Austin Bitcoin - News http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/Categories/Listings/news Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:11:00 -0700 MYOB en-us Texas Department Of Banking Crystallizes Treatment of Virtual Currencies Under the Texas Money Services Act http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/texas-department-of-banking-crystallizes-treatment-of-virtual-currencies-under-the-texas-money-services-act http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/texas-department-of-banking-crystallizes-treatment-of-virtual-currencies-under-the-texas-money-services-act

Texas has it right on cryptocurrency regulation.

The full text, including introduction and analysis, of the Texas Department of Banking memorandum can be found here:

Regulatory-Treatment-of-Virtual-Currencies-under-the-Texas-Money-Services-Act.pdf

http://www.dob.texas.gov/lg_manual/sm1037.pdf

For a further breakdown, please check out the following article:

http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/news/texas-department-banking-reveals-regulatory-treatment-virtual-currencies-texas-money-services-act/2014/04/03

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admin@ausitnbitcoin.com (Austin Bitcoin) News Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:41:42 -0700
Revenge of the Bitcoin Nerds - Will Techies Take Over The World Again? http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/revenge-of-the-bitcoin-nerds-will-techies-take-over-the-world-again http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/revenge-of-the-bitcoin-nerds-will-techies-take-over-the-world-again World Bitcoin Network

For those who follow the motto of Groucho Marx and refuse to join clubs that want you as a member, a new form of ultra-exclusivity might suit you just fine.
Despite what users claim, Bitcoin is the new back alley club of finance with one hellava confusing address.
And this group of new exclusives wear nerd glasses and pocket protectors.
With their mining pools, hash rates, USB ASICs, and digital signatures these nerds have their computers yoked up and digging for geek gold.
And while it feels like monopoly money to many, a number of bitcoin nerds have already become filthy rich. As this confusing currency is making a play to unseat gold or even the dollar.
But don't get caught by surprise. Nerd domination is nothing new.
Even if we forget the recent history of nerd billionaires highlighted by Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, we don't have to dig too deep to find how nerds have commanded their fair share of history.
In fact two of the most powerful families of all time were double ledger number crunching geeks.
Much like bitcoiners today, the Rothschild and the Medici used secret codes and decentralized networks to amass some of the greatest fortunes in history.
Indeed, the Medici were so rich, they personally funded a good chunk of the Renaissance.
While the Rothschilds brought down Napoleon and dictated the outcomes of major wars.
But while the Medici and Rothschild were comfortable with their greed, today's nerds are playing a different game.
Modern geeks claim they are working with full transparency and using tools available to anyone.
Tell them they are running an exclusive club and they'll scream Bitcoin is open source, anyone can mine, and the server is run by the masses.
They ignore the fact the most of the world is not as tech savvy as they are and bitcoin is still years away from being as user friendly and accessible as they claim.
Worse, they conveniently forget the billions of people in underdeveloped countries who don't have reliable internet or even electricity.
They'll say bitcoin can function without phones or even computers, but that's like a bit like a jet-setter telling others that donkeys work just fine.
Given such poor access, its believed that 80% or more of the world's population still hasn't even heard of bitcoin.
Its a troubling situation given that this nerd mafia has already mined half of all future stocks.
Ask these hoarding geeks what the rest of the world will use and they'll tear into you, claiming that the bitcoin protocol allows for infinite divisibility.
There will always be enough.
While true, this argument paints over the fact that a tenth of a Satoshi might work great in commerce but it holds one billionth of the value of each of their Bitcoins.
Sure, a billion dollars and a penny are both liquid forms of currency but they do also define status & dictate powers.
So beware, of this nerd frenzy and don't just wait until understanding is clear. Because, sadly, that may never happen.
As the world catches up, the nerds are stocking up, creating an Ivory Tower of money.
And if all goes to plan, global nerd domination will repeat itself once again.
World power hand picked from the Usual Suspects...nerds.
Still its not yet too late.
If you want to join the party and you have trouble reading open-sourced code, perhaps we can recommend a new pair of glasses.
For some, these specs are making the future look very bright indeed.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Thu, 26 Sep 2013 15:22:00 -0700
Why Do Mom & Pop Stores Love Bitcoin? Ahh Let Me Count The Ways http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/why-do-mom-pop-stores-love-bitcoin-ahh-let-me-count-the-ways http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/why-do-mom-pop-stores-love-bitcoin-ahh-let-me-count-the-ways World Bitcoin Network

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Tue, 24 Sep 2013 15:19:00 -0700
BitPay Surpasses 10,000 Merchants http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/bitpay-surpasses-10-000-merchants http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/bitpay-surpasses-10-000-merchants

Adds Support for Quickbooks Import of Bitcoin Sales

ATLANTA -- September 16, 2013 -- BitPay Inc, the world leader in business solutions for virtual currencies, announces it has over 10,000 approved merchants in 164 countries using its service to accept bitcoin payments. This milestone was reached almost exactly one year after the company approved its 1,000th merchant.

