Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

GPGPU Bitcoin Mining Trojan

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the now-thats-not-so-bad dept.

Bitcoin 258

An anonymous reader writes "Security researchers have unearthed a piece of malware that mints a digital currency known as Bitcoins by harnessing the immense power of an infected machine's graphical processing units. According to new research from antivirus provider Symantec, Trojan.Badminer uses GPUs to generate virtual coins through a practice known as minting. That's the term for solving difficult cryptographic proof-of-work problems and being rewarded with 50 Bitcoins for each per correct block."

cancel ×

258 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Typo (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118078)

It's actually known as mining, not minting, even though it still makes sense. :D

Re:Typo (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118826)

Isn't the definition of "typo" that you accidentally type wrong letters? So maybe "wrong word" would be more correct term for what you mean.

Fake? (1, Insightful)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118086)

Would these count as counterfeit bitcoins? ;^)

Re:Fake? (5, Insightful)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118194)

no, why would they?

Gold mined by slaves is still gold, and I guess the same applies here.

Re:Fake? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118274)

Yes but is it purestrain gold?

Re:Fake? (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118932)

Of all places, Urban Dictionary has a surprisingly compact [urbandictionary.com] explanation and rebuttal on the topic, for those confused by the tangential reference. (Humour may have been involved; I'm not sure any more.)

Re:Fake? (1)

Stellian (673475) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118406)

They are just as genuine as the ones generated by people infected with the get-rich-quick-bitcoin-bug, al miners compete for a fixed number of bitcoins.

As it turns out, the "immense power of an infected machine's graphical processing unit" is not that large when up against a bunch of people determined to make it big. The current hash rate of the network is 12Thash/second while a typical infected machine will have a low end graphics card, say 20 MHash/second (a vast majority will not have OpenCL-capable cards, and a tiny minority will have cards capable of 100 - 500 Mhash/sec).
So this virus needs to infect on the order of 500.000 typical machines before it has enough power to compromise the security of the monetary system via double spend. At that time the author would earn about 1 million dollars/month (at current bitcoin prices), so he will have little incentive to destroy the network.

Re:Fake? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118466)

I don't think the control of the network thing is that much of a concern is it?

To me the worse thing here is that bitcoin is being generated illegally, bringing the bitcoin system even further into disrepute that it already is.

Re:Fake? (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118620)

Illegal generation of bitcoins? Not as far as the bitcoin system is concerned. If an unregulated system doesn't care, then who does? The unauthorized use of computer systems is a problem, but after that point they are not doing anything illegal.

Re:Fake? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118646)

"Illegal generation of bitcoins? Not as far as the bitcoin system is concerned."

"The unauthorized use of computer systems is a problem"

How are these things not connected in your mind?
Some of the currency is being generated illegally. No, the bitcoin system doesn't know or care. This is a further strike against it.

Re:Fake? (1)

gregor-e (136142) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118832)

"Some of the currency is being generated illegally. No, the bitcoin system doesn't know or care. This is a further strike against it."
Slaves have been forced to mine gold illegally. No, the gold-based currencies of the world don't know or care. This is a further strike against them.

Re:Fake? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118864)

While the analogy doesn't really hold completely, I don't really disagree.

What's your point here?

Prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37119080)

Put them in Prison, see how they earn and spend their own Butcoin.

Re:Fake? (2)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119066)

Some of the currency is being generated illegally.

No, it is not.

There is no such thing as illegal generation of bitcoins. Sure, the illegal access of systems is connected to the generation of bitcoins, but that connection has nothing to do with legality.

Re:Fake? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119142)

"There is no such thing as illegal generation of bitcoins. Sure, the illegal access of systems is connected to the generation of bitcoins, but that connection has nothing to do with legality."

So illegally using someones machine to generate bitcoins is not illegal generation of bitcoins?

I disagree, and those are some mighty fine semantic distinctions you're selling there.

