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391 comments

Haha suck it Ayn Randtards (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513432)

Hahahahaha. Bitcoin sucks dick you Ayn Rand worshipping losers!

Plus Taco has a tiny penis that is so small that it takes the world's most powerful microscope to resolve. Hence why his wife jumps from one gangbang to another every night.

No surprises here (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513434)

Hm, following news of high volatility, major security problems, and the fact that one compromised account panicked an entire exchange, can anyone claim they are surprised by this?

Re:No surprises here (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513576)

The news here is that they were foolish enough to accept them in the first place. I had no idea that their judgment was that bad.

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513702)

What's the problem? Just exchange the bitcoins for USD as soon as someone donates them.

Re:No surprises here (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513756)

You do realize it doesn't work that way, right? You can't just go "give me my dollars for bitcoin" and you instantly get it. There have to be enough requests on whatever exchange you like and depending on how much you trade you risk causing a price swing which ends up netting you less money in return.

Re:No surprises here (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514520)

Less money than what? Than nothing? Than no money you have with your assets frozen as bitcoin? Would they get less for selling it than by giving it to "the tap"?

Say, EFF tomorrow receives a donation of one trillion Mozambique dollars. Should they exchange it to USD as soon as possible or worry that selling them all now may earn them less money?

If EFF sets the policy: "sell ASAP at current price" then there is no worry. They are not a currency trade company, they are a charity. They can freely treat Bitcoin as "donation of other goods" and it's their duty to keep the assets in a safe form, not to speculate and wait for best offer for unsafe/volatile goods.

Re:No surprises here (2)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513762)

The problem is that they could be left open to future legal claims from the people they sold these worthless magic numbers to; and to all sorts of criminal charges.

Re:No surprises here (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513976)

The US dollar will soon have roughly the same value and credibility of Bitcoin if the US keeps spending the way it is.

Re:No surprises here (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513726)

Just because implementation sucked does not mean idea sucked too.

Re:No surprises here (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513806)

Actually, the implementation was pretty sound. Nobody has cracked the Bitcoin blockchain transfer protocol. Some websites dealing with the stuff got hacked, but that happens all the time. It's the idea that sucked. Satoshi got the crypto right but fucked up the human element, economics.

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514012)

Precisely. There was a bubble, a panic, and a market collapse. We, as a country, were willing to shell out trillions of dollars to lowlife scum so that the dollar still had meaning (banking crisis). Basically the same thing would have needed to be done for Bitcoint, but nobody had the credit and desire to prop up Bitcoin during its collapse.

What do you know, start minting currency, and start running into the same age-old market problems. Who woodathunkit?

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514454)

Exactly. The idea sucks for totally different reasons.

Re:No surprises here (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513754)

Why is it foolish?

It's just another way to get money. If the cost/hassle isn't worth what it brings in then obviously you get rid of it.

Are charities that accept bottles that they can return for the deposit, or aluminum cans then can be paid for handing over to a recycling center or clothes they can then sell to others foolish as well?

Re:No surprises here (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513932)

Those are accepted for a value that is relatively fixed, or at least doesn't fluctuate all that much. The value of Bitcoins can and do fluctuate a great deal. It's sort of like the difference between a donation of IBM stock and a donation of a random penny stock.

I don't think they were foolish to accept Bitcoins. Even selling them at a low rate gets them more money than they had before the donation (presuming that it covers costs). But setting a preference for something of more stable value is also within their rights.

Re:No surprises here (5, Informative)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514108)

I don't think they were foolish to accept Bitcoins. Even selling them at a low rate gets them more money than they had before the donation (presuming that it covers costs). But setting a preference for something of more stable value is also within their rights.

It seems their concerns were legal: "While EFF is often the defender of people ensnared in legal issues arising from new technologies, we try very hard to keep EFF from becoming the actual subject of those fights or issues. Since there is no caselaw on this topic, and the legal implications are still very unclear, we worry that our acceptance of Bitcoins may move us into the possible subject role."

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514384)

I could understand if they were accepting bitcoins as payment for goods, but here we're talking about *donation*. Who cares if someone donated 10 bitcoins the day they were worthless. And with bitcoins EFF isn't setting a preference, they're giving people an *option*. What if donating bitcoins is someone's preference. Why refuse it?

