Money Badger – Bitcoin via Email, SMS & Reddit

Money Badger

Have you ever wanted to send bitcoin to someone who doesn’t have a bitcoin wallet or maybe to someone who doesn’t even know what bitcoin is? Well, now there is Money Badger and it don’t care who has a bitcoin wallet. It sends bitcoin where it wants and it doesn’t need usernames or logins.

Sending Bitcoin with Money Badger

If two people already use bitcoin, Money Badger doesn’t offer any new functionality. If you are trying to get more of your friends, family and co-workers to understand, adopt or even use bitcoin, it is one of the most useful tools in the bitcoin space.

Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

Sending bitcoin with Money Badger is easy and only takes 3 steps.

1. Enter a phone number or email address.

2. Select the amount that you’d like to send. Currently, USD, EUR, GBP and BTC are supported.

3. Complete the captcha and under “Additional Options” you can enter a short message and a return address in the event that the recipient doesn’t claim the coins that you send. This is important so you can get any unclaimed bitcoin returned to you.

How Money Badger works

Receiving Bitcoin

When someone sends you bitcoin, you’ll receive a notification with a voucher code to redeem your bitcoins. In order to claim your bitcoins, you just have to visit money badger and enter your voucher code, your email or phone number and the bitcoin address where you would like to receive your bitcoins. That’s it.

Once you have sent someone their first amount of bitcoin, the rising price of bitcoin is usually enough to incentivize them to do some research about bitcoin and how to use it.

If the recipient doesn’t claim their bitcoins within 7 days, they are automatically returned to the sender if the sender included a return bitcoin address. This puts coins into the hands of the most relevant users and also eliminates the risk of the recipient not claiming their bitcoin. So, now you can send bitcoin to your friends, family, co-workers and anyone else you want and if they don’t care to claim them, then you get your coins back. It’s a win win.

Costs and Limits

Every time that you send bitcoin with money badger there is a $.50 service fee that goes to Money Badger to ensure that they can keep providing this service.

Since Money Badger is primarily for getting new users to adopt bitcoin by incentivizing them to download a bitcoin wallet and learn how to receive their first bitcoin transaction, there is a minimum limit of $1 and a max limit of $100 that can be sent through Money Badger. So if you are looking for a way to send large amounts of money both the sender and receiver will need to already be familiar with bitcoin.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a free and easy way to send anonymous bitcoin tips, giving the gift of bitcoin and helping new users learn about bitcoin then Money Badger is a great tool for you to experiment with.

How would you use Money Badger? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

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What is a Block Explorer?

What is a Block Explorer?

A block explorer is an online blockchain browser which displays the contents of individual cryptocurrency blocks, transactions, the transaction histories and balances of addresses. A Bitcoin block explorer is used for exploring the bitcoin blockchain while other block explorers may be specific to other cryptocurrencies.

Popular Block Explorers

As you go further and further down the bitcoin rabbit hole, you will probably find yourself needing some information on a particular transaction, address, block or hash. The following block explorers are the most popular in the bitcoin space for finding out just about any information that the blockchain has to offer. It will definitely benefit you to learn how they all work and what they can do for you.

Blockchain.Info

Blockchain.info is not only one of the first block explorers but it probably one of the most trusted sources for data on the bitcoin blockchain. It is equipped with several useful bitcoin tools such as an HD wallet, charts and a robust API that includes some merchant tools and a donate button. One of the things that I personally do not like about their wallet is that you are required to sign in with an e.mail address which means that this is not a zero-knowledge nor a permissionless wallet and this can erode your personal privacy.

Blockchain.info

Blockonomics.co

Blockonomics.co is my personal favorite block explorer primarily because of its simplicity and privacy enhancing features. Not only does it provide some great visual features, it is also equipped with a permissionless, zero-knowledge merchant service such as an invoice generator that is pegged to a fiat price rather than a bitcoin price. This means that you can sell goods for bitcoin but price them in a fiat currency so you don’t have to worry about bitcoin price volatility. I have spoken highly of this service in the past and I personally believe this service has the potential to be the most useful block explorer in the bitcoin space.

Blockonomics.co

BlockExplorer.com

BlockExplorer.com is probably the most obviously named block explorer. It is able to give you basic information on the blockchain and has some basic API services. According to their landing page they are “an open source web tool that allows you to view information about blocks, addresses, and transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. Their source code is available on GitHub.

blockexplorer.com

Additional Block Explorers

There are probably dozens of block explorers and I will end up making this post 2,000 words if I list them all in detail but here are a few others that you might like.
Blockr.io
Blocktrail.com
BlockCypher.com

What is a bitcoin term that you would like us to define for you? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @WhatIsBitcoin.

