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Hacked BitCoin Exchange Sued By Customers

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the damages-issued-in-monopoly-money dept.

Bitcoin 361

judgecorp writes "Bitcoinica, an exchange for the BitCoin virtual currency, is being sued by former customers, after it was hacked. Thieves stole around $180,000 worth of BitCoins in two attacks. The site is now closed, and customers are suing to get their money back."

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LOL (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979183)

But Bitcoins are secure and stuff! Not like that stoopid fiat currency.

Re:LOL (0, Troll)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40979381)

Everyone! Everyone look at him!
He doesn't understand how his own country's currency works.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979503)

Let me be the first to say,

"Woosh"

Love,
              AC

It's the server that's not (4, Informative)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40979611)

The Bitcoin infrastructure might be secured, it's just that the weakest link is in the server

When the server is hacked, and all the info (Bitcoin is made up of encrypted information, please correct me if I am wrong) contained within it is stolen, it's as good as the Bitcoins were stolen and can be used elsewhere

Therefore, the one crucial thing for the Bitcoin infrastructure designers to do is to find ways to shore up the security of the Bitcoin servers, and make it as difficult as possible (it's impossible to make _any_ server 100% guarantee secured, I know) to be hacked
 

Re:It's the server that's not (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979789)

You know what the biggest current problem with bitcoins is? Scarcity. The current model has them scaling back logarithmically as the number of transactions increases. What this means is that every generation it becomes that much harder to mine bitcoins and thus that much more lucrative to steal them instead. Combine this with the new FPGA mining rigs and the lowered electricity cost to generate them as a result and what you have is a digital representation of modern financial society.

The lower-class, with ineffecient rigs unable to produce more bitcoins than it's costing them.
The middle-class, with rigs just good enough to break even.
The upper-class, with rigs that provide a net benefit in bitcoin mining compared to cost, thanks to efficiency and scale.
The black market-class, hacking the latter three, disadvantaging the lower two, and having the uppers pass the buck back down.

In that light, it makes an excellent sociology and economy experiment given how well it reflects the various groups involved in modern global society.

Re:It's the server that's not (3, Funny)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40979945)

Dear Sir,

Thank you for a very insightful and very thoughtful reply.

It definitely deserves an equally thoughtful reply, which unfortunately my brain isn't qualified to do so, at this junction of time.

However, I will give it a very detail and step-by-step re-thinking and hopefully I may be able to find some new insights.

Thank you again, Sir (or Madam) !

Re:It's the server that's not (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40980001)

This is mostly accurate.

Bitcoins themselves are wholly virtual. What was stored on the server was the private key enabling one to spend the coins.

Bitcoin designers have found a few ways to shore up the security issues the servers face. Two-factor authentication was introduced a few months ago to address just this scenario.

Also, Bitcoinica itself had some hilarious security practices (very bad and reused passwords, passwords exchanged in plain text e-mail) and have been hacked successfully a number of times for larger sums than this summary suggests. Most people using Bitcoinica knew that it was risky to continue to use the site but did so because they were the only site allowing you to short Bitcoins (Bitcoinica were never a currency exchange site).

Re:LOL (5, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#40979919)

And good luck suing for untaxed, untraceable, and unregulated currency.

Generally speaking, even internet income or internet capital gains is supposed to be taxable for US citizens, so don't expect the Californian/US justice system to come running to help you if you give them any inkling that you purposefully invested in bitcoins to avoid giving them a piece of the action.

If I had been one of the victims, I would have sued the site directly in Singapore court. A small tax haven and tax shelter like Singapore is much more likely to want to encourage this type of industry and therefore encourage straight dealings in those types of transactions. Furthermore, it will be much easier to demand discovery and collect damages from a Singapore company in Singapore than trying to do the same remotely from a Superior Court in San Francisco.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979991)

When people refer to the security of bitcoin, they refer to the use of modern asymmetric cryptography inherent in all bitcoin transactions, which really has no parallel in any traditional currency. Unlike with traditional currencies, it is, within the limits of modern science, mathematically impossible to disprove that whoever knows the private key to a bitcoin address really did send as many bitcoins as they say they did to the destination they say they did. And every bitcoin transaction is mathematically irrevocable.

