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Author Topic: Newbie Merchant Guide  (Read 2150 times)
nickwit
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January 24, 2011, 06:39:55 AM
 #1

Is there one?


I manufacture/sell physical things - and would like to exchange them for bitcoins.


But (an aside)...

Skype wasn't the first to do VOIP, it was just the first that normal people could understand.

I've yet to see a user-guide, FAQ (etc etc) that hasn't left me more confused than when I started. Talk of "blocks and chains and CPU-cycles" is a total show-stopper for most of the human population.

So what I'm looking for is something that non-geek people will understand, and be simple enough to have confidence in.

--

A couple of things I'm not sure about myself:


1) do you need to be running the p2p client to make a payment?

I ran the client myself for about 4 days - it absolutely kill my CPU... basically made my computer unusable, and for that I received the grand total of zero bitcoins. If this is normal, and I'm to be honest with other people (and I am) then I'll have to tell them that running the client in exchange for bitcoins is a waste of time. You'll make more money collecting tin cans in the street.

2) what is simplest, most streamlined way of buying bitcoins? - preferably via some method that doesn't seem like gambling on a bullion exchange?


--

I'm quite keen on seeing bitcoin proliferate - and would like to use my own site as a case-study / how-to guide for others... to create something a little closer to the Skype experience that I've yet to see.







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January 24, 2011, 06:52:44 AM
 #2

you have the right thinking

I will let some others explain more technical details but here are two answers quickly.

1) with a normal pc or laptop you will most likely not mine any bitcoin, as difficulty has increased.
you need to run the client to make payments but you can run it with  "generate" switched off

2) look at
bitcoinme.com
for a simple bitcoin explaination

3) bank wire to mtgox.com or bitcoin-central.net is one simple way to buy coins

Thanks for your passion and keep it up

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January 24, 2011, 07:04:28 AM
 #3

As the network grows the difficulty of finding a valid block also grows, this is good for the network because it makes it harder for an attacker to "rewrite history" and thus spend coins twice. The downside is that a casual user is not likely to find a block in less than a year. Even this isn't all bad though, if people could get coins easily they wouldn't have much incentive to offer goods and services for them.

The bad feeling of getting absolutely nothing can be alleviated by joining a mining pool. When a pool finds a block everyone who contributed gets a share according to how much they helped. Unless your computer is old you should be able to let bitcoin use only a few cores which should make it much more bearable.

Concerning setting up a shop: You do not need to run the p2p client. You can use a 'bank' like mybitcoin or mtgox. They will give you an address or addresses for your customers to send coins to. Then you can spend the coins from your account there to any address you wish, even to yourself if you decide to run your own client.

There are new options all the time, but some have gone down so I can't say for sure what is available and easiest right now. I use mtgox, bitcoinmarket and bitcoin-central. But all of those are 'markets' like you indicated you didn't want. Others can tell you about the various ways to buy better than I can.

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January 24, 2011, 09:32:15 AM
 #4

The OP did not mention generating at all Smiley

But as others explained there are lots of options to make payments expressed in BTC.

If you're a merchant mtgox or mybitcoin (and very very soon bitcoin-central) will provide for a merchant shopping cart interface.

If you're a shopper any of those will do if you don't really feel like running the client.

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January 24, 2011, 12:12:13 PM
 #5

The OP did not mention generating at all Smiley

I guess I just assumed that the reason he was disappointed about not getting any coins and having a slow computer was that he was generating.

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January 24, 2011, 12:15:00 PM
 #6

The OP did not mention generating at all Smiley

I guess I just assumed that the reason he was disappointed about not getting any coins and having a slow computer was that he was generating.
Yea, actually he did speak about it, guess I should read better Cheesy

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January 24, 2011, 12:16:03 PM
 #7

The OP did not mention generating at all Smiley

I guess I just assumed that the reason he was disappointed about not getting any coins and having a slow computer was that he was generating.
Yea, actually he did speak about it, guess I should read better Cheesy

Yes, shame on you  Tongue

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January 24, 2011, 04:08:30 PM
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The more difficult (computationally) it is to solve a block, the harder it is to come up with an alternate block chain in a closed network.

Thus more computers to the network are always welcome as each new addition brings more integrity to the block chain. What I think is scary, though, is that there are people who join BitCoin for the sole purpose of generating coins, the oppurtunity to generate free money is always captivating. Understandably, the cost for generating coins against the electricity consumed to do so is actually counter productive.

After a while this would mean that the average joe who joined for free money will no longer be driven by this incentive, and think: "Forget this, why generate coins? What's the point?" So they go offline, and gradually more and more people drop off the list of contributors to making the block chain maintain its difficulty, making the difficulty easier again with smaller communities.

I suppose people, upon hearing that the difficulty lowered, would be brought back to BitCoin to try to beat a "second BitCoin rush"

All in all, difficulty is good defence against the block chain attackers.

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January 24, 2011, 04:33:15 PM
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The more difficult (computationally) it is to solve a block, the harder it is to come up with an alternate block chain in a closed network.

Thus more computers to the network are always welcome as each new addition brings more integrity to the block chain. What I think is scary, though, is that there are people who join BitCoin for the sole purpose of generating coins, the oppurtunity to generate free money is always captivating. Understandably, the cost for generating coins against the electricity consumed to do so is actually counter productive.

After a while this would mean that the average joe who joined for free money will no longer be driven by this incentive, and think: "Forget this, why generate coins? What's the point?" So they go offline, and gradually more and more people drop off the list of contributors to making the block chain maintain its difficulty, making the difficulty easier again with smaller communities.

I suppose people, upon hearing that the difficulty lowered, would be brought back to BitCoin to try to beat a "second BitCoin rush"

All in all, difficulty is good defence against the block chain attackers.

