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Author Topic: Bitcointalk Escrows - Trade Safely!  (Read 106217 times)
SebastianJu
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May 01, 2016, 11:49:25 PM
 #541

I have a question... assuming a 2 of 3 multisig escrow... when the coins are released out of the multisig address, can it be said who of these 3 signed the message for the release? Or could one person try to scam by playing 2 persons and scamming the third? Claiming that he signed without it being right already?

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May 01, 2016, 11:57:54 PM
 #542

I have a question... assuming a 2 of 3 multisig escrow... when the coins are released out of the multisig address, can it be said who of these 3 signed the message for the release? Or could one person try to scam by playing 2 persons and scamming the third? Claiming that he signed without it being right already?
The signatures are public, so it would be fairly trivial to figure out which keys signed the transaction.

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May 02, 2016, 03:11:43 AM
 #543

It's marcotheminer's thread, so it's basically his list. I'm at the bottom of the list, but I'm not complaining. Might consider raising my rates actually, I haven't changed them in 3 years.

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May 02, 2016, 05:41:27 AM
 #544

It's marcotheminer's thread, so it's basically his list. I'm at the bottom of the list, but I'm not complaining. Might consider raising my rates actually, I haven't changed them in 3 years.
yeah .. indeed .. and it's why i suggest to th OP to change the title of this thread in:
 " marcotheminer's Bitcointalk escrow list" .... ( sarcasm..  Wink )
 i really love the part:
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It's marcotheminer's thread, so it's basically his list
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May 02, 2016, 06:51:33 AM
 #545

knightdk


I have a question... assuming a 2 of 3 multisig escrow... when the coins are released out of the multisig address, can it be said who of these 3 signed the message for the release? Or could one person try to scam by playing 2 persons and scamming the third? Claiming that he signed without it being right already?
The signatures are public, so it would be fairly trivial to figure out which keys signed the transaction.

Thanks, that's good to know regarding safety of an escrow in such situation.



rem123


I would like to be added to the list of escrow services 1% (Min 0.01BTC)
1500+ trades localbitcoins.com
Many vouches.

It's not enough to claim you had such amounts of trades. It's not enough to register a name of an escrow that might exist on another forum. You would need to proof that you are this same person. You would do that by signing a message with an old address this escrow posted somewhere. Or proof that you own his pgp key.

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May 02, 2016, 07:03:04 AM
 #546


rem123


I would like to be added to the list of escrow services 1% (Min 0.01BTC)
1500+ trades localbitcoins.com
Many vouches.

It's not enough to claim you had such amounts of trades. It's not enough to register a name of an escrow that might exist on another forum. You would need to proof that you are this same person. You would do that by signing a message with an old address this escrow posted somewhere. Or proof that you own his pgp key.
There are no rules in regards to who can and cannot offer their escrow services. Even when deciding who to trust to act as escrow, the judgment used is more of an art then a science. Anyone can choose to trust anyone to act as an escrow agent for any given trade.

I would not personally trust someone simply because they have a lot of trades under their belt on LBC, especially considering that it is fairly common for LBC accounts to be traded. 1,500 trades is a lot though and someone with that many trades is likely to have a lot of experience in terms of evaluating conditions of a trade. 

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May 02, 2016, 10:13:03 AM
 #547


rem123


I would like to be added to the list of escrow services 1% (Min 0.01BTC)
1500+ trades localbitcoins.com
Many vouches.

It's not enough to claim you had such amounts of trades. It's not enough to register a name of an escrow that might exist on another forum. You would need to proof that you are this same person. You would do that by signing a message with an old address this escrow posted somewhere. Or proof that you own his pgp key.
There are no rules in regards to who can and cannot offer their escrow services. Even when deciding who to trust to act as escrow, the judgment used is more of an art then a science. Anyone can choose to trust anyone to act as an escrow agent for any given trade.

I would not personally trust someone simply because they have a lot of trades under their belt on LBC, especially considering that it is fairly common for LBC accounts to be traded. 1,500 trades is a lot though and someone with that many trades is likely to have a lot of experience in terms of evaluating conditions of a trade. 

