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Author Topic: What's the best technology to use for a face-to-face BTC transaction.  (Read 4579 times)
DeathAndTaxes
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Gerald Davis


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October 28, 2011, 01:47:25 PM
 #21

Look at the conference I sent my bitcoins from my iphone using the flexcoin system to the bit-pay system ... funds got there in seconds....   We have several thousand users that use it specifically for person to person (IE: in a bar) bitcoin transfers.   as noted it has QR support even if you didn't want to type in the guys username.

Lug around a laptop or try to make some huge system work... or just flexcoin it...  but do whatever you guys want..  I can only tell you what I do and a few thousand people do.    It supports QR codes,  it even supports the iphone "bookmark icon"  it's specifically designed for mobile.   You can even send bitcoins to an e-mail address...

Some of us prefer not to centralize a perfectly good decentralized network.  My fear is that replacing USD banks with BTC banks is a dubious solution.  Eventually Bitcoin banks will get large, get shareholders, and have a never ending need to extract more and more and more value from users.  If I want to use a bank I will use a bank or Paypal.  I can send Paypal to anyone with an email address in seconds.

I don't see what solution Flexcoin solves?
Bitcoin is decentralized.  Paypal is not.  Flexcoin is not.
Bitcoin requires no trusted third party.  Paypal does.  Flexcoin does.
Bitcoin allows peer to peer transactions.  Paypal does not.  Flexcoin does not.

If I want ease of use, centralized, and requiring a trusted third party I will use Paypal.


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October 28, 2011, 01:53:31 PM
 #22

Earlier I was proposing a solution for scenario "b" ...if the buyer does have a smartphone, I would say right now the best option is to use one of the wallet services (most of the exchanges or flexcoin or instawallet)...make sure whichever one you choose, it supports HTTPS to protect the buyer from an untrusted internet connection.  Just have the buyer move the needed coins into the wallet, then when you get together, send them to the seller's wallet (you can email the bitcoin address to the buyer...or turn it into a QR code for scanning/copying).  Genjix mentioned bit-pay...on the seller side, you could use bit-pay, but we target merchants that offer a range of products to many buyers (either online or physical).  It sounds like this is just a one off transaction, in which case there's not really a need for bit-pay (on the other hand, if you'll be doing this a lot, bit-pay would be helpful for managing it).

(gasteve on IRC) Does your website accept cash? https://bitpay.com
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October 28, 2011, 01:58:54 PM
 #23

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I don't know what tools can currently do this (if any), but the following would seem the best way: 1) have the person send the bitcoins to a new address, 2) have them print a QR code that encode the private key, 3) meet up and provide you with the printed QR code, 4) scan and sweep the funds into your wallet.  A tool that makes this easy would be nice...it would make use of the casascius shortened key format if the size of the QR code is a problem.

Or you could just tell the guy to send it to flexcoin id : president or whatever...

It's the whole reason we built flexcoin is for mobile payments.    QR code support,  etc..   or you could lug around a laptop .... 



Or maybe not.

Remember guys, do not trust anyone.
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October 28, 2011, 02:18:42 PM
 #24

DeathAndTaxes and Gabi :  It literally solves every problem with the solution currently running. If you can't see what the problem is then why are you posting in this thread?

Because this thread is screaming:

"the bitcoin client sucks for what I am trying to do,  I can't send it from anywhere and I need to run back home each time to send bitcoins to people in a bar"?


Flexcoin is one of the only solutions that would enable you to access your coins easily from anywhere.  If bitcoin was perfect in it's beta implication this thread wouldn't exist.  The reason it was opensourced is so I (and other people)  could build on it.  

bitcoin client requires a 300+ meg download of the blockchain,  flexcoin doesn't.
bitcoin client cannot easily allow your coins to be accessed from any device
bitcoin client doesn't allow you to run it on your phone
bitcoin client doesn't give you an easy "cold storage option"
bitcoin client forces me to use long huge hash strings to send payments, flexcoin doesn't.
bitcoin client makes me pay fees for small transactions, flexcoin doesn't for flexcoin to flexcoin transfers, or flexcoin to e-mail transfers.
bitcoin client doesn't allow me to send people bitcoins via e-mail,  flexcoin does.

