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301  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: List of court cases, complaints, regulatory actions, etc. on: October 02, 2013, 04:32:33 PM
United States of America v. ROSS WILLIAM ULBRICHT a/k/a Dread Pirate Roberts a/k/a Silk Road
September 27, 2013
Location: Southern District of New York

Abstract: FBI files complaint against founder and operator of Silk Road market with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.

Silk Road had 957,079 registered users who did 1.2 million transactions between February of 2011 and July of 2013, the FBI says.

Note, the source of the complaint is from security researcher Brian K Rebs' website, so this URL is tentative:

 - (Primary discussion thread on this is the Press board)
302  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Re: Limit mining a new alt-coin to a specific country. on: October 02, 2013, 01:39:44 AM
So, slowly we change our shitty bolivares for XVEs and in a matter of years we may be able to start an exchange to trade XBTs for XVEs, you know, like in a real world monetary system (without govt intervention of course).

Venezuela might be a good place where something like Ripple becomes incredibly useful.  If your goal is simply to trade without being forced to use VEFs, what could emerge are local issuers of commodity-backed digital vouchers on Ripple.

Take a look at the DYM issue on Ripple as an example:

That uses pre-1965 U.S. silver dimes ("junk silver") as the commodity.   But it could be anything that the issuer would store and then issue the vouchers that can be redeemed for the underlying commodity.   The commodities could include items easily purchased with VEFs today yet are not that difficult to warehouse.  This would include bottles of liquor, cartons of cigarettes, boxes of diapers, postage stamps, even rolls of toilet paper if nothing else.   So you'ld have a single currency issue for each of these commodity items but there would be multiple issuers for the same commodity.

Of course, other commodities sourced locally like coffee beans would be fantastic but you don't want to use something perishable.
303  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Re: Limit mining a new alt-coin to a specific country. on: October 02, 2013, 01:12:31 AM
limiting the mining and trading to a specific country, in this case Venezuela.

Is that a good idea or even possible?

No and no.

Technically, there's no way to know from where (geographically) a valid hash originated.

So you'ld be open to the world -- and vulnerable to a 51% attack.

No, we can not buy BTCs (the main purpose of a world currency like BTC) because we have no access to dollars, euros, yens or whatever strong currencies and nobody takes our bolivares.

What you have is friction, but not a brick wall.    When there is profit potential, suppliers of bitcoins (who accept VEF) will emerge.  This means if a buyer is willing to pay a premium to buy BTCs with VEF, some other party with bitcoins to sell will emerge to take those VEFs and use those VEF locally to pay for consumption.   The larger the premium the greater the incentive for these sellers to emerge.   For instance, a business in Venezuela that exports goods or services (e.g., a graphics designer with customers abroad) may ask for Bitcoin as payment (or offer a discount if payment is made in bitcoins) to obtain a supply of coins.  Those can then be sold locally at a premium which more than offsets the discount the merchant might have had to offer to incent some of their customers to pay with Bitcoin.

If Bitcoin buyers in Venezuela are only willing to pay a little premium then there won't be much supply.  But a larger premium will be the incentive that results in an adequate supply arriving.

Now, having said this, ... understand that there's nothing stopping anyone from attempting some regional crypto currency.   There are several that have already been tried with others being attempted now.  Here's one:

But know one thing, the risk of loss due to a 51% attack (if it is a proof-of-work based cryptocurrency) and volatility are higher with this regional alt currency than with Bitcoin.  Do you really want to expose your neighbors to these risks of significant financial loss?  
304  Local / Press & News from India / RBI spokesperson misunderstands what "legal tender" refers to? on: October 01, 2013, 07:26:07 PM
The recent article by Ankit Ajmera had this:

The Reserve Bank of India, for instance, has not yet formulated regulations to govern trading or profits generated from Bitcoins. An RBI spokesperson told Mirror over email that the RBI doesn't consider Bitcoin legal tender and, therefore "trading in Bitcoin is not legal. Obviously, there cannot be regulations from RBI for an illegal activity. People who use it, do so at their own risk and responsibility."


In the U.S., legal tender refers to what forms of money cannot be refused by a creditor for extinguishing a debt.  Legal tender does not dictate what can be used as money or currency.

