Skip to comments.Any FReepers use Bitcoin?
Posted on 04/04/2013 8:41:34 AM PDT by djf
Bitcoin is a type of "virtual currency" developed by an Opensource organization.
Using them requires downloading some software and synchronizing the databases, a very lengthy process, taking perhaps a day or more.
AFAIK from what I read, when Bitcoin was started, the "value" of a bitcoin was about 5 cents.
Current quotes for the value of a bitcoin come in at around $135 USD.
So I am intensely curious to know if any FReepers have ever successfully acquired a wallet, synchronized their DB's, and started acquiring/earning/spending bitcoins!
I think you may have missed the boat. People are talking about this all over the place. I would be very, very careful “investing in BC.” When the rush to the door starts, it’s going to be fast and ugly.
The big-government/big-corporate criminal complex will never allow bitcoin to endanger their monopoly on fungible exchange of value, if they have to kill everybody involved in order to do it.
I just read this morning that one of the Bitcoin sites got hacked and the price had dropped. I personally would not use it.
I don’t think any FReepers are going to talk about whether they do or do not use bitcoin on a public forum.
No one should assume their real identity can’t be discovered. Here, or anywhere.
Remember: what you put on the internet is there forever... and search engines are going to get better and better.
I don’t understand the desire to use it.
What prevents any “wealth” accumulated in it from suddenly disappearing?
Here’s a Bitcoin primer I put together.
Don’t know why you should be afraid to say you use bitcoin. It’s not illegal. I have completed transactions with bitcoins, but havent used it in a year or more. don’t even know where my wallet is stored any longer (empty).
I think once a bitcoin wallet is created, it is not in any particular fashion associated with a particular IP address or username.
So people can talk about it without divulging anything.
I’m just wondering what the whole concept is about.
Do bitcoins in some way represent a piece of the pie of the value of E-commerce on the Internet? Is it just a matter of trust?
I wouldn’t ‘invest’ in bit coin. It’s value and use is not in stability, but anonymity.
My 30 year old son told me about Bitcoin 2 years ago. He has “mined” a small amount. Enjoys watching it grow !
Could be the safest of all currencies, very secure - uses same security as top military communications. Math computer expert explained to me.
Should be a part of every investors portfolio, IMHO.
That looks very helpful - will read... Thanks.
Looks like Mr Madoff has a new hobby.
Is it worth mining these if I have a few extra computers laying about?
I stopped my digital evolution at texting. I do not tweet nor bitcoin nor anything that came after texting.
i’ll stick with money credit card, and checks!
I have no use for being anonymous in my transactions!
There’s a saying in sales: The confused mind always says “no”. I don’t understand the basis for the value of this virtual money, therefore I don’t use it.
I just saw a report that Bitcoin was hacked earlier today. If may have been on Drudge.
Thanks for the primer. Bump for later.
Nice Read!!! Thanks for the link.
Nothing lost, a DDoS - type of Denial of Service.
One unit simply wouldn’t work....nothing lost......
Basis is as simple as the value of anything/everything: supply & demand.
New markets for new things are created all the time when there is a demand for something new that did not exist before.
Bitcoin has value because it is a new “thing” that has immediate value because all fiat currencies can be manipulated by governments. Bitcoin cannot be manipulated - yet.
Value of gold is similar: supply & demand. EXCEPT that governments can and do manipulate the value of gold by holding it or releasing it into the market.
As the number of Bitcoins is forever limited to 21 million, it cannot be manipulated or controlled.
Smart money people all over the world are looking for an investment that cannot be manipulated. For now, looks like Bitcoin is it. Demand is there - thus the price. It cannot be stolen and is more secure than the dollars in your pocket.
Bitcoins become dangerous Internet currency
By T.J. Murray, 4/4/2013, TheCelebrityCafe.com
Bitcoins are a surging online currency. While most people have no idea what they are, those in the know have made some very real dollars.