Re:No surprises here (0, Troll)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513934)

It would be like accepting Monopoly play money, you can't readily use it to pay for attorneys or server bandwidth, sure there might be somebody that's willing to play a few cents per million for the money, but only to the extent that Parker Brothers doesn't flood the market with new bills and there's no guarantee that anybody will in the future be dealing in it.

Unlike bitcoins, aluminum cans actually have some value to them, even if you don't agree to what it is precisely, there are still uses for aluminum cans other than as a trade in. Bitcoins OTOH barely even exist, when people wake up to the scam, they're not even going to have that much.

Hence why it's so foolish. You'd be marginally better off taking currency from Zimbabwe prior to the government discontinuing it.

Re:No surprises here (-1, Flamebait)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514122)

You are a troll. And likely willfully ignorant of the fact that half the stuff you spout off has approximately the same relation to reality that a Faux News broadcast does.

Re:No surprises here (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514256)

With those kinds of detailed, intelligent counterpoints to his argument, you have clearly forced me to change my perceptions.

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514308)

Only dumb insecure fags say "Faux News" when obviously referring to Fox News. And judging by your low UID, I'm going to have to assume butt hurt from wasting all of your parents' electricity "mining" bitcoins.

You are clueless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514162)

It would be like accepting Monopoly play money

BitCoins cannot simply be created (or printed) at will and without cost, unlike dollars and Monopoly money. Hence, your entire argument is flat-out wrong. Currency is valued based on whether people are willing to trade it. If people stop trading in dollars, all those bills in your pocket will become worthless.

Re:No surprises here (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514322)

Sounds great, can I buy that TV from you? I have 1200 cans in my pocket....

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513970)

It's just another way to get money.

That's one weird, needlessly abstracted definition of "money" you've got there...

Re:No surprises here (1)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514300)

Are charities that accept bottles that they can return for the deposit, or aluminum cans then can be paid for handing over to a recycling center or clothes they can then sell to others foolish as well?

Yes, if the EFF accepts aluminum can donations, that would be foolish as well.

Re:No surprises here (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513818)

I had no idea that their judgment was that bad.

Really? What about Eldred v. Ashcroft?

Re:No surprises here (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513966)

EFF has not problem with Bitcoin itself, but it is more concerned about the recent misuse of it, all kind of blackhats are taking advantage of it. Bitcoin is all about freedom, unfortunately this level of utter freedom (no regulation what so ever) also draws criminals that otherwise would have a hard time using PayPal or other monitored and sanctioned means of payment. EFF just wants to distance themselves from money laundering and other illegal activities associated with Bitcoin recently.

Re:No surprises here (3, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514064)

Foolish to accept them? They might not be worth much of anything but if someone offers you a bitcoin what exactly is the harm in accepting it? I suppose the EFF might have taken bitcoin from a few people who might otherwise have given dollars, but in the grand scheme of things I doubt they lost out on much if anything.

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514096)

It makes it look like the EFF is endorsing Bitcoin as being worth more than nothing.

Re:No surprises here (1)

horza (87255) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514086)

That doesn't make any sense. Why is it bad judgment to accept Bitcoin? Those that gave Bitcoin did so probably because they weren't going to donate cash in dollars or another currency, ergo they haven't lost anything.

So they got something for free. And decided not to cash it in so lost nothing. Big deal. If they don't want free money then that is their prerogative.

Phillip.

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514182)

I'll count it as money when I can pay my taxes and buy pizza with it. Until then, bitcoin is just mental masturbation.

Re:No surprises here (1)

pitterpatter (1397479) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514230)

The news here is that they were foolish enough to accept them in the first place. I had no idea that their judgment was that bad.

Care to expand that? It isn't intuitively obvious to me why accepting a no-strings gift would automatically be foolish. No, I don't accept "free" offers from spammers or telemarketers, but that's because of the strings, not necessarily the nature of the gift.

Sure, the gift might be worthless, but I wouldn't think it would be likely to have a large negative value.

Re:No surprises here (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514246)

Ya I'd say that is the real news here, that the EFF was accepting BTC which is on legal shaky ground number one, and number two I'd say that by its very design (those that got in first were able to rack up quickly, those that come later find it harder and harder to get anything) that it is a pyramid scam. Then add in the fact that there are already money laundering and dope dealing going on with it and the EFF would be nuts to actually use the things, unless they want to be the defendants for once.

