Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why Apple Cannot Ignore Bitcoin Forever / 14 Apr 2014 Posted by Aaron Sines

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple Inc.

This slogan was the central focus of Apple’s “Think Different” ad campaign that went on to receive the 1998 Emmy Award for Best commercial and the 2000 Grand Effie Award for most effective campaign in America. Many argue that since the passing of the late Steve Jobs, Apple has lost this vision — some would say the company’s position in regards to bitcoin is supportive of this theory.

To get straight to the point of a possible explanation for Apple’s apprehension in respect to bitcoin — it is quite simple. In a Forbes piece by the Bitcoin Foundation’s Jon Matonis he explains, “With the introduction of Passbook, Apple has launched mobile payments on iOS and competing virtual payment systems, including bitcoin, must be terminated.”

Further support of Apple’s stance against bitcoin came on January 16th of 2014 when a patent dubbed “Method to send payment data through various air interfaces without compromising user data” was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Then just days later came Apple’s well-publicized removal of the Blockchain app which ensued with dozens of angry iPhone users destroying their devices in a most public matter. - READ MORE

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bitcoin finally pays off in secure cloud storage / By Serdar Yegulalp / April 14, 2014

Bitcoin may finally be coming into its own as a cryptocurrency, despite the implosions of several online exchanges and the IRS regarding the digital cash system as property, not currency. But the real value of bitcoin may reside with other applications for its underlying algorithms.

A startup named has hatched one such idea: use the blockchain, or the ledger of bitcoin transactions distributed across computers that interact with bitcoin’s network, as a way to denote where files are stored in participating servers on the network. The files themselves are public-key encrypted before being inserted into the network. - READ MORE

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Bitcoin Group #25 (Live) -- Bitcoin Sports -- Gox Buyout? -- Sidechains -- Dogecoin Merged?

The Bitcoin Group #25 (Live) -- Bitcoin Sports -- Gox Buyout? -- Sidechains -- Dogecoin Merged?

Bitcoin 2.0 / By Ivan Raszl / Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An increasing number of objects and systems have APIs. In the near future we will have the option to create contracts that are expressed as an algorithm besides or instead of written legal language. Contractual obligations would be automatically enforced on all parties based on a previously agreed set of rules.

The idea is not necessarily dependent on Bitcoin. To an extent we’re already doing this with certain online services. For example when you create an advertising contract on Adwords your ad impressions are automatically targeted, measured and charged according to the contract you have with Google. The only human involvement is the creation and approval of the ads. Everything else is taken care of by algorithms. The problem is Google has been accused of click fraud in the past and the advertiser has to trust Google’s reporting. It would be beneficial for all parties involved if there were no intermediaries and the whole business was more transparent.

The blockchain can take such smart contracts to a higher level by connecting website owners and advertisers directly. Advertisers in the future can rely on an open and distributed advertising network that will be independently verified by a consensus. Each ad impression and click-through can be recorded in the system and websites would receive funds from the advertiser directly without any intermediaries. Such a system would be hard to game because everything would be as secure as Bitcoin itself and advertisers can effectively measure the effectiveness of their ads on various websites and they could automatically exclude sites that are ineffective or commit click-fraud. Such a system could effectively disrupt Google’s billion dollar business and introduce incredible efficiencies in the advertising market. - READ MORE

Friday, April 11, 2014

Crypto-Ownership Companies Hope You’re Ready To Decentralize Everything On The Internet / By Kashmir Hill / 4/08/2014 @ 12:54PM

Confused yet? Welcome to the age of crypto-ownership, where any kind of data can be encrypted and managed by a decentralized network of computers. It’s a concept that’s been around for years as readers of sci-fi authors like Neal Stephenson know, but now that Bitcoin has managed to permeate the public consciousness and introduce people to the concept of a decentralized, crypto-managed network in a tangible, money-generating way, other crypto-entrepeneurs are hoping to move beyond just decentralizing payment. Their models look a lot like Bitcoin, but instead of eliminating banks and the Federal Reserve, they have other service providers in their targets. A company called Ethereum headed by a lanky Canadian named Vitalik Buterin, 20, wants to decentralize contracts, allowing deeds, car titles, or even something like Social Security numbers to be stored in a network, where one person crypto-owns the contract with a private key until they choose to pass it along to someone else (like you would pass along a Bitcoin). “It’s the sharing economy for your hard drive,” he says.

