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Author Topic: [Payout Updates] Bitcoinica site is taken offline for security investigation  (Read 145773 times)
zhoutong
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May 30, 2012, 10:28:48 PM
 #81

No part of the claim form asked for a link to any other community.  Please explain how you are securely linking claims to "community reputation".

Please tell me you aren't using "username on bitcoinica = username on bitcointalk".  And "high post count on bitcointalk".

Do you people know anything about security?

Since I have not yet resigned, I still have access to the moderation system and the accounting reports. From what I know, most of the claims, and almost all high-value claims have records present in at least one of the accounting reports that we have. These reports have various degrees of currency.

I have moderated a few accounts, and it seems that some claims are really trustworthy, because of the claim details exactly matches our records and the account owners were extremely co-operative. Some people even sent us their full Mt. Gox logs and bank statements. I personally have no reason to delay payments for these people. I believe that what they are trying to do is to find more cases like this and refund them immediately.

Founder of NameTerrific (https://www.nameterrific.com/). Co-founder of CoinJar (https://coinjar.io/)

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May 30, 2012, 10:30:40 PM
 #82

Reputation is more then a pseudonym and a high post count on some forum. The assumption here is that this equals honesty. I'm not so sure myself, especially when money is at stake. I paid for my ticket on this titanic. There was only 1 class when I signed up.

I would like to see some (relative) numbers:
* How many claims has Bitcoinica received? How does this stack up against the total amount of customers?
* Does the amount of claims exceed the amount of deposits? If so by what margin?


I also wonder about the ratio of USD to BTC deposits.  While we know that they're going to be holding back 18k+ Bitcoins, there's no way of knowing how much in USD is being held back (it could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if significantly more people have USD on deposit).

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
zhoutong
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May 30, 2012, 10:31:06 PM
 #83

Reputation is more then a pseudonym and a high post count on some forum. The assumption here is that this equals honesty. I'm not so sure myself, especially when money is at stake. I paid for my ticket on this titanic. There was only 1 class when I signed up.

I would like to see some (relative) numbers:
* How many claims has Bitcoinica received? How does this stack up against the total amount of customers?
* Does the amount of claims exceed the amount of deposits? If so by what margin?


The number of claims received is about 25% less than total number of paid customers. (We have a huge number of long-tail accounts with less than 1 USD value. So no problem with this number of claims.)

The value of claims exceed the total assets by 35%. However, taking into account the original insolvency resulted from the hacks, the margin is only about 15%.

It's manageable and I think they can handle it very well.

Founder of NameTerrific (https://www.nameterrific.com/). Co-founder of CoinJar (https://coinjar.io/)

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zhoutong
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May 30, 2012, 10:32:19 PM
 #84

Reputation is more then a pseudonym and a high post count on some forum. The assumption here is that this equals honesty. I'm not so sure myself, especially when money is at stake. I paid for my ticket on this titanic. There was only 1 class when I signed up.

I would like to see some (relative) numbers:
* How many claims has Bitcoinica received? How does this stack up against the total amount of customers?
* Does the amount of claims exceed the amount of deposits? If so by what margin?


I also wonder about the ratio of USD to BTC deposits.  While we know that they're going to be holding back 18k+ Bitcoins, there's no way of knowing how much in USD is being held back (it could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if significantly more people have USD on deposit).

Both USD and BTC deposits are highly concentrated to a few people. The ratio is mostly determined by these people's deposits.

Founder of NameTerrific (https://www.nameterrific.com/). Co-founder of CoinJar (https://coinjar.io/)

Donations for my future Bitcoin projects: 19Uk3tiD5XkBcmHyQYhJxp9QHoub7RosVb
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May 30, 2012, 10:40:00 PM
 #85

Thanks for the clarifications. This system seems fair.
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May 30, 2012, 10:50:58 PM
 #86

Reputation is more then a pseudonym and a high post count on some forum. The assumption here is that this equals honesty. I'm not so sure myself, especially when money is at stake. I paid for my ticket on this titanic. There was only 1 class when I signed up.

I would like to see some (relative) numbers:
* How many claims has Bitcoinica received? How does this stack up against the total amount of customers?
* Does the amount of claims exceed the amount of deposits? If so by what margin?


The number of claims received is about 25% less than total number of paid customers.

The value of claims exceed the total assets by 35%. However, taking into account the original insolvency resulted from the hacks, the margin is only about 15%.

It's manageable and I think they can handle it very well.

How much do those missing claims represent?  While it's likely a lot of people won't bother making low-value claims, from an accounting viewpoint you need to make provision for them.  If you add that value to the other numbers, how do they change?

Also, do you mean that the value of claims exceeds the total deposits by 35% rather the total of Bitcoinica's assets (which should be more than just the total of user deposits-whether user deposits could even be classed as Bitcoinica assets is an interesting question in itself as generally speaking they would be regarded as a liability from an accounting viewpoint)?

