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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin Detailed Calculator on: July 22, 2011, 08:33:01 AM
Awesome. Thanks.
2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [Hypothetical] What if Bitcoin were to restart tomorrow? on: July 15, 2011, 09:37:46 PM
I will say that I grew up poor. So I've seen much of this firsthand.

For the purpose of this discussion, I want to note that the only thing which has stood in the way of my own "upward mobility" has been the government.

I understand that sentiment. As a small business owner, it seems like rule and regulations hamper me ever step of the way. I can't put signs up without a permit, and when I do get a permit they can only be so large. I can't drop off ads in peoples mailboxes so I have to run ads to people's doors which takes much longer. I can't pass out flyers on the streets without paying a vendors fee. I can't put flyers on windshields parked in public places. It seems that every cheap and easy way for me to advertize is prohibited to me. This allows companies with higher advertizing budgets to outdo me even though I'm willing to put in more time and effort. So I really do understand what you are saying. And then, of course, there is self-income tax.

But, on the other hand, did you get a public education? If you were raised poor in a third-world country, you may not have had any education, permanently limiting your upward mobility. Did your parents receive any public assistance? Foodstamps, welfare, ext? This may have helped them get by at a slightly higher standard of living, providing you with more opportunities. Did you use public libraries? Access to information, even if it is just fiction, helps broaden your horizons and integrate you with mainstream society. Did you go to a public college or receive public scholarships or get publicly backed loans? I myself, would not have been able to go to college if i had needed to pay the cost of private tuition out of pocket, and I think many would be in the same boat.

So perhaps the government has stood in your way, and perhaps the issues and items you are concerned about do need to be addressed. I'm not saying government should be given a free pass to do whatever. But failure to acknowledge where the government has succeeded is shortsighted. Lets figure out what the government does right and reinforce that, and figure out what the government does wrong and eliminate that. I simply will not accept the over simplistic answer, 'they do everything wrong'.

PS - I'll try not to hijack the thread anymore.
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [Hypothetical] What if Bitcoin were to restart tomorrow? on: July 15, 2011, 11:02:45 AM
A restart would not result in a more equal distribution of wealth. We would see the same approximate Pareto distribution.

Except that this time, the richest bitcoiners would not be geeky early adopters but City Boys from Wall Street and Canary Wharf who can afford to lose $1 M on a high risk investment.

What difference does it make?

I agree. Restarting the block chain wouldn't help with distribution (if that is even a problem). Assuming not many people left, the difficulty would start up at the same rate as now. 7200 coins made a day, and a majority to the people that have sunk a lot of money into mining. In a year, some people will still have a huge share.
4  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: The Ponzi scheme argument on: July 15, 2011, 10:24:58 AM
Thus, the debate about bitcoin being a Ponzi scheme or not is probably only going to be settled once we've had at least someone file an according lawsuit.
A lawsuit against *who*?


Precisely. How can it be a ponzi scheme without a central authority that benefits. Are you claiming early adopter are behind it? In that case, what a brilliant scheme. The ponzi, without the ponzi.
5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [Hypothetical] What if Bitcoin were to restart tomorrow? on: July 15, 2011, 10:17:46 AM
Quote from: DamienBlack
A meritocracy is a theoretical concept where everyone gets exactly what they deserve, based on merit alone. Currently, many do not get what they deserve because they find themselves in situations outside their control that limit their ability to move up the social ladder.

Government is not omniscient and is not able to know what role irresponsibility played in a person's poor circumstances rather than bad luck. Providing for the unlucky also means providing for the irresponsible, and this reduces the incentive to behave responsibly, leading to less prosperity overall.

That is a common argument that crops up in many different discussions. We cannot do 'X' perfectly, we make mistakes, those mistakes have negative consequences, so we should not do 'X' at all. Yes, it is true, we cannot do it perfectly. A true meritocracy is unachievable. But we can move closer to one. We can weigh the good and the bad and decide which path to take. The discussion is much deeper than you pretend.

And as to the 'irresponsible' you speak of. I have never met anyone I would call irresponsible. I have certainly never met anyone so irresponsible that I believe they deserve abject poverty. Have you? I've only seen people trying to get by, whatever way they can. I've only seen people that were not equipped with the skills and education needed to make the right choices in life. If these irredeemably 'irresponsible' people exist, they must be few and far between. And what of the rich 'irresponsible'? They can go their whole lives without want, all the while the poor 'irresponsible' live on the streets. How is that fair?

