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Author Topic: Paper bitcoins (bitnotes). Is it worth it?  (Read 3538 times)
deisik
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December 11, 2016, 04:43:32 PM
 #21

It does not make a lot of sense

It would make sense if there is no more fiat around, and Bitcoin is accepted as a universal means of payment

That's a big IF Smiley

If wishes were horses beggars might ride

Let's consider this scenario. Assume that there is no fiat money around, and people use bitcoin everywhere. Additionally assume that because of the inconvenience of being online all the time (hey, how do those poor folks live without facebook?), people resort to paper bitcoins. As banks see that printing paper bitcoins is a lot easier than mining real bitcoins, they just print some more when they need more money. As long as all the paper bitcoins stay in circulation and are used to pay for goods or services, nobody will complain. Only when someone does the math and realizes that there are many more than 21 million paper bitcoins in circulation, they will realize that one paper bitcoin is not worth a true bitcoin anymore

I'm well familiar with that

And that was precisely the point of my second question. Namely, if we can't prevent Bitcoin banks from issuing paper bitcoins altogether (which they will certainly start to issue provided they become interested in Bitcoin somehow in the first place), is there a way to make them not issue more paper bitcoins than they actually have in their wallets? Quite naturally, the banks would claim that they will follow this requirement, but talk is cheap, and they would have to prove their claims in some way. So, which is the best way?

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December 11, 2016, 04:54:40 PM
 #22

Like gold bitcoin are not subject to risk of loss or getting theft so why would anybody like to store their bitcoin in banks vault?
Also there will be nothing that can stop banks from issuing more certificates than the actual amount of bitcoin they have in their wallets.

Better solution for offline transaction could be bitcoin paper wallet rather than those certificates. However your idea seems quite complicated and even harder to implement.

Paper bitcoin use looks to be a better option for common people to start using bitcoin similar to traditional currency, but accessing is possible only with the help of paper wallets. So I too think it's hard to implement right now as described by the above mate.

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December 11, 2016, 04:59:03 PM
 #23

You mentioned preventing banks from issuing paper bitcoins. I don't see a problem with it as long as it isn't an IOU, and that paper/device was trustless like OpenDime.














 

 

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deisik
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December 11, 2016, 05:08:41 PM
 #24

Like gold bitcoin are not subject to risk of loss or getting theft so why would anybody like to store their bitcoin in banks vault?
Also there will be nothing that can stop banks from issuing more certificates than the actual amount of bitcoin they have in their wallets.

Better solution for offline transaction could be bitcoin paper wallet rather than those certificates. However your idea seems quite complicated and even harder to implement.

Paper bitcoin use looks to be a better option for common people to start using bitcoin similar to traditional currency, but accessing is possible only with the help of paper wallets. So I too think it's hard to implement right now as described by the above mate.

Paper bitcoins have nothing to do with paper wallets apart from having the word "paper" as a characteristic of them (which is different in each case, anyway). The concept of paper bitcoins may be hard to understand, but it is trivial to implement. Many people are implementing this concept themselves when they borrow or lend money to their friends or other people. Paper bitcoins (or Bitcoin certificates) are basically a document used to acknowledge that someone (bank) owes money to the bearer of them...

In this case, this sum of money will be a certain amount of bitcoins

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December 11, 2016, 05:39:01 PM
 #25

If the paper notes contain a bitcoin address where the denoted amount is held, they could be checked occasionally while a merchant holds them who is online. That still leaves the problem that separate paper notes could contain the same bitcoin address, either because the bank cheats and prints several notes with the same address, or because a counterfeiter creates a fake note with the same address.

Onkel Paul

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December 11, 2016, 06:34:39 PM
 #26

If the paper notes contain a bitcoin address where the denoted amount is held, they could be checked occasionally while a merchant holds them who is online. That still leaves the problem that separate paper notes could contain the same bitcoin address, either because the bank cheats and prints several notes with the same address, or because a counterfeiter creates a fake note with the same address.

Onkel Paul

Let's assume that the banks don't actually want to fiddle with the amount of paper bitcoins issued. Banks understand that Bitcoin people won't trust them and their promissory notes at all unless they can offer an easy and reliable method of checking whether the amount of paper bitcoins actually matches the amount of real bitcoins. Indeed, banks wouldn't be particularly interested in disclosing information about how wealthy they are, but, on the other hand, all we need to know is whether these amounts match, not so much the amounts themselves...

Assuming benevolence and integrity of the banks, what could they do to prove their adherence to these qualities?

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December 12, 2016, 05:06:05 AM
 #27

It is an established fact that bitcoins aren't very useful for offline transactions (even if you could use, for example, OpenDime devices for making such transactions). If Bitcoin banks are allowed, they would most certainly start issuing Bitcoin certificates (let's call them paper bitcoins), like many banks did in the 19th century with gold. These certificates could easily serve as paper money of sorts and thus solve the issue with offline transactions. The main problem with this approach is that banks might start (and most likely will) issue more paper bitcoins than the amount of real bitcoins in their wallet. So this raises two questions. Namely, if it is possible to prevent Bitcoin banks from issuing paper bitcoins altogether once they get allowed and start popping up here and there, and if there is a way to make these banks to limit the amount of paper bitcoins so it would match the amount of real bitcoins they have...

I think we might eventually have to face these issues, especially if Bitcoin gets more traction in the future

If you extend the traditional banking model to banks, they would just lend out the bitcoins that you deposit in them.
The bitcoins deposited will be in an account balance, tagged to you. We are not in age of bearer deposits any more.  Smiley

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December 12, 2016, 06:21:46 AM
 #28

It is an established fact that bitcoins aren't very useful for offline transactions (even if you could use, for example, OpenDime devices for making such transactions). If Bitcoin banks are allowed, they would most certainly start issuing Bitcoin certificates (let's call them paper bitcoins), like many banks did in the 19th century with gold. These certificates could easily serve as paper money of sorts and thus solve the issue with offline transactions. The main problem with this approach is that banks might start (and most likely will) issue more paper bitcoins than the amount of real bitcoins in their wallet. So this raises two questions. Namely, if it is possible to prevent Bitcoin banks from issuing paper bitcoins altogether once they get allowed and start popping up here and there, and if there is a way to make these banks to limit the amount of paper bitcoins so it would match the amount of real bitcoins they have...

I think we might eventually have to face these issues, especially if Bitcoin gets more traction in the future

If you extend the traditional banking model to banks, they would just lend out the bitcoins that you deposit in them.
The bitcoins deposited will be in an account balance, tagged to you. We are not in age of bearer deposits any moreSmiley

Things may change in the future

We are no longer in the age of bearer deposits simply because fiat makes such deposits irrelevant. Today banks don't need to issue paper money at all (Central Bank does that), but they still issue an unlimited amount of debt (not quite unlimited in fact since it is evidently limited by the number of people willing to borrow), which could be loosely considered as basically the same bearer deposit notes in disguise. But Bitcoin is not fiat, it can't be issued conditionally arbitrary

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December 12, 2016, 07:42:10 AM
 #29

All of the future options of the bitcoin, like long, shorts and leveraged position are in a sense a paper bitcoin that exists only as a fiction on the exchange. So we already have such an assets in the bitcoin world, im sorry to say.
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December 12, 2016, 07:58:24 AM
 #30

It may be not a bad idea to solve the problem of scaling Bitcoin. I don't see much harm in banks abusing this and issuing more "bitnotes" than bitcoins they have in reserves. If bearers of bitnotes can no longer redeem notes as advertised, that particular bank will go bankrupt and be purged from the economy. There is no central bank to bail it out that can quantitatively ease to infinity. The damage will be limited unless the inflationary settings of Bitcoin itself change.

This is not a bad solution to the scaling problem, but Bitcoin has other problems - I still think Bitcoin is only a pilot project and will lose substantial market share with time.

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December 12, 2016, 08:00:36 AM
 #31

All of the future options of the bitcoin, like long, shorts and leveraged position are in a sense a paper bitcoin that exists only as a fiction on the exchange. So we already have such an assets in the bitcoin world, im sorry to say.

You have nothing to apologize for

The emergence of Bitcoin leverage was predetermined, in a sense. It was just a matter of time and Bitcoin adoption. Strictly speaking, we are not quite there yet. When true derivatives of Bitcoin such as futures, options and swaps show up in massive amounts, only then could we say that Bitcoin became a full-fledged financial asset, ready for mass adoption by crowds of professional speculators. Until then, it is only a fancy toy of wannabe traders and die-hard Bitcoin enthusiasts

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December 12, 2016, 09:35:28 AM
 #32

It does not make a lot of sense

It would make sense if there is no more fiat around, and Bitcoin is accepted as a universal means of payment

That's a big IF Smiley

If Bitcoin banks aren't going to abuse the system of paper bitcoins...

That's an even bigger IF Smiley

Yeah, it seems impossible and not realistic right now but maybe in the future there is someone or a bank that makes it come true, we don't know yet how technology lead us, an innovation is always needed. There are a lot of homework to do if paper bitcoin will issues, the most important is about security of private key and forgery such as others had mentioned.
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December 12, 2016, 09:58:32 AM
 #33

It may be not a bad idea to solve the problem of scaling Bitcoin. I don't see much harm in banks abusing this and issuing more "bitnotes" than bitcoins they have in reserves. If bearers of bitnotes can no longer redeem notes as advertised, that particular bank will go bankrupt and be purged from the economy. There is no central bank to bail it out that can quantitatively ease to infinity. The damage will be limited unless the inflationary settings of Bitcoin itself change

I think that you are sarcastic

If banks start defaulting on their bitnotes (I will use this term to avoid confusion with paper wallets), they will be scamming on people just like any other Bitcoin scams out there. To say that it wouldn't hurt Bitcoin is basically equal to saying that scams don't hurt Bitcoin either, which is obviously very far from truth. People even tend to blame Bitcoin itself for facilitating the spread of such fraudulent schemes

Yeah, it seems impossible and not realistic right now but maybe in the future there is someone or a bank that makes it come true, we don't know yet how technology lead us, an innovation is always needed. There are a lot of homework to do if paper bitcoin will issues, the most important is about security of private key and forgery such as others had mentioned.

The issues you are talking about are not very different from the ones faced by any web wallet. In fact, they are pretty much the same

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December 12, 2016, 11:21:39 AM
 #34

This would not be good idea if someone is start printing it it will end up controlling it maybe this is my point of view but i have some bad feeling ans i dont like this idea or speculation. Who will then be in charge for printing government and that is main i dont like this who else would be able to print it




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December 12, 2016, 11:22:35 AM
 #35

I think that you are sarcastic

If banks start defaulting on their bitnotes (I will use this term to avoid confusion with paper wallets), they will be scamming on people just like any other Bitcoin scams out there. To say that it wouldn't hurt Bitcoin is basically equal to saying that scams don't hurt Bitcoin either, which is obviously very far from truth. People even tend to blame Bitcoin itself for facilitating the spread of such fraudulent schemes


There is not a bit of sarcasm. The current technical design of Bitcoin doesn't permit scaling other than via centralized hubs (banks, payment processors). Centralized hubs guarantee abuses and scamming will happen. So what? Some people compare Bitcoin to gold, digital gold. Scams in the history of gold didn't seem to affect its attractiveness. Besides, as I said, damage will be limited (like it was in the bank runs for fractional gold in the 19th century), compared to infinite damage of bail-outs/ins coming from limitless money printing when there is no hard asset to redeem backing currency in circulation.

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December 12, 2016, 11:28:27 AM
 #36

If the paper notes contain a bitcoin address where the denoted amount is held, they could be checked occasionally while a merchant holds them who is online. That still leaves the problem that separate paper notes could contain the same bitcoin address, either because the bank cheats and prints several notes with the same address, or because a counterfeiter creates a fake note with the same address.

Onkel Paul

Correct. While paper bitcoin really is easily implemented as a mere physical documentation of the ledger or blockchain asset, a transaction still has not taken place with the handing over of paper bitcoin.

Unless private keys are somehow transferred along with the paper money there is no way to ensure the bitcoin on paper can't also be spent first neither can counterfeiting be prevented or checked without electronic access.

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December 12, 2016, 11:33:09 AM
 #37

Paper bitcoins is a great idea if only bitcoins have replaced fiat currency. But given bitcoins situation right now, fiat currency is still the legal tender in the world and so it cannot allow paper bitcoins to be used in the market since there are no mechanisms to double check it, there maybe scammers who will print more paper bitcoins since there are no established agency yet to function and monitor its movements.
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December 12, 2016, 02:11:05 PM
 #38

Maybe it will be a good idea as a transitional model to full blown digital only scenario, because old people are too dumb to deal with technology and they only understand coins and bills, so we could make some sort of printed bitcoins but they could never be outside of the blockchain, otherwise you create the same problem all over again within the bitcoin ecosystem.
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December 12, 2016, 02:51:20 PM
 #39

I think that you are sarcastic

If banks start defaulting on their bitnotes (I will use this term to avoid confusion with paper wallets), they will be scamming on people just like any other Bitcoin scams out there. To say that it wouldn't hurt Bitcoin is basically equal to saying that scams don't hurt Bitcoin either, which is obviously very far from truth. People even tend to blame Bitcoin itself for facilitating the spread of such fraudulent schemes


There is not a bit of sarcasm. The current technical design of Bitcoin doesn't permit scaling other than via centralized hubs (banks, payment processors). Centralized hubs guarantee abuses and scamming will happen. So what? Some people compare Bitcoin to gold, digital gold. Scams in the history of gold didn't seem to affect its attractiveness. Besides, as I said, damage will be limited (like it was in the bank runs for fractional gold in the 19th century), compared to infinite damage of bail-outs/ins coming from limitless money printing when there is no hard asset to redeem backing currency in circulation.

Wasn't I telling exactly the same in this thread?

I'm heavily inclined to think myself that centralization greatly contributes to scamming and abusing the system, but this doesn't mean that we should just silently accept it. Gold didn't lose its shine and lustre for being used as a tool for scamming in the past, but this might not be the case with Bitcoin. In this way, it is utterly important to develop the means which would allow the transparency of these "centralized hubs". It is not possible with gold, but is it not possible with Bitcoin either, given its nature (I mean the blockchain technology)?

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December 12, 2016, 03:04:47 PM
 #40

It would not surprise me to see paper or coins backed by BTC catch on just as deisik described. Personally I am not a big fan of theses ideas because they introduce opportunities to counterfeit and because it'/s just a piece of paper. It is why I don't buy "paper gold" either. In that system you pay for gold and get paper and a promise. No thanks. Embarrassed

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