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421  Economy / Marketplace / Re: NEFT Vodka and Bitcoin on: August 17, 2013, 09:16:44 PM
Still anxiously awaiting Neft Vodka's distribution in the U.S.

I'm curious if anyone knows ... is the vodka sold in the White Barrel any different product than that sold in the Black Barrel?
422  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-08-17 - Bitcoin Law: What US businesses need to know on: August 17, 2013, 03:14:27 PM
Bitcoin Law: What US businesses need to know
by Marco Santori  [Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundationís Regulatory Affairs Committee]

This is a basic primer on the state of US law as it applies to digital currency entrepreneurs.

If the last few months have taught us anything, it is that there will soon exist a new and evolving body of law: The Law of Digital Currency, or, as some would prefer it: Bitcoin Law.
[...] 'virtual currency' is something of a loaded term, and bitcoin may not even be best described as a currency at all.
[In addition to regulators FinCEN and the SEC, the] consensus among legal professionals is that two more government agencies might soon have a hand in the market as well: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Some have called [FinCEN's issuance of guidance] bitcoinís 'watershed moment' because of its clear, unequivocal positive message: bitcoin is not illegal. The negative consequence, though, was just as obvious: Many bitcoin businesses models are illegal.
In effect, the [Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)] deputizes financial institutions, requiring them to act as the governmentís foot soldiers in its war on money laundering.

423  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2013-08-13 Senate panel kicks off broad look at Bitcoin on: August 17, 2013, 06:31:33 AM
Here's a link to an PDF of the actual letter sent by committee chair Thomas Carper and member Tom Coburn:

424  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: List of court cases, complaints, regulatory actions, etc. on: August 17, 2013, 06:28:13 AM
Inquiry into Virtual Currencies by U.S. Congress (Committee On Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs)
August 12, 2013
Location: Washington, DC, USA

Abstract: A U.S. Senate Committee has started an inquiry into Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, asking a range of regulators to list what safeguards are in place to prevent criminal activity.

 - (Browser-friendly / PDF viewer)
425  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Does bitcoin really has no central authority? on: August 16, 2013, 08:44:30 AM
Also, according to Bitcoin Foundation's websites, it could standardize Bitcoin by changing codes. What if one day they start to play evil?

There are many Bitcoin clients. Any change that implements a change that "breaks" the Bitcoin protocol will not be accepted by older clients.  This is called a hard fork.  So unless people upgrade to a client that understands the change, that change made will have no impact.

There is the argument that the power to accept changes comes from those who hold bitcoins and those who will buy the mined coins.  These people are referred to as the "economic majority":

The economic majority's power is what played out this way with the accidental hard fork in March.  There was a change to the v0.8 client that those using v0.7.2 and prior didn't use.   Even though there were more v0.8 clients running at the time, the "economic majority" were using v0.7 and thus that's the side of the fork that mining capacity jumped to once it became obvious coins mined on v0.8 were going to become worthless.
426  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: bitl bill Counterfeit money on: August 15, 2013, 06:25:11 PM
Thank you for answers. It seems the lack of study still

Creating a counterfeit of most any paper item is trivial unless expensive anti-counterfeit measures are taken.  Here's an example of the challenge to making paper hard to replicate:

This is such a challenge that even community/local currency issuers such as Brixton Pound have gone to using electronic (mobile/SMS) ledgers:

Even tactics like putting a hologram sticker to protect the private key (as is employed with the Casascius physical coin has) been discovered to be vulnerable:

The problem comes with intending the item (paper, coin, whatever) to circulate.  

What does work well are single-use vouchers.  When buying a MoneyPak at a convenience store, that piece of paper that is issued contains a code that can be redeemed online.   This same approach where a one-time code is issued is how ticket-in/ticket-out (TITO) equipment at casinos work.   Other e-gift cards and other vouchers/coupons work with the same concept.   The code is revealed to the customer but the intention is that the code will be redeemed instead of the paper with the code being transferred to someone else as an exchange of value.

The single-use e-code/voucher approach used by MoneyPak/UKash/CashU/etc. all are regulated financial products (as there is an issuer of the code) and issuing a private currency would bring the regulators:

So even if one wanted to go that route, there are hurdles beyond the technological.
427  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: raspberry pie + thermal printer + ? = bitcoin printer on: August 15, 2013, 05:50:59 PM
Additional threads on the topic:

Offline Paper Wallet Creator - Raspberry Pi?

Piper - A hardware-based paper wallet printer and so much more

Bitfrore - Bitcoin Cold Paper Wallet Printer Crowdfunding Campaign

and not quite the same as a paper wallet s a

Tamper-proof paper wallet design
428  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: Firmcoins - A new kind of Bitcoin physical bill ready for off-line transactions on: August 15, 2013, 05:41:59 PM
What is the purpose of the hologram sticker?
429  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: List of court cases, complaints, regulatory actions, etc. on: August 15, 2013, 04:50:15 PM
Iacono et al v. Bitinstant, L.L.C.
August 8, 2013
New York, USA (NY Southern District Court)
Case: 1:2013cv04674

Abstract: Class action complaint against BitInstant. The assertion is that BitInstant made false claims about the speed of its service and the refund of fees.

430  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2013-08-12 Politico: Congress starts looking into Bitcoin on: August 15, 2013, 12:41:07 AM
Their best bet would be to try to corner the market before someone else does and with a 1.5 billion $ market they have the funds (or can print the funds) to gain a substantial share.

Though the value of bitcoin at the current exchange rate multiplied by the ~11.3 million BTC issued to-day equals some number a little over $1 billion, that is not what the cost would be to acquire "a substantial share".  Nobody knows where the exchange rate would end up if another round of heavy buying were to be attempted.

