5 key takeaways from Glenn’s special show on Bitcoin

If you’ve been listening to the show for the past week, one thing is abundantly clear: Glenn knows almost nothing about how Bitcoin works. And to be honest, neither do the rest of us on the team. So Glenn and his EP Tiffany put together a special show where experts explained exactly what Bitcoin was and how it works. Elizabeth Ploshay, a Bitcoin Foundation board member, Jeffrey Tucker of Liberty.me, and Kristov Atlas, the author of Anonymous Bitcoin, all joined Glenn for this special Bitcoin episode.

Before you get started, here is a quick Bitcoin tutorial:

So what were some of the key points from tonight’s show?

1) Acceptance of Bitcoin is rapidly expanding

Bitcoin is now an acceptable form of payment at 60,000 merchants worldwide, 50,000 of those added in one year. Glenn said: “I will tell you I love the innovation of it. People are trying to find a way out of the mess politicians and the central banks have created. The free market always wins. Big government can rack their brains all day long, and they will never, ever, ever, be able to duplicate the innovative spirit of the collective American public. One guy has an idea, and it starts like a grass fire.”

2) It’s both a currency and a payment system.

Jeffrey Tucker:  If you took away the payment system associated with Bitcoin, Bitcoin would be worth zero right now.  It’s the payment network that gives it value.  It’s both a currency and a payment system.  That’s a little strange.  We’re used to thinking of those things as separate.  You know, we think of like dollars, and then we think of like PayPal or something or Visa, MasterCard.  With Bitcoin, they’re both united.  Payment system and the currency are one single thing, and it’s the sheer efficacy and brilliance of the payment system that led Bitcoin to have value.

Bitcoin lived on the Internet for ten months at a zero price, and it was only once the payment system was tested and tested and tested again, the market said this is extremely cool, this is amazing.  You can transfer stuff from here to there, anywhere in the world, direct peer to peer.  That’s a valuable thing to have, and then it obtained value. 

3) You can actually use it to buy stuff in the real world

Elizabeth Ploshay: You can use Bitcoin for so many things.  You can use it to buy plane tickets.  You can buy food with it.  You can use it for charitable donations.  The best thing about it is you can reach people around the world.  There are 2.5 billion people around the world who don’t have bank accounts.  You can send money to those individuals without a bank account, so practical things but also helping people in need.

4) There are no central banks like The Federal Reserve

Elizabeth Ploshay: Trustless peer-to-peer system, direct transfer of funds, no trust in one central point of failure.

Kristov Atlas: When it’s centralized, when we have the government or some company doing it, then things are easy.  They can mint the units of currency.  They can validate the transactions are not fraudulent.  When you have a peer-to-peer basis, then you have to make sure that enough honest people are able to do all the stuff that the system is going to work, and that’s the genius of Bitcoin is they figured out ways for people to validate these transactions and to mint the new coins in a fair way that everyone is going to agree on and that’s going to be predictable in the future.

5) It has a limited supply

Kristov:  There’s social and economic forces at play basically.  So if you wanted to change this limit, there’s about 21 million Bitcoins that are supposed to ever be in existence, and we’ll get to that point, we’ll be mined out of Bitcoins somewhere around the year 2140.  If you wanted to change that, you would have to convince all these people running Bitcoin software that they need to agree to this change, they need to run a new version of Bitcoin based on changing this $21 million limit. 

But we know that investors all value Bitcoins based on everyone agreeing that there is this $21 million limit.  If you try to extend that, it’s going to debase their investment.  Investors are going to dump their Bitcoins right away.  They want to get out of it.  Everyone knows this, and so there’s no way you’re going to convince people to switch over to this new version.

More in the interview below:

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  • landofaahs

    Pyramid scheme or Ponzi. Pick your term. I’d rather have Gems, gold, or silver over ether-money the government can turn off or steal at will.

  • Camarena

    Government can’t turn off Bitcoin? That’s why it’s great…

  • Deckard426

    Until they can start the Super Bowl by flipping a Bitcoin, what good is it?

  • Gunnar Skagestøl

    There are ways to “flip a Bitcoin”, and in ways that prove the flipper doesn’t cheat, too.

  • Steve Leitelt

    Yea… It would be easier for the government to steal your silver or gold than for them to “turn off” bitcoin.

  • Matt Whitlock

    Kristov meant “21-million bitcoin limit.” The market cap of bitcoins is already WAY above 21 million dollars.

