On the Frontline: How Blockchain Forensics Fight Crypto Crimes

ILPT REQUEST Idiot friend thinks this is a good idea (credit card scam)

I’m posting this here because I figured you all could talk some sense into him. My friend just got a huge extension on his credit card and now has a $20,000 limit. Dumb dumb wants get all $20,000 by buying bitcoin with his credit card while on vacation in a third world county (he’s thinkng Vietnam or India) and then say it was stolen and play dumb. Then once that’s done he wants to cash out the bitcoin for xmr and then back into bitcoin into a “clean” wallet. Please tell me this is stupid and not full proof, because he’s convinced it can be done.
submitted by notathrowawayawayway to IllegalLifeProTips [link] [comments]

I Dared My Best Friend to Ruin My Life - He's Succeeding

My name is Zander, and my best friend is trying to ruin my life. It started out very small, but has quickly grown out of control.
I'm currently sitting inside a church, using their WiFi to post this story and taking advantage of their air conditioning. I’m posting this story in case… Well in case he finds me and kills me soon. It's only a matter of time now, and I want someone to know what happened before I die.
Two years ago, my friend David and I were sitting on the couch at my house thoroughly bored. It wasn’t a temporary boredom either. It was a resounding boredom with life. We both worked full time at the local movie theater making minimum wage and cleaning up after idiots who couldn’t keep popcorn and soda in their mouths. We had graduated high school two years prior and had no plans to attend college.
Life looked bleak for us. College didn’t sound appealing, work was annoying, and the little free time we had was blown on video games and YouTube. We both still lived with our parents too, which made dating somewhat embarrassing. Looking back, I’m sure we were suffering from mild depression on top of everything else.
These life circumstances blended together to create the perfect storm for what I now have to call my reality.
As we sat on the couch at my parent’s house, channel surfing the TV, David asked me if I was bored with life. I responded in the positive, and he sighed.
“High school was so easy because we knew our purpose and our goals were set for us. Outline the english essay. Finish the math homework. Get decent grades. Pass the driving exam. Be home by curfew. Find a girlfriend. Now that we’re out of high school, there’s no structure. Our lives have become meaningless and we are just floating through space with no aim or purpose.”
“Would you go back to high school then?” I asked. He shook his head.
“In the moment, high school was annoying. It’s only after looking back that I see how much better it was than I realized.”
“What’s the solution, then?” I asked.
“Either go somewhere that has structure and can deliver what high school gave us, or create our own structure,” David replied.
“Well I don’t want to go to college or the military,” I said. “And I can’t think of anywhere else that provides the same structure. Guess I have to make my own, but I have no idea where to start.”
“The thing about high school was that it required a minimum effort. If you didn’t give that minimum effort, you would face the consequences. The consequences were bad enough that you and I would put effort into school. When high school ended, that minimum effort level decreased. Now our minimum effort is not enough to improve ourselves. Whatever structure we build has to have those consequences built in and a minimum effort that forces us to improve constantly.”
David was, and is, a very intellectual person. He thinks about everything, if you can’t already tell. I was pretty dumb compared to him, but I stuck around because he always had interesting things to say. This conversation definitely counted as interesting.
I won’t bore you with the entire conversation that we had, but it lasted an hour where we discussed how to build structure into our lives.
I want to emphasize here that boredom is dangerous. Well, it’s not dangerous by itself, but it can quickly lead to dangerous things. Boredom can lead to pain, accidental children, technology that disrupts a monopoly, and even death.
Our boredom led to a dare.
“I dare you to try and ruin my life,” David said.
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“It’s a way to build structure into my life. If I know that you are always trying to ruin my life and actively trying to make me fail, then I am driven to fight back and act on initiative.”
“But how could I ruin your life?” I asked.
“You could ruin anyone’s life if you gave it enough thought, planning, and action,” David said with a smirk. “I’m not going to give you any ideas. I just want you to try and ruin my life.”
I remember sitting back and thinking about what he meant. The first thoughts that came to mind were about tripping him occasionally, or hiding his toothbrush every time I went to his house. My young mind didn’t fully understand how serious David was being. His mind was running three tracks above mine, so I didn’t know what I was getting into when I said, “okay, I’ll try to ruin your life. But I dare you to do try and ruin my life as well.”
He smiled with a newfound enthusiasm, and I smiled back. I had hoped it would be a great way to relieve my boredom with life. David stood up and punched me in the leg as hard as he could. I shouted at him, mostly out of surprise. He just laughed.
“The dare starts now,” he said, grabbing his shoes. “We are no longer friends, we are nemeses.” He opened my front door and looked over his shoulder. “Good luck,” he said. “I hope you’ll work half as hard as I will.”
Once he left, I just sat there rubbing my sore thigh. Okay, I thought, if he wants a war, he’ll get a war.
That night, I had laid awake trying to think of ways to make his life harder for him. My ideas were all so childish and useless compared to what he would later throw at me. I’m too embarrassed to list my ideas from back then.
I wish I could say I remembered the day David turned against me for real. But it was so subtle that I didn’t notice right away. To my face, David acted completely normal.
While we were at work, I would sprinkle popcorn over a section he had just cleaned and point it out to him. He would just laugh, and say, “is that supposed to ruin my life?” Then he would clean it up. I expected him to do the same to me, but he didn't. His lack of visible retaliation made me bored again so I stopped. Looking back, I suspect that behind my back he was sabotaging my image with our other co-workers and our boss.
Out of the blue, my boss called me into his office and told me that I was fired because I wasn’t doing a good enough job. David acted sorry i was leaving and we promised to hang out again soon.
I left, thinking I could make this something good and get a real job. That dream died, and I ended up at McDonald’s instead.
After I had been at McDonald’s for a month or so, my parents confronted me. They asked me if I had been stealing cash from their wallets. I had never stolen a cent from them, and told them so. They backed off, but only for a week until my mom’s debit card went missing.
They confronted me again, this time very angry. They accused me of withdrawing several hundred dollars using my mom’s debit card. I have no siblings, so it wouldn't have been anyone else in the house. It turned into a screaming match and they demanded that I move out as quickly as possible. With my small cache of savings, I found an apartment near the local community college that housed college students. The rent was affordable enough for me, so I moved out within the month.
I moved in and became instant friends with two of my roommates, Clark and Ivan. Our other roommate, Isaac, kept to himself and stayed in his room playing video games 24/7. Life got good again because I hung out with Clark and Ivan frequently.
David and I had stopped hanging out after I was fired from the movie theater. I hadn’t forgotten about him, but I had forgotten about the dare. Every once in a while, I would message him on Facebook or shoot him a text to ask if he wanted to hang out, but my messages were always ignored. Eventually I gave up.
Within six months, I had a great life going. I was dating a girl named Katie, I had been promoted to crew trainer at McDonald’s, which paid better, and my bank account was slowly growing.
I only recognize this as David’s doing when I look back, but an obscene amount of junk mail showed up with my name on it every single day. Magazines, credit card offers, vacation ads, and even physical letters from real people who claimed to be excited to be my new penpal. I sorted through them every day trying to find some pattern. Clark and Ivan thought it was hilarious. When I came home late from work, they would sometimes toss the junk mail in the air like confetti as I walked through the door, cheering that the Mail King was home.
One day, I remember feeling sick of getting all this junk mail and deciding to sit down, call every subscription to cancel. I recruited Clark and Ivan to help me, and we sat down with snacks one afternoon and started to crank through phone calls.
In a few days, the tide of junk mail subsided and we celebrated our efforts. That only lasted a week.
The next week, it started coming back in full force. There was twice as much as before, and even some pornorgraphic magazines in the mix. Not only did my physical junk mail increase, but my email became unnavigable through all the new spam messages. Google moved a lot of it to the spam filter, but there were still hundreds of emails that made it through. My email had been subscribed to websites I’d never even heard of.
Clark and Ivan were blown away by the new tide of junk mail. The event was dubbed “Return of the Junk” and became a great ice breaker for Clark and Ivan to introduce me to other people at parties.
