Cleveland Bitcoin Meetup – February 13, 2014
I attended my first Bitcoin Meetup here in Cleveland, Ohio. The meeting took place at David’s Grill and Bar, a very nice place located in Northpoint Tower, a commercial office building on the northeast corner of West 9th and Lakeside. David’s started accepting Bitcoin in 2013. David’s has a bar and restaurant, and this may be one of those hidden watering holes I may have to frequent during my future jaunts downtown.
There were about 20 people who attended throughout the evening, representing hobbyists, business owners, bitcoin miners, and both experienced and new digital currency enthusiasts.
Photo Credit: Rebecca E. Groynom
The conversations were lively. We discussed consumer bitcoin technology, regulatory affairs, legal affairs, public opinion, and many other areas of interest. The owner of The Wine Spot, a Cleveland Heights business which recently implemented Bitcoin payment technology, presented his business experience learning about and implementing Bitcoin at his store.
Looking forward to the next Cleveland Bitcoin Meetup:
When: March 5th, 6:15pm
Where: The Wine Spot
Registration: Just stop by, or register officially at http://www.meetup.com/Cleveland-Bitcoin/
Fantastic news! Within only 6 days of our announcement, Cleveland media has responded with a very welcoming article about our partnership with The Wine Spot:
Uppercase “B” is for Bitcoin (proper noun) – the payment network technology in its entirety.
Lowercase “b” is for bitcoin(s) (common noun) – the currency unit(s) traded over the Bitcoin network.
“BTC” is the abbreviation for the bitcoin currency. An analogy is USD, for United States dollar.
2-Factor Authentication (2FA) is becoming a prevalent, and easy to use technology for securing your most precious online belongings. 2FA requires just as the name suggestions, 2 methods of login to access your online resources. In the case of most online websites, this usually means a combination of:
– A username and password
– A random, numerical authentication code sent to phone, email, or synced with a Smartphone app.
Without both of these, access will not be granted.
Usernames and Passwords
We are all familiar with usernames and passwords. This has been the de-facto standard authentication mechanism since, well, probably forever. But, this method alone has a variety of security related problems, including:
– Usernames and passwords can be shared, and thus distributed without the original owners consent.
– Usernames and passwords can be hacked. Unauthorized users accessing secured resources can block authorized users, or even be viewed indefinitely by prying eyes so long as the password does not change.
– Usernames and passwords provide authorization to secure resources, but do not prove that the person accessing these resources is the correct person – just that this person happens to have the correct username and password.
Where 2-Factor Authentication Fits In
What if, whenever a login attempt was made to one of your secure resources, a text message was sent to your phone with an additional, random code which would also need to be entered? This now ties a username and password to an actual device owned by the account holder. If a hacker has the correct username and password, but not access to the physical device, their attempt to access this secured resource would be denied.
Two common and widely supported Smartphone apps that manage 2-Factor Authentication are called Google Authenticator, and Authy. With these apps, instead of the website sending a text message, the user opens one of these apps to gain access to the randomly generated code. An example of this would be a typical 2FA enabled Coinbase login:
1. Enter username and password at coinbase.com.
2. Open Google Authenticator or Authy app, chose the Coinbase entry.
3. Enter the numerical code from the app at the Coinbase login screen (this code changes every 20 seconds).
4. Gain access to your Coinbase account.
As you can see, without the physical device, access to Coinbase would not be available.
Many financial institutions, email platforms (Gmail included), social media sites, and other secure web services offer 2-Factor Authentication. It is often an optional component, disabled by default, and can be configured in your user profile settings for said service.
CoinNEO recommends the Authy app for 2FA. While Google Authenticator works just fine, Authy seems to provide better backup and restore functions in case your phone is lost or stolen.
CoinNEO also recommends enabling 2-Factor Authentication for any website you use where personal information, especially financial information, is stored. If your financial institution’s website does not currently support this technology, send them an email expressing your interest in seeing this as as feature in the future.
Here is a video Authy provides that describes 2-Factor Authentication:
Adam Fleischer, Owner, The Wine Spot
2271 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
(216) 342-3623 • toll-free (877) 904-4954
fax (877) 556-4899
Nikhil Chand, Founder, CoinNEO
Cleveland Heights, OH – Effective February 4th, 2014 The Wine Spot accepts Bitcoin payments from retail customers. The Wine Spot achieved this partnering with CoinNEO, a Bitcoin consultancy serving Northeast Ohio.
“The Wine Spot leads Cleveland in this innovation. They offer valuable insight about Bitcoin’s capabilities for American retailers,” states Nikhil Chand, founder of CoinNEO.
Bitcoin is an Internet-based digital currency system, frequently referenced by mainstream media such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Business Insider.
Bitcoins spent at The Wine Spot are converted to equivalent US dollars, with zero risk of loss. Chand integrated The Wine Spot’s existing point-of-sale system to record the Bitcoin transactions. Their upcoming online store will also offer Bitcoin as a payment option, shipping nationwide.
The Wine Spot owner Adam Fleischer is intrigued by the services Bitcoin provides to small business. “Bitcoin provides my customers the flexibility of another form of payment, and those investing in Bitcoin are searching for places to spend it. In addition, as a small business owner I am always looking for ways to manage expenses. At this point Bitcoin transaction fees are less expensive for me, versus credit cards and PayPal. I see why many believe digital currencies are the future,” says Fleischer.
About The Wine Spot
Adam Fleischer opened The Wine Spot in 2011. Fleischer, a Cleveland Heights native, has grown The Wine Spot into a leading Cleveland-area wine, beer, and beverage gift destination. Additionally, The Wine Spot features The Music Spot and The Art Spot, highlighting a variety of original student and professional artists’ works.
Located in Cleveland Heights, CoinNEO partners with organizations to explore Bitcoin opportunities. CoinNEO’s founder is Nikhil Chand, a Cleveland technology professional promoting safe, secure, and practical technology solutions. Chand believes Cleveland’s economic renaissance is a welcoming platform for emerging technologies such as Bitcoin, and believes CoinNEO’s contributions help fortify Cleveland’s position as a global leader in technology innovation.