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Author Topic: Bitcoin Adoption Subsidies  (Read 1101 times)
jancsika
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June 02, 2011, 04:33:04 PM
 #1

I like the idea of the Bitcoin faucet, but it seems like there's something important missing: while trading 0.02 bitcoins with a friend is a great demonstration of how transactions work, it doesn't teach anything about spending directly on goods-- which is what the average person associates with _real_ money (as opposed to, say, monopoly dollars).  The answer on the wiki (I think) is to do some work for BTC, in which case it's no longer a demo*, or to trade a currency like dollars for BTC, which just makes it seem like one is spending dollars in a roundabout (and unnecessarily risky) way.

So do the early adopters who have amassed many BTC currently subsidize any of the sites that sell goods or services for BTC?  If not, I think it would be a good idea for select small, cheap items (or maybe even a music download).  So a nerd merit badge which is currently 1 BTC could be sold for 0.02 if someone subsidizes that sale for 0.98 BTC.  (For whatever the item is, maybe make it one per transaction/physical address, and maybe change the item being subsidized each week or so.)  So in this case every 0.98 used as a subsidy equals 1 individual who has gone all the way through the BTC transaction process, and received a _real_ item in return.  So you'd be encouraging participation in the bitcoin economy, and the only risk to the newcomer would be giving the name/shipping address to the merchant (for a music download there wouldn't even be that).

Encourages more people to get on the network, sparks interest in the economy, etc...

I couldn't find a thread about something like this, but apologies if I overlooked something and this is already happening.

* I think this is the point where people (wrongly) associate Bitcoin with pyramid schemes: in a pyramid scheme the scammer is _always_ asking the newcomer to do work, so in a way the free 0.02 BTC sounds like "bait".  But I'm unaware of any pyramid scheme in which early adopters give bait to newcomers then spend way more of their _own_ money so the newcomer can purchase actual goods for %0 risk.
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Serge
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June 02, 2011, 04:59:54 PM
 #2

You don't have to do and not required to do any work.

You can spend your bitcoins on sites listed here https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade , the list is constantly growing
jancsika
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June 02, 2011, 05:04:33 PM
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Yes, I've seen that list-- it's where I found the nerd badge site.  But I didn't find a site that sells goods/services for 0.02 bitcoins.  Are there any, and if so, is there a list of them somewhere so newcomers can immediately check them out after visiting the faucet?
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June 02, 2011, 05:08:22 PM
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The faucet is down anyways, it seems, and it has been for some time now.

I wonder if it will even come back up.

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June 02, 2011, 05:19:57 PM
 #5

I haven't seen anything on sale for 0.02-0.10 BTC range or anything below single BTC. 
For the first time in Bitcoin history BTC has reached and stepped above 10 dollar mark on exchange today! Up until now sub-BTC prices didn't have much of significance in real word products and services, although some specialized services may inquire small fees for their use. Many ask for donations. If BTC keeps growing we'll be seeing more sites where small bitcoin amounts could be spent.
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June 02, 2011, 05:24:17 PM
 #6

https://www.btcdeals.com/
they had a micro-sd  card reader, yesterday for under 1btc

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
jancsika
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June 02, 2011, 07:46:47 PM
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@Serge: I hope you're right about that, but it's only a hope, and I see more and more potential advocates (EFF, Paypal) distancing themselves from Bitcoin, not to mention what is probably a growing number of adversaries in banking and national govts.  A demo with a newcomer that maybe used to take less than an hour with Paypal and a small amount of money currently takes nearly a week with Dwolla.  And if it weren't for Dwolla, you'd find it quite difficult to get an average user to take any initial jump whatsoever.  (Watch what happens after you tell them, "Now, just wire money or send cash to...")

In response to my inquiry on the Software Freedom Law Center irc channel about possibly taking Bitcoin donations, someone asked, "Why the urgency for people to accept/use bitcoin?"  I feel at present there is none; one the other hand, there is an urgency for those within the Bitcoin economy to attract new users and build infrastructure while the current exchange rate gives them quite a lot of power to do so.  There's no way to sustain the $10 bitcoin with the small amount of goods that can currently be purchased with them-- growing pressures from govt or banking industry threats will only make this more obvious.  But if a sizable group of people are getting their morning coffee and bagel with it, or taking donations with it, etc.,  it might be sustainable.  My suggestion was a quick shot in that direction, and there are probably others that are better.  But "just wait until that 0.02 becomes $2" isn't a serious one.
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June 02, 2011, 07:58:02 PM
 #8

If you want bitcoin, write for me! http://bitcoinweekly.com/pages/submission  Grin

jancsika
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June 02, 2011, 08:29:59 PM
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I can flesh out my response to Serge and turn it into an article.  What do you think?
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June 03, 2011, 07:07:58 PM
 #10

It's going to be rather difficult to sell goods on the Internet which cost 0.02BTC; that's just too small an amount to be practical. Maybe small porn collections or something might work.

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