You are right of course. Everyone can trust everyone. Though when asking to be included into this list here it would be fully useless to claim such amount of trades and have nothing but his word for it. Maybe he only registered the username of an escrow on the other forum? Anyway... proofing such trades is worth a lot for trust and needed before Marco considers to add him.

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May 02, 2016, 11:41:30 PM
 #548

Might be the wrong place for it, but I made a free escrow service and would appreciate being listed.  Cool

https://www.bithra.com/  (thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1456828.0)

It has no fees, and it's completely automated (thus has no arbitration). It's designed to be the moral equivalent of 2-of-2 multisig, but easier to use  (initiated completely by 1 party, and no public keys).
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May 03, 2016, 07:31:20 AM
 #549

Might be the wrong place for it, but I made a free escrow service and would appreciate being listed.  Cool

https://www.bithra.com/  (thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1456828.0)

It has no fees, and it's completely automated (thus has no arbitration). It's designed to be the moral equivalent of 2-of-2 multisig, but easier to use  (initiated completely by 1 party, and no public keys).

Without public keys how can it be a multisig? And when your site is for escrow then where is the third key? Either you create multisig with a trader but then the other trader is missing or the traders do it on their own. But then what is your service for?

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May 03, 2016, 12:27:34 PM
 #550

Without public keys how can it be a multisig?

It's expressly not. It has very similar characteristics from a traders perspective as 2-of-2 multisig though (e.g. no outside arbitration) but is much easier to use, as you noted, no public key sharing and signing release transactions. =)
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May 03, 2016, 03:39:34 PM
 #551

From what I can understand, it allows the buyer to fund an escrow account, and release the escrowed coins to the seller upon receipt of the goods, digital or physical.

The seller can see the funds, so he knows when to deliver the items. He should not deliver if he doesn't see payment.

The buyer then must release the funds to the seller.

Since there is no arbitration, the funds move one way. The buyer can not get back his funds, he can only release it. So the seller should not deliver the goods until he sees the funds in escrow.

Since the funds can only move one way, there are only two possible bad things that can happen:

1. The buyer refuses to release the escrow. The seller doesn't get his money, but the buyer can't get a refund either.
2. The seller refuses to deliver. Same result, buyer can't get back his money.

The seller should never deliver until he sees the escrow, otherwise, that's his fault.
The buyer should release the escrow when he gets his stuff. If he gets a defective item, he should return it. Seller should send a good replacement.

If buyer wants a refund, he will have to release the escrow and hope the seller sends back the payment; or force Ryan to do arbitration.

It is basically doing 90% of the traditional bitcoin escrow's job.

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May 03, 2016, 08:05:13 PM
 #552

From what I can understand, it allows the buyer to fund an escrow account, and release the escrowed coins to the seller upon receipt of the goods, digital or physical.

The seller can see the funds, so he knows when to deliver the items. He should not deliver if he doesn't see payment.

The buyer then must release the funds to the seller.

Since there is no arbitration, the funds move one way. The buyer can not get back his funds, he can only release it. So the seller should not deliver the goods until he sees the funds in escrow.

Since the funds can only move one way, there are only two possible bad things that can happen:

1. The buyer refuses to release the escrow. The seller doesn't get his money, but the buyer can't get a refund either.
2. The seller refuses to deliver. Same result, buyer can't get back his money.

The seller should never deliver until he sees the escrow, otherwise, that's his fault.
The buyer should release the escrow when he gets his stuff. If he gets a defective item, he should return it. Seller should send a good replacement.

If buyer wants a refund, he will have to release the escrow and hope the seller sends back the payment; or force Ryan to do arbitration.

It is basically doing 90% of the traditional bitcoin escrow's job.

Yeah, sounds like a standard escrow transaction though through a website. Of course it means the website would have to be trusted, the escrow, the website code, hosting and so on.

Generally I'm not so much a friend of normally automated escrow services because in case of moderation it is often too late to speak about precautions that should be taken. Moderation then might not be possible anymore really.

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May 03, 2016, 08:21:49 PM
Last edit: May 04, 2016, 03:27:31 AM by RHavar
 #553

Generally I'm not so much a friend of normally automated escrow services because in case of moderation it is often too late to speak about precautions that should be taken. Moderation then might not be possible anymore really.

