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622 comments

Anonymous payments (3, Insightful)

cgeys (2240696) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461514)

No worries! Police has to investigate a robbery of $500,000.. oh wait, anonymous payments were good now?

Re:Anonymous payments (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461530)

Bitcoins are not anonymous.

Re:Anonymous payments (4, Interesting)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461694)

True. Sort of. The victim should know exactly what the recipient address of those ill gotten gains are.

Technically, if I understand the way that bitcoin confidence works, half the damn bitcoin network should know about the details of the transfer.

The problem of course is figuring out who the hell the address belongs to. That is the hard part.

As I understand the technology, each and every one of those bitcoins now contain their transaction history, so -in theory- they could be "flagged as stolen", IF there were a central authority that took care of that thing, but of course there isn't as that's the point of bitcoin, no central authority.

I honestly confused if bitcoin technology is for this though. Technically, this isn't all that different from the victim leaving his front door open, and a robber coming in to steal $500,000 worth of jewelry or the like. If your home gets broken in to, you can't blame the jewelry itself for being stolen, that's what thieves -do-, steal stuff. This thief just happened to break in to his computer instead of his house. So therefore you may not want to store $500,000 of bitcoin on your own home pc just like you probably don't want to store $500,000 of jewelry in your dresser drawer. Maybe you keep a few pieces at home, and keep the rest in your safety deposit box?

I know that bitcoin technology provides for cloud-based "banks" of a sort. If they have been implemented yet, I do not know.

Re:Anonymous payments (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461726)

That should read: "I am honestly confused if bitcoin technology is to blame for this though". Need more caffeine.

Re:Anonymous payments (4, Insightful)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461834)

A better analogy would be leaving the front door closed but unlocked (like having a firewall on your computer), but otherwise pretty much, yeah. You shouldn't have $500k worth of jewelry and $100 bills sitting in a known location in your house, and likewise it's pretty stupid to have $500k worth of BTC in an unencrypted, insecure wallet.dat file.

It's relatively easy to make a new wallet unknown to anybody, copy the first address made by this fresh wallet, send that address most of your coins, then encrypt your "savings" wallet and delete the unencrypted copy. Heck, put the encrypted "savings" wallet on some USB keys and a few CDs/DVDs and put them in a safety deposit box if you want to. You can continue sending payments to that address as much as you want.

Re:Anonymous payments (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461930)

Heck, put the encrypted "savings" wallet on some USB keys and a few CDs/DVDs and put them in a safety deposit box if you want to. You can continue sending payments to that address as much as you want.

That's fuckin brilliant.

If I had more than 0.1 BTC I'd do the same. hah.

Re:Anonymous payments (2)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461836)

Technically, if I understand the way that bitcoin confidence works, half the damn bitcoin network should know about the details of the transfer.

Which is also probably why the thief knew where to go. It's a security hole.

Not that the user should have known this, but dontcha think if there was $500k involved that a little curiosity on how it works and how to encrypt it better (put the .dat file in TrueCrypt container and make copies)? Hell, I think carefully before putting an extra $100 in my pocket for the week, and hide all my stuff in my car so it looks empty. $500k? I'd have an armed guard and an air-gap. Even at small probabilities of getting robbed, with a lot to lose it's worthwhile to be a little cautious.

Re:Anonymous payments (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461784)

Part of BitCoin is that ever transaction is followable to it's original creation (i.e. the batch of 50 bitcoins created when a block is created). While it may not be possible to tie the account holder to his key, it should be trivial to track the 'stolen' bitcoins through each transaction they are used in, as all transaction logs are public by design. Harder would be to tell whether the intermediaries in each transaction are dummy accounts involved in an attempt to 'launder' the bitcoins (even though they're uniquely identifiable), or innocent people not realising the bitcoins they are trading are stolen. Then there's the issue of fractional bitcoin trades.
Finally, as it's impossible to 'reverse' a bitcoin transaction, the only way to recover the stolen coins would be via a court order to force the recipient to return them. The best that can be done otherwise is to host a blacklist that lists stolen coins, that all clients would agree to refuse transactions containing. This would be massively open to abuse so probably unworkable.

But (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461528)

It's supposed to be super safer, I don't get it?

Brilliant... (5, Insightful)

FritzTheCat1030 (758024) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461534)

What type of MORON keeps a balance of $500,000 in BTC?

