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Author Topic: Why is the Occupy movement not immediately embracing bitcoin?  (Read 16014 times)
repentance
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October 13, 2011, 09:27:07 PM
 #61


I don't work for pieces of paper, I work for numbers sent to my electronic bank account.

This should be easy for kids these days: (Regular money - bitcoin)

1. Sign up at this website (BANK X - Web Wallet Service)
2. Get this number from the website (Routing number + account number - bitcoin address)
3. Give the number to employer
4. Do work, get paid
5. Go to website, send money to pay bills

Step 5 is the sticking point for a large number of people.  Their day to day living expenses need to be paid in their local currency and getting paid in Bitcoins would mean having to withdraw the coins from their wallet and sell them in order to obtain the cash to pay their bills - with the added risk that the Bitcoins will have dropped in value between the time the employer sends them to the account and the time the employee sells them.

It's hard to sell people on something which is actually more complicated than what they're currently used to and which adds extra layers of inconvenience to their lives. 

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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fivebells
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October 13, 2011, 09:32:28 PM
 #62

\Isn't what the protesters want, exactly down to almost the tiniest detail, what bitcoin will offer?
Pretty unlikely.  If the OWS protestors fully understood the implications of bitcoin's deflationary economics, they would be totally against it.  If it were ever to become a dominant currency, it would lead to even more severely entrenched concentrations of wealth than we have now.  

Most of them DO NOT see the politics of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve as the core problem.  In those they see a political discourse dominated by alumni of powerful financial institutions, and leads them to suspect (with some justification) that what's happened over the last three years has simply been stupendous wealth maneuvering to acquire still more stupendous wealth.

It sounds as though you are probably focusing on bitcoin as a way to short-circuit the political machinations driving central bank policies.  To the typical OWS protestor, this is going to look (with some justification) like attacking the symptom while ignoring the disease.
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October 13, 2011, 09:34:51 PM
 #63

From my (leftist) perspective inflationary or deflationary is not the key question here, it's ease of redistribution and regulation.  The ease with which that can be accomplished with Bitcoin is a huge selling point.  I prefer to end the central bank policies as well.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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October 13, 2011, 09:47:42 PM
 #64

I almost believed you for a second! Good one!
I'm totally serious.  The idea that a bitcoin-dominated economy would ease redistribution of wealth, given its anonymity and irrevocable transactions, is ludicrous.
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October 13, 2011, 09:51:33 PM
 #65

I almost believed you for a second! Good one!
I'm totally serious.  The idea that a bitcoin-dominated economy would ease redistribution of wealth, given its anonymity and irrevocable transactions, is ludicrous.

It's not anonymous under a properly regulated system though.  The government would simply force people to only use identified adresses so they could monitor all transactions, and they would tax and redistribute using the force of law just as they do now.

It is far more difficult to hide transactions in Bitcoin than it is with a combination of cash and electronic transfers once people know your address.  You just made an irrevocable tax dodging transaction?  Well, we can't get the money back but you can't hide the evidence, you can't spend the money because nobody will take your money from an anonymous address, and we are putting you in jail.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
repentance
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October 13, 2011, 09:51:48 PM
 #66

From my (leftist) perspective inflationary or deflationary is not the key question here, it's ease of redistribution and regulation.  The ease with which that can be accomplished with Bitcoin is a huge selling point.  I prefer to end the central bank policies as well.

I'm not seeing how Bitcoin offers any ease of regulation now or in the future.

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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October 13, 2011, 09:54:35 PM
 #67

I almost believed you for a second! Good one!
I'm totally serious.  The idea that a bitcoin-dominated economy would ease redistribution of wealth, given its anonymity and irrevocable transactions, is ludicrous.

You could be right...I've not made up my mind on it yet.  An alternate projection is that, compared to hiding bricks of gold off-shore, Bitcoin is a much more shaky proposition for holding wealth.  This because if a majority of people decided to update their software to screw those who did not use the currency for mutual benefit, your wealth goes poof.

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October 13, 2011, 09:54:49 PM
 #68

The government would simply force people to only use identified adresses so they could monitor all transactions, and they would tax and redistribute using the force of law just as they do now.

How exactly would they accomplish this without a total police state? In other words, if they go that far, there will be massive repercussions.

I don't see why this would be any more difficult than assigning people unique social security numbers.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
fivebells
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October 13, 2011, 10:00:41 PM
 #69

Oh... I always thought it was "policy" that keeps the "severely entrenched concentrations of wealth" that we have now.
Capture of political discourse certainly plays a role in maintaining existing wealth.  But wealth will always concentrate, and always seek to entrench itself.  To someone who is interested in fighting that tendency (and I think you will find that that is most OWS protestors), an unregulated currency is a problem.
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October 13, 2011, 10:02:23 PM
 #70

The government would simply force people to only use identified adresses so they could monitor all transactions, and they would tax and redistribute using the force of law just as they do now.

How exactly would they accomplish this without a total police state? In other words, if they go that far, there will be massive repercussions.

I don't see why this would be any more difficult than assigning people unique social security numbers.

Assigning the number does nothing (except maybe pave the way). Requiring it for every transaction is something else altogether.

Not really, it's too easy to audit.  Did you get a new car?  Did the coins for it come out of your assigned address and go to the dealer?  Easy to see.  Cash and multiple bank accounts are much easier to hide and fudge and require much more work to audit.

