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Author Topic: Armory - Discussion Thread  (Read 521353 times)
flipperfish
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May 23, 2014, 10:18:17 AM
 #3661

Should bitcoin-home dir be a different dir than the dir where the bitcoin-qt.exe is located? I tried the subdir AppData but without success.

I think it should be the dir, where "bitcoind.exe" is located. Armory seems to be using that instead of the full Qt-Client.
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May 23, 2014, 10:40:45 PM
 #3662

Should bitcoin-home dir be a different dir than the dir where the bitcoin-qt.exe is located? I tried the subdir AppData but without success.

I think it should be the dir, where "bitcoind.exe" is located. Armory seems to be using that instead of the full Qt-Client.

I tried it but its still offline. bitcoind.exe is under daemon subdir. Didnt look like it changes anything.

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May 23, 2014, 11:14:13 PM
 #3663

L:\something\Armory\ArmoryQt.exe --satoshi-datadir="L:\something\BQT" --datadir="L:\something\Armory\Datadir"

Try
L:\something\Armory\ArmoryQt.exe --satoshi-datadir="L:\something\BQT\AppData" --datadir="L:\something\Armory\Datadir"
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May 23, 2014, 11:48:42 PM
 #3664

L:\something\Armory\ArmoryQt.exe --satoshi-datadir="L:\something\BQT" --datadir="L:\something\Armory\Datadir"

Try
L:\something\Armory\ArmoryQt.exe --satoshi-datadir="L:\something\BQT\AppData" --datadir="L:\something\Armory\Datadir"

I already tried AppData and daemon but it didnt change anything it seems. When i check the log then the first ERRORs i see are here:
Code:
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:2252 - loadWalletsAndSettings
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:2310 - Loading wallets...
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:2359 - Number of wallets read in: 0
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1794 - Setting up networking...
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- ArmoryQt.py:1837 - Error checking for internet connection
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "ArmoryQt.py", line 1835, in setupNetworking
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 127, in urlopen
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 404, in open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 422, in _open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 382, in _call_chain
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 1214, in http_open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 1187, in do_open
  File "httplib.pyc", line 1045, in getresponse
  File "httplib.pyc", line 409, in begin
  File "httplib.pyc", line 373, in _read_status
BadStatusLine: ''
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- ArmoryQt.py:1838 - Run --skip-online-check if you think this is an error
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1846 - Internet connection is Available: False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1847 - Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind is Available: 0
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1848 - The first blk*.dat was Available: False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1849 - Online mode currently possible:   False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1968 - startBitcoindIfNecessary
2014-05-22 20:02 (WARNING) -- ArmoryQt.py:1970 - Not online, will not start bitcoind
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1106 - setupUriRegistration
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1225 - URL-register action: AskUser
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:587 - Usermode: Expert
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1373 - Changing usermode:
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1374 -    From: Expert
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1382 -      To: Expert
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:5417 - Dashboard switched to auto-OfflineNoSatoshiNoInternet
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:4986 - Switching Armory state text to Mgmt:Auto, State:OfflineNoSatoshiNoInternet
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:4928 - Switching Armory functional mode to "Offline"
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:6456 - Another Armory instance just tried to open.
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- announcefetch.pyc:162 - Loop was busy for more than one second
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- announcefetch.pyc:162 - Loop was busy for more than one second
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- announcefetch.pyc:162 - Loop was busy for more than one second
2014-05-22 20:02 (WARNING) -- ArmoryQt.py:1504 - No Armory links in the downloads list
2014-05-22 20:02 (WARNING) -- ArmoryQt.py:1564 - No Satoshi links in the downloads list
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- announcefetch.pyc:268 - Unspecified error downloading URL

And so on.

The above log is when i add AppData. When i dont add a subdir then it seems this log line looks more correct:
Code:
2014-05-22 20:17 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1847 - Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind is Available: 8333

Its not zero like it is with the subdirs. So it found the installation.

I dont have a bitcoin.conf too and i updated bitcoin-qt and bitcoind to the newest available version.

Can it be that armory needs to be told the position of bitcoin-qt and then it tries to find bitcoin and the blockchain? But it cant find the blockchain when its not stored on C:. So maybe the .blk-file-dir has to be specified specially. I found a path named User home-directory in the logfile that points to the user-roaming-dir on drive c:. Maybe armory is searching there for the blk-files only. Though i wouldnt know how to change it since the dir lying in Roaming would be named Bitcoin.

