15 reasons Geocaching is better than Pokemon Go
Ok – confession time, I do play Pokemon Go and have found that it is quirky and fun. I also play Ingress, so when PG came out, I knew where all the Pokemon Gyms and Pokestops were in our local area (and near work…) so that was quite useful. Before that though, I had been Geocaching and whilst I enjoy Pokemon Go, I have found that caching is better in a number of substantial ways. Let me share them.
1 – GC makes you get out and about
For the last couple of weeks, certain areas have had a vastly increased number of cars parked strategically. Just so they can get close enough to that Gym without leaving the confines of the vehicle. PG players have devised all sorts of ways to hatch their eggs without having to do any real walking. It is true that many more dogs are being walked more often over the past couple of weeks, but geocaching is all about getting out and about.
It is physically impossible to find a logbook and sign same log from the confines of your vehicle. That _is_ part of the fun after all – the hunt. What’s the point when all you have to do is leave the app open on your desk at work and wait for the Pokemon to come to you?
2 – Exploration
Geocaching is all about the adventure and getting out and about. There are many quirky places which I have been to and found purely as a result of Geocaching. Once you have found something once, (with a couple of exceptions) you have found them. The challenge for that cache is over, however you have achieved something and most likely gone somewhere you would not have otherwise.
It is true that some exploration is done with Pokemon Go, but other than a (usually out of date) photo of what might have been near to that Pokestop 4 years ago, there isn’t really anything new about where you would go. Usually local and only where say 3 pokestop areas intersect so you can place some lures…
3 – Education
Geocaching’s premise (other than simply using a multi-billion dollar satellite network to find tupperware containers) also is to take people to interesting places. There are a number of things that I would just simply not have found out about without caching. You can find out about old railway lines and forgotten stations; about lives lost in bushfires or our planets; and of course there are Earthcaches. Earthcaches have a geological lesson attached. They could be all about fossils, or rock types, or how the land was formed and shaped.
So many interesting things to learn and it doesn’t stop there – if there is a topic you know about, or want to know about, then there is probably a cache relating to it. These are real-world useful and interesting information tidbits.
Pokemon Go on the other hand, can not be said to deliver the same level of intellectual stimulation. You might find out that a Jolteon can fry a Flareon nice and easily, but is that really useful in the real world?… I don’t think so either.
4 – Organised, stable and long running.
Geocaching has been running almost 16 years, where Pokemon Go has been running, well, if the servers are up currently, maybe for 5 minutes? Perhaps that’s a little unkind, but you know what I mean I am certain!
Geocaching HQ (where the main Groundspeak offices are) provides a centralised place for all sorts of management. Servers, resolutions and achievements or anything cache related comes from here. HQ is responsive, and did I mention stability yet?
Whilst I am certain that things will get better over time of PG, the Geocaching network is “reality based” rather than “augmented reality based” so its stability is always going to be greater.
5 – You don’t have to be “connected”
Playing Pokemon Go requires an active internet connection so you can download all you need and so the battles can be fought and central servers updated. The challenge of this for the servers is substantial, but even for the end users, ensuring connectivity is maintained can be problematic to say the least.
Geocaching however does not have this limitation to require connectivity to the telecommunications network. Use of a non-connected GPS device where all you have to do is to be able to receive the signals from GPS satellites is all it takes. Exploring the outback and climbing far away mountains in search of adventure is possible for Geocachers. Not so much so for Goers.
6 – Locations are reviewed and sensible
Locating a Geocache can be a tricky thing. That is of course part of the fun, but where you can place them is governed by an extensive set of rules. These rules explain how the game is played and what needs to be done. Rules exist about how far apart each cache must be (1/10 mile / 161 metres) so there is always some distance between points and rules exist about where caches can be placed.
For example, there is a guideline which clearly states not to place caches directly outside schools. People mysteriously loitering outside a school might be misconstrued. There are also reasonability rules regarding the placements when it comes to other places which might be considered less than desirable. Particularly for children…
As the locations for Pokemon Gyms and Pokestops were taken from Ingress, no such control or oversight was initiated. Whilst some stops were thinned out so as to not be crazy (as many Ingress portal locations are) there has been no review of them as to appropriateness for a Pokemon based game.
