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!

Chinese Bitcoin Exchange Vanishes, Taking £2.5m of Coins With It

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the later-chumps dept.

Bitcoin 346

An anonymous reader writes "A Chinese Bitcoin exchange has vanished without trace, taking more than $4 million of the virtual currency with it and leaving profit-hungry investors out of pocket. GBL, the Chinese Bitcoin exchange was launched in May 2013 and putatively based in Hong Kong, despite its servers being registered in Beijing. However GBL's Hong Kong offices do not exist. GBL mysteriously disappeared in early November taking an estimated $4.1m (£2.6m) of Bitcoins with it." (Beware the auto-playing ads, with sound.)

cancel ×

346 comments

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

Sad Trombone? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401301)

Yes. Sad Trombone.

Recurring theme? (5, Funny)

jythie (914043) | about 9 months ago | (#45401309)

I am assuming it is only a minority of exchanges, but doesn't this seem to be a bit of a recurring problem?

Re:Recurring theme? (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 9 months ago | (#45401389)

Just a recursive one.

Re:Recurring theme? (4, Insightful)

skovnymfe (1671822) | about 9 months ago | (#45401397)

Who cares so long as it's only end users that suffer?

Re:Recurring theme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401485)

I am assuming it is only a minority of exchanges, but doesn't this seem to be a bit of a recurring problem?

In the matrix you get such deja vu when the code is altered.

Re:Recurring theme? (0, Troll)

janeuner (815461) | about 9 months ago | (#45401517)

People keep building banks, and other people keep robbing them. So yes, recurring problem.

Re:Recurring theme? (5, Informative)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 9 months ago | (#45401909)

Banks are insured.

Re:Recurring theme? (5, Insightful)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 9 months ago | (#45401941)

In this case the "bank" is the robbers. This is very different from your typical heist.

Re:Recurring theme? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45402135)

Oh the naivety.

Perhaps you've heard of Barclays, USB, or Goldman Sachs.

Re:Recurring theme? (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45401549)

It would seem the pyramid is collapsing.

Re:Recurring theme? (2, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45401965)

Sadly no, people seem to cling to bitcoins no matter how many times this happens. The kind of people drawn to anonymous decentralized currencies aren't the kind that are going to be deterred by measurable financial risk.

Re:Recurring theme? (3, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#45401597)

The only pattern is stupid people losing their money. The last time it was sketchy investments that only a complete idiot would fall for. There's no stopping stupid people from being stupid. Without stupid people, the tiny exchange that is obviously Chinese run and thus obviously a scam would have zero customers.

Re:Recurring theme? (1)

Kardos (1348077) | about 9 months ago | (#45401651)

Fraud is nothing new. How different is this from a fly-by-night operation that takes orders and disappears with your cash?

Re:Recurring theme? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401835)

Oh, ooh, I know this one! The difference is that a fly-by-night website will be taking credit card orders, and you can get a chargeback through your credit card bank when they don't show up with the merchandise.

Re:Recurring theme? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45401995)

Because the rubes in this case should have been aware of the risks, getting involved in an untraceable currency. It's practically designed for illegal activity, so the news here is fly-by-night should be assumed to be the default.

Re:Recurring theme? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45402097)

It's not untraceable. Why are detractors so uninformed? After 4 years you have still failed to learn anything about it.

I don't see a problem.. Follow the... (5, Funny)

Mitsoid (837831) | about 9 months ago | (#45401339)

Why not just follow the bitcoin trail? Perhaps call the local authorities and ask them for help?

>.>

Actually, I do feel sorry... Just had to say it.

Re:I don't see a problem.. Follow the... (2)

Grantbridge (1377621) | about 9 months ago | (#45401501)

I agree, why don't people report bitcoins as stolen property. Then if anyone else tries to spend them they can be flagged as stolen and a court order made to force the current holder to turn them over to the legal owner, or pay damages if they refuse. Bitcoins are far more traceable than gold. If mining pools refused to add stolen bitcoins to blocks unless the transaction fee was >1BTC it would become infeasible to hide them by splitting them into many small transactions.