One day I was browsing Facebook’s “People You May Know” section when I came across someone’s profile that had my picture, but a different name. The account was open for anyone to view and had a lot of porn posts, status updates full of swearing, and praises to Hitler. I frowned when I clicked on their pictures. Most of the pictures were the same ones from my Facebook account, but there were some pictures of me that weren’t on my account or anywhere else online. Keep in mind, I didn’t remember my dare to David, so I was feeling pretty creeped out.
I hit the report button and let Facebook know that the account was a fake and went on my way.
I think three months or so later is when more stuff started to happen. Katie and I are getting very serious and discuss moving in together. The junk mail still rolls in and I’ve started to just throw it away. Ivan has moved out to go to an actual university, so a new roommate Jackson has moved in. Clark and I attempted to befriend Jackson, but he’s similar to Isaac and locked himself in his room most of the time.
A new game became available for pre-order, so I submitted my email to reserve a copy. When I tried to log into my email to make sure the reserve code was there, I couldn’t log in. I hit “Forgot Password” and it asked if I wanted to use my phone number to reset the password. I pressed yes and waited for my phone to light up. It never did. I pressed the button three more times, but no text ever came. I tried old passwords I used to use, but none of them worked. I frowned, but eventually just walked away from my computer. I’d try again a different day.
I sat down on the couch and pulled up Facebook on my phone. A popup appeared. “You’ve been signed out,” it said. Then it jumped to the login screen. I thought I’d hit the logout button on accident, so I just typed in my email and password. It didn’t work. I tried again, but it still told me the password was incorrect.
My phone buzzed in my hand. Katie was calling me. I answered it and immediately became concerned. She was sobbing.
“Katie?” I said.
“You coward,” she spat. “You don’t get to just Facebook me that shit, no you have to talk to me and tell me with your voice.”
“Katie, what are you talking about?” I asked.
“Don’t play stupid, asshole. Say it.”
“Say… what?”
“You Facebook me and say we are through, but when I call, you deny everything? What the hell are you trying to pull, Zander?” Katie hissed.
“Katie, my Facebook got hacked! I was literally just trying to log in when you called. Are you at home? I’m coming over. We are not done, we are far from done, sweetheart.”
It took me some time to convince Katie that it hadn’t been me, but she relented when I showed her that I couldn’t log in. I googled how to get my Facebook account back and contacted their helpcenter. Thankfully, they were able to get me back into my account. Lots of links to porn sites had been posted all over my page by whoever jacked my account, so I spent time deleting all of those. I also spent time answering family members who asked about the “strange content” I had been posting. Awkward.
Katie also found out through her feeds that my Twitter and Instagram had been hacked. The accounts were posting hundreds of crude messages and pictures. Those two sites took a little more effort, but eventually I regained control over those too. Fixing my email took a couple of days, but I got access again.
Not wanting to repeat the experience, I made my passwords into really long strings of numbers, letters and symbols. Each account had a different password. For anyone who has done this, you know how impossible it would be to memorize your passwords. I wrote them down on a sheet of paper and put it in my dresser drawer. I didn’t intend to get hacked again.
I'm telling you where I put the paper so you'll know how freaked out I was when Facebook signed me out again the next week. I checked my other accounts. Locked out again. I shot Katie a text to warn her and then called the Facebook help center again. They gave me access to Facebook and gave me the same warning about making a long password.
When I told them the type of precautions I had taken last time, they suggested checking my computer for viruses in case there was a keyloggers collecting all the information I typed.
I called a computer repair center and asked what I needed to do to get my computer scanned. They asked me to bring it down and they'd check it out.
I had a desktop, so ‘bringing it down’ required a lot of unplugging. When I got down behind the computer to unplug everything, I found a tiny USB stick that I'd never seen before. I frowned and tried to locate its contents on the computer. The computer said no USB was attached.
The computer repair guy confirmed that the USB drive was a keylogger. He asked if my computer had ever been anywhere that anyone could walk up and use it. I told him no and he said he had no idea how it could have gotten there.
He didn't charge me anything, just warned me to keep an eye on my computer.
I changed all my passwords again, going through the motions to get my accounts back.
A few days later, I received three, yes THREE credit card bills in the mail. I still had the habit of skimming through the junk mail in case there ever was anything super important. I'm glad I did, because I might never have found out about the credit cards that were registered in my name.
I called the credit card companies to inform them that they were mistaken. I had never signed up for a credit card. My parents had warned me about them so often that I'd been deterred from ever getting one. Before you comment and tell me I need them to build my credit, yes I know that now.
A quick google search told me what to do next. I called Equifax, which is a company that calculates your credit score and tells creditors that it's okay for you to open a credit account. I placed a 90-day fraud alert on my credit. They said they would call me if anyone tried to open a credit account in my name.
The dude at Equifax was kind enough to tell me what I needed to do next. He asked me to go online and view my credit report. If I saw any accounts I didn't recognize, I was to write them down and fill out a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explaining the situation. Once I had that submitted, I was to file a copy of it with the police and create a police report. Then I had to take those two reports and call each of the credit companies that had issued credit to my identity and start the dispute process. I instantly felt very discouraged at the amount of effort this would require. It felt utterly insane to be required to follow all these steps just because I was the victim of identity theft. God damn.
Clark was horrified at what had happened and looked at his credit score. He was relieved when it came back clean. I made Katie check hers too just in case. Also clean.
I'll take a minute to tell everyone reading that you are entitled by law to one free credit report per year from each of the three credit score companies. That means you can and should check your credit three times a year. Clark and I set reminders on our phones to check the scores again in 4 months. I asked Katie to do the same.
When I first found out about the accounts, I had called my parents to ask if they had opened any accounts in my name. If they had, I'd at least know who the culprit was. They told me they hadn't opened any accounts, and I warned them about my problems. They promised to check their credit score.
Two weeks after I had called them, my dad called. They found fifteen fraudulent accounts between the two of them. What the hell? I told him the steps he needed to take, and he was grateful for my help and warning.
I know this is boring to read, but I want you to realize how insanely painful it was to fix all of this shit. Seriously, watch your credit reports and nip identity theft in the bud before it happens to you.
I had requested detailed bills from the credit card companies that had issued the fraudulent accounts, and they mailed them to me. The bills were full of online purchases. The accounts had been opened almost a year ago, and in that time they thief had spent $62,000 between all the fraudulent accounts. I was pretty upset that in a full year, I had only just found any credit card bills in the mail. I must have been tossing them with the mountains of junk mail. Now I know that the masses of junk mail were deliberate and calculated so the bills would blend in and hopefully get thrown away
The first few transactions were from stores like Target, Walmart, etc. But the further down I went, the less I recognized. One word stuck out to me: bitcoin. I had learned a little about it from my Facebook feed as I had some friends from high school who touted it as the next real currency. According to the credit card statements, several thousand dollars had been exchanged into bitcoin.
I started really researching bitcoin and trying to figure out what it was and why an identity thief would want it. To make the explanation short, bitcoin allowed my thief to make completely anonymous purchases online. It was as if he'd gone to an ATM and drained all the credit cards into cash. I didn't foresee the credit card companies ever getting their money back.
David now had a hell of alot of cash he could use to ruin my life. I didn't know it was him at the time, obviously, but now I do.
Guys, identity theft is a serious crime and is very damaging to everyone in the economy. And while the theft had been bad, my life was about to get a whole lot worse.
That’s all I have time to write for now. I have to go and get some serious shit taken care of. I'll write again as soon as I can.
My name is Zander, and my best friend is trying to ruin my life.
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Series 2
submitted by Zandsand90 to nosleep [link] [comments]

My BitcoinTalk.org account has been hacked.. (11th july 2018), what now?

