bitcoin End User travel Weekend

Forty shillings fine


There is still no Bitcoin Exchange UK

Came across this in the Parcel Yard pub in Kings Cross Station. I liked it so took a photo.
When you look at it you can almost imagine the steam trains chuffing by, whistle blowing, engine driver leaning out of his window with blue overalls,  cap and red neckerchief.

Keep away from the line. Kids! It’s bloody dangerous.

The fine for being caught is forty shillings. Takes me back. Strange to admit I was around pre-decimalisation. My pocket money was 3d which as I recall bought me a Beano and a sweet or two. It went farthing, ha’penny, penny, 3d, groat, sixpenny, shilling, two bob and two and six. As far as I can remember. Correct me if I’m wrong or have missed one out.

It’s ok to take a nostalgic trip but reality is we are massively better off where we are now. It was a nightmare trying to learn adding up in old money.
Winding the clock forward to now my Bitcoin is worth £277. I paid £292 for it a few weeks back. It’s been up and down over the weeks. V volatile but it’s an experiment. Image below shows fluctuations over the past 12 months. No Bitcoin exchange UK mind.


I’m not sure we are going to be better off with Bitcoin. They don’t take it as payment in the Parcel Yard yet and it won’t get me a Beano. Afaik. Cheers…

bitcoin Business

HMRC gives green light to Bitcoin business?

pirate flagThe Telegraph has reported that HMRC will announce that it is to remove the 20% VAT from the sale and trading of Bitcoin in the UK.

Until now Bitcoin has been classified as an electronically supplied service or electronic voucher (depending on which perimeter officer received the query) which meant buying from or trading with a business incurred VAT. This effectively made Bitcoin 20% more expensive in the UK than elsewhere, eliminating any chance for UK businesses to operate in this area.

UK businesses now have the ability to sell bitcoins directly to customers without passing on the 20% VAT charge, making the UK with its financial status probably the most advantageous jurisdiction in the EU to operate a Bitcoin related business. Unfortunately, UK banks have shown very little interest in operating with Bitcoin businesses without specific regulation. They are very risk averse and if the government doesn’t tackle the issue, it may mean the Bitcoin economy will flourish elsewhere at the expense of the UK.

For users of exchanges it is important to note that VAT is being scrapped on all aspects of Bitcoin trading. When you buy or sell Bitcoin on a UK exchange the exchange takes a small fee to facilitate the trade. These fees will now be VAT zero rated, meaning there should be a potential 20% saving on fees for customers and no VAT liability for UK businesses operating trading services.

As a Bitcoin startup we welcome this news and have been pushing for this for nearly 9 months. We met with our local MP Karl McCartney who raised our concerns on this issue in parliament and wrote to the Treasury and HMRC on our behalf. We have also written to members of the cabinet and directly to HMRC ourselves. Hopefully our input alongside the many others who have had similar contacts has raised this issue to the level it deserves.

In all this is great news for the Bitcoin community and we expect to see an influx of startups buying and selling Bitcoins in the UK. The recognition by a UK government agency is an important step towards mainstream adoption and we are now looking to the Financial Conduct Authority to provide UK banks with the regulatory comfort they need to support this fledgling industry.

Other Bitcoin related posts:

Bitcoin Bet of Bubble Bursting?

Silk Road FTTC and Bitcoin

Bitcoin currency crash due to problems at MtGox (sounds familiar)

bitcoin Business

Bitcoin in the news again – no VAT & school dinners

pirate flagIn the news again, Bitcoin. This time HMRC have decided not to charge VAT on transactions. Seems reasonable.

Made me think about coins. In our house when I get in I empty my pockets onto the kitchen worktop (near the radio). The next morning the pile of coins is substantially smaller, reduced by demands for bus fares and miscellaneous youthful expenses.

The kids no longer need dinner money. We pay that directly into an account each of them has at school and each day a relevant amount is debited at the point of sale. Not good to admit perhap but I have no idea how much cash they burn through in this way. I’m sure someone has a handle on it (will that be the usual lobster thermidor or are we going for the steak and chips today son?).

We also pay their pocket money by direct debit into their bank accounts.

What made me think about all this was the

bitcoin Business online safety piracy

Bitcoin bet or bubble bursting?

two_pence Mt Gox is dead. Apparently. More than 750,000 Bitcoins missing, so they say.  Rumour mill an’ all.

Careless that, or criminal. Either way someone has lost a lot of Bitcoin (Mt Gox has previous – see here from 2011).

Now could be a good time to invest in Bitcoin. The price has dropped considerably. Mind you anytime could be a bad time to invest in Bitcoin, unless you make a living being successful at roulette.

I’m thinking of buying one. Just the one. Just so’s I can feel part of the action. It won’t be a big investment. I once knew a bookie in my local pub. He had a pitch at Market Rasen races and at one race meet I put a two pound bet on a horse with him. He accused me of trying to manipulate the odds with heavy betting 🙂

bitcoin market priceCurrent price is £295 or so (it was earlier this pm – changed already by the time of publication – gotta move faster – see That’s a new washing machine, or simlar. Mrs Davies would say that a new washing machine would be more useful and not depreciate quite as quickly as Bitcoin has over the last 24 hours.

Wives just don’t understand do they?

I’d like to bet that many of the readers of this blog are multi-millionaires thanks to Bitcoin and  here’s me still trying to hack out a living writing blog posts. It could be the answer.

Mind you I do occasionally buy a lottery ticket and I honestly can’t remember the last time I got a single number right. I think there is something going on there. Must be.

I’ll keep you posted.

Mt Gox is dead. Long live Mt Gox.

PS I realise I’m taking a risk publishing a picture of a two pence piece but I think it is in the public interest to do so. The two pence photographed is worth two pence and will be used as part of a transaction to buy something – box of matches1 etc. It may not be possible to do this with a bitcoin.

1 can you actually buy anything for two pence anymore?

Business online safety piracy Regs security

SilkRoad FTTC and Bitcoin!

Interesting to note that 8 out of the top ten keywords for visitors to this blog over the last month have been related to either FTTC or silkroad with 4 each.

I can understand the FTTC interest and I was an early writer on this subject so get decent Google rankings. As far as SilkRoad goes either there is not much written out there about the subject or there are huge numbers of people trying to find out more about it – human nature I guess!

As far as Bitcoin goes the underground currency seems to have recovered following the Mt. Gox crash. My original source for info seems to have stopped publishing at the time of the crash – 19th June. However it is now visible elsewhere and is trading at not far off the levels seen at Mt.Gox before the crash (for what it’s worth!).

PS whilst the two subjects seem totally separate FTTC and SilkRoad do obviously inhabit the same online universe. People will be using FTTC to access Bitcoin trading sources. I’m not sure that we will ever see the day when BT accepts payment for FTTC using Bitcoin though.