It’s hard to know which there are more of these days: the number of Bitcoins worldwide or the number of pundits who believe the newly popular crypto-currency is a fad, doomed to failure, or both, writes Barry Randall.
As investors in cash-strapped countries seek safe havens, the four-year-old Bitcoin sees a surge in popularity. (Cyber Currency Surge Amid Eurozone Crisis. #Bitcoin a credible alternative to rip off banks?
"BloombergBusinessWeek reports that some Iranians are turning to Bitcoin in the face of economic uncertainty, because US dollars are difficult to obtain:
Under sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies, dollars are hard to come by in Iran. The rial fell from 20,160 against the greenback on the street market in August to 36,500 rials to the dollar in October. It’s settled, for now, around 27,000. The central bank’s fixed official rate is 12,260. Yet there’s one currency in Iran that has kept its value and can be used to purchase goods from abroad: bitcoins, the online-only currency....
A new documentary by Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin, Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work, delves into an entirely different way of working - worker-owned cooperatives - finding companies that may not look different on the surface, but whose structure changes the way people work, and feel about their work, in a quitely radical, empowering way.
Buried in the stacks of the Stanford University Archives is a secret about Stanford’s history that has been kept for decades. It is not the kind of secret that needed anyone to keep it hidden; rather, it is a “public secret”—a piece of history that our society, by the very nature of its development over the last 100 years, was likely to erase from its transmitted memory. We will see in the pages to follow that even a great university can fail to tell its own history when it proves inconvenient to the current ‘branding’ of the institution....
Bitcoin Alliance of Canada Gains Numbers and Publicity. A start-up has developed the technology to power the next generation of wearable computing: Dekko has been developing a real-world operating system for 2 years that will function as the visual layer for wearable computing devices. The technology uses real-time 3D reconstruction, letting mobile devices interpret physical objects and build digital layers on top of them. This has significant implications for what is possible with mobile gaming.
Bitcoin exchange shouldn't be dealing in "crypto-currency" without a license.
Elle D'Coda's insight:
It appears the issue revolves around using flat currency to buy "crypto-currency" (bitcoin), which can then be exchanged back into flat currency. According to the Feds, "Mt. Gox acts as a digital currency exchange where customers open accounts and fund the respective accounts with fiat currency, which is then exchanged into crypto-currency by Mt. Gox; the crypto-currency is known as bitcoin. Fiat currency simply refers to any money that a government has declared to be legal tender. The exchange is bidirectional and allows customers to also exchange bitcoins back into fiat currency, and then withdraw those funds. The exchange of fiat currency and bitcoins incurs a floating rate fee charged by Mt. Gox and is determined by the customer's aggregate amount of funds exchanged on a monthly basis."
A new book, pay for it with a tweet or FB post. "The goal of this book is to succinctly explain the fundamental problems of society’s current economic system, and to propose an evolutionary solution that consists of 11 new economic concepts that democratize social entrepreneurship and money."
RT @wor: @malayeri the fourth which #bitcoin 's p2p technology will enable, are called - community backed: mutual-credit http://t.co/tJY19vkv6B
Elle D'Coda's insight:
This is coming out of Kenya. They explain the advance of complementary curriencies:
Connecting communities to their own abundance.Providing community groups access to savings and credit without expensive banking fees.Providing a mechanism for communities to finance social services.Increasing local trade and business development.Decreasing corruption associated with aid funding.
We promote two different models of Complementary Currencies: Donor-Backed Currencies and Community-Backed Currencies.
The hype has never been hotter for the Internet's No. 1 virtual currency. Is this the beginning of the end?
Elle D'Coda's insight:
The article goes on to explain: "On Monday, the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released its first “guidance” as to how “de-centralized virtual currencies” should fit into the larger regulatory regime under which currencies of all kinds are required to operate. The word “Bitcoin” is never mentioned in FinCEN’s release, but that’s just a technicality. Everyone in the Bitcoin community knew who the guidance was aimed at. Bitcoin is a big boy now. The State is paying attention."
"Litecoin is the result of some of us who joined together on IRC in an effort to create a real alternative currency similar to Bitcoin. We wanted to make a coin that is silver to Bitcoin's gold.
Litecoin manages to maintain the unique traits and attributes of Bitcoin, while adding to the mixture CPU-specific mining and a 2.5 minute block rate. This means that Litecoin doesn't have to compete for the used up computational cycles of your graphics card if you're already mining Bitcoins, but can work independently on your processor."
Piggy-backing on the recent launch (and massive funding) of SoFi, a new startup is launching today that wants to breathe some fresh air into. an uninformed atmosphere of a broken, formidable and molasses-slow tyro loan system....
It's one thing to prep for yourself, but if the economic collapse is sustained for a long period of time, it will take a tribe to survive as comfortably as possible. The bigger your extended survival group the easier it will be, and if you can encourage your greater community to move more toward self-reliance the better off you all will be.