EDIT: I edited the name out of a screencap. sorry about that.
pardon the wall of text but this is super important to me.
i am a hardcore bitcoin evangelist and my entire facebook friend list probabaly associates me with bitcoin because i spend a great deal of time educating people and discussing it on social media. my background is computer network engineering and web developing; i've studied bitcoin for a few years now.
first i wanna talk about USI Tech.
not long ago i was asked to invest some bitcoin via a company called USI Tech. at the time, USI Tech's only relation to bitcoin was that they sold cryptic "bitcoin packages" that would return 140% over 140 days. that means if i gave them 1 BTC today, they would give me 1% of a bitcoin for 140 days, meaning that after 100 days, my initial investment would be recovered, and then all i get to do is wait for those 40 days to see my profit.
when i was first recruited, it was before they rebranded themselves. this was just a few weeks ago. prior to this rebranding, there was no indication from the company regarding exactly how they were able to provide that kind of return on investment. at the time their only product other than these "bitcoin packages" was a license that provided access to a very special very secretive robot that harnessed artificial intelligence to yield apparently handsome returns via speculative arbitrage in the foreign exchange market. there are zero trades attributed to this "robot" and in fact there is zero evidence of a robot at all. they do have software for their customers that apparently track gains however there is zero correlation between these numbers and their apparent source.
since their rebranding, they are now marketing these "bitcoin packages" as having generated income via cloud mining. keep in mind that USI Tech does not sell hashrate, nor even techinically access to remote hardware; USI Tech sells "bitcoin packages" however how these packages specifically relate to hashrates accessed on remote hardware, or cloud mining, is not at all explained. in fact, here on their website they say that details will be released and then reference a date that has already passed..
to be blunt, cloud mining is a meme. mining cryptocurrency for a profit is generally difficult even for the big boys in China. that bitcoin could be worth more in the future than it is now is the reason why miners mine; the energy spent mining bitcoin costs more than the value of those mined bitcoins.
how does USI Tech not only mine so successfully that they themselves can be profitable, but so that customers who purchase this mining remotely can be successful to the tune of 140% over 140 days?
also they are in pre-sale for their own ICO,
also they have zero registration documents filed with the SEC,
also the names that used to be on their masthead, Ralf Gold and Joao Severino, were involved in past scams,
also their business is registered in Dubai, just like almost every single forex ponzi,
also like i said there is zero proof that they trade anything at all, anywhere.
i really thought i knew my shit. is there a more experienced bitcoin user that can point to any situation where that sort of profitibility can be achieved by cloud mining?
if the question seems rhetorical for the high bitcoin minds on this sub, then maybe i've done my duty by exposing USI Tech's dubious claims and raising suspicion which brings me to my next point:
secondly i wanna talk about the tactics used by this company to fool people.
primarily i should say that USI Tech operates a multilevel marketing structure that rewards recruitment through commission. it is not a coincidense that ponzi schemes use MLM structures to grow; ponzis require a continuous flow of new investment in order to work. to be blunt, MLM is a predatory business approach that exploits people's hope and greed. all MLM use the same tactic of targeting people's desperation to earn passive income.
USI Tech takes advantage of a population of people who are desperate to invest in a technology they do not comprehend. this is how they can get away with selling something that there is no evidence of. people now have a very dire desire to be involved in bitcoin because they have seen the news. people that do not know enough about investments, let alone cryptography, are aching to enter the space before all the potential is claimed.
there is much fertile potential to scam people who don't know that hyperbole like "smart contracts made off-chain that return high yield arbitration via intelligent algorithms backed by authenticated crypto-asset bonds.." is all bullshit. in most cases, even if they could, there is no code to review, no whitepaper to digest, and in the case of USI Tech, not even satisfacory rhetoric to substantiate anything being sold by these scammers.
earlier today, i went into a facebook group called USI TECH BITCOIN TEAM SUCCESS, and i asked a question. i said "i'm interested in joining USI Tech, and as a programmer and bitcoin nerd, i want to know the details of their mining operation." immediately the reaction was two-fold. promptly some were chiming in with agreeable sentiments like 'i've also wondered' and 'yes there is a lack of transparency', and others were already indignant with stuff like 'they said they are working on transparency give them a break' and 'troll detected, usi tech is not a scam because look i made money'.
