Did it ever occur to you that the long term consists of a bunch of short term timeframes?
Currencies are built on trust. Trust in the money supply, trust in the acceptance, trust in the institutions that handle it. Trust in its security (NOT technical security, but actual, practical one).
Bitcoin’s value is built on speculation and projection into the future. Speculation that it will get more popular, be more trusted, more useful.
We know there are 4 out of 8 people who lost ~50k BTC to a malicious attacker. We know that there is no way to prevent the coins from eventually diluting ours, one way or another. (Except the attacker is stupid to have MtGox intercept them directly, haha.)
We know that no matter what the HELL we do, someone’s coins always get stolen or scammed and dilute our honest coins. We cannot trust in most Bitcoin institutions.
I bet Bitcoin is the currency with the highest percentage of stolen money supply. How can an economy run like that? How can it be BETTER than a negative sum game for all honest participants?
This post is much better, thank you. I just can't think the way you do about this, no matter how hard I try. My own bitcoins are just as safe as they were before this event. My company which deals with bitcoins got a good wakeup call from this and will make sure that it doesn't matter if our hosting provider is totally compromised, we won't lose any coins regardless.
On top of that I see Bitcoin protocol security, service security and user security all improving thanks to this. This might be negative in the short term, even mid term but I see this as really important for Bitcoin long term. This would have happened one way or another eventually anyway, now it's over with and we can continue to work on better security.
I don't buy your claim that Bitcoin has the highest percentage of stolen money supply, that is preposterous. I think that a very high percentage of our dollars/euros have been part of a theft or a scam at some point. With bitcoins it's very likely that the amount of scams and theft will always be much lower than with regular money, simply because bitcoins are not something meant to be trusted to a 3rd party. Everything done in a pure Bitcoin economy requires people to be VERY suspicious about everything, leading to much less stupid usage compared to the regular economy.
It's a sad reality that people are so susceptible to scams and such, Bitcoin is there to teach people. This is one one of those roadblocks on that very long road that teaches people how to take care of their own money. I honestly can't see how this changes much of anything, Bitcoin is different than regular money, it's hard, it's cold. It's currency of the free market. As soon as people REALLY start realizing this first hand, the sooner it will become more usable.
I agree with you that bitcoin's security (of the protocol and infrastructure) will improve as a result of this. But I don't think that can be construed as bullish for anything other than the very, very long term; and out that far it's just a fact that anything can happen so as far as making decisions here and now it just doesn't enter into it. We're going down, there's no question about that. How far and for how long are the only variables, as far as I'm concerned.