Bitcoin Blog a1

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thanks Donald, Or maybe not

Amidst election night last night, I noted that the rise of bitcoin was rising. It appears to have gone back down to the $718 or so, compared to $740ish or so when I checked last night. Some analysts predicted a Trump win would cause a price increase for bitcoin. The financial markets were not anticipating a Trump victory, which caused a bit of volatility in stock prices. It seems reasonable to assume that the bitcoin community was also unaware that Donald Trump would win the Presidential election. Thus, the news of Trump’s victory should cause the price to alter, which it did. However, the price may not be staying. Coindesk offers an analysis on the topic here.

In other parts of the world, traditional currency are experiencing interesting effects.
In Zimbabwe, people are lining up at the bank to withdraw their funds. The government is proposing a new currency pegged to the U.S. dollar. The citizens of Zimbabwe are not giving this currency a vote of confidence. I think it's in these situations that bitcoin has the potential of thriving (with the exception of its scalability issues, but that is a topic for another day).



Monday, October 24, 2016

Basic Crypto Guide



1. Before you can use any cryptocurrency, you need to pick a wallet to use.

What type of wallet you want depends on what you want to use it for. If you intend on mining, stop and reconsider because you probably can’t make any money. But if you want to anyways, you need a full wallet. Otherwise, a light wallet is probably all you need.


Turns out this site is better at explaining this than me.

But for other cyrptocurrencies, check out these sites:



2. Install the wallet and then back it up.


Obviously you need to install the wallet in order to use it.


Once your wallet is installed, the first thing you need to do is backup your wallet. I can’t stress this enough. You NEED to backup your wallet. I have not neglected to backup my wallet before, and I have lost coins. Don’t be like me. Backup your wallet first thing.

There are a few ways to do this. Personally, I use google drive. But you don't want your wallets just sitting in google drive vulnerable to theft. My wallets are encrypted using 7-zip. 7-zip is like Winrar but better and free. When you install a wallet, it will place a .dat or .wallet file on your hard drive. The file extension will be in your roaming folder. For example, the file path for a dogecoin wallet might be something like this: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Dogecoin . The roaming folder is often hidden, so you might need to turn on "show hidden folders" under your system setting for your computer. Grab the .dat or .wallet files you want to back up and put them in 7-zip file and set a password. Personally, I would also save this password using a system like keepass. Lastly, upload your 7-zip to google drive or dropbox.


3. Test the wallet

Now let's test your wallet. Here is how you can try it. You can use a faucet to get small amount of cryptocurrency for free.







View 3 more here


Saturday, September 24, 2016

BitTXGenerator - False Bitcoin Transaction Generator


Update, the video I shared was a scam! Hopefully no one actually downloaded it. However, my intention was to show that cation should be exercised when using bitcoin. I will do a write up on this later.



I haven't shared a video in a while, but I just saw this on youtube and thought I would share it. Like have mentioned before, make sure you you get confirmations on your transactions when conducting business in btc!



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Not another 2017 price prediction, but sort of.

99 bitcoin, a blog I follow, had some interesting things to say about the price of bitcoin next year. There are a few flaws in the article though. One, it asserts that the halving increases price. This is not necessarily true; the halving is just a reduction to the increase in supply. This potentially could help sustain a higher price, as less fiat needs to be spent on btc in order to keep the exchange rate constant.

I go over this concept in another article, but when bitcoin was, near its peak, $1000 a coin, $25,000 every 10 minutes had to be spent on the 25 new bitcoins being mined in order to maintain this price. With the number of bitcoins being mined reduced by half ( that is 1 2.5 bitcoins every 10 minutes), only $12,500 would need to be spent on new bitcoins to maintain the same $1000 price per bitcoin. This potentially means that a higher price is easier to sustain. But this reduction to the increase in supply, in and of itself, does not cause an increase in price.

In short, I don’t think that the halving means bitcoin will rise in price next year. It is possible it will for other reasons, but I won’t attribute this to the halving.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Days late and dollars short


A few weeks ago I mentioned that one on my loans on BTC pop was in default. Well just the other day I finally received a insurance payout. I invested 0.00386900 but I got  back  .00143100 instead, the biggest issue is the loan was due just a little more than a week after it was created on 07/07/2016. But because it defaulted, I wasn’t paid until the insurance payout came, just a few days ago. So my money was tied up for a long time and generated no interest. So I lost money, and I lost the opportunity to make interest on my money. But this is all part of the risk of lending to people.


