So I am going off to college this year and thought it would be really cool and fun to get Bitcoin going in the town that I am going to school in (Burlington Vermont). My first goal is to get the government of Vermont to allow a Bitcoin atm in Burlington. There was an earlier attempt to get a Bitcoin atm, but unfortunately the government of Vermont put an end to it. I was told that they were worried about taxes being paid, so getting the government to allow Bitcoin atms should be one of the first goals. Eventually if that obstacle is overcome I plan on reaching out to local businesses and explain to them the benefits of Bitcoin (which they hopefully decide to use). Then a Bitcoin atm could be installed in a business to make Bitcoin a more accessible service. This is my current plan, for one of my college projects.
So very recently I got a One Plus One phone. But what is a smart phone doing on a Bitcoin and security blog? Well I like to write a lot about disruptive technologies, and the One Plus One is very disruptive. There are a lot of reviews about the phone so I wont go into great detail about the phone, instead I’ll share my thoughts about it. The hardware in the phone is great, and is on par and if not better than a Samsung Galaxy S5. I really enjoy using it and I love how I only paid 300$ for a phone that is comparable to an expensive flagships. I know I made a good choice buying the phone as almost everything about it is perfect for a smart phone and the price it sells at. The only problems that I have with the phone are not the worst and can easily be fixed. My largest issue with the phone is dealing with customer support. For example I seem to have been experiencing battery issues, which I hopefully fixed. My problem is that I was getting bounced around from agent to agent, and sometimes it would appear they would not read the previous threads. One agent told me to flash an update, which would install a new ROM (think of it as an operating system) onto my device to fix a touchscreen problem. But if the agent read the previous email they would have noticed that the I fixed the problem and was trying to fix another problem. This sounds somewhat nit picky but if this phone is your only mobile device, you cant have any problems that get in your way of phone working. So far I the forums community has helped me much more than actual customer support, so the same end result was achieved and sometimes faster. That is one of the parts I love about the phone, the phone was partly designed for people to mess around with and there are so many different ROMS you can put onto your One Plus One to make it just the way you like it. This customization “feature” is one of my favorite parts of the One Plus One and very few phones can offer you the same level of customization/flexibility. If anyone is in search of a new phone, take a look at the One Plus One, it’s a great phone at a great price. WARNING – there are a few bugs with that are currently being fixed and customer support can be painful to deal with at times. If you don’t mind putting up with a less than average customer support at the price of a 300$ flagship killer than go onto the website and buy a phone (or wait until the One Plus 2 comes out).
- Low price
- Great customization
- Flashing and rooting does not void warranty *
- Comparable to other flagship smart phones
- Great community that is very helpful
- Touchscreen issue out of the box
- Android battery drain bug
- Less than average customer support
- Many users report all sorts of different issues
- I have experienced a touch screen bug (fixed for me)
- Battery drain – currently fixing/not sure if it’s the normal battery
For anyone who has been dying to get access to Protonmail, a super secure email service with privacy in mind. Now for a limited time you can, there are a limited number of allowed new users so sign up now. On a side note, there will be a new review coming up soon. Think of it as a surprise, it is not something I usually write about but its been making a few waves in the tech industry.
Facebook not lets you receive encrypted email messages, just add your PGP key to your Facebook profile. This is a good step in the right direction for making the internet a more secure place. But my main concern is not many people use PGP, so I doubt that a lot of people will make use of this feature. Of all the people I have met, one or two people have given PGP a go and they do not use apart from the occasional encrypted message.
Fiat Leak – Is a real-time map of Bitcoin transactions that happen in the real-time. I left it running for a while and was surprised to see that the most transactions didn’t occur in the US.
Cryptosteel’s crowdfunding campaign is now live at Indiegogo! Lets get this project funded!
With Mycelium Gear you can now process Bitcoin payments without the need for a middleman. This is great for anyone who wants to use accept Bitcoin on their website but wants to save as much money as they can and not pay any fees to middlemen. I switched my website’s donation button over to Gear because I don’t want to pay a (small) fee to a payment processor. With Gear, the Bitcoins go directly to a wallet under your control, instead of a third parties service. For example, my PayPal account is frozen until I provide more evidence about who I am. I cannot withdraw money from the account even thought its MY money. With Gear, my money is really my money.
There are many benefits to using Bitcoin, one of them is that some merchants offer discounts if you pay in Bitcoin. This is because with Bitcoin, there are miniscule fees for sending money, and its also a lot faster and secure. For many merchants it is easier to use Bitcoin because they don’t have to pay a fee for every transaction and its quicker. As using Bitcoin is easier, safer and cheaper than using a credit card, many merchants offer discounts if you pay with Bitcoin. Bitdeals makes it easy to find deals for places that accept Bitcoin. As more companies accept Bitcoin, the list at Bitdeals will grow. Hopefully Bitcoin becomes the regular currency of the U.S and even the world.
Circle is a great way to purchase Bitcoin, my prefered service because its quick and easy to use. Recently they have added a new feature that lets you store USD in your Circle account. If you want you don’t even have to turn USD into Bitcoin. If you want to, you can keep your money in USD and use Circle as a efficient and secure system of transferring money. All of your money is insured so even if someone hacked your account, you wont lose any money.
I love this new feature and can’t wait for it to roll out to my account. Now I essentially have an ultra secure bank account without any fees. Because money is sent as Bitcoin not USD, there are no horrible waiting times to deal with. And if someone does not want to deal with Bitcoin, they can keep it in their account as USD without having to worry about the fluctuation of the price. The team behind Circle is really doing a great job, it makes me wonder what other plans they have. I cant wait to find out!