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461  Bitcoin / Meetups / Re: Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA on: September 23, 2013, 07:48:34 PM
I attended this past weekend (near Red Wing, MN) and Bitcoin was well represented (two sessions on Bitcoin, as well as Bitcoin coming up at least once in a most every other session or conversation).

Silver was being accepted as well.  I had some silver dimes with me and used them to pay for dinner and later drinks.  That as the first time I had ever used junk silver in trade (rather than simply buying or selling a precious metal for investment purposes).

What was interesting was that even these little silver dimes were not of fine enough granularity.   

For instance, in paying for a beer.   One silver dime was too little.  Two silver dimes was a little high.

If the merchant accepted DYM (a silver dime-backed voucher issued through Ripple), I could have paid with the precise amount (e.g. 1.6419 DYM).   

I think that Ripple (and DYM) is something with great potential.

Anyways, I'll still be in the Twin Cities this week Wednesday so will be at the meetup at Club Jager.
462  Economy / Economics / Re: New Project; Need Input (What do you buy with BTC?) on: September 23, 2013, 07:20:55 PM
The first step is to determine what goods should be included in the basket.

Isn't the price (in bitcoins) those vendors show nearly always just derived from a price in fiat then converted to bitcoins?

As such, I'd like to start tracking the value of BTC in terms of Purchasing Power (PP) by calculating and maintaining a specialized Consumer Price Index (CPI) that contains a basket of goods that are commonly purchased with BTC.

Or are you trying to show the affordability to goods in various regions, simply using Bitcoin instead of fiat?  This would be similar to the Big Mac index:
463  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: This video needs to be updated on: September 23, 2013, 06:47:06 PM

"No fees" is obviously false as a transaction with no fees (a.k.a. no tips) don't get processed/confirmed at a reasonable time frame.

The sender pays a fee.   A merchant doesn't pay a fee.
464  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: PoS system in a few easy steps - no phone required on: September 20, 2013, 06:32:40 AM
The bar then has a terminal with the software running (check the subdir called 'wallet'). You scan your private QR code, enter your password and are presented with a menu:

So this requires trust that the terminal is not capturing the password, which would be used to perform a replay attack?

465  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: List of court cases, complaints, regulatory actions, etc. on: September 19, 2013, 07:26:58 PM
SEC v. Trendon T. Shavers, et al  CASE NO. 4:13-CV-416
July 23, 2013
Location: Sherman, TX, USA

Another update on this:

Certified letter from U.S. District Court to Trendon T. Shavers - returned to sender / unclaimed.

 - (Browser-friendly PDF viewer)
466  Bitcoin / Meetups / Re: room sharing for Amsterdam Bitcoin conference 25-28 Sept 2013 on: September 19, 2013, 08:25:12 AM
Besides kitchen I need nothing fancy, sleeping on the floor is OK.

If it helps ... 9Flats takes Bitcoin:
467  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: How to clone Bitcoin to create your own virtual currency or crypto shares on: September 18, 2013, 05:29:49 AM
anybody will be a central banker but backed with the goods that produce!!

The tools are here now  ... Open Transactions and Ripple.

Now whether or not there's a market for currency where you promise future production, but there is a market for your current production.  Here's a perfect example.

Chase bank acts like a pawn shop here, giving cash to farmers for up to 65% of the value of maize that they have warehouse receipts for.

Chase Bank targets maize farmers with low-interest loans

Chase is giving cash for only 65% of the value of the maize.    Of course, if the farmer repays the cash loan the maize is still owned by the farmer so that's a good thing, but the farmer doesn't have access to 35% of the purchasing power of his maize.  If he could trade those warehouse receipts for cash closer to full value the farmer would benefit. 

When you are I can bid for ownership of those warehouse receipts (rather than the farmer being forced to go groveling to the Chase pawn shop) the financial system extracts less rent from the economy.   I look forward to the day this is common practice!
468  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Super Bowl Commercial for bitcoin? on: September 18, 2013, 04:52:15 AM
An ad during SuperBowl would cause this bet to end True":

Bitcoin will be mentioned or pictured during the 2014 SuperBowl

469  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: Are Transaction IDs unpredictable? on: September 17, 2013, 07:48:41 PM
I want to use this for a provably fair betting system.

SatoshiDICE uses the transaction ID to determine the lucky number but the reason it doesn't matter if it is random is because the transaction ID is just part of the input used to get the results, with the remainder kept secret at the time the bet is placed.

