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Author Topic: Is competition healthy for Bitcoin?  (Read 11039 times)
markm
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February 03, 2013, 07:03:16 PM
 #21

It is hardly a strong basis for a currency that it has utility because the holders of the currency are idiots who can be exploited by outsiders. Smiley

Hmm maybe it is more like bimetalism where the rich get to exploit everyone else by see-saw-ing back and forth between "Van Gogh is the best" and "Picasso is the best", having a choice gives them mobility so if the poor end up with 51%+ of any one thing the rich can pooh-pooh it as common and shift their focus to something more exclusive, as in something the rich own the majority of.

Maybe in a way no so very different from building factories out west to sell housing near them to workers who have to migrate from the east, meanwhile buying up the houses left behind in the east, then later move the factories back east and sell the houses there they bought cheap back to the working class that has to again migrate to "where the money is"...

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February 03, 2013, 07:54:46 PM
 #22

Litecoins android to Bitcoins apple  Grin
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February 04, 2013, 05:34:04 AM
 #23

I think it's worth noting that Bitcoin is not proprietary technology so notions of competition may not fully apply. Its stakeholders are all the people who are interested in a free currency - so if someone comes up with a significantly better solution, we should have no problem shifting to that.

If Bitcoin develops in such a way that it retains its decentralized nature and its technical integrity, I'm not sure I see the advantage in having a diverse set of crypto-currencies - but I'm happy to be proven wrong.

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February 04, 2013, 06:51:23 AM
 #24

Competition ends up killing almost everything, it is bad for any particular thing at all in the longest run, but competition is certainly good for people/humanity.

Wow how wrong is this.

Car Industry: Ford, Toyota, Honda, Kia...etc.

Drinks: Pepsi, Coke...

...


Right...competition kills almost EVERYTHING.

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy


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February 04, 2013, 06:54:40 AM
 #25

It's maybe the phrase "litecoin is silver to bitcoins gold" (not sure who coined it) , that caught  my attention.

Only a fool would latch on to that sound bite.

Silver became "Gold's Silver" simply because of the constraints of physical metal.  It was not efficient to try to use Gold in transactions of modest value.  Bitcoin doesn't have that problem.  Unlike gold where a 0.1 gram coin would have huge cost overheads combined with difficulty in assaying Bitcoin works equally well in transactions of thousands of coins or less than a single Bitcoin.

"Bitcoin is Bitcoin's Silver" is a more accurate soundbite.  

That being said there is potential for alt-coins but the current crop of Bitcoin clones (including LTC) have no improved utility.

The first scenario is that Bitcoin fails and something superior replaces it.  For example after a massive 51% attack the idea of a POS coin (possible POW combined with POS) will be seen as potentially superior.

The second scenario is an alt-coin carving out a profitable niche.  Bitcoin has three major niches where it creates the potential for a superior alternative.  High speed transactions, microtransactions, improve anonymity.  However building a coin around one of these would require real research not just replacing SHA256 with another algorithm.  Also no simply changing the block target time to 60 second or 30 seconds wouldn't acheive much either.  I am talking REAL research, real out of the box thinking, coming out with a comprehensive system to bring VALUE to users.  

Yeah I guess that is why other car makers than Ford came about and are still alive right? Because they provided improved utility. They drive and transport. They do the exact same thing. Oh right now speed is an issue when driving right?

Oh well then Litecoin has faster confirmations...

You don't need improved utility to have something exist and be successful especially when it comes to free market choice.

People have traded sea shells as money in the past. That did not stop them from using sea shells even though gold and silver existed.

Free markets determine the viability of something's use when it comes to exchange not DEATH AND TAXES.

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February 04, 2013, 07:55:54 AM
 #26

Competition ends up killing almost everything, it is bad for any particular thing at all in the longest run, but competition is certainly good for people/humanity.

Wow how wrong is this.

Car Industry: Ford, Toyota, Honda, Kia...etc.

Drinks: Pepsi, Coke...

...


Right...competition kills almost EVERYTHING.

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy



Those will all be gone and it will be because they were out-competed.

