China Devalues Currency

The People’s Bank of China allowed the yuan to depreciate by nearly 2% against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, the result of a surprise policy change that roiled international currency markets.

The sudden devaluation is the largest in two decades, and comes amid slower economic growth and increased stock market volatility in China.
The dramatic devaluation — even if it is a one-time event — is likely to draw intense criticism from some quarters. The U.S. has long accused China of keeping its currency artificially low, instead of allowing it to move freely in foreign exchange markets. A weak currency cheapens the price of a country’s exports, making them more attractive to international buyers by undercutting competitors.
If other nations in the region also decide to devalue their currency in response, it could leading to so-called competitive devaluation, also known as a currency war.
China says the move actually is a response to the market.
Read more here.

Greece Defaults

The referendum will go on, says Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Yesterday, there was doubt about whether Sunday’s referendum—where Greeks would decide whether to accept its creditors conditions—would still happen. If Greece had managed to secure a third bailout, or an extension from the IMF, there would theoretically be no need for the referendum.
Neither of those two things happened, and Tsipras addressed the nation on Greek television an hour ago to confirm that the referendum will take place. He’s also not backing down from his original position, strongly urging Greeks to vote “no.” Tsipras has since tweeted 18 updates on his position,  including this: “You’re being blackmailed & urged to vote Yes to all of institutions’ measures without any solution to exiting the crisis.”
Read more here.

Why environmentalists should embrace bitcoin

Why environmentalists should embrace bitcoin
Gabriel Mitchell
There’s a very wonderful and inspiring trend of contemporary environmentalists embracing entrepreneurship and technology as a means of promoting eco-sustainability. From indie businesses creating eco-friendly products to government promoted apps detailing population in china, “Eco-Entrepreneurs” are promoting their ideas through creative tech friendly means.
Bitcoin, the latest and greatest advancement in currency and maybe even technology as a whole has been changing the markets understanding of how monetary systems function.
The following two points are why Environmentalists and Eco-Entrepreneurs should embrace Bitcoin.
1) Bitcoin enables globalization without the need for mass infrastructure
Market globalization is an overall positive for the economic well being of the world. When technology and information is readily available by small isolated communities, those communities can become increasingly self sufficient and have mass increases in wealth. It’s estimated than an open border policy could even go as far as doubling world GDP.
Unfortunately Globalization can have very intense negative impacts on the environment. International financial points such as Banks have an impact of “between 324 and 432 million tonnes of CO2”.
With Bitcoin the banking system is completely eliminated cutting out the middleman for international transactions. In July 2014 it was estimated Bitcoin mining only produced “424,725 tonnes of CO2/year”, a very significant difference between the banking system.
There may be some concerns to comparing the small amount of transactions done within the Bitcoin network to the global banking network but Hass McCock puts these concerns to rest,
“As can be conclusively seen, the relative impact of the bitcoin network does not even register on the radar of the fiat and gold-based monetary systems, representing a very conservative relative environmental impact of just over 0.13%, and a relative economic impact of just under 0.04%. When one considers Koomey’s Law, we can expect energy/GH to continue to half every 18 months until 2048. This means that we can expect our current industry best efficiency of 0.733 W/GH to reach 0.0000000873804 W/GH. Thus – armchair academics take note – in the event that bitcoin scales to a million times its current size and market cap over the next 30 years, it’s environmental impact will still be insignificant compared to existing systems.”
It’s even estimated that the efficiency of bitcoin mining is on an upward trend so electricity and CO2 emission could decrease as the technology gets more popular.
Bitcoin can be used to transfer wealth in a global economy without the need for expensive and overwhelmingly non-green banking infrastructure.
2) Physical Dollars are horrible for the environment
Besides the overall health dangers of Paper Money and the problem of government having control over the currency, US Dollars have a very painful impact on the Environment.
In 2010 it was figured that over 1 million gallons a day of water is used in the crafting of the paper to be printed on. Then  250,000 gallons a day of water is used during actual printing of the money.
In 2007 the European central bank issued a suggestibility statistics report stating, “3 billion banknotes printed in 2003 had an equivalent energy impact of 460,000 60W bulbs switched on for a year, which equates to 240 million kWh, or 0.87 million GJ. With circulation now at 15.8 billion notes, this would scale up to 4.6 million GJ”
Bitcoin, being completely digitalized could cut out significant energy and water waste seen with physical currency. This digitalization means the technology and e-waste can be recycled unlike paper money which is burnt up by the government after several years of circulation. 

