Should You Invest in Bitcoin?, Bitcoin Black Friday, Canada's View On Bitcoin, Dentist Accepts Bitcoin And The Mysterious 194,993 BTC Transaction
Bitcoin Black Friday On November 29, Bitcoin takes holiday shopping by storm, with the best deals for Bitcoin users, and easy ways to buy all your presents and give to charity with the new, world-changing digital cash!
BitGive Foundation Partners with Bitcoin Black Friday
What do most Americans and for that matter, individuals around the world do the day after Thanksgiving? SHOP. Well, this year, The BitGive Foundation is partnering with Bitcoin Black Friday to provide you an opportunity to give back through a donation drive. Bitcoin Magazine encourages you to look into giving back with the best way to give: through Bitcoin!
BitGive Issued The Following Press Release:
BITGIVE FOUNDATION – BITCOIN CHARITY DRIVE ON BLACK FRIDAY
A Charitable Giving Organization of the Bitcoin Community
(Sacramento, CA – November 22, 2013) – The BitGive Foundation is partnering with Bitcoin Black Friday to promote charitable giving through a donation drive as part of a Bitcoin alternative to Black Friday.
The BitGive Foundation is collecting donations around the clock in Bitcoin, but on November 29th, 2013 (Bitcoin Black Friday) all donations received by BitGive will be sent to Save the Children for their Typhoon Haiyan Children’s Relief Fund. BitGive has also worked to involve other charities in the Bitcoin Black Friday event. The Foundation’s hope is that as people are drawn to alternatives to the traditional Black Friday commercial frenzy, turning to online deals and Bitcoin transactions, that they will also be reminded of the Season of Giving and donate to charities doing good work around the world.
Madeline Finch, Board Member and Secretary of the Foundation says, “We are excited to be a part of Bitcoin Black Friday and to bring a charitable aspect to this already alternative event. And Save the Children and their relief efforts in the Philippines is exactly where we want to see our donation drive make a big difference.”
The BitGive Foundation, launched earlier this year, is a charitable giving organization of the Bitcoin community, whose mission is to provide gifts to environmental and public health causes worldwide. BitGive has received several significant donations from Bitcoin mining companies KnCMiner and Butterfly Labs, as well as in-kind donations and services from Perkins Coie, LLP and BitPay, Inc., who also processes Bitcoin donations to charities at no cost.
More donations in Bitcoin have come in through the easy two-step donation process on their website. The Foundation has a multi-million dollar long-term goal for global giving and is confident that the Bitcoin community can support that bold vision.
About The Day
Bitcoin Black Friday is a holiday shopping extravaganza just for Bitcoin users. On November 29th, hundreds of merchants selling everything from web hosting to organic beer will offer special deals to anyone paying in Bitcoin. Interested? Sign up!
Who We Are
Last year, Jon Holmquist founded "Bitcoin Friday", a celebration of Bitcoin with special deals for Bitcoin users. This year will be bigger than ever, with help from Internet freedom activists Fight for the Future and a solid circle of Bitcoin believers.
Virtual Currency Meets Healthcare as Polish Dentist Accepts Bitcoin
Bitcoins can buy you everything from lunch and international flights to alleged hits on other human beings, if you’re that way inclined.
Now, in Poland, they can also be used for healthcare.
A dentist in Kielce in central Poland is offering a 10% discount for customers who pay with bitcoin. Profident, which also makes dental equipment, says it is Poland’s and possibly Europe’s first dental clinic to accept bitcoin payments.
As with other bitcoin-accepting businesses in other parts of the world, the company cited bank transaction fees as a reason to move towards bitcoin payments.
“I have 60% of payments via debit or credit cards, and it is growing. In my country fees are very high, around 2% of transaction value. Because of this fact I lose lot of money. Bitcoin will change this situation,” said Profident’s Tomasz Zbożeń.
A string of Polish organisations have begun to embrace bitcoin, including social media agencies, web design companies and a free market think-tank. The government is yet to issue coherent guidance on the use of bitcoin, but a policy document released in July said bitcoin is not currency under Polish Law.
Just this week, Polish bitcoin exchange Bidextreme.pl was compromised, with hackers emptying the bitcoin and litecoin wallets of the exchange’s users. The amount stolen has not yet been made public.
Healthcare is one area that is yet to have been properly penetrated by bitcoin, but a few people around the world have had a crack at combining bitcoin with online healthcare.
The Virtual Doctor Project, which uses teleconferencing to connect doctors with patients in remote areas of Africa, is one, while a 2012 bitcointalk.org thread named ‘Medical Consult for Bitcoins’ is another, perhaps on the other end of the credibility spectrum from the Virtual Doctor Project.
However, not everyone’s impressed. A more recent example, CoinMD, was called “the absolute worst place on Earth to spend your bitcoins” by Wired.com.
Profident began accepting bitcoins on 18th November and do not use a payments service, instead operating their own wallet directly. Zbożeń says he isn’t fazed by the technology and would only consider using a payment company if a lot of customers start paying with bitcoin.
“Outside of the dental business, I mine bitcoins and keep them as an investment diversification. I use BTC also for payments (but I prefer to save and keep bitcoins rather than to spend them),” he said. “[So] I don’t consider bitcoin payments a hassle.”
So far, the dentist hasn’t had any patients paying with bitcoin, but Zbożeń is confident about the rising popularity of bitcoin in Poland.
“Right now, [accepting bitcoin payments] is more a marketing issue, but I believe that cryptocurrency will get much more popular in next decade,” he says. “The growth [in Poland] is exponential.”
