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1481  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Historical question: were any Bitcoins premined? If so, how many? on: March 29, 2013, 08:54:52 AM
Did Satoshi release/open source Bitcoin publicly on the same day that mining began?

How interested might you have been in the following drawing?

At the time it was drawn, not many people were interested.  It did eventually make it into a publication though.

That was drawn by Charles Schulz, creator of Snoopy, when he was a child.

See back when Satoshi created Bitcoin, almost nobody gave a rat's ass about it.    It was a lot of work, from what I read, to try the program out.  The code wasn't easily compiled and built, there was nearly no documentation, etc.

But the project had been discussed in the cryptography mailing list months prior to the genesis block being created on January 3rd, 2009, and the first public release occurred less than a week after the genesis block was mined:

Eventually, others did join in.    

The June 2010 Slashdot article is when difficulty rose above to where there were more miners (maybe a few dozen prior to then mining regularly?).  Difficulty was 1 until February 2010 at block 38,304 -- when 1.9 million BTC had already been mined.
1482  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: How to calculate profit on: March 29, 2013, 08:26:17 AM
Which FPGA should I buy, and where ?

FPGAs purchased today are no longer viable mining hardware, after considering the capacity coming online from ASICs.  ASICs are just that much more cost efficient to procure and operate.

As far as calculating profit, that will depend on future difficulty and future exchange rate, neither of which is known yet.

If you have the specs for an FPGA you can calculate how much it will earn (gross revenue) at the current difficulty:
1483  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Paper Wallet questions... on: March 29, 2013, 08:23:15 AM
1) When first generated and printed, the wallet is just a piece of paper? No connection to the blockchain, yes?


2) When a transaction is generated and Bitcoin is sent to the wallet address, it then is recorded on the blockchain?

Yes, that is the first that the Bitcoin network knows of that address.

3) When you merge a paper wallet with an online wallet like at, how does the receiving address confirm the private key printed on the paper wallet?

You "import" the private key into the  That private key is then no different from any other private key in that wallet.   The Bitcoin address is a derivative of the private key.    So it doesn't need to know the Bitcoin address, just the private key.

4) How do you merge a paper wallet directly into a QT client?

importprivkey yourPrivateKeyInWalletImportFormat

1484  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Can sites like be held legaly responsible on: March 29, 2013, 08:18:59 AM
They skim fee's

They do?
[Update: Oh, ... if you mark the checkbox to have a "shared" transaction, which improves privacy, there is a fee.   Otherwise, the fee that is paid goes to the miner of the transaction, not]
1485  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: gold/silver far better than bitcoin? I hope you can prove me wrong. on: March 29, 2013, 08:17:06 AM
Anyone can buy/sell up to $10,000 in gold/silver with TOTAL anonymity.  You just walk into any coinshop and hand over cash.

Ok and 24 hours later my friend walks into that same coinshop with the same "$10,000 in gold/silver" that I just bought.  What will the coinship give him (other than a hard time)?
1486  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: Tips for local transactions on: March 29, 2013, 08:12:44 AM
Here's a report of a face-to-face transaction gone bad.

In this instance, a person selling headphones through Craigslist was contacted and a face-to-face trade (at a McDonalds) was arranged.  Except it didn't go according to the buyer's plan and the seller left with both the headphones and the bitcoins:

I just got robbed blind of bitcoins - in person. I'm feeling like I've lost trust in the usability of the currency and looking for advice.
1487  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Blockchain - how do i get out on: March 29, 2013, 07:19:20 AM
or is it because it doesnt have to?

Yup, there's some error correction in the address to make it rare that a typo would cause what was entered accidentally to end up being a valid address but there's no repository of addresses or any registration or anything like that.
1488  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: My bitcoin story - what can I do to help? on: March 29, 2013, 06:13:07 AM
Please let me know if you have any ideas. My specialities lie in data mining, text visualization, machine learning, and security informatics

Right now there is a huge problem with price discovery.  For instance, a little over two weeks ago, a $50 price was a lofty goal.  Today $90 seems appropriate.   Obviously, either they were wrong two weeks ago or we are wrong today.