The merchants in BitPay’s directory are diverse internationally, with approximately 50% located in North America, 25% in Europe, and 25% in the rest of the world. eCommerce merchants account for over 90% of the business, including consumer electronics, precious metals and IT services. Bitcoin lowers the risk and cost of accepting payments in a card not-present situation, such as eCommerce.

BitPay’s merchant service continues to expand its feature set at a rapid pace. Merchants using the popular Quickbooks small business accounting software can now download and import their BitPay sales into Quickbooks.

“Our merchants are thrilled with this ability to import into Quickbooks,” says BitPay CFO Bryan Krohn. “It makes reporting their bitcoin sales just as frictionless as the payment itself.”

The month of August was another record month for BitPay, processing over 10,000 merchant transactions worth over $6.4 million. Year-to-date in 2013, over $34 million worth of Bitcoins have been spent on goods and services through merchants using BitPay’s platform.

BitPay’s story is unique in the start-up space. Founded by two graduates of Georgia Tech, the company built a working product, acquired customers, and achieved profitability with only the two founders.

After raising their round of seed capital, BitPay has chosen to establish their roots in Atlanta and build their company culture in a city known for innovation, but often overlooked by the Silicon Valley insiders.

“Atlanta is a hub for financial technology, especially in the payment and merchant acquiring space,” states BitPay CEO Anthony Gallippi. “There’s a cluster of amazing companies here, focused on delivering real results through innovation.”

With pre-built plugins or embedded solutions for 20 of the most popular shopping cart platforms, adding bitcoin as a payment option to a merchant’s web store can be done in a few minutes, without any programming code.

About BitPay
BitPay is a Payment Service Provider (PSP) specializing in eCommerce, B2B, and enterprise solutions for virtual currencies. Visit https://bitpay.com.

Original Article Link

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admin@ausitnbitcoin.com (Austin Bitcoin) News Mon, 16 Sep 2013 15:27:00 -0700
Bitcoin is Gold on Steroids - Bitcoin Beats Gold In Every Important Way http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/bitcoin-is-gold-on-steroids-bitcoin-beats-gold-in-every-important-way http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/bitcoin-is-gold-on-steroids-bitcoin-beats-gold-in-every-important-way World Bitcoin Network

With the Forbes online article this week interviewing Rob McEwen, once again we are given a glimpse at Bitcoin's potential to unseat gold.
The billionaire head of McEwen Mining and previous owner of Goldcorp conceded that "it's a mistake to write off bitcoin as a bubble or fad."
And industry insider Naval Ravikant of AngelList goes further saying that "All the things that gold does, Bitcoin does better."
Leading some to the conclusion that bitcoin is "gold on steroids."
Indeed, Gold, the ancient currency was once prized for how easy it is to recognize and transport and how difficult it is to counterfeit. But in this global economy, the weight of gold is now its greatest burden.
Gold is a nightmare to transport and impossible to send over the internet.
While bitcoin has the very sci-fi aspect of brain storage, Bitcoins unlike any other money, can be stored just in your mind.
Clearly helpful if you're crossing government borders.
Further, modern counterfeiters have challenged the most pristine aspect of gold, with many recent forgeries being crafted with Tungsten, an element with nearly the same density as gold.
In a recent case in New York, hundreds of thousand of dollars were lost to complex tungsten-based gold forgeries.
Indeed, as Bitcoin appears entirely exempt from counterfeiting, its wider use could save billions in policing and loses from forgery.
Bitcoin and Gold are often compared in terms of scarcity. Creating true deflationary currencies.
But while new gold can always be pulled from the ground, Bitcoin has a hard limit of 21 million.
And once reached no more will ever be produced.
While its possible to subdivide each bitcoin into millions of units called Satoshi's to maintain its fluidity, even Satoshi's have a fixed and hard limit.
With all this, it appears that gold might be running into the same pitfalls that newspapers and music companies felt when hit by digital online alternatives.
It appears that with crypto-technology, for the first time in history, gold has finally met its match.
When it comes to inflation, transport, trust, counterfeiting, and usability, Bitcoin stacks up pretty good against the precious metal.
So... as gold prices tank in recent months, one can only wonder if Bitcoin's surge & Cyprus's troubles have anything to do with the fall.
And others have suggested that as Bitcoin's price multiplies ever higher...
bringing the masses into the fold, whether we are seeing the beginning of the world's first digital gold rush.

