Fixing Unconfirmed Zero Confirmation Transactions

Bitcoin ErrorIf you’re ever in the unfortunate position of having sent a transaction and it still hasn’t shown up on the blockchain hours or even days later then this post is for you. Even though your coin may seem to have disappeared it is most like locked in your wallet and the software juat thinks it has been spennt. As long as you keep the private keys safe the coin is safe too.

There are several ways you can try fix this issue and they should all work whether you are working with Bitcoin or another Bitcoin based digital currency. Remember before you try anything; back up your wallet to stay make sure you have a safe copy.

1. The first and most simplest way of unlocking your coin is a simple rescan of the blockchain. You can access this via the Debug Console in the Help menu. Once the console has loaded type “-rescan” and hit enter. This should go through the history related to your addresses and if the transaction isn’t found on the live blockchain then your coin will no longer show as spent and you should be able to rebroadcast it.

2. The second way is by downloading a fresh copy of the blockchain. Close your wallet application and navigate to the folder where your coin files are stored. On Windows this is usually ‘C:/Users/PCUSERNAME/AppData/Roaming/Bitcoin’ and is where you will find a copy of your wallet which you should back up. You can then delete every other file in this folder apart from wallet.dat and then reopen the wallet software. This should initiate a new download of the blockchain and as it is verified your transaction will either appear unsent or verify and go through to the original destination.

3. The last option is to make a backup of your wallet.dat file using the built in Backup option from your wallet software. Then completely uninstall your wallet software and make a fresh installation using the official installer. Once it has reinstalled you can import your wallet.dat by moving the backup to the data folder described in the previous option or importing the private keys manually. This should either verify or unlock your coin.

It can be frustrating and worrying when your coin is locked and it shouldn’t happen often. The only time I’ve seen this issue is when your computer battery dies in the middle of the process or there was an underlying problem with the network connection when the transaction was made. With one of the above options your coin should now be unlocked or sent to the original destination. If this works for you, help other out in need by sharing this post with a friend in need or your faviroute website as thanks.

Bitcoin Black Friday: Bitcoin Ecommerce Begins Mainstream Transformation

imageFor those that wanted anymore proof that Bitcoin is starting to hit the mainstream you need look no further. Today marks the first worldwide Bitcoin Black Friday event with hundreds of online merchants from the latest tech retailers all the way through to travel deals and beyond.

There is also an opportunity to donate some of those appreciating coins to one of many charities that are taking part in the promotion to provide help to those less fortunate around the world.

If you’ve got a stash of coins why not celebrate the recent landmark rise to $1000 by picking up something from one of the 250+ Stores participating, donating to a worthy cause and in the process contributing to the development of a healthy Bitcoin ecommerce ecosystem. 

Vires in numeris.

10 Ways Bitcoin Can Benefit Ecommerce

Bitcoin CloudThere is a lot of talk about the pros and cons of Bitcoin as a currency and speculative talk from an investment angle however there is not as much analysis on how Bitcoin actually benefits its users as a unit of currency and system of exchange. This skews the perceptions and understanding of the practical aspects of Bitcoin and neglects to address how Bitcoin eCommerce can actually benefit both merchants and consumers.

When considering whether Bitcoin will ultimately be successful you need to first understand its use cases and competitive advantages against other methods of exchange. What follows are 10 ways that Bitcoin eCommerce can change the way we trade online and start to explore new opportunities online.

It Opens the Door for Programmatic Money and Future Innovation

Traditional banks have been key players in our financial systems for a very long time and as such will have significant legacy systems within their infrastructure. Bitcoin is a born digital currency that is practically its own API that will allow for and streamline programmatic transactions in seconds and minutes, that would require the interaction of multiple financial institutions and several days to process, let alone finalise in the current system.

Opening Up Opportunity For New Types of Business

In the current payments system you need the support of several financial institutions which are typically risk averse when it comes to their customers activity. This can be a good thing as it helps protect against fraud and other illegitimate activities but this cautiousness can also prevent many legitimate businesses from ever getting access to bank accounts and paynent systems without proving themselves first,  which of course they often can’t of they don’t have the facilities to process payments.

Puts Service at the Heart of Financial Instituions

Right now some payments systems act more as a tax on payments rather than adding value. Whilst some of the most popular processors offer benefits such as consumer protections and innovative technology for merchants this is not always the case. Bitcoin puts control of the flow back in the hands of merchants and consumers which means the value added service will need to be a core component of all payment processors.

Unlocks Opportunities for New Global Trade Routes

Traditionally there have been barriers to trade such as payment processors not being active in certain countries, local currency not being accepted at exchanges, risk averse financial institutions and of course fraud. Bitcoin removes the intermediaries and allows for direct trade between trusted parties in distant countries and can limit the risk of a payment not reaching its destination or suddenly being reversed and held in an unauthorised escrow.

Allows for Private Cash-Like Transactions Online

Privacy minded consumers or those trading in more sensitive be less inclined to link their personal bank account or financial details to a payment even though they would happily make a purchase or deposit online. In these cases they can simply register a new Bitcoin address that is good only for that transaction and make a deposit or make an in person purchase deposit of Bitcoin to spend at a later date. An added benefit to this type of transaction is that if the company the purchase is made from is ever hacked the consumers financial details remain safe.

Consumers Have Guaranteed and Accountable Access to Their Funds

Ever wondered if a credit card transaction has hit your account yet or gone to manage your finances only to find your banking site is down for maintenance? These are the kind of concerns that face consumers every day and can act as a barrier to purchase online. With Bitcoin you have an instant view of your finances in your local wallet and for it is highly unlikely that every node verifying the Bitcoin network will be “down for maintenance” at the same time. The wallet balance a consumer sees is the balance they have and there is no possibility of unexpected charges or downtime.

