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1  Economy / Services / Node.js tutoring, code review, and development - €50/hr, first two hours €20/hr on: November 11, 2015, 11:40:51 AM
... well, that's what I've decided to call it, anyway. I haven't seen anybody else yet who has taken the same approach.

Most (but not all) of this post is copy-pasted and reformatted from my usual page here.

I'm offering any of the following, for €50 per hour (in BTC), with the first two 'introductory' hours for €20 per hour. Keep in mind that I deliver high quality work, not a hack job - there's a number of references and reviews further down my post to prove it. Mind that this offer is only for Node.js (including frontend), not for other languages/platforms!

Code review

I will review your codebase, and make suggestions on how to improve the readability, maintainability, reliability and security. I will refactor small parts of your code to explain and demonstrate techniques. The code review is in stages - I start out with formatting issues, move on to modularization, specific security issues, and so on.

Note that I'm a perfectionist - I'll keep suggesting and explaining improvements until there's nothing left to improve. By the time the code review has completed, you will have a noticeably cleaner and more reliable codebase.

I do not strictly enforce any style guides - I value actual real-world readability over "following a list of rules". I will also always provide rationale for any suggestions, no "just because". That being said, I am very direct - no sugarcoating, just getting things done as efficiently as possible. My main goal is to teach you how to write better code, not to just change things around.

Tutoring

Perhaps you just want to learn Node.js, or a specific technology or specialization - promises, scraping, and so on. That's possible too! I will help you learn Node.js in whatever way works best for you. Whether that is pointing you in the right direction for self-directed learning, or explaining things step-by-step. I will adjust my teaching style (and language use) to whatever works for you.

It doesn't matter whether you have prior experience. Whether you're coming from another language or just have no experience with programming at all, I'll be able to teach you. That being said, you must be motivated to learn.

Advice

Maybe you just need the odd bit of advice every now and then - troubleshooting, explaining small things, or even just rewording documentation of a third-party library so you can understand it better. That's possible - you can keep me on a retainer/deposit for when you get stuck, and I'll help you out with any topic I know about Smiley

I have experience with a wide array of usecases - especially unusual edge cases with little or no documentation - and can generally adapt to whatever's needed. Some examples of this are writing an adaptive bruteforce/spidering script for a search engine, extensive experience with Tahoe-LAFS, and so on. See also my specializations below.

Open-source development

I'm also available for Node.js software development and refactoring, on a case-by-case basis. Keep in mind that I will only actively develop on open-source projects - that is, projects where the results will be available under an open-source license.

Feel free to contact me with more details about the project you have in mind.



Method

I generally do code review and tutoring over XMPP or IRC - providing snippets of code where needed using a Gist. I can do screensharing (via TeamViewer or an open-source screensharing tool of choice), but I've found that text-based explanations generally work better.

I suggest trying text-based explanations first - we can always switch to screensharing later if text doesn't work out for you.

Specializations

  • Application security
  • Code maintainability and modularization
  • Web-based applications
  • Promises, map/reduce/filter, data processing
  • Scraping - if it's accessible, I can scrape it
  • Unusual architectures and experimental technologies, with little to no third-party documentation
  • Distributed and real-time architectures
  • I speak both JavaScript and CoffeeScript!

Experience

  • 10 years of (backend) software development; primarily PHP, Python, Node.js
  • 13 years of frontend development; HTML, CSS, JS (and third-party libraries like jQuery)
  • A wide array of open-source projects
  • A number of published Node.js modules on npm
  • Many other frameworks, libraries, and technologies; too many to list here.

Reviews

Some honest, unedited reviews from customers:

Quote
Josh Reeter: I reached out to joepie91 through IRC for help on reviewing my code, his confidence, open source contributions and experience within the language I was targetting was a great match for me. His mentorship has really helped improve the quality of my code through consistency and just a better understanding of concepts.

Quote
Tejas Manohar: Sven is an incredibly talented developer that works with utmost diligence. He has thorough knowledge of Node.js platform along with the tools built on it and is really passionate about crafting the right implementation to solve most any problem at hand.

Quote
Daniel Sauerbrun: I hired Sven (joepie91) to help me beat the learning curve for Node.js; I needed quick tutoring as I was building out a codebase from scratch for a startup. Not only was he an excellent tutor in helping me understand concepts instead of just giving me the answer, but he was also available for me pretty much whenever I needed him. I expected to need ~25 hours of his services; however, I have made so much progress with him that I can't seem to get past 10.

Quote
Kaveh Khorram: In about only 8 hours, Sven (joepie91) taught me about modularization, callbacks, working with third-party modules, correct variable use, express routes and promises just to name a few. Sven often went into overtime just to make sure I understood a topic, and always made sure I had a thorough understanding of the material before ending a session. Sven is one of the most, if not the most experienced NodeJS developers I've ever worked with.