okay fair enough the conversation was started and i was pretty quickly banned from the group. i had a dozen or so people in my ear at this point asking me what happened, people that have invested real money in this company. i spent hours discussing this with some of them. i had a conversation with the group's admin, here it is. he basically says that he doesn't want to upset people that have found a way to make money, and that my questions should be directed somewhere else.
i've sent exhaustive emails pondering specifics to USI Tech to no avail.
in conclusion, bitcoin has provided rich new opportunities for scamming people.
let me be clear: yes money can be made in a ponzi scheme. the operative to earning money in a ponzi is to know when to discontinue reinvestment. by all means, partake in the ponzi even, so long as you know what you are contribtuing to. the number one argument that people will make in favor of the ponzi they're in is
"but i made money".
it is our duty as crypto-enthusiasts to spread responsible education regarding bitcoin. i say to people "if you are interested in bitcoin, invest in bitcoin, because that is where the actual innovation is".
TL;DR: fuck bitcoins ponzis like USI Tech, stay alert, stay safe.
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|Hi all! I was wondering, what do you think it would take to get bitcoin from a niche currency used mainly by internet denizens to go mainstraim? I know the slow creep of more small companies accepting bitcoin helps, but what do you think that final cusp will be, and will it ever come to that? Thanks for taking the time to do this!||There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.|
|Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.|
|Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.|
|But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.|
|Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.|
|It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.|
|I guess the Supreme Court has decided this does not apply to taxes, which is crap. Or are you talking about other countries?||Thank you :) I actually mean something along the lines of "It is illegal to trade dollars for any cryptocurrency that does not have a real name and social security associated with it"|
|Will bitcoins ever be able to be traded like other recognized currencies in similar ways to Forex? More specifically, will there ever be retail brokers offering margin trading accounts that allow you to buy and sell bitcoin with leverage?||There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens. Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession. With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement. What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.|
|Do you believe bitcoin is important locally as well as on the internet? If so, how are you promoting bitcoin in your local communities?||Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.|
|If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.|
|Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.|
|Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.|
|What are some of the more exciting things you (each of you?) envision for Bitcoin in the short to medium term?||Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.|
|From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.|
|Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.|
|Not to be the doom and gloom person but in the future what do you think will/would be the "last nail in the coffin" for Bitcoin?||It depends what you mean by "last nail in the coffin"|
|How did you meet/find Andreas and Stephanie and how did you persuade them to be part of your show?||I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.|
|I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.|
|Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.|
|Thanks for responding! Andreas is my fave (though I enjoy yours and Stephanie's comments too).||Everybody has their favorite :) I think the fact that we all have people disagreeing with us at times means we're doing the job, and providing multiple and varied perspectives.|
|What recording tools are you using?||We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)|
|Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.|
|I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"|
|Assuming bitcoin reaches critical mass, how does bitcoin cope with the criticism of rewarding early adopters? Do you see a potential uproar about inequity?||Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.|
|We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.|
|One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.|
|>It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.|
|What do you make of the download trend of the bitcoin client software in China? Isn't this a big story?||China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.|
|You commented on a recent episode about how Satochi Dice was going to block US traffic to the site due to uncertain regulations. Can't bitcoin work around that? If you send bitcoin to the addresses of the various bets - it still works right? Thanks for your show - I await each new podcast.||Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.|
|I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here Link to letstalkbitcoin.com|
|I'd like to thank all three of you for doing this podcast, it's always thought provoking and fun to listen to. Plus, Stephanie does have a very sexy voice... But I do have a question,||Right now, I don't know the answer to that question.|
