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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Suggestions to significantly increase bitcoin's users on: March 28, 2010, 12:47:28 AM
We do not see this type of action taken against drug cartels, prostitution rings or any other illicit activities, just ones that the average person would not generally look on as such a bad thing.  The state then used media to propagandize the situations to some monstrous proportions, the first was based on a racial issue that did not exist, and the other was claims of religious sexual practices that did not exist...


The strength of this is the decentralized nature, there is no one place to attack that will destroy us all...

It's always been true that groups who isolate themselves from the mainstream are distrusted and persecuted--(hello, Jews).  If people act different, or weird, or unusual it is human nature to fear and distrust them (and give impetus for the raids of their homes and property).  I have seen men convicted on circumstantial evidence because they acted "weird" and the Jury did not trust them.  These groups that move into the hills to start micro-societies get the same treatment.  I remember once Oprah had Michael Moore on her show and they showed footage of a baby in diapers being held by his mother, who wore fatigues and had a rifle slung over her back (something that I was accustomed to seeing in my home and didn't find strange).  Oprah and Michael both agreed (to the cheers of the audience) that there was something "wrong" with people who acted this way--even though the act harmed absolutely no one.

After reading some undergraduate psychology texts I came across the theory that this behavior was ingrained into all human beings as a matter of instinct.  Apparently, back in our primitive, barbaric days as early primates--groups that stuck together and punished outsiders were better protected against predators--and groups who enforced strict social codes were better protected against disease--hence it is these traits that were passed down to humanity.

That being said--it seems that the way to get bitcoin popular would be to sell it to the mainstream so it is not perceived as the tool of a "weird" grouop of "outsiders" and human instinct does not inevitably drive people to fear it and brand it as a scepter of the terrorists, pedophiles, drug lords &c.

I am going to try to introduce this program to as many econ professors as possible.  Hopefully this way it will work it's way into the mainstream as a sort of "experiment" in economics.

Also, celebrities should start using and promoting bitcoin--I think that Drew Carey and Jessie Ventura might be interested in it.  Also--mainstream activist organizations like the ACLU would make valuable allies.  IRRC--PGP cryptography was once banned, but the creator printed the code onto a book and published it--and the ACLU defended it as free speech (and won).
2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Pros and Cons of Anonymous Digital Cash on: March 25, 2010, 02:29:41 PM
There's always the risk of an "Assassination Market":

http://anonym.to/?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bell#Acolytes
Quote
Although Bell never attempted to put the assassination market concept into practice, a subscriber to the Cypherpunks mailing list, musician Carl Johnson, developed Dead Lucky, a non-functional mock "assassination bot" which aggregated fictitious contributions and simulated rewards of accurate dead pool predictions. The bot was just a bare implementation of the idea consisting of a web page and email client with no backend to actually use digital cash.  Federal investigators issued a warrant for Johnson's arrest for posting three threatening messages in August 1998.  Johnson was convicted for sending threatening email messages to federal judges and Bill Gates, with prosecutors asking for a seven-year prison sentence...On October 11, 2001, Thomas C. Wales, Assistant U.S. Attorney and a prosecutor in the case, was assassinated, succumbing to multiple gunshot wounds.  The murder remains unsolved.
3  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: Money Transfer Regulations on: March 04, 2010, 03:39:18 AM
I love how the word "offshore" seems to mean "not in the USA" now. Tongue

Trading with bitcoin without the need to exchange in/out to fiat is ideal.


Wouldn't there HAVE to be such an in/out exchange for things to get rolling?
4  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Pros and Cons of Anonymous Digital Cash on: March 03, 2010, 03:49:59 AM
What we all have to eventually realize is that if Bitcoin spreads to a large enough audience, government is going to catch on and shut it down.

How?
5  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: Money Transfer Regulations on: March 03, 2010, 03:48:33 AM
Remember NLS

There are two types of law...

The Law you can read, and the one the government chooses to apply to you...

Your Lawyer friends may be right, but so were joe stack's and he got prosecuted...

How encouraging...you've just told the poor fellow that even if he does everything right he could still go to jail--you're making him feel like an ethnic minority!

In most cases though, if a lawyer tells you you won't go to jail, you probably will not go to jail.  Newlibertstandard uses paypal, which already practices know-your-customer and he is operating in amounts less than $10,000 which is what the money laundering and tax cheat police sniff out for.  This means he is unlikely to be doing anything that is wrong OR anything that will attract the attention of Law Enforcement.

However---

Thinking ahead to bitcoin's future--money changing services that operate on a large scale and don't practice know-your customer would indeed be illegal and would thus have to operate within the onionverse, changing bitcoin to money services other than paypal (perhaps offshore based like pecunix).

