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Author Topic: Bitcoin --- new ship of Theseus  (Read 104 times)
clippers (OP)
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June 07, 2021, 01:06:05 AM
 #1

In the metaphysics of identity, the ship of Theseus is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. The concept is one of the oldest in Western philosophy, having been discussed by the likes of Heraclitus and Plato by c. 500–400 BC.

The meaning of this story is that there used to be a ship called Theseus. Whenever a part of the ship is damaged, the crew replace it with a new part. When every part of the ship has been replaced, will it still be the original ship of Theseus?

Now, the vast majority of people regard Bitcoin as an investment asset rather than a means of day-to-day transactions. Bitcoin's white paper is written like this, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Satoshi Nakamoto's original intention was to create an electronic cash system for transactions. But as we know, the total amount of Bitcoin is limited and will be all mined sooner or later. There are already many Bitcoins that cannot be circulated in the market due to hash errors or hardware loss. When Bitcoin is in deflation, the number of Bitcoins in circulation on the market will decrease, and its price will increase, and people will be more inclined to hold their own Bitcoins, which will lead to a further decrease in the number of circulations. People gradually define it as an investment product or an anchor like gold, rather than electronic cash for trading. Is the Bitcoin at this time still the original Bitcoin?
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June 07, 2021, 01:44:59 AM
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I am not sure if your analogy fits to what you are trying to say. In the case of Bitcoin, it is not as if all the parts of the whole are already replaced, like what you want to point out with your metaphysics of identity analogy. Bitcoin remains the Bitcoin that was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. The perception may change along with time. How we treat Bitcoin does not remain the same. All these are subjective, however, that is, whether you treat Bitcoin as a medium of exchange or a store of value or even a legal tender in the recent plan of El Salvador's president.

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June 07, 2021, 02:06:50 AM
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I think Satoshi Nakamoto will still appear. I disagree with your point of view. There is always a process for the development of new things. Perhaps Satoshi Nakamoto will not announce the end use of Bitcoin too early. It is a gradual process. As an anchor, Bitcoin does not affect its becoming a peer-to-peer cash payment system. It can be divided. As time goes by, its volatility will gradually decrease and tend to balance. After the price reaches the ceiling, its division unit It also becomes very small. If you use it as a hedging tool, there will be corresponding tokens and a fixed exchange rate, which will smoothly replace the US dollar.
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June 07, 2021, 06:17:47 AM
 #4

Now, the vast majority of people regard Bitcoin as an investment asset rather than a means of day-to-day transactions.
You don't know that. You are simply making a random guess probably after looking at the internet like reddit and seeing the price memes you suddenly concluded that they represent the "vast majority".

Quote
But as we know, the total amount of Bitcoin is limited and will be all mined sooner or later.
Sooner or later meaning after a hundred years.

Quote
~to hold their own Bitcoins, which will lead to a further decrease in the number of circulations.
Not being in circulation doesn't include the coins owned by some people even if they decide to not-spend them for the time being.

Quote
People gradually define it as an investment product or an anchor like gold, rather than electronic cash for trading. Is the Bitcoin at this time still the original Bitcoin?
If you use a knife you pick food from your teeth that doesn't change the main utility of the knife and turn it into a toothpick.
Currencies can be considered an investment too. For example over the past year we have had countries with super inflation where the vast majority of people of that country have been "investing" in another currency like USD. That doesn't make USD an investment, it is still a currency.

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June 07, 2021, 06:34:26 AM
 #5

Is the Bitcoin at this time still the original Bitcoin?

Your analogy doesn't work, sorry. I'll answer with a question from your own analogy: is the ship the same whether it's on calm sea or in the middle of the storm?

The fact that Bitcoin is used for different means doesn't change Bitcoin. People from my country used for many years USD and EUR as a hedge against our currency's inflation. Did that change USD or EUR?
The fact that some coins are no longer reachable didn't change anything from its rules, hence it didn't change Bitcoin. Also keep in mind that big entities hoarding it is a bigger threat to the amounts remaining in circulation than the "lost coins", but the 8 digits should easily solve that when it'll be needed.

All in all, you're overthinking it. No worries, it happens to me too now ant then.

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June 07, 2021, 06:44:35 AM
 #6

Now, the vast majority of people regard Bitcoin as an investment asset rather than a means of day-to-day transactions.
You don't know that. You are simply making a random guess probably after looking at the internet like reddit and seeing the price memes you suddenly concluded that they represent the "vast majority".

