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MtGox Sets Up Call Center For Worried Bitcoiners

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the yes-it's-still-gone dept.

Bitcoin 240

An anonymous reader writes "Did you lose bitcoins in the MtGox debacle and are worried that you'll never get them back? Fear not, a call center has been set up in Japan to help allay your fears. From the article: 'Bitcoin investors left hanging by the sudden shuttering of the MtGox electronic market will soon have a way to learn more about the fate of their cryptocurrency holdings—a Japanese phone hotline. In an announcement on the company's website, MtGox said that a call center had been set up to handle inquiries about the company. The call center will go live on the morning of March 3, Japan time.'"

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Moshi moshi (5, Interesting)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 7 months ago | (#46386329)

Losing taught humility
Gained me Perspective
I'm a better person now

Re:Moshi moshi (2)

1s44c (552956) | about 7 months ago | (#46386367)

I already posted so I can't mod, but I just have to say that's a wonderful quote.

Re: Moshi moshi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386513)

Wasn't that the first post?

Well, now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386843)

So, poetry, art and the humanities do have some value, I guess; well just to an individual.

Business on the other hand, just wants soulless engineers who think literally.

Re:Moshi moshi (1)

Drewdad (1738014) | about 7 months ago | (#46386881)

Telephone is too
High tech let me send you a
Telegram instead

job (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386331)

That sounds like a nice job to apply for.

Regulation of currency (4, Insightful)

delt0r (999393) | about 7 months ago | (#46386335)

The history of paper money is interesting as is fractional reserve banking. What a lot of people don't realize is that we the public asked for it to be regulated. And for good reason. The problem i have with bitcoin and bitcoin fans, is they seem to think bitcoin is somehow immune to all the things that went wrong with normal currencies. Its not.

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Interesting)

1s44c (552956) | about 7 months ago | (#46386361)

On the whole BitCoin fans don't think that. Maybe some naive kids who got a lot of coins by being in the right place at the right time think that. If they do it will cost them dearly. There are perfectly rational people in the BitCoin scene, people who do research and don't throw money at companies that look shady as hell like MtGox did before it blew.

It's been said many times and it deserves to be said many more - MtGox had only been paying out cash with months of delays for about a year before they went insolvent. Their death was widely predicted about a year before it happened. MtGox also has a history of very serious security issues like the time they leaked their entire user database. Hashed passwords, Usernames, Email addresses, the lot.

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386403)

The cost of doing business with BTC is unacceptably high when every person needs to do their own research.

That is another failure with under-regulated markets. In those markets, people's time is expected to be worthless. Every person is expected to spend lots of time reading up on all sorts of stuff that is irrelevant in a well-regulated market.

The bitcoin people are probably reading all ToS on all websites they visit as well, right? RIGHT?

Re:Regulation of currency (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386413)

Bitcoin is still young. This is a time or risk and opportunity. Besides, if you really think anyone should invest money, for example in the stock market, without spending lots of time reading up on all sorts of stuff, I have a bridge to sell you.

Re:Regulation of currency (5, Insightful)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 7 months ago | (#46386439)

Bitcoin is still young. This is a time or risk and opportunity. Besides, if you really think anyone should invest money, for example in the stock market, without spending lots of time reading up on all sorts of stuff, I have a bridge to sell you.

Monkeys do better than people in the stock market [gizmodo.com.au] - I'm sure they did lots of market research beforehand though.

Re:Regulation of currency (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46386585)

If you think investing in the stock market has anything to do with research and nothing with inside trading and a lot of crystal ball consultation, I'd rather not sell that bridge. You might get cheated in the deal.

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386615)

The kind of reading which should be mandatory before investing in the stock market is about risk management, not about how to find the company that will make you rich. Knowing how much to invest, how to diversify and how to avoid rookie mistakes will help with not losing your life's savings, whether you're investing in the stock market or Bitcoins.

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386991)

You can't lose assets you don't put on the table, just like walking through the door at the casino. Don't bring your life savings and you won't lose them.

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46386469)

BTC is definitely too 'buyer beware' to really make it as a currency in its present state; but it's worth noting that there is apparently (a whole lot) of money in adding incomprehensibility to even relatively well behaved currencies. You don't want to let that side of the market get out of hand (Why hello there, world financial crisis, we were just talking about you, those functionally-impossible-to-value instruments, and assorted similar wacky stories...)

Once you count the dreadful freakshows grafted onto real currencies, BTC actually scores relatively low on complexity, on average; but the trouble is that there isn't really a 'safe for noobs' option.

With USD and friends, you should Stay Out Of The Deep End, because that's where the sharks live; but (in no small part because regulators stepped in to make it so) just getting a smallish bank account isn't a harrowing experience.

