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561  Bitcoin / Press / 2012-11-15 - criticizes PayPal, credit card firms f on: November 15, 2012, 11:12:04 PM
I have a feeling we'll be seeing quite a few articles on this Smiley

Quote criticizes PayPal, credit card firms for restrictions, now accepts Bitcoin

Emil Protalinski

Automattic on Thursday announced you can now buy upgrades with Bitcoins, as part of the company’s mission of “making publishing democratic.” To justify the additional payment method, the company noted that PayPal alone blocks access from over 60 countries, and many credit card companies have similar restrictions, for political reasons, financial reasons, and/or due to higher fraud rates.
This announcement is a huge win for users, but it’s an even bigger deal for Bitcoin, which has had a troubled start but is slowly gaining credibility. Validation from a service as huge as is a big deal.
562  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Wikipedia: "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme..." on: November 15, 2012, 10:17:08 PM
Edit request
Please change "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme in that it rewards early adopters through early Bitcoin mining and increasing exchange rates.[3]" to "Bitcoin has been accused of being a Ponzi scheme for rewarding early adopters through early Bitcoin mining and increasing exchange rates.[4][5]" There seems to be a general agreement that how it is currently worded gives the impression that Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme, as opposed to being accused of being one. Hopefully we can reach a consensus for how to expand upon that and editors can find reliable sources that refute these claims, but right now the above needs to be changed because it seems to be stating the Ponzi scheme claim as a fact in Wikipedia's own voice, when it needs to be clearer that it is an opinion held by some. - SudoGhost 20:48, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

While it might be nice if there was a more balanced discussion around why Bitcoin is/isn't a ponzi - the wording issue above was the main problem for me.
I think SudoGhost was somehow hung up on the is/isn't a ponzi issue, somehow not even noticing that half the argument was just about the wording.
Glad to see he/she is not totally stonewalling.
563  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2012-11-12 American Banker: The Plot Thickens in the Bizarre Bitcoin Blackmail C on: November 15, 2012, 09:37:44 PM
What I still didn't get:
How did they find MBknight?
Something with a USB stick, cat pictures and all. So they recovered deleted (but not overwritten) pics of cats on the USB stick used for the extortion. So? Where is the link from random cat pics to him? Nevermind it weren't his cats, but from a neighbor.
Were those cat pics online, and they found the same pic again?

/CSI mode on:
Did they extract the DNA from the pics, run it through the dog-poop-DNA database, found out which dog had a fight with the cat, then followed the dog via satellite right to MBknights home?
/CSI mode off


There may have been something in the photo metadata (e.g camera/phone serial number) which gave them clues.
Apparently the iPhone even embeds GPS location data in photos unless you disable it.
564  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: BITCOINS Portfolio Value Crosses 70 Million Eaves on Empire Avenue on: November 14, 2012, 08:00:00 AM
It's taken me a while to come close to figuring out what this post is about. EmpireAvenue seems like a social network promotional tool more than a game - and the virtual currency aspect is interesting.
It reminds me of Klout and Kred - but a little more complex perhaps.

For the cynics - all these things basically give you some form of 'douchebag score' to see how annoying you've been on various social networks Smiley

I jest - and actually I try these things out to see if they can actually be useful, and I suspect some sort of social network activity metric is a vaguely good idea for marketers or technology evangelists if it's not used in a too rabidly enthusiastic manner.

As for what the above approx '70Million'  of those quaintly walled-in EmpireAvenue virtual currency units 'Eaves'; really means, and who these BIG WIGS are... I still dunno.
Hopefully it means slightly  more than just a bunch of social network marketers spamming each other with stuff they don't even read.

I initially thought Twitter was pretty useless - so I now tend more towards reserving judgement on these things. For now I've managed to hold back the reflex to throw up a bit in my mouth over the self-promotional aspects and file it under 'kinda interesting' and 'quite neatly implemented'.

565  Bitcoin / Press / 2012-11-12 - Reddit Considering Bitcoin for Subscription Model on: November 12, 2012, 10:50:36 PM
Reddit Considering Bitcoin for Subscription Model Says CEO Wong

Kyt Dotson

Reddit CEO Yishan Wong himself appeared in a thread on Reddit speaking to the likelihood that the site might start accepting the cryptocurrency:

    "Yeah, I’ve been a longtime subscriber to /r/bitcoin and had done a lot of investigation into BTC quite a bit about a year ago before I took the reddit job (on my own, as a subject of interest).
    So – no promises, but we’re looking into it."

