Decentralized Markets Kills E-commerce Stars: OpenBazaar

Last week I spoke with Mr. Knuckle, the developer of the decentralized market “NXT FreeMarket.” Now I’m pleased to interview Angel Leon and Brian Hoffman, developers of “OpenBazaar,” another disruptive decentralized market.

Ferdinand Reyes: First of all, can you explain to me which are the possibilities and how OpenBazaar works?

Angel Leon: It wasn’t until the birth of Bitcoin that electronic decentralized commerce was possible.

In July 2001 the fall of Napster gave birth to a revolution in peer to peer file sharing, the technology sector learned the dangers of censorship and several peer to peer file sharing protocols were born: Gnutella, Fast Track, eDonkey, Direct Connect and ultimately BitTorrent.

The peer to peer file sharing community always knew that peer to peer could do a lot more than just file sharing – it was always the dream, being able to let people trade digital goods in a distributed fashion just the way people were free to trade files – but this wasn’t possible until the Blockchain technology was created.

Now we have peer to peer cash, and a few years later Bitcoin evolved to support multisignature transactions, which can be used for different purposes, most importantly for escrow transactions.

All the pieces were now in place to put together the first decentralized market place in the world. For the first time in history, it will be possible for any two people in the planet to trade with one another without depending on any institution: all they will need is an app, and they will do the trading using electronic contracts which we call “Smart Contracts” that can allow the parties involved to enforce agreements electronically.

The most simple agreement there is is the purchase of goods, but this is just the beginning. New templates for more advanced contracts are being designed by the OpenBazaar team and it will be possible to do things like Insurance Policies, P2P Insurance (think now that instead of getting insurance from one provider, you could have thousands of underwriters distributing your risk in very small chunks), Crowdlending, Crowdfunding, P2P renting (decentralized Uber, decentralized AirBnb), Whole sellers trading directly with retailers across the world and being able to find each other and transact without incurring listing fees or currency exchange inneficiencies making global trade more efficient than ever, or simply being able to list and sell anything you’d want to sell to others just by using an app.

Never in the history of mankind has commerce been as convenient and direct. If we suceed, we’re not just transforming ecommerce, we’re transforming commerce as a whole.


FR: This year we’ve seen a lot of dark markets taken down by the police. What opinions do you have about these centralized markets under Tor network? What system does OpenBazaar use for maintaining anonymity on the net?

AL: Centralized systems are single points of failure, and anonymizing networks like Tor don’t seem to stop well funded police forces.

OpenBazaar’s goal is not to create a decentralized market for illegal activity. Being a p2p network it’s impossible to take the network down as a whole, but it’s certainly easier going after the individuals breaking the law.

We’re trying to transform commerce, not create illegal marketplaces. Users on OpenBazaar exchange information using encryption keys and their real world identities are not required, they use pseudonyms to trade, and if they chose to tie their pseudonyms to their real world identities that’s their option. Most will realize that in order to trade, having a good reputation is key; having a real world identity to go along with your store will give your buyers a great deal of trust to buy from you.

FR: What is your opinion about the possibility of drugs vendors in OpenBazaar?

AL: In my opinion if you plan to risk your freedom by selling drugs on a PEER to PEER network, using a PUBLIC LEDGER, you better think twice. This is particularly true after seeing that individuals running market places using state of the art anonymity/encryption tools did not escape from law enforcement.

FR: How I can be sure that OpenBazaar is secure?

AL: At this point you really can’t; the software is still at very early stages. What we can tell you is that the software is completely open and there’s a lot of very smart and talented folks from all walks of tech-life: many in the fields of computer security, encryption, cryptocoins, peer to peer, web development putting a lot of work into making this a world class product.

FR: What are Ricardian contracts?

Brian Hoffman: They are simply human understandable structured electronic documents that describe some kind of economic exchange or agreement (i.e. Contract). You can see more detailed info here (, but they basically are the cornerstone of making OpenBazaar so flexible while substantiating and defensible in a court or arbitration if a problem exists. Washington could provide more info if you like.

FR: What are the differences between NXTFreeMarket and OpenBazaar?

AL: I’m not very familiar with NXTFreeMarket except it uses the NXT blockchain; from what I see on their website there’s a few fundamental differences:

OpenBazaar works with Bitcoin/bitcoins, which is the most established, secure blockchain and widely accepted cryptocurrency in the world.
OpenBazaar is an open source project.

We have a transparent team of publicly identified developers. Their website just shows 3 pseudonyms representing their team. For me as a legitimate shopper/seller this doesn’t inspire much trust, not to mention that I have to use another coin with a mere $22 million dollars in marketcap with a daily trading volume that’s 0.23% of Bitcoin’s.

I wouldn’t put my store on that platform, I think I wouldn’t be selling much there, I wouldn’t know how secure it is, nor would I be able to try to fix it myself if I found an issue.

FR: Leaving aside the decentralization, why is OpenBazaar revolutionary compared to eBay and other traditional markets?

AL: OpenBazaar is free, you don’t need to pay a listing fee to list as many products as you have to sell, and when you sell your products your transaction costs are minimum compared to the ones you pay in those traditional markets, which have business models that either charge you a commission, or a monthly fee to have your store up and running. With OpenBazaar you list your product, and you transact directly with your customer; all you might have to pay is a minimum arbitration fee (which will be set by the marketplace and competition, not a centralized entity with power to dictate a non-negotiable price, and which also passes down their overly expensive merchant fees, aka, credit card fees) and the Bitcoin miner transaction fee which is just cents (no matter what amounts you transact, small or large)

The possible scale of OpenBazaar will bring ecommerce to countries that still have not experienced what these traditional marketplaces have brought to industrialized nations. Hundreds of millions of people in Latin America will be able to trade locally and internationally, the same for every other country, bringing in job creation and a more competitive and globalized market place. I’m a strong believer that commerce brings peace among nations. Now everyone on the street, on every city and every country will be a potential trading partner on the network. I think we’ll truly help make the world a better place.

FR: In OpenBazaar, can we only use BTC or is it open to other currencies?

AL: As of this moment it works only in BTC. If any other cryptocurrencies need to be added they will have to conform to similar protocols used to integrate Bitcoin support in the system (wallet addresses, multisignature transactions, blockchains), it will be up to the developers of those currencies or parties interested to submit system enhancements that enable OpenBazaar to transact in other currencies. As of this moment, we’re very focused on the number one cryptocurrency as we believe it’s the one most people will have to buy products, and the one most people will want to accept.

Cryptocurrencies are still in their infancies, and we want to focus first on having a full featured product to then think of ways to allow for such integrations in a painless manner (think WordPress and plugins)

FR: Do you think that all the Silk Road & dark market users will use decentralized markets in the near future? What about eBay users?

AL: We can’t really say if dark markets will make the shift. I think some people might be crazy enough to try and use OpenBazaar for such purposes and they’ll likely be caught. We’re building a product for legitimate trade with pseudonymity, privacy, trust and security in mind, we’re not building a 100% anonymous decentralized market place. eBay/Amazon users and sellers I believe won’t be able to resist OpenBazaar if we do a good job.

FR: How can I install OpenBazaar and start buying & selling products in this platform? Is the platform ready for commerce? Are there any fees?

AL: Check out and our github repository at

It is not ready for commerce although you can try at your own risk, there are some stores out there already selling products at their own risk. We’re still working on core functionalities and you will find the user interface rather raw at the time, we’re currently working on a much simpler, friendlier shopping/selling experience.
No fees for listing, or selling at the time, just miner fees.

FR: Thanks!

Bitcoin Alternative Opal Announces Opal Drive Encrypted File Storage Powered by Cryptocurrency


Bitcoin Press Release: Privacy focused cryptocurrency Opal announces the development and future release of encrypted cloud storage platform Opal Drive. This comes on the heels of previous developments such as introducing the Opal Marketplace.

In its continued effort to build the legitimacy and usability of cryptocurrencies in the world outside of Bitcoin, Opal has spent the last several weeks developing its unique encrypted file cloud storage platform. Pairing its development with another cryptocurrency Storj, Opal is proving that seemingly impossible goals can be achieved through cooperation. Cryptocurrency Opal will continue to seek new and innovative ways of using the latest technological innovations; whether it be through their own development or those of their future partners.

As technology grows and the user base becomes more skilled and informed, the abilities of those who wish to do others harm grows as well. The consumer world has seen increasing attacks on the security of their personal data, financial transaction, banking accounts and purchasing records.

The Opal cryptocurrency team believes that the responsibility of security should not be placed on customers, but should be something that a more adaptive technology can improve on. Opal drive will be capable of preventing such data theft through secure encrypted file storage and transfer. The process of this protection is described in detail in the Opal Drive White Paper. The features of Opal Drive will be available for use by people of all walks of life from the computer novice all the way to major technology firms and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Everyone will be able to benefit from Opal Drive’s ease of use and cryptographic security.

“In future Opal Drive will, like all Opal Coin projects, be expanded on, with many more features integrated.” Says Opal Coin team.

As with any new technological breakthrough, development is on-going and continuously being improved upon. Opal Drive is building upon Opal’s previously laid groundwork of Opacity+ (a secure messaging protocol that allows for anonymous messaging and financial transactions) and Opal Marketplace (an open market that allows the sale and transfer of digital products for the cryptocurrency Opal). The Opal Marketplace is still in its early stages, but is an important step towards the steady growth of online sales.

With the announcement of Opal Drive encrypted cloud storage platform, digital currency Opal is consolidating its efforts in the cryptocurrency space to create a functional and secure platform that has endless possibilities for business growth, scientific discovery, and consumer protection.

To learn more please go to:

Read the Opal Drive whitepaper at:

Visit the Opal Marketplace at:

Trade Opal for Bitcoin on Bittrex:

Media Contact:

Name: John McCallum


 Announces Black Friday Deals – Save 20% On Amazon By Paying in Bitcoin.

What we do at Purse is enable our customers to use Bitcoin on the world’s largest online merchant, Amazon. You can spend your BTC for any item on Amazon and receive 20% off.  You can also use Purse to purchase BTC with a Credit Card or Amazon Gift Cards, Win, Win, Win.

There are many new and exciting things that are happening at Purse. We have heard over and over about how the Bitcoin ecosystem needs more design and better UI. Well, we listened and we will be rolling out a new wonderfully designed website just in time for the holidays. This site integrates a simple buy / sell process with an elegant design.

The holidays will be huge for Purse and more specifically Black Friday. We want to provide the BTC community with the biggest discounts possible. Currently, our average discounts for any item is 20% but we have even seen up to 45% off entire purchases. The higher the discount percentage the longer the acceptance and delivery times are but if you don’t need the item immediately then why not get a large discount. So, make sure you get your holiday shopping in early so that you can get the biggest discounts.

Through our customer analysis we have collected a great deal of data on top product purchases, as well as where on the planet these purchases are being made. We are now operating in 87 countries and that number is growing weekly.

Also, we have created an infographic with all the top items bitcoiners buy. These could also be good ideas for your next holiday purchase.

consumer report


Lastly, we are very excited to announce our new panel of investors. We have been backed by some of the industry leaders and we are excited to see how our company will flourish through these partnerships.

Plug and Play Ventures LLC | Bobby Lee | FundersClub
Terrance Yang | Strong Ventures | Roger Ver

Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook @PurseIO
Website: launches

Press-Release: 16th Oct 2014
By: Techemy ltd
For: General news distribution.

With the explosion of interest in Bitcoin over the last 24 months, keywords, trademarks and domain names around bitcoin have become somewhat of a commodity.

Techemy Ltd, a NZ based start-up, has secured a key domain name in the bitcoin space: Http://

Company co-founder and CEO, Fran Strajnar stated:

“After having spent 11 months building a stable price index (BNC Price-Index via, we wanted to offer the world a clean website with a solid domain name for 1 reason: Accurate Price-Discovery (and related tools).”

Price-Discovery is the economic concept of finding the value & price in a marketplace. This is a basic requirement for an emerging industry to build products and services around.

Strajnar expands with;

“MtGox represented the bulk of trading in Bitcoin until the end of 2013. It was easy to discover the price during Gox’s reign. Since then, literally dozens of exchanges have open shop all around the world and surprisingly no other index out there, captures anywhere near all of this data, making Price Discovery somewhat questionable. We believe Price Discovery to be a ‘Public-Good’, and will not be charging for this. Our API is free to use, constantly added-to as new exchanges open their doors, accurate & stable. A public good for the industry to use”.

What sort of services require an accurate global-bitcoin-price?

  • Wallets: Consumers want to pay an accurate market price at all times.
  • Futures & Financial products: Financial products require stable backbone. One example:, the world’s largest Bitcoin-Futures exchange, uses this API calculate their Millions of USD worth of weekly settlements.
  • Billing platforms: Invoicing & billing services require a current price to generate correct fiat figures for business owners.
  • Portfolio Management: Tracking your client’s or your own investments.
  • Gaming Industry: Settlement calculation or Fiat value displayed to gamers.
  • News & info Services: News agencies and search engines can now display comprehensive market data.
  • & Any possible product or service that requires an accurate price Fiat price for Bitcoin.

The API is available here:

Techemy Ltd collects a ton of data from the Bitcoin & Altcoin marketplaces. If you or your company require something custom or more advanced, like global consolidated order books, or plan on running a service where such data is critical and you require a Service-Level-Agreement, the company can be reach on


Meet SaruTobi, the flying bitcoin collecting monkey

In this interview, we speak to Christian Moss of indie game developers, Mandel Duck, about their upcoming game SaruTobi. This is due for release in mid/late November on iOS devices.

You are Tobi, a monkey living in a jungle. You must swing from your vine, building up momentum before releasing yourself to fly across the retro 8-bit jungle landscape, collecting power-ups to increase your distance and bitcoin tokens as you careen through the air. The game has three main goals – getting the furthest distance, collecting bitcoin tokens to be spent on items, and collecting the letters SARUTOBI to unlock a big coin boost to spend on in-game items.

The gameplay reminds me a lot of the Yeti Sports series of games, and from the videos it looks like a simple, fun game. So I had a chat on Skype with Christian about the game, to find out more about why bitcoin is in the game in the first place, and to see what other plans he has, if any, to utilise bitcoin further in the game.

Jamie McCormick (JMC): So first off, can you tell us a little about SaruTobi? Where does the name come from?

Christian Moss (CM): I have been making games for iOS for the past few years; however they have always been quite complex, in-depth games. SaruTobi was an attempt to make a very simple/addictive game in SWIFT, which I think is a good combination for the mobile platform.

The name SaruTobi is literally Japanese for “Monkey Fly,” and that pretty much sums up the game play; you need to swing a monkey on his vine, build up speed, and see how far he can fly through the air.

JMC: What can SaruTobi do with the bitcoin he collects in the game? Buy bananas?

CM: At the moment Tobi needs to collect bitcoin to buy extra power ups such as rockets and spring boots which will propel him further, but in the future hopefully we can allow the user to earn actual bitcoin.

JMC: How many levels does it have?

CM: SaruTobi is an endless game so it only has one level, and the aim of the game is to swing as far as you can, competing with friends to beat each other’s maximum distance.

JMC: What else can you collect? And what are the items in the game?

CM: The plan for the moment is to get the furthest in the game. There is a second task, which is to collect the letters SARUTOBI; I got the idea from Donkey Kong Country. You can collect them over a few gameplay sessions, as they are spread out sequentially across the map. Getting them all gives you a hefty bonus, which would let you turn off ads, and get enough rockets to last you a while! You can buy bundles of coins via an in-app purchase, though. For future updates, I’d love to try and work bitcoin into the game using donations I receive, but as far as gameplay goes, I now want to get some user feedback and take it from there.

The game does feature ads, which you can disable by earning 90 bitcoin. Each token you collect in the game is worth one bitcoin, so depending on how good you are, it won’t take you too long to do this. I want people to enjoy the game and not be stuck with ads forever, so I have made it reasonable to get rid of them in an achievable timeframe.

JMC: What’s your own high score? And how did you get it?

CM: My current high score is 3,964 meters. As Tobi flies through the air, you can catch rocket power ups mid-flight, which give you a large distance boost. In my case, he swung through the air and I got my angle right, as at the apex he caught a rocket which boosted him for miles. The positions of the rockets change randomly, and you can’t see where they are. I am interested to see how far other players can prove the limit to be, especially if they can do the same with springs or hitting a banana skin on landing.

JMC: What was the hardest thing to develop into the game?

CM: The most difficult thing to develop was getting the physics right. The physics of swinging on a rope are quite different to what you’d expect, so when you’re swinging as Tobi, getting this feeling right took some time. The first time we modeled a rope properly, but we couldn’t get any momentum up, and if you boosted at the wrong time you’d lose all your momentum. So we had to simplify this to get it right.

JMC: Why have you given Tobi the task of collecting bitcoin instead of something else?

CM: Why not? I planned to implement an in-game currency when it suddenly dawned on me to use bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a stateless currency and therefore is perfect for international use, I guess you could call it the people’s currency – a player in Africa is going to feel just as at home with it as a player in America or the UK. Although bitcoin is becoming more mainstream, the vast majority of people are still very unfamiliar with it. I’m hoping by working bitcoin into popular games, it can help raise public awareness and get people to start looking into the crypto currency.

Lastly, using bitcoin in your game can open up a range of features that is currently not possible with conventional payment systems.

JMC: Are players able to make purchases in-game with bitcoin, or earn bitcoin from playing it?

CM: This is where we would like to go. Currently Apple has been very strict with regards to bitcoin and its usage – specifically, in-app purchases must use Apple’s framework so they can receive 30%. However, this does not seem to apply to donations, and hopefully before Christmas we will implement some kind of real bitcoin transacting with the game. This may allow users to donate bitcoin to be held in the game address; the best players may be able to receive bitcoin as a reward for getting a highscore, etc.

JMC: Do you have plans to further develop the game?

CM: At the moment the game only uses bitcoin in name only, and the coins you collect are completely in-game. However, we have plans to allow the user to collect/earn actual bitcoin, which I believe is made possible with the use of micro transactions, a concept that only bitcoin allows developers to do, i.e., for every coin a user collects he can receive 1 bit to their address.

JMC: Do you have any plans to release the game on other platforms?

CM: Most definitely. Apple are very strict with bitcoin, and other platforms such as Android are completely open. However, I am a strong believer that we can’t leave iOS users behind. Earlier this year when Apple banned bitcoin wallet apps, our app “Bity” was the only Apple approved app that allowed bitcoin transactions; shortly after its release Apple opened the flood gates, retracting its restriction against such apps. We hope we can do something similar with SaruTobi.

We are currently seeking extra funding to recruit an Android and HTML 5 developer so we can bring the game to other platforms, and have the wallet 1DUuk9AvMzBbsdazNTQsyVCy1xX2GdnSK4 set up for this.

JMC: Your team is spread across the UK, Australia and Japan; how does that work out?

CM: One of the advantages with creating 2D physics games is they don’t require a big team; it’s very easy to [develop] the game with one or two people. Currently I perform the majority of the coding whilst I have a few illustrators in the UK and Japan who I can work with for design.

JMC: Do you have a personal interest in bitcoin?

CM: I have a miner in the corner of my apartment. I started out of interest because the company I work for made a bitcoin related app. I then bought some bitcoin and used this to purchase a miner from Butterfly Labs. It was a 25ghs miner, which I overclocked up to 30ghs. I ordered in December 2013 from stock. It was profitable for a while, just about made the bitcoin back I put in. I then pre-ordered a Monarch miner and cloud mining service. These never came. Butterfly Labs refunded me based on the dollar price, so I actually got refunded more bitcoin than I originally spent, as the price had changed from $1000 to $400 between the two times.

JMC: What led you to combine your interest in games with your interest in bitcoin?

CM: Bity is still doing well, and more aimed at people with paper wallets and bitcoin in cold storage. But I can’t compete with big payment players in the field. Games are how I started with iOS development, and Apple released SWIFT in September, which I had to learn for my job.  So I made a few games, and I wanted to make a simple addictive game, and was thinking I could put some sort of coin in there. And if I’m going to use any coin, why not use bitcoin.

If the app was popular and people were playing it, they could learn about bitcoin as there’s a link to send to the about bitcoin section on, to help it get into the mainstream. I’m not sure how Apple will take it, but after the game is approved, I’ll see what I can get away with. At the moment in iOS apps, it’s impossible to charge anything less than about a dollar, and Apple takes 30% of this automatically. But I thought that in SaruTobi, once it’s up and running, I can take donations, and then in a later update, redistribute them by giving satoshi to do tasks and collecting coins in-game, and it potentially could open up some new features that the games scene hasn’t seen before. The whole concept of micropayments and the tipping scene is very interesting to me.

I found with Bity that I did quite well with optional donations. I was surprised by how many people sent me donations; one person even sent me about $2,000 dollars worth of bitcoin out of the blue!

JMC: If someone wanted to put ads for bitcoin products in the game, could they?

CM: We use iAds at the moment, but if people wanted to advertise their product in the game, it’s technically possible after discussions with the right people! I have done it for some of my older apps, and would be happy to do it again.

JMC: Finally, do you have any messages to Bitcoin Magazine readers

It’s slated for release in mid-late November. If you want to be notified of the release, you can follow us on

We are happy to announce, just in time for Giving Tuesday, that the Ronald McDonald House of the Capital Region is the first charity in Upstate NY to accept Bitcoin donations!


PRESS RELEASE – 11/20/14

Albany, New York – Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region is making history by heading down technology lane and becoming the first local charity in Upstate New York to accept Bitcoin donations. They will partner with Bitcoin processing giant BitPay to handle their transactions, and the NY Bitcoin Group will help them get started.

“We are very excited to have our local Ronald McDonald House be the first chapter in the United States to start accepting a digital currency for donations. Bitcoin gives us the ability to send a nickel, a dime, or any other denomination, without the charity getting charged a fee, as they would using with other payment networks,” said Paul Paterakis, a member of the NY Bitcoin Group.

Elizabeth Ploshay of BitPay added, “In other words, through BitPay, they get 100% of the donation, as they would with cash, but unlike with cash, they can now receive donations from anywhere in the world, instantly.” BitPay is the lead global Bitcoin payment processor making donation functionality possible.

Currently, a few other charitable organizations in the United States and around the world accept Bitcoin, including the United Way and Greenpeace USA.

Paterakis said, “This will go down as a historic moment for Ronald McDonald House in Albany. People can be afraid to be the first when it comes to change, but sometimes the first to act are the most rewarded. I believe that will be the case here. The Bitcoin community is generous and I personally plan on matching up to $500 in Bitcoin donations to show my support. Any time I have a quarter or two sitting in my digital wallet, I’ll send it over.”


NY Bitcoin Group ( was founded in June 2014 by Bitcoin enthusiasts from different industry sectors. Their goal is to promote Bitcoin and educate businesses within the Capital Region on setting up Bitcoin as a form of payment.

BitPay ( is the largest global Bitcoin payment service provider headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. BitPay provides payment processing services for more than 40,000 businesses and processed over $100 million USD worth of Bitcoin transactions in 2013. In 2014, BitPay started processing $1 million USD daily.

Bitcoin Bargains Make Black Friday at Amazon Even Bigger

Amazon is jumping the gun this year by already starting their “Black Friday” sales five days early. Although Amazon does not accept bitcoin, using bitcoin for these purchases can drop an additional 10 to 25% off of some of the best prices on the Internet. If there ever was a time and place to spend your bitcoin – this might be it. As Amazon is the biggest on-line retailer, using your bitcoin for purchases might send the message that bitcoin is here to stay. Perhaps proof of this fact may finally drag them kicking and screaming into the future.

New bitcoin broker and escrow services allow you to spend your bitcoin in an effort to gain significant discount over the Black Friday deals.  Simply using bitcoin in this unique transaction model might allow you the additional funds to purchase many more Holiday gifts this year.

Prerequisites, what you need to begin:

  • An account with Preferably with Amazon Prime, which offers free shipping for all items marked as “prime”. This allows the transaction to complete much quicker for all parties.
  • Bitcoin to spend, preferably with a quick way to replenish the bitcoin you’ve just spent. If you are a US resident, an account with will allow you to transfer money from your regular bank account to and have it converted to bitcoin instantaneously for free. Other bitcoin exchanges such as Coinbase may charge a 1% fee for the purchase and it may take a few days depending on your account options.
  • An account on or bitcoin escrow/broker service that will make the arrangements to sell your bitcoin at a profit for you that is exchanged for the purchase. Note: has the advantage of  using Multisig wallets.

How to get your discount: 

  1.       Go shopping on  For each item you select for purchase, rather than “add to cart”, simply choose the option next to it: “add to wish list”.
  2.       Once you’re done – give your wish list a name using the Amazon’s Wish List function. Once you see how cool it is, you may decide to do this again and it might be helpful to keep them straight.
  3.       Copy the URL from Amazon’s website and paste it into the discount bitcoin broker of your choice.
  4.       Decide on how much of a discount you are going to ask for. 10% – 25% This will be the same amount of premium somebody will pay for your bitcoin over the spot price you paid to the bitcoin broker site. Generally the lower the discount you want, the faster you will see offers come in for it to be purchased. At around 10% you’ll be competitive with localized bitcoin ATM machines and it should go very quickly.
  5.       They will put the wish list ‘package’ up for sale for people with credit cards willing to pay for your purchases and receive your bitcoin in return. This money is held in escrow at the brokerage sites until both parties have agreed the transaction was successfully concluded.
  6.       You can choose to accept the offers to purchase your wish-list. Once the offer is accepted, the buyer has a short window of time to use the Amazon link you’ve provided to pay for you’re the items on your list.
  7.       Both the buyer and seller are encouraged to leave feedback for the other for a reputation system to develop. There is a messaging system inside these systems and it’s important to communicate to avoid misunderstandings and coordinate if there is a delay in shipping or other complications that happen in life from time to time.

Why a buyer would want your bitcoin for 10-25% over market price?

  • This method allows bitcoin purchases without having to have a bank account to send expensive wire transfers. Paying the 10-25% premium can be easier and quicker in parts of the world that discourage or forbid the purchase of bitcoin.
  • Some people without bank accounts do online work and can be paid in Amazon credits. This service allows them to expend those credits and transfer the value into bitcoin. If they wish, they can then take the bitcoin to their local exchange for their national currency.

Why would you want to spend your bitcoin?

  • Obviously a discount is money saved and speaks for itself.
  • This benefits Bitcoiners because it spreads the bitcoin out to more population. The more users of bitcoin the better and more valuable it becomes. This demonstrates to merchants that investment into bitcoin payment processing is a worthwhile investment.
  • The point some Bitcoiners miss when they consider actually spending their precious bitcoins is they aren’t out anything. If they spend $100 worth of bitcoin, then buy more right after they’ve spent it, their net difference is nothing. Bitcoin just became the conduit for the payment.

What could go wrong? Why it’s probably not for everyone.

  • This is still a relatively new concept. Reputations are still being created; it’s possible that a buyer or seller may be slow finishing their part of the process.
  • It’s important to use the reputation system that develops as the market matures. Perhaps consider allowing smaller purchases for less established bitcoin buyers.
  • Amazon’s wish-list includes the name and city of the shopper, although there are re-mailing services that can be used to keep your location private.
  • The bitcoin buyer will see all the items on your list; ask yourself if you are okay with that.

It’s possibly a win-win-win-win-win situation.

  • Amazon sales increase
  • You get a significant discount on already heavily discounted items
  • The buyer gets the bitcoin they want
  • The bitcoin broker establishes a new business model
  • The entire Bitcoin community benefits from increased exposure and possible price increase

Author’s note: Neither the author nor Bitcoin Magazine is advocating the use of any of these services; this should be considered an information piece for a new bitcoin business model only. Brawker also allows use with other retailers; see their website for details.

Bitcoin Volatility: Are Alt Coins Taming the Beast?

Looking at charts showing the price of bitcoin over time is like looking at a child’s crude attempt to draw the world’s craziest roller-coaster. It has certainly been a wild ride for the brave few early adopters with the courage to hold a significant portion of their money in btc.

Since its earliest days, predicting the price of bitcoin next week, let alone next month or year, has largely been a fool’s game. Whilst 10% plus swings in a day would be exceptional events for any other currency or asset, it’s virtually the norm in the cryptocurrency world, and much larger fluctuations have not exactly been uncommon. This tendency for the price to change radically in a short space of time is known in financial circles as ‘volatility’. Something with a very stable price which doesn’t change much is said to have low volatility, whereas something like bitcoin is said to have high volatility.

Although day traders may revel in high volatility, as these price swings are where they make their money, it’s generally not seen as a good thing for everyone else. Personally, I have always thought that this high volatility is one of the main barriers to mass adoption of bitcoin by the general public. The average man or woman on the street simply isn’t going to want to convert any significant part of their wages into bitcoin if there is such a high risk that their value could so easily drop dramatically overnight. With rent and bills to pay, kids to feed and clothe, and so little extra cash, most people simply can’t take a risk like that with their money, even if they may want to. Of course there are services which aim to combat this by allowing people to ‘lock in’ a certain fiat value of bitcoin in their wallet, having a balance of say $400 worth of BTC instead of a balance of 1 BTC. But although these services may help more people to use bitcoin, they do little to increase the number of people who own bitcoin and in any case they take away some of the natural benefits of cryptocurrency as you have to trust your coins to a centralized financial service provider and, of course, they stop you benefiting from any increases in price over time, just the same as they ameliorate any risk from any sudden falls.

Volatility is also a problem for most businesses which may want to work with bitcoin. With fixed costs in fiat and a volatile bitcoin price most businesses must avoid holding any coins. As a result of this, retailers, for example, must sell their coins instantly as soon as their customers pay with them – which again reduces the number of people holding coins. Some commentators have even speculated that this sell-off by retailers has been partly responsible for this year’s price decline.

Fortunately, it does seem that volatility is decreasing over time. For example, this chart, which shows volatility calculated using a 30-day rolling window, appears to show a long term down trend since 2010:


There are some good reasons to think that this will continue. One reason may be that as more time passes people have a clearer idea of what they think each coin should be worth, and are more confident in their valuation. In other words, as we get more and more information about the use of bitcoin, uncertainty gradually decreases, taking volatility with it. But this can only take us so far. Ultimately it is unlikely that the price will be as stable as the fiat currencies of today, because there is nothing behind the price of bitcoin – as people have often said, there are no fundamentals ‘backing’ the price.

