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April 16, 2014, 08:34:16 PM *
News: ♦♦ A bug in OpenSSL, used by Bitcoin-Qt/Bitcoin Core, could allow your bitcoins to be stolen. Immediately updating Bitcoin Core to 0.9.1 is required in some cases, especially if you're using 0.9.0. Download. More info.
The same bug also affected the forum. Changing your forum password is recommended.
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241  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: So, MtGox is opening a Bitcoin Café on: February 15, 2014, 06:21:29 PM
I live in Tokyo and decided to visit the offices to get help with my stuck funds (Japanese yen). The secretary said they wouldn't see me but she gave me a paper I could fill out that she would send up to them. I did so, and my problem was attended to within minutes.

Are you saying that by visiting MtGox in person you have had your Yen returned?
It sounds like that's what happened.

I suspect Mt. Gox is worried about police involvement. If they had angry customers outside their offices, especially if they had more than one, and the police became involved, questions would be asked of Mt. Gox. Like "Please show us your payment services agency license", and such.
242  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: bitstamp btc withdrawal problem on: February 15, 2014, 01:55:57 AM
The spreads in the market (excluding Mt. Gox) are still far too big. Full liquidity has not resumed.

LocalBitcoins: $820
Coinbase: $666
Bitstamp:  $657
BTC-E:  $637

Those are way too far apart. When the exchanges are working right, those all track each other within a few dollars. What's not working?

(Mt. Gox, at $389, is off in "nobody believes you any more" land.)
243  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Can you contact Tradehill? on: February 14, 2014, 10:16:24 PM
What kind of legal action can I take and how, I don't live in CA, but I can drive there to file legal action if I know where to start.  Thanks.
Under $10,000, California small claims court should work. Over that, you need a lawyer.
244  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Regulatory summit in Japan on: February 14, 2014, 09:50:57 PM
There is a regulatory summit in Japan coming up on March 6th, 2014. This is a chance to meet with Japanese regulators. Someone from the Bitcoin Foundation should try to get an invitation.

Preferably someone not currently under indictment or with a previous felony conviction.
245  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: MUST WATCH: Account Holder Flies To Japan And Confronts MtGox CEO on: February 14, 2014, 09:15:31 PM
Well, that was worthwhile, but ineffective.

This mess is going to continue until somebody complains loudly enough to the Japan Financial Services Agency that they take action.

Unlike the US, Japan has one big financial regulator, the FSA. The FSA regulates banks, money transfer services, insurance companies, stockbrokers, and exchanges. So there's no "falling through the cracks" between regulatory agencies in Japan.

Mt. Gox claimed this in Akihabara News, back in July 2013: " They have been in discussion with the Japanese authorities – the Financial Services Agency (FSA) – for 1 and 1/2 years about the business and how it should be regulated. And as an example of how difficult it is to accurately peg what Bitcoins are, the Japanese authorities, to date, say that Mt.Gox does not need a financial license. “There are 3 kinds of licenses for financial activities in Japan and what we do is actually not covered by any of them, so at the moment, the FSA says we are outside of their jurisdiction. There has been discussion about trying to fit us under one of the licenses or to make a new license for our business, but it is not clear where it is going to go at this point.” That's Karpeles talking, though, not the JSA.

So  a reasonable question to ask of the JSA is "What office is handling the Mt. Gox matter"? It's worth asking that of the US SEC, which has a cooperation agreement with the JSA. Remember that regulation in Japan is bureaucratic rather than litigation-oriented. The JSA has a lot of authority they can exercise. It's hard to get them to move, but the money amounts are now big enough to get their attention. Somebody needs to get a dialogue going between the JSA and the Bitcoin community. It has to be someone credible who speaks Japanese.
246  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: Tx malleability fix so far seems incomplete (considering exchange's pov) on: February 14, 2014, 07:40:58 AM
IMO, one safe solution is as follows:

Upon a customer's claim of a failed withdrawal or upon timeout, create a new transaction to an internal exchange-owned address using the same prevtx outputs that the (allegedly failed) withdrawal tx used.  Once this transaction is sufficiently confirmed, the exchange can trust that the customer's withdrawal did indeed fail and can now safely credit the customer's account without fear that the transaction (mutated or otherwise) could ever be subsequently accepted on the blockchain.

