Bitcoin Foundation seeks stable ground for virtual currency

The foundation aims to build confidence in the currency and drive merchant adoption

A foundation has been established to create a more solid footing for Bitcoin, the virtual currency admired for its technical genius but dogged by doubts over its long-term viability.

The Bitcoin Foundation plans over the next year to fund efforts to create a set of best practices for merchants accepting Bitcoins as well as conduct a payments-oriented conference in Silicon Valley early next year, wrote Peter Vessenes, who will be the foundation's chairman and executive director.

Its other plans include creating a opt-in certification process for businesses accepting Bitcoins and funding a development team lead by Gavin Andresen, a foundation board member and lead developer for the overall Bitcoin project.

Bitcoins are transferred using a peer-to-peer system that employs "miners" to cryptographically verify transactions to ensure people are not trying to double-spend their currency. All transactions are entered into a publicly accessible ledger. The ledger shows a person's 32-character alpha-numeric address, which is used to transfer funds, but no more identifying information of the involved parties.

Promoters of Bitcoin say the very low fees charged to send currency to other people makes it attractive to businesses using traditional banking systems. Transactions are also irreversible unless the receiver of a Bitcoin wants to transmit it back to a sender, eliminating the risks businesses face of possible chargebacks when transacting with credit cards.

Since Bitcoin launched in 2009, the exchange rate used to move it into government-issued currency by Bitcoin exchanges has fluctuated widely. A small but growing list of retailers are transacting in Bitcoins, but greater adoption by merchants is seen as a way to stabilize exchange rates. Software tools for merchants are under development.

As with any online system involving money, Bitcoin has drawn its fair share of hackers, who have targeted Bitcoin exchanges that specialize in converting the virtual currency into fiat currency. Botnet operators and Ponzi schemers have also left their marks.

"We can help solve or mitigate these problems as a community," Vessenes wrote. "My hope is that the Bitcoin Foundation will be the organization that focuses and unlocks all of your energy and talents towards promoting Bitcoins, protecting them, and increasing their legitimacy through standardization."

A platinum annual membership for enterprises to join the Bitcoin Foundation costs 10,000 BTC, which is about US$124,000 as of Monday. A gold membership for business costs 2,500 BTC, and the silver category is 500 BTC annually. Lifetime membership for individuals is 25 BTC, and a one-year individual member is 2.5 BTC.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?