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421  Economy / Gambling / Re: Sport Trading Exchange - The Betting Exchange - Daily News Updates on: November 06, 2011, 08:39:16 PM
Again , we are going after serious sports bettors who happen to use bitcoin.

Someone gave you bad information... there's no such animal Cheesy. Not yet, anyway. We share your vision of "players who happen to use Bitcoin," and we'd like to make it a reality. But we're all in a position of having to create that market before we can tap into it.

Sapphire also settles daily for withdrawals over $50 because players are cashed in for USD. It's understandable to consolidate your transactions when you're trading large sums between currencies.
422  Economy / Gambling / Re: Complete List of Bitcoin Gambling Websites on: November 06, 2011, 05:29:26 PM
Thanks for the link!
423  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin for Christmas Gifts on: November 06, 2011, 02:15:30 PM
Gary, is there any chance we might see a fully compiled executable that addresses the Windows startup issue within the next couple of weeks? Moving towards December we're expecting more people to start picking up gift coins and needing an easy way to store them. Currently, we send them to this page, describing how to set up MultiBit:

http://bitcoinsforchristmas.com/receive.php?hash=123

We've discussed sending people to an e-wallet site as an emergency fallback, or even acting as a one-way wallet ourselves; but the whole idea with BitcoinsForChristmas was to get more people having their own wallets in an easy way and becoming active Bitcoin users, not one-timers. It defeats the purpose of the gift if people never get their coins and are just viewing it as a balance in an e-wallet.

The consensus among the other merchants I've spoken with is that a full download of the satoshi client & block chain is a no-go for newbies. We're desperate to give people something easy to use, and MultiBit looks like it. For the record, the OS X version of MultiBit works great; but the audience we're aiming for is non-technical and mostly on Windows. But we need to decide what to recommend as soon as possible for the holiday push and tailor our sites accordingly...
424  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin for Christmas Gifts on: November 05, 2011, 06:17:31 PM
I agree with the flash key idea, excellent thinking!

Brad, curious what went wrong with MultiBit on your netbook...? We clearly need to hammer that out or we can't be recommending it to people.

What if BitcoinsForChristmas added a link in our confirmation email (when we receive the coins), that would send users to your site and let them upgrade their gift to a card or a Flash key for an extra $10 or $20? The link would tell you what day they wanted it to arrive and how much they were sending. We could give you a code snippet for your page so that whenever anyone ordered a physical gift with one of those codes, our system would automatically send you their coins and cancel our email delivery.

Does that make sense?
425  Economy / Gambling / Re: [StrikeSapphire: REP FRIENDLY] Casino operators, let's talk. on: November 05, 2011, 04:26:34 PM
@ssaCEO

I think you are on the right track trying to to target the people who are currently gambling on other sites rather than just the bitcoin crowd. How is the feedback on the gambling forums, blogs etc? I'm surprised I haven't seem more press hits on how bitcoin and gambling are a perfect fit. There's been so many about Silk Road for example. Is the problem just that it's too inconvenient for the average gambler to buy bitcoins?
The bitcoins for Christmas is a nice idea, but doesn't help someone buy bitcoins. Maybe something like a Strike Sapphire branded Casascius coin that people could buy from with their credit card might persuade some people. Would it be possible to do something like make the bitcoins from the Strike Sapphire-Casascius coin available in their Strike sapphire account immediately upon payment but withdrawals would not be possible until they receive the physical coin - maybe a stupid idea with some flaw I'm not thinking about.

Anyway good luck and keep up the good work.

I think the problem is literally that it's too inconvenient for them. There's no such thing as a typical gambler, but one thing they all want is to play immediately. It's an impulse. So they might come to the site and say, alright, how do I get these Bitcoins to play with? And then they get to the MtGox site and it looks like it was designed in someone's basement, and they're supposed to wire money, download a program, and it turns out to be this complicated tangle of things that takes days; and at the same time they're hearing all this FUD about Bitcoin on the news.