One of the difficulties in determining Bitcoin's value is there is little useful data.  So things like "Number of /r/bitcoin Reddit users online simultaneously", or "Google trends" numbers are considered for speculation instead of things like a true "economic activity" metric.

This is a problem for governments where the economy operates significantly using cash (which could be used anonymously) and it is a challenge that will be returning thanks to Bitcoin.  Knowing how much economic activity is occurring with Bitcoin is going to become more and more valuable.  Right now so little of Bitcoin's value is based on the true demand due to economic activity that this metric is pretty much worthless today.   For instance, the largest Bitcoin payment processor is BitPay, which just reported they crossed the $2 million threshold for March.  Two million dollars.   Square does that much business for their merchants in a  few hours, and they are just a tiny blip in the payment card industry.

I don't know what approach would allow an economic activity metric to be measured accurately.   Governments can mandate reports (tax returns), and industry councils can request completion of periodic surveys from their members.   Bitcoin has neither ... for now.   Bitcoin does have a blockchain in which most bitcoin-denominated transactions appear in (not all do though ... a payment handled as a withdrawal from a Mt. Gox customer's EWallet to a Mt. Gox merchant might be handled internally by Mt. Gox's spend transaction, for example).

This is one area where a site spider could determine roughly how many sites accept bitcoin and based on how much traffic each site gets determine some rough trends that would be useful in determining valuations.

If this information were to be valued it could probably be sold privately (e.g. to subscribers), or maybe there is even a way it could be shared publicly.

Either way, multiple people will eventually be working on the "how to measure the Bitcoin economy" problem, but so far there hasn't been enough of an economy that many are working on it today.  That will be changing.
1489  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Incredibly confused by Bitcoin Futures contracts on icbit on: March 29, 2013, 05:48:59 AM
So let's say I click "Sell".  How I am interpreting this is "At expiration, I am obligated to sell $10USD @ 81.5BTC/USD."  In other words, when the contract expires, I will receive $0.12BTC, and will give $10.

I realize that this interpretation is probably very wrong, and the inverse explanation (At expiration, I am obligated to buy $10USD @ 81.5 BTC/USD) isn't much better for different reasons.  What is the correct way to interpret what happens at expiration?

The different contract types at ICBIT are treated different from each other but all the BTC/USD futures contracts work the same:

For each position:
  -((1/Close) - (1/Open))*$10

So if you sell 1 contract of BUJ3 at $81.50, then you are opening a short position and that $81.50 is your "Open" price.  on April 14th (the contract settlement date) the "24 hour weighted average" price at the largest exchange (presumably it will still be Mt. Gox) becomes the "Close" price.

So let's say the weighted average exchange rate on April 14th is $70.   So plugging in the numbers:
  -((1/$70) - (1/$81.50))*$10 = −0.020157756 BTC.    Since you "bought" (bought to close your short position) you earned this price difference.   But there also are trading fees on BUJ3 of 0.003 BTC, so subtract those, and you net 0.014157756 BTC.  At BTC/USD of $70 on April 14th, then you would have gained $0.99104292 per contract that you sold.   So a $11.50 move in the BTC/USD gained you only about $1.  That will vary based on the open and close prices.  For instance, a $11.50 move from $51.50 to $40 would be a much bigger gain than $1, and a $11.50 move from $121.50 to $110 would be a somewhat smaller gain than $1.

But this is where leverage comes in.  After depositing 1 BTC, you could sell more than 30 contracts from the leverage that 1 BTC provides.  Leveraging at that level is "crazy risky" though and you could easily see a margin call (where your position gets forcefully closed on you). 

This is important because that variation margin calculation from above is performed based on the daily "clearing price", which will vary from the BTC/USD spot market price at Mt. Gox.    So each day you will either earn or lose on the variation margin adjustment for each daily clearing.  Even multiple clearings can happen in a single day, if they are needed due to volatility.

But let's say you were to sell 8 BUJ3 contracts at $81.50 with 1 BTC deposited.  That is about the level where a drop in the BTC/USD is matched by your gain in the BUJ3.   At the same time, any rise in the BTC/USD will be matched by your loss in the BUJ3.

