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Author Topic: Irreversibility of Bitcoin Transactions  (Read 1097 times)
shamoons (OP)
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November 29, 2013, 04:04:54 PM
 #1

Trying to explain the irreversibility to the lay person. How is this:

Quote
Think of Bitcoin like cash in this regard. When you give cash to a friend, no third-party can reverse that transaction. Only your friend can give you that money back. It is an important property of cold-hard cash that is often overlooked. A credit card, by contrast, is a reversible transaction. If you shop at a store and pay with credit card, the bank can reverse that transaction when you return the item – or if they suspect fraud. The same is true of many online payment systems such as PayPal and Google Checkout. When you send money to a friend with PayPal, it is a reversible transaction and PayPal can reverse that transaction for any (or no) reason. A Bitcoin transaction is completely irreversible. When you send a Bitcoin to someone, no one in the world can reverse that transaction. There is no corporation or central authority to complain to if you are unhappy with the product or service that you bought with bitcoins. This same property means that any government or corporation cannot seize your bitcoins.
hilariousandco
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November 29, 2013, 04:09:22 PM
 #2

Trying to explain the irreversibility to the lay person. How is this:

Quote
Think of Bitcoin like cash in this regard. When you give cash to a friend, no third-party can reverse that transaction.

Somebody could beat him up and take it off him or force him to give it back haha. But yeah, your description seems about right apart from maybe "When you send a "Bitcoin to someone, no one in the world can reverse that transaction"... the recipient can send it back, but semantics Smiley.

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shamoons (OP)
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November 29, 2013, 04:21:53 PM
 #3

How's this?

Quote
Think of Bitcoin like cash in this regard. When you give cash to a friend, no third-party can reverse that transaction. Only your friend can give you that money back (or you can mercilessly beat him until he is knocked unconscious and then steal the money back). It is an important property of cold-hard cash that is often overlooked. A credit card, by contrast, is a reversible transaction. If you shop at a store and pay with credit card, the bank can reverse that transaction when you return the item – or if they suspect fraud. The same is true of many online payment systems such as PayPal and Google Checkout. When you send money to a friend with PayPal, it is a reversible transaction and PayPal can reverse that transaction for any (or no) reason. A Bitcoin transaction is completely irreversible. When you send a Bitcoin to someone, no one in the world can reverse that transaction. Even beating the recipient mercilessly, as in the cash example, will not guarantee that you can recover the funds as the recipient may have a password protecting his wallet. There is no corporation or central authority to complain to if you are unhappy with the product or service that you bought with bitcoins. This same property means that any government or corporation cannot seize your bitcoins.
hilariousandco
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November 29, 2013, 04:24:09 PM
 #4

Haha. Perfect.  Grin

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shamoons (OP)
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November 29, 2013, 04:31:45 PM
 #5

Haha. Perfect.  Grin

Any other feedback?
hilariousandco
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November 29, 2013, 04:33:35 PM
 #6


Of you first draft or second? Wink

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shamoons (OP)
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November 29, 2013, 04:35:03 PM
 #7

Second - first, whichever. Any points I'm missing? Anything I'm not explaining clearly?
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November 29, 2013, 04:57:28 PM
 #8

The beating part is not always valid.

For cash, it can work. The person can physically take the money from you by force in the same way they're using force to beat you.

With Bitcoin, you can even resist force. No matter how much physical violence is used against you, you can still choose not to divulge your password.


The same situation exists if you hide cash or valuables. Because cash is an actual physical object, someone can guess the whereabouts of it, or accidentally find it, or systematically search an area where they suspect or know it is hidden. No such shortcuts with Bitcoin.

Vires in numeris
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November 29, 2013, 05:48:05 PM
 #9

its more like beaming (as in star trek) cash to an unregistered post box.

because you cant just go and beat someone up. you have to locate them first and travel there. or send someone.

if the other guy does not want to be found it might be very hard to track him down...
revans
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November 29, 2013, 06:09:29 PM
 #10

Why would you explain something which isn't true.  There is reversibility and it has been deployed.
shamoons (OP)
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November 29, 2013, 06:22:58 PM
 #11

Why would you explain something which isn't true.  There is reversibility and it has been deployed.

What reversibility?
revans
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November 29, 2013, 07:53:24 PM
Last edit: November 29, 2013, 09:01:14 PM by revans
 #12

Why would you explain something which isn't true.  There is reversibility and it has been deployed.

What reversibility?

CVE-2010-5139
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November 29, 2013, 08:59:36 PM
 #13

great Grin
shamoons (OP)
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November 29, 2013, 11:21:23 PM
 #14

Why would you explain something which isn't true.  There is reversibility and it has been deployed.

What reversibility?

CVE-2010-5139

Okay so < 0.3 had this vulnerability. But past that, it's been resolved?
revans
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November 29, 2013, 11:22:47 PM
 #15

Why would you explain something which isn't true.  There is reversibility and it has been deployed.

What reversibility?

CVE-2010-5139

Okay so < 0.3 had this vulnerability. But past that, it's been resolved?

That particular vulnerability, yes.
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