Re:I don't see a problem.. Follow the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401829)

>why don't people report bitcoins as stolen property

Because they are not property.

Re:I don't see a problem.. Follow the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45402133)

> Because they are not property.

They're information, and as we all know, information wants to be free!

I guess Bitcoins are as much property as anything else you have exclusive control over, but just try going to the police to report a "stolen password" or the like.

Don't worry guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401353)

It's just another isolated incident. BTC is still safe and legit.

Re:Don't worry guys (3, Informative)

Bengie (1121981) | about 9 months ago | (#45401665)

What do people expect when they hand over money to someone, especially when the money isn't regulated and is being held by an unregulated company.

Re:Don't worry guys (5, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#45401803)

Wasnt the whole point that people wanted an unregulated currency with no government involvement?

Whats that old saying? "Be careful what you wish for."

Re:Don't worry guys (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401845)

Government routinely confiscates your property through money printing, new taxes, and, well, outright confiscation like gold under Roosevelt.

Re:Don't worry guys (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#45401891)

They also routinely give you things "for free" like roads, healthcare, and a legal system. What's your point?

Re:Don't worry guys (1, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45402031)

His point is that he has a marginally different impression of the role of government than what appears to be the default in his country, therefor every act of that government is clearly tyranny.

Government(s) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401377)

Stockpiling for black ops funding.

Re:Government(s) (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45401429)

Since I'm entertaining myself with conspiracy theories today, here's one I just completely made up: what if government funds illicit operations by just changing a figure in a bank database to give itself more money to spend? Like QE (i.e. that money-printing thing everyone hates), but only for itself, and on a smaller scale.

Re:Government(s) (2)

somersault (912633) | about 9 months ago | (#45401655)

Then I doubt the US government would be in billions/trillions/whatever of debt.. they already have more than enough money from taxes - they just use it poorly.

Re:Government(s) (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 9 months ago | (#45401863)

This has been tried before. IIRC debasement of money goes back at least to 1,000 B.C.E. Few have pulled it off successfully.

This creates money which if in excess for demand of money causes inflation. There is a casual link between demand for money and GNP.

The second reason is that the international bond market fears it will be paid with worthless currency in the future. The country’s currency is devalued. Interest rates on new debt go up. Bondholders demand payment is a sound currency. Etc.

Generally the long run consequences are worse than the immediate gain. You can take a look at what Argentina’s government has been doing for the past 30 years for a full spectrum of choices and results. This is why, generally speaking, a independent central bank handles money creation instead of the politicians – they are tempted by the short term gain.

Re:Government(s) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45402009)

> There is a casual link between demand for money and GNP

Good. If it were a formal link I'd have to wear a tie, tails and cummerbund.

Who can you trust now? (4, Informative)

bobbied (2522392) | about 9 months ago | (#45401393)

Another exchange bites the dust, millions lost!

BitCoin has some *serious* problems, mostly caused by not being officially sanctioned currency that is regulated... But then, that's it's strong point too. But, being a pirate has it's down days. So, if you sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas (or in this case, w/o your BitCoin. ..

Oh the humanity... Yawn.

Re:Who can you trust now? (5, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 9 months ago | (#45401547)

Indeed. Pick your poison.

If you want a decentralized, unregulated currency, then you don't get a FDIC promise when your bank vanishes overnight.

I understand why some currency is transitory on these sites, but why are people using online wallets beyond coins in motion (escrow or pending transaction, etc.)?

Re:Who can you trust now? (5, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45401917)

It's like my grandpa used to say: "Kid,if you want security, go with U.S. government savings bonds. If you want pussy and meth on the Silk Road, go with Bitcoin." This also explains why my inheritance was mostly in Bitcoins.

