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1  Other / Off-topic / Encrypted social network on: March 18, 2015, 06:21:45 PM
Thought this would be of interest to people here:

It's what i've been up to since BitInstant went down, beta will be coming around the end of april and there's a fundraiser on littlebitback with some more info:

As the littlebitback page says, depending on response to the fundraiser it'll either be funded by donations or via a freemium model. What I absolutely do not want to do is make it advertiser-funded as that opens up privacy risks.

If anyone is interested in helping out more directly, get in touch via PM.
2  Other / Meta / Changing name on: March 18, 2014, 09:56:13 PM
Hi, is it possible to get my name changed to just plain "Gareth Nelson"?

Would also like my avatar changed to blank if possible, if not this one will do:
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / SENS foundation joins those who won't take bitcoins for vague reasons on: August 01, 2013, 08:12:01 PM
Hi Gareth,

I've dug into records and consulted colleagues, and it's not looking good on this after all. We had an enquiry about bitcoin in January, which led us to explore options quite thoroughly, and the conclusion from my admin people was that we shouldn't do it - it is too volatile and insecure. I presume that anyone who deals in bitcoin themselves can accept it and donate the equivalent amount to whomever they choose in regular USD, but I don't know whether that fits the way you do your fundraiser - I'm guessing it probably doesn't.

Sorry to be rather useless on this one!

Cheers, Aubrey

My birthday is coming up (4th of august) and I intended to run a fundraiser for SENS (aging research) for it, including looking for donations via bitcoin, I advised looking at someone like bitpay to arrange the details but it seems that someone in the organisation has gotten the impression bitcoin is somehow insecure.

Anyone got any ideas?
4  Economy / Games and rounds / Psychological science tells us that giving is good for you....... on: March 08, 2013, 07:53:10 AM
.........and I want to test this theory.

First person to post their bitcoin address and the phrase "delicious brains" and nothing else will get a random 0.5BTC for the hell of it.
5  Bitcoin / Mining / A nice machine for mining may not exist without your support on: October 25, 2012, 08:09:39 AM
6  Economy / Service Discussion / [updated] Any GLBSE staff reading? Pay attention on: October 10, 2012, 02:22:00 AM
In case anyone from GLBSE is reading:

My username is garethnelsonuk and my email address is

I'd like any funds I had there sent to 16ziHs3yXJaPyEKFk48CrGhSEjY1mZgqKN

If you want me to verify my identity for regulatory or legal reasons i'm happy to do so, but your website won't let me (HTTP 413 errors when trying to upload the documents). I'm fairly well-known in this community and will not set out to defraud you, I just want any BTC and the BTC value of any holdings I had in my GLBSE account sent to me.

Update: I would like to change the above - I will not send these documents unless I can be re-assured they will not be abused based on other forum discussions
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / If I was a newbie.... on: September 11, 2012, 12:36:12 PM
I would run the other way looking at the media attention right now and the contents of this forum:

Anyone else find this really sad? We've got an awesome piece of technology that's secure and reliable, and a huge pile of scammers and unreliable fools - what can be done to address this?

More and more, bitcoin is being viewed by the general public as insecure, that is bitcoin itself - the masses can't tell the difference, and there's various psychological reasons as to why this is.

If people hear a negative fact from some random source and forget the source, they assign a greater likelihood of that source being correct (this is known as source amnesia confabulation), and on top of that there's also a known bias in the media for bad news (good news doesn't sell well compared to bad news - bad news spreads further).

There's only 2 sane approaches here:
1 - Encourage the spread of bad news about other payment approaches and get bitcoin mentioned as an alternative
2 - Reduce the bad news in the first place - this one is going to be essentially impossible to do perfectly with something decentralised like bitcoin - anyone can setup a scam and they'll always have willing victims

What we could do on point 2 however is to try and work on ways to get education out to potential scam victims and to reduce the ease of scams.

