Stellar Wallet Balance - Balance of bitcoin address:

Changelly scam... I think so.

I've been very patient with Changelly since August 5th when I submitted my first support ticket on this matter. Now that it's clear to me that Changelly runs a drag-it-out support strategy, it's time to go public.
Is Changelly a scam?
You be the judge... please leave your opinion in the comments.
CONTEXT
The transaction (Tx) at issue here is BTC for GBYTE (Byteball).
For those not familiar with Byteball:
Byteball has no mining; its native currency - white bytes (GBYTE) and black bytes (BB) - was created back in December 2016 and has since been distributed, as widely as possible, via ~monthly airdrops. Every full moon since December, a "snapshot" has been taken of the balance of bytes held on each and every Byteball address, and of the balance of every registered BTC address. Shortly thereafter, each address receives new bytes based on the balance at the time of the snapshot.
The last snapshot was August 7, 2017 18:10 UTC (11:10 PDT), and new bytes were distributed as follows:
One last thing: Byteball's immutable ledger of Txs is stored in a construct called a DAG (Directed Acyclical Graph), analogous in function to bitcoin's blockchain.
WHAT HAPPENED?
On August 5, two days before the Byteball snapshot, I initiated a Tx with Changelly to trade 20 BTC for ~105 GBYTE. Changelly took my BTC, but held on to the GBYTE through the snapshot, collected the airdropped Byteball reward based on the balance of my funds, and then, 4 days after I initiated the Tx, sent ~105 GBYTE.
Changelly effectively stole my ByteBall distribution reward.
When hours had passed and still no GBYTE, I sent my first ticket, and support responded:
"It seems that there could be some technical issues either with our wallet or with Gbyte network. We will investigate the matter. We have forwarded your request to the technical department. They will push your transaction through. We will inform you, once your issue is resolved!"
On August 7th, before the snapshot, I submitted two more support tickets. I told Changelly that if they couldn't deliver the GBYTE before the snapshot, I wanted my BTC back. Support responded on August 8th 2:06pm (long after the snapshot):
"Unfortunately, we cannot refund your bitcoins since they have been already converted into GBYTE. But you will receive the same amount since your money has been already exchanged. Please confirm your GBYTE wallet address and we will repeat payout. All the issues seem to be fixed now, so it should work."
I responded, explaining why the only reasonable remedy was for Changelly to refund my BTC. I did not confirm any GBYTE wallet address.
Support ignored me and sent the following on August 9th:
"Good news! We have received the response from the exchange and now everything has been delivered!"
I wrote to Charlie Shrem, an advisor to Changelly, and he forwarded my complaint to Changelly CEO, Konstantin Gladych. I've also emailed Gladych many times directly myself. Zero response.
CIVIL LIABILITY
Under civil law, Changelly has been unjustly enriched and is liable to pay restitution.
Unjust Enrichment. A general equitable principle that no person should be allowed to profit at another's expense without making restitution for the reasonable value of any property, services, or other benefits that have been unfairly received and retained.
This principle is widely recognized and applies to Changelly here regardless of whether they did anything wrong. This is essentially why Coinbase and Poloniex changed course and gave their customers the BCH that was due to them.
CRIMINAL LIABILITY
Changelly is clearly liable under civil law.
What about criminal liability?
Using a DAG explorer, we can browse Byteball's immutable ledger of Txs and discover the following:
All Changelly had to do was send it to me. What happened?
The DAG shows that the GBYTE was diverted to the following addresses, which subsequently received the airdropped GBYTE that rightfully should have gone to me:
  • 31,447,997,156 to CBCYP2UY6YX2FJX6OXNDHBQO4VREDUJL
  • 51,788,023,285 to QAHP5Z4P6QQV4S3MUVTOJM5D7SJDWPSD
  • 21,763,859,830 to 6H5USZBXMOYUAGCYEYF7P3A6QU2EJBCT
  • 306,636,259 to QR542JXX7VJ5UJOZDKHTJCXAYWOATID2
The DAG also shows plenty of Tx activity over the relevant time period, also strongly suggesting no technical issues were to blame for Changelly's delayed Tx.
Did you know…?
Under the Czech Republic's Code on Corporate Criminal Liability both Changelly and the individual perpetrator(s) would be criminally liable.
WHAT NEXT
Changelly… fix this immediately.
Up next we’ll explore…
  • how to connect employee identities to the suspicious Byteball addresses
  • inner-workings of Changelly
  • the Bittrex and Changelly APIs
  • behind the scenes of the Changelly-Bittrex connection
  • Konstantin Gladych’s relationship with the European Cybercrime Center
  • presenting evidence to Czech and U.S. prosecutors
  • comments from devs re: Changelly’s technical excuses for failed Txs
  • similarities and differences between Changelly and BitInstant
submitted by Nttwo to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Why would an average person actually choose to use Bitcoin?

(Cross post from https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=131154.0) That is a question that I come across quite often. For example,
From: Cardiovorax
I understand all the ideological reasons for why someone might want to choose Bitcoin. Most of them are fairly crazy, but at least they're there. What I don't get are the practical benefits, why an average person would actually choose to use them. If you aren't worried about the government or the banks or planning to get rich quickly 2140, then what can Bitcoin actually do for you? That's the part that nobody has really managed to explain so far in any of the threads, at least as far as I can remember.
To be fair, we understand the currency, it's inner workings, and thus its potential quite well, but while we profess how great it is, with $'s and stars in our eyes, we likely forget that the people we are talking to don't know or understand everything that we do. So, I think we should come up with some examples that answer the question of "why would an average person care" (or re-paste them from older necro threads). Here are some of mine:
1) It lets you send money overseas cheaper than using a bank wire (FIAT > BTC > BTC > FIAT has way better fees and exchange rates than bank wire, Western Union, etc).
2) It lets anyone open a virtual bank account without needing access to a physical bank. For example, some banks charge fees and require minimum balances for accounts, which may be prohibitively expensive. Some areas around the world don't even have banks other than in far away big cities. And in some cases, it's easier to just create a new Bitcoin wallet to store money in, than it is to drive down to a bank, fill out forms, come up with profs of ID, wait days for them to be verified, and another week for your account to actually be ready to use (especially if you're looking for a small business account).
3) It lets you accept payments online easily and way cheaper than with VISA, PayPal, or other such services. Heck, you can even just get a bitcoin address from MtGox or any other exchange, set up your account to instantly exchange any received BTC for local currency, and you're done.
4) It lets you accept payments over e-mail or any other service that can transmit text (even photos, as seen on girlsgonebitcoin). Some sellers may not have the means to build a website, but can still send out an invoice, asking to send payments to a specific address. (i.e. someone living in a poor country who only has access to an internet cafe, or someone who just doesn't have web skills).
5) It lets you accept tips or donations using any website. You can upload videos to YouTube, photos to Flickr, posts to a blog, music to Soundcloud, art to Deviantart, or comic strips to GoComics, and to accept donations all you need is to include a string of text in the description. No need to set up any money-accepting plugins, set up any bank or financial accounts, or rely on features provided by the service being used.
6) It lets you send money to places where PalPal or other money transmitting services are blocked, for example Russia or India, and is much cheaper for sending money to family in other countries. Even if that country they can't send money to is US, as in the example of the parents in Iran sending $2,000 to their college student son living here.
7) It lets you send huge sums of money overseas quickly and cheaply. If you were in US and you needed to pay $1,000,000 for a shipment from China, using normal methods of wiring money would take two or more weeks, and will cost more than $25,000 for the transaction. With Bitcoin, it takes a few hours, and costs $12,000 or less.
8) It lets you send micropayments better than anything else out there. It's easy and practically free to send $0.01 to anyone else using BTC, but would cost about $0.25 for just the fee to use the USD/EUR system. Any micropayment system that uses USD/EUR would have to sit on top of a larger system that stores all the money in a single large account, and all micropayments would have to be done as accounting entries within that account, instead of money actually moving around (i.e. you have to fund the system with a large payment, do your micropayment transactions, and withdraw when your fund is big enough again). This means micropayments using USD/EUR are restricted to only within specific services (i.e. your pre-paid micropayments fund that you use to pay for news articles can only be used within that news website)
9) It lets you create programs and services with their own bank accounts (the software stores value, as opposed to value always being linked to a real world person and a real world outside-the-service bank account). The Reddit tipbot is an excellent example of this, and would be impossible with USD/EUR, since to build it using FIAT, someone would have to open a real world bank account under their name (with all the forms, proofs of ID, etc), set it up to accept money transfers from others using PayPal, VISA, or something else, which will charge fees, have nasty exchange rates, have to keep to strict AML regulations, and be restricted to certain specific countries. Plus it would have all the micropayment issues mentioned above. With Bitcoin, all the "banking" is done with software, requiring no permissions, and no single programmer's name has to be linked with any bank accounts.
10) It lets you instantly fund USD/EUR based accounts around the world. The small LLC I started up keeps a BTC cash account for minor business expenses, and my business partners around the world will have Bitcoin funded VISA debit cards (as soon as Bitinstant releases them). That way, all the money is stored safely in the business vault, and if they need to pay for any business expenses, no matter where they are on the planet, or what their home currency is, I can fund their cards from home within 10 minutes. That's impossible with ACH, wires, or whatever else is out there.
11) It lets you link a payment account to a contract using address signing. For example, Person A agrees to buy Person B's debt. They write up an agreement contract, and instead of signing it with PGP keys, they sign it with A's and B's bitcoin addresses. Then money is sent from Address A to Address B, and any repayments are sent from Address B to Address A. That way, Person B can't claim that they never received the money, and Person A can't claim that they are still owed more than they really are, since all transactions are publicly verifiable on the block chain using the very addresses that were used to sign the contract. There is no need for any legal disputes of who owes what, since the blockchain keeps both parties honest (I actually did this already).
If you can think of anything else, please add it to the list.
EDIT: 12) Usenet has recently gone through the Wikileaks experience, with copyright behemoths pressuring VISA, PayPal, et all, to stop processing payments for Usenet service providers. Many have switched to Bitcoin since then, and I personally know Usener user who followed, now buying his btc from me for that purpose.
submitted by Rassah to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

