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Author Topic: There's a set amount of wealth that can exist and the majority of it is already  (Read 1647 times)
wizzyfluff
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March 27, 2014, 12:00:31 PM
 #1

"There's a set amount of wealth that can exist and the majority of it is already concentrated in the hands of a few. If adoption increases, the problem only gets worse." (reddit commenter on bitcoin)

Can someone refute this? If not, I don't want to get into BTC. I like the tech behind BTC transactions. But with 60% of BTC wealth held by maybe 1-5 million people, the above quote seems spot on, doesn't it? With 12 million coins already in wallets, there's less than 0.001 coins left for everyone else.
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March 27, 2014, 12:02:38 PM
 #2

i think that supply will steadily get more and more spread out. and also with any money there are the elites with a majority of it and there are millions with a small amount. its normal

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Noruka
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March 27, 2014, 12:03:43 PM
 #3

What currency/financial system has less % owned by less people?

The answer to that is none. Look at the fiat in your wallet. that currency is already majority owned by the top %.

The difference in crypto is that the people can move purchasing power to other coins almost instantly and that counts as a "electronic vote" to how we want to manage our purchasing power.


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MashRinx
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March 27, 2014, 12:06:40 PM
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"There's a set amount of wealth that can exist and the majority of it is already concentrated in the hands of a few. If adoption increases, the problem only gets worse." (reddit commenter on bitcoin)

Can someone refute this? If not, I don't want to get into BTC. I like the tech behind BTC transactions. But with 60% of BTC wealth held by maybe 1-5 million people, the above quote seems spot on, doesn't it? With 12 million coins already in wallets, there's less than 0.001 coins left for everyone else.


I don't agree with the math here.  With 12.5 million coins mined, 8.5 million are still left to be mined.  How does that equate to 0.001 for everyone else?

Where do you get that 60% of coins are held by 1 - 5 people?  I don't know the exact thread, but I have seen posts that show the distribution of coins across wallets, and I think the last one I saw was that 47 wallets had more than 10,000 coins.  That doesn't account for people who may hold more than one wallet, but the claim that 1 - 5 people hold 60% of all mined bitcoins isn't accurate.
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March 27, 2014, 12:29:08 PM
 #5

During the last price spike it was shown that the higher the price, the more the wealth is distributed.

Those people with big wallets started selling.

Though if wealth distribution is your thing...Bitcoin is probably not for you. You should stick with currency backed by guns.

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March 27, 2014, 12:34:34 PM
 #6

Also, if you make more than $32,000 per year I hope you do what you can to distribute your wealth to other nations as one of the 1% richest people in the world.

http://www.globalrichlist.com/

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March 27, 2014, 02:24:58 PM
 #7

the hole set amount of wealth thing doesnt really apply to bitcoin though right? because its worth whatever someone is willing to pay for one at that moment?

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March 27, 2014, 02:56:53 PM
 #8

This is where bitcoin failed terribly, hoarders holding large stash and only rich miners or should i say bitcoin bagholders able to mine the rest of them with current difficulty levels. I think alts with no premine are much more fair
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March 27, 2014, 03:01:18 PM
 #9

"There's a set amount of wealth that can exist and the majority of it is already concentrated in the hands of a few. If adoption increases, the problem only gets worse." (reddit commenter on bitcoin)

Can someone refute this? If not, I don't want to get into BTC. I like the tech behind BTC transactions. But with 60% of BTC wealth held by maybe 1-5 million people, the above quote seems spot on, doesn't it? With 12 million coins already in wallets, there's less than 0.001 coins left for everyone else.

A set amount of wealth that can exist? Easily refutable. Compare today with 50 years ago. Is the amount of wealth the same? No. Refuted.

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March 27, 2014, 03:10:59 PM
 #10

"There's a set amount of wealth that can exist and the majority of it is already concentrated in the hands of a few. If adoption increases, the problem only gets worse." (reddit commenter on bitcoin)

Can someone refute this? If not, I don't want to get into BTC. I like the tech behind BTC transactions. But with 60% of BTC wealth held by maybe 1-5 million people, the above quote seems spot on, doesn't it? With 12 million coins already in wallets, there's less than 0.001 coins left for everyone else.

The majority of all the wealth in the world is in the hands of a few, bitcoin is no different.  It seems counter intuitive to think that this problem worsens as adoption increases though.

