What are Bitcoins?

BitcoinsBitcoins are a decentralized digital currency based on an open-source, peer-to-peer Internet protocol. Bitcoin uses peer to peer technology to operate with no central authority; managing transactions and issuing Bitcoins are carried out collectively by the network. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin

Winklevoss Twins File to Launch Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Product

Bitcoin Interest in China is Rising.

Here's an interesting article about the spike in Bitcoin interest in China. 

Bitcoin interest is spiking in China as Chinese TV broadcaster CCTV aired a documentary on them. It was a basic documentary that explained what they were, mining, and followed the story of users. While not your prime-time TV, it has led to internet search providers seeing ‘through the roof’ queries about them. The interesting part here, is that CCTV is a national broadcaster. As such, this was a government approved showing, even as it provided its greater public with information about the digital currency that could potentially be used to skirt around government monetary regulations. Also, following the show, sourceforge.net reported Chinese originated downloaded of Bitcoin software as the leading country for downloads. The idea that the world’s largest market is getting hot about Bitcoins is obviously bullish for the currency and could create massive cross-border demand. 

http://forexmagnates.com/lindzon-bearish-china-bullish-bitcoin-keeps-rolling/ 

The Worlds First Bitcoin ATM is coming to San Diego!

Bitcoin ATM

The first Bitcoin ATM machine was revealed Thursday. San Diego will be the first to have the ATM, putting them on the cutting edge of the Bitcoin economy.

Users can walk up to the machine and make a deposit. The user then gets a receipt and that receipt has a confirmation number on it. That confirmation number can be given to anybody around the world and they can go up to a machine and make a withdrawal themselves.

http://www.10news.com/news/worlds-first-bitcoin-atm-coming-to-san-diego-050213

IRS wants it's share of Bitcoin.

I'm sure there's an entire room of tax paid IRS accountants trying to figure out how to tax the trades, purchases, and bartering that's happening with Bitcoin around the world by US citizens right this very second.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2013/05/02/irs-takes-a-bite-out-of-bitcoin/?google_editors_picks=true 

Living On Bitcoin for A Week

Live on BitcoinCheck out Kashmir Hill's article on Forbes.com.  Most of the articles online right now are about the risk takers and money makers in the erratic Bitcoin speculation game. Kashmir Hill's article takes a different and fresh angle on the Bitcoin phenomenon. She was issued a different kind of challenge from her editor: “Don’t just buy Bitcoin. Live on it for a week.” 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/05/01/living-on-bitcoin-for-a-week-the-journey-begins/ 

Bitcoin has expanded off the Internet

Bitcoin Merchant in Kreuzberg BerlinIt's encouraging to see people using Bitcoin in the real world as a valid payment option. It gives me hope that it will be more than a fad, and that it can become a valid currency moving forward. Fingers crossed.

In Kreuzberg, Berlin, virtual currency Bitcoin has expanded off the internet to become a favoured medium of exchange in real shops and bars. Joerg Platzer, the owner of bar Room 77 is helping to establish what he believes to be the world's first Bitcoin local economy

Check out the video:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/apr/26/bitcoins-gain-currency-in-berlin

Will PayPal add Bitcoin?

 

PayPal's president is fascinated by the new virtual currency and says that the company is "thinking about" including the virtual currency.

PayPal

So I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at it, and it’s truly fascinating actually: the way that the currency’s been designed, and the way that inflation is built in to pay for miners, and all that is truly fascinating. I think that for us at PayPal, it’s just a question whether Bitcoin will make its way to PayPal’s funding instrument or not. We’re kinda thinking about it. 

Read about it: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/04/24/paypal-president-is-fascinated-by-bitcoin-says-company-is-thinking-about-including-the-virtual-currency/

The Race to Build the Fastest Bitcoin Miner

Butterfly Bitcoin MinerThe whole Bitcoin Mining process is still a little mystical to me, but it's difficult for me to ignore when I know it can be very lucrative when done correctly. When I get some time, I plan to dig into this and learn the ins and outs. From mining pools, to dedicated mining rigs, to comments about incredible electric costs it seems that this area of bitcoining is not for the feint of heart.

Until I find the time, I think I'll just stick to posting about what others are doing!

Here's an interesting artcle from Wired magazine. I guess the race is on to build the strongest, fastest, and all around best mining rig.

http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/04/bitcoin-mining-rigs/ 

Mt. Gox "throttles" trading to tame price swings

Mt Gox LogoDDos attacks and manipulative trading practices are two of the strongest reasons we are seeing large price swings in Bitcoin trading. It's common knowledge that Mt. Gox has been the target of several strong DDos attacks during these recent weeks. When the trading engine goes down, we see a lot of panic selling. Mt. Gox is working on a new trading engine that will run separately from it's website, making it less vulnerable to DDos attacks. 

A lesser known issue is manipulative trading.  Malevolent traders will flood Mt. Gox's trading engine with small fractions of Bitcoins. For example, a sell order for .01 bitcoin would only result in $1.20 (if bitcoin is selling for $120.00). Submitting numerous orders like this is impractical, unless the intent is to give the impression that Bitcoin prices are falling to sway speculative trading decisions. Additionally, the large volume of small orders clogs the trading engine causing increased lag.

Mt. Gox has started limiting the number of "mini-transactions" a trader can submit and capping these transactions during high trading times. These elastic "throttles" will allow some small trades but automatically limit the trades depending on the needs of Mt. Gox's trading engine.

The market swings seem to have reduced over the past few days, perhaps these measures are beginning to work? Only time will tell. 

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