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101  Other / Politics & Society / Meshnets with weather balloons? on: April 18, 2013, 01:54:19 PM
I guess most of us want a world free of corporate ISPs and mobile phone companies.

To build resilient and censorship-resistant network, "hackers" have been planning to shoot up satellites into the orbit for a while:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16367042

But maybe nodes can be also be placed into stratosphere in weather balloons, a couple of miles apart from each other, to build a resistant and effective meshnet. Would that be more feasible? Thoughts?

I mean what to do with all the new found wealth through Bitcoin anyway.  Smiley
102  Local / Deutsch (German) / "American Banker" vergleicht Bitcoin mit Sarajevo 1914 und dem Ausbruch des WW1 on: April 17, 2013, 05:51:56 PM
jetz geht's aber los hier  Shocked  Cheesy

http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/governments-must-co-opt-bitcoin-to-avert-disaster-1058380-1.html
103  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / StableCoin on: April 16, 2013, 05:21:06 PM
Bitcoin is criticized for its high volatility that hinders commerce, and that it rewards early adopters too much.

How about a cryptocoin that is designed to be stable in value?

A stable national currency would probably tie its money supply to the GDP.

What would be the GDP equivalent in a cryptocoin system? How to measure its adoption and use? I'd say by the number (edit: and volume) of transactions.

So the inflation rate could be tied to the number of transactions occurring, by some formula that yet would have to be figured out.

How to discourage wannabe central bankers to send lots of meaningless transactions back and forth in order to increase money supply? I'd say a small amount of transaction fees that would be mandatory.

Thoughts?

104  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-04-12 dailymail - Britain's disguised economic growth story - and Bitcoin on: April 14, 2013, 12:57:04 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-2308250/ALEX-BRUMMER-Britains-disguised-economic-growth-story.html

Quote
ALEX BRUMMER: Britain's disguised economic growth story

In ten days or so, amid much ceremony, the Office for National Statistics will release its estimate of how well the British economy did in the first quarter of the year.

The likelihood, from what we know so far, is that gross domestic product (the total sum of what the nation produces) will have expanded.

There will be much talk, no doubt fuelled by tendentious claims from Labour Party HQ, about how the country barely escaped the horror of a ‘triple-dip’ recession.

[...]

Digital gold

The idea of creating a new global currency is not new.

IMF special drawing rights, part of the Bretton Woods settlement in 1944, sought to do that.

But few such efforts have fared as well as Bitcoin, an internet currency built on smart algorithms that was devised by a mysterious hacker, which is soaring in value.

In January a Bitcoin cost $15. Now it is trading at $179, putting a value of $2billion on the total circulation.

It has become a form of digital gold, a currency in limited supply trusted by those who don’t like money printed by governments.

There is now a Bitcoin exchange, Mt.Gox, and a regulator, the US Crimes

Enforcement Agency.

The big question is, where it goes from here? As rivals come in, Bitcoin could die or go bust.

But like other pioneering efforts on the internet, the concept could yet be embraced by the big boys of money transfer such as Visa or Western Union.
105  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-04-12 krugman.blogs.nytimes.com - Adam Smith Hates Bitcoin on: April 12, 2013, 09:31:33 PM
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/adam-smith-hates-bitcoin/

Quote
Adam Smith Hates Bitcoin

There have been many good pieces written on the dubious economics of Bitcoin; I especially liked this one by Neil Irwin. One thing I haven’t seen emphasized, however, is the extent to which the whole concept of having to “mine” Bitcoins by expending real resources amounts to a drastic retrogression — a retrogression that Adam Smith would have scorned.

