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

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?

Did ancient Maya create virtual experiences?

Did ancient Maya create virtual experiences? If Facebook were around 1,400 years ago, the ancient Maya might have been big fans of the virtual self. The Maya believed that part of your identity could inhabit material objects, like a courtier’s mirror or sculptor’s carving tool. Maya might even name these objects, talk to them or take them to special events. They considered these items to be alive. The practice of sharing your identity with material possessions might seem unusual in a modern context. But is it that different from today’s selfie-snapping, candy-crushing online culture, where social media profiles can be … Continue reading Did ancient Maya create virtual experiences?

Do we need a new anonymous cyber market?

Inside the ‘DarkMarket’ Prototype, a Silk Road the FBI Can Never Seize The Silk Road, for all its clever uses of security protections like Tor and Bitcoin to protect the site’s lucrative drug trade, still offered its enemies a single point of failure. When the FBI seized the server that hosted the market in October and arrested its alleged owner Ross Ulbricht, the billion-dollar drug bazaar came crashing down. If one group of Bitcoin black market enthusiasts has their way, the next online free-trade zone could be a much more elusive target. At a Toronto Bitcoin hackathon earlier this month, … Continue reading Do we need a new anonymous cyber market?