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India Cautions Users On Risks Associated With Virtual Currencies

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the proceed-with-caution dept.

Bitcoin 121

hypnosec writes "The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cautioned users of virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin on the risks associated with them and said that it is looking at the use and trading of these currencies. They noted that there are quite a few risks including: theft of digital wallets that are used to store the digital currency, absence of any frameworks to tackle customer problems, disputes and charge backs; exposure to potential losses because of high volatility in value of the virtual currencies, legal and financial risks, and breach of anti-money laundering laws because of lack of complete information on counterparts in a peer-to-peer anonymous / pseudonymous systems."

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121 comments

Explain something for me. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787109)

How do we go from the Execuitive Management of a board issuing a press release to "India issues warning"?

Seriously. is India a person? Is the Reserve Bank of India a Person?

No.

Please refer to the PEOPLE making the claims. FFS, organizations are not people.

Re:Explain something for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787495)

Because when the person makes a statement on behalf of an institution, bank, etc., we do say, in English, "XYZ, Inc. says..." as if it were a person.

Way to try hijacking the discussion there...

Re:Explain something for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788407)

"XYZ, Inc. says..." as if it were a person...

But but... my teacher told me they are persons...

Re:Explain something for me. (1)

nashv (1479253) | about 4 months ago | (#45788815)

In this case, the warning in the letter is a follow-up forward of a warning issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Since the RBI is the currency managing bank for the India, and the bank of the Govt. of India, has legitimacy and privileges awarded by the Constitution of India etc. it might be quite all right to take it as the official stand of the Indian financial authorities.

Re:Explain something for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788843)

Reserve Bank of India is India's equivalent of the Federal Reserves in the US

Re:Explain something for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45789269)

How do we go from the Execuitive Management of a board issuing a press release to "India issues warning"?

Seriously. is India a person? Is the Reserve Bank of India a Person?

No.

Please refer to the PEOPLE making the claims. FFS, organizations are not people.

Too late, now I can say "I read on the Internet that India hates bitcoin."

Dogecoin (4, Interesting)

Scoth (879800) | about 4 months ago | (#45787133)

I love that Dogecoin is apparently a big enough thing now to be mentioned in the same breath as Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Re:Dogecoin (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#45788805)

Until today I though Dogecoin was a running internet joke. Wow. Poe law in full effect.

Re:Dogecoin (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 4 months ago | (#45789169)

That's because, even put together, they still don't add up to anything worthwhile, or hard to say in one breath.

Re:Dogecoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45789201)

I came here to say the exact same thing.

Meh banksters (3, Insightful)

silviuc (676999) | about 4 months ago | (#45787139)

Don't use those nasty digital currencies because we have no control over them and make no money on your transactions.

Also because: terrorism, child porn. criminals, insert_scare_word here...

Re:Meh banksters (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45787231)

Bitcoin is regulated. There are laws in place for all valuable assets, regardless of whether they're tangible or not. Of course, many folks who "invest" in Bitcoin don't actually understand those laws or even realize that they should try to. They often don't realize that large transfers (regardless of currency) require documentation, they don't know that capital gains often must be reported for taxes, and they often don't bother keeping the documentation that they'll need when the various government authorities start asking questions. The even-more-naive don't even realize that theft or abuse is just as possible with Bitcoin as with cash.

The point of this statement is to remind people that digital currencies are still currencies. You don't get to escape the rules and risks of reality by using quatloos instead of dollars.

Re:Meh banksters (2)

pla (258480) | about 4 months ago | (#45787347)

Of course, many folks who "invest" in Bitcoin don't actually understand those laws or even realize that they should try to.

...Primarily because most of the world's governments haven't yet issued guidance as to whether to consider Bitcoin a commodity or a currency for purposes of calculating your taxes.

they don't know that capital gains often must be reported for taxes

You raise an excellent example of why this matters - If someone makes $50k per year (comfortably under $72500) and sells off a few grand in BTC that they've held for over a year, do they pay 15% on it as normal income, or 0% as long term capital gains, or something else entirely?

