to break through the psychologically important $5.00 mark, last seen in early October.


Seemingly in response to this renewed market optimism, a new exchange was launched today. Geared toward the European market, BitcoinMarket24 promises nearly-instant SEPA deposits. Premiums to use this service appear to be on the order of 12% (3.99 EUR/BTC) when compared to the Mt.Gox EUR market (3.55 EUR/BTC), though the convenience is likely to be highly attractive to Bitcoin users.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kiva Bitcoin Project on Hold Due to Legal Concerns

On October 11th, I reported to you that some of Kiva's engineers were planning to push forward with a proposal to senior management regarding the implementation of a Bitcoin donation option for Kiva.

More than two months later, we've now heard back from "mrchilly," and it doesn't sound promising:

Basically, as we talked to many people in the organization, it became clear we wouldn't have widespread support to start, so we thought we'd just go ahead and build something and ask forgiveness later. However, we did want to at least do some good due diligence on how to proceed. Thus, we started by talking to many people about their experiences with Bitcoin. We talked to some fellow non-profits, and the lawyer from one particular organization gave us some strong reasons to not move forward. We then talked some with our lawyer, who cautioned against doing anything that could distract from Kiva's core mission by bringing about controversy.

So, we shelved the project for now, out of respect for our colleagues wishes. We'd still like to proceed, but we would have to find a way to do so while knowing that everything we do will meet our mission and not place us in a position of legal questionability.

What exactly were the legal concerns? Likely they had to do with donor identification and compliance with Anti-Money Laundering regulations. Hopefully "mrchilly" will provide a little more insight in the Bitcointalk Forum thread.

Monetizing A Blog with Bitcoin

If Louis C.K. proved anything this month, it's that you can provide DRM-free content to users for a small fee and still receive substantial compensation for your work without depending on corporations to produce your content. Today, we're going to take that one step further and handle our own payment processing as well.

With Bitcoin and some nifty code from StrongCoin, it's fairly straight-forward to sell any digital good or service that you have to offer. In this case, it will be a password to some hidden content on this page.

After a small payment, I will guide you through how you can monetize your own content. All proceeds will go to the Bitcoin Faucet.

There have already been payments!

Click this link to make your payment. A pop-up window will appear, so you may have to disable your pop-up blocker to see it work. Once your payment is made, click the "show encrypted text" link, below, and enter the password that you received in the text file that was sent to you.

The 10 Most Anticipated Bitcoin Projects for 2012

I'm not so sure that Satoshi Nakamoto could have anticipated the wave of projects that have been and continue to be inspired by his creation. At this very moment, one can only imagine the development progressing in secrecy among the hundreds, if not thousands of computer programmers, investors, financial types, marketing gurus, or otherwise, that have found their second wind thanks to the possibilities of Bitcoin.

Unfortunately, I'm not privy to the closely-guarded secrets behind most of Bitcoin's projects, however many there may be. Many developers, however, are more than happy to share their ongoing work with the community, enough to definitely get us excited about Bitcoin's prospects for next year. So, without further adieu, these are The 10 Most Anticipated Bitcoin Projects for 2012:

10) BitSynCom and the MeshNet

Though somewhat mysterious about their plans, BitSynCom recently announced a massive project to assist the growing effort to launch what can only be described as "the peoples' Internet." Called MeshNet, it would be a peer-to-peer version of the Internet, dependent on its users for owning and operating the supporting infrastructure.

BitSynCom hopes to integrate Bitcoin with MeshNet to act as a payment system to reward those who maintain the infrastructure and provide bandwidth, and to charge those who use it. The development time for such an ambitious project will likely extend well past 2012, but we may see it get legs next year, especially if SOPA comes to pass in its current form. For more information, you can watch an interview with Yifu Guo of BitSynCom, here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

18% Premium for Bitcoins on the 4th Largest Exchange

The best offer on the Virtual World Exchange (VirWoX), the 4th largest Bitcoin exchange by volume, is currently 1324 SLL (Second Life Linden Dollars) per Bitcoin.

SLLs are going for 268 per USD.

