Tag Archives: adoption

Goodbye For Now, NYC

goodbye nyc


After carefully considering the recent introduction of the BitLicense, HolyTransaction has decided to suspend its business within the state of New York, until such time that more reasonable regulations are put into law. It is unfortunate that the politics in New York have led to this stifling of innovation. Our community is still new, still growing. To limit the possibilities of this technology now would be akin to cutting a flower before it has bloomed.
For those who do not know, BitLicense is over regulating in a number of unfortunate ways. First, and most often cited, is the cost for a business to obtain the license itself. BitStamp has estimated that they have paid nearly $100,000 to apply, between legal fee’s, time allocation, and maintaining compliance.
What happens when every state in the U.S., or every country in the world, crafts their own BitLicense? Businesses will be expected to pay for separate licenses in every area in which they operate; potentially a multi-million dollar requirement that could shut the lights off at many of crypto companies, leaving standing only those who have chosen to comply with rules set out by the very institutions that Bitcoin has rallied against. Abandoning business in states who insist upon excessive profiteering from unnecessary regulation is our best option for the moment.
Our most significant qualms with the BitLicense are directly related to the implications for our customers and their privacy. Some countries have taken a divisive stance on compliance that has led to outrage and feelings of betrayal amongst many of Bitcoins core users. KYC and AML laws have been forced upon every company in the U.S., for instance, that directly hold or handle their customers money. You may have noticed that wallets, or those who once allowed you to trade cash for coins, have suddenly become very interested in your private information. While it has led many to revile these companies to whom they were once loyal, the truth is that these businesses have no choice.
BitLicense makes its greatest error though in its premature attempt to define what Bitcoin is. The blockchain is such a new frontier for technology that confining the tools built on top of its framework to the parameters of “money” or “property” would be limiting. The only technology with which Bitcoin compares is the Internet, which was once considered to serve the near-exclusive function of sending super fast, super cheap messages in the form of e-mail. Consider what the Internet would be today if it had not been allowed to grow in its earliest years; if it had instead been listed as a postal technology, and had then been regulated as such. This would have limited its development and, ultimately, it would have never become the open forum of information and discourse that our modern world is reliant upon. You cannot know what a technology will become tomorrow if you insist on defining it today.
The circumstances surrounding our and many other company’s exit from New York are unfortunate, but we are holding out hope that future rulings from other jurisdictions will be more reasonable. To our customers, our friends, and our supporters who are affected by this change, we sincerely hope that you will continue to work alongside us to keep the Blockchain open and free, and that we at HolyTransaction will be able to be of service to you again very soon.

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With Bitcoin time is not more money

(Sole24Ore) Money is a social convention with which communities facilitate economic exchanges, usually to the extent of the technology currently available. In this way, we have progressed from barters and swaps to currency with intrinsic value, be they anything from banknotes to wire transfers to gold coins.

We have experienced all of the positives and negatives of fiat money; we now have the freedom to decide together whether to accept the new technology or not.
The use of bitcoins makes the time a neutral factor: never in favor or against any party.
Time, related to fiat currencies as a result of inflation, is now an independent variable which reverses the most important financial concept that we have used for millennia.
If time is no longer the master, then the people are no longer directly subject to the phenomena caused by it, such as:

Currency also usually has the function of “store of value” which, by its inflationary nature, means that said currency keeps losing value over time. All this contributes incentives for spending and circulation. From the point of view of trade, this is a good thing. With an inflationary currency, holding the money is a sure loss.
With the traditional currencies, such as the euro or dollar, and because no one wants to lose value, you feel obliged to spend it or invest it, triggering the avalanche of compound interest and cross (not just monetary) between all actors involved.
It is the free decisions of economic agents to enter the time in the transactions to create artificial debts and credits to be paid by a certain date, but that is not inherently linked to the nature of Bitcoin. It remains a voluntary choice, not imposed by the monetary system’s infrastructure.
From a theoretical point of view, a peer can really be defined as a peer if there is no asymmetry of resources; i.e., if none of the parties is favored or disadvantaged by some factor, such as the time.
The Bitcoin system provides that the money supply is predetermined, not subject to discretionary decisions, therefore, betting on variable time does not make sense. (It’s not a deflationary currency, because the supply grows a lot at the beginning to power the system and then remains stable and predetermined for a long time).
For this reason even a millionth of a bitcoin has value, and above all it no longer has an expiration date as fiat currencies do. It’s important to note that bitcoin is not the only possible future; the open-source community continues to generate hundreds of other models with alternative incentive structures.
Are we going to lose the flexibility in regulating the money supply during a crisis with Bitcoin? Yes, and it will be a problem. Some might not view the issue of not being able to create speculative bubbles printing and pumping more money than necessary in the system as a problem, though. For the first time in centuries, the decision to print money has been released from the control of the Government.
It’s time to take a step forward and disengage from people who run central banks? If the number of people who benefit increase or have positive expectations about the future value of bitcoin, then adoption will increase, and show an appreciation of the currency against other currencies; otherwise, we will experience other things, as the ancient history of the world has shown.
It is the currency market, beautiful in its simplicity and unforgiving nature.
Making money timeless allows freedom from the top-down approach. All of this Bitcoin stuff excites the experimenters, confuses the public, and scares those who have interests to protect.
If we free ourselves from the authorities, particularly by people, organizations – and time – you can choose your favorite model for a new social convention.
Author: Massimo Chiriatti, technologist and member of Assob.it

