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Author Topic: What's the best technology to use for a face-to-face BTC transaction.  (Read 4575 times)
Steve
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October 28, 2011, 03:52:10 PM
 #41

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.
We don't store people's bitcoins at bit-pay, but we do move them...so, yes, while you do need to trust us, you don't need to trust us with very much at any given time (about 1 day worth of revenues is all we'll have in our system at any given time).  With an account based wallet service, you're asking people to trust you for longer periods of time and with potentially a lot more value.  I think rather than argue with DeathAndTaxes, we should listen.

In order to be completely decentralized, people will need to install and run their own nodes and such...the software will continue to get easier and make this more feasible for more people...at the same time, no matter how easy it gets, there will always be something you want or need that isn't easy and that takes time.  In the case of merchants, there will be those that will want to manage everything themselves...I think they'll mostly be smaller merchants with technical skills, or very large merchants that can afford to hire someone manage the bitcoin aspect of their business.  But I think there will also be many small or mid sized merchants that will want the cost efficiency of outsourcing the bitcoin aspects to bit-pay (or btcinch or others that have merchant services in the works).  At some point, you have to trust either yourself to manage the bitcoin stuff, or you have to hire someone to do it for you and trust them.  You can hire someone directly on your payroll, or utilize a service like bit-pay.

(gasteve on IRC) Does your website accept cash? https://bitpay.com
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BitPay Business Solutions
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October 28, 2011, 03:55:24 PM
 #42

I won't be interested in BitPay UNTIL it has some mechanism where implicit trust isn't required.

Steve is right that we want to eliminate that issue.  For bitcoin "purists" like yourself (for lack of a better word, sorry) the multi-sig is a great solution.

In the meantime, merchants have a contract with us just like they have a contract with Visa or Mastercard.  Any business that accepts payments from Visa or MC has those funds held by Visa or MC for a period of 24 hours, perhaps up to 72 hours in case of a 3-day weekend.  

Businesses just want to take peoples money in a convenient and reliable manner, and trust that the funds will be delivered.  That's what we do.  We automate bitcoin payments for the business so that, from their perspective, it works just like Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal.  But of course Bit-Pay is better with the whole no-chargeback benefit.

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Does your website accept bitcoins?
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October 28, 2011, 04:18:10 PM
 #43

I won't be interested in BitPay UNTIL it has some mechanism where implicit trust isn't required.

Steve is right that we want to eliminate that issue.  For bitcoin "purists" like yourself (for lack of a better word, sorry) the multi-sig is a great solution.

In the meantime, merchants have a contract with us just like they have a contract with Visa or Mastercard.  Any business that accepts payments from Visa or MC has those funds held by Visa or MC for a period of 24 hours, perhaps up to 72 hours in case of a 3-day weekend.  

Businesses just want to take peoples money in a convenient and reliable manner, and trust that the funds will be delivered.  That's what we do.  We automate bitcoin payments for the business so that, from their perspective, it works just like Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal.  But of course Bit-Pay is better with the whole no-chargeback benefit.

awesome features for new coming businesses but we were talking a different issue here as the thread title states...

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October 28, 2011, 06:46:25 PM
 #44

make the buyer get his laptop or smart phone over to you. give him the address, and ask him to send the bitcoins.

So the buyer must have laptop/smart phone. And how to give him the address? SMS, Email or is he going to key it in? How am I to confirm, how long to wait?

Think about the practicalities. Maybe I have 20 or 30 people picking up items that day - I want something streamlined that I'm not fiddling over each time.

Learn the firstbits of one of your addresses, give it to the payer. They are often 6 chars or shorter. Firstbits.com.

For verification, just watching them pay is pretty good unless it is a huge amount. If huge wait to see it in blockexplorer.

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October 28, 2011, 09:48:26 PM
 #45

maybe have the buyer prepare a wallet.dat with the agreed amount, which he will save on a usb

when he gets to your place, take his wallet.dat from the usb he brought and transfer the funds.

end of story?

EDIT: the user could also e-mail his wallet.dat to him self, if he doesn't have a usb

another idea! Dead simple

the buyer e-mails you his wallet.dat (which has a password on it *now avaible with the new client 0.4.0)

when the buyer get's to your place all he has to do is tell you his password, and you can transfer the funds.

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October 28, 2011, 10:36:28 PM
 #46


The best technology to bring to a face-to-face BTC transaction is enough muscle to make it not worth the risk to attempt a robbery, and a location where one would be cumbersome.

Beyond that, I should think that a simple transfer using something like instawallet would be fine, but have not really researched the service for larger BTC transactions.  If Instawallet pulled a MyBitCoin in the 20 minutes or so that I would need them to be working, that would suck, but a risk one takes I suppose.


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October 28, 2011, 11:15:29 PM
 #47


The best technology to bring to a face-to-face BTC transaction is enough muscle to make it not worth the risk to attempt a robbery, and a location where one would be cumbersome.

