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Bitcoin The Almighty Buck News

Bitcoin Currency Surpasses 20 National Currencies In Total Value 583

Posted by samzenpus
from the fake-money dept.
Velcroman1 writes "More than $1 billion worth of bitcoins now circulate on the web – an amount that exceeds the value of the entire currency stock of small countries like Liberia, Bhutan, and 18 other countries. Bitcoin is in high demand right now — each bitcoin currently sells for more than $90 U.S. — which bitcoin insiders say is because of world events that have shaken confidence in government-issued currencies. 'Because of what's going on in Cyprus and Europe, people are trying to pull their money out of banks there,' said Tony Gallippi, the CEO BitPay.com, which enables businesses to easily accept bitcoins as payment. 'So they buy gold, they put it under the mattress, or they buy bitcoin,' Gallippi said."
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Bitcoin Currency Surpasses 20 National Currencies In Total Value

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  • SELL!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by BenSchuarmer (922752) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:13PM (#43312515)
    time to cash in
    • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jythie (914043) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:18PM (#43312571)
      Pretty much, or at least potentially. Figuring out when to profit on irrational fear is a good key for success ^_^
    • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Funny)

      by alphatel (1450715) * on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:21PM (#43312603)
      1:11 PM - We own the planet!
      3:45 PM - Oh, crashed again...
      • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:39PM (#43312767)

        Sounds a bit like Wall Street.

        • Re:SELL!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by shaitand (626655) on Friday March 29, 2013 @01:02PM (#43313029) Journal
          Exactly like Wall Street. It's a speculative market and at the end of the day all speculative markets are just high stakes casinos.

          Still, it will help Bitcoin itself. The currently booming Bitcoin world combined with Bitpay offering merchants a payment option with only 0.99% interest, no other fees, no credit or volume requirements, and no charge backs probably means a lot more merchants jumping to accept it.
          • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Informative)

            by Dahamma (304068) on Friday March 29, 2013 @01:45PM (#43313437)

            Except Wall Street is at least nominally speculating based on equity, whereas Bitcoins have less inherent value than a bag of tulip bulbs.

            • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by TeknoHog (164938) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:00PM (#43314045) Homepage Journal

              Bitcoins have less inherent value than a bag of tulip bulbs.

              Try sending payments across the globe in 10 minutes using tulip bulbs.

        • That is a place where you see that level of volatility. Something that can be worth a ton one week, down a bunch the next, back up, back down, etc. Also has daily volatility like one. If you compare the charts to a thinly traded stock, it looks much more like that than a currency.

    • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:25PM (#43312637)

      I've been investing myself for about 25 years and I thought exactly the same thing when I saw this. There is clearly a bubble in the value of BitCoin right now and there is really nothing backing that value. In the past when the US dollar was "young" it was backed by gold. That ended long ago, but the value of the dollar on it's own had been long established before that change. Other currencies have similar histories. That's the the case here. Not only would I sell if I had anything in BitCoin now and move into either US dollars (being a US investor) or metals (silver, gold, platinum being the primary three), but if I had a few grand to gamble with I'd actually short BitCoin at these rates and make some cash as the value starts to slide - be that a short term correction or more likely a collapse of BitCoin altogether.

      • Re:SELL!!! (Score:4, Informative)

        by shaitand (626655) on Friday March 29, 2013 @01:20PM (#43313213) Journal
        A lot of this does seem like it could be a bubble but it also seems likely Bitcoin will crack $100 and that is a nice place to establish a new market bottom with the Bit cent then becoming equiv to a dollar. Bitcoin's appropriate value certainly isn't nothing. It was quite stable in the $8-12 range before the reward for mining halved. At the same time the difficulty (and therefore cost) of mining has skyrocketed as ASIC miners have come online. So we are looking at a price point between $30-40 dollars as a bottom just on the merits of supply reduction vs demand that existed before this climb.