The answer to the question of what a bitcoin is worth is the same as the question of what a dollar is worth (if we consider it to be a currency, to be used for buying things). The answer is, simply, it is worth whatever you can buy with it. If you can buy a loaf of bread for a dollar then the value of a dollar = 1 loaf of bread. Of course dollars aren’t valued exclusively in bread – the value is equal to anything which can be bought for a dollar. This may sound like I’m pointlessly stating the obvious, but this is a major part of the inertia behind the value of any currency which can be freely traded. That’s because if the value of a dollar changes against other currencies, without there being a corresponding change in the fundamentals of the US econonomy and how it interacts with the global economy, then everything priced in dollars is effectively ‘the wrong price’. If the dollar is too cheap then, unless everyone re-prices everything they sell, American products are all too cheap, and the world buys dollars to buy the products, but if the dollar is too expensive then people stop paying for American products and services so demand for the dollar declines and the price must fall. What that means is that the value of the dollar should only fluctuate with the fundamentals of the US economy, and any additional volatility coming from traders should be dampened by underlying economic forces. This is an oversimplification of course, because politicians and bankers routinely engage in practices which distort the markets (google ‘petrodollar’ for the most infamous example), but the general principle is sound and this remains a significant part of the way foreign currency markets work.

These powerful forces, which dampen a currency’s volatility, can only operate if products or services are actually priced in that currency, otherwise nothing could ever end up being ‘the wrong price’. One big reason why bitcoin is so volatile compared to, say, the dollar, or the euro, is therefore the fact that very few things are actually priced in dollars. This is becomes a vicious circle: businesses can’t price their products in BTC because of the volatility, so they price them in dollars and simply use Bitcoin as a payment solution, which in turn contributes to that same volatility.

In many ways this is a real shame, because the use of national fiat currencies by internationalized internet businesses with customers all over the world often doesn’t make much sense. Our use of these national currencies is a very real drag on the growth of successful businesses and digital currency could well be the answer. One of the great advantages of Bitcoin is that it is fundamentally an international currency, independent of national government – the Esperanto of money. The use of Bitcoin for international pricing could, therefore, one day be one of its biggest growth drivers. But for that to happen, the vicious circle needs to be broken, and volatility needs to give way to steady price growth.

Although very few things are priced in bitcoin at the moment (even the Bitcoin Foundation prices its memberships in USD) there are some things. In particular other crypto currencies, or ‘alt coins’, and tokens issued as part of crowd-funding initiatives. In many cases these things can only be bought with BTC, and as a result an increase or decrease in price is measured in BTC.

Alt coins don’t always have the best reputation amongst Bitcoin purists. They may be seen as reducing Bitcoin’s network effect before it has even had a chance to hit the big time by competing unnecessarily. They harbour many scams and often fail, leaving their supporters out of pocket and perhaps disillusioned with the whole idea of cryptocurrency. But it may be that they are actually providing Bitcoin with the most valuable service possible: they may be the beginning of a newly emerging economy priced in BTC.

Despite a slow down in the number of new alt coins being launched, this is still a growth area, too. With projects springing up every day to introduce novel uses of the blockchain using tokens that are sold for bitcoin, there is an ever growing number of things whose price or value must change whenever the bitcoin price changes if they are to avoind being ‘the wrong price’. For example, Patrick Byrne’s Medici is seeking to build a legally compliant stock market on top of the Bitcoin protocol using the Counterparty protocol (which itself hasn’t always been popular with Bitcoiners). In the future it may not only be new coins and small software projects which are priced in BTC, but also large international businesses such as Overstock. And what could be more natural than a company doing business with Bitcoin, whose success is at least partially linked to the success of Bitcoin, being valued in bitcoin?

Alt coins, then, may just be the foundation and beginning of a new economy in which Bitcoin is not just a payment technology, but a transnational unit of value – the first truly international currency.

Uncoinventional Activist Journalist, Derrick Broze, Powered by Bitcoin

Bitcoin has become a powerful tool for independent activist journalists. In the past, news writers and correspondents would compete for limited professional opportunities with large media networks. The message was highly centralized and filtered from the top.

As technology has evolved, it has empowered mass coverage of anti-establishment opinions. The Internet has allowed anyone with a message to have a voice and Bitcoin has allowed anyone with a dream to fund it.

As news coverage opportunities arise, indie media personalities can crowdfund an on-location trip with bitcoin and buy a plane ticket through CheapAir almost instantaneously. This removes the need for a large network to cover travel costs, which helps to create a de-centralized source for unfiltered news.

Never before has documenting the realities of the world been so simple for the independent journalist.

Meet Derrick Broze, a bitcoin powered independent activist journalist.

I was introduced to Derrick at a Houston, Texas End the Fed rally. I was instantly captivated by his warm energy and profound life perspective, so I began to follow his social media channels.

Over the years his activism became his journalism and he began to travel the country covering and creating unique media events. He was first introduced to bitcoin about two years ago, and began accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for his stories on The Liberty Beat.

He typically spends his bitcoin on plane tickets to get to his next news story, but Derrick doesn’t only fly. He also spent several months riding his bike across the country, documenting sustainable communities and like minded groups of people that he crossed paths with along the way.

This powerfully creative individual founded his own multimedia operation, The Conscious Resistance Network, and a local activist group, The Houston Free Thinkers. He also writes for Tony Stiles, Ben Swann, The Liberty Beat, The Anti Media, and more!

Catherine Bleish: When did you become aware of bitcoin?

Derrick Broze: Around 2012 is the first time I started hearing about BTC.

What was your first bitcoin transaction?

My first bitcoin transaction was getting paid for writing for The Liberty Beat!

When did you become a journalist?

Around 2012 my activism started to become journalism. Since then I have had many opportunities to write and gather news.

What sort of topics do you like to cover?

I like to focus on Indigenous Movements, grassroots activism, [and] National Security, and I have a long-term hobby of trying to finish the work of some of the journalists who have died under mysterious circumstances. Of course I also like writing about bitcoin and the ways that technology can free humanity.

What publications do you write for?

I write for,,,, Earth We Are One, and ConnexionW magazine in Houston.

Have you used bitcoin to travel for your journalism?

Yes! I have received investments in my journalism through BTC!

What bitcoin services do you prefer? (Wallets, plane tickets, etc..)

I love being able to buy plane tickets with bitcoin.

Where do you spend your bitcoin?

Most of my bitcoin has gone towards plane tickets but I have also paid for some homemade soaps at Jackalope Fest in Arizona.

How do you bring bitcoin into your life?

I write!

What major writing projects do you have in the works?

I am working with John Vibes on a book titled “The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality”. The book will explore the synthesis of various spiritual beliefs and anarchist, libertarian, and voluntaryist philosophy.

How can people follow you?

You can find me on Facebook and All my writing can be found at

Donation Addresses

BTC: 1LVATadEVsd4X4wf9k2W1Xv2SKn5q57s1M

UK based links unbanked people to Bitcoin by allowing to withdraw cash in 25 countries around Europe And Central Asia


London, November 18, 2014. UK Bitcoin service provider this month launched a new feature on its platform to allow clients to withdraw cash in more than 25 countries around the Europe and Central Asia raging from France or Switzerland to Turkey by overcoming banks to provide an easier access to Bitcoin for unbanked people.

In Europe and Central Asia where 193 million adults[1] are not using formal financial services, their financial exclusion might lead to a social exclusion. Provision of link for these people to a global payment network acts as a social mission to reduce their financial exclusion in highly effective and low cost way.

According to co-founder and CEO Vytautas Karalevicius, previously a finance student at University of Cambridge, this solution will have an impact on both Bitcoin adoption and remittances industry in the region. Firstly, this solution will provide a link to Bitcoin network, which is the most accessible payment network in the world looking from IT perspective and one of the most financially fractioned region in the world. With help of our partners network now our clients in 25 countries are able to exchange bitcoins to cash by not leaving the town and in the most cases the district they live in. That makes Bitcoin as a payment method more accessible and provides more trust and liquidity as the user now will be certain, that after receiving a transaction in Bitcoin he or she will be able to easily cash-out funds just around the corner. In combination to user friendly Bitcoin wallet cash withdrawal provides an initiative for a person to use bitcoins for daily transactions as well.

On the other hand for remittances industry, it provides a unique option to make a cash transfer at a competitive price from nearly everywhere in a world to people in Europe and Central Asia residing anywhere from France to Turkey. From company’s perspective it is a test-field to see how Bitcoin could shape the remittances industry as well as to understand the actual needs of under banked people in the region. is a European Bitcoin service provider with a focus on highly fractioned markets and provides one of the widest selections of options to buy and sell Bitcoins in Europe as well as solutions for integration of Bitcoin to serve various business needs for corporate clients.

[1] Regional groupings based on UN Human Development Index
2 Lansdowne Row, London
W1J 6HL, United Kingdom

“Uncoinventional” Bitcoin Only Tour Does Libertopia

When John and I were invited to speak at Libertopia this year, I was extremely excited about the prospect of visiting California again. The last time I had been that far West was February of 2011 for the Freedom Law School Conference in Ontario, California. I happened to be pregnant at the time and I also happened to be selected for the body scanner when trying to board our flight home. To make a long story short, we had to take a train back to Texas and I have not flown since.

Since we knew we would need to drive, I thought a second Uncoinventional Bitcoin-only family road trip was in order. This would allow us to see what has changed in the Bitcoin travel space since our June bitcoin-only trip, while inspiring others to get out and spend their BTC!

With these situational factors in mind (spending bitcoin only, driving, and having children with us), I knew that I would have to approach this conference differently than most people attending the event.


While the Libertopia organizers got a great rate on the Town and Country hotel for attendees, it was not a rate that we could pay via bitcoin. This is because the hotel does not accept bitcoin directly, and the special block room rate was not available through hotel booking companies like CheapAir.

Our hotel hunt led us to the Ocean Beach Hotel. It was on the beach, a short walk to the dog beach, dog friendly, and cost less than the Town and Country hotel when booking through travel companies.

Usually I am very resistant to staying at a venue that is separated from the events we are speaking at. With two toddlers in tow, it is nice to be able to “escape” to a room for a nap, snack or family play time. The truth is, I have not had much fun attending conferences with the kids and I think it is because I try too hard to have one foot in both worlds – I want to participate in the conference, so I am there physically, but I am also a mom, so I am basically walking up and down the hallway outside the conference, chasing the kiddos while John works a booth.

This time, I was determined that it would be different. I decided to use the invitation to San Diego as an opportunity to expose my children to the beach and to fully embrace the role of mom when John and I were not presenting to Libertopia attendees. We also decided not to work a booth.

That was the best decision ever.

The Event

During Libertopia we spent our mornings at the beach, our afternoons at the conference and our evenings doing some bitcoin dining.

On Friday neither of us had a presentation. So we showed up to check in, mingle with like minded company, and check out the Town and Country Resort. It was a great place for a conference on so many levels.

The break out rooms were small and intimate and were connected to the main room through an open outdoor courtyard. This allowed attendees walking around to randomly peek in on break-out sessions and stay for a talk they may not have experienced otherwise. Many conferences put the break-out rooms so far away that a total lack of foot traffic creates a black hole of sorts.

The extensive outdoor walkways and driveways on the property allowed for great fun for our family as we zipped around on a scooter, a bike and sometimes a stroller. The whole place was basically one large flower garden, which gave a distinct feeling of tranquility, especially in contrast to typical indoor conference venues.

Bitcoin was a major theme of the conference. I was invited to speak on bitcoin-only travel.  I gave tips on how to get there, stay there, eat there and play there. I also suggested four bitcoin-friendly cities as potential destinations for bitcoin-only travel: New York City, Austin, San Diego and Cleveland Heights.

My favorite bitcoin-travel services also happen to be some of our sponsors:

GyftGyft allows you to use Bitcoin at hundreds of popular retailers through digital gift cards. Through Gyft, now you can buy groceries at Whole Foods, electronics at Best Buy, an even book hotel rooms.

CheapAirCheapAir allows you to buy hotels and airfare with bitcoin, litecoin and dogecoin! Follow their blog People of Bitcoin to learn about some fascinating Bitcoiners.

Airbitz – The Airbitz mobile digital wallet provides a a decentralized, secure, private, synchronized, and backed up Bitcoin wallet with a built in bitcoin business directory. Download the app here.

Brawker – Purchase anything with bitcoin through a proxy on Brawker. You can also acquire bitcoin while respecting your privacy.

Other bitcoin speakers included M.K. Lords, Davi Barker, Angela Keaton, and Drew Phillips.  They discussed how bitcoin can be used as a force for good and M.K. Lords discussed how bitcoin is changing the way the world views activists.

Another recurring theme at the conference was the idea of small groups, working together with other small groups to create a voluntary society. My husband John referred to these groups as Freedom Cells, and Bob Podolski and Clyde Cleveland referred to these groups as Octalogs.

The idea is simple: you form a cadre of tight knit friends and you work together on self-improvement, life skills, preparedness, etc… Your small group links up with other small groups and eventually you have enough people to opt out of the system entirely.

John’s full speech audio on Freedom Cells, and the creative uses of the bitcon blockchain to fulfill the vision of Freedom Cells is here.

We also hosted a screening of Sovereign Living, a documentary style reality show about our family’s attempts to get off all centralized lives.  It is produced by The Center for Natural Living which has the vision of a voluntary and natural world. The episodes will soon be available on, the first ever micro-bitcoin payment video service.

Constructive Reflections

Now that bitcoin has become a mainstream meme in our society, I think it is important for events featuring bitcoin lectures, panels and talks to prioritize the payment method when selecting an event venue. I would suggest working with the venue to ensure those who travel on bitcoin have access to any deals you work out on price.

I would also suggest that all conferences include children in some way. So many people who want to change the world leave their family behind to attend these events. To truly change the world we need to make sure our children have access to the information, skills, knowledge and relationships that we did not have access to until most of us became adults.

My final suggestion is to put the vendor area outside of the main stage area. I understand the sentiment of having everyone together, but it is much easier for vendors to have conversations with people if the booths are not in the middle of a conference room where people are trying to listen. This will be an important factor when more children are worked into the mix.

Overall, Libertopia was one of the better conferences I have ever attended. I look forward to a return in 2015!


Multigateway: The First Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange

Disclosure: I own stake in a variety of the assets related to Supernet projects.

Soft launch of the Supernet v0 wallet was announced November 14th by James on the Slack channels with a cheerful:

“Supernet v0 launched yesterday, took everyone by surprise. gotta love decentralization :)” -JL777

Users of the Supernet may now withdraw Bitcoin, Litecoin, Peercoin and NXT directly out to Visa and Mastercards around the globe! Payouts are done in US dollars and local banks set fiat exchange rate. This is a server provided by Coinomat.

Users can also be relieved to trade on the first live decentralized crypto currency exchange!

The software is available for download at the Multigateway website and functions similar to the NXT wallet client, with the exception of some Supernet magic.

The Multigateway (MGW) is not only safer, but it may also be the cheapest. It charges no deposit fees and the withdrawal fees equal the minimum transaction fee per coin. Currently, users must convert their coin manually, be it Blackcoin or Dogecoin to NXT, in order to transfer to another crypto coin. But will soon change with InstantDEX which expected to allow 3 second or less conversions, programmable trade bots and much more!

Investors can invest in MGW, but the real ROI is expected from InstantDEX which will have competitive fee and leverage MGW’s minimal fees and tech.

Under the hood

MGW works by creating assets on top of NXT’s long standing decentralized asset exchange.

Coin assets such as mgwBTC are traded for deposits of Bitcoin, Blackcoin, Viacoin, etc. at a ratio of 1 to 1. MGW is a full reserve, decentralized exchange with live proof of solvency!

Deposited crypto currencies are stored on server clusters of 3. These are secured through multisignature transactions, where 2 out of 3 servers must agree for withdraws to occur.
Each server is monitored and secured by an independent party, partnered up with the Supernet.

The number of Multisignature parties is not limited by MGW, but by the the Bitcoin protocol.

According to JL777, core Bitcoin devs have coded multisignature transactions beyond m of 3 as non standard. This means miners and nodes need to compile these manually or enable this feature on their own accord, which most don’t. It is not enabled by default. This may be driven by concerns of blockchain bloating.

Because of this, it takes a long time for greater multisig transactions to be confirmed by the BTC network, which would not allow MGW to operate properly and would be the end of InstantDEX. If this was to change or if coins that have solved this problem were to join the MGW then further distributed clusters could be set up, and the possible combinations are stellar.

Though going from 1 out of 1 one key or a central trusted party, to 2 out of 3 may seem like not that much of a change, it is actually massive. Its the difference between a central point of failure and a network. It is perhaps the simplest differentiation between a centralized and decentralized model. However, collusion among parties is still a concern, which is why reputation may be essential to this experiment of multi signatures.

With that in mind, I will highlight the core parties that have stepped up to secure the core MGW cluster as of time of publishing.

MGW clusters

There are two MGW clusters. MGW#0 controls BTC, LTC, DRK, BTCD and VRC coins. This is the main Supernet cluster and is secured by Coinomat, team and Frohike.

Coinomat is an automatic crypto coin and fiat exchange that serves as a gateway from Visa and Mastercard to crypto currencies. It also provides instant conversions among various crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Peercoin.
The second key holder of MGW#0 is “a group of 15 people between investors, advisors, developers and designers,” says abuelau, a Sr. Member of the NXT community, early adopter, and member of the team. is an NXT blockchain explorer, mobile wallet and web advertizment agency, fully powered by NXT.
MyNXT were motivated to join “after we saw the hacks on MtGox and Bter,” said abuelau, adding: “Every time I need to exchange NXT or other coins I am nervous with the possibility of losing my coins while they are at the exchange, so anything that helps make it more secure is welcome.”

Frohike is “a German unix server administrator. He specializes in server hardening and security. He’s been involved since June in the team… working with James and recently he joined SuperNET as server admin for the forum and websites,” said VanBreuk, Hero Member of the NXT community and general manager of the MGW development process.

I reached out to Frohike for comment but he did not reply but publishing time.

Unlike cluster number two, live proof of solvency for MGW#0 is not active yet, since they are migrating coins and assets to production servers. The website and api for this monitoring is expected to be available, soon according to VanBreuk.

The second cluster called MGW#2 is responsible for controlling Blackcoin, Viacoin and Dogecoin!

This one is secured by Cobaltsky, Hero Member of the NXT community, artist and developer. Along side Marcus03 Sr. Member who is also developing an NXT mobile wallet and Jeffdiesel, also a Hero Member.

Live proof of solvency for MGW#1 can be currently found here.

For more information on the progress of MGW clusters, follow the main NXT thread.

Decentralizing everything

Anyone can set up their own MGW cluster, as you would expect from a community focused on decentralization. However, for the time being, interested parties must reach out to JL777 or other core Supernet developers to be given access to the private repo. This might change in the future after the main development is finished.

Coin developers, businesses and individuals interested in joining the Supernet are welcome to reach out at the Supernet forums publicly or contact JL777 directly through a private message.

More blockchain technologies wanted!

The Supernet is putting out a call for innovative and active crypto coin communities. Its very difficult to be noticed and compete as a crypto coin these days; there’s over 500 coins on coinmarketcap and great coins may be getting lost among the masses.

The Supernet has some general standards by which to review coins. A solid answer to the question “What value can your crypto coin tech bring to customers?” may be all you need to join.

NXT Phasing

Keep in mind, however, that MGW is still in its beta stages. Compared to 1 out of 1 cold storage solutions for the average exchanges, or deposit accounts for bank like crypto coin organizations, MGW is many times more decentralized, both for its trading platform and its distributed multisignature servers.

However, until NXT releases its “Phased transactoins” feature, the NXT asset side of things will not support multisignature. This means that the coin assets that mirror each crypto coin are controlled manually and could be exploited by dumping them on the market.

MGW beta will end when phasing is live on the NXT network. Until than, each MGW key holder is responsible for a third of a hot wallet with relevant coin assets. The amount of coin assets on the hot wallet are the average expected volume per coin.

The remaining ‘unbound’ assets, which are not expected to be traded for the crypto currencies yet are currently being held in escrow by anon136’s renown escrow services.
Its time to take distributed finance to the next level, and the Supernet’s Multigateway has just raised the bar.


Cryptocurrencies in Video Games: Preview Roundup

Virtual currencies have been around in video games almost since the beginning, in the form of precious coins, gems, or other eye-catching tokens of value. They’re earned by completing objectives, and used to buy things like weapons, armor, or other fun virtual assets. Now MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) games like World of Warcraft or EVE have spawned virtual currency-based markets for virtual goods, and their increasing immersiveness with technologies like the Oculus makes one question how virtual these currencies really are.

None of these were cryptocurrencies, however (there’s a difference), because they relied on a central server. But recently, developers have been designing games with currencies that utilize the blockchain; although these need not necessarily be intended for real-world use, in most cases the game is designed the promote the cryptocurrency as an actual unit of value. Being a video game afficionado and reader of related publications, I’ve taken it upon myself to preview these cryptocurrency-based games for you.




Huntercoin is possibly the most decentralized video game on the market, and has been mention before on our site. Every single in-game event is recorded in Huntercoin blocks, in the same manner that Bitcoin or Huntercoin transactions can be recorded on their respective blockchains. Instead of connecting to a central server to interact with other players in Huntercoin’s MMO world, your client runs through the Hunter blockchain to learn what moves they’ve made.

Huntercoins are mined with a hybrid system, combining SHA256 (mergable with Bitcoin mining), scrypt (mergable with Litecoin and its kind) and the power of video game addiction. Players are enticed to collect huntercoins on the map, which can be brought to a spawn area and redeemed into your Huntercoin wallet. There they can be used to create new Hunters, or as any other cryptocurrency.

As always, however, it is easier said than done. The coins you’re collecting come from other dropped players–if you yourself are killed, 4% will go to the proof-of-work miners, and the rest are up for grabs. Players kill one another via a kamikaze attack, which require more than one hunter and skilled timing and coordination.




Motocoin is also trying to stay true to the tenants of decentralization. Unlike Huntercoin, however, Motocoin players never interact with one another, rendering most in-game events unnecessary to store on the Motocoin blockchain. Aside from everyone’s Motocoin balance, the only thing it needs to keep track of is who beat the game first for each block.

This is important because Motocoin is the first cryptocurrency to implement the proof-of-play protocol. The wallet client contains a simple one-player game, the object of which is to collect the Motocoin in time using your motorbike. The first to do this mines the upcoming Moto block; instead of the order of transactions being confirmed by whomever first finds a small enough hash value (proof-of-work), it is decided by the winner.

Double-spending your motocoins via a 51% attack is difficult because of the sheer competitiveness of the game. The controls are still rather clunky, which can make it frustrating to navigate the floating boulders in your path, but the developers promise continued improvements. The most important one upcoming is designed to detect bots, which are currently skewing the difficulty to an inhuman level.


Munne Project


Although the Munne Project by Munnecoin is more centralized than previously-mentioned games, it plans to make up for it with more advanced features. Currently in alpha stage, it is a browser-based game hosted at (no word on .bit or MaidSafe/Storj integration) with a mafia theme.

Like similar browser-based games, you can complete missions, practice shooting at the range, and fight or bribe other characters. Eventually, you gain the ability to start your own crime family, and their server will come to support massive cooperation and competition between players. They’re also putting a lot of work into the graphics.

They haven’t yet integrated Munnecoin with the game, but the developers claim it will inevitably be instituted as the in-game currency. This will raise the issue of whether or not Munnecoin is a both a virtual currency and a cryptocurrency, but for now Munne is just a proof-of-stake coin with 3% interest per year. They make a lot of bold claims about their plans for widespread adoption, and their ICO as an investment opportunity.


HYPER, QuarkCoin, and Shaquille O’Neal

At the other end of the spectrum, there are games not initially designed for cryptocurrency that have chosen to incorporate it after the fact. The most notable so far is Shaq Fu: a Legend Reborn, a reboot of the original Shaq Fu from the 90’s now rejuvinated by Indiegogo. It was a relatively basic fighting game, loved by nobody except serious fans of Shaquille O’Neal.

Shaq Fu will now accept QuarkCoin–a cryptocurrency designed to enable CPU mining at home–for in-game purchases. Other games are becoming involved in a less direct fashion; HYPER is another proof-of-stake cryptocurrency that will hold tournaments in Steam games like Counterstrike, the rewards for which are coins. They also hope to develop their own MMO and add HYPER as the in-game currency.

It’s only fitting that cryptocurrencies and video games should go hand in hand; they come from similar tech cultures, with global online communities. What was once obscure and underground becomes mainstream, like the shiba inus we all know so well. So it was with video games, and so it will be with crypto.

This article is the first installment of the Cryptocurrencies in Video Games series. Stay tuned for in-depth reviews!

Brawker Switches to Multi-Sig Transactions

“The overall security level for all Brawker users has just gone up,” reads Brawker’s latest blog post.

Brawker is a service that matches up a bitcoiner who wants to buy something online with their bitcoins and a credit card holder who wants bitcoins. The credit card holder buys the product and gets bitcoins in return. The bitcoin user gets a discount of up to 20% on the product they want.

Following the decentralized design that characterizes Bitcoin, Brawker has just switched to multi-signature transactions. If you’ve used Brawker before, this new implementation isn’t going to make your experience using the platform any different, but this under the hood change is a huge one.

Here is a short video that demonstrates how the new implementation works:

If you are already familiar with multi-sig transactions, awesome. If not, Bitcoin Magazine Co-founder and Etherium developer, Vitalik Buterin, further explains the concept of multi-signature transactions in one of his articles:

“In a Bitcoin account, there is a set of 34-character Bitcoin addresses, like 1JwSSubhmg6iPtRjtyqhUYYH7bZg3Lfy1T, that you can use to receive bitcoins, and each address has an associated 64-character private key, in this case c4bbcb1fbec99d65bf59d85c8cb62ee2db963f0fe106f483d9afa73bd4e39a8a, that can be used to spend bitcoins that are sent to the address. Private keys need to be kept safe and only accessed when you want to sign a transaction, and Bitcoin addresses can be freely handed out to the world. And that’s how Bitcoin wallets are secured. If you can keep the single private key safe, everything’s fine; if you lose it the funds are gone, and if someone else gains access to it your funds are gone too – essentially, the exact same security model that we have with physical cash, except a thousand times more slippery… In a traditional Bitcoin account, as described above, you have Bitcoin addresses, where each address has one associated private key that grants the keyholder full control over the funds… With multisignature addresses, you can have a Bitcoin address with three associated private keys, such that you need any two of them to spend the funds…”


On this new system change, Brawker CEO, Cyril Houri comments:  “I think that our implementation of multi-signature transaction is an important development. It makes Brawker a fully decentralized marketplace where people can buy from any ecommerce merchant with Bitcoin and other people can purchase some bitcoins as easily as they would buy something on Amazon or any other online retailer. With this implementation Brawker becomes a simple matchmaker between the two parties involved in the transaction. This offers the guarantee that Brawker will never lose its customer funds as it is never holding the customer funds.”

In effect, the funds that belong to someone who wants to use Brawker to buy something are much safer. If Brawker were was to get hacked, users’ funds would not be affected since they are on the blockchain, and not in the hands of a third party. So now, the transaction is controlled by at least two of three participants: the Buyer, the Spender, and Brawker– the escrow agent. Brawker intervenes only to act as the arbitrator in a dispute. The transaction can be monitored on the blockchain.

With businesses in the Bitcoin space following the trend of decentralization, the users will begin to experience levels of security that are not feasible with some decentralized systems.

Will traditional businesses catch on to this?


Blocksign: Signing Documents on the Blockchain

The Blockchain creates and records all digital currency transactions using mathematics.

The Bitcoin blockchain uses the computing power on Earth to solve these math problems that confirm transactions made using the digital currency Bitcoin.

As many are familiar with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, many people still don’t understand blockchain’s other uses. The blockchain saves aspects of each transaction made using the currency; small transactions can be made in which information is stored. This allows for the possibility of signing and permanently recording legally binding documents.

Blocksign is allowing individuals to harness this ability.

Blocksign is a service that lets people digitally sign legally binding documents and preserve a private record of their signed document in the blockchain, where they can access it for free forever. Blocksign uses the decentralized public ledger of the block chain to sign, timestamp, and allow you to later verify the authenticity of a document that has been block signed.

I met Nicholas Thorne, the co-creator of Blocksign, who answered some questions about this service.

Nicholas Thorne

Kevin Cruz: How does Blocksign work?

Nicholas Thorne: Upload a document from a computer or Dropbox, place a signature wherever you’d  like, and download the signed document.

Once the document has been signed, it is sent to Blocksign, where a cryptographic hash (32-digit string of letters and numbers) is made out of the document. It is then recorded on the blockchain like all bitcoin transactions. That’s it.

If you want to verify a document you go through the same process and Blocksign searches the blockchain for that hash to see if it has ever been logged before, if so returning information verifying the authenticity of the document. We have also published documentation of this methodology so that signed document records can always be verified here:

What’s the benefit?

Signing documents and contracts can often be a confusing or tedious process. Blocksign provides a solution that makes it easy to sign a document, while also providing an incredible way to permanently preserve verifiable records of what you’ve signed.

The document signing process is really just about communication, and exceptional record keeping is an extension of that.

What is your professional background?

I started my career as an investment banking analyst [at] Goldman Sachs. I basically spent 120 hours per week building financial models of technology and media companies. I left there after a few years to start a digital badge company called Basno with a group of partners. Blocksign is a product of Basno.

What are you currently occupied with?

Blocksign is a product of Basno, which is a company that we started in 2011 around exploring ways in which identity, trust, and verification take form online. Basno’s first product, is a platform for creating, collecting, and verifying credentials. The Basno team has been interested in bitcoin and the blockchain for some time and over the past 6 months we began to really explore how we might be able to leverage the blockchain technology around our existing expertise and ultimately arrived at Blocksign, which was just launched in the middle [of] August.

What is your vision for Blocksign?

Our vision for Blocksign has a number of components, some more immediately actionable than others. First and foremost, however, we want to make signing documents and contracts as easy and useful as possible. There is a tremendous amount of important information and value embodied in contracts and agreements, yet traditionally they are just thought of as tedious paperwork that you just need to get done. Attaching an image that looks like a traditional signature to a PDF doesn’t do justice to the inherent potential of contracts and documents and our current technology.

