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The Almighty Buck Bitcoin

Amazon Coins and How the Definition of 'Crypto-Currency' Is Getting Too Loose 115

Posted by samzenpus
from the call-it-money dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Amazon has expanded support for its Amazon Coins from Kindle Fire tablets to Google Android mobile devices.In its press release, Amazon positioned its e-currency as the ultimate in convenience for customers who don't want their credit-card statements riddled with lots of micro-purchases from Amazon's App Store. Expanding the currency's reach is also a potential win for Amazon, which wants to create an end-to-end ecosystem for app developers. But Amazon Coins' existence could alienate the same demographic that made Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies such a hit. The company tethers the Coins to a user identity, and likely keeps significant records on its crypto-currency ecosystem: who buys what when. That concept is anathema to those online denizens who embraced Bitcoin as a way to make purchases without needing to reveal a real-world identity, or deal with a currency tethered to a central repository; genuine crypto-currency can be used to purchase pretty much anything from a purveyor willing to take it, including—in the case of Silk Road and other online bazaars—drugs and weapons. Indeed, Amazon Coins has more to do with a corporate 'currency' like the now-defunct Microsoft Points than an actual crypto-currency like Bitcoin. But that hasn't stopped some people from getting confused about it."
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Amazon Coins and How the Definition of 'Crypto-Currency' Is Getting Too Loose

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  • Not the Same (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:31PM (#46291837)

    A virtual gift card is not the same thing a a virtual currency.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "But that hasn't stopped some people from getting confused about it."

      Indeed.

    • Yeah. What exactly is 'crypto' about this 'currency'? It is just a prepaid balance.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I want a real crypto-currency. Not one that is something that the first-ins get all the coins while the latecomers have to move all the value in, but a Chaumian currency that is -truly- anonymous, and has a set limit of coins. Heck, these could be like bank scrip where trusted exchanges can have their own currency for exchanges, and with a Chaumian currency, nobody knows, not even the exchange place who has what.

      Do it right... but I have a feeling that BitCoin was created so a couple people (or government

      • Re:Not the Same (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @01:03AM (#46292689) Homepage

        So write some code. That doesn't sound difficult to implement securely. Oh wait...it sounds virtually impossible.

        "Satoshi Nakamoto", the person or people who created bitcoin, are believed to have about a million bitcoins from early mining. That stash was worth a billion dollars at one point recently. Not a single transaction has occurred with the coins since Satoshi disappeared in 2011.

        Nobody really knows why the bitcoin protocol was created. But evidence does not support the theory that they did it to make money.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          The fiction known a Satoshi Makamoto as disappeared. There is no way to know if the group/person behind that fiction has cashed his coins.

          • I don't know the technical details of the blockchain, but apparently someone in the very very early days mined around a million coins. It doesn't make sense for that to be anyone except Satoshi. That account then transfers around 500 coins to other people when the price was very low. And since Satoshi disappeared, there have been no transactions from that wallet. There is no way for anyone to gain anything from those coins without a publicly viewable transaction appearing in the blockchain.

            • > There is no way for anyone to gain anything from those coins without a publicly viewable transaction appearing in the blockchain.

              This is incorrect. Each of the early blocks that were mined went to a different bitcoin address, so they hold 50 BTC each. Each address has a different secret key associated with it. The original miner can exchange the secret key for cash, without making a bitcoin transaction. Of course, since the original miner also knows the secret key, they could still spend those coi

              • You think that super-mysterious Satoshi is selling bitcoin wallets privately for cash, none of those people have spent the coins they paid tons of money for, and nobody has mentioned a word of it to the internet?

    • It's not impossible for them to be the same though. You could implement a gift card / store credit system using a crypto transaction model almost identical to bitcoin. Though you might want to eliminate the "mining" of new coins, and only allow your trusted server to produce blocks. You could still use the same publicly verifiable block chain validation process.
    • Saw this on Suze Orman.

      $1 billion in gift cards go unredeemed
      http://www.marketwatch.com/sto... [marketwatch.com]

      I wonder how much Microsoft makes this way with their Xbox live points.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      If I can buy almost anything I want with it, how is it different?

