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Bitcoin and the dangerous fantasy of ‘apolitical’ money | YanisVaroufakis.eu

Bitcoin and the dangerous fantasy of ‘apolitical’ money | YanisVaroufakis.eu | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it

The Crash of 2008 has infused our societies with enormous scepticism on the role of the authorities, both government and Central Banks.


It is quite natural that many dream of a currency that politicians, bankers and central bankers cannot manipulate; a currency of the people by the people for the people.


Bitcoin has emerged as the great white hope of something of the sort. Alas, the hope it brings to many people’s hearts and minds is false.


And the reason is simple: While it is true that local communities have, in the past, generated successful communitarian currencies (that enabled them to improve welfare in their midst, especially at a time of acute economic crises), there can be no de-politicised currency capable of ‘powering’ an advanced, industrial society.


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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China Says Banks Can't Do Business in Bitcoin | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

China Says Banks Can't Do Business in Bitcoin | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it

Over the past two months, China has become world’s most enthusiastic Bitcoin market, and the country’s central bank has taken notice. In short, it’s concerned.

 

The People’s Bank of China has barred the country’s banks and payment systems from doing business in bitcoins, though it has stopped short of banning the world’s most popular digital currency outright, according to a note posted on the central bank’s website.

 

Instead, the bank says that Bitcoin businesses should register with the relevant agencies to ensure that they are in compliance with the country’s anti-money laundering regulations. That’s similar to the approach already taken by U.S. regulators, who have allowed Bitcoin businesses to operate, but also seized bank accounts belonging to the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange after it failed to comply with federal regulations.

 

The Chinese central bank did, however, answer one question that’s still unclear in the U.S. Bitcoin, the bank said, is not a currency. Bitcoin “can not and should not be used as currency in circulation in the market,” the bank said, according to a Google translation of the bank’s statement.

 

China has jumped from about 20 percent to close to 60 percent of all bitcoin trading volume over the past two months, according to data compiled by Bitcoin market research company Genesis Block. The Bitcoin client software is now downloaded in China more frequently than anywhere else.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Why the price of Bitcoins just plunged 30 percent on Mt. Gox

Why the price of Bitcoins just plunged 30 percent on Mt. Gox | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
The Chinese government has banned financial institutions from using the virtual currency. (Why the price of Bitcoins just plunged 30 percent on Mt.
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Computer program secretly mines Bitcoins - I4U News

Computer program secretly mines Bitcoins - I4U News | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it

Bitcoins are now valued at roughly $1,000 per coin. So, reports of sneaky bitcoin mining schemes are not at all surprising. But a new elusive Bitcoin mining method uncovered by security software company, Malwarebytes, is taking things to a whole new level.
Read more at http://www.i4u.com/2013/12/58308/computer-program-secretely-mines-bitcoins#uMr37VqtmAbmvqMB.99


Via Elizabeth White
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12 Most Vital Tips for Teaching Kids About Money

12 Most Vital Tips for Teaching Kids About Money | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
12 Most
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By Kate Nasser A GEN Yer recently said to me: “Our parents messed up our generation’s future by giving us everything we wanted. Now we struggle with restraint and earning a living.” Wow.

Via Thomas Faltin
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12,000 Places Where You Can Spend Your Bounty of Bitcoins

12,000 Places Where You Can Spend Your Bounty of Bitcoins | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
BitPay has compiled a list of more than 12000 businesses and charities that accept Bitcoin using its electronic payment processing system.
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Million-dollar robbery rocks Bitcoin exchange - Network World

Million-dollar robbery rocks Bitcoin exchange - Network World | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
IBTimes.co.uk Million-dollar robbery rocks Bitcoin exchange Network World Network World - Bitcoin Internet Payment Services, a Denmark-based exchange billing itself as Europe's biggest, was robbed of bitcoins worth more than $1 million in a theft...
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The Bitcoin travellers: round the world using online currency only - The Guardian