Don't just assume people haven't paid attention to this issue. We have, and can see all too clearly that the government has held its hand this long solely in an effort to play both sides of the fence.

Re:Meh banksters (1)

rtaylor (70602) | about 4 months ago | (#45787445)

I'd treat it the same as any other currency transaction. It's fairly well defined how to handle gains while playing Forex.

Re:Meh banksters (1)

Yebyen (59663) | about 4 months ago | (#45788689)

Then if you lived in Norway, at least, from what I've read you'd be a tax cheat. A lot of countries in Europe are declaring BTC as asset which means that buyers and sellers are required to participate in VAT collection on every transaction.

Re:Meh banksters (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45787501)

...do they pay 15% on it as normal income, or 0% as long term capital gains, or something else entirely?

Realistically, it doesn't matter, as long as you report it (so of course the 0% seems better).

Note that I am not an accountant, I am not your accountant and this is not accounting advice.

The IRS (and any other tax agency) cares mostly about getting their cut. They really don't actually care how much that amount is. You are free to define any activity or income using any applicable definition that you think is appropriate, but note that you may need to redefine it later. If your Bitcoin activities meet the right criteria to be taxed at 0%, then you can legally just report them as such, and pay no tax. Similarly, if you can arrange your finances so your profits are sent to Ireland, for example, you can pay less tax that way. Note that this is not tax evasion. You are still paying all the taxes that are due; you're just carefully limiting how much tax will be due.

Due to various aspects of my own finances, I have particularly difficult tax paperwork every year. I've been audited, and had to submit many corrections. It's not really that big of a deal if you can justify every claim you make and show that you're not trying to outright hide money.

Re:Meh banksters (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#45788881)

Primarily because most of the world's governments haven't yet issued guidance as to whether to consider Bitcoin a commodity or a currency for purposes of calculating your taxes.

You might not realize this, but most new tax law works this way. Even once specific laws are made, they're still often ambiguous, and no one really knows what the rules are until after the first couple of court cases are decided. Don't like it? Well, I'd also prefer a flat tax.

The main thing is to report it as some sort of capital gain, to show the intent to comply with the law, and keep in touch with your tax advisor every year as clarity emerges.

We have, and can see all too clearly that the government has held its hand this long solely in an effort to play both sides of the fence.

I'm not sure what fence you're talking about. The government simply doesn't care enough about Bitcoin yet to clarify the situation. At this point various governments are just reminding people that money laundering laws still apply regardless of the intermediation.

Robbed over TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787369)

Maybe so, but I have never heard of anyone getting robbed of their $20 bill over the TV like this guy did with his Bitcoins. [google.com]

Re:Robbed over TV (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 4 months ago | (#45787461)

No, but I have seen people waving cash around in a bar and it is snagged out of their hand. This is the digital equivalant. And as the news guy said, a good lesson in security.

Re:Meh banksters (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 months ago | (#45787701)

Don't use those nasty digital currencies because we have no control over them and make no money on your transactions.

Just like cash, then.

Which has been around forever.

Re:Meh banksters (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 4 months ago | (#45789123)

Just like cash, then.

Which has been around forever.

Cash has been around for a few thousand years, and is already slowly being phased out, precisely because it allows anonymous transactions not dependent on a third party.

Re:Meh banksters (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45789569)

Also being phased out because it's inconvenient, expensive, and in too limited a supply for many transactions.

Hmm so its like cash money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787151)

Isn't this the same as cash money and allowing the stock market and monopolizing banks/"open market"/"capitalism" to dictate the same crap that this story points out? But that's okay cause it is regulated, the whole point of regulating something is to keep it from becoming volatile, and as we have seen it doesn't work.

Some of the points made in the story are problems but people should determine how that is to be solved..

In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (2, Insightful)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 4 months ago | (#45787157)

Bitcoin et al are far too volatile to be used as a reserve of wealth, and have no intrinsic value.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (3, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 4 months ago | (#45787309)

Dollars, pounds, euros et al have no intrinsic value. And are also volatile (even if not as much as crap to currencies currently are).