  • barfor

    Great conversation and video discussion. To Glenn et al: get some actual programmers as well the next time you do something like this. Guys like Mike Hearn, Gavin Andresen, Jeff Garzik are at the top of the list. Get some miners and exchange owners in on it as well. Bitcoin is worth investigating: World-wide digital cash, peer-to-peer, open-source, secured by math. Research it before you spit on it and sound like a fool.

  • landofaahs

    Take away the internet and bitcoin goes bye bye.

  • landofaahs

    I doubt that. They first have to know where it’s at. All the feds have to do is hack the system and steal it all. Idf we ever get rid of cash the government will have total control over everyone unless you barter.

  • Matthew Holey

    Congratulations on the most unrelated, irrelevant comment ever.

  • Matthew Holey

    Andreas Antonopoulos! Or Stefan Molyneux would be great too!

  • Anonymous

    Why is Glenn so stumped on this? There’s no conceptual difference between digital dollars, which our financial system functions on and some other digital currency. They say bit-coins are limited to control its value, so it is controlled. The dollar has value because the world thinks the the country that issues it has a stable orderly government, innovates and is a good place to invest. What puzzles me is that for years Beck has been promoting gold for its intrinsic value, but suddenly he thinks bit-coins, which have no intrinsic value, may be the future. I wonder what his gold advertisers think about that.

  • http://dailycoinreport.com DailyCoinReport
  • http://dailycoinreport.com DailyCoinReport

    So what happens if your mad max scenario plays out and US govt shuts down the electric grid (thats what it will have to happen to completely turn the internet off here) They can’t shut down the entire worlds power. So do you just stay here and take it or do you get out of dodge? how do you plan to move your precious stones? With bitcoin you can walk across borders with all your wealth in your head, and no one would have a clue. I don’t think you understand what bitcoin is and what it can do. The internet would have to go off everywhere in the world (and before the bitcoin nodes get launched into space) for the bitcoins to go bye-bye. The only thing that would shut down the worlds power is something seriously solar, in that case you have bigger problems than wealth and money.

  • Anonymous

    This article proves my point. Glenn has promoted that gold, which is physically useful to humans, has value inherent to its usefulness in the physical world. If people decided to not trade in gold, it would still be valuable. However, I agree with the article you mentioned. Bits have the value people put on it for whatever reason. People value dollars for what they believe about the stability and growth of the country that issues it. It has served as the most expansionary currency ever to exist. If people are willing to believe bits are valuable for trading, so be it. But investors in bit-coins are buying them with some other currency like dollars. They think the dollar they have today might be worth more as bits if people buy more bits. There’s also a risk the world doesn’t want their worth in a limited amount of bits and it may not be a good growth investment. It will be interesting to watch.

  • Greg Simon

    It astonishes me to see how closed minded and ignorant some in the gold bug community have exposed themselves to be since Crypto currencies have been invented. I am almost embarrassed to say I was once one of your group myself. “Hey, let’s replace one monopoly over us (USD) with another monopoly over us (Gold). Two sides of the same coin: statists.

  • Greg Simon

    Cool. So the government turns off the internet, mass chaos erupts, and you will be evacuating quickly and safely with your arms full of gold and silver bars. Good luck with that.

  • Greg Simon

    Create a different Crypto currency if that happens. What happens if central banks hoard all of the gold? Will you “create” a new gold? Oh wait, they have already hoarded 17% of the world’s gold. Sorry, forgot.

  • Greg Simon

    Horses have had value to humans for thousands of years too, are you still riding one to work though? I wonder why not? Hmmm….

  • Anonymous

    You seem to have missed my point. Glenn has argued for the physical value of gold. I contend that anything has the value people put on it.

  • Mark Rees

    The protection of bitcoin uses cryptography – Very complex security- Think this way – take three one gallons of different color paint and dump them on the ground and mix them up together for five minutes. Now separate them molecule by molecule back into their original paint cans. Now do this every second for trillions of seconds. The computing complexity is measured in billions of years at current combined supercomputer rates on earth. That’s why the military and world banking system also use it (Sha256). And if they finally figure out a way to do this, the protocol simply switches to a new encryption technique – say Scrypt-n and it all starts over. Getting the picture? Then there are plenty encryption routines more where that come from. As computers get more sophisticated so do encryption techniques. Just one more number of complexity at the end DOUBLES the previous difficulty.

  • landofaahs

    Did you ever hear of crossing the border? And you think google and all the other search engines can’t totally destroy bitcoin by force of the government? All they have to do is outlaw it and no business would dare risk jail for the bitcoin sales. What world of make believe do you live in?