Payment and terms

Bitcoins, of course! I also accept PayPal and SEPA transfers (plus potentially other payment methods), but I doubt those are of much interest to people here Smiley

Deposit: By default, I require an upfront deposit in 10-hour increments - that is, you pay for 10 hours of work upfront, and once the 10 hours are up, you pay for another 10 hours, and so on. Any remaining hours after completion of work are refunded (except for advice-on-retainer, for which no refunds are available). If you're on a tight budget, then a smaller deposit might be an option - feel free to ask. Paid-for hours don't 'expire', and are valid indefinitely.

Session scheduling: The minimum session duration is an hour - if it's shorter than that, it will be rounded up to one hour (although in my experience, 2-3 hour sessions work best). Shit happens - if you miss a scheduled session and you have a good reason for it, I won't charge you for it. Please be considerate about this, however.

I can accommodate most timezones, as long as sessions are scheduled 2-3 days in advance. Weekdays are preferred, but weekends are also possible if necessary. You don't have to schedule a session in advance, but there are no guarantees about my availability if you don't.

Exchange rates: The rate is set in euros, and the exchange rate to BTC is the one at the moment of deposit, according to the Sell tab at Bitonic. Refunds are based on the amount in euros, using the exchange rate to BTC at the moment of refund.

Anonymity: I don't really care what your identity is, but keep in mind that tutoring and code review consist of a lot of personal interaction, and it is very likely that you will accidentally reveal (part of) your identity in the process. This is inherent to tutoring, and something you should be aware of when purchasing any such service.

Project types: The type of project doesn't matter to me, but I may turn down work if I feel it either violates my ethics, or applicable laws in the Netherlands. I will discuss your project(s) and goals with you before you make a payment, to prevent unpleasant surprises for either party.

Contact

E-mail: admin@cryto.net
XMPP: joepie91@neko.im (OTR fingerprints)
IRC: joepie91 on Freenode (other methods preferred though - it's easy to lose track of PM windows)
... or just send me a PM here on BitcoinTalk!

EDIT: You're free to ask questions in this thread as well, of course.
2  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Instawallet Security Breach on: April 03, 2013, 09:31:44 PM
I found a security breach in instawallet last week...  I fixed it for them... they never tipped me or anything...
Correction: You found a "mistake" in their website. Some might call it a flaw, but it is certainly not a security flaw or exploit.

Please don't spread alot of FUD, this might actually be a serious matter. Someone might have exploited a real security vulnerability.

It was most definitely a security flaw. There's a reason many services that offer similar things, use the 'fragment' in the URL (the part after the # in the URL) to authenticate users. The end result is that you can't use the actual URL itself to gain access to the wallet, and need the 'fragment' as well. The fragment is entirely clientside.

To put it simply, using a url as your sole authentication is a really fucking stupid idea.
3  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: ReDonate, a system for voluntary recurring donations (also works with Bitcoin!) on: March 03, 2013, 02:39:29 PM
I would also recommend *not* requiring you to *unsubscribe* (as sometimes such things don't even work or nag you further).

Why not simply automatically unsubscribe someone after they fail to donate 2 or 3 times (with the last contact reminding them how to re-subscribe)?


Because someone might want to skip a few months for whatever reason, without stopping the reminders. It would make no sense to try and 'predict' what someone wants, I'd rather let them choose for themselves Smiley
4  Bitcoin / Project Development / ReDonate, a system for voluntary recurring donations (also works with Bitcoin!) on: March 03, 2013, 12:01:59 PM
Hi all,

I'll just copy-paste a part of the announcement post I wrote, as I thought it might be relevant to users here:

Quote
I’m happy to announce the launch of ReDonate, the only 100% voluntary recurring donations service.

ReDonate allows you to receive monthly donations from fans or users, without locking them in to a subscription, and without any automatic charges whatsoever! There are no restrictions on what payment processors or payment methods you can support, either.

So, how does it work?

When you subscribe to a ReDonate campaign, you indicate how much you wish to donate to the campaign per month. Every month, you will receive an e-mail reminding you of your pledge, including donation links for various payment methods that let you donate straight away. None of your accounts are ever automatically charged, you are completely in charge of whether you wish to keep donating or not!

You can unsubscribe from a ReDonate campaign at any time, for any reason, without any kind of penalty. Just click the unsubscribe link in any of the e-mails we send you, confirm your unsubscription, and you’re done! No more “whoops, forgot to cancel” moments.