        The good thing for Bitcoin itself is that Bitpay is offering merchants who take Bitcoin a much much less expensive payment option 0.99% with no other fees, credit requirements, or charge backs and they can have payments instantly convert to fiat to work like a credit card or can keep it in Bitcoin. They are signing thousands of merchants a month. So even if this is a speculation bubble, it is stimulating actual growth in the Bitcoin economy and therefore increased demand.

        The increased demand combined with decreased supply would mean that the price should be somewhere beyond that $30-40 and the longer this run goes the higher that number is. Plus, this isn't a pure buying run. Every few days there is a dip of $10-20 dollars that indicates small market corrections throughout the rise.

        Just my take on the whole thing. YMMV :)
        • Not sure who is generating demand for these other than other speculators. Apparently merchants need more incentive because there is a significant dearth of them right now. I still can't pay my rent or buy food with them. The one place I found that would actually offer Federal Reserve Notes for BTCs limited me to trading no more than 2. TWO! What do I do with the other 130 that I have? Not much, apparently. I found a site that will sell electronics for bitcoins - but nothing I want. No tablets or pho

          • by shaitand (626655)
            " Apparently merchants need more incentive because there is a significant dearth of them right now. I still can't pay my rent or buy food with them."

            There are thousands. Bitpay alone is processing more than $2M a month in merchant transactions. Here are a couple online examples. http://www.bitmit.net/en/recent and https://www.bitcoinstore.com/

            There are several restaurants so you CAN buy food. As for rent, it isn't a given but your landlord just might take them if asked just like he probably would take gold
        • by trout007 (975317)

          Just curious. How long before technology gets to the point you can defeat the encryption of a bitcoin?

          • by tftp (111690)

            Just curious. How long before technology gets to the point you can defeat the encryption of a bitcoin?

            It's very simple even today. The criminal hacks the BC terminal at the merchant, and from that point on - until detected - the merchant gives his wares out in exchange for invalid bitcoins (that his terminal sees as always valid.) The card reader at the grocery store is far more secure, and on top of that you have contractual protection. A Bitcoin terminal - not so much.

            BC is also nonfunctional if ther

    • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:36PM (#43312737)

      I bought a load of bitcoins last April when they were 5 GBP... with a view to buying stuff off SilkRoad.

      Which I did... but I still had about half of them left. I just held onto them to watch the price (what the hell I thought.. let's see what happens).

      A few days ago I worked out that selling them would get me the equivalent of a month's wage. I could carry on watching and hoping it doesn't crash... or sell them and get a month's wage ON TOP of the drugs I bought (and enjoyed).

      Fuck it.. I cashed out.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by elucido (870205)

        The smartest people bought in when it was 5 bucks and will keep it until it's $1000+ or perhaps even $1 million.

        • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 29, 2013 @01:00PM (#43312997)

          Can you imagine $1m for a Bitcoin? I could hold your family at gunpoint for one coin, and at worst get a few months in prison. Or just pay some meth head a couple hundred bucks to do it.
          Meanwhile, you can't prove I stole anything of real value from you - just a file from your computer. You can't insure it like a piece of property, you can't "cancel" it like you could a check, and nobody gives a crap where the BTC ends up because it doesn't count as real currency.
          So while it's fun to imagine, the moment BTC becomes worth more than harvesting someone's credit cards via botnet, they're coming for your virtual wallet and nobody will care, not the banks, not the government, and not the retailers, because they all operate on regulated currencies and the protections they afford.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by shaitand (626655)
          The smartest people were the ones who understood the potential of Bitcoin early and mined when your desktop cpu could unlock multiple blocks of 50 coins a day. Most of them have probably either lost the coins or cashed out long before now but they were the smartest.
          • Meh, I cashed out my 300 bitcoins a few months ago, having mined them back when CPU's could unlock 50 within a couple of weeks. Somewhat kicking myself, as I sold them at $14 a bitcoin, and now they are something like $100.

            Considered getting back into mining with FPGA's, but it is really hard to get much nowadays, so not sure if worth it. I had a good run, and made some decent coin, even though it is paltry compared to this.

