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Author Topic: [Emergency ANN] Bitcoinica site is taken offline for security investigation  (Read 201730 times)
guruvan
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May 15, 2012, 08:04:11 AM
 #761

Um, now it's even more confusing.

First, Zhoutong said that Bitcoinica will be shut down and their working on the claim page, with all positions forcefully liquidated (which, as Instated before, is not only plain wrong, but looks even illegal, considering Bitcoinica was a legal money processor).

Then, Team Intersango shows up and tells us that Bitcoinica will be back up, more secure than before. Nothing about currently open positions in this statement.

So... Which is it?!

Stop hoping you will have your positions respected.

Nothing about Bitcoinica being back up "more secure than before" contradicts the previous statement. ZT also said as much, which was part of the reason he needs to clean shop now: it will take time to do significant changes to the code base/rebuild.

The longer the process takes the more untenable is to keep positions frozen. Liquidating positions is definitely one of the most, if not the most sensible things to do if you cannot bring the site back securely VERY soon.

If Bitcoinica was a registered company interested in doing everything according to the law, then why do they need to hide their identities?  Where is the police report detailing the first theft of 40,000 bitcoins and this second one of over 10,000?  Whether the police do anything or not to recover the stolen items or investigate the alleged hacking incident, Bitcoinica should report this incident.  Most thefts occur by people within a company.

With each passing hour this becomes more of a concern. Most of the members of bitcoinica's "team" are either secret, or absent. This is disturbing.

In companies actively engaged in trading, it is often the case that such thefts are used to cover up losses of customer deposit account balances through unprofitable trading activities

Why is bitcoinica really closed? To update systems that were not compromised? Why does that sound like so much bullshit to me? Maybe we should speculate on bitcoinica's open positions? I'm really starting to speculate on whether or not bitcoinica's trading is in fact funded with customer deposits. I have been for a while, and this is seeming more and more to support that suspicion. How much did bitcoinica's hedging strategy lose? yeah, that spread is a cash cow, but you can lose fast on big trades.

Further.... "working on a claim page" How long should we expect 1 web page to take? I do understand that you've had compromised systems, and that there is likely to be rampant fraud (that once again bitcoinica needs to suffer for, not the customer) but, get with the program and get something working. Your delay erodes trust at an ever increasing rate.  

Finally, while companyies may not in fact disclose their major investors, the Corporate Officers are normally a matter of public record. This is what needs to be forthcoming from Bitcoinica, poste haste. In many cases the Officers of the company can be held personally liable for results of their actions that go beyond the scope of their by-law authorization.

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stochastic
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May 15, 2012, 08:08:32 AM
 #762

Um, now it's even more confusing.

First, Zhoutong said that Bitcoinica will be shut down and their working on the claim page, with all positions forcefully liquidated (which, as Instated before, is not only plain wrong, but looks even illegal, considering Bitcoinica was a legal money processor).

Then, Team Intersango shows up and tells us that Bitcoinica will be back up, more secure than before. Nothing about currently open positions in this statement.

So... Which is it?!

Stop hoping you will have your positions respected.

Nothing about Bitcoinica being back up "more secure than before" contradicts the previous statement. ZT also said as much, which was part of the reason he needs to clean shop now: it will take time to do significant changes to the code base/rebuild.

The longer the process takes the more untenable is to keep positions frozen. Liquidating positions is definitely one of the most, if not the most sensible things to do if you cannot bring the site back securely VERY soon.

If Bitcoinica was a registered company interested in doing everything according to the law, then why do they need to hide their identities?  Where is the police report detailing the first theft of 40,000 bitcoins and this second one of over 10,000?  Whether the police do anything or not to recover the stolen items or investigate the alleged hacking incident, Bitcoinica should report this incident.  Most thefts occur by people within a company.

It is a registered company and their identity is not hidden. Companies don't generally disclose the identity of their main investors - only companies traded in the stock market have this obligation. This is Bitcoinica's identity: http://www.business.govt.nz/fsp/app/ui/fsp/instance/viewChangesCompanyFSP/677086.do

AFAIK Bitcoinica is a Limited company not traded in any stock market. Their identity is the company (look up "juridical person" or "juridical personality"). All that is strictly in accordance to law. The liability lies within this juridical personality, and how it carries over to the people behind it depends largely - through not exclusively - on their jurisdiction (applies to the jurisdiction where an allegedly wronged user may be, as well, but good luck with opening an international prosecution). Welcome to the financial world.

Sorry but this is not their financial identity, Bitcoinica LP is the trade name that their registered company is actually using.  This link is to the Bitcoinica LP trade name that has registered as a Financial Service Provider.  On that website you can register as one too, it is not difficult.  They are actually registered as another entity, most likely in one of the companies associated with this Chris Heaslip.

Also, Limited Partnerships do require reporting of some investors.  If someone is a major investor in the company then they may become one of the directors and directors must be reported in most states and countries.  Just look at my links above in my other post and you can see this.  When I registered my own companies I need to list myself as the one of the director and list any other initial investors in the company.  

