On your SR account, under "account" (on the top bar beside messages and orders) there should be a BTC address in green characters. Copy and paste that as the bitcoin address to send your BTC to on bitinstant.
For your notification email they ask for on the bitinstant website form, use a tormail account for anonymity. This is free and super easy to set up. I use squirrel mail as it is the most basic. sign up here: http://jhiwjjlqpyawmpjx.onion/ and for the other info (name and DOB) make it up. but use the same fake info when you actually deposit the cash. I used my fake ID's info (I have a PA ID that I got from ID chief before he was shut down, so i use that info)
After you fill that out, it will send you to zipzap. Follow the basic instructions there and use your real zipcode to find places close to you that will allow you to do this transaction. I chose CVS.
follow the rest of their instructions and make sure you print out the pdf with all the information (account number and code and such). take this form with you to CVS.
Go to the customer service department (or photo department lol this is where the moneygram stuff was when I went). Just pick up the red phone and listen. You will be asked an address, name, and phone number. SAY YOURE PAYING A BILL. I think they say "press 2 for bill payment". Press that. Then just follow the instructions on the phone and such. About the address and shit: Just give them any address and zipcode, same bullshit with the name. Any name will do (try and make sure it matches the fake one you originally used on bitinstant though just in case), and say you chose not to give your phone number.
They will eventually tell you "you are paying a company (zip zap) please go to the counter and tell them your name and that you are paying a company"
go to the cashier and tell them you are so and so paying a bill/company with moneygram and they will confirm the amount of cash.
after you give them the cash, you will be on your way! :) It should take a bit for the BTC to be confirmed.
GENERAL INFO: Bitinstant will give you a specific amount. i.e. $242.97 and you MUST have exact change when you pay. Make sure you have enough. There is a 4% fee plus zip zap takes like $3.99. So to be safe, deposit 10% more than you need. I made this mistake yesterday lol. For example: you want $250 in your SR account. Deposit $250 + 10% ($25) so you'll deposit $275. If you go home and would like to see where your BTC currently are, take your SR address (or the address you sent to) and search it on www.blockchain.info and when that address has anywhere from 7-10 confirmations, it should appear in your SR account! It should take about an hour or two from depositing until the time when you have BTC in your account. Happy shopping :) If this guide sucked, I'm sorry. lol. I tried.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Anonymous Wallet for Covert Practices
A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Anonymous Wallet for Covert Practices With the recent Bitcoin “bubble” fiasco and the subsequent rise and fall of Bitcoin value, it seems that this subreddit has become obsessed with making money. But get-rich-quick schemes are not at the heart of Bitcoin. Instead BTC should be seen as a way to keep Big Governments and Big Businesses from knowing how much money you have and what you choose to spend that money on. As a currency, it doesn't matter how much the value fluctuates if you plan on spending your wealth on sites like the Silk Road and etc. (OK, maybe it does matter a little bit if the money you spent yesterday is worth twice as much today; but this guide is for spenders, not hoarders. Or at least for hoarders who also like to spend.) Let's discuss my favorite attribute of the Bitcoin protocol: anonymity. Many noobs getting into the Bitcoin game fail to realize that anonymity is an important key to understanding the importance of Bitcoin. In places where your wealth can easily be taking away from you (see Cyprus, Russia, China, the USA and others), Bitcoin can function like a store of cash buried in a dessert in the middle of nowhere – buried so deep that nobody can find it, not even the most powerful men and women on Earth. POINT:If you are purchasing your Bitcoins through services like Coinbase or Mt. Gox, and if you've ever given your real name and bank account information to a Bitcoin Exchange, then you are NOT anonymous. Your Bitcoins can be traced back to you. Your purchases are recorded in the blockchain, and although it's difficult, it's certainly not impossible for those with the knowhow to find you and prosecute you. See this link before