            Oh well, good thing I don't do investment as a business, I sure suck at it :o)

            • That's the inherent problem with investing. If the stock does really well, you would have wished that you had bought more. If you sell the stock and it keeps climbing, you would have wished that you would have waited. If the stock tanks, well you get the point. No matter what, you can never be happy as an investor.
              • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

                by shaitand (626655) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:55PM (#43314471) Journal
                No that's the problem with gambling. And if you won it would bolster your confidence and you'd bet it all again. Speculative markets are nothing but high stakes gambling.
    • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:37PM (#43312753)

      Not a bad idea by any stretch, if you already have them. Personally, I still have no faith in the bitcoin. Though to be honest, when I first started looking at bitcoins last october, they were $11 each, and I thought they were overvalued then. Now (as I write this) they are $86.71 a peice. Given that yesterday afternoon they were $89 something each, the price does seem a bit volatile, however it has made many similar fluctuations along the way up, so that doesn't mean it has peaked. If I had bought say a thousand worth and then sold them today, that is upwards of $8,000 of income.

      Where it will head from here is anybody's guess. I don't believe I am any good at currency speculation by any stretch, but I haven't seen any indication that they have topped out. Still, I wouldn't buy any myself, nor would I suggest anybody else do that either.

      I actually mined some bitcoins to pay for VPN and seedbox services (I make more than enough money in bitcoins per month to pay for these) using GPU power I already have (one 5750 and one 7850) at a combined 600MH/s, which at the current exchange rate yields about $100 USD per month. Thinking of using my spare bitcoins to buy an entry level asic, which will yield ten times that amount at about one tenth of the energy consumption.

      If the bitcoin does end up collapsing, I haven't really lost anything other than idle GPU time. Where I live (Arizona) electricity is cheap, and based on my current metrics (which I am able to monitor in 5 second intervals btw) I have probably thus far spent $5 on mining bitcoins over the four month span that I first started mining them. A general rule of thumb in investing is that you should never invest so much that if you lost it all, you wouldn't be able to afford to keep your house. I don't think I'll miss $5. Best of all, unless I convert it into real dollars, it'll never be taxed. Meanwhile, as time passes there are more and more goods/services that I can buy with bitcoins.

      If everybody does exactly what I'm doing, the value of bitcoins will only increase because more people will have a stake in them.

      And before any eco activists complain about my carbon footprint: My area is nuclear powered. Nuclear has an almost non-existent carbon footprint and is dirt cheap. (I'm not one to concern myself with carbon in any case - call me an anti-social insensitive clod or whatever incorrect label you want, but I just don't see the point worrying about it - see my recent comment history for an explanation.) You can thank the government if your area isn't nuclear powered.

      • Re:SELL!!! (Score:5, Informative)

        by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:47PM (#43312833)

        You are incorrect on your tax idea there buddy. That is income and you should be reporting it. You might get away with not reporting a small amount, but if it is ever worth anything you will have the IRS after you.

    • Yes, please sell.

      Collapse this round of the bubble, so I can get in at $17 for the next round.

    • You're not kidding (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Concern (819622) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:41PM (#43312781) Journal

      I have some experience with both cryptography and decentralized systems of this kind. Which doesn't make me an expert. But I know enough to ask questions. I have had grave concerns about the validity of their design since I first read about it on slashdot some years back. It seemed to me the case had not been made that bitcoin was not vulnerable to rapid destruction of value, due to attacks on fundamental flaws in its design.

      The thing that really surprised me was that people decided to try to use it anyway. But I guess our desires often cloud our judgment. As much as I would love a decentralized digital currency, I do not believe it yet exists. I wouldn't invest 90 cents in bitcoin.

      Many currencies can appear to be stable until they're not.

    • by mitgib (1156957)
      My exact thought when it reached $50, but I still have a small amont, not totally out. You never go broke taking profit
      • by elucido (870205)

        The people who sell out wont get to see it reach $1000. The smartest people bought in and stayed in the whole way from $2 to $1000.

  • Buy Now! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's not a bubble! Push the price higher, higher, higher!

