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Flattr Adds Support For Funding In Bitcoin

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the in-case-you-wanted-give-nothing dept.

Bitcoin 60

An anonymous reader writes "Swedish startup Flattr, which offers an 'online tipjar' service, has announced it has added partial support for Bitcoin: you can now fund your account with the virtual currency. Furthermore, the company is considering adding the option to withdraw in Bitcoins too, but it first wants to gauge its community's desire for the feature on Twitter."

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Well, yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201817)

I mean, not to shoot a fart out of my very own asshole, but I made quite a bit of money off of Bitcoins thanks to the fact that I began mining when it was easy.

Re:Well, yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202109)

Congratulations for your success. :)

Pay the piper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201849)

Be sure to track it all for the IRS (if you're an American). Just a friendly reminder from one citizen to another. They want their cut, badly. They're very serious about this. Don't fuck with them!

Re:Pay the piper (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44202455)

Same as with any other currency- if you make money, you owe the government taxes on it. No different from canadian dollars, pesos, euros, etc. I don't know why people were even surprised.

Re:Pay the piper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202975)

> you owe the government

Owe implies that the debt is legitimate. I know more owe the government taxes than I owe the mafia protection money.

Re:Pay the piper (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44203119)

Tell you what, you can not owe taxes once you promise to never use a road again, never buy anything that was transported to you on a road paid for by the government again, waive all minimum wage and employment laws, repay your education starting from kindergarden with interest, waive all police, fire, emergency and other services, waive your right to ever use the court for any reason, and you can only use goods (including food) from places that have no regulatory structure and inspections.

Until the STFU and pay your god damn taxes.

Re:Pay the piper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203401)

The brainwashing runs deep with this one.

Show me proof that the 16th amendment was ratified by the several states, (3/4ths or 38 states) and I will gladly pay federal income tax. The problem is you can't. [thelawthatneverwas.com]

So until you can, the parent relating taxes to mafia protection money is dead on.

Re:Pay the piper (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44203661)

ROFL. Oh dear gods you're one of those. Sorry, the world isn't out to get you. But tell you what- anytime you're tired of paying, feel free to leave. We'd be a better country with fewer of the insane around.

Re:Pay the piper (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#44205777)

Same as with any other currency- if you make money, you owe the government taxes on it. No different from canadian dollars, pesos, euros, etc. I don't know why people were even surprised.

Unless you're the federal reserve or the IRS, both above the law corporations.

Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairness (0, Offtopic)

deego (587575) | about a year ago | (#44201851)

Every bitcoin article is full of "insightful" posts mentioning how it's a ponzi - viz. early adopters benefit at the expense of others.

How can people, on one hand call investors "suckers taking crazy risk with a nerdy fantasy currency" and in the same breath call them "unfair beneficiaries of an early adopter scheme" when their risk actually pays off?

No one stopped you from investing in bitcoins or getting in early (and no one is stopping you now, either). You didn't do it because you were averse to the risk. So, stop complaining about how it's "unfair."

This is like a bailout in reverse: Take the risk that goes with speculation, but Lose you lose, and win you get accused of unfairness.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201857)

Mostly, every BitCoin story is filled with comments like YOURS.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Megor1 (621918) | about a year ago | (#44201879)

Except the initial investment was a tiny amount of CPU time. The person who wrote the original software made a ton of BC when it took no cost to create them. And who created the bitcoin software? We don't know but I'm sure they are having fun selling off coins they got for free to suckers who just finished eating their tulip bulbs.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (3, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year ago | (#44201921)

And who created the bitcoin software? We don't know but I'm sure they are having fun selling off coins they got for free to suckers who just finished eating their tulip bulbs.

And I'm sure you are having fun using tulip bulbs to send money across the globe. Bitcoins are a means of payment, not some silly collectables.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201951)

I hope you aren't insulting my Dale Earnhardt collector plates.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (1)

Isara (869637) | about a year ago | (#44202049)

And I'm sure you are having fun using tulip bulbs to send money across the globe. Bitcoins are a means of payment, not some silly collectables.

um, you do know the history of tulip bulbs, right?

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202313)

Yes, and tulip bulbs didn't allow for secure, instantaneous, verifiable payment over the Internet.

