In 2009 Wikileaks started publishing data. Whether or not you believe their actions are justifiable, one thing became clear: you are not in control of your money.
What do you mean?
For convenience, for safety, and to earn interest, we store our money in bank accounts. We also use credit facilities and numbers-as-currency services such as Paypal to purchase goods and donate money. Using the latter facilities makes sense online because they’re safer.
The trouble is that Visa, Mastercard and Paypal stopped people from using their services to donate money to Wikileaks. That’s a form of censorship.
I’m not a big fan of censorship.
Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. The name also refers both to the open source software he designed to make use of the currency and to the peer-to-peer network formed by running that software.
Unlike other digital currencies, Bitcoin avoids central authorities and issuers. Bitcoin uses a distributed database spread across nodes of a peer-to-peer network to journal transactions, and uses digital signatures and proof-of-work to provide basic security functions, such as ensuring that bitcoins can be spent only once per owner and only by the person who owns them.
The peer-to-peer topology and lack of central administration are features that make it infeasible for any authority (governmental or otherwise) to manipulate the quantity of bitcoins in circulation, thereby mitigating inflation.
- GigaOM – How Bitcoin wants to make money even more virtual
- Paul Stamatiou – Bitcoin Mining (where I first came across Bitcoins – thanks Paul!)
- TechDirt – Can Bitcoin really succeed long term?
Bitcoins can be ‘mined’ by using spare CPU/GPU cycles to solve complex problems. Done alone, this isn’t exactly a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s best to work with others.
This is an experiment.
BitCoinPlus is a way of mining Bitcoins using your browser. In fact, you’re doing it right now! (unless you’ve scrolled to the bottom of this page and clicked ‘Stop’)
Let’s go 50/50.
If you visit this site and don’t press ‘Stop’ in the widget located in the footer, you’re mining Bitcoins. I’ve configured it so that 50% goes to me and 50% goes to you. Unless you reset your browser, your share will be transferred into an account when you set it up.
- Because it’s interesting.
- Because it’s possible.
- Because there’s got to be a better way.
Let me hear what you think in the comments below!
Update: experiment over, applet now removed.