By now you have probably heard of Bitcoin, but can you define it? Most often it is described as a non-government digital currency. Bitcoin is also sometimes called a cybercurrency or, in a nod to its encrypted origins, a cryptocurrency. Those descriptions are accurate enough, but they miss the point. It’s like describing the U.S. dollar as a green piece of paper with pictures on it.
I have my own ways of describing Bitcoin. I think of it as store credit without the store. A prepaid phone without the phone. Precious metal without the metal. Legal tender for no debts, public or private, unless the party to whom it is tendered wishes to accept it. An instrument backed by the full faith and credit only of its anonymous creators, in whom I therefore place no faith, and to whom I give no credit except for ingenuity. I wouldn’t touch a bitcoin with a 10-foot USB cable. But a fair number of people already have, and quite a few more soon may.Bitcoin of America offers excellent info on this.
This is partly because entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, best known for their role in the origins of Facebook, are now seeking to use their technological savvy, and money, to bring Bitcoin into the mainstream.
The Winklevosses hope to start an exchange-traded fund for bitcoins. An ETF would make Bitcoin more widely available to investors who lack the technological know-how to purchase the digital currency directly. As of April, the Winklevosses are said to have held around 1 percent of all existent bitcoins.
Created in 2009 by an anonymous cryptographer, Bitcoin operates on the premise that anything, even intangible bits of code, can have value so long as enough people decide to treat it as valuable. Bitcoins exist only as digital representations and are not pegged to any traditional currency.
According to the Bitcoin website, “Bitcoin is designed around the idea of a new form of money that uses cryptography to control its creation and transactions, rather than relying on central authorities.” (1) New bitcoins are “mined” by users who solve computer algorithms to discover virtual coins. Bitcoins’ purported creators have said that the ultimate supply of bitcoins will be capped at 21 million.
While Bitcoin promotes itself as “a very secure and inexpensive way to handle payments,” (2) in reality few businesses have made the move to accept bitcoins. Of those that have, a sizable number operate in the black market.
Bitcoins are traded anonymously over the Internet, without any participation on the part of established financial institutions. As of 2012, sales of drugs and other black-market goods accounted for an estimated 20 percent of exchanges from bitcoins to U.S. dollars on the main Bitcoin exchange, called Mt. Gox. The Drug Enforcement Agency recently conducted its first-ever Bitcoin seizure, after reportedly tying a transaction on the anonymous Bitcoin-only marketplace Silk Road to the sale of prescription and illegal drugs.
Some Bitcoin users have also suggested that the currency can serve as a means to avoid taxes. That may be true, but only in the sense that bitcoins aid illegal tax evasion, not in the sense that they actually serve any role in genuine tax planning. Under federal tax law, no cash needs to change hands in order for a taxable transaction to occur. Barter and other non-cash exchanges are still fully taxable. There is no reason that transactions involving bitcoins would be treated differently.
Outside of the criminal element, Bitcoin’s main devotees are speculators, who have no intention of using bitcoins to buy anything. These investors are convinced that the limited supply of bitcoins will force their value to follow a continual upward trajectory.
Bitcoin has indeed seen some significant spikes in value. But it has also experienced major losses, including an 80 percent decline over 24 hours in April. At the start of this month, bitcoins were down to around $90, from a high of $266 before the April crash. They were trading near $97 earlier this week, according to mtgox.com.
The Winklevosses would make Bitcoin investing easier by allowing smaller-scale investors to profit, or lose, as the case may be, without the hassle of actually buying and storing the electronic coins. Despite claims of security, Bitcoin storage has proved problematic. In 2011, an attack on the Mt. Gox exchange forced it to temporarily shut down and caused the price of bitcoins to briefly fall to nearly zero. Since Bitcoin transactions are all anonymous, there is little chance of tracking down the culprits if you suddenly find your electronic wallet empty. If the Winklevosses get regulatory approval, their ETF would help shield investors from the threat of individual theft. The ETF, however, would do nothing to address the problem of volatility caused by large-scale thefts elsewhere in the Bitcoin market.