My horrible BitInstant/ZipZap/MoneyGram/7-Eleven experience

Here's my experience using BitInstant to get a VouchX code at 1:00am.
TL;DR: Undisclosed fees; lots of personal details; what should have taken 5 minutes took 45; apathetic 7-Eleven clerk couldn't take ownership of issues with his company's own shitty kiosk; BitInstant sends me the money in a form not quite as insecure as banknotes taped to a postcard.
It was a late Thursday night, dipping into early Friday. BitMe had a low bid price for BTC. With BitMe, I'd usually deposit at a Chase branch, but I expected the price to rise too much by the time I could make it to a branch and the BitMe guy could confirm my deposit. I anticipated a lot of people putting their Friday paychecks into Bitcoin, so I was in a rush to buy. For this reason, I decided to pay the premium of BitInstant.
The first disappointment with BitInstant was that in order to deposit at a MoneyGram terminal, I'd have to pay an additional $3.95 to another middleman called "ZipZap." The BitInstant site doesn't mention this extra fee on the main page, where the 3.99% commission amount is quoted. The earliest point in time that I could learn the amount of the $3.95 extra fee was after I filled in order information (including my name and date of birth) on BitInstant, was taken to ZipZap, filled in my phone number, selected a MoneyGram location, and then finally downloaded the payment slip.
ZipZap sent me an e-mail, but their mail servers weren't configured correctly, so I never got it. My e-mail server logs show:
Mar 8 03:20:16 ophelia postfix/smtpd[17694]: connect from smtp.zipzapinc.com[184.169.154.190] Mar 8 03:20:16 ophelia postfix/smtpd[17694]: NOQUEUE: reject: RCPT from ... smtp.zipzapinc.com[184.169.154.190]: 504 5.5.2 : ... Helo command rejected: need fully-qualified hostname; from= ... to= proto=ESMTP helo= Mar 8 03:20:16 ophelia postfix/smtpd[17694]: disconnect from smtp.zipzapinc.com[184.169.154.190] 
ZipZap's web page says something to the effect of "anonymous payment." Later, at the MoneyGram location, I had to provide my name, phone number, and mailing address. (The address was never needed by BitInstant or ZipZap.)
I chose 7-Eleven store #18256 at 924 E. Empire Ave., Spokane, WA 99207 as the MoneyGram location, because 7-Eleven was the only local chain of MoneyGram locations open at that hour. Their MoneyGram solution was a Vcom kiosk. These multifunction kiosks, in addition to providing ATM and check services also act as MoneyGram terminals.
The first irk in the process was that the machine asked me to call a certain phone number for MoneyGram customer service, and no courtesy phone was provided on the machine. The store clerk didn't have a phone for me to use either. I wasted $1.26 on a 7 minute phone call from my by-the-minute phone (with plans optimized for texting, not voice). In 7 minutes, my name, address, phone number, "receive code" (a unique code for ZipZap), and payment amount was taken; it could have taken me no longer than 2 minutes for me to carefully enter and double-check this information on the terminal itself. I understand there is a market for customer service that delivers warm fuzzies, but this wasted my time and money and subjected me to a guy not from my continent who was difficult to hear over the connection.
Now it was time to deposit the money. The machine instructed me to insert one bill at a time, so I did. I was paying $385 in 20 banknotes. The machine would accept one banknote, give a message "not enough cash inserted," wait about 15 seconds, then show me the balance of how much money remains to be inserted. Well, of course not enough money was inserted, I don't have a $385 banknote and you told me to insert one at a time! I counted later to find that the machine processes banknotes at a rate of once every 20 seconds, so I spent over six minutes hand-feeding money into this machine, in front of a bored clerk at a slow 7-Eleven. I felt really bad for that guy, since he had store work to do and pretty much had to babysit me to make sure I wasn't going to walk off with anything.
Finally, the last note! Okay, it's doing .. something, and ... "this transaction could not be completed at this time." [Paraphrased, but no specific reason was given.] The machine then took a couple minutes to return my money, this time in the form of 16 banknotes. At least all my money was accounted for, but what gives?
The clerk tried to convince me that the machine doesn't work, and suggested I try calling whoever I'm trying to pay at 8:00am, start of business. I explained to him that this payment is time sensitive, that's why I'm doing this in the middle of the night.
Finally, it dawned on me that I never gave my "account number," a unique identifying code for the ZipZap transaction, to the MoneyGram phone agent. But he did ask for my phone number twice! I must have misheard him. Drat. I let the clerk know what my mistake was, but he tried his hardest to convince me that the machine didn't work as intended and suggested I try another 7-Eleven that was about an hour and a half on foot for me. I declined and told him I'd use the payphone to reach MoneyGram this time.
Back from another 5-10 call, I come into the store to find a note taped over the machine's screen, "out of order." The clerk is at this point telling me with matter-of-fact authority in his voice that the machine won't do what I want, and that it's out of service for everything but ATM and MoneyGram transactions. (Even after I tried several times to explain, he wouldn't accept that I was in fact trying to do a MoneyGram transaction.) Even though I explained to him that this is a time-sensitive payment--that is why I'm up at 2:00 in the morning taking care of this business--and it will be a 45 minute walk home for nothing, he insists that I am not allowed to use the machine. He even explicitly told me that he has work to do and it's taken him too long keeping an eye on me. I plead with him and sympathize about how horribly slow these machines are, how it's not his fault, and finally get through to him to let me try one more time, the final persuasive argument being that the machine gave me my money in $100 notes this time, so it won't take so long. (I didn't let him know that only two notes were $100s, while the rest were in $20s and $1s, but it was still fewer notes.) He doesn't even have the courtesy to say "yes," "okay," "sure," or "just one more time;" he just peels off his because-I-can "out of order" sign off the machine and goes about his business without saying a word.
Seriously? What's the point of this fancy self-serve kiosk if I need to call some guy in the Indian subcontinent to set up the transaction? How many millions of dollars were poured into the design, implementation, and rollout of these good-for-nothing machines that take ages to accept your cash? And then to have some apathetic, underpaid store clerk tell me he's got better things to do than take responsibility for how slowly his company's proprietary, fancy e-commerce kiosks work? Remember, he intentionally mislead me earlier by telling me another 7-Eleven store has a similar machine that might work, and (as it turns out) flat-out lied in telling me the machine is simply out of order. Oh, and I'm paying $3.95 to ZipZap for this, most of which probably goes to the MoneyGram commission.
Wondering how many middle-men there were between my money and my Bitcoin, by the way? BitMe, AurumXchange (for VouchX), BitInstant, ZipZap, MoneyGram, CardTronics (current owners of the brilliant Vcom franchise of time-saving kiosks), and 7-Eleven. Holy wow, maybe $3.95 + 3.99% was a steal.
All said, I spent about 45 minutes in that store. For what should have been 5 minutes worth of business. Beyond the pale.
On the second attempt, my money went through, I got a receipt, and when I got home I got a neat code I could paste into BitMe to get some instant USD in there. But let's not forget the final blunder: BitInstant delivered a code worth $365 good-as-cash to me by regular, unencrypted e-mail. Stupid.
Now I'm fighting bidding bots on BitMe.
submitted by piranha to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[uncensored-r/CryptoCurrency] Changelly scam... I think so.

