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Author Topic: Recipient Address Re-use a bad idea?  (Read 1160 times)
elggawf
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April 13, 2011, 05:27:42 AM
 #1

Hi,

I took a quick search via the forums, and have checked a few times on Google. I'm looking at accepting BitCoin payments for a small company on a very small trial basis (say, $X per month quota and that's it). I have bills that need to be paid in USD, so I can't just up and accept it as a blanket alternative yet, without a guaranteed way to turn those BitCoins into USD in a hurry and with no value-risk to me... but I'm almost convinced that there's no harm in offering it on a limited scale.

What I'm confused by is that I always see it being recommended to generate a fresh address for each transaction (?) - is that a good idea in general, or is it only for maintaining anonymity? I am not operating in a field where anonymity is required or even desirable, and to simplify administration/bookkeeping I would think that having one receive address per client would be plenty.

Is this a dumb idea? Am I misunderstanding something about BitCoin's operation? Am I wrong or insensitive to not particularly care about anonymity in my immediate business dealings?

^_^
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epii
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April 13, 2011, 05:38:42 AM
 #2

I can only speak for myself, but I think "one receive address per client" is what pretty much everyone who isn't super-concerned about anonymity already does.

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April 13, 2011, 06:05:09 AM
 #3

It's the only reliable way of determining who paid you, anyway.

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April 13, 2011, 09:46:46 AM
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If your customers don't want to publicly say "i bought something on this web site", you should give a separate address to each customer at least.
Otherwise, we just need to search your unique payment address in blockexplorer and we know all addresses who have paid you and also your number of sells and your turnover.

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April 13, 2011, 01:13:20 PM
 #5

One address per client is a good idea.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
Jered Kenna (TradeHill)
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April 13, 2011, 01:18:05 PM
 #6

While it seems like more work if done correctly it's actually less and should save you time / a headache.

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elggawf
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April 13, 2011, 03:49:49 PM
 #7

Thanks for the responses.

Yes, I was going to give each client who was interested in making Bitcoin payments their own address to send to. Maybe I was reading wrong, but it seemed like it was recommended to generate a new address for each transaction and that's where the confusion came from (as I can think of no way that one address per transaction would be any easier to keep track of than one per client account).

I still have a ways to go convincing the powers that be that this idea is on the up and up - grey area isn't really good enough. It seems like the accusations of money laundering and whatnot haven't really hit Bitcoin, and that if they did it would really only apply to the people operating exchanges, but I still want to make sure I don't open us up to any legal issues as we don't have the time/resources to deal with them. Perhaps I'm being paranoid in the non-traditional sense. Smiley

So far I feel like if we only accept Bitcoin for accounts who we have legitimate account information for, and who have already made at least one "traditional" payment, then we can't really be accused of doing anything grey-area. It probably goes against the philosophy of Bitcoin by being reliant on other payment methods, but until I've sought legal advice I only really want to dip my toes in, so to speak. Smiley

Edit: Wish I'd seen this thread first, now I look like a chump.

^_^
Jered Kenna (TradeHill)
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April 15, 2011, 04:11:35 PM
 #8

Thanks for the responses.

Yes, I was going to give each client who was interested in making Bitcoin payments their own address to send to. Maybe I was reading wrong, but it seemed like it was recommended to generate a new address for each transaction and that's where the confusion came from (as I can think of no way that one address per transaction would be any easier to keep track of than one per client account).

I still have a ways to go convincing the powers that be that this idea is on the up and up - grey area isn't really good enough. It seems like the accusations of money laundering and whatnot haven't really hit Bitcoin, and that if they did it would really only apply to the people operating exchanges, but I still want to make sure I don't open us up to any legal issues as we don't have the time/resources to deal with them. Perhaps I'm being paranoid in the non-traditional sense. Smiley

So far I feel like if we only accept Bitcoin for accounts who we have legitimate account information for, and who have already made at least one "traditional" payment, then we can't really be accused of doing anything grey-area. It probably goes against the philosophy of Bitcoin by being reliant on other payment methods, but until I've sought legal advice I only really want to dip my toes in, so to speak. Smiley

Edit: Wish I'd seen this thread first, now I look like a chump.

Sorry to bump you after you call yourself a chump and bring the thread back  Grin
Nothing wrong with only using Bitcoin for customers that you're sure of.
Bitcoin can be dark and evil or it can be 100% above board legit out in the open honest tax paying etc etc
It's just like cash in that regard, if you said you only take cash from people you trust you would get some funny looks.

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elggawf
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April 16, 2011, 09:57:39 PM
 #9

if you said you only take cash from people you trust you would get some funny looks.

I don't think so always - it depends on the product. You wouldn't sell a cash firearm anonymously if you were a merchant (in my home state, private parties do a lot), and if you were you would give some serious thought as to the "look" of the person beforehand. You certainly wouldn't sell to someone who came across as looking like they were about to go on a shooting rampage, for fear of legal repercussions. Smiley

In our case we have certain obligations to meet to ensure the minimal amount of headache in case anything bad happens. If someone does happen to buy a VOIP server and use it for say "terrorism", and the powers that be come a-knocking with a warrant, I want something to turn over so I don't look complicit.

For most customers (gamers, typically) these aren't concerns - they almost certainly aren't doing anything to warrant attention from law enforcement and because of a reasonable privacy policy they're happy to hand over at least some details and make a payment via Paypal or a credit card. I want to keep things as they are, and just accept Bitcoins as an alternate payment (at this point we're figuring on probably blowing it all on advertising and claim them as barter income for the current exchange rate in USD).

I posted a "proposal" on our Facebook page, which I would appreciate if anyone can look at and point out anything that's a) unreasonable or b) factually inaccurate. If it all looks good I'll put a page up on our main website about it, and then if there's a non-trivial amount of interest I'll look at integrating Bitcoin into our billing system so it's automated.

^_^
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