What is Cold Storage?

What is Cold Storage?

Cold Storage is achieved when bitcoin private keys are created and stored in a secure offline environment. Cold storage is important for anyone with bitcoin holdings. Online computers are vulnerable to hackers and should not be used to store a significant amount of bitcoins. The most common types of cold storage are hardware wallets and paper wallets.

Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are probably the most common means of storing bitcoins offline with quick and easy access for both sending coins when needed and capable of easily receiving additional coins while still preserving privacy. Most, if not all, hardware wallets are equipped with something called Hierarchical Deterministic (HD for short) functionality. HD wallets allow hardware wallets to create multiple addresses from a single starting point known as a seed or seed phrase.

This seed is usually a collection of 12 random words that can be written down on paper to restore your wallet if you ever want to erase your hardware wallet to sell or if you just want more security. In doing this, the user creates a form of paper wallet. KeepKey is one hardware wallet that is capable of doing this.

Paper Wallets

Paper wallets are a more static form of cold storage. They have much less flexibility than hardware wallets because each paper wallet only has one public key and one corresponding private key. Technically a paper wallet can receive bitcoins more than once but each and every additional payment to the same address erodes the privacy of not just the user but of the entire bitcoin network.

Paper Wallets are more like a savings account that you do not want to access after you have made your initial deposit. Since paper wallets can be printed on a whim, you can print a new wallet every time that you want to receive and store funds. To remove funds from a paper wallet, you will need a way to import or sweep the private key with a mobile wallet like bread wallet or an online wallet like blockchain.info.

Piper Wallet

Piper Wallet is a Raspberry Pi based paper wallet printer (Piper is a combination of Pi and Paper) that lives entirely offline for increased privacy and the ability to print paper wallets a the push of a button. If a paper wallet has never been online, then the private key can never be compromised by a hacker.

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 @WhatIsBitcoin.

Donate Bitcoin

Browse Faster, Safer and Ad-Free with Brave

Brave, a web browser for a better internet

One of the newest and most exciting tools in the bitcoin space is not really known as a bitcoin tool but rather as an ad-blocking web browser. What separates this browser from others is that it has a built in payment mechanism that allow both users and content creators to earn bitcoin from ad revenue. Now everyone can browse safer, faster, ad-free and also earn bitcoin while doing it.

A Brave New World

If you aren’t paying for a service, you are not the customer. You are the product being sold. Currently, the way that most ads services (if not all ad services) work is reliant on monetizing the personal data of the end user. In order to do this, these services need as much of your personal information as possible. This is where trackers, cookies, phishing, malware and any other means to collet and mine your personal data come in to play and Brave hopes to counter this.

Block Ads & Trackers

Ad Blockers are one of the fastest growing services on the internet today. In 2016, ad blocker usage grew substantially and is expected to double by 2020. It seems pretty clear that people want more privacy, less popups, trackers, spam and unwanted ads.

While I personally don’t believe that people are using ad blockers to shave milliseconds off of web page load times, I do believe that ad blockers are playing a big part of preserving online privacy and it seems like Brave team is hoping to position themselves at the center of this.

Replace Ads

Brave is also currently working on a system that not only blocks existing “dirty” ads but also replaces them with what they call “clean” ads that aren’t privacy invasive. Brave Ad Replacements are just part of a new system called Brave Payments that I personally believe is going to change the way we consume online content.

Brave Payments

Brave has not only managed to create a tool that seamlessly increases privacy of all of their users but with the release of brave payments, they have created a tool that allows users to voluntarily pay small amounts of money to the websites that they visit the most and even earn money for browsing the web. Visit the Brave Payments FAQ page for more info on how it all works.

Brave Payments

The way that traditional ad payments work is between the ad agency and the site where the ad is displayed. This is a pretty two sided way to advertise which is why I believe Brave Payments was created.

The 4 Brave User Types

At first glance, most people probably won’t understand why Brave is such a powerful tool. To make things easier, they have provided some press content to help users better understand how they will turn traditional ad systems upside down while simultaneously increasing the revenue generated by content creators and publishers.

