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Author Topic: Some Quick BitCoin Question  (Read 533 times)
jsttn
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June 22, 2011, 01:18:47 AM
 #1

Hey guys,

I love the idea behind bitcoins. Digitizing money and a decentralized currency makes so much sense! However I have 2 concerns. Can someone adress these?

1. If I send someone BitCoins in exchange for an item and they do NOT give me the item can I cancel the transaction?
    2. If my computer crashes will my BitCoin address be gone or can I access it somehow?

Sorry if these are newb questions but that's why it's the newbie section! Thanks.
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June 22, 2011, 01:27:07 AM
 #2

I'm new as well, but I think I can answer some of your questions:
1) - Irreversible transactions = there is no way.   But good news, there are escrow services out there (https://clearcoin.appspot.com/) that do exactly what you're looking for.   With an escrow service like that, you agree with someone to buy something from them for BTC, then you pay the escrow service, then the seller sends you the item, then once you've recieved the item you release the BTC from the escrow service, who then delivers them to the item seller.

If you work without an escrow service, you take a chance - Luckily the escrow stuff is dirt cheap (half a percent from the BTC supplier)

2) I don't believe this will effect anything.  But if you were to reformat your hdd without backing up your btc elsewhere, that would be bad and dumb and should be avoided.

Good luck!

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JoelKatz
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June 22, 2011, 01:44:30 AM
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1. If I send someone BitCoins in exchange for an item and they do NOT give me the item can I cancel the transaction?
No. If you could, what incentive would they have to give you the item

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    2. If my computer crashes will my BitCoin address be gone or can I access it somehow?
A private key grants the ability to transfer BitCoins out of any given address. If you have lost that private key, your coins are gone forever. If you still have that private key (say because you backed it up) then you can still transfer the coins. You must guard your private key -- anyone who has it can irrevocably transfer away your BitCoins.

It is to some extent unfortunate the private key file is called a 'wallet'. It is most unlike a wallet and is in fact more like a keyring.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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