Sunday, January 22, 2012

Host of World Economic Forum: "Capitalism in its current form, has no place in the world around us."

Davos elites to seek reforms of 'outdated' capitalism.
"We have a general morality gap, we are over-leveraged, we have neglected to invest in the future, we have undermined social coherence, and we are in danger of completely losing the confidence of future generations," said Klaus Schwab, host and founder of the annual World Economic Forum.

"Solving problems in the context of outdated and crumbling models will only dig us deeper into the hole.  "We are in an era of profound change that urgently requires new ways of thinking instead of more business-as-usual," the 73-year-old said, adding that "capitalism in its current form, has no place in the world around us."

This is What I Look Like When I'm Day Trading Bitcoin

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bitcoin Primed for Next Rally to $8.00+

Phelix from bitcoinx.com has posted one of the best Bitcoin charts I've ever seen, and it speaks volumes:


See Phelix's post for a full explanation. The important stats to take away are:

- The total order book (bids and asks combined), as depicted in the middle graph, is near a peak for the last month;

- Bid depth is near a record high for the last month (bottom graph, blue line, ~1.5 million USD), nearly double what it was prior to the start of the last rally from $3.00;

- Ask depth is crashing rapidly (bottom graph, red line, ~1.3 million USD);

From the above, it's clearly just a matter of time before a new rally kicks off to push us past the pesky $7.20 resistance. This is a great buying opportunity that will probably disappear within 48 hours.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

SOPA Shelved

"It’s possible that a related version of SOPA could come back at some point down the road — though probably not this year — but for now, the push against the bill has succeeded beautifully."

"Real's gonna change... just watch."

Finally, Some Proper Bitcoin Technical Analysis

Thanks, "ineededausername!"

Overheard at CES 2012: "Bit-Pay/Bitcoin is the most innovative thing we have seen at this show."

Bitcoin's business leaders took to the Venetian in Las Vegas last week for CES 2012, with multiple booths advocating Bitcoin, including representatives from Bit-Pay, Casascius, Mt.Gox and a Bitcoin ATM.

Bit-Pay and Casascius gave us the play-by-play over at the Bitcointalk forums, with some exciting revelations over the course of the week:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Euro Tumbles to 17 Month Low Against US Dollar, 11 Year Low Against Yen

Euro slides versus dollar, yen, further losses likely

Venezuela May Devalue Exchange Rate Further After Elections: Capital Economics

Venezuela May Devalue Exchange Rate Further After Elections: Capital Economics

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Upcoming Bitcoin TED Talk from Bill Barhydt, CEO of m-Via

Bill Barhydt just posted the following to his Google+ page:
Want to participate in preparing a TED talk on Bitcoin? I'm (+Bill Barhydt) giving a 10 minute short-talk on Bitcoin during TED in a few weeks. The talk will happen during one of the TED University sessions.

My goal with this talk is to get people interested enough in Bitcoin to look into it more and get involved in the movement. To help, I'd like to know:

1. What does Bitcoin mean to you?
2. What do you think of Bitcoin's potential future?
3. What are the best uses of Bitcoin that you've seen so far?
4. Do you think Bitcoin will become a mainstream currency or investment asset type or both? Why/why not?
5. Does Bitcoin need to be improved? How?
6. Any other thoughts on Bitcoin?

Make sure you pay him a visit and give him some ideas. Bill Barhydt is an accomplished entrepreneur with an obvious interest in financial services; this will be a great opportunity to spread the word on Bitcoin.

Somebody's Watching You

ZeroHedge today reminded us of another reason to hold Bitcoins, with an article titled "Why 308,127,404 East Germans Americans Are Going To Get Hosed."

Highlights from the article:

"FinCEN is the executive agency tasked with ensuring that every US banker is an unpaid government spy through 'Suspicious Activity Reports'."

"Nearly 1.5 million Suspicious Activity Reports were filed across the US banking system in 2011, well over twice the number reported in 2004. On top of this, there were an additional -14.8 million- ‘currency transaction reports’ filed in 2011, a 6% jump over last year."

"A full 36 distinct federal law enforcement agencies requested information from FinCEN. And that doesn’t include state or local law enforcement."

"This is one reason why international diversification is so important – the likelihood of such collection and monitoring is greatly reduced when you bank overseas
[TheBitcoinTrader: or move some of your savings into Bitcoin]."

"You don’t even need to be doing anything wrong (which is the case most of the time this happens) for one of these agencies to freeze your account ‘pending investigation’ with a simple phone call. Good luck getting it unfrozen."

