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Author Topic: Exchange accidentally sent 512 bitcoins after coding error  (Read 32389 times)
the joint
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September 03, 2011, 11:12:12 PM
 #301

It absolutely does matter if it's a currency, since as you state...

??

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tangible and intangible personal property, ...

My argument is, if BTC are mined only, then it's not property yet.

Only when BTC are purchased with USD or other property does the BTC become property.

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defxor
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September 03, 2011, 11:18:35 PM
 #302

My argument is

... completely irrelevant. Start by reading the existing posts, everything is covered there and personal speculation is completely pointless.
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September 03, 2011, 11:18:50 PM
 #303

The small claims court cap in Oregon is $7500 value. Small claims means neither party would get a lawyer. People saying a lawyer would make it prohibitively expensive is a red herring. Even still, if they did have to retain a lawyer the loser pays legal costs, so that's a non-starter as well.

What's going to decide how whether anything happens is whether the victim can get to Oregon or the US District Court in Oregon.

However he can always sell his claim to someone that is local and they can sue and recover. This would be an easy recovery because of his confession of pretty much every, his defense being, "your SoL" Once you get the judgment. Then comes wage garnishment and even seizure of property via the Sheriff's office. Court judgments can show up on credit reports.

Plus there is no doubt this is larceny. The victim doesn't have to be present to report a crime. The courts are strapped for cash and the will drag people in there for anything nowadays just to collect a gazillion fees.

Believe me, the victim can cause more than 500+ BTC worth of hell for this asshole.

the joint
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September 03, 2011, 11:24:22 PM
 #304

My argument is

... completely irrelevant. Start by reading the existing posts, everything is covered there and personal speculation is completely pointless.


How irrelevant?

I'm arguing according to how the law is defined and according to what BTC is.

I'm arguing that BTC is not property as defined by law unless it meets certain criteria.  Some guy wants his BTC back.  I'm saying they might not be his, and also describing how he could go about showing if they are his or not.

Edit:  Law is up for interpretation.  This is what lawyers do.

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September 03, 2011, 11:26:58 PM
 #305

here's the Oregon law on the matter: http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/164.html
Quote
     (2) Commits theft of property lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake as provided in ORS 164.065;

Oregon State's definition of "Thief":

Quote
64.005 Definitions. As used in chapter 743, Oregon Laws 1971, unless the context requires otherwise:
      (1) “Appropriate property of another to oneself or a third person” or “appropriate” means to:
      (a) Exercise control over property of another, or to aid a third person to exercise control over property of another, permanently or for so extended a period or under such circumstances as to acquire the major portion of the economic value or benefit of such property; or
      (b) Dispose of the property of another for the benefit of oneself or a third person.
      (2) “Deprive another of property” or “deprive” means to:
      (a) Withhold property of another or cause property of another to be withheld from that person permanently or for so extended a period or under such circumstances that the major portion of its economic value or benefit is lost to that person; or
      (b) Dispose of the property in such manner or under such circumstances as to render it unlikely that an owner will recover such property.
      (3) “Obtain” includes, but is not limited to, the bringing about of a transfer or purported transfer of property or of a legal interest therein, whether to the obtainer or another.
      (4) “Owner of property taken, obtained or withheld” or “owner” means any person who has a right to possession thereof superior to that of the taker, obtainer or withholder.
      (5) “Property” means any article, substance or thing of value, including, but not limited to, money, tangible and intangible personal property, real property, choses-in-action, evidence of debt or of contract. [1971 c.743 §121]


These laws would be applicable had intersango not voluntarily relinquished ownership of the coins.
When you send bitcoins, you are no longer the owner of those bitcoins. They are therefore not your property and there is no legal right to them. Does everyone forget that these transactions are digitally signed? Intersango "agreed" by signing the coins away to bendavis that they are no longer the owners. Unlike mistakenly sending a tangible item that at the very simplest form you could simply "go and retrieve", once you are no longer the owner of the bitcoin, that's it and nothing can or will be done.

edit: in fact, since bendavis was the owner of the bitcoin after the transactions, i'd say intersango likely opens themselves up for a counter-suit for attempted extortion.
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September 03, 2011, 11:30:24 PM
 #306

These laws would be applicable had intersango not voluntarily relinquished ownership of the coins. Intersango "agreed" by signing the coins away to bendavis that they are no longer the owners.

