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Cryptocurrency You Can Mine on a Laptop

James from the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe wanted to mine a coin. He heard about it, did some research, downloaded the client, and put it to work. In one day, he was able to mine 4 coins! They’re worth about 3 cents each right now, but who knows? They’re not on any exchange right now. Sh*tcoin? Could be. I know almost nothing about it, but the point isn’t the coin. The point of this video is that mining can be easy. You can do it. Watch this 3 minute video:

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Meetups Staff Thoughts

Bitcoin for Organizations: One Vault, Many Keys

Steven Zeiler of Anypay.Global led an awesome group activity last night at the Satoshi Nakamoto Lecture Hall. The topic was multi-signature wallets: how to create them and how to spend from them. The lecture was 60 minutes long and was followed by another 60 minutes of hands-on application. Everyone left with the ability to lock up funds in a unique new type of digital vault: one where the contents can be known at all times, but whose contents can’t be spent without permission from a number of agreeing parties.

“Multi-sig” wallets are also called “M-of-N” wallets. That’s because the creator can specify each of the variables for M (number of keys required to unlock the vault) and N (total number of keys to the vault). A 5-of-7 wallet, for example, would be a wallet that contains 7 keys, of which 5 are required to spend funds.

Where is this applicable?

Say you have a charity organization of 7 people. You raise donations in Bitcoin. If you use a traditional wallet (with 1 private key), you have a problem. Anyone who wants to spend the organization’s money needs the private key. If you’re all sharing the same key, there’s no way to prevent one person from running away with all the money — and there would be no way to tell who did it.

This is a perfect scenario for a multi-sig wallet. Your organization could raise funds in a wallet that requires several of you to sign off on a transaction before funds are sent. Maybe you want to allow majority rule and make it a 4-of-7 wallet, so that even if others disagree on an expenditure, they can be outvoted. Or perhaps you want total consent before any funds are spent. In that case you could create a 7-of-7 wallet. Or maybe you just want anyone in the group to have the ability to spend the money, and you just want to all share access to the same wallet. In that case you can create a 1-of-7 wallet.

Multi-sig wallet addresses are an example of something called “pay-to-script hashes”. These are essentially little bits of code that the bitcoin network has special instructions on how to read. The code is then processed through an algorithm (hashed), and the output is a unique style of public address. You can recognize pay-to-script hashes by the first digit. BTC pay-to-script hashes begin with a 3 (standard BTC addresses begin with a 1). DASH pay-to-script hashes begin with a 7 (standard DASH addresses begin with an X). Look for this next time you make a payment — you’ll see it everywhere. Every time you use Shapeshift, you’re using a pay-to-script hash.

We learned several ways to sign the transactions securely with various degrees of privacy. To try it for yourself, attend the next lecture on this subject by joining the Portsmouth Bitcoin Network on Meetup.com.

Here are some pictures from the lecture:

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CNN Covers Free State Bitcoin Shoppe, DASH in Portsmouth New Hampshire aka Bitcoin Village

I still can’t believe it. I just watched this video by CNN about a New Hampshire man who is able to live his entire life on cryptocurrency. I’ve come close, but he’s got even me beat. Truly an impressive feat. To learn his secret, watch this video:

Amazing, Joël. Brilliantly done. You are welcome at the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe anytime! To level up your crypto game, attend the next Portsmouth Bitcoin Network meet up. Or if you’re super-serious, enroll in the Blockchain Institute of Technology.

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Enigma Machine at the Bitcoin Shoppe

Today the Shoppe received 4 enigma machines. Back in the day, these devices helped soldiers communicate with each other over long distances on open telegraph wires while concealing their messages.  Now they can secure your cryptocurrency.

But how do they work? James gives a quick demo by encrypting and decrypting the word “BITCOIN”:

Pick one up for yourself and show it off to your friends and family. Use it to encrypt your plain-text private seeds to make them unreadable by thieves. Write messages to your kids and teach them about the history of encryption and how far we’ve come — we now have encrypted money!

