Tag Archives: bitcoin

Mathias Sundin’s bitcoin advocacy and donations has made him elected in the parliamentary election

How a Swedish politician won an election using Bitcoin donations only.

 

Over the past years, many politicians have run Bitcoin-centric campaigns; however,  they have not succeeded in reaching centralized higher political office. Mathias Sundin, who won the recent Swedish parliamentary elections, holds the world record in making it using a bitcoin donations only campaign. Dollars, Euros or even Swedish kronor are not acceptable to him. Says Mathias on his blog:

If you want to support my campaign, don’t   give me dollars, Euros or Swedish kronor, you must donate in bitcoins.”

Mathias Sundin has always supported bitcoins. He is not worried about the criticism raised against the bitcoin system, but. Believes that bitcoin has the potential to change the world. Mathias Sundin believes bitcoin is better because:

  1. Bitcoins solves the problems with trust

Mathias Sundin believes the bitcoin system is an effective tool to overcome trust problems. For example, in the bitcoin system, two people will sign a digital contract on their smartphones regarding any transaction. The remaining transaction will then be completed automatically. It is safe since there is no possibility to lose either money or products. Here is a good example:

  1. Bitcoins connects people

The world is now like a village, with many potential customers all over the world. For example, a software company can sell its software online to customers from all over the world. Making the payment systems easier improves online performance incrementally.. People from all over the world can use the same products to connect.

  1. All politics is global

According to Mathias Sundin, bitcoins connect people all over the world and this connection generates a lot of ideas. These ideas are important for future innovation. When so many people share their understandings, intentions, an innovation enabled ecosystem is created.

So, we should accept and develop the bitcoin idea to make our economic development faster.  Sundin collects a large amount of bitcoin donations from all over the world, and thus, many people support his ideas and beliefs. Though Mathias Sundin promised to develop the education system, to make the tax system more favorable for entrepreneurs, to defend privacy rights etc., he believes his bitcoin advocacy made him a winner in the parliamentary election. People all over the world support his idea and want to see it become a widespread reality. For him it is isn’t a matter of winning a seat in the parliament. His political agenda gives the citizens and the world a clear image of what he wants to tackle the moment he takes his seat in the parliament.

  1. Fight Knee-jerk regulation of Bitcoin, other currencies and disruptive innovation.

The country’s regulatory framework is relatively liberal. Wallen, an official from the Swedish Tax Agency, has said is the agency is drafting rules for Bitcoin users. These rules are likely to regulate Bitcoin-like assets stating that Bitcoin fails to meet Sweden’s definition of a currency. Wallen is also considering whether to tax bitcoin miners as businesses. Currencies are traditionally tied to a central bank or geographical area.  This is a top item on Sundins agenda, and since he won an election through bitcoin; he definitely knows that bitcoin is a virtual currency which funded his successful campaigns.

  1.       Back education reform 

 Mathias Sundin hopes his bitcoin-only funded campaign will be a means to improve education across Sweden. School shutdowns and deteriorating results are also top items on his agenda. Reforming the whole education system to make sure that both public and private schools performance is standardized citing that private schools are after making profits and the faith stuck in peoples mind that private schools perform better than public schools. He will make sure that this faith is changed and the trust is earned by both sectors by providing quality education.

  1. Defend privacy rights

 Every citizen has a right to protect his or her private information, and revealing such information to other parties is a threat to privacy. Every citizen has a right to protect their medical information, residential address, and to access information on them held by the by the authorities. Press freedom has been a major issue which sometimes violates privacy rights. Sundin is keen on defending rules to help each citizen maintain their privacy rights. People who feel their reputation has been tarnished could sue for defamation, but, without constitutional change the state’s hands appear tied.

  1. Working towards developing a tax system that promotes innovative, fast growing companies.

Sundin believes that economies have to keep up with technological advances including Bitcoin. An entrepreneur who develops software could potentially reach billions of people, and with a simple money transferring system, like bitcoin, charging for it will be easier. Sundin will also work towards t lowering taxes for entrepreneurs and decrease regulations in order to create a better business climate.  Sweden has already managed to attract a number of prominent crypto currency businesses, ranging from exchanges to mining companies.

  1. Promote the spreading of Bitcoin and increase awareness.

Bitcoin has so far not had much of an impact on the local economy. The Swedish central bank found that bitcoin trading volumes in the country were relatively low and concluded that bitcoin did not have any measurable impact on the country’s retail payment market. Considering this fact Sundin promises to keep promoting bitcoin in the future. Sundin is set to persuade banks and other financial organizations that working with bitcoin companies is ultimately a positive and will lead to increased economic growth of the country. Sundin still believes that more work is necessary to explain the potential of bitcoin,  , and that the potential use of bitcoin will make economic growth faster. However, based on a recently published research paper, the Swedish Central Bank found low volume transactions locally, concluding that bitcoin does not currently have a measurable impact on retail market or financial stability.

