long before eBay or Amazon, students from Stanford University in California and MIT in Massachusetts conducted the first ever ecommerce transaction. Using the "Arpa-net" account at their artificial intelligence lab, the Stanford students sold their counterparts a small amount of marijuana. Ever since, the net has turned over a steady but small trade in illicit narcotics. But last year approximately 20 per cent of UK drug users scored online. The majority of them went to one place: the dark net markets. [more inside]
posted by bookman117
on Aug 24, 2014 -
It's Time For a Hard Bitcoin Fork.
"A Bitcoin mining pool, called GHash and operated by an anonymous entity called CEX.io, just reached 51% of total network mining power today. Bitcoin is no longer decentralized. GHash can control Bitcoin transactions."
posted by chunking express
on Jun 14, 2014 -
The US Marshals Service is auctioning off the bitcoins
seized from the servers of the Silk Road online drug marketplace last year, in lots of 3000 coins. You have until June 23rd register as a bidder and wire your $200,000 deposit. (Silk Road previously
posted by silby
on Jun 12, 2014 -
For those who don't quite "get it" when someone makes a tulip joke in any given Bitcoin thread. This
is a short documentary on the phenomenon of Tulip Mania, a period in Dutch economic history when Tulips became such a hot commodity that empires were born and lives ruined all over the value of tulip bulbs. [slyt]
posted by mediocre
on Mar 22, 2014 -
In 2014, Bitcoin (BTC) has become established as increasingly "real" money with government regulatory interest
, law enforcement
, and growing acceptance
, but also as the reserve cryptocurrency for hundreds of "altcoins,"
making them also convertible to legacy money. Foremost among these is Litecoin (LTC),
which introduced the scrypt hashing algorithm to cryptocurrency, democratizing coin mining by being best suited to common GPUs rather than Bitcoin's dedicated mining equipment. Recently donated LTC paid for a forest
in Madagascar. Peercoin (PPC),
next in prominence, introduces "proof of stake" where less energy is spent mining and existing coins pay interest. Dogecoin (DOGE),
a fork of Litecoin (previously
covered on Metafilter
), continues heading to the moon
, with more transactions than all other coins combined
, thriving markets in digital goods
, an upcoming party in NYC's Bitcoin Center on Wall Street
, much charity
, and the recent announcement
that new Dogecoins will be generated indefinitely. A selection of other foremost and interesting cryptocurrencies is within. [more inside]
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth
on Feb 5, 2014 -
Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider gives one of the most fair minded assessments on the internet:
"First of all, it's wrong to say that Bitcoin has no value. There's prima facie evidence that this is untrue. If you want to buy weed on the Internet, Bitcoin serves a useful purpose.... Two other arguments against Bitcoin, which I've stated in the past, are that the currency is too volatile to be a useful medium of exchange. And that it's also deflationary in the sense that if you assume the price is going to keep going up, then you have no incentive to ever spend your bitcoins, thus preventing the Bitcoin economy from becoming a vibrant thing. But both of these counter-arguments have flaws."
Also: Tyler Cowen discusses how China's tight capital controls have increased the value of bitcoin,
and the Economist gives a good overview of the history of the cryptocurrency to date and a discussion of technical challenges regarding the increasing size of the blockchain, ensuring security and anonymity, and the computational arms race to mine bitcoins.
posted by bookman117
on Dec 1, 2013 -
Meet The 'Assassination Market' Creator Who's Crowdfunding Murder With Bitcoins
Last month I received an encrypted email from someone calling himself by the pseudonym Kuwabatake Sanjuro, who pointed me towards his recent creation: The website Assassination Market
, a crowdfunding service that lets anyone anonymously contribute bitcoins towards a bounty on the head of any government official–a kind of Kickstarter for political assassinations. According to Assassination Market’s rules, if someone on its hit list is killed–and yes, Sanjuro hopes that many targets will be–any hitman who can prove he or she was responsible receives the collected funds.
posted by andoatnp
on Nov 18, 2013 -
Bitcoin is broken. And not just superficially so, but fundamentally, at the core protocol level. We're not talking about a simple buffer overflow here, or even a badly designed API that can be easily patched; instead, the problem is intrinsic to the entire way Bitcoin works. All other cryptocurrencies and schemes based on the same Bitcoin idea, including Litecoin, Namecoin, and any of the other few dozen Bitcoin-inspired currencies, are broken as well.
posted by Chrysostom
on Nov 5, 2013 -
“It’s a lot less embarrassing,” he says. “You don’t have to put yourself out there.” And unlike panhandling in Pensacola, using an app like Bitcoin Tapper won’t put him on the wrong side of the law. This past May, Pensacola — where Angle has lived since April — passed an ordinance that bans not only panhandling but camping on city property.
-- Homeless, unemployed and surviving on bitcoins
(and food stamps).
posted by MartinWisse
on Sep 25, 2013 -
The Department of Homeland Security has apparently seized
Mt.Gox's Dwolla account, a key US mobile payments account associated with the largest Bitcoin exchange. Mt.Gox has confirmed
that their Dwolla account is disabled, but have not been party to the court order themselves. [more inside]
posted by ArkhanJG
on May 15, 2013 -