Yeah, all fair points. I think the point of automated escrow is to replace *not using escrow*. Pretty much every day someone on bustabit complains to me about getting scammed, and while escrow wouldn't help in all cases (e.g. delayed paypal reversals) the main reason people send money directly without using escrow is:
* Escrow is too complicated or technical (e.g. multisig)
* Escrow is too slow or too much friction (dealing with a person)
* No one wants to pay the escrow fee

so bithra is (in-my-biased-opinion) a great solution for the above. However, it will never and doesn't try to replace trustless or human-arbitrated escrow.
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May 03, 2016, 09:33:22 PM
 #554

Generally I'm not so much a friend of normally automated escrow services because in case of moderation it is often too late to speak about precautions that should be taken. Moderation then might not be possible anymore really.

Yeah, all fair points. I think the point of automated escrow is not to replace *not using escrow*. Pretty much every day someone on bustabit complains to me about getting scammed, and while escrow wouldn't help in all cases (e.g. delayed paypal reversals) the main reason people send money directly without using escrow is:
* Escrow is too complicated or technical (e.g. multisig)
* Escrow is too slow or too much friction (dealing with a person)
* No one wants to pay the escrow fee

so bithra is (in-my-biased-opinion) a great solution for the above. However, it will never and doesn't try to replace trustless or human-arbitrated escrow.

I didn't notice the point that it is free. Which is an advantage for sure since all the other automated escrow sites have fees, as far as I know...

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May 04, 2016, 01:40:30 AM
 #555

Basically, RHavar is an escrow agent, using a website he created to automatically do the job for him. 99% of the time, no one is going to bother him, therefore he can choose to not charge a fee.

Once in a while, someone is going to email him about a problem with his site ...

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May 04, 2016, 02:36:31 AM
 #556

Basically, RHavar is an escrow agent, using a website he created to automatically do the job for him. 99% of the time, no one is going to bother him, therefore he can choose to not charge a fee.

Once in a while, someone is going to email him about a problem with his site ...
He has said specifically that he is not going to arbitrate any disputes, so most of the time when he is contacted with an issue, he will not be able to help

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May 05, 2016, 09:38:01 AM
 #557

In my opinion: its really not about trusting the escrow agent to simply "hold" your coins until the point of release, its about trusting the escrow to arbitrate and make an objective ruling in case of a dispute.

I believe there are different requirement for the escrow service depending on the type of trade.
Trusting 0.1 to an automated site with no one to arbitrate? Sure I will consider that.
Trusting 20 BTC to an automated site with no one to arbitrate? Never.

In the later example, I would carefully consider which escrow I can use that will be able to facilitate a dispute objective and fair. The fee (lets say 1%) is well spend, as the fee you pay will reduce the overall risk of your trade. The quality of an escrow service is really only shown when there is a problem.

Bottom line, you get what you pay for.

Click here if you need escrow service: TookDk's Escrow Service

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May 05, 2016, 03:37:23 PM
 #558

In my opinion: its really not about trusting the escrow agent to simply "hold" your coins until the point of release, its about trusting the escrow to arbitrate and make an objective ruling in case of a dispute.

I believe there are different requirement for the escrow service depending on the type of trade.
Trusting 0.1 to an automated site with no one to arbitrate? Sure I will consider that.
Trusting 20 BTC to an automated site with no one to arbitrate? Never.

In the later example, I would carefully consider which escrow I can use that will be able to facilitate a dispute objective and fair. The fee (lets say 1%) is well spend, as the fee you pay will reduce the overall risk of your trade. The quality of an escrow service is really only shown when there is a problem.

Bottom line, you get what you pay for.

You're definitely right, but let's not let perfect be the enemy of good. The vast majority of transactions that should have been done through an escrow-like service are not. For instance, I recently sold MoneyPot (for several times your 20 BTC example) with no escrow or non-repudiation. The buyer was 100% at my mercy to act honestly. Of course, like the vast majority of deals it went through smoothly, but I'm sure the buyer would have been better off protecting themselves using escrow; but it was never done because of the additional friction. That's the problem that bithra tries to solve, it's a light-weight, low-friction escrow. It's not perfect, it's never going to replace having a human arbitrate, but I strongly believe it's a net positive to the community.
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May 05, 2016, 05:33:51 PM
 #559

Correct! Because there is no such thing as "automated" arbiters. They are always human or manually processed.

