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Author Topic: could bitcoin eventually *cause* a global economy meltdown?  (Read 2097 times)
chiropteran
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April 04, 2013, 03:11:11 PM
 #1

I see a potential chain-reaction occurring in the future.

1- Some incident occurs, (Cyprus) which in the absence of bitcoin would cause a hiccup in the economy but not total collapse.

2- Citizens flee the euro in favor of bitcoin, but at this point bitcoin is more well known and instead of being the 0.001% who go for bitcoin, it's more like 5-10%.

3- The mass exodus from the euro causes further dips in other countries and encourages more and more bitcoin adoption, combined with the fact bitcoin climb higher than ever due to new adopters.

4- Panic gets the other 90% interested in bitcoin, total collapse of the euro as everyone tries to dump it for bitcoin or alternate investments.

5- Global collapse as China and USA trade is affected due to loss of major European economic influences.

In the absence of bitcoin, the "incident" would just result in a minor hiccup of the system, and would eventually get worked out, after a number of people have their lives ruined.  But with bitcoin added to the equation, it seems like things could tumble out of control very quickly in the right situation.

Impossible?  Plausible?  Good sci-fi movie idea?

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DeathAndTaxes
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April 04, 2013, 03:19:27 PM
 #2

Simple version: no.

For there to be any disruption adoption would have to be on a massive scale (i.e. millions of new users every week).  Bitcoin would implode under such adoption.  The infrastructure (imagine MtGox getting hit with 200x as much volume .... next month), the codebase (not exactly Grandma friendly yet), and the protocol (unresolved issues like tx fee marketplace, 1MB limit, etc).

Now nothing of these are impossible obstacles but they will take time.  Bitcoin in 2013 looks a lot different then Bitcoin in 2009 and likewise Bitcoin in 2019 is going to look even better.   If millions upon millions of people poured into Bitcoin today it likely would freeze up.  Bitcoin would survive but it wouldn't be optimal.  Some nice 100% to 300% annual organic growth is much better.  It gives the "system" (the ecosystem of developers, clients, service providers, merchants, etc) to build up to that scale.

Note I am not saying I or anyone else should decide how much growth is too much.  It will happen automatically but as growth exceeds the capability of the "system" friction will be introduced which slows growth.
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April 04, 2013, 03:21:32 PM
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Widespread Bitcoin adoption might force price discovery of fraudulently-inflated asset values in the traditional banking system.

That would look like Bitcoin was causing a global economic meltdown, but it would actually just be exposing what already happened and what couldn't have been hidden forever anyway.
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April 05, 2013, 10:49:07 PM
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Widespread Bitcoin adoption might force price discovery of fraudulently-inflated asset values in the traditional banking system.

That would look like Bitcoin was causing a global economic meltdown, but it would actually just be exposing what already happened and what couldn't have been hidden forever anyway.

+1

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April 06, 2013, 05:16:10 AM
 #5

Simple version: no.

For there to be any disruption adoption would have to be on a massive scale (i.e. millions of new users every week).  Bitcoin would implode under such adoption.  The infrastructure (imagine MtGox getting hit with 200x as much volume .... next month), the codebase (not exactly Grandma friendly yet), and the protocol (unresolved issues like tx fee marketplace, 1MB limit, etc).

Now nothing of these are impossible obstacles but they will take time.  Bitcoin in 2013 looks a lot different then Bitcoin in 2009 and likewise Bitcoin in 2019 is going to look even better.   If millions upon millions of people poured into Bitcoin today it likely would freeze up.  Bitcoin would survive but it wouldn't be optimal.  Some nice 100% to 300% annual organic growth is much better.  It gives the "system" (the ecosystem of developers, clients, service providers, merchants, etc) to build up to that scale.

Note I am not saying I or anyone else should decide how much growth is too much.  It will happen automatically but as growth exceeds the capability of the "system" friction will be introduced which slows growth.

By the time there honestly 5% to 10% of people know about bitcoin perhaps these issues would have been resolved for the most part?


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April 06, 2013, 05:19:54 AM
 #6

Meltdown - no, some sort of reorganization - most likely.

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April 08, 2013, 03:08:11 AM
 #7

Widespread Bitcoin adoption might force price discovery of fraudulently-inflated asset values in the traditional banking system.

That would look like Bitcoin was causing a global economic meltdown, but it would actually just be exposing what already happened and what couldn't have been hidden forever anyway.

Exactly.  Along these lines, maybe it will reveal price discovery of fraudulently DEFLATED things like gold and silver.  Or maybe it already is doing this.  It seems like Bitcoin is doing what gold and silver SHOULD be doing while valued in an inflationary currency like the US dollar.
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April 08, 2013, 06:17:49 AM
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Simple version: no.

For there to be any disruption adoption would have to be on a massive scale (i.e. millions of new users every week).  Bitcoin would implode under such adoption.  The infrastructure (imagine MtGox getting hit with 200x as much volume .... next month), the codebase (not exactly Grandma friendly yet), and the protocol (unresolved issues like tx fee marketplace, 1MB limit, etc).

