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Old 05-16-2011, 06:08 PM   #1
dmross
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Default Bitcoin: global peer-to-peer currency system

No longer a fringe cyber idea. It's going viral.

http://launch.is/blog/l019-bitcoin-p...t-weve-ev.html
Quote:
L019: Bitcoin P2P Currency: The Most Dangerous Project We've Ever Seen
Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 12:37PM

by Jason Calacanis and the LAUNCH team

A month ago I heard folks talking online about a virtual currency called bitcoin that is untraceable and un-hackable. Folks were using it to buy and sell drugs online, support content they liked and worst of all -- gasp! -- play poker.

Bitcoin is a P2P currency that could topple governments, destabilize economies and create uncontrollable global bazaars for contraband.

I sent the 30 or so producers of my show This Week in Startups out to research the top players, and we did a show on Bitcoin on May 10. Since that time the number of bitcoin stories has surged.

After month of research and discovery, we’ve learned the following:

1. Bitcoin is a technologically sound project.
2. Bitcoin is unstoppable without end-user prosecution.
3. Bitcoin is the most dangerous open-source project ever created.
4. Bitcoin may be the most dangerous technological project since the internet itself.
5. Bitcoin is a political statement by technotarians (technological libertarians).*
6. Bitcoins will change the world unless governments ban them with harsh penalties.


Let’s Make Some Predictions
============
We are 100% certain that governments will start banning bitcoins in the next 12 to 18 months. Additionally, we’re certain bitcoins will soar in value and a crush of folks will flood the system and start using them.

Currently there are 6M coins at $6.70 each for a total economy of about $40M. Bitcoin speculation and hoarding will also cause a massive spike in bitcoin value. For example, if 10M people find out about bitcoins in the next year and want to buy $100 worth, $1B will be infused into the bitcoin economy.

Finally, there will be massive breakage in bitcoins. If your laptop crashes and you didn’t back up your bitcoins, well, you’re SOL. If someone steals you laptop that has 10,000 bitcoins on it you won on Bitcoin Poker, you’re SOL. Lost your USB drive with 500 bitcoins on it after a night out on the town? You’re SOL.

Sites like 99designs, eLance and oDesk will start accepting bitcoins for payment. If they don’t, they will face competition from folks who do.

Bottom line: The world is going to be turned over by bitcoins unless governments step in and ban them by prosecuting individuals.

This is about to get really interesting, everyone.


Relevant content starts at 7min mark (I've added a time seek to the url for your convenience)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwNfBgwbqng#t=7m


Official site:
http://www.weusecoins.com/



CN: nerds create un-hackable (so far) peer-to-peer currency system with built in algorithm for scarcity, reality slowly becomes a 90's cyberpunk novel
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
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I want to hear Q's take on this.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keiji22 View Post
I want to hear Q's take on this.


I'm a little suspicious of the origins, who made it and the real reason it was created.

also slightly suspicious of the way you can generate them by keeping a script running on your machine that uses up spare CPU cycles -- although I get that there are people who pay through the nose for the power of cluster computing

other than that, it's like the ultimate evolution of paypal.

now if we could walk into stores and start buying bitcoins the way we buy gift cards, that would be a good step forward for the program.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qcanfixit View Post
I'm a little suspicious of the origins, who made it and the real reason it was created.

also slightly suspicious of the way you can generate them by keeping a script running on your machine that uses up spare CPU cycles -- although I get that there are people who pay through the nose for the power of cluster computing

other than that, it's like the ultimate evolution of paypal.

now if we could walk into stores and start buying bitcoins the way we buy gift cards, that would be a good step forward for the program.
But you don't go into stores to buy paypal monies?
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bobturismo View Post
But you don't go into stores to buy paypal monies?

no, but I can go to any teller machine and withdraw my PayPal cash.
PayPal is part of the system, it doesn't seek to create a new one -- as a matter of fact, although a subsidiary of ebay, PayPal is run by Chase.



bitcoin seeks to be a system in and of itself, it needs a way for people to buy in with cash
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:07 PM   #6
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IMO, if there is some sort of stable $:BC:£ then I am all for BCGCs.

Last edited by DoctorNick; 06-09-2011 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qcanfixit View Post
I'm a little suspicious of the origins, who made it and the real reason it was created.

also slightly suspicious of the way you can generate them by keeping a script running on your machine that uses up spare CPU cycles -- although I get that there are people who pay through the nose for the power of cluster computing

other than that, it's like the ultimate evolution of paypal.

now if we could walk into stores and start buying bitcoins the way we buy gift cards, that would be a good step forward for the program.
I'm with you on this one, Q. What exactly is it "mining"? What the hell is your computer running while it's doing said mining? Perhaps an algorithm to break a code? who knows?
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hotshot172 View Post
I'm with you on this one, Q. What exactly is it "mining"? What the hell is your computer running while it's doing said mining? Perhaps an algorithm to break a code? who knows?
Supposedly the mining is to strengthen the encryption.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:13 PM   #9
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmross View Post
CN: nerds create un-hackable (so far) peer-to-peer currency system with built in algorithm for scarcity, reality slowly becomes a 90's cyberpunk novel
Bolded the important part. Nothing is unhackable
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:15 PM   #11
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This thread isn't complete until MKS blows his chartload over it.
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protege Menace View Post
This thread isn't complete until MKS blows his chartload over it.
guess I missed this thread.







