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Google Engineer Releases Open Source Bitcoin Client

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the gold-standard-in-non-gold dept.

Open Source 280

angry tapir writes "A Google engineer has released an open source Java client for the Bitcoin peer-to-peer currency system, simply called BitcoinJ. Bitcoin is an Internet currency that uses a P2P architecture for processing transactions, avoiding the need for a central bank or payment system. Cio.com.au also has an interview with Gavin Andresen, the technical lead of the Bitcoin virtual currency system." Update: 03/23 16:22 GMT by T : Confused? BitcoinJ author Mike Hearn points out this video explanation of how Bitcoin works.

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Sounds risky (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583080)

I don't know who I should trust more. The big banks of today, or a strange person on the internet.

Re:Sounds risky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583126)

Written by someone who has absolutely no clue on how it works. Thanks for your incredible insight.

Re:Sounds risky (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583194)

How it works is irrelevant if it's coming from the wrong party. Unless you think it's ok to take candy from strangers in vans, of course.

Re:Sounds risky (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583266)

I think you missed the point behind releasing it as open source.

It needs no central authority, a manager, owner or anything like this. So it does not depend on the party it comes from. Once it's in the wild it's completely independent.

The open source is a prerequisite for proof that the above is true - no hidden hooks, no backdoors and killswitches. Many eyes can prove this is legit.

Re:Sounds risky (2)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583422)

Agreed, many can. How many do ?

Re:Sounds risky (2)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584396)

When it comes to risking real money - I'd say enough.

What I am potentially concerned with, is not that the code itself contains some nasty stuff, but more that the algorithm behind creating and using the "coins" - the mathematics involved in it - is sophisticated enough that while some people will understand the general rule and find it sound, the author may know of some little-known caveat, exception, some specific parameter value that may compromise the security.

Still, the concept is interesting enough that I'm pretty sure many mathematicians will take interest and scrutinize it for algorithmic vulnerablities just as well as coders will scrutinize it for implementation backdoors.

Like md5 implementation can be sound, but md5 hash collision can already be generated using far less effort than the 32 bytes of enthropy would suggest.

Re:Sounds risky (5, Funny)

Psion (2244) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583540)

Anonymous Coward, why do I see this in every freaking article on Slashdot?! You're always arguing with yourself like a deranged meth addict in withdrawal. Get some help, man ... and stop talking to yourself. People are gonna think you're crazy!

Re:Sounds risky (2)

i-linux123 (2003962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583300)

Look how well it goes for RIAA to prevent copying and counterfeiting.

Re:Sounds risky (2)

eV64 (2023934) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583334)

look at the source and let us know if you can copy/ counterfeit bitcoins without first cracking a cryptographic hash function (sha2) You don't have to trust anyone to use this if you read the source code and understand how it works.

Re:Sounds risky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584344)

I think you'll have to look in your wallet to check if anyone has found anything wrong with the system. hehe.

After looking into it a bit closer I've noticed you'll eventually end up trusting arbitrary people in this inherently unreliable currency system, that can very easily cheat, and most likely are.

Re:Sounds risky (4, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584122)

Written by someone who has absolutely no clue on how it works. Thanks for your incredible insight.

I've used Bitcoin and I can tell how it works. It's an elegant system for producing cryptographically signed "currency" which can be exchanged over P2P. However elegant it may be, it's also quite naive and/or dishonest to overlook some of it's shortcomings.

Namely, it is the people who got in early and mined coins or bought them at a low exchange rate who have most to gain. Latecomers have little to gain and the most to lose. If the system collapses or is regulated out of legitimacy, it is the latecomers who will suffer the most. I would not go so far as calling it a pyramid scheme but it certainly shares some similarities in terms of who benefits and who does not.

How could it collapse? In numerous ways. Various governments might start auditing / taxing people who use it as a form of currency. They might legislate against it, deeming it to be bogus financial instrument. It might get a reputation for money laundering and all the popular exchanges get shutdown along with the accounts. A rival to bitcoin might appear which is easier to use or has other benefits.Someone might develop a crack / exploit which allows them to inject "poisoned" transactions over P2P where the database is corrupted, or worse compromises Bitcoin such that wallets are wiped or drained of funds. A popular exchange is hacked and all the money is stolen. There might be a run on bitcoins if the system shows sign of collapse / compromise and the exchanges refuse to exchange bitcoins into dollars.

All of these scenarios are feasible and I think it only a matter of time before the system is hit by one of them. I have no issue with bitcoin per se but I do not see the long term viability in the system.

Re:Sounds risky (2)

e70838 (976799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583538)

The big banks have proven to be evil. There is no such bad reputation about the trustworthiness of the strange person.

Re:Sounds risky (1)

rgbatduke (1231380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584036)

Do you mean a talking moose?

rgb

Re:Sounds risky (1)

this great guy (922511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584074)

That's the nice thing about Bitcoin: it is less dependent on trust than all other payment systems.

Most significantly, as a Bitcoin user, you do not have to trust a central authority or 3rd party (eg. Paypal or a bank) that may initiate chargebacks, or freeze your accounts, because there is no middleman in Bitcoin.

Of course you need to trust the Bitcoin design itself. But the system has proven its robustness so far, and will (hopefully) continue to do so. If you are curious you may find a list of attacks or flaws, that the Bitcoin network has successfully repelled so far here: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Incidents [bitcoin.it] Personally I have rarely found an open source community that was so full of smart people. And I say this with 13+ years of using and contributing to a lot of open source projects.

will he go to jail? (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583090)

So will he be treated same as this man? [slashdot.org]

Re:will he go to jail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583116)

Competing with the Federal Reserve Bank is as bad as genocide. Anyone who tries to offer and alternative is a shame to the human race!

