Getting shady with Bitcoin
Note: this piece is not intended to encourage the activity described here. It is a satiric exposé on the new and crime-frought world of Bitcoin, and the general apathy thereof. Enjoy.
So you want to get shady. You’ve tossed morality into the wind, the words of warning against unrighteous gain no longer trouble your sleep, and you are fully ready engage in that root of all evil, the love of money.
First, you’ll need to know how money works.
Money is a way to transfer value. And the best way to track money is to track the things that are valued. In common terminology we call the record of such a thing a “receipt.” They’re usually on paper, but it turns out there are a lot of ways to form a receipt. It might just be a memory. You saw the face of the person you sold your bike to after he drove up to your house in the blue sedan. He remembers your face, your name, and your address. The two of you exchanged value, and whether or not it was written down, a record of the thing valued exists in both of your minds. In fact, it’s a record that a court could subpoena as testimony.
To be a criminal is to profit from the fact that dirty value is easier to access than clean value. Or to put it another way, while clean value is worth the same amount on paper as dirty value, in practice clean has more value and so is less common than dirty value. So, there is a larger supply of dirty value out there for the taking than clean value, even though they have the same theoretical value. The criminal profits off of this anomaly. His job is to convert the abundant dirty value into clean value. An example of clean value would be the money that you receive for selling a car that you bought. An example of dirty value would be a car that you stole. When a criminal steals a car, in order to profit he must quickly make that dirty value clean.
But since the supply of it was abundant (the car was practically free for him) and any clean value he can get out of it is a net gain, he is more likely to be satisfied with a ridiculously small offer. It is a net gain for a criminal to steal $50k worth dirty and get $10k back from it clean. After all, there’s millions of dollars of dirty value on every street corner. A fraction of that converted clean would be a gain.
The only reason that a criminal does not steal every car on every corner and take a marginal clean profit is this problem of receipts. Whoever he sells the car to will want one. Even if he forges one, the buyer will note the low price and the shifty eye of the seller. So the he has to be careful. In a sense, this pushes the dirty value down, since it is now functionally harder to convert the dirty value to clean value. Again, the entire existence of the criminal is based on the disconnect between paper value and actual value of dirty stuff, and the resolution of that disconnect in a positive way. Security cameras, VIN numbers, titles, and many other systems majorly increase the difficulty of that resolution. And so car-jacking is not very profitable in the United States.
Know what is profitable? Credit cards. Credit card companies hold the average American under their thumb to the tune of $6,375 and make good interest off of it. Needless to say their business model accounts for a fair amount of loss. One of these accounted losses is that of card skimming.
The idea is simple enough. Attach a “skimmer” to the end of a gas station card reader that blends in with the surroundings. The device should allow the victim’s card to pass through to the actual reader, but also get a fair whiff of the card numbers itself.
But this is risky. You have to install the device personally, and anytime you leave your home to commit a crime physically you are opening a huge can of risk. No, it would be a far better plan for you (the Bitcoin-crime interested reader) to simply buy a few of these numbers (uploaded for a price by many intrepid skimmers) from jokersstash.su for $26 a pop (Bitcoin preferred). Go ahead. You’ll need to make an account (username, password, are you a robot?), and send in some Bitcoin, but that’s it. You can start buying stolen card numbers by the handful.
Before we proceed with the instructions for your new career, I would like to point out that we are already two levels deep in the dirty-to-clean conversion process, and two sets of people have already been paid dividends. The intrepid boots-on-the-ground skimmers, armed with laptop and sketchy van, have already sold their day’s catch to Joker’s Stash. They gained possibly thousands of dollars worth of buying power. But it was dirty and unreliable buying power; they probably only ended up selling these bulk cards for $20 per to Joker’s Stash. But remember, dirty value is abundant. That’s a net gain for the skimmer. He’s probably skimmed a hundred cards today.
Joker’s Stash then spends some money to purchase potential cards in bulk from skimmers at a flat rate, and sells them to you at a flat rate, $26. Joker’s Stash makes its bacon by consolidating the dirty value into one place. It’s a glorified poster-board. But it still helps in the conversion since it profits from removing the dirty value one step further from the source.
Here you are then, having with your $26 contributed to the health and wellbeing of at least two other criminals, and now the proud owner of one set of card numbers.
The problem is, that’s still dirty value. It’s still the stolen car, it just changed hands a bit. The two people before you moved it around and took handlers fees for themselves, but you want to be the one to actually exploit its value.
You could walk into Best Buy and buy yourself a TV; and wait until the security tape is reviewed and you are caught. You could buy something on Amazon; and have it shipped to your house along with a complimentary visit from the police.
Or, as one experienced gentleman I met put it, you could “wash your hands with Bitcoin.”
Here’s what you’ll want to do: Go to ebay.com and make an account for yourself using falsified information. You’ll want to make the name of the account the same as the name of the legitimate card holder, and you’ll want a freshly created email address too. Next, out of the kindness of your heart, you’ll want to buy one or several $500 gift cards using your newly aquired credit card numbers. But you won’t be giving these gift cards away. No, see, these gift cards represent your stolen numbers actually having practical value for the first time. This is the first step in which the the dirty card money becomes somewhat “clean.” A $500 eBay gift card has real world value. You can sell that.
So sell it, and at half price so it’ll go quick; it cost you next to nothing anyway. Go to localbitcoins.com. Look for one of the many ads by people who will sell you Bitcoin at high prices for eBay gift cards. Click the ad. Send the gift card verification code. Receive your Bitcoin.
No receipt involved. You now have clean, pure, untraceable bitcoin, $250 worth on a good day. Not bad for starting with $26. You made a $224 margin, and you can just do that all day.
Of course, it will not work every time. Sometimes the cards decline for a myriad of reasons. But not to worry, if you are serious about his career in crime, jokersstash.su has a premium guarantee plan where they will keep continuing to provide you with cards until one of them works. For a sizable fee of course. I’m sure you’ll get it to work a couple times a day, and you’ll be able to turn $75 worth of Bitcoin into 3 stolen credit cards which you can use to buy $1500 of eBay gift cards which you can sell to other people for $750 worth of Bitcoin. Send a bit of that Bitcoin back Joker’s way, and start fresh tomorrow.
You may be wondering at this point why there are people on localbitcoins.com buying $500 eBay gift cards for $250 worth of Bitcoin. That’s a good question, and its also another way for master criminals like yourself to make more money. You’ll want to set up two eBay accounts, a buyer and a seller. List something ridiculous, but not too ridiculous on the seller account. An old speaker set for $500, for example. You don’t want other people actually buying it, but you also don’t want to set off alarm bells. Next, go to localbitcoins.com and offer to sell people $250 worth of Bitcoin in exchange for $500 eBay gift cards. As I have already explained, the demand for this is strong and you will likely have little trouble getting some interest. Once you have an interested buyer, get the eBay gift card verification from them and wire them their due Bitcoin. Then, all you have to do is fund your buyer eBay account with your newly obtained eBay gift card and buy your old speaker set from yourself. The money will be paid to the buyer account, and transferred to the PayPal of your choice. From there it can be deposited to your bank account as cold, hard, clean cash. Arrange with yourself to pickup your old speaker system from yourself locally.
These are but two ways to wash your hands with Bitcoin. A little creativity applied to the problem of making dirty money clean is sure to reveal profitable results for a budding criminal like yourself. And since all this is within the predicted loss of the credit card company, the motivation to catch you is not high. You will likely be able to make plenty of money before some link in the chain wises up. And by then, there will be another way. There always is.