Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The largest unknown Bitcoin wallet moved nearly $1B for $0.48 in fees (decrypt.co)
234 points by timcc50 3 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 355 comments

If we both join the bitcoin network, we can exchange $1B for $0.48.

If we both join set up accounts at a regular bank like RBC, we can exchange $1B for free.

The point I'm making is that fees are not bitcoin's strong point. Any financial network can undercut it. What is unique about bitcoin is that not everyone can get an account at RBC, but anyone can join the more expensive bitcoin network.

Well the point is with Bitcoin you don't have to trust RBC to not freeze and/or abscond with your $1B.

You don't have to trust RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) to not run off with your money because they are regulated by the Canadian government. Canada has one of the most respected and stable banking industries in the world with a proven track record.

If somebody breaches your Canadian bank account you get your money back. If somebody steals your money from your bitcoin wallet you start all over again.

You get your money back up to the CDIC insured limit which is $100k right?

Canada’s banking industry avoided the Great Recession only because Canada did not have a housing market reset. Prices continued upward unabated, along with household debt which is now among the highest in the world. They kicked the can down the road, but didn’t avoid the issue permanently.

The United States didn't face a mortgage crisis purely because of housing price collapse, it was a combination of the collapse with widespread use of subprime lending. Instead of having this argument with a random guy on the Internet I suggest you read the vast amount of documentation and analysis from people in the industry. Beyond that, the Canadian banking industry did not start up in 2008, even if that's only as far back as your memory goes.

If a Canadian bank runs off with your money you have an actual entity to pursue in court. With Bitcoin you're pretty much SOL.

The CDIC insured limit is not money to be reimbursed by the bank, it's by the CDIC in case of bank failure. There are other avenues to take first to recover your funds.

Canadian banks are stable because our regulators do not allow them to assume as much risk as banks in other jurisdictions.

Canadian banks are stabler because of the cost and missed opportunity costs are passed on to the customer.

Want a mortgage at the current rate? Great you must qualify at 2% points higher.

Canada has some of the highest banking fees.

For the record, 'more stable' would have been correct here.

I'm not too upset it's harder to qualify for a mortgage here because it saved us from getting hit even harder ten years ago.

I've been banking for about 15 years and never had much to complain about. Sometimes I get an NSF fee from TD, I just call them and they reverse it as a 'one-time courtesy.' I've lost count of how many times I've done that and they've never said no. My credit card has no yearly fee and I pay $15 a month for my chequing account with unlimited transactions and E-transfers. You can go cheaper but I use debit and e-Transfer a lot. That's the sum of my personal banking fees.

For my business account I use FirstOntario's eChequing account with no monthly fee. Only thing I ever pay on this account is a $1.50 e-Transfer fee when I pay myself or others. I did have to buy shares when I opened the account as it's a credit union but they were only $25. The shares have appreciated by $10 in the few years I've had the account so I'm not complaining.

Really not that bad for me. What's your situation?

As far as I know, no Canadian banks also operate stables. Perhaps in Alberta.

As far as I know no Canadian bank operates on sick patients horse or human either.

English has so many words that depend on context. Polish? An act or cleaning or a people..

Context matters...

'Stabler' only has one meaning. Also my reply had about as much to do with your comment as yours did mine.

Also good luck getting 1B converted to dollars without a major head-ache. I feel like 1B in bitcoin is as bad if not even worse than 1B in cash. It isn't super useful in that form.

If you tried to convert it into dollars it would move the market and devalue your holdings. But buying into bitcoin would have also moved the market in the other direction, tbh.

It’s not useful for small payments but I would happily take the equivalent $1k+ in bitcoin as payment.

“The difference between one million dollars and a billion dollars is about one billion dollars.“

1k transactions and even 1k * 1k transactions are so small relative to this amount that the GP’s point still stands. This is not a very useful way of storing the value.

you've got a typo there, one of your millions should say billion

Thanks for the catch. fixed.

Nor can you reverse a transaction when someone steals your Bitcoins. The traditional financial system is far more suitable to people’s needs than Bitcoin is.

The most interesting bitcoin story I read somewhere was about a Ukrainian living in the Russian controlled portion of the country getting out with his wealth intact.

The border was controlled by corrupt Russian guards that would steal things of value. You could pass the border occasionally to visit family on the other side, but it was risky to take anything.

He put all his wealth into bitcoin, memorized his wallet seed words like his life depended on it, crossed the border with nothing, and then regenerated his wallet on the other side.

I thought that was pretty cool.

That's one use for btc that I hadn't thought of. Neat! However one still has to be careful to somehow fund a cold wallet without linking your ID via the transactions.

I.e. to use an exchange like binance or coinbase, I have to link my US ID. So if a government actor were after me, they could easily find out about my cold wallet by viewing my transactions, no?. I guess I could -not- divulge the seed words, but that's assuming I'm not being accosted/tortured either.

I would have to use a btc atm (none near me...), swap a visa gift card for btc (and take a ~10-20% haircut...) or find someone to trade cash for coins, which is its own issue.

Government/warlord-avoiding money transfer like this is the core use case for Bitcoin outside of speculating on its future value. It's not for casual shopping transactions.

localbitcoins. It's like craigslist: you find people you meet up with, give them cash, they transfer you the BTC (through escrow). No KYC, no shenanigans, you just need to be willing to pay their few-percentage-point fees.

Correction: Localbitcoins does require KYC.

You're right, they do, once you're over 1000€ per year: https://localbitcoins.com/blog/id-verification-update/

Incorrect, localbitcoins only requires KYC for their escrow feature. Most people do not use the useless escrow feature.

I've read similar stories of people escaping Venezuela with their wealth.

To me that's the main use for bitcoin. Moving money if you're worried about it getting ripped off in transit, not as a permanent store of wealth.

>Nor can you reverse a transaction when someone steals your Bitcoins.

You're not always able to do that with the traditional banking system. Scammers were able to steal millions from corporations using wire transfers, and they weren't able to reverse them.

Exactly, you can't officially reverse wires. You can ask your bank nicely, and they can ask the receiving bank nicely, and if the money's still there, it may or may not be transferred back. But there is no official mechanism for reversing wires, and if the other side withdraws/spends the money before you start the process you're SOL.

Some is still better than none, no?

But reversibility is provided by the intermediary, and isn't a property of the currency itself. For instance, if you're dealing in cash, there's zero reversibility. Likewise, I don't see the difference between a bank reversing a transaction for you, and the marketplace platform reversing the transaction for you.

But at least there is hope.

Yep... and the more money you have, the more the traditional financial system caters to you.

If you have a billion dollars, you have very little incentive to work outside the system. The system will work for you.

Libertarians would argue that this is where insurance comes in.

Insurance in this example has two functions:

1. Protecting you from losses

2. Applying standards to Bitcoin exchanges etc to help prevent losses. A good example of this is fire insurance. An insurance company will require a potential customer to have fire alarms, use specific materials etc before they decide to cover that company's building.

Insurance on BTC... I wonder how much would that cost... It would dwarf any transfer fees for sure.

"You must keep at least one part of a multi-signature key with us for the insurance to be valid".

Then the insurance is really cheap... Either the insurance companies systems stay secure and there are no losses, or the insurance company is breached, and they claim bankruptcy...

True, but you also have no recourse if the transaction was fradulent, done under duress or an error.

You do have to trust yourself to have 100% flawless security because one slip and you lose that $1B to a Chinese hacker with no hope of ever getting it back.

Why do you have to add “Chinese”?

Anecdote, but I once ran a blog for many years. Country breakdown for traffic was roughly 30% China, 30% Russia, and 30% US. Almost 100% of requests out of China and Russia were hacking attempts, I assume mostly by bots. They've earned a reputation and there's nothing wrong pointing it out. If you operate a website, unless China and Russia are part of your market/audience, I'd suggest blocking them altogether.

