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Author Topic: BitCoin  (Read 1189 times)
camden
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August 30, 2011, 04:06:43 AM
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Question from a newbie here...

I only came across BitCoin recently, so please, bare with me..

I am soo loving this concept and it's application.  Security, LE, encryption, trust, and theft all seem to be discussed regularly.  If BitCoins became more 'mainstream' (which it appears the majority want), wouldn't these type of issues come up in a more dramatic form?  In other words, can it really become more popular with the mass populus needing to understand encryption, and all of the more technical facts?  I can understand it (to some degree) fine on my own, but doesn't it somewhat counter-productive in a way?

Just askin.

Thanks
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NothinG
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August 30, 2011, 04:13:59 AM
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One doesn't need to know how it (bitcoins/encryption) works, just would need to know how to send/receive money.
From there, it works like any other bank (as far as sending/receive money). Just a bit easier and LOADS faster.

camden
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August 30, 2011, 04:23:28 AM
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But trust would need to be involved, no? 

I've been reading quite a bit about LR, mtGox, IRS, FEDS, etc, etc..Possibility of anything being shutdown, thus the potential to lose money.  Or am I just reading in to it too much (small sample)?
indio007
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August 30, 2011, 04:26:24 AM
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Take my word for it , people use money all day and have no clue about it.
For instance, paying with a paper dollar discharges the debt in personam but not in rem. I bet you nearly no one know what I'm talking despite the fact it determines someone legal rights regarding a sale . Somehow people still use dollars .
Understanding is overrated.

All they need to know is sending Bitcoins is like sending specie coin in the mail.
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August 30, 2011, 04:29:40 AM
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Using Mt.Gox (for example) is trusting Mt.Gox that they will secure your transactions so you get what you pay for.
It's just like using PayPal to buy products from e-bay. You'd be trusting them to make sure your transaction goes smoothly.

Luckily Mt.Gox has a good history.

Don't worry about thinking too much into it, it's good to find exploits so they can be patched.

camden
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August 30, 2011, 04:34:42 AM
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I'm not a fan of the "don't think too much about it" line.  That's the whole way I found BitCoin - I think too much!  Besides, we're consistently being nudged to "not think too much" about everything in life. 

Question, for example..Who owns mtGox or any other such exchanges?  I have no clue, and this information doesn't appear to be easily available.

Again, I'm not trying to be a dick or anything, I'm just trying to understand all of this.  Being told to not think about it isn't encouraging Smiley

NothinG
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August 30, 2011, 04:38:39 AM
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Who owns mtGox or any other such exchanges?
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/User:MagicalTux
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=2134

He's on the IRC somewhere, but I don't watch it.

Being told to not think about it isn't encouraging Smiley
The average Bitcoin user shouldn't have to worry about how public/private keys are exchanged when dealing with transactions.
If anyone feels like taking it further, it's open source. Smiley

nmat
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August 30, 2011, 04:43:44 AM
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Don't worry much about the technical details unless you are really interested in the inner works. The bitcoin itself is secure. That's what you need to know.

What might not be secure are the services that use bitcoins (exchanges, online stores, online wallets, etc.). So yes, you should try to check who are the owners of the websites you use. Ask here or search the wiki if you are unsure about a certain service.
camden
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August 30, 2011, 04:48:00 AM
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Sorry - when referring to encryption, i didn't mean encryption surrounding coins.

So - when sending funds and receiving coins from mtGox, it's essentially a person(s) doing this.  This is what I'm referring to.  I think for the 'average joe' to accept this (assuming they even check) would take a whole perception shift.  PayPal is PayPal.  People know PayPal and "trust" PayPal.  What's the driving factor here?  I'm in to BitCoin because it avoids major institutions?  Because there are lower fees?  Why do I decide to start using BitCoins (hypothetically speaking of course).
NothinG
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August 30, 2011, 04:54:24 AM
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People know PayPal and "trust" PayPal.
I don't trust them. Tongue

Why do I decide to start using BitCoins (hypothetically speaking of course).
The idea is to get merchants to accept Bitcoins.

nmat
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August 30, 2011, 04:57:48 AM
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Sorry - when referring to encryption, i didn't mean encryption surrounding coins.

So - when sending funds and receiving coins from mtGox, it's essentially a person(s) doing this.  This is what I'm referring to.  I think for the 'average joe' to accept this (assuming they even check) would take a whole perception shift.  PayPal is PayPal.  People know PayPal and "trust" PayPal.  What's the driving factor here?  I'm in to BitCoin because it avoids major institutions?  Because there are lower fees?  Why do I decide to start using BitCoins (hypothetically speaking of course).

Bitcoin is a different currency. You buy bitcoins like you buy euros, us dollars or any other currency.
MtGox is an exchange. There are people selling bitcoins and people buying bitcoins at MtGox. That is what drives bitcoin's price up and down, just like in the stock market, forex, etc.

Why use bitcoins is an interesting question that we could talk about all day long... There are some key points I think:
- Lower fees than credit cards
- Universal (I can send money to my cousin in australia and I don't pay extra for that)
- Private (you don't need to have my name, address, etc. if you want to take a payment from me)

Many people are in it for curiosity, others because they can mine with their computer and others because they can order drugs online with it. It really depends...
camden
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August 30, 2011, 05:09:44 AM
 #12

So, would you say it's "aimed" at those who:

- have technical knowledge
- are technically curious
- are suspicious of everything
- want to buy drugs
- want to launder money (?)
- are against "the man"
- are against "the system"
- want to be anonymous
- want to be "cutting edge" (?)