The insurance system uses collateral held by the borrower to help guarantee repayment of the loan. This loan was insured using shares of POP, which is stock in BTCpop. There are a few other stocks offered on BTCpop, but in my opinion POP is probably the best. After all, my biggest worry is that BTCpop might go the way of Mt. Gox. If it did, all of the securities would become worthless. But, none POP shares also have the risk that the company itself will go under, in other words, they can become worthless in two different ways.


Well, I guess this Ivan fellow hasn’t given me any money. But at least he gave me a ok story. This is the loan, if you wanted to see it for yourself.

I just tested my link and you need an account to view it. Fortunately, you can sign up free here.






Saturday, August 27, 2016

Failed bitcoin reporter

I guess it's a good thing this blog isn't my primary source of income, otherwise I would be in trouble. Here are two stories of me attempting to do some reporting and things not going so well. I decided to try to find Hash Ocean’s old office in San Francisco. On Google, the address is 199 Leidesdorff St, San Francisco, CA 94111. But I went there and didn't find it.
This is where the 100 buildings should be. But there is only a sandwich shop. So I must've done something wrong.


About a year ago on empleopled I saw a picture of a bitcoin ATM. I thought it was cool so I wanted to take a picture of it. I moved to San Jose, where the mall is, and I decided to check it out. But I explored all over the mall and couldn't find it.  I'm moving away again for school, but I guess I will have to wait for another year until I come back to San Jose to try again. I also tried to contact the photographer, but wasn’t able to. Here is a link to the photo.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Once more into the exchange

Once more into the exchange
I decided to check out http://www.btc38.com/ as an earthcoin exchange. WolfessStudios mentioned it before on /r/earthcoin. Signing up was quite simple; I simply logged in using my facebook. Finding the actual earthcoin exchange, however, took a minute. There isn’t a search function so you have to visually search for it.
First you need to click BTC list. Then, scroll to the bottom of the list and you will see EAC/BTC


Now I need to figure out what prices to trade at. The market looks busier than I remember it being when I traded EAC/BTC on cryptsy.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Earthcoin is out of this world

It looks like my favorite earthcoin faucet is now offline. http://earthcoin.cyanrainbow.com/faucet
This wasn’t my favorite faucet in general by a long shot, but it was the only decent earthcoin one. I guess I might need to find a new one. But in my experience, it's actually better to just use a bitcoin or dogecoin faucet and just exchange them for whatever speculative alt coins you want. Before I do any of this, I probably need to find my earthcoin wallet. It's on my computer somewhere.

In fact, it looks like its 63th in terms of market cap( It was actually 57th when I first wrote this article)! Which is crazy.

Like always, check out the faucets I do use. In a future post I will write about exchanging your bitcoin for earthcoin!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Possible Price explanation


As you may know, bitcoin news has been in abundance the past weeks, from the halving event to a bitcoin ETF possibly getting sec approval.

In addition, Brexit has brought into question a once safe haven currency, and possibly affected the safe haven status of the euro. After all, what might happen to the euro if Francexit and all the other new -exits, happen?

All of these events seem to be playing a role in the price of bitcoin. In addition, many bitcoiners say that Chinese investors are another driving factor of price. The Chinese government manipulates the price of the Yuan to help maximize their exports. A cheaper Yuan means more demand for Chinese goods. At the same time, this means that everyday people in China have lost value as the currency they hold is worth less than it was before.

I have updated my faucets page and support me page! Check them out, they have some nice ways to help me make money and ways fr you to make some money as well.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

"sendo litoshi to bitcoin account"


Using some of my blog analytics I noticed someone found my blog using the phrase “sendo litoshi to bitcoin account”. I was quite baffled by this. What does sendo even mean ( By the way, litoshi is like a satoshi, but for bitcoin, in other words, its 0.00000001 of a litecoin)? So I decided to google it and attempt to find my blog. I didn’t find it, instead I found another blog on blogspot. So I clicked on that, perhaps creating or perpetuating some kind of cycle.

The blog is kind of similar to my own, except it's in Portuguese and it reads like one massive post.


