A look at the Bitcoin network transaction history

I have been reading an eye-opening paper by mathematicians Dorit Ron and Ami Shamir, looking at the entire transaction history of the Bitcoin network. For those unfamiliar with Bitcoin, it is a cryptographic currency that was created with the stated intention of generating a decentralised payment system for the Internet era (my earlier take [...]

Network analysis deflates Bitcoin’s anonymity myth

Charting transactions from an alleged theft

Some readers may remember that some time ago I wrote a post about Bitcoin, an interesting online payment experiment in the shape of a cryptographic currency. My conclusion was that the currency was probably illegal in the U.S. and Europe, and left it at that. At the time [...]

Intermediary liability: because you’re worth it (L’Oreal v eBay)

The European Court of Justice has finally ruled on the landmark case of L’Oréal v eBay (C-324/09) . It is true that the term “landmark case” gets used quite a lot in these virtual pages, but in this situation is more than accurate. The case has been a long-running legal saga between cosmetic manufacturer [...]

Is Bitcoin legal?

Could the next revolution in payment systems be already here? Bitcoin is a non-fiat cryptographic electronic payment system that purports to be the world’s first cryptocurrency. In other words, it is a peer-to-peer, client-based, completely distributed currency that does not depend on centralised issuing bodies to operate, the value is created by the users, [...]

Should law enforcement pursue game theft?

Our heroes track down a hacker and plot some vigilante justice

The use of the loaded question may imply that I believe they should. I shall be frank and admit that this is precisely the intention of this post, but please allow me to explain my reasoning before you dismiss such a ludicrous notion.


Do Indexing and hyperlinks infringe copyright?

The High Court of England and Wales has decided on an interesting test copyright case regarding linking and news aggregation by public relations firms. The case is that of Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd v Meltwater Holding BV [2010] EWHC 3099 (Ch). The claimants in the case are the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA), an industry association [...]

When bots go shopping

Habitual readers will know of my love and appreciation for xkcd, it inspires and awes those of us of lesser wit and intellect in equal measure. Now xkcd #576, entitled “Packages” has inspired a very practical application.

Programmer Paul Hunkin has created a Python script that searches $1 NZD items in the [...]

eBay sued over payment system patents

Perhaps we can get a patent for patent trolling and sue the patent trolls

Online auction giant eBay has been sued for $3.8 billion USD by XPRT Ventures in a patent infringement suit over its use of PayPal as its preferred payment system. Do not adjust your monitors ladies and gentlemen, you read correctly, [...]

Censorship and jurisdiction in Turkey

The Turkish Internet has been crippled in recent weeks due to an unprecedented conflict between the Turkish courts and Google. If you are not familiar with the background to this case, you will find some excellent write-ups in various places (such as this BBC summary).

In short, Turkey passed a law in 2007 that created [...]

Acquiring souls, one contract at a time

This qualifies as my favourite April’s Fools yet. UK e-commerce game retailer Gamestation has modified their Terms and Conditions to include the following clause:

“By placing an order via this web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option [...]