bitcoin users via google maps:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=https:...ts/bitcoin.kml
http://i.imgur.com/x8gsC.jpg

Also, check out this site:
http://bitcoincharts.com/markets/
http://bitcoincharts.com/markets/mtgoxUSD.html
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:17 PM   #13
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Some issues I've seen with this whole thing, from my limited research:

1. If you park more than 10k and attempt to make a trade, you will likely move the market by 10% (see bid/ask chart on https://mtgox.com/trade/history)
2. Getting your money out isn't trivial. It's a multi-step process if you want cash.
3. Fees will be over 5% of the transaction.


That said, the currency has risen from USD$0.06/bitcoin to USD$9.00/bitcoin in 9 months, or an increase of 14,900%.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:27 PM   #14
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I don't get it...especially the mining part. And why are they not based on an actual current currency? Having common folk trying to determine if it is worth it to buy something for 3 bitcoins or buy it on Amazon for $10.

So far, it looks like the article in the OP is just hype or conspiracy theory crap.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=C=- View Post
I don't get it...especially the mining part. And why are they not based on an actual current currency? Having common folk trying to determine if it is worth it to buy something for 3 bitcoins or buy it on Amazon for $10.

So far, it looks like the article in the OP is just hype or conspiracy theory crap.
This was my initial reaction too. Keep reading, watch video.

It's a purely fiat currency, the algorithm ensures scarcity and market will determine value. It is real, it exists. One of the developers who is interviewed mentions that he is invited by the CIA to speak about it next month at an In-Q-Tel conference.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:31 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=C=- View Post
I don't get it...especially the mining part. And why are they not based on an actual current currency? Having common folk trying to determine if it is worth it to buy something for 3 bitcoins or buy it on Amazon for $10.

So far, it looks like the article in the OP is just hype or conspiracy theory crap.
It reads like dihydrogen monoxide warnings
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:31 PM   #17
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How do I use this to get rich?
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protege Menace View Post
I don't get it.

So my computer needs to be processing _____ when not in use, like folding at home?

And I can get free "money" by doing this...

Nerd "money". I think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scaryfastskier View Post
How do I use this to get rich?
I still can't come up with a solution to this.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #19
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Sounds like something that no one besides nerdy people would trust, and is therefore doomed to stay small or fail.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by DMP RUN View Post
Sounds like something that no one besides nerdy people would trust, and is therefore doomed to stay small or fail.
It's not going to 'take off', for a couple reasons.

-It will be 'hacked' or otherwise undermined.
-Like everything else on the internet, as soon as it becomes remotely popular, alternative 'Bitcoin' type services will become available, each competing and stealing business from another.
-Obligatory no one cares about nerd money reason.

Question...how and why is this at all dangerous?
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:54 PM   #21
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Basically you are trading "huge magic numbers". Since there are only a limited number of "solutions/coins" that fit the definition parameters, there is a potential market surrounding it. As long as enough people agree upon the value, this has potential to impact the use of regular currency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kebo View Post
It's not going to 'take off', for a couple reasons.

-It will be 'hacked' or otherwise undermined.
-Like everything else on the internet, as soon as it becomes remotely popular, alternative 'Bitcoin' type services will become available, each competing and stealing business from another.
-Obligatory no one cares about nerd money reason.

Question...how and why is this at all dangerous?
This is dangerous because it threatens the power base of the people who REALLY pull the strings. Every day, a group of people are making money off of each and every transaction taking place. This system seeks to impact that by creating a "cash" system for the future.

It's bit-torrent for money. There is no way to freeze accounts or stop the flow. I can give you something of value to someone on the other side of the planet with no one in between to monitor where it either side of the transaction took place or the real locations or identities of either party.

This is pretty huge.

-*
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Child View Post
Basically you are trading "huge magic numbers". Since there are only a limited number of "solutions/coins" that fit the definition parameters, there is a potential market surrounding it. As long as enough people agree upon the value, this has potential to impact the use of regular currency.
-How/Why would people agree on the value?
-If you use these to purchase a good or service...how does that in any way help the one providing it? A company can't pay their employees in bitcoins, they can't pay their bills in bitcoins...so unless some massive shift takes place, it is essentially an online-only barter system.

Quote:
This is dangerous because it threatens the power base of the people who REALLY pull the strings. Every day, a group of people are making money off of each and every transaction taking place. This system seeks to impact that by creating a "cash" system for the future.
-You don't think someone will come along and undermine this new system?
-You still didn't answer how this threatens that power base. The simple existence of another type of trade or currency does not threaten the rich. When Amazon started issuing 'amazon money'...gift cards...did the wealthy of the world start peeing their pants?