None of this means that bitcoin theft or fraud is impossible -- it simply amounts to gaining knowledge of somebody else's private addresses, or tricking them into disadvantageous transactions. In this respect, bitcoin is no different than traditional currencies, which can be stolen as face-value cash by anyone able to gain physical access to it, or by anyone who can trick another person into giving it to him. The difference is that the basic "mechanics" of a currency -- ascertaining who controls how much at any given time, and knowing how much moves where -- is cryptographically secure.

The Bitcoinica case is like theives breaking into and cleaning out an old timey bank (broker, actually) that keeps deposits in a cash vault; it's not big enough to absorb the losses and refund the accounts, and there ain't no FDIC. And just like back in the day, we have neato law suits about whether the bank's precautions were reasonable enough, and whether they should be liable to depositors.

But get this. All of it happened to abstract, mathematical analogues of these things in a shadow world communicated by electricity and electromagnetic radiation. HOLY SHIT WE ARE LIVING IN A WILD WEST CYBER FUTURE

FDIC insured (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979213)

why would anyone willing to put their life saving in something that is not even FDIC insured?

Re:FDIC insured (0)

crashumbc (1221174) | about 2 years ago | (#40979329)

Because in the US at least if whine and cry load enough the Government might bail you out... (Google the Savings and Loans scandal from the 80's? I think for supporting evidence)

Re:FDIC insured (5, Informative)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40979545)

I could answer this one two ways, but I'm going to go with blaming the victim on this one. There have been a rash of thefts surrounding BitCoin wallets in some of the stupidest ways (any number of BitCoin sites, for God knows what reason, have been using MySQL for their backend, and more than a few have been using PHP) -> show of hands on /., if you were designing / developing a website that dealt primarily with money, would you use MySQL? And why not?

Your wallet.dat file is your wallet. BitCoins = cash. Think about online areas the same way you think about offline areas -> there this dude who wants to hold my wallet for me, I don't really know him, but everyone else seems to trust him, even though he's only been standing on this street corner for about 5 minutes, and has all the wallets in a 20 gallon transparent plastic bag...should I trust him as well? Fuck no. Put your wallet on your cellphone or usb keychain or anything that you can see, and PHP encrypt it. Don't know what PGP is? Good news, it's the equivalent of Fort Knox, has been around for a long time, and is the key to not hating yourself if / when you store over $1,000 worth of BitCoins in your wallet and have it stolen because you couldn't be troubled to lock the f*cking door. Takes like 30 minutes, possibly less, to find a helpful tech (something above the level 1 hell-desk types, find a domain / network admin, bring tea as a peace offering), have him / her generate the key and set you up.

Bonus question -> since I know a few of you are interested in getting into the financial district -> what is the natural consequence of using floating point data types for fiscal transactions?

Re:FDIC insured (4, Interesting)

arose (644256) | about 2 years ago | (#40979733)

To be fair bitcoins are quite a bit more traceable than cash, you'd need a fair amount of resources to untangle all of the dummy accounts (if peope are smart enough to use dummy accounts), but at some point or another a good number of users will turn the anonymosly traceable bitcoins into less traceable cash (tracing by serial numbers is really hard). If you can get your hands on that information (by, say, running a bitcoin exchange or two and hacking a few more) and correlate to bitcoin tranaction logs you will get a fair amount of information. AInvolved, but not impossible for a government or large corporation.

Re:FDIC insured (3, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40980035)

What you said rings true.

Bitcoin can't exist by itself - the world we live in, whether we like it or not, still runs on cash (fiat money) and at the places where bitcoins are converted into real cold-hard-cash that makes it traceable.

But that also opens up one new possibility, for some one to set up a untraceable (or not that easy to trace) bitcoin/cash exchange.

Personally I do not know if that could ever become a reality, tho.

Re:FDIC insured (4, Funny)

dissy (172727) | about 2 years ago | (#40979785)

Bonus question -> since I know a few of you are interested in getting into the financial district -> what is the natural consequence of using floating point data types for fiscal transactions?

Answer: The plot to a cheesy super-villain world domination movie about stealing the rounded off pennies on the transactions of his employer, where something always goes wrong and hilarious shenanigans ensue.

