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Expedia To Accept Bitcoin

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the only-stability-is-volatility dept.

Bitcoin 87

An anonymous reader writes With the debacle of Mt. GoX, Bitcoin's future was looking a little murky. But in a significant mainline acceptance, Expedia has said they will begin accepting Bitcoins as a form of payment. At first, they will accept it for hotel bookings only, will accept it only in USA, and also will not be holding Bitcoins for any length of time — converting it to dollars as soon as they can. But, quoting Emily Spaven, managing editor of Bitcoin news site CoinDesk, as told to the BBC, the move was "brilliant news" and it "brings digital currency further into the consciousness of the mainstream." So you can't quite fly to Galt's Gulch to your newly Bitcoiin-purchased real estate without switching currencies.

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We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238153)

Unfortunately, American regulatory practices mean that for the foreseeable future, businesses will convert Bitcoin to cash as soon as they get it, and deposit it into ordinary bank accounts. As long as that goes on, Bitcoin will not fulfill its promise: keeping cash flow untaxable, allowing people to hold on to their hard-earned income instead of the state taking it away from them at gunpoint.

Re:We're not there yet (4, Insightful)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 3 months ago | (#47238205)

...Bitcoin will not fulfill its promise: keeping cash flow untaxable, allowing people to hold on to their hard-earned income instead of the state taking it away from them at gunpoint.

Bitcoin makes no such promises. The only "promises" (goals, really) bitcoin purports to make are centered around the current trust-based model of payment processing and it's unnecessarily high transaction costs. [bitcoin.org] Only people (like you, apparently) with an agenda/ax to grind believe bitcoin promises anything else.

Re:We're not there yet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238219)

Whatever, statist.

Re:We're not there yet (1, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 months ago | (#47238227)

and it's unnecessarily high transaction costs. [bitcoin.org]

Which is naive at best and ignores the fact that its only 'free' on the bitcoin network now for ancillary reasons that will go away. As time goes on, the same fees will be syphoned off bitcoin transactions as well if it continues.

Its really silly to think that processors aren't going to their as much extra as they can.

BitCoin is MORE expensive to actually process than a CC transaction, and it gets WORSE over time. Processing fees aren't there because of the cost, they are there because they CAN charge extra to deal with a trusted processor. As popularity grows, so will fees.

Re:We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238375)

wtf are you talking about? My company accepts Bitcoins and we're definitely getting more out of each sale than we are with credit cards. Bitcoins have begun so popular I've switched our systems from converting everything from Bitcoins to USD to simply sending them to our Bitcoin address. Why? Because we can actually spend them in raw forum. In fact We don't have enough Bitcoins to cover just the stuff we *could* be paying for in Bitcoins. There are no transaction fees of any significance from an exchange now.

Re:We're not there yet (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#47238713)

It's not that the information you present is completely implausible, but could we get a Skylark or something?

Re:We're not there yet (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 months ago | (#47238435)

BitCoin is MORE expensive to actually process than a CC transaction, and it gets WORSE over time.

Do you have any actual numbers to back this assertion?

As popularity grows, so will fees.

But as the market grows, volatility decreases, which makes it possible to deal directly in Bitcoin. This is very different from credit cards where network effect limits competition.

Bitcoin fees will have to grow eventually ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 months ago | (#47238877)

As popularity grows, so will fees.

But as the market grows, volatility decreases, which makes it possible to deal directly in Bitcoin.

That will not eliminate fees. The Bitcoin model will eventually require increased fees on each and every transaction. As mining becomes more difficult and less rewarding, miners need an incentive other than solving blocks. That will be the fees embedded in each transaction.

Keep in mind that miners do not only create new coins. They also verify the transactions in the block chain and get the embedded fees. Without a large number of independent miners this block chain can be corrupted and individual transactions listed can no longer be trusted to be accurate. To keep a large number of independent miners involved they have to be rewarded. Today mining new coins is the main reward, some day it will not be and the fees embedded in transactions will have to provide the necessary reward.

Re:Bitcoin fees will have to grow eventually ... (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 3 months ago | (#47238897)

But as the market grows there will be more transactions and therefore more fees generated without actually increasing them.

Re:Bitcoin fees will have to grow eventually ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 months ago | (#47239515)

But as the market grows there will be more transactions and therefore more fees generated without actually increasing them.

Doesn't work that way for miners. Their hardware has a max capacity that they are already running at. And that hardware is expensive. If the return is not sufficient they will not invest in new hardware and will just stop mining. That can destroy a virtual currency. Transaction fees will go up as fewer and fewer new coins are awarded over time.

Re:Bitcoin fees will have to grow eventually ... (3, Informative)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 months ago | (#47239633)

Doesn't work that way for miners. Their hardware has a max capacity that they are already running at.

