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Author Topic: Will bitcoin become too expensive to spend?  (Read 3985 times)
crazy_rabbit
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January 31, 2013, 10:12:08 AM
 #1

I know that idea doesn't make sense, but if the speculative value of Bitcoin outweighs the value of using it to purchase something are we not in danger in stunting the actual brick-and-mortar aspects of the BTC economy?

Of course we are only at $20, but if you imagine Bitcoin one day becoming a world currency, worth trillions, then you know that 21 million bitcoins still has a long way to go....

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January 31, 2013, 10:16:58 AM
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I actually found myself regret, although temporarily, using bitcoins to pay for three drinks at the meetup in Bratislava last Sunday and even though it was just 0.46BTC I wish I used my fiat instead. But that's only because I had these two options.

If all I had was bitcoins and if I'm honest I don't know how I'd feel about it. I speculate it is possible I may save more and spend less but I'd still use Bitcoin for my everyday shopping that I have to do in order to sustain my life.

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January 31, 2013, 10:36:22 AM
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I actually found myself regret, although temporarily, using bitcoins to pay for three drinks at the meetup in Bratislava last Sunday and even though it was just 0.46BTC I wish I used my fiat instead. But that's only because I had these two options.

If all I had was bitcoins and if I'm honest I don't know how I'd feel about it. I speculate it is possible I may save more and spend less but I'd still use Bitcoin for my everyday shopping that I have to do in order to sustain my life.

yes I think that's the question, since we will always have another fiat to consider, will we spend the fiat or Btc? After all, we seem to think we KNOW the value of Fiat tomorrow, today. For westerners it is a rare situation when prices in fiat fluctuate from day to day.

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January 31, 2013, 10:40:38 AM
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Bitcoins will never be too high priced to spend. Most people usually think short term, so when there's a rally, they may want to store their coins, but when the price flatline, then they want to spend it more.
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January 31, 2013, 10:58:40 AM
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since we will always have another fiat to consider

We will? I could foresee a day not to far into the future where all I own is gold, silver and bitcoins. And any fiat I may get I'd instantly exchange for one of the three, or any fiat that I'd have to use because there was no other way I'd just exchange one of the three into it when I needed it. And under such circumstances I'd probably spend my bitcoins in my daily life without thinking much about it.

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January 31, 2013, 11:30:11 AM
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Actually, I've decided to spend a couple.  I can afford to now that the $1400 worth of BTC I had a month ago is now $2100 worth!

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January 31, 2013, 12:13:51 PM
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It's not any "high" value who make it unconvenient to spend: it's just their continuous increase in purchasing power. It's the same reason why there would not be no consumism at all if we had to pay in gold and silver coins (why to buy anything today if tomorrow it will cost less and the day after even less?).

Luckily, the stoners don't make such considerations.
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January 31, 2013, 12:19:05 PM
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I agree that it is hard not to regret spending bitcoin.  One thing that has helped is having a speculative "hold until I die" wallet while the the rest is constantly in transition with mining playing against need to use or desire to sell.  On the other hand I also regretted not selling my "hold until I die" bitcoin when the the price was $30.  I really would have liked to do that and get back in with 10X the bitcoin.

One thing I have realized about holding bitcoin and investing in some of the bitcoin funded stock is that there are cases when you honestly have to think about things in terms of bitcoin and leave the fiat conversion thinking out of it.  It was really refreshing.
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January 31, 2013, 01:33:10 PM
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You have to just wrap your head around the idea of inflation and look at how much things are 'really' worth, if you're worried about spending Bitcoins then come up with more ways to get Bitcoin and make consistent profit. For instance, with me, I'm looking at stuff now that would normally be dramatically expensive to get like cars and houses but I've done the math and I find it amazing that I'll actually be able to own a full house for around 5000 Bitcoins ( If we're talking just pounds I would have to work my whole life to be able to pay for a house and own it ) which a couple of years ago would be unimaginable because of the amount of inflation in the pound.

If you feel uncomfortable spending, find a way to increase what you already have and save, or perhaps do a spending threshold and say you'll only allow yourself to spend until you've got a certain amount of Bitcoins left.
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January 31, 2013, 01:44:38 PM
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It's not any "high" value who make it unconvenient to spend: it's just their continuous increase in purchasing power. It's the same reason why there would not be no consumism at all if we had to pay in gold and silver coins (why to buy anything today if tomorrow it will cost less and the day after even less?).

Luckily, the stoners don't make such considerations.

Look at the red line. It's not true that there is a "continuous increase in purchasing power" of gold. There were ups downs, at various time scales. There were good and bad times to spend it.

