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Question: Which of the following _best_ describes you or why you use bitcoin?  (Voting closed: March 21, 2011, 10:27:23 PM)
Technology Early Adopter - 22 (26.5%)
Privacy / Cryptography Enthusiast - 13 (15.7%)
Distrust Central Banks - 16 (19.3%)
Miner - 8 (9.6%)
Gambling (e.g., in online casinos that take bitcoin) - 2 (2.4%)
Criminal / Illegal Activities - 4 (4.8%)
Low Transaction Fees - 4 (4.8%)
Scamming - 1 (1.2%)
Buy or Sell Porn or Sex Toys (excluding illegal porn) - 1 (1.2%)
Speculate, Forex Trading, Arbitrage, etc. - 6 (7.2%)
Other - 6 (7.2%)
Total Voters: 82

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Author Topic: Why Do You Use Bitcoin?  (Read 11450 times)
reubgr
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March 14, 2011, 10:27:23 PM
 #1

Hi Fellow Bitcoin Users,

I'm writing a legal essay on Bitcoin for my Banking Law class at a top U.S. law school. It will explain how bitcoin works, describe the current ecosystem, compare bitcoin to other payment systems and digital currencies, explore arguments for and against bitcoin specifically, and analyze salient legal issues. After I am done, I am hoping to publish the article in some way, perhaps bringing some attention to bitcoin.

It would be useful to get a sense of who the current bitcoin users are. I'm assuming that the votes are completely confidential so individuals can answer freely (but I'm not sure -- if you think differently, please post a reply).

I know that some of these overlap, but please answer whichever is the best for you.

Thanks,
reubgr
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March 14, 2011, 11:20:40 PM
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I voted other. The reason is quite simple, it's the best payment processor that exist at this time. I can run any kind of business without the risk of being shut down by my payment processor (or government), this is very important. Secondly there is privacy and anonymity. But it's still early to run any significant business with bitcoin in it's entirety, so at the current time I'm in as speculator and early adopter.

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March 14, 2011, 11:26:28 PM
 #3

to promote a good idea, thats all
dissipate
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March 14, 2011, 11:31:29 PM
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I voted early adopter. I haven't done much with Bitcoin yet, but I believe that it could open up entire markets that never existed before, especially for free and open source software projects. You can see my post on that here: http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4435.0.

One question I have is: What does Bitcoin have to do with banking law? Bitcoin runs outside of banks and really has nothing to do with banking. If you want to talk about 'money transmitters', that would be more accurate in my opinion.
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March 14, 2011, 11:38:50 PM
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you forgot buy drugs
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March 14, 2011, 11:50:41 PM
 #6

One question I have is: What does Bitcoin have to do with banking law? Bitcoin runs outside of banks and really has nothing to do with banking. If you want to talk about 'money transmitters', that would be more accurate in my opinion.



Bitcoins are very much supported by people who are disgusted with the banking system as it exists now. They are by design decentralized and limited. Under our current banking system, currency is both centralized and (theoretically) unlimited. By taking the power to essentially create currency away from the central banking authorities, away from the Fed, we take away their power to rob us via inflation. It has everything to do with banking.

I voted early adopter too, though I am also a speculator and distrust central banks. I voted early adopter because I tend to like new things in general. They intrigue me. That's what drew me to bitcoins in the first place. The meteoric rise of bitcoins in the last year combined with my enthusiasm for being part of the creation of a new electronic currency (and the knowledge that our current fiat banking system is fatally and congenitally flawed) has kept me around.
reubgr
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March 14, 2011, 11:51:48 PM
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Thanks for participating, dissipate, and for your question regarding banking law.

Banking law is a broad topic that includes issues involving "money transmitters," among others. Some issues involve the services that have grown up around bitcoin, like the exchanges (e.g., do they need to register with U.S. regulatory authorities?) and some of the eWallet providers (could they be considered depository institutions subject to a wide range of regulation?). Others deal with bitcoin more specifically: whether bitcoin, as an institution defined in some way, may fall within some federal or state definition of a bank; tax issues; state escheat statutes (i.e., what happens to property when nobody claims it); and so on.

Hopefully I will be able to make some headway on these difficult legal questions.
reubgr
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March 14, 2011, 11:53:50 PM
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@genjix: I intended the "Criminal" category to cover drugs and other generally illegal things, like child porn (but not gambling, which is in a legal grey area due to lots of conflict between state and federal laws).
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March 15, 2011, 12:26:30 AM
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I chose the central bank option. Bitcoins fits in perfectly with what good money should be. It's decentralized, anonymous, and even better, fixed in production. I don't have a lot of the technology background that many users do, so I'm still trying to understand that part. But it's all about having a money I can trust.

Gun accessories - www.shamblindistribution.com

My list of sites giving away btc - http://davidshamblin.com/bitcoin/free-bitcoins/
dissipate
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March 15, 2011, 12:43:28 AM
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One question I have is: What does Bitcoin have to do with banking law? Bitcoin runs outside of banks and really has nothing to do with banking. If you want to talk about 'money transmitters', that would be more accurate in my opinion.



Bitcoins are very much supported by people who are disgusted with the banking system as it exists now. They are by design decentralized and limited. Under our current banking system, currency is both centralized and (theoretically) unlimited. By taking the power to essentially create currency away from the central banking authorities, away from the Fed, we take away their power to rob us via inflation. It has everything to do with banking.