Beyond that, I should think that a simple transfer using something like instawallet would be fine, but have not really researched the service for larger BTC transactions.  If Instawallet pulled a MyBitCoin in the 20 minutes or so that I would need them to be working, that would suck, but a risk one takes I suppose.



but why take a risk?

the buyer e-mails you his wallet.dat (which has a password on it *now avaible with the new client 0.4.0)
when the buyer get's to your place all he has to do is tell you his password, and you can transfer the funds.

anyone see a problem with this dead simple method?

tvbcof
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October 28, 2011, 11:34:56 PM
 #48


The best technology to bring to a face-to-face BTC transaction is enough muscle to make it not worth the risk to attempt a robbery, and a location where one would be cumbersome.

Beyond that, I should think that a simple transfer using something like instawallet would be fine, but have not really researched the service for larger BTC transactions.  If Instawallet pulled a MyBitCoin in the 20 minutes or so that I would need them to be working, that would suck, but a risk one takes I suppose.



but why take a risk?

the buyer e-mails you his wallet.dat (which has a password on it *now avaible with the new client 0.4.0)
when the buyer get's to your place all he has to do is tell you his password, and you can transfer the funds.

anyone see a problem with this dead simple method?

I am envisioning a situation where I have, say, several thousand cash, or some PM's, or whatever.

When the other party and I meet, I give him some cash, he gives me some BTC, then I give him some more cash, he gives me some more BTC, etc.

At the end, he is in the same position I used to be.  That is, he's sitting there with a wad of cash and is vulnerable.  So, meeting in a public location is desirable, as is having the ability to incrementally deliver both BTC and the goods in a fairly rapid-fire and secure method is what I would be looking for.

I believe it to be the case that transferring BTC from one instalwallet to another is rapid and reliable.  I would probably be immediately transferring value out of my Instawallet even as the transaction was underway.  This would be at best cumbersome to accomplish by handing over pre-generated wallet.dat files.


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October 29, 2011, 01:41:42 AM
 #49


The best technology to bring to a face-to-face BTC transaction is enough muscle to make it not worth the risk to attempt a robbery, and a location where one would be cumbersome.

Beyond that, I should think that a simple transfer using something like instawallet would be fine, but have not really researched the service for larger BTC transactions.  If Instawallet pulled a MyBitCoin in the 20 minutes or so that I would need them to be working, that would suck, but a risk one takes I suppose.



but why take a risk?

the buyer e-mails you his wallet.dat (which has a password on it *now avaible with the new client 0.4.0)
when the buyer get's to your place all he has to do is tell you his password, and you can transfer the funds.

anyone see a problem with this dead simple method?


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Actually I like that idea ...  You just need to triple check that the copy you got wasn't already spent....

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nmat
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October 29, 2011, 01:56:46 AM
 #50

the buyer e-mails you his wallet.dat (which has a password on it *now avaible with the new client 0.4.0)
when the buyer get's to your place all he has to do is tell you his password, and you can transfer the funds.

anyone see a problem with this dead simple method?

That's just like accepting 0 confirmations. It may be more simple though because it doesn't require smartphones and Internet during the trade.
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October 29, 2011, 04:57:27 AM
 #51

but why take a risk?

the buyer e-mails you his wallet.dat (which has a password on it *now avaible with the new client 0.4.0)
when the buyer get's to your place all he has to do is tell you his password, and you can transfer the funds.

anyone see a problem with this dead simple method?

I think the different methods suggested have different strengths and weaknesses. The strength in this one is no third party required. It probably takes a little more setup than the instawallet method suggested, and you might want to wait for a confirmation. With the instawallet method you don't need to wait for confirmation (as long as you have come to trust instawallet).
So it's swings and roundabouts - it seems to me that no one method is better than all others in all respects.

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October 29, 2011, 02:54:25 PM
 #52

I think the easiest way is for you to let him use your computer to access a webwallet.

- Get an address from your wallet, copy it into notepad or something, leave that open.
- Enable hidden keylogger
- Buyer comes over, you agree on price.
- Buyer logs into webwallet (BTCinch, MtGox, Tradehill, whatever)
- Buyer copy/pastes address into webclient, sends btc.
- Buyer logs out.
- Transaction should show up in your bitcoin client.

fixed that for you Wink

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paraipan
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October 29, 2011, 03:18:20 PM
 #53

I think the easiest way is for you to let him use your computer to access a webwallet.

- Get an address from your wallet, copy it into notepad or something, leave that open.
- Enable hidden keylogger
- Buyer comes over, you agree on price.
- Buyer logs into webwallet (BTCinch, MtGox, Tradehill, whatever)
- Buyer copy/pastes address into webclient, sends btc.
- Buyer logs out.
- Transaction should show up in your bitcoin client.

fixed that for you Wink

heh, yeah, I guess that does throw a kink in things. Perhaps let them bring their computer, then send an email with the bitcoin address? Is there a way for a computer to read a QR code like a smartphone?




it's hard to find a solution, i know, cause bitcoin it's in our computers and heads. Until we can easily import private keys into pc client, android or any other type we will have to deal with it a little awkward.
Would be nice to have an export sum of bitcoins to file. For example hit export, enter amount and client would be writing a  .btc onto your usb stick containing public address and private key. Hand the usb to a seller, he hits import from usb, rescan the blockchain on the fly and spend the amount in his wallet. Hands over the usb stick without that file on it.

