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Author Topic: Can you help me get past my concerns  (Read 1798 times)
Moonman
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May 28, 2014, 02:58:26 PM
 #1

Guys, I don't doubt that some form of crypto currency exists in the future, and I'm looking for a reason to buy into the BTC vision, in fact I own some BTC.  I'm trying to get over the challenges  I see, so not trying to bash here, but looking for understanding or someone to point out the flaws in my thinking.

1) It seems as if the main selling point to encourage business adoption is lower transaction fees.  What do you guys envision as the real market for BTC?  Are we mainly talking about retail consumer purchases? 
   a) Big corporations - These multinationals move funds all over the world in large amounts, and transaction fees are extremely small.  These entities have the treasury capability to manage multiple currencies, however the main function of the treasury group is to minimize financial risk and maintain liquidity.  Therefore, adding another currency to the portfolio merely introduces more friction in that the currency risk must be managed or eliminated.  Additionally, given the volatility of the currency, no treasurer on earth would keep his job by taking any BTC exposure.  To take BTC on the retail end, the corporation must immediately convert to USD or local currency, relegating BTC to an alternative payment method only.  As other posters have correctly pointed out, no suppliers or vendors are going to accept BTC, so as a business-to-business settling mechanism, there would not appear to be any benefit.

b) Small businesses - again, their suppliers are not going to accept BTC, so accepting BTC from retail customers will create an asset/liability mismatch and they will need to convert back to USD.  I guess this is where the 'lower transaction fee' argument comes in.  Having run a small business I understand the cost of accepting credit cards.  I have also experienced the complexity of accepting different payment methods (Paypal, Google) and while the cost of these methods aren't materially lower, the back end complexity of managing the various payment methods definitely increases.  I was never able to convince myself that I got any incremental sales from the alternative payment methods either (because everyone HAS to have a credit card today.  If I don't accept Paypal or Google, they merely pay with their credit card.) 

If, however, I accept BTC, and obtain a lower transaction fee, there must be a compelling reason for the consumer to want to pay with BTC.  The only way this happens is if the consumer has a financial incentive. 
It's not enough to theorize that the retailer's costs go down, so the product cost should go down.  The person choosing the currency to use, must be the one that accrues some financial benefit.  If the benefit accrues to the retailer, the retailer either keeps the benefit, or passes along to all customers which means the ones that use credit cards accrue benefits from the BTC payer's actions, diluting any benefit to the BTC payer.  Sure there are a few people who want to use BTC just because, but to achieve any mass acceptance, there must be a compelling economic reason.  Seems to me that there must become some kind of standard discount, maybe 1% for paying with BTC.  Let's say this becomes the standard.  The credit card companies won't stand still, they'll respond in order to maintain they're business in some fashion, which will close the gap somewhat, reducing the economic incentive for consumers.

2) Confidence - Today, bank accounts are ensured by the FDIC.  This gives people confidence to leave they're money with a bank.  I think in order to achieve mass acceptance, there will need to be some type of similar backstop.  The average Joe is not going to place 100% confidence in some invisible technology, especially with the daily reports of hackers attacking major corporations, credit card companies, etc.  I've heard the counter argument that people can store in offline wallets, etc.  This places the currency at a disadvantage to mainstream currencies.  I can leave $5k in a bank account and pay electronically anytime/anywhere and have the currency guaranteed against loss.  Or I can take the same $5k offline in some cold storage location with BTC and it makes it clunky at best to use.  (Maybe I don't fully understand the options, but it seems to get the same level of protection afforded to my USD, I loose some practicality/mobility with BTC.)

