Apologies for the lack of updates

Just a quick note that I’ve been dealing with the death of somebody close to me over the past several weeks, and updates to the site have suffered as a result. I should be able to get back into a semi-regular schedule starting next week. If you’ve sent me a message at any point in the new year, chances are that I haven’t responded to you yet—I’ll do my best to start catching up on email as well.

I have a couple purpose-built custom mining cases here that I’m hoping to get reviews up of soon, for those of you that want something that’s more flexible (and aesthetically appealing!) than a plastic milk crate.

An update to my mining guide for the R9 series of GPUs is still on the horizon as well—I’m still having trouble getting my hands on the more desirable manufacturer brands at prices that don’t sicken me.

Finally, today I updated the cryptocurrency ticker that’s running on my site to pull the BTC quote from Coinbase, given the issues that Mt. Gox has been having. If you’re running a WordPress site and would like the utilize the ticker, you can grab it from the official repository. As of today the ticker also supports displaying quote prices in Euros, in case you’re from across the pond.

Edit: Thanks for the kind words, everyone—they’re much appreciated!

TigerDirect now accepting Bitcoin

Just a couple weeks after Overstock.com went live with Bitcoin payment processing, TigerDirect today announced that they have also begun accepting Bitcoin on their website. TigerDirect is a major electronics and computer parts retailer, and this development makes them one of the largest businesses to accept Bitcoin thus far.

Given the success that Overstock is enjoying with its Bitcoin experiment, and rumors of impending Bitcoin adoption from giants like Google, Newegg, and eBay—it’s looking increasingly likely that 2014 will be the year that most major online retailers start accepting cryptocurrency.

Forbes names Litecoin the best investment for time travelers going back to early 2013

Forbes published an article today that highlights the tremendous earning power of Litecoin for anyone that had the foresight to buy-in a year ago—it handily beat out top stocks, gold, and even Bitcoin to earn its spot as the top investment of 2013. From the article:

The best way to spend a c-note on January 1, 2013 was on competing cryptocurrency Litecoin. Worth seven cents then, its value increased along with Bitcoin’s, reaching $23 by December, or 328 times its initial value. That means a $100 investment in Litecoin last year would be worth $30,000 now.

No doubt many of you did tremendously well with Litecoin last year. Hopefully 2014 will continue the trend!

Overstock.com to accept Bitcoin in 2014

CNN is reporting that Overstock.com will begin accepting Bitcoin for purchases made on its site, starting in the second quarter of 2014.

Pretty big news for cryptocurrency—Overstock is the largest U.S. retailer to announce support for Bitcoin thus far. Hopefully the news will cause others to take notice.

Update 1/9/2014: That was quick—Overstock went live with Bitcoin payment support today (US-based shoppers only, for now).

Bitcoin loses nearly half its value overnight

No doubt most of you have already noticed the huge drop in cryptocurrency prices over the last 24 hours. If you’re wondering what’s going on, China’s central bank has ordered all Chinese Bitcoin exchanges to stop accepting new deposits, which triggered a massive sell-off. CNBC has a pretty good write-up of the story here.

Many people, myself included, were expecting a large correction on the recent sky-high cryptocurrency valuations. This crash drops us back down to roughly where we were a month ago, which seems a bit saner. For those of you that have only gotten into cryptocurrency recently, massive swings like what we witnessed today are pretty much par for the course. Expect a lot more volatility in the coming weeks.

Spotted on Twitter: Beer for Bitcoin?

Heineken tweeted out a tacit endorsement of Bitcoin yesterday, and the folks at BitPay are taking notice:

Heineken Bitcoin tweet

Beer and Bitcoin, together soon? More likely, this is Heineken simply capitalizing on some free publicity by taking advantage of Bitcoin’s popularity, but we can hope!

One million!

This little site had its millionth visitor today, and I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you to everyone for all of the kind words that I’ve received via comments and email over the past few months. Hearing from hundreds of people around the world that are passionate about cryptocurrency has made this a really enjoyable and rewarding experience for me!

I’m hopelessly behind on messages, so if you’ve sent me something and haven’t heard back, please be patient—I’m doing my best to catch up, but at this rate it’s probably going to be awhile. I really appreciate that a few regular readers have helped pick up the slack as far as responding to questions in the comment section of my guides—thanks guys!

And finally, a quick update on my rig sales: I don’t have an estimate on when I’ll be able to start taking orders again. Given the current AMD video card shortage, I’m unable to get my hands on suitable mining hardware at reasonable prices—so I’m stuck waiting for production to catch up to demand, just like many of you are. I’m going to take this opportunity to enjoy a house that isn’t packed to capacity with customers’ mining rigs for the first time in awhile, and clean out the sizable hoard of empty PC hardware boxes in my basement and garage!

CNN asks: can Bitcoin replace Paypal?

bitcoinCNN currently has a front page story up that asks whether or not Bitcoin will eventually replace Paypal.

Interesting timing, as earlier today CNET ran a short piece in which Paypal president David Marcus expressed his enthusiasm for Bitcoin, and admitted that he even owns some.

Marcus seems to get Bitcoin. My guess is that Paypal will figure out how to work cryptocurrency into their business model at some point down the road when the wild swings in value calm down—perhaps acting as a trusted online wallet and/or escrow service.

Radeon R9 280X GPU & mining: preliminary results

Now that the excellent Radeon 7950 video cards have essentially become unobtainable, I’m getting a lot of questions from people about how to get the most out of the new Radeon R9 280X in terms of mining. I managed to get my hands on a few Sapphire 280X cards this past week, and have done a little bit of experimenting.

I’ll get around to updating my guide for the 280X at some point in the next couple weeks, but if you’re looking for a good starting point as far as cgminer and undervolting settings go, read on.

Police chief’s salary to be paid in bitcoin

Commissioners in Vicco, Kentucky have approved a measure to begin paying the city’s police chief in bitcoin, starting this month. From the article:

Police Chief Tony Vaughn appeared before the commission last month to officially request that his salary be paid to him in Bitcoin, a new virtual currency which exists only on the Internet and this year has gained significant traction, with its value rising by the end of November to more than $1,000 per coin, according to USA Today. The currency was valued at less than $100 at the beginning of the year.

 

The city commission in Vicco opted last month to hold off on approving Vaughn’s request in order to research the issue. Commissioner Claude Branson on Monday said officials did their homework, and there doesn’t seem to be any logistical or legal issues to paying Vaughn in Bitcoin.