We think step one in that process is making an easy to use product, and step two is doing so in a way where the records are preserved in a decentralized ledger that guarantees exceptional record keeping and authentication. Beyond that there is a vast array of use cases that we are excited about, which is one of the reasons why we are spending time building out an API that others can use and take advantage of.

If the block chain is to achieve its full potential that the average person will need to be able to easily and understandably interface with the technology.

We believe further that the act of signing is one of the fundamental user interaction models for the blockchain. We think of it as a method of committing to something and of authorizing some thing or some behavior.  So we really think that signing or using your signature will be something that becomes a very common element of how people interact with block chain technologies and applications, which is why we’ve started with building the product that we have.

ZeusHash Bitcoin And Litecoin Cloud Mining Platform Announces Gridseed Partnership And Generous Thanksgiving Promotion

Alliance Zeus

Bitcoin Press Release: Hong Kong based Bitcoin and Litecoin cloud mining provider ZeusHashhas announced an exciting new partnership with Gridseed and is offering reduced cloud mining prices and giveaways to celebrate Thanksgiving.

After intensive top-level talks ZeusHash is excited to announce a new partnership with reliable Litecoin hashrate supplier Gridseed: one of the largest and most successful Scrypt miner producers in the world. This long-term strategic partnership will undoubtedly build the strongest alliance for Litecoin cloud hashing with the lowest prices – supported by the unbeatable success in developing Scrypt miners of both Gridseed and ZeusMiner. The partnership aims to provide customers with the best and most affordable Litecoin cloud hashing services in the world:

“We will carry out in-depth and extensive cooperation in Scrypt hashrate delivery and also technology” Says Frank Lee, CEO of Gridseed.

With the Scrypt-based hashrate provided by ZeusMiner and Gridseed, two giant Scrypt miner producers, ZeusHash is able to lower their overall costs gradually by introducing new and cheaper hashrates. Effective immediately maintenance fees will be cut to just $0.058 per Mh/s.

From Nov. 17th to Nov. 27th which is Thanksgiving Day, ZeusHash are introducing a very attractive promotional price set. 1 to 9.9 Litecoin cloud mining Mh/s can be purchsed for $15.99 per Mh/s, 10-49.9 Mh/s can be bought for $13.99 per Mh/s, 50-399.9 Mh’s can be bought for $12.99, 400-999.9 Mh/s can be purchased for $11.99 while greater than 1 Gh/s can be bought for just $10.99 per Mh/s.

Since it’s Thanksgiving, ZeusHash wants to give back to their previous customers. For those who bought any type or amount of Hashrate with ZeusHash before Nov. 17th, 2014 (GMT), during the promotion, they will win free HashBuffs. When previous clients make a new order, a random HashBuff will be allocated to their account and take affect immediately. It applies to customer’s first 3 orders of Mh/s every day during the promotion.

With their new partnership with Gridseed, ZeusHash are able to establish the strongest alliance ever in the cloud mining industry. More sustainable and cost-efficient cloud hashing power will be introduced to all ZeusHash users.

About ZeusMiner and ZeusHash:

Hong Kong based ZeusMiner is one of the largest distributors and retail sellers of Litecoin and Bitcoin ASIC mining hardware worldwide. With datacentres spanning the globe clients worldwide can also cloud mine Bitcoin and Litecoin with ZeusMiner’s in-house cloud mining platform ZeusHash.

Having recently announced partnerships with ASICMiner, Rockminer, XBTec last week and now Gridseed – ZeusMiner has also started to work with Bitmain and sell their innovative liquid cooled Antminer C1.

ZeusHash offers reliable, scalable and affordable Bitcoin and Litecoin industry grade cloud mining infrastructure. Moving forward ZeusHash aims for more industry partnerships, continued scaling of mining infrastructure, and many more promotions – to continue to provide industry leading Bitcoin and Litecoin cloud mining.

To learn more please go to:

ZeusHash on Facebook: @ZeusHash

ZeusHash on Twitter: @ZeusHash_Zeus

Media Contact:

Name: Fei Hong


Get your own professional Bitcoin press release:

Hellobit to Launch Service to Cut International Remittance Costs by Up to Half


hellobit logo

Hellobit’s new money transfer app utilizes the Bitcoin network to help people send their own money globally.

SAN JOSE, Calif.[DEMO2014] November 21, 2014 — San Francisco based Hellobit today debuted a service distinctly aimed at disrupting the $500+ billion a year money transfer industry used to send money home to families in emerging markets. International remittance is dominated by companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram, and used heavily to send money to India, Mexico, The Philippines and many other countries.

“After traveling the country and vetting hundreds of companies on our DEMO Tour, we are excited to bring Hellobit as one of the few selected companies launching new products solving big problems at DEMO Fall 2014,” said Erick Schonfeld, executive producer of DEMO. “Hellobit has the potential to be a game-changer.”

Hellobit wants to reduce the fees of remittance paid by consumers which can cost upward of 12 percent by utilizing new digital currency technologies. Hellobit also plans to grow quickly in a unique model that lets anyone with a mobile phone sign up as an exchanger or delivery agent, much as Uber lets people make money using their car.

Once a person signs up, their background is checked, and they can then earn money or bitcoin by delivering local currency to the recipients of the sent funds.

“Overall, the transaction should cost much less than the traditional methods”, said Ali Goss, CEO of Hellobit.

“Hellobit never touches a customer’s money”, says newly appointed CTO Alf Watt. A move which ensures security and builds trust for its users. Using the bitcoin network, a customer can directly send money to anyone worldwide and Hellobit notifies the receiver via text message. The recipient is given the location of a person or place nearby where he can then exchange the bitcoin for local currency.

While Hellobit is starting with bitcoin, which can be obtained via a growing number of exchanges, the company plans that ultimately it will be a background function and users will be able to initiate their transfer from any digital wallet service or bank account.

Already, companies like Dish Network, Virgin Galactic and have started accepting digital currency as a form of payment. Paypal announced its support to integrate bitcoin, the growing currency earlier this month.

“If we can reduce the cost associated with sending one’s own money globally by even 5 percent, it would save consumers $25 billion a year,” said Goss. “That is not a small amount of money back in the pockets of the people who need it most.”

Hellobit is now allowing people to sign up on its website, and will notify users as it opens each corridor for business.

Based in San Francisco, CA, Hellobit Inc was founded in February of 2014 with the purpose of making it easier and cheaper to send your own money. With the emerging use of digital currency technologies such as bitcoin, many traditional banking services such as money transfer are able to be made more efficient and less costly. Hellobit looks to continue to build new and more efficient services around this technology


Announcing Solar – A Step Change In Processing Capability


The 16nm FinFET Solar chip will hit markets in early 2015.

We were the first in the world to deliver 28nm and 20nm Bitcoin chip technology and we’re still the only producer capable of delivering 20nm tech in the Bitcoin space. We’ve been aiming for the next step for some time and as the most important contracts in this process have been finalized we can now proudly announce our active move down to the 16nm node with our new upcoming mining platform Solar – to be deployed in early 2015.

The intellectual property involved in the new 16nm process represents a step change in processing capability as we’re using several proprietary techniques developed in-house to reach speeds on an order of magnitude above today’s levels.

We expect our implementation of the new 5000+ core Solar 16nm (FinFET) processor technology to deliver at least a six-fold increase in performance compared to our previous generation hardware (at 20nm) – achieving 0.07 w/GHs.

As this level of tech comes on-stream we will be able to offer cloud services as well as hardware at performance and price levels very hard to match by the competition. However, due to a rapidly shifting landscape within the mining industry we’re not able to announce single hardware products in the Solar range for online purchasing just yet. We’ll update this space as soon as more info on the matter becomes available.

For media enquiries please contact

The KnC Team, November 19, 2014, Stockholm

Copyright © 2014 KnCMiner, All rights reserved.

British Parliament to Debate Money Creation

Money creation may well be the biggest economic issue of our times. The way that new money is created has a massive impact on our entire economy and, in fact, it would not be an exaggeration to suggest that it is the defining characteristic of our economic system.

Across the world, in all of the major economies, money creation is dominated by banks. Despite the fact that ‘fiat money’ – the dollars, pounds or euros in our pockets – is backed by our governments as the official currency we are supposed to use, the government has no involvement in its creation.

This comes as a surprise to many people. We naturally assume that money creation is handled by some national agency operating purely in the national interest. But in fact, the vast majority of money is created by commercial, profit making banks who do it in order to make themselves wealthy. The Bank of England explains this succinctly:

“Commercial [i.e. high-street] banks create money, in the form of bank deposits, by making new loans. When a bank makes a loan, for example to someone taking out a mortgage to buy a house, it does not typically do so by giving them thousands of pounds worth of banknotes. Instead, it credits their bank account with a bank deposit of the size of the mortgage. At that moment, new money is created.” (Money creation in the modern economy).

So banks effectively create money out of thin air and then treat it as if it belongs to them, lending it out to customers and charging interest to make a profit. A smaller part of the money supply is also created by central banks, such as the Federal Reserve in the United States. These central banks are independent of government, but are not independent of the banking sector – in fact central banks are jointly owned by groups of large commercial banks.

The upshot of all this is that there is no pressure or impetus for money creation to be handled in a way that is in the national interest of the public, but a strong pressure for it to be handled in a way that is in the interests of the banking sector. Banks profit handsomely, not only by being given free money to lend out, but also by being the first to access that capital before its introduction into the economy causes inflation (reducing the value of each unit of currency in circulation). Meanwhile the rest of us only get one thing out of this relationship – debt. Every dollar or euro in our economies represents a debt which somebody must repay to the banks with interest. This is a debt which we can never repay. Because every single dollar in the US economy, for example, is owed to the banks with interest, this means that if every citizen in the country were to give every penny they own to the banks, they would still not have repaid the whole debt. The banks literally own our entire economy plus a little bit more.

The problem of money creation being run by the banks, in the interest of the banks, whilst pushing the rest of us further and further into a debt which can never be repaid, is well known within the Bitcoin community. In fact the dream of building a currency whose creation is controlled and owned by the people, for the people, and which does not create a corresponding debt burden, is a big part of what makes Bitcoin so special to so many people.

But Bitcoiners are not the only ones who see a problem with money creation as it is today. The Positive Money campaign in the UK has been petitioning the government on these issues for a long time. They are calling for three things:

1. Take the power to create money away from the banks, and return it to a democratic transparent and accountable process
2. Create money free of debt
3. Put new money into the real economy rather than financial markets and property bubbles

After a great deal of effort the Positive Money campaign has succeeded in getting enough political support for a back bench debate in the British parliament on money creation on November 20th. This is a small victory which will almost certainly turn out to be purely a ‘talking shop’ which will not lead to any real change. But it is at least a starting point which may help to educate our political class about the importance of this issue, and which may even help them to understand the huge promise behind Bitcoin.

If you live in the UK and would like to find out how to contact your MP to find out if they are attending and to let them know how important this issue is, and how Bitcoin can help, you can find a list of MPs’ office phone numbers here. You may also like to help the Positive Money campaign to raise the profile of this cause with our leaders in the future by signing their petition.

Quick Review: The Book of Satoshi

Earlier this year, Phil Champagne released a book called the Book of Satoshi.

Phil is the managing director of Wren Investment Group and has a background in computer software and electrical engineering. The Book of Satoshi presents the most relevant discussions in which the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, participated.

The beginning chapters introduce the idea of Bitcoin and mining, how and why it works, and a brief introduction to cryptographic concepts behind it. All of the terms necessary to understand the majority of the book are clarified in these chapters. After the informative intro, the first ever post about Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto is presented.

In the rest of the book, the rest of Satoshi’s most relevant posts and email conversations are provided in chronological order; on many of them Satoshi addresses concerns of the early readers of the posts on different topics, ranging from questions on mining to the formation of the current Bitcoin logo. Satoshi provides his view of the technological and economic implications of Bitcoin throughout the forum posts.

Preceding each chapter is a brief summary of the post contained in it, putting it into proper context for the reader. This helps unravel the tale of the continuous development of bitcoin technology. As the book progresses, the timeline of Bitcoin’s early growth and development seems to come together;  at the end of the book, the original whitepaper that introduced Bitcoin to the world is presented. I found this to be a clever place to insert the paper. After revisiting the paper, I realized that the book as a whole allowed me to more thoroughly understand its intricacies. Overall, the book provides information that readers from any professional background can get something from.

The Book of Satoshi’s pseudo-encyclopedic structure allows the reader to jump across different topics depending on the info they’re seeking. After reading the book, it becomes clear what Satoshi wanted to fulfill with Bitcoin: a system that attempts to free individuals from the many problems inherent in our broken financial system.

By the time the reader completes The Book of Satoshi, he or she will be considerably more knowledgeable about many aspects of Bitcoin. The most asked concerns about bitcoin technology will be fresh in their mind; this calls for great conversation starters about the technology.

To conclude, here is an excerpt contained in the book from a forum post in August 27, 2010, in which Satoshi attempted to clarify the function of Bitcoin currency by providing a small thought experiment.

“As a thought experiment, imagine there was a base metal scarce as gold but with the following properties:

  • boring grey in colour
  • not a good conductor of electricity
  • not particularly strong, but not ductile or easily malleable either
  • not useful for any practical or ornamental purpose

and one special, magical property:

  • can be transported over a communications channel

If it somehow acquired any value at all for whatever reason, then anyone wanting to transfer wealth over a long distance could buy some, transmit it, and have the recipient sell it….”

This is Bitcoin.

The book website is here.


Decentralized Markets Kills E-commerce Stars: NXT Freemarket

At the same time of the second police operation against the centralized Darkmarkets under Tor, we had big important releases of the new generation darkmarkets, Openbazaar and NXT FreeMarket.

They come with the desire to become the norm in e-commerce and the main reason is that they are decentralized, implying that the nodes holding the network are distributed throughout the world which, therefore, eliminates the increased vulnerability of centralized markets under Tor (i.e. single point of failure attacks).

Not only that, decentralized darkmarkets promise a number of features that surpass those offered by sites like eBay, Aliexpress or Amazon, as multisignature escrow, P2P lending, low fees, Ricardian contracts, decentralized arbiters system… Darkmarkets are working as decentralized and distributed organizations.

Will this type of service will give value to cryptocurrencies? We spoke with NXT FreeMarket and Openbazaar developers to know what they are doing and what is their opinion.

First interview is with of NXT FreeMarket

Ferdinand Reyes: First of all, can you explain to me which are the possibilities and how NXT FreeMarket works?

Mr. Knuckle: NXT FreeMarket is a decentralized marketplace, similar to eBay but without the high fees and censorship. Our goal is to make trading inexpensive, easy, and most of all private for users across the globe. Searching is fast and powerful. Item listings can include images as well as shipping options, and to make things easier, payments are taken directly from your NXT account.

FR: This year a lot of dark markets were taken down by the police. What opinions do you have about centralized markets under Tor network? What system uses NXT FreeMarket for maintaining the net?

Mr. K: With Silk Road 2 and a host of other dark net sites in the news recently, there is a lot of concern about how reliable these sites are. The fact is, they aren’t reliable, because they are built on the model of a site hosted on a server (or several servers). Servers are a juicy target for law enforcement and anyone else who would presume to tell you what you can and cannot purchase peacefully. In the end, every one of these sites will be taken down.


FreeMarket operates on a different model: the blockchain. In our case, we use the NXT blockchain because of its solid core and its very active developer community.

Because all transactions are stored on the NXT blockchain, FreeMarket is highly unlikely to be taken offline. Why? Because there is no central server to go after. All item listings, messages between buyers and sellers, payments, etc, are stored on the hard drives of every NXT user, so the only way to kill FreeMarket is to kill every single copy of the blockchain. That’s not going to happen.

The blockchain also avoids the risks of a peer-to-peer network. If you’re a store owner, you don’t have to be online for your items to be available for purchase, and you don’t risk making yourself a target by running a node that could be de-cloaked.

FR: What is your opinion about the possibility of drug vendors in NXT FreeMarket?

Mr. K: I think it’s inevitable. Some people want drugs. But a study postulated that the Silk Road marketplace actually decreased violence associated with the drug trade (“Not an ‘eBay for Drugs’: The Cryptomarket ‘Silk Road’ as a Paradigm Shifting Criminal Innovation”). If we contribute to a decrease in violence, that’s a positive thing in my book.

FR: How we can say for sure that NXT FreeMarket is secure?

Mr. K: One of the reasons we chose NXT is that it’s been operating for a year, and that track record gives us a lot of confidence. We are leveraging a proven technology, using NXT’s built-in encryption to secure the privacy of FreeMarket transactions. NXT has more security and privacy features in development, and we will incorporate those as they become available. Security is not a destination, it’s an ongoing process.

FR: What differences are there between NXT FreeMarket and OpenBazaar?

Mr. K: I have not used OpenBazaar myself, so I can’t speak to its features or user experience. Judging from their website alone, I think the main difference is our approach to decentralization. OpenBazaar seems to be built on a peer-to-peer model, while FreeMarket uses a blockchain. I believe the blockchain is the superior solution, due to the privacy risks inherent in peer-to-peer technology.

FR: Leaving aside the decentralization, why is NXT FreeMarket revolutionary in comparison with eBay and other traditional markets?

Mr. K: FreeMarket doesn’t require buyers and sellers to turn over their personal information to a large corporation, and it doesn’t require the use of a payment processor like PayPal, which also demands an unreasonable amount of personal information from its users. Too many people are locked out of global trade because they are unbanked. Technologies like NXT and FreeMarket can empower these people and improve their lives.

We want to make global trading as accessible as possible, and for that reason, we have worked very hard to make FreeMarket available in a wide range of languages. We have 10 languages right now, with more planned.


FR: In NXT FreeMarket we can only use NXT or it is open to other currencies?

Mr. K: Right now, FreeMarket requires the use of NXT. In the future we will allow the use of any currency through integration with jl777’s superNET. jl777 is a member of the FreeMarket team, and superNET integration is a top priority for all of us.

FR: Do you think that all the SilkRoad & Darkmarkets users will use decentralized markets in the near future? What about eBay users?

Mr. K: I expect that users will be drawn to decentralized markets eventually. It’s likely that dark market users, who tend to be more technologically savvy and have a strong incentive, will make that transition first, but I think the privacy benefits and savings on fees are too good for this to remain a niche for long.

FR: How can I install NXT’s FreeMarket and start buying & selling products in this platform? Is the platform ready for commerce? Are there any fees?

Mr. K: FreeMarket is up and running now, and it’s easy to join us! We have apps for both Windows and Mac. It’s a simple download and install, no need to compile anything or futz with configurations. If you have your NXT Wallet open, just launch FreeMarket and you’re in business.

We also offer a “do it yourself” download if that’s your preference.

For the rest of 2014, there are no fees, other than the standard NXT transaction fee of 1 NXT (about 2 US cents). Starting next year, FreeMarket will charge fees, but they will be extremely low. A complete cycle of listing and selling an item will cost a seller around 10 NXT (20 US cents), and a buyer can pay as little as 1 NXT.

FR: Could you tell me some problems or inconveniences of decentralized darkmarkets?

Mr. K: I think the biggest issue for decentralized markets is a people problem, not a technical one. How can you trust the vendors not to scam you? Solutions to this problem will be primarily social, although there will be a technical component required to implement those social solutions.

Buyer feedback and vendor reputation ratings are one possible social solution, which is part of the approach that eBay uses. Letting a buyer leave feedback on a vendor and rate that vendor are the technical components. Will this work in a decentralized marketplace? I don’t know yet.

We are working on a feedback and reputation system now. This might be the best solution, or users might come up with their own complementary, or even superior, system. This is uncharted territory, but I believe in the power of decentralization to find an answer.

FR: Finally I would ask you what features we can expect in the next months.

Mr. K: In addition to the superNET integration mentioned above, we are working on reputation and feedback systems, optional filters to remove certain items and sellers from your search results, and a greatly expanded built-in help system. There are even more features that we are excited to incorporate over the next few months, so stay tuned!

Now purchase movie tickets with bitcoin at is a site that allows movie fans to purchase tickets for their favorite box office hits with bitcoin. It is a unique site dedicated to promoting the use of bitcoins in everyday transactions.  Movie tickets can be purchased through, much like similar sites, except bitcoins are the currency accepted for payment rather than traditional methods such as debit or credit. Buyers can use the currency to purchase tickets for popular films playing in theatres across the US or Canada.

We’ve just launched our website and we are offering $2.00 USD off a movie ticket with promotional code “bitcoinmagazine” until December 30th, 2014.

Cryptoart Boosts Collectors with Bitcoin Black Friday Event

Cryptoart combines fine art and Bitcoin for the modern art collector; launches holiday shopping event

November 17, 2014/Houston, TX — Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have a new contender for retailers’ economic cheer: Bitcoin Black Friday. As Bitcoin users grow exponentially, smarter retailers are positioning themselves for the demand. One such retailer is Cryptoart founder Troy Fearnow. Fearnow’s fine art site is launching a special campaign for Bitcoin users on Bitcoin Black Friday, Nov. 28, 2014.

Cryptoart is the leading purveyor of one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces of fine art for the crypto consumer. Several pieces have been featured in Bitcoin Magazine and the company appeared on the cover in August 2014. Cryptoart has more than just artistic worth. Cryptoart safely stores bitcoins in a physical, collectible form by combining them with fine art. The art pieces can be loaded, unloaded, and reloaded with currency. On the back of each art piece is a security sticker that conceals the private key, which can be removed and replaced without damaging the art piece. All works are published in very limited quantities.

On Bitcoin Black Friday, not only is offering half off all pieces, the site is also giving away 100 pieces to encourage Bitcoin users to become collectors. The sale will commence at 12:01 am CST.

Here are the specifics:

100 Free Cryptoart Works

– Limited to “Crypto Certificates” (retail value $35 – $60)
– Only one free Cryptoart piece per household
– Limited quantity. First come, first served
– Claimant pays shipping
– Must be US-based

50% off all other items

Media Imagery:


Kimberley Morgan
Public Relations
phone: 734-780-5293

Troy Fearnow
Cryptoart Founder
phone: 713-594-8769

Bitcoin Gaming Cryptocurrency HYPER Announces $100 Steam Competition Launches 10 Game Servers


Bitcoin Press Release: Progressive gaming cryptocurrency Hyper hosts a two week long competition enabling gamers to win $100 steam code, one of many competitions rewarding gamers and Hyper adopters worldwide.  

Launched in May 2014 the HYPER development team now spans the globe with members in the US, Europe and Asia with HYPER currently trading on US based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex. The team is excited to announce a $100 steam game code competition running for 2 weeks that anyone can enter for the chance to win a $100 steam game code for free. HYPER runs many competitions on custom servers where players can win HYPER simply for playing Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Assetto Corsa racing, Rust and many more games. As solid additions to the HYPER ecosystem there are also many ways to spend and earn HYPER on the growing network of gaming servers.

Beyond this, the team is also hard at work establishing HYPER core infrastructure such the HYPER Gaming Gateway, at that is in open Alpha and launching soon. The HYPERGG will bring a professional face to the HYPER network of gaming servers and soon include a HYPER web wallet where anyone can start using HYPER easily and store their HYPER winnings from Console gamers will soon be able to enter monthly competitions at and win HYPER for playing their favorite Xbox and PS3 games.

Current HYPER game servers and projects:

  • HYPER $100 steam game code competition:
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive US and EU servers.
  • Counter-Strike US server
  • HYPER Assetto Corsa racing US and EU servers
  • HYPER Rust server
  • HYPER Minecraft pixelmon server
  • HYPER Eve Online Corporation
  • HYPERGG at under development
  • HYPER Forum at being redesigned
  • Main HYPER space MMO project that integrates the currency
  • Web shop with 10% discount on ANY steam game code coming soon.
  • Website at is being redesigned
  • HYPER Federation website at
  • HYPER to be integrated into in-store and online merchant payments iPhone and Android App Casheer.
  • HYPER team in talks with top level cryptocurrency exchanges and payment providers of the gaming industry with more news to come soon.
  • See the overall HYPER ecosystem at the wiki

With the ever growing network of gaming servers and competitions, team members spanning the globe, ongoing competitions such as the $100 steam game code competition, redesign of many key HYPER portals, and the many cryptocurrency gaming projects under development HYPER truly is the disruptive gaming cryptocurrency.

To trade HYPER with Bitcoin please go to:

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SPARE: Mobile App for Hunger Relief

After paying for stuff with cash, it seems that our remaining quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies end up in isolated crevices or alongside dander and crust in between sofa cushions. How much money in loose coins does the average human lose in one lifetime? These are questions that often harbor my mind.

In New York City, there’s an estimated 3,084,861 occupied housing units and over  51,511 restaurants.

What if New Yorkers’ dine out bills were rounded to the nearest dollar, and used to do something like, let’s say, provide meals?

An ambitious woman by the name of Andra Tomsa has set out to do this in a special way: a smartphone app called SPARE. After I discovered this service, I asked Andra a few questions about it and she kindly answered.

SPARE founder Andra Tomsa

Kevin Cruz: What is Spare?

Andra Tomsa: SPARE is a smartphone app that allows New Yorkers to round up their dine out bills to the nearest dollar to support local hunger relief efforts. Just $0.99 can help feed 4 New Yorkers through our beneficiary organizations [Food Bank For New York City, City Harvest, City Meals on Wheels & New York City Rescue Mission]. Users can round up anywhere, but users who round up at partner locations receive rewards for giving to those in need [free drinks, food, and $ discounts]. Our goal is to inspire New York City to close its own meal gap. There are currently 235 million missing meals throughout the 5 boroughs each year. It might seem like a tall order to bridge this meal gap, but simple math tells us that if 10% of New Yorkers each round up for a total of $71.00 on the year, we can close the meal gap in one single year. New York can close its own meal gap, with a minimal contribution from its residents!  SPARE will begin by closing the meal gap in NYC and then move from city to city within the United States doing the same. In several years, SPARE intends to move abroad and work in cities such as Cape Town, or Sao Paolo, leveraging the wealth of booming city centers to support the poverty surrounding them.

How was it formed?

SPARE was founded by Andra Tomsa in May of 2013. For the first year, she and  a small team of volunteers built the model. In June of 2014, Rameet Chawla, Founder of Fueled [a major app design and development company], joined SPARE as co-founder and donated resources to build the current app, launched recently at Money 20/20. Our app is set to launch locally, in NYC, in mid-December.

What are you currently busy with?

I’m working with a small team [including professionals from First Data, Google Payments and Bloomberg] to transition to frictionless payments within the app. We are essentially working toward automated round-ups, following the trend of Apple Pay and others to make the experience as easy and seamless for the user as possible.

We are also working to build partnerships with online ordering services, such as Seamless, so that we may capture spare change from the dine in as well as the dine out user.



What is your vision for Spare?

I want to use the SPARE model to close a city’s meal gap, one round up, one user at a time in real time. I want to brand rounding up and cultivate the habit of donating small amounts to create a lasting impact towards solving social injustice and inequality. I want to take the model abroad to developing nations and empower everyday people to help those in need in a realistic and affordable way. I want to create a global perspective shift, showing people that we are stronger together than we are individually, and that philanthropy, when done right, can solve seemingly insurmountable problems.


What is your professional background? 

I have my undergraduate degree in Economics and my Masters Degree in Development Economics. I graduated from my Masters Degree in January 2012, and worked as a financial advisor with National Life Group for about 6 months. When my son turned 2 months old, I conceived of SPARE and went on to found the company in May of 2013.

Do you plan on integrating bitcoin into your system? What stage of planning are you currently in?

I do intend to integrate bitcoin into our system. We are in early talks with industry professional and expect to transition within the next 6 months.

I’d like to stress that for as little as $6 a month donated by a mere 10% of New Yorkers, New York City can close its own meal gap within one single year. SPARE is a viable solution to a very serious social problem. We have reached a time in history where technology should be able to alleviate issues afflicting basic human needs, such as access to food. SPARE has harnessed technology to create an efficient solution to hunger. Let’s take advantage of this new tech, let’s create history together!

Check out the website here.



  1. Housing Figure derived from National Multifamily Housing Council Restaurant Figure derivied from NPD Group

Wineries Growing the Bitcoin Ecosystem: Where Wine Goes So Goes the World

Serving up bottles of select vine varieties, Picnic Wine Co. was the first winery dedicated to selling wine exclusively for bitcoin. Emblazoned on their homepage, a prominently displayed mission statement reads, “Let’s stay in Bitcoin, shall we? The bigger the ecosystem grows, the fewer reasons to go back and forth between fiat . . . Close the loop.”

A product of the millennial generation, Picnic Wine Co. was founded by three school friends, Grant Hemingway, Jeff Anderson, and Zach Bryant, with a knack for entrepreneurial ventures. Hemingway and Bryant are the winemakers of the business, crafting highly acclaimed wines, while Anderson handles the business end of the vinting.

Anderson, hailing from Pomona College with a major in Economics, described in a company linked blog Bitcoin as a currency and why they decided to become the first winery in the US to start accepting it. “[Bitcoin] is controlled by no government, financial institution, etc. Bitcoin is regulated by Bitcoin users,” Anderson explains and says, “No more bailouts, no more Quantitative Easing (1, 2, or 3).” He then described why they decided to start accepting it, stating “ . . . in order for this thing [Bitcoin] to really take off it can’t be traded solely as a commodity. We need ‘utility’ to play catch-up, and that means there needs to be goods and services available for purchase. [It] just so happens, we make a good. A delicious good.”

Another winery, Mondo Cellars located in Paso Robles, California owned by brothers Mitch and Doug Mondo, may not have been the first winery to start accepting bitcoin, but they are the first winery to produce wines by paying for all the wine production costs in bitcoin. Mondo Cellars’ first production of bitcoin wines involved paying vendors in bitcoin for all the raw materials needed, everything from the wine corks to the glass bottles.

In other words, Mondo Cellars sees the importance of growing the Bitcoin economy in a very fundamental way—buying the necessary inventory materials needed using bitcoin and selling their goods in exchange for bitcoin, through and through. Doug Mondo, co-owner of Mondo Cellars, says, “In creating the first Bitcoin wines, it became apparent to us that forging new niche Bitcoin ecosystems is viable at this time, despite volatility.”

