Bitcoin Forum
December 07, 2016, 06:46:30 PM *
News: Latest stable version of Bitcoin Core: 0.13.1  [Torrent].
 
   Home   Help Search Donate Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 »  All
  Print  
Author Topic: The Big Question: 21 Million Coins (yes, I know its been asked before)  (Read 8156 times)
Yankee (BitInstant)
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1078


Charlie 'Van Bitcoin' Shrem


View Profile WWW
May 07, 2012, 05:59:37 PM
 #1

Coming from a financia and economics background, I'm always hit with this same question. I'm playing devils advocate here, and would like to see other responses

My big question on Bitcoin is: What happens after 21 million?

According to the quantity theory, zero growth of the money supply (here, the Bitcoin supply) implies that prices will rise if velocity grows at a faster rate than the Bitcoin economy. Similarly, prices will fall if velocity grows more slowly than the Bitcoin economy. But why would velocity grow? In the Bitcoin economy, velocity may rise as economic actors become more active in the Bitcoin economy and engage in more digital transactions. However, in traditional currencies, velocity tends to be fairly constant, so it stands to reason that growth of Bitcoin velocity will slow as the Bitcoin economy matures.

Then, when the upper bound of 21 million is reached, zero growth of the Bitcoin supply coupled with constant velocity implies that prices in the Bitcoin economy will have to fall at the same rate that the Bitcoin economy grows. But how will prices fall? In traditional currencies however, we observe "price stickiness." Why wouldn't we observe the same in the Bitcoin economy?

If prices don't fall, then constant money supply and constant velocity would bring the Bitcoin economy to a halt. If prices do fall, then the deflation may induce economic actors to "hold out for a better price," slowing the pace of spending.

In practice, we would observe some combination of the two. But regardless of how you conceptualize the collapse, it's important to emphasize that holding the money supply constant would push the Bitcoin economy into a death spiral. As every economic actor tries to save more (e.g. by holding out for the better price), total spending in the Bitcoin economy would slow. Bitcoin interest rates would skyrocket because no monetary authority can step in to provide liquidity. Then -- given the equality of spending and income (what is spending for me is income for you and vice versa) -- the lower income would further discourage economic actors from spending, thus deepening the slump.

In my view, such a collapse would occur despite the fact that participants in the Bitcoin economy are well-aware of the upper bound of 21 million. Even though participants expect deflation, they will still be individually unwilling to lend at negative nominal interest rates. "Why should I lend you 100 BTC today, if you will only repay me 95 BTC tomorrow?" That's the rational position of each individual economic actor, but it's collectively ruinous to the economy.

The granularity of the currency does not change the basic math. The fact that infinite deflation is technically feasible because "eight bits in a byte" takes the number of units all the way to 2.1 quadrillion does not change the fact that the total supply of Bitcoins will have stopped growing.

And that halt will cause a deflation death spiral.

UNLESS the Bitcoin economy avoids that spiral by becoming a freely floating, highly liquid, alternative means of payment for all electronically purchased goods and services. In such a scenario, the Bitcoin would appreciate over time, allowing it to serve as an investment vehicle.

Bitcoin pioneer. An apostle of Satoshi Nakamoto. A crusader for a new, better, tech-driven society. A dreamer.

More about me: http://CharlieShrem.com
1481136390
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1481136390

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1481136390
Reply with quote  #2

1481136390
Report to moderator
1481136390
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1481136390

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1481136390
Reply with quote  #2

1481136390
Report to moderator
Advertised sites are not endorsed by the Bitcoin Forum. They may be unsafe, untrustworthy, or illegal in your jurisdiction. Advertise here.
1481136390
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1481136390

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1481136390
Reply with quote  #2

1481136390
Report to moderator
SkRRJyTC
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 966


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 06:14:18 PM
 #2

Although I would like to fully understand this topic, Im afraid some of the first 2 paragraphs went over my head.  So if your reasoning already explains some of my questions, I apologize.

Why is this statement assumed to be true?

"As every economic actor tries to save more (e.g. by holding out for the better price), total spending in the Bitcoin economy would slow."

The way I look at it is, even if deflation was guaranteed, and I knew the the price of goods tomorrow would be less than the price of good today,  Im still going to buy those goods at some point, because the only other alternative is to hoard money until you die.  And the dead dont need money.

Also if you look to the technology industry you will find goods and services that are better and cheaper today than they were yesterday.  Following the deflationary death spiral logic, no one should ever buy PCs becasue they will be better and cheaper next year...