(I still don't trust fully digital currency, but this is looking in the right direction in a big way)

Re:will he go to jail? (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583270)

CBC Radio Spark, 139 [www.cbc.ca] has an interesting show about this. What the people in Kenya are doin is most interesting.

The amount of money they're transferring is huge.

We are really behind.

Re:will he go to jail? (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583182)

No, that guy was doing something that was borderline counterfeit. He was intentionally trying to pass his currency off as Federally-backed and issued tender.

There are plenty of alternate currencies [wikipedia.org] about that are perfectly legal.

Re:will he go to jail? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583228)

There are plenty of alternate currencies [wikipedia.org] about that are perfectly legal

Given that the exact currency that has seen the guy being referenced convicted is in that list, what makes you so certain all the other ones aren't also going to be treated the same way by the government?

Re:will he go to jail? (1, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583282)

Did you even read the wiki page you referred to?

# Barter clubs or corporate barter organizations are an example of alternative currency systems.
# BerkShares ........
# Liberty Dollar is a private currency backed by silver, designed to be a nationwide alternative currency in the United States.

The guy is releasing SILVER DOLLARS. By definition they are worth much more than whatever garbage the Fed is printing.

The real counterfeit operation is what the Fed is involved in. This guy wants sound money back, and the Fed is destroying him for it.

Re:will he go to jail? (0)

metlin (258108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583312)

He used terms and images that are associated with the US dollar, and that is the problem.

If he had released the silver dollars and called them Johnny Cash, he'd not have had any problems.

Re:will he go to jail? (1, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583336)

So then is this a case of copyright violation? Because if it is, then given what MPAA and RIAA are trying to charge people with, I understand that the punishment in this case (15 years + 250K fine + confiscation of $7,000,000 worth of silver) is even too small.

Obviously he should be charged with like $10000 fine per coin that he released, because clearly, just like Metallica is losing money from the copyright pirates, the Fed here is hurting, right?

(In case somebody has sarcasmometer broken, this is a warning.)

But no, this guy is charged with some weird shit, and AG is implying he is a "non-violent terrorist" no less.

So if some guy, minting SILVER coins, that are remotely resembling US coins (there is a word 'dollar' on it and some variation of 'god'), and they are round, oh my, if he is charged with something like 'terrorism' for THAT, than tell me, what should Bernanke and everybody in the Fed be charged with, for actually counterfeiting fiat currency?

Because you see, his dollars are actually BACKED by silver. They ARE silver. So they are clearly valuable, unlike the garbage that US gov't is flooding the world with.

Re:will he go to jail? (0)

metlin (258108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583430)

No, it is an attempt to defraud the users of a legitimate currency with one that so closely resembles the original currency that it could be mistaken for one -- it is the equivalent of currency counterfeiting, which can indeed have severe consequences.

Now, you are more than welcome to have bank notes -- you can issue your own promisory note, call it whatever the hell you want, and you can exchange it as legal tender (as long as you can back it up, of course). That's entirely your prerogative. But do not pretend that you can somehow magically use the symbols and terms of the state and get away with it just because.

I am sure if he had minted silver coins and called them "Long John's Silver" chunka (or whatever), he would have been fine. The value of the inherent metal is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

You may disagree with fiat currency, but that is the currency of this country. And you cannot magically go around creating something that closely resembles it and call it a dollar, because let's face it, it is not (philosophical arguments aside on which currency is "better"). The guy was a kook and got what he deserved.

Re:will he go to jail? (2)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583472)

Except (A) there have not yet been any injured parties who have actually claimed they've been defrauded, indeed the selling point is that it's not legal tender, and (B) Even if someone did mistake it for genuine US currency, the silver is worth quite a bit more than the face value of US coin.

Re:will he go to jail? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584318)

Pro-government forces are strong at work on this site, as all my comments, whenever I speak about the economics, are being downmoded quickly, and also what's funny, is that they downmode all other comments I make for a good measure, they do it quickly, within 5 minutes and on multiple stories that have no connection between each other.

Re:will he go to jail? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584476)

Yes, patriotic people who create governments to protect our rights are pretty strong in America and elsewhere that reads Websites. Bad arguments from anarchists tend to provoke that kind of patriotism even in ordinarily apathetic people who still can tell when our liberty is threatened.

Your paranoia is a good explanation for how these "forces" mysteriously downrate your posts that "have no connection between each other". Your paranoia, and the low quality of your posts that any moderator can recognize.

Re:will he go to jail? (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584462)

Criminal laws do no not require an injured party to claim damages. You are confusing them with civil laws and contracts.

We have a government to protect the people even without specific people claiming damages after the fact. Instead we elect representatives who make laws that protect us from well understood past damages, to prevent and interrupt them.

But you are a "libertarian": a corporate anarchist. You don't understand government; you want to eliminate it and take your chances with corporate powers. But we have a government, because we've seen how those autocratic orgs abuse the rights and property of the people.

You also don't understand the most basic economics: the ounce of silver in those "dollars" was worth $10-19, averaging about $14, through 1999 [kitco.com] , but was sold for $20 (legitimate dollars). If the fake dollar's silver were worth "quite a bit more than the face value of US coin", this crook would have been losing money on every sale. Which qualifies him to be a "libertarian".

Re:will he go to jail? (1, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583508)

No, it is an attempt to defraud the users of a legitimate currency with one that so closely resembles the original currency that it could be mistaken for one -- it is the equivalent of currency counterfeiting, which can indeed have severe consequences.

