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501  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: List of court cases, complaints, regulatory actions, etc. on: July 23, 2013, 05:40:08 PM
SEC v. Trendon T. Shavers, et al  
July 23, 2013
Location: Sherman, TX, USA

Abstract: 3.  In 2011 and 2012 Shavers, operating under the Internet name "pirateat40,", operated a classic Ponzi scheme raising more than 700,000 BTC in principal investments from BTCST investors.

 - http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2013/comp-pr2013-132.pdf  (PDF)
 - http://bit.ly/13awWVJ  <--  Browser-friendly (using a PDF viewer)

Separately, the SEC issued an alert on Ponzis:
 - https://www.sec.gov/servlet/Satellite/News/PressRelease/Detail/PressRelease/1370539730583#.Ue68AN__6b6
 - http://www.sec.gov/investor/alerts/ia_virtualcurrencies.pdf (PDF)
 - http://bit.ly/11c3IrP  <-- Browser-friendly (using a PDF viewer)


Press and other threads:
 - http://www.businessinsider.com/sec-charges-texas-man-with-running-bitcoin-ponzi-scheme-2013-7

2013-07-23 BI: SEC Charges Texas Man With Running Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=261236.msg2788443#msg2788443

SEC finally charges pirateat40 aka Trendon Shavers
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=261234.0


This is being covered in the WSJ, on CNBC, and likely will reach most business news.
502  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2013-07-23 Wired.com - Why the Only Real Way to Buy Bitcoins Is on the Streets on: July 23, 2013, 11:52:12 AM
There is the weekly (Monday) Satoshi Square meetup in NYC (yesterday's was hosted at EVR).
 - https://twitter.com/joshrossi  <-- For info on location
 - https://twitter.com/search?q=%23satoshisquare&src=hash

Here's the Project Buttonwood trading site for NYC:
 - http://buttonwood.btcshares.com/

The next L.A. Satoshi Square meetup is this Thursday (July 25th, 2013) downtown (Grand Park):
 - http://spelunk.in/2013/06/29/satoshi-square-la-july-edition/

The Buttonwood San Francisco occurs weekly.  The next event is Thursday, July 25th, 2013:
 - http://www.meetup.com/Buttonwood-SF-P2P-Cryptocurrency-Trading

The first Buttonwood-style event in Berlin will be July 29th:
 - https://www.facebook.com/events/495971010475226/

The first Miami Satoshi Square will be today (July 23rd, 2013):
 - http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1iu8l7/tomorrow_miamis_first_satoshi_square_at_bayside/

The first Toronto Satoshi Square will be next Monday, July 29th, 2013:
 - http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1iudha/reminder_toronto_satoshi_square_next_monday

There is a weekly trading event, "Talk 'N Trade" in San Diego (Tuesdays):
 - http://www.meetup.com/Bitcoin-Traders-of-San-Diego

[Update: And now also Singapore:

Singapore's 1st Buttonwood - meetup event Aug 1
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=264180

 - http://www.meetup.com/BitcoinSingapore ]

[Update 2: And Panama:

https://twitter.com/satoshi_square/status/384811183657582592 ]

[Update 3: Reportedly these have occurred in Helsinki, Finland and Winnipeg, ON, Canada also.   Please share the link if anyone knows of these or any others I've missed.]
503  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-07-23 Wired.com - Why the Only Real Way to Buy Bitcoins Is on the Streets on: July 23, 2013, 11:32:33 AM
Why the Only Real Way to Buy Bitcoins Is on the Streets
by Robert McMillan

Quote
Welcome to the quickest, most private way to buy the internet’s most successful digital currency: in-person and face-to-face.
-
Buttonwood meetups started in New York a few months ago and fanned out to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Buttonwood is an allusion to the May 17, 1792 agreement, struck under a buttonwood tree at 68 Wall Street, that set down the rules for what became the New York Stock Exchange.
-
After some haggling, Light types Copley’s Bitcoin address into his mobile phone and transfers just over half a Bitcoin ($50) to Copley’s digital wallet [for payment of silver bullion].
-
He used to buy and sell on a (temporarily shuttered) marketplace called Bitinstant. But a few months ago, 'it started to ask for too much of my information,' the student says. Given the nature of his business, he wants to buy Bitcoins without being tracked.
-
These are the kinds of deals that have regulators worried.
-
It’s traditionally been tough to quickly buy Bitcoins with U.S. dollars, and recently it’s become tougher.  [...] That [regulation has] led to a pretty healthy off-the-books market for Bitcoin traders. [...] Buyers and sellers can also hook up over Internet Relay Chat at #bitcoin-otc
-
Buyer’s Best Friend will give you Bitcoins back for cash, much like you can get cash back from a credit card, but you are supposed to purchase something first.
-
Though trading an obscure crypto currency may sound very modern, the whole transaction has a decidedly old-fashioned and human flavor to it.