The following post by Nttwo is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been openly removed.
The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link:
np.reddit.com/ CryptoCurrency/comments/6u8tfh
The original post's content was as follows:
I've been very patient with Changelly since August 5th when I submitted my first support ticket on this matter. Now that it's clear to me that Changelly runs a drag-it-out support strategy, it's time to go public.
Is Changelly a scam?
You be the judge... please leave your opinion in the comments.
CONTEXT
The transaction (Tx) at issue here is BTC for GBYTE (Byteball).
For those not familiar with Byteball:
Byteball has no mining; its native currency - white bytes (GBYTE) and black bytes (BB) - was created back in December 2016 and has since been distributed, as widely as possible, via ~monthly airdrops. Every full moon since December, a "snapshot" has been taken of the balance of bytes held on each and every Byteball address, and of the balance of every registered BTC address. Shortly thereafter, each address receives new bytes based on the balance at the time of the snapshot.
The last snapshot was August 7, 2017 18:10 UTC (11:10 PDT), and new bytes were distributed as follows:
  • For every 1 GBYTE held on any Byteball address, you got 0.2 of new GBYTE
  • For every 1 GBYTE held on a linked Byteball address, you got 0.4222 of new BB
One last thing: Byteball's immutable ledger of Txs is stored in a construct called a DAG (Directed Acyclical Graph), analogous in function to bitcoin's blockchain.
WHAT HAPPENED?
On August 5, two days before the Byteball snapshot, I initiated a Tx with Changelly to trade 20 BTC for ~105 GBYTE. Changelly took my BTC, but held on to the GBYTE through the snapshot, collected the airdropped Byteball reward based on the balance of my funds, and then, 4 days after I initiated the Tx, sent ~105 GBYTE.
Changelly effectively stole my ByteBall distribution reward.
When hours had passed and still no GBYTE, I sent my first ticket, and support responded:
"It seems that there could be some technical issues either with our wallet or with Gbyte network. We will investigate the matter. We have forwarded your request to the technical department. They will push your transaction through. We will inform you, once your issue is resolved!"
On August 7th, before the snapshot, I submitted two more support tickets. I told Changelly that if they couldn't deliver the GBYTE before the snapshot, I wanted my BTC back. Support responded on August 8th 2:06pm (long after the snapshot):
"Unfortunately, we cannot refund your bitcoins since they have been already converted into GBYTE. But you will receive the same amount since your money has been already exchanged. Please confirm your GBYTE wallet address and we will repeat payout. All the issues seem to be fixed now, so it should work."
I responded, explaining why the only reasonable remedy was for Changelly to refund my BTC. I did not confirm any GBYTE wallet address.
Support ignored me and sent the following on August 9th:
"Good news! We have received the response from the exchange and now everything has been delivered!"
I wrote to Charlie Shrem, an advisor to Changelly, and he forwarded my complaint to Changelly CEO, Konstantin Gladych. I've also emailed Gladych many times directly myself. Zero response.
CIVIL LIABILITY
Under civil law, Changelly has been unjustly enriched and is liable to pay restitution.
Unjust Enrichment. A general equitable principle that no person should be allowed to profit at another's expense without making restitution for the reasonable value of any property, services, or other benefits that have been unfairly received and retained.
This principle is widely recognized and applies to Changelly here regardless of whether they did anything wrong. This is essentially why Coinbase and Poloniex changed course and gave their customers the BCH that was due to them.
CRIMINAL LIABILITY
Changelly is clearly liable under civil law.
What about criminal liability?
Using a DAG explorer, we can browse Byteball's immutable ledger of Txs and discover the following:
All Changelly had to do was send it to me. What happened?
The DAG shows that the GBYTE was diverted to the following addresses, which subsequently received the airdropped GBYTE that rightfully should have gone to me:
  • 31,447,997,156 to CBCYP2UY6YX2FJX6OXNDHBQO4VREDUJL
  • 51,788,023,285 to QAHP5Z4P6QQV4S3MUVTOJM5D7SJDWPSD
  • 21,763,859,830 to 6H5USZBXMOYUAGCYEYF7P3A6QU2EJBCT
  • 306,636,259 to QR542JXX7VJ5UJOZDKHTJCXAYWOATID2
The DAG also shows plenty of Tx activity over the relevant time period, also strongly suggesting no technical issues were to blame for Changelly's delayed Tx.
Did you know…?
Under the Czech Republic's Code on Corporate Criminal Liability both Changelly and the individual perpetrator(s) would be criminally liable.
WHAT NEXT
Changelly… fix this immediately.
Up next we’ll explore…
  • how to connect employee identities to the suspicious Byteball addresses
  • inner-workings of Changelly
  • the Bittrex and Changelly APIs
  • behind the scenes of the Changelly-Bittrex connection
  • Konstantin Gladych’s relationship with the European Cybercrime Center
  • presenting evidence to Czech and U.S. prosecutors
  • comments from devs re: Changelly’s technical excuses for failed Txs
  • similarities and differences between Changelly and BitInstant
submitted by censorship_notifier to noncensored_bitcoin [link] [comments]

I just bought my first bitcoin today

I've been following bitcoins for about the last year or so, on and off. I'm fascinated by and support anything that is inherently decentralized, open source, and/or democratic. I don't know why I didn't buy sooner, I really don't, I normally have a pretty healthy level of risk tolerance. For some reason I held off until two weeks ago when I was all, "fuck it" and went to buy some after I saw it hovering in the $60-70 range.
And that's when I discovered that buying bitcoins is kind of a pain in the ass. I wasn't even going to make a big buy, just $200USD to whet my whistle. After fucking around with AurumExchange, Vircurex, BTC-E, and others I realized there was no really easy way to transmute green backs into internet ducats by using my preferred internet method: my credit card. So I was like, "ah, fuck it" and ignored it for two weeks. Then today it's at $100+. Well, shit, now I gotta buy something, right?
So here's my experience buying bitcoins today:
This is me so far: http://i.imgur.com/BnOPi0k.gif
Still me: http://i.imgur.com/K4N2bmY.gif
http://i.imgur.com/GgohPHj.gif
http://i.imgur.com/HltBP5q.gif
http://i.imgur.com/IeQsUN9.gif
http://i.imgur.com/5rZxlcZ.gif
http://i.imgur.com/8EW3lP9.gif
I probably did this the most idiotic way possible but here's what I can say about the process: I am a "path of least resistance" kind of guy and this is pretty much the opposite of that. Can I buy BTC with a credit card? Yes/no?
submitted by Comms to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

A New Adopter's Wretched Bitcoin Experience and Subsequent Assurance that Bitcoin Will Fail...