Quote:
It's bit-torrent for money. There is no way to freeze accounts or stop the flow. I can give you something of value to someone on the other side of the planet with no one in between to monitor where it either side of the transaction took place or the real locations or identities of either party.
So it's like money. You realize that cash is peer-to-peer, right? And you can transfer it electronically? Or you can hand it to someone? Or mail it? Fedex?

There are people in actual legitimate (and otherwise) professions, whose whole job every day is to move money electronically from one account to another.

Quote:
This is pretty huge.

-*
I don't see at all how this is huge. In fact, I'm wondering how this is any different from money in a game like WoW...except that you can buy and sell WoW money for actual cash.

It seems like the whole 'hugeness' of this whole thing is the hugeness of the assumptions that this is going to become a massively popular thing where people will be buying and selling actual goods and services using Bitcoin.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kebo View Post
-How/Why would people agree on the value?
-If you use these to purchase a good or service...how does that in any way help the one providing it? A company can't pay their employees in bitcoins, they can't pay their bills in bitcoins...so unless some massive shift takes place, it is essentially an online-only barter system.
There are exchange houses that will transfer back and forth between currencies outside of the bartering boards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kebo View Post
-You don't think someone will come along and undermine this new system?
-You still didn't answer how this threatens that power base. The simple existence of another type of trade or currency does not threaten the rich. When Amazon started issuing 'amazon money'...gift cards...did the wealthy of the world start peeing their pants?
Of course not. That's a gift card. Who cares if a business creates gift cards that force you to spend money at their place of business.

This is untraceable currency that you can send to anyone from anywhere.

I'm not promising to understand every aspect of it, but undermining it would involve figuring out a way to interject into the shared transaction stream or redefining the definition of a correct solution/coin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kebo View Post
So it's like money. You realize that cash is peer-to-peer, right? And you can transfer it electronically? Or you can hand it to someone? Or mail it? Fedex?
...and that banks and governments and companies can prevent you from transfering using those methods. Rememeber when people refused to complete transactions for wikileaks? Bam...your life just got really tough.

This system provides circumvention around this blocking point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kebo View Post
There are people in actual legitimate (and otherwise) professions, whose whole job every day is to move money electronically from one account to another.
In some cases, those sytems are archaic and outdated. Not saying traders or investors, but tellers were certainly reduced after cash machines came out. Progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kebo View Post
I don't see at all how this is huge. In fact, I'm wondering how this is any different from money in a game like WoW...except that you can buy and sell WoW money for actual cash.
Again, trading houses exist to trade bitcoin currency into dollars and euros, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kebo View Post
It seems like the whole 'hugeness' of this whole thing is the hugeness of the assumptions that this is going to become a massively popular thing where people will be buying and selling actual goods and services using Bitcoin.
Not so much. Perhaps in time. This is huge because it is no longer possible for a government or a bank to press a key and prevent you from accessing your funds.

This is system to store and transfer money directly between parties. No transaction fee. No identification. No Freezing accounts. No bank statements.

It's cash...but not as traceable or as restrictive as cash.

So yeah...criminal elements will be the first to embrace this. If this doesn't take off, something very similar will at some point.

-*
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:55 PM   #24
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Just wanted to tackle a few more:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kebo View Post
It's not going to 'take off', for a couple reasons.

-It will be 'hacked' or otherwise undermined.
The 2nd biggest vulnerability of Bitcoins would be a cryptographic attack (1st is government crackdown). Current users are all aware of this. There have been many crypto scientists who have tried to come up with attack vectors. So far the only significant attack discovered is one already described in Satoshi's original paper. I'm not going into the details because Nabisco users probably won't understand it, but the greater the network power Bitcoin has the harder this is to pull off in practice.
Quote:
-Like everything else on the internet, as soon as it becomes remotely popular, alternative 'Bitcoin' type services will become available, each competing and stealing business from another.
There would be no economic incentive to accept a newer flavor of Bitcoin if the original is available, unless there is some kind of fundamental difference in security or usefulness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protege Menace View Post
I don't get it.

So my computer needs to be processing _____ when not in use, like folding at home?

And I can get free "money" by doing this...

It's really not "free" money. You are being compensated for a service you are providing for the entire Bitcoin network. The process of hashing ("mining") is something that is required for the Bitcoin network to function at all, and the greater the hash power of the total network, the more secure the entire system is. Users are rewarded for providing cryptographic power to the network by receiving periodic Bitcoins which are created for the purposes of managed inflation.

If you go to the Bitcoin wiki there is a better description of the process.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:41 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMP RUN View Post
Sounds like something that no one besides nerdy people would trust, and is therefore doomed to stay small or fail.
Solution: Rename it the iCoin and plaster pictures of fruit on it. People will be converting benjamins for this crap in no-time.
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