The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/03/heres-a-simple-60-second-primer-on-bitcoin/ did a report on bitcoins, citing that the economy around bitcoins is done peer to peer, leaving banks out of the exchange. The Post also notes that bitcoins exist outside the scope of the law.
If you think this secrecy makes bitcoins great for buying drugs, Forbes says you are right. They also say that bitcoins don’t seem to have much economical application outside of gambling and illegal activity.
So why are there $1.6 billion worth of bitcoins, according to New York Magazine? http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/04/i-bought-a-bitcoin.html It’s because bitcoins are an investment. In 2009, one bitcoin was worth five dollars. Today, one bitcoin is worth around $140.
It’s a dangerous investment though. Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/im-raising-my-bitcoin-price-target-to-400-2013-4 explains that the worth of bitcoins could drop to zero if the currency is deemed illegal or the system that supports the bitcoin economy is somehow hacked or exploited.
Speculation across the Internet is running wild. Most advise staying away from the volatile currency, but some see the potential for much greater gain. Regardless, this nation-less, technology-fueled currency seems to be one more great experiment along the path to the future.
Image from Twitpic.com.
After I started this thread on Thursday, I downloaded and installed the software.
Just so you know, I am using Bitcoin-QT client.
It is running on an older ASUS motherboard with dual 1000 mhz PIII processors and 2.5 gig memory, under Windows XP SP3.
Now, in order for Bitcoin to run, it needs to have the entire database on your machine. That means that when it starts, it will create a virtual “wallet” for you on your machine, and then it starts synchronizing a copy of the database onto your machine.
This is a long, long, long, long process. You can use your machine while it is going on, but it will be slowed down quite a bit.
Fortunately, the developers built it in (at least it is built in to Bitcoin-QT) that if the process gets interrupted, it will restart where it was, rather than go back to the beginning.
Total data in my Bitcoin data folder is about 7.5 gigabytes.
I was forced to interrupt it a couple times. For one, I was running out of space on my drive. When I create my drives, I ALWAYS partition them, so I have a way of keeping system data away from other type data (MP3’s, video streams, email, etc.)
So I had to adjust the partition sizes.
Also, the data files it builds go into the folder Documents and Settings/usrname/My Documents/Application data/Bitcoin, so it by default puts the data to your boot drive.
Another part of the problem I had was System Restore was turned on for my main drive, this caused a TON of checkpoint files to be created, and basically fragmented the heck out of the drive.
So a couple times I stopped it, once to turn off system restore, a couple times to run defrag.
As it downloads the data, it calls them “blocks” (starting number is about 320,000 blocks), but it stores the data on your machine in files called BLKXXXXXX.DAT, where XXXXXX is some kind of sequence number. Each of these local files is 131 MB long, and there are currently 51 of them in toto.
Finally, this evening after two days of almost continuous downloading, it got done. I IMMEDIATELY shut down Bitcoin and backed up the data to another drive, then restarted Bitcoin. After restarting it, there had been 3 new blocks created, so it downloaded them and synchronized.
According to the Bitcoin developers, it generates a new block, at a minimum, of once every ten minutes, which would be 144 per day, but will generate more if the demand and usage is there. So if you turn your machine off over the weekend and restart it on Monday or whatever, you will be a couple days behind and have a few hundred (or more) blocks to download to re-synchronize.
Because it took so long to download and it rained here for the last couple days, I was able to visit some forums and do alot of reading about Bitcoin.
Can you “earn” bitcoins by mining?
Will you “earn” bitcoins by mining?
The Bitcoin client software by itself does not have any mining capabilities built in, so you would need to acquire specialty software to do this.
And because of the hashing algorithms used in bitcoin, it is better processed by certain high-end GPU’s (graphical processing units) rather than most of todays machines main Intel type CPU’s.
So it’s possible that you MIGHT be able to mine a bitcoin using todays desktops/laptops without modification, but it would be about the same as winning Powerball. You’d burn up a large amount of electricity, overheat your computer, possibly blow out your CPU or PSU(Power Supply Unit).