|How do miners determine which transactions will be confirmed first and which get put to the back of the line? Shouldn't they be confirmed in a 'first come, first serve' basis?||But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.|
|*edit: As well, do you still plan on using some time on the show to go into more detail about mining? I think it was mentioned a few weeks ago that the topic might be explored in further detail.||There will be fewer miners who accept free or very low fee transactions, so there you go.|
|How would Bitcoin change our financial system as we know it?||In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"|
|Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.|
|I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.|
|We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.|
|Have any of you heard about how in Africa much of the exchange in value is done with mobile phone minutes? It seems to me - whatever the US attempts to do with Bitcoin - there will be other places that it will bubble up in. What about Argentina and other places where they actually understand what damage a desperate government can do to a currency?||I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with Link to phoneacoin.com and others.|
|Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.|
|No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.|
|Who invented Bitcoin? What is to stop whoever did so initially issuing themselves the equivalent of $79 zillion in Bitcoin currency prior to it taking off? Is there commission charged on each transaction that occurs? If so, how much, and who receives this?||The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".|
|He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.|
|Great podcast, can't wait for the next one!||It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.|
|You discussed mesh networks in 3rd world countries and how bitcoin could be used in such a scenario. If the [mesh] network is disconnected from the internet, how would transactions on the blockchain be verified? Couldn't the time the mesh network was disconnected make it vulnerable to hacking the [mesh network's] blockchain?||More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)|
|1) The price for one Bitcoin seems to fluctuate quite a bit. The most successful currencies remain relatively stable over time (e.g. the Dollar). Will Bitcoin ever need to reach a certain level of stability to be a successful unit of trade? and if so, what do you think needs to happen before then?||1 - Yes! Once everyone who has purchased Bitcoin has purchased them, the price will stabilize. In practice this will start happening long before absolute stability, and as soon as people start thinking about prices in terms of BTC instead of their local currency it almost doesn't matter.|
|2) If Bitcoin ever becomes a widely accepted form of payment (seems a lot of businesses already accept it), how do you think the US government will proceed/react/regulate/etc. considering that technically only the feds can issue currency?||2 - "The Feds" are not the only ones who can issue currency - They have legal tender laws which mean people MUST accept their money, but nothing prevents you from circulating a voluntary currency like Bitcoin.|
|Do you foresee companies like paypal incorporating bitcoin into their businesses in the future as a more credible exchange than these ones that are currently running?||No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.|
|Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.|
|Thanks for the well thought out response, I genuinely appreciated that you took the time for this! I do have a follow up question, how does one get bit coin in an easy way? Lets say I have 300$ that I want in bit coin.. whats the best way to approach this?||Probably a company like bitinstant.com, bitstamp.com, or btcquick.com - For larger amounts they don't make too much sense but at that level its your best bet.|
|Not to be rude, but how do you expect for a currency without a standard like gold silver etc. to not crash down in a blaze of glory?||What standard is your currency backed by?|
|Hi There. I was at the San Jose convention hall last weekend attending Big Wow Comicfest and that's where I saw Bitcoin2013!||Mostly Bitcoin 2013 was an opportunity for people building the future of Bitcoin to meet each other and network. There were speakers talking about a wide variety of issues, and vendors of Bitcoin services who were showing their latest innovations and systems.|
|What information was presented at this event that couldn't be done justice disseminated over the internet?||The information will eventually be online, but the probably 200 people I got to meet in real life will not (in real life)|
|What resources do you think I should review as a total newbie to bitcoin? Or if possible, what's the one sentence pitch to get a newb involved?||For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.|
|The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"|
|Would any of you hazard a guess at the bitcoin exchange rate at the end of 2013?||Sure, i'll make a wild guess.|
|If and when a large user comes onboard, I think thats the next price at which we'll bounce around for a while, just like 100 became the sticky point after the last major bout of adoption.|
|How do bitcoins relate to the law? For example, what would be the crime if somone hacked your account and stole your bitcoins? It's not exactly theft of money, or is it?||Bitcoins are your property, it's illegal for someone to steal your property whether it is money or not. Right now there is little that can be done about theft, but eventually I expect a class of "Blockchain Forensic Investigators" to emerge who will track down your stolen coins for a % based fee.|