The primary risk for bitcoin is from governments, not lack of utility.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (3, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44202465)

No, 100% of the risk is lack of utility. My supermarket, the local restaurants, and none of the places I spend money day to day take it. So its utility is 0. In fact its less than 0- I understand cash. With bitcoin I have to understand and deal with these "exchanges" things and make my purchases semi-public, where in real life I just hand them anonymous multi-colored pieces of paper. In fact I can't even pay for something unless I have an internet connection at hand. No thanks.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (1)

Znork (31774) | about a year ago | (#44202645)

And my supermarket, the local restaurants and none of the places I spend money day to day take pounds. So their utility... oh, wait.

Bitcoin is equivalent to foreign cash and there certainly are enough places that take them so they do not lack utility any more than any other foreign currency (that could be instantly transferred across the world) would.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#44207663)

I agree. Bitcoin is a lot like this foreign currency [wikipedia.org] .

Re: Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairn (2)

Karsten Deppert (2974115) | about a year ago | (#44203585)

Well, now with Flattr supporting bitcoin, you actually can pay someone with bitcoins... (without them needing to be aware of bitcoins themselves, as they will receive the money as euros).

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44204083)

You understand cash? I very much doubt that. Otherwise you would be aware that you have to use a money market exchange in order to obtain cash in your local currency if all you hold is a different currency. And that you don't need an exchange if you for some reason happen to already hold the currency that you want to spend, with bitcoin just as with any other currency.

If you happen to only buy from people who don't accept bitcoin, then maybe bitcoin just isn't for you, just as USD isn't for me because my local supermarket only wants EUR. Doesn't mean that either is useless--if anything, it's useless to you. Also, the fact that my local supermarket only accepts EUR does not prevent me from accepting payment in USD for services I sell to the US. Just as with BTC, I can then sell those on the foreign exchange market for EUR that I can spend at the supermarket (while at the same time my foreign exchange trade partner will be able to spend the USD I sold him at his local supermarket that probably doesn't want to have his EUR).

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201937)

Except the initial investment was a tiny amount of CPU time. The person who wrote the original software made a ton of BC when it took no cost to create them.

Not to mention having a great idea and taking the time to implement it.

If that's so trivial, then why didn't you do it first?

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201953)

No, the initial investment was not a tiny amount of CPU time. The initial investment was in watching out for a workable decentralized currency and potentially trying out a lot of stuff that failed until one day bitcoin came along and was actually semi-successful. You are looking at it now in hindsight, and that is heavily misleading. It's like saying that an oil company's investment was only a single drilling rig when they worked for years beforehand to figure out where to start drilling.

Also, currencies have a network effect and thus need a critical mass to ever be successful. So, it is highly likely that you need to incentivise early adopters in order to establish a successful currency because there is zero value in a currency that essentially noone accepts yet. A company trying to establish a product with a network effect usually does that by spending tons of their investors' money on incentivising early adopters, which later will be recouped from late adopters and paid back to the investors with interest/dividends/whatever for the risk that they have taken, so there is nothing unusual about bitcoin doing the same - it's just in the nature of a decentralized, independent system that the late adopters have to pay early adopters directly rather than that payment being obfuscated by a controlling company.

And finally: Are you suggesting that whoever invented bitcoin got all the time they invested in order to figure out the scheme and to write the software for free? Seriously? Or was your assumption that it took no time to build the software?

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202025)

ALL of this tedious ramble applies to Ponzi schemes too. Charles Ponzi himself put a fair amount of effort into designing his scheme, coughed up his own money to attract early investors, and then pissed away early investors' money on promotional activity.

It's just "in the nature" of of a Ponzi scheme that late adopters have to pay early adopters. If there were something with value outside the scheme being created, then it wouldn't be Ponzi - but bitcoin value is almost entirely determined by how many new people can be persuaded to obsess over bitcoins. It's not like a currency at all, because a currency's value is primarily determined by how useful it is or will be for buying stuff, and is traded on that basis. Any shares in any product/scheme can also used to pay people for stuff, but that doesn't make shares a currency - except by some daftly simplistic definition of "currency" which makes anything a currency.

The reason bitcoin hasn't been done before is because - contrary to popular belief - the majority of humans aren't entirely unscrupulous. "I can do it therefore it's okay to do it," is a dysfunctional thought process suffered by only a minority of people.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202677)

Great, I think we agree then that whether early adopters get an advantage is not a distinguishing trait of Ponzi schemes. I wasn't claiming to be showing evidence for BTC not being a Ponzi scheme, I simply was refuting the (implied) claim that that supposedly demonstrated that BTC was a Ponzi scheme.