That means Bitcoins are selling for 1324/268 = $4.94 USD or 18% higher than the $4.20 rate on Mt.Gox.

You can also sell your Bitcoins for $4.77 on VirWox (currently 28 BTC on that bid). Arbitrage anyone?

How to Explain Bitcoin to Anyone

There have been numerous attempts at this, but I'm going to give it a shot, anyway. Feel free to pass this around or make suggestions as to how it can be improved.

Thanks to the Internet, 2.1 billion people are now connected to each other, all around the world. As a result, the Internet makes it easier and cheaper to send mail or make phone calls, especially when compared to the old postal and telephone systems.

The system that we depend upon to send money, however, does not yet take advantage of the Internet. It still consists of a closed network of banks and credit card companies that manage those transactions for us, and it is slow, expensive, or both. Isn't it amazing, that in this day and age, we still can't pay our bills on weekends?

PayPal, like your credit card, also uses that same old banking network, and it's the reason why they charge two to three percent, or more, to let you send money through their system.

But if we're all connected to each other by the Internet, why do we still have to go through the slow and expensive banks to send money to each other?

Thankfully, someone invented a system that lets us send money to each other without using banks, and it's called Bitcoin. The Bitcoin network is part of the Internet and it works so well, in fact, that it has transferred hundreds of millions of dollars around the world over the last three years, and not a single mistake has ever been made. It's also the most powerful computer network in the world, because it's made up of all of its users, connected together.

To start using Bitcoin, all you have to do is buy Bitcoins from anyone who already has some. They can be easily exchanged for whichever currency you already use, and once you have Bitcoins, they can be sent to anyone, anywhere, for almost no fee.

Just like the postal service and telephone companies, Bitcoin makes the old ways of banking seem ancient. Best of all, like the Internet, nobody owns the Bitcoin network; it's for everyone to use as they wish.

To get started, just talk to any Bitcoin user; they would be more than happy to help you out. You can also check out weusecoins.com.

The Bitcoin Brief - 29 Dec 2011

Some quick snippets from the world of Bitcoin:
  • Ogrr.com, Bitcoin's highly anticipated virtual goods marketplace, has exited from its invite-only phase. Anyone is now free to join. There will also be some new feature announcements coming shortly.
  • BitPing is now alive and running, a service which provides merchants (or anyone) with payment notifications. BitPing replaces the old Bitcoin Notify service that was sold on November 13th.
  • There is ongoing discussion that the code scheduled to be implemented in Bitcoin 0.6 may require more testing than previously anticipated. Gavin also briefly mentioned eventually allowing for Bitcoin to support a quantum-computing-resistant signature algorithm; nice to know it's in the back of their minds.
  • Open Transactions is now running a server for alpha testing. Between Open Transactions, Bitcoin, and Ripple, one cannot even begin to fathom the potential applications. If you have any interest at all in the potential of digital currencies and open-source, anonymous banking, I highly recommend keeping an eye on these developments. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Imminent Long Squeeze?

There has been an interesting development over at Bitcoinica, everyone's favourite broker for leveraged trading in Bitcoin land.

Several users reported errors when trying to cover their short positions or establish long positions. Zhou Tong, Bitcoinica's founder and lead developer, responded to the unusual occurrence with the explanation that the brokerage had run out of funds in their Mt.Gox account, thus preventing any further purchases of Bitcoins:

We seriously apologize for any inconvenience.

When Bitcoinica was first built, we included a circuit breaker feature to stop trading at one direction when we are out of USD or BTC. However, it has almost never been triggered until today.

Unfortunately, we have a lot of long positions are we're currently unable to fulfill everyone's request to buy. Even though we do not want to interrupt regular market trading activity, we have no case because we don't want to be trading against our customers in this extreme situation.

Liquidation of short positions is also affected but we had no choice. Withdrawal in USD is obviously, also affected. When some more people decided to liquidate their long positions or go short, or more USD funds are deposited, we will adjust the redflag accordingly to allow buying trades.

TL;DR: Bitcoinica can only sell for you at the moment.