Right now, Bitcoin has been around long enough that as a technology it’s becoming quite mature. As a business model, however, it’s still foundering even with individuals bringing its use to various national outfits and forwarding it into different markets. Inside the community, Bitcoin works fairly well (aside from its prominent failures); but outside the community its barely known and largely regarded as a fringe fad.
Having Reddit take up that mantle will give not just further legitimacy to the using the cryptocurrency, but it will provide added stability to the largely speculative market that the currency exists in. The best way to stabilize the market will be to have numerous vendors begin accepting bitcoins for exchange, but one at a time will not hurt.
566  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Wikipedia: "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme..." on: November 12, 2012, 12:08:22 PM
I doubt you'll be able to get it completely removed, but it's not objectively phrased. As it is, it pretty much states that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, and some people criticize it for that. It should be changed to something like "Some accuse Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme, on the grounds that...". Then a reference to the ECB report could be added to debunk it.

That is indeed the crux of the matter. I agree that as it stands, the wikipedia page is itself making a statement of 'being' regarding Bitcoin.

I'm also fine with them noting the fact that some have claimed it is a ponzi, but right now it's a bit like saying:
"Some criticize Obama for being a Muslim.." 

The talk page for the Bitcoin article hasn't really addressed this properly. Perhaps the Obama example will make the bias more obvious to those missing it.

567  Bitcoin / Press / 2012-11-12 - Agents' search in Romney tax returns case spurs deni on: November 12, 2012, 11:41:41 AM
Agents' search in Romney tax returns case spurs denial by Franklin techie
Report that Romney tax returns hacked led to investigation

Josh Adams

The search warrant also lists several IP addresses that could be used to identify which machines posted the apparent extortion letter onto the website, Similarly, authorities are looking for connections to a digital currency site, Bitcoin, through which the money was to be paid.

Several years ago Brown paid $5,000 to acquire about 371,000 bitcoins and, according to a 2011 article in Wired magazine, was the “richest man in in the bitcoin realm.”

Brown acknowledged the circumstantial connection but said that, after the value of bitcoins tanked, he created another form of digital currency to compete with bitcoin. Why would he demand payment in a digital currency that competes with his own? Brown countered.

see also:
"Cats lead Feds to KnightMB (worth 371kBTC) in Romney Tax Hack. Now he's asking for donations."
568  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Roger Ver's bio published on Daily Anarchist on: November 12, 2012, 05:19:29 AM
It is flabbergasting that this happened in California to a 20 year old.  No wonder he lives in Japan.

I too am flabbergasted that the country with the highest per capita incarceration rate on the planet would.... oh wait.. no I'm not.
569  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Impressive bitcoin one liners for non bitcoiners on: November 11, 2012, 02:15:35 AM

where E is Bitcoin, m is money, and c is the speed of light.

= $


Where E is eCurrency (BTC/Bitcoin), m is money ($), and c is the speed of light.

BTC = $c2

I like it so much, it's going into my sig.

~Bruno K~

Glad that you like, when I first tried with the forum BTC symbol it gave:  BTC =  $
which I also liked & am glad to see posted.

Cute.. but  'speed of light' aside... I like it as just 'dollars and cents squared'
Basically it's saying  Bitcoin is money with an extra dimension.

570  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2012-10-19 - So long, information age. Hello, hybrid age on: November 09, 2012, 10:50:58 PM
Thanks - fixed in OP.
571  Bitcoin / Press / 2012-11-09 - Banks cautiously open to partnering with tech innovators on: November 08, 2012, 09:48:40 PM
Banks cautiously open to partnering with tech innovators

Spandas Lui

The tech big boys' move into the payments arena may spur new players to jump on the bandwagon. There are already peer-to-peer payment providers, such as Bitcoin, that are popping up and are fast gaining momentum in the payments space.
572  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoins at the British Museum on: November 08, 2012, 05:55:07 AM
If it ain't broke, I see no need to fix it.


What if (imagine this big huge fucking "if") they can put an exhibit on display, and it just sits there like they planned, and nobody who stands to benefit from its increased exposure bothers to contact them to make sure they "learn" more about it, just like no one is contacting them about the other 6 million things they have on display for the same reason?

