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Author Topic: Why I'm Wary to Invest (Change my mind and I'll give you 1 BTC)  (Read 4284 times)
CurbsideProphet
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June 25, 2011, 08:54:31 PM
 #1

Let me start by saying that I do not know all of the facts, which is the reason for this topic.  The person who can provide the most convincing argument to my concerns will be given 1 BTC should I decide to invest.  That incentive is just to put out there, really what I would like is a civil and hopefully mostly troll-free discussion. 

From the FAQ, "in the first 4 years of the Bitcoin network, 10,500,000 BTC will be created."  So 2,625,000 BTC's per year.  BTC's fluctuate in price but lets use $15 per BTC as a baseline.  In order to sustain that price over a year period, NEW money would have to be injected in excess of $39 million per year.  Perhaps slightly less as not all will go to market, so lets say, $30 million.  First problem I see:

Where does this money come from?  We have very small scale exchanges, and the largest one has been hacked and isn't even open yet.  A further barrier is the $1,000 transaction limit.  How do you get $30 million a year in with that sort of limit imposed.  Yes, that limit can be removed by providing verifying information, however, the scale we're talking about is going to take institutional investors.  Will these institutional investors be willing to lose their anonymity to invest here?  And even so, the next is my biggest concern....

Bitcoin in unpatented intellectual property.  Everyone who has ever taken an Econ 101 class should understand the law of supply and demand.  Lets say BTC gets this $30 million investment per year, that sort of money is going to spur competition.  As long as there is demand and profit to be made, competitors will come.  The primary protection against competition is patents, trademarkets, etc..   Lets look at a company like Pfizer for example and their immensely successful drug Lipitor.  Lipitor is patented resulting in Pfizer being the only drug manufacturer allowed to produce the product.  Once that patent runs out, generic brands of the drugs will come online and Pfizer will no longer be making large gains on the drug.  They know this, everyone knows this. 

Bitcoin has no patent and in fact, is open source.  There is nothing to stop a competitor from coming in, copying the model, maybe even improving on it, and bring it to market.  Look at it this way, if you're an investor would you really invest multi-millions of dollars worth of capital in something that can be copied today?  Why not create your own?  Whose to stop Google from coming in and making Googlecoins?  Any profitable venture will result in competition.  This may be good for P2P currency's longevity but I'm strictly talking about BTC from an investment standpoint.  If it were legal to make an exact copy of Lipitor and bring it to market today, would it happen?  You're damn right it would.

I have other concerns, the bad press, the security issues, lack of merchants, etc. but really those are my two big ones and they sort've tie in together.  Again, I'm coming at this from an investment standpoint.  I see Bitcoin's value as rampant speculation.  I don't want to use the "B" word, but the price appreciation is unsustainable (LONG-TERM) in my view.

What are your thoughts? 

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June 25, 2011, 08:57:54 PM
 #2

IMHO you hit the nail on the head with your very first question.

Quite frankly - this is also the sole reason to speculate(not invest) _RIGHT NOW_, because the longer you wait, the more this becomes a pressing matter and the people who are holding the majority of the 6+ million BTC might get the idea of cashing out, at which point the game is effectively over(or at the very least dominated by their whim).

In short - buy 10x11$ for 110$ of 10 BTC, sell them at 15-20$, be happy you have a few free pizzas.


I would never, ever, ever recommend to anyone ever to put real money into this game of musical chairs that goes above "a couple of pizzas"( i.e. if you have x risk capital you can afford to lose completely, no more than 1-3% of that x) amounts(some have sunk 10k+ into this - insane!).

Ho-Hum.
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June 25, 2011, 09:08:48 PM
 #3

Let me start by saying that I do not know all of the facts, which is the reason for this topic.  The person who can provide the most convincing argument to my concerns will be given 1 BTC should I decide to invest.  That incentive is just to put out there, really what I would like is a civil and hopefully mostly troll-free discussion.  

From the FAQ, "in the first 4 years of the Bitcoin network, 10,500,000 BTC will be created."  So 2,625,000 BTC's per year.  BTC's fluctuate in price but lets use $15 per BTC as a baseline.  In order to sustain that price over a year period, NEW money would have to be injected in excess of $39 million per year.  Perhaps slightly less as not all will go to market, so lets say, $30 million.  First problem I see:

Where does this money come from?  We have very small scale exchanges, and the largest one has been hacked and isn't even open yet.  A further barrier is the $1,000 transaction limit.  How do you get $30 million a year in with that sort of limit imposed.  Yes, that limit can be removed by providing verifying information, however, the scale we're talking about is going to take institutional investors.  Will these institutional investors be willing to lose their anonymity to invest here?  And even so, the next is my biggest concern....