I don't know what insane position you think I hold if it requires that nothing currently exists.

All those things you mention replaced things you probably never heard of. B brand buggy whips and yummy Y brand fizzy pop probably.

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February 04, 2013, 08:06:36 AM
 #27

Competition ends up killing almost everything, it is bad for any particular thing at all in the longest run, but competition is certainly good for people/humanity.

Wow how wrong is this.

Car Industry: Ford, Toyota, Honda, Kia...etc.

Drinks: Pepsi, Coke...

...


Right...competition kills almost EVERYTHING.

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy



Those will all be gone and it will be because they were out-competed.

I don't know what insane position you think I hold if it requires that nothing currently exists.

All those things you mention replaced things you probably never heard of. B brand buggy whips and yummy Y brand fizzy pop probably.

Competition keeps things in order. If there is only 1 vendor or one currency then the people who control that good or currency will have ultimate power. No incentive to be competitive to get users to use it.


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February 04, 2013, 08:08:55 AM
 #28

Competition ends up killing almost everything, it is bad for any particular thing at all in the longest run, but competition is certainly good for people/humanity.

Wow how wrong is this.

Car Industry: Ford, Toyota, Honda, Kia...etc.

Drinks: Pepsi, Coke...

...


Right...competition kills almost EVERYTHING.

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy



Those will all be gone and it will be because they were out-competed.

I don't know what insane position you think I hold if it requires that nothing currently exists.

All those things you mention replaced things you probably never heard of. B brand buggy whips and yummy Y brand fizzy pop probably.

Competition keeps things in order. If there is only 1 vendor or one currency then the people who control that good or currency will have ultimate power. No incentive to be competitive to get users to use it.



Absolutely. I don't mean that it's a bad thing that competition eventually kills everything. That means that the stuff that currently exists always tends toward awesome because of competition.

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February 04, 2013, 08:18:23 AM
 #29

Competition ends up killing almost everything, it is bad for any particular thing at all in the longest run, but competition is certainly good for people/humanity.

Wow how wrong is this.

Car Industry: Ford, Toyota, Honda, Kia...etc.

Drinks: Pepsi, Coke...

...


Right...competition kills almost EVERYTHING.

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy



Those will all be gone and it will be because they were out-competed.

I don't know what insane position you think I hold if it requires that nothing currently exists.

All those things you mention replaced things you probably never heard of. B brand buggy whips and yummy Y brand fizzy pop probably.

Competition keeps things in order. If there is only 1 vendor or one currency then the people who control that good or currency will have ultimate power. No incentive to be competitive to get users to use it.



Absolutely. I don't mean that it's a bad thing that competition eventually kills everything. That means that the stuff that currently exists always tends toward awesome because of competition.

You may want to reword your original statement. It is misleading.

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February 04, 2013, 12:35:26 PM
 #30

Competition is ALWAYS healthy

That is a very simplistic statement. The real world doesn't always function like a capitalist cartoon.

I don't actually think that competition (from other cryptocurrencies) is healthy for bitcoin during the embryonic stage of the project. 

Here is why: There is a limited number of people in the world who are able to donate their time and energy to grow the bitcoin project, AND who are believers in cryptocurrencies.   If we have several competing cryptocurrencies, some of the talented people working on bitcoin right now will be diverted to alt-currencies.  This will increase the risk of ALL cryptocurrencies failing, for example through an attack by a bitcoin enemy.

We are more likely to succeed if we all pull in the same direction.

Once bitcoin becomes widely adopted, by all means, bring on the competition.

But right now, this community is still too small, bitcoin is still too vulnerable, to be able to afford divisiveness.

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February 04, 2013, 12:41:20 PM
 #31

Consider someone who has a million or a few million bitcoins sitting arouind, and is thinking of buying a mansion or estate.

If they buy it with bitcoins, chances are a heck of a lot of those bitcoins will jit the markets, suppressing the price, and thus the perceived value to many people, of bitcoins.

Suppose instead they used their bitcoins as collateral for a loan, and bought the mansion with what they borrowed.