Who uses the Brave browser?

Donating Ad Share with Brave Ads – Andy

Some users who want to block ads are not concerned with making money from their browsing so they opt to donate their brave payments earning to the sites, publishers and content creators. This results in sites and publishers receiving 70% of revenue which is higher than most existing ad networks.

Keeping Ad Share with Brave Ads – Beth

Your attention is worth money to advertisers. This is where I personally believe that Brave changes the way that we will browse and monetize content. Brave ads enables users to get paid to browse the web by allowing them to earn a percentage of the ad revenue that they generate. Yes, this means that you can earn money for browsing the web. Think about that for a minute.

Ad-Free Browsing – Cathy

Some users do not want to see any ads at all and would rather contribute some of their own money to the sites they visit most. This type of user has the option to make a small payment with bitcoin or credit card for an ad-free browsing experience. This user sees less ads but also contributes to the sites that the visit the most.

Ad Blocking – David

The fourth and final type of browser loathes ads of any kind and as a result has opted to block any and all ads and chooses not to contribute in any way. This user just wants to browse the web with increase speed and privacy.

Do you think that Brave has the potential to change the way we consume online content? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

Donate Bitcoin

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

Donate Bitcoin

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

Donate Bitcoin

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.

Donate Bitcoin

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.

Reason to use Bitcoin 24 t shirt

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

Donate Bitcoin

Cybercrime is Evolving Faster Than Your Bank’s Security

Reason to use Bitcoin 12: Cybercrime is evolving faster than your bank's security

In our hyper connected tech world we have probably all heard a number of buzzwords that are related to cybercrime. Identity theft, ransomware, hacks, leaks, fraud, viruses, phishing, forgery, malware and spam are all terms that we either hear on the news or the latest primetime tv drama and that is because cybercrime is evolving at an alarming rate.

What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime refers to criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the internet and it is one of the fastest growing black markets in the world. Cybercriminals work in illicit parts of the internet with incredibly high risk and even higher profit margins. In order to stay one step (or several steps) ahead of law enforcement, hackers are always evolving and advancing to use the most cutting edge technology available.

Bank Security

One of the biggest security weaknesses with the banking system is that banks are legally required to collect all sorts of your personal information in order for you to store value or use their network. These privacy invasive regulations are commonly known as Know Your Customer laws or KYC for short. These laws create an abnormally large collection of personal data for hackers and cybercriminals to target by forcing your personal identity to be attached to all of your electronic spending. The end result is the erosion of financial privacy and the creation of large caches of your personal data ripe for exploitation by dark markets.

Cache for Cash

The larger these collections of personal data caches become, the greater incentive for a group of hackers to target them. These data caches can be at banks or on social media accounts. According to the Wall Street Journal a recent hack of Home Depot resulted in 53 million email accounts being compromised. With these e.mail hackers can launch phishing scams and spam attacks that can deliver malware.

Once this malware installs itself on your computer, it searches for personal info such as names, addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts, passwords, medical records, social security numbers and anything else that can be used to hijack your identity both on and offline. Once your data is mined, hackers can do all sorts of things with it like opening up bank accounts or lines of credit in your name such as personal loans, credit cards, claim your tax returns, obtain medical care like prescription drugs just to name a few.

This is not just a threat when you spend money on the internet but every time that you swipe your credit or debit card you are transmitting lots of your personal data. So imagine that every single time that you have ever used your credit card…ever. Now imagine that malicious actors gained access to that data. How could your life be damaged?

Use Bitcoin

It is much harder for identity theft to destroy your credit when your identity is not attached to your money. This is why the world needs a payment network that doesn’t require any of your personal information in order to send, receive or store value. Bitcoin is just the solution for such a problem. It provides the user with increased privacy while reducing your risk of falling victim to cybercrime and we are just beginning to learn of the benefits of using bitcoin.

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 12 t shirt

How do you think bitcoin will help to prevent cybercrime? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

Donate Bitcoin

How Can Bitcoin Be Used for Crowdfunding?

Reason to use Bitcoin #44: Bitcoin takes crowdfunding one step further by making it a truly global concept.

