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Author Topic: [FORTUNE] The clock is ticking on Bitcoin  (Read 10050 times)
Bruce Wagner
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June 17, 2011, 06:34:45 PM
 #1

[FORTUNE]   The clock is ticking on Bitcoin

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/17/the-clock-is-ticking-on-bitcoin/

This is a link to the original article in its current state (right-click save-as): 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/993053/Created/Personal/The%20Clock%20is%20Ticking%20on%20Bitcoin%20%5BFortune%5D.odt

_________________________________________________________

BRUCE WAGNER'S RESPONSE TO THE FINISHED ARTICLE FOLLOWS:


Below is my latest email back to the author of the article, Daniel Roberts....

_________________________________________________________




On our phone call....  we left off at number 8 below.

____________

I THINK YOU SHOULD CALL ME URGENTLY!        646-580-0022

(1)   Meze Grill does not sell burritos.  

(2)   "....although so far not a single customer has paid this way."   //   NOT TRUE.  We paid for our dinner just the other evening in Bitcoin there.

(3)   "....and many of its uses have nothing to do with Silk Road."  //   BLATANTLY MISLEADING.   0.0000000001% of its use has anything to do with Silk Road.   NO ONE I KNOW has ever used Silk Road.  It's blatantly misleading to imply that ANYONE uses Bitcoin for such things.   It's absolutely irresponsible reporting.

(4)   "... In simple terms, here's how it works: After downloading a desktop software client (the most popular one is Dwolla)..."    //   OMG.  This is sooooo inaccurate.   (A)  There is no need to download a desktop client.   (B)  Dwolla has nothing to do with Bitcoin.   (C)  Dwolla is not a desktop client.

(5)   "...each Bitcoin is associated with a URL where users can see the entire history of the coin's use, including every user that bought or sold it..."   //   NOT ACCURATE AT ALL.   This is terribly inaccurate and misleading.

(6)   "Bitcoins have had volatile ups and downs but never a full crash."   //   VERY MISLEADING.  Bitcoin value has gone UP form $0.06 to about $20 today.   That is UP UP UP.  No crash at all.

(7)    "Now there are even other Bitcoin-like currencies, such as Namecoins, which are bought with Bitcoins and used to pay for domain name hosting. Some traders believe the biggest potential is in the limitless creation of these e-currencies."     //   OMG OMG OMG   I NEED TO CALL YOU.  THESE STATEMENTS ARE GOING TO MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE A FOOL!

( 8 )    "At the moment, Bitcoins can't really be used at any mainstream retailers. According to a wiki list of businesses that accept Bitcoin, you can use the currency to buy real goods and services, but we're not exactly talking about Amazon.com (AMZN)."   //   OMG OMG OMG   YOU CAN ALREADY USE BITCOIN TO MAKE PURCHASES ON AMAZON.COM  !!!!!!!!   via TradeHill.com..... TODAY!

TRADEHILL IS NOT JUST CONVERTING BITCOIN INTO AMAZON MONEY.

TRADEHILL ALLOWS YOU TO COMPLETELY MAKE THE PURCHASE ---- USING ONLY BITCOIN ---- WITH ONE CLICK.   THAT IS NOT JUST BUYING AMAZON MONEY.

And many many many online retailers are quickly following suit with the Amazon + TradeHill system.

(9)   You mention burritos again....  which Meze Grill does not sell.

(10)   "If they really wanted to ensure they aren't losing money from sales paid with Bitcoins, they'd have to watch the exchange rate closely and adjust their price every single day."    //   This is being solved by new Point of Exchange startups which now accept the correct amount of bitcoin for the dollar amount, sell the bitcoins for dollars instantly, and deposit the US dollars into the merchant's account the next day.   This problem will have been solved totally by the time your article goes to print.

(11)   "If the USA wants to shut it down," Wagner reasons, "the Internet has a way of detecting censorship and rallying around it. They could block Bitcoin transactions, but it would be censorship."    //   Those were two separate unrelated statements.... you combined into one statement.

The first one, ACCURATELY, was:   "If censorship happens on the internet, the internet by its nature sees that as an error and routes around it."

The second one, ACCURATELY, was:   "Most likely, No, the US government could not completely stop the Bitcoin network.  To my understanding, the only way the Bitcoin network can be stopped is to completely stop the internet.  And the only way to completely stop the internet is to make it illegal and confiscate 100% of the computers.  Even then, as long as two computers exist --- in any other country on Earth --- the internet will still exist, and thus.... so will Bitcoin.    If the USA decides to vote for internet censorship --- like they have in China --- it will not slow down Bitcoin at all."

