My local rock gym accepts bitcoin!

I went to my local rock climbing gym and saw a sticker on the door saying “Bitcoin accepted here.” I asked the guy behind the counter if I could pay with it, and he brought up a QR code on his monitor. I scanned it with my Android wallet and the amount came up automatically. I hit send and it went through almost instantly. They can get away with 0 confirmations because people are usually there between 1 and 2 hours. If anything goes…

Did Open Transactions Just Become a Legitimate Challenger to Ripple?

Last week, OpenCoin Inc. chief cryptographer David Schwartz was interviewed on the “Let’s Talk Bitcoin” show. If you listen from 17:44, you’ll hear his opinion on Open Transactions:

“In Open Transactions, nodes have to actively perform transactions, so you can’t as easily have a public state of the network. So because the state of the [Ripple] network is public, if I want to make a payment to you, I can look at the exchange offers, I can look at the available liquidity in the network, and I can very easily find the cheapest path to make a payment to you.

In Open Transactions, I would have to go around to different servers and get quotes, and then the transactions can’t really be atomic, they’re working on it but they’re not quite there yet, so if part of the transaction succeeds, and the second half fails, I can wind up with something that I was going to trade to pay you, but now I can’t trade it, so I wind up with some asset that may be completely valueless… payments are atomic in Ripple, meaning the entire payment either succeeds or fails.”

Today, Open Transactions developer FellowTraveler claims to have found “the Holy Grail,” which is to use Bitmessage to allow for discovery across federated servers, server-to-server wiring of funds, escrow based conversion of currencies across federated OT servers, and the ability to send any currency p2p, all of this done without the issuance of credit or using a “pre-mined” currency.

Well, I am not a developer, so, the question is, have they done it? Is it now just a matter of who brings their product to market first?

The Bitcoin Trader Goes to San Jose!

Wow, what a weekend. To be honest, I wasn’t sure exactly what (or when) I was going to write about the conference, because it really was a personal experience more than anything else.

That being said, IT WAS A HELLUVA WEEKEND!!

I didn’t take any notes, at all. Except for the couple-dozen tweets I sent out over the course of three days (hope you were following!), and the dozen-or-so business cards I collected, I’m relying strictly on memory here.

People I met in real life for the first time:

– Arthur Britto, a long-time Skype friend and confidant and developer for OpenCoin: what an upstanding individual, just as I expected. Ripple’s lucky to have him.

– My co-blogger, Hazek. We sat at the same table for 10 minutes, talking amongst the group, before we even realized who the other person was. He’s my co-blogger FFS! I blame the name tags that had the uncanny ability to flip over to the blank side (note for next year’s organizers, print double-sided name tags!)

– Jon Holmquist formerly of Coinabul and now of BitcoinStore: fortunately he didn’t turn up for the poker game on Sunday, because apparently he would’ve wiped the floor with us. We tried to get him to say something bad about Roger Ver, but he refused! =)

– Brian Santos: just like he is online, super-passionate, energetic, and charismatic. Once I saw UpTweet on an iPad Mini, I was convinced that he was on to something. Thanks for getting the BBA together for lunch, and damn the staff for not giving us tables!

– Blaine-the-guy-that-let-me-sell-him-BTC-for-cash: I showed up to the conference with $7 USD, a bunch of BTC, and a credit card. While we were waiting for Dan the Comedian to begin his performance (I thought he was hilarious, by the way), Blaine sold me $20 for BTC, which gave me enough money for tips and other incidental expenses. We met up again at the Bitcoin Fund after-party on Saturday and had a great chat about all things Bitcoin.

Dan Nainan warms up the crowd on Friday evening.

– David Schwartz, chief cryptographer for OpenCoin. Probably the smartest guy I’ve ever met, and more importantly, he’s able to articulate his brilliant ideas in such a way that we can all understand them. I spent an hour or two hanging out in front of the Ripple booth and he could easily handle any question thrown at him. I can’t say I’m surprised, after reading his posts on the forums or in Reddit (JoelKatz is his handle).

– Alex Kravets and Vinnie Falco, a couple of huge Ripple enthusiasts (we had a lot to talk about).

– The Tropos guys, Jon, Mark, Andrew, Eric, as well as Carl, all on the bleeding edge of finance, and I think they know it.