Now, as for whether it is a currency or not. I guess you do recognize that this article is about the fact that there is one more thing (well, quite a load of things, actually, if you consider all the services that you can pay via flattr) that you can buy using BTC? I guess it's a bit early to call it a currency without any further qualification, but that at least is a further step in the direction of making it a currency.

People "obsessing over it" also is not all that useful as a binary distinguisher. It's not exactly unheard of that people do move the valuation of state-backed currencies by pure speculation. That obviously is not something you want much of in something that is to be used as a currency, but that does not mean that it doesn't happen. Now, it may well be that there (still?) is too much of that in bitcoin, which may make it a bad choice for long-term storage of wealth, for example, or for large transactions. But that (a) does not mean that it's completely unlike a currency, (b) also doesn't mean that growing transaction volume linked to the real economy such as reported in this article couldn't move things into the more currency-like domain and (c) also doesn't mean that it has no value whatsoever at the moment.

Bitcoin is a perfectly usable mechanism for the fast and cheap global transfer of small amounts of money, and it's better at that than most other systems in use for the same purpose. I guess that is all that it needs to show that it creates a value outside the scheme.

Now, there is a chance that the volume of real economic transactions happening through bitcoin will increase, and when that happens, one can expect that to stabilize the value, which in turn might make it a viable option even for large payments, and ultimately at some point maybe even for long-term storage of wealth, just as with other currencies. Until then, of course, you would be an idiot for storing your savings in BTC. Just as you would be an idiot for storing your savings in zimbabwean dollars, even though those quite clearly are/were a currency.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201989)

Some guys invested a couple of hundred dollars in stocks and now own a fortune. I don't see the difference really. Why didn't you invest that CPU time? Come on! It was really tiny! Oh, you were busy paying stuff with Paypal and VISA, were you?

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44205151)

Investor or speculator buys stock in a company, company performs useful and profit-generating function for society, value of company rises, early speculators make lots of money.

Clueless speculator buys bitcoin, bitcoin network wastes tons of electricity and developer time, hype cycle increases demand for bitcoin, early speculators make lots of money.

Do you really not see a difference between a positive-sum and a negative-sum game?

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202003)

Not true, because all transactions are public, you can see that Satoshi has not sent any of his original Bitcoins anywhere. This is not to say he will never do that, but if he would, he would have done it by now.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202043)

And who created the bitcoin software? We don't know but I'm sure they are having fun selling off coins they got for free to suckers who just finished eating their tulip bulbs.

The creator of the software is presumed to have earned about 1 million BTC (currently worth around 50-100 million USD) but he hasn't spent any of it [wordpress.com] . So he's either dead, a true believer in his baby, or paranoid about his privacy and personal implications of being associated with Bitcoin.

So it's not Satoshi or the group calling themselves that who are cashing in. It's the early adopter crowd who saw the massive potential of a speculative investment to attract other speculators. These people have done nothing to improve the technical side of Bitcon, they are too busy talking their book and trying to convince everyone how Bitcoin is the next big thing.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202601)

So he's either dead, a true believer in his baby, or paranoid about his privacy and personal implications of being associated with Bitcoin.

Or he forgot to back up his wallet, suffered a hard disk crash and now all those bitcoins are lost forever...

(Or until someone cracks the encryption)...

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about a year ago | (#44202641)

If he were to even attempt to withdraw any of it in the form of USD then there would be a monumental crash. The bitcoins wouldn't even be worth the effort to open up the wallet file.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a year ago | (#44202073)

And who created the bitcoin software? We don't know but I'm sure they are having fun selling off coins they got for free to suckers who just finished eating their tulip bulbs.

So... the inventor of Bitcoin might get rich from it, therefore it is bad?

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203945)

Therefor it's suspect. It is just another papercut.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201965)

on one hand call investors "suckers taking crazy risk with a nerdy fantasy currency" and in the same breath call them "unfair beneficiaries of an early adopter scheme" when their risk actually pays off?

The two groups don't necessarily need to coincide. There's a tiny group of early adopters that amassed a large quantity of coins almost for free, and there's a bulk of sucker investors who hope they too can get in 'early' before bitcoin hits 1000$, 1 million or whatever. The whole scheme is predicated on the search of a greater fool, and each individual investor is either one of the greatest fools or one of the unfair beneficiaries of a later supply of fools, but not both.