My account on bitcoin talk forum, was hacked / stolen 11th july 2018... (I just found about it today)... The account was using my other secondary email address on gmail which I didn't access recently because I was on vacation. I cannot login, I checked my inbox then noticed that on 11 july 2018 an email from bitcointalk informs me about the change of the associated BTCtalk email account to:
[email protected] by IP address
None of these are mine, not the email nor the IP. Unfortunately I wasn't able to undone that action because I was on a trip.
This is my Full Member account with 100 Merit +133 posts, registered on 19th September of 2012: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=67153
The russian hacker already managed to change some of my profile settings like location, signature, and added the quote "Be Strong", Also I remember having a BTC address: 1A6UzoDvPybimQg98B22yMoEF75wAZUdmt listed on that profile but not sure if it was linked properly or not (0 BTC & 0 transactions). By the way, something positive is that no one is posting shit with my profile yet, also last time active was July 31, 2018. Maybe my account is listed / auctioned on a black market right now?
I would appreciate anyone willing to help me recover my account. I already read other related posts on similar cases which states that only Cyrus and Theymos are able to restore the accounts, however this doesn't seem to be a priority to them if you can't prove ownership.. Typically, the only acceptable method of proving ownership is by signing a message (including current date and desired new email address) using a Bitcoin address or PGP key associated with the account. A Bitcoin address or PGP key is associated with the account only if the account posted the key/address, sent it in a PM, or if it is still listed in the account's profile.
As I stated before, the hacker already managed to edit my profile deleting the listed address that I linked there.. so not sure if it is gonna be valid signing a message with that address before sending the PM to the mods, I have several other that I used on my wallet back in the days.. some I used to sign messages privately with other users via PM (not publicly) not sure if this counts and if the hacker deleted those PM's as well.. I remember doing a trade with SebastianJu through.
Thanks in advance
submitted by LordVorenus to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

MCT+ Exit Scam

MCT+ Exit Scam

Andreas Kaltenhuber and Carina Fontan

A brief summary

In May 2018 Andreas Kaltenhuber being a software engineer with his wife Carina Fontan founded the Project - a cryptocurrency trading platform MCT+ (My Crypto Trade).
The Platform was growing and gaining popularity thus attracting more and more people.
People were buying the MCT coin which was used as an analog of shares - the MCT coin allowed to get part of the revenue of the Platform.
On 14 May 2019 there was a theft of users' funds from the Platform.
On 2 July 2019 the results of investigation were published and it became clear that the co-founder and the main developer of the Platform Andreas Kaltenhuber had stolen users' funds. In several hours after that the Platform was shut down, the website and the project’s social accounts were deleted.
As a result of the theft and the Platform’s shutdown, several thousand people lost their funds. Many of them lost very serious sums. The total damage was about several hundred thousand Euros.
Andreas and his wife got themselves AT LEAST 100.000 Euros in Bitcoins (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies from the Project (coin presale, fees, stolen funds).
In July 2019 they spent some stolen BTC on their vacation in Malta where they went soon after the exit scam.

The MCT+ Platform Description

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TOBDKssGV1LKY_UiA_C04UkttzQi8urN (June 2018)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=197xIGRyRkectQxMtrQSbRlr9AOSBg1g1 (August 2018)

MCT+ Promo video:

The MCT+ Platform reviews:


The Incident on 14 May 2019 (the theft of users' funds)

The official version of the Incident:
Andreas' laptop was left unlocked in a public place (a coworking office) for several hours thus letting anybody access the whole Platform infrastructure for all this time. Someone in the office took the laptop and stole users’ coins from the Platform.
The investigation about the Incident:
The result of investigation based on blockchain transactions - Andreas was the thief who stole users’ funds from the Platform. It was proven he was simultaneously operating two wallets - his private BTC wallet and the wallet with the stolen coins.
The official announcements about the Incident:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqKAmvb6Tcw (one big lie)
Kev's live stream about the MCT+ exit scam:

In late May Andreas Kaltenhuber disappeared from the MCT+ chat and was absent the whole June due to the “my father is very sick” story.


In reality he was having fun and playing golf with his friends.

https://issuu.com/magazinring/docs/1907_t_magazin_gesamt_issuu (TIROLERIN, July 2019, pages 134-135) (the photo was taken on 14.06.2019)

After the MCT+ Exit Scam

On 2 July 2019 the results of investigation were announced and the thieves were exposed. The Platform was shut down. The rest of users’ funds that were on the Platform disappeared (the second theft committed by Andreas Kaltenhuber and Carina Fontan).
In several days after the MCT+ Exit Scam Andreas Kaltenhuber and Carina Fontan went to Malta on vacation for spending the stolen money.

July 2019, Malta https://www.instagram.com/p/BzqJ8apilZS/ https://www.instagram.com/p/Bzm6hJ3lew1/


Now Andreas Kaltenhuber and Carina Fontan are running a software company PushPanda developing a browser push notification service (https://www.pushpanda.io).
If you are already a client of this company or only wishing to set up its software on your site, know who are staying behind that - the THIEVES.

Maybe you recognize some photos they posted in the MCT+ chat.
Their dogs (the photo was taken at Golfclub Innsbruck-Igls):

At their home:


Additional information

A private conversation with Andreas when his identity was found out:

A list of events during their vacation in Mallorca (August 2018):

Some Carina (Karin) Fontan’s phrases in the MCT+ chat:

For dessert

You could think Andreas Kaltenhuber grew up in poverty and now he is living a miserable life. How else can you explain the theft he committed? But you are wrong.
His father, Heinrich (Heinz) Kaltenhuber, was the Director of HBLA Lentia (a fashion school) (https://www.linzwiki.at/wiki/HBLA_Lentia/) in Linz, Austria and is also known as the highest representative of the Lions in Upper Austria (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lions_Clubs_International).
His mother, Waltraud Kaltenhuber, was a school director in Linz, Austria and then she started a political career at The Austrian People's Party (https://www.linzwiki.at/wiki/Waltraud_Kaltenhube).
Here you can see the whole family where Heinrich Kaltenhuber is getting a government award for his activity.

Andreas, Waltraud, Heinrich Kaltenhuber http://www2.land-oberoesterreich.gv.at/internetfoto/ViewDocument.jsp?id=156382&mandantId=3
What an idealistic picture. But remember what Andreas did with your money. So you can call it: “A thief around his family”.
Good job, Heinrich and Waltraud, you raised a good son. How it’s said: “The apple never falls far from the tree”. Think about it.
But what about Carina Fontan?
Now it’s her third marriage.
Her first husband, Martin Granbichler, is the director and a co-owner of a bus company (https://www.tyroltour.at/).
Her second husband, Gerhard Fontan, is a board member of “Regionalmedien Austria” (https://www.regionalmedien.at).
Not the poorest members of society I would say.
And what can we see here? She with her second husband playing golf? What a surprise.

Don’t miss, Carina.

And as you remember our fatty baldy friend plays golf as well. Hah. What a coincidence.

