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The Almighty Buck Bitcoin Businesses

BitPay, Toshiba Partnership Brings Bitcoin To 6,000 New Merchants 85

Posted by timothy
from the how-will-refunds-be-calculated dept.
Raystonn (1463901) writes "Toshiba has announced the integration of Bitcoin support in their touch-screen point-of-sale platform, VisualTouch, used by over 6,000 merchants. The merchants will now be able to accept Bitcoin payments at the register from anyone with a smartphone or any other QR code reader. Acceptance of Bitcoin as a payment method frees merchants from worries of fraudulent chargebacks, as Bitcoin payments are non-reversible just like cash, while allowing settlement deposits in any of 9 currencies, including USD and Bitcoin."
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BitPay, Toshiba Partnership Brings Bitcoin To 6,000 New Merchants

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  • What about taxation? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Friday May 16, 2014 @10:15AM (#47017315) Homepage
    Many countries are slowly transitioning away from cash to electronic payments in order to ensure that there is a paper trail and people can be forced to pay taxes on all their income. Terminals that accept anonymous Bitcoin seem to undo much of that progress. Will we see legislation to require terminals to also take a form of ID (or another document linked to one's ID) when paying with Bitcoin?
    • by goombah99 (560566)

      Not until they do that for cash.

      I hadn't really thought about that aspect of bitcoin before: no chargebacks. IN fact as a consume not a seller it seemed like the very reason I would not use it. It sounds too much like Western Union frauds. But in point of sale transactions where I know I have my goods, as opposed to remote transactions where I don't I can now suddenly see this as a killer advantage. On the other hand chargebacks are not that prolific for honest sellers. I've used two in my life and bo

      • > Not until they do that for cash.

        Exactly. Cash is anonymous. Why isn't BitCoin allowed to be as well?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Charliemopps (1157495)

          Because the government wants to control all financial transactions down to the penny. They don't like cash either. And no, it's not just about taxes. It's about controlling the populace.

      • by CRCulver (715279)

        Not until they do that for cash.

        The problem is that as a physical, government-issued object, it is easier for a state to limit the availability and appeal of cash. Strategies that have long been used include circulating fewer coins and banknotes, restricting cross-border movements of cash, forbidding certain businesses from taking cash, and placing restrictions on how many ATMs can be located in a community so that getting cash just becomes a hassle.

        Bitcoin, on the other hand, is an electronic concept floa

        • by TheCarp (96830)

          > So, there definitely seems to be a need for a different kind of legislation to target this anonymous payment method.

          Well you have only shown that it has been done for cash, not really that there is need for that kind of control or even that such controls actually accomplish anything as they exist today.

          The only real change I have seen that has decreased the use of cash is the convinence and ubiquity of cards as an alternative; which is far more carrot than stick.

      • by Michael Casavant (2876793) on Friday May 16, 2014 @11:15AM (#47017843)

        On the other hand chargebacks are not that prolific for honest sellers. I've used two in my life and both for cheats.

        I used to work for a small retail chain (75 stores) working specifically on the POS system (including CC processing). Chargebacks are a huge issue.

        Our staff had to deal with 30-40 chargebacks a month during our busy times. Each of those required at least an hour of research on the transaction, filling out forms and then getting the information back to the credit card processing company. All of which typically resulted in money coming out of our account, even though the customer was in the wrong (Along with other things, we sold monthly subscriptions to our service. A customer would dispute charges because they went to a store that started with the same first 4 letters of our name and didn't recognize the charge.).

        Chargebacks cost us 1 employees time for an entire week every single month, and we where an honest retailer (refunds for anything even have way reasonable).

      • by sgbett (739519)

        On the other hand doesn't this actually put the merchant at more risk? I get my goods, hop in the car, and ten minutes later he finds out I gave him bad bit coins.

        Confirmations aren't as important as may have been originally thought...

        http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com... [cryptocoinsnews.com]

        It at least brings it into the realms of tolerable/insurable. Double spend is really hard, probably not worth the effort unless its a big (high value) purchase.

        I'm sure there are exceptions, but high value purchases are probably worth hanging a

    • by compro01 (777531)

      Bitcoin comes standard with a fairly indelible trail of electrons.

    • Terminals that accept anonymous Bitcoin seem to undo much of that progress.

      A government paper trail of every detail of your life is "progress"?

      • by CRCulver (715279)

        A government paper trail of every detail of your life is "progress"?

        One's cash flow is not "every detail of one's life". To suggest it is makes you sound unintentionally Marxist. There are all kinds of activities that one goes about and wishes to keep private that do not involve the exchange of money.

        But as far as a government paper trail of every detail of cash flow being progress, yes, yes it is. I happen to pay taxes in a state that uses those funds for all kinds of nice things in a policy supported by

        • One's cash flow is not "every detail of one's life".