Continued here: http://joepie91.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/announcing-redonate-recurring-contributions-done-right/

The actual site can be found here: http://redonate.net/

ReDonate also lets you add a Bitcoin address as payment method, and if there's demand for it I'll also look into integrating various Bitcoin payment processors Smiley

- Sven
5  Economy / Marketplace / Re: Cinfu.com - Cheap VPS Servers from 0.49BTC and Web Hosting from 0.08BTC on: June 10, 2012, 11:56:51 PM
Just thought I'd chime in, as I get a bit tired of the constant 'you get what you pay for' rehashing (which has been proven wrong countless times): Cinfu has been extremely stable for me for the past year that I've been using it (at the Germany location). In the start it would have an unannounced reboot every month or so, but that doesn't seem to happen anymore. Haven't really needed support very often, but when needed it's fast. The VPS itself is very speedy and reliable, and I haven't ever really had any speeds under 100mbit, that I can recall. There's not much else to say, it's just a good service, and far better than some people say you would be able to find for what you pay for it.
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: UK severs ties with Iranian Banks on: November 21, 2011, 11:07:57 PM
Forwarded from irc:
Quote
--- Log opened Mon Oct 31 18:58:37 2011
-!- Irssi: #technotux: Total of 28 nicks [1 ops, 0 halfops, 0 voices, 27 normal]
-!- Irssi: Join to #technotux was synced in 0 secs
< alolymous> hey
< SterNiX> hi
< alolymous> bebakshid, farsi-am khob harf nemizanam. inglis bebinam Smiley
< alolymous> so have any of you heard of bitcoin?
< SterNiX> i have heard of its name alolymous
-!- ArmanHayeEmam is now known as NamirolMomenin
< alolymous> what do you know about it?
< alolymous> is there anyone here from isfahan lug?
-!- NamirolMomenin [~hidensoft@unaffiliated/hidensoft] has left #technotux ["Leaving"]
< SterNiX> not at the mo alolymous
< SterNiX> theyre a couple that i know of
< SterNiX> there could be more, but i only know of 2
< alolymous> ok so i work with bitcoin
< SterNiX> aha nice to meet u
< alolymous> my father is from iran, and i have spent time in iran in the past
< alolymous> and this project has something to offer to iran i think
< alolymous> however it's complicated
< alolymous> as the project uses vast amounts of cryptography and networking concepts
< alolymous> does mohi still participate in ubuntu/linuxshop.ir?
< SterNiX> i got an email form linuxshop.ir
< SterNiX> and i think he does
-!- maour [~maour@unaffiliated/maour] has quit [Remote host closed the connection]
< alolymous> http://arioslinux.org/ haha cute
-!- maour [~maour@unaffiliated/maour] has joined #technotux
< alolymous> SterNiX: Short version of what bitcoin is: it is a currency, but an entirely new kind of currency that can’t be seized or frozen by governments, one which is integrated with its transaction system where transaction fees are optional, and where you can transfer any amount anywhere instantly without any authority knowing or interfering.
< alolymous> good article: http://falkvinge.net/2011/05/19/the-information-policy-case-for-flat-tax-and-basic-income/
< alolymous> i'm thinking that using bitcoin, iranians could pay for goods using paypal
< alolymous> and get around the US embargo
-!- miadbahrami [~miadbahra@178.131.221.6] has quit [Remote host closed the connection]
< alolymous> so would that be a useful thing for iranians? a way to buy paypal dollars using rial
< acathur> though getting some bitcoins is not easy imo at first place
< alolymous> acathur: you mean in iran?
< acathur> alolymous: no, i mean in general
< alolymous> from which country?
< acathur> iran
< alolymous> USA/Europe/UK it's pretty easy
< alolymous> yeah hence an iranian exchange
< alolymous> imagine people could easily trade goods around online with the rest of the world without having restrictions on how they spend their money
< alolymous> transferring money in and out of iran is near impossible.
< alolymous> but with bitcoins it'd be really easy.
< alolymous> it would even be possible to order goods from the USA to Iran
< acathur> by getting bitcoins i meant having some bitcoins for payment
< acathur> mining bitcoins just isn't a good idea anymore afaik, so one would need to exchange them with dollars for example
< acathur> and that's the problem
< alolymous> it really isn't.
< alolymous> let me explain how a bitcoin exchange works
< alolymous> persons A, B, C want BTC for their IRR, persons X, Y, Z want IRR for their BTC
< alolymous> so the second group demands bitcoins and puts up a buy order of 100 IRR for 10 BTC
< alolymous> however there isn't much bitcoin available, so the first group only sells a tiny amount
< alolymous> 1 BTC for 10 IRR
< alolymous> that quickly gets bought up. but then A, B, C want bitcoins still eventhough there isn't any on the market
< alolymous> so they start to compete and place higher orders (demand goes up)
< alolymous> 99 IRR on the market
< alolymous> X, Y, Z decide to put up 6 BTC
< alolymous> therefore the market reaches a supply-demand equillibrium at 99 IRR = 6 BTC
