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10 Ways Bitcoin Trumps Fiat Currency

Traditional currency such as the US Dollar has some drawbacks, most of which seem to be overlooked or taken for granted by most people. Bitcoin can solve some of these problems as well as offer improvements. Below are some of the advantages bitcoin has over traditional currencies.

1. Decentralized

Bitcoin is a decentralized currency. No central entity regulates it or controls it.

Not having a central entity means no entity can’t inflate bitcoin’s price or devalue it by manipulating its supply. With bitcoin, there is no risk of money printing by a government that could dilute your savings. Creation of bitcoin happens at a stable rate and halves every four years, creating a limited supply of 21 million units.

In addition, there is no single point of failure. If the US Government were to fail, it could have harmful effects on the currency. Bitcoin was started, and is growing, without a central entity. It is a distributed network. If one part of the network were to fail or go offline, Bitcoin would keep working.

2. Free to Transfer and Hold

Remember, Bitcoin is not a company or a business. It does not charge its customer to use the service. It is an open source technology. As such, bitcoin is completely free to transfer and hold.

The US Dollar is predominantly controlled by financial institutions that often charge fees to transfer it. Some services have been built for Bitcoin that charge fees but there is no obligation to use them — Bitcoin itself is free to transfer.

3. Privacy Protection

On one hand, Bitcoin is extremely transparent as the public ledger gives complete visibility into where transactions come from and where they are sent. On the other hand, no one knows who holds a particular bitcoin address. If you do not wish to be identified, you can stay anonymous while using bitcoin. Bitcoin has stronger privacy protections than something like PayPal. Bitcoin accounts are numbered, but have no personally identifiable information. Users can have multiple bitcoin addresses, and they aren’t connected to names, addresses, or other personally identifying information. If, for whatever reason, you don’t want anyone to know about a transaction that you’re making, bitcoin might be a better option than, say, a check. I suspect the privacy protection is the reason why Bitcoin has been used to buy illegal drugs online, though that certainly is not the only use case.

4. Freedom to Transact

Because Bitcoin does not have a controlling intermediary, there is more freedom to transact. With traditional currency, funds can be frozen or seized by an intermediary (such as PayPal, a bank, or a credit card company) or by the government. Intermediaries may also prohibit transactions for goods or services as they desire. If an intermediary decides they don’t want to let you make a given transaction, they can stop it. Payments companies such as PayPal have been reported to have prohibited transaction involving sexual content. If you owned a porn company or adult toy business, you may not be able to use PayPal.

5. Easy to Use

With traditional banks, it can be challenging and/or time consuming to even open a bank account. Setting up merchant accounts for payment is even more complicated. A Bitcoin address can be set up very quickly and with no fees. Bitcoin is easy to send. Instead of filling out forms with your address, credit card number, etc., you can simply send money to an electronic address.

6. Fast Transfers

While traditional wire transfers can take a long time to process (sometimes even days), bitcoin transactions can take just about 10 minutes to complete. You can send bitcoin anywhere and it will arrive minutes later. As soon as the Bitcoin network processes the payment, it is transferred. Physical banks often have business hours and close on nights and weekends. Even PayPal has restrictions on amounts that can be withdrawn in a given month, which means you might have to wait for a month to actually receive the actual funds.

7. No Chargeback Risk

Bitcoin does not subject merchants to chargeback risk the way credit cards do.

Once bitcoin is sent, it can’t be retrieved (unless the recipient returns them). Bitcoins, like cash, are irrevocable. Merchants don’t have to worry providing a good or service, only to have a customer void the credit card transaction. For some businesses, chargebacks can really eat into profit margins.

8. Durable

Bitcoin can not be destroyed or damaged. Supply of Gold can be manipulated if more gold is found or if it is destroyed. Physical currency (cash) can be counterfeited or destroyed. Changes to supply result in changes in price.

9. Portable

Because Bitcoin is electronic, it is easy to store and carry. Gold is actually quite heavy and takes up a lot of physical space. Bitcoin can be stored on a portable credit card sized device or simply online. It could be hard to carry around gold and use it for regular purchases.

10. Reduced Fraud

Bitcoin eliminates the risk of credit card fraud. Criminals can steal personal customer information and credit card numbers and use it to make fraudulent purchases. Since Bitcoin is purely digital, the receiver of a payment does not see any information from the sender that could be used to steal money from the sender in the future. That information could be taken by the payment receiver (merchant) or by a criminal who steals that information from the merchant.

Credit card fraud can be a major expense for merchants and credit card processors. Some online merchants are forced to reject some purchases that fear could be fraudulent. Credit card processors and banks have spent money on fraud detection systems.

