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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / I noticed some CampBX ads... on: July 14, 2011, 04:50:19 AM
Over at bitcoincharts I noticed a campbx ad. Normally I run adblock, I'm not used to seeing ads, so forgive me if this is old news.

The ad stated:

    "Bitcoin Market in USA - CampBX is the only legal Bitcoin market. Free trades till July 15!"

and it made me wonder. Where do they get the "data" that they are the only legal market? Legal how? A website selling goods or commodities wouldn't need any special permits, and would be quite legal. Not to mention, there are exchanges in a whole bunch of different countries. Have they researched everyone's legal system to determine the legal status of a bitcoin exchange. Since this would probably take many lawyers, many months to figure out, and probably require a court ruling in the end, I just don't see how they can claim that every other bitcoin exchange is illegal, even if they are just talking about in the US.

Don't get be wrong, I really hope CampBX takes off. This ad just seemed a little hyperbolic. Do they know something I don't? What argument would you use to justify their statement? is it justifiable?
2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Trading paused? on: July 05, 2011, 09:03:55 PM
Guess that last rise was too much for mt gox. They seem to have placed a halt to trading.

Does anyone know their halting policy? Or is it just when their servers start smoking?
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bitcoin _is_ more convenient on: July 05, 2011, 02:57:32 AM
I've been a business owner for more than 10 years. I know there is a lot of argument on this issue, but the bottom line is that bitcoin is more convenient to use, at least from a small business owner's perspective.

When I started, I only accepted cash and checks. Cash was alright, but not many people went for that option. And checks cost me literally thousands of dollars in bounces and fraudulent charge backs.

When I first started taking credit cards, I did it through paypal virtual terminal. First I had to "prove" to them that I was a legitimate business, which required me jumping through a bunch of hoops. Once I was in the system I always had to have secure internet access and take a ton of information from the customer, including billing address and the code on the back of the card. The system often gave me cryptic error codes. The most inconvenient part is that it required the customer to trust me completely with all their sensitive information. This cost me $30 a month, 4% of each charge, and 30% had to stay in escrow for three months!

I later moved to a traditional phone line swipe system. This cost me $210 a month (including the extra phone line), and $0.50 + 1.8% for each transaction. As well as the card swiping equipment (about $300). The downside was that I could only do it at my studio, not on the road. Trying to record information to charge later led to far too many "failed" charges, much worse than when I accepted checks.

Bitcoin's costs are similar, when you account for all the various fees and risks you take (minimized by having moving prices and always selling immediately). But the simple fact of the matter is that there is no way on earth I could arrange for my fellow forum members to give me small donations in a simple, quick, and safe way using cash, checks or credit/debit. With bitcoins I can. The is a wholly new and unique feature of bitcoins. It can be easily integrated into anything, and the sender is always 100% safe. They never have to expose sensitive information. Although, it is a little easier to be scammed, as the sender has no chargeback options.

The upshot here, is that there is value in bitcoin that is not reproduced elsewhere. As a small businessman, I could have only wished for something as easy and in my control as bitcoins to have been around when I started. The main problem now is adoption. Once bitcoins start picking up traction, I could see businesses everywhere using it.

The current impracticality of actually walking into a location and transferring bitcoin will probably soon be solved by the market -- most likely by mobile apps and the great idea of firstbits. I really can imagine a future within 10 years where I can walk into a fast food joint and use my phone to pay with bitcoins. It isn't a 100% thing, but to me, it seems plausible. It really is a revolutionary idea that may change the world. But even if bitcoins don't "change the face of currency", and even if no one ever tries to accept bitcoins face to face where traditional currency methods are used, being adopted for even a small percentage of online micro-purchases would still give bitcoins tremendous value.
4  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Everything looks fine on the logarithmic charts on: July 04, 2011, 11:05:59 PM
I would just like to point out to all the doom and gloomers, that everything looks just fine on the log charts (which you should be using)

5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / My earlier google trend correlation still holding strong, crash predictable on: July 04, 2011, 10:58:27 PM
Earlier I started a tread (http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=17318.0) about how price and bitcoin's google trend numbers are highly correlated. The only big price drop in the past was paired with a drop in the trend. I decided to see how well the current "crash" matches up with bitcoin's google trend numbers. It turns out, that the correlation still exists very strongly.

