1 November 2014

Dark Wallet Walkthrough

Amanda "Billyrock" Johnson was intimidated by computers for a long time. Then she discovered Bitcoin. While the intimidation hasn't worn off, the promise of private money and free trade keeps her feverishly engaged.

October 30, 2014 at 11:45PM

31 October 2014

Digital Revolution in the Granite State

New Hampshire – the first colony to sever ties from Great Britain – is once again leading the revolution. Along with its centuries-long “Live Free or Die” culture, New Hampshire is becoming a Mecca for digital currency enthusiasts. In just the last few years, Bitcoin experts and entrepreneurs have been eagerly coming to New Hampshire to spread their message. Many Bitcoin users are members of the Free State Project: a cooperative organization encouraging liberty-lovers to migrate to New Hampshire. Members of the Free State Project range from Democrat and Republican Party members to crypto-anarchists, and many in between. As Bitcoin represents an incredible technological advance in the direction of liberty, it should come as no surprise that early Bitcoin movers are invested ideologically as well as financially.

Here are some examples indicating Bitcoin’s growing popularity in the Granite State:

  • Manchester, New Hampshire, is home to the longest-running weekly Bitcoin meetup in the world (soon to hit 121 weeks). Most meetups number 15 to 25 attendees, with a diverse crowd of families, young professionals, teachers, couriers, programmers, inventors, businessmen and more. They gather to eat and drink, hang out, and especially discuss Bitcoin news, altcoin projects, price speculation, new applications for Bitcoin, and more.

  • New Hampshire Bitcoin businesses are growing rapidly. The owners and founders of Lamassu, maker of the popular Bitcoin machine, live and work in Manchester. Restaurants, law offices, barber shops, painters, a martial arts studio and many more businesses accept Bitcoin in New Hampshire. According to Coinmap and Wikipedia statistics, there exists one Bitcoin-accepting merchant for every 44,000 of its residents. This is 4.3 times more dense than neighboring Massachusetts, 4.8 times more dense than the state of New York, 2.5 times more dense than Texas, 2.9 times more dense than California, and 2.6 times more dense than Florida.

  • The Free State Project, which has been accepting Bitcoin since 2011, holds two annual events: Liberty Forum, which is held in the winter, and the Porcupine Freedom Festival (Porcfest), which is held in the summer. Both Liberty Forum and Porcfest are Bitcoin-heavy, featuring large displays of Bitcoin companies such as Blockchain.info, and inviting speakers such as Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, and Erik Voorhees and the Coinapult team. Bruce Fenton, Roger Ver, and Erik Voorhees are all signers of the Free State Project, having pledged to move to New Hampshire once a critical mass of fellow libertarians have signed on as well.

In addition to instances of purely societal growth, New Hampshire politics itself is becoming changed by Bitcoin. Mark Warden, a realtor and New Hampshire state representative, is among the first of the elected officials to solicit and receive Bitcoin donations for political campaigns. After the election, his team subsequently educated the Secretary of State’s office on Bitcoin, including handling it and accounting for it in campaign finance matters. Upcoming candidates in the 2014 election cycle are joining the Bitcoin train, including State House candidates Shem Kellogg and Andre Rosa, among others.

In the gubernatorial race, it’s Andrew Hemingway that is ahead of the curve. In an interview on Follow the Coin, Hemingway explains his position:

…New Hampshire is a state where we have the opportunity to create the exact opposite situation [regarding] things happening in New York. To do that, we need a governor who understands cryptocurrency, who understands the entire technology framework that’s involved around the blockchain, and the potentials there. And to make sure we keep government out of the way, and to stop government from crushing innovation, which it is prone to do. So I am running on a pro-innovation platform and a pro-technology platform; …we’re very forward looking. I think New Hampshire is a state that has a great potential for the crypto market. I’m running for governor to try to push that.

Hemingway has also expressed ideas regarding utilizing blockchain technology within the State apparatus. Paying public contracts or collecting micro-transactional fees could become vastly easier and more transparent with Bitcoin or with a similar decentralized digital currency. An anonymous New Hampshire driver earned a few minutes of fame on reddit for being the first person to pay a parking ticket in Bitcoin through the use of Brawker.

