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Mon, Jan 14 – Global Crisis brings Chaos, Calamity and Opportunity

Apologies to our users for the delay since our last blog post.

Almost 6 months ago, we posted on the global financial crisis. Since that time, we have been carefully monitoring and studying the crisis, with a special focus on how it relates to VirtaPay. We believe the severity and intractability of this crisis—due to its underlying causes—will forever change the world. Plus, due to the financial nature of the crisis, it will inevitably affect the future of the VirtaPay currency.

Rather than ignore the increasing warning signs, we dug in, deeply researching the problems in search of root causes. What we found is shocking and holds deep implications for what will be the best way to move the VirtaPay currency forward. It will require some big changes, but if all goes to plan, we expect our users will benefit tremendously as the global crisis runs its course.

Although we are already 5 years into the financial crisis, we expect it will continue to get worse, and likely last another 10 years or more. Despite how grim the situation appears on the global stage, we believe these circumstances have created an unprecedented opportunity for VirtaPay and our users.

What is the “Financial Crisis”?

When we talk of the “financial crisis” we are referring to a huge list of financial failures and other problems which have occurred (some still ongoing) since 2007. Only a handful of these events are listed in the examples below, as there are far too many to cover in one blog post. Every nation taking part in the global economy has been affected by these problems to varying degrees.

Here are just a few of the problems the crisis has brought so far…

  • Burst housing bubbles — This has already happened, or is still in progress, in the United States, Argentina, Britain, Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Lebanon, France, Poland, South Africa, Israel, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Baltic states, India, Romania, Ukraine and China to name a few.
    Housing bubbles cause a massive spike in housing prices, followed by a crash. This results in a high rate of foreclosures and evictions. Many trillions of dollars have been lost in property values — this loss is mainly felt by the homeowners. Many average citizens are left bankrupt or even homeless. However, financial institutions, the same ones that caused the bubble, are now benefiting from the low prices of homes now left vacant due to foreclosure. Average citizens pay the price, while financial institutions get even richer from the bubble they caused.
  • Failed or acquired financial institutions — Numerous large banks, insurance companies and hedge funds have been rescued, acquired or bankrupted during the financial crisis. Just a few of the largest include: Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial, Lehman Brothers and AIG. Many smaller banks continue to fail in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Government bailouts of corporations — A number of financial sector businesses (such as banks and insurance companies as mentioned in the last point) have been rescued or “bailed out” by governments around the world. In many cases, the top executives of these companies even received multi-million dollar bonuses for the time they spent guiding their company as it ran into the ground.
    Do the citizens, like you, get a bailout? No. You pay for the bailouts. In most cases, citizen’s tax dollars are used to fund the bailouts. If the rescued companies default on these loans, future generations (your children, then their children, etc.) will end up paying for these bailouts too.
  • Failed retirement funds — Nations and corporations have been busy plundering, risking, and losing the retirement funds of their citizens and employees.
    In 2008 alone, retirement funds and pensions in a group of nations including the U.S., Japan, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands lost a combined $5 trillion due to the global financial crisis. Many workers nearing retirement age have had to postpone retirement plans or take a second job. Some have completely given up on the idea of retirement, having no choice but to keep working until they drop dead. This is especially hard on those who have watched their home’s value plummet or if one or more people in their household have become unemployed.
    In another example, Spain has quietly and aggressively plundered at least 90% of its social security fund, purchasing increasingly risky debt—its own debt—Spanish government bonds. The Spanish government is nearly bankrupt. It is on the brink of needing international financial aid, like Greece. Spain is among the most financially unstable of European nations. It seems likely their social security fund would have been safer if wagered on a coin toss.
  • Rich are getting richer, middle-class are joining the poor — Here are a few figures (from the U.S.) to help put this in perspective… In 2010, the wealthiest 1% of Americans held 42% of all financial wealth in the U.S. The richest 10% controlled 85% of the wealth. The bottom 80% held just 5% of all U.S. wealth. This wealth gap continues to grow more extreme. (Note: These figures represent total net worth minus the value of one’s home).
    This phenomenon isn’t limited to the United States. In a bigger view, worldwide, the poorest 50% hold only 1% of global wealth.
  • Rising unemployment -- Contrary to official government reports, we estimate that the real unemployment rate in the U.S. is now over 20%. This is getting very close to levels seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s. (Note: U.S. government statisticians attempt to hide the real level of unemployment by using new reporting methods which, for example, don’t include the long-term unemployed!)
    Looking to Europe… in the critical 15-24 age group, unemployment recently reached 57.6% in Greece and 56.5% in Spain. We see this as a time-bomb, ready to explode without warning. Historically, high unemployment in this age group often leads to future economic instability and social upheaval. We are already seeing strong signs of both.
  • Rising dependence on government assistanceIn 2012, a record-setting 1 in 6 Americans were at, or below, the poverty level and receiving “food stamps”, a form of government assistance. Many nations have far higher levels of poverty brought on by the global crisis.
  • Plus many more — The above list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless more examples of how the current global financial crisis has been impacting our world and our lives.

Conclusions of our research…

Our research into the global financial crisis led us to several conclusions:

  • We expect that the financial crisis will get worse before it gets better.
  • We expect that governments will attempt to hide the true severity of the crisis by manipulating official statistics… for as long as they can. If they take this manipulation too far, they will lose the trust of their citizens. They must walk a fine line.
  • We expect that the crisis will continue for another 7 to 10 years, at least.
  • We believe that all of the failures of the financial crisis are due to causes which are tightly interconnected.
  • We believe that today’s global financial system is built on an incomplete and inherently unstable foundation.
  • We believe that VirtaPay users can benefit tremendously from the current global crisis as VirtaPay makes changes to fill the gaps and provide what is missing from the foundation of today’s global financial system.
  • We expect VirtaPay to become a bright spot of prosperity rising out of the gloom of the current global financial crisis.

Read More in Part 2…

Because of the complexity of this issue, we will cover the Global Financial Crisis in a multi-part blog post. In our next blog post (part 2) we will give more details about the crisis and the changes VirtaPay plans to make in order to help you take advantage of the financial crisis—rather than be crushed by it.

