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Bitcoin Millionaires Become Investing Angels

Early investors in Bitcoin got rich. Now they are the cryptocurrency’s most powerful gatekeepers.

Every time you spend bitcoins to buy a drink at Evr, a swanky bar in midtown Manhattan that accepts the digital currency, you make its co-owner, Charlie Shrem, just a little bit richer.

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Bitcoin isn't PRISM-proof

In the aftermath of the revelation of PRISM, the NSA spying program that collects user data from nine major U.S. tech companies, many have highlighted alternate options from organizations that are not known to be cooperating with government surveillance efforts.

Among those alternatives, Bitcoin has been pegged as a more private payment option. At Prism-Break.org, which lists alternatives to all the services that fall under the PRISM umbrella, Bitcoin is the only listed alternative to online payment services, such as PayPal and Google Wallet.

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Bitcoin tax time?

The U.S. Government Accountability Office’s new report on the tax implications of virtual currencies is definitely the GAO’s most cyberpunk moment to date. The report name-checks “World of Warcraft,” “Second Life” and, of course, Bitcoin. Yes, that’s right, the U.S. government is pondering how the IRS should deal with MMORGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games).

Don’t worry — if you’ve got piles of gold accumulating in your “WoW” account, you don’t need to declare it. Although, if you find a way to sell that gold to some other party in exchange for legal tender, that’s a different story. That’s income, and it’s probably taxable.

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The True Value of Bitcoin

I’m often asked what a bitcoin is worth right now, referring to the price in fiat currency a unit is valued at, and I usually respond that I don’t know and I don’t care. The true value of bitcoin as a system, and therefore of a single bitcoin or fraction thereof, is currently immeasurable. This is generally met with skepticism, as if I’m playing a semantic game. And perhaps I am to some degree. But it’s really not quite so simple as saying “$91.92 USD.”

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