|On your last show you mentioned the diversity of the Bitcoiners who attended BitCoin2013 - which nation was most represented in your opinion? Were there any Chinese nationals present (we've heard that they've suddenly gotten the bitcoin bug in the last month)? Did the other nations talk about regulatory problems or is that just a US concern?||I met the gentleman from BTC-China, but other than that I actually didn't see any obvious chinese nationals. We saw lots of eastern europeans and south americans.|
|Other nations are not talking about the regulatory issue as far as I can tell, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what the US does, which is not abnormal in a very new situation like this.|
|Isn't having an inherently deflationary currency a terrible idea? How is bitcoin different from geeky goldbuggery?||Because you can't divide a gold coin into .0001 without incurring cost and expense. That's not the case with Bitcoin, so the deflationary aspect of it is largely moot.|
|There is a tendency to listen to modern "economics" which makes this arguement, saying that the money supply must expand because otherwise it drives down profitability in a race to the bottom.|
|I think in practice we'll find that people don't work against their own best interest, and while during the initial adoptions stages of Bitcoin there will be significant discounts offered to those who pay with Bitcoin vs. legacy currency, once the market becomes saturated and the price levels out those discounts will be scaled way back.|
|Right now it makes sense to heavily discount, because the expectation is that the value of the Bitcoins will go up during this period of adoption, that won't always be true and the discount is a reflection of anticipated future returns.|
|Was it bad when people saved money in banks that paid 10% interest? No, that's called capital formation. There is a thought that given a deflationary currency nobody will spend any money, that's nonsense. Just because your currency gains value over time doesn't mean that you no longer have costs that must be paid for. What Deflationary currencies do is say "Ok, you could spend it on that, but is it worth it relative to what you'll gain by not?"|
|That's a good thing. Our system right now works on the opposite theory - Spend money NOW because if you're dumb enough to keep it in the bank it will actually lose value over time between the couple points of "official" inflation and less than 1% artifical interest rates. The situation is like this now because the fed is trying to make people spend as much money as possible with the hope that the flows will "restart the economic engine"|
|Too bad this isn't how things work, not that it'll stop us from trying it over and over again.|
|In the 2008 financial crash, govts bailed out the banks because there was no other way to maintain the whole financial ecosystems of payrolls, invoices and trade, all of which go through the banking system.||Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.|
|Can you envisage another financial crash in the future where govt says, "We don't need to do a bailout, as we've got this alternative payment system" and then instructs businesses and employees to just get themselves a bitcoin address and work through the Bitcoin system?||Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.|
|What type of notes and agenda does the team coordinate on before a show?||We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.|
|The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.|
|Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON.|
|I first learned about Bitcoins on an episode of The Good Wife. The one with Jason Biggs as the creator of BitCoin. Have you watched that episode and how accurate does that episode portray what's happening with Bitcoin in terms of legal stuff?||Not having seen it but knowing TV, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "not very well" Satoshi has not been identified, was a throw-away identity that was cryptographically secured, so probably never will.|
|Are there any conferences in Chicago anytime soon? I think a Q&A in public would be helpful for your show as well as bitcoin.||I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.|
|We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.|
|Oh dear. You're not all perfectly grammatical orators on the first try? I'm crushed!||I really value my own time, and I know other people out there do too. I try to make the show as information dense as possible, thats the criteria we've been operating under from really day one.|
|We're actually talking about cutting the show in half and releasing it more often (still recording the same amount) because people can get tired of listening to such dense content for an hour or more.|
|US Treasury recently issued a directive stating they would be monitoring any entity attempting to exchange virtual currency for USD (or any other currency, goods, or services), indicating that federal authorities take a dim view of what amounts to private coinage. Do you anticipate a Supreme Court case here defining what is and is not private coinage? 2.And given bitcoin's noted extra-legal uses, do you have any indication it is being decrypted by NSA? 3.Taking it a step further, do you think it could be a national security-sponsored international sieve for money laundering?||It may eventually go to Supreme Court.|
|I think the market has done fine for bitcoin so far. I think the market will continue to take care of bitcoin. The idea of giving in willingly to regulation makes me cringe.||There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad. The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.|
