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Author Topic: If bitcoin isn't the best cryptocurrency, will we ever know?  (Read 1674 times)
lemonginger
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June 17, 2011, 02:56:07 PM
 #1

Haven't had my coffee yet,so this will be a little jumbled

It seems that somewhere along the development of bitcoin, the conversation drifted from how do we make this a functioning currency to how can this currency make me rich. (yes i'm overgeneralizing by a lot) now, contrary to the beliefs of some capital-L Libertarians, I don't actually think that a bunch of people trying to get rich actually automatically results in the best outcome for everyone. I guess my worry is that due to the value of bitcoin, we have moved out of the experimentation phase, but I don't think bitcoin -- in either the software sense or in the conceptual sense  -- is ready to move out of that experiment phase.

And yes, obviously part of the answer to this is the code is open source, create a new blockchain with other features if you want. BUT I have the feeling that even if a far superior (you can define that in you head however you want) p2p cryptocurrency emerged next week, there would be tons of people on here trying to convince people NOT to use it just because they know that it would decrease the value of their bitcoins.

Does that make sense?

The flipside of course is that it is the value of bitcoins that is going to drive the innovation that will make this a far better cryptocurrency than any other possible future alternative. Which I can also see. But there is a brittleness that starts to creep in as well (ie; the arguments over the decimal point thing, etc, etc)
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hazek
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June 17, 2011, 03:02:18 PM
 #2

Of course we will. As long as that better cryptocurrency gets a fair shot at making the market aware of itself the market is going to eventually switch over to it.

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June 17, 2011, 03:07:02 PM
 #3

I want the next version of bitcoin to have a way for the private keys to be stored on a microchip and that chip implanted in my brain. This way the only way someone could steal from me would be to kill me.

unbuttered_toast
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June 17, 2011, 03:12:00 PM
 #4

Maybe it's because I haven't had enough coffee yet either, but I'm with the OP. What makes Bitcoins valuable is people agreeing to use them. Bitcoin-clone-redux 5 isn't going to pull users away from Bitcoin, because Bitcoin is good enough, and getting people to put trust into a currency like this is difficult. Technology, generally, has a long history of the "good enough" stomping all over the "better".
unk
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June 17, 2011, 03:23:29 PM
 #5

Haven't had my coffee yet,so this will be a little jumbled

It seems that somewhere along the development of bitcoin, the conversation drifted from how do we make this a functioning currency to how can this currency make me rich. (yes i'm overgeneralizing by a lot) now, contrary to the beliefs of some capital-L Libertarians, I don't actually think that a bunch of people trying to get rich actually automatically results in the best outcome for everyone. I guess my worry is that due to the value of bitcoin, we have moved out of the experimentation phase, but I don't think bitcoin -- in either the software sense or in the conceptual sense  -- is ready to move out of that experiment phase.

And yes, obviously part of the answer to this is the code is open source, create a new blockchain with other features if you want. BUT I have the feeling that even if a far superior (you can define that in you head however you want) p2p cryptocurrency emerged next week, there would be tons of people on here trying to convince people NOT to use it just because they know that it would decrease the value of their bitcoins.

Does that make sense?

i largely agree with the sentiment and think you've put it well. i don't trace the problem in quite the same way to the direct incentives that the current block chain provides, however. that may be part of the problem (that bitcoin grew too quickly and crowded out experimentation now that people feel they have a stake in the currently prominent block chain), but i also think there's simply a social dysfunction in the forum that's bled over into the development group.

bitcoin unfortunately is very difficult to change. some of that's down to the inflexibility of the core protocol, but there are accidental, less productive reasons for that problem as well. adjusting the code of the mainline client requires more skill than contributing to other open-source projects, and few people - even among those who have actually contributed code - have a good understanding of all pieces of bitcoin. most programmers have the capacity to write the same kind of program over and over, and bitcoin falls into a gap that demands a collection of skills that few people have. also, the main c++ client isn't written in a way that makes it easy for most people to understand. that discourages contribution, and then, among the relative handful of us remaining who could help, the bizarre extremism of the community here serves as an additional deterrent. development of the mainline client proceeds very slowly and cautiously as a result, without much apparent desire to experiment.

in any case, putting that all aside, i still agree with you. i've long said that the current block chain is a barrier to bitcoin's general adoption and will likely prevent it from growing in a way that actually helps the world meaningfully, and that's a shame. i'd trade my 12000+ bitcoins in that chain for a different community and a more flexible system, but no way to do that occurs to me. i've sometimes thought of simply trying to start an alternative block chain with a version of the client that implements a variety of the best changes that have been suggested in the forum, and then working with contacts at a moderately sized regional bank in the united states to get them to promote it and serve as a regulated, legitimate onshore exchange, but i'm waiting to see what happens with the current wave of regulatory efforts there first.

