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2201  Economy / Speculation / Re: Why price can go down really low. on: August 04, 2011, 10:57:41 AM
Plausible.. but it's a bloody big planet, and really only a small number of people have really been exposed to it.
Despite all the newspaper articles -  most of my friends (even technical ones) hadn't heard of it even up to this week.

Consider that during the 'dot com' boom era - it wasn't really that easy for people all around the world to get involved and get invested into. (e.g difficulty of foreigners putting a small amount on a US exchange like NASDAQ)
With bitcoin exchanges and services springing up all around the planet - it's much more of a global phenomenon.

It could go low.. but it could also rise inexorably.  It's the most novel, unpredictable beast of a thing that's hit the world since.. well.. the internet itself I guess!

2202  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: $10,000 Bet that Bitcoins will outperform Gold, Silver by 100X !!! on: August 04, 2011, 10:47:51 AM
 The only cavaat is that I am not sure I can agree to the charity aspect of the payout.
What? I understood it to mean that if you *lose* you get to decide which charity the money goes to.
If you win. You can keep the 10K yourself.

Memorydealers is putting the money to charity if they win. You don't have to.



2203  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Is there a leagal investigation into mybitcoin? on: August 04, 2011, 10:43:48 AM
For what it's worth - I still think it's unlikely this was actually a scam.
More likely the operator died - or is off hiking in the wilderness.. or that there was some serious unresolvable technical problem.

Here is a snippet from one of the mybitcoin.com pages:

Quote
Price the goods and services on your website in any national currency, and have our SCI convert the prices into Bitcoins as each purchase is made.

Payment forwarding

You can have every single incoming payment forward to another Bitcoin address. Great for those who want to keep their coins on their desktop PC, or all in one place, but still want to use our shopping cart interface and merchant tools.

They had this system in place. If the entire aim was to encourage *storage* of as much BTC as possible on their systems so they could run - it seems unlikely they'd set up this immediate-forward aspect and promote it.

The operator was a serious security and privacy proponent for sure..  but it's far from obvious that the intention was bad.
Despite a few customer support issues - the mybitcoin brand alone was valuable as a legitimate operation.
It wouldn't make sense to cut and run at this point with a lot of bitcoin which can't easily be dumped on the market without tanking prices.
If profit was the motive - it was there to be had in bucketloads by running things legitimately and hanging in there as a well-known part of the bitcoin ecosystem.




2204  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Is there a leagal investigation into mybitcoin? on: August 04, 2011, 10:31:31 AM
Well people are trying to gather information.
e.g see this thread 'How to find "Tom Williams"'  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=34225.0

I've emailed a cacert.org mailing list - as well as their support to see if the https certificate used by www.mybitcoin.com leads to any further info.

(mailing list referred me to support.  I'm awaiting a response.)

2205  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Fundraising for SETI with bitcoins on: August 04, 2011, 08:40:35 AM
SETI is a COMPLETE waste of money and I wouldn't donate 2 bitcents to your cause.

Go get some Military Grade Night Vision Infrared goggles and go out on a dark night and you'll find all the intelligent life you want to.

Send me bitcoins instead.


It's investment in pure science and ideas that have no immediate commercial return that often eventually produces the discoveries that give you the toys you so like.

How ironic that infrared radiation was discovered by an amateur astronomer and you choose this example when decrying SETI as a waste?!  

You are a prize goose indeed bitrebel.


2206  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 08:32:01 AM
I've posted to the list cacert@lists.cacert.org

I've pretty much given up my own semi-anonymity now by doing this.. oh well. mtgox leaked my email anyway Tongue


Quote
Hello CaCert community,

Firstly - I'm not particularly well versed in certificate issues - just a
lay-geeks basic knowledge.

How would I go about finding information about a CACert certificate that was
issued to 'www.mybitcoin.com'?

The site is no longer reachable - so I can't directly see the certificate any
more, but I understand from an earlier forum posting that they were using
CACert.

There is currently much speculation about what happened to this site and who
the underlying entity is/was.  (A bit late for people who put trust in the site
to be asking this perhaps - but the fact that a CACert was issued is enough for
some to put some trust in a site, so I'm guessing the community here may have
some interest in helping out.. whether they think the people involved were
foolish or not)

A lot of money is involved so there are many claims of fraud, and questions
about whether the operator has died etc.