Another idea would be for some future crypto-preneur to set up a Mom and Pop shop called "Grandpa Joe's envelopes stuffed with cash" and only accept bitcoin as payment.  lol.
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Suggestions to significantly increase bitcoin's users on: February 24, 2010, 02:02:04 AM
Get Schools/Universities Involved in Bitcoin.  Encourage it's use within an economics class or within an economics project.

I'm sure it could somehow be worked into the curriculum. 
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Post your static IP on: February 24, 2010, 01:45:11 AM
98.149.111.20

To all who use TOR--good luck to you!
8  Economy / Economics / Re: Current Bitcoin economic model is unsustainable on: February 20, 2010, 01:06:02 AM
No. Gold was synonymous to "money". Things were valued for how much gold they were worth, not vice versa.

In school, they taught us (i.e. me) that a good's value price is based solely on what people can exchange it for.  They also taught us that a good's value was not determined by how much labor went into the good.

We were essentially told that if one camel is worth 50 gold dinars, then 50 gold dinars is also worth one camel.  Or something to that effect.

If this is the case, then the cost of producing bitcoins would only a be a factor in, not a determinant of, their value.

Did I understand the lesson correctly?

_______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________
On the general topic of whether bit-coin will/will not be successful--I don't really know.  I act as though I am a "bitcoin defender" but this is mostly because I am excited about the new currency and want to support it, not because I know enough about economics to predict it's eventual usefulness.  

I would very much like to see people who dislike bitcoin's design organize and code alternative currencies that inflate according to a monetary rule, or have the built in safeguards you described.  That way, the market will eventually choose the best currency as people move towards the good ones and away from the bad.  

I am not sure if bitcoin's creators will be convinced to implement the changes you recommend--but i think you are very likely to find people who agree with your plan for a better encrypted digital currency and will help you modify or re-write bitcoin's source to make it happen.
9  Economy / Economics / Re: Current Bitcoin economic model is unsustainable on: February 18, 2010, 08:50:05 AM
I'm really tired and I have work tomorrow so this will be my final post for possibly 18 hours but I see what you're saying--your ability to generate bitcoins will inevitably be reduced because people with high-power server farms will take over production.

But when the first system-wide "halving" of bitcoins occurs there will be 10,500,000 while the server farms get started on the 5,200,000.

This means twice as many bitcoins will be available via exchange than via creation.  If some CPU farmer determines that in now takes double his resources to make bitcoins and thus doubles his exchange rate for his fresh product, he is very likely to be underbid by the people controlling the 10,500,000 because of the time value of money.

You said "only and idiot would sell at 19% interest rates" (paraphrase) but in a free market, somebody HAS to be willing to sell for there to even BE an interest rate, people willing to exchange value today for value tomorrow.
10  Economy / Economics / Re: Current Bitcoin economic model is unsustainable on: February 18, 2010, 07:58:12 AM
Every four years, the average BTC generator will need to spend double the effort to create the same amount of coins.

As I understood it people will not need to double their CPU power to get the same amount of coins, rather there'd be half as many coins "up for grabs" by anybody with enough CPU power.

In other words, let's say a Powerful CPU can pull in 500 coins a day and a weaker CPU can pull in 300 coins per day from a pool of 10,500,000.

After 4 years, they are still pulling in 500 coins and 300 coins respectively, but now they can only access a pool of 5,250,000.

I could be wrong though.  Somebody who know what they're talking about please comment instead of me!

The plan is to halve the value of the block every four years. So if your PC is making 6 blocks/day now (i.e 300 BTC/day), in 4 years it could be also be making 6 blocks/day, but your balance will only increase by 150 because the block would equal 25 instead of 50 BTCs

I think I understand, thank you for correcting me.

Right now, Your average coin creation rate will be (6 * 50 coins / hour) * (your CPU speed / the total CPU speed in the system)

4 Years from now, Your average coin creation rate will be (6 * 25 coins / hour) * (your CPU speed / the total CPU speed in the system)

Because the amount of bitcoins per block halves every 4 years.

My question is, what happens if (your CPU Speed) and (The total CPU Speed in the System) double in 4 years?
11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Questions about Addresses on: February 18, 2010, 07:52:22 AM
if you encrypt a file with AES and a strong password, and you lose the password.  The data is lost.

"To have perfect freedom and yet to realize that responsibility is the price of freedom, is to be enlightened"
12  Economy / Economics / Re: Current Bitcoin economic model is unsustainable on: February 18, 2010, 07:36:51 AM
Every four years, the average BTC generator will need to spend double the effort to create the same amount of coins.

As I understood it people will not need to double their CPU power to get the same amount of coins, rather there'd be half as many coins "up for grabs" by anybody with enough CPU power.

