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Author Topic: The White Dot - What bitcoin can learn from the Norwegian paper clip  (Read 1680 times)
jim618
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December 13, 2011, 06:10:11 PM
 #1

The Norwegian Paper Clip
Whilst queueing for my afternoon coffee in Costa Coffee today I was musing the wiki entry about the paper clip.
It was used in the second world war in Norway as a discreet symbol of resistance against the occupying forces.

I realised we could use the same strategy in bitcoinland to help improve bitcoin liquidity (the ability to buy and sell bitcoin for fiat money easily).


The White Dot
My idea is to have a discreet cue on your smartphone to indicate that you are a 'bitcoin person'.   The best idea I have come up so far is to put one of those little self adhesive dots on your smartphone's back cover in line with the camera lens and flash. The colour does not really matter as long as it has a visible contrast.   Say it is white as you can buy those easily.


How to buy and sell bitcoins
Imagine you want to stock up on bitcoins i.e. you want to exchange fiat (dollars, euros, pounds) for bitcoins.

You are queueing in your favourite coffee shop and you see someone else in the queue using their smartphone. (We all do it).   There is a white dot on the back of it.

1) You say to the other person: "Would you be interested in me buying you your coffee today ?"
This is code for: "I am interested in exchanging fiat for bitcoin."

2) They say: "Yes thanks".
This is code for "Sure, pay for my coffee and muffin and I will reimburse you the cost in bitcoins at a standard rate."   The standard rate can be the Mt Gox midpoint between buy and sell say.

3) After the purchase of the coffee, away from the till, you just show your receiving address QR code on your phone, the other person snaps it and send you the bitcoins.   You get the zero confirm straight away - I think I would be happy with that for an amount this size.

Not only do you stock up on bitcoins, you have connected with another bitcoin person which might be of use to you or them in the future.

Of course if you want to sell bitcoins you just open with:
"Would you be interested in buying me my coffee today ?"
Code for: "I have bitcoin to sell for fiat."


The First Rule Of The White Dot
YOU DO NOT MENTION BITCOIN in front of the muggles.
Always talk about buying the other person coffee.  
There is no point in being in a 'secret' club if you tell everyone about it !
Where is the fun in that ?!


What do people think ?

:-)




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December 13, 2011, 06:35:35 PM
 #2

Why make it secret?

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December 13, 2011, 06:41:49 PM
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Could be an interesting way to make contact with local Bitcoiners. There's a lot to be said for a chance encounter giving reassurance that though we may be in the "Trough of Disillusionment" there are still plenty who are working hard to make this change happen.

Here's the paper clip link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_clip) for the curious among us - interesting reading.


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jim618
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December 13, 2011, 06:42:49 PM
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Why make it secret?
It is just more fun that way.   It will confuse other people in the queue so they are more likely to notice it.   When does a stranger in a queue even talk to another, never mind pay for them ?

It is viral marketing.

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December 13, 2011, 06:47:42 PM
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I like the thinking a lot - gives sort of "part of the club" feel to it. I think you are onto something just got to think what it is  Grin
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December 13, 2011, 07:35:05 PM
 #6

I like the idea of it..

Would take a large adoption to make useful.

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December 13, 2011, 07:45:14 PM
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What I would really like to do (in addition) is have a little app that notifies people in the neighbourhood that you are a bitcoin 'buyer' or 'seller'.   That way when I am out in the mall doing my Xmas shopping but advertising myself as a 'seller' I would provide liquidity to the whole bitcoin system.   Anyone interested in buying bitcoin would just have a look if there was a seller at the mall.   They would see me and wander over to where I was and say hello.

Perhaps a GPS-ey app ?

The 'White Dot' is a line of sight indication when you to within 10 metres as to who the other person is.   Or just look for the geek I guess. 