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Bitcoin Security FAQ and Best Practices with Will Pangman & Richard Grove

In this rare, publicly available episode of Tragedy and Hope’s Casual Cafe series (usually reserved for T&H subscribers), Richard Grove discusses Bitcoin (BTC) best practices and security FAQs with Bitcoin Maven and Will Pangman, who leads Richard through the steps to set up his first bitcoin wallet. This tutorial is perfect for those new to bitcoin who are curious about best practices when first getting started and also a great reminder to those who are already familiar with the technology.

Topics included: Securing Passwords, Securing Email, 2-Factor Authentication (in BTC and Email), using BTC securely with smart devices, 2nd BTC password for spending, cold wallet storage, 1996 NSA Cryptocurrency & e-coin paper (pre-Bitcoin & Blockchain), the differences between Centralized, Decentralized, Distributed, and Peer-to-Peer Architectures.

Links discussed in this episode:

T&H Bitcoin Fundraiser hosted by Ernie Hancock of Freedom’s Phoenix: http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Fundin…

1996 NSA Cryptocurrency article “How to Make a Mint”: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/class…

Google Searches: KeePassX, LastPass, Tails (Linux), Authy, Google Authenticator

Tragedy and Hope: Re-Contextualizing History One Episode at a Time.

This is the official playlist for the T&H series: “History… So It Doesn’t Repeat”: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…

T&H dot com: http://www.TragedyandHope.com

Thank you for tuning in and not dropping out!

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You can lead a horse to two factor…

… But you can’t take away their false sense of security.

With the news of recent thefts in the bitcoin community it’s important to recognize who is truly at fault: the thieves themselves. That said, the news released today by Davi Barker about the theft of ShinyBadges.com’s Porcfest funds is a good opportunity to remind people about the best security practices available.

Two-factor authentication is an important tool to understand and properly implement for your bitcoin wallets and your email accounts. But as seen in the case of Fr33 Aid and Nourishing Liberty, two-factor authentication isn’t always enough. Please do not rely on two-factor as the only way to secure your bitcoins. Learn how to create and store offline wallets and diversify your funds on multiple accounts, wallets and cold storage options. For some tutorials about creating offline wallets, Please see:

Tutorial – Creating A Cold Storage Wallet. Via Chris Pacia’s blog, Escape Velocity

Cold Storage: Part One, Two and Three From CodingInMySleep.com

To be completely clear, no funds managed by Bitcoin Not Bombs have gone missing. Bitcoin Not Bombs takes bitcoin security very seriously, not only for our clients but on behalf of those who would accept bitcoin donations based on our example. Despite the robbery of his ShinyBadges wallet, Davi made good on all of his arrangements with vendors and contractors, including Bitcoin Not Bombs. The fact that this was no small amount, and the speed with which he honored these commitments despite his loss, are a testament to Davi’s character and one of the reasons I’m happy to have him as both a partner and a friend.

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Gary Franchi interviews M.K. Lords on Bitcoin in the Beltway

With Bitcoin in the Beltway promising to bring some radicals into the heart of D.C., it has drawn the attention of some media outlets. Gary Franchi of the Next News Network sat down with M.K. Lords to discuss the revolutionary technology of Bitcoin and the upcoming conference. Gary asked some great questions in the interview which you can view below.

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome

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World’s Largest Maker Faire Needs Bitcoin

This past weekend I got the chance to go to the 9th Annual Maker Faire in San Mateo. Hundreds of vendors set up in several exposition halls, tents, and outdoor booths. There was a a dark room filed with tesla coils, lasers, lights, jelly fish, and more. Hundreds of families and children poured into the fairgrounds over the two day event. We spent several hours going up and down each row and had not even come close to seeing everything before we sat down for some great food to take in the sights and sounds of the day.

3D printing was the talk of the show with a number a companies showing off new printers, software and 3D printed products. Several fair goers came to show off their own 3D printed toys and gadgets. I even saw a 3D printed RC car with a 3D printer on top actively printing gears for a new 3D printed RC car… Yo Dawg, I should have snapped a picture of that!

Along with friends from the San Francisco bitcoin meetup we found several vendors who knew all about bitcoin and would accept it for products and services. We also had some great conversations with vendors who had heard very little about bitcoin and got a bit more serious about taking it once we offered to pay with it. I was able to make the day’s only bitcoin purchase, a membership to EFF.org, complete with a awesome “All your data – NSA” shirt. The EFF staff knew all about bitcoin and were happy to help me make my contribution with it.

I would have liked to see a general information booth about bitcoin at an event like this. Hundreds of thousands people attended this years event and we got a number of people pointing at our shirts and asking us about bitcoin. It was a very target rich environment for bitcoin outreach and this audience would jump at the chance to use the currency if you could only buy it and then spend it right inside the gates of this technology meets arts and crafts wonderland.

A few photos from the day via imgur.com