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Author Topic: One day, there won't be any bitcoins anywhere  (Read 3349 times)
townf
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May 01, 2013, 06:09:43 PM
 #1

Because there is a hard cap on the quantity of bitcoins, it is a mathematical fact that one day, there won't be anymore bitcoins. Either that or the currency will fail first.

Statistically, the btc supply, like radioactive material, has a halflife. Over a certain period of time, half of them will disappear.

This will happen over and over again until the btc economy is dehydrated beyond any use or they are all gone.

The length of the halflife is determined by the statistical rate on average that people collectively lose coins.

This loss is due to forgetting brain wallets, paper wallets going through the washing machine, paying nonexistent addresses by mistake, loss of private keys through human or computer malfunction, dying without revealing private keys, destroying coins purposefully for reasons of spite or insanity, and probably other ways that unfortunate people will haplessly invent.

Ceaselessly increasing the subdivision of the coins just to avoid this total disappearance is farcical.

I don't know what that halflife is, but it is a finite amount of time. I'm just saying.
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May 01, 2013, 06:19:02 PM
 #2

Half-life would refer to the time in which a value drops by half. It does not address something disappearing entirely. Your use of the term has no relavence to Bitcoin. In fact, losing half of the Bitcoins or even 99.9% can be a good thing because it makes the rest of the Bitcoins more valuable and hence more desirable to work for and acquire.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
townf
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May 01, 2013, 07:35:48 PM
 #3

1/2  1/4  1/8  1/16  1/32  1/64  1/128 ....... 1/65536 amount of original total remaining. Ok you're right, not disappeared entirely.

It won't even get that far because I'm going to go out on a limb here and venture if 99.9% of a currency disappeared, nobody would be using it because they would all be using something else already. Call me crazy
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May 01, 2013, 07:47:12 PM
 #4

One day, ECDSA and SHA-256 will be able to be broken pretty quickly, and it'll probably be way before there's less than 100b Satoshis in circulation. One day, we'll all die.

BTCs being nearly non-existent won't be a problem for many generations.
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May 01, 2013, 07:50:23 PM
 #5

Bitcoins could keep on being divided into smaller and smaller units as more and more of them are lost. Even fractions of a satoshi are possible with a change to the protocol.

The question is at some the missing bitcoins will be a big problem because there is no way to tell if a bitcoin is being hoarded or is actually lost.

If someday 90% of the bitcoins are unused or missing and the active 10% remaining make up, say, a 100 billion bitcoin economy.

Well if a large portion of those missing/inactive bitcoins suddenly start being used the bitcoin economy would crash. So as time goes on, bitcoins will become more and more risky as this possibility will have more and more impact on the economy.
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May 01, 2013, 07:51:34 PM
 #6

One day there won't be an Earth, or even a universe.  Kiss

The gospel according to Satoshi - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
Free bitcoin in ? - Stay tuned for this years Bitcoin hunt!
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May 01, 2013, 07:56:50 PM
 #7

If there is only a single Bitcoin left, it's still enough to to all trading there is on earth.
Why?
Because you can trade with 0,0000000000000000001 Bitcoins, just give them a name so that it's 1 miniBitcoin instead of 0,000...
TomUnderSea
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May 01, 2013, 08:57:38 PM
 #8

Let me fix your problem for you...

As BTC become so rare that even one Sotashi is too large a unit for routine purchases, the transactioners will implement the following change on all bit coins that are transacted:

One Byte coin will be issued in place of each Sotashi worth of BTC that would be issued.  The new BYT will be as sub-divisible as the old BTC.

Seems like it works for me...


Every little BTC helps.  14P3TfbttSpQ3BxUjwrUrmNU6F4mB9aMS5
cedivad
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May 01, 2013, 09:00:14 PM
 #9

One day, the thermal entropy of the universe will be zero.

My anger against what is wrong in the Bitcoin community is productive:
Bitcointa.lk - Replace "Bitcointalk.org" with "Bitcointa.lk" in this url to see how this page looks like on a proper forum (Announcement Thread)
Hashfast.org - Wiki for screwed customers
TomUnderSea
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May 01, 2013, 09:03:00 PM
 #10

One day, the thermal entropy of the universe will be zero.

In an infinite amount of time perhaps. 

In the mean time, it will just asymptotically approach zero and we will redefine British Thermal Units (BTU) to British Thermal Counters.

This will solve all of our energy and monetary problems for the foreseeable future.

 Shocked

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May 01, 2013, 10:55:03 PM
 #11

Someday in the future, the world will run out of oil. But that doesn't scare millions of drivers today.

