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Author Topic: Wow, this is Better than Bitcoins!  (Read 1768 times)
Shinobi
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July 13, 2011, 08:20:29 PM
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Betting on Beanie Babies

©Copyright 1998 by I. Nelson Rose. All rights reserved worldwide. Gambling and the Law® is a registered trademark of Professor I. Nelson Rose, Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, CA.
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If you want to teach your children how to gamble, have them spend their allowances on Beanie Babies.

In this era of instant heirlooms, these cute, under-stuffed toy animals have become the collectibles of the betting generation.

Collectibles -- such as coins, stamps and limited edition art -- have always contained an element of speculation. It may be fun to look at the first Superman comic book, but if you own this 60-year-old treasure, it is in part because you are hoping it will go up in value.

Fads reflect the society in which they develop. Housing tracks blossomed during the 1950s. Crazes of the era included games that could be played in suburban backyards: Hula Hoops and Frisbees.

In the 1990s, the obsession is gambling. Everything is speeded up, in anticipation of the arrival of the new century.

The Internet is decades away from being as profitable as television, but you would not know that by looking at the stock market. With Internet companies you do not have to worry about the stock falling if profits fall -- none of them are making a profit today.

Buying Beanie Babies is more than a fad. For both adults and children, it has become a form of gambling, similar to a pyramid scheme or chain letters.

The current craze in Beanie Babies echoes the infamous Dutch Tulipmania of the 1630s. Speculators sought to make quick profits trading tulips of unusual colors. Outrageous prices were paid, in the hopes of reselling to "greater fools." While a small house in town cost about 300 guilders, a single tulip bulb is recorded having been sold for 5,500 guilders.

As lease one Beanie Baby, original price $7 - $8, has sold for over $5,000.

Fortunes really can be made during such wild speculation. You just want to get in and out of the market before the inevitable crash. In other words, you want to be the seller of that $5,000 Beanie Baby, NOT the buyer.

All speculative bubbles grow out of unrealistic expectations. Although Beanie Babies are mass-produced in China and Indonesia, the manufacturer, Ty Inc., has created artificial shortages by randomly retiring models. Shortages inevitably lead to hoarding -- even if the shortage is illusionary.

Those of us who did not save our childhood Star Trek toys or Barbie dolls in their original boxes, unopened, for 30 years, have all heard of the millions of dollars we threw away. This time we won't miss out.

Frantic Beanie Baby buyers have followed UPS trucks to toy stores. One shop owner in Monterrey, California told me that he stopped opening Ty delivery boxes in the store when a virtual "riot" broke out among out-of-control customers and he had to call the police.

Beanie Babymania is exacerbated because buyers do not know how many copies of a model have been or are going to be produced.

McDonald's outlets were mobbed when the fast-food chain gave away a Teenie Beanie Baby with every Happy Meal. Adults as well as children threw or gave away the food. One homeless woman, offered an uneaten burger, groaned, "Ugh, not another Happy Meal."

The promotional campaign did not emphasize that there would be 250 million Teenie Beanies distributed.

The mass media has fed the craze by reporting "market values," as if they were real, for retired models.

A photo in the June 1998 issue of Mary Beth's Beanie World Magazine, self-described as "America's Best Selling Beanie Baby Magazine," featured a child, who appears to be about five years old. The caption: "Caleb Devaney shows off some of his Beanie collection, which may someday pay for his college education. His collection is worth an estimated $36,000 on the secondary market."

I hope his parents did not put his college fund into Beanie Babies. Not only is there no reason to believe the market will last until little Caleb applies to Harvard -- remember Cabbage Patch dolls? -- but there is, in fact, no true secondary market.

Note that Ty itself never says what a Beanie Baby will be worth in the future. It might well be securities fraud for a seller to promise that a collectible will go up in value.

Collectors may be able to sell to other collectors (the "greater fool"). But there is no New York Beanie Exchange.

Lots of stores advertise that they sell Beanie Babies. But few say they buy.

