CoinSafe May Have Solved The Bitcoin Transaction Speed Problem

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Bitcoin, HeadLines | 0 comments

CoinSafe May Have Solved The Bitcoin Transaction Speed Problem

By John Biggs Bitcoin transactions aren’t actually instant. Because each transfer requires a number of confirmations via the mining process, some Bitcoin moves can take minutes or even half an hour. CoinSafe, however, may have created a solution that can process BTC transactions in seconds. CoinSafe, a company founded by Michael Flaxman and Tom Chokel, is a “free Bitcoin ATM service.” It allows almost anyone with smartphone to become an BTM (you become the cash dispenser, in this case). There are about 300 stores signed up now and you can go in and buy and sell bitcoin via an app. You can go to CoinSafe.com and have a free BTM up and running in minutes,” said Flaxman. “Your employees don’t have to understand bitcoin in order to buy or sell it.” However, even with their BTM, bitcoin transactions took half and hour. To prevent this, they began using blockcypher.com to monitor hundreds of nodes AKA mining machines. Then it gets a little complex: “When a transaction is broadcast, we detect that right away,” said Flaxman. “Then we start looking for our transaction in the memory pools of these nodes. If the transaction propagates across the network and no competing (double-spend) transactions are found on any nodes, then we can predict the odds it will eventually make it into a block. In about 10 seconds we’re able to make this prediction, and then the app tells the store to release the cash to the customer. We’re now financially guaranteeing that the transaction will confirm as expected, so both parties don’t have to worry about it anymore.” Flaxen explained that most transactions are somewhere in between being confirmed. “By design it takes an average of 10 minutes for each block to be mined, and each of these blocks adds more certainty that the transaction will eventually be confirmed. The statistical odds of a transaction being double-spent after receiving 6 confirmations on the bitcoin blockchain are astronomically low,” he said. In short, the technology reduces the speed of transactions from 10 minutes to about 10 seconds. It’s very specific to CoinSafe’s system and doesn’t apply to many other bitcoin systems. However, it does make CoinSafe a little more interesting as an ATM provider. As seen Here Share this:ShareClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

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Inside one of the world’s largest bitcoin mines

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Bitcoin, HeadLines | 0 comments

Inside one of the world’s largest bitcoin mines

BY Bitsmith A week after I visited the last bitcoin mine in northeast China, I was able to arrange a trip to a larger, even more secretive operation. These exclusive photos provide a glimpse inside one of China’s largest bitcoin mines. Arriving at the site, I did not expect it to be so busy. There were men in hard hats and work crews mulling about, and vehicles coming and going. There were cement trucks and lorries hauling steal beams, along with massive spools of industrial sized wiring. This wasn’t a repurposed factory like the previous mine I visited… this was an entire facility being constructed just for bitcoin mining! The site contained four large warehouses, each decked out in the standard white wall/blue roof décor that seems to be the running standard for Chinese industrial use. Each warehouse measured about 150 meters in length, by perhaps 20 meters wide… that’s around 3,000 square meters (32,000 ft2) In addition to the four standing warehouses, there was a steel frame that had already been erected and was awaiting completion, and crews of workers were busy building a foundation for yet another warehouse next to that one. Two additional plots had been measured out and marked with posts and rope. That’s four completed warehouses, two under construction, and two more waiting to begin construction. I was asked not to post photos of the construction. The mine operators told me that each warehouse took fifteen days to construct, and an additional ten days to fill up with hardware and get it all hashing away. The concrete was still drying on some of the buildings. Each building had large industrial fans lining one entire side, blowing outwards, and the opposite wall covered with this strange material. They keep the machines cool with an evaporative cooling system. Its basically a durable paper product that looks like the wavy corrugated part on the inside of cardboard. Water is pumped to the top and flows down, and the fans blowing outwards on the other side create negative air pressure, drawing fresh air through the holes and cooling it. The cooling system seems pretty effective, the inside of the warehouses were around 25 degrees (77 °F). Because the facility was constructed for bitcoin mining, it features some optimizations, like ditches for running cabling through: The site hosts many different models of bitcoin mining equipment. Everything is still under construction, so there’s lots of stuff like this around: The boxes the miners were shipped in. More empty boxes. Tons of supplies, like this massive crate full of power supply units. Fans waiting for more equipment to arrive. There’s also a bed here, although this one is for naps, no one actually lives at this facility like in the last one I featured. This entire facility has several petahashes of mining power, accounting for perhaps 5% of the entire bitcoin network. Damn. They monitor the hashrate from a tablet to make sure that everything is in order. Bonus nighttime pic: Taken from Here!   Share this:ShareClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