Personally I wouldn't accept anything I can't cash easily or hold in my hand. if you want to start a new currency fine, make it out of something, gold, silver, hell fricking iron bars for all I care, but at least have something you can hold in your hand. I figure BTC has maybe a year at most before implosion, either through huge swings in value, someone figures out how to pull a massive fraud on them, or the governments shut them down for all the criminal activity using them. In any case the EFF was nuts to accept them in the first place IMHO.

Re:No surprises here (1)

TrueSatan (1709878) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514558)

The main reasons for rejecting Bitcoin were twofold: 1) Accepting them was, without justification, being used by others to make the claim that the EFF endorsed Bitcoin. 2) Possible future legal issues resulting from trading in Bitcoin...passing on a worthless item for instance.

Re:No surprises here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513798)

Hm, i like black people but i sure do hate niggers. If you think you dont hate niggers do me a favor walk down a real bad inner-city neighborhood wearing lots of jewelry in the middle of the night. What do you think will happen? Think the kind gentlemanly niggers will engage you in abstract philosophical debate? Or do you think they'll rob your confused politically correct punk ass? Turns out the niggers sure do hate you! Might as well hate them back.

Just incase your confused. No job, tons of bastard kids, mysoginist, criminal leech on society = nigger. Has a job, any kids they have know who their daddy is, stable nuclear family, education, no serious criminal record = black person. Have a nice day!

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513956)

Bitcoin has no security problems. One of exchange points has. Everyone can setup exchange point, that that guy (mtgox.com) fucked up totally security.

On the other hand, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514018)

EFF's explanation made sense and was perfectly reasonable, while yours managed to hold almost as many misunderstandings of bitcoin as words. Bitcoin is not mtgox, and the Liberty Dollar lawsuit with the US Government should have clued anybody in on the fact that the gov is not gonna let anybody compete with the dollar.

Re:No surprises here (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514040)

If you RTFA, you'll see that this has been a move they've thought through carefully and had been planning for awhile. It has nothing to do with recent events. Their biggest concern is that bitcoin is a legal grey area that might possibly make them the subject of the sort of legal action they try to defend others against.

Re:No surprises here (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514290)

Here is a fun fact.... the same can happen to the Euro and US dollar. All fake currency suffers from this potential.Hell the Federal Reserve is printing money so fast that the US dollar is going to go flat almost as fast...

GO back to coins made of real copper, nickel, silver and gold. suddenly the currency regains it's value and cant be destroyed..... Unless someone perfects alchemy and turns lead into gold or synthesizes gold.

For the naysayers complaining about carrying coins... do you realize how much a 1 troy oz gold coin is worth?

Problem is the Federal Reserve was given too much power by the US government so they continue to crush any alternatives like the Liberty dollar....

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said. “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.”

Question: If Americans starting using the Gold Maple Leaf, would the government seriously go to war with Canada to stop the "economic terrorism"?

Re:No surprises here (1)

Vegemeister (1259976) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514550)

What do bitcoin, USD, the euro, and gold all have in common? Their value as a trade good far exceeds their utility.

19-year-old arrested in Sony hack (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513440)

A teenager has been arrested near London in connection with the hacking of Sony, London's Metropolitan Police said Tuesday.

They still take WOW gold though? (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513478)

Damn, I was just about to gift them enough for an Epic Mount.

Re:They still take WOW gold though? (3, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514042)

I think anyone who has invested any substantial amount of money in bitcoin as an "investment" has already been on the receiving end of an "epic mount".

Re:They still take WOW gold though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514196)

This is +5 funny.

Re:They still take WOW gold though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514430)

...if you're twelve years old.

EFF is not a defender of freedom (-1, Offtopic)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513660)

Anyone who is surprised by this should have checked their premise that EFF is a defender of freedom. A simple glance at their position on net neutrality [theobjectivestandard.com] would have cleared that up.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513694)

How is a scam like Bitcoin in any way related to "defending freedom?"

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (0)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513780)

In what way is mathematics (as realized in the form of bitcoin) a scam? Review the source code [github.com] yourself.

Defending an unregulated alternative to government fiat currency is certainly defending freedom.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513904)

So if I print out some "money", you would defend my right to try and buy groceries with it?

