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Bitcoin's Software Gets Security Fixes, New Features

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the don't-modify-that-transaction dept.

Bitcoin 173

itwbennett (1594911) writes "The software driving Bitcoin's network was upgraded Wednesday, with security fixes addressing a problem that defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox blamed for losing nearly half a billion dollars worth of bitcoins. The latest version of bitcoin's software, 0.9.0, contains more than a half dozen fixes for transaction malleability, according to the release notes for the software. Bitcoin Core also contains a new feature for payment requests. Previously, merchants couldn't attach a note describing an invoice, and people also could not supply a refund address to a merchant. The latest version automatically supplies a refund address." This wouldn't have prevented the Mt. Gox implosion since they weren't using the reference implementation. The foundation also renamed the software to "Bitcoin Core" to avoid confusion between Bitcoin-the-network and Bitcoin-the-reference-implementation,

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Bitcoin this fuckers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534705)

Bitcoin the MT Gox edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534863)

What? (3, Funny)

DogDude (805747) | about 7 months ago | (#46534723)

Are you fucking kidding me? Bug fixes for a currency?

I'd be real curious to see how many Bitcoin users are also Amway and Herbalife salesmen.

Re:What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534751)

This is why everyone in the know uses ass pennies instead of buttcoins.

Re:What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535335)

Actually, that's AIDS pennies and ButtAIDS.

Re:What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534779)

I want to mate with you. You have AIDS, right?

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534833)

New currency often has additional security features to prevent counterfeiting, why can't a crypto-currency do the same?

Re:What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534915)

He has AIDS. Don't listen to him.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534981)

Has AIDS? What the hell is a comment like that?

Re:What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535159)

I know it's shocking but it's true. He's a flaming poofter with AIDS.

Re:What? (5, Informative)

pla (258480) | about 7 months ago | (#46535091)

Are you fucking kidding me? Bug fixes for a currency?

Why? The Federal reserve calls these "Quantitative Easing". We've had three major patches in as many years, along with quite a few minor updates to those outside the normal update release cycle.

Re:What? (4, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about 7 months ago | (#46535379)

Um actually I believe you mean the treasury calls this "A new series". You know, like that line of purple spooge they put across some of the new bills.

Turns out, older series of the "Cash" currency had bugs which allowed for unscrupulous parties to make copies and double spend. So the treasury has released a patch, which is rolled out as they get their hands on older series bills and destroy them to be replaced by the new ones.

Don't get me wrong, I am ready willing and able to get into some fed hate, but, this is just a better example.

Re:What? (1)

pla (258480) | about 7 months ago | (#46535655)

Um actually I believe you mean the treasury calls this "A new series". You know, like that line of purple spooge they put across some of the new bills.

Ah, good point, that does make a better example than mine. :)

Re:What? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46535777)

That is not a bug fix because it wasn't a bug. That is making an upgrade to cope with technological change. In essence you are saying that the Unix password hash was buggy because technology improvements made it possible to brute force it thus making it necessary to implement the shadow file.

Re:What? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46535733)

Um, no. You don't understand the term Quantitative Easing if you actually believe that.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535811)

We get it, you and the people who modded you up don't like the Fed and what they've been doing. But messing with the money supply has nothing to do with these bug fixes. If they had suddenly said, "Oh, we'll change the maximum number of possible Bitcoins," or otherwise changed the supply, then it would be relevant.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535461)

Aren't new "copy resistant" dollar bills similar? All the tech that goes into making dollars hard to duplicate?

Re:What? (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 7 months ago | (#46535567)

Are you fucking kidding me? Bug fixes for a currency?

Governments are often adding security features to curtail counterfeiting... that's a real world bug fix of currency. And just as in the digital world it is a battle of escalation. "He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue!" In any case Sean Connery gets a royalty check...

Let me be the first to say (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534747)

Thanks, Dorian!

