Category Archives: E-Currencies

Ripple – a decentralized exchange, a payment system, and a currency

Hello dear reader.

It has been quite a long time since I blogged about anything related to the e-currency industry, but I must share this article I ran across on the DGC (digital gold currency) Magazine website. The article talks about the revamped version of the Ripple payment system. As far as I understand the concept is that now Ripple has become more like Bitcoin, in the sense that it’s now a fully P2P digital currency. Click here to see the official explanation of how the Ripple system works. If you scroll down that page you’ll see mention of a “distributed ledger” and “P2P Network” as well as “Consensus.” Well that sounds exactly like the way Bitcoin functions. Lest you quickly jump to the conclusion that this is another Bitcoin fork/clone hold on a second and make sure read this further detail page.

I’m quite excited about the recent innovations occurring in the digital currency arena. Digital currencies that empower regular people (instead of governments, central banks, and institutions) are likely set to massively increase in popularity – especially considering that so many people these days are fed up with how poor the performance of traditional institutions (read central banks, governments, etc) has been and continues to be when it comes to properly managing a currency for the benefit of its users. So if you can’t trust the government with your money (you probably shouldn’t) then the question is can you trust the masses and the P2P systems empowering them? Well, I guess that question remains to be answered. These P2P currencies are a still young and definitely fragile. Time will definitely flush out the good from the bad and eventually one system will win the support of the majority.

I hope I have given you something interesting to look into. Please feel free to share your opinions and comments regarding Ripple or the whole P2P e-currency idea.

Alan out.

Sibos TV – Future of Money

Hi everyone. I found this interesting video while browsing around youtube and I thought I’d share it with you all. This video was produced by “Sibo TV” and it features several experts who share their opinions regarding the future of money. These people are the following: Udayan Goyal, Founder, Anthemis Group SA; Heather Schlegel, Innovation, SWIFT; Donald Norman, Co-Founder of Bitcoin Consultancy, Owner of Intersango.com; and Shamir Karkal, CFO, Banksimple.

Without further ado, here is the video:

Enjoy, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Alan

c-gold still going strong

c-gold

Hi everyone. It has been quite a long time since I last talked about the e-currency industry. Today a thought came into my mind about e-currencies, and I got kind of nostalgic since I used to be into them a lot more than I am today. For me though when e-gold got shut down my dreams of a digital gold currency making it big got shattered. But e-gold was not the only player on the digital gold currencies scene. There is also another gold e-currency called “c-gold” that first opened their doors in 2007. So they’ve been around for quite some time now and they’re still in business. No government has shut them down, no scams have been reported, and no other major drama. I’d like to congratulate them on a job well done so far. I hope they remain around for a long long time.

So if you’re a e-gold refugee sort of speak have a look at c-gold !

Alan out.

Cheers!

Bitcoins valued at over $30 per bitcoin now!

Wow. That’s pretty much all I can say. The recent growth of bitcoin has been nothing short of astronomical! I never would’ve guessed that back when I first found out about it this little “hobby e-currency” (what I thought of it at the time) would grow in value and popularity so fast. Now that I think about it some more I wish I bought more! Is now still a good time to buy some bitcoins? I think so but please don’t take this as investment advice – do your own research. However if this catches on even more it’s going to BIG, and I mean really big. My gut feeling tells me that I’ll see an exchange rate of $100 USD per bitcoin. Only 21 million bitcoins will ever be minted (by a process called mining – research it at the bitcoin wiki) so even if several million people start to use it you know it’s going to HAVE to go up in value.

Speaking of the bitcoin value, I found a really cool website that displays real time bitcoin market data. It allows you to see every trade that passes through the Mt. Gox exchange (currently the most popular and most established bitcoin trading market). Here is the link to the site:

http://bitcoin.clarkmoody.com/time-sales/

If you’ve got some spare bitcoin please consider donating a few bitcents to the author of that page – it’s extremely useful and nifty in my opinion.

Hope you found it useful. If there are any bitcoiners in the house please feel free to leave a comment.

Cheers,
Alan

Bitbills – Bitcoins you can hold!

bitcoin

Greetings everyone.

I’ve discovered something pretty cool that I’d like to share with those of you who have an interest in bitcoins. Apparently someone finally came up with a method to create the bitcoin equivalent to paper money. Yep, you can how hold bitcoins in your hand sort of speak. This neat new solution is called Bitbills.

Bitbills allow you to physically store the private encryption keys that give you ownership to your bitcoins on a pastic card via the use of QR codes.  So basically encoded within the QR code is a key or multiple keys that give you ownership over a certain amount of bitcoins (depends on the denomination of your Bitbills). For example you can give your friend a 5 BTC (5 bitcoins) Bitbill, and he then scans the QR code with his smartphone or PC QR code scanner and after importing the bitcoin private keys contained within the Bitbill into his bitcoin software he’s got 5 more BTC.

How does it work?

For this I will let the Bitcoin creators do the talking:

When your computer stores bitcoins, it does so by saving secret pieces of data called private keys. Since only you have your private keys, only you can spend your bitcoins.

To make Bitbills, we start by creating a shiny new bitcoin address. Depending on the denomination of the card, we send a certain number of bitcoins to the new address. Then, we encode the address’s private key in a QR code. Finally, we manufacture the actual plastic card, hiding the QR code between layers of the card so that it can only revealed if the card is destroyed. On the back of every card we print the address itself, so you can always check how many bitcoins are stored on a card.

Security is a crucial component of Bitbills. There are two key aspects to card security: anti-counterfeiting and tamper-evidence.

We use industry-grade production techniques and special security holograms to make Bitbills nearly impossible to counterfeit. It’s important that when a stranger hands you a Bitbill, you can be sure that it was made by us.

It’s also important that it is clearly evident when a card’s private key has been accessed. By embedding the key inside the card between two secure holograms, the only way to access it is by visibly destroying the card.

Whenever handling a Bitbill, always be sure to check that the design matches the one shown on this website, and that both the front globe hologram and reverse “Secure” and “Valid” hologram are intact. Do not accept a Bitbill if it’s damaged, shows signs of tampering, or looks unusual.

How do Bitbills look like?:

FAQ:

What are Bitcoins?
Bitcoins are the currency traded in the Bitcoin network, which is the first completely open-source, decentralized digital currency network. You can read more at bitcoin.org.

How can I be sure my Bitbill is authentic?
Check that the design matches the one shown on this website, and that both the front globe hologram and reverse “Secure” and “Valid” hologram are intact. Do not accept a Bitbill if it’s damaged, shows signs of tampering, or looks unusual.

Do you keep a copy of the cards’ private keys?
After each card has been produced and proven functional, we delete all records of the private key. This means that once the card leaves our hands, we can no longer access the associated bitcoins (be aware, this means we also can’t help if you lose or destroy your card).

At the moment I’d say that Bitbills are still a bit “geeky” and not as user friendly as they should be, but I’m sure with time this will improve. The main problem is importing them into your bitcoin wallet. It would be really nice if there was built in support into the official bitcoin client software to do this, but unfortunately there isn’t at the moment. Once the official linux and windows bitcoin software have this feature I believe that Bitbills will be truly more functional and convenient.

So if you for some reason want to take your bitcoins with you there is now a way! Isn’t progress wonderful :)?

For more details about Bitbills please see their homepage at: http://www.bitbills.com

That does it for this post. I hope you found it informative.

Cheers,
Alan