Source: http://www.virtapay.com/blog/?p=2205
Vocabulary:
calamity - n бедствие, нещастие, гибел
severity - строгост, суровост / трудност
intractability - n неподатливост (на възпитание, лечение, обработка и пр.)
underlying - основен, съществен / подразбиращ се, скрит
implication - нещо, което се подразбира, извод, заключение, загатване / въвличане, замесване, намесване, впримчване, замесеност
run one's course  
grim - неприветлив, отблъскващ, мрачен, зловещ, страшен
handful - шепа (количество)
burst - пукване. спукване, пръсване, сцепване
bubble - мехур (въздушен, сапунен и пр.)
spike - острие, шип
foreclosure - обявяване (на ипотека) за просрочена, възбрана
eviction - юр. отнемане на имущество (по съдебен ред) // изгонване, изваждане (от квартира)
bail out - прен. избавям от затруднение
plundering - ограбване, разграбване
plunder - v грабя, плячкосвам, крада, обирам, ограбвам
postpone - v отлагам, отсрочвам, забавям
plummet - спадам рязко (за цени и пр.) // падам право надолу
wager - бас, обзалагане, облог // v обзалагам се
on a coin toss -  
toss - хвърляне на чоп/ези-тура
upheaval - разместване на пластовете, катаклизъм (и прен.) // рязка политическа/социална и пр. промяна
tightly - adv плътно прилепнало
incomplete - непълен, дефектен // незавършен, недоизкаран
inherently - по същество
gloom - мрак

Mon, Jan 28 – Global Crisis (2): Who Gets Hurt?

Note: This is a fairly long blog post. You may want to take a minute to grab a refreshing drink, then sit back, relax and enjoy part 2 of our blog post series on the Global Crisis.

Recap: In our last blog post we covered some of the events of the global economic crisis. We mentioned how these events were just the tip of the iceberg, and that the root problems are seated much, much deeper than most people are aware. As you’ll learn in this Global Crisis blog post series, the root causes of the global economic crisis are woven into the very fabric of our current financial system. If you haven’t already, we suggest you read part 1 of this blog post series before continuing here with part 2.

Causes, effects and opportunities

As mentioned in part 1, we have recently spent months deeply researching the global economic crisis. We started by looking at the effects and worked our way backward to locate the causes. The trails of evidence led us down many paths. Some of these paths led nowhere, most seemed designed to mislead and obscure the truth, while a few led us deeper and deeper into the mostly unseen and mysterious realms of international finance.

Ultimately, we arrived at some surprising conclusions.

The global crisis has had many effects, such as those listed in part 1, and quite often they are obvious. Every day in the news we see stories of rising unemployment, massive government debt, closing factories, burst housing bubbles, government bailouts of corporations, failed retirement funds, crisis in Europe, etc.

But, the causes (and some of the most disturbing effects) are not so obvious. In fact, they are hidden behind an almost impenetrable web of lies and deliberate distortions. If the real causes were obvious, it would be easy to fix the problems right now. But, looking back, if the causes had been obvious, the problems would have been fixed long before they became the crisis they are today.

The problem is, hidden causes are nearly impossible to fix. Much like a doctor treating symptoms instead of curing the disease. One must know what is broken in order to fix it.

We have been working diligently since our last post, to organize our findings and conclusions into a format that can be easily understood. At this point, we expect this blog post series to contain at least 6 parts, maybe more. This should give us enough room to fully explain the conclusions of our research.

Toward the end of this blog post series, we will present the unprecedented opportunity which became apparent from our conclusions. It’s an opportunity we expect will allow VirtaPay users to directly benefit from the global economic crisis for many years to come.

In a crisis, who gets hurt?

When a nation—or the world—experiences an economic crisis, like our current situation, who gets hurt? Does everyone suffer an equally damaging blow? Do some emerge unscathed? Does anyone benefit? For the remainder of this post, we’ll explore these questions, giving you some points to ponder until we post the next part in this series.

Our conclusion: The rich get richer.

Our research led us to conclude that recessions and depressions generally only hurt the middle-class and poor. The wealthy, despite their claims otherwise, usually benefit massively from economic troubles. The bigger the crisis, the more they benefit.

Only % matters — not $

In news reports we repeatedly saw a certain claim keep surfacing…

During economic troubles, the wealthy always seem to claim that “everyone” is being hurt by the situation, not just the poor and middle-class. They boldly claim the economy is hurting them too. To support their claim, we are shown some charts or figures representing the falling “net worth” of the wealthy due to the economic slowing.

This lie works particularly well, because it appears to be true — on paper. Claiming that they’re getting hurt too is a tactic used by the rich to keep the lower classes from rising up in violent revolution. The real truth is, even though their net worth may be falling, they are actually getting richer in terms of real wealth.

How can that be?

Their lie takes advantage of the common misconception that today’s national currencies have an absolute value. They don’t. Yes, in a financial crisis, the nominal net worth of the rich may fall by millions or even billions of dollars, euros, yen, etc. But, those currencies are all relative in value. And so, their supposed losses can be used to divert attention from the real issue — percentage of ownership in real wealth.

When the net worth of a wealthy person falls by millions or billions (as measured in today’s national currencies) during an economic downturn, it doesn’t mean anything once you look at the fact that their percent of ownership of the world’s real wealth has increased!

How it works for the wealthy…

The wealthy, by definition, own far more real wealth than the average person. This real wealth usually includes things such as real estate, stocks, bonds, precious metals, etc. They generally earn the bulk of their income from capital gains in the stock market… ownership in companies. So, when an economic crisis hits, the value of stocks falls (because companies are selling less), the price of real estate falls (due to less buyers in the market), and so on.

This is why the net worth of the wealthy falls in an economic crisis. This is the basis of their claim of being “hurt like everyone else”.

So, for example, if they own 10,000 shares of “XYZ Company” and the stock price has fallen from $500 to $400 per share, they can call it a $1 million loss. But only on paper. When the crisis or recession (or whatever it is) ends, the stock market always goes back up and usually beyond where it once was. So, as they complain of being “hurt” by the market, they are actually busy buying up stocks, real estate and every other item of real wealth while the crisis has temporarily lowered the prices of these things.

How it works for everyone else…

On the other hand, the poor and middle-class own far less real wealth per person than the wealthy. An economic crisis directly limits the ability of the poor and the middle-class to provide even the basic essentials of life. In order to sustain their families, they are often forced to sell the few items of real wealth they hold (this includes real estate, stocks, bonds, vehicles, jewelry, and more). In order to sell those possessions, there must be a buyer who still has money to spend during the crisis. Can you guess who it is? Of course, it is the wealthy.

To add insult to injury, because the market is in crisis, the items sold off by the lower classes usually sell at greatly depressed prices. For example, jewelry, stocks, vehicles, homes and other property are often sold at a loss by the lower classes just so they can survive.

