Talk:Bitcoin

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Q 1
When should the term "Bitcoin" be capitalized?

A:

  • Use "Bitcoin" (capitalized) for the system, the software, and the network it runs on.
  • Use "bitcoin" (lowercase) for the currency itself.

Example: "I installed Bitcoin software, downloaded the Bitcoin blockchain, and received 1 bitcoin after giving my Bitcoin address to my employer. I received 0.03 bitcoins as a tip. Maybe I'll sell my bitcoins on a Bitcoin exchange."

A rule of thumb is: "bitcoin" anywhere that you'd write BTC; otherwise "Bitcoin".

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Contents

ponzi scheme content change[edit]

I had simplified a sentence into "At least one Ponzi scheme using Bitcoins has occurred." @Ladislav Mecir: you replaced 'occurred' with the more cautious "prosecuted", citing trial as unfinished. I am aware of that, but the way I read the quoted sources (and the RULE 26(f) CONFERENCE REPORT) is that the SEC finds it a Ponzi scheme. -- I can live with the change you made. anyway the next court date is 3/17/14 per [case docket]...Wuerzele (talk) 04:07, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

In a trial case, the task of SEC is to charge. They are in conflict of interest (they must charge if there is a reasonable suspicion). (talk) 08:35, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I dont understand what you mean by SEC in conflict of interest. The SEC is the plaintiff; do you mean they need to prosecute what they ( will) need to regulate (in the future) ? Please explain --Wuerzele (talk) 23:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I mean that the plaitiff's duty and measure of success is to charge and find guity as many defendants as they can. That is their interest. Such an interest may differ from the interest of the attorney of the defendant, who is paid for winning the case for his client. Those interests are specific and trying to find the truth asking just one side may be unreasonable due to their (conflicting) interests. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 00:26, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Ladislav Mecir, conflicting interests as you use it, is totally different ( between parties) from the standing term conflict of interest (within one party), so the sentence made no sense. Thanks for clarifying.--Wuerzele (talk) 00:55, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I tried to illustrate the point by mentioning two different parties, but, actually, taking just the one party - the plaintiff, we can easily see that what they present may not necessarily be the truth, since their interest may differ from presenting the truth (they may not even know the full truth when their interest forces them to charge). Ladislav Mecir (talk) 10:14, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
By law, only the court is allowed to find the defendant guilty (or innocent). According to the law, the defendant is innocent until found guilty. The law is quite specific about this, and it is a bad idea to depart from it. We should either wait until the defendant is found guilty or present the information as allegations, not facts. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 08:35, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
No disagreement about the law here, Ladislav. But you kind of surmise, I am carelessly anticipating the defendant's guilt by writing "At least one Ponzi scheme using Bitcoins has occurred." Thats not true. I am talking about the fact that a Ponzi scheme occurred, that's fair to state. Example: A tree is found cut. People/ newspapers talk about a cut tree (here I will use the "unusual" :-) term common opinion). But you say I cant write that, correct me, that it's an allegedly cut tree. Now there will be a trial of the man allegedly having been seen to have cut the tree, to establish his guilt or innocence, ok. Likewise, the Ponzi scheme has been found a Ponzi scheme (people and newspapers and SEC, basta), and the trial on 3/17 is about the defendants alleged connection with the Ponzi scheme. Do you see, where I am coming from? Accuracy is as important as clarity for the reader.--Wuerzele (talk) 23:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I understand it that you think it is not possible for the court to find that no Ponzi scheme was involved in this case? However unlikely such ruling may look, it is, at least in principle, possible and it is not our job to rule out such a possibility. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 00:41, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

But you then added stuff about legality from the senate hearing, I dont think this fits there: "Incumbents witnessing at US Senate hearing presented their common opinion that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are not illegal, though. “We all recognize that virtual currencies, in and of themselves, are not illegal,” Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general at the Justice Department’s criminal division.[137] Independent on legality of Bitcoin,..." I think this should go where legality is mentioned (maybe legal status). but i'd wordsmith the sentence "Incumbents witnessing at US Senate hearing presented their common opinion": incumbent or not is irrelevant, common opinion is an unusual term - what were you trying to say? the name Mythili Raman should also go away, irrelevant details confuse, so for example:"The acting assistant attorney general at the Justice Department’s criminal division said at the Senate hearing that "virtual currencies, in and of themselves, are not illegal". I think the then following clause "Independent on legality of Bitcoin" is irrelevant because Bitcoin is legal, and confusing because casting doubt, so I propose to drop this. I didnt edit anything, but wrote this here, so people understand where I am coming from. Thanks.--Wuerzele (talk) 04:07, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

'The acting assistant attorney general at the Justice Department’s criminal division said at the Senate hearing that "virtual currencies, in and of themselves, are not illegal".' - well, common opinion may be unusual for you, but once presented as such by a witness, other witnesses are certain to agree with it, otherwise they would have to deny it. (A witness has to tell the full truth and not conceal important facts.) Therefore, an opinion presented as a common opinion of witnesses by one of them actually is a common opinion of witnesses unless another witness denies it. Also, currently the aim of the starting paragraph is to cast the doubt on legality of Bitcoin (Ponzi schemes are illegal). The paragraph starts with "accusations of critics" (weasel worded formulation, the said "critics" are anonymous as far as I can see), which is balanced by a "disagreement of proponents" (also weasel-worded, in this case there is a specific, non-anonymous, and quite honorable, as far as I am concerned, person).
i have been unhappy about this weasel intro sentence also. i didnt know that "the aim of the paragraph was to cast doubt on Bitcoin", but youve been at it longer... i think the intro texts on the whole bitcoinpage are very unfortunate and redundant duplications on what usually follows 1/2 inch below ( ill start another subsection on this). Anyway, I feel your reply to my question how the stuff about legality from the senate hearing fits under Ponzi scheme is too complicated for a reader: you leave the legal stuff in to counterbalance implied doubt casting on Bitcoin. No.--Wuerzele (talk) 23:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Following these accusations is a report of an important and non-anonymous regulator (ECB) casting more doubts to the subject. To balance it, there should be an opinion of a regulator denying the accusations, which, I think, the present citation does sufficiently not just for the Ponzi scheme case, but equally well even for the "pyramid scheme" case, which is mentioned in the ECB report as well. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 08:35, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I removed two of the sentences; Ladislav replied here as I was editing. The sentence on "incumbent witnesses" didn't cite a source, and the Telegraph article cited in the next sentence also didn't support it - it didn't have the words "incombent" or "opinion". The sentence that the SEC case was prosecuted was imprecise; they are in the process of prosecuting the case. The SEC opinion that the operation was a Ponzi scheme doesn't make it a Ponzi scheme; that's an allegation. Particular care should be taken to precisely describe allegations of crimes. Agyle (talk) 08:50, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
AgreeAgyle, although i could have lived with Ladislav Mecirs "alleged Ponzi scheme".--Wuerzele (talk) 23:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your precisation efforts. Regarding the word "witness" - that was used, e.g. in http://www.coindesk.com/fincen-secret-service-bitcoin-foundation-hearing-bitcoin/, and senate hearings also have lists of witnesses published as far as I know."Incumbents" was my own word, I do not insist on exactly this word. What interests me more and what we lost at present is the information that the second paragraph does not depend (or relate to) the first one, it just relates to "Ponzi scheme" title of the section. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 09:49, 11 March 2014 (UTC)::: you are correct Ladislav, they used the word witness, even though the senate hearings were informational, not a trial. But like Agyle I dont understand the term incumbent--Wuerzele (talk) 23:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
The second paragraph seems clear from the opening that it's unrelated to the prior paragraph. I can see the reason for concern, but it's a short, simple paragraph, and clarifies the gist of it right away. I think it's fine as is. Agyle (talk) 10:17, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

I just reverted the attempt by Aoidh to unbalance the first paragraph by removing the regulator testimony from it. Since the opinion presented in the ECB report is not the only and unopposed opinion of an important regulator, I must insist on keeping the opposing opinion in the paragraph to balance it. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 11:04, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

And I have restored the previous version again. Your edit was WP:SYNTH. As the source makes zero mention of a ponzi scheme, it's inappropriate to assign meaning that isn't found in the source. The source discusses the legality, there is a section for legality. The source makes zero mention of a ponzi scheme or that anyone considered it in that context, so it has no place in the ponzi scheme section, especially when there is already a section for the material. - Aoidh (talk) 11:07, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
My edit is not WP:SYNTH, my edit states exactly what the source says. Also, the name of the section is "Legal issues", so such a sentence is known to be appropriate in it. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 11:12, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Your edit is WP:SYNTH, saying that it's exactly what the source says doesn't make it not so, please read what WP:SYNTH actually is, because your explanation of how it isn't WP:SYNTH doesn't actually refute this, that's part of the synthesis of sources. Bitcoin#Ponzi scheme is not part of any section called "Legal issues", that's the preceding section. Unless you provide a source that mentions the 2013 US Senate committee hearing discussing anything relevant to ponzi scheme concerns, it doesn't belong in a section about ponzi scheme concerns, but legal concerns. That's the preceding section. If you feel otherwise, please get a consensus and find sources that support your edit. Placing that sentence at the end of a paragraph about ponzi scheme concerns makes it seem as if the committee discussed ponzi schemes in any way, and I can't find any evidence that they did, so yes, that is a synthesis of sources. Although sourced, the way the edit was worded implies something not supported by the sources which is inappropriate. That content probably belongs in the article, but not in that section. - Aoidh (talk) 11:21, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I tend to side with Aoidh on this. To counter the claim that it's a Ponzi scheme, a source should address that issue. The Senate hearing sources said bitcoin use could be legal in the US, and while it's a common sense inference that it's not considered a Ponzi in the US, that isn't said explicitly. While the article didn't claim the US refuted that it's a Ponzi scheme, putting the "it's legal" material in the same paragraph as the Ponzi scheme material implied they were connected. Agyle (talk) 12:00, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Aoidh and Agyle stuff about legality shouldnt be mixed with the Ponzi scheme this was exactly my point -see above! -did anybody but Ladislav read it ? :-)--Wuerzele (talk) 23:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

I see that there was a slight mistake on my part, thinking that the "Ponzi scheme" subsection may be somehow related to "Legal issues". However, since it actually is in the "Criminal activity" section, it is necessary to find out whether it does belong there. I think that the ECB report did not paint Bitcoin as a criminal activity, if they did, they would have to act as a regulator. Thus, the first paragraph of the "Ponzi scheme" section does not belong to the "Criminal activity" section and shall be removed. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 12:16, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that occurred to me too; the first paragraph is not about an actual crime, it's more about a debate on its legality. If there were a "Criticisms" section, it would fit there; but of the existing sections, it probably fits under "Legal status" most appropriately, though "Reception" might work too. Agyle (talk) 12:37, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
OK, based on this agreement, I remove the paragraph from the "Criminal activity" section. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 14:44, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I didn't suggest deleting it, but moving it. I restored the deleted text to the legal status section. I'm sure we editors have opinions on whether Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, but hopefully everyone is trying to present balanced coverage of the views expressed in published reliable sources. From the brief mention in the cited Reuters article, and the 2011-2012 dates on the other cites, I thought this might have been a fringe or passé issue, but a google of "bitcoin ponzi" shows it's a widely discussed current topic in very established news sources. Just in the past day there are articles about an economist tweeting about this in The Wall Street Journal, Finance.yahoo.com, CNBC, and ZDNet. Agyle (talk) 15:28, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, I was at odds where did the "Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme" statements belong. We found out they did not belong to the "Criminal activities" section - no criminal activity is being performed according to regulators. Now, you proposed two alternatives: the "Legal status" section or the "Reception" section. Had to contemplate about it a bit, and I think that the best place may be the "Reception" section, since the statements usually are: "... (I or somebody else) do not accept bitcoins, since (my opinion is that) Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme..." The statements are not: "...Mr. John Doe was arrested for owning, mining or selling bitcoins, since Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme...", or that "...some regulator charged Mr. John Doe for owning, mining or selling bitcoins, since Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme...", etc. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:32, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I oppose removing the ECB report from the criminal activity section. The report does not say that Bitcoin is not a Ponzi scheme. It just says that it "might or might not be." It doesn't belong in the regulation section although perhaps something mentioning that no nations have found Bitcoin to be a Ponzi scheme might work there as well. Fleetham (talk) 04:29, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Contemplating is fine, but don't remove content while you think. :-) Fleetham has moved it back to Criminal activity. Repeating above, the paragraph does not discuss any criminal activity. Most of the debate over whether it's a Ponzi scheme is informal criticism, like saying the US Social Security or Federal Reserve systems are Ponzi schemes. Moving it to Reception seems fine. We could rename the Ponzi scheme criminal activity subsection "Investment fraud", which is a general class of criminal activities that includes Ponzi schemes, to reduce confusion. Given that it has only one example at the moment, the SEC case could also just be moved to Criminal activity section itself, rather than a subsection, but other current topics in Talk include the suggested removal of all subsections, and the suggested removal of all text from sections that have subsections. Agyle (talk) 04:56, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

@Agyle: That is not correct. Removal of all subsections is not what I wrote. Please read next talk point again.--Wuerzele (talk) 07:41, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I do agree with the proposal to change the criminal activity subsection to "Investment fraud". I also agree with Agyle that the fact that Bitcoin itself is not criminal activity has been proven by reliable sources. Stating that Bitcoin is a criminal activity basing the statement on utterings of anonymous sources (as is the case in the "accusation paragraph"), or on a citation of the ECB report which can be easily verified to not confirm such a statement I agree that painting Bitcoin as "criminal activity" is an invalid synthesis. Therefore, I also agree with Agyle that the "accusation paragraph" does not belong to the "Criminal activity" section nor to the "Legal issues" section, agreeing that it should be put to the "Reception" section as proposed. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 09:37, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
You didn't change the criminal activity subsection, you separated a paragraph into a new subsection, which is why your edit was reverted; what you're saying here and what your edit did were two completely different things. There are people who criticize Bitcoin itself for being a ponzi scheme, and alleged ponzi schemes involving Bitcoin. Both fall under the same subsection, there's no reason to split one out into an even shorter subsection. - Aoidh (talk) 23:23, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I think that it is time to discuss what you did instead: you reverted the edit I made 4 times without discussing it at all and pretending no discussion related to "Investment fraud" section name existed. After your fourth revert you wrote one short "disagreement", which I completely disagree with, to reassure you, and I am not the only one who expressed a different opinion than you did here. Nevertheless, you hurried again to delete the section immediately again, without us having any opportunity to respond and disagree with your "proposals". Ladislav Mecir (talk) 03:21, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I already explained why it was removed, and why your edit was made with zero discussion; the discussion was about something unrelated to your edit. Instead of discussing the merits of your preferred change, you attack the editor that disagrees with it. You have had days to "respond and disagree" from when I revert it pointing out that there was no discussion. In contrast, you have consistently reinserted it without any discussion at all, so you don't exactly have some high moral ground to complain. Discuss why your edit should be made on its own merits, not on the basis of attacks others that disagree with you. Your edit provides no benefit to the article and moves content about a ponzi scheme away from the ponzi scheme section for no discernible reason. Why should that be done? - Aoidh (talk) 03:40, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
My edit was made after a discussion and after a proposal of the "Investment fraud" section was made by Agyle. We both did not try to make immediate changes to the article, waiting for a couple of days before making an edit. You pretended the section name was not discussed until your fourth removal of the discussed section name. Only then you "miraculously found" the purportedly nonexistent discussion in here and are trying to make it irrelevant and not respecting any disagreement with your numerous attempts to remove the section. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 04:15, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Once again you're discussing everything except why your edit should stay. Your edit was made after a discussion about something else, and then you made an unrelated edit. Since you keep dodging the actual discussion of why the edit should stay, it seems like that's because there's no basis for the edit. - Aoidh (talk) 19:49, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

I hate to repeat myself, but specially for you (no news for others who read the discussion). It has been already discussed that the first source for the text: "Critics have ..." contains the information: "Bitcoin, a digital currency variously dismissed as a Ponzi scheme", i.e., the source is explicitly describing reception of Bitcoin ("variously dismissed"). The information describing an alleged Ponzi scheme by a Texan, on the other hand, is a criminal case; there has been a charge, arrest and the trial has already started, although it is not finished yet. The reception information and the criminal case information are fundamentally different and unrelated. The "Investment fraud" section has been proposed by Agyle to serve for criminal cases published. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:31, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

