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Author Topic: Bitcoin on-the-street today  (Read 1392 times)
MyPotPlantDied
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May 28, 2014, 04:36:31 PM
 #21

I have also tried to introduce it to some friends and coworkers but they usually feel that they just aren't "technical" enough and/or unwilling to take on the risk. The technical issues will go away over time with easier and easier to use wallets and services, but as for the exchange rate risk.... I don't have a response for that one.
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ranlo
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May 28, 2014, 05:04:29 PM
 #22

I't s just confirmation of my thougt, that Bitcoin is too complicated for ordinary person to handle. My mum would get lost if she would had to make transactions alone.

It really is. Even for people I know that deal with programming, computer repair, etc., it has proven to be tough because of the principles involved. Basically it ends up coming down to "just trust the system" (and, really, why should people do that?).

It is a bit difficult, but wait for QuickCoin (http://vimeo.com/94730113) and Circle (http://venturebeat.com/2014/05/16/circles-new-bitcoin-service-is-so-easy-your-parents-could-use-it/). They will make it pretty simple.

This is a huge "if." Circle has already lost the trust of a lot of people due to the claims they've made (like insurance). QC I'm not as familiar with yet.


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




















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acoindr
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May 28, 2014, 05:39:28 PM
 #23

I't s just confirmation of my thougt, that Bitcoin is too complicated for ordinary person to handle. My mum would get lost if she would had to make transactions alone.

It really is. Even for people I know that deal with programming, computer repair, etc., it has proven to be tough because of the principles involved. Basically it ends up coming down to "just trust the system" (and, really, why should people do that?).

They shouldn't, but we can help them Smiley

This community has many computer experts, cryptography experts, and mathematicians all readily available. If someone wants to know why they should trust the system we can explain it exactly, and to what degree there are any risks. The forum is open to public participation so anything said here can be challenged anytime.


... The technical issues will go away over time with easier and easier to use wallets and services, but as for the exchange rate risk.... I don't have a response for that one.

Tell people even established currencies like the dollar do lose value over time. When people diversify into alternative currencies like gold or bitcoin they can have some of their money go up sometimes instead of always down (felt by goods becoming more expensive). That can be a fun idea for people. They don't need to jump in with both feet, but they can play with inconsequential amounts just to see what else is available and get more familiar with how things work.
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May 28, 2014, 06:11:09 PM
 #24

I't s just confirmation of my thougt, that Bitcoin is too complicated for ordinary person to handle. My mum would get lost if she would had to make transactions alone.

Simplification is coming, so the path to mainstream usage is much more clear. Also, the Bud Summer Concert Series Giveaway will be huge for "simple" (mainstream) users to get their first Bitcoins.  Smiley

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May 28, 2014, 06:19:52 PM
 #25

I usually explain Bitcoin as so:

 - A 'bitcoin' is just a summation in a ledger.  The ledger is globally distributed and robust.

 - Only by using a secret key can value be assigned away from a particular summation.

 - So, if you can maintain exclusive access to secret keys, Bitcoin is very reliable.  But it is pretty tricky to not lose the secret keys or have them stolen.

This description seems intelligible to most people, and is pretty accurate.

---

I personally agree that fiat and mainstream methods work pretty well for most people most of the time.  I prefer them to Bitcoin myself for most work.  With a basic understanding of banking tricks (fees, interest, inflation, etc) it is not very difficult to avoid most of the downsides and enjoy the upsides (e.g., access to courts via legal tender status, reversibility, fraud protection, FDIC, etc.)

I've always been of the opinion that Bitcoin is valuable primarily in comparison to mainstream systems.  When mainstream systems are working well, Bitcoin is really just treading water (though it is still finding it's natural position which is higher than we see today most likely.)

Now, if mainstream systems start to fail (a-la Cyprus) Bitcoin could simply detonate in value.  Bitcoin does not have counterparty risk where most other solutions do.  Physical precious metals are one of the few exceptions and would probably see the same sort of explosive demand in a meltdown event.  

Even as someone with a position in both PM's and Bitcoin, I don't wish to see such an event.  Life would be so difficult, complex, and miserable that it would not be worth it.  I'd prefer to see things grind along as we see today.  But when playing kick-the-can, eventually one kicks the can off a cliff and it is just not practical to do anything but abandon the can and look for another one.

 - edit: add 'legal tender' as a critical advantage of mainstream financial systems based on fiat currency.

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May 28, 2014, 06:39:18 PM
 #26


I am too young to remember, but it would be very interesting to see how the internet crossed the chasm and learn lessons from it.