The effort required to mine a block is (almost) independent of the number of transactions in it. Mining happens against a tree hash of all the transactions in the block, so the only difference between mining a block with 1 transaction and a block with 1,000,000 is generating that tree. And that is something desktop computers do routinely, for example magnet links used for P2P are based on hash trees. So a larger amount of transactions always leads to a larger total reward for mining.

A bigger technical challenge is whether a broadcast network can handle transaction rates resulting from large-scale adoption.

Re:Bitcoin fees will have to grow eventually ... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47239815)

There's a market system in play. The available fees are statistically divided among miners according to their processing power. If mining isnt economical, people stop doing it - which means the fees are divided among those left, making it more profitable. If more people start mining there is a smaller slice of the pie for each, and the reward for each falls. If all goes as planned, it'll settle into an equilibrium where the money to be made from transaction fees is just above the cost of powering and housing that hardware.

There is some concern that the equilibrium point may not have enough mining-power to maintain the network security, but that can be addressed by raising transaction fees. There's no actual organisation in charge of bitcoin that can make that decree, but there is the group maintaining the reference implimentation, bitcoind - the vast majority of bitcoin users use that, so they have de facto control - if they change the detault to pay more fees, most users will go along, except those who are very patient and penny-pinching.

Re:We're not there yet (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 3 months ago | (#47239183)

Wait...you're saying Satoshi was naive? Interesting. An awful lot of people/money would disagree with you, though.

Re:We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47240225)

I can do money transfers between banks for free, but I can't transfer money between two of my own bitcoins wallets without losing 10 cents worth of bitcoins.

Funny how that works out.

bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hold i (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#47238221)

bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hold it. and do you want to show up at the hotel and be told you have to pay more to make up the short fall and or be told you can only get a room at the walk up / Max rack rate that can be sat 3-5 times the Expedia rate.

Re:bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hol (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238247)

bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hold it. and do you want to show up at the hotel and be told you have to pay more to make up the short fall and or be told you can only get a room at the walk up / Max rack rate that can be sat 3-5 times the Expedia rate.

You would never "show up at the hotel and be told you have to pay more". Normally I would just call you an idiot. But it is not your fault. The Mainstream Media has done you a disservice. When you pay a merchant with Bitcoin they can choose to have it INSTANTLY converted to cash or save a portion of the Bitcoin payment. There is no "fluctuation risk" for the merchant unless they choose to hold Bitcoin.

Re:bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hol (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238577)

Well you are doing a disservice to Slashdotters by poking holes in their mindless dribble. Just let them be and allow them to wallow in their fantasy worlds, they're happier there!

Re:bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hol (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 3 months ago | (#47239249)

When you pay a merchant with Bitcoin they can choose to have it INSTANTLY converted to cash or save a portion of the Bitcoin payment.

Assuming the merchant instantly converts Bitcoins into cash for say, a $100 equivalent transaction, what is the difference in transaction cost when compared with a credit card? I know credit card transactions cost roughly 2%, or $2 in this case.

Re:bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hol (1)

BaCkBuRn (621588) | about 3 months ago | (#47239277)

Assuming the merchant instantly converts Bitcoins into cash for say, a $100 equivalent transaction, what is the difference in transaction cost when compared with a credit card? I know credit card transactions cost roughly 2%, or $2 in this case.

It depends on the merchant's Bitcoin processor or whatever private contract they have with them. The main processors are Coinbase and BitPay. There is a transaction fee paid by the customer of .0001 BTC when they make the payment. That fee goes to the Bitcoin miners on the network. The payment processors have varying fees for the transaction that the merchant would pay when instantly converting to cash. I believe there is no fee on the portion of Bitcoin the merchant may or may not choose to hold. For the moment at least.

Re:bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hol (2)

gnupun (752725) | about 3 months ago | (#47239401)

0.0001 BTC is 5 cents in today's market (1 BTC = $568) which is quite cheap for a transaction. Suppose the buyer also does not want the risk of BTC fluctuations, so he purchases BTC just before buying from the online store. But the cost to convert USD to $100 worth of BTC and then reconverting the BTC to USD seems both inefficient and expensive because there is usually a spread (or difference in buying and selling prices of a commodity). So after all the fees and conversions, the buyer may have spend $101 or $103 for transaction, which is not much cheaper than a credit card transaction.

Re:bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47243405)

Normally I would just call you an idiot. But it is not your fault. The Mainstream Media has done you a disservice.

You're supposed to call them the "Lamestream Media", Glenn. Didn't you get Sarah's memo?

Re:bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hol (1)

germansausage (682057) | about 3 months ago | (#47239169)

1. "bitcoin has too much fluctuation for them to hold it" - correct
 
2. Do you want to show up at the hotel and be told you have to pay more to make up the short fall - What shortfall? See #1.

