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Author Topic: If you have 100 bitcoins in your computer wallet and 100 in your MtGox account,  (Read 13950 times)
BurtW
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November 16, 2011, 04:49:12 PM
 #81

I don't know if you have see this but check out http://ecdsa.org/stats.html

If you take your cursor and run it across the graph from left to right is animates BTC movemment.

If you take your cursor all the way to the right and then pick a point in time, let say one year ago, and then calculate the blue area from day one through the day one year ago I think we can safely take all those BTC from the money supply calculation since this blue area would represent all BTC that have not moved in over one year (lost, destroyed, saved/hoarded).

Notice the large number of BTC that were created in the first year that have never moved.  I believe that in that time when BTC was just a "toy" some (many?) people ran their CPU miners, got bored with it and then deleted the program (lost forever), others collected a bunch when they were basically free and are sitting on them, etc.

Our family was terrorized by Homeland Security.  Read all about it here:  http://www.jmwagner.com/ and http://www.burtw.com/  Any donations to help us recover from the $300,000 in legal fees and forced donations to the Federal Asset Forfeiture slush fund are greatly appreciated!
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lonelyminer (Peter Šurda)
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November 16, 2011, 05:39:50 PM
 #82

I didn't know the site, I perform these calculations in mysql (with the help of bitcoin-abe). Last time I calculated it, I think on November 1st,  only 28% of the Bitcoins mined in first year have been spent at least once. That does not necessarily mean they are lost, I just saw a transaction sometime during the last week which showed bitcoins mined in 2009 and unmoved being spent, I think it was like 4000 or something.
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November 17, 2011, 04:49:52 AM
 #83

it seems to me that in the BTC economy removing money sitting in deposit accounts like Mt. Gox from the accounting of the money supply may not go far enough in this attempt to measure “live” versus “dead” money.  In the BTC economy we would have to estimate and remove all the actual BTC that have been destroyed through lost public keys, or destroyed on purpose

And that demonstrates a problem with lonelyminer's definition of money supply. If it is only currency in circulation, then we must take out the cash grandma hides under her bed, and bitcoins people save for a long long period of time without spending.

I think, or at least hope, that we can all agree that deleted coins are no longer part of the monetary base. That's where the word monetary base is useful. And a smaller monetary base does affect the money supply. But it is not the same thing. If lonelyminer wants to propose another word which means currency-in-circulation, that would be fine. But lonelyminer's definition of money supply is problematic and not useful.

Per the links that I cited, Money Supply is defined as "currency in circulation plus demand deposits (depositors' easily accessed assets on the books of financial institutions). This definition, Bitcoin included, is useful. I wasn't going to bother explaining the following, but seeing as I'm now losing Brucebwagner and possibly other readers, I must explain.

The number of bitcoins people think they own, and the amount of value that they are willing to trade, determines how much bitcoins are worth. For example, If people collectively think they own 7.673 million bitcoins, and everyone who knows about Bitcoin is collectively willing to pay 17.26 million dollars for them, then bitcoins are worth $2.25 each.

But suppose that Satoshi decided long ago that there were 100 bitcoins in each block instead of 50 starting out. The project would have developed the same exact way except that bitcoins would have maxed out at a value of $15 rather than $30 several months ago, would be worth $1.12 now, and everyone would have twice as many. The total value of the Bitcoin economy would be the same as it is in real life. The amount of money or other value that people collectively exchange for bitcoins is constant, but the value of each bitcoin depends on how many bitcoins each individual thinks they own.

But everyone must recognize that it isn't the monetary base that determines how valuable bitcoins are, it is the money supply. The difference is the demand deposits. And this is why I asked such an important question at the beginning of this thread: If you have 100 bitcoins in your wallet, and 100 on MtGox, how many do you have? Most people think of a bitcoin in MtGox as being just as easily accessible as one in their wallet and they consider themselves to have 200 bitcoins.

Lonely miner says that those 100 bitcoins in MtGox cease to be part of the money supply. If that was true, and everyone moved their money into MtGox and other banks, then the value of each Bitcoin would skyrocket because the money supply would drop significantly. Clearly that isn't what would happen because everyone still considers themselves to have bitcoins, and they would behave as such which means that many people would sell if the value rose an unreasonable amount. Under my definition of money supply, the money supply stays the same, as we would expect.