continuing. Bitcoin is not inherently anonymous. You must take steps to protect yourself in order to keep your identity a secret. And even still, if you don't know what you are doing, you run the risk of being caught. So if you care about hiding yourself and your money, I offer this guide as a way to accomplish secret purchases and covert trades. Of course I cannot guarantee you won't end up in jail. At the end of the day, nobody knows how closely governments are tracking BTC purchases over the TOR network. Some people even believe that the TOR network was created by nefarious forces. I doubt it, but you never really know. STEP ONE: Anonymous Hardware Because you cannot really know whether or not you are being watched, your first step in creating an anonymous wallet is to protect yourself by buying a cheap laptop computer and removing the hard-drive. Really, who needs a hard-drive anyway? Toss it in the garbage. STEP TWO: Anonymous Software If you don't know how to download a Linux LiveCD, then stop reading now. You are probably not skilled enough to protect yourself anyway. If you don't know how to download a Linux LiveCD, then proceed with extreme caution; downloading an ISO file and burning it to a DVD is pretty damned easy. Easier than anonymity. Those who refuse to learn are at risk. It's arguable which software you should use, but I recommend connecting to the TOR network using TAILS, a live DVD or live USB that aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity. TAILS helps you to use the Internet anonymously, leave no trace on the computer you're using, and to use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, email and instant messaging. ProTip: For an extra layer of protection, download the ISO from your local library's computer. Or while you're sipping a mocha at Starbuck's. Then burn it to a DVD and take it home. Place it in your crap computer (the one without a hard-drive) and turn it on. Enter the BIOS menu and boot from CD if your computer doesn't do it automatically. DO NOT CONNECT TO THE NETWORK FROM YOUR HOME. I repeat, for an extra layer of security, DO NOT CONNECT TO YOUR HOME WIFI USING TAILS IF YOU WANT TO DO SHADY THINGS. That's just common sense. TAILS itself isn't illegal. But if you're the type to do shady things, you don't want to practice on your home Wifi, which you probably pay for with a bank account or credit card. After you've spent a day or two using TAILS and familiarizing yourself with the LinuxOS, and once you feel comfortable enough to continue, then head back to your local Starbucks, boot up the LiveCD, and connect. Browse the TOR network and triple-check that you are protected. You can do this by checking your IP address for DNS LEAKS. Only if you feel comfortably hidden from prying eyes will you want to continue. STEP THREE: Creating an Anonymous Wallet There are several different ways to to this, but the easiest way is to use the code at bitadress.org. Thanks to SpenserHanson for creating this thread which describes the process in detail:
Save bitaddress.org.html to your computer
Disable computer Wi-Fi.
Open bitaddress.org.html in browser.
Generate an address and record the private keys.
Close the browser window.
Go home. Think about what you are about to do.
STEP FOUR: Funding the Anonymous Wallet Funding your wallet will be the most difficult part of this process. Obviously you don't want to go to a site like Coinbase or Mt. Gox and link up you bank account, then start sending coins to your anonymous address. That would be stupid. Very stupid. Probably the best way to get coins is to know someone who is willing to send you a few, but even then you lead a trail back to your friend. My suggestion is to make cash deposits through ZipZap or Bitinstant, and give them false information (for example, use the new email you created, over the TOR network, from a site like Hotmail or Yahoo, which doesn't require a phone number to sign up – I'm looking at you Gmail. Make sure your new account forwards your email to yet another account, perhaps Tormail or a temp address. You probably won't need to use the email more than once anyway, for confirmation, if you need it. And you might want to create a new address with every deposit, just to be safe). There are other options of course. Some companies will sell you Bitcoins anonymously through Bank of America cash deposits. But remember that the moment you walk into a Big Bank and give them money, you are caught on camera. Maybe offer a homeless man some money to make the deposit for you. And hope he doesn't just pocket your money. Regardless, you want to stay away from Big