This piece was re-shot based on the original version "Bitcoin vs. Gold", 1 week ago. We re-shot and edited to fix some errata and include some updates.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Sun, 15 Sep 2013 15:11:00 -0700
How High Could Bitcoin Value Soar? - Satoshi's Billion Dollar Pizza http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/how-high-could-bitcoin-value-soar-satoshi-s-billion-dollar-pizza http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/how-high-could-bitcoin-value-soar-satoshi-s-billion-dollar-pizza World Bitcoin Network

This Papa John's pizza might look like an ordinary delivery, but it seems likely to go down in history as the most expensive food of all time. And the date it was purchased, May 22nd 2010 could well mark the first shot fired in a major revolution in the history of economics.
This is because this pizza was bought for Bitcoins, and it is likely the first ever transaction ever made with the fledgling currency, which came to life in 2009.
Further when programmer Laszlo Hanyecz ordered the pizza in Jacksonville Florida three years ago, he purchased it with 10,000 Bitcoins. At today's exchange rate of approximately 120 dollars to one bitcoin that amounts to a current day price for the pizza of 1 million 2 hundred thousand dollars.
For historians, Laszlo's initial exchange can still be seen today on the bitcoin forum. He wrote:
"I'll pay 10,000 Bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later."
It seems impossible to imagine these days, as prices for Bitcoins have multiplied in value over 50 thousand times. This was recently highlighted by the bitcoin purchase of a Porsche in Austin Texas. The price here, just 300 Bitcoins.
Clearly, this leads us to a greater question. How far will the Bitcoins value soar. An answer that no one knows. Yet some pundits suggest that Bitcoins could swarm into the $60 trillion dollar international space for transactional currency.
Indeed if bitcoin even grabs a 1% share of this market, its value can be calculated to climb to a phenomenal 100 thousand dollars per coin. At that point, the pizza would be worth exactly 1 billion dollars. Too much? Its not clear. Laszlo ate well that night, and launched the once abstract coin into the world for the first time as a currency.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Fri, 13 Sep 2013 15:07:00 -0700
Import your Bitcoin Sales into Quickbooks http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/import-your-bitcoin-sales-into-quickbooks http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/import-your-bitcoin-sales-into-quickbooks

Supported “home currencies”: USD, EUR, CAD

In Quickbooks, you do not need multi-currency enabled if your home currency is USD, EUR, or CAD, and you are taking 100% settlement from BitPay in that same home currency.

First, create 3 new Accounts in your Chart of Accounts. Income and Expense accounts can only be denominated in your home currency. (if your home currency is not USD, replace USD below with your home currency)

Type Income
Account Name BitPay Sales USD
Tax-line Mapping Income: Gross Receipts or Sales

 

Type Expense
Account Name BitPay Fees USD
Tax-line Mapping COGS: Other Costs

 

Type Bank
Account Name BitPay AR USD
Tax-line Mapping B/S Assets: Accts Rec


Your Bank Account should already be in Quickbooks. BitPay’s ACH/EFT transfer will be transferred to “My Bank” which you can change in the General Ledger transaction after import. Your Quickbooks Chart of Accounts should have these entries:


Here’s a test file to download:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tj0dralgcl79u6d/USD-sales-USD-settlement.iif

In Quickbooks select: File - Utilities - Import - IIF files

If this imports and My Bank USD shows a balance of $100.00 then the file has imported correctly. Look at the G/L to verify the Sales Receipts.

Edit the transfer and replace “My Bank USD” with the Bank account in your chart of accounts that received the direct deposit from BitPay.

Your BitPay sales are now fully integrated with your financial reports in Quickbooks!

Note that if you keep any % of your sales in Bitcoin, this will not be noted in the download. It will prorate the gross sale to only the % of the gross sale which you settle in your local currency. Read the next section “Keeping Partial or All Settlement in Bitcoin” to learn more.

Income Statement derived from BitPay import


Balance Sheet derived from BitPay import


To download your BitPay transactions, login to your merchant account at https://bitpay.com. From your dashboard, click on Account Ledger and select your home currency to download.

You will need to specify the date range to download, and then choose Quickbooks IIF file.