This list goes on forever....   perhaps the best way to say it is that thousands of people wouldn't use it if there was no benefit.  

Now look I am not saying "everyone should use it" because bitcoin was spawned by technically savvy people,  this was designed for ease of use for less technical people... and specifically for people that wanted to use their smartphone as a debit card..    

You're technical enough to build some huge complex system to pay a guy in a bar.... so you're type you'll most likely do that... which is 100000% fine because you might develop an even easier way than sending it to a qr code or ID... which would benefit everyone.

but as it stands now,  flexcoin is the easiest way to solve the problem that was posted in this thread...  










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October 28, 2011, 02:21:30 PM
 #25

"Flexcoin is one of the only solutions that would enable you to access your coins easily from anywhere. "

So does Paypal except those are USD "coins".  Making centralized systems is easy, trivially easy.   If Bitcoin ends up as a proxy for a bunch of Paypal 2.0s I have no interest in the project.

Making real decentralized solutions is hard but that is where the value comes from.
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October 28, 2011, 02:24:35 PM
 #26

If Bitcoin ends up as a proxy for a bunch of Paypal 2.0s I have no interest in the project.

You probably should drop the project then.. because that's the direction it will and has been going.   Look how many paypal 2.0's are out there now?

How many people have coins in mt.gox,  tradehill, campbx, flexcoin or use a solution where at least a small part of the time the coins go though a centralized solutions like bit-pay ?  all these are paypal 2.0 ... 




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October 28, 2011, 02:33:22 PM
 #27

If Bitcoin ends up as a proxy for a bunch of Paypal 2.0s I have no interest in the project.

You probably should drop the project then.. because that's the direction it will and has been going.  
I beg to differ - the Bitcoin client will become more lightweight, more secure and more feature rich - soon there won't be much need for a central service just to provide access to your coins "easily from anywhere".

Also the other services you listed which are arguably in heavy use today, are only interfaces to "legacy" currencies like USD or EUR - within Bitcoin itself you don't need any of them.
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October 28, 2011, 02:54:38 PM
 #28

If Bitcoin ends up as a proxy for a bunch of Paypal 2.0s I have no interest in the project.

You probably should drop the project then.. because that's the direction it will and has been going.  
I beg to differ - the Bitcoin client will become more lightweight, more secure and more feature rich - soon there won't be much need for a central service just to provide access to your coins "easily from anywhere".

Also the other services you listed which are arguably in heavy use today, are only interfaces to "legacy" currencies like USD or EUR - within Bitcoin itself you don't need any of them.

then we'll agree to disagree,   I don't think the USD, Euro or Yen or any other national currency is going to be replaced by BTC...  at least not tonight.. or in the forseeable future. 

I personally believe that BTC is not a currency but more like a commodity...    again we can agree to disagree...


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October 28, 2011, 03:03:31 PM
 #29

"Flexcoin is one of the only solutions that would enable you to access your coins easily from anywhere. "

So does Paypal except those are USD "coins".  Making centralized systems is easy, trivially easy.   If Bitcoin ends up as a proxy for a bunch of Paypal 2.0s I have no interest in the project.

Making real decentralized solutions is hard but that is where the value comes from.
I completely agree.  I eventually want to make use of multi-sigs for bit-pay such that bit-pay never has the ability to move the coins we collect without collaboration from our merchants.  Also, we don't seek to be a point of centralization (if we ever had enough merchants such that you could claim we were a dangerous point of centralization, it would be more merchants than we could possibly provide good service too)...we view ourselves as providing a service (think of it as bitcoin IT outsourcing for merchants that can't or don't want to hire someone specifically for that task).  Online wallets need to evolve to a point where they aren't requiring their customers to entrust them with the ability to spend their coins.  This can be done and made easy for the novice.  It's safer for the customer and it's safer for the wallet service (if you can't move your customers' coins, you won't be a target for theft).  I know people are working on it, it's just a matter of time before we have an online wallet that is easy to use and preserves user control over the coins.  I appreciate the convenience of existing wallet solutions, but they need to evolve.  An account balance in an online wallet is not a bitcoin.

