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  #151  
Old 02-04-2019, 02:12 AM
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Because if it's the latter, they need to have their own physical security system equivalent to protecting an asset worth over $100,000,000.
I assume making 99 copies of the wallet and placing them variously in 99 vaults or computers was no problem.

The problem is the secret password. He could have shared the password with George and Gerry but what if one of them absconds?

Perhaps some multi-key password is needed for cases like this. One key might be held by a trusted lawyer who won't turn his key unless he confirms that primary guy is dead or incapacitated.
  #152  
Old 02-04-2019, 02:56 AM
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M-of-N secret sharing and signature schemes are no problem, and IIRC such transactions are even built into the Bitcoin protocol, which hardly uses the latest and greatest bleeding-edge ideas from the world of cryptography.

It's not technical issues that would keep digital money from being as secure as any commodities, currencies, or derivatives handled by a legitimate bank or trading firm. Wasn't there some random web site called "The Jolly Roger's Pirate Bank" or some such name, offering Ponzi schemes and Nigerian deals, yet people were still surprised, outraged even, when he took all their money and disappeared?
  #153  
Old 02-04-2019, 06:55 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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I assume making 99 copies of the wallet and placing them variously in 99 vaults or computers was no problem.
I understand that. But what I'm wondering about is if they need to have the cold wallet physically with them every day to carry out their business transactions for the clients. Because if that's the case, having 98 other copies secure is irrelevant; it's the 99th one that they need to use every day that is the security weakness.
  #154  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:47 AM
Frankenstein Monster Frankenstein Monster is offline
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I understand that. But what I'm wondering about is if they need to have the cold wallet physically with them every day to carry out their business transactions for the clients. Because if that's the case, having 98 other copies secure is irrelevant; it's the 99th one that they need to use every day that is the security weakness.
OK, it's an interesting question.

I'm not aware of any exchange that has provided this information publicly, or any other reliable source of this information.

Did anybody publish the address of QuadrigaCX's cold storage to verify the story themselves? Is it in the creditor protection filing? (I didn't search very hard myself but why isn't this info routinely published in these stories about these mishaps?)

What we do have is endless speculation.

This old Reddit thread is typical of the kind of speculation that you will find. Somebody speculates that some address is the cold storage address of some exchange and then speculates about the meaning of the transactions in that address.

This is the address which that thread speculates on.

So here is my speculation:

No, an exchange cold storage address would typically see a fairly continuous stream of transactions TO that address but very rarely any transactions out of that address. Perhaps once a year or less.

This is because an exchange typically sees a fairly predictable, regular cash flow so they would know quite well how much to keep in the hot wallets.

So no, the private key(s) to the cold storage address(es) would be needed extremely rarely.

I think the aforementioned address does look like a cold storage address. I see only a stream of small transaction INTO it on the first page. You don't need the private key to transfer TO an address.
  #155  
Old 02-04-2019, 03:40 PM
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It's not quite clear whether their lack of access is due to not having a password for the wallet as such, or not having a password to the computer.

In either case, I wouldn't bet on the security of any system which is in the physical possession of someone with an unlimited time to crack it, (including whatever advances in computing power are likely over the next 10, 15, 20 years) and plenty of incentive. It may not be broken in time to save the business, but sooner or later.
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  #156  
Old 02-04-2019, 05:26 PM
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Getting back to the very first posts, I'm not seeing the argument for lower transaction costs for bitcoin.

To use it, you need to have a certain degree of computer literacy and computer equipment. That's not the case with cash or debit cards.

And, at some point, if you want to convert your bitcoin into something that non-bitcoiners will accept (i.e. - pretty much all of the economy), you need some sort of conversion mechanism, which is not needed for cash or debit cards.

If someone owes me $1,000 and says "will you take hundreds or twenties?", it's easy-peasy - I'll take Queenies or Robert L. without question.

If someone offers to pay me in bitcoins, my answer is "whut?" I don't think I'm out of the ordinary on this point.
I think a good example is Venmo (and similar services).

I can pay someone money just by pulling my phone out and sending it to their username, and they can see that I did so.

Behind the scenes, it's much more complicated than that, but a user doesn't have to understand all of it. Most of the various bitcoin related businesses are trying to be something like Venmo for bitcoin. So all you have to do is open an app and send a thing and it's easy and simple and so on.