We should note that Quickbooks does not support multi-currency very well, even in the 2013 edition. Nonetheless, we have used the capabilities of Quickbooks to their current maximum potential.

If you take 100% settlement from BitPay in your home currency, you are done!

If you keep a % of your BitPay Sales in Bitcoin, follow the next section to import those from your BitPay BTC ledger.

Keeping Partial or All Settlement in Bitcoin


The Gross, Net, and Fees are % prorated from the total amount of the sale. Meaning if you keep 10% bitcoin and settle 90% in EUR, your EUR ledger will have an entry representing 90% of the total gross sale, and your BTC ledger will have an entry representing 10% of the total gross sale, with the same Order Number so you can match them up in Quickbooks.

Create 2 more accounts in your Quickbooks Chart of Accounts:

Type Bank
Account Name BitPay AR BTCUSD
Tax-line Mapping B/S Assets: Accts Rec

 

Type Bank
Account Name My Wallet BTCUSD
Tax-line Mapping B/S Assets: Cash


These accounts represent the USD value of your Bitcoins, at BitPay and also when pushed to your Bitcoin Wallet.

How to Reconcile your Company’s Bitcoin holdings in Quickbooks


While Intuit’s support for multi-currency doesn’t give all the income/expense reporting needed for bitcoin transactions, it is possible to add your Bitcoin Wallet into Quickbooks, and mark your digital assets to market price every day or every month.

As of the 2013 edition, Quickbooks cannot:

  1. have an income account in any currency other than your home currency
  2. have an expense account in any currency other than your home currency
  3. allow you to set your home currency to a currency you add (e.g. Bitcoin)
  4. resolve any currency balance to more than 2 decimal place precision
  5. allow you to specify an exchange rate for each sale
  6. allow you to specify a data source for exchange rates for a currency
  7. allow you to upload a history of exchange rates for a currency
  8. allow an exchange rate with a date & time (only 1 rate per calendar day permitted)

We encourage Quickbooks users to contact Intuit directly and encourage development in the above 8 areas to improve their multicurrency support.

You cannot enter Income or Expenses in BTC, mBTC. But you can setup a Bank account in bitcoin to declare and value your bitcoin holdings. You will first need to enable multicurrency support in your Quickbooks. Then, you can add a new currency:

Company - Manage Currency - Currency (New)

Name millibitcoin (mBTC)
Symbol mBTC


Next, create a new account in your chart of accounts for each bitcoin wallet you want to account for in Quickbooks.

Type Bank
Account Name My Wallet mBTC
Currency millibitcoin (mBTC)
Tax-line Mapping B/S Assets: Cash


Because Quickbooks precision cannot go past 2 decimal places for the quantity, if you want to account for your bitcoin holdings you will need to use millibitcoins (mBTC). The exchange rate for mBTC is the rate for BTC divided by 1,000. Quickbooks does have 8 decimal precision when calculating the rate, but only 2 decimal precision on the quantity.

USD for 1 bitcoin (BTC) $ 123.4567
USD for 1 millilbitcoin (mBTC) $0.1234567


To transfer the balance from the USD representation of your bitcoin wallet to the mBTC account for your bitcoin wallet:

Every day, you will manually need to enter the exchange rate under Company - Manage Currency. The exchange rate is the USD amount pushed to My Wallet BTCUSD divided by the actual number of Bitcoins delivered to your wallet, as viewed directly on your BitPay BTC account ledger page.

Then, manually enter a TRANSFER every day to clear out the deposit from the My Wallet BTCUSD and transfer into My Wallet mBTC. Your Wallet should now show the latest deposit in the correct number of mBTC, and on your balance sheet the entire wallet balance will be marked to the current market price.

Original Article Link

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admin@ausitnbitcoin.com (Austin Bitcoin) News Thu, 12 Sep 2013 15:36:00 -0700
eBay Flirts With The Enemy - Could eBay Become a Major Bitcoin Exchange? http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/ebay-flirts-with-the-enemy-could-ebay-become-a-major-bitcoin-exchange http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/ebay-flirts-with-the-enemy-could-ebay-become-a-major-bitcoin-exchange World Bitcoin Network

