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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Stop with the shopa on: July 14, 2011, 11:09:55 PM
Obviously I would like to see Bitcoin used everywhere including retail. I'm just concerned that people are rushing in that direction without enough thought. Having failed businesses will not help us.

It reminds me of government projects to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses. You get a load of unqualified people opening beauty salons and sandwich shops in run down areas that fail as soon as the grant money runs out. Not that anyone here is getting a grant to start Bitcoin businesses, it's just in their excitement I can see some people not thinking things through. I'm happy their is so much enthusiasm, I'd just like to see it more focused.
2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Stop with the shopa on: July 14, 2011, 10:52:42 PM
Money is transferred around for so many other reasons that retail sales. Trying to hard to push Bitcoin into retail is bound to fail and will only serve to harden the views of those who are suspicious of itís usefulness. Bitcoin does has some unique advantages:

  • International sales
  • Customer may wanting anonymity
  • Low volume hobby selling were any financial or administrative overhead is unacceptable.
  • Selling to people without access to traditional banking such as the children or the very poor.

However all retail is competitive and small percentages can be the difference between win or fail. So with very few exceptions ruling out 99.999(99?)% of potential customers is commercial suicide. Bitcoin will be successful but that will happen in areas that are out of the spotlight such as:

  • People sending money to family across borders (I suspect this accounts for the strength of BitomatPLN)
  • Paying foreign contractors, especially as it makes daily results based payments feasible.
  • Paying international suppliers

As well as these there will be uses we just have not thought of yet. I personally like he idea of forum software with a micro-payments and rewards. You could try to balance it so that normal users broke even, strong community members could earn get some free beer but spammers and trolls would be priced out.
3  Other / Politics & Society / Re: How does a Thorium reactor work? on: July 12, 2011, 09:13:03 PM
4  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Proactive engagement (anti-government types: ignore this thread) on: July 06, 2011, 10:24:51 PM
Iím not sure why so many people are convinced that governments will have a negative attitude toward Bitcoin or even try to ban it. Bitcoin brings down the cost of doing business making easier,cheaper and faster. Politicians (in the UK at least) are extremely keen to support a strong ďdigital economyĒ. If you read the European E-money directive you will see that legislators are supportive of the concepts as they can see the benifits. The reason for the legislation was create a level plying field and to stop consumers being scammed. It this second questions of consumers being ripped off by fraudulent or badly managed service providers that I think risks prompting unwanted regulation.

On a practical note I think longer term it would be worth having regional legal entities with a remit to promote the safe and legal us of Bitcoins (remit needs much more careful thought). If the organisations had elections, minuted meetings etc then it would make it much easier for other organisations to engage. I have specifically been looking at the UK and European payments councils, there is no other way we could work with them. Also it would give a point of contact for police forces who will certainly see it in a negative if they did not understand the concept.

5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: [THEORY] Bitcoin "Gods" Are Attempting To Even Out The Exchange Markets on: July 02, 2011, 09:48:52 PM
It's quite possible there are people with a large amount of coins attempting to smooth the market for the long term benefit of Bitcoin. The truth is we can't know. Bitcoin is still a young project and is experimental socially and technically. Traditional markets are also have scandal and intrigue Bitcoin will be no different. Fortunately in most cases anyone with enough power to influence Bitcoin will gain most by trying to make the Bitcoin project successful. Also I believe a significant proportion of early adopters wit large wallets have idealogical motivations meaning they are more likely to act for the global benefit.
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: POLL: What are the most likely things that may cause bitcoin to fail ? on: July 01, 2011, 10:25:29 PM
The two scenarios that worry me are
1) bitcoin dosn't scale. I know i should do and I know that work is being done in this area. Ive also seen other systems that should scale fail when it came to doing it for real.

2) consolidation of hashing power. The top two mining pools combined have over 50% hashing power. this gives them too much influence. I'm not talking about straight double pending attacks but more general power and influence over the project.

