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BitCoins – Help You Buy Anything, From Domain Names To LSD

Morgan Linton today commented on the announcement by NameCheap.com that they are now accepting BitCoin as a form of payment for domain names. It comes fresh on the heels of the news that BitCoin hit an all time high against the US dollar of $32 per unit five or so days ago.

And indeed, you can now register domain names at NameCheap.com and pay for them with your BitCoin. Sites like Reddit, WordPress.com, and Mega.com have all adopted Bitcoin payments for goods, too.

What is BitCoin anyways?

From WikiPedia:

Bitcoin (sign: BTC) is a decentralized digital currency based on an open-source, peer-to-peer internet protocol. It was introduced by a pseudonymous developer named Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.

As of March 2013, the monetary base of bitcoin is valued at over 360 million US dollars.

It is interesting to observe this evolution of the BitCoin currency. From being a part of the alternative web culture and almost synonymous with anarchist views of how the web should be run, to becoming almost mainstream, allowing transactions in tangible goods and being accepted by reputable vendors as a legitimate form of payment.

In 2011 I heard about BitCoins from an article on Gawker about the Silk Road – an underground web marketplace featuring such illicit wares as LSD, Afghan hash and acid, available for purchase anonymously with the aid of BitCoin payments. Silk Road was so underground, it was only accessible via an address so obscure it was made to be forgotten: http://ianxz6zefk72ulzz.onion/index.php. Before you go clicking on the link note that the link doesn’t work. It only works when accessed through the anonymous network TOR, and requires technical skill to be configured apparently. Silk Road encourages its sellers to “creatively disguise their shipments and vacuum seal any drugs that could be detected through smell.”

Bitcoins have gone from being called a “crypto-currency, the online equivalent of a brown paper bag of cash” to being used to purchase domain names and other legit goods within 4 years of caming into existence in 2009. Will we be using BitCoins to pay for our bills online soon?

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