Bitcoin's disruption is the healthy and rewarding result of a free market

6 August 2017 by Steve Blum
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Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are different from other software and standards-based platforms. There are no governing authorities or dominant players or established industry groups. That’s deliberate. The whole point is to create a way of exchanging value that’s not centrally regulated by governments or private organisations. But that means a super-majority of the millions of individual users have to accept and adopt software updates, or else there’s the risk that Bitcoin will splinter into different versions with different values.… More

Cryptocurrencies' crowd source incentives prevent collapse into one crowd

5 August 2017 by Steve Blum
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The disruption in cryptocurrency markets this week, when Bitcoin sorta split into two, was the result of disagreements between different interests about the technology and crowd-sourced methods used to run it. It was also inevitable and purposeful – cryptocurrencies are intended to rise and fall according to the cumulative decisions of millions – eventually, billions – of sovereign, individual users, who won’t always agree with each other.

Bitcoin’s underlying software can’t keep up with the growing number and speed of transactions between its users.… More

Cryptomarket wants to be eBay of bitcoin

5 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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Keeping it mainstream, says Blasko.

You can bid to buy pretty much anything on eBay, at least anything legal, but you need a straight up credit card or bank account to do it. And you can find sites on the dark web that auction off pretty much anything illegal, where you can pay with bitcoin or other alternative cryptocurrencies. At least until the FBI shows up. The difficulty comes when legal buyers and sellers try to negotiate online and settle up with bitcoin.… More

Mega-banks prepare to take bitcoin tech mainstream

19 September 2015 by Steve Blum
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The basic blockchain technology that underpins bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could find its way into the basic infrastructure of the global financial system. A group of nine of the world’s biggest banks is taking the first steps towards adopting the blockchain concept, initially as a way of recording transactions. According to a story on Reuters, the group has engaged a financial technology company, R3, to develop a common blockchain-based platform…

[R3’s CEO David ] Rutter said the initial focus would be to agree on an underlying architecture, but it had not yet been decided whether that would be underpinned by bitcoin’s blockchain or another one, such as one being built by Ethereum, which offers more features than the original bitcoin technology.


ChangeTip takes the geek out of Bitcoin

5 January 2015 by Steve Blum
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Bitcoin is back at CES, with 9 crypto-currency related companies pitching at the Startup Debut showcase last night. Bitpay, the big Atlanta-based payment gateway, was there, as a prelude to anchoring a growing Bitcoin pavilion on the show floor – I’ll be checking that out. BitAngels made a return appearance as well.

The most interesting of the newcomers was ChangeTip. It’s a San Francisco start-up that just raised $4.2 million in seed funding, or so spokeswoman Victoria van Eyk said.… More

Bitcoin grows where broadband flows in Santa Cruz

5 October 2014 by Steve Blum
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No Internet access, no Bitcoin. If a merchant wants to take payment in Bitcoins at the cash register – or anywhere else – both he and his customer have to be connected. Danny Thorpe, owner of the Quail and Thistle tea room in Capitola, was one of the first bricks and mortar merchants in the area to accept Bitcoins. He spoke to the Santa Cruz Bitcoin and Crypto-currency Meetup in September about the benefits and pitfalls – a video of his presentation is below.… More

Bitcoin exists to make it possible for people to make their own bad decisions

1 March 2014 by Steve Blum
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Where’s the fashion police when you need them?

Knee jerk calls to regulate virtual currencies, in order to protect us from a repeat of the total collapse of the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange this week, prove two things: 1. there are people in Washington (and, I wager, Sacramento) who must do nothing all day except see what’s trending on Twitter and paste top tweets into boilerplate bills, and 2. there’s a dangerous misconception that personal online behavior can be regulated.… More

Bitcoin is virtually a developing country

9 January 2014 by Steve Blum
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Open for business.

Four thousand transactions a day and total 2013 transactions of $100 million would be chump change for Visa or Mastercard, but it represents blindingly fast growth for Bitpay, which only moved $3 million in 2012. It’s an Atlanta-based transaction processor, one of three Bitcoin-related companies sharing a small booth in the back of CES’s south exhibit hall.

Bitpay is one of several companies that make it possible for merchants – big or small, online or bricks and mortar – to accept Bitcoins from customers and get dollars, or whatever national currency they prefer, in return.… More

Three trends to spot at CES

2 January 2014 by Steve Blum
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CES needs Bitcoin more than Bitcoin needs CES.

The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show opens next week in Las Vegas, with preview events beginning on Sunday and the exhibit floor opening on Tuesday. The show lacks last year’s changing-of-the-guard fascination, when mobile kingpins and rising giants held prominent places in keynote and featured sessions. Instead, it’s about reviving the brands that were shouldered aside in 2013.

But there’s always something new to see at CES, with three trends looking particularly interesting…

Wearables – CES exhibit halls promise to be packed with smart watches, eyeglass mounted video displays and cameras, and various other small, wearable devices – health and fitness related in many cases – that serve as smart phone peripherals or substitutes.… More

Boldly spend with PayPal Galactic

29 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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What fun would moon golf be without a friendly wager?

There’s more than a whiff of publicity stunt about it, but even so, the launch by PayPal and the SETI Institute of a project to create a payment system that can be used in outer space is a fascinating idea. The initial problem they want to address is creating a medium of exchange for the space tourism industry.

Elon Musk, one of PayPal’s founders, is also behind SpaceX, which makes real rockets that are already sending cargo into orbit and should soon be capable of transporting people too.… More