Again, I'm looking for someone to counter these points or explain the niche BTC participates in 5-10 years from now. I definitely see the potential similar to the internet in the 90's, but I'm to the point that this could be the best or worst investment of my life so looking for some understanding.
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May 28, 2014, 04:03:14 PM
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I'm not going to pretend to know much about this, but I know one advantage of BTC over USD is that it is non-inflationary. Another is that you can send money from person-to-person with no middleman, as in, not even a paypal-type service. Just one individual to another, and without the cost or legal hassles of physical mail.
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May 28, 2014, 04:14:23 PM
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Here is why I use bitcoin. It is the fastest, safest, and cheapest way for me to send/receive money anywhere in the world. Credit cards take days to clear. It may seem quick, but all the seller receives is a promise of money in the future. With BTC the seller has money in minutes and the transaction is done and irreversible. It is much safer than a credit card. I could give you my login credentials at Overstock and, while you could see my past purchases, there is no card info and no money to steal. The price is right also. Merchants pay for credit card transactions, and they pay dollars. With bitcoin the customer pays, and pays only pennies. And if I'm sending money to a friend overseas it would cost me many dollars and take along time. Basically, it's better money and that is a powerful idea that is no going away. People seem to forget the value of utility. 

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May 28, 2014, 04:32:18 PM
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Guys, I don't doubt that some form of crypto currency exists in the future, and I'm looking for a reason to buy into the BTC vision, in fact I own some BTC.  I'm trying to get over the challenges  I see, so not trying to bash here, but looking for understanding or someone to point out the flaws in my thinking.

1) It seems as if the main selling point to encourage business adoption is lower transaction fees.  What do you guys envision as the real market for BTC?  Are we mainly talking about retail consumer purchases? 
   a) Big corporations - These multinationals move funds all over the world in large amounts, and transaction fees are extremely small.  These entities have the treasury capability to manage multiple currencies, however the main function of the treasury group is to minimize financial risk and maintain liquidity.  Therefore, adding another currency to the portfolio merely introduces more friction in that the currency risk must be managed or eliminated.  Additionally, given the volatility of the currency, no treasurer on earth would keep his job by taking any BTC exposure.  To take BTC on the retail end, the corporation must immediately convert to USD or local currency, relegating BTC to an alternative payment method only.  As other posters have correctly pointed out, no suppliers or vendors are going to accept BTC, so as a business-to-business settling mechanism, there would not appear to be any benefit.

b) Small businesses - again, their suppliers are not going to accept BTC, so accepting BTC from retail customers will create an asset/liability mismatch and they will need to convert back to USD.  I guess this is where the 'lower transaction fee' argument comes in.  Having run a small business I understand the cost of accepting credit cards.  I have also experienced the complexity of accepting different payment methods (Paypal, Google) and while the cost of these methods aren't materially lower, the back end complexity of managing the various payment methods definitely increases.  I was never able to convince myself that I got any incremental sales from the alternative payment methods either (because everyone HAS to have a credit card today.  If I don't accept Paypal or Google, they merely pay with their credit card.) 

If, however, I accept BTC, and obtain a lower transaction fee, there must be a compelling reason for the consumer to want to pay with BTC.  The only way this happens is if the consumer has a financial incentive. 
It's not enough to theorize that the retailer's costs go down, so the product cost should go down.  The person choosing the currency to use, must be the one that accrues some financial benefit.  If the benefit accrues to the retailer, the retailer either keeps the benefit, or passes along to all customers which means the ones that use credit cards accrue benefits from the BTC payer's actions, diluting any benefit to the BTC payer.  Sure there are a few people who want to use BTC just because, but to achieve any mass acceptance, there must be a compelling economic reason.  Seems to me that there must become some kind of standard discount, maybe 1% for paying with BTC.  Let's say this becomes the standard.  The credit card companies won't stand still, they'll respond in order to maintain they're business in some fashion, which will close the gap somewhat, reducing the economic incentive for consumers.

2) Confidence - Today, bank accounts are ensured by the FDIC.  This gives people confidence to leave they're money with a bank.  I think in order to achieve mass acceptance, there will need to be some type of similar backstop.  The average Joe is not going to place 100% confidence in some invisible technology, especially with the daily reports of hackers attacking major corporations, credit card companies, etc.  I've heard the counter argument that people can store in offline wallets, etc.  This places the currency at a disadvantage to mainstream currencies.  I can leave $5k in a bank account and pay electronically anytime/anywhere and have the currency guaranteed against loss.  Or I can take the same $5k offline in some cold storage location with BTC and it makes it clunky at best to use.  (Maybe I don't fully understand the options, but it seems to get the same level of protection afforded to my USD, I loose some practicality/mobility with BTC.)