I know that you're talking somewhat informally, but just be careful about using terms like assets and insolvency - it could really bite you on the ass down the track if people are unhappy with the way this is ultimately resolved. 

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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May 30, 2012, 11:12:03 PM
 #87

Just sent an email with BTC refund address, transaction log, and email copies received from Bitcoinica. Screenshots of wallet transfers and AML papers available if necessary.

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May 31, 2012, 12:58:50 AM
 #88

Seriously, so since I don't use this message board my shit is less important?  I don't get it.

OK, so like are people going to get replies in their E-Mail that they listed on the claim form?

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May 31, 2012, 01:03:24 AM
 #89

In general, I support the hybrid approach.

I support expediting those people who have verifiable information and reputations.

I do not now, nor have I really ever, regarded "number of forum posts" as any sort of legitimate indicator of the trustworthiness of any individual. OTC ratings, yes. Verifiable forum trades, yes. Number of times some fool wrote "sub" in a thread? Not very worthwhile.

I do not support expediting those with largest balances. In most cases, I suspect, this is disproportionate with the actual need. I also do not support expediting those with the smallest balances, for the same basic reason. (ofc, in the cases where the largest/smallest balances are the most verifiable, w/ best reps, hopefully, /obviously/ the latter applies more)

I do not really support you keeping 20% for any longer on accounts you can verify with a reasonable degree of accuracy. We've made a long enough forced loan to you. I'm sure you've made enough off the interest to start paying the legal bills from this escapade.

I do not support the continued lack of communication with your customers. A forum thread is, at this point far less than sufficient, or acceptable. I'm really sick of having to dig around to find out what the hell is going on. Is it really that harmful to your process to send a damn email?

I'm also sick to death about hearing the badmouthing on forum and irc from the bitcoinica players. On the forum one side speaks, and on irc the other.  Just keep it to yourselves.

Anyhow....I'll believe the money when it's really seen, by more than just the bitcoinica owner's friends and favorites. Until then, this is just more in a long line of words.

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zhoutong
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May 31, 2012, 01:14:26 AM
 #90

Reputation is more then a pseudonym and a high post count on some forum. The assumption here is that this equals honesty. I'm not so sure myself, especially when money is at stake. I paid for my ticket on this titanic. There was only 1 class when I signed up.

I would like to see some (relative) numbers:
* How many claims has Bitcoinica received? How does this stack up against the total amount of customers?
* Does the amount of claims exceed the amount of deposits? If so by what margin?


The number of claims received is about 25% less than total number of paid customers.

The value of claims exceed the total assets by 35%. However, taking into account the original insolvency resulted from the hacks, the margin is only about 15%.

It's manageable and I think they can handle it very well.

How much do those missing claims represent?  While it's likely a lot of people won't bother making low-value claims, from an accounting viewpoint you need to make provision for them.  If you add that value to the other numbers, how do they change?

Also, do you mean that the value of claims exceeds the total deposits by 35% rather the total of Bitcoinica's assets (which should be more than just the total of user deposits-whether user deposits could even be classed as Bitcoinica assets is an interesting question in itself as generally speaking they would be regarded as a liability from an accounting viewpoint)?

I know that you're talking somewhat informally, but just be careful about using terms like assets and insolvency - it could really bite you on the ass down the track if people are unhappy with the way this is ultimately resolved. 

I mean assets when I talk about assets. It's the accounting term.

Assets = BTC cold storage + Mt. Gox balances + Bank balances

Customer deposits are liabilities, but we have customer unrealized profits (liabilities) and customer unrealized losses (contra-liabilities) as well.

Bitcoinica is insolvent for obvious reasons. It's in insolvency state. The investor promised to chip in, which exceeds his legal responsibility. But before the money arrives, Bitcoinica is insolvent.

Claimed amount also has nothing to do with actual liabilities. It's what the creditors claim.

Founder of NameTerrific (https://www.nameterrific.com/). Co-founder of CoinJar (https://coinjar.io/)

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May 31, 2012, 01:30:45 AM
 #91

In general, I support the hybrid approach.

I support expediting those people who have verifiable information and reputations.

I do not now, nor have I really ever, regarded "number of forum posts" as any sort of legitimate indicator of the trustworthiness of any individual. OTC ratings, yes. Verifiable forum trades, yes. Number of times some fool wrote "sub" in a thread? Not very worthwhile.

None of those are a factor as to whether we have a high degree of certainty in a person. We are not using a trust metric, but simply extraditing the process for people with a high degree of certainty.

Quote
I do not support expediting those with largest balances. In most cases, I suspect, this is disproportionate with the actual need. I also do not support expediting those with the smallest balances, for the same basic reason. (ofc, in the cases where the largest/smallest balances are the most verifiable, w/ best reps, hopefully, /obviously/ the latter applies more)

People with the largest balances may in fact take longer to verify.

