Is anyone here messing around with Bitcoins?

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by RenchFries, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. RenchFries

    RenchFries Official Dawgshed Dutch representative Gold

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    Just curious if anyone here has any experience with it.

    I'm reading up on it and it seems very interesting. It seems that there's money to be made here, but I don't know enough about it to really make a judgement.

    For those who don't know what I'm talking about:

    [video=youtube;Um63OQz3bjo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um63OQz3bjo[/video]
     
  2. Double Blizz

    Double Blizz New Member Banned User

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    No,but Shmoop is addicted to Benzadrex:c
     
  3. face palm

    face palm Well-Known Member

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    beth is chomping at the bit :c
     
  4. NiggalissCage

    NiggalissCage Well-Known Member

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    How so? Seems like a paypal ripoff type scam to me.
     
  5. newcastlefan

    newcastlefan גֵּרְשֹׁם VIP

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    except paypal is a bank.
     
  6. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Well-Known Member

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    it's an interesting idea, I don't totally understand it but what I do know is intriguing.
     
  7. Xhorder

    Xhorder \m/ VIP

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    I used some once to purchase, lets say...medicine.

    It was a bitch to convert real money to it, and the price was very volitile, but if you timed it right you could probably make some profit.
     
  8. Gitfiddle

    Gitfiddle Live Deliciously

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. newcastlefan

    newcastlefan גֵּרְשֹׁם VIP

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    there are national groups already trying to figure out how to tax it since people are making money with it. there are online gambling agencies that traffic in bitcoin. i am aware of how it works, kind of, but i don;t see the point or the need that it fills. i'm not sure removing the nationality from currency is the solution; i think the better approach is to remove the plurality of nationalities will be a better way to go long term. make the world the nation and then everyone uses the same currency because everyone is in the same nation. the currency is then regulated by a world bank and based upon a global national product.

    so far the profits made by bitcoin seem very small and the incentive for adoption does not seem to be there, but what do i know?
     
  10. Gomez

    Gomez Well-Known Member

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    I'll jack you off for 3 bitcoins
     
  11. Schmoopy

    Schmoopy Shit Mult Hunter

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    e

    :fail:
     
  12. Daveindiego

    Daveindiego Confirmed Internet Legend Gold

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    Have you heard about the Silk Road? Another internet where you can buy and sell anything. I think that Bitcoins are used there.
     
  13. RenchFries

    RenchFries Official Dawgshed Dutch representative Gold

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    The big deal about it is that it is non-centralized, not influenced by a country or government and completely anonymous. You literally have a file on your computer that's your wallet of bitcoins. If you delete that file or the file gets stolen, your money is gone. If you transfer bitcoins to someone else, it doesn't go through a bank, it goes from you to him.

    There also is no inflation because bitcoins don't get created out of thin air like money is printed. New bitcoins get "mined" through an algorithmic process somehow. I don't really understand how that works in its technicality, but it's kinda the same as gold being mined. It costs resources (computer power) to make them.

    This guy on youtube explains it pretty clearly I think:

    1. There is a transaction list which is shared by everybody (the p2p part).
    2. When Bitcoin is generated, a number of people verify that the Bitcoin was legitimately created and they approve the adding of that Bitcoin to the transaction list (this goes automatically by combining everyone's computer's power).
    3. That gives the right to whoever owns the bitcoin to transfer it to somebody else.
    There is no way to trick people in #2 to accept fake Bitcoins so they can be added to the list. If they can't be added, then they can't be spent in #3.

    Or explained in an easier way:

    OK, suppose you had a list of transactions:
    1. A -> 10 coins -> B
    2. B -> 5 coins -> C
    3. B -> 5 coins -> A
    In this case there are only 10 coins in the "world": A has 5 and C has 5. So if D comes in and says that they want to give 5 coins to C, then C would know D is lying and wouldn't accept the transaction. The only way D can get 5 coins is if D mined them, but then that would be publicly announced by the network and everybody would know D now has 5 actual coins.

    And thanks to whoever gave me reps and some background on it.

    It's a fascinating phenomenon and there are entire forums devoted to this, really big ones.
     
  14. RenchFries

    RenchFries Official Dawgshed Dutch representative Gold

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    That sounds very shady.
     
  15. Daveindiego

    Daveindiego Confirmed Internet Legend Gold

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    Yeah, the story I read about it freaked me out a little bit. Drug transactions, prostitution, murder for hire, weapons sales, etc.

    I really wish that I had remembered the name of this 'other' internet that hosted that site.
     
  16. Daveindiego

    Daveindiego Confirmed Internet Legend Gold

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    Here is an article on it. It mentions bitcoins quite a bit.

    http://gawker.com/5805928/the-underground-website-where-you-can-buy-any-drug-imaginable


    The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug Imaginable

    Making small talk with your pot dealer sucks. Buying cocaine can get you shot. What if you could buy and sell drugs online like books or light bulbs? Now you can: Welcome to Silk Road.

    About three weeks ago, the U.S. Postal Service delivered an ordinary envelope to Mark's door. Inside was a tiny plastic bag containing 10 tabs of LSD. "If you had opened it, unless you were looking for it, you wouldn't have even noticed," Mark told us in a phone interview.

    The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug ImaginableMark, a software developer, had ordered the 100 micrograms of acid through a listing on the online marketplace Silk Road. He found a seller with lots of good feedback who seemed to know what they were talking about, added the acid to his digital shopping cart and hit "check out." He entered his address and paid the seller 50 Bitcoins—untraceable digital currency—worth around $150. Four days later the drugs, sent from Canada, arrived at his house.

