An Ebay Shop Is Born!

After spending all summer drenched in Bitcoin news and analysis and writing this blog I met a few contacts and made a few enemies. One of those contacts was a fellow forum member of BitcoinTalk.com who had a very close relationship to FriedCat who is head of the Asicminer Project. You may have heard of Asicminers if you’ve done any research on Bitcoin. They make some of the most efficient hashing miners. They will literally run for years mining away silently. This new friend offered me a very low price on a batch of USB Block Erupter Miners but at the time, unfortunately my BTC reserves added up to around $50.

 An Ebay Shop Is Born!

Recently however, the price of bitcoin has skyrocketed and my minimal reserves became a serious asset as it grew and grew exponentially. Eventually I had enough to purchase a batch of USB Miners just in time for the holiday season! So if any of you on this site have been wracking your brains about what gift to buy the Geek/Programmer/Techie/Crypto-fiend in your life head over to my ebay account here.

These miners are the perfect way to get a loved one into the Bitcoin craze! All they have to do is download a mining client and plug in the USB and watch the hashing algorithm go to work for you. Build up a reserve of BTC and then go online to make your first anonymous, fee-less purchase.

The Proper Bitcoin Boom Etiquette

We’ve all seen it happen, one day you wake up from a great night’s rest and check your Bitcoin balance on your wallet or see the exchange rate on your favorite Bitcoin blog *ahem* and boom! While you were slumbering Bitcoin has risen significantly. In the past few days I’m sure this has been the case for many of you as it rose around $25 from the 30th to today. But Bitcoin has been rising steadily from around $80 to now around $150 in the last two months which just demonstrates the power of this currency. The Bitcoin I have been paid for my web development and odd jobs over this summer has nearly doubled in value. This makes many of us very happy and some of us, I’m sure, fairly rich. However, there is a way to handle this situation that benefits yourself and Bitcoin in the long-term and it does not involve cashing out for your native government backed currency.

BOB charts1 The Proper Bitcoin Boom Etiquette

Bitcoin doubling steadily in just two months.

When you sell your money on an exchange someone else is buying it from you and so now you have no control over that value. They could cash it out in turn or simply horde it all which doesn’t benefit the overall Bitcoin economy and the businesses that inhabit it very much if at all. Instead of looking for the short-term payout think of Bitcoin instead as a long-term and world changing paradigm shift. It’s only after this realization that you will see the proper Bitcoin boom etiquette.

The best thing to do with your new purchasing power is to purchase! Spend your money on Bitcoin businesses that need your money to stay afloat and continue providing their quality services and products. Buy that thing you’ve been looking at for a while on Amazon or eBay using All4BTC.com or buy a loved one a surprise gift card to their favorite store using Gyft! Tip some people on Reddit a dollar or two and let them know that you value their input. Pick up an awesome Bitcoin tshirt at BitcoinPride.com or a keychain at BitcoinKeychains.com to display your love of Bitcoin. Then when people ask you about it you can explain(not brag) how your smart Bitcoin investment doubled in two months. That’ll get their attention and hopefully even create a new Bitcoiner in the process. The more people who use and want to use Bitcoin the higher the price will go so if you spend your “Boom money” supporting the people who advertise and improve overall usability rather than dumping your coin and playing it safe you will not only be helping struggling small businesses but it will be helping to create more Bitcoin booms in the future. In this way the world will more quickly begin learning about all the great things Bitcoin is poised to offer.

Top 5 Bitcoin Startups To Watch in 2013

BOB Bitinstant Top 5 Bitcoin Startups To Watch in 2013

BitInstant (New York): Platform for instantaneous Bitcoin transfers. I bought my first 5 Bitcoins from Bitinstant and was very satisfied with the ease of use. This service lowers the barrier of entry to Bitcoin from a tech-filled learning curve to a process as easy as buying anything online and visiting a local Walmart. Companies that break down the usability barrier for Bitcoin are some of the most important to the entire industry. Bitinstant is currently updating and relaunching their website with all kinds of new community-influenced features. Their large market share, their easy to use Bitcoin purchasing methods, and their ability to listen to their fans is what sets this company apart and makes it one to look out for.