While Bitcoin comes wrapped in a high-tech veneer, this newest of currencies has a surprising amount in common with one of the oldest currencies: gold. Bitcoin’s own vocabulary, particularly the term “mining,” highlights this connection, and intentionally so. The mining process is designed to be difficult as a control on supply, mimicking the extraction of more conventional resources from the ground. Far from providing a sense of security, however, this rhetoric ought to serve as a word of caution.
Gold is an investment of last resort. It has little intrinsic value. It does not generate interest. But because its supply is finite, it is seen as being more stable than forms of money that can be printed at will.
The problem with gold is that it doesn’t do anything. Since gold coins have fallen out of use, most of the world’s gold now sits in the vaults of central banks and other financial institutions. As a result, gold has little connection to the real economy. That can seem like a good thing when the real economy feels like a scary place to be. But as soon as other attractive investment options appear, gold loses its shine. That is what we have seen with the recent declines in gold prices.
In their push to bring Bitcoin to the mainstream, its promoters have accepted, and, in some cases sought out, increased regulation. Last month Mt. Gox registered itself as a money services business with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. It has also increased customer verification measures. The changes came in response to a March directive from Financial Crimes Enforcement Network clarifying the application of its rules to virtual currencies. The Winklevosses’ proposed ETF would bring a new level of accountability.
In the end, however, I expect that Bitcoin will fade back into the shadows of the black market. Those who want a regulated, secure currency that they can use for legitimate business transactions will pick from one of the many currencies already sponsored by a national government equipped with ample resources, a real-world economy and far more transparency and security than the Bitcoin world can offer.
The process of shopping for a swimming pool, above ground or in-ground, can be lengthy and difficult to complete but doesn’t have to take up too much time. There are plenty of pool builders across the country that all have their own benefits from the other swimming pool contractor. Each pool for sale today offers different features for buyers to choose from. Interior lighting, heating, and jets are the most popular features offered in all types of swimming pools today. Pool builders can work with small, large, or even their own companies. These builders have a large amount of experience in the construction of swimming pools as well as the installation of the swimming pools at the clients’ property.You may find more details about this at poolplasteringsacramento.
What does it take to find swimming pool contractor? The process of finding the best pool builder in your area can be difficult but it also can’t be too difficult a process. What are some of the best swimming pool builders? Pool builders are construction workers that build pools for their clients. swimming pool contractors will bring a truckload of equipment to the job site that is used to construct the pool, whether in-ground or above ground, as well as a team of workers that will help the job leader complete the project within a decent amount of time.
Possible pool contractors should provide their prospective clients with a list of customer references for prospective clients to check the job record of the builder. A lawyer should be present with a customer when signing the contract for a new pool to make sure that all terms of the contract are legal and do not take advantage of the client. When deciding on which swimming pool builders to hire for a pool construction job clients should not make any hasty decisions because a hasty decision can create problems. Always read any written material presented to you by pool contractor to make sure that they offer the services and the features you are looking for from a builder. Customers should not pay their builder a large sum of money at once prior to a major portion of the construction of the pool. The warning sign of a pool construction scam can be providing a builder with a ton of money before a lot of the work is complete.
When it comes to the question of selling your house quickly, you are always put in a fix as it is not an easy and simple task to solve. You as a home owner cannot be guaranteed a smooth sail throughout the journey of selling your home quickly. A lot of problems invariably arise in the process, hampering a quick sale and causing a lot delays and problems to occur. But, on the other hand, you also know that selling your house to a good buyer will only help improve your liquid assets and make you reach greater heights. It does take time, but if the process of selling is sped up by resorting to effective means then it proves to be beneficial in more ways than one.