Anyways, for a quick plug, I have updated my faucets page and support me page! Check them out, they have some nice ways to help me make money and ways for you to make some money as well.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Months late and a few dollars short.


You might think blogging about cryptocurrency is all fun and games. Well, that's not always the case. I have lost some money in the past, but I may have lost some more again.

One of my loans on btcpop may default.  It is now quite a few days late. I had one loan that was about 3 or 4 days late, but this one is now 5 days late and the borrower hasn’t been heard from in a few days. Fortunately, I never lend much money out to one person at one time. I diversify my loans over time and over people. This way, if one person defaults, which may be the case, it's not the end of the world. I have other loans that will probably be repaid and I will come out ok. I also diversify over time, I don't make many loans at once. This way, if the P2P bitcoin loans industry hits a problem, I don't lose all my money either.

In addition to being a few bucks short, I am behind the times on my cryptocurrency news. Ethereum is apparently the number two coin in terms of market cap ($ 971,423,765 as of the time of this article). I heard about it quite a while ago, but I didn’t think that it would really grow into what it became. I was wrong. It did become something big, and now I will probably have to report on it. Ethereum is quite different from bitcoin in a few ways. One, it is not merely a digital currency. Ethereum is primarily like a digital computer; it enables people to create contracts that execute code under certain conditions. Ethereum also differs technically from bitcoin. In addition, Ethereum had a substantial premine.

More information is available here. This is a bitcoin site I recently started to follow.




Monday, July 4, 2016

Not that kind of hash


A few weeks ago I saw an ad on freebitco.in for another ponzi scheme/ bitcoin multiplier, this one was called cryptotriplex. I wondered to myself, does anyone fall for these still? So I clicked it.

And that is what I saw. It looks like they ran off with everyone money.

This isn't uncommon. It also happened recently with a website called hash ocean. Immediately after reading the name, I thought of hash profit and thought it must be a similar scam. I was interested enough to study it for a bit. I attempted to go to the site but the website didn't load; it was offline. It looks like essentially the same scam happened again, just with a slightly different name. I thought it was interesting that the site did advertise an actual physical location in San Francisco. However now that I think about it, San Francisco isn't an ideal place for a bitcoin mine.  Everything is way to expensive particularly space. It is funny, I visited the city just a day before reading about this, maybe I could have gone to the abandoned location if I knew.  Anyways, I would say don't trust any cloud miners without a lot of due diligence, and may not even then. But I would especially avoid anything with hash in the name. Based on the smells in San Fran, there is a lot of it there. And it almost goes without saying, stay away from money multipliers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bitcoin hits $700! (I actually spent some of my bitcoin!)


The price of bitcoin has been going crazy. Bitcoin is now at a 2-year high. I speculate some of this has to do the the upcoming halving.  You can read some of my thoughts on a old article I wrote for Coinbuzz. I might talk about about this and some of my experience writing for Coinbuzz in another post.


Anyway, with this huge upward price movement. I may have made a mistake. I didn’t anticipate the price of bitcoin to continue to rise so much, Earlier this week I made my first purchase with bitcoin ever! I used egift to buy an Amazon gift card, (I love shopping on Amazon!). I have a video on how to do it yourself at the bottom of the post.



Performing the transaction I experienced:
Fees
0.0007 BTC
Which was  ( at the time) about 40 cents of fees. This fee might seem high to you, but it is the result of receiving bitcoin in many small transactions.  A Lot of the bitcoin I have received is from faucets, and when you finally spend it, the transactions fees can be a bit high. Each source of btc counts as an input, which is one of the factors used in determining transactions fees. If you are interested, I talk about this more here.

As I continued and finished the transaction I noticed, it looks like Coinbase provides this service for egifter, so I don’t know if egifter even holds on to any of the bitcoin. Initially, I recommended spending some of your bitcoins right now if you have any, but I am no longer certain what the future holds for the price of bitcoin.




Monday, June 6, 2016

Big Tuna


I have just hit 10,000 views!  I mentioned this to my mother and she was astounded. But really it's not that big of an accomplishment.
In other news, it looks like the price of bitcoin has increased dramatically over the past few days. In my memory it has been awhile since bitcoin has broken $500. Let's see what happens, but it might be time to spend some of those bitcoin now! And I just learned a great way to do this...


