In the current world, currency inflating by 1.2% (someone quoted this from bureau of labor and statistics but it might as well be X for this example). Banks have to increase the interest rates they attach to loans by this amount so that they aren't losing money. For example, $100 loaned for 1 year would only have the buying power of $98.80 so I'd have to charge 1.2% interest just to break even and get paid back $101.20 + markup interest.
In another world, currency deflates by 1.2%. In this world banks simply charge markup interest because the money they are paid back will be worth more than the money they loaned. So, the same $100 loaned for 1 year would have the buying power of $101.20 + markup interest when paid back.
Either way the person taking loan has to come up with 101.2% of the borrowed amount of purchasing power plus markup interest. The only real difference is that in the deflationary world the lender doesn't have to try to measure, predict, and include the rate of deflate/inflate in to the interest.
"Say you loan me 25 bc. Let us assume I earn 1 bitcoins per week, and that amount will buy 5 MacBook Pros. At the end of six months, that amount will buy 10 MacBook Pros, and I am earning only 0.5 btc per week."
That's some pretty extreme deflation let's go with a more realistic and still high rate say 10%. Let's make it a year. So I loan you 25BTC for 10% interest so you have to pay back 27.5 BTC. Let's say you selling MacBook Pros and currently sell 5 MacBook Pros a week (0.50 BTC cost and 0.20 BTC profit each, so
Unless you are talking about a salary of say 1 BTC a week. It isn't like an employer would be able to cut salaries for deflation, they also wouldn't need to increase salaries to offset inflation like they do now, merely for merit. So you'd still make at least 1 BTC a week, it would just buy 10% more goods and services. That works out because your company and everyone elses increased production by at least 10% to cover salaries and pay back debts. That was easy for them to do because their goods and services are flying off the shelf 10% faster because their clients have 10% more to spend on their goods/services and their costs dropped by 10%.
This president will give him 3 hots and a cot.
And he'd be right to do so. Here's the thing people don't get about Snowden: He's not a revolutionary, or a hero. He's a coward. Rosa Parks didn't flee from the bus when the police came for her; She sat right there and waited. When Alabama told Martin Luther King they would arrest him if he marched, he marched anyway, and then got arrested. In fact, if you look at the history of civil rights leaders -- they all went to jail for what they believed in. They did it willingly -- they didn't run from the authorities, they stood right out in the open and said: Come and take me, but your laws are wrong, and you are wrong if you do.
Snowden stole a lot of classified materials from his employer, and then fled the country. And then he released all of it. This wasn't about "exposing" the NSA -- anyone with half a brain realizes that the very definition of a spy agency is that it spies on people. "They were spying on americans!" Yeah, ok, and? "They were spying on the germans!" Yeah, ok, and? It's their job to watch for threats both foreign and domestic. It's right there in their mission statement. Public record.
Snowden's justification for his actions fall short of what a person truly concerned about civil liberties would have done. If I'm going to denounce my government's actions, I want the police to come. I want to be arrested, charged, and put on trial. And then I want a jury of twelve Americans to look me in the eye and say "You did wrong by us." And if I'm really sure this is a matter of human rights... I'm also really sure at least one of those twelve people is going to say: "You're right. The government was wrong."
Snowden is a coward, and 3 hot meals and a cot in a concrete cell is exactly where he needs to be if he really believes what he's shovelling.
I thought PCI Compliance was supposed to take care of that per defining the standards in network security for POS (Point of Sales) systems?
It did. The article's scenario is a lie. Let me ask you how likely it is that, during the busiest day of the year for this retailer, with thousands of people jammed into long lines, in the one place where there are at least two high resolution cameras pointed at each terminal, a single person or group of persons, could plant multiple devices at multiple stores, within a short period of time, and then remove them after, without leaving any photographic or forensic evidence.