Again, chances are whatever they bought the mansion with would end up back on the market. If they use fiat, the fiat market is maybe huge enough that just one less than a hundred million dollar mansion or estate won't make a blip on the market.

But if there were enough alternatives out there so that one could use one(s) that are not as vast markets as the fiat markets, maybe their market(s) might blip, suppressing the price allowing the mansion-buyer to pick back up what they borrowed cheaper than the price is was valued at when they bought the mansion, thus effectively getting them the mansion cheaper than it would have been otherwise.

Meanwhile their bitcoin might be up another 25%, which they would have missed out on if they had parted with them...

A problem this scale reveals of course is that bitcoins are so cheap still that one cannot likely buy more than a few such relatively cheap estates without blipping the market.

(If "why not mortgage the estate itself" comes into it think shiploads of cocaine instead of estates maybe.)

-MarkM-



Yep. Do it like Larry Ellison http://www.cnbc.com/id/49194482/How_Larry_Ellison_Actually_Funds_His_Lavish_Lifestyle and unlike all the shipple selling themselves into debt slavery by taking out mortgages.

This is a smart way to "monetize" bitcoin fortunes for those marathon runners among bitcoiners.

However, nothing new here. Google "stock loan" or "securities based credit line" or "stock backed lending". This is actually the smart way of buying high value property as opposed to various mortgage products.

The idea is that instead of having a mortgage AKA "buying one house for yourself and two houses for the bank"  you borrow money using your stock portfolio as a collateral.

A typical "stock loan" is readily available for amounts above 100k$, you pledge your portfolio as collateral in exchange for some amount of money, you keep whatever dividends your stocks brings, you pay whatever interest rate is agreed until the loan is repaid. Usually such loans are not callable by the lender but debtor can walk away from the deal at any time and stop paying any interest without repaying any capital but sacrificing the portfolio. The creditor usually hedges all risks associated with such a deal using options. Think about it, dividends are (hopefully) paying lion share of interest, you keep your stocks and get back control of them after you will have paid out the loan. If stock drops to 0 or to some other low value you can walk away from the deal at any time without any further liabilities.

I would say this is the way to buy a house for those who have 100k$ in liquid assets. Of course this could be combined with traditional mortgage (at lower interest rates due to large LTV) if "top up" is needed.

Just to illustrate here is a simplified example.

You buy 430k$ worth of Realty Income Corp (NYSE:O), 10000 shares, 43$ each. It pays 5% dividend. You use this portfolio to get 400k$ loan at a fixed 3% interest. You buy yourself 400k$ house outright without any further lending. eventually dividends pay off the loan and you get your stock back. Or at any time (if stock tanks big time, for example) you just walk away and keep your house and have no any debts. Alternatively, if your stock rises significantly you can settle the loan for a portion of your portfolio and walk away with the rest of it.

Essentially, this way one turns the power of compound interest from one's enemy to one's friend, offsets interest with dividend, offsets inflation with stock price appreciation, lets lender to offset risks of stock depreciation.

Now enters Bitcoin. Imagine that a few years down the road Bitcoin trades on various financial exchanges just like all other currencies, there are liquid bitcoin ETF's which are optionable and these options are rather liquid with about the same liquidity as a typical S&P 500 stock (or simply liquid Bitcoin options).

Once the above conditions are in place it is likely that Bitcoin's market cap is around 1 billion USD (I use today's dollars i.e. ignoring fiat inflation for simplicity). Let's assume that 1 BTC worth about 1000$, for simplicity again.

I guess a typical deflationary Bitcoin loan in 4-8 years time (for Bitcoin owners) would be like the following:

You own 430 Bitcoins. You pledge it as a collateral for 400k$ at 3% interest. You buy a house outright. Every month the lender sells 0.1-1 BTC and/or you pony up some cash to pay the interest. Few years down the road your loan is paid up, you keep the house and , say, 430-N BTC that worth about the same amount of USD as your 430 BTC when you have bought the house.

So just have 1000 BTC and in a few years you will be able to use such or a similar scheme to buy yourself a house outright and keep most of your bitcoins in the process.

