13 Replies Latest reply on Feb 25, 2014 8:55 AM by kingfish

    What's a bitcoin?

    kingfish

      (AP) — Early Tuesday, the world's most established exchange for bitcoin disappeared from the Internet, sending the price of the virtual currency tumbling and prompting fears that the world's biggest experiment in electronic cash could soon be strangled by fraud or regulation.

      Here's an explanation of what bitcoins are, how exchanges work, and why the demise of the Mt. Gox exchange, means many people may have lost a lot of money.

      ARTICLE

      edit: New article

        • What's a bitcoin?
          kingfish

          All it took was a excuse like this for the government(s) to get their greedy corrupt hands in the pie.

          "Authorities around the world are grappling with how to regulate virtual currency in the wake of the implosion of Mt. Gox, a prominent trading platform for Bitcoin.

          In Tokyo, where Mt. Gox is based, Japan’s top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said on Wednesday that agencies including the Financial Services Agency, the Finance Ministry and the police were collecting information on the Bitcoin trade in Japan, with an eye toward regulatory action."

          http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/japan-studies-regulation-of-bitcoin-after-mt-gox-goes-dark/?partner=rss&emc=rss

          • What's a bitcoin?
            black_zion
            There needs to be some regulation or there really is nothing keeping them from being used in illegal ways, such as drugs or money laundering, or even for tax evasion.
              • What's a bitcoin?
                kingfish

                Originally posted by: black_zion There needs to be some regulation or there really is nothing keeping them from being used in illegal ways, such as drugs or money laundering, or even for tax evasion.</end quote></div></p>

                Either way, it signals the end of the craze. I predict a glut of R290's on the E-Bay market.

              • What's a bitcoin?
                black_zion
                All good things must come to an end. DotCom bubble, beanie babies, housing market...The smart ones are the ones who sell at the height, take their money, and find the bottom of the next big craze. I wonder how long the price drops will take to trickle down to the retail market, you know how long it takes retailers to admit there is not actually as high of a demand/as much of a shortage as they want people to think.
                  • What's a bitcoin?
                    kingfish

                    "As the Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was careening toward collapse in early February, its owner, Mark Karpeles, found that even some of his fellow virtual currency advocates were losing faith.

                    Members of the Bitcoin Foundation’s board, an important promoter of virtual currencies, were losing confidence because the exchange had been associated with another foundation member who was arrested in January on money-laundering charges. The young currency in recent months had been increasingly backed by prominent investors, but the taint of any criminal activity was starting to take over the headlines.

                    It was that steady erosion of faith in the Bitcoin community that ultimately served as the death knell for Mt. Gox, which had been enduring a series of problems, including having accounts frozen by authorities in the United States last year. Without the public backing of Bitcoin believers, Mt. Gox lacked the ability to get the financing it needed, those with knowledge of the discussions say.

                    On Friday, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection, five days after Mr. Karpeles resigned from the foundation and just days after its website suddenly went dark. The exchange said that most likely it had lost 750,000 of its customers’ Bitcoin holdings and more than 100,000 of its own coins, or more than $450 million worth."

                    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/02/28/mt-gox-files-for-bankruptcy/?_php=true&_type=blogs&partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

                  • What's a bitcoin?
                    black_zion
                    How much you want to bet that Karpeles himself has the bitcoins?
                    • What's a bitcoin?
                      black_zion
                      Think about it, untraceable, unregulated currency. It wouldn't take much to transfer the coins around to several wallets, erase the records and blame it on hackers or technical faults, declare bankruptcy, then go to a non extradition country, convert the coins to cash, and live like a king for the rest of his life. It's not like corporations haven't done that before, be it Enron, Acorn, or any of the several companies who deliberately devalues the company, sells out, takes a nice 6 figure check and goes on their merry way while hundreds or thousands of people lose their jobs.
                        • What's a bitcoin?
                          kingfish

                          Not to mention the thousands of 'miners' who bought graphics cards explicitly for this. I bet ebay will be deluged with R9's in the next few weeks..and the price will most certainly come down. On the other hand, knowing what you know about how the cards were used, would you buy one? Not me.