          A record of your transactions reveals a lot more than how much you spent. It contains what you spent it on, where you were, when you were there, and, with cross referencing, it can reveal who you were with. I would rather the NSA monitor my phone calls than have access to my financial transactions.

          I happen to pay taxes in a state that uses those funds for all kinds of nice things ...

          There are plenty of taxes that do not require the government to collect details of citizens' lives. My local government is funded primarily by property taxes. The deed to my house is already a public record, s

      • by sgbett (739519)

        Sure the government can look at it, but then so can everyone else.

        I know its a difficult proposition but transparency appears to have its benefits.

        I can imagine a future where 'dark ages' refers to those centuries before the internet, when it was possible of brad people to terrible things in secret.

        I think the fact that few humans can't be trusted, spoils 'privacy' for the many that can be. When privacy is used as a tool to further nefarious goals I think you have to look at what benefits it provides. Perha

    • I can't speak to other countries, but in the US the seller is responsible for collecting and paying the taxes - and paying (pseudo) anonymously via BTC doesn't undo any of that as the seller still has an electronic record of the amount of the sale.

      • by CRCulver (715279)
        While the seller may collect sales tax, the state needs some kind of paper trail of the buyer's finances as well to catch tax cheats. It may be that a person has declared their income at one figure and pays taxes on that, but is out there making purchases that suggest his income is actually much higher. With electronic payment systems like a bank or credit card, you can ensure that all of a person's money is accounted for and penalize him/her if it is not declared it as income, but anonymous payment methods
        • While the seller may collect sales tax, the state needs some kind of paper trail of the buyer's finances as well to catch tax cheats.

          The state may want that, but neither the seller nor the buyer is for the most part in no way obligated (morally or legally) in the US to provide that.

    • Businesses are required to report bitcoin transactions as income like any other. In this regard, there is no difference between accepting bitcoin and accepting cash...except that there is considerably more tracking related to bitcoin. In particular, every transaction is public and permanently visible, and there is significant tracking and monitoring of the bitcoin/fiat exchange points.
  • Do you have to wait 10 minutes until you get your stuff? Do you have to stay 10 minutes in the restaurant after you've paid before you can go?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuasiSteve (2042606)

      Do you have to stay 15-90 days in the restaurant after you've paid with a credit card before you can go?

      After all, nothing's stopping you from later calling up your bank/credit card company and getting the charge taken off for reasons ranging between fraud and "I didn't like the way that waiter looked at me, but I paid anyway, but after some more thinking I believe he was staring at my ass".

      Bitpay is a bit like the credit card companies in this - they actually deal very little 'in' Bitcoin, they just exchan

      • Do you have to stay 15-90 days in the restaurant after you've paid with a credit card before you can go?

        With credit cards you still can track down the person who owned the credit card. This is not (always) possible with bitcoin. Of course, as less bitcoins get mined, more and more bitcoins will be trackable, as people get them from exchanges, which have anti-money-laundering rules.

        • by LF11 (18760)
          Not if the card is stolen, or the person reports the card as stolen. These are both significant problems for merchants, which cannot happen with bitcoin transactions.<br><br>Something a lot of people don't understand about payment networks is that credit card transactions are not "confirmed" for several months. The merchant is on the hook for the full amount of the charge for this entire time period. The customer can call and dispute a charge several months after the fact, resulting in a char
          • by bondsbw (888959)

            This also highlights one of the problems of Bitcoin. When receiving goods instantly (such as going to the grocery store or through the drive-thru), Bitcoin is somewhat easier to counterfeit and to get away with.

            Either the buyer will be gone before any reasonable suspicion comes about, or the seller will need to force the buyer to wait until some number of confirmations succeed (what that number is depends on the seller who may require a higher number of confirmations for more valuable transactions).

            That sa

            • No different than counterfeit cash, except with bitcoin the discovery happens quickly and automatically. Also, the bitcoin problem takes considerable technical ability and infrastructure.

              You definitely haven't bought anything with bitcoin in person. It happens FAST, often faster than a CC auth.
              • by bondsbw (888959)

                No different than counterfeit cash

                True if you assume the counterfeit cash is always difficult to detect before the buyer leaves. Counterfeit Bitcoin would be impossible to detect within such time if the buyer is allowed to leave immediately after attempting the transaction.

                You definitely haven't bought anything with bitcoin in person. It happens FAST, often faster than a CC auth.

