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Author Topic: Western Union to begin accepting Bitcoin (WSJ)  (Read 7884 times)
lebing
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April 03, 2013, 06:28:06 AM
 #61

This makes obvious sense for WU but i thought they would be too stuck in their ways with admin inertia to jump on this wagon. It must be the old pioneering spirit of the railroad coming out.

The BIG win that WU could achieve here is to use bitcoin network as their backbone for transferring payments around and do away with their legacy infrastructure. Their WU affiliates in every office all over the world now only needs a bitcoin enabled PC running to send/receive payments.

WU would become the p2p fiat exchange for the masses with all their installed infrastructure ... and oh yeah, if you want to take buy/sell bitcoin from local WU office can do that too.

Exactly what I thought. But it's indeed hard to believe such a large corporation would have the guts to restructure itself this way. Many internal branches would have to be cut. There's lots of politics inside these large corporations. The people in charge would have to be very bold and ready to make lots of people very unhappy.

True. But if the CEO is smart and under alot of pressure from shareholders... its not uncommon for heads to roll.

Bro, do you even blockchain?
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April 03, 2013, 06:33:13 AM
 #62

This makes obvious sense for WU but i thought they would be too stuck in their ways with admin inertia to jump on this wagon. It must be the old pioneering spirit of the railroad coming out.

The BIG win that WU could achieve here is to use bitcoin network as their backbone for transferring payments around and do away with their legacy infrastructure. Their WU affiliates in every office all over the world now only needs a bitcoin enabled PC running to send/receive payments.

WU would become the p2p fiat exchange for the masses with all their installed infrastructure ... and oh yeah, if you want to take buy/sell bitcoin from local WU office can do that too.

Exactly what I thought. But it's indeed hard to believe such a large corporation would have the guts to restructure itself this way. Many internal branches would have to be cut. There's lots of politics inside these large corporations. The people in charge would have to be very bold and ready to make lots of people very unhappy.

I've thought about the WU piggy-backing P2P to subsidize its infrastructure angle too, and I ultimately come to the conclusion that WU would be taking a huge leap of faith on ... well ... basically Gavin, right? The SatoshiDice tx dust flap is the elephant in the room. Can Bitcoin scale?

As a Bitcoin bull, sure it's exciting, but if I were a WU shareholder I'd have serious reservations.

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
-- H.L. Mencken (1918)
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April 03, 2013, 06:41:56 AM
 #63

ultimately come to the conclusion that WU would be taking a huge leap of faith on ... well ... basically Gavin, right? The SatoshiDice tx dust flap is the elephant in the room. Can Bitcoin scale?

Bitcoin can surely scale. It can be larger than Visa in less than 5 years, if there's enough demand.
True, some people seem determined to do what they can to prevent that from happening. I think we'll end up having a fork at some point. Some people will remain on the old fork where no more than 7tps can happen, and others will migrate to the new, scalable Bitcoin. WU would have to be on the scalable branch, of course.

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April 03, 2013, 07:11:35 AM
 #64

At that point a WU office could be an ATM or a cyber cafe... same functionality, less 1800s feel.

All "WU offices" I've ever seen were either cyber cafés or post offices.

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April 03, 2013, 09:02:07 AM
 #65

Maybe it explains this:  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=159585.0

lebing
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April 03, 2013, 11:09:05 AM
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lol

Bro, do you even blockchain?
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April 03, 2013, 12:21:11 PM
 #67

ultimately come to the conclusion that WU would be taking a huge leap of faith on ... well ... basically Gavin, right? The SatoshiDice tx dust flap is the elephant in the room. Can Bitcoin scale?

Bitcoin can surely scale. It can be larger than Visa in less than 5 years, if there's enough demand.
True, some people seem determined to do what they can to prevent that from happening. I think we'll end up having a fork at some point. Some people will remain on the old fork where no more than 7tps can happen, and others will migrate to the new, scalable Bitcoin. WU would have to be on the scalable branch, of course.