Re:bitcoin has to much fluctuation for them to hol (1)

supremebob (574732) | about 3 months ago | (#47239901)

Expedia is using something like Bitpay for their Bitcoin processing, right? If that's the case, they get their payment in cash right away and do not need to worry about any price fluctuations.

Re:We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238235)

1) If by "regulatory practices" you mean that the USD is stable but Bitcoin is not, thanks in no small part to regulation, yes?

2) Repeat after me: Bitcoin is not anonymous. It doesn't keep anything untaxable;

3) Think of the state as a private company with part ownership of all the land in some nation. If you want to do business, you have to pay your landlord the fees to do business on his land. If you don't like it, you're free to leave his land. There we go - we're now living in a libertarian paradise. You're welcome!

Re:We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238413)

2) Repeat after me: Bitcoin is not anonymous. It doesn't keep anything untaxable;

IP != person, and there are many things you can do to make your real IP difficult to find.

Re:We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238475)

Transaction history says what?

Oh, that's right, you can swap wallets at a bitcoin bank - which could allow anonymity, just like banks could before they were (mostly) regulated away from acting as massive laundering operations.

If you wanted to trade anonymously, an unregulated traditional bank - the legendary "Swiss bank accounts" identifiable by number only - would offer far more anonymity than an unregulated bitcoin exchange, because the need to keep a trace of activity is not inherent to the system.

Re:We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47312031)

Ummm... what? Banks are required to keep records of every transaction.

Coinjoin and stealth adresses can effectively objusicate transactions, given enough people actually use them.

Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (4, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 months ago | (#47238263)

Unfortunately, American regulatory practices mean that for the foreseeable future, businesses will convert Bitcoin to cash as soon as they get it, and deposit it into ordinary bank accounts. As long as that goes on, Bitcoin will not fulfill its promise: keeping cash flow untaxable, allowing people to hold on to their hard-earned income instead of the state taking it away from them at gunpoint.

Its not American regulatory practices, i.e. the recent IRS advisory about virtual currency being an asset not a currency. It is, and has been since before the IRS spoke, bitcoins volatility that causes merchants not to **hold** bitcoins.

Also, merchants don't have to convert bitcoins to fiat currency. They may never even touch or see a bitcoin. Various bitcoin exchanges have merchant services where the merchant tells the exchange the price in fiat currency and the exchange calculate the equivalent number of bitcoins to display to the customer, provides an exchange payment address, and when bitcoins are received at this address the exchange credits the merchant's account the exact fiat currency amount they originally stated regardless of any bitcoin fluctuations. The merchant does all its pricing and accounting in fiat currency and receives the exact correct payment in fiat currency. It merely receives the payment from a 3rd party, the exchange rather than directly from the customer.

Again, all of this was in place **before** the IRS advisory. It was due to bit coin's price volatility, which continues today. This week bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value. Bitcoin acts much like an asset, i.e. gold, stocks, etc.

That said, bitcoin is an excellent payment system. It will probably replace paypal and such, put a dent in credit cards, but probably not compete with the US Dollar, the Euro, etc to a large degree. Bitcoin has to become a stable store of value before it can become a serious currency.

And of course if you are a speculator bitcoins have a value there too.

Re:Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (1)

jeepies (3654153) | about 3 months ago | (#47239055)

That said, bitcoin is an excellent payment system. It will probably replace paypal and such, put a dent in credit cards.

In its current form, there's no way any cryptocurrency replaces paypal or credit cards. The major problems: Anonymity, Lack of protection from fraud, susceptibility to loss (lose your wallet, oops.), and user unfriendliness (expecting the average Joe to deal with wallet software and bitcoin addresses is major stretch).

Re:Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (1)

Linsaran (728833) | about 3 months ago | (#47239263)

In its current form, there's no way any cryptocurrency replaces paypal or credit cards. The major problems: Anonymity, Lack of protection from fraud, susceptibility to loss (lose your wallet, oops.), and user unfriendliness (expecting the average Joe to deal with wallet software and bitcoin addresses is major stretch).

I don't necessarily see all of those things as problems, but let's go through them, shall we.

1) Anonymity: While it is possible for a dedicated person with resources to track crypto transactions (since by it's very nature all transactions are stored in a giant public ledger), the transactions themselves do not identify you. It is in this sense pseudonymous, you know which wallet has bitcoin X in it, since you can follow it's path on the blockchain, but since you cannot identify who a said wallet belongs to without access to information from outside the block chain. As you can create neigh infinite addresses for a personal wallet, and need never give the same one out twice, it's hard to be sure that any given address belongs to any given person. This is not to say that bit coin is untraceable, because it by design is very traceable, it's just that used correctly you can conduct transactions without actually revealing your identity, in much the same way that using cash doesn't necessarily reveal your identity.