With a fully electronic currency a lot more of the process could simply be automated.  Did you catch a drug dealer or mobster?  Now we can see every person who gave them money.  We can see where they sent it.  It's a huge benefit to law enforcement and regulation.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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October 13, 2011, 10:02:49 PM
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Oh... I always thought it was "policy" that keeps the "severely entrenched concentrations of wealth" that we have now.
Capture of political discourse certainly plays a role in maintaining existing wealth.  But wealth will always concentrate, and always seek to entrench itself.  To someone who is interested in fighting that tendency (and I think you will find that that is most OWS protestors), an unregulated currency is a problem.

The Dollar is a regulated currency... that doesn't seem to be working out all that well.
repentance
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October 13, 2011, 10:04:51 PM
 #72

Capture of political discourse certainly plays a role in maintaining existing wealth.  But wealth will always concentrate, and always seek to entrench itself.  To someone who is interested in fighting that tendency (and I think you will find that that is most OWS protestors), an unregulated currency is a problem.

It's my perception too that the last thing the Occupy movement is seeking is less oversight and regulation.

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
tvbcof
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October 13, 2011, 10:09:20 PM
 #73

I almost believed you for a second! Good one!
I'm totally serious.  The idea that a bitcoin-dominated economy would ease redistribution of wealth, given its anonymity and irrevocable transactions, is ludicrous.

It's not anonymous under a properly regulated system though.  The government would simply force people to only use identified adresses so they could monitor all transactions, and they would tax and redistribute using the force of law just as they do now.

It is far more difficult to hide transactions in Bitcoin than it is with a combination of cash and electronic transfers once people know your address.  You just made an irrevocable tax dodging transaction?  Well, we can't get the money back but you can't hide the evidence, you can't spend the money because nobody will take your money from an anonymous address, and we are putting you in jail.

It would be a challenge to ensure that everyone runs the right software and nobody passes around secret keys and such.

I don't think that a police state is necessary (and certainly not desirable) to achieve the majority rule monetary management that I see as possible for a Bitcoin-like solution.

I'm not holding my breath for Bitcoin to carry society to this utopia of majority empowerment and re-distribution, but it's fun to hypothesis about.  If nothing else, I hope it irks the Libertarians Wink

fivebells
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October 13, 2011, 10:10:22 PM
 #74

The Dollar is a regulated currency... that doesn't seem to be working out all that well.
  I'm not going to argue the merits of the position.  This thread is about how to talk to OWS protesters about bitcoin.
Rarity
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October 13, 2011, 10:12:25 PM
 #75

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It would be a challenge to ensure that everyone runs the right software and nobody passes around secret keys and such.

They can pass them around all they want, but legitimate businesses will not take payment from them or they will face penalty.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
BitterTea
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October 13, 2011, 10:17:17 PM
 #76

The Dollar is a regulated currency... that doesn't seem to be working out all that well.
  I'm not going to argue the merits of the position.  This thread is about how to talk to OWS protesters about bitcoin.

Ok... so tell them the truth, don't invent some convenient fiction.

If make shit up about Bitcoin, they're not going to like it once they find out how it really works.

If you explain that a currency that has been tightly controlled by the central bank/federal government since 1913 has lost 95% of its value, and that Bitcoin offers an alternative, then maybe they'll come around.

Cast a wide net, some may not be at all receptive to the idea... it's probably best not to bother with those people. Make an announcement like "anyone who wants to learn about a form of money and exchange completely separate from any bank (or government), meet at X at Y o'clock".
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October 13, 2011, 10:22:53 PM
 #77

If you explain that a currency that has been tightly controlled by the central bank/federal government since 1913 has lost 95% of its value, and that Bitcoin offers an alternative, then maybe they'll come around.

Then you can be like, "Your currency only lost 95% of its value in a century?  Bitch, please.  Bitcoins have lost 86% of their value in less than a year.  Beat that!"

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October 13, 2011, 10:29:25 PM
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It would be a challenge to ensure that everyone runs the right software and nobody passes around secret keys and such.

They can pass them around all they want, but legitimate businesses will not take payment from them or they will face penalty.

Then out come the occuplyBlah and eventually the pitchforks again.  Rinse and repeat until the people running things decide they are just going to have to live without control of the currency.

Rarity
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October 13, 2011, 10:32:43 PM
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It would be a challenge to ensure that everyone runs the right software and nobody passes around secret keys and such.

They can pass them around all they want, but legitimate businesses will not take payment from them or they will face penalty.

Then out come the occuplyBlah and eventually the pitchforks again.  Rinse and repeat until the people running things decide they are just going to have to live without control of the currency.

Control is with the people, in this scenario.  They will be free to change the policy through the Democratic process if they desire instead of leaving it in the control of an unelected central bank.

There wouldn't be much reason to change it though because only those who wanted to break the law would have anything to fear from having their transactions be trackable by the government. 

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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October 13, 2011, 10:33:41 PM
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If you explain that a currency that has been tightly controlled by the central bank/federal government since 1913 has lost 95% of its value, and that Bitcoin offers an alternative, then maybe they'll come around.

Then you can be like, "Your currency only lost 95% of its value in a century?  Bitch, please.  Bitcoins have lost 86% of their value in less than a year.  Beat that!"

I'm sorry?

Looks like it's quite significantly up from $0.01.

Compare to this:

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