Friday, January 6, 2012

Bitcoin hits prime time, literally

On January 15, TV show The Good Wife will feature an episode called "Bitcoin for dummies" has the plot blurb: Alicia defends a client charged with protecting the identity of the creator of an illegal currency.

The good news is that Bitcoin will be front and center on one of the most popular entertainment shows in the US.  The plot does foreshadow the currency being illegal, which is a clever storytelling device but maybe a prescient one at that.  In any event, all news is good news, and a prime time television show is really good news.  An entire demographic will be introduced to the name and hopefully the concept of bitcoin in an informal but respected format.  It's on CBS.  Watch it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dan Kaminsky at Defcon 19

Technical and authoritative.  Listen from 2:00 - 18:58 for some of the hardest hitting analysis of bitcoin's security.  In a nutshell, it's secure, but it's really not anonymous and it will have trouble scaling.  Find out why:

Max Keiser interviews Rick Falkvinge from the Swedish Pirate Party

Simple and sophisticated explanations to challenging questions.  Hyperbole free.  One highlight:  Imagine what banking will look like after bitcoin has done to it what email did to the postal service.  Cool!  Watch the full interview below (23 minutes).

Free Talk Live (wikipedia) had on Roger Ver from Memory Dealers.  Over a full hour they covered everything from bitcoin basics to black market uses to the political future and ramifications for the liberty movement.  Worth listening to!

Bitcoins for Charity (Wikipedia's New York Chapter makes the first move)

After drugs and gambling, the next step for bitcoin adoption is a more mundane and noble area:  charity.  Charities have two things going for them which bode well for their future relationship with BTC.  One, charities need money, and they are not typically in a position to be choosy about which form of currency they accept.  More to the point, why would they want to turn down any donation?  Two, charities are respected institutions; those that accept bitcoins implicitly legitimize bitcoins.  Worth mentioning is a related downside--charities are generally conservative when it comes to anything that distracts from their mission.  Accepting bitcoins before the mainstream has is a small risk to an organization, and could come with it hysterical accusations of aiding money launderers, or more reasonably, playing around with their tax-exempt status in a legal gray area.

With that said, some charities will take the bold first step.  The EFF was that organization for a while, and it was a natural fit for their techno-progressive agenda.  But someone spoke sense to them and convinced EFF that the unknowns outweighed the benefit.  The next major target for bitcoin promoters has been Wikipedia, which has also declined bitcoin donations, citing similar nebulous legal concerns.  Nonetheless, a small but significant inroad has been made with Wikimedia (Wikipedia's parent organization) New York City, which is now accepting bitcoins (reported here on December 27th)! 

And a neat feature of bitcoins, of course, is that the public address can be run through to see how much they have so far received (so far, 84 bitcoins, which at the most recent price is over $500).