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Old 04-03-2013, 12:02 PM   #221
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51% is magic because its the majority control. Every transaction on the Bitcoin network isn't "true" unless it's been verified by multiple nodes. This is why it's impossible to spend bitcoins that aren't there. Even if you had a couple supercomputers to generate a false positive, the rest of the network would override it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:06 PM   #222
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Alrighty, I got a surprise influx of cash and I'm ready to dabble. Which page was the step by step guide on again?

Is coinlab still the right place to go or Mt. Gox or Coinbase or...?

EDIT: Went to coinbase (it seemed the most popular on /r/bitcoin). Fucking easy as pie to get in, start the account validation Can't wait to buy my first 5 coins!

I'm just using it as an investment, rather than migrating any payments or anything. I figure it can't do any worse than my Microsoft stock (which went from $30 to $27 and is now floating at $28) and, if it does at least it'll be more exciting to watch

I'm sad I couldn't do instant account verification though... at this rate it'll be $300 a coin by the time I am setup.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:14 PM   #223
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Anenome might have a different answer, but I'm still using Coinbase. Mt Gox has a queue of something like 9k people waiting to be verified, and Coinlab isn't up and running yet. Demand is up a lot right now, so buying will require some patience, but I believe Coinbase just introduced a waitlist feature, where if you try to buy btc now but they have already hit their limit, then you will be put on a list for the price you tried to buy at, and you will receive btc as soon as more become available.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:16 PM   #224
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As a note, I just recently began storing my btc in my own wallet using Armory. I had been using Coinbase's hosted wallet without issue.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:41 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by inscribed View Post
As a note, I just recently began storing my btc in my own wallet using Armory. I had been using Coinbase's hosted wallet without issue.
Considering how most of the bigger losses are due to these sites getting hacked, that seems prudent.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:31 PM   #226
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This is where I get fuzzy. Isn't the security of the currency at risk as technology gets better? What is impossible today could be trivial for a quantum computer 5 years from now, what protects Bitcoin in the face of progress?
For one thing, there exist hashing algorithms that are hardened against quantum computers, calculations that are hard for QC's to do also.

I don't know the details, just that those who've investigated the issue aren't particularly concerned. I'd suggest doing some research on it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:39 PM   #227
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What's magic about 51%? Is that because, in the current framework 51%+ of the network has to confirm a valid transaction/transfer?

I wish I were hacker smart, but considering how vulnerable virtually any system has proven to be when it comes to the right mix of better technology and smarter hackers I'm interested to see how Bitcoin plans to stay ahead of them.
The network operates on consensus using the blockchain.

The longest blockchain is always considered the most valid one. As long as 51% of all nodes/computing-power are honest nodes, they'll produce the longest blockchain by processing the most transactions.

For an attacker to do anything they need to garner 51% of all the processing power on the network (basically doubling it overnight), and if they actually did that, all they could do would be to reverse their own transactions (create double-spend events) and block all other transactions while they still had that 51% figure.

In practice, if such a thing threatened to occur, there are more than a few countermeasures.

It could be as simple as releasing a patch that blacklisted their block-chain with a signature of their new and fake transactions and the network continues merrily on its ways with a disruption of perhaps no more than hours.

Meanwhile, everyone who owns bitcoin and is honest could fire up their CPU and GPUs to defend the network, probably at least tripling the amount of processing power on the network, to defeat a 51% attack.

They could also blacklist the attack IP addresses to ignore their broadcast transactions.

But Inscribed makes a good point, that the bitcoin network is already the world's largest distributed computer, and any attack has virtually zero economic advantage for anyone and would cost many millions or even billions to pull off.

Up till now there's even been zombie botnets mining bitcoin, but the advent of ASICs will put them out of a business. And not any one botnet has nearly the computing power of the overall network.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:43 PM   #228
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Alrighty, I got a surprise influx of cash and I'm ready to dabble. Which page was the step by step guide on again?
Pretty damn good time to buy in after the recent mini price crash. I last bought at $104! Made 50% practically over night for a minute there :P But peeking at price now, it's up from 110 to 129 right now. Crrraazy how fast this market moves. I think there's institutional investors out there with a lot of money treating bitcoin as an unregulated investment market, trying to see how the market reacts to various pumps and proddings so as to try to create some kind of predictable effect they can profit from. Should be a fun couple days at least.