  • landofaahs

    Look at the open borders. A child could get out of here. Besides, if I had the capabilities to skirt the Iron Curtain, this would be a cake walk. Moving assets around undetected from nasty governments is an art.

  • http://dailycoinreport.com DailyCoinReport

    I completely agree, I too was once part of the group as well. It really shows how dismissive people can be to things they don’t understand. rReminds me of a quote – “In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.”

  • landofaahs

    If you would go to Argentina in the Salta region for example, you find out how easy it is to do business in gold and silver. We are not even talking about Venezuela. Guess what? You can even by fiat currency with gold and silver. As you have need of course. I have news for you, the underground economy where income is not reported in the U.S. is huge. Go to any big city truck stop and see the lumpers willing to work for cash. Go south and see how many illegals will work for cash. All that cash is convertible to gold and spends well in Mexico too. At least fiat currency once made worthless can be burned to keep your butt warm. Digital currency does not have that because no country wants their currency challenged.

  • landofaahs

    Are you telling me that the government can’t outlaw bitcoin and have the IRS shut down any business that gets caught trading in bitcoin? Does NSA mean anything to you? It’s not complex because you can’t use your bitcoin without computers which everything is monitored or can be by the government. When the feds decide to drop the hammer on bitcoin, it will be crushed like a gnat.

  • http://dailycoinreport.com DailyCoinReport

    This seems to fit you so… “In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.”
    Outlaw it, then what, outlaw it all over the world? Bitcoin doesn’t need America or China to succeed. Yes it could slow it down,until the next country’s economy collapses.

    Why would they outlaw it again? The govt just considered it a commodity like your precious rocks.

    Keep up with your buzz words, ponzi and pyramid, btw who again is at the top and running this scheme again? Because you need that for it to be either of those things.

  • Mark Rees

    Having a limited value is extremely difficult to comprehend in this manner. Each full “unit” can currently be sub-divided to the 8th decimal point. And can be taken further down for tracking. Unlike printing money – sub dividing from a cap does’t dilute the cap or existing until. Think that a dollar is worth four quarters. Four quarters same as one dollar. When you introduce a dime, Ten would equal a dollar. It didn’t make the dollar less – just the possible measurements increased. Then a nickle was worth 1/20 of a dollar. The dollar didn’t decrease in buying power for the nickle to be introduced. So bits of measurement can be introduced to subdivide as a “whole” bitcoin increases in value compared to national currencies. It could be – one day our grand kids will marvel that it would ever took more than one full bitcoin to buy a house.

  • TannrBeau

    Government has stolen gold before. Bitcoin is easier to hide.

  • Camarena

    Good bye economy. That’s suicide.

  • Taraveah

    Who is spitting on it???

  • Jamey Kirby

    What is wrong with Glenn learning something new and changing his mind? Ideas are not static.

  • Jim

    Have you forgotten about the US government making gold ownership illegal? “Executive Order 6102 is a United States presidential executive order signed on April 5, 1933, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt”forbidding the Hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States”. The order criminalized the possession of monetary gold by any individual, partnership, association or corporation.”

    Good luck with your gold and silver if the government decides it’s too volatile to allow it on the open market.

  • landofaahs

    Go ahead. It’s no skin off my butt. But do you think that when the fiat money becomes worthless that people won’t scratch their heads and say to themselves. What is backing up digital currency. I notice the Chinese, Indians, and other Asians revere their gold and silver.

  • landofaahs

    So is massive debt but our government is doing that.

  • landofaahs

    Not where mine is.

  • Greg Simon

    Ah yes, I seem to have misunderstood your point. You are saying there is no such thing as intrinsic value, that all value is subjectively observed by the observer? I would agree with you on that. Gold does not have intrinsic value.

  • landofaahs

    I know that well. But many people did not turn theirs in and buried it. After a time, some of them took jewelry classes and melted the coins and bars down and made jewelry of them and sold them as jewelry and actually added value to the metal. Of course it was illegal but many people considered the gold ban unconstitutional and flipped their proverbial finger at FDR. I know this happened because I knew some people who did it. Of course they are dead and gone now but hey put them on trial if you can federal govt. Good luck with that subpoena.

  • DMS

    If the dollar is loosing value why would whoever want to exchange it for bitcoin?

  • Mark Rees

    Bitcoin is a world-wide currency. IRS NSA have no jurisdiction over 95% of the world. plus they haven’t been very effective at shutting bit torrents have proved to be difficult. Port hopping, cloud-based DNS, Virtual Private Networks, and legal grey area between 190 countries will make things interesting. Plus the fact that the clients that run the protocol are on tens of thousands of computers around the world with various laws and restrictions would make that idea….entertaining.