< alolymous> now somebody sees the price is a lot higher on the UK exchange.
< alolymous> by buying GBP with their IRR, they can engage in arbitrage and make money
< alolymous> again the supply-demand relationship brings a market equillibrium
< alolymous> http://bitcoinwatch.com/
< alolymous> if you denominate the USD price in GBP then you'll see they're very similar because of arbitrage
< acathur> true. yet i couldn't find anyone who would exhange BTC for IRR or the other way. so i'd probably need to use a third currency in the middle, using the BTC -> USD -> IRR or the other way around
< alolymous> that's why i'm saying to make an exchange in iran
< alolymous> BTC -> IRR
< alolymous> then present it as a cheap/easy way to make payments to/from iran
< alolymous> since right now, it is impossible to send money to iran
< acathur> i like what you say too, but do you know anyone or anywhere to do that now? i need BTC and there's just no one who'd exchange for IRR
< alolymous> when i started out with bitcoin 1 year ago. i had no way to buy bitcoins
< alolymous> so i created the UK exchange
< alolymous> it's very easy now to get money in the UK
< acathur> (just asked mohi to join here)
< alolymous> ok cool. he knows me from a long time ago
-!- mohi [~mohi@31.56.0.43] has joined #technotux
-!- mohi [~mohi@31.56.0.43] has quit [Changing host]
-!- mohi [~mohi@unaffiliated/mohi] has joined #technotux
< alolymous> i was waiting to see why nothing was happening in iran
< alolymous> there is at least one iranian user: whois bitcoin.ir
< alolymous> registered with IRNIC (so inside iran)
< alolymous> and an address in Tehran
< alolymous> mohi: hey
< mohi> hey buddy!
< alolymous> Smiley
< mohi> wasup?
< alolymous> do you still run linuxshop.ir?
< alolymous> i saw you have ubuntu 11.10 on there
< mohi> ya
< mohi> not much time for it. there are some operators soing the stuff ;-)?
< mohi> doing*
< alolymous> what are you doing now you left the army?
-!- Shahrzad [~shahrzad@2.183.30.95] has joined #technotux
< mohi> just messing around ;-)
-!- miadbahrami [~miadbahra@178.131.221.6] has joined #technotux
< mohi> ya my military service has finished
< mohi> acathur: pinch you buddy Cheesy
< alolymous> that's cool.
< mohi> alolymous: are still working on bitcoin?
< alolymous> yes
< mohi> alolymous: woohooo Cheesy my famous friend ;-)
< alolymous> i was trying to message you a ton before because bitcoin is incredible
< mohi> wow nice
< mohi> i think acathur has something in common with you then on bitcoin!
< mohi> ping acathur
< alolymous> like i'm surprised why this takes off in a huge way in USA and UK
< alolymous> but not in Iran
< acathur> mohi: ?
< alolymous> in iran where something like this is needed more than anywhere else
< alolymous> and i was sitting there waiting. wondering what are iranians doing?
< mohi> acathur: as i remembered you used to mess around bitcoin sometimes.
< alolymous> mohi: what do you know about bitcoin? tell me.
< acathur> mohi: yup Tongue
< mohi> alolymous: iranians are in their historical dizziness! enjoying their deep sleep! Cheesy
< mohi> alolymous: mate! take it off me Cheesy then push it in acathur's! Cheesy
< alolymous> the whole world revolts from new york to egypt and iranians sleep
< acathur> people just don't know/care about it yet. i found about it in the middle of wikileaks news
< alolymous> imagine now in iran, where it can be used for buying goods from the USA or sending money to/from Iran quickly/easily/cheapy to anywhere in the world
< alolymous> and the enormous potential for positive social good.
< acathur> or imagine governments fighting with BTC?
< alolymous> it is the first time in history that we have a monetary system without the intrusion of middlemen and corruption. the system is totally pure with a strong privacy model.
< alolymous> acathur: you mean like how they tried and failed with bittorrent? Cheesy
< alolymous> fuck, i really want to do this just to give 2 fingers to the retarded sanctions
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< acathur> thanks alolymous. even if it's still of no use in iran
-!- Sefid_Par [~mo@78.38.176.2] has joined #technotux
< alolymous> why would a currency that allows economic freedom be less useful in an unfree country than in the UK?
< acathur> it really is useful, but no one uses it here. as you can see.
< alolymous> mohi: do you want to test it out? all i need is for you to register an iranian limited company, then open a business bank account. once a week you send me a list of bank deposits, and i give you a list of withdrawals.
< alolymous> it really is minimal effort on your part, but i need somebody in iran i can totally trust.
-!- moha [~mohi@31.56.36.100] has joined #technotux
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-!- mohi [~mohi@unaffiliated/mohi] has quit [Ping timeout: 258 seconds]
< moha> alolymous: let me some days buddy ;-) Im too much busy on these days and i think i should be ok in next tw weeks
-!- Sefid_Par [~mo@78.38.176.2] has quit [Quit: leaving]
< alolymous> meh
7  Economy / Speculation / Re: intuitively, which option would you pick? 1, 2 or 3 (see image) on: October 28, 2011, 09:51:28 PM
3.

