What is bitcoin?
The most grand experiment of our time
A voluntary global currency and transaction protocol based on mathematical rules and cryptography, rather than political actors and nation states.
An open network without barriers or borders
Anyone with a data connection can use bitcoin to store and send money around the world freely. No accounts or signups necessary. Just open source software that lives on your computer or mobile device.
A global network of peers always reaching consensus
Bitcoin is an open source software and peer-to-peer network that tracks ownership of digital tokens - bitcoins. All accomplished without a central authority, clearinghouse or issuer.
I vividly recall when the Internet was first gaining notice in the mid nineties. The vast majority of people flat out didn't get it. Apocalyptic media predictions abound about its supposed dangers. And as the confusion escalated, many of us, including yours truly, simply stayed away from it.
Frankly, I'm sensing this very same vibe with bitcoin. And I think that much of this stems from the lens we use to inform our understanding of this emerging innovation.
Many of us know Iceland as the North Atlantic nation on the edge of the Arctic Circle. With it scenic vistas and isolated culture, the Icelandic region has become a popular tourist destination among those fascinated about what exists in these parts.
Iceland has long been a nation of volcanic activity, fueling an embarrassment of riches in terms of renewable energy. It's also a nation of perma cool temperatures and robust data connections, factors that are fueling commerce on both ends of the Atlantic.
There's an old saying in the nonprofit world, namely, "no margin, no mission." It speaks to the importance of having adequate funding for solving critical problems and achieving purposeful aims.
As an alternative to legacy banking and payment systems that have been in place for eons, the digital currency Bitcoin is rapidly emerging as an effective way to capture new funding. It's rapid ascent as a option for charitable contributions is being fueled by a growing shift towards online giving and micro transactions.
The book I've been reading entitled Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying To Reinvent Money has elicited some interesting comments from people I've randomly crossed paths with of late. Most recently a couple of real estate agents, after noticing it on a public table I happened to be sitting at, revealed to me that they'd received offers from buyers wanting to purchase their new home in bitcoin. Sadly, in both cases, the agents said they declined in large part because of their lack of understanding of how bitcoin works.
Let me take you back to August 16, 2010. That was the date I moved from Sacramento, California to Denver after nearly six years in the Golden State. SacTown, as it is affectionately called was struggling mightily on the heels of the 2008 recession, gasping for air trying to gain its footing. The Mile High City on the other hand was on a rapid climb leading to its current status as one of America's fastest growing cities.
For Cubans, the week of July 19, 2015 was epic as the country's first documented Bitcoin transaction occurred and is now in the history books. This digital currency milestone, the seeds of which began in February 2015, was fueled by an ambitious man by the name of Fernando Villar, founder of BitcoinCuba.org.
Digital Gold highlights the fascinating, often tumultuous ride of bitcoin and the disruptive influence this titan of the cryptocurrency world is exacting on the future of monetary exchange. It explores in great depth it's promise amid the ongoing struggle many face in getting their arms fully around it. Not since the Internet itself has such a transformative technology been this poised to impact the global economy.
Recently, CoinATMRadar announced the world’s 200th Bitcoin ATM has been installed. Today, that number sits at 207. Lamassu has a substantial chunk of that market, with 78 machines installed. More than twice their main competitor (Robocoin with 35). Which isn’t surprising: they manufacture a solid and flexible machine. As an operator of the Lamassu Bitcoin Machine, we thought this would be an appropriate time to provide an unsolicited review of the Lamassu Bitcoin Machine and our experience with Lamassu.
Colorado will soon be home to a number of bitcoin ATMs and educational kiosks, aimed at giving residents an opportunity safely buy and sell the digital currency, or simply to learn more about bitcoin.