Just wanted to second this. I ran several public Linux servers at a major university. China and Russia based IPs we’re constantly trying to brute force all of our servers. It got the point where we would just apply a geoblock just in case one finally managed to get through.

I’m all for avoiding nationalistic dog whistles when discussing things, but both China and Russia have rightfully earned their places as bad actors on the internet.

It adds no information or value to the discussion by giving the hackers a nationality. If there was a statistic that the majority of hackers wore hoodies, would we be calling that out and saying "Attacked by hackers in hoodies?" Obviously not because their clothing has nothing to do with the fact that they're malicious. What's happening here is profiling and it doesn't work.

Add that to the fact that there are of course bad actors in countries including the US who happen to have proxies in other countries. Geolocating the IP address tells us nothing.

The largest botnets came from a variety of nationalities and are rarely Chinese. Conficker was allegedly from the Ukraine, and a Swede plead guilty. Alureon came from Estonia. Mariposa from spain.

Stop with the emotionally-charged flame baiting based on shallow data and anecdotal information.

Please note I never used a nationality in my comment, but referred to the countries themselves. Nothing I stated had any emotions behind it. I stated simple facts from personal experience.

Geolocating the origination points of an exploit is extremely useful. Your point of other countries using proxies being the prime reason. The simple fact is if China and Russia wanted to limit the number of attacks originating from their IP blocks they could do so. Since they more or less allow it to continue they are a common source of malicious traffic, and geo blocking will significantly reduce the number of attempted exploits you experience.

If I had a shop and everyone that robs me has a hoody I would damn well point it out and ban them. That doesn't mean every person with a hoody wil rob me but it's a very effective and filter. It's not emotionally charged it's completely logical.

Either the problem is with the analogy and you're taking it too literally, or your reasoning is severely distorted and leads into very dark, hellish places. People can decide not to wear hoodies anymore. Chinese people cannot choose to just not be Chinese anymore, nor should they have to.

I don't think that we should 'ban' Chinese or Russian people if you are pointing towards that. I do think that we shouldn't pull a smokescreen over the truth by dissallowing statement of fact that most hackers are Chinese or Russian.

We also shouldn't shout down people who are hit everyday by this as rascist or emotionally charged. It's completely logical for them to want to ban these groups. Instead we should educate on exactly what kind of a very dark and hellish place banning leads to.

You ban the ip block that is the problem. If American hackers are using ips based in China they get blocked.

If anyone living in China doesn't like that they have the power through the government to regulate that traffic.

People can decide in China too.

Geolocating tells us which country the ip address belongs to. The countries policies towards companies operating those ips have a big effect. Nationities do matter.

Thank you for making the world a better place through your valiant activism.

Change your statement to read “black” instead of Chinese and see if you still think it’s OK.

The crime is hacking, and your attempts to “expose” Chinese hackers is more like an agenda to prejudice Chinese even if statistically many Chinese-originated traffic is attempting to hack you.

In the chance that the hacking is actually caused by American hackers routing their traffic through China, then what purpose does your Chinese assumption serve except to encourage others to profile and prejudice Chinese?

In a more realistic example of how your comments may incite racial prejudice for no good reason is that it is actually very likely the biggest botnets have Chinese victims (because they are poor, run Windows XP still, and generally have very poor internet security practices). Oh, and also they happen to have the most people on Earth, so statistically any given thing would be mostly Chinese.

So, unless you are absolutely certain that being Chinese makes you a criminal hacker I would recommend leaving race or nationality out of the discussion.

The implication isn't that being Chinese makes one likely to be a hacker. It's the other way around. It's that being a hacker makes it unusually likely that you're Chinese (or Russian). Similarly, being a Nigerian doesn't make you an email scammer, but being an email scammer makes you unusually likely to be Nigerian. Being a drug lord makes you unusually likely to be Mexican.

These are archetypes, i.e. popularly associated examples of particular actions. But I'm not sure if they're full-blown stereotypes, where they get over-applied to members of that group. People don't believe that all Chinese and Russians are hackers, that all Nigerians are email scammers, that all Mexicans are drug overlords, etc.

Stereotypes tend to be more insidious. Many people (in America) do believe that Blacks and Mexicans are criminals, that Chinese are great at math, etc., to the degree that it changes how they actually treat people. So I think these are much worse and shouldn't be equated.

That said, despite the above analysis, I can see how being Chinese you would still cringe when you see the phrase "Chinese hacker" being used casually. I'm an ethnic minority and have felt similarly in similar situations.

Yes but I also gave a pretty likely hypothesis as to why the hackers appear Chinese. The OP is claiming DDoS attacks which are likely from compromised machines.

So if that is true then the viewpoint of blaming it on Chinese becomes nonsensical and also wrong. So given that there is reasonable doubt, is it right to attribute this "being a hacker" to having anything to do with being Chinese in any way?

"China" is a place, which is an origin of hacking attempts detected by some users, which could be of known or unknown origin (i.e. people who are pink or AI)

"Black" refers to an ethnicity of a given group of people. Or their skin color, if you want things simple.

These are non-interchangeable terms, so by asking to switch them you are indicating they are interchangeable. You are doing this because you think it's important to keep people from blaming an individual based on group membership.

Yet, it remains that the CPC is something else beyond a person, a culture or a people. Defending it is irrational, but maybe people want to stand up for something important to them and think that defending everything's right to exist and speak its mind is more important than existence itself.

Except that being a fairly homogenous place saying "China" has in all practical purposes the same effect as saying Chinese.

That being said, see my other replies on how the OP's assumptions may very likely be wrong, and attributing hackers to China has the same effect as calling the coronavirus "China virus" in that for all intents and purposes it has the effect of associating Chinese people with hackers in the same way that calling the coronavirus is an attempt to deflect blame to a particular group of people.

I'll third this. Every single IP that I have geo-located that has attempted to get into one of my home servers/routers is coming from China. I didn't go as far as blocking all of China because I was sure that some point down the line it would cause some other random issue and I would have long forgotten blocking Chinese IP's. If I remember correctly I used fail2ban or similar software to blacklist IP's after X failed attempts. That plus moving all services to non-standard ports (save for 80/443).

What if all the hacking actually originated from America?

They just compromised a bunch of random computers in China and Russia, running an old copy of Windows XP, and built themselves a botnet.

What further evidence do you have, other than an IP address?

Why just those two countries then? Why don’t I see a thousand get requests for /wp-login from countries all around the world? Wouldn’t that be significantly more effective since you can’t simply block a range of addresses to mitigate it?

Even if that was the case, China/Russia having a bunch of vulnerable computers being used as proxy botnets would still be alarming.

I think it's serving as shorthand for "in a country halfway around the world, with a government that isn't going to intervene on your behalf as a foreigner even if you figure out who did it and hand them the evidence on a silver platter".

Right, it wasn't necessarily hateful on purpose, but as another poster pointed out, what does it mean that we default to using one specific group of people for that example? If they'd said "PRC hacker" it'd be a different story, but the word "Chinese" conflates a nationality and heritage. It does this, by the way, in written Chinese as well, hence a lot of arguments I've had in the past with PRC-citizen exchange students about whether Taiwanese people are Chinese or not (even though they are, obviously, not PRC citizens, Taiwan being a sovereign nation).

I find your worry interesting and mildly humorous. You seem to be worried about hurting the feelings of chinese people for personal western moral reasons, but seem fine with insulting the PRC.