With a tiny addition at the bottom of an obscure page on their website this week, eBay sent a swirl of excitement through the bitcoin community. By adding a section for virtual currencies, it seemed clear that eBay is making moves to embrace bitcoin. Immediately the bitcoin community went wild with activity, with many applauding eBay's move. But then, as quietly as the line was added it was removed.
Had eBay changed its mind? Was it a hack?
Its likely we will never know. But digging further reveals something even more elaborate. Around the same time, another page on eBay called DEALS released a well produced introductory bitcoin video. However, the 2 minute animation, is peculiar in its own right, almost like a two minute blurb of indecision, and it makes no comment whether eBay intends to go forward with bitcoins.
Still, eBay is no newcomer to the bitcoin world. This past May, CEO, John Donahoe made numerous comments hinting that Ebay might even begin to accept bitcoin as a form of payment, a move that many bitcoiners view as a potential windfall. Yet just by selling bitcoins on its site, eBay becomes a massive free-market exchange, and as such, an easy entry point for many into the bitcoin world. With the legal framework in place to avoid the pitfalls of startups like TradeHill and Mt. Gox, Ebay's entry into bitcoin would likely be smooth.
But, for eBay, the adoption of bitcoins presents one glaring problem. Ebay owns paypal. And bitcoin's acceptance could likely signal paypal's demise. So, if Ebay were to move forward with bitcoin, the auction giant would be sacrificing billions of dollars of paypal profits, a move they are likely not going to make any time soon.
And though, you can still buy and sell bitcoins on the site today, at enormous markups with some obvious risks, its not clear that eBay is doing anything more than just flirting with the enemy.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Wed, 11 Sep 2013 15:00:00 -0700
"NSA Can't Crack Anything" - Despite what the Feds claim, Bitcoin's ultra safe http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/nsa-can-not-crack-anything-despite-what-the-feds-claim-bitcoin-is-ultra-safe http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/nsa-can-not-crack-anything-despite-what-the-feds-claim-bitcoin-is-ultra-safe World Bitcoin Network

In an overly sensationalistic piece yesterday, the New York Times reveled more about the level of NSAs commitment to prying into the lives of Americans.
This time, though the Times news agency, long suspect on technical matters, fell for NSA's own leaked bragadoccio.
In an internal document leaked by Snowden, the NSA claims to have cracked a number of forms of cryptography.
But this is where anyone familiar with cryptography takes issue. Cryptographers, a very small population indeed, took to the airwaves to note the ridiculous errors of the Times piece.
One wrote:
"Nobody, not even the NSA can arbitrarily crack anything.
Even if the NSA set every computer on the planet to work on brute-forcing an encrypted message, it would take millions of years."
He goes further.
"Instead, the NSA breaks in through less magical means, like demanding that data be handed over, stealing a key from a user, even having agents who physically pilfer data"
This is confirmed in a much more nuanced piece by Wired.
Wired states that the NSA cannot crack the algorithms that protect data, instead the Government organization relies on mobster-type tactics.
They pressure vendors, steal passwords and bully.
In fact both Wired and the Guardian covered the story without the confusion and fear mongering of the New York Times, with neither one suggesting that any modern cryptographic algorithms have been cracked.
For Bitcoin users this news will come as a relief.
Indeed, Bitcoin uses one of the most famous bits of cryptography, SHA. And SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm.
It is not only still secure today, it seems likely to be secure for a few million more years.
Still, ignoring the New York Times poor journalism, these new NSA revelations do matter.
We now know that Big Brother is doing doing much more than just watching.
As a result, we'll offer two words of advice for your bitcoins.
Cold Storage.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Fri, 06 Sep 2013 20:17:00 -0700
Paypal's Biggest Nightmare - Bitcoin and Micropayments http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/paypals-biggest-nightmare-bitcoin-and-micropayments http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/paypals-biggest-nightmare-bitcoin-and-micropayments World Bitcoin Network

In an unannounced change to HTML5, the engine that powers most major websites, there is now a tiny nod to bitcoin.
For website developers "bitcoin" like "mailto" or basic http linking, is now accepted protocol.
But this small step for bitcoin could be a major step for mankind.
This is because bitcoin, and no other current system, can handle micropayments.
So difficult has it been to send a couple pennies or less via the internet that is has often been called the holy grail of web finance.
Sending such low amounts, seems petty, but when applied to something like a hit song, news article, blog comment or a video, it could add up to big money indeed.
Micropayments not only provide content creators with important feedback but game-changing finance.
But this move by the developers of HTML will also push the near-zero transaction costs of bitcoin even deeper into PayPal's home turf.
Which could prove to be a nightmare for the financial giant, because bitcoin is adept not just at small payments, but at large.
Further bitcoin can be received freely across borders even from those without bank accounts.
And its not clear that PayPal has an answer.
So as bitcoin explodes, riding an exponential adoption curve, there are rumors that PayPal might adopt the cybercurrency.
But that's not happening any time soon.
PayPal makes billions each year off their current price scheme, grabbing 2-5 percent off of every transaction.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, offers to do a better job without charging anything.
Indeed at bitcoin there are no CEOs or shareholders to gobble up profits and bonuses.
While consumers save billions, PayPal is biting its nails and perhaps even lobbying congress.
Wouldn't you?