So we see what “fish” she is catching all her life.
Time for looking for the fourth one. Seems “Baldy” will be in prison soon.
For more details you can contact me via Telegram: https://t.me/tax79
Visit this channel: https://t.me/s/MCTPlus
submitted by tax79 to u/tax79 [link] [comments]

How To Decide If An ICO Is Worth Your Time And Money

A Brief Explanation of ICO

ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering – a fundraising method that trades future crypto coins for cryptocurrencies which have an immediate, liquid value. [Investopedia, 2018]
Usually, some tokens are sold to ICO participants and some are kept for the company’s needs (private investors, etc. Terms differ from one ICO to another). Whether you invest big or small, you can handpick the projects you like and purchase their crypto coins.
All investors share one common wish: that the price of the token will be higher (or much higher) than the token’s price during its launch. ICOs are selling like hot pancakes. The recent year has seen thousands of successful ICO stories. Hdac and Filecoin collected respectively whopping amounts of $258 and $275 million [CryptoPotato, 2018].
But, and a BIG but, not all ICOs are genuine. Mycelium ICO’s team members vanished after raising the money. It was reported they used the funds to pay for their own vacation! In another case, $7 millions were stolen as CoinDash’s ICO started. Right before the start of the token sale, their website was hacked and the ICO wallet address was changed to the hacker’s address.
That is why you have to read the following steps to decide if an ICO is worth your time and money.

Step #1: Switch On Research Mode

Find out everything you can about the team, offline and online, especially the development team and the advisory board. Look up each team member for relevant experience. Google their names. Visit their LinkedIn profiles. Visit their offices. Look for famous names among the advisory board of the project. Find out if the team has any crypto experience and more importantly – in which projects, or ICOs, they were involved with and the impact they had.

Step #2: Check The Project’s Stage

If they have a whitepaper on their website, study it so you’ll know the roadmap. Check if there is a launched product but with limited functionality. Projects which have “some lines” of working code are your best bet.
VCs (venture capital) tend to invest and support projects from early stages. Look for this information usually on the main page of the project’s website. It’s likely to be considerable if a well-known crypto VC is involved, like Blockchain Capital or Fenbushi (belongs to Vitalik Buterin – founder of Ethereum).

Step #3: Make Friends With Social Media

It’s important to have a wide open supporting community like a public forum for all investors. Try to grasp the atmosphere within the community. Look at the size of the community and its activity.
A good starting point is the project’s announcement (ANN) thread on BitcoinTalk.org, the biggest forum for Bitcoin and crypto related issues. It is strongly recommended that you read the messages carefully. Investor’s concerns will be answered (or may be unanswered) in this thread. It is a bad sign when the developers avoid answering certain questions or aren’t collaborating. Sending devs a personal message to see how responsive they are is also a good idea.
You may find other sources like Reddit, Twitter or Facebook to be useful too. Be aware of bounty posts. It is a common practice to launch a bounty thread to reward users for spreading positive information about the project to increase media coverage, or to help out with translations. These bounty threads can stimulate the hype around the project, but they are not very objective.

Step #4: Understand What’s The Token For

ICOs mean the creation of a completely new dedicated token for the project. One of the most important questions each project needs to answer is: What is the token for? Why isn’t Bitcoin or Ethereum enough to serve as the project’s token? Why use blockchain technology behind the project? Find out.


If you’ve been reprimanding yourself for not buying those blockbuster coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum earlier, you might want to consider ICOs. Be warned, however: ICOs are a high-risk way of fundraising and scams are aplenty. Never invest anything you can’t completely afford to lose. Right now cryptocurrency as a whole is kind of like the wild west; there’s gold in the hills and a lack of regulation, so you’d have difficulty getting back your lost money in case of any failures.

Investopedia, 2018. What Is An ICO? [online]. Available from: https://www.investopedia.com/news/what-ico/[Accessed 10 October 2018]
CryptoPotato, 2018. 10 keys for evaluating Initial Coin Offering (ICO) investments [online]. Available from: https://cryptopotato.com/10-keys-evaluating-initial-coin-offering-ico-investments/ [Accessed 11 October 2018].
Principal Strategic, 2018. https://pstrategic.com/how-to-decide-if-an-ico-is-worth-your-time-and-money/
submitted by PrincipalStrategic to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Of Wolves and Weasels - Day 187 - Guest Post: Confessions of a Bitcoiner

