A customer purchased a “Live Free or Die” wood plaque and a “Legalize Gay Marijuana” bumper sticker at the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe in Portsmouth, New Hampshire using an encrypted digital currency called ZCash. The cryptocurrency is the most private money ever created, relying on a complex mathematical principle called a “Zero-Knowledge Proof”. Essentially this customer took some digital cash, locked it in a box with a secret key, and sent the shop the key. There is no discernible trail left. No observer can look up the transaction on the blockchain, not even those who know the sending/receiving addresses. Pretty slick! Here’s what it looked like:
This marks yet another turning point for human freedom. An evolution on the creation of bitcoin, this new cryptocurrency offers features and advantages that bitcoin simply doesn’t. While many are still holding fast to the promises of failing Federal Reserve Notes, others are seeking alternatives and building more reliable systems that make extortion far more difficult. Learn more by following the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe on Twitter and by joining their email list.
After the screening, we gave away one of the few existing DJVCS movie posters to a lucky attendee and then director and star of the movie, Derrick J Freeman and I took a bunch of questions from the audience. We reflected on the last five years, where we are now, and looked to the future of the exciting, growing New Hampshire Freedom Migration.
What a pleasure and an honor it has been to executive produce this movie, working with the amazing talents of Derrick J Freeman and editing pro Beau Davis. I’m especially grateful to all the people who love and share Victimless Crime Spree with their friends and family. The pro-freedom message and spirit of the movie is infectious and fun, despite its ultimately sad ending. It’s an important documentary, and the first to come out of the community of libertarian migrants to the Shire. (In case you haven’t seen it, the second such documentary, also edited by Beau Davis, is “101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire“.)
The crypto-economy grew a little bit larger today when the popular downtown shop Portsmouth Smoke and Vape started accepting Ethereum, Dash, ZCash, Litecoin, and Bitcoin. Customers can now buy all the glass, incense, vaporizers, cleaning kits, tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and accessories they could possibly want — all using digital cash.
They sell online too, so if your current local shop won’t take your litecoin, consider getting your items sent right to your house instead by buying at their website! You can keep the same privacy you would get from a cash transaction as your local shop, plus you get the advantage of online shopping.
My partner and I learned that the owner was looking to take bitcoin due to increased demand from customers asking if they could pay in the digital currency. He thought it was a great idea and stopped into our shop to ask how he would get set up to take it as payment. We met the next morning, and it took less than an hour from start to finish. All it took was downloading an app and clicking through a few prompts to set up 5 different secure digital wallets. Now his business can take payment in 5 popular cryptocurrencies.
One cool and unique thing about the way they set it up is that the owner linked his store’s crytpo wallets with his phone. That enables him to see when a payment has come in, no matter where he is, plus he can then send the coins to a secure wallet that employees can’t access. Try doing that with a traditional cash register!
Wow, what an incredible day. It began at noon, when a man who had walked in weeks prior to buy his first bitcoin, returned to spend some on a 3D-printer kit to build with his son. Then, nationally-syndicated radio hosts Ian Freeman, Mark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry arrived and set up microphones to record an episode of their show Free Talk Live. Finally, we all headed over to the Seacoast Repertory Theatre for the 5-year Anniversary Screening of Victimless Crime Spree!
Here’s what you missed:
Broadcasting From the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe’s Grand Opening in Portsmouth, NH :: Operating the Store :: Is Bitcoin the Best? :: Bitcoin and Banks :: World Famous Bitcoin Tour :: Derrick J’s Favorite Customer Stories :: Joel Valenzuela from Dash Force News Joins Us :: Cryptocurrency Acceptance in Other Countries :: Bitcoin Vending Machine :: Victimless Crime Spree Fifth Anniversary
After squabbling for years over how to fix the growing pains of the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency, one of the sides in the ongoing Bitcoin Geek War has finally made a bold move. This week, on August 1st, a small number of the “big blockers” performed a “hard fork” and broke away from the main Bitcoin blockchain, creating a new currency, “Bitcoin Cash“. This had the added benefit of giving everyone who already held Bitcoin an equal amount of the new Bitcoin Cash! Ever heard the phrase, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”? Bitcoin’s first fork into two has proven that statement wrong. Read on to learn more about this historic week in Bitcoin.
