Does Bitcoin have a future?

When the Silk Road, the internet’s biggest marketplace for illegal drugs, was taken down the price of Bitcoin plummeted. Chief economist at currency brokers World First, Jeremy Cook already predicted the negative side of Bitcoin and calling it has no future in present economic scenario. As, no company controls Bitcoin, nor ever could, how it works are rooted into the very operation of trade, including the rate of inflation and how to verify dealings. Bitcoin are an unsigned, unspecified, decentralised, one -to-one digital currency. In contrast to older forms of electronic money

Most Bitcoin exchanges, such as Mt Gox, the best-known, require users to wire money from their banks to the exchange. You can get them the easiest way; to get Bitcoin is to buy them. But due to strict anti-money laundering controls, even that is fiddly. A small group of hardcore users get extra Bitcoins through ‘mining’ for them: running computers which perform the calculations needed to make the currency work, in exchange for a share of the built-in inflation. Bitcoin have no material subsistence, although some have worked out ways to spend the digital currency by printing the necessary information on paper notes. Instead, they are long lists of the digital signatures of previous owners. When a Bitcoin is spent, the old owner adds their digital signature to the end of the list, combined with the digital signature of the new owner.

Spending this currency is bit difficult, only some conventional places accept Bitcoin, though the number is rising and now includes fashion websites, pubs, and online dating service are accepting this virtual currency. If your interest and inclinations are on the geeky side, however, you might have extra fortune to buy web hosting, geeky t-shirts, and even membership of the Reddit social network with Bitcoin. Tech savvy people who are 24/7 dealing with virtual trading Bitcoin has open new avenues for then in trading. Otherwise for common man this currency is of no use. But having a fortune in Bitcoin is a bit like having a fortune in gold: you have to sell your holdings to really make the most of it.

The currency has been through two boom-and-bust cycles, with the cost of one Bitcoin rising from $2 to $30 in 2011, and then from $13 to $266 earlier this year. There are timely gains and losses like any other precious asset like bonds, shares, gold. But beyond access to illicit substances, for many fans Bitcoin use is a political statement: its existence proves that a currency with no centralised control is possible.

There is no safety guarantee of for Bitcon, it as secure as its user. Security of this currency is purely depending on the user. Although there have been some bugs with the currency’s programming, all of the reported thefts have come from the outside. If users don’t keep their “private key”, the password which lets them spend their Bitcoin, well hidden, they can easily lose everything. And, of course, anonymity cuts both ways: if you get tricked by a scammer into parting with your bitcoins, there’s no higher authority to turn to. Moreover this currency will never come in the category of a mainstream currency? Most economists believe deflation is disastrous for an economy, but the Austrian school of economics, beloved by the libertarian creators of Bitcoin, disagrees. Economists and developers point to numerous flaws in the functioning of Bitcoin which cause to be it inappropriate for extensive use. One problem is that the currency has devaluation built in to its very core: only 21m bitcoins will ever be produced, and we’re already halfway there.

Dealings can already understanding comparatively prolonged delays in processing (and that’s just with Bitcoin remaining mostly well-liked amongst enthusiasts. instantaneous problem is that it’s not clear that the backbone of the currency can withstand the increased use that going mainstream would take.

Though its very uncertain currency of virtual world with lots of controversy around but still Bitcoin may make its way to Indian trading world.

Vaidehi Taman
(Group Editor NBC)
Dec. 2013

Five stupid things Dread Pirate Roberts did to get arrested

Everyone thought the shady figure behind the Silk Road website was a criminal mastermind. The reality tells a different story

Screengrab of Silk Road takedown notice, Until an FBI raid on Wednesday, Ross Ulbricht allegedly ran the multimillion dollar drugs marketplace Silk Road from his base in San Francisco.

But despite his apparent success building ‘the eBay of hard drugs’ through anonymous servers and a hidden identity, the man known as ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ began to leave a trail of traceable activity on social media.

So, how did Dread Pirate Roberts have himself arrested?