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Wed, 04 Sep 2013 20:14:00 -0700
Bitcoin's Biggest Burden - Mt. Gox is a Roach Motel for Dollars http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/bitcoins-biggest-burden-mt-gox-is-a-roach-motel-for-dollars http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/bitcoins-biggest-burden-mt-gox-is-a-roach-motel-for-dollars World Bitcoin Network

When bitcoin was first born in 2009, the cyber-currency was expressly set up to avoid the pitfalls of a Federal Reserve or the pricey bailouts given to the failing banks.
Bitcoin's novelty was based on the fact that it was entirely decentralized.
But there's no question that an overarching, indeed, central player has emerged.
And Mt Gox, the first major exchange of bitcoins is that entity.
In fact it is near impossible to follow bitcoins without hearing about this Japanese based exchange.
And while the relationship has long been rosy, 2013 has seen trouble in paradise for Mt Gox.
Suddenly, the elephant in the room with respect to bitcoin success is the company's liquidity or possible shady dealings.
Originally set up to exchange magic cards that can sell for as much as bitcoins, Mt Gox now is accused of selling nothing more than magic vapors.
As Forbes' recent article suggests, bitcoin has become a Roach Motel for your dollars.
They check in, but they don't check out.
Online sources concur.
Revealing no record of Mt Gox paying out in dollars to anyone.
Some users have even posted rewards for any proof of US Dollar payouts without much success.
So while it is easy to buy bitcoins from the exchange, even easy to send the bitcoins outside their system Mt Gox seems unwilling to sell them.
Is it a question of liquidity, fraud or government regulation?
It is not clear.
But one thing is sure, Bitcoin has been the focus of a number of US Federal investigations in recent months, with nearly 5 million seized in perceived actions of money laundering.
So how does this Magic firm stay in business?
How does it still capture the majority of transactions?
Well, Mt Gox sells bitcoins at the highest prices, often TEN to FIFTEEN dollars more than Bitstamp.
Any amateur in arbitrage sees this difference as enormous potential, but when they are lured in, its over.
Their cash is stuck.
Today, most savvy investors avoid the Mt Gox entirely. And as questions swirl about their involvement in illegal arbitrage, potentially worth millions of dollars, the exchange has seen its numbers of transactions fall.
Sure US regulators have pushed them around, but the bigger issues with Mt Gox are now about transparency and trust.
Its high time the Roach Motel cleaned house.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Tue, 03 Sep 2013 20:11:00 -0700
Can Bitcoin Overtake Google & Apple? - The 4 Killer Apps That Avoid Tulip Mania http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/can-bitcoin-overtake-google-apple-the-4-killer-apps-that-avoid-tulip-mania http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/can-bitcoin-overtake-google-apple-the-4-killer-apps-that-avoid-tulip-mania World Bitcoin Network

As the average value of bitcoin for the week approaches new highs of 140 dollars, once again we are seeing a new round of Tulip comparisons sprouting on the net.
And the concern is fair.
In 1637 Holland's fancy colored tulips became all the rage, And in just a couple months, the price multiplied.
At the height of this tulip mania, one tulip could be exchanged for two tuns of butter, four oxen, eight adult pigs or even a mug of silver.
But on February 3rd 1637, the tulip market had an historic collapse.
Many refer to this Tulip Mania as the first economic bubble, and as such, the story is often tossed into the discussion when the prices of bitcoins surge up.
But many pundits suggest that this a not a valid comparison.
Indeed they claim that Bitcoin is more like Apple Computer or the Internet because of the array of services it offers. Others suggest that bitcoin's services could prove to be even more valuable than Apple and the Internet combined.
So while tulips can be replaced with roses, vases or paintings, what exactly that they claim bitcoin offers?
First, Bitcoin's near zero transaction costs could not only revolutionize international remittances but also free stores from hefty credit card fees.
This offers a savings to consumers of hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
Second: Money can be sent easily without the nightmares of chargebacks, credit card fraud, falsified checks and bank limits.
Third: Bitcoin's unlimited and free accounts, give hi-tech financial access to the world's un-banked.
Highlighted recently by a number of homeless men with a bitcoin account.
This service could improve the lives of over a billion people.
Finally: bitcoin offers to be the first truly un-inflatable currency in history, indeed becoming gold on steroids.
New Euros, Yen and Dollars are printed daily, even gold is still being pulled out of the ground or could eventually be synthesized.
But Bitcoin's limit is fixed, capping itself at 21 million total coins.
Because of all of this, one recent article suggested that even wary banks could increase profits by adopting bitcoin.
Hmm.
While no one can predict the value of a currency, and bitcoins could still prove to be a dangerous bubble, one thing is clear if bitcoin can provide all that its technology promises, well, real services have real prices.
And hundreds of billions of dollars of services could make one pretty tulip indeed.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Mon, 02 Sep 2013 20:03:00 -0700
Is Bitcoin The World's Most Exclusive Club? http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/is-bitcoin-the-world-s-most-exclusive-club http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/is-bitcoin-the-world-s-most-exclusive-club World Bitcoin Network