An ever widening gap

When looking at any recession or depression throughout history, the wealthy elite nearly always come out owning a greater percentage of the world, while the lower classes generally emerge with less than they had going in. Economic recessions and depressions allow the wealthy to consolidate their power and grab up more of the world’s wealth. This process of wealth transfer from the poor and middle-class to the rich is actually accelerated by economic hard times.

An example: The U.S. housing bubble

Here we’ll take a step-by-step look the recent housing bubble in the U.S. to show a real-life example of exactly how the rich get richer from an economic crisis.

Note: The full details of the causes and effects of the U.S. housing bubble could undoubtedly fill thousands of pages. We have intentionally simplified and summarized the housing bubble below. We believe that governments and the elite try to portray such situations with extreme complexity in order to keep the middle-class and the poor from understanding what really goes on.

  1. The central bank manipulated the market. In the U.S. the Federal Reserve fills the role of central bank. To start inflating the housing bubble, they set the interest rate for loans at a historic low level.
  2. Investors jumped in. As a result of the low interest rates, greedy investors who qualified for the low-interest loans began using the money to buy up houses across the U.S. They did not buy these houses to live in them, they bought them as an investment… to make a profit.
  3. House prices rose. The buying frenzy drove up house prices. Limited supply with massive demand naturally causes prices to rise.
  4. Wealthy investors earned big profits — repeatedly. As house prices continued to rise, the investors sold off the homes they had bought at lower prices and quickly bought even more new homes with the profits.
  5. Innocent people got trapped. With house prices outrageously high, and rising, many middle-class and poor people and their families were caught in a trap. These people simply needed a place to live. They weren’t investors, but they were trapped in an investor’s bubble. So, with no other options, they agreed to take out loans for homes at prices they really couldn’t afford.
    The banks were engaging in predatory lending practices. This means that the banks actually knew these middle-class and poor people didn’t earn enough to repay the loans. But, corruption and greed drove them to approve the loans anyway. (A side note: The banks would then quickly turn around and resell these loans to other unsuspecting investors. Thousands of these bad loans were packaged together and sold to hedge funds. That is part of the reason so many retirement funds lost money when the housing bubble burst).
    Once the innocent people moved into their new homes, they lived in a state of continual stress and fear for a few years as they desperately tried to stay current on their monthly mortgage payments. Many applied for government assistance just so they could still feed their family and have a place to live.
    To continue making house payments, they borrowed from family. They took out murderous “payday” loans. They lived paycheck to paycheck, burned through any savings they had, and still came up short every month. Many resorted to running up credit card debt just to pay the bills. They stayed afloat for as long as they could, until one day they sunk. They simply couldn’t make the house payment any longer.
  6. The bubble popped. Inevitably there came a tipping point… once enough of the common people who had been stuck in this horrible situation defaulted on their home loans. At that point, the housing bubble burst.
  7. Innocent people were financially destroyed.
    • Those who couldn’t pay got evicted.
    • Many became homeless.
    • Many now have a black mark on their record that will follow them for life.
    • Many will find it impossible to get a loan at a decent rate ever again… if they can get a loan at all.
  8. The bankers were rescued. The U.S. government declared that the biggest banks involved in this scandalous behavior were “too big to fail” and they were summarily rescued with tax dollars. The bitter irony here is that tax money from the innocent people who got trapped in this situation actually went to rescue the very banks who hurt them. Imagine being ordered to pay a criminal who robbed you on the street. The U.S. government rescued the bankers from the natural consequences of their own greed and corruption — using taxpayer money. Many of the top executives at these banks went on to earn multi-million dollar bonuses for their “performance” during the housing bubble.
  9. Investors win again. After the bubble burst, the house prices crashed back down, and the banks turned around and started selling the now vacant, foreclosed homes to investors at rock-bottom prices. The investors win again.

What did we learn from this example?

We learned that it’s a good life if you’re a wealthy investor, or banker, or someone with power. That way you can win both while the bubble grows (continuously buying and selling at a profit, while helping to drive prices higher) and after it pops (suddenly there are a lot of low-priced empty houses to buy). It’s also nice to have power in the government because you can manipulate the market and then save your favorite people when they get in trouble.

However, it’s very unfortunate if you are an innocent, average person who just needs a place to live. If you lived through the above example, it means that you may have been hurt both as the bubble grew (when the only houses on the market were priced unreasonably high) and when the bubble burst (which is about when you might have been evicted and had a financial black mark put on your name). Plus, let’s not forget, your tax dollars will now go to rescue the banks who hurt you.

This was just one real-life example demonstrating how the rich get richer while the middle-class and poor can get severely injured in an economic crisis.

Get ready for Part 3

In part 3 of our Global Crisis blog post series we will dig deeper into the root causes of the global crisis. We’re working to present the big picture of what is going on in the world and invite you to join us in taking advantage of the unique opportunity it presents. Those who don’t take action are likely to get caught in the coming storm.

Source: http://www.virtapay.com/blog/?p=2237

tip заострен край/крайче/крайчец, връх, завършък
seated
woven pp. weave
weave
fabric n тъкан, материя, плат, здание, постройка
trails of evidence
mislead заблуждавам, въвеждам в заблуждение, измамвам
obscure затъмнявам / прен. засенчвам, помрачавам / скривам, закривам (гледка и пр.)
burst пръсвам (се), спуквам (се), разпуквам (се)
deliberate v обмислям, обсъждам / a преднамерен, бавен
distortions
findings
unprecedented - a невиждан, нечуван, безпрецедентен, безпримерен, несравним
unprecedented opportunity
blow - удар (и прен.) / неочаквано нещастие
emerge unscathed
ponder - v обмислям, премислям / размишлявам (over)
worth - стойност, цена, равностойност
net worth - чиста стойност
wealthy - богат, охолен, заможен
the wealthy - богатите
divert - отклонявам, отвличам (внимание и пр.)
downturn - вж. downtrend
bulk - по-големият брой/по-голямата част от нещо
sustain - поддържам, подпирам, подкрепям
insult - n обида, оскърбление, афронт
injury - нараняване, мед. поражение, травма / несправедливост, неправда
consolidate - затвърдявам (се), заздравявам (се), укрепвам
portray - (об) рисувам, изпълнявам ролята на
keep somebody from doing something -
inflating
qualified - квалифициран, с необходимия ценз, компетентен, подготвен
house prices rose
frenzy - n бяс, ярост, безумие / v докарвам до лудост
drove up
predatory - граблив, хищен / грабителски, хищнически
murderous “payday” loans
afloat - (носещ се) по вода, плаващ / фин. без дългове/финансови затруднения, платежоспособен
tipping point -
defaulted
evicted -
decent сносен, поносим, търпим
decent rate
summarily накратко / незабавно, безцеремонно

Wed, Feb 6 – Global Crisis (3): Energy Shortage

Recap for new VirtaPay users: In part 1 of this blog post series, we covered some of the events of the global economic crisis. In part 2, we explained a bit about who gets hurt by the crisis, revealing how the middle-class and poor get hurt the most as the wealthy consolidate power and wealth during times of economic trouble.

