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Bitcoin has been dismissed by economists, news agencies, banks, politicians and countless other skeptics around the world as a ponzi scheme, a joke, “fake money” and more. But what they all fail to realize is that bitcoin is just an open-source software that doesn’t care what they think. It is the most influential math experiment in history and it does what it wants. This is exactly why bitcoin will change the world.

If Bitcoin Fails, Nothing Happens

Bitcoin is primarily recognized as the world’s first form of digital cash. This is not to be confused with digital payment systems like we already use today but we will touch on that in a minute.

There have been numerous attempts to create a digital form of cash but they have all failed to create something that is digitally scarce. With each failure, programmers have come one step closer to discovering the blueprint for a system of digital cash that actually works.

In 2009, that blueprint was finally uncovered by an individual or group of individuals using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi delivered to the world a white paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” and this was the first system in history that enabled two parties to transact value between themselves without the need for a trusted third party.

If bitcoin fails, nothing happens. It will be just like all of the other attempts to create digital cash that came before it. But what we are seeing is that it is not failing at all. It is changing the way the world works just as the internet has.

The Birth of Digital Money

The first record of a digital form of money being used in the United States was in 1872 when a popular telegraph service named Western Union used a series of passwords and code books to send the first “money by wire”.

This was a breakthrough in the transference of money not only because money could now be sent across an entire continent in seconds but also because it created a huge leap forward in reducing the risk of moving money. A process that used to take up to 110 days and was at constant risk or being stolen was now almost instant and immune to hijack.

Money had just taken its first step toward being digital.

If Bitcoin Succeeds, It Will Change The World

Western Union had discovered a new system that would forever change the world. The problem with Western Union and other similar services is that anything centrally owned and operated can be centrally obstructed. These centrally controlled systems require you to trust them with the custody of your money. Bitcoin, however, is radically different.

Bitcoin’s revolutionary innovation is trust; not money.

Up until the advent of bitcoin, in order to send money, you needed a trusted third party like Western Union. In modern times, this means using a service like Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, etc. All of these systems require that you trust the transfer system to not steal your money and bitcoin removes the need to trust these third parties in order to transact value. This is monumental.

Bitcoin has managed to bring together three crucial elements for a digital cash system to work. Cryptography, compensation and distribution. Without any one of these three elements, the system would not work.

Cryptography

Banks and payment networks rely heavily on strong cryptography and encryption technology to keep transactions secure. Remember those passwords and code books that Western Union used? That’s cryptography and it is very important not only for banking but for all information flows.

Public key cryptography - Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange (full version) - YouTube

Encryption technology has come a long way since the early days and has become incredibly complex but to get an understanding of some of the underlying technology behind bitcoin, this video does a great job explaining something called Public-Key Cryptography.

Compensation

These strong cryptographic mechanisms can be very costly to operate and maintain which is why banks charge a small fee to store and transfer your money. Compensation is necessary if you want a system to operate. The problem with bank fees is that they are disproportionately high compared to bitcoin fees. For example, to send $1,000 with Visa or PayPal, it would cost about $25 but to send the same $1,000 with bitcoin, would cost about 8¢. The difference in price stays in your pocket.

Distribution

This is where the magic happens. Distribution is what makes the bitcoin network so resilient. There is no single point of failure. Since there is no single central point of failure, it is practically impossible to attack in the same way that governments and corporations have been unable to stop illegal file sharing and “piracy”.

In short, bitcoin removes the need for these other mechanisms by replacing trust in a central third party with trust in a distributed network that is secured by math. This is monumental.

Use Bitcoin

No matter what you think about bitcoin, it is already changing the world. It is the topic of discussion with governments, banking institutions, corporations, freedom advocates, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and disruptarians around the world. It wouldn’t be such a topic of discussion if it wasn’t making changes in the global economy. It has subverted power over global money flows and is enabling more individuals to have more control over their daily lives and futures.

Take Action

We are doing whatever we can to increase bitcoin awareness and educate new users and we need all the help we can get. If you feel that this post would benefit others, please share it. Furthermore, if you feel like educating people about bitcoin out in the real world, start the discussion with one of our bitcoin shirts.

How do you think bitcoin will change the world? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

The post How Will Bitcoin Change The World? appeared first on 101 Reasons to Use Bitcoin.

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In our hyper connected tech world we have probably all heard a number of buzzwords that are related to cybercrime. Identity theft, ransomware, hacks, leaks, fraud, viruses, phishing, forgery, malware and spam are all terms that we either hear on the news or the latest primetime tv drama and that is because cybercrime is evolving at an alarming rate.

