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Bitcoin Privacy The Almighty Buck Technology

Ask Slashdot: Time To Get Into Crypto-currency? If So, Which? 271

Qbertino writes: With the ever-looming cyberpunk future in close proximity, I'm starting to wonder if it isn't time to get myself familiar with crypto currency as a means of trade. Bitcoin is all the hype, but the blockchain has flaws, in that it isn't as anonymous as one would hope for — you can track past transactions. Rumors of Bitcoin showing cracks are popping up and also there are quite a few alternatives out there. So I have some questions: Is getting into dealing with crypto currency worthwhile already? Is Bitcoin the way to go, or will it falter under wide use / become easily trackable once NSA and the likes adapt their systems to doing exactly that? What digital currency has the technical and mind-share potential to supersede bitcoin? Are there feasible cryptocurrencies that have the upsides of Bitcoin (such as a mathematical limit to their amount) but are fully anonymous in transactions? What do the economists and digi-currency nerds here have to contribute on that? What are your experiences with handling and holding cryptocurrency? And does Bitcoin own the market or is it still flexible enough for an technology upgrade?
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Ask Slashdot: Time To Get Into Crypto-currency? If So, Which?

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  • Missed the Boat? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jshackney ( 99735 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @05:23PM (#51454317) Homepage

    Gonna go out on a limb and say maybe that boat left port sometime around March 2014.

    • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @07:36PM (#51454773)

      Gonna go out on a limb and say maybe that boat left port sometime around March 2014.

      Already sailed for Bitcoin, you mean. The time to get into any cryptocurrency is at the beginning, when its units are easy to mine without owning your own silicon fab and power station, and before its transaction system starts to break down as users discover it won't scale.

      • by mlts ( 1038732 )

        The best thing one can do is find another currency, mine it, then exchange those coins for BitCoins. Some currencies are a lot miner-friendly, so that rack of 100 USB ASICs can be powered on and generate more coins and value than the cost of electricity to run them.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @07:46PM (#51454811)
      Bitcoin made a lot of progress on the technological front, but its economics is flawed because it limits the number of bitcoins which can be mined, and makes them progressively harder to mine as more are found. This is the same flaw behind using gold as your currency standard, and will cause the same problem - economic instability via repeated bouts of deflation. Basically, because the amount of gold (bitcoins) doesn't grow as quickly as the size of the economy, prices for things in that currency start to go down.

      Vastly simplifying the economy into one currency and one product, today there are x bitcoins and you make y widgets. The price for a widget is thus proportional to x/y. Tomorrow, the number of bitcoins hasn't increased as quickly as your economic activity is increasing. There are 1.2x bitcoins, but you make 1.5 widgets. The price for a widget becomes proportional to 1.2x/1.5y = 0.8x/y. In other words, deflation - a widget is only worth 80% what it was yesterday.

      Now apply the same principle to all goods and services, and the price of everything is going down (actually the price of bitcoins is going up). Once people start to understand what's happening, they stop buying things. They want to wait until the last possible minute, until they absolutely need an item, to buy it because the longer they wait (the longer they hold onto their bitcoins), the less it will cost. This slowdown in economic activity causes a recession, which decreases the number of widgets that are made until once again their price goes up (because not enough are being made to meet demand), which starts the same process over again. Economic instability.

      That's why every major economy has abandoned the gold standard for a fiat currency. Yes a fiat currency can be abused if the people in charge of it are corrupt. But used properly with the money meted out at about the rate the economy is growing, prices remain stable and so is the economy. Just look at the list of recessions in the U.S. [wikipedia.org] pre-1933 and post-1933 when the U.S. went off the gold standard. The economy has been much more stable with a fiat currency. That's what needs to happen with a cryptocurrency for the "boat to leave port." If someone can come up with a cryptocurrency which is independent of central control, yet its supply increases at roughly the same rate the economy expands, that is the boat you want to get on. It just won't be as lucrative for early adopters as bitcoin because it won't be a ponzi scheme.
      • Like bitcoin only a certain amount of my poop is minted each day. It's cant be forged because it's loaded with my DNA. and when I die theres a maximum amount that will be in circulation. Like cash it's not traceable. You can divide it finely. Anybody want to invest?

        • Like bitcoin only a certain amount of my poop is minted each day. It's cant be forged because it's loaded with my DNA. and when I die theres a maximum amount that will be in circulation. Like cash it's not traceable. You can divide it finely. Anybody want to invest?