In this post we cover what we believe to be one of the root causes of the crisis. To understand where VirtaPay is headed, it is important to understand the current crisis. As you read this blog post series on the global economic crisis, please keep in mind that in our final part of the series, everything will tie together and you will see how VirtaPay is positioning to help you profit from the crisis… and hopefully help make our world better in the process.

What’s at the root of the trouble?

During our research of the current global economic crisis, we were looking for the root causes of all this trouble. As the trails of evidence led us deeper and deeper, a couple of things continued to resurface. One of those is “peak oil”.

Peak oil refers to the fact that the world is running out of oil. The problem is simple to understand. Humanity has an ever-growing demand for oil. Our oil wells have limited supply. It has become apparent that the world’s oil reserves are now very close to reaching a point where our demand exceeds the supply available. We are reaching—or may have already reached—the “peak”.

Why does oil matter?

The availability of a cheap ubiquitous power source (oil) is what literally powered the growth of our civilization from the early 1900s until now. Having a cheap, concentrated power source allowed humanity to go from riding on the backs of horses to the rise of automobiles, aircraft, and space exploration in such a short period of time.

Oil has been a massive boon to humanity, both in terms of industry and wealth. Many of the world’s wealthiest families today are the offspring of people who—many years ago—recognized the importance of oil and quickly secured all the oil resources they could for themselves. Then they used their oil profits to acquire exclusive access to more and more oil fields.

We believe our current global economic crisis is tied directly to the decline of world oil supplies. No, we don’t believe this is the only reason for the crisis. However, we do believe it to be a primary cause.

What about declines in oil prices?

You may see oil prices decline (at the petrol or gas pump) due to the global recession. These price declines are a direct result of industrial production slowing down in the current global economic crisis. Most industrial production relies on oil, and so the recession can temporarily reduce demand for oil. Which, in turn, will naturally lower the price of oil.

These price declines are temporary, and every time industry tries to speed up, we will be hit with quickly rising oil prices. We believe this will tend to extend the economic slowdown and to also slightly prolong the decline of our diminishing oil supplies.

What about other energy sources?

We are at a challenging new point in human history. We have never faced such a challenge. Our capitalist global economy is actually a huge part of the problem.

In a capitalist system, commodities compete on price. Energy is a commodity. The lowest price wins. If you can provide energy at a lower price with oil than your competitor can provide it with solar power, then you win. In today’s system clean, green energy technologies are still too expensive and so dirty, cheap oil wins on price.

The oil rich families and the corporations they own are deeply invested in petroleum extraction and refining technologies. In turn, oil is deeply entrenched in our global economic system. The oil companies have spent billions on equipment specifically designed to extract oil from the Earth and refine it into various petroleum-based products. They have secured lands and oil fields across the globe.

Yes, oil is a dying energy source, but the wealthy oil barons will milk it until every oil well runs dry. They don’t want any new technology to step in and destroy their investment in petroleum extraction and refining technology… until oil is completely gone.

Green Energy

Green energy sources are the next natural step for humanity. There is abundant energy available from the sun, wind and water to provide many times what humanity needs. But dirty oil, coal, and high-risk nuclear (think of Japan) energy sources are stealing the show for now.

We are being held back by the greed of the deeply invested wealthy who control our global economic system. They are determined to keep the system in their control and to get every ounce of benefit they can from their existing investments in petroleum extraction and refining technology. They suppress green energy technology behind the scenes while publicly acting as if they support it.

The fact is, they do not support green energy. Not yet. It scares them. They stand to lose untold billions of dollars they have spent on research, development, production and purchasing of petroleum technologies. Not to mention the oil fields they have sometimes purchased or more often gained access to, through methods which are devious, insidious and highly unethical (we’ll explain more about that in an upcoming post).

Where it’s headed…

We believe our modern world is headed for a energy shortage crisis like nothing we have ever seen.

Former less-developed countries are quickly become more industrialized and more westernized. This includes countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. These four countries alone represent over 40% of the world population. These countries and others are now rapidly raising their standard of living and along with it, their rate of energy usage is climbing dramatically.

Unfortunately the natural resources of our Earth are limited, finite. It has been estimated that if every country in the world consumed resources like the U.S. we would need the resources of seven Earths just to sustain where we are today (not even considering growth).

What will happen when oil runs out?

Of course, no one can foretell the future with 100% certainty, but we can look at current trends and extrapolate a best guess. First, we looked at the current rate of oil decline and at humanity’s ever-growing demand for energy. Then, we looked at the rate at which green energy technology is being adopted in place of oil. By converging those two trends, we estimate that humanity will effectively run out of oil over 100 years before we have enough green energy technology ready to replace it.

Humanity is not ready for what is coming.

Part 4 is next…

We have at least three more parts in our Global Crisis blog post series. Be sure to read every post in the series to discover the big picture of how VirtaPay is positioning to help you profit from the global economic crisis and to help make the world a better place in the process.

Source: http://www.virtapay.com/blog/?p=2274

Vocabulary:

Mon, Feb 11 – Global Crisis (4): Food Shortage

Recap for new VirtaPay users: In part 1 of this blog post series, we covered some of the events of the global economic crisis. In part 2, we explained who gets hurt most by the crisis. In part 3, we detailed the growing energy crisis, its root causes and where it appears to be headed.

In part 4 of our Global Crisis blog post series, we are going to look at the coming food shortage.

The global food shortage

In our research of the global economic crisis, we discovered many signs of a coming food shortage. Of course, a food shortage will prolong and add to the economic crisis we are now experiencing. The idea of a food shortage isn’t news for people in some parts of the world — places where it’s already happening. In the rest of this post we will share what we discovered in our research.

Partly to blame… global warming

There is a debate surrounding global warming. The debate is not if global warming is happening, rather, the debate centers around the cause of global warming.