Smith actually wrote eloquently about the fundamental foolishness of relying on gold and silver currency, which — as he pointed out — serve only a symbolic function, yet absorbed real resources in their production, and why it would be smart to replace them with paper currency:



The gold and silver money which circulates in any country, and by means of which, the produce of its land and labour is annually circulated and distributed to the proper consumers, is, in the same manner as the ready money of the dealer, all dead stock. It is a very valuable part of the capital of the country, which produces nothing to the country. The judicious operations of banking, by substituting paper in the room of a great part of this gold and silver, enable the country to convert a great part of this dead stock into active and productive stock; into stock which produces something to the country. The gold and silver money which circulates in any country may very properly be compared to a highway, which, while it circulates and carries to market all the grass and corn of the country, produces itself not a single pile of either. The judicious operations of banking, by providing, if I may be allowed so violent a metaphor, a sort of waggon-way through the air, enable the country to convert, as it were, a great part of its highways into good pastures, and corn fields, and thereby to increase, very considerably, the annual produce of its land and labour.



And now here we are in a world of high information technology — and people think it’s smart, nay cutting-edge, to create a sort of virtual currency whose creation requires wasting real resources in a way Adam Smith considered foolish and outmoded in 1776.
106  Economy / Speculation / What's up with bitcoinity? on: April 12, 2013, 02:27:21 PM
no more funny gifs in a while  Angry
107  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-04-12 Introducing MigCoin on: April 12, 2013, 01:04:42 PM
http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2013/Apr-12.html

Quote
Introducing MigCoin

Non-government controlled currency systems are now in vogue. Currencies that are not controlled by some government that might devalue your preciously earned pesos at the blink of an eye.

BitCoin is powered by powerful cryptography and math to ensure a truly digital currency. But it poses significant downsides, for one, governments can track your every move, and every transaction is stored on each bitcoin, making it difficult to prevent a tax audit in the future by The Man.

Today, I am introducing an alternative currency system that both keeps the anonymity of your transactions, and is even more secure than the crypto mumbo jumbo of bitcoins.

Today, I am introducing the MigCoin.

Like bitcoins, various MigCoins will be minted over time, to cope with the creation of value in the world.

[...]

be gentle guys  Wink
108  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-04-11 blogs.reuters - Learn from bitcoin's mistakes - The promise of Ripple on: April 11, 2013, 09:28:26 PM
http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/04/11/the-promise-of-ripple/

Quote
The promise of Ripple
By Felix Salmon



This is a chart of the value of bitcoin yesterday, Wednesday. It’s hardly a secret that bitcoins are a highly volatile asset class, so relatively few eyebrows were raised when the price soared from an opening level of $230 all the way to a high of $266. An intraday swing of more than 15% is pretty much par for the bitcoin course, these days. But then came the crash: within a few hours, bitcoins the world over had lost well over half their value, and were trading as low as $107 apiece. That’s not normal — and it just goes to underline how bad bitcoin is at doing everything it’s meant to do.

Bitcoin is clearly not an effective store of wealth — just look at how quickly that wealth can be evaporated. Neither is it a useful payments mechanism, given how fast its value can fluctuate. Currently, it can take an hour for a bitcoin transaction to clear, which means that the value of the transaction when it clears can be radically different from its value at inception. Bitcoin only works for payments if you can be reasonably sure that its value will remain reasonably steady for at least the next hour or so.

At the end of my big piece on bitcoin, I conclude that we need “a universal payments system with no friction or interchange costs”, which can learn from bitcoin’s mistakes. And this morning, the company responsible for one possible such system — OpenCoin, which is responsible for developing Ripple — announced that it has closed its angel funding round, with support from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed, and Founders Fund.

I’ve been playing around a bit with Ripple, and I think it’s extremely promising. It’s very early days yet, but Ripple already has clear advantages over bitcoin, and if various merchants and developers start to converge on the Ripple ecosystem — which, like bitcoin, is all open-source — then I think it could genuinely become the first real way for anybody in the world to pay anybody else in the world, immediately and about as frictionlessly as possible.