I remember.  It was porn.

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acoindr
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May 28, 2014, 06:44:43 PM
 #27

Even as someone with a position in both PM's and Bitcoin, I don't wish to see such an event. 

Unpleasant things happen. One might argue if they didn't what would you compare the pleasant things to?

Life would be so difficult, complex, and miserable that it would not be worth it. 

You could say that about the current state of things, especially in places like Argentina (50% annual inflation) or Venezuela (food rationing). As for the complex part I disagree. That might be the case with having to barter PMs, because they are cumbersome to actual transactions, but Bitcoin solves that. As for the miserable part, again, thanks to Bitcoin I feel a speedy recovery is quite possible.

I'd prefer to see things grind along as we see today. 

Things only appear to grind slowly away at the surface. The macro state of events is much different and clearly unsustainable. The grinding has already ground along to the end of its tether.
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May 28, 2014, 07:26:25 PM
 #28

Even as someone with a position in both PM's and Bitcoin, I don't wish to see such an event. 

Unpleasant things happen. One might argue if they didn't what would you compare the pleasant things to?

Life would be so difficult, complex, and miserable that it would not be worth it. 

You could say that about the current state of things, especially in places like Argentina (50% annual inflation) or Venezuela (food rationing). As for the complex part I disagree. That might be the case with having to barter PMs, because they are cumbersome to actual transactions, but Bitcoin solves that. As for the miserable part, again, thanks to Bitcoin I feel a speedy recovery is quite possible.

My attitude is self centered around my own experience to be sure.  I should have made that even more clear.  But just as things could be worse in my relatively cozy situation (as a middle-class USian) things could probably be worse for those who are less fortunate as well.  'Ideally' from the standpoint of most of humanity, there would be a more equitable distribution and I personally would be much worse off than I am now.

As for Bitcoin being some method of readily solving the problems, I just don't see it.  It would probably work out exactly the opposite in fact.  Since I first became involved in Bitcoin, the main advantage I saw was that with some coordination, 'the masses' might be able to cause it to fail...because they are not going to have the ability to shake it out of the pockets of those who hold it.  There might be some potential for holders to recognize this an limit their abuse, but that's pretty pie-in-the-sky.  Humans don't tend to work that way.  Thus, the chief 'advantage' of Bitcoin over gold is that the masses have no theoretical ability to cause gold to fail from a system's perspective.  With distributed crypto-currencies they could simple prefer 'Massescoin' and start to value it among themselves.  Theoretically.

I'd prefer to see things grind along as we see today. 

Things only appear to grind slowly away at the surface. The macro state of events is much different and clearly unsustainable. The grinding has already ground along to the end of its tether.

The trouble is that that has been a pretty strong argument for the past 40 or 50 years.  It's probably true, but fairly useless for most semi-precision planning purposes.  When messing with things like Bitcoin and PM's which are relatively volatile it is quite possible to get into a situation where one is forced to sell at importunate times.


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May 28, 2014, 07:32:31 PM
 #29

with these kind of people, what can you do with them? pretty much nothing. if someone is going to take a stance without the proper information, then there is no logic that you can provide to convince them of anything. his mind is already made; someone close to him says something is bad, so it is bad.
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May 28, 2014, 07:49:54 PM
 #30

with these kind of people, what can you do with them? pretty much nothing. if someone is going to take a stance without the proper information, then there is no logic that you can provide to convince them of anything. his mind is already made; someone close to him says something is bad, so it is bad.

I guess you are referring to the OP, and you nailed it wrt the guy's posture.

In my case I stopped being interested in advocacy (in the case of 99% of the population at least) back in late 2011.  I just don't see it as something which most people can handle.  This has more to do with the difficulty that most people have with generic data security than it has to do with Bitcoin.  A lesser reason for my attitude is because I felt then and to a lesser extent still feel that Bitcoin is relatively risky from a systemic point of view.

I have advocated Bitcoin to a very select group of people and it happened to have worked out very well for most of them.  It didn't have to have worked out that way, and it was unpredictable at the time of my advocacy.

Although I am not active in advocacy, I'm thankful to those who are.  Especially when the target is VC types who have lots of money to pump into Bitcoin.  I'm delighted to put some of that money into my pocket and plan to actively milk that cow for as long as possible and as effectively as I can manage.

In the case of the OP, my main interest was to antagonize the guy in retribution for his being a jackass in a general sense.


acoindr
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May 28, 2014, 08:14:14 PM
 #31

As for Bitcoin being some method of readily solving the problems, I just don't see it.  