– Jesse from Kraken (and Ogrr): We didn’t get to chat much (thanks for the nachos!), but you could definitely feel the vibe that him and his team was putting off that entire weekend; they know they’re on to something big.

– A couple of the people behind Satoshi Square in NYC (sorry I forgot your names!), who recently found themselves in the media spotlight after holding an open-air Bitcoin exchange in New York

– Jerry, a guy who works in the construction business, and just wanted to know what this Bitcoin thing was all about.

– Frederic from Hong Kong: thank you for listening to my drunken Ripple promoting.

– Ludvig, known for the various funds and passthroughs that he manages. I bought my first Casascius coin from him. We go way back, so I was glad to meet him in real life for the first time. I don’t think he was old enough to drink the Satoshinis.

Thanks to Satoshi Dice, we all had a good buzz on.

– James of VPS: super-nice guy who unfortunately got caught in between his investors and a disgraceful company called Butterfly Labs. I truly believe he has his investors’ best-interests in mind.

– Gavin Andresen: introduced myself to him in the elevator for five seconds (damn those were some fast elevators at the Marriott!). Thanked him for his contributions and dedication.

– Athony Di Iorio and the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada: I went to the first Canadian Bitcoin meet-up after the conference ended on Saturday and I met up with some fellow Canadians who were in San Jose. Unfortunately I let myself get dragged away to talk business with another group, but there was an excellent turn-out and I had some fruitful conversations with my fellow countrymen!

– Ed of BitBrew: First there was Alpaca Socks, then there was BitBrew. It was awesome to meet one of the “old school” Bitcoiners at the after-party. He said, “everyone knows the Bitcoin Trader!” Unfortunately, not really, but thanks for making me feel like a celebrity for half a second.

– All the crazy guys who were at the poker game on Sunday, including Mike, who’s like the George Clooney of Marriott rewards programs.

– Adam Harding of BIPS: Another awesome Canadian and great guy. You probably saw him working his booth for most of the weekend.

– Vitalik Buterin: the almost super-human writer for the Bitcoin Magazine, copies of which I saw in people’s hands all weekend.

– Henry Brade: the Finnish Bitcoin juggernaut that often commented on my blog posts over the last couple of years. Like everyone I met at the conference, an enthusiastic, intelligent, and driven individual that will make (even more) of a name for himself in the Bitcoin sphere.

And the list goes on and on; my apologies to anyone I didn’t mention. To those of you who gave presentations or sat on panels that I didn’t get to meet up with, it was just as awesome to see you guys in the flesh, promoting the future of payments.

Like I said at the beginning of the post, for me the conference was an intensely personal experience. It wasn’t about the booths or the presentations, but the people, and finally making the leap from virtual to tangible.

Adrianne Jeffries – Why won’t Bitcoin die?

Adrianne Jeffries – Why won’t Bitcoin die?:

Adrianne Jeffries (@ADRJeffries)’s reports from the trenches of Bitcoin 2013 conference in her latest article on Bitcoin in The Verge.  Excerpts:

“CNN, Russia Today, Vice, and Thomson Reuters were among the media in attendance.” 

“As of Tuesday morning, the price of a Bitcoin was steady around $120. That’s still astonishingly high for a currency that relies on a stack of arcane code and a network of anonymous helpers in lieu of a central government.  Actually, it’s astonishing that Bitcoin is still around at all. The currency has had several near-death experiences in its short life […]”

“One attendee at Bitcoin 2013 offered to read the currency’s astrological chart for me. Bitcoin’s sun sign is Capricorn, which means it is an innovator. […] If Bitcoin were a person, she said, it would be ‘really solid, really powerful. Just like, a natural-born leader.’”
“During the conference, the entrepreneur Dmitry Murashchik built a website, “Why isn’t Bitcoin worthless?” which serves up answers […]”

“Given Mt. Gox’s outsize role in the Bitcoin economy, I was surprised that no one at the conference was talking about the absent Goliath.”

“There’s also a disturbing cultishness to the Bitcoin community, where everyone is as bullish as can be.”

“‘Bitcoin had always been three steps forward, two steps back since I’ve been involved,’” [Project lead Gavin Andresen] said in his ‘State of the Union’ talk at Bitcoin 2013.”

 – (Further discussion of the post)

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Why we all need to start selling BTC on

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