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Author Topic: Bitcoin on Al Jazeera  (Read 2999 times)
alkor
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June 06, 2011, 05:10:59 PM
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Bitcoin just appeared on Al Jazeera:
http://english.aljazeera.net/video/americas/2011/06/20116655012909169.html

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Two US senators are asking federal authorities to crack down on an online narcotics market that accepts 'virtual' currency.

The 'Dark Web', an anonymous and secretive online community that trades in heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines among other drugs, has been operating unhindered for months.

The two senators have written to the US Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration asking them to shut down and investigate the site.

Al Jazeera's John Terrett reports.
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AtlasONo
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June 06, 2011, 05:14:58 PM
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Well I guess that counts.
Ian Maxwell
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June 06, 2011, 05:15:19 PM
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The 'Dark Web,' eh?

Did 'Silk Road' just not sound scary enough, or what?

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June 06, 2011, 05:16:25 PM
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Looks like a lot of taxpayer money will be spent trying to shut us down. Grin
alkor
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June 06, 2011, 05:46:41 PM
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I just came accross this quote hostile comment on Slashdot:

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>Bitcoin has the feature, that it can't be inflated (claimed by their proponents).

More than that. If buttcoin actually becomes an actual alternative to paper currency, it has built-in hyperdeflation.

There are 21 million buttcoins (roughly) to be mined, and that's it. Over time you have fewer buttcoins (because they can be destroyed) chasing after more goods (because of economic growth).

This means that any leveraged purchases are a fools' errand - capital machinery, durable goods, houses, bought on credit, are the worst deals in the world because you pay with money that is worth more over time. Deflation serves only the hoarders and creates a braking effect on an economy, because why spend money today when it will be worth more tomorrow?

Buttcoin is a scam made to enrich the hoarding early adopters. It's a sort-of ponzi scheme.

And now it's being used for money laundering.

The sooner it's stomped out of existence the better.
Source: http://idle.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2215718&cid=36351892

What's with such hostility? It's one thing to think bitcoin is an unworthy project, but to actually want it to be "stomped out of existence" really crosses the line.
nazgulnarsil
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June 06, 2011, 05:49:31 PM
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because they believe in some variant of a zero sum world.  if bitcoiners make money someone, somewhere MUST be losing money in their mind.
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June 06, 2011, 05:53:50 PM
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because they believe in some variant of a zero sum world.  if bitcoiners make money someone, somewhere MUST be losing money in their mind.

or it may be as simple as envy.
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June 06, 2011, 06:07:35 PM
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because they believe in some variant of a zero sum world.  if bitcoiners make money someone, somewhere MUST be losing money in their mind.
Actually Bitcoin is zero sum game. But ppl who lose money are not late adopters, but the people who use dollars and other currencies.

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June 06, 2011, 07:00:50 PM
 #9

What does it even mean to call a currency zero-sum anyway?  The currency itself is just a medium of exchange.  The "Zero-sum" label is only interesting when talking about actual goods and services being traded. 

I suppose that if all people are doing is currency exchange, then yes we can say that bitcoin is a zero-sum game with winners and losers.  But that's not the case. 

BTC accepted at my browser-based MMO, Minethings.com.  ~1500 active players mining now.
alkor
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June 06, 2011, 07:13:18 PM
 #10

What does it even mean to call a currency zero-sum anyway?  The currency itself is just a medium of exchange. 

It's not just that. The currency is also a store of value.

With the savings of early bitcoin hoarders appreciating wildly, the question is where does that value come from. Is somebody actually loosing in order for them to gain so much?
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June 06, 2011, 07:30:12 PM
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I've always found the practice of changing a word to try to make it insulting to be extremely childish and reflective of a very low IQ.  I wouldn't worry about anything somebody who types 'buttcoin' over and over has to say.

It's like somebody attempting to make an inside joke but it's not funny or clever... just dumb.
gene
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June 07, 2011, 08:52:03 AM
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With the savings of early bitcoin hoarders appreciating wildly, the question is where does that value come from. Is somebody actually loosing in order for them to gain so much?

A common misconception is that bitcoin has no inherent value, which seems to be the error you are implicitly making. Doesn't information have inherent value?

Bitcoin does have inherent value, as endowed by some unique properties.

Let us first recognize that it is a digital bearer currency, with no real analog in the existing financial schemes.

