How bitcoin ATM works

Visiting The Bitcoin Bodega Far from the glitz of the older Las Vegas strip, past a ragged Travelodge, and next to a smoke shop is a small bodega offering t-shirts, flip flops, and two 16-ounce bottles of suds for $5. It also has a Robocoin bitcoin ATM, the first on the Strip. It is a high-tech obelisk, seemingly placed at random amidst a parade of drunk men and women on their way from somewhere to somewhere else. I visited it yesterday, cash in hand. It was my first bitcoin ATM experience and, despite the Ground-Control-To-Major-Tom oddity of the thing, I’ve … Continue reading How bitcoin ATM works

Is it the right time for virtual money?

Wildcat Currency by Edward Castronova is about real-world currencies versus virtual money Edward Castronova lives in a fantasy world, populated by Shadow Knights, Beastlords, Berserkers and, one might be forgiven for supposing, socially challenged teenage boys. And yet Castronova is a professor of telecommunications at Indiana University Bloomington – and from out of the depths of this virtual world and its millions of global devotees he has mined a manifesto for a real-world revolution that threatens to expose as illusory one of the fundamental cornerstones of the “real” world in which we live. A self-professed online gaming enthusiast, Castronova has … Continue reading Is it the right time for virtual money?

Are bitcoins legal?

Bidding on bitcoin Bitcoin traders are sometimes accused of unfairly profiting from an opaque asset beyond the understanding of ordinary people. If that’s the case, then the U.S. government is now one of the biggest offenders. On June 27th, the U.S. Marshals Service auctioned off slightly more than twenty-nine thousand six hundred and fifty-six bitcoins—all seized from Silk Road, the online marketplace for illegal drugs and other illicit goods that was shut down by law-enforcement agencies last October. Rather than sitting on the loot indefinitely, the Marshals Service sold it to the public at the highest possible price. In doing … Continue reading Are bitcoins legal?

The virtues of Silk Road

Silk Road Reduced Violence in the Drug Trade, Study Argues The dark web may have a silver lining, according to a pair of academics: A new class of geekier, less violent drug dealers. A law professor and a professor of criminal science argue, in a paper released online, that by reducing physical contact between drug dealers—particularly between dealers and their suppliers—the Silk Road’s bustling Web-based narcotics trade may have prevented bloodshed that would have occurred in the street-level illegal drug market. The Silk Road, after all, became a bustling online drug bazaar by giving users a new way to deal … Continue reading The virtues of Silk Road

Is virtual reality a bubble?

Marc Andreessen on the Future of Silicon Valley(s), and the Next Big Technology Silicon Valley is starting to feel a little less exuberant these days. Some big start-ups are having trouble raising money. Others are delaying plans to go public. Hot new technologies like Bitcoin have been struggling.With all the nervous chatter out there — Where is this going? What’s next? — I called on Marc Andreessen, who has lived through a bubble or two (or three). Mr. Andreessen, a prominent venture capitalist, has been at the epicenter of the technology business here for two decades. In the early 1990s, … Continue reading Is virtual reality a bubble?