2) Fraud protection: On one hand, the fact that bitcoin transactions are irreversible is a good thing, a merchant who accepts bitcoin need never worry about whether they're going to get paid for their services. There is no risk to accept bitcoins because they can never be charged-back, unlike credit cards which can actually result in a chargeback up to 6 months after a sale is complete. As far as someone committing fraudulent transactions using your bitcoins, there is no real protection against that, other than securing your wallet. If someone stole your money clip and spent the cash in it, there's no fraud protection against that either. The lesson to be learned is to better protect your money clip, or in the case of bitcoin, encrypt your wallet.

3) Susceptibility to loss: if you can't be bothered to back up your wallet, then you have no one to blame but yourself. Losing access to your wallet can happen, but with a minimum amount of effort can be prevented. People who fail to do regular back ups of their computers are just tempting fate. And besides, you can lose a real wallet just as easy (arguably easier) than a digital one, so susceptibility to loss is not unique to crypto.

4) user unfriendliness: this is really the only 'problem I really agree with you on, but it's really just a matter of time before the pieces click together.

Re:Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (1)

jeepies (3654153) | about 3 months ago | (#47239449)

So there's some flip sides: 1) In terms of anonymity, the government doesn't want the ability for people to move large quantities of money around anonymously. That capability opens up a lot of black market activity that they want to put a stop to. So I think in this case, anonymity is negative for cryptocurrency in terms of its long term viability. 2) Transactions being irreversible is great for the merchant, but what about consumer protections? What if someone buys something and it's not shipped? What if it's defective? What if it's substantially different from what was offered? The consumer is left to beg for their money back or seek legal remedy. Under the current system with credit cards and paypal, it's a simple matter to remedy these issues with a phone call or a few clicks on a website. Also, addressing the wallet issue: If someone steals loses a wallet or it's stolen, a couple phone calls and they'll have new credit cards in a week. This is precisely why most people don't carry a lot of cash around. Worst case you're out $50 if someone uses your card, but in most cases credit card companies waive those fees for lost and stolen cards. The other difference is that a crypto wallet is more akin to a bank account in terms of the amount of currency that stands to be lost. I would imagine most people carry less than $100 in their wallets. 3) This is too much to expect from most people. Again I would expect a real wallet to have far less to lose than a crypto wallet - especially if we're imagining this in a future where crypto is king. Remember you can also get spyware and have your crypto wallet stolen. In general people are just not very good with computers. Expecting them to back things up, wall off computers from hackers, etc, is unrealistic. It's fine for people who are into it like you and me, but to expect the averge person who sees a computer as a way to use Facebook to do these things is just not going to happen. Bank accounts and credit cards have safety mechanisms built in that cryptocurrency lacks and are better options for almost everyone. Until that's addressed cryptocurrency has no hope of going mainstream.

Re:Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (2, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | about 3 months ago | (#47239457)

All of what you said simply re-enfoces the fact that the general public will never accept this form of payment period. I fail to see how YOU can't see that. People are risk adverse, especially with money. They lock them up in banks with trivial amounts of interest vs. holding or investments because they're terrified of losing / investment losses. You seriously think the common man will accept this in a world of "I lost my CC, can you please issue a new one?" VS.. Oh shit, I lost my digital wallet thing, my entire life savings has been wiped out. crap.

Re:Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 months ago | (#47240325)

Point 1 is a severe flaw. There is a reason why all large money transfers are tracked nowadays to best extent possible.

Point 2 is even more severe of a flaw. It means that currency itself becomes an enemy of any customer protections already in place. If bitcoin will ever advance as an actual payment rather than speculation vehicle it is today, this will endear it to the fradulent merchants and serve as a severe detriment to any customer wishing to make a purchase and honest merchants who won't want to associate their name with system that is at its core designed to ignore customer protection and in favour of fradulent merchants.

Point 3 is a severe flaw. Claiming "it's your fault because you didn't do your homework" when it comes to something as basic as a paying system is automatic disqualification from any kind of serious position in world of payment. People CANNOT specialize in things like extreme levels of data security you claim necessary. They have to live their own lives. They have to take care of having a special skills that enable them to earn money, they have to take care of their every day lives. Payment system needs to be easy and safe. If it's not, it's taxing the payer extremely and will never be adopted by most people simply because it will cost them too much time to learn one-use skillset just to be able to be reasonably safe with their payments.
In the world were such a payment system has to compete with already functioning and EASY, even if slightly more costly payment systems, it has a snowball chance in hell unless this part improves.

Point 4: points 2 and 3 destroy any user friendliness for consumers in the root, even before all other problems.

Re:We're not there yet (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 months ago | (#47238353)

I think volatility also plays a role.

