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Author Topic: An Introduction to Bitcoin (2nd revision)  (Read 1135 times)
ahbritto
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September 16, 2011, 07:01:17 AM
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To better support the new national radio ads we've created an:

Please help us improve the page by showing it to non-bitcoiners and reporting what confused them or what further questions they had.

Thank you,

-Arthur
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julz
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September 16, 2011, 07:12:32 AM
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I think the 'Bitcoin Advantages' section is interesting only to a fairly niche group.
If when first looking into Bitcoin I'd  read that bit, I'd have thought 'oh yeah.. spose that's good in a way.. not highly relevant to me though'

Saying 'regular currencies can be devalued', given the current fluctuations in bitcoin price, just seems ridiculous to list as an advantage.  It's a theoretical advantage only at this stage (at least until Bitcoin has stable exchange rates and is actually deflationary).

In contrast - the list of '14 things you can do with bitcoin that you otherwise couldn't'  strikes me as having much more general appeal.
http://bitcoin-trader.blogspot.com/2011/09/14-things-you-can-do-with-bitcoin-that.html



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Meni Rosenfeld
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September 16, 2011, 07:42:37 AM
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99% of people don't care about gold, so having 5 of the 6 listed advantages compare it to gold is pointless.

It's a theoretical advantage only at this stage (at least until Bitcoin has stable exchange rates and is actually deflationary).
Most of Bitcoin's advantages are only theoretical at this stage. There are very few people to whom there is practical advantage in using Bitcoin now. I think the "sales pitch" should focus on what Bitcoin can do in the future, thus attracting those with a bit of vision.

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September 16, 2011, 11:13:20 PM
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99% of people don't care about gold, so having 5 of the 6 listed advantages compare it to gold is pointless.

It's a theoretical advantage only at this stage (at least until Bitcoin has stable exchange rates and is actually deflationary).
Most of Bitcoin's advantages are only theoretical at this stage. There are very few people to whom there is practical advantage in using Bitcoin now. I think the "sales pitch" should focus on what Bitcoin can do in the future, thus attracting those with a bit of vision.

This page needs to be simplified.  Maybe an infographic like that turbo tax one a while back.

http://www.btclog.com/uploads/FileUpload/e6/9cc97eb4c91db1ec5fb30ca35f0da8.png
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ahbritto
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September 26, 2011, 08:10:26 AM
 #5

Hi Everyone,

Based on the above comments, we have revised the page and added graphics:

I think the page is much stronger. Smiley

I'm sure there is lots of room for further improvement.  More comments are welcome!

Thank you for all the comments so far,

-Arthur
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September 26, 2011, 11:55:23 AM
 #6

This is much better! Nice pictures and layout Smiley

One thing - the last part about Bitcoin risks. It's nice that you try to provide balanced outlook and help customers make informed decisions, but it feels to me that that part is much more technical than the rest of the article.

It's like you are trying to involve regular folks (housewives and such) and then scare them with stuff they don't completely understand or can't adequately estimate.

Maybe it's better to write some simple disclaimer like Forex companies do - something, like "may not be suitable for all investors, terms and conditions apply" Smiley

In its current state you finish otherwise upbeat article with a bunch of scary stuff as the last words, sort of conclusion.

I am afraid people will read it like "nice, nice, cool, nice, oh shit, too scary, no thanks!".

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Meni Rosenfeld
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September 26, 2011, 01:01:00 PM
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Very nice. A few comments:

Quote
Protect your wealth from devaluation by the government.
This will alienate some (most?) people. I'd go for "Protect your wealth from devaluation due to inflation."

Quote
Using Bitcoins Increases their Value
If you have some Bitcoin saved, you can make them more valuable by using Bitcoins. Using Bitcoins increases their demand which in turn increases the value of your saved Bitcoins.
I'd remove this. That this is true at all is debatable (buying with bitcoins, where the alternative is to keep your bitcoins and buy the same thing with dollars, increases bitcoins supply and could decrease their value. Buying with bitcoins, with the intention to replenish your bitcoin holdings by accepting Bitcoin payments yourself, does increase their value, though), the magnitude of the effect for an individual is negligible, and it makes Bitcoin sound like some game.

Quote
Bitcoin is an International currency
Bitcoin can be spent all over the world.
This is one of Bitcoin's major advantages and should be expanded. Talk about how Bitcoin ubiquity could spare both the hassle and fees of currency conversion for traveling and internet shopping, the conversion fees easily being 3% on top of the transaction fees.

Quote
The same cryptography that powers Internet banking.
I'm not an expert but I think this is wrong. Bitcoin uses some set of cryptographic primitives, which AFAIK are ECDSA for digital signatures and SHA-256 and RIPEMD160 for hashing. Banking and internet banking use their own set of cryptographic primitives, which will differ between banks and may or may not overlap with Bitcoin's.

Quote
A weakness in the encryption might be discovered.
This is the same encryption used in online banking. Like banking systems, if a flaw is found in a particular algorithm, the Bitcoin client can be upgraded to use different encryption algorithms.
Until recently you could safely say that no encryption at all is involved with Bitcoin. The newest mainstream client added wallet encryption, but that is a software implementation detail and not core Bitcoin. Wherever possible one should use the term "cryptography", which is more general and includes hashing, signatures etc. Also, see above about "the same as in online banking".

Quote
Spend your Bitcoins
This section should be expanded.


Finally, there is almost no mention of what I think is one of Bitcoin's major selling points, at least from a philosophical level, which is the ability to store your own savings securely without requiring the services of a third party (unlike cash which can be easily stolen). This isn't right for everyone given the very challenging nature of protecting it simultaneously against loss and theft, but having purely digital money allows very flexible access schemes, and it's important that people have this option if they choose to invest in adopting a solid plan (e.g., a 2-out-of-3 password protection scheme protects against loss and theft of up to one source. You could memorize one key, store one key in a safe at home and give one key to a friend). And it's like a piggy bank where the elaborate plan is required for getting money out, getting savings money in is easy.

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