Once you get some coin you'll want to use this page to check price: http://bitcoinity.org/markets?theme=dark

I keep it as a pinned tab on firefox, get price with just a mouseover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vallor View Post
Is coinlab still the right place to go or Mt. Gox or Coinbase or...?

EDIT: Went to coinbase (it seemed the most popular on /r/bitcoin). Fucking easy as pie to get in, start the account validation Can't wait to buy my first 5 coins!
Nice

They're still chronically out of coins though :\ The 2nd easiest will be bitfloor, where you setup an account with them then wire money to them via Bank of America (no account needed).

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Originally Posted by vallor View Post
I'm just using it as an investment, rather than migrating any payments or anything. I figure it can't do any worse than my Microsoft stock (which went from $30 to $27 and is now floating at $28) and, if it does at least it'll be more exciting to watch

I'm sad I couldn't do instant account verification though... at this rate it'll be $300 a coin by the time I am setup.
I didn't do instant verification either :\ Don't want to bother changing passwords and junk.

When you finally get your account approved they instituted a new system to queue purchases, allowing you to queue a buy at the market price days from your purchase.

Seems odd to me. They should allow you to buy whatever amount of bitcoin $x would get you, not spend whatever amount of dollars X bitcoin will cost.

I'm gonna do a writeup on that and see if I can't get them to change it.

Good luck with the buy!
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:46 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by inscribed View Post
As a note, I just recently began storing my btc in my own wallet using Armory. I had been using Coinbase's hosted wallet without issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vallor View Post
Considering how most of the bigger losses are due to these sites getting hacked, that seems prudent.
Yeah, I still haven't moved mine out of Coinbase, but today is a good day to do it. But I'm going into a cold-storage wallet.

If you guys use Blockchain.info, which is a damn good wallet next to doing it yourself, make sure you install the browser plugin, it's an order of magnitude more secure that way, as it runs the entire client on your system and does verification checks on client-side javascript, to ensure there's been no malicious code injection.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:49 PM   #230
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https://medium.com/money-banking/2b5ef79482cb

For your perusal and edification.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:04 PM   #231
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Originally Posted by Terran View Post
https://medium.com/money-banking/2b5ef79482cb

For your perusal and edification.
Let's take a gander...
Quote:
The commodity value of bitcoins is rooted in their currency value, but the more of a commodity they become, the less useful they are as a currency.
That's false, actually. He offers no supporting rationale.

But consider, if one bitcoin were $1,000 and you wanted to buy a $1,000 car, you could give the owner one bitcoin, assuming they would take it. If one bitcoin were $10,000, you could give the same owner 0.1 bitcoin, and they would take it.

Price of one bitcoin does not affect its use as a transaction medium at all.

Quote:
A man — we know him only as “All In Vain” — went to bed that night with his Windows computer turned on and connected to the internet. On that computer was a wallet containing 25,000 electronic coins. When he woke up on Monday morning, the wallet was still there. But the money was gone.
So he idiotically kept a lot of bitcoin on an insecure computer, contracted a virus and allegedly had them stolen.

This is bitcoin's fault why exactly?

It's like saying you shouldn't own dollars because a bank got robbed once. Worse, a bank with a 74 year old disabled security guard without a gun on site and an unlocked vault in the open and no security cameras.

Quote:
the coins were designed, by another pseudonymous internet denizen known only as Satoshi Nakamoto, to be the perfectly anonymous payment mechanism for a digital world.
Pseudo-anonymous. They're not innately anonymous but can be made so with a few extra security practices.

Quote:


Bitcoins were designed to be – and, in many ways, are – the perfect digital currency: they’re frictionless, anonymous, and cryptographically astonishingly secure.
Indeed.