Mondo Cellars was also the first winery to offer investors fractional ownership of their winery for bitcoin. Investors were offered a 2% equity ownership stake in the winery for every 250 bitcoins, with each 250 bitcoin stake also including ownership of a sprawling 82 acres of winery land. In total, the offering allowed investors to purchase up to 30% of equity ownership stake. At the heart of this business strategy, Mondo explains the goal is to keep at least 75% of funds in Bitcoin, which again shows Mondo Cellar’s steadfast commitment to the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Mitch and Doug Mondo are also actively working to grow a business-to-business, business-to-consumer bitcoin friendly ecosystem, dubbed the Abundance Marketplace. Mondo says, “This process has a twofold effect: it will create numerous local businesses with active Bitcoin wallets and it will expand the offering of the Marketplace allowing Marketplace attendees to spend their Bitcoins on products and services they use daily.”

Mondo’s approach of focusing on a Bitcoin business-to-business network first may prove to be an effective way to create a truly complete Bitcoin ecosystem—one that avoids using fiat altogether. Mondo says, “The goal is to create a working model whose systems and structure can be replicated worldwide, aimed at benefiting society as a whole.”


Note: Bitcoin figures represent the bitcoin price at the time of this writing.

[Photo: Flickr user Dennis Jarvis]

DACs VS the Corporation

In certain corners of the crypto community, ‘Decentralized Autonomous Companies’ (DACs), or ‘Distributed Autonomous Organisations’ (DAOs) are all the rage. In the same way that Bitcoin is decentralizing money, DACs seem to offer the potential to decentralize the entire world of business, commerce, finance, and the economy. They are businesses that can potentially be owned and run by their customers and their ’employees’, with no single owner, and, like Bitcoin, no central authority to act as a board of directors. They are, to some people, a big step on the road to greater freedom and autonomy in our own working lives and an antidote to the corruption and crony capitalism of our current corporate world, and the dehumanising influence that corporate hierarchies can have on regular working people.

Ideas like these have created quite a bit of discussion and excitement. Various ‘Bitcoin 2.0’ projects now claim to have developed or to be working on ways for people to create DACs, and the Bitshares project even claims to have started launching them.

But what does a DAC actually look like? How do they actually differ materially from traditional companies – and could any business become a DAC? Even amongst enthusiasts, many people still have no clear idea what the answers to these questions are, partly because until we decide exactly how we want to define what a DAC is, there is no exact definition. Exploring exactly what it is that makes a business a DAC is, I think, an interesting exercise which can simultaneously serve as an exploration of the limits of what a company like this is capable of doing. In order to do that, let’s take each word and its definition in turn:


A regular corporation has its ownership, whether it is private or in the form of shares, registered with a central government authority. It has a head office where a central board of directors gets together in the same physical location to run the company. The organisation of the business is hierarchical, and ultimately there is one individual, the CEO, who has authority over all decision making.

It is generally assumed that a DAC, on the other hand, has its ownership verified by a block chain or other P2P public ledger. This block chain is ‘distributed’ just as Bitcoin is, because it is run by a large number of peers, none of which has a privileged position over the others. Beyond this, however, it is also generally assumed that decision making power and even the work done to produce the company’s product or service is also ‘distributed’, meaning that it is spread out across a large number of peers, each of whom has equal authority. If this is the case (it may not necessarily be so) then the fundamental structure of a business like this is egalitarian and co-operative rather than hierarchical – and this probably the biggest difference between a DAC and a regular business.


There really is no single vision of what a DAC looks like, and this comes out the most when you consider what is actually ‘autonomous’ about it. Currently there are two main competing visions, represented by the two biggest projects to have set out to create an infrastructure and protocol for the creation of digital autonomous companies or organisations: Ethereum and Bitshares.

Ethereum was the project which first introduced me to the concept of DACs and DAOs, and whilst the emphasis of its development team seems to have shifted more towards apps and ‘web 3.0’ technology, these things are still likely to be a big part of what Ethereum’s Turing Complete scripting language will enable. At its heart Ethereum is a ‘smart contract’ system, and any DAO created on this protocol is likely to be composed of an interlocking web of contracts automatically executing to perform specific functions. In this sense an Ethereum DAO would be autonomous in that it could run independently of human intervention. It could trigger payments to pay for its own hosting, run code to provide a service, and perform any other required functions completely on its own. It would not only be completely ‘autonomous,’ but potentially also completely ‘automated.’

On the other side of the coin are projects like those created with the Bitshares ‘tool-kit,’ in which a ‘Delegated Proof of Stake’ (DPoS) system is used, which means that coin holders vote for 100 ‘delegates’ who are allowed to earn revenue for running the nodes which maintain the network. The analogy of these people as the ‘board of directors’ of the business is sometimes used, as the ‘shareholders’ who own coins are encouraged to vote for people who work to make the business successful. Through this method the DAC effectively has employees, hired by the crowd.

The hiring of human employees blurs the line of what is ‘autonomous’ within such an organisation – the business is no longer a self-contained piece of software, although this may still be the core of the business, but instead pays people and presumably relies on them, at least in part, for its success. Individual ‘delegates,’ however, do remain autonomous. Each person hired by the DAC works independently, and there is no hierarchical structure.

The Advantages and Limitations of a Pure DAC

The first of the two systems described above, in which an organisation is structured entirely as a software entity independent of any human guidance or control, can perhaps be thought of as the most pure conception of a DAC.

There are some obvious advantages to having a company structured like this. It would, of course, be impervious to any kind of human corruption, greed, and frailty. When dealing with a company like this, as an investor, partner, or customer, you would know exactly what you are going to get – you would not need to trust them to behave well and you would not need to worry about human error messing things up. An organisation like this would also be able to operate effectively whilst making little or no profit, because software only needs the cost of its hosting to ‘live off’ and doesn’t get greedy for more.

But of course there are some equally obvious disadvantages, as you also consign human flexibility, creativity, understanding and compassion to the dustbin. As things stand there is a very limited number of things that can be accomplished by software working autonomously of human control. As Tom Ding, chief philosopher at Decentralized App crowd-funding specialists Koinify explains in ‘2020: A Call for DApps and DAOs,’ an organisation like this is ideally suited to performing work composed of small, simple and repetitive tasks in which “each task within the network can be easily divided, with the result of work being verifiable either programmatically or through human input; which is very hard to manipulate.”

Currently it is very difficult to see how any large or complex organisation could have all of its functions defined precisely and completely enough to be structured like this – and if it did, then having its operations ‘set in stone’ would make it inflexible and unable to adapt to a changing business environment. Over time one could imagine a situation in which an interconnected web of smart contracts develops, in which various ‘organisations’ and ‘companies’ may be built up from the same sea of source contracts and may reach reasonable levels of complexity. One could also imagine an organisation like this using contracts to hire human beings to perform tasks a machine cannot do on their own, but this is so far away from our current position it is difficult to envision with any clarity. If such a thing were to happen it seems to me that it would be something that would build up organically over time, with people focussing on building the contracts rather than the DACs, but with these contracts working together with each other in organisational structures which could only loosely be called a ‘company.’ Various contracts, each with their own set of relatively simple rules, may come together for a while into what may appear to be a ‘business,’ before dissolving their relationships to form new structures with new partners as they adapt to changing times. For the moment, however, there are very few areas of business simple enough to be conducted in this way, and very few ‘smart contracts’ operating out there in the wild.

Maximum Fuzziness and the DACification of the Corporation

The second class of DAC described above, in which a group of ’employees’ or ‘directors’ is elected via the block chain, has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

By creating a role for actual human beings you allow human characteristics like creativity and flexibility to play their part in the success of the business. But each human being is still working individually – autonomously – in the way that they see fit. Of course a co-operative approach between ’employees,’ in which each one is free to do as they see fit but they still work together to build the business, is still possible; but it is easy to argue that this co-operative approach will inevitably be less efficient and more fragile than a traditional business, as there will always be times when people are pulling in opposing directions, or where a lack of support across the business would cause a good initiative to fizzle.

This kind of organisation seems as if it works best where there is a core product which can be completed even before the launch of the business, but in which the success of the business is dependent on a surrounding ecosystem of services or promotional initiatives. This is what we are seeing so far with Bitshares, in which the core product – each of the DACS that’s been launched so far – is a block chain with a relatively small and well defined set of key innovations funded through a pre-sale of coins or tokens. The Bitshares X banking DAC, for example, introduces assets such as BitUSD pegged to the value of external currencies and assets. Beyond publishing price feeds for these assets, which is a relatively trivial and a purely technical task which will not change over the years, the ‘delegates,’ or employees of this business, are not expected to maintain or develop this core business. Instead they are expected to build services and businesses which accept its digital currencies and assets like BitUSD, to promote its banking features to new users, or to support the current community of users in some way.

A DAC built like this is perhaps a little less ‘pure’ than one which doesn’t need human employees, and in return perhaps is a little bit more flexible and capable of a wider range of business activities, but it is still clearly very limited compared to a regular business. One interesting question to ask, however, is how many ‘impurities’ can you introduce before a company ceases to be a DAC?

For example, there is no technical reason why a business built with something like the Bitshares tool-kit could not have different classes of delegate: each might have a different probability of finding a block (and hence a different level of earnings). Perhaps these classes could relate to a marketing department, product development department, and so on. If you push this principle even further you could imagine a wide range of different employees being directly elected by shareholders – or you could just as well imagine a human resources department being voted in to hire other employees. Likewise you can imagine the core block chain being pushed into the back-room; imagine a physical shop, for example, with a Point of Sale system which allows the cashier to accept a $10 cash payment and automatically buy $10 of the company’s token on the open market and use it to purchase a product. The block chain now goes from the core service to a piece of back-end accounting software.

The specific advantages of doing something like this are entirely dependent on the specifics of the implementation. Whether a business like a big chain store implementing things like this would still qualify as a DAC or not is largely a matter of our own personal choice. But it may be that in the future the seemingly stark line between a DAC and a traditional business is a whole lot fuzzier than what we see at the moment, and that a wide range of businesses may be amenable to some form of ‘DACification.’

Changetip Goes Viral

Changetip is an awesome tool that is used to give money to anyone else via a variety of social media methods. The current mediums that Changetip supports are GithubGoogle PlusRedditStockTwitsTumblrTwitter and YouTube (Facebook coming soon), with a brief and concise explanation on how to tip to anyone you wish via each medium.

You can even send and receive tips directly via the tipme page; an example is,, which is a much friendlier on the eyes way to provide someone your bitcoin address. One of the brilliant things about Changetip is the ease of which a user can sign into their Changetip account, with just a simple click a user can login via any of their various social media accounts (as listed above), and can even re-log in to a different medium under a different name within a matter of seconds.

Personally I think Changetip is still a very unrealised tool. It can be a relative technical challenge for individuals new to the digital currency space to learn about wallets, then to download a wallet, synch it up and start using it to send and receive.

One of the measures we can use to show the increased interest in Changetip is Google trends. Trend shows the interest in change tip from May (2014) as a steady phenomena for the last half year, until suddenly, we can see that at the end of October there has been a massive increase in interest.

Google trends, 12th November, 2014
Google trends, 12th November, 2014

Whether this trend will continue will be an interesting one to watch, for social factors as well as what is an excellent tool to introduce people to digital currencies. This trend coincidentally coincides with the increase in value of bitcoin over the last couple of weeks; how related is this? We can only guess at this time.

In time retrospective analysis may yield interesting information on the correlation of changetip to bitcoin and digital currency adoption.

One of the most interesting things I find about Changetip is that it provides a variety of ‘wallets’ for each of your social media accounts and makes it far easier to send and receive by changing the need to copy/paste a long bitcoin (or similar digital currency) address, replacing it with the simple /u/changetip or @changetip short codes.

You could look at this in a comparative way by comparing early email to the ease of email account creation today and the ease of how you can send and receive email now.

early email

Changetip is the first transition from using full addresses to short code. They have broken the mold; what will follow?

With the increase in tipping the interest in changetip can also be seen via the Changetip reddit page. The last two weeks have erupted in a deluge of messages, questions, interest and more. You can view others’ queries or post your own here, the Changetip team is very responsive.

One of the questions I personally find intriguing and that may lead to even greater adoption would be ‘Changetip integration into gaming‘, which could potentially lead a new surge in tipping and digital currency adoption as individuals are able to tip each other.

And as the interest and adoption of Changetip into the community’s everyday internet life expands so does its reach into the non-bitcoiner community, just as the ease of simple to use email systems grew exponentially, how will an already exponentially growth system such as Changetip grow upon an already exponential growth technology (bitcoin)?

The continued interest and trend towards Changetip is already viewable by a few days’ difference viewing on Google trends. Noticeably the trending has nearly gone vertical. Considering Christmas is barely a month away, and is often known as the season of giving, it should be rather interesting to observe how the continued usage of Changetip coincides with the season and how this correlates with the adoption of bitcoin.

It would be a fairly reasonable suggestion that adoption of bitcoin (for those that do investigate further) would occur a certain time after receiving their first tips, so the question arises, with such a huge surge of interest in Changetip, what follows around the corner for bitcoin?

Google trends, 16th November, 2014
Google trends, 16th November, 2014

The Spanish bank Bankinter invests in the bitcoin company Coinffeine

Coinffeine is a distributed FIAT- Bitcoin exchange technology which enables banks and payment processors to offer Bitcoin services without touching Bitcoin.

The strategy of Bankinter with this movement is not only to participate in the capital of the company but also to be one of the main clients of Coinffeine in the future.

The Spanish bank Bankinter has invested in the capital of Coinffeine, through the Bankinter Innovation Fundation. With this movement, Bankinter becomes one of the first banks in the world dealing with Bitcoin ecosystem.

Funded last June by 4 engineers as the first company in the world using Bitcoin as social capital, Coinffeine is developing a distributed platform to exchange FIAT to cryptocurrencies in a secure and anonymous way, using your own bank account for sending FIAT money and transferring the bitcoins outside the bank, in a pure P2P way.

Coinffeine is a desktop application ‘like Bittorrent for your bitcoins’ and will be launched next January.

The big innovation here is the Coinffeine protocol, a mathematical model based on Game Theory. This protocol ensures the safety in the FIATBitcoin exchange without a trusted third party and in a automatic way, offering the same experience as a traditional exchange thought the transactions are really P2P.

The strategy of Bankinter with this movement is not only to participate in the capital of the company but also to be one of the main clients of Coinffeine in the future.

Coinffeine has been selected among the 12 most innovative startups in Spain at the to be presented this week at the Silicon Valley Forum in San Francisco.

Author Jeffrey Robinson calls Bitcoiners Lunatic Delusionary People

Despite rumors, there seems to be no evidence that Mr. Robinson is actually old man Statler from the Muppet Show.

Crime novelist and author Jeffrey Robinson has been making appearances lately to promote his new book “Bitcon, the Naked Truth”. He appears to be attempting to draw attention to himself and his book by attempting to stir up controversy in hopes of selling a few more books. He repeats the same comments and insults that many early bitcoin adopters may find offensive. The article is intended to clear up  some of the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) he threw around during the interviews. Jeffrey was once respected as a expert on financial crimes and money laundering writing widely respected books on the topic. He seems happy to repeatedly remind the viewers that it was he that wrote the “definitive book” on it. This was two decades ago – long before the world would ever learn of digital currencies and the beginning of a new monetary  paradigm he was ill prepared to cover.

His new book is available for electronic download -if you want to blow a few bucks to purchase a download. If you read it, find some way to protect your eyes for the strain caused by repeated involuntary eye-rolling. His specialty for the past decades has been writing books of money laundering and con men. Perhaps now he fits the description of the carpenter who carries a hammer all day long to the point where all problems begin to look like nails. By now most Bitcoiners know what to look out for, but for newcomers to the space they would be better off reading material from somebody from inside the bitcoin community that have first hand knowledge of the warning signs.


crazy jeffrey


Actual Screen Capture of the interview of the author who claims early bitcoin fans are “Lunatic Delusional People”.  Pot?  Kettle?



It is becoming  clear that the blockchain invention  will change the world.  How would Mr. Robinson prefer the word of this invention get out? His “lunatic delusional people” themselves could hardly believe it but once the amazing possibilities were realized what were they expected to do, keep quiet? Is the representative of Jeffrey Robinson logic?   The old school economic professors or mainstream academia like Krugman can’t seem to help themselves from using disparaging terms about bitcoin even today after almost six years. If up to the stuffy sweater wearing economist, bitcoin would have lasted about six hours before the plug was pulled. Should Satoshi have sent the white paper to the press to disseminate – those who were laughing about it last year?  Who would be included in any of the established economic channels wouldn’t have killed the bitcoin baby in the cradle if given the chance?

Fate would dictate that the message would be delivered from people who knew how to think differently than the very same establishment that had gotten the world into the economic mess to begin with. Albert Einstein said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them“.  Bitcoiners are the ghost that live outside of the machine. Without them making loud noises and demanding attention is it possible that fate would have allowed it to surface through the system?  That’s not how huge world changing paradigm shifts work based on a history full of examples. There must be a break with the past. Seventy year old irrelevant crime book writers might not be comfortable with this.

So here’s to the lunatics. Here’s to the delusional. If some of these early forward thinking ‘crazies’ are included in the top 1,000 ‘owners’ of bitcoin – more power to them. Thank you for your service and keeping the blockchain alive when it was but a pup.   For all of those that disconnected their computers or erased their hard drives or buried them in landfills, we honor your sacrifice in making ours even more rare and valuable. Based on Jeffrey’s accusation about the wealth inequality found in bitcoin, it appears Mr. Robinson has new insight, that would make him the first in the world to divine which bitcoin wallets are usable from those with unrecoverable lost private keys. Yet he admits in the first chapter of his book he still doesn’t even get how ‘mining’ works.

He refers to bitcoin as the “pretend currency”. He also calls it a  “pretend commodity”.  The CFTC doesn’t agree. The Commodity Futures Trading and Exchange Commission held hearing and has issued rulings that it considers bitcoin a commodity.  They will now have oversight for bitcoin trading in financial instruments and have issued guidance to new businesses creating financial investment products. The CFTC Commissioner  (Mark Wetjen) wrote about it in a piece for the Wall Street Journal proclaiming its virtues and amazing worlds of possibilities in this new realm of commodities. The fact that bitcoin will trade along legal tender currencies on the FOREX markets are an indication of the credibility gaps Mr. Robinson has created for himself. Note to Jeffrey: You can watch the hearing here: try not to weep at the thought of your book being considered the definitive work of a has-been who got it wrong.  If forced to decide who gets it right between the guy who writes crime novels for a living or the Commissioner of the CFTC…  I’m going to have to go with the Commissioner on that.

Jeffrey frequently compares the number of active bitcoin holders as being less than the membership of the Kuwait Airlines Frequent Fliers Club. He also compares companies holding bitcoin to the number of piano tuners in Canada. How he knows this is a mystery.  Was he preparing plans for a flight from the Middle East to Canada to have his “piano tuned”… if that’s what they’re calling it these days?  It does not mention that these numbers are a snapshot taken in the beginning stages of a parabolic increase of use.

He labels, Bitcoiner a scammers trying to find the “greater fool”. For his ‘research’ he chose to pick a few overly optimistic nerds on Reddit as his ‘experts’ representing bitcoin community. He then found a handful of infamous scammers to use as his narrative and painted the entire bitcoin community with that paint brush. He told the audience that he’s on the ‘most hated’ list of the bitcoin community.  It would be fun to see who he thinks keeps this mysterious ‘list’ and how the nomination process works – if there actually were such a thing.

To his credit – he does admit that blockchain technology itself is going to revolutionize the world but without bitcoin the currency. Once again we have another critic who fails to explain how you separate the Bitcoin blockchain from the bitcoin token.

This writer taken it upon himself as an unelected committee of one – to speak on behalf of all Bitcoiners who stand united in cause and one with purpose as we all rise to the occasion and and speak with one voice when we respond to him…




Follow me on twitter: mreespublic


The Path To Greatness

Bitcoin, as a distributed and open source type of money, is destined for greatness. Like any young prodigy, its abilities can be foreseen and its potential visualized by those with a certain clairvoyance in these matters. Bitcoin is a tiger pup, stretching its limbs and jumping about. It poses no threat to its brothers and sisters, nor to any other animal in the kingdom. Bitcoin’s total market capitalization reaches only $6 billion with only $130 million in everyday transactions. Not quite the elephant in the room.

But this is temporary – for even mighty heroes begin as toddlers, unable to effect any sort of change in the world. But as they grow, their skills and attributes become more pronounced. So it is with Bitcoin: a money made for the Internet age, without forms and licenses, without gatekeepers and taxes. Bitcoin’s virtues – transparency, speed, reliability, and privacy – will carry it into the digital age as a mighty boon to the world. Both the number of users participating in the network and the technological milestones being achieved are growing. Currently, Bitcoin users on Coinbase and – the two most popular wallet providers – amount to roughly four million, while remarkable solutions such as multi-signature addresses, HD wallets, and cryptographic-proof-of-reserves are being implemented in mainstream exchanges and products. Improvements in security, usability, and convertibility are developing at astonishing rates. At the same time, documentarians elate over the Rise and Rise of Bitcoin.


Just How Great Are We Talking?

As Bitcoin can be accessed by anyone with a phone or Internet connection, there are no national or geographic barriers to overcome; its network effect can thereby grow rapidly and unimpeded as users discover they can be integrated into a global economy at the touch of an app. Furthermore, the infrastructure on which Bitcoin runs is already built and is continually growing: the Internet. Mining, of course, requires the acquisition of physical hardware to verify transactions, but this can be located anywhere. An Egyptian or Swede sending Bitcoin relies on the distributed, global network of miners; perhaps the miner who verifies her transaction (by including it in a block) will be from Australia, or Belarus, or right next door. The hardware that verifies transactions is scattered throughout the world, coordinated using open source technology, and communicated over the Internet. With such financial access now open to everyone, local monies will become less relevant in people’s economic calculations. They are no longer limited to purchasing goods and services from their immediate neighborhood. Rather, international trade can develop on the individual level. One may easily purchase his toothpaste from a Japanese company, his coffee from a Brasilian collective, his watch from German manufacturers, and other countless products from around the world using the Internet and paying in Bitcoin. No more exchange fees, no more capital controls, no more account freezes, no more paperwork – just a digital keychain. Having access to seven billion trading partners on a nearly frictionless monetary system, protected by the laws of mathematics, and built on open-access programming is becoming the new paradigm. One by one, people are learning the difference between open, decentralized money and corruptible, fiat money.

The transition from the 20th century world economy – fragmented by war, inflation, and imaginary lines called borders – into a globally integrated Bitcoin economy is inevitable. The dynamics are in place; the scene is set. As Marx would describe it, the objective material conditions leading to this sort of revolutionary change are present and becoming more manifest over time. As with the emergence of any new paradigm, however, there must be growing pains: bleak, depressing times before the hero’s greatness can be actualized. These are the times in which we live. Inflation, war, corruption, and terrorism plague our societies. Global supernations are on the verge of splintering and the US has become a police state. Perpetual warfare is creating a culture of fear, where it is not implausible to imagine Iraq or Syria as the next battleground for a coming world war. Governments all over the world can routinely loot their citizens and avail themselves of their property – indirectly, by fines, fees, and the molding of banking law, but directly as well through their monopoly on money creation via central banks. Persistent, inescapable tax slavery has been the condition of man for most of our history since the discovery of agriculture. This is encapsulated by the oft-heard expression “as certain as death and taxes.” But perhaps we are nearing an end to this invisible slavery. Just as the practice of owning humans has become disgraced and endangered, so too will the practice of tending human tax farms. Bitcoin, and its future peer-to-peer descendants, radically undermine the ability for States to levy taxes, surveil economic transactions, sanction nations and ethnicities, and corrupt the powerful. Bitcoin is a tool engineered for the purpose of liberation, and its popularity in underground drug markets is catalyzing. One use case after another, Bitcoin is providing freedom for drug runners, anarchists, gamblers, sex workers, and other marginalized groups. Every niche that benefits from Bitcoin in escaping tax slavery or total surveillance adds to the strength of the network. It becomes stronger, more resilient, less volatile, and more socially acceptable to use Bitcoin in “white market” situations. If this continues, Bitcoin will consume its rivals and emerge, a la Highlander, as The One.


The Axis of Evil

Bitcoin is Pacman. It upgrades by consuming delicious and bountiful enemies – glowing ghosts. What is on Bitcoin’s plate? Why, every competing media of exchange, of course.

The aperitif are media of exchange without network effects or discernible advantages. This includes various altcoins that are simply imitations of the Bitcoin protocol with minor tweaks. Without a substantial technical value proposition, copycat altcoins will see their market capitalization drop and their users return to Bitcoin, the heavyweight champion in the cryptocurrency market. This includes bizarre debt-based systems like Ripple, demurrage currencies like Freicoin, and its own cousin Litecoin.

Next, with some alcohol in its belly, the Bitcoin network demands an appetizer. As it earns points by consuming the cherries and bananas of the commercial world, it will grow to shape a large portion of e-commerce transactions. With its latent security and privacy features, it will quickly become the online shopping money of choice. This effect will, naturally, overlap into real-world, brick and mortar establishments looking to reduce their transaction costs. Credit cards are the next target: highly vulnerable data centers will continually be raided by the unscrupulous and large retailers like Home Depot and Target will admit to the compromise of tens of millions of credit card accounts. Businesses, looking to protect themselves from cyber attacks in the future, will begin to gravitate towards natively secure systems. Credit cards are a relic from the 1950s that should never, ever have touched the Internet. This will be the first delicious food Bitcoin enjoys. The singular advantage credit cards have over Bitcoin is the already-existing physical infrastructure at the point-of-sale. Near-field communication such as Bluetooth 4.0 and permanent QR terminals will, however, level the playing field, allowing customers to spend Bitcoin with a flick of their keychain or a snap of their phone.

Beyond this lies the decadent first and second course meals of governments and central banks. Nation states around the world claim the legal right to produce money and govern it. Through central banks, they control the amount and direction of money creation, and through legal institutions, they can legislate the playing field in their own interest. Legal tender laws, tax laws, licenses for “money transmitting” and prohibitions on “money laundering” will be the weapons these Goliaths choose to wield to combat weak, pitiful David. However, as in Biblical times, it will be the shrewdness and agility of David that will win the day. Escape from taxation and surveillance will water the mouths of even the most ardent of State supporters once they experiment with the enchanted Turkish Delight.

Government-controlled fiat money, while powerful, is slow to adapt. Its advances will remain mired in committees and political houses, where men who not long ago wore powdered wigs will install new obstacles for members of the house of David. But alas – their obstacles will simply embolden us and serve little purpose but delay the inevitable: a catastrophic collapse in demand for fiat currency and hyperbitcoinization. Even the incumbent monies of nation-states cannot stand up to the might of Bitcoin. Individual nations may last longer, and may retain more of their human sheep, should they embrace Bitcoin and allow its use for taxation – but their power will nevertheless diminish considerably as a Bitcoin-only tax structure would eliminate the funding for warfare and welfare. Understanding the incentives and emotions of politicians leads one to believe they would sooner fight to the death than surrender to decentralized currency and retain their jobs a decade longer.

Dessert consists of champagne and crème brûlée with Jeffrey Tucker laughing gaily.


Looking Beyond Bitcoin

The blockchain – Bitcoin’s technological vertebrae – is a next-generation, peer-to-peer platform for exchanging ownership. All records are timestamped, protected by a competitive proof-of-work system, and distributed to all users. The possibilities are endless, but a few tantalizing implementations include: crypto-equity (digital stock issuance), peer-to-peer marketplaces, provably fair elections and gambling, decentralized exchanges, better crowdfunding mechanisms, smart contracts, smart property, and so much more. It can form the monetary base for the sharing economy, which is based on openness and decentralization. It can financially incentivize file-sharing, Tor relays, mesh-networking, and storage hosting. Currency, as Antonopoulos says, is really the first app of the Bitcoin network. The blockchain can be used to register weddings, land deeds, futures contracts and all sorts of financial derivatives, birth certification, and contractual relationships that are as of yet unimagined and impossible. Email – the first killer app of the Internet – was succeeded by instant messaging, YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google, eBay, Amazon, and a hundred life-changing technologies that could not be envisioned in 1993. Now, over a decade into the 21st century, any individual can reach millions by writing blogs and creating content, can host podcasts for free, can upload and download original music, and so much more. Look towards the spontaneous order of the Internet as the blueprint for the good Bitcoin can provide, and even then it will shatter your expectations. Just as Bitcoin itself was born from the Internet, incredible technological advancements will be born from Bitcoin.

Popular derivative based bitcoin trading platform on the rise and seeking capital investment

Coinarch is an online trading platform offering innovative trading solutions for bitcoin. The Coinarch team has used its 25 years’ experience in financial markets to bring industry‑leading productsto the bitcoin space. The current suite of Coinarch products is targeted at traders and bitcoin enthusiasts, with the products designed to be easy to understand and simple to use.

Founded in March 2014 by Mark Hergott and Justin Tang, Coinarch has helped shape the bitcoin trading arena since its inception. It has achieved several firsts globally, notably the introduction of the Coinarch Maximiser – a bitcoin linked deposit product allowing users to earn high returns in flat markets.

Coinarch CEO, Jeremy Glaros, said ‘we are proud of our offering and are thrilled that our customers have responded so positively to it. Our goal now is to build the next generation of bitcoin‑linked products to open up new ways for participants in the bitcoin space to manage their risks and tailor their returns. At the same time, we will continue to grow our existing product suite to ensure we remain the market leader in the trading and investment space.”

Coinarch is seeking $1,000,000 in equity capital to finance its expansion over the coming 12 months. “With this investment, we can build out a whole new class of products for the bitcoin space.These products will accelerate our revenue growth and push us firmly on the path to profitability.”


For more information please contact:

Jeremy Glaros

Phone: +61 420 266 622


Latin for “Nighttime Sun,” Sol Noctis is the first series of real proof collectible coins denominated in bitcoins. The first coin of the series got the name of the Binary Eagle. It’s a pure silver coin of proof quality with a built-in 0.01 bitcoin (XBT) value that is set to attract coin collectors and bitcoin enthusiasts around the world.