  • Jim

    And, of course, people will do the same with Bitcoin. Except people won’t have to bury anything or take classes on how to make something.
    People will consider any ban on an international currency to be unconstitutional. So how is Bitcoin any different?

  • MaxEffectUSA

    To possibly answer your question. With the dollar losing value at this time you invest in bit coin. Assume the dollar keeps on losing value, six months later you trade your bitcoin back in for dollars you would receive more dollars back than you invested because the bit coin held it’s value or increased in value compared to the dollar’s value which continued to decrease. The opposite could happen. Gold or anything you invest in works the same way.

  • Anonymous

    Nothing.

  • John Schwartz

    He missed a HUGE point: that any investment in Bitcoin is a huge risk due to the very nature of its anonymity.

  • Justa Guy

    When do we get our 666 micro chip , so we can fulfill prophecy ? “Gotta have the Mark of the Beast to do business” and such .Computerized currency makes it possible.

  • http://dailycoinreport.com DailyCoinReport

    Maybe you should be asking this, why would fiat become worthless? Because govt’s made them worthless. So why go from one govt currency to another when you can go to a free market currency. Good, China and India are buying up all the precious rocks, mostly because they’re an older civilizations than us and gold has always been money to them. Doesn’t mean it always will be. Horses aren’t the best way for transportation anymore.

    old school thinking = old school results

    The problem isn’t the currency the problem is gov’t/humans are in control of the currency. I say let math be in control, lets try that out. The good thing is there is no way for Bitcoin to be shut down, so it will exist and it works and is useful at $1 or $10,000.

    BTW this is what backs up digital currency http://bitcoinmagazine.com/12846/you-say-bitcoin-has-no-intrinsic-value-twenty-two-reasons-to-think-again/

  • Anonymous

    They don’t have to turn it off, just block external payment systems using it and regulate internal systems that use it. Going around those regulations is no different than money laundering, which I believe is a FEDERAL OFFENSE. While I detest our current government, I am under no delusions that bitcoin can circumvent a tyrant bent on implementing tyranny.

  • http://dailycoinreport.com DailyCoinReport

    To me, at this point and time, everything seems to be a huge risk when investing in anything. Wish I could just put my money in my savings and collect interest on it like I used to. The only real answer is to diversify, in which case having some bitcoin exposure would be a wise play

  • http://dailycoinreport.com DailyCoinReport

    Than your are not thinking properly, all govt’s would have to regulate it and thats not going to happen. Bitcoin works at $1 or $10,000. It is the best tool humans have ever had to transfer value from one place to another instantly without middlemen/gatekeepers and their fees. If bitcoin keeps taking off you don’t think more and more people will start using it, getting out of fiat and into crypto. Then you can and will circumvent tyrants. Don’t dismiss bitcoin/cryptocurrency. I don’t see why blockchain technology cannot (at least) put checks and balances back to order in our govt.

  • TannrBeau

    You may have yours in a great hiding spot, but it may not be easily accessible. Try, at that point, bringing over $10k of it with you overseas… it’s nearly impossible. But with bitcoin it’s easy.

  • Guest
  • TannrBeau

    But bitcoins do have intrinsic value. Not the currency itself but in the services that makes it function. Think of the cost of all the infrastructure that is needed to store and transfer money (bank buildings, utilities, salaries, armored cars, etc.), all those services are built into the bitcoin protocol at near zero cost. To transfer gold instantly across the world, you would need a similar costly infrastructure set up as what we currently have with fiat currencies – except with even more movement of physical supplies.

  • TannrBeau

    Perhaps if it was centrally managed, bitcoin is not. It is completely voluntary.

  • Mark Rees

    Forget 666. The true EVIL number is 77340109. If you are ever assigned that number RUN! It’s the number of ARMAGEDDON!

    upside down it reads “Go To Hell” MUCH more serious than a silly 666. (or 999 if you are standing on your head).

  • Timothyprevie

    sorry but it sounds like the first step to a one world currency.

  • Mark Rees

    I sold an ounce of gold in January for 2013 for $1300 – then bought $1300 worth of bitcoin that was selling for $13. That bought me 100 bitcoins. If I now sell my bitcoins for the current price ~450 I will receive $45,000. If I then repurchase gold at $1300, I will get 34.6 ounces of gold. If I would have just held on to the ounce of gold, it would still be one ounce of gold. Picture one hand holding one ounce. The other hand holding 34.6 ounces. Get the picture?