7 – Geocaching is an all ages activity
Caching is for anyone 5-105 (and probably younger and older respectively!). Anyone can have an account.
Initially, Pokemon Go was only able to be linked to a Gmail account which you cannot have if you’re under 13. My 11yo was devastated. This has since been rectified, but there is now a specific database which Niantic / Google and whoever owns which in the main has the contact details of thousands of young children. Hmmm – nothing is going to go wrong there…
Have you asked your average 50+ individual what a Psyduck is recently? Or a Jolteon? It’s not likely that they will have too much idea, or care that much either. Caching bridges this age barrier and appeals to many. It is not something that has to be done quickly or at any pace – it can be planned and executed without the frenetic finger swiping and tapping required by Pokemon Go.
8 – You get to find _REAL_ stuff
One of the great things about Geocaching is that there is a physical real container at the end of your search. When you get to that 1L cache tucked away and you open it to reveal a trove of goodies – that’s when the fun begins. You can swap materials in and out, perhaps find a gem or something which you’ve never expected. The kids love it too – take away trinkets are memories of a particular caching moment, or even made into travel bugs. Even finding travel bugs or geocoins is a great fun thing to do in and of itself – see where they have come from and help them on their way.
By contrast, the virtual world of Pokemon Go gives you nothing in the real world but a flat phone battery… You might take solace in the occasional random sighting of a Pikachu, and when you catch one, I have seen the happiness and fist pumping joy that gives you, but for what? It has a CP of 25 and you’ll never be able to use it…
9 – It’s not competitive by nature
So which faction are you – Mystic, Valor or Instinct? There are some benefits in terms of the ultimate Legendary Pokemon you may be able to get, and their attributes, but it is all about the competition. Taking over a gym, competing time and time again, fighting with your pocket monsters until they faint or are exhausted. Pokemon is all about the fight. Level up, compete, WIN WIN WIN! Grow that gym prestige! ENOUGH!
Geocaching is a peace loving pastime – it doesn’t have to be competitive, it doesn’t have to be a race. It’s about the journey, the search, the clever hides, the loot and the fun. There’s more than enough adrenalin to go around, and even that DNF you get – that one Eagle Rock cache that you will never find – well, that’s part of the fun too.
There is more than enough conflict in society and the world in general without pseudo reality games taking the fights to the streets as well as the virtual world. It doesn’t have to be this way…
10 – FTFs.
But whilst not being competitive, there are the FTFs – being the First To Find a new geocache when it is published.
There are two reasons this makes Geocaching better than Pokemon Go. First, as I will admit, there is a rush being the first person to write your name on that fresh piece of parchment. Being the first is always a fun thing. Usually it is only in your local area, but even when you DNF on that darn Atsmug cache at 12:30am, trying to be the first can be a lot of fun.
This is also where a great many caching conversations are held – there are always the first ones trying to find the elusive ones, the difficult ones and you can have many people gathered, many teams all searching together at once for that final challenge cache. There are always war stories to share and conversations to be had, and always in a good natured way. Those who have raced against the Bananas will know the challenge all too well, and then the thrill of the fresh logsheet. There is nothing quite like it in Pokemon Go.
The very fact that an FTF opportunity popped up whilst I was writing this piece reminded me of the joy that these can bring. For the record, it was a cypher puzzle, and I got there first! Oh the Joy!
11 – It engages your brain.
Caching is not just about finding things – there are mystery caches which truly engage your cerebral cortex. Make you use your brainpower and challenge you to think outside the box. Other than knowing that you need an Ice Type to fry that Dragonite, there’s not much to know. It’s all just an elaborate system of Paper / Scissors / Rock (Lizard / Spock).
There are caches which require cypher solving, glyph recognition and even ancient writing. There are maths or accounting problems to solve, complex genetic condons and pattern matching. Number systems, fibonacci sequencing and so many more. Puzzle caches can very much provide a challenge to you which engages your brain. Some people like them, some people do prefer just the hide and seek of the traditional cache, but even that takes a little brainpower.