Or are you one of those that believe that the poor 'earned' their position. That is a great story to tell kids -- to hide the awful truth of our unfair world. But surely you can see through such fairytales. It isn't usually 'bad luck' that hold people back, but rather systematic class discrimination. The rich get rich, and the poor get poor, because the rich use their power to arrange it that way. I know the stories, the fairytales, about how poor people that work hard can rise up. But these are just stories. The poor aren't going very far, middle class at best, and it is usually luck and happenstance that helps them rise, not hard work. And even if the stories are true, why do the poor have to work so hard when the rich get it handed to them?

My apologies, I'll get off my soapbox now. Class discrepancy is my issue, my cause. In our society, even the poor believe they've earned their position somehow. It is simply sickeningly unjust.
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: What if deepbit started a new block chain? on: July 15, 2011, 09:56:12 AM
I could say everyone on this forum has 20,000 cool points right now. Doesn't mean that anyone cares.
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [Hypothetical] What if Bitcoin were to restart tomorrow? on: July 15, 2011, 03:03:12 AM
Why is this topic so taboo that it can't be discussed even hypothetically?  What I'm trying to say is if you believe in Bitcoin as a viable long-term P2P currency then you need to identify the inherent risks to its longevity.  Shouldn't the fact that a very small portion of the overall community having the ability to bring BTC to its knees be at least something to discuss?

I don't understand why early-adopters need to be treated as gods and any sort of topic that comes up is automatically met with, "oh yeah just another guy trying to get rich off them."  As if my ONE thread can somehow re-write history...

I am confused by everyone's assumption that the 'early adopters' took a risk...pennies worth of electricity is not a risk on generating thousands of worthless bitcoins is not a gamble. If anything, they gambled their brain power on something they saw as immensely useful. Those that propped up the system and invested in BTC for cash and began to offer goods and services for bitcoin are the ones bearing a risk...basically everyone that came in after the 'earliest adopters'.

The entrants into the current market are the ones bearing the greatest risk. Buying in at $14/per is a lot different than buying in for pennies...

Pennies of electricity is a risk. A very small one, but a risk nonetheless. Many people may have quit in the early days because it was 'raising their electricity bill for no good reason'. And in those early days, the chance of bitcoin becoming big was miniscule. Very tiny investment, very tiny chance of success.
8  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [Hypothetical] What if Bitcoin were to restart tomorrow? on: July 15, 2011, 03:00:19 AM
First: "Upward mobility is one of the most important thing for a government to provide." What do you mean by upward mobility? Why would a government provide it? Why should providing it be reserved to the government?

I don't think providing it should be reserved to the government, just that it is an important government role. Providing means of upward mobility -- education, training, healthcare and support -- is often not well suited for the free market. The free market often caters to those who can pay. People that need the most help attaining upward mobility are often people who cannot pay.


Second: "I think we can all support the goal of a true meritocracy, and that simply requires us to provide lower class citizens with more opportunities to attain upward mobility." First, what is an opportunity to provide upward mobility? Who are the "us" who are required to provide it? How are those people going to be compelled to do so? (Or, who shoots "us" if "we" don't?)

A meritocracy is a theoretical concept where everyone gets exactly what they deserve, based on merit alone. Currently, many do not get what they deserve because they find themselves in situations outside their control that limit their ability to move up the social ladder. Someone could be a genius music composer, but have a costly sickness that has him stuck in a few low paying jobs just to pay the med bills. Someone else might be very intelligent and mathematically inclined, but coming from a poor family does not have the opportunity to go to college. Most people would consider these situations a failure of a true meritocracy. On the other hand, many people have inherited wealth, or just come from wealthy families that can pay for a fancy diploma, and so find themselves in lucrative jobs despite not being all that skilled.

I think that providing upward mobility, and limiting the consolidation of wealth is a useful task for a government. I can see you have some anarchist/libertarian leaning beliefs, and I respect that. But I think that large governments can accomplish things that smaller groups can't. In my perfect world, taxes would be heavy, and they would fund social programs in education, healthcare and other social nets. I know some people find taxes distasteful, but I often find that that is because they believe things already are, more or less, already a meritocracy. I don't subscribe to this point of view. It seems clear to me that a persons social status is mostly inherited. I find that more distasteful than taxes.