So I finally decided to take the plunge with Bitcoin this week. For reference, I live in the D.C. metro area, so using Moneygram via Bitinstant seemed the most convienent option for me since they had so many locations available to deposit money.
That wasn't quite accurate, as it would turn out.
I started the evening after class by going to a CVS near my house that was listed in the ZipZap payment slip as an accepting location. After finding the ubiqitous red phone. I end up talking to an inevitable South Asian person with limited actual grasp of English, who asks for what I considered to be a lot of information (full name, telephone number, address). However, his English was so shitty to the point of my having to yell the spelling of my address phonetically because the word "H*****" is apparently too complicated for the subcontinent. Okay, minor irritation...time to pay the cashier. The cashier attempts to load the transaction on her register; fortunately she's not interested in carding me or anything, so I take that as a good sign for maintaining some semblance of anonymity. But the transaction never loads, the system is down!
Oh well, on to the next store. This was a pretty big CVS for the area, and I assumed that if their system didn't work, the systems at smaller stores would be dodgy anyway. It's already approaching 10 p.m. and all the CVS's are closing, leaving only 7-Eleven stores with VCom ATM machines as my next option. I drive to the nearest one, select "Moneygram", which gives me a prompt telling me to call Moneygram's 800 number and to give them the five digit terminal address for the transaction. I go through the rigamarole of spelling out my name and address for the error-prone South Asian phone tech yet again, even though I'm conducting the very same transaction I'd called in not even 15 minutes prior. I finally finish with the 800 number call, and proceed on the machine through it's options to ExpressPay a bill to ZipZap. Everything seems in order, I select the amount of money to send, insert my debit card, type in my PIN, and I think I'm good to go. But no, the machine cancels my transaction, saying it cannot be completed at this time. I call the 800 number yet again, getting the customer support service. They tell me the machine in my location isn't working (no shit), so they point me to another 7-Eleven a few miles away, assuring me it would work.
It didn't. I didn't even make it past the introductory screens before a technician lackadasically told me that the 7-Eleven to which I'd been directed by the previous technician was not a working Moneygram location, even though they had the VCom ATM and all. At this point, I lose it, and demand to speak to someone in charge. I demand to be directed to a location where they can verify the service is actualy working, which I'm told they cannot do for some reason. I'm instead given a list of locations I've already been to, or CVS's that are already closed for the evening, none of their suggestions proving the least bit helpful.
This has proven a horribly frustrating experience...but I was doggedly determined to see it through before going home, so I looked up locations myself on the zipzap website and saw that a 24-hour Walmart about 30 minutes away did Moneygram transactions. A 30 minute drive isn't exactly "convenience", especially after the ordeal I'd already been through. Walmart was also very particular about personal information: they wanted name, phone number, address, email! and requested my driver's license for verification...that was a bit of an unpleasant suprise, but since I'm not doing anything illegal with my Bitcoins, I didn't care.
To Walmart's credit, my transaction went through by the time I made it back to the parking lot (about 10 minutes). It was easy enough to transfer Bitcoins from my wallet to various other wallets from my computer. However, I tried to consolidate a bunch of Bitcoins into one wallet...although my Bitcoin software says the send transactions were completed and verified, my final account balance was half of what I thought it would be and I don't understand why. We're talking about $100 worth of Bitcoins that never showed up.
So, tl;dr - Bitinstant/Moneygram/ZipZap is horribly broken and only works at certain locations, their customer service is worthless, anonymity is pretty much impossible to maintain because everyone asks for your information, and a random amount of paid-for Bitcoins might not ever show up in a wallet you sent them to because...electrons? I don't know, but what I do know is that this is not a convienient, sustainable, or efficient way of doing business and if Bitinstant is one of the larger exchanges due to it's "convenience", then God help Bitcoin...
submitted by McGumpin to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

I tried buying bitcoins, but I'm afraid I made a mistake.

Hello, /bitcoin. I tried today to buy a small amount of bitcoins in an address that I made on blockchain. I made an account on bitinstant, and copy-pasted my wallet address from blockchain into the destination address on bitinstant and dropped off some cash at Wal-Mart.
The thing that confuses me is that when I look at the transactions screen on bitinstant, the destination acct # is not the same as my blockchain wallet address and my balance is 0.00BTC.
Is this normal? Or did something go wrong?
I might add that I am somewhat new at this and still trying to learn how the system works. Thanks for any help you might be.
Edit: problem solved thanks to Vycid. It was a strange brain fart on my part. I searched through my email and found an old confirmation from a looong time ago from blockchain wallet that I forgot I made (in my Firefox browser) when I first read about bitcoin and hadn't though about really trying it. Today, my friend was on my computer and left a Firefox browser open, but I made my blockchain wallet in Chrome. I completely didn't think about that, and I didn't notice that the identifier field (populated from old cookies, I guess) was different. I logged into bitinstant, and copy-pasted. When I got home later, I opened Chrome, logged into the wallet with the identifier that pops up in Chrome, and logged in, thinking it was the same wallet.
submitted by FMDub to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

How to Buy LiteCoins in USA Only.

Here is my easy way. USA only!
Forget it about PayPal and your Credits Cards. All Other services you see in BitInstant require wiretransfer, all Wire-transfers take at least 2 days to a week!!
Follow this instruction and you'll have BTC in your wallet fast as BlockChain is operating.
Took me about 10 min to fill the order.
Transfer you LTC to your own wallet.
DO NOT WATCH THE CHART!!! It will just drive you crazy.
I decided to by @ 1.40 on April 1st after looking for way to buy LTC without leaving house wasted a lot of time. so I end up getting them at 1.80! so don't waste time.
Donate LTC here LTeqyd5jnS6tqRRavRhSxJfxBSSZzGjUNy
English not too good, also suffer from dyslexia.
[Mods] feel free to edit this with good English and post it on side bar.
submitted by zdiggler to litecoin [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: IAM Peter Vessenes, Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation. AMAA!