The blockchain is the distributed, decentralized ledger that contains every transaction that has ever occurred on the Bitcoin network. It’s approximately 150 GB in size. Since the hard fork, there are now two “Bitcoin” blockchains competing for market dominance. Both of them have the exact same transactions from the beginning of Bitcoin nearly a decade ago, running until August 1st, 2017, when at just after 2pm Eastern time the first “Bitcoin Cash” block was mined into existence, at greater than 1 MB – in fact, its size was about 4 MB.
Since the original Bitcoin blockchain has a 1 MB limit per block, it was at this point that the one blockchain became two. The supermajority of miners are still mining the original Bitcoin chain, let’s call it “Bitcoin Core” or BTC. However, a small portion of miners have joined the mining of the new “Bitcoin Cash” or BCH. If you thought Bitcoin Core’s growing pains were challenging, take a look at how Bitcoin Cash had to start:
Bitcoin mining doesn’t actually look like this.
In Bitcoin, there’s a thing called mining difficulty that is basically designed to increase as more people enter mining and compete to discover scarce Bitcoins. However, should people leave the mining game, the difficulty will decrease. In BCH’s case, when they started their fork, their network was at the same difficulty level as BTC, but with a fraction of the total mining power. That’s why it took six hours for the BCH miners to find their first block! Normally Bitcoin blocks are expected to be found every ten minutes. So, this means BCH transactions were, in the beginning, taking hours to confirm! They are as of this writing, still taking longer than BTC transactions.
Worse still, no one who wanted to sell their newfound BCH was easily able to do so for at least the first couple days of its existence. Due to concerns about certain technical attacks that are possible in the time after a fork, cryptocurrency exchanges were extra cautious before allowing BCH deposits to trading accounts. However, while they weren’t allowing people to deposit BCH, they WERE allowing them to trade it. Huh? How can one trade something on an exchange to which one can’t deposit? Remember, after the fork, the people with BTC in their exchange accounts were given a balance of the same amount of BCH. (Except at the Bitfinex exchange, who screwed over their customers.) So, since trading was happening but no one could deposit, the price of the new BCH trended upward, even reaching as high as $800-$1,000 on some exchanges. (more…)
What’s that? You say Bitcoin has not been the front page feature story your local newspaper where you live? You must not live in Keene, New Hampshire – the capitol of real-life business acceptance of the world’s first cryptocurrency!
Reporter Paul Cuno-Booth did a thorough job interviewing various owners of the local bitcoin-accepting businesses about their reasons for backing the amazing decentralized currency, including Monadnock Makerspace founder Johnny Bolster, area computer tech Michael Gordon, Bob Maibusch of Pine Springs Golf Course, Ken Urbanski of Kirby’s Q, and Steve Wilder of Wilder Automotive. Cuno-Booth also focuses on the Shire Free Church’s media outreach along with our local meetup group for Bitcoiners and other cryptocurrency users and newbies, the Monadnock Decentralized Currency Network.
Monadnock Decentralized Currency Network Meetup at Rick’s Ice Cream
As we have reported here at Free Keene, according to CoinMap, Keene is the number one city in the world for bitcoin-accepting businesses per capita. Obviously not all businesses have the same results, of course. Though the golf course has yet to have a customer with bitcoin, Wilder Auto reports approximately a dozen customers regularly using bitcoin. Bolster, who also is the creator of the Portal Map, reported that he was able to sell ads to some new customers on his yearly map of area businesses, because he is accepting bitcoin as payment! That’s money that otherwise would have been left on the table had Bolster decided against accepting the cryptocurrency. (more…)