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.

Happy Bitcoin Black Friday!

Today is Bitcoin Black Friday, and that means there are some good deals to be had for shoppers using bitcoin to pay for their purchases. Remember that the long-term success of cryptocurrency depends on consumers that are willing to spend their coins—so consider making at least one purchase today in support of Bitcoin’s future.

Also, a reminder that Coinbase is waiving all fees today.

Update: Mt. Gox has now also announced that they’re waiving all fees today through Monday.

My custom mining rigs are temporarily unavailable

Just a quick note that I’ve temporarily disabled the ordering process for my custom mining rigs. I’ve had quite a few orders come in lately and I need a few days to catch up. Once I clear out the backlog, I’ll re-open the ordering process, so check back in a few days. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you everyone for the tremendous interest!

Expect a correction on these runaway cryptocurrency valuations

It’s been exciting watching litecoin go from ~$10 to ~$30 over the past 48 hours, and seeing bitcoin punch through $1000 today. But I’d urge everyone to not make any rash decisions about dumping large amounts of cash into crypto, with the hopes of riding this crazy train to riches. The current growth is mostly being driven by rampant speculation, and it isn’t sustainable.

Litecoin 24 hour performance

Litecoin performance over the past 24 hours on btc-e.com

There will very likely be a correction at some point in the near future. Given the massive growth of litecoin, and bitcoin passing through the $1000 barrier, you can also expect a lot of mainstream media attention in the coming days—so we might actually see an even crazier price run-up before prices return to saner levels. But anyone that doesn’t expect a short-term correction is probably in denial.

In my opinion, before these kinds of valuations are justified, we need to see far more acceptance of cryptocurrency from merchants, and we need consumers that are willing to actually spend their coins on everyday purchases—instead of hoarding them in the hopes of a huge payday. In the case of altcoins, we also need better support from the major trustworthy payment processors and exchanges. Progress is being made on all fronts, but we have quite a ways to go. I believe we’ll get there, but it won’t happen overnight.

I’m absolutely not suggesting that you should exit your position in crypto immediately, and then re-buy after the inevitable correction occurs. Trying to time the market requires a lot of luck, and will likely result in regret for most of those that attempt it. I still absolutely believe in the $50+ prediction for Litecoin that I made 2 weeks ago (LTC was $4/coin then!), I just didn’t expect that we’d be more than halfway there before reaching the end of the month! If you agree that Litecoin has a potentially bright future, then the best move for most of you is to simply not panic when the inevitable correction happens.

Keep calm and continue mining. Try to not get caught up in the price hype, although I’ll be the first to admit that it’s certainly fascinating to watch.

Coinbase waiving all fees this Friday

Coinbase today announced that they’ll be waiving all fees on 11/29 in celebration of Bitcoin Black Friday. If you’ve been wanting to buy, sell, or trade bitcoin, it won’t cost you a Satoshi at Coinbase this Friday.

Coinbase is probably one of the more reliable and trustworthy exchanges available at the moment, if you’re not familiar with them. You can sign up here through my referral link if you don’t already have an account, and we’ll both get $5 worth of free bitcoin after your first 1 BTC transaction.

mcxNOW exchange shutting down temporarily; get your coins out before Dec 20th

mcxNOW just put out notice that they’ll be shutting down temporarily on December 20th to work out some technical issues. The exchange is apparently a one-man operation, and going dark for a month or three to work out the system kinks was deemed the best option.

If you use mcxNOW, it’s probably a good idea to withdraw your funds as soon as possible.

Buckle up: Virgin Galactic now accepting Bitcoin

galacticVirgin Galactic today announced that your bitcoins can be used to secure a trip into space.

So, recent bitcoin millionaires: what better way to celebrate your newly-acquired crypto-fortune than a ride on Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo? Ticket reservations are a cool $250,000 USD—or about 340 bitcoins at current exchange rates.

First sandwiches, now spaceship tickets. It’s been an interesting week.

PSA: Amazon Prime is awesome, free for 30 days

Amazon PrimeFor those of you ordering mining rig parts from Amazon, you can get yourself a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime, which entitles you to free 2-day shipping (and a host of other benefits, including a streaming video library that is on par with Netflix’s service). You can cancel your Prime trial immediately after signing up, but you’ll still retain all of the benefits for the full 30 days—which is nice, since we’re heading into the holiday shopping season where that free fast shipping will come in handy!