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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Just so I understand. There were not BTC lost on Mt Gox. They were stolen, right? Someone got really rich by hacking in or something like that... I think.

    -Jason "Or I could be 100% wrong, I haven't followed this as closely as I probably should" Evans
    Actually, from the articles I've read, it sounds like they could have been lost.

    Keep in mind, BitCoin is all about the Private Key (a long, unique, and hopefully secret string of ones and zeros). He who controls the Private Key to a piece of BitCoin controls that BitCoin. Everything else is just promises.

    People have found that Mt. Gox code had some bugs in some of their transaction code, which sometimes resulted in a transaction going to a nonsense address. (At least, that's how I understand it.) That BitCoin is gone forever.

    BitCoin isn't like cash where if you drop it, you or someone else can pick it back up. It isn't like regulated banking, where verification checks are made and if something fails, everything just stays where it is. If the Private Key owner of some BitCoin signs a transaction, my understanding is that's the end of it. If they happen to sign a transaction which sends the BitCoin to something that doesn't exist, that's where the BitCoin will remain.

    One thing people haven't mentioned yet in this thread is that on exchanges, the private key is maintained ON THE EXCHANGE. You, as the user, don't have it. Mt. Gox does. This is why people "can't get their bitcoin out" of Mt. Gox. Only Mt. Gox can get the bitcoin out of Mt. Gox.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    Fascinating thread here. Like others, I have come to understand Bitcoin better here than anywhere else.
    My question: If each Bitcoin is essentially a unique, discrete serial number, then shouldn't theft be pretty easy to track? "That number is in your digital wallet, but it used to be in mine, and here is the digital paper trail to prove it."
    I don't think this is correct. BitCoins do not have serial number. BitCoins are numeric values, associated with one specific address/account. Transactions just show that number moving from one address to another.

    Now, this ledger WILL show the transactions. So you CAN tell that your BitCoin fraudulently moved from one address to another.

    So, if I steal BitCoin from you, and then sit on it 2 years while you:

    1. Somehow find out who I am
    2. Go to court in both my and your jurisdictions and receive positive judgments
    3. Somehow obtain my Private Key

    Than sure, you can recover your BitCoin from me.

    But in the more likely scenario that I steal it, break it into hundreds of separate pieces, launder it with several transactions with several folks that are not banks (and may even be legitimate folks trading with me in a manner they think is legitimate), it's just not realistic to think you can get that back. Also, keep in mind that I may have a lot of BitCoin that is known to be legitimate. Or any of the people who knowingly or unknowingly launder it may have legitimate BitCoins. Since there's no serial numbers, when you try to take it back from one of my downstream transactees, which person got the stolen BitCoin, and which one got the legitimate BitCoin?

    It's theoretically possible to get BitCoin back, but realistically, I don't see it happening.

  3. #63
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    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by moonpie23 View Post
    how does and exchange become an exchange? it's not "licenesed" or "regulated" is it?


    to a skeptic like myself, it seems to be a bit risky...i could put up "real" money ("real" as in those 1's and 0's that make up the balance in my bank account that are derived from the "real" 1's and 0's that come from the deposits and transfers of other 1's and 0's of others bank accounts...wait...i'm off track here...) and get the ownership of a complex collection of 1's and 0's?
    Since they're unregulated, they become an exchange because they say they're an exchange, and a critical mass of people believe them. That's it.

    I can't imagine why that seems risky to you.

  4. #64
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    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    image.jpg


    (Hat tip: Steve B.)

  5. #65
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    Feb 2007
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    Summit County, Colo.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    A made-up, arbitrarily-valued, unregulated, uncollateralized Internet currency goes wrong? Who could have possibly imagined?

  6. #66
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    Sep 2007
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    Not sure what to make of this, but I look forward to follow-up on it:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/busi...ngapore-n45101

  7. #67
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    Mar 2008
    Location
    raleigh
    this guy says he didn't invent it
    "Either they're going down, or we are! Kirk out!"

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston area, OK, Newton, right by Heartbreak Hill
    I do so love irony.

    What happened with MtGox and then Flexcoin has made everybody's bitcoin lose perceived value. And with bitcoin, it is only the perceived value that matters. When you steal it, you make it worth less, if enough gets stolen, it will all be worthless.

    Is bitcoin unique in this regard?