Re:Brilliant... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461562)

What type of MORON keeps a balance of $500,000 in BTC?

What type of MORON keeps a balance of more than $0 in BTC?

Re:Brilliant... (1)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461618)

What type of MORON keeps a balance of $500,000 in BTC?

What type of MORON keeps a balance of more than $0 in BTC?

What type of GENIUS keeps a balance of LESS than $0 in BTC?

Re:Brilliant... (0, Troll)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461884)

Eh, what kind of moron keeps $500K in inflation burdened fiat currency? BitCoin is the best, perfectly scarse, value of BitCoin is increasing from day 0 and only goes north over time, a great deflational currency, a good diversification and investment right next to brick of gold.

Re:Brilliant... (4, Informative)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461644)

There are nowhere near $500,000 worth of asks on any of the BitCoin exchanges, selling anywhere near that amount would cause BitCoin's value to drop very quickly.

However I agree that it isn't the best idea to store $500,000 worth of BTC in one BitCoin account.

Re:Brilliant... (2, Interesting)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461660)

He was an early adopter. When bitcoin value exploded what was little more than $20 worth of digital money exploded to $500,000. Effectively, he was exactly the type of person many expressed concerns about bring the real people who would benefit from bitcoins.

My Thought Was Similar But Different (1, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461702)

If the thief were to cash-out he or she would net just about $500,000 at current BitCoin-US Dollar exchange rates.

What type of moron would hand over $500,000 for BitCoins?

I mean, I understand that you can probably get small transactions honored through some super shady site but ... does anyone really think that they're going to one day be able to take that big bank of BTC and get half a million in cash for it from someone?

Aside from the lack of verification of this report I have to wonder if that whole premise of "being worth $500,000" is flawed. Those coins are only worth what someone will pay for them -- maybe some products online you could buy with them. But I highly doubt the market is that robust (yet). And I doubt it will ever reach that level.

I don't doubt that there are early farmers out there sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars in BTC just enjoying the hilarious deflation that is taking place. What I doubt is that anybody will ever be able to redeem those for what the "market" says they're worth.

Re:My Thought Was Similar But Different (5, Insightful)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461816)

Those coins are only worth what someone will pay for them -- maybe some products online you could buy with them.

Thank you, Captain Obvious. That's pretty much the definition of money.

Re:My Thought Was Similar But Different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461848)

Those coins are only worth what someone will pay for them -- maybe some products online you could buy with them.

Thank you, Captain Obvious. That's pretty much the definition of money.

BitCoins are closer to baseball cards than money right now.

Re:My Thought Was Similar But Different (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461944)

BitCoins are closer to baseball cards than money right now.

Baseball cards have individual value that varies depending on what card you're talking about. Condition plays a major role in the determination of that value, and in general the value lies in the item itself.

Bitcoins have none of that. In every facet imaginable, they are a currency. They have no intrinsic value outside of being able to exchange them for something else.

Re:My Thought Was Similar But Different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461876)

Those coins are only worth what someone will pay for them

Like real-world currencies?

Re:My Thought Was Similar But Different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461882)

So, you just basically described the financial and stock markets of the entire world in a nutshell?

Re:Brilliant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461776)

Well maybe he was dealing drugs over the internet.

So perfect (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461546)

The guy's handle is 'allinvain'. You couldn't make this stuff up.

Who cares (1, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461550)

Keep hyping that ponzi scheme.

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461594)

Keep hyping that ponzi scheme.

Now you need to give the editors some credit here. If they were financially invested in pumping Bitcoins up, this article certainly would not help.

I mean people wouldn't imagine this is good publicity for Bitcoin, would they? Unless someone would go under the logic of, "Wow, people have so much of these things, I should get in on this game." I would like to think the reasoning here is. "Wow, digital property on a computer is so easy to steal."

Maybe I give people too much credit...

Re:Who cares (5, Funny)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461628)

Maybe I give people too much credit...

So long as that credit is not in Bitcoin, it's probably okay.

Re:Who cares (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461736)

Any publicity is good publicity. Don't rule out invested interest, yet. There's been way too many articles..

Re:Who cares (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461796)

There is money to be made on both sides of just about any financial fluctuation.