BOB Bitpaylogo 300x300 Top 5 Bitcoin Startups To Watch in 2013
Bitpay (Atlanta): Lets customers of businesses ranging from software-makers to auto dealerships make payments in Bitcoin, then transfers cash to those merchants. With their aggressive expansion around the country and services that allow any business to accept Bitcoin this company is one poised to explode in 2013. Businesses around the country are hearing more and more about Bitcoin and Bitpay is capitalizing on that notoriety and expanding the network of users at the same time. Their merchant API makes it so simple to start accepting crypto-currency that anyone can do it. Many businesses are realizing that accepting Bitcoin is an easy way to get access to free publicity and an interesting new group of customers. Expect more businesses accepting Bitcoin in the coming year and Bitpay is the easiest way to do that.
BOB Coinbaselogo Top 5 Bitcoin Startups To Watch in 2013Coinbase (San Francisco): Makes a “virtual wallet” that lets users buy Bitcoin and pay for goods and services with it. With a quarter million users of their product Coinbase has established itself among the multitude of great online Bitcoin wallets. Their cooperation with U.S. banks gives them many unique features and makes them harder to shake up with regulation. They have created many usability features such as SMS capability which opens up their services to emerging markets. After securing a $5 million dollar investment earlier this year you can be sure that money is going to go to new features and expanded services.

 

BOB coinlab logo Top 5 Bitcoin Startups To Watch in 2013CoinLab (Seattle): Backed by Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper. Bitcoin Business Incubater. They get funds to the most revolutionary Bitcoin startups and are driving the overall Bitcoin economy. Their first project in their portfolio is Alydian which is has the goal of becoming the first large scale centralized U.S. Bitcoin mining operation. They claim to be engaging in scalable ASIC enterprise and begin manufacturing their 65nm chips this month. An ASIC company with the resources and backing of a business incubator is a very new kind of business and one with a lot of potential. Looking forward to seeing how Alydian takes of and every other project that is going to come out of Coinlab in 2013.
BOB Lamassu 300x243 Top 5 Bitcoin Startups To Watch in 2013Lamassu (New Hampshire): Has developed an ATM to instantly turn dollar bills into Bitcoin. After opening themselves to preorders for only a few hours they reportedly filled their initial order of 15 units. That kind of buzz around their technology shows that there is a lot of opportunity in this space. The ATM’s supposedly cost around 5k although I’m sure each unit will pay for itself only months after being placed on the streets. Imagine the publicity and activity that would surround placing a Bitcoin ATM in the center of any major city. It’s like functional publicity for Bitcoin and I’m sure 2013 will deliver a lot of growth to this company.

 

This group are just some of the many start ups that have arisen to help people use the virtual currency Bitcoin and add overall functionality. The easier Bitcoin is to use, the more people will use it. The larger the network of users the more valuable Bitcoin will become so the better these startups do the better everyone does overall. Go startups, go!

 

How Is Inputs.io Becoming Bitcoin’s Leading Online Wallet?

Launched in early 2013 Inputs.io is quickly becoming the number one free Bitcoin wallet around today. Perfect for beginners and hardcore Bitcoiners alike. Simple, powerful, and dripping with functionality; Inputs.io is the new standard. But you’re probably thinking: So what exactly is all this fuss about? It’s just another Bitcoin wallet right?

BOB input 300x107 How Is Inputs.io Becoming Bitcoins Leading Online Wallet?

Wrong.

Inputs.io is a new step for Bitcoin wallets in that it combines every great wallet feature(previously spread out between different programs) into one. In short, it’s what wallets were supposed to be 3 years ago but weren’t. Here are just a few of the impressive features that make Inputs.io the go-to wallet for anyone with Bitcoins to store.

Instant Transactions

You read it right. No waiting for those pesky 6 confirmations before receiving or sending your coins. This is made possible by their innovative off-the-blockchain transaction systems and significantly reduces overall transaction times. Turning Bitcoin into a truly instantaneous payment method.

No Fees

Every time a transaction occurs on the blockchain there is a .0005 BTC fee. This might not seem like much but that is your hard earned coin going down the toilet from unnecessary processing fees. Inputs.io removes all fees from the process by avoiding the blockchain altogether and keeps all your coins in your proverbial pocket.

Airtight Security

Inputs.io mixes their coins and encrypts every transaction made on and off the blockchain which means added security from any prying eyes. This way you don’t have to pay for a secondary mixing service to create true anonymity using Bitcoin. Inputs.io also features 2 factor authorization at sign in, SSL certification, and password hashing to make it completely secure.(If only MtGox could learn a thing or two from these guys. tsk. tsk.)

30 Second Setup

That’s correct. The most powerful and flexible Bitcoin wallet on the market today is also the most newbie-friendly. Easy to use and simple interface is perfect for those new to the Bitcoin experience. This wallet can truly be your first and last.

