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Bitcoin The Almighty Buck Linux

World's First Bitcoin ATM 437

Posted by Soulskill
from the baby-steps-to-legitimacy dept.
bill_mcgonigle writes "I just bought bitcoins from the World's first Bitcoin ATM at Liberty Forum. I created an account using an Android Bitcoin client and held up its QR code to the Raspberry Pi-based device's optical scanner. After I fed in a $20 Federal Reserve Note, I got back a confirmation QR code on its display, which I then scanned and checked the third-party confirmation URL. The machine can function on any wireless network and will soon be available for purchase by merchants, who can make a commission on customers' Bitcoin purchases."
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World's First Bitcoin ATM

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  • Re:Ironic (Score:2, Interesting)

    by peragrin (659227) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:11PM (#42998969)

    that's my thought.

    The only thing holding value in the US dollar is ignorance. One of these days people will slowly realize that the USA has no money and can't pay it's debts as the USA like most of the western world don't know anything about virtual money.

    You can't spend more than you take in, but we let governments guess at how much they are taking in and spend 10-20% more than that because they like thinking the GDP has some relevance to the government income of tax revenue.

    One simple law could solve the long term finical issues. The base amount the government can spend is equal to the previous years tax revenue. Anything beyond that must be in the form of a loan, war bond etc, that needs to be paid back.

  • by Great Big Bird (1751616) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:16PM (#42999003)
    to drop... I am waiting for some kind of bad security hole. How many bitcoin sites have been laughably insecure?
  • uber-geek issues (Score:3, Interesting)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:27PM (#42999083)
    "I just bought bitcoins from the World's first Bitcoin ATM at Liberty Forum. I created an account using an Android Bitcoin client and held up its QR code to the Raspberry Pi-based device's optical scanner. After I fed in a $20 Federal Reserve Note, I got back a confirmation QR code on its display, which I then scanned and checked the third-party confirmation URL. The machine can function on any wireless network and will soon be available for purchase by merchants, who can make a commission on customers' Bitcoin purchases."

    Most of those words mean nothing to the vast majority of the worlds population.
  • by stoploss (2842505) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:49PM (#42999229)

    It is actually quite hard to obtain bitcoins anonymously.

    The days of CPU-based mining are long over, and even the current "economy" of multi-GPU-based mining rigs is about to be eclipsed by the ASIC-based devices coming online this year.

    There are effectively no services that will take anonymous payment for bitcoins. Paying via bank account ACH or check is certainly not anonymous, and the same goes for credit/debit card payment. Furthermore, any credit/debit based payment is potentially reversible via chargebacks, etc, so most places don't take that kind of payment due to the fact that bitcoin transfers are irreversible.

    Services like Bitinstant claim to take cash for bitcoins, but what that really means is that they require payment via MoneyGram, which requires you to present government-issued ID when sending payment. This is linked to the Bitinstant anti-money laundering policy [bitinstant.com], which requires your real name, etc. Dwolla wants a name, SSN, government ID, etc, to setup an account. As for Mt. Gox? Heh, they require everything but a DNA sample in order to use the exchange. Any service registered as a "money services business" in FinCEN will have these kinds of restrictions.

    Obtaining bitcoins locally requires finding someone offering them for sale, negotiating price each time, and likely a face-to-face meeting to hand over cash. If one is really patient and trusting, a deal might be able to be struck for sending cash in an envelope. However, the bitcoin market is extremely volatile, which tends to undermine these types of deals.

    Anyway, this ATM seems very convenient and anonymous; ergo, it likely will fall afoul of the anti-money laundering laws in one way or another.

  • Re:Ironic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by r1348 (2567295) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @10:14PM (#42999385)

    Actually I recently read a paper from Tim Morgan, a researcher at Tullett Prebon, that claims that the economy is basically just a dynamic balance between produced energy and consumed energy, and currency is just an intermediary state that loses meaning if there's no energy to buy with it (every product is as valuable as the energy used to craft it). This basically associated the economy to physics, and not to finance, and defines debt as a bet on future energy.

    You can read the full paper here http://www.tullettprebon.com/strategyinsights/media_resources.aspx [tullettprebon.com]

  • by brokenin2 (103006) * on Sunday February 24, 2013 @10:30PM (#42999493) Homepage

    It's funny all the people calling anyone getting into Bitcoin suckers. It'd be fun to see if one of them would dare to mark the price of Bitcoin for each time they've made a comment link that. I'm one of those "Bitcoin suckers".... At this point, I've got about 30 grand to show for my original $19.50 investment.. Boy, you've really made me feel like a sucker now haven't you. There was a one month period (shorter actually) where you could have bought them and held them until now and lost some USD on them if you were to sell today.. It's looking more and more like soon, that won't even be true.. It will soon become impossible to have lost money on them. Fools! Fools! You're all fools!!! Oh, uh.. Why didn't I do that? What amazes me is how long it's going to take some of you to realize you were the fools, despite the indisputable math, and the fact that no one made anyone any promises you'll still be yelling 'Ponzi Scheme' for years to come. Good for you. More power to ya.

    Of course, buy them, and trade them, and you can easily lose money, but that's just because you're not as smart as the other bitcoin traders.. You could do that trading gummy bears as well...

  • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @11:10PM (#42999689)

    But, BTC is more or less indistinguishable from a Ponzi scheme. The early adopters get massive amounts of BTC for basically nothing and later adopters are the ones that pump up the price. It may not technically be a Ponzi scheme, but that would only be by technicality. It's still early investors being paid by later investors and ultimately nothing is produced to justify anybody profiting.