Just in time for another price dive (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534785)

Bitcoin is seriously overbought right now. Just the 24*6*25BTC that are mined every day are enough to send the price down because there's very little demand for them. Anybody who was already convinced of Bitcoin is waiting for lower prices to buy more and everybody else just isn't interested right now. Bitcoin looks dangerous, there are thefts everywhere: It's not just the exchanges which get robbed of their hot wallets. PC malware comes with BTC stealing components nowadays. Why buy Bitcoins? You can hardly do anything with them right now, except for niche markets. And how would you use them if you could? Make an irreversible transaction to a far away merchant, hoping you'll get your goods and the merchant doesn't just vanish? Right now, it's not very usable, so it can only be seen as an investment in a very uncertain future.

Re:Just in time for another price dive (3, Informative)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 7 months ago | (#46535275)

Problem is, the value of BitCoins exceeds the market demand / use for them. This means it is well into "speculation" arena, and will remain so, until there is a large thawing of coins by the people currently hording them. As these people age, their goal of making a fortune will diminish as "unrealized" profit becomes lost to Bitcoin dustbin.

The problem with hording, is that the value is gone once the person who hid it is dead, and nobody knows it even existed. But unlike Gold, bitcoins burried will be lost forever if there is nobody to remember the password for the wallet.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/25/... [cnn.com]

Once BitCoin starts to become viable alternative currency, actively traded for goods and services, then I'll become a believer in the value. The problem right now, the only people using BitCoins, are traders. It may end up being just a tool to hold accumulated wealth, and that would be a shame.

Re:Just in time for another price dive (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#46535333)

The problem right now, the only people using BitCoins, are traders. It may end up being just a tool to hold accumulated wealth, and that would be a shame.

Why does that sound like those "Ty Beanie Babies" which were worth bazillions for a while and are now essentially worthless?

It's like a stock market frenzy to own the latest fad, and getting in an out makes you money, and the last one holding the bag is out of luck.

Re:Just in time for another price dive (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 7 months ago | (#46535539)

Some Beanie Babies are still worth a fortune. The problem is, they are the ones nobody wanted in the first place, or are the ones that everyone STILL wants.

Re:Just in time for another price dive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535387)

Correct. Right now the "market capitalization" of all existing Bitcoins is roughly 6 billion USD, but if you unload 2 million USD worth of BTC (a day worth of mining) onto the market without being super careful, you move the price by close to one percent. If that isn't overvalued, I don't know what is.

Re:Just in time for another price dive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535497)

Problem is, the value of BitCoins exceeds the market demand / use for them.

How do you know this? One can see people buying and selling in realtime on Bitstamp, i.e. making a market. Your comment is the same kind of cluelessness I hear when somebody says "I can't sell my house, there are no buyers." No, it just means you are asking too much.

Re:Just in time for another price dive (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 7 months ago | (#46535651)

I know this because I can observe the marketplace, and understand how the market works. Right now, Bitcoins are exceedingly un-useful besides speculation. Speculation requires patience. When that patience wears thin, you'll see the real value in BitCoins.

If you can name, without Googling it, three major retailiers/service providers that take BitCoin, I'll be surprised. There are a few minor places that like being seen as "cutting edge" that take Bitcoin, but for the most part, there is no utility for BitCoins. When that changes, you'll start to see the real value of BitCoins.

There is a long term option that BitCoins become "Wealth Holders", where people store wealth apart from banking and government entities. I'm starting to think this might actually be the "killer app" of BitCoins.

Re:Just in time for another price dive (2)

Glock27 (446276) | about 7 months ago | (#46536241)

TigerDirect, Overstock.com, and Gyft.

Be surprised. :-)

I think BTC will do well in the long run, simply because of low transaction cost/friction. Not to mention the small size and light weight. ;-)

Re:Just in time for another price dive (2)

higuita (129722) | about 7 months ago | (#46535819)

It is possible to have a wallet that requires 2 signature to make a valid transaction (good for companies) and also, a wallet that may be operated by one of 2 private keys ( good for couples or partners)

It is not much different from hiding the gold. if you are the only one that knows where it is, it may be lost after you are dead (people may find a "treasure" later, as people may "guess" a password later)

LOL .. 0.9.0? (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#46534801)

Do people expect someone to take seriously a piece of software to manage financial transactions with a version like that?

Sorry, but some of us have always looked at BitCoin and thought some combination of "why?" and "no frigging way".

New stories over the last few months aren't doing anything to change that.