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (0)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 4 months ago | (#45787503)

Oh but currencies do have intrinsic value in terms of gold and other previous metal assets, oil, gas and other energy reserves, the countries GDP and other tangibles. Bitcoin there is nothing, nada.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787663)

No, they don't... Practically all of the world's currencies are currently not on any gold/precious metal standard. Shows you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what a currency is and what "intrinsic value" means. Shit, you sound just like Peter Joseph with his Zeitgeist movement cult's non-sense. Here's a word of advice: just because you can use semi-fancy words (like intrinsic), doesn't mean you're smart or know what you're talking about.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787873)

Fiat currencies may not have intrinsic value, but they are still useful. Take the US dollar which everyone pokes fun at. It may not be perfect (people say the Euro is a far more stable currency as it is made by multiple nations, so is immune to any significant devaulations), but the "backed by the full faith of the US government" statement does mean something.

Oh, don't give the precious metal stuff as a means of investing. Since the 1980s year time interval, the stack of silver has gone from $5 to $20 per troy ounce, and that doesn't even near what stocks are doing (stocks were well under 1000 back in the 1980s.)

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788013)

Fiat currencies may not have intrinsic value, but they are still useful. Take the US dollar which everyone pokes fun at. It may not be perfect (people say the Euro is a far more stable currency as it is made by multiple nations, so is immune to any significant devaulations), but the "backed by the full faith of the US government" statement does mean something.

The U.S. government is a bunch of crooks. The "Department of Justice" has been involved in illegal arms trading, and its head, Attorney General Holder, has repeatedly committed perjury before congress about it. They have converted the courts into a mockery where blackmail in the guise of "plea deals" puts people unwilling to forego their right to a jury trial behind bars for most of their life, never mind whether they are guilty or not, either of federal or debtors' prison. Clapper has knowingly and fully prepared committed perjury before congress, Alexander is tap-dancing so hard equivocating that his spins are indistinguishable from perjury. "Contrary to what the newspapers say, we have not sodomized cross-dressed mules under this program." -- Something like that one gets to hear every week.

Princess Obama is very concerned that the Merkins are uncomfortable with getting shined in every hole and leads a charge of full transparency against his citizens, pouring liquid lead in every blowing whistle.

Policemen roam the street and beat people wearing the wrong clothes, facial expression or skin color to death, then get acquitted in mock court trials.

"backed by the full faith of the US government": what are they going to give people in return for all the dollars they put into circulation?

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (1)

nashv (1479253) | about 4 months ago | (#45788857)

Sure, they did, in the 1970s currencies were measured against the Gold Standard. Not anymore.

At one time, bank notes in used to actually have a silver strip, and were "exchangeable in gold" from the reserve banks. Coins actually contained silver equivalent to their value. Now it's all just 'legal tender'. The Indian Rupee note, says 'I promise to pay the bearer the sum of X rupees". Notice, value is ascribed by legal declaration, not by weight in gold.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (4, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#45788929)

No, that's simply not what a currency is. Never think of a currency as a store of value, but as an aid that makes barter easier. It's a way to measure value, sure, but that's different.

If you want something with intrinsic value, you need to turn your currency into wealth, by which I mean ownership of the means of production. Land, stocks, private businesses, whatever: the only assets with intrinsic value are those which produce something that people want or need. Everything else is mere convention or convenience.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45790361)

Currency is simply an ultra-short-term debt instrument created by a bank. The bank holds against that debt assets which are typically loans for land, homes, cars, businesses, etc. Even paper currency is an ultra-short-term debt instrument created by a (central) bank.

For convenience we consider all the ultra-short-term debt instruments fungible and call them all dollars, euros, pounds, etc instead of ultra-short-term-debt-issued-by-the-bank-of-america-with-zero-duration-and-adjustable-coupon until the crap hits the fan. Over the last half decade a lot of people who thought they owned dollars or euros learned the hard way that they owned ultra-short-term-debt-issued-by-bank-of-whatever that traded below face value.

