Israelis have been into Bitcoin for a while: you can buy Israeli olive oil with Bitcoin, there is a BTC exchange exclusively for shekels and the Tel Aviv Bitcoin Meetup has 14 members and an event coming up on January 4. Back in October, an Israeli floated the idea of a Bitcoin hacking space in Tel Aviv. But the Israeli media have been napping on the e-currency until now.
Haaretz, the leading English language news source in Israel, just published an “intro to Bitcoin” article–the kind of Bitcoin basics story we saw a rash of back in May. “Shiny new coins,” is the perplexing title of the article, with the subheadline, “The digital currency that could replace the shekel.”
The author is bullish on Bitcoin:
More and more businesses the world over are adopting the Bitcoin as a legitimate means of payment, and there are even websites through which you can purchase any item on Amazon with Bitcoin, and even a credit card that uses Bitcoin, which is accepted by many businesses.
There is apparently no justification for the stain on Bitcoin’s reputation. When the website of Citibank, one of the largest banks in the United States, was hacked and about 2 percent of the credit information was stolen, or when the hacking of PSN (the Sony PlayStation website ) led to the theft of 77 million credit cards, it was not the dollar that was blamed as a currency and an institution, but rather Citibank and Sony that were negligent about security.
There is no question that the motivation behind Bitcoin is ideological, and the goal is to create a currency that is not affected by vested interests. But we cannot ignore the practical consequences that are likely to develop from it and influence commerce. Just as various countries such as Iran and Syria are closing their gates to foreigners and the commissions charged by various banks and intermediaries are particularly high, Bitcoin should definitely be considered a legitimate option for commerce.