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Author Topic: Does bitcoin have any purpose for meatspace transactions?  (Read 1057 times)
Big Time Coin
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October 15, 2011, 06:35:49 AM
 #1

Correct me if I am missing something here, but...

I don't understand how the whole in-person bitcoins thing got so much traction.  Was that Bruce Wagner's doing?

The whole point of bitcoins is "electronic cash"  That's what it is called in the whitepaper.  In other words, it is trying to be as good as cash.  Cash is best, the standard bitcoin aspires to. Cash is for in-person instant anonymous transfers of wealth.  Bitcoin is for transactions you want to do in cash, but you can't do in cash because you are seperated too much in meatspace. 

So using bitcoins makes sense in cyberspace, but not meatspace.  There are times when you would want to make meatspace bitcoin transactions, but those are the exception rather than the rule.

So all those "restaurant to accept bitcoins" and bitcoin for pizza ideas make no sense.  Think Cash, people.  Why encourage people to use electronic cash for something that a $50 or $20 bill already does, and always will.  It just makes you look stupid.  It makes us look stupid.

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wareen
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October 15, 2011, 07:24:09 AM
 #2

So using bitcoins makes sense in cyberspace, but not meatspace.  There are times when you would want to make meatspace bitcoin transactions, but those are the exception rather than the rule.
I'm not the only one who believes that in 5-10 years from now, many people will not carry a physical wallet with them and that electronic payments will gradually replace traditional cash payments.

There's a reason why many big players try to get into the mobile payment sector right now and if we don't want to have pretty much all our payments known/controlled by Google/Mastercard/... then getting Bitcoin transactions to meatspace is a great chance.

Right now it is quite a hassle, I give you that - but I'm sure that in a few years from now, paying with your smartphone using Bitcoins in a restaurant will be a no-brainer.
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October 15, 2011, 07:29:49 AM
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Cash is cumbersome, easy to counterfeit, get stolen, forgotten, damaged, hard to change, etc. I don't like places where I need to use cash either, because either I forget to take enough of them with me, or the other party can't change my 50 Euro bills. I prefer using bank cards instead. And don't like using them for various purposes but there isn't any alternative. I don't like doing business with banks for more practical reasons than ideological. On the other hand, I carry a smartphone with me at all times. It would be nice to get rid of my physical wallet altogether at one point. My buttcheeks would agree. And if I keep my wealth in Bitcoin, I'd prefer to use them directly. So a lot of small reasons add up.

Are our mobile Bitcoin wallet solutions any better? Not sure, but it's not hard to get there. What we need is a solution that doesn't depend on a centralized vault, but would allow me to share the same wallet across devices. And be secure against physical theft.
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October 15, 2011, 08:33:58 AM
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So all those "restaurant to accept bitcoins" and bitcoin for pizza ideas make no sense.  Think Cash, people.  Why encourage people to use electronic cash for something that a $50 or $20 bill already does, and always will.
to reduce your tax bill. if you selll anything in fiat money you will pay tax. you will only pay tax on your bitcoins when you buy fiat money with them.

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October 15, 2011, 10:04:30 AM
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So all those "restaurant to accept bitcoins" and bitcoin for pizza ideas make no sense.  Think Cash, people.  Why encourage people to use electronic cash for something that a $50 or $20 bill already does, and always will.
to reduce your tax bill. if you selll anything in fiat money you will pay tax. you will only pay tax on your bitcoins when you buy fiat money with them.

Nonsense. You surely haven't operated a "meatspace" business before.
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October 15, 2011, 10:47:12 AM
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I'm not the only one who believes that in 5-10 years from now, many people will not carry a physical wallet with them and that electronic payments will gradually replace traditional cash payments.

I agree - the future of payment is going to be bumping your phone off the till and keying in your code to authorize the transaction.

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October 15, 2011, 11:24:03 AM
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There is no reason offline currencies cannot be exchanged that are backed by bitcoin as well. Casascius coins are an example of what can be issued by a gub-o'mint that owns a stockpile of bitcoin. You don't even have to run the bank if you don't trust it. You can just convert the hard cash back to electronic form. Then you could be reissued coin or bills at the cost of whatever it takes to issue the physical form.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
memvola
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October 15, 2011, 12:02:10 PM
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There is no reason offline currencies cannot be exchanged that are backed by bitcoin as well. Casascius coins are an example of what can be issued by a gub-o'mint that owns a stockpile of bitcoin. You don't even have to run the bank if you don't trust it. You can just convert the hard cash back to electronic form. Then you could be reissued coin or bills at the cost of whatever it takes to issue the physical form.

Never tried casascius coins, they don't seem durable to me, maybe I'm mistaken though... And what's up with bitbills? People are waiting in raw to order. What are they up to? Incompetence or big projects? Regular status updates would be nice.
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October 15, 2011, 12:43:04 PM
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There is no reason offline currencies cannot be exchanged that are backed by bitcoin as well. Casascius coins are an example of what can be issued by a gub-o'mint that owns a stockpile of bitcoin. You don't even have to run the bank if you don't trust it. You can just convert the hard cash back to electronic form. Then you could be reissued coin or bills at the cost of whatever it takes to issue the physical form.

Never tried casascius coins, they don't seem durable to me, maybe I'm mistaken though... And what's up with bitbills? People are waiting in raw to order. What are they up to? Incompetence or big projects? Regular status updates would be nice.


You are right about cassies, they are simply collectables. It's the idea behind them that is great. I think the best feature of offline storage is the relief to the bitcoin network itself. But that is a whole different discussion.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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October 16, 2011, 02:38:07 AM
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There is no reason offline currencies cannot be exchanged that are backed by bitcoin as well. Casascius coins are an example of what can be issued by a gub-o'mint that owns a stockpile of bitcoin. You don't even have to run the bank if you don't trust it. You can just convert the hard cash back to electronic form. Then you could be reissued coin or bills at the cost of whatever it takes to issue the physical form.

Never tried casascius coins, they don't seem durable to me, maybe I'm mistaken though... And what's up with bitbills? People are waiting in raw to order. What are they up to? Incompetence or big projects? Regular status updates would be nice.


I accidently washed one and it survived.   

I did at least 25 meatspace transactions with bitcoin at the NYC bitcoin convention.

Most paid with the android app but we also had Flexcoin and mtgox payments. 

DeathAndTaxes
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October 16, 2011, 03:45:37 AM
 #11

Correct me if I am missing something here, but...

You are missing something.

People are using cash less and less.  It is cumbersome and prone to theft.  There simply is no alternative.  People use electronic funds (VISA) because they are convenient.  By your logic why use a debit card in real world cash works fine.  Yet debit card usage is on the rise and cash usage is on the decline.

Many consumers would be interested in a secure ecash

The only one looking silly is you.
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