Let us consider a further situation. Almost all of us would agree that if Satoshi started us at 100 bitcoins per block, then each bitcoin would be worth half as much and there would be twice as many of them, right?
Lets go back to real life where there are 50 bitcoins per block, but let's imagine that MtGox lends out half of their bitcoins, which raises the money supply (under My definition) by, lets say, 5%. The people who get these bitcoins would be free to do with them whatever they want and they would do various things: they would spend them further on goods and services, they would store them in a wallet, and they would sell them. These are important points. You and I still have our same number of bitcoins in MtGox, but suddenly there are Bitcoins that weren't there before suddenly on the market. This would lower the value of each bitcoin. It would lower it by about 5% because that is how much the money supply increased. Even the people who only have these bitcoins stored in their wallet contribute to this phenomenon because these people are now holding bitcoins, despite not buying bitcoins from You or I. This is why my definition of money supply is useful: because it accounts for this phenomenon.

The factor by which the monetary base increases into the money supply is called the Money Multiplier.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_multiplier

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lonelyminer (Peter Šurda)
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November 17, 2011, 07:23:55 AM
 #84

And that demonstrates a problem with lonelyminer's definition of money supply.
It is not my definition. I quoted references.

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If it is only currency in circulation, then we must take out the cash grandma hides under her bed, and bitcoins people save for a long long period of time without spending.
The label "in circulation", while more precise than what you use, is also inaccurate. It's a bit more accurate to say that money supply measures what can be spent. You cannot spend what is not a medium of exchange. If there are 100 BTC in existence, and by FRB you increase them to, say 1000 (multiplier 10), it is still impossible to buy things that are more expensive than 100BTC, unless someone accepts the account balances as a means of payment.

Please confront my quotations that unambiguously identify acceptability in exchange as the reason why demand deposits are included in the money supply.
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November 17, 2011, 09:25:47 AM
 #85

We already have.

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lonelyminer (Peter Šurda)
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November 17, 2011, 09:47:19 AM
 #86

We already have.
DeathAndTaxes ignored my quotations and claimed I never posted them.

You replied that because a more simplified version of the definition skips over my point, it refutes it.

You have zero evidence that your interpretation is correct, and fail to address any of my objections. Instead, you repeat stuff that you made up.

I emailed to a professor of economics that belongs to the Keynesian school, asking him to address my claims. I recommend you write to a monetarist one. We already know that the Austrian school agrees with me, so we'll see how the others fare.
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November 17, 2011, 12:33:00 PM
 #87

Let me try to explain how money supply works on the example of money velocity.

Let's say that FRB increases the nominal value of balances of Bitcoin demand deposits from 100 to 200. Let's say that the annual GDP of the economy is 400. If the demand deposits are not used in the exchange, on average, a Bitcoin "money" will be spent four times. If the demand deposits are used in the exchange, on average, Bitcoin "money" will be spent twice. If you put this into the equation of money velocity ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velocity_of_money ),

V = GDP / M,

reformulated into

M = GDP / V

you will end up with the money supply being twice in the latter case as in the former one. This leads to the conclusion that usage in exchange determines whether a debt claim, such as demand deposit, is a component of the money supply.

Denying the requirement of an exchange medium invalidates the concepts of money velocity and/or GDP.

I tried to formulate a similar argument with respect to inflation, but I couldn't, because this depends on how you define the money supply in the first place and would neither support nor refute either position.
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November 17, 2011, 12:36:09 PM
 #88

First off my name is Burt Wagner, not Bruce Wagner.  Burt Wagner = electrical engineer, Bruce Wagner = possible scammer and hated personality in the Bitcoin community.

Now here is what I have learned from LM:

The standard economics 101 textbook definition of the money supply is cash plus demand deposits.
The more accurate economics 201 definition of the money supply is all the money that is available to be immediately spent on goods and services.

For dollars these two definitions are basically the same and lead to the same number, for Bitcoins the two definitions do not lead to the same number.

To simplify let’s just look at checking accounts as an example.

Now a check for $100 is not exactly $100.  If you accept a check for $100 you know you do not have the $100 yet.  You have to cash it.  However checks for $100 are generally accepted as payment for goods and services.  This general acceptance of checks for goods and services makes the money in a checking account spendable and therefore part of the money supply.

