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A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Anonymous Wallet for Covert Practices

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Anonymous Wallet for Covert Practices
With the recent Bitcoin “bubble” fiasco and the subsequent rise and fall of Bitcoin value, it seems that this subreddit has become obsessed with making money. But get-rich-quick schemes are not at the heart of Bitcoin. Instead BTC should be seen as a way to keep Big Governments and Big Businesses from knowing how much money you have and what you choose to spend that money on. As a currency, it doesn't matter how much the value fluctuates if you plan on spending your wealth on sites like the Silk Road and etc.
(OK, maybe it does matter a little bit if the money you spent yesterday is worth twice as much today; but this guide is for spenders, not hoarders. Or at least for hoarders who also like to spend.)
Let's discuss my favorite attribute of the Bitcoin protocol: anonymity.
Many noobs getting into the Bitcoin game fail to realize that anonymity is an important key to understanding the importance of Bitcoin. In places where your wealth can easily be taking away from you (see Cyprus, Russia, China, the USA and others), Bitcoin can function like a store of cash buried in a dessert in the middle of nowhere – buried so deep that nobody can find it, not even the most powerful men and women on Earth.
POINT: If you are purchasing your Bitcoins through services like Coinbase or Mt. Gox, and if you've ever given your real name and bank account information to a Bitcoin Exchange, then you are NOT anonymous. Your Bitcoins can be traced back to you. Your purchases are recorded in the blockchain, and although it's difficult, it's certainly not impossible for those with the knowhow to find you and prosecute you. See this link before continuing.
Bitcoin is not inherently anonymous. You must take steps to protect yourself in order to keep your identity a secret. And even still, if you don't know what you are doing, you run the risk of being caught. So if you care about hiding yourself and your money, I offer this guide as a way to accomplish secret purchases and covert trades. Of course I cannot guarantee you won't end up in jail. At the end of the day, nobody knows how closely governments are tracking BTC purchases over the TOR network. Some people even believe that the TOR network was created by nefarious forces. I doubt it, but you never really know.
STEP ONE: Anonymous Hardware
Because you cannot really know whether or not you are being watched, your first step in creating an anonymous wallet is to protect yourself by buying a cheap laptop computer and removing the hard-drive. Really, who needs a hard-drive anyway? Toss it in the garbage.
STEP TWO: Anonymous Software
If you don't know how to download a Linux LiveCD, then stop reading now. You are probably not skilled enough to protect yourself anyway. If you don't know how to download a Linux LiveCD, then proceed with extreme caution; downloading an ISO file and burning it to a DVD is pretty damned easy. Easier than anonymity. Those who refuse to learn are at risk.
It's arguable which software you should use, but I recommend connecting to the TOR network using TAILS, a live DVD or live USB that aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity. TAILS helps you to use the Internet anonymously, leave no trace on the computer you're using, and to use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, email and instant messaging.
ProTip: For an extra layer of protection, download the ISO from your local library's computer. Or while you're sipping a mocha at Starbuck's. Then burn it to a DVD and take it home. Place it in your crap computer (the one without a hard-drive) and turn it on. Enter the BIOS menu and boot from CD if your computer doesn't do it automatically.
DO NOT CONNECT TO THE NETWORK FROM YOUR HOME.
I repeat, for an extra layer of security, DO NOT CONNECT TO YOUR HOME WIFI USING TAILS IF YOU WANT TO DO SHADY THINGS. That's just common sense. TAILS itself isn't illegal. But if you're the type to do shady things, you don't want to practice on your home Wifi, which you probably pay for with a bank account or credit card.
After you've spent a day or two using TAILS and familiarizing yourself with the LinuxOS, and once you feel comfortable enough to continue, then head back to your local Starbucks, boot up the LiveCD, and connect. Browse the TOR network and triple-check that you are protected. You can do this by checking your IP address for DNS LEAKS. Only if you feel comfortably hidden from prying eyes will you want to continue.