Payments are Pinged Instantly and Completely Finalised Within Minutes

This leaves the merchant secure in the fact that they have definitely received payment after approximately 6 confirmations in the Bitcoin network and as all payments are final this means the product can be released to the consumer instantly with no fear of recourse meaning consumers can get access to their goods without waiting days for certain payment systems to verify their transaction.

Bitcoins are Divisible to 8 Decimal Places Allowing for New Monetisation Models

In a digital world where distribution channels are racing towards zero for many products Bitcoin opens the door to scalable micro-transactions in a way that has previously been all but impossible. Whilst these micro-transactions can increase network, Bitcoin mining capabilities are already increasing at an amazing rate and when coupled with the programming possibilities of a truly digital currency innovation within this area is inevitable.

Escrow Can Be Established Without Trust for High Value and Service Transactions

On many sites selling services and high value products escrow services are almost essential for enabling trade and with Bitcoin rather than trusting a third (and potentially biased) party you can create multi-signature transactions that guarantee the funds are available and will only release the funding upon mutual agreement that the transaction should be settled from both of the parties involved.

Companies and Charities Can Choose to Make their Transactions Public

With more organisations than ever pushing for ultimate transparency it is important to note that Bitcoin transactions don’t have to be anonymous. For charities, crowdfunders and various other transparency minded business entities, Bitcoin offers a fully transparent way to publish and verify a transaction address which can then act as a log of accountability for the funds they receive as well as generate an air of social proof as other see the number of transactions being deposited in the account.

 

Hopefully this article has gone some way to show there is a lot more opportunity for Bitcoin as means of exchange beyond a purely speculative currency. What the killer app will be that finally brings Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to the mainstream is yet to be seen, but the Bitcoin eCommerce opportunities are already starting to reveal themselves for the more adventurous entrepreneurs to take advantage of.

NFC Bitcoins and Fun with Near Field Communication

NFC Bitcoin

Bitcoin is inherently a digital currency however that doesn’t mean that they have to stay online, quite the opposite in fact. Several companies have made efforts to develop their own physical versions of the currency that simply hold the data in the form of hidden or encrypted keys and scan-able QR codes.

NFC Bitcoin KeychainAs I had a bunch of NFC tags laying around the house that allow for scanning data just by hovering your mobile device over them I decided to have some fun with them. The first proof of concept was with a simple NFC keychain that I programmed to hold a public bitcoin address so that people could scan to make a payment.

Next I got a little more creative and managed to embed some code to an NFC enabled card that could hold an encrypted private key whilst also allowing people to scan it to make a payment to the public address. It doesn’t look much but that card is below…

NFC Bitcoin Card

Eventually I re-discovered the fact that you could get physical Bitcoins with no loaded value (intended for promotion) and decided the final challenge was to make a literal Bitcoin-coin. I ordered a batch of 50 and managed to match them up with a type of NFC tag that happened to fit almost perfectly and is designed to work on metal. The resulting bitcoins are what you see in the picture at the top of this post and in the image below…

NFC Bitcoins

With smartphones becoming more prominent than ever and the growing usage of NFC as a payment system for government backed currencies as well I see a lot of potential for Bitcoin to be used in physical retail outlets. Companies increasingly have access to NFC readers and of course, as a fallback these could easily be printed with QR codes and even physical addresses for more cost effective legacy scanners & POS (Point of Sale) systems.

Can you see NFC Bitcoins taking off?

BitMate Author Donations Released

It’s official, we’ve just released our first free bitcoin plugin for WordPress! Every author on your site can easily add a bitcoin address to their profile and the plugin will automatically add a donation box to the bottom of their blog posts so you can accept bitcoin donations. You can also generate a bitcoin donation box anywhere using shortcodes.

For more on how you can get your hands on our new bitcoin donation plugin check out the BitMate Author Donations page or the official WordPress repository page.

P.S. If you want to sell products online with bitcoin, watch this space ;)

Bitcoin Foundation Receive “Cease and Desist” – Media Roundup

So if you’re actively following news about Bitcoin you might have already heard that the Bitcoin Foundation, an independent member organisation promoting Bitcoin standards, has received a Cease and Desist letter from the State of California for unlawful conduct of money transmission business. It’s important to note that this does not necessarily indicate wrong doing and would at face value seem to validate the argument that Bitcoin is considered at the government level, to be money which is a great vote of confidence for those utilising Bitcoin for business and digital transactions.

You can view the actual Cease and Desist letter here…

CA State Cease and Desist May 30 by Jon Matonis

And links to some of the most prominent articles and discussions about this on the web are listed below:

 

YouTube is Broken: Rethinking Monetization With Bitcoin

This talk from Adam B Levine was given at the recent 2013  Bitcoin Conference in San Jose. It discusses the realities of monetizing your content on the web and then presents Bitcoin as a possible solution for generating a return on your published works through people quite literally voting with their wallets.

Rather than simply donating to a single address, users can tip specific pieces of content that they enjoy which in turn lets the publisher know where they are getting their biggest donations from and what content their users enjoy the most. In essence it is a kind of monetized analytics that provides feedback in a profitable way.

If the concept of monetizing your content on the web with Bitcoin sounds interesting then you should definitely check out the full video if you get a chance. You should also make sure to subscribe to our email updates because we have announcements coming up soon on some great Bitcoin WordPress plugins to help monetize your websites!

Rethinking Monetization With Bitcoin

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