I would appreciate any leads...
If you're curious - take a look at the bitcoin forums at bitcointalk.org where
there are many threads related to mybitcoin and the disappearing 'Tom Williams'
2207  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 08:27:30 AM
CACert is incorporated in my state - New South Wales, Australia.  I wouldn't count on many of its members being within New south Wales jurisdiction.

My understanding is that the 'jurisdiction' here they are talking about is whatever jurisdiction the identified entity has been certified for - not where CACert is based.
I suspect this will just lead us in a circle back to Nevis though Sad


I am also in NSW by the way Smiley

2208  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 08:11:49 AM
But you don't know which server the underlying HTTPD service (let alone the wallet/database) was on.  It's highly likely to have been a tor hidden service, or an i2p 'eepsite' running who-knows-where. That the leaseweb server has some TOR stuff on it doesn't tell us it was the HTTPD (does it??)
That's true... it could be only a proxy. Though I suspect the site would be very slow if it piped everything though I2P/TOR.

I've never used mybitcoin so I don't know what their speed was.


When I tried some i2p services the speed was tolerable - but I also never used mybitcoin, so I don't know if it's plausible that it was at least partly run over a tunnel.

I guess the problem with the conjecture that some site at the remote end just fell over, is that theoretically that wouldn't stop the frontend listening on port 443 - and it appears that it's not.   It could be that the frontend automatically closed that off when the backend disappeared though.

I'd still like to know if there is any way to research the information associated with the CACert certificate for 'www.mybitcoin.com'
They have an organisation assurance policy which states things like:
# The organisation named within is identified.
# The organisation has been verified according to this policy.
# The organisation is within the jurisdiction and can be taken to Arbitration.

If it turns out that they haven't done this properly - and have allowed a truly anonymous use of an organisational certificate - then CACert may have a stain on it's reputation.   Does anyone know how to proceed with this?  I may just email them and ask about it..






2209  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 07:55:00 AM
"Something went catastrophically" could just be failure to pay for hosting, and having your server shut down.
No, that's not it. The server is still running and routing TOR. Have you read the rest of the topic?


But you don't know which server the underlying HTTPD service (let alone the wallet/database) was on.  It's highly likely to have been a tor hidden service, or an i2p 'eepsite' running who-knows-where. That the leaseweb server has some TOR stuff on it doesn't tell us it was the HTTPD (does it??)

(edit: the leaseweb server may have simply been the HTTPD for static content - the dynamic stuff coming from the other end of the tunnel.
The 'failure' - be it payment or whatever, could be on an entirely different system. maybe even a home desktop.
)
2210  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 07:29:38 AM
PrivacyShark is a company older than bitcoin, who had once created a profile in this forum to answer some criticisms.

I still suspect that this whole problem isn't a scam, but rather that Tom Williams suffered some serious accident or even passed away, and there's currently nobody capable of maintaining the site.
If at least this could be verified, those with money in MyBitcoin could make a bounty to pay for one more month of hostage in leaseweb - if they haven't deleted all the account's data - just in the hope of bringing the MyBitcoin system alive once more and allow everybody to withdraw. But if the claim once done by Tom Williams that most of the coins are on cold storage is true, and if he hadn't told the password to these coins to anybody of his trust, then it's game over.

This fits my impression of the whole thing.
Given that back when mybitcoin was set up - It was far from obvious that speculation would drive such high values, it seems unlikely that this sophisticated privacy arrangement was put in place with the intent to defraud from the outset.  It's far more likely someone who is 'into' cryptography and privacy in the geek/political sense.

I suspect now that the leaseweb server was probably little more than a front-end.. and the real server was somewhere inside the i2p network.

I'm sorry to bring Len Sassaman's name into this again without evidence - but the fact is that he was
a) into cryptography and was a privacy advocate (knew of/used i2p tor etc)
b) at least knew of and has commented on bitcoins (hence having his ascii image imortalized as a tribute in the blockchain - very cool)
c) died at approximately the right time. (3rd july) -  perhaps mybitcoin was running on autopilot til something went catastrophically wrong on about the 29th.

Now it's a big planet with big interwebs - so one shouldn't read much into coincidences (unless you want a career as a conspiracy nut)..  but It'd be great for someone who knew Len to make some gentle enquiries amongst his friends to either rule this out, or see what they can find.








2211  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 06:10:32 AM
It seems that www.mybitcoin.com was using a CACert

http://bitcointalk.org/?topic=1043

cacert.org may have more information on record about who the certificate was issued to.