Zhou Tong also suggested that a long squeeze was imminent, due to the large number of long positions which would be liquidated in the event of a large sell order hitting the market. Whether there is actually anyone out there with enough Bitcoins to test that theory, remains to be seen, as there is currently $250,000 ready to gobble up 65,000 Bitcoins on Mt.Gox between $3.80 and $4.20.

In a nutshell, leveraged or not, no one appears willing to let go of their Bitcoins.

A Tough Day for Silver and the Euro

Silver was absolutely obliterated today, and is continuing to drop on the Hong Kong market, now down more than six percent in the last 24 hours. The drop is partly a result of a strengthening US dollar, as capital continues to seek shelter in the world's reserve currency.

The Bitcoin Better Business Bureau is No More

The Bitcoin Better Business Bureau (BBBB) has been made redundant by the vastly superior Bitcoin Review. I have therefore deleted the BBBB and replaced the link with a link to The Bitcoin Review. I recommend you check it out if you're looking for any Bitcoin-related website. While you're over there, feel free to rate The Bitcoin Trader (five stars, of course)!

Bitcoin Building Substantial Support Above 4.00 USD

Over the last 24 hours of Bitcoin trading, support above the $4.00 mark on the Mt.Gox USD market has grown from being non-existent to over 8,000 BTC and is continuing to climb. Selling pressure is proportionally minuscule, although there is still a bounty of offers in the $4.15 to $4.30 range, totaling nearly 12,000 BTC.

Resistance on the way up to $5.00 remains substantial. The last foray into these prices lasted over a month, between September 8th and October 15th, on the way down to an eventual low of $1.94 on November 19th.

The spike to $4.50 on December 20th, followed by the dive down to $3.50 on December 22nd and subsequent rise back into the $4.00 range is very bullish, indicating that we are becoming less and less likely to re-visit the $3.xx range.

I suspect that the recent slew of "maybe there's something to this Bitcoin thing after all" press is likely partially responsible for this change in market sentiment.

Edit: Only two hours later, there is now 13,000 BTC support above $4.00.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

NYC Chapter of Wikimedia Foundation Now Accepting Bitcoin Donations

There has been a concerted effort on the part of the Bitcoin community to encourage Wikipedia to accept Bitcoin donations. Wikipedia is, of course, a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia's current stance on the matter was stated back in November:

The Wikimedia Foundation, as a donor-driven organization, has a fiduciary duty to be responsible and prudent with its money. This has been interpreted to mean that we do not accept "artificial" currencies - that is, those not backed by the full faith and credit of an issuing government. We do, however, strive to provide as many methods of donating as possible and continue to monitor Bitcoin with interest and may revisit this position should circumstances change.

There was a breakthrough today, however, as the NYC Chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation has begun accepting Bitcoin donations. Whether this translates to an organization-wide policy change remains to be seen. Regardless, conversions such as these show that Bitcoin continues to gain broader acceptance as a real currency.

Bitcoins have been donated to the NYC Chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, thus far (this is a live counter). Click here to get their donation address.

You can read more about this on the Bitcointalk Forums.

A Relevant Quote

You never change things
by fighting to change the existing reality.
To change something,
build a new model
that makes the existing model obsolete.

--R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Read This

If you don't understand why Bitcoin is important, then read this.

If after reading that, you still don't understand why Bitcoin is important, then go ahead and buy yourself some Facebook credits; we're probably not going to be able to convince you.

Friday, December 23, 2011

New Poker Site, Infiniti Poker, to Accept Bitcoin

It looks like start-ups with deep pockets are starting to get into the Bitcoin business.

Infiniti Poker, launching next spring, will be accepting Bitcoin alongside the usual payment processors, and also appears to be incorporating a social networking feature; something new for online poker.

Regarding Bitcoin, they say:
We are pleased to announce to players across the planet that YES! We do accept Bitcoin! At InfinitiPoker.com, the world's most interactive and entertaining poker site, we guarantee the easiest, most efficient and secure way to play cash games.