Again, I'm looking for someone to counter these points or explain the niche BTC participates in 5-10 years from now. I definitely see the potential similar to the internet in the 90's, but I'm to the point that this could be the best or worst investment of my life so looking for some understanding.


You are pretty much correct and nobody here can argue your points.  Don't compare BTC to the internet.  Compare it to torrents. 


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May 29, 2014, 05:23:19 AM
 #5

1) You are arguing that some companies will not use Bitcoin for certain purposes. You might be correct, but that doesn't mean that nobody will use Bitcoin for any purposes. Bitcoin has benefits and companies that figure out how to take advantage of those benefits will do so and will profit from them.

2) Bank accounts are not guaranteed against everything. FDIC insurance protects you from bank failures, but it doesn't protect you against a hacker that steals money from your account -- nor does the bank. If someone figures out your bank password and drains your account or they use your debit card, the money is gone and bank will not refund you.

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May 29, 2014, 03:20:46 PM
 #6

I think that big companies should offer lower price for BTC payments so this should be the incentive for the buyer to buy using Bitcoin.
For one $100 USD valued product it could be something like: Pay with USD Price $100 / Pay With Bitcoin Price $95.

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May 29, 2014, 03:32:28 PM
 #7

I think that big companies should offer lower price for BTC payments so this should be the incentive for the buyer to buy using Bitcoin.
For one $100 USD valued product it could be something like: Pay with USD Price $100 / Pay With Bitcoin Price $95.

In theory, merchants could do it just like that at the moment for some payment methods which are just as convenient as credit cards and incur smaller fees, for example in Europe many payments are done via bank card that does not cost a 3% fee like credit cards. But apparently the contracts between merchant and credit card company prohibit or at least discourage the merchant from charging different prices depending on the payment method the customer chooses.

So if companies accept both BTC and credit cards, they might put themselves into jeopardy when charging different prices.

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May 29, 2014, 03:47:05 PM
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I think for most standard businesses the exchange rate volatility (and maybe the association with silk road and other shady operations) currently offset the technical advantages of using bitcoin, so it's understandable that most are very reluctant to use it (if they know about it at all).
Currently there are some niche cases which benefit a lot:
1. charities or other organizations accepting donations, such as open software projects. They don't care much about exchange rate, as the donation influx is not directly related to products or services that are produced, and thus there is no need for a strict cost/revenue analysis.
2. small specialty businesses that deliver worldwide, so they would have to deal with multiple currencies anyway. If their payment processing costs go down considerably, their offers might become competitive even when international shipping needs to be added.
2a. this includes shady "businesses" that sell illegal stuff. They will benefit from the relative anonymity of the payment paths. I don't like that, but it's a reality, so it should not be ignored.
3. businesses who want to support bitcoin because it is "hip" or because their owner have ideological reasons to do so. They might apply different weights to economic and psychological factors than mainstream businesses.

I don't know whether these cases will support enough growth of the bitcoin economy to draw mainstream businesses into the economy. Overstock and some other businesses whose bitcoin adoption seems to progress nicely could well be the catalyst for others who are more reluctant right now.

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May 30, 2014, 02:04:18 AM
 #9

In the end, all the entities you mentioned are expected to in time prefer to use bitcoin.

Companies and retailers, because of low fees and no chargebacks. They can avoid volatility by selling them after receiving the bitcoins.

Consumers, because they don't have to trust a third party and because they might get better prices (some retailers offer discounts for payments in bitcoin).

In general, because bitcoin is deflationary, so it's expected to increase in value; it's easy and cheap to transfer; some think they can avoid taxes with it, etc.



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May 30, 2014, 05:25:40 AM
 #10

I'm not going to pretend to know much about this, but I know one advantage of BTC over USD is that it is non-inflationary. Another is that you can send money from person-to-person with no middleman, as in, not even a paypal-type service. Just one individual to another, and without the cost or legal hassles of physical mail.

Additionally it covers the countries and you are not bound have any specific bank account attached with it 'For persoon to person transactiions'.

