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Author Topic: Explaining bitcoin to friends  (Read 1981 times)
saxx
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July 02, 2011, 06:45:07 AM
 #1

It's fucking useless.


Sure i don't understand the cryptography behind it, but i find the general workings very easy to grasp.

When people start asking "what gives it value" is when i fail to explain properly. Even still. All i get is.


"pyramid scheme", "scam", and someone even went as far as to say "what are they doing with all that hashing power, it could be treason" - that was from someone who is mining with duel 6950s.  And that was even after i wrote out a really long paragraph of what all that hashing is for. Without the cryptography jargon because i don't know the technical aspects of it.

I may be bad at explaining things, but i quit. I will never try to explain bitcoin ever again. Sorry i've failed the community.
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joulesbeef
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July 02, 2011, 06:53:27 AM
 #2

yeah i find it very hard, i think most people do. It is a strange concept, but then again, most people spend green backs all their lives and never once think about how they have value.

your going to get people that think it is a scheme, especially with the mining, that sounds so unusual.

Just explain it is like a currency without a government backing it and mining is just like mining for gold. Some of the value comes from the fact that it is difficult to mine, but unlike gold it is very predictable and we know exactly how much "bit gold" we will find. It takes money, knowledge, effort and time to mine, just like gold.

Still I dont think most people will understand it, my mom is in the markets and it took me a while to convince her it wasnt some sort of pyramid scam and how it worked. Still not sure if she understood.

mooo for rent
evolve
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July 02, 2011, 07:11:25 AM
 #3

to be honest...and im sure this will be an unpopular opinion.....i dont explain or suggest bitcoins to anyone (let alone friends or family) yet.  its too young and too volatile right now.

perhaps one day ill see it (and can recommend it) as a storage of wealth (like gold), or perhaps as an investment (like a diversified stock portfolio), and maybe one day i may be able to recommend it as a viable form of electronic commerce (like credit cards or paypal)....

but for now i see it as an extremely risky form of e-commerce that may end up being revolutionary, or may go the way of flooz...personally, i cant recommend btc to anyone who hasnt done their own due diligence in researching it as an investment.   
saxx
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July 02, 2011, 07:18:19 AM
 #4

I wasn't trying to push it on anyone or tell them to use it. Just explain the concept, on the off chance it would peak their interest.
tonygal
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July 02, 2011, 12:24:57 PM
 #5

it's like the early days of email.

You tried to tell someone: " you should get an email address!"

Their response: " Why would I want that?"

"So I can send you an email!"

"Why would I want that?"

The same conversation is happening now.  the early adopters are pushing the technology, and it will catch on to the masses real soon.  AOL made the internet easy.  Bitcoin will get there.

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mrblu
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July 02, 2011, 12:33:08 PM
 #6

I believe part of the answer is that the value is at what it is, because that's what the market demands it to be. How do we place a value on gold? How do we place value on the exchange rates between USD and EUR? Bitcoins is similar. The market demands it at that price and supply and demand will lead it to that price.

However, I believe that anyone that's investing in bitcoins is hoping that it's going to catch on and it will cause an increase in the value of bitcoins.

Think of it this way. Anonymous monetary transactions. Untraceable. Drug dealers and other illegal traders would love this stuff. As soon as the community grows, it will cause demand for BTCs to rise.

1LYyPR5Rh9nVNkD7EdzqyqKiRU5aSH9RpX :>
qwk
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July 02, 2011, 12:43:28 PM
 #7

First thing i tell people i wanna get interested in bitcoins is:

"I don't think this would be interesting for you."

That gets their attention.

"I don't think you would understand, and it's too difficult to explain for me."

That gets their ego.

"It's something that's just too risky right now for you to get into."

That gets their greed.

From then on, i just answer their questions best  i can, all the while refusing to actually try and convince them. I actually always try to discourage them from getting into it.

I actually never managed to get someone to really use it, but nobody ever accused me of being part of a scam or something either.
The reason i never got anybody on board is simply that there is no real use for it right now. But i have a few people who keep an eye on it.

Yeah, well... I'm gonna go build my own blockchain, with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the blockchain!
flailing Junk
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July 02, 2011, 01:37:33 PM
 #8

Are those people really your friends? Sounds more like responses from internet trolls.
HappyDude
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July 02, 2011, 04:10:30 PM
 #9

I don't blame people for not understanding.  The first time I heard about it was in the economist article.  I didnt think it a scam necessarily, but I also didnt think it had much of a future - it would be too easy for the govt to destroy.  As I've read more about it have a different opinion.
joulesbeef
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July 02, 2011, 04:42:53 PM
 #10

"i dont explain or suggest bitcoins to anyone (let alone friends or family) yet.  its too young and too volatile right now. "


sometimes they ask.

mooo for rent
qwk
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July 02, 2011, 04:44:17 PM
 #11

Are those people really your friends? Sounds more like responses from internet trolls.

They are people who annoy me with questions about what i do from time to time. Aka friends and family, yes  Grin

Yeah, well... I'm gonna go build my own blockchain, with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the blockchain!
xsmx
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July 02, 2011, 05:04:43 PM
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Are those people really your friends? Sounds more like responses from internet trolls.