Quote
But as we know, the total amount of Bitcoin is limited and will be all mined sooner or later.
Sooner or later meaning after a hundred years.

Quote
~to hold their own Bitcoins, which will lead to a further decrease in the number of circulations.
Not being in circulation doesn't include the coins owned by some people even if they decide to not-spend them for the time being.

Quote
People gradually define it as an investment product or an anchor like gold, rather than electronic cash for trading. Is the Bitcoin at this time still the original Bitcoin?
If you use a knife you pick food from your teeth that doesn't change the main utility of the knife and turn it into a toothpick.
Currencies can be considered an investment too. For example over the past year we have had countries with super inflation where the vast majority of people of that country have been "investing" in another currency like USD. That doesn't make USD an investment, it is still a currency.

Using Bitcoin as an investment product is currently what most institutions do. Investors like Elon Musk did not buy Bitcoin because they believed that decentralization could change the world. At the just-concluded Miami conference, many people believed that Bitcoin is an investment asset and anchor. This is not a guess, maybe the wording of the vast majority is wrong, and I am willing to change it to some people.

I like the example of the knife and toothpick you mentioned, but I want to know if most people use a knife as a toothpick, is it still a knife. If you use a knife you pick food from your teeth is not a common phenomenon, but more and more people use Bitcoin as an investment product. Another point, I can assert that the vast majority of people who newly buy Bitcoin regard it as an investment product, which will reduce the proportion of people who insist on Bitcoin HODL.

I like your speech very much. I just hope to have a discussion on this issue instead of attacking your remarks. I hope you don’t misunderstand.
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June 07, 2021, 07:35:48 AM
 #7

I too think the analogy doesn't work, as others have commented. For me that the OP usually thinks in philosophy and then tends to set up philosophical analogies to understand everything.

To me it is not relevant what bitcoin is as metaphysically speaking and whether that entity is different from how it was created. What matters to me is its function, the role it plays vs central banks and the role it plays in the future of humanity.

The being and nothingness thing we leave to philosophers.

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June 08, 2021, 09:29:45 AM
 #8

In fact, I have the same confusion as you. At present, Bitcoin has many shortcomings, and everyone is aware of it. For example, the issue of deflation, long transaction confirmation time and handling fees, etc. I want to know if these problems are solved one day. Is it still Bitcoin, or it will have a new name. Can someone answer my doubts?
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June 08, 2021, 03:34:00 PM
 #9

Now, the vast majority of people regard Bitcoin as an investment asset rather than a means of day-to-day transactions. Bitcoin's white paper is written like this, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Satoshi Nakamoto's original intention was to create an electronic cash system for transactions. But as we know, the total amount of Bitcoin is limited and will be all mined sooner or later. There are already many Bitcoins that cannot be circulated in the market due to hash errors or hardware loss. When Bitcoin is in deflation, the number of Bitcoins in circulation on the market will decrease, and its price will increase, and people will be more inclined to hold their own Bitcoins, which will lead to a further decrease in the number of circulations. People gradually define it as an investment product or an anchor like gold, rather than electronic cash for trading. Is the Bitcoin at this time still the original Bitcoin?
Fundamentally, Bitcoin is still a form of currency and that can't be disputed and it hasn't lost its primary purpose. The current price is derived from the institutional investors which are quite speculative in nature, like Tesla. In the case of people starting to HODL Bitcoin without wanting to sell it, they're in fact creating a bubble and it would pop sooner or later. It is simply not sustainable for the majority to be refusing to sell their Bitcoins and there has to be a limit where people stops demanding for Bitcoins, the cycle cannot be perpetual.

As you've mentioned, the original purpose of Bitcoin is for P2P transactions. So far, the changes to Bitcoin is to gear it up for mass adoption someday, through capacity increases. 

Using Bitcoin as an investment product is currently what most institutions do. Investors like Elon Musk did not buy Bitcoin because they believed that decentralization could change the world. At the just-concluded Miami conference, many people believed that Bitcoin is an investment asset and anchor. This is not a guess, maybe the wording of the vast majority is wrong, and I am willing to change it to some people.
Correct. The most influential people appears to treat Bitcoin as a speculative asset as compared to something that can replace fiat.

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June 08, 2021, 04:17:50 PM
 #10

The ship remains thesame as long as its "personality" remains intact. What gives it that personality are its ideals/principles, and a strong/principled community  bounded by its good network rules.
It's important to stick to these things while replacing or improving the parts.
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