Ripple was founded by geeks, including Prosper founder Chris Larsen and Mt Gox’s Jed McCaleb. As a result, right now it has a bit too much functionality with too little ease of use. It supports an effectively infinite number of different currencies, for instance, including bitcoin; and although it’s easier to use than bitcoin, it’s still not particularly user-friendly. But that will come, with time — and in fact I would be happier if the people developing the easy-to-use front ends for Ripple were not OpenCoin. OpenCoin is a for-profit company, which will make good money if Ripple takes off; I’ll come to that bit in a minute. So it’s very important that a lot of the rest of the Ripple ecosystem not be built by OpenCoin: so long as OpenCoin is the only company to really buy into Ripple, the whole scheme will go nowhere.

Ripple has a lot of resources on its website which explain how it works in various levels of detail; I won’t attempt to duplicate that effort. But the end result feels a bit like bitcoin in many ways. Users are anonymous (or, technically, pseudonymous), for instance: if you want to send me money via Ripple, right now you have to pay racoLWuh2GtC72i1gV7ib14Jqgx3SLmwKc rather than just Felix, or my email address, or my Twitter handle. It’s all open-source, too: OpenCoin has no privileged access to the way in which people pay each other. The fees are de minimis, just enough to prevent DDoS attacks and the like. There’s even a built-in crypto-currency, the Ripple, with a fixed money supply. But the great thing about the Ripple system is that individuals don’t have to pay each other in Ripples. Instead, they can pay each other in pretty much any currency in the world: Ripples, yes, or dollars, or yen, or euros, or even bitcoins.



Here, for instance, is a screenshot of my Ripple wallet: it shows that I own, 3,052 Ripples, 13 dollars, and 0.0284 bitcoins. If I want to send a payment in any one of those three currencies, I can do so pretty much cost-free; if I want to send a payment in some other currency, then the system will select for me the best exchange rate, based on various companies which are offering currency-conversion services on the Ripple platform.

Any time you deal in currencies other than Ripples — which, in practice, is going to be all of the time — you have to go through “gateways” to the Ripple system. Eventually, those gateways could be PayPal, or Citibank, or Western Union, but that might take a while; for the time being, they’re smaller institutions, and you probably don’t want to be moving large amounts of money through them.

Everybody using a Ripple account will have some Ripples in their account, just to get them on the system, and there will always be people making a market, converting Ripples to real currency and back again. The good news, however, is that Ripples are not (fingers crossed) going to become speculative investment vehicles, in the way that bitcoins are. That’s because all the Ripples in existence — 100 billion of them — have already been created, and, to a first approximation, they’re all owned by OpenCoin, which is essentially the central bank of the Ripple economy. OpenCoin is going to be giving away billions of Ripples for free, to anybody opening an account, just to get the system seeded and get people transacting with each other. There’s little reason to hoard a few thousand Ripples if there are 100 billion of them just waiting to flood the market at any time.

It’s in OpenCoin’s interest, then, to carefully calibrate the rate at which it’s introducing Ripples into the active money supply, and to keep the value of a Ripple relatively stable. Right now, there are about 750 Ripples to the dollar, which means that theoretically OpenCoin’s 100 billion Ripples are worth something over $100 million. OpenCoin is going to want to see that number rise, slowly, as Ripple becomes more popular — but it doesn’t want to encourage hoarding: quite the opposite. It wants as many transactions to happen over its network as possible, so that it can really become, in Larsen’s words, “http for money”.

Given the Andreessen Horowitz connection, and a lot of shared interests between the two companies, the first place I’ll be looking for third-party ratification of the Ripple idea is the hot payments startup Stripe. I’ve had long conversations with Stripe CEO Patrick Collison about bitcoin and international payments and frictionlessness, and in theory there’s no reason why he shouldn’t build a pay-with-Ripple option into Stripe alongside its more conventional credit-card and debit-card payments.

