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Author Topic: What problems does bitcoin really solve?  (Read 1363 times)
Geebus Jizwaad
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January 04, 2012, 01:04:39 AM
 #1

With acknowledgement to Ludwig Wittgenstein, who wrote:
"The primary question about life after death is not whether it is a fact, but even if it is, what problems that really solves."

"Never bet on the end of the world, it only happens once."
- Art Cashin
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cbeast
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Let's talk governance, lipstick, and pigs.


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January 04, 2012, 01:12:58 AM
 #2

You can't choose facts. So, it's not so much that we need to solve a problem. Discovery is more about creating problems that didn't exist before as much as solving old problems.
The more you know.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
Geebus Jizwaad
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January 04, 2012, 01:34:40 AM
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You can't choose facts. So, it's not so much that we need to solve a problem. Discovery is more about creating problems that didn't exist before as much as solving old problems.
The more you know.


What do you mean by "You can't choose facts."? I can't? You can't? One can't? There aren't any to choose from?

So what has been discovered via bitcoin that wasn't already known? What non-trivial problems has it created?


"Never bet on the end of the world, it only happens once."
- Art Cashin
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Let's talk governance, lipstick, and pigs.


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January 04, 2012, 02:03:11 AM
 #4

You can't choose facts. So, it's not so much that we need to solve a problem. Discovery is more about creating problems that didn't exist before as much as solving old problems.
The more you know.


What do you mean by "You can't choose facts."? I can't? You can't? One can't? There aren't any to choose from?

So what has been discovered via bitcoin that wasn't already known? What non-trivial problems has it created?


All good questions. If I knew what is not yet known, I would be prescient. Science rejecting the useless facts is how we find the solutions to problems whether we have already discovered them or not.

Bitcoin is not just money. It is also a fundamentally new instrument for measuring social interactions. You have to wonder what the inventor of the microscope thought he might discover.

This discussion is too deep to continue until I get some beers.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
Geebus Jizwaad
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January 04, 2012, 04:56:16 AM
 #5

You can't choose facts. So, it's not so much that we need to solve a problem. Discovery is more about creating problems that didn't exist before as much as solving old problems.
The more you know.


What do you mean by "You can't choose facts."? I can't? You can't? One can't? There aren't any to choose from?

So what has been discovered via bitcoin that wasn't already known? What non-trivial problems has it created?


All good questions. If I knew what is not yet known, I would be prescient. Science rejecting the useless facts is how we find the solutions to problems whether we have already discovered them or not.

Bitcoin is not just money. It is also a fundamentally new instrument for measuring social interactions. You have to wonder what the inventor of the microscope thought he might discover.

This discussion is too deep to continue until I get some beers.

It's getting too deep in BS, that's for sure. Evidently you have so much to spare that sharing some is little effort for you Smiley

If bitcoin measures social interaction, What is being measured and what is the metric? Trust? Honesty? Gullibility? Naiveté? Attention span? Sexual attractiveness?
   
If bitcoin is some grandiose scientific endeavor, where is the methodology visible? For example, what hypotheses are being tested?

What distinguishes bitcoin from being just another widget aspiring to be a solution looking for a problem?

Am I asking the wrong guy, or just asking in the wrong place?

Anyone else? "I don't know" is always an acceptable answer.



"Never bet on the end of the world, it only happens once."
- Art Cashin
DmanX
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January 04, 2012, 06:15:56 AM
 #6

The problem of insufficient anonymity. Bitcoins add another layer of anonymity.

Think of Silk Road. Imagine if one used credit cards instead of bitcoins?

So there is one problem solved by bitcoins. 
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January 04, 2012, 06:28:07 AM
 #7

You're not Wittgenstein, LOL
ArticMine
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January 05, 2012, 12:56:26 AM
 #8

For starters: The problem of making a small international payment online lets say 20 USD in a cost effective manner without

1) The sender needing a credit card
2) The recipient needing a merchant account

I am sure other members can come up with other solutions, but to me this one is huge.