Bitshares and MasterCoin want to decentralize the stock market and the IPO process, so that a company can issue shares or raise money on a decentralized network by issuing crypto-tokens that investors can later cash in, trade, or use to participate in a company’s services. (This idea is already geeting a close look from the SEC, which has voiced concerns about bitcoin stock exchanges.) And MaidSafe wants a network of user who will download software that will cause their computers to give up to 90% of the unused storage, CPU and bandwidth on their computers to help maintain a decentralized storage network. It’s like a botnet, but one where the bots get paid for their troubles. The leasing of their computer power will result in the generation of SafeCoins, just like Bitcoin “miners” who keep track of the Bitcoin network get rewarded with the generation of Bitcoin, except Irvine calls his participants “farmers.” - READ MORE

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

St. Louis Fed Economist: Bitcoin Could Be A Good Threat To Central Banks / By Rob Wile / Apr. 6, 2014, 7:31 PM

Last week, St. Louis Fed economist David Andolfatto released a presentation on Bitcoin, becoming one of the most prominent central bank officials to study the cryptocurrency.

We caught up with Andolfatto to ask him about why he put this deck together, where he thinks Bitcoin is going, and whether he personally has anything invested in it.

Business Insider: What was the genesis for this presentation?

David Andolfatto: Its genesis was a blog post I’d started, addressing arguments that gold bugs frequently put forth, that gold is superior money. Of course, Bitcoin was in the news — I read about the algorithm that fixes the supply of bitcoins at least at some limit. It struck me that despite their tremendous disparity in physical properties, they share the quality that they have a relatively fixed supply — which is why gold and bitcoin make lousy money.

I blogged some more on Bitcoin, and I brought to bear conventional theories of money and whether or not, just because it was virtual currency, whether it was good or bad.

Then Marcela Williams (the St. Louis Fed’s [assistant vice president of strategic communications] for the Bank) came and asked whether I’d be interested in presenting a talk on Bitcoin. - READ MORE

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bitcoin Has Grown More Quickly Than Bitcoin Foundation – Chairman Peter Vessenes / By Jerin Mathew / April 5, 2014 08:22 GMT

Peter Vessenes, the chairman of the board at the Bitcoin Foundation, has published the organisation’s annual letter to the bitcoin community, addressing a number of issues that hamper the digital currency’s growth.Vessenes discusses topics including communications, values, decentralisation, privacy and standardisation.

While powerhouse investors and large corporations are engaging positively with bitcoin, the collapse of MtGox poses challenge, he notes.

“As Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, I owe you an apology. Bitcoin has grown more quickly than we have, and we weren’t prepared to keep up,” he said.

“What can we do to improve? I have some ideas, and I would like yours as well. First, we need to continue to staff up our communications team, and change our communications culture. Second, we need a more precisely defined and stronger set of guiding principles. Third, we need to make some small modifications to our Governance structure.” - READ MORE

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mass Media: This could be the end of the Bitcoin era

By Lawrence Lewitinn 4 hours ago Talking Numbers
Bitcoin may be thought of as an alternative currency – but just don’t say that to the IRS.

The US Internal Revenue Service says that Bitcoin is property, not currency. That means profits in Bitcoin get taxed at the lower capital gains rate rather than income rate. But, it also means that losses in Bitcoin are also at the capital gains tax rate. That helped Bitcoin’s value to drop 20% in just the past week.

(Read: IRS says bitcoin will be taxed like property)

CNBC contributor Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global, this is yet another bad headline in a long stream of bad news.

“It’s a terrible thing,” says Sanchez of Bitcoin’s IRS categorization. “This is already a really negative story, in my opinion. What this says is every time you make a transaction, you basically have to keep track of your capital gains – every transaction.” - READ MORE

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bitcoin: An Evolution in Money and Banking

Jeff Berwick is Interviewed on Lets Talk Bitcoin with Ed and Ethan. Topics include: Reaching the end of the monetary system as we know it, people don't realize how close we are to the precipice, people are waking up to Bitcoin in droves, great opportunities in the chaos, Chile and Cambodia booming, Cambodia the freest country in the world.

