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Author Topic: Why Bitcoin cant be Money.  (Read 3672 times)
porc
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December 10, 2013, 02:51:31 PM
Last edit: December 11, 2013, 08:00:39 AM by porc
 #1

 1) Properties/ Requirements of Money


Money: intrinsic value (aka utility of the commodity), divisible, fungible, scarce.

def. of intrinsic value/ utility: anything that has its OWN use. Examples: Water (Thirst), Food (Hunger), Gold (jewelry, beauty that not everybody can have, nowadays industry), silver (jewelry, beauty, industry), house (shelter). Utility is not Price (what I have to give up to get something; differs through time). Thus saying I can trade something for it, does not give it value on its OWN.  

When I say something I mean an commodity that has utility. When I say nothing, I mean a thing that has no utility.

Gold: divisible, fungible, scarce, intrinsic value/utility (jewelry)

BTC: divsible, fungible, scarce, BUT NO INTRINSIC VALUE. I can do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with bitcoin itself. I can only dump it on the next guy.


Gold satisfies all requirements of money. BTC does not.


2) Functions of money

Lets look at why money has to have the properties listed above.

Well money functions as a medium of exchange and store of value.
 

a) Store of value


Definition of store of value: To act as a store of value, these forms must be able to be saved and retrieved at a later time, and be predictably useful when retrieved.

Now if something is not useful (has intrinsic value) today, why should this change and it be worth something in the future ? If you want to predict future value, pick something that humans are dependent on or have always wanted (food, gold, property). These same needs and perception of beauty (gold) will most likely continue, especially if they have been present since the dawn of man:


In future humans will want shelter on planet earth. You categorize this statement as a belief, because nobody can be 100% certain of future events. Even though you are correct; you are being pedantic here. The same holds true for gold: Humans since the dawn of man have liked the look of gold. Most humans find it beautiful.

Now lets look at BTC. BTC REALLY is NOTHING. I cant do anything with it. Now bitcoiners want me to belief that NOTHING WILL IN FUTURE ALWAYS be accepted FOR SOMETHING. Now this has NEVER happened before in HISTORY over any prolonged period of time. Thus it is highly unlikely that it will happen in future with BTC. The fact that NOTHING can be transferred and kept on your computer does not change this.


There are huge differences. Calling everything a belief without highlighting those differences is highly misleading (something bitcoiners love to do).

Also how do I know that in future not a new crypto currency will replace bitcoin. I cant! (In this case useless) Technology is not predictable. But the store of value aspect relies on its great predictability!

To summarize bitcoiners believe, that a thing of no value (BTC) can store value, because no value will be exchanged for value in the future. Its comical Cheesy.

b) Medium of exchange

From the above it is clear that bitcoin cant function as a medium of exchange. The reason is that nobody wants to exchange SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.

If this is difficult to comprehend for you think about this: If I offered you "01010110" for your house would you take it? Of course not, as "01010110" has no value. Now if I said that "01010110" is scarce would you accept "01010110" as payment? No, who cares that it is scarce, deadly insects are scare, does not mean you accept them as payment, does it? Now if I told you I can transfer "01010110" cheaply? Who cares!

So effectively giving BTC is the same as giving nothing. If you give an object with utility you want to receive something that has utility.

Again due to not fulfilling all the requirements of money it cant take over the function of money.

Now you can hate me for this, but dont shoot the messenger.


3) Counter- "Arguments" advanced by bitcoiners:


a) "The value of BTC is that I can transfer it cheaply", it is backed by the network.


1) Bitcoin has no intrinsic value, 2) the network does. Thats what everyone is missing altogether and or misrepresenting.

3) The networks value is derived from it's ability to send value across political and geographic borders, nearly instantly and dirt cheap, with minimum effort. Additionaly it enables this without the risks commonly found in traditional financial instruments and value stores. Risks like hyper-inflation, manipulation, ceisure or other meddling by governments or institutions for whatever reason.

The ability to move value is enormously valuable.
 

1) He agrees with me that BTC has no value for itself (like for example water that quenches thirst, food to feed my children). This statement is obviously true, as I cant do anything with BTC.

2) He says the network of miners gives BTC value (how? the bitcoins are not a claim on the mining equipment. I cant sell the mining equipment or take it in my possession. Again dollar bills once where a claim on gold that I could take in my possession).

3) He says "the networks value is derived from its ability to send value instantly and dirt cheap".

