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2341  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Old People reminiscing about when things where more expensive :) on: July 19, 2011, 09:39:04 AM
How exactly will Grand Parents bitch about the hardships of their youth with a deflationary currency. "The more I spend the cheaper things get"

Well you don't need to be that old to remember when RAM was something like $50 per MB!
You kids...




2342  Economy / Speculation / Re: BTC price in August 2011: $20,000 USD on: July 19, 2011, 07:12:31 AM
He charged the customer 7 btc for his order in the video.

That's outrageous.

I saw him charge 0.7035 BTC.



Quote
The only fee is 0.0005 bitcents

Relative to the bitcent rather than the coin eh.. Ok.. so only 0.000005 BTC then.  Not bad.


(I'm glad these subunits and decimals don't cause any confusion - that would kinda suck!)
2343  Bitcoin / Press / Re: Bitcoin press hits, notable sources on: July 19, 2011, 04:18:04 AM
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Coin+cyber+realm/5121396/story.html

Another pretty reasonable article.
This bit is a little dubious:
"They also say if you want to make payments or send money online itís easier to set up than PayPal or a credit card, processes transactions faster than either, and all without any fees or paperwork."

Hardly dubious; this is one of Bitcoin's primary strengths. Have you never sent or received bitcoins?!?

"process transactions faster than either" is dubious unless you're completely happy to consider the transaction 'processed' with zero confirmations.
Many merchants won't be. It depends on the amount I guess.

"all without any fees"  - while transactions seem to be accepted with zero fees right now - some people have already had problems with this. Sometimes a zero-fee transaction can appear to stall. This is another reason why 'processes transactions faster' is dubious.

With software improvements, and perhaps special services to allow fast small transactions - then 'faster' could be a reality.
"all without fees" is not likely to be the case long term.

So.. I still say it's *dubious* to claim these properties now. Already there are people on the forums who have expected these properties due to previous such claims, and have professed their disappointment on discovering the reality.





2344  Other / Meta / Re: "Forum" link on Bitcoin.org points to google. on: July 19, 2011, 01:23:23 AM
Seems like a good idea to me.

Let people realize that this forum isn't the only place to discuss bitcoin.

Frankly - there are aspects of this forum that are likely to harm the image of bitcoin and reduce uptake with merchants.
The less this forum is seen as representing the entire community, the better.
2345  Bitcoin / Press / Re: Bitcoin press hits, notable sources on: July 19, 2011, 12:23:21 AM
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Coin+cyber+realm/5121396/story.html

Another pretty reasonable article.
This bit is a little dubious:
"They also say if you want to make payments or send money online itís easier to set up than PayPal or a credit card, processes transactions faster than either, and all without any fees or paperwork."

2346  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How much of your net worth stored in Bitcoins? on: July 18, 2011, 09:21:41 PM
It is still a difference whether you actually invested 80% of your worth into bitcoin or you just adopted early and the value outgrew you. :-)

 No, as far as bitcoin is almost freely convertible exchange, there are no such difference. Let's say early adopters win the lottery, they got the prize and now they have some more money.Those money just stored in Bitcoins.

What?

I guess it depends on whether you consider these equivalent:
a) The decision to invest 80% into bitcoin
b)The decision not to cash out and rebalance when you suddenly find 80% of your networth exists as bitcoin

If your fiat money was earned through years of hard work, whereas your bitcoin wealth was much more of a 'windfall' - then most people will have a different psychological reaction as to how they treat it.

I guess if someone was truly rational about it - then they'd look at how much hard work it would actually take to earn that wealth which is now in bitcoin - and rebalance accordingly.


2347  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How did you find out about Bitcoin? on: July 18, 2011, 08:53:17 PM
July 2010 slashdot posting.
I did a little CPU mining, but quit because the bitcoin port conflicted with vmware stuff I was running.. grr.
If only I'd been mining the whole year.
2348  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Support Bitcoin currency sign in Unicode on: July 17, 2011, 06:13:34 PM
Please don't hijack this thread with the Thai Baht symbol ฿

There are plenty of other threads where people support raping the standards by using this symbol.. but I'll go out on a limb here and say that discussion of how to misuse ฿ for bitcoin purposes probably wasn't the intention of the OP.