THAT is what I actually said.

(12)   "But in fact, because users all have identifying web IDs, the government could rather easily identify users today, make it illegal to operate a Bitcoin node, and drive users away with the same scare tactics that the content industry uses on illegal downloaders. And censorship protests or not, there isn't much American traders could do."   //   1000% INACCURATE.   Bitcoin users DO NOT HAVE IDENTIFYING WED IDs... NOT AT ALL!   Only about 2% of the Bitcoin users I know actually operate a "Bitcoin node".   That statement is ridiculously misleading.     Even if it were made illegal in the USA, it would most likely not even cause a blip in the Bitcoin network, or the value of a Bitcoin on the global market.

(13)   "The reality is that a currency that has no regulator, trades on an open exchange, and can be easily stolen is one that won't sit well with lawmakers. So whether Bitcoins are a risky investment or not, expect Uncle Sam to keep the average American consumer from ever getting to make that choice."     //   WOW.  This conclusion really sounds like you were TOLD to write this article....  and TOLD what conclusions to make.

The word "Misleading" seems to be a key concept of this article.


Sad.   Very Sad.





Bruce Wagner  •  OnlyOneTV  •  http://onlyonetv.com  •  646-580-0022




On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 12:51 PM, Daniel Roberts <daniel_roberts@fortune.com> wrote:
> Bruce, thanks for speaking to me. I enjoyed getting to know you by phone!
> The story is up and being well received... See anything factually wrong?
> I see some Bitcoiners tweeting it negatively but that's because, I imagine,
> they disagree with our angle/conclusions, which is fine.
>
> But do let me know if there are any errors!
> http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/17/the-clock-is-ticking-on-bitcoin/
>
>
> All the best to you,
>
> Daniel Roberts
>
>
> On 6/17/11 11:46 AM, "Bruce Wagner" <bruce@onlyonetv.com> wrote:
>
>> Try do better than BusinessWeek just did....
>>
>> I just asked him if he'd like my spelling and accuracy corrections.
>>
>>       http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_26/b4234041554873.htm
>>
>> I strongly recommend letting me review it just before you post it...
>> In case any language is misleading, etc.
>>
>> I won't complain....   I just wanna help make you look good.
>>
>> :-)
>>
>>
>> Bruce
>>
>>
>> Bruce Wagner  €  OnlyOneTV  €  http://onlyonetv.com  €  646-580-0022
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 10:38 AM, Bruce Wagner <bruce@onlyonetv.com> wrote:
>>> Right now is good.
>>> I'm on cellphone, but that's ok.  Yes?
>>> 646-580-0022
>>>
>>> On Jun 17, 2011 10:34 AM, "Daniel Roberts" <daniel_roberts@fortune.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Ah, okay. Unless right now is good?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 6/17/11 10:03 AM, "Bruce Wagner" <bruce@onlyonetv.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Sounds great.
>>>>> Can we make it 11:00am ET...?
>>>>> 646-580-0022
>>>>>
>>>>> Bruce
>>>>>
>>>>> On Jun 17, 2011 9:00 AM, "Daniel Roberts" <daniel_roberts@fortune.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> Great, thanks Bruce. Basically I already have a nearly complete story
>>>>>>> but I
>>>>>>> have a couple gaps perhaps you could help me fill in: just as a
>>>>>>> preview,
>>>>>>> they involve whether there's anyone that has made big returns by
>>>>>>> investing
>>>>>>> in BTC, and if that's public/who/how much, and the basic fact of
>>>>>>> whether
>>>>>>> exchanges like Mt. Gox or TradeHill charge a transaction fee, which I
>>>>>>> haven't had answered yet. Could I call you around 10:30 EST? Thanks so
>>>>>> much.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Best,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>> Daniel Roberts
>>>>>>> Fortune
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> 1271 Ave of the Americas, 18th Floor, 1853B
>>>>>>> New York, NY 10020
>>>>>>> 212 522 8018
>>>>>>> daniel_roberts@fortune.com
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Mark Oates
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June 17, 2011, 06:43:20 PM
 #2

It looks like much of the info I provided was taken out of context (and exaggerated) as well.