- you just said 'counterfeiting', here is what

U.S. Attorney Tompkins said:

âoeAttempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism, while these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country,â she added. âoeWe are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.â

So is this terrorism? Because while you are calling this 'counterfeiting', I don't see that. I know what a dollar looks like and this one has words 'dollar' on it, but it's not a US dollar. It's different, it looks different, it's made out of silver, it feels different.

There are other currencies that look like US dollars, they also have words 'dollar' and they are round, etc. So again, how is a currency, that names itself dollar, which is generic, because many countries name their currencies 'dollar', how is that coin, that is made out of silver, which makes it much MORE valuable than whatever crap the Mints of the world are minting, how is that counterfeiting or terrorism?

Now, one thing is true: IF there was no OBLIGATION of merchants by the power of the state to accept the legal tender (whatever crap the Fed is printing and the Mint is coining), then guess what, merchants would NOT accept those crappy fiat currencies, but they would instead accept valuable money.

This is called Gresham's law, which works this way when there is no government, that forces acceptance of 'legal tender'.

You see, I do NOT want to hold fiat currencies, haven't held them in years. I hold actual money and then I convert between that and fiat to buy whatever. So to me, this is the most logical thing in the first place - have money that is valuable, that cannot be printed, created out of thin air by a government.

Also on another note, this man with his 'Liberty Dollars' is now called a terrorist.

Imagine what the government will call Bitcoin if it gets popular enough?

How is government going to control what people use as money?

How are the middle men going to control what people use as money and how would they ever make money on the transactions?

I expect the governments of the world to start a war on any and all currencies, that compete with their own, because at the end, those who print money have the real power.

Printing money is the real power, and if the money you print is not accepted by people as money of any value, then you have no power.

This is the ultimate problem, the way gov't sees it, that's why it's calling this terrorism and not counterfeiting, because excuse me for bringing this up once again: the 'Liberty Dollars' are actually VALUABLE as opposed to fiat crap printed by the Fed.

Re:will he go to jail? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584404)

No, you don't understand copyright. It's closer to a case of trademark violation: the marks confuse the consumer into thinking the items are US Federal dollars, but they're not.

You also don't understand what "remotely" means. These "Liberty Dollars" are quite close to US Federal dollars, especially the famous "Liberty Dollars" circulated in the early 1900s, also made of silver.

You don't understand what "valuable" means. Silver is valuable because of convention, not utility (except for the rare dentist or metallurgist), just as US Federal dollars are.

But since you'll disagree, please send me all your "garbage" US Federal dollars. I'll pay for postage - in silver if you prefer. And go ahead and photocopy them all, front and back, before you send them to me - then pass them around in exchange for electronics equipment. I'll tip you some more silver for your act that "remotely" resembles counterfeiting.

Re:will he go to jail? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584168)

Did you even read the wiki page you referred to?

# Barter clubs or corporate barter organizations are an example of alternative currency systems. # BerkShares ........ # Liberty Dollar is a private currency backed by silver, designed to be a nationwide alternative currency in the United States.

The guy is releasing SILVER DOLLARS. By definition they are worth much more than whatever garbage the Fed is printing.

The real counterfeit operation is what the Fed is involved in. This guy wants sound money back, and the Fed is destroying him for it.

No they're not. If they were worth more than US dollars, why can you buy them with US dollars? Why is the value of the silver in a Liberty worth less than the face value on the coin? I bet the guy running this scam looks at his bank balance and laughs at all the idiots who fell for it.

If you absolutely had to purchase a precious metal as a form of security against currency fluctuations there are far more secure ways to go about it.

Re:will he go to jail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583914)

No, those coins were imitations of the current currency of the US. That man was stupid.
This is quite literally a low-tier attempt of counterfeit, counterfeit that would get by hand-transactions pretty easily since most people rarely tend to check coinage at all.
The only people who notice are those who end up getting NOPED by money-scanning mechanisms, such as those in vending machines.

Re:will he go to jail? (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584012)

Silver coins. Use you dumb ass brain for one second - SILVER COINS.

1 ounce of silver is over 36 US dollars now, dumb ass.

Re:will he go to jail? (1)

Alistair Hutton (889794) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584296)

And yet the face value of the coins was marked as $50.

Hmmmmmmmmm.

Smells like fraud to me.

Re:will he go to jail? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584350)

It is in fact possible that his intention is to make money by selling silver coins over spot value with a high markup fee, however this is not what he is charged with or was convicted upon. Also nobody is complaining about the dollars, nobody has to buy them, and when exactly have you seen a $50 coin last time and actually accepted it?

He is charged with basically violating the law, that says that the Fed is setting value of money, and the US Attorney on the case is making statements implying that he is a terrorist.

A terrorist. Not a fraudster. Not a counterfeiter. A terrorist.

I have 2 words for Bitcoin developer - watch out.

bitcoin-alt is a full client implementation (5, Informative)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583104)

I've been working on a full client implementation in python https://github.com/phantomcircuit/bitcoin-alt [github.com]

Just so people know BitcoinJ is not a full p2p node.

Re:bitcoin-alt is a full client implementation (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583240)

Hey, thanks for sharing this. One question, with the standard Bitcoin client I am not able to connect to the Bitcoin network behind an HTTP proxy (only port 80 open). Is there any way I can connect without using a virtual network?
Thanks!

Re:bitcoin-alt is a full client implementation (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583254)

Not that I'm aware of, the protocol is more or less packets sent over TCP port 8333.