One example that comes to mind for how to reduce the ease of scams is multisig transactions combined with a notification feature - if we could integrate a messaging protocol into bitcoin and have a "signature request" message sent to clients for multisig transactions then the following becomes possible:
1 - User has a pile of BTC on exchange
2 - User requests withdrawal of BTC
3 - Exchange sends a signature request to user's client - perhaps we could just handle this by broadcasting a transaction with a "half-signed" input, when the user's client picks it up, it prompts the user
4 - Regardless of the technical implementation, the user gets a prompt on their client asking to authorise sending X amount of BTC, they click yes and enter a password, the client signs it, coins move
5 - The prompt dialog should contain warnings telling newbies how to respond if they did NOT request the movement

It would also be sensible if the main bitcoin clients contained warning messages on how to spot a scam, the first time the user attempts to send funds somewhere a simple message in the send funds dialogue with bullet points asking the user to confirm their understanding (and a "do not bother me again" option) would work well.

Something must be done regardless, because otherwise the bad press is going to kill the market for our little currency, even if we can continue trading it amongst ourselves within the community.
8  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / humble bundle and bitcoin on: September 10, 2012, 06:51:26 PM
I asked them about accepting bitcoin and told them (honestly) that i'd spend a lot more on the bundles if they took BTC, got this reply:
Hey Gareth!

The EFF has a great statement on BitCoin that closely follows our feelings toward BitCoin, which is available here:

“We don’t fully understand the complex legal issues involved with creating a new currency system. Bitcoin raises untested legal concerns related to securities law, the Stamp Payments Act, tax evasion, consumer protection and money laundering, among others. And that’s just in the U.S. While EFF is often the defender of people ensnared in legal issues arising from new technologies, we try very hard to keep EFF from becoming the actual subject of those fights or issues. Since there is no caselaw on this topic, and the legal implications are still very unclear, we worry that our acceptance of Bitcoins may move us into the possible subject role.”

We like BitCoin and would love to accept it, but after contacting the EFF and a lawyer specializing in this sort of thing, we are not comfortable with the plethora of untested issues and legal traps, which would be a major distraction for us. We have been in contact with a number of bitcoin startups, and will be monitoring the landscape carefully.

Thank you for your support,

Support Ninja
Humble Bundle
9  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / A scam? on: July 13, 2012, 10:20:28 AM
Something that constantly pops up from newbies - is bitcoin itself a scam somehow?

My very sarcastic answer - of course it is.

Here's the plan:

First, enable people to buy and sell BTC at prices determined by the market on exchange sites
Second, enable people to exchange BTC for goods and services
Third, enable some merchants to cash out their BTC back for fiat again while enjoying the lack of chargebacks and other advantages
Fourth, Huh
Fifth, profit (and loss for all those silly people who purchased or provided goods and services in the free market)

Question here is what the "Huh" is.

Newbies making the scam claim have a vague sense that someone is profiting and one day will reveal it was all a scam, something along the lines of this:

1 - Satoshi premines a pile of BTC and keeps hold of it
2 - BTC grows in value as people find it useful
3 - Satoshi goes "ya ha! now I can reveal my evil scam by getting rich off my innovation"
4 - Satoshi puts BTC on the exchange markets and sells it to willing buyers, thus profiting more - either dumping all at once and crashing the value or selling off a bit at a time
5 - In order to maximise profits, Satoshi chooses to sell off a bit at a time, again to willing buyers at market rates

If Satoshi is a scammer, so is anyone who ever got rich off a new and useful invention.

So is the "they" if not Satoshi?

Bitcoin exchanges and services to move funds into them (*cough*)?
What's the scam there exactly? "We'll provide a service to hook up buyers and sellers and will profit from this nicely" doesn't strike me as very deceptive.

Bitcoin-accepting merchants?
"A ha! Now we've encouraged you to come into the bitcoin scam by investing into bitcoin and paying them to us so we carry the risk of bitcoin itself being insecure or suffering a price crash, behold our evil scheme"
"Now we have you, our scam has worked and we have provided you with goods and services while you gave us worthless bitcoins, err......"