But i cant believe that no one made armory completely portable yet. That has to be something that would have been requeste way way earlier in the development i guess.

I searched the sourcecode here for more flags: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/etotheipi/BitcoinArmory/rrld_planB/armoryengine.py

but there is nothing that looks like a flag for the settingsdir. And when i tried --bitcoind-path as flag armory even crashed instantly as a process and didnt load at all.

Maybe i need to try my luck with the support. I sent in a logfile now.

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flipperfish
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May 24, 2014, 11:31:17 AM
 #3665


Code:
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1794 - Setting up networking...
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- ArmoryQt.py:1837 - Error checking for internet connection
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "ArmoryQt.py", line 1835, in setupNetworking
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 127, in urlopen
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 404, in open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 422, in _open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 382, in _call_chain
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 1214, in http_open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 1187, in do_open
  File "httplib.pyc", line 1045, in getresponse
  File "httplib.pyc", line 409, in begin
  File "httplib.pyc", line 373, in _read_status
BadStatusLine: ''
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- ArmoryQt.py:1838 - Run --skip-online-check if you think this is an error
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1846 - Internet connection is Available: False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1847 - Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind is Available: 0
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1848 - The first blk*.dat was Available: False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1849 - Online mode currently possible:   False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1968 - startBitcoindIfNecessary
2014-05-22 20:02 (WARNING) -- ArmoryQt.py:1970 - Not online, will not start bitcoind

Maybe this is obvious, but did you try what the log-file suggests? It seems armory can't detect if your system is connected to the interent for some reason and thus won't start bitcoind.
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May 24, 2014, 02:39:02 PM
 #3666


Code:
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1794 - Setting up networking...
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- ArmoryQt.py:1837 - Error checking for internet connection
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "ArmoryQt.py", line 1835, in setupNetworking
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 127, in urlopen
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 404, in open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 422, in _open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 382, in _call_chain
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 1214, in http_open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 1187, in do_open
  File "httplib.pyc", line 1045, in getresponse
  File "httplib.pyc", line 409, in begin
  File "httplib.pyc", line 373, in _read_status
BadStatusLine: ''
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- ArmoryQt.py:1838 - Run --skip-online-check if you think this is an error
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1846 - Internet connection is Available: False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1847 - Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind is Available: 0
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1848 - The first blk*.dat was Available: False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1849 - Online mode currently possible:   False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1968 - startBitcoindIfNecessary
2014-05-22 20:02 (WARNING) -- ArmoryQt.py:1970 - Not online, will not start bitcoind

Maybe this is obvious, but did you try what the log-file suggests? It seems armory can't detect if your system is connected to the interent for some reason and thus won't start bitcoind.

I tried that but then it only says "Cannot find Bitcoin Installation" instead of Offline. Though the logfile claims that bitcoin-Qt is available with the value 8333. Maybe a port? But the no internet check flag doesnt change it in the good direction.

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May 24, 2014, 05:13:38 PM
 #3667


Code:
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1794 - Setting up networking...
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- ArmoryQt.py:1837 - Error checking for internet connection
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "ArmoryQt.py", line 1835, in setupNetworking
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 127, in urlopen
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 404, in open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 422, in _open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 382, in _call_chain
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 1214, in http_open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 1187, in do_open
  File "httplib.pyc", line 1045, in getresponse
  File "httplib.pyc", line 409, in begin
  File "httplib.pyc", line 373, in _read_status
BadStatusLine: ''
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- ArmoryQt.py:1838 - Run --skip-online-check if you think this is an error
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1846 - Internet connection is Available: False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1847 - Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind is Available: 0
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1848 - The first blk*.dat was Available: False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1849 - Online mode currently possible:   False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1968 - startBitcoindIfNecessary
2014-05-22 20:02 (WARNING) -- ArmoryQt.py:1970 - Not online, will not start bitcoind

Maybe this is obvious, but did you try what the log-file suggests? It seems armory can't detect if your system is connected to the interent for some reason and thus won't start bitcoind.

I tried that but then it only says "Cannot find Bitcoin Installation" instead of Offline. Though the logfile claims that bitcoin-Qt is available with the value 8333. Maybe a port? But the no internet check flag doesnt change it in the good direction.

Your log file suggests you are failing every condition for geting online.  Though, perhaps failing the first condition is causing the others to fail, too. 