1 looks too 'plastic' and 'fake' at first sight (probably due to the hologram).
2 doesn't look familiar at all, so it would be impossible for me to estimate its value.

3 has the additional advantage of looking more 'polished'.
8  Bitcoin / Project Development / Interactive mockup for an alternative Bitcoin client UI for non-techies on: October 28, 2011, 06:48:11 PM
It's a common heard complaint that the Bitcoin client looks unattractive, is not user-friendly, etc. - basically, it doesn't invite people to use it. I've spent the past day or so on making an interactive mockup that will hopefully solve that issue. This design is targeted at novice non-techie users, not at tech-savvy users.

Before you read any further, read this again: If you are tech-savvy and think "I would never use that, too shiny" - you are not understanding the purpose of this proposal. Read the above again.

On to the proposal.

I have an interactive mockup at http://www.cryto.net/projects/bitcoin_ui/ - it will only work properly in Chrome, Firefox, and similar modern browsers, as CSS3 is rather heavily used. For those that do not have a modern browser, a few screenshots follow:



(the wallet screen)


http://owely.com/51dNOFE (the Address book)
http://owely.com/5z09ah (the New address screen)

Some additional information:
Due to the absence of a date/time column in the transaction lists (to keep it simple and non-intimidating for novice users), this should be shown in a tooltip or similar, to make sure the exact date and time of a transaction are still within the users' reach.
The idea of the address book is to instruct users to label their new addresses after the person they give it to - this way the transaction list can just show 'from John' rather than a vague address.
Some things (like the Own address / Address of someone else tabs) are not implemented in the mockup, as the workings are more or less obvious.
This is not a proposal to replace the current UI of the Bitcoin client, but rather a proposal to add a new default UI so that novice users can get started easily. There should always be an option to revert to the 'old UI', for those that wish to do so.

Whether you are working on the main Bitcoin client, an alternative client, or a web wallet, feel free to implement this (although in the case of a web wallet, I would suggest rewriting some of the code as the HTML/CSS is very very messy right now).

Feedback is welcome.

EDIT: If you want to take the design, and change it around, feel free to do so as well. Smiley
9  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / An interesting read about Bitcoin & legislation... on: October 26, 2011, 12:36:26 AM
I happened to run across the following blurb of text regarding regulation of Bitcoin, it's a rather interesting read.

Quote
I understand from your correspondence that you are enquiring about potential regulation issues in respect of a digital currency called Bitcoin.

I appreciate that you have taken the time to contact us about this matter,  I can understand why you have referred the matter to the FSA.  The legislation that we deal with here at the FSA is the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). 

In any event, it may help if I give a brief outline of what is covered by FSMA before considering how this may affect your proposed activities.  FSMA is concerned with the regulation of financial services and markets in the UK.  Under Section 19 of FSMA, any person who carries on a regulated activity in the UK must be authorised or exempt.  Section 22 of FSMA provides that an activity is a "regulated activity" if it is an activity of a specified kind carried on by way of business in relation to investments of a specified kind. 
 
The activities and investments are specified in The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 ("the RAO"), which is secondary legislation under FSMA.  Specified activities are defined in Part II of the RAO and include arranging deals in investments.  Specified investments are defined in Part III of the RAO and include various investments.  Therefore, if a company is conducting a specified activity, they will need to be authorised, or exempt.
 
A full list of activities regulated by the FSA is available in the Perimeter Guidance Manual of the FSA handbook.  I have attached a link to the relevant information for your attention:

Detailed guidance on whether you need to be regulated can be found in the Perimeter Guidance Manual (PERG). www.fsahandbook.info/FSA/html/handbook/PERG.
Please note that a full list of the investments regulated by the FSA can be found in chapter 2.6 of PERG

www.fsahandbook.info/FSA/html/handbook/PERG/2/6   

A full list of activities regulated by the FSA can be found in chapter 2.7 of PERG

www.fsahandbook.info/FSA/html/handbook/PERG/2/7

Perhaps it would be helpful to say what Bitcoin is.