I don't see how a stock represents wealth while a bond does not.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (5, Informative)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 4 months ago | (#45787881)

yes, they do...i'm getting tired of this incorrect meme.

the dollar is backed by "the full faith and credit of the united states government"...yes that means the ability to seize bank accounts and the use of the threat of prison and even guns/bodily harm to get their money to pay its debts.

it's ludicrous to think bicoin has the same feature.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#45788795)

The City of Detroit is currently going bankrupt -- a lot of good "the legal power to tax" is doing as a solid collateral for the creditors who will be getting pennies on the dollar.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 4 months ago | (#45789703)

The legal power to tax isn't useful if the people that you can tax don't have any money. Detroit's population has also shrunk drastically.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 4 months ago | (#45790765)

... the ability to seize bank accounts and the use of the threat of prison and even guns/bodily harm to get their money to pay its debts.

Slashdot is becoming such an interesting place. The level of ignorance and (perhaps deliberate) misunderstanding I see on a daily basis is difficult to put into words. How are we to have a conversation (to say nothing of debate) with a person who has such a poor understanding of the terms involved?

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 4 months ago | (#45790799)

Personally, I don't want a currency with intrinsic value. I want it to have value as a currency only. I do not want the price of my cheeseburger be directly affected by the amount of yellowish (and inedible) metal some guy managed to dig out of the ground this year.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#45787517)

Currencies with intrinsic value have their own problems. They are still subject to price manipulation by those of sufficient wealth (eg, the artificially high price of diamonds), and their value can also be heavily affected by changes in supply and demand for whatever their use is.

Bitcoin has many, many serious problems. That is not one of them. Volatility is, which is why right now the coins are only used as a means of transfering money rather than a long-term store of wealth.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 4 months ago | (#45787675)

And to provide you some support for manipulation of things with intrinsic value use the Hunt Brothers and Silver Thursday [wikipedia.org] . Silver has many uses as an industrial metal so is usually assumed to have intrinsic value but was heavily manipulated. This is also why I don't believe the radio shills who are pushing silver saying it it cheap now and the point of comparison is the manipulated price in 1980.

Re:In other news, the Dutch warn about tulip mania (2)

ultranova (717540) | about 4 months ago | (#45789085)

Bitcoin et al are far too volatile to be used as a reserve of wealth, and have no intrinsic value.

Value is not a quality of an object but rather a subjective judgement of an agent evaluating said object, thus the concept of "intrinsic value" makes no sense. Which is a good thing, because otherwise trading wouldn't exist since at least one party would always be worse off afterwards, thus we'd be stuck raiding each other for ever.

What people are forgetting (1)

Akratist (1080775) | about 4 months ago | (#45787165)

Digital currencies carry a risk, but so does any other type of financial transaction or investment. People rely on the perceived integrity of the "issuing" system, the circumstances around the use of the items, and so on. Even mainstream items carry the possibility of risk that people cannot predict or understand. In that light, a bitcoin might not be as secure as buying an ounce of gold and burying it in the backyard, but there's nothing to say someone might not invent a modern Philosopher's Stone and render gold itself worthless overnight. As far as lacking recourse, I'd offer up the point that the price of goods and services in American dollars has been steadily increasing (even though the inflation index doesn't cover food, for example), due in part to quantitative easing, and that's not a whole lot of recourse any of have, short of hoping that our votes actually still matter and someone is paying attention.

Re:What people are forgetting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788389)

In that light, a bitcoin might not be as secure as buying an ounce of gold and burying it in the backyard, but there's nothing to say someone might not invent a modern Philosopher's Stone and render gold itself worthless overnight.

What if a Philosopher's Stone required 100KwH per ounce of gold produced?

There is no such thing as bad publicity - Mae West (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787171)

Nuff said.

Perhaps the reason is that: (3, Interesting)

arisvega (1414195) | about 4 months ago | (#45787197)

There spawned a couple of new exchange sites in India over the past few weeks. A few that I checked look legit, demanding some sort of official government documents for user identification, making it non-trivial for scammers to jump aboard the train. It is only natural that there is a warning, and those sites already had more or less the same warning on their frontpages. The fact that this warning is on a state level is a good think for bitcoin (and for potential traders) I think.