Bitcoin: An Evolution in Money and Banking

Bitcoin: a financial revolution the web’s been waiting for / By Jeremy Wagstaff / March 22, 2014

Bitcoin may not be the messiah of a new currency its hardcore fans yearn for, but it may herald the deeper financial revolution the internet has been waiting for.

While computers and smart phones have brought the web to more than a third of the world’s population, online commerce still largely depends on a banking system that has changed little over recent decades, some of it relying on computer code written before the web was born.

The growing interest in bitcoin, a digital currency that requires no centralised body to handle transactions, is beginning to change all that.

”The rise of bitcoin has changed everyone’s idea of what a good payment system should be,” says Manu Sporny, CEO of web payments company Digital Bazaar, who is spearheading an effort to get the industry together to agree on standards for handling online transactions. ”Bitcoin raised the bar, so everyone’s got to come in and match that in some way.”

A key moment, Sporny and others say, will be a meeting in Paris next week hosted by the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, one of the key bodies for setting internet standards.

Gathering for the first time to discuss web payment standards will be telecom operators such as Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and AT&T, payment companies including SWIFT, PayPal and Gemalto, as well as the US Federal Reserve.

Bitcoin can claim some credit for this buzz of activity.

Much of the focus on bitcoin has been on its meteoric rise in value – soaring from $US30 a year ago to more than $US1000 late in the year – which has been only slightly dented by the collapse last month of Mt. Gox, a leading bitcoin exchange, with half a billion dollars’ worth of bitcoins missing.

But bitcoin as a currency might be a distraction.

Underpinning the digital currency is a combination of key computing principles – decentralised time-stamping, public key cryptography and a proof-of-work system – that promise to revolutionise transactions.

Says Peter Vessenes, CEO of bitcoin start-up CoinLab and chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, an advocacy group promoting its adoption: ”Those three could be turned into money, but they could also do a lot of other things.” - READ MORE

Bitcoin Destroys Banking Leeches | Mike Maloney

Bitcoin Destroys Banking Leeches | Mike Maloney

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lets talk bitcoin - episode 94 – Privacy and the Arts

Marc Andreessen Goes All In On Bitcoin / Posted by Aaron Sines / 23 Mar 2014

Andreessen Horowitz, the firm where Marc is co-founder and partner is making some big bets on bitcoin. The founder of Netscape and his firm have made investments in the sector to the tune of about $50 million, which according the the Wall Street Journal is more than any other firm has put into the digital currency industry. The funds have been drawn from over $1.5 billion of the firm’s capital, needless to say, Andreessen Horowitz has a positive outlook on the future of digital currency despite the recent setbacks. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Palo Alto based firm ‘plans to invest hundreds of millions of additional dollars over the next few years from other funds.’

It may sound like Andreessen and his firm are aimlessly throwing millions at a very young and speculative industry, however; the firm has without doubt done its due diligence. The firm and its investors were initially very skeptical of digital currency. Andreessen figured that even if he did want to dive into the world of bitcoin, it would present a degree of challenges, one of those being actually locating investors willing enough to take the risk. However; Andreessen found quite the opposite as investors were waiting in line to jump in the digital currency world. -

Marc Andreessen Is Betting on Digital Currency Bitcoin /By Gregory Zuckerman / March 21, 2014 7:13 p.m. ET

Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen is doubling down on bitcoin amid turbulence in the virtual-currency world, in a bet that widespread adoption of the currency will fuel the growth of new businesses and technologies.

Venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, where Mr. Andreessen is a co-founder and partner, has made about $50 million of investments in the area—believed to be more than any other firm—from a $1.5 billion fund, the firm says. The Palo Alto, Calif., firm plans to invest hundreds of millions of additional dollars over the next few years from other funds, people familiar with the firm say.

Mr. Andreessen says he is convinced of the bright outlook for digital currencies despite setbacks such as the collapse last month of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, one of the most prominent bitcoin exchanges, which said it lost hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the virtual currency. “I’m completely unfazed and plan to invest more,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. - READ MORE