Re:bitcoin-alt is a full client implementation (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583406)

If anybody is interested you can purchase bitcoins through https://mtgox.com/ [mtgox.com]

Re:bitcoin-alt is a full client implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583624)

Is there a way to purchase bitcoins using a different country's real currency? Yen, drachmas, krónur etc?

Re:bitcoin-alt is a full client implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583646)

https://btcex.com/ [btcex.com]

Yen, Euros, Rubles, and a couple of others I don't recognize.

Re:bitcoin-alt is a full client implementation (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583678)

Mt. Gox accepts EUR as well via bank transfer in the EU, although they will be converted to USD at the current exchange rate. (don't remember which source they use for that, ask them if you're interested.)

Re:bitcoin-alt is a full client implementation (1)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584250)

Drachmas? You're a little behind the times. Greece switched to the Euro in 2002. If you've got Drachmas, I'll buy them from you at par with Zimbabwe Dollars.

And what's a krónur? No currency I've ever heard of. Are you thinking of the Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian currencies?

Already covered on Reddit (0)

seifried (12921) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583108)

Re:Already covered on Reddit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583500)

So did you learn anything from that worth adding to this discussion or not?

Just don't say you're minting - oops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583112)

This link no target.

Error in summary (2)

Asdanf (1281936) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583120)

Is it just me, or is "don't say you're minting" an "<a>" without a "href"? I know the editors here aren't great, but I thought if they could do anything right it would be html.

Uh yeah make your own currency (2, Funny)

Cable (99315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583130)

Emperor Norton the first, of the USA and Mexico would be proud.

              Not Peter Norton, he ran out of ideas and sold his company to pay for freezing himself in suspended animation until the economy of the world got better.

              So far Peter Norton is still frozen. Needs his girlfriend to dress up as a bounty hunter, and her brother the farmboy who wants to be a pilot/Jedi to rescue him with his Wookie first mate and two (not Google) androids and his old friend who sold him out and feels sorry for that.

Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (4, Interesting)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583154)

I really like BitCoin, But the biggest problem is the "goldrush" is over. While new bitcoins can still be mined, it's expensive, and takes time. Oh, the other big problem is that not enough people accept them. But, meh.

More implementations of the software are always good. But, they don't actually matter. It's the blockchain that matters. So long as the various implementations use the same blockchain (which is the cryptographic chain that indicates which address has how many bitcoins), things will stay together.

The biggest potential problem is Google, or another big organisation, starting a new blockchain, and splintering the bitcoin community. Google actually probably has enough processing power to mine quite a lot of bitcoins from the current blockchain anyway.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (1)

Gubbe (705219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583230)

When mining slows, scarcity increases and value of individual bitcoins goes up. Now would be a good time to offer goods and services in bitcoin, because the bigger slice of the pie you amass now, the more it will be worth when more people are sharing the rest of the pie.
Of course, when the value goes up enough, mining suddenly becomes profitable again and the pie grows.

Or at least this is how I understood it was supposed to work the last time I checked up on it...

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (2)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583290)

Except if 10% of users (who joined early) accumulate 90% of the wealth, then the economy will not be able to...

oh wait...

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584260)

Except if 10% of users (who joined early) accumulate 90% of the wealth,

Er, 90% of the wealth held as bitcoins, which is a tiny proportion of the total wealth in the world. Those 10% will sooner or later sell their bitcoins for cash - and I somehow don't think they will become millionaires doing so.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583654)

The Bitcoin system adjusts the difficulty of mining based on how quickly the system is "solving" new "blocks" (basically, solving SHA-256 calculations). The difficulty is tuned so that a new block is solved every 10 minutes on average. Recently, the difficulty increased by 40% over night, which greatly reduced the profitability of bitcoin mining. So some people stopped mining.

It doesn't matter what the value of the bitcoin currency is relative to other currencies - block solving will continue to happen approximately every 10 minutes across the entire network as a result of the difficulty being constantly adjusted up and down. But, of course, the financial incentive to mine is based on three things:

1. The exchange rate (profit!)
2. The difficulty
3. The cost of computation (power, mostly)

Adjust any of these, and people will enter or leave the system accordingly.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583322)

I really like BitCoin, But the biggest problem is the "goldrush" is over.

The biggest problem for you, you mean, since there's no "free money" any more. For Bitcoin as a currency, it's a good thing. There's little value in something that can be easily produced.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583412)

Yes and no...the biggest thing that Bitcoin or any other alternative currency needs is widespread adoption. If all the early adopters control the vast majority of the currency in circulation, there's no incentive for late adopters and you don't get the widespread adoption necessary for it to be anything more than a fringe currency traded among a very small community.

If you end the gold rush before you've got the necessary critical mass to create a thriving community that spends/accepts your currency, the project will wither and die. Judging from comments here, where you'd expect a higher adoption rate than average, it doesn't sound like Bitcoin has anywhere near that kind of adoption rate. So if all the wealth in that currency is amassed by the privileged few who got in early, they're essentially asking new adopters to give them free stuff and services.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583544)

I'll give you one BTC if you join.
I accept BTCs as payement for freelance development.
Mining is not the normal way of acquiring BTCs. Just like mining gold is not the usual way to get money when you have a money based on the gold standard.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (1)

myforwik (1465003) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583342)

Yep, people don't realise how bitcoin actually works. Anyone can fork it and fork the currency. If google get a majority of users on their new client they can simply update the client to accept whatever rate of inflation they want, and the currency will fork, which usually causes the minority to follow. Bitcoin is also fundamentally flawed because any government could crash it. Bitcoin cannot possibly be secure against attack unless more than 50% of the worlds available CPUs were all committed to non-colusion. At the moment its something like 0.0001%, even private companies would have the CPU power to take it down. Also bitcoin is becoming a liability. If you have bit coin its in your interest to keep the blockchain ticking over, but people who do the calcs get so little reward they are not going to bother anymore, so you will have to give up CPU power just to maintain your wealth! Bitcoin is certainly useful for short term online transactions, but anyone who stores wealth in it is insane.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (2)

gox (1595435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584094)

Yep, people don't realise how bitcoin actually works. Anyone can fork it and fork the currency. If google get a majority of users on their new client they can simply update the client to accept whatever rate of inflation they want, and the currency will fork, which usually causes the minority to follow.

