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Author Topic: Will bitcoin replace today's fiat? What are the advantages / disadvantages?  (Read 1811 times)
Bitcopia
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December 13, 2012, 06:09:36 AM
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‎"Bitcoin improves on the old model for currency in many ways. Maybe it’s the prototype for whatever improved implementation overtakes traditional currency in the future, or maybe Bitcoin will take that throne, but it seems likely that our current model will be replaced, whether today’s governments come to allow it, or we have to wait for them to fade out – or be thrown out – of existence."

This is overwhelmingly true. I'm fairly certain either bitcoin or some other kind of crypto-currency will eventually replace the fiat we use today.

If bitcoin doesn't step up or isn't allowed to step up, do you think governments will create a crypto-currency that they can abuse and regulate?

If bitcoin (or any other decentralized currency) does replace our current fiat system through popular demand, what impacts will this have on global trade and the U.S. domination of the global economy? I believe decentralized currency is a right of the people and mandatory for a free society, but there will certainly be consequences to the wealth of the United States of America if it's mighty dollar loses its might. What will these consequences be? Will it be worth it or should we just be happy having a bone thrown to us while we wait for it all to collapse on itself anyway?
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December 14, 2012, 01:19:22 AM
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I absolutely agree that bitcoin or some other electronic currency will eventually replace or become the new fiat. Given how successful bitcoin is becoming, i think its only a matter of time before large companies and governments start issuing their own. Mintchip may be the first of these projects, but it will by no means be the last.
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December 14, 2012, 01:51:42 AM
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Disclaimer: I'm bad at predicting the future.

Will governments create a crypto-currency to try to compete?

The "network effect" is really important for money. Any form of money gains value as more people use it.

It is possible that Bitcoin (or any future crypto-currency) will never be able to gain enough use to overcome big, existing currencies, that already enjoy huge network effects.

But... the potential users for Bitcoin is greater than any national currency because Bitcoin doesn't care about arbitrary political borders. So maybe at some point in the future a distributed, borderless crypto-currency will have a bigger network effect, and will start to replace zlotny or euros or dollars.

At that point, I don't think any one government would be able to compete. Other governments won't voluntarily give up the ability to control their own currency, so even if a government came out with their own crypto-currency how would they overcome the network effect and get people all over the world to use their newfangled solution?

It is possible that there will be some type of worldwide government; a currency from THAT government could, I think, compete with a decentralized crypto-currency.

I have no idea how likely any of this is.

RE: consequences of the dollar not being the world's reserve currency any more: I'd take a look at the history of Britain. The Pound was the world's reserve currency for a long time, before being replaced by the dollar.  England seems to be doing OK, and I'm not aware of any radically huge consequences of the transition from Pounds to dollars.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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December 14, 2012, 04:13:32 AM
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Governments will never create crypto currencies.

Why? Because the reason they are "crypto" is to maintain privacy and enable the relinquishing of centralized control. Let's remember that government currencies are already "digital currencies," the USD is a digital currency. So why would a gov make a crypto-based version of their digital currency? The whole point of a gov establishing and managing a currency is so that it has control over it and so it can benefit from the printing privilege. A crypto-currency that could be controlled by the gov, and could be printed at whim, and doesn't permit privacy, is really no different than the dollar, is it?

I think it is inevitable that a free and open, decentralized, borderless digital currency will be used widespread around the world. It will likely be Bitcoin, because Bitcoin has a huge head start and, despite the naysayers, actually has very few problems - it's a beautifully elegant system. Even something marginally better will not be able to replace it.

But, the most exciting thing is that the only thing which could kill Bitcoin is a far superior crypto currency, and there is nothing bad about that outcome at all!
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December 14, 2012, 04:15:43 AM
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RE: consequences of the dollar not being the world's reserve currency any more: I'd take a look at the history of Britain. The Pound was the world's reserve currency for a long time, before being replaced by the dollar.  England seems to be doing OK, and I'm not aware of any radically huge consequences of the transition from Pounds to dollars.


Ehhh not quite. Britain lost reserve status between WWI and WWII and went through financial hell during that time. Directly related to the pound losing its status was such dire consequences as the world abandoning the gold standard, the Great Depression, and even WWII itself.
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December 14, 2012, 06:14:07 AM
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Bitcoin in it's pure form can't (yet)... if only for waiting on confirmations...
If we use companies that guarantee the transactions instantly it's very possible, then again, what prevents anyone from making up new non existing bitcoins that they can spend at shops if that shop accepts this specific companies bitcoins...? They will be bitcoins, but not really, or really not.

