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Author Topic: [Open Discussion] Centralized Bitcoin Services at Mt. Gox  (Read 2228 times)
Cosbycoin
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March 06, 2012, 09:10:38 PM
 #1

This thread's purpose is to discuss the issues that reside with Mt. Gox being 95% of the entire volume of BTC traded as well as possibly a large portion of merchant solution services.

This in my opinion can be bad for bitcoin if Mt. Gox were ever shutdown in its corporate structure (if it has one).

Centralization of services for bitcoin is not a good thing. It gives less options to choose.

Anyways...just by 0.02 BTC...
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March 06, 2012, 09:21:54 PM
 #2

i agree here.   mt gox will eventually be attacked by many governments. it has been attacked already by having its bank accounts shut down, getting hacked(which could be government spooks) etc etc.
we could even see a mega upload type of take down. this is big money interests, once "they"  realize what bitcoin is doing to the banks control "they" will stop at nothing to take down mtgox. once this happens it will be a major hit because mtgox had such a high percentage of market share.





Jered Kenna (TradeHill)
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March 06, 2012, 09:37:04 PM
 #3

Everyone agrees, it's finding a safe alternative that's hard.

Even a few major exchanges isn't ideal. We need a way to completely decentralize the exchange between fiat and Bitcoin but that is far easier said than done. People are working on it and I'm sure better solutions will come along. I'd personally like to see 100,000 people offering to trade it in person. Essentially anyone that uses it buying / selling on a spread. I think mobile clients will be key for this.


P.S. not a stab at Mt Gox. I think Mark himself will agree that centralization goes against the concept of Bitcoin.


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March 06, 2012, 09:44:04 PM
 #4

Is this an anti-MtGox thread?
Like a protest? Smiley
Then I'd rather take no side - just my own.
The truth is, they are winning the market, because so far there have been the smartest one in this game.
If you were smarter - you could have beaten them.
Obviously none of you was - sorry Smiley

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March 06, 2012, 09:47:11 PM
 #5

+1
I deposited a load and they didnt show up, they don't answer on support so I'm stuck Sad
For both reasons I use small exchanges, or just the forum.
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March 06, 2012, 09:51:14 PM
 #6

The exchange problem is chicken & egg. Traders want to use the exchange with the most liquidity, so they avoid new exchanges.

The completely-distributed model is ideal, but there is probably an in-between solution that ties together many of the smaller exchanges.

Alternatively, new exchanges (or existing ones) could boost their apparent liquidity by creating bots similar to those on MtGox. It's a tough proposition for a trader to stare at an almost-empty order book. Filling out the book and reacting to the other exchanges' prices automatically with your bots is a step in the right direction.

Another angle is the feature offering and fee structure. MtGox is launching new features all the time, and the other exchanges aren't really competing on the fees. Most charge the horrendous 0.6% each way. So, again, what's my incentive to switch away from the liquid order book when all I have to look forward to is the same high fees, an empty book, and fewer features.

I guess that's 0.08 BTC (4 random thoughts*0.02 BTC).

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Jered Kenna (TradeHill)
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March 06, 2012, 09:56:00 PM
 #7

Is this an anti-MtGox thread?


I don't take it as that. I don't have anything against Mt Gox personally at all.
What I don't like and I think everyone will agree is having a single point of failure in Bitcoin.
Anyone is capable of making mistakes or having really bad luck / target of a crackdown etc.
If Mt Gox fails and is doing 5% of the Bitcoin exchanges taking place then it's tolerable.
If they're doing 95% (not counting OTC) and fail then the blow to Bitcoin is huge.
It's not that it can't be recovered but it would be devastating and becomes more likely as the monopoly makes them a target.
I don't care what company it is, we don't benefit from a monopoly.

-Jered

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March 06, 2012, 10:03:31 PM
 #8

It's a free market so it's up to us as adopters to choose. Mt. Gox is not the only option either for exchanging or merchant services. For example Bitpay is expanding to Europe with their merchant services right now and their service is gargantually more convenient for European merchants than the Mt. Gox solution.

Using Mt. Gox services requires having a Gox account and SEPA transfers at Gox require notary/apostille documents to be sent. With Bitpay the merchant can handle the money in their own way by either taking in bitcoins directly or fiat directly, it's much more convenient overall.

I like the fact that Mt. Gox is providing services but at the same time it's up to us to make sure we don't have all our eggs in one basket. Bitcoin users, merchants and services should make sure that they're not entirely dependent on Mt. Gox. Mt. Gox doesn't have an enforced monopoly on anything, they simply provide a good service that is very well known. Their position will get smaller (relatively) once the Bitcoin economy gets bigger and competition gets tougher.

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March 06, 2012, 10:12:34 PM
 #9

Is this an anti-MtGox thread?


I don't take it as that. I don't have anything against Mt Gox personally at all.
What I don't like and I think everyone will agree is having a single point of failure in Bitcoin.
Anyone is capable of making mistakes or having really bad luck / target of a crackdown etc.
If Mt Gox fails and is doing 5% of the Bitcoin exchanges taking place then it's tolerable.
If they're doing 95% (not counting OTC) and fail then the blow to Bitcoin is huge.
It's not that it can't be recovered but it would be devastating and becomes more likely as the monopoly makes them a target.
I don't care what company it is, we don't benefit from a monopoly.