STEP THREE: Creating an Anonymous Wallet
There are several different ways to to this, but the easiest way is to use the code at bitadress.org. Thanks to SpenserHanson for creating this thread which describes the process in detail:
  1. Save bitaddress.org.html to your computer
  2. Close browser.
  3. Disable computer Wi-Fi.
  4. Open bitaddress.org.html in browser.
  5. Generate an address and record the private keys.
  6. Close the browser window.
  7. Go home. Think about what you are about to do.
STEP FOUR: Funding the Anonymous Wallet
Funding your wallet will be the most difficult part of this process. Obviously you don't want to go to a site like Coinbase or Mt. Gox and link up you bank account, then start sending coins to your anonymous address. That would be stupid. Very stupid.
Probably the best way to get coins is to know someone who is willing to send you a few, but even then you lead a trail back to your friend.
My suggestion is to make cash deposits through ZipZap or Bitinstant, and give them false information (for example, use the new email you created, over the TOR network, from a site like Hotmail or Yahoo, which doesn't require a phone number to sign up – I'm looking at you Gmail. Make sure your new account forwards your email to yet another account, perhaps Tormail or a temp address. You probably won't need to use the email more than once anyway, for confirmation, if you need it. And you might want to create a new address with every deposit, just to be safe). There are other options of course. Some companies will sell you Bitcoins anonymously through Bank of America cash deposits. But remember that the moment you walk into a Big Bank and give them money, you are caught on camera. Maybe offer a homeless man some money to make the deposit for you. And hope he doesn't just pocket your money. Regardless, you want to stay away from Big Banks if you can. It really isn't that hard.
If you absolutely must make deposits from your bank account, you could send your coins to an anonymous online wallet first and then to cold storage, but make sure to use several mixing services over a period of several days. And then have trouble sleeping at night.
Another great idea is to use the localbitcoins website; meet with a seller locally; pay cash and GTFO.
STEP FOUR: Spending from the Anonymous Wallet
If you are looking to CASH OUT, there aren't many anonymous options besides meeting with somebody and selling face to face. You could always sign up for your own account at localbitcoins, then hope a buyer contacts you. But this guide isn't about making money, it's about spending your coins.
To buy things, you'll want to go to back to the library, connect through TAILS, download a lite client like Electrum and access your account. Every time you want to spend, you will have to re-download, but it should not take more than a few minutes. And though you are probably safe enough to spend directly from the client, if you really want to be safe you should send the funds to a second wallet though a mixing service, then to a third or fourth or fifth wallet, also through mixing services. These “Mixing Wallets” should NOT be created using the TOR network because the TOR exit node may be monitored. I've never had a problem myself, but it's theoretically possible that an attacker could record the password/private keys for the hosted wallet and steal your coins. Which is why you should NEVER USE THE SAME ACCOUNT TWICE. And never access your cold storage wallet through the net. That would be very very bad.
To created the mixing wallets you will also need a way to hide your identify without using TOR. The best way to do this is to sign up for a VPN service though a public WiFi hotspot and then pay in Bitcoin. The best service I have found is called Private Internet Access. You can access their service through a public computer, connect to the VPN, and voila, you now can safely create mixing wallets without exposing your password to the open network. Make sure that after you mix the coins you send them all to a safe, final address, which will be your Spending Wallet.
Remaining anonymous will cost your some time and money. With each transaction you're going to have to pay for mixing, and also the transaction fee. And setting up a new email and a new account with every transaction (so that you can spread the coins across multiple fake accounts) will be bothersome but worth it in the long run. You can't put a price on piece of mind when it comes to your safety.
REMEMBER Your Spending Wallet should not contain all of your funds. The bulk of your coins should be address you created using bitaddress. Never trust an online service to hold the bulk of your funds. The recent hacks have shown that the best place to store your private key is in your head.
Final Notes:
The Bitcoin protocol itself is not anonymous. And theoretically it's possible to trace every transaction back to you. This is why you need to use fake emails, many multiple addresses, and a VPN service with heavy encryption. Even with the knowledge and the technology to map the blockchain, the FEDS will have a hell of a time tracking multiple address though VPN tunneling back to a cold storage wallet that you created offline and only use to send coins over TOR. There are just too many roadblocks. Of course nothing is impossible. But I sleep very good at night knowing that my door is not going to be kicked in by the Men in Black. And even if you're not doing anything illegal, this sort of behavior is certainly suspicious.