Join us for the next Portsmouth Bitcoin Meetup this Friday April 6, to learn how to cryptographically secure your bitcoins with a multi-signature wallet. Why would you want to do that? Answer: So that you can share your crypto with a handful of people (say, in an organization) while making it mathematically impossible for any one person to run away with the money. You can use advanced cryptography to produce a bitcoin wallet that requires more than one person to sign off on a transaction before funds can be spent. Pretty awesome. The lecture is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7, lecture starts at 7:30. RSVP here.

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Meetups Staff Thoughts

Running a Monero Node and Mobile Wallet

Steven Zeiler presented an advanced hands-on lecture at BIT walking attendees through the steps of setting up their own Monero node and remotely connecting to a node from their mobile wallet. After one short hour, we were all passing around Monero from our computers to our phones just as easily as we would send bitcoin.

The advantage to using Monero is privacy. Bitcoin addresses are trackable by anyone. The blockchain stores the addresses involved with each transaction as well as the amount of each transaction. With Monero, transactions can be logged, but the amount sent is unknown. Even if a bad guy got a hold of your public address, he couldn’t see how much Monero was in there. The wallet we used was Monerujo and the full node software we used was the official client.

If you live in the Portsmouth area, join the Portsmouth Bitcoin Network so you get notifications about these meetups weeks before they happen.

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Meetups Staff Thoughts

Boston Bitcoin Cash Meetup Crashes the Portsmouth Dash Party

Of course. Where else would Bostonians who love bitcoin meet up? There are only 15 retail shops and restaurants that accept the digital currency as payment. Welcome to the Free State. Bring your cryptocurrency, and keep your Federal Reserve Notes in the fireplace where they belong.

The event was organized by the Bitcoin Cash Meetup group of Boston. They usually meet in Boston, but after a recent visit to Portsmouth (aka “Bitcoin Village”) by one of their organizers, the group decided to take the trip north an hour to visit Liar’s Bench, a popular brewery that accepts Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Bitcoin Core.

The thing is — they didn’t take bitcoin cash until the meetup was scheduled. Only once customers arranged an outing to spend BCH did the business owner feel any impetus to accept *another* cryptocurrency. They already take Dash and Bitcoin Core — what’s this new bitcoin?? Well, by the end of the evening, Liar’s Bench accepted Bitcoin Cash.

It was great. Most people used the Bitcoin.com wallet. At the end of the night, there was a line of 5 people paying their tab with their smartphones. It was a sight to behold. Fortunately, I grabbed some video so you can see for yourself here.

Oh and of course they use Anypay.

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Drag Show Sponsored by Bitcoin Cash, Really

Yep, you read that right. A drag show in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (aka “Bitcoin Village“) put on a performance that was paid for in part by a donation in Bitcoin Cash. This isn’t the first cross-dressing performance sponsored with the popular digital currency — that title belongs to the Mad Men of Oopsy Daisy of the Seacoast Repertory Theatre. But this DOES mark the first bitcoin performance at its competitor, 3S Artspace. The generous donation to the event inspired the 3S Artspace directors to accept the popular digital currencies for all performance tickets! You can now pay for your next show with Bitcoin Cash, Dash, or Bitcoin Core. (“Bunny and the Fox” will be presenting 3 more drag shows over the next 3 months, the first of which is on 4-20. Do the math.)

Like the other two-dozen places in Bitcoin Village that take cryptocurrency, 3S Artspace uses Anypay — Portsmouth’s own free point-of-sale app that works on every tablet, desktop, or mobile device. It allows any merchant to accept multiple cryptocurrencies from the same easy-to-use terminal, without any extra hardware. Here’s Steven Zeiler giving a demo on a standard iPad and Square stand:

 