What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime refers to criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the internet and it is one of the fastest growing black markets in the world. Cybercriminals work in illicit parts of the internet with incredibly high risk and even higher profit margins. In order to stay one step (or several steps) ahead of law enforcement, hackers are always evolving and advancing to use the most cutting edge technology available.

Bank Security

One of the biggest security weaknesses with the banking system is that banks are legally required to collect all sorts of your personal information in order for you to store value or use their network. These privacy invasive regulations are commonly known as Know Your Customer laws or KYC for short. These laws create an abnormally large collection of personal data for hackers and cybercriminals to target by forcing your personal identity to be attached to all of your electronic spending. The end result is the erosion of financial privacy and the creation of large caches of your personal data ripe for exploitation by dark markets.

Cache for Cash

The larger these collections of personal data caches become, the greater incentive for a group of hackers to target them. These data caches can be at banks or on social media accounts. According to the Wall Street Journal a recent hack of Home Depot resulted in 53 million email accounts being compromised. With these e.mail hackers can launch phishing scams and spam attacks that can deliver malware.

Once this malware installs itself on your computer, it searches for personal info such as names, addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts, passwords, medical records, social security numbers and anything else that can be used to hijack your identity both on and offline. Once your data is mined, hackers can do all sorts of things with it like opening up bank accounts or lines of credit in your name such as personal loans, credit cards, claim your tax returns, obtain medical care like prescription drugs just to name a few.

This is not just a threat when you spend money on the internet but every time that you swipe your credit or debit card you are transmitting lots of your personal data. So imagine that every single time that you have ever used your credit card…ever. Now imagine that malicious actors gained access to that data. How could your life be damaged?

Use Bitcoin

It is much harder for identity theft to destroy your credit when your identity is not attached to your money. This is why the world needs a payment network that doesn’t require any of your personal information in order to send, receive or store value. Bitcoin is just the solution for such a problem. It provides the user with increased privacy while reducing your risk of falling victim to cybercrime and we are just beginning to learn of the benefits of using bitcoin.

Take Action

We are doing whatever we can to increase bitcoin awareness and educate new users and we need all the help we can get. If you feel that this post would benefit others, please share it. Furthermore, if you feel like educating people about bitcoin out in the real world, start the discussion with one of our bitcoin shirts.

How do you think bitcoin will help to prevent cybercrime? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

The post Cybercrime is Evolving Faster Than Your Bank’s Security appeared first on 101 Reasons to Use Bitcoin.

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Since it’s inception back in 2009, one Bitcoin has gone from being worth absolutely nothing to being worth 1/10,000 of a pizza to achieving parity with the US dollar and reaching an all time high of $1,271 (which at the time was worth more than one troy ounce of gold – $1,201.91). It is the limited supply of bitcoin that creates this sort of purchasing power and will likely create a number of multi-millionaires and billionaires in the next ten to twenty years.

The $8 Million Pizza

On May 17th 2010 a Florida resident named, Laszlo Hanyecz placed an ad on the forum BitcoinTalk asking if anyone would buy him two pizzas in exchange for 10,000 bitcoins that he had mined on his computer. It wasn’t until several days later on May 22nd that a man from the UK decided to take him up on this exchange and placed an international phone order to a Papa John’s Pizza store in Florida and had two pizzas delivered to Laszlo. This was a historic moment for the bitcoin community because it is the first recorded transaction of bitcoin ever being used as money. Just so you have an idea of the value of bitcoin, 10,000 coins are worth $8.5 million at today’s price.

To commemorate the transaction, May 22 has been dubbed Bitcoin Pizza Day and a number of pizza shops around the world offer discounts to bitcoin users on this day.

The $27 Apartment

A similar situation took place back in 2009 when a Norwegian named Kristoffer Koch decided to buy 5,000 Bitcoin for about 150 Norwegian Krone (about $27 USD). In April of 2013, Kristoffer found a pleasant surprise when he learned that the price of Bitcoin had shot up to about $219 USD making his 5,000 coins worth about $1.1 million. He could have held onto them but decided to sell most of them to pay cash for an apartment in one of Oslo’s high end neighborhoods.

What is unique about this story is that Kristoffer was not a business mogul or wall street trader. He was just a computer nerd who thought the idea of bitcoin was cool enough to spend $27 on. Once he purchased them, he just saved them for a few years and they ended up being worth every krone.

If you compare his purchase of 5,000 coins to today’s price of about $850 per coin, those same coins would be worth about $4.2 million.