World Cautions Users On Risk Associated with India (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787203)

Seriously, I find it hilarious that India of all places - a great hotbed of corruption, plagiarism, and false expectations issues a warning like this. Mind your own damn house before you shoot off your mouth like this.

Re:World Cautions Users On Risk Associated with In (2)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#45787883)

India has its issues, but it is good that -someone- is warning potential investors of the risks of BitCoin. Education is always important, especially the basics like be careful about one's wallet because it can be too easy to lose one's BTC stash forever if it isn't backed up or if a bad guy is able to open it.

Re:World Cautions Users On Risk Associated with In (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787979)

They are minding their house. Their remit extends to regulation of all financial issues within their country, and as such are well within their rights in issuing advisories concerning the use of virtual currencies. Other nations and banking organization have taken a similar cautious approach. They are not preaching to others, are they? They are minding their own business. But you had to find a spot to vomit out your anti-India vitriol, so you went ahead and posted your irrelevant rant anyway. Fuck off.

cash... (4, Insightful)

lkcl (517947) | about 4 months ago | (#45787209)

I note that there are quite a few risks associated with CASH including:

* theft of physical wallets that are used to store CASH
* absence of realistic application of frameworks to tackle customer problems, disputes and charge backs with CASH.
* exposure to potential losses because of high volatility in value of the CASH currencies
* legal and financial risks assocated with trusting strangers with your CASH,
* and breach of anti-money laundering laws where people can carry CASH because of lack of complete information on tracking of CASH between anonymous random strangers.

so. wonderful. india's announcing something random about bitcoin. great! let's watch the value go up again just like it did in china as it comes to more peoples' attention. yay!

Re:cash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787409)

Can cash be stolen over the TV [google.com] ?

I just have to wonder, what other kind of ways that I have never thought of can Bitcoins be stolen from me.

And unlike cash, there are very little people who take it, so most of the time I would have to convert it into currency to use it.

I'll wait, Thank you very much, until it becomes mature and I have time to learn all the ins and outs about it.

Re:cash... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#45787535)

As much as bitcoin is a digital currency and can be stolen digitally, cash is a physical currency and can be stolen physically. Of course it's not the same. And hence you need to use appropriate means. In turn you could say that you can't simply put a gun to someone's head and demand from him to hand over his bitcoins in a physical way. If you have no means to access an electronic wallet, you cannot access or manipulate bitcoins, so bitcoins are intrinsically more safe against the average street mugger because they can't afford the infrastructure to steal from you.

That does, of course, not mean security than you would have with cash. But neither does it mean less security than cash. It's not more or less secure, it's just secure from another kind of thief and you have to defend against another kind of theft.

Re:cash... (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#45788629)

I'm much more interested in where he got the certificates printed; if there's a commercial entity producing nice certificates suitable for gifting that didn't look like they came off my printer...

Re:cash... (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#45788969)

Can cash be stolen over the TV?

There are entire industries devoted to it, from televangelism to "three easy payments of only $19.95".

Re:cash... (2)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 4 months ago | (#45787479)

And here are the answers for the hard-of-thinking

* theft of physical wallets - the criminal justice system, the police and the courts. Compare that to Bitcoin - someone steals your wallet and you're FUCKED with no recourse to any recompense.
* absence of realistic application of frameworks to tackle customer problems, disputes and charge backs with CASH - look up insurance, regulatory authorities and banking charters. What is there for Bitcoin? You're on your own.
* exposure to potential losses because of high volatility in value of the CASH currencies - which can be easily hedged using real gold and precious metals, oil and other commodities. Bitcoin? Nothing. Your only hope is that there is a bigger idiot waiting to take them on for real currency
* legal and financial risks associated with trusting strangers with your CASH - direct recourse to the legal systems of many countries. Bitcoin? They'll laugh when you complain.
* and breach of anti-money laundering laws where people can carry CASH because of lack of complete information on tracking of CASH between anonymous random strangers - which is why there are anti-money laundering laws with actual teeth. Money laundering with Bitcoin? Just ask Ross Ulbricht how that's going.