Personally, given that the Chinese will likely dominate the world over the course of the next century, I'd be less worried about insults for ethical/antiracism reasons (they're going to be the ascendant ethnicity and culture soon, don't worry- they'll be fine!) and more worried about insulting them or the PRC for reasons of self-preservation.

This is assuming, of course, that the PRC value system and legal framework is lock-step with Chinese modern ethics, traditional ethics, or Chinese culture.

Whiiiiich of course assume that that's homogeneous, which, obviously, it isn't. Just like "Western morals" aren't (I'm trying to be good faith in parsing that and I can't figure out what you mean by western morals).

So when you say "The Chinese will be the ascendant ethnicity and culture," do you mean the rural American scapegoat? Aka, chopsticks, epicanthic folds, and Simplified Chinese? I could see how that could be the meat and potatoes of the argument, because even if what that actually ends up meaning in reality is that though a separatist Democratic movement overthrows the CCP, the (future) USA populist government successfully redefines the Chinese Threat to include this completely different political structure to fall under the umbrella of "Chinese," which society has allowed to mean what I'm arguing we should prevent it to mean.

I can say where you're completely wrong - it's not mildly humorous to find me in this position. It's fucking hilarious. Of all political considerations on earth nothing heats my blood more than the evils of Xi Jinping and the tyrannical PRC regime. They are bullies, they violate human rights, and they should be overthrown. I have to balance this against my love of all the good things that Chinese culture brings to the table, just by nature of being a bunch of humans with a rich ancestral background forming their language, food, traditions, etc. And by Chinese I again refer to that concept vague even in any of the languages that adopted the Chinese writing system.

Yes, I view the Chinese Communist Party to be a threat to freedom and human rights worldwide. You're welcome to disagree.

When the shoe fits wear it.

I'd be more worried about the Elbonians

Among the cheapest reliable VPS you can buy to scan others' networks

Perhaps experience. In my experience, hackers are most frequently Russian, but of course as you suggested, they could be of any ethnicity.

Who cares? It could be anything. Random descriptions add flavor. Bitcoin is also popular in China anyway.

As a Chinese, I care.

Would you have cared if they said "Russian hacker"?

Not Chinese, I also care. That comment is an example of subtle racism.

Image the following comment: "You better buy a good bike lock, else you're at risk of having it stolen by a black man."

A comment like the one above would spark near universal outrage at the commenter, and with good reason. It's racist, and the original comment here is the same. Unnecessarily racist.

You're incorrect. Chinese is a nationality, not a race, which means this isn't racism. An accurate description would be that this is stereotyping on the basis of nationality.

As such, a more accurate comparison than "black man stealing a bike" would be to something like a "Nigerian scammer," which is an archetype I don't think most of us have a problem with. Other examples I never see complaints about: "Russian hacker," "American imperialist," etc.

> Chinese is a nationality, not a race,

This isn't really true on it's own, and besides, isn't even a good faith interpretation. In an America where rural Asian-ethnicity people are facing discrimination because of covid being called "Chinese Virus," I think it's bold to claim that the concept of China as a country and Chinese as a racial heritage are not conflated.

> This isn't really true on it's own

How is this not true? Genuinely curious.

> In an America where rural Asian-ethnicity people are facing discrimination because of covid being called "Chinese Virus…"

That's because of the specific context of who is saying "Chinese Virus," who their audience is, and why they're saying it.

This context is different. Nobody on Hacker News who encounters the phrase "Chinese hacker" is going to suddenly start discriminating against Chinese people, any more than we discriminate against Nigerians despite the fact that "Nigerian scammer" is a cliche in tech circles.

> How is this not true? Genuinely curious.

I'd delve deeper beyond my comment because there's a lot of reasons I'm not the greatest source, not the least of which I'm just some white american dude with a comically terrible grasp of ONE dialect/language of Chinese and a wikipedia sourced knowledge of Chinese history.

Here's my understanding: Chinese can refer to many things that have their origin in what we call Mainland China these days. Chinese Language. Chinese History. Chinese Food. Chinese territory. Chinese government. Chinese people (citizens). Chinese people (ethnicity). The word is super-descriptive in that way, because that region, for three thousand years, was "homogenous" in a convenient way for propagandists and the history writers throughout time.

But if you delve in, you can see that it's truly absurd to refer to anything as Chinese. Chinese language - well, sure, Mandarin, right? But only because the seat of government is in Beijing, and it just picked that flavor. Nearly every city in the borders of the PRC have their own distinct dialect, or straight up separate language. The written system was invented in the 1950s based off a historical system that didn't just write Chinese, it wrote Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, and also every language in between (Guangzhounese aka Cantonese, Shanghainese, Japanese sub-languages, etc). Which is "Chinese writing?" Which language is "Chinese language?" And what about when the Huns were around? What about when the Mongolians ruled it all? Was that "Chinese?" (a PRC censor would say ABSOLUTELY NOT and probably say you were treasonous to the harmony of Chinese culture for even suggesting it).

Chinese food - different in every city.

Chinese government - which one, the Democratic one that is seated in Taiwan, or the Autocratic one seated in Beijing? Or the City State of Hong Kong? Or the dead kingdoms?

I'm trying to indicate here why trying to say "Chinese is a nationality, not race" is a silly thing to say when Chinese can mean so many things that so say it's "not" something is a hard thing to prove. On top of all this, walk up to your average American and say "Chinese" and these subtleties are completely lost - EVERYONE knows what you mean by Chinese, well, it's Orange Chicken and Communism! That's what the American education system teaches us, after all, or at least, what it taught me growing up in rural America.

Ask Chinese people, or Taiwanese people (which I have done), what it means to be a Chinese person, and you'll likely get a very careful separation of the concept of Chinese person from the PRC. Many Taiwanese people would consider themselves Chinese if they had the opportunity to ensure the distinction was being made that this didn't mean they were pro-Beijing, simply that their history and culture shared or was identical to many people that happened to be born in Beijing.

> Nobody on Hacker News who encounters the phrase "Chinese hacker" is going to suddenly start discriminating against Chinese people,

Yesterday there was a thread about the experience of Black programmers in tech and I got into some discussions there that have destroyed my ability to believe in a sentence like this. There are avowed racists on this site. I went through the history of one who danced the blade well enough to occasionally fire off comments about how African people are genetically predisposed to lower IQ, without getting flagged/banned. This is a website like any other, a good one with better rules and moderation, yes, but an internet breeding ground anyway.

Better censorship is what you are after? A website to censor things along the lines of how you think? A website that will protect you from racists? I heard reddit is trying really hard these days to be the censorship hot spot perhaps take a look.

The original point was Chinese are not a race they are a nationality.

You both are wrong.

Chinese are not a race. Chinese are not a nationality.

The Han Chinese are a nationality. China is made up of many nationalities.

The important story now is the government of China is forcing birth control on a minority population called the Uighurs.


Save your outrage for something meanful. Real minority populations are being oppressed and your worried about your fellow Americans insulting them more by blocking ip ranges that China owns that military style hacking is coming from? If that's the case I would suggest you care more about trying to make yourself look a certain way (by putting other Americans in their place) than helping minority populations in great need. The next generation is watching, they will demand real action vs virtual signaling.

> Better censorship is what you are after? A website to censor things along the lines of how you think? A website that will protect you from racists?

Deplatforming racists isn't censorship.

> Save your outrage for something meanful.

Big words coming from someone that didn't mention that Black Lives Matter even once in their comment, and also didn't do anything to bring more attention to North Korean concentration camps, and hasn't even provided a donation link to an African farming initiative. See where I'm going with this?

> Real minority populations are being oppressed

Like ethnically Chinese people in the USA, or really just Asian people in American in general that get lumped under a random Chinese umbrella, for example?

> they will demand real action vs virtual signaling.