                No I haven't, so please enlighten me. I'm basing my assumption on quite a few articles stating that a single confirmation takes minutes (typically under 10). But I doubt many merchants would consider a single confirmation to be adequate. So multiply that time by the n

                • Yes. But a merchant can choose zero confirmations. So for example, I recently renewed some domains at register4less with bitcoin. They displayed QR code and I took a picture of it with my phone's bitcoin app. Confirm the amount, and about 5 seconds later the QR code went away and the purchase was done. No name, no billing address, no entering long number strings, just take a picture and confirm. It was simpler and faster than a CC, and there was absolutely no way for someone to intercept or steal the
                  • by LF11 (18760)
                    To clarify, it doesn't cost a lot of money to attempt a double-spend. Got confused with 51-percent attack (perhaps plausible with a big enough botnet?). Regardless, BitPay offers protection against double-spending to all of their merchants, so the point is moot in the case of this article.
    • by bspus (3656995)
      As soon as you release the transaction from your client, it is visible within seconds. It will take 10 minutes or longer to get into a block, sure (and buried under a couple of blocks at least to be really "confirmed"), but if you initiate the transaction you can't really take it back and it proves that you at least had the coin at the time to carry it out in the first place For payments the scale of a meal, that would be enough for me if I were the owner of the restaurant
  • merchants from worries of fraudulent chargebacks,

    What keeps merchants from excessive fraudulent chargebacks is providing a clearly defined product or service, with a clearly defined return policy, and good customer service.

    Bitpay is a US company and as such is under US laws. You can bet that at some point someone will spoof a payment through bitpay at a clueless retailer, sue Bitpay, and Bitpay will sue the retailer. It could even be a fraudulent suit, but if the security measures are not there to ins

    • by PRMan (959735)
      How do they spoof someone's private key? And if they do, then why do they need bitcoin?
  • is the exchange rate set each day / each hour / live?

    and what happens if it's price drops fast and you end up under paying them will they try to hunt you down to pay for the shout fall?

  • by LF11 (18760)
    Every time there's a bitcoin story, I come here to relish in the flood of angry, embittered nerds. Too old to have picked up on the "next greatest thing," now they just rage, trolling a technology they don't know and missed out on.

    Bitcoin was supposed to die years ago. Right? But it didn't. And now big names are getting on board. Shouldn't you start learning a little bit about how this works? eBay is looking at it, after all, and the founder of PayPal is watching.

    If only you had bought in early, you c
    • Bought in? In the early days, the coins for that trip to space would have come at the cost of the electricity required to run a miner on your laptop for a few weeks.
      • by LF11 (18760)
        It sucks to be so close to the lottery and miss.

        And let's not even talk about Dogecoin.... :)
    • by ADRA (37398)

      Nah, I always see it the other way, every article released about bitcoin is like "xxxx is the year of the linux Desktop" and every single article pumps up reasons why bitcoin will suddenly take the world by storm, but nothing else changes. Bitcoin is a commodity that a few bit players will continue to play withg it and the general public won't know or give a fuck about until someone gets defrauded for their entire life savings for some reason (most likely due to their own ignorance). Then politicians will k

      • by LF11 (18760)
        Linux never did have its "year of the desktop." Instead, it just made the desktop (and the laptop) obsolete. Game over.

        Great model for bitcoin to follow, if you ask me.
      • by PRMan (959735)
        Well, here's to hoping it fails as spectacularly as Linux. That will put the price per bitcoin at what? $50,000?
    • If only you had bought in early, you could be taking a trip to space on Virgin Galactic, like that flight attendant from Hawaii who was Branson's first public bitcoin customer. Ouch.

      This is exactly what will prevent Bitcoin's wide acceptance as a currency. Why would you spend your zero-point-something-something Bitcoin on a coffee at Starbucks today, when two years from now that amount may buy you a car from Tesla?

      A little bit of inflation is needed in a currency to encourage it to be spent and exchanged, not hoarded in the hope that tomorrow it will be worth more. The cryptocoin that started as a joke, Dogecoin, gets this. Don't get me wrong, cryptocurrency is here to stay - it jus

      • by LF11 (18760)
        The thing you (and many others who claim this is a problem with bitcoin) simply do not understand is that bitcoin does not work in an inflationary model. If the inflationary model were correct, bitcoin would have died years ago. Bitcoin was designed around a different economic model. It makes no sense unless you look at it with the correct model in mind.

        It's five years old and growing. Maybe the inflationary model works for other currencies, but the inflationary model clearly is not accurately represent
      • by TeknoHog (164938)

        Why would you spend your zero-point-something-something Bitcoin on a coffee at Starbucks today, when two years from now that amount may buy you a car from Tesla?

        The question makes sense with or without Bitcoin. If you care about your money in the long term, you don't go to Starbucks, you make your own coffee for much less money, and invest your savings. OTOH, if you're really short of cash, and you're hungry, a good meal right now is worth a lot more than a prospect of earning some more in a few years. The idea of spending vs. saving is a lot older, it's just that Bitcoin has seen some rapid growth in the past couple of years that has made it more in-your-face.

      • by PRMan (959735)
        Because we just bought the coffee at Starbucks for a fraction of a cent. And we can buy coffee for the rest of our life for $8.
  • Now they only need to find some vict... I mean shoppers willing to buy real stuff with it!!!
    Maybe a bottle of Jack Daniels with a few milligrams of LSD would help ;)

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