For years, players have frequently expressed their dissatisfaction with the inconvenient deposit and withdrawal methods of many other sites. Infiniti Poker has taken a cutting-edge approach to the overall improvement of the efficiency and expediency of your deposits and withdrawals through the accepting of Bitcoin as an option along side the traditional means of fund transactions you are already familiar with.

As the premier online currency in the market, Bitcoins can be sent instantly and Internationally, be converted to and from other currencies and is not subject to being handled and/or processed through intermediaries such as banks and credit card processors.

Convenient, safe and easy!

Benefit from our belief in serving you. Benefit from Bitcoin technology at Infiniti Poker. Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about Infiniti Poker and Bitcoin.

It remains to be seen whether their game-play will be as appealing as their promotional site.

Interview: Jay from Coinabul

Jay is the founder of Coinabul.com, the premiere Bitcoin gold and silver bullion store. In an effort to learn more about this treasure-hoarding Bitcoiner, I caught up with him on Skype where he was forced to choose between answering my questions or walking the plank! Fortunately for him, he chose to answer my questions.

BT: One thing I like to ask members of the community is how they first heard about Bitcoin. What's your story?

CB: I heard about Bitcoin in very early 2010, around January or Febuary if memory serves. I've had to develop a lot of e-commerce type applications for USD-based websites and Bitcoin is much nicer to work with, so it caught my interest pretty quickly.

Maltese Customs Office Recognizes Bitcoin as Legitimate Currency

Spotted on the Bitcointalk forums:
So I went to the customs office (in Malta) to get the merchandise I bought online with Bitcoin. They ask for a Paypal receipt (?!) or an invoice. I don't have either of them, but they say they'd accept a printout from the web site's order page. In a hurry I get a print out and hand it [to them]. They ask me what BTC is. I blabber something unintelligible to get it over with, but they go and check anyway. They tell me it's Bitcoin and the exchange rate is ~2.99. I pay my customs tax and get my box.

I'm pretty excited about this, and interested in others' similar experiences. Also, I don't know from which source they checked the exchange rate, so what do you think should be the authoritative source for government entities? Which generic sources publish BTC exchange rates?
Source.

When I started reading, I expected there would be more handcuffs and pepper spray involved, and maybe even a deportation, especially after what happened to Nefario. Perhaps some governments are willing to accept that Bitcoin is going to be a part of our future? Stay tuned!

Bitcoin 0.6 Will Blow You Away

Gavin Andresen and team are aiming to have Bitcoin 0.6 Release Candidate 1 ready for testing within a couple of weeks.

0.6 will be the first version of the client that truly starts to leverage Bitcoin's higher-level capabilities, with Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) 11, 12 and 13 on the list for inclusion, among other upgrades.

Implementation of BIPs 11, 12, and 13 will allow for multi-signature transactions, but what does that mean for you and I?

Iranian Currency Approaching Toilet Paper Status

In one month, the Iranian rial has lost 15% of its value on concerns over the ability of the government to maintain economic stability in the face of sanctions. By March of 2012, it is anticipated that the annual inflation rate in Iran will have hit 21.6%.

Iranians are rushing to convert their rials to gold or US dollars.

There are, however, at least eight Iranians currently sitting comfortably at home, counting their Bitcoins (this number represents currently-connected users of the standard client):

Bitcoin User's Bank Account Hacked

A prominent member of the Bitcoin community had his bank account hacked, today.

After $500 was stolen from the account, his bank called him to report suspicious activity. Authorities believe his ATM card was likely cloned and his PIN recorded at a compromised ATM or merchant location.

"Thankfully they didn't take more," he remarked in an interview over Skype while asking to remain anonymous, as he uses his real name within the community.

"At least, with Bitcoin, the security of my account is completely within my own hands. It's up to me how secure I want it to be. When I transact with Bitcoin, I don't have to hand over any personal information or passwords that could compromise my account."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

SOPA and Bitcoin

I'm going to blatantly steal from this thread.