Does Canada View Bitcoin as Currency?
Does Canada consider bitcoin to be a real sovereign “currency” or simply a commodity? This question is particularly relevant given various bitcoin related news stories that have involved Canadian companies in recent weeks.
First, as most have no doubt heard, there is at least one bitcoin ATM operating in a Vancouver coffee shop, and according to a Vancouver Sun article dated 9th November, $100,000 of Canadian currency was traded through the machine in a single week.
Bitcoiniacs, the operators of the ATM, have publicly stated that several other Canadian cities can expect to host to similar types of bitcoin ATMs in the coming months.
Alix Resources Corp a Canadian mining company, also confirmed that it will be paying the accounts of at least one of its contractors, Ridge Resources Ltd, in bitcoin.
I would imagine the question of whether the Canadian government considers bitcoin to be a currency or commodity has at least touched the corporate minds of Bitcoiniacs, Alix Resources and Ridge Resources and the minds of their legal and tax advisors.
The Canadian government has finally come out with some official guidance on bitcoin.
According to a fact sheet published in early November 2013 by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Canada’s equivalent to the IRS in the United States and the HMRC in the UK , bitcoin is referred to as “virtual money” and an example of “digital currency”.
However, in the same paper the CRA distinguished bitcoin from “traditional currency” and so we can infer that at least one branch of the Canadian government does not view bitcoin as currency in the traditional sense but instead views it as a barter good and should be taxed as such.
In a piece entitled Working Paper 2013-38 – Some Economics of Private Digital Currency published in mid-November, which does not appear to be targeted at a general audience, given the reference to numerous complex math derivative-type equations which don’t even relate to bitcoin, the Bank of Canada proclaimed that bitcoin is a “fully convertible, pure digital currency [that] is explicitly designed to compete with state currencies”.
I would disagree with the latter statement that bitcoin is designed to compete with state currencies; while bitcoin is disruptive, I would not categorize it as deliberately competitive.
Rather, I see statements such as these to be further evidence that certain governments view bitcoin as a form of barter good as opposed to legitimate form of currency.
Is this a good thing? In my view it may not demonstrate to the world that Canada is being as progressive towards bitcoin as some other countries have been.
In the writer’s respectful opinion, the Canadian publications referenced above unfortunately do not give Canadian companies, or the general public for that matter, any guidance on Canada’s position on bitcoin, legal or otherwise (except for the friendly reminder from the CRA that our bitcoins will be taxed).
It would be beneficial for Canadian businesses and the general public to get some kind of readable, clear and ‘user friendly’ direction from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Canada’s bitcoin ‘police force’ as to their official position on bitcoin.
I assume that FINTRAC is monitoring the situation surrounding bitcoin closely and the lack, as of the date of this publication, of the production of a broad based public statement could mean two things:
(1) that FINTRAC is “taking in” all of the recent developments in bitcoin and are thoughtfully considering both the good and the bad; and
(2) that FINTAC will ultimately come out with a reasoned, well thought out approach (similar to the position Germany has taken, for example) rather than a issue a ‘knee jerk’ response. Time will only tell.
194,993 BTC Transaction Worth $147m Sparks Mystery And Speculation
Bitcoin internet hangouts were buzzing today after noticing someone had shifted 194,993 BTC (over $147m on CoinDesk’s BPI) in one transaction.
The transaction, tagged “Shit Load of Money!” by its mystery originator*, appeared on Blockchain.info early in the evening of 22nd November. It is one of the largest transactions in bitcoin’s history, by far the largest under bitcoin’s recent high prices, and represents 1.6% of all bitcoins now in circulation. (*Correction: as pointed out in the comments below, the tag was attached to the receiving address and not by the originator.)
Bitcoin’s distributed nature ensures all transactions are visible on the public record, though users are identified only by 30+ character addresses (and any tags they choose to add). If the address is not already known and the user does not identify themselves in an obvious way, they remain anonymous without analysis or detective work.
Unsurprisingly, a transaction of that size has prompted the bitcoin community to do some analysis and detective work. The transaction involved a large number of sending addresses, with some of them from blocks mined in February 2010 or even earlier, prompting excited speculation they might be from Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s absent (and likely pseudonymous) founder.
Or was it Richard Branson, who caused his own digital currency frenzy today by announcing his company Virgin Galactic would accept payment in bitcoin?
Satoshi Nakamoto is unlikely to reveal him/herself in such an ostentatious manner, and early coins may have changed hands several times. More possibly the lucky owner is a miner from bitcoin’s early days, or a business moving the amount to a more secure form of physical storage. The Washington Post’s detective work, done by a researcher into how much blockchain information may reveal about users, speculated the transaction might be exchange Bitstamp moving its own funds between addresses.
While 194,993 BTC was moved, it’s important to note it has not been exchanged for any fiat currency… that we know of. ‘Dumping’ such a large amount at once would probably have a negative impact on bitcoin’s value.
On the bitcointalk forums, some users were less interested in the owners’ identity and more impressed by the infrastructure that allowed such an amount to be transferred without any regulatory hindrance, lawyers, or fees (the user paid no transaction fee at all). Even handing over that amount in hard cash would be a logistical challenge.
“Beautiful, so effortless to move so much money… I’m sometimes involved with very large cross-border transactions and the logistics of making payments of this size are, more often that not, a complete PITA, with timezones and banking hours getting in the way,” wrote user runam0k.
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