Certainly I wouldnt hold on to bitcoin longer than I had to, maybe some people are comfortable with that level of risk but I certainly am not.

Re:We're not there yet (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 3 months ago | (#47239085)

All investment carries risk. High risk carries high reward but you should moderate how much you put into a high risk store like Bitcoin. Of course, bitcoin will stabilize dramatically as volume increases.

Re:We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47241271)

No, it won't. In fact, it'll be worse. Increased volume causes its price to go up which in turn will make people hoard bitcoins, further rising the price. Eventually getting bitcoins anywhere for a reasonable price will become difficult and some time later the hype will go down and the market will crash. Then the pattern repeats.

Re: We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47241289)

Volume = amount of transactions. High volume is somewhat the opposite of hoarding.

Re: We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47242159)

Somewhat. The resulting phenomenon of those sort-of-opposite forces is extreme volatility.

Re:We're not there yet (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 3 months ago | (#47258583)

P.S. The whole hoarding bitcoins thing is a myth. Deflationary economies work the same way inflationary economies work the pressure is just in another place. Deflation is a built in wage increase for workers. Everyone's money being worth more is more temptation to spend it because prices get lower and lower. But while prices get lower and lower companies have to continue to pay workers the same amount.

This is partially offset by their cost for materials going down but bottom line is that companies will need to increase sales to keep up. Luckily for companies, everyone makes more than before because their salary of 1 BTC/week is worth more so they can afford more, so consumption goes up.

The confusion comes from people who have bought into the idea that the economy is driven by investors. Never believe this, it's nonsense used to justify people who do nothing but add interest, increase prices, and/or reduce the quality (aka cost of production) of goods and services to "realize value" and thus make money without contributing to the economy but rather by detracting to it. Often these try to take credit for and/or mask their efforts by blending in with actual technology improvements.

The economy is driven by workers (Production) and consumers (Consumption). All value in the economy comes from workers, technology improvements for instance are the work output of engineers and researchers. Consumers purchase goods and services, goods remain part of the economy and have innate value and service availability has an innate value and the output of the service may have a value as well. Consumers generally spend pretty much everything they make.

If you must obsess over middle men (investors, lenders, salesmen, etc) then you should realize that these people want other people's money. Banks don't lend to beat inflation, banks lend to charge an interest rate that is their profit+inflation. With a deflationary system lenders can simply exclude the inflation number since the payback will be in deflated dollars and the interest deflates too. How much interest can they charge? Dunno, but it will be as much as the market will allow and so it should amount to at least the same amount of increased buying power as loans now.

Re:We're not there yet (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 3 months ago | (#47238487)

"American regulatory practices"

Such as...?

Bitcoins have the paperwork overhead of stocks ... (4, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 months ago | (#47238531)

"American regulatory practices"

Such as...?

A recent IRS advisory said virtual currency is to be treated as an assent not a currency. So lets say you receive some bitcoins. At some future date you spend these bitcoins. Since these bitcoins are an asset you have to account for their gain or loss in value for the days you held them an declare a loss or gain on your taxes. In short spending bitcoins has the paperwork overhead of selling stocks, its not like spending dollars at all.

Ex. You buy one coin at $500 and another at $600. Coins are priced at $800 at the time of a future purchase. You buy something for $1,200, 1.5 coins. Using FIFO (first in first out) your basis for the outgoing 1.5 coins is $500 + $300 = $800, and the basis for the returning 0.5 coins is still $300. You experienced a gain of $400 on the 1.5 coins at the time of the sale and that $400 would seem to be taxable income. Apologies if I botched the math, hopefully the point gets across.

Re:Bitcoins have the paperwork overhead of stocks (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 3 months ago | (#47238589)

Thanks for the response. The asset vs. currency advisory is a relevant point and I admit that I missed it.

Re:Bitcoins have the paperwork overhead of stocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47239573)

Not everyone lives in America... at last count, most of the world does not live there. For those people who live in Singapore, the tax treatment is equally clear and much better. IE. The tax applicable to this scenario is zero. Other jurisdictions are different again.
So although the US economy represents a huge part of the 'on-the-grid' world economy, it is nowhere near all of the story. Add to that, the system-D economy (off-grid) and the IRS is mostly irrelevant to a system like Bitcoin.

Re:Bitcoins have the paperwork overhead of stocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47241317)

Not everyone lives in America...

Did the original question ""American regulatory practices" Such as...?" confuse you?

Re:We're not there yet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238757)

keeping cash flow untaxable, allowing people to hold on to their hard-earned income instead of the state taking it away from them at gunpoint.

how did that work out for Greece when it turns out nobody was paying taxes and the community (cities) had to borrow the cash so the trash men would be paid ?

if society doesn't want tax revenue it wouldn't exist, but as a collective you need roads, trash, schools etc, the American idea of "fuck you i got mine" isn't healthy when trying to be a civilized society.