Own Some Bitcoin

While these sorts of insane percentage gains are long gone, it is important to understand that owning even a small amount of bitcoin can pay off BIG over the next two decades. $27 may not buy you a luxury apartment in one of Oslo’s affluent neighborhoods, it could prove to be one of your best long term assets. The moral of the stories above is that everyone should own at least some bitcoin. Buying and saving $27 is probably a good starting point. I think that the only regret that you will have is that you didn’t buy more.

Take Action

The purpose of this campaign is to increase bitcoin awareness and educate new users and we need all the help we can get. If you feel that this post would benefit others, please share it. Furthermore, if you feel like educating people about bitcoin out in the real world, start the discussion with one of our bitcoin shirts.

Do you think bitcoin will create more millionaires in the next twenty years? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

The post Bitcoin Will Create Millionaires and Billionaires appeared first on 101 Reasons to Use Bitcoin.

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Skeptics are eager to criticize bitcoin because they claim that it doesn’t have any “intrinsic value” and therefore can’t possibly be money. What they fail to realize is that bitcoin has a market utility that no other form of money in history has ever had. That’s a bold statement so let me show you why bitcoin is money.

What is Money?

In order for something to be money, it needs to perform three basic functions. It needs to be a used as a medium of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value. In order to do these three things, it needs to possess six characteristics. It needs to be durable, portable, divisible, uniform, scarce and acceptable. All throughout history, societies have used a number of devices to provide these three functions with various levels of these six characteristics. Some historically popular forms of money have been salt, whale’s teeth, beads, shells, feathers but the most popular money of them all has been gold because it had more of these six characteristics than all of the others. In short, money is money because of what it does; not because of what it is.

Bitcoin and the history of money - YouTube

Bitcoin is Durable

Money needs to be durable if it is going to stand the test of time. Durability is one of the reasons that gold was the best form of money for thousands of years. In ancient societies, certain food commodities were used as money because everyone wanted food. As we all know, food spoils after a while so it ended up not being the most durable form of money. One of the reasons that whale’s teeth made good money was because of how durable they are.

Bitcoin is Portable

Money needs to be portable if people are going to carry it with them. One of the problems with gold is that it is difficult to transport in large quantities and doing so puts the holder at high risk of robbery. Portability is probably the main reason why paper money was invented. People would deposit their gold or other forms of money into a bank or vault and were issued a certificate of ownership for their money. These certificates were just an IOU issued by the owner of the vault where the money was stored. This system was the birth of representative money. (It’s important not to confuse this with fiat money of today but more on that later.) Bitcoin is probably the most portable form of money in history because anyone can hold an unlimited amount of money in their pocket.

Bitcoin is Divisible

Money needs to be divisible if people are going to use it in everyday life. Historically, a lack of divisibility has been one of the of the biggest problems with most forms of money. You typically cannot divide money by itself. You need someone else to divide it for you if you don’t have smaller amounts yourself. Have you ever asked anyone “Hey, do you have change for a fifty?” They might respond, “No, sorry. I can’t break a fifty.” This is because your fifty dollar bill is not divisible by itself. It needs to be exchanged for other smaller denominations of money in order to divide it. Bitcoin on the other hand is divisible into one hundred million smaller units by itself (100,000,000 units). This makes a single bitcoin one million times more divisible than your dollars, pounds, euros pesos, yen, etc.

Bitcoin is Uniform

From a technical perspective Bitcoin is perfectly uniform or “fungible” because every bitcoin is just like every other bitcoin. Because of the transparent nature of the technology behind bitcoin (the blockchain), some governments do not consider certain bitcoins the same as others. Some bitcoins may be linked to illicit activity and therefore be subject to certain scrutiny from law enforcement. There is debate about the level of fungibility that bitcoin has but since bitcoin is an open-source software, the network is constantly looking for ways to change this to make bitcoin even better.

Bitcoin is Scarce

Money needs to be scarce if people are going to trust it as a form of money. If money can just be printed out of thin air at the whim of a politician or banker, then it is not scarce. This lack of scarcity is one of the biggest problems with the global money supply since money supplies can just be inflated or even hyperinflated to the point that bills are worth less than the paper they are printed on. Bitcoin on the other hand, solves the problem of scarcity because the supply is controlled by math rather than politicians and bankers.

Bitcoin is Easily Acceptable

As the bitcoin infrastructure grows, more people are realizing that bitcoin is not just a fad. People are finding new ways to accept it as a payment for goods and services. If you would like to accept bitcoin in just seconds on any computer or mobile device, be sure to try out RushWallet.com and you can accept your first bitcoin before you are done reading this post. What’s also important to note is that bitcoin’s borderless nature enables it to be accepted in any country in the world without any permission from banks or governments. This makes bitcoin more acceptable than most currencies in the world.

