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Author Topic: Bot to operate a price bloc to stabilize price of BitCoins  (Read 5113 times)
Meatpile
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August 31, 2011, 05:29:58 PM
 #41

This isn't going to work the way you think it would work. Although the idea is non-evil, it will never happen.

If you create a "non free market" situation where a giant lump of cash is keeping the price fixed... Then you are giving hackers / theives a huge amount of money once they steal it. They can sell it all at once, and your "investors" or whoever put in the 21$million is the one going to lose a ton of money. Why would any investor agree to such a situation?

And even worse is if suddenly noone likes this block chain anymore, they can all cashout and your investors are stuck again with worthlessness instead of their $21million.

In fact it would make the most sense for everyone to just cash out and start a new block chain without the $21million blocker on it. Everyone wins except the guys who put up the $21 million.


Sure is fun to tell other people to put up a bunch of money for one of your own silly ideas isn't it? Too bad it has no basis in reality.
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August 31, 2011, 06:08:34 PM
 #42

Can you explain why you'd want to create this artificial price stability in the first place? Shouldn't you want free market as a libertarian? People already vote with their dollars now so if bitcoin fails, it fails. What makes you think people will put up the money necessary to implement your scheme? What assurance would they have that the money they put up would not be swallowed? What happens if someone wants a refund on their investment? What's in it for them in the first place, if they put money up towards this?

Also, couldn't someone easily create schemes to drain money from this system since they'd know how it works? And why would outsiders want to participate in such a system? Are you anti-speculation? Is that why you want to create fake price stability? To overcome the price swings that contribute to peoples' reticence to doing commerce in BTC?
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August 31, 2011, 07:29:24 PM
 #43

WARNING: This "IdeaMan" is either:

1) Scammer

or

2) Completely Unqualified Person

If you know anything about AI programming and/or how electronic markets in other currencies, stocks, bonds, commodities, ebay, etc. work, then you already know more than this guy than he does in his proposed field.  There are already plenty of people with bots.  And plenty of people working on new bots.  And no electronic market for a valuable good is "stable".  And you probably stopped reading this thread long before you got to this post.

Btw I only read a little bit of what IdeaMan posted and I still want my 10 minutes back for taking the time to warn people to stay away! Embarrassed

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IdeaMan
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August 31, 2011, 07:38:55 PM
 #44

Only speculators want the market to stay volatile.

Sorry man, you got this one wrong. It appears that you want to abolish speculation (in an admittedly speculative market, but that's another story). Well let me tell you that funnily enough, they do want it to stay volatile, but they also stabilize it with their trades.

I don't want to abolish speculation - I just think that the amount of speculation we have is damaging to BitCoin as a whole.  This is a spurious argument - speculation is just people pulling out random numbers and pricing it for profit when possible.  Nothing about randomness lends itself to stability.

Speculators cause stability in the market

No, they are the primary cause of instability in the market.  If every speculator valued BitCoins at or around the same price, that would be the exception to this rule.

If they weren't there, who on earth would ever buy a plummeting commodity or asset?

Or cause it to plummet?  For that matter, how could it plummet if it had a stable value?  Therefore it must not have a stable value, and the spikes and free falls are the result of speculation in the market - some speculator buys or sells many BitCoins at once, the price (being the only indicator of value) shifts dramatically, and the market shifts suddenly to match the new price.  This is not the way a currency behaves, and it is the reason Bitoin hasn't been accepted as a currency, and will not be accepted as a currency for the foreseeable future.

Without speculators it would drop to zero.

This statement is correct - because the value of BitCoin is primarily determined by speculation interest, not actual value.

Or the opposite, how would you ever get a rally in a downward spiral if it wasn't for short covering?

And why would we need one if speculation didn't result in a downward spiral?  In the instance of a stable currency, small shifts are met by immediate response in the free market - that's because the value is stable regardless of the price, and a shift to benefit a FOREX trader will be taken advantage of immediately.

So don't blame speculators so easily. Yes, they make a lot of money with volatility, but have in mind that they also risk their pants too.

I don't blame them easily, I blame them logically.  The ridiculously high current price of BitCoin is a function of speculation alone.  That inflated perception of value (not actual value) is where most people stand to lose money - the speculation risk.  So basically the speculators are taking on risk for no logical reason except to assume the value will go up - which it only will actually do in the long term if the speculation stops and the BitCoin becomes a real currency.

See as an example the recent short selling ban by several European governments, imposed on the Stock Exchanges. The result of such moves in the past has always without exception been a stock market dropping more rapidly than before the ban. Why? Because speculators are not allowed to participate in price discovery. Greek stock exchange is down 16% since then, and it was falling at 5-8% per month before.

I should probably explain that commodities and stocks are not currencies.  They behave in different ways, most notably in the amount of value they represent.  Commodities and stocks are more volatile than currencies traditionally.  In the example of BitCoin, it is more volatile than almost any stock or commodity that exists.  That is not the behavior of a currency.  Using non-currency examples proves nothing except that you do not understand the word "currency" and the implications the definition of that word holds for BitCoin.

If you don't believe me, check the indexes of the exchanges that banned short selling 2 weeks ago, and compare them to the indexes in 2 months time (end of October). Or check the recent history in the NYSE (2008 autumn).

You may be correct about the Stock Exchanges in Europe.  But compare the market movement in the currency space over the same time (or almost any other time), and you'll find they stay mostly flat.  This is why people care about the value of the USD falling dramatically - it's not supposed to do that, it's a currency.

It might seem counter-intuitive but this is the case.