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Infographic: The 4 Properties of Bitcoin

The 4 Properties of Bitcoin infographic HolyTransaction

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Economic problems Bitcoin solves and why it could change our lives

(Sole24Ore) What is going to happen in the future if the computer is always becoming smaller? Always less expensive, and always more mobile?
Soon, we’ll need to link these computers together in a way that is different from the past, with less centralization. Here, we explain the birth of distributed systems, that coexist alongside the traditional systems without replacing them.
The inherent problems in verifying access rights to information and their management has hindered the development of distributed networks until the publication of the famous Bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Nakamoto solved two economics problems:
  1. Make digital information (for example, a bitcoin) a “rival good;” and, preventing the owner to spend it a second time
  1. Achieving said result with a public register (the blockchain), where the access to information is “not-excludible”, because it is available without intermediaries – it is public and permanent.
The consequences of the adoption of the blockchain is twofold: on one hand it will lower transaction costs; on the other hand,  it creates a trust network with a group of people who do not know each other. All ensured thanks to the certainty guaranteed by asymmetric encryption.
With the blockchain, we have found a means for automatically certifying our money transfers, in the case of mathematical coins.  In terms of property, with the smart contract first described by Nick Szabo, the blockchain can one day enable patent protection, trusted electronic voting remotely, and even more.
Decentralization has an important effect on transactions. Three areas that benefit are as follows:
  1. Anonymity – if no one knows the identity behind the lists of parties.
  2. Privacy – in the sense that no one knows what you purchased and at what price.
  3. Irreversible – which comes with a lack of monitoring and compensation body.
Now we are able to immortalize forever the information (amounts, documents, debts and credits, etc) and transfer them alone, without intermediaries such as notaries and lawyer. The work to certify these transactions are carried out by the “miners.” They are incentivized by receiving for a small fee (and with the prize of new bitcoins) to cover the fixed costs of specialized equipment and the variable costs of consumed energy.
However, not everything can be fully decentralized. The more mining power is distributed and fragmented, the less risk the network runs into. The power, thus decentralized, is inversely related to corruption.
On this issue, the known Bitcoin popularizer Andreas Antonopoulos, in an incredible article, describes the possible totalitarianism that could happen once someone has taken control of the valuable information that people exchange on the way they spend money.
“If there is control, there is power.”
What innovation can be achieved if you have to ask permission to exchange data?
It is decentralization that creates the conditions that can develop a competition in the offer of services conveyed by the network.
We probably can’t imagine what will happen after the mass adoption of this network for the exchange of information. Just like it was not imaginable what Google and Facebook would come to be before the advent of the Internet. Billions of interdependent people and machines give rise to new business; and when are grouped in federations, thanks to the standard, they create new and completely unexpected ecosystems.
The blockchain is, therefore, a public digital good.
In this field, there is new research in the universities; one of those carried out by an Italian scholar at Harvard known as Primavera De Filippi.
Now you can reverse incentives that led to the infamous “tragedy of the commons”. Because the use of policies based on a blockchain makes it possible to design new systems of incentives, which are certainly more transparent, you can therefore achieve a new form of consent for the self-government of public goods.
Power of intangibles: we now have a (info)structure that does not consume with its use and that we build together.