  • Run with --skip-online-check or check the box in the settings to disable online checks
  • For now, change the settings to run Bitcoin Core yourself (first checkbox in the settings dialog).  Close Armory, run Core (Bitcoin-Qt or bitcoind), when it's done synchronizing, start Armory
  • Make sure you have set --satoshi-datadir to the directory containing "blocks" and "wallet.dat"... default is C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin
  • Do you use a custom bitcoin.conf file?  That can screw up things, like limiting connections, changing ports.  If not, ignore this line.

Once that is working, and if you switch back to having Armory run Bitcoin Core, make sure the settings point to the base directory where it is installed... default is C:\Program Files\Bitcoin

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May 24, 2014, 05:39:21 PM
 #3668


Code:
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1794 - Setting up networking...
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- ArmoryQt.py:1837 - Error checking for internet connection
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "ArmoryQt.py", line 1835, in setupNetworking
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 127, in urlopen
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 404, in open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 422, in _open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 382, in _call_chain
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 1214, in http_open
  File "urllib2.pyc", line 1187, in do_open
  File "httplib.pyc", line 1045, in getresponse
  File "httplib.pyc", line 409, in begin
  File "httplib.pyc", line 373, in _read_status
BadStatusLine: ''
2014-05-22 20:02 (ERROR) -- ArmoryQt.py:1838 - Run --skip-online-check if you think this is an error
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1846 - Internet connection is Available: False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1847 - Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind is Available: 0
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1848 - The first blk*.dat was Available: False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1849 - Online mode currently possible:   False
2014-05-22 20:02 (INFO) -- ArmoryQt.py:1968 - startBitcoindIfNecessary
2014-05-22 20:02 (WARNING) -- ArmoryQt.py:1970 - Not online, will not start bitcoind

Maybe this is obvious, but did you try what the log-file suggests? It seems armory can't detect if your system is connected to the interent for some reason and thus won't start bitcoind.

I tried that but then it only says "Cannot find Bitcoin Installation" instead of Offline. Though the logfile claims that bitcoin-Qt is available with the value 8333. Maybe a port? But the no internet check flag doesnt change it in the good direction.

Your log file suggests you are failing every condition for geting online.  Though, perhaps failing the first condition is causing the others to fail, too. 

  • Run with --skip-online-check or check the box in the settings to disable online checks
  • For now, change the settings to run Bitcoin Core yourself (first checkbox in the settings dialog).  Close Armory, run Core (Bitcoin-Qt or bitcoind), when it's done synchronizing, start Armory
  • Make sure you have set --satoshi-datadir to the directory containing "blocks" and "wallet.dat"... default is C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin
  • Do you use a custom bitcoin.conf file?  That can screw up things, like limiting connections, changing ports.  If not, ignore this line.

Once that is working, and if you switch back to having Armory run Bitcoin Core, make sure the settings point to the base directory where it is installed... default is C:\Program Files\Bitcoin

It seems to work... Smiley It says preparing databases now. I guess when i pointed to AppData, where wallet.dat is saved, it couldnt start bitcoin-qt.exe so it didnt work. And it couldnt find wallet.dat when i pointed to the bitcoin-qt.exe dir. Ill see if it works automatically later when the database is created.

I saw you are the founder of armory... is armory using bitcoin-qt for every network related transfer? I mean i can setup the use of the tor-network in bitcoin-qt (not active at the moment), but i didnt find a way to do the same in armory. Does this mean every traffic goes through bitcoin-qt?

Is the use of bitcoin-qt or armory resulting in traces? I mean when i use a copy of bitcoin-qt to run armory, are there traces of transactions, addresses and so on in bitcoin-qt logs and such things or is that completely independently and no traces are created?

When i run bitcoin-qt and armory portable like i try to do it, will there be traces on the pc elsewhere? In registry for example? I already copied both dirs and deinstalled the main softare with comodo systems manager, which should have deleted everything from registry too. But i dont know if traces are build again somwhere when i run them portable.

Thanks!

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May 25, 2014, 08:22:56 AM
 #3669

Exchange rates

It would be very good if we could have the Exchange rates in Armory.

So that I can see my walled displaying in my local currency.
I always have to convert my assets twice from BTC->USD->CHF. And then back CHF-->USD-> BTC.

That would really increase the user-friendlyness.
+1
same wish
bump
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May 25, 2014, 03:21:28 PM
 #3670

Exchange rates

It would be very good if we could have the Exchange rates in Armory.

So that I can see my walled displaying in my local currency.
I always have to convert my assets twice from BTC->USD->CHF. And then back CHF-->USD-> BTC.