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Mt. Gox says they have found about 200,000 bitcoins (out of the ~800,000 total that are missing) in an online wallet they "forgot" about. The found cache has been moved offline. Seems fishy to me.
    http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/21/tech...oin/index.html

  10. #70
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    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    Mt. Gox says they have found about 200,000 bitcoins (out of the ~800,000 total that are missing) in an online wallet they "forgot" about. The found cache has been moved offline. Seems fishy to me.
    http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/21/tech...oin/index.html
    The rest is probably, like, under a couch pillow or something.

  11. #71
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    Feb 2007
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    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    For those that follow podcasts, Freakonomics is covering BitCoins next week. I'll probably follow-up when it's actually posted, but Freakonomics usually does a pretty good job with this kind of thing and is pretty accessible.
    ------------------------
    If God is a tarheel fan, then why did they have to cheat like crazy for a generation to hold their own?

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY
    From the CPA Daily:

    IRS issues first guidance on tax treatment of bitcoin, virtual currency

    The Internal Revenue Service posted its first guidance, in the form of 16 questions and answers, about the tax treatment of virtual currencies such as bitcoin. The IRS says that virtual currencies are property, not currency, and normal rules for treatment of property apply. The notice discusses topics such as gains and losses from virtual currency and the treatment of wages paid in virtual currency.


    Not an unsurprising conclusion I think. Significant policy implications if treated as a "currency."

  13. #73
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    Feb 2007
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    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    For those that follow podcasts, Freakonomics is covering BitCoins next week. I'll probably follow-up when it's actually posted, but Freakonomics usually does a pretty good job with this kind of thing and is pretty accessible.
    Freakonomics on BitCoins.

    They don't waste a lot of time covering the technical aspects or how it works, they spend most of their time covering why one would use it and what it would be good for globally. A lot of positive uses I never thought of. Interesting stuff.

  14. #74
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    Sep 2007
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    At last, I FINALLY understand:

    http://youtu.be/t2eYBoxbnWs

  15. #75
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    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Apparently Beef O'Brady's no longer felt they were getting their money's worth, so ladies and gentlemen, on December 26 of this year, brace yourself for...
    The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.
    I'm kind of with the Twitter user quoted in the linked article, who can't wait to hear Mike Patrick attempt to explain Bitcoin.

  16. #76
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    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    Apparently Beef O'Brady's no longer felt they were getting their money's worth, so ladies and gentlemen, on December 26 of this year, brace yourself for...
    The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.
    I'm kind of with the Twitter user quoted in the linked article, who can't wait to hear Mike Patrick attempt to explain Bitcoin.
    ESPN can hire me, I'm an expert thanks to all on this thread.

    But, okay -- here is what I don't get --

    How does "Bitcoin" sponsor anything, given that it is a currency/commodity and not an entity? That's like saying that today's broadcast is brought to you by Pesos and pork bellies.

    What/Who is the sponsoring entity? Doesn't some person need to put forward a quantum of bitcoinage in order to buy the sponsorship?

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Indianapolis
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    What/Who is the sponsoring entity?
    Likely one of the exchanges. The next Mt. Gox.
    - Pacer, Egr. '98

  18. #78
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacer View Post
    Likely one of the exchanges. The next Mt. Gox.
    Or maybe a mining company:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/23640...-monopoly.html

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    ESPN can hire me, I'm an expert thanks to all on this thread.

    But, okay -- here is what I don't get --

    How does "Bitcoin" sponsor anything, given that it is a currency/commodity and not an entity? That's like saying that today's broadcast is brought to you by Pesos and pork bellies.

    What/Who is the sponsoring entity? Doesn't some person need to put forward a quantum of bitcoinage in order to buy the sponsorship?
    It's BitPay, a bitcoin payment processing company.

    The contract is for three years, so the Bitcoin Bowl could quite conceivably outlast bitcoin itself. And yes, the Bitcoin Bowl has an ACC tie-in.

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    ESPN can hire me, I'm an expert thanks to all on this thread.

    But, okay -- here is what I don't get --

    How does "Bitcoin" sponsor anything, given that it is a currency/commodity and not an entity? That's like saying that today's broadcast is brought to you by Pesos and pork bellies.

    What/Who is the sponsoring entity? Doesn't some person need to put forward a quantum of bitcoinage in order to buy the sponsorship?
    Up next: The Guns & Butter Bowl.

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