Re:Fake? (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119250)

Just try to get a court - any court, anywhere in the world - who would entertain the notion of "illegal generation of bitcoins" and then we can talk.

Re:Fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118510)

Machines can only be infected in whole-number increments. For example, you cannot infect 0.001 machines. Using three decimal places of precision is unnecessary. Also, your math seems to be off by three orders of magnitude. You're welcome.

Re:Fake? (1)

dkuntz (220364) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118664)

Most likely, they're in Europe... where 500,000 is written as 500.000. They swap the "." and ",". So 5,000.95 is 5.000,95, and so on.

So they're right on the money (pun intended).

Re:Fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118748)

There's no need to make groups of 3 digits. Since "," is used for coordinates, "." should be used for decimals. If you want your big numbers to be easier to read, use a space to make groups of 3 digits.

Coordinates (American way): 5,432.54,95,250.85
Coordinates (European way): 5.432,54,95.250,85
Coordinates using the way I just described: 5 432.54,95 250.85

Good luck with your fucked-up number systems.

Re:Fake? (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118880)

They are all just symbols. No single method is right or wrong, it just depends what is the "norm" where you are from.

I lived in Russia, and guess what- you are gonna confuse people by writing your numbers the "American" way.

Your options are to (in no particular order):
A: Get used to working with other cultures/systems
B: Get everyone you are working with to standardize to one system or another
C: Get away from any sort of global engineering and continue doing things the "American" way because that's how it's always been done

PS. I love the metric system, but I still have to put up with my company using standard most of the time.

Re:Fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118784)

Most likely, they're in Europe... where 500,000 is written as 500.000. They swap the "." and ",". So 5,000.95 is 5.000,95, and so on.

So they're right on the money (pun intended).

That's not how they (we) do it. instead of a comma we simply have a . "." is still used as a decimal point otherwise we'd be dealing with some very angry mathematicians
500,000 = 500 000
500 000.03323

Re:Fake? (1)

iteyoidar (972700) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118524)

Though with the current exchanges, it's impossible to withdraw more than $10,000 of bitcoins a month, so you'd never get most of that "value" out anyway. You'd be better off using that computational power to rent out a real botnet if you actually managed to infect 500,000 machines (Not to mention moving that much money through banks would draw a lot of suspicion even if you could get it all out, hopefully you have an account in a country where the banks are as poorly regulated as bitcoins...)

Re:Fake? (1)

gregor-e (136142) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118890)

All the enterprising bot-master has to do is set up a BTC sales office, like this [btcnow.net] .

no suprise. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118100)

It was only a matter of time.

Re:no suprise. (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118400)

It was only a matter of time.

That's nothing. I'm working on malware that will skim .00001 of every bitcoin that's mined by a GPGPU and send it to an offshore account.

Scratch that. An off-planet account.

mixed-up metaphores (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118838)

What, did you learn to program from school advertising on a matchbook cover?
Better triple-check your code. You don't want to be off by a few decimal places.
Superman will come looking for you if Milton burns the office down.

Only a matter of time. (0)

lisco (844292) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118126)

It was only a matter of time before this happened. The person who is receiving the bitcoins should probably watch out for this : http://slashdot.org/story/11/07/25/1239210/Bitcoin-Is-Not-Anonymous [slashdot.org]

Re:Only a matter of time. (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118254)

Actually there are a few ways that Bitcoins can be close to 100% anonymous. And this is one of them.

Re:Only a matter of time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118372)

You can mint them anonymously but it's pretty hard to spend them anonymously. What good is having money you can't spend?

Re:Only a matter of time. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118392)

Well you could run a hacked version of the trojan that reported any blocks found to you. You could then trace what bitcoin addresses those coins flowed to.

Of course you'd still have all the normal problems of tracking a bitcoin transaction from there. How difficult that would be would depend on how paraniod the hacker was and whether you could get the cooperation of the major exchanges.