I don't mind changing the name of the subsection to prevent confusion, but could someone please explain how the ECB report "does not discuss any criminal activity" as Agyle mentioned or how it "[states] that Bitcoin is a criminal activity" as Ladislav Mecir says. What? For one, the two of you seem to be taking contradictory stances, so it seems at least Ladislav supports the ECB report being mentioning in the criminal activity section but just doesn't like the source.
I am sorry if my formulation was so unclear. I actually wanted to point out that the ECB report does not claim Bitcoin to be criminal activity, see below. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 19:42, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
@Agyle: Ponzi schemes are illegal. How does stating "Bitcoin may or may not be a Ponzi scheme; it's difficult to tell" qualify as not mentioning criminal activity? That's like saying, "John might or might not be growing weed in his basement--but I'm not discussing any criminal activity of course!"
@Ladislav Mecir: I'm not sure how you get to WP:SYNTH. For one, the "criminal activity" section mentions both real and alleged criminal activity. Remember, the threshold for inclusion of material is Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth. It's not just the ECB report that mentions Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme, and prior to anyone being arrested for money laundering with bitcoins, the "criminal activity" section included a mention of money laundering because it was in a FBI report. I'm not stating that we should include the ECB report in the criminal activity subsection because Bitcoin will soon be classified as a Ponzi scheme, but I wonder why you didn't take the same stance with money laundering as you do with the Ponzi scheme material. Fleetham (talk) 17:32, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
@Fleetham:, there are criminal laws against fraud using Ponzi schemes. But since no government has taken the position that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, those laws don't apply, and using/promoting bitcoins is not a criminal activity on that basis. Individuals expressing opinions that Bitcoin should be considered a Ponzi scheme, and that its use should constitute a crime, don't mean it is a crime. Also, many economists/scholars saying Bitcoin is or resembles a Ponzi scheme mean it in an informal sense, as part of why they think Bitcoin is destined to collapse, rather than to advocate criminalizing its use. The ECB may have been looking at it from a criminal standpoint (I honestly don't know if they legislate criminal law), but they didn't find that Bitcion was a Ponzi scheme. c (talk) 18:34, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham wrote: "I'm not sure how you get to WP:SYNTH." - that is actually easy. The (anonymous, in case of the paragraph) sources are stating that "Bitcoin has properties of Ponzi scheme". They do not explicitly say that Bitcoin is a criminal activity, there actually is a source (a journalist) who explicitly says he does not mean it in the sense that it is a criminal activity, more in the sense that it resembles Ponzi scheme in some way. In total, the claim that Bitcoin is a criminal activity is not present in the sources. It is a deduction (synthesis) of other information, which is inappropriate in this case not reflecting the sources, in fact. The same criterium can be applied to the ECB report. The report finds (some) properties of a Ponzi scheme, but also properties that are distinct from properties of a Ponzi scheme. This means that the "criminal activity" deduction is inappropriate synthesis. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 19:48, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the concluding that Bitcoin itself is a criminal activity from the source would be SYNTH. The section is not about "only those criminal activities that have really and truly taken place using bitcoins," however. It's simply titled "criminal activity." Again, please let me ask you to read WP:VNT.
I think the section as it stands makes it clear that the status of Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme is disputed. Again, the section is not about "real crimes of Bitcoin" but simply criminal activity. Fleetham (talk) 16:50, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
You coined the WP:VNT issue to the discussion. I think that it really should be taken into account. OK, so let's examine whether we can verify the statement "bitcoin is a criminal activity" from the source. I examine the first source for the paragraph and see: "Bitcoin, a digital currency variously dismissed as a Ponzi scheme or lauded as ..." - so, the source is actually quite specific what is being discussed - it is reception, not criminal activities. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:13, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
If you don't like that source, there are plenty of others on offer:
Fleetham (talk) 03:44, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham: "If you don't like that source..." - I have got nothing against the source. My problem is that as written, the text is dubious and needs both different sources and different formulations to be verifiable. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 04:48, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd be happy to hear what you think needs to be changed. Please elaborate. Fleetham (talk) 05:56, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I originally thought that we may want to keep the above mentioned source and move the discussion to the "Reception" section exactly because it actually informs about reception. There may be other alternatives, but this was the one proposed above. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 17:20, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Also, the replacement of the word "dismissed" supported by the source by the word "accused" unsupported by the source is an invalid synthesis. In total, the present formulation is violating several principles of Wikipedia. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 07:18, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
You're using the word "synthesis" wrong; that's not a label you give to content you disagree with to make it go away. Which of these sources say that it's "dismissed" as such? I couldn't find any, but the accusation is well sourced. - Aoidh (talk) 19:52, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I actually do agree with the source stating "Bitcoin, a digital currency variously dismissed as a Ponzi scheme", since that is verified. The formulation "accused" is misrepresenting the source. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:36, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
What source, exactly, is that supposed to be misrepresenting? Numerous sources above accuse Bitcoin of being a ponzi scheme, but we don't use their "it's definitely a ponzi scheme" in Wikipedia's voice, that's not synthesis, it's an accusation that Wikipedia is attributing to them rather than repeating itself. Your edit also makes the sentence read very awkwardly and comes across as very forced. Please stop using phrases like "misrepresenting the source" and "invalid synthesis" without explaining what you mean, because it looks like you're using these phrases in the wrong manner. - Aoidh (talk) 20:14, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Aoidh: "What source, exactly, is that supposed to be misrepresenting?" - I wrote it above, but just for you repeating myself: exactly the source used for the sententce as its first source. Also, there is no "accusation" in the sources I know of, the only one is the one you are inventing right now. (synthesis) Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:43, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
See the sources above, they are full of accusations, unless you're saying that Bitcoin has been shown to be a ponzi scheme, they are accusations to that effect. That one source uses a specific wording does not "misrepresent" that they are nothing more than accusations, that's not even close to accurate, nor is it the only source so that's not true in any case. If that's the source you were talking about, then no, that doesn't misrepresent the source at all. - Aoidh (talk) 22:46, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Aoidh: "they are nothing more than accusations" - shall I understand that you are saying that "variously dismissed as Ponzi scheme" is (according to your statement) saying nothing about dismissal or reception, being an accusation instead? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 00:36, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
If you do really mean it, then you are misrepresenting the source. If you do mean some other source, then, please, just mention the source you want to mention. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 00:39, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Do I really have to break this down in such simple terms? The sources are above. In them, there are accusations. They are not factually indisputable, therefore they are accusations by the authors of the articles. You have mentioned a single article that notes the ponzi scheme accusations, and focusing on that to the exclusion of all others, claiming that the others somehow are invalidated by that one, even though nothing is contradicted? There are plenty of sources accusing Bitcoin of being a ponzi scheme, that is not "misrepresenting the source", period. - Aoidh (talk) 01:02, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
You are specifically using one source and misrepresenting it. When you try to be constructive and propose a different source, we may easily find a better ground for discussion. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 01:11, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
No, you are using one source and ignoring all other sources and what other editors explain (and that one source doesn't even refute anything); saying "misrepresenting" is not some magic wand that allows you to avoid giving an actual reason. Fleetham provided numerous sources above that quite clearly contradict what you're saying, and those are the sources I'm referring to, not the "one source" you keep going on about, so saying that I'm "using one source" is demonstrably false. Given that, I'm restoring the edit per WP:STATUSQUO until you get a consensus for your edit, because WP:IDHT is not a discussion, and until you discuss the reason for your edit, it will not remain in the article. - Aoidh (talk) 01:23, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
The fact is that the article uses a specific source. That source is what is being misrepresented. Other sources may not be, but they are not in the article. Thus, until other changes are made, the "accusation" formulation misrepresents the source used. I do not object against proposing other source for a different formulation, but until you do propose such a change, any other, in the article not mentioned, source, is irrelevant. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 01:35, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
That's not a fact, it's not even true. The source uses a few sources, and even the one you're focused on isn't being "misrepresented", and others are in the article (even if it wasn't, the information is verfiable, it doesn't matter which source is in the article, but that's a moot point since the article already verifies the sentence). Are you suggesting that nobody has accused Bitcoin of being a ponzi scheme, despite all the sources above to the contrary? Saying "dismissed" is a wording used by a single source, not reflected by most of the sources, it's not a "misrepresentation" to reflect what the sources say. - Aoidh (talk) 05:48, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
The article indeed uses a few sources (that is how I understand your "the source uses a few sources"), but none of them verifies any "criminal activity accusations". Whether somebody stated "Bitcoin has properties of a Ponzi scheme" - yes, that is what I consider verified,, but that is not a "criminal activity accusation". Ladislav Mecir (talk) 10:09, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I really feel like you're not actually reading the sources above. About half of the sources given are flat-out stating that Bitcoin itself is a ponzi scheme or is a vehicle for such, so it does indeed verify the content. - Aoidh (talk) 10:16, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Also, there was one more incorrectness, pretending the opinions is shared between all critics, which is not verifiable. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 10:19, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Saying "critics" doesn't imply or suggest "all critics", saying "all critics" is unnecessary in the English language and is poor writing. - Aoidh (talk) 10:23, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
'saying "all critics" is unnecessary in the English language and is poor writing' - Yes, and "all critics" is not the case verified by sources. 'I really feel like you're not actually reading the sources above. About half of the sources given are flat-out stating that Bitcoin itself is a ponzi scheme or is a vehicle for such, so it does indeed verify the content.' - I found neither "accused" nor "criminal activity", while the text I proposed and discussed is cited from the sources. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 10:45, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
First of all, stop trying to push the edit in the article, because there are obvious problems with those changes and if you want them in the article, please get a consensus rather than edit-warring to include them. You're not going to find a source that says "I am accusing Bitcoin of being..." but neither is Wikipedia going to say "Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme" in its own voice, thus it attributes the accusation instead of claiming it as fact. Asking that a source literally say the word "accused" to show that is an unrealistic expectation. As for the critics thing, I'm guessing English is not your first language, because you missed the point of what I was saying entirely. I'm not saying "all critics" is verified, I'm saying that "critics" does not suggest "all critics". It does not imply a unanimous agreement. - Aoidh (talk) 10:52, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Ladislav, please don't edit war. I'm not sure if directly addressing the issue will help resolve this, but 1) you don't need a source that specifically states "Bitcoin might be a Ponzi scheme, and Ponzi schemes are illegal." Ponzi schemes are illegal and are, therefore, criminal activity. 2) You don't need a source that accuses Bitcoin of being criminal activity. Simply suggesting that Bitcoin might be a Ponzi scheme covers this because Ponzi schemes are illegal.
I do agree with Ladislav that the article should make it clear that Bitcoin is not a "proven" Ponzi scheme. Can't we move on to editing the article instead of simply rearranging it? Fleetham (talk) 17:45, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, the paragraph mentioning the criminal charge against a Texan is a true criminal cause. Bitcoin does not have such a criminal accusation. That said, do you have any objection against a statement in the "Reception" section that some sources say Bitcoin has some properties of a Ponzi scheme? It is not a criminal accusation to state that bitcoin has some properties of a Ponzi scheme and some properties distinct from properties of a Ponzi scheme. Anything that can be bought has at least this property common with a Ponzi scheme. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 23:57, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, it would be difficult to prosecute Bitcoin itself for being a Ponzi scheme, wouldn't it? But in all seriousness, the Ponzi scheme allegations or accusations belong in the criminal activity section as Ponzi schemes are criminal activity. You're asking that the material be removed because there is no court case regarding this, but there's no reason to set such a high bar for inclusion of material. No one has gone to court because they mined bitcoins using botnets, but that doesn't botnet mining "truly" belongs in the reception section. Fleetham (talk) 02:26, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
"Well, it would be difficult to prosecute Bitcoin itself for being a Ponzi scheme, wouldn't it?" - that is a myth. If Bitcoin was a criminal activity, it would be certainly possible to prosecute everybody selling bitcoins, mining bitcoins, buying sheets with bitcoins... Also, the "No one has gone to court because they mined bitcoins using botnets" - actually, such prosecutions and accusations are in the news. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 09:15, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, again I challenge the notion that any accusations of criminal activity not formally made by a court belong in the reception section not the criminal activity one. Fleetham (talk) 17:29, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, it looks that I am being unclear here. I do not actually want to set the bar that way. I am actually trying to make the following distinction:
  • if I say that something (Bitcoin) has some properties of a Ponzi scheme I am not accusing anybody or anything of criminal activity, especially if I also say that the something (Bitcoin) also has some properties distinct from the properties of a Ponzi scheme. Notice that this is what is in the sources and it does not confirm "criminal accusations" by this specific criterium.
  • it may not matter much who is accusing (whether it is a court or some other plaintiff), what matters is whether an accusation is seriously being made, or if it is just some dismissal not meant as an accusation of any (known or unknown) subject or subjects. Hope I am being more clear this time.
  • to compare the above rules to other situations let's assume I say: "Mr. XY behaves like a thief, being so quiet when walking", but that he also "does not behave like thief, not stealing things". I do not think it is serious and reasonable to interpret that as a "criminal accusation". In case of Mr. XY we actually know that a professional whose job is to prosecute criminal cases witnessed that "it is not illegal". In another example, if I say "Mr. YZ is a criminal, he won a huge amount of money and did not share with me, and he knew I needed the money badly", it is not hard to detect that I am making a hyperbole, but I am not seriously accusing mr. YZ to be a criminal. In general, these issues need serious judgment, and that is what is missing. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 02:11, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but what we have here is not a case where Bitcoin is being accused of having some properties of Ponzi schemes and some properties that are not associated with Ponzi schemes. Multiple reliable sources have asserted that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, and the European Central Bank says that Bitcoin does exhibit some properties of Ponzi schemes. Fleetham (talk) 04:27, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I assure you that the ECB does know how to accuse and this is not how they do it. All the sources in the article have the same property of not being a serious accusation of criminal activity. It looks that I did not succeed to explain that to you. Nevermind. It is no tragedy we cannot find an agreement on this. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 10:47, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Ponzi scheme mention in ECB report[edit]

Recently, material quoting an ECB report about Bitcoin being a Ponzi scheme was moved from the "Ponzi scheme" section to the "legal status" section. While perhaps it should be in both places, there's no reason to remove it from the "Ponzi scheme" section. If any mention of Ponzi schemes truly belongs in the section about legal status, it should be something mentioning that no nation has indicted Bitcoin as being a Ponzi scheme not a quote stating something to the effect of "Bitcoin might be a Ponzi scheme, but it's difficult to make a judgement." Fleetham (talk) 03:38, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I'd direct comments to the existing Talk section on this three sections up (Talk:Bitcoin#ponzi scheme content change). Agyle (talk) 04:09, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I also refer to the above discussion where you can find a comment why putting the discussed material to the "Criminal activities" section is an invalid synthesis. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 09:50, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Ahem. Here is the original sources from the European Central Bank report on virtual currency schemes:
http://www.ecb.int/pub/pdf/other/virtualcurrencyschemes201210en.pdf
It says on page 28: "Another recurrent issue is whether Bitcoin works like a Ponzi scheme or not. Users go into the system by buying Bitcoins against real currencies, but can only leave and retrieve their funds if other users want to buy their Bitcoins, i.e. if ew participants want to join the system. For many people, this is characteristic of a Ponzi scheme. The US Securities and Exchange Commission defines a Ponzi scheme in the following terms: A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often solicit new investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk. In many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors and to use for personal expenses, instead of engaging in any legitimate investment activity. 14 On the one hand, the Bitcoin scheme is a decentralised system where – at least in theory – there is no central organiser that can undermine the system and disappear with its funds. Bitcoin users buy and sell the currency among themselves without any kind of intermediation and therefore, it seems that nobody benefits from the system, apart from those who benefit from the exchange rate evolution (just as in any other currency trade) or those who are hard-working “miners” and are therefore rewarded for their contribution to the security and confidence in the system as a whole. Moreover, the scheme does not promise high returns to anybody. Although some Bitcoin users may try to profit from exchange rate fluctuations, Bitcoins are not intended to be an investment vehicle, just a medium of exchange. On the contrary, Gavin Andresen, Lead Developer of the Bitcoin virtual currency project, does not esitate to say that “Bitcoin is an experiment. Treat it like you would treat a promising internet start-up company: maybe it will change the world, but realise that investing your money or time in new ideas is always risky”. 15 In addition, Bitcoin supporters claim that it is an open-source system whose code is available to any interested party ... "
Fleetham, I am confused that you extract from that ECB report the statement that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme. I read quite the contrary conclusion. Could you explain with which sentence you would back your statement?
Unsigned post above not from me. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:44, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
The ECB report does not assert that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme. Each of the sentences in the Ponzi scheme section rely on different citations. Sources that claim Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme can be found at the end of the quote "critics have accused Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme". Other sources have done likewise some of which I've pasted below.
Fleetham (talk) 02:31, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham wrote: "The ECB report does not assert that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme." - agreed. Neither it "asserts" that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, nor does it "accuse" Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme.
Fleetham also wrote: 'Sources that claim Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme can be found at the end of the quote "critics have accused Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme".' - no, the sources that can be found at the end of the sentence (it is not a quote) neither "accuse Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme", nor they "claim Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme", as can be verified by reading them.
Regarding the other sources that are not used in the article, but mentioned above. I have got reservations. One of them being that the other sources are not used in the article, so the sentence in the article is unconfirmed. More importantly, when reading all of them, I did not find any that can be used to confirm the "critics accuse Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme" sentence, not to mention that it isn't a quote of any source.
The sentence still remains weasel-worded mentioning "Critics" making its implication misleading and too vague to substantiate.
Yet another reservation to the wording is that Bitcoin is presented as "accused of criminal activity" and the official ECB report (known to not support it) is weasel-wordedly ("shares some ... characteristics of a Ponzi scheme") mentioned as supporting the whole cardhouse, while a quote from a testimony of an official stating "Bitcoins are not illegal in and of themselves" has been removed at least twice as a "synthesis" - synthesis of what? Of the exact quote? This can be a neutral point of view only in Orwellian sense. I stated and continue stating that I cannot agree with the present wording of the article and I listed my reasons for disagreement several times in this discussion. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 18:34, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

To address your numerous points... 1) if you want the above sources to be used in the article, let's add them. 2) Instead of "critics," how about "prominent economists, heads of central banks, and journalists"? 3) When was a quote saying "bitcoins are not illegal" removed? It should be added back, but I'm not sure how it has any bearing on the Ponzi scheme issue. 4) The ECB report does support the idea that Bitcoin has characteristics of a Ponzi scheme. The report states, "Another recurrent issue is whether Bitcoin works like a Ponzi scheme or not. ...it is also true that the system demonstrates a clear case of information asymmetry. It is complex and therefore not easy for all potential users to understand. At the same time, however, users can easily download the application and start using it even if they do not actually know how the system works and which risks they are actually taking. ... Therefore, although the current knowledge base does not make it easy to assess whether or not the Bitcoin system actually works like a pyramid or Ponzi scheme, it can justifiably be stated that Bitcoin is a high-risk system for its users ...and that it could collapse... All these issues raise serious concerns regarding the legal status and security of the system, as well as the finality and irrevocability of the transactions, in a system which is not subject to any kind of public oversight." Information asymmetry is a hallmark of the Ponzi scheme as is collapsing. Bitcoin does not, however, promise high returns–another characteristic of most Ponzi schemes. Fleetham (talk) 19:56, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

And a quick thought: why would the ECB say it was difficult to determine if Bitcoin was a Ponzi scheme if Bitcoin did not behave like a Ponzi scheme? Fleetham (talk) 19:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham: " 1) if you want the above sources to be used in the article, let's add them." - I do not think that would help. It should suffice to use one source confirming the formulation, if there was one usable. The problem is that none of the sources does really verify the formulation.
2) 'Instead of "critics," how about "prominent economists, heads of central banks, and journalists"?' - well, my problem is that none of the sources really confirms such an accusation. I did not find a source that does.
3) 'When was a quote saying "bitcoins are not illegal" removed? It should be added back, but I'm not sure how it has any bearing on the Ponzi scheme issue.' - if the Ponzi scheme discussion in the press was presented as a dismissal (placed in the reception section) then there would be no bearing. However, the paragraph is presented as an "accusation of being a Ponzi scheme" and a "criminal activity" (it is in that section and formulated that way). The testimony contradicts the opinion that Bicoin itself is (or has been) accused as being a criminal activity.
4) The ECB report does support the idea that Bitcoin has characteristics of a Ponzi scheme. - the bold formulation is: "demonstrates a clear case of information asymmetry. It is complex and therefore not easy for all potential users to understand." However, the report lists the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme by SEC and "not easy to understand" is not present in the list.
'why would the ECB say it was difficult to determine if Bitcoin was a Ponzi scheme if Bitcoin did not behave like a Ponzi scheme?' - "why?" is really an interesting question. As far as I am concerned, their behaviout can be explained only in one way, in fact. If there is any suspicion that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, their duty as a regulator is to charge. They did not charge. My conclusion is: their behaviour is explainable only when assuming they did not have any reasonable suspicion. On the other hand, it is quite irrelevant why they wrote the report the way they did (there may be a simpler reason), we should use what is written and not what we think about their motives. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 23:39, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
It's very easy to use multiple sources to support a single sentence... see WP:CITEBUNDLE
About the bitcoins-not-being-illegal quote, why not add it back to the page?
You are correct, being "difficult to understand" is not a characteristic of Ponzi schemes.
The ECB is not a regulator. It is a central bank. I believe things like Ponzi schemes would be regulated at the national level in Europe not by the EU itself.
Fleetham (talk) 05:31, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham wrote: 'It's very easy to use multiple sources to support a single sentence... see WP:CITEBUNDLE' - oh yes, I did not want to purport that using multiple sources is not easy. I wanted to mention that the sources listed were not usable to verify in this specific case, and that one source could suffice if there was such.
'About the bitcoins-not-being-illegal quote, why not add it back to the page?' - OK, I will add it then, curious how long will it last this time. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 11:05, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Please explain how the sources do not support the statement. Have you read the sources? Fleetham (talk) 16:54, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I have. I will use the first source to show why that specific source does not confirm the sentence "Critics accuse Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme". Citing from the article: "As a digital delivery system, perhaps bitcoin can be saved. But a currency built by hackers and anonymous code-writing anarchists offers a pretty weak alternative to cash, credit cards or PayPal." - this is actually telling that Bitcoin can be used as a "digital delivery system", which would be a legitimate use, not a Ponzi scheme. The author thinks other "digital delivery" alternatives are "stronger", but that is not an accusation. In other sentences the author mentions "cybercriminals", mentioning illicit activities as drug dealing, etc. that are mentioned in other sections and are unrelated to any Ponzi scheme. That is why I do not think this article actually supports "acsuation of Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme". The title is just a hyperbole. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 00:00, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm not even sure what source you're referring to. How about:

Fleetham (talk) 02:31, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Fleetham:"I'm not even sure what source you're referring to." - you were asking whether I read the bunch of sources you listed abvoe, and I was referring to the first one of them.
Regarding the CB of Estonia quote; the source says: "The central bank of Estonia ... urged consumers to steer clear of Bitcoin and similar virtual currencies, warning such software could prove to be little more than a “Ponzi scheme.” - however I look at it, I do not see an accusation of being a Ponzi scheme, "could prove to be a little more than" is unequivocally stating that this is not an accusation. It is what it is: a warning.
@Fleetham:@Wuerzele:@Agyle:More importantly, Aoidh removed the "not illegal" testimony again, stating: "the consensus on the talk page was completely against adding this here". I shall leave it to others to decide; my opinion may not be neutral on this, but I think that Aoidh's information is inaccurate. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 08:46, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Less importantly, Bitcoin has been invented as a decentralized currency to not need a central ("third party") institution to maintain the ownership of the currency. Due to this fact, every central bank should be treated as a non-neutral source of information on Bitcoin. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 10:00, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
My opinion is that the removal of the quote is proper; while the sentence is factually correct, it does not seem to be made in reference to section's topic of Bitcoin being a Ponzi scheme. Its placement implies it was in reference to the topic, which is a form of synthesis. To be clear, the sentence that Aoidh removed was this:
"At a 2013 US Senate committee hearing on virtual currencies, representants of several federal agencies witnessed they were willing to accept the use of bitcoins as legitimate payment alternative, and Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general at the Justice Department’s criminal division, testified: 'we all recognize that virtual currencies, in and of themselves, are not illegal'."
––Agyle (talk) 15:29, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
To make it clear, the information is related to the subject of the section "Criminal activity". Bitcoin is mentioned as being "accused". This is where the cited information is related. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 19:22, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
The information is not, however, related to the ponzi scheme subsection, and placing it there makes it sound like it is. That quote is not related to that subject at all, and doesn't belong in that section, unless you can find a source that says that the committee hearing discussed ponzi schemes in relation to Bitcoin in any way (for my part, I couldn't find any such mention). - Aoidh (talk) 20:10, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
That is very much inappropriate. Stating that Bitcoin is a criminal activity (as the article does at present) is not a neutral POV. Stating that a testimony saying the opposite does not belong in there is finis coronat opus as far as "neutrality" is concerned. The only reason I could find for mentioning Bitcoin in the "Criminal activity" section as "accused of being a Ponzi scheme" is that such an act might be considered a criminal activity in its own right. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 21:50, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Aoidh... the idea being that placing the "not illegal" quote in the Ponzi scheme section makes it appear that the US government supports Bitcoin not being a Ponzi scheme. Why can't we settle for mentioning that no court has found Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme instead? Fleetham (talk) 21:59, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
"Why can't we settle for mentioning that no court has found Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme instead?" - because for that you cannot find any verification. How can you verify that something did not happen? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:36, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Ladislav, the sentence and quote address whether the use of bitcoins, in and of themselves, is legal or illegal in the US. If you want to address that issue, it should be done elsewhere. I disagree with Aoidh's implication that the quote belongs in the section if the hearing discussed Ponzi schemes elsewhere; the quotation did not refer to them, and should not be included either way. Agyle (talk) 22:16, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

OK, I will not try to discuss unsubstantial things. The substantial thing is: the article currently paints Bitcoin as "accused" "criminal activity", which is not verified by sources. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:43, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Well, what if we say something along the lines of "many are concerned that Bitcoin might be nothing more than a Ponzi scheme?" That gets rid of the word "accused." Fleetham (talk) 02:04, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, an edit using e.g. "concerned that", "dismissed", "warned", instead of "accusation", could improve the wording. Agyle proposed to move the paragraph to the reception section. My opinion is that such a change would also help to straighten the "criminal activity accusation" issue. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 02:52, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
{{ping|Ladislav Mecir]] sounds fair to me. FYI: I understand your issue. Aoidh can you live with this? would be good if you two could come to peace with this. Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting......Id like to close this section.--Wuerzele (talk) 03:47, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Economics section lead[edit]