Bitcoin in unpatented intellectual property.  Everyone who has ever taken an Econ 101 class should understand the law of supply and demand.  Lets say BTC gets this $30 million investment per year, that sort of money is going to spur competition.  As long as there is demand and profit to be made, competitors will come.  The primary protection against competition is patents, trademarkets, etc..   Lets look at a company like Pfizer for example and their immensely successful drug Lipitor.  Lipitor is patented resulting in Pfizer being the only drug manufacturer allowed to produce the product.  Once that patent runs out, generic brands of the drugs will come online and Pfizer will no longer be making large gains on the drug.  They know this, everyone knows this.  

Bitcoin has no patent and in fact, is open source.  There is nothing to stop a competitor from coming in, copying the model, maybe even improving on it, and bring it to market.  Look at it this way, if you're an investor would you really invest multi-millions of dollars worth of capital in something that can be copied today?  Why not create your own?  Whose to stop Google from coming in and making Googlecoins?  Any profitable venture will result in competition.  This may be good for P2P currency's longevity but I'm strictly talking about BTC from an investment standpoint.  If it were legal to make an exact copy of Lipitor and bring it to market today, would it happen?  You're damn right it would.

I have other concerns, the bad press, the security issues, lack of merchants, etc. but really those are my two big ones and they sort've tie in together.  Again, I'm coming at this from an investment standpoint.  I see Bitcoin's value as rampant speculation.  I don't want to use the "B" word, but the price appreciation is unsustainable (LONG-TERM) in my view.

What are your thoughts?  


You can either work within the $1000/day or $10,000/month withdrawal limit or identify yourself and go for more. $1000 withdrawal is interesting to any country and Mt Gox has decided to impose those rules. You aren't anonymous at any level on any other established exchanges that I know of.

There are entire companies that make money based around open source products, some have existed for 15 or more years. This is nothing new. CentOS distributes RedHat's Enterprise OS exactly, minus trademarks. Nothing will stop someone else from starting a bitcoin network except the fact that they will be fighting the same uphill battle, unless they use it for a different purpose.

If your own words are "I see Bitcoin's value as rampant speculation." Then why would you even consider investing unless you like rampantly speculative markets. Do whatever analysis you think is necessary since you're coming at it from an investors perspective.

Quit standing by the pool with your shirt on asking how the water is though, you're blocking my sun. Smiley

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June 25, 2011, 09:10:15 PM
 #4

You should invest in it for the same reason you should invest in foreign currency.



Assign a probility that each of the following will occur or is true.  

1) Eventually, there will be a worldwide currency
2) Since the project is opensource, basically it puts everyone on an even playing field to decide how the currency works
3) all money is worth what you can get for it no matter what kind of money it is
4) you should not treat bitcoin as an investment and only use it when its more convienient then regular cash (IE - tipping random guy on the forums for his help)

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June 25, 2011, 09:10:23 PM
 #5

There has been much written about the efficacy of bitcoins as the future currency. It's not a question of if, it's a question of when. You don't need an exchange to acquire bitcoins. Simply find someone to make you a reasonable trade and meet them in person. Bitcoins will continue to grow in value, but they will not be used as a primary transaction currency until they become quite valuable. When applications come out that allow you to send small fractions of a bitcoin from a smartphone, it will be simple enough to use for small purchases. It is scalable enough to buy a cup of coffee or to fund every major economy in the world.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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June 25, 2011, 09:12:47 PM
 #6

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Where does this money come from?  We have very small scale exchanges, and the largest one has been hacked and isn't even open yet.  A further barrier is the $1,000 transaction limit.  How do you get $30 million a year in with that sort of limit imposed.  Yes, that limit can be removed by providing verifying information, however, the scale we're talking about is going to take institutional investors.  Will these institutional investors be willing to lose their anonymity to invest here?  And even so, the next is my biggest concern....

Well first of all, the limit is $1,000 per day at MtGox, and $10,000 per month.  So cashing out 6 million BTC at $15 each would take 750 person-years.  That's not so ridiculous.  Secondly, do institutional investors really usually invest anonymously?

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June 25, 2011, 09:13:34 PM
 #7

Bitcoins are not an investment, they do not yield and dividends. If you're holding them with the intention of making a profit by selling them on a later date, all you're doing is speculating on their worth on that specific date.