So if today the BTC/USD exchange rate was $75 let's say and the BUJ3 was $81.50, you could lock in a gain of about $6 by sending your 1 BTC to ICBIT, selling 8 BUJ3s, and just waiting until April 14th.  No matter what happens -- up or down on April 14th, you get about $80 in the end, $5 more than if you had sold at $75 today.   Of course, this locks up your bitcoin until the futures contract settlement ... unless  the BUJ3 trading pulls back closer to the BTC/USD earlier than the settlement date.

Right now the BUJ3 trades at a relatively huge premium over the BTC/USD spot price.  This is known as "Contango"  (versus "Backwardation" when the BUJ3 trade price would be below the BTC/USD spot price).    So anyone selling BTCs might have an incentive to sell BUJ3 for a premium and then just wait until April 14th to finish cashing out.   

There are a couple risks though.  ICBIT is offering a service that is a regulated activity in most jurisdictions.  They offer this service but operate anonymously, likely to protect themselves until they get set up as a regulated operation.     So there is counterparty risk from that.

Also, there is the risk that some other trader is reckless with leverage and ends up losing more than the account was worth.  This loss gets assessed to those still holding countering positions which have gains.  So in the example above, even though you might have made a gain on the short, if someone else lost big on a long position their losses could be assessed against your short position, causing you to earn less than you projected.   That should only happen in times of extreme volatility.  This is Bitcoin though -- volatility happens.
1490  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Blockchain - how do i get out on: March 28, 2013, 10:15:22 PM
but my question still remains how do i remove the association of my wallet/public key from

You can click archive on an address and then from the archive view delete the address and private key.

But that still leaves the key around in your backups.

For true secure transfer (to keys that have never been known to an online, network connected system), create new keys offline and do a send transaction so the funds are transferred there.
1491  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: ICBIT Derivatives Market (USD/BTC futures trading) - LIVE on: March 28, 2013, 09:57:47 PM

It looks like an extra clearing is needed to move back the trading ranges for futures #bitcoin

That was the fastest time between clearings that I've seen.  The 20:00 clearing and then the special one at 21:52.
1492  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Precious Metals on: March 28, 2013, 07:48:30 PM
If I wanted to buy bitcoins using precious metals such as gold, silver, how would I do that?

Are you asking about converting bullion (e.g., Eagles, or "junk silver" coins types of metals) to bitcoins or are you asking about scrap conversion of items like jewelry or what Cash For Gold types of precious metals conversion?
1493  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: The minimum transfer fee is not trivial anymore on: March 28, 2013, 07:20:59 PM
It makes micropayments effectually nonfeasible

Correct (mostly), if "microtransactions" is a transaction in the amount of a couple dollars or less.

A decentralized, proof-of-work based cryptocurrency is a very expensive network to maintain compared to a centralized system with a single "master node" / authoritative source.

With Bitcoin, each transaction (and microtransaction) gets transmitted to and stored on tens of thousands of nodes around the world.  Fees are the mechanism to regulate how much bandwidth and storage will be needed to operate a node.  

These fees do make business models that rely on microtransactions crossing the blockchain to become unfeasible.  There are remedies however.  Services that require microtransactions (e.g., online wagering, gaming, media consumption, etc.) can still use bitcoin units internally and then employ accounts so that the only blockchain transactions are deposits and withdrawals.   Most online wagering sites that use bitcoins already work in this manner and it seems to not be an undue burden.

Wallets with BTC redeemable codes are one way to move "off the blockchain".  Because these wallet services are centralized, these "redeemable codes" (electronic tokens) can be offered at a much lesser expense making it possible for a wallet operator to allow bitcoin-denominated microtransactions to be available without charging a fee.
1494  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: I just got off the phone with FinCEN on: March 27, 2013, 09:28:07 PM
So, would this be the demise of sites like

Technically, yes.  Realistically, no.  The government isn't going to be able to regulate cash exchanges for BTC, and they'll be aiming to go after the big fish (unregulated exchanges) anyway.