And although I'm sure the staff here happily accepts paid stories, it would suprise me that they were sharp enough to manipulate the bitcoin market in this way. If you can't sell geek news, then you can't sell servers, then you can't sell generic software, then you can't sell Sourceforge, then you can't sell "The Online Network for the Global Geek Community"....what else are you going to do?

Re:Who cares (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461680)

I don't understand why people call Bitcoin a ponzi scheme, but fail to do so for the Federal Reserve Note.

Re:Who cares (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461704)

I don't understand why people call Bitcoin a ponzi scheme, but fail to do so for the Federal Reserve Note.

Because they're not desensitized to Bitcoin yet.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461798)

Because I can pay legal obligations in Federal Reserve Notes.

Re:Who cares (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461904)

It has to do with the US dollar being backed by the US GNP and Bitcoin being backed by the equivalent of pink elephants.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461948)

Bingo. BitCoin has absolutely no use for anyone who wants to move goods of actual value into it. Even dollars have value, although the FED running the printing press is trying to negate that. We see shill articles about BitCoin daily, but in reality, nobody gives a shit except for those who are going to make some real money.

BitCoin is not anonymous. Just this alone makes it pointless compared to using conventional currency. Why risk using a currency that has no acceptance for a transaction when I can just click on a PayPal button? If it were anonymous, maybe it would be useful. Not so with BitCoin.

BitCoin values are highly unstable. My $5 of coins bought one day can be worth 50 cents the next. Currencies are not supposed to be wild and wooly. They need to be stable so people can trust them, and BitCoins has earned -nobody's- trust as of now. Nobody that would matter, such as a bank.

The BitCoin software has no protection against multiple people mining the same coin, even though the chances are low of this happening. This means that potentially you are wasting your time making new coins, especially if someone mines a bunch offline.

In summary, nobody gives a shit about BitCoin except people who have a vested, commercial interest in the currency. It is the Beenz/Flooz of this decade.

I thought /. was about news, not hyping a currency of dubious value that no intelligent geek would have anything to do with except for novelty value.

Allinvain? (4, Insightful)

Relyx (52619) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461552)

The victim's name was "allinvain"... Rather fitting, don't you think? Or maybe the story was made up.

The name says it (2)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461556)

It is clearly a hoax.

Re:The name says it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461716)

That, or Mr. Gates or Buffett have gotten kind of bored with that "real money" stuff.

It's a oax (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461764)

not a hoax, an oax. Meaning some idiot made it up to pull down the value of Bitcoin.

Nobody could be stupid enough to not protect the dat file or where ever $500,000 is stored. You ought to protect your file as you'd protect your money.

Haha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461558)

*wipes tear from face* *takes a deep breath* Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Go crypto-fetishists go!

And nothing of value was lost. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461560)

Worth $500,000 to a small group of nerds.

...and fuck all to everyone else.

I'd imagine reporting it to police went like... (5, Funny)

Sneeze1066 (1574313) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461564)

Victim - "I've had the my wallet stolen officer"
Officer - "Okay can you describe the wallet to me?"
Victim - "It was about 58KB and ended in .DAT"
Officer - "Errrrr......so was it leather?"

Re:I'd imagine reporting it to police went like... (5, Funny)

PenquinCoder (1431871) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461584)

Officer - Listen here meow, we don't have time to be playing these games...

Sounds phony? (2)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461574)

I read the original forum thread yesterday. It didn't sound authentic, it sounded a little "off". It sounded like it was semi-scripted, the voice was all wrong. Did anybody else get that impression?

What the hell is a bitcoin? (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461580)

Seriously. What are they and what are they used for? Do they cost money to buy? I am old and ignorant of some of this stuff. :O)

Re:What the hell is a bitcoin? (4, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461616)

Check the FAQ on the website. it's too long to explain here.

The short and dirty version is "If you asked a bunch of libertarians to design a digital currency, this is what you'd get". Which isn't a wholely bad idea of course, but obviously has some issues that need to be worked out.

Re:What the hell is a bitcoin? (5, Insightful)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461894)

The short and dirty version is "If you asked a bunch of libertarians to design a digital currency, this is what you'd get". Which isn't a wholely bad idea of course, but obviously has some issues that need to be worked out.

Much like most libertarians. /rimshot

Re:What the hell is a bitcoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461642)

It's a decentralized currency. The advocates say that because its scarcity is entirely based on the difficulty of doing certain tasks on a computer, no state can inflate the currency and so it's better than state money. In other words: it's a digital currency without a central bank, and thus attracts goldbugs and crypto-anarchists.