As a test, I contacted stores that have the word "buy" in their ads. I said I had a Chops the Lamb in mint condition, with a "market value" of $225. Here are a sampling of the responses:

"We sell out of state, but we don't buy out of state."

"Not interested at this time. Thanks."

"You'll have to sell at a local show."

I eventually found one store that would pay me $100 for my $225 Chops.

If I had bought Chops for $7 when new, I would grab the $100 and run. If I had paid $225 -- well, at least I would know who was the greater fool.

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Denicen
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July 13, 2011, 08:27:57 PM
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WOW SIR. You have completely destroyed my confidence in bitcoin now, because they are like beanie babies. How could I have not seen it before?
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July 13, 2011, 08:33:35 PM
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The Internet is decades away from being as profitable as television


Shinobi
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July 13, 2011, 08:33:44 PM
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WOW SIR. You have completely destroyed my confidence in bitcoin now, because they are like beanie babies. How could I have not seen it before?

How are they different? They are hoarded, people are making absurd claims on their value, and there is no underlying usable value other than speculation, and no institutions of any force that would be invested to prop their value. At least I can snuggle with a beanie baby.

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Shinobi
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July 13, 2011, 08:35:25 PM
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That's part of the poignancy of viewing the article now. The internet was indeed a novel and uncharted territory. The behavior surrounding and propping up Bitcoins isn't. The creation and implementation of artificial scarcity in a digital realm is indeed amazing, but nothing about how Bitcoins are being treated now is any different than Beanie Babies and Tulips before it.


The Internet is decades away from being as profitable as television


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TiagoTiago
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July 13, 2011, 08:41:53 PM
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The Internet is decades away from being as profitable as television


Tell that to spammers

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

Wanna gimme some BTC for any or no reason? 1FmvtS66LFh6ycrXDwKRQTexGJw4UWiqDX Smiley

The more you believe in Bitcoin, and the more you show you do to other people, the faster the real value will soar!

Do you like mmmBananas?!
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July 13, 2011, 08:42:20 PM
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hahahahahahaha

Oh man, at least *try* when you troll.

Here, you'll be needing this Shinobi:


fortitudinem multis - catenum regit omnia
Denicen
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July 13, 2011, 08:49:44 PM
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WOW SIR. You have completely destroyed my confidence in bitcoin now, because they are like beanie babies. How could I have not seen it before?

How are they different? They are hoarded, people are making absurd claims on their value, and there is no underlying usable value other than speculation, and no institutions of any force that would be invested to prop their value. At least I can snuggle with a beanie baby.

They are not different at all, very clearly bitcoin is exactly like beanie babies. You are an insightful visionary imo.
CurbsideProphet
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July 13, 2011, 08:51:09 PM
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How are they different? They are hoarded, people are making absurd claims on their value, and there is no underlying usable value other than speculation, and no institutions of any force that would be invested to prop their value. At least I can snuggle with a beanie baby.

I see the parallels you are trying to draw.  Beanie babies, like POGS, baseball cards, Yo-Yos, and numerous other collectibles had a substantial rise and fall as the fad faded.

Rather than a collectible, I like to think of Bitcoin as intellectual property.  An experiment in the feasibility of a P2P currency.  I agree that the absurd claims of value, government conspiracy fanatics, and immature posts by some in the community are doing nothing to further the Bitcoin cause.  But there are a good number of people here who have a rational idea of what Bitcoins may or may not become.  

Those that think they'll be buying a pound of gold, a home, or whatever with 1 BTC... just let them go.  They've reached a state of delusion that you simply cannot get through.  Not worth the effort.  

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July 13, 2011, 08:51:40 PM
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WOW SIR. You have completely destroyed my confidence in bitcoin now, because they are like beanie babies. How could I have not seen it before?

I lol'd

Mousepotato
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July 13, 2011, 08:52:52 PM
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WOW SIR. You have completely destroyed my confidence in bitcoin now, because they are like beanie babies. How could I have not seen it before?