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December 14, 2011, 01:47:33 AM
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"Would you be interested in me buying you your coffee today ?"
      "Yes thanks".
(coffee handed over)
      "thanks for the coffee.. gotta run"
"wait!"  (waving smartphone and pointing at QR code while winking)
      "huh?"
"You forgot the uh.. BTC"
       "weirdo..."   Undecided   (runs away)

Better make that dot on the phone an actual bitcoin logo sticker I think Wink

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edd
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December 14, 2011, 02:01:08 AM
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"Would you be interested in me buying you your coffee today ?"
      "Yes thanks".
(coffee handed over)
      "thanks for the coffee.. gotta run"
"wait!"  (waving smartphone and pointing at QR code while winking)
      "huh?"
"You forgot the uh.. BTC"
       "weirdo..."   Undecided   (runs away)

Better make that dot on the phone an actual bitcoin logo sticker I think Wink

This is the same scenario I imagined. Even non-bitcoin users would respond "Yes, thanks" to an offer of free coffee.

Do it often enough and people might get the idea that all they have to do is add a white dot to their phone and geeks will buy them coffee.  Tongue

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splatster
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December 14, 2011, 03:45:36 AM
 #10

I think you could think of something better to say or ask.  You could ask some other question before offering to buy the coffee, to which the person should know an answer that would universal among all of us.
The question couldn't be something like "Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?"  Instead, it should be something inconspicuous lke something about the weather or the like.
Think Fight Club but more nerdy.

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December 14, 2011, 05:46:16 AM
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I think you could think of something better to say or ask.  You could ask some other question before offering to buy the coffee, to which the person should know an answer that would universal among all of us.
The question couldn't be something like "Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?"  Instead, it should be something inconspicuous lke something about the weather or the like.
Think Fight Club but more nerdy.

Okay, I think it should be fairly easy and inconspicuous for your average Bitcoin enthusiast to display a Bitcoin logo somewhere, be it on their phone, key ring, etc. Another bitcoiner would initiate an identification verification by saying, "I like your phone/key ring/t-shirt/tattoo. Is it a Satoshi Nakamoto?" and the appropriate response would be, "No, but it is a bit like one."

Voilà! You've now clandestinely identified yourselves to one another as members of the anarcho-crypto-economic vanguard as well as maybe prompting eavesdroppers to google "Satoshi Nakamoto," wondering where they can acquire this phone/tattoo/pair of alpaca socks.

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December 14, 2011, 06:26:10 AM
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I think you could think of something better to say or ask.  You could ask some other question before offering to buy the coffee, to which the person should know an answer that would universal among all of us.
The question couldn't be something like "Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?"  Instead, it should be something inconspicuous lke something about the weather or the like.
Think Fight Club but more nerdy.

Okay, I think it should be fairly easy and inconspicuous for your average Bitcoin enthusiast to display a Bitcoin logo somewhere, be it on their phone, key ring, etc. Another bitcoiner would initiate an identification verification by saying, "I like your phone/key ring/t-shirt/tattoo. Is it a Satoshi Nakamoto?" and the appropriate response would be, "No, but it is a bit like one."

Voilà! You've now clandestinely identified yourselves to one another as members of the anarcho-crypto-economic vanguard as well as maybe prompting eavesdroppers to google "Satoshi Nakamoto," wondering where they can acquire this phone/tattoo/pair of alpaca socks.

Well I don't think it can get much better than that.  Although Satoshi Nakamoto can be a bit of a mouthful.  Maybe the question should be, "Did Satoshi give that to you?" and the response might be, "No, but I wouldn't have it without him."  Of course, both would work well and any question such as this cold be used with a variety of responses.

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December 14, 2011, 10:10:42 PM
 #13

While I like the Shatoshi challenge/response, there has to be a way to discretely announce you are not interested in buying or selling. Maybe immediately changing the subject such as: "What do you think of the weather?" or "How about that local sports team?" (Inserting actual sports team name optional.)

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December 14, 2011, 11:30:17 PM
 #14

What if you put the dot on you forehead, and if you happen to be in a 7-11 to get a cup of coffee, then see another dotted forehead, ask them 'Is Bargle with you?' which starts the conversation. Afterwards, you pay for your overpriced coffee with fiat, then on your merry way to find the next mark.

(Note to self: Quit reading RandyFolds's posts. It's ruining my reputation.)  Grin
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