On one side of the debate, we have the majority of scientists in the world who agree that global warming is being caused, or greatly accelerated, by greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide) from the burning of “fossil fuels” (including oil and coal).

On the other side of the debate, we have a very small minority of scientists who say that our Earth is warming due to a natural cycle of our planet. They point to the fact that our Earth has warmed and cooled countless times throughout its history without the help of humans.

For our discussion of the coming food shortage, the debate surrounding what is causing global warming doesn’t matter. What matters is that global warming is happening. The fact that our Earth is warming is undeniable. The evidence is impossible to ignore. Global warming will contribute to the coming food shortage and is already impacting our lives.

Whether global warming was caused by humans or by a natural cycle of the Earth, again, doesn’t matter. The fact is, regardless of what’s causing it, the warming of our planet is just getting started, and there is no chance that it will begin reversing that trend any time soon.

Another thing to keep in mind is that in this blog post we are covering our concerns about the impacts that this warming trend will have in our lifetimes. The greater impact it will have upon our children and future generations is outside the scope of this discussion.

Global warming already causing damage

Severe droughts in the past several years have caused critical declines in global food production. This has damaged humanity’s ability to produce every type of food product we rely upon, including grains, fruits, vegetables and meats.

The droughts—caused by changes in weather patterns due to global warming—have repeatedly caused crops to fail in the U.S. and other major food-exporting countries in recent years. In six of the past 11 years, the world has consumed more food than it has produced. This has caused world food reserves to fall to their lowest level since 1974.

According to Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute in Washington D.C., “We are entering a new era of rising food prices and spreading hunger. Food supplies are tightening everywhere and land is becoming the most sought-after commodity as the world shifts from an age of food abundance to one of scarcity.”

In a recent book, Brown also said, “Food shortages undermined earlier civilizations. We are on the same path. Each country is now fending for itself. The world is living one year to the next.”

Food shortage becoming obvious

Even in countries where the food shortage isn’t yet obvious, it’s still not difficult to see signs of it approaching. If you pay attention when buying food, you have likely already seen some of the following…

  • Rising prices – This is probably the most obvious of the signs. As food becomes more scarce, the prices are rising on the remaining limited food supply. You may have noticed food prices climbing faster than normal in recent years.
  • Smaller containers – This is a sign many people may not have noticed. If you have been paying close attention to the sizes of common food containers, you will have noticed that they are getting smaller. An example is orange juice. In the U.S. there used to be a standard size container that was one half gallon, 64 ounces. The “half gallon” was quietly reduced to 59 ounces and at the same time, the price was raised.
    This is not an isolated example. Food container sizes are gradually shrinking across a wide range of foods in almost every type of packaged food product. Look for it next time you buy food.
  • Lower quality – Many food producers are resorting to inferior quality, cheaper ingredients or fillers without telling the customer. For example, this is being done with coffee. Due to the rising cost of high quality coffee beans, many coffee brewers worldwide have resorted to quietly changing the balance of their brew. They have been secretly been using more of the cheaper and less flavorful “robusta” bean in place of the more highly regarded, more expensive “arabica” bean.
    Again, this is not an isolated example, but is happening across a diverse range of food products. A small sampling of offenders that have been caught include: ground meats [often not from the animal claimed, think of the recent news of horse meat in hamburgers]; olive oil [diluted with cheaper oils]; fruit juices [diluted with cheaper fruits, or added water and sugar]; tea [diluted with lawn grass or fern leaves]; spices [filler herbs often added, sometimes dangerous substances].

Another cause… peak oil

The threat of global warming to food production is huge. However, even if global warming were not a threat, we would still be in big trouble…

According to most scientists, our current global warming problem is caused by our use of oil for energy. So, it is somewhat ironic that we have an even more immediate threat than global warming, but one which is directly linked to it… the world is running out of oil.

The continuing decline of world oil supplies will cause massive disruptions to world food supplies — both the production and the delivery of food will suffer.

Food production

The nations which produce the most food, do so primarily with the use of modern farm machinery powered by petroleum-based fuels. Without these fuels, farms will not be able to operate their machinery. As a result, we simply won’t be able to cultivate land, plant seeds and harvest food on the massive scale we have in recent years.

We have become dependent upon oil, it largely powers our entire food industry. No oil means no food for most of the world.

Food delivery

Even if we had enough oil, or managed to plant and harvest the food by hand, transporting the food to market becomes an issue. Transportation of food to stores and markets will be disrupted once there isn’t enough fuel to power our long haul trucks, train lines and cargo ships.

Big cities will be hit hardest…

  • Big cities are heavily dependent on a constantly refreshed supply of food.
  • A big city, by definition, has a massive human population. Which, naturally, means more mouths to feed.
  • People in big cities rarely ever grow their own food. (And for the few who manage to grow a tiny garden, how long would that food last?)
  • Essentially all food must be delivered to big cities by some form of transportation — all of which depend on oil for energy.
  • It is estimated that in most big cities, the food supply on store shelves and in food markets would last 3 days, or less, if transportation were completely disrupted.

What happens after the food runs out in a big city? We predict: riots, chaos, mayhem. A big city is not a place you will want to be when food shortages become reality.

Part 5 is next…

There are at least 2 more parts to come in our Global Crisis blog post series. Be sure to read every post in the series to discover the big picture of how VirtaPay is positioning to help you profit from the global economic crisis and to help make the world a better place in the process.

Source: http://www.virtapay.com/blog/?p=2303

Tue, May 28 – The Launchpad Project

Today we are pleased to announce a new feature called the Launchpad Project. It’s designed to help us give back to the VirtaPay community. It’s a way for us to recommend useful and interesting websites. It also gives us a way to help exciting new business ideas get started and get noticed.

The first Launchpad Project…

…is a website called Micasa Club.

Micasa Club is a new kind travel club which will provide its members with free lodging around the world in an innovative new way. Their top-contributing members will have the potential to earn up to US$60,000 per year or more. Micasa Club plans to introduce special benefits we have never seen in other travel clubs, including…

  • Unlimited airfare worldwide
  • Unlimited car rentals
  • Travel activities — covered
  • Food and drink expenses — covered
  • Spending money — provided

If you check out Micasa Club soon, you may get to join the waiting list to become a beta member. Beta members will have the opportunity to lock in a lifetime membership at no cost. But, if you wait until after beta, a lifetime membership will cost from $59 to $99 per year.