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Date: 2012-09-28
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Most proponents of Bitcoin seem to believe that there will be a point where one coin exceeds a value of $100 or even $1000. Sure, that is definitely possible and I can accept that it may happen one day. However, since each coin has this intrinsic potential value.. why would anyone spend them on trivial stuff like food now? How can you spend something that you believe will continue to grow in value effectively to infinity? That seems like a fair complaint to me, in general. In practice, and as opposed to Krugman's thoughts on the matter, we have many thousands of happy Bitcoin transactors, I think people like to spend their bitcoins with others, give them away, and use them for things. I do know some Bitcoin businesses that try never to spend their coins. That said, we have had some periods like last year where EVERYBODY wished they'd spent their coins.. To my mind volatility is a worse 'evil' than being deflationary. As I said above, I think most government economists wish an inflationary currency (and many bitcoiners hate this, and talk a lot about how much they hate it), but I think there's definitely a place in the world for a deflationary value system. An interesting thought experiment for you -- if you forked the Bitcoin blockchain and changed issuance so that it tracked say, USD or USD/EUR inflation rates for issuance, would it have the same uptake or not?
Every once in a while I hear stories about security breaches including 240,000 bitcoins that went missing the other month. How do you ensure security of account holders funds? The practical security aspects of running Bitcoin businesses are a REAL need, and it's something we want to help on with advice, and possibly opt-in certification at some point. I say more about this elsewhere in the AMA.
Furthermore, most sites I've came upon that sell goods seem poorly managed and difficult to use. Is there a Bitcoin equivalent to sites like Ebay and Amazon? Re: bitcoin site usability -- I agree, it's often terrible! I'm not sure why this is, except to say that bitcoins make transacting online so easy that even people who can't afford a designer can do it.
A: How does the intrinsic non-fiat nature of the currency affect its susceptibility to market fluctuation? I.E. Better or worse stability than fiat currency? So far, because market cap is so low, (Roughly $100mm of value), Bitcoin exchange rates are highly susceptible to people pushing it around. This is really tough for everyone. There are a bunch of businesses that might not be viable until you have some exchange rate certainties that extend beyond a short (one day-ish) window.
B: What can be done to improve the resistance to massive fluctuations in value stemming from exchange market manipulation or normal use? There are some macro-economic things that could be done, like exchanges publishing all trades to a central area, and implementing locks if prices rise / fall too suddenly, but those all have their own effects to consider. I think the fundamental thing to do is help Bitcoin acceptance and uptake grow, increasing the size of the pie until there are a much smaller number of parties that could push the price around.
C: Is there anything that can be done to the standard to improve stability or is it all up to the markets to implement safeguards? So, we all do have a part in that stabilization for sure. There's also the angle of creating whole supply chains that are bitcoin denominated -- paying our staff in Bitcoins only is an attempt to work on that angle.
What do you say to people that claim Bitcoin is nothing but a pump-and-dump pyramid scheme designed to benefit it's creators? That they're sitting on a huge pile of bitcoins obtained by them before the currency was made available to the public when mining was far easier then dumping huge batches of Bitcoins destroying the price over and over again to enrich themselves and fuck everybody else? And that they get more chumps into the system to inflate the price again, by going around the internet and promoting Bitcoins as an alternative currency rather than a complete fraud? This borders on the troll-ish, but I will say that the Bitcoin network autosizes coin generation based on how many people wish to do it. That is, people opt in to make the coins and secure the network. Nobody is forced to.
Is the Bitcoin Foundation a non-profit, tax-exempt organization in the United States? Who among the directors and the board has experience running a non-profit? Why is the ED also a member of the board? How does the ED have the time to run the organization given his obligation to CoinLab? Why haven't I seen any of the involved parties at either of the last two Bitcoin conferences? Can we get somebody who isn't a white male involved? We're a 501(c)6, Washington DC Nonprofit.
I have experience launching a non-profit, hence my job.
ED's typically get a salary and work full time at the job; we didn't know if we'd have budget to pay someone who could operate such a thing, so we went with this structure. I anticipate that I will step down from being the ED at the earliest moment we know we have someone better to do it; running CoinLab is plenty of work for me.
Our assistant director Lindsay Holland is not a white male.
In general, Bitcoin is a white male sausage-fest, though. I urge you and all Bitcoiners everywhere to work on changing that.
What is the future of bitcoins? Do you think they will ever make government-issued currency obsolete? I don't know the future of Bitcoin, but I hope that I and the Foundation are a part of it!
I don't believe Bitcoin will ever obsolete a government currency, but I only speak for myself when I say that. Bitcoin is a fascinating and novel technology with a HUGE number of potential benefits to the world, so I'm into it. I don't see a government wishing to cede control of its currency to anything like the technocratic / consensus model that Bitcoins are governed by, though.
That said, I do hope that Bitcoins will be able to help people in areas of the world that need better money features. Mpesa is a great example of something that helps Kenyans (and people from a few other countries) by changing how money is used. Bitcoin has the potential to help people like that, all over the world, whether or not the 'market' is large enough in that country.
I personally think that sort of thing is SUPER exciting.
Could you describe the bitcoin foundation for me? Sure! It's a trade organization, member-driven. Its goal is to promote, protect and help standardize Bitcoin. Our initial goals are to provide funding for the core development team, run a 2013 Silicon Valley Conference, and create some opt-in certification methods and best practices for businesses dealing with Bitcoin.
Join us.. :)
Standardize? I can tell you hate our goals, so I won't spend a long time trying to convince you. But, I will say that businesses often need a long, secure timeframe to make investment decisions, and they need to have some sense that what they work on or invest in will be roughly similar at the end of their investment to the beginning.
Why do you want to "standardize"? For instance, imagine ebay deciding to take bitcoins. The person-hours to get that done inside ebay are staggering to imagine, from wallet scalability issue to accounting treatments, refunds, ... It would be a major endeavor.
What gives you that authority? It would be great for bitcoin if ebay took bitcoins. Seriously great, but they can't right now until they feel there is some generally stable path going forward.
Why is the core development team so deserving of funding when they can't even make a decent client? You might hate everything about that, and that's cool. I urge you to go ahead, fork the code, advocate as much as you like for something else. Bitcoin's free, both the protocol and the software. Nobody is stopping you.
Is there any legal action to be done if someone steals your bitcoins? Yep, if you're in the US, file a police report, and call FBI Cybercrimes division.
As an individual member of the Bitcoin Foundation, what do I get? Any perks or privileges? Email aliases, voting rights, a newsletter, etc? Or are these memberships mostly a way of providing financial support to the foundation? The bylaws are up now, so you can read in great detail what the organization will provide its members: Link to github.com