As with all such things, there’s a first-mover problem here: there’s no point in building Ripple-based infrastructure if no one is using Ripple, and no one’s going to use Ripple if there isn’t any infrastructure. OpenCoin’s solution to the problem, which I like a lot, is to simply give away billions of Ripples for free, all of which are worth real money, thereby giving people an incentive to use it. I hope it works, and I hope that the number of gateways into the system will soon expand from the current list of relatively obscure sites like Bitstamp. Ripple hasn’t succeeded yet. But at least — unlike bitcoin — it has a genuine hope of doing so.
109  Economy / Speculation / Bitfloor 180 USD/BTC, Bitstamp 144 USD/BTC on: April 11, 2013, 11:52:14 AM
Why is that?
110  Economy / Economics / This shit must end -- why we need something like Bitcoin on: April 06, 2013, 07:08:51 PM



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njp8bKpi-vg


Quote
A short, visual explanation of Japan's debt crisis by Addogram.

Even if there is no malicious intent behind the central banking system, it reminds me of software engineering. Hack after fix after patch on an already broken system, leading to all kind of unintended, un-managable consequences.

Sometimes it's better to rewrite and start anew...
111  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-03-29 Mastercard Insights blog: Bitcoin, Sovereigns and the End Times on: April 04, 2013, 11:45:04 PM
somehow went quite unnoticed

http://insights.mastercard.com/2013/03/29/bitcoin-sovereigns-and-the-end-times-2/

Quote
Bitcoin, Sovereigns and the End Times

From currency analyst Christopher Vecchio, the quote of the day: “Personally it wouldn’t be my preferred vehicle to trade money because it’s unregulated. But people are deeming it legitimate even though it’s not backed by a sovereign. That could be the attraction behind it. There’s no sovereign credit risk to bitcoins.”
Unpack that: a digital scrip with nothing behind it but the full faith and credit of everybody else using it is preferable to currencies issued by sovereigns.

We’re in uncharted waters.

Several news outlets are reporting that the crisis in Cyprus has significantly increased the trading and value of bitcoins.  The value of a bitcoin has risen by 20 percent in the past week, with a one month gain of 41 percent.  Analysts report that much of this trading is coming from the stressed EU markets.  As consumers see what is taking place in Cyprus, some of them are looking for a safe haven for their money. One Canadian entrepreneur has even claims to be installing a Bitcoin ATM in Cyprus.

I have to admit it.  I have heard of Bitcoin and read a little bit about it, but I haven’t given it a lot of thought until now.  It was created in 2009 be a pseudonymous hacker named Satoshi Nakamoto, ostensibly to pay for goods online with digital currency.  There are about 11 million bitcoins in “circulation” with a market cap of about $1 billion.  Now that is far from the $4 trillion in daily trading of more traditional currencies, but it is growing.

The fact that an increasing number of people are looking for alternatives to national currencies and perhaps, ways to get their money out of the country is interesting.  Also of interest is the trust these folks have in a completely unregulated and mysterious currency.

Perhaps the old saying is true – “desperate times call for desperate measures.”

The surge in Bitcoin and the slump in Cyprus and their perceived link makes me think there are two stories that bear further investigation – alternative currencies and a watchful eye on the Euro crisis.
112  Economy / Speculation / Saving the bears on: April 02, 2013, 02:31:31 PM


up uP uP !!1!!  Cheesy
113  Economy / Speculation / halfpasthuman: Soon we'll see Bitcoin charts on background screens on TV news on: April 01, 2013, 07:26:13 PM
http://halfpasthuman.com/

Some new age guy with some podcasts also covering Bitcoin. It's a manifestation of the Age of Aquarius and all.  Wink

Claims to already have correctly predicted some things.

http://halfpasthuman.com/wujo/clifswujo3252013bitcoin.mp3

Here he predicts that on financial news television, if you look closely, you will see that some of those brokers and journalists in the background are going to have some Bitcoin charts clandestinely displayed on their computer screens. All that despite the official coverage will largely ignore Bitcoin, and it won't appear on any of the officially presented charts and tickers of course. It's supposed to begin this week afai remember. So let's keep an eye open or two.  Wink
114  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / WTF RipOffReport - Ripple is BitCoin is BitCoin 2.0 is a botnet is a SCAM! on: March 30, 2013, 12:45:02 AM
http://www.ripoffreport.com/ripple/computer-fraud/ripple-com-internet-7cea0.htm