It seems counterintuitive because it's incorrect.  Your logic uses flawed assumptions - like BitCoin "is a stock", or "isn't meant to be a currency".

And I'm putting this here, because I had the same delusions as you present above, about speculation, before I finally understood what's going on in money markets.

One of us is clearly confusing commodities and stocks with currencies and laboring under the delusion that all financial assets do or are meant to perform the same way.  The only reason I can think of to make this argument is that you are a speculator, but I suppose you could just be wrong about it.

Hope it helps.

No, not really.

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August 31, 2011, 07:56:10 PM
 #45

This isn't going to work the way you think it would work.

It might not - but it's worth trying at least.  There has never been a contender to become a real new currency since the advent of digital trading.  BitCoin may not take center stage.  But I'd like to see it do so.

Although the idea is non-evil, it will never happen.

Thanks for realizing it's non-evil, please explain why it will never happen.

If you create a "non free market" situation where a giant lump of cash is keeping the price fixed... Then you are giving hackers / theives a huge amount of money once they steal it.

I think you mean if they steal it.  Mtgox today became officially Verisign secured, so it's approximately as secure as any other site on the Internet.

They can sell it all at once, and your "investors" or whoever put in the 21$million is the one going to lose a ton of money. Why would any investor agree to such a situation?

The investors are free to come and go as they please.  They can set their bid prices at any point they wish.  They aren't required to agree to anything.

And even worse is if suddenly noone likes this block chain anymore, they can all cashout and your investors are stuck again with worthlessness instead of their $21million.

Why hasn't this happened already?  If it was that easy to create a new block chain and have it accepted by the BitCoin network, this scam would have already happened countless times.

In fact it would make the most sense for everyone to just cash out and start a new block chain without the $21million blocker on it. Everyone wins except the guys who put up the $21 million.

If only it was that easy, yes.

Sure is fun to tell other people to put up a bunch of money for one of your own silly ideas isn't it? Too bad it has no basis in reality.

There's no factual basis for financially backing a currency in the history of finance.

It has no basis in reality.

And please note the difference between tell someone, and ask someone.

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August 31, 2011, 08:07:59 PM
 #46

WARNING: This "IdeaMan" is either:

1) Scammer

or

2) Completely Unqualified Person

If you know anything about AI programming and/or how electronic markets in other currencies, stocks, bonds, commodities, ebay, etc. work, then you already know more than this guy than he does in his proposed field.  There are already plenty of people with bots.  And plenty of people working on new bots.  And no electronic market for a valuable good is "stable".  And you probably stopped reading this thread long before you got to this post.

Btw I only read a little bit of what IdeaMan posted and I still want my 10 minutes back for taking the time to warn people to stay away! Embarrassed

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August 31, 2011, 08:09:52 PM
 #47

Can you explain why you'd want to create this artificial price stability in the first place?

To ease the adoption of BitCoin as a currency.

Shouldn't you want free market as a libertarian?

I'm not a libertarian.  I still do want a free market, however I also want a market that's not prone to total catastrophic implosion, just a little bit more.

People already vote with their dollars now so if bitcoin fails, it fails.

If the success or failure of BitCoin don't matter to you, why are you in this thread, let alone on this forum?

What makes you think people will put up the money necessary to implement your scheme?

I assume people on this forum are (as a whole) more interested in BitCoin's success than not.

What assurance would they have that the money they put up would not be swallowed?

Their faith in the actual value of BitCoin, and their willingness to lose a few cents if they're wrong.

What happens if someone wants a refund on their investment?

They stop and remove any bids they placed at the recommendation of the bot.

What's in it for them in the first place, if they put money up towards this?

Long-term stability.

Also, couldn't someone easily create schemes to drain money from this system since they'd know how it works?

Yes, if they had enough BitCoins to sell through the entire market and reach that very low price, and were willing to sell all their BitCoins at said very low price.

And why would outsiders want to participate in such a system?

Because they would like to see BitCoin succeed in the long term.

Are you anti-speculation?

I have nothing against speculation in a commodity that has a proven history of stable of value - but speculation in the BitCoin market contributes to it's failure at this point, largely because the market is dominated by speculators.

Is that why you want to create fake price stability?

I want to create real stability - this is a stepping stone towards that endpoint.  By getting the BitCoin community as a whole to stake the value of BitCoin, it becomes actually valuable.

To overcome the price swings that contribute to peoples' reticence to doing commerce in BTC?

This is, again, a means to an end.  Price stability results in merchant adoption results in increased actual value results in increased stability, rinse, repeat.

Signatures are only used for 2 things - Advertising, like this one, and teenagers on social networking sites that feel a need to waste your time, which is fundamentally what all advertising does.  Abolish signatures on message boards.
IdeaMan
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August 31, 2011, 08:21:06 PM
 #48

WARNING: This "IdeaMan" is either:

1) Scammer

or

2) Completely Unqualified Person

On a nice day, I might accept your second option, but since you have only your accusation, I'm not going to today.  By no means am I a financial expert - just another guy on the forum with some ideas to share.

If you know anything about AI programming and/or how electronic markets in other currencies, stocks, bonds, commodities, ebay, etc. work, then you already know more than this guy than he does in his proposed field.

If my theory is incorrect, don't just state it, prove it.  If you know more about AI programming in electronic markets than the average reader of this thread, why not share that information with the BitCoin community?  Right here is a prime place to start.  I'm more than happy to address any concerns you may have.

There are already plenty of people with bots.

Yup.

And plenty of people working on new bots.

Yup.

And no electronic market for a valuable good is "stable".

Citation needed.  A good counterargument for me here would be if I could somehow prove that most accepted currencies maintain a relatively stable value in comparison to each other over time.

