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Author Topic: Cryptocurrency is more like spoken language or religion than gold.  (Read 375 times)
americanpegasus
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September 28, 2015, 09:13:12 AM
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This occurred to me the other day, but I'm not sure where to go to explore this concept further (except in my own mind).  
  
I wish I could start this discussion off with a lengthy essay, but I'm afraid I don't quite have one in me yet - I'm still forming together the similarities and strategies for each.  Consider this though: a precious metal is hard-limited.  If I decide that gold is bullshit, I can't just go start my own precious metal.  There is a finite limit to how many can exist on Earth, and they have nothing to do with human desire to innovate.  
  
When discussing crypto, a comparison to other imaginary man made systems is more appropriate: spoken languages and religions.  These are not limited; if you don't like the one you found yourself in at birth, nothing (besides social pressure) is stopping you from just inventing a new one.  
  
You will quickly find though that aside from the difficulty of establishing the 'fundamentals', the greatest challenge is inspiring belief in your new system.  So what we should be doing is examining the anthropological how and why of successful religions and languages if we want to understand how to get cryptocurrencies to spread.  Why has English become the default language of the world?  Why did Christians and Muslims spread across the planet?  In both cases there were 'fundamentals' which were actual rules of the system, but the most important part was convincing others that those artificial rules had value and deserved not only the effort required to learn them, but also the effort required to propagate the idea.  
  
In some cases, financial advantage wasn't always apparent but for those who saw all the moving pieces of the system, they were able to position themselves to profit handsomely off the strength of the new idea.  
  

Account is back under control of the real AmericanPegasus.
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September 29, 2015, 12:28:23 PM
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So, a cult?
yayayo
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September 29, 2015, 02:58:45 PM
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... Consider this though: a precious metal is hard-limited.  If I decide that gold is bullshit, I can't just go start my own precious metal.  There is a finite limit to how many can exist on Earth, and they have nothing to do with human desire to innovate. 

When discussing crypto, a comparison to other imaginary man made systems is more appropriate: spoken languages and religions.  These are not limited; if you don't like the one you found yourself in at birth, nothing (besides social pressure) is stopping you from just inventing a new one. 

Besides that it is technically difficult to create new elements, you could just declare another existing element (for example lead) as the new gold. Because there are an awful lot of materials on earth, the physical versus non-physical (virtual) aspect to which this argument boils down is of no practical significance.

You will quickly find though that aside from the difficulty of establishing the 'fundamentals', the greatest challenge is inspiring belief in your new system.  So what we should be doing is examining the anthropological how and why of successful religions and languages if we want to understand how to get cryptocurrencies to spread.  Why has English become the default language of the world?  Why did Christians and Muslims spread across the planet?  In both cases there were 'fundamentals' which were actual rules of the system, but the most important part was convincing others that those artificial rules had value and deserved not only the effort required to learn them, but also the effort required to propagate the idea.

Couldn't you ask the same questions for gold? I really see no difference here.

In some cases, financial advantage wasn't always apparent but for those who saw all the moving pieces of the system, they were able to position themselves to profit handsomely off the strength of the new idea.

You implicitly assume that all profitable things contain some "strength" not found in others. This is not necessarily the case; a good example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist%27s_Shit

If you ask me, the success of an idea or concept essentially depends on the ability to entice a big enough group to support it in the first place. Apart from general marketing methods, for money-like ideas the release scheme is essential: The supply of the virtual or physical object to be used as money must be limited, so a value impression can be formed on the perception of scarcity. Both Bitcoin and Gold have limited supply that is released in a quite predictable manner.

So overall - apart from the virtual versus physical distinction - I can't follow your argument.

ya.ya.yo!
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