From the proposed the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA):

(b) Denying U.S. Financial Support of Sites Dedicated to Theft of U.S. Property-

(1) PAYMENT NETWORK PROVIDERS- Except in the case of an effective counter notification pursuant to paragraph (5), a payment network provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within 5 days after delivery of a notification under paragraph (4), that are designed to prevent, prohibit, or suspend its service from completing payment transactions involving customers located within the United States and the Internet site, or portion thereof, that is specified in the notification under paragraph (4).

2012: The Year of the Great Media Correction

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Media,

I understand, you know, where you're coming from, but if you could just do us a favour and wait a few more years before making anymore bold statements about Bitcoin, it would be good for all of us, and hey, it might make you look a little more credible.

It's harder and harder to come by people who still value patience. We've gone from hand-written letters and phone calls to emails, status updates, and tweets. More information, compacted, faster, and now. So, Mr. and Mrs. Media, I understand. You're now working in an era where your audience isn't going to wait for the cameraman to record and edit the footage and for the reporter to produce his piece. By the time that's done, we've already seen the footage on YouTube and read 100 tweets from eye-witnesses. The old way of doing things is just too slow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Off-Topic: The American Slave Trade

How is this possibly acceptable?

Bitcoin Media Trends

I'm a self-admitted media junkie; perhaps that's why I enjoy blogging so much. Since I was first turned onto Bitcoin, the most exciting moments for me have been when I've discovered new articles about Bitcoin - I'm always curious to hear what others have to say.

There has been a lot of press, actually. Most of it's been directly related to Silk Road or to the hacks and coin thefts of the past summer, but there have also been a lot of stories written about Bitcoin itself, and whether or not it will succeed.

Bitcoin is Severely Undervalued

As of today, the entire Bitcoin market is worth $31 million USD. When you consider how many potential applications there are for Bitcoin, that is a shockingly low valuation.

What if, for example, the Team Fortress 2 hat economy was Bitcoin-driven (which it should be, to save people from PayPal and credit card fees). You might find this incredible, but the Team Fortress 2 hat economy, alone, is worth $52.7 million.

If it was purely Bitcoin-driven, Bitcoins would be worth $6.64 a piece. Don't even get me started on pants...

Mt.Gox Foreign Currency Markets

In case some of you do not understand how Mt.Gox's foreign currency markets work, I will provide a brief explanation.

On September 2nd, Mt.Gox announced the opening of 15 new currency markets:

EUR - Euro
CAD - Canadian Dollar
GBP - British Pound
CHF - Swiss Francs
RUB - Russian Rubles
AUD - Australian Dollars
SEK - Swedish Krona
DKK - Danish Krona
HKD - Hong Kong Dollars
PLN - Polish Zloty
CNY - Chinese Yuan
SGD - Singapore Dollars
THB - Thai Baht
NZD - New Zealand Dollars
JPY - Japanese Yen

What should be clarified, however, is that you do not always trade on a separate market, unless there are Bitcoins already available for sale in your currency. Instead, when you trade in a currency other than USD, you are more than likely still trading on the USD market, except there is a premium added to the asking price.

Yet Another Phishing Email

Just got this one in my Inbox this morning. Recommend you click "delete," as the links go to "mthox.tk."

Dear Mt.Gox user,

Your account is currently pending review, please visit https://mtgox.com/forms/verification
For those users who have had their accounts marked for review, an explanation of why were are implementing these security measures can be found here:

Security Measures Explained

“Verified” Accounts are eligible for monthly/daily transaction limits of up to 5 times the monthly limit and 10 times the daily limit.

In order to apply for the “Verified” account status please attach a copy of the following documents:

- Your government issued photo ID (passport, permanent residence card or driver’s license) and

- A scan of either your monthly utility bill (power, phone, TV, gas, water, etc.) or a certificate of residency issued by your local government.

Thanks,
The Mt.Gox team

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

GoldMoney is No Longer... Money

In yet another example of a business being strangled by regulation, GoldMoney has been forced to remove the ability of its Full Holding customers to send and receive payments in precious metals. In other words, GoldMoney is officially no longer a competitor to Bitcoin.

