I just single-handedly increased Bitcoin network capacity by 0.05% today.

I spent 3 hours this afternoon refactoring a settlement script for a client that will result in 140 less network transactions per day. The cost savings currently amount to roughly $ 200 per month for the client, while increasing network capacity by 4,200 tx/mo.

I am positive that there are still many inefficient business-layer applications running from a no-fee era across the spectrum, many of which could be optimized for additional network capacity when the cost-savings make sense to do so.

submitted by /u/openvpn_squid
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Just bought cave story on steam with Bitcoin – Just realised how awesome bitcoin really is

I just bought cave story off of steam for about $ 15 and paid with bitcoin and was in awe of how straight forward it was compared to say paypal or paying with a debit card. Send BTC to address click confirm done. No fumbling with credit card number, no waiting days for money to come into paypal account and no having to worrying about paypal account being frozen for no god damn reason. I will be using bitcoin for all my steam purchases from now on.

submitted by /u/K210
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Just tried to book a flight ticket using paypal. Guess what I discovered?

I live outside of the United States and have a US bank account, but my debit card is expired. My Paypal account is linked with my US bank account and it is the payment method I use when I want to spend my US bank account's funds. So, today, when booking a trip in the US, I naturally searched for websites that accepted Paypal.

I was surprised to find out I didn't actually have that many options (only AA and Southwest accepted Paypal and neither of them had the tickets I wanted). So, I was about accept that I was going to use my home country's credit card and pay a bunch of fees + ~8% in taxes that our local government charges on purchases made overseas, until I stopped for a moment and decided to search for websites that accepted bitcoin, just for the sake of it (I naturally thought there wouldn't be any)

Guess what… I found both CheapAir and BtcTrip with plenty of options and competitive prices. I ended up booking my flight with CheapAir and already got my tickets.

On top of that, this was my first purchase using bitcoin!

submitted by /u/vicentealencar
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My youngest son just did his high school exam English in the Netherlands, guess what …

(edit: this final exam is nationwide)


Tekst 8, page 14

(article pasted below)


Currency without Borders

IMAGINE IF YOU WERE TO WALK INTO A DELl, ORDER A CLUB SANDWICH, throw some dollar bills down and have the cashier say to you, "That's great. All I need now is your name, billing address, telephone number, mother's maiden name, and bank account number." Most customers would balk at these demands, and yet this is precisely how everyone pays for goods and services over the Internet.

There is no currency on the Web that is as straightforward and anonymous as the dollar bill. Instead we rely on financial surrogates such as credit-card companies to handle our transactions (which pocket a percentage of the sale, as well as your personal information). That could change with the rise of Bitcoin, an all-digital currency that is as liquid and anonymous as cash. It's "as if you were taking a dollar bill, squishing it into your computer and sending it out over the Internet," says Gavin Andresen, one of the leaders of the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoins are bits ─ strings of code that can be transferred from one user to another over a peer-to-peer network. Whereas most strings of bits can be copied infinitely (a property that would render any currency worthless), users can spend a Bitcoin only once. Strong cryptography protects Bitcoins against would-be thieves, and the peer-to-peer network eliminates the need for a central gatekeeper such as Visa or PayPal. The system puts power in the hands of the users, not financial middlemen.

Bitcoin borrows concepts from well-known cryptography programs. The software assigns every Bitcoin user two unique codes: a private key that is hidden on the user's computer and a public address that everyone can see. The key and the address are mathematically linked, but figuring out someone's key from his or her address is practically impossible. If I own 50 Bitcoins and want to transfer them to a friend, the software combines my key with my friend's address. Other people on the network use the relation between my public address and private key to verify that I own the Bitcoins that I want to spend, then transfer those Bitcoins using a code-breaking algorithm. The first computer to complete the calculations is awarded a few Bitcoins now and then, which recruits a diverse collective of users to maintain the system.

The first reported Bitcoin purchase was pizza sold for 10,000 Bitcoins in early 2010. Since then, exchange rates between Bitcoin and the U.S. dollar have bounced all over the scale like notes in a jazz solo. Because of the currency's volatility, only the rare online merchant will accept payment in Bitcoins. At this point, the Bitcoin community is small but especially enthusiastic ─ just like the early adopters of the Internet.

─Morgen Peck Scientific American, 2011

submitted by /u/sumBTC
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