If you're looking for a trading/lending place,
better avoid Poloniex, as it socializes losses.
Learn more about it on this topic.
townf
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May 02, 2013, 12:05:16 AM
 #12

Nobody sees a problem around here? Well alrighty then, gimme some of that kool-aid already, woohoo yeah!
xavier
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May 02, 2013, 01:26:07 AM
 #13

TBH its likely that the encryption that bitcoin uses will be broken by CPU's waaaaay before this becomes an issue


Once this encryption is broken, no protection against double spending.... The whole thing becomes useless
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May 02, 2013, 01:49:45 AM
 #14

Nobody sees a problem around here? Well alrighty then, gimme some of that kool-aid already, woohoo yeah!
You have not stated a problem, you've asserted a postulate with incorrect premises.  Listen to a few people, and learn a few things, then reassess the issue.

Assume that X is a value style of monetary currency for etrade and at any given time X(B) is the numerical value used.  That works just fine.  Economic crises, hyper or stagflation occur when rapid changes occur in the X(?).

More important is the velocity of transactions, anything strictly etrade can have unimaginable high velocity.

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May 02, 2013, 02:29:20 AM
 #15

Nobody sees a problem around here? Well alrighty then, gimme some of that kool-aid already, woohoo yeah!

Will you please offer an argument for why adding decimal places is farcical?  Also, in what time frame do you see this problem becoming apparent?  The second question is important because it's a near certainty that lots of things we now depend on will be gone at some time in the future, but that isn't something we typically get bothered about now.
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May 02, 2013, 02:36:54 AM
 #16

I don't know what that halflife is, but it is a finite amount of time. I'm just saying.
The amount of time this planet will remain habitable for humans is also finite.
TiagoTiago
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May 02, 2013, 02:50:55 AM
 #17

Won't Bitcoin be forked into somthing like QBitcoin with a new crypto that is too hard for the top of the line hardware to crack before it reaches the market?

(I dont always get new reply notifications, pls send a pm when you think it has happened)

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Mike Christ
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May 02, 2013, 03:16:01 AM
 #18

Won't Bitcoin be forked into somthing like QBitcoin with a new crypto that is too hard for the top of the line hardware to crack before it reaches the market?

Yes.  Bitcoin's not going to last forever, but it can become something else which can keep living.  The reason the human race lasted for longer than 100 years is because we can keep making improved copies of ourselves Tongue  Except in this case, it's intentional technological advancement, as opposed to the random, passive process of evolution.

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May 02, 2013, 04:11:37 AM
 #19

Nobody sees a problem around here? Well alrighty then, gimme some of that kool-aid already, woohoo yeah!
Your "problem" is a nonissue. Let's compare it to a gold coin. Over time, through wear, circulated gold coins are reduced in size. This also results in gold dust being produced in the bottom of the coin purse. You would, no doubt, be screaming that eventually, all the coins would be reduced to dust and there would be no way to trade any more. This is true, except for one simple fact: If you put this dust into a crucible, and heat it up, you can make a new coin.

And that's just what will happen, we will make a new coin, probably long before all the bitcoins are lost. And long after we're all dead, by the way. Bitcoin generation will continue until 2140.

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townf
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May 02, 2013, 03:00:13 PM
 #20

If you have to increase the subdivision of the currency at a constant rate just to keep up with a deflation, why not just use a currency where you don't have to do that? Why make it needlessly difficult? I said it was farcical to do this because simply treating a mere symptom with a method that creates more problems is farcical. It's a boondoggle. Maybe i think currency has a different purpose than everybody else.

Shouldn't the buying power of a unit of any currency remain constant over time? Isn't that the whole purpose of money? If it doesn't do that it becomes a pain in the ass for the participants in an economy. I can see that buying power would and probably should change up or down due to external factors such as innovation or war or natural disaster, but those are external factors.

I have no idea what the halflife of the supply is. It could be 10 years or a 1000. That's not really the point. The fact there is a halflife with no possibility of creating more should sound an alarm. It's math. The population is growing which exacerbates the deflation.

Im not calling for bitcoin to change, because I know the hard cap is one of its foundational features and is extremely attractive to many people in this day and age of arbitrary fiat money creation bailout hell, but if you're in a burning house, you don't need to escape it by stripping naked and jumping into the arctic ocean. We need a 72 degree (farenheit) room. I'm just throwing the red flag for the long term. It will be addressed in new crypto coin types like some of you have said. Seems like a pretty obvious problem that should be addressed.

Also to say that we'll all be dead anyway by the time it becomes a problem is a non-argument. You're basically conceding there is a design flaw, but kicking the can down the road, only guessing that it will take long enough that something else will be a bigger problem, and you are just as likely correct as not. But it shouldn't be like who cares about getting anything anywhere right, the earth is going to fall into the sun one of these days. With the oil analogy, you're saying there is no need at all to find any alternate, sustainable energy sources.

How long until coin loss is felt is anyone's guess. It's a steady, gradual thing on average for sure. It's a slow process now because bitcoin's share in the global economy is a piece of mist in a waterfall, but that process will accelerate as the mainstream adopts the currency.
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