Concerned that blockchain bloat will lead to centralization? Storing less than 4 GB of data once required the budget of a superpower and a warehouse full of punched cards. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/IBM_card_storage.NARA.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_card
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January 05, 2012, 07:17:08 PM
 #9

Paypal already enables us to make online payments all over the world. But Paypal is not free (at least not for entrepeneurs), while BTC is (besides some electricity).

BTC gives humanity immense freedom.

Freedom from (government) theft
Freedom from (government) interference
Freedom from (government) spying

A government without the ability to tax itself to riches means no more stupid major projects and enless wars. A blessing, all because of a simple program  Kiss

Like this post? you can tip me (BTC) 1LGi2DMhectdFSkBid5srrnHk8WHgD3V1d or very WoW (Doge) D9p6FZQb1sKkq9hApy4tnjSduYfdnc74bb
Gabi
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January 05, 2012, 07:20:58 PM
 #10

http://bitcoinmedia.com/bulleted-advantages/

Quote
   
Decentralised and free from control
No regulations: while the advantages of decentralization might not seem at first apparent, consider that a decentralized structure constitutes an incorruptible medium. This is the first time we have such technology.
Always running
No bank holidays, no weekend breaks. Bitcoin is running. As long as the internet is up somewhere in the world, bitcoin is running.
International
Bitcoin has no borders. It does not discriminate against or classify or limit its users based on location or citizenship.
No/low fees
 I can at this very moment send thousands of dollars anywhere in the world at no cost.
New privacy model
Bitcoin provides anonymity with merchant sites. Only when trading platforms (exchanges) are presented with a warrant or the user willingly provides his or her identification can one’s personal information be accessed.
Transparent system
Bitcoin is 100% transparent. While users need not disclose which bitcoin wallet is theirs, every transaction ever made in the system is public record allowing for an open world.
Divisible
A bitcoin is divisible to 8 decimal places and in the future perhaps more. Microtransactions are truly a possibility. In this way bitcoin is not only advancing modern methods but creating potentially new markets which may have drastic impact on society. (media, internet culture, crowd sourcing, donating)
Secure
Playstation being hacked resulted in 77 million compromised accounts, that is more than 1% of the entire planet. Had your credit card details been stolen, a malicious hacker could withdraw money from your account. If you paid in bitcoins, this would be an impossibility. Sure there are services with fraud protection, but these are subsidized by the commercial gains from the client.
      
Bitcoin uses the latest encryption technology. While underdeveloped merchant sites may not be safe, you would not blame visa or mastercard if you put your card number of an unsafe site. The actual bitcoin protocol is very safe. Before it is compromised, our societal infrastructure would collapse due to it being built on weaker systems.
Fast transfers
Irregardless of geographical distance, you have a payment go through in under an hour. No longer are we at the mercy of week long payments or waiting weeks because of banking inefficiencies. Anybody who has travelled can attest to the nightmare of the finance system across borders.
No chargebacks
Selling digital goods is currently not possible due to friendly fraud. Bitcoin does not have chargebacks and friendly fraud is impossible.
Environmentally friendly / efficient
Market driven infrastructure ensures cost savings as participants are forced to compete through the algorithmic adjustment. People find more efficient ways to process transactions due to financial incentive from the system. This drives power usage right down.
Digital
Nobody could understand the benefits of digital media when it first appeared- there did not seem to be any gain. Bitcoin is digital cash. All of the benefits of digitalised media for cash that we have not yet imagined. “Back that shit up, keep it encrypted offline, stored in multiple locations for ultimate redundant security, …”
DeathAndTaxes
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January 05, 2012, 07:21:09 PM
 #11

At an abstract level (which is more interesting for non-currency application) Bitcoin solves the problem of consensus among untrusted peers.
The solution is rather elegant too and can handle an arbitrary number of nodes, with nodes joining or leaving and not disrupting the network.

