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Author Topic: Idea: e-mail bitcoins  (Read 2790 times)
Elwar
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September 13, 2011, 03:26:36 PM
 #1

Here is a thought:

How about a site where you can e-mail Bitcoins to someone.

Basically, you enter the receiving e-mail address and how much you want to send. Then you include whatever text or maybe a flash birthday card or whichever.

Then the site creates an address and you send the BTC to that address.

The recipient gets an e-mail with instructions on how to download the wallet and how to set up Bitcoin.

This would be more for a marketing type of setup where you can send mom or dad or whomever a few Bitcoins, whether it is for a special occasion or you just want to introduce them to Bitcoins.

Yes, this would require that a third party site has access to the wallet. It would be for small quantities and just for introduction to newbies so instructions could also include how to set up their own secure wallet and how to transfer from the temporary wallet to their own wallet.

If the recipient does not ever access their wallet...the money goes back to the sender (tell the recipient that they have X days to claim the Bitcoins).

There is plenty of potential for profit from the e-mailing company whether through fees for sending or just advertising to people who have Bitcoins to spend as free money.

And it would help to spread the word.

Any thoughts? Is this possible?

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mjcmurfy
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September 13, 2011, 03:55:14 PM
 #2

I like the concept of this. However, wouldn't it be just as easy to email your friend telling them to download the bitcoin client and to give you their wallet address so you can send them the coins directly? Involving 3rd parties where it is not necessary negates the primary goal of the bitcoin project itself.

I like the idea, but I just don't see a market for it, and it would require too much trust in the intermediary.

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Elwar
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September 13, 2011, 05:06:33 PM
 #3

wouldn't it be just as easy to email your friend telling them to download the bitcoin client and to give you their wallet address so you can send them the coins directly?

If I were to send my mom an e-mail right now saying "Hey, I have 5 Bitcoins for you. I need you to go to bitcoin.org and download the client, then send me the address it gives you, then I will send it to you." it would seem like more of a hassle than a gift.

If instead you got an e-mail that said "You just received 5 Bitcoins from Michael with the following message: 'Happy Birthday'. To spend these Bitcoins click here to download the Bitcoin client and here to retrieve your coins (Save to XYZ folder)."

"Once you have done so, here is a list of recommended sites for you to spend your Bitcoins..."

Easy coordination for the person sending, there is no back and forth between sender and receiver.

I agree that the middle man thing sucks. But it would be more of money flowing through as opposed to large quantities of BTC sitting at some company's server.

http://www.bitpools.com
Pool your bitcoins with others. Vote on solutions using the Bitcoin blockchain. Keep your bitcoins in your cold storage until you find a solution you like.
Links and Reviews of useful every day places to spend bitcoins: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=943143.0
mjcmurfy
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September 13, 2011, 06:23:35 PM
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I agree that the middle man thing sucks. But it would be more of money flowing through as opposed to large quantities of BTC sitting at some company's server.

True. As long as the intermediary is trustworthy and as transparent as possible, that probably wouldn't be too much of an issue.
This would be a good way of expanding the bitcoin economy. I like it.

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FreeMoney
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September 13, 2011, 07:05:18 PM
 #5

Cut out the middle man. Hey mom, I encrypted this bitcoin private key with your PGP. Decrypt it and use the import key utility built into bitcoin v1.2.04.

Play Bitcoin Poker at sealswithclubs.eu. We're active and open to everyone.
jostmey
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September 13, 2011, 09:41:46 PM
 #6

Someone else has already implemented the idea you just described :-( Here is their website:

   http://www.bitcoinmail.com/

I know, I had the same idea awhile ago.

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mjcmurfy
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September 13, 2011, 09:46:06 PM
 #7

I also found this site earlier. It's a bit unprofessional looking if I might say so.
Not an intermediary that I would have much trust in.

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jostmey
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September 13, 2011, 09:56:33 PM
 #8

I also found this site earlier. It's a bit unprofessional looking if I might say so.
Not an intermediary that I would have much trust in.

I actually spent over a year setting up email servers.  I know just about everything there is to know about the email protocol. I just don't have the time to setup the front-end of such a website, or I would do it.

I even wrote code that would convert images to HTML tables so that graphics would get through image blockers :-)

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mjcmurfy
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September 13, 2011, 10:37:20 PM
 #9

I have just registered the domain: http://www.bitcoinmailer.com
I think I'm going to have a go at it.
See how it turns out.

