Bitcoin may be the cryptocurrency of the future for many faithful pioneers and hobbyists alike, but there is a veritable host of issues to first address and correct with the overall concept of Bitcoin before it can assume its rightful economic throne. From simple security issues, like those Mt. Gox claims were exploited by thieves to rob them of millions in Bitcoin, to trust issues with the wallets that hold our coinage, like Mt. Gox itself.
Bitcoin, the currency of the future?
There have been a lot of suggestions on how to go about polishing Bitcoin into the perfect currency. The most straightforward idea, but not necessarily the best, would be to just update the core software that runs Bitcoin to include every idea the cryptocurrency community dreams up. That's what a few developers have been suggesting lately, though the obvious problem arises of where to draw the line between those suggestions which are necessary or good, and those which are frivolous or harmful.
Does any one group have the right to decide that? Among the most appealing aspects of Bitcoin is its decentralization of currency, a dream that is shared by creator(s) Satoshi Nakamoto and many adopters, early or otherwise. On the other hand, if we open Bitcoin protocol up to the public totally, it will be twisted and corrupted and run into the ground by those looking to turn a profit any way they can.
In the aftermath of the Chinese bank scandal that slashed the price of BTC over many exchanges, we now see Amazon taking aim at the popular "digital currency". Seeing an opportunity to strike or simply getting lucky, Amazon.com has announced that they have no plans whatsoever to integrate a Bitcoin payment option into their services, a move which severely limits the chances Bitcoin has at long-term success.
So what is the real reason Amazon is saying no? Did the board all agree it was just a bad business decision to get in bed with cryptocurrency, or is one of the largest online retailers considering taking a swipe at the digital payments game? “If we felt like we could do a better job than Amex and Visa, and feel
like it helps the customer experience, that’s something we would do,” says Amazon's head of payments, Tom Taylor, in a recent Re/code interview.
Speculation about a possible government shutdown of all Bitcoin business in China, the country with the largest population in the world, has dealt a serious blow to the exchange prices of BTC. Investors were scared enough to drop the price by around ten (UPDATED: now over eighteen) percent, selling their way to a $400 valuation (you can find a simple, reliable estimate of Bitcoin's current price at CoinDesk's index).
The news has not been confirmed just yet, so the shutdown is still in the territory of rumors, though its effect -- the price dip -- is very real indeed. Word spread after several smaller coin exchanges, including BTCTrade.com, Huobi, and BTC100.org announced that they had received notice from Chinese banks to cease business relating to Bitcoin by the 15th of this month, or have their accounts frozen.
Here it is, readers: the Big One Hundred. That's right, count 'em up. All in all, there's 100 posts (*ahem:* well-written articles) published on this little slice of Internet heaven. That's a hundred different idea blurbs filled with opinion and news and who-knows-what, all accessible via the right-hand sidebar, in the Arkives. If you're a new reader, give some of the past posts a look -- I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but there are a few gems in there that I am quite proud of.
It's been a truly sweet ride writing this blog, and I hope to keep doing it for as long as I can. I appreciate all of the interest the community has showed in the topics covered here. I want to personally acknowledge and thank each and every one of those readers who took the time out of their day to contribute to the conversation, because the posts on this blog are more than just rehashing the news; they are discussions of pertinent information, and you can contribute!
The best way to get involved in the conversation is to post a comment. If there's no comments on that post yet, you're in luck -- you can start the discussion wherever you want! I can assure you that I will join in any comment-section talks in a timely fashion, so don't think that your comment will go unnoticed. Give it a try, as it only takes a few moments and you can even post Anonymously.
Enough blog promotion, though. We all know you're all here to read the latest news and opinion in tech/science, so let's get down to it!
Augmented reality (AR) isn't just for glasses anymore. To prove this, Rolls Royce went all out in devising an impressive AR bridge concept for large cargo ships and similar, smaller ships like tug boats, which they revealed in a press release with partner VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Imagine yourself as the captain of a cargo ship in the year 2026. You walk into your bridge, the floor-to-ceiling windows that double as your HUD lighting up to greet you. In an instant, all of the information on your ship and ships nearby are on display, alongside warnings for possible concealed obstacles. You have complete control over your vessel. Even after day turns to night, thermal cameras aid your crew in keeping the ship steering along the safe path. This is the vision for ships with AR and Rolls Royce/VTT advanced future tech.
A hacker, or hackers, of late have been infiltrating low-power electronic devices, including Android phones and security camera DVRs, for use in 'mining' tediously small amounts of the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, as well as some of its well-known competitors (Litecoin and Dogecoin, for example).
Of course, the lack of processing power and limited power supply to these devices make paltry earnings for all of the hard work that was surely put into the scheme. Marc Rogers of Lookout, a business specializing in mobile security, installed the malware responsible for the unwarranted mining onto his phone and came to the conclusion that after four hours, his phone had mined less than a penny's worth of Bitcoin.