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1  Bitcoin / Legal / Alberta MSB registration log. on: October 17, 2014, 06:22:46 AM
I have tried to start the paper work with FINTRAC so that I can register as a MSB here in Canada (the Canadian regulations do not appear to have the $1000/day exemption the US regulations do). If successful, I may buy low on the exchange, then sell slightly higher at locabitcoins. I have to be cautions, because, if I try it without informing my bank, they will probably close my account (when setting it up, I estimated 1-2 Bitcoin transactions per month, not 20-30).

I was told by FINTRAC representatives that they handle registration, not licensing of Money Service Businesses. They gave me a general Service Alberta number to inquire about licensing. I eventually left a message with the Licensing Department at 780-422-1335. The automated machine warns that license applications are processed on a FIFO basis with a 4 week delay.

I left a message asking about licensing requirements for selling less than $1000/day worth of Bitcoin. The lady I talked to (should have noted her name) was initially concerned that I would need to apply for a Direct Seller's License. That is mainly intended for door-to-door salesmen. The requirements include posting a $10,000 bond, and contract wording advising the buyer that they have a 10 day cooling off period under the Fair Trading Act. After the lady I talked to did some more research (and called back again), I was advised that I did not need a license if I was arranging the sale over the Internet prior to meetings. Todo: look up the "Internet Sales Contract" regulations (81/2001 ... with amendments)

The cooling off period, while reasonable in principle, has two major problems that I can foresee. 1. I may end up becoming a hedge against rapid price volatility. It is not clear I am allowed to give my customers negative ratings over such incidents. 2. There is a slight money laundering risk: since both Bitcoin and cash is fungible. That can be mitigated by not repeatedly selling to people exercising the option. Even with those restrictions, I may want to consider licensing if I want to be able to sell without using the Internet to hash out details. On the phone I was told the threshold was $1, but ALBERTA REGULATION 191/99 says "The amount for the purpose of section 24(a) of the Act is $25." (so they may have raised it)

I called FINTRAC back and was advised that I can not register without a legal business name. I will have to see how much work setting up a private company is. (I know a corporation requires bylaws and directors, etc). If I am successful, we may want to encourage others to do the same. The paper work will prompt them to exempt businesses doing less than $1000/day as they do in the US (I hope). My experience is limited to Alberta. While searching for licensing requirements, Quebec came up in searches (as requiring MSB licensing). Other provinces may also require licensing.

Update: Registering a "Trade name" took only a simple form and $55. Though the form did ask for an ID number (such as Drivers' ID). Apparently they do not have to be renewed. Because Trade names do not even technically have to be unique, you don't even need the business name search. New update: A trade name is not a business.

Quote from: Direct Seller Definition
Direct Selling is the business of soliciting, negotiating or concluding sales contracts in person at any place other than the seller's place of business. These contracts are for goods or services that will be purchased by an individual for primarily personal, family or household use.
It appears the $10,000 bond, with a 2 year hold after operations cease, may be designed to make you seriously consider a 3 year lease. With an actual location, you can avoid some of the statutory contract wording as well. It also appears that I am free to sell (for example) Bitcoin vending machines to businesses without a license.
2  Other / MultiBit / backup import functionality removed on: June 28, 2014, 05:21:45 PM
When I launched multibit, I was alarmed to learn that the importation wallet export files was removed.

I created such a file (and kept a paper back-up) back in September or August of last year. Because the funds are not mine, I do not keep them on my machine. I was counting on being able to use Multibit to restore the key in the event ever went down or was considered unreliable for some reason.

My immediate response after seeing functionally removed is to not upgrade: upgrades have been often detrimental to the user since the 1996 WIPO "Copyright" and "Performances and Phonograms" treaties.

I then thought: "Ok, maybe there is a reason the functionality was removed if it was a 'bug fix'". I then went to the Release Notes, then the Multibit website looking for the source-code and bug-tracking database. I never found it. (Update: it is the "To get involved you should fork the source code on GitHub." link). I found a link to these forums, and found the thread about how a user lost a lot of Bitcoins and complained on reddit. I searched the forum and found this thread describing a new wallet import tool.

I finally found the Blog post explaining the issue. However, the suggested replacement tool currently just displays the message: "This document has been removed temporarily"

TL;dr: This post is mainly search-engine bait in case somebody else is confused as well.
3  Other / Meta / In-thread links to self-posts now broken? on: March 12, 2014, 04:10:20 AM

After updating the P2Pool thread with information on how I got pypy working, I went back to edit my original post.

Like this: To say I got it working.

However, instead of getting a hyperlink, the url was placed in brackets. In addition, because the hyperlink ended in an '8' the closing bracket and last character of the URL was converted into: Cool

dummy text to try to reproduce original post
Update: Should link to next post
4  Economy / Service Discussion / Facebook app now compromises SMS-based 2 factor authentication on: January 11, 2014, 04:34:15 PM
The new facebook App asks for a lot of new permissions. Among them is "Read your text messages (SMS or MMS)".