Intriguing (5, Funny)

BetterThanCaesar (625636) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118140)

A digital currency called Bitcoins, you say? Intriguing, tell me more! </sarcasm>

Re:Intriguing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118198)

Ok there may be quite a few bitcoin articles on slashdot, but no one is forcing you to read them. If you don't want to see them skim over them like you would any other article that doesn't peak your interests. A post like this is hardly useful and could basically even be considered troll/flame bait.

Re:Intriguing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118396)

pique. not peak

Re:Intriguing (1, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118464)

My interest in Bitcon peaked a long time ago, thank you.

Re:Intriguing (2)

jamiesan (715069) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118594)

I took a peek at bitcoin and decided it wasn't worth the trouble.

Re:Intriguing (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119034)

I find Bitcoins to be picayune.

Re:Intriguing (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118810)

An article about mining bitcoins with an iPhone would net twice the eyes!

Re:Intriguing (1)

anti-pop-frustration (814358) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119048)

A Bitcoin mining trojan you say? Pfff. That's nothing.

I heard someone created a Trojan that repeatedly posts articles *about* Bitcoin on news sites.

"a digital currency known as Bitcoins"? (4, Funny)

gazbo (517111) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118144)

This "digital currency" sounds fascinating - I wonder why Slashdot's never covered it before?!

Re:"a digital currency known as Bitcoins"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118224)

That was an intercepted message that was sent to your "pointy-haired" boss. Read it in your "talking to small child" voice, and it sounds a lot more natural.

Re:"a digital currency known as Bitcoins"? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118780)

You see, I've turned the moon into what I like to call a "death star", using something called "la-ser", funded by "bit-coin". I hereby hold the world ransomed for... wait for it... one MILLION "bit-coins"!

--Dr. Evil, 1FsaZ4yM1zSD9jyA2XD1gKftZzNe58JJBG

How often do we have to say this? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118232)

We Don't Care About Bitcoin.

Re:How often do we have to say this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118384)

You don't care so much that you repeatedly read and comment on the articles! Kind of like how a song comes on about how much the singer is over his previous romantic partner, you can be sure that after writing, composing, and performing the song, he REALLY doesn't think about that person anymore.

Heh. (0)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118250)

Wasn't one of the big "selling points" of bitcoins that they weren't inflationary?

Ooops.

Re:Heh. (1)

teaserX (252970) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118288)

I'm so sure how this makes Bitcoins "inflationary". Could you explain?

Re:Heh. (1)

teaserX (252970) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118310)

I'm so sure how this makes Bitcoins "inflationary". Could you explain?

errr....*not sure...doh

Re:Heh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118612)

I read it as "not sure" the first time, didn't notice anything until I saw your correction.

Re:Heh. (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118290)

They generate at a fixed rate up to the defined total number of coins.

People run bitcoin mining operations to generate these coins. The thing I find amusing is that of course you don't get more coins the more computing power is dedicated to it, you get the same number. So someone that comes online with a massive botnet actually reduces the amount everyone else can claim.

Re:Heh. (1)

teaserX (252970) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118974)

[quote]They generate at a fixed rate up to the defined total number of coins...you don't get more coins the more computing power is dedicated to it...[/quote] Seems to me that his would be deflationary. The more effort/work put into getting a bitcoin, the more value it has (theoretically). The mostly constant rate that they are generated disallows arbitrarily increasing the number of bitcoins in existence and thereby devaluing the currency. Inflation is the same thing as currency devaluation.

Re:Heh. (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119052)

I don't really see that there's any connection between the amount of work put in and the value.

It works the other way around in bitcoin - the more valuable it is, the more people will get into mining as there is a profit to be had, until such time as it becomes hard enough to mine that the profit goes out of it again.
But the effort involved isn't really a value driver as far as I can see, as there is no relation between the effort put in and the supply of coin, which is invariant. Similarly there is no continuing value to the electricity and cycles put in to generate the coin, it is gone and what's left is a chunk of information. If there was residual value then coins generated now that the generation difficulty is high would necessarily have a higher value than earlier coins, which is not the case.