Miner1: "All we have to do is invest in hardware and electricity costs and wait and soon the newbies will buy from us and we'll be rich! mwahahahaha"
Miner2: "Yeah, we could be rich or we could lose loads if this thing doesn't work out"
Miner1: "Shit, you're right - quickly, encourage a useful market for buying goods and services in bitcoin so that it has actual value for users"

Anyone who thinks bitcoin is a scam, here's a real scam:
Please send 1BTC to 14tu6Uvj6LAaK1cngz8BpRtzjCy6cm9n9g
If you send to this address and post the transaction ID here together with your own address and ask for it back, I promise I will not pay it back
(for those in on the scam - the scam is that I will in fact send it back if asked to, how very evil of me)
10  Economy / Lending / An experiment in loans on: July 05, 2012, 02:53:32 PM
This is more an experiment than anything else.

I'll loan any random newbie or anyone else apart from known scammers or people who otherwise set off too many alarm bells even for this experiment up to 5BTC, here's my rates:

1BTC at 0.05BTC per week - 0.5BTC deposit up front to be returned after loan ends unless loan not repaid
2BTC at 0.1BTC per week   - 1BTC deposit up front to be returned after loan ends
3BTC at 0.2BTC per week   - 1.5BTC deposit up front to be returned after loan ends
4BTC at 0.3BTC per week   - 2BTC deposit up front to be returned after loan ends
5BTC at 0.4BTC per week   - 2.5BTC deposit up front to be returned after loan ends

If you can not make a deposit, the above rates increase by 0.1BTC per week and recurring payments are required
If payments are late, they will be taken out of the deposit, if there is no deposit then full details of the default will be posted in public.
If loans are not repaid then any deposit is forfeit.

Longest periods allowed:
1BTC for 1 month
2BTC for 2 weeks
3BTC for 2 weeks
4BTC for 1 week - unless you are willing to pay an extra of 0.2BTC per week, in which case 1 month
5BTC for 1 week - unless you are willing to pay an extra 0.4BTC per week, in which case 1 month

11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / [ANN] BitInstant IPN system - accept payments securely on: July 03, 2012, 06:44:12 AM
Before anyone wonders, this isn't the big secret feature that's coming soon, just an evolution of what already exists, it does however tie in nicely with that coming feature.

This will soon be integrated with the cashtobtc system, but we now have a proper IPN (Instant Payment Notification) system with cryptographic authentication via SHA512-HMAC. This should be considered beta-stage at present but it is suitable for those already using the /cashtobtc system

Essentially, you can now use our API to do the following:
1 - Setup a quote with GetQuote()
2 - Subscribe to events on that quote with SubscribeEvents (this is entirely optional)
3 - Subscribe to order executed events only and get sent a signed IPN with SetOrderIPN
4 - Send a customer of yours to<QuoteID>
5 - Let your customer pay, receive funds at any of our supported destinations as your customer pays with any of our supported payment methods (this will soon be setup to run smoothly like a checkout page, allowing the customer to choose payment method)
6 - Customer pays, you get confirmation email and an IPN to your website at the URL specified
7 - Optionally (though highly recommended) verify the IPN against the BitInstant API
8 - Send the product you're selling

This was a requested feature for some of our clients who wanted a means to make use of the cashtobtc system in a secure manner without having to watch the blockchain.

Resends are not implemented at present so please ensure your webserver is reliable and do not assume lack of payment if you miss the IPN due to a temporary failure - we will soon add the facility to auto-resend IPNs.

Documentation as always is at
12  Economy / Marketplace / We're up to something on: July 03, 2012, 02:36:21 AM
Quote from: BitInstant's SVN logs
gareth | 2012-07-03 03:24:34 +0100 (Tue, 03 Jul 2012) | 2 lines
Start the hype train

What are we up to?
13  Other / Off-topic / What is the best way to whatever bitcoin? on: July 02, 2012, 07:48:15 PM
To keep with the "what is the best way to somethingsomething bitcoin" threads.......
14  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / [ANN] cashtobtc - use the BitInstant platform to receive payments (UPDATED: Gox) on: June 22, 2012, 04:11:30 PM
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, ever wished you could stick a donation link on your email or forum signature and receive bitcoins from people who know absolutely nothing about bitcoins?