What's your point? What is anybody on this website doing besides "virtue signalling?" We're talking. That involves our virtues being put on display. Despite what conservative detractors might think, saying "you're virtue signalling" doesn't automatically win a debate any more than calling someone an SJW does. Yup, I have virtues, yup, I'm telling you what they are. Yup, I like social justice. You don't?

"Deplatforming racists isn't censorship"

Isn't deplatforming racist because it creates a segregated society. Do you really want to separate society based on race? Soon we'll have schools for racist only. People will complain they when they get higher marks.

You think you like the idea of social justice? What you are doing is social judgement. Bullying.. using your power over someone less powerful to make yourself feel better.

Many causes need attention. Ignoring them all and pretending to care when people are around doesn't help anyone. The next generation is going to call you fake.

> https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23682619


"Free speech activists" inevitably show off their actual value system.

> Isn't deplatforming racist because it creates a segregated society.

Racism is a choice, race isn't. Racists segregate themselves from society by believing that some humans are subhuman. Can't exactly share a well with someone that believes you're an animal, can you? Certainly can't have them in a jury.

> Do you really want to separate society based on race?

Transparent strawman argument lobbed at me most times I engage an "all lives matter" type. Black lives matter = white lives don't matter, right?

> People will complain they when they get higher marks.

Why would racists get higher marks? As racists they disproportionately fail to correct for cognitive biases - they are therefore either stupid or have a mental disorder.

> You think you like the idea of social justice? What you are doing is social judgement.

The SJW bit was fairly obvious bait that you bit straight onto. Something wrong with shaming racists? Bullying the bully? And today I learned, asking a bully to leave, is apparently bullying.

> Many causes need attention.

Again, you fail to address why you are spending time commenting on this instead of solving world hunger. Why are you spending time virtue signalling at me? Don't you care about starving children?

> The next generation is going to call you fake.

No, because bigots are losing the culture war.

"The next generation is going to call you fake"

'No, because bigots are losing the culture war'

Culture war.. everyone is winning their own mono-culture war. All of your facebook friends agree? Twitter echoing back similiar opinions. The software is working if you think you are winning something.

You will hear shut up grandpa move over. When you had your chance you just talked but made no real gain in the world. You won't understand.. why does real change matter? You will say we got everyone to bully racism underground. They will shake their head you fools you made racism worse and now it's more secretive and powerful.

Nihilism is a tired philosophy to come across as an adult.

> They will shake their head you fools you made racism worse and now it's more secretive and powerful.

Smacks of (((they))) control the Deep State.

Nothing real is being said here. Have a good weekend.

Racism is a choice, race isn't.

Is it a choice? Is it a choice when someone joins a gang when they are born into poverty?

Everyone is a product of their environment.

> Everyone is a product of their environment.

If you didn't believe in free will at all, why are you trying to convince me of anything?

I think most of us agree that stereotyping and prejudices are not desirable, regardless if it's by nationality, race, sex, gender, etc.

Sure, but there are degrees of offensiveness, and racism is a great deal higher on that totem pole than nationalist stereotypes (archetypes, really) like "Mexican druglord," "Chinese/Russian hacker," and "Nigerian scam," etc.

IMO, if one can't make the point that something shouldn't be said without inaccurately labeling it as racism, then one shouldn't make the point. The only thing they're accomplishing is watering down the negative connotations of racism.

> Random descriptions add flavor.

That's not flavor.

I want to say, apt username.

This happens all the time with wire transfers. It's no different. Banks don't care.

Example: https://www.clickorlando.com/news/2018/05/24/central-florida...

I don't understand how banks can claim to have federal FDIC-insured protection of $250,000 per depositor if they don't actually reimburse you when a simple wire transfer fraud happens??

Because the insurance is against the bank being unable to pay deposits due to bank insolvency. The FDIC does not insure depositors against wire transfer fraud.

I did some more research and it looks like the EFTA (Electronic Fund Transfer Act) protects electronic funds transfers (EFTs) in bank accounts, not the FDIC.


I didn't see where the banks are at fault in the above article. It appeared that the woman received a fraudulent email on where to wire the money. This fraudulent email did not come from the banks. So, how could they be liable if she provided them bad information? GIGO. I'm not saying banks care, just this article doesn't highlight that very well.

The comment i replied to implied the current fiat system has checks and balances that can help prevent fraud and scammers.

I'm more highlighting that both crypto and traditional banking are similar in the transfer mechanism than saying banks should be held liable.

It's not limited to cryptocurrency. eg. companies losing millions from phishing https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/27/phishing-email-scam-stole-10...

The point is that there are options available to you when you use i.e. a credit card to spend money, versus bitcoin. With btc you will never, ever have a chance of getting it back once it's spent or if someone takes control of your wallet.

To be fair, debit cards and wire transfers have a similar issue. However there are still ways to get your money back in some situations.

Not quite. You can bribe the miners with your old private key if you act fast enough :)

How do you contact a miner? Can you give an example of this? I've read this before but I'm curious to learn more specifics.

Assuming miners are smart, you can 'bribe' them without ever speaking to them.

Your coins have been transfered to Mr Evil in block number 6000.

Simply publish a transaction which pays your $1B in bitcoins to another address you control with a $200M transaction fee.

Any rational miner who sees this will decide to 'undo' Mr Evils transaction and all that occur after it by acting as if those transactions don't exist. They will mine your new transaction as part of a new block number 6000, and pocket the $200M for themselves. However, they will need to make sure their block number 6000 remains part of the chain.

By the time they've done this, block number 6001 and 6002 have been mined on top of Mr Evils transaction in block 6000. That means someone must mine block 6001 and 6002 again, at significant computatonal cost. To do that, the miner who mined the new block 6000 can incentivise others to work on top of their block by paying the 200M to themselves, but again with a big fee.

The above only works if all miners are rational, and have coded this strategy into their mining pools. Are there examples of this happening in practice? (There will be public evidence of it in the blockchain).

I presume double spends happen often, as people try to trick counterparties who don't wait long enough for transactions to settle. Note that neither branch of a double spend is the "real one" (the feelings of the double spender don't matter), only the future development of the chains picks which is real and which is fake. It's basically equivalent to putting a bank check in one envelope, and another check in another, for a total that overdraws your account, and then sending them out to pay people. It's unknown which payment is invalid, until later.

Bitcoin is a fascinating thing. People think this is a bug, but I think it's a feature. The cost of physical settlement and risk is measurable and transparent to everyone involved.

If you think that a bank transfer has less risk, you are not looking in all the right places :)

You would need to know them personally. There are lots of big mining farms around the world, and many smaller ones. You would need to be friends with the big ones to pull anything like this off.

And people would start losing trust in the network if this was happening, thus the value of the currency would start dropping, thus all the network participants including the miners would be in a losing position in the long run, which is not what you are looking for after you have invested money in the mining equipment and the whole operation.

That's why the total "hash rate" (the computational effort spent by all the participating miners) is in direct relation to the perceived value of the currency.

why Chinese hacker? Discrimination.

Are you really going to try to argue that you are less likely to get scammed or hacked with Bitcoin than with a traditional bank?

No, his point seems to be that bitcoin can be transferred without the approval or moral judgement imposed by a third party (e.g. bank).

Try sending $1B around the world to your Nigerian uncle and seeing what happens.

Various governments will be more than happy to apply their large resources to a $1B Bitcoin transaction if they can find a hint that it's in their jurisdiction.

They most certainly will... But at least the money was sent.

Nothing they can do to stop that.

>Try sending $1B around the world to your Nigerian uncle and seeing what happens.

I'm sad that I have to inform you that the emails you've been getting aren't actually real

Not scammed, but maybe a regulator will take an interest in $1B being moved around.

Is the average person in our society better off in a world where anyone can move $1B anonymously? Why do you think regulators might want to take an interest in such transfers?

No the average person is less well off in a world where $1 billion can be moved anonymously.

The need to move such funds anonymously is usually due to illegal activities, money laundering, or at least tax evasion (evasion, not avoidance).

This leaves every average person at the very least, on the hook to pay for those taxes evaded, or lacking the services they would have provided.

If the need is due to criminality beyond tax evasion, every average person suffers the corrosive effect of that criminal activity (e.g., while I'm for most drug legalization, I can't begin to argue that organized criminal drug distribution is anything but a massive destructive tax on society - & in fact, a main point of legalization is to eliminate that corrosive costs of gangs).

So, the average person is definitely worse off with the existence of an ability to move & billions anonymously.

(edit: avoided/evaded)

I'm sorry plenty of people would disagree with our taxing system, 99% of them not being drug Lords. I think most people would be better off with the ability to move billion of dollars anonymously, as it would also give them the ability to move hundreds or thousand of dollars anonymously as well.

I fall into that category.

Most people I know, and they aren't rich tax avoiders would also fall into that category.

Cryptocurrency liberates everyone in so many ways. And yes it liberates criminals as well. But hey are know how to dodge the system anyway.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I'm seeing you specify the use-case other than 'less-rich people can also move money anonymously'.

Other than small-scale tax evasion or nefarious activities, what use cases are you advocating?

I also used to be pretty excited about the potential for crypto currencies, still think it may have some, but the security overhead, value volatility, & scalability issues have pretty much rendered it less useful than cash or (ugh) ACH-based services like Venmo, Google Pay, etc., ir just credit cards.

Also, you're not addressing losses of tax evasion - one tax evader failing to pay $1B in taxes means a million people need to pay an extra $1000 to make up for his crime. Not victimless.

Bitcoin transactions are already being de-anonymized at least in the U.S. - and if not today, the permanent ledger record means that the 'data exhaust' (hidden data surrounding a transaction) can back into it.

I don't know, is it that different from being able to send an encrypted message, or lock something securely in a safe?

Is there a difference between expressing moral support for a terrorist organization and sending them $1 million? I was never very compelled with the "money = speech" argument when taken particularly literally.

I didn't mean specifically that money = speech. I mean there are some things we agree should be private even if that means making them less accountable.

The point is the entire point of Bitcoin itself is to minimize or hopefully remove completely the requirement of trust.

You still have to trust the counterparty to deliver whatever the Bitcoin is being exchanged for.

not with a multi-signature address acting as escrow.

2013 called and wants its arguments back

In that case you still have to trust the escrow service.

Trust minimization instead of maximally trusting RBC with all of your money but also the counterparty to deliver.

yes. its an adaptation to that economy and allows for mitigating risks. not a panacea

the escrow service would be one party of the multisignature transaction. no party can move the funds on their own. you are moving an arbiter to the point of transaction, instead of after a transaction doesn't go as planned.

You don't seem to know much about banking and large sums of money in practice.

Let me give you an example which I know exists: EU airliner buys an airplane at Boeing. How do you transfer the money?

This is how they do it today: They are at Boeing where the transfer needs to go through. The money needs to be transferred then and there. So airliner calls their bank to transfer the money. But there is a 9 hour difference, so they need to wait when EU bank opens, but before the US bank closes. Call the bank, transfer first to UK bank (I can't remember why they had to do this :(), confirm money is there. Then transfer from UK to US, confirm that the money is there. This all before the US bank closes of course. Very cumbersome and James Bond like.

And I'm not an expert in international money transfers, but I'm guessing it's not 0.

That’s not how large transfers work at all though. Banks have international agreements, or go through 3rd parties that have. You’ll also never be expected to pay right then and there, if you’re a respectable enterprise entity, the other part will expect you to pay and the funds to arrive within reasonable time, which can be half a year later.

As for the transfers themselves, they are typically free. You’re such a big customer to the bank, and so is the recipient to their bank, that the banks are earning their money without taking transfer fees.

The most important part, and the reason things like bitcoin will never replace old school banking, is that you can roll the money back or cancel if you decide to walk away from the deal like Norwegian just did for 90something Boeing aircraft that they can no longer afford because of corona. Sure you’ll spend a few years in legal, but that’s besides the point.

That walkback depends on trust, honor, and suability between all actors involved. You can walk back a bitcoin transaction, too, if you have those preconditions. Just ask the other guy to send the money back.

By that logic you can walk back any transaction that has ever occurred regardless of how it was sent. Bitcoin advocacy just seems like an exercise in sophistry.

If you trust the other guy and he doesn't screw you over- yes. Other than that, bitcoin's loosely analogous to cash. You might use it for the same reasons you'd use cash otherwise.

> That’s not how large transfers work at all though.

Except for the fact that this is exactly how it works today.

So you are in the airline industry? You know first hand how airliners buy airplanes. Please explain to me how it happens at your end.

Because what I explained is first hand knowledge on how it actually works. (Boeing 787 Dreamliner)

You assume, I know.

What you describe is the process of buying a laptop on Ebay.

When you buy a plane, perhaps you have already payed months ahead, perhaps you'll pay five years later, perhaps you pay on a monthly basis, perhaps you don't pay at all but transfer the rights do to something

it is all contractual obligations, sometimes money does not even trade hands


the idea that you would need to wait for a bank to open to transfer money while watching the timezones is completely unrealistic

Except for the fact that this is exactly how it works today.

So you are in the airline industry? You know first hand how airliners buy airplanes. Please explain to me how it happens at your end.

Because what I explained is first hand knowledge on how it actually works (this was a Boeing 787 Dreamliner)

You assume, I know.

You will never be able to exchange 1 billion dollars at will with RBC or any other bank.

That bank transfer won’t happen for free. Both sides will have to go through KYC procedures and it will take plenty of time if one of the parties is new.

What's the cost if I'm with HSBC in Hong-Kong and you're with Chase in USA, say?

$50 if both using the same currency.

$50 + a few basis point spread if using a different currency, but you don't know exactly what that spread will be from the sending bank and what the spread will be at the receiving bank, so you can lose anywhere from .001% to 4% with major currencies.

I imagine there are also fees involved to turn $1B worth of bitcoins to local currency.

There are, there is also a parallel global economy that allows for obtaining goods, services and investing in private equity or other assets directly using bitcoin, so those conversion fees are not an issue for the bitcoin owner. To counter the easiest rebuttal, there probably are only about $1bn worth of things to buy using bitcoin any given day, most of which are other new digital assets that would not be a great investment and would otherwise struggle to obtain any purchases.

But for reference, in today's market you could expect to be able to negotiate a 1-2% spread in converting $1Bn in bitcoin to US Dollars. It would have to be multiple orders throughout the day as an OTC dealer will quote on price for $100m and a different price for $1bn.

Block orders in the bitcoin OTC market often has more daily volume than the lit market on exchanges. Similar to other commodities markets.

Yeah, if you're fully buying into BTC, doing BTC transfer makes obvious sense.

I was trying to see which is cheaper for the use case of "I hold USD in the US, I want to spend it locally as HKD in Hong Kong", which I think is what pbhjpbhj is asking.

yes that is one use case of digital assets like BTC: converting any international money transfer to a domestic money transfer, greatly reducing compliance flags, time and possibilities of banking errors that no bank wants to be accountable for and figure out themselves. often times leaving no record in payment networks like SWIFT, because only two local payment networks were used, one in their respective monetary union.

the cost is 100% tied to liquidity of that market. the bigger and deeper the market, the lower the transaction cost.