Hey all! GoodShibe... on Summer Vacation!
Please enjoy this post by Guest Writer Justlite and tip them well ;D)
Note: To tip them directly:
+dogetipbot @Justlite xxx doge verify
I've been part of this Dogecoin community since early January and I have to say the people here constantly amaze me. For me Dogecoin and this community is the future of cryptocurrency and I'm speaking as a long time Bitcoiner. Over a month ago I explained in a previous post why I believe Dogecoin price will rise again and correctly predicted Bitcoin to rise substantially shortly after my post against in the face of several counter arguments late last year. My thoughts have not changed on Dogecoin but I feel it's worth giving my experience on cryptocurrencies as a Bitcoiner in the early days of 2010-13 and how that compares with Dogecoin.
I bought Bitcoin and Litecoin in the early days and I can tell you the Bitcoin community back then was hopeful, cheerful and very welcoming...forgive us right now we are at the fighting stage with the established status quo wants to knock Bitcoin down.
In the early days we were only known for CPU/GPU mining discussions and tipping one another after each comment. In fact Bitcoin was only ever used to tip and trade but not to buy anything since we didn't have anything available for Bitcoin. We were very brave I mean wiring money to a company in Japan and getting these online things called Bitcoin which doesn't buy anything?!
Back then Bitcoin fans were seen as weird and Bitcoin as a complete joke we were idealist and we still are. Many of the people that fought us then were actually the libertarian precious metals community and because gold and silver were tangible and has been money for 5000 years Bitcoin wasn't and was barely a year old. It's hard to argue with them, after all some guy that called himself Satoshi Nakamoto, the Japanese equivalent of Jack Smith, created it but left after a year and no one saw how he looks like.
We could understand their concerns, a lot of early Bitcoiners like me also have gold and silver in the belief it will protect our wealth from the next financial collapse. But Bitcoin was created for this purpose too, no more will the 1% have economic power over the 99%, "1 CPU - 1 vote" said Satoshi in his white paper. We are also in the digital era and with all the success the internet is nowadays there still was no internet currency without the excessive charges of credit card companies.
Bitcoin changed all that it wasn't just an internet currency it was hoping to be money on every platform in every country, person to person, in at least 10 minutes between any country in any amount for free! Fast forward to present day and we are starting to see that.
Of course we have had many setbacks on the way, such as exchanges being hacked, wallets stolen. We weren't so security conscious back then and we learned the hard way.
Then we grew in price and popularity and quite recently the government fought us when our dark market Silk Road was shut down by the Feds. We have had 4 price bubbles a lot of sleepless nights I've personally ploughed in tens of thousands of dollars lost a lot of Bitcoins on the way (and also lost 15000 Litecoins) and forced to read articles with declarations of "Bitcoin is dead" after each major price drop.
Sound familiar?
"History doesn't repeat it self but it does rhyme" Mark Twain
That's all part of the growing pains of a disruptive idea.
Dogecoin, by comparison, has a whole economy after just 7 months of inception! It's remarkable as I am also a big Litecoin fan and even that community isn't as productive as this. People talk about Dogecoin's PR as it being behind its popularity but I honestly believe there is no intentional PR, I mean where is the PR team?
I believe it was a combination of a friendly meme encouraging positive kind people, a internet currency that's easily explainable to anyone, a very mineable coin using your PC/laptop so everyone can get involved in and great online platform such as Reddit to connect like minded users together and everything just snowballed from there.
Now Dogecoin is one of the most productive coins out there with several client and core devs, hundreds of retailers, apps, doge specific websites, blogs and charity fundraisers. That's why I believe Dogecoin is undervalued right now.
This doesn't mean you should put your life savings into Dogecoin or other cryptocurrencies as they are still a risk and early stage technology. Just buy with what you can afford to lose!
So where is Dogecoin heading? - The analysis
As long as we still use doge for goods and services and keep the positivity going then I can only see the price of doge going higher and reaching all time highs without the need for manipulation. Over what time frame?
Like Bitcoin it won't be overnight and granted there's no supply limit so it will never reach tens or hundreds of dollars but we don't need it to. I honestly want Dogecoin to be a currency and I personally like having whole doges. Ideally I would hope that 1 or even 10 doge will buy 1 loaf of bread or 1 litre of milk at my local grocery store some day.
Supply vs Demand
As I mentioned before the supply coming to the exchanges from multipools has been immense - it is thought about 160 million doge a day is being mined and sold on exchanges just from miners. This not only exerts a lot of selling pressure but it also encourages weak hands to sell forcing the price down further it's a downward spiral which we have been seeing.
Any other coin would have collapsed long ago but doge is no ordinary coin. After the next two halvings in October time it will be down to 40 million a day and low enough to allow for natural demand to outpace the supply causing the price to increase steadily which will give momentum and may then lead to a new all time high and the second bubble.
Network Hashrate
I'm of the belief that ASICs are a necessary evolution in cryptocurrencies by making a coin secure which will attract investment/adoption and environmentally friendly. With scrypt ASICs large and small coming online the network hashrate has more than doubled in the last 2 months from 40 GH/s to 90 GH/s and while we tend to see a jump in hashrate just before a halvening I attribute this rise to small miners also buying ASICs and a lack of more profitable altcoins. Again that's great for the stability of our coin and this will provide further confidence that Dogecoin is a good crypto to buy/adopt/invest.
Deflationary Inflation
Sounds confusing so let me explain unlike Bitcoin where there will only be 21 million coins mined, Dogecoin will reach 100 billion coins mined after block 600k and then see 5.25 billion coins mined each year forever which works out as 5.25% inflation in the first year and then 4.99% in the second year and so on.
While this may seem a lot I have come to the conclusion that it may be a blessing for Dogecoin as it is thought that 5 billion coins per year would be lost permanently anyway so this will 5.25billion coins would replace the lost coins. The extra 5.25 billion coins per year would be enough to incentivise miners to continue mining doge (which would hopefully be at a high enough price after the 600k block reward) and securing our network.
Because Bitcoin has a cap it is seen as a store of value like gold whereas Dogecoin has a infinite supply but at a predictably low yearly increase in fact from 2015 to 2020 Dogecoin will have less yearly inflation than Bitcoin. This can actually encourage people to treat Dogecoin as a true currency to buy everyday items with than as a store of value. I believe that is what Satoshi envisioned Bitcoin to be.
What are the whales doing?
The top 20 dogecoin addresses which account for 40% of all mined Dogecoin out there haven't sold any of their DOGEs.
The whales with large wallets have not sold their DOGE over the course of the last 4 months but the smaller wallets have! Why? The whales are happy to see their DOGE go to zero if they thought it was dying or they have been there and done that and know that perhaps Dogecoin is heading up? I can tell you I have no intention of selling my DOGEs as I believe interesting times are ahead.
The Bitcoin Effect
Bitcoin has paved the way for a crypto to go from $0.0001 to $1000+ and brought technological development, liberty and a sense of community all in a 5 year timespan.
While only $0.00023 Dogecoin has got an ecosystem, a following, funded several charity efforts and a burgeoning economy after only 7 months thanks in part to the network effect of Bitcoin and the rest down to you.
All I can say to you all is well done to all of you for being such a positive and productive community. Keep using Dogecoin and check the links at the side bar such as dogedoor.net and suchlist.com so that you can spend, buy, tip and mine doge and spread the word.
Now let's go to the moon!
TL;DR - Bitcoin had it's ups and downs and not short of haters over the years. Dogecoin is following the same path but in a shorter time frame. After the next 2 halvings Dogecoin price should be rising and adoption will speed up again which will make it a true currency so keep buying using and tipping doge wherever you can.
It's 8:09AM EST and we've found 87.24% of our initial 100 Billion DOGEs -- only 12.76% remains until our period of Hyper-inflation ends! Our Global Hashrate is up from ~76 to ~92 Gigahashes per second and our Difficulty is up from ~1196 to ~1351.
I Hope you enjoyed today's Guest Post by Justlite!
Note: To tip them directly:
+dogetipbot @Justlite xxx doge verify
submitted by GoodShibe to dogecoin [link] [comments]

Someone at work asked me about bitcion today. This is my response.

Don't get me started on bitcoin. Anyone not interested can stop here :)
We're still in the early stages with bitcoin - it could "go to zero" as we say, but I don't think so. The awesome thing about it is that it's a technology you can invest in directly. I wouldn't bet your retirement account on it, but I will suggest everyone put at least some % of their investment in it. You can buy as little as $10. I'm about 50% in bitcoin myself, but then I'm a little deranged. 5% is good depending on your tolerance for risk.
The easiest way to get some: https://coinbase.com/
A more advanced exchange with limit orders & such: https://www.bitstamp.net/
Soon we will see an exchange-traded fund tracking bitcoin (brought to you buy the winklevii, co-creators of facebook). This lets you invest in it (but not worry about storing it) through your regular brokerage account. Beware by the time that's available, you will probably have missed out on a bit of the action. That's the SEC's job you know, keeping normal people from investing in things until all the bankers get the first crack at them. While the SEC is keeping you down, the US Marshals are selling a big chunk of bitcoin seized from the silk road. Minimum ticket to entry? $200K. We're all waiting to see what price the seized coins go for.
Investing might make you rich (here's hoping), but being a true believer comes from understanding and using the technology. I'll send you a small amount to play with. This is a good trustworthy web-based wallet: http://blockchain.info/
Here's one example of why it will take off: http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/06/25/bitbeat-why-bitcoins-scoring-goals-in-argentina/
Here in the US, we have nice friendly banks and central bankers. In other places however, bitcoin could be a lifesaver. Even here, our dollars are devalued at an astonishing rate. Whether you think that's good or bad, you can see why holding bitcoin would appeal to some (bitcoin's inflation is destined to slow down and then stop entirely). IOW, you don't have to think it's sound finance to believe it will increase in value.
ATMs, armored cars, neighborhood banks, western union, etc. Bitcoin makes all these things obsolete. It also stops credit card leaks. Individual people may have their coin stolen, but Target won't be able to leak everyone's private data - they won't have possession of it. It can be more libertarian. You can "be your own bank". There is a bitcoin equivalent to occupy wall street: vacate wall street. Move your money out of their system and watch it collapse.
OK, now I'm getting really off the rails.
Currently flirting with $600: http://bitcoinity.org/markets/bitstamp/USD
submitted by haight6716 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Digital Currency Password Management & Other Risks You Should Love