Re:FDIC insured (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40980075)

Actually that happened in real life - not floating-point round-off, of course, but there were cases (back in the 1980's, if I remember correctly) of bank insiders setting up fake accounts collecting pennies from the banking transactions and ending up with sums worth millions of dollars
 

Re:FDIC insured (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979817)

The funny thing is that keeping your savings in an FDIC-insured account means it will constantly lose value. Only the ignorant or fools store their life savings that way. Go look up what the FDIC actually insures.

Re:FDIC insured (2)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#40979973)

why would anyone willing to put their life saving in something that is not even FDIC insured?

Aren't most investments not FDIC insured?

Besides, governments rise and fall, but bitcoins are forever.

Good luck with that! (4, Insightful)

ad454 (325846) | about 2 years ago | (#40979237)

I wish them the best of luck, they will need it!

That is a problem a virtual currency not official backed by any government, bank, or mega-corp, and is not legally tied to any hard valued currency, fungible commodity, or hard product.

Maybe Bitcoinica will offer a store credit good for their own non-transferable virtual currency?

Re:Good luck with that! (1, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40979283)

Gold stored in a bank is the only money you can count on. Virtual money isn't real (and isn't insured). Paper money is devalued through inflation of the supply. Gold is the way to go, though even that loses some value (-0.1%) over time as more of it is dug from the mines. Ditto diamonds.

Re:Good luck with that! (2)

Solozerk (1003785) | about 2 years ago | (#40979331)

Right up until nuclear transmutation makes it as worthless as dirt. And it *is* coming fast.

Re:Good luck with that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979451)

Right up until nuclear transmutation makes it as worthless as dirt. And it *is* coming fast.

*cough* alchemy *cough*

No need to rename it, just because some scientists don't like to admit that alchemy is indeed possible...

Re:Good luck with that! (1)

hajus (990255) | about 2 years ago | (#40979673)

It's already been done.
http://chemistry.about.com/cs/generalchemistry/a/aa050601a.htm [about.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_transmutation [wikipedia.org]

The costs are too exorbitant today, but fusion should change that.

Re:Good luck with that! (2)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40979797)

And I believe the British are covered, in the case of this eventuality. They have a law, if I remember correctly, that punishes anyone who finds a philosopher's stone; apparently, there was quite a scare a few centuries ago that the alchemists would actually find one, so the Crown made a pre-emptive strike (you know, in case someone begins producing gold in copious quantities, which would drive the price down). If any of those alchemists succeeded in finding a solution (right guys?), they're probably very slowly selling their products off, to keep the demand high.

Re:Good luck with that! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40979849)

>>>Right up until nuclear transmutation makes it as worthless as dirt. And it *is* coming fast.

I'll be that right next to my flying car (which I should have had in the 1970s if predictions in the 1920s World Fairs had been accurate).

Re:Good luck with that! (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 years ago | (#40979509)

Yeah, in a bank, sure...

Good luck with that.

Re:Good luck with that! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979645)

Gold stored in a bank is no more valuable than wheat, guns, and fresh water. Perhaps a little more compact, but I see little difference between trusting the banks when they hand me a note of currency and when they hand me a piece of paper promising that they're sitting on a lump of metal for me.

Re:Good luck with that! (4, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40979693)

Gold stored in a bank is the only money you can count on

not really no. Gold can float in price wildly (http://goldprice.org/charts/history/gold_10_year_o_usd.png ). That's only a 10 year, during which gold has done very well, until the 2008 crash, and then it's been down 15% or so since then.

Gold (and diamonds) are just commodities like any other. Sometimes they do well, sometimes they do badly. In the same 10 years gold has gone from the 300-400 ish (not sure exactly for 2002) to 1600 roughly a factor of 4-5, oil has gone from 22 to 93 dollars a barrel (with a spike in between just like gold) which is a factor of 4 and a bit.

http://inflationdata.com/inflation/inflation_rate/historical_oil_prices_table.asp If you notice, in 1998 oil was just under 12 dollars a barrel. It went up to 27 in 2000, dropped to 20 ish and then has a long climb since.

So ok, we looked at some 10 year trends and proved lots of commodities swing wildly, including fake money (gold). Now lets have some real fun. Lets look at the price of gold since the unification of germany (1871) on an inflation adjusted (rather than just nominal) basis http://www.vanguardblog.com/2010.07.26/gold-rush.html now that's interesting. Notice the batshit crazy spikes in the late 70's and 2010. Uh huh. That doesn't mean it will go down, but if you'd bought gold in 1981 and needed to retire 20 years later you would have lost most of your buying power.