"FinCEN also tracks the Report of Foreign Bank Account and Financial Accounts, commonly known as the FBAR. This form is required to be submitted by any US taxpayer with foreign financial accounts whose aggregate total exceeded $10,000 at any point during the year. In 2011, 618,134 US taxpayers filed an FBAR (which would have covered the calendar year 2010). This is more than a 100% increase over the filings just two years ago."

"It still leaves 308,127,404 Americans who have no backup plan, no insurance policy for their hard-earned savings. In other words, 99.8% of the population holds all of their money in an insolvent, corrupted, government-controlled, unsecured (though cleverly disguised) banking system."

Read the full article, here.

Bit Parcel Express Company

I have no idea what this is all about, but it was just recently tweeted. My curiosity has definitely been piqued.

Update: The fine people at BPEx.co elaborated on their services in the comments below. For those of you on the front page, here it is:
Hello Everyone!

Bit Parcel Express is a mail management and parcel forwarding service based entirely on Bitcoin transactions. Initially, there will be a 'beta' launch for the parcel forwarding service (similar to MyUs.com and other services). This beta launch will involve those who have requested an invite -- BPEx.me -- at discounted pricing. Once the beta users and BPEx have approved the service for release, it will be open to the general public.

Once the parcel forwarding service has been rolled out, our mail management offering will undergo a similar process. In the genre of Earthclass Mail with a few enhancements, BPEx's mail management will put mail back in the user's hands (paper shredders will collect dust). Using Bitcoin, the user will have a smooth experience maintaining their account. Additionally, encryption features will be available to allow users to receive their mail communications safe and securely.

Please be patient, this is a service that is specifically for the growing Bitcoin community. We not only welcome but appreciate feedback, opinions and ideas.

Team BPExCo - Im-Next@BPEx.Me

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pimpcoin

I don't even...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Tale of Corruption and Cronyism in California's Financial Regulatory System

You should probably know the name "Aaron Greenspan," but you've most likely never heard of him. In 2003, Aaron Greenspan created "houseSYSTEM" at Harvard University, a web service that integrated features which were eerily similar to what would eventually be found in Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook. He ended up settling with Facebook in May of 2009 for an undisclosed sum. No, he wasn't one of the Winklevoss brothers. The only reason why you probably don't his name is because he chose not to cooperate with the author of "The Accidental Billionaires," the book upon which the Hollywood hit, "The Social Network," was based.

Seven years after launching houseSYSTEM, Aaron Greenspan went to the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) to obtain a money transmitter license in California for FaceCash, a subsidiary of his company, Think Computer. The requirement for a license stemmed from the newly passed California Aseembly Bill 2789, or Money Transmission Act (MTA), which was sponsored by The Money Services Roundtable, made up of members including Western Union, Moneygram, Travelex, and American Express.

Bitcoin as a Public Proof of Identity System

Bitcoin's proponents love to talk about anonymity. The more you dig, however, the more you discover that anonymous transactions are far from Bitcoin's greatest strength. There are certainly steps you can take to protect your Bitcoin identity, but it's hardly anonymous out of the box.

Given that the anonymity feature is widely promoted, it is somewhat ironic that Bitcoin is far more useful as a tool to absolutely verify someone's identity.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Slovenia Nearly Bans Cash Outright

Thanks to Jon Matonis for this info:

According to recently amended tax law in Slovenia, a new maximum has been placed on the amount of cash that can used to pay a bill. Previously an already low 420 Euros, the limit has just been reduced to 50 Euros, which essentially bans cash from being used in all but the smallest of transactions (translated text):
"In the Official Gazette 101/11 of 12.12.2011 has been published Regulations Amending the Rules on the Implementation of the Law on Tax Procedure. Significant changes are mainly two.

In the second and third paragraphs of the first Article, the amount "EUR 420" is replaced by the amount of "50 euros". The cash can then pay bills only up to 50.00 euros (previously € 420.00)"
It appears that Slovenia might just beat Italy in the race to eliminate financial privacy and force citizens to use fee-based payment methods for all transactions.

On that note, here are some groin stretches you can do so it doesn't hurt too badly when we all have to start goose-stepping:

Looks Like Bitcoin Cigarettes Has Some Competition

Cigs.eu claims to have been around since 2008, though the domain was only registered on June 4th of last year. Regardless, it's now accepting Bitcoin in addition to credit cards... caveat emptor!

MultiBit Implements Browser Protocol Handling as Gangly Bitcoin Addresses Become a Thing of the Past

Three days into 2012 and the MultiBit team has already knocked off part of number four on our Top 10 Most Anticipated Bitcoin Projects for 2012!

