[cryptography] Digital cash in the news...

Danilo Gligoroski danilo.gligoroski at gmail.com
Tue Jun 14 01:59:39 EDT 2011

Nicholas Bohm write:
>>> Now I find I can exchange a little over five bitcoins for a  50 
>>> Amazon gift certificate that Amazon seems happy to credit to my 
>>> account.

Danilo Gligoroski wrote:
>> Your example is about two actors: Amazon and BitCoin, acting within 
>> small amounts of goods, services and issued currency.

John Levine wrote:
> No, it's not.  There's someone who will trade you Amazon gift 
> certificates for bitcoins.  <snip> 
> Amazon neither buys nor sells bitcoins.

Not (directly, yet), but for the end user who possess a bitcoin it appears as that. The concept of having several entities in the financial chain between the end consumer of the goods and the issuer of those goods is present in the human history for thousands of years. I see that those kind of financial chains are building around the concept of Bitcoin too.

> I still am not aware of anything you can actually buy for bitcoins 
> (as opposed to trading them for various kinds of real and fake money) 
> other than drugs.

Insisting on the story that you can only buy drugs by bitcoins in my view is too harsh toward the concept of Bitcoin. Last week I was in Helsinki on a summer school for cloud computing and there a guy offered me to buy me a beer with his bitcoins. 

I do not have any Bitcoin (yet), but as time goes on, probably I will have one. CERTAINLY NOT FOR BUYING DRUGS, but because I want to see how that nice crypto design works and grows in practice. The allegations that the Bitcoins are tool for buying drugs will probably repel some potential Bitcoin owners and sadly will imprint them as a dangerous social group.

To paraphrase Peter Gutmann from his post on this topic from last week: How about the allegations about "The Bitcoin-based Child Porn Market" and "The al-Qaeda/Bitcoin Connection".


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