re: the discussion here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=40865.msg498035#msg498035
"..investors would just put them online and mine for themselves at a much higher profitability than selling the chips. "https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=40865.msg499715#msg499715
This is all new to me, but if my impression is correct, and the creation/use of ASIC would be limited to very wealthy people who saw the value in BTC, why wouldn't this person's point be accurate? If hypothetically one could create an ASIC so much more efficient, keep this harvester for themselves, while selling a pathetic little brother version that would be superior to what we have, profitable to sell, but not compete with the one they kept to themselves...
Again, I know very little about any of this. I saw "ASIC" & "FPGA" for the first time in this forum last night.
Also, if my understanding is correct, one day there will be no more mining, and BTC will still be a useful currency (should it not be replaced by something superior). The ability to "mine" BTC is a pretty insignificant part of its value. The fact that it has characteristics that no other currency (I'm aware of) has today makes it valuable. Value is subjective, however. Some people will want BTC because they believe that it's safer than any other currency. The dollar is being printed around the clock, and the effects of this inflation have you to be realized. One could easily surmise that BTC is superior to any inflatable fiat currency, and have no interest on ROI.. they simply want in, regularly, at whatever cost they can afford without disrupting their lifestyle.
BTCs is a very valuable currency. It will increase in value in many ways as more people use it. Virtually all other state printed, controlled, currencies are inferior in many ways, and losing value. If the $, and BTC, maintain their same ratio in value, and other currencies continue to dive, people may choose to exchange into BTC because it's so much easier to do so. Regardless of the scenario, as long as people are willing to trade "Hours", and other regional currencies not backed by anything, BTC will be superior to many of them, and have its use. I happen to believe that the $ will continue to drop, thereby require more of them to exchange into BTC, despite all the other influences, because of the magnitude of inflation, poor management, and hassle of use, involved with $.
As the $ continues to be inflated, there will be a window where it's not reflected in greater costs , despite the greater availability of the $.
One last thing, it seems like one of the issues here is the exclusive use of the ASIC/FPGA for BTC mining. Is a more efficient GPU a better avenue? Perhaps something else entirely that has uses other than as an efficient BTC miner (There's probably another obvious example I could mention if I wasn't pretty incompetent when it comes to all this technological stuff).
I appreciate the discussion everyone. I'm trying to work my way through it all & decide which, if any, mining technique I'd like to utilize (or if it wouldn't be better to just exchange into them).
Edit: BTC real value isn't in going from $ to more $, though that can be done, too. It is a great, possibly best, medium of exchange.