This breaks the SMS-based 2 factor authentication used by many Bitcoin services. This means that if Facebook somehow gets your login passphrase (you do use a different one for each website, don't you?), they can now steal all of your Bitcoin stored in those services.

5  Other / MultiBit / wallet-unenc-backup backup directory on: December 04, 2013, 09:09:30 AM

I installed multibit on my main machine in order to handle small amounts of Bitcoin. When trying to figure out which files I need to back-up, I came across the "wallet-unenc-backup" directory. As far as I can tell, that directory includes all one (1) addresses that were present in the wallet before I set the password. However, the FAQ says:
If you have really, truly lost or forgotten your password and you only have encrypted wallets, then it is likely that you have lost access to your bitcoin. There is absolutely no way that the MultiBit team can possibly recover them.

So, does Multibit keep unencrypted copies of wallets by default, or do I just have to generate a new address to be safe?

I tried generating a second wallet, and it was unencrypted by default as well.

Edit: I labeled the initial address "do not use" and generated new addresses. They do not appear to be stored in the unencrypted backup directory.
6  Other / Politics & Society / Kopimist Church of Idaho plans to sue PayPal on: September 29, 2013, 05:01:01 AM

Essentially, PayPal cut off the Kopimist Church because one of their supporters operates TUEBL, an ebook sharing website.

They happen to be raising Bitcoin for their legal fund.

I find the freedom of religion angle for the right to copy interesting.

Before reading about this, I had no idea that Kopimism was actually a religion, rather than a social movement.
7  Other / Meta / Password timeoout suggestion on: September 14, 2013, 08:10:27 PM

Waiting 45 seconds to re-enter your password can be frustrating. However, today I was busy during those 45 seconds because I entered the password from another website. I was changing my password on the other site.

My suggestion:
If the password is incorrect (presumably if the user-name is incorrect too to avoid a distinguishing attack), perhaps the intermediate screen should post suggestions for good security like:

If you accidentally entered the password from another website, you should go change that password now.

If your Password is on this list: you should change your password.

If your password is on this list: you should change your password.

You should write your passwords down or keep them in a key-ring. Your passwords should be randomly generated. (This one will be controversial: however I think advice to never write down passwords results in password re-use or forgotten passwords).
Edit: Removed Facebook link for top 25 list. I have no idea why a major news organization would link to a facebook page rather than a press-release. I have one theory: to keep the masses ignorant and dependent on them.
8  Other / Meta / Blank user name and password prompt form fails to login. on: July 24, 2013, 05:40:21 AM
Normally, when I want to log in, I click on the "Login" button near the top of the page without filling in my information. This presents me with a page complaining that I did not supply my log-in information. If I then fill in my log-in information, I now get a message that there was an error: and that I should wait 45 seconds before trying again.

If instead, I fill in my login information with the mini form next to the login button (like a 'normal' person?), it appears to work every time. The other day, the login with the intermediate page failed at least 3 times. Today it failed once before I gave up on it.

One awkward thing about this bug is that there is no clear way to report it until you find the work-around Wink

9  Other / Politics & Society / Empowermentors Collective for intersectionally marginalized POC on: July 06, 2013, 01:58:54 AM
I have been asked to spread the word about "a skillshare, activism, and discussion network for intersectionally marginalized people of color in the free culture and free software movement."

I had to look up a few terms:
Person of color

Quote from: Kyra
The Empowermentors Collective is a skillshare, activism, and discussion network for intersectionally marginalized people of color in the free culture and free software movement. We see radical potential in free culture and free software (often marketed as "open source software") to work against ableism, racism, cissexism, heterosexism, sexism, and classism.

We say "intersectionally marginalized" to refer to people of color who experience intersectionality, that is, the interactions of multiple systems of oppression. This means we are open to all people of color with disabilities, trans* people of color, queer people of color, women of color, class oppressed people of color, etc.

We are called Empowermentors because we focus on sharing knowledge and technical skills, producing free software and free media, and learning about and from each other. In this way we are being mentors for one another to empower ourselves.


This is not a space for white allies. We do not (yet) have plans for such a space, but appreciate any support and help spreading the word!

I decided to post this here since Bitcoin is a very important free-software project. While the board is mostly populated by white males (as far as I know), somebody may find this information interesting.

Please keep any questions respectful.
10  Other / Meta / Internal server error after "fixing" broken link. on: April 17, 2012, 05:43:14 PM
I wanted to explain to a (possible) newb that pizza once cost 10,000 BTC.

After doing a "Bing"(TM) search, I came across a Bitcoin history page.

On that page, I found the following link to the pizzas:

For historical reasons that should probably be documented on that page, that link gave a 404 error.

I tried "fixing" it as follows:

I then got the following message:
Quote from: 500 Internal Server Error
Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

I always do as I am told Wink
Edit: looks like the forum auto-corrects my error report Tongue
11  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Is mandatory transaction inclusion possible? on: April 16, 2012, 05:19:53 PM
I am considering starting an alternate block-chain that would be complementary to bitcoin (or possibly overtake it according to some economists Read: high, stable inflation).

