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Author Topic: What if someone bought up all the existing bitcoins?  (Read 25383 times)
DeathAndTaxes
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March 28, 2012, 06:37:50 PM
 #21

He wouldn't need to buy all of them. If his purchasing streak pushes prices up so high, or so fast, that nobody will sell them or use them, then for all practical purposes, bitcoin is dead. A currency with no current is not.

Of course.  It is so easy.... er wait no it isn't.

Rising prices will cause people to NEVER (till the heat death of the universe) sell or trade. 

Is that your claim?  Really?  Can't find any flaws in it?
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March 29, 2012, 06:06:37 AM
 #22

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Rising prices will cause people to NEVER (till the heat death of the universe) sell or trade.  

Is that your claim?  Really?  Can't find any flaws in it?

Not my claim, but look up the thread, ppl saying they'll sell for billions or $infinity if it gets scarce enough.

The discussion was about some entity buying all the bitcoins, and the counter argument was that this was impossible, cause people wouldn't sell them all, because you can't force anyone to sell. Or that the price would get so high it was not feasible to trade it.
My argument is that at that point, bitcoin is no longer useful as a currency, so the malevolent entity would have reached the goal of stopping bitcoin. So he wouldn't have to actually get all 21 million of them. Just enough to stop the liquidity of it.

(P.S: Even though that's my argument, I don't believe that the value will increase infinitely as it gets more scarce. The supply / demand law doesn't work well at extremes for one. Secondly, the bitcoins are not destroyed. The entity still has them, and can dump them at any time. Would you really buy bitcoins at $1000 (or whatever would be considered a high price at that time) a pop, if you knew some entity, let's say a goverment bent on stopping it, had say 10 million bitcoins in their wallet? That would be extremely risky, thus most people would stop buying (or start selling) and stop the price increase.

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March 29, 2012, 02:03:58 PM
 #23

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Rising prices will cause people to NEVER (till the heat death of the universe) sell or trade.  

Is that your claim?  Really?  Can't find any flaws in it?

Not my claim, but look up the thread, ppl saying they'll sell for billions or $infinity if it gets scarce enough.

The discussion was about some entity buying all the bitcoins, and the counter argument was that this was impossible, cause people wouldn't sell them all, because you can't force anyone to sell. Or that the price would get so high it was not feasible to trade it.
My argument is that at that point, bitcoin is no longer useful as a currency, so the malevolent entity would have reached the goal of stopping bitcoin. So he wouldn't have to actually get all 21 million of them. Just enough to stop the liquidity of it.

(P.S: Even though that's my argument, I don't believe that the value will increase infinitely as it gets more scarce. The supply / demand law doesn't work well at extremes for one. Secondly, the bitcoins are not destroyed. The entity still has them, and can dump them at any time. Would you really buy bitcoins at $1000 (or whatever would be considered a high price at that time) a pop, if you knew some entity, let's say a goverment bent on stopping it, had say 10 million bitcoins in their wallet? That would be extremely risky, thus most people would stop buying (or start selling) and stop the price increase.


The discussion is useless. Let whoever make a try at buying "all" bitcoins so that the price will finally rise. I will sell mine at 10$ per coin already. Perhaps a big part at 8 or 6. I need to make up for a lot of costs. Topic postponed until at least 2022 or so.

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March 29, 2012, 03:29:27 PM
 #24

Somehow I like how this discussion gets started over and over again Smiley

Simple answer: If anybody would really achieve to buy all BTCs (which would cost close to all the money in the world as stated above), on average 5 minutes later some miner would have more for him. Most likely AMD would get bought up by the same mysterious guy, every university in the world would give classes on "FPGA and future mining approaches", not only WWF would rally against BTC, the price of electricity and every hardware - new or old - containing any kind of IC would sky rocket, ... crazy world Smiley

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March 29, 2012, 05:16:10 PM
 #25

What is someone bought all the gold? or oil? or electricity? or corn?




They could make a ridiculously huge tortilla chip.  Would we have enough salsa?
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March 29, 2012, 11:01:10 PM
 #26

It can be done, but it would potentially cost tens of billions of dollars for one person to buy up that much coins, as the last few thousand/hundred coins will be insanely expensive.

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MoneyIsDebt
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March 30, 2012, 11:03:05 AM
 #27

It can be done, but it would potentially cost tens of billions of dollars for one person to buy up that much coins, as the last few thousand/hundred coins will be insanely expensive.

I respectfully disagree. If there's only a few thousand bitcoins left in circulation, and one entity controls the rest, then the community will flee (probably to another blockchain), the infrastructure will shut down (why run nodes if you have no coins), exchanges will close (as trade grinds to a halt).
And in that situation, is there much value left in a bitcoin? Scarcity isn't the only thing that determines price or value. The last dodo wasn't worth "insanely much" when it was killed.

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March 30, 2012, 11:40:31 AM
 #28

If there's only a few thousand bitcoins left in circulation, and one entity controls the rest, then the community will flee (probably to another blockchain), the infrastructure will shut down (why run nodes if you have no coins), exchanges will close (as trade grinds to a halt).
And in that situation, is there much value left in a bitcoin? Scarcity isn't the only thing that determines price or value. The last dodo wasn't worth "insanely much" when it was killed.

If we are assuming that the only motivation of this entity is to buy all coins, then your objections don't make much sense to me. If the last dodo was infinitely divisible, and every unit had the same utility as the other, then yeah, we could use that analogy. In other words, a "last Bitcoin" is practically impossible. What if 1 BTC were worth a ton of gold? How would it deter trade? It wouldn't.

