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Old 05-15-2013, 09:08 AM   #551 (permalink)
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VirWoX says, "Linden Lab has approached us with a potential solution that would allow us to serve our customers within the bounds of the updated Second Life Terms of Service." https://www.virwox.com/

That's some good news and hopefully other exchanges will get solutions soon perhaps.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:16 AM   #552 (permalink)
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VirWoX says, "Linden Lab has approached us with a potential solution that would allow us to serve our customers within the bounds of the updated Second Life Terms of Service." https://www.virwox.com/
5/6 TOS change: the end of non-LindeX exchanges?
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:22 AM   #553 (permalink)
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I did say this TOS change was an idiotic decision - and I stay with it, even if it once turns out that the people who to blame are those corrupt manic paranoiacs at that unnecessary and uncalled-for FinCEN.
Not being familiar with the relevant US legislation, I can't really reach an informed view whether the ToS changes were necessary or not, and, in particular, I don't know what LL thought might be the consequences of not changing them the way they did.

While it all seems to have been done in the rather hasty, clumsy and secretive way we've come to expect of LL, the basic sequence -- move fast to distance themselves from TPEs to avoid any danger of criminal or civil penalties for LL and then, after securing LL's position, explore ways LL and the TPEs can continue legally to deal with each other under the new regulations -- seems not unreasonable, if that's what, in fact, they have done and are doing.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:30 AM   #554 (permalink)
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Not being familiar with the relevant US legislation, I can't really reach an informed view whether the ToS changes were necessary or not, and, in particular, I don't know what LL thought might be the consequences of not changing them the way they did.

While it all seems to have been done in the rather hasty, clumsy and secretive way we've come to expect of LL, the basic sequence -- move fast to distance themselves from TPEs to avoid any danger of criminal or civil penalties for LL and then, after securing LL's position, explore ways LL and the TPEs can continue legally to deal with each other under the new regulations -- seems not unreasonable, if that's what, in fact, they have done and are doing.
It is my firm hope that this is the way LL is dealing with this issue, because it implies they are remaining responsible to business platform users, if that makes any kind of sense at all.

In the past LL was not so considerate of business other than their own, so I am hoping to see that behavior reformed . . . . . hoping. It would be a good sign that those who linger on or even dare to grow in SL don't keep getting burned for it.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:37 PM   #555 (permalink)
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It is my firm hope that this is the way LL is dealing with this issue, because it implies they are remaining responsible to business platform users, if that makes any kind of sense at all.

In the past LL was not so considerate of business other than their own, so I am hoping to see that behavior reformed . . . . . hoping. It would be a good sign that those who linger on or even dare to grow in SL don't keep getting burned for it.
I think LL is in crises mode right now. Normally they wouldn't bother to be responsive users but I think the magnitude of this change and the backlash might have caught them off guard. I gather we are talking about a few million in L$ out there, which isn't chump change no matter what currency you convert it too. With all this cash floating around I imagine some of the bigger exchanges and business might have started talking to lawyers.

So I think LL is trying to smooth over some ruffled feathers as quickly and quietly as possible. Once the hens are back in the hen house it will probably be business as usual back at the farm.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:57 PM   #556 (permalink)
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The volume of business done by the third party exchanges can't have come as a surprise to LL, though, I would have thought. They must have been aware of the amounts of L$ passing through the various exchanges' banker alts' inworld accounts every day.

Maybe this explains that inconsistency between, on the one hand, the new wording of the ToS and, on the other, the blog and LL's emails to the exchanges. That is, LL wanted, if possible, to be able to do business with the TPEs if it's possible so to do within the new regulations, because that's clearly in everyone's best interests.

It's not as if LL were unaware of the problems some non-USians have with getting money into SL. We've seen, over the last few years, several experiments with payments in local currency and new payment processors, and I thought that LL has ended up concluding, quite rightly, that it was preferable all round to let specialist TPEs solve the problem rather than try to re-invent the wheel in-house and make a hash of it. Then along come these new regulations and threaten to upset the apple cart, leaving LL, first, to make sure it's on the right side of the law, and then to see how best to proceed, while staying legal.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:46 PM   #557 (permalink)
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I bet that the only way virwox will be able to keep trading Lindens is if they agree to lobotomize their cash-outs to perform even worse than lindex (ie, 9 days to cash out, or something horrible).
Some slowing down, perhaps just of large cashouts or a fast sequence of cashouts, may be necessary by all exchanges to comply with federal recommendations. That just happens when you're trying to block monetary fraud.

I still don't see this as any sort of diabolical plot for moar profit on LL's part; it still looks to me like something they think they're forced to do. The haste and lack of consistency just screams "QUICK! DO SOMETHING!". As usual, their public communication has been less than stellar - let's hope their communication with the TPEs is more forthright and responsive.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:47 PM   #558 (permalink)
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...-over-bitcoin/

The Washington Post

The coming political battle over Bitcoin

By Timothy B. Lee, Published: May 15, 2013

"... this week when the feds took action against Mt. Gox, the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange. ..."
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:42 PM   #559 (permalink)
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:42 PM   #560 (permalink)
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more details:

http://www.thebitcoinchannel.com/

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/05/feds-reveal-the-search-warrant-that-seized-mt-gox-account/
by Joe Mullin - May 15 2013
"The Department of Homeland Security is investigating Mt. Gox, the largest Bitcoin exchange, ..."
"... warrant that was used yesterday to seize funds that Mt. Gox ..."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/05/15/the-feds-are-cracking-down-on-mt-gox-not-on-bitcoin/
Forbes | by Kashmir Hill | Tech | 5/15/2013
The Feds Are Cracking Down On Mt. Gox (Not On Bitcoin)
“CoinLab is registered with FinCEN to provide Bitcoin exchange services in the United States and has fully complied with FinCEN’s March 2013 guidance for digital currency exchanges.”
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:43 PM   #561 (permalink)
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The coming political battle over Bitcoin

"... this week when the feds took action against Mt. Gox, the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange. ..."
The Washington Post article is incorrect. A US District Court judge issued a seizure warrant for the Dwolla account of "Mutum Sigillum LLC", a US subsidiary of Mt.Gox. The US subsidiary failed to register as a money transmitter, when they clearly send funds for their parent company's customers from their Mt.Gox account dollar balance through Dwolla (a US payment processor) when making withdrawals.

