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Old 10-28-2013, 10:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GoIrish41 View Post
I think I read somewhere recently that this system has been used to launder money.
Early-on it was pretty easy in the exchanges, because they didn't require any verification, etc. Just deposit, exchange, and withdrawal. But exchanges got shut down for that and most require account verification, etc.

Since payment is mostly anonymous, it's best illegal use would be to buy contraband online, since a PayPal/CC will have all your information.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by IrishSteelhead View Post
IIRC, it had something to do with that "Silk Road" thing didnt it?
Not sure if what I read showed a connection to Silk Road, but I imagine it would have been a currency of choice there.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GoIrish41 View Post
Not sure if what I read showed a connection to Silk Road, but I imagine it would have been a currency of choice there.
There was a thread a short time ago about 'Silk Road' and Bitcoin was discussed in there quite a bit.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It's huge in the drug business, bitcoin has been around for a couple years the only reason we are hearing about this coin is the drug busts that have preceded.. Found a good article about them and they seem to think the founder of Bitcoin should receive the Noble Peace prize? Interesting read:
Feds Seek 600,000 Bitcoins in Digital Drug Bust


It was a wild ride last week in the world of the Deep Web, that section of the Internet that requires special tools to access. The feds took down the site called Silk Road and claim to have arrested its founder and administrator. The news streams were filled with lurid tales of derring-do in this world that seem to be drawn from a TV mini-series.

My first step was to see if I knew this fellow named Ross Ulbricht whom the feds unmasked as the Dread Pirate Roberts, the hero to cyberpunks everywhere. Sure enough, I found a correspondence from 2009 in which he spoke about a real-time experiment in market action. Thinking that he was talking about business cycles — this must have been on my mind — I said it sounds great.

In the meantime, it never occurred to me that I might actually have exchanged emails with the founder of the Silk Road. It has long been an eBay-style marketplace for illicit goods and services. Yes, narcotics are among them. It sounds scary, doesn’t it? Yes, it does, until you actually visit the place, as I did only a few months ago.

Here you have many sellers of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and many psychedelics. There are customer reviews, solid product descriptions, lots of back and forths between users, a high level of quality control, and all the apparatus we’ve come to expect from regular Internet shopping.

None of these products appeal to me in the slightest. The drugs I like — caffeine and alcohol — you can buy at the grocery store. But you come to realize something important after browsing the Silk Road. Maybe it is obvious. Maybe you already know this. But it needs to be said: The desire on the part of a large swath of humanity to dope itself up with something cannot be suppressed, no matter how hard governments try.

Everyone has an interest in seeing peace and normalcy come to these markets. Silk Road was achieving exactly this…

Yes, many of these drugs are personally harmful. Some are not, and it is absurd that they are illegal at all. Regardless, none of them embody some kind of evil that can be or must be vanquished from the planet. At these markets, you find willing buyers and willing sellers, no different from any other sector of life. What makes this market different is that it is illegal, so, therefore, it is dangerous.

At one level, it is incredible and amazing that the Silk Road survived as long as it did — out there in plain view for anyone who downloaded the right browsing software. It was the most conspicuous sign on the planet of the impotence of government. Despite all the power, all the guns, all the courts and legal status, government couldn’t get rid of the thing.

The tools of the Deep Web take some of the danger away, and that is all to the good.

So how did the feds finally catch up with the guy who ran the Silk Road? It wasn’t through technological failure or compromise. Ulbricht, who allegedly ran the site, was just a bit too reckless in throwing around his name and clues to his identity. The investigator on the case traced him through various public postings, connected the dots, and even ran a little sting operation designed to ramp up the charges (an agent pretended to be a hit man for hire, and got himself hired!).

Who cheered the shutdown? Governments, sure. But there’s another group out there who would be thrilled by the end of Silk Road. That would be the drug cartels. Just as Amazon meant competitive pressure on the big sellers and publishers, just as PayPal became a rival to the big money transfer companies, and just as online brokers have eaten into the market for large brokerage houses, so too did Silk Road begin to loosen the grip of the violent drug cartels.

In other words, this site was a threat to the powers that be both in government and in the drug business. Imagine bypassing the middleman and letting producers and consumers connect directly? No more dangerous alleyways. No more risky cash transfers. No more turf wars. The “turf” becomes digital, which is perhaps the best way to optimize search. Guns and bullets are replaced by user rankings and reviews.

So let’s just grant that there will be no end to the demand for, and, therefore, the supply of, drugs. The government’s war on drugs has actually intensified use and driven people to ever harder forms of drugs. Everyone has an interest in seeing peace and normalcy come to these markets. Silk Road was achieving exactly this, which is why many people think that the Dread Pirate Roberts (the nomenclature of Silk Road’s owner) ought to get the Nobel Peace Prize.http:

//dailyreckoning.com/feds-seek-600000-bitcoins-in-digital-drug-bust/
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by IrishSteelhead View Post
IIRC, it had something to do with that "Silk Road" thing didnt it?
Yep. The cool thing about the system: because it's open-source you can see online the 'wallet' that holds all of the Bitcoins seized by the FBI in the raid of the operator. And if you're willing to make a donation you can leave the FBI a note:

https://blockchain.info/address/1F1t...set=0&filter=0
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There was a thread a short time ago about 'Silk Road' and Bitcoin was discussed in there quite a bit.
Didn't see that. Thanks.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Forgot to mention: one thing that bitcoin's really good at is online gambling, for obvious reasons.

Just imagine if vbucks became bitcoins...
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