Rogue Bitcoin Code Found in Competitive Counter-Strike Servers

Rogue Bitcoin Code Found in Competitive Counter-Strike Servers

An employee used E-Sports Entertainment servers to generate Bitcoins for personal gain.

Office Space

It all started out with coders joking around on April Fools day about using their company's server software to crank out Bitcoins. E-Sports Entertainment makes competitive server software for games like Counter-Strike and League of Legends, so the idea of putting all that hardware to use was an interesting one. After mocking up some code, they tested it for 48 hours on two servers and shut it down. According to the ESEA, one of the original coders decided to keep things going and pocket the cash. Two weeks later, the code showed up again, only this time running on all 500 ESEA servers. While the original experiment resulted in only 2 Bitcoins, this new code cranked out 29 Bitcoins. Using current exchange rates, that equates to around $3,713.55 US dollars.

As an open-source currency, Bitcoin mining works by cranking though a really complex algorithm, something that modern graphics cards are rather well suited for. This rogue code essentially kept the cards constantly running on full tilt. ESEA forums are rife with customers complaining about cards running as hot as 90 degrees celsius, creating graphical glitches and even burning out equipment.

The good news is that ESEA seems to be taking all the blame right on the chin. Eric Thunberg, one of the admins, said "as the person who is ultimately responsible for everything it's 100% my fault." All affected customers are receiving a free month of premium service. The code dumped the coins into multiple wallets, which the ESEA is making public. In addition, they're donating all $3,713.55 to American Cancer Society, as well as matching 100% of donations, up to twice the mined amount. They'll also be increasing the pot of their next tournament by the same amount.

Source: ESEA via Parity News

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Not sure how high they would've had the settings cranked.

If they were stupid, then the cards would literally go above their breaking point (100C core 125VRM).

If they weren't totally stupid, you can get 50-75% efficiency for less than 100VRM (safeish, but it'll reduce your cards life a little bit) and 70 core.

Still, http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/1dglil/popular_competitive_gaming_league_esea_admins/ reddit source.

I suppose it was inevitable; I just hope bitcoin collapses soon as it's an investment vehicle and not a serious currency exchange as it's way too volatile.

I doubt anyone is stupid enough to fall for that April fools garbage, lpkane straight up lies at every opportunity, and ESEA does crap like this all the time (although not nearly as serious as this.)

Well, at least ESEA is doing something about it, and handing out some charitable monies for compensation. They could've tried to brush it all under the carpet the way many companies do when stuff like this happens.

They did try to, they were caught. The victims of this probably had to pay more on their electric bill than the month free subscription they are getting as compensation.

Again, it's the principle. Also the situation is much more deep. CS's competitive scene has been caught between a rock and a hard place. The match making system is barely workable and the servers are all 64 tick (terrible for competitive level play).

The real issue is, why do people in counter strike have to go to a third party service to get half way decent servers?

Everyone I ask would gladly pay valve $3 bucks a month to just have 128 tick servers and a more dedicated staff of devs. I say they want to make updates for cs? Fine! Lets give them some money for better servers and to pay the devs to develop a more robust competitive game. CS is an e-sport and it's treated like a red headed step child.

Gosh, with ASCI servers coming out, those farms will be useless. you can run a server 24/7 and dont make back your electricity bill.
Bitcoin mining is kinda pointless now, the real money is in trading. well maybe if you got acess to 100 servers like these guys it can make something.

phoenixcalm:
Everyone I ask would gladly pay valve $3 bucks a month to just have 128 tick servers and a more dedicated staff of devs. I say they want to make updates for cs? Fine! Lets give them some money for better servers and to pay the devs to develop a more robust competitive game. CS is an e-sport and it's treated like a red headed step child.

Maybe not everyone wants steam servers?
CS is sadly an e-sport while being bellow red headed step child.

phoenixcalm:
Again, it's the principle. Also the situation is much more deep. CS's competitive scene has been caught between a rock and a hard place. The match making system is barely workable and the servers are all 64 tick (terrible for competitive level play).

The real issue is, why do people in counter strike have to go to a third party service to get half way decent servers?

Everyone I ask would gladly pay valve $3 bucks a month to just have 128 tick servers and a more dedicated staff of devs. I say they want to make updates for cs? Fine! Lets give them some money for better servers and to pay the devs to develop a more robust competitive game. CS is an e-sport and it's treated like a red headed step child.