This whole thing sounds like it's several years away from being trustworthy, by which point it will either be regulated by governments, or controlled by corporations.

But, hey, if you want to put your money into a currency which is still getting bug fixes, go right ahead. That's your choice.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1, Funny)

johnsie (1158363) | about 7 months ago | (#46534823)

This is why Dogecoin is better. It's still possible to get the coins easily without much investment.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535613)

Indeed, you have to get in early to make money on pyramid schemes, but this downward spiral that hit bitcoin is going to hit any similair coin for the same reasons (in part due to bitcoins legacy, bitcoin really botched this up)

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534885)

While I do agree calling it something like 0.9.0 is stupid would it make a difference if it was called 9.0? It's the same software.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#46534967)

While I do agree calling it something like 0.9.0 is stupid would it make a difference if it was called 9.0? It's the same software.

Major vendors do the same thing.

The thing is, the customers still know you went from 1.1 to 9.2, and they assume it's a steaming heap of beta and stay away from it for a while.

But, for me, between the news coverage and relative newness of this, I just don't see why I would be inclined to either want it or trust it.

That doesn't mean it doesn't sound vaguely cool. But it also isn't something I'd entrust my money to. Then again, I also refuse to entrust my money to PayPal, because they're not a bank either.

Real banks and the real banking system operates under rules and laws. Anything outside of that falls into the "buyer beware" category, as we keep seeing in news stories. How many BitCoin services have been ripped off in the last few months?

For me, I'll just pass on this whole thing.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 7 months ago | (#46535339)

Rules and laws aren't for the rich and powerful, they are for us commoners. The rich and powerful have their own rules, which mostly fall around making rules and laws for everyone else to obey. Feinstein didn't care about spying on Americans until it hit her, then she became outraged. The game is corrupted beyond comprehension. The only recourse we have is complete and utter disdain for all rules and laws that are used to control us, that do not apply the rich and powerful.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#46535053)

Yes, it would make a difference. Any other questions?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535173)

Why? Because you're an idiot?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (4, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46535239)

Because it is generally accepted that the three digit version number system works as major.minor.patch_level. A 0 major version level means the software is still in beta and not fit for production use.

Does that answer your question, Trolio?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

Marginal Coward (3557951) | about 7 months ago | (#46535105)

These things seem to matter to somebody. See http://linux.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org] . Also, calling it something like "Millennium Edition" probably would be a bad idea. ;-)

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#46535215)

Also, calling it something like "Millennium Edition" probably would be a bad idea. ;-)

Bah, if you were a Mt Gox user you could call it the "Money-none-ium Edition" and it would have been accurate. ;-)

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535447)

All of Google is still beta...

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 7 months ago | (#46536043)

0.9.0 usually indicates that the developers themselves dont believe it is production quality.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (2)

indeterminator (1829904) | about 7 months ago | (#46534937)

The nature of capital investment: getting in early gives you high profit expectation, with high risk of spectacular failure. Getting in late when things have stabilized, gives lower risk with low expected return.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534947)

Are you saying that you would trust it if it was called Bitcoin 500.3?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (3, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 7 months ago | (#46534953)

Do people expect someone to take seriously a piece of software to manage financial transactions with a version like that?

Sure, why not?

Apparently we can't take FireFox seriously because it's at version 28(!) (nevermind that Chrome is at 33.0.1750.154 (dude what?)) either.

So, should everything just be labeled v1.0 eternally (or v2.0 for the people who never trust first releases) based on the psychological effects of a version number?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#46535093)

It's not a psychological effect but a very well-known convention that the major version number 0 is reserved for beta releases.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (2)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about 7 months ago | (#46535203)

So would you prefer unstable software labeled "release quality" with a version number of 9.0?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 7 months ago | (#46535305)

Which, in turn, means nothing more than "we think this release is pretty good, but we want everybody to hammer away at it until we can be sure"; which is exactly what happened, and why there was another release. Note that the issue found wasn't nearly as devastating as a myriad of issues surrounding Bitcoin that has nothing to do with the reference client and protocol.

Perhaps it's time to re-evaluate what version numbers actually mean. Or, as many other developers seem to have done, let version numbers go almost entirely.. hide them from view, number releases by date, etc.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46535895)

Appearances matter. What does it say that the developers and project managers don't think a piece of software is ready after 2, 5, even 10 years of "we think this release is pretty good, but we want everybody to hammer away at it until we can be sure"?