So the 'us' is the general public, through taxes. And I believe it would be the government that shoots you if you fail to comply (or more likely imprison you). I will always trust the government long before I trust corporations. But I admit, is isn't a good idea to trust either very far.
9  Other / Off-topic / Re: [CLAIMED!] Bounty: 0.25 BTC. Find the Bitcoins hidden in plain sight. on: July 15, 2011, 02:33:22 AM
Quote

It actually was not necessary. The address can be computed from the private key. I gave the address to prove the existence of the bounty and as a hint.

So every address has a unique private key.  The private key can generate the address but each address can't generate a private key?  Is that true?

Sam

That is exactly it. Bends the mind a little bit the first time you here of such one-way functions. But the math is solid.
10  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [Hypothetical] What if Bitcoin were to restart tomorrow? on: July 15, 2011, 02:25:07 AM
Besides all of the above, it's simply not possible to distribute wealth evenly without violence. There will always be people who have a larger proportion of X than others, and a small number who have a whole lot of X. To change this requires sticking guns in their faces and taking away their X by threat of violence. I'm well aware that many people around here have absolutely no problem with this and cheer every time it happens.

See also Harrison Bergeron.

While this is true, there is a big difference between a wide spread between the poor and the rich, and a smaller one. Upward mobility is one of the most important thing for a government to provide. Yet providing upward mobility is often perceived as 'distributing wealth'. People must understand, that even in first world nations like the US, we are not a meritocracy. The number one correlative of your wealth is not ability, intelligence or work ethic -- it is your parent's wealth. I think we can all support the goal of a true meritocracy, and that simply requires us to provide lower class citizens with more opportunities to attain upward mobility.
11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [Hypothetical] What if Bitcoin were to restart tomorrow? on: July 15, 2011, 02:15:02 AM
If bitcoin goes mainstream, then we might all be early adopters. Maybe in 5 years people will be saying, "there are people out there who have 100,000 mBTC just because they got on board early, would things be better if we just restarted?"

Bitcoin is only here because people before us carried the banner. I know this is a hypothetical, to getting into the nitty gritty details is pointless, but surely you have to see that the reason why bitcoin is growing and has lasted this long is because of early adopters. They took a gamble, and it is paying off. We, the midterm adopters, are also taking a gamble. But the odds have changes, and success is more likely then it was a year ago, so you have to put more in to get a share of the pie.

This is pretty much the same as investing in a company. Early investors might get millions of shares cheap. But no later investor would say, "man, two years ago I could have bought 100 times the shares for the same amount, this is something that should be addressed." That is because they understand that investing earlier was more of a risk. Sure it was cheaper, but payout was way more uncertain. Why can't bitcoin enthusiasts understand the same thing?

You make a lot of good points, I appreciate the response Damien.  I suppose my view was a little short sighted and quite hoenstly whether people believe me or not it wasn't a post out of greed or envy.  It was simply out of concern.  

Don't worry about other people's descriptions of your motives. We get a lot of people hashing the same ideas over and over again. I think this is a good thing. The fact that the system is so open and transparent that people can participate in discussions like this can only be good for bitcoin. And sometimes someone will come forward with ideas and solutions that really do help. I don't even begin to understand how the USD works. And I can't articulate any ideas, even ignorant ones, on how to improve it. The system is to opaque, I don't have the inside information, everything is closed from view. That is why I like bitcoin.

But as I said, we get a lot of people hashing the same ideas, people get impatient.
12  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [Hypothetical] What if Bitcoin were to restart tomorrow? on: July 15, 2011, 02:03:10 AM
Why is this topic so taboo that it can't be discussed even hypothetically?  What I'm trying to say is if you believe in Bitcoin as a viable long-term P2P currency then you need to identify the inherent risks to its longevity.  Shouldn't the fact that a very small portion of the overall community having the ability to bring BTC to its knees be at least something to discuss?

I don't understand why early-adopters need to be treated as gods and any sort of topic that comes up is automatically met with, "oh yeah just another guy trying to get rich off them."  As if my ONE thread can somehow re-write history...