Yeah.. even if the 'problem' of the increased value is actually no problem to them -  over-enthusiastic contact from Bitcoiners could sure come across in the wrong way.
The unique aspects of Bitcoin that allow these donations may still be academically and historically interesting to them - but just like journalists don't like to be 'used' by PR companies and self-promoters - It wouldn't surprise me to see this exhibit getting tucked into long-term storage if they feel they're being used to promote/pump some quasi-investment.

573  Bitcoin / Press / 2012-09-17 - 2011-12 Annual Report (Investigations and Op on: November 08, 2012, 03:54:32 AM
Australian Crime Commission 011-12 Annual Report Chapter 3
Investigations and operations


(part of full report:

In focus > Understanding virtual currencies and Darknets

Cash and wire transfers are no longer
necessary for online purchases.
Virtual currencies can be used as a
substitute for the exchange of funds
between individuals, corporations
and across national borders.

For example, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer
virtual currency that uses complex
technology to allow willing parties
to transact directly with each other
online. peer-to-peer trading means
that no central authority issues new money or tracks transactions. these tasks are
managed collectively and underwritten by the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network.

Due to the perception of anonymity that virtual currencies can provide, there is
significant potential for virtual currencies to be used for criminal purposes including
money laundering, terrorism financing, trading in illicit commodities a payment for
online services including access to child pornography.

In June 2012, we hosted a multi-agency workshop in Canberra, looking at the
emerging threats posed by criminal use of anonymous online payments systems
including Bitcoin as well as ‘Darknets’—closed private networks of computers that
can operate as online marketplaces.

the workshop was attended by 37 participants from 12 state and federal law
enforcement and regulatory agencies. It allowed, for the first time, all agencies
dealing in these potential crime areas to pool intelligence. the workshop comes as
law enforcement is examining the links between Illicit online drug Darknets such
as Silk Road, the anonymous currency Bitcoin, and the importation of drugs and
firearms via the postal system.

the workshop also provided opportunities for partner agencies to identify
intelligence gaps, scope future strategies and form partnerships to combat the
criminal use of emerging technology.

Workshops such as this are a key ACC tool to support information and strategy
sharing in the ever evolving cybercrime environment.

In focus > An online criminal marketplace

Drug deals that previously happened face-to-face can now be conducted online,
with the seller and the buyer never actually meeting. this provides both parties with
a perception of anonymity and safety. It also provides organised criminal networks
with the largest potential client base ever available.

one such online black market enables users to buy and sell illicit commodities such
as heroin and cocaine. It also offers pre-paid debit cards, uncut gemstones, stolen
credit card numbers and a money laundering service.

most of these online sites ship their products worldwide for a small fee and employ

a range of anonymity protecting security measures.
574  Bitcoin / Press / 2012-11-08 heraldsun/australian - Crime and Misconduct Commission worker Dr ... on: November 08, 2012, 03:33:03 AM
Crime and Misconduct Commission worker Dr Michael Gerard Briody pleads guilty to contravening secrecy
AN OFFICER from Queensland's crime watchdog has been handed a suspended eight-month jail sentence for leaking a confidential report that was later posted on the internet by his son.

Brooke Baskin

Dr Briody was suspended from duty on September 7 after allegedly leaking parts of a confidential research report detailing police and other law enforcement agency strategies for fighting the use of "Bitcoin" virtual currencies by criminal syndicates.

So that's where the leaked April 2012 FBI report came from!?
Edit: actually - the FBI leak seems to predate this:
Prosecutor Todd Fuller SC told the court the report, which had been granted an "in-confidence" clearance level by the CMC, was disclosed by Briody to his son between June 6 and September 8, 2012.

It seems likely to be the 'Hidden in Plain Sight' report issued by the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commision as reported here:,police-struggle-with-online-drug-networks.aspx
(and noted in the press subgroup here: )

Does anyone have a copy of the actual report?
575  Bitcoin / Press / 2012-11-07 - Bitcoin: Tο επαναστατικό νόμισμα που σαρώνει στο Δι^ on: November 08, 2012, 02:56:27 AM
Short introductory article on a tech site in Greece, with the famous 'What is Bitcoin' video.