Why is it that the output of the process is never deemed to meet the design specifications? Is it that the specifications keep changing? Is it that the developers aren't up to the task? Is it that the design is fundamentally flawed? Why is it that the software can't pass muster?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535197)

How much money have you invested in Firefox?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46535281)

That would be FireFox version number 28.0.0 and Chrome major version 33, minor version 0, patch level 1750, build 154.

Or, don't you know how version numbers work?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 7 months ago | (#46535533)

Oh I do, but what does it actually tell me?

Should I be waiting for build 1 of patch level 1751 because clearly patch level 1750 needed 154 builds just to make it out and I don't know if I can trust a patch level that needs that many builds.

Or better yet, major version 34.0.0.0? Or would that again be bad because first releases are always still going to have residual bugs that don't pop up until millions of people have worked with it?

I know what it technically tells me, but apparently we're mostly going off of psychology here ("0.x means beta means untrustable!").

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46535705)

Seeing as you don't know if there will be a major version 34.0.0.0, or if it will be worth waiting for it, you are asking a foolish question akin to "Should I not date this woman because I might meet someone better later?" Does version 28 do what you need and want while whatever version or other software you are using now doesn't? Yes? Then use it. Otherwise, why change? Version changes are solely due to bugs. New requested features, user requested changes to the UI, even changes in standards or outside APIs can cause a change and thus a version number change.

Your argument relies on ignoring the "why" and "what" of the change while asking "should I adopt the change", making the question unanswerable.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 7 months ago | (#46536083)

It tells you that 28 versions ago Mozilla believed, themselves, that Firefox was ready for production.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

reikae (80981) | about 7 months ago | (#46535563)

They work exactly like the developers in question want.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

sootman (158191) | about 7 months ago | (#46535771)

> So, should everything just be labeled v1.0 eternally
> (or v2.0 for the people who never trust first releases)
> based on the psychological effects of a version number?

Yes. And the price should end in 99. :-)

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (3, Interesting)

ratboy666 (104074) | about 7 months ago | (#46534965)

But... I assume you are in the US or Canada. Didn't your currency just get a bug fix update for anti counterfeiting? An update to the US $100 bill was released October 2013. Obviously, you can't trust that yet -- give it a few years.

As to being "regulated" by government, -- what is that, exactly? BTC is one possible crypto-currency, so it is of interest what you think this "regulation" should look like.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#46535071)

As to being "regulated" by government, -- what is that, exactly? BTC is one possible crypto-currency, so it is of interest what you think this "regulation" should look like.

Banking laws. Deposit protection. Rules about how they can't just decide that your money is now their money. Legal oversight.

There's also a huge difference between issues of government notes (which are still legal tender even if someone counterfeits them), and the underlying system of transfers and transactions.

To me, Bitcoin and all cyrpto currencies are in their infancy, and have yet to deal with all of the issues real banking systems have been doing for decades.

And, I'm sorry, but I'll go with decades of experience when it comes to my money. Because if the bank fucks up there's rules in place for how they deal with it. There's deposit insurance. There is established case law to determine what happens.

Cryptocurrency is pretty much the wild west, and is going to go through far more growing pains until it's 'respectable' to some people. And, like I said, by then it will be either regulated or under control of corporations.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (2)

hodet (620484) | about 7 months ago | (#46535713)

Whose replacing all of their money with bitcoin? It's not a replacement, it's just another option for some circumstances and it will get better as time goes on. Really, it's not football game, there is no home team, you can use both if you so choose.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46535853)

You are confusing a problem fix with a change to cope with improved technology. This is like saying lack of wifi support in software developed before there was wifi is a bug.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (5, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | about 7 months ago | (#46534993)

Do people expect someone to take seriously a piece of software to manage financial transactions with a version like that?

Apparently people do take it seriously, so it looks like the answer is yes.

Staying in the 0.x range for a long time is typical for open-source software -- a lot of packages don't go to 1.0 until they have been in use for many years. It doesn't necessarily imply anything bad (or good) about the reliability of the software.