The only bigger idiot is the person who moderated your comment as "insightful". Perhaps he's like to buy some Bitcoins and a few special tulips to sweeten the deal.

Re:cash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787519)

True enough. BItcoin has many of the problems associated with cash that lead people to use electronic transfer for financial transactions. The real question is what makes it MORE useful than "cash" or national currencies. The primary argument for bitcoin seems to be that it will reduce transaction costs and that will make micro-payments more economically viable. Its pitched as sort of a virtual penny. I am not sure that market will support a currency for that purpose. So far it appears bitcoin is primarily a tool used for currency speculation. It needs to move beyond a speculative fad and its not clear that will ever happen.

Re:cash... (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#45787897)

I just worry about the ever increasing times it takes to parse blockchains. This will become ever more an issue when coins get divided up into smaller and smaller chunks.

Yes, one can let an exchange go about that, but there is always the concern about how trustworthy any exchange can be. Banks are not any more trustworthy, but at least there are regulations and insurance on them so someone coughs up your cash if they go toes-up.

Bitcoin isn't a currency. (1)

tonywestonuk (261622) | about 4 months ago | (#45787263)

Its a commodity. Like gold, or silver.

Re:Bitcoin isn't a currency. (2)

bigdavex (155746) | about 4 months ago | (#45787393)

Its a commodity. Like gold, or silver.

Why?

What need or want does a bitcoin satisfy?

Re:Bitcoin isn't a currency. (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45787419)

And before anyone asks the same question about gold or silver, gold has other uses, such as jewelry and electrical connector plating.

Re:Bitcoin isn't a currency. (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 4 months ago | (#45789205)

And before anyone asks the same question about gold or silver, gold has other uses, such as jewelry and electrical connector plating.

Saying gold price is driven by practical uses is like saying booze sales are driven by alcohol's usefulness as a disinfectant. It's stretching the truth way past the point where even Goatse would wince in sympathy. The only question left is what's driving it: psychological fixation on gold or worry about losing one's investment in it if Bitcoin takes some of its marketshare.

Re:Bitcoin isn't a currency. (1, Funny)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 4 months ago | (#45787485)

The need to feel superior while actually being taken for a ride. That's all I came up with.

Re:Bitcoin isn't a currency. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787617)

The need to feel superior while actually being taken for a ride. That's all I came up with.

If you want to satisfy that need, just buy a Mac.

Re:Bitcoin is Digital but still is a currency. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788453)

Culture! The only way I can see bitcoin to lose, is to tax US Corporations at a 90% INCOME TAX RATE and diversify the US Dollars!

wow (1)

biodata (1981610) | about 4 months ago | (#45787299)

much fear many uncertainty very doubt

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787789)

much fear
          many uncertainty

    very doubt

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45789759)

How many times did you run that gibberish through Google (or more likel, Bing) translate? And how in the hell was it modded up?

In a parallel universe... (4, Insightful)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 4 months ago | (#45787303)

Mining for bitcoins actually donated processing time to Folding at home and SETI... so instead of getting virtual currency for wasting compute cycles, we'd probably cure cancer and contact aliens instead.

Re:In a parallel universe... (1)

dysmal (3361085) | about 4 months ago | (#45787691)

Wherever this parallel universe is, i bet the SETI people won't be able to find it now. :(

Re:In a parallel universe... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787959)

Your suggestion wouldn't work. It's like saying that minecarts should transport children to schools instead of being "wasted" carrying ore.

Re:In a parallel universe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788023)

The coin you are thinking of is already in development. Its called CureCoin. It hasn't been launched yet, developers are working with the Folding at home group at Stanford.

Re:In a parallel universe... (1)

tgeller (10260) | about 4 months ago | (#45788361)

There's also Primecoin, which proves the concept that mining energy can be put to a useful goal (for some value of "useful").