Obviously, they haven't gotten there. There are many structural, political, technological, etc. problems that I would bet against them getting there. But several years ago, it wasn't a crazy idea to think that they might get there.
  #157  
Old 02-04-2019, 07:11 PM
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. . . Wonderfully informative post clipped . . .

TLDR: Many cryptocurrency owners don't really care about the ideology behind decentralization enough to overcome the technical challenges.
I have not read this whole thread but have yet to hear anyone state what I think is most important about Bitcoin - its potential use by criminal organizations.

I don't know the global totals moved by such sophisticated rings, but it's gotta be big. Maybe not trillions, but many, many billions. And that interest by itself will maintain cryptocurrency.
  #158  
Old 02-04-2019, 08:40 PM
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But if you've got an app to manage bitcoins, then there's no reason that all of the behind-the-scene stuff couldn't be happening to a wallet stored on your own device, secured by your own password (or fingerprint or face recognition or whatever).
  #159  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:07 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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I'm not sure if I understand your Venmo example, iamthewalrus3=. Are you saying you can transfer bitcoin now by an app on your phone?

If so, that certainly is a valuable feature, but I've had that capability from my bank app for years, so it doesn't seem groundbreaking?
  #160  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:11 PM
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But if you've got an app to manage bitcoins, then there's no reason that all of the behind-the-scene stuff couldn't be happening to a wallet stored on your own device, secured by your own password (or fingerprint or face recognition or whatever).
Well, sure, but not with bitcoin qua bitcoin which requires storing the entire history (100s of GB) on every terminal, and so on. I keep emphasizing in this thread that Bitcoin was a nice academic exercise, but even in the original paper it is clear the authors know the parameters are not scalable to a global payment system like Visa, Swift, or Paypal.

You could overlay a consumer micropayment system over bitcoin, but in that case you may as well avoid the bit-coin altogether.
  #161  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:15 PM
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So you trust the blockchain to your app maker's cloud (which you can afford to do, because there are many other entities with their own copies of the blockchain to keep them honest), but keep your own wallet on your own device. An individual wallet doesn't need to store the entire blockchain; in fact, it takes quite a small amount of data, small enough that you can easily print it out on a piece of paper.
  #162  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:22 PM
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So you trust the blockchain to your app maker's cloud (which you can afford to do, because there are many other entities with their own copies of the blockchain to keep them honest), but keep your own wallet on your own device. An individual wallet doesn't need to store the entire blockchain; in fact, it takes quite a small amount of data, small enough that you can easily print it out on a piece of paper.
Agreed (all you need to keep secure is the device you use to digitally sign your transactions). But you are saying the existing smartphone apps do not do that, or are all broken, or...?
  #163  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:36 PM
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One is, as others pointed out, calling this a "currency" isn't really accurate. It behaves more like an e-security, where people invest in it for speculative purposes.
The original concept was for it to be a currency. Then a funny thing happened.

To make more bitcoin (and I suppose the other flavors too) you must "mine" the coins. Unlike a government-backed currency, there is no central bank that just decides to mint more coins. As you probably know, mining coins is a matter of massive number crunching until you solve a complicated math problem and find one. For bitcoin there is a fixed finite number of coins possible, and the more that are found, the harder it is to find more.

So the rise in demand exceeded the flow of new supply, presumably because there are a whole lot of people out there who want virtually untraceable transactions, or possibly a handful more who are just anti-government. This caused the exchange rate to climb, and that's when it became ripe for speculators to treat it as an investment.
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  #164  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:39 PM
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I'm not sure if I understand your Venmo example, iamthewalrus3=. Are you saying you can transfer bitcoin now by an app on your phone?
Pretty sure he is saying he can use Venmo to transfer regular currencies via Venmo, so what's the point of Bitcoin, which is much more cumbersome. Which is more-or-less agreeing with you.
  #165  
Old 02-04-2019, 10:03 PM
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I have not read this whole thread but have yet to hear anyone state what I think is most important about Bitcoin - its potential use by criminal organizations.