                          • What's a bitcoin?
                            kingfish

                            Originally posted by: black_zion Think about it, untraceable, unregulated currency. It wouldn't take much to transfer the coins around to several wallets, erase the records and blame it on hackers or technical faults, declare bankruptcy, then go to a non extradition country, convert the coins to cash, and live like a king for the rest of his life. It's not like corporations haven't done that before, be it Enron, Acorn, or any of the several companies who deliberately devalues the company, sells out, takes a nice 6 figure check and goes on their merry way while hundreds or thousands of people lose their jobs.</end quote></div></p>

                            "

                            "The number taken amounts to about 6 percent of the total Bitcoins in circulation, raising serious questions about how any virtual currency can be made safe for consumers and investors.

                            For law enforcement, this is like any bank robbery that requires identifying the perpetrators. DealBook reported that the Justice Department had issued subpoenas to Mt. Gox and other firms to gather information about how virtual currencies are transferred and converted into dollars.

                            But unlike “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” none of the Mt. Gox thieves are looking back at the posse and asking “Who are those guys?” One of the appeals of Bitcoin is its anonymity, and trying to find those who stole something designed to be untraceable through computer hacking may well be impossible. So the losses from Mt. Gox are unlikely to be recovered. "

                            http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/03/03/bitcoin-heist-highlights-elusive-paths-of-regulation/?_php=true&_type=blogs&partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

                          • What's a bitcoin?
                            black_zion
                            Me either unless the price was extremely attractive, say $150 or less. But they'll not be that cheap for another decade.
                            • What's a bitcoin?
                              black_zion
                              Back when I was in college there was a rash of "thefts" of the daily newspaper. It was a free newspaper, distributed on stands inside the entrances of most buildings, pretty much relying on the honor system to only take one. When they caught the people who were taking them all, which were a group of students who were taking them to use as packing material, they tried to charge them with theft because the businesses who bought advertising space relied on the 20,000 or so readers. The university police said they could not be charged with a crime because advertising is based on speculation, and that since the papers are fee, they could not be charged with theft because they had no value. The same thing could potentially occur here. If the value of a bitcoin were to become zero, could they be charged with a crime of theft because the item in question has no value, assuming the thieves do not convert them into any other form? Say on the day before you could no longer redeem, say, French Francs, you stole a trillion francs worth from the place they were to be incinerated and destroyed (think of the movie Mad Money), and you were not caught until they were worthless. Could you be charged with theft of goods because they were worthless and were to be destroyed, and the only loss was a bit less carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?
                                • What's a bitcoin?
                                  kingfish

                                  CEO of bitcoin exchange found dead in Singapore

                                  (AP) — The CEO of a virtual currency exchange was found dead in her home in Singapore.

                                  A police spokesman said Thursday that initial investigations indicated there was no suspicion of "foul play," meaning officers do not suspect murder.

                                  The spokesman said 28-year-old Autumn Radtke, an American, was found dead in her home on Feb. 26.

                                  Police have so far classified the death as "unnatural," which can mean an accident, misadventure, or suicide.

                                  Radtke's company, First Meta, said it was "shocked and saddened by the tragic loss."

                                  First Meta allows users of virtual currencies such as bitcoin to trade and cash out the currencies. It is one of several such exchanges.

                                  The future of bitcoin has been under scrutiny since the collapse of the Mt. Gox exchange in Tokyo last month.

                                  Radtke had worked at other tech companies.

                                  Postings on her Facebook page showed her to be a believer in the potential of virtual currencies.

                                  Last month she linked to an article on entrepreneurs suffering depression, commenting above the link: everything has its price.

                                  <!-- SourceOrganizationStart -->Associated Press