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January 31, 2013, 02:26:07 PM
 #11

To the original point.  Bitcoins are only good for calculating large numbers if you don't spend them.  People will always be spending bitcoins. 


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January 31, 2013, 03:03:45 PM
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I will start spending when they hit $150. They are too cheap to spend now.
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January 31, 2013, 03:12:40 PM
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When you spend BTC you can always buy it back from exchanges. So, actually you are spending USD or your curency.
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January 31, 2013, 03:18:47 PM
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I know that idea doesn't make sense, but ifthe speculative value of Bitcoin outweighs the value of using it to purchase something are we not in danger in stunting the actual brick-and-mortar aspects of the BTC economy?

Of course we are only at $20, but if you imagine Bitcoin one day becoming a world currency, worth trillions, then you know that 21 million bitcoins still has a long way to go....

I have thought about that statement A LOT, and I think you are spot on. 

It is a huge problem. 

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January 31, 2013, 03:35:46 PM
 #15

since we will always have another fiat to consider

We will? I could foresee a day not to far into the future where all I own is gold, silver and bitcoins. And any fiat I may get I'd instantly exchange for one of the three, or any fiat that I'd have to use because there was no other way I'd just exchange one of the three into it when I needed it. And under such circumstances I'd probably spend my bitcoins in my daily life without thinking much about it.

I don't know. But if the market stays this volatile, i think it would be pretty dangerous to hold a large amount of Bitcoin as your main currency. One day you could be rich, the next, a pauper.

And then rich again. Maybe.

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January 31, 2013, 03:45:42 PM
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The problem with a currency with high volatility is that people tends to hoard it knowing that the value has an upward trend on the long run, therefore, preventing, or better said, limiting the exchange of BTC either by spending or exchanging in markets.
I would much rather spend my fiat currency U$S, knowing that is way more stable than spending my BTC today at $20, knowing that tomorrow they will be $22-$23 and therefore, losing money...
I'm in for the long run and I have never spent a single BTC. It's a high risk but then again, I made a small investment that can be easily recovered (at this prices my investment is already recovered) and if I make or lose money from this point on it's irrelevant. BTC is not my primary source of income so I'm in this thinking that as an early adopter I can have a good amount of BTC in the future if this currency gains popularity (therefore value) and BTC reaches levels in the $1000 per BTC or more, which is not an absurd idea.

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January 31, 2013, 04:11:13 PM
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since we will always have another fiat to consider

We will? I could foresee a day not to far into the future where all I own is gold, silver and bitcoins. And any fiat I may get I'd instantly exchange for one of the three, or any fiat that I'd have to use because there was no other way I'd just exchange one of the three into it when I needed it. And under such circumstances I'd probably spend my bitcoins in my daily life without thinking much about it.

I don't know. But if the market stays this volatile, i think it would be pretty dangerous to hold a large amount of Bitcoin as your main currency. One day you could be rich, the next, a pauper.

And then rich again. Maybe.

LOL The exact same holds true for fiat currencies. You should speak to Iranians or Belarusians when their fiat overnight bought 50% less.

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January 31, 2013, 08:07:45 PM
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I had someone purchase a pair of boots from me on BitMit when the price was $14/BTC.

I failed to mention in my ad that these particular boots usually take about 3 weeks to arrive (on e-bay I can list the estimated shipping and processing time).

Of course this person was not pleased when the boots did not arrive after a week or so and the price had jumped so high.

As I failed to mention the long wait time in the ad I have told him that he will be re-imbursed the difference in price between when he made the purchase and when he receives the boots.

Though on the other end, I recall a friend who went to another country for vacation where there was high inflation. They would charge extra for credit card purchases because by the time the card company paid them, the value would be down by too much.


I did read an article stating that when different currencies are exchanged, people tend to want to keep the more valueable and will give away the less valueable currency. Like getting dollars and giving local currency as change. If the choice is between giving away dollars or bitcoins, giving away dollars will be the likely result.

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January 31, 2013, 10:46:47 PM
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There are significantly more 'satoshis', the smallest divisible unit of bitcoins, than there are USD.  If you think of it like being a penny, and tread 100 satoshis like a dollar, there are still more satoshis than there would be if all the USD in the world was actually pennies.
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January 31, 2013, 11:11:45 PM
 #20

No, if BTC price rise to enough high, then you can consider spending some of them

You spend money because of:

1. The value of that money is dropping because of inflation
2. You have enough of that money
3. You have constant income of that money

1  is not valid for BTC
2. might be valid when BTC price rose to enough high
3. Even if you are a large scale miner and you mine a couple of coins per day (only  3600 per day in total) , you will only be able to spend couple of coins per day at maximum



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