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Overstock to Allow International Customers to Pay in Bitcoin

Posted by on Aug 24, 2014 in Bitcoin, HeadLines | 0 comments

Overstock to Allow International Customers to Pay in Bitcoin

By SYDNEY EMBER One big retailer is about the conquer the next bitcoin frontier. Since the beginning of the year, a number of well-known retailers, including Overstock, Expedia and Dell, have started accepting bitcoins for domestic sales through their websites. Now, Overstock is preparing to allow international customers to pay in bitcoin as well, becoming the biggest merchant to extend the payment option beyond the United States market. On Sept. 1, Overtock plans to introduce a new payments system on its international website, O.co, that will allow customers to make purchases using the virtual currency, said Patrick Byrne, the company’s chief executive. The company started taking bitcoin payments in January from domestic customers. “I know that’s it’s become part of the bitcoin lore in the United States to shop on Overstock,” said Byrne, who has made no secret of his support for the virtual currency. “My hope is that would happen at a global level.” Many small, more obscure merchants already accept bitcoins for cross-border transactions. But the move by popular retailers like Overstock into the international space could foretell a more widespread adoption of the virtual currency as a viable payment option. Dell, for example, which began allowing U.S. customers and small business to pay with bitcoins in July, said it wanted to gauge the initial interest in the currency before planning its next steps, which could include rolling out the payment option internationally. “We wanted to expose this to our customers and see what the uptake was,” said Paul Walsh, the chief information officer of Dell Commerce Services. A desire to test the U.S. market before committing to wider acceptance of the currency may be the reason more merchants have not yet extended the payment option to international customers, said Gil Luria, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. “If you’re a big retailer, and you’re trying to embrace a new technology, you’re going to want to be able to do it gradually,” he said, adding that the benefits for merchants once they do start accepting bitcoins internationally are significant. Accepting bitcoins could make international payments easier for companies because it eliminates the need for currency translation. That, coupled with lower payment processing fees associated with digital money, could result in savings for retailers and consumers of up to 8 percent, Luria said. Though bitcoin’s value has been slumping recently, merchants like Overstock are not affected because they accept the currency through a third-party payment processor, which converts the sales to dollars. Yet even as more merchants are embracing bitcoin, consumers may still be wary of transacting with the virtual currency. The total number of daily bitcoin transactions has lingered around 60,000 since the beginning of the year, and consumers paying with the currency make up a meager percentage of total sales for companies like Expedia and Overstock. For example, Byrne said that only about a quarter of 1 percent of Overstock’s sales were in bitcoin — that is about $12,000 to $15,000 a day in transactions. He expects the company, which had $1.3 billion in total sales in 2013, to record $6 million to $8 million in domestic bitcoin sales this year and was optimistic that it could pull in an additional $2 million internationally. Because Overstock anticipates saving money on processing fees by accepting bitcoins, Byrne also said the company intended to give 4 percent of its bitcoin sales to various foundations that support the adoption of the currency. Eventually, Byrne said, he intends to pass on some of Overstock’s savings to the consumer as well. “Bitcoin saves us so much money that we want to help...

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What is Bitcoin mining – and how does it work?

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Bitcoin, HeadLines | 0 comments

What is Bitcoin mining – and how does it work?

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BITCOIN: How It Works, And Why It Could One Day Threaten Legacy Payments Tools Like Credit Cards

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Bitcoin, HeadLines | 0 comments

BITCOIN: How It Works, And Why It Could One Day Threaten Legacy Payments Tools Like Credit Cards

