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Author Topic: Why BTC hasn't and wont hit the mainstream:  (Read 7064 times)
FreeMoney
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May 29, 2011, 05:01:04 AM
 #41

Your granny can understand it, its simple, go to a site to buy them, enter address, buy them and get money, and to buy something send the money to the address with it and receive product.

The obnoxious thing about bitcoins, in my opinion, is acquiring them. Paypal was probably the simplest way until that option was taken away from us. Dwolla is easily the next best thing for the average consumer now, but transferring funds into Dwolla is a looong process. It takes about two days, in my experience. I haven't tested using Dwolla to transfer funds directly from my bank account to, say Mt. Gox, but I don't imagine it's much faster. (Correct me if it is.) Most people don't have Dwolla anyway, and once you have a Dwolla account why not just use that to make a purchase? If you don't care about anonymity and if you're not looking to escape the fiat system, then for most purchases Dwolla makes more sense.

I think the killer application for bitcoins is fast and secure currency transferral. Right now it really isn't all that fast for most people as most people are trying to go from fiat to bitcoins to purchase. That process can take a few days at present. Two if you have a Dwolla account and need to transfer funds in. Four if you don't have a Dwolla account or don't have your bank account associated with your Dwolla account.

Best case scenario? I enter my credit/debit card info, the information gets verified, the card gets charged, I get bitcoins. I wager most people would be willing to pay a small premium to offset the cost of scammers if it meant getting bitcoins in their wallet within ten or fifteen minutes. It would be a boon for the bitcoin economy, too, as it would lower the barrier to entry for most people and would allow people to "strike while the iron is hot," so to speak. If someone catches the "bitcoin bug" and wants to buy bitcoins, they shouldn't have to wait more than an hour before they have bitcoins in their wallet.

Just my 0.02 BTC.

Also, the address system is a bit intimidating for most normals, I wager. I think web-based services which allow users to send currency by e-mail address or by name would be the best option for them. It would make the whole system a lot friendlier and a lot more pleasant to use.

Slow payment is a problem with the current system and a reason to get in Bitcoin and stay in.

Anyone who can make it cheaper and faster to convert can profit so the incentives are all set right.

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May 29, 2011, 05:05:03 AM
 #42

All anyone needs really is the site http://www.weusecoins.com/ to use it and get started. You don't have to be a nerd to use it. Pretty simple.

http://bc.x14.eu/sigs/a77bb85b.png (http://bc.x14.eu/s/1021)
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May 29, 2011, 05:14:10 AM
 #43

You know what? Screw it. I should just make this service. Anyone else interested? I'm working for a startup as their sole programmer, I'm trying to get a little bitcoin service called Bitcoin Pouch off the ground, I'm trying to learn Scala and implement yet another service in it, and I have to leave enough time for my girlfriend so she doesn't start to feel ignored. I'm a little swamped. Help would be greatly appreciated if I'm going to manage anything in this direction.

It probably does not really require much of your time at all, just your money.

You need to put up enough money as a "float" for the service to operate with and to cover any losses due to either

(1) The statistical losses due to reversed incoming fiat transactions happening before the padded fees/exchange-rate has accumulated enough to cover them; or

(2) Your estimation of the amount of padding and/or fees falling short of what turns out to actually be necessary.

Bear in mind this is not like selling some hard to resell service or widget that the vast vast majority of people who steal paypal accounts and credit cards have absolutely no interest in using as a way to "cash out" their "ill-gotten gains".

On the contrary, this is pretty much the equivalent of putting up a shingle saying "launder your ill-gotten gains here".

On the one hand, cashing out people's ill-gotten gains can pay some very nicely high fees and exchange rates.

On the other hand the people whose paypal accounts and credit cards were stolen quite often do reverse the transactions.

That all said, please specify the fees and/or exchange rates you are prepared to put up the float money for such a service to operate with. Coding is pretty much irrelevant, no need to consume your precious coding time, all that is needed is your float money and the fee and exchange rates at which to utilise it, and likely someone can be found to do the day to day operations including running whatever already existing or easily modifiable code will work, maybe even for less than minimum wage just because like you they just want to make such a thing available for the good of the community.

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May 29, 2011, 05:42:06 AM
 #44

I really don't like Facebook, but I was wondering if that might be a good fraud reduction check. If they have a sufficiently old and active FB account with details that match the card it is very unlikely to be a stolen card. Plus you could combine that with FB Bitcoin activism.