Source:  The AMALC dude said it, so it must be true.

Either way, now would be a good time get in contact with other traders who currently list themselves on LocalBitoins.  There may come a time where traders don't advertise but remain active at trading.
1495  Economy / Speculation / Re: Parity watch -> Congo on: March 27, 2013, 07:37:32 PM
So I'd say it's more reasonable to compare it with countries' M0 (also called monetary base).

From another thread:

Monetary base for Bitcoins is 10.9 million BTC. The monetary base for Bitcoins has to be denominated in BTC, not dollars.

Bitcoin has no "market cap" since it is an asset, not a security that has been capitalized.

The Total Dollar Valuation (TDV) is the purchasing power equivalent of those 10.9 million BTC.

It is the TDV that is approaching (and then exceeding) the TDV of these foreign currencies named in this thread.

TDV isn't a commonly used phrase, but market cap and M0 are.  Doesn't make it the correct term to use though.
1496  Economy / Service Announcements / Re: bitfloor needs your help! on: March 27, 2013, 07:26:18 PM
Bitfloor has paid out excess operating capital on a quarterly basis so I doubt you are getting more there.

Since in the U.S. all debts can be repaid with USDs, the BTC debt is at the BTC/USD value from back in September when the incident occurred.  BitFloor is actually making good progress on repaying the $210K USD (wild guess from memory) that was owed.    For anyone hoping to receive the number of bitcoins on "hold", um ... ya.  Since those 24K BTC are now worth over $2 million, about the only hope for that size of repayment would be if BitFloor were to score somehow like through an acquisition or something like that.
1497  Economy / Currency exchange / Re: USD between MTGOX <--> DWOLLA on: March 27, 2013, 01:41:10 PM
Incidentally, if anyone is looking to cash out their Dwolla USDs without using a bank account, Dwolla funds can be used for purchasing gift cards at 1:1 (e.g., $100 Dwolla USD buys a $100 gift card) through   Gift cards are available from Chevron, Exxon, BP, Walmart, CVS, Home Depot, Lowes, Outback Streakhouse, American Airlines and more.

I've used this and it worked fantastically since there is no requirement that you have a bank account to use Dwolla for this.

Purchase Gift Cards for Merchants in USA BTC+Dwolla+Lyoness=Gift CARDS
1498  Other / Off-topic / Re: LYONESS???? on: March 27, 2013, 01:37:39 PM
Anyone have any ideas as to what this is

It is a merchant loyalty system in which consumers can earn cash back on their purchases.  It does involve multi-level marketing in which commissions are earned by the party that was responsible for signing up each new consumer.

It does have a Bitcoin angle though ... gift cards can be purchased using Dwolla USDs.  So there is a path from Bitcoins -> USDs (at an exchange) to Dwolla -> Lyoness  then purchase a gift card for Chevron, BP, Walmart, and dozens other national brands.

Here's more info:

Purchase Gift Cards for Merchants in USA BTC+Dwolla+Lyoness=Gift CARDS
1499  Economy / Speculation / Re: 1 billion today on: March 27, 2013, 01:18:12 PM
unlikely, it would have to smash through $90,

The exact exchange rate at which total dollar valuation (TDV) of $1 billion occurs will depend on which block # we are at when it happens.  Currently that exchange rate for the $1B threshold is $91.28, and that target will decrease by a little more than a dime every day.
1500  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Technical Support / Re: Assistance please regarding createrawtransaction on: March 27, 2013, 01:09:12 PM
The balance of the output being used is (at the time of writing this post) 5.40537687 according to this:

This wasn't your question but there is no "balance" for a transaction.  A transaction output is for a specific amount, period.  That amount is immutable -- it won't change.  Once the transaction is spent it will still be that same amount, it just will have been spent so some views of it might show a balance of 0, but the amount never changed.

My first concern before trying this is that I thought that Bitcoin-Qt represented balances internally as integers, so I'm not certain if I should use 5.40537687 for the "amount" or if I should use 540537687

The amount is decimal.

Here's an example.

But this is what Testnet is for!   (Or use a transaction with an amount small enough so an error isn't costly)

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