Another "provably fair" service, BitLotto (whose operator has since cut and run with the last month's worth of winnings) used the results of an external event (a state-run lottery) that occurred after the betting deadline as its apporach to offering provably fair.

But as others mentioned, the Trx ID is the result of the contents of a transaction, and thus can be manipulated.
470  Economy / Economics / Re: The Insanity of Fiat Money on: September 17, 2013, 05:52:29 PM
It is like pornography.  It is hard to define but you know what it is the moment you see it.

This is not at all true.

I wasn't trying to describe Bitcoin, I was trying to respond to the "why Bitcoin is better than fiat" question

that does not mean they understand the money they are using.

Yup -- ask five people what a dollar bill is and you'll get five different answers.   One might say it represents a tiny fraction of gold held in Ft. Knox, another might say it is the only legal form of money allowed, etc.

But everyone knows the basics -- that fiat currency and coin is accepted by merchants for making purchases and we know that's how employers pay compensation.   If this fiat buys a gift card and that card is then accepted by merchants, it makes no difference to the consumer if what is stored is $50 fiat USD or 0.5 Bitcoins -- as long as it holds at least the same purchasing power as it had when purchased.

While the CPI numbers keep being fabricated (e.g., excluding gas because, you know, nobody drives) and the resulting inflation numbers appear tame, the insanity of fiat is being learned by some, albeit slowly.   But useful on that is a saying on a related topic ...

“How did you go bankrupt?"
Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
471  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: 15BTC Stolen - All gone, what do I do now? on: September 17, 2013, 05:16:37 PM
I had 2 factor auth on and my email linked...still didn't manage to protect my wallet.

You are using's My Wallet then?  If so, know that the wallet isn't encrypted with two factor, and instead that 2FA is only used to restrict access to your account from the website.   So if you had any wallet backups (wallet.aes.json file) anywhere (e.g., in an e-mail inbox) they could be decrypted simply with the password by anyone with access to that backup.

Online wallets, such as (a hybrid online E-Wallet), (a hosted / shared E-Wallet), and exchange accounts (e.g., the E-Wallet at BITSTAMP) are great for their convenience but that convenience comes with a trade-off for security.  As such, the amount of funds stored with them should be limited to whatever amount is needed for spending, trading, etc., and the funds held for longer term investment / storage should be stored locally on a secure system or in cold storage / offline preferably.
472  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Mt.Gox Account secured with Yubikey but still had 29 BTCs stolen on: September 17, 2013, 04:37:13 AM
For now, I have filed a police report with my local pd in addition to contacting my attorney general.

The statement by MagicalTux of Mt. Gox was that 2FA was added after the withdrawal.  I'ld love to see your police report.
473  Economy / Economics / Re: The Insanity of Fiat Money on: September 17, 2013, 01:34:13 AM
Now, the question for Bitcoiners goes deeper. Is Bitcoin "virtual gold" better than fiat "virtual money". The answer is yes, but it is still difficult to nail down exactly why, except to fall back upon the all-important 21 million, predefined, currency unit limit.

It is like pornography.  It is hard to define but you know what it is the moment you see it.

The difference is that when trust granted the issuer of the virtual money starts being questioned, the relative value of that virtual money will drop rapidly.   We are seeing that right now.  After years of quantitative easing, the value of $100K USD is rapidly dropping versus the value of one typical single family house.   Go to a restaurant.   The value of $5 over the past couple years has dropped rapidly against the typical hamburger and fries.

This is why I'm excited not just to see Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat, but I'm also excited to see Open Transactions and Ripple as possible alternatives for recording and transferring value.  

Let's say my employment contract for my weekly compensation pays me not only $X USDs (or N.N XBTs) but it also pays me a basket of items of value ... a voucher for N ounces of silver from X, a voucher for N gallons of fuel from Y, maybe a week's worth of sandwiches even, etc -- something I can foresee these systems handling.  I can consume these by spending the vouchers now or I can save them for later consumption, ... but what I don't end up doing is suffering the frustration that my salary set eight months ago no longer buys what it used to.
474  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2013-09-16: BitPay surpasses 10,000 merchants, adds QuickBooks support on: September 16, 2013, 03:00:51 PM
Ecommerce merchants account for over 90% of the business, including consumer electronics, precious metals and IT services.

When I make a purchase decision I will give preference to a vendor that accepts Bitcoin payment.  But I might not know which vendors accept bitcoins offhand and currently there is no directory of Bitcoin-accepting merchants that is anywhere near being comprehensive.   

