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Author Topic: The Canonical BitCoin Questions  (Read 5704 times)
eMansipater
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May 03, 2011, 07:25:40 PM
 #1

I've just completed an Introduction to BitCoin that we can sticky for newcomers, but I'd like to add an index at the end to some canonical threads around recurring questions, like:

"How do I get started using BitCoin?"
"Is BitCoin a Ponzi or pyramid scheme?" completed
"Where do I get the free money?"
"What if someone bought up all the existing bitcoins?"
"Won't loss of wallets and the finite amount of bitcoins create excessive deflation, destroying BitCoin?"
"What happens if someone starts another blockchain or cryptocurrency?"
"Could miners collude to give themselves money or fundamentally change the nature of BitCoin?"
etc.

In the long run the solution we want is a professional Q&A site, so go there first and vote for on/off topic questions to help define the site.

After you've done that, come back here and help suggest which other questions recur here often enough that they should get their own thread, linked from the index.

The idea I have for these threads is that I (or someone else) will begin the thread with a clear and concise answer to the question.  Newbies will then be free to ask for help, clarification, etc.  These threads will be clearly labelled and designated Newbie-Safe Zones so that those who are annoyed by new/ignorant users can simply avoid them.  If a newcomer asks an answered-a-million-times question on another part of the forums, they can simply be referred to the canonical thread.  Any further posting on already-answered questions outside the thread will be considered off-topic, as will unhelpful comments by "oldies" inside the marked threads.  Would I be able to get some moderator support for this?

As these forums continue to grow at an overwhelming rate, hopefully this will help the user experience for both newcomers and oldies.  Suggestions/comments/feedback?

If you found my post helpful, feel free to send a small tip to 1QGukeKbBQbXHtV6LgkQa977LJ3YHXXW8B
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eMansipater
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May 03, 2011, 09:37:30 PM
 #2

Just so you all know:  for every 100 views this post receives without reply, I kill a kitten.

If you found my post helpful, feel free to send a small tip to 1QGukeKbBQbXHtV6LgkQa977LJ3YHXXW8B
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BitterTea
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May 03, 2011, 09:48:32 PM
 #3

The kittens are safe for another hundred views!

I just added a few more example questions, since it appears that's what we need now.

"Why is the exchange rate so volatile? Will prices in Bitcoin ever stabilize?"
"Are Bitcoin transactions anonymous? How can someone link my identity to information in the block chain?"
"Doesn't Bitcoin favor early adopters, since they were able to spend comparatively fewer resources to gain a significantly larger reward?"
"Is Bitcoin a pyramid or ponzi scheme?"
eMansipater
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May 03, 2011, 09:54:03 PM
 #4

The Ponzi scheme one is a good one.  I'm going to be editing my first post and including the questions I intend to launch threads for myself, though I'm happy to have help.  Also, how should the canonical newbie threads be clearly marked?

If you found my post helpful, feel free to send a small tip to 1QGukeKbBQbXHtV6LgkQa977LJ3YHXXW8B
Visit the BitCoin Q&A Site to ask questions or share knowledge.
0.009 BTC too confusing?  Use mBTC instead!  Details at www.em-bit.org or visit the project thread to help make Bitcoin prices more human-friendly.
lulzplzkthx
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May 04, 2011, 07:10:17 PM
 #5

"How do I create a Bitcoin account?"

eMansipater
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May 04, 2011, 07:53:43 PM
 #6

"How do I create a Bitcoin account?"

Good suggestion--I added the more general "How do I get started using BitCoin?"

If you found my post helpful, feel free to send a small tip to 1QGukeKbBQbXHtV6LgkQa977LJ3YHXXW8B
Visit the BitCoin Q&A Site to ask questions or share knowledge.
0.009 BTC too confusing?  Use mBTC instead!  Details at www.em-bit.org or visit the project thread to help make Bitcoin prices more human-friendly.
Scarecrow
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May 04, 2011, 07:55:41 PM
 #7

Is an example of a Ponzi scheme a Final Salary Pension?

Hope this saves the kitten anyway.  Undecided

Faith is believing what you know isn’t true. For example, Global Warming.
grondilu
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May 04, 2011, 08:00:47 PM
 #8

I'd like to add:

"What if some people start an other block chain?  Or ten of them?  Won't that depreciate bitcoin's value?"

"What if miners collude to reward themselves more bitcoins?"

And above all:

"Since bitcoins are not backed by anything, aren't they ultimately worthless?"



PS.  But aren't all these questions in the FAQ already?  What am I missing?
gigabytecoin
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May 04, 2011, 08:08:40 PM
 #9

I would like to see something like "What Are Bitcoins Largest Vulnerabilities - MONTH - YEAR" type questions being posted/answered on a regular basis.

