What do you buy with them?
Silver coins - I could buy these with dollars, but unfortunately my computer doesn't print dollars, it creates bitcoins.
I've been a silver (and gold - in much smaller quantities) investor for a while now. The writing's on the wall for the major fiat currencies, especially three of the four that affect me personally - sterling (I'm English), Euros (closest trading neighbour) and USD (reserve currency). I've also a little hidey hole in my favourite place on the planet (village in the Swiss Alps) so CHF are a big deal too, but the Swissie doesn't have the same problems that the others do. Just take a look at their respective yield curves...
Hence I'm investing mainly in precious metals. I happen to love collecting coins anyway so it's a win-win for me. Buying silver ounce bullion coin with Bitcoins almost feels like getting them for free
It's a good deal, even taking the electricity into account, and the hugely marked up price of silver bullion coins - my dealer's coins cost around 3.77 BTC at normal exchange rates, but he sells for 7 BTC (was 7.4 yesterday!)...
Who do you use OgNasty?? Anyone selling silver for BTC at anything approaching the margins of the 'normal' fiat currency traders (e.g. CoinInvestDirect and the other German 9% VAT traders)
Regardless of my opinion of the size of the margin taken by my local UK-based dealer, his customer service is superb and I get my Silver Maple the day after I pay the BTC to him, without fail
. Sometimes trust and customer service is worth a premium.
It has to be said that if I wasn't mining then I wouldn't be doing this - it'd be cheaper to sell my BTC for GBP and then buy from CoinInvestDirect... but when I'm getting a steady stream of BTC via mining, it's more convenient to pay the premium and convert directly to silver.
Has anyone rich in BTC here bought gold yet? My dealer is selling Krugers for a much lower premium over spot than his silver - it's going to take my mining boxes quite some time to accumulate over 200 BTC though - at which point anything could happen to the price (of both gold and BTC) - so I prefer not to be exposed to too much FX risk in the form of BTC-PMs and buy a silver coin as soon as my BTC balance hits the required price.
Yes, the silver price has been volatile of late, as has gold - but I'm of the mind to ascribe the volatility to the underlying currency the PMs are priced in - US dollars - rather than volatility in the PMs themselves. Silver has the problem of Blythe Masters and her naked-shorts crew at JPM, true - and gold has all the central banks in the world chasing around right now - so the PMs *are* at historical heights of market manipulation. However, IMO the Bitcoin market is MUCH more dangerous - it's a small market, it's VERY easy to move with large transactions (as we have seen), and we've got the twin horns of criminals (e.g. MyBitcoin etc.) trying to liquidate large BTC amounts without collapsing the price, and sophisticated professional traders chucking OPM around, often assisted by HFT algos (BTW, FWIW, a little bird told me that some smaller hedge funds were using the Bitcoin market as a 'beta test' of their HFT algos *before* letting them loose on the big-boy FX markets... may be horseshit though, FX traders in the City tend to 'large it up' somewhat after too many glasses of poo, nearly always augmented by a toot or two of Charles)...
Anyone else here using BTC for investment but *not* holding BTC - instead trading immediately for *tangible* physical PMs? I find it deliciously ironic that I'm working to acquire the purest of 'virtual' intangible 'money' - and then swapping it for the ultimate in 'physical' tangible money
Now, how many languages can I think of where the word for 'money' is the same as the word for 'silver'
Yup, whilst I am a Bitcoin enthusiast and want to see the project succeed comprehensively... I'm a silverbug first and foremost.
(interestingly - if you follow Turd Ferguson and the rest of the silver crew, you occasionally see screenshots of people's computers, explaining a chart and some technical analysis. With a screenshot of most web browsers, you can see what other 'favourite' websites or categories are in the bookmark bar... and I've seen more than a few also have Bitcoin bookmarks amongst the silver market / economics / financials sites. I haven't broached the subject on Turd's forums yet but it'd be interesting to see how many of the inflation-hedge PM investor crew are also involved in the Bitcoin market!!)