Quote
Complaint Review: Ripple

Ripple located at Ripple.org is the relaunch of a notorious internet scam known as Bitcoin. Ripple also known as BitCoin and BitCoin 2.0 was developed and distributed by an anonymous hacker group lead by the collaborative persona known as "Vinnie" with known origins in the former Soviet Bloc country of Moldova.

The Ripple client is well developed and installs easily on most Windows platforms, Linux Distros and Mac. The basic premise is that Ripple is a peer to peer money transfer system that works much like Bittorrent. It claims to be unstoppable, irreversible and can operate outside of any government control. The true nature of Ripple is botnet control, personal information and identity theft. It will also harvest Paypal and bank account information.

Ripple can be acquired by two methods, purchased with a credit card at the Ripple exchange or created using the CPU power of the host machine. The client is configured so than any one machine will never be profitable and "Ripples" must be purchased or traded for.

The whole money system is rouse to steal credit card and identity information as well make the host machine a zombie in a botnet. The client machine runs services background that monitor and record the user's activity and reports them back to a central server optimizing the time in which the host machine can be "enslaved".

Bitcoin relaunched as Ripple after coming under scrutiny of InterPol, Germany's Bundespolizei (BPOL) and the US DOJ.  While funds can in fact be stored and transferred using Ripple, the risk for identity theft and fraud are high as well as unknowingly taking part in criminal enterprise.

Ripple embeds deeply within the host operating making complete removal nearly impossible. Most machines infected with Ripple require a complete operating system reinstall losing most files from the previous state. Since Ripple doesn't deploy stealth methods or malware to install it is excluded from most malware and antivirus definitions. A user must install Ripple to be infected.

 Shocked
115  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-03-20 Cody Wilson from DEFCAD on Alex Jones Show on Bitcoin on: March 28, 2013, 11:12:10 PM
I think this wasn't posted anywhere before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK6EeSooo7k#t=24m30s

116  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-03-27 n-tv.de - So funktioniert der Bitcoin on: March 27, 2013, 01:54:05 PM
Quote
Ersatzwährung für Euro und US-Dollar?
So funktioniert der Bitcoin



Eine weltweite Währung ohne Zentralbank, errechnet von einem Schwarm aus Maschinen, mit natürlicher Inflationsbremse und Betrugsschutz? Das ist der Bitcoin. Das globale Geld erreicht derzeit neue Höhen auf den Handelsseiten. Was ist der Unterschied zu realen Währungen? Was sind die Vorteile?

Wenn Währungen in der Krise sind, hat das häufig einen Grund: kein Vertrauen. Der Faktor Mensch ist entscheidend. Bei der Währung Bitcoin ist das genauso. Sie besitzt einen ideellen, keinen realen Gegenwert. Doch sie wird gehandelt, es gibt Fonds und sie erfährt immer wieder Schwankungen. Mitten in die Unruhe um den Euro platzt der Bitcoin nun mit einem Kursfeuerwerk. Wie kann es sein, dass es plötzlich eine globale, universelle Währung gibt, ohne Bindung an einen Staat oder eine andere Institution?

Von Bitcoins gibt es kein Bargeld, sie sind virtuell. Erst jetzt entdecken viele eine Alternative darin und treiben so den Tauschwert in die Höhe. Eine Einheit kostet auf Mt. Gox, der populärsten Handelsseite, derzeit über 77 US-Dollar. Der Kurs hatte bereits Mitte 2011 ein erstes Hoch von über 30 US-Dollar erlebt, brach danach aber wieder auf unter 5 Dollar ein. Seit Januar geht es nun steil aufwärts. Der große Unterschied zu Dollar, Pfund oder Euro: Für den Bitcoin steht keine höhere Autorität ein, etwa eine Zentralbank.