2212  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 05:45:42 AM

I still consider it a reasonably likely scenario that the site was run by a privacy-advocate/cryptographer  - who has simply died.




According to the "from the desk of Tom Williams" statement in June, two technicians have access to the server.

Quote
All disk keys are held off-site and were never generated anywhere near the internet. All server passwords are unique per server and per user, of course. Only two technicians have access to the secure servers. This access is over a VPN and we only use secured workstations running Linux and BSD to access them.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=22221.msg279396#msg279396

You'd think that by now one of them would have realised that there's something wrong and that if something dramatic has happened to "Tom" they'd be trying to find a way to communicate with the users of the service.

If the other 'technician' was the dead person's spouse ..   then maybe the whole thing just isn't of interest right now. The other technician might need physical access to fix it - and may not even be in the same country.







2213  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 05:41:07 AM
was the entire site really behind tor? if that is the case, i wish you guys the best of luck to find him,
It had a tor hidden service, but was also reachable through normal https... otherwise we wouldn't even know the IP address and hoster.



"normal https" is interesting..

Does anyone have any information about the issuer of the certificate that was used?  Presumably if it was self-signed it would have been giving browser warnings.. so did the site actually have a commercial https certificate issued for 'www.mybitcoin.com'?  



2214  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 05:22:45 AM

I still consider it a reasonably likely scenario that the site was run by a privacy-advocate/cryptographer  - who has simply died.


2215  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 04:21:48 AM
The email addresses associated with the OpenPGP certificate from 2010-04-27 are:

mybitcoin@mail.i2p
mybitcoin@i2pmail.org


Perhaps it's worth trying those..  (the first presumably has to be done from within the i2p network)

2216  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 04:13:29 AM
People... can you leave at least one thread free of the images and irrelevant discussion for those who actually care about the mybitcoin incident?

Please make it this one.

Thanks.

2217  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 04:07:26 AM
I'd still like for someone who knew Len Sassaman to rule out the possibility that he was running it.

He killed himself on July 3rd I believe - so perhaps it was running via the tor/i2p networks from his personal system or something and someone switched it off in late July.


Yeah.. it's a stretch.   But Len Sassaman was a 'privacy champion' and was in to things like i2p..    just like 'Tom Williams'


2218  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to find "Tom Williams" ... on: August 04, 2011, 03:56:17 AM
Well the hoster (Leaseweb, in The Netherlands) would know his identity probably or at least who paid for it. Someone should sue him so that this information can be subpoenaed. If that doesn't work you can always take out the torches and pitchforks but please try to solve this civilly first...


The earliest reference I can find on the forum is this:

hello

i found these urls while surfing on i2p:

mybitcoin.i2p (resolves to nwpqc65o333ifqq7wqovo2ito5y3ca6rfygz3p6pusau26t6tpca.b32.i2p)
xqzfakpeuvrobvpj.onion (on tor. they advertise this url in the login area)
mybitcoin.com (loads the same site from the public internet. they use cacert for ssl.)

(some sort of web-based wallet for bitcoin)

privacyshark.com

(sells domain names for bitcoins)



It looks like 'komoto' signed up specifically to make this post.

On the i2p forums.. there is an announcement on may 1st 2010 - and this more interesting post in September:

http://forum.i2p2.de/viewtopic.php?t=4929&highlight=MyBitcoin

This guy has been seriously into privacy right from the beginning.  

I've tried hunting around a little within the i2p network - but well.. I doubt there's anything to find.









2219  Other / Off-topic / Re: I stand behind Matthew. on: August 04, 2011, 02:33:58 AM
He has my reverence.

Godspeed.

(Religious language in an odd context like that always make me think of nigerian scammers... Tongue)

I'm glad Matthew made some effort to provide a little more info about the operation on the 'about us' page when I prompted him to yesterday,
but I think he could have gone further.  

For the type of operation he's proposing, he probably should have waited until it was actually registered with it's non profit status in either the US or South Korea as he mentions they are doing.

I think his UABB idea has potential , even if it only involves a subset of the merchant community.  The UABB does need significant transparency and trust do do this though.

2220  Bitcoin / Press / Re: Bitcoin press hits, notable sources on: August 04, 2011, 02:17:09 AM

Remarkably upbeat given that they lost all their experimental coins in mybitcoin... although the article did end on that note.
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