  • by dclozier (1002772) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:16PM (#43312557)
    Or like has been stated before it's mostly being hoarded. (like when collecting anything, mostly of value to the collector and other collectors but not anyone else)
    • by jythie (914043)
      I would be really curious to see stats on that. I see people claiming it is being hoarded, and others claiming it is being widely used for every day living. I have yet to see anything to back up either extreme.
      • by Frobnicator (565869) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:28PM (#43312657) Journal

        claiming it is being widely used for every day living. I have yet to see anything to back up either extreme.

        Let me know when I can pay my rent in bitcoins, pay my fuel bill in bitcoins, or buy groceries in bitcoins.

        For now it is a geek-only way to exchange goods and services.

      • by mitgib (1156957)
        It can be used to buy some things, I accept them as payment for VPS hosting, but only 1% or less use them as a payment option. I tend to think it is mostly horded
  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:17PM (#43312565)

    So, how do you "short sell" Bitcoin? I'd like to make a few bucks from this ridiculous bubble when it pops.

  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:19PM (#43312577) Homepage Journal

    Bitcoin is probably safer than Cyprus banks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Dude, investing in Slavers Co stocks is currently probably more viable than putting money in a Cyprus bank.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:21PM (#43312597) Homepage Journal

    They probably surpassed North Korea with their first nickel.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Well of course. The People's Democratic Republic of Korea, having reached true and perfect communism, has no need for currency or money as all goods are distributed equitably according to need, not according to some barbaric, capitalist tool of oppression like the nickels used by the American pig-demons or their southern puppets to buy weapons with which to destroy the peace-loving and free people of the People's Democratic Republic and their Glorious Leader(s).

      </sarcasm>

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:22PM (#43312623)
    The article should say that more than 1 billion dollars in bitcoins theoretically exists on the web. Given the horrific problems that a few bitcoin exchanges have had in the recent past, I think some skepticism is warranted. My prediction is that sometime in the upcoming years some kind of attack nobody foresaw will happen on bitcoins and the attackers will get wealthy and the bitcoin holders will be left holding dust or bitcoins will simply be another bubble that collapses. I don't see a bright future for bitcoins.
    • Also you'd have to see how reflexive the market would be for large amounts of exchange. You can buy or sell a billion dollars worth of USD, EUR, JPY and so on without much of a change in price. So if you have $1 Billion in Euros you can change it to $1 Billion in US Dollars pretty quickly and easily.

      With Bitcoins? Probably not. You sell a whole bunch of them you are likely to find the market highly reflexive, meaning that the price will tank and you won't get near what you thought you would. So while you ca

  • Cyprus has set a €300 withdrawal limit per day for their banks, to tame a bit the money escaping.
    • At the same time the same limitation does not apply to their foreign branches. If you have money on a bank in Cyprus, go withdraw at their branch in London. Or St. Petersburg. Not only were they never closed, they also have no arbitrary limit on how much you can withdraw per day.

      This is what happens when amateurs (politicians) play against professionals (bankers).

  • And when that happens you'll all wish you bought 1000 coins for a few cent. Now look at you all rushing to pay $100 per coin. By this time next year it will be $1000 per coin. A year later it will be $5000. Then 6 months later it could be $20,000, then $100,000, etc.

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:44PM (#43312801)

      So could tulip bulbs, you better go get some quick.

    • Admit it, you have a ton of money in that ponzi scheme and now need someone to sell to and GTFO? :)

      The value of a BitCoin is based on the faith others have in it, as with any other currency right now. All it takes to make the whole deal blow up in your face is some idiot, let's say a Cyprian politician, say that you no longer can sell them for a week. Then watch the people go bonkers.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday March 29, 2013 @12:39PM (#43312757)

    So how does this compare to the value of the worlds tulip bulbs?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It getting to be a little much. Have you really got so much money invested in Bitcoin that you are willing to sacrifice /. to advertise it?

  • or try Glenn Beck's paranoid ranting... and selling gold during the commercials on Fox "News"

    i really hope someone at slashdot is getting a kickback for the pumping going on here

    for the rest of you: time your sell right!

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