[...]

http://www.n-tv.de/technik/So-funktioniert-der-Bitcoin-article10369286.html

The leading private news TV channel in Germany. The article is also linked from the front page.
117  Local / Deutsch (German) / n-tv.de: Ersatzwährung für Euro und US-Dollar? So funktioniert der Bitcoin on: March 27, 2013, 01:51:52 PM
Quote
Ersatzwährung für Euro und US-Dollar?
So funktioniert der Bitcoin



Eine weltweite Währung ohne Zentralbank, errechnet von einem Schwarm aus Maschinen, mit natürlicher Inflationsbremse und Betrugsschutz? Das ist der Bitcoin. Das globale Geld erreicht derzeit neue Höhen auf den Handelsseiten. Was ist der Unterschied zu realen Währungen? Was sind die Vorteile?

Wenn Währungen in der Krise sind, hat das häufig einen Grund: kein Vertrauen. Der Faktor Mensch ist entscheidend. Bei der Währung Bitcoin ist das genauso. Sie besitzt einen ideellen, keinen realen Gegenwert. Doch sie wird gehandelt, es gibt Fonds und sie erfährt immer wieder Schwankungen. Mitten in die Unruhe um den Euro platzt der Bitcoin nun mit einem Kursfeuerwerk. Wie kann es sein, dass es plötzlich eine globale, universelle Währung gibt, ohne Bindung an einen Staat oder eine andere Institution?

Von Bitcoins gibt es kein Bargeld, sie sind virtuell. Erst jetzt entdecken viele eine Alternative darin und treiben so den Tauschwert in die Höhe. Eine Einheit kostet auf Mt. Gox, der populärsten Handelsseite, derzeit über 77 US-Dollar. Der Kurs hatte bereits Mitte 2011 ein erstes Hoch von über 30 US-Dollar erlebt, brach danach aber wieder auf unter 5 Dollar ein. Seit Januar geht es nun steil aufwärts. Der große Unterschied zu Dollar, Pfund oder Euro: Für den Bitcoin steht keine höhere Autorität ein, etwa eine Zentralbank.

[...]

http://www.n-tv.de/technik/So-funktioniert-der-Bitcoin-article10369286.html

auch auf der Startseite verlinkt. Smiley
118  Local / Deutsch (German) / Wired: Bitcoin expired! on: March 20, 2013, 07:40:33 PM
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/12/wired-tired-expired/

2012-12-24: Bitcoin Expires (according to Wired Magazine)



Klassiker!  Cheesy
119  Economy / Economics / What is Bitcoin backed by? Well what are good domain names backed by? on: March 20, 2013, 12:01:33 PM
I think this is a good comparison, better than going great lengths comparing it with gold and mining etc...

I still see people trying to derive the value from the proof of work, that they're expensive to create, etc...

But proof of work is obviously merely an implementation detail, rather than the cause of what gives them value. If bitcoins could be distributed in another way (more or less gradually and evenly over time), they were just as valuable. Scarcity and usefulness is all that's required, as we all here (should) know.

So even for gold bugs it will be more intuitive to understand that good domain names are "backed by nothing", are just characters (and numbers), are merely digital sorcery, but they're limited and useful, hence they have value.

The Bitcoin system is just like that -- it's a global borderless value transfer system which uses units that are limited in number by design. They're just more fungible (being random-looking numbers and characters) than domain names. And everyone can have "shares" in this system just by holding some of these units.

So I hope this is an explanation that would once and for all satisfy the question of "what gives 'em damn bitcoins value" for everyone.

(Also there's no central authority like ICANN in Bitcoin of course.)
120  Economy / Speculation / Will Bitcoin ever hit $1,337? on: March 18, 2013, 11:36:08 PM
(nt)
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