It is more likely that HKD's bitcoin market would be less liquid than USD's bitcoin market, so you would want your bank in Hong Kong to accept a USD deposit from a local OTC broker, and then convert to HKD at that point if you wanted or needed it.

Even a $1M order has more than 1-2% slippage in my experience... $1B will probably have much more.

Negotiate harder, and in USD.

Typically I will begin placing an order with two OTC desks at the same time, while also looking at exchange order books. I game the brokers against each other.

If it is a smaller order (5 - 6 figures) I will compare Coinbase Pro's fees with whatever my OTC desk is telling me. OTC has to be less than Coinbase Pro.

So thats how I pretty much guarantee a less than 1% fee.

$1bn = multiple OTC desks and multiple orders. The bitcoin market is much deeper than people think and gets deeper every day.

Thanks for the firsthand insight!

It's never .001%. I've done so many international transactions with currency conversion (one of the most liquid pairs - USR-EUR). On the best day a bank will get that 3% difference. I've been using TransferWise in the last year, it's definitely better, but still over 1%.

I get extremely tight spreads closer to .001% with Bank of America wire transfers, Wells Fargo wire transfers, and ATM withdrawals in foreign countries, specifically Mexican Pesos, Swiss Francs, Euros.

It exactly matches the spot FX rate that I would see on my broker's terminals.

Transferwise has not been better for me, except to easily allow me to have Euro bank accounts as an American.

I usually get between 0.5% and 1% spread at my bank and my company is tiny so these are list rates.

Find it incredibly hard to believe they will allow an intra-bank transfer of $1B for free, even just going to another Canadian bank all bets are off and they certainly would want something in return.

Do have any proof of this claim or is it extrapolated from the fees for sending $200 to another RBC account?

If I owned bank B and someone was going to send me $1B from bank A, I would pay the fees that bank A was charging the customer.

Source: I've worked in banking and seen this even on the personal level (not at the $1B level of course).

Are you trying to argue that a financial transaction - a service provided by a bank where THEY take all the risk and responsibility of said transfer - should be free of charge?

I mean if I transferred a billion and my bank made a mistake, I would not lose any money. Make a typo in your bitcoin transaction, and you're screwed.

> Are you trying to argue that a financial transaction - a service provided by a bank where THEY take all the risk and responsibility of said transfer - should be free of charge?

I think that they are making the point that they actually are free of charge. Fees for moving money at banks are negligible. They might not actually be entirely free, but wire transfer fees are ~$20, and I've moved a million dollars this way before. I don't know if there's much of a difference between a million and a billion in this context.

>I think that they are making the point that they actually are free of charge.

That's right.

An "on-us" transaction, one that simply requires RBC to update its database by debiting funds from RBC customer A and crediting them to RBC customer B, is free. (If your bank is charging you for that, switch banks!).

A wire transfer is more complex than an "on-us" transfer because it involves two bank database. RBC has to debit its database, and Bank of Montreal has to credit its database, and the central bank is usually involved as an intermediary. This often involves a wire transfer fee.

It only involves fees in less developed banking systems like the US. European banks transfer large amounts of euros to other banks with no fees.

Bank transfers are free because you have to deposit (aka lend) money to the bank before transferring it. And the bank get to use that money for profit while it is deposited.

There's a billion dollars difference between a million and a billion. You can't just plop a billion dollars into your checking account. It's part of a hugely complex context (how would you even accumulate a billion dollars to deposit?)

> Make a typo in your bitcoin transaction, and you're screwed

Not really, bitcoin addresses have checksums.

You're just as screwed if you make a typo in your bank transaction, though.

lol no you're not. call them up and they'll fix it.

If you wire the money to the wrong account? No, you're SOL unless the receiving bank and receiving account decides to reverse the transaction, which is fairly rare.

If it's your bank, it should be easy. When I asked for my account and routing number for my checking number from a chase branch, the teller incorrectly assumed the routing number was for the current state when in fact i opened it in another state which meant a different routing number. Come my first direct deposit and I see nothing in my checking account, I panicked, guessed the problem looking at the routing number the teller gave me and where I opened it, went to a branch and they fixed it in like a day.

I've had people send me $ to the wrong account, and it gets rejected by the receiving bank, I believe because the name / information doesn't match what's listed on the receiving bank.

> I believe because the name / information doesn't match what's listed on the receiving bank. reply

In India and Australia, the banks just use the account number not the name. If you screw that up its completely your fault. The bank might help but its not obligated to do so since you accepted these terms and conditions.

They do not "take all the risk". In fact, they have none of the risk. If your money disappears, you can only recover $250K through FDIC insurance. For the rest you will have to get into a lengthy legal battle with the bank.

Bitcoin's strong point is that it will allow rich people to maintain their wealth when the inevtiable tyrants take over and try to redistribute wealth.

> It should be ready at the maximum in a couple of days and I will forward it to you as soon as I have it.

And, barring a collusion of miners, virtually noone could have prevented or reverted that transaction.

Bank limit transfer over 10k. There are additional benefits.

Bank limit aut

What about the Government taxes, 1 Billon no matter that will pay a jucy tax slice.

I'm not aware of any government that taxes money transfers. At least in any country I have lived in you can move around your money as much as you like without any taxes.

Now if you're trying to avoid income tax or something like that that's a different question, but then using Bitcoin doesn't magically make that disappear either.

You're assuming the Bitcoin changed hands though. Transaction doesn't necessarily imply that.

That’s if you give it to somebody else. If you’re transferring your own money there’s no fee.

You get taxed for the gift, not for the transaction. You'd have to pay the same taxes if you used BTC.

Where are you that has a transaction tax on account transfers? Not the US certainly, and not anywhere in the EU.

There's a proposal (not implemented yet) for a 0.1% "Tobin tax" in the EU: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-deepe...

Sure, which is why I said on account transfers. A Tobin tax wouldn't impact those, the one the EU wanted was for financial instruments. e.g. if you buy and sell a new financial product on average fifty times per day to take advantage of some weird quirk - because you can make 0.001% per trade this way, the Tobin tax makes that money losing and you stop doing it.

Is that a good idea? I'm not sure, and apparently enough EU states weren't sure that this never got past Council.

But even if it's a great idea and gets implemented it doesn't care about moving money from one account to another itself which is all we're talking about here.

Total aside but I love the train theme to indicate status of the proposal, and showing who is currently "holding up" the bill.

Who give away a 1Billon? Tipically a 1 Billon transaction is raised as a red flag into the tax system, and trigger an investigation with the label "i do not believe this is a gift, must be a comercial transaction, why it is not paying taxes?"

depends on the nature of the transaction & the parties - 'transfer/transaction taxes aren't the only issue

Sales or gift taxes could apply. So could import /export taxes depending on the endpoints. Could it appear as income/gains to one party or another? etc...

of course it can often be structured to avoid such taxes, but it requires forethought.

I wouldn't even think of making a $multi-million move without first consulting a very high end attorney in the appropriate field.

$Million is pretty simple. That's an everyday real estate purchase is a major US city. Tens to hundreds of millions is different. But even tens could be handled by any attorney in the field. That's estate planning level.

As long as you have clean money with an obvious & documented provenance (i.e., how it was earned), and an obvious above-board purpose such as buying a house, sure, transferring a few million is likely to be straightforward.

But that is off-topic - the topic is anonymous transfer for unspecified reasons.

Even transferring between two accounts of different businesses you own can generate SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports) at $5K level. Even multiple deposits of a few $thousand in cash will draw attention & be subject to confiscation if you don't have a solid & documented explanation, such as running a big & legitimate cash business.

Unpopular opinion: why do we care so much about making it cheaper for rich people to move money around? Do we think somehow that will “trickle down” to us mere mortals and put western union and their ilk out of business?