No, since it wasn't their intention. Bitcoin's technical implementation is of no relevance.

I'm arguing according to how the law is defined and according to what BTC is.

No. You're ignoring both the existing case law that has been posted as well as claiming BTC is somehow "special". The only way I can see why you would do that is if you completely ignore all the information in the thread in preference for your own ramblings.

That's pointless. This is a clear cut case, based in law, with no special provisions needed for it being about bitcoins.
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September 03, 2011, 11:34:38 PM
 #307

These laws would be applicable had intersango not voluntarily relinquished ownership of the coins. Intersango "agreed" by signing the coins away to bendavis that they are no longer the owners.

No, since it wasn't their intention. Bitcoin's technical implementation is of no relevance.
The technical implementation is of extreme relevance due to the nature of the transactions. Intent is not relevant. Bitcoin are like contracts. If you sign a contract you cannot back out of it simply by saying "i didnt intend to sign", you have already agreed to it. Dont intend to have things automatically signed for you? Then dont setup buggy software, simple.
the joint
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September 03, 2011, 11:37:16 PM
 #308

These laws would be applicable had intersango not voluntarily relinquished ownership of the coins. Intersango "agreed" by signing the coins away to bendavis that they are no longer the owners.

No, since it wasn't their intention. Bitcoin's technical implementation is of no relevance.

I'm arguing according to how the law is defined and according to what BTC is.

No. You're ignoring both the existing case law that has been posted as well as claiming BTC is somehow "special". The only way I can see why you would do that is if you completely ignore all the information in the thread in preference for your own ramblings.

That's pointless. This is a clear cut case, based in law, with no special provisions needed for it being about bitcoins.


Regarding the intention, did you read my other post?  The 'mistake' of the owner was to be ignorant of the parameters of the code. There was no mistake in the transaction...the code worked as written.  That's why I made the analogy to getting drunk.  If you get drunk and then give someone money that you later want back, the mistake wasn't giving someone money, it was getting drunk.  The sender's mistake was ignorance of the code, not in the transfer of BTC.

And, you're ignoring the description of the law itself.  Property must have 'value,' and there is absolutely nothing that gives mined BTC value to humans.  Just because it's on your computer doesn't mean it's yours or that it has value.  Is Google yours, even though it's running on your browser?  No.  It belongs to someone else because it is the product of their WORK.  Mined BTCs are not the product of human work, and thus have no human value. They are the product of computer work.  Only when BTCs are purchased for USD or some other property that has human value does the BTC become the property of humans.


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September 03, 2011, 11:39:36 PM
 #309


These laws would be applicable had intersango not voluntarily relinquished ownership of the coins.
When you send bitcoins, you are no longer the owner of those bitcoins. They are therefore not your property and there is no legal right to them. Does everyone forget that these transactions are digitally signed? Intersango "agreed" by signing the coins away to bendavis that they are no longer the owners. Unlike mistakenly sending a tangible item that at the very simplest form you could simply "go and retrieve", once you are no longer the owner of the bitcoin, that's it and nothing can or will be done.

edit: in fact, since bendavis was the owner of the bitcoin after the transactions, i'd say intersango likely opens themselves up for a counter-suit for attempted extortion.

This (transfer vs possession) is interesting discussion (started a new thread for this) that contains some comments from this thread:

Quote
[05:19] <phantomcircuit> it is our property
[05:19] <phantomcircuit> he is merely in possession of it

Not true.  The blockchain is a record of who possesses what.  It is not a record of ownership or title.

If you send me 100 BTC for safekeeping, or loan me your car, I possess it, but you still own it.

http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/164.html

I'll quote the relevant section (164.015):
Quote
     (2) Commits theft of property lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake as provided in ORS 164.065;

Real fast. Bitcoins are network access  and certain network authentication services. The legal term is an incorporeal hereditament. Yes they can be stolen. Yes there is title to them. Possession alone passes no title even for negotiable instruments, which happen to construe possession most strongly.