Is my mom going to want to start using BitCoins? 
NothinG
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August 30, 2011, 05:22:54 AM
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- have technical knowledge Yes
- are technically curious Yes
- are suspicious of everything No
- want to buy drugs No
- want to launder money (?) No
- are against "the man" Yes
- are against "the system" Yes
- want to be anonymous Maybe
- want to be "cutting edge" (?) Possibly

camden
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August 30, 2011, 05:24:44 AM
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- have technical knowledge Yes
- are technically curious Yes
- are suspicious of everything No
- want to buy drugs No
- want to launder money (?) No
- are against "the man" Yes
- are against "the system" Yes
- want to be anonymous Maybe
- want to be "cutting edge" (?) Possibly

And what about my mom?
NothinG
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August 30, 2011, 05:26:43 AM
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- have technical knowledge Yes
- are technically curious Yes
- are suspicious of everything No
- want to buy drugs No
- want to launder money (?) No
- are against "the man" Yes
- are against "the system" Yes
- want to be anonymous Maybe
- want to be "cutting edge" (?) Possibly

And what about my mom?
I don't know your mom.
Look at my comments about your list of questions.
Do any/all of them concern her?

nmat
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August 30, 2011, 05:27:10 AM
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Note that bitcoin is not anonymous by design. There is a certain level of privacy, but all the transactions are publicly logged.

Bitcoins are aimed at everyone. To find out the motivation of the current userbase you would have to survey all users Wink But yes, currently there are mostly tech geeks, libertarians and some drugs fans (money laundry isn't very popular in my opinion).

I think bitcoins would simplify online payments and transactions. For example, I live in europe, but I like dealextreme.com because they offer free shipping and they have cheap stuff. It would be cool if they let me pay with bitcoins and avoid the fees from Eur/USD conversion. Other area where bitcoins could be useful is micro-payments.

Your mom probably won't use bitcoins anytime soon (or ever). If bitcoins take off, they will take their place as an alternative way to pay online. So if bitcoin succeeds and if your mom shops online, she might use bitcoins in a few years.
camden
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August 30, 2011, 05:29:08 AM
 #17

Quote
I don't know your mom.
Look at my comments about your list of questions.
Do any/all of them concern her?

Sorry - I realized a few minutes later that was a dumb question I asked.  Apologies.
camden
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August 30, 2011, 05:34:57 AM
 #18

Note that bitcoin is not anonymous by design. There is a certain level of privacy, but all the transactions are publicly logged.

Bitcoins are aimed at everyone. To find out the motivation of the current userbase you would have to survey all users Wink But yes, currently there are mostly tech geeks, libertarians and some drugs fans (money laundry isn't very popular in my opinion).

I think bitcoins would simplify online payments and transactions. For example, I live in europe, but I like dealextreme.com because they offer free shipping and they have cheap stuff. It would be cool if they let me pay with bitcoins and avoid the fees from Eur/USD conversion. Other area where bitcoins could be useful is micro-payments.

Your mom probably won't use bitcoins anytime soon (or ever). If bitcoins take off, they will take their place as an alternative way to pay online. So if bitcoin succeeds and if your mom shops online, she might use bitcoins in a few years.


I hear what you're saying..

I, personally, feel the level of 'technical' knowledge is a little too advanced for the 'mainstream' crowd.  Think of the folks that don't even understand or know how to use torrents.  If this is the ultimate goal for BitCoin, it needs to really simplify the process.

It seems to me that BitCoin is sort of like an "underground currency".  I'm not knocking it.  It's the lack of mainstream that draws me to it.

I do appreciate your post though, it help provide some insights.
indio007
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August 30, 2011, 05:37:30 AM
 #19

Tell your Mom Bitcoins are the electronic version of sending cash in the mail. Except they can't be counterfeited . They are superior to credit cards or electronic check because they can't be charged back. They can be exchanged for local currency. They have a low conversion fee. Mtgox charges roughly .06% per trade. Withdrawal from Mtgox to Dwolla costs $0.25 flat rate.

The other side of the bitcoin is they are like cash. You need physical security of your PC/Mac/Cellphone. You need network security of you PC/Mac/Cellphone. You can limit this to physical security only by taking your Bitcoin wallet off the net. Like cash , once you send it it's gone. You have to be able to trust the other side of the transaction to send what you purchase. The only glaring weakness is that the risk is completely asymmetric. The receiver of Bitcoin has no worries. The sender has to worry about not getting the object paid for or it not being in the condition described or broken. Escrow can solve this. As can verifying identity. Insurance is in the works so that will be an option soon enough.
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August 31, 2011, 01:50:06 AM
 #20

Question from a newbie here...

I only came across BitCoin recently, so please, bare with me..

I am soo loving this concept and it's application.  Security, LE, encryption, trust, and theft all seem to be discussed regularly.  If BitCoins became more 'mainstream' (which it appears the majority want), wouldn't these type of issues come up in a more dramatic form?  In other words, can it really become more popular with the mass populus needing to understand encryption, and all of the more technical facts?  I can understand it (to some degree) fine on my own, but doesn't it somewhat counter-productive in a way?

Just askin.

Thanks

You need to understand encryption to use bitcoin in the same way you need to understand the federal reserve to use paper money.

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