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Is Bitcoin Like a Swiss Bank Account?

Reason to use bitcoin 93: Everyone needs a Swiss bank account in their pocket.

Since Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA has been conducting mass surveillance of not only US citizens but of citizens all around the world, there has been a substantial increase in the adoption of end-to-end encryption. These new encryption tools have made privacy so robust that now anyone with a smartphone, has access to more financial privacy and security than a swiss bank account.

Encryption, Privacy and Bitcoin

In March of 2016, Barack Obama gave a speech at SXSW in response to the recent San Bernardino shooter’s iphone containing encrypted messages that were beyond the reach of law enforcement.

“If, technologically it is possible to make an impenetrable device or system where the encryption is so strong that there is no key or no door..at all.” …“if government can’t get in…then everyone is walking around with a swiss bank account in their pocket.”

But what exactly is he talking about when he says “a swiss bank account in their pocket”?

While I personally believe that Obama is speaking of encryption as a whole, many bitcoin advocates have made the claim that he is talking specifically about bitcoin since it provides many of the same features as a swiss bank account but without the human vulnerabilities.

In June 2016, Motherboard published an article on how cryptocurrencies might make tax havens obsolete because they create an on-ramp to financial privacy that is greater than that of swiss banks. What separates cryptocurrencies from numbered accounts is that cryptocurrencies are completely inclusive of everyone regardless of age, gender, race, religion, citizenship or social class with no minimum deposit and can be set up in seconds with nothing but an internet connection. Swiss banks simply cannot say the same.

Swiss Banking and Privacy

In 1934, Swiss authorities entrenched themselves in banking secrecy when they passed a set of laws known as “The Banking Secrecy Act” which made it a criminal offense to reveal a client’s identity. Yeah, Switzerland made it a crime to violate people’s financial privacy. This is one of the reasons why Switzerland is one of the largest tax havens in the world. According to the Boston Consulting Group, Switzerland is holding approximately $2.1 trillion of offshore wealth (approximately 27% of global holdings).

One of the most common financial tools offered by Swiss banks is known as a numbered account. A numbered account is a type of bank account where the name of the account holder is kept secret, and they identify themselves to the bank strictly by means of a password. This provides account holders with one of the highest degrees of banking privacy in the world. With a Swiss numbered account and the corresponding password you can empty the account with little resistance.

Use Bitcoin Like a Bank

I don’t think bitcoin is going to replace swiss banks and offshore accounts anytime soon but it certainly offers some amazing financial privacy for people who don’t have access to financial services that are typically only available to the ruling class. Bitcoin on the other hand is the most radically inclusive store of value on the planet and possibly the best hedge against global economic uncertainty and if you don’t have any at all, you most definitely do not have a swiss bank account in your pocket. What are you going to do to fix that?

Reason to use bitcoin 93 T-shirt

Do you think bitcoin is like a swiss bank account? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

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Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Satoshi Nakamoto is the founder of Bitcoin and initial creator of the original Bitcoin client. He has said in a P2P foundation profile that he is from Japan. Beyond that, not much else is known about him or his identity. He has been working on the Bitcoin project since 2007. The smallest unit of measure in bitcoin has been named in honor of Satoshi.

The Search for Satoshi Nakamoto

In November of 2009, Satoshi created one of the most disruptive experiments in human history when he published a white paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. This new design would allow two (or more) parties to transact value without the need for a trusted third party. This has immense implications for global trade but the trusted third parties that have been in the middle of every financial transaction for centuries are not so happy about such an invention. This puts has put Satoshi at the top of the wanted list of the legacy banking cartels.

When Satoshi published this paper, he published a model that would change the world forever. The world finally had a mechanism for people and institutions to create privately issued money but even more importantly, bitcoin was the blueprint for creating bits of information that cannot be duplicated or counterfeit. This is why bitcoin is capable of functioning as money. Satoshi’s new invention will create a number of problems for governments and banks around the world which is likely why he has kept his identity a secret.

Ever since bitcoin has found its use as a safe haven asset around the world, Satoshi has gone into hiding and the search for his true identity continues.

