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Author Topic: Watching amateur finance types flail  (Read 33761 times)
Justsomeforumuser
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June 27, 2011, 07:44:30 PM
 #221

Quote
Here Here.

There needs to be an internet poking stick so that every time someone writes "Here here" (it's really "Hear hear!"..as in "you should listen up", not telling your dog to come here or w/e it is people think they are sounding out) or uses "then" instead of "than" (as in "x is better than y") and "their" instead of "they're / they are", "your" instead of "you're / you are" and various other classics they get poked.
In evil places. Painful places.

Ho-Hum.
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jerfelix
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June 27, 2011, 09:01:27 PM
 #222

(it's really "Hear hear!"..as in "you should listen up", not telling your dog to come here or w/e it is people think they are sounding out)

Where, where did you see this mistake?
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June 27, 2011, 09:46:24 PM
 #223


There needs to be an internet poking stick so that every time someone writes "Here here" (it's really "Hear hear!"..as in "you should listen up", not telling your dog to come here or w/e it is people think they are sounding out) or uses "then" instead of "than" (as in "x is better than y") and "their" instead of "they're / they are", "your" instead of "you're / you are" and various other classics they get poked.
In evil places. Painful places.


You are a true grammarian, aren't you?
Nescio
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June 28, 2011, 01:32:52 AM
 #224

incorrect. whether the computation is 'useful' is an externality; it has no direct bearing on its suitability for use in bitcoin.

What about the integrity angle? I'm thinking along the lines that if the calculation does something useful (i.e. other than cryptographic security), there may be an underlying pattern to the result. If there is a pattern, then it can be reduced, and therefore attacked (someone figuring it out will be able to do a lot more of it than everyone else). This might of course be wonderful (figuring out shortcuts to problems improves general use), or not (attacker keeps it to themselves while abusing it).

Quote from: unk
bitcoin was designed to be entirely decentralised, and decentralisation has substantial costs. it may also have substantial benefits. time will tell.

It may not be realistic to expect Bitcoin to replace everything else, for those cases where the disadvantages outweigh the advantages it could coexist with other systems, perhaps even Bitcoin like ones with tweaked parameters.
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June 28, 2011, 02:13:53 AM
 #225

Oil scarcity is not our biggest economic problem. Not even close. What scarcity there is is exacerbated by poor policy rather than dwindling reserves.

Short term, scarcity may or may not be a problem. Medium/long term, invasions of Iraq, at some point Iran maybe, and right now illegal bombing of Lybia should tell you that control of the largest available sources is playing a major role. If you don't think that is motivated by scarcity, here's some recommended viewing.
David M
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June 28, 2011, 03:05:12 AM
 #226

he can't make any money from Bitcoin, other than as a miner or a participant.  "professional" finance types don't like exposure to <s>risk</s> reality.  they want to make money without touching, earning, or creating it.  and if one of their investments tanks, they were only advisors - not vested.

hence; naked credit default swaps.

Bitcoin isn't like that, is it?

+1

The mistake people make when they look at the Bitcoin price chart and scream "bubble" is that they fail to understand Bitcoin is still in the price discovery phase.

Nothing like it has ever been priced.  This is an awesome experiment and I am glad to be part of it.

PS:  I am a DBA with 25 years experience, a Futures Trader/Advisor in Australia and a merchant who accepts Bitcoin.
finnthecelt
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June 28, 2011, 03:40:06 AM
 #227

he can't make any money from Bitcoin, other than as a miner or a participant.  "professional" finance types don't like exposure to <s>risk</s> reality.  they want to make money without touching, earning, or creating it.  and if one of their investments tanks, they were only advisors - not vested.

hence; naked credit default swaps.

Bitcoin isn't like that, is it?

+1

The mistake people make when they look at the Bitcoin price chart and scream "bubble" is that they fail to understand Bitcoin is still in the price discovery phase.

Nothing like it has ever been priced.  This is an awesome experiment and I am glad to be part of it.

PS:  I am a DBA with 25 years experience, a Futures Trader/Advisor in Australia and a merchant who accepts Bitcoin.

That is an excellent point. It could easily go up to $200 and then go sideways until the market decided that was fair.
Capitan
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June 28, 2011, 08:23:26 AM
 #228

I tend to agree.