 - http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/07/buttonwood
504  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: Interesting conversation with a retailer who formerly accepted Bitcoin on: July 23, 2013, 04:47:33 AM
we are back in business accepting coin!

Any chance you'll be adding that capability for your visitors to your store as well?   I had pointed a Bitcoiner who was traveling through Albuquerque to stop in, but Bitcoin wasn't accepted for payment:
 - http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1ig126/im_working_in_santa_fe_nm_this_week_and_would_be/cb5d9wz
505  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Why we need bitcoin. on: July 21, 2013, 11:18:21 AM
Bitcoin is a push not pull technology. Things like this could not happen.
http://m.nypost.com/p/news/local/pedi_theft_app_1nPJXvFAES86ygLyxsb6cM

An entire article on Push-based bank technology and not a peep about Bitcoin:
 - http://paymentsviews.com/2013/03/13/faster-better-cheaper-like-it-or-not
506  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: List of all Bitcoin conferences around the world on: July 21, 2013, 09:50:54 AM
This isn't an event that isn't shown widely:
 
Wednesday August 14, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM EDT

Where:
The New York City Bar Association
42 West 44th Street
New York City, NY 10036

https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e7r6y66d6e1c28c1&oseq=&c=&ch=


Virtual Currencies Compliance Conference (VC3)
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=257918.0
507  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Inheriting bitcoins on: July 21, 2013, 08:42:56 AM
Eg if you give the paper wallet to a lawyer, to pass on, how can you stop them spending it....and they just run off.

The key can be split into multiple parts, so the family receives one part and the trustee/attorney another:

pybtcsplit - m-of-n Private Key Splitting made easy in one simple python utility
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=104086.0

What many are waiting anxiously for is the inclusion of encrypted paper wallets.   So the trustee/attorney gets the decryption password and the family receives the encrypted paper wallets:

From another thread:

So the encrypted paper wallet(s) go to family members.  DeadMansSwitch gets the decryption key, as does the trustee.  From another thread:

I changed the colour to blue for encrypted paper wallets to provide distinction between encrypted/unencrypted paper wallets - a version in the original yellow is included in case you really like yellow, just delete 'note_encrypted.png' and rename 'note_yellow.png' in its place.



This solution (encrypted paper wallets) probably isn't ready for prime time, but give it a few weeks and that will probably become a very good method for offline / long term savings that is secure.


And apparently a commercial paper wallet product (based on an open source tool) is now available with this:

now in beta as part of OpenPaperWallet (and the retail kit, SafePaperWallet) -

BIP0038 compliant, encrypted private keys in QR codes.

Software v3 BETA

The new v3 offers many features:

- A step-by-step wizard
- Multiple background design options
- Encrypted private keys (BIP0038) and in-browser decryption.
- Deterministic Aliases

https://safepaperwallet.com/software-v3-beta/
508  Economy / Service Announcements / Re: [ANN] LocalBitcoins.com - a location-based bitcoin to cash marketplace on: July 19, 2013, 12:15:07 AM
I noticed 2 of the bills were fake! Now since I didn't check during the transaction I can't prove whether or not the buyer was complicit and had any knowledge of these fake bills

Here's a guide:

U.S. Secret Service Know Your Money
 - http://www.secretservice.gov/know_your_money.shtml

Counterfeit Bills A Risk For Local Bitcoin Trading
 - http://bitcoinmoney.com/post/36244271879

509  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: Tips for local transactions on: July 19, 2013, 12:07:05 AM
Just a reminder on the importance of checking for counterfeits.   A cashier at the convenience store knows what to look for and is vigilant with every bill.  Bitcoin traders don't generally have those skills and aren't disciplined enough to consider the possibility that the cash they are receiving could include fake bills being passed to them (i.e., we are green and thus make good targets for counterfeitters).