If BitCoin was commercial software, no doubt it would be up to Version 7 Professional Platinum Collector's Edition now... but then again, if it was commercial software, it would probably be closed source, and therefore nobody would trust it enough to use it, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 7 months ago | (#46535371)

> If BitCoin was commercial software, no doubt it would be up to Version 7 Professional Platinum Collector's Edition now... but then again, if it was commercial software, it would probably be closed source, and therefore nobody would trust it enough to use it, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Because people don't trust software like Microsoft Windows or Epic Systems's EPIC or Autodesk...no sir, no one trusts commercial software. Tell me, when you get done fapping to open source is the napkin you use for clean up GPL compatible?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46535489)

Staying in the 0.x range for a long time is typical for open-source software -- a lot of packages don't go to 1.0 until they have been in use for many years. It doesn't necessarily imply anything bad (or good) about the reliability of the software.

This is an abuse of the standard version numbering system so that when a critical bug appears, they can say "but it is still in beta so what do you expect". That so much open source software is in perpetual beta is not a good thing, especially when one is trying to sell one's bosses on using it and they see anything under version 1.0.0 as being beta software and thus unreliable.

Personally, I see perpetual beta as an attempt to abdicate responsibility for the software by never saying it is ready for use by the general public. It shows a lack of confidence in the code and the project. And, I see having a major version of zero with a minor version in the triple or quadruple digits as either a failure of project management (via feature creep or failure to keep the project on track), a failure of design (the design is so poor that the software can't pass UAT), or a failure of software development to deliver a product that meets the design specifications.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

reikae (80981) | about 7 months ago | (#46535721)

There is no need to covertly adbicate responsibility, when it's spelled out clearly in every license I've ever read that the developers take no responsibility whatsoever.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535005)

It's pretty common for open source software to stay in beta almost forever. Bitcoin is no different, it's OSS and it's still in experimental stage.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 7 months ago | (#46535027)

The base Bitcoin technology is surprisingly good. Nobody has been able to double-spend yet. The "mallability" bug has to do with programs which incorrectly decide a transaction didn't go through and redo it.

Most of Bitcoin's problems aren't with the software. Bitcoin's irrevocable money sends to anonymous remote parties are the con man's dream. At last, you can rip people off without ever giving them enough info to find you. That's why Bitcoin is such a scumbag magnet.

Mt. Gox's problems stem from a combination of incompetence and criminal activity. They're not technical. Karpeles was running a business that handled a billion dollars a year without an accountant, a controller, an inside auditor, an outside auditor, or a compliance officer. You can't do that and succeed. You have to have enough separation of functions that no employee can steal without detection. Mt. Gox didn't have that. Probably so that Karpeles could steal.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535385)

Most of Bitcoin's problems aren't with the software. Bitcoin's irrevocable money sends to anonymous remote parties are the con man's dream. At last, you can rip people off without ever giving them enough info to find you. That's why Bitcoin is such a scumbag magnet.

The services necessary to protect the naive will come with time. People will demand security, and the market will provide it (for a fee). Meanwhile, people savvy enough not to send their life savings to self-proclaimed Nigerian princes will be free to manage their own wealth.

Right now, we have systems which protect everyone by default. Unfortunately, this means that the prudent are required to pay extra to cover the losses of the feeble minded. This moral hazard is one reason for the ridiculous transaction fees and invasion of privacy we experience today.

Of course, most people will go begging their governments to "regulate Bitcoin". Those that value liberty will be advised to counter this by supporting the efforts of groups in the community that champion decentralisation and privacy. Fortunately, this includes pretty much all of the core devs at present, so the future of Bitcoin is looking bright indeed.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (3, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 7 months ago | (#46535401)

Most of Bitcoin's problems aren't with the software. Bitcoin's irrevocable money sends to anonymous remote parties are the con man's dream. At last, you can rip people off without ever giving them enough info to find you. That's why Bitcoin is such a scumbag magnet.

You can turn that around and make the same criticism of credit cards, from the sellers perspective. They're also a scumbag magnet. Trying to sell anything with credit cards is a fraud nightmare. Banks routinely approve transactions that are later reversed due to card detail theft, and the seller is just expected to suck it up. I've seen what big sellers have to do to control fraud. And sellers matter: it takes two to tango!