Re:Who can you trust now? (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 9 months ago | (#45402077)

> but why are people using online wallets beyond coins in motion...?

Do you really need to ask why people are behaving foolishly? Most people just don't think about security.

Re:Who can you trust now? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#45401849)

Bitcoin is like a little gold coin that you can magically transpose over the internet. If it's in your hands, it's as safe as any other valuable you own, with the perk that you can readily transact with it over the intertubes. However like any other valuable, if you send it halfway across the world to a complete stranger for safekeeping, then you're going to have a bad time.

I swear! (0)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 9 months ago | (#45401399)

It wasn't me!

Distributed security HEIST? (4, Interesting)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | about 9 months ago | (#45401409)

Bitcoin was advertized as the virtual currency NOT stored in one place with NO detrimental reliances upon any ONE server, person or gov't. WTF?

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401521)

Yeah but if you're using "exchanges" to handle exchanges of ANY currency that's a pretty obvious point of failure. That's a trust error.

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401563)

You need to use exchanges to trade the bitcoins for real money, and these represent a handful of large points of failure.

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 9 months ago | (#45401573)

Bitcoin was advertized as the virtual currency NOT stored in one place with NO detrimental reliances upon any ONE server, person or gov't. WTF?

I don't know about this exchange, but there are a few Bitcoin management services, where they keep the wallet for you and you don't have to worry about running bitcoin yourself.

It's almost exactly like how a bank will hold cash for you, except these banks are typically uninsured.

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401601)

It's almost exactly like how a bank will hold cash for you, except these banks are typically uninsured.

That's, uh, quite a large "almost" in that sentence there.

"Hey, I'll take your inflamed appendix out. I'm almost exactly like a surgeon, except I don't have a medical degree."

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401711)

Yeah, maybe you missed the bit a few years ago where the banks lost all our money so we, er, gave it back to them.

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (1)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about 9 months ago | (#45402121)

We gave more blood, sweat and tears in exchange for more worthless paper money (if at all). So what's the difference between "real money" and bitcoin again? In the realness department, that is?

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 9 months ago | (#45401659)

Bitcoin management services, where they keep the wallet for you and you don't have to worry about running bitcoin yourself.

And people fall for this? Well, if you are speculating in BitCoin you are into high risk or a sucker... PT Barnum was right.

Hey, anybody out there who doesn't like holding your own BitCoin wallet, I'll take care of that for you. Just let me hold *your* money...

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401623)

Bitcoin was advertized as the virtual currency NOT stored in one place with NO detrimental reliances upon any ONE server, person or gov't. WTF?

Not sure if sarcastic but heres this anyway.
Again, this is the failure of a COMPANY not BITCOIN. The Bitcoin network is oblivious to a company which may have lost/stolen its customers bitcoins. I feel sorry for the customers but it was they that took the risk of allowing someone else to hold their funds.

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401961)

The same thing happened in the early 1900s. Yes, the dollar may be sound, but if Foobar National Bank has a run on it, Barbaz National Bank down the road has concern because people get nervous in general.

Now, banks have traded having to deal with regulations in return for bailout money.

With BitCoin, I have zero assurances of anything. Someone hacks an exchange, and large sums of money are now gone. My BitCoin wallet is vulnerable to anyone and everyone who can get malware on a machine via ad servers.

There is the fact that every blockchain is public, so there is less privacy than spending dollars (as Joe Sixpack can't call up PayPal and ask for what Jane Lorazapam spent in the past 30 days.)

Yes, Bitcoin has its uses, but with people hiding behind a mask who made it, the fact that early adopters got coins for free, while people later on have to exchange real value for coins, and the fact that no transaction is anonymous doesn't give me a good feeling.

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401643)

Bitcoin was advertized as the virtual currency NOT stored in one place with NO detrimental reliances upon any ONE server, person or gov't. WTF?

