Transactions are irreversible, and no human can intervene to fix mistakes. You might think this is obviously bad, but the white paper claims this as an advantage of the Bitcoin system. Bitcoin advocates fervently believe that the one thing merchants fear most is credit card chargebacks, and that “no chargebacks” is the best hook Bitcoin could have.
Bitcoin Wiki’s “Myths” page says: “Allowing chargebacks implies that it is possible for another entity to take your money from you. You can have either total ownership rights of your money, or fraud protection, but not both.”
In practice, consumers, businesses and banks overwhelmingly expect errors or thefts to be reversible. There is negligible demand for a system where human intervention to reverse an error is impossible. Even merchants, as much as they dislike chargebacks, turn out to prefer consumer confidence and payment methods people will actually use.
When mining rig manufacturer Butterfly Labs failed to deliver rigs on time, credit card and PayPal purchasers could do (and did) chargebacks; those who bought using bitcoins were out of luck.
(Butterfly Labs also bought satirical site buttcoin.org to replace a detailed takedown of one of their terrible mining offerings with an advertising page; the main product of this effort was the Federal Trade Commission saying “buttcoin