Dorian Nakamoto

In 2013, Newsweek received some sort of anonymous tip that a man named Dorian Nakamoto was living in California and was remotely associated with some sort of cryptographic work for the government a couple years prior. Thanks to today’s poor journalism and everyone’s lust to be the first to publish a story, Dorian was dragged into the spotlight as being Satoshi Nakamoto. It was later proven false but Dorian’s face is still often used in bitcoin memes. There was even an art piece auctioned off to help him and his family with legal damage created by Newsweek’s careless “journalism”.

Craig Wright

In December of 2015, the search for Satoshi seemed to take yet another turn when an Australian computer scientist named Craig Wright was outed as being Satoshi. It didn’t take long for freelance journalists to swarm his Brisbane residence to completely invade his privacy looking for answers. Since he has fallen into the public spotlight, he has actually made claims that he is in fact Satoshi Nakamoto only to be mathematically eliminated as a fraud for not supplying a key signature that Satoshi is known to control. In short, he’s a fraud.

Conspiracy Theories

Since nobody knows Satoshi’s real identity or background, there have been a number of conspiracy theories that have surfaced. Some theories suggest that he is a member of the new world order and published bitcoin to create a one world money that the NWO will use to control the entire planet while other theories suggest that he is a former government employee who went rogue and released a cryptographic software system that the government had been using for years called “blockchain”. We may never know for sure but the search will likely continue as long as some people still care.

Satoshi is part of the New World Order

One of the first conspiracy theories was that Satoshi is actually a consortium of bankers who are working to establish a new world order. The anonymous creator is not actually a single individual but rather a group of banksters who published the bitcoin white paper to establish a global control of money and unleash the mark of the beast on the world. This is likely not the case since the bitcoin code is open source for all to view and can be changed. This makes it very difficult to control by any central power.

Satoshi is a former NSA Employee

Another Conspiracy theory is that Satoshi was working for the NSA and had been part of a project that was using a technology that was incredibly secure because it wasn’t centralized and required very complex cryptography to operate. Satoshi stole this model and altered it so that it could be used by the people rather than being monopolized by the government. After he figured out a feasible way to make it work as a peer-to-peer network, he published the Bitcoin White Paper to get some tech experts to fine tune it. Ever since it began to catch on, Satoshi has been forced into hiding for fear of being exposed and sentenced to torture or even death.

These are only a couple conspiracies but as time goes on, there will only be more crazy ideas that get added to the mix. Check back here from time to time to learn more about Satoshi Nakamoto.

What is a bitcoin term that you would like us to further define for you? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet @DefineBitcoin.

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Is Bitcoin The Reserve Currency of The Internet?

Bitcoin is the reserve currency of the internet

The internet is a global economy that transcends nation states and political borders. PayPal, Square and other FinTech companies have enabled entrepreneurs around the world to transact business electronically but these services along with all other payment networks are centrally operated and subject to countless laws across a multitude of jurisdictions. What the internet needs is its own payment network and currency that isn’t subject to the same set of rules as traditional payments. Could bitcoin rise to the challenge as the reserve currency of the internet?

Decentralization and the Internet

When the internet started gaining mainstream adoption, it challenged a number of legacy industries that had enjoyed monopolies for decades and even centuries. Among the first industries to be devastated by the internet were media based services like music, movies and publishing. Record labels were one of the first to take a hit when file sharing services like Napster stepped onto the scene. Newspaper readership plummeted as blogging and independent news sites began popping up. TV shows lost countless viewers as more and more people began watching shows made by independent creators on YouTube.

Now the internet is disrupting resources in the real world. The shared economy is turning industries like hotels, taxi cabs and parking lots upside down and it is only a matter of time before robots disrupt the employment of human labor on a large scale. But what about money and banking? How have these industries been affected by the internet?

The Reserve Currency of the Internet

In 2009, the world of money and banking changed forever when the internet finally got its own currency. A currency that is not controlled by the ruling elites or monopolies but rather a system that is controlled for and by the people. Just like media moguls lost control over the flow of information, banks have lost their monopoly over people’s means of exchange. The world has entered a new era where the production and control of money is shifting to the hands of the market and not just the ruling class. The internet has given the world bitcoin and bitcoin is the reserve currency of the internet.

Use Bitcoin

Using bitcoin transfers power from multinational financial institutions to individuals like you and me and the banks know this. The internet has supplanted the reign of media moguls and now it’s time for the banks to endure the same fate. Join the new global internet economy and replace your currency with bitcoin, the reserve currency of the internet.