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March 27, 2014, 03:17:17 PM
 #11

"There's a set amount of wealth that can exist and the majority of it is already concentrated in the hands of a few. If adoption increases, the problem only gets worse." (reddit commenter on bitcoin)

Can someone refute this? If not, I don't want to get into BTC. I like the tech behind BTC transactions. But with 60% of BTC wealth held by maybe 1-5 million people, the above quote seems spot on, doesn't it? With 12 million coins already in wallets, there's less than 0.001 coins left for everyone else.

Preface: I'm likely not going to address your question directly, or adequately. Its a strange question, because you are fearing what already exists which is the concentration of wealth...Worse? The fact is the current landscape provides bankers and governments free reign to do whatever they want. As the tip of the iceberg, simply look at HSBC and their money laundering business. I don't believe wealth concentration can get much worse without enslaving the human race completely.

I agree with the other commenter; I also don't accept the question as it is presented but I'll still try to give you my thoughts on it. Specifically, I would like you to elaborate on the numbers you've provided and how you got them. I think you probably just copied them, which means you don't know if they are correct or not.

Also, what kind of adoption are you referring to? Adoption by investors? Adoption by consumers? They are two very different thing. Adoption by investors indicates a long term strategy. Adoption by consumers indicates functional utility that offers an advantage to competitive products or services.

Where the connection is made to BTC being concentrated in the hands of a few people is deontological not teleological. I agree with the assertion that increased adoption will result is greater distribution of BTC. This doesn't address distribution of wealth problems directly, but do provide a greater number of people with a functional transfer of wealth that is separated from the centralized power structures. This means thats you and I decide the value and cost of transferring that value, not the banks.

I believe the most important thing to acknowledge about bitcoin is that its decentralized and deflationary. Conceptually, this empowers the community and removes power centralized systems or groups hold over the community.

If A controls scarce resources, and if B values those resources then A has power over B. This leads to dependence and the ability to control in a way that uses B as a means to A's ends(profit). That is the situation with banks. They control the monetary system, and we all must use money to buy necessities such as food, warmth and shelter. So therefore, we willingly give power to the banks in exchange for the privilege of using their system to acquire those necessities. There's no law that says we must, but how many people do you know that sit at the farmers market on Saturdays to barter their goods or services for food?  If alternatives are introduced (*ahem*, BTC) that remove dependence, then their power is diminished.

A major component of this power structure that banks and governments have created is controlling the flow of money. They decide how fast, or slow, and how expensive it is to transfer wealth. This allows them to very exactly dictate their profits, or the rate of concentrating wealth.  If they cannot control the resource, their power is diminished.

BTC will not end the US dollar or fiat currencies. If they do die, it will because of market forces and/or legislation. At least if that happen, now there is a viable, proven, and secure alternative which can fill the vacuum that will be created because the function of transferring wealth must exist in some form. It seems like a natural progression of the human raced to move beyond a centrally controlled system (infancy) to a distributed, socially controlled and validated system of wealth distribution (adolescence). Maybe some day, the human race will achieve the next level of maturity. I don't know what that would look like...
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March 27, 2014, 03:17:52 PM
 #12

"There's a set amount of wealth that can exist and the majority of it is already concentrated in the hands of a few. If adoption increases, the problem only gets worse." (reddit commenter on bitcoin)

Can someone refute this? If not, I don't want to get into BTC. I like the tech behind BTC transactions. But with 60% of BTC wealth held by maybe 1-5 million people, the above quote seems spot on, doesn't it? With 12 million coins already in wallets, there's less than 0.001 coins left for everyone else.

The majority of all the wealth in the world is in the hands of a few, bitcoin is no different.  It seems counter intuitive to think that this problem worsens as adoption increases though.

+1
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March 27, 2014, 04:10:45 PM
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wealth distributed fairly ≠ wealth distributed equally
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March 27, 2014, 04:36:44 PM
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With 12 million coins already in wallets, there's less than 0.001 coins left for everyone else.

Think about it this way.  0.001 BTC costs around 55 cents.  There is almost no one who can't afford that.  And, for the vast majority of people on Earth (at least 70%), that would be a (much) higher percentage of the total wealth than they have in the current monetary system.