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

cwebster (100824) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514008)

More likely your right to promote your "money" as an alternative currency and encourage adoption by merchants and consumers, thus validating your "money".

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514062)

Except you have no such right at least not in the US. Such is clearly stated in the constitution as being a power of the government.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514210)

Actually, you do have a right to print private currency in the United States, as long as you guarantee that it can be redeemed for USD and as long as you report and pay the appropriate taxes on transactions made in that currency. You can't legally use your private currency to settle a debt or to pay your taxes, but you can pay workers with it and use it to purchase goods and services. See, for example, this:

http://www.berkshares.org/ [berkshares.org]

Now, Bitcoin is different, in that there is no guarantee of being able to redeem it for anything at all. This muddies the legal situation surrounding Bitcoin.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514396)

That the US can coin money doesn't mean that others can't make their own currencies. Other private currencies do exist, but generally in more limited contexts. Wii, Xbox, Kool-Aid, and Pepsi all have or have had points systems which can be used as currency by those that accept them, and nobody has cracked down on them.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

horza (87255) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514176)

You are confused. Defending a currency is not the same as forcing somebody to accept it. Your grocer is not obliged to accept the notes printed by the government, as they are not obliged to accept Bitcoin.

Phillip.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (2)

nhaehnle (1844580) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514572)

Your grocer is not obliged to accept the notes printed by the government

This is false in many countries. Learn about legal tender [wikipedia.org] laws. Not all countries have them, but many (most?) do.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514588)

Actually, you are wrong, the grocer IS obliged to accept notes printed by the government as long as he/she has already provided you a good or service... note the text on a FRN, "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private". Now, granted, TECHNICALLY the grocer doesn't have to accept the bills as payment, but in doing so, he would be cancelling your debt... so, either you succeed in paying with bills, or you don't have to pay at all.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514252)

There are several alternative currencies currently being used in the US. Look it up - google is your friend.

There's no problem printing money. The problem is getting people to see enough value in the money that you printed to accept it as a medium of exchange for goods and services. Now if you lie to people or somehow trick them into thinking that it has value (like saying, for example, that Collateralized Debt Obligations are "AAA" grade, cash equivalent investments when in fact you don't even have the signatures of the people whose fractional mortgages they represent on file somewhere) then it's a scam.

But going up to someone and saying "Hey, I printed up these cute pieces of plastic let's use them as currency" is not a scam. Otherwise cheques and credit cards would cease to exist overnight. What actually is the "value" of a big number on a piece of plastic in your wallet? The only good thing about it is that it's backed by a name like VISA or MASTERCARD or AMEX, and there's a perception of value. The merchant knows he's going to be paid. You have a feeling of security, and a monthly statement you can review. And that's it - a new currency is born.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

timholman (71886) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514352)

In what way is mathematics (as realized in the form of bitcoin) a scam?

The "scam" is in how the proponents of Bitcoin constantly try to promote artificial scarcity with a resource that, by definition, is infinite in size.

There are an infinite number of mathematical codes that could be arbitrarily called "money". They might not be called "bitcoins", but they will be completely equivalent to bitcoins in value. So what is so special about BTC, beyond the hype that its speculators keep promoting for their own benefit? By any rational mathematical definition, bitcoins are worthless.

Defending an unregulated alternative to government fiat currency is certainly defending freedom.

Not if that "alternative currency" is little more than a pump-and-dump scheme created to enrich its early adopters at the expense of latecomers.

The bitcoin concept might actually have a shred of respectability if anyone knew the true identity of its creator. For all we know, "Satoshi Nakamoto" is the front for a syndicate that has figured out the perfect crime: release the code for a worthless pseudo-currency after reserving a huge chunk of all possible "coins" for yourself and your cronies, hype said pseudo-currency to build a speculator's market, and then sell off your "coins" via dozens of anonymous proxies before the scam collapses.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514388)

The source code has nothing to do with Bitcoin being a scam. The fact that Bitcoin was designed to generate tremendous returns for its developers and early adopters, and siphon other currencies away from late adopters, is what makes Bitcoin a scam. You are talking about a currency that is inherently deflationary, and which will only see inflation at the very end of its life when the last adopters find themselves holding worthless tokens. The value of Bitcoin is based on speculation about how many more people will buy into the system.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513824)

How is a scam like Bitcoin in any way related to "defending freedom?"