In most jurisdictions a limited partnership is set up so that there is at least one general partner that will be held liable for the company's negligence and then there are limited partners of that won't be held responsible.  These general partners must be listed on the paperwork of the company because it is these people that will be sued when something like what happened to Bitcoinica.

Remember, there is always a paper trail when dealing with the government.  When starting a company there has to be a name on that paper, with an address.

Introducing constraints to the economy only serves to limit what can be economical.
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May 15, 2012, 08:49:23 AM
 #763

Nice  Shocked
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May 15, 2012, 09:08:49 AM
 #764

And now BlockChain.info seems to be down! What the heck is going on?

EDIT: up again.

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May 15, 2012, 09:18:03 AM
 #765

What do all those transactions mean?

guruvan
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May 15, 2012, 09:50:38 AM
 #766

What do all those transactions mean?

If nothing else, they mean something is still running and calling itself bitcoinica. Maybe they're mining our money back?  Grin

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meelba
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May 15, 2012, 09:53:24 AM
 #767

What do all those transactions mean?

Thief 's taking your money to his pocket.

He won't hide not in Singapour nor in Australia, now a lot of people understand all this bitcoinica is just a scam, so we'll catch you and take your ass into prison mr. Zhou.

I have a ton of evidence against you and Patrick.

Have a good last days in freedom.

You've crossed the line.
Raoul Duke
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May 15, 2012, 10:09:55 AM
 #768

I was to say yesterday what I'm saying now, but I decided to wait one more day so the data could confirm it better.

Bitcoinica said they were responsible for 25% of MtGox's volume... I don't see those 25% missing there... Do you? lol

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May 15, 2012, 10:18:16 AM
 #769

Intersango was a free exchange for over half a year meaning we operated at a big loss.
So you guys chose to take over a bucket shop which is constantly at the risk of getting into massive BTC denominated debt (while BTC rallies way up), blinded by greed upon the profits the few shares the mystery investor gave you would promise and now had your reputation tarnished.

You made the mistake of operating for free just to commit another one to correct it. Sad

While it is true that the identity of the investor did not have to be shared, I believe the fact that ownership changed in November SHOULD have been announced. Unless there was an announcement I am aware of, zhoutong deceived us for half a year into believing he solely owned the company.

In November, an investor approached me to acquire Bitcoinica. Due to regulatory concerns, I agreed to the deal and signed the agreement. Bitcoinica was sold for a good price. However, since the investor is unable to arrange for a replacement team, I continued to become the sole operator until Team Intersango took over two weeks ago. The investor let me keep all profits until late January, the official handover time. After handover, he continued to offer generous salary and performance bonus every month. The investor demands his identity to be protected so I won't share more information on this.

This does not sound like Intersango hold most of the shares. I fully disagree with guruvan’s sentiment, in my view at the very least genjix (Amir Taaki) and phantomcircuit (Patrick Strateman) are some of the most trustworthy people around here. I would distrust this ominous investor if I was you. I would also distrust zhoutong for selling the financial business he created in 4 days (a wonder it did not go kaboom earlier) and not disclosing the CHANGE of ownership for half a year. It could have been easily stated without violating the investor’s privacy.

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"these people don't seem to want to stop till Bitcoin is completely destroyed and left like an old cum rag in the corner of the room." - ShroomsKit
muyuu
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May 15, 2012, 10:31:11 AM
 #770

As I said before, the current owners of Bitcoinica have by far exceeded their legal obligations in helping Bitcoinica recover from the previous hack and have pledged their continued support in seeing this incident fully resolved. I am honestly amazed by their integrity. Even though, I am not sure they knew how insecure the site was when the first bought it.

Bitcoinica is worth now substantially less than it was last week, and at this rate it will be worth less tomorrow.

I don't know how much did they pay. It's probably still a good investment at the price paid, or maybe not.

It will be interesting to witness the outcome of all this.

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May 15, 2012, 10:34:26 AM
 #771

Libbitcoin which is complete (and has taken over 1,000 hours) it is the only full reimplementation of the core bitcoin code.
What about all the other clients ? Aren't they complete as well ?

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May 15, 2012, 10:36:31 AM
 #772

Since Intersango now has to clean up the whole mess (costs in terms of money, time, reputation) and has to rebuild the entire platform anyway, and all that for probably just a few shares, it would have likely been a much wiser choice to just build a competitor that is actually 100% owned by you and let Bitcoinica collapse like it was destined to.

But who am I to judge. Maybe the mystery investor pays well. Cheesy

"Bitcoin had been transformed from an anarachistic challenge to the financial status quo, to the crypto spawn of Satan, fuelled by cut-throat greed and delusions of avarice." - MatTheCat
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jarsumarsu
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May 15, 2012, 10:42:56 AM
 #773

What do all those transactions mean?

If nothing else, they mean something is still running and calling itself bitcoinica. Maybe they're mining our money back?  Grin

Bitcoinica - the world's most hacked Bitcoin Exhange - A new feature: Mining operations - join now - you will not get bored!  Grin Grin Grin
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May 15, 2012, 10:56:47 AM
 #774

As I said before, the current owners of Bitcoinica have by far exceeded their legal obligations in helping Bitcoinica recover from the previous hack and have pledged their continued support in seeing this incident fully resolved. I am honestly amazed by their integrity. Even though, I am not sure they knew how insecure the site was when they first bought it.