Using this approach, the internal transaction would not confirm if any of the prevtxouts had been redeemed and therefore would be flagged for a human to intervene before re-crediting the attacker's account.
That seems to make sense. Or am I missing something?
247  Economy / Speculation / Re: Down, down, down, down, down on: February 14, 2014, 07:36:23 AM
We had a bubble driven by the use of Bitcoin to get around China's exchange controls. That's over.

The problems at Mt. Gox inflated the price when nobody could get dollars out, and deflated the price when nobody could get Bitcoins out. While nobody who reads these forums has taken Gox prices seriously for months, there were a lot of suckers people that did.

Remember, the price was around $100/BTC for most of 2013.
248  Economy / Service Discussion / Is Bitstamp Goxing? on: February 13, 2014, 07:04:36 PM
Bitstamp issued a statement two days ago on their suspending Bitcoin withdrawals:

"Bitcoin withdrawal and deposit processing will be suspended temporarily until a software fix is issued. ... We will communicate any further developments regarding this issue."

No date was given for a fix. No alternative way to withdraw was given. Two days later, there's no new announcement. Not good. That's Mt. Gox type behavior. When Bloomberg writes a story about a failure like that, the company has to fix the problem very fast, or be lumped in with other failed and failing exchanges.
249  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: New Digital CB "band" for cryptosystems, i.e. offline bitcoin transactions on: February 13, 2014, 06:51:21 PM
This is what's called a "wireless mesh network".  It's been done before. Dewayne Hendricks used to have a company called "Tetherless Access" which, about 20 years ago, was going to build distributed radio networks something like this. He turned out to be all talk and no hardware. Then in the mid-1990s there was Ricochet Networks, which put little repeater nodes on street lights.  These standalone units forwarded packets until they reached a station with a wired connection to the Internet. Worked in the 900 MHz band. That worked fine, and was deployed in several cities.  I used to use their system.  You could get internet access at about 15Kb/s, later upgraded to about 50Kb/s.  So that went out when DSL came in.

More recently, there's Freifunk, a low-cost wireless network for rural areas being used in Zaire.

The basic problems are this:

- To get much range, at least one end of each link must have a decent antenna, up high in clear space and aimed in the right direction. It's better if both ends do. Building networks this way in rural areas works fine, if you can get line of sight to the next station.
- Short-range ad-hoc wireless mesh networks have been successful, but they need a lot of nodes in a small area. There are WiFi booster systems which network in this way.  That works fine, too.
- What doesn't work are sparsely distributed indoor antenna devices.

Now, doing this in a lower band might work, but would take more RF power than Part 15 gear.

The biggest headache is simply antenna location. If you can get people to put a whip antenna on their roof, this can work.

250  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: Hoping someone can make a 100% pre-mined coin for my class on: February 13, 2014, 07:29:30 AM
Just set it up so only one coin is generated, ever, and subdivide from there.
251  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Is MtGox dying? on: February 13, 2014, 07:26:08 AM
Useful information to keep in mind:

- Good-quality pictures of Mark Karpeles exist, should he be wanted by police.
- He has been recently sighted leaving the Mt. Gox offices, so he's still in Japan.
- Japan is an island chain.  It's hard to leave Japan without passing through a checkpoint.
252  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Why people don't switch to Kraken? on: February 13, 2014, 02:14:19 AM
And they need to get a real address in the US, not the same drop box place Tradehill used.
253  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / What's the proper way to determine if a transaction is a duplicate? on: February 13, 2014, 02:13:00 AM
Exactly what is the proper, unforgeable way to determine if two transactions are really the same transaction? A match on inputs and outputs, first reduced to a canonical sorted form?
254  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: New Digital CB "band" for cryptosystems, i.e. offline bitcoin transactions on: February 12, 2014, 10:14:17 PM
27MHz is still used for some industrial radio control. There's been some interest from the quadrotor crowd, who want more range, but they seem to be using 35MHz instead. The only big problem with 27MHz seems to be spillover from CB.

The receiver should probably just suck up the whole band and receive all the channels simultaneously, looking for packets of interest. Then no configuration is necessary. That will require a software-defined radio, but there are cheap chips for that now. There are boards available, but they usually won't go as low as 27MHz, because they're intended for cable TV.