Now when he refers to "sending value" he is talking about BTCs. Because after all you are sending bitcoins. However as he has established in the first part of his first sentence "Bitcoin has no (intrinsic) value". So he is contradicting himself.

To summarize the information he gives us: 1 Bitcoin has no value (=nothing) and this absence of value can be sent at a cost.

Now how exactly is this convincing?

Incurring costs (energy which is something) to send nothing does not make nothing valuable. It is a waste of energy.


What does Bitcoin (the network) do?: It transfers nothing (BTC) at a cost.

Note: Bitcoin has not solved in its current form the transfer of value costs issue, as it is not transferring value but BTC.

b) No such thing as intrinsic value, its all belief.

Addressed already

c) The dollar is also worth nothing, so BTC can work as well.

Yes the dollar has almost no inherent/intrinsic value (you could wipe your ass with it, or burn it to create heat). The reason why I am able to exchange nothing (paper) for something (goods) is that the government forces upon us its acceptance with the use of guns.

It does so via legal tender laws and regulation as well as outright prohibition (Liberty Gold) of any alternatives.

Without government force we would not be exchanging nothing (paper) for something.

d) I can get lots of real stuff for one BTC so BTC must be worth something!

Yes for now it commands a high Price because its in a mania. You once could get lots of stuff for tulips as well and they actually had SOME utility (beauty).

Saying: I can get something for nothing and nothing is valuable because I can get something does not solve the issue. The elephant in the room that bitcoiners ignore is: why should I exchange something for nothing.

Bitcoiners confuse Price (what you have to pay) with value (what you get). They say: BTC has a price thus it must have value. Well Enron also once had a price. That does not mean Enron had value.

Again being able to dump nothing on the next person, does not make nothing valuable.

This is why I call bitcoin a pyramid.

d) Bitcoin protocol is beautiful

Well but not rare. Everybody can look at it at no cost. Also Bitcoin being beautiful does not give the transferred BTC value.

e) The jewelry value of gold is only a small part of its market price which also takes into account its use as money.

Again this argument is not valid, as it gold is only money because it has intrinsic value. Nobody would accept it if it had no inherent value. You can not SEPERATE golds intrinsic value from its use as money, as its only used as money BECAUSE of its intrinsic value.

f) Best counter argument I have heard up till now:


The technology behind cryptocurrencies and it's value as a financial tool to society [...]

1) That is that they facilitate direct asset transfers between peers *without the need for a counterparty*.

2) The only "tool" that society has had up till now which can do this is Gold. It's not a question of value and whether or not Bitcoin / Gold etc have *value*. Its a question of *function*. Monetary function.

For example, I cannot just "email" you electronically  $1000.  I need to go to a bank and ask them to do it. 3) Even when the bank does it, they are not actually "transferring" anything of value - they are just changing a number in one account and incrementing it in another. The number that ends up in the receivers account only has "value" because of the counterparty endorsement it has. It has no intrinsic value of its own - if it was just a number I typed into a spreadsheet it would have no market value.

Gold on the other hand, has a market value whether it's sitting in a bank vault or buried in a mountain. It does not require counterparty endorsment - only market endorsement because it is a non-counterfeitible generic form of money.

4) Bitcoin is likeways independent of counterparty endorsement. I *can* email you (or transfer to your "wallet") $1000 in Bitcoin without requiring a counterparty. It therefore performs a monetary function - the same one that gold does - and that is why it has market value, the same as gold did. Porc's nonsense about shiny metals and attractiveness are not the reason Gold can function as a store of value. The reason for that is that is has the right properties that enable it to perform a certain required function in a non-barter economy.


1) "facilitate asset transfers between peers without the need of counterparty"

BTC is not an asset as it has no utility. That I can transfer it does not make it money. Because money has to actually be valuable itself, otherwise no value can change hands.

2) "The only "tool" that society has had up till now which can do this is Gold. It's not a question of value and whether or not Bitcoin / Gold etc have *value*. Its a question of *function*. Monetary function."

The function he described in 1) is not fulfilled by the Bitcoin network, eventhough it transfers and even between individuals without use of a bank (which is risky), BUT the network transfers NOTHING. And that is the problem. BTC has no intrinsic value. The networks transfer (BTC) is not useful as nobody will accept it.

He basically is saying that money is anything that is scarce and can be transferred. That is totally incorrect. Money commodities themselves need to have value.

Also to function as a store of value, it needs to be predictable. BTC has no value and nobody knows if litecoin might be used tomorrow and something else the next day. All of the wealth people stored in bitcoin (for example your dad who worked hard his entire life) would vanish, once a new coin comes along.