Counterpoint:
http://www.fxstreet.com/rates-charts/currency-charts/

And you probably stopped reading this thread long before you got to this post.

I almost stopped reading halfway through this post, but I'm committed to actually understanding any potential pitfalls this idea may have, so I took the time to read your opinion, even though you haven't backed it up in any way.

Btw I only read a little bit of what IdeaMan posted and I still want my 10 minutes back for taking the time to warn people to stay away! Embarrassed

Well, at least you have a well-formed opinion justified by your understanding of the concept as you leapt to it fully formed in your mind, regardless of what I may have had to say about it.  And at least you care enough about the community to warn them about a dangerous plot to steal a few cents from them by a nefarious mastermind huddled in the darkest corners of the web.  And wish you could have saved yourself the 10 minutes by not doing it.  Way to be a team player.

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Meatpile
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August 31, 2011, 09:05:04 PM
 #49

I think you mean if they steal it.  Mtgox today became officially Verisign secured, so it's approximately as secure as any other site on the Internet.
...
The investors are free to come and go as they please.  They can set their bid prices at any point they wish.  They aren't required to agree to anything.

Verisign secured as in they have an https/ssl certificate? Or is that some kind of third party penetration test? Either way It doesn't mean a whole lot as many users are hacked on their end as well, and more sites like mybitcoin will popup and steal coins forever, it will never stop (until bitcoins are worthless). So WHEN not if, coins are stolen, an artificial price will maximiize their profits, instead of crashing the value like what should happen when a huge dump on the market occurs.


The second quote makes no sense to me. If people are setting whatever prices they want, then you are describing the current system, not an "artificial wall value" system.

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August 31, 2011, 09:30:11 PM
 #50

I think you mean if they steal it.  Mtgox today became officially Verisign secured, so it's approximately as secure as any other site on the Internet.
...
The investors are free to come and go as they please.  They can set their bid prices at any point they wish.  They aren't required to agree to anything.

Verisign secured as in they have an https/ssl certificate? Or is that some kind of third party penetration test?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verisign
Read all about it.  Google is the source of all worldly knowledge.  The wikipedia page is just a primer on the topic.

Either way It doesn't mean a whole lot as many users are hacked on their end as well, and more sites like mybitcoin will popup and steal coins forever, it will never stop (until bitcoins are worthless).

Assuming those BitCoins never re-entered circulation, the price would go up.  Assuming they re-entered circulation, the theft of them would have minimal long-term material effect on the price of BitCoin, or the value.

So WHEN not if, coins are stolen, an artificial price will maximiize their profits, instead of crashing the value like what should happen when a huge dump on the market occurs.

If someone stole all the BitCoins ever to be minted and sold them all the way to the lowest possible floor value, then yes.  That would be quite a feat, however, since nearly 65% of them haven't been mined yet, and don't exist to be stolen.  Furthermore, BitCoin isn't like cash - someone using those coins again leaves a record in the block chain that can be easily traced.  I bet that over time we will see fewer and fewer BitCoin thefts as prosecution of it is far easier than prosecuting the theft of untraceable fiat cash.

The second quote makes no sense to me. If people are setting whatever prices they want, then you are describing the current system, not an "artificial wall value" system.

This point actually bears investigation.  The system this bot creates is actually a hybrid of free market and artificial wall, falling closer to artificial wall in terms of application, but closer to free market in terms of user choice to participate.  The purpose isn't to lock in a particular value, but rather to create a pooled backing of BitCoin which would help to move the price towards stability by creating a new indicator - approximate backing faith, let's call it, or ABF.

The current location of the ABF wall will act as a lower boundary to the market, since it cannot mathematically drop below that point, even though that point can move due to the amount of pooled purchasing power that determines the ABF wall being voluntary to participate in.

The longer ABF stays relatively stable, the more likely that the price moves towards the ABF wall.

As the price decreases towards the ABF wall, some players will back out of the bot, lowering the value of ABF, and therefore the price as measured in fiat.  Others will leave the wall to buy BitCoins cheaply, raising the price away from the wall.  Other still will back the wall more strongly to "brace for impact" as it were.

The stronger the ABF wall is, the more people are likely to bid near it than any other price point/range, regardless of whether or not they are using the bot.  This adds non-bot users to the strength of ABF, and the closer they are to ABF, the more it strengthens it.  If there's a $21,000,000.00 bid at $1.00 per BitCoin, it becomes silly to bid $1,000 at $2.00 per BitCoin unless you are trying to back a higher value than the ABF wall represents, trying to pay twice as much for your BitCoins, or speculating.

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September 02, 2011, 10:54:26 PM
 #51

Someone has donated the first 0.05 BitCoins to the bounty.  This is posted here for transparency, and to upset all the nay-sayers.

Whoever you are, thank you for getting the ball rolling!

Signatures are only used for 2 things - Advertising, like this one, and teenagers on social networking sites that feel a need to waste your time, which is fundamentally what all advertising does.  Abolish signatures on message boards.
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September 03, 2011, 12:36:11 AM
 #52

What you are proposing is, in essence, a scalping bot. I don't see any problem at all with scalping: indeed, it will help the scalper fill his pockets with money, while decreasing volatility and providing liquidity. However, to any would be donators: know that a lot of people are already operating bots like this, for free (or rather, they expect to earn money letting them trade).
Also, I find it ironic that OP proposes what is essentially speculation to end the problem of speculators.
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September 03, 2011, 06:14:51 AM
 #53

Whaddya think about Zeitgeist?