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May 29, 2011, 05:50:58 AM
 #45

Maybe you could also videochat with them, have them show you via live video not only their possibly doctored picture-ID but also the view out of their windows showing the street-signs or other recognisable proof they are at the address on the credit card.

Snail-mailing a code to the address on the card might defeat the apparent purpose of trying to satisfy an impulse-buyer's demand for instant gratification unfortunately.

Maybe the various departments of motor vehicles and/or liquor license departments around the world should offer their users optional "show your license on the web" service so we can go look at their picture on such an "authoritative" site if they wish.

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May 29, 2011, 06:02:58 AM
 #46

I wish you lots of luck finding a credit card payment processor who will accept you. That has been the stumbling block for this in the past.

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May 29, 2011, 06:23:48 AM
 #47

I wish you lots of luck finding a credit card payment processor who will accept you. That has been the stumbling block for this in the past.

Yeah, at first I was thinking PP then changed it to card because PP shut coinpal etc, but what about using FB to clear people to join a site like bitcoinmarket was where people PP each other.

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May 29, 2011, 06:29:24 AM
 #48

Somebody could perhaps buy Facebook Credits for bitcoins, though that's only a one-way exchange.

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May 29, 2011, 06:55:41 AM
 #49

It probably does not really require much of your time at all, just your money.

You need to put up enough money as a "float" for the service to operate with and to cover any losses due to either

(1) The statistical losses due to reversed incoming fiat transactions happening before the padded fees/exchange-rate has accumulated enough to cover them; or

(2) Your estimation of the amount of padding and/or fees falling short of what turns out to actually be necessary.


I'd be willing to put up a couple thousand to help cover initial losses, provided my initial investment would entitle me to at least having that investment returned once things get rolling. My financial reserves aren't that great, however, as I'm currently in the middle of trying to set up a mining cluster.

That all said, please specify the fees and/or exchange rates you are prepared to put up the float money for such a service to operate with.

I would want to get some stats on what percentage of payments get reversed across a range of services, such as PayPal and a good sample of credit card processors, in order to calculate out what kind of premium would need to be charged initially in order to keep the service from going immediately under. Once the service has been running for a while, the premiums could be adjusted to account for actual chargeback rates. An additional fee should be charged on top of the bare "chargeback compensation" fee to help keep the service running as well, part of which should go to a legal defense fund. I imagine such a fund would be necessary at some point in the service's history. Better to be prepared than caught flat-footed at any rate.

Coding is pretty much irrelevant, no need to consume your precious coding time, all that is needed is your float money and the fee and exchange rates at which to utilise it, and likely someone can be found to do the day to day operations including running whatever already existing or easily modifiable code will work, maybe even for less than minimum wage just because like you they just want to make such a thing available for the good of the community.

-MarkM-


Yeah. This is the part I have the most trouble with just because I'm a programmer and thus feel weird hiring someone to do something I feel like I could do myself. I guess it comes down to time constraints though and the whole time/money trade-off.

I should figure out how much this thing would cost to get off the ground.
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May 29, 2011, 07:12:54 AM
 #50

I doubt you would have to hire someone to adjust some already-working free open source exchange code to change its name and the magnitude of the fees or exchange rates it charges etc, pretty minor stiuff, really it is basically an install not coding, just maybe an old-style install where install might mean changing some constants in the code and/or config-file instead of using a GUI configuration-interface.

As a programmer myself, who has run many many many web-based applications and sites and so on, I know that it is not really the trivial (to a programmer) amount of "coding" that is a pain but rather all the stupid crap that ought not be needed, like emails from idiots who couldn't read a help system even if one was provided.

The defence fund is a great idea, but if needed it will probably be far too small come the day you actually see how much legal defence is actually going to cost.

In fact legal problems are a big part of why I prefer the idea of working with "game currencies" instead of with bitcoin directly. I can then argue that players neither put money in nor take money out, they merely put bitcoin in and take bitcoin out and as everyone knows bitcoin isn't money so certainly these tokens only exchanged for bitcoin not for fiat cannot possibly be construed as money...

In developing my Adult Knotwork site I came to the conclusion there are basically seven topics that are considered "adult", not for the dinner table or kids: Drugs, Gambling, Money, Politics, Religion, Sex and Violence. Of those. money seems to be a euphemism for any or all of the others. As such, it turns out to be pretty much as fraught with problems as any or all of the others. It might even be easier to deal in any or all of the others than to too-directly deal with money.