I'm sure a bitcoin light client for RIM would go out in no time and all teenager girls will have the ability to go shopping only with that piece of expensive hardware on them.
I trust my smartphone, until we find a real easy solution, and i recommend everyone have one, even my 50 year old parents have one and at first used them only to make calls, now do everything you can do with them and don't complain that much Tongue

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October 29, 2011, 03:30:33 PM
 #54

While alternate methods involving exporting keys, and one time wallets might develop....

smartphone adoption will continue to rise.  Hell TMobile has $99 android phones without contract.  That will continue to fall.  In 2-3 years I expect to see $59 smartphones without contract.

At some point there will be little reason to get a "dumbphone".  The type of people who would be attracted to Bitcoin are attracted to smartphones and other gadgets so my guess is smartphone adoption among "bitcoin population" is higher than general population.

I think in 2-3 years most face to face transactions will be like this

a) buyer generates QR code from his Android wallet for onetime public addresss.  This will be as simple as pushing a button/icon for "accept onetime payment"

b) seller uses scan QT code option in his Android wallet which auto opens a payment field with address, payment amount, and possibly a plain text note "used 5970 graphic card" embedded in QR code by buyer.

c) seller reviews transaction and inputs pincode/passphrase.

d) in <5 minutes 0 confirmation transaction appears in sellers wallet.  If necessary parties wait for x confirmations but most small transactions will likely be handled with no confirmations.

Other than waiting on confirms both parties accomplish the goal safely, securely, and in a matter of minutes.


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October 29, 2011, 03:33:52 PM
 #55

agree with you DeathAndTaxes, you mixed seller with buyer though Tongue

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October 29, 2011, 05:43:28 PM
 #56

While alternate methods involving exporting keys, and one time wallets might develop....




one time wallets should be developed, as part of the client... maybe even throw in a button |email| 1BTC - To: adam.stg@hotmail.com - encrypt wallet OFF!

easy payment, fun payment


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October 29, 2011, 05:53:06 PM
 #57

The problem with all that export/import stuff is the double spend. If you import my key into your wallet I can still spend the coins. If you transfer the coins, I can use an attack with a pre-mined block that invalidates the transaction.

Since you need to wait for confirmations anyway, I also prefer DeathandTaxes' method. And you can use green addresses if you don't mind the "centralization".
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October 29, 2011, 06:09:51 PM
 #58

The problem with all that export/import stuff is the double spend. If you import my key into your wallet I can still spend the coins. If you transfer the coins, I can use an attack with a pre-mined block that invalidates the transaction.

Since you need to wait for confirmations anyway, I also prefer DeathandTaxes' method. And you can use green addresses if you don't mind the "centralization".

i still think e-mail method should be put in the client. it sound relatively easy to implement, and it adds user friendliness,

poeple lost a lot of coins because of user error while backing up a wallet...

the bitcoin client should implement solutions for all the reasons we play with the wallet.dat, as to prevent Human error  .. and Third Party Error!

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October 29, 2011, 06:52:14 PM
 #59

The problem with all that export/import stuff is the double spend. If you import my key into your wallet I can still spend the coins. If you transfer the coins, I can use an attack with a pre-mined block that invalidates the transaction.

Since you need to wait for confirmations anyway, I also prefer DeathandTaxes' method. And you can use green addresses if you don't mind the "centralization".

i still think e-mail method should be put in the client. it sound relatively easy to implement, and it adds user friendliness,

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


@nmat, if i import the key pair you generated and charged with funds into my wallet and set it on auto, make a transaction to transfer funds on one of my personal accounts, how would you double spend the coins without having some superhero abilities of some kind ?

@adamstgBit has been talked a few times, we already have covered the communications channel named Internet no need to reinvent things again, we need ways to transfer our bitcoins over other channels like air for example. Internet technology already thinked of that too and resolved it by "encapsulating" the message in a good transporting package, a bitcoin wallet stored on a usb flash memory or CD would do.

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October 29, 2011, 07:18:55 PM
 #60

@nmat, if i import the key pair you generated and charged with funds into my wallet and set it on auto, make a transaction to transfer funds on one of my personal accounts, how would you double spend the coins without having some superhero abilities of some kind ?

Finney attack

I don't need superhero abilities, just a decent amount of computational power Cool It is obviously not simple and may not be practical to do, but if you are relying on this "instant transaction" to make large deals (several thousands of dollars) you may be defrauded. You need to wait for confirmations on the transaction to your personal account.

EDIT: The general idea of the attack is that I am pre-mining blocks which include the transaction from my address A to my address B, but I don't release them. Then I give you the private key/wallet to my address A. You give me the money and send a transaction from the address A (which you now control) to your address C. As soon as I "hear" your transaction spending the coins in A, I release the block with a transaction from A to B, which invalidates your transaction.
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