Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies

gordonrutter

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Basically every US high profile twitter account got hacked today in a Bitcoin scam.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53425822

"Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are among many prominent US figures targeted by hackers on Twitter in an apparent Bitcoin scam.

The official accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Kanye West also requested donations in the cryptocurrency."
Scam? You mean I’m not getting my $2 000? Apparently over $100 000 was sent in...
 

Frideswide

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I was fascinate by the whole idea and bought one in early 2012, planning to ignore it for 5 years. I did this so successfully that I forgot about it and so it was nearly six years later that I sold it. I did nicely, but it was bought as a curiosity rather than as an investment.

Like gambling, never "invest" what you aren't fine with losing.

I don't play the lottery though!
 

EnolaGaia

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One of the biggest known Bitcoin wallets was cleared out yesterday, and no one knows whether it was the owner or a hacker who did it.
Someone Just Emptied Out a Bitcoin Wallet With $964,000,000 In It

As the world braced for a long election night that effectively hasn't ended, someone emptied out one of the most valuable digital wallets in the world.

On Tuesday, whoever is in control of the Bitcoin address "1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx" transferred all its contents—a staggering 69369.16716000 BTC or roughly $964,000,000. At this point, it's impossible to know whether this was a heist or just the long-dormant owner of the wallet moving out their savings to another wallet.

That wallet has been an object of speculation for cryptocurrency enthusiasts for years, and until the transfer it was one of the most valuable Bitcoin addresses in existence. More recently, several hackers have been trying to break into it, trying to bruteforce the passcode that protects the wallet in an attempt to steal the funds. ...

Now, the money is gone, moved to another Bitcoin address, and we will never know what happened unless the person who ordered the transfer comes out publicly. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.vice.com/en/article/g5bbaj/someone-emptied-out-bitcoin-wallet-with-964000000-million
 

EnolaGaia

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Update ...

It appears the huge Bitcoin wallet emptied earlier this week had belonged to Silk Road, and the US government seized the account.

Bitcoin: $1bn seized from Silk Road account by US government
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54833130
 
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Xanatic*

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How did they technically manage to do that? If all those greedy hackers failed to get access, how did the DoJ manage to?
 

Lb8535

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Update ...

It appears the huge Bitcoin wallet emptied earlier this week had belonged to Silk Road, and the US government seized the account.

Bitcoin: $1bn seized from Silk Road account by US governmen
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54833130
So, I freely admit my ignorance, but as I understand it if the guy owned bitcoin, a commodity, they only way to actually realize dollars that can then be used to buy (most) stuff is to sell those commodities on the stock market, or use them directly to buy from those few sellers who accept bitcoin. Or are you telling my that my so-called government just banked $1 billion with a b which is not to be sneezed at. Someone just got a decent annual bonus. Never underestimate the IRS.
 

EnolaGaia

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So, I freely admit my ignorance, but as I understand it if the guy owned bitcoin, a commodity, they only way to actually realize dollars that can then be used to buy (most) stuff is to sell those commodities on the stock market, or use them directly to buy from those few sellers who accept bitcoin. Or are you telling my that my so-called government just banked $1 billion with a b which is not to be sneezed at. Someone just got a decent annual bonus. Never underestimate the IRS.
Assets seized by a federal agency do not become that agency's discretionary resource to liquidate for funds it automatically gets to keep. Any such proceeds typically flow to the Treasury for inclusion in that year's federal revenues. In cases where the seizure is to balance a debt to a particular federal fund (e.g., the Social Security trust funds) the proceeds may be directed to that particular fund. In yet other cases the proceeds may flow to a court or other authority administering a mandated compensation / distribution decision or settlement. Anyway ...

I read somewhere that past seizures of Bitcoin assets led to auctions of the seized cryptocurrency for a reasonable return in 'real' money. My first guess is that this is what will happen in this case.
 

Lb8535

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Assets seized by a federal agency do not become that agency's discretionary resource to liquidate for funds it automatically gets to keep. Any such proceeds typically flow to the Treasury for inclusion in that year's federal revenues. In cases where the seizure is to balance a debt to a particular federal fund (e.g., the Social Security trust funds) the proceeds may be directed to that particular fund. In yet other cases the proceeds may flow to a court or other authority administering a mandated compensation / distribution decision or settlement. Anyway ...

I read somewhere that past seizures of Bitcoin assets led to auctions of the seized cryptocurrency for a reasonable return in 'real' money. My first guess is that this is what will happen in this case.
Thanks that's a relief because I don't like to think about the gov holding it for speculation. But if it ends up in the treasury as revenue then it's available to the gov to spend. I doubt the folks who used his services have sued and been awarded settlements for non-performance.
 

marhawkman

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Well hacking is also easier if you know WHO you're hacking. If literally all you have is a name? good luck with that.
 