CS is not the red-headed step child of esports, that's LoL. CS is on it's last legs though.

valium:

phoenixcalm:
Again, it's the principle. Also the situation is much more deep. CS's competitive scene has been caught between a rock and a hard place. The match making system is barely workable and the servers are all 64 tick (terrible for competitive level play).

The real issue is, why do people in counter strike have to go to a third party service to get half way decent servers?

Everyone I ask would gladly pay valve $3 bucks a month to just have 128 tick servers and a more dedicated staff of devs. I say they want to make updates for cs? Fine! Lets give them some money for better servers and to pay the devs to develop a more robust competitive game. CS is an e-sport and it's treated like a red headed step child.

CS is not the red-headed step child of esports, that's LoL. CS is on it's last legs though.

I always thought that LoL was the kid with tourettes and multiple personality disorder, where one is self destructive, and the other constantly blames you for his own mistakes that he doesn't remember making?

AdamG3691:

valium:

phoenixcalm:
Again, it's the principle. Also the situation is much more deep. CS's competitive scene has been caught between a rock and a hard place. The match making system is barely workable and the servers are all 64 tick (terrible for competitive level play).

The real issue is, why do people in counter strike have to go to a third party service to get half way decent servers?

Everyone I ask would gladly pay valve $3 bucks a month to just have 128 tick servers and a more dedicated staff of devs. I say they want to make updates for cs? Fine! Lets give them some money for better servers and to pay the devs to develop a more robust competitive game. CS is an e-sport and it's treated like a red headed step child.

CS is not the red-headed step child of esports, that's LoL. CS is on it's last legs though.

I always thought that LoL was the kid with tourettes and multiple personality disorder, where one is self destructive, and the other constantly blames you for his own mistakes that he doesn't remember making?

I was going for masculine understatement.

I don't really get it... why don't they have something like that running in the background to facilitate unused capacities?
To me it seems this was the whole point about BitCoins: Using up idle computing capacities.
Why wouldn't they do this as a company? I bet most of their servers are just running at minimal load most of the day.

Of course doing this as an employee for personal gain without consent is extremely stupid...

Well I'm gonna go ahead and admit to not having a fecking clue what a bitcoin is.
Read the Wikipedia article and I'm still not getting it.
Apparently its worth money but it can be made (as I understand it) by hijacking and using other people's graphics cards.
Frankly I'm confused.

rofltehcat:
I don't really get it... why don't they have something like that running in the background to facilitate unused capacities?
To me it seems this was the whole point about BitCoins: Using up idle computing capacities.
Why wouldn't they do this as a company? I bet most of their servers are just running at minimal load most of the day.

Of course doing this as an employee for personal gain without consent is extremely stupid...

Well, if you read the article/source, you'd realize that they did just that, and it is suspected of having pretty much fried the GPU of at least one unfortunate participant, who - like everybody else - had no clue what was going on or why. I recall having read that his GPU was constantly over 90 Celsius, so that is very much not good.

I don't mind people wanting and choosing to participate in SETI or Folding or whatever, but this Bitcoin code stunt here is easily classifiable as malware - hijacking an idle computers and cooking the hardware to squeeze some Bitcoins out of it, with no intent for end user participation or gratification.

My hardware is dear to me, and I want to have the choice of what to do with my resources. Anything else is an attack and will be treated as such.

fletch_talon:
Well I'm gonna go ahead and admit to not having a fecking clue what a bitcoin is.
Read the Wikipedia article and I'm still not getting it.
Apparently its worth money but it can be made (as I understand it) by hijacking and using other people's graphics cards.
Frankly I'm confused.

Bitcoins are an attempt to make a currency that's not the product of a government or political authority figure. That theoretically should lend it an extra measure of stability.

Bitcoins are not printed at a treasury, nor did the creator decide that he should have all of them to start. Instead, they wanted the total supply of bitcoins to be slowly growing in a manner not directly within his control. So they can be created by anyone.

How new bitcoins are generated is that they're given to people who show a certain amount of work dedicated to making a bitcoin. So, the central bitcoin server proposes a problem that is very hard for modern computers to solve, but easy for computers to check that a given solution is correct. Anyone who solves this otherwise useless problem gets a few bitcoins.

To your question: the types of repetitive calculations that solving those problems require are things that graphics cards are very good at doing.

Kilo24:

fletch_talon:
Well I'm gonna go ahead and admit to not having a fecking clue what a bitcoin is.
Read the Wikipedia article and I'm still not getting it.
Apparently its worth money but it can be made (as I understand it) by hijacking and using other people's graphics cards.
Frankly I'm confused.