So the idea with Bitcoins for Christmas is, basically, to give people a reason to set up a trading account. Someone they know sent them $50 and all they have to do is follow a few steps to get it. Now they have the client, they have a trading account, and maybe even a few Bitcoins left over; and they know how to fund their account when they want to play, and they see it's not very difficult.

We've toyed with other ideas, like tying bonuses to opening a Tradehill account...but this seems like a better way. We just want to entice regular average Joe gamblers to download a client and set up a trading account. After that, it comes down to the quality of our product, that we hope will keep them coming back.
426  Economy / Gambling / Re: [StrikeSapphire: REP FRIENDLY] Casino operators, let's talk. on: November 05, 2011, 03:11:54 PM
JRO, you make some very good points. There's undoubtedly a connection with the price of BTC, and undoubtedly the majority of our players have been miners and speculators. Having said that, we've been USD-denominated since day one; players in our system don't hold BTC risk until they withdraw. We're trying to target a non-Bitcoin audience. We have had a few people I know of actually download a Bitcoin client and buy Bitcoin specifically to play our games -- not very many, but some. Mostly the kinds of players who shop from casino to casino looking for high RTP slots. That's really the market we'd like to reach. Ultimately, once a player is up and running with a Bitcoin client and a trading account, it's not harder to use than any other e-wallet. Players get a Moneybookers account and go shopping for casinos that take MB. By comparison, Bitcoin sites can offer better odds, because there's less overhead; that's something players should be aware of. I don't expect savvy gamblers to get into Bitcoin just because it's cool.

Our position in Europe is difficult because it's gotten harder to fund or defund a trading account from the EU, and at the same time there are tons of casinos taking Moneybookers, Paypal, Visa/MC, who are our direct competition. But this should be an easy sell for the US-facing sites, because all payment options besides Western Union and bank wire are off the table in the States and there are millions of hungry poker players and sports bettors there. These players are willing go the extra mile ...people will do anything that gets their money to places like Bodog, BetPhoenix, et al. Billions of dollars a year are wired to banks in the Caymans, or Western Unioned to Costa Rica. The scale of bets wired from the US dwarfs the Bitcoin economy.

We hope we can position Bitcoin as a standard casino deposit method, whatever currency the end accounts are denominated in; and that the conversion of US players will have a knock-on effect to player adoption worldwide.
427  Economy / Gambling / Re: [StrikeSapphire: REP FRIENDLY] Casino operators, let's talk. on: November 05, 2011, 03:38:33 AM
I'm glad to hear the support from other sites. We'll be in touch soon.

tl;dr

I like gambling, your website and feeling but not your attitude. You wanna play by the rules and make a business ? i think you should better leave bitcoin alone and keep with the "traditional" payment processors. Want to make a statement against laws approved in detriment of all of us better get an .onion address and start doing real business on par with silk road. Just my opinion

I'm glad you like the site. But are you saying Bitcoin's only purpose is breaking US law? Believe me, I realize full well that we're sitting on a killer app, and if we wanted to turn the tap on the US market we'd be converting new users to Bitcoin day and night, and stealing clients from Bodog 24/7. But Silk Road is a bunch of jackasses waiting to get busted. Calvin Ayer lives in a fucking fortress he's not allowed to leave. We're a real business that pays corporate taxes and plays by the rules. We travel in and out of the US. That's not an attitude problem, it's a straight business decision. We sacrifice the American market because it's not worth ending up on the wanted list. I think the US law is a bad law, it's wrong, and I have no beef with people who are finding ways around it. I hope things like Bitcoin help it become so unenforceable that it has to be overturned. I don't live there though, and it ain't my responsibility to save Americans from their screwed up government. The two things I personally care about are building the best site possible, and keeping us independent from the majors. I turned down three attractive buyout offers in the last six months from casinos in CR, IoM and Malta, just to keep us free to do what we're doing, because I think our platform and games will catch on and be worth more than six figures if we play it right. My business partners and our lawyers don't think opening an underground betting shop in America is a worthwhile tradeoff for all that hard work, and I agree with them. Either way, they have the majority vote. Our decision is not to screw with the USDOJ.