Bitcoin startups like this are powered by the vast sea of enthusiastic Bitcoin users like you and me. When a company puts out a tool as helpful and innovative as this one the entire community needs to rally behind it to encourage further progress. Don’t settle for your current wallet program because its comfortable. Don’t stagnate the Bitcoin evolution. Try something new and explore this offering. I guarantee it is worth your time(30 seconds remember?). Everyone who uses Bitcoin should give it a try. Head over to Inputs.io and see all the features you’ve been missing out on using your current client. Then come back and thank me in the comments. Safe travels.

 

 

[Startup Spotlight] Exclusive Interview With Coingig CEO Kenneth Metral

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

531789 10100774751289188 1062287097 n 136x300 [Startup Spotlight] Exclusive Interview With Coingig CEO Kenneth MetralMy name is Kenneth Metral, the Co-Founder and CEO of the popular bitcoin marketplace Coingig.com. I’m currently 25 years old, born and raised in Miami, Florida, USA. Being involved with technology since I was in my teens it has been something that has always caught my attention, enough to make me pursue it in my academic career. I graduated with my Bachelors degree in Information Technology back in 2008 from Florida International University and proceeded to pursue my career even further and got my Masters in Management Information Systems. I had a great passion for not only technology but business as well so I decided to take a leap and challenge myself to get an MBA and I did, completing both in 2010.

I believe that every person involved with technology should have a business background no matter what they do, it is something that will not only benefit you when you have your own business but it opens you mind to a whole different world that many tech guys don’t know much about. My three degrees has not only helped me build a successful career with my previous companies but they have also been very beneficial now with Coingig.

Q: What is Coingig and how did you some up with the idea?

Coingig is a marketplace where users can come and buy or sell products using the virtual currency bitcoin. The concept is very simple, we provide the platform for anyone to come and list their products that they want to sell and for buyers to browse around and purchase what they like. The cool part about Coingig is that it is solely based on Bitcoin so there are no credit cards or electronic bank transfers required, buyers simply send their bitcoins to us and we release them to the seller.

Coingig was started by two of us, our Co-Founder Konstantin Yurchenko (CTO) and myself (CEO). We both met online on a popular bitcoin forum called bitcointalk, which is where you can meet all bitcoiners that have been involved since the start. I had the idea of creating a better marketplace than those that existed by providing something that was missing, which was customer support and advanced features, these two components really is what sets us apart from our competition. Once we started working on it back in the beginning of 2013 it took us about three months until we were finally able to release our first beta in April 2013. Since then every month our userbase has doubled and our sales have reached new highs, this is truly a successful path to becoming the world’s largest marketplace.

Q: How did you first find out about Bitcoin and what was your first impression?

I have heard of bitcoin a long time ago back in 2009/2010 but I was never really much into it, like others in this space, it wasn’t until 2012 that I began to look deeper into bitcoin and learn all the fundamentals about it. I was mainly just reading and researching the most I can about this fascinating protocol until the end of the year which was when I decided to invest in it. I think everyone begins the same they read the most they can about bitcoin and when they feel that they have a grasp on the whole concept is when they put some money into it. It truly is really exciting times we are living in now, bitcoin could be the first virtual currency that the world has ever accepted and I’m happy I’ll be involved in that adoption.

Q: What problems, if any, did you encounter in creating your startup?

coingig 200X200 [Startup Spotlight] Exclusive Interview With Coingig CEO Kenneth Metral

Like any startup there will always been a lot of difficulties and frustrations when building it out. When we launched back in April we had tons of bugs everywhere with errors popping out in random places and pages not loading, it was a disaster, but just like any beta it is something you are expecting. This is not to say that we don’t have any bugs now, we do, but we have been able to clean up the majority of them. One major headaches that had nothing to do with the coding of the site were the scammers that have come to take advantage of our site and try to steal bitcoins from our buyers, before enforcing our escrow policy like we do now, sellers would come and list their products on our site and wait until buyers will come to buy them and not ship anything, leaving the customer furious and robbed. This made us take a major hit since we had to deal with users losing trust in our service and not returning back. Since then we have required all sellers to use our escrow service which allows all buyers to purchase without any worry of being scammed, from then on we will only release the payment to the sellers once they have received the item. This has dropped the number of scammers significantly because now they know they will not get paid until the buyer receives their product. Since then our users trust has come back and it’s now stronger than ever, we receive many emails every day from our users loving our service and trusting that they can shop without any worries, we all learn from our mistakes.

Q: What unique opportunities does Bitcoin provide for ecommerce sites?