Banks if you can. It really isn't that hard. If you absolutely must make deposits from your bank account, you could send your coins to an anonymous online wallet first and then to cold storage, but make sure to use several mixing services over a period of several days. And then have trouble sleeping at night. Another great idea is to use the localbitcoins website; meet with a seller locally; pay cash and GTFO. STEP FOUR: Spending from the Anonymous Wallet If you are looking to CASH OUT, there aren't many anonymous options besides meeting with somebody and selling face to face. You could always sign up for your own account at localbitcoins, then hope a buyer contacts you. But this guide isn't about making money, it's about spending your coins. To buy things, you'll want to go to back to the library, connect through TAILS, download a lite client like Electrum and access your account. Every time you want to spend, you will have to re-download, but it should not take more than a few minutes. And though you are probably safe enough to spend directly from the client, if you really want to be safe you should send the funds to a second wallet though a mixing service, then to a third or fourth or fifth wallet, also through mixing services. These “Mixing Wallets” should NOT be created using the TOR network because the TOR exit node may be monitored. I've never had a problem myself, but it's theoretically possible that an attacker could record the password/private keys for the hosted wallet and steal your coins. Which is why you should NEVER USE THE SAME ACCOUNT TWICE. And never access your cold storage wallet through the net. That would be very very bad. To created the mixing wallets you will also need a way to hide your identify without using TOR. The best way to do this is to sign up for a VPN service though a public WiFi hotspot and then pay in Bitcoin. The best service I have found is called Private Internet Access. You can access their service through a public computer, connect to the VPN, and voila, you now can safely create mixing wallets without exposing your password to the open network. Make sure that after you mix the coins you send them all to a safe, final address, which will be your Spending Wallet. Remaining anonymous will cost your some time and money. With each transaction you're going to have to pay for mixing, and also the transaction fee. And setting up a new email and a new account with every transaction (so that you can spread the coins across multiple fake accounts) will be bothersome but worth it in the long run. You can't put a price on piece of mind when it comes to your safety. REMEMBER Your Spending Wallet should not contain all of your funds. The bulk of your coins should be address you created using bitaddress. Never trust an online service to hold the bulk of your funds. The recent hacks have shown that the best place to store your private key is in your head. Final Notes: The Bitcoin protocol itself is not anonymous. And theoretically it's possible to trace every transaction back to you. This is why you need to use fake emails, many multiple addresses, and a VPN service with heavy encryption. Even with the knowledge and the technology to map the blockchain, the FEDS will have a hell of a time tracking multiple address though VPN tunneling back to a cold storage wallet that you created offline and only use to send coins over TOR. There are just too many roadblocks. Of course nothing is impossible. But I sleep very good at night knowing that my door is not going to be kicked in by the Men in Black. And even if you're not doing anything illegal, this sort of behavior is certainly suspicious. If you were lucky enough to receive a tip from Reddit's own bitcoinbillionaire (I myself was not) and you haven't cashed out. Create a VPN-tunneled throwaway account and tip yourself before claiming your coins. Then send them through a mixing service and to your cold storage address. Now you're on your way to being an anonymous spender. I hope this guide helps. I really do. The purpose of Bitcoin isn't to make money. It's to protect the money that you already have, and to protect your identity in places where your identity is compromised. Everybody in the world wants your money, especially the richest of the rich. You ought to do everything you can to keep yourself safe. Especially if you live in a compromised geography. TL;DR: Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. EDIT: Some typos.
I am traveling and am in a city in Brazil. My only credit card got cloned. I have bitcoins. How can I use them to get my hands on some fast cash to buy food, etc?