MarketNeutral
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Activity: 364


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 06:19:41 PM
 #3

Gresham and Thier advise against flipping the yield curve with all those assumptions.  Wink
evoorhees
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 994


Democracy is the original 51% attack


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 07:00:10 PM
 #4

Yes, this is the "Big Question"... does an economy work without perpetual debasement of the money supply? In the way I have phrased it, it almost answers itself, doesn't it? Stated differently to further point out the absurdity of the notion, will human beings stop trading with each other if the means of exchange they use isn't made increasingly worthless over time? Smiley

The answer, of course, is that yes, humans will trade with each other even if their money does not get debased. In fact, I would argue that in a world in which the currency is NOT debased, we might observe much healthier economic activity.

Charlie's points are representative of most of the world's opinion of monetary economics. We learn economics in school, and schools teach us (invariably) that inflation should be "low and constant", and that if we observe "deflation" the world will, in fact, end! We've been taught extensively that no matter what happens, the worst thing for an economy is deflation. The mere utterance of the word sends children crying for the hills.

Yet, what if the economics taught in school is wrong? What if deflation is, in fact, not the end of the world? Is this possible? Would people continue to buy and sell goods if they know the nominal price of those goods is likely to fall in the future? I argue that yes, absolutely people will buy things. There is certainly a question of extent here - if my grocery bill will be 1% of the price tomorrow (a 99% discount from today), then I might actually go without eating for the day, and enjoy more food tomorrow. BUT, I will not wait to eat forever. And it is in this phenomenon which the scary demon of deflation is slain.

For just as I won't wait forever to eat food (even if prices are falling), neither will I wait forever for other things. I need a car, and a house, and clothes, and a million goods that I enjoy. If prices are falling, I'll make a judgement - should I buy now, or later? The argument of the Scary Deflationists is that people will continually make the judgement "later" and will halt their purchases indefinitely, sending the economy into Paul Krugman's favorite terrifying term, a "deflationary spiral". Yikes!  But upon just a bit of consideration, we know people will not halt their purchases forever. They will buy things, and consume things, and produce things. While the patterns of these behaviors may differ under and environment of inflation vs deflation, it cannot be true that trade simply stops under the latter.

In reality, what you would find is that people may spend and consume less than they would under inflation. This means they will necessarily save more. Inflation incentivizes people to save less, spend more. Deflation incentivizes people to save more, spend less. Why is it that economic text books (those found in public schools) argue in favor of the lower savings, and against the higher savings?

The reason tends to come from a misunderstanding of how economies work. Most people think that "consumption" is what drives an economy... basically that "eating things" is what makes economies strong. Those of the Austrian School of economics, on the other hand, argue that it is in fact "production" which drives an economy. That "making things" is what makes economies strong. And thus if you understand and agree with the production argument, you would find that an environment of high savings is much more suited to permit economic growth - for most development tends to come from capital that is saved and invested. Capital that is consumed cannot be invested. And thus a deflationary environment, where people are encouraged to save more and consume less, permits a fertile ground for investment and growth.

This big argument comes down to one's fundamental view of how economies work. The majority of the world advocates consumption, and a minority advocates production. I happen to be in the minority, and thus I look forward to a world where money is not debased in perpetuity - where instead of ongoing inflation we have a money supply that tends toward constancy. The constancy of money (even if it causes falling prices) will enable a vastly stronger economy than we have today, where savings is punished and destroyed.

Now, there are Nobel Prize winning economists on both sides of this debate. One side is right, and one is wrong... and again I refer back to my first remark. Will people trade with each other without their currency being debased? I think they will, and I think they'd come to prefer it.

We all live in a world where prices are always rising. It can be scary to imagine a world where they are falling. But perhaps, just perhaps, that is actually how an economy is supposed to work.


 
Stephen Gornick
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 2002



View Profile
May 07, 2012, 07:07:29 PM
 #5

OMG,  TEH DEFLATIONS!


Economists and others stuck on this deflationary spiral never consider transaction costs in their arguments.  

Why not?

When I spend a $100 on something and pay using a payment card, the person I'm making the purchase from gets $97.  So the merchant that accepts payment cards raises the price charged for the good 3% more than it would otherwise need to be.   When I spend using bitcoin, that transaction cost -- even when exchanging to and from fiat on both ends -- is a fraction of that level.  

