Commentary

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.

Net Neutrality Causes Problems

It would be very easy for me to say that all government regulation is …

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Big Money Holding Bitcoin – Bits & Pieces #17

Bitcoin Bulls and Bears

The Bitcoin community learned over the last few days that the Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) will become the world’s first publicly traded Bitcoin fund. On one hand, that’s pretty darn cool. Lots of people out there might start considering Bitcoin more legitimate when they see that a Bitcoin fund has approval from FINRA and can be listed on exchanges just like stocks. A closer look, however, reveals some details that make me slightly uneasy.…

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Art in the Bitcoin World – Bits & Pieces #16

Bitcoin Art - Bloomberg Businessweek

Some people like to mock art and culture. Certain forms of expression like classical music, poetry, painting, and sculpting probably take more heat than they deserve. I’m not here to tell you that you should love all of that, but I think it’s worth considering the power of art, even in the Bitcoin and liberty spheres. Some art might deserve a brief scoff, but as a whole, art is not nearly as obscure as some …

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The Internet Is Not Free – Bits & Pieces #15

I spent this past weekend meeting all kinds of awesome liberty-minded people at the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C. My main job at the event was to tell people about free Liberty.me memberships, and as I explained the endless list of the site’s benefits to student after student, one of them offered a somewhat shocking perspective.

“I’d rather not sign up,” he said, “Because I don’t believe the internet is free anymore.” …

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The Law Wants Bitcoin. Are We Prepared? – Bits & Pieces #14

Regulation in Bitcoin

Last week, on February 4, two dreadful pieces of news hit the Bitcoin space. First, Ross Ulbricht, the alleged creator of a Bitcoin black marketplace, was found guilty on all seven charges that he was facing.

Ross Ulbricht found guilty on ALL charges, facing life in prison #SilkRoadTrial

— Alexey Yaroshevsky (@Yaro_RT) February 4, 2015

Then just hours later, Benjamin Lawsky thought it would be a great idea to announce his BitLicense revision a …

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