Thanks
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May 30, 2014, 02:00:33 PM
 #11

I don't mean to downplay the importance of Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer low-cost high-speed payment mechanism with built-in anonymity and fraud protection. These are fantastic  features and even if Bitcoin brought nothing else to the party, they would ensure that it will survive and prosper.

But I see the unique feature of Bitcoin as being the fact that it is programmable money. This feature allows for a whole variety of transaction types that are simply not possible with existing "dumb" money systems. These range from crowd funding to secure escrow and many more things besides. If you combine this with smart property, colour coin protocols and distributed exchanges, you open up almost undreamed of possibilities that go far beyond cheaper and quicker payments. 


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June 10, 2014, 02:26:45 AM
 #12

I think that big companies should offer lower price for BTC payments so this should be the incentive for the buyer to buy using Bitcoin.
For one $100 USD valued product it could be something like: Pay with USD Price $100 / Pay With Bitcoin Price $95.

This is true as long as enough people pay for their product in BTC to a specific merchant. If a merchant is able to lower their costs by accepting BTC then their prices will be lower.

It is my understanding that VISA and MC both have agreements with merchants that the cost of a product paid for with their card must be the same that is charged with other payment methods.

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June 10, 2014, 02:37:53 AM
 #13

I think that big companies should offer lower price for BTC payments so this should be the incentive for the buyer to buy using Bitcoin.
For one $100 USD valued product it could be something like: Pay with USD Price $100 / Pay With Bitcoin Price $95.

This is true as long as enough people pay for their product in BTC to a specific merchant. If a merchant is able to lower their costs by accepting BTC then their prices will be lower.

It is my understanding that VISA and MC both have agreements with merchants that the cost of a product paid for with their card must be the same that is charged with other payment methods.

I see gas stations that offer cheaper gas if you pay inside with cash. I am sure it is in the fine print somewhere but a lot of merchants do this kind of thing.

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June 10, 2014, 04:05:25 AM
 #14

I'm not going to pretend to know much about this, but I know one advantage of BTC over USD is that it is non-inflationary. Another is that you can send money from person-to-person with no middleman, as in, not even a paypal-type service. Just one individual to another, and without the cost or legal hassles of physical mail.

bitcoin is not currently non-inflationary
the benefit of bitcoin is that we know exactly what the inflation rate is
currently it is 25x6x24x365.25 / 12,874,350 bitcoins
=10.2% inflation per annum currently

versus the usd which no one really knows
FED reports 85 billion USD  created per month but many insiders say the actual rate is 135+ billion USD created per month

bitcoin adoption rate is going to be much higher than the 10% inflation we will experience in the next year, if bitcoin adoption is greated than 10% we can see bitcoin going up in value,
i  dont see USD adoption rate to increase faster than the rate they are printing, so the excess created money will create inflation.
plus countries such as china and russia, BRIC nations have started to divest out of USD and trade amongst themselves with their local currencies

this is why i see bitcoin going up in the next year and beyond, while USD will lose its value vs bitcoin



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June 10, 2014, 04:15:46 AM
 #15

I think that big companies should offer lower price for BTC payments so this should be the incentive for the buyer to buy using Bitcoin.
For one $100 USD valued product it could be something like: Pay with USD Price $100 / Pay With Bitcoin Price $95.

This is true as long as enough people pay for their product in BTC to a specific merchant. If a merchant is able to lower their costs by accepting BTC then their prices will be lower.

It is my understanding that VISA and MC both have agreements with merchants that the cost of a product paid for with their card must be the same that is charged with other payment methods.

I see gas stations that offer cheaper gas if you pay inside with cash. I am sure it is in the fine print somewhere but a lot of merchants do this kind of thing.

some one tried telling me this also, but in the seattle area you pay up to 10-20c more for using a credit card. Same with the same places saying you have to spend 5 dollars, so if you go in and buy a coke and candy bar for 4 something you are charged a 25c fee
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June 10, 2014, 07:59:36 AM
 #16

I think that big companies should offer lower price for BTC payments so this should be the incentive for the buyer to buy using Bitcoin.
For one $100 USD valued product it could be something like: Pay with USD Price $100 / Pay With Bitcoin Price $95.

This is true as long as enough people pay for their product in BTC to a specific merchant. If a merchant is able to lower their costs by accepting BTC then their prices will be lower.

It is my understanding that VISA and MC both have agreements with merchants that the cost of a product paid for with their card must be the same that is charged with other payment methods.

I see gas stations that offer cheaper gas if you pay inside with cash. I am sure it is in the fine print somewhere but a lot of merchants do this kind of thing.

some one tried telling me this also, but in the seattle area you pay up to 10-20c more for using a credit card. Same with the same places saying you have to spend 5 dollars, so if you go in and buy a coke and candy bar for 4 something you are charged a 25c fee

That is a violation of their terms. It is rarely if ever enforced but it does demonstrate that the fees are an issue for them. Bit coin is a natural solution to that problem.

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June 11, 2014, 01:51:59 PM
 #17

Right now it is not the fastest to make a payment, but it certainly is the fastest to clear for the end user receiving.   Bitcoin might take 10 minutes to send.  I can pay with a credit card or wire money to another account that is connected to my bank account in mere seconds.  But.... for the receiver to get the money, it can take hours or days or weeks!

Bitcoin is not the easiest.  Credit cards are easier, cash is easier.  Actually... most things are easier.  But still, this is a matter of code and apps and most of us have confidence that bitcoin will be super easy in the coming years.  

Bitcoin is not the cheapest to send.  I can write checks or pay with a credit card for free on my end.  But again at least with the the receiver, fees will be paid with a credit card, and sometimes for people with checks.  And definitely with PayPal or wires.  

As mentioned then, one benefit is that merchants can offer a small discount for people that spend in bitcoin.  No charge backs, money arrives quickly, and fees to receive.  It is a huge win for merchants and they can pass that one to customers.  The OP says that suppliers won't take bitcoin, but this isn't necessarily true.  Give it time.  There are advantages for them too. 

So, bitcoin does have its advantages, especially for the person receiving the bitcoin.   There is no way that I know of to get $1000 to another person around the world in 10 minutes.  Bitcoin ATMs are coming more and more popular and soon more people will have access to not just buying, but also cashing out.  

Bitcoin is also not completely safe right now.  Lots of people have lost bitcoins.  People are working on this and making 2FA coming soon.  

The price is also extremely volatile, but that is another reason we are here. hahaha.  We all want to believe we will be millionaires in 10 years.  Unfortunately for us, the world isn't that easy.

Bitcoin is still growing, but most of us believe it will be huge someday.  
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June 11, 2014, 01:56:04 PM
 #18

At current price, you may already miss the bus.

Darkcoin, on the other hand, is still at early infant stage. It may or may not take off depend on various factors.


If you want to get high reward, you will need to risk a lot just like earlier bitcoin holder.
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June 11, 2014, 02:01:45 PM
 #19

At current price, you may already miss the bus.

Darkcoin, on the other hand, is still at early infant stage. It may or may not take off depend on various factors.


If you want to get high reward, you will need to risk a lot just like earlier bitcoin holder.


In that case go for NXT.  Darkcoin has one extra function.  NXT has like a dozen and has had a $75,000 bounty for a person that can add Darkcoin's single extra function.  Darkcoin = one trick show.  NXT = Swiss Army knife of crypto.
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June 11, 2014, 11:23:56 PM
 #20

For merchants Bitcoin favours the little guy, which is a nice change, there are no start-up cots, can take international payments and you don't even need to touch a bank if you make the stuff yourself for example. So someone with no bank account and no ability to get a paypal type account and has no access to payment networks like Visa can still get into business.  This may seem odd to the west but many people in the developing world are in such a position, but now they can be sellers and do something to help shift themselves from poverty or at-least improve their situation.

+1 to the millions of people who cant access traditional banking.

Now this doesn't mean the coin $ value will go-up, but Bitcoin is an idea for the people, with these being so few and far between it's value to millions of people is the opportunity it offers not what they can sell a coin for.



  

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