IMHO It would take something like BitCoin (or similar system) tied to something like Time Dollars for a place like the http://www.thevenusproject.com/ to exist without being totally socialist.
But in that concept everything you need is given to you and since machines do the work you live happy so no need for any currency unless you want to earn above what you would be "entitled".
I'm only assuming you were referring to the economic possibilities in regards to getting past the Evils shown in that film and how it would relate to crypt o-currency.

However in response to a Bot to control the "perceived" worth of a Btc it would a much simpler task to fork the project and assign a standard to them. As mentioned, I have been entertaining the Time Dollar concept where everyone's time is paid with the same measure.

BTC: 1J7AeYuvezWdj8Jqm9UxyXCNbgjkqEK5Yy
UFC: BxWhBBwtSdS5QAX6jXawjEnVvTxivJkziW
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September 03, 2011, 08:05:15 AM
 #54

Hate to ruin everyone's fun, but watch the list of buy and sell orders on mtgox next time prices take a tumble. You will notice very large buy walls meant to prop up the price that magically get withdrawn the second before prices hit that limit and go through.


MTGox is already manipulating their market in an attempt to stabilize price beyond what the free market wants.
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September 03, 2011, 08:38:51 AM
 #55


I like this idea.  It's a system where the community of the commoner can chose to participate in the "speculation" and together
become powerful enough to have their goals represented in the market.  And what do they want? stability!

Congratulations, you have created a tool to democratize speculation!  If this isn't the free market at work,  I don't know what is.
Hedgers and shorters, quit whining and get a real job!

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September 03, 2011, 11:06:05 AM
 #56

It's a noble enough idea, IdeaMan, but it won't work.  I don't think I can explain it better than others have already tried.  So how about we play a game?  We can pen & paper a small bitcoin economy with an exchange.  You play the bot, I play a forex trader, someone else plays the rest of the market which is trying to buy M&Ms for a price that's roughly equivalent to USD$2/pack.  I'll start with 100 RevCoins, you'll start with $100 USD.  You try to hold a floor of $1/RC.  We take turns issuing market orders.

In the end, I guarantee that:
You can prevent the price from going under $1, as long as you don't try to do anything else.
I can make the price fluctuate wildly (several orders of magnitude).
I will end up with all your USD.
You probably won't even end up holding all the RevCoins unless you stick to a straight $1/RC exchange rate.
Some M&M buyers will get screwed for a notable percentage of their money.

I'm not sure I actually am up to really doing this (it'd involve a few hundred trades to show you all the ways the market will slap you around and achieve all my goals above), but I'm hoping just thinking about how you'd approach it will make you think about where the problems are.  It's an exercise you should certainly try doing on your own notepad, though.

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September 03, 2011, 02:36:20 PM
 #57

What you are proposing is, in essence, a scalping bot.

A scalping bot tends to play around the range of the bid and the ask usually, and is designed to make a relatively large volume of trades as quickly as possible at a very slight profit margin.  The theory is that over time a bot that is barely profitable will return tangible profits.

This bot plays only at the outside edges of the market depth graph and is designed to generate no trades (barring total market collapse).  The theory is that over time contributions to the backing floor will allow BitCoin to move towards stabilization by actually backing the currency temporarily (through the bot's collective pool of various local fiats).  A few days ago mtgox announced exchanges for 15 new currencies:

mtgoxEUR - Euro
mtgoxCAD - Canadian Dollar
mtgoxGBP - British Pound
mtgoxCHF - Swiss Francs
mtgoxRUB - Russian Rubles
mtgoxAUD - Australian Dollars
mtgoxSKK - Swedish Krona
mtgoxDKK - Danish Krona
mtgoxHKD - Hong Kong Dollars
mtgoxPLN - Polish Zloty
mtgoxCNY - Chinese Yuan
mtgoxSGD - Singapore Dollars
mtgoxTBH - Thai Baht
mtgoxNZD - New Zealand Dollars
mtgoxJPY - Japanese Yen

-and now every person on the internet with a mtgox account and some local fiat has the ability to use BitCoin as a currency and exchange it for local fiat as needed, and can support the idea of BitCoin by backing it with a tiny amount of fiat that adds to the bot's pooled backing power..

I don't see any problem at all with scalping: indeed, it will help the scalper fill his pockets with money, while decreasing volatility and providing liquidity

There's the moral question of milking wealth out of an economy from people who want to migrate to BitCoin because they don't want their financial system to be exploited, but we'll ignore that for now.  It does nothing to decrease volatility in the BitCoin market, because almost all of the movement in the market is the direct result of speculation.  The price varies at ludicrous speeds across wide ranges that a currency can not even pretend to sustain - strictly based on BitCoin's perception as a virtually worthless (in purchasing power before conversion to fiat) commodity to be speculated on for future (most commonly, short-term) gains.  But it does provide liquidity.

However, to any would be donators: know that a lot of people are already operating bots like this, for free (or rather, they expect to earn money letting them trade).

No, but many people are running scalping bots, which do function that way.

Also, I find it ironic that OP proposes what is essentially speculation to end the problem of speculators.

Not quite.  I support backing the asset with a distributed pool of fiat currency that would act as a guaranteed minimum price - the first guaranteed anything in the BitCoin economy.  It is impossible to have stability in your structure if the ground hasn't even begun to solidify yet.

Seeing as currencies are traditionally issued by the state, the traditional process to speed adoption (passing a law across the jurisdiction of the currency that it is a legal currency that must be accepted) isn't available to BitCoin.  This makes it an inhospitable environment to BitCoin as a currency - local fiat already covers most meatspace purchases, and there are some options online in most places.  If BitCoin can't at least be used to buy things online, it will never be valuable in any real sense.  Therefore it is on us to discover and implement best practices towards aiding it's adoption as a full-fledged currency and not just a commodity if we want it to have real value - and therefore pay off for our collective investment of time energy and money into it individually.