The first thing to remember is to not save your passwords on a computer: Passwords that are on a PC, in the cloud, or on a PC that that is almost never connected to the internet, can ALL be hacked.
If someone has your password, seed phrase, access to your email, or access to your Verizon or Sprint smart phone’s account, your coins can be stolen and never recovered. Write all your passwords down on a piece of paper with a pen, then on another somewhere else and keep them in separate places. I pay $17 a year for a safe deposit box that has a small notebook with all my passwords for wallets and exchanges. If my house burns down, I still have access to my crypto currency because of the duplicate notebook. Do not copy your book on a printer or open it where there are cameras and where other people can see it. It is also a good idea to write a password down that would be unusable to a thief. For instance, you could write;
Phase for Coinbase:
OvenMittRaptor1986BlockParty, where you ignore the first 8 characters, and instead the password you actually use would be:
The coins that people buy, even the ones that have been around the longest are still an experiment. You can lose all of your money and should consider it gone once your USD is transferred into a digital currency. The pioneers of crypto currency cringe when they hear about people putting all their money in Bitcoin or borrowing money to buy Bitcoin.
I avoid this by not telling them and instead telling the tellers at my bank, they will be replaced by robots, to watch them cringe instead.
Hackers of the future will have tools in the future to hack we don’t understand yet because they haven’t been invented.
May people are probably wise to not mention their investments in crypto currency to other people. The data we are producing now will be indicators in the future to hackers that we were involved in crypto currency in the past, and probably still are in the future. There are also people who simply hate Bitcoin. They heard it was a scam. They hate it and don’t trust anybody who thinks it might be better than your fiat currency in the future. Nobody wants to hear robots have programmed something that is better than the money they have. There are many good reasons to not talk openly about currencies based on block-chain technology. We still have another 2 full years before payment in this new robot money is common. In six years, everyone’s grandma will use it.
There are time delays and unexpected problems with coins such as Bitcoin. Do not rely on past transactional time frames or what you read to sell a digital currency for something like a vacation.
Bitcoin technology was designed to produce small amounts of Bitcoin based on great effort. It is similar to mining where much digging produces little gold or diamonds. This new modern mining uses computer power instead of excavators. Not only is Bitcoin designed to be scarce but also increasingly difficult to buy and sell, transaction-aly. This further increases the scarcity and value. There will be long and unexpected delays when the trading volume is high. Near peak prices, it may take 3 or more weeks for a sale or purchase to go through. Never attempt to pay your living expenses in the future with crypto you have today if you have any hang ups about living in a shelter.
Digital currency exchanges are the wild west.
Do not leave more than 2 weeks’ worth of your income in an exchange for long. They are much more prone to hacking than anything else you can think of. Coins should be transferred to wallet. Wallets now are not as clean and user friendly as they will be in the future. There is also a delay and you will incur fees in moving coins to a wallet. It is unnerving at first. I bet you will learn to love it.
Donate BTC: 12XExegqAdMMo2noc7C7jRYxDRXtp9QH7u
Donate LTC: LLENN68aAmbmpmn2JvA7658fj1D5QZc8f4
submitted by Cryptroppel to u/Cryptroppel [link] [comments]

A few thoughts - Friday, July 18, 2014

Good afternoon! Yesterday was the darkest day in at least the recent history of bitcoin, perhaps ever. I'll get into why yesterday was more significant than Mt. Gox and China later, but the end point of this post is going to be that these proposed regulations are a breathtaking expansion of government power into areas of commerce that have never traditionally been regulated. If this passes, we may well find ourselves fighting against bitcoin acceptance.

Some basic truth about The Law

First, it's important to eliminate a common misunderstanding in /bitcoinmarkets. Some users are arguing that this law (lowercase letters) isn't that bad because while it covers a broad range of activity, it is only intended as a tool to fight money laundering (or some other goal, depending on the user). People need to understand that the long arm of The Law (capital letters) does not care what laws were actually intended to do. You either violate them, or you do not. A judge isn't going to allow a business to operate based on the argument that this law was intended for a different purpose.
As you make your evaluation of the effects of this law, you need to consider every possible activity that could be illegal under it. You can't write off certain activities because they were unintentionally added to the law. The Law is not compassionate and does not allow people to get away with things because the creators were trying to prevent some other behavior. There are many examples of poorly-designed laws that have had devastating unintended consequences.

Some examples

Now that we are clear that the intent of the law doesn't matter, I thought it would be worth sharing how a few examples of bitcoin-related activities in New York will work. This section includes three rows each. The first is the activity, the second is an example of what I would consider some reasonable regulations, and the third is the actions needed for compliance under this law. Since there are an absurd number of requirements for each case, I only listed one or two of the most ridiculous for each.
Activity: Operating a tipping bot that sends $0.25 tips to residents of New York that holds balances
Reasonable: Require the tips to be backed with 100% reserve in the tipped currency
Lawsky: Collect personally identifiable information about all people ever tipped, retain it for 10 years, and submit paperwork to the department when tips qualifying as "suspicious activity" are sent
Activity: Changing a variable in the bitcoin code and creating a new blockchain for testing a proposed feature
Reasonable: No regulation
Lawsky: Register with the NYDFS, payi thousands of dollars, wait 90 days, and undergo a background check with the FBI
Activity: Operating the Elgius mining pool, which adds PPLNS payouts to its own blocks, so that users never have outstanding balances
Reasonable: Allow people to take civil action if their payouts don't match what they are owed
Lawsky: Register as a money transmission service, develop compliance programs, and conduct "intrusion prevention" tests against the nonexistent wallets
Activity: Running a business like blockchain.info, which does not hold any balances whatsoever in dollars and pays all employees and vendors in bitcoins
Reasonable: Require recordkeeping of profits and expenses similar to current laws
Lawsky: This business model is expressly prohibited; no business is allowed to take profits in bitcoins
Activity: Operating an altcoin exchange, which takes untraceable litecoins and exchanges them for untraceable nanotokens
Reasonable: Prohibit fractional reserve banking and require that reserves be kept in the currencies they are backing
Lawsky: Requires altcoin exchanges to back its reserves in dollars and to associate every altcoin address with a username. If there is a bubble, the business goes under because it is no longer able to back customers' deposits.
Activity: Being a one-time arbitrator, where two parties trade something and use a multisignature transaction with you as the decider in the case something goes wrong
Reasonable: At most, require background checks on the arbitrator to verify his integrity
Lawsky: File paperwork with security plans, a list of anyone who might help you with collecting evidence to make the decision (even if you are never called upon to do so), and obtain background checks and fingerprints for all of them; pay thousands of dollars to register, wait 90 days to be approved, file suspicious activity report if the transaction is over $3k regardless of whether you are called upon to arbitrate or not
Activity: Modify your mining pool's pay-per-share algorithm to prevent block withholding attacks, or introduce a new algorithm like PPLNS, without branching out into other business areas
Reasonable: No paperwork necessary
Lawsky: File new request with the Department and wait 90 days for the new model to be approved before rolling out the feature, while competitors in other states launch immediately

Businesses no logner possible to be served to New York residents

In addition to the regulation requirements, there are also some types of business models that simply cannot overcome the regulations at all. Here are some of those types of businesses:
Arguably, the following business types could also not operate in New York because of cost concerns:
The greatest problem with these regulations is simply that there is no clause for the amount of money the company has to control. While we plan to take all possible security measures, our pool's greatest security measure is that we automatically pay out balances that are too large, so that we will never owe more than $10k in customer funds. If there were to be a hack, then we would simply eat the cost of less than $10k from personal funds because it is a small amount. The reason this works is because it would cost more than $100k to provide the sort of professional infrastructure that Lawsky is requiring, so even if the site were hacked ten times, and even if we never fixed the security holes, we would still be ahead.
That's why this legislation is irreparably flawed and cannot be salvaged. It makes sense for people holding a billion dollars to be subject to strict regulations. It is nonsensical to require people who hold $5k in customer funds to spend $200k/yr in compliance measures, given that taking 40 hacks are still preferable to such ridiculous regulations.