Some of my friends when I talk to them about bitcoin are convinced bitcoin is used exclusively to buy drugs or other illicit things. “It’s just for buying pot” one friend would say. I would joke, no lol, that is what potcoin is for.  And I would elaborate that bitcoin isn’t just for drugs. You can buy anything with bitcoin. Anything. Like literally you can by tuna online with bitcoin, here is the link. Isn’t that something.



Thursday, June 2, 2016

Faucets in trouble?


Recently my favorite faucets have been changing their payment amounts and not just in the normal pegged to a USD value type of way. During the past two weeks, https://freebitco.in and https://freedoge.co.in were giving out the smallest earnings I have ever seen. In the recent past, the smallest payout has been equal to the highest payout divided by 100,000 times 2. Prior to this, the smallest payout was equal to the highest payout divided by 100,000. But during these past two weeks, the smallest payout is the highest payout divided by 142,875. The highest payout is pegged to a USD value, which is $200 for both sites.

https://freebitco.in  has just returned to normal payouts (twice at base level) and   https://freedoge.co.in  is giving 100,000th of the highest payout.

Another blogger has given some analysis on why his own faucet is struggling.


The article discussed how google adsense is no longer allowing faucets to have ads on them. Perhaps some of these faucets are feeling the pressure. In fact, I speculate this is why
http://bitcoinzebra.com is for sale now.

Still, here is a faucet tip:


Bookmark all your faucets with the same interval for redemption into one folder on chrome or firefox. Then right click that folder and open them all at once.  For example, all of my one hour faucets are in a one hour folder. I also have a moon folder for my variable time faucets. You can see my faucet list here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Happy Belated Birthday Liberland

Liberland recently had its one year anniversary. My Editor decided to go on strike, so I am just releasing the post on it now.

Liberland is located on an unclaimed area in between Serbia and Croatia. As you may know, Serbia and Croatia disagree on the border between their two countries. Border disputes are quite common when a river is used as a boundary. Rivers have a tendency to move over time, often resulting in one country preferring the new boundary with the other claiming the old boundary (This is particularly common as winding rivers become more straight, resulting in oxbow lakes and areas of land that were once on the opposite side of the river). The border between Serbia and Croatia is no different with the windy Danube river dividing them.


Liberland has plans to release its own cryptocurrency, which will be called the merit. The merits will be awarded to those who perform services for the country, hence the name. The nation seems quite aligned with libertarian values. Its citizenship is quite expensive; it will cost 10,000 merits, which is to be initially pegged to the USD 1:1. Liberland seems reminiscent of REPUBLIC VENETA  which I wrote about in a past post.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Future of Currency and Bitcoin