BitCoins have no real inherent value - they're just numbers.  The only value they have now is speculative interest.  Once they become a spendable unit of money, they gain real value that will last.  If they don't gain real value, people will eventually start to sell off, causing the price to drop, since there's nothing that it's actually worth in trade without speculation value behind it.

Furthermore, speculation is a game of diminishing returns - mtgox charges fees, don't forget.  The strategy is only profitable while BitCoin gains new investors or while current investors are willing to pour more money into a losing investment.  Their profit comes from somewhere - other people.  When some people stop wanting to spend money on BitCoin as a commodity, it will pay less out to those who are still willing to.  Neither of those scenarios is sustainable - and both result in long-term crash and depreciation.  With speculation mapping it's current path, BitCoin will more likely than not fail.

Make no mistake about it - this is a pass or fail class.  If we goof off and treat it like a get-rich-quick Ponzi scheme, it will end up being one.

Hate to ruin everyone's fun, but watch the list of buy and sell orders on mtgox next time prices take a tumble. You will notice very large buy walls meant to prop up the price that magically get withdrawn the second before prices hit that limit and go through.


MTGox is already manipulating their market in an attempt to stabilize price beyond what the free market wants.

I'm not sure this is MtGox manipulating the market, but it certainly illustrates the issue of unbridled free market speculation being an unstable basis for determining value.

I like this idea.  It's a system where the community of the commoner can chose to participate in the "speculation" and together become powerful enough to have their goals represented in the market.  And what do they want? stability!

It's more accurately described as a co-op of contributed pocket change that becomes a backing fund over time.

Congratulations, you have created a tool to democratize speculation!

Not really, it's more of a tool to democratize the backing of a commodity into a currency.  The tool that democratizes speculation is an exchange (like mtgox).

If this isn't the free market at work,  I don't know what is.

Interesting point - this is very much the free market at work, just not in the disorganized way that it is now.  Thanks for pointing that out.

Hedgers and shorters, quit whining and get a real job!

Agreed - if you're into BitCoin to make a quick buck, do yourself a favor and cash out before the rest of the speculators do.  You'll save yourself the loss, and BitCoin will begin to become stable from those who stay to hold it long.

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September 03, 2011, 03:11:28 PM
 #58

It's a noble enough idea, IdeaMan, but it won't work.  I don't think I can explain it better than others have already tried.  So how about we play a game?

Oooo, I love games, gogogo!

We can pen & paper a small bitcoin economy with an exchange.

Sounds interesting!  Where are we going to get enough hands to simulate a market of thousands of people though?

You play the bot, I play a forex trader, someone else plays the rest of the market which is trying to buy M&Ms for a price that's roughly equivalent to USD$2/pack.

This is not the way shopping works - The market tries to buy M&M's for the cheapest price they can reasonably get in a window of time short enough to satisfy their craving for chocolate candy.  If there is no price cheap enough, shoppers spend too much or don't buy it.  If the price is low, shoppers buy many and save them for later chocolate cravings.  But no shopper ever goes to the store thinking, "I'll only buy M&M's if they're within 7% fluctuation range of $2.00" - they go thinking that they want M&M's, and expect them not to cost $2.75 today if they cost $1.49 yesterday.

I'll start with 100 RevCoins, you'll start with $100 USD.  You try to hold a floor of $1/RC.  We take turns issuing market orders.

This is not the way the bot or the market works.  A better example would be if you and I were in the middle of running this example, and then 5000 other people came in and contributed $0.01 towards the goal of holding a floor at $0.50.  In that example, I move my price to $0.51, since there's little point offering you twice what the market as a whole offers you in exchange for your Coins, but I still want to buy first.  The bot pool may eventually surpass my offer and hit $0.52, but I can always move my bid.

In the end, I guarantee that:
You can prevent the price from going under $1, as long as you don't try to do anything else.

Yes, that is correct.  But the bot's goal is not to set a fixed floor price - it's to aggregate spare change from users into a democratically priced backing floor, regardless of what the price at the floor is.

I can make the price fluctuate wildly (several orders of magnitude).

You can make the ask price fluctuate wildly.  If I suddenly decide to spend $90.00 on a Coin, I'm being a fool.  If I suddenly decide to spend $50.00 on a Coin, I'm being a fool.  If I decide to set my bid within +15% of the floor, you have no choice but to meet me around that range if you want to sell.

I will end up with all your USD.

Sure, assuming the bot locked at a stable price of $1.00 apiece.  In practice, the bot would actually end up not being sold to, and the market would move towards the stabilized floor price.  You could sell all your Coins to me, but likely I would be unwilling to pay 1:1 for them when the rest of the market clearly values them at a lower price.  Really, you would end up with no coins and maybe $20-30 USD, $60 tops.

You probably won't even end up holding all the RevCoins unless you stick to a straight $1/RC exchange rate.

If I was the only buyer (very little demand for RevCoins) then I would be a fool to set the bid at $1.00 when I could easily set it at $0.10.  Then you get $10.00, but I get all 100 Coins.  What if I set my bid at $0.01? $0.001?  What if the floor is set at $0.00001?  What if buy 20 Coins at $1.00 and sell them at $0.75 to the rest of the market, lowering the speculative perceived value?  Then when you lower your price below $0.75 for the remaining Coins (since you're trying to sell them), and I buy your Coins then?