12 – Geocaching is not driven by greed and the desire to get money.
Pokemon Go economics is tricky and convoluted, but at the end of the day you are encouraged to earn pokecoins each day so you can buy things to help you in game. These might be more lures, more lucky eggs, more incense or more poke balls because you just ran out! And it’s not just that this is expensive, the way that the “pricing” is structured is done so as to encourage you to buy more than you would because buying just one lot of 1200 coins is just not enough to get 8 lures for 1250 coins… It’s very cheeky the way it is structured and guess what – it is driven by that greed.
Yes, it cost a lot to set up, and the licensing fees are no doubt substantial, however Pokemon Go is designed by its nature to drain our wallets as much as it does our devices battery.
Geocaching on the other hand can allow you to find so much for relatively so little. Yes, as premium member there is a cost – this is to get access to premium caches, but versus given the world that this opens up is huge, substantial and global.
13 – Value for money
This is a lay down misère. Again, I draw your attention to the Full Pokeshop here on the right. Lets look at 1 year of playing geocaching, with access to millions of geocaches – USD $29.99 which is about AUD $40. For this you could purchase around 3000 pokécoins.
For that you could purchase 16 lures, 8 incense and 25 lucky eggs, or something like that – I’ve never paid them anything (yet), but lets face it – it is not a lot of stuff.
Lures get you 30 minutes of fun on 1 Pokestop so if you’re sitting in a place trying to attract the little blighters, then perhaps you have 2-3 hours of “fun” collecting Pokemon, but then only the ones which are attracted to your level and in that area will come. If you’re in the wrong area, you will get nothing but Pidgeys and Zubats. Not what I would call “value”.
And you’re always encouraged by the system to spend more. Say you buy 1200 Pokecoins. You can only buy one lot of 8 lures, because they’re priced at 680 for eight. Tantalisingly out of reach, so either you go for the 2500 coin package or just suck it up. Even then, if you go for the 2500 coins, then you might be able to get 4 lots of 8 lures – but wait – that’s 2720 coins! So perhaps the next lot up is better – 16 lures – that’s 5440 Pokecoins – just more than the $63 package!!! ARGH I have to get best value for money here – I need to get the top value – 14500 coins – Noooo it just doesn’t work! Getting that pokenomic sweet spot is frustrating to say the least. Give up and go caching – at least there’s no temptation to spend hundreds of dollars in a couple of clicks.
14 – Geocaching is not just a fad
Will Pokemon Go just be a fad? It’s hard to tell, but the early indicators are yes.
We love the nostalgia, and there’s the “new” factor right now, but over time, the gyms are getting fuller of higher level Pokemon as people play and play and play. The likely time to get to level 40 (the highest level you can reach) is likely to take between 6 and 12 months of pretty hard playing.
The hardcore players will keep at it, but you will lose many if not most along the way simply as it is such a rinse and repeat game dynamic. It will most likely be around for the next 2 or 3 years, and a few legendary Pokemon will be added to keep people guessing. It will most likely fizzle after that as the barriers to new entrants will be so high and require such an investment in time and effort so as to be off-putting. This is even now starting to occur – who can be bothered taking on a Level 23 player with a 2088 CP Exeggutor when all you have is a CP 27 Magikarp…
Geocaching has been around for more than 15 years now and once a cache is placed it is usually there for a long period. It needs to be maintained, yes, and this is done by the cache owners regularly. Until the military decide to turn off the GPS satellite network, or a solar EMP knocks them all out, they’re not going anywhere.
15 – Geocaching has no Zubats.
Nothing more to be said really…
When all is said and done…
Geocaching is about people sharing experiences and the fun of discovery with each other. I have made some great new friends through caching, discovered current friends and acquaintances who enjoy caching and even have rekindled long left behind friendships – it is a very small world after all. I have seen a great many amazing places and will see many more in years to come. I have enjoyed creating puzzles and challenges for people and educating them along the way with historical notes and interesting to visit places.
Pokemon Go has been fun so far but is becoming monotonous and repetitive. There are only so many times you can take down the Jolteon across the road before it gets, well, old. I’ll be stuffed if I’m paying any money to that cause.
