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Brits wary of crypto-currency; Nakomoto outed?; bitcoin goes to pot

17 April 2014  |  5740 views  |  0 bitcoin

Despite the hype, the vast majority of Brits have no interest in using bitcoin to shop online, with a lack of trust cited as the main barrier to uptake.

Of 2052 people polled by YouGov for digital commerce firm Venda, 71% say that they do not want the option to pay using virtual currency.

With high profile cases such as the Mt. Gox debacle - which saw hundreds of millions of dollars in bitcoins disappear - making headlines, 43% of respondents say that their main concern is that they do not trust the currency.

Many people are also still unclear on how bitcoin works, with 49% of women saying that they are unfamiliar with it and 36% of men. A quarter of Brits are put off by the currency's volatility which has seen prices bounce around over the last year in reaction to security scares and regulatory moves from governments around the world.

Meanwhile, bitcoin's supposed benefits leave most people unmoved. Just six per cent of those polled are drawn by its anonymity and only five per cent would be tempted if it meant no longer needing to carry cash.

Satoshi Nakamoto outed?

Separately, forensic linguistics experts from Aston University in Birmingham think that they have identified the author of the original bitcoin spec paper as writer Nick Szabo.

A group of forty linguistic students compared the language in the infamous paper with writing from 13 people who have been identified as suspects over the years.

Says Jack Grieve, lecturer in forensic linguistics, Aston: "The number of linguistic similarities between Szabo's writing and the Bitcoin paper is uncanny, none of the other possible authors were anywhere near as good of a match. We are pretty confident that out of the primary suspects Nick Szabo is the main author of the paper, though we can't rule out the possibility that others contributed."

Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, the man 'outed' as bitcoin's creator by Newsweek last month was not among the 13 examined. He has repeatedly denied the magazine's claims.

Pot vending machine accepts bitcoin

A new marijuana vending machine called the ZaZZZ has been unveiled in Colorado, enabling locals to buy their weed with cash cards or bitcoin. Stephen Shearin, COO of the machine's maker American Green told CoinDesk that once customers have selected their pot they will see a QR code which they scan with their smartphone to complete the purchase through their bitcoin wallet.

"Providing a payment facility that has a super-low cost to it, like bitcoin, is an effective way to provide these guys - dispensaries and dispensary owners - with a means of doing their business that is more efficient than other facilities that charge a higher fee," says Shearin.

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