Unfortunately, Edwin Vieira will have to recommend a different alternative currency (linked to an earlier part of the video for context. "GoldMoney" is mentioned at 49:38).

Guest Post: We Ain't Got No Government Loans...

The Trader here asked me to be a guest columnist and, I guess, I haven't been a very good one. We've all -- everyone in this community -- got so many projects going on, sometimes it's hard to focus. The entrepreneurs I've met in the last six months since I started working with Bitcoin are, by far, the most dynamic and multi-talented people I've come across in the last 15 years of IT work. Not to mention scrappy and ambitious. There's not a single merchant, blogger or far-seeing engineer I know, working with this stuff, who doesn't have at least two projects already launched and another half-dozen in the oven. We make the people at hacker news look lazy. We're not bathing in Paul Graham's questionable and reflected glory; we're just trying to make a fortune. And I like that.

Canadian Lawyer Magazine: "Bitcoin has jumped the shark."

Canadian Lawyer Magazine's IT Girl has Bitcoin on her Christmas wish list, but I think she's being sarcastic:

"This nifty technology looks to have jumped the shark, but it sparked a lot of interest, not to mention controversy, and the future may yet be in virtual e-currency. I wouldn’t go spending a lot of time or money trying to mine Bitcoin any time soon though; you would probably be better off alongside the stock brokers of late, selling Bre-X shares on Bay Street for $1 apiece as novelty items. Actually, that might not be such a bad idea."

Ms. Harris, you do realize that your words are now immortalized on the Internet, don't you? I think you may have just joined the rarefied company of the Slashdot commenter that dismissed the iPod in 2001. Don't worry, you also get to hang out with Forbes and Wired. I hear they throw awesome parties.

Next Leg Up: Potentially $80/Bitcoin - RunToGold.com

"BitCoin makes... payment efficiency possible because it is based on cryptographic protocol where its security is grounded in the laws of mathematics not laws of men which may or may not be enforced profitably."
"Taking the current price of $4.00, the 200 day moving average of about $8.50 and extrapolating this upleg with a 12x 200dma top we could see a price of around $80.00 per BitCoin. Is this speculative? Yes. Would I bet on seeing $80 per BitCoin by around June or July? Maybe if the odds are around 5%. But I would take a bet for BitCoins to hit $7.50 by June or July at around a 50-70% probability."

Solid BitCoin Consolidation Finally Bears A BitCoin Breakout - RunToGold.com

Stop Feeding at the Trough

WikiLeaks: The Great Visa Escape from WikiLeaks on Vimeo.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bitcoin Posts Most Winning Month in its History

Between November 19th and December 19th of this year, Bitcoin has had 22 up days, 8 down days, and one flat day on the Mt.Gox USD market, better than in any previous month of trading.


Chart courtesy of BitcoinCharts.com

The second best month of trading was from April 5th to May 5th, when a record of 22-9 was posted, which eventually led to a 900% increase in Bitcoin's value by June 8th when the peak of $32 was hit. Interestingly, on May 5th, Bitcoin had a weighted trading price $3.41, exactly the same as on Dec 19th, to the penny!


Will this current winning streak lead to another record run? Unlikely, but trading is undoubtedly bullish and should be exciting to watch for anyone holding a long position.

IBM: "It's cheaper to have a cell phone than to open a bank account."

"Growing communities will be able to use mobile technology to better serve people with new solutions and business models such as mobile commerce..."

Bitcoin to be Exposed to 13 Million TV Viewers

Bitcoinmedia brings us the exciting news that an episode of "The Good Wife" airing on January 15th will be centered around Bitcoin. The title of the Episode is actually "Bitcoin for Dummies."

The first two seasons of the show brought in 13 million viewers per episode. That will be a lot of exposure to a demographic that probably hasn't yet heard of Bitcoin, which continues to approach the mainstream...

Exter's Pyramid

John Exter was an American economist and central banker who believed in sound money.

He had a theory that in a period of debt deflation, capital would flow from the riskiest of asset classes down to that which, by its very nature, is sound money. Take a look at Exter's Pyramid, below. As the global debt crisis continues to spiral out of control, the credit instruments at the top of the pyramid will begin to collapse until the bottom of the pyramid is reached. Where do you think Bitcoin would fit into this pyramid?



