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[Op Ed] The Evolution of Financial Privacy and Bitcoin’s Ability To Restore Rights

Today is a somber day in the United States, particularly for New Yorkers. The events of this date 12 years ago are still fresh in many people’s minds, as are the memories of extreme heroism from fellow residents. Knowing that 9/11 was coming up, I recently visited the memorial at Ground Zero for the first time with some friends visiting from out of town. The space was vibrant and reflective of the events that occurred, but it was impossible for one thing not to stand out above all else: the unbelievable security detail at the venue. For those who haven’t been to the memorial, it’s a large, open space with rows of trees and two massive in-ground fountains. It’s beautiful, but that’s just about the extent of it. Yet, for some reason, to enter this open space requires getting through rigorous security. Queuing up to the entrance, visitors are met by large NYPD security towers, as well as NYPD officers on foot. Once in line, tickets are checked, then checked...

The post [Op Ed] The Evolution of Financial Privacy and Bitcoin’s Ability To Restore Rights appeared first on The Genesis Block.

Bitfury Begins Shipping 400 GH/s Bitcoin Miners to US and EU Customers

Considering a bitcoin mining hardware purchase? Make a more informed decision with our Bitcoin Mining Dashboard. Bitfury’s resellers have begun shipping their 400 GH/s “Full Kits” to customers. After initial accounts of prototypes successfully mining on August 2nd, full production units are now ready. Over the last year Bitfury, a Russian ASIC bitcoin mining manufacturer, has been quietly developing a 55nm ASIC chip that runs around 3 GH/s. Bitfury sold bulk quantities of chips to US and EU distributors who partnered with “100 TH/s”, a publicly traded mining company, to develop fully functional units. The ASIC chips must be set in printed circuit boards (PCB) and are controlled using a Raspberry Pi. The first batch of sales were initially projected to arrive at the end of August and commanded a significant premium over October deliveries. Full kits consist of a master board (“M board”) and 16 hashing boards (“H boards”) that plug into the master board. Additionally, the controlling Raspberry Pi and an ATX power supply are included in the...

The post Bitfury Begins Shipping 400 GH/s Bitcoin Miners to US and EU Customers appeared first on The Genesis Block.

ASICMiner Blade Prices Reduced 65% After Shares Crash

Considering a bitcoin mining hardware purchase? Make a more informed decision with our Bitcoin Mining Dashboard. ASICMiner, the only company selling ASIC bitcoin mining hardware out of available inventory, just reduced the price of their largest miner to 3.5 BTC. The ASICMiner blade was unavailable for several weeks before Friedcat, CEO of ASICMiner, announced on August 11th that they would be selling them again at the then-reduced rate of 10.5 BTC each. Given that every other ASIC bitcoin mining hardware company sells pre-orders for units months in advance of actual delivery, ASICMiner has used their monopoly over the in-stock market to be able to charge a premium for their products. The ASICMiner blade runs at 12.8 GH/s overclocked and is the larger of their two products, the smaller being a USB miner that runs at around 300 MH/s. The original sales strategy when Friedcat announced two weeks ago was to divide customers to different re-sellers depending upon their location (each name below corresponds to a bitcoin.org user name): US: eleuthria,...

The post ASICMiner Blade Prices Reduced 65% After Shares Crash appeared first on The Genesis Block.

First Virtual Currencies Compliance Conference tomorrow

On Wednesday, August 14th, the first Virtual Currencies Compliance Conference will take place at the New York City Bar Association, hosted by the National Money Transmitters Association. The meeting will be chaired by Constance Choi, General Counsel of Payward Inc and a founding member of the Digital Asset Transfer Authority (“DATA”), a new self-regulatory body created by a number of major Bitcoin and digital asset-related businesses both in the United States and abroad. The meeting will have nine compliance experts speak in interactive sessions: former American Express Travelers Cheque and Prepaid Service Group counsel Judith Rinearson, commercial litigator and business attorney Marco Santori, Patton Boggs’ Government Investigations and Litigation practice group chair and former Department of Justice attorney Samuel Rosenthal, [...]

