Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, JP Morgenthal

Blog Feed Post

Cloud Currency: Bitcoin & the Rush to Fill Your Cyber-Wallet

Bitcoin global currency

Hm, where to get a drink? For those with Bitcoin, the Pembury Tavern could be the obvious choice. Why? Well, Bitcoin is on the tip of many Internet and finance-savvy tongues – as well as many not so savvy ones – so a bar is sure to get noticed by the press when it says it’ll take the alternative online currency (as indicated by its appearance in The Telegraph in an article about the topic).

Bitcoin has revolutionized the worldwide reception of online currency. It’s a major victory for a concept previously unknown or regarded as highly questionable.

Now the question is this: Is turning your money into Bitcoin really a good idea? The question must be asked as to the real value of an invented cryptocurrency (a cyber-currency built and identified using cryptographic algorithms).

Holes in Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is quickly becoming a household term. It has been around since 2009, but it certainly seems to be trending skyward. People shouldn’t be completely sold on an unproven virtual dollar. The market is incredibly volatile. It seems to invite fraud and may not always have the code sophistication or identity parameters to fight it.

Both those points were proven a few days ago, when  the Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox announced it had found a bug that makes fraud possible. The loophole in the code allowed users to perform transaction malleability, making it seem like a transaction to a Bitcoin wallet did not occur when it actually did.

Unlike the US dollar, the Japanese yen or the British pound, Bitcoin does not have a track record and does not exist except as a virtual computer file. To be fair, any currency, commodity, stock, entire industry or economy is susceptible to manipulation or bad press. Take the US dollar’s volatility during the debt ceiling battle in October or the global real estate and finance markets. Everything is susceptible to failure.

The Rise of Bitcoin

Bitcoin gains steam

Regardless of setbacks, Bitcoin is riding high – and its prominence seems to be steadily growing over time. Digital currency like Bitcoin is now accepted by several restaurants and other brick-and-mortar locations. Reddit accepts it. So does WordPress.

Bitcoin is popular because it functions as cash – based on its current value vs. the dollar – but the buyer isn’t identifiable. There are no fees. Funds simply switch from one account to another within the Bitcoin peer-to-peer (P2P) network (i.e., one in which all devices bear an equivalent amount of responsibility for processing data). Bitcoin cannot be stolen or go missing and there’s less chance of identity theft than there is when alternatives such as credit and debit cards are for purchasing.

History and the Parameters of Bitcoin

Bitcoin was unveiled by an unidentified hacker – possibly multiple hackers – five years ago, under the assumed name Satoshi Nakamoto. The online user posted a conceptual framework on the new currency, including a description and general reasoning for its existence. Open source software was made available, but the Nakamoto figure has never resurfaced.

Like some other open source software, no one person or group is in control of Bitcoin. The virtual currency in the hands of those who own it, exchange it and run its software. It remains to be seen whether handling a currency that has no executive controllers is wise.

The model is attractive to those in the open source and hacker communities. It is also of interest to libertarians and others who distrust governmental regulations and prefer a system designed by and for the people. Bitcoin is not just a niche idea anymore, though. It has become more universally attractive as investors and everyday people seek safe havens for their earnings in an increasingly unsure global financial environment.

Bitcoin Alternatives

Business Insider took note of Bitcoin in November 2013, when its value (whether inflated or not) had risen to over $1000 per coin. The magazine explored alternatives to bitcoin, which are manifold. Here are three of them:

Litecoin

Litecoin exploded onto the scene in 2013. Also rooted in open source, cryptographic formulas and exchanged in a peer-to-peer manner, Litecoin gets its name for obvious reasons: it does not require the same computing power for transactions as does Bitcoin. Rather, standard PCs can be used for Litecoin transactions.

Namecoin

Another cryptocurrency founded in the open source community, Namecoin functions within its own domain name system (DNS). Because Namecoin does not exist within the standard DNS controlled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), it is its own animal. Namecoin is free of the constraints of websites operated within the ICANN system. However, Namecoin is not a darknet because its users are not anonymous, at least not with regards to their historical behavior within the network.

Peercoin

Peercoin is P2P currency built to address some of the problems critics have cited with Bitcoin: lack of security, lack of protections against fraud and inefficiency in its algorithmic framework.

Is Bitcoin a Scam?

In 2011, Tim Fernholz argued in Good that Bitcoin is a scam. Why? Here are his four basic arguments:

  1. It’s not secure. Shortly prior to Fernholz’s article, numerous Bitcoin accounts were targeted by hackers. One user had almost $400,000 worth of bitcoins stolen. With Mt Gox’s recent revelation, security still seems to be a major flaw.

  2. It’s not a better way to pay. Now, here’s one thing that seems to be changing rapidly. Fernholz argues that Bitcoin is not preferable to credit cards: it doesn’t represent anonymity because even if you’re using strong privacy mechanisms, “Internet forensics could likely track you down” if you purchase something illegal.

  3. Trust isn’t great. Currencies work when people recognize them as legitimate and use them frequently. Again, this is changing rapidly, but Bitcoin will work only if it is widely accepted and trusted.

  4. Processing power wins. Bitcoin is based fundamentally on computing power: the growth of the network determines its fairness and balance. At the time of the Good piece one collective called Deepbit.net processed a third of all Bitcoin transactions. Popularity of specific mining collectives remains an issue in 2014.

At Solar VPS, we specialize in Cloud VPS and certainly want to see developers and the online community become stronger and engage in new forms of interaction. Bitcoin and other open source currencies are a fascinating idea and may end up altering our financial world for the better, but the cryptographic currency market should be viewed with a heavy dose of skepticism.

By Kent Roberts

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Solar VPS

Solar VPS lives the Parallels "Optimized Computing" vision. It has created a virtual infrastructure from client offerings, data facilities and management offices. Solar VPS works very closely with Parallels to provide the highest possible service and support to customers.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.