The same way 'capitalism' is -- the freedom to bilk people out of their money if they're willing/uninformed enough to participate.

To the strict free market folks, that's a transaction which is just part of the system, and is 'self correcting'. That's why regulation is considered bad.

And, sadly, I'm only being partly sarcastic.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513840)

Not related, just an excuse to post trollish comments on how social darwinism is freedom and everything else is nazi-communislam.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514158)

Not related, just an excuse to post trollish comments on how social darwinism is freedom and everything else is nazi-communislam.

Is it me, or is that what 98% of the Neo-Neo-Libertarians advocate now, Social Darwinism... which is closer to Nazism (in ideology) than anything else I know.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513736)

What does this have anything to do with being a "defender of freedom"? Why does the EFF have to support BitCoin?

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513856)

They don't have to support the bitcoin movement, but to claim they defend internet freedom when they purposely removing bitcoin transaction support in order to avoid appearing to support the bitcoin movement, is absurd.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514342)

Its not absurd at all, they don't have to support someones pet project...

Bitcoin has nothing at all to do with internet freedom - it is you that is trying to somehow link the two.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513770)

If not being a defender of freedom means not supporting a scam (BitTulips), I'm okay with that.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513802)

What relevance does that link have to the EFF?

The page mentions them nowhere, and the author of that piece doesn't seem to have any clear link to them.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513868)

Not only is that article off topic, it completely misunderstands the premise of net neutrality. The EQUIPMENT that the "internet" resides on is not, the internet. "The internet" is like "speech" or "Writing" it's an intangible medium for relating information and it's owned by humanity as a whole. We've collectively decided that to connect to the internet, you need to do so in a neutral way. ISPs connecting you to something other than the internet do not have to do so in a neutral way. But if you want to provide INTERNET access you need to do it without prejudice against or for certain voices on the net.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513946)

The EQUIPMENT that the "internet" resides on is not, the internet. "The internet" is like "speech" or "Writing" it's an intangible medium for relating information and it's owned by humanity as a whole.

Speech is made by a speaker. Writing is made by a writer. The fact that it is a concept does not mean it is not property. Property itself is an abstract concept. Investigate the source of that concept, and you will understand why intellectual property is property, and why "owned by humanity" is incoherent.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514118)

Do you know how you increase knowledge? By sharing it. Culture? Same way. Common bonds? By sharing events.

Notice the sharing? You might want to investigate this entire concept of "humanity" a bit further.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514466)

Except majority of that "property" that is being spoken of here (the cables, pipes, etc.) was paid for by the government subsidizing the ISPs in order to promote the building of infrastructure. Instead of continuing to build the infrastructure that they were given money for, they kept it. Instead of increasing capacity by building infrastructure they are overselling and shaping.

Let's give it by a different example, look at phone lines. Net neutrality is analogous to the common carrier law in respect to telephony. According to that article and your argument, you must believe that the common carrier designation in the telephone industry should never have happened. That it is wrong for the government to have regulated and told a private entity how to use "its property". The argument is absurd on the face of it, the Internet should be considered a utility, a public resource. ISPs provide access to this intangible thing over which data is sent not only over their "property" but over the "property" of others. The innovation of tools, technologies, utilities, and services has flourished for years due to Net Neutrality.

It's amusing, because many opponents actually agree that the problems that Net Neutrality seeks to prevent are valid problems that should be dealt with, they just don't believe those problems will actually occur and thus government regulation to prevent them is unnecessary. This is proven false by the multitude of situations where ISPs have violated Net Neutrality principles and by the number of ISPs who've publicly stated they'd be willing to make specific services faster if they paid for it.

The question is not about property, and if that's the only argument that is made then you have no argument. An electricity company can't charge you more for your electricity if you're running a pool or if you have a big screen tv. Your water company can't change the rate of water flowing to your house if you're using hot water vs cold water, using a tub vs a faucet. So why should your ISP be able to slow your web browser down vs streaming video? Why should your ISP be able to give preference to Hulu over Netflix just because Hulu paid them money?

You want a solution to the problem of bandwidth supplying? Build infrastructure, throttle a PERSON who is using too much bandwidth, not the protocol.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513874)

I'm assuming you mean freedom for corporations to throttle your bandwidth and shape traffic while selling you unlimited* data plans. In that case then yes, the EFF is downright loathsome.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (1, Offtopic)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514262)

Alright, you're getting to the actual issue - cable companies provide crappy service. So why don't people switch to alternative cable companies? Because there aren't any. Why is that? Because local governments grant monopolies to these cable companies, and prohibit competitors from laying their own lines.