The Future of Currency and Bitcoin
The Future of Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency which, in its simplest form, is digital currency that operates without a central authority or bank. Bitcoin finds its place in the world of cryptocurrency as one of the most used and well known types. With a market cap of about $5.7 billion (as of February 6, 2016), the future of bitcoin looks rather promising (coinmarketcap.com). However, it must be kept in mind that even with all of its potential, bitcoin, from a technical standpoint, is not the best cryptocurrency and has quite a few issues that other cryptocurrencies better resolve.
For starters, bitcoin is often praised for the level of anonymity it provides to its users. However, it isn’t really as anonymous as one might think. Bitcoin allows one to send and receive bitcoins without providing any personally identifying information. A bitcoin user is assigned an address with which they can use to perform transactions. So what’s the issue? An article on bitcoinsimplified.org states that, “Every transaction involving that address is stored forever in the blockchain. If your address is ever linked to your identity, every transaction will be linked to you.” So while bitcoin does offer a low level of anonymity, it is still possible that transactions could be linked back to a specific individual.
Not only do people want more anonymity, but they also want things done quicker. With the evolution of currency, the speed at which a transaction can occur has continuously increased. With the advent of electronic payments, we have seen that transactions can take place rather quickly. For example, when your job deposits your paycheck, the funds are usually available for use a day or two later. When bitcoins are sent to another party, a third party of people, who are referred to as miners, confirm the transaction. Transactions are grouped and confirmed in blocks; a bitcoin block is solved every ten minutes. This means that a transaction may receive one confirmation every ten minutes (bitcoin.org). Many businesses want at least three confirmations of payment before they are mostly confident that they have the coins (assuming that the spender doesn’t control a significant amount of bitcoin’s mining power). But three confirmations take 30 minutes to obtain. If you are skeptical of someone you might want more than three confirmations. This means to do a transaction in bitcoin you will require 30 minutes of time at least. While 30 minutes is a lot quicker than a couple days, it is slower than other types of cryptocurrency.
Another downside to bitcoin is the limited volume of transactions it can currently perform. Only about 7 transactions a second can be processed, while Visa for example, can process 10,000 transactions a second (washingtonpost.com).  Bitcoin transactions are executed in blocks, which are batches of transactions. In order to reduce the threat of spam and potential denial-of-service attacks on the network, the amount of transaction data that could be carried in a block was drastically reduced (coindesk.com). This added level of protection, however, could lead to a backlog of transactions. As bitcoin becomes more popular, there is an increasing amount of transactions. With the increased level of bitcoin transactions, many of the transaction blocks are being filled and, as a result, other transactions have to wait. Visa, on the other hand, processes on average nearly 2,000 transactions a second (usa.visa.com). So unless bitcoin can scale up their operations and still provide a high level of security, they may be headed down a difficult road.
Lastly, bitcoin has many technical barriers to entry. In its current state, an individual needs quite a lot of technical knowledge to use bitcoin. Additionally, you must have proper safety and security measures in place to ensure you will be able to access your bitcoins and others will not. It may take time for everyday users to understand bitcoin and how it operates. Hopefully in the future it can be simplified and can grow on a larger scale to be user friendly for the masses.
The Future of Cryptocurrency
While bitcoin in particular may not be the future, it is possible that cryptocurrency in one form or another could be. A simple search for cryptocurrency on the internet will return information on hundreds of different types of cryptocurrency. As of February 2, 2016 there were 676 cryptocurrencies available for trade in online markets but only six had a market capitalization over $10 million (coinmarketcap.com).
It is clear that bitcoin is currently the most valuable cryptocurrency as far as market capitalization goes but yet, as mentioned earlier, it lacks important features that other cryptocurrencies excel at. The following paragraphs will detail other cryptocurrencies that clearly outperform bitcoin in certain areas.
Other coins have higher levels of anonymity; Dash (formerly Darkcoin) and XCoin are the best example of this. In order for bitcoin to be able to maintain more anonymity of transactions, it needs to rely on other add-on services. Dash has anonymity features built into its algorithms which allow it to mask transactions and IP addresses of participants of a network (cointelegraph.com).
As mentioned earlier, bitcoin transactions take about 10 minutes to confirm. Other cryptocurrencies have even faster transaction times. For example, Litecoin and Dash take about 2.5 minutes. Back when Dash was still called Darkcoin, they introduced InstantX technology which “makes payments instant” (thus it charges a small additional fee). However, even by taking into account incomparably higher speed, commission charges when using Dash are tens times less, than when using bitcoin (cointelegraph.com). As can be seen, cryptocurrencies are improving very quickly and becoming more and more efficient. Cryptocurrencies may have the potential to replace traditional fiat currency.
When comparing bitcoin to other types of cryptocurrency, other coins are able to process more transactions. For example, of the top six cryptocurrencies with a market capitalization above $10 million, bitcoin has the fifth smallest available supply of currency at about 15.2 million units (coinmarketcap.com). This is compared to Dogecoin and Ripple (other types of cryptocurrency that are in the top six cryptocurrencies) that have 103 billion and 34 billion units, respectively.
The Future of Money
It is clear that the world is moving away from the use of traditional fiat currency. People use credit cards and debit cards more and more, along with a trend of using more digital forms of payment like ACH payments for employees instead of traditional checks. In addition, technologies like EFT are becoming more common in the market.
As traditional paper based currencies and forms of payment are abandoned, it seems natural that digital solutions, like bitcoin, might take their place.  We can see a clear progression of currency changes throughout time. At first, people accepted commodities as a form of payment; the most used commodity was gold. Later, precious metals, like gold, were minted into coins which were used as currency; the metal in the coins gave them value. Next, paper currencies were issued that were redeemable for gold. The fact that they were redeemable gave them value and people accepted them. Finally, fiat currency was introduced. Fiat currency has no gold standard but the fact that the government and the people support the currency means that it has value.
In the US, there is a significant problem that many coins, in addition to lower denomination bills, are expensive to mint in relation to value. It costs nearly two cents to make one cent, and that just doesn’t make sense (USmint.gov). Digital currencies can eliminate this problem as the cost of creating this type of currency is essentially nothing. The next progression in the currency evolution is that the government no longer prints physical currency and everyone uses digital currency instead.