Turned out the Real World (you know, that scary scary place outside the libertarian echo chambers where people don't agree with libertarians and un-libertarian reality makes libertarian talking points rather embarrassingly inconvenient) didn't really think it was wise to stuff all their money in their mattresses — even virtual, cryptographic mattresses! Oooooo, technologicalriffic! — and decided they wanted some modicum of convenience that the modern world should afford them, as opposed to living in constant unproductive paranoia that everybody and every thing was out to get them. So all it took was someone or some group endlessly bleating on and on about how awesome and secure and safe and cryptographic and buzzword and buzzword and buzzword this new eCurrency was, and hey presto, they think it's safe to store New Beenz anywhere they want!

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (2)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 months ago | (#45401813)

didn't really think it was wise to stuff all their money in their mattresses â" even virtual, cryptographic mattresses

So they elected to use a shady HK exchange instead?

I think you're a bit too generous with your use of the word "wise" :)

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#45401801)

It has no inherent dependencies of the types you describe, but there's no barrier to people adding them in because they simply don't understand what was supposed to be so advantageous about it in the first place.

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401921)

Turns out that having full control of your wallet via a private key stored exclusively on your computer only works as long as you don't mind waiting an hour for transactions to clear.

Since pretty much the entire bitcoin trade these days consists of arbitrage and speculation, where trades need to be executed at a moment's notice, that's not feasible. So instead, we still have banks and exchanges who keep your money for you, only now there's nobody who watches them and makes sure they don't take it and run.

Re:Distributed security HEIST? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401977)

an hour for transactions to clear

The people on the various Bitcoin forums, reddits, et cetera all refer to this timespan as "instantaneously". I assume that Bitcoin must have caught on big with geologists.

Beware (2)

Kardos (1348077) | about 9 months ago | (#45401421)

Autoplaying ads with sound? No thanks, the summary will have to do.

This disappearing-with-all-the-funds is becoming SOP for exchanges.

BitCoins aren't incompatible w/ reg. but... (2)

sirwired (27582) | about 9 months ago | (#45401439)

BitCoins are not incompatible with a normal regulatory and law enforcement apparatus that might prevent some of this. That said, due to their extreme utility for money laundering, tax avoidance, etc. I'm pretty sure they'd rather the things disappear and therefore may direct law-enforcement resources elsewhere in the case of a BitCoin theft.

Here, random stranger, hold my wallet for me (5, Informative)

petteyg359 (1847514) | about 9 months ago | (#45401451)

What idiot stores their cash in somebody else's wallet with no guarantee of that somebody's legitimacy and no insurance? Maybe these morons will have finally learned their lesson, and will keep their cash in their own wallets in their own pockets.

Re:Here, random stranger, hold my wallet for me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401615)

Exactly this.

I constantly hear complaints about Paypal. Same problem.

Re:Here, random stranger, hold my wallet for me (3, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 9 months ago | (#45401767)

Everybody who trades at the stock exchange through an intermediary, for example.

Current Market Capitalization (5, Informative)

janeuner (815461) | about 9 months ago | (#45401453)

For those curious, there are currently 12 million bitcoin in existence, with a net value of about $4.3 billion.

Source: http://coinmarketcap.com/ [coinmarketcap.com]

Re:Current Market Capitalization (5, Funny)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45401519)

For those not curious, here's a video of cats knocking shit over [aol.com] .

Re:Current Market Capitalization (1)

janeuner (815461) | about 9 months ago | (#45401545)

[aol.com] Sounds like a phishing scam.

Re:Current Market Capitalization (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45401617)

For many years they did give away promotional bird scarers and tea coasters, but I don't think they ever branched out to fishing equipment.

Re:Current Market Capitalization (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 9 months ago | (#45402147)

I can't believe I sat through a 30 second ad to watch that video... and that it was totally worth it.

Why we need regulations (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401463)

It's the 1% who spoil it for the rest of the honest people.