The Binary Eagle is a silver collectible coin minted of 1 oz .999 pure silver in proof quality with the face value of .01 BTC. Bitcoin, the world’s first digital currency, was launched in 2009 as a peer-to-peer payment system that allows users to send and receive payment without credit cards or bank accounts. As bitcoin’s popularity has grown and its usage is constantly expanding beyond the limits of a payment system, it was soon spotted by collectors of modern coins.

The Binary Eagle was struck by the Mint of Poland, one of the leading manufacturers of coins and collector’s items in the world. The Binary Eagle coin design incorporates complex elements and security features that make it truly unique. Each coin is embellished with a majestic eagle, a symbol of the freedom the bitcoin technology provides.

Bitcoin value was attached to the coin by applying a sticker with bitcoin wallet keys printed on it, and protected by a holographic image. A special technique of E-Beam NanogramTM was applied to create a hologram with maximum protection against counterfeit. Thanks to it, four levels of security features are embossed into the holographic foil with a resolution of 550,000 dpi. A Private Key, which is needed to redeem the face value, is located under the coin’s protective holographic layer. It is automatically printed and is not stored by the manufacturing company, which means only the owner of the Sol Noctis coin has access to it and thus can realize the face

value of the coin at any time. As a result, the world’s first collectible proof quality coin with detachable face value was produced. The total quantity of the coins minted will not exceed 2009 pieces.

“We created Sol Noctis to mark the point where two worlds meet: traditional numismatics and a payment system of the future, and so to push the limits of both of them. It’s a thrill to integrate such a unique and universal cryptocurrency into a high quality physical product. The Binary Eagle is the also the first official coin that is manufactured maintaining the highest standards of the reputable Mint,” said Danylo Knysh, general manager of TopWorldCoins GmbH.

Binary Eagle coins will be available for retail purchase at selected retailers starting from November/December 2014. More details at

LAST CALL! Inside Bitcoins to Launch in Paris This Week – Get 10% OFF!

Inside Bitcoins is kicking off their inaugural Paris event on November 20-21, and we’re offering our readers 10% OFF with the discount code BMAG14!

The conference, which will take place at Espaces Cap 15, will explore the growth of crypto currencies, FinTech, business trends, investment strategies, tools and much more. Don’t miss your opportunity to explore where the industry is today and what business opportunities and threats are in the horizon, with keynotes from Nicolas Cary, CEO,, and Bernard Lietaer, Research Fellow, Advisor to Jetcoin Institution, Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California at Berkeley, as well as two days of seminars by industry leaders. See the full roster of speakers here!

Session Topics Include:

  • Decentralized Technologies: Lifeboats for Society
  • Sound Wallet: How to Create a Cold Storage Wallet Out of Sound
  • International Review: Bitcoin Stories from Across the Globe
  • Moving Towards a Bitcoin Society

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inside bitcoin paris portal launches: Designed to give Professionals Accurate Bitcoin Market Info

Press-Release: 16th Nov 2014

By: Techemy ltd

For: General news distribution.

With the explosion of interest in Bitcoin over the last 24 months, keywords, trademarks and domain names around bitcoin have become somewhat of a commodity.

Techemy Ltd, a NZ based start-up, has secured a key domain name in the bitcoin space: Http://

Company co-founder and CEO, Fran Strajnar stated:

“After having spent 11 months building a stable price index (BNC Price-Index via, we wanted to offer the world a clean website with a solid domain name for 1 reason: Accurate Price-Discovery (and related tools).”

Price-Discovery is the economic concept of finding the value & price in a marketplace. This is a basic requirement for an emerging industry to build products and services around.

Strajnar expands with;

“MtGox represented the bulk of trading in Bitcoin until the end of 2013. It was easy to discover the price during Gox’s reign. Since then, literally dozens of exchanges have open shop all around the world and surprisingly no other index out there, captures anywhere near all of this data, making Price Discovery somewhat questionable. We believe Price Discovery to be a ‘Public-Good’, and will not be charging for this. Our API is free to use, constantly added-to as new exchanges open their doors, accurate & stable. A public good for the industry to use”.


What sort of services require an accurate global-bitcoin-price?


 Wallets: Consumers want to pay an accurate market price at all times.

 Futures & Financial products: Financial products require stable backbone. One example:, the world’s largest Bitcoin-Futures exchange, uses this API calculate their Millions of USD worth of weekly settlements.

 Billing platforms: Invoicing & billing services require a current price to generate correct fiat figures for business owners.

 Portfolio Management: Tracking your client’s or your own investments.

 Gaming Industry: Settlement calculation or Fiat value displayed to gamers.

 News & info Services: News agencies and search engines can now display comprehensive market data.

 & Any possible product or service that requires an accurate price Fiat price for Bitcoin.


The API is available here:


Techemy Ltd collects a ton of data from the Bitcoin & Altcoin marketplaces. If you or your company require something custom or more advanced, like global consolidated order books, or plan on running a service where such data is critical and you require a Service-Level-Agreement, the company can be reached on

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic Now Giving Discounts for using Bitcoin & Exclusive Coin!

Exclusive coin is a true cryptocurrency for the new crypto economy that is currently emerging in the world. Born out of the frustration felt by its developer KingsCrown – known member of Bitcointalk and owner of blog – when witnessing the rise and fall of countless other currencies. Developer wanted to show the world that such cryptocurrencies can indeed succeed, and would not succumb to the same problems others did. In order to achieve this Exclusive coin was ingeniously designed to resists the effects of the various dangers that exist for newborn cryptocurrencies before they grow and mature.

An important factor that gives any currency its value is its ability to be used in a real market. That is why exclusive coin was created in order to serve its own real exclusive market, supplying discounted items that can only be purchased with Exclusive coin. Since the market has been made public anyone is also able to sell their own mining equipment on the exclusive market. Furthermore since recently even discounted prices for exclusive hotels are now available on the market.

Bitcoin and the emerging crypto economy is truly a revolution, and it will change the world. This is only the beginning. Much of our politics today is ruled by money, therefore the power to change the very nature of money itself and placing that power in the hands of the people for the first time in history is very significant. Block chain technology has the potential to improve our lives in many ways, and bring the world together. For example just recently a graphics card well suited for mining was sold on the exclusive coin`s market to a person in Africa, its now been shipped and delivered.

The most important part of EXCL Exclusive Coin is its discounted market of limited goods. Currently using it you can buy with EXCL/BTC a 10 day holiday at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. By using EXCL you get -20% off the market price at and by using BTC you get -10%. This makes both Bitcoin and EXCL usage better than plain FIAT that doesnt get this huge discounts in the famous hotel.

If you wonder what do you get in the package it is “You will stay in a Caribbean Suite – it’s a jungle out there. Literally. Might as well take it in from the privacy of your balcony. But that’s just the start. Whether your suite includes two double beds or a sprawling king, you’ll indulge in the spaciousness of this suite – realizing that your stay at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana is anything but status quo. From 300-thread count linens to a fully stocked mini bar and even your own double

Hydro Spa Tub tub, conveniently located near the Rockin’ lobby, everything about your stay is designed to help you live out all those rock star fantasies.”. Speaking shortly with EXCL or BTC you can now get fantastic vacations this december at super discounted price in the top rated exclusive hotel that allows this types of payment instead of FIAT.

So get your BTCs or change them to EXCL and get decent vacations at limited discount rate you will not find anywhere else! This is not just another BTC merchant deal here – for using cryptos in this hotel you actually take advantage of price! Official site of EXCL can be found at is now offering bulk mobile recharge service for Bitcoin coorporate customers the leading cryptocurrency prepaid mobile phone top up and dish TV recharge provider is now offering Bulk Recharge service for corporate customers seeking a quick top-up solution for high volumes of mobile phones. has also introduced a new Rapid Top Up service allowing customers to top up without registration and also now accepting Dogecoin.

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Bitcoin as a Solution to E-Commerce Pain

Written By: Ashok Misra of Alina Consultants


Bitcoin as a Solution to E-Commerce Pain

Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency whose valuation and use has grown dramatically since its inception in January 2009.

Some thinkers view bitcoin as a viable alternative to sovereign currencies; however, e-commerce was the original use case for bitcoin in Satoshi Nakamoto’s epic paper in 2009 on the proposed “Peer to Peer” cash system.

Unfortunately, a lack of authoritative articles exist on the precise benefits of bitcoin vis-a-vis payment methods involving credit cards for purchase of goods and services on the Internet.

In this paper, we address in practical terms the precise advantages of using bitcoin as a payment method for Customer Not Present (CNP) transactions made over the Internet.

E-commerce Payments (“e-payments”)

E-payments are digital payments for goods and services that are made over the Internet on online merchant websites. E-commerce serves multiple vertical lines of business for physical and digital goods. Dominant verticals in shipped physical goods purchased over e-commerce channels by retailers are books, apparel, and electronics. Examples of digital goods purchased over the Internet are music, streaming media, and e-books.

Some key drivers for e-commerce are: residential broadband penetration; access to consumer payment instruments suitable for online commerce; and distribution and delivery channels for physical goods.

The worldwide e-commerce market has grown by 20 percent year after year for the last several years. Global B2C Ecommerce Sales are projected to hit USD1.5 Trillion in 2014, driven by growth in emerging markets.

The more mature e-commerce markets such as the United States, the UK, and Germany, where citizens enjoy a strong purchasing power and widespread access to broadband Internet, see about 10 to 15 percent of online share to total retail trade, whereas less mature e-commerce markets such as Poland see only about 3.8 percent of online retail volume to total volume. However, many regions such as Poland are witnessing a tremendous rate of growth in e-commerce. Poland, for example, has a population of 38.5 million, out of which 26.2 million are Internet users and 12.6 million are online shoppers.

Payment Methods

Payment methods used by consumers for online purchases vary considerably by region, depending upon their availability and consumer attitudes. They expose a unique set of advantages and risks for online commerce. They can be broken down as follows:

Credit and Debit Cards

Credit and debit cards were originally intended for “card present” merchants. The cards were designed for physical use at the point of sale, where the magnetic stripe card is “swiped” and read by a terminal. The cardholder is authenticated by methods such as a wet ink signature on a printed receipt, a signature captured on a touch sensitive POS screen, a secret PIN number, etc.

Such cards have been adapted since the birth of e-commerce by merchants and processors for use on the Internet. The number on the card is entered by the consumer on a web form during the order process. Authentication is carried out using information such as billing zip code, expiration date, etc.

Fraud with credit cards is a serious concern on account of the weak authentication and inherently insecure mechanics. However, it must be noted that consumers are typically protected against fraudulent purchases on their credit cards. For transactions made in a “Card Present” manner, the consumer’s bank bears the fraud loss, whereas in the e-commerce CNP use mode, the online merchant bears the fraud loss.

Security for credit cards in a “Card Present” environment has improved progressively. That notwithstanding, there have been recent cases of large breaches involving retail stores. The United States lost 5.33 billion USD to fraud in 2013. This was up 14.5% from the previous year. Of the 5.33 Billion, issuing banks in the United States lost 3.41 billion USD. The United States accounted for 47.3 % of global card fraud losses on only 23.5% of total volume.

All industrialized countries outside of the United States have migrated magnetic stripe credit cards to EMV1 technology. EMV cards have a microprocessor chip embedded in the plastic that communicates with the POS device. It is possible to embed the EMV chips form factor on mobile phones to communicate with proximity readers. EMV cards are virtually invulnerable to tampering, duplication, etc. Banks and card brands in the United States have announced their intent to move to EMV technology, and rollout is currently underway in a phased manner. It is expected that fraud on e-commerce channels will increase after the EMV rollout in the United States as fraudsters typically attempt to exploit the weakest attack surfaces.

It must be noted that EMV technology does not impact the mechanics of the e-commerce use case. Credit card numbers will still have to be entered on websites in the same manner as they are for magnetic stripe transactions.

Alternative Payment Methods

Credit card penetration in some regions (like the European Union, for example) has been limited due to negative sentiments on the part of consumers with the use of credit payment instruments.

That notwithstanding, e-commerce growth in several of these regions has progressed, as non-card payment tenders have been adopted. Examples of alternative payment methods are

Direct Debit (Germany), Ideal (Netherlands), and Boleto (Brazil). Alternate payment systems generally have more friction in purchase paths than credit cards. This friction usually stems from more robust authentication.

Main Players in Credit Card E-commerce Payments

Consumers are issued payment instruments by their card issuers. These instruments are credit or debit cards.

Issuers are banks that provide credit or debit instruments to consumers.

Merchants are businesses that sell goods or services to consumers.

Acquirers are banks that underwrite merchants.

Brands are the associations, such as Visa, MasterCard and Discover, that maintain the network of Issuers and Acquirers. Visa and MasterCard are now public companies.

Payment Service Providers (PSPs) are entities who provide transaction and settlement services for merchants.

Costs of E-commerce Payments with Credit Cards

The costs of e-commerce payments are borne primarily by merchants. Whereas there has been regulation that precludes merchants from directly passing on credit card processing costs to consumers, one can conjecture that costs for payment processing are reflected in SKU prices.

Costs for credit card processing are broadly divided into two categories:

  • Non-negotiable costs
  • Negotiable costs

Non-negotiable costs are pass-through costs levied by the brands and collected by acquirers. These costs make up more that 85 percent of total payment acceptance costs. The largest component of the non-negotiable cost is credit card interchange. Credit card interchange varies depending upon the type of card product. For example, an airline mileage card may attract 50 basis points of additional interchange fees over a non-rewards card. Other non-negotiable fees are assessments, cross-border fees, etc.

Negotiable fees are service fees paid by merchants to gateway service providers. Merchants with smaller processing volumes may be set up by their processor to pay a single-blended fee that includes interchange and gateway service fees.

Typical Process Flow for CNP Commerce

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 8.45.04 AM

  1. Consumer visits merchant website and loads a shopping basket.
  2. Checkout flow captures payment information and shipping address.
  3. Merchant sends authorisation to credit card gateway for final amount with shipping and handling.
  4. Credit card gateway routes transaction to consumer’s credit card issuer and obtains authorisation.
  5. Merchant indicates to consumer that the process is completed, and goods will be shipped or available for download.
  6. Merchant sends a settlement instruction to credit card gateway, which, in turn, routes it to the issuing bank.
  7. Merchant gets paid by acquirer.
  8. Transaction shows up on customer’s billing statement.

Bitcoin Basics

Bitcoin is a software-based online payment system described by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and introduced as open-source software in 2009. Bitcoin payments are recorded in a public ledger using its own unit of account which is also called bitcoin. Payments work in a peer-to-peer manner without a central repository or single administrator, which has led the US Treasury to call bitcoin a decentralized virtual currency. Although its status as a currency is disputed, media reports often refer to bitcoin as a cryptocurrency or digital currency.

Bitcoin is created as a reward for payment processing work in which users offer their computing power to verify and record payments into the public ledger. Called mining, individuals or companies engage in this activity in exchange for transaction fees and newly created bitcoin. Besides mining, bitcoin can be obtained in exchange for fiat money, products, and services. Users can send and receive bitcoin electronically for an optional transaction fee using wallet software on a personal computer, mobile device, or a web application.

E-commerce Purchase Paths Using Bitcoin

E-commerce purchase paths using bitcoin as a payment method can be developed using two basic methodologies, namely:

  1. Purchase paths using a Bitcoin processor
  2. Purchase paths made without the use of a Bitcoin processor

Bitcoin Processors

Bitcoin processors such as Coinbase and BitPay offer an abstraction layer into Bitcoin. A merchant desirous of accepting bitcoin from consumers, but at the same time desirous of being paid in fiat currency, could integrate with a service like BitPay. From the consumer’s point of view, the order flow would be exactly similar to a purchase with a credit card until the point of payment. Upon reaching the point where the payment is to be made, the website generates and displays a Bitcoin public address for the merchant. This Bitcoin address may be rendered in a QR code. Also, the order amount is converted to BTC and displayed to the consumer. The processor determines the price point to BTC conversion rate based upon industry real-time analytics. The consumer pays for the order amount using his or her Bitcoin wallet. BitPay provides the technical implementation to notify the merchant’s website when the payment has been completed as a signal to initiate delivery of the purchased goods to the consumer.

Merchants who choose to accept and hold bitcoin2 do not technically need a payment processor. In the direct integration method, the merchant creates a unique Bitcoin address for the customer’s shopping cart. The customer pays for the order total using his or her own wallet.

The merchant polls the Bitcoin network periodically to determine if the payment is completed, after which goods can be delivered.

Pain Points Solved by Bitcoin

Receipt of Funds by Merchants.

Credit Cards

With credit card payments, consumers see the funds withdrawn from their account (or credit floor reduced) immediately after the e-commerce payment has been completed. As described in the flow diagram, the merchant is paid through a settlement process that takes from one to several days. During the time that the funds are in transit, the merchant is technically forced to extend credit to her acquirer. It is likely that merchants do not enjoy the same credit on their account payable vendors.


As we have seen, bitcoin payments are instantaneous3 for both parties, and there are no settlement delays involved. Thus, the funds disbursed by consumers are available immediately to the merchant.

Credit Card Chargebacks

A consumer may dispute a merchant charge within a certain window after a transaction is

completed. A dispute may arise due to non-receipt of goods or services, fraud, an incorrect amount billed, etc. The consumer’s transaction is temporarily reversed at the initiation of the dispute process. During this time, the acquiring bank “funds” the disputed amount to the consumer. Thereafter, there is a resolution process wherein the consumer and merchant present documentation to resolve the dispute. If the transaction is resolved in the consumer’s favor, the charge is reversed permanently. If resolved in the merchant’s favor, the temporary adjustment made to the consumer at the start of the dispute process is reversed.


With bitcoin, there is no guarantor for transactions. No party can reverse a completed payment. From a merchant’s point of view, there is no exposure to disputes that will reverse payments.

Merchant Credit Card Acceptance Underwriting

As described earlier, a merchant desirous of accepting credit cards needs to secure a relationship with an acquiring bank. This could involve an “underwriting procedure,” as the acquiring bank guarantees payments for the merchant. Should the merchant become insolvent, it is the acquiring bank who protects the payment in the event of consumer disputes. Merchants who do not have a processing history, such as startup businesses, usually face difficulties during the underwriting process for obvious reasons.


With Bitcoin there is no centralized banking institution involved. The underwriting process is eliminated completely. Also, merchants who do not have a business history can begin payment acceptance immediately.

Credit Card Security

Security with payment cards relies upon protecting the credit card payment data (16-digit credit card number) and authentication data (billing address, expiration date, cardholder verification codes, etc.).

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (“PCI DSS”) was developed to encourage and enhance cardholder data security and facilitate the broad adoption of consistent data security measures globally. PCI DSS provides a baseline of technical and operational requirements designed to protect cardholder data. PCI DSS applies to all entities involved in payment card processing—including merchants, processors, acquirers, issuers, and service providers, as well as all other entities that store, process, or transmit cardholder data.

Bitcoin Security

Attack surfaces for Bitcoin are primarily at the endpoints. There is no useful information for a hacker that can obtained by observing transactions in flight. The Bitcoin protocol, in fact, relies on transaction information being public.

Since the consumer does not “deposit” symmetric payment and authentication information to the merchant, there is no way for a maleficent agent who is privy to the communication channel or to the merchant’s infrastructure to use that information to exploit the consumer at some later time.

At the merchant end, there is no need to maintain any sensitive information on front-end webservers. The infrastructure to handle the merchant’s bitcoin obtained from consumer payments can be completely delinked from the commerce website.

There have, in fact, been recent incidents where bitcoin have been stolen. It is worth emphasizing that these cases without exception involved theft at end-point infrastructure. Thus, they were not attacks on the protocol. There are various technologies (out of the scope of this article) to secure bitcoin on hardware appliances.



Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 9.07.10 AM

As seen in the chart above, price fluctuations in the bitcoin to USD rate on bitcoin exchanges vary considerably over even short periods in time. We have seen bitcoin highs and lows in the range of $1,200 to $100 in the last twelve-month period. The volatility is likely due to the fact that currently bitcoin purchase is driven largely by speculation and there is no robust way of evaluating an appropriate USD to BTC rate. Also the perceived value of the cryptocurrency fluctuates with news and announcements from financial regulators on the manner in which they intend to regulate bitcoin. This volatility is not conducive to e-commerce and some stability needs to set in for mass adoption.

Consumer Protection – There are several cautionary advisories from government agencies about the risks associated with virtual currencies. It is certainly true that Bitcoin offers no protection for consumers, and it is unlikely that governmental consumer agencies will protect consumers for bitcoin purchases in the same manner as they do for regular bank instruments. That notwithstanding, from the consumer risk management point of view it brings up the question if the higher reflected sku costs associated with credit card transactions are proportional to the protection offered. If the costs of protection were offered using free principles, the costs would likely be lowered. For low value transactions over the internet, consumers may choose to embrace the risks associated with bitcoin for lower SKU price points, particularly for repeat purchases from the same merchant.

It is conceivable that trusted third parties could broker bitcoin transactions and offer consumer insurance. The Bitcoin protocol supports the contract to enforce financial agreements; Bitcoin supports contracts using the same decentralized and distributed architecture used for financial transactions. These constructs can be used to reduce the risks of dealing with unknown entities in commerce.

Legal Issues – Needless to say there are serious risks on further growth of bitcoin on account of the uncertain legal status of bitcoin as a financial tender type. Some jurisdictions have deemed bitcoin to be a commodity whereas others treat it as currency. Some countries have outlawed bitcoin altogether and treat the possession of bitcoin as a criminal activity.

At the time of writing the United States treats bitcoin as a commodity. Any agency involved in the transfer of bitcoin with fiat currencies comes under the purview of banking and money laundering laws and requires licensing in every state, thus there is a high entry bar for exchange activities. For consumers, the act of purchasing a commodity in bitcoin is a taxable event. This treatment certainly hinders wider adoption.

Regulators clearly see the bitcoin features of anonymity, decentralization and lack of a central control as detrimental to control. However, it is fair to assume that a complete ban on bitcoin would continue to take place only in totalitarian jurisdictions. In western countries, it is unlikely for governments to impose a categorical ban on bitcoin. It is more likely that tax reporting, VAT, etc. would be based on some kind of honor system. There are some successful examples of parallel currencies that are recognized as legal tenders. An example is the WIR franc developed in Switzerland in 1934 and still in use at this time.


Bitcoin offers a unique and powerful payment mechanism for all participants in e-commerce payments. It eliminates many of the inefficiencies present in traditional web payments. Bitcoin is not purely an academic subject anymore. Some mainstream web properties such as Expedia,, Dell, and WordPress have been accepting bitcoin as a form of payment. Bitcoin has an extremely low entry bar and should expect its usage to grow rapidly.



  1. EMV is a joint effort initially conceived between Europay, MasterCard and Visa to ensure the security and global interoperability of chip-based payment cards.
  2. There are likely tax implications for doing this, depending upon jurisdiction, which is beyond the scope of this article.
  3. This is a relative term as Bitcoin payments are confirmed when the block chain is written.




“Uncoinventional” Family of Four Begins Bitcoin-Only Holiday Road Trip

A family of four will embark on a three week bitcoin-only road trip over the Thanksgiving holiday. Expenses such as food, gasoline and lodging will all be paid for with the crypo-currency as they journey from Texas to California, Nevada, Colorado, and Missouri.

The goal of the Uncoinventional West Coast Tour is to “Inspire and empower the Bitcoin community to spend bitcoin on food, gasoline and lodging” says Catherine Bleish, Bitcoin author and creator of

This will be the second bitcoin-only road trip for the Blush Family this year. Last June, Catherine, her husband John Bush, and their two children traveled over 4,400 miles from Texas to Washington DC, New York, New Hampshire and Ohio spending bitcoin only, with the exception of several toll roads they encountered along the way.

Despite several obstacles, the family managed to successfully spend over $6,000 in bitcoin using services such as Gyft (gift card service), CheapAir (hotel and flight booking service), and Airbitz (bitcoin business directory and mobile wallet) to find restaurants and hotels along the way.

Their first journey was a huge success, receiving national or local media attention at nearly every stop. The feedback was so great that Gyft, CheapAir, and Airbitz jumped on board to sponsor the West Coast Tour.

“We are ecstatic to support the Uncoinventional Living Tour,” said Paul Puey, CEO of Airbitz. “Cat and John are helping drive Bitcoin adoption as a true currency in everyday life… something strongly inline with the beliefs of the Airbitz team.”

This November, the family will find themselves speaking at the following events: Alt Expo in Austin, Libertopia Conference in San Diego, Liberty on the Rocks in Denver, and Bitcoin Meetups in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.

The family plans to interview Bitcoin companies and activists along the way for John’s bitcoin podcast, SovereignBTC, which received nearly 47,000 listens during their East Coast Tour.

The bitcoin travel space is rapidly changing, presenting new challenges and opportunities for the family.

“A lot has changed in the past six months,” says Catherine Bleish: “for this trip we had to get creative in order to buy gasoline because the company we used last time is no longer active. There is definitely room for new startups in the space.”

The Blush family reports they are excited to hit the road and learn how Bitcoin travel has changed since June. Follow their journey at


About The Family:

John Bush: John Bush (@sovtbc) is the host of SovereignBTC, a bitcoin podcast on the Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network.  He is a partner in the newly formed Crypto Partners LLC, a company involved in bitcoin mining, Bitcoin ATMs, and the sale of BTC through ExpressCoin. John is the executive producer of Sovereign Living, a reality show about his family’s attempts to get off all centralized grids, including money, utilities, and food systems. John is the owner/operator/editor in chief of the Liberty Beat, a five minute top of the hour news service heard nationwide on the Genesis Communication Network.

Catherine Bleish: Catherine Bleish, MPA (@TheBitMom) writes for Bitcoin Magazine, Money and Tech, and now Yahoo Travel. She hosts an online bitcoin consignment shop at You can follow her journey toward a more voluntary and natural life through the Sovereign Living blog or the Sovereign Living reality show. She speaks at events across the country about natural living, alternative currencies, and raising sovereign children. Her current passion is to introduce the unschooling community to the cryptocurrency world and the cryptocurrency community to the virtues of unschooling. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Affairs with an emphasis on Nonprofit Management in 2011.

Uncoinventional National Sponsors:

Gyft: Gyft allows you to use Bitcoin at hundreds of popular retailers through digital gift cards. Through Gyft, now you can buy groceries at Whole Foods, electronics at Best Buy, an even book hotel rooms.

CheapAir: CheapAir allows you to buy hotels and airfare with bitcoin, litecoin and dogecoin! Follow their blog People of Bitcoin to learn about some fascinating Bitcoiners.
Airbitz: Airbitz builds a wallet, merchant directory, and developer platform with a focus on bringing ease of use and ease of security to the Bitcoin ecosystem. The Airbitz mobile wallet on iOS and Android brings users a feel similar to mobile banking while still providing true bitcoin functionality, financial autonomy, and strong privacy.

Center for Natural Living: A Texas based nonprofit with the mission to, “Demonstrate the value of voluntary cooperation and natural living in the areas of sustainability, family, and health by creating educational media and helping families to fulfill their basic needs,” The Center for Natural Living is screening the Bitcoin Episode of Sovereign Living during the Uncoinventional Tour.

Amagi Metals: Precious metals broker who accepts Bitcoin. “Sovereign Living embodies a lot of what Amagi Metals stands for: sound money and financial responsibility. We are so excited to be a part of this project, and the episodes we’ve seen so far are impressive and enticing. We are excited to see what’s next for the project and thrilled to host the cast in Denver.” – Stephen Macaskill, CEO of Amagi Metals in Denver, CO.

Tour Itinerary:

(Updated Version Found Here:

Austin, Texas
Alternatives Exposition, Keep Alt Expo “Weird”
Sunday, November 9 at 10:30am – 6:30pm in
Catherine Speech: Outcome Based Parenting for a Free Society
John Speech: Building Freedom Cells
Spider House Ballroom 2906 Fruth St, Austin, Texas 78705

San Diego, California
Thursday, November 13 through Sunday, November 16
Catherine Speech: Bitcoin Travel
John Speech: Freedom Cells
Town And Country Resort 500 Hotel Cir North, San Diego, California 92128

Dinner MeetUp Up – Sponsored by Airbitz and hosted by Complete Liberty MeetUp
Friday November 14th at 6:00pm-9:00pm
City Taco 3028 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
**10% off all orders at City Tacos if you pay with an Airbitz wallet**

Los Angeles, California
MeetUp (TBA), Visit CheapAir

Las Vegas, NV
Dinner MeetUphosted by the Las Vegas Bitcoin Meetup, Sponsored by Jullian Tosh
Friday, November 21 at 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Sovereign Living Screening, the Bitcoin Episode, Discussion on Bitcoin Travel
THe Crepe 420 S Ramapart Blvd Las Vegas, NV

Denver, Colorado  
Liberty on the Rocks – Sponsored by Amagi Metals
Monday, November 24 at 6:00pm – 9:00pm in
Sovereign Living Screening, the Bitcoin Episode
Independence Institute 727 E 16th Ave, Denver, Colorado 80203

Denver Bitcoin Center
Tuesday, November 25 at TBD
More information coming soon

Kansas City, Missouri
MeetUp (TBA)

Tatiana Interviews Rik Willard

I sat down with Rik Willard of Mintcombineto talk about the newly launched Beyond Bitcoin Expert Calling Network (BBECN). Special thanks for hosting us to Premier Studios, the 1st major studio to accept Bitcoin!…

Special Thanks to for hosting us and for leading the way with Bitcoin in Music!

Are Bitcoin Faucets In Trouble?

Trouble may be brewing for some of the leading bitcoin faucet operators, as problems persist with three of the main micro wallets used by sites in this area of the bitcoin ecosystem. The market has been dominated up to now by three different operators –, and – which for years have steadily churned out bitcoins to thousands of bitcoin users. However, in recent weeks Bitchest stopped dispensing, and their bitcoin wallet address has gone quiet. Now in the last few days, put up a notice that there was a bug with the API, and was offline yesterday, but back up again today with a notice saying that withdrawals will be processed in the next 24 hours. So can these issues be overcome, or is writing on the wall for these sites?

I have been looking into faucets for the last few weeks for some personal research, and have several accounts on these sites over the threshold. I can confirm that two of the three, MicroWallet and BitChest, indeed have stopped dispensing.

