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Author Topic: Is it correct to call BitCoin a currency?  (Read 4605 times)
enmaku
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June 02, 2011, 05:52:03 PM
 #21

Bitcoin is only currency if you consider the internet to be a sovereign entity... Which I do... Then again I'm kind of an odd guy so...

Realistically it's more like a very specialized form of stock. I imagine each bitcoin to be a "share" of stock in the bitcoin movement. It's backed by the same thing stocks are backed by: faith in the behavior of those running the show. In this case the "show" is bring run partially by an automated system, which we're trusting is secure, and partially by the value created within the bitcoin community, striving to see it as an accepted commodity.

At the end of the day, it's really just a stupidly semantic argument. If I go to a faire and buy ride tickets, which I then exchange for goods and services, I would personally consider those tickets to be the "currency" of the fair. I think the dictionary definitions no longer match common usage for this term and we're wasting time nitpicking over semantics that we could be using to build the community.

I have a scientist friend who corrects people who say "I have a theory" to "No, you have a hypothesis" constantly. Not only is it annoying and semantic but it's arrogant of the scientific community. When 99% of people are using the word "theory" one way and 1% are insisting the majority is wrong, who is the one who really needs to change their phrasing? The same applies to economists and the Oxford English dictionary arguing over words like "currency" or "money." Words are not a product of dictionaries, they are a product of human use. If the use changes, the meaning of the word changes. Dictionaries do not have the right to decide what a word means, their job is to report on what we believe a word means.

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MacFall
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June 02, 2011, 05:58:43 PM
 #22

Semantics can be important, though. Consider the ability of the government to define the murder of noncombatants as "collateral damage", or to call whomever they damn well please a "terrorist". Words have meanings for a reason, and words related to political economy can cause damage when their meanings start to slip.

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June 02, 2011, 06:03:29 PM
 #23

Bitcoin is only currency if you consider the internet to be a sovereign entity... Which I do... Then again I'm kind of an odd guy so...

Sovereignty isn't a requirement for a currency.  Market currencies have arisen from defacto standards in the past.  The (original) dollar is one such standard, before the Federal Reserve stole the term and corrupted it.  The "dollar" was, prior to the US revolution, a mispronuncation of a "Thaler"; which was a silver coin minted by a particular private mint in present day Germany.  The "Thaler" was uncommon in the colonies, as the Spanish silver coins dominated, but they were all roughly based upon the troy ounce as the unit of weight.  So a "dollar" wasn't a particular sovereign's coin, it was a common reference to a particular weight in silver.  That unit of weight was the defacto standard, and any silver coin minted to that weight was such a currency.  The silver content was money, but the currency was the standardized unit of measurement.  Once again, a currency is just an arbitrary unit of measurement that is widely accepted; while money is a commodity with certain characteristics.  The two things overlap in practice, but not in their core meaning.

Trade, money and currencies have all existed prior to and in the absence of a sovereign government of any kind.  A government is certainly not a requirement.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
enmaku
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June 02, 2011, 08:44:39 PM
 #24

Trade, money and currencies have all existed prior to and in the absence of a sovereign government of any kind.  A government is certainly not a requirement.

I agree, but it seems to be a requirement if you ask some of the previous posters. I think that money and currencies are what we decide them to be, not what a dictionary or government tells us they are. Isn't that part of the appeal of bitcoin, really? That we're choosing how to run our financial world instead of a government, bank, etc?

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June 02, 2011, 09:43:44 PM
 #25

Bitcoin's durability comes from the hardware and electricity.

It's divisibility and transferability are obvious.

Bitcoin is not a currency yet. Only when it bitcoin can pay for its electricity and hardware in bitcoin will bitcoin be a currency that can stand on its own.


Bitcoin needs to support Open Source Ecology and work on getting The Zeitgeist Movement to see that this is a currency that is not issued by a central authority.

The zeitgeist movement has the numbers of people who are thinking critically.

Open source ecology has the production equipment to change manufacture of houses and machines.

Bitcoin can put it all together and make it flow.

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June 02, 2011, 09:55:46 PM
 #26

Bitcoin's durability comes from the hardware and electricity.

It's divisibility and transferability are obvious.

Bitcoin is not a currency yet. Only when it bitcoin can pay for its electricity and hardware in bitcoin will bitcoin be a currency that can stand on its own.


Bitcoin needs to support Open Source Ecology and work on getting The Zeitgeist Movement to see that this is a currency that is not issued by a central authority.

The zeitgeist movement has the numbers of people who are thinking critically.

Open source ecology has the production equipment to change manufacture of houses and machines.

Bitcoin can put it all together and make it flow.

Ecological political "movements", like Zeitgeist have debatable political under-pinnings.

Bitcoin can be said to "put it all together" for any number of political movements, since money is simply a tool.