In short, though, rights to vote people on / off the board of the Foundation, soon access to private forums, probably discounts to the bitcoin 2013 conference, happiness at supporting the dev team.
I would like to provide email aliases, we've got Patrick and Jon working on any possible gotchas there, though.
Many aren't taking bitcoin seriously because of the security issues some have had. What steps are you taking to legitimize this currency? Like Jeff says below, I would distinguish between fundamental protocol security and security practices.
Bitcoins fundamental protocol security seems pretty good at this point; I'm sure we'll all be keeping an eye on that quite intently into the future.
Practical Security has been, largely, terrible in the Bitcoin space for most businesses, Mt. Gox perhaps excepted. The amount of work it takes to secure 80 byte strings that may be valued in the million dollar range is non trivial. Think securing missile codes as to the level of security needed.
Many bitcoin businesses can't afford (or don't wish to) this sort of security. I'm hoping we can provide some tools and pointers for these businesses and their users to help people understand what they're getting into when they transact with a bitcoin business, and what their risks are.
The Bitcoin Foundation Membership (VIP) fees are definitely disproportionate. Why? Are we now heading for a two-tier bitcoin community? We got requests from large supporters to make a more expensive membership tier. I'm slow, but not so slow that I said 'no'.
I'm slow, but not so slow that I said 'no'. - So you said 'YES'? Someone said "Please make higher corporate member fees: Linux Foundation Top Tier member fees are $500k. Your plan is too low."
I said "OK, Thank you for that advice. We should do that."
Is the foundation primarily focused on US or also europe and the rest of the world? Right now Jon Matonis is considered our "Europe Expert" on the board. There's a huge amount of work to do just in keeping track of how Bitcoin is categorized and regulated around the world. I would expect the Foundation to put some time and energy into helping with that process, but it's not our first goal.
What would you or the Fundation do if the government declares Bitcoin ilegal? Advocate that such a thing is silly, unenforceable, and counterproductive.
Thats no answer to the question. Have you got any plans for the "unthinkable"? That really is what I would do. What do you suggest?
What are your thoughts on transparency of the foundation? How much revenue is there and how it is spent, will that info be public? We're aiming to be highly transparent. I proposed today that we publicize our cold wallet public keys so that people can check our balances. This got pushed back a month while we work on some logistics. I will follow up about this, though. I think having auditable books from day one is really cool.
What are your thoughts on fiat currency? I love it and wish more of it. I'm totally grateful that nations have standardized and created currencies for their people, so that I can travel and buy stuff without worrying about the reputability of a local bank when I go to exchange my money.
I read something recently about a Bitcoin based debit card system. How is that coming along? I don't know, but I want one! The Foundation would like one, too. We are trying to run the Foundation with only Bitcoins, so it would be nice to fuel up a debit card for some expenses.
Create an opt-in certification process for Bitcoin businesses. How will you be going about this? What will certification entail? TBD, But I am imagining that businesses could vet their processes and procedures against a set of published standards, pay for an audit, and then be able to help their users understand what level of security they provide, e.g. "Bronze certification -- the site could be trusted with 50 bitcoins of stored value per person."
Does the foundation intend to have control over bitcoin.org and thereby over the main distribution channel for Bitcoin-Qt? We're a member organization. Some of our members do have access to and influence over bitcoin.org and bitcoin-qt. I have no idea if they would like us to help manage bitcoin.org, since we just launched yesterday.
If the decision makers for bitcoin.org and bitcoin-qt want us to help out in those areas, I wouldn't mind. I don't think either of those things is super strategic to helping Bitcoin right now; there's more need for messaging and some financial security for the core team, and the other stuff we said we're going to work on this year. bitcoin.org and -qt publishing don't seem broken to me or risky right now.
Given that Mt Gox has a (rightfully deserved) place on he board, what steps can and will you be taking to ensure that independent exchanges are encouraged and not ignored? Also what steps, if any, can and will you take to ensure the public that the commercial interests of those on the board do not conflict with the decentralised ideals and paradigm of Bitcoin itself? I don't know how we'd encourage or ignore exchanges, since everyone is welcome to join.
I do think this individual / corporate angle is at the heart of the Bitcoin, though; it's got a lot of parties that care about it, passionately. Some are investing millions of dollars. Some are tirelessly advocating for Bitcoin. Many sit around and troll and waste people's time.
I guess that partly we expect our board members will act with integrity, and that if they aren't representing the needs of their member class, they'll get replaced with someone who will.
I also don't know how we would, practically, decentralize Bitcoin, even if we wished such a thing. I don't think anyone on the board thinks Bitcoin is doing badly. We're all really excited about it and want to help. I personally believe if corporations (a small group or just one) ever provably controlled Bitcoin, they would become vastly less appealing and useful. So, we're on watch.
Not as on watch as a paranoid bitcointalk forum troll wants us to be, but we're on watch.
Why do you require a real name and real address, when bitcoins core values are to be anonymous? The Foundation's core values include openness and transparency. I think the Bitcoin anonymous thing is overblown and a bit of a myth, by the way. Every bitcoin transaction links two addresses; often people can be determined from those addresses.
At any rate, we wish to make sure you can't stuff the ballot box during voting, and we wish civil productive discourse among our members, so we need real names and addresses.
If you just want to support us without joining, you can always send money to our vanity donation address: 1BTCorgHwCg6u2YSAWKgS17qUad6kHmtQW.
What is the current, largest obstacle when it comes to wider Bitcoin adoption? I think Bitcoin adoption is growing nicely. There seems to be a sort of stair-step function where people figure out something new and broadly appealing to do with them, and it makes a big jump. I expect we'll see that many times over the next five or ten years.
Doubts about the network's scalability, uncertain status about its legality or something else? Bitcoin's brand seems bad to me; mostly the highly publicized exchange attacks worry people. It's too hard to have a secure cold storage wallet for even a very smart individual. I'd like to see some of those things improved.
Does Bitcoin have any plan to combat criminals using the currency to purchase things on online black markets? I can't speak for Bitcoin, but the Foundation has no criminal combatant plans. We do want our members to use their real names and promise that they only engage in activities legal in their jurisdiction, though.
That's mostly just a way of us saying who we want to hang out with, and expressing some community values we think will help our organization be a success.
Did you expect for the Bitcoin concept to explode as it has? I sort of did, but I definitely didn't put my wallet behind that explosion. Sigh.
Also, where do you see it going in the future? I talk elsewhere in the AMA about what I'm hoping for Bitcoin.
Will the foundation be sponsoring Bitcoin software outside of Bitcoin.org? What do you mean? Like if Jeff Garzik made cool software that would help the Bitcoin world but didn't release it at bitcoin.org would we try and help him?
The answer is yes.