Quote:
For anybody who’s ever suffered the incompetence of a bank, or bristled at the fees involved in just spending money, either domestically or abroad – that is to say, for all of us – the promise of bitcoin is the holy grail of payments.
Exactly, this is bitcoin's killer app.

Quote:
Those strengths are also weaknesses. No one wants to risk losing millions of dollars worth of currency overnight, just because they were outsmarted by some computer hacker.
Is he assuming that anyone can be robbed blind so easily? Lol. Fearmongering at best. There are ways to be sure you won't get similarly robbed. The guy was an idiot, little more.

Quote:
All in Vain was blamed by many in the bitcoin community for his stupidity: what was he thinking, keeping his wallet on a Windows computer attached to the open internet?

But even with bitcoin, people nearly always end up trusting someone – and the entity they’re trusting often turns out to be unreliable. MyBitcoin, turned out to be a fraud; Mt Gox was hacked.
A cold-storage wallet means you are your own bank, trusting no one but yourself.

Quote:
Looking after your own coins is dangerous, and requires a pretty substantial level of tech-savviness. But trusting someone else to look after your coins requires the very trust that bitcoin was designed to circumvent.
True enough. And only with bitcoin do you have an option. Any other currency and 3rd-party trust is mandatory.

In the future, hardware wallets will significantly lower the bar for non-techies in terms of wallet safety, much like using the WoW authenticator dongle.

Quote:
Come 2021 or so, assuming bitcoins are still used then, the rate of growth of bitcoins will be so low that to a first approximation the money supply will be constant. This carries with it its own problems, as we’ll see.
Not really. He's referring to the "problem" of deflation, which is no problem at all, as well shall see.

Quote:
Bitcoin has become suddenly popular in Cyprus for obvious reasons: no government can confiscate your bitcoins, or prevent you from transporting them out of the country.
Hah, awesome

Quote:
More generally, bitcoins could be emerging as a very useful currency in police states, or anywhere that monetary policy could fail catastrophically.
Indeed, it would be most useful in distressed countries.

Quote:
Currencies need a modicum of stability
It's a function of market cap and will come in time.

Quote:
On a good day, at the top of the bubble, the trading volume in bitcoins can be more than $20 million. But by the standards of global currency markets, those kind of figures aren’t even a rounding error. The foreign exchange markets see volume of $4 trillion per day. That’s 200,000 times greater than what we’re seeing in the bitcoin market
Just goes to show how young the game is yet.

Quote:
The biggest problem with bitcoins, however, is conceptual: if they succeed, they fail.



If millions of people started using bitcoins on a regular basis, the soaring value of bitcoins would actually be disastrous. You’ve heard of hyperinflation: this would be hyperdeflation.
Psh, like to see how he justifies this.

Quote:
Inflation is bad, but deflation is worse. The reason is that in a deflationary environment, no one spends money — because whatever you want to buy is sure to become cheaper in a few days or weeks. People hoard their cash, and spend it only begrudgingly, on absolute necessities. And they certainly don’t spend it on hiring people — no matter how productive their employees might be, they’d still be better off just holding on to that money and not paying anybody anything.
This isn't true. We're in the middle of a historic rise in bitcoin price, yet places like Bitpay, Bitcoinstore, and Silk Road are doing massive amounts of business.

Beyond that, it's not that people won't spend or won't invest or won't hire, they just won't invest in things that they don't think will give a return greater than holding cash would give.

This actually has a positive effect on the economy, directing the existing pool of available investment money to the highest productivity ideas rather than any marginal ones such as now in an economy where money loses ~3% a year.

Quote:
The result is an economy which would simply grind to a halt, with massive unemployment and almost no economic activity.
Bull. The entire 19th century in America was a deflationary economy, where workers took a wage decrease each year because the cost of living was constantly dropping in with their deflationary money--gold-backed bills.

Quote:
In order to have economic growth, you need monetary growth as well — and that’s something which is impossible to achieve in a bitcoin-based system.
False. This is just Keynesianism on display, and it doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Quote:
As economies grow, the money supply has to be able to grow with them. And that’s why bitcoin can never really succeed over the long term.
False. World economy functioned on gold for thousands of years with a relatively static supply too.