I don't know the global totals moved by such sophisticated rings, but it's gotta be big. Maybe not trillions, but many, many billions. And that interest by itself will maintain cryptocurrency.
Yes, criminal activity is the big use for Bitcoin. However, investing now, in a extremely volatile market, is what moves most Bitcoin.
  #166  
Old 02-05-2019, 09:19 AM
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Pretty sure he is saying he can use Venmo to transfer regular currencies via Venmo, so what's the point of Bitcoin, which is much more cumbersome. Which is more-or-less agreeing with you.
Venmo transactions are not untraceable.
  #167  
Old 02-05-2019, 01:04 PM
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Neither are Bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin transactions are 100% traceable, that's the whole point of blockchain.
  #168  
Old 02-05-2019, 02:09 PM
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Neither are Bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin transactions are 100% traceable, that's the whole point of blockchain.
I know that blockchain transactions are all recorded, but can the transaction be mapped to a real person? I thought it was quite easy to remain anonymous.

If I am mistaken, then why is it so popular for illegal transactions? I got an extortion email with a bitcoin account number in it. Can't they just go arrest him?
  #169  
Old 02-05-2019, 02:17 PM
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I'm not sure if I understand your Venmo example, iamthewalrus3=. Are you saying you can transfer bitcoin now by an app on your phone?

If so, that certainly is a valuable feature, but I've had that capability from my bank app for years, so it doesn't seem groundbreaking?
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Pretty sure he is saying he can use Venmo to transfer regular currencies via Venmo, so what's the point of Bitcoin, which is much more cumbersome. Which is more-or-less agreeing with you.
No, that was not my point, but obviously I didn't explain very well.

My point was to offer an alternate to this statement
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper
To use it, you need to have a certain degree of computer literacy and computer equipment. That's not the case with cash or debit cards.
Cash and debit cards are simple. Venmo is another simple thing. Behind the scenes, whatever Venmo is doing is quite complicated. They're doing some ACH transfers, probably, but also have some fraud detection and... other stuff. I don't know. The point is you don't need to be a banking expert to use it.

Imagine if there was a Venmo-like app for Bitcoin. It was simple and easy and all you had to do was pull out your phone and transfer the bitcoin and voila. Well, then you wouldn't need any degree of computer literacy and computer equipment beyond the phone that almost everyone carries. A few years ago, I think it was a not totally unreasonable assumption that someone would build that for Bitcoin, and that we might use it in the future to easily transfer money. For a variety of reasons, that didn't happen.

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If I am mistaken, then why is it so popular for illegal transactions? I got an extortion email with a bitcoin account number in it. Can't they just go arrest him?
There's not generally a known mapping between bitcoin accounts and people.

Bitcoin is 100% traceable from account to account, but the accounts are all numbered, and finding out what human has access to a given account is sometimes a hard problem requiring lots of investigation.
  #170  
Old 02-05-2019, 05:22 PM
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It's an uncrackable problem if everyone using Bitcoin used it perfectly, with the intent of being untraceable. But almost nobody does that, and it takes very few leaks to be able to reconstruct a lot of information. Those ransomers who get paid in bitcoins will in turn spend those bitcoins. They'll either spend them at legitimate businesses, or with other criminals. If it's legitimate businesses, then the police can go to them and ask things like "When a customer spent money with you out of this wallet, what did they buy? If it was ordered for delivery, where did you deliver it to?" and so on. If it was with other criminals, then you look at where they spent it, and repeat the process.

So why do criminals like bitcoin so much? In short, because a lot of criminals are stupid.

My pet conspiracy theory is that Bitcoin was invented by the FBI, NSA, or some other government agency, for the specific purpose of fooling criminals into using it to make them easier to track.
  #171  
Old 02-05-2019, 06:15 PM
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I know that blockchain transactions are all recorded, but can the transaction be mapped to a real person? I thought it was quite easy to remain anonymous.

If I am mistaken, then why is it so popular for illegal transactions? I got an extortion email with a bitcoin account number in it. Can't they just go arrest him?
Anybody can create an anonymous bitcoin wallet on their own computer, but at that point all you have is bitcoins that can be transferred elsewhere. Eventually most people will either want to buy or sell dollars. The legitimate endpoints that do that are usually traceable (by law, depending on the country).

Gonna be careful about board rules here, but it's not hard to launder your own bitcoin, and there are even services that to it for you, not dissimilar to how it's done with fiat currencies. Large and midlevel criminals typically do this, sometimes their protection is enough to insulate retail buyers from the consequences, but retail buyers typically don't even do the tiniest bit of protection. They think they're benefitting from cryptographic protection but really it's just safety in numbers.
  #172  
Old 02-05-2019, 07:16 PM
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I have not read this whole thread but have yet to hear anyone state what I think is most important about Bitcoin - its potential use by criminal organizations.