Author: Massimo Chiriatti, technologist and member of Assob.it

Source: The Future of the Web Looks a Lot Like Bitcoin (http://ow.ly/PqmJF)

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HolyTransaction welcomes new users from Greece, Europe, and the World over

Everyone with a finger on the pulse of the world’s financial health has been keeping their eyes peeled for the latest on the potential “Grexit” (Greek Exit) from the European Union. With negotiations of a final deal once again bearing no fruit, the average citizen’s faith in the traditional financial system is eroding at an ever-increasing rate. A few years ago, it was Cyprus; now, it is Greece. Frankly, the rest of the fiat-using world is right to believe that they may be next. In times like these, interest in Bitcoin tends to spike. In just the last week, Greek Google searches for the keyword ‘Bitcoin’ have increased notably. Let’s not forget that historically we have always seen a trickling effect where new Bitcoin users find themselves researching altcoins in an attempt to get ahead of the next big thing. It is possible that the current economic turmoil in Greece is the next big thing that pushes interest in Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

We have seen fellow digital currency companies focus their attention and marketing on Greece and Europe, which is another indicator of the breadth of this event. The classical way to buy bitcoins is to use your bank. Unfortunately, with Greece’s banks closed for the next week and possibly more time after that, it is arguably too late for the Greek people to buy Bitcoin easily.

Since most Greeks have their money tied up in the banks that are currently shut down. The people on the ground can’t even buy Bitcoin through the banks. Bitcoin isn’t going to be accepted by Greece over night, but Bitcoin also isn’t going to be shut down by anyone over night. In the coming weeks, the contrast between digital currency and banks will sharpen for many onlookers. Observers the world over will be struck with a sort of enlightenment: their vision will clear. Bitcoin might not be able to help the Greeks buy a loaf of bread in their local economies tomorrow morning; however, Bitcoin and blockchain technology can and will be able to prevent similar economic disasters from happening ever again.

Author: Caleb Chen

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Infographic: Who Are The Under Banked?

Who Are The Under Banked Infographic HolyTransaction


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Bitcoin listed on NYSE – Reminiscing

Bitcoin listed on New York Stock Exchange

Look at how far we’ve come.

Four years ago, the world of Bitcoin found me. By most peoples account, this was still very early days. The USD price, seen on a pre-Karpeles Mt.GOX, had recently surpassed it’s All-Time High of One-Dollar. I watched it climb up and kiss $31 over the next two months, before crashing back down to $2. Then $7. Then leveling off at $5. “Well, that’s it.” Said the forums and chat rooms ”Bitcoin is dead. We’ll never see $30 again.”  I was not convinced. Alternative currencies were already a fascination of mine, long before the idea became digital, and something about Bitcoin struck a chord.
I’d spend hours running numbers in my head and on paper, speculating about the possibilities. I made charts predicting price against difficulty, and theorizing just how high we might go after the first Block halving in the far distant future of 2012. You think people look at you like you’re crazy now…imagine what this looked like before anyone outside of a message board had heard the name Bitcoin. Friends politely listened to me exalt the virtues of cryptocurrency, sometimes for hours at a time, before hesitantly urging that I might be involved in a Ponzi scheme. “You don’t understand.” I’d say, “You’re looking at the future. This isn’t going away. It could go as high as $50, or even $100 per coin. It’s only a matter of time. Someday, Bitcoin could even have its own listing on the New York stock exchange.”

Fast forward to May 19th, 2015: The New York Stock Exchange has just launched an index for tracking Bitcoin. The feeling is surreal for me, and I’m sure for many of you too. We’ve gone from Alpaca Socks and Servers to an open world of goods and services. We’ve grown from a hand full of passionate nerds into a community of millions. We’ve seen phenomenal highs and crashing lows, but never a slowing of adoption. The resilience of our community is taking hold. It’s not about the price, or volatility. Bitcoin’s success has always been tied to the passion of its community, and it’s only getting bigger. So don’t be afraid to be a little frivolous with your coins sometimes. Go out and buy a street taco or a latte somewhere. Give some coins to your friends. Speculate. Tell everyone. And most importantly, enjoy the moment we’re in right now. The future is bright, and it’s a lot closer than you think.

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HolyTransaction partners with Netki for human-readable address

Wallet addresses are one of the most aggressive barriers to the mass adoption of digital currency. Trying to explain these lengthy, case sensitive, intimidating strings of numbers and letters to the uninitiated is a daunting task. Much of the general population values simplicity over function, and in this regard wallet addresses seem scary and overly complex.

