Click the comments link on any story to see comments or add your own.
Subscribe to this blog
11 May 2013
When I was a small boy and needed clothes, my mother would take me to the Best's department store, where we'd pick something out, and then go to pay for it. The clerk would take the money and the slips, put them in a cylindrical container, and send them off with a whoosh through a pneumatic tube to somewhere upstairs. After a delay of what seemed to me to be about a week and a half, our change and receipt would whoosh back, and we could go.Buying things with Bitcoin is a lot like that. It's really, really slow to use, like ten minutes to several hours per transaction. While there are workarounds to speed it up, they all break some of the aspects of Bitcoin that make it different from normal money.
posted at: 23:09 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Money/bcslow.trackback
04 Sep 2012
Bitcoin is still the Net's favorite virtual currency, particularly for people who believe that the gold standard was a good idea. I see that Bitcoin has recently achieved sufficient critical mass to support a classic Ponzi scheme, a guy who promised absurd rates of interest, 7% per week to his "investors", then disappeared with 500,000 of other people's Bitcoins. At the current price of about $10/bitcoin, that's nominally $5 million, but Bitcoin markets are so thin that in practice it's worth a lot less unless he trickles them out over many months.
Given the general level of financial sophistication of Bitcoin users, the real question is why it hasn't happened sooner.
posted at: 03:45 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Money/bitcoinscam.trackback
14 Dec 2011
A year and a half ago I blogged about my Capital One credit card's payment checks sent along with the monthly statement, that offered a free loan for about 45 days. Early last year I stopped because they sometimes bounce the checks even though the online statement says there's plenty of credit.Since then, they stopped sending the checks, but I found that I could point and click on their web site and have them mail me a check, payable to me.
posted at: 13:20 :: permanent link to this entry :: 3 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Money/freeupdate.trackback
10 Oct 2011
A friend whose daughter just had yet another credit card cancelled and reissued due to online fraud asked me what she did that let bad guys steal her credit card.The answer is probably nothing. Bank security stinks, and large company security stinks more. For example, a few years ago someone stole 45 million card numbers from TJ Maxx, cards which as far as I can tell, the customers swiped at the register and never left their hands. Banks are figuring out that they need to do better, but they are ponderous, timid, and move in herds, so change comes slowly. I've seen estimates from well-informed people that crooks may have something like half of all credit card numbers issued in the US.
posted at: 23:23 :: permanent link to this entry :: 1 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Money/cards.trackback
03 Jun 2011
Bitcoin, for anyone who's not up on their techno-trends, is this year's hot trendy digital payment system. Its main claim to fame is that it is peer-to-peer, not depending on a central bank to issue or validate the "coins", actually blobs of cryptographically signed bits. This makes it both fairly anonymous and hard to manipulate (at least in the ways that real money is manipulated), making it a darling of anarcho-libertarians.
A lot of people have opined on its merits, most notably this Quora message.I took a look at the design of Bitcoin, which is credited to "Satoshi Nakamoto". Nobody seems to know who he is (or who they are), but he definitely knows his crypto. As a piece of cryptographic software design, it's quite clever. As a system you might want to use to pay for stuff, it's hopeless.
posted at: 10:11 :: permanent link to this entry :: 9 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Money/bitcoin.trackback
My other sites
© 2005-2013 John R. Levine.
CAN SPAM address harvesting notice: the operator of this website will not give, sell, or otherwise transfer addresses maintained by this website to any other party for the purposes of initiating, or enabling others to initiate, electronic mail messages.