I don't know the global totals moved by such sophisticated rings, but it's gotta be big. Maybe not trillions, but many, many billions. And that interest by itself will maintain cryptocurrency.
I think your correct, that money laundering and other illicit uses of cryptocurrency provides one of the floors to their value, and as long as there's value they'll stay around. If all the major financial players heavily regulated cryptocurrency there would still be a market for those who are willing to break the law anyway.

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Yes, criminal activity is the big use for Bitcoin. However, investing now, in a extremely volatile market, is what moves most Bitcoin.
If you include market manipulation as investment activity, I might agree. There has been a lot of talk about massive, widespread manipulation. If you combine that with money laundering and black market transactions I think these would account for the vast majority of transactions. I think retail investment and legal purchases are a very small portion of transactions.

One obstacle for retail investors has been difficulty converting their cryptocurrency to dollars through the exchanges. Most exchanges have limits on how much you can cash out at a time (daily and other limits), and there's always the worry about whether you will really be able to cash out when you need to. In the case of QuadrigaCX, customers have been having trouble cashing out for months because QuadrigaCX is in disputes with their banks, so even QuadrigaCX's cash isn't available to them. Many of these exchanges operate at the edge of the law, and legitimate banks don't like that, so the exchanges turn to shady banking practices to pay their customers.
  #173  
Old 02-05-2019, 09:50 PM
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I'm not trying to write a Bitcoin tutorial here, but there seems to be some confusion about how it works, so I hope the below will help.

Storing the entire blockchain (currently about 200 GB), and validating it, is what the Bitcoin people call a "full node". A wallet is considered a lightweight client, and connects to full nodes to submit and verify transactions. There is no reason to run a full node just to submit transactions.

A wallet app (or program) will connect to one or more full nodes to submit transactions. These nodes need not be managed by the app provider, and it's probably best if they aren't. When you send a payment from one or more of the addresses in your wallet it will generate a transaction signed by your private key(s), so that even the nodes you submit it to can't alter it* without the transaction being rejected. It shouldn't matter what nodes you submit your transaction to because they will broadcast it to the network so that every node has it.

The transaction is then added to the pending transaction pool. That's where "miners" come in. Each miner will look at the pool and pick out what it thinks are the best combination of transactions, which are usually those with the highest transaction fees, although transaction data size and other things come into play. It will package all these transactions into a block, and then try to find a magic** signature for that block. If it finds it, the miner will submit it to the blockchain. A full node will only accept the block as valid if it can verify the signature. Assuming the block is valid, all the full nodes accept the block, and it's now the last block on the blockchain.

Meanwhile the lightweight client (wallet) is checking back from time to time asking if its transaction is now in the blockchain. It's also asking if any other transactions affected any addresses it controls. Once it sees the transaction (or another affecting its addresses) on the blockchain, it will update those addresses' balances in the wallet, and the transaction is done.

One important note which wallets probably take into account is that blocks are only added to the blockchain every 10 minutes or so, by design***. Due to possible blockchain hijacks transactions aren't considered fully verified until 6 blocks are added. So it actually takes 60 minutes for a transaction to complete. It's also possible that the transaction pool exceeded capacity, and if your transaction didn't have a high enough transaction fee included it might take many blocks before the miners include it.

* There have been a few weaknesses found where part of a transaction could be altered due to not all of the metadata being included in the transaction signature. As far as I know, these would just result in a Denial of Service since the transaction would be rejected by other nodes. There was some speculation that this could have been used malevolently in the wild, but I haven't seen anything definitively.

** The magic signature for a valid block is a SHA hash that is numerically less than what they call difficulty. The miner is basically taking a random number and hashing it with all the transaction signatures in a block. If the SHA signature is a less than the difficulty, that miner wins. If it doesnt win, it tries again as quickly as possible. An approximation of how to tell if the computed signature is less than the difficulty is how many leading 0s there are in the resulting hash in hexadecimal. I found that amusing in its simplicity when I first learned about it, because it's so easily visualized as whether or not you found a hash with enough zeros.