But what benefit do you see they would gain from buying lots of coins?
431  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: How to use 2-factor auth on mtgox, even without a smartphone on: August 15, 2013, 12:19:47 AM
does this work for BTC-e ?

In June, BTC-E added two-factor authentication:

So yes, any TOTP client such as this browser-based one will work with BTC-E's two-factor auth.

List of exchanges with two-factor authentciation:
432  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Sudden rise in Bitcoin transaction numbers - any theories why? on: August 13, 2013, 03:32:55 PM
Those upgrading to an Android wallet which fixes the random-number generator security issue will have "key replacement" transactions occurring, which will have some impact on the total transaction count.
433  Bitcoin / Meetups / Re: Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA on: August 13, 2013, 03:28:54 PM
We're having another meeting this Sunday August 18th in Edina.

Hah, awesome!  

I'm in the Twin Cities visiting so I'll be able to make it!
434  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2013-08-12 Politico: Congress starts looking into Bitcoin on: August 13, 2013, 02:25:01 PM
The article includes a link supposedly to the letter by Tom Carper (committee chair) and Tom Coburn.   But that link just goes to another Politico URL, which requires login I believe.

Does anyone have a link to the letter?
435  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: List of court cases, complaints, regulatory actions, etc. on: August 12, 2013, 04:20:13 PM
State of NY's Notice of Inquiry on Virtual Currencies
August 12, 2013
Location: New York, NY, USA

Abstract: NY State's financial regulator Dept. of Financial Services is "concerned" that virtual currency exchangers engage in money transmission.  Subpoenas to exchanges have been issues.  

Notice of Inquiry on Virtual Currencies
 - (Browser-friendly PDF viewer)
 -  (Further discussion)

NY regulator issue subpoenas to firms tied to Bitcoin: WSJ
436  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: BTC-e code value on: August 12, 2013, 03:34:04 PM
I want to start selling on marketplace, however I want to accept BTC-e codes as payment, because in that way, I don't have to worry about btc price change.

Most Bitcoin-related marketplaces and e-commerce modules allow a price to be set in dollars, but then that value is converted to bitcoins at time of checkout. 

As far as a longer-term solution, the USD transfer capability in Ripple might be something you might consider.  There is a little bit of a learning curve with Ripple but if your customer set would know how to procure a BTC-e code to buy from you those same customers would likely be able to figure out how to do a Ripple transaction to transfer some USDs from their BITSTAMP account to you.
437  Economy / Economics / Re: Bitcoin is a great foreign currency on: August 12, 2013, 03:31:14 AM
Ironically, the more people who are 'long Bitcoin' in this scenario, the worse it is for Bitcoin and thus the people holding it themselves.

Below I make the argument that the bitcoin economy isn't impacted if there is hoarding:

Scenario 1: 10 million BTC are "hoarded" for a year (i.e., they aren't spent at all) and the remaining 1.3 million BTC get spent on average once a week.  On an annual basis that means there is the aggregate spending of ~68 million BTC.

Scenario 2: 11.3 million BTC are spent, on average, once every other month.  Nobody is "hoarding" at all.  On an annual basis there is the aggregate spending of ~68 million BTC.

Both of those result in the exact same aggregate spending (denominated in BTCs) on an annual basis.   So it matters not that those with 9 million BTC sat on them in scenario 1 versus nobody hoarding whatsoever in scenario 2.

But at the same time I realize the downside to the hoarding (versus having coins circulating) is that those coins being hoarded can be dumped on the market which results in exchange rate volatility.  A person who holds coins with the intention of using them for purchases is going to hold onto them whereas a person holding coins for speculative reasons may reduce the position or liquidate the position entirely -- especially when the exchange rate is falling.

So I'm not saying "hoarding" is good, I'm just rejecting the argument that is commonly made asserting that everyone needs to be spending their coins for the currency to succeed.
438  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Is there a simple app to scan a QR and return a balance? on: August 10, 2013, 10:45:41 PM
wondering if there's a simple Android app that will scan a QR of the address and return the balance?

Here's a new one:

Bitcoin Balance Scanner
by Beyondem Inc.
439  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Announcements (Altcoins) / Re: [ANN] Spots NEW COIN | Traded on Coins-e | Win | Mac | Linux | LAUNCHED | [ on: August 09, 2013, 06:42:40 AM
The Spots used to re-pay the investors will be either from the iGotSpots personal mining funds, or I will personally cover them out of my own pocket to buy them if the Spots we make from sales are all tied up.

Sounds more like these investors are lenders.  They are lending BTCs to you for 120 days, with your guarantee of a minimum interest (20% over the 120 day period) and perhaps that rate could be higher if company performs well (??).

The second part is incorrect. We will not be dumping the Spots we make while selling the silver. These Spots will be used in our purchasing center later when the auction site is up.

So today when you sell an ounce for 4,428 SPT, you then hold those SPT.  Ok, ... but what if by the time the auction is available SPT drops in value and a bid of 12,000 SPT is needed in order to win an auction for an ounce of silver?
440  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: Arbitrage? Buy low at coinbase; sell high at localbitcoins (or others) on: August 09, 2013, 04:15:07 AM
And remember, you can always use the extra $70 and re-invest. So eventually your money will grow exponentially. 

Well, there's always that darn problem of finding a willing and able buyers.

But it essentially helps lower the price on LocalBitcoins so that it is competitive with Mt. Gox.

I recently had a listing at LocalBitcoins where I charged no price premium over Mt. Gox and got multiple buy offers.  I was able to sell plenty on each day that I had the offer out there.
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