Category Archives: Blog

Interview With a Bitcoin User (Part II)

Cathy Reisenwitz is an Editor at Young Voices and a D.C.-based writer and political commentator. In her exclusive interview with The Bitcoin Byte she talks about her experience with Bitcoin, internal and international challenges that governments face to deal with the growth of the digital currency and etc.  

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Bitcoin: Just an evolution in transactions

A recent Skype interview with Heather Schlegel (and her online short film Fly Me to the Moon) has changed the way I conceptualize Bitcoin in the economy. Through these last few months, my understanding of Bitcoin has been putting it in the center of the monetary universe. That view is too narrow. Inspired by Schlegel’s vision of more diverse ways to share value, a comparison to the introduction and growth of credit cards shows the clearer scope of Bitcoin’s potential future impact. Continue reading Bitcoin: Just an evolution in transactions

Decentralized Bitcoin Needs Centralized Messaging

For the past two months I have immersed myself into the Bitcoin world for a graduate school research project with the goal of “de-black boxing” its content (technology) and context (social implications). My primary research method has been a very un-academic source: Twitter – and I highly recommend it. If you ever want to learn about something, set up a Twitter account and go at it – follow, interact and even debate with its core group of people. I read anything and everything the Bitcoiners linked me to – good and bad – and went from knowing next to nothing about Bitcoin, to being consumed by it. I have recognized the decentralization trend that is emerging in a variety of industries. I have been hyper-exposed to the inadequacies in the current monetary and payment systems. And I have been fascinated by the uprooting of the entire concept of currency. Someone, possibly in collaboration with a group of like-minded individuals, decided that he wasn’t satisfied with how the global economy operates, and rather than just complain about it like many government naysayers, he developed an alternative. And his fervor for smart, innovative change, caught on, bringing together a community of people that deservedly act as if they are part of a revolution.

Continue reading Decentralized Bitcoin Needs Centralized Messaging

U.S. and International Bitcoin Regulation

Global Legality of Bitcoin (Courtesy: Habarithor, Wikimedia Commons)

Currencies have traditionally been strictly controlled and regulated by individual countries, often forming part of the national and cultural identity. This is evidenced through the use of presidential portraits, shields, and national landmarks on banknotes and coins. The world saw one of the first evolutions from this local, nation-state model with the introduction of the Euro in 1999. Today, 18 countries use it as the official currency, with several others planning to adopt it in the near future. An even larger shift from the traditional model has come with the recent rise of digital currencies, and more specifically Bitcoin. Lacking the support or regulation of traditional financial institutions such as central banks, these currencies have touted their global and decentralized nature as one of the key benefits.

Continue reading U.S. and International Bitcoin Regulation

M-Pesa and Bitcoin: Competitors or Trend Indicators?

Three days ago, Bloomberg View contributor Leonid Bershidsky had us thinking that East Africa had caught on to a superior digital currency alternative. His title is catching: “Forget Bitcoin, African E-Money Is the Currency-Killer”; it’s also very misleading.

Continue reading M-Pesa and Bitcoin: Competitors or Trend Indicators?