Explaining Southern California's economy

Bitcoin: An idea about money borrowed from the future?

zcopley/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

A Bitcoin card.

I went on "AirTalk" with Larry Mantle yesterday to talk all things Bitcoin. It was a lively show, made all the more lively by Larry's admission that, like a lot of folks, he didn't know a thing about Bitcoin until about a week ago. I was able to fill him in and field a few comments during the broadcast. 

What seems to blow people's minds about Bitcoin, at least initially, is that it's more of an idea about the money of the future than it is a well-functioning alternative currency today. I guess you could say it's in beta right now. And that means it's picked up a renegade reputation, by virtue of its popularity for buying drugs and porn.

However, in the months that I've been writing about BTC — And trading it! — I've learned that the cyber-currency has a lot going for it. Not least is the extreme sophistication of the process by which it's created. I think there's a good chance that what's useful about BTC could be adapted by government-backed fiat currencies, like the U.S. dollar, as they evolve from being fragments of the 19th and 20th centuries to being the media of exchange in the 21st. 

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Is Bitcoin dead? No, but TradeHill is.

Behold, the cyber-banker. Above, Hermione Way interviews Jered Kenna, CEO of TradeHill, a Bitcoin trading site. He thinks that Bitcoin has a future, and he's probably right. The cyber-currency continues to chug along, even as it has fallen far from its speculative highs in 2011. TradeHill, on the other hand, is a goner, at least according to this post yesterday from the site's blog:

::::: Announcement :::::: TradeHill suspending trading and returning client funds.

Dear Clients,

Effective immediately TradeHill will be shutting down trading / deposits
and returning all client funds.

Due to increasing regulation TradeHill can not operate in it's current 
capacity without proper money transmission licensing. Combined with 
multiple bank account closures and Paxum's decision to close all 
Bitcoin business accounts, we have deemed the best course of action is 
to halt trading and pursue licensing while raising funds.

SEPA transfers for our Euro customers have been enabled.

Everyone at TradeHill has also been working without pay for several 
months after one of our payment processors removed over $100,000 dollars 
from our account without notice. We decided to cover this loss for now 
instead of passing it on to our customers and are taking legal action 
against the processor. We would also like to make it known that our 
relationship with Paxum has been great and hope to work with them in the future.

We will be focusing on Bitcoin.com and are preparing to release a new 
site before the end of the month.

It has been a pleasure working with the Bitcoin community and look 
forward to continuing our business in the future. More details to come soon.

Sincerely,

Jered Kenna
Chief Executive Officer
TradeHill 

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