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Author Topic: What would banks need to do to push Bitcoin underground?  (Read 1182 times)
CIYAM
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November 22, 2011, 07:43:33 AM
 #1

In considering the future value of Bitcoins I have been thinking about what would it take for the banks to ensure that the vast majority of people in the future simply wouldn't go near Bitcoin (not that I wish this to occur btw).

The following are three of some of the most touted benefits of Bitcoin and what banks might do in the future to keep the vast majority of people using them rather than Bitcoin:

1) Move money from anywhere to anywhere easily and cheaply.

Although anonymity is often included with regards to this point I think it is fairly easy for banks to simply argue the public need for identification (terrorism, money laundering, etc.). That being said current ways (such as TT) to transfer money from country to country are not cheap nor that quick but if the banks were to introduce cheaper and quicker ways to do this, perhaps based upon using their new BankcoinTM system, then I think this point would be a much more difficult one to tout for Bitcoin.

If say the banks were to offer a 1% transfer (including currency exchange) fee (with perhaps a cap) then would any average person or business person really want to use Bitcoin to do this?

2) Provide a payment system that gives sellers non-reversible transactions (with the benefit for buyers being cheaper prices from sellers you trust).

Once again there is no reason why BankcoinTM couldn't also be used to provide such a service (with a fee in much the same way as is being done now by organizations like bit-pay). Perhaps the banks themselves might not be interested in payment systems per se, however, I guess that tying BankcoinTM to such systems would be probably be pretty much no different to Bitcoin.

If you were able to get a payment system that was approximately the same price but lauded and actively promoted by your bank would you instead choose to use Bitcoin?

3) Provide an investment that is not subject to fractional reserve dilution (also sometimes touted as the non-inflationary benefit).

This one is perhaps a little harder (in that it requires trusting your bank) but nonetheless a bank could offer BankcoinTM investments (perhaps packaged a little like term investments) with some sort of guarantee that only at most X million will be printed and that each investors "horde" is government guaranteed.

If you were able to get a government guaranteed digital commodity easily from your bank that was designed to have a limited supply would you still prefer to invest in Bitcoin?

I guess the overall question I am wondering about is if BankcoinTM were to appear would Bitcoin just end up being marginalised?

Also if BankcoinTM was to appear any time soon we would without a doubt be made very aware of (considering the millions of dollars of advertising that would be thrown at it).


Regards,

Ian Knowles.


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November 22, 2011, 07:49:46 AM
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Trusting my bank?

You need to remember, these people in the business of money are some of the most cutthroat people in the world. (Referring to the larger banks of course) Its all about making the dollar, no matter what it takes. Fractional reserve is what they do best.

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November 22, 2011, 08:10:03 AM
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1) Move money from anywhere to anywhere easily and cheaply.

Banks already do this.  Here in Europe, SEPA transfers are generally free, and just as popular as credit cards in some countries.  

Quote
2) Provide a payment system that gives sellers non-reversible transactions (with the benefit for buyers being cheaper prices from sellers you trust).

Bank transfers are already practically non-reversible.  It's very difficult for a customer to persuade a bank to revoke a transfer. This will only happen in exceptional cases such as phishing. Even in those cases, it's the bank who takes the loss and not the recipient.  

As far as I know, a bank can only truly reverse a transfer if the recipient bank (and all correspondence banks in between) consent.

Quote
3) Provide an investment that is not subject to fractional reserve dilution (also sometimes touted as the non-inflationary benefit).

That's what commodities, metals, real estate, etc. are for.  Banks already offer plenty of portfolios for those.


I don't think that Bitcoin is in direct competition with banks.  Bitcoin is going to find applications that are as different to traditional banking as the internet is different to the postal service.

At this early stage, Bitcoin is little more than a curious invention.  A solution looking for a problem.

This is true for a lot of technological breakthroughs. Electricity was at some point no more than a curious invention.
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November 22, 2011, 12:50:17 PM
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not sure about SEPA in europe. Im in the UK and i get ripped out the eyes to transfer anywhere.
Brian DeLoach
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November 22, 2011, 12:57:22 PM
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1) Move money from anywhere to anywhere easily and cheaply.
Banks already do this.  Here in Europe, SEPA transfers are generally free, and just as popular as credit cards in some countries.