The starting sentence: "Bitcoin has garnered comments and attention from economists and journalists, as well as investors and speculators." - this looks to be related to the "Reception" section. Thus, I would prefer to move it to "Reception", maybe together with the subsequent sentence. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 17:42, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Because you think it's inappropriate to say that in the economy section, or because you think it's necessary to say that in the reception section? It seems like a basic, mundane introduction to the section, and if Reception is lacking something, I'd just add whatever it's lacking. Agyle (talk) 23:44, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Because "has garnered comments" looks like a formulation from and appropriate for "Reception". Also, the fact that it has garnered comments does not look like something inherently economic. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 06:37, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
@Ladislav Mecir: agree with your logic.--Wuerzele (talk) 08:39, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
It does sound like something that should go into the reception section. But since it's uncited, it's probably best to just delete it. What about replacing it with something along the lines of "while Bitcoin is often referred to as a currency, the current state of the Bitcoin economy means most economists disagree with that characterization." If you read the current section, that seems like a more appropriate intro sentence. Fleetham (talk) 17:23, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham:"while Bitcoin is often referred to as a currency, the current state of the Bitcoin economy means most economists disagree with that characterization." - that looks acceptable. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:26, 23 March 2014 (UTC) Or, maybe a bit shorter: "While bitcoin is often referred to as a currency, most economists disagree with that characterization at present." Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:29, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
@Ladislav Mecir: am aware of the debate whether Bitcoin is a currency, and that is worth to insert(see March 15 Economist for example), but "most economists", really?--Wuerzele (talk) 06:55, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Any that could be bothered said bitcoins are not a currency. I don't think you'd be able to find a single economist who argues that bitcoins should be considered a fully fledged currency. There is a widely agreed on definition of what constitutes a currency: it should be a store of value, a medium of exchange, and a unit of account. Bitcoins do not hold all three properties simultaneously. Fleetham (talk) 07:18, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
@Fleetham: "Any that could be bothered said bitcoins are not a currency" - That statement is incorrect. Basically all economists in US government agencies that use the term virtual currency, of which there arent few, the Treasury, GAO, and yes, as of today the IRS consider it a currency. fully fledged maybe not but a currency. Fleetham, bring evidence when you delete , or make a claim, otherwise dont. you may not have noticed, but I have inserted quite a bit of material that sticks and I know the sources I studied. I dont wait to see what others write, to jump up for a revert/delete or correction of a minute grammar edit to go on the edit counter, which seems to be your yardstick. --Wuerzele (talk) 09:25, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
@Wuerzele: Thanks for adding information about the definition of what constitutes money to the page, but there's no such thing as a "condition 1" or "condition 2"... I'm not sure where that's coming from. Also, you cited an article that clearly had a thesis of "bitcoins are not money" for the statement "economists debate whether or not bitcoins are money." Sorry to revert, but... please be more careful! Fleetham (talk) 08:18, 25 March 2014 (UTC) Not true. Fleetham, show me where in the article the debate about Bitcoin as money is decided. I think, you are reading something into it that isnt there. The author even qualified each of the 3 functions of money: "does best as medium of exchange", "not exactly a stable store of value", and volatility has worked against it being a measure of account. In every paragraph there is something about it evolving and "possibility of"--Wuerzele (talk) 09:25, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
No, merely reverting is not the way to go. How many more times do I have to say this? It's been a month that youve been doing this, and you still do this. There are many many points in my edit and you should edit what you dont think is proper. Removing a large addition for a minor error you dont like condition 1 and 2, well find a better wording. You are making it too easy for yourself. Please be more careful. I will revert your revert.--Wuerzele (talk) 08:28, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I am guilty of not doing a comprehensive research on this. If I understand well, Wuerzele considers the sentence to be unverifiable in that we may not have a research article doing the "statistic job" of finding what the majority of economists thinks. I have to admit that the articles saying "bitcoin is not a currency" are not a statistic information about the majority opinion. If we find some source mentioning the majority, then there is no need to dismiss the sentence, otherwise we may need to look for a more verifiable statement. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 10:18, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
You are not guilty of anything ! Ladislav Mecir, yes, you grasp what I want to relay, economists are struggling with the concept of Bitcoin, as is society, it is simply evolving, maturing in teh word of teh Economist article. of course there are zero data of a majority opinion. when in doubt, be cautious and thats what I was. --Wuerzele (talk) 09:25, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
@Wuerzele: I do agree it's best to not revert. Please don't assume that I only found fault with a small portion of your edit. If I had done so, I wouldn't have reverted your entire edit. I'll make changes now, and please let me know what you think. Also, changing something, having it reverted, and then reverting the revert is not following WP:STATUSQUO. In this case, I would be reverting per WP:STATUSQUO, and you would be edit warring. Let's not do that and instead work together to create a great page! Fleetham (talk) 16:18, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I do what you do to show you, that it's nuts. why dont you try edit BEFORE reverting me? obviously there was substance in what I wrote and editing would have sufficed; thats what I would do. complete revert, then edit, is the wrong way round, plus so aggravating and inefficient.--Wuerzele (talk) 09:25, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
I made changes that I believe are in concert with your original changes. I did not, however, understand the following quote. Can you please clarify? You wrote, "At present, this appears in furthest reach given Bitcoin's money supply problems (disappearance of large exchangers) and finite reserves, the arbitrary cap of 21 million." Fleetham (talk) 16:40, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
@Fleetham: the latter is taken from the Economist article, if you read it. you quoted my sentence out of context, so I had to go all the way back and see what "this" refers to, so here is teh whole section again :
Although economists as of 2014 are still arguing, whether Bitcoin is money[72] this has not prevented their being used as a   
medium of exchange.[73] Bitcoin is used as a currency,[74] with about 1,000 brick and mortar businesses willing to accept    
payment in bitcoins as of November 2013[75] and more than 35,000 merchants online.[76] The bitcoin market currently suffers   
from volatility, limiting the ability of bitcoins to act as a stable store of value, which is condition 2 for a currency, <br 
besides condition 3 "being a unit of account, against which value an economy is measured".[72] At present, this appears in  
furthest reach given Bitcoin's money supply problems (disappearance of large exchangers) and finite reserves, the arbitrary 
cap of 21 million.[72] Nevertheless, Bitcoin has become a target for speculators trading bitcoins as a speculative asset, an 
investment vehicle, and a network serving customers of international remittance business.[77]

Being a unit of account is in furthest reach. and no your changes are not in concert with mine as they are misrepresenting teh source. BTW: the very last sentence which you deleted for no reason, isnt from me, was there before and since it is sourced I wouldnt delete it but move it to "speculators". As I have shown, subsection ledes are unusual on wikipedia ( exist in 12%- but you wrote "the norm").IN NO CASEweretehy subsection summaries, so I am all for cutting duplication ie move sentence to speculator subsection. --Wuerzele (talk) 09:25, 26 March 2014 (UTC).

@Wuerzele: Sorry, but I still don't even have the most basic grasp of the sentence's meaning... I've gotten as far as understanding that "this" means "being a unit of account." What does "in furthest reach" mean? What is a "finite reserve"? Do you mean "fixed money supply"? I think that what you're trying to explain is why Bitcoin isn't used as a unit of account, but, again, I'm not entirely sure... Fleetham (talk) 15:09, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I have got several notes to the "moneyness" of Bitcoin:

  • Bitcoin has been classified as currency by a federal court. This makes the classification a part of law in USA if I understand it well. I do not think the decision can be overturned by economists.
  • The "store of value, medium of exchange, unit of account" is not the only definition possible. Historic money did not have all the properties listed in the definition, while economists agree that historic money were money despite the definition. I find this fact amusing and telling about the state of economy as a science. A property of having a definition that is not universally applicable should be reserved for pseudosciences.
  • Austrian economists use a more universal definition: "widely used medium of exchange". This definition does not make bitcoin money automatically either, since it is highly arguable whether or not bitcoin is "widely used" (I tend to think it is not widely used yet).
  • The "medium of exchange" classification of bitcoin is uncontroversial. However, when I see the text of the Bitcoin article, I am pretty sure that it would become unreadable if we replaced all occurrences of "money" and "currency" by "medium of exchange". Ladislav Mecir (talk) 12:54, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
@Ladislav Mecir: I think that we agree on this here, Ladislav. The German court thing: Obviously doesnt seem to matter/impress folks here, in the U.S. -I will stick in the term currency again, for reasons mentioned further above, that have been un-opposed, and yet all the info I put together was edited out, by, looks like by Fleetham.--Wuerzele (talk) 06:04, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
A German court classified Bitcoin as a unit of account. Despite this, Bitcoin is not used as a unit of account. Courts don't decide how people use bitcoins in the real world, and it appears that currently this currency is only used as a medium of exchange, And why should we use outdated or seldom-recognized definitions? Fleetham (talk) 17:24, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Because people, media and institutions are discussing it, Fleetham, as on this page ! Bitcoin is morphing and wikipedia can and should reflect it. once again, you opinionize and bring no source to the table, you editorialize on the talk page, and cut and and delete other people's stuff on the article page. for all the talk of lets create a great page, lets see it. --Wuerzele (talk) 06:04, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I do not think that the German court decided people should use bitcoin as a unit of account. In my opinion, the court took the reality into account (disclaimer: I did not read the ruling) recognizing that bitcoin is a unit of account used in the block chain, which it obviously is. I think that you, Fleetham, just interpret the situation differently, thinking that a "unit of account" must be also a "yardstick" of value, which bitcoin is not at present for the majority of its users. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 07:58, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Stop referring to bitcoins as a currency. It is not a currency. It is a property like a stamp or a cigarette. Cigarettes are often used in prisons as a medium of exchange. Anything can be a medium of exchange. That is all that bitcoin is: a property that some people will use as a medium of exchange: just like cigarettes or stamps. Nothing more. It is easy to transfer bitcoins over the internet. That is bitcoins only advantage over stamps and cigarettes. BitcoinrealityCheck (talk) 19:39, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but as Mercir pointed out, it's just not feasible to say "medium of exchange": repeatedly... Fleetham (talk) 00:33, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
BitcoinrealityCheck trying to understand where you are coming from with your well, zealous assertion that Bitcoin aint no currency: is it the IRS decision? what else? any other sources you could back this up with? Ta.--Wuerzele (talk) 06:04, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
It is even debatable whether IRS actually ruled what bitcoin is. The source says that IRS ruled how bitcoin shall be handled for tax purposes, which is their responsibility. Other institutions, like the above mentioned federal court did what was in their responsibility as well, and even though the decidions may seem to contradict each other, they most probably do not. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 07:58, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

arbitrary limit of 21 million bitcoins[edit]

@Agyle: saw you reverted insertion of the "arbitrary limit" of 21 million bitcoins. thanks for catching my error of not adding reference #7 - i dont know/recall what happened, I thought I did add it, but obviously I didnt @Ladislav Mecir:thanks for rescuing the statement too. i've always wondered, where that 21 million number came from and when i found out, i had to add it.....happy spring, y'all, snow finally on the retreat and ground visible hereabouts!--Wuerzele (talk) 21:47, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

I found a Motley Fool source for the information, but it would have been shorter to use #7, so feel free to make the change if you prefer.Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:42, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

@Ladislav Mecir: Thank you again.--Wuerzele (talk) 06:05, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

@Ladislav Mecir: Do you know what happened to the "arbitrary"? It is gone. I looked and dont understand the diff from March 15 to March 16; it disappeared, even though it doesnt look like you cut it.--Wuerzele (talk) 04:21, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
I still see it in the sentence where you originally put it. Maybe you are looking at some other place? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 08:51, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
@Ladislav Mecir: it's gone. Fleetham edited out, sigh...--Wuerzele (talk) 00:23, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Recent change to "Transactions"´[edit]

I would say that the previous formulation was not very readable, indeed. However, the formulation: "... user sends a payment it triggers..." is called "subject change" in some languages and it is strictly prohibited as not understandable. Thus, the updated formulation looks less readable than before. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 07:26, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

@Ladislav Mecir: thanks for your opinion. I only understand that i supposedly made things "less readable than before". I wish I understood your argument, but I basically understood nothing: 1. what do you mean by the term "subject change" ? A quick search on www AND wikipedia gave no references. 2.then the claim "Subject change is strictly prohibited"- wow ! strictly even! If that were so, I should have heard something about that during my career. Or one should be able to find a wikipedia entry about it. there must be something lost in translation, please elaborate on / source this, so I can understand. 3."subject change is prohibited as not understandable" - why ? not self evident. again where does that come from ?
my rewording was probably too cautious and not radical enough, and can be improved. however, i object to your reversion of the sequence of my 2 sentences ("When a user sends a payment it triggers the broadcast of digitally signed messages to the Bitcoin network, requesting an update to the ledger or public transaction database, in Bitcoin terms:the block chain. Because a transaction transfers ownership of money from one Bitcoin address to another Bitcoin address it must be recorded in the block chain to take effect.") into "Bitcoin transaction is a digitally signed message transferring the ownership of bitcoins from one Bitcoin address to another. A user sends a payment triggering the broadcast of the transaction to the Bitcoin network. For the transaction to take effect it must be recorded in a public ledger or public transaction database called the block chain".
To write for a layperson it is best to go from known to unknown. Therefore we should explain/ describe in lay terms, even use an analogy of a concept that is hereforth unexplained, and then name the concept, rather than the other way round. And as it stands now, the first 2 sentences in this very section that follows the top lede, the Bitcoin-page-idiosyncrasy of a subsection summary, which I have objected to lengthily on this page Talk:Bitcoin#section summaries (section leads) before subsections are mouthfuls of technical terms summarizing what hasnt been explained, plus they are in broken English. The indefinite article is missing in the first sentence and the conjunctive clause in the second. I will fix this and revert the sequence. Best would be as I have argued to get rid of this rare idiosyncrasy and focus on the subsections themselves--Wuerzele (talk) 23:56, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
'1. what do you mean by the term "subject change"' - the formulation "... user sends a payment it triggers..." - uses "user" as the subject until it starts to use "it" as the subject. That is what I mean by "subject change", since "user" and "it" are distinct subjects, as far as I can tell. Such a formulation may not be prohibited in English, but the readability is poor at best. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 00:57, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
@Ladislav Mecir: Incorrect: "user" and "it" are not "distinct subjects". The user sending a message is the simple subject of my sentence (which in itself shows the grammatical principle). you neither verified the term "subject change" in the context of English grammar nor the extreme warning you gave me ("is prohibited"). most sadly, your reply in and by itself is an example of incomprehensibility. you are much needed here, you are very sensitive when it comes to meaning; your comprehension of nuances is excellent, and better than that of many native editors, but please accept that your expressive language is not at the same level as your English comprehension. please acknowledge the limits of your proficiency. to prevent edit warring do not pick a battle when it comes to a linguistic or grammatical detail in English, especially if you cant back it up. back off a bit. I've learnt during my working career that not the strengths of some US editors either. --Wuerzele (talk) 04:51, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
After the latest update the text looks better, but the formulation: "When a Bitcoin user makes a purchase," uses a special case "makes a purchase", while the original formulation used a more general (and therefore correct even in cases in which "makes a purchase" is incorrect) "send payments" formulation. In my opinion, readability related adjustments should not replace correct statements by incorrect reformulations. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 01:26, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
@Ladislav Mecir: Thanks for your opinion. You probably meant "since" not after. So you dont like the third rewrite either. "When a user makes a purchase" may not (yet be) the all-encompassing-case of what a user can do on Bitcoin, but it's a) a start b)something KNOWN from which a reader can work as explained above and c) not incorrect. IMO an incomprehensible statement is worse than a comprehensible statement, and not what we want on wikipedia. I find your use of the word correct is narrow and appears to stem from mathematics. this is wikipedia, not a mathematical textbook, nor a cast in stone journal article. improve constructively with an alternative, work with it - expand it if you want, because the readable and most precise formulation will evolve. And: Relax. Peace out.--Wuerzele (talk) 04:51, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

@Ladislav Mecir: I've added an Overview section as an introduction to the Transactions section which I think addresses the readability issues; I think users will have an easier time following Transactions after reading it. PTAL.Richardbondi (talk) 03:33, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Miners as "volunteers"[edit]

A recent edit suggested that bitcoins miners be described as "those that volunteer to maintain the block chain." As miners maintain the block chain in the hopes of a 25 bitcoins reward, describing miners in this way is misleading. I understand that the wording is technically correct: volunteer does not necessarily denote someone who works without wages. As the word is often used to describe people who do charity work without pay, however, using it to describe miners could cause confusion. Why not simply say something along the lines of "those who freely take part in maintaining the block chain?" I've removed mention of miners as volunteers per WP:STATUSQUO. Fleetham (talk) 05:49, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

I am ok with that suggestion. the reason I wrote "those that volunteer to maintain the block chain" even though I know they could be making bitcoins along the way is to demonstarte the process better than it was before. "Those who maintain"says nothing about the attitude of those who maintain. Volunteering implies yes anyone could participate with their computer. this is a novum in currencies, worth communicating.--Wuerzele (talk) 23:58, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd agree, that's an extremely unusual characterization. There may be a RS that says that, but there's plenty of coverage about bitcoin mining, and most of it does not phrase it that way. While it's technically true – nobody is forcing people to mine bitcoins against their will – the word "volunteer" has a charitable connotation in American English, something that people do for free. Bitcoin miners, if they're lucky, are rewarded with bitcoins. Agyle (talk) 10:03, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
@Agyle:I actually never understood why you said "extremely unusual characterization" - I ve read the term "volunteering" now several times, last [on 4-4-14] in WSJ Bitcoin's Boosters Struggle to Shore Up Confidence. --Wuerzele (talk) 07:05, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
am/was aware of the charitable connotation, but some of that may have been the sport of the early days, you know. reward: i agree with stress on "if they're lucky" as many probably arent any more; and then there's always reward in volunteering, even if unmeasured.volunteering was not my word creation but read in ("Bitcoin: Bitcoin under pressure". The Economist. 30 November 2013, so not extremely unusual! guys, i am glad you are vigilant, but it's a bit like splitting hairs here sometimes :_)--Wuerzele (talk) 23:58, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
There's absolutely no reason we must use "volunteer" to describe "freely participate." It could cause confusion, so why not use a non-confusing synonym? Fleetham (talk) 14:52, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham, there's rarely any edit from me that you leave untouched. first you say "a recent edit (like,anonymous) suggested to use ", then you close by saying "no reason we must use". seems liek you cant leave anything I write ever alone. does every sentence have to have your stamp of approval?--Wuerzele (talk) 03:49, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

@Wuerzele: (who presumably wrote the unsigned message above) No, and I can understand that questioning your content additions or changes can be annoying. I'll do less of that in the future. But that doesn't mean I don't have valid points, and the way to deal with such annoyances isn't to make personal attacks. Thanks for being civil in your above post. I suggest the best way forward is for everyone to worry less about minutia and focus more on adding cited content to the page. I don't think that the article is complete by any means, and there really is a lot of news articles about Bitcoin. By now there's probably also a much deeper pool of academic research. Fleetham (talk) 07:37, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Link to CoinTouch[edit]

In the "Buying and Selling Bitcoins" section I added the following:

Social trading platforms such as CoinTouch mitigate this risk as users transact directly.
Ref: "CoinTouch – Do Your Friends Buy and Sell Bitcoin?". Bitcoin Magazine. 2014-03-20. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 

This was reverted by another user today, and I'd like to propose its re-inclusion, since the news source is NPOV and the language used to describe CoinTouch was neutral. Beachy (talk) 16:34, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Does a source besides Bitcoin Magazine mention CoinTouch? I'm not sure if the source you currently have would pass WP:Reliable Sources Fleetham (talk) 03:14, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
"Social trading platforms" are mentioned in Forbes as well. I think it's perfectly reasonable to include a sentence about them, though that sentence should explain more clearly what they are, and I would drop the claim "mitigate..." – at best they try to mitigate risk. Including a link to a specific company is clearly inappropriate, and is not even approaching a gray area. I don't see a reason to mention specific software/services/companies (even unlinked), as they're so obscure that they won't aid the average reader's understanding of the topic; it's sufficient to say they exist. Agyle (talk) 09:52, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Bitcoin Magazine is the first notable publication to mention CoinTouch. I considered it a reliable source as it was a print magazine Beachy (talk) 16:44, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

pseudo-anonymous[edit]

@Chrisarnesen: welcome back today after some weeks of absence. I noticed a number of deletions of my edits without properly explaining why (only "awkward" or "not a real thing"). As you may not know, or do not remember: I copy-edit for the main stream reader. If I add anything substantially new, it is carefully sourced info.

as far as the term 'pseudo-anonymous': It is a term I've seen used at least twice in connection to Bitcoin. [[An analysis of anonymity in the bitcoin system. Fergal Reid, Martin Harrigan. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1107.4524v2.pdf p1-28.7 May 2012. In Yaniv Altshuler, Yuval Elovici, Armin B. Cremers, Nadav Aharony, and Alex Pentland, editors, Security and Privacy in Social Networks, pages 197 223. Springer New York, 2013.]] and [[www. dl.acm.org/event.cfm?id=RE398 Sergio Martins and Yang Yang, Introduction to bitcoins: a pseudo-anonymous electronic currency system. In Proceedings of the 2011 Conference of the Center for Advanced Studies on Collaborative Research, CASCON '11, pages 349{350, Riverton, NJ, USA, 2011. IBM Corp.]]