If you were lucky enough to receive a tip from Reddit's own bitcoinbillionaire (I myself was not) and you haven't cashed out. Create a VPN-tunneled throwaway account and tip yourself before claiming your coins. Then send them through a mixing service and to your cold storage address. Now you're on your way to being an anonymous spender.
I hope this guide helps. I really do. The purpose of Bitcoin isn't to make money. It's to protect the money that you already have, and to protect your identity in places where your identity is compromised. Everybody in the world wants your money, especially the richest of the rich. You ought to do everything you can to keep yourself safe. Especially if you live in a compromised geography.
TL;DR: Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
EDIT: Some typos.
submitted by anon_spender to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[Step by Step Guide] How to buy up to $2,000 worth of Bitcoin in about 1 hour.

This method assumes you have $20 to $2,000 worth of USD in cash on hand that you want to convert to Bitcoin. This is the way that has worked best for me, maybe a better way though.
Step 1: Go to https://www.bitinstant.com/
Step 2: Select the "Pay from" drop-down menu.
Step 3: Select the store/business you want to go to to deposit your cash payment at (I have personally used both Walmart and Albertsons successfully multiple times).
Step 4: Select the "Pay to" drop down menu.
Step 5: Select "Bitcoin Address" option.
Step 6: Open your Bitcoin Wallet.
Step 7: Create a new "receiving" address.
Step 8: "Right Click" on the newly created address.
Step 9: Select "Copy Address"
Step 10: "Paste" your receiving address to the form on the Bitinstant site.
Step 11: (Assuming you want to transfer $2,000: Put in 496 for the "Amount (USD) to pay"; Note: the reason for selecting only 496 instead of 500 is because there is a ZipZap, Inc fee of $3.95 that is charged later, and if you try to do 4 payments of 500 each, it will actually only let 3 of them go through before it will say you have reached your limit and you'll have to wait a day. So basically to avoid any hiccups just do 496 for the amount. If all you want is, say, up to $1,500 deposited, then you can put in 500 for the amount no problem. This is just to get $2,000 a day in fast, I've found using 4 payments of 496 for the amount works the best.
Step 12: Fill in your name, email, date of birth. (this is important to be correct because when you go to pay, your information better match or I would expect you would have problems.
Step 13: Prove you are human, and hit the submit button.
Step 14: Check over your quote and double check the information, when you agree, continue.
Step 15: Enter your phone number and Zip code. (needs to be correct because it will be checked for a match when you go to pay later).
Step 16: Search the map and find your Walmart or Albertsons, etc. whichever one you selected for where you are going to pay your deposit at from step 3. Click on their money-gram icon.
Step 17: Verify that the payment location you selected is showing up correctly.
Step 18: When you are finally ready to create your bill, click the button to create your payment slip.
Step 19: Wait for it to automatically generate (might pop-up as a PDF)
Step 20: Print out the payment slip this is the information you will need to bring with you in order to pay your bill.
Step 21: You will notice that the final payment amount to pay is $499.95 (This is the amount of your bill that you need to pay). Repeat, starting at step 1 again in order to process up to 4 bills or $2,000 worth).
Step 22: Go to the deposit location.
Step 23: If Albertsons, there may be a red color Money-Gram telephone by the customer service area...pick up the phone...and just listen to the instructions very carefully and it will walk you through step by step. (the amount of your bill to pay is the full amount including the fee. The first time you go through the payment process they may verify your phone number, and information you have submitted on the forms from the previous steps). Eventually, it will tell you to go to the counter to make an express payment. Hang up the phone and go to the counter and they will pull up your transaction, and you pay them $499.95 for each bill. If Walmart, or no phone: Its basically the same thing, just without the phone: go to the customer service area and pick up an express payment money-gram slip and fill it out using the information on the payment slip you printed out.
Step 24: Go back home and check your bitcoin wallet for incoming transactions...you should have your bitcoins within 10 minutes-couple hours depending how busy they are).
I hope that helps some of you! Note that there is a 3.99% fee, plus the $3.95 fee. Some people may not like this, but this is at least a way to get started with some coins. The price could go up 15% if you wait a week to get coins from another method...time is money! Once you have your coins, its easier to get them into other exchanges and stuff if you want to start trading or whatever.