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December 14, 2012, 07:23:43 AM
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The right to invent a currency and decree it legal tender is the privilege of governments. otherwise they will lose their competitive edge over private initiative. Allowing the citizens to only owe and accept monopoly money gives control over peoples pockets and pretty much everything else! National currencies are a tool of control.

I don't believe that Bitcoiners should wish for government approval as they will never get it, that's the point of the whole thing!

A best case scenario would be that Bitcoin is tolerated as it is hard to control. Like file sharing.

The most valuable about Bitcoin is not it's exchange rate, it is as a teacher that shows you how to end you own enslavement.
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December 14, 2012, 08:25:36 AM
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Bitcoin in it's pure form can't (yet)... if only for waiting on confirmations...
If we use companies that guarantee the transactions instantly it's very possible, then again, what prevents anyone from making up new non existing bitcoins that they can spend at shops if that shop accepts this specific companies bitcoins...? They will be bitcoins, but not really, or really not.
No, shops using such a company will accept only real bitcoins*, from anyone, at zero confirmations (which is almost instant). If such a transaction turns out to be a double-spend (which is extremely unlikely for low-value transactions), the company reimburses the merchant (naturally, the company will charge a small fee for this service to cover the costs of the double-spends). This is exactly the same as how chargeback insurance works with credit cards.

*There seems to be a persistent idea that layering additional financial services on top of bitcoin (such as fraud protection or fractional reserve lending) requires the creation of new "fake" bitcoins (or rather, bitcoin-denominated bearer instruments) that are only redeemable for "real" bitcoins by a central issuer. I'm not really sure where this idea came from, but it's completely false.

Will pretend to do unspeakable things (while actually eating a taco) for bitcoins: 1K6d1EviQKX3SVKjPYmJGyWBb1avbmCFM4
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December 14, 2012, 09:02:41 AM
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Asking if a government will create its own cryptocurrency is like asking if a goverment will create its own *new* version of TCP/IP (right now).
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December 14, 2012, 09:03:44 AM
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I am sure Bitcoin will, barring likely deliberate sabotage by banksters and their henchmen sociopaths, replace all fiat. Unlike gold, Bitcoin cannot be stolen and spent without a password, they cannot be inflated or otherwise counterfeited, they can be hidden, and they can be transferred without physical roadblocks. Most they can do is throw you in a cage for contempt, then they let on go and you get to spend what was yours to spend in the first place.
Bitcopia
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December 14, 2012, 06:29:21 PM
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RE: consequences of the dollar not being the world's reserve currency any more: I'd take a look at the history of Britain. The Pound was the world's reserve currency for a long time, before being replaced by the dollar.  England seems to be doing OK, and I'm not aware of any radically huge consequences of the transition from Pounds to dollars.


Ehhh not quite. Britain lost reserve status between WWI and WWII and went through financial hell during that time. Directly related to the pound losing its status was such dire consequences as the world abandoning the gold standard, the Great Depression, and even WWII itself.

I agree. I think the fact that other countries need to import dollars gives the US a large advantage in the global trade arena. Because the US is still a global leader in manufacturing and technological development, not to mention its unmatched military might, I think it will be resilient even if / when the USD loses its large share of the reserve. My guess is that the IMF will replace current reserve currency with SDRs (Special Drawing Rights.) This will basically just shift the weights that most of the current currencies hold and possibly add a couple of new ones to the basket. SDRs will be more easily manipulated and regulated than the current way the world's reserve currencies function.

Can somebody please tell the IMF about bitcoin??  Cheesy
Bitcopia
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December 14, 2012, 06:31:17 PM
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I am sure Bitcoin will, barring likely deliberate sabotage by banksters and their henchmen sociopaths, replace all fiat. Unlike gold, Bitcoin cannot be stolen and spent without a password, they cannot be inflated or otherwise counterfeited, they can be hidden, and they can be transferred without physical roadblocks. Most they can do is throw you in a cage for contempt, then they let on go and you get to spend what was yours to spend in the first place.

This sounds like a dream. I hope you're right!

My only concern is that governments will just make it illegal for merchants to accept bitcoin. Although they can't stop the network, they can regulate lawful business.  Undecided
Bitcopia
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December 14, 2012, 06:32:01 PM
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The right to invent a currency and decree it legal tender is the privilege of governments. otherwise they will lose their competitive edge over private initiative. Allowing the citizens to only owe and accept monopoly money gives control over peoples pockets and pretty much everything else! National currencies are a tool of control.

