I like both B7 and Tradehill, and this internal quibbling is going to do nothing but bring bad blood between the both of them. Which will just make things harder on the both of them being stuck in the huge shadow of Mount Gox.
B7 is crazy fast with Dwolla transfers, and has somewhat of an orderbook.
Tradehill could benefit by just dropping this and asking B7 for help with the crazy fast Dwolla transfers?
If both B7 and Tradehill are shills for CIA black ops, it wouldn't surprise me, I would however be more inclined to trust camp bx as the CIA shill based on the form of psyops their promoters are using.
That basically says one thing, tighten up the both of you, because a new competitor is coming, and they use PSYOPS.
I agree. A pissing match is no good for anyone.
Massive edit: I'm elaborating greatly on my above response.
So, okay. Here's my essay on why this pissing match is not good.
On first impression, it gives me little confidence in any exchange. Trust and confidence are
really important for people handling your money, as evidenced by the sheer number of
renouncing folks who have either switched from Mt. Gox or stopped trading altogether.
You can see both of these effects in the greatly-diminished post-rollback volume at Mt. Gox.
Actually, volume between all exchanges, in total, is terribly low. The confidence of those
buying into your exchange is a massive issue. Although Bitcoin is worldwide, it still
often strikes me as a small community. What happened at Mt. Gox, while in the short term
undeniably benefited other exchanges, is bad past that near-sightedness. A lot of new or
timid people were taking Mt. Gox's rollback to indicate that bitcoin as an enterprise wasn't
holistically ready for their money yet, no matter the exchange.
On examination, it appears that what affects one exchange affects all exchanges.
Well, this is bad for business on all sides. What worries me further is that I don't see enough
business acumen in anyone to realize what is good for their own companies. MagicalTux
obviously needs to hire someone to handle PR and communication, because silence,
rumors, and dubious quotes from IRC are not good for business. You don't want the
indivduals handling your money to appear shadowy.
Now, while Tradehill and Bitcoin 7 are trying to capitalize on diminished faith in Mt.
Gox, Bitcoin7 being relatively strangers to bitcoin does them no good. On top of that,
this whole referral scheme, while it probably introduced a lot of people to the site, is
horrible PR. You know what else gets good initial results with little effort? Door to door sales,
infomercials, telemarketing, spam, pyramid schemes, MLMs, and HYIPs. But if you plan on
staying around as a company for more than a few months, you're shooting yourselves in your dicks.
Phew. Where was I? Oh yeah. Professionalism. I am the least professional person I know
of and I can't believe that I'm having to tell money-handlers this: This pissing match--as it is
so unprofessional and money handling is nothing of not about professionalism--makes me question
the owners' ethics and, more importantly, their ability to stay afloat while they hold my money.
In truth, what prompted me to write this extensive elaboration on my initial, single
sentence comment was that I was getting flashbacks of the early days of several MMORPGs. Banking
industries were developing and competitive strife resulted in a massive amount of drama bullshit
that inevitably erupted on forums and in-game. And usually this kind of thing just prompted a more
supreme authority to smack everyone down, which is the kind of scenario that Bitcoin doesn't need.
Let's get specific:
Look, Bitcoin7, if it's taking you so long to respond to a cut-and-dried issue such as you
borrowing, stealing or inadvertently copying text, then why the hell should I trust that, if
users like me had an issue, you would respond to it promptly, if at all? If you're
leveling blame on outsourced copywriters, what else might you blame others for in the future?
Lo, are you under the impression that the whole "blaming the contractor" thing worked out
so well for Mt. Gox's security breach? It makes you look incompetent. It makes you look
heartily unresponsive to what should be an reasonable request. It makes you look like
idiots for, in the face of being called on these issues and doing anything but saying "Oh gosh.
Truly a mistake. We're very sorry."
In short, you have no ammo to criticize others with. So, in political advisement terms, the only
foresightful way to settle the issue is to do as requested and very plainly, bluntly and
yearnfully apologize. Here's an example: A politician cheats on his wife, and a few journalists pick up
on hints of the story. The politician can either try to keep the cat in the bag for an
unendurable while (which, granted, is sometimes the best move if the fallout
can be delayed until after an election) or he can announce his cheating. For the latter option,
a smart politician would say very plainly that he's ashamed, that his marriage is
narbacular and rocky, and they've been keeping up appearances for the sake of their public image,
reasons such as kids and family, etc. In the first option, there would be rumors for an
exhaustingly long time, then news stories, then an investigation, and the politician will
actively downplay everything until more investigations make him look silly. Then he finally would
defeatedly admit his guilt, but only with excuses and defensive attacks against the motives of
those who dug up the story.
However, in the second option, there would be a shitstorm for a few days, but then the story would stop.
It has been spent. There is nothing new that could be said. It becomes a non-issue. Hell, for
some of his constituents, the politician has actually won favor by suddenly
appearing human and bluntly honest. After that, if pressed with further attacks by his
conniving opponents, they look like bullies attacking a flawed and already-beaten man.
Really, their only move then is to stop and let third parties (media and voters) do the rest of the talking.
