Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Whole New Level

What a week for Bitcoin.

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“The hearing ends. This was a huge step toward the mainstreaming of digital currencies like Bitcoin — and it seems likely Bitcoin will become the only game in town — and Bitcoin markets seem to view this as a bullish development.” 

Monday saw a US Senate hearing where lawmakers talked about the positives and negatives of Bitcoin. The law enforcers were unanimous and  clear,  they have the law enforcement tools to manage a shift to digital currencies, they (law enforcers) just want to make life as difficult as possible for “bad actors”. Well that’s a win! There will always be criminals, there will always be cash (or maybe not), so in simple terms, it’s “as you were world”. Except, the USA Government understands that digital cash is here to stay. The result, it may be that Bitcoin is the major digital currency ( Gold 2.0) it maybe not, but you will have a digital wallet before 2020, quote me on it.

Bitcoin briefly reached a value of $900 per “BTC” ( the symbol for Bitcoin) on the news and reaction from that Senate hearing in Washington DC on Monday (18th November 2013).

Most major established global news outlets had stories:

BBC NewsCNNWall Street Journal and Fortune

Twitter came alive, water cooler chats were had, and those pro and con Bitcoin started to talk and  shared their thinking.

There was even the release of a realtime tracking website to see where Bitcoin was being bought from across the world.

Most people were talking about values, ‘can it go higher?’, ‘how is it worth that?’ and “is it too late to catch the wave/gravy train?’. Greed basically, but maybe that’s harsh.

For me, the answer to any Bitcoin question is, think long game. Think about  the way you send people (your children, friends and family, online stores etc) money on the internet today, is it  the best way to do it ? Through your bank with 2nd 6th and 12th letters of your password and 4th, 2nd and 1st digit of your online Banking PIN ? Really? Seriously?

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I don’t think  it is the best experience. That’s why I like long game thinking, I believe “Digital Cash”, “Virtual Gold” or “Gold 2.0”, whatever term you like best is here to stay, it’s not going away. Did you resist email in 1999? Or a maybe you have still said no to a smartphone? We are in a world where the technology is going to get you, sorry.  Unless you find that paradise island where you and other inhabitants are entirely self sufficient.

If you can believe and trust my statement(s) above, that will be your time to buy or learn more about digital currencies. It’s never too late to learn or invest in anything you truly believe in.

After a week like this, I’m sticking with Bitcoin for now, but I will be looking at Litecoin next week.

For daily updates follow @BitcoinCoach on Twitter


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Bitcoin – The Journey So Far, 2010 – 2013

Bitcoin Magazine

Bitcoin Magazine (Photo credit: zcopley)

This post is about sharing what I know, what I feel and why. It should not be read as advice to buy Bitcoin. Just because I did and will continue too, it’s no reason for you to buy.

Only buy Bitcoin if you can afford and are prepared to see your purchase/investment become totally worthless, maybe within minutes.

I think that’s as clear as I can be.

On the up side…

Bitcoin is on the rise again. Bitcoin may start appearing in mainstream media. I think the BBC has been excellent with its coverage so far. Once Bitcoin is in the media again, some people will talk and seek to know more.

I hope this post helps you to ‘know more’. I don’t know much, I’m not a financial expert, I don’t even have a Bitcoin Wallet yet. I tried to create a wallet on my iPhone and my Mac, but I failed. All my Bitcoin are stored in Japan and I have not made a single purchase using Bitcoin. This blog post will not help you with any info about wallets and spending Bitcoin.

That’s a huge problem with Bitcoin right now, it really isn’t ready for mainstream consumers yet. You cannot just hop online and buy and spend Bitcoin easily. The day will come when Bitcoin is easy to buy and spend, it’s just not today. Think of it like Broadband internet, it hasn’t always been fast and easy, do you remember 56K modem connections to the internet? That’s where Bitcoin is right now, it’s a bit painful and not for everyone.

I first came across Bitcoin on Twitter in 2010, I saw a tweet from @LoudMouthMan, he’s an eminent technical guy and a really good man. I trust him, that’s why I clicked his link and read about Bitcoin in 2010, my verdict at the time? I ‘got it’ but it was one for the pending’ tray.

In mid 2012 another eminent technical guy and very good friend of mine @Kjakman (Kjetil) asked me, “Daren, have you bought Bitcoin yet?” “No,” I replied. “Buy some” he said, then the subject changed.

English: The CERN datacenter with World Wide W...

English: The CERN datacenter with World Wide Web and Mail servers. Nederlands: Het CERN datacentrum met World Wide Web en Mail servers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Years Eve 2012 @Kjakman asks again, as fireworks and smoke were filling the Amsterdam night sky, “Hey Daren, have you bought Bitcoin yet?” “No,” I replied. “Buy some” he said and then the subject changed.

Fast forward to March 2013 I get a phone call and it’s @Kjakman. “Hey Daren have you bought any Bitcoin?” “No,” I said. “Buy some and here’s why…” The phone call lasted another fifteen minutes or so, I hang up and decide to buy Bitcoin. I could have bought at 15 cents and $1 if I’d have acted when first nudged by Kjetil. Thank you for not giving up on me Kjetil, I bought at $43.

It took me another three weeks, international wire transfers, visits to my bank branch and sending a scanned copy of my passport to a Russian owned money transfer service based in the West Indies. You can guess I was nervous. Because of my nerves I only invested $1000, I made a judgement that if I lost it all, I would have ‘died tryin’ and that would be that, no sulking.

I trusted what I saw online at OKPay and they were an excellent company to deal with. My dollars ended up in my account at (the Bitcoin exchange in Japan) and I bought my Bitcoin for $43 each. Within weeks the value soared to $266. I cashed out my original stake again via OKPay and the money I risked was safely back in my UK Bank Account. WIN!

Now I have 20 Bitcoin totally free. I’ve tried to trade them a little and lost every time. To be frank, a ‘day trader’ I am not.

Once my money was back in the UK, I also bought three more Bitcoin via – it was straight bank transfer from my bank account to theirs, but they don’t offer this service now.

Despite UK banks making it very difficult to buy Bitcoin I’m very excited about a “Bitcoin future”. Once I understood Bitcoin more, it became a very obvious solution for the future and possibly the most exciting thing to happen for ‘everyday people’ empowerment since the World Wide Web itself.

Why wouldn’t you want digital cash on your phone or PC?

Image representing PayPal as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Why do you have to go to the bank online to pay someone? In real life I pass over cash for lots of things, no need for the bank. The bank doesn’t know if I lend my son £100 or buy a car for £5,000 every time I do that. I like cash; I think I like the idea of digital cash even more. Paypal is not digital cash, and their charges are a scandal in my opinion. I accepted PayPal this week for a £67 eBay transaction. They (PayPal) charged me over £3 to process the transaction. It shouldn’t cost that much to receive money from another person for a simple transaction (a car fog light in case you’re wondering).

If you click my earlier posts on this blog you can learn the fundamentals of Bitcoin and it’s decentralization from banks and government. For the last part of this post I’m going to share the “Bitcoin dream” that I’ve created for myself:

The Bitcoin I own are not for me, they are for my children and my children’s children. My dream is that ‘Grandad Daren’ is lauded as super smart and brave for generations to come. A bit like a friend of mine when I was younger, his family were skint, but they were left some shares in his Great Grandad’s Will. The shares were bought in the 1930’s and worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in 1994. It was amazing! It totally changed their lives!

I’ve bought Bitcoin because I see a future for digital cash. There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin, that’s it, no more, ever! Unlike current cash from banks, they just print more, which effects inflation and makes our cash worth less every year.

So, only 21 million Bitcoin, but billions of people on earth connected to the same network, exchanging digital cash with each other. If the gamble (and it is a gamble that Bitcoin will be “the digital currency”) pays off, Bitcoin will be in big demand and a Bitcoin could be worth many many thousands of pounds per Bitcoin. It’s a bit like buying a nugget of gold in California circa 1849.

Bitcoin, bitcoin coin, physical bitcoin, bitco...

Bitcoin, bitcoin coin, physical bitcoin, bitcoin photo (Photo credit: antanacoins)

One thing is for sure and undeniable, the mathematics and architecture of Bitcoin is genius. I like genius and I’m prepared to back it with my hard-earned money.

Finally, on the question of how Bitcoin is valued, we all value everything at what we think  it’s worth.

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Why is Bitcoin Value Rising ?

The ruins of an ancient Chinese watchtower fro...

The ruins of an ancient Chinese watchtower from the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), located along what was the old line of rammed-earth fortifications in Dunhuang, Gansu province, China, that once stretched from the Hexi Corridor (in Gansu) to the Tarim Basin (in modern Xinjiang). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Washington Post published an excellent article recently.

The short summary is:

1. Silk Road (A site selling illegal items where payment was Bitcoin only) was closed down. The US Government confirmed it has no problem with Bitcoin as a currency, just the criminals that use it. Just like cash really. The US authorities also seized over $20 Million worth of Bitcoin when it shut down Silk Road, so the US Government is now a stakeholder (big Bitcoin owner).

2. The Chinese are starting to adopt Bitcoin. There are over 1 Billion Chinese people, there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin, it’s easy maths in my opinion.

Yesterday, it was announced that the BTC China (China’s Bitcoin Exchange) has become the worlds largest exchange by number of coins traded.

The full Washington Post article is here: “Why Bitcoin prices are at a five month high”  I hope you enjoy it.

Also this week the first Bitcoin ATM went live in Vancouver, Canada. You can buy Bitcoin or withdraw Canadian Dollars, perfect.

Last, but not least, a very successful technology entrepreneur raises $9 Million for a Bitcoin start up called Circle, “We’re building digital currency products that make money simpler, safer, and more powerful.”

It’s all great news!

Thanks for reading.

Bitcoin, bitcoin coin, physical bitcoin, bitco...

Bitcoin, bitcoin coin, physical bitcoin, bitcoin photo (Photo credit: antanacoins)


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