Quote:
The population of the entire country, as represented by the government, stands behind bank deposits and promises to honor them even if the bank goes bust.
Yeah, that worked out great in Cyprus, didn't it.

Quote:
Bitcoin, in that sense, is anti democratic.
Good, democracy needs to exit the world stage, it is a decrepit institution predicated on socialist-ideals.

Quote:
The way that the money supply grows, in the bitcoin system, is by people harnessing the power of hundreds or thousands of computers to solve very complicated mathematical tasks, earning bitcoins for doing so along the way. And the easiest and cheapest way of doing that is to do so illegally, by stealth: set up a “botnet” of hacked computers to do your bidding for you.
Botnet mining is currently a thing, but expected to die as ASICs come online, it simply won't be profitable anymore.

Quote:
Bitcoin isn’t the future. But it has helped to light the way ahead.
Like so many, this guy has many of the facts, but his understanding breaks down when it comes to where to place emphasis and importance. This is among the primary sins of reporters and media-types. You can't become an expert on something during the course of researching it, you've got to be a lot deeper into the topic for that, to know the effect of things, to internalize things like the theory of money and understand the impact of something as subtle as having the lowest marginal transaction costs as bitcoin does.

That statement, 'lowest transaction costs' seems blithe, boring, opaque even, but it is a cannon blasting down walls of resistance to bitcoin, inevitably. People don't need to know that statement, they can simply feel it by gut when they encounter the concept and realize they can bypass trade-enabling companies like Visa and MC. A lightbulb goes off in their head. They may never even think the phrase 'low transactionc-costs' but they will realize almost immediately that they will be able to make more profit, and that's all you need.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:45 PM   #232
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You have way too much free time on your hands, Anemone

Technical feasibility question: how small can a bitcoin be "divided"? Can I pay 0.00 1? 0.00 001? 0.00 000 001?

Also, in a pure-bitcoin system, transactions have zero cost, but currently converting to cash or to bitcoins has a cost, which limits their feasibility for small purchases. Not really a flaw, just an observation.

Finally, to clarify: Anemone: you no longer own any US dollars (or other currency)? No bank/savings accounts other than to transfer recently exchanged bitcoins-for-cash into? No other large cash holdings (as opposed to property or investment accounts, which are not cash, merely valued in terms of cash).
How frequently do you find yourself needing to convert from bitcoin to cash for payments, as opposed to purchasing through bitcoin retailers? Do you feel there are a significant amount of people out there in this same situation?

Last edited by Mazzicc; 04-03-2013 at 11:46 PM.. Reason: specify "other currency", not just USD
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:52 AM   #233
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$131 rn.

Quote:
Technical feasibility question: how small can a bitcoin be "divided"? Can I pay 0.00 1? 0.00 001? 0.00 000 001?
One bitcoin is technically a collection of what are called 'satoshis', 100 million of them, to be exact. So each bitcoin is actually 100 million satoshis, and that's the current smallest unit.

There exist proposals that would allow for infinite division, which should allow bitcoin to serve the needs of all future epochs of humanity, if need be.

Quote:
Also, in a pure-bitcoin system, transactions have zero cost, but currently converting to cash or to bitcoins has a cost, which limits their feasibility for small purchases. Not really a flaw, just an observation.
They can have zero cost, if transfer time is no object, but most transactions have a small tip paid with them to the payment processing miners that make the system work, usually something like 0.0005 btc or w/e, I don't recall the exact number.

Yes, there's a conversion cost when moving back and forth--that only serves to help keep money in bitcoin. And the cost is as low as 1%, which still beats Visa/MC's fees.

Quote:
Finally, to clarify: Anemone: you no longer own any US dollars (or other currency)? No bank/savings accounts other than to transfer recently exchanged bitcoins-for-cash into? No other large cash holdings (as opposed to property or investment accounts, which are not cash, merely valued in terms of cash).
I have currently ~$900 in my checking account to cover bills. Cashed all my stocks and savings into bitcoin, which totalled more than a few thousand dollars and is worth upwards of $17k right now.