It is not the same as pseudonymous, which means using a false identity to disguise a real one. Please check Pseudo-Anonymous, defined as Verified (Authenticated) but not traceable (http://iiw.idcommons.net/Pseudo_Anonymity_and_Reputation_Systems) and [Bitcoin not so anonymous, Irish researcher says. 2014 Deutsche Welle 29.07.2011 for example the developers would say that it's rather pseudo-anonymous.]] Before accusing/deleting , plse ask / discuss, just like you asked me, when I first came to this site. It's a small point, but its almost only single points you picked at.Thanks. --Wuerzele (talk) 06:40, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

As for the talk page, I asked you to post things first here because you came out of the woodwork as a new editor and I didn't agree with most of your edits. Before I got a new job a couple weeks ago, I was extremely active here (like much of the day on most days) for months, and of course I agree with all my edits :) I've already discussed on the talk page the use of the words "anonymity" and "pseudonymity"; you just weren't around yet to see it. To the point at hand, "pseudo-anonymity" isn't a real word that people commonly use. I know you know that because you put quotes around it in the article too. There's already a word for the concept that "pseudo-anonymity" is trying convey, it's "pseudonymity". That's BY FAR the more common term used to describe the level of anonymity in bitcoin, and I suggest we stick with it. Your argument is that a couple articles use the term. So what? I can find you two articles that do something else we shouldn't do. Does that mean we should do it? http://arxiv.org/pdf/1107.4524v2.pdf doesn't even use the term as far as I can tell, despite what you said. The other article is from 2011. Google "pseudo-anonymous". All the hits are from 2011 because people have started using the right word now. Bitcoin users ARE operating on the network with an assumed identity, their Bitcoin addresses. I had a bit of a hard time wrapping my mind around it at first too, but now I know it's the right thing. Chris Arnesen 13:17, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

i hear what you are saying. you claim pseudo-anonymous is "not commonly enough used" to be included on the page. That may be so. You say that "people have started using the right word now" (where right is undefined). i dont hear you understand why i wrote pseudo-anonymous instead of the term pseudonymous, which i was aware of. i see you didnt realize, that i could have possibly googled for pseudoanonymous. i see that you cant imagine, that i can wrap my mind around the assumed identity of a bitcoin address. i think you are talking past the point, and you are missing a nuance. i d appreciate, if you were more careful in assuming stuff and choosing neutral language in the edit summary. BTW i read the talk page before i "just weren't around yet to see it" and have seen what you have contributed on Bitcoin. i will not belabor this more. --Wuerzele (talk) 23:32, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Hmm @Chrisarnesen: you could be right, but let's review these links. I defend the DMOZ link, because of its usability. I personally support the use of {{dmoz}} instead of links flood. The shortcut of this policy is WP:ELMAYBE, but the full title is Links to be considered and regarding to it's content, in such cases like too many link this option really should be considered, I think. That's a recommended option to avoid of too many links. Chris, I hope you agree with me, this link is OK and resolves many problems.

I think the 2nd is rather too insignificant. Regarding the Interview link, it is better to place it in Bitcoin Foundation, there will be more useful. --Rezonansowy (talkcontribs) 13:12, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

The 2nd and 3rd are obvious removes. I don't know why you like DMOZ so much. What's "usable" about it? It's owned by AOL and the content is mediocre at best. I'd rather have us just pick a couple choice links from that page and put them explicitly as external links on Bitcoin, bitcoincharts and blockchain.info for example. Chris Arnesen 13:25, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia policy defines it as often neutral candidate, it just better that a long list of links. Policy doesn't permit this, so let's just add it. --Rezonansowy (talkcontribs) 14:44, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

I support adding the DMOZ link to the EL list and removing the bitcoin.org link. @Chrisarnesen: recently reinstated an EL to bitcoin.org, which I had deleted. While a lot of the content is acceptable, some does fall foul of WP:ELNO. In other places it doesn't fully meet the WP:ELYES criterion of "sites that contain neutral and accurate material..."

The above ELNO rule states that external links to avoid include those that mislead the reader by providing factually inaccurate information. The bitcoin.org FAQ, for example, states that Bitcoin "has a strong security track record" and that "there are often misconceptions about thefts and security breaches..."

Additionally, the FAQ is often a bit too forceful with its praise:

  • "Bitcoin is designed to be a huge step forward in making money more secure..."
  • "Bitcoin is freeing people to transact on their own terms."
  • "No bank holidays. No borders. No imposed limits. Bitcoin allows its users to be in full control of their money."

Such hagiographic language does not seem to fit with the site's stated aim to "remain a neutral informative resource about Bitcoin."

Some of the answers in the FAQ also make you think the site is not a neutral source. The answer to the question of criminal activities includes the statement: "Bitcoin can bring significant innovation... and the benefits of such innovation are often considered to be far beyond their potential drawbacks."

Chris states that bitcoin.org is only "loosely" associated with the Bitcoin Foundation. WP:ELNO admonishes any "blogs, personal web pages and most fansites, except those written by a recognized authority." I'm not sure how the Bitcoin Foundation is associated with bitcoin.org, but their logo does appear on the site. In any case, some of the statements made on the Bitcoin Foundation website itself fail WP:FANSITE. Fleetham (talk) 17:34, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Hmm, bitcoin.org seems to be the first domain about the Bitcoin (as a concept, not network), it's significant from the historical point and topic scope. A paper by Nakamoto also relies on this domain, originally. Optionally, we can create for it a separate section containing notability references. --Rezonansowy (talkcontribs) 18:31, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I would say by all means a link to an cached version should be included. I think this one is best. It's not the oldest cache archive.org has available, but it's the first with pictures that load. Fleetham (talk) 19:48, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Nice idea, but why not include the non-archived link to the website at current state? It's still the same website, has just more content and CSS. --Rezonansowy (talkcontribs) 21:16, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
I suggest you take a look at the archived link and the current site... they're quite different. It's not the same site it was when Bitcoin launched. As for reasons why the current site shouldn't be linked, please see my above post. I think the best resolution is simply to link to DMOZ. Fleetham (talk) 21:58, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
The current bitcoin.org website should not be linked. It is purely promotional in pages such as Bitcoin for Individuals and Bitcoin for Businesses. About Us explicitly says it "Bitcoin.org is not an official website". WP:ELYES suggests linking official websites, or websites with "neutral and accurate material", both of which are clearly lacking here. Agyle (talk) 16:25, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
I removed the link to Bitcointalk.org, a web forum. WP:ELNO says to generally avoid linking to "chat or discussion forums/groups (such as Yahoo! Groups)". Given that guidance, I'd suggest seeking consensus before reverting, if you think it should be included. Agyle (talk) 00:30, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Capital B vs. lowercase b confusion[edit]

Fleetham reverted my edit: "... the US Treasury has called bitcoin a decentralized currency..." to a version using uppercase "Bitcoin" stating "see the lede". Citing: "Conventionally, the capitalized word "Bitcoin" refers to the technology and network, whereas lowercase "bitcoin" refers to the currency itself." The sentence explicitly refers to the currency ("decentralized currency"), so it is no doubt that the word should be lowercase. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 08:47, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Can somebody write an article on Bitcoin and tax rules?[edit]

Could somebody write an article on Bitcoin and taxes? There are a lot of different approaches between countries, and there seems to be a general lack of good basic information. Also, taxation procedures such as FIFO and LIFO accounting should be explained and their implications discussed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.135.11.33 (talk) 21:23, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

You would be better speaking to an attorney. Also, articles are written on notability and verifiability, and tangentially, WP:NOTHOW may be invoked to disallow such a page. That doesn't stop huge columns of 'legal or illegal' in columns though. So there could be a chance. Nonetheless, it would be more useful to speak to an attorney yourself if you have any doubts. Ging287 (talk) 21:38, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd prefer if you don't mix up the development of Wikipedia content with unsolicited discussions of my personal financial affairs. My suggestion refers clearly to the former, and rest assured that the latter is in good care. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.135.11.33 (talk) 21:56, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
I think it's a good suggestion, just a question of whether someone feels like writing such an article. Legality of Bitcoins by country has a very small amount of information on the topic. Agyle (talk) 15:54, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Biggest Bitcoin purchase.[edit]

Article mentions the biggest Bitcoin purchase of a $500,000 Bali house, yet in Estonia a $1.3 million manorhouse has been reported to have been bought for Bitcoin. Two sources in English: http://news.err.ee/v/economy/53ba6308-7ca1-4b4a-9a52-0156165267d6 http://hans.lougas.ee/2014/03/bitcoin-can-buy-you-a-1-3m-manor-house/

allocation vs generation of bitcoins[edit]

@George strawberry: I am intrigued by your edit summary info: "It is a misnomer that Bitcoins are "generated" when all the bitcoins that will ever exist have already been generated by the first version of the bitcoin protocol that was locked into the protocol by Satoshi Nakamoto. They are now being allocated...when explaining it to new people, the idea of "creation" confuses, while "allocation" clarifies how the protocol actually functions." I am all for making thing easier to understand. Do you have any sources to back this up? --Wuerzele (talk) 03:52, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

That actually contradicts all the sources already present in the article. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 14:35, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I read about this idea back in 2011 in bitcointalk.org. The poster suggested that by explaining it in this way, even his grandmother could understand the whole process. Why? Simply because it is better use of the English language. I have explained the way the protocol functions to over 2000 individuals in the past 3 years. My experience hads been the same as the original poster suggested, when talking about "miners who generate bitcoins all over the world" I always got a whole bunch of questions like: Who controls how many can be "generated" they are "generating them out of thin air, for free" what stops hackers from Generating more? etc... etc...
When explained the other way, somehow the reality of what happens sinks in INSTANTLY. It must be because it is actually how it is. By defining the TOTAL NUMBER of Bitcoins, in the protocol, you actually have "created" ALL the bitcoins that will ever exist. Now, the question people ask is: How do you determine who "gets" the 21 million bitcoins? And once you explain that the protocol "allocates" the bitcoin, this word describes exactly the process: Generating or Creating or Distributing all don't work as well as "allocating" I know this from empirical experience. I can't go into the tiny semantic differences between the meanings of each word, though I sense that "allocation" fits best to a process that suggests "automation" and a definite FIXED quantity that the process is dealing with.
George strawberry (talk) 19:58, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
found the forum thread...https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=697.msg75392#msg75392
you can read here, that many are having the problem with explaining it. The original source of this use of the wrong words comes from the "What is Bitcoin Video" that went viral, and made everybody continue propagating the confusing and in my opinion WRONG wording of the actual process.
George strawberry (talk) 20:17, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Please put it back to the way I had it... i don't know how to revert. George strawberry (talk) 20:21, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, George strawberry it is a known fact that for every complicated problem there is a simple but wrong explanation. The existence of bitcoins is recorded in the public ledger called the block chain. You can find out that the total quantity of bitcoins created until now is 12,578,575 bitcoins. It is not true that any other bitcoins have been created already. It is not a surprise that the simple explanation is easier to understand, but that does not make it correct. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:51, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
George, thanks for trying to improve the clarity of the explanation. I think it's a decent explanation, although the fact that there's a 21 million coin cap could just as well been left out of the spec, with room for an infinite number of coins, and the mining process would have been essentially the same. However, our opinions on the explanation is immaterial: Wikipedia requires information to be verifiable with what is defines as "reliable sources", or independently published with reputations for fact-checking (e.g., The New York Times), and specifically precludes citing of internet forums or blogs as sources. See the Wikipedia page WP:RS for more on reliable sources. I think most sources would refer to mining as generating the coins. If some reliable sources refer to it as allocating, I think it would be reasonable to include that as an alternative explanation, perhaps something like "This is also sometimes explained as 'allocating' the coins from the predetermined limit of 21 million."
Reverting an article change can be done by using the "undo" feature in the "history" tab of an article, if there have not been other changes after the change you want to revert. However, you should not revert this change or add material back unless there is a consensus to do so, and you shouldn't add any material without citing a reliable source.
As an aside, the convention Wikipedia talk pages is to sign posts with ~~~~ at the end of a post, rather than the beginning, and to add colons (:) at the beginning to create indentations, to aid in the following of a conversation. I took the liberty of editing your posts to follow these conventions.
––Agyle (talk) 15:49, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Argyle,for the edits and suggestions. I will not "revert" anything until this is fully discussed, I will still stand by my "research" that the word Generated always confuses new people, and thus it is not the right term! This was propagated by the "What is Bitcoin video" and has been taken up by The New York Times and other "reliable" publications. I will look to see what else I can find to convince anyone here, obviously my little "research" is not documented and non-referable at the moment.

George strawberry (talk) 05:12, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Tracking users /Lack of Anonymity[edit]

@Wuerzele: Please don't knee jerk revert...

  • In this instance, the source clearly explains how "tracking the temporal flow" of bitcoins only applies to users who have multiple Bitcoin addresses. [User:Fleetham|Fleetham]] (talk) 04:29, 31 March 2014
You are mistaken. the source clearly states any user who makes multiple payments can be tracked.--Wuerzele (talk) 08:34, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

My edit, which you reverted, adds this information to the page. Also, it's a big claim to say the revert is due to "tracking [being a] more important issue in media." More important than what, exactly? [User:Fleetham|Fleetham]] (talk) 04:29, 31 March 2014

I had twice explained it in the edit summary. This is how you communicate 90% of the time. you didnt discuss. --Wuerzele (talk) 08:34, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  • This revert uses this source to support the following statement: "as of 2014 economists do not agree, to what degree Bitcoin is truly money." The source's thesis, however, is clearly that Bitcoin does not fully meet generally recognized criteria for money as can be clearly seen from this quote: "economists reckon money is anything that serves three main functions. It must be a “medium of exchange”... It should be a stable store of value... And it should function as a unit of account... The American dollar meets all three conditions. Bitcoin has some way to go." The source clearly supports the idea that bitcoins are not money, and it nowhere mentions a debate among economists on this matter. Fleetham (talk) 04:29, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
BTW Your saying "the source clearly supports..." is mere insistence and adds no argument, because it doesnt add thought, and thats no discussion--Wuerzele (talk) 08:34, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

@Fleetham: stop the slander: its no knee jerk, and it's you who reverts, cuts and deletes without discussing. you mass reverted me from the day I arrived here. do not confuse people with a false heading ('Wuerzele reverts'). This time I maintain the WP:status quo in that section, that I earned collecting sources. The fact that tracking the temporal flow of bitcoins can give a clue of identity is mentioned in innumerable sources. You cut that however to give moneychangers collection of customer's personal data "required by law in many jurisdictions", more prominence. your 8/2013 Washington Post blog quote will be even less guaranteed, because Bitcoin intermediaries will be required to collect personal data on their customers anonymity will be even less guaranteed, because Bitcoin intermediaries will be required to collect personal data on their customers." Think: that's bizarro. citing bank secrecy laws as a loss of anonymity is not the risk to anonymity, bitcoin users have, nor whats represented in the media .-The Economist CLEARLY mentions that Bitcoin isnt a fullfledged currency. Economists do not agree, so back off. bring evidence to the contrary, if you want to change it. --Wuerzele (talk) 05:59, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm going to revert your reverts because you didn't address any of the issues I brought up.Fleetham (talk) 06:08, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
this is not true on 2 accounts: I addressed issues 24h ago @06:55, 30 March 2014‎(→‎Anonymity: reinserted sentence "flow of bitcoins can give clues as to who owns them" (del by fleetham) which is core info for lack of anonymity, not the fact that bitcoin exchangers record names. Again the Washington Post-blog argument you inserted I consider not worth mentioning. and hey, why didnt you come out and participate in the talkpage discussion on this "issue" between me and Chrisarnesen a while ago? (He talked me out of using the term 'pseudo-anonymous') I know exactly why. --Wuerzele (talk) 08:34, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Also, please read WP:NPA Fleetham (talk) 06:08, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

You sit in the glasshouse, and you know it.--Wuerzele (talk) 08:34, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
what I meant when I said you didn't address issues was that you didn't address the issues mentioned at the start of this post. All you said is that sources other than the ones you provided support your edits. Why did you initially use the original sources, and can you please provide better ones? Fleetham (talk) 09:48, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
also can you please explain what the below sentence you added means? It surely is not supported by the citation you've given it as that source does not explicitly explain how bitcoin fails to be a unit of account. Is does say that bitcoin will not have the status of money until people think in terms of bitcoins and mentions that goods are not priced in bitcoins. Your sentence reads, "Bitcoin has not yet achieved the status of "a unit of account, against which the value of an economy is measured". This is because of its money supply problems, both the disappearance of large exchangers, and because of its finite reserves, the arbitrary cap of 21 million bitcoins." Can you say this again using other words or is there no other way to explain the concept you're trying to convey? Fleetham (talk) 10:03, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
@Wuerzele: Please don't respond inside my posts. It's difficult to follow that way. Please answer below the post. Let's start over.
I said, "in this instance, the source clearly explains how 'tracking the temporal flow' of bitcoins only applies to users who have multiple Bitcoin addresses."
You are mistaken. the source clearly states any user who makes multiple payments can be tracked. --Wuerzele (talk) 08:34, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Okay, to respond to you... The source does not say "any user who makes multiple payments can be tracked." It only supports the idea that users who use multiple bitcoin addresses can be tracked. Please see the below quote from the source itself "Figuring out this kind of information isn't easy, but it's possible, Dumontet says. In order to combat this, most merchants create a unique Bitcoin deposit address for each sale, but when the merchant decides to bundle all of those deposits together they could still be giving a competitor a way of tracking all their Bitcoin transactions. So a competitor could learn something interesting about a company by first paying them in Bitcoins and then tracking how that money flows through the block chain."
This is something like the third time you've said a source supports something that it absolutely does not. Please read source material closely to prevent this type of error in the future. Fleetham (talk) 11:08, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
@Fleetham: your first sentence in this section is incorrect (tracking the temporal flow" of bitcoins only applies to users who have multiple Bitcoin addresses). My guess is, it is based on a faulty understanding of how tracking works. If you find me one reference that states the above, we will reach immediate consensus.
Fleetham, your attacks on me (kneejerk revert = strange, exactly what you have done even in this section! and numerous times, your unproven allegations, and the derogatory subject line "wuerzele reverts" (where it's you reverts before editing or discussing) are immature, if not ill-spirited, most of all, unproductive. also your complaint, that I reply within your posts (if I do I move a signature to the interrupted post to outline the author!)is curious;a month ago you didnt even follow the etiquette to file below a talk-post. since you messed with the format, nobody can figure out who said what. if you "want to start over" you should have fixed formats properly. and BTW you still dont address me at the beginning of a paragraph, as is etiquette, so: careful throwing stones in the glasshouse. since you dont like teh subject line "fleetham reverts" i suggest a factual, informative subject heading, ok?--Wuerzele (talk) 04:00, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree that Wuerzele's talk-page statement "any user who makes multiple payments can be tracked" is wrong, but it wasn't included in the article, and seems irrelevant to the topic. I'd suggest sticking to the original change being discussed in this thread, in which Wuerzele wrote "However the temporal sequence or flow of bitcoins can give clues as to who owns them." Taking "can give" to mean "sometimes gives", it seems like an accurate, if unclear and comma-deficient, derivative of the cited Wired article sentence "So a competitor could learn something interesting about a company by first paying them in Bitcoins and then tracking how that money flows through the block chain -- Bitcoin's public ledger -- and studying the other transactions that got bundled with the competitor's original payment." By "first paying them in Bitcoins", and "then tracking how that money flows", that is a temporal sequence, even if it's not the word choice I'd use.
Moving forward, both versions of the edit are laudably concise, but I think a slightly lengthier description of how identity can sometimes be traced and can be obfuscated would be of interest to readers. The issue of anonymity is important to the subject of Bitcoin, and explaining it well would be a real improvement to the article. ––Agyle (talk) 18:07, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
How about something along the lines of....

The public nature of Bitcoin means that, while those who use it are not identified by name, linking transactions to individuals and companies can be done. (1) Additionally, many jurisdictions require exchanges, where people can buy and sell bitcoins for cash, to collect personal information. (2) In order to obfuscate the link between individual and transaction, some use a different bitcoin address for each transaction (3) and others rely on so-called mixing services that allow users to trade bitcoins whose transaction history implicates them for coins with different transaction histories. (4)

1) Mapping the Bitcoin Economy Could Reveal Users’ Identities MIT tech review
2) Five Surprising Facts about Bitcoin Washington Post
3) How Bitcoin lets you spy on careless companies Wired
4) The Politics of Bitcoin Mixing Services Forbes
Fleetham (talk) 22:19, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Please post any comments or criticism. Fleetham (talk) 06:14, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

@Fleetham: @Agyle: first, I have changed the offensive subject heading. second I think Fleetham's paragraph above is poorly written. It crudely states something, then uses the trademark "while" sentence construction to state another thing. It explains nothing and doesnt use the terms. The second sentence is especially problematic. Since neither of you seems to have read the thread or cared to respond I will repeat: I think giving the 8/2013 Washington Post blog quote "anonymity will be even less guaranteed, because Bitcoin intermediaries will be required to collect personal data on their customers." so much prominence (=undue weight) is not helpful to understand the issue, because it's bizarro ( and nobody else to my knowledge has ever repeated it). citing bank secrecy laws for a loss of anonymity is wrong because it's not the risk to Bitcoin customer anonymity, nor whats represented in the media.I propose this instead:

===Anonymity of users , public transactions=== 

Because the block chain identifies receivers by Bitcoin addresses, and not individuals' names, it affords owners and recipients a high degree of anonymity. They are not anonymous, which is why some scholars have referred to them as ‘pseudo- anonymous’ ( in difference from pseudonymous). On the other hand, transactions are public by virtue of the decentralized accounting work in the blockchain. Transactions are largely untraceable, but context and history of transactions can give clues as to who owns them.[1] --Wuerzele (talk) 07:36, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, I understand that you don't like the style, but I don't understand how saying the fact that bitcoin intermediaries are compelled to collect personal information doesn't lessen the anonymity of the system. Also, how is including this "undue weight?" Giving due weight doesn't mean editors are compelled to create an article where all subjects covered are given the same amount of space as the number of sources that particular subject has. If there's other sources that say bitcoin intermediaries aren't compelled to collect info then yes, this is an "undue weight" issue. If not, it's not. Fleetham (talk) 07:45, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
@Agyle:citing bank secrecy laws for a loss of anonymity is wrong, because it's not the risk to Bitcoin customer anonymity, nor whats represented in the media. have you ever heard that about non bitcoin money exchanges? right. therefore it follows that giving the 8/2013 Washington Post blog quote "anonymity will be even less guaranteed, because Bitcoin intermediaries will be required to collect personal data on their customers." as much prominence as the public transaction issue means you are giving undue weight. This is not helpful to understand the issue, because it's bizarro and nobody else to my knowledge has ever repeated it. its a use-less statement. I will change it. --Wuerzele (talk) 04:33, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Bitcoin is not a currency, i.e., it is not a generally accepted verifiable unit of account[edit]

Bitcoin is not a currency!