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 7 months ago | (#46386717)

In those markets, people's time is expected to be worthless. Every person is expected to spend lots of time reading up on all sorts of stuff that is irrelevant in a well-regulated market.

No its not worthless its an investment in risk management. Your alternative is they invest tax dollars in paying a small army of regulators and politicians to in theory look out for their interests instead. Look how well the events of 2008-2013 show that works.

And don't try say it was because of "deregulation" it was because of changed and stupid regulations not deregulation which has essentially never happened in finance. Real deregulation would mean repealing laws without replacements. When most of our politicians say "deregulation" what they really mean is we are giving a select group of already successful incumbent operators a license to steal.

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Interesting)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 7 months ago | (#46386883)

Real deregulation would mean repealing laws without replacements.

Just out of curiosity, what "replacement" was enacted after the repeal of Glass-Steagal?

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Insightful)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | about 7 months ago | (#46386823)

unacceptably high for whom?

There are plenty of cases where the cost/risk might be acceptable.

If I want to buy something for $100 and anonymity is important, then I may well be happy to risk losing my $100.

Similarly if I have a bunch of illicit cash and I can convert it into bitcoin - I might be willing to risk losing it rather than risk it coming to the attention of the authorities.

Is bitcoin suitable for your average person to store their pension savings? Almost certainly not. That doesn't mean the cost (risk) is unacceptably high for everyone though.

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386877)

Bitcoin is not anonymous. You are much better offer popping your $100 bill in an envelope and mailing it.

Re:Regulation of currency (2)

chill (34294) | about 7 months ago | (#46387045)

Great! Then those people who just stole $400+ million by siphoning BTC from Mt. Gox wallets will be caught! Nothing to worry about at all!

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386863)

That is another failure with under-regulated markets. In those markets, people's time is expected to be worthless. Every person is expected to spend lots of time reading up on all sorts of stuff that is irrelevant in a well-regulated market.

No.

The market doesn't expect everyone to do all their own research any more than it expects everyone to grow their own food. Division of labour applies just as well to information as it does to production.

The more troubling element of your claim is that regulation somehow solves the problems. What if a regulator makes a mistake?

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

rmstar (114746) | about 7 months ago | (#46387029)

The more troubling element of your claim is that regulation somehow solves the problems. What if a regulator makes a mistake?

You make it sound as if regulation was something completely exotic. Regulation actually exists, and there is plenty of it. To answer you question: If regulators make mistakes, they are eventually corrected. Happens all the time.

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46387053)

Wow. You completely missed the point. Let me spell it out for you and maybe, just maybe, you'll expand beyond the mental age of 12.

If I put $50,000 in a real bank, and they go bust, the FDIC gives me my money back. If I put $50,000 into btc and the exchange steals it, I'm out $50 large. That is how regulation solves the problem.

Dumbass

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 7 months ago | (#46387069)

And what happens if FDIC goes bust too?

Re:Regulation of currency (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386969)

The cost of doing business with BTC is unacceptably high when every person needs to do their own research.

You certainly have to be more careful, but on the other hand the average tax payer won't have to pay for the MtGox collapse like they did for the banking crisis.

Re:Regulation of currency (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386411)

The very fact that anyone trusted "Magic The Gathering Online eXchange" speaks volumes about the mentality of bitcoin fans.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386433)

Exactly. Who'd buy electronics from a company that was founded for making rubber boots?

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#46386493)

Or a phone from a company that began by selling fish and vegetables in the 1930s.

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Insightful)

Buck Feta (3531099) | about 7 months ago | (#46386553)

Or database management software from a company that started out making punch clocks and meat slicers? (or, for that matter, database management from an online bookstore?)

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386685)

Y'all missing the point, nimrods. None of those companies mentioned were involved with a gay card game.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386879)

You obviosuly werent around for those casual friday strip-poker games at the mentioned places.

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386647)

But Mt Gox failed and lost a whole bunch of money. So your example is a moot point.

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386965)

Exactly. Who'd buy electronics from a company that was founded for making rubber boots?

No one, if they sold their soul to Microsoft.

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386471)

If someone was perfectly rational, they wouldnt be touching Bitcoins.

Rational (2)

DrYak (748999) | about 7 months ago | (#46386617)

they wouldnt be touching Bitcoins.

or at least, they won't be risking more money than they can afford to lose.
I mean bitcoin is a fun new technology to start experimenting with. And so it might be interesting for some to risk a bit in order to play with it.

But just don't act like those idiots ready to throw tons of money everywhere just on the vague promise that this one scam could help them make bazillions-USD-worth of BTCs.

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Interesting)

delt0r (999393) | about 7 months ago | (#46386517)

On the whole BitCoin fans don't think that.

While there are some quite clued up people in bitcoin (ie the bitcoin FAQ on the official page), there are a lot of anti government people who really don't understand our current banking systems at all. Then of course there are lot of speculators. It could be argued they don't really care as long as they can predict.