After upgrading to the 0.3.0-SNAPSHOT version of MultiBit, which happens to be my favourite lightweight client, clicking on Bitcoin links which follow the correct URI Scheme formatting will automatically launch MultiBit and create a new transaction. All that's left for you to do is click "send!"

If you've already got it installed, you can click my tip jar's QR code to see it in action.

Hey PayPal, getting nervous yet?

In Italy, it's 1984

One of yesterday's posts on ZeroHedge is gaining a lot of traction and definitely hits right at the heart of why Bitcoin has so much potential. Bitcoin users might find the following information disturbing (but not surprising). Reader discretion is advised:

Romano Prodi was the EU Commission President in 2001 and creator of the Euro, and is now pulling the financial policy strings in the new Italian government.  In 2001, he made the following statement:
"I am sure the Euro will oblige us to introduce a new set of economic policy instruments. It is politically impossible to propose that now, but some day there will be a crisis and new instruments will be created."
If you've ever read Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine," you already know that this will end in tears.

Now that the economic crisis in Europe has reached DEFCON 1, these new instruments have been implemented, and the orchestra is playing a sickening sound.

ZeroHedge lists these new "instruments":
  • An extraordinary edict making cash transactions of more than Euro 1,000 illegal (not subject to reporting – just plain illegal). Following Prodi’s own desire, the existing regime has indicated that this level will be progressively reduced to a limit as low as Euro 300. Hence cash is maybe for the first time in history no longer legal tender (over Euro 1,000, for now);
  • A requirement that credit card companies report all transactions carried out by Italians, in Italy and abroad to the fiscal authorities;
  • Delays and refusals by banks in allowing customers to withdraw cash balances of as little as Euro 10,000;
  • Finance Police has placed cameras at the physical borders with Switzerland (see below) to register all license plates. In addition, currency-sniffing dogs have been deployed at the border.
There has been a lot of speculation this week as to why the price of Bitcoins is on the rise. I suspect what you might be seeing is the first wave of interest in a decentralized, pseudo-anonymous currency, brought about by the implementation of financial policy that takes away the ability to freely conduct business.

Unfortunately, the corruption in Italy that led to the erosion of government revenue is being addressed through the strategy of assuming that every person is a criminal. It's also a great way to induce a revolt in your population.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The First Bitcoin Vending Machine Transaction

It's like watching the Wright Brothers take flight at Kitty Hawk!

Watch and Listen to Every New Bitcoin Transaction!

If you're looking for an effective tool to help you introduce someone to Bitcoin, I highly recommend blockchain.info's live transaction tracker.

On the page is a world map that locates each new transaction in real-time. The transaction details also show up underneath the map, and an audio notification tells you every time a Bitcoin moves, anywhere in the world! If you're lucky, you may even hear the special sound for a large transaction.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Massively Bullish: Buttcoin.org for Sale

Edit: turns out I referenced a six-month old post. Oops.

You know the tide has turned when Bitcoin's detractors throw in the towel, which just happened in a big way. The site famous for its connection to the Cosby Coin incident, Buttcoin.org, is now for sale.

With headlines like "A really good fucking comment on why Bitcoins are destined to fail," "Someone grab me a fork, because bitcoins are done," and "Ars Technica readers expose Buttcoin as a shill for the Fed," Buttcoin.org was Bitcoin's most notorious critic. Obviously the site's owner does not see a bright future in the Bitcoin-bashing business and is hoping to pick up a couple of dollars (eww) before it becomes completely worthless.

This follows the December 12th closure of Something Awful's Bitcoin thread, which ended with this statement:

"Now is the time to retire this thread. Bitcoin has been mined for it's depths, all comedy nuggets extracted and now we have nothing left but shit-brown flakes to pan over. I would have liked to jettison this thread when we hit $1, but it looks like the miners will do everything to try and keep the money train rolling.

You can read a good write up on the Rise and Fall of Bitcoin, read the original GBS thread that started it all, check out the greatest moments on Buttcoin, and see peak comedy when Bill Cosby gave the forums a visit.

Good night, sweet prince."

No doubt there will be another round to fight with the trolls, but it definitely looks like they've run out of ammunition for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bitcointalk Forum Statistical Trend FINALLY Broken!

Since the bubble popped in June, the monthly stats for new forum topics, new posts, new members, and most online users has been in perpetual decline... until now!


Yesterday, the forum had 530 users online at the same time; the most recorded since October 17th. As a result, January 2012 broke the seven month trend of perpetual decline in forum statistics.

While it has been well established that these numbers are lagging indicators, the trend break is definitely a sign that we're out of our rut.

In other news, I need to get a life.

