Thursday 5 December 2013

Alderney and Bitcoin

Alderney Concept to issue Bitcoin-Backed Commemorative Gold Coins

Michael Parsons FCA, Bitcoin Advisor, Entrepreneur & Presenter, is the co-source of the Weekend Financial Time's (FT) Alderney & Bitcoin story on 1st Dec 2013 – and the inventor of the physical specie Commemorative Gold Bitcoin-backed concept and government adviser.
("The most read online article in the history of the Weekend FT," according to the editors)

Read the two original FT articles in full here:

The original FT story
Main front page headline FT article:
"Alderney looks to cash in on virtual Bitcoins with Royal Mint reality"

Page 2 background FT article:
"Island territory seeks self-sufficiency with virtual currency"
(named here and also in the link below)

Alderney Wants To Become A Financial Hub For Bitcoin

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Sunday 20 October 2013

Why Bitcoin IS intrinsically valuable...

It has been said a lot. Bitcoin is risky because it not “backed” by any government, asset, or commodity and has no intrinsic value in and of itself. It is true that Bitcoin is risky, but not for any those reasons. Bitcoin is risky because it is an entirely new disruptive technology with revolutionary potential in an unknown regulatory environment. The risk lies in Bitcoin’s ability to persevere despite the uncertain regulatory climate and realize its unspoken potential. The jury is still out on that.


Thursday 10 October 2013

New Finance: Monthly Seminar - Bitcoin: Legal, Regulation, Exchanges

Bitcoin is a hot topic in Fintech right now so this Meetup explores some of the rapidly developing legal issues around using and setting up exchanges and using Bitcoin from both a merchant and consumer perspective. Is Bitcoin coming in from the cold? On the one hand Exchanges are getting regulated, even talking to the Fed, on the other hand some countries like Thailand have made it actually illegal to use Bitcoin. It's time for an update, especially for those thinking of adopting Bitcoin. 
This seminar will explore the latest themes and developments, the key Bitcoin players and their offerings. 
Find out more:
New Finance Meetup - Bitcoin (6pm 16 October 2013)

Friday 26 July 2013

Bitcoin Virtual Currency Workshop

Europe's Customer Festival
Total Payments Spectogram Workshop
16 - 17 September 2013, Business Design Center, Islington, London

Michael Parsons discusses the gains and challenges of virtual currency with a focus on Bitcoin.

Bitcoin – The Future of Money & Payments?

After dinner speech given on 18 June 2013 to members of the Real Time Club
at the National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2HE

  • What, exactly, is Bitcoin?
  • Who invented it and who controls it?
  • How is it created? 
  • Will Bitcoin replace State-sponsored currencies?
  • Is it a threat or an opportunity for governments?
  • Can a state adopt its own cryptocurrency?

In an age of e-commerce and electronic trading, where transactions are performed with a credit card, computer or a mobile device, could currency as we know it disappear altogether?

“Bitcoin is the New Frontier” - Erik Voorhees

Erik Voorhees is one of the foremost Bitcoin entrepreneurs and has helped build some critical parts of the Bitcoin business ecosystem, as well as being a loud advocate for a free, decentralised and voluntary currency. 
When the history of Bitcoin is written, he will be remembered as one of the brave few explorers ready to set out into the unknown and risk life and fortune to create a new world.
Read the full Q&A here

Friday 17 May 2013

Bitcoin presentation to the UK Government

On Monday 13 May 2013  I made the first formal presentation of  Bitcoin to the UK government at the Future of Money conference, which included an explanation of how Bitcoin works.

The conference was organised by the government’s Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre, an arm of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which develops innovative, long-term policy. About 50 senior civil servants attended.

The Future of Money focused on the implications that widespread adoption of Bitcoin might have. Since Bitcoin users are pseudo-anonymous, government authorities worry that it could be used for purposes such as money laundering, and that transactions between individuals fall outside the boundaries of tax collection.
The feedback was very positive both from those who attended the meeting and the organisers. 

The London Financial Times reported this on the following day on page 3 (with a lead-in on the front page) and the full story can be found on these links here:

UK taxmen, police and spies look at Bitcoin threat

A useful Q&A on Bitcoin was published alongside the FT article:

Saturday 16 March 2013

Is Bitcoin Money?

Since Bitcoin is now a $400 million market, with its price hitting new all-time highs, now might be good time to ask - Is Bitcoin Money? 
Max Keiser-by Max Keiser - Host, The Keiser Report -RT | follow @maxkeiser

Thursday 14 March 2013

Bitcoin – The top performing currency in the world?!

"While other currencies are going up and down about 3% – 15% a year, I’m very excited to introduce you to my new investment, which in the past year has gained over 400%....The U.S. dollar value of a bitcoin is about $45 today compared to just $5 a year ago. In the last three months bitcoins gained over 200% since at the end of 2012 (when) the quoted price was $13.48."

Bitcoin Rises - Al Jazeera News

"Although there is still the possibility of a volatile market, the Bitcoin ecosystem looks more promising than ever."