As it stands, I now have Bitcoin running. I may shut it down and restart tomorrow.
I have no Bitcoins, though. I checked a few of the “free Bitcoin” sites and they all seemed like BS scam kinda stuff. I am interested in testing sending/receiving bitcoins, but am not going to obsess about it.
I made my tag-line one of my bitcoin addresses, so if someone has bitcoins, and feels like sending me one ten-thousandth of a bitcoin, I’d certainly appreciate it, just to find out more.
If anybody wants to install bitcoin and has questions, please feel free to post them to the thread or FReepmail me and I will do my best to answer them.
I may start a Bitcoin Daily thread to track the nominal values of various e-currencies.
Now, an option to all this is using Litecoin, which is Bitcoins younger brother of sorts. The Litecoin client software DOES have built in mining capabilities, and the database is MUCH smaller.
Current Bitcoin quotes come in around $135 USD
Current Litecoin quotes come in around $3 USD
Whatever you do, have fun!
DO NOT bet the farm on Bitcoin or any other form of e-currency!
That's generally good advice, but how long before you can walk into a 7-11 and buy a "burn pad" for $20 cash the way you can buy a "burn phone" today? When it gets to that point, all the government databases in the world will quickly become obsolete.
Can it be hacked?
Will it be hacked?
Will that destroy the value of Bitcoins already out there?
Well, there are counterfeit $100 bills floating around, but most merchants are still very willing to accept a C-note if you want to buy something.
I just find it interesting and fascinating, have nothing invested except the time and effort to get it up and running.
It could be a fad. It could be the greatest thing since sliced bread, or since they put an ATM in every 7-11.
Time will tell!
We’re already there.
A gift-card Visa debit card you register online.
You buy the card, and put up to 500 dollars on it.
You log into the VV website and enter ONLY your zip code to activate it.
As long as you have the funds on the card, it works everywhere a regular Visa credit card works. I use them for Amazon, etc. In that case, if you get hacked or ripped off, the most you can lose is the original amount on the card.
I just received one one-thousandth of a Bitcoin!
I can only assume that some generous FReeper joined in my testing/quest!
I’m not sure what the smallest amount is I can send, but if fellow FReepers want to try it, I’d love to try the sending side, so FReepmail me an address, and I’ll give it a shot!
Thanks very much to the generous sender! I now have 13 cents in my wallet! IT’S BACKUP WALLET TIME!!!
Bookmark, I have to look into this later.
It’s moderately complex.
Simpler, say, than installing Linux and getting all the settings, userids, device drivers installed.
But way more complicated than sticking a CD in and clicking on “Setup”.
So you don’t have to be a full scale system administrator, but if you were (and I know you’re not) a person who thinks they will go to Wally World, buy a Toshiba laptop, and make a bazillion mining Bitcoins... well, U know what I mean.
(BTW, I personally am an IBM mainframe z/OS system administrator)
And I haven’t here even touched the idea of security...
What is interesting to me is a monetary system devoid of governmental control. But you know the old saying, cash talks and BS walks. Hard to understand a currency without physical representation if the electronic grid ever goes down.
In a sense, we have that already.
Something like 97% of the “wealth” in this country isn’t in cash - it’s in Savings and checking accounts, Stocks, Certificates of deposit, 401(k)s..
If the grid goes down, for many if not most people, what you got is whatever you got stuffed under your mattress, or coins lost in your couch. That’s it!
After I finished the downloading and backup of the Bitcoin DB, I started the installation of Litecoin on another machine. This was about 9 PM.
The Litecoin DB finished downloading about 2 AM. So at 5 hours, it is MUCH, MUCH faster than Bitcoin.
And coming in at a bit under a gigabyte, the Litecoin DB is smaller, more compact and concise.
Think Mobile. Think apps on your cell phone where you keep your wallet and wave it in front of a Coke machine to get a can!
I have started mining on Litecoin, coming in at about 490 h/s.
All donations accepted!
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