But, whatever you do, enjoy it. Whilst I certainly believe geocaching is better value, more fun, more educational and overall a much better reason to get outside than Pokemon Go, if the dog gets an extra walk or 20, then that’s a good thing right?
5 reasons to accept Bitcoin
1 – Bitcoin is a currency.
So what is acceptance really? To start with, it means acknowledging the value that Bitcoin intrinsically has. A currency is something that can be used to exchange the value of work between two parties. Historically, this has been able to be represented by anything from bags of salt, to rum, to shells, to gold and other precious metals.
The concept of Barter is not new, however bitcoin introduces a new way to barter, digitally. The blockchain, and the work (aka energy) required to mine bitcoin, provide a foundation for valuing that work, valuing that energy. Indeed, much of the valuation of bitcoin is based in the amount of work and investment in hardware required to mine it. As “The Halving” approaches, the work required to earn each bitcoin will be doubled. The value therefore is more than likely to increase.
So, the first acknowledgement or acceptance which we need to make is that if we have a way of representing work which can be exchanged freely between parties, then we have the basis for a currency. This may seem self evident to some, and indeed with the government of Japan now officially recognising bitcoin as a currency, there are still pockets of resistance.
Australia is an interesting case in point.
The Australian government has recognised that there is value in bitcoin, however the government has chosen here to see it as a commodity rather than a currency. In an effort therefore to try and regulate, the government deemed bitcoin to also have GST applied to it. When this happened in mid 2015, it saw an exodus of technology companies and bitcoin startups relocate overseas to more reasoned jurisdictions. Bitcoin users have in the main thus far been geeks, speculators and libertarians. This userbase is changing however.
2 – Bitcoin is Global
Fiat currency, and it’s vagaries are generally local. Many people wish to recognise that the US dollar is a global currency, however of any of the international work-value exchange mechanisms, this is possibly one of the most flawed. Quantitative easing has seen the US Federal reserve create Trillions of dollars out of thin air in order to support their economy. Absorb that for a moment – out of thin air. No basis of work exchange, just “because they wanted to” and because they needed a way to fool the rest of the world into believing that the was still value in their economy.
Largely, they were successful unfortunately, and most of these funds now sit overseas with the likes of the Chinese government or in IOUs to other third parties…
Bitcoin, whilst it needs to have a Fiat currency equivalency in order to have that work value equivalence, is something that can be independently exchanged between parties wih ease, and speed.
The global nature of the bitcoin network and the blockchain more generally make bitcoin in fact the best way to exchange work value – more so even than fiat currency transfers. There is minimal cost to exchange data between 2 nodes. Where these nodes are physically located is irrelevant – they could be physically adjacent, or at the North and South poles respectively. It just doesn’t matter.
Some would say there problem therefore is that bitcoin doesn’t respect borders. I take this one step further and say that it doesn’t recognise borders because there are, in reality no such things as borders. Any border is an artificial construct of human intervention based on political or historical conquest based actions. Bitcoin doesn’t have any borders. There is a lot society on general could learn from this concept…
3 – bitcoin is transparent
Many bitcoin naysayers (and there are quite a few of them) say that bitcoin is the realm of villains and scoundrels because of the anonymity it provides. To an extent, whilst bitcoin addresses can provide discrete anonymity by refusing to link identifiable personal information pertaining to a party with that address, fundamentally bitcoin is valuable because of its openness and transparency.
Every single bitcoin transaction which has taken place, and which ever will take place, is open and visible to everyone. There is no hiding a bitcoin transaction – no cash under the table so to speak – it is out there.
Like all things technical, it is possible to obfuscate, but it is possible to track as well.
4 – bitcoin is not able to be controlled
This is where some of the real intrinsic value of bitcoin resides. It has a work equivalence value, but it is not able to be physically controlled by old money or big money. This is the very capital – L Libertarian point of view, and it should be said that this has an attraction tom many.
If we take a broader picture look at the concept of “wealth” and “power”, all it really means is that somewhere along the line you have been able to control something or someone and exchange a larger value for that than the individual puts on it themselves. Exploitation is what some would call this, and it has been going on for as long as sentient humans have existed.