The balance between sustainability and economics growth can be very difficult but the over all environmental impact of Bitcoin is greatly dwarfed by the dangerous Leviathan that is the Banking System.  In order to encourage economic well being without major harm to the planet Environmentalists should embrace the Bitcoin technology.

Bitcoin will increase your life expectancy

Preserve your wealth in precious metals, consume in bitcoin.
Did you know that the dirtiest thing we touch on a daily basis is paper money? Almost 94% of dollar bills contain fecal matter. It has been reported that paper money carries more germs than a household toilet!
Unfortunately paper money is a welcoming environment for viruses and bacteria. Research at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology found almost 3,000 types of bacteria on paper money. Some of them cause acne, gastric ulcers, pneumonia, food poisoning, staph infections, and antibiotic resistance. In fact, paper money can transport a live flu virus for up to 17 days.
You have a very real possibility of increasing your life expectancy by no longer using paper money. The change is marginal, so you won’t notice any immediate effects to your health. However, over the span of a human life, you may be able to increase your life expectancy if you give up on paper cash. Unfortunately there is no data that shows what kind of impact that it will have on your life, but that data will come as we move toward a cashless society.
So what alternatives do you have when you want to spend your money? You could attempt finding a bank that will give you newly printed bills every time, but that might be time consuming. Alternatives to paper money could be credit/debit cards, coins (carry less bacteria than paper), or your phone. I know many people don’t have or don’t want to use credit cards or smart phone services such as Apple Pay, PayPal, or Google Wallet. The data about your purchase are recorded by these intermediary companies and your privacy can easily be compromised. Do you really want a third party company sharing and collecting every purchase that you’ve made over the last 20 years with other companies, hackers, and governments? Not only that, but credit card technology is flawed enough that credit card theft is a prevalent problem, too.
One solution that I’ve been doing has been spending with digital cash, aka bitcoin. Bitcoin is not controlled by a third party that is collecting all your private information. It is digital, instant, and there are no transaction fees. By switching over, I have almost immediately reduced my exposure to thousands of bacteria and viruses that have the potential of getting me sick. I’m not spreading germs to others or facilitating in the transmission of germs. By using bitcoin, I am not only preventing myself from getting sick, but also anyone else I am coming into contact with.
Spending bitcoin is not necessarily the most practical solution yet, because not everyone accepts it. Day by day, however, more companies are accepting bitcoin. I make sure to ask every company if they accept bitcoin, and you can too. By doing so, we are giving each other an opportunity to have longer and more prosperous lives.

Battle inflation with bitcoin

“By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes
Preserve your wealth in precious metals and consume in bitcoin.
Did you know that you receive a 3% discount when you spend bitcoin at many places? One of the beautiful benefits about bitcoin is that there are no, or very little, transaction fees when you spend the digital currency. Companies often pass those savings on to their customers.
For example, I can purchase a gift card with bitcoin to Amazon, Best Buy, Whole Foods, Target, Home Depot, and many other stores at Gyft. I receive a 3% discount when I pay with bitcoin.
Under the control of the Federal Reserve, inflation in the United States has historically been reported as between 0-5% during stable economic periods. At least those are the “official” government numbers. By using bitcoin to make your purchases, you don’t have to suffer a three percent decrease in your standard of living that is caused by inflation.
As of right now, the “official” inflation rate in the United States is negative 0.1%. So even during times of negative inflation, you can still increase your standard of living by 3% per year by just using bitcoin!