*** The difficulty is recalculated every two weeks. They take the amount of time it took to calculate the previous 2016 blocks and adjust the difficulty so that if the rate is the same it would take 10 minutes for each block going forward. This is how the network adjusts for changes in the amount of mining (hashrate) available. Here's some graphs of how the difficulty has adjusted recently.
  #174  
Old 02-05-2019, 10:30 PM
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And then there's the environmental costs: Energy cost of 'mining' bitcoin more than twice that of copper or gold - New research reveals that cryptocurrencies require far more electricity per-dollar than it takes to mine most real metals
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:40 PM
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But iamthewalrus(:3= wrote that "for a variety of reasons" nobody has published a lightweight, portable bitcoin app that runs on people's phones. Is this true? Why not? Seems like that would be an integral part of the endgame of those pushing bitcoins: to get people to use them. Have the pushers given up?
  #176  
Old 02-05-2019, 10:43 PM
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But if you've got an app to manage bitcoins, then there's no reason that all of the behind-the-scene stuff couldn't be happening to a wallet stored on your own device, secured by your own password (or fingerprint or face recognition or whatever).
I'm a little confused what you are responding to. Is it why bitcoin isn't used like Venmo, with an app on your phone, or is it the continuing question of why users don't store their bitcoin in personal wallets? Those are two very different questions.

I think the wallets are probably user friendly enough that all of the hard parts are managed behind the scenes. You tell the wallet to send money to someone, enter their address and an amount, and press go. The money is sent, just like Venmo. It isn't used like Venmo because why would anyone use it that way? No one accepts bitcoin, and Venmo transacts in dollars, so people use Venmo instead. There is a whole other conversation to be had about how bitcoin could replace Venmo and Paypal, and why that hasn't happened, but it's not worth getting into if that isn't the point you are making.

As to why some bitcoin owners are using exchanges as banks, I'll restate my previous points in a slightly different way.

Most of us are very bad at risk assessment, but we do know that Bitcoin is vulnerable to loss. We know that we are horrible at predicting all the ways we might lose access to our bitcoins. We've lost pictures when our hard drives failed or we dropped our phone. We've forgotten passwords. If we can't even keep our pictures how can we be trusted with thousands of dollars stored in a tiny digital file when we don't even understand how it works?

What we do understand is banks. We've been conditioned for generations that banks are safe and our mattresses aren't. I know I'm being foolish if I keep my life savings in the wallet in my pocket, because I could lose it or it could be stolen. I would be laughed at if I kept it under my mattresses. The answer is to put it in a bank. We don't even really go through the calculus of why the bank is safe, we just understand that it is. People who aren't technically knowledgeable enough to develop an appropriate IT disaster recovery plan, i.e. most people, default to trusting the cryptocurrency "bank", because they know they can't do it themselves and hope the "bank" can.

It's sad that this trust in cryptocurrency exchanges is very misplaced, and people keep losing their money. With some good oversight there could be trusted cryptocurrency banks, but we aren't there yet.

I also think that major players or investors don't have the majority of their money in exchanges. It's mostly the people caught up in just wanting to own some bitcoins for whatever reason that do. In other words, it's the little guy hurt again.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:50 PM
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This is more concrete, not merely theoretical, evidence that bitcoins are badly designed for whatever people are apparently trying to do with it.

Why say "cryptocurrencies" if they specifically mean "bitcoin & its clones", though? Not that I am saying it is a good idea, but why not one that does not rely on "mining" at all? Then throw in a smartphone app and enable it for cafes, vending machines, and streaming tv/movies and you're good to go.
  #178  
Old 02-05-2019, 10:56 PM
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But iamthewalrus(:3= wrote that "for a variety of reasons" nobody has published a lightweight, portable bitcoin app that runs on people's phones. Is this true? Why not? Seems like that would be an integral part of the endgame of those pushing bitcoins: to get people to use them. Have the pushers given up?
I'll let him speak for himself, but I don't think that's what he meant. I thought what he was saying is that bitcoin isn't comparable to Venmo because they never developed the user base that Venmo has, and that's what would be required to make bitcoin actually usable by the general public.

