German Tax on Silver Bullion Coins to Increase

With only a few days left before VAT (sales tax, “Umsatzsteuer” aka “Mehrwertsteuer”) increases from now 7% to the country’s full 19% standard rate on silver bullion coins showing a face value in an official currency, silver investors are still buying at the outgoing low rate that is continuing to be applicable for food, books and a few other “reduced rate” items. The change is due to be effective from 1 January 2014. Thanks to EU bureaucrats and their manic worldview of regulating as much of people’s life as possible, without any regard for economic reason or anything that matters...

Credit Cards: Over 41% of Total Revenue Going to “Fraud Prevention”

Credit card issuing companies are spending upward of 41% of total revenue every year on — more or less futile anyway — attempts to prevent (or at least limit) credit card fraud. This is a well-known fact throughout the banking and credit card industries. Largely anachronistic money transfer systems such as credit cards but also bank wire transfer technologies, dating from the age of the telegraph but still in use today, prove increasingly unfit for today’ where much more frequently than in pre-internet days some sort of “overseas” aspect is present. Despite the high extra cost thus associated with all “international”...

Apple Pushing a Proprietary Payments System for iOS

Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have removed a number of Bitcoin-related iOS applications from their proprietary online App Store. While in some cases, Apple failed to even give a proper reason for their move, other app developers have received notifications from Apple , Inc. that Bitcoin payment functionality, in a stricter sense, needed to be removed for apps to stay “acceptable” for Apple’s platform. The measure taken by Apple, Inc. has resulted in the extinction of usable payment applications for Bitcoin on Apple iOS devices such as iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Only a few apps that show just Bitcoin wallet balances...

Hidden in Plain Sight: a Truly New Economy, Web 3.0 and Virtual Currencies

With the economic crisis officially declared in 2008, and far from solved despite some conflicting news suggesting otherwise, there has been set in motion a more fundamental process of change with a potential to affect overall economics and world trade as fundamentally as the invention of the Letter of Exchange in medieval Venice or the concept of limited liability in 17th century maritime commerce. The emerging commercial vehicle is an array of virtual currencies. While actually experimented with since the late 1980s in the San Francisco Bay and other local areas, the latest generation of virtual currencies evolving are of...

Why Amazon Marketplace Orders Might Be Dangerous to Your Health

Amazon.com has been all the rage for many years now. Notorious for burning through investor money and venture capital for a period of over ten years, Amazon.com dominates most every consumer market there is, and it has increasingly established itself as The Top Address for online shopping. That this has been achieved largely by killing off any kind of “competition” — and also at a high cost to Main Street, to the overall employment situation, and to small business in general — is not meant to be a matter of concern in this article. Though regrettable, it could also be...

Financial Endgame in Europe Accelerating

Italian banks have been ordered by the Italian government to withhold a 20% “tax” on all inbound wire transfers. This confiscation order is retroactive and put into force from 1 February. Il Sole reports, that “the deductions will be automatic (unless there is a prior request for exclusion), and then it will be up to the taxpayer to prove that the money is not of the nature of compensation ‘income.'” The ruling means that all Italians are now suspected to be money launderers and tax evaders, unless proven innocent. On top of the retroactivity of the executive decree, it is...

Bitcoin Facilitating a New-New Economy

As the European banking and currency crisis unfolds, Bitcoin and the other emerging digital currencies have become a refuge for people fleeing from the euro and striving to protect their assets and savings from confiscation. Many analysts believe that Bitcoin, which facilitates unmediated fund transfers between individuals, poses a potential threat to conventional banking. Bitcoin and other Crypto coins are certainly exposing the weakness of the US dollar as the world’s incumbent reserve currency, as well as all other similarly stricken paper currencies. “Faster and easier than One-Click Buying on Amazon.com”, but actually for unlimited amounts of money. Watch the...

Secure Communications Despite Illegal Surveillance and NSA Over-Colletion

“What is needed is a communications protocol and accompanying software that encrypts messages, masks the sender and receiver of messages from others, and guarantees that the sender of a message cannot be spoofed, without relying on trust and without burdening the user with the details of key management.” An in-depth special report on Bitmessage, a secure P2P-based communications protocol, will be come up here. Please check back or subscribe to receive a notification once this paper is published.

Overstock Boosting Sales with Bitcoin

The first big name retailer in the U. S. to accept crypto currency payments in Bitcoin are Overstock.com. The company announced in late 2013 that all items would soon also be payable using Bitcoin. moving faster than expected, the company signed an agreement with a merchant service provider for clearing services and deployed Bitcoin payments during the last week. Customer response seems to have been overwhelming: within 21 hours, the company had taken 780 online orders from customers paying with Bitcoin. The total sales volume of these orders was $1.24 million. Not bad for one day — and for some...