But other than that, most people who lost their accounts tend to have bad password management skills, frankly. They certainly could also be victims of bugs in our client... it turns out one of our too ambitious goals during our early days was building a banking-grade wallet experience that offered broad browser support with as few developers as we were. Our support queues however were a sobering lesson in how bad passwords are for security and usability and it was just too much for our community manager and us on the dev team to handle. Our bad... we were trying our hardest believe me.
I apologize if you got hosed because of a bug. I do know that all of my friends and family accounts (6 of the earliest accounts in the system post launch) were able to successfully upgrade to the new wallet and network as late as sunday of last week. They. like you I imagine, got their free lumens and then promptly forgot about the project. They all scrambled to update their wallets when the craziness was going on at the end of last week with lumens and they all upgraded fine.
I'd be happy to help you troubleshoot you wallet to see if we can recover you lumens... email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work through it privately if you like. I can't guarantee much, however... I'm presently starting on a leave of absence for the next month or so and so the time I can dedicate to support is pretty truncated at the moment.
Practically: Most accounts can only spend down to their last 20 lumens, the most common bond amount for a minimal account. To "redeem" the bond and spend the last 20 lumens you have to issue a special "account merge" operation that is logically distinct from the normal payment operation.
It's a bit like creating a Snapchat/Instagram Stories competitor, claiming that you have a solution that lets everyone in the world chat with each other. All that needs to happen is that everyone switch to your protocol. And with money it's even worse, since people are not just risking incompatibility, but the loss of real wealth, in case things don't work out as intended for the users. The market, not the inventors, decides to what extent a given token can be used to transfer value, by doing market making at the exchanges which trade these tokens for whichever currency people's paychecks are denominated in.
Bitcoin becoming reasonably liquid is a damn-near miracle, in my opinion. I thoroughly doubt any crypto-currency that doesn't substantially improve upon Bitcoin will ever attract enough liquidity to become useful for tranferring value (and even in this case, I think it's much more likely that Bitcoin will just adopt whichever features that make this competitor superior).
since the bitcoin community continues to fail to adopt the most basic measures to do something about its scalability issue (transaction fees >> $1, confirmations times >> 1h), i highly doubt that this is likely. Just like with megacorps and startups, all the money in the world can't buy you out of internal divisions and politicking.
There is no easy fix to adopt, so nothing has happened. Raising the block size isn't a fix, it just pushes the decentralization/throughput-equilibrium further towards "throughput" and further away from "decentralization".
It's rare to see a crypto advocate admit that such a tradeoff exists!
A similar (VISA-like) clearing system can be deployed on top of Bitcoin, thus making it behave exactly as our current financial system does today. The lowest layer (Bitcoins on the blockchain/USD in a bank account) acts as the store of value, while protocols on top of this layer are used to make consumer payments sufficiently cheap.
The difficult bit of retail payments is not clearing but fraud and disputes, which bitcoin tends to wash its hands of.
As for dispute resolution, I think it would be appropriate for this to be a third protocol layer -- on top of VISA-style clearing. I see no reason the clearing layer should handle this as well (and incorporating it into the Bitcoin layer would be true insanity, in my opinion). Nor do I see a reason it should be difficult. Costly, perhaps, but it's a simple matter of finding a mutually trusted third party, who won't release funds to the merchant until the consumer has received the goods.
1. Core algorithm is based on consensus of vetted participants, rather than cheapest electricity -- Bitcoin.
2. Much of the early core code came from Graydon Hoare, designer of Rust.
3. Consensus algorithm endorsed by analysis from David Mazieres -- bcrypt, Stanford.
And no, I have no association of any sort with Stellar.
The deal used a contract McCaleb and Karpeles worked out between them, without either of them using a lawyer. It included terms such as:
> the Seller is uncertain if mtgox.com is compliant or not with any applicable U.S. code or statute, or law of any country.
> The buyer agrees to indemnify Seller against any legal action that is taken against Buyer or Seller with regards to mtgox.com or anything acquired under this agreement.
It was only in April, after the handover, that Karpeles realised that 80,000 bitcoins (then worth $62,400) had already been missing when he bought Mt. Gox. McCaleb told him "maybe you don't really need to worry about it" and suggested he buy up more BTC to cover the shortfall, shuffle his internal accounts around, get an investor or just mine more himself - but didn’t offer any explanation of where the coins might have got to or how.
It's entirely unclear that McCaleb has the attention to detail robust financial systems require.
>>> why Bitcoin has been soaring:
>>> Chinese exchanges are temporarily banned from margin trading, which has significantly cut down on the number of people shorting. (which is what held Bitcoin's price down for so long)
>>> Bitfinex, one of the most high volume exchanges, lost the ability to withdraw fiat. This literally meant the only way to get funds off of it, was to buy Bitcoin.
Disclosure: I work for stellar and I have no clue what caused the spike in trading and price.
Unless I'm reading things wrongs (and that certainly could be) it seems like the ransom from those hosts would still be several orders of magnitude lower than the new money that appears to be coming into the exchanges.
I've given up trying to guess the markets in cryptocurrencies... I wouldn't have the first clue how to divine any accurate insight from their movement alone. To me, there has been tons of really weird phenomena in the behavior of the altcoin markets for a while now.
I could also just be stupid :)