Take Action

We are doing whatever we can to increase bitcoin awareness and educate new users and we need all the help we can get. If you feel that this post would benefit others, please share it. Furthermore, if you feel like educating people about bitcoin out in the real world, start the discussion with one of our bitcoin shirts.

Reason to use Bitcoin 29 t shirt

How do you see bitcoin disrupting reserve currencies around the world? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

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What is a Satoshi?

A Satoshi is the smallest fraction of a bitcoin that can currently be sent: 0.00000001 BTC, that is, a hundred millionth BTC. In the future, however, the protocol may be updated to allow further subdivisions, should they be needed.

Bitcoin Divisibility

A single bitcoin can be divided out to 8 decimal places or into 100 million (100,000,000) smaller units. As you may have guessed, this can create some confusion when it comes to denominating bitcoin for making smaller purchases. For instance, buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks for $3.50 would be 0.00346421 BTC (at today’s bitcoin price) or 346,421 satoshi. In an attempt to reduce this kind of confusion and increase user adoption, four primary denominations of bitcoin have emerged; Bitcoins (BTC), MilliBits (mBTC), Bits (µBTC) and Satoshis (s).

1 BTC = 1.00000000 Bitcoin = 1,000.00000 mBTC = 1,000,000.00 µBTC = 100,000,000 satoshi.

BTC

A bitcoin is the largest denomination within the bitcoin space as it denotes one entire bitcoin. This is primarily used for quoting prices of goods and services with a price that is equal to or greater than 1 bitcoin. Think of things like cars, computers or even houses to be purchased with entire bitcoins. It isn’t common to use these

mBTC

MilliBit is the second largest denomination of bitcoin at 1/1000 of an entire bitcoin. With the current price right around $1,000 USD a millibit seems to be a very popular option since 1 millibit is about $1. So a $3.50 cup of coffee would be about 3.5 mBTC.

If 1 Bitcoin is worth $1,000 then 1 mBTC is worth $1 because a millibit is 1/1000 of an entire bitcoin. This allows users to send amounts of bitcoin using whole numbers rather than carrying numbers out several decimal places. That $3.50 cup of coffee would be 3.5 mBTC. You can see how this makes it quite a bit less confusing to spend bitcoin on a daily basis.

µBTC

Micro bitcoins or more commonly known as “bits” are one millionth (1/1,000,000) of a bitcoin. Bits are also a very common denomination of bitcoin around the world because fiat currencies are not all equal to one US dollar so dealing in bits allows for an easy common denomination between multiple countries and currencies. 1 Mexican Peso is worth less than 1 US Dollar and 1 Japanese Yen is worth less than 1 Mexican Peso so dealing with bits between all of these currencies allows for a common unit of measure and still deal in whole numbers.

Satoshi

The term “Satoshi” was coined back in 2010 in tribute to the creator of the bitcoin protocol, Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi as a unit of measure is not very common because it is so small but the word satoshi is used all over the bitcoin space. SatoshiDice is a gambling site that helped bitcoin to gain traction in its early days by providing provably fair gambling online. SatoshiGallery is an Italian artist based in the UK who creates bitcoin related art. Some websites called bitcoin faucets will give away satoshis or even bits for completing certain tasks or viewing ads. If you do any looking you will find the word Satoshi used all over the bitcoin space.

Follow @DefineBitcoin on Twitter and Instagram for the most up to date bitcoin related definitions and media content.

What is a bitcoin term that you would like us to further define for you? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet @DefineBitcoin.

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11 Things that Bitcoin is NOT

11 Things That Bitcoin is Not

“What is Bitcoin?” was one of the most searched terms of 2014 according to Google and reasonably so. When I first heard about it years ago, I was so confused as to what it actually was and even more confused about what it wasn’t. Well, as it turns out Bitcoin is a number of things but the more I read about Bitcoin across the web I’ve heard a lot of people call it things that are completely wrong. So in order to help remove a bunch of the confusion, I have compiled this list of things that Bitcoin is NOT.

Bitcoins are Not Physical Coins

This took me so long to understand. When I first heard about Bitcoin back in 2009/2010, I did a bunch of reading and I was only more confused than before I started doing research. People were calling them online tokens but apparently there was also a guy in Utah that was minting something called a “Recalescence Coin” or a physical bitcoin. This made me confused when I learned that bitcoin can only be manifested online. Well how was this guy making bitcoins then? It took some more digging to figure out that bitcoins are nothing but information. That’s all. But as we all know, information can be written down just about anywhere and that’s what the maker of these Recalescence Coins was doing. One of the ways that this coin minter decided to store bitcoins was laser etched into the face of gold coin and a very tamper resistant seal over the etching. It probably doesn’t help that lots of tech publications still use images of physical coins in a number of their blog posts as the featured image.