I had it even worse (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461590)

I lost $750,000 in Beenz.

mentul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461592)

You can have all the firewalls in the world but leaving your front door open aint gunna do you any favours. The thief obviously knew this person had cash in their account and that the wallet.dat file could help get to it. Clever person if you ask me,

This is a hoax (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461604)

Bitcoin and SA goons are currently in a pissing contest over who adds the least amount of value to the internet.

Cue space pirate cowboys (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461606)

Think of bitcoin like being out on the outer rim. Always keep a gun at your hip and always be prepared to get jacked.

Re:Cue space pirate cowboys (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461662)

Actually, that's pretty accurate. Since it isn't a state-sanctioned currency, it doesn't really have any precedence in law, just like other virtual currencies. There really are thieves and conmen (aka hackers and phishers) trying to get your bitcoins.

It is very much Wild West/Outer Rim/etc.

This is not news! (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461608)

Come on Slashdot, I love Bitcoin and all, but enough already with the blatant advertisements! Is there anything other than allegations here? Even if it did happen, is there anyone who actually expects the police to be able to do anything about this?

Eh... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461626)

If team bitcoin wants to succeed a necessary(but not sufficient) measure will be the development and reasonably easy and inexpensive availability of a suitable keystore peripheral.

For PKI purposes, the use of specialized storage modules has(at least for very high value keys in setups run by the competent) been going on for years. For bitcoin, you'd need something somewhat similar; but cheaper, easier to use, and better adapted for transaction purposes.

Any desktop OS (and most home/casual server computers and backup schemes or lack thereof) Just Isn't Suitable for the storage of data that are worth much of anything. Even if the hackers don't get you(and for ~$500,000 a mere absence of remote holes attackable with off-the-shelf toolkits won't necessarily save you, that is getting well into personal-attention-from-one-or-more-competent-operators territory...) an HDD crash, corrupted backup, house fire, etc. might.

At a minimum, you really want your keystore to be a separate, small footprint, device that accepts bitcoin payments, and can listen to requests to issue payments; but allows the user to review the requested payment(size and target) on an independent display and confirm/deny it on an independent keypad.

Unfortunately, bitcoin's rather clever cryptographic architecture just isn't as secure as the math suggests so long as the private keys are being stored in pitifully insecure ways. On a large scale, we've seen goofy crap like MMORPG logins being stolen automatically by assorted malware. If bitcoins achieve some measure of popularity and value, it won't be long before wallet.dats are being cleaned out in the same way, with especially high-net-worth targets being attacked personally.

Re:Eh... (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461746)

From what little I know, the bitcoin system is decentralised and based on network consensus. Does that mean that bitcoin clients need to be online all the time in order to keep up to date on what's happening, and does that mean that your wallet.dat needs to be accessible to the client all the time? If so, storing it on a USB stick isn't going to work. Sounds like the network consensus model requires this element of vulnerability, in a similar way that a modern jet fighter can only manoeuvre because it is aerodynamically unstable.

Got to be a fake (1)

Quato (132194) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461650)

Why would you keep that type of cash in bitcoin? Anyone with half a brain would at least put that kind of money in a savings account to get interest. I think it's a hoax.
The only reason I can think of is if you are running a business and want to dodge taxes. It'd also be a good way to hide money from say, selling drugs.
On a side note, I believe it is still illegal to make your own currency in the US. I don't see the government spending too many man hours solving this. If the claim is real, I think that person will never see that cash again.

Re:Got to be a fake (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461768)

Given that the attacker, unless a total putz, probably covered his tracks at least reasonably well, and given that the victim is nobody in particular, I also would be surprised to see much effort put into the case.

That said, while I doubt that the feds have much interest in bitcoins qua currency, it is hardly the case that "hackers stealing data that possess value based more or less on people's belief that they do" isn't something you can interest the feds in. It would be a fun test case, for instance, to see if bitcoin secret keys could qualify as "Trade Secrets", in which case stealing them would be fairly serious business, state and federal.

Re:Got to be a fake (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461780)

It's likely that he got the majority of those coins when they were worth much less. The $500k figure would be from using today's market price of ~$20/BTC, while even a mere 6 months ago they were less than $1 apiece. It was also much easier to "mine" them at that point in time.