Now you can, the below link will take the user straight to our partners at TrustCash to get a deposit slip, then you will receive the resulting bitcoins and will be able to track order events as they occur by having them posted as JSON-formatted data to any URL of your choice:

To be clear, here's the parameters:
addr             = your bitcoin address
amount         = the amount of USD you want to be paid (note that it must be a minimal of $20 and a max of $1000) - remember also that fees have to be subtracted from this figure
notify_email  =  your email address where you will be notified once the order completes
notify_url      = an arbitrary URL to which order events will be POSTed as JSON data - note that events will only be sent once, so if your website times out you will need to manually confirm (this is being worked on)

Coming soon:
 Generate a QR code, have users scan it on their smartphone and be given a map to the nearest payment location
 ZipZap support (for 7-11, walmart, CVS etc)

By using the notify_url feature this can easily form the basis of a shopping cart feature and without any need to setup an account anywhere - just send your users to the link and wait for bitcoins to arrive
15  Economy / Lending / [FILLED] Looking for a small personal loan, 50-100BTC on: April 24, 2012, 05:54:15 AM
As the subject says, i'm looking for a small personal loan to cover a few urgent expenses but would prefer to keep the details anonymous.

I hope that my reputation should speak for itself as I generally deal with 1000s of dollars of other people's money daily via BitInstant, but as this is a personal loan and unrelated to my company I will provide on request any additional verification of my honesty and intent and capacity to repay.

If anyone would like to take me up on this then please PM. I will publicly post the details after repayment, and of course any lender should feel free to post all details if I fail my side of the deal.

Already one lender has been PMed with a request for a quote, and I just realised that I don't actually need to keep the whole thing private, so please throw some quotes at me if you want my interest Wink


Forgot to mention the duration of the loan - about a week or two, to be repaid sometime early may


Confidentiality no longer required, and possibly partly filled
16  Other / Off-topic / [OBSOLETE] Crack this for 5BTC on: January 23, 2012, 01:42:40 PM
As the topic says...

Here is my scheme: I want to encode several 32-byte strings (wow, I wonder what they could be) using another 32-byte string as the key.

If it was only one string I wanted to encode, i'd XOR it - problem is that if I reuse it my key can be leaked:
K key
C ciphertext
P plaintext

K   = 10
C1 = P1^K
C2 = P2^K
C1^P1 = K
C2^P2 = K


I alternate K,after every message, I transform K into sha256(K), so that the same value of K is never used for >1 encryption.

Here's the challenge - you have all values of C but not K, break the scheme so that you can find K or any value of P and you win 5BTC.
Break the scheme so that having the value of a single P gives you K or other P values and you win 5BTC.

Get cracking.
17  Other / Off-topic / Good old british fish and chips on: January 23, 2012, 01:04:37 PM
I just had some, that is all.

Don't tell Yankee - he's perma-jealous of my delicious battered cod.
18  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Need a quick and to the point answer on this one on: January 15, 2012, 07:00:14 PM
I have the following:
A private key (or several)
A bitcoin address I want to send funds to
No blockchain

How can I create a transaction which I can then transmit into the network that will send funds from the private keys to the specified address with the following constraints:

No reliance on third-party services
No bitcoind

Is this even possible or not?

I suspect it to be impossible without knowing the previous input transaction for the provided private key, so what is the simplest way to find those input transactions rapidly?

If I remove the "no bitcoind" constraint, is there a simple way to do this without importing the private key into the client wallet?
19  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Secret wallet on: January 01, 2012, 12:40:35 AM
1 - Generate a set of private keys with high quality entropy
2 - Hash your password+a numeric string to an SHA256 hash
3 - XOR the hash from step 2 with each of the keys from step 1 to get your new private keys
4 - Repeat steps 2-4 an arbitary number of times to create multiple hidden wallets
5 - Pay small amounts into all your addresses
6 - If cooerced, give the password for a secret wallet with hardly any coins in it

Anyone got plausible attacks against this scheme?
20  Other / Beginners & Help / My challenge on: December 21, 2011, 05:39:07 PM
I've noticed a few threads popping up here about how "wasteful" the mining process is, so to get to the point here's my challenge.

Describe a protocol in sufficient detail that it can be actually implemented (tiny details such as packet format etc don't matter, general operation does) and which has the following properties:

  • No reliance on a central server
  • An unchanging record of past transactions that can not be altered
  • No double spending
  • Ability to receive funds while your client is offline
  • No proof of work requirement

I will pay 5BTC to whoever can solve this challenge - remember it must match all points.
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