Inspired by a comment attempting to answer the question of using Bitcoin without internet access, Buttcoin has launched a brief investigation into how Bitcoin might work if the grid were to go down:
One of our ham radio pals advised us that “the fastest/most common digital protocol on the ham bands is 300 bps.” That’s right: bits per second. How long would it take to download the Bitcoin blockchain (currently approaching a size of 15 GB) at these rates? After some careful calculation (punching things into Wolfram Alpha) we came to 12.6755 years. But this isn’t the end! Taking into account the estimate that you’d only have acceptable propagation about half a day at best, this time would then double to 25.351 years. Add in an estimated 25% for noise-induced errors and you’re now up to 31.68875 years. Add to this the fact that we are coming off the peak of a 22-year solar cycle and that in approximately 11 years, shortwave communications will be drastically hindered compared to our current transmission ability so it wouldn’t be outlandish to estimate 40+ years for this step alone.
Provided there is uninterrupted power and reception for over forty years and that the cheap radios bitcoiners would by last that long, you can now spend your Bitcoin. Don’t forget to wait for your six confirmations, and watch out for the FCC!
Thanks jonny290 for helping us with this stupid and terrible thought experiment!
Please, Bitcoin Jesus, take a moment to inform Darfur War Orphans that water, food, and even air are worthless to you and that they should be eating Bitcoins instead.
Earlier today MtGox put out a press release regarding their issues surrounding halting all withdrawals. Friendly SA Forums goon Begby breaks it down for us here:
Basically when you send bitcoins to someone, there are several inputs in the transaction. Like the destination address, the amount, etc. Based on those inputs you get a transaction ID which is a hash of those inputs. If you want to see if something was confirmed on the blockchain, you can look up that transaction ID.
However, there is an attack you can do. You can actually change the order of the inputs and have the transaction still go through and end up with a different transaction ID.
Here is how the attack works:
1. Hey, MT Gox, I want to withdraw 4 butts to this address.
2. Mt Gox sends you those 4 butts and gets a transaction ID, broadcasts the transaction to get confirmed (basically yells to the internet, hey you stupid miners confirm this)
3. You, the totally awesome hacker, also broadcast the transaction with the inputs in a different order and yell to the internet louder. This results in a different transaction ID if it gets confirmed first.
4. If you yell loud enough, the blockchain confirms your set of inputs. So the transaction went through, but not under the transaction ID that Mt. Gox was expecting.
5. Call up Mt Gox and complain that you didn’t get your butts
6. Mt. Gox looks in their DB for the transaction ID they have on record, tries to look it up in the blockchain and can’t find it so they think it wasn’t confirmed. They then send you the butts again.
This is a well known issue with the bitcoin protocol and other exchanges workaround this by looking up the inputs in the blockchain instead of relying on the transaction ID, and only using the transaction ID after the transaction has been reliably confirmed. Mt. Gox is saying that this is a problem with bitcoin to cover their ass. I am not sure if its even bug. Its more of “don’t assume a transaction ID is legit until the transaction has actually been confirmed”.
So basically Mt. Gox has been getting ass raped by this known exploit for who knows how long, and has resent god knows how many butts. So their internal ledger is completely and totally fucked and they are going to have to go through every transaction they have ever done, look it up in the blockchain by inputs instead of transaction ID, and try to pick up the pieces. This is like finding out that you have accidentally been writing two checks for all your bills and then only realize this when your account goes negative.
TLDR; Mt. Gox got robbed using a well known exploit with an easy workaround that is so well known is not even a top ten issue for the devs. When successful this exploit will cause gox to double send butts to someone on a withdrawal. Who knows how much they double sent, they probably don’t even know.
Edit: Bonus, one of the devs said he had warned Mt. Gox of this several times over the past few years.
FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) is nothing new in the world of Bitcoin; any rational arguments against insane claims that Bitcoin will take over the world are often met with chants of “FUD, FUD, FUD!” as a ward against evil or an attempt to discredit the source. FUD is more often shorthand for “this person must be lying” when uttered by bitcoiners. Recently they’re the ones spreading FUD, however.
