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Author Topic: Why Bitcoins, Joe Average?  (Read 1217 times)
lazycodre
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September 05, 2011, 09:25:29 PM
 #1

Forget about intellectual reasoning and entrepreneurial foresight.

Why should Joe Average start using Bitcoins?

Other than brutely forcing them to (which I must admit has its occasional appeal......)


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September 06, 2011, 05:11:36 AM
 #2

You can pick up chicks with the ole, "hey baby, wanna check out my USB stick? its LOADED with Bitcoin". IF that doesnt make her want to sleep with you, nothing will.

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September 06, 2011, 01:07:54 PM
 #3

Slow Clap
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September 06, 2011, 01:20:41 PM
 #4

Slow Clap
*cough*
*silence*
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September 06, 2011, 01:25:22 PM
 #5

Provided the SHA-256 hash function doesn't get compromised anytime soon, Bitcoins might be a better investment than gold right now. Gold is at an all-time high, Bitcoins aren't! Also, at the rate the US is printing dollar bills (they might start a new round of quantitative easing soon), the dollar will just keep falling.
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September 06, 2011, 01:31:21 PM
 #6

Meh.

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September 07, 2011, 05:54:13 AM
 #7

He shouldn't, yet.  He would just get scammed or hacked.  We are still in the early adopter phase of the technology, and Joe Average can't hang.

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September 07, 2011, 06:08:51 AM
 #8

He shouldn't, yet.  He would just get scammed or hacked.  We are still in the early adopter phase of the technology, and Joe Average can't hang.

So at what point does it become something for Joe Average? What crucial steps do you see between now and when I should adopt Bitcoin?
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September 07, 2011, 04:29:25 PM
 #9

There needs to be incentive for the average person to use Bitcoin. Right now, beyond using it as a speculation mechanism there is no incentive to use it if you are not tech savvy or an early adopter. The convenience level is way too low for the average person to use Bitcoin in "average" situations.

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September 07, 2011, 04:41:52 PM
 #10

I don't see the average person having much of a reason to use bitcoin outside of silk road right now. Even the basic concepts of bitcoin
are hard for me to explain to family members/friends, so I don't see the public catching on for a while. That being said, I think it will  become
widely used a couple years from now because you can make purchases online while keeping your anonymity. It's quick and anonymous.
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September 07, 2011, 04:57:39 PM
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bitcoin has a great (black) market, if your into that kinda thing

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September 07, 2011, 05:46:12 PM
 #12

... It's quick and anonymous.

Actually it's not that quick and the anonymous part is also questionable.

The main reason it's not being used more widely is because it's not easy to use them.

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September 07, 2011, 05:55:03 PM
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Why should Joe Average start using Bitcoins?

Right now?  There's no real reason.  Later, maybe, but not now.

1. BitCoin security is weak.  Joe Average is using Windows, and *will* have his BitCoins stolen by malware (it's not an 'if', it's just a matter of time).  If he knows enough about security or bitcoin to keep it secure, he ain't Joe Average.  An ideal situation for Joe Average would probably be a two tier system: an iPhone app for making purchases with a client that handles your "chequing account" and day-to-day purchases, plus a separate, password-protected, handheld device stored in a secure location in your house that handles your "savings account" by wirelessly communicating with your router.

Of course, there's the risk of a break in robbing you of every last penny if the private keys to your bitcoins are stored only on a physical object.  I can imagine that there's methods out there that can read the flash drive (or whatever) of the device, meaning backups won't help against theft.  I suppose if the data in the object is kept mostly encrypted and sent through a third party decrypter or something via the internet...

Then there's the reliability of the trading hubs, online accounts, and Mining Pools.  Look at MtGox getting hacked, MyBitCoin disappearing, and everyone was moaning and groaning about the fact that one mining pool had over 50% of the network (plus the fact that DDoS attacks against the weaklings could give a heavyweight majority control).  The systems are just not there, or just not reliable.

2. BitCoin is unstable.  We're inflating at a rate of what, 50 bitcoins every 10 minutes?  So an increase of 2,629,800 bitcoins per year?  That's 36.4% of the current bitcoin supply.  And yet waves of Joe Averages keep hearing about bitcoin; even Paul Krugman recently commented on it (he dismissed it, sure, but the fact that he's commenting on it is something).  This is driving up speculation: people are buying in to speculate, not to use the currency.

Then again, the currency has been stable-ish the past few months... as compared to its history of $0 to $30 to $5 to $20 to... and so on.  So we could see a future where people hold bitcoins to buy.  Right now they usually just trade fiat for btc on a trading site, buy something from a merchant, then the merchant converts it back into fiat.  Bitcoins are held to speculate, and traded to purchase.  They aren't being held to make purchases, not by anyone smart anyways.

3. BitCoin isn't useful.  All of it's major features, like security, anonymity, and instant online transactions of anything are yet to be actually developed.  The potential is there, yes: it has the potential to be trustworthy without needing a central authority, and it has the potential to be anonymous if you're smart about it, and you can theoretically buy anything you want (eventually)... but we just don't have that yet, or to a lesser degree than is advertised to the Joe Average joe, which *will* cause backlash.  Right now the profit is in mining; in a decade the main income for miners will be transaction fees, and that's when we'll see transactions.
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September 07, 2011, 06:13:08 PM
 #14

+1 to that Smiley

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September 07, 2011, 06:15:56 PM
 #15

If Joe Average can print paper bitcoin wallets with a secure website (e.g. one that generates them with javascript while the internet is unplugged) and he stores all his bitcoins on paper wallets, broken down into convenient denominations, and spends them by typing private keys directly into websites, he should never have to worry about malware stealing his coins.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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September 07, 2011, 06:38:55 PM
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If Joe Average can print paper bitcoin wallets with a secure website (e.g. one that generates them with javascript while the internet is unplugged) and he stores all his bitcoins on paper wallets, broken down into convenient denominations, and spends them by typing private keys directly into websites, he should never have to worry about malware stealing his coins.

That seems extremely cumbersome and inefficient, and certainly not for Joe Average.  How is hand-typing addresses going to be useful at a grocery store?  Or is this just a temporary measure?  And is he going to hold all of his money in paper slips?  He'll have to print new money every time he gets paid, and how is he going to do that without either a third party or a client hooked up to the internet?

A far better long-term solution is a piece of hardware that acts as a client, imo.
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September 18, 2011, 01:02:55 PM
 #17

... A far better long-term solution is a piece of hardware that acts as a client, imo.

Like a smartphone or tablet? Wink

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September 18, 2011, 02:04:30 PM
 #18

I have a bitcoin client on my Android.
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September 18, 2011, 02:16:17 PM
 #19

Hmm.

I honestly think a lot of the 'average joe' preconceptions are around 10yrs outdated.

High-Tech stuff is -everywhere-.  On TV, in your home, in movies, out in public.  People may not be familiar with it all, but they aren't cavemen.

Digital money is already here.  People know how to use online-banking, credit cards, etc.  The -only- thing that would make it difficult for the 'average joe' to pickup Bitcoin is the wallet security. I *think* I read that in the bitcoin code, there's the option to enable multi-party signatures to access a wallet. That with a (credible) mainstream online wallet, and that problem is solved.


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September 18, 2011, 02:18:20 PM
 #20

They aren't being held to make purchases, not by anyone smart anyways.

That would be me, then.

I'm holding them to make purchases, because otherwise the government overlords will want a piece of the pie.

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