And actually, it goes deeper than that. A capitlaist system requires trust. Rules and regulations build trust into the system. Without these rules and regulations you don't have capitalism, you have a Wild West financial system that no one would invest a dime in except suckers.

Re:Why we need regulations (1)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | about 9 months ago | (#45401631)

Regulations are bad, mmmkay?

Re:Why we need regulations (1)

tom229 (1640685) | about 9 months ago | (#45401685)

You don't need to regulate the production and control of the currency. The problem here is the banks holding the bitcoins in trust can't be... well... trusted. Do they need to be regulated? Probably. However, if your bitcoin wallet was at home hidden under your virtual mattress you're still fine. This is the same problem we currently have with traditional banks and traditional money. The only difference is federal governments, and private banks themselves, don't have the ability to manipulate bitcoins like they do with nationally backed fiat currencies.

Re:Why we need regulations (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401721)

>It's the 1% who spoil it for the rest of the honest people.

You're absolutely right, the 1% that put their money into a brand new exchange that doesn't come recommended at all, they are the ones who ruin it for the rest because they cry for regulation rather than just realizing what they did was probably the dumbest thing anyone could possibly do, only one step above finding a shady guy in a back alley and buying stock options from him.

Re:Why we need regulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401859)

Yeah, that was a guy in a back alley - but MtGox is a neatly dressed up shady guy on the corner.

All that keeps your money from disappearing from MtGox is the reputation and trust they maintain. I guess, they find it more prefitable in long term to get their cut from trading, especially with all those conveniently timed "DDoSes" when the exchange rates crash.

Serious questions - what are actual legal obligations of MtGox before a user and what is your recourse if they disappear/get hacked and lose your money/"get hacked" and totally did not steal your money?

Re:Why we need regulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45402063)

BitCoin is also suffering the same problem eGold had. When the bad guys (CryptoLocker [1]) want money, they want it in BitCoin.

So, BitCoin has a bad rep about it. Just like eGold, it is only a matter of time before FinCEN comes after them, following the public blockchains which makes a nice list of whose doors to kick down. If cities can snap the back of Occupy in one night, think about what the bankers will sic onto people who are impinging on their profit margins... and BitCoin is unwanted competition.

[1]: Ironically, Cryptolocker and other malware are far better written than any other software these days. Imagine if the guys who made the ransomware were able to write mundane stuff like device drivers and office suites with that quality of code. IT professionals would be lining up to fellate them.

look at the BIG Picture (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 9 months ago | (#45401477)

who stands to lose the most in the long run if Bitcoin takes hold and really gets a large strong userbase, the established central banks that print state currency like the Federal Reserve, i am sure the People's Republic of China has their own central bank too, these central banks are more than likely wanting to kill Bitcoin more than some gang of criminals

Re:look at the BIG Picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401839)

No, contrary to this trope that has been going on, central banks have very little to lose. Although BTC is advertised from anonymous/decentralized, it is FAR from that when you actually want to use it.

Banks will not turn down another opportunity to make money. If cryptocurrencies obtain critical mass in adoption, regulations will be pushed and banks will enter the game for their own piece of the pie.

Money for nuthin'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401479)

...your chicks for free.

I really don't get all you people who think a currency based on internet vapors is worth a bucket of warm spit.

Re:Money for nuthin'... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 9 months ago | (#45401585)

...your chicks for free.

I really don't get all you people who think a currency based on internet vapors is worth a bucket of warm spit.

Swap "internet vapors" with "vague promises by lying bureaucrats" and you've aptly described the US Dollar.

Re:Money for nuthin'... (1)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | about 9 months ago | (#45401619)

Should be the same for any fiat currency, not just the Dollar. How many world currencies are backed by anything with intrinsic value?

Re:Money for nuthin'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401913)

Technically my currency is backed by the work in put in to earn it. Its an advanced and more abstract form of bartering. Rather than having to perform some type of work in exchange for some chickens to trade for a pig to trade for some rice to trade for some hops to trade for some beer, I can simply perform the work in exchange for an abstract promise worth the value of the work I put in that I can trade directly for the beer.