  • Anonymous

    You’re describing the infrastructure to make bits be trad-able. But whether a bit is worth anything on its own is a mute point. Really, nothing has value more than what people are willing to pay for it. Even gold, while it’s useful in manufacturing processes and for capping teeth, etc is useful in the physical world, it’s only valuable to the extent people demand it. Society could demand bits too. My concern is security. Already, many hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bit-coins have been stolen by hackers destabilizing its value.

  • Abaddon

    I thought Glenn said it didn’t make sense to him because it’s different. He also said that he is taking a large portion of money and moving into bitcoin….He also suggested others to do the same. I think its true all the way around, that he likes bit coin and would like to explain it to his audiance.

  • TannrBeau

    The vast majority of those that have had their bitcoin stolen had it happen because they had trusted a 3rd party with storing their bitcoins. Holding them yourself is far safer, as it is with storing gold or any asset.

  • Anonymous

    You seem to know something about this. I certainly see the value in Bitcoin, mainly being able to buy stuff anonymously over the internet. This ability makes it possible to buy the currency legally, then do illegal things with it, like buy illegal substances. It also seems possible to accept Bitcoins as a way to collect revenue under the table. My guess is governments are working hard to deal with these issues and that the price of a Bitcoin will be volatile as it mature.

  • TannrBeau

    There’s already plenty of means of doing transactions anonymously… It’s called using cash. The US dollar is still the most used means of purchasing illegal goods.

  • landofaahs

    To each his or her own.

  • landofaahs

    It’s already there. Prior planning prevents poor performance.

  • landofaahs

    So you will buy something from a foreign country and have them deliver it to you here? I believe your milk would spoil by then.

  • Anonymous

    Bitcoin is more practical than cash for making anonymous internet transactions.

  • landofaahs

    If it’s on the computer, you can bet the government can get to it.

  • landofaahs

    It’s already over there in different spots. And it’s not impossible if you know what you’re doing. In fact it’s quite easy and is done all the time.

  • Jim

    But it’s not on just one computer; it’s on every computer that participates in the exchanges. The seizure of one computer, or hundreds of computers, will not stop the use of this currency.

  • markymarvin

    And people can walk away with your investment and nothing will happen to them because it isn’t regulated in any way shape or form.

  • TannrBeau

    And to people making those transactions, it’s value is more intrinsic than any other form of money (anonymity being the intrinsic attribute). Similar can be said for retail suppliers, bitcoin transactions costs far less than international money transfers (bigger profit margin).

  • Anonymous

    We’ll see. I just don’t know if people will stay interested in trading Bitcoins.

  • TannrBeau

    Americans will likely have little interest until the dollar becomes toxic. The people that will love bitcoin are those in countries with unstable currencies and those around the world with little to no access to banking services.

  • Mark Rees

    That’s a common misconception. There are hundreds of digital currencies now and the free market will decide the winners. Bitcoin just has, by far, the most people accepting and growing through the power of the “network effect”. And protection of the network which is orders of magnitude stronger than the top 500 supercomputers in the world combined.

  • TannrBeau

    The money described in end times prophecy is directed from a centralized totalitarian authority. Bitcoin is decentralized and is not controlled by any one entity… It is actually a step away from what’s described on those prophecies. The dollar is more of a threat in that regard.

  • TannrBeau

    That would only happen if you trust a mysterious 3rd party with the storage of you coins. Regulation only breeds an environment where big bankers thrive through robbing the poor.

  • ISawTheLight

    It is all done through the air isn’t SATAN the prince of the air .
    Get a clue its digitized money clue in folks

  • jv

    I heard that Bitcoin got hacked, and went bankrupt. What about that???

  • jv

    But I cannot go into any store and pay wit Bitcoins, so many are still confused as to how this is really a valid currency

  • zemla

    SILK ROAD

  • http://backseatpolitics.com/ Riley Peper

    Not yet, but there are many places online and even stores in person where you can spend bitcoin.

  • TannrBeau

    You might not yet be able to spend it everywhere, but keep in mind this currency is only 5 years old and no government is demanding that you use it. While you can’t spend it everywhere, there’s almost nothing you can’t buy with it. If there’s something you want, there’s probably a vender out there that accepts it. A third party service called Gyft let’s you buy gift cards to major retailers and restaurants with bitcoin, redeemable directly from your smart phone (they also offer a 3% credit incentive for bitcoin purchases). This allows me to spend bitcoin at Target and Whole Foods.

