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Author Topic: Explaing BTC to parents  (Read 799 times)
release
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July 28, 2011, 03:36:10 AM
 #1

I know there have been a few threads on this already, but how do i explain BTC mining to parents? THey have no knowledge about computers, GPU processing, etc.
ALso, they're paranoid and think that BTC mining is a scam.
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July 28, 2011, 03:58:29 AM
 #2

Almost everyone I tell about Bitcoins thinks it's a scam, and they think that Bitcoins are a fake currency which are not worth any real money. Good luck, I'd also like to know how to explain it!
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July 28, 2011, 04:04:02 AM
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It's kind of like the domain system in that it's a fictional "asset" created by computer geeks that has value because of its limited nature. Sure, the number of domains isn't limited but there is a limited number of domains that are easily usable because of their short length, memorability, or whatnot. Kind of like there is a limited amount of prime real estate. Thus sex.com sells for millions of dollars just like prime new york city real estate does.  Bitcoins is kind of like this except some bitcoins aren't worth more than others, they are all worth the same, but the total number is limited.

Why does anyone value it at all?  Well why do people value domain names?  Because of the utility, what it does for you. Domains allow you to get to a website without having to know the IP address (set of computer numbers that identify a website, like a very long phone number).  Bitcoins provide something too:  security (as long as you know what you're doing), anonymity (as long as you know what you're doing), as well as a global payment system that crosses borders where transactions occur very very quickly and with very little if any fees.  And it's decentralized, meaning it can't be controlled or shut down, without shutting down entire portions of the internet. Just like torrents are used to pirate music and movies but they can't shut it down like they shut down napster, so too is bitcoin almost impossible to shut down because it is decentralized in the same way torrents are.

So....   bitcoins is an "invention" by computer nerds that functions as a monetary system without all the rules and regulations of the normal monetary systems.  It should be obvious, even to your parents, how this can have extreme advantages (AND disadvantages -- like transactions being irreversible).  People will pay for any advantage they can get.

And, just like domain names, those who get in the earliest will make the most money.

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July 28, 2011, 04:48:08 AM
 #4

Just don't bother...

Unless you live with them.  Then good luck. Smiley

Throw a CPU core at Folding@Home or something & just imply the rest of the hardware is doing the same.

It's hard enough explaining bitcoins to high level geeks who understand all the concepts.

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July 28, 2011, 04:56:33 AM
 #5

I link people to this article from The Economist when trying to explain it.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/06/virtual-currency

It is from a reputable source and concerns more on the economics but does explain the technicals fairly well.  It may help them get over the (insert scam name here) scam notion. 
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July 28, 2011, 06:57:34 AM
 #6

Just don't bother...

Unless you live with them.  Then good luck. Smiley

Throw a CPU core at Folding@Home or something & just imply the rest of the hardware is doing the same.

It's hard enough explaining bitcoins to high level geeks who understand all the concepts.
+1
to avoid alot of hassles and arguments, build a computer that's aimed at mining, but running other stuff (folding@home, teamspeak/game server, whatever) too
then ask your parents to place it in the garage or something (so that its not on ur bedroom) and tell them that it needs to run 24/7 for your friends and curing cancer (best excuse ever imo Tongue)
then after a month or 2, when they inevitably ask you why theyr power bill has gone up so much, tell them about bitcoin basics (its a new currency, blablabla, practically the same as dollars, euro, other currencies etc etc)
if they dont believe you still; show how much money you made already and offer to pay the complete energy bill for the time period (if your miner generated enough that is, otherwise just repay what your rig used)
then you'l have proof that its not a scam and that you can make money with it
then explain why you did it behind theyr backs (parents can be such digidodo's sometimes Roll Eyes)

sure, its sneaky, cloak and dagger style and all, but imo the best way to handle things without too much fights. this way you'l only have one, in wich you have the advantage of knowledge, proof, and strong arguments

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July 28, 2011, 08:27:13 AM
 #7

Try and use Bitcoin terminology and translate it into real-world examples.

I describe mining and GPUs and CPUs as like actual trucks out in a field somewhere mining for resources.

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July 28, 2011, 09:00:47 AM
 #8

Tell them it's like a job, but your computer goes to work for you.   Smiley

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July 28, 2011, 10:18:21 AM
 #9

I've found the weusecoins.com video can get the conversion going, its short and sweet, and keeps their attention. Then if its got them interested you can go a bit more into depth.

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July 28, 2011, 09:05:39 PM
 #10

How I've been explaining it to friends is.

You rent out your GFX power to crunch numbers.

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July 28, 2011, 09:45:15 PM
 #11

I've found the weusecoins.com video can get the conversion going, its short and sweet, and keeps their attention. Then if its got them interested you can go a bit more into depth.
Yea weusecoins.com is by far the best site to inform none computer enthusiasts about what bitcoins are.

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July 29, 2011, 11:45:22 AM
 #12

It usually helps to only mention the mining stuff at the end and start out  digital cash and easy online transfers. Then if the person you're talking to it somewhat politically or economically minded introduce the lack of a central bank and if they know how filesharing works throw in P2P...

If they are interested they will ask where it comes from. Then you start talking about mining....
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July 29, 2011, 01:25:27 PM
 #13

I've found that the best way to explain BTC to someone is to get another person who knows more about it to do it for you. Wink

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July 29, 2011, 01:41:54 PM
 #14

I've explained bitcoins to a lot of people, and the first thing people usually say is something like: "isnt that illegal?". As soon as something is online, for free and can not be controlled by the government people automatically assume it's illegal. That's interesting in many ways, but it's also one of the biggest problems for the currency. For all us investors, we want BTC being stable and deflationary and the best way to achieve those qualities would be to bring more people in on the currency. So when explaining the currency it's a good idea to also inform the one you're explaining the issue to that Facebook have their own currency ("Credits") as well as Second Life and World Of Warcraft, just to name a few. It's not illegal in any way. It's good to be clear on that: it's NOT illegal. It's legal. I think it's beneficary for all us if we also include that information in our explanations: it's legal.

best, GA (investor/developer)
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