Bitcoin is Not a Ponzi Scheme

I get so frustrated whenever I hear this for two reasons. First because the person telling me this does not know what a Ponzi scheme is and second they don’t understand what bitcoin is. So they just sound like a double idiot. Ponzi schemes are centrally controlled lies to get investors to continually buy into something and then pay the old investors with money from the new investors. Eventually the lie will collapse. There ARE however lots of Ponzi schemes masquerading as businesses in the bitcoin economy. One of the most common bitcoin related Ponzi schemes is “cloud mining”. You buy a Bitcoin miner somewhere in the world and then receive daily payouts, that slowly get smaller over time as the complexity of mining increases. As new people buy into the cloud mining pools, those funds are often used to pay the older “investors” and they think that they are mining Bitcoin. It is only a matter of time before they are found out and their lie will collapse.

Bitcoin is Not a Get Rich Quick Scheme

Yes, it is true that a number of people have made some small fortunes by buying into Bitcoin when it was just pennies per bitcoin but those stores are mostly sensationalist hype and not the norm. Bitcoin as money is a very risky endeavor and should you should take extreme caution when you buy large quantities of it. This is especially true when you are buying larger quantities all at once. It is true that you can make some phenomenal returns on Bitcoin in very little time but if you are going to buy some it is best to buy what you can easily afford to lose. One strategy commonly used when purchasing highly volatile commodities is to use a dollar cost average approach in order to buy more when the price falls and buy less when it rises. This will ensure that you mitigate risk as the price fluctuates rapidly.

Bitcoin is Not a Bank

Banks are an old and centrally controlled monopoly system that are reliant on humans and heavy regulations in order to operate. There are lots of rules, regulations and policies that banks are required to abide by like collecting all sorts of personal information. With lots of those regulations comes expensive compliance which is then passed onto the banks’ customers just like you. Bitcoin on the other hand is an open-source math experiment that allows people to store and transact value without the permission of anyone else but yourself. Bitcoin is not a bank at all. In fact, it makes a number of bank functions completely obsolete like personal checking and savings accounts. As the technology behind Bitcoin progresses, it will prove to render a number of services offered by banks to also be obsolete like securities, bonds and even lending.

Bitcoin is Not “The New Papyal”

A little while ago TechCrunch released an article about how “Bitcoin is the new PayPal” or something and while one of the many functions of Bitcoin is a payment network like PayPal, it is also nothing like PayPal. Bitcoin is far superior to any centrally controlled and regulated entity for sending and receiving money. You can’t reverse Bitcoin transactions and you don’t need permission from PayPal to send or receive money. While reversing transactions does have advantages for certain transactions this opens up opportunity for lots of online fraud as business owners (small and big) can become victims of buyers claiming that they never received the product they ordered and PayPal will freeze the funds until the dispute is settled. For this reason payment mechanisms like Bitcoin offer protection for online sellers from this sort of fraud. All that being said, Bitcoin is more like the new cash or gold; not the new PayPal.

Bitcoin is Not controlled by any Central Authority

Neither banks nor governments directly control Bitcoin. They can absolutely create laws around Bitcoin and black list you from conducting business with their bank if they chose but one of the beauties of Bitcoin is that it belongs to the people of the entire world and not some elite banking cartel backed by the monopoly of legal tender laws. This lack of control is what draws a number of entrepreneurs from around the world who want to harness the power of this new technology.

Bitcoin is Not Worthless just because it’s not Tangible

To say that Bitcoin is worthless is to say that VISA and MasterCard, e.mail or the internet are worthless. Although VISA and MC only transact fiat currencies around the world, they offer tremendous value to their users because they are payment networks. They allow their users to conduct electronic transactions all over the world. Do you remember the tag line “VISA, It’s everywhere you want to be.”? Well there is some truth to that statement. VISA is used all over the world. I have personally used both visa and MasterCard in around 15 countries. I have also had my accounts frozen several times because I was spending money in “high risk” areas where credit card fraud is common so my accounts were suspended. Once in Spain I had my ATM card frozen just hours before I needed to fly back to the U.S. And the cab drivers only accept cash. It created a BIG problem on my end. But Visa and Other payment networks like it do have value because people use them and the bigger the network, the bigger the value of the network effect. The same is true of Bitcoin. As more and more people use Bitcoin the more valuable the network effect becomes.