As I understand, the system has the following features:
   (a)   It is a form of digital currency.
   (b)   It is not issued by anyone.  It is not backed by ordinary currency or anything of value.
   (c)   There is no central record on which transactions are recorded.
   (d)   There is no central authority that verifies the validity of the coins.
   (e)   There must be some sort of system for upgrading the IT application but we don't anything about it.  It is likely to be quite informal.
   (d)   The coins are generated out of thin air as a reward for system users who voluntarily perform computer operations on blocks.
   (e)   Blocks are records of prior transactions.
   (f)   Transactions are broadcast to the network.  Anyone can create a new block using whichever transactions it wants to include.
   (g)   A digital coin is valuable if and to the extent that sellers of goods and services are willing to accept it.
   (h)   If I want to buy something with Bitcoin I can either generate the coins as described above or, more likely, buy them, for real money, from someone who buys and sells Bitcoins. 
   (i)   You wish to run a business of buying and selling Bitcoins in this way.
   (l)   If I am a seller as well I may accumulate Bitcoins.

Will emoney be involved?

Emoney means electronically (including magnetically) stored monetary value as represented by a claim on the electronic money issuer which:
   (a)   is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions; and
   (b)   is accepted by a person other than the electronic money issuer;
 
You will see from the description above that it is not issued on the receipt of funds.  It is therefore not e-money.

Is deposit taking involved?

There is no deposit for the same reason as with emoney.

What about the Payment Services Directive (PSD)?

Specific guidance on Payment Service Regulations (PSRs) can be found in chapter 15 of PERG

www.fsahandbook.info/FSA/html/handbook/PERG/15 

In particular you may wish to review question 12 of that section
I strongly suggest that you also look at the approach document for Payment Service Regulations as well.

www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/other/PSD_approach.pdf 

That said, buying and selling Bitcoin is rather like acting as a bureau de change.  These are not caught by the PSD.  This is because the firm does not help the user to pay third parties such as merchants but just sells him the Bitcoins. 

Moving on, the creation of Bitcoins and sale to users potentially amounts to issuing payment instruments. Therefore the question is whether Bitcoins are payment instruments.  This means something used in order to initiate an instruction requesting the execution of a payment transaction.  A payment transaction means placing, transferring or withdrawing funds.  The key definition is funds.  This means banknotes and coins, scriptural money, and electronic money.  This means that the question is whether Bitcoins are money.

It is not yet clear what money means in the context of this particular piece of legislation.   Our favoured approach at the moment is that one asks whether the value functions like money, whether or not it is money in the more traditional sense.  It could mean any medium which, by practise, freely passes through the community in final discharge of debts and full payment for goods and services, being accepted equally without reference to the character or credit of the person who offers it and who in turn can tender it to others in discharge of debts or payment for goods or services, even though it may not be legal tender.  So Bitcoins could become money for the purpose of the PSD Regulations if and when they become widely used.  If this is the case then you need to be aware that the EU takes the lead on interpreting the PSD and it may come up with a different approach.  For example it could say that in effect each person using Bitcoins to buy something issues the coin because any transfer of a coin creates a new need to get it incorporated into blocks and accepted by the system.  That would mean that those who make a business of buying and selling Bitcoins would be issuing a payment instrument.  There might also be an argument that anyone creating a new block issues value for the same reason even if no coins are generated.


For the need for authorisation you would also need to be undertaking the activity by way of business.  For guidance on this please refer to questions 1 and 4  in PERG 15.

As for the  Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) requirements, your firm will be caught by our Handbook requirements on financial crime and AML if it is FSMA-authorised. If it is not FSMA-authorised, it might still be within scope of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and again, the firm should seek legal advice on this. If the firm is within the scope of the Money Laundering Regulations, we might or might not be the competent supervisor for the firm's compliance with these Regulations - the flowchart on p2 of this document

www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/other/approach.pdf

can help the firm determine who its AML/CTF supervisor would be.

Independently of whether your firm falls within the scope of FSMA or the Money Laundering Regulations, the fact that it appears to be handling funds (in the broadest sense) makes it likely that the firm will be caught by the UK's sanctions regimes. The following link provides more information
www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/fin_sanctions_faqs.htm

I suggest that you read this information, and, taking into consideration any exclusions that may apply, you should be able to determine whether or not your proposals would require authorisation. Please be aware that while the FSA can provide general guidance, we cannot tell you whether the proposals would or would not need to be authorised. Where you are involved in speculative contracts in relation to Bitcoins, we need to consider whether the rights in the Bitcoins will amount to one or more of the investments specified in PERG 2.6. In particular, the investments in PERG 2.6.20-24 are the most relevant to your activities.

Any person wishing to carry on one or more regulated activities must apply to the FSA for authorisation (unless they can abide by the terms of an exclusion).  The application pack is available on our website (www.fsa.gov.uk/Pages/Doing/how/index.shtml).   
10  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [ANN] Release of open source point of sale system (w/ video) on: October 14, 2011, 07:30:17 PM
Many stores are already switching to cash registers with displays for the customer, at least in the Netherlands, so things like this could easily be integrated into existing POS platforms.