All you need for this to be a realistic scenario is a bunch of BTC and 1000$ exchange rate. At this point options on BTC and therefore "BTC collateralized lending" will be available.

Here is a bit of my wisdom for you: keep your bitcoins until you can buy a house (or an yacht or whatever) like that. Also note how no tax event is triggered in described above scenario. Note how one could become a tax exile for a year or so and move out his bitcoins out of a punitive taxable jurisdiction. Estate planning opportunities will be great for those who can keep their bitcoins untouched for a while.

 




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February 04, 2013, 02:18:55 PM
 #32

BTC have already too much competiton from other fiat currencies and it has not gained enough ground yet

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February 04, 2013, 07:03:08 PM
 #33

I think my reasoning why this would not be a good thing is probably not very original.  If 2 more or less identical currencies are being used, what is to stop people from using hundreds or thousands of coins.  Since this would only dilute the wealth, in effect the currencies themselves become worthless.

If I recompile bitcoin right now to start a new block chain with a new genesis block, using all the same rules as bitcoin, the worth of my new "Walter coins" will still not be equal to the worth of bitcoins, even though they are "identical" in the sense of using the same rules.  In fact, I'll bet a "Walter coin" wouldn't even be worth a Satoshi.

So yes, we could in effect have infinite coins, but they would not all have the worth of bitcoin.  Over time, some might become more valuable, and some coin might even take the crown from bitcoin.  But they will not dilute bitcoin (or it successor/s) down to being valueless.

Walter Rothbard
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February 04, 2013, 07:04:35 PM
 #34

Competition is ALWAYS healthy

That is a very simplistic statement. The real world doesn't always function like a capitalist cartoon.

I don't actually think that competition (from other cryptocurrencies) is healthy for bitcoin during the embryonic stage of the project. 

Here is why: There is a limited number of people in the world who are able to donate their time and energy to grow the bitcoin project, AND who are believers in cryptocurrencies.   If we have several competing cryptocurrencies, some of the talented people working on bitcoin right now will be diverted to alt-currencies.  This will increase the risk of ALL cryptocurrencies failing, for example through an attack by a bitcoin enemy.

You are exactly right.  We should shut down testnet.

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February 04, 2013, 07:11:46 PM
 #35

I think it is, and the different set-ups can have different advantages too, namecoin for example.

Also, people will be able to start their own currencies at will, for projects, cities etc.

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February 04, 2013, 07:47:03 PM
 #36

Thanks to Vladimir for a very informative post!
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February 04, 2013, 07:51:05 PM
 #37

First, anyone comparing crypto-currency competition to business competition is making a false analogy.

Second, no. It's not healthy.  LTC really doesn't do anything different than BTC except offer desperate miners another chance at printing their own money.  LTC discourages adoption as people think "Oh, I see. This is all a chance for people to try and get me to buy in X currency and then, when it is convenient, switch to Y currency and tell me to use that. Yeah, no thanks."

Just stop, ok?

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February 04, 2013, 08:03:26 PM
 #38

The possibility of an alternate cryptocurrency is very healthy for Bitcoin. It makes sure nobody gets complacent.

If another cryptocurrency actually sees significant adoption I think that should be treated as a failure. Bitcoin should work well enough that nobody needs to switch to an alternative.
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February 04, 2013, 08:07:22 PM
 #39

Just stop, ok?

I'll stop if you pay me to stop, in BTC. Smiley

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February 04, 2013, 09:36:23 PM
 #40

Jesus H Christ, the stupidity in this thread is fucking astounding. Competition between businesses in a market is healthy. Competing standards ARE NOT. Lets look at the web as an example - would we benefit from N incompatible versions of HTTP?

Decentralized cryptocurrencies are not businesses (DUH). We don't benefit by having many of them. We do benefit from competition among the goods and services built on top of it. Sure, we should have multiple competing exchanges. We definitely want competing solo and pool miners.

If anything, having a single cryptocurrency benefits us through the Network Effect (where the intrinsic value of the currency goes up as more people use it).

But Litecoin, et. al. along with all the people who promote them can kiss my taint.


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