There is no legal or moral excuse for this behavior. At the very least there is UNJUST ENRICHMENT which is a tort.

Anyone claiming otherwise is a fool and an idiot. You are so dependent on the nanny state to define your rights you forget them some rights are strictly sui generis.
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September 03, 2011, 11:42:27 PM
 #310

Regarding the intention, did you read my other post?

Yes. Your posts contain no information of interest.

Quote
And, you're ignoring the description of the law itself.  Property must have 'value,' and there is absolutely nothing that gives mined BTC value to humans.

I can only assume you're trying to be funny. The value of a bitcoin at the nearest exchange is enough, just like with gold.

Quote
Mined BTCs are not the product of human work, and thus have no human value. They are the product of computer work.  Only when BTCs are purchased for USD or some other property that has human value does the BTC become the property of humans.

This is what I meant with your personal ramblings. Don't do forums when on LSD.

Quote
“The court effectively found that, even though virtual currency isn’t real and is infinite in supply, it still can deserve legal protection in the same way as real world currency,”
(UK - http://www.allfacebook.com/hacker-steals-12-million-in-zynga-poker-chips-2011-02)
mizerydearia
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September 03, 2011, 11:43:39 PM
 #311

The technical implementation is of extreme relevance due to the nature of the transactions. Intent is not relevant. Bitcoin are like contracts. If you sign a contract you cannot back out of it simply by saying "i didnt intend to sign", you have already agreed to it. Dont intend to have things automatically signed for you? Then dont setup buggy software, simple.

You know what this means?  Laws have been deprecated!  Woo!  We are no longer slaves!  FREEDOM!
the joint
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September 03, 2011, 11:47:11 PM
 #312

Regarding the intention, did you read my other post?

Yes. Your posts contain no information of interest.

Quote
And, you're ignoring the description of the law itself.  Property must have 'value,' and there is absolutely nothing that gives mined BTC value to humans.

I can only assume you're trying to be funny. The value of a bitcoin at the nearest exchange is enough, just like with gold.

Quote
Mined BTCs are not the product of human work, and thus have no human value. They are the product of computer work.  Only when BTCs are purchased for USD or some other property that has human value does the BTC become the property of humans.

This is what I meant with your personal ramblings. Don't do forums when on LSD.

Quote
“The court effectively found that, even though virtual currency isn’t real and is infinite in supply, it still can deserve legal protection in the same way as real world currency,”
(UK - http://www.allfacebook.com/hacker-steals-12-million-in-zynga-poker-chips-2011-02)

BTC is not legally recognized as a currency tied to a USD exhange rate.  You don't have to report your BTC holdings to the IRS.  Only when you exchange them for USD do you have to report this.  BTC is absolutely not like gold.

These aren't personal 'ramblings'.  I'm interpreting the language of the law.  You'd make a shitty lawyer.

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September 03, 2011, 11:49:39 PM
 #313

BTC is not legally recognized as a currency tied to a USD exhange rate.

Again with the personal ramblings. The above is utterly irrelevant.

(But feel free to explain why courts all over the world prosecute over Runescape swords, Habbo hotel furniture and Zynga poker chips with your fantasy above in mind)
the joint
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September 03, 2011, 11:51:15 PM
 #314

BTC is not legally recognized as a currency tied to a USD exhange rate.

Again with the personal ramblings. The above is utterly irrelevant.

(But feel free to explain why courts all over the world prosecute over Runescape swords, Habbo hotel furniture and Zynga poker chips with your fantasy above in mind)

No idea what any of that stuff is.

It's not utterly irrelevant, it's completely irrelevant because property must have value.  Without any value, BTC's cannot be property as defined by law.

Dude, this really isn't that hard.

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September 03, 2011, 11:51:37 PM
 #315

The technical implementation is of extreme relevance due to the nature of the transactions. Intent is not relevant. Bitcoin are like contracts. If you sign a contract you cannot back out of it simply by saying "i didnt intend to sign", you have already agreed to it. Dont intend to have things automatically signed for you? Then dont setup buggy software, simple.

