Bitcoin not ready for prime time


It’s easy to get money into Bitcoin, the anonymous online money transfer system, but hard to get it out. Apparently few Bitcoin sources will cash you out and if they do, it’s just two coins at a time, or about $90. So why is this better than regular money? Sure, it’s completely anonymous and you can use Bitcoin money to buy illicit things on Silk Road – but you can do that on a street corner too.

Adam Curry and John Dvorak discussed Bitcoin on their No Agenda podcast # 493. The podcast examines the media and our government with a skeptical, incisive, sometimes quite humorous slant. Curry was an early MTV VJ, started a successful webdev company, was instrumental in creating podcasting, and delights in discussing conspiracy theories which sometimes end up being not as crackpot as you might think. He plays the fool but most assuredly isn’t one. Dvorak is the long-time tech columnist and is the straight man to Curry’s looniness. He’s “Buzzkill.” Curry is “Crackpot.”

The show has perhaps four hundred thousand listeners and is completely self-supporting. They do two shows a week and generally get $3,500 – 5,000 per podcast in donations. You read that right.

Back to Bitcoin. No Agenda is currently Curry’s sole source of income. They had planned to accept contributions in Bitcoin but after Curry discovered it was next to impossible to get substantial amounts of money out of Bitcoin quickly, they’re probably not going to use it. He says, quite rightfully, once my landlady starts taking Bitcoin, then it’ll be real. But she doesn’t now.

Yes, Silk Road guarantees anonymity. You can buy marijuana, cocaine, and order a hit on Silk Road (more on this in a future article.) But if you’re doing transactions like that, do you really want the seller to be anonymous? He could be anyone, a scamster, a cop, whatever.

Right now, Bitcoin seems like a black hole. The money goes in, circ