Originally Posted by jlandd
That was true weeks ago and isn't true now. Besides, what good is it if it's possible
to find an in-person buyer if it's not a simple, guaranteed to be quick process from the time you decide you want it, and then you have to worry if you have gotten correct advice about that country's version of what's legal and what isn't?
The whole process of acquiring coins could do with being overhauled. BTC-e has all Cyrillic text and broken English:
They say things like:
"Dear users! Due to unplanned work in DC may be problems with сrediting and withdrawal of coins. Promise to solve the problem soon."
The site Bittylicious looks nice (possibly UK only):
but you can see it's a properly registered company and compliant with money laundering regulations. All you do is enter your email, your bitcoin address, the amount and they'll give details to pay by bank transfer. They then act as the middle man to the sellers and you never have to deal with the sellers directly. To get a Bitcoin address, you'd just setup a client program and make a wallet.
When you deal one to one, you'd never know what they'd try and pull off. They'd take your money via an electronic transfer first and might start a transfer but reverse it or not even bother starting it. Like this sort of thing:
"Will Phillips is £5,300 out of pocket after falling victim to a very 21st-century financial scam involving hacked PayPal accounts and the digital currency bitcoin.
What seems to have happened is, in the space of one night, fraudsters hacked into legitimate PayPal accounts and, posing as these people, bought his bitcoins on eBay and made off with them. This type of scam is not new, and usually PayPal comes down in favour of the individuals whose accounts were hacked. In this case, the account holders have had their money refunded. However, Phillips is now being pursued for more than £1,300 that PayPal says he owes them.
He listed his bitcoins on eBay and had no problems finding buyers. A man in Hounslow, Middlesex, bought half a coin for £520. Phillips waited until the money was in his PayPal account, then sent the currency to the wallet address provided. Hours later, the man reversed the payment.
However, the way bitcoin works means that while you can't see who owns a wallet, anyone can view bitcoin transactions via websites such as Blockchain.info – so it was easy to establish his bitcoins had gone into the man's wallet.
It was a similar story with other eBay buyers that night. One bought two bitcoins (4 x 0.5) for just over £2,000. Phillips was reassured by the fact she had a decent eBay rating. As soon as the money hit his account, he transferred the bitcoins to the wallet address, and she emailed back saying she would be interested in buying more.
But in the morning all the money from her in his PayPal account had been put "on hold". PayPal, he was told, suspected her account had been hacked. It said it needed more information about the woman before it could release the funds, and suggested Phillips email her to speed things up. She pinged back a pithy two-word response: "F*ck off!"
By this point Phillips was "panicking a bit – something was very wrong and I realised I may have lost my bitcoins and the money". He told Guardian Money: "These people quickly had their money refunded by PayPal, and I lost all mine. Neither eBay nor PayPal has provided me with any sort of explanation or even leniency, instead focusing on chasing me for money I now owe them."
After doing some detective work, he believes all the bitcoin buyers were fraudsters who hacked into legitimate accounts, and that every fraudulent transaction made against him that night can be linked. "It looks like it is just one person, or one group," he says, adding: "I'm not looking for sympathy or a sob story but some accountability from PayPal, and also for this to serve as a warning to others. PayPal's only response was that they don't cover selling digital goods, since they can't prove the goods were sent/delivered. I can prove this, have told them and have sent them the proof, but they will not accept it."
He adds: "Why should I be liable for eBay and PayPal accounts being hacked to fraudulently buy from me? Under their terms and conditions I am not offered any seller protection – I was unaware of this at the time – but as a consumer, surely I must have some rights?"
Phillips says he has also been told the Financial Ombudsman Service won't be able to help, while the police "don't seem interested".
Money tracked down the man who supposedly bought £520-worth of bitcoin from Phillips. He told us: "Someone hacked into my eBay and PayPal accounts – I didn't buy anything from Mr Phillips." He says the money went out of his PayPal account but was later paid back. He adds: "I was more concerned with my PayPal account. I thought this was the safest on the planet but obviously not."
Last month, eBay's UK arm banned sales of bitcoin and other virtual currencies from its auction and "buy it now" formats. As a result, people can only sell via its classified advertising.
A PayPal spokesman told us he could not comment on individual cases but said: "Bitcoin transactions aren't covered by our seller protection programme because they are regarded as intangible goods."
In January, the UK's Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) warned that virtual currencies are not regulated. That means the FSCS will not step in if a consumer suffers a loss as a result of a website that exchanges or holds bitcoins goes out of business.
This followed a similar warning in December from the European Banking Authority (EBA), which said consumers needed to be aware of the various risks. It added that the digital wallets used to store virtual currencies "are not impervious to hackers". And consumers are not protected by any refund rights under EU law when using bitcoins and the like to pay for items. Just for good measure, the EBA added the virtual currencies "may be misused for criminal activities," and that there can also be tax implications for people."
Then there's the issue with the client software. The official apps for it try to download the blockchain, which grows in size for every transaction:
Some lighter clients won't download it but those aren't from the main code base. The blockchain for Bitcoin right now is over 14GB:
"the solution is clear.. there is no problem..
the 1mb block size (per 10 minutes) calculates as a maximum capacity of 52gb a year. so far in the last near on 5 years blockchain has only accumulated 14.5gb of the nearly 260GB (5 years)of possible space.
so this shows that the blocks are not anywhere near getting filled to even be close to the 52gb a year capacity. and even after 10 years IF every block was filled from now on. that is only half a terrabyte of disk space
now thats 10 years of full to capacity usage.. so chances are the blockchain may be less.
now i want you to cast your mind back to 10 years ago, where ADSL was only just poping up, and 120gb hard drives were concidered extreme..
nowadays internet speeds are 10meg on average and upto 100meg.. as oppose to the 512k-2mb 10 years ago.
so imagine what would be classed as "standard" in the next decade. we would not think half a terrabyte was very much and the download speed would not be a problem for noobs to get hold of the whole blockchain."
That's the problem with not having a central ledger because they get multiple parties to verify transactions peer-to-peer and they need a transaction history to do that and it can be corrupted:
"Just opened my laptop and started Bitcoin QT and received the message blockchain corrupt, I clicked OK and now it appears "Reindexing blocks - 204 weeks.
Also, my Bitcoins are Unconfirmed."
These systems need to just work for mass adoption.