Which I'm not sure why is a good idea and how harmful it is supposed to be to bitcoin.

Bitcoin is also fundamentally flawed because any government could crash it. Bitcoin cannot possibly be secure against attack unless more than 50% of the worlds available CPUs were all committed to non-colusion. At the moment its something like 0.0001%, even private companies would have the CPU power to take it down.

This might be true. Probably not 50% but we can at least say that we need a lot more. At least in reserve, to counter an attack. But you are saying that anything anyone does that governments might not like is fundamentally flawed, aren't you. It's a little hard to swallow for me. Also there is no apparent reason to assume that they will carry out such an attack, states don't work that way. I would be more worried about legal pressures.

Also bitcoin is becoming a liability. If you have bit coin its in your interest to keep the blockchain ticking over, but people who do the calcs get so little reward they are not going to bother anymore, so you will have to give up CPU power just to maintain your wealth!

Transaction fees. They are there to cover the costs of miners. It will only get fairer.

Bitcoin is certainly useful for short term online transactions, but anyone who stores wealth in it is insane.

Maybe, maybe not, like all investment. That statement has been proven wrong until now, one day it might change. Feel free to recommend people to diversify their portfolios but it's a bit of a stretch to call it insane.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583626)

More implementations of the software are always good. But, they don't actually matter. It's the blockchain that matters. So long as the various implementations use the same blockchain (which is the cryptographic chain that indicates which address has how many bitcoins), things will stay together.

I saw someone else say this was not a full P2P implementation. One concern I see is if too many user run "client only" implementations then the network may fall apart.

Bitcoin uses cryptography to verify who performed an action but it uses a P2P network of many cooperating nodes to track what transactions have happened so far and reject transactions that would conflict with previous ones (the "spending money you have already spent" scenario). Without this tracking the system would fall apart.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (1)

gox (1595435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584124)

AFAIK, it's not a full P2P implementation, in the sense that it's a library. For instance, you can build an android client on it, which is probably one of the reasons he programmed that lib. On the other hand, such a client can't be less P2P than, say, a bittorrent client can. Though, miners (which are also vital for the security of the network) are a whole other issue.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (1)

nhaehnle (1844580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583854)

Actually, the biggest problem of Bitcoin is that there is no way it will gain traction. The thing is, fiat money like the US$ is viable because there is an entity that forces US$-denominated debt onto people - the government plays this role via taxation. This creates demand for the fiat money and therefore gives it value. Once this basic value is established, the circular reasoning of "you accept US$ in exchange for money because you can use US$ to pay at Walmart because US$ needs US$ to pay its suppliers because they need US$ to pay their employees, i.e. you" largely takes over, but it is only stable because there is a formidable entity behind it that creates demand for the money.

Since there is nobody around who can force Bitcoin-denominated debts onto people, Bitcoins will not gain traction outside of a few fringe nerds and extreme libertarians etc.

Another problem of Bitcoin is that, even if it were successfully adopted, it would introduce massive problems for the economy. Remember the formula MV = PQ of the Quantity Theory of Money [wikipedia.org] that orthodox economists love so much? (The QTM is severely flawed, but of course you can still write down that formula.) M is eventually constant for Bitcoin, and while V jumps all over the place (this being the main reason that QTM is flawed), it does seem to have an upper bound as well. So this either forces the economy to contract (a reduction of real output, i.e. a reduction of Q, and thus a reduction of living standards) or it forces a deflation in the price level P. In any case, neither is a very happy scenario in a world where improvement of living standards has historically only been achieved via debt-powered growth combined with modest inflation.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584302)

Gold (or cowrie shells, etc) is used as a currency even in places with no taxation. Bitcoin is not truly 'fiat money' because there is nobody who can arbitrarily make more of it. You can mine more but only at a fixed rate.

In a world where Bitcoin becomes widely adopted, it's likely that banks would issue paper notes exchangeable for Bitcoins. Then one day because of a war or financial crisis the convertibility of these notes for Bitcoins would be 'suspended', and you are back to fiat money once more.

Bitcoin already bootstrapped itself (2)

this great guy (922511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584312)

You are correct that bootstrapping a currency is the most difficult step. However it appears to have done just that: it went from zero to hundreds of merchants in a little over a year: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade [bitcoin.it]

Of course, there is still a long way to go (most of them are individuals or very small shops), but the very fact it has already grown so quickly and so fast is very encouraging. It was possible because of its truly unique and revolutionary features that really no other currency provide, notably the combination of: absence of middlemen, anonymity, cryptographically irreversible money transfers.

I like to tell people that when they first hear about Bitcoin, they will either instantly dismiss it as something that could never work, or they will immediately understand its large potential :)

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (1)

this great guy (922511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584116)

The goldrush is certainly not over.