Is the use of this term different in India?

This was in quotes, so presumably this is what Mr. Ajmera received in the e-mail from the RBI.

I can't believe a person would be spokesperson for RBI and have misunderstood what the term "legal tender" refers to, but it is possible.

Has anyone inquired (or if not, would anyone inquire) with the reporter and/or the RBI spokesperson to get clarification on this?
305  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: Rogue bitcoin nodes. on: October 01, 2013, 06:16:40 PM
The government can own 99.999% of all the nodes, but because no real commerce will be done with those nodes it does not matter.

From a related thread:

Short summary: An attacker could run tens of thousands of Bitcoin clients to isolate certain nodes from the network and then double-spend his coins.

That's actually a very hard attack to successfully pull off; I file it under "theoretically worrisome, but practically not a high priority."

It is hard because: [...]
306  Bitcoin / Mining / Re: - Introducing new Bitcoin mining forecast and ROI calculator on: October 01, 2013, 05:32:57 PM
Don't hesitate to ask questions. Your suggestions are very welcomed!
Hope it can help you to save on ASIC pre-orders.

If those default numbers are anywhere what will happen, then that is possibly the most depressing chart for anyone who already owns or has on order any mining hardware whatsoever!
307  Other / Meta / Re: "Satoshi Square" local in-person bitcoin exchanges "Currency Exchange" subcats? on: September 30, 2013, 11:27:17 PM
Marketplace>Currency Exchange is perfect to make sub-forums for major cities.

The list is growing:

There is the weekly (Monday) Satoshi Square meetup in NYC (yesterday's was hosted at EVR).
 -  <-- For info on location

Here's the Project Buttonwood trading site for NYC:

The next L.A. Satoshi Square meetup is this Thursday (July 25th, 2013) downtown (Grand Park):

The Buttonwood San Francisco occurs weekly.  The next event is Thursday, July 25th, 2013:

The first Buttonwood-style event in Berlin will be July 29th:

The first Miami Satoshi Square will be today (July 23rd, 2013):

The first Toronto Satoshi Square will be next Monday, July 29th, 2013:

There is a weekly trading event, "Talk 'N Trade" in San Diego (Tuesdays):

[Update: And now also Singapore:

Singapore's 1st Buttonwood - meetup event Aug 1

 - ]

[Update 2: And Panama: ]

308  Economy / Goods / Re: NEFT Vodka and Bitcoin on: September 30, 2013, 09:13:08 PM
Was there any NEFT flowing at the European bitcoin conference?   I wasn't thinking, I probably could have asked someone from the U.S. that was attending to pick up a couple barrels and bring them back to the states.   The Bitcoin logo and message on the side of the barrel are a great endorsement.
309  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: The Bitcoin Will (you know, for dead peeps) on: September 30, 2013, 06:45:11 PM
I believe one of the solutions was to tell your family members half of the private key and then leave the other half in your will.

BIP 038
Password protected wallets.

Send the encrypted paper wallet(s) to family members. Use DeadMansSwitch to have the decryption key sent to your loved ones if you pass.    And also give they key to a trustee.

310  Economy / Speculation / Re: Will The Bitcoin Investment Trust affect the price? on: September 30, 2013, 04:14:08 PM
So let's speculate, will price be affected? by how much? and why?

There is demand for leverage such that today someone wanting to buy a bitcoin using leverage has to pay a price that is 10% over the current spot price and still has to wait nearly 90 days to get delivery.  See the BUZ3 (December 16, 2013 settlement) futures contract on ICBIT as an example:

The only thing needed to profit from this is a supply of bitcoins that you can "lock up" for 90 days.  Oh, look .... the fine print for BIT says your funds might get locked up on you:

An investment in the BIT will be illiquid and there may be significant restrictions on transferring interests in the BIT.