So with USD you have a currency that inflates at 1.5% per year but has transaction costs of 3% for each time the funds are turned over.  With Bitcoin you have a currency that will (eventually) inflate at a much lower level but whose transaction costs are just 1% or less, for example, with each turn of the money.

So at the point-of-sale, the customer is asked to choose:

Option A.) For about $103 USD using your payment card you get $100 worth of goods.    

Option B.) Optionally, you can pay using bitcoins, first convert $101 of your USDs to get $100 worth of Bitcoins and then with that you are able to purchase $100 worth of goods.

Which option will the consumer choose?

And thus, even with an expected increase in the value of bitcoin, using Bitcoins will continue to be the choice made when making payments.

-----

Faced with competition at the point of sale, an argument would be that the payment card transaction will drop to a more competitive level.  A 2% or so difference is enough of an incentive to switch for many consumers.  1% ... not so much.

What might happen though is normal payment flow will move over to bitcoin to take advantage of the discount, but the payments occurring from fraud can't (or at least if it does those losses won't be borne by the banks or the issuer) and as a result that 3% truly might be the actual floor that payment cards can still function at profitably.

Incidentally, Bitcoin's currency inflation rate just dropped below 30% per annum and slowing each and every day.  When the block reward drops in half around December, its currency inflation rate will drop from about 25% to just 12.5% per annum.  So Bitcoin still is at a rapid inflationary level yet hoarding also is happening at the same time.

tl;dr: The appreciating value of the currency is not the only factor used when choosing which method to use when making a payment.  The cost savings from using Bitcoin more than offsets the cost to replenish the amount of bitcoins used for spending, thus protecting it from any deflationary spiral.

(this is a cross-post from here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3040.msg876761#msg876761 )

Yankee (BitInstant)
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1078


Charlie 'Van Bitcoin' Shrem


View Profile WWW
May 07, 2012, 07:44:43 PM
 #6

Yes, this is the "Big Question"... does an economy work without perpetual debasement of the money supply? In the way I have phrased it, it almost answers itself, doesn't it? Stated differently to further point out the absurdity of the notion, will human beings stop trading with each other if the means of exchange they use isn't made increasingly worthless over time? Smiley
 

"Perpetual debasement" is the insurance premium we pay against deflation risk.

Suppose we have already reached the point where the Bitcoin supply is constant. How does the Bitcoin financial system respond to velocity and exchange rate shocks? What happens when a capital-inflow bonanza goes into reverse? What natural force pushes Bitcoin real interest rates back down to levels at which borrowing and lending occurs?

If no such natural force exists, then ONLY a central bank can provide the liquidity needed to avert a financial meltdown.

Bitcoin pioneer. An apostle of Satoshi Nakamoto. A crusader for a new, better, tech-driven society. A dreamer.

More about me: http://CharlieShrem.com
Etlase2
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 798


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 07:53:45 PM
 #7

If no such natural force exists, then ONLY a central bank can provide the liquidity needed to avert a financial meltdown.

This isn't true. Satoshi and other bitcoin elites will happily step in and liquidate the market for the price of a few islands in the bahamas. JP Morgan did it prior to the fed on several occasions.

Now the real question is how often will this be necessary, and how likely are the the wealthy to collude and manipulate to cause these financial messes?

evoorhees
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 994


Democracy is the original 51% attack


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 08:03:47 PM
 #8

"Perpetual debasement" is the insurance premium we pay against deflation risk.

I'd rather not pay money to ensure that my purchasing power is continually reduced. That's a pretty silly insurance policy. Should we also argue that our 35% income tax rate is the "insurance policy" we pay against anarchy risk? Smiley

Suppose we have already reached the point where the Bitcoin supply is constant. How does the Bitcoin financial system respond to velocity and exchange rate shocks? What happens when a capital-inflow bonanza goes into reverse? What natural force pushes Bitcoin real interest rates back down to levels at which borrowing and lending occurs?

If no such natural force exists, then ONLY a central bank can provide the liquidity needed to avert a financial meltdown.

Yes let's assume Bitcoin supply is constant at 21m. How does the Bitcoin financial system respond to velocity and exchange rate shocks?  Prices are self-correcting, they don't need to be managed or shepherded over. If the USD/BTC exchange rate goes out of whack, then speculators will tend to take advantage of the discrepancy and the rate will be corrected (this happens everyday using BitInstant!).