On the other hand, if the question is whether such a powerful entity could destroy Bitcoin *now*, then I don't think anyone would object. Bitcoin is only as powerful as the people that support it. Negatively affecting it this may become totally unfeasible in the future though.
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Gerald Davis


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March 30, 2012, 12:40:48 PM
 #29

It can be done, but it would potentially cost tens of billions of dollars for one person to buy up that much coins, as the last few thousand/hundred coins will be insanely expensive.

I respectfully disagree. If there's only a few thousand bitcoins left in circulation, and one entity controls the rest, then the community will flee (probably to another blockchain), the infrastructure will shut down (why run nodes if you have no coins), exchanges will close (as trade grinds to a halt).
And in that situation, is there much value left in a bitcoin? Scarcity isn't the only thing that determines price or value. The last dodo wasn't worth "insanely much" when it was killed.

The entire global economy could run on a handful of Bitcoins.

21M is simply an arbitrary value.  If 20M were lost Bitcoin would work just as well on 1M coins in circulation.  If 20.9M were lost it would also work equally well with 100K coins in circulation.  Conversely if Satoshi had made the block reward 50,000 instead of 50 then Bitcoin would also work equally well with 21B coins in circulation.

Bitcoin is divisible to the 1E-8.  So 100K coins is  10,000,000,000,000 discrete units, but even that is just set by consensus.  Bitcoin could allow smallest divsions if a majority of hashing power agrees.  At sat 1E-12 that makes 100K coins in circulation = monetary base of  100,000,000,000,000,000 discrete units (that's more than the # of pennies in global money supply).



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May 31, 2012, 09:51:02 PM
 #30

I certainly wouldn't flee from the community. I'd sell half of my BTC to the insane buyer, and use .0000001 BTC like I use 1 BTC today. Plus, it's only a simple change in the code to add more decimal places.

I recommend asking me for a signature from my GPG key before doing a trade. I will NEVER deny such a request.
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August 30, 2013, 07:09:54 AM
 #31

Interesting that the Mathew Effect is being observed in BTC: https://www.goldsilverbitcoin.com/mathew-1312-bitcoin-style-the-rich-get-richer/

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August 30, 2013, 12:58:29 PM
 #32

Idk whos this guy but he can make us rich

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August 30, 2013, 01:15:16 PM
 #33

OP, it can't happen. I wouldn't sell my bitcoins hence the buyer could not buy all existing bitcoins.  Grin

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August 30, 2013, 01:52:51 PM
 #34

He wouldn't need to buy all of them. If his purchasing streak pushes prices up so high, or so fast, that nobody will sell them or use them, then for all practical purposes, bitcoin is dead. A currency with no current is not.

On the contrary, as the price of bitcoins goes up people will be more inclined to use them. People will offer steep discounts on the items they sell to get the bitcoin in the hope those bitcoins will go up in value even more.

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The best place for betting with bitcoin: BitBet.us
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August 30, 2013, 03:13:22 PM
 #35

He wouldn't need to buy all of them. If his purchasing streak pushes prices up so high, or so fast, that nobody will sell them or use them, then for all practical purposes, bitcoin is dead. A currency with no current is not.

On the contrary, as the price of bitcoins goes up people will be more inclined to use them. People will offer steep discounts on the items they sell to get the bitcoin in the hope those bitcoins will go up in value even more.

Right. The stores confirm this. Bitcoin highes are rush hours on bitmit and others.

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August 30, 2013, 04:24:00 PM
 #36

He wouldn't need to buy all of them. If his purchasing streak pushes prices up so high, or so fast, that nobody will sell them or use them, then for all practical purposes, bitcoin is dead. A currency with no current is not.

On the contrary, as the price of bitcoins goes up people will be more inclined to use them. People will offer steep discounts on the items they sell to get the bitcoin in the hope those bitcoins will go up in value even more.

Right. The stores confirm this. Bitcoin highes are rush hours on bitmit and others.

That's also a good argument for all the "deflation is bad" threads that pop up every month or so.

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August 30, 2013, 05:11:30 PM
 #37

That would be like a few billion USD, am I right?
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August 30, 2013, 06:01:30 PM
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What if someone necroposted the most stupid thread up again and again?

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September 01, 2013, 04:45:19 PM
 #39

What if someone necroposted the most stupid thread up again and again?

This thread was created to provide a place to discuss, what was once considered it seems, a frequently asked question by newbies, as presented in the
New to Bitcoin? Start here! sticky.

I never really considered it a frequent question, let alone one I myself was ever concerned about, but in the interests of completeness I thought I should play the role of a newbie asking the question to provide a place to discuss the topic... 

I created threads for all those questions in that sticky... the moderators didn't even bother adding links to the thread I created which dealt with this question:
"Could miners collude to give themselves money or fundamentally change the nature of Bitcoin?
That is perhaps a topic people new to Bitcoin might be more concerned about than someone buying up all the Bitcoins. 

That New to Bitcoin? Start here! sticky should perhaps be updated again with more relevant questions and information.

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September 01, 2013, 05:47:26 PM
 #40

He wouldn't need to buy all of them. If his purchasing streak pushes prices up so high, or so fast, that nobody will sell them or use them, then for all practical purposes, bitcoin is dead. A currency with no current is not.

A currency with no current is a store of value just as an atom that sheds no electrons is still potential energy. Bitcoin is money, not a currency traded for a single commodity at the highest market price on a universal exchange. Bitcoin is not more or less dead whether a bitcoin can be sold for $4 USD or $265 USD. People tend to hoard coins as prices move up and they tend to spend coins as prices move down. Bitcoins are commonly exchanged for values that are unrelated to a fiat currency. The market would have "current" as it finds a balance between hoarding and spending.

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