Use Bitcoin

In conclusion, bitcoin is a medium of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value and is more durable, portable, divisible, uniform, scarce and acceptable than any other form of money on the planet. Even if you don’t yet see how bitcoin is going to change the global economy, the best things that you can do for your future is to own at least a little bit and save it until the infrastructure grows to the point that you find a use for it.

Take Action

We are doing whatever we can to increase bitcoin awareness and educate new users and we need all the help we can get. If you feel that this post would benefit others, please share it. Furthermore, if you feel like educating people about bitcoin out in the real world, start the discussion with one of our bitcoin shirts.

How do you think bitcoin is going to change the way the global economy works? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

The post Bitcoin is Durable, Portable, Divisible, Uniform, Scarce and Easy to Accept appeared first on 101 Reasons to Use Bitcoin.

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Bitcoin adoption is accelerating around the world and soon there will be more smartphones than bank accounts. Tech giants like Google and Facebook have plans to speed things up by targeting emerging markets to bring over a billion new users into the internet economy. These next billion users are going to need a means to connect to the net and mobile devices like smartphones are the cheapest and most common means of making that happen.

The Underbanked

It is estimated that there are currently over 2 billion adults who do not have access to bank accounts. They have essentially been “left behind” by the banking system but they haven’t been left behind by technology. Smartphone usage has been steadily on the rise for years and according to a report by Statista, there will be an estimated 2.87 billion users by the end of 2020. One of the biggest problems with legacy finance is that regulations are perpetuating aglobal financial exclusion. So, what would you do if you didn’t have access to a bank account and you wanted to accept payments online?

Meet Bitcoin

This type of banking exclusion is driving people to alternative means of conducting business. For billions of people, increased access to new tools is opening doors for bitcoin to come in and fill the gaps that have been created by the banking system. Bitcoin doesn’t operate like a bank account at all. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t close for holidays. It doesn’t have “company policies” or hours of operations or age limits or require an address. It is the most radically inclusive financial tool in the planet and all people like you and I need to do is use it.

From Me to You

Since bitcoin is a borderless open-source software, it is not bound by the rules of any single jurisdiction. This new frontier is enabling creative destruction in finance like never before. With nothing but a smartphone I can send money from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world without any middlemen. Now anyone with a smartphone is able to spend bitcoin in any number of countries as an alternative to the local fiat currency. In fact, there are entire neighborhoods popping up all around the world that are adopting bitcoin because they see it’s potential to remove the banks (and their fees) from business.

Bitcoin in Germany - YouTube

While bitcoin isn’t likely going to become a key payment mechanism in the developed world, it certainly has the potential to become a dominant player in parts of the world where people trust their cell phone more than their government or financial infrastructure.

2017 and Beyond

In 2016, the price of bitcoin grew by over 110% largely fueled by demonetization, hyperinflation, gold seizures, currency manipulation, capital controls and other actions by banks and governments. These type of actions on behalf of the ruling class are not likely to slow down in 2017.

Ease of Access

Smartphones are used to do almost everything these days. You can book international flights, call an Uber, expand free education with podcasts, monitor physical activity and even manage entire businesses from a 4 inch touchscreen. As people become more and more comfortable using their smartphones for all of these things, the idea of paying for things with bitcoin doesn’t sound so crazy.

Take Action. Use Bitcoin

Bank accounts obviously offer utility for those of us in parts of the world with a robust banking infrastructure but what about those who do not have such easy access to these financial tools? How can they take part in the global internet economy? Well, with nothing more than an internet connection and a smartphone, they are now able to tap into one of the biggest innovations in the finance industry since the invention of money itself. Now they have access to Bitcoin.

Join Us

We are doing whatever we can to increase bitcoin awareness and educate new users and we need all the help we can get. If you feel that this post would benefit others, please share it. Also, if you feel like creating discussion around bitcoin out in the real world, we would love it if you would wear one of our bitcoin shirts.

Do you think people without modern banking services will skip banking because their smartphone offers a more inclusive alternative? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

The post More Smartphones than Bank Accounts appeared first on 101 Reasons to Use Bitcoin.

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“What is Bitcoin?” was one of the most searched terms of 2014 according to Google and reasonably so. When I first heard about it years ago, I was so confused as to what it actually was and even more confused about what it wasn’t. Well, as it turns out Bitcoin is a number of things but the more I read about Bitcoin across the web I’ve heard a lot of people call it things that are completely wrong. So in order to help remove a bunch of the confusion, I have compiled this list of things that Bitcoin is NOT.