That said, Bitcoin can theoretically do dispute mediated transactions (where they could be reversed later in case of seller fraud). However the user interfaces and workflows for this are immature and so in practice it's not done much today. Perhaps this year we will see that change.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535693)

There has been a double spend before. And there will be again.

http://eprint.iacr.org/2012/248.pdf

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46536167)

> Nobody has been able to double-spend yet
Yeah. because there wasn't that one update that forked the block chain due to the old version not accepting the larger size of something or other. And it totally didn't result in a fork that appeared valid to a heck of a lot of people. And no one used that time to do transactions on that fork.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 7 months ago | (#46535029)

The point of using such a version number is exactly to remind people that Bitcoin is new and experimental. It's quite possible to understand that something is a risky experiment, yet still take it seriously - these two things are not incompatible.

But, hey, if you want to put your money into a currency which is still getting bug fixes, go right ahead. That's your choice.

Banks and governments routinely have to upgrade banknotes and other forms of security on their own money, which you can see as "fixing bugs" in the sense that the ability to counterfeit is a bug. Development never really stops, so a 0.9 vs 1.0 is an entirely arbitrary line in the sand.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535039)

But, hey, if you want to put your money into a currency which is still getting bug fixes, go right ahead. That's your choice.

The UK just announced that they were replacing their One Pound coin with a new design (a two-colour polygon rather than a purely 'gold' circle) to prevent counterfeiting. Is GBP unsafe now?

Re:LOL .. Linux 0.11 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535041)

Do people expect someone to take seriously an operating system with a version like that?

Sorry, but some of us have always looked at Linux and thought some combination of "why?" and "no frigging way".

New exploits over the last few months aren't doing anything to change that.

This whole thing sounds like it's several years away from being trustworthy, by which point it will either be non free, or controlled by corporations.

But, hey, if you want to put your money and time into an OS which is still getting bug fixes, go right ahead. That's your choice.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1, Funny)

moke (574418) | about 7 months ago | (#46535045)

You're right, I'm such an idiot, I bought some when the version was 0.7.2.

If I had only looked at the version number I could have saved myself from making $50,000

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#46535141)

If I had only looked at the version number I could have saved myself from making $50,000

Hey, if you want to get involved in speculative investment, that's your right. But you also can't deny that theft was occuring at those lower version numbers and you could just as easily have nothing left.

You could do the same with penny stocks and day trading as well.

But I wouldn't do it, which is my entire point.

So far nobody has given any reasons why BitCoin is a good idea or should be trusted, they've given the intellectual equivalent of "I know you are but what am I".

Feel free to make you case, but if all you have is that you made money on speculative investments and therefore all speculative investments are good ... well, you're going to have to do better.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46535553)

So far nobody has given any reasons why BitCoin is a good idea

It's a good idea because it allows you to send money to anywhere with no fee. Also, it allows you to receive money without having a payment processor take a cut and a risk of charge backs.

Of course those have downsides too, but that's why it is a good idea.

It's also a good idea in that the maths is sound and has no attacks against it (barring the 51% one).

or should be trusted, they've given the intellectual equivalent of "I know you are but what am I".

There's not been a single theortical attack against bitcoin, never mind a practical one. From that point of view, bitcoin is 100% trustworthy. The problems are on the boundaries (exchanges, malware, etc) not with bitcoin itself.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535717)

There's not been a single theortical attack against bitcoin, never mind a practical one

LOL ... our hypothetical currency is theoretically secure, so we'll pretend that the actual thefts didn't happen in practice and the BitCoin itself is still secure, unless you try to actually use it??? Is this a perfectly spherical cow?

From that point of view, bitcoin is 100% trustworthy.

Riiight.

The problems are on the boundaries (exchanges, malware, etc) not with bitcoin itself.

So, could I extend your logic to say that in the US is theoretically secure from terrorist attacks, and that the WTC thing was just an attack on the boundaries then?

That the banking system is theoretically secure, and Bernie Madoff and Enron are just an attack on the boundaries then?

As soon as you take BitCoin outside of the realm of being purely hypothetical and theoretical ... it's the boundaries (as you call them) that are the weak points. That doesn't mean the weak points aren't there.