The technology behind Bitcoin is amazing and the Ponzi scheme was a great way to popularize cryptocurrency. Now that the precedent is created, people should stop hoarding these things and use them as intended, for trade and protecting individual privacy. If the deflationary nature of Bitcoin precludes price stability, let's work on a more stable alternative that does not work like a Ponzi.

Re:Bitcoin: a ponzi, and/or early adpoter unfairne (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about a year ago | (#44202649)

It might not be a ponzi scheme, but it does carry an absurd amount of risk. The fact that people are getting wildly rich from "investing" in bitcoins proves that they are unfit for their original purpose as a currency. Currencies have to be stable in order to be useful. The massive swings we've been seeing mean that bitcoins aren't even close to stable.

Withdrawing in Bitcoins would be great but... (1)

suso (153703) | about a year ago | (#44201865)

Given the nature of bitcoins I'm not sure how this would work. Not everyone would be able to do it or there would be limited supply and shortages once in a while. Might be kinda interesting.

Re:Withdrawing in Bitcoins would be great but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201915)

I'm assuming the account has a balance in dollars. If a bunch of people try and withdraw in bitcoins, the price of bitcoins will go up such that the available bitcoins can provide enough dollar value (and then likely crash screwing over the customer, but I really doubt everyone would want to withdraw at once, partly because of that effect).

If the account has a balance measured in bitcoins, but Flatter holds the money in dollars (or at least partly so) they are effectively selling futures in bitcoins, and thats a very risky thing to do! (Selling futures is one of those nasty investments that can suffer unbounded losses)

Re:Withdrawing in Bitcoins would be great but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202013)

You can add funds using bitcoins, so your coins are converted to EUR after adding them. You then tip in EUR. Which is not the right way IMO, tipping should be via BTC and people should be able to earn BTC with it.

Re:Withdrawing in Bitcoins would be great but... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44202303)

You can add funds using bitcoins, so your coins are converted to EUR after adding them. You then tip in EUR. Which is not the right way IMO, tipping should be via BTC and people should be able to earn BTC with it.

yes, it's now just a system that sells the bitcoin you send instantly. of course the receiver I suppose could buy btc with it..

Re:Withdrawing in Bitcoins would be great but... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44202479)

No, its completely the right way. Face facts- most people don't know what bitcoins are, and don't want them. They want real money- euros, dollars, etc. By automatically converting you're able to pay in BTC and the recipient gets what he wants. Very, very, very few recipients would use it if they had to be paid in BTC.

Bitcoin tip jar is trivial (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201881)

Why do you need a service to accept bitcoin tips? Just put a bitcoin address on your site. Its trivial. There are lots of issues with bicoins, but ease of accepting them is not one.

How to get them though? (1)

John Burton (2974729) | about a year ago | (#44201919)

I'd love to use bitcoin more but I'm having a hard time getting any. Where is there that still sells them easily in the UK? Most of the places seem to have closed..

Re:How to get them though? (1)

ribuck (943217) | about a year ago | (#44202095)

I'd love to use bitcoin more but I'm having a hard time getting any

An easy way to get bitcoins is to sell your second-hand stuff for bitcoins at http://bitmit.net/ [bitmit.net]

Re:How to get them though? (1)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year ago | (#44202337)

The way I got most of my bitcoins was signing up at the bitcoin forums (back when they still hung off the bitcoin.org domain) and replying to people asking for work to be done in exchange for bitcoins. I did some web work (like convert a static HTML site to WordPress) and got paid. Brilliant.
The forums still sometimes have people posting opportunities like that. You should check it out. Though, the type of work you do might not be web work, but whatever sort of work you're able to do over a network.

Re: How to get them though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44207229)

UK regulations have shut down most opportunities for exchange in the UK.

I buy/sell Bitcoins to individuals for euros, and one of my customers is in the UK. He uses Transferwise to send the money to my bank account. Apparently they have good conversion rates and low transfer costs.

If you're interested, shoot me a mail and we'll figure everything out! Nuntius.Marii@Gmail.com

PS: my feedback rating is visible here: http://bitcoin-otc.com/viewratingdetail.php?nick=Mqrius
You can see is traded thousands of Bitcoins without issues.

Wrong direction (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#44202069)

A site that *gives* you Bitcoins would be far more popular than the site that *takes* them. Currently, to get BTC you need to buy them in Japan, and they are expensive. It's much easier to do nothing and ignore this tip jar and the entire BTC economy, since they are not influential.