Hello, this is James D'Angelo and welcome to the bitcoin minute.
For those who follow the motto of Groucho Marx and refuse to join clubs that want you as a member, a new form of ultra-exclusivity might suit you just fine.
Just like the back alley club with a confusing address, Bitcoin is a currency for insiders — with a fixed hard limit of 21 million coins.
And just as bitcoin is exploding with popularity, it is also in the tail end of production. Over half of all future coins have already been put into circulation.
Suddenly that 21 million limit on coins seems awfully small, especially, given that bitcoin is an international currency. Providing bitcoins for all 7 billion people on earth is simply impossible.
Instead, we are looking at an average of around 1 bitcoin for every 333 people! Exclusive indeed. Yet, even this number is worse than one might think, because huge quantities of the online currency have already been snapped up by small groups and individuals.
For example, just a few months ago, the Facebook twins disclosed holdings of 108,000 bitcoins. Enough for them to consider starting a fund on wall street.
Worse, it has been rumored that an early investor, possibly even the founder himself, has stockpiled more than 1 million bitcoins. This total is currently worth well over a hundred million dollars, but worse, it is also one twentieth of the world's supply.
Given all this, it seems likely that when the chips fall, a majority of the bitcoins will end up in very few hands indeed.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Sat, 31 Aug 2013 20:01:00 -0700
USA vs Bitcoin - Federal Regulators Pinch Tradehill http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/usa-vs-bitcoin-federal-regulators-pinch-tradehill http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/usa-vs-bitcoin-federal-regulators-pinch-tradehill World Bitcoin Network

Today in a rush of press, the US-based bitcoin exchange Tradehill has suspended all trading. The company has been under fire recently as the federal regulators are cracking down on bitcoin based businesses, issuing dozens of subpoenas in recent weeks and grumbling about bitcoins usage in shading dealings.
Unlike Coinbase, another US-based exchange, Tradehill is particularly vulnerable because their exchange allows you to keep a balance of US Dollars in your account as well.
And for regulators, that difference is the big no no.
Coinbase does things differently, filling its coffers with nothing but bitcoins opting instead to transfer dollars immediately into and out of a users traditional and FDIC approved bank. But will that keep them safe in the months of ahead?
The Tradehill suspension comes just a couple months after the Federal Regulators pushed bitcoin's largest exchange Mt. Gox into temporary submission.
And even after it has resumed business US Dollar payouts have been near zero.
Still, the US government is smart to move slowly. Whether they like it or not, many realize that Bitcoin could signal a fundamental sea change in the way Americans interact with money.
And it seems likely that whether bitcoin lives or dies, the concepts put forth by anonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto will continue to create change in the financial sector.
In fact, just this week, US regulators received a number of such cautions first hand, via the bitcoin foundation.
In a closed door meeting in Washington this group of self-appointed Bitcoin aficionados made it clear that if the Federal Regulators come down too tough on bitcoin these young exchanges and businesses will likely flee to places like Germany or Canada.
With the government's approval over issues of banking and privacy at an all time low, it would seem improbable that federal regulators wouldn't offer an olive branch to this fledgling currency. But rewriting the books to accommodate change is never government's best suit.
And, today, of course, bitcoin is a minor player. But many believe that like travel agencies, maps, phone service, and traditional, bitcoin will replace traditional currency and in the process usher forth trillions of dollars of business. The question that remains is whether this windfall will grown in the US or set up shop overseas.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Fri, 30 Aug 2013 19:57:00 -0700
Satoshi's Billion Dollar Pizza - 1,250 Bitcoins a slice! http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/satoshis-billion-dollar-pizza-1250-bitcoins-a-slice http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/satoshis-billion-dollar-pizza-1250-bitcoins-a-slice World Bitcoin Network