It is at the moment still quite profitable to mine on AMD GPUs, assuming your electricity costs are about $0.10/kWh. You will easily recoup at the very least half the price of a high-end video card if you jump in right now. Also the network continuously self-adjusts itself to distribute coins over a long period of time, as this graph shows: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/File:Total_bitcoins_over_time_graph.png [bitcoin.it] As you can see, we have only generated about 5 million coins so far, out of 21 million. Additionally, many expect the value of 1 Bitcoin to continue to rise, significantly, on the various exchanges over the next few years.

Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584452)

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Anybody can answer this one Bitcoin flaw? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583172)

I don't see a problem with bitcoin in theory... but throughout history no currency has been stable without an army to enforce its existence. Disband the USA police/Army and the dollar would collapse. Gold and other universally liked-by-all-humans minerals retains its value for the new owners if someone steals it. Cant say the same about BC.

That's why this will never go anywhere... look at e-gold, it was doing millions of dollars a day in transactions and then as soon as the owners ran into legal trouble (which could happen in any country) and had no means to defend themselves it collapsed overnight.

Having said that it's a nice hobby and probably someone is enjoying programming it, just don't see it ever gaining traction anywhere. Maybe this would be proved wrong if they found an island somewhere, established their own DNS servers and farms/militia which could be paid in BC etc...

Re:Anybody can answer this one Bitcoin flaw? (3, Informative)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583234)

The thing with bitcoin is that there is no central authority to control it. New bitcoins come about by "mining", not by some central authority minting new coins, or printing new notes. Gold too has collapsed in value before.

What makes a currency worth something, is that people are willing to accept it in exchange for goods. Gold is only worth as much as it is now, because people are all like "ooh, shiny". It's intrinsic value (what it can be used for), is not anything like how much people are willing to pay for it.

Bitcoin is more like gold than traditional government issued currency. There is a fixed amount (there will never be more than 21 million bitcoins, though as that amount is divisible to eight decimal places, that's not a problem). It's value is not centrally decided.

E-gold collapsed because it was controlled by one company. Bitcoin isn't controlled by anyone. Anyone can download the "official" client, or one various mining software, and mine their own bitcoin. You could arrest everyone who has ever touched the bitcoin client source, and the blockchain would still exist.

Bitcoin, it's peer-to-peer, that's the advantage of it.

Answer: (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583258)

Its enforced by cryptography.

The reason why police/soldiers don't have to guard transactions carried over SSL is the same reason why they're not required by a currency like Bitcoin.

Re:Anybody can answer this one Bitcoin flaw? (2)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583328)

I don't see a problem with bitcoin in theory... but throughout history no currency has been stable without an army to enforce its existence. Disband the USA police/Army and the dollar would collapse. Gold and other universally liked-by-all-humans minerals retains its value for the new owners if someone steals it. Cant say the same about BC.

Armies do not enforce currency or value. At best, they can create a stable environment for an economy to fluorish.

Let's say the local military forces the town's smith to accept their dollars. Well, the town's smith will eventually need to buy personal supplies as well as supplies to keep his business going and that won't be any good if the next guy doesn't accept dollars. Or the next guy after that in the chain.

The economy is like the internet, it routes around these problems, in this case one country's declining currency. Business will shift and adapt and change, perhaps go elsewhere. But it won't be dictated to from above for long.

So, in anything but a closed economy (ala the Soviet Union), the army/police just doesn't do any good. And even the Soviets needed outside goods, did they buy it with rubles? No, they basically exchanged it for commodities like oil or other natural resources which they had plenty of.

Currency derives its value from acceptance, but somewhere down the line, you have to be able to do something unique with it (or it has to be inherently unique) other than pass it off to the next guy.

Gold cannot be made (easily/cheaply). Maybe in the future with science like they do with diamonds now, except manipulating neutrons/electrons/protons. It derives its value from that. If alchemists had ever succeeded, the irony would have been that it would have lost much of its value over a short time due to inflation if nothing else.

About the only thing that you can do only with the US dollar is pay your tax bill to the US Govt. Since 1997, our inflation has been around 37%, but the Government's spending has increase 118%. (This year's deficit equal 1997's US Federal Budget).

There will be a rude awakening in the future. Even with the biggest ($$$-wise) military in the world. Unlike all other foes, our army will be completely helpless to stop the decline.

Power of Taxation (2)

nhaehnle (1844580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583776)

I don't see a problem with bitcoin in theory... but throughout history no currency has been stable without an army to enforce its existence. Disband the USA police/Army and the dollar would collapse.

You almost hit Bitcoin's problem spot on. The reason that fiat money like the US$ is viable is that there is an entity - the US government - that can force a US$-denominated debt on you via taxation. This taxation creates demand for the money, which is what ultimately underpins the money's value, once you go beyond all the circular reasoning of "You work for US$ because Walmart accepts US$ in payment for goods because Walmart needs US$ to pay its suppliers because the suppliers need US$ to pay their employees, i.e. you".

Historically, no monetary system could remain stable and useful for significant amount of time unless it was backed by an appropriate power of taxation to jumpstart the value of the currency. No power exists that is able to force Bitcoin-denominated debt onto people, and so Bitcoin will never be widely used outside of the fringe of curious geeks and gold-nutters.

And this is just the problem of how Bitcoin could gain traction. If Bitcoin ever gained traction, then G** help us. Recessions like this one [slate.com] would be inevitable and prolonged, because nobody has the power to jump-start the economy out of a recession by unilateral stimulus spending. (Of course, given how the political debate is going these days, we might as well use Bitcoins, since governments refuse to use the tools at their disposal with which they could get us out of it.)

By the way, if you really want to learn more about how monetary system works, I recommend billy blog [economicoutlook.net] as a good source by a modern monetary theory economist. The entry A simple business card economy [economicoutlook.net] is probably a good starting point.