Some M&M buyers will get screwed for a notable percentage of their money.

If they take prices near your wildly fluctuating ask price, yes.  If they take prices near the bot's comparatively stable bid floor (at any value less than $1.00, for instance), then no.

I'm not sure I actually am up to really doing this

Me either, this would take forever if we intended for it to actually hit the floor the bot would set, but it would be faster than the BitCoin economy, since it's a smaller pool of players.

(it'd involve a few hundred trades to show you all the ways the market will slap you around and achieve all my goals above),

It would also require the bot to behave very differently, the market to behave very differently, and for you to be the only seller and for me the only person in the bot's pool, and for me to be foolish enough not to realize that while you have 100% of the supply, I have 100% of the demand.  What if I just waited for your price to approach the backed value, which is less than $1.00?

but I'm hoping just thinking about how you'd approach it will make you think about where the problems are.

Right now the majority of the problems with the idea come from the potential user base not understanding the concept or the execution because they'd rather jump to their own idea of the way it operates than read the incredibly detailed description in this thread.

It's an exercise you should certainly try doing on your own notepad, though.

We just did it right here on a public notepad.  It turned out your theory was incorrect.  But this was a very fun game!  Let's play again some time!

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September 03, 2011, 10:51:18 PM
 #59

Sounds interesting!  Where are we going to get enough hands to simulate a market of thousands of people though?
We can each simulate a handful of people.   Clearly me playing a single forex trader would be silly, since I could refuse to sell anything below an absurd price.  I'd do it by playing perhaps three traders who are making reasonable, competitive moves.

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This is not the way shopping works - The market tries to buy M&M's for the cheapest price they can reasonably get in a window of time short enough to satisfy their craving for chocolate candy.
Their price is sticky enough that we can assume that it'll stay constant over the amount of time we'd simulate (which would only be a few days).  The goal of the buyers would be to start with USD and buy M&Ms through RC within 10% of the USD-equivalent.  For this game, simulating them at a fixed USD value would work fine.

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This is not the way the bot or the market works.
That's just the starting conditions.  From there we'd trade it out to a few players until the market's functioning and those players have seeded your bot with enough RC to get it running.

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Yes, that is correct.  But the bot's goal is not to set a fixed floor price - it's to aggregate spare change from users into a democratically priced backing floor, regardless of what the price at the floor is.
At any given moment you'll have a fixed floor based on how much capital the bot has access to.

Regardless, your model requires that people donate the full value of the floor, at whatever level.  The problem is that if that floor is anywhere near the current trading price, the amount of donations required would be about the BTC market cap.  That's asking for an awful lot of donations, and it's not something we can just do once: we'd have to do it on an ongoing basis to keep up if the BTC grows.

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You can make the ask price fluctuate wildly.  If I suddenly decide to spend $90.00 on a Coin, I'm being a fool.  If I suddenly decide to spend $50.00 on a Coin, I'm being a fool.  If I decide to set my bid within +15% of the floor, you have no choice but to meet me around that range if you want to sell.
Nope.  I can make the market price fluctuate wildly, even with rational buyers just trying to do commerce.  If I corner the BTC market, I can force it to $10 per coin by limiting supply.  The M&M buyers will buy 0.2RC, purchase their M&Ms, the merchant will sell back to USD; and it can continue on in this fashion indefinitely until I release some more RC and let the price fall.  Even if the forex guys get out of the market for a bit, the M&M buyers can't trade the price down to USD$0.1, because they need to hold some value in RC at least for a little while (since wiring money to the exchange is slow so people do it well ahead of time, transactions have to confirm, the merchant may not immediately dump the coins when he receives them, etc; figure it's a 3 day cycle at minimum.), and the next buyer still needs to get his transaction going.  My three forex guys won't net any aggregate money doing this, though individuals may come out ahead or behind.

Now consider:  This isn't a contrived scenario, because this exactly what's occurring in the BTC market right now.  The majority of coins are buried somewhere and not moving.  The ones that are are circling around at high prices, mostly between forex guys, but a little bit to people who're buying high-value coins to complete their transactions.

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Sure, assuming the bot locked at a stable price of $1.00 apiece.  In practice, the bot would actually end up not being sold to, and the market would move towards the stabilized floor price.
Sure, the market will settle out at some price...  If it's above $1, your bot is irrelevant.  If it starts to drift down, your bot will act as a floor, it'll buy up some of the excess, and the market will take over again.  Unfortunately, if the market keeps wanting to drift down, you'll keep buying up more and more BTC/RC until you basically have lost most of your USD and are holding most of the BTC/RC.  If the few remaining players at that stage decide they want out, they dump the remainder of their holdings in exchange for the remainder of your USD.

  You could sell all your Coins to me, but likely I would be unwilling to pay 1:1 for them when the rest of the market clearly values them at a lower price.  Really, you would end up with no coins and maybe $20-30 USD, $60 tops.

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If I was the only buyer (very little demand for RevCoins) then I would be a fool to set the bid at $1.00 when I could easily set it at $0.10.  Then you get $10.00, but I get all 100 Coins.  What if I set my bid at $0.01? $0.001?  What if the floor is set at $0.00001?  What if buy 20 Coins at $1.00 and sell them at $0.75 to the rest of the market, lowering the speculative perceived value?  Then when you lower your price below $0.75 for the remaining Coins (since you're trying to sell them), and I buy your Coins then?
Yes, we'd clearly have to simulate a few of each class of player, all competing, if it's going to be at all realistic.  That's why I'm a little reluctant to actually do this.  It'd require a whole lot of paper pushing.  Smiley

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If they take prices near your wildly fluctuating ask price, yes.  If they take prices near the bot's comparatively stable bid floor (at any value less than $1.00, for instance), then no.
They can't if I've forced the price up to $10.