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June 03, 2011, 07:04:58 AM
 #27

Would a statement like:  Bitcoin, the Net's digital barter good ...  

The word used in English for a "barter good" is "money".  Bitcoin is not a "good" beyond the context of third party exchange and accounting, and is therefore not a "good".

If A bartered/traded a goat for six chickens from B, does that make goats and chickens barter/tradeable goods, currency or money?  If A bartered/traded a goat for six bitcoins from C, and C bartered/traded six chickens from B for six bitcoins, does that make goats, chickens, and bitcoins barter/tradeable goods, currency or money?

Disclaimer:  Postings of Cloud9 are only individual views of opinion and/or musings and/or hypothesisses.  On a non-authoritative, peer-to-peer public forum, you do not need permission from Cloud9 to derive your own conclusions or opinions, so please do.  Calculations and assumptions to be verified.
cloud9
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June 03, 2011, 07:16:09 AM
 #28

In prisons, war camps, post-collapse economies, etc whiskey and cigarettes get traded like a currency.

Is the understanding that if whiskey or cigarettes is in common use among the population under consideration, giving it fluid tradeability as goods, as it has universal appeal; is it a good (although maybe universally tradeable) or a currency/money; or is the understanding that it can be used in the way that a currency can be used due to its universal tradeability due to common use?  Could common use examples of tradeable goods (not currency receipts which get issued by governments and used to be backed by central banks by the value of gold it represents and not goldsmiths anymore) be salt in the Roman empire, pebbles of islanders, silver in the colonies, bitcoin (transferable secure right of ownership to scarce unique digital cryptographic keyed certificate data communicated over a network?) etc., etc.?  Can any legally produced, legal goods still be bartered/traded directly for any other legally produced, legal goods or does everything legally HAVE to go through a middle non-goods utility of exchange?

Disclaimer:  Postings of Cloud9 are only individual views of opinion and/or musings and/or hypothesisses.  On a non-authoritative, peer-to-peer public forum, you do not need permission from Cloud9 to derive your own conclusions or opinions, so please do.  Calculations and assumptions to be verified.
icecoins
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June 03, 2011, 07:30:41 AM
 #29

Guys, please! There are people who have studied monetary systems for all their life, and they have come to pretty solid conclusions. So dont speculate here, or worse, dont say that definitions dosent matter. Pure speculation and guessing here doesnt helps.

So, this is the correct definition!

Currency and money are very similar and many people think that they are one of the same. However, there is one major difference that separates the two. First, let's obtain a firm grasp of how they are similar. Both currency and money have to be:

-A unit of account
-A medium of exchange
-Portable
-Divisible
-Durable
-Fungible (one coin in my hand has the same value as one coin in your hand)

Money must be all of the above, but has to also be a "store of value" over long periods of time.

Paper is never a store of value  in the long term, because it can be printed at will and only has the value given to it as determined by the issuing government. Also, all paper currencies have failed in the past, that means they have gone to its intrinsic value of zero. Gold and silver have been used as "money" for over 5000 years because it satisfies every requirement stated previously. Once upon a time, the U.S. was on a gold standard. This meant that for every dollar printed, there had to be gold to back it up. Our dollar was considered "money" because of this gold backing. Thus, the phrase "good as gold" was coined (you could redeem your dollars for gold). Gold has to be mined and that process takes time and physical effort.


So by all means, BitCoin could become MONEY! Alas, dollars are not money, only currency! Of course, to become money, Bitcoin still needs prove two things:
-To withstand the test of time (and by so doing becoming a store of value in the long term).
-To become a medium of exchange (it has the potential to be one, but it is still not widely accepted as a medium of exchange in the world).

People, if the technical aspects of Bitcoin prove to be solid, and it becomes a widely accepted medium of exchange, it could not only become MONEY, but the best money the world has known so far, because of its capability to be managed digitally which allows the instant transfer allover the world without any centralized authority.

Of course precious metals will be preferred for more long term security, as bitcoins could be made inoperative worldwide in minutes with any massive attack to the internet, like a nuclear EMP (electromagnetic pulse), or Obamas internet kill switch, for example. Even if we return to the stone age after a nuclear catastrophe, gold and silver would still be money accepted by people, as it does not requiere technology to fulfill its function.

But Bitcoin runs far ahead of gold and other PMs in portability (try to carry a gold bar in your pockets), divisibility (try to cut a gold coin), and the most important one: as medium of exchange (try to send gold overseas in minutes with a click of a button using P2P).

Regards.
cloud9
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June 03, 2011, 07:36:54 AM
 #30

Is gold just a physical accounting book - crediting the physical/LEGALLY entitled atom holder?
Is bitcoin just a digital accounting book - crediting the physical/LEGALLY entitled key holder?

