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Bitcoins are accepted by a growing number of merchants, even used to pay some employees

Bitcoin Magazine this week heralded some exciting news. The popular cryptocurrency that's free of regulation by any nation state has hit a new high of $32 USD/Bitcoin on Mt. Gox, the world's largest exchange.  The previous high had been $31.9099 on June 8, 2011.

Right after hitting that previous high, Bitcoin values began a freefall, which we covered in our piece "Digital Black Friday: First Bitcoin "Depression" Hits".  It was unclear whether the plunge was due merely to profit taking or other issues.  Shortly thereafter, the currency was further devalued when MtGox was hit with a database dump attack and users accounts were compromised due to the service's weak MD5 hashing of passwords.  It took the site months to rebuild trust, beef up security, and unwind the trail of fraudulent transfers.

The Bitcoin rollercoaster ride bottomed out at $2 USD/coin in November 2011.  And last fall BitFloor -- another major exchange -- was hacked, and $250,000 USD worth of Bitcoins were stolen.  But despite that, the currency continued to creep upwards.

Bitcoins on the rise
Bitcoins values have soared in the last six months. [Chart]

Inflation remains a serious concern for Bitcoins, as do scammers using classic techniques like Ponzi schemes.  And there's the issue of Bitcoin-mining malware that's afflicted PC and Mac users alike.  However, the currency's utility as an (relatively) untraceable and easy to use digital currency is keeping it sailing high.

Popular social media site Reddit recently gave Bitcoins a boost, by accepting the cryptocurrency as a means of paying for "Gold" premium memberships.  LaCie Group SA's (EPA:LAC) "Wuala" and Kim Dotcom's new "Mega" file sharing services both accept Bitcoins as a means of payment.

MtGox
Mt. Gox remains the most popular place to buy and sell Bitcoins.

Domain registrar Namecheap is also considering BitCoin.  And WordPress.com is currently accepting BitCoin payments for various services.

Source: BitCoin Magazine



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I hate em
By TSS on 3/1/2013 5:02:56 AM , Rating: 4
I hate Bitcoins. There i said it. I have and always hate them and their concept. For a very simple reason.

Right now, we're paying with money that's made up out of thin air. The vast majority of money is virtual, made up by typing numbers into a screen. Now there are some problems with that.

But bitcoins are virtual money, paying with thin air, that you first have to burn a real world lump of coal for, before the numbers are typed into the computer. How else is that GPU getting the power in order to mine bitcoins? the biggest source of power in the world is coal. Wether we have a script add the numbers or a human doesn't matter, they are still digital bits floating around in cyberspace.

This is the madness that i hate. Rather then saying "right we just won't print any more money", we have to burn real world resources to limit the creation of virtual money. It's the ultimate form of decadence. Instead of paying for something with nothing, you pay for something by destroying another thing.

i HATE em. I'd rather return to gold, and i really dislike the gold standard for the same reason, turning a society that has learned to pay for something with nothing back into a medieval society which *has* to pay for something with something else or nothing gets done.

We could just, get this, put it in the constitution that the government is the only entity allowed to print money, and then, in that same constitution, tie the rate of inflation to the rate of growth of last year. 2% growth last year? 2% inflation this year. And then NOBODY gets to change that anymore. It can only possibly be changed by a 2/3rds majority in house, senate, president has to agree AND a referendum has to be held in which >60% of the population votes yes. It'll be a cold day in hell before all of that happens. And when the economy shrinks more or grows less then the numbers allow? TOUGH.

No need for bitcoins or massive lawbooks. The only problem that needs solving is people printing *more* money. Not people printing money.




RE: I hate em
By Mogounus on 3/1/2013 1:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you meant to say to tie the growth of money supply to the rate of growth? You cannot ties inflation of course! What are you going to do; lock up someone for raising their prices by more that 2%? And then how are you going to limit the rate of growth of the money supply? Which one, base money M1, M2, M3? Money is created when banks lend money because debt is money also. You can set reserve limits on banks but that will still not limit inflation because even though banks offer loans you need someone who wants to borrow. When conditions arise that everyone wants to borrow all of a sudden inflation will skyrocket without a change to base money or reserve limits. Maybe your simple solution isn't so simple after all.


RE: I hate em
By NellyFromMA on 3/1/2013 3:37:26 PM , Rating: 2
STOP! You're bursting the bubble for them! lol jk, very valid points.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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