New Site Launched: Bitcoin Cigarettes


It was just a matter of time, of course, before Bitcoin found this application. The site offers shipping to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

All the Cheap Bitcoins are Gone

Chart courtesy of BitcoinCharts.com

This has got to be one of the most lopsided Bitcoin depth charts I have ever seen. Relatively speaking, there are almost no Bitcoins for sale beyond $3.50!

Bitcoin Christmas Rally in Full Effect

After spending a week in the $3.10 to $3.30 range, Bitcoin has made a strong 12% move to the upside on the Mt.Gox USD market, hitting $3.70 and threatening to take out the seven-week high of $3.82 previously hit on October 29th.

Chart courtesy of BitcoinCharts.com

The month-long bull market has been confirmed in a big way. Pay attention, stock markets, this is what a Christmas rally is supposed to look like.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bitcoin and Conventional Business do not Mix

It's time to be truly honest about what we're up against in terms of motivating the adoption of Bitcoin.

Imagine the best-case scenario where Bitcoin exchanges accept credit cards, directly. There is absolutely no way they will be able to drop a credit card deposit fee below a very generous 2%, and that's assuming that chargebacks won't happen, which they will.

Add the additional 0.5%, or so, that you would have to pay for actually buying the Bitcoins on the exchange, and you're looking at a minimum of 2.5% in fees from the get-go. That 2.5% already negates any savings that a merchant could offer for someone willing to pay with Bitcoin. Right there, we know it makes absolutely no sense to offer a product or service for Bitcoin when the same thing can already be acquired with credit cards or PayPal. Now you understand why Cheaper-in-Bitcoins made almost no sales whatsoever, and why you'll never see Amazon adopt Bitcoin.

BC Casino is a Fraud

(Edit: I have been contacted by the owner of BC-Casino in response to this post. While this assessment of his software is not off the mark, he assures me that he wishes to stick around for the long-run and that all players will have a fair and enjoyable gaming experience.)

"If it looks too good to be true, it probably is."
-Some smart guy.

BC-Casino.com is a fraud.

Indications that something is amiss:

- The rampant grammar errors on the front page. No one puts that much money into a website without hiring someone to check their English;

- There is no Playtech logo or 'Powered by Playtech' which is on all legit sites;

- There is no licensing around the contact info;

- The name they list, "Global Entertainment Services Limited," is close to the name of a Kahnawake commission permit holder, but not the same entity;

- Not the normal login field, in the Flash or the download version;

- The installer is not the one Playtech uses. Playtech uses a branded installer with the logo from the casino, and not a standard installer like BC-Casino uses;

- The number keypad where you have to type your username and password is not from Playtech;

- If you look at this slotgame preview, the video is hosted on Class1casino, not BC-Casino.com. This means Class1casino (recently closed) silently opened a new outfit, or they sold the sourcecode. It is also possible that BC-Casino ripped off the code and forgot to change the domain name to their own.

Be cautious if you decide to deposit money to this site - you may never see it again. Playtech has been contacted for further investigation.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Meshnet, Bitcoin, and BitSyncom: Creating the New Internet



As the SOPA debate rages on in Congress, the brightest minds of the Internet are already taking decisive steps toward building a new, alternative Internet which would remain untouchable by the corporations currently threatening to tear apart the fabric and soul of the Internet we know and love. For more on SOPA and the threat it represents, have a read of one of my older articles, here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Ode to Satoshi Nakamoto

This is not my work, but the work of a poetic genius named "coretechs" who posted this poem on the Bitcointalk forums.

To honor the anniversary of Satoshi Nakamoto's last post on the forums, December 12th has been declared "Satoshi Nakamoto Day." To commemorate this day, I present to you, "An Ode to Satoshi Nakamoto."

"[insert anything here] is a Ponzi Scheme"

First, the definition:

"A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation."