|Thanks so much for doing this, I love the Bitcoin system, but hate the volatility. How do you recommend dealing with that? I've heard to convert it quickly to the currency of choice after any exchange has been made to avoid any more changes to the price.||The easy solution is just buy and hold - If you need to buy something, do it when you need to and not before. Do not pre-order anything.|
|What is your prediction of the price for 1 btc in USD, exactly one year from now? Just for fun, since I know it is impossible to even guess the day to day price swings.||As a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.|
|My partner is buying into bitcoin as well as litecoin. Any advice for him? (I personally don't understand it)||Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)|
|Hello, I just wrote a long post about the functions of using BTC to facilitate a 'free bank' using the principals of free money, similar to the WIR bank. Link to en.wikipedia.org Do you think that something like this would be possible using Bitcoin?||Probably. Not really my area of expertise.|
|Why did bits take a dive at the same time gold took a tank?||I don't pay attention to price, sorry.|
|We take full credit for any rise and blame others for any decline. Feel free to tip us from your gains!||Lol.|
|Just wanted to say I love your show. I encourage you to please continue making high-quality podcast episodes. Thank you.||I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.|
|Bitcoins are the stupidest investment anyone could ever make. Pass.||Link to static.quickmeme.com|
|Unfortunately, quickmeme doesn't let you copy image urls directly.||Link to i.qkme.me|
|Yes, but they started being worth a set value. bitcoin was never backed by anything so its value was kind of made up. how do you expect to make a non goverment currency anybody with a computer can print to retain value?||Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.|
|The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.|
|The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?|
|Because the governments "pie" does infact have limits to making it, and only dropped gold standard after over 150 years of the doller having a defined worth, unlike bitcoin, where a random hacker can just print endless money.||I'd direct you to security researcher Dan Kaminsky. Link to www.businessinsider.com|
|You'll find it's a little harder than you're describing. Like, impossible.|
|How does your company plan on staying competitive with other local exchanges coming out? Any plans on making an app?||The company was started by Mike and Ryan, crypto-enthusiasts who saw problems in the marketplace when dealing in cryptos. They wanted an exchange that had a strong support team, legal visibility, operated somewhere where you could trust your money and had strong security - so in short they built it! We expect really big things for VoS and do indeed intend to be competitive with other exchanges, and yes, that does include building an app - we're currently exploring options in that field but we feel it crucial to take our time in doing that and put security first.|
|Why is it important for bitcoin companies to donate to charities? Or people to donate with cryptocurrency? Just wanna say thanks for being in the btc community and helping it grow and spread it around. Is there a lot of pressure on you now that you got your MSB? Any pressure from banks or government on how to behave?||As for Charity we just feel its the right thing to do, I've always been a strong supporter of charities in my daily life and I brought that forward to VoS and the team agreed it made sense to gather up some funds for the Canadian Cancer Society given that April is their big fundraising month. On a grander scale I think it's important for cryptocurrencies to play a positive role in the world, let people know what we are all about, there is a lot of negative stigma about cryptos, some people say it's just kids "printing money", but it's a lot harder to say that when you're positively changing the world!|
|There's not any more pressure on us now than there was before - in fact I would say the MSB has taken some of the pressure off. We instead hold ourselves to the same laws and scrutiny as any financial institution would have to, and we feel this is best for our users and this sector as a whole. Getting the MSB let us know we had done everything right so far, and being in a new and evolving industry it's not always too clear if you're taking the right steps. The MSB is a checkmark that says "Hey you guys are as legitimate as you say you are" and we'll continue to hold ourselves to what ever rigorous standards we can (even when we don't need too). As far as external entities like Banks and Government - I think they are happy to see we have our MSB, I think it makes them more comfortable with the field in general and more willing to work with us. We recently met with our Member of Provincial Parliament and are setting up meetings with our Member of Parliament, and our Minister of Finance so they can see our operation here! The MPP certainly loved what we've got going!|
|That was a fast reply. Thanks for the response, you guys always been good with customer service :p . And thats great Mike and Ryan stepped up to be the ones to do it, it's a really much needed addition to the Toronto bitcoin scene.||Oh man if Timmies was a payment I don't think Canada would need cryptocurrencies at all! Timbits everywhere! We love Tim Hortons - we usually start our Monday's with group coffee and donuts! So we are never opposed Timmies if you are dropping by for a visit :P (Compliance disclaimer: Timmies is not a valid payment method, just a staple at all Canadian meetings)|
|We also feel the importance of charities, especially with the nature of the bitcoin community always being a giving one. I hope you guys see good results n help the bitcoin image. We want to come visit you guys sometime, do you accept Tim Hortons as payment? :p.|
|The charity that you are donating to, do they accept btc or will you be converting it to fiat?||We'll be convert it to Fiat.|
|Any plans on an Android app?||We are looking into this, no formal timeline, but we're certainly exploring it!|
|It would be great if the volume would increase, can you comment on what is the strategy for getting more costumers?||We are actually making a big push this spring in regards to our volume, including launching a highly competitive affiliates program that expect will grow our volume a great deal.|
|Any chance on improving the charts? (Or being included in bitcoinwisdom)||We're always happy to take feedback on our charts, let us know what you want to see! As for Bitcoinwisdom, we've reached out to them multiple times, and added all the API support they need - just waiting on them to hopefully add us!|
|It currently takes ~3 days to get funds added to the balance, I presume that is mostly for security and because banks suck, are there plans to reduce this waiting time?||We're looking at adding instant online debit transactions, no formal timeline on that yet but we are sure it will be great for our customers!|
|Glad SonOfAragon asked those questions so I don't end up repeating them and thanks for your reply Adam. However can you give us an idea of when you plan to launch the affiliates program/make the big push? If I sign up for an account, I'd probably want to beat the rush.||We're actively working towards our affiliate program and our intention is to have it sometime this spring!|
|As someone who is completely ignorant of all things internet currency. can you please tell me how a beginner would go about getting into investing? (Lets say I have $10k of disposable income currently, would you suggest investing it all in bitcoin?)||Hey Buildingdreams4,|
|That's a pretty hard question to answer, and so I can't give you an official Vault of Satoshi answer but I can give you a personal opinion. So please note this is my two cents and nothing VoS official.|
|Personally I have some experience in day trading and that's the best way to make money in such markets - however that's the kind of situation where you have to take risks, actively watch the market and only ever trade with what you have to lose (not only to avoid loss but also to make sure you are willing to take the level of risk needed to make strong returns.) I'd highly recommend learning about Forex trading before you dive into this.|
|That being said the Bitcoin community still feels strongly that their currency value will rise, subject to merchant adoption, legal/political landscapes and a number of other factors but I can't really comment on that as it is a real challenge to predict; there is also a great deal of merit to a number of altcoins with unique value - but just make sure you research and make informed decisions. Don't take anyone's advice at face value (mine included) research and invest where you feel comfortable.|
|What does vault think about VOS bitcoin atms? What can we do as customers to help you guys make this site better?||As far as what customers can do - simply share the love! Tell your friends about VoS and always feel free to reach out to is with what you want to see on our site.|
|What about a physical location for vault deposits and verifications?||We are currently examining new infrastructure opportunities that would allow us to accept physical deposits in more locations and we hope to have more information about that soon!|
|How does your reporting with with CRA?||As for the CRA reporting I'm not sure what your exact question is, but as a registered business we report to the CRA in a typical fashion.|
|Is there any way to shorten deposit times? I'm super impressed that I can pay you like a bill directly from my bank account, but I'm bummed about how long it takes. If I send money to my vos account on a Thursday, I may not see those funds until Monday or Tuesday. If the exchange is open for trading on weekends, how about processing deposits as well?||Hey Jay.|
|Also, what is done with the confidential info people upload to become verified? is it deleted? if it's kept on file, is access to it restricted to certain employees?||We're currently working on a system that will allow immediate deposits via online debit! No formal time line yet but that will indeed make things much quicker!|
|Keep up the good work! Thank you.||As for confidential information, if you have ever made a financial transaction on our website then we are required by law to keep a copy of that information. We take this responsibility very seriously, this information is encrypted and stored securely and is most certainly restricted access!|
|That's cool! Awesomesauce! I'm looking forward to it! Do you know if it will be limited like QuickBT (.2 BTC) or if there is some kind of daily limit? Also: when trading doge to btc I swear it took me half an hour to figure exactly how many doge I could buy with my btc including the fee. And I did it all wrong. I still have like .00066 btc left in my account which I guess is forfeit to the ether... Is there any way to put a helpful calculator on that page that figures it out for you???||As for your other question, as Xangelo said, we are working on improving the layout of our coin to coin system to make it less complicated. Being one of the first major exchanges to offer any coin to any coin means there is going to have to be some tweaking while we find out what the marketplace likes! But we're always open to feedback!|
|Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or a hundred duck sized horses? Please elaborate. Feel free to answer individually.||If there is anything that years of video game playing has taught me it's always pick the bigger monster over a ton of little ones! A hundred duck sized horses could quite quickly surround and nip and kick from all angles. Where as I feel that whilst a horse-sized duck would be absolutely terrifying my odds are better as I can always keep it in front of me (and perhaps distract it with breadcrumbs)|
|Also do you guys have any plans to change the buy/sell mechanic? I find its way too easy to accidentally make a buy order when you meant to make a sell order.||As for the buy/sell mechanic it is something we are actively implementing and expect to launch in a couple weeks! Will make it easier to keep that straight!|
|My question: To be honest I've been using CaVirtex.How* would you say yours is better?||We stand by our service as we are sure they do theirs, but at the end of the day it's about what better suits your needs. At the end of the day competition makes the market better for everybody!|
|Specifically, I would like to know what the nature of their cooperation and level of engagement is. Do they provide VoS with the absolute minimum of services as they would with any other business? Are they accommodative to specific VoS needs and requests related to crypto-currency specific challenges? Are they mutually active in developing services and infrastructure to support VoS/crypto-currencies? Are they taking a leading role in facilitating the necessary changes to support this new industry and growing public demand? Are you provided with a liaison to facilitate a closer working relationship?||That being said when we did work with them they were fantastic, very supportive, and loved our business; the local branch went to some great lengths to help with our unique challenges and we certainly hope we can work with them again in the future.|
|Thanks for the reply! I feared as much having read about Cointrader in Vancouver being cut off by BMO in February. If I can follow up, how are your banking needs currently being met?||We're currently actually streamlining our financials and will have more announcements on this soon. New partnerships are opening up doors to new payment methods and currencies and we're excited about that.|
|Are you planning to offer other services with altcoins? or you want to keep it solely as an exchange?||We are exploring services beyond just exchange services - but we have no formal timelines on them yet! We'll be sure to let folks know!|
|Are you operating a full or fractional reserve and how much liquidity do you have available if tomorrow all clients wanted to withdraw all their funds?||We are a full reserve exchange. We do have our holdings divided between our hot and cold wallets and top our hot wallet as it gets low. But we do have all the BTC we claim to and are actively working on a Proof of Solvency tool to verify this to users.|
|Which altcoins do you see as strongest going forward?||Anything that has a unique value proposition and a strong community has the ability to go places but it's pretty hard to gauge these in advanced. We expect great things from the coins we've added/intend to add over the next month, which have all been announced.|
|Good to know Yubikey's available, thanks xangelo. Maybe one of your execs can chime in on the qualifications needed to join your verification team but that has me wondering...if a customer opens an account with VoS, can they still be hired, then close their account of course, or is that an automatic disqualification? By the way I didn't see a careers section on your site, are there plans for that once volume and I guess revenue increase?||Just because you have an account with us, does not mean that you would be barred from applying for a job.|
|Currently we don't have any openings but when we do we'll be posting them to our website and all current positions would be located at our Brantford office.|
|Our verification system was designed by our exec team and our compliance officer and aided by our legal team; and our support staff handle the verifications. (Wasn't sure what you meant by "verification team") as for requirements for any opening, we'll be sure to post them with up coming jobs! Thanks for your inquiry though!|
|Thanks for clearing that up, I appreciate your thoroughness.||Yes sorry, I was just speaking about FinCen to someone else before replying to this. I did mean Fintrac and I've edited the post!|
|I don't want to draw this exchange out too much but what puzzles me is your statement about FinCen compliance. If you're currently not accepting US customers, why would FinCEN compliance even be relevant? Let's say a customer lives in Canada. Wouldn't you simply have to comply with FINTRAC regulations, seeing as that's an a Canadian agency? And one other thing. Does Vos report transaction details to the CRA to meet fiscal obligations?||As for CRA reporting I can not comment on that, however we follow all legal requirements of a financial institution dealing with proper reporting.|
|How does the US IRS deal effect things on your end? did this announcement open the door back up for USD wire transfers?||The IRS statement actually doesn't change to much for us, FinCEN and other entities still consider it as currency - we're still actively looking into US options and moving forward on some with our legal team.|
|Do you see cryptocurrency status changing in Canada as a result of the US ruling? Do you have any indication of the direction that the bureaucrats will take?||We have met with our Member of Provincial Parliament, are meeting with our Member of Parliament and are having a meeting with the Minister of Finance arranged to continue to advocate on behalf of cryptocurrency in Canada.|
|From everything we've been hearing, we're optimistic about Canada's role in the future of Cryptocurrency, people have been very forward thinking and accepting here!|
|Disapointed you're getting ride of the free cash-out by cheque. And do you plan to have some sort of automated EFT withdraw ? you allready have my bank account into. Write now it would seem simpler to move my BTC to cavirtex when I'm ready to make a withdraw to my bank account, as I can do it from the website. What am I missing here ? thanks.||We are rolling out a number of new payment methods shortly that will make withdrawals easier for our clients.|
|Hey guys, thanks for doing this AMA. You were my first exchange, and gave me a warm welcome to the world of Cryptocurrency (free trading through Reddit promo, invited me for Doge cake)||I've actually had the pleasure of talking to some reps from the MintChip program - we kept a careful eye on it but I know that the Mint is selling it off to private enterprise. While it is in a different space from us we are always looking at the evolving landscape of digital money and what can be done to promote that in Canada.|
|I was going to ask about your stance on MintChip, the Canadian government's digital currency program, but I just read they were looking to sell it off! Has there been any interest at Vault of Satoshi about this technology?||While I don't think there is any direct partnership opportunities at this time it is always something on our radar and I think that MintChip was an interesting hardware development and it was great to see a federal institution being so forward thinking!|
|Can you tell us when and if you'll be able to operate as an exchange with USD?||We currently do accept USD, we just can't accept it from US citizens or institutions.|
|That being said we are glad to announce we have identified our US re-entry strategy and are moving forward to launching in a few states first. We have no formal timeline on this yet, but it's a big step in the right direction.|
|Quick question, if in the future I choose to close my account with VOS, will all my info and history also be deleted from your servers?||As per government regulations if you have ever made a financial transaction we are required to keep your information on file for seven years.|
|If you have not made a financial transaction you may email us with a request to delete your information. Please note that the request will be kept on file.|
|Hey guys, Are there plans to incorporate google authenticator? Thanks and keep up the good work!||User we already support Google Authenticator, YubiKey, SMS, and Email for 2FA and will be adding Authy and Gemalto soon!|
|Is your $99 per month Unlimited Plan in USD or CAD? Please state it on your website.||It is currently billed in USD as that's more widely accepted with our international audience.|
|When will Darkcoin, Worldcoin, Mintcoin, Cryptogenic Bullion, and Maxcoin be added?||Those coins will be added in the next few weeks! We're pretty excited about that!|
|Hi there! I have a level 2 VOS account. I'm not really comfortable filling out the form for level 3. Currently I have to use QuickBT or an ATM to get BTC - which sometimes I turn into DOGE. (THANK YOU FOR ADDING BTC<->DOGE! you guys are lifesavers!!)||We're actually working on adding an instant online Interac payment system, still no formal timeline but it's in the works. As for email transfers from BMO, BMO has come out and said they aren't working with businesses that operate in cryptocurrencies and so we can't accept funds from them on anything that would require us to have a BMO account or registration there. But, we can accept Pre-authorized debit and wire transfers from accounts there! Also feel free to email me about any concerns you may have about the level 3 account and I'll see if can't reassure you! ([email protected])|
|Just wondering why there is no support for an Email Transfer from BMO. Or online Interac payment, as that's the only reason I use QuickBT.|
|Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or a hundred duck sized horse. I prefer horse sized ducks!||What a kamikaze!|
|Don't be so sure.||YES! Take that Angelo! Horsefish!|
|'disabled login' Another word, the exchange is down. I've been trying to login and access my funds for the past 5 hours.||We're back up now!|
|No need to be alarmed though people; this is just a result of VoS being pro-active with patching up the latest SSL security bug (heartbleed).||Ah yes, that is indeed a side-effect of the patch. While our systems weren't directly effected a load balance server hosted by Amazon would have been so to be better safe than sorry we've got them patching it and we are rolling over to new SSL certs! Always better safe than sorry!|
|I can see your exchange being the top exchange in Canada. Great work! I will come up to brantford one day after my exams and bring you guys some timmies, depending on the weather it could be coffee or ice caps, or just let me know ha :)||As for the UI we're currently giving it an overhaul on our internal servers and hope to have more info on that soon!|
|I know it's not much but I just sent 6000 Dogecoins :)||Every bit helps :)|
|Whats the yearly revenue and profit of your company?||Sorry, as a private company we are going to abstain from answering that one - but even if we wanted too, we couldn't; we've only been around for six months so far!|
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