They are people who annoy me with questions about what i do from time to time. Aka friends and family, yes  Grin

That kind of friends, who only call you when their "computer is broken"?

1C5aycbtEi56Gfn3W5dK45dUsjXpnrd3R6

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q/justanotherperlhacker/);@a=sort{$b cmp $a}@a;for(@z){if
($_=~m/\w/){@i=(@a,@a);for(a..$_){shift@i}for(a..$j[0])
{shift@i}print$i[0]}else{print$_}}print"\n";
qwk
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July 02, 2011, 05:14:37 PM
 #13

That kind of friends, who only call you when their "computer is broken"?

That kind.

Yeah, well... I'm gonna go build my own blockchain, with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the blockchain!
joulesbeef
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July 02, 2011, 06:54:45 PM
 #14

just to go of on a tangent.

why do they seem to think that you repairing their shit is no big deal?

I have a friend who works on cars, if i asked him to just fix my shit for free, he would look at me like I was crazy... "do you know how much work it is, that will take hours"

"you mean like me fixing your computer?"

sometimes people act like they just asked you to get them a drink out of the fridge. I guess cause I am always on the computer, people think I just enjoy stopping what i am doing and fixing their shit when the same people would never want to do what they do for a living for free for me.


i'm sure I could press the issue, or barter more and it isnt a big deal, it is just the attitude.

geek work should be cheap or free, while what they do is actual labor and should be compensated.

mooo for rent
fascistmuffin
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July 02, 2011, 07:15:04 PM
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just to go of on a tangent.

why do they seem to think that you repairing their shit is no big deal?

I have a friend who works on cars, if i asked him to just fix my shit for free, he would look at me like I was crazy... "do you know how much work it is, that will take hours"

"you mean like me fixing your computer?"

sometimes people act like they just asked you to get them a drink out of the fridge. I guess cause I am always on the computer, people think I just enjoy stopping what i am doing and fixing their shit when the same people would never want to do what they do for a living for free for me.


i'm sure I could press the issue, or barter more and it isnt a big deal, it is just the attitude.

geek work should be cheap or free, while what they do is actual labor and should be compensated.

That's why I don't offer. My aunt always tries to ask me about computer related stuff,  trying to get me to fix her shit (as in everything: computer, phone, ipod, internet). I just tell her that I don't know, and it works quite well. My brother made the mistake of helping her once, and now she calls him when she needs troubleshooting.
ragamor
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July 02, 2011, 09:12:52 PM
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"Explaining bitcoin to friends"

First you need to explain why the currency they are currently holding is worth its weight in paper, and less so in the future. Then you can move on to Bitcoin.

The deal is that when explaining a concept to others you have to put yourself in their shoes, WHY would they move from a paper currency they have used all their life to something new?

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Saledo
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July 02, 2011, 09:23:25 PM
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just to go of on a tangent.

why do they seem to think that you repairing their shit is no big deal?

I have a friend who works on cars, if i asked him to just fix my shit for free, he would look at me like I was crazy... "do you know how much work it is, that will take hours"

"you mean like me fixing your computer?"

sometimes people act like they just asked you to get them a drink out of the fridge. I guess cause I am always on the computer, people think I just enjoy stopping what i am doing and fixing their shit when the same people would never want to do what they do for a living for free for me.


i'm sure I could press the issue, or barter more and it isnt a big deal, it is just the attitude.

geek work should be cheap or free, while what they do is actual labor and should be compensated.

I finally got my family and friends to stop asking me to repair their computer for free, when my wife comes along and offers my services to any of her friends that mention the slightest problem. Now I have to do shit for people I dont even know otherwise the wife will get bent out of joint.

As of the OP, I have had a few discussions with friends, but the fact is they are not very computer savvy and the way the client is currently I just cant risk them losing money because they dont know how to secure their own wallets/machines
josh71983
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July 02, 2011, 09:27:05 PM
 #18

easiest way i've described it is basically like playing a MMO for gold and selling it for dollars...it's not that close of a comparison but close enough...lol
NOTtheMessiah
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July 03, 2011, 02:37:01 AM
 #19

When it comes to "what gives it value" I usually take the Socratic Method here, and try to put things into perspective by asking what gives any other form of currency its value. If they say money has the backing of the government, bring up how that might not always be the case as with Zimbabwe's hyperinflation. If they say bitcoin has no intrinsic value and they raise gold as an example, highlight how any industrial application of gold is minute compared to what value it serves just because of its scarcity.
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July 03, 2011, 05:27:50 AM
 #20

Think of it this way. Anonymous monetary transactions. Untraceable. Drug dealers and other illegal traders would love this stuff. As soon as the community grows, it will cause demand for BTCs to rise.

It's already been though of that way. Just in case you missed Senator Schumer being an idiot a month ago you can start here: (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110605/22322814558/senator-schumer-says-bitcoin-is-money-laundering.shtml) and then Google 'senator schumer bitcoin' for more laughs.

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