In other words, let's say a Powerful CPU can pull in 500 coins a day and a weaker CPU can pull in 300 coins per day from a pool of 10,500,000.

After 4 years, they are still pulling in 500 coins and 300 coins respectively, but now they can only access a pool of 5,250,000.

I could be wrong though.  Somebody who know what they're talking about please comment instead of me!
13  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Suggestions to significantly increase bitcoin's users on: February 17, 2010, 03:36:30 AM
Somebody needs to sell something very desirable and only accept bitcoins as payment.  Maybe one of the Canadian MOM companies can be persuaded to accept bitcoin.

But more importantly than this is: Safety Safety Safety, people need to be assured that bitcoin is foolproof against attacks from powerful adversaries (this will obviously come much later).  A method of rating merchants who use bitcoin (i.e. reputations) might also increase the sense of security.

They also need some way of knowing how their exchange of bitcoins into other currencies will be protected from snoopers.

I could be wrong, but I also think that the easier it is to use bitcoin in conjunction with .onion e-comemrce sites, the more popular it will become.


14  Economy / Economics / Re: How stable will bitcoin be? on: February 16, 2010, 05:51:46 AM
Thanks for the links, I'm reading some of them.  But, let me just say what I'm thinking.  First of all, this thread is considering reasonably improbable long-term outcomes to this bitcoin experiment.  I say reasonably improbable because there will be powerful governments that will do their utmost to prevent changes to the economic status quo.  Just look at Iraq (http://www.rense.com/general34/realre.htm).  So I'm gonna put myself in the shoes of big brother, and here's what I'd do.

You use "I" the pronoun for a single individual to refer "the government" a noun that represents representatives from 50 different states, numerous interacting, and sometimes competing, regulatory agencies and independent bodies.  I know some people believe that the entire government moves with a single will, controlled by a single individual or a shadowy cabal, but I have not seen convincing evidence for this.  Instead I see the tyrannies and injustices of governments as natural products of our current democratic system and way of living.  I also believe many tyrannies and injustices do not spawn from malicious intent and that the people who support or implement them are merely misguided, not evil.  This is why I beleive the internet will not be shut down by the government, even if it means they have to start begging for money instead of taking it by force (the government can be very good at begging).   

It is this belief that tyranny is a natural product of certain "sociological algorithms" that leads me to support bitcoin and other, what i guess could be called "agorist" solutions.  Solutions that don't try to fight the system or even change it (these rarely work out), but instead, try to change a few of the inputs to the "sociological algorithm" and thus, change the output. 

What I mean is, libertarianism works fine as long as *everyone* is a libertarian. A minority of authoritarians will destroy it. On the contrary, authoritarianism works fine, it can even be *ruled* by a minority.

Quote from: The Machinery of Freedom
Anyone with a little imagination can dream up a radical new structure for society, anarcho-capitalist or otherwise. The question is, will it work? Most people, when they hear my description of anarcho-capitalism for the first time, immediately explain to me two or three reasons why it won't. Most of their arguments can be reduced to two: The system will be at the mercy of the mafia, which can establish its own 'protection agency' or take over existing ones and convert them into protection rackets. Or else the protection agencies will realize that theft is more profitable than business, get together, and become a government. Read the rest...
15  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Incorrect Firefox Warning for Bitcoin website on: February 16, 2010, 05:30:30 AM
The CA's root certificate needs to be included in the browser to make the warning go away. CACert isn't included in any popular browser, and Startcom was only recently added to Windows. With Startcom, anyone who doesn't install the optional root certificates update in Windows update will still get an error in Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Firefox has had it built-in for a while.

HTTPS isn't the default (or really necessary) for bitcoin.org, so it doesn't much matter. If you want to manually switch to HTTPS, then you can deal with the self-signed certificate.

I see now why now why bitcoin doesn't need a CA, most people will not access it with the https protocol and therefore won't be spooked off by scary warning labels like the ones I got.  Good to know.
16  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin Currency Symbol ฿ on: February 16, 2010, 04:34:53 AM
The Baht symbol alone Could Cause some Confusion yes, but combine it with the symbol for the Costa Rican Colón and you get;

฿₡

so you could say, please send me ฿₡50.00.  

It is not unheard of to use two or more symbols to represent a currency, for example:

the Nicaraguan Cordobas uses: C$
the Dominican Peso uses: RD$

EDIT: Remember when you could buy a shave and a haircut for "two bits"?  Well that day may soon come again.
17  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Incorrect Firefox Warning for Bitcoin website on: February 16, 2010, 03:31:41 AM
Unfortunately, getting a signature costs money.

