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Question: Will you support Gavin's new block size limit hard fork of 8MB by January 1, 2016 then doubling every 2 years?
1.  yes
2.  no

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Author Topic: Gold collapsing. Bitcoin UP.  (Read 2014262 times)
smooth
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March 15, 2015, 09:23:31 PM
 #21981

Explain why, other than "technical considerations" (as in how the hell do you do it) perhaps, Bitcoin should not have been created as a spin-off of the fiat ledger. Economically speaking, Bitcoin essentially did exactly what altcoins are accused of doing: failing to respect the existing ledger and instead attempting to impose its own. This gets attacked in both cases as pump-and-dump scams. The similarity should be quite apparent.

You seem to think I'm making a fairness argument; I'm not. I'm simply saying that it is a recipe for failure to not employ the spin-off method using the primary ledger when it can be done.

Actually I wasn't, it was more of an argument about likelihood of success. Fairness enters into it in so far as those who's economic interests aren't respected don't support the spin-off. I think you made this exact same argument.

Quote
And if that could have been done with the transition from fiat to Bitcoin, it would have. And that is basically what mining is.

Fair points. Mining is more like proof-of-burn (almost literally!) than spin-off, but there is certainly a similarity. A conventionally mined altcoin can be obtained from Bitcoin via using the Bitcoin to pay for mining right?

It is interesting to think about the subtle differences between these methods.

Quote
Vitalik makes an argument somewhere that you can get a sort of equilibrium if coins done as spin-offs only respect the ledgers of other coins that have themselves respected previous ledgers. By that standard no one should spin-off from Bitcoin.

That's pretty hilarious coming from him.

I see it as having a bit of credibility since it contradicts, in a way at least, rather strongly with what was done with Ethereum.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how you ever bootstrap this, since there doesn't seem to be an obvious way to spin off from fiat.

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March 15, 2015, 09:51:14 PM
 #21982

Mining is more like proof-of-burn (almost literally!) than spin-off, but there is certainly a similarity. A conventionally mined altcoin can be obtained from Bitcoin via using the Bitcoin to pay for mining right?

I think both proof of burn and straight mining are perfect ways to distribute altcoins as far as fairness goes. Proof of burn is nicer for BTC holders, though, since it increases bitcoin scarcity.

So we can look at at least three aspects of the various methods of distributing a new altcoin:

1) Effectiveness for long-term success of the innovation

2) Fairness

3) Favorability to Bitcoin investors

My view is that the IPO method is worst in all three, straight mining is good for 2 but not so good for 1 and bad for 3, spin-offs are good for all three (though not 3 if you think Bitcoin distro is unfair), and proof of burn is decent for 1 and good for 2 and 3. As for sidechains, it depends on the implementation but it could be anywhere from bad for all three to good for all three.

Now 3 might seem like only a good thing for Bitcoin investors, but I think it does tie in with 1 because not detracting from Bitcoin's position tends to make it more popular with bitcoiners (note the near-total ban on altcoin submissions on /r/Bitcoin). Though it could also be argued that people who think Bitcoin is unfair or bad will be turned off by 3.

In summary, spin-offs seem like the natural way to do altcoins (in the case of spin-offs they're perhaps better called "alt-protocols for the Bitcoin ledger") now that Bitcoin exists.
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March 15, 2015, 09:58:03 PM
 #21983

Mining is more like proof-of-burn (almost literally!) than spin-off, but there is certainly a similarity. A conventionally mined altcoin can be obtained from Bitcoin via using the Bitcoin to pay for mining right?

I think both proof of burn and straight mining are perfect ways to distribute altcoins as far as fairness goes. Proof of burn is nicer for BTC holders, though, since it increases bitcoin scarcity.

I'm not sure about PoB being "better" for BTC holders. Proof-of-burn forces BTC holders to make an irreversible decision. If you mess that up, you lose out, potentially a lot. A spin-off allows you to do nothing and maintain your ledger position regardless.
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March 15, 2015, 10:52:14 PM
 #21984

There's always reason for gold to depreciate as new technologies find substitutes for industrial reasons to use gold.  Also, the economy is in a global uptick so there's even more reason for disposable incomes to explore bitcoin and other digital and crypto currencies.


