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Author Topic: Ideas for the Perfect Bitcoin Exchange  (Read 2514 times)
bitrebel
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June 18, 2011, 06:37:36 PM
 #1

My friends and I are going to start an exchange, most likely, here in the US.

We want it to be as legal and upfront and trustworthy as possible.

Can people post suggestions of what makes the perfect (realistic) exchange?
It would help if people can make suggestions here on this thread. Out tech man will be checking the thread on a regular basis, and will try to implement all possible and worthwhile suggestions.

We would like to make it a people's exchange, one that people can have confidence in.

What are the biggest problems people have currently with Mt Gox and Tradehill and Britcoin?
What improvements can be made to help them become better?


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June 18, 2011, 06:50:15 PM
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While I encourage the idea of more exchanges (while they are necessary, but that is another topic), I'd reconsider starting one based in the U.S.A. I think all of us can agree that the large banks based in the US will be the first to push back on this idea once it gains enough traction. If you are in the bitcoin business, you better believe that all available pressure/tactics will be used to interfere.

I'd feel better if the principle servers and incorporation occurred outside immediate US jurisdiction. While no-one is perfectly isolated, it would provide some kind of buffer so you could react to legal/governmental demands.

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bitrebel
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June 18, 2011, 06:55:21 PM
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While I encourage the idea of more exchanges (while they are necessary, but that is another topic), I'd reconsider starting one based in the U.S.A. I think all of us can agree that the large banks based in the US will be the first to push back on this idea once it gains enough traction. If you are in the bitcoin business, you better believe that all available pressure/tactics will be used to interfere.

I'd feel better if the principle servers and incorporation occurred outside immediate US jurisdiction. While no-one is perfectly isolated, it would provide some kind of buffer so you could react to legal/governmental demands.

We are waiting for some legal advice on that particular area of law, but it would appear to me, personally, with some study in law, but not a lawyer at all, I might add, that bitcoins are not actually currency and cannot be regulated as such. I think those fears may be unfounded at this point.

Bitcoins represent a value, but since that value cannot at any one time, be directly pegged to the dollar, it's questionable whether or not bitcoins are actually currency at all.

Our intent is to keep it simple. It will not become a currency exchange or used for any other purpose. Just for buying and selling bitcoins as fast as possible.

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DamienBlack
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June 18, 2011, 06:59:19 PM
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I don't think being in the US is a deal breaker if you are trying to create a completely legal exchange. The first step would be talking to a lawyer to find out what you need to make it legal. Keep in mind that this might entail only serving US customers and getting all their info, address, SSN, and the like. It will probably also require a veritable slew of permits and proof that you are complying to various regulations. But that is for the lawyer to sort out.

And whether or not it is a currency, you will be dealing a lot with currency and banks. Given that, you will still need to jump through all the currency related hoops.

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June 18, 2011, 07:04:45 PM
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The biggest problem with Mtgox was the security issues, due to CSRF attacks, which most likely occurred because the developer probably didn't have much experience with web security. You're going to need to keep on top of web security techniques and practices and be available to lock down the site if any exploits are found.

Also, if any personal information is needed, like SSN, Name, Address, etc. for legal reasons, your site will probably not kick off.
bitrebel
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June 18, 2011, 07:08:26 PM
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The biggest problem with Mtgox was the security issues, due to CSRF attacks, which most likely occurred because the developer probably didn't have much experience with web security. You're going to need to keep on top of web security techniques and practices and be available to lock down the site if any exploits are found.

Also, if any personal information is needed, like SSN, Name, Address, etc. for legal reasons, your site will probably not kick off.

One of the biggest hurdles I agree will be anonymity. I would like to set it up so that anonymous direct deposits could be made, like E-Gold did a while back.

Our biggest legal problems will arise if it's treated like a currency, but if it's not, then we may be able to do this with complete anonymity. We're looking into that today as I type this.

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June 18, 2011, 07:14:15 PM
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One thing I can suggest is that when buying/selling, take whatever number is put into the field.
What I mean is: for example, on MtGox, if you put up an offer to buy 1BTC @ $10... the website may automatically take as much as $11 from your wallet. In my case, a while a ago I wanted to buy at $19 per BTC, but for some reason, MtGox took $19.72 per bitcoin and I was like WTF!!

So there's an idea you could fix...
bitrebel
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June 18, 2011, 07:16:41 PM
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One thing I can suggest is that when buying/selling, take whatever number is put into the field.
What I mean is: for example, on MtGox, if you put up an offer to buy 1BTC @ $10... the website may automatically take as much as $11 from your wallet. In my case, a while a ago I wanted to buy at $19 per BTC, but for some reason, MtGox took $19.72 per bitcoin and I was like WTF!!

So there's an idea you could fix...

Do you think maybe that includes their commission cut of .67% or so?
That could be it, right? Or no? I have yet to trade with them, myself. Too many problems so far.

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June 18, 2011, 07:20:00 PM
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One thing I can suggest is that when buying/selling, take whatever number is put into the field.
What I mean is: for example, on MtGox, if you put up an offer to buy 1BTC @ $10... the website may automatically take as much as $11 from your wallet. In my case, a while a ago I wanted to buy at $19 per BTC, but for some reason, MtGox took $19.72 per bitcoin and I was like WTF!!

So there's an idea you could fix...

Do you think maybe that includes their commission cut of .67% or so?
That could be it, right? Or no? I have yet to trade with them, myself. Too many problems so far.

Im pretty sure thats just toe commission, although they really could be much more transparent about it, i had to go to the bitcoin wiki to find out what the commission was on mt.gox, it doesnt even seem to be on the site anywhere.

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June 18, 2011, 07:44:07 PM
 #10

Center it on security and transparency of your operations would be my advice.