This seems like a great solution for smaller stores, but larger stores or chains that use custom POS platforms would benefit a lot from a standardized 'POS API' (as opposed to the usual Bitcoin API) that also allows for communication with a remote Bitcoin client (which will be the case in a store with multiple payment terminals/counters, where everything has to be handled by one central 'cash register server'), and that can be used without a GUI frontend - effectively making it very easy to implement Bitcoin into an existing POS solution without any knowledge about the underlying system.

Also, a small shop doesn't need a pc nor a laptop. Smartphones with dual core are sold today. You don't even need dual-core for this. A small screen and a smartphone is something any business can afford today. Two years from now this can easily and cheaply be mainstream.

I would say, though, that it'd be rather strange to see a smartphone mounted onto a counter, displaying a QR code Smiley

Actually, you could even get a cheap Android tablet or ebook reader (the latter will work better) from some random Chinese store, and run a simple application on it that will wirelessly connect to your 'payment server', and show the appropriate QR code and payment information. You can get a low-spec Android tablet for <$100 from China, and some simple ebook readers with epaper sell for about $100-$150 (with WiFi capability).
11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: MtGox: Green address option on: October 14, 2011, 02:18:43 PM
whats the point of the green address if its not 100% instant?

I dont think reducing transaction time from 60 minutes to 20 minutes or whatever is gonna be much of a difference (also why things like solidcoin isnt a good solution)

It doesn't change the transaction time - it just means the receiver can trust the transaction at zero confirmations.
If all the exchanges used this, it would mean that the prices should stop lagging the mt.gox price.
The problem is, I believe, that to forward a transaction that *arrives* at the green address, it has to wait for 2 confirmations before it is able to send it to the actual recipient.

Actually, no. We produce both transactions instantly, and send the second one without waiting for confirmations.
Ah, never mind, I misread your mention of two transactions. I assumed it was about the storage->green transfer, rather than the storage->green plus green->target transactions for a system that does not recognize green addresses.
12  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [ANN] Release of open source point of sale system (w/ video) on: October 14, 2011, 02:17:19 PM
I hate to say this but this still suffers from all the issues that previous suggestions for point of sale stuff has, in that it takes a great deal of time comparatively to confirm the transaction is actually valid. People aren't going to wait around for a quarter of an hour after buying a stick of gum to wait for a transaction to verify.
If you actually watched the video you would have noticed that the actual payment was recognized within seconds, and if you did any cursory research on the subject you would have realized it's infeasible to do a double spend for a small amount and as such it is very safe to accept small transactions without confirmations.

What do you think, how cheap could a hardware solution based on this be put together? I'm thinking old, used laptop (maybe an Eee PC) plus smallish external monitor. Maybe all in all for $150? Maybe less? .. I think we could reach the point, where this is a straightforward and

Jav, your work is really exciting. but the space is a problem. If a merchant has to find a place for another PC or Laptop in their store, it will not be the ultimate solution.

Many stores are already switching to cash registers with displays for the customer, at least in the Netherlands, so things like this could easily be integrated into existing POS platforms.

This seems like a great solution for smaller stores, but larger stores or chains that use custom POS platforms would benefit a lot from a standardized 'POS API' (as opposed to the usual Bitcoin API) that also allows for communication with a remote Bitcoin client (which will be the case in a store with multiple payment terminals/counters, where everything has to be handled by one central 'cash register server'), and that can be used without a GUI frontend - effectively making it very easy to implement Bitcoin into an existing POS solution without any knowledge about the underlying system.
13  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: MtGox: Green address option on: October 14, 2011, 02:06:11 PM
whats the point of the green address if its not 100% instant?

I dont think reducing transaction time from 60 minutes to 20 minutes or whatever is gonna be much of a difference (also why things like solidcoin isnt a good solution)

It doesn't change the transaction time - it just means the receiver can trust the transaction at zero confirmations.
If all the exchanges used this, it would mean that the prices should stop lagging the mt.gox price.
The problem is, I believe, that to forward a transaction that *arrives* at the green address, it has to wait for 2 confirmations before it is able to send it to the actual recipient.
14  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Encouraging Donations. on: October 14, 2011, 11:20:03 AM
I run http://bitcoinstatus.rowit.co.uk/. We have no income from it but it takes a Amazon EC2 small instance and a bit of bandwidth to run it. We get the odd donation (thanks very much to those people) http://blockexplorer.com/address/13Tn1QkAcqnQvGA7kBiCBH7NbijNcr6GMs but as you can see a lot less than the few hundred dollars a year it costs to host.

Is there anyway we could add to peoples forum signatures a signed link that showed what they had donated too?

I think if blockexplorer.com added a new link that was /address/pubkey/forumname/signatureOfUrlUpToLastSlash, then it would check the signature and only display a page if the signature was correct.

We would then need some sort of register of donation address, so the page showed who they had donated too.