    I'm going to laugh my ass off when BTC ultimately does collapse. At some point it's going to hit a deflationary spiral when the last blocks are unlocked and no more BTC come into existence.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @11:11PM (#42999697)

    It will never work as a currency because it has built in deflation, which if you've taken ECON 200 you'll know is a really, really bad thing for an economy.

    Nor is it being used as a currency right now. A currency is something people hold, spend, get paid in, etc. Bitcoin is basically used only for three things:

    1) Money laundering. Sites that do illegal things, like the Silk Road, use Bitcoin to launder money. They take payment in it but immediately convert that in to an actual currency. They are just using the payment system to launder the money from the client to them.

    2) Speculation. Traders play the Bitcoin market to try and make a quick buck. Hence one of the reasons for the extreme volatility in price. If any actual currency had that kind of daily volatility it would be said to be in crisis, yet somehow the BTCtards want to act like it is perfectly ok for Bitcoins to fluctuate like that. It also, of course, makes it even less suitable as a currency for people to hang on to.

    3) "Mining." People literally wasting CPU cycles and electricity to generate new Bitcoins. Most because they are bad at math and don't count the total cost of all their stuff and realize that they aren't actually making any money on it.

    The inherent deflationary property of it makes it a failure as a currency out of the gate. There may be many other problems it would face on a large scale of usage, nobody has yet to convince me it has a good solution to timing attacks, but it doesn't matter because it fails as a currency.

    The people who think deflation is good are people with no understanding of economics past their wallet. They think "Deflation means the money in my wallet is worth more so it is a good thing!" That is not the case, you have to look at the larger economic consequences, and then you discover deflation is very, very bad.

  • Re:Unreal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @11:29PM (#42999771)
    They're both "nothing" and neither are real money.

    There's nothing separating a bitcoin, a US dollar or a napkin that says $10000 1337 D0ll@rz on it. They all have next to no intrinsic value, although they all could be used as an exchange mechanism.

    Historically, there's been a 100% failure rate for fiat currencies. Despite the conveniences of bitcoin it is still fiat currency just like the Zimbabwe Dollar, the US dollar and the napkin that I doodled $10000 1337 D0ll@rz on.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24, 2013 @11:37PM (#42999841)

    It's also comically incorrect since the correct linen paper is only 25% cotton.

    Resume paper is inappropriate for other reasons as it contains both watermarks, fluorescent dyes, and starch to improve absorption of ink. The dyes make it fail a black light test, and the starch makes it fail an iodine pen examination.

    Speaking of irony, the treasury is too cheap to dispose of their toxic waste properly so they package it as a novelty and sell money paper at a 99.55% discount:
    http://www.moneyfactorystore.gov/5lbbagofshreddeduscurrency.aspx

    Entertaining movie on the subject:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0813547/

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @11:44PM (#42999877) Homepage Journal

    It will never work as a currency because it has built in deflation, which if you've taken ECON 200 you'll know is a really, really bad thing for an economy.

    The funny thing about economics is that it's not scientific.

    Sure, it uses math and all, in the manner that astrology uses math, but it's nothing more than feel-good storytelling.

    In the case of inflation/deflation, there is no analytic theory which describes the situation - nothing based on conclusions from testable assumptions. It's all guesswork from historical evidence.

    Don't believe me? Can you tell me the best value for inflation? If the answer is "it depends", then what does it depend on? Is the function strongly peaked or relatively flat? (IOW, is it important to hit the "best" value exactly, or can it be off by a little?) How much is too much?

    Or how about the elephant in the room: how is inflation measured? (Does it include luxuries? Should it include gas prices?)

    Here's the scoop, the part that your ECON 200 professor didn't teach you.

    The economy is healthiest when people have the most choice. Not the greatest "number of choices" - that's different - but the most "choice" of what to do with their money.

    Negative inflation encourages people to forego spending, because saving money gives you more spending power in the future. Positive inflation encourages people to spend, since their money will be worth less in the future. Both situations reduce choice by encouraging one action over another without regard to the merits.

    Zero inflation is the point at which people will consider a purchase entirely on its merits, which is the point of maximum choice.

    This thing about "a little positive inflation is good" is a fallacy. It encourages people to invest when they really don't want to. It forces people into financial markets which are, at their core, corrupt and unfair to the small investor.

    The other thing about positive inflation is that it causes bubbles. Inflation is essentially the amount of money more than the total value of goods and services. The extra money goes somewhere, and because money tends to earn more money it forms "pools" in the economy. These pools are areas where the monetary value is greater than the actual value. The very definition of "bubble".

    Positive inflation causes bubbles which eventually burst, positive inflation forces people to gamble with their money, and positive inflation is a hidden tax on the population.

    Rather than parrot your religious teachings, take some time to think things through logically, as a scientist would.

    You've been fed a load of crap. Stop repeating it.

  • Re:Unreal (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Njovich (553857) on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:40AM (#43001073)

    Keeping your wealth in natural objects (gold, etc) is stupid. Sure, people accept gold right now, people also accepted tulip bulbs, people also accepted beads, salt, shells, cereal grain etc. And when hyperinflation hit, it hits suddenly and hard. Indeed in the months leading up to the hyperinflation of tulips, Dutch traders said the real danger was DEflation!

    Putting faith in gold is like claiming you're immortal.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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