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Tuesday, June 21, 2011


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Maria Korolov

There's also PayPal and PayPal Micropayments.

And the OMC from Virwox, currently in use on 28 OpenSim grids -- https://www.virwox.com/omc-open-metaverse-currency.php

But you've got a good point about white hats. Virwox has some security mechanisms (they use SSL encryption and Web-based confirmation of all transactions) but they don't have the numbers of paid security staff that PayPal does (or Second Life does, or Facebook does) -- at least, not yet.

Aeonix Aeon

I'd like to make a few corrections for the sake of perspective:

1. New malware steals your BitCoins - This refers to malware on the local machine which steal unsecured bitcoin wallets, akin to pickpockets. The onus of responsibility (and fault) lay with the individual users for not securing their own wallets as they are told to do when running BitCoin. There is a step by step guide on why and how one should do this up front, though it seems those who the malware affected did not heed this security step.

2. Mt. Gox was hacked, and the share price for BitCoin *on their own index* dropped to pennies as a result, but across the board through the numerous other exchanges, the price remained stable around $17 per BitCoin. This is a testament to the stability of the BitCoin system overall and shows only that the weakest links are the centralized gateways and/or the users themselves who are not practicing proper security with their own digital money.

3. EFF dropping the BitCoin donation is merely an indicator that they are prone to media hype and public PR opinions.

If anything has been learned from these things, it should have been that the weakest links and security issues are not the technology but what happens when you put central gateways without the proper security measures in place on a system designed to be entirely decentralized. It is also a testament to the unending ignorance of the user population for ignoring sound advice by not securing their own BitCoin wallets.

Should a virtual environment use BitCoin? I say absolutely, assuming the virtual environment and exchange is actually secure, and provides a method to automatically, and transparently, encrypt and store the user's BitCoin wallets, thus removing the two weakest links in the chain that lay outside of the BitCoin system technology.

Since that doesn't seem to be the case, I presume the recommendation against using BitCoin is an admission of instability and lack of security in that you do not trust the stability or security in OpenSim enough to support using BitCoin in a secure fashion.

That is actually a fine admission, and an honest one. However, relying on skewed headlines and not revealing the context of those headlines to make your case for why BitCoin shouldn't be trusted is poor journalism at best.

Aeonix Aeon

As an aside, if anyone is actually interested in what the overall health of the BitCoin market is, in near real time, they need only look here:


Particularly at the fact that VirWox is trading on the charts. As anyone can see, the claim of "Dropping to Pennies" is an ill-effective scare tactic of sensationalist journalism when compared to the actual hard facts of the market charts themselves.

Hamlet Au

I'm fascinated by how the recent announcement from the EFF -- which is backed by some of the best and most pro-civil libertarian minds in online digital rights, both in technology and law, and which has taken numerous stands that are extremely unpopular with powerful business, media, and political interests -- is dismissed as succumbing to "hype and public PR opinions". If the EFF doesn't "fully understand the complex legal issues involved" with Bitcoin, then surely no one else does. And likely never will.


Hamlet! have you not yet learned to ignore the drama?

Ann Otoole InSL

Yea. Some of us were correct. You can't just make up an international currency. The reasons are so many and really obvious that only a total idiot would buy into such a doomed venture. They should count themselves lucky if they are still breathing after tweaking the noses of every government on Earth.

Tateru Nino

The problem isn't one of artificial currencies, but one of decentralised currencies.

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