Dismissed by many for the tiny amounts of bitcoin they give to end users, these faucets still  have served an important entry gateway into bitcoin for a number of years now, enabling people to get their hands on their first bitcoin. I think the first thing that people find out is that there are easier ways to get their first bitcoins. But as many people are exposed to new brands and service, whether good, bad or shady, a number of these users will go on to buy or trade bitcoins on exchanges, buy mining hardware to generate bitcoin themselves. or invest in cloud mining services.

Users visit the sites, usually plastered with advertising, and fill in a captcha and their bitcoin wallet address. A small amount (anything from 10-500 satoshi) is then transferred into an associated micro wallet, and the visitor needs to wait for a specified cool-down period from five to 240 minutes before being able to repeat the process. People then can systematically do this across several sites using the same micro wallet, which builds up. Once they pass the bitcoin network’s 5430 minimum payment threshold , a payment is queued to be sent to a large batch of users on a set frequency.

The faucet business model is relatively straightforward. They start with an initial amount of bitcoin to get them going, and then they are monetised either through affiliate links to bitcoin merchants, advertising from bitcoin ad networks or Google advertising, or donations from users. Faucets also cross promote a range of similar sites on different domain names, and then offer users a percentage of any referral they bring in. As long as these numbers and volumes are maintained, it should cover itself, but it is also easy to knock the metrics out of line, with a drop in traffic, large fluctuations in bitcoin’s price, or operators losing interest.

The market has also moved on somewhat, with a shift away from sites that look like they were designed off an old geocities template, and more professional sites such as and offering a different take on the concept – usually with much larger payouts into their own wallet. A number of dice gambling sites like and offer a faucet as a way to be drawn into their games with the intention of getting people to make a lodgement and gamble it on the site.

So we’ll have to wait and see what happens with these micro wallets; will they start working again, or will they shut down overnight without warning? Either way, this area of the bitcoin ecosystem is going through a shakeup which means opportunities for new entrants into the market. Have you used a bitcoin faucet, and did it lead you into spending more in bitcoin or not? Let us know in the comments box!

Coin Proz Is Here!

Coin Proz is a project set out to help publicize the top projects in crypto currency. With now over 1000 coins in the ecosystem and hundreds of projects, it is a real challenge to track and follow daily updates. The team has taken on the challenge of covering the top projects in crypto land and helping promote them. Coin Proz will be a unique platform in the digital currency realm.

The Coin Proz team wants to help cryptocurrency cross the mass adoption threshold. By rewarding users for participation, the site aims to use that incentive to bring in new users by making it worth their time to be involved. By focusing on the most promising projects and simultaneously bringing in a new audience, Coin Proz wants to bridge the gap between organizations looking to spread their message and users eager to earn by learning.

In addition to being an information and networking hub, Coin Proz has some unique blockchain technology powering the site:

  • Coin Proz has banking features. It’s currently possible to move many different coins amongst users off-chain.
  • There will be a market place where users can buy and sell items or services.
  • There will be lending, automatic repayments, and scheduled payments.
  • Custom chats for each project hosted.
  • Each project will have their own unique page with all news pertaining to them. This is a combination of articles, important updates, tweets and more.

To celebrate the Alpha launch of the team has decided to do a Proof of Action campaign. 10+ people will win 10000 Prozcoin. How it works: you start by signing up for an account on . Every signup will receive 50 complimentary Prozcoin along with 500 to 700 Test Proz to work with.

Coin Proz also sells PoA campaigns. Anyone can run a Proof of Action campaign for their coin or business starting from 100k Proz coin which you can trade for here or purchase a campaign for .5 bitcoin. Coin Proz will help you set up your unique campaign. You can run up to 10 actions and for a length of 1 week. Whether you want to get people to like your Facebook page, comment on a thread, or tweet about your company, you can get a Proof of Action campaign today to grow your organization fast and organically.

Contact us about a Proof of Action campaign. unveils world’s 1st online art gallery for Bitcoin start ups & enthusiasts

Crypto enthusiasts everywhere longing for contemporary oil paintings for their homes or offices now have a destination at the newest online art gallery, Launched in late September out of San Antonio, Texas by artist, Irina Bezruchko, Bitpaintings aims squarely at the enthusiast with several vibrant examples of Bitcoin-centric paintings that speak directly to the soul of Bitcoiners worldwide. Notable paintings such as “A Tsunami is Coming”, and “Atlas Unchained” address broad, sweeping metaphorical and ideological undertones inherent to the Bitcoin space.

We are attempting something that has never been done before in this space…integrating underlying metaphors through art and digital currency, sometimes in a way that combines them both in a single piece”, says artist Irina Bezruchko.

Notably, her most recent addition, “Lakedaemon” includes a user-provided Bitcoin address to be displayed on an etching that is permanently affixed to the painting itself, thus moving the mediums of art and money closer towards a single, merged representation.

“We really wanted to allow people to express the sense of pride and camaraderie that comes with being an early Bitcoiner through a series of paintings that definitely aim to elicit an emotional response”, said Irina. joins a number of recent additions to the nascent crypto-art scene, such as “200 Bitcoins”, sold recently to an anonymous buyer by German artist Kuno Goda.

One area where differentiates its paintings from other traditional works is in its novel painting verification mechanism. Each painting includes with it a certificate of authenticity that is permanently and digitally embedded into the Blockchain. This Certificate is tied to an identifier encrypted Bitcoin address permanently attached to the back of each work of art to serve as a unforgeable serial number, which also aids in authenticity verification, should a buyer decide to resell their work of art.

“Artwork verification is a costly and tedious process, involving expertise and logistical hassles”, points out Irina.

“We decided to make this process easier by harnessing the unique power of the Blockchain to tie a physical asset to a reproducible signed certificate of ownership that is a part of Bitcoin’s soul-the Blockchain”.

While all of Irina’s paintings are on sale at a discount for buyers who use Bitcoin, they are also available through traditional legacy payment systems. Additionally, shipping is free for all customers in the US and Canada. Drop by the site and have a look… you might just emerge a newly enlightened patron of a whole new medium of art and money!

New York Also Rises Atlas Unchained A Tsunami is Coming

Zennet Decentralized Cloud Network Releases Details of Zencoin Presale

An initiative that aims to create the world’s largest decentralized public “”supercomputer” has just come out of stealth mode. Zennet is a network that allows anyone to sell their idle computation power and anyone to rent it. Using Zennet’s infrastructure and the Blockchain, people that want to monetize their computation power can connect and trade with people who are looking to access vast swaths of power at free-market prices.

The Zennet initiative is the brainchild of renowned developer Ohad Asor. It lives in the world of distributed and decentralized Blockchain applications, and in the fields of Big Data and High Performance Computing. These fields have captured significant investments in the software market over the last few years, experiencing huge growth. HPC and Big Data are used in countless industries, including medicine, government, and marketing.

Zennet aims to power this expansion using the huge amounts of computational resources around the globe that are not being adequately utilized. Zennet has the potential to drastically reduce the cost of computational power and bring new magnitudes of speed to HPC consumers. Typical users are mathematicians, machine learning and image processing engineers, scientists, and data analysts.

The Zennet network is 100% distributed and decentralized: there is no central entity of any kind, similar to Bitcoin. All software will be open source. Bidders who wish to access computational power will pay providers directly, there is no middleman.

Users that want to buy computational power will use Zencoins. Zennet has just released details of its presale of Zencoins where 10 percent of all available Zencoins will be released. The price discovery sale, currently planned for mid-November, focuses on the Bitcoin community. Asor said, “Zennet’s founders are proud members of the Bitcoin community. We believe that this community understands the future of decentralization better than anyone else.”

Indeed, there has been significant enthusiasm about the project from the Bitcoin community on Prominent Bitcointalk member known as HunterMinerCrafter said that if the infrastructure is secure, “I firmly believe that new adoption of the technology will (briefly) outpace new adoption of bitcoin.  No joke.  If this thing works or even just “works” there will almost certainly be a mad rush of both publishers and providers.”

“This presale will precede other sales that are intended mainly for the global crowd (via cryptocurrencies or fiat money), such as corporations, academia, research centers, etc. Any future selling of Zencoins (by the team) will only occur at a price higher than the price set during this initial pre-sale. This is to ensure that the early adopters are rewarded by having purchased zencoins at the cheapest possible price point” said Asor.

We are certainly staying tuned!

For more information, Zennet’s website is


Inside Bitcoins Paris is TWO WEEKS AWAY – Get 10% OFF!

We’re excited to be continuing our partnership with Inside Bitcoins Conference and Expo, the leading trade show for the fast-growing bitcoin and related cryptocurrency industry, as they launch in Paris in just two weeks! The full schedule for this leading crypto event is now live, and will feature sessions from many industry leaders. See the full roster of speakers here!

Nicolas Cary, CEO of will deliver a morning keynote on November 20 titled, “International Review: Bitcoin Stories from Across the Globe.” The opening keynote on November 21 will be delivered by Bernard Lietaer, Research Fellow, Advisor to Jetcoin Institution, Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California at Berkeley.

Additional Session Topics Include:

  • Using Bitcoin to Achieve Real Crowdfunding
  • Bitcoin Security and Freedom
  • Moving Towards a Bitcoin Society
  • The Bitcoin Startup Ecosystem

The conference agenda, which will cover topics ranging from Crypto-Law and Regulatory Compliance, to Investment & Funding and The Developing World, will offer opportunities to learn about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency whether you’re a veteran or just getting started with Bitcoin!

Interested in attending? Enter code BMAG14 for 10% OFF 2-Day Passes. Register now!

inside bitcoin paris

inside bitcoin paris

Artists and Hackers Create “Parallel” Economy at Cryptoanarchy Institute

In 2003, a group of Czech guerilla artists called Ztohoven began leaving their marks on government-claimed property in Prague. They turned a neon heart on a castle into a question mark. They published the cell phone numbers of government employees in an art exhibition. They even hacked a government news station and began to broadcast footage of an atomic explosion during the weather forecast.

After gaining notoriety for these acts and more for over a decade, the group has recently changed course. Earlier this month, Ztohoven’s artists joined forces with some of the hackers they’d worked with previously to form the Cryptoanarchy Institute. They’ve settled in a former factory building in a suburb of Prague called Holešovice. The name of their new haunt? “Paralelní Polis,” which is Czech for “parallel city.”

The crypto hub’s pseudonymous spokesperson, Petr Žílka, told Hello Czech Republic:

“We want to create a living organism, a parallel structure that would allow people to step out from the system we are living in as much as possible. That’s why we also established a café, and a library and a co-working space where you can hire a table and can do your business.”

The concept of a parallel city was written about by Czech writer Vaclav Bendan in 1978. It’s described as “an independent society—a society that is not oppressed by laws and the decisions of the representatives of the public authorities. A society that is based on its own values, values which are not forced by the central authorities.”

“Nowadays many technologies that originally came from hackers are part of life and we use it,” said Žílka. “We want to show that there are ways how to get rid of all the regulations and enjoy your virtual freedoms [with] encryption and anonymization programs.”

Paralelní Polis will only accept cryptocurrency for payment. When asked if someone with only fiat would be welcome at the Cryptoanarchy Institute, Žílka replied that that’s exactly who the hub is for: people who want to learn about technologies with which they’re unfamiliar. He said:

“The house is an example of how it could work. . . This way we want to show that you can really start living like that and minimalize the influence of state and laws.”

A current offering at the new Paralelní Polis is called “Maker’s Lab.” The class takes place every Monday evening, and anyone is invited to come learn how to 3D print.

The Institute’s homepage makes clear its mission: “The aim of the Institute Cryptoanarchy is to make available tools for unlimited dissemination of information on the Internet and encouraging a parallel decentralised economy, crypto currencies and other conditions for the development of a free society in the 21st century.”

There are some people (yours truly included) who’ve begun to suspect the most complete form of anarchy in my lifetime will in fact take place in the cloud. The digital protection of identity and property—that is, cryptoanarchy—may not be physical, but does that make it any less desirable? Should cryptoanarchy perhaps become the new focus of freedom-seekers everywhere, as it arguably offers more tools and opportunities than can be found in the meat space? Launches Bitcoin iPhone And Android App For Conversion And News

Bitcoin Press Release: have launched a custom Bitcoin news and currency conversion app for Android users worldwide with an iPhone App coming soon.

Bitcoin application developers have announced the launch of their new Android App and iPhone App coming soon – the BTCxe Bitcoin converter; complementing their already popular website The launch of the App, announced this week, marks the first in a planned series of cryptocurrency related applications.

BTCxe is described on the website as being “the easiest to use, most intuitive Bitcoin converter people will ever use, and the last one people will ever need.”

Developed using Meteor.js and frameworks, BTCxe is elegant, responsive, and simple to use. With just a few taps users can quickly convert Bitcoin to the currency of their choice. The App also supports converting units of Bitcoin, making easy to convert μBTC, mBTC and kBTC as well.

Available for both Android and coming soon on iOS platforms, the BTCxe Bitcoin converter combines one-tap simplicity with other useful on-board features including:

    • Real time market updates via
    • Choose between 24-hour average price or last price
    • Ability to set default currency
    • One-click copy and paste
    • Latest Bitcoin news headlines
    • Bitcoin games
    • Buy / sell Bitcoin with one-click access to users favorite exchanges
    • Shop with Bitcoin via integration with

The web version of the Bitcoin Converter, available at, is as simple to use as its mobile counterpart. It has all of the features of the mobile version and in addition features a handy widget that allows webmasters to quickly customize and embed a BTCxe converter directly onto their own website.

BTCxe Bitcoin Converter currently supports conversion to AUD, BRL, CAD, CHF, CNY, EUR, GBP, HKD, IDR, ILS, MXN, NOK, NZD, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK, SGD, TRY, USD and ZAR currencies. Future updates will see the integration of additional currencies and many additional features by the dedicated development team behind

To learn more please go to:

To download BTCxe Bitcoin Android App on Google Play please go to:

Follow BTCxe on Twitter:

Like BTCxe on Facebook:

Media Contact:

Name:  Gleb Bihanov


Get your own professional Bitcoin press release:

Genecoin: DNA for the Blockchain

While it’s a common refrain in the Bitcoin universe that the Blockchain will have countless uses for the storage and management of scarcity in our lives, it’s still a field that’s just starting to deliver on this promise. Enter Genecoin, a newcomer in the Bitcoin space that seeks to fulfill an unlikely spot in our Blockchain future: the encoding and storage of who we are. Despite its name, Genecoin is not a crypto currency or a counterparty asset. Genecoin is the name of a nascent company run by a group of anonymous bitcoiners based in a undisclosed location in the United States’ northeast coast. The members of Genecoin are offering a simple proposition to the Bitcoin universe: to populate the Bitcoin Blockchain with the sequenced DNA of its customers.

Genecoin is still in its earliest stages of existence, and is not bashful about letting its audience know that the company is just in its beginning stages. The price list is still open ended, and the web site is quick to note that “We’re Gauging Market Interest.” However, the principles have clearly received a lot of attention in a very short time, and seem committed to the goal of servicing their first customers. For potential customers, the Genecoin process will start by connecting a client with a gene sequencing lab. This lab will send a saliva collection kit via the US mail, along with instructions to the user on how to collect their saliva using the provided hardware. Once collected, the user sends the sample back to the lab, via the postal service, where the sample is processed and sequenced. After sequencing, the results will be sent to Genecoin, where they are then to be persisted onto the Bitcoin Blockchain. Though there are many companies offering their customers gene sequencing services, it’s the Blockchain persistence that separates Genecoin from the competition.

Amongst the many technical challenges that Genecoin is openly addressing is just how to store this DNA data using Bitcoin. Given that your typical human’s unencrypted DNA takes up approximately 750 MiB of data, storage of this data in full, on the Blockchain, would be significantly cost prohibitive. However, Genecoin is quick to point out that much of this data is redundant between humans, and that this size can be drastically reduced by merely encoding the ‘differences’ amongst a single human’s DNA from those of a reference model. Such an encoding would require off-chain data be used for reference, and Genecoin is exploring various ways of referencing this data in a decentralized capacity. In addition to the considerations surrounding space efficiency, Genecoin is actively exploring mechanisms to encrypt the storage of one’s DNA on the Blockchain as well. After all, just because one wants their data to persist forever, doesn’t mean they want everyone privy to it. Options for latter decryption would include time-lock, and oracle-based decryption schemes.

So, why would anyone want to encode their DNA on the Blockchain? Like much in the crypto space, some projects are a solution in search of a problem. However, one easy reason to use the blockchain to store DNA would be as a replacement for a traditional ‘Birth Certificate.’ Notarization has long been a function provided by the Bitcoin Blockchain, so to ‘notarize’ the existence of a person’s DNA could attest to the existence of an identity, and its age. This attestation would thereafter function in the much the same way as does our current oracle-based (hospital-centric) system. Additionally, for those thinking of the far off future, another fanciful notion might be to encode one’s DNA for the purposes of cloning by a future generation. If that sounds a bit too far-fetched, well, just remember that decentralized currencies were once a far-fetched idea as well.

Regardless of where Genecoin and the DNA sequencing market goes from here, there’s a number of wonderful questions being asked and answered around the Genecoin project. Does the Blockchain have value? What’s the best way to store data so that it will survive the eons? How will the Blockchain find a use outside of the traditional confines of the financial space? These questions will be answered in enough time, but one answer that’s immediately obvious for many in the Bitcoin community, and hopefully to be obvious for others in the biology community: the Blockchain has many uses above and beyond just the storage of balances on a ledger.

Bitcoiners Prepare for These Words: I Should Have Listened

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”

Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost


“I should have listened,” say the skeptics, cynics and the disbelievers. But they are speaking of you and your words once you realize they were right. They may honestly believe that your bitcoin fascination will end sadly, wherein they can dutifully remind you that they told you so.

“I should have listened,” might be the words created during times of frustration in the mind of this reader from time to time. These thoughts and feelings may come to the relatively inexperienced Bitcoiner who may have, unfortunately, purchased a few bitcoin during the peaks to sadly watch the price deflate. For those who only know bitcoin as a possible currency replacement, or an investment in some way that only shows on the surface of bitcoin, it may seem like dark days. They might have read about the great bitcoin crashes in the past, but perhaps the cycle and patterns won’t repeat this time.

Most Bitcoiners have been told, by the ‘experts’ in popular opinion, that bitcoin is a scam, a ponzi scheme, or a joke. It must be true – the public reason, because they read it on the Internet. The public also might get their inside information from their government, their news channel or their neighbor. Everyone must think they are the experts blockchain technology, yet 99% of the population wouldn’t know a blockchain from a dog chain.

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend. A quick glance at history will reveal closed societies that refuse to think outside their own paradigm. They shun new ideas or thought and progress.

“It’s a ‘pump and dump.’ You’ve been duped,” they tell us. Many Bitcoiners have tried to explain how it will change the world – but are met with skeptics who point to the steady decline in price as their proof. Most have never heard of blockchain technology, or understand how it is already changing the world. They have yet to learn of the changes they’ll find in passports, privacy and property.

The price of bitcoin has gone down fairly steadily throughout the year and not without reason. There have been major shocks to the bitcoin system this year, such as the spectacular implosion of Mt. Gox. Ominous warnings from repressive governments reminding their citizens that bitcoin isn’t a legal tender, as if they needed reminding that you can’t spend a foreign currency to pay your bills. Yet despite the bad news that seemed to pile on bitcoin to begin the year, bitcoin still hangs around. It still makes the news. The on-air skeptics which laughed only a year ago have straight faced conversations now. Old school economists still can’t believe the world would embrace a paradigm change that would then make their work seem less relevant.

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman

Famous old-school economists like Paul Krugman may take delight with each price drop. Perhaps he’s writing and rehearsing his speech already: “Bitcoin – I told you so

“I should have listened,” could be the words that haunt some early bitcoin adapters. They were brave enough to think differently than most of the world and many were even told – that they thought foolishly. Early Bitcoiners have largely steeled themselves to these opinions and adapted to become stronger because of the constant barrage of criticism.   New York Magazine’s Kevin Roose, wrote an article in March of this year, describing the bitcoin community as a cult. But sometimes even the critics come around. Kevin recently left New York Magazine to work for ThisIsFusion, his new employer seems intent on promoting bitcoin through Twitter. Convert, or two-faced? Knowing that your fellow Bitcoiners have also faced the strange looks and sideways tilting heads showed that shared experiences strengthens the bonds in the community. Having somebody call you ‘crazy’ might be a badge of honor in the Bitcoin crowd. That’s a sign you’re now on the ‘inside’. However,  if you are looking for a cult to join – you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Most in the bitcoin space already know that bitcoin investment is not for the faint of heart. The common mantra from even the Bitcoin Foundation Chief Scientist is: “Do not invest more than you can afford to lose.” Of course, some choose to ignore these words. Others have used the opportunity to double-down on their investment, taking advantage of the cheaper prices. But yet the dark clouds continue to hang over the bitcoin world. The community is likely ready for the “bitcoin weatherman” to give a good news forecast for bitcoin which includes warmer temperatures and sunshine. They want to have the reassurance that they did not give their hearts and minds to a cause and movement that only fizzles while the world reminds them that they should have listened.

The thought that bitcoin could go to zero would be a bitter pill to swallow, probably more than almost any other investment because of the emotional investment many have with the technology. To be fair, it would likely be hard for most to not be emotional about this bitcoin. It is different because it carries the baggage of forcing Bitcoiners into defending it and by extension oneself for believing in the idea because it comes to represent the essence of the individual. One’s judgment and vision may be called into question for following the road less traveled. Defending bitcoin is defending yourself because it is so different. To remain centered, it’s perhaps best to expect the price to reach zero. How does one know if they’ve invested too much money into bitcoin as an investment? If they will lose sleep  if the price of bitcoin goes to zero. Most current day bitcoin investors have yet to have the honey badger of money come to their rescue as he has so often in the past.

It appears that fans in the bitcoin space are increasingly diving into two camps. In one camp we have those who are mostly interested in the speculation and investment. They don’t really care for the politics or movement that has begun around the technology. The Wall Street investors and most venture capital money seem to fall into this category. The other camp is the “hard-core” Bitcoiners who think of it not as a currency or payment system, but as freedom.

It’s a movement.

It might be argued that this group wouldn’t mind so much if the technology promised by the blockchain invention will live on in other currencies or methods that have just begun. Of course, some may be evenly split – but if bitcoin fails the movement will live on through the explosion of innovation that follows.

Bitcoiners are at a unique advantage point to watch the development, understand the advances that are happening in the science and, most importantly, to be there first. Bitcoiners are the ones feeling the pulse of the future in blockchain technology. A skeptic may believe these words that encourage readers to adjust expectations that the bottom could fall out and they are only preparing to concede defeat. However this is not the case. There is no “we’ll get them next year” mentality unlike the fans of every sports team – minus one. Many Bitcoiners have skeptical friends and family who refuse to try to understand what the fuss is all about. They might be all too happy to say those four hated words nobody likes to hear:

I. Told. You. So.

Now for the good news:

star night

 Stubborn rays of hope refuse to be extinguished.

Again, and again, and again the topic of bitcoin relentlessly resurfaces again proving: it’s not dead yet. This fact must be annoying to the critics who haven’t been able to see past their own present paradigms. People EXPECT bitcoin to fail. The longer it hangs around, the more it stays in the news, the more everyone talks about it:  may slowly and silently be chipping away at their resolve. Justifying their opinion becomes more difficult and their ego will instinctively remind them to be consistent with themselves to save face. But reality and ego might be destined for a collision course.

Why does it seem that many Bitcoiners are actually… happy? There are conventions and meetups where people don’t seem to care about the price. Many in the bitcoin space readily admit that the price is perhaps the LEAST interesting part of the bitcoin story. Wall Street firms are preparing to create Equity Trading Funds (ETFs). Commodities Futures  and Trade Commission (CFTC) have already held hearing and the general feeling is that all systems are go. The CFTC is the agency that regulates gold, silver, and other commodities and they consider bitcoin in the same category. Their charge is to guard against price fixing and market manipulations. If they are successful the wild price swings could finally find calmer and  more predictable waters.  The fact that bitcoin currently does not have a stable and predictable price is the biggest knock against it. If we want to use bitcoin as a currency, we need to be able to cross off the “store of value” complaint that critics maintain. It remains to be seen how effective the attempts by the CFTC will be.

How much do these Wall Street companies say about the price of bitcoin these days? The silence is deafening. They are keeping their cards close to their vests. This could be a good sign for bitcoin holders.  Hedge funds, mutual funds, and other big firms have strict restrictions in the kinds of investments they are allowed to allocate funds. When regulations are finalized all the pieces could fall into place that will finally allow the financial vehicles from which they can allocate some diversification money. The regulated bylaws do not allow them to invest in bitcoin directly, just as they cannot invest in gold or silver directly. They do so by using the gold and silver ETFs that track the price and (supposedly) are backed by the asset. If just a one percent investment allocation is diverted toward digital currencies by these huge firms … the price will explode. If just one percent of the allocation of gold investment was hedged into bitcoin – the price will explode. Bitcoin meets the criteria of being the magic word investors love to hear: “non-correlated asset“. In these scenarios, the projected price possibilities are so incredible it may be seen as imprudent to speak of them out loud.  Many of these fund managers are likely licking their chops wanting to get in early. If the price does explode, other mutual fund managers will be under pressure for their own funds to compete. This domino effect could result in its own positive feedback loop.

Circle Internet Financial just came online and out of beta and it is silky smooth. Bitcoin Investment Trust was created by SecondMarket and its first New York regulated exchange is reportedly just waiting for the New York regulators to issue final guidance. PayPal is entering the business. There have been some indications that Dell has more plans for bitcoin beyond just accepting it as a payment option. Many industry experts indicate the hottest job market in the field of technology now is going to bitcoin startups.

New York seems to be closer to having a workable bitcoin licensing plan. Several foreign governments appear to be finally ‘getting it’ and warming to the idea of bitcoin related jobs invigorating their economy.  Wall Street firms need to purchase bitcoin funds at low market value – the lowest possible.  I don’t want to start a conspiracy theory, but logically, would it not make sense to be pleased to see the price of bitcoin going steadily down so they could strategically move into position and buy it up before making any big announcements? Wouldn’t you if in the same position? The entire bitcoin market cap is child’s play for big Wall Street firms. The market is so thinly traded (by Wall Street Standards) that they could probably assign an intern to buy and sell at the right pivot points to send the price exactly where they want it. Or a wealthy hedge fund manager using his personal money over a few lunch hours. For now, small time players will be just have to hang on for the ride. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

In short, it seems that the market price and the news lurking around the corner and hidden in the details of news articles, do not align. This may only recognized by those “in the know” that track these events closely and can divine meaning. The current price does not match up with the rumblings of titanic shifts that are underfoot. I do not give financial advice – but I do give caution…don’t get greedy and limit your excitement to what will allow you to sleep peacefully if it doesn’t go as you’ve planned.  But… on the other side of all this talk about preparation – it’s fun to imagine preparing for takeoff. In this case, a safety harness and safety straps may be in order. Strap in for the wild rocket ride that might be possible in the months and years ahead. Remember to keep your hands and feet inside the rocket ride at all times. While you’re on it, try to come up with something good to say every time you hear those four words from your friends, family and foes.

“I Should Have Listened.”

Leave a comment for others to see what you will tell them.

Follow me on twitter: mreespublic

Star night picture provided by:

JL777’s vision of the Supernet

“In crypto, the competition is not each other, it is fiat. If any crypto does well, we all benefit.”  – jl777

Disclaimer: I own stake on a variety of the financial technologies discussed in this article, including the Supernet.

Since the birth and growth of Bitcoin, many altcoins, copy cats and innovations have emerged. Today there are over 500 altcoins, all of them disconnected from each other as islands without bridges to bind them. Most of these crypto currencies compete for the loyalty and investment of anyone seeing their utility and promise at the loss of the next.

This disconnection between coin apps such as Darkcoin or Blackcoin means that users need to go through a fairly complex process if they want to benefit from the innovations each coin offers.

Let’s take the example of Amy, who, concerned with corporate espionage, wants to set up a smart contract with Joe, her new business partner. They both want to make this happen with optimal privacy and minimal cost.

What is the Supernet? JL777's vision
JL777’s vision of the Supernet

To do this, Amy would have to convert her Euros to Bitcoin, likely through an exchange like Bitstamp, exposing her identity to be associated with her purchase. She would then need to convert her Bitcoin to Darkcoin at an exchange like Poloniex, exposing her to risks of centralized exchange failure like that of the recently bankrupted Mintpal.

She would continue by sending the Darkcoin to herself using a few rounds of Darksend+, go back to a centralized exchange, convert it to Blackcoin and finally deposit her funds on Black Halo, making the smart contract effective.

Black Halo secures smart trades like this one by requiring all parties involved to deposit a collateral on a shared account. If a party cheats it would lose its collateral, arguably getting rid of the incentives to do so.

To match Amy’s caution, Joe would have to go through a similar process.

Even though this would require far less trust than that of meeting someone and handing them a bag full of cash, or getting involved in a legal contract that might not be enforceable or too expensive to take to court, this is still a fairly cumbersome process and it exposes users to volatility and risk at multiple points, while requiring deep knowledge of the tools available to users.

What if instead of trying to navigate value across all these channels, Amy could simply download one app where she could in a few clicks have this transaction be done, perhaps even automatically, all on top of a decentralized platform?

This is a glimpse of what the Supernet could enable. This is what “The Internet of coins” could look like. This is part of what JL777, the anonymous superstar C developer also known as James, has been building for months.

The Supernet is not a coin, any more than the Internet is a website. The Supernet may be  easily understood as new language which allows participating altcoins to communicate value amongst each other. Its GUI would allow users and wallet developers to access the Internet of coins.

Slide show of the Supernet GUI

Its aim is to enable coin communities to cross market their innovations to what previously were their competitors and easily leverage the best of emerging coin apps, like Darkcoin or Blackcoin.

Being presented as a decentralized and trustless platform, the Supernet is a shopping mall for altcoin innovations. If successful, it would allow altcoins to join their efforts, while allowing them to specialize on whatever they care about the most, instead of having to be a jack of all trades.

Detractors often claim that any innovations good enough to emerge from the altcoin space could be added to Bitcoin; however this has yet to happen. Demand for such 2.0 technologies has led to centralized solutions emerging, an alarming amount of which have  been “hacked” as tends to happen with centralized coin storage solutions.