Image Below:



The blue line is the google trend line for bitcoin, roughly scaled to match price. You can see that if we assume bitcoins popularity is the main factor driving price, that the current price is justified, and in fact, (I have to say it) lower prices might be seen.

I know that correlation is not causation, but clearly there is a correlation here. It seems intuitive to me, since bitcoin is a lot like a commodity, that the number one factor driving prices is demand. Demand seems like it can be roughly estimated by getting an indication of interest, which is what google trends gives us. I think that assuming at least some causation is prudent.
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Mt Gox API? on: July 04, 2011, 07:23:07 PM
Is the Mt Gox API working yet? It hasn't worked for me since the reopening. I keep getting a "bad token" error. I thought the API would be working now that the websockets are working.

Has anyone managed to get the API to work, and if so, can you point me to some documentation about how it is working now?
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Phantom asks at mt gox on: June 29, 2011, 06:23:14 PM
Looking at the bid/ask lists at mt gox here: http://bitcoin.clarkmoody.com/order-book/

There is overlap between the bids and asks.

Bids

5.0   5.0000   16.851
7.4   2.3798   16.84
8.1   0.7600   16.83

Asks

16.75977   0.2000   0.2
16.75998   0.0500   0.3
16.83999   3.2600   3.5

and it isn't going away.

While I'm trading (I'm the 15.851 bid) It seems that I can't pick up the first few asks. They all seem like phantom asks. Yet at mt gox, I'm told when placing an order that the lowest ask is 16.75, even though it doesn't seem be real.

It seems like this could be artificially be holding prices down.
8  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / I'm trading my 0% commission privlages at mt gox on: June 27, 2011, 06:14:13 PM
I was lucky enough to have a few trades rolled back in the hackcrash. Because of that, I've been granted 0% commission for a month. I can't emphasize how awesome this is. I can escape positions with virtually 0 loss and I can profit on the smallest change in price. In the first day of trading I have managed to gain >10% by simply market making using very very low risk strategies. If I had had to pay fees, I would have lost a good bit.

But I don't have much time or funds at my disposal, nor do I want to put in the effort to make a bot when the API is functioning again. I figure that this privilege could be worth a lot more to someone who does have these things.

I've carefully scoured mt gox's website and documents, and found nothing that indicates that passing my account to someone else is against their terms and conditions. If anyone has evidence to the contrary, please let me know, and I will not trade my account.

If you would like claim my privileges as your own, please PM me an offer, in bitcoins, and we can work out the process of getting you into my account. Needless to say, I will be providing my account to the person with the highest offer.
9  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / I'm the unluckiest lucky person in the world on: June 18, 2011, 08:32:05 AM
So I did the math and given difficulty increases, I was fairly confidant that I would never solve a block with my current hashing power. Working with a pool I expected the limit of bitcoins I would ever make would be between 25 and 35. It seemed that if I solo mined, there was a > 70% chance that I would never solve a single block.

And then I hit one. I was thinking, oh man, guess I got lucky, too bad, hindsight, still unlikely blah blah blah. And then I hit another one...

So now I could have mined 100+ bitcoins, but instead I'll only ever mine about 30. Luck is a cruel, cruel mistress. I still think I made the right choice... maybe.
10  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Abuse of Pay-Per-Share? on: June 18, 2011, 08:13:33 AM
Couldn't I theoretically switch to pay-per-share any time my pool has taken a long time to generate a block to get a little extra BTC? It seems like the value of my shares goes down when we're working on a block with a lot of previous shares. If I switched to PPS for any block that had more than 110% the number of expected shares and then switched back to proportional, I could make more than expected.

What do pools do to combat this abuse? I know deepbit delays publishing the found blocks for an hour, but couldn't I get that information on block explorer? I suppose they could use a different address for each block, then I wouldn't know for sure that the block belonged to my pool. But in that case I could still switch to proportional anytime there has been a lull in the entire network's block production. It wouldn't make as much, but still some.

Has anyone tried doing this? And would you consider it abuse of the system? Is the difference I could make not really worth it? It feels to me that I could raise my earnings 20% or so, but I might be overestimating.
11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bitcoin theft makes slashdot on: June 16, 2011, 02:27:21 PM
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/06/16/1244205/500000-Worth-of-Bitcoins-Stolen

No publicity is bad publicity?
12  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Google Trends vs Mt Gox USD: Graphs on: June 15, 2011, 12:58:33 PM
UPDATE:

A more recent 30 day chart, you can see that the trend line I drew earlier was broken, and there hasn't been much upward movement, it still matches price very well. If movement continues downward, there is a case for a lower price:





I think that popularity is the only factor driving bitcoin prices. To drive the point home I put together a couple of charts juxtaposing google trends and Mt Gox USD prices.