BTC doesn't save you money on a gallon of milk; but it would be all the rage if that changes. But first the BTC network must solve some fundamental problems, such as how to get an instant confirmation of a transaction. Credit cards do it well under 5 seconds; you cannot tell people to linger at the store for 10-15 minutes, it's not even physically possible. There are also other problems, such as security of the terminals, and security of the network, and lack of arbitration if things go wrong (you paid, they haven't received - what now?) and, of course, transaction fees.

Re:Wrong direction (1)

Linsaran (728833) | about a year ago | (#44202203)

I think it's unlikely that BTC will ever be used in a brick and mortar environment, but see my arguments about transaction fees below. OTOH for web based transactions if someone is ordering physical goods it's a non-issue to wait for some confirmations to hit the network (I mean by the time you have their product boxed up and ready for shipping the transaction would have already been confirmed), and if they're ordering some web based service, you can probably grant the user instant access without confirmation and just revoke it if there seems to be a double spend attempt or some other fishiness going on.

As far as security goes, that's no different than dealing with security in any other financial environment, banks deal with it, credit card companies deal with it, wall street deals with it; if it doesn't want to have it's reputation dragged through the mud and very likely go out of business, any company dealing with BTC (or any sort of money) should be putting at least as much effort into security.

Transaction fees are largely irrelevant when dealing with BTC, right now they're entirely voluntary, but even if I choose to pay say .001 BTC as a transaction fee (again completely optional) with a BTC transaction, that translates to less than $0.10 USD by current exchange rates. More importantly the purpose of transaction fees is to make sure your transaction as a consumer is rapidly accepted by the network. On the other hand, most credit card companies charge 1-3% on their processing fees, which is paid by the merchant for the privilege of allowing their customers to use their services. Even if we weren't talking about apples and oranges here, the break even mark would be a purchase of about $10 USD or apx. .1 BTC if we presume a minimum 1% processing fee for the credit card companies. On larger purchases the transaction fee for BTC remains the same (and still voluntary), while the credit card processing fees grow larger and larger.

Now for a brick-and-mortar store the instantaneous processing of a credit card has some benefits such as instant confirmation, which may very well make it 'worth it' for a store/customer to pay that sort of processing fee, vs waiting for confirmations to hit the BTC network, and I think that's a perfectly valid trade off. It would however be possible to set up a sort of BTC payment processor in that you pre-pay some BTC into an account and transactions are validated by that processor for transactions requiring 'instant' approval. In my mind this is mostly reinventing the wheel (credit card companies already exist) and invalidates the reason to use BTC in the first place (low to no transaction fees, the processing company has to make money somehow), but this COULD happen as an option to allow brick and mortar's to offer instant confirmation.

Re:Wrong direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202233)

What instantaneous processing of a credit card?
As a store owner, you have to wait *months* before you can be decently sure to not get hit with a dispute on a charge.

Re:Wrong direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202315)

I think it's unlikely that BTC will ever be used in a brick and mortar environment, but see my arguments about transaction fees below. OTOH for web based transactions if someone is ordering physical goods it's a non-issue to wait for some confirmations to hit the network (I mean by the time you have their product boxed up and ready for shipping the transaction would have already been confirmed), and if they're ordering some web based service, you can probably grant the user instant access without confirmation and just revoke it if there seems to be a double spend attempt or some other fishiness going on.

As far as security goes, that's no different than dealing with security in any other financial environment, banks deal with it, credit card companies deal with it, wall street deals with it; if it doesn't want to have it's reputation dragged through the mud and very likely go out of business, any company dealing with BTC (or any sort of money) should be putting at least as much effort into security.

The problem is that with bitcoins, I have to deal with it. I don't want to. I want a simple method of payment that guarantees me my money back if something goes wrong.

Re:Wrong direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202435)

Oh, and a pony.

Re:Wrong direction (1)

Lordpidey (942444) | about a year ago | (#44202779)

>The problem is that with bitcoins, I have to deal with it. I don't want to. I want a simple method of payment that guarantees me my money back if something goes wrong. And I want a simple method of payment that once it's in my account, I know it's in my account, and not subject to removal up to six months later.

Winklevoss twins are trying to get out (1, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#44202149)

While personally I view Bitcoins as a great experiment, first step out of many that will be taken that will in fact free the individuals from the oppression of governments by giving many viable, easy to use and very attractive alternatives to all of the things that governments have usurped to themselves as monopoly power, there is currently something else that is happening with Bitcoins.

Winklevoss twins are trying to get out [cnn.com] of their gigantic position without crashing the market, they want to make tens of millions of dollars by selling a million or so Bitcoins by offering them via an ETF.