Personally some form of ecoin appeals to me and the bitcoin system is well thought out. Its has some flaws like scalability etc and too long to confirm transactions that all could be remedied with a different set of implementation details. Perhaps what i like the best is that block chains could be used to prove the existence of something at a time in a fairly secure manner. ie hash of security camera footage, ideas book, patent applications etc.

But it has failed as a currency to date. At best is a speculative thing. And i remain unconvinced that a proof of work is a good idea. Utility of those resources is wasted and would be better spent elsewhere.

Re:Regulation of currency (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 7 months ago | (#46386663)

I really don't get the impression Bitcoin's fans are the paragons of rationality you're painting them as. And in particular, I take exception with the quote "don't throw money at companies that look shady as hell like MtGox did before it blew."

Some observations:

1. I've read numerous op-eds (op-eds!) over the past week suggesting Mt. Gox's collapse has made everything safer because there's one less bad actor, and those who remain in the Bitcoin world are more mature.

2. There's no recognition that Mt. Gox was, until 6-9 months ago, a highly regarded exchange that was frequently recommended, cited, and so on. It didn't corner the percentage of the market it got to despite everyone thinking it was "sleazy". It got there because of word of mouth. Suddenly it "always sleazy", "everyone knew", and "OMG it was originally something to do with Magic: The Gathering, right?"

3. Many now claiming they "always knew" and are citing things they said 6-9 months ago, after Mt. Gox had already started collapsing and after it had started to become problematic getting money out. Presumably the same people would have said "I always knew the Titanic was badly designed, look at this transcript of a conversation I had on the deck at 12.30am on 15th April 1912 [wikipedia.org] . This is what represents "doing research" in the Bitcoin community?

4. Many are now pretending that Mt. Gox provided an unnecessary service and are finding other reasons to blame the victim. What exactly is a "safe" way to manage Bitcoins if you're technically skilled (or are generally technically skilled but also more than aware that you frequently overestimate your own competence?)

5. Where, seriously, are the serious proposals to make Mt. Gox style collapses impossible in the future? In the regulated dollar world, we have the FDIC, and we have each bank subject to minimum standards of security so that the vast majority of customers will not face problems if a bank fails. Or are you seriously going to tell me that the magic fairies of the invisible hand of the market are going to prevent these collapses in the future?

Re:Regulation of currency (3, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46386751)

I mostly agree with you, bitcoin fans are living in denial.

However, a "safe" way to manage your bitcoins is to keep them in multiple distributed wallets that you control.

And the idea IS that the invisible hand will eventually prevent these collapses. In the meantime, there will be more of them. That can only happen if the invisible hand stops fucking you, also. Otherwise it's too busy.

Re:Regulation of currency - 2 issues (4, Insightful)

meander (178059) | about 7 months ago | (#46386729)

1) bitcoin value goes up and down, so does everything else. Live with it or dont use it.

2) Storing your bitcoins on a server owned by someone else is like giving your cash to someone you dont know. Maybe it will still be there, maybe it wont. If you are on Linux, or Windows or OSX, use a client like electrum (electrum.org). You can store the bitcoin wallet on your own computer, without relying on some not so trusted intermediary. You do do backups dont you?

Yesterday I transferred most of my bitcoin stash (~$500 Aussie) into my own wallet on my own computer, and backed it up elsewhere.

The bitcoin is now safe, the value of it may change up and down. Bit like owning shares, isn't it?

Re:Regulation of currency (2)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 7 months ago | (#46386817)

"Maybe some naive kids who got a lot of coins by being in the right place at the right time think that. If they do it will cost them dearly. "

i don't really think any "kids" who mined bitcoin early on enough to really hit a lick would be dumb enough to store them at mt. gox...so its not like they lost anything.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386865)

> On the whole BitCoin fans don't think that.

From speaking to Bitcoins fans, yes, they do. I can actually *see* the reversed print on their foreheads from where they fell asleep and rested, their excited, sweaty brows on the copy of "Atlas Shrugged" someone told them they should read, now that they're going off to college.....

Re:Regulation of currency (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386387)

Bitcoin certainly doesn't solve all problems, but let's not forget what happened last time one big bank collapsed "in the real world": Even people who did not bank with them were robbed by their governments to prop up basically every remaining bank in the world, and the trillions of debt will continue to demand interest payments from everyone's taxes. Meanwhile in Bitcoin-land, those who acted responsibly still have all their Bitcoins, and because the money supply hasn't been increased arbitrarily to devalue everyone's assets and to use the difference to bail out those who acted most irresponsibly, the Bitcoins held by sensible people are not suddenly a smaller share of the whole pie.

