iBankCoin
Joined Jan 27, 2008
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What is a Bitcoin?

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Forgive me, but am I the only one just finding out about these things called bitcoins.  Do any of you guys own them? How do you buy them? What do you think about them? Consider this post an open thread for bitcoins.

 

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15 comments

  1. Charlie Amadeus

    Here is a live view of the major BTC exchange in USD. http://bitcoin.clarkmoody.com/

    You can get BTC @ 6am EST on coinbase.com

    Gamble with them on satoshidice.com

    Get domain hosting @ namecheap.com

    Buy other cryptocurrencies or cryptostocks @ https://cryptostocks.com/

    They’re also good for getting goodies on the SilkRoad, but you need to use TOR for that.

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  2. Tpain

    Alternative to paypal…

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  3. James

    Bitcoin is basically an electronically exchanged hash algorithm or digital signature known these days as a crypto currency. You can deposit into a bitcoin exchange which the best known exchange is MtGox via services similar Western union. Based on digital signatures, payments are made to bitcoin “addresses” or “public keys”.

    I own a few bitcoins from back in the day but by no means was it with the purpose of an investment but to buy or transfer them for the purchase of illicit goods. I think there is a bubble right now but who knows… Like charlie said, those are some of the uses… you can also check out mtgox.com

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  4. bob

    I spent a few hours reading about them a couple of years ago. My conclusion was Mr Madoff couldn’t do a better job himself.

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  5. Bozo on a bus

    You can “mine” them, by yourself or with a team. Don’t expect to make much for the effort involved.
    They are a pretty thin market. Not sure it could be an investment, but they do have a finite supply at some point.
    Saw an interview with a restaurant owner that accepted Bitcoins, but it’s probably not common.
    Very interesting concept, to me at least.

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  6. wvufan87

    They’ve been hacked before. They are good for anonymous payments over the internet as an alternative to paypal. Would not hold any of them though for any sig. period of time.

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  7. Jr

    The coins/transfers themselves are supposed to be pretty secure but the Mt. Gox exchange went through some rough times with hacking and theft. Bitcoins represent the proof of work of a computational calculation. A few years ago anyone could download a program and “mine” bitcoins. They are designed to become increasingly more difficult to generate over time with a maximum number of bitcoins to be generated. These days, it might take a year to generate one on a normal PC. This is intended to force market exchange as the mechanism for obtaining them, rather than self generation – a means to “get them flowing.” I mined a bunch over the course of a few weeks a long time ago just for the novelty, then when they jumped to $0.50 from $0.05 I cashed out my 1000 or so feeling pretty amused that they ever reached that value. Sour grapes.

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  8. Mr. Cain Thaler

    Each coin is actually a unique program that contains a ledger holding all transactions it has undergone.

    You upload the “purse” program that organizes the “bitcoin” programs, counts them, and gives you access to transactions.

    When you engage in a transaction, there’s actually multiple book keeping going on – I think both purses sink up and record the transaction, and the bitcoin itself records the transaction. The theory being that this stops fraud/counterfeiting.

    The bitcoin programs have to be “mined” – the construction program that generates the bitcoins uses increasingly more complex requests to your computer – which your computer must comply with to receive the bitcoins. So theoretically the amount of new bitcoins in circulation approaches zero; unless process speeds undergo a major shift.

    Interestingly, bitcoins are sort of a mini pitri dish for seeing that there’s no such thing as a stable currency market. The number of bitcoins in circulation right now if pretty stable, yet you can see the trade value is shifting dramatically.

    I’d never invest in them because you can only trade with other people who use them. Which pretty much gives you access to the finest hacker merchandise – ripped DVD’s, stolen programs seeded with viruses, and child pornography…

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  9. Romeo Fayette

    It’s a decentralized, electronic, peer-to-peer currency, convertible into any currency in the world.

    There’s an explicit plan that’s publicly available to issue new Bitcoins, in decreasing annual amounts, every year until 2140.

    There are many benefits & risks of BTC. For example, the p2p aspect circumvents banks, intermediaries & their fees. (You do need traditional banking to convert into other FX, but once you own BTC, you can continually transact within the currency.) Without a central bank & government, BTCs won’t be debased by endogenous means, which is redoubled by its annual issuance plan.

    BTC are owned under an account number. Whoever has the PIN to that account number can access the online wallet and spend/transfer BTC at will. Therefore, BTC accounts are anonymous, and no government can regulate them. That brings with it obvious risks. For example, if I buy something from an obscure vendor on Craigslist, whom I pay BTC, I may not be able to identify that vendor were I need to return what I bought–my BTC payment is gone if he doesn’t want to be found.

    Virtual security is vital too, but those who volunteer their time to bolster the network’s infrastructure (esp. security) get paid in BTC, which is part of the annual issuance called “mining.”

    That’s the gist.

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  10. drummerboy

    not worth it at all. there is supposedly only 21 million bit coins that are ever going to be mined,according to it’s inventor. it takes a tremendous amount of computer energy,almost to the point where your computer gets real hot from running these mining escapades. they have a way of mining bit coins through the use of network computers,i.e.: you and ten friends can link-up together and have a deeper type of mining power. because of all the power that is needed to mine one coin is freaky. go to bit coin and read how to mine.some folks believe that this is the only way to supersede the fed.it’s some kind of cult in this stage,but the actual belief by these folks is unreal as well.they pretty much think that this is going to be the next currency.it can never be.to mine them takes a lot of electricity,and for gods sake,there are only 21 million of them that will ever be mined,according to it’s inventor.

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  11. drummerboy

    also. the government is shutting it down.

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  12. Sir Robert Hooke
    Sir Robert Hooke

    I came across this yesterday funnily enough.

    http://www.fastcolabs.com/3007320/tracking/bitcoins-rise-reliable-currency

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  13. RaginCajun

    Thanks for the comments guys.

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  14. The Eye-Talian Stallion
    The Eye-Talian Stallion

    It’s a day traders dream, just like Intrade. They get to lose all of their money faster than before but look really cool while doing it.

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