The likely outcome of these regulations is less protection

Now that we know the local effects on certain types of businesses, we should ask what the end result is going to be a year from now, should these regulations not be completely overhauled. I propose that the end outcome of these regulations is going to be less consumer protection and more crime. The only businesses able to operate in New York will be huge banks and hedge funds. While the banks charge excessive fees and rip customers off, they already are far more trustworthy than Mark Karpeles ever was. They already practice good security anyway because they understand (unlike Mt Gox) that customer service is important. The law isn't going to have much impact on them. Furthermore, these guys aren't even into the bitcoin business yet, so (at least at first), the only people the law effects are the small guys.
Meanwhile, everyone else other than the banks is going to do exactly what we may be forced to do: milk the system by applying for licenses and waiting as long as possible, and then, on the day before compliance is required, ban New York residents from our service and avoid doing business with anyone in New York. However, it will be impossible for us, or anyone else, to eliminate every single New York resident from our system no matter how hard we try or how good our intentions are. Because there is no minimum funds limit, New York residents are going to find that they are excluded from the use of nearly every altcoin, mining pool, exchange, open source project, wallet service, auction site, escrow system, and so on.
They key here is that by making the regulations too hard to comply with, every site is going to be equalized. If the cost of compliance were low, then honest businesses would have no problem complying. When the cost of compliance is high, there is no distinction between honest and scam businesses because New York residents will have to do business illegally. This leads to more scams and losses of money. Whereas now a New York resident who uses a service available in New York can sue the provider of a scam, they have no recourse in this proposed new world. After all, the New York resident was engaging in illegal activity by using a non-licensed business. This allows scammers to directly target people who live in New York because they have fewer legal protections than do people who live in other states.
I'm very glad that I do not live in New York right now, and I actually feel sorry for what those who have been in bitcoins since the beginning and who live in New York are going to be unable to take part in the future.

About money laundering

One of the reasons we got into this mess is because the Federal government ignored consumer protection. While they were issuing regulations about money laundering, people like Mark Karpeles were able to take advantage of a complete lack of attention to consumer protection. The Federal government wasted millions of dollars in its cases against bitcoin_charlie, who is not accused of stealing any money or participating in any violent behavior, while ignoring real consumers who were being ripped off by exchanges operating as fractional reserves like Mt Gox and Vircurex. BenLawsky is now able to seize upon the Federal government's inaction and make himself look like a hero of consumer protection because New York will do what the Feds didn't do.
Proponents of anti-money laundering regulations argue that terrorists have been significantly hindered by restrictions in moving money. Terrorism is a great excuse for many things. Consider the case of airport x-ray screening devices. Every time a person goes through one of those devices, he has a 1 in 30 million chance of developing cancer as a direct result of the x-ray exposure pushing that person over the cumulative radiation exposure threshold at which cancer would develop. The risk of dying in a terrorist attack on the plane before the machines were installed was also about 1 in 30 million. Therefore, we spent hundreds of millions of dollars on machines that kill as many people as the terrorists do. Not only that, but anyone would rather die in a terrorist attack than go through chemotherapy and years of pain in a long, excruciating death.
People seem to accept that money laundering rules are necessary, and are pushing the bar of regulation lower and lower every day. How much would your risk of death really increase if money laundering regulations were loosened? If you have a 1 in 1 million greater chance of death but vastly more freedom in your finances, wouldn't you take that? In a perfect world where people didn't die, that would be an unacceptable compromise. In our world, however, people do die. It is ludicrous that people allow themselves to become obese and then live in fear of a terrorist attack.

The creation of a new kind of criminality?

There were some shameful comments from people like the Winklevoss twins yesterday about how they appreciate regulation of the industry. For those guys, it's all about getting rich, which isn't surprising given how their wealth is largely based on winning lawsuits rather than actually creating stuff. Few people seem to be reading the text of the document and understanding how this goes beyond bitcoins. This is a breathtaking expansion of government power that has never been seen before in the financial world. The regulations in this document expand the scope of financial oversight into industries far removed from anything that is covered by existing financial regulations, like open source development. For the first time, they dictate how businesses may pay out profits and promote inefficiency by requiring a bitcoin -> dollar -> bitcoin conversion, widening the pockets of Coinbase. They signal the creation of a huge bureaucracy that will require ever more taxpayer dollars to process millions of "suspicious activity reports," licenses, and minute software changes.
But most importantly, they require recordkeeping and information gathering of unprecedented scope, and trust so many entities to gather these records that they will be leaked to everyone. People running small mining pools that pay out $0.30 per day will be retaining passport numbers. Some people are viewing this as the "government" collecting information on people, but the government already has all this information. What will happen is that these records will be so prevalent because so many people are mandated to collect them that every hacker in the world will have a copy. In what other area of business are so many people required to keep huge databases of passport photos, utility bills, and other documentation that enables all sorts of criminal activity? These records will exist for at least 10 years, be copied in mergers and acquisitions, and leaked to the media and to the criminals, who will pay record sums for them.
The criminals and rogue insiders can use the data not only to perform identity theft, but to learn everything you ever bought, who your contacts are, where you live, how much you earn, what time of day you are away from your house, and what sites you use. They can phish for passwords at just the sites you use, arrange a theft when they recognize you are on vacation, threaten to phone your employer with false allegations of rape unless you pay up, use stolen wallets to frame you by purchasing child pornography with them, and contact repressive governments to have you arrested for associating with a known dissident.
That brings me back to the opening sentence in these thoughts for today. If these regulations pass and spread to other jurisdictions, we may actually find ourselves opposing the uptake of bitcoins. If more states adopt these regulations and people start adopting, then the stage will be set for an increase in government power to track everything about everyone, and a corresponding increase in criminal activity.
I said in the past that bans on bitcoins would not have an impact on the technology because people would go somewhere else, so they were not a change to the fundamentals. Few anticipated such a dramatic expansion of government power like we saw yesterday. Using the technology to procure unprecedented amounts of data would be a change to the fundamentals which even Nakamoto probably didn't intend.


submitted by quintin3265 to BitcoinThoughts [link] [comments]

A few thoughts - Monday, August 4, 2014

Good afternoon! A few thoughts for lunch today:

Regulations will have another effect

Suppose that you agree with all the New York regulations and don't think that they will hurt small businesses. Or, you think that the bitcoin industry would be better served by large corporations that have compliance programs and insurance and all the other things that big banks do. However, if the New York regulations pass, bitcoins will actually become more expensive to use than dollars will, because the number of regulations proposed for bitcoins is higher than the number of regulations currently required for many types of banking activities.
Bitcoins are useful largely because they can allow anyone to transact with very low fees. Even if the 1MB transaction limit is resolved, it will be expensive for payment processors to accept bitcoins when they have to comply with hundreds of pages of regulations. It seems difficult to imagine that Bitpay could continue to operate with their current fee structure if they have to hire people to push the massive amount of paperwork demanded by Lawsky.

Hardware wallet launched

The greatest positive news this week was the launch of the TREZOR hardware wallet. The launch is significant because the wallet is the first device which is immune to the standard viruses that spread on cell phones and computers. Since the code on the TREZOR is far simpler than the code of an operating system like Linux, the wallet is far more secure. Linux has thousands of packages, and any one of them could contain a security vulnerability which allows access to a hacker. Nobody understands all the Linux packages, but it is possible for one person to understand the firmware in the TREZOR. The ability for one person to understand the entirety of the code for a hardware wallet makes it less likely that there was an oversight allowing remote code to execute on the wallet.
These are the devices that will expand bitcoin usage to people who don't know how to secure their money properly. Being able to plug one of these into a terminal at a grocery store is the end goal. They are more secure than cash, because they are useless to a hacker who steals them. Once the device is stolen, the person simply transfers the funds out of it before the hacker figures out how to break the password on the device.
Unfortunately, the TREZOR will not result in any immediate bitcoin uptake and will remain a curiosity because of its high price. They are charging $119, which is unattractive to most people. Knowledgable people are not going to spend so much on something they can do themselves, and lazy people are not going to spend so much to start using bitcoins because they don't have to pay anything to open a credit card. The TREZOR is only important as a proof of concept that will hopefully be supplanted by a company who manufactures these at a lower price.