Re:Good luck with that! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979881)

Its the value of the currency you are comparing gold to that is fluctuating wildly. Go compare the price of oil in gold, the price of other commodities in gold, etc. It is a stable store of value when compared to actual other valuable things.

Re:Good luck with that! (1, Offtopic)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40979947)

That's nice. Gold fluctuates, yes, but not as many as the paper dollar which has lost 95% of its value since 1913. You can take one-third-ounce of gold and buy yourself a nice wool suit. Ditto back in 1920. The value has remained almost constant. Suit == 1/3 ounce of gold.

In contrast it would take ~500 paper dollars to buy the same suit that would have only been ~25 dollars in 1920. The dollar's devalued.

The way to preserve your savings over the long term is to dump the Federal Reserve Note, which they are steadily eroding in value, and switch to something else that the Fed can't run off a printing press.

Re:Good luck with that! (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 years ago | (#40979701)

Just because something is shiny doesn't mean it inherently has value. And far from stable, gold's price goes up and down against the dollar. For instance $4,500 of gold purchased in the early 80s is currently worth around $1000 [goldprice.org] , after you take inflation into account.

If we ever live in an apocalyptic society where paper has lost all its value, I imagine a bank certificate for a shiny metal won't be worth nearly as much as maybe oil or a car or maybe a cool Master Blaster style outfit that comes with a dwarf.

Re:Good luck with that! (3, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40979755)

Gold isn't feasible. There simply isn't enough of it available to back all the money necessary for the modern economy.

With a gold-backed currency, a billion-dollar deal needs a billion dollars' worth of gold. That's about 0.5% of the world's total supply of gold, currently valued at about $180 billion. For reference, the United States alone currently has a money supply of about $2 trillion, more than ten times the world's supply of gold. Since the amount of available gold is relatively fixed (growing slowly, but nowhere near as fast as the economy grows), the increasing demand for money far outpaces the supply of gold. That means the gold standard deflates, where by simply holding on to money its value increases. Since trade is unlikely to be as profitable as doing nothing, the whole economy grinds to a halt. That means no commerce, no jobs, and a massive recession. But at least you have a shiny chunk of metal!

Diamonds are just as bad, but differently. Diamonds aren't rare. They aren't even particularly uncommon, except for enormous ones. Rather, their scarcity is artificially maintained by DeBeers, whose existence depends on maintaining that scarcity. Heck, synthetic diamonds are cheaply available for industrial use, so any use of diamonds as money is effectively turning tools into cash overnight.

Re:Good luck with that! (1)

Shados (741919) | about 2 years ago | (#40979843)

Diamonds are just as bad, but differently. Diamonds aren't rare. They aren't even particularly uncommon, except for enormous ones. Rather, their scarcity is artificially maintained by DeBeers, whose existence depends on maintaining that scarcity. Heck, synthetic diamonds are cheaply available for industrial use, so any use of diamonds as money is effectively turning tools into cash overnight.

And jewelry grade synthetics are starting to show up. The ones I've seen were still brutally expensive (relatively speaking), but since they tend to be better in every way than the natural one, are cheaper than the (extremely rare) natural equivalent.

Re:Good luck with that! (1)

arose (644256) | about 2 years ago | (#40979823)

How in the world do you goldbugs manage to ignore the hundreds if not thousands of years of silver currency? And since when do you trust a bank to not lie to you if some of their gold gets stolen? It's not even money, just another commodity (and no, that is not the same at all), I'd rather have proper, diversified investments.

Re:Good luck with that! (2)

stymy (1223496) | about 2 years ago | (#40979941)

If you really want a safe investment, then it should be something with intrinsic value. Gold does not have many industrial applications and so it is NOT a safe investment, as once people realize that it is almost worthless, it will be. In contrast, platinum has many industrial applications and so while its price is more volatile, it will always retain a good part of its value.

No Gold Bullet (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#40979953)

Gold stored in a bank is the only money you can count on.

So, what, our entire economic system is a mistake? Because there's not enough gold to keep the world economy going.