Quote
I do not really support you keeping 20% for any longer on accounts you can verify with a reasonable degree of accuracy. We've made a long enough forced loan to you. I'm sure you've made enough off the interest to start paying the legal bills from this escapade.

Bitcoinica does not make money off of holding people's money. If anything it costs us in terms of time.

The reason Bitcoinica used to give people interest was to encourage people to let their money sit there so that Bitcoinica does not need to hedge as often between USD and BTC (which is costly and expensive given MtGox's fees).

Quote
I do not support the continued lack of communication with your customers. A forum thread is, at this point far less than sufficient, or acceptable. I'm really sick of having to dig around to find out what the hell is going on. Is it really that harmful to your process to send a damn email?

I'm also sick to death about hearing the badmouthing on forum and irc from the bitcoinica players. On the forum one side speaks, and on irc the other.  Just keep it to yourselves.

Anyhow....I'll believe the money when it's really seen, by more than just the bitcoinica owner's friends and favorites. Until then, this is just more in a long line of words.

I never said anything on IRC nor bad-mouthed anyone.

About email: not everyone appreciates constant small updates sent to their inbox. However once we are ready to move forwards, a mass email will be sent detailing everything.
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May 31, 2012, 03:28:59 AM
 #92



About email: not everyone appreciates constant small updates sent to their inbox. However once we are ready to move forwards, a mass email will be sent detailing everything.


for future reference, when its about peoples money that they have been waiting for desperately for almost a month, a few emails once or twice a day are nowhere close to annoying, more like critical.

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May 31, 2012, 03:44:51 AM
 #93

Quote
About email: not everyone appreciates constant small updates sent to their inbox. However once we are ready to move forwards, a mass email will be sent detailing everything.
I didn't receive any email giving the link to the claim page : online for 2 long weeks now!
About that claim page, a text box would have been appreciate, so people can give used MTGOX-CODES or whatever to prove themselves honest and respectful.

And to repeat what has been said by many others, email is not secured enough (where a https claim page can be) considering all the mess that happened yet.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you are ready to start the payout process.

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May 31, 2012, 09:37:37 AM
 #94

who got their own money already?

I did deposit with mtgox only, it's easy to proof that my claim is o.k.


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May 31, 2012, 10:54:48 AM
 #95

some people do get funny about getting too many emails, fair enough, but this has been taken to the other even worse extreem - no emails ever.

as others have said the claims page is the big one that should have gone to everyone, you dont need to email every time anyone does anything (meeting to discuss X or descision due soon etc) thats what the forum or something like twitter is for. at the very least there should have been 1 email to say 'here's the claim page, for further info see this forum thread/twitter feed/website'

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May 31, 2012, 11:19:48 AM
 #96

as others have said the claims page is the big one that should have gone to everyone...at the very least there should have been 1 email to say 'here's the claim page, for further info see this forum thread/twitter feed/website'

I agree, because of the certificate issues on bitcoinica, many people (me included) would have seen the following page in chrome:



Without email notification this means a lot of people were completely unable to discover the claims page, much less trust their personal info to it.
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May 31, 2012, 11:20:22 AM
 #97

I filed a claims form and sent a follow-up email almost immediately when the claims form was available. I haven't received a single email from Bitcoinica other than the one with a link to verify my claim.

I was relatively new to Bitcoinica and was trying to get verified when this happened. I sent verification documents and followed up with several emails in the weeks before the the hacking incident. Back then I also never got a response from Bitcoinica, which is why I didn't put more money in there.

Hopefully ~$1k is considered a substantial enough amount not to fall into the "long tail." Who I am, my business, etc. are all well enough known that I'm clearly not faking a claim. Do I really have to take to IRC and forums to get a response as to whether my claim's been processed, or if there are any questions about it?

My Bitcoinica account is the only one with an email @strikesapphire.com.

disclaimer201
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May 31, 2012, 11:32:11 AM
 #98

Not sending out emails may reduce or delay the overall number of claims. No need to wake up sleeping dogs who'd otherwise forgot about their coins on the site or wouldn't know about an option to make a claim.

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May 31, 2012, 12:13:31 PM
 #99

No need to wake up sleeping dogs who'd otherwise forgot about their coins on the site or wouldn't know about an option to make a claim.

What you are describing here is theft. I don't think that is a good strategy.
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May 31, 2012, 12:16:29 PM
 #100

No need to wake up sleeping dogs who'd otherwise forgot about their coins on the site or wouldn't know about an option to make a claim.

What you are describing here is theft. I don't think that is a good strategy.

Technically this isn't theft - it's not that they are taking your funds and not letting you to get them.

Now whether is this ethical or not is another question (hint: it's not).
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