If you feel this guide helped you please bump up the rating, so other people can figure out how to do these sort of transactions easier. The more people use Bitcoin and the easier they know how to get in, the better it is for all of us! I just want to help people get free. Don't forget to love your neighbor as yourself! God is love. Lets get free! :) 1DxQ6FAABJGbU1krTupo8e443bRSjJkAjq
submitted by weallprisonerschicky to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: We Are the Hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show! We just spent 4 days at Bitcoin2013, Ask Us Anything!

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Date: 2013-05-24
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
Hi all! I was wondering, what do you think it would take to get bitcoin from a niche currency used mainly by internet denizens to go mainstraim? I know the slow creep of more small companies accepting bitcoin helps, but what do you think that final cusp will be, and will it ever come to that? Thanks for taking the time to do this! There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.
Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.
Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.
But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.
Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.
It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.
I guess the Supreme Court has decided this does not apply to taxes, which is crap. Or are you talking about other countries? Thank you :) I actually mean something along the lines of "It is illegal to trade dollars for any cryptocurrency that does not have a real name and social security associated with it"
Will bitcoins ever be able to be traded like other recognized currencies in similar ways to Forex? More specifically, will there ever be retail brokers offering margin trading accounts that allow you to buy and sell bitcoin with leverage? There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens. Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession. With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement. What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.
Do you believe bitcoin is important locally as well as on the internet? If so, how are you promoting bitcoin in your local communities? Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.
If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.
Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.
Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.
What are some of the more exciting things you (each of you?) envision for Bitcoin in the short to medium term? Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.
From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.
Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.
Not to be the doom and gloom person but in the future what do you think will/would be the "last nail in the coffin" for Bitcoin? It depends what you mean by "last nail in the coffin"
How did you meet/find Andreas and Stephanie and how did you persuade them to be part of your show? I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.
I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.
Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.
Thanks for responding! Andreas is my fave (though I enjoy yours and Stephanie's comments too). Everybody has their favorite :) I think the fact that we all have people disagreeing with us at times means we're doing the job, and providing multiple and varied perspectives.
What recording tools are you using? We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)
Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.
I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"
Assuming bitcoin reaches critical mass, how does bitcoin cope with the criticism of rewarding early adopters? Do you see a potential uproar about inequity? Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.
We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.
One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.
>It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.
What do you make of the download trend of the bitcoin client software in China? Isn't this a big story? China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.
You commented on a recent episode about how Satochi Dice was going to block US traffic to the site due to uncertain regulations. Can't bitcoin work around that? If you send bitcoin to the addresses of the various bets - it still works right? Thanks for your show - I await each new podcast. Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.
I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here Link to letstalkbitcoin.com
I'd like to thank all three of you for doing this podcast, it's always thought provoking and fun to listen to. Plus, Stephanie does have a very sexy voice... But I do have a question, Right now, I don't know the answer to that question.
How do miners determine which transactions will be confirmed first and which get put to the back of the line? Shouldn't they be confirmed in a 'first come, first serve' basis? But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.
*edit: As well, do you still plan on using some time on the show to go into more detail about mining? I think it was mentioned a few weeks ago that the topic might be explored in further detail. There will be fewer miners who accept free or very low fee transactions, so there you go.
How would Bitcoin change our financial system as we know it? In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"
Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.
I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.
We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.
Have any of you heard about how in Africa much of the exchange in value is done with mobile phone minutes? It seems to me - whatever the US attempts to do with Bitcoin - there will be other places that it will bubble up in. What about Argentina and other places where they actually understand what damage a desperate government can do to a currency? I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with Link to phoneacoin.com and others.
Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.
No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.
Who invented Bitcoin? What is to stop whoever did so initially issuing themselves the equivalent of $79 zillion in Bitcoin currency prior to it taking off? Is there commission charged on each transaction that occurs? If so, how much, and who receives this? The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".
He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.
Great podcast, can't wait for the next one! It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.
You discussed mesh networks in 3rd world countries and how bitcoin could be used in such a scenario. If the [mesh] network is disconnected from the internet, how would transactions on the blockchain be verified? Couldn't the time the mesh network was disconnected make it vulnerable to hacking the [mesh network's] blockchain? More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)
1) The price for one Bitcoin seems to fluctuate quite a bit. The most successful currencies remain relatively stable over time (e.g. the Dollar). Will Bitcoin ever need to reach a certain level of stability to be a successful unit of trade? and if so, what do you think needs to happen before then? 1 - Yes! Once everyone who has purchased Bitcoin has purchased them, the price will stabilize. In practice this will start happening long before absolute stability, and as soon as people start thinking about prices in terms of BTC instead of their local currency it almost doesn't matter.
