Bitcoin: Future of Money, or Scam?

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I haven’t posted for a while because I have been researching Bitcoin, an anonymous form of online “crypto-currency” that has been popping up in the news. Some are calling it the future of money. The most popular answer from a software developer posting on the Q&A site Quora calls it “a scam.” I still don’t fully grasp the mechanics of how Bitcoin works, but the news is piling up. What has gotten the most attention is the use of Bitcoins to pay for drugs through a peer-to-peer network called Silk Road. It was first widely reported on June 1 on Gawker. That attracted the attention of two U.S. senators who are now calling for a federal investigation of Silk Road. The association of Bitcoin with Silk Road is triggering official scrutiny of Bitcoin. Obviously, governments do not like unofficial currency floating around. But it is not clear whether authorities can do anything to end its use. Bitcoin likely will thrive or fail based on whether users remain confident that it has transferable value. I figured that a good way to help me understand Bitcoin is to try and get some for myself. That, however, is not something simple and easy to do. More
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Gawker meets 4chan

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Adrian Chen of the Gawker blog Valleywag has an amusing post about a 4chan meetup at a bar in Brooklyn on Jan. 14. A little bit of the history between 4chan and Gawker is explained, but what struck Chen was how “normal” everyone was:

People slowly accreted around the table, and there were maybe 30 or 40 by the time 4chan’s 22-year-old founder, Chris “Moot” Poole, showed up. Moot lives in Manhattan, where he’s currently working on a new start-up called Canvas Networks. He was instantly swamped by fans. A Filipino guy next to me freaked out: “In all of my 23 years, this is the first time I’ve ever met a celebrity!” He had come all the way from Connecticut, where he works at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Well, I assume the true weirdos wouldn’t show up at a bar in Brooklyn. They were online in their basements.

“When I was growing up, my parents often warned me not to open the basement doors. “Never open the basement doors!” they said again & again. One day, I DID open the basement doors, and I saw the most amazing things – trees, our back yard and the sky!” – Emo Philips