Interest rates are also self-correcting. When they go too high, they encourage savers to deposit funds and invest them, and money becomes less scarce. Interest rates then fall, and the savers lose the incentive. Thus, it's constantly rebalancing. The interest rate cannot shoot off in one direction forever, except in cases of extreme hyper-inflation or hyper-deflation. Both of which are impossible with Bitcoin (let's also remember Bitcoin is not actually deflationary... it's merely neither inflationary or deflationary, because the money supply is constant).

Let's also remember that "financial meltdowns" are more common and more serious when central banks exist. Great Depression? Central Bank. Post WWI currency crises in Europe? Central Banks. 20% interest rates in the 80's? Central Banks. 98% devaluation of USD happened since Central Bank was created (currency had no devaluation prior). Current global financial crisis and destruction of Europe? Central Banks.

The central banks are what CAUSE the financial problems, because they are trying to centrally plan the price of money. Just as the Soviet Union learned that central planning fails when it comes to food and clothing, it also fails (and for the same reason) when it comes to money itself.
Etlase2
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 798


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 08:18:05 PM
 #9

Interest rates are also self-correcting. When they go too high, they encourage savers to deposit funds and invest them, and money becomes less scarce. Interest rates then fall, and the savers lose the incentive. Thus, it's constantly rebalancing.

Except that we're forgetting that interest rates will be going high if money is scarce. By putting money back into circulation by investing at interest, you are lowering the scarcity of the money and lowering its value. Ergo the whole negative interest problem.

Quote
The interest rate cannot shoot off in one direction forever, except in cases of extreme hyper-inflation or hyper-deflation. Both of which are impossible with Bitcoin (let's also remember Bitcoin is not actually deflationary... it's merely neither inflationary or deflationary, because the money supply is constant).

God this board is such a trolling economist's wet dream. "Deflation is good, here is why (give examples of price deflation). Inflation is bad, here is why (give examples of monetary base inflation)." MAKE UP YOUR MIND. Money supply = currency in circulation. The supply can deflate and inflate even against a fixed monetary base.

Quote
Let's also remember that "financial meltdowns" are more common and more serious when central banks exist.

Let's also forget the yearly banking panics prior to central banking because it suits our point of view better.

Yankee (BitInstant)
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1078


Charlie 'Van Bitcoin' Shrem


View Profile WWW
May 07, 2012, 08:28:20 PM
 #10

Someone recommended this book, when I showed him this thread

http://www.amazon.com/This-Time-Different-Centuries-Financial/dp/0691152640/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Quote
Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing--and recovering--their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, "this time is different"--claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. With this breakthrough study, leading economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff definitively prove them wrong. Covering sixty-six countries across five continents, This Time Is Different presents a comprehensive look at the varieties of financial crises, and guides us through eight astonishing centuries of government defaults, banking panics, and inflationary spikes--from medieval currency debasements to today's subprime catastrophe. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, leading economists whose work has been influential in the policy debate concerning the current financial crisis, provocatively argue that financial combustions are universal rites of passage for emerging and established market nations. The authors draw important lessons from history to show us how much--or how little--we have learned.

Using clear, sharp analysis and comprehensive data, Reinhart and Rogoff document that financial fallouts occur in clusters and strike with surprisingly consistent frequency, duration, and ferocity. They examine the patterns of currency crashes, high and hyperinflation, and government defaults on international and domestic debts--as well as the cycles in housing and equity prices, capital flows, unemployment, and government revenues around these crises. While countries do weather their financial storms, Reinhart and Rogoff prove that short memories make it all too easy for crises to recur.

An important book that will affect policy discussions for a long time to come, This Time Is Different exposes centuries of financial missteps.

Overnighting this one!

Bitcoin pioneer. An apostle of Satoshi Nakamoto. A crusader for a new, better, tech-driven society. A dreamer.

More about me: http://CharlieShrem.com
evoorhees
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 994


Democracy is the original 51% attack


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 08:44:29 PM
 #11

Let's also forget the yearly banking panics prior to central banking because it suits our point of view better.

Sigh. Those were due to A) fraction reserve banking and B) US laws which prevented banks in the 19th century from having multiple branches, thus preventing them from diversifying their risk pools (if anything bad happened in a town, there'd be a run on the bank, since it was known that bank couldn't by itself cover the deposits).

And let's also remember that even regardless of those short-term banking panics (which were not as common as you seem to indicate), the 19th century saw the rise of the most productive and powerful economy in the world, lifting tens of millions of people out of poverty and raising living standards immeasurably, even with multitudes of immigrants arriving. I'll take that over the stagnant, debt-riddled socialist mires of the modern era.