So my statement against American law, if I have one, is that I refuse to engage it. My site's based in Costa Rica, I live offshore, and we don't take US players. It's a pretty slow, shitty game experience on an .onion router, and that's not our objective. You don't see us on any hidden wikis. There's no point. We want to run the best gaming site possible, do it legally so we don't have to look over our shoulder, and be better than the majors at what we do, while remaining totally independent. We're trying very hard to walk that line using the tools available. Bitcoin is a great tool for keeping ourselves out of the reach of corporate payment processors. Whether you think we're an asset to the community or not, it's not our mission to help your cause to free America. We're busy enough trying to get people interested in Bitcoin all over the place. Once that works out, you're free to open an .onion casino yourself and ride on the wave of new players.
428  Economy / Gambling / [StrikeSapphire: REP FRIENDLY] Casino operators, let's talk. on: November 04, 2011, 10:06:53 PM
Look. No one's reading these threads.

On a basic level, we all got into this because in some way, we weren't able to run standard casinos with Visa & Mastercard. We all know what that costs is well outside the reach of a small startup team.

You all know there's been a decline in traffic the last few weeks, that's been accelerating over the past few days. No one's spending Bitcoin. You also know, if you're in this business, that Bitcoin is the only thing making it possible for you to run your business at all. It's literally the only free space left to play in, where no bank or payment processor can tell you what to do; where you don't need to give up equity in your company to bootstrap it; and (for most of you) where you don't have to care what governments pass which laws.

We're with you on two out of those three, and we can see an argument for the last one.

Rather than jumping ship one by one, let's figure out how to turn Bitcoin into a payment standard on par with Paypal or Visa. There's obviously a market -- more in the US, but I think it'll increase everywhere. This is why we launched BitcoinsForChristmas.com. We won't be the only beneficiaries of that site; it's aim is to help get the whole economy pumping again. Look, there are two things going on here:

1) Your regular Bitcoin user isn't a gambler. He likes new stuff. He liked your site when it was new. But poker players and gamblers don't wade through this much garbage to deposit at Bodog, so why bother with us? We need these coins in the hands of average players -- not average Bitcoin users.

2) Bitcoin itself is resting on a knife's edge between a group of believers who understand its potential, and a mass of idiots who follow the last thing TechCrunch wrote. We need to broaden our base, simplify, and start dealing with this like professional gaming outfits rather than rag-tag, fly by night, might shut down tomorrow websites.

Andrew Bitcoiner had brought up the possibility of a Bitcoin gaming association; I'd like to see that become a reality. I also think we need to pull together separately from the rest of the Bitcoin world to say -- look, this is a viable payment method. Use this instead of Paypal and you get more for your money. We don't pay vig to the processors, and we pass that savings on to you. No one who gambles online should be gambling with anything other than Bitcoin.

I've spent enough time hanging out on Seals and BTCOnTilt to know, this is a uniform suffering that's going on right now. We need to pull together before we fall separately. Sapphire can't condone taking US bets, but we can work with you to drive the traffic you want, if you can help us build the currency up as a whole so there are more players for everybody. This is an open call. Work with us; let's just suspend competition for the moment and deal with the common problem.

Anyone who has ideas is welcome to contact me day or night. Here, or through help@strikesapphire.com. I want to hear what you think.
429  Economy / Gambling / Re: Sport Trading Exchange - The Betting Exchange now accepting Bitcoin on: November 04, 2011, 09:40:16 PM
Hi Bill,
Welcome to the community; at first glance, I like the site. Need to know, where are you based?
430  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Getting Bitcoin and Bitcoin info into hands of Occupy protesters on: November 04, 2011, 04:01:20 PM
I think there are a few really critical mistakes to avoid, at any rate:

1. No one speaks for the whole community. Certainly not Bruce Wagner.

2. Keep it simple and NON-TECHNICAL. The idea that you need a class taught by a con artist to learn how to use some new form of money will immediately turn off for anybody with half a brain. You don't need to know anything about wallet encryption, QCodes, hash rates, mining, trading, deflation, or how to avoid scam sites. Just get Bitcoins into peoples' hands to use as currency peer to peer on your iphone.