Bitcoins are Not Physical Coins

This took me so long to understand. When I first heard about Bitcoin back in 2009/2010, I did a bunch of reading and I was only more confused than before I started doing research. People were calling them online tokens but apparently there was also a guy in Utah that was minting something called a “Recalescence Coin” or a physical bitcoin. This made me confused when I learned that bitcoin can only be manifested online. Well how was this guy making bitcoins then? It took some more digging to figure out that bitcoins are nothing but information. That’s all. But as we all know, information can be written down just about anywhere and that’s what the maker of these Recalescence Coins was doing. One of the ways that this coin minter decided to store bitcoins was laser etched into the face of gold coin and a very tamper resistant seal over the etching. It probably doesn’t help that lots of tech publications still use images of physical coins in a number of their blog posts as the featured image.

Bitcoin is Not a Ponzi Scheme

I get so frustrated whenever I hear this for two reasons. First because the person telling me this does not know what a Ponzi scheme is and second they don’t understand what bitcoin is. So they just sound like a double idiot. Ponzi schemes are centrally controlled lies to get investors to continually buy into something and then pay the old investors with money from the new investors. Eventually the lie will collapse. There ARE however lots of Ponzi schemes masquerading as businesses in the bitcoin economy. One of the most common bitcoin related Ponzi schemes is “cloud mining”. You buy a Bitcoin miner somewhere in the world and then receive daily payouts, that slowly get smaller over time as the complexity of mining increases. As new people buy into the cloud mining pools, those funds are often used to pay the older “investors” and they think that they are mining Bitcoin. It is only a matter of time before they are found out and their lie will collapse.

Bitcoin is Not a Get Rich Quick Scheme

Yes, it is true that a number of people have made some small fortunes by buying into Bitcoin when it was just pennies per bitcoin but those stores are mostly sensationalist hype and not the norm. Bitcoin as money is a very risky endeavor and should you should take extreme caution when you buy large quantities of it. This is especially true when you are buying larger quantities all at once. It is true that you can make some phenomenal returns on Bitcoin in very little time but if you are going to buy some it is best to buy what you can easily afford to lose. One strategy commonly used when purchasing highly volatile commodities is to use a dollar cost average approach in order to buy more when the price falls and buy less when it rises. This will ensure that you mitigate risk as the price fluctuates rapidly.

Bitcoin is Not a Bank

Banks are an old and centrally controlled monopoly system that are reliant on humans and heavy regulations in order to operate. There are lots of rules, regulations and policies that banks are required to abide by like collecting all sorts of personal information. With lots of those regulations comes expensive compliance which is then passed onto the banks’ customers just like you. Bitcoin on the other hand is an open-source math experiment that allows people to store and transact value without the permission of anyone else but yourself. Bitcoin is not a bank at all. In fact, it makes a number of bank functions completely obsolete like personal checking and savings accounts. As the technology behind Bitcoin progresses, it will prove to render a number of services offered by banks to also be obsolete like securities, bonds and even lending.

Bitcoin is Not “The New Papyal”

A little while ago TechCrunch released an article about how “Bitcoin is the new PayPal” or something and while one of the many functions of Bitcoin is a payment network like PayPal, it is also nothing like PayPal. Bitcoin is far superior to any centrally controlled and regulated entity for sending and receiving money. You can’t reverse Bitcoin transactions and you don’t need permission from PayPal to send or receive money. While reversing transactions does have advantages for certain transactions this opens up opportunity for lots of online fraud as business owners (small and big) can become victims of buyers claiming that they never received the product they ordered and PayPal will freeze the funds until the dispute is settled. For this reason payment mechanisms like Bitcoin offer protection for online sellers from this sort of fraud. All that being said, Bitcoin is more like the new cash or gold; not the new PayPal.

Bitcoin is Not controlled by any Central Authority

Neither banks nor governments directly control Bitcoin. They can absolutely create laws around Bitcoin and black list you from conducting business with their bank if they chose but one of the beauties of Bitcoin is that it belongs to the people of the entire world and not some elite banking cartel backed by the monopoly of legal tender laws. This lack of control is what draws a number of entrepreneurs from around the world who want to harness the power of this new technology.