That is part of what is so great about Bitcoin. Once people are into Bitcoin we can maybe go ahead and play games and have fun without all the crap about "if you create a billion magic swords and someone sells one such sword somehow, then you are liable for taxes on a billion times what they sold one for since obviously the other billion must be worth just as much each". (Or hey you just killed a dragon, now you owe taxes on its treasure because in theory you could sell it.)

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May 29, 2011, 10:42:50 PM
 #51

...
Even if bitcoin fails, the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency technology will not and cannot go away. It will survive and grow because nothing else has the same properties, properties with utility.
Even if the infrastructure will get limited to 'registered-only' services?
I hope you're right.
I very much support the ideals where bitcoin stands for, especially to take control out of the hand of the banks.
But man are they powerful...

how could they limit the infrastructure? They can't even shut down Pirate Bay now. The Net treats censorship as damage and routs around it. The black market will grow until it becomes simply the market. There is no stopping it now.
Do not underestimate the power of the banks, their political influence and the tenacity with which they will pursue their financial interests.
A few examples:
1. Gold is the enemy of central banks and what happened less than 100 years ago?
American government confiscated all the gold of the American citizens.
2. The Romanov Tsar didn't want a Rothschild central bank and what happened?
The 'Baron' orchestrated a Bolsjewik revolution and massacred the whole Romanov family.

If needed they will explode a nuclear bomb in the middle of Manhattan, with a sticker on it saying "Funded with money laundered through the bitcoin network and detonated by terrorists using the bitcoin network."
"Oh, and by the way, bitcoin is also used for illegal drugs transactions and child porn."
Watch how quickly the whole protocol will be killed by all ISPs around the world.
Except of course Venezuela, Libya, Iran, Syria and North-Korea.
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May 30, 2011, 05:32:05 AM
 #52

Do not underestimate the power of the banks, their political influence and the tenacity with which they will pursue their financial interests.
A few examples:
1. Gold is the enemy of central banks and what happened less than 100 years ago?
American government confiscated all the gold of the American citizens.
2. The Romanov Tsar didn't want a Rothschild central bank and what happened?
The 'Baron' orchestrated a Bolsjewik revolution and massacred the whole Romanov family.

If needed they will explode a nuclear bomb in the middle of Manhattan, with a sticker on it saying "Funded with money laundered through the bitcoin network and detonated by terrorists using the bitcoin network."
"Oh, and by the way, bitcoin is also used for illegal drugs transactions and child porn."
Watch how quickly the whole protocol will be killed by all ISPs around the world.
Except of course Venezuela, Libya, Iran, Syria and North-Korea.

You seem to think the banksters are one big evil happy family. The fact is that we aren't even on the RADAR screens of the vast majority of them. Those who do see Bitcoin as a threat can make far more by buying Bitcoin at this early stage than by killing it. These few insightful banksters could buy every new coin mined for a year with their pocket change merely as a hedge against the possibility that we will win. If we lose, all they lose is their insurance premium (hedge bet). If we win, they will be even more wealthy than they are now, only they won't be stealing any more.

insert coin here:
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May 30, 2011, 08:34:29 AM
 #53


You seem to think the banksters are one big evil happy family. The fact is that we aren't even on the RADAR screens of the vast majority of them. Those who do see Bitcoin as a threat can make far more by buying Bitcoin at this early stage than by killing it. These few insightful banksters could buy every new coin mined for a year with their pocket change merely as a hedge against the possibility that we will win. If we lose, all they lose is their insurance premium (hedge bet). If we win, they will be even more wealthy than they are now, only they won't be stealing any more.

I've thought about that (not 2.75M for pocket change because that's ridiculous), but the general idea of 'enemies' buying as a hedge.

1. It would be good for 'us'.
2. They can't do it because admitting a chance that their system can fail is essentially impossible. (Also, hedging tail risk is not their idea of a good time)
3. Anyone who can see that will buy more than "a hedge" and essentially be "one of us"

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May 30, 2011, 09:00:21 AM
 #54

Ha ha imagine the banks saying to themselves "the CIA doesn't have to use us anymore to launder their drug and arms money, we gotta do something about that..."

