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Author Topic: more bitcoin spam email (this could become a problem)  (Read 2018 times)
nereer
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May 17, 2011, 11:44:02 AM
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edit: this ended up being a case of over enthusiasm rather than spam Smiley

A friend of mine received an email this morning. I am not sure how the spammer got his email, and it is only the fact that I happened to mention bitcoin to him that he sent this on to me. It is impossible to scrape emails from gmail right? I am worried I have been hacked.

Anyway the text of the email:

Quote
From: ----------------------------------
Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 3:47 PM
To: -----------------------------
Subject: Bitcoin

Dear friends and family, If you've spoken to me in the last 6 months, you probably know that I have been more than a little obsessed with a new form of money called "Bitcoin". After the recent surge in press attention and an almost 1000% increase in apparent market value of 1 Bitcoin to the US dollar (1 Bitcoin at the time of writing is trading for $7.80 USD), I thought it might be time to share some resources broadly explaining what Bitcoin is, and why it MAY be an incredibly important economic development. To get started, I first of all recommend that everyone watch the video on the front page of this site: -> http://www.weusecoins.com/ This video explains what Bitcoin is, and I will further summarize: - It is a PURELY digital currency, with no representation in the physical sense (bills, gold, etc). - It is peer-to-peer, meaning a financial institution middleman is NOT required for transactions. - It is nearly free to make any sized transaction. - It is NOT issued by a central authority or managed by a central bank. - It cannot be infinitely issued; there is a fixed number of Bitcoins and they are rare by design. - It doesn't know national borders, so can be used more or less anywhere. - Transactions can be made extremely private with little effort. - The entire source of the whole system is open, meaning it can be reviewed and scrutinized by ANYONE. If it all seems very "unreal" or hard to correlate with real value, then perhaps the following is worth noting: "On August 15, 1971, the United States unilaterally terminated convertibility of the dollar to gold. As a result, "the Bretton Woods system officially ended and the dollar became fully 'fiat currency,' backed by nothing but the promise of the federal government." This action, referred to as the Nixon shock, created the situation in which the United States dollar became the sole backing of currencies and a reserve currency for the member states." -> ( see: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Bretton_Woods_System ) In other words, Dollars and indeed, Euros, are backed by nothing other than a faith or belief that they are worth something... And surprisingly, this seems to be enough to keep the whole system moving! This subject was also highlighted on a recent episode of This American Life called "The Invention of Money", which I highly recommend checking out: -> http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/423/the-invention-of-money I'm writing this not because I expect you to run out and buy Bitcoins; it's much too early in the game for me to recommend something like that. The value fluctuates every day and there is not a lot which can be purchased with them at present. However, I do recommend that you keep your eye on what is going on here, because I believe that it represents a major sea change in the role of money in our society: The future may indeed be decentralized, no longer attached to any private or government functionary, and more absolutely controlled by the individual holder. Bitcoin itself may not be what succeeds, but SOMETHING like this, I truly believe, will. And this has really big implications for just about everything. More specific and technical details on Bitcoin are available here: -> https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Bitcoin If you would like a few FREE Bitcents go here (you will need a wallet -- get a temporary one here: www.instawallet.org ): -> http://freebitcoins.appspot.com/ If you want to play with Bitcoin more seriously, considering downloading the desktop software, available at the bottom of this page (again, FREE): -> http://www.weusecoins.com/ If you like, watch an interview with two of the current developers of the project (jump to 7:20 to skip some mostly unrelated nonsense). This interview also involves everything from government implications to some of Bitcoin's potential use in South African businesses: -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwNfBgwbqng The Bitcoin forum is a great place to ask the general Bitcoin community anything that you might think of: -> http://bitcointalk.org Where I can, I am making myself available as a public resource for Bitcoin-related inquiries and information. Feel free to use me in that capacity, to answer any questions that you may have (I don't know everything so your questions also help me further understand Bitcoin through research and community outreach). I am also giving all of my current Bitcoin stash away, so ask if you would like a few I'll send them to your purse while supplies last. Interesting times, no? .wendel

The thing is. This doesn't fit into the usual style of spam emails - there is no obvious sales pitch or scam, it's just someone who is interested in bitcoin trying to spread the word. Please please please if you are doing this please stop. I cannot image a worse way to promote bitcoin. You think the average person is going to have a positive view of bitcoin when there only reference to it is that it is associated with 'buy viagra, clialis etc.' 'take my money' & 'buy pirate software' emails? Bad idea.