Bitcoins are an attempt to make a currency that's not the product of a government or political authority figure. That theoretically should lend it an extra measure of stability.

Bitcoins are not printed at a treasury, nor did the creator decide that he should have all of them to start. Instead, they wanted the total supply of bitcoins to be slowly growing in a manner not directly within his control. So they can be created by anyone.

How new bitcoins are generated is that they're given to people who show a certain amount of work dedicated to making a bitcoin. So, the central bitcoin server proposes a problem that is very hard for modern computers to solve, but easy for computers to check that a given solution is correct. Anyone who solves this otherwise useless problem gets a few bitcoins.

To your question: the types of repetitive calculations that solving those problems require are things that graphics cards are very good at doing.

You know you're good at explaining things when you do a better job than Wikipedia. That's made it a heck of a lot clearer and I really appreciate it.
So I presume the fact that they have an actual exchange value is based on people's willingness to accept them as a currency and what those people deem them to be worth? Or is there more to it that I'm missing?

fletch_talon:
You know you're good at explaining things when you do a better job than Wikipedia. That's made it a heck of a lot clearer and I really appreciate it.
So I presume the fact that they have an actual exchange value is based on people's willingness to accept them as a currency and what those people deem them to be worth? Or is there more to it that I'm missing?

Nope. That's exactly it. The only reason they have any value is some people liked the idea and were charitable enough to donate their time/services and take Bitcoins as partial payment. That's expanded a good deal since then, and my understanding now is that there's pretty much nothing you can't get with Bitcoins if you look hard enough. It remains to be seen though if there will be enough people to make it a survivable economy -- that is, enough people using it that they can live without using any sort of government currency.

fletch_talon:

Kilo24:

fletch_talon:
Well I'm gonna go ahead and admit to not having a fecking clue what a bitcoin is.
Read the Wikipedia article and I'm still not getting it.
Apparently its worth money but it can be made (as I understand it) by hijacking and using other people's graphics cards.
Frankly I'm confused.

Bitcoins are an attempt to make a currency that's not the product of a government or political authority figure. That theoretically should lend it an extra measure of stability.

Bitcoins are not printed at a treasury, nor did the creator decide that he should have all of them to start. Instead, they wanted the total supply of bitcoins to be slowly growing in a manner not directly within his control. So they can be created by anyone.

How new bitcoins are generated is that they're given to people who show a certain amount of work dedicated to making a bitcoin. So, the central bitcoin server proposes a problem that is very hard for modern computers to solve, but easy for computers to check that a given solution is correct. Anyone who solves this otherwise useless problem gets a few bitcoins.

To your question: the types of repetitive calculations that solving those problems require are things that graphics cards are very good at doing.

You know you're good at explaining things when you do a better job than Wikipedia. That's made it a heck of a lot clearer and I really appreciate it.
So I presume the fact that they have an actual exchange value is based on people's willingness to accept them as a currency and what those people deem them to be worth? Or is there more to it that I'm missing?

You are absolutely correct in that that's how ALL money systems work. The only things that make this different is a) The exchange rates cannot be manipulated by a central bank b) They cannot merely be printed because there is a limited amount of bitcoins that can ever exist (I forget the upper limit, but its built into the system) and c) unlike gold which has both a and b going for it, it can be "mined" by anyone willing to put the time as opposed to centralized by mining corporations who can influence the prices (diamonds, for example, have their value artificially increased by De Beers hoarding large quantities).
Personally I am not convinced that this system will have long term significance but we'll see.

Kilo24:

fletch_talon:
Well I'm gonna go ahead and admit to not having a fecking clue what a bitcoin is.
Read the Wikipedia article and I'm still not getting it.
Apparently its worth money but it can be made (as I understand it) by hijacking and using other people's graphics cards.
Frankly I'm confused.

Bitcoins are an attempt to make a currency that's not the product of a government or political authority figure. That theoretically should lend it an extra measure of stability.

Bitcoins are not printed at a treasury, nor did the creator decide that he should have all of them to start. Instead, they wanted the total supply of bitcoins to be slowly growing in a manner not directly within his control. So they can be created by anyone.

How new bitcoins are generated is that they're given to people who show a certain amount of work dedicated to making a bitcoin. So, the central bitcoin server proposes a problem that is very hard for modern computers to solve, but easy for computers to check that a given solution is correct. Anyone who solves this otherwise useless problem gets a few bitcoins.

To your question: the types of repetitive calculations that solving those problems require are things that graphics cards are very good at doing.