This is a real situation. I only have about $75 in cash, but have a few thousand dollars in bitcoin. I'm in Manaus (a city in the middle of the Amazon). I was wondering if anyone knew how I could quickly convert some bitcoin to the local currency (Reals). I don't mind a fee, I would even use Western Union if there was a quick and easy way to do it. edit: I'm still looking for the best way to get some local currency. So far this is what investigating has lead to: There are a handful of services that will do it, that are so small that I would actually be more likely to trust a redditor with a decent account history. (https://www.ecurrencyzone.com/ would be an example of someone who provides the service, but does not inspire confidence). One guy (Talan_Sun) started up an account to respond to this offering to send me money and then I send him bitcoins in an incrementing spiral, until I have the full 2k. Seems weird, but, well, he'd be taking the risk if he really did that, so it seems like an okay offer, although quite a long way to do it. The best redditor offer that I will go for if a company does not work out is Julian702 in the comments here. He seems like a nice guy, and has a good reputation with people vouching for him. This is more confidence inspiring than those shady looking websites set up to do it. Right now where I'm at is that I contacted BitInstant asking if they could help, using their form, and they did not respond. But now Erik with a @bitinstant email address shows up in these comments and says to contact him if I still need the money. So I'm doing that, and depending on what happens there, I'll go with Erik from BitInstant, and if not him, then Julian from the comments. edit2: Just had breakfast. Another $8.50 gone. Final edit: Although the reddit community and individual redditors were greatly supportive and awesome in general, there were no really clean and sane ways to do it. Nothing that didn't either take a long time, or involve trusting an internet person with the entire sum of money. In terms of risk, I really would trust someone with a good reputation with a couple of k in a pinch. But really I thought there'd be a simpler way to do it. Give someone bitcoins, then they send you money. That doesn't seem that hard. But on that same note Western Union and MoneyGram would not allow me to make a bank account deposit to myself, and then pick it up at one of their offices. So who would've thought getting your hands on some some cash when you have money would be so hard? What ended up seemingly being the best and easiest solution was using MasterCard emergency services. They can get money into a bank account within a few hours, and can provide an emergency card which will be valid for 3 months or so within a few days. So this is the kind of service a huge corporation will provide you when they take so much our money for providing a non-service, that they don't know what else to do with it. Ah well, it gets me out of a pinch, anyway.
From: Cardiovorax I understand all the ideological reasons for why someone might want to choose Bitcoin. Most of them are fairly crazy, but at least they're there. What I don't get are the practical benefits, why an average person would actually choose to use them. If you aren't worried about the government or the banks or planning to get rich quickly 2140, then what can Bitcoin actually do for you? That's the part that nobody has really managed to explain so far in any of the threads, at least as far as I can remember.
To be fair, we understand the currency, it's inner workings, and thus its potential quite well, but while we profess how great it is, with $'s and stars in our eyes, we likely forget that the people we are talking to don't know or understand everything that we do. So, I think we should come up with some examples that answer the question of "why would an average person care" (or re-paste them from older necro threads). Here are some of mine: 1) It lets you send money overseas cheaper than using a bank wire (FIAT > BTC > BTC > FIAT has way better fees and exchange rates than bank wire, Western Union, etc). 2) It lets anyone open a virtual bank account without needing access to a physical bank. For example, some banks charge fees and require minimum balances for accounts, which may be prohibitively expensive. Some areas around the world don't even have banks other than in far away big cities. And in some cases, it's easier to just create a new Bitcoin wallet to store money in, than it is to drive down to a bank, fill out forms, come up with profs of ID, wait days for them to be verified, and another week for your account to actually be ready to use (especially if you're looking for a small business account). 3) It lets you accept payments online easily and way cheaper than with VISA, PayPal, or other such services. Heck, you can even just get a bitcoin address from MtGox or any other exchange, set up your account to instantly exchange any received BTC for local currency, and you're done. 4) It lets you accept payments over e-mail or any other service that can transmit text (even photos, as seen on girlsgonebitcoin). Some sellers may not have the means to build a website, but can still send out an invoice, asking to send payments to a specific address. (i.e. someone living in a poor country who only has access to an internet cafe, or someone who just doesn't have web skills). 