And, from the news reports, in the real world, it's got some pretty major flaws.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

higuita (129722) | about 7 months ago | (#46535959)

you can fake US dollars ... you can fake a bitcoin ... at least, not yet... maybe with quantum computers?! :)

it is hard to fake US dollars transations ... you can't fake a bitcoin transaction (again, until we get quantum computers!)

you can stole both if the owner is not careful enough

so yes.... theoretically bitcoin is more secure, you have better tools to control it than to control US dollars... now if you are stupid, you may still lose then easily

What is your point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535621)

I guess I don't get what your point is. It is a currency no different than a dollar or peso. It has the benefit of being anonymous and not tied to a world government. Those might not seem important to you but they are, they have the power to make it extremely powerful and useful in many situations. Look at countries that have had their currencies become worthless or inaccessible overnight around the world... nah, an alternative to that wouldn't have been worth more than gold, right? Most currency has value because people believe it does, nothing more. The "protections" are mostly for show as well.

Let's see, I trade stocks pretty heavily and I do OK there, I also invested $500 into some used GPUs and a PSU and set up a smallish farm that generates a few hundred dollars a month at current prices. As an investment it has more than paid off and at a faster and higher percentage than even my more speculative stock investments. I'd say that is reason enough.

Re:What is your point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46536231)

I guess I don't get what your point is. It is a currency no different than a dollar or peso. It has the benefit of being anonymous and not tied to a world government. Those might not seem important to you but they are, they have the power to make it extremely powerful and useful in many situations. .

Except that since the block chain is publicly available and includes complete transaction records; it is not actually anonymous, and If you think bitcoin is outside the control of governments you don't understand how governments work (a large economy like the US or China could setup enough mining rigs that they'd control 51% of the network and have total authority over the system). And that's ignoring the much easier and more practical approach of simply passing laws that regulate Bitcoin.

Let's see, I trade stocks pretty heavily and I do OK there, I also invested $500 into some used GPUs and a PSU and set up a smallish farm that generates a few hundred dollars a month at current prices. As an investment it has more than paid off and at a faster and higher percentage than even my more speculative stock investments. I'd say that is reason enough.

In other words, it's been a good speculative investment for you (no one really disputes that you can day trade bitcoin and do well). That however is not indicative of it being a useful currency or even likely to remain a good speculative investment (tulip bulbs being a typical historical example)

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46535521)

How much would you lose if someone were to publish a way to multiply spend bitcoins, spend phantom bitcoins, or generate spurious transactions using other people's bitcoins?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535057)

Linux is crap. Still at version 3 and it's been, what, over 20 years? Should be around version 2014 by now, amirite?

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535139)

o people expect someone to take seriously an operating system with a version like that?

Sorry, but some of us have always looked at Linux and thought some combination of "why?" and "no frigging way".

New exploits over the last few months aren't doing anything to change that.

This whole thing sounds like it's several years away from being trustworthy, by which point it will either be closed source, or controlled by corporations.

But, hey, if you want to put your time into an OS which is still getting bug fixes, go right ahead. That's your choice.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535209)

You have no clue about network systems and security or how they work, do you?
Your the type of person that would give all your gold up for paper aren't you ?
Trusting in one central system will bankrupt all. Its already been proven several million times over ........

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535233)

Yes, specifically "v0.9.0.0-g92d25e4-beta".

I'll echo what pretty much all the devs are saying: "This is an experiment. Do not invest more money than you can afford to lose."

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535527)

Do people expect someone to take seriously a piece of software to manage financial transactions with a version like that?

I think it says something about Slashdot when a comment about 100% arbitrary version numbers... but in Bitcoin... is modded up.

Sorry, but some of us have always looked at BitCoin and thought some combination of "why?" and "no frigging way".

Next time you might convince someone you did some basic research if you spell it "Bitcoin" or "bitcoin".

New stories over the last few months aren't doing anything to change that.

Is there any quantitative evidence that would? It seems like you guys are fishing for complaints, bitter about missing the boat when you first heard about it years ago. At this point you have to either be embarrassed and admit you were wrong, or stubbornly insist that it will crash any day now.

