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Author Topic: Maximum value of a single bitcoin  (Read 6803 times)
PseudoCode
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May 15, 2011, 08:57:26 AM
 #21

Before anything of that level, you'll see a thousand clones.  Some will survive, some won't.  Geeks typically find something first.  Businessmen find something geeks created and actually find a way to make money on it by getting it to the general public.  The odds that anyone ever gets a mere billion dollars of wealth from Bitcoin has to be several million to 1 against it.  It's nice to dream, but it's also good to be grounded in reality.

It may be wishful thinking, but I strongly disagree with your opinion..

You are assuming the "experienced businessmen" will be able to easily create a viable alternative to Bitcoin that will suddenly, (or gradually) devalue the current version that the "geeks discovered first".

As if they could just use their capital to muscle on it and hand out a "thanks guys, but we professionals will take it from here" and we would all give up and go home ?

It Bitcoin was a private company that could be "bought out" like Hotmail was by Microsoft (for a mere 400 million, while they just paid 6 billion for Skype), then I might agree with you.

But its not.  

Bitcoin is an open-source cooperative, community effort that has taken years to get where it is today, and build the trust it now has in its early adopters.   It has taken millions of kilowatt hours of sustained distributed cryptographic hashing power to build the blockchain.   Ownership is distributed across thousands (or more) of geeks across the world

No corporation is ever going to be able to build a superior equivalent *overnight* (or even in the medium term) no matter how much money they throw at it.  It has taken millions of man hours of coding, debugging, developing, testing and slowly growing support..  No corporation in the world is rich enough to develop that again from scratch.  Not even the Microsofts, Apples, Billionaire "Business Leaders", Goverment Authorities, CIA, Evil Dictators, Market Manipulators or any other perceived opponents.   And they cannot buy just this already-developed one out from under us.

Microsoft can buy Skype or Hotmail.   They *cannot* buy "Linux".  How much do you think they would willingly pay to be able to rid the world of the free operating system for the forseeable future ?  Mere Billions ?  More I would estimate..  It threatens their future monopoly.   But they cannot buy it, and they cannot kill it.  Its distributed community-owned nature makes it unkillable (by any "power" action of theirs).

Bitcoin is the same..  Even if Corporation "X" offers $25/BTC tomorrow and convinces 40% of people sell theirs and take their profit (in a collapsing fiat currency) and to stop using it, from my understanding, it *will* survive and go on mainting and growing in Value.  This is P2P networking, it doesnt need majority support to survive.

Enough geeks, visionaries and revolutionaries will hold onto theirs to make to make the system still viable and continue to grow and offer a valuable service.  Even if it does not become "mainstream"

Especially if the "New and Improved "*"coin Ultimate Edition" version offers little benefit over the established system.. and what benefit could a later privatised version of bitcoin offer people that the current one does not have ?  Less Fees ?  Better Anonymity, more confidence that it wont go under (like companies and governments never do ?), more transparency/open sourceness ?  Like any company/government/organisation is going to enhance the users freedoms even more than BTC already does ?  Not likely.

The only two lacking areas I see in the current BTC system is ease of use (being worked on) and convenience.   (which is where Apple makes it over some of Microsofts potential customers), But neither the familair to the majority windows, nor the "easier-for-non-geeks to use" polish of Apples can offer those who value the open-ness and freedom of Linux *anything* that convinces them to abandon their freedom.

It is like a stark white walled prison cell with an open door, and a nicely decorated prison cell with an open door..  Polish it as you will, but once the users have tasted freedom, no amount of decorating the cell will convince them allow themselves to be voluntarily locked up again.

I think Bitcoin is the same.   Once people get used to their first taste of a freedom based community currency with no overseers, then no amount of polish or wallpaper will convince them to return to a controlled by someone else financial environment, no matter what "big name" is backing it.

So as long as Bitcoin does not need to become the *biggest* / default currency in order for it to continue to have value in what it does and enables, then it will never be superceded or replaced by a "business owned" version.

Just my opinion of course, but I would like to hear what you think "GovCoin" or "Facebook Credits" might offer *people who love freedom* and untouchable value (not just the masses) that will convince them to move, *and* why you think Bitcoin will fail if not eventually adopted by the majority in favour of something else (as if there can only be one successful digital currency network).

