Malaysia trip, part 5 SIDEBAR: The quest for Singapore’s Bitcoin ATMs

Malaysia trip, part 5 SIDEBAR: The quest for Singapore's Bitcoin ATMs
HONG KONG — As you can guess from the dateline here, I’ve come to the end of my Malaysian adventure, and I’m still running behind in talking about it. This post is a sidebar to the forthcoming narrative about my three days in Singapore. It’s about my efforts to find Singapore’s Bitcoin ATMs (plural), and finding perhaps the only surviving member of the species. I’m still a cautious booster of Bitcoin, the computer-based “cryptocurrency” that’s been behind both scandals and successes in the financial world. For my purposes, it’s a relatively low-cost way to channel Chinese yuan from my Chinese bank account to American dollars in my US bank account. Depending on market prices, sometimes it’s a no-cost way to move money, and if you time transfers right, somewhat profitable. I move funds roughly once a month, after payday. Usually, I use two exchanges, BTCC, which is based in China, and Coinbase, in the USA. [Coinbase is not technically an exchange, but it does permit you to move between dollars and bitcoins. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll call it an exchange for now.] Buying bitcoins in China used to be a piece of cake, using a Chinese version of PayPal called ...

Just in case you want to tip me

Just in case you want to tip me
JISHOU, HUNAN — At the bottom of each post, just above the AddThis sharing bar, is a tiny Coinbase tip button. Click it to send me a Bitcoin tip. Also, I can also accept tips on my Twitter feed with @Tippercoin, or you can scan this QR code with your smartphone wallet to send Bitcoin to me. The other ways to donate to Wheat-dogg’s World are still in place, by way of PayPal, Bitcoin or Litecoin. Follow the link or take a gander in the right-hand column. And, if you shop on Amazon through this website, I get a little money, too. The Google ads have netted me $15 so far this year. Personally, I hate websites that run obtrusive ads that foul up pageload times and layouts, so I’ve deliberately avoided using any other click-through campaigns other than Google Ads. No “one weird trick” ads here. I promise. All donations will be cheerfully accepted. Thanks!

Buying Bitcoin in Hong Kong with an ATM

Buying Bitcoin in Hong Kong with an ATM
HONG KONG SAR, CHINA — It’s been a year since I first bought bitcoins, and coincidentally I commemorated the event by buying Bitcoin at a Lamassu ATM here a few days ago. Reports of Bitcoin ATMs in Hong Kong came out earlier this year. One is in a café in the Mid-Levels on Hong Kong Island, and the other is in Mong Kok in Kowloon. I only visited the Mong Kok location. My son was in HK for a conference, so I took a week’s leave to meet up with him. While he was busy conferring, I spent the time doing my own stuff. One of my missions was to find and use the Mong Kok ATM. This website gives directions on its use, but provides only the address. It’s easier than using a regular bank ATM. There’s no keypad, no need to insert a card, provide your handprint or have your face scanned. This machine scans the unique QR code on your smartphone to determine your Bitcoin address, and waits for you to insert cash (Hong Kong dollars, in this case). When you’re done, the equivalent value of bitcoins, less a small service charge, is sent to your Bitcoin ...

Bitcoin donations help out an AP English teacher 4

Bitcoin donations help out an AP English teacher
JISHOU, HUNAN — An AP English teacher in Richmond, California, is seeking donations in Bitcoin for three HP Chromebook computers and fees for eight students to take the AP English Language and Composition exam. Tuyen Bui also accepts Dogecoin and PayPal. Here’s her website with the details: http://projectbui.org/ The total needed is about $1,460, which is not a lot, really. But, her high school is in a very poor section of West Contra Costa Unified School District, and there are no extra funds available to set up computer workstations in her classroom. And AP exams are pricey – $89 a pop. When I last checked, donations were only 6.2% toward that goal, so I hope my readers can boost it up some more. I’ve already sent my donation, because I’m a teacher and Ms Bui is my kind of people. Wyverns! She’s your kind of people, too. You know what I mean. I came across her project while scanning the reddit Bitcoin thread this evening. Her boyfriend created the donations website for her, and posted the link on reddit. It’s legit. I have verified where she teaches and communicated with her directly. You can help her, and most importantly, her ...

Now accepting Bitcoin, Litecoin donations

JISHOU, HUNAN — A growing number of merchants, including most recently TigerDirect, are now taking Bitcoin payments. So, now so am I. If you look in the right hand sidebar, you’ll see two little widgets: one for Bitcoin (the gold-colored one) and one for Litecoin (the silver-colored one). Clicking on either one will reveal my public wallet address and QR code, which you can use to send donations to help support this site. Any donation, no matter how small, will be gratefully accepted. The widget comes courtesy of Coinwidget. You can visit their site to get your own widget. I’ve still got a wait-and-see attitude toward Bitcoin and the many crypto-currencies it has inspired. Its value against the dollar and euro has settled down around $800/€600 these last few weeks, so it seems to heading toward some kind of stability. In addition, several online merchants, including TigerDirect and Overstock.com, are now accepting Bitcoins as a payment option. ATMs in Hong Kong and elsewhere are doing a brisk business, and the Chinese continue to buy Bitcoins at a phenomenal rate. You visit fiatleak.com to see a realtime graphic showing the flow of Bitcoins into major national markets. Most of the flow ...

Bitcoin update 2: I was wrong, my shirt got bigger 1

JISHOU, HUNAN — My last post got it wrong. My Bitcoin shirt did not shrink. It stretched. I took time today to do a proper accounting of my Bitcoin and related activity. I am ahead of my initial investment by about 18%, or about $50! Frankly, I’m a bit surprised, since Bitcoin values against the dollar are a little lower than they were when I first bought in last month. One of my strategies has been to diversify. Bitcoin is not the only crypto-currency. It gets the most press, and has the largest value against national currencies, but there are other altcoins available, too. My Bitcoin assets are about $115. In addition, I have smaller holdings in Peercoin (PPC), Namecoin (NMC), Litecoin (LTC), Devcoin (DVC) and iXcoin (IXC). These all trade separately from Bitcoin. The last two count for very little at this point, with dollar values measured in pennies to the altcoin. They’re like the penny stocks of the altcoin world. In addition, I have counted my portion of a mining system at cex.io as an asset. While it is an expense (I had to buy it), it’s also easily sold as a commodity at cex.io at market prices. ...

Bitcoiners’ dubious sense of economic history 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — Banks are all evil, right? Especially the Federal Reserve Bank, which if you believe Sen. Ron Paul (R-TX), is unconstitutional and shouldn’t even exist. And governments shouldn’t control currency, because … free markets! That’s pretty much the reasoning behind bitcoin and its various clones. Although I have playing with bitcoin and other crypto-currencies for the last month, I don’t totally buy into the philosophy behind their creation. For one thing, bitcoin fans don’t know their economic and political history too well. Here’s a tip, guys. It’s important to get your history straight before you introduce a whole new currency to replace something that’s been used for centuries. Maybe I’ve put the cart before the horse, but only now have I had the time to review the rationale for introducing bitcoin and its offshoots. Quite simply, I am not impressed. The wiki for Devcoin, an offshoot of bitcoin, links to this so-called “History of Money,” which contains this reference to Colonial Scrip (paper money) and Parliament’s regulation of it. In Response the world’s most powerful independent bank [The Bank of England] used its influence on the British parliament to press for the passing of the Currency Act of ...
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