Yes and no, some people will generate and then get bored and leave.This will influence the difficulty a little. Because this is a free market quite quickly specialisation of labour will happen (because it is more competitive) and we will have clusters of high end machines working on generation(this is where most of the networks block generation will come from in the future, but this is not a problem). This will happen for as long as it is profitable. Once the cost of electricity rises over the value of bitcoins generated then the mining will stop.

This will continue on and off forming an equilibrium that will trend upward slowly, following the value of bitcoin. Guided by the invisible hand. It is almost poetry.

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January 24, 2011, 04:52:58 PM
 #10

The more difficult (computationally) it is to solve a block, the harder it is to come up with an alternate block chain in a closed network.

Thus more computers to the network are always welcome as each new addition brings more integrity to the block chain. What I think is scary, though, is that there are people who join BitCoin for the sole purpose of generating coins, the oppurtunity to generate free money is always captivating. Understandably, the cost for generating coins against the electricity consumed to do so is actually counter productive.

After a while this would mean that the average joe who joined for free money will no longer be driven by this incentive, and think: "Forget this, why generate coins? What's the point?" So they go offline, and gradually more and more people drop off the list of contributors to making the block chain maintain its difficulty, making the difficulty easier again with smaller communities.

I suppose people, upon hearing that the difficulty lowered, would be brought back to BitCoin to try to beat a "second BitCoin rush"

All in all, difficulty is good defence against the block chain attackers.

This is a very similiar situation to a Gold mining rush, and i think this is a good thing because it confirms that bitcoin is a bullion just like gold, not some completely virtual numbers.
Bitcoin is the first bullion which is not physical, and i think that's ultimately cool.

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January 24, 2011, 05:44:17 PM
 #11

3) bank wire to mtgox.com or bitcoin-central.net is one simple way to buy coins

You can also buy bitcoin from me: http://bitcoinmorpheus.tumblr.com/ Smiley

I accept cash in the mail, check, and now paypal.

There's also a large list of exchangers at: http://www.bitcoin.org/trade

I can vouch for Mt Gox, Bitcoin 4 Cash, Bitcoin 2 Credit Card (though that doesn't help you right now), Coinpal, and Bitcoin Market.

I'm selling Mt. Gox USD and Bitcoin for cash, check or money order in the mail: http://bitcoinmorpheus.tumblr.com/

Check out my 100% decentralized P2P exchange: https://github.com/macourtney/Dark-Exchange
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January 25, 2011, 01:28:10 AM
 #12

... Because this is a free market quite quickly specialisation of labour will happen (because it is more competitive) ...

I can vouch for Mt Gox, Bitcoin 4 Cash, Bitcoin 2 Credit Card (though that doesn't help you right now), Coinpal, and Bitcoin Market.

Speaking of free markets and vouching for people, are there any 3rd parties yet which rate these different services? I bet that would be useful to the OP in determining which exchangers to trust (and refer to others).
nickwit
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January 25, 2011, 11:43:31 AM
 #13

Thanks for all the replies people.


So um... I thought that the network required a load of people to have the client running - nodes etc, and that the incentive to do this was that you get bitcoins for it. If the chances of this happening are vanishingly small, what's the incentive to have the client running?

I mean with Skype people keep it running (even though technically it's costing them) so they can be "online" and people can ring them up. I'm not sure there's a reason to keep a bitcoin client running other than altruism is there?

--

I've got this sneaking suspish that there's some sort of epiphany out there - and it's something to do with "the best way of getting bitcoins is to sell something".

I mean ideally, the entire economic ecosystem should be self-contained, and not depend on exchanging back and forth with the fiat system at all... it's just that in my day to day life, there's still not a lot that I'd actually spend bitcoins on. But I'm one of those early-adopters who's doing it for political reasons.

That android-app thing on another thread could be a goer though... I can see a combination of that, and a shit-hitting-the-fan scenario (see Germany in the 1920s http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/01/20/a-better-way-to-make-money/ ) making this a necessity... but you don't want to be carrying a laptop around every time you want to make a transaction.

And it does kindof assume that the shit/fan scenario isn't so bad that it brings the whole network down.


--

Ok - I'll have a go at setting something up on my site. Let you know when it's done.


[edit]

Mind you, that's being quite ethno-centric of me. A lot of the world is already experiencing the shit/fan scenario. Maybe a way to get real traction with this is to set something up with QPR codes for phones, and specifically nurture it in a country that already has 1000% inflation.
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January 25, 2011, 01:39:56 PM
 #14

So um... I thought that the network required a load of people to have the client running - nodes etc, and that the incentive to do this was that you get bitcoins for it. If the chances of this happening are vanishingly small, what's the incentive to have the client running?

Bitcoin needs a lot of computation to be performed by someone, but it doesn't matter how many people this load is spread amongst. It's more efficient for people/companies with specialized hardware to do it. In the future it won't even be possible for average people to generate outside of a pool, since the network and disk space requirements will be too high.

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January 25, 2011, 02:17:19 PM
 #15

I have made a wiki page to try and fulfil this need.

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Merchant_Howto
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January 26, 2011, 04:37:30 PM
 #16

Nick, you're right that BitCoin needs to be explained in a simpler fashion for non technical people.

Right now it's still really early days for BitCoin. There's lots of technical work to be done and so the material and software is largely designed by geeks, for geeks. Over time this will improve as the amount of technical work useful for the core functionality reduces and there's less need to attract people who understand the system thoroughly.
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January 26, 2011, 11:32:20 PM
 #17

I'm going to be approaching a merchant about accepting bitcoins. Is there a simple widget to put on a webpage to generate an address and accept payment currently?  If not I'll probably be starting a bounty for one shortly as it is something that is kind of vital for wider adoption.

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