As Bitcoin use becomes contested or prohibited in other areas of the world, various States will respond accordingly. Some States – culturally or economically tied to a superpower – will fall in line behind a major decision regarding legality. Others will break from the norm, hoping to attract real innovative value from what the rest of the world has shunned. Certain countries of Europe such as Switzerland have acted this way with regards to privacy and digital freedom; places like Hong Kong or Singapore are seen as oases of economic freedom.

Despite whatever obstacles states place upon Bitcoin use, it will continue to grow. It becomes stronger as more people become familiar with Bitcoin and begin preferring it. While Bitcoin demonstrates that geographical proximity is not required for money to emerge, having a concentrated mass of Bitcoin users accomplishes two related goals: 1) Establish local trade patterns with others using Bitcoin, thus experiencing firsthand living a fiat-free world, and; 2) Acculturate the surrounding members of mass society, such as enshrining Bitcoin protection into law and accelerating merchant adoption. Eventually, as Bitcoin becomes more popular in New Hampshire, it will begin to make inroads in people’s economic lives. They will see Bitcoin down the street and in the newspaper, they will see goods quoted in terms of it, they will hear friends or family talk about it. Over time, this becomes the “new language” for commerce. As Bitcoin begins to shake up the world, it is important for there to be locations and groups of people familiar and accepting of Bitcoin rather than those that choose to fight it. New Hampshire is beginning to look like that place.

October 31, 2014 at 04:21PM

30 October 2014

Dark Wallet Walkthrough

Amanda "Billyrock" Johnson was intimidated by computers for a long time. Then she discovered Bitcoin. While the intimidation hasn't worn off, the promise of private money and free trade keeps her feverishly engaged.

October 30, 2014 at 11:45PM

28 October 2014

BitQuick’s New Campaign

BitQuick is challenging USA and Europe to sell their bitcoins by using Bitquick.co.

“We’re calling it the BitQuick challenge,” says Founder Jad Mubaslat. “We’re so confident users will come back, that we’re giving away $10 or 0.03 BTC, whichever is greater, to the first 150 new sellers for the month of October and November. We’re also completely removing withdrawal fees for October and November. You now get paid to sell on BitQuick when you’re a new customer.”

After hearing this offer, I had a few questions for Jad that he gladly answered.

Why would I use Bitquick instead of Coinbase?

While institutional money continues to flow into the Bitcoin space and merchant adoption surges, mainstream adoption still lacks. Consumers have still been left with few options to get in and out of the Bitcoin economy quickly and safely. While there are retail options for consumers, such as Coinbase and Circle, they must wait multiple days and go through tedious verification procedures before being able to trade instantly, and even still there are strict limits to how much users can instantly trade.

With BitQuick, you do not have to set up an account, and buyers receive their coins within 3 hours after paying for their order and uploading a photo of their receipt. Sellers often receive money into their account the same day if their coins are priced reasonably close to current market rates. You also cannot buy or sell any bitcoin through Coinbase without a bank account. Buyers do not even need to have a bank account to buy coins with BitQuick. While our sellers do still need to provide a bank account number, we are now serving the masses of unbanked and underbanked buyers that were previously left with few viable options when it came to purchasing Bitcoin.

Why would I choose to use your service to sell instead of, let’s say, LocalBitcoins?

I will just go ahead and list the reasons for you because there are simply so many:

– Never leave the comfort of your home.

– No fees. Ever.

- Quick: receive cash deposited straight into your bank account within hours.

– Protected by BitQuick’s seller guarantee. No more scams!

– Set your own price and order limits.

– Fair playing field for all sellers.

– Simple.

– Insured deposits with Xapo coming soon.

When consumers want Bitcoin immediately with cash, many find themselves resorting to the Craigslist-style marketplace, LocalBitcoins. The problem with LocalBitcoins is that there is no secure arbitration or consistent guidelines. Scams are rampant, and if you get scammed once when trying to obtain your first Bitcoin, you could easily become deterred away from the process and end up being too afraid to try again. People seem to find themselves more comfortable with using a trusted service that makes sure that each transaction is handled smoothly and safely.