Not having government backing it makes it worth less. The whole reason any currency works is because we say it does, with the full faith and credit of the United States. Buitcoin will last for a while, but as the market has shown, it has no stability and I'm pretty sure it will crash and burn within the next 5 years.

The whole bitcoin thing reminds me of the Glenn Beck/Ron Paul "Put all your money into gold; it's the only thing that has real value" malarkey, except even stupider because at least gold will always physically exist and be worth something to someone. Bitcoins are still the monetary equivalent of an imaginary friend; it exists because people say it does, and if a virus were to wipe out the computers containing the data saying who owns how many of them - or if everyone wakes up and decides this is all bullshit - that's it.

Plus, does anyone know what these "bitcoin mining" programs actually do? For all we know, they could be helping some network of hackers brute-force crack public encryption keys so they can break into the Pentagon or something.

fletch_talon:

Kilo24:

fletch_talon:
Well I'm gonna go ahead and admit to not having a fecking clue what a bitcoin is.
Read the Wikipedia article and I'm still not getting it.
Apparently its worth money but it can be made (as I understand it) by hijacking and using other people's graphics cards.
Frankly I'm confused.

Bitcoins are an attempt to make a currency that's not the product of a government or political authority figure. That theoretically should lend it an extra measure of stability.

Bitcoins are not printed at a treasury, nor did the creator decide that he should have all of them to start. Instead, they wanted the total supply of bitcoins to be slowly growing in a manner not directly within his control. So they can be created by anyone.

How new bitcoins are generated is that they're given to people who show a certain amount of work dedicated to making a bitcoin. So, the central bitcoin server proposes a problem that is very hard for modern computers to solve, but easy for computers to check that a given solution is correct. Anyone who solves this otherwise useless problem gets a few bitcoins.

To your question: the types of repetitive calculations that solving those problems require are things that graphics cards are very good at doing.

You know you're good at explaining things when you do a better job than Wikipedia. That's made it a heck of a lot clearer and I really appreciate it.
So I presume the fact that they have an actual exchange value is based on people's willingness to accept them as a currency and what those people deem them to be worth? Or is there more to it that I'm missing?

Kilo24:

fletch_talon:
Well I'm gonna go ahead and admit to not having a fecking clue what a bitcoin is.
Read the Wikipedia article and I'm still not getting it.
Apparently its worth money but it can be made (as I understand it) by hijacking and using other people's graphics cards.
Frankly I'm confused.

Bitcoins are an attempt to make a currency that's not the product of a government or political authority figure. That theoretically should lend it an extra measure of stability.

Bitcoins are not printed at a treasury, nor did the creator decide that he should have all of them to start. Instead, they wanted the total supply of bitcoins to be slowly growing in a manner not directly within his control. So they can be created by anyone.

How new bitcoins are generated is that they're given to people who show a certain amount of work dedicated to making a bitcoin. So, the central bitcoin server proposes a problem that is very hard for modern computers to solve, but easy for computers to check that a given solution is correct. Anyone who solves this otherwise useless problem gets a few bitcoins.

To your question: the types of repetitive calculations that solving those problems require are things that graphics cards are very good at doing.

+1

Unfortunately people do not understand money in general. How money is created out of thin air and how inflation and deflation works. Here is a reference link to explain some stuff about money. I suggest watching this whole movie but it is long. However, if you want to understand money, this explains it very well...

http://youtu.be/7qIhDdST27g?t=1h26m48s

Sean951:

Kilo24:

fletch_talon:
Well I'm gonna go ahead and admit to not having a fecking clue what a bitcoin is.
Read the Wikipedia article and I'm still not getting it.
Apparently its worth money but it can be made (as I understand it) by hijacking and using other people's graphics cards.
Frankly I'm confused.

Bitcoins are an attempt to make a currency that's not the product of a government or political authority figure. That theoretically should lend it an extra measure of stability.

Bitcoins are not printed at a treasury, nor did the creator decide that he should have all of them to start. Instead, they wanted the total supply of bitcoins to be slowly growing in a manner not directly within his control. So they can be created by anyone.

How new bitcoins are generated is that they're given to people who show a certain amount of work dedicated to making a bitcoin. So, the central bitcoin server proposes a problem that is very hard for modern computers to solve, but easy for computers to check that a given solution is correct. Anyone who solves this otherwise useless problem gets a few bitcoins.

To your question: the types of repetitive calculations that solving those problems require are things that graphics cards are very good at doing.