BTW, it's simply not true that gold never loses value except through increased supplies. Look at the price of gold in the markets — it goes up and down all the time. Fluctuations with respect to fiat currency may not impress you, but these shifts represent real changes in gold's ability to be exchanged for stuff you really need.

Yeah, gold backed currency is more resistant to inflation than fiat currency. But when the economy expands and the money supply doesn't you end up with deflation. Where inflation erodes your savings, deflation erodes your ability to sell stuff, because everybody's waiting for it to get even cheaper. If I have to chose between the two, I'll choose inflation.

Re:No Gold Bullet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40980031)

Why do you want people to buy stuff they don't really want or need? I still bought a new computer even though I know I could get it for half the price a few years later. Why? Because I want it more than the money. It seems like deflation would reduce waste of resources to me...

Re:Good luck with that! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40979981)

Gold stored in a bank is the only money you can count on.

What property of gold gives it its value? The fact that it's a limited commodity? Does that mean any limited commodity would make a good currency?

How much gold do you think there is in the world? Do you know that the derivatives market alone is worth about $800 trillion? How much would an ounce of gold have to be worth if the entire economy were to be backed with gold? And if it was made valuable enough to support the entire economy, a person's salary would be measured in an amount of gold too small to see without a microscope.

Of all the silly notions from the radical economic Right, a "gold standard" is very close to the silliest. A modern economy based on gold would be much more unstable than a fiat currency.

The value of all things is fungible. Why shouldn't currency also be so? Do you believe an economy based on gold would have prevented the worldwide economic collapse in 2007-08? How? The fact that gold is a relatively fixed supply does not mean it's value is any less arbitrary.

Re:Good luck with that! (3, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 2 years ago | (#40980089)

Gold has no more intrinsic value than paper money. In the event of a total social and economic collapse, no one is going to trade you food, medicine, tools, land, weapons, or services for shiny metal.

If we avoid total meltdown over the next few years, the value of gold will fall just like it did after its peak in the early 80s.

Re:Good luck with that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979431)

"That is a problem [with?] a virtual currency not official backed by any government, bank, or mega-corp, and is not legally tied to any hard valued currency, fungible commodity, or hard product."

I'm amazed that you would mention qualities of currencies that have many examples of failure and customer loss as justification for why one that lacks those qualities is doomed to suffer those very failures and losses.

The fact that there is this contention is exactly why such currencies as this one have so much more potential. Businesses are beholden to consumers and shareholders in a way that is far more genuine than in situations concerning those types of currencies you describe. The fact that only the customer himself and the service provider are involved itself is a huge improvement. The parties responsible cannot dismiss responsibility for their losses by stealing from others through legal monopolies on counterfeiting and the like. This keeps the parties involved more careful. The customer will choose as much risk as he prefers, the provider will insure what he can, and the aggressor(hackers in this case) will be pursued for damage compensation. Rather than steal from others, the parties involved must find peaceful and cooperative means of dealing with these risks. This doesn't mean all such currencies will flourish, in fact it means many poorly designed ones will fail. That is as it should be, if one wants better currencies to arise.

Re:Good luck with that! (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#40979977)

Does anyone really know if the site was actually hacked and the site owner did not just do a runner with the deposits held by Bitcoinica?

A few questions (0)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#40979243)

So how are these bit-coin exchanges different from those virtual second-life "banks"?
Did people truly expect a different result?
What is the definition of insanity?

Re:A few questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979457)

Honestly, I'd rather have Linden Dollars than BitCoins.

Re:A few questions (2)

Statecraftsman (718862) | about 2 years ago | (#40979925)

Second life currency cannot be stored outside Linden Labs system. It is just an entry in their database. With Bitcoin, you have your private keys and any money assigned to them is under your sole control. Of course, you may place your private keys in a foolish place but it is your duty to yourself to take precautions in relation to the value therein.

I'm not familiar with second-life banks but I doubt they were truly able to hold SLL so that they were under their sole control. Linden Labs could always claim TOS violation and remove the money from their account. Not so with Bitcoin which is why you keep hearing about the system. It's a genuinely different virtual currency.

Re:A few questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979939)

The definition of insanity is repeating that trite "definition of insanity" aphorism over and over again.