Free Bitcoin with one ounce or more of gold

For the entire month of May we are offering $1 in Bitcoin and assistance in setting up a Bitcoin wallet with every purchase that includes one ounce of gold. This special giveaway is only for traditional paying customers. (sorry Bitcoiners!)

How to create a Bitcoin Wallet
Tips on opening a Hive Bitcoin Wallet

Starting today, all purchases that include one ounce of gold or more will be contacted by our support team about setting up their Bitcoin wallet. For every ounce you purchase you receive $1 in Bitcoin, no limit per customer.
Amagi Metals believes that sound money is one of the key components of financial stability. For thousands of years gold and silver have been the key commodities to buy and store for wealth preservation. We are excited about the new technologies that are upon us, like Bitcoin, and want to continue helping our customer base become familiar with such a revolutionary alternative currency. Read the most recent news on how Bitcoin is permeating the financial system:
Goldman Sachs Investing in Bitcoin Company
Is Wall Street Dangerous for Bitcoin?
Choose from the most notable gold coins in the world in our gold section. Earn free Bitcoin starting today!

Setting Up Your First Bitcoin Wallet

Like any new technology, getting into bitcoin can be intimidating. With the right tools, however, you can set yourself up to start receiving and sending bitcoin within a few minutes!
To start, you need to get a bitcoin wallet. A wallet is a software program that holds the information necessary to access, send, and receive your bitcoins. Most are free, they just cost a few minutes of your time to set up! Many different wallets serve different devices and have different features. There are wallets for mobile phones, desktops, cloud/web based wallets, and physical hardware wallets. Today, I’m going to help you set up a web wallet that can also be used on your mobile phone. It’s a terrific starter wallet that will allow you to receive bitcoin at any time with your phone, and carry some around for daily use.
Before you get your bitcoin wallet, make sure that you are using a secure computer. If you think that you may have downloaded something malicious recently, or have malware on your desktop, make sure to remove it from your PC first with antivirus software. Next, get a pen and paper for you to create a backup for your wallet.
Once you have pen and paper, visit https://hivewallet.com/, to create your first Bitcoin Wallet through Hive. Hive is a great wallet that works on your mobile phone, desktop, or the cloud. Select “Create web wallet” to get started.
On the next page, you’ll see an option to “Generate passphrase.” When you click there, you’ll receive a string of random words, much like the feature image of this post. Make sure to write those words down! They are necessary to gain access to your bitcoins. Put them in a private, secure location after you write down those words. Consider storing this with other valuable physical assets such as your gold or jewelry, but make sure you can easily access it if needed.
After you’ve written the passphrase down and stored it safely and securely, create a 4 digit pin for yourself that you can remember.
And you’re done! You now have a bitcoin wallet that you can send, receive, and store bitcoins with. To receive bitcoin, select the receive tab. That “wallet address” is the string of numbers and letters you give to someone to receive bitcoins. This is your public address, the address that you can share with others to receive bitcoin. The string will look something like this:
1Eb47s2JVL6a4EDqttzZXZW3n8imBgLKnn
To receive bitcoins, make sure to give someone the entire string of numbers and letters for them to be able to send bitcoins to you. Unless you give someone else access to your bitcoin wallet, you are the only one who has control over the public address.
To send bitcoin, you need to get the entire string of numbers and letters from the person you are sending the bitcoins to. Note that when you send bitcoins, you can’t get them back! So make sure that you’re sending them to the right person or organization before sending.
You can also download the Hive app on your phone and enter that same 12-word passphrase so that you can have your bitcoin wallet on the go.
Now you know how to set up your first bitcoin wallet, send, and receive bitcoins. I cannot emphasize enough to make sure that you store your passphrase somewhere safe. Your bitcoin wallet is like your bank account. However you are in complete control over it. If you lose the passphrase or leave it out for someone to take, you could lose those bitcoins forever.
To learn more about various bitcoin wallets, I recommend visiting: https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet. The website does a great job of breaking down various wallets for different devices and needs.