Oh well, thus is press.  Wink
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June 17, 2011, 06:54:24 PM
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Wow. Out of context to say the least. They just twist and warp your words until it sounds good for the readers. Pathetic.
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June 17, 2011, 06:56:02 PM
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Quote
They just twist and warp your words until it sounds good for the readers.
Grin
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June 17, 2011, 07:03:27 PM
 #5

the media games are just beginning.  People are stupid, like herd animals, no critical thinking effort, no real truth discovery, its all "wowsa"
and this is the inherent problem with BTC. let me repeat, people are stupid, do you think they can encrypt decrypt etc their wallet
to keep it safe?  The level of technical ability to even use, store, move, keep safe, buy, sell btc is light years beyond the average 100 IQ human.
(actually I think the average is now 85-90 in relation to the old average)
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June 17, 2011, 07:05:38 PM
 #6

subscribing to this thread
relative
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June 17, 2011, 07:11:28 PM
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out of context?
he is quite right that the US govt will go after it.

if you think the last two weeks was volatility, look what's ahead.
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June 17, 2011, 07:13:24 PM
 #8

What do you expect from the ignoramus brigade?  Every article I've read as at least a handful of inaccuracies in it but wanna know something creepy?

They all were more accurate in the past month when this was starting to hit the mainstream media... so after a month all the reports on it are more misleading and more ill informed?  Seems backwards doesn't it?  How did the articles start out by being 90% accurate and now there are just blatant hit pieces with about 20% accuracy.  Well that's because the main stream media is owned lock stock and barrel by the same interests that have everything to lose by widespread BTC adoption.

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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June 17, 2011, 07:16:33 PM
 #9



(6)   "Bitcoins have had volatile ups and downs but never a full crash."   //   VERY MISLEADING.  Bitcoin value has gone UP form $0.06 to about $20 today.   That is UP UP UP.  No crash at all.


All the other points were valid, but this one seems misplaced. I think this particular statement in the article is not wrong. It's certainly not "very misleading."  Bitcoin value has not been "up up up," and in fact it would be very misleading for a news article to claim that it has.
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June 17, 2011, 07:17:17 PM
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oh. looks like that article already changed by a lot.
I referred to the current version.
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June 17, 2011, 07:18:45 PM
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the media  Roll Eyes
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June 17, 2011, 07:20:11 PM
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Scary thing is that the smear campaign is just getting started.

The best two things that the main stream media can do to keep people away from Bitcoin:

1)  Pretend like it's really easy to get your wallet stolen (and it might be for the computer illiterate)
2)  Allude to a vague illegality regarding the whole thing.  We see that with this article that they are fear-mongering based on complete lies that "You have an ID and can be tracked" and "it will be illegal in the near future so don't even bother" with the clear insinuation that you might be going to prison.

Total fear-mongering.

But like I always say, the best money isn't even in creating money out of thin air; it's keeping people afraid.

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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June 17, 2011, 07:23:49 PM
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We need a section of this forum entirely dedicated to Public Relations

There, we can discuss media articles about Bitcoin, identify where the biggest dangers and misconceptions lie, deconstruct these misconceptions and come up with some snappy rebuttals.

For example, I thought in Jeff's CBS interview the line "bitcoins are slightly less anonymous than cash" worked well.

And we need to smash this association between Bitcoin and Silk Road at birth, or we'll never shake it. Something like "Bitcoins has no more to do with Silk Road than Ben Bernanke has to do with your local street dealer". Whatever.

A barrage is coming our way, and we need to be ahead of the game.
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June 17, 2011, 07:26:56 PM
 #14

Quote from: bruce wagner
(5)   "...each Bitcoin is associated with a URL where users can see the entire history of the coin's use, including every user that bought or sold it..."   //   NOT ACCURATE AT ALL.   This is terribly inaccurate and misleading.

bruce, this IS accurate, please try to fact check a bit...

here is the history of my bitcoin roadtrip donation address: http://blockexplorer.com/address/1Dj1SocbbH9Lbb9aTdqSHB9AAjhdxNNZha

you can click on any of the transactions to see where they came from and where they went. true, they are bitcoin addresses, not names. but, just because no one has made a blockchain miner to dig out juicy info doesn't mean it's not there.
Bruce Wagner
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June 17, 2011, 07:33:09 PM
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Quote from: bruce wagner
(5)   "...each Bitcoin is associated with a URL where users can see the entire history of the coin's use, including every user that bought or sold it..."   //   NOT ACCURATE AT ALL.   This is terribly inaccurate and misleading.

bruce, this IS accurate, please try to fact check a bit...

here is the history of my bitcoin roadtrip donation address: http://blockexplorer.com/address/1Dj1SocbbH9Lbb9aTdqSHB9AAjhdxNNZha

you can click on any of the transactions to see where they came from and where they went. true, they are bitcoin addresses, not names. but, just because no one has made a blockchain miner to dig out juicy info doesn't mean it's not there.