While I agree with you, Bitcoin doesn't need to scale to suit WU's purposes. A lot of the transfers could be WU to WU, and never even touch the blockchain. Again, I'm not saying this will or even is likely to happen, I think corporations suffer from a distinct inertia problem that prevents them from this kind of reinvention, but if any company can, it should be WU. After all, they started off by sending messages on horses, didn't they?

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April 03, 2013, 12:32:32 PM
 #68

While I agree with you, Bitcoin doesn't need to scale to suit WU's purposes. A lot of the transfers could be WU to WU, and never even touch the blockchain.

I find this "enhanced-SWIFT" aspiration for Bitcoin so limited compared to everything it can do.... but anyway, I'll stop here in order not to derail this thread.

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April 03, 2013, 12:34:11 PM
 #69

While I agree with you, Bitcoin doesn't need to scale to suit WU's purposes. A lot of the transfers could be WU to WU, and never even touch the blockchain.

I find this "enhanced-SWIFT" aspiration for Bitcoin so limited compared to everything it can do.... but anyway, I'll stop here in order not to derail this thread.

I agree, btw, was just referring to the need to increase the block size as a necessary condition for WU adopting Bitcoin.

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April 03, 2013, 12:58:30 PM
 #70

ultimately come to the conclusion that WU would be taking a huge leap of faith on ... well ... basically Gavin, right? The SatoshiDice tx dust flap is the elephant in the room. Can Bitcoin scale?

Bitcoin can surely scale. It can be larger than Visa in less than 5 years, if there's enough demand.

Quote from:  Visa

130 million transactions per day


Good luck with that.
lebing
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April 03, 2013, 01:02:01 PM
 #71

ultimately come to the conclusion that WU would be taking a huge leap of faith on ... well ... basically Gavin, right? The SatoshiDice tx dust flap is the elephant in the room. Can Bitcoin scale?

Bitcoin can surely scale. It can be larger than Visa in less than 5 years, if there's enough demand.

Quote from:  Visa

130 million transactions per day


Good luck with that.

In simple terms, what exactly is the issue assuming the max size can be increased as necessary?

Bro, do you even blockchain?
-E Voorhees
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April 03, 2013, 01:21:53 PM
 #72

ultimately come to the conclusion that WU would be taking a huge leap of faith on ... well ... basically Gavin, right? The SatoshiDice tx dust flap is the elephant in the room. Can Bitcoin scale?

Bitcoin can surely scale. It can be larger than Visa in less than 5 years, if there's enough demand.

Quote from:  Visa

130 million transactions per day


Good luck with that.

In simple terms, what exactly is the issue assuming the max size can be increased as necessary?

The blockchain right now grows about 30 MB per day. That is at a daily volume of 60000 transactions.

Scaling up to Visa's level of transactions would translate to blockchain growth of 65 GB per day.

Median download speed for the US is 3 MB/sec. Downloading a 65GB file at that speed takes about 36 hours.
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April 03, 2013, 01:27:49 PM
 #73

... and then you win.

The gospel according to Satoshi - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Free bitcoin in ICELAND - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1610684
lebing
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April 03, 2013, 01:42:08 PM
 #74

ultimately come to the conclusion that WU would be taking a huge leap of faith on ... well ... basically Gavin, right? The SatoshiDice tx dust flap is the elephant in the room. Can Bitcoin scale?

Bitcoin can surely scale. It can be larger than Visa in less than 5 years, if there's enough demand.

Quote from:  Visa

130 million transactions per day


Good luck with that.

In simple terms, what exactly is the issue assuming the max size can be increased as necessary?

The blockchain right now grows about 30 MB per day. That is at a daily volume of 60000 transactions.

Scaling up to Visa's level of transactions would translate to blockchain growth of 65 GB per day.

Median download speed for the US is 3 MB/sec. Downloading a 65GB file at that speed takes about 36 hours.