I.e., the Foundation would provide a service with recommendations such as wallet security for an exchange, but I don't think the Foundation should be in the business of "certifying". Yeah, there's an interesting set of questions there about certification. I would LOVE to see a certification that brought with it the ability to be insured against loss and theft. Think how nice it would be for an exchange or wallet business to be able to offer that insurance. That said, I don't know of any bitcoin company that has such insurance yet. I think we have some work to do vetting out the processes and procedures, and then some sales and relationship work with insurance companies first. At any rate, we won't be stumping up security for certified companies through the main Foundation corporate vehicle ever. But I think the membership will want to discuss what a good set of next steps is toward that goal, if we're all sold on trying to make it happen.
What's the advantage to using bitcoins over government issued currency, basically why should I invest my $US in bitcoins? Some people have ideological preferences for Bitcoins money issuance scheme.
Some are nerds, and like it for nerdy reasons.
Some just like being able to pay whom they choose when they choose.
Some deal with payment infrastructures that are scary (Paypal freezes are scary), or slow (wiring money in and out of small country central banks is REALLY slow).
Also, they're neat.
How does it feel to know that a kitten wearing a top hat has more upvotes than you? That kitten is so damn cute. I spent some of my AMA time going "AWWW"
How will you try to keep BIG businesses from buying their way into "THE" Bitcoin Foundation? Bitcoin is inherently free, it's peer to peer, it can be forked, it's not controlled by the Foundation, especially one that's one day old.
So, I look forward to large donations from BIG businesses. We will use that money to further the Foundation's mission. Our members will, no doubt, be highly engaged in discussions about what to do with large donations. I'm looking forward to it.
What is your opinion on Canada's new digital currency, "Mint Chip"? How does this affect Bitcoin? I don't know much about it, but I think it's cool from what I do know, (and is it technically flawed? I don't recall). I'm all for money system experimentation, as you might guess.
You are starting to get increased media/congressional notice. Are you at all worried about being shut down and prosecuted like E-Gold was? Who is we? The Foundation is a member organization, nothing else.
There are some bitcoin exchange operators that actively flout the same AML laws that got the E-Gold founders in trouble.
There are some that try hard to do the right thing, jurisdiction by jurisdiction.
Personally, I don't worry about the ones trying to comply, and I don't transact with the ones flouting the laws.
Why do you have different vote classes, is one class worth more then another? Corporate members vote their seats, Individual members vote theirs.
Anecdotally, there are fewer corporate members, so a corporate membership vote has a greater proportional influence over a board seat than an individual membership.
so a corporate membership vote has a greater proportional influence over a board seat than an individual membership. - So there may be poll when votes of both classes come together? Like asking ALL members to opt out changes to the source code? I would be stunned if we voted on source code, ever. I don't think anyone thinks that is in the remit of the Foundation.
Pragmatically, the dev team is one arm of bitcoin source code governance, and miners are the other, since they can refuse to work with code changes they don't like if they do it in bulk.
The board meets often, and should be listening to its constituents; sign up as a member, and then mail your appropriate rep. As a sample of what we discussed today: "Should we do an AMA? Who will get member signup confirmations out? Can we publicize Patrick's bylaws yet?" were the scintillating topics of conversation.
Will I be getting an e-mail with receipt for my payment confirming my membership subscription? Yes, we are ACTIVELY working on it. Apologies.
What's the dev's payroll? TBD, now that we know what our member signups are.
I don't know if we'll release payroll or budget numbers outside the membership -- something we have to discuss.
What power does this foundation have over Bitcoin? Why did you make Satoshi the founder without his permission? We have no power over Bitcoin whatsoever.
I think we felt a foundation that didn't somehow acknowledge Satoshi would be a bit churlish, like ignoring Linus completely while making the Linux Foundation. Satoshi is, as always, free to participate as he/she chooses.
Has there been a growth in algorithmic trading of Bitcoins in the past year? If so, is that growth in algos added stability to the Bitcoin Market? I have no idea. But I'm curious about this too!
Why hasn't (almost) anybody heard of you before today? I keep a low profile. Until yesterday. Also, I gave up on the forums a long time ago; not productive enough for me.
That was very informative, thanks. Not that hard to grasp when somebody spells it out. The reason you do it is to provide a second element of value to a chain of transactions; the first element of value is consensus -- what everyone else says happens.
Is there a reason for doing this? Or just a way to pace the grinding nature of mining bitcoins? The second, arguably more powerful one is provable computation time spent on creating the consensus. So you can look at a set of bitcoin transactions and say "Ah ha, that had roughly [say] $1mm worth of computation time put in to securing and validating it! I believe it's safe to consider my $55 transaction secure."
Just out of curiosity, do you have any idea how many people have applied so far? Yep. We'll release end of first-month member numbers in 29 days. :)
How does one go about buying bitcoins? Probably the fastest way is to ask a friend who has some.
Next would be to use a service like Link to bitinstant.com.
How long are terms for each board member? Two years.
Will the Bitcoin Foundation promote a Vulnerability Reward Program ? I would like to see that, but I think the first things to do in terms of importance are on our published list.
Will the funds for a permanent memberships be put into an endowment, or will they be spent immediately? We haven't discussed it. Budget discussions are next couple of weeks, now that we have our heads around some numbers.
We also have to discuss if the foundation wishes to go long bitcoin, or instead spend to its annual budget. All TBD; if you have opinions send them on to your member reps.
I'm curious about this too. I'm not sure I understand how they work entirely. Maybe somebody could Explain like i'm five... Totally. They are confusing; it's a truly novel solution. Essentially it mixes something non-intuitive and magical-seeming (public key cryptography) with something very hard to imagine a solution for (distributed timestamping among non-trusted parties).
We will be seeing the concept extended out into a number of technology arenas over the next 25 years I imagine. It's an incredibly powerful solution-space.
I spent maybe an hour on the wiki reading the FAQ and everything, and it still makes references to "blocks" and "mining blocks" and those that mine have the option of transaction fees.. and I'm still not really sure what is happening. Yep, like I said. I've been thinking hard about them for two years, I have a cryptography background, and I still have 'a-ha!' moments weekly, at the very least.
There are a couple pretty good bitcoin explanation videos out there, but I'm not up to date on what the best one is. Maybe someone helpful can post a link.
After establishing support for food and shelter for Gavin, will there be opportunities for other bitcoin developers to apply for grants - maybe for specific implementations or features desperately needed. I'd love it. I think Gavin will be working out the specifics of what we want to do. I'd LOVE to see money put into a huge test suite, personally.
Thank you for furthering the effort of Cryptocurrency, I have written several policy papers in this arena, and look forward to the day where the deep web stigma is removed from the currency. Thanks FapNowPayLater! We genuinely appreciate the support.
Last updated: 2012-10-02 22:30 UTC | Next update: 2012-10-03 04:30 UTC
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[Table] IAmA: We Are the Hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show! We just spent 4 days at Bitcoin2013, Ask Us Anything!