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cypherdoc
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March 16, 2015, 01:18:42 AM
 #21985

http://wefivekingsblog.blogspot.com/2015/03/thoughts-on-valuing-bitcoin-as-network.html?m=1
Chef Ramsay
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March 16, 2015, 02:24:22 AM
 #21986

Good grief that was long winded. Can we get a tldr concise version for the viewers or those that couldn't bare it? I read most of it and scanned the rest but most of the pricing charts were just lol boring and just plain Roll Eyes.
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March 16, 2015, 02:43:16 AM
 #21987

Good grief that was long winded. Can we get a tldr concise version for the viewers or those that couldn't bare it? I read most of it and scanned the rest but most of the pricing charts were just lol boring and just plain Roll Eyes.


The tldr for me was skimming to find that he was using the n(log n) interpretation of Metcalfe's Law, which is far more reasonable than n^2.

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
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March 16, 2015, 06:47:38 AM
 #21988

Good grief that was long winded. Can we get a tldr concise version for the viewers or those that couldn't bare it? I read most of it and scanned the rest but most of the pricing charts were just lol boring and just plain Roll Eyes.


The tldr for me was skimming to find that he was using the n(log n) interpretation of Metcalfe's Law, which is far more reasonable than n^2.

but it's still loadsa money!  Grin
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March 16, 2015, 01:37:48 PM
 #21989

Fiatcoin is nearly here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/us-bitcoin-ibm-idUSKBN0M82KB20150312\

Quote
Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.

"These coins will be part of the money supply," the source said. "It's the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain."
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March 16, 2015, 01:49:41 PM
 #21990

Fiatcoin is nearly here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/us-bitcoin-ibm-idUSKBN0M82KB20150312\

Quote
Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.

"These coins will be part of the money supply," the source said. "It's the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain."

Nice.  Now they won't even have to turn on the printing presses.  Just type in a big number and hit enter.

Counterfeit:  made in imitation of something else with intent to deceive:  merriam-webster
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March 16, 2015, 02:58:49 PM
 #21991

bitshares already has this and ive created cart plugins using it quite nice actually no volaltility risks.. u stay in the base currency.. ofcourse this assumes the peg holds which it has so far.. We dont need a centralized solution when decentralized fiat on blockchain exists

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March 16, 2015, 03:03:00 PM
 #21992

Fiatcoin is nearly here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/us-bitcoin-ibm-idUSKBN0M82KB20150312\

Quote
Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.

"These coins will be part of the money supply," the source said. "It's the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain."

Nice.  Now they won't even have to turn on the printing presses.  Just type in a big number and hit enter.

I'm assuming this means we then get accurate insight into exactly what the money supply is. No more shadowstats! No more government handwaving about inflation!

Not such a bad thing?

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March 16, 2015, 04:04:30 PM
 #21993

Fiatcoin is nearly here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/us-bitcoin-ibm-idUSKBN0M82KB20150312\

Quote
Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.

"These coins will be part of the money supply," the source said. "It's the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain."

Nice.  Now they won't even have to turn on the printing presses.  Just type in a big number and hit enter.

I'm assuming this means we then get accurate insight into exactly what the money supply is. No more shadowstats! No more government handwaving about inflation!

Not such a bad thing?

Or likely to come to pass!
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March 16, 2015, 05:56:12 PM
 #21994

On forkability in general, I see it as a great strength, not a weakness. It means that the economic majority is always in control even when major changes have to be made.

As a side note, I find it cumbersome during deeper analysis to think in terms of "Bitcoin." Rather, I think more fluidly in terms of the economic majority ledger (currently known as the Bitcoin ledger). Forking the protocol is largely powerless* to affect the economic majority ledger, because - by the same logic as in my previous two posts - the new protocol fork only retains control of the economic majority ledger to the extent that the protocol change is compelling to the economic majority.**

Since every differentiated protocol fork (here I mean altcoins) has so far created an entirely new ledger, of course they aren't very compelling to the economic majority, receiving at most tepid investment interest. A spin-off would be based on the economic majority ledger, so it would have a great advantage over an altledger/altcoin, though if it wasn't compelling it would just be sold off by bitcoin holders for more bitcoins.

If a substantially different protocol fork or spin-off is ever more compelling to the economic majority, and of course using the same ledger is the first requirement for that, it would be adopted. The economic majority retains their ledger with their wealth in all cases. Bitcoin-the-protocol may be no more, but the ledger stays so bitcoin holders have nothing to fear except a re-naming.

Suppose a substantial segment of the economic majority shows interest in some change you find repulsive. Likely many others will agree with you, so in some unlikely scenarios you will potentially have two ledgers form over time.** If this does occur, it's the most amazing form of democracy (not voice democracy, but exit democracy) because everyone can use the system they want without compromise. However, again, there is a strong tendency to simply converge on ideal money based on the wisdom of (investing) crowds.

