Tag Archives | Bitcoin

Bitcoin, the Digital Deluge and the Seeds of an Open Source Society

IMG_6496It’s all been swept up by the digital deluge: the way we create, consume, socialize, learn, all of it. Yet no matter how much of the analog world seeps into the digital realm, the almighty dollar continues to resist the pixel-y tide. The act of currency creation remains an esoteric, behind-the-scenes process controlled by a few privileged, monocle-clad, suit-wearers with fancy titles and special permissions.

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Actually, we do have digital money and it’s called bitcoin. It does work, it’s safe and it’s easy to use. On top of that, for the first time ever, no government, corporation or human being can claim dominion over, control, destroy or create a currency. Bitcoin is decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer, lives completely online and created through a programmatic process.

Practicality wise, you can already buy basically anything using bitcoin and a growing number of merchants, services and corporations are accepting it every day.Read the rest

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A Bot Purchased Illegal Drugs — Who’s to Blame?

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When bots break the law, who pays the price?

via Fusion.net:

Maybe it’s a sign that robots are growing up, and thus hitting the rebellious stage.

The Random Darknet Shopper, an automated online shopping bot with a budget of $100 a week in Bitcoin, is programmed to do a very specific task: go to one particular marketplace on the Deep Web and make one random purchase a week with the provided allowance. The purchases have all been compiled for an art show in Zurich, Switzerland titled The Darknet: From Memes to Onionland, which runs through January 11.

The concept would be all gravy if not for one thing: the programmers came home one day to find a shipment of 10 ecstasy pills, followed by an apparently very legit falsified Hungarian passport– developments which have left some observers of the bot’s blog a little uneasy.

If this bot was shipping to the U.S., asks Forbes contributor and University of Washington law professor contributor Ryan Calo, who would be legally responsible for purchasing the goodies?

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Ransomware Nets $500 Bitcoin Payout From US Sheriff’s Office

Zach Copley (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Zach Copley (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Coindesk:

A county sheriff’s office in Tennessee paid a $500 ransom in bitcoin after it became the victim of a cyberattack this week.

As reported by Nashville-based WTVF-TV, the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office ran afoul of a bug known as Cryptowall, a derivative of infamous ransomware CryptoLocker.

Cryptowall is a Trojan horse program that, once inside a computer, encrypts its contents and triggers demands for a payment in bitcoin. The firm’s estimates suggest that after being discovered earlier this year, as many as 1,000 computers have been infected.

Detective and sheriff’s office IT director Jeff McCliss told WTVF-TV that a data cache containing sensitive documents, photographs and criminal reports was impacted. Overall, more than 70,000 files were temporarily inaccessible due to the malware infection.

Read More: http://www.coindesk.com/ransomware-bitcoin-payout-sheriffs-office/

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Man Gets NFC Chip Implants in Hands to Store Bitcoin Wallet

Having just read the new William Gibson novel The Peripheral I’m inclined to think that this fellow is only a little bit ahead of his time. Android Authority reports on the man with the Bitcoin hands:

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Bitcoin, it’s currently the biggest cryptocurrency in the world. For safety reasons, users of the currency normally keep the majority of their bitcoins offline, like on an encrypted USB stick or even physically on a piece of paper. In this day and age, keeping as much information as possible offline can (in theory) lessen the chances of it being hacked.

So what’s safer than than encrypted hardware, or even a piece of paper? Why inside your own body of course, which is exactly where one Bitcoin user has injected and stored his currency.

Martijn Wismeijer, a Dutch entrepreneur (and apparently a very avid fan of Bitcoin) has walked around with an NFC chip injected in both of his hands for the past 10 days.

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OpenBazaar: P2P Marketplace to Undermine our Corporate Overlords

Howard Pyle: The Buccaneer (1905)

Howard Pyle: The Buccaneer (1905)

Around the turn of the century, Amazon, eBay and other online marketplaces provided revolutionary new venues for small-business entrepreneurship, but they have since grown into heavy-handed corporate behemoths that treat sellers like share croppers while exerting an ever-expanding influence over government and the economy. In the future, online marketplaces will be publicly shared via distributed p2p networks. There will be no fees, no trade restrictions, no corporate overlords running the show. The concept is gaining traction; the technology is already here.

One promising effort in this direction is OpenBazaar. They hope to offer a full release in 2014, and are currently seeking beta testers:

OpenBazaar is an open source project to create a decentralized network for peer to peer commerce online—using Bitcoin—that has no fees and cannot be censored. Put simply, it’s the baby of eBay and BitTorrent.

Right now, online commerce means using centralized services. eBay, Amazon, and other big companies have restrictive policies and charge fees for listing and selling goods.… Read the rest

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The Man Behind the Wikileaks PayPal and the PayPal 14 Fund Now Taking Bitcoin

Luke Rudkowski at the Edward Snowden fundraiser meets Bernd Fix one of the pioneers of the internet who created the 1st ever anti virus software. Bernd Fix, the man who ran the PayPal fund for Wikileaks that was shut down by the U.S government is now also organizing the a fund to help the PayPal14. To learn more about the PayPal 14 check out the link below.

Paypal 14 fund http://thepaypal14.com/

Via We Are Change

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Utopia Through Digital Cooperation, Bitcoin and a Little Bit of Gin. Featuring Jeffrey Tucker

PIC: Philafrenzy (PD)

PIC: Philafrenzy (PD)

Via Midwest Real

“You can look at the historical trajectory.  From a technological point of view, we’ve gone to ever-more aggregated collectives… And now, in the last 15 years we’ve seen this great innovation of open source distributed networks and peer-to-peer relationships that distribute power equally… Bitcoin fits into this because it’s the ultimate peer-to-peer monetary system.  You don’t have to depend on some powerful third party… You just take the power on your own and possess it and own it and control your life, and that’s what we all want.” – Jeffrey Tucker

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Dark Wallet For Bitcoin Launches

darkwalletCody Wilson’s Dark Wallet for Bitcoin project has launched. Here’s the Wall Street Journal‘s take:

The anti-government bitcoin wallet launches Thursday.

Last year, the Journal told readers about Cody Wilson’s efforts to take the virtual currency off the grid through a project called Dark Wallet, the 26-year-old’s latest effort to use technology to sidestep the government. Mr. Wilson is most famous for creating the first working gun made by a 3-D printer.

After months of programming, Wilson and his partner, British anarchist Amir Taaki, also 26, are releasing an early version of the software for free download. It will work as an add-on for Google’s Chrome browser.

For all the talk of bitcoin being untraceable, it’s actually pretty easy for cops to figure out who is spending what unless suspects take very technical precautions. Wilson seeks to change that by making it easier for non-techies to have an anonymous currency online.

Mr.

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The Bitcoin “Crisis” Explained and 5 Reasons it Can’t be Killed

BitcoinNear the end of last year, Bitcoin was being gobbled up at an unbelievable $1100 per coin. With a cursory glance, at today’s price ($500), you’d think that the Coca-Cola of cryptos is careening toward disaster. In order to understand why that’s not the case, you might need a quick recap on how we got to this juncture.

Via- Midwest Real

For Bitcoin, early 2014 was a PR nightmare. The crypto was constantly being linked to drugs and money laundering, most infamously in the case of The Silk Road. But, the most damning sequence of events was due to a known security vulnerability and good-old-fashioned ineptness. Enter Hurricane Gox. By February, major (but known to be sketchy) Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox had been having problems for quite awhile. Because of that aforementioned security issue, Mt. Gox halted some of their user’s ability to withdraw Bitcoin while they fixed the hiccup.… Read the rest

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