Quote from: Holliday
When a better cryptocurrency comes along, no argument from a bunch of forum users is going to stop people from choosing the better product.
Quote from: hazek
Of course we will. As long as that better cryptocurrency gets a fair shot at making the market aware of itself the market is going to eventually switch over to it.

as is common in what passes for economic reasoning in these forums, having faith in these beliefs ignores network effects and all other costs of transition. it also ignores the very significant dishonest marketing push that the currently prominent block chain gets as a result of the efforts of people in this forum.
hazek
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June 17, 2011, 03:29:15 PM
 #6

Maybe it's because I haven't had enough coffee yet either, but I'm with the OP. What makes Bitcoins valuable is people agreeing to use them. Bitcoin-clone-redux 5 isn't going to pull users away from Bitcoin, because Bitcoin is good enough, and getting people to put trust into a currency like this is difficult. Technology, generally, has a long history of the "good enough" stomping all over the "better".

You couldn't be more wrong. I didn't agree with anyone to use Bitcoin! I use them because I like their properties and their utility and because I know others do too. So if something else comes along with better properties and higher utility I'll mostly likely sooner or latter switch as will the rest of the Bitcoin users.

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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June 17, 2011, 03:34:34 PM
 #7

I want the next version of bitcoin to have a way for the private keys to be stored on a microchip and that chip implanted in my brain. This way the only way someone could steal from me would be to kill me.

Dude, you like dropping memes. A lil too much for my taste.

I smell troll. Of course it just might be those you've been hanging 'round. Da, comrade?

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hazek
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June 17, 2011, 03:35:28 PM
 #8

i've sometimes thought of simply trying to start an alternative block chain with a version of the client that implements a variety of the best changes that have been suggested in the forum, and then working with contacts at a moderately sized regional bank in the united states to get them to promote it and serve as a regulated, legitimate onshore exchange, but i'm waiting to see what happens with the current wave of regulatory efforts there first.

In other words you're not willing to put your money and effort where your mouth is. You disagree with the properties of the current blockchain and yet you'll stick with it cause it's convinient for you and at the same time you'll badmouth those who do the same?

GTFO here.  Roll Eyes

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

If however you enjoyed my post: 15j781DjuJeVsZgYbDVt2NZsGrWKRWFHpp
allinvain
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June 17, 2011, 03:40:56 PM
 #9

I want the next version of bitcoin to have a way for the private keys to be stored on a microchip and that chip implanted in my brain. This way the only way someone could steal from me would be to kill me.

Dude, you like dropping memes. A lil too much for my taste.

I smell troll. Of course it just might be those you've been hanging 'round. Da, comrade?

Dude, you take yourself too seriously and have no sense of humor - Dude!

I wasn't being serious in case you did not catch on - Dude!

unbuttered_toast
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June 17, 2011, 03:45:19 PM
 #10

Maybe it's because I haven't had enough coffee yet either, but I'm with the OP. What makes Bitcoins valuable is people agreeing to use them. Bitcoin-clone-redux 5 isn't going to pull users away from Bitcoin, because Bitcoin is good enough, and getting people to put trust into a currency like this is difficult. Technology, generally, has a long history of the "good enough" stomping all over the "better".

You couldn't be more wrong. I didn't agree with anyone to use Bitcoin! I use them because I like their properties and their utility and because I know others do too. So if something else comes along with better properties and higher utility I'll mostly likely sooner or latter switch as will the rest of the Bitcoin users.

I don't want to argue too hard that I'm right, since I do figure there'll be more of this kind of currency in the future, sometime or other.

I don't think you interpreted that line the way I'd intended it though, so I'll try rephrasing it: I just meant that, if you've ever purchased something with bitcoins, whether dollars, services, or goods, that's contingent on the person on the other side of the transaction accepting bitcoins as currency. Getting the critical mass necessary to have people do that isn't easy, and I wouldn't underestimate that barrier. Bitcoin itself only has, what, hundreds of merchants who accept it as payment? (Here's to thousands. *downs rest of cup of coffee*)
unk
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June 17, 2011, 03:47:55 PM
 #11

i've sometimes thought of simply trying to start an alternative block chain with a version of the client that implements a variety of the best changes that have been suggested in the forum, and then working with contacts at a moderately sized regional bank in the united states to get them to promote it and serve as a regulated, legitimate onshore exchange, but i'm waiting to see what happens with the current wave of regulatory efforts there first.

In other words you're not willing to put your money and effort where your mouth is. You disagree with the properties of the current blockchain and yet you'll stick with it cause it's convinient for you and at the same time you'll badmouth those who do the same?

