back to article Hey, Silk Road dealers: Looking for new life? Pay for a biz course with Bitcoin

A British university has become the first educational establishment in the world to allow its students to pay fees using Bitcoin. However, Cumbria University admitted it has no way of checking whether pupils had earned their virtual crypto currency by stealing, through botnets, by legitimate mining and trading, or via drug sales …

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> Cumbria University admitted it has no way of checking whether pupils had earned their virtual crypto currency by stealing, through botnets, by legitimate mining and trading, or via drug sales on Silk Road.

They have more chance of discovering the source of bitcoins than real money. They can trace back through every bitcoin transaction ever made. Try walking into a bank and asking where your client's payment came from.

Do universities check that traditional tuition payments haven't come from nefarious activities?

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Bitcoins traceable for most users

But not for botnet operators. Those who can originate a transaction from any of the 1,000,000 or so IP addresses on a botnet can ensure every payment arrives from a different address and is transferred through several virtual accounts for laundry purposes. They can also route the payment instructions through a different chain of anonymising relays each time, by virtue of being able to control the actions of so many hosts they don't legitimately own. They don't even have to risk using Tor for such purposes, which is a known risk given that a higher proportion of Tor hosts are likely to be spying on traffic than are typical botnet hosts setup as honeypots for this purpose.

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Re: Bitcoins traceable for most users

I didn't say they *can* determine the source of funds, I said they *have more chance*.

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Re: Bitcoins traceable for most users

@PyLETS I don't get your point. Bitcoin transactions are tracable no matter if they were sent through a vpn via TOR or whatever. To actually make Bitcoin transactions, these transactions have to be public and known to every node, otherwise the transaction never really happened.

And if you are talking about finding the source IP for a transaction: What is easier than to load your private key onto blockchain.info and start sending away? Not blockchain.infos IP is the source of the transaction. But IPs do not matter.

What you could do to hide the origin of a transaction is using a mixing service, there are also simple ways to work around cheap mixing services. And even if you get rid of all of your coins in a mixing service and get "new" ones, its a reasonable assumption that they're just as tainted as the ones you gave away.

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That's fine.....

....just pay the University's tax payers, sorry government, funding in bit coins as well and all will be well. Just don't ask for handouts when it crashes. Of course if it goes up, you will make a tidy profit.

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Minor university in press release shocker

Today a minor university formed of arts colleges and recently helped out of a £13M debt (when it couldn't even pay staff) thought it wanted a slice of the Bitcoin headlines. To this end it uses a payment broker to set and accept fees in good old fashioned Sterling, but offer the hyped bitcoin as a payment voucher, to make payments less convenient to most. But it got some press, which is good news for their business school.

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Certificate in what, now?

Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership

Yes, that's what I thought you said.

That makes a lot of sense, you don't want half-arsed demagogues and rabble-rousers going around depleting the valuable reserves of fossil leadership, do you. You want persuasive, Certificated leaders, who draw on sustainable motivational... what? what?? I was in full flow, there.

The course is intended for people with professional experience in fields related to sustainable development who seek to develop their leadership capabilities.1

Oh, well, if you had said "Postgraduate Certificate in Developmental Sustainability Leadership", then I would have understood sooner. I also wryly note your course requirements for English language proficiency.

1Source: University of Cumbria

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