Here is the warrant: http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-conten...nt-5-14-13.pdf

The US government cannot take direct action against Mt.Gox, because it is located in Japan: http://imfed.org/ratings/mt-gox-tibanne-co-ltd/

Dwolla, for those not familiar with it: https://www.dwolla.com/about

The question to me is whether the US subsidiary needed to register as a money transmitter. Dwolla, as a payment processor, is definitely a money transmitter, that is all they do. Mt.Gox used them to deliver customer funds when customers wanted a cash payout. Mt.Gox in Japan is sending funds to itself in the form of the US subsidiary, so that is not really sending money to a different place. I am not an expert on this subject, but if every international company has to register as a money transmitter when sending funds between US and other parts of the company, it would have huge implications.

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Old 05-16-2013, 01:19 AM   #562 (permalink)
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The Washington Post article is incorrect.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:13 AM   #563 (permalink)
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That IS good news, and I hope that means that we'll manage to keep the exchange, though I'd be very, very, very, very, very, very surprised if we do.

I bet that the only way virwox will be able to keep trading Lindens is if they agree to lobotomize their cash-outs to perform even worse than lindex (ie, 9 days to cash out, or something horrible).
part of the reason for the delay is very possibly the fact that stolen card details are used with more frequency than we probably realise. By delaying cashout, it gives people a chance to notice that the card has been hijacked and can contact the bank, or have the bank contact them about it.

If you've ever used a cc with LL your first transaction was probably stopped by your bank (depending on your bank of course, not all of them do it) and you had to confirm the transaction. It's been like this since I came in, back in 2006 and I doubt it's changed.

of course, that's absolutely no reason for LL to take as long as it does on most of our cashouts, as if we've built up a history then it should be pretty plain to see that there's no fraud going on but I'm sure that fraud protection is probably the flimsy excuse they use for all of us, if they ever decide to explain why it takes so long to do something that others do in minutes.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:05 AM   #564 (permalink)
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I'd have thought, though, that LL's internal systems pick up on that sort of thing. If a new account suddenly pops up, buys a load of L$ and gives them all to another new account, who promptly cashes them out, that's one thing.

If a well-established account daily receives a few hundred L$ a time, via vendors and the marketplace, from dozens of different account-holders (and different ones every day) and regularly cashes out once a week or so, that's quite another.

I'm sure LL's systems do flag up the first sort of transaction. But it's no reason to hold up the second type, to my mind.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:19 AM   #565 (permalink)
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i think its prudent to hold outgoing on older avatars too Innula.. no matter how irritating i find it...

imagine a merchant/landowner with a large amount of L$ or even USD in their account being hacked .. and then everything cashed out ...

you have to put in the PP account everytime.. and it doesnt need to be the same one you always use..

so yeah .. no matter how inconvenient it is.. i prefer that to any kind of risk.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:33 AM   #566 (permalink)
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I dunno, eku. I mean, in RL it's wholly possible that someone using a cash machine is using a stolen or "kited" card, and thus withdrawing cash from someone else's bank account, but banks nevertheless manage to process the transactions on the spot.

That risk, to my mind, could be simply obviated by delaying the transaction, subject to confirmation, if funds aren't being sent to the same PayPal account they went to last time. That seems considerably safer than simply keeping the transaction hanging for 5 days and then deciding that the account holder hasn't reported his card stolen so it must be ok (as opposed to the account holder hasn't noticed his card has been stolen/is on vacation/in hospital/whatever).

ETA: To my mind, if there's nothing unusual about the transaction -- PayPal hasn't changed since last time, account password, email and security question haven't changed recently either -- then it's probably OK, but, if in doubt, why not email the customer and ask?
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:44 AM   #567 (permalink)
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My most recent lindex transaction "hung" for ten business days, then two more days while they investigated, then another day while they "reversed" the transaction because they had "experienced a problem with Paypal that day" but not bothered to contact me about it or automatically "reverse" the transaction when "it returned an error."

It would've just "hung" there forever with no action on their part after the original attempt to pay returned an error. There was not even any attempt to retry. But, most importantly, there was no effort made to let me know that the transaction was "hanging." It would've just "hung" there forever.

And now this the only service I can use to cash lindens and transfer the balance to Paypal.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:03 AM   #568 (permalink)
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:08 AM   #569 (permalink)
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My most recent Lindex transaction was a cashout last Sunday, May. 12, 2013 Time 08:27:14 UTC, which hit my PayPal account yesterday at 23:27 British Summer Time (so 22:27 UTC).

Not hugely impressive but not as bad as I feared.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:45 AM   #570 (permalink)
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With all the account hacking issues, why doesn't LL use 2 factor authentication? And not make it so easy to put in a different PayPal address on the cash out? I know I'd feel a lot better if they did.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:42 AM   #571 (permalink)
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With all the account hacking issues, why doesn't LL use 2 factor authentication? And not make it so easy to put in a different PayPal address on the cash out? I know I'd feel a lot better if they did.
Yep, seriously ... I have an authenticator token for my World of Warcraft character - her Lich King era armor is worth some serious security, but my SL character isn't?
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:28 PM   #572 (permalink)
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