questionsdo you use or have you ever used bitcoins?

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I have heard about them through a very amusing series of Planet Money podcasts.

I think it's an interesting idea, but overall security is questionable at best. Plus the value is highly variable, not a good thing for currency.

I have not mined them, nor have I bought any, nor have I used any. Dollars seem to work well.

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Yes, I have used them. I used them to purchase a copy a of AnyDVD HD (40% off with bitcoins). It is a bit difficult to wrap my head around, but there are several ways to purchase.

The easiest way (or at least how I did it) was by using Bitinstant: https://www.bitinstant.com/ . But there are other ways as well, Dwolla is another one, but does take a bit.

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I mined them for a few months, but I noticed by rig was not powerful enough to make up for the difference in power consumption.

When the bitcoin value basically imploded was when I stopped. I cashed out and don't plan on going back any time soon.

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I actually know someone that purchased a house, cars, and a small business, all from the bit coins he mined. Of course, the days of getting rich by mining bitcoins have come and gone, but a lot of people made a ton of money on these things.

@lumpthar noted that they are not very secure, which could not be further from the truth. If you know anything about bitcoins, you would know that the way the encryption works is next to impossible to break.

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@dmmutti: Also, the miners themselves contribute to the security! And it is so secure, if you ever lose your bitcoin information, you cannot get it back. Another drawback that made me pensive about the longevity of the currency.

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@dmmutti: It could be that I'm old-fashioned in my thinking. I don't doubt the cryptography is strong.

I am partially referring to some high-profile thefts and the general lack of protection and oversight.

For instance: if The Joker walks into my bank at First Gotham Bank and steals all the money from the vault, the FDIC has my back and I can walk in the next day and get all my money out of there.

If The Riddler is the president of First Gotham Bank, he will be prevented from laundering money and creating Ponzi schemes through First Gotham. If he did, the FDIC would take over the bank, and I could have my money the next day.

Batman has little effective jurisdiction over the banking industry.

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Nope. Never heard of them until now.