For instance, if we suppose a substantial segment of the economic majority shows interest FedCoin, then the legal situation may make it likely that the two coexist, with Bitcoin either on the black market in that country or competing directly with FedCoin. In that case, again, exit-democracy prevails and the Feds have no more tools to corrupt cryptocurrency than they do now (see the arguments in my two previous posts).

Here's another important implication of thinking in terms of the economic majority ledger: Bitcoin issuance is not limited to 21 million coins because of the protocol, but because of the exit-democratic consensus of the economic majority. It is incorrect to say we have moved from an era of control by central bankers to an era of control by mathematics. We have moved to an era of control by the economic majority.

This is a great advance, but not because "no one" can change the protocol, but because no one can force any group of people to stop using it. To effectively change the coin limit, you have to either convince the economic majority to do so, which is a herculean task, or convince some subset of the economic majority - but then that doesn't affect the rest of the people. That means the coin limit could change (for example, in 50 years to deal with mining incentives), but not without a reason that is so incredibly compelling that it sways all or most of the economic majority - in which case the typical bitcoiner should probably not worry, despite how bad it sounds, because the economic majority has those same reservations to overcome. And also we know that the change wouldn't allow for any net-harmful degree of continuing inflation or other effects, because the wisdom of the economic majority would be behind it.***

This is the kind of guarantee Bitcoin provides; it's essentially a decentralized governance where voice vs. exit is fully exercised at all times. What Bitcoin provides is not a guarantee by code or math, rather code and math are what enforce the "edicts" of this decentralized governance structure subject to the continual pressures of voice and exit backed by investment flows.

If, for example, the economic majority believes that increasing max_blocksize to 20MB or shorter block times or Turing completeness will make the protocol for updating the economic majority ledger more compelling, a fork incorporating these changes would thrive and beat out the Bitcoin Classic protocol.

So to me, all that's required for Bitcoin-the-ledger to survive in perpetuity and make every investor rich is for the protocol to be upgraded if and only if the economic majority deems it truly compelling, with all the prudence about viability that that entails. Forking makes that happen, giving that critical exit option to balance voice, which in Bitcoin is already vastly superior to government democracy voice since it's backed by actual money.

*So far around 90% powerless, considering the combined market cap of all the altledgers compared to the economic majority ledger (Bitcoin).

**Although some kind of 50/50 or 40/60 split could happen in theory, the incentives involved make it seem unlikely in practice - and even if it does happen (because both forks are highly compelling in their own right), the market can only support a few such splits because there are only so many protocol feature sets to compete on through differentiation.

***If you're skeptical of the wisdom of the economic majority, first realize this is what controls Bitcoin right now, in fact, as is the theme of this post. Secondly realize this is as good as it gets; there is no way to create a system smarter than the economic majority, at least not without centralization (and in my opinion not even then). Third, if you're convinced that prediction markets are a huge deal, this should be appealing for the same reasons. If you're not sold on prediction markets, read the five numbered documents here. Although Truthcoin may be a misguided system, Paul Sztorc's arguments on the importance of prediction markets are impressive.

Excellent post, thank you.

As you stated, bitcoin is a more democratic form of money, where the economic majority have a voice and a small group cannot control the system. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of the system. Additionally any minority of users can always choose to stay on the ledger/path they choose.

I think where we differ is in how much confidence to place in the decisions of the economic majority. Your position is that you trust the economic majority will always choose the "right" thing because it is in their self-interest. I believe there is strong historical precedent where the economic majority have both willing selected and been coerced into decisions that are against their own interests, and so I place less confidence in the decisions of the economic majority. I prefer a strong rules based system that is out of the hands of man, and fear anything else will be influenced negatively over time.

Bitcoin issuance is not limited to 21 million coins because of the protocol, but because of the exit-democratic consensus of the economic majority. It is incorrect to say we have moved from an era of control by central bankers to an era of control by mathematics. We have moved to an era of control by the economic majority.

Fully agree that in the end the 21M limit exists because the majority chooses for it to exist, not solely because of the protocol.

Disagree that the limit will remain because the economic majority will protect the limit. If that was true, please explain how they broke the gold standard? The economic majority of physical gold holders were against it, they massively lost out in the default, and yet it still happened. If you look at the history, after the default they were no longer the economic majority (because they were devalued) and no longer had control. The economic majority shifted to the government which could now create wealth out of thin air and have everyone go along "because crisis".

