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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Banks that allow ACH Push on: April 26, 2011, 01:31:34 AM
I'm interested in using the ACH Push option for mtgox, but my bank doesn't support it.  Anyone know of any banks that allow me to use ACH Pushes to send money to someone else?  Etrade and Capital One only allow me to send it to accounts that I own.
2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Technical Support / 0 confirmations after 3 hours on: April 24, 2011, 12:31:15 AM
I had a transaction that went through 2 minutes before it, now it's sitting at 0/unconfirmed for the last 3 hours.  Any ideas?
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Most people are not capable of keeping their wallets safe? on: April 23, 2011, 02:25:40 PM
Right now there are a lot of technology geeks involved, so most people are capable.  But if BitCoins were to spread to a more widestream appeal, most people wouldn't be able to safely keep track of their wallets.

You'd see the following things:

1)  Trojans/viruses/exploits getting to the wallet file.  If I understand correctly, this file is unencrypted, so anyone who takes this file can take control of your wallet.

2)  People may lose their wallet.  Their computer crashes, they accidentally delete it, etc...  Bye bye Bitcoins forever.

3)  People will encrypt stuff, but forget the password and screw themselves.

Anything else that you would expect a casual user to screw up?

Those two things are real deal breakers that I would recommend to people who were not computer geeks to NOT use BitCoins, just because they would be incapable of having a good experience with them almost all of the time.

Some people have said "fools and their money should be parted, so this parts them faster", but I disagree.  We are the small minority and we cannot expect Joe Sixpack or Grandma to ever learn anything about computer security or backing up files.  Even knowing what to do, it would be a lot nicer if it was done for me automatically.

As the market matures, these issues will be solved.  But I would expect either an enhanced client for those types of users (clearly not a priority now), or some type of more centralized service for those types to keep from shooting themselves in the foot.

Are there any other common scenarios where someone would really shoot themselves in the foot?
4  Economy / Trading Discussion / mtgox trade fee on: April 18, 2011, 10:53:30 PM
Just want to make sure I have this correct.

Someone has an ask for 100 bitcoins at $1 each.

I make a trade with them.  I get 100 * .9935 BTC = 99.35 BTC, the other guy gets $100 * .9935 = $99.35?

Is this correct?
5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Buying from a BitCoin Merchant on: April 14, 2011, 04:09:57 PM
Suppose you are buying something online.  A merchant accepts BitCoins.  They have something for sale that you want to buy for $100.  It's not embarrassing or illegal.

The merchant presents two options:


What's the most BTC you'd pay, assuming the mtgox trade rate is $1/BTC at the time of purchase?  Also, assume you have a decent reserve of Bitcoins and would not need to convert USD for BTC.  If you are from a different country than the US, assume your local currency instead and a similar exchange rate (it cost 100 SEK or GBP or EUR, mtgox is 1SEK/BTC, 1GBP/BTC, 1EUR/BTC)).
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Another Noob perspective - drawbacks and potential growth opportunities on: April 09, 2011, 02:40:17 PM
Disclaimer: I am new to BitCoin and am trying to learn.  If I say anything incorrect, I'd like to know and learn.

I first heard about BitCoin a while ago, but didn't investigate any further.  It was recently brought back up so I decided to look further and wanted to get involved somehow.  I didn't know how or what I would do, but I wanted to do something.

BitCoin has a ton of useful features in currencies.  However, it's missing one absolutely huge feature (that is not a flaw with BitCoin)- lack of usefulness.  There aren't that many things I can buy with BitCoins.  This means even if I use BitCoins to store some of my wealth, I have to convert it back to a currency other people want in order to trade.  However, this process is not straightforward and reasonably expensive, especially for a lot of transactions.

Right now I've found the following paths in and out of BTC.
1)  Buy/sell from a friend in person. Drawbacks- Have to find someone who wants to trade in person.
2)  Paypal - Drawbacks - pretty expensive.  7% fee is huge and will destroy you.  It might be reasonable for a few transactions here and there, but going back and forth often is super expensive.
3)  Liberty Reserve - not commonly used.  This requires most people to set up an account.  Then there also are fees.  Some people might be scared to use some "unknown" site.  I was a former user of Neteller and even though they were trustworthy, I was a bit nervous to get going.  I've been through a few other E-Wallets, and some have closed out US users and even confiscated funds.  Not cool.  I try to do my homework before putting my money in such a place, and even then its risky.
4)  Mining - pretty much useless now for the casual user.
5)  Visa gift cards - expensive for what you get, lose a lot in the transaction costs.

So right now, using BitCoin is a pretty risky or expensive venture for the noob casual user.  I definitely want to see BitCoin succeed, but if it's so hard for a noob who is motivated to get going, how hard is it for an unmotivated casual user?  I'd like to increase adoption (this would benefit all BitCoin users, so there is a big incentive for users to work to this goal).

So how can we get to making this easier for a casual user to use?  Why would someone want to start using BitCoin?

1) Geeks/anarchists/political proponents of BitCoin.  These people will just use it/get involved because it's cool.
2)  People where the tangible benefits of BitCoin are greater than costs.  The benefits of anonymity and distributed nature may make it ideal for people participating in illegal activities.  I fear that this becomes the main use, which will lead to a much harder path for mainstream adoption.
3)  Speculators.  People who see potential, want to get in on the ground floor, hope it makes them money.  Miners probably fall into this category as well.

Some reasons why casual users might want to use BitCoin if we can solve these problems.

1) Convenience - if it becomes easier to use, or at least as easy to use as a credit card, casual users will use it.
2) Cheaper - if you can save money by using BTC, people might be tempted to adopt it, especially if its easy to integrate with traditional monetary systems
3) Necessity - if the only way to purchase certain goods and services is through bitcoin, people will have to use them

I don't think we can get to #3 any time soon.  #2 is something the BTC community could do.  #1 is also something that can be improved as well.

More thoughts later.  Until then, any ideas?
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