Re:Power of Taxation (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584162)

because nobody has the power to jump-start the economy out of a recession by unilateral stimulus spending.

And when has 'unilateral stimulus spending' ever 'jump-started any economy out of a recession'?

Yes I can answer (1)

this great guy (922511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584228)

Bitcoin's existence is essentially technically insuppressible at this moment: it is fully peer-to-peer, there is no central server or company that can be shut down.

The only risk is social: in other words people could simply lose interest in it. But its network strength (hash rate) has demonstrated a remarkable exponential growth recently. It has doubled every 27 days, continuously, in the last 15 months: http://blog.zorinaq.com/?e=49 [zorinaq.com] This implies, of course, popularity. So I would say it is very improbable for Bitcoin to just disappear tomorrow.

Funny (2)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583190)

With bit-mining screeching to a hault I wonder if *anyone* can be charged with minting a coin or three over the course of a few months...

As a money system, no. But maybe for email. (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583192)

This might potentially be a solution for spam. To send an email, you need a bitcoin. Bitcoins are easy to get in small quantities, maybe even free, but hard to get in bulk.

As a payment system, I don't see it. DigiCash [cryptome.org] had more promise as a distributed payment system, but Chaum blew the negotiations repeatedly.

Re:As a money system, no. But maybe for email. (1)

eV64 (2023934) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583218)

if you want to get them in bulk you can trade for them. mtgox.com allows you to trade usd for bitcoins and vice versa. Also, fractional bitcoins are allowed. the smallest amount you can trade right now is .01 bitcoins, but if people agree on being able to trade smaller amounts, the clients can be modified to accept that.

Re:As a money system, no. But maybe for email. (1)

mdm42 (244204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583340)

Actually I've seen people offering trades in precision all the way down to .0001BC. I still question the point of limiting the total amount to 20million BC (or 2^11 fractional-units). Whilst I understand the intent behind placing an absolute limit on the number of BC in circulation, I don't believe the number chosen provides enough liquidity to sustain global-scale economics.

Re:As a money system, no. But maybe for email. (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583434)

As far as I can tell, 8 decimal places isn't a hard limit, but can be increased in the future if need be. Don't quote me on that, though.

Re:As a money system, no. But maybe for email. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583488)

I thought that the base unit of 1 BitCoin is 10^8 (100 million) larger than the smallest trade-able amount so they are actually limited to 2 * 10^15 (a quadrillion) trade-able units. Being a naturally deflationary currency I can see this being problematic eventually but it isn't the biggest concern for me. No one I care to pay accepts Bitcoins so neither will I.

Re:As a money system, no. But maybe for email. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584352)

Liquidity is about the speed with which the asset can be bought or sold, not quantity in circulation place. If you increased the number of bitcoins by 100x you'd decrease the value 100x, it would have no effect on liquidity. If no one wanted to sell you 1 bit coin for £1, then they still wouldn't be willing to sell you 100 (lower value) bit coins for the equivalent cost.

The intention of having a hard ceiling is, I expect, to make clear that this isn't intended to be an inflationary currency.

Re:As a money system, no. But maybe for email. (2)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583246)

Your post advocates a

(x) technical (x) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
(x) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
(x) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
(x) Users of email will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
(x) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
(x) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(x) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
(x) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
( ) Asshats
(x) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
(x) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
(x) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
(x) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
(x) Extreme profitability of spam
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
( ) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
(x) Sending email should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government reading my email
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

(From http://craphound.com/spamsolutions.txt [craphound.com] .)
----

Furthermore, I don't think you truly understand what Bitcoin is all about.

Re:As a money system, no. But maybe for email. (2)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583330)

That any negotiations were needed to get DigiCash to succeed suggests to me it was doomed from the start. Bitcoin has no central authority, and therefore no company to take the entire currency down with it when it inevitably goes under.

poluting to mine money ... (0)

georgesdev (1987622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583360)

so, to get that bitcoin money, you let a program run in the background on your system. My question is, how much electricity will be spoiled to "create" the 21 million bitcoins?
It's bad enough that thousands are spoiling electricity to run seti@home
Or maybe the whole thing is just a spambot (after all, you have lots of machines around the world pretending to be creating money, but they may just as well be sending spam).

Re:poluting to mine money ... (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583426)

My question is, how much electricity will be spoiled to "create" the 21 million bitcoins?

Let me answer your question with a question:

How much electricity will be spoiled to create the next 21 million actual/physical coins?

Mining, milling, and transporting actual silver (or zinc or whatever the government mints are making coins out of these days) isn't exactly an environmentally friendly operation, either. At least once the 21-million bit-coin market is established, the virtual coins will last indefinitely, which is more than one can say for their real-life counterparts.

Re:poluting to mine money ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583456)

Mining, milling, and transporting actual silver (or zinc or whatever the government mints are making coins out of these days) isn't exactly an environmentally friendly operation, either. At least once the 21-million bit-coin market is established, the virtual coins will last indefinitely, which is more than one can say for their real-life counterparts.

Yes but those real-life counterparts have near universal acceptance. It'd be a stretch to say even a .0001% of entities accept bitcoins.

Re:poluting to mine money ... (1)

gox (1595435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584150)

Yes but those real-life counterparts have near universal acceptance. It'd be a stretch to say even a .0001% of entities accept bitcoins.

But that's not about the environmental impact, is it?

Re:poluting to mine money ... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583446)

It's bad enough that thousands are spoiling electricity to run seti@home

Just so we're clear, to "spoil" electricity means to use it for something you personally don't approve of?

