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Comment: Encryption services (Score 1) 83

by BitcoinBenny (#48885365) Attached to: Data Encryption On the Rise In the Cloud and Mobile

I built an end-to-end cloud encryption service for file transfer. As much as I thought it would gain traction, getting and retaining users was very difficult. The security community is ultra-paranoid (as they should be) and don't want to rely on third parties at all if possible, and normal users don't really understand encryption and largely can't be bothered.

I found of the two features, inline encryption and big file transfer the latter was the selling point for the people who used it.

I'll probably open source the code soon, as few as I get a few days to clean it up. Empty landing page at www.senderdefender.com

Comment: Blockchain voting (Score 1) 480

by BitcoinBenny (#48795393) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

This is a complicated topic, but one I wrote about six months ago here, http://www.digitalsuffrage.com...

There are many countries that are trying to adopt digital voting technologies, and there are ways to preserve both anonymity and integrity for digital votes. Since the vote is individually auditable, it would be possible to physically retract misappropriated votes for example, which could guard against identity theft or other computer breach.

I've said it before with respect to Bitcoin. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. A universal ledger of fact-in-time information is a powerful tool for building applications such as electronic voting systems.

Comment: Re:Where should I hold my Bitcoins? (Score 1) 161

by BitcoinBenny (#48740803) Attached to: Bitstamp Bitcoin Exchange Suspended Due To "Compromised Wallet"

I think a good android or ios based wallet is the way to go. Its a reasonably locked down environment, you can employ multi-factor security fairly easily, and its not too difficult to use. Nothing is perfect, the security mechanisms to really protect bitcoin in hardware are being actively developed.

Don't trust your money to strangers is a good one also. Keeping money sitting in exchanges around the world of dubious origin and competence is asking for trouble. Bitcoin is having all of the teething problems that any new unregulated industry has. Its the wild west out there, and will take some time to settle down.

Comment: Re:Where should I hold my Bitcoins? (Score 1) 161

by BitcoinBenny (#48739257) Attached to: Bitstamp Bitcoin Exchange Suspended Due To "Compromised Wallet"

You should hold them on your own computer, or preferably in a hardware or hard wallet. The problem is that people park their bitcoins with third parties who have full control over them so that they can engage in trade for other crypto and fiat currencies. When these places turn out to be less than reliable they walk away with the funds, or their security gets compromised resulting in loss of funds.

Bitstamp getting hacked didn't affect the bitcoin network, and it didn't affect me. I didn't trust them to hold my bitcoin.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin is faulty by nature (Score 1) 161

by BitcoinBenny (#48738601) Attached to: Bitstamp Bitcoin Exchange Suspended Due To "Compromised Wallet"

1. You don't lose your money.
Depends entirely on the jurisdiction of the bank. Yes in the US we are FDIC ensured, which protects most people from bank collapse and funds that are stolen.
This isn't true for commercial banks or trading funds though. Reference, MF Global. What a mess. Its also entirely based on the fact that the government can simply reallocate other people's money in order to cover losses, i.e taxes, and money printing.

2. Hacker has a hell of a time using the money.
Seems like credit card fraud, ach fraud, and wire fraud are working great all over the world, I think if it was so difficult to abscond with the money we wouldn't be seeing these crimes occur every single day. Most of the systems to prevent this are after the fact and significantly increase operating costs in the form of insurance and other fees.

3. The hacker may get arrested. Whereas when people do bad things on the Internet they are never arrested? I think we both know this isn't true, we arrest people who run spam servers, bot nets, and child porn rings all of the time. Many with little off line presence.

You are right in one thing though, there is a huge difference between state currencies and Bitcoin, and that is unfettered control, and institutionalized devaluation in the form of printing money and buying it back. A properly secured bitcoin balance is more secure than any other system of money storage currently in existence.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin is faulty by nature (Score 1) 161

by BitcoinBenny (#48738369) Attached to: Bitstamp Bitcoin Exchange Suspended Due To "Compromised Wallet"

Well, lets take the same statement and apply it to everything then.
Since online banking would be unpractical without any IT infrastructure, new vulnerabilities are discovered every day that might have an impact on online banking.
Since credit cards would be unpractical without any IT infrastructure, new vulnerabilities are discovered every day that might have an impact on how you use credit cards.
Since the international space station would be unpractical without any IT infrastructure, new vulnerabilities are discovered every day that might have an impact on the international space station.

You have made statement and applied it to Bitcoin in a way that makes Bitcoin look impractical when that statement covers everything on the planet. The reality is that the attack surface of Bitcoin is much smaller than any other payment system in existence. If we have a shot at securing any of them I would bet on Bitcoin.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin != Coins (Score 1) 108

by BitcoinBenny (#48716717) Attached to: Fraud, Not Hackers, Took Most of Mt. Gox's Missing Bitcoins

Yeah. Please explain how in fact you can do this. The reality is that any scheme that uses a different security algorithm has different characteristics. Proof-of-work wasn't chosen at a whim, but as a technically sound basis on which to build a crypto-currency. There are other work schemes, but none of them have the proven track record of plain old Bitcoin.