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 What if I just waited for your price to approach the backed value, which is less than $1.00?
If I'm forcing the price high by limiting supply, the buyers will eventually buy at that price so they can complete their transactions.  Sure, I'd love to hold out for $0.10 bitcoins to buy bitmunchies...  But if I want my bitmunchies today, I have no choice but to pay $8.50/BTC.  And I will, since it doesn't affect the cost to me, which remains the same in USD.

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Right now the majority of the problems with the idea come from the potential user base not understanding the concept or the execution because they'd rather jump to their own idea of the way it operates than read the incredibly detailed description in this thread.
Well, as best I understand it, you could provide something of a floor on the BTC, but it would require an unreasonably large investment: your bot would need a fund that's a majority of the market cap.  I can't imagine that you're ever going to get that much donation, short of someone very rich doing a very nice thing.  Even then it'd become irrelevant if BTC is more widely adopted, since the price will go up (you really can't prevent that), and you'd need more donations unless your floor is to become an ever-diminshing fraction of the BTC's price.

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We just did it right here on a public notepad.  It turned out your theory was incorrect.  But this was a very fun game!  Let's play again some time!

I don't agree that my theory's wrong.  I think it's clear that one of us misunderstands the other, and I do not concede that the error is on my side.  Smiley


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September 04, 2011, 03:45:57 AM
 #60

Sounds interesting!  Where are we going to get enough hands to simulate a market of thousands of people though?
We can each simulate a handful of people.   Clearly me playing a single forex trader would be silly, since I could refuse to sell anything below an absurd price.  I'd do it by playing perhaps three traders who are making reasonable, competitive moves.

Ok, but that still doesn't remotely accurately synthesize market behavior.   No one has a stranglehold on the price.
Quote
This is not the way shopping works - The market tries to buy M&M's for the cheapest price they can reasonably get in a window of time short enough to satisfy their craving for chocolate candy.
Their price is sticky enough that we can assume that it'll stay constant over the amount of time we'd simulate (which would only be a few days).  The goal of the buyers would be to start with USD and buy M&Ms through RC within 10% of the USD-equivalent.  For this game, simulating them at a fixed USD value would work fine.

No one is going to pay $10.00 local fiat to convert money into another format to buy M&Ms at a store that already accepts local fiat.  Simulating them at a fixed value isn't fine, since the value of BitCoins isn't fixed.

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This is not the way the bot or the market works.
That's just the starting conditions.  From there we'd trade it out to a few players until the market's functioning and those players have seeded your bot with enough RC to get it running.

No, you miss my point.  The market doesn't have one person with a monopoly on bid or ask prices.  Not even close, actually.  And the bot uses fiat, not Coins.

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Yes, that is correct.  But the bot's goal is not to set a fixed floor price - it's to aggregate spare change from users into a democratically priced backing floor, regardless of what the price at the floor is.
At any given moment you'll have a fixed floor based on how much capital the bot has access to.

Regardless, your model requires that people donate the full value of the floor, at whatever level.  The problem is that if that floor is anywhere near the current trading price, the amount of donations required would be about the BTC market cap.  That's asking for an awful lot of donations, and it's not something we can just do once: we'd have to do it on an ongoing basis to keep up if the BTC grows.

No, my model takes any amount of donations and uses them to determine the floor.  The floor price is only fixed as long as no one in the market moves capital in or out of the bot.  I'm not saying people should contribute a total of nearly the market cap for a theory - I'm saying that whatever fiat people put in to generate the floor will eventually cause the price to move towards that relatively stable value.

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You can make the ask price fluctuate wildly.  If I suddenly decide to spend $90.00 on a Coin, I'm being a fool.  If I suddenly decide to spend $50.00 on a Coin, I'm being a fool.  If I decide to set my bid within +15% of the floor, you have no choice but to meet me around that range if you want to sell.
Nope.  I can make the market price fluctuate wildly, even with rational buyers just trying to do commerce.

Only if these rational buyers take your asks offers.  Without your asks being met, no transfer of Coins occurs, meaning the market price doesn't ever change at your whim alone.

If I corner the BTC market,

A huge "if", I might add.

I can force it to $10 per coin by limiting supply.  The M&M buyers will buy 0.2RC, purchase their M&Ms, the merchant will sell back to USD; and it can continue on in this fashion indefinitely until I release some more RC and let the price fall.  Even if the forex guys get out of the market for a bit, the M&M buyers can't trade the price down to USD$0.1, because they need to hold some value in RC at least for a little while (since wiring money to the exchange is slow so people do it well ahead of time, transactions have to confirm, the merchant may not immediately dump the coins when he receives them, etc; figure it's a 3 day cycle at minimum.), and the next buyer still needs to get his transaction going.  My three forex guys won't net any aggregate money doing this, though individuals may come out ahead or behind.

This whole paragraph is reliant on one person cornering the market - which is impossible.  There's a possibility that a group of early miner/hoarders working in concert could effectively corner the market, but that is just the same theory as this bot working at the outside end of the ask instead of the outside end of the bid.

Now consider:  This isn't a contrived scenario, because this exactly what's occurring in the BTC market right now.  The majority of coins are buried somewhere and not moving.

The majority of coins are buried right now because that group of early miners/hoarders have yet to re-enter the market.  Assuming they aren't part of some vast conspiracy and enter the market as individuals, when they enter the market to sell, increased availability means decreased prices compared to the market price when they decided to enter, since they must price competitively to make their sales.