Attempting to band-aid one regulation with another does not lead to freedom.

Re:EFF is not a defender of freedom (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514030)

For those who won't realize before clicking the link the story is to an objectivist periodical that was co-founded by Ayn Rand. Take that as you will.

Currency Exchange (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513690)

This, following the somewhat late realization that Hasbro lets you print your own Monopoly money...

Currency not accepted is currency no more? (1, Interesting)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513772)

Bitcoins are quite similar to most forms of fiat money. If enough people don't endorse it, use it or accept it, it's worthless.

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513866)

Precisely ... but IMO, at least in concept, a virtual fiat currency like this could work well for items in a virtual "fiat world", no?

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514044)

Precisely ... but IMO, at least in concept, a virtual fiat currency like this could work well for items in a virtual "fiat world", no?

Look to EVE online for how it works for them.

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513940)

Except it's not backed up by anything, it can literally lose value overnight, good luck finding a sucker to pay for it after that.

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513994)

Except it's not backed up by anything, it can literally lose value overnight, good luck finding a sucker to pay for it after that.

You mean, like every other fiat currency? USD? Euro? Etc. Etc.

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514054)

Your examples won't lose all of its value overnight.
That's the difference.

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514114)

Fiat currencies are backed by faith in a government. That is to say, faith that the government will continue to provide essential services, or more pessimistically faith that the government will arrest people who do not pay their taxes. Fiat currency derives its value from its utility as a means of paying taxes and government fees, and legally settling debts.

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514006)

Bitcoins are quite similar to most forms of fiat money.

Except that Bitcoin cannot be used to pay taxes or any government fees or tariffs. Nor can Bitcoin be used to legally settle debts in some places (like the United States). In fact, Bitcoin is about as similar to fiat currency as a Chuck-e-Cheese token would be. Most fiat currencies are designed to defend against deflation, whereas Bitcoin is designed to encourage it. Most fiat currencies are useful for money lending; only a fool would lend or borrow Bitcoin.

Bitcoin was a superficially nice idea, but spend more than 5 minutes thinking about its implications and fundamental architecture and one is forced to conclude that it was either designed by people with a high-school level understanding of economics or it is a scam designed to yield big profits for the developers and early adopters, while screwing over late adopters.

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514268)

In fact, Bitcoin is about as similar to fiat currency as a Chuck-e-Cheese token would be.

At least a token lets me play Skee-ball. Are there any skee-ball machines that take bitcoins?

I guess not, since nobody makes Skee-ball machines with continuous, high-speed Internet connections. I'm taking all of my money out of bitcoin and putting it into Chuck E Cheese tokens. (Well, if I had any, which I sure as hell don't.)

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514010)

Unlike actual fiat money, it can't be printed in an inflationary manner when the central bank feels like it. The rate is defined through until about 2140 when all blocks have been created.

Bitcoin will never have tax-by-inflation, but instead will perhaps have elements of Ponzi if large institutional investors start to dick with the system - buy big, sell big.. just like any other market.

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514530)

Actually, there's nothing stopping people from creating a fractional-reserve banking system based on Bitcoin. Most inflationary pressure is done by using fractional-reserve banking to increase the money supply beyond the actual amount of currency in circulation. Works just as well with Bitcoin.

Re:Currency not accepted is currency no more? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514420)

Yes and it's quite interesting to observe that once again human greed provided fuel for a bubble. As the perceived value of bitcoin increased, greed also increased - until a single trigger event, the "theft" of $500,000 worth (I wonder what today's value is) of bitcoin popped the bubble. Of course it's funny to watch the bitcoin "exchanges" today saying they will do things like reverse the transactions leading up to the crash, etc. This changes nothing. Confidence has been destroyed, bitcoin is not a "safe" storehouse of value, and anyone with any sense will immediately sell their bitcoins as soon as they can to try to avoid losing everything.

Greedy individuals will prop up the market for a while, until all the non-greedy people are out (at a loss). Then when there are no more buyers, the market will finally collapse again. I guess what is poetic is that the ones who will lose most are the greediest. Fool, money, soon parted.