Bitcoin is Not Anonymous

Too many people think that just because your name is not directly tied any given bitcoin address that it is therefore anonymous. That could not be further from the truth. While, there is a lot of privacy with Bitcoin, it is not at all anonymous because every bitcoin transaction ever made is public to the entire world on an immutable ledger. It would be much more accurate to say that Bitcoin is radically transparent than radically anonymous.

Bitcoin is Not Untraceable

People who think that Bitcoin is untraceable don’t understand the radical transparency of the blockchain. Because every transaction is publicly visible on the blockchain, it is probably the most traceable form of money in the world.

Bitcoin is Not “Fake Money”

As Ryan X. Charles on Twitter wrote: “Money is a form of non-programable Bitcoin that people used to use before they invented computers and cryptography” and he means that in the truest of senses. Money is made by markets; not by governments or banks and that is EXACTLY what Bitcoin is. It is a medium of exchange, a unit of account and a store of vale for a certain market of tech nerds and other free thinkers and that market gets bigger every time someone new decides to use Bitcoin. If you think you paper money is real and Bitcoin is fake, then you do not understand the principles of sound money. Fiat currencies are printed from nothing at the whim of bankers and politicians while Bitcoin is created by mathematical algorithm.

Bitcoin is Not Illegal

Bitcoin is an open-source peer-to-peer math experiment and because it is just a math experiment it is not illegal (in most places around the world) but that does not mean that you cannot do illegal things with it. You can use it to receive an illegal payment for a ransom or to purchase illicit drugs but you can do these same things with cash, credit cards or PayPal and yet all of these mechanisms are not illegal (Cash may soon become illegal in places like India and Scandinavia). As long as bitcoin is used for legal activities, it will stay legal but if the only people who adopt bitcoin are those who seek to do things that are illegal or even immoral then it will likely become illegal in a number of jurisdictions around the world.

I’m sure that I missed a number of things that Bitcoin is not but these 11 things are often the cause of lots of confusion in the Bitcoin space and I feel like they really hurt user adoption. If you would like to learn more about What Bitcoin IS and the many reasons why you should adopt and use it, then please follow us on our social media channels.

What is something that bitcoin s not? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

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10 Bitcoin Privacy Enhancing Tools

Bitcoin Privacy Enhancing Tools

One of the driving forces behind bitcoin adoption is its amazing privacy features. The ability to store and transact value without your identity directly attached to your money or spending greatly increases your individual freedom and personal privacy. While not all bitcoin services and tools protect your privacy as much as others, using these 10 tools will help to increase your own privacy, the privacy of the entire bitcoin network and also increase bitcoin’s utility around the world.

Brave

Brave, a web browser for a better internet

Brave is a new privacy focused web browser that is going to change the way we browse the web as well as how publishers monetize content. Brave creates a safer browsing experience by blocking ads and trackers that violate your privacy and slow down your browsing experience. Brave also converts all http connections to https connections for more secure browsing. But Brave’s most revolutionary feature is something called Brave Payments. This allows content viewers to directly contribute to site publishers and also block ads and trackers. The end result is users seeing less ads and publishers make more money than they would if the monetize their site with Google AdSense. Brave has the potential to change the way publishers monetize their online content.

ShapeShift

Shapeshift
ShapeShift is probably one of the biggest names in the bitcoin space because it enables anyone who already accepts bitcoin to seamlessly accept all of the other cryptocurrencies without any personal information. ShapeShift is integrated into a number of services like CoinCap.io, OpenBazaar, KeepKey and others. If you don’t already use ShapeShift, you should be.

OpenBazaar

OpenBazaar is the one and only e.commerce platform of its kind. It is a distributed network which means that none of the product listings are stored on any single centralized server. This means that your listings cannot easily be censored or shut down. What makes OpenBazaar even more awesome is that you can only pay using cryptocurrency. OpenBazaar also recently integrated ShapeShift so that buyers can pay with the cryptocurrency of their choice and the seller receives bitcoin. OpenBazaar will compete with eBay, Amazon, Fiverr, UpWork and dozens of other online retail sites.

