Tag Archives: economy

Bitcoins in Argentina: New Short Film Show Impact of Currency

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Bitcoin in Argentina Film

Bitcoins in Argentina

A short film shows the impact of Bitcoin in Argentina. In the film, Diego uses Bitcoin to avoid the skyrocketing inflation and monetary restrictions of the Argentinian Peso. More at BitcoinFilm.org or @Bitcoinfilm.

From the filmmakers:

In Argentina we met Diego who works for a technology company and lives a normal life in Buenos Aires. He would like to save up the pesos he earns in order to travel, invest, and plan for his retirement, just like the rest of us. However because of the economic situation in Argentina Diego does not know how much his money is worth tomorrow. The Argentinian Peso that Diego uses is volatile and has seen everything from total collapse, to about 25-30% inflation, which is the case today. On top of this, because of monetary restrictions Diego cannot change his Pesos into Dollars or Euros within the established system. That means that he and his fellow Argentinians can’t save up for their children’s education, travel or retirement. But luckily for Diego, he found a solution. By changing Pesos into Bitcoins Diego can move his savings across international borders or he can decided to keep his savings in Bitcoins. Since this situation is the same in dozens of other countries, we feel that Diego’s story, and the way he uses Bitcoins, needs to be told.

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Winklevii Bitcoin: Twins Secretly Own 1% of the Bitcoin Economy

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Winklevii Bitcoin

Winklevii Bitcoin: They Own A Huge Stake

Facebook’s arch enemies Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have revealed a big financial secret: they hold about 1% of the Bitcoin economy. That’s a big Winklevii Bitcoin position.

Fresh with their cash from the Facebook settlement (worth well over $200 million), the Winklevoss twins have bought up about $11 million worth of Bitcoins. That’s about 1% of all available Bitcoins.

In an interview with the New York Times, the Winklevii provided some insights on their investment:

“People say it’s a Ponzi scheme, it’s a bubble. People really don’t want to take it seriously. At some point that narrative will shift to ‘virtual currencies are here to stay.’ We’re in the early days.”

The Winklevosses say this week’s tumult is just growing pains for a digital currency that they believe will become a sort of gold for the technorati.

“We have elected to put our money and faith in a mathematical framework that is free of politics and human error,” Tyler Winklevoss said.

The Winklevosses have paid in bitcoin for the services of a Ukrainian computer programmer who has worked on their Web site.

The brothers began dabbling in Bitcoin last summer when the dollar value of a single coin was still in the single digits. To keep their holdings secure from hackers, they have taken the complex codes that represent their holdings off networked computers and saved them on small flash drives, putting the drives, in turn, in safe deposit boxes at banks in three different cities.

It’s hard to verify how the Winklevoss holdings compare with other bitcoin players, given the anonymity of accounts, and the twins say they believe that some early users of the system probably have holdings that are at least as large.


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Bitcoin Media: New York Times Profiles Bitcoins

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Bitcoin Media New York Times

Bitcoin Media Goes Mainstream

In a sign of growth in mainstream awareness of Bitcoin, the New York Times published a feature on the revolutionary alternative currency. In the article, topics including Bitcoin mining, trading, transactions, and economies are covered.

On the Bitcoin economy:

The price increase becomes a question of supply and demand. Unlike other currencies that can adjust the money supply depending on economic conditions, bitcoins have a supply that is fixed. The amount of new coins that can be minted was plotted at the outset with a finite number of coins at the end, roughly 21 million in the next century. Today, the rate is 25 new coins every 10 minutes; for the first four years, it was twice as many, 50 every 10 minutes.

On Bitcoin transactions:

So far, excluding investors and day traders, the main use of the currency appears to be illicit activity. There are the online gambling sites that use bitcoins. And the anonymous online marketplace Silk Road, which accepts only bitcoins, is “overwhelmingly used as a market for controlled substances and narcotics,” according to a paper on Silk Road written by Mr. Christin of Carnegie Mellon.

He used clues on the site, including buyer feedback reports, to calculate how much and what kind of business was being transacted. His conclusion, as of July 2012, was that $1.2 million in business was carried out each month, much of it for buying small amounts of narcotics that were delivered by mail. “We did see it was growing,” he said of the total value of the trades. “It pretty much doubled in the six months I followed it.”


Read the full article at the New York Times.

New York Times building photo by wallyg used under Creative Commons license.

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Here Comes the Bitcoin Venture Capital

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Jeremy Liew Bitcoin Venture Capital

Bitcoin Venture Capital Heats Up

Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Jeremy Liew published his perspective on the incredible opportunity to invest in companies that are building new ideas for the Bitcoin ecosystem. It looks like the Bitcoin venture capital is heating up.

There are three key markets in Bitcoin:

Wallet. Holding your Bitcoins for you, serving some of the checking account functions of a bank.

Exchange. Converting from USD to Bitcoins and back.

Payments. Helping merchants accept Bitcoins for their transactions.

As a rule of thumb, VCs like to see billion-dollar markets to get excited. How can each of these markets get to be a billion dollars in size?

To build multi-billion dollar opportunities, the Bitcoin economy needs to grow 100X from where it is today, Liew goes on to say. But to put that in perspective, it grew more than 10X in the last year.

These opportunities are not without risk. Liew acknowledges that in its short existence, Bitcoin has been the target of theft and over 10% of the Bitcoins in circulation have been stolen. This and other risks will make it hard to be build sustainable businesses, but not impossible.

Via TechCrunch.

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