As a home owner you can ensure that your property is ready for a speedy sale by keeping everything organized at the legal end. Secondly, make certain that your title deeds are in place so that the land or the property is available for immediate purchase. In addition, it is also required by your lawyer to put all the property papers in order, so that your house can be sold quickly once you find a good buyer.
Along the same lines, it is important that you carry out an accurate structural survey of your house so that you can prevent the occurrence of unnecessary delays and present it for inspection before suitable buyers, to build a trust factor for quick house sale. Once you are done with showing your property around to the prospective buyer, you can be rest assured that you have dealt with half your problems. Once buyers are convinced about your house being in good shape you are ready for selling your house quickly and move to the next level.Click here for:sell house for cash Florida
What’s more, you could also consult an estate manager that helps you resolve all your problems of transaction and advertising process. This will help your property get noticed on a number of platforms and you will receive a number of phone calls for inquiries. However, it is important that you look for a genuine estate agent that helps deliver positive results at most affordable costs. Also, in order to prevent any prolonged delays to your transaction, it’s always wise to brief your estate agent well on your property so that he may easily be able to definitely get your property noticed to all buyers. These guidelines always prove to be beneficial and if implemented well work wonders in help sell your house quickly.
Finally, always keep in mind that your property looks better than the ones in your neighborhood so that buyers get attracted to your property easily and make frequent visits to your home. These visits will eventually prove useful to you and transform into a healthy buyer and seller relationship that will prove to be profitable to you.
When selling your house – you have two options. One, you can sell it by yourself and the other – you can engage the services of a real estate agent. Each of the option has its own advantage and disadvantage. But since the employment of real estate agent is more beneficial, this is adapted by many property trader – be it buying or selling. One of the best advantages of coursing the sale of your house through a real estate agent is the ease and facility of the sale. With a good agent you can sell your house at a higher price, but more importantly, you can sell it faster through the agent than doing it yourself. This could be due to the enormous data base of clients of the agent.
Another advantage of the use of real estate agent is the knowledge and experience of the agent. These real estate experts would know how to advertise your house. The network is big enough to reach more prospective clients. Your agent can be helpful in giving you valuable tips on how to make your house more attractive and desirable to prospective buyers. You do not have this talent. The experience of the agent has honed him or her to know the ways and means to magnetize the buyers. Your agent, who is trustworthy, can give you an idea on the true value of your house. He or she can advise you on how much would you really get for the property. But one disadvantage of having a real estate professional in relation to this is the number of houses to be sold by the realtor. With so many houses in the realtor’s listing, your house may not have the optimal selling time. fast cash for Tucson houses
Making the mistake of hiring the wrong real estate agent can cost you money. It is therefore critical that you take time to choose the agent who can give the most excellent representation for your specific property requirements. At the very least, Tucson real estate agents must be able to provide you with the following services: Tailor-made listings. Palling to buy a home in Tucson? An inexperienced Tucson real estate agent will drag you from one house to another without really knowing what you styles you prefer, which particular vicinities your favor, and what your expendable budget is. Such agents do not only waste your time and money – they also rob you of the opportunity to quickly see the houses that are more fitted to your tastes and requirements. That is why it is a good idea to choose real estate agents who give you (either via fax or e-mail) picture-based listings ahead of time – listings generated based on a criteria that you set. Ask the agents if you could get regular updates at least on a weekly basis so you can immediately spot the properties you are interested in and schedule a trip, instead of aimlessly going from house to house.
Market value assessment. If you are planning to sell your Tucson property, then you need real estate agents who can conduct methodical comparative market analysis and generate the most accurate going rate for your property. Most real estate agents are wiling to do this for free. Just make sure that your home evaluation information will be kept confidential. Look for Tucson real estate agents either through the yellow pages or better yet, through online directories. Online directories are usually more “manageable,” in that you can filter your choices. Just indicate the Tucson vicinity you are selling or buying property in, and the database will generate all the licensed realtors in that area.