Blockonomics

Blockonomics is my personal favorite block explorer. Their landing page has a simple call to action to enter a bitcoin address or transaction ID so you can view the history of any given address or transaction. You can also use blockonomics to create invoices that are pegged to fiat currencies so if you accept payments, you do not have to worry about volatility issues because you are always invoicing in a fiat currency. In my opinion, blockonomics has potential to become one of the most useful bitcoin tools in the world.

Anonymous Ads

Have you ever wanted to put ads onto your website but the whole signup process with Google AdSense requires too much of your personal information? Well, now you can have ads on your site in a couple minutes with no usernames or logins. Anonymous Ads allows you to select an ad size and then you just paste a bitcoin address to receive payments without giving up any of your personal information. Users also have the option of creating an account if they so chose. You can create an ad in about a minute. This is what their 748×90 ad looks like:

Money Badger

Money Badger

Money Badger is a service that enables you to send bitcoin to people via phone number or e.mail address without revealing yourself as the sender. This service is primarily for incentivizing people to learn about bitcoin. You also have the option to have your funds returned in seven days if the recipient chooses not to claim them. I predict that MoneyBadger will integrate ShapeShift so that you can send any a cryptocurrency of your choice and the recipient will receive bitcoin.

RushWallet

RushWallet is a web wallet that can be accessed from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection and doesn’t require any personal information. You just go to the website and move your mouse or finger around to create a random string of numbers and letters to generate your private key. Once you have done this for about 10 seconds, you have a public key which you can accept bitcoin. No app downloads, or logins. Just pure math based freedom. It is one of the best services for new users to learn about public and private keys with the least amount friction.

BitAddress

BitAddress is probably the best way to generate paper wallets in the least amount of time. Paper wallets are very important for bitcoin security because they are the least vulnerable to being hacked. Paper wallets are not stored online so hackers and cybercriminals cannot access them via the internet. This means that each paper wallet that you generate is its own little swiss bank account that can fit in your pocket.

Piper Wallet

Piper Wallet was the first hardware wallet to offer offline paper wallet creation. This simple device is just a RasperryPi computer that attaches to a printer for generating paper wallets at the push of a button. Since this computer is never connected to the internet, it is one of the most secure and private ways to make your own cold storage wallets anywhere in the world regardless of whether or not you have an internet connection.

Bread Wallet

Bread Wallet is a mobile wallet and it is without doubt the cleanest user interface in the entire bitcoin space. It does not require any personal information of any kind to send, receive or store funds. No usernames, passwords, phone numbers, e.mail addresses. Just pure bitcoin privacy on a mobile device. If you are looking for a wallet for your phone, look no further than Bread Wallet.

Do you know of some other bitcoin tools or services that increase privacy? Let us know with a comment below.

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Do We Pay for Things With Our Privacy?

Reason to use Bitcoin 24: You should only have to pay for things with your money; not pay with privacy

We all use money in our daily lives. Some of us use paper bills, some use electronic forms of money while some economies rely heavily on barter systems and commodity based money like gold. No matter what form of money you use, you shouldn’t be required to pay for things with your private information along with each payment. This is where bitcoin has immense privacy enhancing features for transacting value both on and offline.

Cash

Before the invention of electronic money, the only way that you could pay for things was with cold hard cash. Cash came in many forms and up until the invention of fiat money the preferred form of cash was gold. Since gold is way to difficult to transport in quantity, paper note representations of gold were created and still to this day, cash is the most private and anonymous means of transferring value. This is one the main reasons why cash is the currency of choice for illegal activity.

Know Your Customer (KYC)

Banks and financial institutions are required by law to collect too much of your personal information. These types of regulations often perpetuate financial exclusion and further foster global disparity by keeping the lower class out of the banking system.

In order to open a bank account in most developed nations, you need all sorts of identifying documents. Government issued photo ID, birth certificates, proof of residence and this is if you are a citizen. If you are an immigrant, things become much more difficult and often result in denial. It is these KYC regulations that are one of the driving forces behind the erosion of privacy and increasing poverty around the globe. You shouldn’t have to surrender your identity in order to store and transact value in the digital age.

Checks

Checks gave birth to all sorts of new fraud and cybercrime that had never existed before. Whenever you pay someone with a check you are revealing some very personal information about yourself. Each check has your first name, last name and address. That’s not good for your privacy. You also surrender both your checking and routing numbers on each check which can open you up to some check fraud problems. Watch the movie “Catch Me If You Can” starring Leo DiCaprio for the story of the greatest check fraudster in the world, Frank Abagnale.