2349  Bitcoin / Press / Re: Bitcoin press hits, notable sources on: July 17, 2011, 01:06:55 PM
http://singularityhub.com/2011/07/17/a-bit-of-coin-the-bitcoin-revolution/

2350  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: The Multi-level Marketing scheme argument on: July 17, 2011, 05:38:59 AM
Yeah but what gives the blocks any actual value?

Answer: New blood injecting real currencies into the markets.

As a comment on the current state of bitcoin - I wouldn't argue against this except to say it seems highly likely that some small fraction of this value is actually directly related to the use of bitcoin in trade. It might be that this proportion of the value is a USD cent or much less per bitcoin and all the rest is the speculative value.

It also seems reasonable to me that in the long term, the proportion *could* shift dramatically such that the speculative component is the smaller part.
While bitcoin's future as a powerful widespread currency remains 'possible' in my mind..  I think I differ from many on this forum in thinking that the timeframe for this might be on the order of decades or more.

The technology moves quickly - but that may only help bitcoin to operate in it's little niches.
There is 'distribution friction' which means that there's really nothing driving the desire for the average consumer to hold some tiny fraction of a bitcoin.
To overcome that distribution friction and allow bitcoin to be useful more widely, the per bitcoin value would have to be astronomically higher than it is today.
So what's going to drive bitcoin to even crazier high values? Rampant speculation might spike it up now and then.. but I don't see it holding it there.

2351  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: Base58 on: July 17, 2011, 03:48:44 AM
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Base_58_Encoding

it is a character coding that reduces the chance of mistaking 1 for l or 0 for O if you re-type addresses, passwords or other information.

The same format is used for other things, like product keys etc. Google comes up with flickr URLs. There's enough reason for it to stay in wikipedia.

Except.. I gather that flickr uses a slightly different alphabet for their base58.
2352  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Are 24/hr Trades Really That Good Of An Idea? on: July 17, 2011, 01:42:09 AM
If you want to take an 8-hour break from trading, you can. Just convert all your bitcoins into whatever your home currency is at the end of the day and convert it back the next morning.

Exactly. If you're a day trader - just "don't take your position home with you" 
(or pay someone to manage your position)

If you've got a longer view - put in some stop loss orders and maybe a supervisory bot as well.
(or pay someone to manage your position)


How the OP didn't realize that restricted trading hours for a global system like bitcoin is an awful idea I don't know.
It shouldn't take posting to a public board and being told this in many different ways to work this out!

What will vegetta's next suggestion be.. a porn website which goes completely offline when he wants to go to sleep, so that he can rest easy knowing it's secure from hackers?


2353  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin technology with gold on: July 16, 2011, 04:15:22 PM
Oh.. there is one hypothetical scenario I can think of which might frighten some gold bugs and doesn't involve magic gold asteroids.

What if some development in nanotechnology allows efficient extraction of gold from seawater and other currently non-minable deposits?

Still.. pretty 'out there' for now I think.
Another risk might be bitcoin being seen as a superior value store and thus reducing demand for gold Wink
2354  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin technology with gold on: July 16, 2011, 03:57:39 PM

I was mainly using all that to make a point that gold is no better than bitcoins.


Which you failed to do.

There is a striking difference between BGC and BTC.

The BGC has a minimum lower value of whatever size chunk of gold a coin represents whereas a BTC has a minimum lower value of zero.


Why exactly can't gold be worth zero?

Because it isn't trading at zero, and isn't about to be... not because it *couldn't* be. Right now -  it's vastly more likely for bitcoin value to go near zero than gold.

"Because it was always so", right?   There is no non-zero minimum value for anything.
We're viewing a hypothetical system based on gold - which currently, and barring crazy scenarios such as a monstrous solid gold asteroid landing peacefully somewhere near manhattan - will have a non-zero value it's traded at.
It is non-zero in almost any circumstance imaginable. The same can't be said of bitcoin (yet). No point throwing some extra spanner into the hypothetical situation such that suddenly the world doesn't want to buy gold.

Besides, that wasn't what I said anyway.  In my thought experiment I said "the gold vanishes".  It mades no difference though, because nobody would know it'd vanished.  So: people didn't want the physical gold, they wanted the promise that the issuer couldn't magic more gold from thin air, they wanted something that could be used for trade.  Bitcoin can supply those properties, so what do we need gold for?
I get what you're trying to do - and I'm explaining why it doesn't make sense.
People in your scenario *do* want the physical gold to be there. If they wanted 'the promise that the issuer couldn't magic more gold from thin air' then they sure as hell wanted the promise that the gold couldn't disappear into thin air.