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Date: 2013-05-24
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Hi all! I was wondering, what do you think it would take to get bitcoin from a niche currency used mainly by internet denizens to go mainstraim? I know the slow creep of more small companies accepting bitcoin helps, but what do you think that final cusp will be, and will it ever come to that? Thanks for taking the time to do this! There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.
Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.
Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.
But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.
Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.
It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.
I guess the Supreme Court has decided this does not apply to taxes, which is crap. Or are you talking about other countries? Thank you :) I actually mean something along the lines of "It is illegal to trade dollars for any cryptocurrency that does not have a real name and social security associated with it"
Will bitcoins ever be able to be traded like other recognized currencies in similar ways to Forex? More specifically, will there ever be retail brokers offering margin trading accounts that allow you to buy and sell bitcoin with leverage? There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens. Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession. With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement. What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.
Do you believe bitcoin is important locally as well as on the internet? If so, how are you promoting bitcoin in your local communities? Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.
If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.
Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.
Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.
What are some of the more exciting things you (each of you?) envision for Bitcoin in the short to medium term? Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.
From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.
Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.
Not to be the doom and gloom person but in the future what do you think will/would be the "last nail in the coffin" for Bitcoin? It depends what you mean by "last nail in the coffin"
How did you meet/find Andreas and Stephanie and how did you persuade them to be part of your show? I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.
I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.
Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.
Thanks for responding! Andreas is my fave (though I enjoy yours and Stephanie's comments too). Everybody has their favorite :) I think the fact that we all have people disagreeing with us at times means we're doing the job, and providing multiple and varied perspectives.
What recording tools are you using? We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)
Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.
I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"
Assuming bitcoin reaches critical mass, how does bitcoin cope with the criticism of rewarding early adopters? Do you see a potential uproar about inequity? Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.
We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.
One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.
>It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.
What do you make of the download trend of the bitcoin client software in China? Isn't this a big story? China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.
You commented on a recent episode about how Satochi Dice was going to block US traffic to the site due to uncertain regulations. Can't bitcoin work around that? If you send bitcoin to the addresses of the various bets - it still works right? Thanks for your show - I await each new podcast. Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.
I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here Link to letstalkbitcoin.com
I'd like to thank all three of you for doing this podcast, it's always thought provoking and fun to listen to. Plus, Stephanie does have a very sexy voice... But I do have a question, Right now, I don't know the answer to that question.
How do miners determine which transactions will be confirmed first and which get put to the back of the line? Shouldn't they be confirmed in a 'first come, first serve' basis? But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.
*edit: As well, do you still plan on using some time on the show to go into more detail about mining? I think it was mentioned a few weeks ago that the topic might be explored in further detail. There will be fewer miners who accept free or very low fee transactions, so there you go.
How would Bitcoin change our financial system as we know it? In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"
Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.
I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.
We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.
Have any of you heard about how in Africa much of the exchange in value is done with mobile phone minutes? It seems to me - whatever the US attempts to do with Bitcoin - there will be other places that it will bubble up in. What about Argentina and other places where they actually understand what damage a desperate government can do to a currency? I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with Link to phoneacoin.com and others.
Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.
No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.
Who invented Bitcoin? What is to stop whoever did so initially issuing themselves the equivalent of $79 zillion in Bitcoin currency prior to it taking off? Is there commission charged on each transaction that occurs? If so, how much, and who receives this? The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".
He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.
Great podcast, can't wait for the next one! It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.
You discussed mesh networks in 3rd world countries and how bitcoin could be used in such a scenario. If the [mesh] network is disconnected from the internet, how would transactions on the blockchain be verified? Couldn't the time the mesh network was disconnected make it vulnerable to hacking the [mesh network's] blockchain? More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)
1) The price for one Bitcoin seems to fluctuate quite a bit. The most successful currencies remain relatively stable over time (e.g. the Dollar). Will Bitcoin ever need to reach a certain level of stability to be a successful unit of trade? and if so, what do you think needs to happen before then? 1 - Yes! Once everyone who has purchased Bitcoin has purchased them, the price will stabilize. In practice this will start happening long before absolute stability, and as soon as people start thinking about prices in terms of BTC instead of their local currency it almost doesn't matter.
2) If Bitcoin ever becomes a widely accepted form of payment (seems a lot of businesses already accept it), how do you think the US government will proceed/react/regulate/etc. considering that technically only the feds can issue currency? 2 - "The Feds" are not the only ones who can issue currency - They have legal tender laws which mean people MUST accept their money, but nothing prevents you from circulating a voluntary currency like Bitcoin.
Do you foresee companies like paypal incorporating bitcoin into their businesses in the future as a more credible exchange than these ones that are currently running? No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.
Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.
Thanks for the well thought out response, I genuinely appreciated that you took the time for this! I do have a follow up question, how does one get bit coin in an easy way? Lets say I have 300$ that I want in bit coin.. whats the best way to approach this? Probably a company like bitinstant.com, bitstamp.com, or btcquick.com - For larger amounts they don't make too much sense but at that level its your best bet.
Not to be rude, but how do you expect for a currency without a standard like gold silver etc. to not crash down in a blaze of glory? What standard is your currency backed by?
Hi There. I was at the San Jose convention hall last weekend attending Big Wow Comicfest and that's where I saw Bitcoin2013! Mostly Bitcoin 2013 was an opportunity for people building the future of Bitcoin to meet each other and network. There were speakers talking about a wide variety of issues, and vendors of Bitcoin services who were showing their latest innovations and systems.
What information was presented at this event that couldn't be done justice disseminated over the internet? The information will eventually be online, but the probably 200 people I got to meet in real life will not (in real life)
What resources do you think I should review as a total newbie to bitcoin? Or if possible, what's the one sentence pitch to get a newb involved? For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.
The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"
Would any of you hazard a guess at the bitcoin exchange rate at the end of 2013? Sure, i'll make a wild guess.
$1000.
If and when a large user comes onboard, I think thats the next price at which we'll bounce around for a while, just like 100 became the sticky point after the last major bout of adoption.
How do bitcoins relate to the law? For example, what would be the crime if somone hacked your account and stole your bitcoins? It's not exactly theft of money, or is it? Bitcoins are your property, it's illegal for someone to steal your property whether it is money or not. Right now there is little that can be done about theft, but eventually I expect a class of "Blockchain Forensic Investigators" to emerge who will track down your stolen coins for a % based fee.
On your last show you mentioned the diversity of the Bitcoiners who attended BitCoin2013 - which nation was most represented in your opinion? Were there any Chinese nationals present (we've heard that they've suddenly gotten the bitcoin bug in the last month)? Did the other nations talk about regulatory problems or is that just a US concern? I met the gentleman from BTC-China, but other than that I actually didn't see any obvious chinese nationals. We saw lots of eastern europeans and south americans.
Other nations are not talking about the regulatory issue as far as I can tell, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what the US does, which is not abnormal in a very new situation like this.
Isn't having an inherently deflationary currency a terrible idea? How is bitcoin different from geeky goldbuggery? Because you can't divide a gold coin into .0001 without incurring cost and expense. That's not the case with Bitcoin, so the deflationary aspect of it is largely moot.
There is a tendency to listen to modern "economics" which makes this arguement, saying that the money supply must expand because otherwise it drives down profitability in a race to the bottom.
I think in practice we'll find that people don't work against their own best interest, and while during the initial adoptions stages of Bitcoin there will be significant discounts offered to those who pay with Bitcoin vs. legacy currency, once the market becomes saturated and the price levels out those discounts will be scaled way back.
Right now it makes sense to heavily discount, because the expectation is that the value of the Bitcoins will go up during this period of adoption, that won't always be true and the discount is a reflection of anticipated future returns.
Was it bad when people saved money in banks that paid 10% interest? No, that's called capital formation. There is a thought that given a deflationary currency nobody will spend any money, that's nonsense. Just because your currency gains value over time doesn't mean that you no longer have costs that must be paid for. What Deflationary currencies do is say "Ok, you could spend it on that, but is it worth it relative to what you'll gain by not?"
That's a good thing. Our system right now works on the opposite theory - Spend money NOW because if you're dumb enough to keep it in the bank it will actually lose value over time between the couple points of "official" inflation and less than 1% artifical interest rates. The situation is like this now because the fed is trying to make people spend as much money as possible with the hope that the flows will "restart the economic engine"
Too bad this isn't how things work, not that it'll stop us from trying it over and over again.
In the 2008 financial crash, govts bailed out the banks because there was no other way to maintain the whole financial ecosystems of payrolls, invoices and trade, all of which go through the banking system. Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.
Can you envisage another financial crash in the future where govt says, "We don't need to do a bailout, as we've got this alternative payment system" and then instructs businesses and employees to just get themselves a bitcoin address and work through the Bitcoin system? Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.
What type of notes and agenda does the team coordinate on before a show? We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.
The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.
Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON.
I first learned about Bitcoins on an episode of The Good Wife. The one with Jason Biggs as the creator of BitCoin. Have you watched that episode and how accurate does that episode portray what's happening with Bitcoin in terms of legal stuff? Not having seen it but knowing TV, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "not very well" Satoshi has not been identified, was a throw-away identity that was cryptographically secured, so probably never will.
Are there any conferences in Chicago anytime soon? I think a Q&A in public would be helpful for your show as well as bitcoin. I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.
We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.
Oh dear. You're not all perfectly grammatical orators on the first try? I'm crushed! I really value my own time, and I know other people out there do too. I try to make the show as information dense as possible, thats the criteria we've been operating under from really day one.
We're actually talking about cutting the show in half and releasing it more often (still recording the same amount) because people can get tired of listening to such dense content for an hour or more.
US Treasury recently issued a directive stating they would be monitoring any entity attempting to exchange virtual currency for USD (or any other currency, goods, or services), indicating that federal authorities take a dim view of what amounts to private coinage. Do you anticipate a Supreme Court case here defining what is and is not private coinage? 2.And given bitcoin's noted extra-legal uses, do you have any indication it is being decrypted by NSA? 3.Taking it a step further, do you think it could be a national security-sponsored international sieve for money laundering? It may eventually go to Supreme Court.
I think the market has done fine for bitcoin so far. I think the market will continue to take care of bitcoin. The idea of giving in willingly to regulation makes me cringe. There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad. The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.
Thanks so much for doing this, I love the Bitcoin system, but hate the volatility. How do you recommend dealing with that? I've heard to convert it quickly to the currency of choice after any exchange has been made to avoid any more changes to the price. The easy solution is just buy and hold - If you need to buy something, do it when you need to and not before. Do not pre-order anything.
What is your prediction of the price for 1 btc in USD, exactly one year from now? Just for fun, since I know it is impossible to even guess the day to day price swings. As a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.
My partner is buying into bitcoin as well as litecoin. Any advice for him? (I personally don't understand it) Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)
Hello, I just wrote a long post about the functions of using BTC to facilitate a 'free bank' using the principals of free money, similar to the WIR bank. Link to en.wikipedia.org Do you think that something like this would be possible using Bitcoin? Probably. Not really my area of expertise.
Why did bits take a dive at the same time gold took a tank? I don't pay attention to price, sorry.
We take full credit for any rise and blame others for any decline. Feel free to tip us from your gains! Lol.
Just wanted to say I love your show. I encourage you to please continue making high-quality podcast episodes. Thank you. I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.
Bitcoins are the stupidest investment anyone could ever make. Pass. Link to static.quickmeme.com
Unfortunately, quickmeme doesn't let you copy image urls directly. Link to i.qkme.me
Yes, but they started being worth a set value. bitcoin was never backed by anything so its value was kind of made up. how do you expect to make a non goverment currency anybody with a computer can print to retain value? Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.
The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.
The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?
Because the governments "pie" does infact have limits to making it, and only dropped gold standard after over 150 years of the doller having a defined worth, unlike bitcoin, where a random hacker can just print endless money. I'd direct you to security researcher Dan Kaminsky. Link to www.businessinsider.com
You'll find it's a little harder than you're describing. Like, impossible.
Last updated: 2013-05-29 11:06 UTC
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