Anywhere means places besides Europe.

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November 22, 2011, 01:42:29 PM
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1) Move money from anywhere to anywhere easily and cheaply.

Banks already do this.  Here in Europe, SEPA transfers are generally free, and just as popular as credit cards in some countries.  

No, they don't. International transfers are difficult, slow and expensive, for the majority of the world. And by "here in Europe", I guess you mean "here in my country", because I live in Europe too, and SEPA transfers are pretty expensive.
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November 22, 2011, 02:52:46 PM
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1) Move money from anywhere to anywhere easily and cheaply.

Banks already do this.  Here in Europe, SEPA transfers are generally free, and just as popular as credit cards in some countries.  

No, they don't. International transfers are difficult, slow and expensive, for the majority of the world. And by "here in Europe", I guess you mean "here in my country", because I live in Europe too, and SEPA transfers are pretty expensive.

I'm sorry? Do you know what you are saying? SEPA transfers between bank accounts using the same currency, in the case EURO, when sent with shared costs and from your internet banking service can't be charged a dime, it's LAW! The only thing they can charge you for is for their service if you choose to go to the bank cashier and send it from there, the transfer itself MUST be free.

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November 22, 2011, 02:54:09 PM
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I really think all the banks would need to do is buy and sell large quantities of bitcoins causing price spikes this would scare too many off.  


The other way would be to purchase lots of bitcoins causing a huge price spike.  Doing this would bring more people would get people to purchase more mining equipment and the difficulty would increase as people purchased equipment to cash in.  Then sell very quickly causing the price to plummet.  In doing so many would stop mining leaving the difficulty high to where it could be hours or a day before transactions are resolved causing Bitcoin to have issues confirming transactions.
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November 22, 2011, 04:29:45 PM
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There's more missing.

They need to use a global currency, not one that heavily favors a certain country or area, or else they will always fragment the market. An alternative would be to exchange at minimal cost, which I also don't see coming.

And the anonymity issue was ignored. In many places of the world, criminals track where money goes to know where to apply fraud or even robbery. Many governments themselves are criminals from my perspective. Your "Bankcoin" does not allow me to support free speech in China, their government would just steal the funds and punish the recipient.

There are problems arising from the stealing and tracking of money for very many people. To them, a bank-driven proposal is no alternative.
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November 23, 2011, 04:38:07 AM
 #10

They need to use a global currency, not one that heavily favors a certain country or area, or else they will always fragment the market. An alternative would be to exchange at minimal cost, which I also don't see coming.

I was envisioning that banks would probably collude so that BankcoinTM would in fact become a global commodity (although probably not a "currency" as the banks would not want to be giving up their day to day business).

Exchanging at minimal cost will come if and only if there is enough competition to push this (maybe Bitcoins existence can at least help apply pressure in this area).

And the anonymity issue was ignored. In many places of the world, criminals track where money goes to know where to apply fraud or even robbery. Many governments themselves are criminals from my perspective. Your "Bankcoin" does not allow me to support free speech in China, their government would just steal the funds and punish the recipient.

There are problems arising from the stealing and tracking of money for very many people. To them, a bank-driven proposal is no alternative.

Very true - the anonymity is an extremely valuable part of Bitcoin (although I gather not as well understood as many think according to recent proposals about how the improve the anonymity of Bitcoin) but always (especially in these modern days of fear) something easily turned against it by way of bad press (e.g. Silk Road).

I guess the question in this case is just how far individuals are going to go out of their way in order to make donations to some specific organization (say Wikileaks) when most just causes (like the one you mentioned) are at least indirectly being supported by existing charity groups (such as Amnesty)?


Regards,

Ian Knowles.

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November 23, 2011, 12:37:47 PM
 #11

Banks don't need to do anything to push bitcoin underground, it already is underground and i don't see it go anywhere else any time soon.
For the sole reason that people don't give a shit about the world as long as they can watch football and porn.

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