I'm sure the commission-earning bitcoin exchanges will have made a tidy sum, though. They will be the first targets in the coming lawsuits, however.

The bitcoin faucet is already empty? (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513898)

I clicked, there was a few fractions of coins. I clicked again, they were all gone.

Is EFF incrementally giving away coins? Or is that it?

Re:The bitcoin faucet is already empty? (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514318)

If you had read the articles linked, you would have seen that yes, they are slowly releasing them so they aren't flooding the market.

If we don't talk about it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513972)

the currency/stunt will ceace to exist. Each time Slashdot talks about Bitcoins, they get a spike of interest. I implore the editors/publishers to stop publishing any stories about bitcoins. What started out as a $20 coin is (as I understand) now worth about $0.03 US dollars.

Please stop posting Bitcoin stories (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36514272)

Please stop posting Bitcoin stories. No one cares about Bitcoin. We don't give a rat's ass about Bitcoin. We could not care less about Bitcoin. We have no interest in Bitcoin. Bitcoin does not concern us.

Bitcoin ended up as a pyramid scheme (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514276)

The Bitcoin thing has gone off in a different direction than its promoters anticipated. They were thinking "payment system", like gift cards. The idea was that most Bitcoins would be tied up in people's "wallets", and spent slowly. All that static value would anchor the currency.

That's not what happened. Bitcoins turned into a speculative vehicle, with "miners" grinding away solving hashes and generating more Bitcoins, and flaky "exchanges" offering on-line trading. The exchanges are tiny; today's worldwide Bitcoin trading volume is comparable to the sales of one supermarket. The daily volatility is huge, even on days when there isn't a break-in. So no major retailer can accept Bitcoins; they don't know what they will be worth at the end of the day, let alone the end of the month.

In a speculator-dominated system, Bitcoins are a pyramid scheme. The scheme by which it becomes harder over time to generate Bitcoins favored early adopters by a huge margin.

It's already too late to get in. The difficulty level has reached the point where buying and powering the new hardware is not cost-effective. And that was before the price of Bitcoins crashed. (The current price is around $13.)

Then there's the flaky exchange problem. Mt. Gox (formerly Magic, the Gathering Online Exchange) turns out to be two people in Tokyo. Tradehill is some company in Chile. All the other exchanges are too dinky to matter. Not one of them has the organization and resources of a typical small-town bank. Worse, they're not just "exchanges". They're depositary institutions, holding customer balances. Mt. Gox customers are now very aware of this, because they can't get at their money while Mt. Gox is down. Some people are worried over whether the money will be there when Mt. Gox comes back up.

The "exchanges" represent a mis-design of Bitcoin. There should have been a way to do an exchange in a distributed way, without the exchange holding customer assets. The NYSE and NASDAQ don't hold customer balances. Brokers do, but you can have your cash swept from a brokerage into a bank daily, or more often if the numbers get big. The Bitcoin exchanges are slow at delivering money - Mt. Gox has a daily transfer limit, and even when they were up, many users reported delays.

The EFF was right to bail.

Endorsing bitcoin (2)

Permutation Citizen (1306083) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514502)

When accepting bitcoin, EFF gave credibility to this money and as any fiat money credibility is what it needs. Now EFF doesn't accept anymore, they take back this credibility.

I think in both case, this was on purpose by EFF. They did the first move because they though bitcoin was an interesting experiment. They do the second move because bitcoin is now an ugly mess.

Some Actual Text From The Announcement (3, Interesting)

trappa (1894960) | more than 2 years ago | (#36514518)

1. We don't fully understand the complex legal issues involved with creating a new currency system.

2.We don't want to mislead our donors. When people make a donation to a nonprofit like EFF, they expect us to use their donation to support our work. Because the legal territory around exchanging Bitcoins into cash is still uncertain, we are not comfortable spending the many Bitcoins we have accumulated.

3. People were misconstruing our acceptance of Bitcoins as an endorsement of Bitcoin. We were concerned that some people may have participated in the Bitcoin project specifically because EFF accepted Bitcoins, and perhaps they therefore believed the investment in Bitcoins was secure and risk-free. While we’ve been following the Bitcoin movement with a great degree of interest, EFF has never endorsed Bitcoin. In fact, we generally don’t endorse any type of product or service – and Bitcoin is no exception.

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