Anyhow, it's stupid. Insane people are erratic. Doing the same thing over and over again based on abstract reasoning and prediction is an evolutionary adaptation which has placed humans at the top of the food chain, but which is occasionally ill suited.

Bitcoin exchanges, maybe. (1)

robbak (775424) | about 2 years ago | (#40980049)

Exchanges are a weak point, I'll grant you. They are all new companies who have not built up much trust. But they are a necessary evil at present. At some time the bitcoin economy will grow to the point that anyone with bitcoins can use them to purchase products, and anyone who needs them can get paid for services with them, and the exchanges importance will shrink. And with bitcoin's deflationary tendency, those who have them will have an incentive to keep them in bitcoin, and not sell to a fiat.
Bitcoin itself: Its future is fixed by the whim of the internet, and its wish for a open e-cash. Even if bitcoin itself has a limited life, I don't see cryto-currencies ever disappearing, and I do see any replacement growing out of the bitcoin ecosystem, not from outside it.

free jobs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979251)

what Mike implied I'm amazed that you can profit $6543 in one month on the internet. have you read this webpage makecash16.com

Someone told them so... like everyone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979255)

Oh well, next ponzi scheme pleaz.

Re:Someone told them so... like everyone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979523)

what are you talking about?

Re:Someone told them so... like everyone! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979677)

He's talking about the Internet's definition of a Ponzi scheme, which is basically "a thing relating to money that I don't like".

They should only be able to sue for bitcoins. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979267)

(subject says it all)

Why not? (1)

robbak (775424) | about 2 years ago | (#40979937)

Perfectly reasonable. After all, you can get USD12 for a bitcoin at a number of places today. Although not all funds lost were in bitcoins, however, some were in fiat balances in their accounts; and forcing any loosing defendants to buy bitcoins to pay plaintiffs who might prefer USD anyway seems silly to me.

Approximte value? (5, Funny)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | about 2 years ago | (#40979273)

+/- $180,000.

Other estimates calculate the loss at "ham sandwich and a glass of milk".

Scooped (1, Insightful)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | about 2 years ago | (#40979289)

By every other tech site on the web days ago.

Re:Scooped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979565)

The announcement came as news to me, but that can probably be explained by the fact that I don't read tech sites.

Would HOSTS file have prevented this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979293)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, She is Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.

Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.

Disproof of all apk's statements: http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40946043
http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040729&cid=40949719
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040697&cid=40949343
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040597&cid=40948659
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3037687&cid=40947927
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040425&cid=40946755
http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40946043
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038791&cid=40942439
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3024445&cid=40942207
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038597&cid=40942031
http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038601&cid=40942085
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040803&cid=40950045
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040867&cid=40950563
http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040921&cid=40950839
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041035&cid=40951899
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041081&cid=40952169
http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041091&cid=40952383
http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40952991
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041313&cid=40954201
http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042199&cid=40956625
http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029723&cid=40897177
http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029589&cid=40894889
http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3027333&cid=40886171
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042451&cid=40959497
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042547&cid=40960279
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042669&cid=40962027
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042765&cid=40965091
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042765&cid=40965087
http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3043535&cid=40967049
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3044971&cid=40972117
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3044971&cid=40972271
http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3045075&cid=40972313
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3045349&cid=40973979
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3046181&cid=40978835
AND MANY MORE

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words

alexander peter kowalski
903 east division st.
syracuse, ny 13208

dob: 01/31/1965

mother:
jan kowalski
dob: 12/03/1933

Bit-what? (1)

moozey (2437812) | about 2 years ago | (#40979299)

I still don't understand the worth of Bitcoins and probably never will.

Re:Bit-what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979337)

The plaintiffs sued for actual money, so that says a thing or two about what they think Bitcoins are worth too.

Re:Bit-what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979343)

They are "blue butter" ( a swindlers term) for geeks...

Re:Bit-what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979437)

please explain, I see a lot of rejection of bitcoin and calling it a scam and such without any clear explanation of what is meant or evidence.

Re:Bit-what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979351)

1 bit coin is currently worth 11 dollars.

Re:Bit-what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979841)

As another AC noted, why aren't they suing for 16364 bitcoins then?

Re:Bit-what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979373)

It's not that hard. Just read the FAQs at the bitcoin.org home page. It's all open source code, available for free from that site. As of today, one bitcoin is worth about $11.20 US.