Lb8535

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Here's another news item about the billion-dollar Bitcoin transfer, which provides more details on how the government tracked it down and seized it.

https://fortune.com/2020/11/05/bitc...medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark
Thanks, this is fascinating. So the IRS did not hack the site. Someone else did, however, and was forced to turn the assets over to the gov. There must have been some real hard ball going on. But we do know know that bitcoin accounts are in fact subject to theft just like any others. This is a very significant amount of money to be injected into the budgets of law enforcement agencies and I'm a little worried that they're all going to rush out and buy shoulder-held missile launchers and tanks. Be nicer if it was transferred to the education department.
 

marhawkman

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Thanks, this is fascinating. So the IRS did not hack the site. Someone else did, however, and was forced to turn the assets over to the gov. There must have been some real hard ball going on. But we do know know that bitcoin accounts are in fact subject to theft just like any others. This is a very significant amount of money to be injected into the budgets of law enforcement agencies and I'm a little worried that they're all going to rush out and buy shoulder-held missile launchers and tanks. Be nicer if it was transferred to the education department.
Nah if it went to the education department they'd use it to draft a "revised" curriculum that's "streamlined" .
 

Frasier Buddolph

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Better hackers probably.
From the way Cyber Warfare stories are reported on TV, you could be forgiven for thinking Uncle Sam is sitting hunched over his Commodore 64, wearing a shawl, and trying to remember his AOL password. The truth is something else, I think.
 

CALGACUS03

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Programmer has two guesses left to access £175m bitcoin wallet

Stefan Thomas is not the first person to forget a password, but memory lapses are rarely so potentially costly

From The Guardian.

That would be an absolute nightmare. The article also mentions the 2013 case of James Howells, who threw out a hard-drive that just around now would be worth (by my calculations) £300,000,000.
I think that if I did that I'd never be able to forgive myself. :sick2:

At least the guy in the article has an 'out' - paying a 'mere' £17.5 million in order to retrieve the rest seems a snip.
 

Mythopoeika

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I keep saying this stuff about Bitcoin, but nobody listens.
Bloke at work made £100k recently with Bitcoin... hope he doesn't lose it.
 

marhawkman

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yeah that's the epitome of a password you both don't want to lose... in two ways. You don't want anyone else to have it, but you want yourself to always have it.
 

CALGACUS03

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The article also mentions the 2013 case of James Howells, who threw out a hard-drive that just around now would be worth (by my calculations) £300,000,000.
And coincidentaly (or not), another article in todays paper regarding James Howells:

Man offers Newport council £50m if it helps find bitcoins in landfill
James Howells offers to share 25% of the £200m he claims is on hard drive he accidentally threw out in 2013

here
 

Peripart

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I keep saying this stuff about Bitcoin, but nobody listens.
Bloke at work made £100k recently with Bitcoin... hope he doesn't lose it.
I occasionally try again to understand how Bitcoin works, or why it's actually worth anything, but my brain refuses to process the information! I just can't get my head around how the "value" is generated.
 

Mythopoeika

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I occasionally try again to understand how Bitcoin works, or why it's actually worth anything, but my brain refuses to process the information! I just can't get my head around how the "value" is generated.
Yes, I can't understand the 'value' part either. I don't understand fully how it works myself.
But we have to consider that banks and nations 'invent' money all the time and it is generally understood to have value (when really it may have none). I'm old-fashioned - things I can touch have value.
 

Peripart

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Yes, I can't understand the 'value' part either. I don't understand fully how it works myself.
But we have to consider that banks and nations 'invent' money all the time and it is generally understood to have value (when really it may have none). I'm old-fashioned - things I can touch have value.
I'm aware that even "real" money isn't always something you can touch, but the concept of hypothetical pounds and dollars, sitting on a bank's computer, doesn't make my brain hurt the way that cryptocurrency does!
 

Mythopoeika

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I'm aware that even "real" money isn't always something you can touch, but the concept of hypothetical pounds and dollars, sitting on a bank's computer, doesn't make my brain hurt the way that cryptocurrency does!
Indeed.
 

Xanatic*

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Try looking up the Greater Fool Theory. I think that is what we are dealing with here.
 

Stormkhan

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Well, the concept-question has been around for quite a while.
What gives the diamond it's value?
Yeah, size, quality, rarity and so on. But if you consider that industrial diamonds took the actual 'use' of them out of the equation, a diamond is worth $X per Y ct (carat) because someone says it is. The stuff isn't physically rare, really, and is only made so because of it's value not it's occurrence.
So ... like any currency Bitcoin is only worth as much as some blokes say it is. These blokes, I suspect, who own a lot of Bitcoin.
Which is my basic distrust of such nonsense. Currency is used instead of material exchange. £1 will buy you, say, a loaf of bread. How that £1 is circulated around, multiplied, lost, stored or given means nothing when ... you want to buy a loaf of bread. High finance, exchange rates and currency manipulation is all very well, existent and interesting (at times). We have multimillionaires who are 'worth' £Zbn. They're sitting on that money, they're exerting that value in influence. Then they die. Pffft. It's all credit, theoretical money.
I honestly feel that sometimes the unbelievable figures mentioned in wealth blind us to reality. We still need to pay some shopkeeper £1 to get a loaf of bread to eat. Bitcoin is popular, not for it's concept but for the dream, the words about earning £££££ ... in theoretical money. Like gambling in a casino, it all hinges on cashing in the chips.
Oh, and the idiots who lost money by forgetting their password? Try actually, physically, writing it down on a scrap of paper and pinning it to a noticeboard. The chances of a cyber-criminal being able to 'see' it is minimal. Or is this too low tech to work? :rofl:
 
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