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Question: What terms should be avoided when discussing Bitcoin with non-tech minded people?
hash - 40 (17.5%)
p2p - 18 (7.9%)
cryptography - 16 (7%)
decentralised - 3 (1.3%)
encryption - 11 (4.8%)
cloud - 28 (12.3%)
gpu - 46 (20.2%)
mining - 31 (13.6%)
public/private key - 23 (10.1%)
anonymous - 12 (5.3%)
Total Voters: 59

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Author Topic: Banned words when explaining Bitcoin to the mainstream  (Read 2148 times)
amwt
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February 19, 2011, 06:00:55 PM
 #1

What terms should be avoided when discussion Bitcoin with non-tech minded people? Multiple votes allowed. Changes allowed. I'll add any new suggestions to the poll.
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ribuck
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February 19, 2011, 07:46:36 PM
 #2

Don't use the word "anonymous". The person who hears that word will assume it means something quite different from how Bitcoin works.
slush
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February 19, 2011, 10:40:47 PM
 #3

Don't use the word "anonymous". The person who hears that word will assume it means something quite different from how Bitcoin works.

+1 Bitcoin is not _only_ for the selling drugs :-).

mycroftholmes
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February 19, 2011, 11:24:33 PM
 #4

Here I was thinking v for vendetta masks and ddos attacks against paypal.  Anonymous is in the news pretty often of late.
Cryptoman
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February 19, 2011, 11:52:25 PM
 #5

You need to tailor the bitcoin pitch to the person you're talking with.  There are plenty of non-tech people who would appreciate the anonymous and decentralized nature of bitcoin.  Just don't start talking to them about hashes and key pairs.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
Drifter
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February 20, 2011, 12:02:51 AM
 #6

I heard the other day from the Tor blog, less than 2% of internet users even know what a proxy is, let alone use one. Unrelated, but it can give a good idea how we'll need to rethink how we explain things like this to the normal internet user.

marcus_of_augustus
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February 20, 2011, 02:10:19 AM
 #7


Apparently;

heroin
cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD ... (pick the favourite recreational drug that you hate)
money-laundering
paedophiles
tax evasion
homelessness
terrorism
abortions
contraception
homosexuality
bestiality
poverty
love of money
.
.
however, I may have missed something that would depreciate the "brand" of money?

mycroftholmes
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February 20, 2011, 02:56:20 AM
 #8

It really depends on the person you are talking to how much you want to play up the anonymous aspect.  There are even plenty of people that operate within the law that might appreciate it.  Examples would be medical marijuana in the US, and oddly enough no payment processor will touch tobacco or tobacco paraphernalia anymore either, since they consider it "High risk".  Not sure what that means, presumably they are worried that merchants don't have their taxes and licenses in order and they will end up eating the costs.
ronaldmaustin
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February 20, 2011, 04:43:27 AM
 #9

Don't use the word "anonymous". The person who hears that word will assume it means something quite different from how Bitcoin works.

+1 Bitcoin is not _only_ for the selling drugs :-).

Why do people think that potential illegal use of the Bitcoin is a negative thing when selling the concept to the masses?  Using the Bitcoin to do illegal things is the best selling point there is.  Want to hide your money from your wife or the IRS in the Cayman Islands or Switzerland.  Nah, try the Bitcoin.  Want to bring more than $10,000 into or out of the US without Customs hassling you, go with the Bitcoin.  Want to give money to the Julian Assange Defense Fund or to your favorite Islamic Charity, use the Bitcoin.  Illegal does not equate with immoral.  Laws change over time and laws are different in different places on this planet.  Bitcoin is a universal currency.  If you can buy pot with it and not get caught, what percentage of your friends are going to think that is a bad thing? 
marcus_of_augustus
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February 20, 2011, 04:50:17 AM
 #10


Yes, PRIVACY is good, we even have laws that guarantee it ...

ANONYMITY is criminal, we even have laws that outlaw it ....

go figure, where is it written a schizophrenic state must be obeyed?

ronaldmaustin
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February 20, 2011, 05:34:35 AM
 #11


Yes, PRIVACY is good, we even have laws that guarantee it ...

ANONYMITY is criminal, we even have laws that outlaw it ....

go figure, where is it written a schizophrenic state must be obeyed?

Privacy is when you are allowed to keep things a secret.  Anonymity is where you are allowed to keep who you are a secret.  Seems to me that anonymity is a subset of privacy.  Yet I prefer anonymity because if people don't know who I am in the first place, it hardly bothers me which of my secrets are revealed to them.  For example, I couldn't care less if there's a video of me screaming and running down the street naked if no one knows who I am.  There are laws that criminalize privacy and protect anonymity.  You can be jailed for refusing to testify about private matters in front of a grand jury, yet journalistic "shield laws" are designed to ensure the anonymity of a reporter's sources.  As a more general rule of thumb, the government wants to be able to spy on its people and prosecute them, ostensibly to protect them from themselves.
mycroftholmes
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February 20, 2011, 08:29:11 PM
 #12

With the current level of liquidity in the bitcoin economy using it for large  (>10000 USD) money transfers would probably cause too much variation in exchange rates.
dduane
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February 23, 2011, 02:21:50 PM
 #13

Being from Washington, DC I've learned that its often not so PC to mention "The Fed" when I talk about Bitcoin. 
I just tell people I want to compete with PayPal instead.    There are some terms for you to consider adding to your poll.


--Darrell
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