1. He boasted about running his international multimillion dollar drugs marketplace on his LinkedIn profile

Despite the fact that he presumably had few plans to re-enter the traditional workforce, Ross Ulbricht maintained a profile on LinkedIn even while he was allegedly running the Silk Road.In it, he makes veiled references to his present activities. “Ulbricht states in his LinkedIn profile that, after … time in graduate school, his ‘goals’ subsequently ‘shifted’,” says FBI agent Christopher Tarbell in his criminal complaint delivered to the Southern District of New York.

“Ulbricht elaborates, obliquely, that he has since focused on ‘creating an economic simulation’ designed to ‘give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force’ by ‘institutions and governments’… I believe that this ‘economic simulation’ referred to by Ulbricht is Silk Road.”

2. He used a real photograph of himself for a fake ID to rent servers to run his international multimillion dollar drugs marketplace in July 2013, a package from Canada was intercepted at the border as part of a routine mail search, and found to contain nine fake IDs, each with a different name but all with a photo of the same person.

Homeland Security was duly dispatched to the address the parcel was headed to, and found Ulbricht there, who Tarbell says “volunteered that ‘hypothetically’ anyone could go on to a website named ‘Silk Road’ on ‘Tor’ and purchase any drugs or fake identity documents the person wanted”.

Why did Ulbricht need nine fake IDs? An earlier posting on the Silk Road forums may explain it. Dread Pirate Roberts explained that he “needed a fake ID [to] rent servers”. Tarbell adds that “server hosting companies often require customers to provide some form of identity documents in order to validate who they are”.

Which is fine, except that if you are posting a photocopy of a fake ID to a server hosting company, you don’t need to put your real face on it. And if you’re running an international multimillion dollar drugs marketplace, keeping your real face away from the public is probably a good idea.

3. He asked for advice on coding the secret website for his international multimillion dollar drugs marketplace using his real name as well as not using your real face, it’s probably best not to use your real name. Especially when asking for coding tips about your secret drugs marketplace.

In March 2012, a user registered on the coding Q&A site Stack Overflow with Ulbricht’s email address and the username ‘Ross Ulbricht’. He then proceeded to post the question “How can I connect to a Tor hidden service using curl in php?”.

Publicly posting under your real name that you run a hidden website (using the anonymous browsing tool Tor), probably isn’t a great idea. Posting an example of the code that you actually run on that hidden website, still under your real name, is a terrible idea. And yet Tarbell says:

“The computer code on the Silk Road web server includes a customised PHP script based on ‘curl’ that is functionally very similar to the computer code described in Ulbricht’s posting on Stack Overflow, and includes several lines of code that are identical to lines of code quoted in the posting.”

4. He sought contacts in courier firms, presumably to work out how to best ship things from his international multimillion dollar drugs marketplace, on Google+, where his real name, real face and real YouTube profile were visible “Anybody know someone that works for UPS, FedEX, or DHL?”, asked Ulbricht on Google+. On his YouTube profile, linked to from that page, Ulbricht saved a couple of videos for later, including one from the ultra-libertarian Mises Institute titled “How to Get Away with Stealing”.

Even that is used as evidence against him. Tarbell says “DPR’s user ‘signature’ in the [Silk Road] forum includes a link to the ‘Mises Institute’ website … moreover … DPR has cited the ‘Austrian Economic theory’ and the works of Ludwig von Mises … as providing the philosophical underpinnings for Silk Road.”

5. He allegedly paid $80,000 to kill a former employee of his international multimillion dollar drugs marketplace to a man who turned out to be an undercover cop

In a second criminal complaint, from the state of Maryland, it is alleged that Ulbricht “communicated with the UC [undercover cop] via the internet, and told the UC that the employee had been arrested by law enforcement and that the employee had stolen funds from other Silk Road users”. Ulbricht apparently told the cop “I’d like him beat up”, before changing the order the next day “to execute rather than torture”.

The complaint says that Ulbricht “agreed to make two payments of $40,000 each for the murder of the employee, ‘half down now and half after the job is done.’”

After seeing staged photos of the employee being tortured, Ulbricht wrote that he was “a little disturbed” and that “I’m new to this kind of thing”.

He duly paid up.

BY – Alex Hern