Russia banned bitcoins again

While everyone was wondering why the price of bitcoins dropped so much last week, it turns out that Russia banned bitcoins again. I guess that these bans still have some impact on the price.
What's interesting about this is that the news was not reported anywhere - not in the press, not in /bitcoin, not on bitcointalk.org, but yet the price still went down a lot. That shows a few things: first, it's confirmation that people who hang around /bitcoinmarkets are not moving the market, and second, it means that the things that people around here pay attention to are not relevant to price.
I read a lot of posts discussing theories of price rises and falls. Some reasons given are that people get paychecks on certain days, they are saving for Christmas, it's August, which means it's the vacation month in Europe, and so on. These reasons are off the mark. Bitcoin is big enough that people who put in a few dollars from each paycheck are not going to be the cause of $50 rises and falls.

VC bubble is accelerating

While most people are paying attention to bitcoin prices, the venture capital bubble surrounding bitcoins is accelerating. The amount of investment in bitcoin companies last quarter was more than all of last year combined. This rate of investment is clearly unsustainable and most of the VCs are going to be burned.
It seems like there is a classic supply and demand problem here. There is a huge supply of money, with people wanting to throw millions into in anything that comes their way. On the other hand, there aren't that many products available for investment that require money. Most of the VC money has gone to mining hardware and exchanges, two types of companies that need money to get started. The cost of manufacturing ASICs is enormous, and complying with regulations is expensive. But there are only so many exchanges that the market can support. Eventually, the VCs will need to look for other companies to buy in to, like colored coin implementations and legal contracts and altcoin development.
The problem, however, is that software development is not expensive. You don't need huge fabrication plants to start programming a new application of bitcoin technology. And software is what is most needed, as the great challenge now is providing killer applications for users to adopt bitcoins. Innovative software applications don't need millions of dollars in VC money to get started, so software companies don't accept the money because they have no reason to give away 90% of their companies.
That creates the bubble. The VCs are squaring off against each other in fields which are saturated with competitors. Not only that, but the money going into those fields will push those businesses ahead of the curve. The VC-backed exchanges and payment processors will open, but the software that makes bitcoins useful to people won't be there yet. Most of those companies, which (like Circle) are burning cash at unsustainable rates, will collapse until the software applications catch up to them, and the VCs will lose a lot of money.
moral_agent should create a "VC bubble" chart. I wonder if it is inversely correlated to the usual bubble chart.

An unbelievable waste of money

As another example of this bubble, the domain BTC.com was sold for $1.1m last night. If anyone reading this note can justify such spending, please let me know.
Domain names are important, of course, but there is no possible way that a company can make $2m more by having BTC.com than a more branded domain name. Note that I say that the opportunity cost of purchasing the domain is at least $2m, because the $1.1m could have been invested in some other aspect of the buyer's business. Of course, the company can make more than $2m total, but to justify this purchase it would have to make $2m more than if it had an alternate domain name.
On the other hand, like all bubbles, the buyer might be talking up his plans for the site just to hold on to the name for a while longer, so that he can sell it right before the VC bubble pops, so that the next sucker can lose all his money.


submitted by quintin3265 to BitcoinThoughts [link] [comments]

08-13 02:31 - 'I'm going to ask for an unconventional way that I need you guys to help me!' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/Proxyfier removed from /r/Bitcoin within 13-18min

Hi, My name is B and I'm 28 and I have been going through a very rough time the past 6 years just to give you an example of how my life went right I finished studying to become a pilot in florida and passed with flying colors and it was time to go back home Jan 2012 my brother got married and I started looking for a job immediately next week when it wa like 50 C at night I went into my room to change left my phones, passport and wallet on the bed and the bag that contains all of my certificates nest to the bed and as soon as I turned the AC a fire exploded underneath my bed I panicked and tried water immediately not knowing that because its an electricity fire it would make it worse any how thank God no one was in the house and the fire spread insanely so I ran wearing only my boxers to the next house to call 911 because I have left all my 3 phones on the bed along with the other things and when they arrived EVERYTHING was Gone not only the room the entire 2 floors of the house; so I had nothing now no pilot license no passport just nothing,,, don't want to bother you more with this I worked hard and got those things replaced and fixed the house it took me 2 months but it was done. Just after that in May,17,2012 I went for my medical check as pilots do and a day after the doctor called and asked to see my and he wasn't looking happy and was so serious, so I asked what's wrong doctor did something come back bad it's ok tell me please! That's when he informed me that I have a tumor in my liver and that I need to get treated immediately and put everything aside even my planing to go and start flying in greece to convert my FAA to EASA pilot licence that was already paid and non-refundable; back to the issue of my health situation I smiled and said doctor God put me through this for a reason so please let's discuss treatment and we started talking that it was a very acute thing that happens rarely and attacks quickly so we can work with to medicines that are very strong one Orally and the other by shots of some sort of chemo but told me that people who had tried it stopped because of the sever side effects (sleeplessness-red eyes- dehydration- deep depression, etc.) but If I can handle it we can contain it within 4-6 months and warned me that only 4% of patients had a success rate doing so!!! that other is much less aggressive and last a year and so. Any how my answer to him doc let's start now with the first choice and I'm telling you count me in among the 4% you told me about and I might even beat their record lol he laughed and said optimism is good but don't let it turn against you when it doesn't happen!!! I SAID I know It will happen this is just a rest God had given to me to relax :) Fast Forward 4 months later I WAS TOTALLY CLEAR and my liver was like brand new the doctors were shocked of course I wasn't the same guy I lost 35 kgs and lost a lot of hair but I'm Healthy "Thank you God" <3 to the next subjects and I'll make as quick as I can went to greece didn't work out and there had y passport stolen and a car accident :s anyhow went back to Jordan where I'm from originally and went to Royal Jordanian airlines applied and nothing happened because here if you want to get hired you need some big shot from the inside so to the final part that I want you help guys in if you can of course: I have fell in love with a great girl and I do love her to death and got engaged and wanted money so I can marry her and have an income so I had some cash but no job so I thought why not bitcoinmining and I bought 20 Antminers S7's appr +15000$ and when it came in I figured that I had to work a lot with the electricity which costed me another $1200 and an AC with ducts for the heat for the miners and still I'm not getting what I expected and half of them go down all the time I tried everything and now I'm penniless BROKE and I'm suppose to start paying for the hall and wedding planner and her dress and an apartment and at least a 3 day vacation so please community put yourself in my situation when my family don't wanna support because they think I went into this bitcoinmining insanely although I still believe about it and I'll fix it and bitcoin will be something big in the near future all I'm asking if you all can please help me by making small donations to my wallet one by one you never know you may change my life and help me be with my soulmate for ever and make a life start for both of us any thing you can donate will add up and I promise if this happened and works I'll build a bitcoin donation website for normal people like us but just are going through bad times so please everyone help out I would owe everything to you <3 Please help me raise the money by donating to my bitcoin wallet plz : (19Vzh6peDGLmQJHHYQRTFfPkmGhEJpnFHg)
I'm going to ask for an unconventional way that I need you guys to help me!
Go1dfish undelete link
unreddit undelete link
Author: Proxyfier
submitted by removalbot to removalbot [link] [comments]

While bitcoin is considered to be a gold diamond equivalent. Its hard to think of my self travelling around with a gold nuget or diamonds on my pockets...so are they really equivalent.

still though you can get your phone stolen but not the keys...
this was a thought after I got pocketed out of my wallet and phone on my vacations 2 weeks ago.money got lost bitcoins didn't.
submitted by skapaneas to Showerthoughts [link] [comments]

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