Re:Money for nuthin'... (4, Informative)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 9 months ago | (#45401641)

My dollar isn't just backed by lying bureaucrats. It's backed up by people with guns--big guns. And don't you forget it!

Re:Money for nuthin'... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 9 months ago | (#45401705)

Shsssss.... Be quiet! It's all about perceived value and you are causing a problem here!

bitcoin not like the real world (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45401497)

In a real market, no matter how dysfunctional, people want to make money - so stuff like this causes the value of whatever is being traded to go down.

But the biggest bitcoin enthusiasts are just a little religious, so they'll go frantically buying bitcoins to raise the value to prove this isn't really a big deal.

Almost like it's all a scam trying to pretend that TANSTAAFL doesn't apply and that you can really generate wealth with only speculation and no production.

Re:bitcoin not like the real world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401591)

Wealth isn't in the currency; wealth is in the exchanges, i.e. the power to motivate the exchange of goods and services.

The value of Bitcoin is in securing those exchanges electronically.

Re:bitcoin not like the real world (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#45401753)

The purpose - the very designed-in function - of Bitcoin is not to create wealth but to be an ephemeral unit of transaction, which is why investors get eaten alive but also why it's not a flaw. It's like the difference between investing in US treasury bonds and investing in big piles of ones.

Re:bitcoin not like the real world (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45401799)

What is an ephemeral unit of transaction? Apart from one that has a habit of going missing.

Re:bitcoin not like the real world (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#45401869)

You're supposed to buy it, use it as payment, and never think about that particular bitcoin again. Not hoard them like Scrooge McDuck in the mistaken belief that they're a thriving growth industry as almost every Bitcoin user seems to want to do.

Re:bitcoin not like the real world (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45402053)

So, like a prepaid single usage Visa/Mastercard number? Or cash in an envelope?

Re:bitcoin not like the real world (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#45402087)

That's what I'm trying to convey, yes. (Whether that's an accurate picture, well...) You can see from this analogy why buying thousands of dollars worth of those and giving them to some random organisation in China might not be the savviest business move, while having one or two around for when you need them might be useful.

Re:bitcoin not like the real world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401981)

so they'll go frantically buying bitcoins to raise the value to prove this isn't really a big deal.

Nice conspiracy theory you've got there. You think a few enthusiasts can move a market that has a $4bn cap? Goldrush/bubble or not, 0.1% of market cap vanishing just isn't that big a deal. The Dow dropped 0.4% today, by comparison (it dropped more than 10% on two days in 2008, now that was news).

Re:bitcoin not like the real world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45402001)

Sure there's a free lunch; you just need to take that lunch away from some other sucker. That's how zero-sum games like this work.

Ow ow, my brain hurts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401559)

The title quotes GBP, The Exchange is Chinese, and the summary gives USD/GBP.

Shouldn't it be RMB for the title and then a USD translation in the summary?

jerkface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401745)

the TFA's talking about Bitcoin it should be using values denoted in BTC (or XBT?...) and providing current conversions into the local currency of WTF the intended audience is.

what advertisments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401589)

I clicked the link to the article but I didn't see any flash advertisements that play sounds? oh well

Beware the what? (0)

dkf (304284) | about 9 months ago | (#45401603)

I don't need to beware the ads, since I don't bother to RTFA! Or the summary all that much.

Eve Online (2)

martijnd (148684) | about 9 months ago | (#45401675)

All the ISK scams that went on in EVE Online are now here in "real" world Bitcoins. In fact, you can probably predict the next scandal from what dirty deeds were done before.

But it it just me wondering if those involved think the punishment in the real world will be the same (none) ? I can imagine people being a little bit more upset after losing millions in real cash as opposed to losing some in-game fantasy currency.

bitcoin, the pyramid scheme of the new decade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401713)

...and people wonder why I call it shitcoin.