So Bitcoin is just like any other commodity or security in that there are derivative products and profit exists.    Seeing more funds emerge will help Bitcoin because it will help the commodity be used to solve problems more efficiently or used in new ways.    While it would seem this increased usage of bitcoins would only put upward pressure on the exchange rate, don't forget that providing liquidity for that wanting to go short on Bitcoin is likely one of the possibilities a fund like BIT brings as well.
311  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: Tips for local transactions on: September 30, 2013, 06:38:44 AM
Getting stuck with counterfeit money is a real (and growing) risk:

Buyer passed me 25 x fake $20 bills at , defrauded me for $500. Seller beware too, quality counterfeit $20s traded

312  Bitcoin / Technical Support / Re: Bitcoin copying wallet.dat allows sending coins twice on: September 30, 2013, 06:17:57 AM
How can this be fixed?

Well, you now have two wallet.dat files which are out of sync.  Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind wasn't designed to work this way (running two copies of the Client with the same wallet.dat).  As a result, the two wallet.dat files are now out of sync.

In short, don't do this.   It doesn't affect the blockchain, but it will give you grief and multiple copies of a wallet getting out of sync can potentially cause you to end up with financial loss.

To resolve this ... you will have one Client in which the transaction confirms.  In the other instance you will have a transaction that won't confirm (presuming both are attempting to spend the same funds).  

So, if the balance on the one with the confirmation is correct, then simply discontinue use of the other instance -- the one with the transaction that will never confirm.
313  Bitcoin / Technical Support / Re: Adding a new private key without rescan on: September 30, 2013, 12:45:52 AM
Is it possible to add an unused private key to the wallet without rescanning?

There was another argument to the RPC importprivkey that lets you supress rescan:

Resolved, see Issue 1085:
314  Economy / Economics / Re: Secured Debt is Good for Bitcoin on: September 29, 2013, 11:25:59 PM
It makes no sense that someone would be willing to pay more for 1-month-forward Bitcoins than for Bitcoins now, since you can simply buy Bitcoins now and wait.

Bitcoins on deposit at ICBIT provide leverage to go either long or short.  There is greater demand by those wishing to use that leverage to go long than there is sellers wishing to hedge their position or to go short.  Thus, contango and lot's of it ... even for short durations until expiration.

That's one reason I think seeing the BIT (SecondMarket's Bitcoin Investment Trust) will be good so that there are more sane methods for hedging and for those wanting to go short.

Also, note: Spending of Bitcoin isn't a taxable event.

ORLY?  Wouldn't there be capital gains?   Of course, how those would be reported will depend on what the IRS concludes ...  Are bitcoins a currency, foreign currency, security, commodity, or "metals" even?   
315  Economy / Economics / Re: Secured Debt is Good for Bitcoin on: September 29, 2013, 08:30:25 PM
Naturally, such an instrument would almost constantly be in a state of backwardation,

From Wikipedia:
Backwardation: the market condition wherein the price of a forward or futures contract is trading below the expected spot price at contract maturity.

There's been backwardation only a few times on ICBIT ... and the brief times it did that was likely related to forced selling due to margin calls.

Such credit, dissacociated with traditional banking

Let's say I have some exchange-listed stocks that have gained in value and want to lend some of that value out to earn interest.  I don't know tax accounting well but I'm presuming I would need sell some of those shares and then would lend out the fiat.   Selling the shares forces me to recognize the capital gains.

With a commodity such as bitcoins, even if I have gains I can still lend the asset out without first having to recognize the gains, I presume (as I'm not an expert in tax matters).  [Update: In the U.S., Internal Revenue Code 1058 describes circumstances in which lending securities does not cause a taxable event.  Whether or not the IRS would treat lending of Bitcoin (property other than securities) in a similar manner, is merely speculation on my part.].    So it would make sense then that there will a greater incentive to lend out bitcoins after a significant rise in value versus the person seeing the gains directly spending them or exchanging the bitcoins to fiat.
316  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: Are invalid addresses valid? on: September 29, 2013, 06:09:12 PM
My question is can you send money to an address with an invalid checksum? (as in will the main Bitcoin clients allow such blocks, relay the TXs and so on)

Software following the Bitcoin protocol would not recognize that payment transaction to an address that fails the checksum verification.