Over the past decade, Crowdfunding has grown from being a small niche community to now being one of the first places to go to for businesses, causes and projects to raise startup capital. For those of you who don’t know or understand what crowdfunding is, it is simply the idea of collecting small amounts of money from large amounts of people to launch a business, product or idea. This method is pretty much the exact opposite of legacy industry bank loans which is primarily borrowing large sums of money (at interest) from a small group of people.

From Kickstarter to IndieGoGo to GoFundMe to Patreon to new methods that allow people to invest in real estate properties and equity crowdfunding where you are actually buying into part ownership of the actual company, crowdfunding is quickly becoming the de facto choice for all sorts of raising capital.

Crowdfunding Platforms

It is important to note that I am not at all against these services. I think they are great services that are helping lots of people achieve their business dreams without having to rely on bank loans and I fully support more people raising capital with these services. With this post, I am trying to highlight the added long-term utility of ALSO accepting Bitcoin alongside existing crowdfunding infrastructure to help bring more of these tools to the global market.

So, let’s take a minute to look at the biggest crowdfunding services online and their pros and cons.

Kickstarter

This is by far the biggest and most prominent crowdfunding service on the internet. They allow a number of projects to raise funds but only if they receive 100% of the funds they need to achieve their goal. If you are trying to raise $10,000 and you only raise $9,950, then your campaign is a failure and you get $0. Yeah, you get nothing. Nothing. Those who want to support you don’t get charged and nothing happens with your campaign. You just wasted all of your time and effort to learn how to fail to fund a Kickstarter campaign. Now it’s back to the drawing board for you and your marketing team. You can even raise $55,000 for making Potato Salad.

IndieGoGo

Very similar to Kickstarter but with some slight differences. Instead of an “all or nothing” approach, IGG has the option to do the same thing but also allows you the option to keep funds if you don’t reach all of your goals. This is called Flex Funding and it’s likely what draws a large number of users to the service. The fees structure is slightly different for each type of these campaigns.

GoFundMe

Anything goes on GoFundMe as long as it’s legal. This is where people go to ask for money for anything and everything. I want to go to summer camp, please fund me. I want to buy a puppy, please fund me. My boy scout troop wants to go on a road trip, please fund me. I paid over $300 for an Uber ride on Halloween, please fund me. This is where mostly small amounts of money are raised but for all sorts of family, friends and community type projects with less focus on business interests. GFM takes a few percent and then sends you the funds that you raised when your campaign is complete.

Patreon

This is not for people who put together a campaign but instead it is more for raising funds for long term content creators like musicians, youtube channels, bloggers, writers, etc. The idea behind Patreon is that you pledge to support these content creators with a small (or large) weekly or monthly pledge because you believe in what they do and you want to help them to do it more often. You essentially pay people small amounts of money to creators who you feel make quality content.

There are a number of other services that offer similar financial services but those are the biggest ones and they are shaking up the way people raise capital for all sorts of things today.

Financial Exclusion

Now, what is the problem with all of these services if I only have good things to say about them?

Well, they all come with lots of strings attached like fees, policies, geographic barriers, banking regulations and even legal challenges that might restrict who can pledge or raise money.

So, how can Bitcoin be of any help here? Let’s take a look and see how the world’s most widely used alternative payment network can add even more value to this crowdfunding space.

One of the biggest problems with all of the above crowdfunding services is that they are limited by laws, regulations, policies, bank access, geographic barriers and more.

Well, what if there was a way to send and receive money from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world without any sort of middlemen, banks or regulators getting in the way? What if the nobody even needed to have a bank account in order to send or receive contributions?

Bitcoin is a Perfect Match for Crowdfunding

Well, let’s take a look at how Bitcoin is different than these other services and it brings crowdfunding to the global market.

1. It’s free to accept and fees are minimal

This is probably one of the most obvious benefits of using Bitcoin for any sort of funding. Kickstarter takes 5% and since they have helped raise over $1 Billion as of March 2014, that’s over $50 Million in fees that they have pulled in. What if more people in more places could take part in crowdfunding ideas in their own locales?