Disclaimer:  Postings of Cloud9 are only individual views of opinion and/or musings and/or hypothesisses.  On a non-authoritative, peer-to-peer public forum, you do not need permission from Cloud9 to derive your own conclusions or opinions, so please do.  Calculations and assumptions to be verified.
marcus_of_augustus
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June 03, 2011, 07:40:30 AM
 #31


Quote
People, if the technical aspects of Bitcoin prove to be solid, and it becomes a widely accepted medium of exchange, it could not only become MONEY, but the best money the world has know so far, because of its capability to be managed digitally which allows the instant transfer allover the world without any centralized authority.

Yes, and it is very good already, some might say the premier, in these areas particularly;

portable
divisible
durable

thnks icecoins for spelling that all out cogently.

anderxander
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June 03, 2011, 03:12:47 PM
 #32

Guys, please!

So by all means, BitCoin could become MONEY! Alas, dollars are not money, only currency! Of course, to become money, Bitcoin still needs prove two things:
-To withstand the test of time (and by so doing becoming a store of value in the long term).
-To become a medium of exchange (it has the potential to be one, but it is still not widely accepted as a medium of exchange in the world).

People, if the technical aspects of Bitcoin prove to be solid, and it becomes a widely accepted medium of exchange, it could not only become MONEY, but the best money the world has known so far, because of its capability to be managed digitally which allows the instant transfer allover the world without any centralized authority.

Of course precious metals will be preferred for more long term security, as bitcoins could be made inoperative worldwide in minutes with any massive attack to the internet, like a nuclear EMP (electromagnetic pulse), or Obamas internet kill switch, for example. Even if we return to the stone age after a nuclear catastrophe, gold and silver would still be money accepted by people, as it does not requiere technology to fulfill its function.

But Bitcoin runs far ahead of gold and other PMs in portability (try to carry a gold bar in your pockets), divisibility (try to cut a gold coin), and the most important one: as medium of exchange (try to send gold overseas in minutes with a click of a button using P2P).




Exactly~!!!!!!!!!!!!!



BUT ~!!!! This is my point with this whole post.....

COULD BECOME MONEY

I am arguing it will only become money in and of itself when it can pay for its own electricity.

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jonathonr635
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June 03, 2011, 03:57:20 PM
 #33

I feel like it's being traded almost like a stock in a stock market. I don't see people buying and selling goods with Bitcoins nearly as much as I see people trading for USD on Mt. Gox. In fact, that's how the price is set, not by what you can buy with it. There is also way more supply than demand in the Marketplace forum, as far as I've seen.
cloud9
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June 03, 2011, 06:05:33 PM
 #34

I feel like it's being traded almost like a stock in a stock market. I don't see people buying and selling goods with Bitcoins nearly as much as I see people trading for USD on Mt. Gox. In fact, that's how the price is set, not by what you can buy with it. There is also way more supply than demand in the Marketplace forum, as far as I've seen.

Total Bitcoins sent last 24h is 600,727.92 BTC (Source www.bitcoinwatch.com), total traded for fiat currency on major exchange (MtGox) last 24h is 56,604.96 (Source bitcoincharts.com)

There is a breakdown of transactions, blocks created, and currency traded at  http://bitcoinmonitor.com/

For a list of goods/services that are listed as available for trade for bitcoins see https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade

If you have a good/service that you would like to add to the wiki list, you can create a wiki account and add it at https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade


If you would like to compare the ratios to the global decentralized forex market see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forex_trading
"...as of April 2010, average daily turnover in global foreign exchange markets is estimated at $3.98 trillion..."

as a ratio to

Global GDP see https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2195.html?countryName=&countryCode=&regionCode=%3E
"... World       GWP (gross world product): $62.27 trillion (2010 est.) " - that's for the year.

Disclaimer:  Postings of Cloud9 are only individual views of opinion and/or musings and/or hypothesisses.  On a non-authoritative, peer-to-peer public forum, you do not need permission from Cloud9 to derive your own conclusions or opinions, so please do.  Calculations and assumptions to be verified.
MoonShadow
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June 03, 2011, 06:14:25 PM
 #35

I feel like it's being traded almost like a stock in a stock market. I don't see people buying and selling goods with Bitcoins nearly as much as I see people trading for USD on Mt. Gox. In fact, that's how the price is set, not by what you can buy with it. There is also way more supply than demand in the Marketplace forum, as far as I've seen.

That is the bias of this forum.  There is some market trading on this forum, but for the most part that doesn't really happen here, as there are many other better market sites for that purpose.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
benjamindees
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June 04, 2011, 10:08:58 AM
 #36

Can any legally produced, legal goods still be bartered/traded directly for any other legally produced, legal goods or does everything legally HAVE to go through a middle non-goods utility of exchange?

Yes of course.  What a silly question.

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