Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

bitcoin-and-crypto-currenciesWith all the volatility in the financial world these days … there has been an emerging currency system symbolically born out of it. The crossroads between security and encryption and decentralized currency. The growing question on the minds of many …

‘Where’s Bitcoin headed now?’

Well after the recent silk road ‘redux’, then Mt. Gox crashing (as Max Keiser pointed out, Bitcoin’s ‘finest hour’), it’s likely to remain stable where it is for the time between. Stable as Bitcoin can be, that is, fluctuating between $500-700 USD this month of March. Given the open source bug which caused the latest heist has largely been resolved, it will have to take something much bigger than news of outright theft of Bitcoin in order to destroy future prospects for the impending reality of Bitcoin’s worldwide acceptance as a commodity and means of exchange between the newest ‘altcoins’ or cryptocurrencies springing up around Bitcoin. The crypto community agrees; with Mt. Gox out of the picture, there isn’t much standing in the way of a steady climb into the future.

It’s quite likely that if we see major downswings in standard currencies … Bitcoin will trend upwards. Add to that world markets have been inching closer to bank runs lately, such as history proves in times of tension. It might be true that Bitcoin’s penny stock days are over, but investors are going to continue looking for financial refuge in one form or another. Altcoins are going to look a LOT more attractive as more and more ‘national’ cryptocurrencies are born (the latest being Mazacoin of the Oglala Lakota and Auroracoin which is scheduled to be distributed freely to Iceland on March 25th).

Just more of a ‘when’ than ‘if’ question.

The Bitpay Model

The Bitcoin ATMS have been springing up everywhere since February 2014. First in Turkey, then in Singapore, followed by a gun store in texas, and now in London. The premise is you walk up to the ATM, you enter your mobile phone #. Using the latest encryption technology called two-factor authentication, or ‘2FA’ for short, a security key is sent via SMS to your phone. There is a number string which changes randomly every 30 seconds on your phone when you first install the 2FA app, therefore you must enter the security key sent via SMS plus the 2FA random code to access your ATM funds.

Merchants and Physical Products

Using what many folks with smartphones are familiar with these days, QR Code scanners which utilize your phone’s camera have the ability to read a QR code with both the price and the Bitcoin payment address of the merchant. Hold up the phone and scan to purchase!

An initial point of contention was the nature of Bitcoin’s block chain, which in sending or receiving coins from one address to another, there are a series of confirmations which occur – and this takes time. When lines form on a holiday, this presents a bit of a problem. There are already workarounds for this, and it involves using third party gateways, similar to Escrow services. Other ways are using altcoins which have shorter confirmation times, like ’42coin’ which only takes 42 seconds to confirm.

As time moves forward, we will see advancing community contributions and fully working systems which, in many respects, will infuse new life into the distribution of currency around the world; where you can pay anyone around the world without being charged interest, or having to go through a bank, using their hours, and the declining fiat system which is inevitably facing its decline. Where Omega ends, Alpha begins…