The way he phrased it is INACCURATE.   Change one word.... and the whole sentence is untrue.

"....users can see the entire history of the coin's use, including every user that bought or sold it...."  IS ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE on several levels.

Scary thing is that the smear campaign is just getting started.

The best two things that the main stream media can do to keep people away from Bitcoin:

1)  Pretend like it's really easy to get your wallet stolen (and it might be for the computer illiterate)
2)  Allude to a vague illegality regarding the whole thing.  We see that with this article that they are fear-mongering based on complete lies that "You have an ID and can be tracked" and "it will be illegal in the near future so don't even bother" with the clear insinuation that you might be going to prison.

Total fear-mongering.

But like I always say, the best money isn't even in creating money out of thin air; it's keeping people afraid.

AMEN!

Well that's because the main stream media is owned lock stock and barrel by the same interests that have everything to lose by widespread BTC adoption.

And AMEN!
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June 17, 2011, 07:51:34 PM
 #16

Bruce,

You came off as a bit fanatical in your last email to him and not as factual as you could/should be.  I think your corrections got buried in a load of pro-bitcoin propaganda.

What do you think people who bought bitcoins at $31 think about the current price?  Would they consider it a crash? 

What about from $8-->4? 

Crash is a tricky word, but you certainly can't insist it only goes up up up when it's currently trading at <50% of it's high from a little over a week ago.  It is a *highly* volatile market and you can only say factually that it has gone from $.005 to it's current price of ~$14 for a 200k%+ increase.  That is 100% accurate and incredibly compelling.

Hope he corrects some of the more erroneous points in his article but I doubt he cares at this point since his version is a bit more sensationalized...
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June 17, 2011, 08:13:51 PM
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Crash is a tricky word, but you certainly can't insist it only goes up up up when it's currently trading at <50% of it's high from a little over a week ago.  It is a *highly* volatile market and you can only say factually that it has gone from $.005 to it's current price of ~$14 for a 200k%+ increase.  That is 100% accurate and incredibly compelling.

It's not 100% accurate, because you're leaving out the fact that on its way to the current price it achieved a high just over DOUBLE the current price.  I don't think you can just ignore the fact that a week ago people thought their 100 btc were worth $3000 in their pocket, and today that could only be $1500 in their pocket.

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June 17, 2011, 08:24:51 PM
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I think the most unfounded and agenda driven part of that article is actually the title and the conclusion.

(First impressions & last impressions are strongest. The stuff in the middle that was actually discussed, people won't remember.)

"The clock is ticking on Bitcoin
With recent exposure bringing the online currency to the attention of wary lawmakers, expect to see Bitcoins disappear."

ending with..

"..expect Uncle Sam to keep the average American consumer from ever getting to make that choice."

None of this is substantiated or discussed properly. It's just assumed. Agenda driven!

This is how they do it. They just state things. And people suck it up in their millions.
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June 17, 2011, 08:25:03 PM
 #19

I find reading anything in the media about BTC a very frustrating experience. Most media in general irritates the hell out of me!!
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June 17, 2011, 08:26:12 PM
 #20

( 8 )    "At the moment, Bitcoins can't really be used at any mainstream retailers. According to a wiki list of businesses that accept Bitcoin, you can use the currency to buy real goods and services, but we're not exactly talking about Amazon.com (AMZN)."   //   OMG OMG OMG   YOU CAN ALREADY USE BITCOIN TO MAKE PURCHASES ON AMAZON.COM  !!!!!!!!   via TradeHill.com..... TODAY!

TRADEHILL IS NOT JUST CONVERTING BITCOIN INTO AMAZON MONEY.

TRADEHILL ALLOWS YOU TO COMPLETELY MAKE THE PURCHASE ---- USING ONLY BITCOIN ---- WITH ONE CLICK.   THAT IS NOT JUST BUYING AMAZON MONEY.

And many many many online retailers are quickly following suit with the Amazon + TradeHill system.

There is absolutely no reference on TradeHill's site currently to this functionality. They may have allowed this at some point but they say nothing about it now, and even if it worked the way you described Amazon would still be collecting USD not BTC for your purchase which makes the authors statement completely factual.

1aLV7cjRXE89KoychBaGUP8YGm5ZRVNAw - If my info is helpful donations are always welcome.
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