          I'm in, send me a pound or two at the ummm current market value.

      • they stop buying things. They want to wait until the last possible minute, until they absolutely need an item, to buy it because the longer they wait (the longer they hold onto their bitcoins), the less it will cost.

        I understand this is what your intuition tells you, but the data reflects the exact opposite. During periods of rapid deflation (appreciation due to adoption) in bitcoin charitable donations and spending on good and services actually spikes up from the data coming from btc payment processors. They speculate this is because of the "wealth effect" where people are more comfortable spending and donating because they feel wealthier(as they are).

        If someone can come up with a cryptocurrency which is independent of central control, yet its supply increases at roughly the same rate the economy expands, that is the boat you want to get on. It just won't be as lucrative for early adopters as bitcoin because it won't be a ponzi scheme.

        Those alt crypto tokens you propose already exist and "compete" wit

      • First let me say I agree with your post, rapid deflation is as bad or worse as rapid inflation. Stability is desirable however it also has problems, "growth" is in many ways just another way of saying "increased efficiency. So today's widget should be cheaper than yesterday's because it's cheaper and easier to make than yesterday's widget. This may in turn spur more growth since you would expect the number of widgets sold to increase as their price decreases. In this way society as a whole benefits from gro
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shurdeek ( 571257 )

        This post mixes several phenomena and omits other factors relevant for the positions. For example, "Once people start to understand what's happening, they stop buying things.". There are situations where a falling price level and a drop in consumer expenditures correlated positively, but there are also situations where they correlate negatively. I for example tend to behave exactly the opposite way as you describe: when the price of bitcoin is falling, I tend to cut my expenditures, and when it's rising, I

        • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
          Austrian religion (it's not a "school"), as usual does not make predictions. It doesn't use models so it can't do that.

          According to mainstream economy, deflation happens because consumers DO NOT HAVE MONEY to spend. So the producers have to cut prices to sell at least _something_. This in turn leads to wage decreases and layoffs. And this in turn leads to consumers having less money. Rinse, wash, repeat.

          Reality is often a little bit messier - wages rarely fall in nominal values, they tend to stick at ze
      • Deflation is essentially the pyramid scheme that everyone is posting about.

        In a deflationary currency, people who hoard the currency gain value over time. If you get in at the beginning and hold large quantities for a long time, then you've got a tremendous value advantage over later starting players.

        If you notice, no _real_ currency stays deflationary for long - the rich already have too many ways to get richer, they don't need deflationary currency to give them another advantage.

    • Gonna go out on a limb and say maybe that boat left port sometime around March 2014.

      To be fair... maybe this question has been lingering in the Firehose for the past year and a half.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ask Slashdot: Time To Get Into Crypto-currency?

    No. [wikipedia.org]

  • by tomxor ( 2379126 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @05:27PM (#51454351)

    With the ever-looming cyberpunk future in close proximity

    This is what happens when slashdot is your only source of news and you frequent it too often.

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Saturday February 06, 2016 @05:34PM (#51454369)

    For the short/medium-term future Bitcoin is really the only option if you want a cryptocurrency that you have any hope of using like a currency, to you know, exchange value with other people. The others, aka "altcoins", are mostly still at the stage of tech demos or niche experiments. Which can be fine if you find investigating that scene to be interesting as a hobby.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      Bitcoin is not only a good hope; it's perfectly viable for many transactions.

      I would not necessarily suggest that you hold onto much BTC, however.

      Problem is BTC has some volatility --- so it is best to keep only the small amount you need onhand to complete transactions in the near future; Replenish by purchasing more, as needed, for additional trading, but don't keep your life savings or a significant percentage of your monthly pay held as BTC.

  • Monero (Score:3, Informative)

    by Clever Bonobo ( 4449175 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @05:35PM (#51454371)
    I've been into Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies since early 2011 after I saw one of the first Bitcoin slashdottings in late 2010. I went mostly "all-in" around 2012 after some trouble with my bank, never looked back, and have happily lived 90%+ crypto ever since. If I was a betting man I'd say look at Monero: http://getmonero.org/ [getmonero.org] It's definitely not "ready for primetime" just yet, but the foundation is there and is moving in the right direction. Reminds me of Bitcoin in 2011. Good luck.
    • Where do you spend your bitcoin for day to day living kind of stuff? How do you avoid problems with significant value swings that the market experiences since almost no one denominates their goods in bitcoins as the primary price.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shurdeek ( 571257 )

        Well I'm a different guy but I also mostly live on crypto.