(gasteve on IRC) Does your website accept cash? https://bitpay.com
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October 28, 2011, 03:16:00 PM
 #30

..............................

I personally believe that BTC is not a currency but more like a commodity...    again we can agree to disagree...



can you please keep posting on topic here ppl ?

@FreeTrade the android wallet would be "Bitcoin Wallet" by Andreas Schildbach, we're handling an digital currency here so an electronic device would be involved in all transactions
If he doesn't have a smartphone, tablet or eeepc he could bring a wallet.dat on an usb stick or if he trusts you will meet him for sure he can transfer the funds before showing up at your place. I don't use online wallets and recommend all my friends avoid them at all cost. They learn new things in the process too. Any person letting another person take care of his/her security should not handle bitcoins or money at all.

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October 28, 2011, 03:23:13 PM
 #31

"Flexcoin is one of the only solutions that would enable you to access your coins easily from anywhere. "

So does Paypal except those are USD "coins".  Making centralized systems is easy, trivially easy.   If Bitcoin ends up as a proxy for a bunch of Paypal 2.0s I have no interest in the project.

Making real decentralized solutions is hard but that is where the value comes from.
I completely agree.  I eventually want to make use of multi-sigs for bit-pay such that bit-pay never has the ability to move the coins we collect without collaboration from our merchants.  Also, we don't seek to be a point of centralization (if we ever had enough merchants such that you could claim we were a dangerous point of centralization, it would be more merchants than we could possibly provide good service too)...we view ourselves as providing a service (think of it as bitcoin IT outsourcing for merchants that can't or don't want to hire someone specifically for that task).  Online wallets need to evolve to a point where they aren't requiring their customers to entrust them with the ability to spend their coins.  This can be done and made easy for the novice.  It's safer for the customer and it's safer for the wallet service (if you can't move your customers' coins, you won't be a target for theft).  I know people are working on it, it's just a matter of time before we have an online wallet that is easy to use and preserves user control over the coins.  I appreciate the convenience of existing wallet solutions, but they need to evolve.  An account balance in an online wallet is not a bitcoin.


Common man,  your system is centralized for a period of time as well.    It's like saying "transfers from bit-pay aren't a bitcoin until they leave your system" implying that you do control their money for a period of time.   

I know you,  I can vouch for your system being 100% honest...  but as a whole there must be some centralization...  and there will be... as there is now...   as much as we want to avoid it it will happen (and already has) because everyone that uses bit-pay or flexcoin uses a centralized service, period.







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October 28, 2011, 03:23:30 PM
 #32

Steve I am glad you wrote that.  I had very little interest in Bitpay because of the trust issue.  Satoshi paper was devoted to the concept of secure commerce without the need for trusted third parties.  

Quote
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online
payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a
financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main
benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required
to prevent double-spending.
We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network.
The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of
hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing
the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of
events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As
long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to
attack the network, they'll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The
network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort
basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest
proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.

I am glad to see you seem to share that belief. I will pay more attention to Bitpay's development.  There is a genuine need for services like Bitpay (or Flexcoin) especialy if Bitcoin ever becomes more mainstream.  Look at fiat based e-commerce.  Plenty of "shopping cart" systems because most people trying to sell something aren't IT pros.  However IMHO the long term goal should be to develop systems that are both user friendly but AND eliminate or minimize the need for third party trust.  

I think multi-sigs are an important missing component to that vision. I look forward to the day when exchanges, wallets, and shopping cart services all lack the ability to move funds without consent of the owner.  It's not that I don't trust you, I want to be able to not NEED to trust you.
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October 28, 2011, 03:23:55 PM
 #33

1) have the person send the bitcoins to a new address, 2) have them print a QR code that encode the private key, 3) meet up and provide you with the printed QR code, 4) scan and sweep the funds into your wallet.  A tool that makes this easy would be nice...it would make use of the casascius shortened key format if the size of the QR code is a problem.

Thanks Steve, I like this idea - also I'm thinking a Bitcoin address could be stored in the QR too, to allow a trusted merchant to send change from a transaction if it were being spent in a retail store.

