Monday, February 18, 2019

How bitcoin payments should work

Bitcoin needs a physical merchant payment system. An ambient backscatter type device could provide a truly elegant solution, to what is a mildly complex problem.  A solution of that quality may be several years or more away. This device will require some computing power.  To maintain security transactions must be signed on a device carried by the user. This could look something like Trezor, but I’d prefer it to look and feel more like coin. Regardless of the form factor there should be a “2-touch” process, where the users’ device receives transaction details from the merchants gateway, the user is …continue reading

The two altcoins you should know

Bitcoin certainly has a lot of imitators.  Some are worth your time, others are not.  Litecoin and Namecoin are two of the contenders that everyone should seriously consider. Litecoin uses a slightly different algorithm, scrypt, as opposed to bitcoin’s SHA-256.  Scrypt hashing is a memory intensive process, so asics for scrypt mining should be much slower to evolve than their SHA-256 counterparts.  Bitcoin prices are moving in a direction that will make them difficult for the everyday consumer to swallow.  Litecoin, on the other hand is still hovering somewhere around $10, this makes prices easier for consumers to conceptualize and …continue reading

China: A frictionless transition to bitcoin

As Bobby Lee of Bitcoin China explains Chinese consumers are already conditioned to accept immutable transactions. Most commerce in China relies on a system simmilar to ACH with some improvements. When consumers write checks, or use direct bank transfer they are often left with little recourse. The same is true of bitcoin, and cash transactions. We as Americans like to use credit and credit cards when purchasing things. The vast majority of fraud and chargebacks relate to another individual accessing your account, this is simply not a probable with bitcoin. Our reliance on credit cards carries a large financial burden …continue reading

Bitcoin is undergoing deflation, not inflation.

I understand that this is obvious to some, if I had a bitcoin for every time someone mixed this up, well I’d be rich. Last night I wrote my first entry, Bitcoin boon, and as a result I noticed that a lot of people seem to think that bitcoin is undergoing massive inflation. Merriam Webster defines inflation as: a continual increase in the price of goods and services. Quite the opposite has been true of bitcoin lately. What cost 10 bitcoins a week ago costs 1 bitcoin today. Photo credit: Family Guy Hacker News discussion

Bitcoin Boon

Full Disclosure: I do own some bitcoin (<100 BTC at any given time). I also mine some BTC. My motivation here is not to drive the price up, but rather to demostrate that bitcoin is a suitable replacement for “bad” money. Today things hit a breaking point. Bitcoin prices are hovering somewhere north of $800 at most US exchanges. Hacker news has tracked a 194 thousand bitcoin transaction for most of the day. Richard Branson announced that Virgin Galactic will accept bitcoin. There may still be some detractors for bitcoin, but one thing is certain, it has the attention of …continue reading

Raster Fonts on Arduino

I was asked a while ago to come up with software to print raster fonts with an arduino. This may seem simple until you realize that you must render each line of pixels individually or you’ll run out of ram. Throw some non-fixed width fonts in there and it’s a real nightmare. Anyways here’s the gist of it: void setup() { Serial.begin(38400); Wire.begin(); //Begin I2C as master pinMode(LEDPIN, OUTPUT); pinMode(BUTTON, INPUT); } void serialPrint(unsigned char ch, unsigned short xPos) { for (int j = 6; j > -1; j–) { Serial.write(pgm_read_byte(&CharTable[ch][j + 2 + 7 * xPos])); } } void …continue reading