Remittances are one of the big, obvious use cases where crypto can save poor people a ton of money. To the tune of a collective $40-50 billion a year. https://academy.binance.com/blockchain/blockchain-use-cases-...

Call me when a blockchain-backed remittance service reaches even a small fraction of the customer-base of companies like Transferwise or CurrencyFair.

If it was an efficient way to cut on fees, everyone would do it. Yet almost nobody does.

What's your number? That's exactly what Ripple is working on - replacing SWIFT. https://ripple.com/ripplenet

And how many years have they been at it? My impression in 2019, trying to add it to an Android app, was badly documented or deprecated libraries. And then there is the whole debacle with XRP, the currency, and Ripple, the underlying tech, being used interchangeably and confusing everyone. Banks aren’t even interested in XRP.

And bank adoption hasn’t been exactly smooth so far either: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-blockchain-ripple-idUSKBN...

That strikes me as more of an implementation detail. Day-to-day cryptocurrency use still requires a level of technical sophistication my grandma isn't comfortable with.

Bitcoin has been around for 12 years. The UX around cryptocurrencies is still crap.

It is. So why don't remittance services do it behind the scenes?

Because the converting currency X to crypto to currency Y is certainly not going to be cheaper or less volatile than a remittance service's existing forex setup which skips the middle bit, and it introduces a risky counterparty in the form of crypto exchanges.

Fundamentally bitcoin (and most other cryptos) are trying to fill two mutually exclusive goals. On one hand, they’re supposed to be the currency of the future; on the other you’re supposed to invest or trade in them like a speculative instrument to grow your net worth (hodl, mooning, lambos, etc.)

The issue is that these two can’t be filled by the same instrument effectively. Currencies need to be stable and predictable, nobody wants to discover that their paycheck has suddenly halved in value. They can inflate, but they should do that in a slow and steady manner so wages can keep up. On the other hand you want some volatility in your speculative instruments, as without volatility there’s no real opportunity to earn a profit and grow your net worth.

If something tries to be both, the results are disappointing. Either there’s no enough volatility to make traders happy, or there’s enough volatility to expose laborers or payment processors (depending on use case) to purchasing power shocks or conversion rate risks.

Unfortunately, it’s my belief that bitcoin maintains a lot of its value by trying to continually bring in new suckers (sorry, investors) in order to keep demand high without significant use cases. This kind of continual recruitment process is both fascinating, and really ruins bitcoin for anyone who wanted to use it for non-speculative purposes.

Some do, for certain cases.

Poor (and rich) people get computer viruses all the time. Put a Bitcoin wallet on everyone's machine and remittance fees would be a drop in the ocean compared to theft.

Even more unpopular opinion: humans should be as free as capital.

Making capital transfers easy while restricting the movement of real people ghettoizes and traps people for corporate convenience and cost savings.

Calling nationalities and cultures that arise from a group of people being forced to live together a "ghettoization" is a bit of a stretch

That's literally the meaning of the word...the negative connotations came afterwards.

The OP used the term in a negative sense, to justify removing all borders...

I said nothing about removing all borders. Do not put words in my mouth.

And my word choice was accurate; what you choose to read in to it happens in your head, not mine.

Not really, in fact, thats almost the exact dictionary definition.

Every time you read an opinion regarding financial markets that mentions abstractly how something "should" be. You can know to disregard that opinion.

> humans should be as free as capital.

Capital doesn't put a drain on the social welfare systems of the country you're sending it to.

Ya think? Try googling "walmart subsidy".

How is that relevant? I’m familiar with the extremely stretched reasoning people use to describe welfare as a “walmart subsidy”, but if anything that just supports my argument - importing low-wage welfare recipients doesn’t benefit society.

I don't care about Western Union. I do care about Visa and MasterCard.

And I'm definitely not saying that the current generation of crypto has figured this problem out, but I am hopeful for the sake of SMB that they won't always have to pay 3% fees on cashless transactions.

I would agree with you but all I see from “big tech” is further middlemen and more fees- orders of magnitude larger than 3%!!

Want to order food online? That’ll be 30% on top of your order, please.

Oh, you wanted to pay for some bits through our app on your iPhone? Apple will take 30% of that too, thank you very much.

We just switched HOA management companies and they had the audacity to charge a three dollar convenience fee if you pay your bill online! So I will just continue to pay via paper check and make life miserable for them because that incurs no fee.

All I see is hypocrisy and more hands in my pocket wanting my money, not less.

The EU limited CC transaction fees to 0.3%. That's the reason why there are no cashback deals for CC here.

The ship has sailed for bitcoin as an everyday currency and it has turned more into a store of value than a currency. However, the crypto world is diverse, still infant, and has many applications beyond currency. Look at IPFS (libp2p, IPLD, Multiformats); it’s open source free software that allows user to view content without it being censored.

Filecoin (the currency) exists on top but is completely independent and unnecessary to make use of the underlying utility of IPFS.

While bitcoin is a bit of a monolith even it has utility beyond currency as you can write information along with your transactions. An example is [ION][1] an identity service pegging state to transactions wiring to the blockchain and so long as bitcoin holds value you can have high certainty this information will not go away or be modified.

There are trade-offs to everything but often the benefit of crypto projects is lost when they’re viewed as currency rather than utility. Look at the forest not the trees.

[1]: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/azure-active-director...

I see the benefit as making it cheaper for everyone to move money around. And make no mistake, Bitcoin has much larger fees than other cryptocurrencies.

Wire transfers, between banks, can cost something like 20-50$ depending on who you are transferring too, and if it is across countries.

Rich people don't have to care about a 20$ fee. Poor people do though.

Imagine if Bitcoin worked by "taxing" transfers and evenly distributing that tax to every other wallet.

because the poor people can't move $10 around without paying $3 for it. Have you ever tried moving small amounts of money in poor countries ?

Have you not heard of M-Pesa? Very popular mobile phone-based money transfer service, low fees (far less than $3 or the 30% you claim), you can even pay companies directly with it

If you want to convert it to real cash, the fee is pretty substantial...

Yes I've heard of it. So bitcoin is this but better. I agree with you.

Faster than bitcoin, cheaper than bitcoin, easier to use than bitcoin, more reliable than bitcoin, far more widely accepted than bitcoin. Hmm...

lol even the main people behind Bitcoin Core development have abandoned the idea of Bitcoin serving as means of day-to-day small transactions.

Why would it be the responsibility of one layer to deal with another layer?

This separation of layers nonsense is only something that’s been proposed to cover up flaws in the core protocol. The original paper didn’t envision a store of value, but rather a means of daily transactions

Perhaps. But while Satoshi is clearly a genius. Give the guy a break, he’s not a fortune teller. Many current day protocols have improvements needed but that’s besides the point.

That’s my point, however you said it clearer than I did. I don’t see how bitcoin making it easy for billionaires to move money equates to poor people being able to use it to move $10.

Bitcoin makes it easy for people with a billion dollars in bitcoin to move it around (or any value).

There’s no way it’s then suddenly a cost effective way for normal currency billionaires to move money around. Converting that amount to BTC would require serious fees and resources.

So this point is largely moot to any wider discussion.

Not really sure which poor countries you are talking about but in India the smaller the amount, the cheaper it is to transfer. <10k INR is most simplest transaction you can do by simply downloading any payment app and using UPI. >100k INR is where transaction costs usually creep in.

Transaction fees disproportionately limit small transactions.

My bank doesn't require transaction fees until the value hits 10k€, after which it's 5€ (1€ fee + 4€ insurance).

Crypto has use cases for the average joe as well.

Those are two questions, not an opinion.

No one cares if you care. They care.