Bitcoin is a value exchange system, that's what it was primarily intended for. The likelihood of making a profit by holding them comes from their design that rewards savings unlike say fiat currencies where saving is punished. But that's it. There's no promise they'll be worth more than what you paid for them at the exact moment you decide to exchange them for something else.

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June 25, 2011, 09:14:03 PM
 #8

1. There are actually many exchange sites open and BTC are being bought and sold constantly on all of them. I had recently joined a brand new exchange sites based in Canada (opened maybe no more than a month ago?) and it's already pulling 1700-2200 (from what I've seen so far) BTC exchanges per week. At this rate, and your flat rate of $15/BTC, this brand new site which is still in beta and represents maybe 1/50th of bitcoin users will have dealt with approx. 1.2 million in one year minimum. I can't say how much of that will have been newly laundered cash, but you understand my point I'm sure. In the end the money comes from people working their day jobs, and investing a few bucks here and there into BTC by buying them on exchanges.

2. I really don't think this case applies to bitcoins. If you take a look around the forums, for one, you will see that most, if not all people here would absolutely hate to see bitcoins go down the tube. It's made a huge name for itself and it is the first digital "currency" out there that's actually had positive feedback from most everyone who's dealt with it or heard about it. If there is a competitor that decides to start up down the road, I'm sure a few bitcoiners may jump boat and test it out here and there. The major selling point of bitcoins now, is that it's already here. Everyone knows about it and i'm sure no one wants to start from scratch with a digital currency that is worth 0.00000001 USD once again. Like I said, people may jump boat and mine a few here and there *just in case* but I can hardly see any significant group sticking it out when there's already a proud group in this community.

As for the publicity, who cares. If others don't want to get involved right now, that's a shame. But look at the numbers on these forums or even how many people are mining on any given day. bitcoins user base at this point in time is relative to a moderate sized  city and it grew to that in a matter of a couple years. If the trend continues, and it will, then anyone considering creating a parallel competitor is simply mistaken.

I hope this helps you out.

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June 25, 2011, 09:14:12 PM
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Where does this money come from?  We have very small scale exchanges, and the largest one has been hacked and isn't even open yet.  A further barrier is the $1,000 transaction limit.  How do you get $30 million a year in with that sort of limit imposed.  Yes, that limit can be removed by providing verifying information, however, the scale we're talking about is going to take institutional investors.  Will these institutional investors be willing to lose their anonymity to invest here?  And even so, the next is my biggest concern....

I don't see that as a huge problem, recently mtgox had daily volumes of ~1mill USD. (that's equivalent to 365million USD a year, over 10 times the value needed. And we're less than 62000 ppl trading there, imagine the size when we pass 1million ppl).



Bitcoin in unpatented intellectual property.  Everyone who has ever taken an Econ 101 class should understand the law of supply and demand.  Lets say BTC gets this $30 million investment per year, that sort of money is going to spur competition.  As long as there is demand and profit to be made, competitors will come.  The primary protection against competition is patents, trademarkets, etc..   Lets look at a company like Pfizer for example and their immensely successful drug Lipitor.  Lipitor is patented resulting in Pfizer being the only drug manufacturer allowed to produce the product.  Once that patent runs out, generic brands of the drugs will come online and Pfizer will no longer be making large gains on the drug.  They know this, everyone knows this.  

Bitcoin has no patent and in fact, is open source.  There is nothing to stop a competitor from coming in, copying the model, maybe even improving on it, and bring it to market.  Look at it this way, if you're an investor would you really invest multi-millions of dollars worth of capital in something that can be copied today?  Why not create your own?  Whose to stop Google from coming in and making Googlecoins?  Any profitable venture will result in competition.  This may be good for P2P currency's longevity but I'm strictly talking about BTC from an investment standpoint.  If it were legal to make an exact copy of Lipitor and bring it to market today, would it happen?  You're damn right it would.

I don't believe you can compare the old-fashioned patent world with open source. It's like comparing an xbox to a supercomputer.
This model (opensource) is what Bill Gates stated is the only thing that can "kill" microsoft. And bitcoin was first, it has homeadvantage in trust.
I actually hope someone will make a bitcoin competitor it could boost public awareness and trust in decentralized currencies.

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June 25, 2011, 09:21:30 PM
 #10

Bitcoin got to where it is today and I never expected it, so why couldn't it be bigger in the (near) future?
Just do what feels comfortable to you and always realize there's no way to know the future...
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June 25, 2011, 09:24:43 PM
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I laugh at patents. The ONLY thing to fear is a vulnerability on the SHA2 hashing algorithm. But then we'll just adopt SHA3 for example or another virtual currency that uses SHA3.