Therefore for dollars the money supply is cash plus checking accounts and both definitions are accurate because checks are accepted as payment for goods and services.

Now if you have Bitcoins at Mt. Gox and you could spend them using Bitcoin checks and Bitcoin checks drawn on a Mt. Gox checking account were generally acceptable as payment for goods and services then this money in your Mt. Gox account would be counted as part of the money supply under both definitions.

But Mt. Gox checks do not exists yet.  Now I will bet you a few BTC that if people could write checks on their Mt. Gox accounts and these checks were generally accepted then LM would count them in the money supply.  So his point really is that not only do Bitcoin checking accounts not exist but that it is highly unlikely that the concept of Bitcoin checks will ever exist due to the ease of movement from your demand deposit account to your cash wallet.

So what it boils down to is there is a difference between dollars and Bitcoins.

Dollars: you can write a check, get your goods and services with it, and then the seller can convert your check to dollars at a later time.  In other words you don’t always have to go an ATM and get cash before you can buy something.

Bitcoins:  you must first get your Bitcoins into your wallet and then you can spend them, there is no ability so spend first then convert later.  In other words you must always “go to the ATM” first and get cash before you can spend BTC.

Finally and this is just simple math given what I just said:  until there is a way to buy goods and services with something denominated in BTC other than the actual BTC in a wallet (BTC checks for example) the maximum number of BTC units available to be spent at any given time on goods and services can never be more than the total number of BTC that exist.

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November 17, 2011, 01:03:18 PM
 #89

The standard economics 101 textbook definition of the money supply is cash plus demand deposits.
The more accurate economics 201 definition of the money supply is all the money that is available to be immediately spent on goods and services.
I confirm that this accurately represents my position.

Quote
For dollars these two definitions are basically the same and lead to the same number, for Bitcoins the two definitions do not lead to the same number.
Well, approximately. There is no apodictic reason why it should be that way. The reason is more empirical. According to my analysis, the reason why people choose to use demand deposits as a method of payment with gold and fiat is that it reduces their transaction costs. With Bitcoin, this reason is absent. While we cannot entirely exclude the possibility that people would accept it, they lack the motivation to do so. This is what I originally attempted to explain in my wiki edits: someone who wanted to inflate the money supply would need to persuade others to accept the claims he issues as a means of payment, rather than merely a zero-maturity investment.

I have a whole chapter in my upcoming paper which lists how features which require money substitutes when using fiat or gold can be implemented in Bitcoin without debt claims. We already have BitBills, Casascius coins and Bit-pay mobile solutions. The examples how to create hypothetical "Bitcoin-cheques" have already been shown in other threads on the forum, and just a couple of days ago the guys from Strongcoin published tools that allow to create offline transactions. I already speculated in the past in my paper that if this is possible, an exact functional replication of cheques can be implemented in native Bitcoin: you create a transaction that transfers a balance from the issuer's account to a newly created address, and print the transaction, private and public keys of the new address as a QR code onto a piece of paper. The recipient tears the paper in two, and "lodges" this "cheque", i.e. injects the transaction into the bitcoin network. Then he scans the rest of the codes (private&public keys) into his wallet, and checks the balance. If the transaction was invalid, e.g. insufficient funds, the balance shows zero, which is the equivalent of a bounced cheque. In total, from end user perspective, this works exactly as a bearer cheque. Because this can be implemented without a debt instrument, there is still no demand for bitcoin-substitutes.

And for the record, I'm not claiming that such a method of deferred payment as cheque makes sense, I'm just showing that what I call "overglorified management of money substitutes", which composes of a large proportion of banking activities, would likely be completely absent with Bitcoin. That this would result in a more stable money supply is just a nifty consequence. I already posted elsewhere that if Satoshi anticipated this, he/she/they is a double genius.
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November 18, 2011, 12:23:10 AM
 #90

Let's say that FRB increases the nominal value of balances of Bitcoin demand deposits from 100 to 200.
FRB doesn't increase the nominal value of anything. It increases the money supply. I can't believe I'm still bothering to argue with you.

V = GDP / M,

reformulated into

M = GDP / V

you will end up with the money supply being twice in the latter case as in the former one. This leads to the conclusion that usage in exchange determines whether a debt claim, such as demand deposit, is a component of the money supply.

That conclusion doesn't follow from what you've presented. You have a very bad habit of assuming much more than what is said or defined. If the money supply(M) is twice as high due to FRB, then the velocity(V) is half. How does that help your argument?

First off my name is Burt Wagner, not Bruce Wagner.  
My greatest apologies.

Concerning your post,
There are many ways to get dollars out of your bank. You can walk to your bank and get cash, you can use your ATM card, or you can use a check to instruct your bank to move dollars into another account. That's all checks are is an instruction to move dollars. They aren't more special than walking to your bank and getting cash.

Everyone realizes that lonelyminer has said that when you put your dollars in a bank that pays interest but has no checking services or electronic transfer services, that your dollars are no longer part of the money supply, right? As long as everybody's clear on that.

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BurtW
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November 18, 2011, 03:25:54 AM
 #91

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when you put your dollars in a bank that pays interest but has no checking services or electronic transfer services, that your dollars are no longer part of the money supply

I think that is a great example!  Anybody remember the passbook savings account from my childhood?  I had an actual physical book and when I deposited my earning from my paper route into the account they would take the book from me and run it through a machine and it would print the deposit amount and the new total right there in the book.  This was an interest bearing account.  Now I could have tried to take the passbook to the comic book store to buy some comics but we all know how well that would have worked.

I had to go to the bank, ask for some cash, they would run the book through a machine that would deduct the amount I requested and print the new amount right there in the book.

I could not directly access and spend the money in the passbook savings account.  I had to first go and get the cash.  Therfore the money in that passbook was not spendable and according to the "spendable" definition it would not be considered part of the current money supply.

Once I left the bank with my comic book money in my pocket that money was ready to soon be spent and was therefore part of the current money supply.

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November 18, 2011, 07:30:16 AM
 #92

Let's say that FRB increases the nominal value of balances of Bitcoin demand deposits from 100 to 200.
FRB doesn't increase the nominal value of anything.
So, in my example, the nominal value of money and debt instruments does not increase from 100 to 200? Are you absolutely sure about that?

Quote
It increases the money supply. I can't believe I'm still bothering to argue with you.
Evidence? Quotes? I already provided mine, here it is again and expanded:

Wikipedia on fractional reserve banking:
Quote
As most bank deposits are treated as money in their own right, fractional reserve banking increases the money supply, and banks are said to create money

Some random guy on the internet: http://truthandliberty.com/Econ_5_4_FR_Banking.html
Quote
Now, the money supply has been increased, because the fake certificates are circulating like real money, even though there is no gold to back them up.

Quote
That conclusion doesn't follow from what you've presented. You have a very bad habit of assuming much more than what is said or defined. If the money supply(M) is twice as high due to FRB, then the velocity(V) is half. How does that help your argument?
It shows that your explanation of money supply contradicts money velocity and/or GDP.

How come that all the "evidence" you provide ignores my point completely and never mentions it?

Once again: ask a professional economist. Absent that, it would be prudent to finally admit defeat.
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November 18, 2011, 07:53:53 AM
 #93

or you can use a check to instruct your bank to move dollars into another account.
When you use the cheque, the banks do not beam the dollars among vaults. Rather, they perform clearing operations on their books. This is why using a cheque that is not fully backed by reserves increases the money supply.

Quote
Everyone realizes that lonelyminer has said that when you put your dollars in a bank that pays interest but has no checking services or electronic transfer services, that your dollars are no longer part of the money supply, right?
This is incorrect. It only cases to be a part of the money supply if the debt instrument they issued is used as a means of exchange instead of the reserves (i.e. exactly the opposite of how you portray it). If there are no ways of transferring it indirectly, then it still is a part of the money supply. Most likely, the bank in such a case would lend the money rather than store it in their vault (how else would it be able to afford to pay the interest?), and the recipient of the loan would then use it in exchange.
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November 18, 2011, 07:55:08 AM
 #94


Take the case of three people:  A, B and C

Person A has 100 BTC, person B has zero, person C has zero.
Person A lends their 100 BTC to person B
Person B buys a product from or the labor of person C for the 100 BTC he borrowed from person A

At this point:

Person A rightfully claims a 100 BTC asset/contract in that person B owes him 100 BTC.
Person C rightfully claims the ownership (and possession) of the same 100 BTC since he sold a product or his labor for them.
Now person C can loan his BTC to person D, etc.  Loan, rinse, repeat!