By John Heggestuen Bitcoin is most often discussed as a volatile digital currency, with a value that seesaws depending on the latest news — good and bad. It’s beloved by some, derided by others. But where Bitcoin’s real value lies is as a payments technology that has the potential to revolutionize the legacy payments industry.   Bitcoin offers merchant and individuals an extremely low-cost, virtually frictionless payments system. Value can easily be transferred around the world without transmitting sensitive information that could be used for fraud, and without forcing merchants to pay extortionate transaction fees. But, while the emergence of Bitcoin brings with it numerous advantages, it also faces incredible hurdles. In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we explain how Bitcoin works, from the moment when local currency is exchanged for bitcoins, to the moment when it reaches the electronic wallet of a receiving party. We look at the key advantages of Bitcoin compared with the legacy players in the payments industry and examine the challenges that Bitcoin faces as a payment network. Access the Full Report By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >> Here are some of the key elements from the report: Provides an easy-to-understand explanation of how Bitcoin works as a payments system, including the anatomy of a Bitcoin transaction and a description of the Bitcoin blockchain.  Along with a number of Bitcoin insiders whom we interviewed for our report, we believe Bitcoin’s greatest potential is as a global payments network. Unlike government-backed currencies, Bitcoin’s elegant design places a strict limit on how many units can be created — 21 million. But each coin can be divided into 100 million pieces, which will allow it to scale as a payments technology. Bitcoin’s daily average transaction volume stands at just $89 million compared with $16.5 billion for Visa and $9.8 billion for MasterCard. In a nutshell, Bitcoin allows for the simple and secure transfer of value online, without intermediaries. There are many players in the Bitcoin ecosystem that help to make this happen, including Bitcoin exchanges, Bitcoin wallets, and miners. Third-party bitcoin payments processors are already stepping in to address flaws like price volatility and the length of time that it takes the Bitcoin network to clear transactions, allowing merchants to instantly process bitcoin transactions and avoid exchange risk. Bitcoin faces other significant threats, though, including fraud and regulation. And right now, too much power is concentrated among a small group of miners, which opens Bitcoin up to further vulnerabilities. Despite the barriers, we believe the efficiency and low cost of Bitcoin in comparison to legacy payments tools — including credit cards, money transfer services, and letters of credit — will ultimately prove too tempting for merchants, individuals, and business-to-business applications to resist. In full, the report: Examines the problems Bitcoin was created to solve and the elegant solutions it provides that have clear advantages over the current payments system.  Gives an insider’s view of Bitcoin with exclusive interviews from Bitcoin Investment Trust Founder Barry Silbert and BitPay’s Vice President of Marketing Stephanie Wargo. Explores the open questions surrounding Bitcoin pertaining to security, volatility, and regulation and provides potential answers to these questions.  Analyzes the players in the legacy payments system that Bitcoin has the potential to eliminate if it catches on as a transaction network.      Taken from here! Share this:ShareClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

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Koreans Have Thousands of New Online Bitcoin Opportunities Thanks to Galaxia

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014 in Bitcoin, HeadLines | 0 comments

Koreans Have Thousands of New Online Bitcoin Opportunities Thanks to Galaxia

By  Jon Southurst (@southtopia) South Koreans will be able to use bitcoin to pay on thousands of websites, after payments gateway giant Galaxia Communications announced it will add bitcoin as a payment option.   Galaxia is one of the top three companies processing online payments in Korea, with more than 10,000 domestic and international websites on its client list. It is also one of the top mobile gift certificate and voucher sellers in Korea, which may now be purchased with bitcoin as well. Local bitcoin payment processor and software developer Coinplug will provide technical assistance for bitcoin transactions.   Challenges   Galaxia Communications’ Senior VP and COO, Yongkwang Kim, said he first heard about bitcoin last year and keeps his own wallet. He said, however, there were some challenges convincing others at the company to accept bitcoin, given that news about digital currency “is not always positive” and it is not seen as completely reliable. Since Coinplug will handle processing and exchange, though, in the end there was little problem introducing bitcoin as it will be converted to fiat before Galaxia sees it. Kim added there were no critical issues or specific challenges to bitcoin implementation on the technical side:   “We already operate diverse payment options and relatively it feels easy.”   Galaxia and Coinplug Galaxia Communications is listed on the KOSDAQ (Korea’s equivalent to NASDAQ) exchange and is an affiliate of the Hyosung conglomerate. Coinplug, which produces a number of bitcoin consumer and merchant apps for Android devices and launched Korea’s first bitcoin ATM back in March, is one of the companies leading bitcoin adoption in that country. In April it secured its second $400,000 venture funding round. The company also announced it will soon launch a new website and wallet platform, including new merchant payment features such as instant buy and sell. From  here! Share this:ShareClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

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