2. Bitcoin doesn’t have “company policies”.

All too many kickstarter and IGG campaigns have been suspended or shut down strictly because they don’t meet certain requirements. This happened to me a few years ago when a buddy and I tried to crowdfund a co-working space in our local town. Kickstarter told me that my project didn’t meet their campaign guidelines and so they shut me down. I wasn’t worried about it but what if you could crowdfund more things with fewer barriers to entry or policies getting in the way?

3. Bitcoin doesn’t acknowledge “citizens or legal residents”.

I spend a bit of time asking and answering questions on Quora about Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies and Crowdfunding. One of the common themes that I notice lots of people from foreign countries seem to be looking for ways around the legal restrictions put onto campaign hosts. People seem to be looking for ways to crowdfund their projects in other parts of the world where they don’t have access to those tools yet. Currently EU citizens can pledge money to Kickstarter and receive products but only a handful of countries around the world can actually raise funds using these crowdfunding sites. Once again, billions of people are held back by antiquated laws and policies. What if everyone could raise capital with equal access?

4. Bitcoin doesn’t care how old or young you are.

Currently you have to be at least 18 years of age to raise funds with most crowdfunding platforms. Bitcoin is all inclusive so literally anyone at any age can use it to raise money. You can receive them with just about any smart phone. What if children in foreign countries could receive donations to pay for their school? or food? or disaster relief?

5. Bitcoin doesn’t care if you have a name, address, bank account or a government issued ID.

This one is kind of a big deal since it puts a lot of limitations on hundreds of millions of people. You need to meet certain banking requirements in order to send or receive payments on crowdfunding sites but not everyone has access to such financial infrastructure so this creates some serious barriers to entry for some of the people who need these services the most.

6. You can raise money for anything YOU want to with Bitcoin.

Nothing is prohibited. Currently, Kickstarter does not allow you to raise money for charity, food/drink products or political campaigns. What if you could easily raise funds for those types of things or maybe you just want to raise funds for your news leak website 😉

7. There is no time limit for bitcoin donations.

If you want to accept donations for the rest of your life, you can easily do this with Bitcoin. You can even receive donations long after you are dead and have donations pass onto your posterity. Lets see Kickstarter do something like that.

8. Funds cannot be frozen or seized.

Legacy financial industries have the ability to instantly and indefinitely freeze your money and in some rare instances they can even seize your money. Bitcoin is not susceptible to such worrisome circumstances. If you have the bitcoins, then YOU have them and not the bank or crowdfunding site.

9. Bitcoin provides more privacy and protection from identity theft.

One of the problems with banks and the legacy finance system is that is requires a lot of your personal information to store or transfer value. In September of 2015, Patreon had personal information from 2.5 million users compromised in a data hack. That kind of personal data is not attached to bitcoin so it is impossible for such data breaches to even happen.

10. Bitcoin further enables digital tipping.

We have all probably given or received a tip in cash form. Maybe you have given someone on the street some spare change or provided a meal for someone in need. Perhaps you’ve wanted to give a tip to a musician on youtube just as easily as as you give a tip to a musician on the subway platform. What if you could give small amounts of money to people for pretty much anything? Bitcoin enables this like no other financial service.

I know all of this is a lot to take in and understand with just a single blog post but because Bitcoin is not a company but rather a global peer-to-peer network running an open-source software, it is opening up a whole new world of permissionless global commerce that has never been seen before. Imagine a world where anyone could raise support for any cause without any fees or censorship.

Conclusion

I am not saying that you need to abandon these services and switch to bitcoin but what I am suggesting is that if you are looking to raise money using any sort of crowdfunding service, I strongly suggest that you also accept Bitcoin donations because it costs about $0 to accept it, people from around the world can send /receive it and you will never have any if you don’t allow it happen.

If you related to this post, then show your support for Bitcoin as a means of crowdfunding, then take action and get your very own Reason to use Bitcoin #44 t shirt at our online store and help us to keep these blog posts coming.

How do you think bitcoin can enable a new wave of crowdfunding? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

Donate Bitcoin