There are bitcoin wallets for phones. I can't vouch for them actually working, but they are there:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...h.wallet&hl=en
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....mwallet&hl=en
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....android&hl=en

I would guess that at least one of them actually works, and you can transfer and receive bitcoin almost as easily as Venmo. You just have to deal with using bitcoin to do it, and that's the real hurdle: why use bitcoin? The app isn't the problem, bitcoin is.
  #179  
Old 02-06-2019, 05:45 AM
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This is more concrete, not merely theoretical, evidence that bitcoins are badly designed for whatever people are apparently trying to do with it.
Eh... A Prius costs more to make than gas-guzzling Suburban, but in the long term it's cheaper. Relative cost of mining is not an argument for or against design. Gold must be physically stored, transported, guarded, accounted, minted or shaped, inspected and standardized. All these things make it a problematic means of exchange, which is why gold currency is a lot more rare than it used to be.
  #180  
Old 02-06-2019, 06:22 AM
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I'm not trying to write a Bitcoin tutorial here, ...

*** The difficulty is recalculated every two weeks. They take the amount of time it took to calculate the previous 2016 blocks and adjust the difficulty so that if the rate is the same it would take 10 minutes for each block going forward....
It may not have been intended as a tutorial, but I found it very useful and informative. Thank you, nesta !

Were the details like difficulty re-adjustment all defined in the original Bitcoin specification? Or has there been a way to modify that specification as time goes on?
  #181  
Old 02-06-2019, 06:54 AM
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Here's a really excellent video on the basics of blockchains and how they work.

The explanation is exceptionally clear and methodical, with practical examples throughout. It's slightly technical, but too much so, and doesn't assume any prior knowledge.

Blockchain 101 - A Visual Demo
  #182  
Old 02-06-2019, 07:30 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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And calls for regulation of crypto-currency exchanges are starting in BC, where Quadriga was registered.

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-...c-exchange/amp
  #183  
Old 02-06-2019, 02:16 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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But iamthewalrus(:3= wrote that "for a variety of reasons" nobody has published a lightweight, portable bitcoin app that runs on people's phones. Is this true? Why not? Seems like that would be an integral part of the endgame of those pushing bitcoins: to get people to use them. Have the pushers given up?
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I'll let him speak for himself, but I don't think that's what he meant. I thought what he was saying is that bitcoin isn't comparable to Venmo because they never developed the user base that Venmo has, and that's what would be required to make bitcoin actually usable by the general public.

There are bitcoin wallets for phones. I can't vouch for them actually working, but they are there:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...h.wallet&hl=en
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....mwallet&hl=en
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....android&hl=en

I would guess that at least one of them actually works, and you can transfer and receive bitcoin almost as easily as Venmo. You just have to deal with using bitcoin to do it, and that's the real hurdle: why use bitcoin? The app isn't the problem, bitcoin is.
There are bitcoin apps for phones, but they don't solve the hard parts of bitcoin, which are security and easy integration with the money we normally use.

A simple phone app on par with Venmo would have to seamlessly convert from the money you want to send to the money you want to receive and have some kind of insurance backstop that would mean you don't have to wait for 40+ minutes to have reasonable assurance that the transfer actually happened.

The reasons that hasn't happened are legion. Some are technical, some are political, some are financial, some are regulatory. Arguably, a hallmark of cryptocurrencies is that every problem is simultaneously technical, political, financial, and regulatory. It's a mess.

It wouldn't surprise me if some cryptocurrency ends up being in more common regular use in the future, but it certainly hasn't been Bitcoin. If anything, Bitcoin is further from that than it was a few years ago.
  #184  
Old 02-06-2019, 03:49 PM
Dorj鄚 Dorj鄚 is offline
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The Cash App includes bitcoin as a method of payment, right along with bank accounts and credit cards.
  #185  
Old 02-06-2019, 04:57 PM
dzeiger dzeiger is offline
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This is more concrete, not merely theoretical, evidence that bitcoins are badly designed for whatever people are apparently trying to do with it.
I've heard it stated that Bitcoin is more of a proof-of-concept that happened to be just good enough at just the right time to take off.
  #186  
Old 02-06-2019, 05:39 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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I've heard it stated that Bitcoin is more of a proof-of-concept that happened to be just good enough at just the right time to take off.
Technically this is true of all software that has taken off.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 02-06-2019 at 05:39 PM. Reason: important qualifier
  #187  
Old 02-06-2019, 07:26 PM
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Anybody remember those Mondex cards? You were supposed to actually buy stuff using it, though, not engage in currency speculation.
  #188  
Old 02-06-2019, 09:49 PM
PastTense PastTense is offline
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That article says that "she said the cold wallet stored $180 million in Canadian dollars", but that seems doubtful- there were probably just bitcoins and what not.
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The exchange holds roughly 26,500 bitcoin ($92.3 million USD), 11,000 bitcoin cash ($1.3 million), 11,000 bitcoin cash SV ($707,000), 35,000 bitcoin gold ($352,000), nearly 200,000 litecoin ($6.5 million) and about 430,000 ether ($46 million), totaling $147 million, according to the affidavit...