Re:We're not there yet (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47238799)

If you desire an all-bitcoin environment, then this is a required precursor. If a business is accepting bitcoins, and they in turn do business with another that accepts bitcoins, then someone there will soon realise that skipping the dollar-conversion in the middle saves a lot of commission costs.

Bitcoin does have a few advantages aside from those sought by crypto-anarchist idealists. For one, it's conveniently international - even Paypal isn't active in all countries. It means you can offer a service globally without having to worry about handling a hundred different currencies and ten different payment services.

Re:We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238869)

That's exactly what I did. I made LOTS of coins and when it peaked over 1k per coin, I sold them all , took my money and sold all the parts to my rigs. Great times, easy money.

We're not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238909)

If you don't like living under the opressive hand of government, you could move to the Central African Republic, where they don't have that problem.

WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47239585)

expedia and others converting bits to real money asap is simply because THEY HAVE BILLS TO PAY TOO, and in real money.. like paying for the stuff their customers just paid in bits for. expedia may accept bitcoins, but hilton, american airlines, and hertz, do not.

american regulations and rulings have absolutely nothing to do with it.

___ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238189)

So you can't quite fly to Galt's Gulch to your newly Bitcoiin-purchased real estate without switching currencies.

For Christ's sake, stop hijacking the story and trying to show off your cleverness, especially if your snarky comment could've been written better by a ten-year old. A slow ten-year old at that.

Future Turing test (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 months ago | (#47238287)

So you can't quite fly to Galt's Gulch to your newly Bitcoiin-purchased real estate without switching currencies.

For Christ's sake, stop hijacking the story and trying to show off your cleverness, especially if your snarky comment could've been written better by a ten-year old. A slow ten-year old at that.

The editor comments are generated by algorithms. The site beta tests algorithms for future Turing tests. :-)

Re:___ (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47238341)

WTF is a "Bitcoiin" anyway?

A bitcoin is an entry in a financial ledger ... (0)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 months ago | (#47238423)

WTF is a "Bitcoiin" anyway?

A bitcoin is an entry in a financial ledger. A ledger that is open and transparent and verified by multiple independent (hopefully) parties.

A bitcoin wallet that a particular person may posses never contains any bitcoins. What it does contain is the digital signature that allows bitcoins associated with a particular account in the ledger to be transferred to another account.

Re:A bitcoin is an entry in a financial ledger ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238441)

Everybody is blind to the typo or what?

Re:A bitcoin is an entry in a financial ledger ... (0)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 months ago | (#47238505)

Everybody is blind to the typo or what?

Not blind. Its simply that the typo is irrelevant. Many readers do not know what a bitcoin is so ignoring the sarcasm and treating the question as real is useful. Especially since many will not notice the typo.

Why the racist Republican nonsense? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238209)

> Galt's Gulch

Why the fuck would we want to return to the world where Republicans literally owned us? Rand longed for those days and she constantly talked about how her kind wanted to murder all of the minorities and live in a place that doesn't allow them. That is what the /. post is about. It is about murdering and excluding minorities. That is the way of their kind.

Re:Why the racist Republican nonsense? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238313)

> Galt's Gulch

Why the fuck would we want to return to the world where Republicans literally owned us? Rand longed for those days and she constantly talked about how her kind wanted to murder all of the minorities and live in a place that doesn't allow them. That is what the /. post is about. It is about murdering and excluding minorities. That is the way of their kind.

Actually, in fact, Democrats (via the Confederacy and the the KKK up to the 1960s) are the clear leaders with respect to murder and exclusion of minorities. Even current hyperbolic misrepresentations and distortions of Republicans pale in comparison to actual historical acts by Democrats.

would be interesting if they report numbers later (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 3 months ago | (#47238229)

I've seen a reasonable number of announcements regarding accepting Bitcoins, but am still looking for a good case where it accounts for a significant proportion of someone's business. People either seem never to report the numbers, or only those with relatively poor Bitcoin numbers report them.

Re:would be interesting if they report numbers lat (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 months ago | (#47238293)

People either seem never to report the numbers, or only those with relatively poor Bitcoin numbers report them.

Perhaps they are reporting the numbers, but most of the numbers are "poor"?

The "carrot" has always been "we can use this as currency for purchasing goods!" but the reality has always been that Bitcoin is in reality a speculative commodity that is rarely used in commerce.

Re:would be interesting if they report numbers lat (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 3 months ago | (#47238317)

That's my suspicion, yes. The few numbers I've seen reported more or less boil down to "we implemented Bitcoin [purchasing | donations] and got like, $27.95 total from that route over six months". If there are stories of companies implementing a Bitcoin payment route and doing significant volume through it, I haven't been able to find them. Well, at least if you're looking at companies selling legal things.