2) If Bitcoin ever becomes a widely accepted form of payment (seems a lot of businesses already accept it), how do you think the US government will proceed/react/regulate/etc. considering that technically only the feds can issue currency? 2 - "The Feds" are not the only ones who can issue currency - They have legal tender laws which mean people MUST accept their money, but nothing prevents you from circulating a voluntary currency like Bitcoin.
Do you foresee companies like paypal incorporating bitcoin into their businesses in the future as a more credible exchange than these ones that are currently running? No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.
Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.
Thanks for the well thought out response, I genuinely appreciated that you took the time for this! I do have a follow up question, how does one get bit coin in an easy way? Lets say I have 300$ that I want in bit coin.. whats the best way to approach this? Probably a company like bitinstant.com, bitstamp.com, or btcquick.com - For larger amounts they don't make too much sense but at that level its your best bet.
Not to be rude, but how do you expect for a currency without a standard like gold silver etc. to not crash down in a blaze of glory? What standard is your currency backed by?
Hi There. I was at the San Jose convention hall last weekend attending Big Wow Comicfest and that's where I saw Bitcoin2013! Mostly Bitcoin 2013 was an opportunity for people building the future of Bitcoin to meet each other and network. There were speakers talking about a wide variety of issues, and vendors of Bitcoin services who were showing their latest innovations and systems.
What information was presented at this event that couldn't be done justice disseminated over the internet? The information will eventually be online, but the probably 200 people I got to meet in real life will not (in real life)
What resources do you think I should review as a total newbie to bitcoin? Or if possible, what's the one sentence pitch to get a newb involved? For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.
The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"
Would any of you hazard a guess at the bitcoin exchange rate at the end of 2013? Sure, i'll make a wild guess.
$1000.
If and when a large user comes onboard, I think thats the next price at which we'll bounce around for a while, just like 100 became the sticky point after the last major bout of adoption.
How do bitcoins relate to the law? For example, what would be the crime if somone hacked your account and stole your bitcoins? It's not exactly theft of money, or is it? Bitcoins are your property, it's illegal for someone to steal your property whether it is money or not. Right now there is little that can be done about theft, but eventually I expect a class of "Blockchain Forensic Investigators" to emerge who will track down your stolen coins for a % based fee.
On your last show you mentioned the diversity of the Bitcoiners who attended BitCoin2013 - which nation was most represented in your opinion? Were there any Chinese nationals present (we've heard that they've suddenly gotten the bitcoin bug in the last month)? Did the other nations talk about regulatory problems or is that just a US concern? I met the gentleman from BTC-China, but other than that I actually didn't see any obvious chinese nationals. We saw lots of eastern europeans and south americans.
Other nations are not talking about the regulatory issue as far as I can tell, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what the US does, which is not abnormal in a very new situation like this.
Isn't having an inherently deflationary currency a terrible idea? How is bitcoin different from geeky goldbuggery? Because you can't divide a gold coin into .0001 without incurring cost and expense. That's not the case with Bitcoin, so the deflationary aspect of it is largely moot.
There is a tendency to listen to modern "economics" which makes this arguement, saying that the money supply must expand because otherwise it drives down profitability in a race to the bottom.
I think in practice we'll find that people don't work against their own best interest, and while during the initial adoptions stages of Bitcoin there will be significant discounts offered to those who pay with Bitcoin vs. legacy currency, once the market becomes saturated and the price levels out those discounts will be scaled way back.
Right now it makes sense to heavily discount, because the expectation is that the value of the Bitcoins will go up during this period of adoption, that won't always be true and the discount is a reflection of anticipated future returns.
Was it bad when people saved money in banks that paid 10% interest? No, that's called capital formation. There is a thought that given a deflationary currency nobody will spend any money, that's nonsense. Just because your currency gains value over time doesn't mean that you no longer have costs that must be paid for. What Deflationary currencies do is say "Ok, you could spend it on that, but is it worth it relative to what you'll gain by not?"