    • by CCarrot (1562079)

      A virtual gift card is not the same thing a a virtual currency.

      Precisely. A currency can be exchanged for other forms of currency, whereas the value on a gift card can only be exchanged for specific goods and/or services.

      Amazon Coins are not convertible to cash [amazon.com], therefore they're not a currency.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Surely Microsoft had a good reason for moving away from MS Points. I don't think reducing the number of credit card transactions actually benefits the consumer since the consumer isn't paying a per transaction fee

    • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:00PM (#46292015)
      The effect transaction fees have on vendors is pretty important, as it lowers the price floor, making smaller transactions more reasonable. Whether or not that's good or not is a different manner, but it's the key behind all this microtransaction stuff.
    • by wiredlogic (135348) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:15PM (#46292347)

      I don't think reducing the number of credit card transactions actually benefits the consumer since the consumer isn't paying a per transaction fee

      You pay it indirectly through higher prices on goods and services. For a business as large as Amazon's or any other major retailer, the fees on small transactions add up to a significant amount that can either be passed back to the consumer with lower prices or kept as more profit.

    • Yes they are. Total costs are always figured into pricing....even if you reach a floor, the floor includes the transaction fees. Same with taxes.

  • Do we care? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:50PM (#46291947) Homepage

    In my experience, 'classic' electronic currencies follow this general pattern: 1) you obtain them from a bank, 2) you pass it to another user, and 3) that other user brings it back to the bank.

    At best, the bank can't see where the receiving party's money came from. But still, every 'coin' in circulation goes from bank -> user -> another user -> back to the bank.

    The big difference with cash is this: using cash, money can pass from #1 user to a 2nd user -> 3rd user -> 4th user -> back to the bank. With the bank having no way to figure out what happened in between. Transfers from 1 -> 2, 2 -> 3, and 3 -> 4 need not involve a bank at all.

    To me, anything that fits the 2nd definition is interesting. Anything that fits the 1st definition, is just electronic payments in the classical sense that eg. governments might be monitoring every single transaction. Regardless of implementation. So if in this case, Amazon = 'the bank', do we even care, if that currency clearly isn't 'electronic cash' ?

    • by profplump (309017)

      In my experience, 'classic' paper currencies follow this general pattern: 1) you obtain them from a bank, 2) you pass it to another user, and 3) that other user brings it back to the bank.

      Certainly you can use cash in other ways, but but you *can* use gift cards in other ways. Or you can barter with stamps and rocks. There isn't anything special about paper money that lets it be pass more anonymously than other valuable goods (or electronic records of value) -- it's just more efficient because it's more liq

      • Re:Do we care? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bonehead (6382) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:34PM (#46292405)

        There isn't anything special about paper money

        If you truly believe that, then you really haven't thought this through.

        A couple of hours ago I stopped at a convenience store and purchased a 12-pack of beer and a pack of smokes. I paid with one of my credit cards. I take it for granted that multiple entities can see that I made a purchase. I also take it for granted that most of them can take the total, subtract the sales tax, and then fairly easily determine which combination of items would have added up to that amount. Hell, that's pretty simple stuff, and I assume that "they" can do hard stuff, too.

        Now, if I had thrown a $20 bill down on the counter instead of the credit card? "They" wouldn't get any info at all.

        So why do I use credit cards? Honestly, I don't give a shit if "they" know I bought a 12-pack of shitty beer and a pack of smokes tonight.

        But if I was making a purchase that I did want to keep to myself? Hell yeah, cash would be the only way to go.

        At present, paper money is the one and only way to make a purchase and be assured of anonymity. To think that there isn't anything special about paper money is simply delusional.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Wycliffe (116160)

      Transfers from 1 -> 2, 2 -> 3, and 3 -> 4 need not involve a bank at all.