7  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Is there a real bitcoin economy? on: June 26, 2011, 08:25:13 PM
Not really. A few novelty items, some tech stuff, that's it.
Bitcoin is still a young project and the tools to use bitcoin are only just being built. Think of the early days of the internet, many people did no see the potential then came Tim Berners-Lee. It was the layers built on top of the net that changed everything, the same will be true of bitcoin. Exchanges may be zero sum but they are an important foundation stone. As their are no barriers to entry things will snowball very quickly when the basic services are a little more mature.
8  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: What I want in a client on: June 22, 2011, 07:54:55 PM
I think it's important that mining is added back into the default client. While an individuals chance of solving a block would be small the overall effect would be to distribute coins more fairly. one of the biggest obstacles to bitcoins success is the perception that it is unfair and sewn up by greedy miners. Allowing everyone their chance of free coins no matter the small allows people to think of the system more like a lottery which is palatable and easily understood by the general public.

I like t think bitcoin will become the defacto standard for micropayment access to web sites and applications.
rather than have each site reinvent the wheel this could be managed in a consistent way with a plug in to the client. 
9  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Bitcoin prospects on: June 22, 2011, 07:18:26 PM
I don't think anyone in power is perceiving bitcoin to being a serious threat. On a gloabl scale the money passing through bitcoin at the moment is a drop in ocean. By the time bitcoin is big enough to have an effect the benefits to society will far outweigh any downsides. The same was true of the internet, people in power may have feared that which they had no control over. Now the benefits of the internet are so obvious that none of them would seriously think they wished we had only networks controlled by individual companies like AOL compuserve and MS.
As far as illegal use goes bitcoin leaks enough information to make it a boon for security services. With cooperative exchanges, endpoints tied to individuals through subservience and raids as well as supercomputers sophisticated analysis of the block chain, they must be laughing.
10  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Why all the bitcoin haters? on: June 22, 2011, 07:04:45 PM
I'm worried that the natural aversion to something that seems unfair will mean bitcoin does not achieve it's potential. the problem is exacerbated by the fact that people fear that it is not only unfair but could directly affect should an early adopter unload. Fortunately I don't think that will happen (in way that affect ordinary folk) and in time when prices are more stable the resentment will fade. Traditional finance is full of injustice and imbalance but people ignore this, the same will be true of bitcoin in future.

11  Other / Beginners & Help / Why all the bitcoin haters? on: June 21, 2011, 11:39:00 PM
Bitcoin has had quite a bit of main stream coverage of late. One thing that has surprised me is the amount of negativity towards it. If we want bitcoin to be successful then some though into why the natural reaction of so many people is so bad.
I think a large part of this is the thought that early adopters are arrogant, who are they to just think they can magic up this money? It's also suspicion, why should they trust people with such an obvious self interest. No doubt jealousy plays itís part too.
Then there is lack of understanding. The concepts around how bitcoin works are not intuitive, the problems they solve are not obvious. People fear of looking stupid and resent having spending time understanding something they are suspect to be a scam.
Finally people lack vision and expect too much too soon from this young project. Right now using a clunky (sorry) desktop client to pay someone who only accepts bitcoin for fun or publicity does not seem that revolutionary. Observers may not realise there are still aspects of bitcoin being ironed out, such as tiered services and thinner clients. Anyone taking a quick look and just seeing a snapshot of what bitcoin is now misses the point and wonders what ll the fuss is about. As there is zero barrier to entry things could change extremely quickly. Anyone with a use case, from international shipping to my corner shop could start using bitcoin overnight. I think when those who have dismissed bitcoin look again they will then realise the pace of change and direction this thing is heading.

I say this from some personal experience, I didnít get bitcoin the first time I heard about it for many of the reasons above. Open-transactions seemed much more solid (the potential for interoperability was lost on me) I actually made a point of not reading bicoin articles as I was convinced it was tosh. I did feel stupid when the penny coin finally dropped.
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