I lol'd

Bitcoin starts with B... So does Beanie Babies... Nuff said
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July 13, 2011, 08:57:21 PM
 #12

Betting on Beanie Babies
©Copyright 1998

The Internet is decades away from being as profitable as television, but you would not know that by looking at the stock market. With Internet companies you do not have to worry about the stock falling if profits fall -- none of them are making a profit today.

I ESPECIALLY loved that line above ^^^^^^     Grin

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July 13, 2011, 08:57:49 PM
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<sarcasm> Bitcoin is totally just like Beanie Babies. You can divide Beanie Babies to 8 decimal places, carry $5 million USD worth of Beanie Babies encrypted on a MicroSD card in your wallet while traveling, and pay for goods & services instantly via any Internet connection. </sarcasm>

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July 13, 2011, 09:19:04 PM
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I admit I hastily misread and consequently entered a short-tempered response, and have thus withdrawn my previous post.

CurbsideProphet
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July 13, 2011, 09:24:39 PM
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I admit I hastily misread and consequently entered a short-tempered response, and have thus withdrawn my previous post.

In turn, I have removed my short-tempered response to your response.   Wink

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Ekaros
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July 13, 2011, 09:38:53 PM
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Bitcoin is different from collectable fad and tulipmania.

Acctualy people should read Wikipedia page about tulipmania. If I got part right there weren't traded any pulps at all, but just futures(which likely never were being paid), which is different from BTC.

It's quite  hard to say what the destiny of BTC is, but there certainly will be some changes in currencys aroun world, hopefully the loan-bubble will go down, and more balanced currency take a place...

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Shinobi
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July 13, 2011, 09:41:25 PM
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I guess I was trolling. Sorry. At least I earned one of TraderTimms awards. If only they were as scarce as Bitcoins. Wink


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July 13, 2011, 09:51:17 PM
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The Internet is decades away from being as profitable as television, but you would not know that by looking at the stock market. With Internet companies you do not have to worry about the stock falling if profits fall -- none of them are making a profit today.


Cool story bro.

Below is the list of the Top 10 Most Profitable Companies for 2011 brought to you courtesy of 24/7 Wall St:

1. Exxon Mobil 
Projected profits 2011: $32.3 Billion - 
Consensus Revenue Est. 2011: $417.6 Billion, up 10.2%
2. Microsoft
 Projected profits 2011: $21 Billion - 
Consensus Revenue Est. 2011: $73.4 Billion, up 7%
3. Chevron
 Projected profits 2011: $19.8 Billion- Consensus Revenue Est. 2011: $247.23 Billion, up 21.8%
4. JPMorgan Chase 
Projected profits 2011: $19.1 Billion - Consensus Revenue Est. 2011: $101.57 Billion, down 1.1%
5. Pfizer
 Projected profits 2011: $18.3 Billion - Consensus Revenue Est. 2011: $66.09 Billion, down 1.8%
6. Apple 
Projected profits 2011: $18.2 Billion - Consensus Revenue Est. 2011: $103.3 Billion, up 16.7%
7. Bank of America
 Projected profits 2011: $16.3 Billion - Consensus Revenue Est. 2011: $109.7 Billion, down 3.5%
8. IBM
 Projected profits 2011: $15.6 Billion - 
Consensus Revenue Est. 2011: $103.15 B, up 4%
9. Wells Fargo & Co.
 Projected profits 2011: $15.3 Billion- Consensus Revenue Est. 2011: $84.79 B, up 0%
10. Wal-Mart
 Projected profits 2011: $15.7 Billion - Consensus Revenue Est. 2011: $444.2 B, up 4.8%

If the internet died today, Apple, Microsoft, and IBM would become insolvent. Wall Street would lose three of the top ten publicly traded companies in the world. 279 billion dollars worth of trade per year would be lost. Just from the top ten.

Pay TV Revenue Will Grow 7% to Exceed $312 Billion in 2010

http://www.abiresearch.com/press/1659-Pay+TV+Revenue+Will+Grow+7%25+to+Exceed+$312+Billion+in+2010
Television revenue these days INCLUDES internet TV.

Looks like the internet is profitable after all. Probably more so than television.
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