Therefore the number of BTC that exists is finite but the number of legitimate claims of ownership to this finite pool of BTC is unlimited as long as you allow lending - and how can you stop the act of lending and the practice of loan contract creation?  The answer is that you cannot.  If I posses BTC I have every right to create a contract and lend them out.


I don't exactly follow...

Let's look at the Net Asset Value of A, B and C

At the beginning:
A's NAV is 100 BTC
B's NAV is 0
C's NAV is 0, but since he have 100 BTC worth of goods, his NAV should be counted as 100 BTC

Now after the lending
A's NAV is still 100 BTC, he does not have any BTC, but he owns a 100 BTC loan contract which worth 100 BTC
B's NAV is still 0, since he owns 100 BTC value of goods and 100 BTC debt to A
C's NAV is still 100 BTC, since he owns 100 BTC

With each lending, the corresponding debt is created, the debt is always a negative NAV, the totally amount of NAV will not change, you can lend out the same BTC multiple times but that will not change the NAV of the whole system, and will not change the money supply

I created a gold coin, that coin can be spent hundreds of times if it goes into circulation, but that does not equal to creating hundreds of gold coins

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November 18, 2011, 08:25:38 AM
 #95

For me the important difference is that with regular banks, customers must accept a 10% reserve bank policy because the law say so. But a bitcoin bank have to compete with other bitcoin banks with higher reserves to get customers. No bitcoin bank has chosen a different policy than 100% reserve as far as I can tell. And in a near future, a transaction can require both your signature and the bank's. In this case the "bank" is called a wallet protection service.
But I don't like calling mtgox a bank. Banks are about borrowing and lending from my point of view.
In these sense, I would say there's no bitcoin banks yet.

2 different forms of free-money: Freicoin (free of basic interest because it's perishable), Mutual credit (no interest because it's abundant)
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November 18, 2011, 08:35:33 AM
 #96

I need a moderator to read this thread. Is there an economics moderator? lonelyminer is a troll.

With each lending, the corresponding debt is created, the debt is always a negative NAV, the totally amount of NAV will not change, you can lend out the same BTC multiple times but that will not change the NAV of the whole system..
Within this sentence, if you take out BTC and write in dollars, then this statement is still just as correct. But obviously the money supply of dollars increases due to Fractional Reserve Lending. So something must be wrong with this line of thinking somewhere.


...In these sense, I would say there's no bitcoin banks yet.
Definitely.

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November 18, 2011, 10:27:22 AM
 #97

I need a moderator to read this thread. Is there an economics moderator? lonelyminer is a troll.
I am sorry to break it to you this way Atheros, but you are the troll. I provide evidence, solid reasoning and integration into economic theories. You just whine and make up stuff.

You complained when I quoted Austrians that it's not mainstream. So I found quotes from Wikipedia and other sources, and stopped quoting Austrians (had I not done that, I could have easily provided many more references, because the Austrian school is the one I'm the most familiar with). As a reaction, you just ignore them because you ran out of excuses.

And when I ask you several times to contact a professional economist, after ignoring it for a while, you suddenly present this idea as your own and something that you expect to work against me.

You are not interested in having the issue resolved. What you want is to shut up people who disagree with you, because you can't find arguments to support your position.
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November 18, 2011, 10:30:20 AM
 #98

In these sense, I would say there's no bitcoin banks yet.
Meet the Islamic Bank of Bitcoin. Coincidentally, Islamic law does not permit FRB, but in this example it's just a curious datum and not a part of my argument.
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November 18, 2011, 11:05:57 AM
 #99

You have a very bad habit of assuming much more than what is said or defined.
I find it curious how you can accuse me of this, while simultaneously claiming that because the quotes you found ignore my point, they contradict it.
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November 18, 2011, 11:43:17 AM
 #100

In these sense, I would say there's no bitcoin banks yet.
Meet the Islamic Bank of Bitcoin. Coincidentally, Islamic law does not permit FRB, but in this example it's just a curious datum and not a part of my argument.

Oh, yes. I forgot that one.
Sorry, I didn't read your point, just the first page of coments or so.
Islamic law doesn't permit interest, but what's FRB ?

2 different forms of free-money: Freicoin (free of basic interest because it's perishable), Mutual credit (no interest because it's abundant)
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