Because guys, that's the story that law enforcement, in collusion with the company, has released to the general public. So yes, this is bona fide conspiracy theory. But it's credible because 1. It only takes a small number of people to keep the secret: Target's senior management and information security, and select law enforcement offices. 2. They all have motivations for doing so -- law enforcement is doubtless aware that releasing true details of the crime would (a) expose a weakness in a Fortune 100 company that, besides processing credit card payments, also maintains personal health data at these locations (Pharmacy). The damage to the company, and indeed the country's economy, would be far in excess of the damage to individual creditors accounts. It makes sense to lie about it. And this story doesn't have to hold forever -- in a few months, when everyone has forgotten about it, the truth will emerge in a court filing when they bring the people responsible up on charges.
Now, all that said -- here's the more likely scenario, which is based on my short employment with this corporation: They hacked their wifi. Unfortunately, Target has repeatedly opted to silence, or even fire, people who object to their security policy, so I do not feel bad about making this public. Target is run by morons -- big surprise, it's a large corporation. Anyone who's worked in IT will have similar experiences -- it's hardly just Target. In this case, they allow full access to any server within their corporate network at each retail location, isolated only by primitive subnet routing to delineate what is and isn't allowed through the choke router. And that's it. Once you're logged into the network anywhere, it's a flat network topology and you can easily make contact with any other node on the network. Every store has multiple wifi routers, and while they do change the keys on an regular basis, it's not all the keys, and not on all the routers -- specifically, they use an inventory-management system within the stores (Those bulky "guns" you see the red shirts carrying) which depends on wifi.
There have been breaches to the network in the past through its wireless access points. These are not generally known to the public, but they have happened, and it has resulted in a number of security problems. Besides the customer's credit card data being stored on POS systems which are booted off DHCP to embedded windows, there's also the IP-based cameras. There are an average of 20 or so at each store, and they use an embedded webserver in each of them, which stream to a central source. The password for the approximately 42,000 devices is the same on each, and is not changed often, if ever, because the firmware lacks the ability to change the password programmically; there's no admin console. Besides the fact that many of these cameras have zoom and rotate features, and some have been known to be installed in positions where rotating the view can show the customers in the changing rooms... they're of sufficiently high quality that you can see the PINs people enter at the POS systems. The cash room, where the money is counted down at the end of every shift, is secured, but also has a camera in it. It's not hard to imagine someone with access to the cameras spying on the managers to acquire their passwords. And that's not even the creepy part: Target has installed ANPR-capable cameras in the parking lots. These cameras are continuously scanning the egress points and recording license plates; Ostensibly to deter shoplifting, this data is also correlated to DMV records to determine the zip codes and certain demographic data available; so-called "non-personally identifiable information". There's also some stores with equipment that monitors the location of active cell phones within the store, plotting out how long customers stand at particular locations (a good indicator of successful advertising), and can uniquely identify and track these customers between stores by using their MAC address embedded in their bluetooth-enabled phones.
And everything I have described meets PCI compliance. I suppose you were expecting something more out of government regulation -- peace of mind, maybe? A sense of security? Let's be clear: Those protocols are there to protect the vendors, not you. Financial systems are designed to be tamper evident, not tamper resistant. Everything is audited and recorded, but access to the data streams and transaction records is not well protected.
Credit card fraud is a multi-billion dollar "black" industry. It's all tracked. Every fraudulent transaction is dutifully recorded and then processed. Little is done to stop it because what's a few billion in fraudulent charges amongst a multi trillion dollar ledger? These guys got creative -- they didn't go after the POS systems, they went after the network. Perhaps fortunately for the customers of Target (and indeed, most retailers), they're only interested in data they can flip on the black market quickly -- a few thousand credit card numbers might be worth ten grand. But the health care data and ANPR records, changing room video, etc., is probably subjectively worth more to us than a number on a piece of plastic. It is fortunate that there is no black market for that data as well, or society would have a very big problem on its hands -- one not easily dismissed as "the cost of doing business."
