#1 By: Cory Doctorow, December 3rd, 2013 17:39
#2 By: Pat Race, December 3rd, 2013 17:59
It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out. Are any authorities involved yet? Whose jurisdiction does an international crypto-heist fall into?
#3 By: Jason Andresen, December 3rd, 2013 18:06
As far as the police are concerned, someone might as well have stolen an EvE Titan. They're not going to get involved.
The guys are Reddit are screwed unless the thief is an idiot. He can start dribbling out his wallet over the course of a few months into a huge pile of anonymous wallets and then cash them out as his leisure. There is no way to track him unless he's an idiot and tries to cash it all out at once.
#4 By: Pat Race, December 3rd, 2013 18:11
Yep, that seems to be the way to do it, just trickle out a few coins each day. It does point out some interesting risks associated with running your own bitcoins through a tumbler, it seems like you could accidentally become a target of vigilante justice if they were to track the wrong coins.
#5 By: Pat Race, December 3rd, 2013 18:13
I still hope Snowden dumped all his savings into crypto-currency before jumping on that plane, he would have caught a well deserved hop in the market.
#6 By: Sam Stacklin, December 3rd, 2013 18:28
I'm still unsure about bitcoin's long-term viability as a currency. But it has been incredibly successful at providing a constantly running real-world William Gibson novel.
#7 By: Granite Burner, December 3rd, 2013 18:44
Sounds like another way of describing this is that the Bitcoin community is crowd-sourcing breaking Bitcoin anonymity. Hmmm.
#8 By: Public Bizmail, December 3rd, 2013 18:53
Given that the FBI has (one of ) Dread Pirate Robert's wallets, you think they might be doing something similar to track other Bitcoin users? They certainly have enough spare BTC to run through various tumblers.
#9 By: AndyCandy, December 3rd, 2013 19:05
Well, if the guys ever get their money back, maybe they'll treat me to a fraction of a pizza; anyone else want to chip in and feed a starving grad student? 14Qdj6foN18RG1qecsUr62kC7WWBPNEjEt
#10 By: Thecorrectline, December 3rd, 2013 19:23
That's exactly what I was thinking. If they successfully track this person down, doesn't that defeat the entire idea / purpose of bitcoins?
Not to mention what happens if they track the wrong person down - internet lynch mobs don't have a stellar track record.
#11 By: kai, December 3rd, 2013 19:31
Go to more random talks with refreshments. Pretty easy to go freegan as a grad student.
#12 By: AndyCandy, December 3rd, 2013 19:45
Freegan since my undergrad years whenever I can; it is a good life, sandwiches and coffee. But pizza would be an awesome treat!
#14 By: teapot, December 3rd, 2013 19:54
This method only works because individual bitcoin users and bitcoin tumblers are pissed that this theft has taken place. All parties are interested in keeping their transactions private and protecting the bitcoin entity, but when someone has stolen a LOT of money (These bitcoins are worth $100m at current value) it's no surprise that the community decided to work together to get the person.
Also this doesn't help the FBI track bitcoin users in any meaningful way because they are one entity in a crowd and the quantity of bitcoins is irrelevant for tracking and relevant for being tracked.
[Gah! howzabout adding a function to remove accidental replies?]
#15 By: hungryjoe, December 3rd, 2013 22:33
The CIA stole these to fund black ops.
#16 By: Paul Davis, December 4th, 2013 08:48
Bitcoins provide anonymity as long as you transact only bitcoins. The moment you bridge them to a different sort of currency ... all bets are off.
#17 By: Simon, December 4th, 2013 09:26
Wouldn't going out all robin hood like people are begging him too actually be beneficial for him if he wanted to cash out? If he were to add enough real people into the chain it'd result in enough uncertainty as to whether an account was one of his own or that of a random stranger?
#18 By: kmg90, December 4th, 2013 09:40
BitCoin is such an amazing phenomenon that could only have been made possible by the internet...
Watching tranactions happen in real time that is tracked on a network of nodes all recording and referencing each other to maintain a global transaction log that anyone can see.
It's amazing how large some of the tranactions are placed which can be viewed in real-time (volume warning as it has a sound notification that is on by default and "rings" for every new transaction) as referenced in the article
#19 By: Drew_Gehringer, December 5th, 2013 05:03
#20 By: Thecorrectline, December 5th, 2013 05:14
Chump change. Why steal 200 million when you can just sell bazillions worth of cocaine, or gazillions of "black budget" US funds.
#21 By: Karl Schulte, December 6th, 2013 06:32
If I was the thief I would take a few percent of my loot and play unsolicited Santa Claus for a thousand innocent bystanders.
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