We have been convinced that there is value in certain things and that it is desirous to control those things. But what is that value? Really, the value which exists and which we have is based in our health, our ability to work (either physically or mentally, or both), in energy (which enables the former) and in our ability to transfer that energy, and in food and crops, again energy transfer.
Big Money (banks and moneylenders) seeks to control the flow of money and the transfer of fiat currency, playing with the value of work of others and scraping, scraping, scraping to generate their profits. Little if any work or value is really generated by Big Money. They have however found a way to control the mechanism by which the rest of society exchanges work value.
Bitcoin can’t be controlled by them and they can’t scrape scrape scrape, so it is a threat to their existence. I see that as a good thing… it’s the main reason Big Money is trying to suppress Bitcoin.
5 – bitcoin is here for the long haul
But is it really all going to keep working? The answer is yes.
The technology on which the platform has been built is robust, and the deflationary mechanisms which have been built into it will ensure that over time as work value is decreased, Bitcoin value will be increased. We are unlikely to see a complete failure of the planetary network infrastructure any time soon – parts of it perhaps, due to EMP, solar flares or some other catastrophic global disaster, but somewhere the blockchain will survive. It can be rebuilt, and it could even be built into all future computing devices so it exists in and of itself. Perhaps a network of geostationary satellites can be deployed to cover off any planetary disasters – this would indeed perhaps make sense.
As we come to accept that there is a value in having a global, transparent, currency which is independent of greedy vested interests this will indeed become more important. It is only a matter of time before we see this.
So, welcome to the emergence of the fourth type of bitcoin user, the general populace. The geeks, the speculators and the libertarians have had it to themselves thus far – it’s about time we all saw the value in bitcoin and accepted that it is here to stay.
The Barrybot Project
I always like to watch ABC on Monday nights – Mediawatch and Paul Barry are always interesting and when followed by the antics of QandA, there is always some interesting TV.
So on the program on July 6, there was an article describing how Journalists are now able to be replaced by Robots who write more clearly and concisely. This paves the way (possibly) for copyrighters to be left on the unemployment queue… Obviously you can’t replace live reporters, or the weather girl (or guy), but general news articles can be very successfully constructed. By robots.
At the end of the article, The Real Paul Barry was replaced by an animated version. Thus, an opportunity opened up to create a Twitterbot. Thus, The Robot Paul Barry was “born”.
Quickly followed and retweeted by The Real one, it was then up to me to find out quite quickly how to write a twitterbot using the new security protocols etc which Twitter introduced.
So – a couple of hours later, and we have a twitterbot (known now as Barrybot).
V1.0 – Follows, unfollows and tweets
V1.01 – looks as specific random topics which are relevant to Paul Barry
V1.02 (in development) to generate random simulated headline statements, similar to those which The Real Paul Barry might use… Some more research needed.
In any case, the project has allowed me to get an interface to Twitter from a command line or website again along with being able to run a bot on twitter. I think my cat @_firstworldcat might need a helping bot to tweet her meows… We will see.
As we all lie in our beds staring at the ceiling tonight, unable to sleep because of the excitement of receiving our new, shiny Apple Watches, I can’t help but think about one of the Apple Watch’s much talked about features; Apple Pay.
Or perhaps it’s the fact that it hasn’t been talked about almost at all is more concerning.
Our friends on the other side of the big Pacific pond have Apple Pay. http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/ works a treat. You can find out all about how the Apple Pay will enable the future of all transactions and become “Your wallet. Without the wallet”. This is one of the reasons I was going to use the Apple Watch, but Apple has been slow to get banks on board in Australia, and 6 months after the release of the iPhone6, we still don’t have Apple Pay on our phones. Let alone our watches.
Whilst Apple’s equivalent Australian web pages say absolutely nothing and a cursory search of Apple’s Australian content turns up nothing other than passing references in the capability statements of the iPhone6, the media too has failed to pick up on this glaring omission.
Most of the Australian reviews either fail to mention it altogether or mention it in passing. Clearly they are either hoping that as they have not been able to use it in Australia they don’t have an opinion and people will soon forget, or, they have forgotten to remove that from the feature list propaganda that Apple execs provided to them when they got their test products.
