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Author Topic: BitCoin futurism  (Read 936 times)
mathx
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May 29, 2011, 06:18:41 PM
 #1

This is a very vague discussion level post.

Im wondering what kind of societal, economic, market, political and psychological changes might come about to society, business and various other facets of life if BitCoin was to become a widely used currency. (We can also talk about what's going to stop it from being so, tho that's widely covered elsewhere too.)

Im thinking a few very vague notions:

 - bitcoins are nominally worth current technology x current cost of power. What would this do to the cost of power if massive mining by members of an electricity market was undertaken?

 - since power is loosely related to the cost of oil and gas, what does this mean for the heating market and energy markets?

 - attaching microvalues to all messages sent/actions undertaken by all people, to underscore their sincerity - will this result in the (nearly) infinitely-divisible fractal monetization of much of  human activity even down to the interpersonal level? What does that mean for fuzzy-valuations of common-goods and community that we all intuitively understand and engage in - will they be strictly monetized? What will markets in such fora look like?

- economics 101 - when a currency is infinitely liquid (as btc may become with cell phones automatically chattering payments to eachother at high rates during normal social or commercial intercourse), what happens to economies that run on them?

- how about competing BitCoin networks? How about an huge number of different semi private BitCoin networks/currencies?

Cmon, get your thinking caps on, i wanna see the next Neil Stephenson novel taking shape in this forum Tongue
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nazgulnarsil
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May 29, 2011, 06:33:39 PM
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short term the biggest change is that deflationary currencies encourage saving and investment in productive enterprise while inflationary currencies encourage consumption.
the downside is that people don't understand that the numbers are arbitrary units of measurement.  this causes such psychological effects as "wage stickiness" and thus people intuitively object to deflation.
mathx
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May 29, 2011, 06:51:43 PM
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Ok getting the ball rolling here a bit:

Governments might not have an issue with bitcoins' "anonymity" - it's fleeting. Consider the richest BitCoin holders - with basic traffic analysis on networks, it would be relatively easy to track one bitcoin address and related transactions - and map them to IPs and IPs of people sending them coins.

This would produce the ultimate in tracing financial transactions. This kind of information would be very powerful, especially in watching for large events, such as large corporations finalizing a deal - a big transfer goes through - this would mess with stock markets (but in a perfect world, the market will build this into the price immediately, along with a speculative value for the timing of the transaction before it actually occurs).

Would this not be a boon to government surveillance, far beyond what is capable now? Psuedonymity can be useful, but once its traced to a particular individual, all future transactions can be tracked against them. And merely generating more addresses isnt always possible - you'll want your contacts to know your current BTC address to pay you and not have to go find another.

Perhaps a crypto network escrow service that hides actual addresses, without needing to give a central entity full control of your keys is possible - another p2p identity verification network?

This ability to track and trace all trends and transfers of money will allow for some amazing economic and financial manipulation by large players -- unless the system already prices such risks into itself inherently by its own nature. Perhaps untraceable cash and imperfect knowledge, in a currency with imperfect liquidity is required -- is BTC actually the libertarian's nightmare disguised?
ByteCoin
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May 29, 2011, 11:21:33 PM
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Governments might not have an issue with bitcoins' "anonymity" - it's fleeting.

See http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=5965 in which I explain how to get very good anonymity using the existing infrastructure.

Inter-client communication could be encrypted and, as transactions involve only small amounts of data, they could be hidden among some padding to thwart traffic analysis.

ByteCoin
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