The post First Virtual Currencies Compliance Conference tomorrow appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Volatility Approaches 2013 Lows Despite Compromised Security of Tor Browser

Bitcoin price volatility has declined considerably since early July and recently reached lows not seen since early January. Trading volume on exchanges has similarly declined over the same period. The stability may be attributable to a number of factors, ranging from uncertainty around the withdrawal delays from Mt. Gox to quiet summer trading typical of many financial markets. What may be more interesting are the recent events that have not affected stability. In particular, bitcoin prices have withstood recent news about significant impacts to confidence in the security of Tor – the only way to access the infamous Silk Road marketplace. With bitcoin’s unique ability to offer greater financial privacy and therefore the only accepted currency on Silk Road, the question has often been raised as to how much of bitcoin’s value is attributable to demand driven by illicit purchases. Historically, that assertion may have had factual basis. In 2011, after two US senators encouraged the Attorney General and Drug Enforcement Administration to investigate bitcoin, Silk Road and the Tor...

The post Bitcoin Volatility Approaches 2013 Lows Despite Compromised Security of Tor Browser appeared first on The Genesis Block.

Bitcoin Gaming: SatoshiDice Acquisition Analysis

SatoshiDice is an internet gambling company which relies on the bitcoin block chain (the public ledger of all bitcoin transactions) to facilitate betting and payout. The company gained popularity quickly after its launch in April 2012 and saw approximately 4M BTC flow through its system before being acquired for 126,315 BTC by an unknown buyer on July 17, 2013. This report offers an overview of the events leading up to the acquisition and an analysis of the final valuation, including: Company Background (Page 1) Historical Performance (Page 2) Competitive Landscape (Page 3) Regulatory Risks (Page 3) Valuation Analysis (Page 4) Company Background SatoshiDice (SD) was founded by Eric Voorhees, a long-time bitcoin enthusiast and evangelist. The company first launched via announcement on the bitcointalk.org forums and quickly grew to profitability – the result of high margins driven by negligible overhead costs and a unique niche within the internet gaming market. Gaming Logistics SatoshiDice’s business model is built on an odds-based betting system. A player sends a bitcoin wager to one...

The post Bitcoin Gaming: SatoshiDice Acquisition Analysis appeared first on The Genesis Block.

Bitfury 400 GH/s Bitcoin Mining Rig Hits US Shores

Considering a bitcoin mining hardware purchase? Make a more informed decision with TGB’s Bitcoin Mining Dashboard. After almost a full year of development and one month of delays, BitFury’s ASIC bitcoin mining prototype has begun hashing at 400 GH/s. Application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) are customized chips that perform bitcoin mining calculations. While there have been a couple companies releasing ASIC miners (Avalon, ASICMiner, Butterfly Labs), there is significant room for improvement within the technology itself. With hundreds of units expected to land in Europe and the Americas this month, Bitfury products represent the most advanced chips to hit mass production and will significantly change the bitcoin mining landscape. BItfury ASIC chips use a 55nm process and are sold running at an estimated 1.56 GH/s per chip, with demonstrated performance up to 2.7 GH/s. Although they are clocked slower than Butterfly Lab’s 4 GH/s chips, they will run 4x more efficiently at 0.8 Watts/Ghps. Power efficiency will be a deciding factor in a bitcoin miner’s longevity as profitability narrows with...

The post Bitfury 400 GH/s Bitcoin Mining Rig Hits US Shores appeared first on The Genesis Block.

04.19.11 · NYC and DC

It was great to spend a relaxing evening with my family last Thursday night. My little sister agreed to take care of my turtle while I’m travelling. His name’s Mister T - I’ll post a couple pictures when I can get the photos off my Nikon.

I topped up my transmission fluid (there’s a leak somewhere), reassured my parents that I’ll survive the trip, and played some Rock Band with my little brother. I got trounced; he was hitting full sections of Through The Fire And The Flames on expert guitar, while I weakly kept up on drums.

I repacked my car and hit the road. Taking the Palisades Parkway south, I ended up in Manhattan, to visit @BruceWagner and @EdwardGel. They were kind enough to pay for my parking while I stayed in Manhattan - thanks guys!

On Friday we taped the first episode of The Bitcoin Show. This is one of a couple dozen shows that will make up Bruce’s upcoming network, OnlyOneTV. We talked about my trip, about some of the excellent projects the community has made, and @BitcoinLabs upcoming Bitcoin ATM. You’ll send coins to the ATM and it’ll spit out dollars - it was really cool.

After that, I was off to Brooklyn, to visit my friend Will. We stayed up late watching Futurama and playing Left 4 Dead 2. I bought some food from him, using Bitmail to send coins.

This weekend was my first time driving in New York. It… kept me alive? Dodging the Mercedes that blindly turned in front of me, dodging pedestrians, losing GPS signal, the works… at least in NY, having a car was much more of a hindrance than a help.