So if there was some client that didn't follow the protocol and you happened to use it and also have established a peer connection to another node running that same flawed client, then your node will show the transaction as having been sent successfully and that other node will show the payment as having been received.  But the transaction will almost never get a confirmation (unless enough miners are using the flawed client as well and a blockchain fork happens).  And no other nodes (other than those using the flawed client) will use or relay that transaction.
 [Edit, from another thread:

There is no way to recognize "wrong" address at the protocol level, at that level it is no longer a string with checksum but just uninterpreted data, therefore the transaction will be relayed and coins lost.

I'm not aware, offhand, of any reports of a client that doesn't implement the checksum.  [Edit: As far as exchanges and E-Wallets, that is handled internally by that vendor's infrastructure.    If an invalid address is given by a user, that E-Wallet provider's internal software might accept the transaction and subtract that amount from the E-Wallet user's account balance.  But that doesn't mean the transaction got sent by that E-Wallet vendor's node.]
317  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Major Flaw With Bitcoin?? on: September 29, 2013, 04:04:09 PM
What if you send some illegal stolen money?

Here's a scenario.   Politicians in the U.S. cannot accept campaign donations from foreigners.  So what if a politician has a static Bitcoin address for donations and then a payment arrives anonymously?  How does the politician know the funds did not come from a foreigner?

The solution to that is for the campaign to not use a static Bitcoin address but instead to issue a new Bitcoin address for each donation.  That way they at least they can ask for information identity that can be associated with each donation's Bitcoin address.

That doesn't stop someone from sending stolen funds, but it squelches the problem for the recipient in most instances.

Further, if the receiving of payments is a sensitive issue for you or your organization, what you can do is ensure that the person paying you maintains (or forwards to you) the payment protocol signatures on the payments they've received for the funds being sent to you.

The new Payment Protocol is a feature being added to the Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind client (targeted for v0.9).  With it the party to be paid issues a payment request for each payment to come from the sender.    This way you can at least prove that the party sending you funds has an audit trail showing that the funds were truly sent to them (versus those funds coming from illicit source, such as if they snagged the money from a wallet obtained through malware, for example).

FAQ on the payment protocol
318  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2013-07-01 - Thin Wire (Hawala networks) on: September 29, 2013, 05:24:07 AM
Convert bitcoins to M-PESA. Convert M-PESA to bitcoins.

Has anybody here ever seen anybody who did any of that? I believe it when I see it.

M-PESA can be reversed if there is a claim of fraud, along the same lines as how a PayPal transfer can be disputed.   But with a seller's trust history being shown, there is information to the buyer to help prevent getting cheated.

We have added M-PESA option to traders in Kenya and Tanzania. M-PESA is a very popular payment method in those countries.

Unfortunately, there are no offers yet for this payment method on LocalBitcoins.  Nor are there any offers to trade in-person for cash there. Here's Nairobi, for example.
319  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2013-09-29 - Bitcoin Billionaires on: September 29, 2013, 04:14:18 AM
therefore "trading in Bitcoin is not legal. Obviously, there cannot be regulations from RBI for an illegal activity. People who use it, do so at their own risk and responsibility.

That almost looks like a misinterpretation of what the term "legal tender" means.

For instance, the Nepalese rupee and Bhutanese ngultrum are not legal tender in India. But both are pegged to the Indian Rupee and are used interchangeably in some parts of India.  According to travel websites, there are currency exchanges on both sides of the border converting to and from the neighboring country currencies.   (There are certain limits and certain large bills not allowed, but that's a different argument).


So hopefully that statement reported can be clarified.
320  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-09-29 - Bitcoin Billionaires on: September 29, 2013, 03:58:00 AM
Bitcoin Billionaires
by Ankit Ajmera

The Reserve Bank of India, for instance, has not yet formulated regulations to govern trading or profits generated from Bitcoins.
An RBI spokesperson told Mirror over email that the RBI doesn't consider Bitcoin legal tender and, therefore "trading in Bitcoin is not legal. Obviously, there cannot be regulations from RBI for an illegal activity. People who use it, do so at their own risk and responsibility.
The only time Bitcoins will come under the purview of law is if a case of fraud is reported, following which cops can then initiate action against the fraudulent party.
There have been an estimated 29,400 downloads of Bitcoin wallets from Indian IP addresses. There's the possibility that one person has downloaded more than one wallet.

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