Now nothing of these are impossible obstacles but they will take time.  Bitcoin in 2013 looks a lot different then Bitcoin in 2009 and likewise Bitcoin in 2019 is going to look even better.   If millions upon millions of people poured into Bitcoin today it likely would freeze up.  Bitcoin would survive but it wouldn't be optimal.  Some nice 100% to 300% annual organic growth is much better.  It gives the "system" (the ecosystem of developers, clients, service providers, merchants, etc) to build up to that scale.

Note I am not saying I or anyone else should decide how much growth is too much.  It will happen automatically but as growth exceeds the capability of the "system" friction will be introduced which slows growth.
Actually I would say yes it can:
While its happening a reorganization of global markets and finance might seem slow happening over say 5 years, but in historical sense this would be faster than the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise and fall of Hitler and his 4th reich and the fall of the roman empire - all events usually considered dramatic and fast relative to their scale.

DeathAndTaxes is exactly right about the issues Bitcoin has, issues I feel are being ignored during this rally-frenzy, but given 5 years the major stuff could be resolved and MtGox could upgrade their servers in a matter of months - if they suddenly had that many more customers they would also have the money for it.

If I was the Argentine government or a major bank I would be scared shitless by exactly this meltdown scenario.

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April 08, 2013, 09:13:39 AM
 #9

Bitcoin is our chance to reset the clock, worldwide.

Some countries are still doing ok financially, but the ones that are not could bring down their house of cards, things like Cyprus leading to public loss of confidence and even hatred. "Bank" is becoming a dirty word now. I can see a place in the near future as more and more banks pull this kind of crap or collapse people could turn to the new breed of cryptocurreny instead of some other depreciating fiat asset in droves. Bitcoin could in theory slowly absorb the damage and systematically erase all debt at the same time, as remaining assets become Bitcoins and debt is naturally absolved. Control would shift out of the governments and banks hands into our own, creating the first user owned and operated global currency fit for the digital age.

Or Bitcoin will be worth 1 cent a coin tomorrow, who knows what happens now. This is the first time anything like this has ever been tried large scale. The world is about to get very interesting in the next few years I think. Once Bitcoin starts eating the USD's lunch there will be a good fireworks show when our all knowing government steps in to try and stop it from killing the FED. Which they will fail, as no government to date has ever stopped p2p tech. BitTorrent was the test case, now this freedom could literally save the world from itself by doing the same to money. Ill be on the front line to ensure this actually happens.

Idiots broke our whole economy so badly it cant be fixed now as Cyprus proves by just stealing a bailout from their customers in desperation to save their fractured infrastructure , the only solution is to start over. Bitcoin is starting over.


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April 08, 2013, 05:14:42 PM
 #10

If all of the worlds currency was converted into BTC, it would raise each bitcoin (assuming it has reached its maximum 21 Million coins), each Bitcoin would be worth about $3,000,000.

There is a loooong way to go for Bitcoin to reach epic heights in finance, but what we are seeing here I believe is just the beginning.

aquarius
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April 08, 2013, 07:05:46 PM
 #11

if you mean cause the old psychopathic command and control dinosaur monopoly of a system, then yes! let´s hope so!
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April 08, 2013, 07:06:23 PM
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if you mean replace the old psychopathic command and control dinosaur monopoly of a system, then yes! let´s hope so!
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April 09, 2013, 02:07:35 AM
 #13

It has already begun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHdHm-n2JPE

http://www.thebubblebubble.com

Bitcoin, the ONLY currency on Earth actually backed by some kind of hard standard, may literally be our salvation as the only option to move to as banks, governments, and world markets all burn down within the next 6 months and very quickly. Im investing it all into Bitcoin (all being a paltry sum for me) now. If I'm wrong so be it, but if I'm right Bitcoiners will be saved while the rest of the world is screwed.

This is scary and real, 2013 may be a year to end all years.

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April 09, 2013, 03:24:49 AM
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We should all hope that a bitcoin infrastructure can be put in place before the "global economy" collapses under it's own weight. I really hope it can be dragged out for another decade or so.
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April 09, 2013, 12:37:27 PM
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i don't think it can be seen as "could cause" since bitcoin already exists and is, even at the meager adoption levels we're seeing (compared globally, i mean) having an effect on things. it's more like there is, or will be, global economic meltdown, and bitcoin is a factor.
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April 09, 2013, 02:19:51 PM
 #16

Very good thread with good insights.
Remember that timing is alwasy very hard to guess. Things generally happen later than you might have thought, and once started, they happen faster than you might have thought.

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April 10, 2013, 12:28:34 PM
 #17

Seems the timing is perfect.

Old world money is about to burn down with no alternative as all currencies and several world markets are set to fail all at once...

Oh hai decentralized secure easy to use rapidly deployable standard-backed Bitcoin  Grin

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April 10, 2013, 01:45:44 PM
 #18

Widespread Bitcoin adoption might force price discovery of fraudulently-inflated asset values in the traditional banking system.

That would look like Bitcoin was causing a global economic meltdown, but it would actually just be exposing what already happened and what couldn't have been hidden forever anyway.
This is precisely what happened in Iceland

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