When I use PayPal's new mobile app, for instance, I get a list of merchants nearby who accept PayPal for payment.  This same type of location-aware directory is provided when I use Square, and also with Dwolla (called Dwolla Spots).   There is no similar directory for Bitcoin (other than which sources data from a small list of merchants added on OpenStreetmaps) -- something that is made even more complicated because there are multiple payment processors (BitPay's competitors) and also there's no requirement that a merchant even use a payment processor to accept Bitcoin for payment.

At a minimum, it would be good for BitPay to publish their merchant directory  (e.g., in a searchable directory, or an API accessible by mapping service even).  Of course, not ever merchant wants to be included but for those who do it would be a valuable added service that BitPay could offer.
475  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: The great "Lost btc problem" on: September 16, 2013, 06:09:13 AM
So as you see, as more bitcoins become "lost" the value of a bitcoin becomes more uncertain.

And here I thought this thread would lead to the argument that fewer coins would cause the exchange rate of the remaining ones to rise, and as a result the deflations.
476  Bitcoin / Pools / Re: Too Many People on BTCGuild!!! on: September 15, 2013, 05:44:39 AM
spread some of the hashing power to other pools so we don't get to 51% on a single pool

That's right .... don't let that happen or we'll have human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Even if they hit 51%, they would need to intentionally use that power to do double spends against others or reject blocks by other miners to cause harm.    If they did that, that would be the end of BTCGuild.

You are right that over time, we should not have a single pool solving half the blocks.  But don't think that a single pool like BTCGuild hitting 51% means it is lights-out for Bitcoin.
477  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Mt.Gox Account secured with Yubikey but still had 29 BTCs stolen on: September 14, 2013, 10:59:02 PM
I originally had $4,000 in USD but the culprit converted it to BTC and withdrew.

Out of curiosity, what verification level is your account?
478  Bitcoin / Mycelium / Re: Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet on: September 14, 2013, 07:53:09 PM
I tried it out and the tool says that the Mycelium app is compatible. So far so good.
My problem: I don't have a device where I can test it

Doh!  Here's what I get:

Whoops, it looks like your system may not be supported. Currently the online packager only supports Windows and Mac OS.

I'll be giving it another try in a few days when I have access to a Windows system.
479  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How do Chargebacks work? on: September 14, 2013, 05:28:54 AM
the chargeback situation is getting worse and worse for merchants every day.  People are figuring out that you can, in fact, go on a big shopping spree and then charge it all back.  If you consider the incentive structure involved, you can see that it is likely to only get worse

Yup.  Right now the cost of chargeback fraud is being assessed to the unfortunate merchant targeted by the scammer (as the merchant pays a fee that is over and above the return of the funds to the customer).  But the costs of this fraud (PhD's employed by Visa and Mastercard writing scam-detection algorithms are expensive) are also subsidized by all the merchants together too -- currently about 3% for most retail.

But as Bitcoin and other cash payment methods (e.g., Dwolla) take share, the fraudsters will continue using payment cards with the chargeback option -- thus making it so the payment networks need to bump up their rates as a response.   And that forces the remaining merchants to further press their customers to pay with Bitcoin or other cash methods, and so on ... resulting in the payment networks forced out of the market for their most profitable transactions.

480  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: The Talking History Podcast now takes Bitcoin! on: September 13, 2013, 08:36:44 PM
now takes bitcoin thanks to listener requests.

Yup, they even wrote it on their site:

At the request of some listeners, we've also added the ability to donate Bitcoins!

These "requests" to merchants don't come from some corporate marketing department like a Square or Google Wallet would have to employ.  Instead, these requests come from individuals who are motivated either because of their politics (desire for a nonpolitical currency) or for their own personal financial gain (as investors/speculators hoping further acceptance will cause the exchange rate to rise.)

But its growth will continue rapidly because each party acquiring bitcoins (whether by donation like Talking History podcast, or as income, or for speculation, etc.) in turn becomes the next Bitcoin salesperson.    Until there is saturation, there will be upside in value (exchange rate) with each additional bit of traction Bitcoin gains as a payment method.   With only 4% of those in the U.S. even aware of bitcoin (results of a recent survey at a mall), Bitcoin has so much room to go yet.   This appreciating value is the "startup funding" that pays for this global "salesforce".

It's a phenomena that the world has never experienced before.
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