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Comment China (Score 1) 176

This is China. So you can be sure that once Uber is driven out of the country, the Chinese version of Uber will be sanctioned and completely take over the market share. Its happened in every other sector. US companies go there to divulge technology and operations information, only to be replaced by state sponsored actors as soon as is convenient.

Comment Encryption services (Score 1) 83

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

Comment Blockchain voting (Score 1) 480

This is a complicated topic, but one I wrote about six months ago here,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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