Bitcoin is Not Worthless just because it’s not Tangible

To say that Bitcoin is worthless is to say that VISA and MasterCard, e.mail or the internet are worthless. Although VISA and MC only transact fiat currencies around the world, they offer tremendous value to their users because they are payment networks. They allow their users to conduct electronic transactions all over the world. Do you remember the tag line “VISA, It’s everywhere you want to be.”? Well there is some truth to that statement. VISA is used all over the world. I have personally used both visa and MasterCard in around 15 countries. I have also had my accounts frozen several times because I was spending money in “high risk” areas where credit card fraud is common so my accounts were suspended. Once in Spain I had my ATM card frozen just hours before I needed to fly back to the U.S. And the cab drivers only accept cash. It created a BIG problem on my end. But Visa and Other payment networks like it do have value because people use them and the bigger the network, the bigger the value of the network effect. The same is true of Bitcoin. As more and more people use Bitcoin the more valuable the network effect becomes.

Bitcoin is Not Anonymous

Too many people think that just because your name is not directly tied any given bitcoin address that it is therefore anonymous. That could not be further from the truth. While, there is a lot of privacy with Bitcoin, it is not at all anonymous because every bitcoin transaction ever made is public to the entire world on an immutable ledger. It would be much more accurate to say that Bitcoin is radically transparent than radically anonymous.

Bitcoin is Not Untraceable

People who think that Bitcoin is untraceable don’t understand the radical transparency of the blockchain. Because every transaction is publicly visible on the blockchain, it is probably the most traceable form of money in the world.

Bitcoin is Not “Fake Money”

As Ryan X. Charles on Twitter wrote: “Money is a form of non-programable Bitcoin that people used to use before they invented computers and cryptography” and he means that in the truest of senses. Money is made by markets; not by governments or banks and that is EXACTLY what Bitcoin is. It is a medium of exchange, a unit of account and a store of vale for a certain market of tech nerds and other free thinkers and that market gets bigger every time someone new decides to use Bitcoin. If you think you paper money is real and Bitcoin is fake, then you do not understand the principles of sound money. Fiat currencies are printed from nothing at the whim of bankers and politicians while Bitcoin is created by mathematical algorithm.

Bitcoin is Not Illegal

Bitcoin is an open-source peer-to-peer math experiment and because it is just a math experiment it is not illegal (in most places around the world) but that does not mean that you cannot do illegal things with it. You can use it to receive an illegal payment for a ransom or to purchase illicit drugs but you can do these same things with cash, credit cards or PayPal and yet all of these mechanisms are not illegal (Cash may soon become illegal in places like India and Scandinavia). As long as bitcoin is used for legal activities, it will stay legal but if the only people who adopt bitcoin are those who seek to do things that are illegal or even immoral then it will likely become illegal in a number of jurisdictions around the world.

I’m sure that I missed a number of things that Bitcoin is not but these 11 things are often the cause of lots of confusion in the Bitcoin space and I feel like they really hurt user adoption. If you would like to learn more about What Bitcoin IS and the many reasons why you should adopt and use it, then please follow us on our social media channels.

What is something that bitcoin s not? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

The post 11 Things that Bitcoin is NOT appeared first on 101 Reasons to Use Bitcoin.

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One of the driving forces behind bitcoin adoption is its amazing privacy features. The ability to store and transact value without your identity directly attached to your money or spending greatly increases your individual freedom and personal privacy. While not all bitcoin services and tools protect your privacy as much as others, using these 10 tools will help to increase your own privacy, the privacy of the entire bitcoin network and also increase bitcoin’s utility around the world.

Brave

Brave is a new privacy focused web browser that is going to change the way we browse the web as well as how publishers monetize content. Brave creates a safer browsing experience by blocking ads and trackers that violate your privacy and slow down your browsing experience. Brave also converts all http connections to https connections for more secure browsing. But Brave’s most revolutionary feature is something called Brave Payments. This allows content viewers to directly contribute to site publishers and also block ads and trackers. The end result is users seeing less ads and publishers make more money than they would if the monetize their site with Google AdSense. Brave has the potential to change the way publishers monetize their online content.

ShapeShift


ShapeShift is probably one of the biggest names in the bitcoin space because it enables anyone who already accepts bitcoin to seamlessly accept all of the other cryptocurrencies without any personal information. ShapeShift is integrated into a number of services like CoinCap.io, OpenBazaar, KeepKey and others. If you don’t already use ShapeShift, you should be.

OpenBazaar

OpenBazaar is the one and only e.commerce platform of its kind. It is a distributed network which means that none of the product listings are stored on any single centralized server. This means that your listings cannot easily be censored or shut down. What makes OpenBazaar even more awesome is that you can only pay using cryptocurrency. OpenBazaar also recently integrated ShapeShift so that buyers can pay with the cryptocurrency of their choice and the seller receives bitcoin. OpenBazaar will compete with eBay, Amazon, Fiverr, UpWork and dozens of other online retail sites.