Re:Got to be a fake (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461866)

On a side note, I believe it is still illegal to make your own currency in the US. I don't see the government spending too many man hours solving this. If the claim is real, I think that person will never see that cash again.

As far as I can tell, the person didn't actually lose any real money. They lost BitCoins, which if they were converted into real money would allegedly be worth $500,000. In reality, the only thing that was actually "lost" was the time and energy used to "create" the BitCoins.

Inaccuracy in the article (1, Insightful)

Attack DAWWG (997171) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461658)

TFA says:

BitCoin is a form of fiat currency, meaning it only has value because people believe it has purchasing power.

The Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] says:

Fiat money is money that has value only because of government regulation or law.

That seems more in accordance with reality. As weak as the dollar has been lately, it would be very difficult for it to lose all or most of its value overnight, unless there was a major world catastrophe, because it is backed by the U.S. government. But (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) Bitcoin could crash any time because its value is given to it entirely by (gullible) people's beliefs. Heck, even stocks are backed by something, a company's performance, and those can crash overnight too.

Whoops (3, Insightful)

Attack DAWWG (997171) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461678)

Whoops--I meant to quote a bit more of TFA:

Like most major worldwide money systems, BitCoin is a form of fiat currency, meaning it only has value because people believe it has purchasing power.

That's the important part. Bitcoin is not like most major worldwide money systems.

Re:Inaccuracy in the article (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461822)

Depends on what's going on in said country.

US currency lost half its theoretical purchasing power in one day in (I believe) 1938 when the US government re-assigned the dollar-to-gold exchange ratio to be nearly half what it was before... which was of course was sort of a thumbed noise at the populace at that point anyway as they had outlawed private gold ownership 6 months beforehand (no, really. look it up. private gold ownership didn't come back until the 1970s).

Then of course you've got 1930s Germany where the government's confidence problems combined with rapid currency printing to produce inflation so bad that a literal wheelbarrow full of cash wasn't enough to buy a loaf of bread.

"the end" (1, Insightful)

rarel (697734) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461676)

Between the now completely humourless polls and the numerous slashvertisements for Drupal and now Bitcoin, it's now clear that /. has become just another corporate shill machine. Even the Ask Slashdot crowds aren't even trying anymore ("How can I get rid of undesired email?"... no, REALLY? wtf...)

Sorry, I can't take it anymore.

I'll miss you.

Re:"the end" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461812)

" ... and now Bitcoin, it's now clear that /. has become just another corporate ..."

Please tell us about the corporation behind Bitcoin.

Re:"the end" (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461862)

I'm hoping it's the company that owns that new chinese supercomputer built out of GPUs that is secretly mining for bitcoins?

Re:"the end" (3, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461838)

the numerous slashvertisements for Drupal and now Bitcoin, it's now clear that /. has become just another corporate shill machine

How on earth is pointing out a major security breach "shilling" for BitCoin?

Next up: Articles about Sony's security breaches are secretly paid for by Sony!

Re:"the end" (3, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461872)

There was no security breach in terms of Bitcoin.

Some idiot had his computer open to abuse and lost private data that correlates to money (and the 000,000$ figure is nothing but guesswork - he didn't "invest" that amount of money in Bitcoin only to lose it - that's what he *estimates* his stuff was worth if he had tried to sell it and all he "spent" was various amount of CPU cycles amounting nowhere close to that figure). Basically, he has his "credit card" number stolen. That's not a breach of the system, just a breach of his inadequate security procedures surrounding something he considered to have a value of several years earnings.

Basically: Pillock.

Having said that, I have to agree with the OP. In the last year, I've come closer to never returning to this site again than I ever have in the past. I don't even know why I have it on my "always open" list of sites, probably force-of-habit more than actual interest.

Re:"the end" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461934)

"Bitcoin effect" is something opposite to "Streisand effect". The more I read about it the less I'm interested.

Market liquidity? (1)

torako (532270) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461696)

Would it even be possible to sell the coins for $500000? Is the market at a given time big enough to actually fulfil such a sell order?