History Presages Regulation (2)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 9 months ago | (#45401755)

It was not that long ago that banks generally were subject to little or no regulation. Banks would fail, investors would lose all, only for the process to repeat itself again, and again. Eventually, in an effort to protect their economies, governments stepped to limit the risks that banks could take with their investors' money and, often, to insure the investors against loss, thereby engendering confidence.

Bitcoin has made its stock in trade the fact that it is unregulated by anything but a few algorithms. Like Adam Smith'e "invisible hand", we are to trust to these algorithms to provide a certain Deus ex Machina for providing security.

The reality is that until Bitcoin exchanges are regulated by credible authorities, security will be a fantasm.

Another Technocratic Circlejerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45401773)

New Economy! End of Brick-and-Mortar!

Stolen-bitcoin blacklist (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 9 months ago | (#45401785)

If a bitcoin (or fractional BC) whose last known legitimate transaction's block-chain information is known, can it be blacklisted so any attempt to spend it will raise alarms?

This feature not be in the current Bitcoin software but it seems like something that could be added to a future version of the software if those who use BC demand it.

The devil will of course be in the details - would theft reports be authenticated by One True Central Authority, or would it be up to each BitCoin user to decide what theft-report-authenticating services it trusts (much like how email server owners decide what spam-blackhole-list providers to trust)? What about libel/slander if someone maliciously reports theft of a BC he legitimately spent or if a theft-report-authenticating service erroneously reports a BC as stolen?

Perhaps a better idea: Long-term freeze (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 9 months ago | (#45401945)

For individuals who hold BC "on deposit" for long periods of time, a "freeze list" can be developed.

1) I have a BC in a wallet I control that I don't plan on spending any time soon. I place its last transaction on a "freeze list." This tells the world "don't accept the coin until I take it off the list."

2) I have an BC that I am about to deposit with a particular online "bank". I place its last pre-deposit transaction on a "freeze after 1 transaction" list and include the address that I am transferring it to along with a reasonable timeout (say, 1 hour). This tells the world "if you aren't this address, don't accept the BC." If the transaction doesn't happen by the timeout, it reverts to a user-specified fallback action, such as "cancel request" or "covert to a #1-type freeze" or "email me and extend deadline by 1 hour" etc.

Waiting for Baseball cards and Tulips to rebound (1)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | about 9 months ago | (#45402007)

I just know they will recover. There might be 'Billions' of dollars worth of bitcoins out there, but truly believe they will become worth almost zero in the long run.

I fucking love it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45402041)

Lately, there has been a lot of chatter on the interwebs from Nerdcoin advocates and zealots like, "Oh, the Chinese are getting involved with Bitcoin now. That proves it's to be taken serious." Ha ha ha. Stupid motherfuckers. (Shitcoin worshipers, not the Chinese)

Non Banking Entity (5, Insightful)

Demonantis (1340557) | about 9 months ago | (#45402069)

This is like all the people that get mad when paypal jerks them around. Don't use a non banking entity as a bank. There is huge history reinforced reasons why the industry is regulated.

And what did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45402101)

So you put MILLIONS of dollars of value into a computer program which is explicitly OUTSIDE of government control, regulation, inspection, validation and explicitly run by completely anonymous (and hidden) individuals - and then you're surprised when the anonymous people holding your money disappear with it?

Seriously ... what did you think was going to happen? You thought that somehow bitcoin was run by magical, philanthropic leprechauns who were going to provide these services just because they like to see people smile?

Why do you think that every government in the history of man has had rules and oversight over currencies? Because when you don't you might as well throw your money into the toilet and flush. People asked for, and wanted, oversight to provide some degree of protection for their money. Sure - the governments are not saints either, but there is at least some recourse and transparency (and hence, accountability). It is a heck of a lot better than throwing my money into the street and waiting for a black van with tinted windows to "hold" it for me...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>