They are potentially very deflationary though, as if it takes off and gets wildly popular then the value of the currency has to rise massively, there is no way to increase the supply in tune with the economy. This makes them a hoarding item, a speculative asset, rather that a currency, IMHO.

From irrelevant to obsolete in one fell swoop? (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118286)

I'm sure the crackers will enjoy spending their virtual pennies on any of the varied goods and services available within the Bitcoin economy: herpes, home brewed acid, and yaoi themed web sites.

Re:From irrelevant to obsolete in one fell swoop? (1)

danpat (119101) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118332)

With the currency exchanges (MtGox, etc), it's trivial to turn bitcoins into real money.

Re:From irrelevant to obsolete in one fell swoop? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118416)

Trivial?

Not from what I've been reading. The money has to go via various other services and exchanges just to get to your bank account, with a variety of fees imposed along the way, and delays of up to several days.

Easy enough if the bitcoins were 'free' I suppose, but not so much for anyone thinking of them as anything other than a scam.

Re:From irrelevant to obsolete in one fell swoop? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118998)

The money has to go via various other services and exchanges just to get to your bank account

The fee for Dwolla is what, 0.25 USD per transaction?

Re:From irrelevant to obsolete in one fell swoop? (1)

coldsalmon (946941) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118580)

This is exactly the problem with BitCoin: you can't actually use it as a currency. You have to liquidate it in order to spend it, meaning that you have to treat it as an asset rather than a currency. However, as an asset it has no intrinsic value because you can't do anything with it except trade it.

Re:From irrelevant to obsolete in one fell swoop? (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118950)

I thought all currencies are generally treated as assets (current assets = cash in bank more or less). Current assets have intrinsic value which is the amount of 'cash' in the 'home currency' for which they can be exchanged on the accounting date. IANAA though.

Re:From irrelevant to obsolete in one fell swoop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118410)

I'm sure the crackers will enjoy spending their virtual pennies on any of the varied goods and services available within the Bitcoin economy: herpes, home brewed acid, and yaoi themed web sites.

Did you really just use a racial term?
Ignorance, blinded by color.

Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (1, Insightful)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118308)

I am not sure. But everybody with a little bit of real understanding should know that bitcoin is a fucked idea. It wont work, for a number of reasons.

The most important one is that the creation of a bitcoin is *not* backed by anything. It burns computational power for nothing. But just using energy to produce it does not input *value* in the same way in which printing a bill or forging a coin does not produce any value.

It only links the the will to back this money to whoever puts his name on it.

There would be a number of ways to introduce a valid digital currency, but bitcoin is just a senseless ponzi-scheme for wannabe hackers.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118402)

Good god, the "not backed by anything" argument again. Please come up with something that has at least a tiny contact with reality. Bitcoin has been criticized enough that you should be able to find a relevant criticism fairly easily with google.

Modern currencies typically aren't backed by anything. They only have value because people trust they have value. This works just fine for established currencies and we've already seen it works surprisingly well even for extremely tiny currencies like bitcoin.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118512)

Modern currencies typically aren't backed by anything. They only have value because people trust they have value.

They're backed by the resources, goods, and services of the issuing nation. Bitcoins don't even have that going for them.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118592)

And bitcoin is backed by the resources, goods, and services of the international community of people who accept bitcoins.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118642)

By that same definition of backed, the bitcoin currency is backed by those (few) who do offer services/goods for it.

Yes, it's exceptionally weakly backed, but it is (very) slightly different than not backed. The theory of bitcoin as a currency is mostly sound. It's problem is just that the current strength of backing is pathetic (but not non-existent).

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118712)

They're backed by the resources, goods, and services of the issuing nation.

In many cases, those "issuing nations" are deep in debt and have a vested interest in inflating their debt away.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118842)

That is so, so true. But then, any currency without built-in devaluation of some type only leads to hoarding.