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June 25, 2011, 09:31:21 PM
 #12

I see Bitcoin's value as rampant speculation.  I don't want to use the "B" word, but the price appreciation is unsustainable (LONG-TERM) in my view.

What are your thoughts? 

I think the absolute majority of ppl invested in BTC are capitalist pigs who enjoy rampant speculation: But I, like many others, would not have invested in it if we did not think that the project has are serious opportunities to grow and it is basically sound.

For a competitor to emerge would need at least that it offers major technical improvements. And if it happens, no problem, just be ready to jump in early.
 
And if you need to invest millions anonymously, just split them up.

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June 25, 2011, 09:31:32 PM
 #13

There has been much written about the efficacy of bitcoins as the future currency. It's not a question of if, it's a question of when.

even if you hold that opinion for electronic decentralized fiat currency, that's definitely not true for bitcoin.
right now, a single large actor can wipe out bitcoin completely. "googlecoins" would probably not even require any large improvements, just the name and promotion behind it.

the only thing that stops any single merchant from doing that is widespread use of bitcoin in real business. it doesn't matter how many people trade at Mt.Gox or how many exchanges there are.

I should make "Bitcoin is either the Myspace of e-currencies, or more likely one of its prececessors" my signature. many of my posts seem to end on that point.
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June 25, 2011, 09:32:43 PM
 #14

1) The exchanges have put those limits in place as fraud protection. As volume grows and special dispensations are arranged then that limit will be adjusted as required

2) Money existed before patents. A Bitcoin is expected to reasonably represent a share in the value of the overall Bitcoin economy.

Given that Bitcoin solves a lot of problems that currently exist within the usual currencies then over the course of time it may come to pass that it gets wide adoption. That alone is sufficient to make it worth serious consideration.

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June 25, 2011, 09:44:37 PM
 #15

Where does this money come from?  We have very small scale exchanges, and the largest one has been hacked and isn't even open yet.  A further barrier is the $1,000 transaction limit.  How do you get $30 million a year in with that sort of limit imposed.

The limit is on money out, not money going in.  The price goes up when more goes in than out.  More goes in than out because people tend not to sell an asset increasing in value.  That's how real estate, the stock market, asset bubbles, HYIPs, ponzi/pyramid schemes, etc. work.  After the price doubles, most people don't withdraw their gains.  They keep their money in so the principle plus the gains double again.  I'm holding (and buying more) BTC because I expect way more new money to come in than money going out (excepting short-term fluctuations).  Also, much of the sale of BTC aren't actual withdraws.  Its traders holding returns on the sidelines waiting to buy back in.  All the new money coming in + old money going back in pushes the price up, bringing in more new money, creating a self-reinforcing positive feedback loop.  Still a thin market with much room to grow (estimated market capital between $100 and $200 million or about the size of a small cap stock).

Bitcoin in unpatented intellectual property. 

Its open source.  That's why people trust it.  Copies won't proliferate, because bitcoin was first to market and the network effect is far too great.  Additionally, miners have enough hashing power that one big miner could overtake a newly competing block chain by becoming more than 50% of its hashing power.  Bitcoin is the only one already big enough to resist this attack.  Network effect.  Same reason why any Facebook competitor is probably doomed to failure at the start, though it is simple to make a social networking website (there is even open source code to start a competing social networking site for minimal cost).

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June 25, 2011, 09:48:59 PM
 #16

A further barrier is the $1,000 transaction limit.  How do you get $30 million a year in with that sort of limit imposed.
The $1,000 limit of Mt. Gox is no transaction limit - you can easily put 1 million USD into Mt. Gox and buy all available Bitcoins in one transaction. The limit only applies to withdrawals. I agree it is still a limiting factor but it is definitely no transaction-limit.

Quote
Will these institutional investors be willing to lose their anonymity to invest here?
I don't see a problem with this - it's not like there is a public record of which person or company bought what on Mt. Gox. You have to identify yourself just as you have to identify yourself when you open a bank account.