Timely informative article on the rise in value of bitcoin, written by Nicolas Mendoza, a Colombian scholar, artist and researcher in global media from the University of Melbourne, currently at City University of Hong Kong. Also P2P Foundation collaborator, Editorial board Bitcoin Magazine
Follow him on Twitter: @nicolasmendo

"About a year ago I (the author) wrote an article, published on the Al Jazeera site, titled "Understanding Bitcoin". It was an attempt at introducing Bitcoin technology and analysing its social implications. Now Bitcoin markets are trading at record prices of over US$40. This increase, along with a series of recent developments, marks a new overall state of affairs for this project. To make better sense - beyond the mere market numbers - of the current state of the Bitcoin economy, it is worth it to make a brief recount of the way Bitcoin has evolved in recent months."
"...Bitcoin 2013 is certainly a much more robust animal than its 2011 version, and its future looks more promising now than ever before. Step by step, Bitcoin rises."
Read the full article here

Friday 8 March 2013

Bitcoin is the Economic Singularity

As background to my tweet below, it is worth publishing this article about Bitcoin from 2011 by @ryandickherber
Bitcoin is the Economic Singularity
By Ryan Dickherber
Saturday, June 4, 2011
"Three weeks ago I discovered bitcoin. It sounded interesting enough that I decided to devote an entire Saturday to it—that was my “day of bitcoin.” My day of bitcoin evolved into my three weeks of bitcoin. In that time, I have been obsessively reading about it, writing about it, buying it, and creating businesses for it. As far as I can recall, I have never been so obsessed about anything. But the reason I am obsessed with bitcoin is simple: it is the most incredible thing to ever happen in the world. I am not exaggerating. We are presently witnessing the most disruptive change to ever happen to collective human behavior. Although there have been other disruptive changes to human behavior in the past, bitcoin is happening much faster than those. 
>Read full article here

Saturday 5 January 2013

Bitcoin Made Simple

Bitcoin is a decentralised P2P electronic cash system without a central server or trusted parties.

Bitcoin has four key properties:
• Money without Borders
• Payments without Regulation
• Currency without Government
• Transfers without Banks

Anyone with either a smartphone (eg. iPhone) or computer and an internet connection can pay or receive bitcoins. No bank account is required.

Bitcoin in layman's terms:
As a new open-source p2p payment system – Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology which enables virtually instant payments between any two people, or entities, anywhere in the world, securely, privately, and with far lower fees. Bitcoin is making global e-commerce safer, more efficient, and more profitable.

The Bitcoin protocol is a new and unique value transfer system and 'bitcoins' can be thought of as a pure digital (and digitised) 'currency.'
Bitcoins are traded and can be purchased on open, international markets against other fiat (ie. government controlled and issued) currencies like US Dollars, Sterling Pounds and Euros. However, unlike other currencies, bitcoins are not controlled by any Government, Bank or other organization – bitcoins are issued and regulated by mathematical principles instead of a Central Bank or bank corporation.

Hundreds of thousands of people are now using Bitcoin around the world, and the number of Bitcoin users is growing every day as new merchants and customers discover its unique advantages:

• Transactions are irreversible with zero chargebacks.
• Risk-free payments from anyone, globally, in any country.
• Lower fees than credit cards and Paypal.
• Greater security and privacy for both merchants and their customers.

Benefits of Bitcoin for Customers:
- Send money with virtually zero fees
- Send money to anyone, anywhere in the world
- No frozen accounts or blocked payments
- Always open, no holidays
- Hedge against the inflation of fiat currencies
- Transfer any amount - from fractions of a penny to millions of dollars, easily
- Completely avoid all counter-party risk whatsoever
- Maintain financial privacy
- Prevent identity theft, through non-exposure of personal details

What is publically available from a Merchant and Consumer perspective to use Bitcoins

For Merchants:
Of primary importance is merchant processing, which is the ability for merchants to accept Bitcoins on a website. Paysius.com and BitPay.com both offer this service. Using these systems, the merchants can have the Bitcoin payments auto-converted to USD (or other currencies) and deposited into their bank accounts. The main benefits here are zero-chargeback risks and far lower fees than with credit cards.

Benefits of Bitcoin

For Consumers;
- E-wallets like Paytunia.com and Blockchain.info
- Mobile apps like BitcoinSpinner
- Exchanges for trading/investing/speculating on BTC such as MtGox and BitStamp
- Directories of merchants who accept Bitcoins, such as https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade
- "Middlemen" services which allow consumers to spend bitcoins with various merchants (such as spendbitcoins.com)
- Cashout options such as the upcoming BitInstant Paycard (USD denominated Mastercard, reloadable using Bitcoin)

Benefits of Bitcoin for Merchants:
- Accept online payments with fees far lower than credit card or Paypal (0.5% vs up to 2.9%)
- Accept online payments from any country, with no risk of fraud whatsoever
- Have immediate access to "good funds"
- Zero chargeback risk
- No need to store sensitive customer billing details (reduce liability, security costs)

More Bitcoin info?

Bitcoin Non-Technical FAQ here: