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Author Topic: The smartest article on why Bitcoin won't become the next currency  (Read 6888 times)
DannyHamilton
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April 09, 2013, 05:35:53 PM
 #81

Why is there so much resistance to change? It's a protocol, not a bible..
It's quite clear that no currency or payment system will ever be completely satisfactory, but why not put some effort in making it evolve to the wishes of its users. As long as no-one has 51% or more voting power for change Grin

It is due to the design of bitcoin.  You can't make changes to the "core" aspects without nearly 100% consensus of all users.  The design prevents it.

Anything less than 100% consensus results in a forked blockchain with a "new" currency that is not bitcoin, but that some people might call bitcoin.

Put 30 people in a room and try to get them all to agree 100% on some simple change in their life, and you'll get an idea of how difficult a consensus is in a large group of people.  Now imagine thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people all over the world from various cultures and political situations all coming to a consensus on changes something as important to them as their money.

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April 09, 2013, 05:40:32 PM
 #82

Why is there so much resistance to change? It's a protocol, not a bible..
It's quite clear that no currency or payment system will ever be completely satisfactory, but why not put some effort in making it evolve to the wishes of its users. As long as no-one has 51% or more voting power for change Grin

It is due to the design of bitcoin.  You can't make changes to the "core" aspects without nearly 100% consensus of all users.  The design prevents it.

Anything less than 100% consensus results in a forked blockchain with a "new" currency that is not bitcoin, but that some people might call bitcoin.

Put 30 people in a room and try to get them all to agree 100% on some simple change in their life, and you'll get an idea of how difficult a consensus is in a large group of people.  Now imagine thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people all over the world from various cultures and political situations all coming to a consensus on changes something as important to them as their money.

i think you have this backwards. If even 1 person refuses to accept the change than he is the only person in the world using bitcoin. Everyone else in the world has just switched to a new cryptocurrency that they are calling bitcoin that is technically not bitcoin.

i suppose i could let the fork slide and call the new adapted currency bitcoin so long as literally 100% of people accept the change, but no less than 100%.

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April 09, 2013, 05:53:54 PM
 #83

i think you have this backwards. If even 1 person refuses to accept the change than he is the only person in the world using bitcoin. Everyone else in the world has just switched to a new cryptocurrency that they are calling bitcoin that is technically not bitcoin.

i suppose i could let the fork slide and call the new adapted currency bitcoin so long as literally 100% of people accept the change, but no less than 100%.

That's right. Makes me think bitcoin could be more like a framework than an actual implementation. But I have to be carefull.. That takes the value out of a coin.. Cool
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April 09, 2013, 06:32:23 PM
 #84

You're saying that since Bitcoin's current patterning is "more like" a commodity than a currency, currently, it must be treated like / considered a commodity?

It's called "price discovery."


Will it ever be stabilized? Who knows.

I can see price discovery, that is how the 'outside economy' values the 'bitcoin economy'. I can even get it that a bitcoin has a 'price' from that point of view. But price discovery shouldn't happen inside an economy. If 1 portion of Haagen Dasz strawberry cheesecake costs 0.25 BTC it costs 0.25BTC regardless of the 'exchange rate'. The price will change in time, off course but it is not determined by the exchange rate.(if the ice cream is produced completely within the economy...) The exchange rate is determined by the price of 1 portion Haagen Dasz. I don't see that happening with bitcoin today.
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April 09, 2013, 07:11:33 PM
 #85

i read the first couple paragraphs and just facepalmed that the article missed so many examples that disprove the article

Quote
There are a couple of reasons why the bubble is sure to burst. The first is just that it’s a bubble, and any chart which looks like the one at the top of this post is bound to end in tears at some point

here is a link to an image that gives away an example. i wont use the image tag as i dont want to give it away before you read what i had to say above first.

example

next is talking about why the article continues to assume btcoin is doomed to fail

Quote
But there’s a deeper reason, too — which is that bitcoins are an uncomfortable combination of commodity and currency. The commodity value of bitcoins is rooted in their currency value, but the more of a commodity they become, the less useful they are as a currency.

the same can be said about gold and silver. but guess what guys. while gold bars are for investors, gold nuggets, gold dust ingots and coins can be used as "currency".

hang on.. how about BITCOINS for investments. and satoshi's for currency.. problem solved.

that being said, bitcoin legally would never 100% replace FIAT, but keep in mind, there are 7 billion people in the world. it doesnt need EVERYONE holding bitcoin. infact it only takes TODAY 12 million people (amount of bitcoins in circulation today) to want to invest just one months salary of £$€1000 into bitcoin. to make bitcoin instantly worth £$€1000 each

that is just 0.17% of the population putting only EVER one months salary into bitcoin.

so how do you like them apples.

food for thought

in regards to the picture you posted. you cant even begin to compare a company growing over 6, 7, 8 years span to bitcoin growing over a couple of weeks. facebook users grew heavily over almost a decade because people like the service. Bitcoin grew heavily over a few weeks because of speculation and people trying to get rich quick.

its fine if you don't think bitcoin is in a bubble. that's your opionon.  but anyone who trys to deny that bitcoin is showing all the signs of a massive bubble are just being biased and refuse to accept reality.  the fact of the matter is bitcoin has all the signs of being a bubble. 

i love bitcoin and support it 100%. but to deny reality of the current situation is silly. maybe btc isn't ina  bubble, maybe it's really worth this much. but it certianly has every single indicator that you need to declare a bubble.

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April 09, 2013, 07:17:44 PM
 #86

Why is there so much resistance to change? It's a protocol, not a bible..

Because Bitcoin exists as independent nodes.  You can't force everyone to stop the old version.  The old version will always exist.  So in any controversial change the most likely scenario is an incompatible fork with some users/miners/merchants supporting one version and some supporting the other.

Of course both will call their version "Bitcoin" and that is just going to lead to chaos. 

There is no technical reason why tomorrow some % (no it doesn't need to be 51% it could be 1% or 99%) of miners don't change the rules so the block reward goes back to 50 BTC and says there forever.  It could be done.  It would be an almost trivial change from a technical standpoint.  However some majority of current users would refuse that change and keep running "original Bitcoin". 

For good or worse the core components of Bitcoin will probably never be changed.  The only changes which will occur are ones which are absolutely mandatory.  An example would be ECDSA is partially compromised so developers create a new address type using a more secure form of cryptography.  At some block after most nodes are aware of this change (and thus don't fork) transactions transfering funds from the old address to the new ones could be created.

Anything that doesn't need to change likely will never change.
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April 09, 2013, 07:30:44 PM
 #87

Because Bitcoin exists as independent nodes.  You can't force everyone to stop the old version.  The old version will always exist.  So in any controversial change the most likely scenario is an incompatible fork with some users/miners/merchants supporting one version and some supporting the other.

Of course both will call their version "Bitcoin" and that is just going to lead to chaos. 

There is no technical reason why tomorrow some % (no it doesn't need to be 51% it could be 1% or 99%) of miners don't change the rules so the block reward goes back to 50 BTC and says there forever.  It could be done.  It would be an almost trivial change from a technical standpoint.  However some majority of current users would refuse that change and keep running "original Bitcoin". 

For good or worse the core components of Bitcoin will probably never be changed.  The only changes which will occur are ones which are absolutely mandatory.  An example would be ECDSA is partially compromised so developers create a new address type using a more secure form of cryptography.  At some block after most nodes are aware of this change (and thus don't fork) transactions transfering funds from the old address to the new ones could be created.

Anything that doesn't need to change likely will never change.


I understand the reasoning behind fixating the rules.
But for some other (future) bitcoin offspring one can keep in mind that force usually accomplishes less than freedom in the long run.

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April 09, 2013, 07:49:54 PM
 #88

I understand the reasoning behind fixating the rules.
But for some other (future) bitcoin offspring one can keep in mind that force usually accomplishes less than freedom in the long run.

Force?  Freedom?

You are looking at the product of real freedom.  No one can force you to change your node's rules against your will.  That is freedom, but it goes both ways.  You likewise can't force anyone else to change their rules, and neither can anyone else.

Virtually everyone involved in bitcoin actually likes the current rules.  If we didn't, we wouldn't be here.  We don't believe that different rules will be any better, and no one can force us to follow rules that we don't like.  A couple billion dollars isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it is still a couple billion more than the closest competing ruleset, and the spread is increasing by leaps and bounds daily.