In other words, what should we be working on most furiously at that point in time?
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May 04, 2011, 08:15:14 PM
 #10

What about a "Keeping your bitwealth secure" section. It seems to me that some basic understanding of how and why to keep your wallet file safe is knowledge everyone should know.

P.S. feel free to kill a kitten anyway.

The gospel according to Satoshi - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Free bitcoin=https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1610684
teknohog
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minor developer


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May 04, 2011, 09:05:42 PM
 #11



I can hash cheezburger?

(A legitimate question on getting free money, if only a little redundant)

eMansipater
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May 04, 2011, 09:09:47 PM
 #12

Alright, I think I have enough to work on for now.  The "Security practices" is a good one too that I will work on if I have enough time--or someone else is welcome to.

@grondilu some of these questions are answered somewhat briefly on the wiki, but having them listed right up there in a stickied post makes it feel fairer for newbs to be redirected there and have their own threads closed if necessary.  There are also a lot of users browsing without logging in who would probably click through.  It's basically just an effort to improve the user experience of the forums.  And you're right that many of these concepts will be covered in my "introduction to bitcoin" itself.

If you found my post helpful, feel free to send a small tip to 1QGukeKbBQbXHtV6LgkQa977LJ3YHXXW8B
Visit the BitCoin Q&A Site to ask questions or share knowledge.
0.009 BTC too confusing?  Use mBTC instead!  Details at www.em-bit.org or visit the project thread to help make Bitcoin prices more human-friendly.
mewantsbitcoins
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May 04, 2011, 09:56:01 PM
 #13

eMansipater you may wanna add a link to vladimir's post how to secure a wallet http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5194.0
eMansipater
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May 04, 2011, 10:01:27 PM
 #14

eMansipater you may wanna add a link to vladimir's post how to secure a wallet http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5194.0
Definitely-will do.  I'm also going to be marking my canonical threads with "(Newbie-Friendly)" unless someone has a better suggestion.

If you found my post helpful, feel free to send a small tip to 1QGukeKbBQbXHtV6LgkQa977LJ3YHXXW8B
Visit the BitCoin Q&A Site to ask questions or share knowledge.
0.009 BTC too confusing?  Use mBTC instead!  Details at www.em-bit.org or visit the project thread to help make Bitcoin prices more human-friendly.
Danube
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May 05, 2011, 10:57:14 AM
 #15

I have some more questions to add:

- Can Bitcoins be transferred to any country? What about China?
- Is Bitcoin a green technology or does it harm the environment more than necessary?
- I like Bitcoin. How can I help?
- What happens, when I don't run the Bitcoin client on my computer? Am I still be able to receive transactions?

Greetings, Danube
Ian Maxwell
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May 05, 2011, 05:04:31 PM
 #16

"How can I / the average person ever get any bitcoins when mining takes so long?"

The idea that mining is the normal way to get bitcoins is pretty pervasive, probably because of how it's introduced, and this question keeps getting asked.

Ian Maxwell
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eMansipater
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May 05, 2011, 06:14:20 PM
 #17

"How can I / the average person ever get any bitcoins when mining takes so long?"

The idea that mining is the normal way to get bitcoins is pretty pervasive, probably because of how it's introduced, and this question keeps getting asked.
Yes, this will all be covered in the "Where do I get the free money?" thread.

I have some more questions to add:

- Can Bitcoins be transferred to any country? What about China?
- Is Bitcoin a green technology or does it harm the environment more than necessary?
- I like Bitcoin. How can I help?
- What happens, when I don't run the Bitcoin client on my computer? Am I still be able to receive transactions?

Greetings, Danube
Thanks Danube--some of these will be included in the existing threads.  Specific questions about using BitCoin in China, for example, will probably not warrant a canonical thread unless they show up again and again--they can simply be asked normally on the forums.


Just to warn you all, I'm going to disappear for a while now--it takes a long time to write and proof good answers to these types of questions!

If you found my post helpful, feel free to send a small tip to 1QGukeKbBQbXHtV6LgkQa977LJ3YHXXW8B
Visit the BitCoin Q&A Site to ask questions or share knowledge.
0.009 BTC too confusing?  Use mBTC instead!  Details at www.em-bit.org or visit the project thread to help make Bitcoin prices more human-friendly.
Danube
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May 05, 2011, 08:29:11 PM
 #18

Thanks for all your work eMansipater. Someone should put your document on weusecoins.com too.
ScriptGadget
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Clever saying.


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May 05, 2011, 11:49:35 PM
 #19

What about:

"Is bitcoin legal?"
"What can I buy with bitcoins?"

My Canary: I will never ask for a loan or offer escrow services. If someone does with this account, consider it compromised.
Danube
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May 06, 2011, 11:42:11 AM
 #20

Would it be possible to adapt eMansipaters work for the wikipedia entry about BitCoin? Probably there we have a big exposure to the public.
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