Big question I know, but its a critical perception point I think.

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Nesetalis
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May 15, 2011, 09:09:07 AM
 #22

the only way i could see bitcoin fall in to such hands.. is if they decided to throw processing power at it, enough to crush the processing power of the mass of miners.. even if they got 2 blocks for every 1.. that would put alot of power in to their hands.

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Alex Beckenham
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May 15, 2011, 09:36:37 AM
 #23

"bought out" like Hotmail was by Microsoft (for a mere 400 million

Off topic but I thought they paid only $20 million, quite early. It wasn't HoTMaiL for very long.

marcus_of_augustus
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May 15, 2011, 11:56:33 AM
 #24


Well that was a real soap-box thumper .... thanx for that.

marcus_of_augustus
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May 15, 2011, 12:01:50 PM
 #25

the only way i could see bitcoin fall in to such hands.. is if they decided to throw processing power at it, enough to crush the processing power of the mass of miners.. even if they got 2 blocks for every 1.. that would put alot of power in to their hands.

Yes. But if they are going to do that they better get moving quick (won't happen, too big, not nimble enough, too risk averse).

At the current rate of network growth they are going to have to start running pretty soon or they'll just be bit players.

PseudoCode
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May 15, 2011, 12:24:57 PM
 #26

"bought out" like Hotmail was by Microsoft (for a mere 400 million

Off topic but I thought they paid only $20 million, quite early. It wasn't HoTMaiL for very long.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotmail, 400 mill in 1997 dollars according to Wikipedia and what I read elsewhere years ago
Bimmerhead
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May 15, 2011, 12:46:04 PM
 #27

Just my opinion of course, but I would like to hear what you think "GovCoin" or "Facebook Credits" might offer *people who love freedom* and untouchable value (not just the masses) that will convince them to move, *and* why you think Bitcoin will fail if not eventually adopted by the majority in favour of something else (as if there can only be one successful digital currency network).

Big question I know, but its a critical perception point I think.


If you're defining bitcoin as the leading product for "people who love freedom", I might agree with you.  However if you think a large corporation can't fork the project and have a much more widely accepted (and thus more valuable) payments competitor in a very short time then I'd disagree.

Facebook Credits, or Google bits, or MSFTMoney or whatever would have 10-100x the acceptance almost immediately.  Most of the 600+ million users of Facebook don't care about Libertarianism, anarchy, anonymity, deflation or whatever else drew most of us to bitcoin.  However if they can transact on Facebook easily, quickly and with little transactions cost then they will be very satisfied with the FacebookBits.  And if Facebook expands their payments system to the rest of the web, as they seem inclined to do with their other offerings, then bitcoin will lose a lot of it's raison d'etre.

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PseudoCode
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May 15, 2011, 12:57:54 PM
 #28

Until Facebook/MSft,Paypal or whoever decides that "their" payment system isnt allowed to be used to buy porn, hate speech hosting, items from uzbeksitan, anti government speech, stock in the competitions parties or companies or anything that they dont approve of.

This freedom is a big part of what is driving Android's meteroic rise..  Developers and Manufacturers are tired of having to pay tribute to, or have their creations vetted by a central authority before getting to air them.

Currency should (and I believe *will*) eventually be free of anyones idealogical control.
marcus_of_augustus
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May 16, 2011, 12:15:34 AM
 #29


Yes and then there is the question of who the corporates would get to mine for them and secure their payments network.

If they had 200 million users (huge wealth store) but only a few thousand miners the thing would be ripe for the pluckings of some of the more nefarious types. They need proportional adoption at mining back-end as well to have a proportionately secure system relative to the size of the payments network.

(As an aside, I think Bitcoin is currently gold-plated security wise given the size, spread and competency of the mining back-end relative to the size of the current bitcoin transaction volume and wealth stored)

PseudoCode
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May 16, 2011, 12:46:16 AM
 #30

Most of the 600+ million users of Facebook don't care about [..]deflation or whatever else drew most of us to bitcoin. 

They wont care that *their* savings are now worth half what they used to be (in terms of spending power), whilst those using the "alternative" currency's saving are now worth more than they used to be ??   

I'll bet they *do* once they realise what controlled deflation vs hyper inflation means.
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