5) It lets you accept tips or donations using any website. You can upload videos to YouTube, photos to Flickr, posts to a blog, music to Soundcloud, art to Deviantart, or comic strips to GoComics, and to accept donations all you need is to include a string of text in the description. No need to set up any money-accepting plugins, set up any bank or financial accounts, or rely on features provided by the service being used. 6) It lets you send money to places where PalPal or other money transmitting services are blocked, for example Russia or India, and is much cheaper for sending money to family in other countries. Even if that country they can't send money to is US, as in the example of the parents in Iran sending $2,000 to their college student son living here. 7) It lets you send huge sums of money overseas quickly and cheaply. If you were in US and you needed to pay $1,000,000 for a shipment from China, using normal methods of wiring money would take two or more weeks, and will cost more than $25,000 for the transaction. With Bitcoin, it takes a few hours, and costs $12,000 or less. 8) It lets you send micropayments better than anything else out there. It's easy and practically free to send $0.01 to anyone else using BTC, but would cost about $0.25 for just the fee to use the USD/EUR system. Any micropayment system that uses USD/EUR would have to sit on top of a larger system that stores all the money in a single large account, and all micropayments would have to be done as accounting entries within that account, instead of money actually moving around (i.e. you have to fund the system with a large payment, do your micropayment transactions, and withdraw when your fund is big enough again). This means micropayments using USD/EUR are restricted to only within specific services (i.e. your pre-paid micropayments fund that you use to pay for news articles can only be used within that news website) 9) It lets you create programs and services with their own bank accounts (the software stores value, as opposed to value always being linked to a real world person and a real world outside-the-service bank account). The Reddit tipbot is an excellent example of this, and would be impossible with USD/EUR, since to build it using FIAT, someone would have to open a real world bank account under their name (with all the forms, proofs of ID, etc), set it up to accept money transfers from others using PayPal, VISA, or something else, which will charge fees, have nasty exchange rates, have to keep to strict AML regulations, and be restricted to certain specific countries. Plus it would have all the micropayment issues mentioned above. With Bitcoin, all the "banking" is done with software, requiring no permissions, and no single programmer's name has to be linked with any bank accounts. 10) It lets you instantly fund USD/EUR based accounts around the world. The small LLC I started up keeps a BTC cash account for minor business expenses, and my business partners around the world will have Bitcoin funded VISA debit cards (as soon as Bitinstant releases them). That way, all the money is stored safely in the business vault, and if they need to pay for any business expenses, no matter where they are on the planet, or what their home currency is, I can fund their cards from home within 10 minutes. That's impossible with ACH, wires, or whatever else is out there. 11) It lets you link a payment account to a contract using address signing. For example, Person A agrees to buy Person B's debt. They write up an agreement contract, and instead of signing it with PGP keys, they sign it with A's and B's bitcoin addresses. Then money is sent from Address A to Address B, and any repayments are sent from Address B to Address A. That way, Person B can't claim that they never received the money, and Person A can't claim that they are still owed more than they really are, since all transactions are publicly verifiable on the block chain using the very addresses that were used to sign the contract. There is no need for any legal disputes of who owes what, since the blockchain keeps both parties honest (I actually did this already). If you can think of anything else, please add it to the list. EDIT: 12) Usenet has recently gone through the Wikileaks experience, with copyright behemoths pressuring VISA, PayPal, et all, to stop processing payments for Usenet service providers. Many have switched to Bitcoin since then, and I personally know Usener user who followed, now buying his btc from me for that purpose.
We could use a few more Spartans. Here's what you can do to help Bitcoin today!
BTC is being tossed around like a sex slave by traders lately. This is a guide to quickly investing in a small long position in BTC on Mt. Gox. This essentially raises the ante for the players. If you believe in BTC bu don't have any, this is how to put your money where your mouth is, and now is as good a time as any. On e person with deep pockets is nowhere near as powerful as a multitude of little people in this scenario, and the market is on an enforced pause. If you have Bitcoin but don't want to sell them(or even open your wallet), this method will also work for you. If you have Bitcoin and do want to sell them, it doesn't surprise me that you are reading a wall of text that.....well, what can i say. First the disclaimers. First, there are some who believe that BTC dropping in value could be the best thing for it. I see why that is a possibility, but my counter is that i don't care about the price, i care about stability. Increased stability will lead to more adoption on all fronts (anyone want to do a merchant guide?) and increased likelihood of success. I am not encouraging day trading, i am explaining how to take a long position (a long term bet that BTC will go up vs. $USD). We are just trying to build a decentralized 'floor' to ease the sharp drops. Second, i am