From another thread:

Afterwards we concluded the trade and I went on my way. However shortly thereafter I noticed 2 of the bills were fake! Now since I didn't check during the transaction I can't prove whether or not the buyer was complicit and had any knowledge of these fake bills but I have learned my lesson and will be investigating bills more closely. They arn't too shabby I definitely could pass them off if I wanted to (though I won't cause I don't wanna screw someone else over) but a simple 30 second investigation would've aroused my suspicions as they both have the same serial and feel slightly different.
DON't MAKE THE MISTAKE I DID CHECK THE BILLS BEFORE RELEASING ESCROW.

There are some tips on detecting counterfeits here:

Counterfeit Bills A Risk For Local Bitcoin Trading
 - http://bitcoinmoney.com/post/36244271879
510  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2013-07-18 BullionVault: Bitcoin, Peso and Interstellar Kredits on: July 18, 2013, 11:33:35 PM
http://goldnews.bullionvault.com/bitcoin-peso-071820133

If you follow author's logic (which I don't) Bitcoins are somehow inferior to "wisely managed" in-game virtual currency such as EVE online Interstellar Kredits. Well, I wish him good luck with Interstellar Kredits and will stick to my Bitcoins just the same. Wink

When the level of future issuance of currency is known, investors can consider the effect of the currency's inflation when determining how to value the currency today.   With fiat money the amount of printing in the future isn't known so investors possibly will err in determining the currency's value.  This is inefficient for the investor (and for the economy as a whole) but is very effective for the central planner who can surprise the investors who are caught with bets speculating on the wrong outcome.

The reasons the bitcoin exchange rate fluctuates so much isn't because the supply doesn't get adjusted based on the price but instead because the market is too young and there isn't significant levels of those betting short against Bitcoin.   the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF is one such instrument that will help in this area.  Others are in the planning stages or in limited trial now.
511  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Broadcast Double Spend Transactions on: July 17, 2013, 08:55:13 AM
namecheap has become the first merchant to accept bitcoin payments without waiting for confirmations.

How about EVR bar?  Cups & Cakes Bakery?   Room 77 and the rest at Bitcoin Kiez?     The Pao Cafe?    Green Ave Market?   

All these are bricks & mortar businesses that don't wait for confirmation.

None have reported any double spending having occurred.

I'd like to know what you think of the recent namecheap move? Do you think other merchants will follow suit?

A merchant category that would have the highest risk of loss from accepting payment on 0/unconfirmed would be the quarter machine at an unattended laundromat.    In that instance, there is little (or no) profit from each sale, and thus any losses due to double spend translate directly into losses to the merchant.   If the attacker has to try twenty-five times before finally succeeding at a double spend attempt with try #26, the attack is profitable to the attacker -- the attacker has both the loot and the bitcoins that were double spent.  Since the merchant won't know about the double spend until after the attacker has left (at the soonest), it can be presumed the chance of the attacker getting caught is nil.

Namecheap is a merchant that is on the other end of the spectrum.  Namecheap registers domain names, provides web hosting, etc.   If an attacker is successful at a double spend, as soon as Namecheap learns of the double spend  they have at their disposal their full control of the domain and any hosting services they provide.  So at most an attacker would get hours (or maybe a day) of domain registration or hosting and then lose access to the domain.  Thus there's absolutely no benefit from attempting to double spend against a merchant like Namecheap.

As long as there's no significant economic benefit from performing the attack, then the merchant will probably be able to absorb any resulting losses when a double spend occurs. 

But this is a developing situation.   

Currently the stock client doesn't relay double spends and miners and pools aren't for the most part using customized clients that could make double spending easier, such as the "replace by fee" patch:
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=179612.0

So if there is a decent amount of hashing capacity using this software, the risk of loss due to double spending against merchants increases.    Even if 100% of hashing capacity were to adopt this patch though, for instance, a sit-down restaurant would still have little risk as maybe only 5% of purchases would be by the dishonest, cheating types yet restaurant margins are 30%, let's say.

But what does a grocery store with razor-thin margins do?   Well, I see that the merchant processor BIPS also has an E-Wallet.  So if the grocery used BIPS as its payment processor it would know right away that the payment is using confirmed funds.  For others, the grocery could require identification, for instance.  Or restrict to wallets that are supported with green addresses.   Or Ripple payments. 