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primecoin

Re:In a parallel universe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788979)

Curecoin is not turning proof-of-work into something useful, which is what the OP was thinking. Curecoin is more like releasing a bitcoin miner that automatically donates half of your profits to a cause.

Re:In a parallel universe... (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 4 months ago | (#45788151)

And in a parallel universe, the SETI project would be more open to the idea.

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=71623 [berkeley.edu]

But they're not -and depending on one's point of view, they have good reasons for it.

The other difficulty is making a fold or SETI search accomplishment a proof-of-work without it being wide open to abuse (and, therefore, hugely detrimental to those projects).

A less stringent method would be to set a transaction bit and message to an online solution, and allow clients to check the bit (and the solution) and accept that as the transaction fee - thus allowing anybody who doesn't want to pay a transaction fee to have the option of helping cancer research of the search for little green men instead. Unfortunately, this then runs into a large portion of the Bitcoin community not being open to that idea, since any such framework could easily be abused (see also: Coin Validation).

Re:In a parallel universe... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 4 months ago | (#45790175)

How is SETI considered a more useful use of electricity? It's impossible to know if it was all just a waste of time or whether we simply haven't tried hard enough.

Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (2, Interesting)

retroworks (652802) | about 4 months ago | (#45787307)

Nations like India, which have restrictions limiting women's ownership of land, have the highest per capital consumption rate of gold. Gold mining is the single most environmentally destructive man-made activity on the planet (toxics, carbon, and encroachment into rain forests). If families in India can pay dowry with Bitcoin, I'm all for it.

Re:Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 4 months ago | (#45787337)

Mining Bitcoins isn't all that great either. It's getting more and more computionally intensive, which requires a lot of power, which means computers running on coal-burning power and being cooled by coal-burned power. There was an article here recently about the effect on the environment from Bitcoin mining, wasn't there?

Re:Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787427)

My home town was destroyed by the smog that Bitcoin mining generated. Many lives were lost.

Re:Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787505)

There was an article here recently about the effect on the environment from Bitcoin mining, wasn't there?

This is India. The ilks of Srinivasa Ramanujan just look at a number and declare "oh, the goddess Mahalakshmi told me that this is a hash of the following", a practice known as "Bitcoin mooning".

Re:Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 4 months ago | (#45789051)

It's getting more and more computionally intensive, which requires a lot of power, which means computers running on coal-burning power and being cooled by coal-burned power.

So are video games. All highly-ordered activity has waste. If you want the scientific reason, it's the 2nd law of thermodynamics. If you want a visual explanation, building a statue requires taking a pristine stone and chopping off "the waste" while creating the art. What's the environmental impact of credit card processing, by the way? Life produces waste. That's not an argument against life.

Re:Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 4 months ago | (#45790219)

While it is getting more computationally intensive, the efficiency of the hardware has risen in parallel to keep the costs about the same. Electrically, it costs about the same to mine a coin now as it did years ago, but the output of a miner is now measured in gigahashes instead of megahashes.

Re:Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788205)

Gold is actually useful.

Re:Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45789279)

cant say I have ever traded in actual gold, but the Single Seed Co takes my bitcoins for cannabis seeds so Bitcoins 1, Gold 0.

What nonsense on land ownership... (2)

bayankaran (446245) | about 4 months ago | (#45788239)

Nations like India, which have restrictions limiting women's ownership of land,

What nonsense!!! There is no legal restriction on women owning land in India. What are you smoking?
And who are the idiots who mod you up?

Re:What nonsense on land ownership... (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 4 months ago | (#45788299)

Well, you got someone to mod it back down. But here's the article from The Hindu, published November 2013.

"Just one in 10 women whose parents own agricultural land inherit any land, a soon-to-be-published study by U.N. Women and the land rights advocacy group Landesa has shown. Eight years after women were given equal inheritance rights in law, dowry is still seen as ‘adequate’ recompense for inheritance, the study finds." http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/just-one-in-10-women-inherits-land/article5399292.ece [thehindu.com]

Women are very likely to inherit gold in places where they are less likely to inherit land, and the correlation (if not causation) between gold consumption per capita and women's land ownership is clear. I'd always understood that people loved their daughters equally, but the tradition of giving the daughters gold and the sons land drove up gold consumption. If that's wrong, you should let thehindu.com know, and it would be helpful to offer an alternative explanation.

