Who You Gonna Believe, Them or Your Lying Eyes …
Do you notice many blue dots above? Of those who have been exposed to Bitcoin over the past year, most weren’t expecting those dots to be there.
Bitcoin received its first burst of publicity from a post on Slashdot nearly a year ago. The chart from Google Trends shows this July, 2010 event. That is the point at which the Bitcoin train left the station.
Some of the comments from the Slashdot community in response to that post include:
The second major Slashdotting showed that this audience of technical people was no more ready for Bitcoin by December, 2010 either: “I just don’t understand how one gets from worthless digi-bits online, to something I can buy groceries with.”
The the third Slashdotting had occurred when Bitcoin first hit parity with the Dollar, in February, 2011. Bitcoin was obviously not going away and by now had reached the “Then they laugh at you” phase:
“…I only accept payments in Beenz or Flooz" was one reply, for instance.
In March, 2011 the fourth Slashdotting yielded some who were slightly more curious: “It’s a nice hobby and probably someone is enjoying programming it" yet a defensive stance was maintained: "I just don’t see it ever gaining traction”.
By the fifth Slashdotting one might think that this decentralized and anonymous digital currency’s growth would start to win over the community. For the most part, that wasn’t happening. The comments do show however that at least some from the community were starting to think through the issues though: "Deflation is a really. really, bad idea" and ”That won’t scale”.
You weren’t supposed to see blue dots today because the blue dots represent individual transactions flowing through the bitcoin network and "they" either didn’t want this day to come or didn’t see how a decentralized currency was such a game changer. They believe the currency is deflationary and as such will remain a novelty and there will not be all these blue dots. Bitcoins are not backed by anything so they believe these digi-bits are “worthless” and thus trading and exchanging for them would be nonsensical. These dots, according to them, simply should not be there.
But look for yourself those dots are there and they represent very real transactions.
Today there are more blue dots than were there yesterday. And yesterday there were more blue dots than were seen for the day before.
The uptake Bitcoin is seeing is not unlike the relatively stealthy track that the web took in its early years until 1995 when Netscape IPO’d and Microsoft’s then-CEO Bill Gates could dismiss the web no more: “The Internet is a tidal wave. It changes the rules" he wrote.
Days ago Jason Calacanis launched a flare alerting his readers and suggesting they begin studying up. ”Bottom line,” he concluded, “the world is going to be turned over by bitcoins”.
Bitcoin is open and universal. It can be called open because it is built with open source software and transacts through an open and transparent protocol. It can be called universal because the currency is identical everywhere — from Kansas to Korea, from Sweden to Sydney. Mass collaboration on Bitcoin is occurring globally.
Do those doubting Bitcoin know what happens when the concepts of open and universal take charge?
There will be plenty of opportunities for the doubters to change their opinion. Perhaps these blue dots tell us way more than these doubters’ words ever will.
Dwolla - $1 Million Per Day Transaction Volume
The leading payment gateway allowing Bitcoiners in the U.S. to move funds to and from Bitcoin exchanges has reached a new milestone. Today Dwolla shared via a blog post that it is now processing $1 million dollars worth of transactions per day.
Dwolla’s CEO Ben Milne (@bpmilne) was interviewed by Silicon Prarie News and in the video of that interview he shares his belief that the products coming out of Dwolla will, in five to ten years, be part of everyone’s daily life. Referring to the next product Dwolla will release he says “I think noone sees this one coming.”
It was little over a month ago that Dwolla announced it had first reached $1 million per week and as the infographic for this post shows, Dwolla’s growth has “hockey sticked”.
With Dwolla being among the least expensive methods for transferring USD funds ($0.25 to send money) and the fact that those transfers are non-reversible (no chargebacks) it is used widely with Bicoin exchanges. When Dwolla’s previous milestone was reached, Milne had commented “I can’t go a day without talking about [virtual currency] or being asked about it”.
There are now at least five market exchanges where Dwolla transfers are accepted:
There also are fixed-rate exchanges accepting Dwolla funds as well. In addition, individual traders in the U.S. using the #bitcoin-otc marketplace and Bitmarket.eu OTC exchanges are mostly fond of Dwolla as well.
When there are complaints they generally are related to the amount of time that passes after Dwolla customers first signup as the underlying ACH transactions take several days to complete. Additionally, funds must be held in a Dwolla account in order to send instantly so even customers with verified accounts are often frustrated waiting on ACH transfers.
Dwolla acknowledges that clearing times for transactions between Dwolla and the banks are too long and it is making progress with a method for resolving this. Banks and credit unions with FiSync will allow transfers to clear instantly or at least on the same day, in many instances. The trials have begun and at least one credit union has gone live with FISync..
Banks do already have same-day transfer wire transfer services however the fees and inconveniences for those mean they are not feasible for use by individual traders and by consumers for transactions. The industry is dabbling with a same-day ACH method but that appears to be gaining little traction.
The aim of these efforts is to provide low cost, non-reversible payments that clear nearly immediately. This is the reason Bitcoin has such a bright future. When bitcoins are transferred, the transaction is instant, funds are available for spending within minutes and the fees for doing so are just a fraction of those charged by Dwolla even.
The ability to transact between bitcoins and funds from banks is crucial to Bitcoin’s success and without Dwolla Bitcoin would not be where it is today. It appears that without Bitcoin, Dwolla would likely not be where they are today either. It is great to see them succeed.
[Update: The list of market exchanges where Dwolla is used was edited to remove one whose Dwolla service is unavailable “at the moment”.]
[Update 2: Mt. Gox processed nearly $7 million in transfers to and from Dwolla in June, according to a forum post by Mt. Gox’s CEO.]
Vitalik Buterin, writer for Bitcoin Magazine (@BitcoinMagazine), describes today’s rally that has taken the Bitcoin BTC/USD exchange rate above its high water mark from 2012. Excerpts:
“Today’s maximum of $15.68 at the time of this writing [is] the highest that the Bitcoin price has been since July 6, 2011.”
“The [network data] figures, which attempt to measure Bitcoin’s actual usage rather than public opinion or interest in the currency as search volume and all market statistics inevitably do, show the same pattern: the values rose during summer 2012, dropped off in the fall, but then began to quickly pick up again in November after WordPress started accepting the currency.”
“The 14-day average is also now as high as it ever was, and may well go even higher.”