3)  "Even when the bank does it, they are not actually "transferring" anything of value - they are just changing a number in one account and incrementing it in another. The number that ends up in the receivers account only has "value" because of the counterparty endorsement it has."

No the bank transferred dollars. They have no intrinsic value but I can exchange them for something because government forces the shop owner into accepting nothing (dollar).
Counterparty endorsement of the bank does not give dollars "value".

4) "Bitcoin is likeways independent of counterparty endorsement. I *can* email you (or transfer to your "wallet") $1000 in Bitcoin without requiring a counterparty."

Yes we can exchange nothing directly with bitcoin I get it (no third party). But what we exchanged only has a price, because we agree to exchange nothing for something. However this agreement is artificial as NOBODY WANTS BITCOIN FOR ITSELF. GET IT IN YOUR HEAD. NOBODY WANTS A BITCOIN. THAT WE CAN TRANSFER NOTHINGS NOBODY WANTS between each other in a clever way does not CHANGE that fact.

And we HUMANS always WANTED GOLD FOR ITSELF. THIS IS THE GUARANTEE GOLD HAS: IT SAYS I WILL ALWAYS BE BEAUTIFUL AND PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS WANT ME.

BITCOIN HAS NO SUCH GUARANTEE. Get it in your head. BITCOIN ONLY HAS A PRICE BECAUSE WE AGREE THAT NOTHING IS SOMETHING. Without this agreement BTC is useless and thus the network is useless. Because the entire value of bitcoin is dependent on an artificial agreement (that nothing BTCBTCBTC is worth something) we cant compare it to gold, as our brains always loved gold for ITSELF. There is no artificial agreement with gold.

You totally failed to see the real ENDORSEMENT that stands behind gold: REALITY! Reality that humans like shinny things thus will give you something they value for shinny things. Thus gold can be used as a store of value and medium of exchange. NO HUMAN wants A BITCOIN BTCBTCBTCBTCBTCBTCBTC
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December 10, 2013, 02:59:44 PM
 #2

You admitted that you hold no bitcoin to start with, so .. why do you care ?

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December 10, 2013, 03:05:21 PM
 #3

 Grin Indeed, if you don't own any why care..because I make money with "010101" and most fait money these days is als "010101"  my  debetcard and creditcard are also nothing more then plastic and moey is also notes and metal
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December 10, 2013, 03:10:23 PM
 #4

Why Bitcoin is not Money.

Yet.

end thread.
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December 10, 2013, 03:11:56 PM
 #5

In how many threads do you want to unload this BS?


Now lets look at BTC. BTC REALLY is NOTHING. I cant do anything with it.

Of course YOU cannot, because you missed the train and because you don't have the brain to do anything with it. But WE can: store it, barter, transfer, donate, create, divide, lose it etc. etc.; zero problem for us.
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December 10, 2013, 03:21:38 PM
 #6

The Bitcoin and money, both are just "conventions". As it was also when the salt began to replace barter.

Keep money is expensive and uncertain.
Money loses value each day (inflation).
The transfer of money is very expensive (to maintain an inefficient financial system) and extremely slow
Despite that, people take the money, because it accepts this convention.

The Bitcoin is not money.
It's better than money.
Bitcoin is worth because people are beginning to accept this convention

Bitcoin is not a problem .... Bitcoin is the solution


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December 10, 2013, 03:23:25 PM
 #7

Why feed the troll?  

It's on Forbes and CNET, with major players indicating it has a use and may explode.  The CEO of Paypal came out discussing it, indicates he owns it and envisions a seamless shopping experience where shoppers pay in the aisles without ever having to line up to check out.  That's serious shit.  The world is changing.  

If this or that person doesn't see it, fine, a lot of people when looking at a cutting edge technology can't envision the possibilities and therefore reject it.  Some go further and denigrate those that do.  

I couldn't care less, nor am I going to waste the effort justifying or educating an individual who is simply trolling or has decided against it and is getting a tingle out of trying to prove how smart he is, while everyone else is just dumb.  That kind of "I'm smart, you're dumb" talk is cheap everywhere from the Amazon jungle to the halls of Washington DC.  
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December 10, 2013, 03:37:20 PM
 #8

I don't know why people are attacking the OP this has actually been one of the more fairly intelligent arguments against Bitcoin I've seen so I'll respond. People are right in saying that it has no intrinsic value, but to say that the code and programming itself doesn't have value is wrong because particularly in this day and age with surveillance the ability to conduct business without being tracked is tremendously valuable which is why everybody had flooded into it whether they are willing to openly admit it or not. Unlike Gold and Silver you can also transmit Bitcoins and conduct international trade at extremely low cost, you also have no restrictions on who you can trade with and that decision is entirely up to you.