Amagi Used in BitPay Study of Bitcoin Behavior

amagi_infographic
Click on the image (or here) to enlarge to the entire infographic.
Thank you BitPay for highlighting our involvement and performance in Bitcoin. We are proud to be one of your top merchants. Check out some trends from Bitcoin to gold/silver in 2014:
“Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, gold is no longer the major precious metals investment. The ratio between purchases for gold and silver at Amagi Metals shows that 7 out of 10 people buy silver, and only 3 out of 10 purchase gold. However, nearly 12% of all customers buy both silver and gold in the same order.”

Is Wall Street Dangerous for Bitcoin?

Wall Street in Bitcoin

Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, is greatly respected by many in the Bitcoin community. His company started accepting bitcoin relatively early (January 2014) and was the largest to do so at the time. Byrne is also well known for exposing a great deal of Wall Street corruption. This WIRED article calls him Bitcoin Messiah and the Scourge of Wall Street in the same headline.
Not everyone agrees, of course, but many Bitcoiners share Byrne’s mindset. A strong dissatisfaction with traditional financial institutions is what leads many people to Bitcoin in the first place. This creates issues when it comes to news like this. Within just two days, two Bitcoin companies gained some form of support from Wall Street. First, Tera Group announced their employment of a former New York Stock Exchange CEO. Then Noble Markets partnered with Nasdaq to gain access to special trading technology.
As a Bitcoin enthusiast myself, it’s interesting to consider how people might react to this news. On one hand, some people could easily get upset. They might say that we don’t need any help from Wall Street and we don’t want to risk having any corruption spill into Bitcoin. Of course, I agree that we don’t want corruption, but I don’t think this news really means that we have to have it.
One of the coolest things about Bitcoin is that it makes it a lot harder for external forces to control our money. According to Byrne, Wall Street exchanges regularly oversell assets, which leads to buyers believing they own things that they really don’t. None of that is possible with the natural form of Bitcoin.
With Bitcoin, every single unit of currency and every transaction is visible to the public. All of that information is stored by thousands of nodes around the world in a chunk of data called the blockchain. Anyone can download or explore that data at any time. In addition, the blockchain’s information is being verified 24/7 by nearly 400 petahashes per second of computer power.
The only way that a company could sidestep that gigantic level of security and start ripping people off would be to build a Bitcoin service outside of the blockchain – and that’s been done before.
MtGox was a Bitcoin exchange that accepted real Bitcoin transactions from the outside world, but then performed off-chain transactions within their own system. When people saw bitcoins in their MtGox accounts, they just saw numbers that the company kept in a database. They were never shown exactly where on the blockchain that money was stored.
In the end, it turned out that MtGox did not really hold all of the bitcoins that they were telling their users they had. There is still some debate about what really happened to that money. It could have been stolen by the management, stolen by hackers, or just plain lost, but it’s clear that something went seriously wrong.
That problem is very similar to the problems that Byrne points out on Wall Street. And yes, the problem occurred in the Bitcoin space, but here’s the thing: No one was ever forced to trust MtGox. We all had the ability to decide for ourselves whether we thought MtGox was trustworthy or not. Many people, myself included, even pulled money out of the MtGox system in the months before the collapse, as issues started to become apparent.
In our legacy system, it is very difficult to transfer wealth without trusting third parties like banks, credit card companies, or stock exchanges. Even if we did take the drastic steps to begin living on cash alone, our money would still be heavily manipulated by inflation. With Bitcoin however, peer-to-peer transactions are extremely easy. A third party is always optional.
That’s why I think we have little to fear from Wall Street’s cooperation with Bitcoin companies. As long as we continue to operate on the blockchain, they cannot manipulate our money. And if they decide to build their services off the blockchain, we will always have to option to opt out. Bitcoin is far from perfect, but compared to our current system, it offers a fantastic amount of freedom and security.