This article loses a lot of credibility when it is repeatedly stated that bitcoin is a currency. It is not. There are many references to that fact. It is already generally accepted that bitcoin is not a currency. Obviously bitcoin speculators all want it to be a currency. Unfortunately, it is not. Speculators´ and bitcoin enthusiats´ hope that it can be made out to be a currency, is easy to understand and accept. However, governments have the final say and they say bitcoin is not a currency. The general members of the public know that. It would be better to remove the many references in the article that bitcoin is a currency. It is not money either. It has widely accepted as a unit of account for that purpose. That is not the case. TwoEscarf (talk) 00:44, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Please read WP:NOTTRUTH. Ging287 (talk) 00:46, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the lesson on Wikipedia editing. I read the link and the first two things you learn are: [to quote]: The policy reads, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." Written more verbosely, this means "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is not truth." [More is required.] So I did a Google-search on [bitcoin currency] and get 154million hits. The top hit is for a Forbes article 11 hour ago, "For Bitcoin, Lessons learned in the history of failed currencies" and the second highest rating by Google hummingbird is "Bitcoin is legally property, says US IRS. Does that kill it as a currency?" To me, common sense says that if it's used in commerce, one can consider calling it a currency. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 02:12, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Just a small note. It's not a binding policy, it's just an informative read and just inculcates WP:V to an extent. Nonetheless, glad it was helpful. Ging287 (talk) 02:21, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
After writing this note, I reread the article here and it looks good to me. In the lede, "In 2014 the US IRS ruled that the bitcoin should be treated as property rather than currency" and throughout the article it uses 'virtual currency', 'digital currency' not valid in China, etc. And there are 52 times the word 'currency' is properly, truthfully, and verifiably used. Continue on. It's a good article. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 02:25, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
The term "currency" is generally (not in this article) used in the context of being the same as money. In this article the term currency is used to be the same as medium of exchange and store of value. An item can only be "money" or "currency" when it has all three of the features of money or currency: 1. Medium of exchange 2. Store of value and 3. Unit of account. This article uses the term currency to simply mean medium of exchange and unstable store of real value. Yes, I fully agree that bitcoin is a medium of exchange and unstable store of real value. Bitcoin is not a widely accepted unit of account. This article´s use of the term "currency" when describing bitcoin is falsely implying that bitcoin is a unit of account like any other currency. Bitcoin is not a generally accepted unit of account that would qualify it as a currency. I agree that verifiable sources use the term "currency" for bitcoin in order to correctly state that it is a medium of exchangen and unstable store of value. There is no problem with the verifiable fact that bitcoin is verifiably a medium of exchange. There is no problem with the verifiable fact that bitcoin is verifiably an unstable store of value. There is a verifiable problem with the verifiable fact that it cannot be verified that bitcoin is a widely accepted unit of account. This article very strongly promotes a very false impression of bitcoin being a currency TwoEscarf (talk) 14:18, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Currency - That which is in circulation, or is given and taken as having or representing value; as, the currency of a country; a specie currency; esp., government or bank notes circulating as a substitute for metallic money. 1913 Webster. Also see currency. If not a currency then what term to better describe what Bitcoin is? Jonpatterns (talk) 14:32, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
A better term would be medium of exchange and unstable store of value or simply virtual medium of exchange since any medium of exchange has to have value at the time exchange.TwoEscarf (talk) 14:39, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Virtual medium of exchange or VME. TwoEscarf (talk) 14:43, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Virtual currency may be sufficient, from the article The US Department of Treasury in 2013 defined it more tersely as "a medium of exchange that operates like a currency in some environments, but does not have all the attributes of real currency" Jonpatterns (talk) 15:19, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
The US Department of Treasury statement "Medium of exchange that operates LIKE a currency in some environments, but does NOT have ALL the attributes of real currency" does NOT verify that bitcoin is a currency. The US Department of Treasury clearly verifies that bitcoin is NOT a currency. TwoEscarf (talk) 15:27, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
It verifies that it is a virtual currency- Jonpatterns (talk) 16:05, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
In contrast to real currency, "virtual" currency is a medium of exchange that operates like a currency in some environments, but does not have all the attributes of real currency. In particular, virtual currency does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction. This guidance addresses "convertible" virtual currency. This type of virtual currency either has an equivalent value in real currency, or acts as a substitute for real currency. ref

The US Treasury Department clearly verifies that bitcoin is NOT real currency. It states: IN CONTRAST TO real currency. Bitcoin is thus NOT real currency: it is IN CONTRAST TO real currency. The US Treasury Department then states "virtual" currency is a medium of exchange LIKE a currency in some environments. It now verifies - for the second time - that is NOT a currency, but, LIKE a currency. It qualified its statement about bitcoin IN THE BEGINNING. No matter how many times it then uses the term "currency" after that, it is always a QUALIFIED term, namely, it is (1) IN CONTRAST TO real currency and (2) LIKE a currency. It can use the term "currency" as many times it wants, it will always be in terms of its qualification in the beginning: it is IN CONTRAST TO real currency and (2) it is LIKE a currency.TwoEscarf (talk) 16:25, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

TwoEscarf, the article does not say Bitcoin is "real", official, or fiat currency, and explains the sense in which it is a currency. What specific change(s) are you proposing? ––Agyle (talk)
Make it clear that bitcoins only have two of the three generally accepted attributes of a currency, ie medium of exchange and store of value. Make it clear that bitcoin is (1) not legal tender and is (2) not a generally accepted unit of account like the Dollar as most people know all currencies have. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TwoEscarf (talkcontribs) 17:00, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
TwoEscarf (talk) 17:04, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
The article misleads people to think bitcoins is a currency. This is to the detriment of Wikipedia. Wikipedia suffers from widely being regarded as not a very reliable source of information. TwoEscarf (talk) 17:08, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your opinion, TwoEscarf. I do hear you. Bitcoin definitely has security/commodity-like features, so I included SEC and CFTC prelim statements in the econ section, waiting to see what they will do. I am familiar with your argument, as Fleetham has more or less said same to my edits. Bitcoin is a new, morphing and developing medium, so its not black and white money or not. My response: careful sourcing of relevant high quality references, and careful wording, as is used in those sources like "not real", "not fully fledged" etc. Alas, I am interested in evidence for what seems like your impression, the article being "misleading" and being "unreliable". I invite you to join the project, help mine sources and see first-hand (=my experience) how people argue every sentence, term, and capitalizations -:) ! FYI please see talk page March 2014. But I have to say, you are the first to capitalize /yell on this page as far as I know, even though we have bad disagreements. please dont. that said, I will start a new section so we dont have to look at the section title "BITCOIN IS NOT A CURRENCY, i.e., IT IS NOT A GENERALLY ACCEPTED VERIFIABLE UNIT OF ACCOUNT." --Wuerzele (talk) 18:46, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Wuerzele ([[User talk:Wuerzele|talk], it is totally misleading (in reverence to your sensitivies I do not use capital letters) to have "money supply" appearing in the bitcoin badge at the top right-hand corner of the article page. You are really (no capitals) fooling people with that. TwoEscarf (talk) 21:14, 1 April 2014 (UTC) Thanks for pointing this out, although I dont know why you are directing this to me. I never even noticed, maybe a template? @Fleetham: do you know ? you ve hung around here the longest time to my knowledge. I find it not "totally misleading", because it informs me about the cap. And thanks for not shouting, I appreciate it.--Wuerzele (talk) 21:29, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

TwoEscarf, while virtually everyone agrees Bitcoin isn't legal tender, stating this seems unnecessary to me, given that the opening paragraph already seems to make its status quite clear. Just focusing on that one paragraph, do you really think it's misleading people into thinking it's legal tender? If so, are there any specific wording changes you'd suggest to reduce the confusion?
Opinions vary on whether Bitcoin is a unit of account; for example, Germany legally declared it a unit of account last year (1 2). Opinions of whether bitcoins are money and units of account are addressed head-on in the Economy section. If you wish to contribute to the section, you're free to edit it yourself, or suggest improvements or published reliable references in a section on this Talk page. ––Agyle (talk) 20:24, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Agyle (talk), Bitcoin is not a currency or money as described in these two Wikipedia articles. However, the second last word in the first paragraph in the bitcoin article is a currency link. In the first sentence in currency is a money link that takes me to money where I read that unit of account is an attribute of money/currency which is linked from bitcoin. I get false information from Wikipedia. TwoEscarf (talk) 20:52, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
TwoEscarf, this article is not citing other Wikipedia articles as sources. If you think the money and currency articles have errors, correct them or discuss the issues in those talk forums. If you want to criticize Wikipedia in general, other websites may be a better place to do so. This page is for discussing this article. Agyle (talk) 01:02, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Last evening was interesting. Tom Brokaw has a new radio show [3] and talked about Bitcoin and how someone said it will be 'history'. He said he couldn't understand Bitcoin. Maybe he should read here in Wikipedia. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 14:48, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

As far as this article and the use of terms, I would say, "Just wait a while" and remember that "Victors write the History." If Bitcoin goes down, 'currency' can be reworded at that time in the future. Also, I'll reread the article here and see if the politics of Bitcoin has been given proper emphasis. Some want the US dollar to diminish and something like this to rise in the world. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 15:17, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree with those editors that want TRUTH reflected in Wikipedia, since some look to Wikipedia for facts and the TRUTH. At the same time, I find it interesting that when some of us put in TRUTH that is counter to biased media, we are accused of 'original research' when we cannot fInd TRUTH in biased media. So which way does Liberal Media (most of America) talk about Bitcoin? They call it a currency! Still, I vote for TRUTH. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 16:54, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

"Currency-like virtual medium of exchange" or virtual currency?[edit]

A currency-like virtual medium of exchange would be a very correct term conveying the correct information about bitcoin. TwoEscarf (talk) 17:24, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

A way to resolve this issue may be to hold a Request for Comments. A short section detailing the difference between real and virtual currencies may be an improvement linking to the main article at Virtual currency.Jonpatterns (talk) 17:32, 1 April 2014 (UTC) EDIT: there is already quite a good section on this in the article Bitcoin#Economics
I did this once before with an article, and it's still going, and close to being ended. However, RfC has one caveat that may be relevant; RfC has to be open for at least 30 days. So even if there's a huge consensus, the RfC can still be continuously happening. Ging287 (talk) 18:03, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Ok. Shall we have a Request for Comments as follows: Is a bitcoin a currency in terms the generally accepted definition of a currency having the follow three attributes: 1. Unit of account 2. Store of value and 3. Medium of exchange? Options: If bitcoins have all three attributes, we all agree that it is a currency. If bitcoins do not have all three attributes then we all agree that it is not a currency. I agree to such a RfC. Please set it up and give me the link where I can vote. TwoEscarf (talk) 18:10, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Ok, Jonpatterns (talk), I agree with you setting up such a RfC. TwoEscarf (talk) 18:22, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
User:TwoEscarf, you say An item can only be "money" or "currency" when it has all three of the features of money or currency: 1. Medium of exchange 2. Store of value and 3. Unit of account. What is the source of this? --John (talk) 18:34, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Hi John (talk), Here is the source: Money TwoEscarf (talk) 18:45, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

@Jonpatterns: Since this discussion has barely taken off on the talk page, I am not in favor for an RfC at this time. I think finding consensus without this instrument ispossible and preferable. @Ging287: I assume that the RfC you started was not for an article [which?] that has as many watchers as this page? I'd like to know what your experience with it was, but its premature, since it's not even been 30 days. @TwoEscarf: What you suggest does not sound like an RfC, but an up or down vote with "if...then" conditionals forcing an agreement. Or is this a April Fools' Day Request for Comments after all?--Wuerzele (talk) 19:20, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Here it is. It got pretty big and heated, but in the end, there was a big consensus to exclude it. Even though that is true, it's still ongoing and can't be stopped/assessed for consensus until 30 days have passed. Ging287 (talk) 19:33, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
User:TwoEscarf, a Wikipedia article cannot be a source for another Wikipedia article. If that is your only source for this belief, we wouldn't be able to use it. --John (talk) 19:23, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

I will see if I could find you a United States Federal Reserve Bank of other Central Bank reference. The three required functions of money/currency are very generally known.TwoEscarf (talk) 19:32, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Its not for me to start the RfC as I don't perceive a problem with the article. I only mentioned as a possible path to resolve conflicting views. In my opinion the short hand of calling bitcoin a 'virtual currency' is better than 'currency-like virtual medium of exchange', as long as the article points out what it means by 'virtual currency' which it does. Jonpatterns (talk) 19:35, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

John (talk): Functions of Money as per the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Luis. TwoEscarf (talk) 19:40, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Jonpatterns (talk), Thank you for your reply. It is all about the term "currency or money". A currency or money has to have those three attributes. When an item does not have all three attributes it is not money or a currency. That is it. Very simple. That is economic science. I fully agree with everybody that everyone calls bitcoins a currency. I agree 100%. That is the popular way bitcoin is seen. However, if bitcoin were to be analyzed in terms of economic concepts/definitions/principles, then it is very clear that it is not a currency or money. I also know that it is basically a waste of time trying to get solid economic concepts/principles/definitions onto a Wikipedia article like this. The popular or desired view of something like bitcoin is what Wikipedia is about. Unfortunately this leads to Wikipedia being seen as not a very reliable source of information. I personally would never take anything written in a Wikipedia article as correct - as I find it in the article. If I were really interested in finding out the correct answer I would always get a non-Wikipedia article reference. I´m sorry, but that is reality. TwoEscarf (talk) 19:56, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm sorry if you feel you've been wasting your time here. Your answer would be to bring more high-quality sources that back up your point, and make specific arguments here about how you think the article should be changed to reflect these sources. --John (talk) 20:41, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
I supplied you with the highest possible quality reference, the St Luis FED, stating that different forms of money always have those three attributes in common. You ignore that. I think most people would agree that was a waste of time on my part. TwoEscarf (talk) 21:23, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
I think Scarf has good references, and the topic should shift to how the article should be changed to reflect Bitcoin's recognized status as a quasi-currency. Fleetham (talk) 02:32, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
@Fleetham: which "good references" are you referring to? the wikipedia cross links ? It cant be the Economic Lowdown podcast series produced by the St. Louis Fed for high school students, since it is singular (n=1). Hmm.... when I introduced the 3 functions of money/currency in the Bitcoin#economics section, you deleted reverted and criticized the edit sarcastically as so often in the edit summary, sthg like: why bother with a rarely used definition. --Wuerzele (talk) 06:04, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Currency has multiple meanings. Reliable sources typically introduce Bitcoin on first use as a virtual currency, digital currency, or similar explanatory term to provide context, and frequently repeat the term, but also use just currency later in the article where it would not cause confusion. I'd suggest this article do the same. A survey of 7 sources:
The New York Times:
  • 2013-07-01 "The currency grabbed the attention of global markets in April when the value of a single bitcoin spiked..."
  • 2013-07-01 "The currency was invented in 2009 by a programmer or, possibly, a group of programmers..."
  • 2013-09-25 "...the future price of bitcoin, a currency generally traded on unregulated..."
  • 2013-10-31 "The currency known as Bitcoin – a much-hyped and..."
  • 2013-12-05 "...primer on Bitcoin and described how it is 'mined,' said that a 'fair value analysis' of the currency suggested..."
  • 2014-02-25 "...to buy and sell Bitcoins. But the firm has suffered several intrusions and technological mishaps, which have led to steep declines in the currency’s price."
The Wall Street Journal:
  • 2013-12-12 "Like many other U.S.-based Bitcoin startups, Coinbase has already spent between $1 million and $2 million in legal fees to comply with emerging state and federal guidelines governing the currency."
  • 2014-02-26 "But the unregulated currency isn't backed by a central..." "...a provider of storage accounts for the currency..."
  • 2014-03-07 "Mr. Nakomoto denied he had anything to do with the currency." "Fans of the currency..."
The Financial Times
  • 2013-11-28 "...subpoenaed early Bitcoin companies for investigations into the currency."
  • 2014-03-17 "...during his AP interview – in which he referred to the currency as 'Bitcom'..."
  • 2014-02-24 "China had initially taken a hands-off view of the new currency..."
  • 2014-03-25 "...a growing number of businesses have started accepting the currency..."
Bloomberg:
  • 2014-02-28 "...according to Bitcoincharts.com, which compiles prices and currency data..."
  • 2014-03-18 "...prosecutions of Bitcoin-linked money laundering, concerns that governments would restrict the currency..."
  • 2014-03-28 "Called a blockchain, the currency’s underlying design opens up possibilities..."
  • 2014-03-31 "to accept Bitcoin, recent events have underscored concerns about the viability of the currency."
  • 2014-12-04 "Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told the Senate committee the U.S. central bank has no plans to regulate the currency."
The Los Angeles Times:
  • 2013-05-17 "...representatives of the growing Bitcoin economy will gather to discuss how far the currency has come..."
  • 2013-10-03 "Bitcoin boosters like it because it is a currency that's decentralized..."
  • 2013-11-18 "...Bitcoin gained international notoriety as the currency of choice in the Silk Road..."
  • 2014-03-25 "The currency exists only online, and its value is based on an algorithm."
The Telegraph:
  • 2014-02-25 "...the Bitcoin Foundation, a group that oversees and represents the currency..."
  • 2014-03-11 "...associate bitcoin with money laundering, because it gained traction in its early days as a currency for buying illegal drugs..."
  • 2014-03-02 "Regulators have suggested the currency could be a legitimate alternative to cash..."
  • 2014-03-05 "...using bitcoins, but it is the highest-profile flight booking to date using the currency."
The Washington Post
  • 2013-04-04 "No one knows what, exactly, is behind the currency’s staggering climb..."
  • 2014-02-25 "...shore up confidence in the currency by saying Mt. Gox’s collapse..."
  • 2014-02-28 "The currency won support initially among technology enthusiasts and speculators..."
  • 2014-03-08 "...her Bitcoin investments. A California man fingered as the currency’s mysterious inventor reacted..."
Agyle (talk) 06:22, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Three functions of currency/money:

Fullerton College [4]

Oswego State University of New York [5]

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Luis - Educational Resources [6]

Business Dictionary [7]

Money, Banking and Monetary Policy, McConnell (Publisher: McGrawHill) [8]

The Measurement of Money Supply, Bank of Jamaica [9]

Money and Banking by Horace White [10]

Money and Banking by E. NARAYANAN NADAR [11]

International Monetary Fund [12]

Bank of Canada: What is money? [13]

TwoEscarf (talk) 14:38, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

The above are high-quality reference to the fact that unit of account is one of the three basic functions of money/currency. Bitcoin is not widely accepted as a unit of account because it is not relatively stable. Bitcoin thus does not qualify as a currency. There is absolutely no doubt at all that bitcoin is popularly regarded and seen and described and named and stated as a currency. However, in terms of economic fundamentals it is not a currency or money.

If required I can supply many more high-quality references that unit of account is one of the three primary functions of money/currency.