    "It kind of felt like I was in the future," Mark said.
    View the gallery

    Silk Road, a digital black market that sits just below most internet users' purview, does resemble something from a cyberpunk novel. Through a combination of anonymity technology and a sophisticated user-feedback system, Silk Road makes buying and selling illegal drugs as easy as buying used electronics—and seemingly as safe. It's Amazon—if Amazon sold mind-altering chemicals.

    Here is just a small selection of the 340 items available for purchase on Silk Road by anyone, right now: a gram of Afghani hash; 1/8th ounce of "sour 13" weed; 14 grams of ecstasy; .1 grams tar heroin. A listing for "Avatar" LSD includes a picture of blotter paper with big blue faces from the James Cameron movie on it. The sellers are located all over the world, a large portion from the U.S. and Canada.

    But even Silk Road has limits: You won't find any weapons-grade plutonium, for example. Its terms of service ban the sale of "anything who's purpose is to harm or defraud, such as stolen credit cards, assassinations, and weapons of mass destruction."

    The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug ImaginableGetting to Silk Road is tricky. The URL seems made to be forgotten. But don't point your browser there yet. It's only accessible through the anonymizing network TOR, which requires a bit of technical skill to configure.

    Once you're there, it's hard to believe that Silk Road isn't simply a scam. Such brazenness is usually displayed only by those fake "online pharmacies" that dupe the dumb and flaccid. There's no sly, Craigslist-style code names here. But while scammers do use the site, most of the listings are legit. Mark's acid worked as advertised. "It was quite enjoyable, to be honest," he said. We spoke to one Connecticut engineer who enjoyed sampling some "silver haze" pot purchased off Silk Road. "It was legit," he said. "It was better than anything I've seen."

    Silk Road cuts down on scams with a reputation-based trading system familiar to anyone who's used Amazon or eBay. The user Bloomingcolor appears to be an especially trusted vendor, specializing in psychedelics. One happy customer wrote on his profile: "Excellent quality. Packing, and communication. Arrived exactly as described." They gave the transaction five points out of five.

    "Our community is amazing," Silk Road's anonymous administrator, known on forums as "Silk Road," told us in an email. "They are generally bright, honest and fair people, very understanding, and willing to cooperate with each other."

    Sellers feel comfortable openly trading hardcore drugs because the real identities of those involved in Silk Road transactions are utterly obscured. If the authorities wanted to ID Silk Road's users with computer forensics, they'd have nowhere to look. TOR masks a user's tracks on the site. The site urges sellers to "creatively disguise" their shipments and vacuum seal any drugs that could be detected through smell. As for transactions, Silk Road doesn't accept credit cards, PayPal , or any other form of payment that can be traced or blocked. The only money good here is Bitcoins.

    Bitcoins have been called a "crypto-currency," the online equivalent of a brown paper bag of cash. Bitcoins are a peer-to-peer currency, not issued by banks or governments, but created and regulated by a network of other bitcoin holders' computers. (The name "Bitcoin" is derived from the pioneering file-sharing technology Bittorrent.) They are purportedly untraceable and have been championed by cyberpunks, libertarians and anarchists who dream of a distributed digital economy outside the law, one where money flows across borders as free as bits.

    To purchase something on Silk Road, you need first to buy some Bitcoins using a service like Mt. Gox Bitcoin Exchange. Then, create an account on Silk Road, deposit some bitcoins, and start buying drugs. One bitcoin is worth about $8.67, though the exchange rate fluctuates wildly every day. Right now you can buy an 1/8th of pot on Silk Road for 7.63 Bitcoins. That's probably more than you would pay on the street, but most Silk Road users seem happy to pay a premium for convenience.

    The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug ImaginableSince it launched this February, Silk Road has represented the most complete implementation of the Bitcoin vision. Many of its users come from Bitcoin's utopian geek community and see Silk Road as more than just a place to buy drugs. Silk Road's administrator cites the anarcho-libertarian philosophy of Agorism. "The state is the primary source of violence, oppression, theft and all forms of coercion," Silk Road wrote to us. "Stop funding the state with your tax dollars and direct your productive energies into the black market."

    Mark, the LSD buyer, had similar views. "I'm a libertarian anarchist and I believe that anything that's not violent should not be criminalized," he said.

    But not all Bitcoin enthusiasts embrace Silk Road. Some think the association with drugs will tarnish the young technology, or might draw the attention of federal authorities. "The real story with Silk Road is the quantity of people anxious to escape a centralized currency and trade," a longtime bitcoin user named Maiya told us in a chat. "Some of us view Bitcoin as a real currency, not drug barter tokens."

    Silk Road and Bitcoins could herald a black market eCommerce revolution. But anonymity cuts both ways. How long until a DEA agent sets up a fake Silk Road account and starts sending SWAT teams instead of LSD to the addresses she gets? As Silk Road inevitably spills out of the bitcoin bubble, its drug-swapping utopians will meet a harsh reality no anonymizing network can blur.

    Update: Jeff Garzik, a member of the Bitcoin core development team, says in an email that bitcoin is not as anonymous as the denizens of Silk Road would like to believe. He explains that because all Bitcoin transactions are recorded in a public log, though the identities of all the parties are anonymous, law enforcement could use sophisticated network analysis techniques to parse the transaction flow and track down individual Bitcoin users.

    "Attempting major illicit transactions with bitcoin, given existing statistical analysis techniques deployed in the field by law enforcement, is pretty damned dumb," he says.
     
  17. RenchFries

    RenchFries Official Dawgshed Dutch representative Gold

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    Well, shit. That sounds like something I want nothing to do with.

    Same with that Tor-network. I just stay away from that shit, there's too much bad, bad things going on over there.