Might encourage people a bit during Bitcoins current voluntary phase.

Maybe someone has a better idea to help encourage innovation?



I was also offering a service with an EC2 small instance, until I discovered a solution which is 80% cheaper than that, and it was proven even better in performance. You can get a VPS (VM) in many places in Europe. I use Giga-International. The EC2 small instance equivalent is 10 EUR/month with practically unlimited bandwidth included, and excellent connectivity to the rest of the world.  I am sure there are many others as well.

In other words, I could consider donating as you offer useful information, but if you don't seem to care about costs, I feel that my donation would be wasted, if you see what I am saying.
Continuing on this, Cinfu.com offers VPSes in those price ranges with unmetered transfer, and they accept Bitcoin as well Smiley
15  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Encouraging Donations. on: October 14, 2011, 10:29:04 AM
It might be a good idea to host elsewhere, and not on EC2, which is relatively expensive. You really don't need hosting that costs a few hundred dollar a year, for something like this.

In fact, it would probably be fairly easy to get free hosting for this from someone on the forums.
16  Bitcoin / Meetups / Re: EUROPEAN BITCOIN CONFERENCE 2011, PRAGUE NOV 25-27 on: October 14, 2011, 10:26:12 AM
I don't have the money for a train ticket or anything along those lines, so I was wondering if there was anyone from the Netherlands I could get a ride from...? A ticket for the conference itself has already been arranged.

I have no issue with doing something along the lines of web development and such in return (within reason) Smiley
17  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: At what pricepoint is bitcoin dead? on: October 09, 2011, 09:01:23 PM
Bitcoin is dead when it has no use for anyone anymore.

Has absolutely nothing to do with 'price point' whatsoever (which is only an exchange rate to another currency anyway).
18  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Is Democracy a bad idea? on: October 09, 2011, 08:59:45 PM
...snip...
Because that is the whole point of anarchism. No initiation of force.

...snip...

So there won't be any violence in an anarchist society ?

Will there be violence? Probably.
Is there supposed to be violence? No.

And yet again, I fail to see how this relates to anarchy - it's an issue with practically any system in existence.

Its an issue if you propose a system that allows people to form private armies and they decide to take you as a slave.  If you have allowed them to form an army and there is no state, all you are left with by way of defence is saying "Is there supposed to be violence? No."

That's a very poor alternative to democracy.
I think you missed this part:
[...]
Because that is the whole point of anarchism. No initiation of force.
[...]

EDIT: Also, what is there in the current system to prevent people from forming private armies? Oh, wait....
19  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Is Democracy a bad idea? on: October 09, 2011, 08:37:00 PM
...snip...
Because that is the whole point of anarchism. No initiation of force.

...snip...

So there won't be any violence in an anarchist society ?

Will there be violence? Probably.
Is there supposed to be violence? No.

And yet again, I fail to see how this relates to anarchy - it's an issue with practically any system in existence.
20  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Is Democracy a bad idea? on: October 09, 2011, 07:47:25 PM
DEMOCRACY IS BAD BUT I REFUSE TO OFFER UP AN ALTERNATIVE SYSTEM WHICH WOULD BE FAIRER - Every single poster on this forum, to be perfectly honest
Welcome to anarchy. Smiley

EDIT: In case you didn't get it, that's your alternative system right there.

Anarchy is great for the guys who start off rich enough to own the police and courts or for guys who can get military assistance from foreign governments.  But after a while, it would become a dictatorship as there can only be one guy who wins.
What part of 'no enforced government' do you not understand?

What part of "rich guys with private armies are a bad idea" do you not understand?
What would a 'private army' do exactly? They cannot exercise force (after all, no enforced government), so what exactly would the purpose of said army be?
Why couldn't they exercise force?
Because that is the whole point of anarchism. No initiation of force.

DEMOCRACY IS BAD BUT I REFUSE TO OFFER UP AN ALTERNATIVE SYSTEM WHICH WOULD BE FAIRER - Every single poster on this forum, to be perfectly honest
Welcome to anarchy. Smiley

EDIT: In case you didn't get it, that's your alternative system right there.

Anarchy is great for the guys who start off rich enough to own the police and courts or for guys who can get military assistance from foreign governments.  But after a while, it would become a dictatorship as there can only be one guy who wins.
What part of 'no enforced government' do you not understand?

What part of "rich guys with private armies are a bad idea" do you not understand?
What would a 'private army' do exactly? They cannot exercise force (after all, no enforced government), so what exactly would the purpose of said army be?

If someone has the power to kill you, its pointless to say that they cannot exercise force.  They can do as they please and you'd best hope they stop at taking your possessions.

And what is the difference with how that works now? You can be killed and robbed anyway, private army or no private army. I fail to see how your criticism has anything to do with anarchism at all.
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