I voted early adopter too, though I am also a speculator and distrust central banks. I voted early adopter because I tend to like new things in general. They intrigue me. That's what drew me to bitcoins in the first place. The meteoric rise of bitcoins in the last year combined with my enthusiasm for being part of the creation of a new electronic currency (and the knowledge that our current fiat banking system is fatally and congenitally flawed) has kept me around.

I am fully aware that Bitcoin is designed to help people avoid using banks. When I said that Bitcoin has nothing to do with banking I meant legally speaking. Before accusing people of being newbies, try to understand the context of their statements.
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March 15, 2011, 12:52:03 AM
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I am fully aware that Bitcoin is designed to help people avoid using banks. When I said that Bitcoin has nothing to do with banking I meant legally speaking. Before accusing people of being newbies, try to understand the context of their statements.

I'm sorry. I thought your statement was in the context of the poll answer titled "Distrust Central Banks." My mistake.
theymos
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March 15, 2011, 12:54:16 AM
 #12

I voted for "Privacy / Cryptography Enthusiast" because I am passionate about cryptography and distributed systems. Many of the other options could also apply to me, though.

One question I have is: What does Bitcoin have to do with banking law? Bitcoin runs outside of banks and really has nothing to do with banking. If you want to talk about 'money transmitters', that would be more accurate in my opinion.

Central banks manipulate the economy. Avoiding this is one of the main benefits of Bitcoin. It's even mentioned in the Bitcoin genesis block:
Quote
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks

1NXYoJ5xU91Jp83XfVMHwwTUyZFK64BoAD
gohan
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March 15, 2011, 02:04:46 AM
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Other: I want to be able to conduct business without bothering about legal permits, statements, registrations, accounting, certificates, identity cards, work permits, etc. I could vote "criminal" but that's not the intention at all. If I could be taxed without any hassle on my part, that would be welcome. It's more about the discreteness (deniability?) of the transfers for me I guess.
reubgr
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March 15, 2011, 02:16:28 AM
 #14

Thanks for your great comments, everyone.

@theymos: yep, I realized that there would be a lot of overlap, but I think the "primary" selection makes sense. With the central banking option, I was hoping to pick up individuals who are sometimes called "gold bugs" and may have some of their wealth in digital gold currencies.

@Gokhan: that's an interesting reason that I hadn't thought of. Is there some way you could tell me what kind of business you're talking about? If that's too private, I understand.
comboy
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March 15, 2011, 02:44:23 AM
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Multiselect would be nice, and no offence op, but these options suck.

Variance is a bitch!
reubgr
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March 15, 2011, 02:57:15 AM
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@comboy: I think multiselect would make the poll less useful for my purposes, which is figuring out what groups are using Bitcoin. Although many people may have multiple reasons for using Bitcoin, presumably one reason is more important than the others for most individuals. Regarding the options: is there an option you think is missing?
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March 15, 2011, 03:00:55 AM
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Many of the above. I'm interested in Bitcoin because I'm a strong believer in decentralisation, and avoiding government and corporate control. Bitcoin exists outside of government and corporate control (PayPal and credit cards, the two main ways to pay online, have massive problems). I'm also interested in cryptography, and digital cash. I see Bitcoin as a first step towards a possible truly anonymous digital currency. (BitLaundry and similar services are good to help make Bitcoin a bit more anonymous than it is.)

Other reasons exist, as well, but those are the main ones.

edit: I didn't vote in the poll.

1NNtT9WQZc2EftEQtkQLSN7obzogckEqq5
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comboy
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March 15, 2011, 03:16:44 AM
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@comboy: I think multiselect would make the poll less useful for my purposes, which is figuring out what groups are using Bitcoin. Although many people may have multiple reasons for using Bitcoin, presumably one reason is more important than the others for most individuals. Regarding the options: is there an option you think is missing?

I hate bitching.. I just find myself doing it so often..  So:

  • multiselect still let you see groups, people belong to many groups
  • answers seem to mix "why" and "what for", and that's my main complaint
  • there is ~4 criminal options too choose for (like you want no limit yourself to just one if you are doing it), while there are no drugs, and they seem to have gained some popularity so far

Other than that, title question is very nice and welcome to bitoin.

PS. About title question: I use it mostly because it's fun. And I like fun and profit. And the best thing is, that because of it's nature, bitcoin gathered really nice community (tech people, also not just dumb-tech because it's not trivial to understand how it all works, and ... I could go for hours, about finance, govs, cryptography, rationality, lesswrong, sysadmins, playing with hardware. and so on - I like this mixture)

Variance is a bitch!
gohan
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March 15, 2011, 03:36:29 AM
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@Gokhan: that's an interesting reason that I hadn't thought of. Is there some way you could tell me what kind of business you're talking about? If that's too private, I understand.
What I currently work on is financial in nature and I don't think it's a good example since it's an obvious ease that bitcoin provides. However, what I hope to do in the future is to move my current software development business to Bitcoin (maybe in the far future only accept bitcoin payments) and solely work with freelancers who accept bitcoins.

I guess another good example of hassle-free would be the proposed Bitcoin stock exchange.
reubgr
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March 15, 2011, 03:42:01 AM
 #20

@comboy: You make some good points and perhaps I could have worded some of the options better. At this point, however, I think changing the poll would do more harm than good. In any case, thanks for your feedback, both on why you use bitcoin and also on the poll itself.

@Gokhan: Very interesting. I remember seeing the post about the proposed stock exchange. Thanks for sharing!
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