      In theory this might be true but in practice cash is very tracable. US currency has serial numbers.
      You get your money from the bank. You buy food at a restaurant. The restaurant deposits it in the bank.
      There might be an extra hop or two if you're lucky but the number of hops without passing a bank is
      minimal. If you don't believe me, try to pass off a counterfit bill. The secret service is extremely good
      at tracing backwards the route it took to get to the bank and can usually do it in only a couple hops

      • by CCarrot (1562079)

        Transfers from 1 -> 2, 2 -> 3, and 3 -> 4 need not involve a bank at all.

        In theory this might be true but in practice cash is very tracable. US currency has serial numbers.
        You get your money from the bank. You buy food at a restaurant. The restaurant deposits it in the bank.
        There might be an extra hop or two if you're lucky but the number of hops without passing a bank is
        minimal. If you don't believe me, try to pass off a counterfit bill. The secret service is extremely good
        at tracing backwards the route it took to get to the bank and can usually do it in only a couple hops.
        Smaller bills might get passed back and forth a bit more but even a place like walmart rarely gives back
        $20 bills as change except for a tiny bit of cashback but the majority goes straight back to the bank.

        No. Just...don't.

        Trust me, "But it was for science!" doesn't hold a lot of water in the back rooms...

        • by Wycliffe (116160)

          I guess I should have been more specific that I was saying that tongue in cheek.
          You're right, they come down very quickly on that. The secret service is actually
          pretty good at their job. When I was in high school someone emailed a joke
          threat to the president. He didn't think it was very funny when they showed up
          at the school and started questioning him. Likewise I know someone who did
          try to spend counterfeit money. Needless to say she quickly ended up in prison
          in a matter of days. They traced it back

  • by TheNarrator (200498) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:52PM (#46291961)

    People getting confused about currency and money is something that is a very very old phenomenon. This article is no exception.

    All the perplexities, confusions, and distresses in America arise, not from defects in their constitution or confederation, not from a want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.
    - Letter to Thomas Jefferson (23 August 1787), The Works of John Adams

    • by bonehead (6382)

      The quote you included doesn't really back up your point very well, but you do make a good point anyway.

      The entire concept of money is 100% dependent on general trust and perception. If you want my boat, and I agree to sell it to you for $10,000, I'm not agreeing to it because those dollars have any particular value to me. I agree to it because I have confidence that I can trade them for something that does have value to me.

      In other words, "money" has value because, and only because, we all agree it does.

  • by grapes911 (646574) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:59PM (#46292001)
    Amazon Coins and Bitcoin solve two different problems. The average Amazon customer probably heard of Bitcoin but doesn't know exactly what it is. They probably understand that Amazon Coins are just gift cards though. I don't see the problem.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      They probably understand that Amazon Coins are just gift cards though. I don't see the problem.

      They're intentionally mooching off the lite/doge/bitcoin name recognition.
      Someone in marketing: People have heard about this coin stuff, so let's roll out something with "coin" in the name!

      • by grapes911 (646574)
        "Coin" is such a generic term relating to currency that I can't fault Amazon for using it. Nintendo has Play Coins. Next you are going to tell me someone is going to try to trademark "candy" before others start mooching off that.
      • Right. Because all the negative press about BitCoins recently is such a draw.
      • by bonehead (6382)

        They're intentionally mooching off the lite/doge/bitcoin name recognition.

        No, I'm sure Amazon can afford much, much smarter marketing people than that.

        When did bitcoin get big enough to have "name recognition"? Outside of geek circles the only people who have even heard of it have gotten their info from news articles about silkroad, and thus equate it to drug smuggling, gun running, human trafficking, etc....

        I'm not a marketing guy, but if I was, and was looking for a good brand to leach off of, it sure as fuck wouldn't be "bitcoin".

      • Yeah, like all those quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies out there. They claim to be "coin", too! They're not crypto currency,either! What a scam!

      • by msauve (701917)
        Yeah. They should call them Bezos Bucks.
    • The nice thing about Amazon Coins is that when you wake up in the morning, they're worth the same amount as when you went to bed.

      • by Squash (2258)

        Being fully tied to a cash value is one of the reasons it can't be a currency. If by some magic the Euro was nailed to equivalence to the USD, would there still be a reason for both to exist?