Blockonomics

Blockonomics is my personal favorite block explorer. Their landing page has a simple call to action to enter a bitcoin address or transaction ID so you can view the history of any given address or transaction. You can also use blockonomics to create invoices that are pegged to fiat currencies so if you accept payments, you do not have to worry about volatility issues because you are always invoicing in a fiat currency. In my opinion, blockonomics has potential to become one of the most useful bitcoin tools in the world.

Anonymous Ads

Have you ever wanted to put ads onto your website but the whole signup process with Google AdSense requires too much of your personal information? Well, now you can have ads on your site in a couple minutes with no usernames or logins. Anonymous Ads allows you to select an ad size and then you just paste a bitcoin address to receive payments without giving up any of your personal information. Users also have the option of creating an account if they so chose. You can create an ad in about a minute. This is what their 748×90 ad looks like:

Money Badger

Money Badger is a service that enables you to send bitcoin to people via phone number or e.mail address without revealing yourself as the sender. This service is primarily for incentivizing people to learn about bitcoin. You also have the option to have your funds returned in seven days if the recipient chooses not to claim them. I predict that MoneyBadger will integrate ShapeShift so that you can send any a cryptocurrency of your choice and the recipient will receive bitcoin.

RushWallet

RushWallet is a web wallet that can be accessed from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection and doesn’t require any personal information. You just go to the website and move your mouse or finger around to create a random string of numbers and letters to generate your private key. Once you have done this for about 10 seconds, you have a public key which you can accept bitcoin. No app downloads, or logins. Just pure math based freedom. It is one of the best services for new users to learn about public and private keys with the least amount friction.

BitAddress

BitAddress is probably the best way to generate paper wallets in the least amount of time. Paper wallets are very important for bitcoin security because they are the least vulnerable to being hacked. Paper wallets are not stored online so hackers and cybercriminals cannot access them via the internet. This means that each paper wallet that you generate is its own little swiss bank account that can fit in your pocket.

Piper Wallet

Piper Wallet was the first hardware wallet to offer offline paper wallet creation. This simple device is just a RasperryPi computer that attaches to a printer for generating paper wallets at the push of a button. Since this computer is never connected to the internet, it is one of the most secure and private ways to make your own cold storage wallets anywhere in the world regardless of whether or not you have an internet connection.

Bread Wallet

Bread Wallet is a mobile wallet and it is without doubt the cleanest user interface in the entire bitcoin space. It does not require any personal information of any kind to send, receive or store funds. No usernames, passwords, phone numbers, e.mail addresses. Just pure bitcoin privacy on a mobile device. If you are looking for a wallet for your phone, look no further than Bread Wallet.

Do you know of some other bitcoin tools or services that increase privacy? Let us know with a comment below.

The post 10 Bitcoin Privacy Enhancing Tools appeared first on 101 Reasons to Use Bitcoin.

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We all use money in our daily lives. Some of us use paper bills, some use electronic forms of money while some economies rely heavily on barter systems and commodity based money like gold. No matter what form of money you use, you shouldn’t be required to pay for things with your private information along with each payment. This is where bitcoin has immense privacy enhancing features for transacting value both on and offline.

Cash

Before the invention of electronic money, the only way that you could pay for things was with cold hard cash. Cash came in many forms and up until the invention of fiat money the preferred form of cash was gold. Since gold is way to difficult to transport in quantity, paper note representations of gold were created and still to this day, cash is the most private and anonymous means of transferring value. This is one the main reasons why cash is the currency of choice for illegal activity.

Know Your Customer (KYC)

Banks and financial institutions are required by law to collect too much of your personal information. These types of regulations often perpetuate financial exclusion and further foster global disparity by keeping the lower class out of the banking system.

In order to open a bank account in most developed nations, you need all sorts of identifying documents. Government issued photo ID, birth certificates, proof of residence and this is if you are a citizen. If you are an immigrant, things become much more difficult and often result in denial. It is these KYC regulations that are one of the driving forces behind the erosion of privacy and increasing poverty around the globe. You shouldn’t have to surrender your identity in order to store and transact value in the digital age.

Checks

Checks gave birth to all sorts of new fraud and cybercrime that had never existed before. Whenever you pay someone with a check you are revealing some very personal information about yourself. Each check has your first name, last name and address. That’s not good for your privacy. You also surrender both your checking and routing numbers on each check which can open you up to some check fraud problems. Watch the movie “Catch Me If You Can” starring Leo DiCaprio for the story of the greatest check fraudster in the world, Frank Abagnale.