GTFO here.  Roll Eyes

how rude, childish, and simply wrong - except it's what i've come to expect from many in this forum.

just in case you're actually interested in a discussion:  have you ever worked with others to undertake a significant business task? have you ever even talked in person to someone who has? if so, it wouldn't surprise you that not every major undertaking is jumped into immediately. if you think it's strange to discuss an idea before attempting it, or to ask for feedback about it, or to wait a few months to see if it's still a good idea, then you have a grossly distorted sense of business. also, bitcoins aren't the only thing i think about, and i'm engaged in many other endeavours; to suggest that i don't believe something bitcoin-related because i don't immediately and personally implement an idea that's consistent with it exhibits a remarkable lack of experience and perspective.

also, as i've said before, i don't treat the current block chain as a personal investment, and i don't 'stick with it' in any meaningful way. i'm unsure that i'll ever feel ethically comfortable selling the coins i mined early, not to mention legally comfortable with doing so. (i would have a lot to lose personally from being implicated in a money-laundering system or even being accused of that.)
hazek
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June 17, 2011, 04:03:28 PM
 #12

Childish and rude? Perhaps.

Wrong? Nope, certainly not wrong.

I mean all you did was provide excuses for why you haven't yet put your money and effort where your mouth is. And yes I have been part of businesses and I have made personal business and carrier choices that if anything have taught me this: It's those who do, fail and try over and over and over again that achieve anything at all in life. Thinking things over and waiting is for losers cause no matter how much planing goes into it there's always something that can and will go wrong. And those loser then usually like to preach to others how they should succeed.

Do you think Bitcoin was the only similar project out there that some community of perfect members with perfect knowledge in the field just by magic came together and started developing, had the perfect plan and knew with 100% certainty that they'd be as successful as Bitcoin is so far?  Roll Eyes

Give me break.

Oh and if you still feel like I've been overly rude to you, let me make it up to you and relieve you of any sort of ethically or legally uncomfortable feelings by offering you to take your bitcoins of your hands. You can find the address in my signature  Wink

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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Durr
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June 17, 2011, 04:12:03 PM
 #13

Not many have actually gone through the source code to see if the bitcoin encoding has any flaws, so there's no way to tell.

Most developers here work on functionality only, not the core protocol.

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unk
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June 17, 2011, 04:18:55 PM
 #14

Thinking things over and waiting is for losers cause no matter how much planing goes into it there's always something that can and will go wrong. And those loser then usually like to preach to others how they should succeed.

this is the sort of ridiculous thing that only people with no business experience or perspective can say. it's like your sense of business comes from watching movies or reading ayn rand.

note that having made 'career choices' is very different from having set up a successful organization and having produced significant wealth for yourself and others; one who jumps to that notion when asked about business experience clearly lacks perspective.

but sure, i'm willing to believe from what you write that you think 'thinking things over' is for losers. maybe one day you'll grow out of that ridiculous notion.
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June 17, 2011, 05:07:10 PM
 #15

GTFO here.  Roll Eyes

Give me break.

'Fraid you just proved his point.

[EDIT] Just had to add these... |-)

You couldn't be more wrong.

Wrong? Nope, certainly not wrong.

I'm out of here!
lemonginger
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June 17, 2011, 05:21:31 PM
 #16

This is interesting. Unk I went back and read your posting history and you make a lot of very good points along the line. I have been trying to figure out what has been bothering me the past few days, and i think it is that sometimes this forum feels more like a cross between a capital-L Libertarian rally and a bunch of shysters trying to sell something rather than an open source project (which still have lots of angry vitriol at times, and multi-year arguments).

But maybe I have just been spending too much time here or am in a bad mood. I made an account a couple weeks ago and have already burned over 48 hours logged in. That's ridiculous. Need to get out and explore other bitcoin efforts.
hazek
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June 17, 2011, 05:42:53 PM
 #17

'Fraid you just proved his point.

[EDIT] Just had to add these... |-)

You couldn't be more wrong.

Wrong? Nope, certainly not wrong.

"Fraid" you're just as clueless as he is. In the first quote I'm talking about him being wrong and in the second I'm talking about him saying I'm wrong. Wtf is with the trolls on this forum, they just can't seem to get a handle on logic and reality..  Roll Eyes

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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Stevie1024
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June 17, 2011, 06:48:10 PM
 #18

'Fraid you just proved his point.

[EDIT] Just had to add these... |-)

You couldn't be more wrong.

Wrong? Nope, certainly not wrong.

"Fraid" you're just as clueless as he is. In the first quote I'm talking about him being wrong and in the second I'm talking about him saying I'm wrong. Wtf is with the trolls on this forum, they just can't seem to get a handle on logic and reality..  Roll Eyes

My point was that you were talking about him not being able to be more wrong and you being certainly not wrong. Am I right or am I wrong?

I'm out of here!
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