not a financial or legal expert. I have read the so called 'guidance' and am very sure that this method is well within the law. I am just describing what has worked best for me so that you can hopefully avoid some of the many missteps i have made along my bitcoin journey. YMMV. Third, yes i know that Mt Gox is having trouble lately, and not the best place to put your money. However, like it or not, Mt Gox is currently the public face of BTC value and where the battle for public opinion is being fought. That's where we nee d the Spartans the most. Last, please post how long this process took you in the comments so that we can get a solid estimate on how fast Spartans can be added to the line in the future. You will need: Pen & paper, cell phone, computer(not smartphone), two hours of time and a little money that you are willing to lose. DO NOT make a bigger bet than you can afford to lose. This is NOT A SURE THING, but every extra Spartan helps, especially right now. Step 1. Go to Mt. Gox and create an account. It's been a while since i made mine, so i don't know how long this takes these days. Don't bother with verification or anything you don't have to. The object is to acquire a Mt. Gox account number. It will be in the form of M********X, where *=numeral. Step 2. Move some money in to the account. If you live outside the control of the US gov't, just do what any normal person would do and move the money into an exchange with a debit or credit card. Enjoy your freedom. Otherwise...... This is the pain in the ass part where you will start to understand what 'freedom' really means. Some will disagree with me, but IMO right now BitInstant->Moneygram->Zipzap->Mtgox is the quickest way. It is the difference between 2 hours (24/7) and two business days. If you want to use a different method, more power to you. Go to bitinstant.com, select your country, and select 'Cash Deposit' on the left. The drop down menu will list Moneygram vendors (CVS, Jewel/Osco, 7/11,Stater Bros, WalMart, etc). Select a vendor that is convenient. The right side should be defaulted to 'Mt Gox',which is what we want. Call the Moneygram vendor to A) ensure that they are open B) ensure that they have a dedicated RED PHONE at their Moneygram station. If they have a kiosk instead of a phone, you're gonna have a bad time, so select another vendor and try again. Grocery stores seem to be the best. While you are on the phone you can continue with the dat entry. Enter your information. They will ask for your Mt Gox account #, your legal name, a contact e-mail, and your date of birth. Don't lie, it's important to follow the law to the letter in a public environment. If you are looking for anonymity, this is not for you. Enter the amount you wish to move. Low numbers are easy, big numbers are problematic. The butter zone seems to be $500. Anything higher and you are likely to get rejected further down the line, and have to start the process all over. The transaction limit seems to be 2/day. The truth is that there has been a lot of 'variance' in people's experience with this transfer, and there i no rhyme or reason to it. I am trying to show you what has worked for me. At $500 your transaction fees will end up at 4.75%, at other amounts it will vary because of the $3.95 fixed fee per transaction. If you have a better deal than 4.75% that can be done in less than 2 days, i would love to hear about it. Play the little game to prove you are human by clicking and dragging the objects around. Vote for your favorites in the comments; i just got 'Put the animals on the ground' which i hereby down vote. There are much better ones. Once you are certain that you Moneygram vendor will meet your needs (RED PHONE!), click the send funds button to move onto the next screen, which redisplays the info and gives you some transaction codes. Take a screenshot or copy the info(or not) and click 'Go' to move to the next screen. Now we are at ZipZap. Enter your phone number and your area code and hit search. You will see a google maps style interface displaying Moneygram vendors. If you select any vendor other than the one you selected back at Bitinstant, you're gonna have a bad time. If your vendor is not available on the list, take note of the ones that are and go back to Step 1. Click 'Pay Here' next to your vendor and then click 'Create Payment Slip'. The two most important numbers are the AMOUNT ($503.95 in my example) and the ACCOUNT NUMBER OF BILL TO PAY, the 9 digit number. If your 9 digit number contains any letters, stop and go back to Step 1. You will not be charged any money if you stop now, but if you try to use letter in the account number you're gonna have a bad time. The 4 digit RECEIVE CODE is also important, but it is a constant 9611. Go to the Moneygram vendor. Tell the cashier you are there to pay for a money order, and ask if they are going to need a manager to complete the transaction, i.e. make sure they have their shit together BEFORE you pick up the red phone, otherwise your gonna have a bad time. If the transaction times out because they aren't ready to take your money, congratulations, you get to go back to Step 1 (tens timeouts seem to be getting longer, around 10 mins, but again, YMMV. My budget is 5 mins, just to be sure. the fine print is something ridiculous like 120 seconds or something). Pick up the red phone and get ready to take the red pill. Follow the prompts with the keypad to enter all your information. This will include your phone number, the amount, the receive code (9611) and the 9 digit acct #. Most likely that will not be good enough (you may get lucky, but definitely not your first time) and