Scammer pilfers $75,000 in bitcoin from Steve Wozniak

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2018
A sale of the bitcoin cryptocurrency ending in a credit card chargeback resulted in Wozniak losing seven bitcoins with nothing to show for it.




Speaking at the Economic Times of India's Global Business Summit on Saturday, Steve Wozniak told attendees how he was scammed out of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin. According to Wozniak, the perpetrator agreed to purchase seven bitcoins via credit card, then cancelled the payment after the transaction went through.

The credit card itself was apparently stolen, so there was no legal recourse available, according to the Economic Times.

Wozniak bought the bitcoin several years ago when it was worth around $700 per coin. The amount he was conned out of has a value of $74,800 at recent market value.

Speaking to the audience, Wozniak noted that he was never interested in the cryptocurrency for its potential to appreciate in value. He just wanted to travel without carrying credit cards or cash, having researched which hotels and other destinations would accept bitcoin beforehand.

Wozniak hasn't let the experience sour him on bitcoin, having originally being drawn to the fact that the cryptocurrency can't be manipulated by any government.

"Bitcoins to me was a currency that was not manipulated by the governments," Wozniak said. "It is mathematical, it is pure, it can't be altered."

There is no intermediary bank in crypto-transactions. Transactions that involve buying or selling crypto in exchange for another currency or for goods and services occur directly between users and are recorded in a "blockchain," a public ledger that exists as a distributed database.

Essentially, a fraction of a coin is sent to the anonymous address of a user. Transactions are effectively an encrypted message that delivers the identifying number of the coin encrypted using the public key of the buyer and a secret random private key of the transaction. This transaction is recorded in the blockchain, allowing the buyer to later sell their received crypto by using the correct private key and using it to transfer the crypto to a new buyer using that buyer's public key.

None of this stops a credit card transaction from being reversed by the sender, however.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    TomETomE Posts: 149member
    Sorry Steve for the misfortune.  Now I understand it a little better.  I am still Looking for a good article on Cryptocurrency.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Cryptocommodity is the more accurate term. Wild fluctuations in value is not a currency behavior.
    randominternetpersonSpamSandwichdysamoriabaconstangjony0retrogusto
  • Reply 3 of 20
    TomE said:
    Sorry Steve for the misfortune.  Now I understand it a little better.  I am still Looking for a good article on Cryptocurrency.
    Imagine a digital asset that is valued based on supply and demand, only the certificate of ownership of this "stock" is so much stronger. This information about who owns how much of something is actually distributed on all the participants' computers. If you're aware of torrenting and how P2P networking is established, imagine a P2P stock exchange. A single article will fail to educate you enough, I can recommend learning through 2-3 articles per keyword on medium for example. Suggested keywords are: "Decentralization, ethereum, blockchain". I'd avoid articles that focus on why a certain cryptocurrency is a bubble or not. Cryptocurrencies will change the world, single projects might very will be bubbles. But blockchain will change the world. Invest carefully and keep reading!
  • Reply 4 of 20
    vannygee said: Imagine a digital asset that is valued based on supply and demand
    It isn't really based on supply and demand because there is no limit to the supply. The digital "mine" will never run dry. There is no "search" for new sources. 
  • Reply 5 of 20
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,675member
    Yeah there is more to this story, someone out of the blue wanted to buy his bit coins and he some how accepted a CC transaction. Yeah I think he was being stupid.
    randominternetpersonmwhite
  • Reply 6 of 20
    noelosnoelos Posts: 106member
    vannygee said: Imagine a digital asset that is valued based on supply and demand
    It isn't really based on supply and demand because there is no limit to the supply. The digital "mine" will never run dry. There is no "search" for new sources. 
    Yes there is. There is a finite number of Bitcoin (21 million) that can ever be mined built in from day 1.

    I would say this is actually more of an issue because coins will get lost (or rather, the keys to claim them will) and no more can be produced to replace them.
    JWSCjbdragondysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 20
    vannygee said: Imagine a digital asset that is valued based on supply and demand
    It isn't really based on supply and demand because there is no limit to the supply. The digital "mine" will never run dry. There is no "search" for new sources. 
    I guess the supply is "integrally" limited, as there seem to be a limited number of integral Bitcoins. But these can be divided infinitely, thus at some point we will deal with nano or pico Bitcoins, or even less. :D :D Just my two cents, I am no crypto money geek.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    "Bitcoins to me was a currency that was not manipulated by the governments," Wozniak said. "It is mathematical, it is pure, it can't be altered." 