The Bitcoin travellers: round the world using online currency only - The Guardian | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
The Guardian
The Bitcoin travellers: round the world using online currency only
The Guardian
This week a coffee shop in Vancouver unveiled the first bitcoin ATM, allowing customers to exchange the virtual money for cash almost instantly.
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A China Triangle: Bitcoin, Baidu And Beijing - Forbes

A China Triangle: Bitcoin, Baidu And Beijing - Forbes | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Christian Science Monitor
A China Triangle: Bitcoin, Baidu And Beijing
Forbes
Thinking of buying trinkets in Beijing? Don't forget to bring your Bitcoins.
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Where can you spend Bitcoins? A brief guide - The Guardian

Where can you spend Bitcoins? A brief guide - The Guardian | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
The Guardian
Where can you spend Bitcoins? A brief guide
The Guardian
Want to pay your rent with Bitcoin? Not a problem. You just have to be happy to move somewhere you have never wanted to live, or even heard of.
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FBI struggles to seize 600,000 Bitcoins from alleged Silk Road ...

FBI struggles to seize 600,000 Bitcoins from alleged Silk Road ... | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Having seized 26000 Bitcoins belonging to site users, authorities battle to control Ross Ulbricht's personal wallet. By Alex Hern.
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Crimeware kit includes Bitcoin, Litecoin miner module - PCWorld

Crimeware kit includes Bitcoin, Litecoin miner module - PCWorld | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Crimeware kit includes Bitcoin, Litecoin miner module
PCWorld
A new malicious software program, advertised for sale on underground forums, claims to mine and steal bitcoins, according to a Danish security company.
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Silk Road shutdown: how can the FBI seize Bitcoins? | Technology ...

Silk Road shutdown: how can the FBI seize Bitcoins? | Technology ... | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
FBI seized $3.6m Bitcoin fortune of the alleged Silk Road mastermind – but how can you seize a currency that doesn't exist?
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Bitcoin Valued At $1300 By Bank of America Analysts

Bitcoin Valued At $1300 By Bank of America Analysts | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Big day for Bitcoin on Thursday. (Bank of America analysts say Bitcoin's value is $1300 http://t.co/7p0NFoM1xq)
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It's Still a Pain to Buy and Sell Bitcoins - Motherboard (blog)

It's Still a Pain to Buy and Sell Bitcoins - Motherboard (blog) | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Chinadaily USA
It's Still a Pain to Buy and Sell Bitcoins
Motherboard (blog)
What is a bitcoin worth?
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Bitcoin vs Gold? Investment Interest, Demand & Price Analysis

Gold and Bitcoin have recently been neck and neck in terms of price. Let's take a look at the interest online for Bitcoin vs Gold. Which would you rather hav...
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Bitcoin goes boom (again): currency cracks $200, gets Coinbase support on Reddit | GigaOM Tech News

Bitcoin goes boom (again): currency cracks $200, gets Coinbase support on Reddit | GigaOM Tech News | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it

Bitcoin, the virtual currency beloved by dreamers, speculators and criminals, is on a new upswing as the popular Mt. Gox exchange showed it trading slightly above $200 late Tuesday afternoon ET:

 

As the chart shows, Bitcoin is trading on other exchanges at a price closer to $185 (trades on Tokyo-based Mt. Gox come at a premium, possibly due to its recent legal and regulatory troubles). But, by whatever metric you pick, Bitcoin is soaring — up over $60 this month alone. And the current price is up more than $150 from the low of $50 it hit after a spectacular crash in April.

 

The gains are also notable because Bitcoin has weathered a series of wrenching shocks in the last six months: the FBI’s takedown of Silk Road (a criminal marketplace that relied on Bitcoin); the feds’ seizure of millions from Mt. Gox; an ugly lawsuit that blew up plans for a series of U.S.-based Mt. Gox franchises.