TwoEscarf (talk) 14:46, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

The search "three functions of money" produces 220 million links. This confirms the fact that it is very generally known what the three functions of money are. TwoEscarf (talk) 15:00, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Functions of Money:

Principles of Macroeconomics (6th Edition) N. Gregory Mankiw P. 325 [14]

TwoEscarf (talk) 15:19, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Edit: To change the article lead to define bitcoin as "quasi-currency" it is necessary to find appropriate verifiable sources defining bitcoin as such. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 17:41, 2 April 2014 (UTC) Also, please consider that there already are verifiable sources in the article defining bitcoin as "currency", "virtual currency", etc. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 17:46, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I really do think that Scarf has a point here... why don't we follow convention by continuing to refer to bitcoins as currency but also make more prominent mention of the fact that bitcoins are not money instead simply a medium of exchange? (And yes, I know that a German court once ruled them to be a unit of account, but they're really not used as such. References if you need them can be provided.) Fleetham (talk) 20:38, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham, TwoEscarf's suggestion wasn't to mention anything, it was to replace the description of Bitcoin as a "virtual currency" or "digital currency". In answer to your own question, the reason not to state that "bitcoins are not money" is the same as why not to state "bitcoins are money": it's an opinion, not a fact. Scholarly sources can be cited for either side. Agyle (talk) 04:48, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's certainly not an "opinion." What scholarly sources can be cited that make the argument that bitcoins are, in fact, fully fledged money? There is a generally recognized definition of what money is, and no one disputes the fact that Bitcoin doesn't meet that definition's criteria. Fleetham (talk) 07:27, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
@Fleetham: Nobody says it's a fully fledged currency, don't you get that? We've said this numerous times. And maybe you dont know this: but yes, a lot of scholarly work are " opinions", so just accept/live with the grey.--Wuerzele (talk) 00:53, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
It is fine to describe bitcoin as a virtual currency or digital currency - in terms of generally accepted, popular practice in the press and on the internet. No-one denies that fact. It is also a proven fact that - in terms of generally accepted, high-quality, verified research (see only a few references supplied above - google currently produces 223 million references for "three functions of money") bitcoin does not meet the three criteria for being defined as money because it is not widely used as a unit of account. I support Fleetham´s suggestion above to "follow convention by continuing to refer to bitcoins as currency but also make more prominent mention of the fact that bitcoins are not money instead simply a medium of exchange." This would be an encyclopedic approach relating to all branches of knowledge. TwoEscarf (talk) 09:54, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
The reference quoted above for bitcoins being accepted as a unit of account in Germany carries on: "The designation stops well short of treating bitcoins as currency or even e-money".[2] Thus, although it is being treated as a unit of account, it "stops well short of treating bitcoins as currency or even e-money." The second reference [3] states "Germany's ministry of finance has formally recognised the digital currency Bitcoin as a "unit of account" which can be used for private transactions – meaning that the ministry will now be able to tax users or creators of the four-year-old virtual money." and "While not putting Bitcoins on the same footing as formal currencies such as the pound or dollar, Germany's move does mean that people who have speculated in the online cryptocurrency could be liable for capital gains taxes if they sell them less than a year after acquiring them." The term "unit of account" is thus not being used in the German ruling in its very wide meaning it is employed as when used as one of the tree essential criteria for an item to be defined as money in terms of economics. The German ruling uses the term "unit of account" to make bitcoin transactions taxable in Germany and not to make it money equal to the Euro or Dollar.TwoEscarf (talk) 10:17, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
The popular practice in the press of calling bitcoin money can be seen in the second German quote. It refers to bitcoins as "virtual money" - that is how the paper sees it - but carries on to state that in Germany bitcoins are not put "on the same footing as formal currencies such as the pound or dollar."TwoEscarf (talk) 10:27, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
The "unit of account" ruling in Germany is thus misleading. It mistakenly appears that the German "unit of account" ruling legalizes bitcoin as money in Germany. It does not. It simply legalizes bitcoin transactions to be taxed. It does not legalize German companies to do their financial reports in terms of bitcoin. All German companies prepare their financial reports and the whole German economy is based on financial data measured in terms of the Euro which is money in Germany. The ruling did not make bitcoins money in Germany although most probably all reports about bitcoins describe it as virtual money, digital currency or simply currency or money. It is misleading to quote that reference and trying mistakenly to use it to prove that bitcoin is money in Germany. It is not. The German ruling simply made it legal for the German authorities to tax bitcoin transactions - in terms of the Euro and not in terms of bitcoins. Bitcoins will now be treated as any other commercial item generating a profit that can now be taxed in Germany. TwoEscarf (talk) 13:00, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham, "full-fledged money", which I'd take to mean "real money", "legal tender", or "fiat money" legally recognized by central governments, is different than "money" in the formal, 3-criteria economic sense. (Note that those three terms often have distinctions between them, different meanings, and specific definitions within laws of different nations; there are many different types of money.) In this article, the two issues (treatment as money by economists, and legal treatment by governments) are treated separately under "economics" and "legal status". A citation of an opinion that Bitcoin meets the 3-criteria test in the economic sense:
As TwoEscarf noted, popular coverage of the German ruling can be misleading; it didn't literally declare Bitcoin legal tender, which was sometimes reported (note the correction in a CNBC article), but treats it as a type of "private money" (privates gelt in German) meeting a specific definition of unit of account (Rechnungseinheiten in German), rather than as a foreign currency.
If you think the legal status should be summarized in the opening section, I don't think it would be controversial to add a statement (with sources) like "Bitcoin is not issued or backed by a central government, is not considered legal tender or 'real money' like the Euro or dollar, and its legal status varies in different countries." However, I didn't think it was controversial to describe bitcoin as a virtual or digital currency either, yet here we are, with several removals per day from the opening sentence. :-)
––Agyle (talk) 16:57, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
It may be worth mentioning bitcoin's economic and legal status in the lede, and referring the reader to those sections for the fuller explanation. Jonpatterns (talk) 17:12, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Jonpatterns,Agyle Yes, and that's why I had slipped in the lede the 3rd sentence that Bitcoin is decentralized, no central bank, as a quick info for readers it aint fiat money. making lengthy explanations about its legal status wont work. dont forget, peer-to-peer also should imply it aint fiat money. Its just too much to grasp at the very beginning, its educational suicide to hammer a reader with 4 wikiterms in one line. the first sentence always seemed bad to me.It needs to be relaxed at the very least there need to be non wikiterms between peer-to-peer and payment system, because I think people dont realize its 2 diffferent terms and just read over it. I doubt people look each term up. One needs to move from known to unknown, but peer to peer is virtually unknown. see Talk:Bitcoin#suggestions to improve readability from Febr 28 --Wuerzele (talk) 00:53, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Prose in Block chain section[edit]

The block chain sub-section currently begin with "The ledger is integral to Bitcoin as a sequential record of all transactions." Starting the section in this way presumes that a reader will already know that what is being referred to as "the ledger." I propose changing it to something like "Integral to Bitcoin as a sequential record of all transactions called the block chain." I think this change will make it easier for those who do not have much prior knowledge of bitcoin to read. Fleetham (talk) 03:14, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Good, I think it's clearer now. It used be explained well, but for whatever reason was whittled down until it didn't even mention the block chain. The paragraph could still use citations for the "ten minutes" and "prevents double-spending" parts. "Prevents" overstates it a bit anyway, without going into the details of transaction confirmations (i.e. unconfirmed or fast transactions, or transactions with only a couple confirmations, are still vulnerable to double spending fraud). Agyle (talk) 03:03, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
@Agyle:so why arent you editing that in? ---As far as good and clearer now, I dont see that. Fleetham, I request that you ping me if you expect a response. I am not combing through these pages to see if and where you may have addressed me. To call your proposal "unopposed" after waiting for less than 24 h and go ahead and edit are poor manners. your complaint about the word ledger having to be explained comes more than 1 month late. I introduced the term to the site. chrisarnesen didnt even want to wikify it ( I did), downplayed its importance saying its a common term anyway and I gave in. So , ledger has been a WP:status quo explaining blockchain. It stays. furthermore, I dont think the pompous sentence construction does any good. Integral in the beginning is teh wrong stress. You moved it to the front.

My proposal is to connect each sentence logically like this: The ledger is integral to Bitcoin as a sequential record of all transactions. In Bitcoin terminology it is known as the block chain. Because approximately every ten minutes a bundle of transactions, called a block, is added to the systemwide block chain. It thus records bitcoin ownership at present and at all points in the past.[4] By keeping a record of all transactions, the block chain prevents double-spending, which is a core challenge of digital currency design.[5]--Wuerzele (talk) 07:51, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Again, by starting with "the ledger" you may confuse those who have no idea what this refers to. Is this not true? Fleetham (talk) 08:57, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
and again: ledger is the appropriate analogy, a common term per chrisarnesen. --Wuerzele (talk) 00:20, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
@Wuerzele:, the reason I didn't change "prevents double-spending" is that I expect it to be a contentious issue where simple citations won't suffice, and I don't want to spend the time to find multiple detailed citations and defend the edits when it's likely to be reverted anyway. Per your objection to Fleetham's edit occurring with less than 24 hours notice, no notice is required for Wikipedia edits; normal convention is to make an edit, then revert and discuss if it's disputed (see WP:BRD). Why do you think it's important to remove the term block chain from the description? While the block chain is often succinctly described as a ledger (or acting like a ledger), a "record of transactions" seems like a more descriptive alternative, and I think is just a matter of word choice, not accuracy. ––Agyle (talk) 19:58, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
@Agyle: I did not remove the term blockchain plse read suggestion again.--Wuerzele (talk) 00:20, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
@Wuerzele: Ah yep, thanks. I had just read the first sentence. I think it's better to refer to it as the block chain or blockchain, in the first sentence, and without qualifying it as "Bitcoin terminology". While the term wasn't used by Nakamoto, it is referred to as "the block chain" or "the blockchain" in technical journal articles about Bitcoin that discuss it, as well as articles about other cryptocurrencies, and "block chain" has been used generically in computer science for decades (e.g., for chains of data blocks in file systems and other I/O systems). Non-technical journals often call it a ledger or public ledger, but I wouldn't suggest "the ledger" as the correct term in an encyclopedic article, which is one way of interpreting the proposed first sentence.
A different issue is that both the current "there is only one block chain" and the proposed "systemwide ledger" seem to oversimplify that there are always multiple versions of the block chain; if there were just one, double spending wouldn't be a problem. While Bitcoin network's treatment of block chains excludes some information included here, I think it strikes a better balance of technical accuracy vs. simplification in what it does say. ––Agyle (talk) 03:38, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
@Agyle:I do not see blockchain explained in Bitcoin network; please quote or send send subsection link. Recall I am the editor for the common man and Wikipedia is not primarily aimed at experts; therefore, the level of technical detail in its articles must be balanced against the ability of non-experts to understand those details. Therefore, I stand by using the term ledger first, followed by the bitcoin term "block chain", as I think an encyclopedia would too.

As far as oversimplification using "only one block chain" or "systemwide ledger": dont like any? Make a better proposal, plse. I think both Fleetham and I are trying to say the same thing. He says only one, and I call the longest blockchain, which becomes the systemwide approved transactionhistory, the one that all others will have to use from the moment on when its established to be the longest. I think this isnt oversimplified and any further (technical) detail should be under Bitcoin network, thats what the split in page was for.--Wuerzele (talk) 04:21, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Should any mention of "one" or "systemwide" simply be removed? I tried to find a mention of it on Bitcoin network but wasn't able to see how that page handles the issue. As I understand it, in theory there should only be one block chain, but it can be fragmented for various reasons. Perhaps something along those lines should be mentioned? Fleetham (talk) 03:50, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Informational commodity[edit]

Someone changed the definition of Bitcoin to "a informational commodity" citing an arXiv journal article. As anyone can post an article to arXiv, such material does not meet the guidelines for WP:RS. Fleetham (talk) 06:19, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Recent edits to the "Ponzi scheme" subsection of "Criminal activities"[edit]

I would like to thank Fleetham for the edit making some progress. I corrected the "prominanet" typo. That said, there are significant issues remaining:

  • Bitcoin is still presented as a "Criminal activity", which is not a neutral POV
  • The "While no court has found Bitcoin to be a Ponzi scheme" formulation looks biased:
    • there is no verifiable source for the information
    • there was no real accusation, so no court had a reason to address this
  • the "a 2012 report by the European Central Bank noted that Bitcoin has some features of Ponzi schemes" formulation is biased:
    • the report lists the features of a Ponzi scheme as given by SEC
    • the report does not mention a feature of Bitcoin that is in that list

Summing up, the subsection is still significantly biased. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 10:09, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

To address Mecir's concerns:
  • I don't think that the section presents Bitcoin as criminal activity. The section does not say "Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme."
  • I actually think the no court ruling bit helps bring neutrality to the section. I don't think we need a source because it's unlikely that one could be found. (I mean, can you find a source saying that no scientist thinks the world is flat?) And I'm not sure what you mean by "real" accusation. Reliable news outlets and prominent economists have made real accusations that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme. I think it helps the reader to know that while actual accusations have been made no legal accusation has been brought before a court.
  • The ECB does say that Bitcoin is a high risk system that exhibits information asymmetry and one that is at risk of sudden collapse. The only further characteristic of a Ponzi scheme is a promise or expectation of quick profits. You say that the ECB report lists the features of a Ponzi scheme as given by the SEC. Could you please quote the source for this? My suspicion is that the ECB defines the term Ponzi scheme as given by the SEC. I am inclined to agree that this "characteristics of a Ponzi scheme" sentence should be removed, however. The source does not clearly say this, but it does clearly state that it's difficult to determine if Bitcoin is or is not a Ponzi scheme—and if Bitcoin shares no characteristic or features with Ponzi schemes, why would making this determination be difficult? Fleetham (talk) 22:44, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Re "The source does not clearly say this, but it does clearly state that it's difficult to determine if Bitcoin is or is not a Ponzi scheme—and if Bitcoin shares no characteristic or features with Ponzi schemes, why would making this determination be difficult?" - I do not have any objections against mentioning that the ECB finds it difficult to determine whether Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme or not, because that is mentioned in the report. I do have significant objections against making any conclusions based on this fact, since we cannot determine with any certainty or reliability why the author(s) wrote that, we can only make some guesses, and we should not put guesses to Wikipedia. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 06:24, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Bitcoin as one of the "Criminal activities"[edit]

@Fleetham: Re: 'I don't think that the section presents Bitcoin as criminal activity. The section does not say "Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme."' You are right, the section does not say "Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme", at least not since you made the latest edits. The problem is that the section name is "Criminal activities" as mentioned above. Listing Bitcoin as one of the "Criminal activities" means presenting the non-neutral POV I am speaking about. I am not the only editor recognizing this problem. Agyle recognized the problem and proposed to move the paragraph to a more neutral section like "Reception". Ladislav Mecir (talk) 06:24, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

As Bitcoin has been accused of being a Ponzi scheme, that's the appropriate place for the section. Ponzi schemes are illegal. As written, the section makes it clear that Bitcoin, while being accused of being a Ponzi scheme, is not necessarily a Ponzi scheme. I can't imagine a normal person reading the Ponzi scheme section and coming away with the idea that "Bitcoin is without doubt a criminal activity." Fleetham (talk) 06:32, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
'I can't imagine a normal person reading the Ponzi scheme section and coming away with the idea that "Bitcoin is without doubt a criminal activity."' - Maybe, but a normal person reading the section can come away with the idea that Bitcoin is without a doubt listed in Wikipedia as one of the "Criminal activities". Ladislav Mecir (talk) 06:55, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Proposed "Overview" section (was: Bold, revert, discuss)[edit]

@Richardbondi: Hi, and thanks for your recent edit. You added a large amount of material to the very start of the article. A WP:BOLD move indeed. Congrats! As adding such a large amount of uncited material is unusual, I'd like to discuss the changes here. There's a couple of concerns... The edit lacks sources, and may be WP:Original research. And while your content additions are appreciated, I'm also not sure the best place for a detailed discussion of double spending is at the top of the page. Let's continue to discuss the changes referring to the Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle if needed. Fleetham (talk) 04:01, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

@Fleetham: Thanks, Fleetham. I've moved my proposed entry to User:Richardbondi. Could we & others please discuss it there?
I'm proposing these eight paragraphs as the second section of the Bitcoin article; I've pasted the first of eight paragraphs below so interested readers can decide if they want to click through and discuss the rest.

Re Fleetham's comments:

  1. I have not been able to find a comparably comprehensible explanation of how Bitcoin works anywhere, even on Wikipedia. My intention by being Bold was to get my account edited by others who understand how Bitcoin works as well. So what I've written is original in the sense that nobody has before explained Bitcoin in quite this way; it is not original at all in the sense that it just describes what is already known; IMHO it's best thought of as unoriginal overall.
  2. My source is an online article I have written, which in turn cites the original Bitcoin white paper; could someone suggest where in my Wikipedia entry I could best add it as a reference?
  3. I think the second main heading of the Bitcoin article is the appropriate place to put my Overview because: (1) people presumably come to the article to find out first _what_ Bitcoin is and then second immediately _how_ it works; (2) the current entry does indeed follow this format, but IHMO the current explanation of how Bitcoin works is too difficult to follow without the kind of Overview that I am proposing.

Thanks, Richardbondi (talk) 14:45, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

First paragraph (incl. header):

\=\=Overview\=\=
Just as a ledger can be used to record transfers of conventional money like dollars from payers to payees, all Bitcoin transfers are recorded in a ledger, called the "blockchain". However, whereas a conventional ledger records the transfer of actual dollar bills or promisory notes that exist apart from it, in the case of Bitcoin, only the blockchain exists: there are no actual coins or bills or other entities. It simply records the transfer of numbers from a payer to a payee, and those numbers are called "Bitcoins". What has made it viable as a currency is the system that makes it virtually impossible to create fraudulent entries in the blockchain ledger; most notably, entries cannot be fraudulently added or modified or deleted. What is remarkable is that this is accomplished without any central authority or server. Bitcoin servers form a network by simply connecting to each other over the Internet, and broadcasting any blockchain ledger additions they make to each other.

Continued at User:Richardbondi

@Richardbondi: No, this talk page is the place to discuss it. I would like to thank you for taking the time to add to the page. I propose that the first paragraph of your content and the incentive to mine section be incorporated into the Bitcoin page with citations added as appropriate. The more technical discussion of attacks on the block chain should be placed, I think, on a more technical page such as Bitcoin network. I'd be interested to hear what Richard and others have to say. Fleetham (talk) 20:44, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

@Fleetham:: Thanks for your comments. I strongly disagree - nothing personal, purely on the merits.

  • The attacks on Bitcoin I describe, specifically how they are defended against, are not some subtopic of Bitcoin: they are at its very core, why it works, why it is the first cryptocurrency ever. If one does not understand them, one does not understand how Bitcoin works; and if one does, everything else is just a footnote. Every previous cryptocurrency could be defeated by these basic kinds attacks, and that is why they never succeeded, are not famous, and are not used; it is how Bitcoin solved them that makes Bitcoin Bitcion.
  • The incentives are part and parcel of the defense against the attacks, and also are what makes Bitcoin Bitcoin. Without the incentives, there would be no reason to carry out the activity of mining which is precisely the defense against modification of the blockchain. This makes the incentive part of the explanation of the defense against the attacks; they are not a subtopic.
  • This section is titled "Overview" because it does just that: it provides an overview of these inseparable topics. Details are explored in later sections of the Bitcoin article.

Best, Richardbondi (talk) 21:12, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

@Richardbondi: Unfortunately, technical discussions about block chain vulnerabilities really aren't appropriate for a section that wants to be a quick overview of Bitcoin. There's certainly a place for such content, but that's not in an introductory section. I'm unsure why you would claim that the block chain vulnerability content is "inseparable" from the rest of your edit. Or why you would say that such vulnerabilities are not "some subtopic." You put them in subsections yourself, so you must recognize that at some level they are separate and distinct from your first, introductory paragraph (which makes no mention of block chain vulnerabilities). Fleetham (talk) 21:30, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
@Fleetham: You say that a quick overview should not be technical, and that the technical details do not belong in an introductory section. But what I have written is not technical, and it is an introduction: an introduction to a section that is technical.
  1. As I already said, the format of the article is already (1) explain what Bitcoin is, (2) explain how it works. I haven't touched the first section that attempts to explain what it is. What I have done is added a preamble to the second section that makes what is already there much easier to follow.
  2. As is appropriate for a preamble to a technical explanation, I have not attempted to explain technical details; they are explained later, and not by me. I do not consider my introduction technical: it refers to and links to digital signatures, but does not explain them; it refers to and links to hashes, but does not explain them. To explain what these things are would indeed be technical; to refer to them is not: that is why it is a preamble, an overview.
  3. More importantly, if you know of a way to explain how Bitcoin works without referencing these things, I would like to see it, and we should it use it instead of my overview. IMHO it is simply not possible to explain this in much less space than I have used, and without referencing them.
So unless you can convince me that my overview is more technical that it needs to be for an introduction to a technical section, I think I have addressed your concerns.

Thanks, Richardbondi (talk) 21:52, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, I think it's clear that you are against incorporating only some of your edit into the page. Let's see what other editors have to say. Fleetham (talk) 21:55, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Just to be clear, Richard is proposing to place the following at the very top of the page (under the lede):

(Edit by Richardbondi (talk) 22:50, 5 April 2014 (UTC) on 4/5/2014: deleted the <blockquote>; please use the one below instead.)

@Fleetham: Thanks for going to all this trouble, I really appreciate it. Is the following perhaps worth considering: Make my first paragraph the overview, but merge the other paragraphs into the existing technical section? TBH I feel the clarity of the technical section could be improved; I just didn't want to replace it, that's why I proposed my addition as a preamble. I will work up a draft of such a new technical section if you think that is a good approach. Thanks again, Richardbondi (talk) 22:04, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

@Richardbondi: Yes, I think that the more technical "attack" sections should be merged with or added to more technical parts of the article. Perhaps they should have their own subsection, but it shouldn't be right at the top of the page. You might also want to consider adding to the more-technical Bitcoin network article where you may find a pre-existing section that could benefit for your content.
And may I suggest using the overview paragraph to replace or modify the existing content in the block chain section? Your overview paragraph is really more an overview of how the Bitcoin system works (and specifically, how the block chain works) than an overview of Bitcoin itself. At least the header should be changed from "overview" to something more appropriate.
Also, if you think the technical sections of the article need improvement, please don't hesitate to replace them with better material! I look forward to seeing the draft. Fleetham (talk) 22:18, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

@Fleetham: @Wuerzele: @Ladislav Mecir: Hi all, as common contributors to this page, could you please review my proposed change below?

  • It would replace the current sections 1 through 1.2.
  • Currently 1 is titled "Transactions"; my replacement would say "The Bitcoin System". Fleetham has objected that I'm describing the Bitcoin system and not "bit coin" small b, the coins, and that my description of the system/network should go elsewhere. That's not unreasonable, but I suggest three reasons for keeping that discussion here:
  1. IMHO readers who are trying to find out how Bitcoin works don't know about the distinction between "bitcoin" and "Bitcoin"; and even after they learn it in the first paragraph, they've come to Wikipedia to find out how "it" works. What I've written is what they are looking for; I think it would muddy things to suggest to them, with only linked text, that they have to click through to another entry to find what they were looking for (assuming also that, re Fleetham, I move what I've written to the Bitcoin_network page).
  2. This Bitcoin page is the only place I have ever seen the distinction made between "bitcoin" small b for coins, and "Bitcoin" capital b for the system or network. I think it's actually a useful and good distinction (dollars and euros aren't capitalized), but I suspect it is only made on the Wikipedia page. I've googled "Bitcoin system" in double quotes, and there are very few hits, none of them making this distinction apart from the Wikipedia page. So, if that distinction doesn't actually exist in the real world, that's another reason to not force readers to go to a different entry to read what I've wrote (which is about the Bitcoin system).
  3. The original entries I'm replacing were also already about the Bitcoin system, but they didn't identify themselves as such, and were IMHO too brief to be comprehensible.