That would really increase the user-friendlyness.
+1
same wish
bump

Armory isn't really that type of wallet. Armory's aim is to be secure and making security user friendly. I think this feature would take up space for another better use. I hope etothepi  doesn't add that.

Well, Armory is already the most secure Bitcoin Wallet app. Besides Multisign (they are already working on) I can only think of one additional security feature...

But it would need the exchange-rate. Nowadays most Banks find the best compromise between security and usability by the price. If I want to make a transfer to pay for a computer I need less steps, then when I want to transfer my lifesavings. On the other hand the Bitcoin price is very volatile, so I reather wanted to set these limits in USD or CHF than in BTC.

What do you think should be the next feature?
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May 25, 2014, 09:15:56 PM
 #3671

What do you think should be the next feature?

I know i wasnt asked but being able to see your private wealth automatically expressed in fiat is a nice feature. Or if you want to send someone money you instantly know the fiat amount.

But i believe that would need a network activity besides bitcoin-qt. Since i didnt saw the possibility to setup proxies i dont think it will be implemented. But maybe there are already other traffic.

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May 26, 2014, 04:29:13 AM
 #3672

I'd like to see the name and wealth of the person I'm sending to

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May 26, 2014, 02:14:55 PM
 #3673

Armory isn't really that type of wallet. Armory's aim is to be secure and making security user friendly. I think this feature would take up space for another better use. I hope etothepi  doesn't add that.
Knowing the local fiat value of a transaction would help security. It would make mistakes more obvious.

For example, when I first used Armory as a complete Bitcoin newcomer, it offered to tip the developers with a default amount of 1 BTC. At the time I had little idea how much that was worth, and I could easily have accepted the default. If they had displayed "1 BTC ($853)" then I'd be less likely to send more than I could afford.

Elsewhere there was talk of Armory changing its display units from Bitcoins to milli-Bitcoins. A developer said one reason this wasn't a trivial change is that they wanted to be sure no-one ever sent 1000 times as many coins as they intended to, by mistake. Displaying a fiat value alongside the Bitcoin one would make it clearer whether you were sending 0.5 BTC or 0.0005 BTC. People know how much dollars are worth.

I'm less of a newbie today, but I still get confused counting the decimal places in fees. 0.0001 BTC or 0.001 or 0.00001 BTC? What's that in real money?

(This comes under the heading of "security" because user mistakes are part of the threat, and sometimes a bigger, more omnipresent danger than malicious attackers.)

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May 26, 2014, 02:56:25 PM
 #3674

Armory isn't really that type of wallet. Armory's aim is to be secure and making security user friendly. I think this feature would take up space for another better use. I hope etothepi  doesn't add that.
Knowing the local fiat value of a transaction would help security. It would make mistakes more obvious.

For example, when I first used Armory as a complete Bitcoin newcomer, it offered to tip the developers with a default amount of 1 BTC. At the time I had little idea how much that was worth, and I could easily have accepted the default. If they had displayed "1 BTC ($853)" then I'd be less likely to send more than I could afford.

Elsewhere there was talk of Armory changing its display units from Bitcoins to milli-Bitcoins. A developer said one reason this wasn't a trivial change is that they wanted to be sure no-one ever sent 1000 times as many coins as they intended to, by mistake. Displaying a fiat value alongside the Bitcoin one would make it clearer whether you were sending 0.5 BTC or 0.0005 BTC. People know how much dollars are worth.

I'm less of a newbie today, but I still get confused counting the decimal places in fees. 0.0001 BTC or 0.001 or 0.00001 BTC? What's that in real money?

(This comes under the heading of "security" because user mistakes are part of the threat, and sometimes a bigger, more omnipresent danger than malicious attackers.)

Speaking as an Armory developer, I personally am not opposed to exchange rates. (Note that I can speak only for myself, and no one else on the team.) That being said, even if we were to adopt some sort of exchange rate support, several questions would have to be answered.