 

So why has the currency proved so resilient? As with the April crash (and those before it), no one has a definite answer. But the recent steadiness may be the result of support from established investors like Fred Wilson and Second Market, and the efforts by the Bitcoin Foundation to tame political hostility in Washington. And the currency’s October boost may stem from Chinese internet giant Baidu’s decision to accept Bitcoins as payments.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Bitcoin Companies and Entrepreneurs Can't Get Bank Accounts | Forbes.com

Bitcoin Companies and Entrepreneurs Can't Get Bank Accounts | Forbes.com | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it

In the first week of July, Jay Shore got bad news. U.S. Bank and Chase informed him they were closing the accounts for his company, Coinabul, a San Diego-based precious metals buyer that sells silver and gold for Bitcoin. They didn’t want to house his half-million dollars. Chase was mum on the reason but Shore says a U.S. Bank compliance officer told him it was shutting down all small Bitcoin clients.

 

“They tried to force me to take a cashier’s check but I refused,” said Shore who worried he wouldn’t be able to deposit it elsewhere. He made a dozen trips to U.S. Bank because they wouldn’t give him more than $30,000 at a time. “The money is now sitting in our corporate vaults along with our metals.”

 

Bitcoin – invented in 2009 by a mysterious programmer – is a replacement for state-backed currency, “mined” from the Internet via complex computing. It’s been booming this fall; one Bitcoin is currently worth over $400, its value doubling over the last month.

 

It has limited real world uses now but offers, as investor Peter Thiel says the “world-changing” promise of online transactions without fees, third parties or identity; it’s the online equivalent of paying someone in cash, and it works universally. Long popular with those using it to buy and sell illicit goods online, it’s now found new fans: the venture capital community, taking the place in their hearts left empty by social networking companies that have IPO’ed. Second Market, which sold Facebook shares before the company went public, now has an investment fund for the $4-billion Bitcoin market.

 

The Winklevoss twins have put $1.5 million into Bitcoin exchange BitInstant, while also applying with the SEC to start a Bitcoin ETF. Union Square Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Jim Breyer, Accel, and Google Ventures are among those pouring millions into promising cryptocoin start-ups. But many Bitcoin start-ups have a big problem: they can’t get bank accounts. Shore is one of the many Bitcoin entrepreneurs sent packing in the last few months.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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The Rise Of Bitcoin: Is It A Solution Or Menace? - Business Insider

The Rise Of Bitcoin: Is It A Solution Or Menace? - Business Insider | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Digital Trends
The Rise Of Bitcoin: Is It A Solution Or Menace?
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Bitcoin Climbs to Record on Wider Acceptance, China Trade - Bloomberg

Bitcoin Climbs to Record on Wider Acceptance, China Trade - Bloomberg | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Bloomberg
Bitcoin Climbs to Record on Wider Acceptance, China Trade
Bloomberg
Bitcoin's price hit a record at $265 on the BitStamp online exchange, driven by wider acceptance of the virtual currency.
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This Is the Absolute Worst Place on Earth to Spend Your Bitcoins | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

This Is the Absolute Worst Place on Earth to Spend Your Bitcoins | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
If you visit CoinMD, save your bitcoins.
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Bitcoin Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About the Future of Money - Wired

Bitcoin Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About the Future of Money - Wired | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Wired
Bitcoin Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About the Future of Money
Wired
The price of a bitcoin topped $900 last week, an enormous surge in value that arrived amidst Congressional hearings where top U.S.
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Amazon Jumps On the Online Payment Bandwagon | Wall St. Cheat ...

Amazon Jumps On the Online Payment Bandwagon | Wall St. Cheat ... | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Following PayPal and Facebook, Amazon developed its own online payment service that allows consumers to log in to e-commerce sites with Amazon credentials.
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Economist Warns a Bitcoin Backlash May Be Coming from ...

Economist Warns a Bitcoin Backlash May Be Coming from ... | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Economist Simon Johnson says governments will feel the urge to suppress the crypto-currency Bitcoin.
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A Ripple in the online payment waters - Boing Boing

A Ripple in the online payment waters - Boing Boing | Virtual Payments | Scoop.it
Robert McMillan on Bitcoin "maverick" Jed McCaleb, who started Mt. Gox and now offers Ripple, an alternative to the digital currency. [Wired]. After selling Mt. Gox, McCaleb started thinking more deeply about Bitcoin.
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