DC feels the same way. Today’s Tuesday and I’m staying at an apartment in Columbia Heights. Parking is awful - DC has some really draconian parking regulations. The owner of the house is a bitcoiner who offered to let me crash for a couple nights; there’s half a dozen people who live here and they’re all really cool. Last night was Passover, so I attended my first Seder. The food was good and we all had a great time.

While I was skateboarding through DC I blundered into a protest. Turns out it was “Power Shift.” More on that later.

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04.14.11 · Goodbye, Union College

Day 6. 365 miles travelled.

After leaving MIT on Monday, I hit I-90 West. In an effort to improve gas mileage, I tossed on a podcast (Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History), ticked along in the right lane at 55mph, and ignored everyone behind me. In a successful attempt to emasculate me, a neon green SmartCar blew by my Pontiac, leaning on his horn. Under normal circumstances I would have hit the gas, accellerated to somewhere north of eighty mph, and leapfrogged him to assuage my pride - but this #BitcoinRoadtrip is pretty far from normal. I’ve got 537 bitcoins, and I want them to last as long as possible. That means hypermiling!

I pulled off at a rest stop to check my fluids and take a quick nap.  I discovered that my car’s not really conducive to sleeping, since it’s pretty packed and there’s no room for the seats to recline. Cramped but otherwise refreshed, I continued to Union College.

Union’s a fun place and I know a lot of people there. I met up with various friends on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, attempting to convince various skeptical parties that Bitcoin was the Next Big Thing. I wanna give a shoutout to Jim Walker, for his contribution to help me buy my camera - thanks dude! (Incidentally, anyone want to proxy buy this data cable for me so I can get pics off it?) Also, I placed a 5BTC bet on a chess game with my friend Parker. It was remarkably close for half an hour, but I ended up finally losing due to my weak endgame.

Thursday morning, I drew up some advertisements on my whiteboard, and sat in the campus center. As people walked by, I asked ‘Wanna learn about a new kind of money?’ About one in four were interested enough to hear my elevator pitch.

I moved on to the Electrical Engineering department, to give a brief seminar on Bitcoins. Turnout was maybe twenty people, evenly split between faculty and students. I talked for half an hour about how the network is set up, and the mechanics of transaction processing and blocks, then moved on to all the interesting projects that the community has created. To my chagrin, I learned just how easy it is to get bogged down in the technical details, but in the end it seemed that most people got what they came for.

Leaving Union, I drove south to my parents’ house near Newburgh, NY. I’ll stay here Thursday night, then drive to NYC Friday evening. @BruceWagner has offered to put me up for a night and pay for parking - TIA!

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04.11.11 · The Illustrious Llama of MIT

[Backdated, written on 04.13 - PLATO]

Day 3. 165 miles travelled.

I spent a relaxed Saturday night with my former college roommates in Quincy. Sunday morning, we made some delicious pancakes, then headed to a mediocre beach. After receiving many admonishments to ‘not die’, I bid my friends farewell, and started driving to Cambridge. This was only my second experience with Boston traffic.  It was far better than New York, but I can’t imagine how hellish it must have been before the $15 billion Big Dig tunnels.

I found my way to the MIT campus and got in touch with “Llama”. After a quick tour of campus, we went back to his dorm room and proceeded to talk shop. Llama’s quite the entrepreneur. As a freshman, he’s already running a successful business, Qugelmatic Books on Ebay. (They accept Bitcoins!) He’s also the co-creator of BitMail, with “Lachesis” - a handy way to introduce people to Bitcoin. We ate a delicious dinner at Llama’s fraternity (rice pilaf, tender chicken and biscuits.) I slept on his couch, lulled by the sound of a dual-5870 mining rig humming away in the corner.

The next day, I tagged along to Llama’s e-mag class. My e-mag knowledge is pretty patchy to begin with, and I was somewhat skeptical of the c’s that appeared out of nowhere due to MIT’s use of the cgs unit system, so I got lost. But, I was pretty impressed that the professor was one of the founders of WiTricity.

I just bought half a tank of gas for 30btc from Llama, and said goodbye. I’m heading to my alma mater, Union College, about four hours west along I-90. I expect to give a talk about Bitcoins for my EE department sometime midweek. I know a lot of people in Schenectady, which should make this week one of the easiest of my trip - after I’m south of NYC, it’s going to be more difficult, because I know very few people IRL.

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