Also, shitloads of electricity is very relative. How much should we spend on a global payment network that no one entity controls? In my view of the world its probably worth more than another boat load of fighter jets, or a few more nuclear warheads.

Comment: Re:What's in it for consumers? (Score 1) 127

by BitcoinBenny (#48714439) Attached to: Bitcoin Gets Its First TV Ads

Why do you say that? You make a statement of fact, and then don't even try to back it up.

Riddle me this. If the Bitcoin market cap is 4 billion dollars, i.e there is a 4 billion dollar market incentive to hack the network, why hasn't it happened in the last five years? That seems like enough money to be a legitimate target for a lot of very smart people, certainly major corporations have been hacked for less. For a network with such poor security it seems to be doing a pretty good job...

Comment: Re:Bitcoin != Coins (Score 0) 108

by BitcoinBenny (#48713691) Attached to: Fraud, Not Hackers, Took Most of Mt. Gox's Missing Bitcoins

And the fact that the "shitload of electricity" secures a peer-to-peer trust network with a 4 billion dollar market cap capable of doing trusted transfer between parties on the Internet in a provably verifiable way that can't be counterfeited, intercepted, or modified. When did the Luddites completely take over Slashdot, news for nerds indeed.

Comment: Re:What's in it for consumers? (Score 1) 127

by BitcoinBenny (#48711903) Attached to: Bitcoin Gets Its First TV Ads

I don't think its terribly biased to imagine a future where consumers aren't paying a 3% spread to some mega corp for the right to spend their own money online, especially when the security and other guarantees by those corporations are fairly weak. Who hasn't had their credit card stolen? Risk and fraud analysis only get you so far, they are after-the-crime measures. Bitcoin has built security from the ground up.

Comment: Re:What's in it for consumers? (Score 1) 127

by BitcoinBenny (#48711889) Attached to: Bitcoin Gets Its First TV Ads

Then you aren't doing it fast enough. Remember its programmable money, if you can pay a tight spread in both directions and almost no network fee you can do it cheaper and faster. I'm not speculating, I've done international wire multiple times it sucks. Businesses such as Xoom and Transferwise that have float on both ends, and / or get group rates for transfer do it well enough for most people, but their reach is limited to the markets they operate in. Bitcoin is a decentralized alternative to money exchange monopolies, and ultimately money exchange is just scratching the surface of its underlying utility.

Why does a bot net have value, but a massively secured trusted transfer network and ledger for digital information doesn't? A 4 billion market cap, a hundred million a year in network security via hashing power, its the beginning of something big.

Comment: What's in it for consumers? (Score 4, Insightful) 127

by BitcoinBenny (#48710283) Attached to: Bitcoin Gets Its First TV Ads

Perhaps you are the wrong type of consumer at this point the development curve of Bitcoin?

If you wanted to send money back home to the Philippines, or engage in any type of remittances you may find value in being able to do it at a substantially lower rate than existing commercial offerings. I'm obviously biased, but to discount everything about Bitcoin because you don't see a use case for YOU right now is incredibly short sighted. Remember the early internet? The exact same kinds of arguments, why would you ever want to watch video online, whats the point of taking a class remotely, etc, etc etc. The reality is that Bitcoin redefined how we do trusted transfer of information on the Internet, and the first use case for this technology is in almost friction-less payments. From experience I can say paying engineers abroad in 5 seconds for 4 cents beats the hell out of an international wire transfer.

Before people start screaming volatility, there are ways to combat that, like not holding bitcoin when you don't want it to fluctuate. I know its novel, but since its digital currency you can acquire it, transfer it, and sell it very quickly, and that entire process is being automated such that Bitcoin becomes the conduit rather than the value store. Programmable money.

Slashdot surprises me because in general the people here have a very uninformed opinion when it comes to digital currency, despite the fact that it is the most exciting technical innovation in the last ten years by far. The value is in the network.

Comment: Re:In defense of Javascript (Score 1) 195

by BitcoinBenny (#48178685) Attached to: JavaScript and the Netflix User Interface

I know you can write good software in Javascript. I wrote my file transfer plugin for gmail SenderDefender for the curious, entirely in Javascript, but it seems to me that going forward well defined interfaces and something like NaCl / PNaCl could really change the landscape. I'm hoping that happens not because I'm afraid javascript will take my job, but that there won't be any other options for the web. I think the points you make are good, but don't you think the javascript software quality is generally lower than the other languages? Its entirely subjective, but with few exceptions I find many Node projects to be very rough.

There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about. -- John von Neumann

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