Just for fun, I ran a Google search for "is a Ponzi scheme." Let's take a look at the results, for science:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bitcoin is Approaching the Mainstream

On December 12th, the Internet Archive announced they would be accepting Bitcoin donations. For starters, the Internet Archive is ranked 224th among all websites in the US and 213th worldwide. Let that sink in for a second.

In the two days that the site has been accepting donations, they've received over $1,000 in Bitcoins. Bitcoin users came through in a way that guarantees that other sites, possibly even bigger sites, will take notice that accepting Bitcoins is an extremely easy and effective method of collecting donations.

The Euro is Making Bitcoin Look Good

This is the five day Euro/USD chart, and it's ugly... very ugly:


This is the currency that represents the largest economy in the world, and it's starting to make Bitcoin look stable in comparison. These are scary times.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BitInstant Now Facilitating Withdrawals from Mt.Gox and Tradehill to PayPal

In what can only be described as a major breakthrough for Bitcoin traders and merchants, BitInstant is now facilitating withdrawals to PayPal from the two major exchanges, Mt.Gox and Tradehill.


The one-two punch of the announcement of Roger Ver's investment in BitInstant and this announcement could only mean further great things are to come from BitInstant CEO, Charlie Shrem.

How long before BitInstant allows for transfers from PayPal to Mt.Gox and Tradehill? Is it just a matter of time? One can only imagine the explosion in Bitcoin usage that would occur as a result. Stay tuned; our fingers are crossed.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

This Needs to be Fixed

The problem with a decentralized service is that the instruction manual is also decentralized. This is painful to read and probably a story that repeats itself dozens of times on a daily basis: Diary of a Bitcoin Virgin.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Introducing "Bitcoin Gifter"

Yesterday I launched a new service that has already received a lot of positive response. Bitcoin Gifter is a service that allows someone to save a significant amount of money when sending gifts to friends or loved ones that live in another country.

Nine Agents have already been hired, and we're looking for more! Visit the Bitcoin Gifter page for more information on how it works. If you're interested in becoming an Agent for a country that isn't yet represented, send me an email.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

PayPal, Regretsy, and the Bitcoin100

If you missed all the hoopla today, here's the Coles Notes on what happened: Regretsy set up a PayPal "donate" button to collect money to buy Christmas gifts for kids. PayPal didn't like the way the donate button was used and held on to the funds. The Internet then exploded with rage in the form of 1350 comments and 11,000 Reddit upvotes.

Meanwhile, in the Bitcoin community, thousands of "in-the-know" people tried their darndest to withhold their collective "I told you so" responses. As Bitcoin users, we've become pretty used to hearing stories of PayPal's indiscretions, kind of like when you buy a car and suddenly everyone around you seems to be driving that same car.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Guest Post: The Significance of Bitcoin

One of our readers sent us this excellent assessment of the significance of Bitcoin:

I first heard about Bitcoin in the media coverage that followed the now infamous hacking of MtGox in the summer of 2011. The commenter described Bitcoin as most people do, the worlds first peer-to-peer digital currency, and in the instant those words entered my brain, seemingly before I could consciously descramble their exact meaning, the butterflies were already in my stomach and the world as I had known it, had changed.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Bitcoin Bank

If you saw an ad for a bank like this, wouldn't you want to open an account?

Open an account with The Bitcoin Bank today, and take advantage of the following features:

Consumers:

- Send any amount of money worldwide, to anyone, instantly for 1.5 cents;
- Shop online at any website without having to share your personal information;
- No monthly maintenance fees;
- Access your money from anywhere, anytime;
- No accidental overdrafts;
- No cash advance fees;
- Instantly updated transaction records;
- Send money to any organization without restrictions.

Merchants:

- No transaction fees;
- No chargebacks;
- Your money will never be held from you for any reason;
- No setup fees;
- Transactions will never be blocked.

The Bitcoin Bank is managed by the laws of mathematics, and will never be subject to government or corporate regulation. The Bitcoin Bank will not invest in risky assets or derivatives. It will always be 100% capitalized and does not operate under the principles of a fractional reserve system.

To get started, read our Simple Bitcoin Guide.