Hoarding (aka saving) is good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118936)

People shouldn't be wasting money anyway.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (0)

himurabattousai (985656) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118632)

Technically, this is correct. This is true regardless of what one uses as money--even gold has no absolute financial value. Things that are rarer and non-consumable, like gold, often have a higher relative value than to tree leaves and bread, but there's also quite a bit of "What do I do with it now?" involved in any sort of trade. In other words, if I don't like gold and don't have a use for it, it's worth less to me than it is to a jewelry maker.

However, currencies don't need to be backed by anything physical. Let's put aside the argument over what any currency's component worth is for the moment (because it is fairly close to nothing). The real value of any currency is the ability to pay taxes to one's own government without having to suffer through currency exchanges. As an American citizen, I can pay my taxes in U.S. Dollars, but I can't do the same in Yen, Euros, or Bitcoins. Those other forms of money may be stronger, but come April 15, no currency has more value for me than the Dollar.

Bottom line is this: Until taxes can be paid in Bitcoins, they will remain a fringe alternative money utilized by people who don't mind the hassle of finding a place to trade them for local currency. Things like this trojan won't help Bitcoins gain acceptance.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118962)

Irregardless of gold argument, gold does have industrial and medical applications.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (1)

coldsalmon (946941) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118776)

This argument would indeed be weak if people were using bitcoin as a currency, but instead they are holding it as an asset. In order to be a currency something must be able to be traded for goods and services. You cannot trade bitcoins for goods and services, except on a few websites. While a dollar is not backed by the gold standard, it is indeed backed by a worldwide economy which is willing to accept it in exchange for goods and services. Bitcoin has neither intrinsic value nor currency as a medium of exchange. When you buy bitcoins, you are buying the ability to purchase goods and services from those who accept bitcoins, which is a pitifully small number of people. If you are worried about worldwide currency collapse, bitcoin will not help you because the only useful thing you can buy with bitcoins is OTHER CURRENCIES.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118896)

You cannot trade bitcoins for goods and services, except on a few websites.

you are buying the ability to purchase goods and services from those who accept bitcoins, which is a pitifully small number of people.

so what's the magic number of places that will take a bitcoin as payment before it becomes "currency" instead of "asset"? how many people need to agree that something is a worthwhile medium exchange before it actually becomes one?

One sovereign state's department of revenue (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119086)

so what's the magic number of places that will take a bitcoin as payment before it becomes "currency" instead of "asset"?

The magic number is one sovereign state's department of revenue, if this comment [slashdot.org] , this comment [slashdot.org] , and this comment [slashdot.org] are to be believed.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119234)

Oh I dunno, maybe if the most of the people who are actually enthusiasts (see bitcoin forums for instance) used it to buy and sell something other than Euro or USD that would be a start.

At the moment actual purchases are rare so far as I can tell, most of the adherents seem to be hoarding in anticipation of a perpetually rising value. There is a large transaction volume daily, but it's the exchanges that drive it.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (4, Interesting)

DRJlaw (946416) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118820)

Modern currencies typically aren't backed by anything. They only have value because people trust they have value. This works just fine for established currencies and we've already seen it works surprisingly well even for extremely tiny currencies like bitcoin.

You're wrong.

Modern currencies are backed by the governments which issue them. More bluntly, modern currencies are backed by modern government's ability to tax the labor of their citizens and imprison them if they do not pay. You trust that the currency is worth something in part because of the trust that everyone places in the currency itself (the prices that people set for goods), but also because the government buys services and goods (labor and goods), sells rights and services (user fees, police service, defense), and transacts in that currency (meaning that citizens of that government pretty much need to transact in that currency, at least in part, as well).

BitCoin cannot imprison me if I do not pay it in bitcoins. BitCoin does not inconvenience me in the least if I refuse to accept it. BitCoin only marginally inconveniences me if I decide not to pay for goods using it. BitCoin is not "backed by anything" tangible, such as gold, or practical, such as a need to use it. There's your substantial contact with reality.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118444)

It's because the owners of the site are being paid to promote it, just like any other veiled advertisment that gets posted as a "news story" here.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118480)

I hate to break it to you, but the US dollar (and most currencies in the world) have not been backed by anything in the last 50+ years. It's value is solely derived from what people will buy/sell with it.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118588)

Exactly its backed by the fact that people will sell you something for it. But more important it is backed by the fact that it is the legal way of paying things in the USA, which means you will be able to buy things for quite some time. There will be a need for Dollars, because the US government needs dollars.