How much electricity are you spoiling by posting here?

after all, you have lots of machines around the world pretending to be creating money, but they may just as well be sending spam

Ah, ok, you think computers are magic, don't you?

Re:poluting to mine money ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583858)

My question is, how much electricity will be spoiled to "create" the 21 million bitcoins?

My question is: how much electricity is being spoiled to run your flat screen TV's, your air conditioners, your hot water systems and all the lamp posts and commercial signage in your city?

A fool and his money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583506)

...are soon parted. A few douche-nozzles, presumably swimming in money already, will make a killing suckering people into buying these "bitcoins". When this program eventually falls flat on its face, and it will, you'll be out a few bucks (either by the increased electric bill running their stupid program or by stupidly opening your wallet to buy these so called bitcoins) and they'll be off on some tropical island surrounded by naked women drinking margiratas and further darkening their douche-tastical tan lines. No thanks! I thought Google was supposed to be hiring SMART people?

Snow Crash? (1)

GetAJorb (1525509) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583556)

Isn't this concept similar to the peer to peer digital currency outlined in Snow Crash? I have to admit that I didn't read too much in the original post, but the idea that something even remotely close is being worked on is fascinating.

If I remember correctly from the book, a decentralized currency exchange system accepted by all was also unable to be reliably taxed by governments, despite attempted legal ramifications. This lead to the downfall of regular nation states due to complete fiscal insolvency essentially overnight.

I understand it was just a work of fiction, but would such an outcome be possible, or even desirable? Would we ever accept such a system as a replacement for the traditional banking conglomerates? Even worse, who do you trust more in this day and age, the bankers or the software nerds? :)

Given the current state of things, I won't be moving my Sealy Posturepedic retirement fund into the Bank-O-Bits, but the potential is somewhat mind blowing for the future.

...and yes, I stopped lurking for the last 10 years to post this :)

Re:Snow Crash? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583666)

Reliably enforcing taxation is pretty much impossible regardless of the currency. The main way western countries (at least the USA the UK) have got arround this is by collecting most of the tax from larger entites, the more transactions an entity is involved in the greater the chance of getting caught cheating and the more thay have to lose when they do cheat. While it is nominally the employee being taxed the taxes are required to be calculated and collected by their employer. Similarly sales tax/vat is collected by the retailer as part of the purchase.

Re:Snow Crash? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583884)

I think you might be conflating two books; in Snow Crash, there was still definitely physical currency. A memo was forwarded around the US Government, instructing not to use US Currency as toilet paper, and YT pays drug dealers for Snow Crash in physical Kong Bucks.

Re:Snow Crash? (1)

gox (1595435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584276)

I have to admit that I didn't read too much in the original post, but the idea that something even remotely close is being worked on is fascinating.

FYI (a highly compact presentation): http://www.weusecoins.com/ [weusecoins.com]

I understand it was just a work of fiction, but would such an outcome be possible, or even desirable? Would we ever accept such a system as a replacement for the traditional banking conglomerates? Even worse, who do you trust more in this day and age, the bankers or the software nerds? :)

Nerds.

But seriously, who knows? I think it's hinting to a better future, but the real outcome might not be what we would like it to be. Freedom is also good but a lot of people die for it. I don't think Bitcoin has the potential to lead to the downfall of states directly though, like how WWW didn't, and might lead to a healthier economy.

Given the current state of things, I won't be moving my Sealy Posturepedic retirement fund into the Bank-O-Bits, but the potential is somewhat mind blowing for the future.

You have to admit, burning your savings on a disc and putting it in a safe is pretty appealing.

Corruption technology - safe and secure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583578)

Now unstoppable and uncontrollable P2P corruption technology for everybody.

Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583742)

Just don't say you're minting anything.

Well, alright... but only if you don't link to anything.

Glad it's Apache licensed & gets away from wx (1)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583940)

My fellow supporters of market-friendly free software licenses [freestateproject.org] (as opposed to the commie GNU crap) will be happy to hear that BitcoinJ has an Apache license, and hopefully it will be able to run on the Apache Harmony [wikipedia.org] JVM in addition to the restrictive GPL one from Oracle.

The original Bitcoin client also has a Copyfree [copyfree.org] license [github.com] , but it has some restrictive dependencies (ex. wx [wxwidgets.org] ) and it's a pain to install on *BSD.

About that empty link in the last sentence of the summary - did the author intend to link to a story about commie thuggery against the Liberty Dollar [citizen-times.com] ?

Distributed transaction processing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584076)

Distributed transaction processing... what could possibly go wrong there?

What's the exchange rate... (1)

rgbatduke (1231380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584092)

...between bitcoins and WoW gp?

Why bother creating a new electronic currency when there is a perfectly viable one already in existence...

rgb

Re:What's the exchange rate... (1)

gox (1595435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584204)

Why bother creating a new electronic currency when there is a perfectly viable one already in existence...

LOL!

Seriously? There has never been a decentralized international currency before and it is almost as revolutionary as money itself? If it works though... :-)

What is bitcoin [video] (4, Informative)

this great guy (922511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584244)

Here is a video, for non-technical persons, to help understand Bitcoin:

http://www.weusecoins.com/ [weusecoins.com]

It was just made very recently (today!)

Enriching the early adopters, transaction fees... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584334)

Call me a man with a grudge, but I don't want the first group to succeed.

As for the second part of the subject line, this is one problem with how the system will eventually be supported. Another would be the delays involved in verification. Yet another would be wallet destruction/hijacking. Both of the latter can be solved by someone acting as "bank", but at that point, I'd rather keep using the USD.

Hey, though; I guess the CP rings need their own currency.

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