I Don’t Think That Means What You Think It Means: Legal Tender

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There’s a bit of a kerfuffle going on right now between Bitcoiners and a certain popular tech publication. ZDNet author Ken Hess recently wrote a piece with the unnecessarily-incendiary title “Senator Tom Coburn agrees that Bitcoin is not legal currency.” It should be noted that in addition to being incendiary that title is also, quite simply, wrong. Really wrong. Can’t-believe-a-tech-writer-couldn’t-google-this wrong. Wrong. [Read more…]

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2FA: What It Is, How It Works and When It Can’t Save You

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Bitcoin is the exception to a lot of rules, but there’s one universal truth even it can’t escape: Wherever there is money to be stolen, someone will try to steal it – and occasionally they will succeed. They will succeed because the tools we build are imperfect, certainly, but they will also succeed because we’re imperfect and we use those tools imperfectly or worse, not at all. Today I’d like to discuss one such tool: Two-factor authentication. [Read more…]

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Full Time Bitcoin (Blogger)!

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About this time last year I announced the first of many major life changes: I was going full-time Bitcoin. Like most optimistic posts about starting new chapters in one’s life, some of my statements were prescient and some of them were way off-base. For example: The idea that working for startups would somehow give me more time to write seems quite laughable in retrospect. The last several months have been wall-to-wall insanity – at one point I had five jobs. Five… But now I’m back to make more crazy claims and hopefully this time around I can make them accurately because my one-and-only new job… well… you’re looking at it. [Read more…]

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Paper Wallets Aren’t Cold Storage

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I don’t want this to degrade into a trollfest so I want to open with this: Paper wallets are a great tool that can add a lot of security to your Bitcoin storage. Strictly speaking, a paper wallet is much more secure than storing coins on your phone, desktop or in a web wallet. They are a good thing and people should use them more. But they’re not cold storage.

This isn’t one of those things where I’m being overly pedantic either, the difference actually matters in a number of important ways and you can in fact lose money by not being aware of the difference. [Read more…]

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Satoshis, Bits, Millies and Mikes:
The “Rebasing Bitcoin” Debate

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Bitcoin has taught us all a number of lessons about the nature of decentralized systems. Many of Bitcoin’s most innovative technologies arise directly from the challenges created by such systems – mining is a distributed issuance mechanism, the blockchain itself is a distributed trust mechanism – but some things, it seems, we still have to figure out via internal squabbling and the painful process of establishing a consensus manually. One such issue is exactly how to denote Bitcoin transaction amounts. [Read more…]

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