        • Some small countries like Costa Rica do "peg" their currencies to the dollar. Any merchant will accept Costa Rican Colón or US Dollars.

          They are still considered the national currencies of those countries, but you're right, there isn't a huge reason for them to exist.

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:03PM (#46292039) Homepage

    Amazon Coins are nothing but 'points' or 'credits' or 'tokens', and those have been around for a very long time.
     
    The blog author is... pretty much clueless. Nobody but him is confusing Bitcoins and Amazon Coins, or referring to the latter as crypto-currency. Nobody but him is confused about the difference between the two.

    • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:11PM (#46292073) Homepage

      Yes, there's a whole prepaid purchase industry out there, and whole racks of their cards at most retail outlets. This is just another one.

      Burger King had the most honest description: "Pay now so you can eat later".

      • by rsborg (111459)

        Yes, there's a whole prepaid purchase industry out there, and whole racks of their cards at most retail outlets. This is just another one.

        Burger King had the most honest description: "Pay now so you can eat later".

        It's honest, but a bit naive. Prepaid cards serve a lot of purposes.

        1) It's a great way to give a gift that's not as impersonal as money (just a step above, but hey).
        2) Great way to buy stuff in one country with cash from another (eBay has a thriving prepaid card market). A really valid use-case for this is buying music from countries you don't have credit cards which is made difficult in the first place by the media industry and it's market segmentation (region coding, etc).
        3) You can launder money this

    • by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:14PM (#46292091)

      The blog author is... pretty much clueless. Nobody but him is confusing Bitcoins and Amazon Coins, or referring to the latter as crypto-currency.

      Indeed. This is all nonsense. The summary says: "But Amazon Coins' existence could alienate the same demographic that made Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies such a hit." Yeah... and?

      The people who use Amazon coins are generally tethered to a locked-down Amazon product (like a Kindle) and want the convenience of buying something for $1 without having to run through a credit card authorization or whatever every time. (Plus, Amazon apparently gives out bonus "coins" in various scenarios.)

      Cryptocurrency users want to... well, use a currency to make financial transactions in the real world (not fake internal Amazon transactions). And some of the biggest advocates are people who want to avoid tracking and such. I sincerely doubt they are going to confuse Bitcoin with an internal bookkeeping token on a locked-down device or something. The fact that Amazon is now offering it to other people who want to buy crap from their app store doesn't change the idea very much.

      No one's being "alienated." The target audiences were and still are two mostly mutually exclusive sets of people. At a minimum, no one except the people who wrote and promoted this story seem confused about how these are for two completely different types of transactions.

    • by timholman (71886)

      The blog author is... pretty much clueless. Nobody but him is confusing Bitcoins and Amazon Coins, or referring to the latter as crypto-currency. Nobody but him is confused about the difference between the two.

      I think there is a less obvious motive behind this article. It's not that BTC promoters think that Amazon Coins are confusing consumers; rather, to them any competing digital currency is a danger to Bitcoin. The only thing that makes a BTC "valuable" is its scarcity. Since only 21 million BTC will

      • by Squash (2258) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @07:19AM (#46293493) Homepage

        Well, let's correct a few things there.

        First, while there is a maximum of 21 million BTC that can be mined, each BTC is divisible to the 8th decimal place. Think of the Bitcoin as a 1 million dollar bill, and you can still break it into pennies. The "maximum number" is hardly more relevant than the amount of trees in the world that can be milled into paper currency before they "run out".

        Second, the suggestion that BTC users would feel threatened by something like Amazon Coin is quite a dubious claim. The only real similarity they have is the use of the word "coin" in the name. Calling it a "competing currency" is just false equivalence.

        Likewise, the "altcoins" such as litecoin and dogecoin provide many (or all) of the same features as BTC, but are more complimentary than competitive. R&D being put into one can benefit the others, and markets exist to easy convert between them. The ecosystem makes it very easy to participate, hardly what you would get from groups of people "attacking" each other. Trying different takes on the cryptocurrency process, putting theories through their paces, will ultimately make for a stronger ecosystem.