Re:Regulation of currency (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46386461)

Indeed, MtGox managed to devalue everyone's assets by half without creating any inflation whatsoever. What an amazing innovation.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

r.freeman (2944629) | about 7 months ago | (#46386645)

Oh no, bitcoin investment yelded only 500% yearly, instead of 1000%, buuu huuuu.
In the mean time USD gained how much, +5% from some bonds?
That's what, 400% instead 800% after USD inflation, compared to -1% ? Clearly -1% > 400%, sign me in.
http://thefinancialphysician.c... [thefinanci...sician.com]

Re:Regulation of currency (2)

F. Lynx Pardinus (2804961) | about 7 months ago | (#46386747)

Volatility is a weakness, not a strength, for a digital currency. It's fine to be volatile when a currency is just starting out, but no supporter should be excited by it or want more of it.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46386845)

Yes, it is a problem when three months of growth in an investment is wiped out overnight, especially if you bought in during that period. It's even worse news for anyone who wasn't investing and was trying to use Bitcoin to actually buy things.

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386995)

If you bought things when bitcoin was at $1200 this is great news.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386855)

I've made 500-1000% returns in the last year on some of my more risky portfolio choices (i.e. Tesla). Trying to pretend bitcoin is a real currency, and then bragging about it's volatility is... quite silly.

Short term asset speculators want high volatility in an "investment" (the goal being quick jumps in price), but the worst possible quality of a "currency" is high volatility.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

r.freeman (2944629) | about 7 months ago | (#46387005)

Ok, so we have two cases:
1) just use bitcoin to send money. Then price changes are tollerable, and they will stabilize (they jump now - around big events)
2) use bitcoin as long term investment. While there are many other opportunities to hoard/store/invest money which are also good, bitcoin works out fine too, in long term it is always an up trend in 3-12 month period

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46386489)

Aside from preventing any central bank from reacting, since they'd need sufficient consensus to modify the protocol behavior, is there anything that would stop a zOMG financial crisis style event denominated in BTC rather than USD?

Hypothetically, you might be able to prevent most leverage-providing instruments if all depositors deposited a specific bitcoin, with the right to demand that specific one back (though, since that would effectively prevent most uses to which deposits are put, any institution offering such a service would probably expect to be paid for secure storage, rather than paying you for use of capital, so they'd likely spin a more fungible 'your bitcoin in, a bitcoin out on request' offer, at which point you are back in fractional reserve territory.

The various yet-more-obscure CDOs and credit default swaps and things also seem like something that today's bitcoin holders would tend to be culturally averse to; but not something that any property of bitcoins would preclude. The only real difference would be the endgame, since you just don't get a choice about tweaking the money supply with bitcoins.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386549)

Bitcoin does not remove risk, obviously. It changes how risk affects the stakeholders. You can still have CDOs denominated in Bitcoins, but when you lose your bet, you lose your bet. You don't get a bailout because you're "too big to fail". The aversion against the fractional reserve banking isn't just cultural. It's a result of the Bitcoin design. If you compare Bitcoin to "cash" (let's say M1), then you could be tempted to think that every aspect of fractional reserve banking could be implemented on top of Bitcoin. But with a fixed money supply (actually even shrinking due to coins being lost), things are different. The average interest paid on investments cannot be greater than zero, and with that, fractional reserve banking doesn't make sense.

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46387057)

> 'your bitcoin in, a bitcoin out on request' offer, at which point you are back in fractional reserve territory.
Also money laundering.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

jythie (914043) | about 7 months ago | (#46386555)

Well yes, that is because banks, unlike BTC exchanges, are actually critical for the economy to keep moving. When a BTC exchange goes down the impact is minimal. When an entire banking system freezes up things start grinding to a halt.

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386397)

If there is something of value involved then scammers will always be aplenty, make that something unregulated and the scammers will flock to it.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46386591)

Banks are regulated?

Fuck, I don't even want to ponder what our economy would look like without if THAT is what it looks like WITH regulated banks!

Re:Regulation of currency (2)

delt0r (999393) | about 7 months ago | (#46386771)

Like i said. Read some of the history. Its not pretty.

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

labnet (457441) | about 7 months ago | (#46386657)

Bit coin is stupid because it can't expand and shrink to fit economic use.
Money is convenient form barter and needs to represent the productive capital of its users and to remain stable for a given capital. (Eg an apple is worth 1dollar from year to year, 1 dollar today, then 10 dollars next week)
As more people use it, scarcity increases its value, making early adopters insanely rich. See the con.

Re:Regulation of currency (2)

delt0r (999393) | about 7 months ago | (#46386777)

I do also agree with this. But its worse than make people "rich". It means people hoard. This is not useful for a currency or for an economy for that matter.