Things to keep in mind:

* One guy actually using it is more important a thousand people picking up a flyer and throwing it away.

* Hearing about it from your friend, or getting some from your friend, is a net positive. Hearing about it first from a scam artist is a massive fail.

* Circulation of the currency is everything to the uptake. Not trading, not education. Circulation and diffusion.

* The only things new people need to know about Bitcoin right up front are that
1/ we're promoting it for one reason only: No government or corporation can control it.
2/ The banks and financial institutions are afraid of it. It's a currency for the people.
3/ It's anonymous and untraceable like cash.
4/ You can store it on your phone.
5/ Be careful who you give it to. Like cash, you can't get it back.

* There's nothing wrong with MultiBit or BitcoinApp. Startup time needs to be FAST under these conditions. The learning curve needs to be shallow.

* Everyone who understands hash rates or mining already knows about Bitcoin and has an opinion about it. They haven't, so far, been excellent stewards of the currency. NO CLASSES.

* Why not set up a stand where people can drop off canned food and warm clothes and get paid a small amount of BTC, and other people can then buy things for a small BTC or USD donation?

Get a coin or two into the hands of a few hundred people at each event; also, give them something to buy with it. You'll see it start to get traded beyond the original group who had it.

Say NO to seminars, and NO to scam artists like Wagner. And support legitimate businesses who follow the law, but use Bitcoin to subvert corporate controls (like us).

Use BitcoinsForChristmas.com to send coins to anyone you know who's going to a protest. It's a good way to get them up and running FAST. That's is the whole point of the site; to cut through the technical babble and get the blood pumping through this economy. The key here is critical mass, and this is a critical time for reaching it.

I'm not trying to obscure the fact that we have a vested interest in getting that circulation going. But the reason WHY we have that interest is because Bitcoin's interests are our own. The cost of the requisite banking and holds to set up a casino that takes Visa/Mastercard are roughly $250k at a bare minimum; including $50k held indefinitely by the card companies, another $100k to lawyers and crooked gaming commissions, and 7% fees on all the transactions. That's why running an online casino is a game for multi-millionaires and you don't see a lot of startups in this space. We run the most transparent site on the planet, with every single card shoe published automatically and open for statistical analysis. We're 100% legal, incorporated in Costa Rica, and not taking players from countries where it would violate local law. But we still couldn't operate without either giving a majority of control over to corporate investors, just for the privilege of paying massive banking fees, or else by using a decentralized currency like Bitcoin. That's why our interests are in alignment; and whatever you think of gambling, we have a common enemy with OWS, in the massive accumulation of power by a few institutions over where and how we can use our own money. That's why we launched BitcoinsForChristmas and why we want -- and need -- for the currency to become a widely used medium of exchange while remaining independent of any central control, and while not falling victim to scammers and crooks and speculators who will drive people away from it.

/rant
431  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Will Mt.Gox ever get a make over ? on: November 04, 2011, 01:15:39 AM
I attribute the dearth of high-gloss stuff more to the fact that most Bitcoin sites are tossed up overnight just to see if anything will happen, and having not taken a whole lot of effort to set up, are just as easily killed off. Bitcoin integration itself is dirt cheap and easier than just about any other payment method known to man. Ditto from a regulatory standpoint (so far). So I don't think the problem is that people can't design if they want to, and if they take the time to; it's that devs are in a hurry to get to the functionality, and the present community doesn't really have a problem with that. For the community to grow, though, it would pay to have someone put in the extra effort to build a nice interface on things. It's not like we live in 1994. Although it does seem that way sometimes.
432  Economy / Gambling / [Sapphire] - Update - Nov. 18th-20th Bonus Code on: November 03, 2011, 05:53:42 PM
The 100% up to $100 deposit code for the weekend is:
Quetzalcoatl