Re:would be interesting if they report numbers lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238405)

My company routinely has customers pay in Bitcoins and I've stopped converting them to USD as there are plenty of avenues to spend them. I can also tell you at least one free software distribution has seen a substantial donation from Bitcoins because we've been contributing in Bitcoins. And that is not substantial relative to our companies size it is a substantial part of the distribution's income.

Re:would be interesting if they report numbers lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238777)

Cool story bro, feel free to post a link to your company with an official announcement of this.

Re:would be interesting if they report numbers lat (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 months ago | (#47246861)

My company routinely has customers pay in Bitcoins and I've stopped converting them to USD as there are plenty of avenues to spend them...

What's your spot price for a kilo?

Re:would be interesting if they report numbers lat (2)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 months ago | (#47238337)

I've seen a reasonable number of announcements regarding accepting Bitcoins, but am still looking for a good case where it accounts for a significant proportion of someone's business. People either seem never to report the numbers, or only those with relatively poor Bitcoin numbers report them.

To be honest most of the large merchants/service providers announcing that they accept Bitcoins never actually see a bitcoin. They contract merchant services where a bitcoin exchange acts as an intermediary that converts the price to bitcoins, accepts bitcoins and then pays the merchant in the currency the original price was stated in. And they pay the exact amount originally stated regardless of any bitcoin fluctuations.

All accepting bitcoins means for most of these merchants is that they work with a different payment processor, say Coinbase rather than VISA. The merchant still prices, receives payments and does all their accounting in dollars, euros, etc.

Re:would be interesting if they report numbers lat (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 3 months ago | (#47239469)

That's true, but they can still collect stats on payment methods, which is pretty routine. What I'm curious about is whether switching to a payment processor that accepts Bitcoin results in anyone actually buying things with Bitcoin. Is it more like adding support for EUR, or more like adding support for the Kazakhstani tenge?

Re: would be interesting if they report numbers la (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238541)

Porn.com does 10% of their revenue in Bitcoin. The industries that are doing the highest sales volume in bitcoin are ones where a) consumers value privacy and b) credit cards are raping merchants for double digit percentages because they are "high risk".
http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-10-percent-porn-com-sales/

Re:would be interesting if they report numbers lat (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47239821)

"am still looking for a good case where it accounts for a significant proportion of someone's business"

Silk Road? :>

Re:would be interesting if they report numbers lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47240509)

Why would you bother looking for that? Who cares if people's businesses run mostly on BitCoin? Isn't the interesting bit that users can pay with BitCoin, not that businesses run largely on it?

I recently introduced bitcoin on my project (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238239)

Open source hardware

http://ronja.twibright.com/distillcooker [twibright.com]

bitcoin for donations

Re:I recently introduced bitcoin on my project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238349)

What a coincidence, I'm also looking for donations for my currently-unknown project!

BTC wallet 17Yvsma9tfiuqVP7QhsFE2VmsFpTEMy17P

they do not accept bitcoins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238627)

They convert your bitcoins into US dollars, which they accept.

Re:they do not accept bitcoins (3, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 3 months ago | (#47238843)

Yup, they do not accept Euros either. They convert your Euros into US dollars, which they accept.

WTF *IS* a Bitcoin? (-1)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 3 months ago | (#47238895)

Seriously, all I see in a Bitcoin is a number on a computer. That's it. Where is the value?

Before you get all into the fiat currency argument; yeah, I understand *that*. But (for example) the U.S. dollar has an accepted value that (I'd argue) that isn't completely independent of goods and services produced in the U.S. Yes, you have to *believe* that fiat currency has value, but there is something indirectly tangible behind it for the U.S. dollar and other currencies.

Bitcoins, not so much. It is a number on a computer. It may be a fiat currency in the purest sense, which means you need to make sure everyone *truly* believes it to have value, in the same way some people believe the earth is flat or in unicorns. It really is like getting an answer from an ouiji board - as long as everyone agrees you get an answer that has some value.

When the bitcoin fanbois get distracted by the next New Shiny paradigm-buster, bitcoin will not be worth the electrons it is printed on.

Re:WTF *IS* a Bitcoin? (2)

jeepies (3654153) | about 3 months ago | (#47239413)

What is a bitcoin? It's an entry in a shared block chain (list of transactions) which requires computing a very difficult hash function to verify. That computation is called a "proof of work." The computer that successfully verifies a block also gets an entry in the ledger giving it a reward for calculating the hash. You can't arbitrarily create a bitcoin precisely because everyone on the network has the same shared block chain. All of this requires a lot of computational cycles and hence electrical power. So in a fashion you're translating electrical power into currency.

Re:WTF *IS* a Bitcoin? (1)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 3 months ago | (#47251833)

Didn't Douglas Adams cover this?