If you agree that Bitcoin needs a dedicated Q & A site please sign up for the Bitcoin StackExchange site!
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May 17, 2011, 11:59:22 AM
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Yuck.  What an idiotic way to promote bitccoin.
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May 17, 2011, 01:13:29 PM
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... there is no obvious sales pitch or scam
It may be a "pump-and-dump". The perpetrator buys some bitcoins, then spams the internet with bitcoin-promotion in the hope of making the price rise before selling out.
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May 17, 2011, 01:33:31 PM
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... there is no obvious sales pitch or scam
It may be a "pump-and-dump". The perpetrator buys some bitcoins, then spams the internet with bitcoin-promotion in the hope of making the price rise before selling out.

seems ... unlikely. how could it possibly have any noticeable impact on bitcoin prices?

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May 17, 2011, 02:24:07 PM
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... there is no obvious sales pitch or scam
It may be a "pump-and-dump". The perpetrator buys some bitcoins, then spams the internet with bitcoin-promotion in the hope of making the price rise before selling out.

seems ... unlikely. how could it possibly have any noticeable impact on bitcoin prices?

This is exactly what is going on here. The e-mail is full of useless information and references to the gold standard and lack of a central bank that are designed to get people riled up about how bitcoins are the answer. If they come to this forum they'll see all sorts of posts from people who insist bitcoin is going to take off, 'go parabolic', hit $1000 USD, etc.

Anyone who bought in to bitcoins has every incentive to get as many people hyped up about bitcoin as possible. The more people who believe it will just keep going up, the more buyers you have. More buyers == higher prices when you want to sell.

Just look around the forums and see how starry-eyed people are here. The number of threads about how bitcoin is just going to keep going up and up is absurd, and every reference to a bubble draws people out of the woodwork to attempt to smash the argument.



Pump-and-dump schemes for stocks are illegal. Pump-and-dump for bitcoin is much more of a gray area, due to the unknown and unproven status of bitcoin and bitcoin transactions in the court. Fertile ground for spammers and market manipulators, to say the least.

Between this spam e-mail campaign, the over-zealous "BITCOIN WILL ONLY GO UP" forum posts, and the recent bursts of block bitcoin buying that drove the price up in spikes (not smoothly), I think it's obvious that bitcoin, as it stands, is the target of some heavy manipulation.
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May 17, 2011, 02:27:15 PM
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This is exactly what is going on here. The e-mail is full of useless information and references to the gold standard and lack of a central bank that are designed to get people riled up about how bitcoins are the answer. If they come to this forum they'll see all sorts of posts from people who insist bitcoin is going to take off, 'go parabolic', hit $1000 USD, etc.

Anyone who bought in to bitcoins has every incentive to get as many people hyped up about bitcoin as possible. The more people who believe it will just keep going up, the more buyers you have. More buyers == higher prices when you want to sell.

Just look around the forums and see how starry-eyed people are here. The number of threads about how bitcoin is just going to keep going up and up is absurd, and every reference to a bubble draws people out of the woodwork to attempt to smash the argument.

Watch out.

There's a difference between spamming and talking about the rise of bitcoin.

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May 17, 2011, 02:30:01 PM
 #7

This is exactly what is going on here. The e-mail is full of useless information and references to the gold standard and lack of a central bank that are designed to get people riled up about how bitcoins are the answer. If they come to this forum they'll see all sorts of posts from people who insist bitcoin is going to take off, 'go parabolic', hit $1000 USD, etc.