Re:Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788415)

>> Gold mining is the single most environmentally destructive man-made activity on the planet

Not even close.

Re:Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about 4 months ago | (#45789401)

Nations like India, which have restrictions limiting women's ownership of land, have the highest per capital consumption rate of gold. Gold mining is the single most environmentally destructive man-made activity on the planet (toxics, carbon, and encroachment into rain forests). If families in India can pay dowry with Bitcoin, I'm all for it.

Dowry is messed up, but I think they'd use cash, household items, and even animals before bitcoin.

"Bitcoin: When you have nothing better to trade."

Re:Bitcoin Could be Big Environmental Story (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 4 months ago | (#45789967)

Dowry/gold payments sound more like your pet issue/outrage de jour.

Like.. wow. Ok, so the people handing out dowry payments overlaps with the industrialized, mechanized mining operations that you're referencing how exactly?

Realistically, the gold being PRODUCED today is more likely to wind up in some kind of electronic device than anything else. whereas the stuff being traded for daughters was probably dug out of the ground hundreds or thousands of years ago.

prediction: the amount of gold used in the hardware to produce bitcoins would outstrip the amound gold exchanged as dowry.

Risks? (2)

Bert64 (520050) | about 4 months ago | (#45787483)

None of these so called "risks" are anything new, the same problems exist with traditional cash.

Re:Risks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45789783)

Except you can't buy a printing press and print your own money, a-la ASIC miners. Well, you can, but it's difficult and generally frowned upon.

Yet Another Government Endorsement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45787543)

Every report like this constitutes an additional reason to have confidence in the future of Bitcoin. After all, if governments were secure in the knowledge that they are doing the moral and right thing, bitcoin would be just another charming meme.

Laugh (-1, Offtopic)

koan (80826) | about 4 months ago | (#45787857)

I'll care what India has to say when they have cleaned up their country so something as simple as taking a breath outside the hotel doesn't make you sick.

Priorities people.

Re:Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45789019)

I'll care what you have to say when world hunger is solved. Stop wasting your time on slashdot and get to work already!

Re:Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45790251)

You only get sick because you're a pussy. Stfu, bubble-boy.

First They Ignore You (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45788101)

I remember when Linux was in this stage

1) First they ignore you
2) Then they laugh at you
3) Then they fight you
4) Then you win

Crypto currencies are already at stage 3... wow... and establishments around the world are fighting already... I don't think bitcoin is the end all be all... but what if people / groups are creating their own currencies from the code... ( store credit kinda thing ) and no one knows... gov looses all around... and I for one think less centralization is a good thing... in an Adam Smith kinda way

The Monkey-man has taken your money! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45789495)

Any country with a serious Monkey-man problem [wikipedia.org] is probably not ready for virtual currency.

In May 2001, reports began to circulate in the Indian capital New Delhi of a strange monkey-like creature that was appearing at night and attacking people.[1] Eyewitness accounts were often inconsistent, but tended to describe the creature as about four feet (120 cm) tall,[2] covered in thick black hair, with a metal helmet, metal claws, glowing red eyes and three buttons on its chest; others, however, described the Monkey-man as having a more vulpine snout, and being up to eight feet tall, and muscular; it would leap from building to building like a parcour enthusiast. Still others have described it as a bandaged figure or as a helmeted thing. Theories on the nature of the Monkey Man ranged from an Avatar of the Hindu god Hanuman, to an Indian version of Bigfoot.[3]

Many people reported being scratched, and two[2] (by some reports, three) people even died when they leapt from the tops of buildings or fell down stairwells in a panic caused by what they thought was the attacker. At one point, exasperated police even issued artist's impression drawings in an attempt to catch the creature.

The entire incident has been described as an example of mass hysteria.

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