Category Archives: financial news

Apple Boycotting Bitcoin

Apple has removed a number of Bitcoin-related iOS applications from its proprietary online App Store. While in some cases, Apple failed to even give a proper reason for this measure, other app developers have received notifications from Apple that Bitcoin payment functionality, in a stricter sense, needed to be removed for their apps to stay “acceptable” for Apple’s platform.

The move has resulted in the disappearance of usable Bitcoin payment applications for Apple iOS devices such as iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Only apps showing Bitcoin wallet balances or general prices on Bitcoin exchanges continue to be “permissible” for Apple. In effect, all truly useful Bitcoin applications for the widely used Apple devices have thus been censored out of existence by the company.

Apple’s policy has infuriated a large number of mobile device users. As a short-term result, a number of fixes for the problems caused by unavailable official App Store programs supporting Bitcoin have already appeared. These are only functional on jail-broken iOS devices though. (“Jail breaking” means removing existing and re-installing modified versions of the operating system onto original devices in order to circumvent DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) technologies present in standard Apple items.)

The reason for Apple’s fight against Bitcoin is that the company is struggling to introduce their its own payment system to Apple mobile device users. Apple’s planned system is said to be designed for PoS payments (point-of-sale payments) and to also be suitable for very small payments useful for e g music or movie downloads from Apple’s proprietary iTunes platform.

Forcing users to not use Bitcoin seems to be “okay” then for a large corporation trying to, obviously increasingly desperately, introduce something they see as the next big thing into the market predominantly for their own good, not the users’ who would certainly benefit much more from using low-cost and reliable Crypto currency payments such as Bitcoin.

Renewables for Bitcoiners (1) — Solar PV

Bitcoin, 3D printing, and Renewables — they all have something in common: this something is their ability to enable true change. Change in a good way (not a way of progressivist politics, that is). This change-in-a-good-way is the kind of change that frees humanity (not enslaves it further). It frees humanity by way of truly free, peer-to-peer economics (instead of centralized and/or state-controlled economics, a. k. a. a command economy).

This is why a true Bitcoiner needs to know all of these areas. Not just Bitcoin. Also 3D printing, also Renewables or “Green” energy.

Below is a primer in Solar PV generation (ideally off-grid, in order to make it really de-centralized and peer-to-peer, i e power is generated where it is needed). This Solar PV primer contains some facts you as a Bitcoiner and proponent of all things p2p might want to know. Enjoy.

 

A Bitcoiners Guide to Renewables — Introduction

Solar PV produces electric current actually in a similar way as batteries albeit much more intelligently as neither any components wear out nor is there any poisonous substance involved (like acid in batteries, which also wears out through use). Solar cells, while also degrading as there is no Perpetuum Mobile in our environment, last a lot longer than those “stone age” or “state-of-the-Arch” energy generation technologies called batteries — PV cells usually last for 25 years with at least 80% of their original capacity — and can produce energy for 35+ years before they become really “sucked-out”.

Over 95% of today’s solar cells consist of the semiconductor material silicon. Semiconductors are materials whose electrical conductivity increases under light or heat.

For the production of solar cells, the silicon is doped, which means that other chemical elements are added to it, either creating an electron surplus (n-conductive layer) or an electron shortage (p-conductive layer). This means that the doped areas become charged, and if two differently doped semiconductor areas convene, a so-called space charge region is created at the boundary layer (p-n junction), meaning there is a difference in electrical potential across the boundary.

This is what makes them somewhat related to batteries which use acid and two different metals to create the same effect for a limited time — until the battery becomes dis-charched or “empty”.

In order to achieve the desired effect in solar cells, the initial silicon material is normally p-doped lightly and a thin surface layer heavily n-doped. This creates the space charge region required for separating the charge carriers, known as electrons (negative charge) and holes (positive charge).
Different than batteries, solar cells do not need any added substances (like acid) in order to work, but the entire process is induced by just exposing them to sunlight (or even just daylight, i e it also works on an overcast day).

When the energy from the sunlight hits the semiconductor material, the photons transfer their energy to the material, and the electrons and holes achieve a higher energy state, allowing them to move. The negatively charged electrons will move to the positively charged region, and the positively charged holes move to the negatively charged region. This process repeats itself, and the net flow of charge across the boundary is the electricity that is generated by that cell! To generate usable amounts of electricity, cells are arranged into modules, which are in turn arranged into your PV array.

The front contact is a metallic grid, enabling the sunlight to penetrate into silicon between the contacts. Moreover, solar cells are also coated with an anti-reflection coating, serving to protect the cell and to reduce energy losses resulting from reflection. This layer gives the solar cells their typical bluish black appearance.

The basic output is then converted to voltages and currents in accordance with specifications needed using rectifiers, inverters or micro inverters, and similar electrical equipment.