"And nothing of value was lost" (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461698)

Bitcoin is unofficial currency. In many respects, it is essentially the same as WoW money. We have seen cases and claims of theft and other issues surrounding the use, abuse and exchange of World of Warcraft items, assets and cash for real world money. Law enforcement has, in those cases, abstained from much if any intervention in those matters. At the moment, I suspect that Bitcoin is viewed as similar. This may change but at the moment, I'm thinking that this $500,000 burglary will not be recognized as a loss of value.

Re:"And nothing of value was lost" (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461808)

No, I honestly believe that WoW gold has a more _real_ value than Bitcoins, and I'm not even <insert gold-farming nationality of your choice>.

maybe I'm not understanding bitcoin but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461712)

How can the money have been "stolen" unless the keys were all "used" and therefore trackable?
If it was just stolen, can't the owner take a backup copy and immediately convert them all to real cash?

Re:maybe I'm not understanding bitcoin but (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461850)

If it was just stolen, can't the owner take a backup copy and immediately convert them all to real cash?

How exactly is he going to immediately convert it all to cash when there aren't enough askers for that much bitcoin? Despite claims of how much all this bitcoin is worth if no one is going to pay the exchange it is nothing but worthless bits.

Re:maybe I'm not understanding bitcoin but (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461888)

If I understand the technology, if he were to try to sell bitcoins from a backup .dat, the bitcoin network would reject the transaction as fraudulent saying that he no longer owned the coins he is trying to transfer.

The immediate transfer would go through, and over the next 10 minutes both parties would recieve thousands of "I don't agree that this transfer is valid, invalidate it" messages from other nodes on the bitcoin p2p network.

That's what he gets for trusting the closed source (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461714)

Consider the fact that he probably was running windows. Consider the fact that he probably cannot read or write code himself. Consider the fact that he was stupid enough to leave the computer with his coins connected to the internet and to not encrypt or lock it down in some way.

He did this to himself because he trusted nameless faceless programmers with $500,000.

And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461732)

And nothing of value was lost. Shit like this is why bitcoin will never be taken seriously by anyone but shady pharmaceutical sites, offshore gambling, etc. Funny, nonetheless.

ShutUpShutUpShutUpShutUp (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461754)

The value of WOW gold -or Elbonian Dingbats - is more relevant to the vast majority of humanity, or even the subsection that infests Slashdot.

QUICK! What's the exchange rate of WOW gold to Elbonian Dingbats! I must know!

Re:ShutUpShutUpShutUpShutUp (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461912)

The value of WOW gold -or Elbonian Dingbats - is more relevant to the vast majority of humanity, or even the subsection that infests Slashdot.

QUICK! What's the exchange rate of WOW gold to Elbonian Dingbats! I must know!

42 WoW gold per Elbonian Dingbat.

Unless it's an Elbonian Vampire Dingbat, in which case, it's worth far more WoW gold because they're rarer.

User should contact FDIC immediately! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461756)

User should contact the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to see what can be done... .oh... yeah..woops.. not a real, decentralized "currency".

Sorry you are shit out of luck...

and in other news, people lots of money in the stockmarket by employing poor measures.

Bitcoin Icon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461804)

That slashdot had a Bitcoin Icon (going back a few weeks at least) shows how many stories they intended to run on Bitcoin.

The culprit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461870)

The culprit is described as wearing a red shirt, white gloves, blue overalls and a bushy mustache.

STOP POSTING BITCOIN STORIES (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461878)

Bitcoin is used by drug addicts and drug dealers to buy narcotics.

Bitcoin stories are largely pushed onto the media by the Bitcoin inventors just to get more exposure.

It's a tool for supporting crime, nothing more. Slashdot is posting too many Bitcoin stories. Just stop it already.

Fake (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461880)

This is probably setup to make Bitcoin look bad since the US government wants to ban it.

I don't believe it ... (1)

garry_g (106621) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461908)

a) who would want to collect half a million $ worth of experimental currency that can't really be used widely?
b) why would you want to keep that much money as a virtual currency?
c) why would you want to keep that wallet accessible on your PC and not on some external, removable media, or at the very least under tight lock e.g. via encrypted file?

and finally,

d) if it really did happen, he deserved losing it for being and idiot, see points a-c ...

Under my bed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461922)

This is *exactly* why I keep all my bit coins underneath my bed...

And.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36461946)

Nothing of value was lost.

LOL (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#36461962)

What, your untraceable bubble-led crypto currency is at the mercy of stupid users? Colour me shocked.
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