so I'm looking at this neutrally.
So what's wrong in the Bitcoin world?
Good way to start of neutrally.
That just screams "bubble" to anyone who's seen one. Bear in mind that the Bitcoin system generates no revenue. All funds must come from new investors. This is not like a startup company. This is a zero-sum game. If you've been in the game for half an hour and you don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.
So the price went up, and back down, and a 'bubble' fashion. Big deal. As you said, amateur finance types flailed after the hack and all sold out... while now the price is steadily rising. Bear in mind, the only thing that bubbled here is a very alpha pegging of the BTC to primarily (nearly exclusively), the USD. You seem to be implying that because the price bubbled that it is doomed to not gain value again, thus investors have lost all return. You haven't event attempted to elaborate the consequences you propose from the price flux.
Second, Bitcoin is supposed to be a currency, but it's actually a speculative vehicle. If Bitcoin were a successful currency, there would be many merchants using it for small transactions, with perhaps some speculation on the side. In practice, the speculation dominates. This is the real problem with Bitcoin. If it had been launched as the payment system for something like music tracks or smartphone apps, it might have worked out better. Or not; "Digicash" and "Beenz", the two previous rounds of this idea, also tanked.
You sound like you have no absolutely no idea.
Firstly, don't pull shit out off your arse. How many merchants have you talked to, have said they have heard about, researched and evaluated bitcoins for themselves (without your horse-shit of course) and speculated that it would fail.
Second, there are infact *many* merchants using bitcoins listed on the wiki, and many more projects, charities etc that go unheard, all which can classify to some degree as merchants. How many people do you really think have looked and researched bitcoins enough to make an informed decision as to whether their business model is appropriate or not.
Third, bear in mind this is an internet cash system and people doing small transactions generally do it by hand, thus physical cash is exchanged and no need for bitcoins is needed. That eliminates thousands of corner stores that have no need for such a system. However in the future when credit card type wallets are used, corner stores would accept bitcoins. Indeed millions of small transactions occur on the internet, however what proportion of those do you think have heard of Bitcoins thus far and is willing to invest 100% (that is all online transactions using BTC)?
There is also variable degrees to which people invest, so its not as black and white as you appear to think.
Third, the organizations in Bitcoin's ecology are very flaky. Mt. Gox is two guys in Tokyo who are in way over their heads. We don't know much about Tradehill, which is somewhere in Chile. Neither of these "exchanges" has a published business address, a Dun and Bradstreet rating, published audits, or regulation as a bank or money transfer firm. Yet they're acting as depository institutions for sizable funds belonging to others.
Two organizations, by your opinion, are flaky. Bitcoins != Mt. Gox.
You state you dont know much about Tradehill but you say they are flaky, is that not you speculating that they are malicious? not trust-worthy? incompetent?
Flaky is a very general term and is no descriptive. Please choose your words wisely.
Shouldn't one greet others with an open heart? I'm not saying you must follow them blindly, however I am saying you can approach a situation with an open mind yet hold reservations.
Have you actually done business with them? Have they so far wronged you?
Would you not want others to greet you with openness as you yourself approach a new market with reservations?
No one forces you to do business with anyone so if you deem a party 'flaky', don't trade with them.
As for their credentials such as audits, regulation etc.. Do you really think the bureaucratic system as it stands can handle such a request for a Bitcoins based exchange?
Most governments want to eradicate Bitcoins because they fear losing power, they aren't going to say 'yeah here's some credentials for people to trust your Bitcoins exchange..'
If you reply saying that bcuz governderps think Bitcoins is evil, I will have great lulz.
You seem to oversee the fundamental concepts behind Bitcoins. Look from the system itself outward.
It is a beautiful design that could shake lot of peoples core held beliefs.
Have fun flailing.