Bitcoin the emerging monetary phenomenon created by a pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 is no longer a joke, but a potential real threat to the neofeudal NWO whose visible components are the western Central Banks, from the Federal Reserve (FED) , to the European Central Bank (ECB), to the Bank of Japan (BoJ), to the Bank of England (BoE), to others.
Bitcoin poses a direct challenge to fiat based Central Bank created currencies that are continually being debased in order to maintain a “dual” economic system in which the banking industry is continually being subsidized (thru access to cheap money via the Central Bank, thru continuous bailouts paid by taxing the rest of the economy, thru covert inflation achieved by distorting the inflation measures).
It is likely that if the threat posed by Bitcoin materializes, Central Banks will fight it (they have already started), but whatever the outcome, Bitcoin is the most brilliant and lethal tool devised so far to fight a social order described decades ago, in “1984”. Forget, “Occupy Wall Street”, forget “indignados”, Bitcoin might be “it”.
It should thus not be a surprise that, as Zerohedge reported today, “US Begins Regulating BitCoin, Will Apply “Money Laundering” Rules To Virtual Transactions”.
So…What is Bitcoin?
According to Wikipedia, “Bitcoin (sign: BTC) is a decentralized digital currency based on an open-source, peer-to-peer internet protocol. It was introduced by a pseudonymous developer named Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.”
“Internationally, bitcoins can be exchanged by personal computer directly through a wallet file or a website without an intermediate financial institution. In trade, one bitcoin is subdivided into 100-million smaller units called satoshis, defined by eight decimal places.”
According to Erik Voorhess, that provides an excellent introduction to Bitcoin in his blog, “Bitcoin is two things: it is a digital currency unit and it is the global payment network with which one sends and receives those currency units. Both the currency unit and the payment network share the same name: Bitcoin.”
“As a currency unit, consider Bitcoin like other currencies. The world has euros, dollars, yen, gold and silver ounces, and now it has Bitcoin as well. The properties of the Bitcoin currency unit are as follows:”
- There will never be more than 21 million in existence, and they are released over time at a declining rate (at the time of writing, about 8.5 million Bitcoins exist).
- As new coins are released on the set schedule, they are given at random to those who contribute computing power to securing the network. This is called “Bitcoin Mining” but it should more accurately be called “Bitcoin Auditing.” Those who contribute more computing power to this work have better odds of receiving the new coins, but the rate of new coin creation never increases (in fact it diminishes over time until all 21 million coins exist). Inflation is thus pre-determined and ever-decreasing toward zero. The below graph shows the release schedule and inflation rate:
- Each Bitcoin is divisible by one hundred million. You can thus possess 0.00000001 Bitcoins.
- Bitcoins are perfectly fungible, they are divided and combined seamlessly in your account.
- It is theoretically impossible to make a fake Bitcoin (to fully understand why this is true, one needs to study cryptography and fairly advanced mathematics).
- As a currency existing in a perfectly free market, Bitcoins always have a market price. At the time of this writing, this price is about $4.80 each. Because Bitcoin is global, there are also market prices for Bitcoin in every major national currency from yen to Brazilian reals.
- Bitcoins are traded like other currencies on exchange websites, and this is how the market price is established. The most prominent exchange is MtGox.com
“So those are the details of Bitcoin as a currency unit, but Bitcoin is also a payment network. As a payment network, Bitcoin replaces the function of banks (especially the Federal Reserve as money creation is not at the whim of any person nor group), inter-bank funding networks (like SWIFT and SEPA), payment processors (like PayPal) and remitters (such as Western Union). The entirety of these massive industries as they relate to the creation, storage, accounting, and transfer of money has been usurped by Bitcoin. If Bitcoin succeeds, it is likely that PayPal and Western Union would be removed from the marketplace. The Federal Reserve (and every central bank) would be made redundant. “Disruptive technology” is thus an understatement.”
Is Bitcoin “money”? Does it have the characteristics that define that elusive concept called “money”. According to the traditional definion, “money” should be a store of value, a medium of exchange and a unit of account. Let’s see:
- Is it a store of value?. Yes. Why?. Because it cannot be counterfeited and because it is scarce. Only 21 million Bitcoins will ever be issued by 2140. Being a store of value is based on being scarce, and Bitcoin is scarce.
- Is it medium of exchange?. Yes. Why?. It is used to purchase and sell products and services.
- Is it a unit of account? Yes. Why?. It is fungible, divisible and can be used to accumulate wealth.
Bitcoin is an experiment, and it could fail. Its success depends on its creators fulfilling the pledge never to issue more than 21 million units, on keeping it scarce. But so far it is succeeding. Check the price of the Bitcoin in USD in this chart provided by Blockchain: It went from 10 USD in July 2012 to 70 USD this last week. Check also the market capitalization of the Bitcoin market in this chart also provided by Blockchain: It went from 100 million USD in July 2012 to about 800 million USD this last week.
Its success also depend on it being widely accepted. This condition has the characteristics of a self-reinforcing loop: The more it is accepted, the higher the chances of it succeeding as a medium of exchange. So far the prospects are good. Transactions mediated by Bitcoin are growing fast.
As Bitcoin is decentralized, it can be hard to find all the resources one might want. Below is a list of some of the most useful websites and tools for learning about and engaging the Bitcoin economy (compiled by Erik Voorhees)
BitSpend.net – Enables you to buy ANYTHING online by paying with Bitcoin. Very cool.
Bitcoin.org – Official site of the Bitcoin project, download the wallet software here.
MtGox.com – The leading Bitcoin exchange. Buy and sell Bitcoins here.
BitcoinTalk.org – The official discussion forum, and large enthusiast community.
Wiki.Bitcoin.it – Encyclopedia of most aggregated Bitcoin knowledge, very extensive.
Bitcoin.it/wiki/trade – Partial list of companies that accept Bitcoin as payment.
Blockchain.info – Tool for viewing accounts, payments, and numerous economic statistics.
BitcoinCharts.com – Shows current market prices and economic statistics.
Preev.com – Super easy Bitcoin<->fiat calculator, multiple currencies supported.
BitcoinMonitor.com – Live view of transactions as they happen on the Bitcoin network.
Paysius.com – Enables businesses to automatically accept Bitcoin payments on their website.
Bit-Pay.com – Another excellent merchant solution for businesses that wish to accept Bitcoin payments.
Coinabul.com – Leading gold and silver bullion seller for Bitcoin
Coinapult.com – Send Bitcoin via Email or SMS
WorkForBitcoin.com – Bitcoin job board – freelance projects which pay in Bitcoin.