A more likely scenario is that many of those BitCoins are being held until BitCoin becomes a currency and can be spent at real value.

The ones that are are circling around at high prices, mostly between forex guys, but a little bit to people who're buying high-value coins to complete their transactions.

There are no forex guys in the market right now - only speculators.  They are circulating at high prices now because the market is artificially inflated by speculation.

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Sure, assuming the bot locked at a stable price of $1.00 apiece.  In practice, the bot would actually end up not being sold to, and the market would move towards the stabilized floor price.
Sure, the market will settle out at some price...  If it's above $1, your bot is irrelevant.  If it starts to drift down, your bot will act as a floor, it'll buy up some of the excess, and the market will take over again.  Unfortunately, if the market keeps wanting to drift down, you'll keep buying up more and more BTC/RC until you basically have lost most of your USD and are holding most of the BTC/RC.  If the few remaining players at that stage decide they want out, they dump the remainder of their holdings in exchange for the remainder of your USD.

You could sell all your Coins to me, but likely I would be unwilling to pay 1:1 for them when the rest of the market clearly values them at a lower price.  Really, you would end up with no coins and maybe $20-30 USD, $60 tops.

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If I was the only buyer (very little demand for RevCoins) then I would be a fool to set the bid at $1.00 when I could easily set it at $0.10.  Then you get $10.00, but I get all 100 Coins.  What if I set my bid at $0.01? $0.001?  What if the floor is set at $0.00001?  What if buy 20 Coins at $1.00 and sell them at $0.75 to the rest of the market, lowering the speculative perceived value?  Then when you lower your price below $0.75 for the remaining Coins (since you're trying to sell them), and I buy your Coins then?
Yes, we'd clearly have to simulate a few of each class of player, all competing, if it's going to be at all realistic.  That's why I'm a little reluctant to actually do this.  It'd require a whole lot of paper pushing.  Smiley

And more importantly with the correct number of players it wouldn't resemble your example in the slightest way.  The market would compete and people would get a better price than the artificially high one you set your ask at.

Quote
If they take prices near your wildly fluctuating ask price, yes.  If they take prices near the bot's comparatively stable bid floor (at any value less than $1.00, for instance), then no.
They can't if I've forced the price up to $10.

You can only force the price to any amount higher than the current high bid if you control all the BitCoins, and refuse to compromise to make a sale indefinitely.  This is also not the way the free market works.

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What if I just waited for your price to approach the backed value, which is less than $1.00?
If I'm forcing the price high by limiting supply, the buyers will eventually buy at that price so they can complete their transactions.  Sure, I'd love to hold out for $0.10 bitcoins to buy bitmunchies...  But if I want my bitmunchies today, I have no choice but to pay $8.50/BTC.  And I will, since it doesn't affect the cost to me, which remains the same in USD.

The people trying to buy M&Ms still have the option to just buy in fiat.  why would they jump through additional hoops and transaction fees to buy a grossly overpriced commodity and try to use that as a currency when they have a valid currency in their hands?

Quote
Right now the majority of the problems with the idea come from the potential user base not understanding the concept or the execution because they'd rather jump to their own idea of the way it operates than read the incredibly detailed description in this thread.
Well, as best I understand it, you could provide something of a floor on the BTC, but it would require an unreasonably large investment: your bot would need a fund that's a majority of the market cap.

This is what I mean about not understanding the theory.  The bot doesn't require a fund of any amount - it just becomes a more powerful market force as that fund approaches the market cap.  The market price will move towards the backing floor, and the closer the floor is to current the market price, the less distance it has to move.

I can't imagine that you're ever going to get that much donation, short of someone very rich doing a very nice thing.

Maybe, maybe not.  I believe there's enough people willing to temporarily lock up a few cents of their money to stabilize BitCoin to currency behavior patterns for the sake of seeing it succeed.

Even then it'd become irrelevant if BTC is more widely adopted, since the price will go up (you really can't prevent that), and you'd need more donations unless your floor is to become an ever-diminshing fraction of the BTC's price.

Once BitCoin is adopted as a currency it gains real value outside of the backing fund, negating it's need for stabilization, and therefore freeing up the funds, should users wish to remove them.  The purpose is to back the BitCoin until it becomes stable enough to be treated as a currency.  Why does no one get this?

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We just did it right here on a public notepad.  It turned out your theory was incorrect.  But this was a very fun game!  Let's play again some time!

I don't agree that my theory's wrong.  I think it's clear that one of us misunderstands the other, and I do not concede that the error is on my side.  Smiley

As this is just a theory, neither of us can know whether or not either one of us, or both of us, are wrong.  However:

•Your comprehension of my theory is incorrect.

•Your examples rely on near-impossible or impossible situations.

•Your examples fail to take into account basic facts like multiple participants co-existing in the market.

•You assume a situation where one player has functional monopoly control of supply.

•You neglect to provide any reason for converting fiat at a loss through an exchange to make a transaction.

•You misunderstand the basic operation of the bot.

•You misunderstand the concept of backing an asset.

•You ignore entirely the concept of value history.

•You ignore entirely the concept of speculative distortion of value.

•You ignore entirely the concept of market liquidity.

•You seem to believe that people are hard-up enough to buy Coins that they will buy them at any price, even if they have no concrete value as a currency, and have to buy them at a net loss to purchasing power.

As such, I not only do not concede that the error is on my side, but also believe it is likely on yours.

Signatures are only used for 2 things - Advertising, like this one, and teenagers on social networking sites that feel a need to waste your time, which is fundamentally what all advertising does.  Abolish signatures on message boards.
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