In fact there are three freely convertible currencies in the Galaxy, but none of them count. The Altairian Dollar has recently collapsed, the Flanian Pobble bead is only exchangeable for other Flanian Pobble Beads, and the Triganic Pu has its own very special problems. Its exchange rate of eight Ningis to one Pu is simple enough, but since a Ningi is a rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles along each side, no one has ever collected enough to own one Pu. Ningis are not negotiable currency, because the Galactibanks refuse to deal in fiddling small change. From this basic premise it is very simple to prove that the Galactibanks are also the product of a deranged imagination.

Smart move for law enforcement (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47238929)

Expedia's list of customers will be veritable Yellow Pages of drug addicts, drug dealers, pedophiles, and other criminal scum who predominantly use Bitcoin. Should be easy to sweep all those creeps up and put them away.

Bitcoins are insane (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | about 3 months ago | (#47239225)

They have no intrinsic value, similar to tulip bulbs back in the day. Gold has intrinsic value. Currency has intrinsic value in that it's tied to the GDP and ability of its issuer to pay bonds. It's true monetary policy can grow or shrink a money supply, but see above. When a bitcoin is generated, it was generated from not virtually nothing, but literally nothing.

Re:Bitcoins are insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47239421)

gold has no intrinsic value
neither has dollar

cant eat them. same with bitcoins.

it has the value people thinks it should have. when are you dumbfucks going to understand that concept.

Re:Bitcoins are insane (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47239579)

fail..... NOTHING has 'intrinsic' value. Many things have a set of attributes (that goes for gold too). People tend to place 'value' on certain attributes... and disagree with other people about what attribute(s) have 'value'.
As for 'generated from nothing' .. where do you think Federal Reserve Notes (aka USD) get generated from? Oh... thats right, out of nothing... at the whim of some shadowy central bank types... who are totally unaccountable for their actions.

Re:Bitcoins are insane (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47239825)

Gold has some intrinsic value: You can do useful things with it. It's very useful in electronics for a start - it doesn't have the best conductivity, but gold contacts never corrode. A very desireable property.

The intrinsic value is a lot less than the actual financial cost though, because it is desired primarily as a status symbol. People want it because it is rare and expensive, so it serves as a way to flaunt wealth.

Re:Bitcoins are insane (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 3 months ago | (#47240537)

That's not intrinsic. If you don't want to do those things, it has no value for them. All value is subjective.

Gold's utility value is way below its current market valuation though.

Re:Bitcoins are insane (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 months ago | (#47246285)

They have no intrinsic value, similar to tulip bulbs back in the day. Gold has intrinsic value.

A lot of things don't have intrinsic value. A collection of bits on my hard drive is just that, a collection of bits. However, some people feel it has value, they charge 99 cents if it represents a song, say. Or a book, or something else. The representation has no value since my hard drive will always have bits even if it isn't those bits. What those bits mean, though has value to some people.

Tulip bulbs has intrinsic value as well - they do bloom into nice looking (depending on opinion) flowers yearly (why we call them "annuals"). Of course, back int he day, its intrinsic beauty value was way under the monetary value, but a lot of things do that too.

MtGox is not Bitcoin (1)

jdavidb (449077) | about 3 months ago | (#47240209)

With the debacle of Mt. GoX, Bitcoin's future was looking a little murky

Not to anyone who actually follows Bitcoin. MtGox was old news in 2013, a year before it actually failed. Bit coin's success was never based on MtGox - it was the other way around. And the failure of a fraudulent company in the Bitcoin space made Bitcoin stronger, not weaker.

Tired of hearing this illogical assertion repeated.

Re:MtGox is not Bitcoin (1)

jdavidb (449077) | about 3 months ago | (#47240215)

Bitcoin stories shouldn't mention MtGox any more than dollar stories should mention Enron.

TSA wants credit card number for Air travel.. (1)

DarkHelmet433 (467596) | about 3 months ago | (#47243125)

The TSA does a whole lot of pre-flight data mining on passenger lists. I recall some discussion a while back about how they included included things like the credit card numbers, billing addresses etc in the mix.

Paying with Bitcoin has the same problem as paying with straight-up cash - it sets of all sorts of red flags because there's no real way to see if you're "connected" to other "interesting" people or not. No data = guilty until proven innocent etc.

When you're on the clock for getting to your departing flight, you really don't want to be on the wrong side of the extra special friendly pat-downs reserved for special troublemakers.

People like Expedia won't be wanting to mess with this can of worms for now, so they'll keep their bitcoin experiments a nice safe distance from the US Federal Government universe.

Seriously (1)

saryshagan (1239368) | about 3 months ago | (#47247279)

I don't know why, but I have a felling that Bitcoin is nothing more than a piramid scheme...

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