Debit and Credit Cards

Every single time that you swipe your credit or debit card you are surrendering personal information about yourself not only to the vendor that you are buying from but also to your bank. With each transaction, they know where you are, when you are there, how much you spent and often times what you purchased. ApplePay removes some of this information being revealed but you still do not have private control of your funds.

Digital Cash

One of the beautiful things about bitcoin is that you can store and transact value without having to attach your identity to your money. This is what makes bitcoin the most private payment network on the planet. Not only do you keep full control of your personal information when you spend with bitcoin but you also keep full control of your funds. It is this type of financial privacy that will enable more economic inclusivity than any existing payment mechanism in the world today.

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Do you think you should have to surrender your personal information to spend money? Tell us what you think with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

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What is Money?

Reason to Use Bitcoin 8: Money is one of society's most remarkable yet poorly understood inventions

What is money? Lots of people have confidently told me that “money is the root of all evil” yet when I ask them what money is, they can’t seem to come up with an answer. Why is it that so many people seem to think that money is innately evil? Why doesn’t anyone understand what money is or how it works? Money is one of society’s most remarkable yet poorly understood inventions and without it we could not enjoy the pleasures of living in a modern society. In order to better understand what money is, I would like to ask you a question. If money is the root of all evil, then what is the root of all money?

What is money? Is it these pieces of paper that we use to buy things? or is it something more than that?

Money is a Tool

Money is a piece of technology that we use to weigh and measure goods and services against each other. In short, money is a tool for exchange and organization. Without money, we simply could not organize and solve problems of large scale. Unfortunately, too many people view money as the end rather than the means which is one of the reasons money gets a bad reputation.

Ok, so we know that money is a tool but what does this tool do and what allows it to work?

Money is anything that does three things. Money is a store of value, a medium of exchange and a unit of account. Anything that performs these three functions is, by definition, money. This means that no matter what you use to do these three things, you are using money.

Money is a Store of Value

Money needs to be storable. One of the first forms of money was salt because everyone wanted it to season their food. Once it was so widely desired, people who had salt would use some for seasoning their food and they would store the rest so they could trade it with others. In this sense, salt was a store of value. One of bitcoin’s primary functions is as a safe haven asset to store value.

Money is a Medium of Exchange

Money needs to be exchangeable with other parties. After salt became sought after by everyone in a society, it was easy to trade with others for goods and services. Bitcoin is not yet accepted directly by most as a means of exchange but many payment processors are enabling it to be used as one. Some platforms exclusively use bitcoin as the payment mechanism because they understand its utility as a means of exchange.

Money is a Unit of Account

Money needs to be used as a unit of account. Since everyone was using salt to store value and exchanging it with other people in their society, salt could also be used as a unit of account. In ancient markets, simple scales were used to account for different amounts of salt. Trading things measured out in salt was what would allow for people to account for certain things. Trade can easily be accounted for using Bitcoin since each bitcoin can seamlessly be divided into 100 million units.

In order for money to be able to successfully do these three things, it needs to have 6 characteristics; durability, portability, divisibility, uniformity, scarcity and acceptability. The more of these qualities that something has, the better that something functions as money. Salt does not possess these qualities (durability & scarcity) and so it was gradually replaced by better forms of money like gold. Bitcoin possesses all of these characteristics to an even greater extent than gold.

Bitcoin is a Far Greater Tool Than Money

The first application that brought the internet into mainstream use was the invention of e.mail. For the first time in history, people could send mail to each other electronically and this was groundbreaking technology at the time. But as we all know, the value of the internet is so much more than email.

Bitcoin is no different. Its first application is being recognized as a form of money but it will not be long before people around the world realize that it is capable of doing so much more than just buying things. Bitcoin is a distributed network that can send, receive and store information and it does this better, faster and with a lower cost than any existing system. Since modern money has become information, this has immense implications for the future of trade, all forms of record keeping and information exchange.

Bitcoin Is Competitive Money

When you go to the store, you have all sorts of choices on what products you can buy. You can decide what type of car to drive, or what dry cleaner to use and what cell service provider will drop your calls but what about money? Do we have the freedom to chose what money we use? The short answer is no, we don’t.

So I would like to bring this back to my original question, What is the root of all money?

Up until the invention of bitcoin, the control of all money supplies has been in the hands of a small group of elites and central bankers but now that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are here, that control is shifting from central banks to the people.

Take Action

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What do you think is at the root of all money? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

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