-Do we let users set their own exchange rates? Do we adopt some API that supplies rates? Do we do both?
-If we adopt an API, currency support may very well be a huge headache. How do we handle somebody living in, say, Equatorial Guinea? (There are a lot of American companies there extracting oil, so this isn't a far-fetched idea.) I could easily be wrong but I currently know of no automated way to get the BTC-XAF exchange rate. This is for a currency pegged to the Euro, mind you! More obscure exchange rates (e.g., BTC-NGN) could be even more problematic. Do we just adopt 3-5 currencies and leave everybody else in the cold?
-If we adopt an API, how do we handle countries (e.g., Argentina) where the official and unofficial exchange rates differ significantly? This is one example of the infamous "corner cases" developers loathe.
-If we adopt an API, there will be users demanding to know that attackers aren't somehow manipulating the data such that people buy or hold based on false data. Security-related questions are certainly fair, especially for a product like Armory. I'm just saying it wouldn't be trivial to implement. Take SSL/TLS, for example. Many users freaked out when the Heartbleed bug became public knowledge. It didn't directly affect our code at the time. If we used an external API and added a library to our code to support some aspect of the API, maybe it would've affected us.

I'm sure I could come up with more design & implementation issues. Those are just the ones that popped into my head at first. Again, I'm not trying to discourage people from asking for an exchange rate. I'm just saying that this feature isn't trivial to design or implement.

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May 26, 2014, 03:09:26 PM
 #3675

You'd also have to decide whether to show the buy rate or the sell rate. And the fiat value of BTC varies between exchanges.

Probably easiest to let the user enter their own value. Then you have the risk that they let their value get out of date.

For tax purposes we're supposed to record the exchange rate that applied for each transaction, so ideally historical data would be stored somewhere.

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May 26, 2014, 03:19:51 PM
 #3676

For tax purposes we're 300 million citizens of one out of the hundreds of the countries on the planet are supposed to record the exchange rate that applied for each transaction, only as of the most recent tax guidance, which may change in future

fixed

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May 26, 2014, 04:06:46 PM
 #3677

Let us plug in a url with a text price. We'll find a source. Limit input to digits only and 20 chars or so

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May 26, 2014, 07:54:22 PM
Last edit: May 27, 2014, 05:59:32 AM by Corelianer
 #3678

Armory isn't really that type of wallet. Armory's aim is to be secure and making security user friendly. I think this feature would take up space for another better use. I hope etothepi  doesn't add that.
Knowing the local fiat value of a transaction would help security. It would make mistakes more obvious.

For example, when I first used Armory as a complete Bitcoin newcomer, it offered to tip the developers with a default amount of 1 BTC. At the time I had little idea how much that was worth, and I could easily have accepted the default. If they had displayed "1 BTC ($853)" then I'd be less likely to send more than I could afford.

Elsewhere there was talk of Armory changing its display units from Bitcoins to milli-Bitcoins. A developer said one reason this wasn't a trivial change is that they wanted to be sure no-one ever sent 1000 times as many coins as they intended to, by mistake. Displaying a fiat value alongside the Bitcoin one would make it clearer whether you were sending 0.5 BTC or 0.0005 BTC. People know how much dollars are worth.

I'm less of a newbie today, but I still get confused counting the decimal places in fees. 0.0001 BTC or 0.001 or 0.00001 BTC? What's that in real money?

(This comes under the heading of "security" because user mistakes are part of the threat, and sometimes a bigger, more omnipresent danger than malicious attackers.)

Speaking as an Armory developer, I personally am not opposed to exchange rates. (Note that I can speak only for myself, and no one else on the team.) That being said, even if we were to adopt some sort of exchange rate support, several questions would have to be answered.

-Do we let users set their own exchange rates? Do we adopt some API that supplies rates? Do we do both?
-If we adopt an API, currency support may very well be a huge headache. How do we handle somebody living in, say, Equatorial Guinea? (There are a lot of American companies there extracting oil, so this isn't a far-fetched idea.) I could easily be wrong but I currently know of no automated way to get the BTC-XAF exchange rate. This is for a currency pegged to the Euro, mind you! More obscure exchange rates (e.g., BTC-NGN) could be even more problematic. Do we just adopt 3-5 currencies and leave everybody else in the cold?
-If we adopt an API, how do we handle countries (e.g., Argentina) where the official and unofficial exchange rates differ significantly? This is one example of the infamous "corner cases" developers loathe.
-If we adopt an API, there will be users demanding to know that attackers aren't somehow manipulating the data such that people buy or hold based on false data. Security-related questions are certainly fair, especially for a product like Armory. I'm just saying it wouldn't be trivial to implement. Take SSL/TLS, for example. Many users freaked out when the Heartbleed bug became public knowledge. It didn't directly affect our code at the time. If we used an external API and added a library to our code to support some aspect of the API, maybe it would've affected us.