Some of the unique properties:
*the current blockchain has to some degree been bootstrapped and enjoys a "first to market" advantage over other blockchains
*it is a limited resource (within a blockchain)
*it cannot be counterfeited
*it required minimal resources, relative to utility (and these normalized requirements are decreasing all the time)
*it requires no trust
*transfers are unlimited and inexpensive, and these costs will hopefully approach a minimal value towards a true physical cost (energy) which will also decrease with time
*essentially infinitely divisible
*provided the network is resilient enough, it cannot be stopped (this is admittedly a tautology, but reveals that bitcoin is in a race for survival)
*permits cryptographically strong individual financial freedom. period

There are more, but this list should suffice to show that this blockchain is inherently extremely valuable. In terms of USD, it is my opinion that bitcoins are extremely undervalued. "The market" is realizing bitcoin's real value, as seen by the increasing ratio of USD to BTC. Another hint of bitcoin's value is that it has been recognized as a real threat to wall street's financial and political hegemony (via their puppet Schumer). That must tell you something.

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Astro
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June 07, 2011, 09:02:04 AM
 #13

What's with such hostility? It's one thing to think bitcoin is an unworthy project, but to actually want it to be "stomped out of existence" really crosses the line.

Honestly, a whole bunch of Aspergian basement-dweller types are really really upset about this because 1) They didn't think of it or 2) They just found out about it.  Faux rage is strong with Internet males who feel left out.
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June 07, 2011, 09:10:05 AM
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A common misconception is that bitcoin has no inherent value, which seems to be the error you are implicitly making.
"Inherent value" is not an expression that has a defined meaning. If you mean intrinsic value then no, Bitcoin does not have one. If it did, it would be possible to tell the minimum value that a Bitcoin has in dollars fairly accurately.
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June 07, 2011, 09:11:21 AM
 #15

You're attempting to reason with pseudo-anonymous commenters on the internet. Just for perspective.
gene
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June 07, 2011, 09:32:54 AM
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I am glad somebody caught the distinction.

A common misconception is that bitcoin has no inherent value, which seems to be the error you are implicitly making.
"Inherent value" is not an expression that has a defined meaning.
Sure it does. Its combination of valuable properties make it valuable. I am arguing that inherent value (as defined by the cumulative value of its individual properties) is the metric that matters. Amazing how this seemingly obvious (to some) concept is so elusive to others. It is so obvious that it is actually another tautology.

But one worth repeating, to make the point.

Let me say it again:
Bitcoin's combination of valuable properties make bitcoin valuable.

Just how valuable? We're still finding out.

Quote
If you mean intrinsic value then no, Bitcoin does not have one. If it did, it would be possible to tell the minimum value that a Bitcoin has in dollars fairly accurately.

I chose the proper word to describe the concept. Bitcoins have inherent value, similar to how information has inherent value. "Intrinsic" value is not the metric that we should be discussing. In my mind, intrinsic value is the wrong metric to use when trying to understand why bitcoin is important. It totally misses the point.

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jerfelix
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June 07, 2011, 09:36:48 AM
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What's with such hostility? It's one thing to think bitcoin is an unworthy project, but to actually want it to be "stomped out of existence" really crosses the line.

Honestly, a whole bunch of Aspergian basement-dweller types are really really upset about this because 1) They didn't think of it or 2) They just found out about it.  Faux rage is strong with Internet males who feel left out.
I think there's a need to "take sides", especially among the Slashdot crowd.  It's funny, five years back, I would have thought that the Slashdot crowd would be one of the first to embrace something like this.  Bitcoin appeals to the liberty-minded tech geek.  But lately, it seems that Slashdotters feel the need to "take a stand".  There is definitely a group of Slashdotters who derive weird pleasure from superiority in knowledge and opinion.  And many of them heard about Bitcoin more than a year ago, and dismissed it.  Now there's a need to defend that decision.

If this Slashdotter really feels the need to "stomp it out of existence", the best thing that they could do is to undermine the community's faith in the currency.  That could be through a technical attack (good luck with that), or through a financial attack (organize a massive dumping of Bitcoins to drive the price down.  Good luck with that, too).  So we should tell him that he should go buy a bunch of Bitcoins, and then dump them all at once to cause a lot of turbulence in the financial stability of Bitcoins.


We also shouldn't overlook the fact that there are quite a number of people who have their personal fortunes tied up in the current financial systems.  It may be in Paypal's and Mastercard's best interest to be badmouthing Bitcoin now, to "stomp it out of existence" before it's a serious competitor.

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June 07, 2011, 09:38:55 AM
 #18

Looks like a lot of taxpayer money will be spent trying to shut us down. Grin

.... my hunch is there is a great truth to this .... budgets are tight, new "threats" are always a welcome reason to expand the parasitical classes.

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June 07, 2011, 10:05:08 AM
 #19

Bitcoin's combination of valuable properties make bitcoin valuable.
Then it's basically just valuable in the same way that a family photo is valuable.
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June 07, 2011, 10:07:10 AM
 #20

Bitcoin's combination of valuable properties make bitcoin valuable.
Then it's basically just valuable in the same way that a family photo is valuable.

No, it's completely different. Read this.

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