References
“2014 Biennial Report to the Congress”. USMint. 2014-12-31. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. Satoshi Nakamoto. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
“Bitcoin Money Supply”. CoinBase. 2016-02-08. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
“Bitcoin needs to scale by a factor of 1000 to compete with Visa. Here’s how to do it.”.Timothy B. Lee, The Washington Post. 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
“Bitcoin Simplified”. BitcoinSimplified. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
"Crypto-Currency Market Capitalizations". CoinMarketCap. 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2016-02-06.

“DASH: Young Cryptocurrency With An Interesting Story”. CoinTelegraph. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2016-02-04.

“Run your business”. USAVisa. Retrieved 2016-02-09.

“What is the Bitcoin Block Size Debate and Why Does it Matter?”. CoinDesk. 2015-21-08. Retrieved 2016-02-04.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bitcoin Banking?

I have recently made an account with BTCpop.co. The site has some interesting features, one is its peer-to-peer lending options. People ask for a loan for various reasons and the people that want to fund these loans do so. In addition to loans, BTC pop also offers a 5% savings account as well as some IPO services. I want to focus on the bank like aspects of BTCpop today.

This method of lending has some interesting risks associated with it. The largest risk to these loans is credit risk, or the risk that lenders will not pay the money back. This is universal to essentially all loans (except some government bonds). These loans also carry some interest rate risk and inflation risk; however, this is quite small due to the short-term nature of these loans.

These loans also have many features not associated with similar commercial loans. One is transaction risk, the risk that the bitcoins you used to extend the loan are worth less than the bitcoins you receive at the end of the loan. This is longer than normal because it takes time to exchange bitcoins for regular currency.

In addition, these loans carry an “institutional risk” or the risk that the website/institution will fail.  In this case, the loan makers may not see any of their money.This risk is the primary risk of the 5% savings account. If the institution as a whole fails, you will not get your money in your savings account.

This savings account also has more risks associated with it than a regular savings account. As long as the bank has enough bitcoin reserve to pay off withdrawal requests, there is no problem. However, if depositors want their money bank and the bank doesn’t have enough reserves, then the bank faces a liquidity crisis. Regular banks have a few tools to avoid this problem. They are able to loan money to each other, so if one bank has excess reserves, they can lend it to another that is lacking. They also are able to borrow directly from the Federal Reserve, or the appropriate central bank.  Banks also engage in the repo market, there they give securities (like bonds) as collateral on a short term loan. It may be possible for this bitcoin bank to translate on the repo market. But that still leaves the institution with only one of the 3 tools regular banks have to handle liquidity issues.

Also, the overall risk of the bank is very likely tied to the overall credit risk of its borrowers. The bank almost certainly invests its deposits in loans to people on the site. This also means that if enough  borrowers default, the institution is at risk. So even if you have not lent money directly, by putting it in the bank's savings account, you still may lose your money. Its also important to note that normal banks are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000. However, this bank offers no such protection. This means that the bank's approach to risk is even more important than normal.

All of this addition risk seems to be rewarded. User initiated loans have rates that at crazy even by payday loan standards. The site’s savings account offers 5% compared to less than 1% at commercial banks. The difference in rates is so great, I don’t think all the loans follow the Security Market line in the way that they should. However, that is an issue for another day.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

TSA spots bitcoin!

This video is a pretty funny example of  people not understanding what bitcoin is. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Another Birthday Post




My blog is now two years old! How exciting.  The price of bitcoin today is about $378 on coinbase or Poloniex. Here is my post last year for comparison.  I recently was looking through some of my old edited blog posts. Sometimes my ideas and drafts never become full fledged posts. Here are some small posts I never released:


I sometimes in my spare time ( which is often a bit limited) stream games , so I have xsplit gamecaster basically always running in the background just in case I want to start streaming something.  A few days ago I opened up my bitcoin wallet and xsplit gamecaster thought my bitcoin wallet was a game. Maybe I will have to stream it and see what happens. It probably won’t make for a great video though.


