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Florida Sting Nabs Alleged Bitcoin Money Launderers
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Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Ninja
2/10/2014 | 4:32:20 PM
Chromebooks have arrived
When the crypocurrency crowd starts using Chromebooks, that's a sign they approve of the security model.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 3:44:27 AM
Re: Chromebooks have arrived
@Thomas: How big an endorsement is this really, though?  After all, he got arrested.  ;)
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/11/2014 | 12:15:27 AM
The Purpose of Bitcoins
Aside for making it easier for spouses to keep secrets from each other, what is the purposes of Bitcoin, other than to attempt to hide criminal activity or to commit tax fraud of one type or other??
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 3:41:45 AM
Re: The Purpose of Bitcoins
@Gary: And, for that matter, why are people complaining about things like the Patriot Act and secret FISA courts and widespread NSA phone and email surveillance?  What are these people hiding?

ಠ__ಠ
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 3:55:14 AM
Hmm...
FWIW, I have to wonder about the moral and legal implications of the setup here on Reid and Espinoza, and what was really going on.  It appears, from the description in the article of the chronology of events, that Reid was not told about the "stolen credit card numbers" until the second meet.  And that (if I am understanding correctly) he was not explicitly told that the money he was changing came directly from stolen credit card numbers until the third meet.

So imagine if you're a totally innocent person in that situation.

Imagine thinking, "Oh, crap, this guy's a criminal.  And I've already done business with him and changed money for him.  And he knows me."

Would you be brave enough to say no?

Maybe I'm being more of an apologist than Reid and Espinoza deserve.  Maybe they're truly bad guys and they were all too happy to help launder money for profit.

Regardless of the situation with these two particular defendants, however, this sequence of events suggests that officials just wanted a bust -- and didn't care if they got a "real" bad guy or just a scared innocent in over his head.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 8:16:17 AM
Impact
I wonder what impact this news had on the current bitcoin value slump compared to the Mt Gox halting of withdrawals? 
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/11/2014 | 8:50:59 AM
Re: Impact
@Whoopty it's still worth far more than it was this past summer, and if you had bought it earlier, you'd have made an even bigger killing. However, the huge fluctuations that can make it appealing as an instrument of speculation are not working in favor of it becoming adopted as a mainstream currency. 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 2:14:39 PM
Re: Impact
Exactly - Bitcoins seem more akin to buying a stock than to currency. Even that analogy is flawed though because a share of stock, like a greenback, has something behind it, even if that "something" is an intangible "full faith and credit" promise that the GOP House doesn't seem to think means much.

What exactly is behind a Bitcoin?
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/11/2014 | 2:33:30 PM
Re: Impact
@Lorna

Satoshi Nakamoto (though that is not the real name) is the creator of Bitcoin.  His Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System laid the groundwork for the system.  What is particularly telling is the reference to trust at the end: "We have proposed a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust."  Bitcoin, does, nevertheless, seem to indicate a form of trust in numbers, or, more precisely strength in numbers, for that is the translation of  "Vires in Numeris," the motto that appears on Casascius. Coins. 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 2:37:23 PM
Re: Impact
So in other words, it's a reverse pyramid scheme?
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/11/2014 | 2:40:52 PM
Re: Impact
@Loran ah, if the person/people behind the name kept several thousand bitcoins for themselves, they could have made quite a killing when it came close to $1000. What surprises me is that so many in the bitcoin community have absolute trust in this entity when they cast doubt on other crypto-currencies, like Ripple, simply because there are coroporations behind them. At least those companies are upfront about who they are and their plans to retain some of the currency.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 2:45:07 PM
Re: Impact
It's an interesting social phenomenon, that a traditionally distrustful group has that faith. Or, maybe it's not so surprising, in that when you distrust any sort of central authority you'd be attracted to a completely decentralized system.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/11/2014 | 2:57:16 PM
Re: Impact
@Lorna yes there was a core group of libertarians who were really taken by the idea of a government-free currency. But not everyone involved is extreme. Some really just see it as a practical solution for sending money over IP without the friction of bank fees and processing delays, particularly when two different types of currency are invovled. I can tell you that when I was paid by a UK-based company, it was a bit of a pain working out the bank transfer, and the amounts were always slightly off due to the convesion rate and the bank fee that was assessed on my end.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 3:00:13 PM
Re: Impact
Right, but what about the fluctuations? If I sell $500 worth of services and am paid in Bitcoin this week, next week that payment could be worth only $250. Of course, it could also be worth $1,000, but I've never been big on gambling!
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/11/2014 | 3:40:18 PM
Re: Impact
@Lorna you hit on exactly the problem it has in becoming a mainstream currency. I contacted some of the people who had made Bitcoin news for saying they offered to pay employees in the digital currency for an article.  Pyry Lehdonvirta, CEO of SC5, a Finnish software company admitted that he, like most of SC5's employees, "stopped taking salary as bitcoins around March" because of the currency's volatility. He says the intent behind the offer was "to help people spend bitcoins and get into the ecosystem," not to do have them feel like they're "plac[ing] bets in a casino." 
SmailB826
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SmailB826,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/12/2014 | 9:35:19 AM
Whatever...
This was a sting operation and the Bitcoin part was incidental - these creeps could have wanted to get anything they could spend for their stolen loot.  The government CHOSE to offer Bitcoins - to claim that this is really a case against Bitcoin is childish and stupid.
WalrusBaller
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WalrusBaller,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/12/2014 | 9:57:40 PM
just my .0002 btc
I feel bitcoins' value mostly comes from the ability to send instant micro-payments to anyone in the world. With out any evil bankers getting their greedy, crooked, filthy hands in the middle of a personal transaction. With out bank fees or tiny ones like 0.0001%.  Also, the ability to generate as many payment wallets as you want, creates endless possibilities for innovation and freedom.

 
AmmarNaeem
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AmmarNaeem,
User Rank: Strategist
2/14/2014 | 7:52:26 AM
Re: just my .0002 btc
The hackers targeted Silk Road 2 and swiped their entire Bitcoin wallet clean. Using transaction malleability exploit, the hackers maneuvered the assault causing a damage of worth $2.7 million. Hackers first purchased orders from one another and then claimed for a refund. Using transaction malleability exploit, they bypassed transaction ID verification which enabled them to claim refunds in a loop. Read for more update here 


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