Re:Bit-what? (1)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#40979383)

I still don't understand the worth of Bitcoins and probably never will.

As with most collectible things, the worth of Bitcoins is simply the value that folks collecting them assign to it.
Like all collectibles, if/when people don't value them anymore, they will be worthless (just like beanie babies).

Re:Bit-what? (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 years ago | (#40979527)

or dollar bills.

Re:Bit-what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979863)

or dollar bills.

Although dollar bills (or dollar coins) may not have much collectible value in the long run either, the electronic number associated with them in your bank account will likely maintain more relative collectible value than bitcoins over the long run...

Re:Bit-what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979961)

That is based on your own subjective priors. Are you really more informed than the people involved in creating, testing, and experimenting with a new currency? Most likely not.

Re:Bit-what? (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | about 2 years ago | (#40979989)

Except that bitcoins don't just sit in a cabinet looking pretty. The purpose they serve is to send value from one party to another without requiring the trust of any third party. Transfers happen within an hour or two with fees ranging from 0-1% depending on if you're starting and/or ending with bitcoins.

If bitcoins become worthless in the future, it will only be because another decentralized payment system (probably based on Bitcoin) will have made a significant improvement. People are trying all the time to release a new Bitcoin with some more attractive properties but the system is very good, it's hard to improve upon while still maintaining the decentralized, trust-free essence at its core.

Re:Bit-what? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979403)

US dollars have no intrinsic value. They're worth something because everyone thinks they're worth something. More specifically, they're worth something because someone who has something I want is prepared to swap ("sell") that for US dollars.

Bitcoins are the same. Except there are millions of people who use US dollars, and legal/political institutions dedicated to making sure they work. There are only a relatively tiny number of people trading Bitcoins, and there's no legal/political backing.

The US $ is "Too Big To Fail". Bitcoins aren't.

Re:Bit-what? (1)

trumpetplayer (520581) | about 2 years ago | (#40979443)

Ask Kennedy.

Re:Bit-what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979669)

Think of it as an ant farm of economics.
The Bitliebers are the ants, industriously toiling away at their little designs, almost like real businesspeople.
Meanwhile you can watch them, be amused, and think about what they can teach us about our own society. It's first-class edutainment!

I offer to cover their full losses (4, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#40979309)

The only catch is that the settlement will be paid out in Trepidicoins.

Good timing (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979319)

I guess if you're going to claim damages for a virtual goods, the inflation phase of a bubble is as good a time as any.
Wouldn't do to wait too long either, or you'll get your damages in shoe strings and bubble gum.

I note too the hilarious claim in TFA that "BitCoins have generally hovered at a price of around $14 to $17".
Bitcoins have generally hovered around zilch, except for a brief investment bubble around last July, after which they have hovered around $5 until a recent and presumably temporary uptake.

How Many Bitcoins Do You Need? (2)

Improbus (1996348) | about 2 years ago | (#40979339)

I am thinking of purchasing some bitcoins to travel the turnpike called: Silk Road. I think I can keep that many bitcoins safe in my own AES encrypted storage.

Re:How Many Bitcoins Do You Need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979421)

Enjoy your journey, fellow traveler! I'm sure you will find whatever you seek at the market down that road. Just remember to back up your encrypted wallet in multiple locations when venturing into the darknet.

Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#40979371)

Bullshit. $180,000? Dream on.

Here's the thing: Bitcoins are nothing and nothing is worth exactly that.

Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple.

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979389)

that's false

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979485)

"Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plain and simple."

There, I fixed that for the OP

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979655)

no they're not.

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979495)

Any, um, sources to back you up there, fellow?

Or are you just going to state your opinion and turn tail?

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979617)

A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public

Noone is promising anything. Use bitcoins if you find them useful, invest in them if you think more people will use them later on or they will hold value better than other investments, etc.

Bitcoins provide an easy way to transfer money around the world for very cheap, as well as avoid paying the current banking system (which many people think is morally bankrupt). The tradeoff is lack of chargebacks and waiting for transfers to be confirmed (~1 hr), you can use escrow but that will add fees.

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

casings (257363) | about 2 years ago | (#40979705)

Funny how you're not asking the same thing to the OP since I didn't see a single source to backup his assertions. But then again you're a moron.