As you may have seen recently, disgruntled Bitcoin aficionados have taken to destroying their iPhones to “protest” the Apple App Store removing Blockchain’s iOS app. They’ve accused Apple of violating antitrust laws, of being afraid of Bitcoin, and even of being part of the NWO conspiracy, and the tech “media” have taken these mischaracterizations and run with them, blindly reporting that Apple hates Bitcoin and that it’s trying to crush it.
What actually happened is much simpler. Blockchain broke the App Store’s rules (here is a mirror, in case you don’t have an Apple developer account). Repeatedly. So let’s take a look at some of the relevant guidelines:
2.4 Apps that include undocumented or hidden features inconsistent with the description of the app will be rejected
This is probably the greatest offender. Blockchain’s app repeatedly snuck in functionality to allow users to send and receive bitcoins through the app. In fact, their original iterations contained these features which Apple rejected, forcing them to remove them only to attempt including them again in later updates. This can be seen clearly in the following images:
This is closely related to
11.1 Apps that unlock or enable additional features or functionality with mechanisms other than the App Store will be rejected
11.2 Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected
In case it was in question whether Blockchain did all of this knowingly or were merely bumbling victims:
Next up, we have the following, which is frequently quoted in numerous articles about the removal of Bitcoin apps such as Gliph, Coinbase, and Coinjar:
22.1 Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. It is the developer’s obligation to understand and conform to all local laws
Given Bitcoin’s dodgy history and questionable legal status in numerous countries, this comes as no surprise. Finally, we have this:
2.12 Apps that are not very useful or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected
There you have it. Apple does not have some vendetta against Bitcoin, they are simply enforcing their developer guidelines. Any app that violates these, whether it deals in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Amazon gift certificates, or any other currency can and will be removed. Don’t believe the hype, misinformation, and outright lies that the so-called tech “reporters” are presenting. We here at Buttcoin are dedicated to presenting the unbiased truth, as presented above.
Apple Computer, in a stroke of genius trolling, has banned the final Bitcoin wallet app that had managed to sneak past their restrictions on in-app payments. Apple banning such apps is nothing new, but for some reason bitcoiners have become furious, their ineffectual nerd rage manifesting itself in the Bitcoin equivalent of a record- or book-burning:
With the rise of ASIC mining, we’ve been deprived lately of hilariously awful mining rigs. Thanks to Litecoin, Dogecoin, other altcoins, and SA Forums poster surebet, we can still revel in PC builders’ schadenfreude today!
According to Reuters, “Federal prosecutors in New York announced charges against Charlie Shrem and Robert Faiella, both operators of bitcoin exchange businesses, for attempting to sell $1 million in the digital currency to users of the underground black market website Silk Road, which was shut down by authorities in September.”
The entire complaint can be found here, but we’ve done the dirty work and dug up all the good bits:
As news of more and more business accepting Bitcoin spreads, we’d like to take a moment to remind you that none of them are actually accepting Bitcoin. Instead, they rely on often-complex Rube Goldberg-esque “solutions” to sell things and claim they accept Bitcoin.
In most cases, one of two companies get involved. Let’s say Buttcoin wants to accept Bitcoin for the service of mocking and laughing at you. We set up a bank account (a huge one, we’re filthy rich,) and then we contact either Bitpay or Coinbase to do the dirty work for us. They give us buttons and code to insert into our website, then what happens is as follows:
- User buys bitcoins with real money, using some frighteningly shady exchange or ATM.
- User sends bitcoins to Coinbase or Bitpay.
- Some sort of magic occurs; nobody really knows where the funding is from.
- Coinbase or Bitpay send real money to us.
- We mock and laugh at you.
We here at Buttcoin, or Overstock, or the Sacramento Kings, or the Lamborghini dealership, never directly deal with the bitcoins or the risk inherent in selling things for them. Bitpay or Coinbase absorb this risk somehow and deal with the random and violent fluctuations in “value.” In the end, everyone is happy or deluded. The business sees actual currency (whether it’s laundered or not is up to FINCEN to determine,) the middlemen get a cut, and bitcoiners get to shriek and proselytize about how widely accepted Bitcoin is and how it will take over the world, despite having a slew of issues that can’t or won’t be fixed.