Similarly with Intersango, although we've operated without any incidents in 8 months or so, in our early days much of our banking was not automatable with Lloyds, this meant that occasionally we would process a double withdraw due to manual error. Also 8 months or so ago, during the Britcoin to Intersango switch over, we also misattributed 511BTC (we are able to keep Intersango's hot wallet small because it has less volatility in it's daily BTC withdraw). Intersango has paid all errors out of their pocket and although finding a fully automatable UK bank was a very tough process we were finally able to do it.

Who are the general partners then?

Introducing constraints to the economy only serves to limit what can be economical.
meelba
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May 15, 2012, 11:22:36 AM
 #775

The thing is, Zhou let his clients to open more than 100 000BTC in LONG possition, but he didnt hedge this on MTGOX (he simply  doesn't have enough money to leverage this trades)

Well, he had no chance to cover profits in future. The story about hacker is a good choice to scam his clients and close most of long possitions with loses (which never exist in fact).
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May 15, 2012, 11:44:40 AM
 #776

Since the form to request the Bitcoinica funds is not up yet, maybe it is best to just report how much Bitcoinica owes them to the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office (complaints@sfo.govt.nz).

Introducing constraints to the economy only serves to limit what can be economical.
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May 15, 2012, 11:46:22 AM
 #777

All other clients that I'm familiar with use the Satoshi code base as it's back end.
Doesn't make sense. Lots of clients exist in a variety of languages, some of them functionnally exceed the Satoshi client. And most of them don't "use the Satoshi code base as it's back end".

I could take the satoshi client, design a new GUI in a day and it would be a new cilent. Although I don't wish to minimize other clients out there, their GUIs certainly were not made in a day.
You could hardly be more condescending.

However, Libbitcoin was a tremendous undertaking which has made the bitcoin code base modular.
What exactly do you call the bitcoin codbase ? The Satoshi client ? Last time I checked libbitcoin's code wasn't in there.

Don't get me wrong, libbitcoin is awesome.

But this :
Libbitcoin which is complete (and has taken over 1,000 hours) it is the only full reimplementation of the core bitcoin code.
is simply not true

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May 15, 2012, 11:56:09 AM
 #778

Libbitcoin which is complete (and has taken over 1,000 hours) it is the only full reimplementation of the core bitcoin code.
is simply not true

As far as I'm aware it absolutely is true.  The question is easily resolved though... simply point us at the source of another complete bitcoin client that isn't based on either libbitcoin or the satoshi client.

The nearest is, I believe, bitcoinj, but that is certainly not complete (and I don't think it's intended to be).

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bulanula
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May 15, 2012, 12:41:55 PM
 #779

What do all those transactions mean?

Thief 's taking your money to his pocket.

He won't hide not in Singapour nor in Australia, now a lot of people understand all this bitcoinica is just a scam, so we'll catch you and take your ass into prison mr. Zhou.

I have a ton of evidence against you and Patrick.

Have a good last days in freedom.

You've crossed the line.

Good to see you again here sir meelba ! Did you manage to do anything to Bitcoinica after they cheated you of your money ?

Probably not. And so it will happen this time around. In BTC world nobody goes to jail Wink

They just come back as another person to scam another time Cool

BTW, why are we discussing libbitcoin in a Bitcoinica claims thread Huh
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May 15, 2012, 12:54:31 PM
 #780

Libbitcoin which is complete (and has taken over 1,000 hours) it is the only full reimplementation of the core bitcoin code.
is simply not true

As far as I'm aware it absolutely is true.  The question is easily resolved though... simply point us at the source of another complete bitcoin client that isn't based on either libbitcoin or the satoshi client.

The nearest is, I believe, bitcoinj, but that is certainly not complete (and I don't think it's intended to be).

Multibit (Java)
Armory (Python)
Bitcoinjs (Server-side JS)

How are these clients failing to fully implement the protocol ? How are these clients even remotely relying on a Satoshi client "backend" ?


By bitcoin codebase I mean the code base for a bitcoin client.

As I said I didn't wish to minimize but instead use a hyperbole or an extreme example to add clarity and distinguish the difference. It is a common practice in logical discussion to allow for an easier understanding of differences. It sometimes comes off poorly. I'll try to be more sensitive to that. Of course complex GUIs are by no means an easy thing to make. The hyperbole was intended to show that there is more to a client than the GUI (no matter how advanced the GUI is). It was not a commentary on other GUIs at all but perhaps the spesmilo gui that we ourselves released over a year ago (it is quite simple).

Certainly GUIs provide tons of functions, but they are unique to the back end. I'm all for more complex guis

GUIs don't provide functionality, they provide an interface to a core (or backend, whatever you want to call it) which in turn provides functionality. There are multiple clients that do not use the same core as the Satoshi client. Please explain to me how, say MultiBit for the sake of the argument, uses a Satoshi backend.

libbitcoin is very cool, I like the project, but it is an implementation among others that doesn't have anything unique AFAIK. (except maybe for the fully asynchronous architecture, but I think bitcoinjs has that too)

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