I actually agree that the current Bitcoin paper price is a bubble but that's if you look at it only in terms of how much paper money you can exchange for it, the paper hyperinflation is the problem here so as far as I'm concerned I'm only going to start worrying until I can't buy Gold/Silver with Bitcoins anymore. What is also interesting to note is that the price of Bitcoins and Gold/Silver has remained relatively stable and steady when you compare it to the crazy volatility of paper money.
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December 10, 2013, 03:58:12 PM
 #9

I don't know why people are attacking the OP this has actually been one of the more fairly intelligent arguments against Bitcoin I've seen so I'll respond. People are right in saying that it has no intrinsic value, but to say that the code and programming itself doesn't have value is wrong because particularly in this day and age with surveillance 1) the ability to conduct business without being tracked is tremendously valuable which is why everybody had flooded into it whether they are willing to openly admit it or not. 2) Unlike Gold and Silver you can also transmit Bitcoins and conduct international trade at extremely low cost, you also have no restrictions on who you can trade with and that decision is entirely up to you.

I actually agree that the current Bitcoin paper price is a bubble but that's if you look at it only in terms of how much paper money you can exchange for it, the paper hyperinflation is the problem here so as far as I'm concerned I'm only going to start worrying until I can't buy Gold/Silver with Bitcoins anymore. What is also interesting to note is that the price of Bitcoins and Gold/Silver has remained relatively stable and steady when you compare it to the crazy volatility of paper money.

1) Bitcoin is NOT anonymous.

2) Digital Gold reduces costs of transactions dramatically. Yes it will probably cost more, but would you rather pay a transaction cost and receive something that is not dependent on an artificial agreement or would you like to skimp on transaction costs and receive NOTHING!
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December 10, 2013, 04:40:47 PM
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 #10

Gold (jewelry, beauty that not everybody can have, nowadays industry), silver (jewelry, beauty, industry)

Based on your arguments, do Gold/Silver coins only have value as money if I own a smelter in my backyard (to create jewelry) or if I have a computer parts factory which needs the metal? Would you agree these coins have value (according to your argument) because other people see them as having value (presumably those with a smelter / factory)?

If that stretch can be made, then it doesn't take long to see why bitcoins have value: trust.

With a tally stick, a bar of gold (tungstun?), a shell, a stone with a whole in it, the paper in my wallet, etc... the challenge is trust. How can I trust you gave me the real thing this community agrees upon as a store of value? What if you gave me a bogus tally stick (I'd have to check with the king)? What if you gave me a different (more common) shell which isn't used on this island as money at all? What if the government is debasing the paper you just gave me so hyperinflation is around the corner (with no option of recovery... see Argentina)?

Via cryptography and the ability to prove (via the Bitcoin network) ownership and authenticity, bitcoins solve the issue of trust. That, to me, is a really big deal. Not only an amazing and useful form of money, but a way to take control away from central banking controls and give it back to individuals.

If governments and financial institutions were trust worthy, the value of Bitcoin wouldn't be so obvious. As it is today, those paying attention understand how corrupt the current systems are.

Is Bitcoin the best there ever will be? Probably not, but I do think it's a huge step in the right direction.

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December 10, 2013, 04:54:30 PM
 #11

Stop talking about intrinsic value.  Bitcoin has value because people put money into it, and can get money out of it.  That's it.
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December 10, 2013, 07:11:49 PM
 #12

Okay, I changed my mind about him making intelligent argument.
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December 10, 2013, 09:58:51 PM
 #13

Guys talks about how intrinsic value is related directly to utility.

Does he realize how much utility water has over gold? If his ideas were true, a bottle of water should be worth $100m each because you need water to survive and provides you with such epic utility whereas diamonds aren't as useful utility-wise in comparison.



MARGINAL UNITY THEORY it's 200 years old, learn some Econ 101 before you post such drivel.

 
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December 10, 2013, 10:02:34 PM
 #14

Beauty is entirely subjective. There is no way to agree on the beauty of something, and there is no way to agree on the value of that beauty. It cannot be used as a basis for intrinsic value.