No matter how many bitcoins you have, you cant pay your taxes with them. You cant lend bitcoins to the government, but dollars.

Another thing is that the dollar is produced in arbitrary nontransparent amounts. Printed dollars should (in average) correspond to the expansion of the US economy.

This means if i own dollars i roughly know what i will have tomorrow. if i have bitcoins i wont.

Generic argument against fiat currency (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118702)

Google says there's thousands of crackpots that support your position and dozens of fairly large economies that demonstrate fiat currency works just fine. There are more crackpots and we know that facts, just as much as elections, are determined by popular vote. However, a scientific analysis (sucks/rocks) shows fiat currency rocks by a margin of 108000 to 82700.

Of course, the fact that the world economy has gone in the shitter, can be used to argue that any economic practice inconsistent with your particular ideology (e.g. the more general concept of exchanging goods and services for money) is invalid.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118868)

The most important one is that the creation of a bitcoin is *not* backed by anything. It burns computational power for nothing. But just using energy to produce it does not input *value* in the same way in which printing a bill or forging a coin does not produce any value.

Printing or minting does not generate value either. Assuming for argument sake that bills and bitcoins where both uncounterfeitable*, then what difference is there? It is just an abstract thing to be traded for goods and or services.

* ignoring that in reality bitcoins are much harder to counterfeit then hard currency... also setting aside that AFAIK uncounterfeitable is not an actual word.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118900)

Like gold? All gold does is make it difficult to print extra money. Bitcoin does that too. Try again.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118902)

Not that the $USD or any fiat currency is backed by anything but a 'promise' - which is meaningless since the US is broke, and attempting to inflate the debt away. So, in other words, this bitcoin minting malware is effectively a "Federal Reserve" for bitcoin - which of course like the real one is neither "Federal" or a "Reserve" of anything but debt.

I thing BtC is stupid, but you are still wrong (2)

sirwired (27582) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118918)

Assets (i.e. shares of stock) have real, useful, "stuff" usually behind them.

But currency? Not even gold has that much worth outside of it's value as a medium of trade. It has certain useful properties, but those properties are all out of proportion to its currency value. (i.e. I can light fires with $100 bills, but that isn't what gives $100 bills value.) A currency is used as a medium of convenient trade in place of actual useful items.

We use currency (Gold, BitCoins, Dollars, Euros, Silver, seashells, shiny rocks, whatever) because barter of actual useful goods and services is cumbersome and is no way to run an economy.

BitCoins are a limitless source of Fail through all sorts of technical and economic problems, but "not being backed by anything" isn't one of them.

P.S. You aren't the only person to confuse assets and currency. A great number if BitCoin backers think BtC's are the Greatest Currency Ever because the value of their stash (in relation to Dollars) has jumped so much. (Hint: You don't want a currency to change in value at all, or at the least you want it to be predictable. BitCoins are neither stable nor predictable when compared to any "real" currency.)

It's backed by mathematics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37119050)

And do you think your banks keeps a vault of gold to backup your $US or whatever currency you use? Currency does not need "backing" for it to be a store of value. It needs to be trusted to be a store of value. Bitcoin is backed by mathematics. It is difficult to devalue the currency because it is mathematically difficult to mint coins.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37119060)

I am not sure. But everybody with a little bit of real understanding should know that bitcoin is a fucked idea. It wont work, for a number of reasons.

Incorrect Bitcoin is a brilliant idea. It's enough like a currency that idiots will try to use it as such. It's enough like an asset that idiots will try to use it as such, and the cost of minting bitcoins is hidden enough that idiots will think they're getting them for free.