 

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A Bitcoin ‘Flash Crash’ As Volume Spike Briefly Takes Price to $309

Once more is Bitcoin falling ….

Bitcoin Latest Price: $458.77, down 6.9% (via CoinDesk)

Crossing Our Desk:

– Bitcoin prices on Monday plunged – on a single exchange – in what’s being called a “flash crash” of the digital currency, after what appears to be a cascading series of trades that occurred in rapid fashion took the price of bitcoin all the way down to $309.

Even within the volatile world of bitcoin trading, what happened Monday was unusual. Prices were under pressure early. They started off the morning around $500, and began trending downward. A little bit before 8 a.m. New York time, though, there was a massive plunge on the BTC-e platform, and only there. Data provided to us by the analytics website TradeBlock showed that there were actually three trades that went off at $309, for a little more than one bitcoin in total, as well as at least 20 trades before and after those three that went off at $310. Well more than a thousand were recorded between $400 and $309.

In three minutes around those three $309 trades – from 7:42-7:44 a.m., there were 1,554 individual trades worth a total of 1,273 BTC, according to the data, in a pattern that looks very much like automated trading. That may not sound like very high volume, but there are entire days when the trading volume is only around 5,000 BTC. Volume on Monday was already above 26,000.

All of that took place on the BTC-e exchange; the low on Bitstamp was $445. The low on CoinDesk’s index was $435. It’s currently at $458.77. On BTC-e, the most recent trade went off at $443.99.

BTC-e is an opaque exchange – It’s not clear whether it’s located in Bulgaria or Cyprus, and the people running it keep themselves out of the public eye. The site notes its located in a “European time zone (GMT +2), which includes both locales. Our colleagues at MarketWatch described it as a “black hole” in a February profile, even as it became one of the biggest of the bitcoin exchanges.

The exchange does, however, offer some of the more complicated, and risky, kind of trading options that the big capital-markets exchanges offer, like margin trading and shorting. It’s entirely possible, as happened last week, that the initial trading was triggered by a margin call, forcing somebody to dump their holdings. That could’ve sparked a cascade of buy and sell orders. It’s hard to imagine otherwise why somebody would sell at that price.

Also, it’s not the first “flash crash” on BTC-e: a similar swan dive occurred in February, sending the price from $600 to $100 in a matter or minutes.

Trades in bitcoin don’t get unwound. That’s one of the key features, once a trade is confirmed in the blockchain, it’s set in stone. Absent some kind of overriding glitch, the trades are the trades.

In other words, somebody took a bath today, and on the other end, somebody, ahem, cleaned up.  (Paul Vigna)

Contacts: 

paul.vigna@wsj.com,

@paulvigna

michael.casey@wsj.com,@mikejcasey

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The Man Who Really Built Bitcoin

Who cares about Satoshi Nakamoto? Someone else has made Bitcoin what it is and has the most power over its destiny.

In March, a bewildered retired man faced journalists yelling questions about virtual currency outside his suburban home in Temple City, California. Dorian Nakamoto, 64, had been identified by Newsweek as the person who masterminded Bitcoin—a story that, like previous attempts to unmask its pseudonymous inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, was soon discredited. Meanwhile, the person arguably most responsible for enabling the currency to swell in value to $7.7 billion, and with the most influence on its future, was hiding in plain sight on the other side of the country, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

That person is Gavin Andresen, a mild-mannered 48-year-old picked by the real Satoshi Nakamoto, whoever he or she is, as his successor in late 2010. Andresen became “core maintainer”—chief developer—of the open source code that defines the rules of Bitcoin and provides the software needed to make use of it. The combination of Nakamoto’s blessing and Andresen’s years of diligent, full-time work on the Bitcoin code has given him significant clout in Bitcoin circles and stature beyond. The CIA and Washington regulators have looked to him to explain the currency. And it was Andresen who conceived of thenonprofit Bitcoin Foundation—established in 2013—which is the closest thing to a central authority in the world of Bitcoin.

Some Bitcoin enthusiasts offer bombastic predictions that Americans will shake off the shackles of the Federal Reserve and poor nations will rise to prosperity with the low-cost transactions made possible by the stateless virtual currency. Other Bitcoin boosters have the air of salesmen chasing a mark, reeling off reasons you should buy into the currency that make you feel you’re not getting the whole story. In contrast, Andresen seems to be in search of quiet personal satisfaction, cheerfully calling himself a “geek interested in nuts and bolts things.” He can make a pretty good pitch for Bitcoin, but he quickly slides into technical nuances that would be a turnoff for most. “We say this is going to be the year of the multisignature wallet,” he says when summing up what 2014 holds for Bitcoin.