You know what this means?  Laws have been deprecated!  Woo!  We are no longer slaves!  FREEDOM!

Exactly, I still can't believe anyone here would have a problem with this.  It stinks that the exchange made an error in their coding but now they know not to make that same mistake again, that's how the free market works.  If we let the government come in and take over bitcoin they will be making laws and regulations about it instantly.  What's next?  Employees of the exchanges being mandated to join a union?

Okay, that's silly, but they will do anything to tear down a revolution like this.  

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September 03, 2011, 11:51:56 PM
 #316

The technical implementation is of extreme relevance due to the nature of the transactions. Intent is not relevant. Bitcoin are like contracts. If you sign a contract you cannot back out of it simply by saying "i didnt intend to sign", you have already agreed to it. Dont intend to have things automatically signed for you? Then dont setup buggy software, simple.

You know what this means?  Laws have been deprecated!  Woo!  We are no longer slaves!  FREEDOM!
quite to the contrary captain sarcastic, laws do still have relevance but there is no law that was broken here due to bendavis being the rightful owner because they were signed over to him. Situations like this are unfortunate but the kind of potential gray areas arising with "intent" and involving a governing body are the kinds of things bitcoin was intended to avoid (so in a way, yes, freedom of currency). They are not reversible no matter how badly many in this thread want it to be, in which case i submit that perhaps bitcoin should not be the currency for you if you wish to be able to retrieve your btc after accidentally sending them.
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September 03, 2011, 11:55:39 PM
 #317

The technical implementation is of extreme relevance due to the nature of the transactions. Intent is not relevant. Bitcoin are like contracts. If you sign a contract you cannot back out of it simply by saying "i didnt intend to sign", you have already agreed to it. Dont intend to have things automatically signed for you? Then dont setup buggy software, simple.

http://www.lovemoney.com/news/scams-and-rip-offs/consumer-rights/11335/what-to-do-when-atms-give-you-the-wrong-money

Quote
“People should realise that, even though an ATM has dispensed cash, they are not entitled to that money and are committing a criminal offence if they keep it.”

Quote
In English law (covering England and Wales), you are entitled to keep money paid to you in error “under mistake of fact”, but only if you honestly believe that the money is yours. Without any proof of mens rea (‘guilty mind’), mistake of fact can be used as a defence against civil and criminal liability, but only for unintentional mistakes.

But I suggest you keep making stuff up. It makes for fun reading.
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September 03, 2011, 11:56:18 PM
 #318

Only when BTCs are purchased for USD or some other property that has human value does the BTC become the property of humans.

If this is true, then if a human initiates the sale of the bitcoins owned by the computer, then that is theft and the computer would have been victimized by the criminal human.
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September 03, 2011, 11:59:32 PM
 #319

(But feel free to explain why courts all over the world prosecute over Runescape swords, Habbo hotel furniture and Zynga poker chips with your fantasy above in mind)

No idea what any of that stuff is.

Yeah that's why I suggested you should read more and post less.

Quote
It's not utterly irrelevant, it's completely irrelevant because property must have value.  Without any value, BTC's cannot be property as defined by law.

BTC has value at the nearest exchange, just like gold.

(If you believe there is a difference you might want to check your calendar, it's not 1971 any more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_system )
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September 04, 2011, 12:03:51 AM
 #320

Exactly, I still can't believe anyone here would have a problem with this.  It stinks that the exchange made an error in their coding but now they know not to make that same mistake again, that's how the free market works.  If we let the government come in and take over bitcoin they will be making laws and regulations about it instantly.  What's next?  Employees of the exchanges being mandated to join a union?

The free market would work exactly how it is in this thread EXCEPT for all the reference to law and legal precedent.  There STILL would be effort to recover the lost/stolen property but instead of resorting to relying on established law governing human species (do laws apply to other animals?  If so, I would like to incriminate some pestering bugs that have been overwhelming me lately.), there would be resorting to other activities liek %$%#$&ing and ^*&*&^%#$ing.
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