Jeb Bush may make bitcoin illegal

Jeb Bush has recently come out against Cryptography. The implications of this are huge and frankly his efforts seem misguided. Cryptography is a huge part of essentially all financial dealing on the internet, whether it be credit cards, bank info or even our beloved bitcoins. Bitcoins very existence is defined by cryptography, and if Jeb Bush wants to make actions against cryptography  it will clearly have an impact on bitcoin.


https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/19/jeb-bush-comes-encryption/

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Separatists, Central banks, and Strange New Currencies


I currently am enrolled in a microeconomics course on money. In this class, I can't help question if physical currency will exist in the future. I think it may very well not. A possible indicator of this comes from the REPUBLIC VENETA. This separatist group has indicated that they will issue their own digital currency. This currency has a major difference from other currencies like bitcoin because it will also have a central bank. This is such a major deviation from typical cryptocurrencies, I hesitate to even call this Venetian digital currency a cryptocurrency.

This declaration brings some questions to mind. One being, how can a decentralized currency have a central bank? In normal cryptocurrencies, blocks are solved and rewards are given to miners. This is how coins come to be. However, a central bank also has the ability to create and regulate currency. This makes the supply of money potentially less stable, at least from the perspective of people besides the central bank. One perk of most cryptocurrencies is that the supply of bitcoin at a future date is quite predictable. Whereas, the supply of US dollars, for example, is in a way, up to the whims of the Federal Reserve.

According to their website, the Venetian Central bank will also be able to  “... purchase public securities issued by the Venetian Government, always paying with the digital currency.” This practice is known as quantitative easing. This practice can increase the supply of money in an economy, as securities are traded for what is, in essence, cash.

A final note that that is interesting is the following statement: “Moreover, the Venetian citizens who will demonstrate their efforts as activists for the Venetian Republic, will be rewarded receiving a proportional amount of digital currency, in according to the service provided.” I wonder what exactly they mean by this and what services they want. Only time will tell.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Woes of Cryptsy

My money might be stuck in Cryptsy. Everyone says not to keep your money in an exchange. It’s a known fact you shouldn’t do it. Just like how everyone should know you need to backup your wallet. But have I used an unbacked up wallet? Yes, and I learned my lesson. Have I kept money in an exchange longer than I needed to? Well yes, that is true as well, and I might now be paying the price.

For a few months now people on Reddit have been warning of the dangers of Cryptsy, and encouraging people to not use the exchange. It seems that they were right. The exchange has just recently put up this message on their site.

In essence, it describes that one of the altcoin wallets they used had a trojan that stole roughly 13,000 BTC and  300,000 LTC. Depending on the exchange rate at the time, it is about $6 million dollars (using 400 for BTC and 3 for LTC). This event happened over a year ago.

Like a bank, Cryptsy didn’t actually need to have all its bitcoins on hand to in order to continue to operate. As long as it had enough for day-to-day operations, it could get by. However, as I mentioned before, many people raised questions about Cryptsy and its ability to continue to operate. This in essence caused a run on the bank. For the past few weeks bitcoin withdrawals have been restricted, and now the entire site seems to be stopped. Fortunately, I got most of my assets off the exchange. I just have a few fragments of a bitcoin that are stuck.


Another writer has provided a more in-depth analysis if you are interested, which can be viewed here.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Return of the Bitcoin

I recently got a new desktop computer. With windows 10 now out, I thought I would upgrade my laptop to windows 10. But before this, I wanted to ensure that I could use my wallet backups correctly. I previously had encrypted my wallets in a 7 zip file, and had that 7 zip file saved to a few locations, a portable hard drive, a thumb drive, a Google drive, etc. I thought this would be a flawless system, as I used a strong password and the encryption should keep out any predators. The only issue that came was, I forgot the wallet encryption password. Oh dear.

I saved some of the wallets, I still had in still in use, but I was missing some.
In fact, enough time passed that I managed to forget the password to this set as well, despite my password hint.
At this point I decided to try my first brute force attack. I downloaded a program to crack my password. I soon realized that this method would take, more or less, forever. The program does very specific things very well. For example, if you lost a 3 digit all numbers pin, it would be ok for that. Fortunately, I realized I saved my password in my password vault. So after much worrying and quite a bit of effort, the great crisis was averted.