The Supernet has an amazing amount of decentralized tools and technologies currently being developed, far more than can be explained in one article. These are some of its most prominent features, though there is much more to come and be explored.

  • Multigateway, decentralized crypto to crypto exchange ontop of NXT AE. (Already running)
  • Teleport, anonymous crypto finance built on top of BitcoinDark.
  • Telepathy, private information transfer.
  • InstantDEX, home of crypto currency programmable trade bots, on top of decentralized and cheaper crypto to crypto exchange.
  • Coinomat, fiat to crypto currency exchange.

The Multigateway, an add on already available on top of NXT’s decentralized asset exchange, allows for trade between integrated altcoins on a decentralized platform. SecuraAE is a great way to access to decentralized asset exchange which according to Coinmarketcap is the market leader in most metrics.

As a privacy centric technology, the Supernet has at its core two innovations called Teleport and Telepathy, enabling anonymous transactions and private information flow, respectively. Take a look at Telepathy and Teleport’s white papers to learn more. Supporters claim this technology is better at financial anonymity than mixing approaches like those used by Darkcoin.

The Supernet team does not stop at a coin app mall only accessible to those who already own crypto.

Thanks to an official partnership with Coinomat, users may be able to enter into the Supernet through USD, Euro and Digital Gold wire transfers. Currently these can be exchanged for Bitcoin, but Coinomat has announced it is working on a multi-coin online wallet, which would enable exchange from fiat to altcoins directly.

Though not much information is available on this project yet, it is likely that the wallet will implement the Supernet’s Multigateway. Withdrawal from altcoins to Visa and Mastercard may also become available as this technology develops, since it is already possible with Bitcoin.

Almost every technology developed under the Supernet, including the Supernet itself, has a corresponding asset on top of NXT’s AE. Most of these assets, such as that of InstantDEX, are expected to pay dividends based on revenue generated. One of the best places to learn more about how, why and what to invest in, is to subscribe to the Supernet newsletters.

NODE Second Generation Cryptocurrency With Different Codebase To Bitcoin Launches

Bitcoin Press Release: Coded from scratch in node.js cryptocurrency NODE features 50 – 100 confirmations per second, upcoming NodePay EUR, USD and BTC integration and Proof of Activity algorithm launching next week.

After almost a year in development, recently launched NODE is a second generation cryptocurrency built from scratch in node.js that features encrypted messaging and NodePay launching in February 2015: the first hybrid international electronic payment system that allows users to pay bills and shop online, and send and receive remittances in NODE, USD, BTC and EUR. The NODE wallet client is 100% original and will feature full NODE, EUR, USD and BTC integration for sending and receiving funds on a decentralized peer to peer network. Experimental NODE wallet clients are also available for download for Windows, Mac and Linux. With more than 50-100 confirmations per second NODE possesses lightning fast confirmation of transactions; allowing NODE to compete with Visa. The NODE White Paper contains more information.

The NodePay system has a high degree of security, speed of transactions and a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options. NodePay also features some of the lowest fees (ranging from 0%), an easy to use client (simple and intuitive interface), full automation of operations and qualified customer support. The system is designed to be transparent and neutral. All information regarding NodePay money supply is always available in the NODE blockchain: balances can be easily verified and used in real time. No one person or organization can control or manipulate the decentralized NODE protocol because it is cryptographically secure.

Whenever users access their wallets they become a node in the decentralized NODE network. By using NODE users themselves secure NODE’s decentralized peer to peer network. On laptops and ordinary computers NODE users can also earn NODE by helping secure the network and keeping their wallet open through an automatic process called “forging”. In this way NODE is accessible to anyone with a computer worldwide and seeks to curb environmentally unsustainable mining races such as currently being seen with Bitcoin.

Next week NODE development team is ready to launch their new in-house cryptographic Proof of Activity (PoA) algorithm that helps users secure the network. With their 100% original code base, accessible wallet at, simplicity of forging, plans for NodePay decentralized payment network and the active NODE development team ready to release NODE’s original PoA algorithm; NODE is a stand-out in an increasingly crowded cryptocurrency ecosystem.

To learn more please go to:

Trade NODE for Bitcoin at:

Read the detailed NODE White Paper at:

Visit NODE on bitcointalk:

Media Contact:

Name: Roman


*This press release is for informational purposes only.

NODE Technical Specs:

Algorithm: Curve 25519

Type: Proof of Activity (PoA)

Block Time: 60 seconds

Node.js: v0.10.30

NODE Screenshot

Main NODE Wallet

Get your own professional Bitcoin press release:

The Face of Bitcoin Documentary

The Bitcoin community has been rapidly growing since its creation.

What was believed to be just a group of geeks and anarchists has transformed into an extremely diverse and passionate community.

I’ve come to realize that much of the bitcoin community is represented by avatars and usernames on the Internet. There is a shortage of physical human representation. For any grassroots movement to acquire legitimacy, people need to see real people.

EasyBitz, a payment network powered by crypto-currency, has begun an initiative to film the real faces of the bitcoin community.

They need your face.

They are compiling videos of a diverse group of bitcoiners speaking about their involvement with it, and making one great documentary out of it.

They have already shot a trailer, which is here:

Ray Yusef, CEO of Easy Bitz, tells how this idea came to life:

“We saw a documentary called the Rise and Rise of Bitcoin and thought it was absolutely masterful,” says Ray. “It taught us a lot that we didn’t know about bitcoin’s history and colorful characters, most of them archetypal techies and early adopters. Then we realized that many of the bitcoiners we knew were very different from the people in the film, the community is rapidly evolving. We knew we had to help tell this chapter of the story. We want bitcoiners to know just how diverse, cool and accomplished this movement is and how much it has grown. We’re in New York City and dealing with retail merchants has introduced us to such an eclectic slice of the world. Artists, musicians, Wall Street types, chefs, models and even the elderly. Some were already into bitcoin and others we introduced to bitcoin. Each of them has a story worth of its own film and together they make for a rich emerging culture.”

Ray goes on to add:

“Much as how we don’t have a bird’s eye of view of our own movement, we don’t see how others outside of the movement see us. If we did we’d realize that most people see us three ways.

  1. Hackers and anarchists: The media has done a real job convincing the world that bitcoin is inseparable from Silk Road and that the community itself is a shadowy den of bitcoin craving hackers and Illuminati-fearing conspiracists. If they saw the face of bitcoin in its wholeness they would smile and want to give bitcoin a hug.
  2. Corporate cultists: Ignorance of bitcoin’s nature as a decentralized protocol is the primary reason why most people roll their eyes or smirk when you tell them you are into bitcoin. They think bitcoin is a single corporation staffed by weird zealots hungary for market share. They don’t realize that bitcoin is like email, a protocol than anyone can use or build a service on top of. If they did they’d already be thinking of an idea in the Bitcoin space.
  3. Zombies: Talking with merchants for over nine months has taught us that 90% of them think that bitcoin died with Mt. Gox in Japan. They think bitcoin is dead and whatever remains are vestiges of a failed experiment. If they understood just how alive and vibrant the bitcoin community was on every level they wouldn’t hesitate to become one of us.”

When this project is finished, a candid look in to the eyes of the many humans rallying behind the hope brought by the creation of the blockchain will be given to viewers, and will change the way they look at this new Internet phenomenon.

The EasyBitz team has focused on the work of connecting people, and has encouraged all others involved in Bitcoin to do the same. They’ve started Bitcoin Happy Hour meetups in New York City.

Ray believes that this documentary will also change the community’s conception of itself, and spur more innovation.

“Even more important than how the world sees us is how we see ourselves. A morale boost never hurts when you are trying to change the world and a morale boost is exactly what we will get once we see how amazingly awesome and cool this community has grown to be.”

To submit your video, jump to this link:

Also, check out the EasyBitz NYC Happy Hour meetup:

€1.5m / $1.8m Worth of Bitcoin Seized in Dublin Drug Raid

Less than a mile from my home, as the Web Summit wrapped up in Dublin’s RDS, Gardai (the Irish police) raided an office in the leafy suburbs. Two men were arrested as part of an international operation targeting drug sellers using Tor, and several hundred thousand euro in cash, as well as quantities of of drugs were seized, along with computer equipment. This was part of a broader international operation called “Onymous” between the US and sixteen European countries and Europol, which has shut down Silk Road 2.0 and over 400 other darknet websites. A number of arrests have also taken place, including Blake Benthall, said to be behind Silk Road 2.0.

The police raided the operation after three months of surveillance, and caught them red handed, with everything unlocked and the silk road website open. They have said in the news reports that this is the first time they have identified and seized drugs, despite encrypted communications being in place. The computers seized were encrypted but wide open, allowing the computer forensics team to rapidly get the data. This has netted the police and their international partners on the operation, dubbed “Operation Charge”, access to an entire history of drug sales via Silk Road-esque websites lurking in different areas of the darknet. Even more significant is the fact that, again according to radio reports, approximately €1.5m / $1.85m worth of bitcoins were also seized in the wallets that resided on a seized computer, alongside information about offshore bank accounts in Switzerland, Belize, Poland and other countries in a follow up search.

Ireland has a long history of dealing with assets derived from the proceeds of crime. After the murder of Irish Independent journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996, the Criminal Assets Bureau was established to deal with the proceeds of crime, which have now been dealing with assets such as properties, cash, cars, paintings and other high value goods. But while the Irish Police may have dealt with small amounts of bitcoin seized in the past, this time around it now has approximately 12% the amount that was seized in the FBI’s first Silk Road raid, and the dispatch addresses to go with them.

The scale of this operation has swiftly removed a large portion of the more unscrupulous parts of the criminal ecosystem from the net, but it will also bring the privacy of bitcoin into the limelight once again. In this case, some people are probably going to be nervous, as the corresponding information and communications between users of this service has been seized, along with the wallet and corresponding logs.

So what will happen next? Will there be further arrests because of the logs seized in Dublin after they are shared with international police? Or does the ease in which the tech savvy elements of the Irish police force identified and then tracked down this operation – despite all attempts at encrypting and masking their trails – show that the wild west era of Bitcoin’s development is coming to a close, or a harbringer of more to come?

The Washington Post has also wrote that this takedown will make the world a more dangerous place and the multi-headed hydra will emerge as new people jump at the opportunity to reap the profits from this underground market.

Do you think this will have a positive or negative affect on bitcoin’s fluctuating price? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!



HM Treasury – Digital Currencies: Call for Information

The UK Government, through Her Majesty’s Treasury (HM Treasury) has asked for public feedback to assist in their formation of digital currency regulations.

HM Treasury has been aware of the developing Bitcoin space for quite some time, yet previously (2013) they had agreed to take a “wait and see” approach, allowing businesses in the bitcoin space to develop within the UK without any hindrance.

Earlier this year, George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer), asked HM Treasury to investigate the potentials of digital currency, and what the government’s role in this emerging sector should be. Since then HM Treasury has investigated and researched bitcoin and the development of businesses in this sector.

From talking with people working in the sector, and from Osborne’s own speech:

The British Business Bank has already committed over £100 million of new funding to Fin Tech companies and to the development of new and innovative forms of finance.

This investment program has benefited many companies represented here, and many other small, innovative businesses.

But I want it to go much further. So today I can announce I am extending the scheme with another £100 million. ~ George Osborne.

It has been understood that HM Treasury would like the UK banks on board, they want banks to offer emerging businesses assistance. The hope is to stimulate growth and the economy and for the UK to be a part of this digital financial revolution, and somewhere along the lines it is believed that minimal regulation to appease the banks will need to be made, whilst at the same time keeping the UK as an appealing place for bitcoin related businesses to come to and to flourish.


The questions asked by HM Treasury are aimed at the global bitcoin sector, though the effects would only be the UK, and likely the Commonwealth (53 countries), European countries that follow UK banking practices, and the banks that have their HQ based in London (most of whom are global entities) would also be affected.

Though it should be understood that the public questions at this time are only one stage of the process. After the public feedback there is likely to be dissemination of the information, then possibly recalling of individuals and experts to discuss this dissemination, then a report compiled for George Osborne.

Such a report would contain recommendations for regulations (or lack of) for the purposes of stimulating digital financial growth for the UK. After such a report might come Committee meetings, and then (possible) regulatory oversight.

Though for now, taking each day at a time, the general public within the bitcoin space have been asking to be involved with any decision making, especially when it relates to regulations. Not to have authority figures and establishments decide the fate of the sector without proper feedback from those involved in the space, and not just the businesses with business interests, but the individuals, the users.

As with Bitlicense everyone wished the get involved, and this time they have a great opportunity to get involved in as little as they wish, or extensively with thoroughly answered questions. HM Treasury has asked thirteen questions with a brief for each section to assist individuals and businesses in formulating a response.

hmt 2nd img

There is recognition from George Osborne that banks need competition, and that the emerging digital sector will be a key element in providing this much needed competition and alternative to the traditional banking system.

I’m here today because I want the UK the lead the world in developing Fin Tech.

That’s my ambition – short and sweet. ~ George Osborne

There is definitely the element within the bitcoin community that does not want any regulation, and throughout the questions HM Treasury asked numerous if it would be better to have no government regulation in that particular area, and if no regulation would an alternative interaction be appreciated, or even needed?

Question 8

One of the ways in which the government could take action to protect users is to regulate. Should the government regulate digital currencies to protect users? If so, should it create a bespoke regime, or regulate through an existing national, European or international regime? For each option: what are the advantages and disadvantages? What are possible unintended consequences (for instance, creating a barrier to entry due to compliance costs)? What other means could the government use to mitigate user detriment apart from regulation? ~ HM Treasury.

Part of the push for this public consultation was to give people the opportunity to say “No”. Remember, bad people and bad things only need apathy from those that wish a better world for things to go the bad way.

Keep in mind that this just one more step on a steady road to progress, and that this is your opportunity, short or long, to give voice to your thoughts.

Ensuring Network Scalibility: How to Fight Blockchain Bloat

With more and more users turning to Bitcoin and Chief Scientist Gavin Andresen having proposed a hard fork of the blockchain, the issue of network scalability has once again risen to the surface. The problem is called “blockchain bloat”: when more transactions are made, the blockchain has more data to record, and if it grows too large, it becomes difficult to easily download or store. As a result, blocks are currently limited in size, which limits the maximum number of transactions per second we can make to 7–far less than the volume handled by Visa or MasterCard.

This has become a major point of criticism against Bitcoin, especially with the arrival of “Bitcoin 2.0” applications unrelated to cryptocurrency that want to use the blockchain. Despite all the FUD, however, there are a number of solutions in sight that make it a trivial concern. In this article, I intend to put the issue to rest.


What Gavin Andresen has basically proposed is that we increase the block size, and thus the maximum number of transactions per second. You might interject that this is impossible due to the aforementioned technical difficulties, but the plan is to do this gradually by 50% per year. Computer and Internet technology grows at an exponential rate, so scientists and engineers should be able to keep pace.

Although the blockchain is now over 20 GB in size and growing at an increasing rate, because the block size is capped at 1 MB (and with 1 block approximately every ten minutes), this means that the blockchain can grow by at most 525,600 / 10 = 52,560 MB or ~ 52.5 GB per year (discounting leap year). If blocks increase in size by 50% per year, then the blockchain could grow by over 52.5 * 1.5^10 ~ 3 TB in 10 years.

By comparison, hard disk drives in excess of 1 TB are now relatively abundant, and by the time Bitcoin has enough users and 2.0 applications to reach maximum growth, hard drives measuring in the dozens of terabytes will be commonplace. And with the advent of creative blockchain-based cloud storage applications like Storj, we can expand those limits by allowing everyone to store pieces of the blockchain and access the others when needed through the network.

The question now is how to move all of that data. Hard disk drives have a maximum data transfer speed limited by the rotational speed of the disk, but solid-state drives are based on flash memory or can even use DRAM, which is about as fast as the RAM your desktop uses to power its applications. The last possible bottleneck lies in your Internet connection, which these days is limited both in bandwidth and total data downloaded per month.

Thankfully–as those who’ve read my previous article on How to Decentralize the Internet already know–the ‘net is continuously advancing. Although pesky telecommunications monopolies hinder the growth of our Internet connection speeds, Wi-Fi routers will soon be able to connect directly to each other. The next wireless standard–known as 802.11ac–uses a long range, directed 5 GHz frequency, and can carry around 40 MB/s. This translates to 40 * 60 * 10 = 24,000 MB ~ 24 GB every 10 minutes, which is way bigger than any Bitcoin block on the blockchain.


Emerging networking technology is obviously sufficient to sustain the Bitcoin network, but the Honey Badger doesn’t settle for sufficiency. Bitcoin’s competitors accuse it of wasting energy and other resources, but unlike most banks, it is always growing more efficient. With clever use of cryptography, we can limit the size of the blockchain without losing any of the information it contains.

That’s what Factom does in a nutshell. It takes “blockchain pollution”–a pejorative term used by some in the Bitcoin community to denote non-currency or other 2.0 data inserted into transactions–and arranges the various files into a column. These entries are then hashed and inserted into entry blocks, where they become the “leaves” of what are called Merkle trees. The leaves are hashed together 2 at a time in stages (like a bracket tournament) until they coalesce at a hash called the Merkle root.

The data for every decentralized application using the Factom protocol is grouped into its own entry block which produces its own Merkle root, all of which are grouped together into what’s called a Factom block. The Merkle root of each decentralized application becomes a leaf in a new tree, and are again hashed together in stages to produce a final Merkle root. Real applications need to move faster than Bitcoin’s 10-minute block time can allow, so these roots build up as they are calculated and then inserted into a Bitcoin block all at once.

Each Factom block provides a meta-snapshot of all decentralized applications and organizations in time, capable of verifying who owned or owed what, and any other information people might have motivation to tamper with or disagree over. If we acquire and arrange all of the entry blocks corresponding to one application into what is called a Factom chain, we run through the hashed data of that application going backwards in time every (approximately) 1 minute. If someone forged a fake entry block to fool you out of your smart property, it would fail to hash to the correct Factom root recorded by Bitcoin miners, which could be mathematically proven with ease.

So, who creates and stores these entry blocks, and how can we access them? Although the Bitcoin blockchain can be used to verify the validity of smart contracts and the owners of smart property, the process of compressing application data to eliminate bloat causes us to lose specific information about the users and apps–the who and the what.

As one should hope, the solution to that is decentralized. Factom is essentially a P2P network using a BitTorrent-like protocol, running on a system of federated servers using a BitTorrent-like protocol. These servers all audit one another continuously to make sure they’re following Factom’s rules, and all of them are compensated in cryptocurrency for their services. In the future, they will use networks like Storj and SAFE to communicate via the meshnet.

Once that’s established, anyone with the proper client program on their computer device can get and verify the information they need  to run a decentralized application. You just need to be connected to the Internet, and–as it continues to decentralize–you’ll soon be able to do everything you need without worrying about silly things like “blockchain bloat.”

Bitcoin Around the World With CCN

What if colleges and universities around the world had clubs dedicated to cryptocurrency where students could learn about emerging technologies and get in frequent communication with each other?

This is already happening. And membership is not limited to college students.

It’s called the College Cryptocurrency Network (CCN).

Through the help of the CCN, different members from four different continents have shared some valuable information about the status of Bitcoin in their local areas.

Additionally, we’ll learn more about the Bitcoin Against Ebola Campaign, which the CCN is taking part in.


In Australia, there are more and more merchants beginning to accept bitcoin.

Here’s what James Eddington from CCN Melbourne about it.

James from Australia
James from Australia

Here in Melbourne, we’re seeing a lot of interesting Bitcoin related projects happening behind the scenes. We’ve got a local documentary being filmed, a growing merchant ecosystem being helped along by Coinjar, DCPOS and BitPos, and a tech savvy group of venture capitalists leading the first dedicated investment fund for Bitcoin companies and startups.”

The recent ATO ruling has put a slight dampener on public interest for the currency, but those involved are working as hard as ever to make things happen. CCN is starting to establish connections and grow, and has big aims for growth in 2015.

James is working hard creating a CCN presence in Melbourne, putting together a free bitcoin event in Melbourne featuring big names in the bitcoin space, and writing articles about bitcoin. 

The most recent Bitcoin event in Melbourne, Australia
The most recent Bitcoin event in Melbourne, Australia

“For me,” James concludes, “I see Bitcoin fuelling the vibrant and energetic community which already exists here, getting people involved with cryptocurrency and its underlying principles. Bitcoin is a great introduction to some of the privacy and contemporary economic issues we as a society face. If more people become educated about that, then it becomes a powerful tool for keeping the system in check, whether that’s Internet businesses, social networks, banks or intellectual property.”


In Kenya, Bitcoin adoption hasn’t picked up at the rate it has in Australia, but it is very likely to catch on, as many Kenyans are already accustomed to utilizing mobile payment systems.

Gibson Juma from Kenya told me more about the situation. He’s  African Regional Representative of CCN, representing the Kenyatta University Chapter. Gibson is the cofounder of a Bitcoin startup called Bitsoko.

Gibson from Kenya
Gibson from Kenya

“Bitcoin technology is pretty confusing to the average guy here, but most university students understand it. Students on campus are very enthusiastic about cryptocurrency. There’s a CCN chapter in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, at Kenyatta University. We will be holding our first interuniversity meetup on the 28th of August. Some attending universities include M=ount Kenya University, Nairobi University and a United States International University, in addition to 12 other schools that I have approached.

We have hosted two bitcoin meetups in Kenya so far and will have our third on the 28th of November. Our last meetup was in conjunction with the African Digital Currency Association on the 16th of September we had over 40 people in attendance. Also in attendance were other Bitcoin-related companies such as BitPesa and bitX.

Bitcoin is very new but more and more people are discovering it. I believe Kenyans will embrace Bitcoin just as they have embraced mobile money using Mpesa. They have always been comfortable with digital money.

A recent Bitcoin Meetup in Kenya
A recent Bitcoin Meetup in Kenya

We have had meetups that help spread information about Bitcoin and also gave away some free bitcoins. Locally there isn’t enough Bitcoin going around, but enabling people [to] buy airtime and data bundles using our Bitcoin app Bitsoko will go a long way in spreading the word.”


In Argentina, as I imagine most of you know, the economic situation is extremely volatile and unstable.

I spoke to Ramiro Gamen, in Argentina. He’s the Regional Director for Latin America of the CCN. This guy had a lot to say.

Ramiro from Argentina
Ramiro from Argentina.  Photo taken by Pablo Scoccola

“Inflation in Argentina [is] rising exponentially, government spending is still causing an unsustainable deficit, and foreign currency reserves are running extremely low. Prices are soaring and credit card use is being suspended at an increasing number of retail stores. Unemployment is rising and queues are getting longer and longer everywhere.

Bitcoin can revolutionize many areas of our economy for the better, but I’ll focus on the 3 most important in my opinion: 

  • Payment method: faster transactions means shorter queues. No chargebacks and low fees allows merchants to offer better products at better prices. As Bitcoin allows for a cashless transaction, merchants are able to keep a low volume of physical currency at their stores, increasing security.
  • Storage of Value: even with Bitcoin’s volatility, it still serves as a better storage of value than the Argentine Peso. Whoever is bullish with respect to Bitcoin will also see that saving in this asset instead of dollars, property or bonds (as many do here, specially property) will result in a larger ROI in the long term (5-10 years)
  • Access to Foreign Currencies and Foreign Accounts: Bitcoin allows Argentines to move assets from Peso to Dollar in an easy and legal manner. As you may know, the government puts lots of regulations on accessing foreign currencies, making it almost impossible for the population to buy it legally, meaning we all must access “cuevas” (caves) where dollars and euros are sold at the “blue” or parallel rate (around 70% higher than the official rate)

Argentina’s Bitcoin Community has been, since the currency’s global breakout around 2011, pioneering the Bitcoin Industry. Latin America’s strongest exchanges have been created in our country, as well as many other businesses and consultants which call Argentina their home. According to the number of downloads in the QT Wallet and other public records, there are around 60-80 thousand users, although it is hard to say how many of those actually transact daily in BTC. Moreover, more and more stores are beginning to accept BTC payments through several Bitcoin processors, some of which are local.

Bitcoin Seminar at University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ramiro speaking at a Bitcoin Seminar at University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Bitcoin Embassy Buenos Aires is another example of the growing Bitcoin community in Argentina. Although there are still details that must be finished with regards to the infrastructure, the Embassy will hold a large number of freelancers and start ups – several are already operating within it. Seminars and workshops are held weekly.”

Ramiro has done both voluntary and entrepreneurial work in the bitcoin community.

“As far as volunteer work, I’ve co-founded the University of San Andrés Bitcoiners, the first official Bitcoin Student Organization in the country, which led me to start collaborating with the College Cryptocurrency Network.

The team has been working on bringing Bitcoin to top business and information technology conferences. We’re bringing Bitcoin to the Ekoparty Security Conference, Latin America’s largest and most popular Systems Security Convention; Red Innova Camp, where we’ll be holding a Bitcoin Hackathon; ECON 2014, University of Buenos Aires’ International Economics and Management Conference and the Latin American Bitcoin Conference in Rio de Janeiro in December.

As an entrepreneur, I’m the co-founder and CEO of BillBit, a Payment Processor and POS interface which focuses on helping the unbanked accept Bitcoin as payments for goods and services. It’s progressing rapidly. We have requests from many businesses for testing our beta app, from Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Mar del Plata, meaning the BTC community is definitely not constrained to the capital.”


Daniel Bloch, an urban farmer and the co-founder of CCN, lives in Michigan. He is the coordinator of Bitcoin meetups throughout Metro Detroit, where the number of attendees is growing each week.

Bitcoin activity varies from city to city in the US, but there is much involvement in Ann Arbor, Michigan as well as Detroit, which neighbors a city called Windsor in Ontario, Canada.

Daniel has recently successfully planned the Detroit Bitcoin Expo for October 27th and is putting together a group to launch the Detroit/Windsor International Bitcoin Center.

CCN co-founder Daniel Bloch at Detroit Bitcoin Expo
CCN co-founder Daniel Bloch speaking at Detroit Bitcoin Expo

He tells me a little more about what’s going on with Bitcoin in his vicinity. 

“The rate at which Bitcoin awareness and adoption is spreading throughout Michigan is astounding. Each week in Detroit more people attend the meetups with a plan on how Bitcoin can improve their business or service. Since Windsor, Canada is a bridge away from Detroit, many Canadian bitcoin enthusiasts are coming to Detroit more often. They are excited about being able to use bitcoins rather than their national currencies; they wouldn’t have to worry about exchange rates.

Also, an Immigrant support charity called Latino Family Services in the Metro Detroit Area is restructuring its business model to allow remittance services back to their countries using bitcoins. My hope is for Bitcoin to be the fuel for Detroit to rise from the ashes as a technology hub for the region that attracts startups, artists, innovators, and anyone else who want[s] to be a part of the energy of change.“

The CCN has announced that they are uniting their network to help fight Ebola alongside the Beam and Sierra Leone Liberty Group (SLLG).

“We’re currently putting our network together and starting the first united CCN campaign, which all chapters will be a part of,” says Daniel. “Only an estimated 15 percent of Leonies have bank accounts. Fortunately, over 80 percent of citizens have access to phones and effectively, mobile cash,” he adds.

Beam, a Ghanian remittance company, will be partnering with a service called Splash Mobile to allow conversion of Bitcoins into mobile cash. This will allow anyone with Internet access and bitcoins to provide relief during this crisis.

By converting the donated bitcoins, Beam is providing SLLG the mobile money services they need to supply food to quarantined homes, medical equipment to hospitals, and any other aid necessary for halting the spread of Ebola.

The name of this initiative is the Bitcoin Against Ebola campaign. Check out the website and donate here.


The CCN will be spreading awareness of this initiative at their upcoming events. They are still currently looking for additional sponsors; visit the CCN website here. You can get in touch with someone by going to the Contact section.

On different points on the globe, distant friends are being made as Bitcoin and the CCN allow young people help each other to  build a better future.

‘Bitcoin is Teaching Realism to Libertarians’: An Interview With Old-School Cypherpunk Vinay Gupta

As an old-school cypherpunk in the 1990s and one of the most active members of the E-gold community before this centralized precursor of Bitcoin got shot down, futurologist Vinay Gupta has been involved with digital currency for over fifteen years. He has also worked with the United States Departement of Defence on disaster relief and state failure issues, and helped develop CheapID, a genocide resistant biometric ID card for the NSA. He later turned his attention to global disaster prevention, and invented the Hexayurt: an open source dirt-cheap disaster relief shelter design which is used today in refugee camps and at festivals like Burning Man. Gupta has been appointed as the strategic advisor of the Ethereum communications team shortly before the publication of this interview, but he is probably best known within the Bitcoin-community for his interview-snippet from the upcoming IamSatoshi documentary, in which he discusses the politics of Bitcoin…

Vinay, first of all, you describe yourself as a “global resilience guru”. How resilient is Bitcoin?

Well, if the Internet goes away, Bitcoin goes away, right? So it’s vulnerable in the same way that civilization itself is vulnerable.

But if civilization breaks down, almost any store of value becomes useless very quickly. It’s not really clear that large piles of wealth sitting there actually exist without the state to protect them. That’s easy to see for copyright and patent, but the same is true for most other passive types of ownership, such as stocks, bonds or futures. And we could go further. I own the house I live in, but that house next door that I’m renting to you? The reason it’s mine, is because the state says it is. The ability to do large scale capital accumulation without having to need a private army is basically an artefact of pre-existing law.

Some people prefer gold over Bitcoin, but even if you own a lot of gold, and civilization breaks down, you’ll need people to guard your gold. And in all probability the people guarding your gold will end up owning your gold. Either a little bit at the time by guarding it, or all at once by dis-intermediating you from the gold shed. So because of the need of physical force to protect it, you could argue that gold is actually more vulnerable than Bitcoin. Because if the Internet goes down and stays down, something so bad has happened that it’s probably gonna be machine guns on street corners.

What about Bitcoin’s resilience in regard to the state itself?

Right, resistance to state interference… That’s a really bold claim. I sort of need to see extraordinary evidence for things like that, because bluntly, the security state invented this stuff. It’s fundamentally their kit. Most of the mathematics, most of the algorithms, most of the hardware, the internet itself, all these things are spin-outs of defence projects.