Re:Regulation of currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386923)

Bitcoin is still in the "buy-in" phase. Without people backing it with something, it won't be used as a currency. The total valuation is a few billion USD at the moment. Is that enough to trust it for everyday commerce? Definitely not. If you use Bitcoin now, you're an early adopter, and early adopters are rewarded for taking high risks (or, if things don't work as they expect, they lose their investment). Was the internet a viable replacement for book shops or phone networks when it went "mainstream" in the 90s? No, but some believed that one day it would be. That Bitcoins are mostly not used as a payment system now doesn't mean that it never will. People are investing in that vision.

Deflation doesn't mean that nobody will ever spend their money (in the hope that they can buy more later). The decision to spend or keep the money depends on the perceived value: If you want to have something now more than you want to have later what you can have then, then you spend, otherwise you keep. That is exactly the same decision you make in an inflationary system. The kind of inflation that most people find acceptable doesn't even make a psychological difference, or do you feel pressed to spend now or lose your savings to inflation?

Re:Regulation of currency (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46386815)

Bitcoin isn't though in the sense that this money was actually STOLEN.

With fractional reserve banking you can rob a country of trillions and it isn't technically stealing. These bitcoins were STOLEN.

Like and old school bankrobbery where some guy breaks into the bank and walks off with boxes of gold coins. Stolen.

And the issue with these bitcoin exchanges is that they were not handling transactions securely. Bitcoin itself is secure. But they made compromises when they set the exchanges up and guess what... that was enough to allow all their money to be stolen.

We've gone over this repeatedly. Had they used bitcoin's own encryption and hash system per transaction they wouldn't have been robbed in THIS way. Possibly they would be robbed in another way. But you learn.

This robbery should go down as a lesson in how NOT to secure a bitcoin exchange. Not that bitcoins themselves are flawed.

So far as I know, no one has found a flaw in bitcoin itself.

So no... it is not the same as fractional reserve banking.

More importantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386337)

...with Mt.Gox down for the count, the price depression caused by the uncertainty around Mt.Gox appears to be over. Bitcoins are up more than 6 percent in the last 3 hours.

Re:More importantly (1)

delt0r (999393) | about 7 months ago | (#46386525)

What a great currency.. Oh wait. No that would make too volatile to be a currency.

The General consensus is that it was pure fraud. (5, Informative)

blackicye (760472) | about 7 months ago | (#46386339)

http://hackingdistributed.com/... [hackingdistributed.com]

Re:The General consensus is that it was pure fraud (1)

jythie (914043) | about 7 months ago | (#46386559)

Yeah, but so far it is just group think and says a lot about the community`s self perception.

Re:The General consensus is that it was pure fraud (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46386593)

And the difference to the stock market would be...?

Re:The General consensus is that it was pure fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386947)

And the relevance of that comment would be...? Why do bitrcoiners always compare themself to the monetary market when they are nothing more than expensive collectors items?

Re:The General consensus is that it was pure fraud (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 7 months ago | (#46386583)

Good link, and well written analysis by the author. Thank you for drawing our attention to it.

Must admit I've been surprised to the extent to which the "Immediate reasons why Mt. Gox collapsed" speculation has gone beyond "What Mt. Gox themselves claimed" (transaction malleability/hackers) and "Fraud". It would seem to me there's no reason whatsoever to look at any other reasons. The "Obama closed them down" thing in particular just seems to confirm the views I have about how Bitcoin advocates/users think.

Re:The General consensus is that it was pure fraud (0)

DarkOx (621550) | about 7 months ago | (#46386799)

The problem is of course the flip side where folks like you will endless apologize for big government and the status quo.

We have seen lots of governments respond in ways that are hostile to Bitcoin, we have seen several of our legislators tirade about it. We have watched as the proof our Security Agencies have repeatedly over stepped and target Americans, and foreign business; they have a long established history of currency manipulation in South America in particular but really around the world.

In what way isn't the hypothesis our government or at least certain parts of it actively sought to destroy Bitcoin reasonable? The fact is nobody knows much of anything about what went on at Mt. Gox; except maybe its operators and I suspect even they don't really know what happened because had they been doing any sort of half way correct book keeping they should have caught the thefts a long time ago. So my bet is even they don't know the details of what happened or they were in on it.

Re:The General consensus is that it was pure fraud (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 7 months ago | (#46386807)

s/reasonable/unreasonable

Re:The General consensus is that it was pure fraud (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386981)

1%er 1st world problems. normal people simply need to make ends meet, they cant be spending their time invesitgating volatile markets to see small not-even-percentage gains on their meager savings. Bitcon people seems to be wanna-be stock-market winners and we all know how honest and trustworthy they are.

Re:The General consensus is that it was pure fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46387055)

You missed out criminal negligence, which is by far the most likely explanation. It is mathematically impossible for transaction malleability to explain the loss of so many bitcoins, so I suppose at the very least the ensuing cover-up could be classed as fraud. I doubt Karpeles still has the coins though. He'd be long gone if he did.

after all... (1)

Fotis Georgatos (3006465) | about 7 months ago | (#46386389)

...setting up a phone consolation center is so much cheaper than meeting all those expectations about monies!