        Finally, speculative value. Accept that this is a reality, and pretty much universal. Fiat currencies are based on speculative value as much as bitcoin is, the difference is that the fiat is more widespread thus the value tends to shift much more slowly. You accept a $20 with the speculative assumption that you can trade it later for something of equal value. Because it tends to have a lower volatility, this is considered a low risk assumption. Ask a Russian over 35 or so how that isn't necessarily true. Similarly, the USD has shown its own volatility, which has been overall quite negative, losing 95% of its value in the last 100 years.

  • What people accept for currency online doesn't need to have everything just right. It just needs to be in demand to a degree.

    If you can buy stuff with it, people will want it.
  • What a stupid thing. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:30PM (#46292153)

    Who gives half a shit how many line items are on their debit/credit statement? This has all the logic of putting money on a gift card.

    I guess it could be used like an allowance for kids but it'd make more sense to give the kid a pre-paid Visa/Mastercard and drop a fixed amount on it every month. That way they can use it anywhere instead of just at the one or two places where some proprietary currency is accepted.

    The whole thing smacks of Itchy and Scratchy Bucks.

    • Who gives half a shit how many line items are on their debit/credit statement?

      Amazon does. They don't want to pay processing fees running nickel and dime transactions. This isn't about any benefit to the end customer, Amazon just needs to spin it that way so people will use it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Would you like to buy some Itchy and Scratchy Money?
      Homer: What's that?
      Well, it's money that's made just for the park. It works just like regular money but it's, uh, "fun".

    • They have to print and mail your paper statement. That costs real money, although I would imagine they have it covered up to quite a few pages.

      • I don't get a discount for short statements or a fee for long ones so we're right back to me not giving half a shit about the number of line items on my statement.

        And I'm old fashioned because I still get most of my bills snail-mailed to me.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:35PM (#46292177) Journal
    This is my understanding of the validating process of the bit coins:

    Bitcoin blocks are Sha checksums of transactions digitally signed. Blocks have the check sum of the previous block in the chain. Bitcoins contain complete transaction record going all the way back to the original bitcoin that started that chain of transactions. But if Alice buys drugs from Bob and given a bit coin forever there is a transaction recorded that Alice gave so many bitcoins to Bob. The transactions are between cyber entities and it is difficult to decode the block, find the cyber identity and then link it to a real identity. But all claims of anonymity is based on the level of difficulty in decoding the blocks to get the cyber accounts and linking them to real life. Not based on any notion of mathematical impossibility or secrecy.

    Is it anywhere close to being right?

    • by banda (206438)

      No, not really - The purpose of cryptography in crypto currencies is two-fold: 1) to make it massively impractical for any individual to falsify the record of their payment or receipt and 2) to regulate the money supply by algorithm in response to the activity of the currency's economy. The net effect of these two purposes is that value can be stored and transferred between accounts without a "trusted agent" in the middle such as a deposit bank or a central bank. So, you can say the point of crypto currency

    • by subreality (157447) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @02:41AM (#46292917)

      You're close. There's no difficulty decoding the blockchain. The transactions are a public ledger. Have a look: https://blockchain.info/tree/1... [blockchain.info]

      It's not anonymous - it's pseudonymous. Your address is your pseudonym. It can be linked to you in many ways:

      When you buy something the seller knows who you are (they have your mailing address, your IP address, etc), and they know your Bitcoin address (the transaction is public information). Anyone watching your address will also see the transaction. If the address you sent coins to is a known address the investigator can then go to that seller and request your identity (via subpoena, violence, bribery, etc).

      When you transmit the transaction it's first received by a few network nodes. If the investigator is running one of those nodes they see your IP. They won't know for certain it's you (perhaps you were just relaying a transaction), but it's still a short list to check. If it's the NSA or anyone else who can monitor your internet connection directly, they can easily discover that the transaction originated from you because no one sent it to you first.

