Here's a look at the top Bitcoin tweets from the past week, from price checking to BTC prefixes and miner development to the staying power of digital currency.
1. Bitcoin price check
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to check the price of bitcoins in dollars, then Alternapost can help you. The bespoke page, linked via Reddit, gives a minimalist design with the price in large characters. No fuss, no complicated stats. The page can show the price of Litecoin (LTC) and Peer-to-Peer coin (PPC). You could add this to your browser bookmarks, or if you're on iOS, add it as a shortcut directly to your homescreen.
An interesting discussion appeared on Reddit asking when people would start referring to fractions of BTC with prefixes just as milli-bitcoin (mBTC) or nano-bitcoin (uBTC). Given that bitcoins cost around $100 (USD), the relation to everyday items is in on a different scale to what most people are accustomed to. In order to express BTC in equivalent value, we therefore have to talk about small fractions of bitcoins. As such, it may make more sense to buy a cup of coffee in nano-bitcoins rather than expressing prices to six decimal places where most of the digits are leading zeros.
3. World War Three
The topic of discussion on the Bitcoin Forum appears to occasionally move into contemplating World War Three. The discussion linked above was redirected to here in which there was lots of colorful discussion. However, one serious point brought out applies just as much to uprisings in the Middle Eastern as it does to world wars ... that is, the dependency of digital currencies on a functioning internet. If part of the internet is down, then some miners can't verify transactions and the blockchain cannot be synchronized across the whole world.
4. Used miners
A post on Reddit comes from a user, mrtuber, reporting that his Avalon ASIC miners had been used to mine coins before they had been dispatched out to him. From the analysis in the Bitcoin Forum post (linked from Reddit), it is suggested that the mining has been done for "burning" testing, rather than as part of a continuous mining operation. However, it raises a serious ethical question as to whether such companies should be able to keep coins mined from testing devices that have been sold or whether any coins mined during testing should be sent to the customer.
5. Staying power
We have an editorial, shared via Reddit, which sings the praises of Bitcoin's staying power, especially in the light of hacking attacks and associations with illegal activities. It goes on to give case studies of how ordinary people are slowly starting to use bitcoins. The story goes on to look at how the Bitcoin community is weathering the storm of US government hostility.
6. Miner development
On the Bitcoin Forum, a user -- allten -- posted photos of the development of his ASIC mining rig. He will be using four ASIC chips cooled by an off-the-shelf CPU air-cooled heat sink and fan. However, he says the system could be expanded to eight ASIC chips with the use of a customized water block. That is, instead of an air-cooled radiator, an eight-chip heat-sink would have water continuously pumped through it to get rid of excess heat.
7. Starbucks urged to get on board
The next tweet isn't news, but a case of wishful thinking. Users of reddit have been expressing their wishes for Starbucks to accept payment in bitcoins. Regular patrons of the ubiquitous coffee shop will know that it possible to buy credit with the company, with which food and drink can be purchased. Furthermore, there is a smartphone app that presents a barcode that can be scanned by a sales assistant to complete a transaction. Bitcoin users make payments in a similar way by scanning QR codes. Therefore, one could argue that Starbucks already has at least the customer-facing infrastructure in place.
8. Hardware use post-bitcoin
Another contemplative thread over on the Bitcoin Forum looks at what miners would use their hardware for if Bitcoin were ever to "die" or otherwise fall into disuse. While this may not be something that's going to happen any time soon, it raises an interesting point about how much computing power is being amassed that could be put to more altruistic purposes, such as the Folding@home medical research program.
9. Bitcoin hits Miami
Finally, Reddit user SoBeHax reports that a Miami coffee shop, Planet Linux Caffe (their spelling), will soon be accepting payment in bitcoins. If true, this would reportedly make it the first business in Miami to accept bitcoins. From the business's website, we could not verify the claim on the Reddit post. However, the coffee shop will soon be hosting two bitcoin events, which -- if you're in the Miami area -- would be interesting to check out.
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