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Entropy-uc
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April 04, 2013, 03:31:12 PM
Last edit: April 05, 2013, 05:06:18 PM by Entropy-uc
 #1

As the influx of new people to Bitcoin continues, I am noticing a troubling pattern.

The first experience new people are having is being ripped off.  This is often partly their fault for being greedy and/or reckless, but it is not a healthy situation for Bitcoin.  In the interest of reducing the rate of muggings being part of the introduction to Bitcoin, I am creating this thread to cover some of the obvious traps, and grind a few axes of my own  Grin.  I will occasionally point ads to this thread.

mods give me a few days grace to get this into shape

1.  Never buy bitcoin from individuals without trusted escrow.  There may be honest sellers for moneypak, etc., but there are enough thieves using the demand for bitcoin to scam that you should assume any transaction with an unknown party will be a scam.  Meet face to face in a secure location with online wallets on each side, or use escrow.  

2. Butterfly Labs.  Billions of bytes have been wasted documenting the massive pile of fail these clowns are.  Giving money to them today is a great way to lose it. Nine months of order backlog ahead of you guarantees that even if they ever get their shit together and ship a working product, you will get your fancy gold mine right in time for the difficulty to be 100x higher than it was when they announced their 'product'.

3. Control your keys.  Don't store funds on exchanges, trading sites, or anything that pretends to be a bank.  You can't know if they are short selling your bitcoin to cover expenses or just take huge profits.  Don't use 'convenient' online wallets like instawallet that are completely insecure.  Learn how to use paper wallets securely bitaddress.org.

4. Stay away from Bitfloor they are insolvent, owing over 25 000 BTC to customers. Eventually one of their customers is going to get tired of the entire facade and file to force them into bankruptcy.

5. Never borrow or lend bitcoin.  Bitcoin is unique as a currency that has a finite limit of total currency units available.  Over enough time, any amount of interest will exceed the available amount of currency.  There are 100 more practical reasons not to borrow or lend but I will leave it at that for now.1

6. Don't buy 'perpetual' mining bonds.  When the history of Bitcoin is written, the issuers of these instruments will be remembered as the most brazen of rogues.  Selling a call on the dividends generated by a set hashrate as if the dividends will continue in perpetuity was stealing candy from babies.  On top of that, most of the 'perpetual' bond holders defaulted within 6 months.

7.  Don't trust yourself.  Bitcoin has enormous potential, and has proven itself to be robust and effective.  This is the gold rush phase, and people are getting giddy.  If you imagine you're going to get rich quickly and easily, it is easy to deceive yourself into ignoring the obvious warning signs of being ripped off.  Entrusting money to a convicted felon is just a less efficient way of throwing it into the wind.

1  I have lent BTC to people I believe are trustworthy.  The loans were for bitcoin mining hardware and the terms were 0% interest.

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shibaji
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April 04, 2013, 04:08:27 PM
 #2

Thanks Entropy-uc

Even though we have had differences in our opinion in unrelated aspect, I appreciate the thread you have started, and will actively contribute if there is anything from my side. At this point, we certainly need a pro-active measure to stop these criminals. Problem is that other than prevention there is not much at the moment, and because of that, the same known scammer continue in disguise.

I cannot emphasize enough about what you have said in first bullet, and I have been bitten by such scam recently, so I understand the pain.

Thanks again.
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April 04, 2013, 04:15:11 PM
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Thanks Entropy-uc

Even though we have had differences in our opinion in unrelated aspect, I appreciate the thread you have started, and will actively contribute if there is anything from my side. At this point, we certainly need a pro-active measure to stop these criminals. Problem is that other than prevention there is not much at the moment, and because of that, the same known scammer continue in disguise.

I cannot emphasize enough about what you have said in first bullet, and I have been bitten by such scam recently, so I understand the pain.

Thanks again.

Thanks!  Please do contribute.

And I'm always happy to have people disagree with me if they can give me a reason to reconsider my opinions.
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April 04, 2013, 11:59:07 PM
 #4

Good post.
Not going to lie, I am concerned that I have funds invested at BTC-TC & Havelock Investments.
It is worrisome to me that I don't have my BTC in my wallet... but my notion is that I am in this high-reward environment, ergo, I'll take some high-risks.

It's very difficult to gauge the truthworthiness of individuals online, I have been forced to do rudimentary research and see who is affiliated with who to gauge how high a risk is.

Havelock Investments seems legitimate; partnered up with Cavirtex, who are an accredited Canadian business.

BTC-TC is a bit of a bigger risk as I am not fully aware of who the owners are and who they are affiliated with.

Big risks all around; wish there was some exchange that was registered with the BBB and was completely transparent with all information/contacts.
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April 05, 2013, 12:39:51 AM
 #5

Who is this 'no one' guy and what is their BTC address? 

Entropy-uc
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April 05, 2013, 03:51:07 AM
 #6

That's a little extreme. BFL supporters will call it slander and say that you can't prove that BFL has ever lied. I don't want too much drama. Can you please stick to undeniable facts or obvious statements of opinion?

I'll keep your old ad for now.

Thanks.

BFL has lied hundreds of times.  Every claimed shipping date they have ever published is a demonstrated lie.  They said they would guarantee hash rates better than all their competition, which is now shown to be a lie. 

How long did Inaba pretend to not be involved with BFL when he clearly had an ongoing business relationship? 

Post the ad as submitted or refund my coins.

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April 05, 2013, 06:43:03 AM
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Who is this 'no one' guy and what is their BTC address? 
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