        > Where do you spend your bitcoin for day to day living kind of stuff?
        If I need to pay for something and the recipient doesn't have a facility to process bitcoins, I use one of the payment processors to do the transaction on my behalf or trade bitcoins for fiat myself and then pay with fiat.

        > How do you avoid problems with significant value swings that the market experiences since almost no one denominates their goods in bitcoins as the primary

  • With the ever-looming cyberpunk future in close proximity,

    When you start with that postulate, you're probably going down the wrong path.

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @05:41PM (#51454411)
    It's nice that people could make money by "investing" in Bitcoin in the past, but that's not what it's for. Currency speculation is not a good idea for most people, and that includes speculation in Bitcoin.

    Money is for economic transactions. Do you want to buy stuff overseas or online without using a credit card? Then consider Bitcoin. If you don't need Bitcoin for any transactions, don't bother.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      Why would you want to buy something online or overseas without a credit card? That 2-3% insurance (credit card fees) is well worth it to me.
      • Why would you want to buy something online or overseas without a credit card? That 2-3% insurance (credit card fees) is well worth it to me.

        A lot of stuff people buy online is virtual: software, books, movies, games, in-game resources, where "insurance" isn't that important. Also, while buying overseas may seem wild and risky to you, to people who have lived there (or even grown up there), it's just routine.

  • Go back in time (Score:3, Informative)

    by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @05:44PM (#51454419)

    If I’d started mining bitcoin back when it first started, I might have made a lot of money by now. But I kept procrastinating, and now it’s too late. It now costs more energy to mine a coin than a coin is worth.

    Also, I should have bought Apple stock back in the 90’s.

    • shoot...if people had just gone to the Gavin Andresen's bitcoin faucet back when it was doling out free bit coin by the thousands....

    • It now costs more energy to mine a coin than a coin is worth.

      This is absurd, mining difficulty is self adjusting, and the miners definitely are making small profits otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. Sure mining is professional these days so you must be very competitive to be profitable and thus the average user is better off just buying some bitcoins instead.

      • Electricity costs vary; it's quite possible that it would cost more to mine using OP's power supply than they would make in mined coins.

        I would expect all the big/serious miners to have deliberately chosen to site themselves adjacent to the cheapest supply of power they can find.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Pretty much. In retrospect, I thought Bitcoin was going to be one of those geek idea that just didn't pass beyond geek circles. I was considering getting in on it when it was like $1/BTC and like.. nah... not going to happen. In retrospect it's prety obvious but hey.. it's like the dotcom boom, even if you recognized it as a bubble you could make a lot of money riding it and cashing out at the right time. Bitcoin worked because it was first and everybody was rooting for some crypocurrency to be taken seriou

  • Too late. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Toasterboy ( 228574 )

    Cryptocurrency is kind of like a Ponzi scheme.

    I thought about buying some dedicated bitcoin mining hardware a couple years ago. By the time you factor in cost of electricity, probability of mining a valid coin, and the mechanism by which bitcoin increases the difficulty of mining every time a number of new coins are found, it's a losing proposition as it takes an ever increasing amount of compute power to find each new coin.

    Unless you are mining bitcoin via a botnet and you are stealing the compute and ele

    • the mechanism by which bitcoin increases the difficulty of mining every time a number of new coins are found

      There's a mechanism that scales the difficulty by how much compute-power is applied to the task of mining, but nothing pre-set to make each successive block more difficult to mine - it's just that most of the time the supply of computing power has been growing, so the difficulty kept going up to compensate - there have also been times where the difficulty declined.

      The closest thing to a built-in difficulty increase is a periodic halving of the amount paid for each block, but that's only happened once so f

  • Is it to trade with people using XYZ-coin? Then use XYZ-coin.

    Is it to speculate? Sorry, nobody can predict the future. A few centuries ago Tulips were all the rage [wikipedia.org], but we all know what happened to them.

    Is it market goods and services to XYZ-coin speculators? Then go with XYZ-coin so you can be part of "their community"?

    Is it to promote features like anonymity/privacy or free-as-in-freedom that are probably better in XYZ-coin than in traditional currencies? Then pick any one that meets your "base crite

  • by DanielRavenNest ( 107550 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @05:55PM (#51454465)

    > Bitcoin is all the hype, but the blockchain has flaws, in that it isn't as anonymous as one would hope for — you can track past transactions.

