I've thought about how awesome it would be for Blizzard to accept Bitcoins since mid-2011! I never really saw it as a huge possibility, although Bitcoin as a whole has been surprising me left and right these last few weeks. Being able to pay for a WoW subscription with bitcoins would be incredible. I wouldn't have seen it as a viable option before, although services like BitPay and Coinbase make it incredibly easy to accept bitcoins as payment. Those services also remove concern for short-term volatility.
Bitcoins are just a fancier way of saying 'shares' you don't pay for things with shares, bitcoins aren't a true currency due to that fact, and the fact there is no currency regulation on them. A bitcoin today is worth stupid amounts, but tomorow they could crash in value.
The volatility is a mess right now, although as Bitcoin adoption grows and prospers it should become far more stable. Right now it is admittedly very easy to manipulate. Somebody could drive the Bitstamp price for bitcoins back below $1,000 per with barely over $1.5 million worth of BTC. This doesn't take panic sellers into account either. As Bitcoin grows, though, it would take far more volume to cause a significant shift either way. Also, as I mentioned just earlier in my post, merchants can use services that protect them from short-term fluctuations.
I saw a Wired Article about some homeless guys earning their food that way.
How long ago was that, Blu? People used to be able to simply mine bitcoins and earn a steady amount, although margins are extremely low (if not completely non-existent) with all but the best hardware now.
There are some awesome non-profit groups out there that are accepting Bitcoin donations, though. Sean's Outpost (https://twitter.com/SeansOutpost) is one of the better known non-profits. The bitcoins donated there go directly to feeding the homeless.
Bitcoins are dumb. They're another bandwagon people are jumping on without truly understanding what they are. It's very similar to the .com bubble where people were buying up stocks just because it was a .com with little thought to the business plan.
You could also argue that the Internet wouldn't be quite as well-established without the .com bubble. Cryptocurrencies are starting to see some larger mainstream "adoption", although many holders are nothing more than speculators. Most long-term Bitcoin advocates seem to anticipate several booms and busts along the way, although it's difficult to determine when/if these will occur. Shoot, I didn't think we'd be seeing $300 anytime soon, and was extremely surprised when Bitcoin broke $500. Now it's over $1000!
If you want to compare this to the .com bubble, by the way, I would recommend comparing it to all cryptocurrency as a whole. Some companies (e.g. Amazon, Google, et al.) are even more valuable now than they were before the bubble popped. There are several altcoins out there at the moment. I see Bitcoin and some altcoins ultimately surviving and thriving, but there isn't necessarily room or reason for all these "me-too!"coins to continue growing.
Really don't see Bitcoins sticking around, especially once the gov't starts taxing payment by Bitcoin.
I think Bitcoin has "won" once governments begin taxing it and treating it just like any other asset or currency. This legitimizes it. There was a huge uptick in price after the Senate meetings alone.
Also, bitcoins are subject to tax as-is. People that "invest" in them are still subject to capital gains tax, and merchants are still obligated to pay up sales tax for their transactions. It's not that hard to keep the IRS off your back (this is assuming you're in the US, of course!).
A major advantage of bitcoins is that one can bypass middle companies for regular transactions (cc, paypal, etc)
This is indeed a major
advantage for accepting Bitcoin! Credit card companies (and PayPal, to a somewhat lesser extent) usually get a flat percentage for any transactions conducted. Bitcoin is much cheaper. Not long ago there was a $150 million transaction for something stupidly small, around ~37 cents if I remember correctly. This is why many newer, smaller startups are often thrilled to accept Bitcoin and frequently give discounts or benefits for Bitcoin purchases.
The downside is it's lack of regulation, tax evasion, etc.
This downside is easily avoidable, fortunately. Sales tax should be applied just as it would be with any other payment method, and tax evasion isn't something any company should really need to be concerned about unless they're "forgetting" to apply or submit the proper taxes. In the same vein that Bitcoin can be used for criminal activity, so can the U.S. dollar. Money laundering isn't exactly a new concept.
O for the record, 1 bit coin = 500-900usd. and when you mine one yourself you actualy get 50 of them, so. that would be 45k. and yes, you can transfer it to usd euro etc...
I think your news is a bit slow there. :P One Bitcoin is over $1000 USD at the moment, and when you discover a block while mining you now get 25 BTC instead. The Bitcoin block reward was halved close to this time last year. The next reward halving should occur in late 2016.