Bitcoin: Tο επαναστατικό νόμισμα που σαρώνει στο Διαδίκτυο [Video]
(Bitcoin: The revolutionary currency that scans the Internet [Video])

Theodora Konstantope

(snippets via machine translation)
Although many describe as the Bitcoin currency of the future, one of the major concerns arising due to the lack of control mentioned above is that it is a highly attractive means for illegal transactions ... On the other hand, thousands of online stores and agencies accept payments already Bitcoins.
576  Bitcoin / Press / 2012-11-07 - Europese Centrale Bank ziet gevaren in Bitcoin on: November 08, 2012, 02:53:09 AM
Europese Centrale Bank ziet gevaren in Bitcoin
(European Central Bank sees dangers in Bitcoin)

Henk-Jan Buist

(snippet via machine translation)
Bank afraid of reputation damage
The ECB looks at the advent of virtual currencies with suspicion and suggests that as these grow more supervision is needed.
577  Bitcoin / Press / Re: 2012-11-07 - Detectives follow the Silk Road on: November 07, 2012, 06:44:04 AM

Users can access the service using TOR software, designed to mask the user’s location and details, before payment is made via the encrypted digital currency Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin protocol does not use encryption. It is only encrypted in that understanding it uses words bigger than reporters are used to.

I guess the notion of a currency relying on cryptography, yet not actually being encrypted isn't exactly intuitive.

Would it make sense to describe it as a 'cryptographically signed currency'?   

Even that is a bit misleading I guess.

'A currency which makes use of cryptographic signing'?
'A cryptographically secured digital currency'?

Somehow I think this is going to be a common mistake.

578  Bitcoin / Press / 2012-11-07 - Detectives follow the Silk Road on: November 07, 2012, 06:02:44 AM
(Newcastle Herald)

Just a single mention of Bitcoin

Detectives follow the Silk Road

Lauren Vardy

A LUCRATIVE website that sells illegal drugs is proving a challenge for Esperance detectives to rein in its activities, but as they turn their attention to the online marketplace, detectives are finding local deliveries have “practically stopped.”

The Silk Road website, which is achieving an estimated $22 million a year in sales, functions similarly to a black market version of eBay, where drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine sell for far less than their street value in Australia.

Users can access the service using TOR software, designed to mask the user’s location and details, before payment is made via the encrypted digital currency Bitcoin.
579  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoins at the British Museum on: November 06, 2012, 10:40:09 PM
It would be nice to get it to 10 btc at least for starters & micro donations are cool so as to show them that's possible which none of their other exhibits can do.

The museum might not see it this way.

The museum probably has to comply with accounting laws and report their donations to somebody.

When they put the coin on display, in all likelihood nobody consciously thought "Now that we're displaying a physical bitcoin, we now have a new way to accept donations".  Unless they are going to regularly receive £10,000+ worth of donations through it (unlikely), their cost to properly account for and report on any donations they receive vastly exceeds the value of the donations themselves.

If at any point they discover a semi-significant amount of donations being received through the coin and they feel it threatens the integrity of their accounting, the most logical thing for them to do would be to take the coin down.  The museum isn't going to put up a display showing how the coin is "growing" in value, mostly because it's totally out of the scope of their exhibit, which is "the history of money", not "let's advertise bitcoin".

Needless to say, sending funds to the coin has no possible positive outcome and only one possible negative outcome: it encourages them to take it off display.  So please don't do it.

I don't see why it should be any different to holding a piece of artwork which may appreciate in value.
The additional bitcoin value is not available to the museum directly as the value is entirely within a catalogued item.
It surely doesn't need to be accounted for until the item is disposed of - or perhaps during regular assessment of inventory value for insurance purposes.

580  Bitcoin / Press / 2012-11-03 - European Central Bank Casts Wary Eye Toward Bitcoin on: November 06, 2012, 09:54:44 PM
Slashdottings regarding Bitcoin aren't so rare any more, and the responses in general seem to be getting slightly less anti-Bitcoin as time goes on.
(or perhaps there are just more Bitcoin enthusiasts around now to balance the tone)
Reported here for completeness.

European Central Bank Casts Wary Eye Toward Bitcoin


An anonymous reader writes
"Erik Voorhees blogs for 'On Oct 29, 2012, the European Central Bank (ECB) released an official (and very nicely prepared) report called "Virtual Currency Schemes (PDF)." The 55-page report looks at several facets of what virtual currencies are, how they're being used, and what they can do. As it happens, the term "Bitcoin" appears 183 times. In fact, roughly a quarter of the whole report is specifically dedicated to Bitcoin and it's probably a safe assumption that Bitcoin's growth over the past year was the catalyst for producing this study in the first place. The report from the ECB concludes, in part: Virtual currencies fall within central banks' responsibility due to their characteristics, and Virtual currencies could have a "negative impact on the reputation of central banks."' Could this be the first step toward regulation of the digital currency?"
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