As I’ve noted several times, New Hampshire is one of the hotbeds of retail bitcoin usage thanks largely to the ultra-libertarian Free Staters. I believe we have more public bitcoin vending machines per capita than any state.
For a short period s of July 31, however, we may not have more functioning bitcoin vending machines because three of them are being temporarily shut due to concerns about a planned Aug. 1 “fork” of bitcoin, which is the result of a long-running dispute over how to cope with the cybercurrency’s growth. Free Keene, an outlet for the group, explains in a detailed post:
For an unknown amount of time after a fork, it’s risky to send or receive bitcoin. This has to do with the fact until the dust settles after the fork, you can be subject to “replay attacks” until the exchanges and wallet providers come up with a way to protect against these attacks. There’s also the risk that one of the two sides of the fork will be eliminated through competition, which would destroy any transactions that happened on that chain. Further, some companies may side with one chain or another rather than allowing both, which will lead to extreme confusion as to which Bitcoin is which.
Given that the situation is going to be very fluid and potentially risky, we at Shire BTC Vending and Shire Bitcoin are shutting down the Bitcoin Vending Machines in Manchester, Concord, and Keene temporarily on July 31st. We at Shire BTC Vending will be monitoring the situation and will post updates on the Shire BTC Vending website and NH Bitcoin forums. Shire Bitcoin, who operates the Concord BVM, will post updates to their site as well.
The details of the debate are non-trivial. But the debate is part of the reason that some investors have sourced on bitcoin and are shifting to other cyber-currencies or more expansive public blockchain projects, notably Ethereum.
As a side note, check out this Radiolab piece about the creation of Zcash, another crypto-currency. It’s got a little bit too much of the hosts talking about themselves (as always) but it’s really well reported and full of very interesting stuff.