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979857)

You're right, it's more of a ponzi scheme.

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979637)

Pyramid scheme? You mean like the U.S. Treasury's fiat money?

2-dimensional thinking (1)

Golgafrinchan (777313) | about 2 years ago | (#40979679)

Bullshit. $180,000? Dream on.

Here's the thing: Bitcoins are nothing and nothing is worth exactly that.

Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple.

Ok, you made your point. But these former customers have a right to line up and demand a solid answer to their complaints.

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979689)

s/Bitcoin/The U.S. dollar/

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979691)

So it's not on the level then? What a shame, Bitcone seemed like it would round out online payments for business.

Hope a square deal shows up down the line.

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979805)

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ#Is_Bitcoin_a_Ponzi_scheme.3F

Re:Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, plane and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979877)

Bitcoin is a pyramid

plane and simple

I see what you did there.

Bitcoin is a ponzi/pyramid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979425)

And I thought you people figured something out after the last related article. All the idiots are back ready to talk about things they don't understand.

Wow... (1)

mark_elf (2009518) | about 2 years ago | (#40979829)

I never thought this would happen.

bet (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#40979845)

Who wants to bet that the SEC will stomp in and claim that bitcoins are an illegal security?

No, because I don't see them as a security. (1)

robbak (775424) | about 2 years ago | (#40980069)

And if the SEC did, I don't see the Internet taking much notice of them!

I'd like to hear from Bitcoinica's defenders (1)

arose (644256) | about 2 years ago | (#40979901)

Back when this happened there was a sizable number of people claiming that this was merely a small fraction of Bitcoinica's volume and how it's not a big deal at all, etc. Care to explain why they are now closed and being sued?

Bitconica was shady bucket shop from the start (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40979985)

Note that on this so-called "exchange" you could never actually convert Bitcoins to any other currency. Sure you could "sell" your coins, but you had to buy new Bitcoins to ever get your money out. Mainly Bitconica was used by people trying to short Bitcoins or dollars. This kind of arrangement is known as a bucket shop [wikipedia.org] and has been illegal for a very long time for very good reasons. Namely the people running the site can always manipulate the exchange rates to clean you out, and therefor pocket all your money.

Of course, the 17 year old kid running the whole thing always said that trades went out to real exchanges, but the volume on other exchanges never was anything near what was required for that to be plausible. Meanwhile the whole time people were "zoutong'd" whenever the alleged exchange rate went against their bets.

The whole thing is shady as fuck, although to the credit of Bitcoin people, a lot were asking questions about the thing right from day one, see here [bitcointalk.org] and here [bitcointalk.org] . (the latter is one of Bitcoins main developers)

Surprised! (1)

knownware (2707439) | about 2 years ago | (#40980015)

I can't believe that much money was stolen. It further sets back BitCoin from ever becoming mainstream.

and.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40980019)

and nobody cared because all they could do was use the BTC's to buy drugs off Silkroads or donate to the FSF..

Bitcoinica wasn't an exchange, it was a scam (5, Interesting)

retep (108840) | about 2 years ago | (#40980109)

Ever heard of the term "bucket shop" [wikipedia.org] ? That's exactly how Bitconica functioned. Sure you could sell, or sell on margin, your Bitcoins for imaginary US dollars, but you couldn't never withdraw or deposit anything but Bitcoins. What went on was people would use the margin given to them by Bitconica to speculate on the price of Bitcoin, then they'd conveniently lose their whole positions whenever the market went against them, which is quite easy to do if you happen to have everyones Bitcoins to manipulate the market with. This happened so often that a new term was invented for it: zhou tonged [reuters.com] , named in honor of the 17 year old kid running the site. (seriously, 17!) Hell, even in the Bitcoin community lots of people were calling them out on this right from the start, for instance here [bitcointalk.org] is a post by one of the main devs, obviously concerned about all the other scams that of course have cropped up using bitcoin. Speaking of, wait'll you see the press when the pyramid scheme known as "Bitcoin Savings and Trust" fails, as it of course will given it pays out %3400 a year. [bitcointalk.org]

Personally I'd suggest you use your Bitcoins for something reputable, like buying pot, getting cash out of Argentina or donating to wikileaks. All this investment non-sense, as opposed to just using the currency for moving value around digitally, is getting out of hand.

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