    Not manipulated by governments sounds like a plus.  Fluctuates in value 100 times more than any "government manipulated" currency rather undoes that advantage however.
    JWSCdysamoriabaconstangjony0cgWerks
  • Reply 9 of 20
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,823member
    TomE said:
    Sorry Steve for the misfortune.  Now I understand it a little better.  I am still Looking for a good article on Cryptocurrency.
    He should call the Police in the country of Crypto to investigate.   It doesn't seem like I want my tax dollars wasted on.
    What's the old saying "A fool and his money are soon parted"   
    DavidAlGregoryrandominternetperson
  • Reply 10 of 20
    vannygee said: Imagine a digital asset that is valued based on supply and demand
    It isn't really based on supply and demand because there is no limit to the supply. The digital "mine" will never run dry. There is no "search" for new sources. 
    There WILL be a finite number of Bitcoin. Twenty-one million total once they have all been “mined”.
    edited February 2018 vannygee
  • Reply 11 of 20
    This aspect of the story is inaccurate:

    Transactions that involve buying or selling crypto in exchange for another currency or for goods and services occur directly between users...”

    That CAN happen. One can sell directly to another person face-to-face with cash, for example. More commonly, an online exchange is used for transactions. For goods and services, there are crypto debit cards, there are intermediaries that act as escrow accounts during the exchange process, and so on. The point being, there are many ways to redeem a “cryptocoin”.
    randominternetpersonjony0
  • Reply 12 of 20
    normmnormm Posts: 575member
    noelos said:
    vannygee said: Imagine a digital asset that is valued based on supply and demand
    It isn't really based on supply and demand because there is no limit to the supply. The digital "mine" will never run dry. There is no "search" for new sources. 
    Yes there is. There is a finite number of Bitcoin (21 million) that can ever be mined built in from day 1.
    The problem is that the finite supply is an illusion.  According to Wikipedia there are currently 1,384 different cryptocurrencies and this number is growing rapidly.  Anyone can start a new one.  So finite limits on supply of any one currency don't make the total supply finite.  Since total demand is finite, and total supply isn't, there's a fundamental problem.

    Edit:  According to coinmarketcap.com there are now 1,524 cryptocurrencies.  The lower number was as of January 7, 2018.
    edited February 2018 dysamoriajony0
  • Reply 13 of 20
    TomE said:
    Sorry Steve for the misfortune.  Now I understand it a little better.  I am still Looking for a good article on Cryptocurrency.
    Crypto currency is a highly flawed dumpster fire. Take a little time and research how much money has disappeared (been stolen) in Bitcoin and other cryptos.

    If Woz does not want to carry cash tell him to get an Apple Pay account. It is widely accepted and your money does not vaporize. It also does not take three forevers to process a transaction. Or take massive amounts of computer masturbation (bitcoin mining) that wastes a lot of energy.

    randominternetpersoncoolfactordysamoriatokyojimubaconstangd_2jony0
  • Reply 14 of 20
    normm said:
    noelos said:
    vannygee said: Imagine a digital asset that is valued based on supply and demand
    It isn't really based on supply and demand because there is no limit to the supply. The digital "mine" will never run dry. There is no "search" for new sources. 
    Yes there is. There is a finite number of Bitcoin (21 million) that can ever be mined built in from day 1.
    The problem is that the finite supply is an illusion.  According to Wikipedia there are currently 1,384 different cryptocurrencies and this number is growing rapidly.  Anyone can start a new one.  So finite limits on supply of any one currency don't make the total supply finite.  Since total demand is finite, and total supply isn't, there's a fundamental problem.
    That can't be right.  Infinite supply and finite demand would yield a near-zero price.

    I have no idea what the long term economics of this will be, but over the past few years it's all about speculators hoping to get rich quick.  Most of the people "investing" in crypto currency today are either a) people buying in because they don't want to miss out on 1000% returns and b) techies who are setting up mining rigs to create "free" money.

    Wake me up in 10 years when this is closer to being a mature, rational market.
    dysamoriabaconstangjony0
  • Reply 15 of 20
    normm said:
    noelos said:
    vannygee said: Imagine a digital asset that is valued based on supply and demand
    It isn't really based on supply and demand because there is no limit to the supply. The digital "mine" will never run dry. There is no "search" for new sources. 
    Yes there is. There is a finite number of Bitcoin (21 million) that can ever be mined built in from day 1.
    The problem is that the finite supply is an illusion.  According to Wikipedia there are currently 1,384 different cryptocurrencies and this number is growing rapidly.  Anyone can start a new one.  So finite limits on supply of any one currency don't make the total supply finite.  Since total demand is finite, and total supply isn't, there's a fundamental problem.
    That can't be right.  Infinite supply and finite demand would yield a near-zero price.

    I have no idea what the long term economics of this will be, but over the past few years it's all about speculators hoping to get rich quick.  Most of the people "investing" in crypto currency today are either a) people buying in because they don't want to miss out on 1000% returns and b) techies who are setting up mining rigs to create "free" money.