If let's say hypothetically the government declared a fork with 210M coins, they would now control 189M coins, a clear economic majority. They could also convince the majority of people to go along because the government would offer those 189M coins as various "services" to voters. The economic majority you described, would no longer be a majority and would now be a very small economic minority.  This is not a hypothetical, it is history and has already happened. If you walk through the mechanics of the 1933 default it follows the outline above.

Point is, I don't believe a demographic majority want the principles of sound money, and if bitcoin ever takes hold there will be a multitude of attacks. The main protections against this are to have bitcoin be used directly as much as possible (i.e. own wallet, not through circle.com services) and to have forks be rare events making it harder to push regulation/etc into bitcoin. Part of the reason they were able to break the gold standard is people had already stopped using physical gold directly, and mostly only used paper gold, and thus they had no method to resist the changes. If in 1932 people still mostly used physical gold for transactions and not paper gold dollars, I think the 1933 default would have been much more difficult.

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March 16, 2015, 07:21:40 PM
 #21995

Fiatcoin is nearly here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/us-bitcoin-ibm-idUSKBN0M82KB20150312\

Quote
Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.

"These coins will be part of the money supply," the source said. "It's the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain."

Nice.  Now they won't even have to turn on the printing presses.  Just type in a big number and hit enter.

I'm assuming this means we then get accurate insight into exactly what the money supply is. No more shadowstats! No more government handwaving about inflation!

Not such a bad thing?

Just a guess but fiatcoin's blockchain will probably be private, all clients essentially just client/server so money supply is obfuscated.  Likely devices won't hold their private keys, or there will be a master private key that can spend from all accounts.  No other way for the government to freeze accounts, implement asset forfeiture, etc.
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March 16, 2015, 07:41:01 PM
 #21996

Fiatcoin is nearly here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/us-bitcoin-ibm-idUSKBN0M82KB20150312\

Quote
Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.

"These coins will be part of the money supply," the source said. "It's the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain."

Nice.  Now they won't even have to turn on the printing presses.  Just type in a big number and hit enter.

I'm assuming this means we then get accurate insight into exactly what the money supply is. No more shadowstats! No more government handwaving about inflation!

Not such a bad thing?

Just a guess but fiatcoin's blockchain will probably be private, all clients essentially just client/server so money supply is obfuscated.  Likely devices won't hold their private keys, or there will be a master private key that can spend from all accounts.  No other way for the government to freeze accounts, implement asset forfeiture, etc.


Fedcoin is obviously a dumb idea. It's effectively the same level (or worse) of why-are-you-bothering-with-a-blockchain as doing a gold or silver "backed" cryptocurrency. If you have a fundamentally centralized system, then adding a blockchain just makes it more complex for no reason. Just fire up some servers and make a good API instead.

People *still* don't understand the problem that blockchains actually solve.

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
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March 16, 2015, 07:47:48 PM
 #21997

Fiatcoin is nearly here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/us-bitcoin-ibm-idUSKBN0M82KB20150312\

Quote
Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.

"These coins will be part of the money supply," the source said. "It's the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain."

Nice.  Now they won't even have to turn on the printing presses.  Just type in a big number and hit enter.

I'm assuming this means we then get accurate insight into exactly what the money supply is. No more shadowstats! No more government handwaving about inflation!

Not such a bad thing?

Just a guess but fiatcoin's blockchain will probably be private, all clients essentially just client/server so money supply is obfuscated.  Likely devices won't hold their private keys, or there will be a master private key that can spend from all accounts.  No other way for the government to freeze accounts, implement asset forfeiture, etc.


Fedcoin is obviously a dumb idea. It's effectively the same level (or worse) of why-are-you-bothering-with-a-blockchain as doing a gold or silver "backed" cryptocurrency. If you have a fundamentally centralized system, then adding a blockchain just makes it more complex for no reason. Just fire up some servers and make a good API instead.

People *still* don't understand the problem that blockchains actually solve.

Yep, we are still so early.

Frankly, I'm amazed at the low level of sophisticated analysis coming out of IBM regarding Bitcoin. But then again, I bet much of it is being driven by Richard Gendal whom I have been even less impressed.

Perhaps IBM is a quintessential example of a big corporation who's benefited so greatly from inflation that they've been blinded.
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March 16, 2015, 08:22:09 PM
 #21998


As you stated, bitcoin is a more democratic form of money, where the economic majority have a voice and a small group cannot control the system. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of the system. Additionally any minority of users can always choose to stay on the ledger/path they choose.