I'm sure I could come up with more design & implementation issues. Those are just the ones that popped into my head at first. Again, I'm not trying to discourage people from asking for an exchange rate. I'm just saying that this feature isn't trivial to design or implement.

As a swiss guy. I would be totally happy to just have the USD. I don't need my local currency the CHF. Since it's also not the major trading currency. I also trade in USD since this is the most liquid market. There are also no translations of the GUI in german. So since english is the leading-language in the business world, it's consequent to take the world leading fiat currency and this is the USD. You can't make everyone 100% happy, but maybe 80% with taking the USD.

I was also thinking about the problem from where to pull the exchange-rate data. And what if it gets manipulated. You could compare the timestamp of the exchange data with the local client time and if it's off, then just replace it with ? ? ? ? marks maybe.

Or add a User-Agreement Page. "Yes I'm aware the exchange rates could be manipulated". I don't think people are going to trade based on this information, but it will be a hint to not send someone 1BTC (580 USD) instead of like 0.001 BTC (5.8 USD)

And for the very paranoid guy it can be turned off completely.
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May 26, 2014, 08:55:06 PM
 #3679

Let us plug in a url with a text price. We'll find a source. Limit input to digits only and 20 chars or so

How will the data be encoded? "Digits only and 20 chars or so" sounds simple but this brings about its own set of problems. Which chars other than decimals will we support? (I assume support for something like "BUY:US$575.29 SELL:US$581.12" would be desirable.) Do the devs choose their own format and force users to adopt it? Do we try to support as many different encoding formats as possible? Do we put in place some sort of regex system that lets users run their own custom setup? The latter in particular would be problematic because debugging user issues would have to include developers going through regex setups and making sure the user didn't make a mistake.

Honestly, speaking solely for myself, the only solution I can think of that's reasonable is to allow the user to manually document how much they paid or were paid for Bitcoins. This requires more legwork by the user but this also lets them use any exchange they want and any currency they want. This also accounts for minor fluctuations in price when comparing any APIs to the actual transaction price. Automatic support is nice but can also quickly become a support desk nightmare.

Again, I'm not saying establishing an exchange rate or transaction documentation system is impossible. I'm just saying that it's not trivial, and there will always be people who wonder why we can't do X, Y and Z.

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May 26, 2014, 10:03:27 PM
 #3680

Let us plug in a url with a text price. We'll find a source. Limit input to digits only and 20 chars or so

How will the data be encoded? "Digits only and 20 chars or so" sounds simple but this brings about its own set of problems. Which chars other than decimals will we support? (I assume support for something like "BUY:US$575.29 SELL:US$581.12" would be desirable.) Do the devs choose their own format and force users to adopt it? Do we try to support as many different encoding formats as possible? Do we put in place some sort of regex system that lets users run their own custom setup? The latter in particular would be problematic because debugging user issues would have to include developers going through regex setups and making sure the user didn't make a mistake.

Honestly, speaking solely for myself, the only solution I can think of that's reasonable is to allow the user to manually document how much they paid or were paid for Bitcoins. This requires more legwork by the user but this also lets them use any exchange they want and any currency they want. This also accounts for minor fluctuations in price when comparing any APIs to the actual transaction price. Automatic support is nice but can also quickly become a support desk nightmare.

Again, I'm not saying establishing an exchange rate or transaction documentation system is impossible. I'm just saying that it's not trivial, and there will always be people who wonder why we can't do X, Y and Z.

This is appropriate for a plugin system, where the user opts-in if the feature meets their expectations, but not provided by default.  We hope to eventually support in Armory.  I maintain my own little price ticker in USD via a python script that queries http://coinbase.com/api/v1/prices/sell, parse the output with ast.literal_eval() and then grabbing the correct leaf node of the nested dictionary.  I have it simply print out the price and then use the "Command Applet" in my linux panel to run it every 60 sec:



It's not like this would be particularly difficult to turn into a display in the interface -- if you want coinbase sell price in USD. 

I absolutely agree that being able to automatically correlate prices with transactions, etc, would be a valuable capability, but I also agree there's not one way to do it that satisfies everyone, and thus it's appropriate to have a couple different plugins that users can pick from.  Perhaps, we will aggregate a list of URLs/APIs, and chunks of code that know how to parse the results, and then there only has to be one plugin.  But I agree with Doug that we also run the risk that these non-SSL APIs are targets for manipulation, in ways that would otherwise be noticeable a user doing it manually.

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