Okay. So, by firing back or presenting more excuse, Bitcoin7, you're only prolonging a battle that
simply will only cause you to lose by greater and greater margins.
Tradehill, here's what I think:
I don't see how you could really give an honest shit about your text being copied. Why? Because everyone
completely knows it's yours, it makes Bitcoin7 look terrible, you can't make them
possibly look any worse by attacking them further, and actually forcing them to do anything through
official, legal means is quite laughable. Doing anything but making continuous, polite,
sane requests just makes you look amateurish.
Through the proper response, you could have appeared as a larger, more professional exchange.
Think about what something like this statement would say about you guys: "We're very flattered
here that a new upstart exchange, Bitcoin7, has used our text and some design
elements on their website. We've been assured by them that it was a rookie mistake, apparently the
work of an incompetent outside contractor, and that the it will be corrected soon.
Otherwise, we just wanted to inform our users that, despite the similarities, Bitcoin7 is not a
related business enterprise to Tradehill. However, we welcome the competition and the
dependability and access that more and varied exchanges bring to Bitcoin."
So, while a bit rough, if I had read that statement, it would give me these impressions:
1) Heads above, you are a much more established exchange (worthy of being copied)
2) Even more important: You are gracious and calm in the face of problems.
3) It seems that you are Bitcoin supporters--You're not new to the community or in it
solely for profit, which also hints at bitcoin7 developers' relative newness to the community.
4) Although welcoming the competition, you don't think that they're worthy of
much complaining on your part because they're small fries. See, if you were to attack them more
overtly, you would give this new company credence and put them on level ground. That would
really make me think that you perceive them as the real deal.
On the point of being gracious, that doesn't mean your complaint is invalid. What I'm saying,
now, is that saying much of anything combative makes you look bad. And
it's unnecessary in this community because, in case you couldn't tell, assholes and
nincompoops like me will freely find and take up any valid cause. There are plenty of vocal
Tradehill supporters on these forums. When dealing with new or "lesser competition", your only
honest move is to make repeated, boring, polite inquiries until their noncooperation is
evident and someone other than you points this out. Right now, as that plagiarized
text still exists in some form, they look like total plagiarizing dicks, but only so long as you
have a cool head.
Right. Or, to couch this point in political terms, the well-established incumbent cannot himself, in
effect, make accusations against his competitor, even if he had something as damning as
a bestiality sex tape featuring the town's prized horse mascot.
Dirt only works in your favor in close races, and it permanently paints you as a mudslinger.
On another note, quoting your TOS is hilarious. Yeah, that worked out real well for MagicalTux, who
kindly made a thread about how his Force Majeure clause exempts Mt. Gox from liability. Even if he's
accurate, quoting a TOS as anything more than a list of helpful suggestions is hilarious,
yet especially to this highly-technical audience.
The rest of this just delves into complete gibberish. You can skip it if you want.
The crappy referral idea, which is neither itself original nor a good idea, makes me think that you don't plan on being around for very long (as I explained in some now-distant above paragraph). But mentioning this as something stolen is pretty laughable. It's akin to a business complaining about the ethics of their cleavage tattoo advertisement initiative being cooped by another company. I can't think of a better analogy, so I'll stick with that crappy one and let's all pretend that it was really witty and move on, okay? Cool.
Tradehill guys, I'm picking on you a bit more because I think your problems are more obscure and need more explaining, while Bitcoin7's flaws are pretty readily apparent.
Here's one final point for both new exchanges: You're not exclusive competitors. There's another exchange coming soon with better features than everyone and they, get this, actually did an open testing period using funny money rather than just throwing their hats into the ring, unprepared. Also, Mt. Gox, reopened, is still the volume leader. This is despite the dual confluences of unsolicited referral spam piss streams that cover the forums and anywhere that bitcoin is mentioned (See, for example, comments sections on some news articles).
The final option that customers have is not to be a customer of any exchange at all. It seems that, post-rollback, many having chosen this route. Bitcoin is perceived to be risky enough as it is, but add to that the risk that one might lose it all, not to a tanking investment but to issues at an exchange, and that's enough for a lot of people to stop trading on exchanges.
Not to mention that half of the people who don't want to use someone's referral are just plain disinclined to join at all because you've effectively given a biased discount. It's like when you pick up an item in a retail store and notice that it was formerly on sale. That's a great way to instantly reduce your perceived value. Or, in a more common example: After you graduate and stop getting student discounts, you generally stop patronizing those formerly-discounted places because it's almost like the price increased, but only for you. If ever the crappy referral free-ipod-pyramid-scheme ends, future customers are going to be very aware of their "overpayment." So the least harmful solution is to stop the referral program and then give the same discount to all new customers.
However, nobody really bets money on a vicious fight for second place. It's interesting drama, sure, but they'll usually just bypass the fight entirely and go straight to the number one company. In fact, by ignoring the other second place contestants, you can often become second place just by acting the part:
Avis was not the second-biggest rental car company, by a long shot, when they started that campaign. But they were at the end of that campaign. You can easily become how customers perceive you. That can be a good or a bad thing.
Jesus, this post wasn't even slightly funny. What have you guys done to me?