How the Launchpad Project got started…

The Micasa Club team knew they had a great idea and a lot of experience. But, they were looking for a little help in a few areas before launching their new website. Because they had been long-time VirtaPay members they decided to contact us and see if we would be willing to help them.

When the Micasa Club team presented their business idea, we liked it so much that we: (1) recommended a business registration and management service in Nevada, USA, (2) connected them with a web development team that could handle the expected growth of their idea and (3) decided to create the Launchpad Project to help exciting startups like Micasa Club get a strong start.

Does your business need a Launchpad?

Are you a VirtaPay user with an existing website or a great idea for a new online business? If so, you may get to use the Launchpad Project to help your new business get noticed by the VirtaPay community.

Please be forewarned, it will likely be highly competitive and the duration of advertising on the VirtaPay website will last about 2 months per Launchpad Project. If you are interested, please contact us with an essay explaining why you think your business or idea should be the next to use the Launchpad Project.


Source: http://www.virtapay.com/blog/?p=2336

Bitcoin Exchange
Bitcoin Exchange Coming Soon

Announcement

Upcoming changes to VirtaPay will allow you to exchange your VirtaPay currency for Bitcoin, and from there, to any national currency. The changes that will make this possible replace our original plans for a VirtaPay debit card. We are very excited about this development — read on to learn more!

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a virtual currency, like VirtaPay. Bitcoin launched in early 2009, about 18 months before VirtaPay. Bitcoin is the first virtual currency to achieve widespread acceptance as a form of payment. It has even begun to displace national currencies in countries with unstable economies and currencies.
Bitcoin started as all virtual currencies do... worth nothing. Then it slowly gained value. For almost 2 years, you could buy hundreds or thousands of bitcoins for just US$1. But, then, the value of bitcoins began to steadily rise...
In late November 2013, the price soared past US$1,000 for a single bitcoin!

Debit Card Plans Terminated

Creating our own debit card was one of our goals since VirtaPay began. But, we had no way of knowing the course history would take and how that would affect VirtaPay. Due to recent events surrounding Bitcoin, we have terminated our plans for a VirtaPay debit card. Instead, we plan to provide VirtaPay users with something much better — VirtaPay will be converted to a crypto-currency that will be exchangeable with Bitcoin.

Why drop the Debit Card?

Powerful banks and financial institutions have a strangle hold on the existing financial system. They were unwilling to let VirtaPay create a debit card and participate in their network. So, we planned to create our own network. We knew that developing our own debit card system on our own network would be a monumental task. Completion and large scale adoption of such a network would probably still be years away. Bitcoin has changed all of that!

Bitcoin is Good for The World

Bitcoin is decentralized. It operates on a peer-to-peer network of computers, without a central server. This makes Bitcoin nearly impossible to shut down. It is out of reach of the powerful players that control the existing financial system. Enough people are now using Bitcoin that governments, central banks, and almost everyone relying on the old financial system are starting to get scared. The central banks of most major governments have issued warnings to their citizens about Bitcoin. They see what is coming — as virtual currencies succeed, they will lose control of the people's money. Virtual currencies put the power back in the hands of the people.
Which is the real scam? In its early days, many people called the Bitcoin project a scam — and some still do. But, Bitcoin went on to become the first virtual currency to gain enough traction among people to challenge fiat currencies issued by governments... and Bitcoin is winning. It seems clear that Bitcoin has embarrassed all national currencies, including the powerful U.S. dollar. People are tired of holding national currencies that lose value every time their central bank decides to print more money. Each time your government prints more money, it devalues the money held by you and everyone who holds that currency. Many people are beginning to wake up and realize that the "scam" is actually being run by the governments against their own people.

Bitcoin is Good for VirtaPay

Bitcoin proves virtual currencies can succeed. Thanks to Bitcoin, a healthy and triving ecosystem of independent virtual currencies has sprung up in defiance of the old system, putting the power back in the hands of individual people. The success of Bitcoin is extremely beneficial for the VP$ and for the health of the entire virtual currency ecosystem. Competition in markets is healthy. However, when a few big players control any market, that is unhealthy and bad news for everyone except those at the top.
Bitcoin opens the door. The success of Bitcoin has opened the door for widespread acceptance of virtual currencies, including VirtaPay. Bitcoin has proven to many people that a virtual currency can be more desirable than fiat currency issued by a government central bank. Until recently, if you wanted to do business, you were forced to participate in the old, corrupt financial system... but now, you have a choice.
VirtaPay is following Bitcoin's example. We are planning to migrate the technical framework of the VirtaPay currency to a crypto-currency similar to Bitcoin. This means that the VirtaPay currency:
  • will be decentralized
  • will be nearly impossible to shut down
  • will have a mathematically limited amount of currency
  • will be steadily created over time by people who contribute computational power ("miners")

The Changes are Good for You

It can be ready much more quickly. On a technical level, these upcoming changes will be far less difficult to develop than it would be to create our own debit card network. These changes could be available within weeks or months, instead of years.
Spend your VP$. The changes will allow you to exchange your VP$ for bitcoins. From there, you can spend your bitcoins on goods and services offered by countless merchants worldwide that accept bitcoin payments.
Convert your VP$. Another option is to exchange your VP$ for bitcoins and then convert those bitcoins into the national currency of your choice. There are now countless people and services worldwide who are willing to exchange bitcoins for national currencies. Just search for bitcoin exchanges.
Invest in VP$. You may also choose to buy and hold VirtaPay dollars. People who do will be the counter-party to those selling VP$ for bitcoin. Imagine if you sold off all of your VP$ balance and then VP$ rose thousands or millions of times in value as bitcoins have.
Here is something to think about... In May 2010, a man purchased two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. In late November 2013, those same 10,000 bitcoins would have been worth almost $12 Million U.S. dollars. You may want to hold some of your VP$ in reserve, or even buy more, in case they experience a similar rise in value.

Source: https://www.virtapay.com/bitcoin.php

Wed, Jan 1 – Bitcoin Changes Everything

Summary: It’s been a while since we last made significant announcements and changes for VirtaPay. In this blog post we share some new changes and tell you what’s been happening. But, most importantly, we want to share this news — VirtaPay is back on track with exciting plans for the future!