The more you look into the "problems of free market capitalism" the more you will discover they tend to stem in fact from government policy. The free market is not perfect, but it gets unfairly shit on by people who seek to control others.
chrisrico
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 496


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 08:45:01 PM
 #12

Yes, this is the "Big Question"... does an economy work without perpetual debasement of the money supply? In the way I have phrased it, it almost answers itself, doesn't it? Stated differently to further point out the absurdity of the notion, will human beings stop trading with each other if the means of exchange they use isn't made increasingly worthless over time? Smiley
 

"Perpetual debasement" is the insurance premium we pay against deflation risk.

Suppose we have already reached the point where the Bitcoin supply is constant. How does the Bitcoin financial system respond to velocity and exchange rate shocks? What happens when a capital-inflow bonanza goes into reverse? What natural force pushes Bitcoin real interest rates back down to levels at which borrowing and lending occurs?

If no such natural force exists, then ONLY a central bank can provide the liquidity needed to avert a financial meltdown.

Did you bother to read the rest of evoorhees' reply?
Yankee (BitInstant)
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1078


Charlie 'Van Bitcoin' Shrem


View Profile WWW
May 07, 2012, 08:56:54 PM
 #13

Yes, this is the "Big Question"... does an economy work without perpetual debasement of the money supply? In the way I have phrased it, it almost answers itself, doesn't it? Stated differently to further point out the absurdity of the notion, will human beings stop trading with each other if the means of exchange they use isn't made increasingly worthless over time? Smiley
 

"Perpetual debasement" is the insurance premium we pay against deflation risk.

Suppose we have already reached the point where the Bitcoin supply is constant. How does the Bitcoin financial system respond to velocity and exchange rate shocks? What happens when a capital-inflow bonanza goes into reverse? What natural force pushes Bitcoin real interest rates back down to levels at which borrowing and lending occurs?

If no such natural force exists, then ONLY a central bank can provide the liquidity needed to avert a financial meltdown.

Did you bother to read the rest of evoorhees' reply?

Yes,

Albeit, him and I have been discussing this on skype before/after/during.

Full disclosure, Erik is part of the Bitinstant team as well.

Yep, we argue Econimics in work all day- don't you wanna work for us  Cool

Bitcoin pioneer. An apostle of Satoshi Nakamoto. A crusader for a new, better, tech-driven society. A dreamer.

More about me: http://CharlieShrem.com
matthewh3
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1372



View Profile WWW
May 07, 2012, 08:59:55 PM
 #14

I'm not an economist but if deflation becomes a problem won't they just add a a few digits to the eight bitcoin has already got?

chrisrico
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 496


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 09:13:21 PM
 #15

Yes,

Albeit, him and I have been discussing this on skype before/after/during.

Full disclosure, Erik is part of the Bitinstant team as well.

Yep, we argue Econimics in work all day- don't you wanna work for us  Cool

Ah, ok. It seemed like you took one minor part of his post and ran with it, where he addressed the myths that falling prices leads to delaying purchases indefinitely, and that purchasing is what drives an economy rather than production. If those two assumptions are not proven true, I see no further argument against having a fixed money supply and letting improved capital drive down prices.
evoorhees
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 994


Democracy is the original 51% attack


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 09:21:27 PM
 #16

I'm not an economist but if deflation becomes a problem won't they just add a a few digits to the eight bitcoin has already got?

Separate issues.

"Deflation" deals with the supply of money. The eight (or more) decimals of Bitcoin deals with notation. Adding zeros doesn't increase or decrease supply, it just changes the way it's notated, allowing smaller pieces (of the same supply) to be transferred.
Etlase2
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 798


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 09:23:43 PM
 #17

Sigh. Those were due to A) fraction reserve banking and B) US laws which prevented banks in the 19th century from having multiple branches, thus preventing them from diversifying their risk pools (if anything bad happened in a town, there'd be a run on the bank, since it was known that bank couldn't by itself cover the deposits).

Fun how you only respond to the part of the post for which you have an answer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1907
Quote
Primary causes of the run include a retraction of market liquidity by a number of New York City banks and a loss of confidence among depositors, exacerbated by unregulated side bets at bucket shops.