For the practical issue.  Bitcoins solves the issue of control.
Paypal has control (ask anyone who has every had an account frozen).
VISA has control (3% a year on trillions of dollars in transactions)
Central banks have control (inflation is theft)

Bitcoin puts control of the currency back in the hands of the users. 

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January 05, 2012, 11:05:54 PM
 #12

At an abstract level (which is more interesting for non-currency application) Bitcoin solves the problem of consensus among untrusted peers.
The solution is rather elegant too and can handle an arbitrary number of nodes, with nodes joining or leaving and not disrupting the network.

For the practical issue.  Bitcoins solves the issue of control.
Paypal has control (ask anyone who has every had an account frozen).
VISA has control (3% a year on trillions of dollars in transactions)
Central banks have control (inflation is theft)

Bitcoin puts control of the currency back in the hands of the users. 



+1

In particular, the solution to the abstract problem is huge. The bitcoin model can theoretically be replicated for any number of uses (with the added bonus that if it makes sense for those other uses to be funded, all they need to do is integrate payments in bitcoin. Smiley )

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
...
...
In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
...
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The idea that deflation causes hoarding (to any problematic degree) is a lie used to justify theft of value from your savings.
irishdescent
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January 05, 2012, 11:31:39 PM
 #13

When I learned about Bitcoin early last year, it was being touted as a privacy solution. Though, the last I remember hearing this doesn't really stand up too well. Perhaps the issues have been resolved? I don't know.

However, for me personally, it solves the problem of my curiosity. That's solution enough. Smiley
DeathAndTaxes
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January 05, 2012, 11:35:29 PM
 #14

When I learned about Bitcoin early last year, it was being touted as a privacy solution. Though, the last I remember hearing this doesn't really stand up too well. Perhaps the issues have been resolved? I don't know.

However, for me personally, it solves the problem of my curiosity. That's solution enough. Smiley

Bitcoin is much more private than credit cards, paypal, checks, ACH, bank wires, and other digital currencies.

It is less private than physical cash, gold, blood diamonds, etc.
irishdescent
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January 05, 2012, 11:46:11 PM
 #15

Bitcoin is much more private than credit cards, paypal, checks, ACH, bank wires, and other digital currencies.

It is less private than physical cash, gold, blood diamonds, etc.
That is my present understanding as well.
NeedMyWithdrawal
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January 06, 2012, 12:01:10 AM
 #16

It allows for (relatively) anonymous transactions via the web without an intermediary. I think that has some value--While I don't see BTC ever replacing a major currency, I can definitely see it having some utility as a niche currency for certain markets online.
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January 06, 2012, 05:04:02 AM
 #17

Paypal already enables us to make online payments all over the world. But Paypal is not free (at least not for entrepeneurs), while BTC is (besides some electricity).

BTC gives humanity immense freedom.

Freedom from (government) theft
Freedom from (government) interference
Freedom from (government) spying

A government without the ability to tax itself to riches means no more stupid major projects and enless wars. A blessing, all because of a simple program  Kiss

But can one open a Paypal account without a credit card or with say a FICO score of 350? Seriously people who cannot get a credit card and or have poor credit are a huge market for Bitcoin, and for an online merchant accepting Bitcoin means reaching a customer base they could not reach beforehand.

Concerned that blockchain bloat will lead to centralization? Storing less than 4 GB of data once required the budget of a superpower and a warehouse full of punched cards. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/IBM_card_storage.NARA.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_card
EndTheBanks
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January 06, 2012, 05:06:28 AM
 #18

It threatens the central banking cartel that indebts society.

http://www.reddit.com/r/EndTheBanks/

Hector Con Carne, Leader of Evil Con Carne International (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRjqEGYAAPM)
Geebus Jizwaad
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January 11, 2012, 01:27:00 AM
 #19

Thanks for all the responses.

Setting aside the libertardian monkeyspank and the stuff that's simply incorrect, one might conclude bitcoin is mostly of value for criminal merchants and minors buying drugs without their parents knowledge, and even then only if you buy the flawed anonymity premise.


"Never bet on the end of the world, it only happens once."
- Art Cashin
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