Anyone who bought in to bitcoins has every incentive to get as many people hyped up about bitcoin as possible. The more people who believe it will just keep going up, the more buyers you have. More buyers == higher prices when you want to sell.

Just look around the forums and see how starry-eyed people are here. The number of threads about how bitcoin is just going to keep going up and up is absurd, and every reference to a bubble draws people out of the woodwork to attempt to smash the argument.

Watch out.

There's a difference between spamming and talking about the rise of bitcoin.

Sure thing, and I never argued otherwise. They can be indistinguishable though, and the spammer probably linked here knowing that this is where the most enthusiastic bitcoin believers hang out.
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May 17, 2011, 02:32:23 PM
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Sure thing, and I never argued otherwise. They can be indistinguishable though, and the spammer probably linked here knowing that this is where the most enthusiastic bitcoin believers hang out.

That sounds like we're putting a lot of faith in bitcoin or something. However, it's a fact that certain people screams "BUBBLE!" every time bitcoin does a dramatic price rise. If you cry wolf everytime, people are going to ignore you.

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May 17, 2011, 03:10:00 PM
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Sure thing, and I never argued otherwise. They can be indistinguishable though, and the spammer probably linked here knowing that this is where the most enthusiastic bitcoin believers hang out.

That sounds like we're putting a lot of faith in bitcoin or something. However, it's a fact that certain people screams "BUBBLE!" every time bitcoin does a dramatic price rise. If you cry wolf everytime, people are going to ignore you.

I'm not crying wolf here.

My point was that I strongly believe that this e-mail was not sent with good intentions. The e-mail referenced this forum because it is a certain source of pro-bitcoin comments that the reader would immediately notice.

Your comments here are perfect proof: I didn't even suggest that this was a bubble. I just pointed out that we are flooded with pro-bitcoin arguments on this forum. I also said that every time the word 'bubble' comes up, people come out of the woodwork to insist it's not. Like clockwork, that's exactly what happened.

If, on the other hand, I'm wrong and the spammer in question had a noble intent, then I think we may have found the world's first and only selfless spammer. However, the lines at the end about how you need to come to this forum where the spammer (no forum handle given, unless it's 'wendel'?) is giving away his current bitcoin stash is the final nail in the coffin for me. Think about it, the closing thought is: Visit this heavily pro-rally forum and fumble through the pro-buying-bitcoin posts, eventually you'll find where I'm going to give you my money for free! By the time they give up on finding this free money giveaway, the idea is that they'll be frothing at the mouth to buy.
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May 17, 2011, 03:18:27 PM
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I'm not crying wolf here.

My point was that I strongly believe that this e-mail was not sent with good intentions. The e-mail referenced this forum because it is a certain source of pro-bitcoin comments that the reader would immediately notice.


Spamming hurts us, sure. What do you suggest people to do? Surpass their bitcoin feeling?

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May 17, 2011, 03:22:15 PM
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I'm not crying wolf here.

My point was that I strongly believe that this e-mail was not sent with good intentions. The e-mail referenced this forum because it is a certain source of pro-bitcoin comments that the reader would immediately notice.


Spamming hurts us, sure. What do you suggest people to do? Surpass their bitcoin feeling?

I think he's suggesting not spamming.

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nereer
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May 17, 2011, 03:34:52 PM
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Quote
I am also giving all of my current Bitcoin stash away, so ask if you would like a few I'll send them to your purse while supplies last. Interesting times, no? .wendel

ok, I didn't see that line. I am coming around to the argument that this is an extremely infantile pump & dump. I still don't think spamming a few hundred thousand emails will make any difference to the bitcoin price - and thankfully so.

I searched for the forum handle 'wendel' but found nothing. any ideas who this might be?

If you agree that Bitcoin needs a dedicated Q & A site please sign up for the Bitcoin StackExchange site!
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May 17, 2011, 04:01:01 PM
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I'm not crying wolf here.