Recent Changes

Here are a few recent changes to the VirtaPay website…

  • Debit card plans cancelled. We have dropped our plans to introduce a VirtaPay debit card. Instead of a debit card, we are embracing the future and plan to convert VirtaPay into a crypto-currency like Bitcoin. This way, you can spend with merchants that accept Bitcoin or easily convert your VirtaPay balance into the national currency of your choice. Read this full blog post to learn more about Bitcoin, crypto-currencies and why our new course is good for you and for the VirtaPay project.
  • Ad Sharing fixed. If you activated AdSharing before June 2013, and if it got deactivated, we have good news for you. Just sign in to your VirtaPay account, then, look for a box (on the right) with a red bar at the top. It will say “Error: Ad Sharing set-up is not complete.” Just click the link found inside that box and re-set up your Ad Sharing.
  • Ad Sharing restitution. Because of the way the Ad Sharing deactivation happened, we couldn’t determine who was affected and who wasn’t. If it was possible that you may have been affected, you will receive a VP$24,000 restitution payment for the lost potential earnings that you could have earned at VP$100/day, instead of VP$20/day. If the above fix applies to you, you should see this restitution payment when you click “History” in the top links.
  • Sending limit raised. The sending limit has been raised to $VP10,000,000.
  • Global Financial Crisis blog post series cancelled. We will not finish our blog post series on the global financial crisis. We have found a resolution and a clear path forward. We are moving onward. Read on to find out what changed…

What Happened?

Why has it been so long since our last blog post? It’s a long story, which holds a few surprises and ends with very exciting new potential for VirtaPay. Here’s a very brief summary of what happened…

We were 4 posts into our 6 part blog post series on the global financial crisis, when things took a turn for the worse for the VirtaPay project.

  • Our dream was fading. Originally all members of our team held onto the dream that a virtual currency — free of national, political and other ties — could make a drastic change in our world. The depressing state of affairs surrounding the global financial crisis seemed it would never end. News stories about the continuing repressive global political climate led by the hegemonic United States continued to pile up.
  • Key members left our team. At that difficult time, some key members of the VirtaPay project, including most of our programming team, left for other opportunities. They were disillusioned that virtual currencies hadn’t made enough progress against the existing financial system, and decided to move on.

The situation has changed. We are now moving ahead with new plans that are much better than our original plans. We are excited to share a future vision for VirtaPay that is more exciting and brings more potential than we could have imagined six months ago.

Historic Events are Unfolding Now!

In the months since those difficult times, there has been a positive change building in the world. Sadly, the global financial crisis has not actually gone away. It may seem better on the surface, in some ways, but the underlying causes are still there.

Despite that, there is now a bright beam of hope breaking through an otherwise gloomy situation. A historic change is unfolding in the world right now! That change is being driven by…

Bitcoin.

If you haven’t heard of Bitcoin yet, please watch this short video…

For the first time in human history, a virtual currency has managed to reach a tipping point among average people. Bitcoin has managed to challenge government issued fiat currencies and — among many people — Bitcoin is the obvious winner!

Read on to find out how the success of Bitcoin is great news for VirtaPay.

Virtual Currencies Gain Traction

The recent rise of Bitcoin marks the first widespread use of a virtual currency in the real world. As we see it, humanity is standing at the beginning of the decline of government-issued fiat currencies.

We strongly believe we are witnessing a historic “paradigm shift” in currencies. Once people realize the benefits, they will switch to using crypto-currencies and stop using fiat currencies wherever possible. The shift to crypto-currencies will surely take time, but the first battles have already been won by Bitcoin.

Everyone will be part of this transition, but you are lucky enough to be aware that it is happening now, and we are only at the beginning stages. Your potential for personal profit is immense.

For example, a few years ago, you could have bought 1,000 bitcoins for just 1 U.S. dollar. Now, a few years later, at the time of this blog post, you could sell those same 1,000 bitcoins for US$750,000.

A historic change is happening. Whether you recognize it, and whether you take action is your choice. Like most major shifts in human technology, many early adopters will become rich, while those who “arrive late” will stand to actually lose net worth.

Whether you decide to get in early or not, we predict you, and most people, will be using some form of virtual currency within 4 to 5 years, if not sooner.

Ignoring the Detractors

There will always be people driven by hatred and distrust. People who cling to the past — afraid of the future. People who sneer at innovation because it’s easier than learning something new. Those people will be the last adopters of virtual currencies. They are also the most vocal opposition to virtual currencies today.

In the beginning, many people called Bitcoin a scam. Even today, despite its huge success, there are many people who still call it a “scam”, a “pyramid”, a “ponzi”. None of those accusations are true. Most of these people simply don’t understand the new paradigm and people fear what they don’t understand.

This will always be the case with innovation.

Ignoring the detractors is critical if you want to profit from the rise of virtual currencies. Listening to them will only drain your courage and leave you sitting in the same boat with them once the opportunities have evaporated.

Bitcoin Opens the Door

The success of Bitcoin is opening the door for widespread acceptance of virtual currencies, including VirtaPay. Bitcoin has proven to many people that a virtual currency can be more desirable, useful and trustworthy than fiat currency issued by a government central bank.

There are other virtual currencies, aside from Bitcoin, but many of them simply don’t have what it takes to succeed. VirtaPay has been around for over three years and we have over 2 million users. We now have a solid plan to give our users access to the balances they have been building in their accounts all this time. We are pleased to say that Bitcoin has opened the way.

Our New Path

We originally planned to create a debit card. That plan is being discarded for many reasons. Debit cards are old technology. Debit cards are inherently less secure and more difficult to deal with than the way Bitcoin works.

VirtaPay is a virtual currency. New technology for a new century. We are choosing to embrace a course similar to Bitcoin. We believe it is the right path for VirtaPay and it eliminates the need for outdated “debit card” technology. We don’t want to include outdated technology from the old financial system in the new paradigm.

So, what does this all mean?

There is a growing acceptance of crypto-currencies because people have lost trust in the old, corrupt financial system… the system that brought us the global financial crisis. The system that gave multi-million dollar bonuses to bankers and CEOs for losing billions… and ended with tax-payers bailing out those same banks and corporations.

Loss of trust in the old system has created a strong desire for a decentralized currency that cannot be manipulated by corrupt bankers, government officials… or anyone else. We are planning to convert VirtaPay into a decentralized crypto-currency — like Bitcoin.

How will You Benefit?

Becoming a crypto-currency carries many benefits for VirtaPay users.

For example, crypto-currencies are strictly limited and controlled by mathematics. If properly designed, the currency will be created at a controlled rate, and then creation is eventually stopped. After that, there is no way “print more” of the currency.