All the while the system favors early adopters over late adopters, so the creator (the earliest adopter of them all) and any close friends got to claim an arbitrary amount of bitcoins at launch for little investment. Then they wait for those coins to have value to someone (any of the aforementioned idiots) and cash in.

For the cost of developing a crypto scheme that was probably relatively simple for a crypto expert to do (it used well understood principles applied to a new problem) the crater get's an arbitrary number of assets that have a chance to become redicilously valuable.

Honestly i'm just mad I didn't think of it. It's probably the best scam since the concept of stock brokerage.

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (1)

Vincent77 (660967) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119118)

Exactly, as paper money (money backed by "stocks" and other emotional products) works the same way. I like this project as it explains the "normal economy" with stocks has exaclty the same design-flaws - and you point them out quite well. Since bitcoins I start to like the sentence "In money we trust" (or was it god? they get mixed up a lot).

Re:Why? Bitcoin and Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37119126)

There would be a number of ways to introduce a valid digital currency

Such as?

Just to get the facts straight (4, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119152)

Fiat currency: Basically every major world currency is by fiat now. There are good arguments both ways, but if you feel strongly about this, I hope you keep all your assets in gold instead of USD, which isn't backed by anything.

CPU: The CPU/GPU cycles aren't wasted. They provide the security for BTC by making it computationally infeasible to double-spend (you'd need to out-compute the rest of the network). If you know a better way to do this in a decentralized way, speak up!

Why BitCoin and Slashdot: Because it's the intersection of the networking, cryptography, economics, freedom from central authorities, and futurism. Perhaps you don't care, but collectively, it's stuff we're interested in. I don't suggest BitCoin as an investment (the value is driven more by speculation than need at present - you'll lose your shirt unless you have experience in forex and penny stocks), but it's absolutely an interesting topic for discussion - even if only so we can find the flaws and start thinking about how to start Bitcoin2 without them.

Disclosure:
My present holdings: < 5BTC
My market position: no orders open or planned
My business: The making and selling of physical goods and services (legal, non-BTC-related)
My goal: a stable, international currency with no central authority taking a percentage of every sale I make or controlling my funds

I actually like bitcoin nowadays (1, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118362)

because i appreciate it's true value:

it serves as the perfect obsession and time waster for the kind of idiots who would otherwise be commenting idiotically on our monetary policy and currency

http://voip-sip.org (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118366)

The malware is just a way to mine coins. http://voip-sip.org

So, instead of fake money, (-1, Troll)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118388)

we now have 'real' money, but from fake printing presses. Basically, this virtual money is not any better than physical money. Same set of issues, only not backed.

It was oboviously out there (1)

teaserX (252970) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118454)

Anyone running a mining pool knew this was out there or should know. One account with hundreds of connections from different machines turning in a relatively small number of shares points straight to botnet activity.

Re:It was oboviously out there (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118530)

Why would someone running a botnet bother using a mining pool?

Surely they're their own pool at that point?

Re:It was oboviously out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118670)

Because running a mining pool makes a single point of failure, is difficult, and is extremely easy to trace.

Re:It was oboviously out there (2)

teaserX (252970) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118706)

The main advantage of a pool is the steady payout. You get paid a small share of the solved blocks a few times an hour instead waiting weeks to get the payout for entire block. Typically your pool account with allow you to claim you bitcoins every 24 hours. Botnets are going to be comprised of many horribly weak miners (probably CPUs not GPUs) and even a huge botnet won't be able to solve a block in 24 hours. The incentive to use a pool is the same for those mining on a botnet as those mining on their own hardware.

Minting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118500)

According to new research from antivirus provider Symantec, Trojan.Badminer uses GPUs to generate virtual coins through a practice known as minting. That's the term for solving difficult cryptographic proof-of-work problems and being rewarded with 50 Bitcoins for each per correct block."

I thought that was called "mining." As in "bitcoin mining." As in the title of TFS.

