Bits & Pieces Weekly

Overstock to Become a Blockchain Stock – Bits & Pieces #25

Overstock Trading On Blockchain

Last week, Overstock.com filed paperwork to begin offering stock (and perhaps other securities) in a digital form. The company’s CEO, Patrick Byrne, has been planning this move since last summer, when he announced at a Bitcoin 2014 that he wanted to list Overstock on a blockchain-based exchange. I’m absolutely excited to see Byrne continuing to piece together his futuristic vision, but I fear that the road will not be as smooth as some others expect.…

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Top 5 Bitcoiners That Love Weed – Bits & Pieces #24

Bitcoin and Weed

Happy 420! For probably a variety of reasons, April 20 is a day when people celebrate the cannabis subculture and perhaps consume a few extra green sticky leaves.

My co-host, Tim Baker, told me once that he thinks special days like this are not ideal, even though he appreciates the object of the celebration. He thinks that festivities tend to make people overexcited about things that they don’t fully understand. That could be true …

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Bitcoin Gambling: People 1, State 0 – Bits & Pieces #23

Bitcoin Gambling

What do you do when you can’t tell what’s legal and what’s not? Often, the answer is nothing. We simply rest on our laurels until the gov’ment tells us what’s permitted, because we don’t want to risk getting in trouble.

The online gambling industry in the US has been doing exactly that for several years. Many large poker websites have been refusing service to US players due to legal gray area. Unfortunately, decisions like those …

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Is Wall Street Bad for Bitcoin? – Bits & Pieces #22

Wall Street in Bitcoin

Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, is greatly respected by many in the Bitcoin community. His company started accepting Bitcoin relatively early (January 2014) and was the largest to do so at the time. Byrne is also well known for exposing a great deal of Wall Street corruption. This WIRED article calls him Bitcoin Messiah and the Scourge of Wall Street in the same headline.

Not everyone agrees, of course, but many Bitcoiners share Byrne’s …

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The True Bitcoin Price – Bits & Pieces #21

Bitcoin Value

It’s easy to quote a reasonable Bitcoin price at any given time, but determining the true value of the cryptocurrency can be an entirely different task. When people ask me what the Bitcoin price is, I just look up the rate published by an exchange like Bitstamp or Coinbase and round to a nice even number. For instance, today, I’d probably say that a Bitcoin is worth about $250. I also like to use BitcoinAverage

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Bitcoin Adoption: Twitch Does It Best – Bits & Pieces #20

Bitcoin Adoption via Twitch

It’s no secret that having more Bitcoin services and merchants is better for Bitcoin adoption. Of course it’s amazing to have companies like Microsoft and Dell accepting Bitcoin. Of course it’s helpful to have services like BitPay and Blockchain helping people use and transact Bitcoin. All of those companies are playing an important role in bringing Bitcoin to the masses, but I think it’s possible to do better. I want to share a story about …

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Bitcoin Mining Centralization Falls – Bits & Pieces #19

Mining Centralization

Bitcoin mining centralization has been heavily discussed as a potential problem for quite some time now. The riskiest mining centralization event in recent Bitcoin history occurred in June 2014, when one pool, GHash.IO, crossed the legendary 51% threshold for at least several hours. That alone didn’t constitute a 51% attack, but it reminded people that a mining centralization is a real issue.

Fortunately, recent stats have shown that the mainstream mining pools have become …

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Net Neutrality and Bitcoin – Bits & Pieces #18

Net Neutrality and Bitcoin

Net neutrality has been an insanely hot topic recently. I’ve always been proud of the overlap between the Bitcoin and liberty-loving communities, but the net neutrality debate has been an important reminder that varying opinions exist within both groups. Quite honestly, I was surprised that some of my favorite Bitcoiners would advocate this kind of government regulation.

#NetNeutrality victory! Grumpy Cat flies over @Comcast HQ to say Don't Mess with the Internet! http://t.co/wxSnXkUI5X pic.twitter.com/Br4LgcSRBt

— …

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