Ah marketing. You’ve done it again.
Perhaps Apple are really hoping that the Apple Watch launch will distract people from the fact that this feature has for now been shelved, perhaps to ne’er see the light of day.
Perhaps the gushing, doe-eyed Apple fanboys and girls grinning ecstatically at their wrists as the battery meter glows ever redder will not notice this missing piece of the puzzle.
Perhaps I am completely wrong, and we will wake up tomorrow with all the Apple Pay features fully enabled, ready for “The Watch” to take on the world leaving us ever more tracked and with the ability of Big Tech to yet again sell advertising space, but this time on our wrists.
Perhaps I’ll wait a week before I venture in to and Apple store to see an Apple Watch fashion consultant and open the wallet.
Coinjar Swipe Hands On
Well it finally arrived in the mail tonight – my Coinjar Swipe card. The first impression os a positive one. Standard EFTPOS card and a nice graphic on the front. (Although no pretty hologram…)
Before you ask – yes, I have changed the name etc – feel free to use the image though.
What you need to know
Ok – you need to have a Coinjar account. Once you have this and have the Swipe card account then you can move forward. If you want to know how to get one, go to their website…
There is some “nitty gritty” though.
The Coinjar Swipe is a “traditional” EFTPOS card. Same as the basic cards you get from a bank – no tap-and-go facilities, just a magnetic stripe on the back of the card and a PIN with which to operate it. I am certain that future generations of the card will have the now accepted NFC capabilities, but version 1 of the SWIPE card is about as simple as it gets.
But that’s all it needs to be…
You now have in your hand a card which can convert your Bitcoins to Cash. The card can be used at any ATM within Australia as well to get access to real cash. Not sure about using the card overseas, but time will tell I am certain.
To use the card, simply “Swipe” the card through the standard magnetic reader at your favourite EFTPOS accepting establishment, key in your PIN and voila, you have paid for your goods.
The card can also be used at ATMs throughout the land to get CASH straight from your Coinjar account. Nothing comes for free though…
For full terms and conditions for the Coinjar Swipe card visit https://swipe.coinjar.com/pds.
So what are the catches? There are a few that need to be mentioned.
1 – Transfers
Transfers to your card from your BTC account are limited to $500 per day. For most people this is not an issue, but be aware of it as obviously if you intend to use the card far and wide, this could be an issue…
2 – ATM FEEs
Ah yes – the bane of the fiat currency network: ATM fees… there are some.
When you use the card, fees do apply. Watch these.
The PDS “Part B” which you receive with your card states that the following fees apply:
ATM Cash Withdrawal
- When using ATM not part of radiate network: ATM Owners Fees
- When using a rediATM: $2.00 rediATM Usage Fee
For “Other” transactions (e.g. declined or balance inquiry transaction)
- When using ATM not part of radiate network: ATM Owners Fees
- When using a rediATM: $2.00 rediATM Usage Fee
3 – Time time time.
It can take up to 15 minutes for a transaction from your bitcoin account to appear on your Swipe Card balance. but again, in the grand scheme of things, perhaps this should sit in the “good” section.
4 – Third party involvement.
Coinjar had to engage the assistance of a third party to get the cards up and going. The party here is Emerchants. The company is a holder of your funds. Once the transfer between Coinjar and Emerchants takes place, your funds reside with Emerchants. Whilst this I don’t think is an issue, it is something of which you need to be aware.
Account keeping fees are somewhat concerning as well. There is an “inactivity fee” which essentially is a fee levied against the card account charged on the first day of each month after 180 days of inactivity. This is $4 per month, and so is designed to drain your card account over time if you do not use it. If you do however use the card, it’s not going to be an issue. It’s unclear as to whether there is a “negative” position where if you exhaust the cards funds and then leave it idle for 6 months you will start to be charged fees and this will take the card negative…
Be also aware that if you want to dispute a transaction on the card, then there is a $10 fee involved. Not a deal breaker by any means, but there just the same.