That it still works when that promise is secretly violated doesn't mean the gold was irrelevant. Gold has real value in that people know they can get X USD for Y ounces. This means an instrument based on that gold has a minimum that matches this.

The 'promise' is that worst comes to worst - the gold *could* be retrieved and traded at whatever gold trades at.
That 'nobody ever actually goes and claims their gold'  is only a function of people's belief in the promise.
The promise gives your BGC a lower bound on value. (Which cannot be zero unless gold goes to zero!)

Bitcoin has no promise of an underlying commodity to redeem... so it doesn't have *that* lower bound.
It's lower bound is the lowest of what people think bitcoins should be worth due to their use in trade.
(close to zero if people worry that government/hacker/corporate/crypto-scientist actions could wreck the system)


I'm trying to show that if gold were easily tradeable via trusted certificates (or a bitgold chain), nobody would ever want to redeem their certificate for physical gold.  Therefore they didn't want gold; they wanted some of the properties of gold.

The critical desired property being - that gold has a value in exchange.

Most of the frozen pork belly traders in Chicago never wanted to redeem their slabs of dead pig either..   they too just 'wanted something that could be used for trade'. Their only interest in trading pork belly futures was to make a profit.. so their only interest in the underlying pork belly was that *somebody* (the meat industry) valued it.
Now that there is reduced demand for frozen pork bellies - the CME has just this month delisted frozen pork bellies futures and options.
That pork belly contracts were convenient for speculators to trade amongst each other is a property of the financial instrument that isn't true of slabs of meat.
Obviously there are significant differences between frozen meat and gold - but the value relationship to the underlying commodity remains.

It's similar to the concept of biasing in electronics where a particular circuit operates at a certain voltage and the signal dances around that level.
The bitcoin value dances above zero - the BGC value would dance above whatever value gold trades at.

I was mainly using all that to make a point that gold is no better than bitcoins.

After all my long-winded argument about why the gold-backed BGC you dreamt up would *currently* be better than bitcoin (from a value perspective - not in all aspects!), if you want to make the argument that gold is *in principal* no better than bitcoins, or *in future* may be no better - then I'd tend to agree.

If bitcoin were massively entrenched in the economies of the world and widely held valuable - then yes - I think bitcoin would be superior to gold in terms of practical use in trade and value storage.

Gold would remain superior as an emergency value store in the minds of those who think the internet could collapse, technology regress, world war could break out or other semi-apocalyptic visions could come to pass.

It's that simple physicality which gold bugs will always value, so I don't see your argument persuading them that bitcoin is *now* better than gold, and even in some future where bitcoin dominates - people would probably want some of their portfolio in gold.







2355  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: The Ponzi scheme argument on: July 16, 2011, 09:27:35 AM

So my take has been that Bitcoins can take on the ghastly can of worms that is the interface to fiat currencies, freeing other blockchain-based currencies to do some of the things that the kind of fiat-currency-interfaces adopted by Bitcoin make difficult to do with Bitcoin.
That makes sense..  As is clear from your example about mining game resources to create some little thing as a sword - the value of such things may easily be on the order of picoBTC or less.  Even if bitcoin microtransactions were good down to the satoshi level, there would be a need for other systems to break it down further and so only use BTC indirectly.


The Galactic Milieu has already spawned a number of spinoffs of Bitcoin, not just to allow transaction fees to remain small in proportion to the prices paid for things but also because some "nations" want to float their own "national currency" on the "galactic market" and some players want to be able to actually play the forex markets and stock markets of the Milieu.

I have also set up a game that can serve as a distribution system, distributing virtual assets even to players who do not pay to play.
I've had a casual interest in these sorts of things for a while, and am familiar with freeciv and battle for wesnoth.
Galactic Milieu hadn't hit my radar..  and even now that it has - I don't understand it.
(downloaded the client - it displays a splash screen and exits. Not much clue there)

Nevertheless.. what little I can deduce from the links above tells me it might be interesting. I'll try again if it hits my radar in a few months/years!

As to whether this sort of thing can help the overall distribution/uptake of bitcoin - I'd guess so.. gradually, but I still don't see anything happening soon.

2356  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Is This Bitcoin Weekly Comic Crap? on: July 16, 2011, 08:54:16 AM
As a graphical commentary on the current memes doing the rounds in the bitcoin community - the comic serves a purpose I guess!