For example, you could make it that for a given account, only the address that sent coins in is allowed to retrieve coins out.
This would mitigate the issues where an attacker steal the password and transfer the funds to his own address in a snap.

For example this address could be entered at account creation. To add a new address, one would have to first send a small fee from the original address used to register the account.
(Ok, this means the user should really secure this one address)

Transparency of your own operations is also very critical.
Publish schematics of the architecture so people understand it and trust it.
Have a log of current problems and what actions are currently taken to address them.
bitrebel
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June 18, 2011, 07:49:25 PM
 #11

Center it on security and transparency of your operations would be my advice.

For example, you could make it that for a given account, only the address that sent coins in is allowed to retrieve coins out.
This would mitigate the issues where an attacker steal the password and transfer the funds to his own address in a snap.

For example this address could be entered at account creation. To add a new address, one would have to first send a small fee from the original address used to register the account.
(Ok, this means the user should really secure this one address)

Transparency of your own operations is also very critical.
Publish schematics of the architecture so people understand it and trust it.
Have a log of current problems and what actions are currently taken to address them.

These are great suggestions!
Thanks Joan


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optionstalker
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June 18, 2011, 08:03:12 PM
 #12

Our biggest legal problems will arise if it's treated like a currency, but if it's not, then we may be able to do this with complete anonymity. We're looking into that today as I type this.

Even without treating BTC like a currency, the U.S. could consider BTC exchanges like prediction markets, already illegal here. You should check with your legal counsel about that.
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June 18, 2011, 08:05:38 PM
 #13

I would like to see the charts and tickers that are often supplied by third-parties fully integrated into the trading site.

http://bitcoin.clarkmoody.com/time-sales/
http://mtgoxlive.com/orders
http://www.livebitcointicker.com/
http://www.bitcoincharts.com/

These sites are extremely helpful, but it's nice to have all that information at hand on the site. Still make sure to publish some type of API or web-socket so others can make use of it and personalize it to their own needs, but please do provide at least a minimum set of features, especially live stats.

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June 18, 2011, 08:11:07 PM
 #14

Make it possible to only put BUY/SELL orders that are 2% higher or lower than the last 24 hours average price.

If the "price" of a free market is wrong, it will correct itself quite easily (for example if it should be 21$ instead of 20$, and the last 24 hours average price is 20$, then you can put orders of up to 20.4$, once those sell, the average will shift up to 20.4$, slowly allowing for higher bids, for example if everyone puts 20.4 then in 12 hours you should have an average of 20.2, thus be able to put a 20.6 bid). You will offer greater stability and trust to your customers. You will also lag behind other markets, and have people oscillate between yours and other markets due to arbitrage possibilities.
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June 18, 2011, 08:30:48 PM
 #15


We want it to be as legal and upfront and trustworthy as possible.

Can people post suggestions of what makes the perfect (realistic) exchange?  


I think those are contradictory goals. I'm tired of companies telling me they'll keep my data private and then complying with the demands of strangers (strangers to me at least) at the drop of a hat. Or imposing their interpretation of some else's rules on me.

I think an exchange that lets people make offers that are available to everyone on their trust list and acts as a record keeper (maybe bitcoin escrow too) but has people settle dollars on their own would be good. I imagine you could make dollar debts transfer able with consent by all three parties so that they could net out and reduce the 'outside' transfers required. Build in all the PGP stuff and use the data from OTC to bootstrap.

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EhVedadoOAnonimato
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June 18, 2011, 08:34:29 PM
 #16

My friends and I are going to start an exchange, most likely, here in the US.

We want it to be as legal and upfront and trustworthy as possible.

My highlights. Not wanting to disappoint you, but I really don't think you can combine these two things. Either you do it out of US, or you do it knowing it won't remain legal for a long time.
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June 18, 2011, 08:50:45 PM
 #17

Make it possible to only put BUY/SELL orders that are 2% higher or lower than the last 24 hours average price.

If the "price" of a free market is wrong, it will correct itself quite easily (for example if it should be 21$ instead of 20$, and the last 24 hours average price is 20$, then you can put orders of up to 20.4$, once those sell, the average will shift up to 20.4$, slowly allowing for higher bids, for example if everyone puts 20.4 then in 12 hours you should have an average of 20.2, thus be able to put a 20.6 bid). You will offer greater stability and trust to your customers. You will also lag behind other markets, and have people oscillate between yours and other markets due to arbitrage possibilities.

This would be awful.

If there is even one unrestricted market and the price moves down by 10% then your site will have 0 buyers, they will all be buying at a 10% discount elsewhere. Likewise on moves up.

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June 18, 2011, 09:01:38 PM
 #18

for me, a zero fee mtgox would be perfect Smiley

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June 18, 2011, 09:19:57 PM
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Make it possible to only put BUY/SELL orders that are 2% higher or lower than the last 24 hours average price.

If the "price" of a free market is wrong, it will correct itself quite easily (for example if it should be 21$ instead of 20$, and the last 24 hours average price is 20$, then you can put orders of up to 20.4$, once those sell, the average will shift up to 20.4$, slowly allowing for higher bids, for example if everyone puts 20.4 then in 12 hours you should have an average of 20.2, thus be able to put a 20.6 bid). You will offer greater stability and trust to your customers. You will also lag behind other markets, and have people oscillate between yours and other markets due to arbitrage possibilities.

This would be awful.

If there is even one unrestricted market and the price moves down by 10% then your site will have 0 buyers, they will all be buying at a 10% discount elsewhere. Likewise on moves up.
Are you sure about that? Did you consider both parts of a market, eg. the sellers and the buyers?
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June 18, 2011, 09:24:23 PM
 #20

http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=18422.msg232881#msg232881

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