That's not the real problem, though. The real problem is that almost nobody is actually using Bitcoins as a currency. The speculators are playing a zero-sum game, and there's little motivation for anyone to use Bitcoins in a payment system. In fact, the volatility from speculation is a dis-incentive for merchants to accept Bitcoins.

BTC is like any speculative asset:  Its only zero-sum if it goes back to zero.  If it stays high its considered wealth creation, not zero-sum.

I agree with you that merchants are at a disadvantage.  That's why its obvious that bitcoin, a floating currency, will probably remain as a speculative value storage and transfer system more akin to gold and silver.  Also plainly clear that merchant activity is not the economic activity supporting the price of bitcoin,  but the exploding volume of trading which occurs on the exchanges.

Maybe it will also succeed along the lines of a conventional currency or micropayments system, maybe not.  But a lack of merchants says little about the health of the economy.  The growth in volume of trading on the exchanges does.

How does trading volume translate into health of the bitcoin economy? If that trading volume is based on speculation and not trade, isn't it liable to collapse at any moment? This is not a rhetorical question, I am really asking because I don't understand the statement.
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June 28, 2011, 09:10:32 AM
 #229

I don't know where the idea that most trading is speculation comes from? That sounds like something you just made up unless you can document it.

I did a quick look over the various exchanges and the trades there today add up to a volume of maybe 6000-7000 BTC.

The total volume traded according to block store is almost 5 million at this moment (last 24 hours). So where did you get your idea that most trades are speculative? If you cannot explain it then I'll assume you just made it up according to your own impression of the world.

Just looking tells you that most trades are BTC -> BTC.

David M
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June 28, 2011, 09:17:19 AM
 #230

If that trading volume is based on speculation and not trade, isn't it liable to collapse at any moment?

One man's speculation is another man's fundamental.

Collapses are usually the result of poor information distribution.  Bitcoin seems to avoid that.
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June 28, 2011, 01:28:20 PM
 #231

The total volume traded according to block store is almost 5 million at this moment (last 24 hours). So where did you get your idea that most trades are speculative? If you cannot explain it then I'll assume you just made it up according to your own impression of the world.
That figure is in fact completely meaningless. The vast - and I mean *vast* - majority of that figure always comes from people transferring their bitcoins from one address they own to another that they also own. Because of the way Bitcoin works you can only redeem complete transactions, so if you have an account that contains 50,000 BTC from a single transaction and you pay someone 0.1 BTC, the client automatically creates you a new address and sends the 49,999.9 BTC in change to that new address. It's intentionally impossible to distinguish change transactions from actual payments, so sites like bitcoinwatch report this as 50,000 BTC changing hands rather than the real figure of 0.1 BTC.

If you look at blockexplorer.com right now, you'll see the list of the biggest recent transactions is entirely made up of a series of transactions in which someone (181LntPGwi3fMEptutCwarxMNT1s1hEDws) with 44,600 BTC paid out about 800 BTC in total. Each of those transactions is reported as though the full value of his or her account changed hands, meaning the full series of transactions adds 880,000 BTC to the reported volume even though only 800 BTC actually went anywhere. (In fact, it's probably even worse - the account in question probably belongs to Mt Gox or another exchange and the payments are probably people withdrawing their BTC, in which case not a single cent really changed hands.)

Edit: In fact, it'd take less than a thousand typical withdrawals from exchanges for those transactions alone to push "volume traded" in the blockchain above 5 million BTC; the size of the withdrawals doesn't even matter.

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June 28, 2011, 02:16:45 PM
 #232

So how can you come up with any figure about what is merchant or personal trade vs. speculation?

It's impossible unless there is a useful algorithmic check that be applied to the block chain to differentiate. And what are the large value transactions you see floating consistently along the top of bitcoinmonitor.com? I've seen steady periodic transactions in the near million dollar amount (converted).

(And, actually if you look at that monitor it show Forex as blue dots and other trx as red dots. I guess they know which addresses are the exchange ones. There is a lot of red dots but I wouldn't say it swamps the blues, considering that people doing purchases do often use red dots too. Not just speculators.)

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June 28, 2011, 02:23:34 PM
 #233

The thing is you still can't buy much with bitcoins.  It's just a battle of who is going to waste money on electricity and who will buy their bitcoins to recoup that cost.  And don't tell me cause one restaurant in New York takes bitcoins that they are all of a sudden useful in reality.  I don't need drugs, dont' need web design, and I can buy my burritos with cash.