Also I like the idea of the only copy of a wallet being stored on a piece of paper - it would be sort of like a bearer bond from those thriller movies! Only even better with no counterparty.


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October 28, 2011, 03:26:50 PM
 #34

Casascius can print some paper money backed up by bitcoins.

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October 28, 2011, 03:28:21 PM
 #35

Weird for some reason his centralized system is kosher,  but everyone else's isn't...   I am NOT bashing bit-pay.. I think his service rocks...  I'm just pointing out that for some reason you endorse that centralized system while saying you don't endorse centralized systems.

Hence the problem I have with the below post...  it appears it's not actually a centralized system that bugs you...  it's something else that I quite don't get... hopefully you can clarify how running bitcoins though a centralized server is different than running bitcoins though a centralized server.

All I am stating is that honestly it's gotta be centralized to get some things done... such as secure payments from one to another instantly without 6 confirms... etc etc... 


Steve I am glad you wrote that.  I had very little interest in Bitpay because of the trust issue.  Satoshi paper was devoted to the concept of secure commerce without the need for trusted third party.  

Quote
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online
payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a
financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main
benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required
to prevent double-spending.
We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network.
The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of
hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing
the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of
events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As
long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to
attack the network, they'll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The
network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort
basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest
proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.

I am glad to see you seem to share that belief. I will pay more attention to Bitpay's development.  There is a genuine need for services like Bitpay especialy if Bitcoin ever becomes more mainstream.  Look at fiat based e-commerce.  Plenty of "shopping cart" systems because most people trying to sell something aren't IT pros.  However IMHO the long term goal should be to develop systems that both are user friendly but ALSO eliminate or minimize the need for third party trust.  I think multi-sigs are an important missing component to that vision.

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October 28, 2011, 03:29:36 PM
 #36

Casascius can print some paper money backed up by bitcoins.

Which IMHO would be more conveinent to use than coins.  The only problem I see is that it currently is impossible to produce a coin/bill without implicit trust in the creator.  That risk limits their utility.
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October 28, 2011, 03:30:19 PM
 #37

Casascius can print some paper money backed up by bitcoins.

Which IMHO would be more conveinent to use than coins.  The only problem I see is that it currently is impossible to produce a coin/bill without implicit trust in the creator.  That risk limits their utility.

Again,  another centralized bitcoin service.   Trust me man.. it's going to continue to keep going in that direction... some will fail.. some will do well.. some will be run by crooks.. others by saints....  it's the free market and that's how it evolves.


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October 28, 2011, 03:36:57 PM
 #38

Weird for some reason his centralized system is kosher,  but everyone else's isn't...   I am NOT bashing bit-pay.. I think his service rocks...  I'm just pointing out that for some reason you endorse that centralized system while saying you don't endorse centralized systems.

Maybe you should read more and attack less given your company rep it attached to your posts.

I 100% DO NOT ENDORSE BITPAY.  I WON'T USE IT.  I WON'T RECOMMEND OTHER USE IT.  Not in its current form.  I am glad to hear the Steve has indicated he lacks control over users funds.  Now granted he may be blowing smoke up my ass but that doesn't really matter because I won't be interested in BitPay UNTIL it has some mechanism where implicit trust isn't required.
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October 28, 2011, 03:44:16 PM
 #39

Death and taxes,  Understood

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October 28, 2011, 03:48:07 PM
 #40

I don't think the USD, Euro or Yen or any other national currency is going to be replaced by BTC...  at least not tonight.. or in the forseeable future. 
I totally agree with you on that - I did not mean to imply that Bitcoin is going to replace any fiat currency.

But if somebody sells some of his stuff on e-Bay (or equivalent) for BTC, gets donations for his blog in BTC, etc. and uses these Bitcoins to pay for hosting or to hire some graphics designer, then there is no need for any centralized service. With more opportunities to earn and spend Bitcoins (ie. the Bitcoin economy growing) I see no alternative to that development.

So as long as you don't see the Bitcoin economy itself shrinking, the need to go to/from fiat before/after each trade is going to become less over time. Therefore the need for centralized services is going to decline.

My point is that Bitcoin has no need for any centralized services unless for interfacing with the traditionally centralized fiat world.
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