That's a good thing. Our system right now works on the opposite theory - Spend money NOW because if you're dumb enough to keep it in the bank it will actually lose value over time between the couple points of "official" inflation and less than 1% artifical interest rates. The situation is like this now because the fed is trying to make people spend as much money as possible with the hope that the flows will "restart the economic engine"
Too bad this isn't how things work, not that it'll stop us from trying it over and over again.
In the 2008 financial crash, govts bailed out the banks because there was no other way to maintain the whole financial ecosystems of payrolls, invoices and trade, all of which go through the banking system. Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.
Can you envisage another financial crash in the future where govt says, "We don't need to do a bailout, as we've got this alternative payment system" and then instructs businesses and employees to just get themselves a bitcoin address and work through the Bitcoin system? Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.
What type of notes and agenda does the team coordinate on before a show? We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.
The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.
Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON.
I first learned about Bitcoins on an episode of The Good Wife. The one with Jason Biggs as the creator of BitCoin. Have you watched that episode and how accurate does that episode portray what's happening with Bitcoin in terms of legal stuff? Not having seen it but knowing TV, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "not very well" Satoshi has not been identified, was a throw-away identity that was cryptographically secured, so probably never will.
Are there any conferences in Chicago anytime soon? I think a Q&A in public would be helpful for your show as well as bitcoin. I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.
We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.
Oh dear. You're not all perfectly grammatical orators on the first try? I'm crushed! I really value my own time, and I know other people out there do too. I try to make the show as information dense as possible, thats the criteria we've been operating under from really day one.
We're actually talking about cutting the show in half and releasing it more often (still recording the same amount) because people can get tired of listening to such dense content for an hour or more.
US Treasury recently issued a directive stating they would be monitoring any entity attempting to exchange virtual currency for USD (or any other currency, goods, or services), indicating that federal authorities take a dim view of what amounts to private coinage. Do you anticipate a Supreme Court case here defining what is and is not private coinage? 2.And given bitcoin's noted extra-legal uses, do you have any indication it is being decrypted by NSA? 3.Taking it a step further, do you think it could be a national security-sponsored international sieve for money laundering? It may eventually go to Supreme Court.
I think the market has done fine for bitcoin so far. I think the market will continue to take care of bitcoin. The idea of giving in willingly to regulation makes me cringe. There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad. The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.
Thanks so much for doing this, I love the Bitcoin system, but hate the volatility. How do you recommend dealing with that? I've heard to convert it quickly to the currency of choice after any exchange has been made to avoid any more changes to the price. The easy solution is just buy and hold - If you need to buy something, do it when you need to and not before. Do not pre-order anything.
What is your prediction of the price for 1 btc in USD, exactly one year from now? Just for fun, since I know it is impossible to even guess the day to day price swings. As a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.
My partner is buying into bitcoin as well as litecoin. Any advice for him? (I personally don't understand it) Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)
Hello, I just wrote a long post about the functions of using BTC to facilitate a 'free bank' using the principals of free money, similar to the WIR bank. Link to en.wikipedia.org Do you think that something like this would be possible using Bitcoin? Probably. Not really my area of expertise.
Why did bits take a dive at the same time gold took a tank? I don't pay attention to price, sorry.
We take full credit for any rise and blame others for any decline. Feel free to tip us from your gains! Lol.
Just wanted to say I love your show. I encourage you to please continue making high-quality podcast episodes. Thank you. I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.
Bitcoins are the stupidest investment anyone could ever make. Pass. Link to static.quickmeme.com
Unfortunately, quickmeme doesn't let you copy image urls directly. Link to i.qkme.me
Yes, but they started being worth a set value. bitcoin was never backed by anything so its value was kind of made up. how do you expect to make a non goverment currency anybody with a computer can print to retain value? Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.
The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.
The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?
Because the governments "pie" does infact have limits to making it, and only dropped gold standard after over 150 years of the doller having a defined worth, unlike bitcoin, where a random hacker can just print endless money. I'd direct you to security researcher Dan Kaminsky. Link to www.businessinsider.com
You'll find it's a little harder than you're describing. Like, impossible.
Last updated: 2013-05-29 11:06 UTC
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