-Jered

They are so good that they basically become a monopoly in itself. Maybe, they don't offer the best services in the world and so on, but it is very attractive and as bitcoin grow, so does mtgox's strength. Also Mtgox's strength also come from the owner's pre-existing hosting business, allowing them to bankroll mtgox's growth.

I think the best way to achieve this is to increase liquidity between all the exchanges, like what bitinstant is doing right now. This ease the ability of exchanges' ability to compete and differentiate.

If MtGox is forward thinking and willing, they should cooperate because it is in the collective interest of bitcoiners to do so. They might have to compete harder now and in the future, but if they're good entrepreneurs, they should welcome the challenge.

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March 06, 2012, 10:19:17 PM
 #10

It's voluntary centralization so I don't care. If they screw us over, we are all free to go somewhere else. Until this choice exists I don't really mind their share of the market.

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March 06, 2012, 10:51:06 PM
 #11

The exchange problem is chicken & egg. Traders want to use the exchange with the most liquidity, so they avoid new exchanges.

+1.

The people who say that MtGox is by far the best exchange have never used anything else. There are really good alternatives out there and some of them are better than MtGox. The problem is that there isn't enough liquidity because everyone trades at the same place.
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March 06, 2012, 11:25:07 PM
 #12

It's voluntary centralization so I don't care. If they screw us over, we are all free to go somewhere else. Until this choice exists I don't really mind their share of the market.

Doesn't mean that our situation can be improved. The point of decentralization is resilience, after all.

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March 06, 2012, 11:29:27 PM
 #13

It's voluntary centralization so I don't care. If they screw us over, we are all free to go somewhere else. Until this choice exists I don't really mind their share of the market.

+1

There is strength in having many exchanges, sure. But, Bitcoin is still small, and there is also strength in one exchange being relatively strong and powerful. Gox is pioneering many things, lots behind the scenes in the legal realm, which they could not do if they were small.

Naturally, more exchanges will spring up as aggregate trading of Bitcoin increases. As of now, the market isn't deep enough to permit half a dozen massive exchanges - the spreads would be too wide, the volume too low.

And again, market-based (voluntary) centralization shouldn't get anyone upset. Strategically, it'd be nice to have more, but any of you who are concerned with Gox's market share is very free to use other exchanges, or make your own.
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March 06, 2012, 11:54:59 PM
 #14

The point of decentralization is resilience, after all.

+

Seems like as time goes on, bitcoin looks more and more like the dragon it was meant to slay.
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March 07, 2012, 12:01:41 AM
 #15

And again, market-based (voluntary) centralization shouldn't get anyone upset. Strategically, it'd be nice to have more, but any of you who are concerned with Gox's market share is very free to use other exchanges, or make your own.

Strategically, that should be our main focus.

It what allows the bitcoin system to survive hit after hit and keep on running. Keep in mind that mtgox and other exchanges were absorbing failed exchanges. It's proof of our resilience.

But to survive and to thrive, we need more, and much more.


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March 07, 2012, 12:10:17 AM
 #16

The point of decentralization is resilience, after all.

+

Seems like as time goes on, bitcoin looks more and more like the dragon it was meant to slay.

No, it doesn't. It looks more and more like the knight who can slay the dragon after all.

Again, there is all the difference in the world between "forced, coercive centralization" and "voluntary, market-based centralization." There should probably be different terms for each, because it leads to terrible confusion. So long as Bitcoin isn't heading toward the former, it is nothing like the dragon we're trying to slay.
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March 07, 2012, 12:12:47 AM
 #17

It's voluntary centralization so I don't care. If they screw us over, we are all free to go somewhere else. Until this choice exists I don't really mind their share of the market.

+1

There is strength in having many exchanges, sure. But, Bitcoin is still small, and there is also strength in one exchange being relatively strong and powerful. Gox is pioneering many things, lots behind the scenes in the legal realm, which they could not do if they were small.


Gox is pioneering, you say?
If you call pioneering to buying something that already exists(MtGox was bought) and copying bit-pay, only integrated into their exchange, then yes, they are pioneering... Roll Eyes

I usually listen to what you say and agree with you, but pioneering, really?  Shocked

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March 07, 2012, 12:15:23 AM
 #18


Again, there is all the difference in the world between "forced, coercive centralization" and "voluntary, market-based centralization." There should probably be different terms for each, because it leads to terrible confusion. So long as Bitcoin isn't heading toward the former, it is nothing like the dragon we're trying to slay.

Such market centralization often trade convenience for resiliency. I prefer to err a little bit on the safe side, but that's not what the market decide.

Anyway, I think resiliency will come from having a stronger market. Right now, we're still peanuts.

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What is this I don't even


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March 07, 2012, 12:16:07 AM
 #19

Everyone agrees, it's finding a safe alternative that's hard.
Has anyone taken a look at the Dark Exchange project?  Appears stalled now, but was an attempt to build a decentralized P2P bitcoin exchange on top of I2P.

https://cryptanalys.is/profile.php?u=kurtosis
kiba
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March 07, 2012, 12:19:14 AM
 #20

Gox is pioneering, you say?
If you call pioneering to buying something that already exists(MtGox was bought) and copying bit-pay, only integrated into their exchange, then yes, they are pioneering... Roll Eyes

I usually listen to what you say and agree with you, but pioneering, really?  Shocked

Well, MtGox was beaten when the first bitcoin exchange appears. MtGox won by being more convenient than others. They're also one of the first to implement mutli-factor authentication. Now they're competing with bitpay, which provide competition.

Not exactly original, but winners are often decided on execution, not the most original idea.

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