Why? Because our Mayan Gold multiplayer slot Quetzalcoatl is up to a $150+$31.60 progressive payout now for a $5 jackpot hit. Come and grab it before someone else does!
433  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Intersango HSBC account freeze on: November 01, 2011, 12:08:36 AM
I want to understand what this would mean on a business level. Let's say we're a casino. We want to take players from all over the world, most of whom hold their money in Euros, Yen, AUD, NZD, or one or another kind of Peso. They already have plenty of ways to use their credit cards or prepaid cards to deposit to other casinos. If Bitcoin trading houses can't offer them the convenience of converting directly from their currency to BTC, then all that's happening is the houses are pushing the burden of regulation one step further down the line to Liberty Reserve or another brokerage. My concern is that should it ever require a two-step process to convert from your paycheck currency to BTC, no one will ever do it. One might ask why not just trade Linden Dollars or Liberty Reserve at that point, and skip trading in and out of Bitcoin at all? Thus far, the organizations centrally responsible for those currencies haven't proven to be so unstable as to drive off consumers, meaning there's no great economic advantage in taking the extra step to convert to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin trading houses need to strengthen ties to the banking industry, not sever them. Without a continuous influx of capital that's currently held in fiat currency, Bitcoin will remain weak for a long, long time.
434  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Et al. on: October 31, 2011, 07:51:55 PM
I think introducing people to Bitcoin isn't healthy, especially the older crowd, until a better "on-boarding" method is developed.  New comers should be able to have the concept and use explained to them in an easy to use fashion.

We think this is pretty easy: http://bitcoinsforchristmas.com/receive.php?hash=123

It's easier - I wouldn't call it easy.
I've set my mothers computer up with firefox and changed the icon name to 'click for internet'. She can't use email so I created a wiki and bookmarked it for her so I can communicate with her - she leaves comments to message me.
The idea of my mother owning bitcoins scares me.

This is essentially what I'm talking about.  Getting those that we would never think we could get to turn into Bitcoiners.  The answer to the question should be "yes", when asked "Can my grandmother and my kid use this effectively?", that's what these new products and customer gateways need to be able to do.  Explanation and easy-of-use, for all age ranges.

Come on, though. We're talking about a process that requires following explicit instructions over the course of three screenshots. Which could easily be condensed into one screenshot that points out your address when you download and open the program. That may be tricky for grandma, but it's still easier than setting up a Paypal account. And having $100 waiting for you is a nice incentive to follow the instructions...

Edit: As an experiment, I will now send my computer-illiterate Dad Bitcoins for Christmas, and post what should be hilarious responses to follow =)
435  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Why are so many people Anti-Bitcoin? on: October 31, 2011, 06:13:43 PM
There's something else at work here, which is the natural boom/bust of the long-term news cycle. It's a hackneyed cultural trope, but if there's one thing the media likes better than a "rags-to-riches" story, it's a "rise-and-fall". That doesn't mean we'll be out of the news. It just means our trajectory's going to look a little more like Robert Downey Jr.'s than, say, Dwight D. Eisenhower's.

To take it down to an individual, psychiatric level, you have to realize there were a great many people in the blogs & media who were hyping Bitcoin six months ago -- without ever actually having possessed a Bitcoin or having any idea how to set up the client. They were hyping it because other people were hyping it. These are the same people who are busy attacking it now. They want to be the first on the bandwagon to declare its death, so they don't look foolish for incorrectly calling its success.