So, that's the simple math.  There is almost no excuse for not being able to buy in.  And it is an improvement over the status quo.  Or, people can just keep making these kinds of arguments that they've been making for three years and choose to be worse off in the existing system.

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March 27, 2014, 04:49:50 PM
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The point of wealth is to buy goods and services which improve your quality of life.  A big pile of cash doesn't have much direct value (can't eat it, can't drink it, doesn't make good insulation, wouldn't keep you warm for long, not really entertaining to just watch it, it can't keep you alive if you get sick, injured, or poisoned).

The quote in the OP is only true is either
a) The Bitcoin rich never convert that digital wealth into goods and services.  They die sick, tired, poor, and probably alone.  Kinda defeats the purpose of acquiring the coins to begin with right?
or
b) They are so amazing at managing their wealth that they continually acquire more coins than they spend.  Of course if that was true they likely are already incredibly wealthy in conventional terms.   Given the number of people who lose funds to scammers, hackers, insanely bad business decisions, gambling, etc I would say the average Bitcoiner is no "financial genius".

Between a & b the coins will spread out one way or another.  Also the idea that wealth is finite and currency is all the wealth is flawed.  Global wealth in on the order of $100T however the global money supply (M1) is "only" ~$5T.  Money only makes up 5% of all the wealth on the planet which means 95% of the collective wealth is in forms other than money.  Bitcoin isn't going to be any different in that respect.

If you own a $200K house (mortgage paid) and I own $200K in BTC then everything else being the same today we are equally wealthy.  I could trade my $200K in BTC for a house and you could sell (or mortgage) your house to buy $200K in BTC.  While $200K in BTC might be a sizeable portion of the Bitcoin money supply, all money supplies are a small portion of total aggregate wealth.
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March 27, 2014, 04:57:37 PM
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"There's a set amount of wealth that can exist and the majority of it is already concentrated in the hands of a few. If adoption increases, the problem only gets worse." (reddit commenter on bitcoin)

Can someone refute this? If not, I don't want to get into BTC. I like the tech behind BTC transactions. But with 60% of BTC wealth held by maybe 1-5 million people, the above quote seems spot on, doesn't it? With 12 million coins already in wallets, there's less than 0.001 coins left for everyone else.

I don't think you can ever have a situation in life where there arent a small % of people who own a majority of the money in circulation. This is true for all currencies that I know of.

I don't know why this would deter you from using or owning bitcoins though.  If you are treating bitcoin as an investment and you think its value will go up then you can still buy as many bitcoins right now as you want and profit from that.   Or if you are just in a situation where using bitcoin would reduce your fees (like a international transfer for example)  it doesn't really matter how many bitcoins others own, all that matters as that youre using them in a way to save money.


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March 27, 2014, 04:58:06 PM
 #17

The "unfair' nature of early BTC mining (it was 'fair' but hardly anyone was doing it or knew about it) is a HUGE problem.
Some Alt coins will survive partly because they are more fair.  (......lol?)

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March 27, 2014, 07:15:08 PM
 #18

There is no set amount of wealth that can exist. Wealth is created by people making things and providing services. Money is not wealth. Money is simply a convenient means of facilitating trade among people. The value of money is determined by how many people want to use it, and how easy it is to purchase the goods and services they wish to buy. People will use whatever money gives them the best value and convenience to use to both buy what they want and also is perceived as a good store of value.
If you are most concerned about the ability to trade for goods and services today, and aren't too concerned about the future, then fiat currencies are probably the best for you. If, on the other hand, you are interested in a currency that can be used to trade for goods and services, but are more concerned about your currency holding its value for years in the future, then Bitcoin may be a better alternative to most fiat currencies. Most currencies have a track record of inflating themselves to very low values, some to total worthlessness.
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March 27, 2014, 07:20:58 PM
 #19

There is no set amount of wealth that can exist. Wealth is created by people making things and providing services....


There is set amount of land, rare gems, etc.
There is an unlimited amount of ideas, services, and "new things", some of which have real value.

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March 27, 2014, 07:24:01 PM
 #20

There is no set amount of wealth that can exist. Wealth is created by people making things and providing services....


There is set amount of land, rare gems, etc.
There is an unlimited amount of ideas, services, and "new things", some of which have real value.

There exists no axiom presented in nature that defines value. Value is a human idea, and can be defined by each individual differently. Therefore, you are all wrong but right Smiley
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