Re:after all... (1)

pjt33 (739471) | about 7 months ago | (#46386801)

If they do it right, they can even make a profit on the call centre and pay down some of their dollar/yen liabilities.

The Conversation (1)

mrspoonsi (2955715) | about 7 months ago | (#46386409)

Bla..bla..bla..bla..your monies are safe..bla..bla..bla will just take a bit of time to sort out..bla..bla Who is going to believe whatever they say?

I was expecting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386423)

"Ha ha ha <click> ha ha ha <click> ha ha ha <click>"

If only... (2)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 7 months ago | (#46386467)

If only there was a more efficient way to publish information and make it available to a large group of people.

Comedy central (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386483)

In the mean time, wouldn't you want to please your woman?

The K government is already planning to help (1)

cheros (223479) | about 7 months ago | (#46386485)

From the BBC:

"HMP Grampian will also have a dedicated unit for training prisoners for a return to work when they are released. The unit will include a telephone marketing centre." [bbc.co.uk]

The only problem I see that being in prison already makes trying to sign you up for a scam less of a risk for the operator, but I digress :)

Reality Intrudes (4, Interesting)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 7 months ago | (#46386521)

At some point in any belief system, reality demonstrates that the system is not a complete model of how the world works. Sometimes this is minor, and sometimes it's huge. If a believer becomes even more convinced that they are right after a extreme event, they have embraced delusional thinking. (Note: one of the differences between the scientific method and other belief systems is that new results are often are used as evidence to alter the belief, i.e. hypothesis, so the belief system expands.)

There are a lot of people these days, many of them readers of Slashdot, who espouse a belief system with a lot of delusional features: Libertarianism. This position, along with the similar political belief of the U.S. Republican Party, the British Torries and Canadian Conservatives share common beliefs. One prominent belief is that all government regulation of business is always evil. They are particularly adamant that financial regulation is always destructive.

An epic recent example is the admission by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan [wikipedia.org] , who is self described as "lifelong libertarian Republican".

In Congressional testimony on October 23, 2008, Greenspan acknowledged that he was "partially" wrong in opposing regulation and stated "Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder's equity – myself especially – are in a state of shocked disbelief." Referring to his free-market ideology, Greenspan said: "I have found a flaw. I don't know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact." Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) then pressed him to clarify his words. "In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working," Waxman said. "Absolutely, precisely," Greenspan replied. "You know, that's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well." Greenspan admitted fault in opposing regulation of derivatives and acknowledged that financial institutions didn't protect shareholders and investments as well as he expected.

Matt Taibbi described the Greenspan put and its bad consequences saying: "every time the banks blew up a speculative bubble, they could go back to the Fed and borrow money at zero or one or two percent, and then start the game all over", thereby making it "almost impossible" for the banks to lose money. He also called Greenspan a "classic con man" who, through political savvy, "flattered and bullshitted his way up the Matterhorn of American power and ... jacked himself off to the attention of Wall Street for 20 consecutive years."

The failure of Mt. Gox is a inevitable consequence of an unregulated financial market. Bank failures were common in the U.S. from it's founding until modern baking regulation started after the Great Depression, when they became uncommon. This situation was stable until the Reagan Revolution, and steady removal of the previously working regulatory regime.

Greenspan is the poster child for the catastrophic effects of delusional right wing economic thinking, and the 2008 crash along with the current debt of the U.S. are the legacy. The world economy is still recovering from that disaster, and no one can say how long it will take for a full recovery. Note that the so called recovery of the financial markets is simply an extension of the policies that lead to the crash in the first place. What Matt Taibbi described is still happening: "they could go back to the Fed and borrow money at zero or one or two percent".

Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are the high tech realization of delusional right wing economic thinking. They are ideologically founded on the idea of avoiding government economic oversight. Lack of regulation inevitably leads to a boom/bust cycle and poisons economic growth.

The real world has, in effect, presented right wing thinkers with an intelligence test. The results so far are they they have doubled down on their delusional beliefs. They have shown no ability to learn from the past.

Here's the short version: they were stupid, they are stupid, and they're planning on being stupid in the future.

Re:Reality Intrudes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386639)

Fantastic post!! Kudos for mentioning Reagan and Greenspan in the same post. Somehow, people buy into their belief-system that for-profit systems can regulate themselves. History is littered with examples this is not so, however, as a free thinker you never know for 100% sure of course. But how can for-profit systems self-regulate, if they themselves can change regulation and laws (corruption) in order to gain even more power and monopoly? If their basis is growth, what is the price for infinite growth?