My point was that I strongly believe that this e-mail was not sent with good intentions. The e-mail referenced this forum because it is a certain source of pro-bitcoin comments that the reader would immediately notice.


Spamming hurts us, sure. What do you suggest people to do? Surpass their bitcoin feeling?

Surpass their bitcoin feeling? What does that even mean?

Honestly, I'd just suggest that everyone stay realistic and grounded here. There's an almost euphoric sense that circulates the forums every time the exchange rate goes up, and all logic seems to go out the window. Mob mentality crushes anyone who disagrees.

Bitcoin is a great concept. Just be careful and keep your eyes peeled.
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May 17, 2011, 04:11:22 PM
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Honestly, I'd just suggest that everyone stay realistic and grounded here. There's an almost euphoric sense that circulates the forums every time the exchange rate goes up, and all logic seems to go out the window. Mob mentality crushes anyone who disagrees.

Bitcoin is a great concept. Just be careful and keep your eyes peeled.

Wait? Who are the people being irrational here? Maybe you would like to provide arguments as to why bitcoin is a bubble?

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May 17, 2011, 04:13:05 PM
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Honestly, I'd just suggest that everyone stay realistic and grounded here. There's an almost euphoric sense that circulates the forums every time the exchange rate goes up, and all logic seems to go out the window. Mob mentality crushes anyone who disagrees.

Bitcoin is a great concept. Just be careful and keep your eyes peeled.

Wait? Who are the people being irrational here? Maybe you would like to provide arguments as to why bitcoin is a bubble?
He didn’t say Bitcoin’s a bubble. Stop being so defensive.

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May 17, 2011, 04:19:58 PM
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Honestly, I'd just suggest that everyone stay realistic and grounded here. There's an almost euphoric sense that circulates the forums every time the exchange rate goes up, and all logic seems to go out the window. Mob mentality crushes anyone who disagrees.

Bitcoin is a great concept. Just be careful and keep your eyes peeled.

Wait? Who are the people being irrational here? Maybe you would like to provide arguments as to why bitcoin is a bubble?

I've never said bitcoin is a bubble. All I said is that every time bubble is mentioned or something says the rise in price might be unwarranted, mob mentality kicks in and attempts to discredit, bury, or argue away the points.

Your comments here are a perfect example of what I'm talking about.
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May 17, 2011, 04:27:08 PM
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I've never said bitcoin is a bubble. All I said is that every time bubble is mentioned or something says the rise in price might be unwarranted, mob mentality kicks in and attempts to discredit, bury, or argue away the points.

Your comments here are a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

Mob mentality implies irrationality. Care to explain why the mob is wrong?

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May 17, 2011, 04:28:32 PM
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What does that mean? Mob mentality?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_mentality
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May 17, 2011, 05:41:56 PM
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Bitcoin prices will only continue to rise if people begin using bitcoins for their every day transactions.
We should be focusing on making it easy for everyone to use bitcoins in every day life.

This will help us individually and the world as a whole.

The next time  you want to buy something,  ask the merchant to accept bitcoins.

http://www.bitcoinstore.com More than 500,000 products available for Bitcoin only!

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May 17, 2011, 06:05:17 PM
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I've never said bitcoin is a bubble. All I said is that every time bubble is mentioned or something says the rise in price might be unwarranted, mob mentality kicks in and attempts to discredit, bury, or argue away the points.

Your comments here are a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

Mob mentality implies irrationality. Care to explain why the mob is wrong?

I also want to know.

If someone at a mathematicians' conference suddenly yelled "two and two always equal pi!" and then everyone else in that public place shouted him down, the initiator is still wrong. The people shouting him down may constitute a mob, but they would be right.

I think it's very important that we ensure that the false idea that bitcoin is a bubble market does not gain traction. Because the fact is, it's not a bubble market. It is a highly speculative, fast-growing market. There will be peaks followed by dips, and people who enter at the peaks will lose money. But it will eventually level out at a price much higher than the dip. That doesn't make it a bubble, and people who say it is need to be corrected.

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