How to use bitcoin in the real world, and in the black market
I have for a very long time believed that a voluntary society is the best form of society and the most direct route to freedom. To stand on my philosophical soapbox for a minute, I have come to an understanding that humans, much like any other animal are made to be independently sovereign and capable of survival on our own. I see the benefits of society, and “civilization” in many forms. But in human history our species have experienced capable and strong forms of society.
One recent example of this is Ireland 2000 years ago. See this video for more information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su9OqvBbSD0
Since 2011 I have been trading in the bitcoin economy. I started with selling items from our trading post on Bitmit.net.
I made several dozen transactions on Bitmit for tangible items such as survival knifes, heirloom garden seeds, tie dye shirts and more. After a while I started a new website statelesstrade.com that I started accepting bitcoin and litecoin.
I have found a lot of freedom in these trades. They are neither blackmarket related, nor do I feel any need to hide my activity, because I pay taxes on these transactions, and every bit of these transactions are legitimate in every way.
However, with these transactions I do not have to worry about potential charge backs or disputes that I have dealt with in the past with using Paypal. I do not have to worry about over draft’s or fees, or monthly account fees, etc. I do not have to worry about my bank account being frozen, or my paypal account being frozen. With bitcoin it is as if I am operating my own bank and/or payment gateway. To me this is how transactions should be.
With bitcoin it is very similar to using cash, as I stated before. There is risk to the buyer when sending money via bitcoin if an escrow service is not being used. But it is like sending someone cash in the mail. You never know if you will get your item. However there are escrow services that can be used, and many websites like Bitmit.net and CryptoThrift.com have their own internal escrow services. But with the services and websites that do not offer escrow, such as the website that I recently used bitcoin to buy $1000 worth of camping survival supplies (survivalcampingstore.com) there is a certain amount of trust that has to be given. The website itself seems very credible and professional, and it looks like they have put a lot of time and effort in to making it. I also looked on google for reviews, and I found a few good reviews and no negative reviews. So I took a risk and I made the purchase. I made the purchase last Friday and I have already gotten one of 3 boxes worth of gear that I ordered. The other boxes are on their way and they should be here soon. See the video that I made about this at the bottom of this article.
Beyond just establishing the trust of a website, establishing the trust of particular sellers is also possible, as with Bitmit and CryptoThrift, there is a rating system on their website’s that is very similar to Ebay. If the seller is treating their customer’s right, then there will be evidence in the form of positive feedback as proof. Otherwise the seller will have low or no feedback.
Many people associate cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin with the black market and drugs. But there is a VAST community that supports the cryptocurrency economy that have nothing to do with drugs or the black market. I have been keeping a running list of sites that are accepting bitcoin at: http://xbttrades.wordpress.com
Just today small shockwaves rolled through the bitcoin community as the infamous Silkroad was shut down after the owner was allegedly arrested by the FBI (ref). But as some dispair, others are glad that the large and infamous drug market is shut down, which further distances bitcoin from illicit drug trade. There are other black markets that are still in operation that accept bitcoin, but the largest market was shut down.
I am somewhat sad that SilkRoad has been shut down. I have wrote about Silkroad in the past, and the reason that I despair is that sick people who need cannabis or other medication, will not be able to attain their medicine as easily.
After losing both my grandma and my father to aggressive cancers, and after I have learned that cannabis not only treats the symptoms but has been found to literally CURE cancer (also see this video about clinical studies), I worry about the closing of sites like Silkroad and the Atlantis Marketplace. This means people that need medicine will either go without, or be forced into back alley’s to find what they are looking for.
Recently we sold our property in California on ebay for 1170 Litecoin, and we used the proceeds in part to buy survival equipment. See more in the videos below.