  • TannrBeau

    A third party bitcoin exchange got hacked and went bankrupt.

  • Glennfriend67

    Overstock.com accepts Bitcoin already. Just surf the web. You’ll be amazed at how many places already accept Bitcoin.

  • Glennfriend67

    I really appreciate the effort Glenn went through to get us information on Bitcoin. I have decided I’m going to open a Bitcoin account and begin investing small quantities of money into it. I want to get in om the ground floor of this, because I have a feeling this is really going to take off. If it does, I will already have a tidy little sum set aside in case the worst happens, and with OBummer in office for two more years that scenario is looking more and more likely every day.

  • Ian hahn

    I find it quite amazing how little people know about Bitcoins here in the U.S. It is truly a global phenomenon. People all over the world are embracing Bitcoin for many different reasons. First and foremost you have a small group of people that control almost half of all the Bitcoins ever mined. These are the folks that are doing everything they can to stabilized the currency and bring legitimacy to Bitcoin as well.

  • Ian hahn

    The second largest group are those that have bought Bitcoins as a hedge against rising inflation in Countries that have a 305 or higher annual inflation rate. Third would be the people that are using Bitcoins as a way to send money their families living apart from the hero workers abroad. Then you have the altruist who want the currency itself to be successful because it levels the playing field somewhat and will allow over 2.5 billion people who don’t have access to traditional banking and credit cards access to the global marketplace and to participate in the global economy.

  • Ian hahn

    Inevitably unchaining the masses from their corporate overlords.. Or at least that’s how it was portrayed to me.. ;-> Imho of course I learned a lot at this site http://www.bitvestinc.com they have a video library and hundreds of past and recent articles that you will find very informative..

  • Bit coin Bakers field

    Gyft.com and you can use bitcoin in almost any large chain store

  • Ryan Kneer

    No one can walk away with your bitcoins because YOU own them.

  • Ryan Kneer

    I love risk. Risk means money.

  • Ryan Kneer

    Calling it a Ponzi is a lot easier than grappling for hours to understand how it works. I don’t blame you, just wish you’d inform yourself before making statements like this.

  • Ryan Kneer

    Which sounds wonderful to me.

  • btc miner

    bitcoin can give the average person a fighting chance to see some wealth and abundance. it’s too late for gold and dollars, they are already horded by the corrupt. I bought my first bitcoins at $14. My income is growing higher and higher, I believe that more abundance is coming to me now. The basement dweller will Inherit the earth.

  • Robbie D

    I have been a huge fan of gold and silver for many years and at first I totally dismissed Bitcoin. Ha, magic Internet money I told myself. It’s only if someone takes a little time and studies the technology and learns that Bitcoin Silver and Gold are all great. The same principles of sound currency having a limited supply and not being able to create more out of thin air holds true for them all. I would encourage anyone to take just a few minutes and really study it and when you actually find out how awesome of an invention this is, you might just be stacking even more with Bitcoin in the future.

    You can even buy Precious Metals with Bitcoin Now. Check out some great places that accept Bitcoin at http://bitpages.co Tons of places all over the world now take it.

    Buckle up things are about to get really interesting the next few years.

  • landofaahs

    Who control’s Bitcoin?

  • landofaahs

    What happens to your original investment loss in Bitcoin?

  • landofaahs

    So tell me who control’s Bitcoin? Who runs it?

  • Anonymous

    And where has regulation, or maybe a better term: manipulation by government, gotten us? At least with bit coin, you can buy trade it for something of value, and bitcoins value will be determined by what you can buy with it. Not at all sure if thats true of fiat money. If you want an analogous currency to our printed, or digital money, an inflated balloon is the best example. When it pops, you have nothing.

  • markymarvin
  • Anonymous

    It sounds basically like a barter network.

  • Mark Rees

    Over 30,000 locations take bitcoin and another 2,000 per week are signing up. Here’s one place that tracks and gives you a map you can drill down tor he location. http://coinmap.org/

    And this site is great for the beginner to gives you the basics of it all. http://www.coindesk.com/information/

  • Mark Rees

    This is discussed her: You can use bitcoin to be the most TRANSPARENT currency ever created. We can hold our government accountable by insisting they make public their wallets so we can watch the money flow. Get a nice list of it’s properties and value here: http://bitcoinmagazine.com/12846/you-say-bitcoin-has-no-intrinsic-value-twenty-two-reasons-to-think-again/

