News of the Month
We continue to grow in order to best serve our customers needs and keep up with demand! This month alone we have added three new locations that allow customers to buy and sell cryptocurrency!
Keep your eyes peeled for more locations to come as we seek to make buying and selling Bitcoin, Monero, and Ethereum as convenient as possible! Expect to see a machine at Millinocket Variety in Millinocket, ME as well as one at Rumford House of Pizza in Rumford. As an added bonus for subscribers to this newsletter, we are providing a promo code that will give customers up to a 2% discount off the price of Bitcoin, Monero, and Ethereum, or it will add up to 2% to the price if you are selling to us! For customers looking to unload larger amounts of Bitcoin we are offering a special right now--When you make an appointment to sell Bitcoin for cash in an amount of $50,000 or more, you can receive an extra $500! Be sure to book your appointment today, or take advantage of our discount by entering promo code "MYKEYS" when you visit any of the Maine ₿TC locations in your area this month!
11.4.1 Lock and Key
Despite its lack of physical state, it takes strong hands to hold bitcoins, and the only hands you should count on to ensure their security are your own. This can be done by taking full control of your wallet’s private keys. In cryptography, private keys could be likened to the password for an e-mail account. Similar to how a password is needed to write or read messages from an e-mail address, private keys are required to send or access received bitcoins. All private keys are paired with a corresponding “public key” that, like the e-mail address itself, can be shared publicly in order to exchange proprietary data, be it written messages or bitcoins.
Regrettably, many uninformed and risk-seeking users tend to rely on intermediaries, which offer a false sense of security, to store or invest their bitcoins. From Mt. Gox to BitConnect to QuadrigaCX, and dozens of others, crypto exchanges and investment schemes that require users to relinquish their private keys have too often resulted in failure or theft, costing innocent users hundreds of millions of dollars. By pooling assets on large scales, these intermediaries are targets for bad actors that try to pry coins loose from weak hands, collecting whatever slips through the fingers of naïve or negligent users and businesses.
Whether by hook or by crook, every time there’s an incident where bad actors abscond with other people’s bitcoins, it leaves a black eye on Bitcoin’s good name. This happens despite these incidents being completely unrelated to the performance of the underlying protocols.
11.4.2 The Burden of Ownership
It would be a misconception to believe that Bitcoin itself has ever been hacked. Every instance of lost or stolen coins resulting from crypto exchange failures, investment scams, and other malicious activities are not the fault of Bitcoin. They are the fault of uninformed individuals, as well as bad actors who prey on the weaknesses of intermediaries and the people that operate them.
Given that Bitcoin’s primary value propositions are its resistance to censorship and seizure, handing over control of your bitcoins to an intermediary, or in some other way relinquishing your private keys, defeats its purpose. And yet, these risky and avoidable behaviors are common for many users, suggesting that Bitcoin is still wanting for knowledge and resources regarding best practices pertaining to security.
If Bitcoin is to be universally adopted as honest and useful money, more users must take to heart the lessons from these past cautionary tales. The dubious track record of some of its shamefully departed intermediaries should motivate all users to make every effort to understand the cumbersome nature of private keys. Like anything worthwhile, locking down your personal Bitcoin bank requires some resolve, but this low hurdle is the only appreciable factor limiting anyone’s pursuit and enjoyment of genuine monetary autonomy.
"Not your keys, not your coins"
Bitcoin radically altered the ability of the everyday citizen to truly "own" an asset. The money in your bank account may be "yours"--but what if you need to access more than $500 of it on a Sunday evening? What if you post an unpopular opinion on social media that unexpectedly "goes viral", and you receive a letter from your bank stating your account has been terminated? In today's world, true ownership is hindered by centralization, regulation, and sometimes by physicality.
Bitcoin fixes this. Suddenly, anyone with access to a mobile device and internet can download a bitcoin wallet and begin taking full self-custody of a natively digital asset which has no central ruling entity that can strip you of your account, no "business hours" within which you must operate, no withdrawal or spending limits, and no physical representation to be seized from you. When you download your own wallet, the seed words are presented to you, and are literally the "keys" to your bitcoin. Knowing these 12 or 24 human readable words gives the owner power to transfer that value anywhere in the world--at any time--without any permission from a trusted 3rd party. The implications of this are enormous, from funding dissident journalists in war-torn countries to crossing those same war-torn borders with nothing more than a list of words which contain the keys to one's entire life savings. Not to mention the average citizen just trying to scrape by on a working wage being able to store purchasing power in a hard asset which cannot be inflated or debased, and similarly cannot be seized by an overreaching government.
As with everything in life, this revolutionary power transfer from centralized rulers to decentralized individuals is not without its tradeoffs and pitfalls. Having the ability to take true ownership over your funds in bitcoin also means there is no customer service line to reach out for if you accidentally let your secret seed words be seen by others. If you get taken in a scam, the Better Business Bureau will not be able to simply freeze the accounts and funds of the scammers. There are several ways to be separated from your bitcoin. With great power comes great responsibility, and when dealing with the potential loss of your hard earned money, perhaps no more important topic.
Here at Maine ₿TC we take very seriously the concerns of our customers, and offer an educational page with links to videos and articles to help customers learn at their own pace. For those in need of a more personal touch, we offer appointments in either 1 hour or 3 hour sessions, depending on your needs. We take care to process as little personal information as possible when you buy or sell cryptocurrency with us, in order to best protect your privacy and data. At Maine ₿TC the focus is on making sure you can exercise your ability to truly own a piece (or many pieces) of this digital monetary revolution, and to do it as safely and responsibly as possible. Visit one of our locations or contact us today for more information!