Oh Noes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37118610)

I hope they don't harness the "immense" power of my Intel GMA......

Bitcoin article (1)

TheMadTopher (1020341) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118624)

What is Bitcoin? For somebody whos never heard of it before, how do you describe it?

Mike Koss: Bitcoin is a digital currency. The really interesting thing about it is that it's totally decentralized. No government agency, no bank stands behind it. It was a geek by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto who started it in January 2009. He just invented a protocol and said, if you want to join me in this activity, we will all share in this new world of creating our own currency.

So how does it work, exactly? Can you give us a Bitcoin 101 on the mechanics? How do you get a Bitcoin, how is it created, and what's the economy like?

Peter Vessenes: Fundamentally, how you get a Bitcoin would be just like how you buy anything else. You could buy one online because they're digital. You can come by Startpad. Mike will sell you one, or I will sell you one. Or ten or whatever you want. The way most people are obtaining their Bitcoins is just through some economic transfer.

http://www.geekwire.com/2011/rewind-risks-aside-seattle-startup-vets-see-potential-in-bitcoin [geekwire.com]

The more things change... (2)

stinkyj (300739) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118814)

All these bitcoin articles remind me of the Second Life articles they used to run here. If you had read /. back then, you'd think we all had avatars and all made millions selling virtual real estate, setting up a virtual B&M company presence, and converting our Linden dollars to real dollars(sound familiar?). My guess is all those folks are now making bitcoins...

This will probably drive down bitcoin value (1)

coldsalmon (946941) | more than 3 years ago | (#37118934)

If the botnet controllers have any brains, they will immediately sell off any bitcoins they mine to convert them into real money, thus driving down the price on the exchanges. The combined wealth of all people who believe in bitcoin is probably not increasing, as the low-hanging fruit has already been picked and all the enthusiasts have already spent all the money they can afford buying bitcoins. Thus introducing new bitcoins into the system will just dilute their value relative to the combined wealth of the community in dollars (or whatever other actual currency they use).

Re:This will probably drive down bitcoin value (2)

ozbird (127571) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119130)

... and nothing of value was lost.

"the immense power" (2)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119096)

by harnessing the immense power

.. of the Sun?

.. of a Neutron Star?

Dude, chill.

let's clear up some minsinformation (1, Informative)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 3 years ago | (#37119238)

I love how people on slashdot will comment on something they know nothing about. First of all, a correction. It's called mining, not minting. Secondly, a fairly high end GTS450 will get 40 million hashes per second which is nothing. You need a very specific set of radeon 5000 or 6000 series card(s) like my 5830 which gets 320 million per second and costs a mere $130. CPU mining on my i5-2400 gets 12 million per second so that's absolute crap. So the virus is costing more in electricity than it receives in profits but it doesn't pay for electricity which I guess makes it worth it.

By the way, what's the US dollar backed by? What are most of the currencies in the world backed by? They're all backed by the fact that people know other people will accept them for goods and services and the fact that you can exchange them for another currency. That's true for bitcoins as well. They're at around $10.80 US per bitcoin right now and that's set 100% by unrestricted free trade at the exchanges. You can turn BTC into USD in under 24 hours for free with a wire transfer for this entire month and at a $5 fee after this month (since they had technical problems with Bank of America) and if you wanted a printed check mailed, that's free permanently. That alone is creating value because epople know they can always get "real" money for their coins. I've personally bought some nice cabling and computer parts with BTC and sold even more for BTC. No bullshit ebay and paypal fees or locked paypal accounts or massive delays or anything. You just send a payment and it's instant and free. You don't have to prove your address or be over 18 or any of that whole song and dance. So yeah, people are using it, they're continuing to use it, and the overall usage volume since last year has increased by about 100x and at least 10x since May. Oh anf FYI, a lot of mining rigs are running partially or completed on solar and wind so don't forget that.

You better get used to it or at least read up on how it works before you hate on it because it's not going anywhere and you'll probably eventually be using it.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?