Quote
And let's also remember that even regardless of those short-term banking panics (which were not as common as you seem to indicate), the 19th century saw the rise of the most productive and powerful economy in the world, lifting tens of millions of people out of poverty and raising living standards immeasurably, even with multitudes of immigrants arriving. I'll take that over the stagnant, debt-riddled socialist mires of the modern era.

You go from bashing FRB to praising it within two sentences. http://www.economicsreform.com/index.php/the-industrial-revolution-a-new-view/ - this guy claims it is a new view but I have read it before and it does make sense. Although I will not claim it is the defining force of the industrial revolution like you would equate Mises to being an infallible economic god. Btw, he agrees that money supply != monetary base.

Quote
The more you look into the "problems of free market capitalism" the more you will discover they tend to stem in fact from government policy. The free market is not perfect, but it gets unfairly shit on by people who seek to control others.

I think you mean free market banking, not capitalism. And what bitcoin is most certainly not is free market banking. It is the most extreme form of banking regulation you could possibly imagine.

miscreanity
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1078


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 09:37:25 PM
 #18

Let's also remember that "financial meltdowns" are more common and more serious when central banks exist. Great Depression? Central Bank. Post WWI currency crises in Europe? Central Banks. 20% interest rates in the 80's? Central Banks. 98% devaluation of USD happened since Central Bank was created (currency had no devaluation prior). Current global financial crisis and destruction of Europe? Central Banks.

The central banks are what CAUSE the financial problems, because they are trying to centrally plan the price of money. Just as the Soviet Union learned that central planning fails when it comes to food and clothing, it also fails (and for the same reason) when it comes to money itself.

A graphical representation:

This is a pretty nice chart:


evoorhees
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 994


Democracy is the original 51% attack


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 09:37:47 PM
 #19

Alright since you require a response to each part of your initial posting, I'll oblige. I singled out your last point originally because I thought it was the most important to address.

Interest rates are also self-correcting. When they go too high, they encourage savers to deposit funds and invest them, and money becomes less scarce. Interest rates then fall, and the savers lose the incentive. Thus, it's constantly rebalancing.

Except that we're forgetting that interest rates will be going high if money is scarce. By putting money back into circulation by investing at interest, you are lowering the scarcity of the money and lowering its value. Ergo the whole negative interest problem.

I'm not forgetting that interest rates increase as money becomes scarce. That's no different from what I'm saying. Prices rise when goods are scarce. When money is scarce, the price of money (interest rate) rises. This brings incentive for savers to deposit their money with those interest-bearing accounts and through this mechanism the supply and demand for money is brought into balance.

I don't see what you mean by a "negative interest problem." Who cares if interest rates go negative? Is it that odd that under a world of falling prices, a rate of -2% might still be a good deal? If prices fall at a rate of -3% per year, then one should be happy with a -2% interest rate. It is not the nominal rate which is important for enabling an economy to function, but the real rate.  I see no reason to think interest rates can't or shouldn't go negative in a world of falling prices.


The interest rate cannot shoot off in one direction forever, except in cases of extreme hyper-inflation or hyper-deflation. Both of which are impossible with Bitcoin (let's also remember Bitcoin is not actually deflationary... it's merely neither inflationary or deflationary, because the money supply is constant).

God this board is such a trolling economist's wet dream. "Deflation is good, here is why (give examples of price deflation). Inflation is bad, here is why (give examples of monetary base inflation)." MAKE UP YOUR MIND. Money supply = currency in circulation. The supply can deflate and inflate even against a fixed monetary base.

Quote
Let's also remember that "financial meltdowns" are more common and more serious when central banks exist.

Let's also forget the yearly banking panics prior to central banking because it suits our point of view better.

Sorry, what am I being unclear about? Both monetary inflation and deflation are equally bad. Money supply should tend toward constancy. A rate of 0% inflation/deflation means money is unchanging, and this enables a market economy to better use it as a unit of measurement, in the same way that a yard stick ought to remain at one length, or that a foot shouldn't be 13" next year and 14" after that.

Bitcoin is the first money that is neither inflationary nor deflationary - it approaches constancy. This is good.
evoorhees
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 994


Democracy is the original 51% attack


View Profile
May 07, 2012, 09:40:55 PM
 #20

Another great chart... Smiley 

"In other words, the value of the dollar remained extremely stable for 150 years, then The Fed was created in order to "stabilize the value of the dollar" and the result has been a 95% devaluation of the dollar in less than 100 years following its creation. "

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/voorhees1.1.1.html


Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 »  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Sponsored by , a Bitcoin-accepting VPN.
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!