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I've seen a few threads about Bitcoin in the past, but there has been quite a lot happening within the Bitcoin community in recent times that I think would be a great point of discussion. For those that haven't come across Bitcoin before check out - http://www.weusecoins.com/ - for a short introduction video explaining them in pretty simple terms. I'd like to outline some of the benefits and uses for Bitcoin and you can determine for yourself if they sound like a sustainable and worthwhile idea to pursue. Decentralized and free from control: (They run on a P2P (peer-to-peer) network (like bit torrent) meaning a few things. 1. Nobody is in full control of it's ecconomy, so somebody can't just decide to create more bitcoins and inflate the currency without consensus from the Bitcoin community. 2. If a 3rd party wished to shut down the Bitcoin protocol it would be EXTREMELY difficult. To the extent of either requiring to shutdown the internet or locate and delete all backups of the BlockChain (generated when using the vanilla Bitcoin client) So these backups are located worldwide, so any attempt by the gubberment to shut it down would be relativly fruitless. Always running: Doesn't close over the weekend, your account/ ability to send/receive Bcoins cannont be restricted or frozen by some 3rd party. International and No/low fees: Thanks to the internet we are able to send bitcoins for free or for priority sending a fraction of a cent to anywhere in the world. These transactions can be done in a matter of seconds to minutes...No waiting days for international transactions to clear whilst also losing a good % for bank/paypal/creditcard etc. transaction fee's. New privacy model: Bitcoins are Pseudonymous. Meaning that they are as anonymous as you wish to make them. You can create as many bc receiving addresses as you like. For example, 16JsKCejmoZnsuiGuzs6VbFNH5g8Am6bFh is one of my addresses. Without me telling you it its got no real link to me at all. If I wished to...I could create a new address every time I want to receive coins. Alternatively if you wish to be transparent about your income (Helpful for business) you can remain using the same address - But it will be known that any money being received into that is going to you. Transparent system: The Bitcoin protocol is a open-source development - So it's being developed by many minds rather than an exclusive group. All transactions go through the BlockChain - https://blockchain.info/ - So I can know that address x sent address y 2 coins. Once x sends the bc the transaction is verified by the network ( The method of verification probably requires some 'level 2' knowledge of Bitcoin due to some key terms such as miners and how all that works...But It's worth checking out the wiki for how verification works and prevents double-spending0 It's really quite ingenues. Bitcoin is a novel way of solving the two generals Problem - https://en.wikipedia...rals%27_Problem - Divisible: Bitcoin can be divided into 'Satoshi's' (the pseudonym of the original creator of the Bitcoin idea) a satoshi is 0.00000001 BTC. Making bitcoin perfect for both micro and macro payments. Capped at 21 million coins: The Bitcoin protocol only allows for 21 million coins to ever be able to be created. This makes Bitcoin a deflationary currency, as in its value generally increases as it cannot be devalued by printing more...Which is the case around the world... US debt crisis (QE3 in the U.S creating $40 bil a month) or The soaring inflation rate present in Argentina. Secure: Again, somewhat complex being explain within layman terms. Read into SHA2 and AES-256 then their relation in use to bitcoins. Their sheer complexity to solve aswell as requiring to solves through brute force. (essentially you have to figure out a factorization of a massive ussualy prime number through trial and error a equation^256 /2 on avg times. If you have a basic knowledge of exponents you realize how powerfully large this is when taking a few seconds/mintues per equation.) No charge-backs: A double edged sword. Like cash If I hand $5 to a store keeper walk out, find my item is damaged I need to go back to the shop keeper to retrieve that money. Then the shop keeper can accept or decline. This is a far safer system for merchants. The flip side would be if I were using paypal. If I get a crap item, I can complain to paypal who has the power and authority to simply reverse the funds. Using this system enables consumers to take advantage of that and just as there are many scammers on ebay etc that claim 'I didn't get my package' there is little that can be done in defense. Environmentally friendly / efficient: The cash isn't plastic, paper, gold or some other precious metal. It's binary, generated through globally connected computing power. So it can be interpreted as a 'waste of electricity' Safer than cash: Imagine you could put $2000 in your wallet at home, hidden in a book at work, under a rock at your local park AND on your phone all password protected that potentially could take a few thousand years with all the current computing power in the world to crack. It's as simple as copying your encrypted wallet file onto your medium of choice (usb, SD card, google servers, you can even create a paper wallet!) So ask yourself...Can you back up the same money in multipul places and have it password protected? Cold storage is a fantastic security measure. (cold/hot storage being determined by the wallet being connectable to the net or not) Since bitcoin can't be printed by governments, their central banks can't use it as a tool to buy hard assets, influence markets, finance wars, or redistribute wealth. The rise of cryptocurrency would mean the end of the political era of nation-states. The main thing is the decentralized, because without that none of the others really matter. When you casually mention "can't be inflated or devalued" that really means "can't be inflated or devalued". That's something that no other type of offers. Not even gold and silver (as more mining finds more gold and inflates the supply). Bitcoin's issuance cannot be corrupted. What that means is that when GPU miners start to panic about the upcoming block reward subsidy drop to 25 BTC per block and begins the wailing and gnashing of teeth, none of that matters, the miners can't change the protocol. Come block 210,000, the issuance rate will drop from 50 BTC to 25 BTC. Period. Sorry, but that's the way this incredible uncorruptible system of money was architected. The world has never had a system of money anything like this. Bitcoin started in Jan of 2009 and since then has been growing. Being a digital currency its quite straight forward to collect statistics for So check em' out here - https://blockchain.info/charts - Personally I see Bitcoin as a real step into the future. We need to base our affairs on a solid ground, rather than various governments that act in their own interest. A note to Torsten: Perhaps you would be willing to look into accepting donations in btc or accepting btc payments through your web store. A single bitcoin is currently worth about $11.80 AUD... If you have any questions about bc I'd be more than willing to try to answer your questions or point you in the right direction.
whitewind posted a topic in News & Notices