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In what Dina Rezvanipour, CEO of 3d Public Relations and Marketing, says may be a publicity stunt similar to Larry Flynt's (See Page 2), a Bitcoin transfer service has offered to waive its fee for Romney to convert $1,000,000 USD to Bitcoin for free.
Why is the $1,000,000 amount important?
The hacktivist group "Anonymous" and/or Dr. Evil, claim to have obtained Mitt Romney's tax returns. The person or persons behind the claim says they were able to obtain the 1040 papers by accessing computers in the Franklin office of the professional services firm PWC. The group said they will release the files to the public on September, 28 if they are not paid $1 million in Bitcoins, an online currency.
However, another Bitcoin address was also created, and if $1,000,000 is sent to this second one (perhaps by a supporter of the Barack Obama reelection campaign) the tax records will be released immediately. In other words, a race is on, and whichever address receives the Bitcoins first will be the winner, see Bitromney.com or Blackmail Scorecard.
BitInstant is thus offering to “lend a helping hand” to Romney if he’d like to pay the toll, by waiving their fee for that service entirely.The Forbes E-book On Bitcoin Secret Money: Living on Bitcoin in the Real World, by Forbes staff writer Kashmir Hill, can be bought in Bitcoin or legal tender.
What is Bitcoin?
Created in January of 2009, Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Given its relatively anonymous nature, Bitcoins, have been linked to e-commerce transactions involving illegal drugs, porn, and poker, among other things. Obviously not something that is overtly happening on Amazon.com . One (1) Bitcoin currently sells for $11.37 USD. Bitcoin is also the name of the open source software which enables the use of this currency. The software uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by the network.
What Is BitInstant?
BitInstant is the transfer service offering to waive the Bitcoin conversion fee on $1,000,000. As I reported in 'Bitcoin + MasterCard: 'Everywhere You Shouldn't Be?' BitInstant has recently said it is close to launching the first internationally accepted Bitcoin-funded debit card, with partners of MasterCard. American Express, Visa, PayPal and Discover are not being named as potential partners.
In a call to confirm that the offer is legitimate, Erik Voorhees said, "It is", and directed me to the statement on their blog which reads, "Romney – if you’d like to acquire $1m worth of Bitcoins (somewhere in the range of 50,000-100,000 BTC), we’ll help you get the coins without charging any commission. That’s right, we’ll get you $1m worth of Bitcoins without taking a fee. Not only that, we’ll also show you how to safely use a Bitcoin wallet, back up and encrypt it, and make payments. We’ll even set you up with a Bitcoin app on your iPhone! You’ll be a Bitcoin expert in no time!"
Recent Developments: Hustler, Dr. Evil & GoDaddy.com
On September 7th, Larry Flynt, Hustler Magazine Publisher said he is "offering up to a million dollars in cash for documented evidence concerning Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's unreleased tax returns and/or details of his offshore assets, bank accounts and business partnerships." Flynt, 69, has purchased full-page ads in the Sunday, September 9, Washington Post and Tuesday's, September 11 issue of USA Today.
On September 8th, Dr. Evil claimed responsibility for the Romney tax-return theft in a 13 point letter. It’s important to understand the writer’s objective. Dr. Evil’s clarification in #5 & #6, feels defensive. In other words if the writer had been confident of getting paid, it would not be necessary to address either point. I asked Jon Holmquist, Coinabul, for his reaction. He said, "It looks to me like it's merely more proof of a hoax."
On September 10th, GoDaddy.com, one of the world's largest website providers and domain registrars, suffered a major outage and there appear to be links to Anonymous. One Twitter user, named @AnonymousOwn3r, claimed sole responsibility for the alleged attack, stating, "was only me not the Anonymous (collective)". On his Twitter profile, he claims to be a "security leader of #Anonymous." He goes on to say in an earlier tweet that he was "behind many things such like irc, ops, attacks."
What's Next ?
No one knows, but I suspect there will be more fireworks before September 28th. Given the amount of money that is being spent on this election by both sides, $1,000,000 seems like a small price to pay.
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Disclosure: I am not invested in MasterCard , Bitcoins or BitInstant.
I am an M&A Advisor, T.V. commentator, online journalist, magazine contributor, and speaker, focused on the e-commerce sector. My clients include some of the largest web-only retailers in the world. My objective in writing is to build a loyal audience consisting of the ...