Still, Andresen has had and maintains more influence than anyone else on the code that determines how Bitcoin operates—and ultimately whether it can survive. Although there is no central bank for the currency, its design needs significant changes if it is to become widely used. How Andresen wields his power over Bitcoin will shape not only its fate but also the prospects for other virtual currencies.

Lucky Bet

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/527051/the-man-who-really-built-bitcoin/

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Is One Bitcoin Miner Controlling the Entire System?

One of the basic ideas behind Bitcoin is that it exists outside the control of any centralized power. That no longer seems necessarily true. GHash.IO, a particularly powerful organization of Bitcoin miners, turns out to have at times controlled more than half of all Bitcoin mining activity—a development that some think poses a new threat to the system.

The creation of new Bitcoins has increasingly become the preserve of sprawling groups known as mining pools. GHash.IO, the most successful of these pools, theoretically has enough power to cheat the system. The details are complicated, but it basically functions like this: The Bitcoin system works only if users guarantee that coins aren’t spent twice. This requires a good deal of computational power, so the system rewards users who verify blocks of transactions by awarding them new Bitcoins. The process is known as mining. Just like miners looking for gold, Bitcoin verifiers don’t know exactly where the rewards will be, but every once in a while, Bitcoin miners involved in verifying blocks of transactions will unlock a reward. They announce it, and everyone moves to the next block.

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Hedge Fund Anticipates Bitcoin Will Overtake PayPal in US Dollar Transactions Later This Year

With the price of bitcoin seemingly on the up and up, there’s no shortage of conversation on the topic of where the price goes from here. There’s seemingly no shortage of optimism, either, with the value of bitcoin up a whopping 18 percent in the past week.

Hedge fund Laureate BVI is taking part in that optimism, after issuing a speculative buy rating on the digital currency back in February.

Whenever you have an instrument that trades over 300 million US dollars a day, it must be recognized,” says Laureate CEO Peter Tasca, according to Digital Journal. “The digital currency works, Bitcoin has greater volume transactions than Western Union and we anticipate it will overtake PayPal later this year.”

Over 1.2 million bitcoins (over $632 million) have been sent in the past twenty-four hours, according to data from bitcoinwatch.com.

Whether or not bitcoin will actually overtake PayPal is anyone’s guess at this point, but we have learned that the payments provider has hinted at integrating bitcoin into their services in a move that seems to recognize bitcoin as a competitor.

eBay CEO John Donahoe said in February that his company (who owns PayPal) is working on a digital walletthat can take multiple types of currency.

SmartMetric CEO Chaya Hendrick added that bitcoin has the potential to surpass transaction volumes of multinational financial outfits:

“In the next one or two years, Bitcoin can surpass the dollar transaction volumes of other established payment companies including Discover, and even American Express, MasterCard, and Visa,” he said.

Peter Tasca adds, “We’ve seen governments all over the world impose restrictions on the currency and that is good. In a free market economy this creates a safe trading environment and reduces the volatility Bitcoin holders have experienced in the last six months. This digital currency was meant to facilitate the exchange of currency to be spent, not traded.”

Source : http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/bitcoin-will-surpass-paypal-in-us-dollar-transactions-according-to-bvi-hedge-fund-511455.htm

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‘Dark Wallet’ Is About to Make Bitcoin Money Laundering Easier Than Ever

Government regulators around the world have spent the last year scrambling to prevent bitcoin from becoming the currency of choice for money launderers and black marketeers. Now their worst fears may be about to materialize in a single piece of software.

On Thursday, a collective of politically radical coders that calls itself unSystem plans to release the first version of Dark Wallet: a bitcoin application designed to protect its users’ identities far more strongly than the partial privacy protections bitcoin offers in its current form. If the program works as promised, it could neuter impending bitcoin regulations that seek to tie individuals’ identities to bitcoin ownership. By encrypting and mixing together its users’ payments, Dark Wallet seeks to enable practically untraceable flows of money online that add new fuel to the Web’s burgeoning black markets.

“This is a way of using bitcoin that mocks every attempt to sprinkle it with regulation,” says Cody Wilson, one of Dark Wallet’s two 26-year-old organizers. “It’s a way to say to the government ‘You’ve set yourself up to regulate bitcoin. Regulate this.’”

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Mt. Gox Bitcoin Disaster #bitcoin

Mt. Gox was a messy combination of poor management, neglect, and raw inexperience. Its collapse led to a disappearance of $460 million, and another $27.4 million missing from its bank accounts. The company, was largely a reflection of its CEO, Mark Karpeles, a man who was more of a computer coder than a chief executive and yet was sometimes distracted even from his technical duties when they were most needed. “Mark liked the idea of being CEO, but the day-to-day reality bored him”.