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Meetups Staff Thoughts

Lecture: How To Protect Yourself from Hacking

Members of the public attended an open lecture at the Blockchain Institute of Technology (BIT) yesterday on the topic: Protecting Your Digital Assets. The presentation was arranged by Billy Leibundgut, the co-founder of the University of New Hampshire Cryptocurrency Club and the General Manager of the Bitcoin Shoppe in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He has helped hundreds, if not thousands of people level up their digital security through his work. Yesterday, he shared that knowledge with the Portsmouth Bitcoin Network, a Meetup.com group open to people of all ages and skill levels. Everyone, no matter how advanced, left with a deeper understanding of what vulnerabilities lurk behind our keyboards and mobile devices — and how we can better protect ourselves. The presentation is the second to took place in the Satoshi Nakamoto Lecture Hall. The first was a lesson by software developer Steven Zeiler on the topic: Spending Bitcoin on Amazon, Expedia, and CheapAir.

Last night’s event was catered by Fezziwig’s Food and Fountain, the number-one cryptocurrency-friendly restaurant in the Bridge District of Bitcoin Village. After the talk, some attendees stayed to chat in the Hal Finney Lounge. The next open lecture at the BIT is scheduled for Friday, April 6 at 7pm. The topic is Securing Cryptocurrency with Multi-signature Wallets. Steven Zeiler will present in the Satoshi Nakamoto Lecture Hall. Space is limited. Please RSVP here. Light refreshments will be catered by our friends at Fezziwig’s.

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Meetups Staff Thoughts

Bitcoin Meetup: BIT Lecture on Wallets, Digital Security

Billy Leibundgut, co-founder of the Cryptocurrency Club at the University of New Hampshire (“UNH Crypto“), presents a valuable primer on wallets and digital security in the form of an open lecture at the Blockchain Institute of Technology (BIT) on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 7pm EST. RSVP as “Going” on Meetup or Facebook.

This is the first meetup scheduled at the BIT, another crypto space in the internet-famous “Bitcoin Village” of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Until this Friday, Portsmouth’s meetups, like most others around the world, took place at restaurants — great places for large groups of strangers to gather and talk, but less-than-ideal for in-depth, hands-on learning. This meetup affords attendees an opportunity to go from “zero-to-one” with bitcoin: Get your first bitcoin wallet, load it with some coins, and lock it up securely. Even longtime bitcoin pros will learn something from the many crypto-advanced traders and programmers in attendance.

Know what to expect before walking in. Read about past events here. Light refreshments served at 6:30pm

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Meetups Staff Thoughts

Another Victory for STREETZA – Leaders in Cryptocurrency Cuisine!

This week’s bitcoin meetup was awesome. Street’za is perfect for the occasion. 8 Seacoasters gathered to talk bitcoin, litecoin, cardano, and decentraland! 3 people who showed up for their first time came to get info about cryptocurrencies. They each installed an app called Dash Wallet onto their phones and left with cryptocurrency in their back pockets.

The staff was especially accommodating and kindly separated all of our checks (I know what a hassle that can be). The best part is: this allowed everyone to pay their bill with dash.

I learned about the latest with Decentraland: people can now claim their stake of land by converting the coin, called “Manna” into land on the platform’s 3-dimensional universe. Decentraland is the first and only ICO in which I tried to participate. Sitting curled tightly over my laptop, finger hovering over the trackpad ready to tap with fury the second the ICO went live, and — What’s this? — It’s over?

I didn’t make the land-grab in time. In 39 seconds, a group of people raised 86,260 ETH (approximately 25 million USD). And I had missed it. I tried, but I didn’t get to be part of the launch. The story is more complicated and worth looking into, but I just shrugged and moved on.

The guy who told me about it at one of these meetups months ago successfully got his manna and told me he had “converted it to land”! He said he claimed somewhere out in the boonies, but I think owning any land on a blockchain-based virtual reality platform is such an impressive expression of human imagination and engineering to own property anywhere on this digital new “Second Life”. The next meetup is at Dos Amigos in Portsmouth, Thursday, Jan 18. Please RSVP here so that we can save a seat for you! It’s an important part of these meetups to be good  cryptocurrency ambassadors, so we always pay with cash or cryptocurrency. No cards. And bring a tip for the establishment for letting us crowd their space for a little while.