    Bitcoin transactions record sending and receiving addresses, and the amount sent, and that's it. Privacy depends on how careful you are outside the transaction itself. For example, if you buy something physical online, and give a delivery name and address, the store knows who those bitcoins came from. But compared to a credit card or paper check, which have your name printed on them, bitcoin transactions have the *possibility* of privacy. Cash is no longer anonymous, by the way. Banks and ATMs can scan serial numbers when cash goes out and comes in. Depending how many hand-to-hand transactions happen in between, they can figure out what you were doing.

    > Rumors of Bitcoin showing cracks are popping up and also there are quite a few alternatives out there.

    The Bitcoin Network is still running fine. They are getting close to a limit in the code originally intended to stop spam transactions. That limits the size of "blocks" of transactions to 1 MB. The current arguments are over how and when to raise that cap. A majority of the network has to upgrade to raise the limit. Yes, there are lots of alternatives, because all it takes is to fork the code and slap a new name on it (it's open source). But as this table ( http://coinmarketcap.com/ [coinmarketcap.com] ) shows, Bitcoin is 7/8 of the market, and only three others have significant market capitalization and trading volume. Building a network of users, apps, etc. for an ecosystem is a lot harder than releasing a new cryptocoin.

    > Is getting into dealing with crypto currency worthwhile already?

    It was for me, but I started in mid-2011 (from an article on Slashdot, in fact). If it is worthwhile for *you* depends on a lot of things. If you send money to family in another country, or international wire transfers, it may be very worthwhile, because of the very high fees from the other methods. If you are an average US consumer with credit and debit cards and want to shop on Amazon, not so much.

    > become easily trackable once NSA and the likes adapt their systems to doing exactly that?

    The NSA can download a copy of the blockchain, just like everyone else. What they have, that the rest of us don't, is all the other data collection that can correlate a Bitcoin transaction to a person or place. Like if you are using a smartphone app to send bitcoins, they know who owns the phone and where you were at the time

    > What digital currency has the technical and mind-share potential to supersede bitcoin?

    What social network is going to replace MySpace? :-). What OS is going to replace Windows? Predicting the future is hard, especially before it happens

    > Are there feasible cryptocurrencies that have the upsides of Bitcoin (such as a mathematical limit to their amount) but are fully anonymous in transactions?

    Bitcoin can be anonymous, but you have to use it properly for that to happen. As I said above, data leakage *around* a transaction is how you de-anonymize it. The same would be true of alt-coins (the general name for cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin). If you use them to buy something, the seller may leak your info.

    > What do the economists and digi-currency nerds here have to contribute on that?

    Economists in general don't have the software chops to understand how cryptocurrencies work, and have religious beliefs on how economies and money *should* work. Not all of them, but a lot of them. My own opinion is bitcoin is the most developed cryptocurrency, with the most users, apps, mining hardware, etc. The direction in the future won't be replacing bitcoin with another coin, but building layers on top of Bitcoin. It's a communication protocol for scriptable transaction messages, and people have barely figured out how to make use of that. As such, it is similar to the IP protocol stack.

    • Why wouldn't economists have the ability to understand crypto currency?

      • Because most economists are not really strong when it comes to IT. They also have a really poor track record, as a whole, of predicting the future of the economy. Plus, those who remain professional economist are usually the people who have repeatedly guessed wrong as they still need a day job to live. Add to this is the problem that a lot of economists have a quasi-religious belief about how the economy "works." See people who fully believe the crap that the "invisible hand" of the market will correct a

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      Economists don't have to know anything about software to understand the underlying fundamentals (or lack thereof) of "cryptocurrency". Currency is currency. Some techies seem to think that they know everything about everything because they know some tech stuff. If I want insight into currencies, I'll talk to an economist, not a software person.
  • There are exchanges that automatically eat fluctuations in Bitcoin value, so they adjust your account so you don't lose anything. The downside is that you don't gain anything on an upturn, either. I recommend YiD MOX (Yugioh: Duel Monsters Online Exchange) but in case the feds raid them or something you might want to hedge your bets with TNAP SOX (Totally Not A Pyramid Scheme Online Exchange) just to be safe.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      Yugioh: Duel Monsters Online Exchange

      Obviously so much more of a professional financial services company than MTGOX (Magic The Gathering Online eXchange) :)
      If this bitcoin stuff was in a novel the editor would throw that part of the plot out due to the characters getting fooled again.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Tired, so took it seriously and stupidly replied before reading the last line.