One of the main advantages of bitcoin is how fast it is, users can pay each other in a matter of seconds to any part of the world, it’s really fascinating. Another great advantage is that there are no high fees for sending bitcoins to one other, unlike paypal that charge outrageous fees just to send money to someone, sometimes costing more than the product or service itself. Bitcoin is revolutionizing the way we think of money and it is here to stay.

Q: Can you elaborate on Coingig’s new affiliate program and how it works?

Bitcoin Logo [Startup Spotlight] Exclusive Interview With Coingig CEO Kenneth MetralOur affiliate program was released a couple months ago to provide users with another way to earn bitcoin by promoting products on Coingig. The program is still in it’s early stage but we are developing better features as we go, if you would like to join our program you simply register with Coingig and click on the “Join our Affilate Program” link at the bottom left of the account panel. Once you are accepted into the program you will be able to choose any of the products that we have in our inventory to promote. If a user makes a sale we pay them 1% of our 2.5% commission when a product is sold, right now it is not so much but we are going to be increasing the commission amount so that we can bring in more affiliates.

Q: What do you see in the future for Bitcoin and Coingig?

As long as bitcoin grows we grow with it, since our launch we have broken our records every month and continue to do so by listening to our users and giving them what they want. I see bitcoin as how the internet was when it first began, there were the pioneering companies that decided to build an internet company and stick with it until it became big enough to become huge business, we are the same way and we will continue to work until we reach the top.

Thanks you for your time Kenneth and we here at Business Of Bitcoin wish you luck!

Is New Bitcoin Regulation a Sign of Success?

An ever larger magnifying glass is being used to scrutinize Bitcoin, and Bitcoiners have become ever more anxious about the new Bitcoin regulation. The actions and reactions to regulatory challenges have occurred insanely fast within the last few months, from the FinCEN guidelines to the sensationalization of Bitcoin.co.th’s statement about Bitcoin regulation in Thailand and from Homeland Security’s suspension of Dwolla Bitcoin transfers to California’s cease-and-desist letter to the Bitcoin Foundation.

Yesterday, the New York Department of Financial Services sent subpoenas to some of the Bitcoin communities most well known names to gather information on the virtual currency market. A memo by Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s superintendent of financial services, is expected to follow. “We believe that—for a number of reasons—putting in place appropriate regulatory safeguards for virtual currencies will be beneficial to the long-term strength of the virtual-currency industry,” writes Mr. Lawsky in a draft of the memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The subpoenas follow this week’s US federal ruling on the Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme run by “pirateat40″, which formalizes the federal recognition of Bitcoin’s ability to transfer real value but falls just short of formally calling Bitcoin money. Chairman of the Regulatory Affairs Committee at the Bitcoin Foundation and BTC Global’s legal advisor, Marco Santori, says to expect that the ruling will be used as “a very broad precedent” even though the “Court was determining a very narrow, preliminary issue” over whether Bitcoin denominated investments are in fact securities under US law. Well, they are, which adds the Securities and Exchange Commission to the growing list of Bitcoin regulators.

Bitcoin straddles that abstraction between commodity and community, a stateless nation of crypto-Pythagoreans that “are” their own monetary system. Because of the legal no-man’s land the currency occupies, many Bitcoiners feel threatened by the new found attention authorities have merited to it.

While not every regulation should be welcomed because of the barriers to entry they tend to erect, they do signify a great and positive accomplishment: the crypto community has created something that the USA considers “a currency or form of money” and that other countries like Germany and the UK have also accounted for Bitcoin. The Bitcoin community is well on its way to being the most successful stateless society in history by demonstrating the legitimacy of stateless money to the State itself. Providing Bitcoin legal certainty exposes Bitcoin to mainstream adoption and the potential for a larger network. As long as the integrity of the protocol and the blockchain remain intact, Bitcoiners should not be afraid of regulation—they should be considered an indicator of Bitcoin’s current and future success rather than roadblocks to its future.

Is Bitcoin Going Mainstream?

From his recent visit to the Inside BTC Conference that took place in New York City American Banker outlines the shifting paradigms of the Bitcoin marketplace. He talks about the major players at the conference and the growing shift from Bitcoin as a currency to Bitcoin as a disruptive payment system.

“The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” Documentary Releases New Trailer

A new documentary that follows the journey of Bitcoin and its global adoption has had its first trailer released. “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” follows a computer programmer that becomes obsessed with the ‘cryptocurrency’ and interviews founders, early adopters and expert economists along the way. The full movie is expected to be released on October 10th 2013, we’ll be sure to have an update when it goes out.