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February 25 2014

Tags: TC mt.gox Bitcoin

February 24 2014


February 11 2014

Bitcoin Exchange Bitstamp Halts Withdrawals Citing Denial Of Service Attack
Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 11.54.25 AMToday the Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp stopped processing withdrawals following what it described as a denial-of-service attack. According to Bitstamp, balances are safe and no customer funds have been lost.
What’s Going On With Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox?
mtgoxmagiccardMt. Gox, one of the original Bitcoin trading sites, has shut down its withdrawals system, citing problems related to transaction malleability (more on that shortly). Mt. Gox wrote on their site that this problem has forced them to shut down their withdrawal services: “We apologize for the sudden short notice. All bitcoin withdrawal requests will be on pause, and the withdrawals in the system will be returned to your Mt Gox wallet, and can be reinitiated once the issue is resolved.” So what happened? Put simply, Mt. Gox has been suffering from a sort of hack that makes its transactions vanish, allowing aggrieved customers to come back and ask for their money again. In fact, however, these vanished transactions are properly processed and the customer is paid twice. To explain it without going into too much detail, transaction malleability means that transaction – 1 bitcoin sent from Mt. Gox to User A, for example – could be changed so that Mt. Gox wouldn’t be able to track that the transfer ever happened. The transfer as it stands is added to the blockchain, the ledger of all bitcoin transactions, and User A gets the BTC. BTC transfers are actually chains of data leading back to the original coin in question’s “birth.” Each transaction has its own ID or hash which is based on the data inside the transaction – the recipient and the sender in most cases. These IDs are unique. A renegade node can modify the transaction, whenever it sees certain data pass through the network. This modified transaction still says Mt. Gox sent User A 1 BTC, is still a valid transfer, but has a completely different hash. This new, modified transaction essentially cancels out the previous transaction (if the renegade node is fast enough to spread its data to the confirming nodes) and Mt. Gox doesn’t have any way of proving that the transaction occurred because it records transactions based on the hash. User A goes back to Mt. Gox complaining they didn’t get their cash and the exchange has no recourse but to send another payment… and another… and another. At least that’s how this would work in theory. In practice there is no absolute way to tell if this is widespread abuse. Mt. Gox is definitely losing money — you don’t just shut down your customer’s accounts on a whim — but the bitcoin community is
Tags: TC Bitcoin mt.gox

February 07 2014

Mt. Gox Temporarily Pauses Bitcoin Withdrawals
BitcoinMt. Gox has temporarily suspended Bitcoin withdrawals in order to resolve a technical issue, the company said on its site.
Tags: TC mt.gox Bitcoin

December 06 2013

Bitcoin Value Loses Its Mind As Trading Lags On The Mt.Gox Exchange
2013-12-06_11h36_48Bitcoin is acting up at the moment. Following a steep decline that saw the currency trade at prices not seen since late November, trading of Bitcoin on the Mt.Gox exchange has gone crackerdog. It has fallen into a pattern of very rapid rises and falls that end and begin in a very tight, specific trading range. The following is a chart using one-minute ticks to track the price of Bitcoin on the Mt.Gox exchange for today: Trading on Mt.Gox is also seeing massive delays, with the current lag listed as almost 40 minutes. So, I doubt that anyone has an idea about what is going on. Other Bitcoin exchanges, such as Btc-e are displaying similar prices for the currency, so the trading price on Mt.Gox isn’t itself too batty. Instead, current trading patterns themselves are inscrutable, unless we presume some sort of algorithmic allergic reaction to current trading lag. In the meantime, if you can get your trades through, there is likely a decent arbitrage possibility at play, though trading lag times could make any such activity incredibly risky. Coinbase has Bitcoin at $848, and Btc-e at $865. The currency was over the $1,000 mark yesterday. Bitcoin: Still not that mature. China While Bitcoin works through whatever bug or issue is causing its current trading pattern, we need to keep in mind the broader context of the current market position of the currency. A recent decision by the Chinese government to ban financial institutions from trading in the currency cut at its potential to become a global repository for value outside of the control of nation states. Today, news that Baidu has ceased to accept Bitcoin is pushing the currency’s value down. To lose a company like Baidu at once lowers the inherent utility of Bitcoin, and also directly contravenes the narrative that Bitcoin was starting to find wide integration into the world of e-commerce, thus granting it legitimacy, and perhaps improved stability. Chinese demand has been a key supplier of recently robust demand for Bitcoin, comprising an increasing percentage of Bitcoin’s trading volume. If that driver slips, so too could the value, and market interest in Bitcoin. Bitcoin has fallen from over $1,200 since the Chinese news cycle broke. That’s a steep decline — about 30 percent — in a few days. The question now becomes what will bring upside back to Bitcoin? Top Image Credit: Flickr
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