      You got me big time.
  • For the purpose of trade, let the banks handle the transaction:
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/... [reuters.com]

    Soon, I'll be able to send funds via Bitcoin through my bank's web interface.
    I won't worry about losing my Bitcoin wallet - the bank will take over that risk.
    I'll log in and choose to send regular currency to another account; one of my options will be a Bitcoin transaction.
    My bank and the other account's bank will handle the Bitcoin.
    I'll see regular currency leave my account and the other party will see regular c

    • by Lennie ( 16154 )

      The banks will not be doing Bitcoin, they are staying as far away from that as possible.

      They'll adopt blockchain technology all right, but I'm not so sure they'll adopt a new currency. Maybe some kind of coin only used between banks.

  • by Powercntrl ( 458442 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @06:55PM (#51454629)

    The automobile was more convenient than owning a horse. MP3 is more convenient than dealing with CDs. Try actually using cryptocurrency and it rapidly becomes apparent that it's far simpler just to whip out your credit/debit card, or good old cash. If you're buying something online, PayPal's more or less got your back if the seller screws you over. Ordered an iPhone and received this [amazon.com] instead? File a claim.

    The only reason anyone bothers with Bitcoin is because they believe a bigger fool will buy the Bitcoins off of them at a later date, or because they're buying things (contraband merchandise) that they don't want legitimate payment processors knowing about. Most legitimate businesses that accept Bitcoin simply use a payment processor that immediately exchanges the Bitcoins for cash, and generally you're the one eating the transaction fees on both ends (unless you get lucky and Bitcoin fluctuates up in the time since you exchanged cash for your Bitcoins).

    If you really want to live in the brave new world of electronic payments, get a phone with NFC and try using that for awhile. You'll quickly discover it's still more convenient to use a form of payment that's accepted everywhere (cash, credit/debit), rather than remembering which merchants have functional NFC equipment and fumbling with your phone.

    • The only reason anyone bothers with Bitcoin is because they believe a bigger fool will buy the Bitcoins off of them at a later date

      This is absolutely true. Of course, it is also true of dollars, gold, euros, etc. We accept our paychecks in money instead of useful goods precisely because we expect to be able to pass the money on to a bigger fool later (and he accepts it because he has the same expectation, etc).

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        Riiight... the US dollar has such a terrible history, that only a "fool" would use it. Riiight...
    • Paying and tipping online with Bitcoin is far quicker, more secure , and easier than using credit cards. To make a payment with a credit card You have to type a 16 digit account number, exp date , CVV number, name , full address and than you get the wonderful experience of opening yourself up to either identity theft or future credit card fraud. With bitcoin I scan a QR code, click send , enter in 6 digit pin(optional) and done... or click on payment link, click send , and enter in password for wallet on co
      • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
        Secure?? How? If your Bitcoin wallet is compromised through buffer overflow in that nice NFC-handling code then your money is GONE. There's no way to rollback BTC transactions. If my credit card gets compromised, I get all my funds back and receive a new card by mail in a couple of days.

        If a bitcoin merchant sends you a bobcat, you're screwed. If a credit card merchant sends me a bobcat, I simply issue a chargeback and get all my money back.

        Where exactly is security?
  • There are only two cryptocurrencies with any real momentum today: Bitcoin and Ethereum. The former has a huge head start, while Ethereum is more ambitious and attempts to offer a broader platform for running smart contracts. On the fringe you can add Monero or possibly Zcash (doesn't exist yet) as more privacy centric options. If you believe that any of these have a chance for broader adoption and use then you're still very early in the game as far as investments go. On the other hand, they could all fail
    • On the fringe you can add Monero

      Fringe? IMHO, Monero is the Microsoft of second generation cryptocurrencies -- it's the big, slow, conservative choice of Cryptonote coins. For a leaner and generally more interesting alternative, have a look at Boolberry, but keep Monero in mind for long-term investment. (At the moment, a Monero node is taking over 14 GB of virtual memory on my machine, Boolberry "only" 4.)