That being said, given that most banks charge $5 per month for the same thing, perhaps it isn’t that bad after all, and of course you will use it.
Beware also that once you transfer from your Bitcoin to your Swipe card you CAN’T GET IT BACK!
There is no provision to transfer from your Swipe Card back to Bitcoin so remember that it is a one way transaction. No going back. Nada. Niet. Nein. Non. Iie. Bù.
Overall impression: thumbs up!
So – how will this work? The same as a standard bank EFTPOS card, but it will leverage your BITCOIN balance.
The best way to think about it is that you now have in your hand a “prepaid EFTPOS card” which can link directly to your Bitcoin account, and pay in up to $500 per day.
Yes there are some limitations, but you just have to live with those, and they are a hell of a lot better than the alternatives.
For anyone wanting to really see the power of Bitcoins and to leverage accessibility and liquidity, then the Coinjar Swipe system is for you. It may eventually also do away with the need for individuals to act as Bitcoin conversion agents, but that seems to be a little way off.
If you can’t access it though, then hey, you can always resort to selling bitcoins for cash…
Want to know more about Bitcoin?
The best way to learn about Bitcoin is to use it. Bitcoin however is not an investment per se, (although it could be) it is a way to transfer work value from one place to another.
It’s an interesting concept to some. Those who understand the current fiat currency system understand the real value of work. I think most people do.
The issue with bitcoin is that it does not have the active liquidity that people need to have in order to use it.
So that needs to change.
The best way to start this therefore is to look at ways to give Bitcoin the liquidity it deserves. One such service which is helping deliver this is Localbitcoin.com.
Localbitcoin.com is an exchange matching service for people who either:
A: Have cash and want to convert it to Bitcoin (for transfer or whatever reason) or
B: Have Bitcoin and want to convert it to cash.
There are also online payment options as well. Bank transfer for Bitcoin / Bitcoin for bank transfer.
Sounds simple enough, but the regulations surrounding money transfer etc are a little tedious to say the least and the ATO is certain to want their cut along the way. No way I say.
If you limit transfers to less than $1000, then there’s no GST implications, as the location of the bitcoin wallet is overseas when the BTC are transferred to you. It’s an import when you buy BTC, or if you want to sell your BTC and get cash, well that’s easy to do too…
So I’ve joined this little experiment to see how we go. You can now Buy Bitcoins with cash in Eltham – just ask me and I’ll help you get organised. If you would like some help setting up a wallet etc then no problems. (My rate is 0.5BTC/h) but I’m happy to look to provide more information. Bitcoin is coming of age and it is worth getting on board.
Set yourself up with a wallet such as a Coinbase wallet (which has a mobile client and many more features!!!) or a computer based wallet such as Electrum. If you can set up a mobile wallet that is most useful for cash transactions… You can even set up a proper full wallet and download all the Bitcoin blocks as well… if you really want to!
Then, once you have a Bitcoin wallet you can put some Bitcoins into it.
Woohoo – now what!?!?
Well – Bitcoin’s greatest current use is for funds transfer. Quick, easy and comparatively cheap, especially for smaller amounts of money. This could be used for an online purchase where you don’t have a credit card or don’t want to pay $25 for an international bank transfer plus the 5% clip they take when they provide the exchange rate… Yes it’s a service but you also have to wait 24-48 hours to get the funds to their destination. Meanwhile, “they” are making interest on the funds transferred around or taking all the <1 cents portions and stockpiling them… Remember Superman 3?
On the other side of the world, a friend in need, a child or really anyone can have those funds available within around 10 minutes (on average). They can then use their wallet at a local Bitcoin ATM or use localbitcoin.com again and find a local exchange agent.
Many online merchants are now also starting to accept bitcoin, and you don’t need a credit check in order to use it – you just use it.
It’s all going to change though – services like Coinbase also now are trialling a directly linked POS card which allows you to transfer your bitcoin directly into a fiat currency equivalent, then use that as you would any other tap and go card. This is real liquidity. Indeed, in the end, these guys may be the death of the localbitcoin exchange system, however until then, it is worth considering getting involved with local bitcoin exchangers.
Do you want to know more? Just ask!