Not having government backing it makes it worth less. The whole reason any currency works is because we say it does, with the full faith and credit of the United States. Buitcoin will last for a while, but as the market has shown, it has no stability and I'm pretty sure it will crash and burn within the next 5 years.

but isn't the "government" backing them the internet itself?

to me it looks like it's shifted the person who says how much stuff is worth from governments to the internet, if users as a whole say theyre worthless, they'll be worthless, if we say they're the best thing since a blowjob machine that also dispenses the ambrosia of the gods then they will be

Steve the Pocket:
The whole bitcoin thing reminds me of the Glenn Beck/Ron Paul "Put all your money into gold; it's the only thing that has real value" malarkey, except even stupider because at least gold will always physically exist and be worth something to someone. Bitcoins are still the monetary equivalent of an imaginary friend; it exists because people say it does, and if a virus were to wipe out the computers containing the data saying who owns how many of them - or if everyone wakes up and decides this is all bullshit - that's it.

Plus, does anyone know what these "bitcoin mining" programs actually do? For all we know, they could be helping some network of hackers brute-force crack public encryption keys so they can break into the Pentagon or something.

The only reason why gold backed money is suggested is because there are only a few that own the majority of gold in the world. Consolidation of gold has been going on for thousands of years. However the VALUE of money and what backs as to determine it's value, is an illusion.

Your comments are exactly right, however you do realize that (for the most part) you can replace "bitcoin" with "dollars" and ask roughly the exact same questions.

Remember, it doesn't matter what backs your money; all that matters is who controls it's quantity.

By controlling it's quantity you can make it scarce, causing depressions, or make it plentiful, causing economic boom. And if you controlled it's quantity you can also control markets, create bubbles, buy up properties and other assets for cents on the dollar. In other words, enslavement. There is a reason why the banks who control the money systems in the world are private and all practice fractional reserve banking (deliberate inflation and deflation as to distort the value of money and thus property in the attempts to seize resources).

I would suggest researching money in general to understand this issue since using general concepts of money provided by the media should not be considered an informed statement.

Sean951:

Kilo24:

fletch_talon:
Well I'm gonna go ahead and admit to not having a fecking clue what a bitcoin is.
Read the Wikipedia article and I'm still not getting it.
Apparently its worth money but it can be made (as I understand it) by hijacking and using other people's graphics cards.
Frankly I'm confused.

Bitcoins are an attempt to make a currency that's not the product of a government or political authority figure. That theoretically should lend it an extra measure of stability.

Bitcoins are not printed at a treasury, nor did the creator decide that he should have all of them to start. Instead, they wanted the total supply of bitcoins to be slowly growing in a manner not directly within his control. So they can be created by anyone.

How new bitcoins are generated is that they're given to people who show a certain amount of work dedicated to making a bitcoin. So, the central bitcoin server proposes a problem that is very hard for modern computers to solve, but easy for computers to check that a given solution is correct. Anyone who solves this otherwise useless problem gets a few bitcoins.

To your question: the types of repetitive calculations that solving those problems require are things that graphics cards are very good at doing.

Not having government backing it makes it worth less. The whole reason any currency works is because we say it does, with the full faith and credit of the United States. Buitcoin will last for a while, but as the market has shown, it has no stability and I'm pretty sure it will crash and burn within the next 5 years.

Government backing is a good thing on its own. The issue is that with government backing usually comes with the ability for said government to print as much money as they want whenever they want - that it's a fiat currency. It means that the complex issue of how to maintain public faith in a currency can easily be utterly ruined if the government prints too much money to redeem its debts. And nobody understands the market enough to reliably predict crashes, let alone politicians who are desperate to find easy solutions to hard financial problems.

Bitcoin might very well crash and burn. I don't think it'll be due to its inherent stability unless a major flaw is found in the algorithms used for. There are issues with its being easily anonymous, which may cause a stigma with its use since a lot of illicit activities find anonymity to be helpful. There's always the problem of forgetting your password, or of malware stealing your bitcoins - this is a bigger problem with bitcoins because there is no central authority to confirm it. And the whole thing may never take off to the degree that it needs to become a viable currency.

A currency fails if and only if people do not expect that other people will find significant value in that currency. That is the only thing required, but it's an incredibly difficult thing to predict accurately (especially for atypical currencies.) Honestly, you can probably predict that all new currencies will fail and have a more accurate prediction than the vast majority of deeper prediction methods, simply because most new currencies do fail. It's hard to say for Bitcoins specifically, however.