Now either way it goes, there's a knock-on effect on the currency; but just as media hype couldn't put Bitcoin into an artificial increase in value permanently, neither will talking it down cause its demise. What you have to realize is that all of these people will deny their current statements and change their tune the moment the wind blows the other way; they aren't creating anything of value, they're parrots. They were nice, useful parrots when the price was going up, and now they're bad, bad parrots. But don't take it too seriously; these are people who are perpetually in a state of trying to cover their own asses.
436  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: New site: BitcoinsForChristmas.com !!! on: October 31, 2011, 03:12:02 PM
We've added an automatic return feature now, so you can send without worries. From the updated FAQ:

"In any case, if your recipient still hasn't picked up their Bitcoins 30 days after your email was delivered to them, we will automatically send you a link to reclaim the coins. On March 1st, 2012, we will liquidate all remaining unclaimed gifts and donate them to Habitat for Humanity. A receipt for the donation will then be posted to this site."
437  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: New site: BitcoinsForChristmas.com !!! on: October 30, 2011, 08:18:34 PM
Interesting, but if I got an email like this that I wasn't expecting I might assume it is spam or some sort of scam. You'll have to be careful to word it properly to avoid that.

Agreed. Here's how we put it.

Subject: joe (at) gmail.com sent you Bitcoins for Christmas!

Body:

joe@gmail.com has sent you 10.00000000 Bitcoins as a gift! They also sent a note:

    Merry Christmas! I know you wanted Belgian beer, and this is the best way to ship it =)

Bitcoins are just like cash. They can be exchanged for other currencies or used to buy things online. If you don't have Bitcoin yet, we'll explain how to set it up (it's easy). Just follow this link to pick up your gift:

http://www.BitcoinsForChristmas.com/receive.php?hash=********
438  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: New site: BitcoinsForChristmas.com !!! on: October 30, 2011, 07:35:53 PM
You can send as much or as little as you like. We're covering the transaction cost outbound, so they'll get the full amount.

Here's the page they'll see from the link in their email:

http://bitcoinsforchristmas.com/receive.php?hash=123
439  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / New site: BitcoinsForChristmas.com !!! on: October 30, 2011, 07:00:14 PM
Hi all.

In the interest of bringing Bitcoin to a wider audience, we've worked with GoWest (thebitcointrader.com) to bankroll and launch BitcoinsForChristmas.com, a new, free-to-use site that allows you to send a gift of Bitcoins to anyone with an email address, and helps them through the process of receiving their first coins. We think this site has the potential to dramatically improve the spread of the currency, by giving incentive (a gift) to a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise find the time to download a client and join our fledgling economy.

As a company with a deep stake in the future commercial viability of BTC, we've built this for the good of all Bitcoin merchants, including ourselves. A rising tide lifts all boats. There are no ads or banners on the site; only a "sponsors" links page which the gift recipient sees when they get their coins. We'll be contacting respected Bitcoin merchants shortly on how they can become sponsors; however, we only hope to break even on the design and development. We won't be excluding competing casinos from sponsorship, either, as we believe it's in all our interests to pull together.

So put the word out, and send your loved ones the gift of Bitcoin this holiday!
440  Economy / Gambling / Re: A radically new game from StrikeSapphire... on: October 27, 2011, 08:14:52 PM
Honestly... probably not for the next six months or so. I'm focusing my development time right now on the more wild ideas I've been coming up with lately, in hopes that one's a hit that the big casinos will want to license from us. We've already been in talks with a few major software providers about Mayan Gold and this new one, so I think I'm on the right track. I'm also spending time on a new site (soon to be announced) that I think will give a nice lift to Bitcoin as a whole.

Having said that, though... our "jack of all trades" NSlots game can be played as a 5-reel slot, with 3 pay lines and adjustable weighting on the reels (for adjustable volatility -- it always comes in between about 90% and 98% RTP). The blue bar icons at the top of the game let you change the number of reels. And of course, Sixty Watt Slots is 5 reels and can be played for 5 credits, which gives three straight lines and two "V" lines.

The only drawback to developing new standard slots is, there isn't much of a secondary market for them these days. And we're trying to differentiate ourselves by breaking new ground. Here are a few screenshots of NSlots doing its 5-reel thing:





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