  • Mark Rees

    Everybody. It’s done on consensus by everybody that runs the bitcoin protocol software all around the world. The software is open source which means it has no owner and is maintain by thousands of programmers who peer review everybody’s submission and test any changes for months before on mock-up test networks. There are a handful of “core’ developers who split the main “key” that allows the finalized version to be released. three out of five people with part of the key must agree before it is able to be written to the final version. (Think multiple nuke keys need to be turned at once by more than once person).Release the new version and let’s the world analyse it and voluntarily upgrade their own node of the network.. There is nothing from not implementing the change if they don’t like it. But if 50% +1 of all the network processors accept it, it will become the new standard by consensus. (voting be extension of which software they choose to use). This keeps all changes very reasonable and the end result is a very stable network. As powerful as all the worlds supercomputer added together times 2,500. But in the end – it’s “the people of the world” who control bitcoin,

  • Mark Rees
  • Mark Rees

    Entire new eco systems are being built up around it. It’s one of the biggest drivers forcing the new economy. They are hiring like crazy. The IRSHomland SecurityDivsion of antimoney laudering and many more agencies have already cleared it. They don’t want to stifle the innovation:

    http://bitcoinmagazine.com/12846/you-say-bitcoin-has-no-intrinsic-value-twenty-two-reasons-to-think-again/

  • landofaahs

    No. Who controls it? Someone has to be in charge of day to day operations and protection. If it does not then URF’d. The government allows bitcoin to operate for now because it takes pressure off of the gold and silver market. When or if it becomes convenient they will virus bitcoin and crush it. But hey maybe you are right. But I have found in life that “Nothing is fool proof for a sufficiently talented fool”.

  • TannrBeau

    Those people trusted a third party, a company called Mt Gox, with storage of their bitcoins. As the saying is with gold, “if you can’t hold it, you don’t own it”; Similar can be said for bitcoin… if it’s not in your digital wallet, you don’t own it. What’s to stop your bank from robbing your savings account.. Government regulation? That didn’t stop the people of Cyprus from getting robbed. Similarly, those that held cash themselves were unaffected.

  • Zhaliberty

    So you “heard” . . . now that’s a good basis for decision making right there.
    First off bitcoin can’t get hacked 2nd bitcoin can’t go bankrupt. WTH?

  • Zhaliberty

    AND if i drop my wallet full of 20 dollar bills someone can walk away with it to never be found again. So be careful with your wallet AND your bitcoin wallet.

  • Zhaliberty

    I don’t buy bitcoin as an investment. I buy it to use as a currency.. AND then i use it. It only has value when used, not when sitting around.

  • Renee

    Question: Can banks or large corporations own bit coins? If so, what is to prevent them from buying up large portions of bitcoins to keep it away from the rest of us. How does the price rise or fall get determined. Is it like the stock market where you have an ask and sale price. Could a person play the down side with options like the stock market. If so, we are right back in the nightmare of computer run bitcoins buys and sells and then a rich person, corp selling off a bunch fast to lower the value.

  • Ryan Kneer

    Who controls the Internet? Bitcoin, like the Internet, has no center. It’s a protocol, not a company.

  • Mark Rees

    It’s a technology. A protocol. It’s like asking who owns or controls TCP/IP and the internet. The protection cumulative is controlled by each user around the world. They all act as one huge bank that process transactions AND protects the network Their computer runs the build in software from the program that forces all the computers to randomly solve an incredibly hard program. Think of a giant sudoku puzzle. Very hard to solve (Trial and error). but easy to verify. The winner earns the right to be the one who processes that last 10 minutes worth of transactions stored into a block.which just adds the next set of records to all the records in the ledger that are “Chained” together. All the inputs have to match the outputs of the latest 10 minute block so EVERY unit of account is accounted for. This makes it uncounterfeitable as you would have to counterfeit the same record on tens of thousands of computers around the world at the same time. Each of those records “verify” each block when processed – so you have tens of thousands of ‘secret Service agents” watching every spend to validate no other money was introduce and every spend was accurate. For their reward, they are allotted 25 new units of bitcoin the begins their “coinbase” into the world. This way it is randomly awarded. Your only benefit it to have a faster computer that might solve the complex math first. This is the inflation supply and the reward drops by 1/2 every four years. So in about three more yeas the reward for solving the math problem will be 12.5 ect unti lthe last block is solved (or mined) at about the year 2140. Why would the government allow this? HUGE amount of benefits for mankind.