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April 09, 2013, 07:56:28 PM
 #89

I understand the reasoning behind fixating the rules.
But for some other (future) bitcoin offspring one can keep in mind that force usually accomplishes less than freedom in the long run.

Force?  Freedom?

You are looking at the product of real freedom.  No one can force you to change your node's rules against your will.  That is freedom, but it goes both ways.  You likewise can't force anyone else to change their rules, and neither can anyone else.

Virtually everyone involved in bitcoin actually likes the current rules.  If we didn't, we wouldn't be here.  We don't believe that different rules will be any better, and no one can force us to follow rules that we don't like.  A couple billion dollars isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it is still a couple billion more than the closest competing ruleset, and the spread is increasing by leaps and bounds daily.

Sorry to make you mad. I don't want to force my rules to anyone. I'm talking about letting rules find their way like the bitcoin price currently does. If 'we' didn't like it we wouldn't be here. But does it taste good or does it only smell good?
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April 09, 2013, 07:57:31 PM
 #90

It will slow down, eventually, it won't lead to a crash, because by then so much business and assets will be in bitcoin and all the merits and bonuses will still be there and it will be in all there best interests to continue using bitcoin.

It will continue to climb, people will eventually buy some, it will climb more, etc, etc.

It is .. *drum roll* Inevitable!
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April 09, 2013, 10:15:03 PM
 #91

There's a problem with OP's perspective: it is based on the idea that there is scarcity in the bitcoin supply.  In reality, there is no practical scarcity - I daresay for everyone on this board, their money supply will run out before they make it through the sale depth on Mt.Gox.

So with supply out of the equation, the remaining factor is how much money a bitcoin purchaser wants to spend.  They can choose to spend some USD on bitcoin, and some USD on Alpaca socks.  They may also choose to spend somewhat more USD on bitcoin, and some bitcoin on Alpaca socks.  At the end of the day, they have the same number of bitcoins.

Choosing to hold onto bitcoins due to expected price rise is fine, but it DOES NOT eliminate the possibility of boosting your supply of BTC a bit more than you had planned, then spending them on something.

There is no net difference whether you buy that blow with cash or BTC - your net investment in BTC is unaffected. 

The OP (and several recent articles) put forth the idea that deflation-prompted hoarding eliminates spending for something that can be freely exchanged in either direction at current prices.  This is a logical fallacy at best, and a red herring to boot.
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April 09, 2013, 11:04:57 PM
 #92

There's a problem with OP's perspective: it is based on the idea that there is scarcity in the bitcoin supply.  In reality, there is no practical scarcity - I daresay for everyone on this board, their money supply will run out before they make it through the sale depth on Mt.Gox.

I can't find an idea of scarcity in the opening topic  Huh
Besides that, isn't there a difference between scarcity in the bitcoin supply and the sale depth on gox? Oil seems to be getting scarcer but I bet noone on this board can make it trough the petrol depth of the local gas station
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April 09, 2013, 11:05:24 PM
 #93

I agree that the basic problem with currencies has always been price instability, in particularly governments' harmful management of currencies (a). That is the reason many people are attracted to bitcoin as an alternative to fiat currencies, and was undoubtedly one of the reasons why Satoshi created bitcoin (b). The ideal currency, on the other hand, wouldn't be a factor in people's economic decisions: they would be indifferent as to whether they held it or spent it (contrast that with bitcoin in April, 2013). It could then just be used for what money is for: transferring value over time and between people.

A formula can create price stability. Here's an example of how it could work. Like anything else, the price of a currency is set by supply and demand, so you'd have to adjust the supply of the currency to change with demand. You could use transaction volume (c) as a proxy for demand (or is it actual demand?). It's easy enough to increase the money supply: perhaps you could adjust block rewards. To reduce the money supply perhaps you could institute demurrage (holding) fees (Freicoin has implemented these) and destroy the coins collected through those fees.

How to implement this idea is the question. I doubt you could get a consensus among bitcoin miners to adopt this, but bitcoin has a big first-mover advantage.  