Quote:
How frequently do you find yourself needing to convert from bitcoin to cash for payments, as opposed to purchasing through bitcoin retailers?
I know miners are constantly selling btc for expenses. I have tried to set things up so I don't have to sell any bitcoin for expenses. So I haven't sold any back into dollars as of yet. I did buy an ASIC with bitcoin, so there's that.
Quote:
Do you feel there are a significant amount of people out there in this same situation?
I think a lot of people who believe in the likely long term prospects of the currency are all in and holding too, sure. Max Keiser claims to have gone all in. Had I gone all in a year ago I'd probably be nearly rich by now :P Dangit :P
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:52 AM   #234
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One bitcoin is technically a collection of what are called 'satoshis', 100 million of them, to be exact. So each bitcoin is actually 100 million satoshis, and that's the current smallest unit.
I'd hate for my paycheck to come out to something like 0.00006 BTC or or something like 0.005BTC yearly. That would be utterly demoralizing!

BTC may have a PR problem once they have to start dividing up into small fractional units. Psychologically I don't think people would *feel* it was a fair trade; at least if there were any other unit of legit currency was around to compare to. Intellectually one can do the conversion, but that doesn't make all those zeroes any more appealing
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:30 PM   #235
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http://www.cnbc.com/id/100615508

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Online currency bitcoin had 20 percent knocked off its price overnight on Thursday as one of its major exchanges became the victim of a hacking attack leading to a sell-off in the virtual currency after reaching an all-time high...

..."Attackers wait until the price of bitcoins reaches a certain value, sell, destabilize the exchange, wait for everybody to panic-sell their bitcoins, wait for the price to drop to a certain amount, then stop the attack and start buying as much as they can. Repeat this two or three times like we saw over the past few days and they profit," Mt.Gox said.
NO means of storing value (currency, stocks, real estate, bonds, precious metals) is secure. All are subject to the weakest link possible, the involvement of people, in all their irresponsible, illegal, follow-the-herd, irrational exuberance.

Good luck trying to hedge against humanity. Hahaha!
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:21 PM   #236
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:28 PM   #237
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[QUOTE=vallor;2200256]I'd hate for my paycheck to come out to something like 0.00006 BTC or or something like 0.005BTC yearly. That would be utterly demoralizing![QUOTE=vallor;2200256]
Consult this wiki on proposed units:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Units

Essentially what you'd do is change the denominator, much in the way that we have $ versus (cents) sign.

The next designtor down is called the centi-bitcoin, or bit-cent, at 0.01 bitcoin, or 1 cBTC. Then"millie" for milli-bitcoin, one one-thousandth: 0.001 btc, or 1 mBTC. Then there's the "mikey" or one micro-bitcoin, one millionth, 0.000001, designated with: μBTC.

There's been a fair amount of talk about moving soon to showing prices and exchange rate in cBTC or mBTC as the next logical designator. Especially now that one cBTC has passed parity with the dollar!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vallor View Post
BTC may have a PR problem once they have to start dividing up into small fractional units. Psychologically I don't think people would *feel* it was a fair trade; at least if there were any other unit of legit currency was around to compare to. Intellectually one can do the conversion, but that doesn't make all those zeroes any more appealing
Just a matter of getting used to it really. Think how weird it must feel for one BTC to be worth over $100 for those who bought in for less than pennies apiece. I think that's why a lot of people rushed to sell in that first price crash in '11.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:30 PM   #238
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Originally Posted by Terran View Post
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100615508

NO means of storing value (currency, stocks, real estate, bonds, precious metals) is secure. All are subject to the weakest link possible, the involvement of people, in all their irresponsible, illegal, follow-the-herd, irrational exuberance.

Good luck trying to hedge against humanity. Hahaha!
Just watch the free market at work. When they run out of dupes to incite to a panic the tactic will end.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:40 PM   #239
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lmao
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:52 PM   #240
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