The problem with all this is that it will take a reasonably good antenna to have any range, and nobody will put up big antennas any more.

255  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Look at the last merges, devs are already fixing the malleability problem on: February 12, 2014, 07:15:27 PM
[Change from an unconfirmed transaction is available for immediate spend]
Not any more.  That just changed in the QT client.

It looks like it's going to be necessary to wait for confirmations on your own change from now on.
256  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: What you need to know about Transaction mutability ... on: February 12, 2014, 07:07:33 PM
The original post is well written. There's another problem with the fix, though. If you can't spend unconfirmed change arising from confirmed inputs, once you've spent some money, you sometimes can't spend again until a few confirmations have been processed. There's now an option in the official QT client to enforce that rule.  

This creates operational problems for Bitcoin use....
That assumes the user only has a single unspent output available to spend. If a user had multiple unspent outputs they could make multiple txs each involving one or more of them while the new unconfirmed change confirms.  My current wallet has 118 unspent outputs so I wouldn't be affected as much by the more conservative version than someone who literally has received Bitcoins once ever.
Having many unspent outputs in a wallet helps speed up spends, but transactions get bigger, as they contain more inputs. This may accelerate dust generation, if there's a bias in favor of never consolidating inputs. Wallets may have to become smarter about when to divide and when to consolidate inputs. The optimal strategy depends on the wallet owner's spending pattern.

This is most likely to be a problem for a commercial wallet with high traffic, such as an exchange's hot wallet.  This could impose a limit on outgoing transaction volume. (I almost hate to suggest this, because some inept exchange may use it as an excuse for withdrawal delays.)
257  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: What you need to know about Transaction mutability ... on: February 12, 2014, 08:53:02 AM
The original post is well written. There's another problem with the fix, though. If you can't spend unconfirmed change arising from confirmed inputs, once you've spent some money, you sometimes can't spend again until a few confirmations have been processed. There's now an option in the official QT client to enforce that rule. 

This creates operational problems for Bitcoin use. Once you've spent some Bitcoins, you may not be able to spend any more Bitcoins for tens of minutes. Whether or not you can spend depends on the denominations of Bitcoins currently in your wallet. You don't have an "account balance", you have a collection of Bitcoin items with varying denominations, and this now matters.  Explaining this to end users is going to be a problem, especially since the current user interface doesn't expose that level of detail to the user. With the "no spending unconfirmed change" rule enforced, it's going to look like this, I think:

User has 1 BTC, 0 unconfirmed, 1.0 available for spending. The 1 BTC is from a single transaction.
User spends 0.5 BTC.
User now has 0.5 BTC, 0.5 unconfirmed, 0 available for spending.
Half an hour later....
User now has 0.5 BTC, 0 unconfirmed, 0.5 available for spending.

This is not going to play well at the mall.

For a big operation with a lot of outgoing transactions, like an exchange, wallet systems may have to have something like active currency management. (This is the "we have too many twenties, and not enough fives right now" problem a retailer sometimes faces).

Anybody thinking about this?
258  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: MtGox withdrawal delays [Gathering] on: February 12, 2014, 08:23:39 AM
The official client is fixed already.
Yes, although "spend unconfirmed change" is ON by default, so the fix is ineffective by default. That probably should become OFF in a later release.
259  Bitcoin / Press / [2014-02-10] "Bitcoin Foundation Blames Mt. Gox ‘Unpreparedness’ for Downtime" on: February 10, 2014, 08:10:07 PM
"Bitcoin Foundation Blames Mt. Gox ‘Unpreparedness’ for Downtime"

"The Bitcoin Foundation said the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange in Tokyo is to blame for technical faults that prevented customer withdrawals of the virtual currency that lost as much as 21 percent of its value today. "

The financial press isn't buying Mt. Gox's excuses.
260  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: CoinDesk Removes Mt. Gox from Bitcoin Price Index on: February 10, 2014, 06:58:42 PM
That's funny. They kept Mt. Gox in the price index when it was 15-20% above everybody else. But as soon as Mt. Gox dropped below everybody else, it's out.

One of the China-based indexes did that, too. The effect has been to pump the price of Bitcoin for months.
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