      It looks like the OP is a newbie to cryptocoins, so let me elaborate a bit. Traditional 'altcoins' are based on the Bitcoin codebase

  • by JeffreyBPetersen ( 4390499 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @09:27PM (#51455139)
    Bitcoin is all the hype, but the blockchain has flaws, in that it isn't as anonymous as one would hope for — you can track past transactions. Is Bitcoin the way to go, or will it falter under wide use / become easily trackable once NSA and the likes adapt their systems to doing exactly that? Are there feasible cryptocurrencies that have the upsides of Bitcoin (such as a mathematical limit to their amount) but are fully anonymous in transactions?

    There are a number of properly anonymous cryptocurrencies now. Dash (formerly Darkcoin) and Monero are current market leaders. Zerocoin is a notable new contender as it uses zero-knowledge proofs which are as good as you can get on anonymity. Bitcoin on the other hand would require dramatic changes which are very unlikely to receive support from the institutions involved with it.

    So I have some questions: Is getting into dealing with crypto currency worthwhile already?

    Only if you're a fan of economics and programming. It's still very much in the experimental phase of technological maturity.

    Rumors of Bitcoin showing cracks are popping up and also there are quite a few alternatives out there. And does Bitcoin own the market or is it still flexible enough for an technology upgrade?

    There's currently a holy war going on between different groups of Bitcoin developers on how to upgrade network protocol, which is sorely needed given Bitcoin's dinosaur status in the field. Looking at that there's definitely not much flexibility. There's also not much of a market to own yet, so despite its network effects, Bitcoin could easily be dethroned by a cryptocurrency with actual momentum in becoming useful beyond largely experimental purposes.

    What digital currency has the technical and mind-share potential to supersede bitcoin? What do the economists and digi-currency nerds here have to contribute on that?

    Ethereum has by far the strongest development community at the moment. It's also designed to maximize flexibility in what it can be used for, giving it abilities to adopt new features as needed without requiring agreement among those using it (pick and choose which features you want to use for all but the most fundamental).

    What are your experiences with handling and holding cryptocurrency?

    Dodged a couple exchange collapses, scary stuff. Keeping wallets local, encrypted, and with multiple backups is a considerably safer experience and doesn't require too much involvement. Getting holdings in the first place is also a hassle.
  • Yes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DoctorBit ( 891714 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @09:57PM (#51455217)

    The best time to get into crypto-currency is six years ago. The second-best time is today.

  • I like the idea of a crypto-currency, but like the title says, I don't think it's ready for primetime. At the moment there are too many holes and ways for things to go bad with a crypto-currency. Maybe some or all of these holes will be fixed, maybe not.

    Based on the current state of computer security, though, I don't see how some of these holes can ever really be closed, or at least mitigated to a significant degree of safety.

    The attack surface for a crypto-currency seems large, very large. That's kinda sca

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      Right now, we are seeing version 1.0 and version 1.1 of cryptocurrencies.

      I can see a version 2.0 of a cryptocurrency coming out, with some features to help:

      1: Escrow. It would be nice if a third party, Charlie, could be part of the transaction, and Alice and Bob's transaction it wouldn't be completed until Charlie gives the OK. If Charlie doesn't give the OK, Bob doesn't get the currency... eventually after a selected timeout, the coins wind up back with Alice. Or, it could be configured the other way,

      • I think these are all good ideas.

        As crypto-currencies mature I'd love to see these be implemented. Each new feature can bring its own problems, of course, but overall I think what you mentioned would make for a much more secure, reliable, and trustable currency. I think trust is key to generating widespread adoption by the average person.

    • What "holes" you talk about are there in cryptocurrency?
      Also: there is no clearinghouse or "bank" repository that can "get cracked"

      honestly, I think you should "get your hands dirty" and play with some bitcoin or other crypto. Doesn't have to be more than a dollar worth, so it's not as bad when you lose them in case something goes bad.

  • German officials recently suggested to make all transactions larger than 5000 Euros illegal in cash. It's only a proposal, but definitely some back-room grey-suits machiavellian attempt to introduce the concept of ultimate transaction tracking in the long term. We all know how this goes. With all this and the ever-looming cyberpunk future in close proximity, I'm starting to wonder if it isn't time to get myself familiar with crypto currency as a means of trade.
    Bitcoin is all the hype, but the blockchain has

  • No, it is not time to start using a cryptocurrency.

    The time is after some trust can be put in those backing the currency - not necessarily backed by gold like in "cryptonomicon" but something of value to provide an assurance that it is not a bubble.

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