I don't believe that Bitcoiners should wish for government approval as they will never get it, that's the point of the whole thing!

A best case scenario would be that Bitcoin is tolerated as it is hard to control. Like file sharing.

The most valuable about Bitcoin is not it's exchange rate, it is as a teacher that shows you how to end you own enslavement.

+1
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December 15, 2012, 09:30:09 AM
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* I actually started writing this post in a public place, then decided it was not a good idea and waited until I was somewhere private *

There are so many thing that we get used to in our lives that we don't even question them anymore. How many people actually understand what fiat money is ? Where does it get it's value from ? Too many people out there think that the twenty dollar bills in their pocket are backed by gold somewhere in a bank. The majority of the population can't even begin to understand today's money creation dynamics through bank credits and loans. It's very important sometimes to take a step back from what we take for granted and question the morality of our current situation. That's how Mankind evolved in the past, and that's how we will continue to evolve in the future.

Try to forget everything you know about politics and play a little thought experiment. Imagine an advanced alien race spying on earth and studying our social organization. What would they see? What would they conclude? The alien thought experiment is important according to me as it forces you to be objective and see thing unbiased, just the way they are.

Here's what I would see: On a global perspective, some individuals seem to have claimed ownership of massive patches of land. They control the perimeter of that land and decides who is allowed to go in and out. Everyone that lives within that massive patch of land is forced to give money to those people in control. They are forced, because if they don't pay up, they might go to jail, or loose a substantial amount of their income, or be forced to pay even more money. Essentially, they threaten people to pay them using force. In the more developed places on planet earth, the people in control invest part of that money back into the public to suggest benevolent intentions. And in most of these developed places on earth, inhabitants don't seem to question the authority of these people in control.  

I believe in the principal of non-aggression and in free-trade amongst individuals. Two parties should be allowed to trade with each other as long as they don't harm anyone else. And I also believe that a modern social organization is completely possible with these principals and that a world without aggression is morally superior. In order to get there, we need to remove aggressive players from our society. And as hard as it might be for some people to accept, governments are aggressive players in todays world. Why did I have to write this article in a private place? Because I'm afraid of the government in the country where I am right now. People went to jail here for much less than this.

If you've been reading all along, then this is where Bitcoin comes in. We finally ( and I stress *finally* ) have a solution to remove the aggressive power of governments in this world. Most governments are in control and aggressive because they control the central banks and the money supply. By establishing a global distributed crypto-currency, we essentially remove the monopoly of governments over money, and thus we remove their ability to be aggressive.

Now, for the pro-government believers out there, I am not saying that they should not exist. However, they should not be aggressive. By removing their monopole over money, they are forced to become normal entities and play by the market rules just like everyone else, without superpowers. This is a *good* thing because they will face competition and in order to survive, they will need to be innovative and efficient. And they will need to convince people to invest in them without the use of force. If I don't like government X because they miss-manage their money or don't provide good services, then I will invest in government Y. Competition is absolutely necessary. Its a mechanism to weed out bad and inefficient players from a market.

So to sum it up, distributed crypto-currencies will allow us to remove aggressive players from the world. They will lead us into a world where free trade prevails and aggression is suppressed. I hope I will live long enough to see it happen!
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December 15, 2012, 11:18:12 AM
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... If you've been reading all along, then this is where Bitcoin comes in. We finally ( and I stress *finally* ) have a solution to remove the aggressive power of governments in this world. Most governments are in control and aggressive because they control the central banks and the money supply...
I agree with you... just one small correction: the central banks control the money supply and the governments...
Governments have no power over bankers...

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December 15, 2012, 11:50:33 AM
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I am sure Bitcoin will, barring likely deliberate sabotage by banksters and their henchmen sociopaths, replace all fiat. Unlike gold, Bitcoin cannot be stolen and spent without a password, they cannot be inflated or otherwise counterfeited, they can be hidden, and they can be transferred without physical roadblocks. Most they can do is throw you in a cage for contempt, then they let on go and you get to spend what was yours to spend in the first place.

This sounds like a dream. I hope you're right!

My only concern is that governments will just make it illegal for merchants to accept bitcoin. Although they can't stop the network, they can regulate lawful business.  Undecided

Yes.  Unfortunately, with the statist tendency to centralize businesses, it's very easy to ruin businesses nowadays by threatening their owners and employees with a cage.  Decentralization will, hopefully, increase the difficulty for such criminal actions by people posing as "the State".  This is, after all, why these criminals haven't been able to stamp out the competition that they claim to be at war with ("the drug cartels" is the cultural designation).
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