It is with this in mind that we are very excited to announce our partnership with Netki!
Netki makes digital money approachable and intuitive for new and veteran users alike, by transforming long and unwieldy Bitcoin addresses into human-readable wallet names. Additionally, your Netki name separates your identity from public blockchain data, providing you multiple layers of privacy, as well as multiple validations to keep you secure.
When paired with your existing HolyTransaction account, Netki will allow you to use one single Name for all of your wallet addresses. This means that you will be able to send multiple currencies, all to one domain name-like address! As of this writing Changetip is integrated with Netki. Storing your funds, tipping online, building/implementing blockchain applications, and buying, selling, and accepting your desired currency, have all just become as simple as remembering a single name, when used with supported vendors!
Your account will be automatically updated as soon as it’s ready, and the integration will be seamless from your perspective. Once implemented, your wallet name will correspond to your HT username.
Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin will be the first coins supported, with more of your favorites coming soon after.
Netki’s solution utilizes both the decentralized Namecoin blockchain at its core and distributed DNSSEC at its edges. This combination allows users to have both control and ownership of the blockchain, while still maintaining their financial privacy. This architecture allows users to easily share their Wallet Name with anyone without having to publish it to the world via a public ledger.
Together, HolyTransaction and Netki aim to transform cumbersome wallet addresses into one shareable, easy to remember name, that will be usable by all your digital currencies. We look forward to working together to continue making the bitcoin experience both friendly and intuitive for all.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

bitcoin in russia

Russia reconsidering Bitcoin?

(CryptoCoinsNews) Could Bitcoin make it back into Russia? The latest news is that the draft law is in need of major revision as the Russian Ministry of Economic Development has not approved the draft in its current form. This is certainly not because of the desire to enhance freedom and liberty for Russian citizens, but because it may hurt Russian corporations ability to attract new business. The “quasi-money” designation includes things like gift cards and certificates that businesses use to bring in new customers. Banks, major retailers, and telecom companies would take a huge hit, and with the national GDP/economy is already having a terrible year, this bill does more harm than good overall.
“The proposed draft regulation act doesn’t solve any tasks assigned, but only serves to create legal barriers to the implementation of marketing programs of businesses and business development in general,” according to the Ministry of Economic Development.”
The issue with nation-states attacking Bitcoin out of defense of their currency is a complicated one. Many nations are in debt due to their debt-based fiat currency/central banking system. The current inherently flawed system is designed to leave nations indebted. Bitcoin and it’s potential growth leave open a way to build new businesses, generate new revenue streams by attracting investors, and ways for future taxation to help alleviate the nation’s indebtedness. Russia’s previous hard stance against Bitcoin was taken before many of their current economic issues and sanctions manifested.
Russia’s economic situation may continue to spiral downward, as they may soon suffer from restriction of access to the global financial system. In particular to the payment system SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which supplies secure messaging services and interface software to wholesale financial entities. An international banking computer partnership). Some critics say the government should pay more attention to financial innovations instead of trying to ban them.
Does this mean Bitcoin is in the clear? Not exactly. The bill most likely will be revised, but it may just benefit Russian corporations, but still restrict Russians ability to use electronic currency. The ban may just work around gift cards and bonus cards and remain for digital currency. The nature of the extent of the revisions remains unclear. What do you think Russia will do with Bitcoin?

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Could Bitcoin be a replacement for Gold?

(CoinDesk) Gold has been used as a store of value for eons, thanks to its beauty and almost magical ability to never tarnish. Furthermore, despite radical shifts in human values over the past 100 years, its worth still has not diminished – even soaring to over $1,000 an ounce in recent times.
Now, though, there is a new, digital challenger on the scene that, when its price chart is compared with that of gold, bears some striking similarities
It’s no wonder, then, that companies like Netagio now allow people to trade bitcoin for precious metals like gold – it is a sign that investors want the ability to trade BTC seamlessly with other investment vehicles.
In a sense, bitcoin could be considered an upgrade from gold. Some even consider it as gold with transformational, information-like properties.
Long-term runup of gold vs. the short-term runup of BTC. Source: MyBankTracker

Long-term run-up of gold versus the short-term run-up of BTC. Source: MyBankTracker

Digital gold with a twist

George Gilder, author of the forthcoming book Bitcoin and Gold: The Information Theory of Money, is impressed with bitcoin and has developed a well-thought argument for bitcoin as a sort of ‘next-generation gold’.
That’s because bitcoin builds upon the properties of gold and has spawned an information-based variation, he said.
Gilder told CoinDesk:

“Satoshi [Nakamoto] was right with bitcoin. That’s what amazes me. Satoshi arrived at a foundation for the value of bitcoin that’s valid.”