Bitcoin can't solve problems because those were here long before it. However, that doesn't mean Bitcoin can't make dealing with the problems substantially better.

With distributed crypto-currencies they could simple prefer 'Massescoin' and start to value it among themselves.  Theoretically.

This came up often early in this forum's history. It's the same old 'late to the game' argument. Won't people complain and seek other coins. In reality everybody that says they're late to the game has people who say that after them. No new alt-coin will spring up and displace Bitcoin without offering something substantially better.

The trouble is that that has been a pretty strong argument for the past 40 or 50 years.  

True, but before it was only that, predictions and arguments. Now there are visible (and worsening) cracks in the system.
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May 28, 2014, 08:22:16 PM
 #32

with these kind of people, what can you do with them? pretty much nothing. if someone is going to take a stance without the proper information, then there is no logic that you can provide to convince them of anything. his mind is already made; someone close to him says something is bad, so it is bad.

I guess you are referring to the OP, and you nailed it wrt the guy's posture.

In my case I stopped being interested in advocacy (in the case of 99% of the population at least) back in late 2011.  I just don't see it as something which most people can handle.  This has more to do with the difficulty that most people have with generic data security than it has to do with Bitcoin.  A lesser reason for my attitude is because I felt then and to a lesser extent still feel that Bitcoin is relatively risky from a systemic point of view.

I have advocated Bitcoin to a very select group of people and it happened to have worked out very well for most of them.  It didn't have to have worked out that way, and it was unpredictable at the time of my advocacy.

Although I am not active in advocacy, I'm thankful to those who are.  Especially when the target is VC types who have lots of money to pump into Bitcoin.  I'm delighted to put some of that money into my pocket and plan to actively milk that cow for as long as possible and as effectively as I can manage.

In the case of the OP, my main interest was to antagonize the guy in retribution for his being a jackass in a general sense.



yeah, it's a losing battle that i am not interested in. i would still recommend it to someone who is open-minded to it, but otherwise i just keep my mouth shut when someone brings up faulty logic for why bitcoin is a scam. some criticism is merited, but most aren't.. because people are just entrenched in their old ways of thinking. after all, there is a reason why popular opinion is what it is: because it's easy and doesn't require thinking outside of the box.
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May 28, 2014, 08:23:50 PM
 #33

In the case of the OP, my main interest was to antagonize the guy in retribution for his being a jackass in a general sense.
If you want to piss him off properly, invent CulvertCoin. People can pay for culvert by scanning a code on their phone and pick it up in 30 seconds. When he sees all his business disappear into the CulvertCoin shop down the road, he'll be begging you to explain how it works. Then tell him to ask his brother the banker  Cheesy

"I am not The Avenger"
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May 28, 2014, 08:25:51 PM
 #34

Most of the people think like this guy.. if they even know about bitcoin.

by the way maybe I have an idea to help us in those situations.

Can someone that aware of the advantages of the bitcoin make sort of list to explain the benefits and some latest new that can make the random guy in the street to be unable to argue with the success?
I know that it have it faults but still when you meet someone and want to make him realize and convince him it could be very helpful.

What do you think about making this "debate" list that can be great help for the Bitcoin community?
ranlo
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May 29, 2014, 01:56:55 AM
 #35

Most of the people think like this guy.. if they even know about bitcoin.

by the way maybe I have an idea to help us in those situations.

Can someone that aware of the advantages of the bitcoin make sort of list to explain the benefits and some latest new that can make the random guy in the street to be unable to argue with the success?
I know that it have it faults but still when you meet someone and want to make him realize and convince him it could be very helpful.

What do you think about making this "debate" list that can be great help for the Bitcoin community?

A debate list has very limited effect. Most people that are against BTC are against it because that's what the majority are. Debating won't change their mind because it's a huge social thing. You can prove people wrong all day long as they will just keep coming up with more reasons to be against it until they finally hit "I just don't like it" and end it there.


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




















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Bibop
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May 29, 2014, 08:44:22 AM
 #36

A debate list has very limited effect. Most people that are against BTC are against it because that's what the majority are. Debating won't change their mind because it's a huge social thing. You can prove people wrong all day long as they will just keep coming up with more reasons to be against it until they finally hit "I just don't like it" and end it there.

Giving up the personal explanation because of the majority effect feels like not the right way to treat this subject.
what do you prefer? waiting for a new shops so accept bitcoin?
waiting for big conferences that interest only those who care at the moment?

we need some tool to make the simple person in the street to realize that its not just a nice episode of dreamers. we need more then that.
and by that we have to explain as good as possible ourselves in any argument on the bitcoin.
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