Nagle, genuine question which I believe others have, but I'll frame it respectably:
Are you 100% bear, ie the bitcoin project will fall to pennies and will never regain stature, or are you just suggesting that for the mid-term?
If it's the former option, why do you continue to spend your time posting? Your tone doesn't ring of altruistic intent, so what else can it be attributed to?
OK, I'll give a real answer. I think Bitcoin is an interesting concept, and I want to see how it plays out. I also strongly dislike scams.
If someone could come up with something good enough to replace PayPal or debit cards, that would be a win. Bitcoin, as currently designed, isn't it.
Bitcoin, the software, provides a means for unidirectional, irrevocable money transfer between anonymous parties. This is the scammer's dream. There's almost no risk of the mark coming back with cops or a baseball bat. With no revocation mechanism, no dispute resolution mechanism, no reputation mechanism, and no enforcement mechanism, the Bitcoin world has been able to replicate, in only a few months, almost every classic financial scam of the 19th century, from John Law's bank to tulipomania to the South Sea Bubble. That's the biggest problem with Bitcoin on the currency side.
It's worth watching Bitcoin to see how not to do it. Technically, I think the revocation problem could be fixed. I've suggested using a two-phased commit, where a money transfer takes place with an "authorize" and a "capture" phase. I've described that elsewhere. This thing needs something so that scammers can't scam without consequences.
The speculation market is a straight pump and dump. That's why I'm down on the "pumpers". This is a zero sum game. Bitcoin generates no revenue. Frantic efforts to recruit more investors to pay off the old ones make it a pyramid scheme. I'm thus suspicious of the "BUY BUY BUY crowd".
Now I'm waiting to see how the endgame plays out.
I was kind of interested to see how you would respond to this.. The network / protocol in and of itself may not solve the scam problem you mention.. but I don't see that as a shortcoming OR it's responsibility at all. The protocol was built with a purpose, it serves that purpose very well. Protocols may be revised / updated for functionality, security, etc.. we all know this. What's usually more important than the protocol itself is the implementation of said protocol, how it is used in the real world. Just because the core protocol itself does not support revocation (in my opinion it shouldn't), that does not mean that entities that use this back-end protocol in their systems / applications can't support such things, it is up to the people / businesses that build on top of this protocol to make this happen.
What we have here is a very experimental time where people are playing with a very powerful low-level protocol that just happens to have a fairly easy gui attached to it. How often are people exposed to such technology and such a low-level? The events you have mentioned are bound to happen in this type of scenario. Just as crazy data breaches of the 80's and 90's and even recently happened with early versions of protocols that are now in dominant use today.
People should be wary of all kinds of pump and dumps, this is not unique to bitcoin. Is it going "to the moon"? Probably not anytime soon. Are people going to be "running a node" and using this back-end protocol to buy a pack of gum? I sure hope not. I don't think you're going to get to see the endgame, because you won't live that long. The concept is too powerful to be abandoned, one way or another, even if it isn't specifically bitcoin (I still think it could be), this idea isn't going away. The scam problem is really just because people are attempting to use this low-level beta protocol without fully understanding the implications. Obviously the argument has been made a bunch of times, but I'll say it again, the same thing could be said with cash, it is non-revocable, there are many other services that build on-top of cash to try to provide (badly) the same thing bitcoin does, western union for example. Try sending a WU, having it accepted on the other side, and getting that money back..