Steve the Pocket:
The whole bitcoin thing reminds me of the Glenn Beck/Ron Paul "Put all your money into gold; it's the only thing that has real value" malarkey, except even stupider because at least gold will always physically exist and be worth something to someone. Bitcoins are still the monetary equivalent of an imaginary friend; it exists because people say it does, and if a virus were to wipe out the computers containing the data saying who owns how many of them - or if everyone wakes up and decides this is all bullshit - that's it.

Plus, does anyone know what these "bitcoin mining" programs actually do? For all we know, they could be helping some network of hackers brute-force crack public encryption keys so they can break into the Pentagon or something.

Every modern currency is only as valuable as people think it is. Or, to be more precise, it's precisely as valuable as people predict that other people will find it valuable. Unless we're talking about cows or food or anything with a inherent use (which does not include gold) as a currency, that will always be true.

Mathematically, there are some very strong guarantees of stability on how bitcoins are generated and how transactions occur. Furthermore, it's designed to be decentralized such that it's very, very hard to wipe out all the computers with the relevant information. The global EMP blast or massive failure of power infrastructure that would be needed for it would be less likely than, say, the US government collapsing and ruining its currency.

Don't say that because Bitcoins are digital they're somehow less valuable than normal currencies. Most money is just a digital number in a bank nowadays, and the only reason that paper currency is worth anything is because a government says so (and gets very well paid for doing so by being able to print as much of it as they want.) There's a very delicate balance associated with faith in a currency, and putting needing to put faith in politicians that they won't print lots of money is a very big disruptor of that balance.

Am I the only one who is astonished that someone actually took responsibility for this debacle, let alone someone who's in charge of the servers (yes wasn't actually guilty of running the malicious code)? Imagine if the developers of Aliens: Colonial Marines did that instead of endlessly pointing fingers at each other. Hell, I know members of my government who would look less ridiculous if the admitted they fucked up instead of blaming people on the other side of parliament, or even people they have hired (because, you know, having shoddy employees totally doesn't reflect on you at all).

and this is why multi-player needs to die,
even the bloody coders want to troll you and they can blow up your pc doing it >.>

fletch_talon:

Kilo24:

fletch_talon:
Well I'm gonna go ahead and admit to not having a fecking clue what a bitcoin is.
Read the Wikipedia article and I'm still not getting it.
Apparently its worth money but it can be made (as I understand it) by hijacking and using other people's graphics cards.
Frankly I'm confused.

Bitcoins are an attempt to make a currency that's not the product of a government or political authority figure. That theoretically should lend it an extra measure of stability.

Bitcoins are not printed at a treasury, nor did the creator decide that he should have all of them to start. Instead, they wanted the total supply of bitcoins to be slowly growing in a manner not directly within his control. So they can be created by anyone.

How new bitcoins are generated is that they're given to people who show a certain amount of work dedicated to making a bitcoin. So, the central bitcoin server proposes a problem that is very hard for modern computers to solve, but easy for computers to check that a given solution is correct. Anyone who solves this otherwise useless problem gets a few bitcoins.

To your question: the types of repetitive calculations that solving those problems require are things that graphics cards are very good at doing.

You know you're good at explaining things when you do a better job than Wikipedia. That's made it a heck of a lot clearer and I really appreciate it.
So I presume the fact that they have an actual exchange value is based on people's willingness to accept them as a currency and what those people deem them to be worth? Or is there more to it that I'm missing?

Its an INCREDIBLY UNSTABLE currency. used mostly by hackers, criminals, and drug dealers so they cant get caught but still get money.

Bitcoins derive their value by what people want to pay. Whenever someone sells a lot of bitcoins for real money, the bitcoin price collapses. Which leads to hoarding.

Hoarded currency is worthless if its not circulating. So price dumps again.

Bitcoins are only profitable if you "mine" it en masse like that employee did. Its very expensive because you need server farms and a lot of energy. Even then, the "virtual printing" of bitcoins is not guaranteed because its peer based.

1 million peer pool, faster but more elusive bitcoins. You get the idea. It gets harder to get bitcoins the bigger the pool is. Unless you are an early adopter, who try to sucker people into mining for their benefit.

Bitcoins run into every economic rule and run it over. With disastrous results for anyone who uses the currency because it doesn't want to play by economic rules.

I am pleased with the response. Otherwise, I've messed around with Bitcoins a bit before, I find them neat, but they seem a dangerous investment.

Absolutely, deliciously evil and brilliant. I have no other ways to describe this.

 

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