So stop caring and move on to whatever it is you want to do with your life.

Pretty sure the fund I work for moved several billion dollars for free on Friday...and will do the same thing again this Friday, the Friday after that, and the Friday after that.

Cryptocurrency's obsession with fees is baffling. Fees are not why moving money is hard.

Whats worse is Bitcoin's security depends on high fees, but you have articles like this celebrating low fees.

Satoshi intended for bitcoin to scale to hundreds of millions of transactions, all paying sub cent fees. All those fees would add up to millions of dollars per day. The fees are what secure the chain when the block reward runs out. Around 2014/2015 some devs who worked with blockstream started campaigning to keep the block size limit at 1mb. They succeeded and now bitcoin can only process an average of 350k transactions per day.

In order to provide the same financial incentive to miners when the block reward gets too small to matter, the minimum fee on the network will need to be $25 per transaction.

But ye, horray, this whale got to send big cash for a "low fee"

That isn't even slightly true. This debate has been settled a long long time ago.

Running a full node is the only way to assure the integrity of the currency. Increasing the block size decreases the number of people that run full nodes. It's obvious to anyone who works on Bitcoin that a linear increase to blocksize can never scale, while maintaining an open and decentralized environment.

> Running a full node is the only way to assure the integrity of the currency.

Another method is to use cryptographic proofs to demonstrate the validity of a blockchain state. A lot of newer projects are taking this approach, such as the project I work on, Mir Protocol.

Granted, it doesn't seem like a realistic option for Bitcoin. The community doesn't seem very open to major protocol changes, and even if it were, cryptographic proofs for Bitcoin might be prohibitively expensive since the protocol wasn't designed with that in mind.

>Running a full node is the only way to assure the integrity of the currency. Increasing the block size decreases the number of people that run full nodes.

where is the evidence for this? complete bullshit. How much fewer people would run a full node if the block size was increased from 1mb to 2mb?

You and Satoshi go way back I take it?

That's not the point though. You're not in control of that billion dollars, banks and governments are. The small 48 cent fee is the price for freedom. At any moment a bank can freeze your funds for any reason. The Bitcoin network does not suffer from that.

Building relationships with brokers that allow you to move billions of dollars "for free" is hard and expensive.

In my experience having a billion dollars to move is pretty much all you need to generate those relationships.

A transparent ledger is an invitation for mobs to threaten and torture people! Identifying and threatening BTC owners is not that difficult. If we're serious about protecting financial privacy, use something like Monero instead!

For all of the talk about how Bitcoin is not truly anonymous, this wallet demonstrates otherwise, with the apparent 'anonymity proviso' being that you don't do too much with it, and just let the coins sit.

Bitcoin is pseudonymous. Every member can be uniquely identified but if you are careful not to link your pseudonym (e.g. wallet address) to any personally identifiable information, nobody else can. But this is really hard when it is about money since in general you'd want to spend that money an that's where the link appears. As long as you don't spend the money, there is no information to link.

There are ways around this problem. See: https://local bitcoins.com

Doesn't completely de-anonymize you but it does reduce the set of people who have uniquely identifiable information to 1

That site requires identification. So the owner of the coins is known by everyone with the dataset (which that will be shared with chain analysis companies), as well as the website owners and the trader you trade with. Pretty big set


We're having a discussion on HN about a specific person moving a specific amount of money around. That by itself is basically the opposite of privacy.

Ansil849 already said this, but when talking about things like this there are actually multiple related, sometimes orthogonal, factors:

Anonymity - the quality of the user being unknown

Privacy - the quality of the user's actions being unobserved

Authenticity- the quality of the user's actions being certainly the user's

Bitcoin provides pseudonymous transactions, which may approach anonymity if the user is careful. It does not provide true privacy as all transactions are public. But the purpose of the transactions is not communicated, though may be inferred if the parties are identified. If I transfer $20 in BTC to a pizza joint, you can guess that I bought a pizza, but it's just a (well-founded) guess. It provides a high degree of authenticity in that it is a hard problem (in the mathematical sense, unless your keys have been obtained by an adversary) to fake a transaction.

Yes, I have a PhD in cryptography and designed two of the first privacy-preserving extensions to Bitcoin. Bitcoin provides pseudonymity. If no other information can be inferred about a transaction from other sources, users may be able to protect their privacy. In practice this is extremely challenging, and the information leakage this post is discussing is highly unnecessary, and a weakness of Bitcoin.

Anonymity ≠ privacy

We're having a discussion about an unknown account - which may or may not be an individual person - moving specific amounts of money around anonymously, not privately.

You're describing pseudonymity, not anonymity. We know that a specific user has moved money under a pseudonym. If they do other things with that money, we'll learn more. These are very different concepts.


We don't know the person though; we know a wallet address. Similar to a bank account number; it's just a number.

I get what you mean, the transaction is public, but that's the point of bitcoin / cryptocurrencies.

Publishing the value and timing of specific transactions isn't actually the point of Bitcoin and specific cryptocurrencies, nor is it necessary to preserve the total amount of the currency. Satoshi specifically called the privacy issues in Bitcoin out as a weakness to be improved upon, and several projects inside and outside of Bitcoin have been doing this.

I can also be anonymous if I never speak or leave my house, but that's not really how it works, is it?

In this case, it seems to be exactly how it works. Someone is opting to 'never speak or leave the house', and can afford to do so.

Maybe it applies to very specific "Bitcoin as store-of-value" use cases, but it definitely doesn't apply to any use case you'd actually want for electronic cash.

Also, even the fact that we're discussing the existence of this transaction implies that Bitcoin is not anonymous.

Exactly. A messaging app isnt private just because you never message anyone

No, you can't.

Your house has to be registered to someone and you have to declare who lives in it, if it's yours.

Anonymity is not about being a private person.

> Your house has to be registered to someone and you have to declare who lives in it, if it's yours.

I don't think this is true in every jurisdiction. You can certainly have a property registered under a corporate entity, and there are jurisdictions in the US that allow for anonymous corporate ownership. Further, I'm not aware of any requirement where you must declare who is residing in a property. I've had family members from abroad reside in my house for over a year without informing any authorities, for example.

The fact that you didn't doesn't prove you shouldn't

I'm not from US. I don't know the technicalities, in Italy for example you should declare who's residing in your house, even if it's a no paying guest

Many don't, but it's still a requirement

BTW the point was anonymity is not about being anti social, it's about hiding your true identity

If you stay home and never talk to anybody you're being secretive, but probably are not anonymous (police can still come and knock at your door because neighbors called then since you came in and never went out, for example)

Professional gangsters don't register their house in their own name. They're happy with a girlfrield, or 'similar,' and just use their apartment and travel all over the world uninhinged. All cars and apartments etc are usually registered in someone else's name. Someone """"legit"""""", so to speak, apart from the affiliation.

If you have tons of illegal money it's not the worst thing to live in a ~~ 'moldy' apartment and eat SCSI every day and know that you _really_ have a __ton__ ___of___ ____money____

Learn to be a criminal, theoretically of course

You said it

They are gangsters

Bitcoins main feature isn't being anonymous and also the wallet is more likely an exchange wallet than some random billionaire's. There's privacy coins that heavily lean towards achieving anonymity. But I mean if I had a billion dollars and I wanted to have it in Bitcoin, there's nothing stopping me from having one hundred million Bitcoin wallets each with $10. If performed properly, I think that would sufficiently obfuscate my identity until I had to liquidate them.

That's the whole idea behind the blockchain. Everything is recorded in ledgers

Most of the genuine use-cases would do much better with privacy, it goes hand-in-hand with payments that traditional finance may try to censor.

There is privacy-focused crypto like Monero though.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact