Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by Dopefish on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the that-didn't-end-well dept.
lennier writes "Has Magic the Gathering Online Exchange tapped all its mana? MtGox, the first and best known Bitcoin exchange, has abruptly shut down, and CEO Mark Karpeles has resigned from the Bitcoin Foundation after rumors of ongoing theft related to the transaction malleability issue reported several weeks ago. According to the latest news reports, Bitcoin has hit a three-month low of $465 USD per coin."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Khyber on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:03PM

    by Khyber (54) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:03PM (#6786) Journal

    I hope bitcoin recovers. I enjoy seeing a fiat currency with way more value than any other currency on the planet doing what it has done.

    --
    Destroying Semiconductors With Style Since 2008, and scaring you ill-educated fools since 2013.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by dotdotdot on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:07PM

      by dotdotdot (858) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:07PM (#6789)

      It looks [preev.com] like it's already back above $500.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by cykros on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:09PM

      by cykros (989) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:09PM (#6793)

      I wouldn't worry about bitcoin. MtGox has been sidelined for quite some time for the most part, though was still big enough to send these waves out by its total meltdown. Just last week the first Bitcoin ATM in the US opened in Boston's South Station, and more are coming down the pipes for a few cities around the country, including Austin and Seattle, among others.

      Buying right about now would probably be a pretty good idea if you've got some money to gamble with.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mmcmonster on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:26PM

        by mmcmonster (401) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:26PM (#6903)

        The concern isn't directly about the currency Bitcoin.

        The concern is that MtGOX was considered a relatively safe place to place your Bitcoins. Many people on /. would defend them when the jabs about how it start out as a card trading site were common.

        If you can't trust MtGOX and don't trust yourself (how many people lost information due to incomplete backups at the time of a computer crash?), who do you trust?

        At least for US Dollars and other country-based currencies you can keep them in a bank and have FDIC insurance for the first $200K or so. Who would insure an account at a bank in Bitcoins?

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:01PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:01PM (#6937)

          "The concern is that MtGOX was considered a relatively safe place to place your Bitcoins"

          What? You mean, like, roughly pre-2011?

        • (Score: 1) by basecase on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:16AM

          by basecase (1952) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:16AM (#7058)

          Bitcoin insurance. I'll be a millionaire!

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:23PM (#6800)
      I don't think bitcoin qualifies as fiat currency [wikipedia.org]. There's no government decree making it legal tender and it does have some instrinsic value in that it has to be mined for with real world resources. At least, it has more instrinsic value than traditional fiat currencies.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by everdred on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:37PM

        by everdred (110) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:37PM (#6811) Homepage Journal

        > it does have some instrinsic value in that it has to be mined for with real world resources

        I don't think that makes it intrinsically valuable. Can you eat a Bitcoin? Can you build something out of a Bitcoin?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:25PM (#6858)

          I don't think that makes it intrinsically valuable. Can you eat a Bitcoin? Can you build something out of a Bitcoin?

          I don't think that's much of a criterion for *any* currency. Unless you are eating chocolate dollars and building a house of dimes, what currency can you eat or build things out of?

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by snick on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:48PM

        by snick (1408) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:48PM (#6825)

        This version of intrinsic value always leaves me stumped.

        If I have a lump of gold, I can use it for all sorts of things, including building electronics. Gold has a very high intrinsic value. Because gold is usually used for its properties rather than as currency, its price is largely based on trading for its intrinsic value

        If I have a dollar bill, I can use it for kindling, or patch a bicycle tyre with it. If I have enough of them, I can stuff them into a suitcase, and use that as a boat anchor. (hmmm.... perhaps not) In any case, paper money has very low (but non-zero) intrinsic value. Because dollar bills are seldom used for anything other than currency, their price is not at all based on their intrinsic value.

        If I have a bitcoin I can ... I can .... I can brag that my chain is longer than yours? The "intrinsic value" that folks seem to be pointing to is its bit-coinyness.

        Close all the exchanges and stop all use of bitcoin as currency. Would you bend over to pick a bitcoin off the sidewalk in that world?

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by snick on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:04PM

          by snick (1408) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:04PM (#6841)

          If you find a pre-1982 penny, you are in luck. Its http://www.coinflation.com/ [coinflation.com]intrinsic value is 212% of its face value.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:11PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:11PM (#6848)

            No, that's not its intrinsic value, that's the current market value of the material.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by unitron on Wednesday February 26 2014, @09:34AM

              by unitron (70) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @09:34AM (#7217) Journal

              "No, that's not its intrinsic value, that's the current market value of the material."

              If you ignore the fact that it's a piece of currency and think of it just as a lump of metal, then the price you can sell it for if you melt it down *is* the intrinsic value.

              It's the value of what it is, not what it represents.

              Anything else is face value, transactional value, collector value, et cetera.

              --
              something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
              • (Score: 1) by Taibhsear on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:42PM

                by Taibhsear (1464) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:42PM (#7298)

                If you ignore the fact that it's a piece of currency and think of it just as a lump of metal, then the price you can sell it for if you melt it down *is* the intrinsic value.

                And if you ignore the fact that melting it down is illegal...

                The new regulations authorize a fine of not more than $10,000, or imprisonment of not more than five years, or both, against a person who knowingly violates the regulations. [usmint.gov] In addition, by law, any coins exported, melted, or treated in violation of the regulation shall be forfeited to the United States Government.

                • (Score: 3, Insightful) by unitron on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:58PM

                  by unitron (70) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:58PM (#7319) Journal

                  But that's only going to hold true until there's no longer a government of the United States to enforce that law (or stand behind the face value of the coin, for that matter).

                  In our bleak, distant, post-apocalyptic future, the intrinsic value of the coin will remain whatever you can sell it for as a melted chunk of metal.

                  The only law that enforces intrinsic value is the law of supply and demand.

                  Which means that the basis of the intrinsic value remains unchanged, but what you can get for it can vary over time.

                  --
                  something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
        • (Score: 1) by ikanreed on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:40PM

          by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:40PM (#6867) Journal

          Eh... bitcoin is definitely still riding the fad wave, in spite of every "recovery" from this nice downward slide from a clear and obvious bubble. And being invested with the idea of libertarian ideals is always going to resonate with people who want their currency to comply with their politics.

          It won't ever be worthless, because its value comes from a perception of value, which is quite self-sustaining. You won't see me advocating investing in it or using it as a medium of exchange, but you have to construct silly hypotheticals to make it "worthless" just like people do with US dollars.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Darth Turbogeek on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:40PM

            by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:40PM (#6918)

            To me, Bitcoin IS worthless. Look at all the stupidity - and blatant stupidity at that - that surrounds it, the technicla problems it has, the sheer instability and its obvious security problems, plus the amount of scammers that are hovering (Like Mt GOX.... a hack attack? Please, this is a straight out scam, they took the Bitcoins and ran), let alone how plain useless it actually is.

            And I think a resonable debate can be made that apart from the true believers the rest of hte world also thinks it's utterly worthless too. Silly hypotheticals? No, that's just the reality here. Bitcoin to me and much of the world really is just worthless bits.

            I'd say the reverse is true - prove to me it has ANY worth at all. Bitcoin enthusists are so far doing a pretty bad job of that to be honest and MtGOX going ass up just keeps the bad proof coming. Dogecoin was created as a joke, the users are in on the joke and treat it as just a thing to have fun with and yet it sells itself vastly better than Bitcoin does. Just think about that for a second - a joke currency created to mock Bitcoin is sellign itself as a crypocurrency better than the thing it is taking the piss out off.

            For fucks sakes, Bitcoiners need to get a grip and see what a sad fucking laughing stock they are. Your "currency" is riddled with faults and a parody is more appealing. Worthless? You fucking better believe it.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ikanreed on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:43PM

              by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:43PM (#6921) Journal

              To me, lots of things people pay money for are worthless. Diamonds? Worthless hunks of dense carbon, not discernibly different from glass for most purposes. But my opinion of their worth isn't what determines their worth.

              Human gullibility does.

              Bitcoins are diamonds.

              • (Score: 1) by Darth Turbogeek on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:00PM

                by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:00PM (#6936)

                As jewelery, yes diamond is worthless. As an industrial tool however? It's quite useful so it can have value. Sure, the rest of your point stands tho, it would be perfect if you call Bitcoin tulips. Because that's exactly what they are.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:08PM

              by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:08PM (#6940)

              OK OK they're worthless and useless. I'm a really nice guy so I'll help you out. If you come into possession of a couple thousand of those worthless useless things, you just send them on over to me and I'll make sure they don't bother you anymore.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:10PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:10PM (#6942)

              > Please, this is a straight out scam, they took the Bitcoins and ran

              Okay... then why didn't they run with them at $1000/BTC rather than waiting until they dropped below $200?

              • (Score: 1) by pogostix on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:47AM

                by pogostix (1696) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:47AM (#7100)
                The value at the time of the theft doesn't matter.
                The value at the time the thiefs redeem/spend them is what counts
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @05:58PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @05:58PM (#7429)

                  Uh, yeah, and stealing your customers' money and shutting down your exchange is a great way to drive up the price by killing investor confidence.

                  Did you even think this through, or are you just drawn to conspiracy theories?

              • (Score: 1) by Jerry Smith on Wednesday February 26 2014, @08:28PM

                by Jerry Smith (379) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @08:28PM (#7538) Journal

                Okay... then why didn't they run with them at $1000/BTC rather than waiting until they dropped below $200?

                Because if caught, they can only be charged for the $200 value. If they manage to lay low long enough, the 'coin' will bounce back up and they will can sell for double or triple the initial value.

                --
                All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:29AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:29AM (#7839)

                  That sounds like a really shitty plan.

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by pogostix on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:44AM

              by pogostix (1696) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:44AM (#7098)
              take heart score 0 / flamebait. I was just going to mod you up a point. (I say "was going to" because I noticed I had mod points before dinner, but sadly they're gone now!)
              I think we should acknowledge the possibility the exchange has stolen the coins. It was fishy when they stopped withdrawals a while back... and it's fishy the way they've shutdown. Just a for example: did they get drained down to zero? Shouldn't they distribute whatever bitcoins remain amongst their account holders in proportion to their accounts book value?
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by Grishnakh on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:42PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:42PM (#6871)

          There's very little that gold is really useful for. For electronics, it has crappy conductivity compared to copper; its only advantage is as an corrosion-resistant coating for contacts. It's also used in some spacecraft applications. The primary use of gold (besides currency) is jewelry, which isn't inherently useful at all (and is easy to fake by using other materials that look similar). It's completely a myth that gold has intrinsic value. It doesn't, it just looks nice and that's why people like it.

          Silver has far more industrial uses than gold, but isn't valued nearly as highly.

          • (Score: 5, Funny) by dyingtolive on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:53PM

            by dyingtolive (952) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:53PM (#6878)

            Jewelry offers the highest intrinsic value. Happy women put out more.

            --
            Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
          • (Score: 5, Informative) by adolf on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:39PM

            by adolf (1961) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:39PM (#6914)

            For electronics, it has crappy conductivity compared to copper; its only advantage is as an corrosion-resistant coating for contacts.

            Neither of these points are entirely true.

            Of the metals that are useful for making wire, gold is between annealed copper and aluminum in terms of electrical conductivity. To say that gold is a lousy conductor compared to copper is to also say that everything except for silver is a lousy conductor compared to copper.

            And while it's useful that it resists corrosion very well indeed, another thing that makes it very useful as a contact material is that it is very soft. This enables much closer mating of contact surfaces and tends to promote very low-resistance contacts, since there aren't as many of those pesky insulative air molecules in the way.

            Of all of the metals and alloys we have, it is unique in these properties -- and I'm only talking about electrical contacts.

            And though its monetary value is chiefly driven by the fact that it looks nice (50% of gold production goes into jewelry, 40% to investment, and 10% to industry, or so sayeth Wikipedia), the mere fact that it is considered pretty does not in any way diminish its industrial utility, or the intrinsic value of that utility.

            Put differently: Just because gold is both pretty and perhaps overpriced does not somehow make it intrinsically valueless. FFS, even a singular toothpick has non-zero intrinsic value (I keep toothpicks around more to use as tools and materials, than for picking my teeth -- and they have a non-zero cost to produce).

            If gold were cheap enough, I'd have (very heavy) solid gold dinner plates and salad bowls. And it would still have intrinsic value.

            --
            I'm wasting my days as I've wasted my nights and I've wasted my youth
            • (Score: 1) by Grishnakh on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:08PM

              by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:08PM (#6941)

              I never said gold was valueless, only that it's not nearly as intrinsically valuable as many make it out to be. Yes, it's very handy for electrical contacts. Care to name any other uses? I suppose it'd be an OK wire material, but we already have copper for that, and copper is better. Perhaps for some specialized applications where you want wire that can be bent more, as gold is more malleable, but again there aren't many applications like this where copper isn't already sufficient.

              For electrical contacts, you don't exactly need much gold, since it's used as a plating, and gold is so malleable it can be plated absurdly thinly.

              And yes, if it were cheaper, you could feasibly make more stuff out of it, but that doesn't make it intrinsically valuable, it just means it could be used for that, even though there's other materials that are just as good if not much better (in terms of durability, energy usage to make, etc.). Given how hard gold is to find and its rarity in nature (driving up energy costs to produce), porcelain or even stainless steel are far superior materials for dinner plates.

              If it weren't for jewelry and investment/currency, gold would not be worth very much (though not completely worthless; it'd probably still be more valuable than tin or lead, for instance). It's only highly "valuable" because it's shiny and pretty and people like to make baubles out of it.

              • (Score: 0) by adolf on Wednesday February 26 2014, @07:40AM

                by adolf (1961) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @07:40AM (#7177)

                I never said gold was valueless, only that it's not nearly as intrinsically valuable as many make it out to be.

                Gosh, it's feeling more and more like /. by the second:

                That -was- you, wasn't it? *sigh*

                --
                I'm wasting my days as I've wasted my nights and I've wasted my youth
            • (Score: 1) by HiThere on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:10AM

              by HiThere (866) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:10AM (#7091) Journal

              Gold is a lousy material for making dinner plates out of. It conducts heat too well. You want something that doesn't conduct heat for a dinner plate. It's also too soft, so it would rapidly accumulate nicks, bends, and bulges.

              Please note, when gold has been used for dinner plates in the past it has been for the purpose of conspicuous display of wealth and power. This doesn't work of gold is cheap.

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
              • (Score: 0) by adolf on Wednesday February 26 2014, @07:44AM

                by adolf (1961) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @07:44AM (#7179)

                Your argument seems to be that having cheap solid-gold dinner plates would be impractical.

                My counter-argument is much simpler: It's my house, and I can be as impractical as I want to be.

                If the price of gold were to suddenly drop to a few dollars a pound before morning, I can assure you that I will be in the process of building a casting forge by the afternoon.

                --
                I'm wasting my days as I've wasted my nights and I've wasted my youth
                • (Score: 1) by Grishnakh on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:40PM

                  by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:40PM (#7297)

                  That attitude is exactly why gold is expensive now: because it's shiny and pretty, rather than for its metallurgical properties. If everyone wants to make their dinner plates out of gold, then that drives up the prices, leading to it being ultra-expensive just like now. So this doesn't make sense in the context of this discussion, which is: what would it be like if no one cared about gold's shininess, and only cared about its metallurgical properties?

                  • (Score: 1) by adolf on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:35AM

                    by adolf (1961) on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:35AM (#7840)

                    You're only considering demand, but the price of a commodity such as gold is also based on supply.

                    If supply were to increase such that there were plenty of gold to go around (just as there is currently plenty of iron or aluminum), people could still have their shiny and pretty things, and I can have gold dinner plates.

                    But to answer your own hypothetical question: If people, tomorrow, began to universally consider gold ugly, and there were no investments in it (no hoarding of a relatively scarce, but useful commodity? yeah, right), the price would drop...some.

                    It's expensive to find gold, and it will remain expensive to find gold. If it became unprofitable to mine, people would stop mining it. This would increases scarcity, which I think would support a rather higher market price than might seem obvious at first.

                    --
                    I'm wasting my days as I've wasted my nights and I've wasted my youth
                    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday February 27 2014, @03:11PM

                      by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday February 27 2014, @03:11PM (#7988)

                      Why would anyone hoard gold if everyone thought it was ugly? Just because it's rare? Uranium is rare too, but no one hoards that as in "investment". There's dozens of other elements that are rather rare, but no one bothers hoarding those as "investments".

                      If everyone thought it was ugly all of a sudden, the price would drop massively. It'd only be valuable for its industrial uses, based on its physical properties, and that's it. Lead isn't particularly attractive (quite dull actually), so it's only used for things where its properties make it attractive (and with the health problems, we've found alternatives for some of those). Of course lead is also not rare, but it also has a lot more uses than gold, even now in this age of RoHS: battery acid, solder for more critical applications (resists tin whisker growth), I'm sure there's lots more. Gold would probably still be a little more valuable just because of its rarity, but not much, due to its lack of useful applications (the gold-plated dinner plate from before would be out; people don't want ugly plates). It doesn't take much gold mass to plate connector contacts.

              • (Score: 1) by monster on Wednesday February 26 2014, @08:58AM

                by monster (1260) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @08:58AM (#7206) Journal

                Yep, much better to use silver. It has antibacterial properties [wikipedia.org].

                Just for the record, there were gold dishes in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, because it was quite abundant. When the first european arrived, natives couldn't understand their fixation with gold, since it was so readily available.

              • (Score: 1) by Grishnakh on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:37PM

                by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:37PM (#7294)

                Gold-plated steel (or stainless steel) plates might work, except for the heat-conduction bit. (Though I don't know if gold can be plated onto SS; let's assume it can.) This would eliminate the problem about nicks, bends, and bulges, since SS is quite study, while giving the plate the property of not affecting the food's taste (professional tasters use gold spoons, remember, because gold doesn't have any taste unlike other metals).

                I do wonder how important the heat-conduction property is though. My understanding is that in India, for instance, SS is commonly used for dinnerware because it's cheap there (India manufactures a LOT of SS stuff), and they favor its ruggedness (SS plates don't shatter when you drop them). They think we're a little weird for using porcelain because it's so easy to chip or break.

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:48PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:48PM (#6928)

            I just walked in the door from playing with a forge made out of some old candy tins, which will reach temperatures high enough to melt gold, despite being about 3 inches in diameter, 5 inches high, and using a blowpipe instead of a bellows.

            Its intrinsic value is based on the properties of the material itself. You can drop someone into the middle of the woods with absolutely no tools, and in a short time, they could mine and process gold. Find a stream. Crack two rocks together to get a sharp edge. There's plenty of flint, chert, quartz, etc. out there that's hard enough to strike sparks with. Use a stick or your hands to dig two holes. You can either use sparks to ignite a tinder bundle, and there's your fire, or you can use the sharp edge as a knife and form a bow drill. I think striking two rocks together is much faster, as opposed to an minimum of an hour to make a bow drill set and get a fire going, with lots of experience. Then, you find yourself a nice piece of wood, take a coal, and burn out the center. Voila, a gold pan. Just like South American gold miners.

            Gold can be worked without the need for a sophisticated forge--a fire in a hole with another hole as an tuyere and improvised bellows or blowpipe (a bone, a reed, your lungs with your face in the tuyere hole) is all you need, although you might take the time to find some clay and form a crucible and mold (carve the item you want out of wood, cover it in clay, and burn it out). Tin is king in the easy-to-melt category, with lead a close second. Silver melts at a lower temperature than gold, but you won't be able to pan for silver in a stream because it tends to oxidize. Gold can be mined easily without sophisticated tools, as can platinum metals, tin, thorium, uranium, and titanium. Moreover, you can eat with utensils made of gold, unlike that other metal that causes you to suggest nominating your horse for consul.

            If you have the basic tools for survival, you have the basic tools to work a particular set of metals which includes gold. The intrinsic value of something is a function of the physical/chemical properties of a material. Gold will continue to melt at 1945 °F, and it will continue to not corrode, and it will continue to be easily accessible (in terms of needed technology, not necessarily scarcity). A dollar bill also has intrinsic value as a piece of linen (tinder, rag, etc.) but the market value of the dollar is not a property of the material. Of course, you could argue that nothing has intrinsic value, since being dead makes it awful hard to mine for gold, thus intrinsic value is tied to the person it creates options for, by virtue of its physical/chemical properties.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:03PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:03PM (#6886)

          Because gold is usually used for its properties rather than as currency, its price is largely based on trading for its intrinsic value

          No it isn't. Not even close.

          One way to look at it is to compare its price with substitutes like copper (for electronics) and brass (for jewelry) as of this writing:
          - Gold: $43181/kg
          - Copper: $7/kg
          - Brass: $5/kg
          I'll grant you that gold is better than copper and brass in some ways: Gold is more conductive than copper, and brass can tarnish in a way gold doesn't. But still, you'd be hard-pressed to explain why anyone would pay 6000 times more than a conveniently available substitute commodity for most purposes.

          So why is gold so expensive?
          - Because of its social value as a sorta-currency. Gold jewelry is more prestigious than brass jewelry, precisely because of the expense and difficulty of acquiring gold. The reason that kings started wearing the stuff is the exact same reason that gang leaders wear bling - if you can sit there with great wealth and nobody tries to steal it, you must be powerful.
          - The fears of goldbugs (people who are thinking that owning gold will save them when the revolution comes). These fears are stoked by people like Glenn Beck, who just so happens to have a financial interest in gold trading companies.
          - The greater fool theory - Commodities traders can always sell gold to the general public, who are more easily hoodwinked than other professionals.

          But none of this has anything to do with gold's actual uses.

          --
          Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
          • (Score: 0) by adolf on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:44PM

            by adolf (1961) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:44PM (#6923)

            Gold is more conductive than copper

            Nope. Gold is worse than copper -- it is between copper and aluminum.

            This, by most measures, makes it a very fine conductor indeed. But the top of the chart rests with silver.

            --
            I'm wasting my days as I've wasted my nights and I've wasted my youth
        • (Score: -1) by evk on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:15PM

          by evk (597) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:15PM (#6894)

          If all gold that is currently locked into vaults, would be released on the open market. You probably wouldn't pick up a piece of it from the ground. Just like you don't pick up other metal scrap from the ground.

          • (Score: 1) by EvilJim on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:06PM

            by EvilJim (2501) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:06PM (#6968) Journal

            around my parts if you leave any metal outside it'll be gone the next morning and you'll find it at the local scrap merchants. some people aren't willing to get a job but they seem quite happy to recycle scrap metal for cash even if they're stealing said scrap.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by lennier on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:17PM

          by lennier (2199) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:17PM (#6895)

          "If I have a lump of gold, I can use it for all sorts of things, including building electronics. Gold has a very high intrinsic value."

          Not especially. Gold is a great electrical conductor, but so are aluminium and copper. It doesn't corrode, but neither does titanium or chrome steel. And gold's far too heavy and soft to make good long-distance wires or be useful structurally. You can't make cutting tools with it. It just really is not a particularly industrially useful metal; without exchange value, it seems like it would be a marginally nicer non-toxic replacement for lead plumbing.

          --
          Delenda est Beta
        • (Score: 1) by naubol on Wednesday February 26 2014, @01:51AM

          by naubol (1918) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @01:51AM (#7047)

          Yes, but gold was originally chosen because it doesn't tarnish or degrade, and neither does bitcoin. Back then, nobody knew it would be so useful in semiconducting.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:02AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:02AM (#7086)

          but what about the intrinsic value of an object that cannot be duplicated? sure one cannot duplicate a gold atom just as one cannot duplicate a bitcoin. but gold is a physical object whilst bitcoin is information -or- a non physical idea with the a special property: it cannot be duplicated. surely this construct has a use and thus an intrinsic value?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:59PM (#6836)

        What intrinsic value? I would have to burn energy to obtain BTC, but there's nothing else to show for it.

        In the real economy, I pull a rock out of the ground, spend energy on it to process it, and sell the processed good for a fungible value store, while the purchaser has the processed rock, which he in turn will obtain value from.

        No value add is produced in bitcoin mining.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:06PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:06PM (#6844)

        You are confusing cost with value.

        Bitcoins have absolute zero intrinsic value: If no one accepts them any more, there's absolutely nothing useful you can do with your precious bitcoins. Dollar bills have more intrinsic value, I can use them as fire starter for example, or to make notes on them.

        Of course the dollars on your bank account have exactly as much intrinsic value as your bitcoins, namely none at all.

    • (Score: 1) by edIII on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:18PM

      by edIII (791) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:18PM (#6976)

      This is actually a time to buy for those who do believe in Bitcoin. If had $465 I would purchase a Bitcoin right now because I am reasonably certain that it will at least maintain its value over the next couple of months and possibly gain just even $40-50.

      All of these issues are mitigated by more exchanges coming on to the market and operating correctly. Diversify across many exchanges and you mitigate your risk.

      I don't have a problem with MtGox going down. It's growing pains.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 1) by pixeldyne on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:39PM

      by pixeldyne (2637) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:39PM (#6983)

      Very fitting sig re: BTC mining :)

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dave on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:39PM

    by dave (1351) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:39PM (#6813)

    "It also claims Mt.Gox is planning to rebrand itself as Gox."

    Oh good, another chance for them to run off with your money.

    --
    Nothing about you is permanent.
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by lhsi on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:01PM

    by lhsi (711) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:01PM (#6839) Journal
    <pedant level="medium">
    Does the word "manna" have something to do with Bitcoin (that I couldn't find after a quick Google)? Magic: The Gathering (mentioned in the summary) uses "mana" as a game term.
    </pedant>

    <pedant level="high">
    Also, in Magic: The Gathering you tap lands (and sometimes other cards) for mana - you don't actually tap mana.
    </pedant>

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by EvilJim on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:16PM

      by EvilJim (2501) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:16PM (#6974) Journal

      Mana is also Maori for respect/status/power/prestige that can be 'tapped'

    • (Score: 1) by weilawei on Wednesday February 26 2014, @09:01PM

      by weilawei (109) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @09:01PM (#7562)
      No, this [marshallbrain.com] manna. ;-)
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by r00t on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:05PM

    by r00t (1349) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:05PM (#6843)

    I don't understand why anyone wants this. The whole value of BTC is based on how hard it is to mine new coin. You need to have some pretty expensive gear[1] these days to even consider getting into it. So even if you don't mine, if you want to use BTC on the internet, then you need to convert some type of monetary equivalent into BTC. Right now, one BTC is around 377 Euros[2]. If you spend that much to buy one BTC, and the value drops overnight, you're really screwed. OTH, yes, if the value goes up, you've made money. Now, Real Estate and many other investments operate on the same principle, however BTC has some really wild flucuation[3] to it. It's not the kind of thing regular people living paycheck-to-paycheck would want to get into. So, how is it that BTC is a good thing for anyone but millionaires?

    [1] - http://morganlinton.com/bitcoin-mining-basics/?Mod Pagespeed=noscript [morganlinton.com]
    [2] - http://bitcoinexchangerate.org/c/BTC-EUR/ [bitcoinexchangerate.org]
    [3] - http://bitcoincharts.com/charts/bitstampUSD#tgSzm1 g10zm2g25zv [bitcoincharts.com]

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:30PM (#6862)

      We needed more trolls, I'm going to cross post this to zerohedge and watch the fur fly

    • (Score: 1) by evk on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:22PM

      by evk (597) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:22PM (#6900)

      It's a game, sure, just like most investments.
      Lot's of non millionaires gamble way more than €377 on games (stocks, betting, etc)

      No, it doesn't really make sense, but that's true for most games about money. Including company stocks, art and government currencies.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by VLM on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:21PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:21PM (#6949)

      "and the value drops overnight"

      I bought a unique, custom branded pocket knife from an acquaintance in Switzerland. Really! And by the time it was all said and done the "global" financial system charged me around 20% taxes and fees for all the monetary conversions and transfers. It was just a little pocket knife so fixed costs really bit me hard, compared to someone trying to exchange $100 or something like that. Last time I checked coinbase, I could do an international transaction much cheaper and also much faster than paypal or WU or pretty much any other alternative. Why would I care about overnight fluctuations if the whole transaction from $ to CHF or WTF they use, need only take 10 minutes or so?

      I will buy 10 gallons of gasoline tonight and put it in my gas tank and its value WILL fluctuate by tomorrow morning gaining or losing me perhaps the cost of a can of soda, perhaps considerably more. Most people of course simply don't care.

      "regular people living paycheck-to-paycheck"

      Well you can always play games such that "regular people" would never buy a $10 pocket knife from a buddy on the other side of the planet.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by HiThere on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:15AM

        by HiThere (866) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:15AM (#7093) Journal

        No. The value of the gasoline will not fluctuate. The replacement cost will, but that's not value. Value is the use you can make of it. (And you can't measure it in ANY currency, as it partially depends on you current goals and purposes.)

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 2) by unitron on Wednesday February 26 2014, @09:38AM

          by unitron (70) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @09:38AM (#7220) Journal

          The replacement cost is the gasoline's instantaneous market value.

          --
          something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
          • (Score: 1) by HiThere on Wednesday February 26 2014, @05:54PM

            by HiThere (866) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @05:54PM (#7427) Journal

            Can you sell it for the replacement cost? I really doubt it, even if you count your time as worth nothing.

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
            • (Score: 2) by unitron on Thursday February 27 2014, @06:57AM

              by unitron (70) on Thursday February 27 2014, @06:57AM (#7829) Journal

              Supply and demand--if you come across someone out of gasoline nowhere near a gas station, but they happen to have a hose, I'm suspect they might very well be willing to pay you the going rate for a gallon.

              --
              something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Kilo110 on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:32PM

    by Kilo110 (2853) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:32PM (#6865)

    Really?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:42PM (#6869)

      Hehe, glad to see I'm not the only one to fall off my chair! :)

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by compro01 on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:59PM

      by compro01 (2515) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:59PM (#6883)

      Yes, really. That's what mtgox was back in 2007. Have a look at the Internet Archive's records. [archive.org]

      • (Score: 1) by glyph on Wednesday February 26 2014, @05:42AM

        by glyph (245) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @05:42AM (#7133)

        Sorta. There *was* a holding page with that title on the domain, but it was never a functioning MtG exchange.

    • (Score: 1) by Rune of Doom on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:45PM

      by Rune of Doom (1392) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:45PM (#6926)

      Sort of. If you look at the Talk Page for their Wikipedia entry, there is some debate over whether the domain name ever actually was a functioning Magic exchange, or whether the name was just originally picked up with that intention and it never went live and then the domain name got recycled into being a bitcoin exchange later.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by regift_of_the_gods on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:45PM

    by regift_of_the_gods (138) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:45PM (#6963)

    Your Mt Gox bitcoinage has been sent to /dev/null

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by pixeldyne on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:42PM

    by pixeldyne (2637) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:42PM (#6984)

    I'd better sell ASAP! All of the 0.0003 BTC I've been able to mine in the past month! ;) And I've only just ordered my new mining rig: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a /Bagger-garzweiler.jpg [wikimedia.org]

    • (Score: 1) by maxim on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:13PM

      by maxim (2543) <maximlevitsky@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:13PM (#6995)

      Where are the modpoints when you need them...

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by pixeldyne on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:44PM

        by pixeldyne (2637) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:44PM (#7007)

        Why, would you like to buy some? Otherwise keep mining them modpoints...

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @12:04AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @12:04AM (#7011)

      Nah, you don't need that-- evidently ASICs are the way to go these days.

      I got mine [wikipedia.org] but they haven't paid off much yet!

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by pixeldyne on Wednesday February 26 2014, @12:18AM

        by pixeldyne (2637) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @12:18AM (#7016)

        It's true that miners run faster in asic.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by tynin on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:36PM

    by tynin (2013) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:36PM (#7002) Journal

    It works out to having 5.98% of all bitcoins that have been created as of today, have been stolen in this theft. That is a GIGANTIC haul, it has to be in the top 3 biggest robberies ever (and of course, due to the crazy price fluctuations, may become the biggest robbery given enough time). I wonder if they'll ever figure out who was behind this.

    • (Score: 1) by tftp on Wednesday February 26 2014, @01:54AM

      by tftp (806) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @01:54AM (#7050) Homepage

      I wonder if they'll ever figure out who was behind this.

      You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to realize that it's physically impossible for a major financial institution to run open loop, without ever checking the ledger, for several years. Nobody is that dumb. This means that they knew it all along, but continued to disburse BTC as if there is no tomorrow. Cui bono?

      • (Score: 1) by tynin on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:05PM

        by tynin (2013) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:05PM (#7279) Journal

        Completely agreed. The idea they were not auditing there own ledger is just too much to be believed. It is just amazing they kept the lie running for so long. It is something that should have been caught years ago. It'll be interesting to see what the Japanese authorities determine, though that might take some time.

        • (Score: 1) by mth on Wednesday February 26 2014, @04:42PM

          by mth (2848) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @04:42PM (#7396) Homepage

          If I understood it correctly, the problem was that they used a hash to identify transactions that is not the same hash that they sign to authorize transactions, so people could modify non-critical parts of a transaction and for the block chain the transaction would go through but to the exchange it seemed that the transaction hadn't happened, so they would retry the transaction.

          As you said, it is very unlikely they wouldn't notice this if it had been going on for years. Also it sounds like a bug that is relatively easy to fix, so why would they not fix it if they knew about it? And why are they calling it a core protocol problem when it is in fact a problem of the exchange software? Are they really that incompetent?

          Shouldn't it be possible to spot the retried transactions in the block chain? I assume they would have the same amount and destination address as the forged ones. Then it would be possible to determine an upper bound for how long this flaw has been exploited and how many bitcoins were taken.

          • (Score: 1) by tynin on Wednesday February 26 2014, @10:28PM

            by tynin (2013) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @10:28PM (#7594) Journal

            I suspect you are very much correct in your understanding of the problem. You should be able to analyze the blockchain for these occurances. However you'd first need to identify all of the wallets mtgox uses to send out btc's. You could analyze the entire blockchain, but I suspect you'll find a shockingly large number of false positives due to things like pool payouts where you can setup your threshold on when they payout or even people manually moving the same amount of bitcoins over and over. I've seen some automated/bot bitcoin sellers that slowly trickle out sales of the same size over and over again (with the purpose of slowly selling btc's so to not impact the market price).

          • (Score: 2) by tftp on Thursday February 27 2014, @03:29AM

            by tftp (806) on Thursday February 27 2014, @03:29AM (#7743) Homepage

            to the exchange it seemed that the transaction hadn't happened, so they would retry the transaction.

            Imagine that you pay for rent with checks. Periodically the landlord calls you and says that he hasn't received the check. What would you, as a sane person, do? Would you simply cut another check and mail it in, without bothering to look if the original check had been paid? Or, perhaps, you will make sure that the double payment will not occur?

            If the exchange felt the need to retry payments, this shows that the BTC system (in their opinion!) is fundamentally broken. It is unacceptable to submit a payment and then guess if it went through or not. (Especially if you haven't added the bribe to miners, also known as the voluntary fee.) Banks ensure that your payments are atomic, reliable, and verifiable at many checkpoints - and all that happens entirely for free to you. If BTC is not as reliable as a bank, who would need it? Now Mt. Gox tells us that they thought that the BTC network is not reliable. Is it true (and BTC is bad) or is it a lie (and then Mt. Gox is responsible for the loss?)

    • (Score: 1) by CaptainK on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:47AM

      by CaptainK (1110) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:47AM (#7076)

      just out of curiosity and a little off the topic...do they even know who created bitcoin?

      --
      Your imagination is your only limitation to creation.
      • (Score: 1) by tynin on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:09PM

        by tynin (2013) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:09PM (#7281) Journal

        Nope, no one knows, and there has been a LOT of speculation / leg work / investigations, by likely thousands of people for a few years now.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by TheloniousToady on Wednesday February 26 2014, @04:55AM

      by TheloniousToady (820) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @04:55AM (#7117)

      I wonder if they'll ever figure out who was behind this.

      Sure, it's only a matter of time before all those Bitcoin dye packs [wikipedia.org] explode. Just look for somebody whose whole neighborhood is covered in millions of tiny red bits.

      • (Score: 1) by tynin on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:20PM

        by tynin (2013) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:20PM (#7286) Journal

        LOL. Yes, I realize that. I was just thinking with all of the transaction logs that mtgox would have, plus their KYC and AML information they have on each customer, they'd have something to investigate.

        The problem is only supposed to be an issue when a customer pulls bitcoins out of the exchange. Then after they get the bitcoins, they use that TM issue to modify there transaction info so it looks like they never got the bitcoins. Later on, they contact the exchange and say they never received there coinage, and to please fix/resend. Supposedly mtgox was sending out, effectively twice the amount of bitcoins to them.

        They should have a clear way to search what customers complained they never got the coins, where they resent them twice. And with the KYC (know your customer) they should have detailed information on them. All of this assumes they, mtgox, weren't just skimming off the top this entire time.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Appalbarry on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:57AM

    by Appalbarry (66) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:57AM (#7085) Journal

    I have to say that from day one (or whenever it hit my radar) it struck me that Bitcoin was a collapse waiting to happen.

    Money created from thin air? Check!

    Rapidly escalating values? Check!

    Popular with drug dealers? Check!

    More or less entirely unregulated? Check!

    I mean, really, what could possibly go wrong?

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday February 26 2014, @05:15AM

      by c0lo (156) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @05:15AM (#7124) Journal

      I mean, really, what could possibly go wrong?

      Not being accepted any longer on pr0n sites. Beat that if you can.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by big_e on Wednesday February 26 2014, @08:36AM

        by big_e (2513) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @08:36AM (#7202)

        I can't beat it. My bitcoin isn't accepted at pr0n sites anymore.