(a) Generally, this has been their desire to inflate currencies to pay their bills. In the most extreme cases currencies have been inflated out of existence, e.g. in Germany (the Weimar Republic) and Zimbabwe, and almost out of existence in Argentina. The asset bubble of the 2000s in the United States, which later crashed, is also an example (though housing policy contributed to that as well). There have historically been problems with deflation too, most notably the Great Depression.
(b) Satoshi encoded "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks" into the genesis block.
(c) A measure of recent transaction volume:

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April 09, 2013, 11:09:05 PM
 #94

It's swinging now because it is still in price discovery mode. Whether it is going to be $1 or $1,000,000 one day it's going to reach equilibrium.

Yes, equilibrium. That's EXACTLY what Bitcoin needs to be accepted as a currency. But when will that happen? For all we know, that might not happen until 2140, when the last bitcoin is mined. I would love to see Bitcoin become a currency, but it needs to hit that equilibrium point. How can we make it get to a point of equilibrium sooner rather than later?

By getting it up to a million or few million per coin sooner rather than later.

That was an easy one. Smiley

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April 09, 2013, 11:43:04 PM
 #95

I agree that the basic problem with currencies has always been price instability...

I posted a USD transaction volume graph there. I believe this (BTC) is the correct one.
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April 10, 2013, 06:35:40 AM
 #96

Because Bitcoin exists as independent nodes.  You can't force everyone to stop the old version.  The old version will always exist.  So in any controversial change the most likely scenario is an incompatible fork with some users/miners/merchants supporting one version and some supporting the other.

Of course both will call their version "Bitcoin" and that is just going to lead to chaos. 

What ever fork SilkRoads and Mt.Gox recognize as 'legit' and which is able to use their services will BE 'BitCoin'.   Miners will really have no say about it regardless of how much hash-power is on each side of the fork, the side that is orphaned from the SR-Gox service infrastructure will collapse so rapidly in value that miners will be driven out of business and forced to comply with the decisions of their new financial overlords.

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April 10, 2013, 06:36:18 AM
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JB:  The ideal currency, on the other hand, wouldn't be a factor in people's economic decisions: they would be indifferent as to whether they held it or spent it.

Thank you for giving Freicoin a mention.  This is a principle we at FRC embrace, but most people do not realize that money has a value called 'liquidity-premium', which is the value money gives due to the 'wild-card' effect of being able to convert it into ANYTHING at any time.  This premium is the source of interest and thus to equalize money with a generalized basket of goods money needs to lose ~5% of its purchasing power per year.  We implemented demurrage for this purpose alone, not a means of adjusting total money supply because these demurrage fees are immediately and perpetually re-injected into the supply to keep it constant.

While demurrage is a technically feasible and very fair way to lower money supply, the difficulty will always be in determining what the money supply SHOULD be and how rapidly it should get their.  I have little faith in transaction volume as a meaningful indicator of anything in BTC because it is so easily spoofed with circular transactions.  We discussed this heavily at FRC and ultimately rejected all existing internally generated measurements of BTC-like chains as inadequate, meaningless or highly manipulable.

The only remotely promising idea was to create a kind of internal bond market in which special transaction allow two people to take bets on expected inflation/deflation.  These bets then get averaged to yield an expected rate and then then money supply is adjusted until the prediction curve bends back to zero.  This proved beyond our skill to implement as it would be exceedingly complex.

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April 10, 2013, 06:38:16 AM
 #98

There's nothing inherent to any asset, including the USD or BTC, that makes it magically prone to price swings. That's retarded and you should feel bad for thinking this. This is just the early stages of a growth industry, where correct prices are very very difficult to discover. Merchants can simply self-stabilize by pegging to USD or something similar, and they do.

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April 10, 2013, 06:45:02 AM
 #99


Nobody is buying Bitcoins to spend them... people are buying Bitcoins to hoard them as speculative investments

Sorry, I spend them...
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April 10, 2013, 12:14:23 PM
 #100

The flaw of bubbling anything is inherent in us humans, if you want a babysitting currency you can go pick one of the dozens. Obviously the economy is going to attract a lot of "businessmen" at the current stage and could potentially harm people, bitcoin demagogues will probably try to portray Satoshi as a villain as a result. It is essentially very similar to 3d gun printing
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