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Maybe fixing UTF8

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1 parent cbcfdc3 commit fabd777ed0c77ca03c6d17a9df712fa92cc1e1ca Steve Streza committed Mar 22, 2013
Showing with 8 additions and 3 deletions.
  1. +5 −0 Gemfile
  2. +3 −3 source/_posts/2013-03-22-bitcoin.markdown
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5 Gemfile
@@ -16,3 +16,8 @@ group :development do
end
gem 'sinatra', '~> 1.3.2'
+
+if RUBY_VERSION =~ /1.9/
+ Encoding.default_external = Encoding::UTF_8
+ Encoding.default_internal = Encoding::UTF_8
+end
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6 source/_posts/2013-03-22-bitcoin.markdown
@@ -8,14 +8,14 @@ categories:
In the last few years, an interesting alternative to paper currency has risen in the form of Bitcoin. I started paying attention to Bitcoin two years ago, and have owned some ever since. I've purchased physical and digital goods with it, as well as traded it for cash. It's particularly intriguing to me because it maintains the core properties of economic models while creating a system of inflation guided by encryption algorithms rather than humans. And it's grown in huge popularity over that time, with a net worldwide worth of [over $750 million USD](https://blockchain.info/charts/market-cap) at the time of this writing.
-Many people have asked me about Bitcoin, so here's a basic introduction to what Bitcoin is and how it works.
+Many people have asked me about Bitcoin, so here's a basic introduction to what Bitcoin is and how it works.
*Note: I am neither a lawyer nor an accountant. This should not be construed as legal or financial advice. If you use the information in this post, you agree that it is at your own risk.*
What is Bitcoin?
-
-A currency can be thought of as a limited supply of *something* that can be traded. In the case of the US dollar, that *something* is paper bills and metal coins, each of which has a value to the total limited supply of all money. The limited nature of a currency is where it gets the value; the idea being that we all collectively trust some entity to manage the supply of the currency. In the case of the US dollar, the Federal Reserve manages the supply against the full faith and credit of the United States.
+A currency can be thought of as a limited supply of *something* that can be traded. In the case of the US dollar, that *something* is paper bills and metal coins, each of which has a value to the total limited supply of all money. The limited nature of a currency is where it gets the value; the idea being that we all collectively trust some entity to manage the supply of the currency. In the case of the US dollar, the Federal Reserve manages the supply against the full faith and credit of the United States.
Bitcoin is a type of currency that is managed not by people, but by cryptography. Transferring currency between people involves computing some work and signing it with a public key. Volunteers verify the transactions using really hard math problems. Every few minutes, a small amount of Bitcoins is given randomly to a miner, slowly and steadily inflating the amount of currency in the system and giving incentive for people to verify the transactions. The history of all transactions are publicly available, but the addresses are basically random data, making transactions hard to identify. The result of this is a system where the supply grows at a well-defined rate that everyone can see. It also means transactions are fairly anonymous, verified by others, and irreversible.
@@ -24,7 +24,7 @@ How do you get Bitcoins?
There are two primary ways to get Bitcoins. But before this, you need a program called a [Bitcoin wallet](http://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet), which tracks the Bitcoins you have, and manages your addresses. You can get a Bitcoin wallet for pretty much any desktop OS, for [Android](https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.schildbach.wallet&hl=en), or you can use a hosted site like [Mt. Gox](https://mtgox.com) or [Coinbase](https://coinbase.com/) (though remember, these sites are hosting your money, so take precautions here). Your wallet manages some **extremely sensitive** data, and so you should take care to keep it safe and backed up, or you can lose your Bitcoins forever.
-The easiest way is the same as with any other currency - by receiving them from someone else. To do this, you create an address with your Bitcoin wallet that you can give to others; for example, my address is `19LayHDujXwVpuLv2cqgFFfBFwmegx3Z8s`. You give this address to someone, and they send a certain amount of Bitcoins (or fractions of Bitcoins) to that address. This transaction is submitted into the Internet, where other people verify the transaction to prove that the person actually owns those Bitcoins. Once enough people have verified the transaction, the coins are considered "transferred", and they're yours. There are [several exchanges](https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Category:Exchanges) to trade Bitcoins with others for other currencies (I use Mt. Gox), though there are often times difficulties in transferring US dollars to one of these (as PayPal and the credit card vendors don't let you use them for buying Bitcoins). You can also find people who will trade informally in places like [#bitcoin-otc on Freenode IRC](http://bitcoin-otc.com/).
+The easiest way is the same as with any other currency - by receiving them from someone else. To do this, you create an address with your Bitcoin wallet that you can give to others; for example, my address is `19LayHDujXwVpuLv2cqgFFfBFwmegx3Z8s`. You give this address to someone, and they send a certain amount of Bitcoins (or fractions of Bitcoins) to that address. This transaction is submitted into the Internet, where other people verify the transaction to prove that the person actually owns those Bitcoins. Once enough people have verified the transaction, the coins are considered "transferred", and they're yours. There are [several exchanges](https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Category:Exchanges) to trade Bitcoins with others for other currencies (I use Mt. Gox), though there are often times difficulties in transferring US dollars to one of these (as PayPal and the credit card vendors don't let you use them for buying Bitcoins). You can also find people who will trade informally in places like [#bitcoin-otc on Freenode IRC](http://bitcoin-otc.com/).
The other way is a process called **mining**, which involves running a program (a **miner**) which helps verify transactions on the network. This program verifies other people's transactions by processing really hard math problems. The result of verifying these transactions, however, is the chance for free money. Every few minutes, a new block of Bitcoins is "found" by a miner, and they get to keep them. Additionally, when other people transfer Bitcoins, they can optionally include a "transaction fee", which goes to a miner. One problem with this is that finding Bitcoins is difficult to do, because so many other people are trying to do the same. To mitigate this, many people join a [mining pool](https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Comparison_of_mining_pools), where any Bitcoins found are distributed among the whole pool. Some people go so far as to build custom computers to do Bitcoin mining at scale, and there are [hardware lists](https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison) that talk about how to get the most bang for your buck.

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