“We had weaknesses in our system, and our bitcoins vanished. We’ve caused trouble and inconvenience to many people, and I feel deeply sorry for what has happened,” Karpeles said.

The 28-year-old Karpeles was born in France, but after spending some time in Israel, he settled down in Japan. There he got married, posted cat videos and became a father. In 2011, he acquired the Mt. Gox exchange in from an American entrepreneur named Jed McCaleb. The idea was simple: he’d provide a single place to connect bitcoin buyers and sellers.

Karpeles soon set about rewriting the site’s back-end software, eventually turning it into the world’s most popular bitcoin exchange. A June 2011 hack took the site offline for several days, and according to bitcoin enthusiasts Jesse Powell and Roger Ver, who helped the company respond to the hack, Karpeles was strangely nonchalant about the crisis. But he and Mt. Gox eventually made good on their obligations, earning a reputation as honest players in the bitcoin community. Other bitcoin companies had been hacked and lost customer funds. Most of the time, they simply folded. But Karpeles and Mt. Gox did not.

As bitcoin prices took off, jumping from $13 at the start of 2013 to more than $1,200 at its peak, Karpeles, as Mt. Gox’s largest stake holder, appeared to become an extremely wealthy man. Mt. Gox did not offer company equity to employees, and by the time of the most recent hack, the company had squirreled away more than 100,000 bitcoins, or $50 million. Karpeles owns 88 percent of the company. According to an insider “He likes to be praised, and he likes to be called the king of bitcoin.”

But beneath it all, some say, Mt. Gox was a disaster in waiting. Mt. Gox, didn’t use any type of version control software — a standard tool in any professional software development environment. The world’s largest bitcoin exchange had only recently introduced a test environment, meaning that, previously, untested software changes were pushed out to the exchanges customers. There was only one person who could approve changes to the site’s source code: Mark Karpeles. That meant that some bug fixes — even security fixes — could languish for weeks, waiting for Karpeles to get to the code.

By the fall of 2013, Federal agents had seized $5 million from the company’s U.S. bank account, because the company had not registered with the government as a money transmitter, and Mt. Gox was being sued for $75 million by a former business partner called CoinLab.

By the fall of 2013, Mt. Gox’s business was also a mess. Federal agents had seized $5 million from the company’s U.S. bank account, because the company had not registered with the government as a money transmitter, and Mt. Gox was being sued for $75 million by a former business partner called CoinLab.

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A history of #Bitcoin hacks, #ponzi ?

The alternative currency has been plagued by hacks, ponzi schemes and increasingly professional thefts since 2011, explains Alex Hern

Sometimes it seems like not a week goes by without news of some bitcoin service getting hacked and losing everything.

Thankfully, such attacks are rarer than that. But given the size of the bitcoin economy, they are still far, far more common than they have any right to be. A look at the history of bitcoin hacks is a look at the history of bitcoin itself, from its beginnings all the way to the genesis of the professionalised second generation of firms we’re seeing now.

In the interests of fairness, we haven’t covered the black market. While the disappearance of sites like Sheep and Silk Road took a lot of bitcoins with them, that says more about what happens if you dabble in drug dealing than cryptocurrencies overall.

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How shockingly perfect the #Bitcoin bubble was by @finansakrobat

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 9 months, you’ve heard about Bitcoin, and often in relation to massive moves in price action. Either up (for a long time) or down (as it has been going of late).

Despite all the warnings from financial professionals, the recent downfall for Bitcoin – and most notably the Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox – seemed to come as a total surprise.

With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we can see that the warnings heeded by many turned out to be remarkably correct.

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    Government regulators around the world have spent the last year scrambling to prevent bitcoin from becoming the currency of choice for money launderers and black marketeers. Now their worst fears may be about to materialize in a single piece of software. On Thursday, a collective of politically radical coders that…
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  • 78
    The price of the digital currency bitcoin slid to its lowest level in nearly two months on Monday after bitcoin digital marketplace Mt. Gox said a halt on withdrawals it announced on Friday would continue indefinitely after it detected "unusual activity." http://www.reuters.com
    Tags: bitcoin, mt, gox, price, months

Biggest and most embarrassing blunder in its 81-year history ? #Newsweek

Newsweek wanted a scoop for its relaunch cover story, and boy did it deliver: it uncovered the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of bitcoin. Who then promptly came out and denied everything. Which means that one of the two is wrong: either Nakamoto is lying through his teeth, or Newsweek has made what is probably the biggest and most embarrassing blunder in its 81-year history.

http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/03/07/the-satoshi-paradox/

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