In Which I Respond to MasterCard’s Bitcoin Hate

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This is going to be a short post because most of what I have to say is encapsulated in the video below, but I’d like to give you all a little context. MasterCard recently released a video in which they absolutely blasted Bitcoin for completely invalid reasons. Needless to say, this angered the community quite a bit – myself included. Of course (as we’ll see in the video) this is hardly the first time MasterCard has been deceptive/evil in the name of profit. [Read more…]

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The Secrets We Use to Spend

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Passwords are everywhere. The idea of authorization via a shared secret has come a long way since the days of whispering a password through a slot in a speakeasy door. We’re very comfortable using packets of information as gatekeepers of a sort – we even use them to secure our finances. Banks even issue us a special packet of information that we use to do almost all of our regular spending: A credit card number. [Read more…]

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Push vs Pull: The Fundamental Flaw in Modern Payment Processing

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There is a problem deep at the heart of the modern payment processing industry. This problem makes fraud easier, mistakes more prevalent, takes control of our own money away from us and makes the whole system cripplingly complex, slow and expensive. What’s the problem? You never actually pay for anything. [Read more…]

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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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Makin’ It Drizzle: Should We Be Tipping Bigger?

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One of Bitcoin’s great social-revolutions-in-potentia is in the world of donations and tipping. Bitcoin is a new financial tool, one that’s not tied to your identity by default and that means it can be pseudonymous, just like your online identities. Suddenly, it’s possible to send a small amount of money to a guy on Reddit who wrote something you liked or the creator of a really cool YouTube video or that internet celebrity whose tweets brighten your day. You no longer need to know their real name, email address or any other piece of personal information to transfer value to them. The potential here is obvious, but we have a fundamental question to ask about our newfound internet powers: Should we favor size or volume? [Read more…]

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