so you will be connected to a live Moneygram operator. They will repeat all the info you just entered back to you verbatim and ask you to confirm it. They will also ask for your address. They are looking to check against the address your driver's license (your tax dollars hard at work, the irony is delicious) before the send the money on to Ukraine, who will send it to Japan. They will also ask if you iive in a house or an apartment, IDK why but they do. Once they are satisfied, they will tell you to pay the cashier. Pay the cashier. Cash, debit or a combination of the two. Credit cards may work, too, but idk for sure. Go back to the Mt Gox website. Log in and click on Settings. The second menu item will allow you to be notified every time a trade is completed, which is what you want. Wait for the money. IME it has been 10 to 30 minutes. If you missed ANY detail in the previous steps (i.e. omitted a middle initial in you name as it appears on your debit card, incorrect address spelling, etc...) you're gonna have a really bad time. You will get your money eventually, but you are going to end up in the customer service queue, and they are a wee bit busy at the moment due to this complicated process. You will be waiting a while, and your money will be trapped in transit. Step 4. Set the position. I don't want to get into the details of trading or Mt Gox, i just want to keep it simple. Feel free to expand the discussion below. Here is the gist: you are going to buy low and sell high. Novel concept, i know. Set your floor. This is the crux move. The floor is the price below which BTC will not drop, no matter what, its minimal market value. We want that to increase so that the volatility that just shut down Mt Gox goes away, and sane people start to consider entering the market. Your floor price is your floor price, and every individual person is different, but we can floor $100 if 1,000 follow these steps. Last time the floor was $5. It could get really ugly. That is what we are trying to prevent. So, using my $500 example, i immediately spilt the position, meaning i buy $250 in bitcoin. I know it sounds crazy, but the price doesn't matter. You can duke that out in the comments, but it is true. Now i have $250 in bit coin and $250 in cash, and i'm going withdraw the bitcoin out of mt gox to somewhere else (newbs seem to like blockchain.info). Now i have a minimal (but not zero) investment in bitcoin that is not on mt box. Using my example again, i am going to bid(try to buy) 2 bitcoins at $100. If i am successful, i will still have $50 left, and therefore some cash in reserve. Now it doesn't really matter whether i buy a bitcoin or not at this point, because i have succeeded in establishing the THREAT of buying at $100, which the speculators can see. If enough people do this (and there are already a ton, maybe even enough, but it is too close to call, hence the volatility and the market shutdown) they won't even try to push that low, and we have established a floor. Pick your own floor number. Seriously, you have to pick the number that you really believe in for this to work, that way everybody's floor number is a bit different from everyone else. Now instead of a hard floor at $100 (speculators push price to $101 and then allow growth again) we have a soft floor that is more difficult to see and react to. It is the advantage of being decentralized, which we must continue to use. The last piece of the puzzle is to ask to sell 10 bitcoins. You have none to sell, but mt gox will let you place to order all the same. Don't be greedy here! $60 is plenty of reward for your effort. If you try to take $100 out each time right now, you're gonna have a bad time. The last important point is that every time you get an email that says a trade has been completed on Mt Gox, go back and reset the EXACT SAME trade, even if you lack the funds. So, in my example, i have a bid of 2 coins at $100 and an ask of 10 coins at $140, and $250 cash and 0 BTC in my account, along with some BTC in reserve. Let's run through all the possible scenarios. PRICE goes DOWN and STAYS DOWN. I end up buying 2 BTC. PRICE goes DOWN and then UP. I buy two coins at 100, then sell them at 140. I pocket the $80. If the price goes down again, we can do it again. PRICE goes UP and STAYS UP. We win. There are more fights ahead but they are of a different nature. Cross that bridge when we get there. PRICE goes UP and then DOWN. I end up buying 2 BTC. PRICE dosn't move. This is what we want most. As long as they keep manipulating the price, you keep pocketing $80. This is how the tool that is BTC works. You can't stop them from manipulating price, but they can't stop you from extracting money from them when they do. The less stable the market, the more WARNINGS!!!! Here are the best ways to fuck this up! 1. Getting greedy. If you don't sell at 140 and try to hold on, you risk not having the funds to maintain your floor. don't be greedy. 2. Forgetting to reset the trades. Once a trade is made, you have to reset it to have it available again. 3. ????? Am i missing something? Let us know??? OK, my head hurts form typing, but that't the gist of it. I am sure i missed some details, particularly about Mt. Gox, cuz it's really not my thing, and i appreciate any clarifications y'all may have. Also, i'm not going back and proofreading this, so i am sure the grammar police will visit, and i thank them in advance. If 1,000 do this in the next 8 hours we can start to be taken seriously as a currency, and we will surpass silver in terms of fixed value. Once BTC are worth more than silver, it's only one more step to being worth more than gold.