This Papa John's pizza might look like an ordinary delivery, but it seems likely to go down in history as the most expensive food of all time. And the date it was purchased, May 22nd 2010 could well mark the first shot fired in a major revolution in the history of economics.
This is because this pizza was bought for bitcoins, and it is likely the first ever transaction ever made with the fledgling currency, which came to life in 2009.
Further when programmer Laszlo Hanyecz ordered the pizza in Jacksonville, Florida, three years ago, he purchased it with 10,000 bitcoins. At today's exchange rate of approximately 120 dollars to one bitcoin that amounts to a current day price for the pizza of 1 million 2 hundred thousand dollars.
For historians, Laszlo's initial exchange can still be seen today on the bitcoin forum. He wrote:
"I'll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later."
It seems impossible to imagine these days, as prices for bitcoins have multiplied in value over 50 thousand times. This was recently highlighted by the bitcoin purchase of a Porsche in Austin Texas. The price here, just 300 bitcoins.
Clearly, this leads us to a greater question. How far will the bitcoins value soar. An answer that no one knows. Yet some pundits suggest that bitcoins could swarm into the $60 trillion dollar international space for transactional currency.
Indeed if bitcoin even grabs a 1% share of this market, its value can be calculated to climb to a phenomenal 100 thousand dollars per coin. At that point, the pizza would be worth exactly 1 billion dollars. Too much? Its not clear. Laszlo ate well that night, and launched the once abstract coin into the world for the first time as a currency.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Thu, 29 Aug 2013 19:47:00 -0700
Gold on Steroids -- Is Bitcoin The New Gold Rush? http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/gold-on-steroids-is-bitcoin-the-new-gold-rush http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/gold-on-steroids-is-bitcoin-the-new-gold-rush World Bitcoin Network

With the Forbes online article this week interviewing Rob McEwen, once again we are given a glimpse at bitcoin's potential to unseat gold. The head of McEwen Mining and previous owner of Goldcorp, worth well over 30 billion, conceded that "it's a mistake to write off this bitcoin as a bubble or fad.." Other pundits have gone further suggesting that bitcoin is "gold on steroids."
Indeed, Gold, the ancient currency was once prized for how easy it was to recognize and transport. But in this global economy, the weight of gold is now its greatest burden, like cattle its predecessor, gold is a nightmare to when it comes to sending it over the internet. Further, modern counterfeiters have challenged the most pristine aspect of gold, with many recent forgeries being crafted with Tungsten, an element with the same density as gold. In a recent case in New York, hundreds of thousand of dollars were lost to complex gold forgery.
Bitcoin, like Gold, has achieved its lofty comparison mostly by its imposed scarcity, gold's greatest feature. Indeed by setting a hard limit of bitcoins at 21 million, it is seemingly even more scarce. While its possible to subdivide each bitcoin into millions of units called Satoshi's to maintain its fluidity, once the limit is reached no new coins will ever be created.
Indeed as gold prices drop in recent months, one can only wonder if bitcoin, Cyprus and the internet have anything to do with the fall. And others have suggested that as bitcoin's price explodes ever higher in value, whether we are seeing the beginning of the world's first digital gold rush.
That's it for the bitcoin minute. Send your suggestions and comments to
worldbitcoinnetwork@gmail.com
And we welcome all video commentary, for or against bitcoin.

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worldbitcoinnetwork@austinbitcoin.com (World Bitcoin Network) News Wed, 28 Aug 2013 19:06:00 -0700
Austin Bitcoin Partners with BitPay http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/austin-bitcoin-partners-with-bitpay http://austinbitcoin.com/Blog/austin-bitcoin-partners-with-bitpay

Austin Bitcoin has become a certified integration partner with BitPay.com, the largest Bitcoin payment processor.  This partnership will help local Texas merchants start accepting Bitcoin as payment for goods and services.  The best part about BitPay's service is that merchants do not have to carry Bitcoin on their ledgers.  Since the business does not hold actual Bitcoins, this makes it much easier for accountants to maintain their books without needing to create a new entry for Bitcoin.  This also takes away the risk involved in accepting a fluctuating cryptocurrency.


Austin Bitcoin is excited to help businesses start accepting this emerging technology.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about Bitcoin payment integration.

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steven@austinbitcoin.com (Steven) News Wed, 20 Mar 2013 08:45:00 -0700