People have always believed the world is static, non-changing, or that it can be made into such a system. In reality, such seeking is the root of most delusions.
Most graphs that go parabolic or exponential, can turn on a dime with very little warning with catastrophic results.

Captcha: disquiet

Re:Reality Intrudes (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46386803)

Not quite true: self-organising systems can regulate themselves into surprisingly resilient equilibria. This is why the economy doesn't need constant micro-management; feedback loops like supply and demand tend to damp out perturbations. However there's no reason to suppose that any given equilibrium arising from any given set of constraints and feedbacks will be optimal for whatever outcome you're looking for, be it quality of life, GDP per capita, or whatever. The "laissez faire capitalism is implied by self-organisation" argument tends to assume without evidence that the best equilibrium is the one you fall into with the set of feedbacks and constraints that the proponent's flavour of laissez faire capitalism favours. However it's important to remember that there's no reason to assume that the equilibrium produced by the current set of rules is optimal, either.

It's also important to remember that if your system naturally falls out of its current equilibrium (which is a thing self-organising systems can do) you will need to change the feedbacks and constraints or apply an external force to get it back to where it was. Basically, you can't walk away and say "this system is inherently able to look after us, if we leave it alone", just on the basis of its being a self-organising system.

Re:Reality Intrudes (0)

fulldecent (598482) | about 7 months ago | (#46386891)

>> U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman ... who is self described as "lifelong libertarian Republican"

Stopped reading here

Re:Reality Intrudes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386953)

If a believer becomes even more convinced that they are right after a extreme event, they have embraced delusional thinking.

This event supports the libertarian theory. Having greater confidence in the theory as a result is scientific.

Re:Reality Intrudes (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about 7 months ago | (#46386987)

Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are the high tech realization of delusional right wing economic thinking. They are ideologically founded on the idea of avoiding government economic oversight. Lack of regulation inevitably leads to a boom/bust cycle and poisons economic growth.

Bitcoin is only intended to solve the problem of money production and changing hands. It does not in any way address banking. It is a currency, not an economic system.

It basically solves the same problems as trading in gold solves - there is no inflation because the rate of production is well-understood. I can still rob you and steal your gold, and a bank you give gold to can still steal your money or lose it in a failure.

MtGox certainly illustrates the perils of giving your money to an unregulated bank. It doesn't really illustrate the problems with Bitcoin though, because Bitcoin doesn't address banking at all. Nothing prevents people from storing their Bitcoins in a regulated bank, other than the general unwillingness of governments to regulate it.

One thing Bitcoin does do is make it much more practical to run your own bank. Doing that with cash is fraught with peril, but it is at least reasonably practical to do it for Bitcoin. Certainly one can still do it badly and lose everything, and I'm not calling it the ultimate solution.

Re:Reality Intrudes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386989)

Lots of words there but very little thought. Try for a moment to think some of these things through, think of it as a challenge.

"One prominent belief is that all government regulation of business is always evil."

Can you cite any Republican thinkers or conservatives advocating this specific thing? This is a serious question.

The conservative understands that some government is a necessary and good thing for a society. There is a very big difference between limited government and no government. Those who believe in no government are called anarchists but people who understand these things, and an anarchist is very different than a conservative.

The conservative believes in limited government with well thought out, clearly defined powers that are fair and equally applied to all in society. That's pretty much the entire philosophy right there. And this philosphy is pretty well exactly what was laid out by the United States Constitution many years ago.

Now we look at the situation we find ourselves in today and we find someone like you accusing and pointing fingers of blame, incorrectly asserting that the conservative seeks to remove all regulation from the financial sector and I think to myself, is this person a conservative himself? I strongly doubt it. Most likely I suspect that you are a liberal, or to put it more accurately a socialist, that is to say a statist. What do you say, am I correct? You seem to be advocating for more state regulation of society in general and the financial sector in the specific, are you not? Is my guess accurate?

Now I ask this for a reason and I am hoping we can have a conversation about this subject. You are asserting that the Republicans - that is the conservatives, and they are not the same thing at all, have removed - or sought to remove or at least call for the removal of "all government regulation of business" thus causing the financial mess we are in today. And your solution as a good statist therefore is to enact more and more intrusive regulation of the markets and society in general in the form of taxation, regulation and generally bigger and bigger government all the way around. Is that not what you are saying?

But let's work this through all the way.

Republicans are not running the show. Going back decades we see occasional Republican officeholders here and there, but the truth is that even when we see Republicans in office at one level or another the vast majority of time the Democrats have the reigns of power and by and large make all the laws. Heck, even when we do have someone in office that has R after their name, they don't act very conservative anyway. This is also a falsehood.