Not all of Quadrigas funds are in crypto. According to its court filing, about $70 million CAD ($53 million USD) of its funds are held by payment processors in fiat.

Of that, about $30 million CAD ($23 million USD) is held by payment processor Billerfy in the form of bank drafts. Billerfy has explained in the past that it was having difficulty finding banking partners to endorse these drafts, preventing it from releasing the funds back to the exchange.
https://www.coindesk.com/quadrigacx-explainer
  #189  
Old 02-09-2019, 07:05 AM
Brayne Ded Brayne Ded is offline
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Yeah?

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Originally Posted by nesta View Post
It seems the owner died of Crohns disease in India. That does sound like conspiracy theory fodder, but they included a death certificate so he's probably really dead. I would think it would be fairly easy to trace the blockchain transactions to and from their cold wallet, and if you see transactions out after his reported death, or a bunch of movement shortly before, everyone would know something isn't right.
Say what? A young guy dies of Crohn's disease? A quick reading if the Wiki shows that Crohn's disease is, well, a PITA but not fatal unless you have a bowel obstruction or bowel cancer. Neither of those kill you quickly, and an affluent Westerner could get to a decent hospital.

Death certificate? No problem in a Third World country.

Why does it look as if he did a runner and the laptop will only have digital garbage on it, once the password is finally cracked?
  #190  
Old 02-09-2019, 11:34 AM
PastTense PastTense is offline
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For a well-off Canadian you would expect the body would be transported back to Canada for burial. Was it?

Last edited by PastTense; 02-09-2019 at 11:34 AM.
  #191  
Old 02-09-2019, 06:07 PM
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KarlGauss KarlGauss is online now
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Originally Posted by Brayne Ded View Post
Say what? A young guy dies of Crohn's disease? A quick reading if the Wiki shows that Crohn's disease is, well, a PITA but not fatal unless you have a bowel obstruction or bowel cancer. Neither of those kill you quickly, and an affluent Westerner could get to a decent hospital.
This is not accurate.

Crohn's disease can lead to perforation of the bowel and thus release of gut bacteria into the bloodstream. The sepsis that can result is potentially lethal itself.

But when you add that insult to the system of a person who's been on immunosuppressant therapy for their Crohn's (a mainstay of modern therapy), rapid and overwhelming sepsis would not at all be unexpected (and especially for a Westerner in India working among the poor, exposed to all types of immunologically unfamiliar and/or nasty microorganisms).
  #192  
Old 02-14-2019, 10:56 PM
Kimera757 Kimera757 is offline
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One day after entering into "receivership" (I don't know the technical term), Quadriga "accidentally" put about $500,000 of cryptocurrency into an inaccessible cold wallet.

Given the amount of debt the company is in, that's small potatoes, but how is that even possible when it's now being controlled by Ernst & Young? On a related note, the company has bank drafts (that banks refuse to honor) that aren't being held by the company or Ernst & Young, but private individuals. The company didn't even have its own bank account (and the bank account someone else opened for it was frozen). The company didn't keep accounting records.

I never invested in crypto, but I wish I had known about this company beforehand. Maybe I wouldn't have been surprised. (The frozen bank account saga is a year old.)
  #193  
Old 02-15-2019, 05:02 PM
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JPMorgan is getting into some sort of cryptocurrency business. (Love the 2nd par in that article.)

Not a bitcoin type mining thing but a blockchain system for international transactions.

Blockchains? That is so 2017.
  #194  
Old 02-15-2019, 05:11 PM
DPRK DPRK is offline
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Blockchains? That is so 2017.
More like 2010. How do banks not have 50+ years of experience in secure digital transfers of money, anyway?
  #195  
Old 02-15-2019, 05:15 PM
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I found myself asking that very question when I moved across country and found myself without any access to any money at all for three weeks.
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