This is one thing that would separate the complete financial nubes from the rest: participating in this ETF.

There is not a single reason to buy ETFs if you want to bet on Bitcoins, all you need to do is buy Bitcoins themselves. An ETF makes sense when it is based around a commodity for example that has other costs associated with it, like cost of warehousing something. Say you want to buy coffee beans, you want 10 tons of them because you think the conditions are good for the prices to go up and you are going to make some money, but you don't want to store 10 tons of coffee beans and you don't want to pay various delivery fees, taxes maybe, etc. So then you can buy an ETF.

There is no such problem with Bitcoins, you store them in a file, the cost is already amortised into you owning a computer and an Internet connection and spending some time learning and installing some Bitcoin software. There is no reason for an ETF like that to exist but for the founders of it to get rid of their large position while trying to prevent market from collapsing in a short time period if they set a large sell order. So instead they create an ETF and have a pool of people buy the Bitcoins from them, it's all in that pool, outside of the rest of the market, that's their idea.

DO NOT FALL FOR IT, it's a stupid thing to do in case of Bitcoins.

Re:Winklevoss twins are trying to get out (0, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#44202167)

I'd like to add by linking to my comment from a while back about the need to be able to short Bitcoins in the market to smooth out volatility and increase market penetration [slashdot.org] . It is possible that ETF could be used for such a purpose, being able to borrow Bitcoins from people because ETF holds all the wallets and so giving the loans back would be centralised because storage is centralised.

However if it were anybody else but the Winklevoss, who hold a gigantic amount of Bitcoins, I would not view it in the same way. If an ETF was set up that had a specific purpose of trading Bitcoins in a centralised way where borrowing and shorting was possible, but the ETF itself did not start with a huge percentage of the entire Bitcoin market that it would be selling to the ETF buyers from its own wallet, then I could I guess see a potential for business there, but with these 2 holding on to a large percentage of all the actual Bitcoins in existence, I can't imagine that it would be a good deal for the ETF clients, it's just not, the twins are setting this up to sell you THEIR Bitcoins outside of the rest of the market.

Re:Winklevoss twins are trying to get out (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44202583)

well with the etf you have in theory someone to sue. I guess there's a bunch of foundations etc which can't by their rules invest in bitcoins directly but could in an etf...

they're putting themselves in a legal mess though - while probably avoiding the legal mess of selling 10 million dollars worth of bits.

Achievement Unlocked! (4, Funny)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#44202349)

Unknown Lamer posts an article about an unknown start-up offering an unheard of service which now accepts a unused currency.

I think we have our post of the month!

Re:Achievement Unlocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203397)

Flattr is hardly "unknown of" in the community that frequents Slashdot. Anyone following a planet aggregator or the likes for free software related projects has with all certainty seen Flattr buttons for several years on personal blogs. There was also much publicity when it launched, so those with a couple of years behind them should predominantly also have a good idea of that it is.

You might recognize the name of co-creator Peter Sunde as well. If not, look at Wikipedia. Hardly an unknown entity in the tech world.

Re:Achievement Unlocked! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44205371)

i didn't remember seeing it. i do remember seeing plenty of donate buttons.. but not flattr. of course it should be obvious due to the naming that it is a few years old.

apparently what they have now decided to be in the business of turning bitcoin to cash.

that's what this is really - you have bitcoin? well, use flattr to turn it into cash!

Re:Achievement Unlocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203463)

You don't know flattr?
Where have you been tzhese last few years?

Oh right... unused currency...
Bitcoin has had a bad day today. It has only had a Trade Volume of just over USD 5Mio these last 24hrs.
Sure, this is nothing compared to what other currencies have per second but it is definitely not "nothing".

And also the Money that want to my bank account this spring for selling off bitcoins was not just hot air but money that is useable.

I could be nice and suggest to you to go back below your rock where you have apparently lived the last few years and make the world a better place this was. But I'm not in a nice mood today.

Twitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202351)

but it first wants to gauge its community's desire for the feature on Twitter."

I dont get it why people want to gauge their consumers interest via a social networking website.
What about all those people who do not have an account. If that is a substantial portion of your user demographic, then I think it is a shitty way to find out more about your users.

More importantly, it is extremely easy to 'show' interest on an SNS, simply by clicking the like or retweet button.
It should be somethig that the consumer actually has to think about before clicking that button or else it's just another random click.

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