However I had an idea that may kill the currency if poorly implemented, regardless of the actual merits of the core concept.

I want to make the inclusion of all transactions (meeting certain criteria) mandatory. Transaction fees would be fixed at 0.1%, so fees are not used to prioritzie transactions. Instead, transactions are prioritized by size. Miners would advertise a minimum Input/Output value(s) for transactions they process. Miners would be required to include all valid transactions they see meeting their advertised criteria.

The difficulty I see is that it would be difficult or impossible to prove a specific miner "ought to have known" about a valid transaction in a distributed way. One easy test is how old the orphan transaction is. For a well-connected miner, they "ought to know" about transactions at least two blocks old. However, if poorly connected miners face having their blocks invalidated by the network, that may provide an incentive for well-connected miners to keep transactions to themselves. On the other hand, that strategy may back-fire because the network, not knowing about this non-broadcasted transaction, may accept the block missing the transaction anyway. Edit: network splits would cause forking too.

I also see a potential loop-hole. Miners may advertize one value, but in practice, pose as another miner when publishing blocks. I don't think miners would have an incentive to do this in practice: miners will see bandwidth usage proportional to the minimum values they advertise. Similarly, the bandwidth usage of the final block should be proportional to transactions "seen". With fixed transactions fees, there is no incentive to drop transactions (that fit in the block).
Because the actual idea behind my (yet to be) proposed alternate block-chain is not my own, I need to read more about it before giving further details. I am also not sure when/if I will find time for coding. I still have not done much work for that Open Hardware FPGA board I was interested in Smiley

12  Other / Meta / Should smaller sites partipate in Internet Black-out? on: January 02, 2012, 09:24:22 PM
Second attempt to post this. Web-fourms seem to be designed to discourage well-reseached posts.

Quote from: Alec Liu
In the growing battle for the future of the Web, some of the biggest sites online -- Google, Facebook, and other tech stalwarts -- are considering a coordinated blackout of their sites, some of the web’s most popular destinations.

No Google searches. No Facebook updates. No Tweets. No shopping. Nothing.

The action would be a dramatic response to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill backed by the motion picture and recording industries that is intended to eliminate theft online once and for all. HR 3261 would require ISPs to block access to sites that infringe on copyrights -- but how exactly it does that has many up in arms. The creators of some of the web's biggest sites argue it could instead dramatically restrict law-abiding U.S. companies -- and reshape the web as we know it.

Does anybody think that smaller sites should participate in an Internet black-out if the big players set a date? It may not happen, but there is less than a month left for planning. If smaller sites are going to participate, we should start making plans now.

An open question is how drastic should the black-out be? Should the site be replaced completely, or simply have an anti-SOPA banner/black colour theme? My own website already has a black background/white text style-sheet I can set to the default.

I an also not sure what people outside the United States should be encouraged to do. I don't feel it is may place to contact congress people directly. Should I contact my Member of Parliament instead? If enough MPs hear from their constituents, the government will know about it. If the President of the United States hears through diplomatic channels that people worldwide are contacting their representatives about proposed US legislation, he may be forced to do something about it (he does have veto power IIRC).

13  Other / Politics & Society / Boycott: GoDaddy (domains By Proxy owner) supports SOPA on: December 23, 2011, 08:34:06 AM
Many bitcoin businesses seem to use Domains By Proxy, which is owned by GoDaddy. If they want to boycott SOPA supporters, they will have to change registrars.

Go Daddy’s Position on SOPA []

GoDaddy supports SOPA, I'm transferring 51 domains & suggesting a move your domain day []

GoDaddy Backs SOPA []

I feel that SOPA may be used against bitcoin businesses because it tragets finacial support of websites outside normal US jurisdiction. If you have a bitcoin business, you should probably consider setting up a .bit domain with namecoin as well.

Be aware that GoDaddy sells domains under many names including "wild West Domains". The Reddit thread contains a comment explaining tips for avoiding such pitfalls (best rated comment at time of this writing).

PS: I decided to register a Canadian domain name with a Canadian registrar from the start; so this does not affect me directly.
14  Other / Meta / Why did an english topic get moved from the english to german sub-forum? on: November 19, 2011, 09:25:31 PM
The topic "Now that's unboxing - box full of 1kg gold bars" appears to have been moved from the English off-topic sub-forum to the German off-topic subfourm.

The thread is in english. The YouTube summary appears to be in English (have not played the video).

Did the moderator get confused by YouTube using automatic content negotiation? As far as I know, that would not have changed the video content.
15  Other / Meta / Can't change my password when logged on via HTTPS on: June 12, 2011, 05:37:56 PM
As the subject says, I can't change my password when logged on using HTTPS. The system does not accept my old password. I have confirmed my old password still works my logging out then in again.

The problems with sending my password in the clear are obvious.
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