      People use mixing services to help obscure the origin of their coins. It makes it harder, but it's still possible to perform statistical analysis. For a simple example: https://blockchain.info/taint/... [blockchain.info] . The investigator can find some addresses which correlate with yours. Even if they don't find YOU they might find someone you do business with, then coerce them into giving up your identity.

      It's a lot like cash. You can pass it around freely, but every dollar bill has a serial number. You can spend it with relative anonymity, but it will be scanned whenever it passes through a bank. If someone is looking for certain serial numbers then they can easily find the bank your merchant uses; then stake out the merchant; then find you.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        It's a lot like cash. You can pass it around freely, but every dollar bill has a serial number.

        It's worse than that. Your wallet has an ID, too. They don't just know which currency unit is traveling but also have some idea of where it's coming from and where it's going to. That's the benefit of paper money, less of that.

      • Thanks your post make it clear, and I will be able to explain bit coins to people who are even less tech savvy than I am.

        Basically the way bitcoin does away with "trusted middle map" is by making the bank ledger public. Instead of one trusted bank validating the entries and confirming your bank balance, the entire ledger is public. Multiple entities check the ledger and confirm your bank balance. You don't need the trusted middle man any more. All this cryptography is to make sure the ledger is not forged

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:36PM (#46292179)

    Microsoft used to sell "points" to buy stuff over Xbox Live. Interestingly enough last year they stopped and went to a currency based system. So instead of "rent a movie on demand for 600 points" it became "Rent Movie for $2.99" or whatever the real dollars equivalent were. And I much prefer the new system.

  • by xtal (49134) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:03PM (#46292311) Homepage

    Can you buy an ounce of blow with it?

    If yes, it's currency.

    If no, it ain't.

    Pretty simple. It also sums up why governments have issue, and will inevitably crack down.

    A crypto currency backed by a nation-state would be a very interesting thing indeed.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:17PM (#46292357) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:

    "Expanding the currencyâ(TM)s reach is also a potential win for Amazon, which wants to create an end-to-end ecosystem for app developers."

    Um, no, that's not the main reason Amazon created the coins, esp. since the app developers see the same amount of cash regardless of how the user paid. The reason Amazon likes the coins instead of making a bunch of 99 cent charges to a credit card is simple:
    1. Charging $10 once to a credit card is cheaper to Amazon than charging $1 10 times.

    2. Lock-in, this is the traditional "gift card" route, any money put into the Amazon coin ecosystem will eventually have to be used on an Amazon good/service. If you buy $100 in coins but only use $80, well tough. This has nothing to do with creating a huge ecosystem where the coins can be traded freely for goods and services that have nothing to do with Amazon.
  • ZOMG! Bitcoin and Amazon Coins are differents!!!1!

    Yes, yes they are.

    Amazon Coins and How the Definition of 'Crypto-Currency' Is Getting Too Loose

    Is it? Who's calling Amazon Coins a crypto-currency? Is it "no-one"?

  • by swb (14022) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @08:10AM (#46293631)

    Could Amazon ever allow other merchants to accept its "coin", in effect creating a more fungible currency?

    They're big enough in enough ways (size, computing capacity, etc) that they almost could create a stored value system and transaction processing ability that they might be able to induce other vendors to accept their coin that they would in turn redeem for the merchant as actual currency.

    Smaller vendors would get access to a sophisticated payment system and perhaps gain customer confidence or customers wanting to spend/get rid of coins on items Amazon doesn't carry.

    Amazon would gain the transaction info for their analytics as well as maybe more consumer acceptance of their coin.

    I wonder how long until big e-commerce companies attempt to create a common currency-type payment system that allows them to bypass Visa/MC/banks and possibly even deal with national currency conversion costs.

  • With BitCoin, not only is there a log of every transaction, but everyone on earth has access to it. You can actually trace a coin from when it was created through every single wallet it touched! And all one needs to tie a wallet to a physical person is some IP logging data which is fairly easy to acquire.

    I don't know how BitCoin and anonymity got tied together. It is pretty much the LEAST anonymous currency that exists on earth. At least with Amazon coins, one would need to get access to Amazon's servers to

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