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Bitcoin has no patent and in fact, is open source.  There is nothing to stop a competitor from coming in, copying the model, maybe even improving on it, and bring it to market.
Who exactly would those competitor be competing against?
Bitcoin is no company - it is a community of people who trust in it. A competing "product" would definitely have to be decentralized and open-source as well because otherwise it is really hard to imagine people would trust it. So by definition, this company could not control this competing currency and you would end up with just another blockchain with maybe different rules and probably a few fancy services and apps around it.
Don't underestimate the first to market advantage of Bitcoin - do you really think it is so easy for a company to come up with a viable business plan to steal all that momentum from Bitcoin? Maybe, but they would have to invest big time into software development and marketing. Its not just copying the code and putting your name in the genesis-block.

Quote
If it were legal to make an exact copy of Lipitor and bring it to market today, would it happen?  You're damn right it would.
And what would an exact copy of Bitcoin be worth? Exactly nothing!
A competing product would have to have a real unique advantage - something that can simply not be done with Bitcoin. Many ideas have floated this forums how people think Bitcoin could be improved, but as of yet nobody really found a compelling alternative which people wanted to abandon Bitcoin for. I'm not saying it is impossible, but you have to have a really good idea and the means (=money) to implement it and advertise it.

Quote
I don't want to use the "B" word, but the price appreciation is unsustainable (LONG-TERM) in my view.
Yes, it is going to be a bumpy ride and the market will stay volatile for quite some time but that is not necessarily a bad thing. As for the "real value" - who knows, the market will decide and the price will be whatever it will be. There are compelling arguments however that Bitcoin could be used for quite a significant percentage of online payment and that sector is not especially going to shrink anytime soon.

Quote
What are your thoughts? 
Interesting times ahead I'd say...
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June 25, 2011, 09:54:18 PM
 #17

come up with a viable business plan to steal all that momentum from Bitcoin? Maybe, but they would have to invest big time into software development and marketing. Its not just copying the code and putting your name in the genesis-block.

I think it is, depending on the actor.
Apple computers, providing an easy way to buy coins and 20% discount on iTunes when buying with coins would do it, imho.
if they're smart enough to let go of all control and take another large merchant onboard, no question.
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June 25, 2011, 10:00:03 PM
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You may call it speculation. I call it an AMAZING idea backed by a PASSIONATE community. Why don't you go read the development section and judge for yourself. That is what sold me.

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June 25, 2011, 10:06:12 PM
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come up with a viable business plan to steal all that momentum from Bitcoin? Maybe, but they would have to invest big time into software development and marketing. Its not just copying the code and putting your name in the genesis-block.

I think it is, depending on the actor.
Apple computers, providing an easy way to buy coins and 20% discount on iTunes when buying with coins would do it, imho.
if they're smart enough to let go of all control and take another large merchant onboard, no question.

Ok but then the added value comes from the millions of USD which went into marketing to push the Apple brand and from the 20% of iTunes revenue. These are the big investments needed that I was speaking of.

I'd argue that there are only very few companies who could pull that off (ie. have a big enough name and market share) and no matter how you put it: it would cost them a lot.

Besides, I personally would count Apple out because they will not be giving up any kind of control anytime soon Wink
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June 25, 2011, 10:08:02 PM
 #20

Totally agree with your post. I would not "invest" in BTC as a speculator, I would do it to help change the world (not that I want to enrich early adopters) I think about all those Ron Paul speeches on sound money, personal responsibility. Insert BTC into those speeches and you have an idea of what he his talking about. ATM however, Gavin put it best when he said BTC is like an internet startup and that BTC may fail as a currency but succeed as a commodity.  

Main weakness of BTC imo is mark/tux, who has proven he has ~500k of btc and runs largest exchange.  Not only conflict of interest, rife for manipulation.  Am hopeful this will work itself out.  Tux has no interest in destroying btc, which he could do in a heartbeat and run.  

I think point of BTC is to show people what is possible.  I saw BTC over a year ago and thought was pointless, GOX proved that wrong.

Quite frankly I hope everyone buys at least 1 BTC ASAP and holds on to it.  If gox has 60k peeps now and that grows to 600k by end of year (which is feasible given press) possible that all will hold on to at least 10 BTC.  If that happens, and exchange rate of BTC widens that will benefit all.  If BTC can prove peeps don't need fed res, will be devastating to status quo as everyone will want btc.  

There will be many competitors and should be, may the best win.  BTC/derivative is the future, no doubt in my mind and likely most on this forum.  The best thing BTC can do right now is become so expensive vis a vis USD to make USD more of a joke than is.  The threat to this is tux, and any other major holders of BTC who want to cash out.  

So IMO buy 1 BTC hold it and get all your friends to buy 1BTC and hold.  

FYI - Nefario on bitcoinweekly expects gox to be taken out before end of year.




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