What are you doing to solve these problems within the bitcoin space?

BitQuick is tackling these issues head on by creating a streamlined trading process and by offering local traders consistent, speedy, high quality arbitration. Buyers and sellers never even communicate. At its heart, we function like an escrow service. Users list their Bitcoins for sale, deposit them into a BitQuick escrow address, and wait for the consumer to directly deposit cash into their bank account. Once the buyer sends proof of payment, and we confirm that with the seller, the Bitcoins are released. In this way, BitQuick never handles any cash, and payments are settled instantly for the users. BitQuick was also the first fully transparent Bitcoin exchange:

http://ift.tt/1tHJJRq Anyone can verify BitQuick’s reserves at any time! We’re also working with Xapo to provide sellers with insured deposits and multi-sig escrow addresses soon, which is very exciting. We’re dedicated to building a layer of trust with our customers that many Bitcoin users don’t feel with other services, while at the same time trying to reduce the amount of trust you need to put out there in the first place by providing transparency.

One of our customer testimonials from BitTrust put it perfectly: “What’s really great about this service is that BitQuick acts as an insulating party (or interface) between you and the buyer/seller. Why is this great? Because it removes any hassle or stress that might occur if one had to deal directly with the counterparty (buyer or seller). BitQuick’s staff are excellent at spotting potential issues (read: potential scam attempts or errors) that a regular person might miss if they had to deal direct with the counterparty. This particular aspect is what makes the service stand out from say, a LocalBitcoins. Read a LocalBitcoins forums about the various scams that have been pulled on both buyer and seller alike. Such things don’t happen with BitQuick.co. ”

I heard that you guys were expanding to different continents.

Since we are an escrow service, we can expand our trading platform around the world with little friction. We already have platforms in Taiwan, India, Europe and the Middle East. Countries outside the US need BitQuick even more because those consumers have little, if any, options to buy and sell Bitcoin at the moment, and a great number of them are unbanked. We would like to provide more financial freedom to these local markets by giving consumers easy access to Bitcoin, creating less of a need for them to rely on regional banking systems. By allowing for a simple and safe on/off ramp to the Bitcoin economy around the world, we believe BitQuick can continue to catalyze connecting the global economy through Bitcoin.

On August 27th we expanded trading to the Middle East.

What else have you guys been up to?

We recently launched our viral campaign, which offers buyers 50% off the fee of their next purchase when they share BitQuick via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

We’ve also made some functional changes to the platform. Buyers now have the option to cancel their buy orders if an accident was made, and sellers can automatically confirm deposits, along with some other small bug fixes. On AltQuick.co, BitsharesX and BitUSD trading have also been introduced. We’re in the heat of developing a quick buy, quick sell option as well, so keep your eyes peeled! This will make using our system even more convenient with the added ability of placing an order within moments, all from our front page.

We’re working to implement bank transfers as well by the end of 2014. While buyers currently must take a quick trip to the local credit union or bank to deposit cash when using the current system, this new feature would allow everything to be done from home if desired.

Tell me more about those free bitcoins you told me about at the beginning of the article.

Of course. To qualify for the free Bitcoins:

– You must use a bank account previously unused on BitQuick.

– You must use either a local credit union, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One, PNC Bank, Citibank, TD Bank, or SEPA transfer to qualify.

– Your order must remain priced within 10% of BitFinex last price.

– Your order must remain live for 1 full business day or sell out.

– If you list 1-2.99 BTC you will receive $5 or 0.013 BTC (whichever is greater).

– If you list 3+ BTC you will receive $10 or 0.03 BTC (whichever is greater).

The Bitcoin are sent to whatever address you like, and once you receive your free Bitcoin, you can even withdraw the rest of your sell order free of charge if you like!

I’ll also be speaking at the Purdue Bitcoin Conference on November 1st, so come say hi to the BitQuick team!

October 28, 2014 at 11:11PM