Toronto's "Urban Living Suites" Now Accepting Bitcoin

Bitcoin Travel added "Urban Living Suites" to their listings today. From their website:
We are a newly renovated, family-operated inn offering simple, clean, and furnished suites for short terms rentals. Our rates are budget-friendly and we cater to those that seek a no-frills alternative to expensive hotels.

Located between Little Italy, Kensington Market, and Chinatown we are just a short distance away from Toronto’s more popular attractions. Toronto’s famous Queen Street is just a few steps away and there you will find trendy restaurants, art boutiques, local markets and great shopping. A street-car stop located just on the corner provides easy access around the city.

All our rooms are newly renovated and offer a contemporary and comfortable design furnished with pieces selected from our family-run furniture store located just below the suites.

All rooms include:

♦ Kitchenette (stove & mini-fridge).
♦ Private bathrooms.
♦ Towels and linens.
♦ Free high speed internet.
♦ Posture-pedic mattresses and dust mite covers.
♦ Weekly or daily cleaning services as requested.
♦ Eco-friendly cleaning products.
♦ Limited Free Parking (subject to availability).
♦ Laundry facilities are located nearby.
♦ Note: no phone in room (Pre-paid phones can be requested).

We are pleased to welcome travelers to stay with us and experience what Toronto has to offer. We will do our best to make your stay wonderful. Happy travels!


You can even stay long-term, subject to availability. Maybe someone will win my bounty after all!

Shades of May 2011 as Bitcoin Tops $6.00

In a round of extremely volatile trading, Bitcoin hit $6.00 today and is now up 200% from the November 17th low of $1.99, and up 27% in only the first four days of 2012.

24 hour volume on the Mt.Gox USD market is in excess of 151,000 BTC, representing a very busy day on the Japan-based exchange.


$6.00/BTC was last seen on September 21st, only a couple of weeks after Bitcoinica first opened its doors and gave Bitcoin traders the opportunity to short the market. Interestingly, if Bitcoin crosses through $8.00, it will be theoretically impossible for any legacy short positions to still be in-the-money, as shorting the market was not possible above those prices.

What's to blame for this bullish market? It could be anything from recent positive media coverage to new software and service announcements. Whatever the case may be, clearly, people want their Bitcoins in a way that hasn't been seen since last May.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Emperor PayPalpatine Orders Destruction of Violin

Hey look! It's our friends over at Regretsy with another sad PayPal story. It turns out that one of the possible outcomes of PayPal's dispute resolution process is that the recipient of an item can be ordered to destroy said item. In this case, it was a $2500 violin.

Yet another victim of the dark side...


Read the story, here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Financial Controls Stepped Up in Belarus as Internet Connections are Locked Down

On the 31st of October, last year, I reported on the disproportionate number of people in Belarus and Ukraine that were using Bitcoin, postulating that it may have had something to do with the precariousness of their currencies.

With the situation in Belarus continuing to deteriorate, the government has now imposed a veritable Internet lockdown to stifle financial transactions beyond the country's borders. Now, not only are its citizens forced to watch their savings vanish in a storm of hyperinflation, but their means of hedging their losses have also been cut off.

RowIT is still reporting 283 connections to the Bitcoin network originating in Belarus, down from the 671 reported in October.  Keep in mind that many more could be using lightweight clients or e-wallets, and are likely counting their blessings that they discovered Bitcoin.

AMD Mentions Bitcoin on Website

Nice find by the Bitcoin Reporter!

It looks like AMD is starting to notice where a good chunk of their graphic cards are being used (fifth bullet down):

  • The world’s first 28nm GPU. The revolutionary new GCN Architecture. Ready for DirectX® 11. PCI Express 3.0.1 The AMD Radeon™ HD 7970 is your personal checklist for ground-breaking technology.
  • The next generation of AMD Eyefinity technology is here, featuring all-new support for stereo 3D, universal bezel compensation and brand new display configurations. Face it: the best just got better.2,3
  • Armed with the new PCI Express 3.0 standard, multi-GPU configurations with AMD CrossFire™ technology are just another way to obliterate the competition with the revolutionary AMD Radeon™ HD 7970.4,5
  • Leave no performance behind. Get higher clocks and faster gaming with AMD PowerTune technology on AMD Radeon™ HD 7970 Graphics.6
  • Fold and mine faster than ever with AMD App Acceleration powered by the unprecedented 28nm GCN Architecture.7
  • The market isn’t ready for 4k video, but Radeon™ is. With full support for 3GHz HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2 HBR2, the AMD Radeon™ HD 7970 is set for quad HD.

Source: http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/7000/7970/Pages/radeon-7970.aspx