Showing posts from May, 2014

Bitcoin 2 - Mobile Payments

My 'adventure' into Bitcoin has revealed a whole new world of virtual crypto currency. If you look around you also realise that mobile money itself is quite controversial. From a technology perspective this should be pretty simple. You have a smartphone with an app and then, instead of taking a wallet, you just have an app that just transfers money when you want to buy something. Easy! The first hurdle is that too often not every smartphone platform has an 'app'. Your bank app is usually there for an iPhone and current Android versions. My Windowsphone is often not covered. Secondly no one has a payment system that works everywhere. In the UK there is Barclays Pingit, Paym, Paypal mobile payments and more....  Even baker Greggs has a payment card that requires pre-loading money. It has absolutely no advantage over using cash. In the US there is Google Wallet, Isis and more. The big barriers are not technology it is rather the perceived potential market. Internet compani


A month ago I decided to find out what all the fuss was about. The media had been banging on for a while about Bitcoin so I just decided to find out more. The first I took was literally to buy a Bitcoin. A single Bitcoin is pretty expensive right now. As of today it's more than $500 or £300+. I don't have the actual exchange rate to hand but unless you have a specific purchase in mind then just being curious is expensive. So I bought 0.1 of a Bitcoin - expressed as 0.1 BTC. Bitcoin is totally digital. It's just a number. So you need a 'digital wallet' to store it. Actually you can create as many digital wallets as you want. Coinbase is one of the digital wallets. Once you have a digital wallet you need some digital money to put in it. The way I did it was make a small purchase of £25 of Bitcoins and I used the address of my account in the wallet as a store. Sure enough within a few minutes I had 0.1 BTC. A few days later this was worth about £26.00 at the then exch

The missing tech stores .....

Recently I have returned from a holiday of a lifetime. I visited New York City. New York is a city of approximately 8.5 million centred around Manhatten island. One of the things a UK visitor is interested in is the price of technology. Gadgets are just cheaper in the US than Europe. There is an array of small tech shops selling Chinese tablets, cameras and gifts. There is a great new Apple Store at Grand Central Station but where could I buy a PC? Unfortunately there is no flagship store to buy a lap. HP, Dell, Lenovo etc don't have any sales strategy for the millions of tourists passing through NYC. Microsoft don't have a flagship store. Google don't have a place to buy Chromebooks or promote their platform(s). It's interesting that Apple have created a technology experience for shoppers worldwide and the other vendors are a long way from competing - even in a key US city.