So human escrows will never run out of a job, they'll just be relegated to the expensive transactions.

As SebastianJu is very aware, a transaction of 700+ BTC for ten thousand chips needed a human.
I believe OgNasty does large miners and physical coins and other stuff.
And TookDk, hmmm. I saw something about a new alt-coin, I forgot which one. (Or sorry, maybe it was someone else?)

I did my share of ICOs before. (They died a natural death, but at least not due to being scammed.)

The additional friction of needing a trustworthy human to look over the deal is part of the price you pay.


It also depends on what kind of transaction. If you are just sending 100 BTC to exchange it for 5000 LTC, for example, so long as the site says it has the funds, and you believe it to be a trustworthy site, you can go with that kind of automated transaction; (I'm talking about shapeshift in this example.)

In a similar way, if you are sending 100 BTC to a mixer, it spits out 99 or 98 BTC back to you from unconnected addresses, either immediately or after a few hours, depending on what you asked it to do.

If you are buying 100 BTC worth of mining equipment from a manufacturer directly, they sometimes do not use escrow at all, because they are considered a merchant and want you to trust them to deliver the goods. Most merchants think this way, especially those who accept fiat payments, traditionally with credit cards or bank checks/wires

If you are buying 100 BTC worth of equipment from an individual on these forums, you might want to consider a human escrow.

I've set my minimums such that I don't see requests for escrows of smaller than 3 BTC. (I might bump that up a little higher.)


I don't know about everyone else, but to me, one bitcoin transaction is the same as another bitcoin transaction, only some variables change, and the value. That is why it is easy for me to isolate myself from the transaction, whether it's 1 BTC or 100 BTC.

But the amount of work that goes into checking stuff, verifying, handling, especially with ICOs and GroupBuys and dealing with online accounts, or shipping tracking stuff ... It's just too much work for too little pay, and I can see now why some old-timers quit doing it, and whether or not you understand what's going on, I'd rather not deal with small transactions unless you are willing to pay the minimum.

To put it into perspective, how much is insurance for shipping stuff by courier? How much is insurance for your car? (I hear $500 a month for brand new drivers in North America.) How much is a fire alarm or fire extinguisher that needs to be tested and replaced every year? How much is tuition for school, and if you pay double the price do you get a guarantee of a degree or diploma?

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May 06, 2016, 07:46:52 AM
 #560

Might be the wrong place for it, but I made a free escrow service and would appreciate being listed.  Cool

https://www.bithra.com/  (thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1456828.0)

It has no fees, and it's completely automated (thus has no arbitration). It's designed to be the moral equivalent of 2-of-2 multisig, but easier to use  (initiated completely by 1 party, and no public keys).

Hi - I don't read this thread every day and have just worked backwards to your first post.  It sounds like you have an automated version of the one way method I suggested a few pages back involving part public keys and generating a "vanity" wallet address that the payer and payee drop their funds into (if involving crypto)

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=855778.msg14337441;topicseen#msg14337441

Am reading through your thread too.


I am also curious to know what will happen after the one year period is up

If the funds are never released, they will be forever lost to bithra. They won't be sent to the destination, or returned to sender -- as picking either of them could encourage a type of scammers. It kind of mimicks what happens in a 2-of-2 escrow situation, when the parties don't come to agreement (except in this case, I keep the money instead of them being forever unspendable)

My version coins would be "lost" if the transaction is never completed, so all parties would be made aware of this.  I'm sure your site would have has suitable disclaimers (only stating the obvious).

Quote
What exactly is the release secret?

It's designed to be used like a "password", but it's actually a bitcoin private key (in WIF)

My only question (so far) is on the website, it says the escrow period can be extended for a year via email;

Quote
If you need an extension, just send an email and it can be extended a year.

can it also be terminated immediately?  (Sorry if this has been asked already)

Good luck, I hope it works.

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