There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.
Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.
Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.
But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.
Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.
It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.
There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens. Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession. With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement. What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.
Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.
If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.
Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.
Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.
Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.
From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.
Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.
I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.
I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.
Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.
We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)
Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.
I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"
Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.
We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.
One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.
>It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.
China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.
Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.
I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here Link to letstalkbitcoin.com
But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.
In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"
Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.
I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.
We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.
I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with Link to phoneacoin.com and others.
Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.
No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.
The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".
He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.
It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.
More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)
1 - Yes! Once everyone who has purchased Bitcoin has purchased them, the price will stabilize. In practice this will start happening long before absolute stability, and as soon as people start thinking about prices in terms of BTC instead of their local currency it almost doesn't matter.
2 - "The Feds" are not the only ones who can issue currency - They have legal tender laws which mean people MUST accept their money, but nothing prevents you from circulating a voluntary currency like Bitcoin.
No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.
Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.
Mostly Bitcoin 2013 was an opportunity for people building the future of Bitcoin to meet each other and network. There were speakers talking about a wide variety of issues, and vendors of Bitcoin services who were showing their latest innovations and systems.
For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.
The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"
Bitcoins are your property, it's illegal for someone to steal your property whether it is money or not. Right now there is little that can be done about theft, but eventually I expect a class of "Blockchain Forensic Investigators" to emerge who will track down your stolen coins for a % based fee.
Because you can't divide a gold coin into .0001 without incurring cost and expense. That's not the case with Bitcoin, so the deflationary aspect of it is largely moot.
There is a tendency to listen to modern "economics" which makes this arguement, saying that the money supply must expand because otherwise it drives down profitability in a race to the bottom.
I think in practice we'll find that people don't work against their own best interest, and while during the initial adoptions stages of Bitcoin there will be significant discounts offered to those who pay with Bitcoin vs. legacy currency, once the market becomes saturated and the price levels out those discounts will be scaled way back.
Right now it makes sense to heavily discount, because the expectation is that the value of the Bitcoins will go up during this period of adoption, that won't always be true and the discount is a reflection of anticipated future returns.
Was it bad when people saved money in banks that paid 10% interest? No, that's called capital formation. There is a thought that given a deflationary currency nobody will spend any money, that's nonsense. Just because your currency gains value over time doesn't mean that you no longer have costs that must be paid for. What Deflationary currencies do is say "Ok, you could spend it on that, but is it worth it relative to what you'll gain by not?"
That's a good thing. Our system right now works on the opposite theory - Spend money NOW because if you're dumb enough to keep it in the bank it will actually lose value over time between the couple points of "official" inflation and less than 1% artifical interest rates. The situation is like this now because the fed is trying to make people spend as much money as possible with the hope that the flows will "restart the economic engine"
Too bad this isn't how things work, not that it'll stop us from trying it over and over again.
Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.
Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.
We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.
The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.
Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON.
Not having seen it but knowing TV, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "not very well" Satoshi has not been identified, was a throw-away identity that was cryptographically secured, so probably never will.
I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.
We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.
There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad. The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.
As a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.
Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)
I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.
Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.
The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.
The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?
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