Any democratic system of money is far inferior to Bitcoin.  It is fundamentally the opposite of that, it is an economic system.
An occurrence of democratic action is seen as a threat to Bitcoin, AKA 51% attack.

Voting is in all cases the supreme failure of an attempt to create quality.  Where there is quality, voting is not needed.  Voting is for avoiding violent conflict by replacing it with as much as possible with social conflict.  It is the use of law against others, and it is for subjugating minorities.  We in democratic societies are taught how wonderful it is to have democracy, and it is better than most any other option, but it is also utter crap.  I do not wish for a "democratic" system of money and I am very happy that Bitcoin isn't one.

It is a failing of Gold, that there exists a gold fix, where a small group vote on the price.  There is only democracy in a monetary system to the extent that the system lacks quality.  It is a sign of failure, not success.

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March 16, 2015, 08:35:52 PM
 #21999

Disagree that the limit will remain because the economic majority will protect the limit. If that was true, please explain how they broke the gold standard?

Isn't this just the difference between a geographically selected community where a central government is in control (the US population) and a non-territorial self-selected community where the economic-majority "decentralized governance" is in control (Bitcoin)?

In other words, isn't this in some sense just the question of statism vs. anarchy, or centralization vs. decentralization, restated? The whole idea of economic majority control only works because of the exit dynamic afforded by the decentralized nature of cryptoledgers.

It seems to me that insofar as you buy the argument that decentralization or non-territorialism, wherein this voice/exit dynamic gets maximum play, is superior to centralization and territorial monopolies of power wherein you cannot exit without physically emigrating, you would also buy my argument in the long post above that there is nothing to fear from forkability.

As an example, if when the gold standard was broken people could choose to fork off and keep the gold standard, regardless of being geographically located in the United States, the legislation could not have passed, or if it did it wouldn't have been effective - at least not for those in the population who care about sound money. The economic majority among US citizens may have supported going off the gold standard, but then there is still a minority who want to keep the gold standard. In a statist system, the minority is the minority and gets overridden; in an anarchic system, the economic minority simply becomes the economic majority of a smaller community and retains the system they prefer. (If they deem their differences sufficient to make it worth breaking away.)

The economic majority of physical gold holders were against it, they massively lost out in the default, and yet it still happened.

Reiterating the above point for clarity, this tragedy happened because the gold holders weren't allowed to "exit in place," and I assume they weren't in fact allowed to exit US territory at all (with their gold). This is a problem of statism, but Bitcoin is not a statist system. In Bitcoin the economic majority, or perhaps we can refine the phrasing even further and say each economic community (defined by their similar beliefs about what is ideal money), can always choose their own fork.

My "economic majority" phrasing becomes a little confusing here because we must continually ask, "A majority among whom?" A large enough minority with enough difference of opinion from the majority will break away and become the economic majority of a community of people who agree with their values. There are still reasons why each little economic community with varying beliefs about ideal money will not necessarily fork off: size is an advantage, voice can still work if the minority makes convincing arguments, etc.

The main thing I want to point out is that there is a set of implications in this shift from mostly voice-only territorial democratic control to fully-enabled location-independent voice+exit control,* in other words there is a set of implications of the exit dynamic getting full play for the first time, and I think these implications haven't been fully understood or at least not fully internalized.

Note: Although I'm arguing in this vein, I don't even think I myself have fully internalized the implications of now having a real exit option available at all times. I feel like I can see some of them implicitly but I'm not sure I could articulate the full set of implications yet. I'd like the above arguments hinting at some of the counterintuitive implications to be fleshed out and made more explicit, perhaps through further debate. The semantic challenges this new idea poses are also pretty formidable: the term "majority" becomes fluid in a way we aren't used to, for instance, as mentioned above, and even the term "Bitcoin" develops a dynamic character that at first feels unsettling.

*I'll quit using the term "exit-democracy" for this, to avoid confusion, because I think the associations of the word democracy to voting (voice) are just too strong.
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March 16, 2015, 08:56:30 PM
 #22000

Fiatcoin is nearly here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/us-bitcoin-ibm-idUSKBN0M82KB20150312\

Quote
Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.

"These coins will be part of the money supply," the source said. "It's the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain."

I don't get it... Isn't this taking the worst of both worlds?

PGP key molecular F9B70769 fingerprint 9CDD C0D3 20F8 279F 6BE0  3F39 FC49 2362 F9B7 0769
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