Gilder sees economic uncertainty as advantageous to bitcoin, a fact evidenced by the increasing interest in bitcoin observed in Argentina and other countries hampered by volatile fiat currencies.
The decline of the Argentine peso versus the US dollar. Source: exchange-rates.org

The decline of the Argentine peso versus the US dollar from 2013 to 2014. Source: exchange-rates.org

As an example, Gilder believes that increased government control of money, such as capital controls or quantitative easing, means more uneasiness in terms of economic sentiment.
“The more money [governments] print, the more uncertain the people become,” said Gilder. “Bitcoin is based on the understanding that the money supply doesn’t really matter.”
Adrian Ash, the head of research at BullionVault, a gold storage company, pointed out:

“Digital gold currencies have been tried and failed many times in the last 20 years. They came to nothing thanks both to state resistance, but also to lack of adoption.”

However, it’s safe to say that bitcoin has progressed further than its failed predecessors. That may be, though, because previous electronic money alternatives like E-gold were backed by gold, and not by cryptographic keys. As a result, bitcoin might be the first to offer a substantial alternative that would appeal to gold enthusiasts.

Role as a currency

Another characteristic of bitcoin that makes it seem like an upgrade over gold is its protocol that allows value to be moved quickly around the globe. Regardless of how supportive gold enthusiasts are of their favorite store of value, there’s no denying it has limited appeal to mainstream consumers.
Bitcoin adoption by the average person remains a hurdle to overcome to ensure success, but the digital currency’s combination of novel innovations might allow it to complement existing methods of exchange.
“[The] chicken-and-egg situation [of adoption] might be resolved by bitcoin’s most exciting aspect – zero-cost exchange of value,” said Ash.
Along with adoption as a means of exchange, bitcoin could become a very useful currency, commodity and recording mechanism via its block chain. According to Gilder, the problem of velocity, or how much people spend a thing of value, is what will ultimately make bitcoin a success. Or a failure.
Gilder said:

“Velocity is what determines value. Not just printing money. Satoshi [Nakamoto] has an absolute 21 million bitcoin limit. Bitcoin is determined by velocity, by turnover rate governed by the people holding the coins.”

Bitcoin might be an iteration of gold – a 2.0 version. People can hold stores of it, as well as spend it – a property that gold cannot compete with.
“It’s important to note that gold isn’t used as currency anywhere today,” said Ash.
Given that even Ash concedes this point, bitcoin’s long-term success may lie in adoption. In other words, whether bitcoin is able to triumph and replace gold will lie with its peer-to-peer network, and just how large this base of bitcoin believers becomes in the years ahead.

Bitcoin believers

It’s hard to tell how many bitcoin users there really are. New bitcoin products and services are seemingly announced every day, and Mary Meeker’s presentation of bitcoin’s growth via the use of a chart showing the number of wallets in use (see below) shows there is traction.
While wallet use is growing, it’s not a one-to-one correlation – or even if many of the newly created wallets actually have bitcoin in them. It does show increased awareness overall, however.
Source: CoinDesk

Source: CoinDesk

However, it can be argued that gold investors will have to see the promise of bitcoin over the precious metal not only as a store of value, but also as a spending and transactional innovation.
The rise of consumer services continues, and energy focused on that particular sector of the bitcoin economy is notable.
For instance, in Canada, there are a number of options for people to buy or sell bitcoin. Not only do residents of Canada have access to an established exchange for the Canadian dollar, there are storefronts and even bitcoin ATMs available in most major cities.
Access to bitcoin for gold investors is the best way to prove the value of bitcoin to this subset of the market, and this is especially true in the US market.
In a poll conducted by Harris Interactive in December 2013, when bitcoin prices were at their all-time pinnacle, the majority of people still didn’t even know what bitcoin was. And, likely because of this, they indicated that they would much rather invest in gold over bitcoin.
Harris poll question: Would you rather invest in gold or bitcoin? Source: CoinDesk

Harris poll question: Would you rather invest in gold or bitcoin? Source: CoinDesk

The key to bitcoin as a new form of gold is to improve upon the precious metal. And that means making the most of its transport and currency capabilities.
For this to happen, an increase in awareness is needed  – and some proponents of gold already understand this fact.
Companies like the UK’s GoldMoney have been offering bitcoin as a storage option along with gold for some time. Furthermore. investment broker and author Peter Schiff, while making waves about his insistence that bitcoin could become worthless, is still nevertheless accepting it at his company, SchiffGold – a fact that should make gold investors take the digital currency a little more seriously.

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