In the old, corrupt financial system, our governments wildly “print” their fiat currencies at ever increasing rates. This creation of money inflates the money supply, and so, is called inflation. Those who truly understand money realize that inflation is a “secret tax” — it allows governments to steal value from their citizens by simply creating more of the currency. By adding more to the money supply, they devalue what the citizens already hold. Governments love it because (1) they don’t have to take anything by force and (2) it isn’t even recognized as stealing by most of the population.

When VirtaPay converts to a crypto-currency…

  • the entire currency will be “owned” and operated by you, the currency holders
  • there will no longer be central servers that record the transactions, instead the ledger will be distributed among all users, with peer-to-peer technology
  • the currency will be nearly impossible to shut down without the consent of all the users
  • the production and limitation of the currency supply will be enforced and controlled by military-strength cryptography and mathematics… not by people
  • the currency will be created steadily over time by people who contribute computational power (“miners”)
  • the currency will have a mathematical limit to the total amount of currency that can be created (thus preventing devaluation through inflation)

Crypto-currencies are thriving…

As mentioned earlier, Bitcoin has already seen an immense rise in value. Most people missed out on that opportunity. A few years ago, you could buy thousands of bitcoins for just 1 U.S. dollar. But today, at the time of this blog post, you can buy 1 bitcoin for about US$750. Although Bitcoin has risen in value by over a million times, we believe it will still see at least moderate gains in value in the future.

There are other crypto-currencies that sprung up after Bitcoin, and they have created a sort of ecosystem surrounding Bitcoin. Although some of the very early adopters of Bitcoin dislike these alternative crypto-currencies, we see genuine value in their existence. We believe competition in markets is good, and probably even necessary, to drive innovation and to avoid becoming stagnant and complacent.

… but, VirtaPay has Phenomenal Potential

After conversion, VirtaPay has the potential to become one of the very top currencies in the crypto-currency ecosystem. We strongly believe that the value of your VirtaPay holdings could increase in value by at least one million times — just as Bitcoin did.

Some crypto-currencies starting with nothing have done very well. But, VirtaPay has some big advantages over currencies that started with nothing… VirtaPay has been around for about 3 years, since about 18 months after Bitcoin. In addition, VirtaPay has over 2 million users who hold a balance, and they are eagerly waiting to access those funds.

You have an incredible advantage. By being aware of this revolution in currencies at this stage, you are in a position to reap huge profits. As an early user of VirtaPay, you have the opportunity, right now, to add funds to your VirtaPay balance instantly with a Bitcoin purchase. To learn more about our plans, and why you may want to buy and hold VirtaPay currency, read more here.

Subscribe to the Blog

It is very important that we are able to send you timely updates as we continue to progress toward converting VirtaPay to a crypto-currency. There may be times when changes to our service will affect your VirtaPay account. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to receive blog updates by email.


Source: http://www.virtapay.com/blog/?p=2366

Wed, Jan 29 – The Satoshi Project

This blog post explains how and why we are giving bitcoins to VirtaPay users. Plus, you’ll learn how you can contribute and get rewarded in bitcoins or VP$ as we work toward converting VirtaPay into a crypto-currency.

The Satoshi Project

As you may already know, we are planning to convert VirtaPay into a crypto-currency, similar to Bitcoin. There are compelling and exciting reasons for this change, as explained in our last blog post.

Since the last blog post, we have been busy planning the steps needed to convert VirtaPay into a crypto-currency. We have named this effort the Satoshi Project — in honor of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.

Funding the Project

To complete the goals of the Satoshi Project will require funding… and you can get rewarded in bitcoin or VP$ if you contribute, or if you refer anyone who contributes to the Satoshi Project. The contributions will be used…

  • to pay for programming the conversion to crypto-currency
  • to promote the growth of VirtaPay
  • to help raise awareness of crypto-currencies
  • to invest in promising crypto-currencies

Your contributions can have a lasting impact, and may help raise the value of your VirtaPay holdings both before and after the conversion to crypto-currency.

120% Payouts and 1% Bonuses

You are guaranteed a 120% payout in either bitcoins or VP$, for every contribution you make. First, your contribution will be added to the current “contribution round”. After a contribution round is fully funded, and then reaches maturity (completing the goals of that round), then all payouts for that round will be sent.

Whether or not you choose to contribute, you can earn a 1% bonus, paid in bitcoins or VP$, for referring new contributors to the project. In fact, if you have ever referred someone using your referral link, then you already have referrals for the Satoshi Project!

We plan to accept less than 100 contribution rounds before the project is fully funded. Each round will have strict limits for both contribution size and the number of contributors allowed. The rounds will start small, but eventually, we will allow larger contributions and more contributors… as the Satoshi Project progresses.

Two Free Bitcoin Payments

We will soon send a bitcoin payment of 1 satoshi to many of our existing users. A satoshi is the smallest sub-unit of the bitcoin currency, it is 0.00000001 bitcoin.

In addition, we will award a bitcoin payment of 10 satoshi to all VirtaPay users who created their account before Jan 25, 2014. If you qualify for this payment, the link to claim it will be visible when you log in, on the “My Account” page.

Why send these payments?

Here are a few reasons for these payments…

  • To test our bitcoin sending mechanism on a large scale.
  • To raise awareness of the Satoshi Project.
  • To help you contribute. The minimum contribution amount is 10 satoshi. So, if you qualify to receive the 10 satoshi payment, you can use it to contribute to the Satoshi Project.
  • To give you some bitcoin to get started. Even if it is a small amount, many of our users have never owned bitcoin before!
  • We want you to think about the rise of virtual currencies, and the role they will play in the world economy in the near future.

Bitcoin Update

For those who may still have doubts about the role virtual currencies will play in the future, here’s a quick update on Bitcoin just since our last blog post, less than three weeks ago…

  • The value of 1 bitcoin has risen about 6%, from US$750 to around US$800 as seen on trading exchanges around the world.
  • On January 9, a major U.S. retailer, Overstock.com, began accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. Overstock has annual revenues of over US$1 Billion.
  • On January 23, another major U.S. retailer, TigerDirect.com, began accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. TigerDirect is a Fortune 100 company with annual revenues of over US$2 Billion.

Tiger Direct Screenshot

This marks the first time in history that major retailers have begun to accept a virtual currency which is not tied to any specific country or government.

Get Started…

To learn more about the Satoshi Project, log in to your VirtaPay account and follow the new links on the “My Account” page.

We will post updates on the Satoshi Project as it progresses.

Thanks!

Source: http://www.virtapay.com/blog/?p=2444



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