Is Bitcoin a Failure?

The following is a summary and analysis of a graduate thesis paper written by Michael Russo. It’s titled, “Satoshi’s Broken Promise: Conflicting Rhetorics In The bitcoin Ecosystem.” Russo calls bitcoin, “…yet another digital artifact promising revolution while at the same time instituting its own brand of control.” He claims bitcoin fails in its principles of decentralization, bitcoin as property, and anonymity. That being said, the following is highly critical of bitcoin, but not a dismissal of the technology. I only request that you keep an open mind in considering the points below, as I believe they are worth the attention.

Bitcoin was, and is, the response to a financial disaster, as indicated by Satoshi’s referencing the following headline from the Financial Times: “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks” (“Genesis Block”). -Russo

 

I once argued that bitcoin is not and should not be held to libertarian principles. If we are to accept it as an open technology, as a true alternative to the current banking system, we need to accept creative uses of the blockchain that are both apolitical, and pro-establishment. Limiting the currency to a specific ideal and infighting about its adoption and use can only stagnate its rise. However, Russo makes a compelling argument for the fact that as bitcoin gains popularity, it becomes more vulnerable. (more…)

Sweetest Bitcoin Machine I Ever Saw

It’s beautiful and simple, yet transformative. Convert paper currency into cryptocurrency with a single button. Spend it in the bar, diner, or dozens of other bitcoin-accepting businesses in Manchester. Check it out at Murphy’s Taproom today!

200 Bitcoin Meetups and Counting

Last night I went to Strange Brew Tavern in Manchester for their 200th bitcoin meetup. It is the longest running consecutive bitcoin meet up in the world — going for almost 4 years now.

People talked about mining ethereum and being dash masternodes — they talked about successful strategies for encouraging businesses and individuals to take cryptocurrencies as payment — and they talked about achieving more personal freedom in New Hampshire. I was impressed by the turnout. About 2 dozen or so people. A range of all types: gay and straight, techies, real estate people, media people, old, middle aged, and young mothers and their children. The group gets the whole back room in the tavern and received excellent service the whole night.

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Third NH Bitcoin Vending Machine Launches in North Country

Twin Mountain Country Store BVM

Bitcoin Vending Machine at Twin Mountain Country Store

Many a liberty activist have made a pilgrimage to Twin Mountain Country Store as it has long been known as the only place in NH one can buy gasoline with bitcoin.  It’s also a shrine to liberty – the store is decked out with various liberty propaganda and signage.  Looking at all of it would take some time.  It’s a fun trip to make when in the White Mountains and now you have one more reason:  it’s the third public location of a Bitcoin Vending Machine in New Hampshire! (Keene and Manchester being the others.)

Store owner Bill Bochynski decided to install the “General Bytes” brand BVM, the same type found at Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester after seeing the unit in operation there. He cited the Keene BVM, operated by the Shire Free Church, as his original inspiration for adding a BVM to the North Country. When asked for comment, he quoted Black Swan author Nassim Taleb:

Bitcoin is the beginning of something great: a currency without a government, something necessary and imperative.

Bochynski thinks its important to bring easy access to bitcoin to the impoverished North Country, where the financial freedom bitcoin can bring could have a real positive impact.

You can visit the Twin Mountain BVM seven-days-a-week from 7am to Midnight. NH is still the only place in New England to feature a Bitcoin Vending Machine open to the public – and now we have three! NH’s bitcoin community just keeps getting better – when are you moving here?

Twin Mountain Country Store BVM

The “General Bytes” Bitcoin Vending Machine at Twin Mountain Country Store in NH

How to Look Cool This Memorial Day

AntiWar.com has cool poppies flower pins for sale, just in time for Memorial Day! Show your support for peace by sporting this cool pin that recognizes war is hell.

Wear it on your blazer. Wear it in your hair! Wear it on your favorite t-shirt! The important thing is that you wear it.

Get your own pin and support AntiWar.com by buying a Poppy pin at AntiWar.me — they take bitcoin! And paypal, too. AntiWar.com is the best source for antiwar news, viewpoints, and activities. Dig it!

My poppy was sent to me by Drew at SuperHeroPrinting.com — Thanks, Drew!

Portsmouth Police Plan Crackdown as Cabbies Attempt to Intimidate UBER Grandma

UBER Grandma Driver Stephanie Franz

“UBER Grandma” Stephanie Franz, courtesy CBS Boston

As we’ve learned here in Keene over a decade-plus of activism, anytime someone challenges the status quo, they are targeted by the supporters of the status quo. In the case of the Free UBER saga in Portsmouth, NH, the good-old-boys network of cab drivers and government goons are again on the attack.

Since the Summer of 2015, multiple UBER drivers in Portsmouth have been regularly committing civil disobedience by driving without jumping through the city’s arbitrary hoops. Effectively the city outlawed UBER by creating ridiculous regulations designed to protect the cab companies from much-needed competition. Despite this, UBER’s app has continued to work, so drivers like “UBER Grandma” Stephanie Franz have continued to take passengers where they want to go.

Franz has been rewarded with several $500-$1,000 tickets from police for her good deeds. Despite facing financial ruin at the hands of the city, she has heroically continued to drive – much to the disgust of the awful cab drivers who have continued a campaign of intimidation against her. She’s had her tail light smashed in previously, has been boxed in by cabbies multiple times, and just today posted this to facebook:

Interesting night in Portsmouth. Taxi drivers are all pumped up over Portsmouth’s temporary threat to “sting” uber drivers. What polite and “manly” men they are. It started last night with a pick up at the Moose. As my riders were entering my car out of the bar walks, the pillar of manhood, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, crabby cabbie [Anchor Taxi owner Merle White]. He sees me picking up my ride and endearing words were yelled “there’s that fucking Uber grandma”. My ride was so ticked off that he started yelling back at him. As the night progressed the rest of the chosen few made their statements too.

seacoast_cabbies

Angry Seacoast Cabbies Hate Competition – Photo Courtesy Seacoast Online

They would pull up next to my car, stop or slow down and stare at me as I was waiting for my next ride. Whoever that handsome hunk of manhood , with the well kept gray beard, Beautiful glaring eyes, and tooth was, I hope you got your eyes full as you stared at me from your taxi van.

 

To the Three Musketeers who stood by their vans at the bus stop on Market Square; Butts hanging out of your mouths, extending those well defined cannons for arms and pointing at me as I would leave my parking position at the end of Pleasant Street to go pick up riders. They guarded my spot four or five times as I would leave and come back. Oh, almost forgot they spoke fluent mumble. Thank you Portsmouth taxis for your enjoyable evening.

The threat of a sting operation that she’s referring to is coming from Portsmouth police chief David Mara who this week announced a coming crackdown against UBER drivers. Assistant mayor Jim Splaine says he supports a crackdown as unregistered drivers should not, “exploit the system”. They are spurred on by cab company owner John Palreiro who claims UBER drivers are “stealing” from him, as though he owns every rider in town.  Check out this Seacoast Online article to read the full ridiculousness of this protection racket’s scheming to destroy the innovators in the transport market.

All of this is happening right as the state representatives in Concord have passed legislation that will (if passed by the senate and governor) regulate UBER and other ride-sharing companies statewide and will override and invalidate Portsmouth’s local regulations as NH is not a “home rule” state. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest!

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