Unrelated, I think because of the above we should modify the lede to say that this distinction is only being made on this Bitcoin wikipedia entry page? Eg something like "We will distinguish here between.. etc".?

  • I have tried to address Fleetham's concern about how technical it is by keeping everything I think he considered technical out of the first paragraph.
  • Full disclosure: in 2.1, the reference to "How Bitcoin works: A guide for the digitally perplexed" is an original source, and mine. Apart from the Khan Academy videos, which are much more technical, I just don't know of a better non-technical description of how Bitcoin works, that takes the time to explain the cryptographic primitives involved in layman's terms. But of course I will understood if you wish to exclude it because it is an original source.

Thanks for your time and happy reading ;), Richardbondi (talk) 22:50, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

1 The Bitcoin system

The Bitcoin system consists essentially of two parts: a single ledger that records financial transactions in the "bitcoin" currency, and a system - the Bitcoin system - that protects the ledger against fraud. What is remarkable is that this protection is accomplished without any central authority or server. Bitcoin servers form a network by simply connecting to each other over the Internet, and anyone can run such a server. Candidate transactions of the form "Payer pays payee x bitcoins" are broadcast to this network using readily available software applications. Any Bitcoin server can validate these transactions, add them to its copy of the blockchain ledger, and then broadcast these ledger additions to all other servers. Thus myriad copies of a single master blockchain ledger exist everywhere on the Internet, and are constantly being updated with new, validated entries.[6] [7]

1.1The blockchain ledger and how it is protected

Just as a ledger can be used to record transfers of conventional money like dollars from payers to payees, all bitcoin transfers are recorded in a single computer file that acts as a ledger, called the "blockchain". However, whereas a conventional ledger records the transfer of actual dollar bills or promisory notes that exist apart from it, in the case of Bitcoin only the blockchain exists: there are no actual coins or bills or other entities. The blockchain simply records the transfer of numbers from a payer to a payee, and those numbers are called "bitcoins".[6]

There are two main ways the blockchain ledger can be corrupted to steal bitcoins: by fraudulently adding to or modifying it. The Bitcoin system protects the blockchain against both using a combination of digital signatures and cryptographic hashes.[8] (For a more technical description of the Bitcoin system and network, see Bitcoin_network.)

1.1.1 The Addition Attack and digital signatures

Payers and payees are identified in the blockchain by their public cryptographic keys: most Bitcoin transfers are from one public key to a different public key. (Actually, hashes of these keys are used in the blockchain, and are called "Bitcoin addresses".). In principle, an attacker Eve could steal money from Alice and Bob by simply adding transactions to the blockchain ledger like "Alice pays Eve 100 bitcoins", "Bob pays Eve 100 bitcoins", and so on, using of course these people's Bitcoin addresses instead of their names. The Bitcoin protocol prevents this kind of theft by requiring every transfer to be digitally signed with the payer's private key; only signed transfers can be added to the blockchain ledger. Since Eve cannot forge Alice's signature, Eve cannot defraud Alice by adding an entry to the blockchain equivalent to "Alice pays Eve 100 bitcoins". At the same time, anyone can verify Alice's signature using her public key, and therefore that she has authorized any transaction in the blockchain where she is the payer.[6][7]

1.1.2 The Modification Attack and mining

The other principle way to steal Bitcoins would be to modify blockchain ledger entries. Eve could buy something from Alice, like a sofa, by adding a signed entry to the blockchain ledger equivalent to "Eve pays Alice 100 bitcoins". Later, after receiving the sofa, Eve could modify that blockchain ledger entry to read instead: "Eve pays Alice 1 Bitcoin", or even delete the entry. Digital signatures cannot prevent against this attack: Eve can simply sign her entry again after modifying it!

To prevent against modification attacks, the Bitcoin system first requires entries be added to the blockchain not one at a time, but in groups or "blocks". More importantly, each block must be accompanied by a [Cryptographic_hash_function|cryptographic hash] of three things: the hash of the previous block, the block itself, and a number called a "nonce". A hash of only the first two items will, like any cryptographic hash, always have a fixed number of bits (eg 256 for SHA-256). The nonce is a number which, when included, yields a hash with a specified number of leading zero bits. Because cryptographic hashes are essentially random, in the sense that their output cannot be predicted from their inputs, there is only one known way to find the nonce: to try out integers one after the other, e.g. 1, then 2, then 3, and so on. This process is called mining. The larger the number of leading zeros, the longer on average it will take to find a requisite nonce. The Bitcoin system constantly adjusts the number of leading zeros so that the average time to find a nonce is about ten minutes. That way, as computer hardware gets faster over the years, the Bitcoin protocol will simply require more leading zero bits to make mining always last about ten minutes.[6][7]

This system prevents modification attacks in part because an attacker has to recalculate all the hashes of the blocks after the modified one. In the example above, if Eve wants to change "100 bitcoins" to "1 bitcon", she will not only have to recompute the hash of the block that transaction is in, but of all the blocks that come after it; she will have to recreate the chain of blocks. She can do this, but it will take her time, about ten minutes on average per block. However, during that time the network will continue to add blocks, and it will do so much faster than Eve alone can mine. Eve would have to recalculate all the blocks before the network could add a new one, or at least catch up with or overtake the network's miners. To do this, she would have to have roughly as much computing power as much of the existing Bitcoin miners combined. This would be very expensive and, if the Bitcoin network is large enough, likely infeasible. Furthermore, because of financial incentives to mine described below, it will make more financial sense for Eve to devote her resources to normal Bitcoin mining instead. Thus the system protects against fraudulent blockchain modifications by making them expensive and, if the attacker is rational, unappealing because they make less financial sense than becoming a miner. The more miners there are, the more expensive and less feasible such attacks become, making the whole system even more secure.[6][7]

1.1.3 Double-spending

While the blockhain ledger fraud problems are particular to Bitcoin, the Bitcoin system also solves a problem common to all digital currency and payment schemes: that of so-called double-spending. With paper money or physical coins, when the payer transfers money to the payee, the payer cannot keep a copy of that dollar bill or coin. With digital money, which is just a computer file, this is not the case, and the payer could in principle spend the same money again and again, copying the file over and over. With Bitcoin, when Eve offers to pay Alice some bitcoins, Alice can always first check the blockchain ledger to verify that Alice actually owns that many bitcoins. Of course, Eve could try to pay many people simultaneously; but Bitcoin can defend against that as well, albeit somewhat cumbersomely. If Eve offers to pay Alice some bitcoins in exchange for goods, Alice can stipulate that she will not deliver the goods until Eve's payment to Alice appears in the blockchain, which typically involves waiting about ten minutes.[5]

1.1.4 Incentives to mine

Miners have two incentives to mine. First of all, as a reward for finding a nonce, they are allowed to allot themselves a certain number of Bitcoins "out of thin air". Second, every payer can include an optional "transaction fee", which can be thought of as a kind of tip before a service is rendered rather than after. A miner who finds a nonce can transfer all the transaction fees in that block to herself. Payers have an incentive to include transaction fees because their transactions will likely be added to the blockchain sooner: miners prefer to include such transactions in their blocks.

In the Bitcoin system, the number of Bitcoins that can be manufactured "out of thin air" decreases steadily over time, and will eventually be zero. After that time, miners' only incentive will be transaction fees.[6][7][9][10][11]

refs
  1. ^ McMillan, Robert. "How Bitcoin lets you spy on careless companies". Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference primer was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ a b Wallace, Benjamin (23 November 2011). "The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin". Wired. Retrieved 4 November 2013. "One of the core challenges of designing a digital currency involves something called the double-spending problem." 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Ramzan, Zulfikar. "Bitcoin: What is it?". The Khan Academy. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Nakamoto, Satoshi (10/31/2008). "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" (pdf). Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Bondi, Richard. "How Bitcoin Works: A guide for the digitally perplexed". Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "How much will the transaction fee be?". FAQ. Bitcoin Foundation. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Ashlee Vance (14 November 2013). "2014 Outlook: Bitcoin Mining Chips, a High-Tech Arms Race". Businessweek. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  11. ^ Ritchie S. King Sam Williams David Yanofsky (17 December 2013). "By reading this article, you're mining bitcoins". qz.com. Atlantic Media Co. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
Just a reminder... if you're citing yourself, that's WP:OR unless you're an expert. Are you an expert? Fleetham (talk) 23:17, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
It's actually WP:OR even if you're an expert; you'd need reliable, published sources to back up what you're claiming, even if you're an expert on the topic. - Aoidh (talk) 02:57, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, if Richard is published elsewhere as an expert he could still cite his own blog per WP:SPS. Fleetham (talk) 21:19, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
@Richardbondi: Yes, I think the change from "overview" to "Bitcoin system" is appropriate. And the big-b bitcoin v. little-b bitcoin thing might be followed elsewhere but you just didn't notice? The source for that is an Atlantic article that says "there's a consensus forming" around this convention, but to be honest I haven't bothered when reading articles about Bitcoin to determine if other people are actually doing it. Anyway, I think that your material is pretty much ready to go... I'd still be interested to hear from some editors, such as @Agyle:, who may have a better grasp of the inner workings of Bitcoin than I do. I'm not sure it should entirely replace the first section. Instead I support keeping the existing subsections, such as anonymity, that are about topics you don't cover. Also, any "big claim" that's still uncited in your version should be cited or a "citation needed" template added. And the attack sections should not go at the top of the page... I suggest moving them to another section further down the page (perhaps titled "Block chain vulnerabilities"). Unfortunately, I just think covering specific block chain attacks really derails the section. ...I mean, it's as if you're explaining the US dollar by saying,

"US dollars are the fiat currency of the USA and can be coins or notes. Today, only a few other currencies, such as the euro, British pound, and Japanese yen, have the same stature and worldwide use as the US dollar. The 1884 $5 note was easily counterfeited by anyone with an intaglio printing press.

...you go from basic overview to incredible detail with no warning, and frankly I think it's jarring for the reader. Fleetham (talk) 21:30, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
@Fleetham: Thanks for the feedback; sorry I wasn't able to check in here until today.
1) I was only proposing replacing the sections titled "Transactions", "Block chain", and "Mining", not the section "Anonymity" or anything that comes after it.
2) Thanks for the pointer to WP:SPS. IMHO it does appear to allow me to cite my unpublished article, because as published author of a book on cryptography[1] by a reputable press John_Wiley_&_Sons I fit its criteria as an expert in the field (Bitcoin is a "crypto" currency).
3) How about if I rearrange my proposed sections and integrate them like this?
  1. Lede (old)
  2. The Bitcoin System (new)
    1. The blockchain ledger (new, 1st para only)
    2. Anonymity
    3. Ownership
    4. Buying and selling
    5. Wallets
  3. Security (new: "There are two main ways the blockchain ledger can be corrupted...")
    1. The Addition Attack and digital signatures (new)
    2. The Modification Attack and mining (new)
    3. Incentives to mine (new)
    4. Double-spending (new)
  4. History (old)

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). Thanks, Richardbondi (talk) 17:18, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

@Richardbondi: Yeah I think that's fine. Fleetham (talk) 21:52, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
@Fleetham: Thank you Fleetham! I've updated the Bitcoin page. Thank you very much for your feedback; it definitely made my entry much better, and more accessible, than it would otherwise have been. Much appreciated. Best, Richardbondi (talk) 02:07, 15 April 2014 (UTC) (PS: Should I now delete this discussion from the Talk page, or leave it for posterity?)
@Richardbondi: Well, thanks for adding to the page! No need to delete the talk page entry. A bot will archive it in a bit. Fleetham (talk) 04:35, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

I am sorry for being negative, but the introducing sentence: "The Bitcoin system consists essentially of two parts: a single ledger that records financial transactions in the "bitcoin" currency, and a system - the Bitcoin system - that protects the ledger against fraud." does not make sense to me. The Bitcoin system consists of single ledger and the Bitcoin system? Are you serious? To illustrate the fallacy, here is an example that could give you an idea what is wrong about it: "A notebook consists of two parts: the keyboard and the notebook." Ladislav Mecir (talk) 19:48, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

@Ladislav Mecir: Yes, you're right. How about: "The Bitcoin system essentially consists of a ledger that records monetary transactions in the "bitcoin" currency, and various measures to protect the ledger against fraud."? Please feel free to make that change or a similar one.

Also, I am rather uncomfortable with the "single ledger" formulation. I would prefer to just read "the ledger". Ladislav Mecir (talk) 19:51, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

@Ladislav Mecir: I have no objection to "the ledger" instead of "single ledger", please feel free to make that change.

I am also rather uncomfortable with the "myriad copies" formulation. That is figurative and suitable for a novel, but do you find it approapriate for an encyclopedic article? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 20:09, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

@Ladislav Mecir: I'm fine with "many" instead of "myriad", please feel free to make that change.
Thanks

Seeing an edit: "Any Bitcoin server can validate these transactions, add them to its copy of the ledger" - As a matter of fact, I know that this is false - only some servers (mining servers) can do that, while other servers do other things (preserve copies of the block chain and broadcast new transactions). Thus, the formulation looks false. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 23:27, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Fleetham reverts[edit]

  • Please do not wholesale revert or delete stuff, unless its vandalism. Instead put template messages up that signal to evryone whats up. Often lot of mindfulness has gone into only few words.
  • Dont delete just any unsourced sentence you find in a fly-by-night edit frenzy.
  • Point in case : [Deletion with your comment "ce lede, removed unsourced bit about IRS... is this lede worthy material?"] first it is bizarre to ask teh question when you kill teh sentence. this is fait-accomplis and nobody will answer it . its a rhethorical question. you want no discussion. Fleetham, I know this article almost by heart and I know the IRS decision is sourced, where its supposed to be sourced: in teh respective regulation section. you forgot. whoever wrote it in the lede, TwoEscarf I think, didnt know, but was still ok. everyone of us buy you was obviously ok with this. we dont have to cite everything in teh lede onlty to do it again in teh subsection nobody. but you feels its not lede worthy.
  • And: Please stop the repeated reverts = biting the new newbies to the site!--Wuerzele (talk) 05:15, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham continues to revert wholesale: Template:U:Kgrad put a section of miningpools in the article. Ok, pretty raw and unsourced, he/she has to learn. But this is no reason to delete it without any valid reason barely 4 h after creation. you have been warned. stop the uncivil behavior and aggressive gestures towards newbies to the page. I will reinsert.--Wuerzele (talk) 05:31, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

external links to sister wikis (I think this is my third edit on this :-)[edit]

  • my edit (→‎External links: not in WQ or WV---yet (not the neatest edit I admit))
  • my edit reverted (→‎External links: Remove external links that don't satisfy the criteria set forth in Wikipedia:External links)
    Wikipedia:External links
  • my restoration (I put back sister project links in external links. At least Wiktionary deserves a link. Will read the Wikipedia meta-page later.)
  • edited out again (Undid addition of external links. The wiktionary entry is inaccurate (says "BitCoin" is an acceptable alternative capitalization), the other content is mediocre at best. Why would we link to that? Nothing in Wikipedia:External links requires it.)

Wiktionary has a number of alternate spellings for wiktionary:bitcoin and a decent discussion about it on their page. External links might not require it, nor does it forbid it. Besides, isn't sister project external links a bit different from other type of external links?Civic Cat (talk) 19:51, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Mining pools[edit]

It is OK to tell what a mining pool is, but I think that the description of the reward systems is too much. What about moving the reward systems to a more specialized article? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 17:31, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Ladislav thanks for your comment; a more specialized article, such as? Until and unless there is "more of a specialized article", I want to keep it here. Also, this is specific to Bitcoin. ---Why is the info on reward systems "too much?" I could have said the numerous malware sections was too much. I didnt. I think the info on the different reward system is highly interesting. I am no miner, but I feel covering that area should be part of an encyclopedic article about Bitcoin.--Wuerzele (talk) 02:45, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Ladislav Mecir I removed the info about the reward systems (it appears to have been taken from a Bitcoin wiki) and re-wrote the section using good sources. (The only source present prior was from Arxiv, which doesn't pass WP:RS I think.) Please let me know what you think! If you know of a technical article that could benefit from the reward system info please add it there. I agree that it's too technical for the page. Fleetham (talk) 21:42, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Wow, You are asking Ladislav what he thinks AFTER you deleted my section as usual within 14 h? I, the author of the section and regularly contributing editor to this page think this is uncivil. Once again a good faith edit has been completely deleted without good cause.
The allegation that the info is from a wiki is not only wrong, but unfounded. This is new material for the page, sourced, nothing was taken from a wiki. Furthermore Fleetham mixes cases up (again), previously [deleted a similar contribution that was unsourced], but I found a source, and reported what is in the source. The allegation that source doesnt pass WP:RS is just that, an allegation.
what Fleetham replaced instead is missing the mark, bad prose (always a "while..." sentence) and completely miss the points I added.
  • The first sentence is superfluous, unneeded.
  • The second sentence "The odds of being the lucky winner are so slim that the amount spent on electricity to power your computer likely outweighs any bitcoins received in payment" is misattributed to the source (Purdue). Fleetham paraphrased a sentence almost verbatim from arbiteronline: "The energy you spend, the resources you consume to run your computer to mine the Bitcoins may not match what you gain from being part of a pool that gets the bitcoins out".
  • The third sentence "To get around this problem, some miners combine their efforts by joining so-called mining pools that share the task of mining among many participants and the rewards as well." Is less precise than the source and even contradicts the source. Its not some its "the most common way now for people to begin mining bitcoins is through joining a pool".
  • The last sentence concludes with what I consider an unfounded value judgement of the topic mining pools. Consider the source! The ARbiteronline interviewing 2 assistant political science professors "Even those who join pools may not earn more than the electricity spent on mining, however."
I cant help noticing, that Fleetham is continuously finding and emphasizing negative aspects of Bitcoin, (see the above 4 sentences) something I have said before, "undue weight". I'd appreciate if Fleetham created new stuff himself, worked on finding citations, where citation needed signs are up, gets reference 8 in line etc. put inline signs up, waits for some days for responses. If there is an error, he should edit in small ways, add, like others do instead of continuously wholesale deleting stuff you simply don't like.
The problem is, that 90% of the time Fleetham deletes good faith edits, deletes within 24 h without giving readership a real a chance to react, and worst, deletes WITHOUT PRIOR DISCUSSION. This is disruptive editing. Fleetham who talks to the hand so much, should read WP:TALKDONTREVERT himself. --Wuerzele (talk) 02:45, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

@Wuerzele: Perhaps both you and I could benefit from reading WP:TALKDONTREVERT: " Contributors with good social skills and good negotiation skills are more likely to be successful than those who are less than civil to others." Just back off the personal attacks please, and I'll do less immediate reverting of unsourced material. Fleetham (talk) 04:41, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

No self revert then ? But more allegations, since these are no personal attacks. I criticize extremely poor editing skills, that happen to be disruptive. Someone wrote earlier that one has to be a masochist to edit here endure this atmosphere. Fleetham has shown poor social skills and reverted on all sites hes involved in, as far back as I could research when I reported his edit warring; he has a block log history and a user page scarred with complaints. Fleetham's "if --then" proposal doesnt even work in a kindergarten; one must model, but Fleetham deletes, regardless, as can be seen in the edit history today.--Wuerzele (talk) 00:28, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Indeed, Fleetham's edits are highly inaccurate. For example, "...the amount spent on electricity to power your computer likely outweighs any bitcoins received in payment. To get around this problem, some miners combine their efforts by joining so-called mining pools..." does not make sense at all. If I cannot get enough to pay for electricity bills, joining others cannot help me. It contradicts any serious sources. Also, there are miners doing it for profit, and the underequipped, unsophisticated and irrational should not be presented as the rule. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 09:30, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

I propose to use this text:

Solo mining means an individual works alone to calculate hashes, to collect the reward of finding a block. Success depends on time and hash rate. The luck factor, or mathematically speaking the variance was calculated in 2011 to be quite high. A "joint effort of several miners to work on finding blocks together," and decrease the variance is called a mining pool.[26] The reward is split among participants in proportion to their contribution.

