Right now the primary problem is technical- a vulnerability was found and exploited. The fact that the average user does not understand anything about "hacking" or how this happened works to Bitcoins benefit. If you are a technical user I'm told the hacks look far worse than they do to a laypeople like me.
Actually, it's not bitcoin that got pwnt, just a particular exchange service.
Precisely. Anything bad that happens anywhere, to anyone, or anything, even vaguely associated with bitcoin (even if it's only that they use it), must somehow be attributed to bitcoin itself. If bitcoin users cant draw a distinction between the security issues of a bitcoin exchange (hint Independent entity) and security issues of the bitcoin clients and network itself, how can we expect newcomers do so?
It's not that different from the CITI hack (nobody says "OMG dollar got hacked" because of that)
BTW theres a link for the MtGox 'security patch' in my signature.
Sadly, humans aren't rational utility maximizing AI bots
But now Jessy Kang has gone all tech savy, theres light at the end of the tunnel.
It's true though. Nevertheless there a particular kind of intrinsic utility, built into the bitcoin software and network, that doesn't require anybody to understand it, in order for it to procure significant accumulating benefits. The inflation of bitcoin value itself, will accumulate as an ongoing attraction and that will continue with adoption even after the bitcoin production dwindles to nothing. It's very simple economics really, but even then, you don't have to understand it for it to happen.
The fixed to total sum of bitcoin likewise makes existing inflation currencies look like dinosaurs. You don't have to read the source code and understand it, to see that value of a bitcoin it steadily performing better. It just works. And finally, the P2P nature of the network, is also a technological innovation that you don't need to understand to see it's benefit. So it's technologically superior, for geeks and all users alike. It's economically superior for economics savvy people and all users alike. It's also subversive and politically potent for those who understand the importance of this, but, as Atlas pointed out, like the other benefits, it is all intrinsic to the nature of bitcoin, which doesn't expect users to know anything (other than face vale) to benifit.
When TV was an emerging technology, who would have said, 'It'll never work because nobody understands all them little components inside or how the radio waves are supposed to carry pictures through the air. Nobody will adopt it because it cause it doesn't have any intrinsic value." People see it working and how it benefits them directly. They will download and use bitcoin just for P2P transactions. That's a huge value proposition right there. The business community will see the same value and also the swelling numbers of people, who have desktop and phone applications that enable transactions to occur and so they will see lots of $$$.
As a corporate shill with government ties (it's good that our jurisdiction has recently amended its laws so that conflict of interest is now de facto defined as "A thing that never happens") I must point out that you have a weirdly narrow definition of brands.
Well, yeah, I do realize is used in a broader context. The context of the OP and the more traditional concept of commercial branding, was the one I was addressing more specifically, with respect to business people coming here and expecting the bitcoin 'brand' to conform to their particular scope of 'top down'
, commercial marketing, image oriented hype. The issue is not really with the semantics of the word 'brand', so much as the opposite approach represented by grass roots, 'bottom up'
consumer driven technology, that liberates us from being seduced, by an insidious onslaught of opportunist marketing magicians. Branding is an overt strategy in this sense, and as such, is oriented to the masses as a means to manipulate them for the ends, of the self-interested commercial player. Those players, must not be allowed to intervene and make bitcoin the strings to pull in their top down puppet show.
There are many business owners who will not play, if they cant have it all their own way. They will take bitcoin users for puppets. It's not that hard to see, who has the most to gain, from removing the politics forum, as a strategically subversive ploy, to silence the will of the individual, under the pretense of image sanitizing the 'bitcoin brand' and to prevent the newcomers from finding a valuable resource of education and information that empowers them to know how to take this technology forward, as consumers, who are inverting the power base and taking back what government and industry have squandered.
Brands are best described as memes that deal with subjectively perceived value of a product, or a service, or a business.
That's an interesting description.
Older folk will have learned the meaning of 'brand' before the mid 70's and before they'd ever have adopted the word 'meme' though, which was coined by Richard Dawkins, in The Selfish Gene. (and I just realized, meme still shows up underlined as a spelling error on my system). There's an even more compelling argument to reconsider my claim to 'value' being intrinsic to the properties of the bitcoin software and network. As you point out the value is subjective
and it is must be perceived, in order to be valued. I have adopted more perfunctory short-hand in reference to value as being intrinsic to bitcoin. I am also aware that a much more pedantic assessment, would need to reconsider the designation of 'value' as a utility of the object. Utility, in economic terms is, "a measure of relative satisfaction". But here I refer to the word 'utility', in the colloquial context of 'usefulness', as a practical consequence of intrinsic properties, in contrast to the perceived value.
The utility of bitcoin itself, IS at least, partly intrinsic and objective (like gold), but it is also engineered to inevitably improve, in ways that are consistent with our subjective perception of value. The undeniable subjectivity of value
issue is of prime importance. It's the only answer needed for those who have decried bitcoin as 'funny money', because, so they complain, "it isn't backed by anything like gold or government endorsement". We've all heard the ballyhoo denigrating bitcoin for having no 'intrinsic value'. But all the best POTENTIAL value arises from the intrinsic, objective properties and thats important.
All currencies are valued as a meme of collective endorsement. To say bitcoin is a 'brand' might apply (loosely) to the software, network and community as a whole. But to call the bitcoins themselves, both a brand and a currency is an unusual idea to ponder. I mean we don't call our existing money a brand AFAIK. Nevertheless, a brand must be subject to consumer approval and have subjectively perceived value in order to succeed. A currency it seems, is also subject to the arbitrary whims, of subjective consumer consensus. They both have the properties of their value being proportional to subjective consumer approval. My preferred implementation of a brand however, involves a very tangible value proposition, which expects the value be derived from utility and not from artificial inflation of superficial marketing hype and coercive manipulation to sell the perception of value, rather than the genuine utilitarian benefits, of its intrinsic properties. Trouble is I don't know if that would count as branding. Telling like it, isn't popular in some places. Perhaps we could have some kinda slogan like:
Caveat Venditor - Cos the boots on the other foot now biach!
Just a short point list of thoughts in closing:
- We should try to keep a separate account when considering the value of bitcoin, that there is a difference between 'face' value of the bitcoin itself, and value of the bitcoin client software, the network and the community.
- All value is subjectively perceived, but may be derived objectively from utility as emergent value.
- Some value is derived from intrinsic objective properties and subjectively perceived as a result.
- Some value is derived from subjective perception alone, (or perhaps more like subjective projection)
- Tangible information derived from external objective source, must travel from outside to inside Ie: from source to mind
- Value attributed to anything prior to direct experience perception is projected and travels outward from mind to source
- Value worth paying for, is not derived from subjective perception alone.
- The emergent value of bitcoin is independent of the marketing appeal factor, in that
- small merchants will compete better then larger competitors will be compelled to adopt for same market,
- it has universal appeal for free instant transactions with no controlling body
- adoption will increase value leading to more adoption
- community support & OSS FTW
- inevitable inflation