Personally, I see no beauty in gold. It's just a rock. If the beauty of gold is the basis of its intrinsic value, then gold has no intrinsic value.


Utility Theory dose not demand that every individual experience the exact SAME utility from a commodity, not even over time.  Again this is MARGINAL UTILITY THEORY.  You people are revealing that you know absolutely NOTHING about the basics of utility theory when you make these posts.

 
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December 10, 2013, 10:40:29 PM
 #15

bankers who control the modern system cant get their heads around it
they wont be in control forever ,i watched a program on "financial experts"
talking about why bitcoin cant be money and none of them were able  to understand it

maybe someone will post the link cause i forgot the name of it but there was a guy
who was trying to buy a  coin but couldnt figure out how to do so and an older gentleman
in a bow tie  and a suit  from the 1960s and he was shaking his head saying no ,never ever Cheesy
but the younger generation will embrace buying stuff with their android phones and transacting
for free  and doing all the cool stuff thats just now  becoming possible

BTC is  new tech and the adoption curve will be slow ,teenagers have no problem undertanding it
because they grew up in the digital age as well as people in the 20,30s 40s etc

try explaining it to someone who is an old aged pensioner and its a differnt world ,they get lost at the mining stage
because anyone with a computer can create money ??

its funny to watch their disbelief because btc is such a revolutionary invention they simply cannt comprehend it
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December 10, 2013, 10:54:41 PM
 #16

porc, you spend an awful lot of time hanging around a bitcoin discussion forum when you've already admitted to having nothing good to say about bitcoin.  How many more of these threads do you plan on making per day?
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December 10, 2013, 11:01:05 PM
 #17

MARGINAL UNITY THEORY it's 200 years old, learn some Econ 101 before you post such drivel.

We didn't go over "MARGINAL UNITY THEORY" in my classes. What is it an acronym for?

He talks about the theory of marginal utility, which is not a theory by itself strictly speaking. The notion of marginal utility is one of the cornerstones of the subjective theory of value, which was independently developed by an Austrian economist, Carl Menger (hence the Austrian school of economics), and other guys in the second half of the 19th century. Though the roots of this theory can be traced back to the Middle Ages...

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December 10, 2013, 11:18:24 PM
Last edit: December 10, 2013, 11:41:17 PM by deisik
 #18

Utility Theory dose not demand that every individual experience the exact SAME utility from a commodity, not even over time.  Again this is MARGINAL UTILITY THEORY.  You people are revealing that you know absolutely NOTHING about the basics of utility theory when you make these posts.

Guys who oppose OP say right things about marginal utility which represents subjective value, though in layman's terms. Their naive understanding is correct nevertheless. If you want to discuss the theory of marginal utility in particular or subjective theory of value in general, you can do it with me...

Oh, wait... We already had a debate recently where you failed to show real understanding what these theories are about

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December 11, 2013, 01:44:29 AM
Last edit: December 11, 2013, 02:40:24 AM by Findus
 #19

Hi porc,

let me switch to this thread since your ideas are much more clearly explained here.

Your arguments maybe valid (sorry I don't have time to argue the details), but that is with the premise that everybody sticks with your textbook requirements of money.

Quote
1) Properties/ Requirements of Money
Money: intrinsic value (aka utility of the commodity), divisible, fungible, scarce.

I guess the main difference between bitcoiners and you is that bitcoiners (including me) think that this definition of money is arbitrary, false or outdated.
I would replace "intrinsic value" by "intrinsic value or service". After all, a service also has utility.

I think money does not require any intrinsic value whatsoever.
In the case of USD, intrinsic value is replaced by at least two things: intrinsic service and government-enforced.
In the case of BTC, intrinsic value is replaced by at least two things: intrinsic service and network effect-backed.

The two main reasons why I advocate bitcoin is:
1. it has much more potential than fiat in terms of intrinsic service.
2. Of course both government and network effect can fail (completely or partially), but History shows that failure of a network effect is less probable than failure of a government.
When I say failure, that can be complete failure (100%) or partial failuree (1% inflation rate annually).



As for most of the people on this thread, stfu and gtfo are not very convincing arguments. And I don't think porc is a troll, since he is carefully reading our points and counter-arguing, albeit with some essential but debatable flaws.

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December 11, 2013, 01:58:34 AM
 #20

porc you started a similar thread yesterday. you are a very tiresome troll. If you hate bitcoin then please go back to fiatland and live there. You are like someone going to a party, standing there and saying "this party is crap". GTFO
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