When BTC soars, you need to be READY!  PM me to learn more about my new e-book, How to Create and Profit from the Second Bitcoin Bubble available exclusively to BTC forum members!

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makomk
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June 28, 2011, 03:54:41 PM
 #234

So how can you come up with any figure about what is merchant or personal trade vs. speculation?
You can't. In theory you might be able to compare currency trade volumes on Mt Gox with the amount of BTC actually withdrawn, but that's not really practical and no-one's done it. What you can do is consider information like which discussion topics are more common on the forum (buying and selling goods vs. mining and speculating) and how much of the for-sale section is Bitcoin-related items, or how the likely demand for the goods available for sale compares to the total value of bitcoins in circulation. That gives some idea of how speculation-driven Bitcoin is.

(And, actually if you look at that monitor it show Forex as blue dots and other trx as red dots. I guess they know which addresses are the exchange ones. There is a lot of red dots but I wouldn't say it swamps the blues, considering that people doing purchases do often use red dots too. Not just speculators.)
The red dots are just the actual Forex trades, which are published by the exchanges and are carried out entirely internally with no matching transfer in the blockchain. BTC transfers to and from exchanges just show up as blue dots.

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June 28, 2011, 04:24:11 PM
 #235

I was just looking thru the block explorer listings.
It seems pretty clear that the "change" address is always listed first as a destination. It may not be perfect but I think if you excluded that value in a transaction scan you could account for the actual "paid" amounts (mostly). I know there is no way to verify this but expect it would give a better picture of the real money flow. But the "purpose" would still be unknowable. It would at least allow reducing the "total value" to something more sensible.

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June 29, 2011, 12:32:16 AM
 #236

The thing is you still can't buy much with bitcoins.  It's just a battle of who is going to waste money on electricity and who will buy their bitcoins to recoup that cost.  And don't tell me cause one restaurant in New York takes bitcoins that they are all of a sudden useful in reality.  I don't need drugs, dont' need web design, and I can buy my burritos with cash.
You can buy anything on Amazon.com with bitcoins.
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June 29, 2011, 12:35:01 AM
 #237

The thing is you still can't buy much with bitcoins.  It's just a battle of who is going to waste money on electricity and who will buy their bitcoins to recoup that cost.  And don't tell me cause one restaurant in New York takes bitcoins that they are all of a sudden useful in reality.  I don't need drugs, dont' need web design, and I can buy my burritos with cash.
You can buy anything on Amazon.com with bitcoins.


This is news.  How?  Without first converting to USD?

When BTC soars, you need to be READY!  PM me to learn more about my new e-book, How to Create and Profit from the Second Bitcoin Bubble available exclusively to BTC forum members!

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June 29, 2011, 12:45:28 AM
 #238

You can buy anything on Amazon.com with bitcoins.


This is news.  How?  Without first converting to USD?

There's a few middlemen - you send them BTC and a wishlist, they buy it and (I'm guessing) sell the BTC. Amazon doesn't accept BTC directly.

^_^
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June 29, 2011, 01:25:43 AM
 #239

You can buy anything on Amazon.com with bitcoins.


This is news.  How?  Without first converting to USD?
There's a few middlemen - you send them BTC and a wishlist, they buy it and (I'm guessing) sell the BTC. Amazon doesn't accept BTC directly.
There are importing businesses which work like that - you send them a wishlist and money, and they buy stuff for you in some foreign country and have it shipped over. That's useful because they can deal with sellers in another language, consolidate shipments into containers to save on shipping, deal with customs documentation, and physically get the stuff moved.

Going through some intermediary just to get a currency conversion isn't worth much. And it really complicates returns.
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June 29, 2011, 01:55:48 AM
 #240

but that doesn't detract from the fact someone is paying for a service in BTC - how the middle-man organises thier affairs is their business.

Similar example, I trade $ for gasoline - I don't care about refinery margins, import taxes, shipping or even the well-head production costs (probably six currencies in that chain for me domestically).  If I paid $ or BTC, someone converts it into USD, SGD, GBP (and others) along the way.  (I actually don't pay dollars, I use a piece of plastic and some electronic transaction occurs - actual currency becomes irrelevant)
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