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jostmey
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September 13, 2011, 10:47:20 PM
 #10

I have just registered the domain: http://www.bitcoinmailer.com
I think I'm going to have a go at it.
See how it turns out.

I just sent you a PM with my contact information. If you are serious about the idea but unfamiliar with the email protocol then you should get in touch with me.

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mjcmurfy
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September 13, 2011, 10:52:50 PM
 #11

I just sent you a PM with my contact information. If you are serious about the idea but unfamiliar with the email protocol then you should get in touch with me.

Thank you very much for your offer of assistance. I'm sure I will take full advantage of your expertise. At the moment, I am actively developing another service (see my sig) but once that is all polished up, I will move on to the bitcoinmailer project.

I have your contact details stored for future reference.
Thanks again mate.

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Stephen Gornick
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September 14, 2011, 12:39:31 AM
 #12

The recipient gets an e-mail with instructions on how to download the wallet and how to set up Bitcoin.

E-mail is sent across the internet in clear text.   Thus the link to download the wallet could be intercepted and the funds from the wallet spent before the intended recipient gets them.

mjcmurfy
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September 14, 2011, 12:43:25 AM
 #13

A secret-question type feature, similar to western union, may help to overcome this.

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jostmey
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September 14, 2011, 12:51:41 AM
 #14

E-mail is sent across the internet in clear text.   Thus the link to download the wallet could be intercepted and the funds from the wallet spent before the intended recipient gets them.

It is probably not that big of a problem. There are perhaps many solutions around the problem.

Example: You could have the receipt email back their new bitcoin address. That way, it does not matter if the email is intercepted. Stealing the coins requires forging the email.

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Richard Rahl
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September 14, 2011, 12:55:14 AM
 #15

Cutting out the middle man wouldn't work.

"hey, I know you barely know how to turn on your computer, but here's some digital currency for you......... now do this this this then send me that really long jibberish and I'll give you the stuff"

Yeah....... not gonna work. Most people are computer retarded. I like the original idea.

hamburger
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September 14, 2011, 01:55:52 PM
 #16


How about;

Mom,

I found this incredible site on line to send and receive money.

Here is a Bitcoin for you, just go to https://www.instawallet.org/w/to_mom_with_love_elwar

Read all about it at http://www.bitcoin.org/ for more details on Bitcoin.

Love,

Elwar


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Elwar
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September 14, 2011, 03:50:47 PM
 #17


How about;

Mom,

I found this incredible site on line to send and receive money.

Here is a Bitcoin for you, just go to https://www.instawallet.org/w/to_mom_with_love_elwar

Read all about it at http://www.bitcoin.org/ for more details on Bitcoin.

Love,

Elwar


Hamburger

I have not seen instawallet. Sounds like a pretty decent solution.

http://www.bitpools.com
Pool your bitcoins with others. Vote on solutions using the Bitcoin blockchain. Keep your bitcoins in your cold storage until you find a solution you like.
Links and Reviews of useful every day places to spend bitcoins: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=943143.0
Stephen Gornick
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September 14, 2011, 07:58:49 PM
 #18

Here is a Bitcoin for you, just go to https://www.instawallet.org/w/to_mom_with_love_elwar

You have the same problem ...  anyone sniffing email for "instawallet" URLs can access and spend that money long before Mom even knows there's an email.

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September 15, 2011, 01:32:40 AM
 #19

BTCinch.com offers this service and it works REALLY well.  OP - PM me and I'll send you .1 bitcoins to show you.
Richard Rahl
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September 15, 2011, 01:53:01 AM
 #20

Here is a Bitcoin for you, just go to https://www.instawallet.org/w/to_mom_with_love_elwar

You have the same problem ...  anyone sniffing email for "instawallet" URLs can access and spend that money long before Mom even knows there's an email.

Most people use webmail and webmail only. Companies are mainly the ones who use POP3/SMTP/IMAP and they have plenty of security up.

Problem solved.

There is PLENTY of very valuable email going around the world constantly. Politicians, Bankers, high profile companies, etc. etc. Even if someone didn't go after those people, there would be more than enough Chinese Gold Farmers out there looking to cash in on WoW Password resets for it to make the big time news and become a major problem.  ($3bil USD/yr business)

Need to hack an account? NO PROBLEM! Request a password reset and setup a sniffer on the victim's email. Done and done.
Fortunately, it doesn't work like that.

HOWEVER

I think this is of a bigger concern.

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