Would something like this help:

http://cert.startcom.org/
http://www.cacert.org/

I don't mean to sound presumptuous or arrogant--I am fully aware of my own ignorance and that the above links could be completely useless--just a suggestion.


18  Economy / Economics / Re: Contribute to Bitcoin Confidence on: February 16, 2010, 03:24:59 AM
Imagine the following Scenario:
What anarchists tend to forget is that this is already possible via using cash

I wish this were true, but it is not, trust me, some of us have tried  Wink

While many people do use "cash under the table" to successfully outsmart the authorities, many more are caught and convicted.

This is because the IRS set up a "whistle blower program" (AKA, bounty hunter program).  Essentially if you see an employer peeling out Benjamins to an employee and not reporting it, you can turn his ass in and get a 15-30% cut of the loot when the IRS raids his business .

This has made tax evasion using "cash" extremely risky.  With bitcoin, all the Whsitle-blower can report is some furtive typing on cell-phone keyboards, or nothing at all.

Also, bitcoin could soon allow encrypted banking (operating an all cash business without a bank is risky), and the IRS monitors bank deposits to verify reported income.

Also remember that unlike Cash, Bitcoin is easily scalable.  The IRS goes after the biggest tax cheats first and then works their way down the chain.  It is awfully hard to conceal millions of dollars of cash income (just ask drug dealers).  It is (theoretically) as easy to conceal a billion dollars worth of bitcoins as it is to conceal the $0.15 I've generated so far (yay!)




19  Economy / Economics / Re: Contribute to Bitcoin Confidence on: February 15, 2010, 05:12:10 AM
Imagine the following Scenario:

A Man walks into a liquor store--he strolls up to the counter and stares the clerk right in the face, but says nothing.  The man has a pocket, in his pocket is a cell phone or other mobile device, on this device is the latest BITCOIN App (in the future, his mobile device might even have on the fly encryption, who knows).

In the Clerk's pocket is the very same App.

The cell phones identify one another and trigger a bitcoin transaction!

The Clerk takes a bottle of Jack Daniels off the shelf and hands it to the man.

"On the house" he says.

The Clerk does not record the exchange as a sale, in fact, he writes it off as a loss  Grin

The man is pleased that he was able to purchase his booze cheaply without the annoyance of sales and sin taxes.

The man returns to his place of work, he is a high-level engineer and yet his salary is only $6000 a year!  barely enough to tax!

However, every other Friday he receives a a large donation of BITCOINS from an anonymous "secret santa" that may or may not be his boss.  He then buys more liquor, and, in the same manner, hemp bedsheets, and organic groceries!  His tech-saavy landlord takes bitcoin as rent and as a result, does not technically own an 'apartment complex" but rather a large private home filled "roomates" who stay there for "free".  This of course is suspicious and attracts attention and one of the phony "tenants" even breaks down and confesses the whole thing to the cops. Problem is, even with all his bitcoin data they can't trace his transactions back to the landlord and thus have no evidence of wrongdoing other than one witnesses testimony and circumstantial evidence. 

Suddenly tax evasion is about as dangerous as internet piracy.

I also have an idea that the number of panhandlers will explode.  You see, let's say you need some bitcoins but all you have is cash.  You go down to the park and see a bunch of homeless people begging.  You come near the homeless people and suddenly your phone vibrates, alerting you to some bitcoin activity!  A message from bitcoin appears on the screen, it is a randomly generated string of words:

"The Color Blue's frangibility is a necessity"

Suddenly, one of the homeless beggars (who seems oddly well-dressed) shouts "the color blue's frangibility is a necessity!"  To onlookers, it sounds like just more crazy homeless talk, to you it sounds like you want to put a 100 dollar bill in his tin cup.  He takes the bill and pushes some buttons on his cell phone.  You are alerted to a fresh batch of bitcoins (the equivalent of 100 dollars) dropped into your account by yet another 'secret santa".  This might also happen with people "e-begging' for paypal money.

These are the revolutions bitcoin, or programs like it, will bring upon us.
20  Economy / Economics / Re: How stable will bitcoin be? on: February 15, 2010, 04:42:27 AM
>>But, there's a big problem here, bitcoin requires electricity and global internet to function well, and these kinds of services probably won't be so stable without working government

False premise.

This e-book by David Friedman (son of Milton Friedman) provides the following:

1. Real world examples of how private enterprise has successfully provided the same services as a government i.e. courts, police, utilities, etc.

2. A precise, logic-based refutation of the idea that anarchy would simply lead to the strongest criminal thugs forming a new government

3. A reduction of many common arguments for the governments existence to absurdity.

It can be found here: http://lectormatic.freeiz.com/machoffreedom/Friedman,_David_-_The_Machinery_of_Freedom.html
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