    Wake me up in 10 years when this is closer to being a mature, rational market.
    Ten years from now, the entire cryptocoin market may not exist. Take a good look at Hashgraph. It’s radically more secure and basically undermines the entire crypto market.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    DavidAlGregory said:

    Crypto currency is a highly flawed dumpster fire. Take a little time and research how much money has disappeared (been stolen) in Bitcoin and other cryptos.
    Not to mention how it enables kidnappings and political corruption by enabling totally anonymous payments. 
  • Reply 17 of 20
    tokyojimu said:
    DavidAlGregory said:

    Crypto currency is a highly flawed dumpster fire. Take a little time and research how much money has disappeared (been stolen) in Bitcoin and other cryptos.
    Not to mention how it enables kidnappings and political corruption by enabling totally anonymous payments. 
    Doesn’t cash do that? The arguments against crypto because of anonymity are completely unconvincing. No one has the “right” to know how you choose to spend your money. If an “illegal” activity is funded, it’s incumbent on law enforcement to prove harm.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,518member
    k2kw said:
    He should call the Police in the country of Crypto to investigate.   It doesn't seem like I want my tax dollars wasted on.
    What's the old saying "A fool and his money are soon parted"   
    Fortunately, you, obviously no fool, are far better off financially than Woz. No doubt he'll soon be out of money while like Scrooge McDuck, you will be in your counting house polishing your pennies, chortling at the misery lesser beings.

    Meanwhile Woz whines and drowns his sorrows in angst and beer. Oh, wait... He isn't.


    If Woz does not want to carry cash tell him to get an Apple Pay account. It is widely accepted and your money does not vaporize. It also does not take three forevers to process a transaction. 
    GREAT 20/20 hindsight. Why didn't Woz think of that. Because he's an imbecile and you aren't, right. Exactly how prevalent was Apple Pay when he bought bitcoin? It didn't become what he had hoped and on top of that he lost his investment and potential profit. Oh well. 

    Now if only Apple Pay was as widely accepted as you intimate. But if you do enough research in advance and tailor your travel accordingly, you might/maybe be able to travel and leave all cash and cards at home. You just won't do it anonymously.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    normm said:
    noelos said:
    vannygee said: Imagine a digital asset that is valued based on supply and demand
    It isn't really based on supply and demand because there is no limit to the supply. The digital "mine" will never run dry. There is no "search" for new sources. 
    Yes there is. There is a finite number of Bitcoin (21 million) that can ever be mined built in from day 1.
    The problem is that the finite supply is an illusion.  According to Wikipedia there are currently 1,384 different cryptocurrencies and this number is growing rapidly.  Anyone can start a new one.  So finite limits on supply of any one currency don't make the total supply finite.  Since total demand is finite, and total supply isn't, there's a fundamental problem.
    That can't be right.  Infinite supply and finite demand would yield a near-zero price.

    I have no idea what the long term economics of this will be, but over the past few years it's all about speculators hoping to get rich quick.  Most of the people "investing" in crypto currency today are either a) people buying in because they don't want to miss out on 1000% returns and b) techies who are setting up mining rigs to create "free" money.

    Wake me up in 10 years when this is closer to being a mature, rational market.
    Ten years from now, the entire cryptocoin market may not exist. Take a good look at Hashgraph. It’s radically more secure and basically undermines the entire crypto market.
    The Hashgraph looks much better than existing cryptocurrencies. Currently popular cryptocurrencies are wasting a huge amount of computing power trying to solve artificially difficult computation in order to validate the blocks, which can be trivially processed. This makes transaction times much slower than necessary. This also costs a lot of money to run the processing networks so they get a reward in crytocurrency. The payments will still need validated long after there are no more coins being generated so the rewards will dry up and so will the networks validating transactions. Not to mention the blockchain getting large enough that fewer people will keep copies of it ( https://charts.bitcoin.com/chart/blockchain-size ).

    The Hashgraph is so simple in the concept, just tell everyone about a transaction as proof that it happened.

    https://squawker.org/technology/blockchain-just-became-obsolete-the-future-is-hashgraph/

    Some people think that cryptocurrencies will replace the traditional banking system but banks will embrace technology like the hashgraph to allow people to do bank transfers as quickly as a card can process a transaction. Cryptocurrency can be in the mix somewhere but the main benefit of it should be anonymity like cash and that requires a system that only validates that current transaction and doesn't have a history of transactions. The cryptocoin itself should effectively be modified to validate the current owner and the previous coin invalidated on the network.

    Steve Wozniak only really lost what he paid for the coins but the story highlights a big problem with crypto transactions, which is that it gives you the ability to lose a lot of investment without someone verifying that the transaction is legitimate and you have nobody to turn to when you lose it. There's no proof of ownership of a digital wallet.

    http://fortune.com/2018/01/31/coincheck-hack-how/
    SpamSandwichjony0
  • Reply 20 of 20
    vannygeevannygee Posts: 44member
    Please refrain from focusing on single coins and explore the potential of blockchain.. and supply is finite. I predict a 3T marketcap (that's a 6X+ growth from the current 445B) by the end of 2018. Some of that money will be used to drive new technologies, do not abstain from these technologies because of one coin
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