    Here’s just a partial list I came up with in about five minutes. There are a lot more I didn’t put down. Follow the links to – it will fill in a lot more gaps. It’s complex stuff – but eventually we all get our “aha” moment.

    http://bitcoinmagazine.com/12846/you-say-bitcoin-has-no-intrinsic-value-twenty-two-reasons-to-think-again/

  • Mark Rees

    Banks are not forbidden. but it scares them right now because it gives them less control. I advise getting as much as you can because it’s early and before the banks get in and hoard them. They will likely make this a new base to start fractional reserve banking with it as well. Get your while you can. Don’t spend what you can’t afford to loose though, just in case. It’s still in ‘beta” but it’s come a long way. It is fun to buy a little and send between friends to figure it out. Think back when you first opened your first email, then sent one. You can now actually send money through email. What’s coming is mind bending, and VERY cool.

  • Mark Rees

    Based in native currency. Everything priced in regular currency and the appropriate amount of bitcoin is transferred. It’s boot strapping to fiat right now until it’s grown enough to stand on its own. Like dollars boot strapped to gold at first.

  • Mark Rees

    That was basically an exchange. The first generations were build by computer geeks not profession financial corporations. The first gen exchanges are all but gone now, Watch for the new better and protected ones coming up. Blockchain.info is a safe place to store bitcoin and they make you back it up.

  • Mark Rees
  • Mark Rees

    Bitcoin is taking off in Argentina just as it did in Cyprus when the bank stole their money. Argentina is one of the most explosive growing areas for bitcoin. Venezuela too. The difference? TONS of places accept bitcoin as payment in full. How many places can you purchase a sandwich with a gold coin? LOCAL BITCOINS have maps where people meet up and exchange bitcoins for peso’s. The cost of a bitcoin is 30% higher in Argentina than everywhere else in the world because of the demand. There is even talk about Argenita giving up on their own currency and adopting bitcoin as the national currency: http://rare.us/story/central-bank-of-argentina-seriously-considering-bitcoin/

  • Mark Rees

    You’ll come around landofaahs. I’ve met dozens if not hundreds who thought just like you (or at least talked just like you with the same points.) they ALL came around eventually. It’s complicated so don’t get down on yourself if you don’t understand. We’re with you.

  • jv

    It is digital online which means anything can get hacked.

  • TRacy Saboe

    Tehre’s nothing wrong with a one world currency — as long as it’s market based. We had a global currency when Gold and silver the the standards of exchange. We litterally had a 1 world currency for about a hundread years.

  • Sachi

    I have watched these two clips first live and now online and I’m starting to get it – now getting into it is another issue – I still don’t understand how to mine it. Using GPU’s and CPU’s to mine? A video card can mine this stuff? That in itself REALLY confuses me. I have a computer I can keep online forever if need be to mine this but I need help setting it up. Who can help??

  • Mark Rees

    Sachi, don’t bother. The difficulty is now so high that even huge warehouses of commercial buildings running in Iceland to keep them cool can’t make a profit. It’s gone commercial – you’re about 3 years too late (sorry to say). It’s easier and cheaper to just buy the ones somebody else has already mined. Now that the IRS has gotten involved, I wouldn’t do it again. I wrote an article about it here: http://bitcoinmagazine.com/12414/irs-tax-rulling-may-have-just-killed-alt-coin-mining/

  • Mark Rees

    You can also store it offline. It’s called “Cold Storage”. That’s how a lot of reputable bitcoin banks are doing it for almost all their funds. Coinbase.,com stores 98% of bitcoin private keys off-line in storage valts armed with guards and audited by 3rd party. You can do so yourself as well by printing paper wallets you can put in your safe. Blockchain.info will walk you through this when you set up a free wallet with their service (You can make unlimited free wallets). Just buy $5. worth of bitcoin to play with and send between wallets or buy something from overstock.com so you can see how it works. It’s pretty cool, but it’s like learning how to use a web browser or sending email for the first time. It’s still early in this new world,

  • Mr. Sequel

    Although commonly misinterpreted, the word “collectivism” does not refer to the social interaction, coordination, and voluntary association that arise spontaneously from our human nature.

  • Dαvìd Shαres

    Gov’t can’t “turn off” bitcoin or steal it. You can learn more about Bitcoin here: http://bitcoin.org

    It’s quite powerful, which gives it value.

  • Richard Hutchins

    i buy silver at amagi metals with bitcoin.. bitcoin is how you can transfer the value of real money [gold/silver] across the internet. bitcoin does not replace metal, it is in addition to metals.

  • Anonymous

    What if the Internet crashes or there is a power outage. How does one utilize the bitcoin then? I’m really interested, but have some questions.