, we just need to find the sources verifying it. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 09:40, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Ladislav Mecir thanks for your proposal. Ref1 for solo mining and variance: [2]
Ref 2 best def for mining pool, even if commercial source "Mining pools are a way for miners to pool their resources together and share their hashing power while splitting the reward equally according to the amount of shares they contributed to solving a block. A "share" is awarded to members of the mining pool who present a valid proof of work that their miner solved."
Ref 3 The rise and fall of Bitcoin mining. By Aaron Sankin, January 29, 2014 i believe is already in the ref list (ahh, it got lost in the extraordinary editing bonanza today), mentions pools, their history since 2010 and their power, shows a graph of incr. "difficulty" (units?), but sloppily written.
I propose to also write sthg like 'initially people were able to mine by themselves, but with ever increasing calculation time, as of 2014 it is most common for miners to join organized mining pools'. --Wuerzele (talk) 02:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Investor warnings as POV[edit]

@Wuerzele: A recent edit was reverted because two different warnings to investors was "pushing POV." I'm unsure how mentioning that both FINRA and the European Banking Authority have warned investors about investing in bitcoins is not a WP:NPOV stance. Couldn't the same logic be applied to, for example, multiple mentions of retailers accepting bitcoins? "Sorry, you can't say that both Clearly Canadian and TigerDirect accept bitcoins. That's POV." I suggest reinstating the mention that both FINRA and the European Banking Authority have warned investors about investing in bitcoins. Fleetham (talk) 03:41, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Also, please don't simply delete text because you feel it's POV. The WP:NPOVFAQ states that, "especially contentious text can be removed to the talk page if necessary, but only as a last resort, and never just deleted." Do you really feel it's "especially contentious" to mention the fact that two organizations have warned on bitcoin instead of only mentioning one of the two organizations? Fleetham (talk) 04:03, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
We now have a reliable proof that banks, central banks or banking authorities do not present neutral POV on Bitcoin. (See the report by David Andolfatto.) This suggests that such sources should be handled as nonneutral primary sources of information. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 18:17, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
That sounds like a conspiracy theory to me. Kinda like those who deny the holocaust or believe the world is flat. The fact is most don't believe that reputable government agencies are biased against bitcoin. Per WP:VALID "While it is important to account for all significant viewpoints on any topic, Wikipedia policy does not state or imply that every minority view or extraordinary claim needs to be presented along with commonly accepted mainstream scholarship. There are many such beliefs in the world, some popular and some little-known: claims that the Earth is flat, that the Knights Templar possessed the Holy Grail, that the Apollo moon landings were a hoax, and similar ones. Conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, speculative history, or even plausible but currently unaccepted theories should not be legitimized through comparison to accepted academic scholarship." Fleetham (talk) 20:35, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
And what do you mean by "the report by David Andolfatto?" I looked over a bunch of stuff by him including this powerpoint presentation. No where in it or anything else by Mr. Andolfatto is there any mention of "reliable proof that banks, central banks or banking authorities do not present neutral POV on Bitcoin." In fact, I can't seem to find what by David Andolfatto you're referring to unless it's slide 34 of the above presentation where he states, "well-run central banks should welcome the emerging competition. There is (in my view) room for beneficial coexistence." Some pretty damning evidence of the central bankers' rabid hatred for bitcoins, right there! Fleetham (talk) 21:01, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham thanks for your message. please mention exactly what you are referring to. I reverted 2 of your 12 or so edits from the day before under WP:STATUSQUO, as far as I remember and ran out of space in teh edit summary explaining all you had changed with "ce was decreasing precision, incorrect use of tense, EBA warning repeat pushing POV, w". Unlike you I didnt remove any new facts or references, correct me if I am wrong. The EBA analysis is still there. Thank you.--Wuerzele (talk) 21:11, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
No, the EBA analysis is not there because you reverted my edit. Please address the issues I've brought up. I'm going to replace the material soon because no one has said that it shouldn't be there. If you don't want it to go back, please explain why. Fleetham (talk) 21:14, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Fleetham first of all, I didnt get pinged , once again. All I find in my inbox is: Fleetham reverted,reason : unchallenged" ? this is ridiculous. there's no urgency, you must reasonably wait for a response. second: How long did you wait for a response? you push through edits ( 15 or something yesterday?). I warn you. you are edit warring again.--Wuerzele (talk) 05:58, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Fleetham wrote: "The fact is most don't believe that reputable government agencies are biased against bitcoin." - no, the independent secondary source you removed from the article replacing it by the primary source verified the statement "... bitcoin could be a threat to the establishment, which he argues is a good thing for the Federal Reserve System and other central banks because it prompts these institutions to operate sound policies..." Ladislav Mecir (talk) 11:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Stating that some institution is not neutral is not the same as stating that there is a conspiracy. For example, in justition, courts are neutral, but attorneys are not, representing just one side of the trial. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 14:15, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

@Ladislav Mecir: I reverted your edit to the David Andolfatto section and then quickly put it back... Sorry about that, I kinda thought the whole "Andolfatto declares bitcoins a major threat" thing was likely journalistic hyperbole because the source you used cites an interview were the interviewer, not Andolfatto, mentions the "bitcoin threat." But all is well. On his personal blog the guy mentions that he believes "the threat that [bitcoins and gold] pose as alternate currency can serve as a useful check on a central bank." So there you go... nobody's putting words in his mouth.
About the EBA warning on bitcoins:
  • A single quote from a worker at a central bank saying that bitcoins are opposed to central banks is not enough to make a normal person believe that the Fed or the ECB would publish a misleading investor warning on bitcoins. They are widely regarded as credible institutions and aren't known for politicking.
  • The investor warning in question is not from a central bank but instead the European Banking Authority, a regulator that supervises financial activities.
  • Even if the warning had been issued by a central bank it could still be used as a source per WP:BIAS: "Wikipedia articles are required to present a neutral point of view. However, reliable sources are not required to be neutral..."
  • So, even if the source was considered biased it could be used as long as NPOV is maintained. Maintaining NPOV is, per WP:WEIGHT, fairly representing all significant viewpoints from WP:RS. The idea that bitcoins are a safe and non-risky investment is not a "significant viewpoint," however. No one reputable goes around saying, "invest in bitcoins, an entirely safe way to make money fast."

So, I don't think that anyone can say that the EBA warning shouldn't be mentioned. I don't expect people to be familiar with the rules of Wikipedia, but before you say things like "take it away, take it away that source is clearly biased!'" please make a brief effort to see what the rules say about that. Fleetham (talk) 21:29, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

In David Andolfatto's case, I still find it inappropriate to present the primary source (self-published blog) when the secondary source is available. Why are you pushing the primary source? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 21:56, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the EBA warning - that is presented by a reliable secondary source, and I never said the secondary source should be taken away. That is your own idea, and I do not have anything in common with it. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:00, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure what's so wrong about a primary source. Simply "being a primary source" is not a reason to remove a source. Please read WP:PRIMARYNOTBAD. I can understand not using a primary source if it requires interpretation or if it's inaccessible to a normal reader. But in the case of "what was said by David Andolfatto" or "the beliefs of David Andolfatto" citing David Andolfatto himself seems to be a good way to go. Fleetham (talk) 22:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Missing citation in Regulation section was intentionally removed[edit]

I wondered how reference 142 had disappeared in a section that I mostly wrote /know about. Maybe by accident in the editing bonanza of the last 2 days? ? No. Fleetham’ s deliberate deed: Fleetham cut a valid reference with the edit summary “removed citation that does not support statement--link is simply to the rules themselves and mentions no July 2011 amendment” and put up a citation needed sign.

Is this vandalism in a crazy form? Mere incompetence? I do not care to know, but it is dysfunctional if not, again, disruptive. Look at the reference. Look at it twice. where does it not support the statement? Fleetham, improve stuff if you want, or ask if you're not sure, but do not cut/ remove/ delete any valid core references. I caught this one by chance --Wuerzele (talk) 21:28, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Does the citation support the sentence it cites? This is a direct link to the citation: Bank Secrecy Act Regulations; Definitions and Other Regulations Relating to Money Services Businesses. A Rule by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on 07/21/2011. I'm not entirely sure that supports the idea that "in the US the first step of regulation occurred in July 2011, when the US Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network added "other value that substitutes for currency" to its definition of Money services businesses." If you're going to make a big deal out of removing the citation, I'm sure you'd also want to make sure other people know the citation is a good one. Can you provide a quote from the citation that supports the sentence? In future, it might be better to stick to secondary sources as recommended by WP:Citing Sources. It's really a bit much to expect the casual reader to wade through a long legal document. Please provide a selected quote to support the sentence. Fleetham (talk) 21:40, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Does the citation support the sentence it cites? yes it does. --Wuerzele (talk) 04:31, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Then there should be no problem showing that. Why not provide a quote? Fleetham (talk) 07:13, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

moving the stuff on capital Band small b bitcoin in lede[edit]

guys, the lede is what people first read, this capital Band small b bitcoin stuuff is such a technical small footnote , can we please please leave it at the end. It is totally not central. if it comes 3 sentences after the important stuff people will still figure it out . its really a jerky issue I find ( as Richardbondihas said somewhere.please no edit war on this. Its not essential enough to be up front ok? sorry to disagree with you Ladislav, I know where you are coming from.--Wuerzele (talk) 08:08, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly disagree. Until defined, nobody knows "Bitcoin" means the system and "bitcoin" means the digital currency. The purpose of the Wikipedia is to define the notions for people, and I see the mess caused by inconsistent use of the definition in the lead. I have got a totally different proposal: I propose to use the notions consistently as defined, i.e., use "Bitcoin" to mean the system and "bitcoin" to mean the digital currency consistently throughout the article. Is there any objection agaist this? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 08:14, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh Ladislav! wholeheartedly even ! please save your good heart for something else!

I know how messed up it is, I know, I know, I know, and I am with you! I see the inconsistency , believe me, BUT i honestly think you and I arent the majority in this. folks just dont care about it. and I cant blame them entirely. this isnt science. this is some freaking weird money. there's an american expression about this situation: Dont sweat the small stuff. -:) and this is. we got bigger fish to fry. ok?

BTW hey, what happened to the anonymity section? it vanished. I dont see who cut it ( by mistake probably). I was just going to edit it.--Wuerzele (talk) 08:30, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I did not notice the deletion of the anonymity section either. Regarding my proposal: there actually are alternatives:
  • we can use "Bitcoin" to mean the system and "bitcoin" to mean the digital currency, explain the terminology to the reader, and use it consistently throughout the article
  • we can use "Bitcoin" and "bitcoin" inconsistently, following the use in the cited sources
  • there may be other preferred alternatives I did not list
I think that you did not indicate your preference, do you have some? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 08:43, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
As a scientist, I see the benefit of the definition and adherence to it, to communicate unambiguously (pers. pref).
As a person in the US I say, well: I do realize my fellow citizens dont care about this, not agyle, not bondi, not fleetham, and the media ? i havent payed enough attention. again: small stuff. my preferenece is "leave it be", Wild West.outside science nobody cares and money and economics as you have stated before aint science.
As an editor on this page: I am throwing my hands in the air! definitely got other priorities, thats why I moved this thang down to the end! ok?--Wuerzele (talk) 09:20, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I do not think you should speak for agyle or others here. The purpose of Wikipedia is to explain the terminology to readers so they can discern "indolence" from "intelligence". The rules don't state it should read as either a textbook or a novel. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 11:04, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Whoa ! I responded to your question, even taking the time to qualify my response 3 fold, obviously too complicated and wasted, if I earn a slap in the face for that. All I said is that as a person in the US my preference is to go along with what the rest here does and in the context on this page, this means I go along with my fellow editors from the US. - You however jumped to the conclusion, that I spoke for them. Maybe I didnt say it clearly enough but I think, you misunderstood. I did NOT SPEAK FOR them . I have observed that, they didnt care about b or B. Richard expressedly said so. Now I am going to ping everyone, so we can make this darn thing official and basta. And please do not accuse me of pushing for a novel or a textbook or indolence. I was trying to get across that there are principles, but there are also human realities of space and time. These have to be negotiated.
Agyle, richardbondi, Fleetham, can you please weigh in on this minor issue? see above. Thanks for your time.--Wuerzele (talk) 11:22, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I did not intend to reprimand, I just wanted to make sense of your answer. Frankly, I did not understand it, since if I take the first sentence, I think that you prefer the consistent terminology. The subsequent text seemed to contradict the starting sentence, therefore I just wanted to sum up what the official policies of Wikipedia have to say to the subject. I did not want to accuse you of wanting to turn the article into a textbook or a novel, but, we should not forget that the official policies are to prefer the encyclopedic aspect. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 11:37, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it's that important whether the sentence is in the first or second paragraph, but personally I'd put it no later than immediately after the first time a different capitalization is used, which is currently in the first paragraph. (I'm not addressing approaches that would not use that sentence).
As an aside, I think the sentence itself gives the false impression that this is a widely followed convention. "Bitcoins" (plural, clearly the currency) is capitalized consistently by The Guardian and The Financial Times, often but inconsistently by The NY Times, USA Today, the UK Daily Telegraph, Sydney's Daily Telegraph and Forbes, very rarely by The LA Times and never by The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post...at least looking at the first page of Google results). This WSJ article explains their switch to using lowercase "b" in all cases, and The LA Times seems to try to always use lowercase but make occasional mistakes. Among all these publications, none seem to follow "the convention". However, the question here isn't whether the sentence about the convention is factual, it's just about where to put it. :-)
As a word of caution when applying the convention consistently, there seem to be different conventions on applying the convention. For example, some would use uppercase in the phrase the Bitcoin currency, because "currency" specifies what aspect of the Bitcoin system is being talked about, while others would use lowercase since as a whole the phrase refers to the currency. There are also gray areas. The phrases bitcoin transactions and Bitcoin transactions are both used in this article; they have different meanings, but in most cases, either would be correct, so it's simply a matter of preference. You could similarly use "Bitcoin", "bitcoin", or "bitcoins" in the phrase gun dealers can use Bitcoin to sell arms; they'd all have different meanings (the Bitcoin system, the Bitcoin currency as an uncountable noun, and the Bitcoin currency as a countable noun), but all be correct. Using "bitcoin", the currency, as a singular mass (uncountable) noun, the way "the euro" could be used, seems to bug some people, so it might worth avoiding.
Agyle (talk) 20:35, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
"As an aside, I think the sentence itself gives the false impression that this is a widely followed convention." - Oh, yes! I prefer to use some convention throughout the whole article, and it would be best to use the one that might be understandable to most people. The boundary cases Agyle mentions - yes, agreed to all cases. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 23:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
If no one actually follows the convention, I don't think there's much point to including any mention of it. Why not transition the entire page to lowercase b bitcoin and disregard a widely ignored "convention"? Fleetham (talk) 23:41, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
If this article follows the convention, I think it's worth mentioning that, regardless of what others do, to explain the changing case. Also, some publications follow it, differing only in gray areas; CoinDesk is particularly consistent about it. Agyle (talk) 00:17, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Agyle for weighing in, particularly with the evidence you listed. So, to summarize a sentence that coudl be inserted: "There is no uniform convention of Bitcoin nomenclatura using lowercase "b" vs capital B. Most recently, the WSJ in a 3/14/14 article suggested using lowercase "b" in all cases. Other newspapers havent followed suit, but for ease this article will follow the suggested convention." So 2 questions, pinging you AgyleLadislav, Richardbondi+ 2 new recent contributors on talk page Jonpatterns and ChocTinFoil :

  • should we stick the above sentence in, following the (easier) WSJ rule, hoping this will become dominant, or stick with sttus quo/the rule that's been in the article? Fleetham already opined and I am inclined to agree.
  • Next: How high up should this be in the lede? status quo or , technical footnote at the end, my preference, since I started this discussion after being reverted; the topic Bitcoin is overwhelming enough for the reader, the least thing to worry about IMHO.thanks.--Wuerzele (talk) 04:47, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Your suggested sentence is true, but relies on original research/synthesis. I'd reflect published sources, something like "One writing convention uses Bitcoin, capitalized, to refer to the concept or system, and bitcoin, uncapitalized, to refer to the currency, while The Associated Press Stylebook and The Wall Street Journal switched in early 2014 to using bitcoin in all cases.[1][2][3][4] This article follows the [former or latter] approach."
I favor always using lowercase. It's usually clear from context or unimportant which meaning of bitcoin is intended, and where it isn't, it's better to reword it so that it is, rather than depend on B versus b for clarity. Regarding placement, if consensus is to go with all lowercase, I think it should go in the opening section, since it refers to the style used throughout the article. I'd add it as a final paragraph in the section, but I don't feel strongly about where it goes in the opening section.
[1] Bustillos, Maria (2 April 2013). "The bitcoin boom". The New Yorker (Condé Nast). Retrieved 19 April 2014. "(Standards vary, but there seems to be a consensus forming around Bitcoin, capitalized, for the system, the software, and the network it runs on, and bitcoin, lowercase, for the currency itself.)" 
[2] AP Stylebook (25 February 2014). "AP Style tip: Bitcoin is a...". Twitter. Retrieved 19 April 2014. "AP Style tip: Bitcoin is a digital currency. As a concept, Bitcoin is capitalized. The currency unit, bitcoin, is lowercase." 
[3] Metcalf, Allan (14 April 2014). "The latest style". Lingua Franca blog. The Chronicle of Higher Education (chronicle.com). Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
[4] Vigna, Paul (14 March 2014). "BitBeat: Is it Bitcoin, or bitcoin? The orthography of the cryptography". The Wall Street Journal. BitBeat blog. 
Citing blogs and tweets is non-ideal, but I think valid in this case under WP:SPS (Metcalf is an English professor who's written books about language; @APStylebook is a verified Twitter account). 2013 and 2014 copies of the AP Stylebook would be awesome replacements if anyone has them handy.
––Agyle (talk) 06:57, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the research. Taking into account that the original convention had serious issues summed up comprehensively by Agyle and making it hard to follow, I prefer to make the things easier. I think that we should switch, but we shall mention it in the lead or as a technical footnote, since it is crucial for the reader to be able to understand the text. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 07:48, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

massive edits in many sections over the last few days left some wounded sentences[edit]

Fleetham can you look at the History section please ? I know you where teh only one who ce that, and some weird cuts were made resulting in a single letter . I put a flag for you where. --Wuerzele (talk) 09:00, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

too many sub sub sub sections, and stretching text into single sentences[edit]

... with many white spaces, which tend to take apart the text.Fleetham I am asking you to stop tearing at the fabric. This has been noticed by others on other pages you edited and you should be aware of it. It is inappropriate to stretch first blocks, tehn paragraphs, then sub paragraphs and then finally sentences apart. sentences belong together somewhere! You ve done this in regulation and in malware the most. PLease stop doing this.It is unhelpful.--Wuerzele (talk) 11:06, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Classification as money[edit]

Hi, I would like to discuss two things. First a question: we now have two classification-related (sub)sections. I find it preferable to merge them into one. To not force my POV, I am asking here whether there are objections. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 11:48, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

In the section, there is a text: "...a virtual currency which is the general form of a digital currency..." - I must say that I do not understand. Where did this information come from? And what it means? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 11:48, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

A virtual currency is a currency that doesn't meet all the definitions of a 'real' currency. Some institutions have noted they are often unregulated and only acting as a medium of exchange (ie. not as a store of value, or unit of measurement). Many of these virtual currencies are in the digital rather than physical domain.Jonpatterns (talk) 12:00, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. So, "the general form of a digital currency" should mean that every digital currency is a virtual currency or that every virtual currency is a digital currency, or both, or something else? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 12:20, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Most or all digital currencies are virtual, but not inherently - because they are digital - but because of how they are used and the legal status. Many virtual currencies are digital but maybe physical examples like scrip or vouchers count (I'm not 100% so have started a question on the virtual currency talk page). It may be possible to improve the wording of the article. Jonpatterns (talk) 15:38, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
To explain my question further, I was interested in determining the meaning of the "...a virtual currency which is the general form of a digital currency..." formulation in the article, because I am still at odds what it means. I would prefer a more clear formulation than that. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 07:56, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree a better formulation could be used, I think it has already been replaced in the article.Jonpatterns (talk) 12:04, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Overview additions[edit]

@FOXIBOX: Hi, and thanks for your WP:BOLD addition of material to the overview section. Content additions are always appreciated! In this instance, it appears that the information was cited with the Bitcoin Wiki. Do you have other sources for your information? Being a wiki, the Bitcoin wiki isn't a WP:Reliable Source. I've pasted your material below. Thanks! Fleetham (talk) 21:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Block

Permanently recorded files at Bitcoin containing information on occurred transactions are called block. Block is the record of every recent transaction or its part that has not been recorded in the previous blocks. In nearly all cases blocks are added to the end of the chain, which contains all transactions and is called blockchain. When a block is added to the end of the chain, it cannot be changed. Each block contains information about everything that happened in previous blocks before it was created.

Block Structure
Field Description Size
Magic no. Value is always 0xD9B4BEF9 4 bytes
Blocksize The bytes number should be added to the end of the block 4 bytes
Blockheader Consists of 6 components 80 bytes
Transaction counter Positive integer VI = VarInt 1-9 bytes
Transactions Transaction list Multiple transactions
Principles of building

Every mined block contains hash of the previous one. That way a chain of blocks is created which origins back from the so-called genesis block (the very first block in the Bitcoin system) up until the most recent block found by network. Editing data in a block that's been a part of chain for a long time isn't practical because you'd have to edit the data in all following blocks. Thanks to these properties the double-spending attack (repeated spending of already spent money) is almost impossible to perform in Bitcoin network.

Honest miners are always building their block upon the last mined, referencing to it. The "length" of the chain is calculated based on total complexity of the chain and not on the amount of blocks in it. A continuation of chain is only considered valid if it has information about all previous chain links and the chain itself starts with genesis block.

Fleetham, please show some respect for other editors´ contributions.[edit]

Fleetham, please show some respect for other editors´ contributions. You do not own this article. Who gave you the final say in every edit on this article? Please show some respect for others. Thank you. ChocTinFoil (talk) 21:42, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Fleetham, please show some respect for other editors´ contributions. You do not own this article![edit]

Fleetham, please show some respect for other editors´ contributions. You do not own this article. Who gave you the final say in every edit on this article? Please show some respect for others. Thank you. ChocTinFoil (talk) 21:42, 18 April 2014 (UTC) ChocTinFoil Thanks for offering your opinion.--Wuerzele (talk) 04:44, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Re: The bursting of one bitcoin bubble in April 2013 was correctly predicted by a financial journalist.[edit]

This information is not serious. I checked the source and found out that it labelled bitcoin a "speculative bubble", stating that "the bubble is sure to burst". There was no specification when, though, and other sources stated something similar even before. Thus, there is no doubt that the cited source did not demonstrate any exceptional ability to predict the event. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 12:25, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).