Giving my visitors some (virtual, P2P) cash.

Bitcoin

Background

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.

Enter Bitcoin:

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.

More info

The Deal

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.

But why?

  • 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.

15 Comments

Add yours →

  1. Wow – this is blow your mind, hard to comprehend, gonna-be-the-future kind of stuff… love it!

    • I agree hard to understand even having looked at bitcoin website. The EU is about to ban cookies (that is foreign digital footprints on my electrnonic backyards) and now my computer is making money, without my sayso, for someone else.  Interesting yes, mind blowing also

  2. This is a bit hard to understand, like a pioneer testing gold with his teeth. However, on trust of you Mr Belshaw, I have added it to my site. I shall buy you a pint as soon as I can afford it. :)

  3. Not sure how barclaycard et al blocking payments to Wikileaks is censorship.  There are other ways of donating. These businesses are entitled to say how you use their services, and want to mitigate the risk of being implicated in Wikileak’s sometimes dubious practices.  I’m not keen on censorship either but let’s be clear what it is and what it isn’t. 

  4. So if you can’t use your debit card, credit card or Paypal, how would you donate? And who’s to say what’s ‘dubious’ anyway?

  5. Second bitcoin post I’ve seen in the last 24hrs. Last one was from Charles Arthur’s newsbucket highlighting a bitcoin forum post where a user reported being robbed of 25,000 bitcoin,s which is approximately half a million dollars.

    Haven’t read the entire thread but it has an air of ‘you’ve won the nigerian lottery’ about it  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2011/jun/15/technology-links-newsbucket 

    Martin

  6. I just wonder… seeing as the bitcoin generator uses more CPU power (according to bitcoin, the fans on some computers switch on when they visit a bitcoin website), surely this will increase my monthly computer running costs. Is it costing me more money to earn bitcoins that I am making via the scheme?

  7. I’ve been trying this over the last couple of days, but have still got 0.00005 bitcoins. Did some research and came across this vid: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bitcoin+mining&aq=1&oq=bitcoin. Looks like I’ll make my first ever 50 bitcoins in 5-10 years time. And it does cost more to run the CPU than you make…

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