Gyft, right now, is the first Bitcoin-accepting merchant that I consider to be the canary in the coal mine.   An attacker (thief) can pay for a Gyft card via bitcoin (anonymously, using Tor) , get a QR code for the gift card, send the  QR code image as Instagram to a partner (shopper) who uses the QR code to pay for the purchase and leave the premises with the goods.

If Gyft isn't having trouble with 0/unconfirmed double spends, I doubt many other merchants will either.

But that's today.  Down the road it may change.   In the meantime, merchants accepting Bitcoin payment are gaining new revenue and not suffering payment network losses (due to double spending resulting from 0/unconfirmed transactions) so for now Bitcoin is relatively safe for these transactions for most merchants.   
512  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: BTC Vault - Secure Bitcoin Live-CD on: July 17, 2013, 07:17:47 AM
Recently shared was a similar project based on Puppy Linux:


Portable Encrypted USB Bitcoin Wallet (Puppy Linux, Electrum)
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=257672.0
 - http://www.musicresolutions.com/portfolio/portable-encrypted-usb-bitcoin-wallet-puppy-linux-electrum
513  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Portable Encrypted USB Bitcoin Wallet (Puppy Linux, Electrum) on: July 17, 2013, 07:12:16 AM
created a tutorial that shows how to install puppy linux on USB with electrum.

this is based off my trials and errors. i hope it gives something back to the community.

Very nice, thank you for sharing this.

If it is of any help, there is another similar project, BTC Vault (using SLAX), which puts together a distro then describes how to verify the source is authentic:

 - http://dswd.github.io/btcvault/security.html
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=163763.0
514  Bitcoin / Electrum / Re: Warning about imported private keys ! on: July 17, 2013, 03:28:35 AM
Is this by design, or would this be a security issue that should be fixed (by not logging or obfuscating the importprivkey command)?
515  Economy / Services / Re: Hair services for Southern California bitcoiners on: July 17, 2013, 12:36:28 AM
Here is a link to his salon. http://splitends.com/

There are two locations (SplitEnds Costa Mesa, and SplitEnds Downtown in Santa Ana)... is Bitcoin accepted at both?
516  Economy / Currency exchange / Re: Cash Deposit For Bitcoins $1125 on: July 16, 2013, 07:53:50 PM
I want to buy bitcoin with cash deposit. $1125 total. I don't want to pay a surplus, and I am will use escrow. I'll take a picture of the slip, you know the drill.

Location?
517  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Bringing Bitcoin to the world-competing with Western Union on: July 15, 2013, 09:18:12 PM
Would that be enough for the average Somalian to make the switch?

Perhaps since Western Union, nor any other bank-related entity associated with the western world will serve Somalia then the choice has already been made for the "average Somalian".

Those who provide hawala could add exchange of Bitcoin to their repertoire and make more profit from that method, since there is no need to split the commissions with any other party.
518  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Any hotel or Airbnb in Berlin that takes Bitcoin? on: July 15, 2013, 07:27:16 PM
There was once a wiki for such things, but now I'm having some trouble finding it.

9Flats is like an AirBNB that is popular in Europe, and takes Bitcoin:
 - http://9Flats.com

The wiki article:
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade#Hotels


Here's from a comment to a Reddit post:

Quote
With Gyft you can buy Marriott gift cards with Bitcoins which can be used at any hotel under the Marriott (), but I don't know if those are usable at any Marriott branded property:
 - http://www.marriott.com/marriott-brands.mi

For AirBNB-type of rentals there is 9Flats, which accepts bitcoin:
 - http://9Flats.com

Otherwise, you can use a travel operator that accepts Bitcoin:
 - http://www.turismonordico.com
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade#Travel_Companies

If you are from the U.S., then anyone can move value from Bitcoins to a Priceline.com gift e-card, or Booking.com, or Radisson, Accor brands, and many others using Lyoness. (transfer USDs to Dwolla through Camp BX then Dwolla to Lyoness):
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=156968.msg1664676#msg1664676

 - http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1ia4c2
519  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin uptick in Iran/Middle east? on: July 15, 2013, 07:24:25 PM
I see a post describing an exchange, Coinava, now in Iran:

 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=256445.0
520  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Iran can't print paper, guy tells them to use BitCoin on: July 15, 2013, 07:24:17 PM
I see a post describing an exchange, Coinava, now in Iran:

 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=256445.0
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