Debit and Credit Cards

Every single time that you swipe your credit or debit card you are surrendering personal information about yourself not only to the vendor that you are buying from but also to your bank. With each transaction, they know where you are, when you are there, how much you spent and often times what you purchased. ApplePay removes some of this information being revealed but you still do not have private control of your funds.

Digital Cash

One of the beautiful things about bitcoin is that you can store and transact value without having to attach your identity to your money. This is what makes bitcoin the most private payment network on the planet. Not only do you keep full control of your personal information when you spend with bitcoin but you also keep full control of your funds. It is this type of financial privacy that will enable more economic inclusivity than any existing payment mechanism in the world today.

Do you think you should have to surrender your personal information to spend money? Tell us what you think with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

The post Do We Pay for Things With Our Privacy? appeared first on 101 Reasons to Use Bitcoin.

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What is money? Lots of people have confidently told me that “money is the root of all evil” yet when I ask them what money is, they can’t seem to come up with an answer. Why is it that so many people seem to think that money is innately evil? Why doesn’t anyone understand what money is or how it works? Money is one of society’s most remarkable yet poorly understood inventions and without it we could not enjoy the pleasures of living in a modern society. In order to better understand what money is, I would like to ask you a question. If money is the root of all evil, then what is the root of all money?

What is money? Is it these pieces of paper that we use to buy things? or is it something more than that?

Money is a Tool

Money is a piece of technology that we use to weigh and measure goods and services against each other. In short, money is a tool for exchange and organization. Without money, we simply could not organize and solve problems of large scale. Unfortunately, too many people view money as the end rather than the means which is one of the reasons money gets a bad reputation.

Ok, so we know that money is a tool but what does this tool do and what allows it to work?

Money is anything that does three things. Money is a store of value, a medium of exchange and a unit of account. Anything that performs these three functions is, by definition, money. This means that no matter what you use to do these three things, you are using money.

Money is a Store of Value

Money needs to be storable. One of the first forms of money was salt because everyone wanted it to season their food. Once it was so widely desired, people who had salt would use some for seasoning their food and they would store the rest so they could trade it with others. In this sense, salt was a store of value. One of bitcoin’s primary functions is as a safe haven asset to store value.

Money is a Medium of Exchange

Money needs to be exchangeable with other parties. After salt became sought after by everyone in a society, it was easy to trade with others for goods and services. Bitcoin is not yet accepted directly by most as a means of exchange but many payment processors are enabling it to be used as one. Some platforms exclusively use bitcoin as the payment mechanism because they understand its utility as a means of exchange.

Money is a Unit of Account

Money needs to be used as a unit of account. Since everyone was using salt to store value and exchanging it with other people in their society, salt could also be used as a unit of account. In ancient markets, simple scales were used to account for different amounts of salt. Trading things measured out in salt was what would allow for people to account for certain things. Trade can easily be accounted for using Bitcoin since each bitcoin can seamlessly be divided into 100 million units.

In order for money to be able to successfully do these three things, it needs to have 6 characteristics; durability, portability, divisibility, uniformity, scarcity and acceptability. The more of these qualities that something has, the better that something functions as money. Salt does not possess these qualities (durability & scarcity) and so it was gradually replaced by better forms of money like gold. Bitcoin possesses all of these characteristics to an even greater extent than gold.

Bitcoin is a Far Greater Tool Than Money

The first application that brought the internet into mainstream use was the invention of e.mail. For the first time in history, people could send mail to each other electronically and this was groundbreaking technology at the time. But as we all know, the value of the internet is so much more than email.

Bitcoin is no different. Its first application is being recognized as a form of money but it will not be long before people around the world realize that it is capable of doing so much more than just buying things. Bitcoin is a distributed network that can send, receive and store information and it does this better, faster and with a lower cost than any existing system. Since modern money has become information, this has immense implications for the future of trade, all forms of record keeping and information exchange.

Bitcoin Is Competitive Money

When you go to the store, you have all sorts of choices on what products you can buy. You can decide what type of car to drive, or what dry cleaner to use and what cell service provider will drop your calls but what about money? Do we have the freedom to chose what money we use? The short answer is no, we don’t.

So I would like to bring this back to my original question, What is the root of all money?

Up until the invention of bitcoin, the control of all money supplies has been in the hands of a small group of elites and central bankers but now that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are here, that control is shifting from central banks to the people.

Take Action

We are doing whatever we can to increase bitcoin awareness and educate new users and we need all the help we can get. If you feel that this post would benefit others, please share it. Furthermore, if you feel like educating people about bitcoin out in the real world, start the discussion with one of our bitcoin shirts.

What do you think is at the root of all money? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

The post What is Money? appeared first on 101 Reasons to Use Bitcoin.

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