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June 03, 2011, 03:36:11 AM
 #55


You seem to think the banksters are one big evil happy family. The fact is that we aren't even on the RADAR screens of the vast majority of them. Those who do see Bitcoin as a threat can make far more by buying Bitcoin at this early stage than by killing it. These few insightful banksters could buy every new coin mined for a year with their pocket change merely as a hedge against the possibility that we will win. If we lose, all they lose is their insurance premium (hedge bet). If we win, they will be even more wealthy than they are now, only they won't be stealing any more.

I've thought about that (not 2.75M for pocket change because that's ridiculous), but the general idea of 'enemies' buying as a hedge.

1. It would be good for 'us'.
2. They can't do it because admitting a chance that their system can fail is essentially impossible. (Also, hedging tail risk is not their idea of a good time)
3. Anyone who can see that will buy more than "a hedge" and essentially be "one of us"

2.75 million is pocket change to wall streeters. example:

latest Initial Public offering-Groupon (1 lousy internet stock)
    Q1 Revenue: $644 million, up from $44 million a year prior
    Q1 Gross Profit: $270 million, 41.9% margin, up from $20 million a year prior, and down from the margin of 45.5%
    Q1 Loss from operations: ($117) million compared to $8.5 million profit a year earlier.
    Q1 subscribers: 83.1 million, up from 3.4 million
    Q1 cash flow: $6.978 million down from $12.0 million a year earlier
    Cumulative customers: 15.8 million, up from 874K
    Featured merchants 56.781 up from 2,903
    Groupons sold: 28 million compared to 1.76 million
    Cash balance: $208.7 million; Working capital deficit: ($228.7) million
    Total Assets: $541.4 million, Total Liabilities: $14.8 million
    Total shares outstanding: 296,140,145
37.2% of GRPN sales came from outside of the US in 2010
Since inception GRPN has raised $1.1 billion from sales of common and preferred stock
The company had 7,107 employees at March 31, up from 37 on June 30, 2009
Andrew Mason's annual base salary is $575 as of January 1, 2011
The firm's former President and COO Robert Solomon, left the company on March 22, 2011, its former CTO Kenneth Pelletier, left GRPN on March 23, 2011.
Curiously, the company raised it raised $135 million at $32.12/share in its Series E round in April 2010, while in a subsequent Series G private round in December 2010, it raised $946 million, at $31.59 per share.

$31.59 * 296,140,145 shares= MARKET CAP OF $9,355,067,180!
Groupon has an estimated market cap 136X the entire bitcoin network!!!
Pocket change, Motherf$cker.



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June 03, 2011, 03:40:24 AM
 #56

The whole system is nerd freindly only.

Seriously, if we want to go mainstream, there has to be some sort of user friendly program that can manage everything in a way our grandmother can understand it. Until then, BTC will be used for money laundering and illegal transactions until then.

My paraphrased thoughts.

I remember people saying texting will never take off because those tiny keyboards were only for the hardcore nerds. Wow were they wrong!

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June 03, 2011, 03:46:43 AM
 #57

The only deterrent technological aspect to Bitcoin is the mining/proof of work concept that secures the block chain. Thankfully, you don't have to know a single thing about it to use Bitcoin to your heart's content.

I strongly disagree.
Bitcoin is an idea that has to be sold. People has to buy the idea, believe it.
If they ask and you say it's it's some kind of black box, they won't buy it.
Most people won't buy it, I mean.

People buys the current financial system not because it's fundation are conceptually different than Bitcoin, but because that system fed, dressed and entertain them since they were babies. If someone is going to be pulled off that system, it won't be without deep explanations or with an insanely slow progress through decades and decades.

IMHO
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June 03, 2011, 03:55:12 AM
 #58

The whole system is nerd freindly only.

Seriously, if we want to go mainstream, there has to be some sort of user friendly program that can manage everything in a way our grandmother can understand it. Until then, BTC will be used for money laundering and illegal transactions until then.

My paraphrased thoughts.
good point but just wait the free market will soon provide many easy solutions for bitcoin users
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June 03, 2011, 05:43:12 AM
 #59

I think we can wait a long while to get to "grandma can use it" adoption. Just a fraction of a fraction of current grey/black market activity could make BTC a force to be reckoned with.
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June 03, 2011, 09:20:15 AM
 #60


People buys the current financial system not because it's fundation are conceptually different than Bitcoin, but because that system fed, dressed and entertain them since they were babies. If someone is going to be pulled off that system, it won't be without deep explanations or with an insanely slow progress through decades and decades.

IMHO


Insanely slow progress and growth for decades and decades (though still exponential) it is than. Works for me.

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