And remember, we really tangled with these guys in the 90’s. Public key cryptography was regarded a weapon of war back then. The American government was really friggin’ pissed off at us, and did as much damage as they could within the law. Constant harassment, legal pressure, people lost their jobs… the whole thing was constantly on the verge of everybody ending up in jail as far as we could tell.

Note that that is no longer true…

Are you suggesting the cryptography underlying Bitcoin is compromised?

Making the jump to saying Bitcoin is compromised is too far. But if you don’t think of this within the very narrow parameters of cypherpunk history, if you put it in the larger scale of political struggle, then what did the US government do to every substantial opposition group? The American Indian movement: smashed with a hammer, you’ve probably never even heard of it. Black Panthers: smashed with a hammer, all that’s left are the Crips and the Bloods. US peace movement: people will tell stories about going to meetings, and a third of the attendees were spies from different agencies. State, federal, local, FBI, CIA, DEA…

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the government has the vast majority of the cards on the table when it comes to force, and they’re choosing to lay absolutely none of them on the crypto-community right now. Silk Road and all of the other drug trade sites that use Bitcoin would absolutely, without any shadow of a doubt, provide the legal reason for killing the Bitcoin-network and arresting everybody involved. Do everybody for drug trafficking, money laundering, all the rest of that stuff. But they’ve decided to better leave it up than to take it down.

So you’ve got to ask yourself: why?

Well… why?

I don’t know.

But the idea that we right now have a relatively small group of crypto-Jedi, that are so much better at this stuff than the people who invented it, and as a result are gonna bring peace and liberty for all on earth… Really?! I’m not buying it.

I don’t think Bitcoin is necessarily the existential threat to the existence of the state as Tim May’s old Cyphernomicon would have you believe it is. It is likely, however, that government without Bitcoin could very easily slide all the way into the establishment of total control over transactions by getting rid of cash and everything else.

The ecological function of dissent inside a complex society is not that the dissent immediately takes over. It’s that the dissent stabilizes the core within safe temperature parameters. With Bitcoin in the system, there’s every chance that if you really try and clamp down on society, more and more and more of the stuff will resort to Bitcoin, and it becomes harder and harder and harder to credibly lock the doors. You can imagine, for instance, how Bitcoin might have accelerated the fall of the Soviet Union if it had existed in the 1980s, just because it would have made the black market so much more powerful than the government in all kinds of ways.

So Bitcoin serves a protective function, a balancing function that didn’t exist before. And that does not require any extraordinary claims about its security against the NSA.

And the US government will be alright with this kind of re-balancing?

Well… Wall Street’s arrived. Wall Street on one side, Silk Road on the other. It’s the 1980’s all over again!

We need Wall Street?

I’m not saying we need Wall Street, but what I am saying is that the financial markets and the drugs guys have been in bed together for a very long time. And the fact that the current venue for that kind of thing actually happens to be Bitcoin, you know… the US government did not go around shooting everybody from Wall Street in the 1980s when it was cocaine and suitcases full of cash used to finance leveraged buyouts, now did it?

My suggestion for Bitcoin would be to integrate Wall Street as fast as humanly possible. Teach the Wall Street guys how to use proper cryptography, teach them how to use blockchains, teach them that the state is not always their friend, and teach them that they should be thinking about engineering around it. If Bitcoin is gonna drift into Wall Street, let’s teach them some of our bad habits. Let us make them like us, rather than us becoming like them.

Many bitcoiners would rather not see Wall Street involved at all, in order to preserve Bitcoin’s promise of freedom…

Well, that kind of utopian vision, unfortunately, is total horses*t for Bitcoin. There are three problems: natural monopolies, cartels, and power law distributions of wealth.

Bitcoin-mining is specialized by groups with heavy technological capability and enough financial strength to get custom hardware made. These miners have now pooled their computing power together because it evens out their earnings, effectively minimizing their risk. In the case of Ghash, this even puts them perilously close to the 51% point for control of the blockchain. This is cartel power.

Meanwhile, the distribution of bitcoins seems to replicate the current situation where 300 billionaires control the same amount of wealth as three billion poor people. This is partly because of early adopter dynamics and the increasing hardship of the mining process, but there’s also some evidence that power law distributions of wealth is just what happens in unregulated economies. This is a point many libertarians would argue against… but we’re doing the experiment right now, and there’s every indication that the basic structures of libertarian economics do push into that direction.

And then you have the Bitcoin Foundation, which is emerging naturally from the Bitcoin environment simply because it has established an economically efficient configuration. By paying the technical priesthood of Bitcoin known as the Core developers, the Foundation has created a huge amount of centralized power within a system that didn’t really start with any, which has now effectively turned it into a natural monopoly. And once you have a monopoly, it looks like a state. No wonder that the Bitcoin Foundation looks so frightening.

If you don’t like the Bitcoin Foundation, you could start a new one, right?

Sure, absolutely. Just like you could start a new river Thames. Have a shovel. Start digging.

Look, every type of complex system needs indexing, and while decentralization is very resilient, it is also very expensive and inefficient. So indexes tend towards being singular. A single Yellow Pages, a single phone book… Two is much less useful than one, because with one it’s either in the book or it’s not.

Plus, complex systems often require centralized accountability in order to function properly. Get fifty people in a room, get them to organize some sort of task, somebody will wind up acting as a routing hub, that person now turns into a de facto leader.

“Natural” in natural monopoly doesn’t mean good, it just means that it’s an economically efficient configuration.

But we could start a new Bitcoin Foundation…

We could. But even if it is efficient, we’ll have replaced one corruptible structure with another corruptible structure.

“We’ve picked a new set of bureaucrats, and we’ve done so very carefully, they work for us. Today. Tick… tick… tick… Wow these guys are kind of jerks… Tick… tick… tick… Can we get rid of them? Maybe we should start a third Foundation!”

Right? No progress. Doesn’t work.

How about a “one bitcoin one vote” arrangement for Bitcoin-development, like you’ve suggested before, or a crowdfunding platform such as Mike Hearn’s Lighthouse?

“One bitcoin one vote” arrangements for Bitcoin could certainly dilute the natural monopoly of the Bitcoin Foundation, and a bounty-based scheme such as Lighthouse probably has similar dynamics in practice. These are both definitely better solutions than an unaccountable natural monopoly running the development process.

But they do make Bitcoin a society in which the rich can use their accumulated wealth to pay the costs of changing the rules of the game to favour them even further. That’s a problem if you want freedom. Winner-keeps-winning games eventually result in misery all the way along the long tail of poverty. Reify property as the core of politics, and you’ll eventually wind up as slaves again.

So you don’t really consider these solutions fair either?

What I’m saying is that we can’t even really define fair. So if we can’t define fair, and we’ve got a pretty hard time defining free, all that happens is that every time we build systems they run off the rails.

What a lot of these Bitcoin-kids don’t realize, is that they’re playing with nuclear weapons. They’re taking the full force of this creation, this mathematical lightsaber, and they’re swinging it around in a small room filled with young children. If you wind up in a situation where these guys win, where Bitcoin actually displaces the dollar and becomes the global reserve currency, every cut corner and every political error in their deep thinking will become the new chains that bind humanity. And the existing chains are only made out of the will of the state. These new chains are made out of mathematics, and they are a hell of a lot harder to break.

You sound pessimistic.

The primary function of Bitcoin, the long-term political value of this experiment more than any other single factor I can identify, is that it’s teaching realism to libertarians.

Libertarianism simply does not prevent the establishment of monopolies, cartels, or power-law distributions of wealth. Never has, never will. Libertarians needed to see that happen in order to understand that their ideology is actually not going to protect them against centralized power.

Now they will need to decide: did they want libertarianism, where property is used to divide everything? Or did they want anarchy, where it’s our inherent human nature that gives us freedom, not our property rights.

If these libertarians would be good enough to grow the hell up and become anarchists like normal people, then perhaps they would start to get serious about controlling centralized authorities rather than fantasizing that they will cease to exist.

How would you suggest we move forward?

First of all, what I would like to see, is a very serious, large scale, political analysis project, to really try and figure out what the hell is going on. We need to start out-thinking states and government agencies rather than just outbuilding them. We’ve gotten pretty good at this idea that with enough eyes all bugs are shallow – that’s the classic saying about open source security. But we now have a new set of security problems, which is not about finding bugs, but about analysing motives. So we need lots of eyes analysing motives, finding out whether or not we’re basically shooting ourselves in the foot here. I don’t see any reason why that shouldn’t be another large scale open source project, like Wikipedia. An open intelligence agency, that publicly does the risk and threat analysis, publishes the results, is open to feedback, and builds a realistic study of what kind of exposure we have to these bastards. Very much like STRATFOR, but for the open source community.

And the second priority – after integrating Wall Street – is taking all of the money that people are making in the Bitcoin system, and using it to build the friggin’ successor. Everybody thought Bitcoin was gonna bring them freedom and liberty, but what it has brought them are three different kinds of entrapment. Let’s take these lessons, and make a Bitcoin that is useless to Wall Street, that doesn’t automatically create a cartel of miners, and that doesn’t leave a power vacuum for development which some Foundation will fill.

And I want to emphasize: this is super clearly a social problem. Not a technical one. You need to build a social understanding that can finance the technical development in order to deliver the software you want. And make no mistake: a system that solves this problem effectively is a government.

I do believe this is entirely possible. In the same way that you’ve got the eBay mafia – a bunch of guys that got rich off inventing eBay and went on to build new amazing things – and the PayPal mafia – a bunch of guys that got rich of inventing PayPal and went on to build new amazing things – we’ve now got a huge Bitcoin mafia that’s got buckets full of money… So where are my amazing things? Go forth! Conquer! Go out and make the world amazing!

World’s First Cryptocurrency Cyber Thriller: NXT Film Project Stands And Delivers

Bitcoin Press Release: In a world first, the NXT Film Project is raising funding for its Hollywood-grade cyber thriller film via the NXT Asset Exchange: an emerging cryptocurrency crowdfunding platform.

Loosely based on real life events, the NXT Film Project is an edgy cyber thriller that deftly narrates cyberbullying conducted using web-based communication technology. The plot showcases emerging cryptocurrencies and communities, how they are disruptive to established institutions, and how technology can be used with either good or evil intent. NXT Film Project is managed by three cryptocurrency enthusiasts who are committed to seeing the project succeed and reach it’s full potential.

The NXT Film Project aims to first, educate the lay person about cryptotechnologies by contextually demonstrating the technology’s efficacy and utility via the power of narrative storytelling. Secondly, the unprecedented project seeks to shed light on the criminal element – both petty and organized – seeking to exploit this technology during it’s current infancy.

In addition to the visionary and progressive subject matter of the story itself, the NXT Film Project embraces an innovative method of pre-production financing by utilizing the NXT Asset Exchange (SAE) for crowd-funding. Funding the NXT Film Project via a decentralized cryptocurrency asset exchange is a first in both the film industry and the SAE, for a Hollywood-grade screenplay.

Through utilizing cutting edge technology and tapping into emerging methods of crowd-funding, the NXT Film Project is a true community effort: offering project backers (i.e. asset holders) who reach certain levels of funding an opportunity to participate in the direction of the project.

Community support of the NXT Film Project has been overwhelmingly positive. The current round of pre-production ICO funding is for the screenplay of the world’s first cyber thriller to revolve around block-chain technology. With the full story outline already complete, the team is on schedule to have a marketable screenplay finalized and ready for sale within the next ten weeks.

A substantial portion of the proceeds from the NXT Film Project will go towards rewarding NXT community member Cadence Jean Morton (aka CobaltSkky) in reparation for the vicious harassment she has received while confronting cyberbulling and cyberstalking in the NXT community.

The NXT community as a whole firmly supports members who take a stand against acts of cruelty and unreasonable invasions of privacy. Cadence Jean Morton was directly involved in the events that form the real-life basis and motivation for bringing the NXT Film Project’s story to public awareness.

For more info, please visit and the official announcement thread in the NXT forums.

Media Contact:

Name: Mark M. Bravura



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Bitcoin And Cryptocurrency Exchange Launches Securing Cyberport Tech Incubator Seed Capital

Bitcoin Press Release: With $530 000 HKD of matching seed capital from Asian tech incubator Cyberport: Bitspark’s recently launched Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange in open Beta features open source code, cryptographically verifiable audits and a commitment to transparency.

Hong Kong based Bitcoin company Bitspark Limited has announced the launch of its public Beta Bitcoin and cryptocurrency Exchange. Bitspark provides the ability for customers to trade multiple cryptocurrencies in a secure, mobile friendly and easy to use environment. Bitspark’s Exchange utilizes open source code, auditable reserves, support of many alt-coins and an intuitive API. Bitspark’s commitment to trust and transparency is underscored by their open codebase, cryptographically verifiable audits and backing of one of Asia’s largest tech incubators: the Cyberport.

Bitspark has been refining the security, user experience and features of the Bitspark Exchange platform to meet customers high expectations and the public beta will enable the start-up to rapidly scale to meet demands. As a special launch promotion Bitspark’s cryptocurrency trading platform is launching with Zero trading fees for the first month.

“With our beta launch we are offering support for six different coins, including new interesting cryptocurrencies that are trending at the moment… We’re all about providing a trustworthy and transparent company, especially in the Bitcoin space.”

“We really want to convey that we’re more than just an exchange, we’re transparent, and we offer more cryptocurrencies than the competition — and we’re going to be adding more every week,” says George Harrap, CEO of Bitspark.

Bitspark has launched a number of innovative cryptocurrency products with more under development. Along with the Bitspark Exchange, Bitspark’s Sparkpool mining platform is a profit based coin switching mining pool already available for public use. Currently, Bitspark is developing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency merchant payment gateways and remittance services. Bitspark seeks to capture the emerging cryptocurrency market in Asia particularly: leveraging their strong product suite, cutting edge transparency, and multi-faceted platform to link customers to the exciting global cryptocurrency markets with ease.

About Bitspark:

Bitspark is a cryptocurrency startup based out of Cyberport, Hong Kong and was one of the top scoring startups of the August batch of 130 companies who applied for funding. Bitspark is staffed by knowledgeable veterans in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from a number of backgrounds – ranging from hardware and software engineering to marketing and management experience. Bitspark has a suite of innovative products targeting the cryptocurrency space and is currently developing and testing new Bitcoin and cryptocurrency services and tools.

To learn more please go to:

Bitspark Blog:

Bitspark Twitter:

Bitspark Facebook:

Bitspark Google+:

Media Contact:

Name: George Harrap, CEO


Address: 100 Cyberport road, Cyberport, Hong Kong

Phone: +852 3166 3800


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Bitcoin Payment Company BitSend Launches GPS Check-in Cryptocurrency Checkcoin CKC

Bitcoin Press Release: Netherlands based Bitcoin payment company BitSend has developed disruptive social cryptocurrency Checkcoin; geared to social media users who “check-in” at locations worldwide.

“Checking in” at locations using social media throughout the day is a worldwide phenomenon, and several cryptocurrency enthusiasts in The Netherlands have created new cryptocurrency Checkcoin (CKC) targeting this trend. BitSend, the company behind Checkcoin specializes in Bitcoin payment processing solutions and making cryptocurrencies accessible to ordinary people worldwide. Over the last year the BitSend team has helped many merchants and businesses embrace cryptocurrency using both hardware and software Bitcoin payment solutions.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Checkcoin is a blockchain based medium of exchange that is electronically created and stored. Checkcoin however has many more features: using Checkcoin Mobile users are able to reward each other by discovering great places around the globe. Locations and discoveries are created as “CheckPoints” with a gps-based geolocation created through their Checkpoint Platform. When someone else “checks in” at this location with their mobile phone, they are rewarded with Checkcoins.

Checkcoin brings something new to the table. It’s about discovering new places, exploring the world, and rewarding others for doing the same. For both a traveller setting off on a trip around the world, or a business owner looking for a new marketing tool to attract new customers – Checkcoin is the perfect companion.

The following video illustrates the full potential of Checkcoin and its many uses:

BitSend announced Checkcoin with an ICO (initial coin offering) hosted by cryptocurrency exchange C-Cex. People enjoy visiting new places, meeting new people and sharing new experiences – many shares of Checkcoins were sold. In less than a month all Checkcoins (14 million out of 100 million total) were sold for a total of 140 Bitcoin. These funds will be used for further development, testing and promotion of Checkcoin in future.

While Checkcoin’s ICO was held at C-Cex, several other cryptocurrency exchanges now list CKC trading pairs; including Bter, Cryptsy, Bittrex and Bleutrade listing CKC/BTC trading markets.

Due to being listed on so many cryptocurrency exchanges, more people are learning about Checkcoinand CKC’s market cap has been growing steadily to approximately $100 000 USD. Checkcoin is currently trading above the initial ICO price of a few months ago.

Backed by an established Bitcoin company active in The Netherlands, and targeting disruptive social media and “check-in” trends: Checkcoin is a cryptocurrency with many plans for the future. The BitSend team is still actively developing Checkcoin core infrastructure – with Checkcoin Platform and Checkcoin Mobile currently scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2015.

To learn more please go to:

To trade Checkcoin and BTC please go to:

Media Contact:

Name: Maurice


Phone: +31(0)321 75 04 59

Address: De Tjonger 22a, 8253 PZ, Dronten, Netherlands


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Umbrella Cryptocurrency Insurance Now Includes Litecoin Coverage In A New Partnership With Poloniex

Press Release: Interim Goal for Umbrella-LTC Price Point is 1:1 with Litecoin.

Umbrella continues to make headway in the cryptocurrency space. Fresh off the release of their roadmap, Umbrella expands its insurance fund to cover Litecoin losses, an industry first. Originally designed as an insured cryptocurrency to be mined alongside Litecoin using merged-mining (AuxPOW), Umbrella now looks to insure Litecoin. The Litecoin insurance beta opens in November to Umbrella members. Umbrella members are anyone holding 1 BTC worth of Umbrella-LTC (ULTC), board members included.

To insure Litecoin, simply purchase and hold a predetermined amount of Umbrella-LTC based on the amount of Litecoin being insured (see calculator). Umbrella-LTC purchase date must precede claim date. Claims can only be made against Umbrella certified exchanges like Poloniex. Since Umbrella operates on the basis of using a crypto asset to insure Litecoin, this one time premium may actually gain value. In the event a claim is opened clients would simply reimburse themselves for a profit. If a client’s premium has lost value, it can be turned in Umbrella Holdings for the agreed coverage amount (Payable in Litecoin). Full details of the program will be announced soon.

Umbrella Holdings are proud to announce their latest partner, Poloniex. Poloniex was very open to the idea of safer, trustworthy cryptocurrency exchanges. They welcomed Umbrella Holdings and agreed to a full security audit compromising of webapp and network penetration tests. Starting immediately, Umbrella-LTC is insured against theft, hacks and insolvency when held on Poloniex. Litecoin losses will also be insured on Poloniex if clients hold an active policy and are part of the beta program.

Umbrella is not insurance in the typical sense. The word is used loosely to help explain the concept. Umbrella uses the innovation of a crypto asset backed insurance system, or (CABI) for short. Half of each block reward is secured during the mining process and held as collateral for claims. Provided all the dotted lines have been signed, reimbursement is a painless process. After the beta ends, features will be fully automated and built into the wallet for a pain free experience.

Beta launches in early November, look for the signup page on Umbrella Holding’s website shortly.

What is Umbrella?

Umbrella solves one of the major problems of owning cryptocurrencies. If cryptocurrency is lost by an exchange due to a hack or insolvency, customer’s options are extremely limited in recovering their losses. Having asset protection in place by reducing risk exposure is a fundamental requirement in today’s financial markets. Wall Street has a variety of ways to deal with risk, from derivatives like options and futures, to more exotic offerings like forwards and swaps. It all comes down to minimizing risk; Umbrella makes this a seamless process. While Umbrella does not solve all the problems plaguing today’s cryptocurrencies or exchanges, they offer something no other cryptocurrency can: peace of mind.

By definition, Umbrella means any kind of general protection. Umbrella-LTC is a merged-mined currency that is insured and scarce by design, a currency that is designed to be acquired and held like a contract. Umbrella believes these properties will lend itself to low volatility and a stable market price. They also believe this winning combination will lead to a good store of value. In the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies, few tools exist to protect the miners and traders who are the backbone of the industry; Umbrella intends to change this.

To learn more please go to:

See the Umbrella Holdings insurance premium calculator:

Umbrella-LTC now trades on BittrexCryptsy, & Poloniex

Media Contact:

Name: Robert Murray



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My Experience on Wheel of Doge

While on the web not too long ago, I found a website called Wheel of Doge. It’s a Dogecoin betting game.

I had some extra Dogecoin lying around, so I decided to give it a shot. Why not?

The first thing I noticed on the website was that the user interface was visually appealing, colorful, and engaging – It drew me in. After quickly getting the hang of the game, the adventure began. What ensued was a roller coaster of wins and losses, but and overall exhilarating experience.

Click. Spin. Win Doge.

Click Spin. Lose Doge. :[

Click Spin. Win Again.

After every click, happy barks and sad whimpers were emitted from my computer speaker. The happy barks made me want to emerge as The Doge Champion. The sad whimpers made me want to do the same.

Now, I’m very aware that excessive gambling is  a serious disease, and that it can potentially destroy lives. But it’s so fun! Seriously, watch out kids. When you’re in the zone, crazy things can happen. Most of the time, you lose track of time and money.

After what seemed like 5 minutes of playing, I realized that an hour had flew by. After being taken on this ride, I began to wonder how it happened.

What was it about Wheel of Doge that kept me clicking and playing?

I contacted the creators of The Wheel of Doge, and found out the answer:  Wheel of Doge was created by expert game developers and designers.

The head developer at Wheel of Doge, Jake, notes:

“Dogecoin has come very far. But the aesthetics are still sorely lacking in the Dogecoin space. We wanted to fix that. We love games and we love design … We wanted to represent Dogecoin with something elegant and simple … A game the community would enjoy and be proud of. I believe we’ve done that.”

After I finished playing, the Dogecoin withdrawal was quick.  Another thing I liked about the game was that I left the site and returned, and my Doge balance remained on the site.

I asked the team about what led to the creation of the game; here’s what they had to say:

“We looked at the Dogecoin betting games available. We saw nothing particularly good. There was no attention to aesthetics and no respect for the Dogecoin brand. We love games and we love design. We wanted to represent Dogecoin with something elegant and simple; a game the community would enjoy and be proud of. We’re coming out of beta and we’re busy adding the features the community asked for. Specifically, for functionality, we have added an auto-spin. A lot of people asked for that, so we built it. Also, to allow our players to benefit from the success of the game, we’ve built a really easy to use affiliate program and ‘Be The Bank’ feature.”


Wheel of Doge is hoping to be the leading game in the Dogecoin space by providing many fun and much Dogecoin for their supporters.


Check it out here.



ChangeTip Introduces ‘Tip.Me’ – the Easiest Way to Tip. Ever.

ChangeTip Introduces ‘Tip.Me’ – the Easiest Way to Tip. Ever.

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 4, 2014 – At Money2020 today, San Francisco-based micropayments leader ChangeTip announced their new Tip.Me tipping platform. Tip.Me enables users to tip other users instantly, for free, and is seamlessly integrated into their current ChangeTip product. Until today, ChangeTip has leveraged popular social networks like Reddit and Twitter; with the introduction of Tip.Me, they are taking tipping to a whole new level.

The process is simple: users login using any of their online profiles; next, they choose a unique domain; and then they can accept tips whenever, wherever, and from whomever. Tip.Me also offers an embeddable widget so you can start collecting tips on your websites and blogs. The Tip.Me widget, similar to a Twitter ‘Share’ or Facebook ‘Like’ button, will make the social tipping fast and easy.

ChangeTip CEO Nick Sullivan thinks Tip.Me is about more than just social tipping.

“It’s about giving people an easy way to say thank you, good job, good idea, or here’s what I owe you. Tip.Me is a platform for instant value transfer and reciprocity. Say your friend pays for the Uber; with Tip.Me you can send him your share of the ride.”

In order to start tipping people from your Tip.Me account, you need to fund it. Currently, the way to fund your account is by using bitcoin. With bitcoin and Tip.Me, the ability to send small amounts of money over the Internet is possible. Traditional payment systems, limited by their technological inefficiencies, have never been able to offer this type of solution.

Tip.Me is enabling content providers a new monetization channel while offering the audience an opportunity to express their gratitude. “We see the ‘Like’ culture and want to level this up through gratuity. This is a love button for the Internet,” says Sullivan. Tip.Me is a game changer in a world where advertising currently fuels content.


About ChangeTip

ChangeTip is a leading micropayments company located in San Francisco, California. By leveraging Bitcoina and Blockchain technology, ChangeTip is building a liquidity engine for peer to peer generosity and tipping. ChangeTip is sees the global tipping industry as a multi-billion dollar market desperately in need of a technological make-over. For further information about ChangeTip and Tip.Me please visit or contact Victoria van Eyk,, 613-898-8674.

The New Frostwire

Remember FrostWire (BitTorrent client)? They’ve completely transformed their platform and are integrating Bitcoin into their system.

While at a Bitcoin conference I met Angel Leon, a project lead for FrostWire. Bitcoin, he mentioned to me, has caused a resurgence of excitement in the open-source movement.

Angel is also working hard on the OpenBazaar Project.

I asked him some questions about everything from Bitcoin, to FrostWire, and OpenBazaar.

Kevin Cruz: How did you come to begin working on open-source projects and why do you enjoy it?

Ever since I was into school I couldn’t understand why so many people in campus would be so adamant to not show their code, it wasn’t as if they were developing top secret super important technology, I thought we’d learn more from each other if we shared.

But it wasn’t until I joined LimeWire in 2005 when I truly began to learn what the Open Source process really meant. From there I moved onto other projects, such as FrostWire, and everything I do, if it can be opened, it will be.

How does the vision behind Frostwire relate to the idea of bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the missing key for many projects, not just FrostWire. In our case, we see tremendous opportunities to enable content creators to monetize the content they share with those who can pay what they can, and while they do that, we believe no third party should be involved in taking a cut of the transaction.

We believe that there’s great value to be added to industries that deal with Intellectual Property if you onboard content creators worldwide without any friction and better yet, if they can transact with their fans/customers directly and efficiently like you can with Bitcoin.

How has Frostwire changed more recently?

FrostWire is now 9 years old, it went from being a LimeWire fork into a project of its own. FrostWire is the result of integrating a multitude of Open Source projects; it’s basically a file downloader with built in search capabilities, along with a full featured media player powered by MPlayer.

FrostWire downloads files from cloud services and from the BitTorrent network. For this purpose we’ve been using the Vuze/Azureus BitTorrent engine, but as of FrostWire 6 (currently in alpha) we’ve removed Azureus completely and we’re now using libtorrent.

We were born a Java project, and integrating things like libtorrent in the product have made us create new technology for the java community.

For FrostWire 6 we created a full featured libtorrent wrapper API for Java called frostwire-jlibtorrent. Our commercial proof of concept for this library will be the release of FrostWire 6, a full featured end user BitTorrent client, now lighter and faster than ever thanks to this “engine” replacing decision.

We hope this library will enable other projects, certainly in the enterprise/cloud sector which is heavily serviced by Java technologies, to take a closer look at what the BitTorrent technologies are able to do. Once mature, this will be a powerful library to build products that can benefit from decentralized file sharing.

During those 9 years something interesting happened along the way, and it was the birth of Android. When we got on Android we were the first peer to peer file sharing client ever published on the “Android Market” (as I believe it was called at the time), back then we had implemented a new p2p protocol which we had called “metafrost”. The protocol mimicked the Gnutella Protocol and at the time it was an experiment that was catching exponential attention from Android users that could browse each other’s shared files. However, this didn’t go well with the federal government which had concerns about our default settings for a file sharing app, and they ended up not just auditing our Android app, but also putting very strict rules on how the desktop app was to behave.

This led to the hard decision of removing Gnutella support from FrostWire and transforming it into a BitTorrent/Cloud downloader.

We’ll soon be releasing an Android version that also enjoys the power of our new frostwire-jlibtorrent client, and we believe this new version should be able to run very well even in very modest hardware equipped Android devices (just by looking at our initial tests and comparing things like memory usage, threads used, battery consumption)

How did you come to join OpenBazaar?

I’ve joined OpenBazaar simply because of the daily anxiety of not having it. I believe OpenBazaar needs to exist. The world of e-commerce is made up of a bunch of walled gardens that don’t talk to each other. Thanks to Bitcoin this can finally change as the payment medium is no longer owned/controlled by a central organization not willing to open up in anyway.

My goal with OpenBazaar is to have a standard Smart Contract Protocol that any ecommerce related app/service can use. What this means for FrostWire is still uncertain as the protocol is still far from having an implementation that we can look at and say “we can actually do this, and that”, but it is in my gut that this protocol will enable us to work on a decentralized music store, a decentralized music store that allows not just for the “Pay what you can” business model, but also the more traditional “Pay for this track” model, while not ripping artists off 30% plus what labels steal from them after that.

I think this will be very healthy for the music industry as a whole, especially as technology has allowed for very specific niches to discover the music they actually care about (long tails). If we can pull it for music, I’m sure we’ll be able to empower content creators working with film, books, software, etc. to list, and sell their products be it on FrostWire, or on some other OpenBazaar based product.

Another interesting thing we started doing recently with FrostWire and Bitcoin to grow our developer team was the addition of tip4commit to our repo. We’re converting all fiat donations into Bitcoin and distributing these to the following projects:

As a result, the first week we started getting translators from Russia, Croatia, Greece, [and] China to help us with out of date translation files. As of last week we started getting our first contributions to frostwire-android (someone from Azerbaijan) and the beauty of it is that, once the projects are funded, the bitcoins are out of our control. And once a new contribution is merged, the contributor will receive bitcoins almost immediately to their wallet.

We’re now seeing 2-4 daily contributions to the projects and making new friends all over the planet.

Tatiana Talks Bitcoin 2.0 with Adam Krellenstein of Counterparty

I was really happy that Adam was able to stop by Premier Studios to have a quick chat with me about all the latest at Counterparty. Not only are they host to a number of incredible projects like Tatiana Coin, Swarm, Storj, and more, they also recently made a big announcement about teaming up with Overstock to make Medici. What is this new stock market, and what’s next for this wonderful team of innovators?

Special Thanks to for hosting us and for leading the way with Bitcoin in Music!