Again, while I have personal experience with Target, I don't mean to pick on them. All large businesses are the same -- too wrapped up in bureaucracy and blind adherence to policy to be either efficient or effective. All large businesses survive not on intelligent and guided actions, but by inertia -- To borrow from Mr. Newton; "a profit in motion stays in motion until acted upon by an outside force." This level of incompetence is very common in the industry. It just isn't talked about publicly -- and most who do are quietly disappeared or put on watch lists. If people knew how vulnerable our informational infrastructure is, they'd probably be loudly demanding reform. In a career that is viewed as a cost center where every budget-saving move is viewed favorably regardless of what it sacrifices, I rather hope they do find out... but I also know that it's not realistic. Afterall, in just this one tiny example, you can see how law enforcement was co-opted to tell a little "white lie" on behalf of profit. How do you think they'd view someone telling the world the barn door's open, the cows are gone, everything's on fire, and the farmer is drunk? -_-
Not sure where this comes in but it wouldn't be with using bitpay... it's crediting to your bank account.
As for whether or not it's worth ones time. There probably aren't enough customers wanting to pay in bitcoin at the moment for it to be. On the other hand, it is trivial to flip it on and costs nothing to maintain. 1% of transactions, no chargebacks, and $0 a month or 0% of transactions, no chargebacks, and $30/mo is better for everyone than any credit card merchant account.
For me it's worth it in the same way it's worth trying to support local businesses. Bitcoin is detached from government meddling, safe from creditors/bankruptcy/divorce, and a handy app on my smartphone that is much more handy than cash or credit cards.
Oh, the novel would be written but nobody could read it because I wouldn't let it out if I thought some asshole would make tons of money from it and I'd get jack shit. Now, if you had a moneyless Star Trek utopia there would be no reason for copyrights or patents.
I went out and cleaned the snow off of the lights and windows and drove off. It was really slick. I cashed a check, drove home and called the cleaning lady. "I'm not making you go out in that," I said. "You get a paid vacation today, I'll give you thirty next week." She works an hour on Saturday mornings. She's been here to clean once and the house is a lot better.
There might be merchant accounts that do this for credit cards but I've yet to see one. They will often initiate a transfer to your bank daily which is exactly what Bitpay does, it converts the Bitcoin to the dollar amount of the transaction in realtime and initiates a bank transfer daily. There is a 1% fee for a free account or no fee for a $30/month account and unlike credit cards there are no charge backs.
Bitpay gives small businesses the option of accepting Bitcoin easily without any risk of being impacted by fluctuation in the speculative market. I can't understand why just about everyone isn't doing this. At 1% with no chargebacks you can accept and promote a new payment option that highly desirable vs credit card and just or more convenient than a credit card. Other than initial setup costs (labor) there is no ongoing cost, just leave a sticker up letting customers know the option is there and don't sweat it if the volume is low. If you have a high enough volume to need to pay the drop to 0% fee offsets it. Cash carries no fees or chargebacks as well but is less convenient for customers and has costs associated with counting/handling/counterfeits so if you do large quantities of currency Bitpay might be more desirable for you than cash as well.
The volume on MT Gox (the actual largest bitcoin exchange in the world, BTC China passed it for only a couple days) is 109225 BTC * the weighted average price of $569.03 that is $62,151,732 extrapolated that is $22,704,027,962.62 a year. If we divide that by the total of Bitcoins that will ever be mined 21 million, we see that Bitcoin should actually be valued at $1081 if no other exchanges existed in the world... including BTC China. Thanks to the FBI we know that at least 10% of that is the Bitcoin based internet drug trade alone and not mere speculative trading. The merchant catalog utilizing Bitpay, Amazon pay gateways, etc indicate a substantial white market trade as well.
So obviously it wasn't the people who bought at $700 before on the first word of the China thing that were morons, it's the people who sold on the news and caused the drop. The market will eventually correct Bitcoin to $1081+