'Fiat Kingdom'  made little sense unless the point was to demonstrate the naivety of the bitcoin true-believers.
Why wouldn't the king just either take his tax in bitcoins, or sacks of wheat or liens over their land etc?


 
2357  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: The Ponzi scheme argument on: July 16, 2011, 08:41:08 AM
My guess would be 'distribution friction'.
By this I mean that because it's a global system, it really needs a very large number of bitcoin holders in order to be really useful or dominant in more than a few niche markets.

Like any other technology, it will find its first success in the niche markets that it serves best. Over time, if it's useful, it will expand into other markets that it may not serve quite as perfectly, but merely better than anything else.

So a few more niche markets open up over time..  but unless the value skyrockets and true microtransactions are practical - it still doesn't mean it's destined to serve the wider ecommerce market properly any time soon. (ie within a decade or so)

I'm not particularly tied to this scenario.. It just seems plausible to me that it could go the ultra-slow way.

Is it a reasonable assumption that due to the limited distribution,  the per BTC value must be very high for it to expand to other markets?
2358  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: The Ponzi scheme argument on: July 16, 2011, 08:30:46 AM
Obviously, getting out of the niche is a large hurdle and many technologies never make it. But distribution friction is going down.
Yes, there's a chicken and egg problem. But the solution to that is niche markets where it's especially useful.

But just how does it get out of those niches?
The general effect of businesses running in those niche markets is to slurp the wealth up from the end-users into the businesses.
The consumers in those niches will presumably have a need to go back to the exchanges and get some more BTC to continue participating, while the businesses will cash out their BTC to other currencies in order to pay their costs.

I just see a situation where those little markets could sail along with a fairly low BTC value.. and there's still nothing really driving overall distribution.

2359  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: The Ponzi scheme argument on: July 16, 2011, 08:00:17 AM
Does anyone know what the serious flaws that supposedly doom bitcoins are? Other than the fact that government actions could doom it, or a superior cryptocurrency (or one endorsed by large entities) could supplant it?

My guess would be 'distribution friction'.
By this I mean that because it's a global system, it really needs a very large number of bitcoin holders in order to be really useful or dominant in more than a few niche markets.
With the 21million coin limit - there's something of a psychological barrier to interest in the idea unless you can be a holder of at least a few whole bitcoins.
The obvious way for that barrier to disappear - is for the per bitcoin value to be extremely high. But without the massive distribution whereby 10's of millions of people have some millicoins or microcoins, there's little incentive for that sort of spread. (chicken and egg stuff I guess)

Part of this distribution friction is also the costs associated with converting other currencies to and from BTC, as well as the non-availability of exchanges in most geographical markets.

I'm not saying the 21million limit is an issue in itself - but somehow the distribution seems too concentrated.
One way I see that could help this - is if it were really useful for microtransactions and made headway in some related market (currency of choice for MMORPG virtual goods?) . This would give an incentive for large numbers of people to desire sub-BTC quantities.
Unfortunately I understand there are (at least for now) a few technical impediments to it being a good system for a vast number of truly small transactions.

I don't know if 'doomed' is quite what this implies.. but it suggests to me that the required timeframe for serious distribution of bitcoin could be in decades or even on the order of a century or so.

Bitcoin may indeed be revolutionary - but it might be our grandchildren who reap the real rewards.


2360  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Witch Bitcoin Symbol? EVERYONE VOTE AND USE!!! on: July 16, 2011, 06:25:55 AM
We see: ฿ is the favorite but it is already in ust by thailand
does someone know, if its "allowed" to use?

If not, there will be Ƀ the next favorite

And the $ is used only in the USA...

The general dollar sign $ is used in so many common situations and countries that people dealing with international transactions would by habit verify which currency is it referring to. However, using a symbol currently only used by a specific currency would create a potential for errors if not outright frauds. Just imagine if you had a contract for ฿100.00 thinking it was 100 bitcoin but the other person pays you 100 baht instead.

+1

That's a good point.
This is yet another case of the bitcoin community being it's own worst enemy.

A complete disregard for standards and existing systems is not going to give bitcoin plausability with merchants.
We need integration with other economies.

While I see much potential for bitcoin, and believe it may ultimately become a widespread and useful system - It's by no means obvious that the timeframe for that is necessarily short.
What if it's 50+ years before it 'takes off'?   
The way the general public and business perceive bitcoins could well keep it on a hobby scale for decades, even though the underlying technology and potential are fantastic.


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