This argument is akin to saying that we will never be able to watch movies on the internet when we were running dial up. Both bitcoins pruning ability and other technology will be upgraded (we are still in beta, remember) and the internet's pipes are going to get MUCH larger (As soon as google decides to roll out their internet to the rest of the US/world). Additionally, your entire argument hinges on decentralization by people, not corporate entities, which in a worst case scenario would be entirely acceptable to keep the blockchain going strong.

Bro, do you even blockchain?
-E Voorhees
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April 03, 2013, 02:13:11 PM
 #75

For the record,  it appears Wall Street likes their decision.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=wu&ql=1

Not hugely up,  but if the announcement was "garbage" in their eyes it would be down.



Ah, yup.  Don't  read the news.  Read the markets.

This post should be required reading. You will never make a killing in the market by reacting to the reacting of the media. By the time they know about it the "killing it" phase is over.

The gospel according to Satoshi - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Free bitcoin in ICELAND - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1610684
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April 03, 2013, 04:29:19 PM
 #76

The blockchain right now grows about 30 MB per day. That is at a daily volume of 60000 transactions.

Scaling up to Visa's level of transactions would translate to blockchain growth of 65 GB per day.

Median download speed for the US is 3 MB/sec. Downloading a 65GB file at that speed takes about 36 hours.

You really need to read (or re-read) this:

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Scalability

Bitcoin can handle VISA's traffic using today's tech already, though it might cost a bit for full-node miners to keep up (fyi, my shitty mining rig is earning me about $100 a month of after-electric profit, which is easily enough to increase my storage by 2TB every month). Comcast (what most people use in my area) has 20MB/sec speeds as their cheapest option. If blockchain growth becomes an issue, block pruning will become the top priority and this issue will be fixed. Everyone who is not a miner (most of the people using Bitcoin) only need to download information for the transactions relevant to them, which takes almost no bandwidth or memory at all (that's why you can run a full, not web-based, Bitcoin wallet app on a smartphone)

Kazu
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April 03, 2013, 05:02:34 PM
 #77

If Bitcoin becomes really big, all that will happen is that the normal Bitcoin-Qt client will only be used by big companies and people who are obsessed with controlling their own wallet, and web-wallets will end up being used all the time, with (smart) people downloading their wallet.dat file daily just in case something goes wrong with their particular web-wallet.

That doesn't seem to me that BTC doesn't scale well, it scales better than 99% of other things. However it does mean that people will have to adapt a tad, which is to be expected.

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April 03, 2013, 05:08:47 PM
 #78

If Bitcoin becomes really big, all that will happen is that the normal Bitcoin-Qt client will only be used by big companies and people who are obsessed with controlling their own wallet like not losing money, and web-wallets will end up being used all the time, by people who like being stolen from with (smart) people using offline or hardware wallets downloading their wallet.dat file daily just in case something goes wrong with their particular web-wallet.
Fixed.
Kazu
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April 03, 2013, 05:32:55 PM
 #79

If Bitcoin becomes really big, all that will happen is that the normal Bitcoin-Qt client will only be used by big companies and people who are obsessed with controlling their own wallet like not losing money, and web-wallets will end up being used all the time, by people who like being stolen from with (smart) people using offline or hardware wallets downloading their wallet.dat file daily just in case something goes wrong with their particular web-wallet.
Fixed.

I don't get what you have against web-wallets. Everybody already has to trust the banks. I trust things like blockchain.info much more than the banks considering they actually don't have control over my wallet file. The vast majority of people out there simply aren't going to have the knowledge needed to control their own wallet.

Offline wallets are always a good idea, however.

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April 03, 2013, 05:54:19 PM
 #80

I don't get what you have against web-wallets.
Mostly it's about how they all eventually lose coins.

Everybody already has to trust the banks.
Not anymore.

I trust things like blockchain.info much more than the banks considering they actually don't have control over my wallet file.
Because of their superior design compared to other web wallets, I consider them to be suitable for holding small amounts of funds on the same order as the amount I am willing to carry around as physical cash.

The vast majority of people out there simply aren't going to have the knowledge needed to control their own wallet.
They will eventually obtain that knowledge. It's only a matter of how much money they will have to lose before they decide to learn.
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