The blue line represents the google trends graph, scaled to match. I find it interesting that a dip in popularity in mid may seems to have lead directly to a dip in prices. Looking at the year graph, you can see that the google trends line (which isn't fully updated to the present), is about to cut into the price line deeply. Looking at the last month, you can see that for the first time in these graphs the price exceed popularity quite a bit. This seems to have led to a quick over correction and then a bounce back.

In the month graph the google line is once again not up to date, but the pink line gives a generous trend. If the pink line were accurate, this would mean we are priced correctly at the moment, since at the scale I am using, google trends has historically been slightly above the USD price.

As always, if you found these graphs useful, please send a tiny tip to the address below. Using the newest version of the client you can get transaction fees down to a super tiny sliver.
13  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / What do the DDoS'ers have to gain? on: June 14, 2011, 05:37:18 PM
Bitcoin related websites seem to frequently be the targets of DDoS attacks nowadays. Now I'm not one for conspiracy theories. I don't really buy most of the market manipulation claims, and I certainly don't buy any secret government crackdown nonsense. But I do have to wonder, who is DDoS'ing bitcoin sites and why? Mt Gox has been going down about once a day. Deepbit is down once a day. And I know many other sites are suffering. Even the forums seem extra sluggish sometimes (but maybe that is just normal volume).

Stretching my imagination as far as it can go, I can only think of a few theories, none of them that plausible:

1) It is just some hacker group doing it for the lulz

This doesn't seem likely to me. Why target bitcoin? I would think most hacker/computer savvy personalities would like the idea of bitcoins.

2) Someone is _really_ pissed that he didn't get in on bitcoin earlier

This is just silly, but bitcoin does seem to attract 'haters'. Do you think someone hates enough to start DDoS'ing bitcoin sites?

3) Intentional attempts to drive the market prices down

Attempting to benefit by moving the market down only works it there is still a market afterwards. No one is "short selling" bitcoins, so I can't see how anyone could make a profit on bitcoin crashing and burning. Are they confidant that bitcoin will succeed long term but want low prices now, or are they just trying to create market froth for profit potential?

4) Some government/agency

I find this hard to swallow. It seems like a half-assed DDoS attack isn't the response a concerned agency would begin with. Furthermore, I still think bitcoins are too new and small to get any real attention.

5) A company threatened by bitcoin (aka visa, paypal)

Firstly, I don't think any big company would resort to these illegal tactics, and secondly I think bitcoin is still "under the radar".

6) Competitors to the DDos'ed websites (aka other pools and exchangesl)

I find it had to believe that any member of the bitcoin community would be short sited enough to damage the community as a whole to attempt to profit themselves. They need the community to be strong to survive. Although perhaps the pool DDoS'es are from a "concerned" member of the community trying to split up the big pools.



As I said before, none of these seem particularly likely to me. What are your thoughts? Are there other potential perpetrators? Who do you think is behind it. These acts are happening, and someone is doing it for some reason. I just can't fathom who or why? What is your theory?
14  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / On behalf of all the trolls... on: June 12, 2011, 12:36:02 PM
I'd like to make the apology that none of them will stop forward and make themselves:

I was a complete idiot. I didn't know what I was talking about. I overreacted, and hurt myself and the community. I accused you all of defrauding me, when clearly it was my own shortsightedness that cause me the most financial damage. I dabbled in volatile markets when I had no idea what I was doing. It is my own fault that I got burned. I'm sorry I blamed you or the bitcoin project.

Sincerely,
Mr Troll
15  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bitcoin on slashdot... again. on: June 12, 2011, 01:24:53 AM
The volatile market has gotten the attention of slashdot. Slashdot readers are pretty much optimal bitcoin crowd. I'm sure the publicity will be good. This might also account for the influx of trolls. They normally get modded on slashdot, so their having a field day here.
16  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bitcoinwatch.com down? on: June 06, 2011, 10:43:40 PM
I haven't been able to access bitcoin watch for a while. I'm getting a "server not found" error. Is anyone else having this problem? Does anyone know when it'll be resolved?
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