This whole thing sounds like it's several years away from being trustworthy, by which point it will either be regulated by governments, or controlled by corporations.

FUD. It's already regulated at exchanges, but regulating the protocol is impossible.

But, hey, if you want to put your money into a currency which is still getting bug fixes, go right ahead. That's your choice.

Are you the impression that all of the "bugs" in the mainstream financial system have been fixed? They've got project managers from hell - Congress.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

konohitowa (220547) | about 7 months ago | (#46535741)

So, essentially it has nothing to do with facts to you, but rather image. I guess they just need to call it Bitcoin 13.04.

Re:LOL .. 0.9.0? (1)

higuita (129722) | about 7 months ago | (#46535857)

you don't use computer right? when did a version number had anything to do with the quality of the software?

alpha currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534831)

Early adoption is always expensive. At least with bitcoin those early adopters who did/didn't business with Mt. Gox still got to ride the appreciation wave up.

checkpoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46534849)

I like this feature:
Add a new checkpoint at block 279,000

Yay! Now I only need to download blocks after 279,000.

A Warning to the Uninitiated (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535243)

If you want to join the experiment and get some Bitcoin, this software is not a good choice for your wallet. The official Bitcoin client does not support any way of securing your Bitcoins against theft through malware. While the wallet can be encrypted, you have to decrypt it to use it, and at that time, your BTC are up for grabs by any of a multitude of BTC stealing trojans. (The official client software is what's called a hot wallet. You shouldn't use a hot wallet for any amount that you can't afford to lose.) Also, backups are an issue. You absolutely have to have a backup, or a hard disk crash or other computer problem can irrevocably wipe out your entire wallet. But backups are difficult with the official Bitcoin client: In order to be sure that all keys are in the backup, you have to keep making backups, because new information is added to the wallet file from time to time, and without that information, you can't access all your BTC.

I'm glad of the version number (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 7 months ago | (#46535353)

To me, a version 1.00 means it's not ready for primetime. I'd say that's accurate, even though the crap we're hearing about isn't the software itself.

so much for untracability (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#46535511)

latest version automatically supplies a refund address

so much for untracability

Re:so much for untracability (1)

higuita (129722) | about 7 months ago | (#46535985)

all transactions are public... who said that bitcoin aren't traceable? they are anonymous as if you shut up, no one knows to whom that address belongs

It's pretty simple (0)

SinisterEVIL (2661381) | about 7 months ago | (#46535611)

If you truly understand digital currencies then you support them. If you do not understand them, you dislike and distrust them. Do more research.

Central sofware banker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46535639)

And the hack-patch-hack cycle goes on... If patches are provided, would that not mean the "currency" is centralize? And would this also mean that BitCoin is actually more of a payment system and investment gimmick than an ACTUAL currency... Funny that investments in it are based on U.S. DOLLARS! How is that getting away from the world standard currency? Seems it is pinned to the value of the U.S. Dollar and that coins are backed by nothing, so where does that leave it? At least my greenbacks are insured!

Re:Central sofware banker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46536137)

If patches are provided, would that not mean the "currency" is centralize?

Why? That doesn't follow.

And would this also mean that BitCoin is actually more of a payment system and investment gimmick than an ACTUAL currency...

That's the whole idea. If fact, that's the idea behind "ACTUAL" currency too.

Funny that investments in it are based on U.S. DOLLARS!

What do you mean?

How is that getting away from the world standard currency?

What's the world standard currency and why do you feel we're supposed to get away from it?

Seems it is pinned to the value of the U.S. Dollar

No, it's independent of the value of the U.S. Dollar. That's why the price for 1 bitcoin changes.

At least my greenbacks are insured!

What kind of insurance do you have? Do you mean to say that whenever the USD drops in someone gives you more to balance it out? Or do you mean that you are insured against your cash being stolen from you?

Bitcoin can be changed? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 7 months ago | (#46535997)

But I was told that manipulating currencies was always bad, and that Bitcoin was completely different than The Dreaded Fed (TM)!

Spaceballs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46536251)

That is all.

So.... Bitcoin was broken? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 7 months ago | (#46536285)

A better title would be: Bitcoin protocol is insecure if used badly

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