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501  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

502  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
503  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.
504  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.   
505  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
506  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
507  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)?
508  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?
509  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?
510  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.
511  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
512  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
513  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
514  Economy / Economics / Re: Iranians looking to bitcoins on: July 15, 2013, 07:20:06 PM
I am surprised that Iranians haven't looked to putting their savings into bitcoins considering the problems their currency has had this past year or two. Is there anyone who knows more about the situation there?

 - http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-29/dollar-less-iranians-discover-virtual-currency
 - http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/2012/10/09/as-inflation-rages-in-iran-bitcoin-software-not-available/

MultiBit now has a Farsi translation.

LocalBitcoins:
 - https://localbitcoins.com/country/IR‎

Bitcoins traded in neighboring countries:
 - http://www.btcturk.com

There was a secondhand report about Bitcoins used to move funds from a mother in Iran to a son in Canada:
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=118940.msg1291415#msg1291415

And now there is a new exchange, apparently.  Coinava:
 - http://www.coinava.com
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=256445.0
515  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Is there an iTunes-style store that accepts Bitcoin? on: July 14, 2013, 08:53:10 PM
There are a few more digital goods sites / online stores.  I've seen others, but I don't remember the site name.

 - https://yumcoin.com

And others:

 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade#Digital_Downloads

516  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Bringing Bitcoin to the world-competing with Western Union on: July 14, 2013, 08:38:00 PM
I'm interested in starting a conversation about bitcoins in emerging markets. Don't have deep pockets but there has to be a better way for people to send money internationally without high costs. This is definitely worth exploring and speaking with people already making Bitcoin available in places like Argentina.

I just read this:

Quote
A startup called artaBit, is attempting to take on Western Union in the money-transfer business, using Bitcoin as the transport currency between countries, with a focus on sub-$1,000 transfers to Southeast Asia. The artaBit system would accept user deposits in one currency, transfer it to Bitcoin for the overseas trip, then convert those Bitcoins into whatever other currency is needed on the other end of the transaction. Co-founder Ayoub Naciri believes the company can offer the service at rates as low as 3%, easily beating Western Union’s flat-rate service charges, which can range as high as 30%, he says, on small transactions.

“We’re removing exposure to Bitcoin to the customer,” Naciri said. “Neither the sender nor the receiver needs to know about Bitcoin or even be aware of its existence to use the service. We don’t want to have the barrier of having to explain to people what Bitcoin is.”

 - http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/future-bitcoin-202631430.html
 - http://www.artabit.com <-- Indonesian language only
517  Other / Off-topic / Re: Sorry, y'all: Game Over. I'm about to buy all the bitcoin. on: July 14, 2013, 04:44:56 AM
This dude is like the Energizer Bunny of scammers.

Update, latest incarnation:
 - bitcoinarr.com

The e-mail address for that PayPal account: pay@bitcoinarr.com


Still going!

Update, latest incarnation:
 - emocoe.com

The e-mail address for that PayPal account: bbbfunding@live.com


Previous scams (in chronological order) likely by the same scammer:

 - EasZPay.com
 - MtGax.com
 - MtGix.com
 - i4Dollars.com
 - BTKoin.com
 - BitcoinTalks.com
 - VirWex.com
 - bitcoin.appee.com
 - silkroadtor.com
 - mtgox.us
 - bitswing.com
 - bitcoinarr.com

Please report this scammer for phishing:

 - http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/report_phish/?url=http://emocoe.com
518  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: U.S. bank closing all of my deposit accounts because of bitcoins on: July 13, 2013, 09:10:54 PM
I couldn't care less that my credit union doesn't have any branches outside of my state.  They refund all ATM fees anyway.

Many credit unions participate in a network so you could use most any other credit union's ATM as well.  I had a credit union that used the Co-Op network so was near a fee-free ATM nearly all the time.  I don't now if IAFCU gives refunds for ATM fees, but I see their network, CU24, is huge -- about a dozen ATMs within a two mile radius of where I am right now.


They say it against their rules.


I doubt they block everyone transferring to Mt. Gox, BITSTAMP, etc., so they probably considered the Pareto principle where possibly 80% of the dollars being sent are from just 20% of the customers and to shut those down.  Perhaps their highly paid compliance people do this so that they can argue why their salaries and bonuses are justified (make some arbitrary rule that is easy to enforce, enforce it, and then pat yourself on the back for a job well done even though there was no valid reason for it ... buying bitcoins isn't a crime.)
519  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: AurumXchange suspends all VouchX codes? Anyone can confirm? on: July 13, 2013, 12:05:18 AM
From a post on the BitInstant support thread:

The site still shows VouchX as one of the destinations for "Transfer".  I thought VouchX was done for.  Is this simply a site error, or has VouchX been revived from the dead?
520  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Official Newbie BitInstant Support Thread (Active Customer Support) on: July 13, 2013, 12:04:36 AM
The site still shows VouchX as one of the destinations for "Transfer".  I thought VouchX was done for.  Is this simply a site error, or has VouchX been revived from the dead?
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