Early adopters can't bring the bitcoin system to its knees. They can only bring the price down. But doing that will distribute the bitcoins in question and solve the problem of concentration you are complaining about. So the price crashes. So what? No big deal. After the hackcrash, before the reset, there was about 10 minutes of trading, and it was still around $14. I would love a chance to get cheap bitcoins. Please lord, let some early adopter try to 'bring bitcoin to its knees'. I'll jump at the opportunity.
13  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [Hypothetical] What if Bitcoin were to restart tomorrow? on: July 15, 2011, 01:58:51 AM
If bitcoin goes mainstream, then we might all be early adopters. Maybe in 5 years people will be saying, "there are people out there who have 100,000 mBTC just because they got on board early, would things be better if we just restarted?"

Bitcoin is only here because people before us carried the banner. I know this is a hypothetical, to getting into the nitty gritty details is pointless, but surely you have to see that the reason why bitcoin is growing and has lasted this long is because of early adopters. They took a gamble, and it is paying off. We, the midterm adopters, are also taking a gamble. But the odds have changes, and success is more likely then it was a year ago, so you have to put more in to get a share of the pie.

This is pretty much the same as investing in a company. Early investors might get millions of shares cheap. But no later investor would say, "man, two years ago I could have bought 100 times the shares for the same amount, this is something that should be addressed." That is because they understand that investing earlier was more of a risk. Sure it was cheaper, but payout was way more uncertain. Why can't bitcoin enthusiasts understand the same thing?
14  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Mining after Bitcoins on: July 15, 2011, 01:16:04 AM
Your right, I was just trying to show in terms to understand that even when a block solved only gives you 12 or 6 BTC the fee's will easily make up the difference imo.

Agreed. I don't think the OP understood mining. I think he actually thought that when bitcoins reach the maximum number, mining is done. he did not realize that it will always be used to secure the blockchain, and in the future, mining will be paid on fees.
15  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Gavin Patent Bitcoin Now! on: July 15, 2011, 01:13:13 AM
Using patent trolling and that DMCA shit would be an easy shortcut to attack Bitcoin...

Attack what part of bitcoin? There is no company running it to sue. It would be like trying to patent bittorrent in an attempt to take down torrent sites. It just wouldn't work. Besides, you have to patent some process or invention that is unique. While the whole bitcoin concept is unique, I don't think it actually has any patentable parts, because it was made from many preexisting technologies.
16  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: USPTO IS NOW FIRST TO FILE!!! Legislation (HR 1249) on: July 15, 2011, 01:08:18 AM
No one has tried to patent bitcoin. They tried to copyright the term "bitcoin". There really isn't anything about bitcoin to patent. It is based on long existing algorithms and systems.

Actually, the lawyer tried to trademark the term bitcoin, not copyright.

My mistake, I thought I was using the wrong term, thanks.
17  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: On Wednesday, Bitcoin was less volatile than US Dollar. on: July 15, 2011, 01:04:59 AM
Maybe I am wrong but if the USD loses .5% of its value and BTC exchange for the same number of USD, hasn't the BTC lost .5% of its value? If BTC maintained its value wouldn't BTC be worth .5% more USD than before? I don't see how anything can be priced independently of anything else as price is relative? Everything that can be bought is dependent on everything else that can be bought with that "currency" to determine its relative value I would think.

It seems to me that BTC either lost value, or the exchange value hasn't been adjusted due to exchange friction.

You are correct. They cannot be independent in the long run. As soon as there is real money to be made playing on these discrepancies, they will begin to disappear.
18  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: USPTO IS NOW FIRST TO FILE!!! Legislation (HR 1249) on: July 15, 2011, 12:58:39 AM
No one has tried to patent bitcoin. They tried to copyright (edit: trademark) the term "bitcoin". There really isn't anything about bitcoin to patent. It is based on long existing algorithms and systems.
19  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Gavin Patent Bitcoin Now! on: July 15, 2011, 12:56:27 AM
There is very little, if anything, to patent. Most of the mechanisms of bitcoin are well known. There is actually very little new about it. That is one of the reasons we can be sure it works.

There really is no worry. Open source software has been around for a long time. Everything will be fine, no patent needed.
20  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Mining after Bitcoins on: July 15, 2011, 12:13:59 AM
100 transactions every 10 mins (conservative estimate) x .5 fee = 50BTC  Basically transactions go up and people start adding some BTC to the mix and it will be worth more than the BTC Mining!

A .5 fee? That is outrageous. A plausible future I see is bitcoins worth $150, and 10,000 transactions, 1/4 with a .005 fee. That is 12.5 bitcoins, at $150 = $1,875 per block. Currently you get about $700 a block.
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