Now you also seem to be saying that the financial sector has been de-regulated. This is absurd, completely and totally absurd. I work in information technology, largely in the fincial services sector and can tell you from direct experience that banks and other finacial services businesses are probably the most regulated and controlled of all businesses there are. This is not a matter of opinion and if you know anything about what you are talking about you would understand this. Another falsehood.

So you are wrong about the nature of conservates in general. You are wrong about Republicans in the specific. You are wrong about the state of regulation in our society, and you are wrong about who is responsible for all this government activity.

And you advice is that we elect more statists and encourage them to create yet more and more regulation and grow government more.

Yeah, great fucking idea there genius.

Re:Reality Intrudes (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 7 months ago | (#46387061)

Though I largely agree, I think you're over simplifying the story a bit. For example:

Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are the high tech realization of delusional right wing economic thinking. They are ideologically founded on the idea of avoiding government economic oversight.

Are you sure about this? Certainly there are a lot of Libertarian "types" among the BitCoin fans, but was this the sole (or even primary) motivation for the inventors?

They have shown no ability to learn from the past.

While this is certainly true of many on the right (and the left, for that matter), there are also quite a few who either learned something or never believed the ideology in the first place. Most of these continue pushing the old line simply because it's their job, as designated by their corporate sponsors.

But there are a handful who seem to have genuinely learned something. Can't remember the guy's name, but he used to run CitiBank... that guy, about a year ago, basically came out and called for a Glass-Steagal type of separation between commercial and investment banking. David Stockman has called for tax reform (including increased revenue) to deal with the budget. There are others, but these are just off the top of my head... Trouble is, most of these "enlightened" conservatives are either retired or no longer involved with politics. The ones who are still "in the system" have to toe the line, and fight to keep the status-quo going as long as possible.

That will go well! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386535)

Transcript of a typical call:

Caller:WHE'AS MA FUCKIN MUNNAY?!
Handler:Sir, please calm down and speak a little clearer, we are here to help you.
Caller:Okay, okay, where... is.. ma... fuckin... moneee?
Handler begins to cry.
Call was terminated.

They will need to open a support centre for the people answering the phones eventually.

Another possible ending to that call (4, Funny)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46386581)

Handler: You didn't have any money with us, sir.
Caller: What?!?!? I had 100 BitCoins with you!!!! I am going to sue you!
Handler:: You just had some bytes with us, sir. Do you remember when you posted that copying music against copyright shouldn't be a crime because it was just bytes and nothing tangible and had little, if any, value? We will gladly compensate you for the value of the bytes you lost, the bytes that you have publicly stated have little if any value. See you in court
Caller:Gahhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Re:That will go well! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46386597)

And now you know why the banks didn't install something like that when our money went poof.

Fuck /. beta. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386539)

Fuck /. beta. It must die.

What is 'and it's gone' in Japanese? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386623)

Call this hotline to find out!

Re:What is 'and it's gone' in Japanese? (1)

mrvan (973822) | about 7 months ago | (#46387027)

Sumimasen! O-kyaku-sama no bitokoinu-wa kietta arimasu! Moushiwake arimasen!

Why not use own wallet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386651)

Why did people lose their bitcoins? Surely any sensible person would keep their coins in their own wallet. The nature of bitcoins is that it is a distributed currency, so the only reason for bitcoins to leave your wallet is when you are making a payment. So the only potential for loss when an exchange stops trading should be those who have initiated the transaction to convert bitcoins into fiat currency but have not received it.

"Bitcoiner"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46386671)

Is someone who buys dollars a dollarer, or how about a Euroer, or a yener?

Really??

Re:"Bitcoiner"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46387013)

I thought "bitcoiner" was the actual fool behind the wheel, not the car he is crashing. so a Yener would be a person using (or producing) Yen.

Call center script... (1)

msauve (701917) | about 7 months ago | (#46386681)

"Yes, we have no bananas."

Hire refugees from AT&T (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 7 months ago | (#46386699)

They've already got the script:

"First, let me say that I'm sorry that you're having a problem with your Bitcoin service today..."

Pay-number (1)

deroby (568773) | about 7 months ago | (#46386735)

I do wonder what they charge per minute .. might a a lucrative way to squeeze even more money out of their 'clients' =)

Stupid question (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about 7 months ago | (#46386899)

I don't know much about Bitcoin, and it's probably a stupid question, but where did the BTCs go?
Isn't it possible to trace it, and prove that you owned them?

This is the second, not first MtGox incident (2)

xtal (49134) | about 7 months ago | (#46387059)

I had.. a few Bitcoins a very long time ago.

I stopped being interested the first time the exchange went screwy and f--ked over people. I think it was a database hack of some type or DDOS.

It's unregulated, and the problem is you need a exchange to turn Bitcoins into Cash, and Cash into Bitcoins. That means somewhere you have to trust someone.

Call me when a nation state is backing a cryptocurrency. That will change everything. Until then it is a crap shoot.

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