Spending Your Coins | Plan B 6

Spending Your Coins | Plan B 6

We’ll cover some of our favorite ways to buy things with bitcoin, from the new and exciting, to the dark and shady.

Plus we chat with Forbes writer Kashmir Hill about her week of Living on Bitcoin, tackle the big stories of the week, answer your emails, and more!

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Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger on Bitcoin, tax rates, bank regulation and the Federal Reserve policy.

New York City-based Liberty City Ventures is announcing its Digital Currency Fund, a $15 million commitment to Bitcoin and other digital currency startups.

The latest buzz comes by way of the Bitcoin Boost Fund, a new Silicon Valley fund that announced on Tuesday that it will hand out $50,000 to seven or so Bitcoin startups.

All of the startups will be graduates of Boost VC, an accelerator program that seeks to mentor would-be Bitcoin barons. The accelerator, created earlier this year, is run by Adam Draper, who describes himself as a “fourth generation VC” and who is hosting a hackathon at the “Bitcoin: Future of payments” conference in San Jose this weekend.

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the currency of an independent Scotland. Max argues that bitcoin will force the banking system to reinvent itself or die, for what can be more of an invisible hand but a cryptologically guarded, invisible currency.

The bitcoin network hashrate estimate on bitcoinwatch.com passed 1 exaFLOPS (1,000 petaFLOPS) this week – over 8 times the combined speed of the top 500 supercomputers.

The FLOPS estimate is based on the opportunity cost of computers using their hardware for mining instead of other applications. Miners are using their graphics cards to perform hashes instead of other FLOPS-based distributed computing.

The Department of Homeland Security appears to have shut down the ability to use Dwolla, a mobile payment service, to withdraw and deposit money into Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin trading platform. A Dwolla representative confirmed the move to Betabeat.

— Spending Your Coins —

I lived on Bitcoin for a week. This is what I learned.

Humble Bundle, known for its flash sales of millions of $s worth of games from high quality developers, is now accepting Bitcoin using Coinbase merchant tools.

Mobile gift card company Gyft has partnered with BitPay to start accepting bitcoins within its app.

This is a big partnership for both, as BitPay’s CEO, Tony Gallippi, says that the company currently processes $5 million per month in bitcoin transactions for its merchants. Gyft allows you to purchase gift cards at more than 50,000 retail locations in the U.S., including Brookstone, Lowe’s, GAP, Sephora, Gamestop, American Eagle, Nike, Marriott, Burger King and Fandango. So, technically, you’ll now be able to use bitcoin to pay for a Whopper.

BitPremier’s mission is to provide astute buyers in the Bitcoin community with access to unique, high-end luxury items and opportunities. We believe in a customer-centric, secure, and friendly marketplace environment where we give individual attention to every item proudly listed on our site.

BitPremier is backed by the NYC-based Bitcoin Opportunity Fund. Other investments of the fund include CoinLab, BitPay, BitSpend, OpenCoin/Ripple, Coinsetter, TradeHill, and Coinapult.

“We’re just looking for a solution where we can bank legitimately like any other industry,” Smith said. “Wherever you stand on the marijuana issue, it serves everybody’s interest to have banking access.”

Aaron Smith, executive director of the Washington-based National Cannabis Industry Association

  • Bank officials say they are complying with federal law:

At Wells Fargo, “our policy of not banking marijuana dispensaries is based on applicable federal laws and our own assessment of our responsibility,” said Seitz, the bank’s spokesman.

American Express Co. (AXP), the biggest U.S. credit-card issuer by customer purchases, “has made a decision to not allow card acceptance for medical marijuana,” Sanette Chao, a spokeswoman for the New York-based company, said by e-mail. “It is our policy to adhere to federal law in such matters.”

U.S.-based BitPay, has refused to enter the fray. As a processor, BitPay offers same-day conversion of merchant bitcoin into a US dollar bank account. CEO Tony Gallippi explained in an interview that although several have applied, “medical marijuana is not allowed in our terms of service.” Of course to be consistent, other merchant types not allowed by BitPay include ecstasy, MDMA, any controlled substances, weapons, gambling, and sports betting. They will however support transactions for file sharing, storage/backup services, and VPN services, because “freedom of information is important.”

Enter the Silk Road

Making small talk with your pot dealer sucks. Buying cocaine can get you shot. What if you could buy and sell drugs online like books or light bulbs? Now you can: Welcome to Silk Road.

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