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Melbustus
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September 11, 2012, 09:06:47 AM
 #121

I would argue bitcoin is tangible for the purposes of the argument presented in the sense that you can lock it away from access to third parties ("physically own it"). "tangible" == "not paper" == "no third party risk".

Maybe it'd be better to say: "Anything that doesn't involve some kind of a promise and can be owned unconditionally will go up" instead?

Unfortunately, in some kind of an economic meltdown situation, bitcoin might become generally unusable for a while. Temporarily nonexistant.

The word tangible means 'perceptible by touch' or 'cear and definite; real' but the etymology for tangibility has more to do with mental sense than corporeal status. It appears to be used to connote realness as opposed to fantasy, delusion or illusion.

I have been thinking a lot about tangibility and how it applies in monetary science in an attempt to formulate a rule or theorem.

In the Information Age I think organized information, information objects, can have properties of tangibility just as clear and definite, or real, as physical objects. Thus, for something to be real it does not have to be corporeal.

The Bitcoin Magazine exists in both a corporeal (paper) and incorporeal (PDF) form. Both are both clear and definite thus they are equally real. One is an information object the other a physical object. But this distinguishment does not go to tangibility as they both exist in the real world and are not figments of imagination, fantasy, delusion or illusion. We would agree that the Bitcoin Magazine Issue #1 is tangible, regardless of of paper or PDF form, and flying fire breathing black dragons are not tangible.

A bitcoin is real because it has clear and definite organization of information therefore making it an information object in the real world and is not a figment of imagination, fantasy, delusion or illusion. Therefore, a bitcoin is tangible.

Anyone up for logically attacking the assertions?


Agree that bitcoins should be considered "tangible" for economic-discussion purposes (not so much for, say, throwing them in the air or something, though).

But if you want to get literal, you could simply argue that the distinction between things that exist physically and things that exist as information is artificial, since matter is really just uber-dense energy (e=mc^2, after all). So, something that exists as magnetic alignment or capacitive charge somewhere is just as real as a baseball. Still consists of energy packed in one way or another, just not as much of it total. Is that a meaningful/useful argument, though? Meh.

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
But Bitcointalk & /r/bitcoin are heavily censored. bitco.in/forum, forum.bitcoin.com, and /r/btc are open.
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September 11, 2012, 10:14:03 AM
 #122

Therefore, a bitcoin is tangible.

Anyone up for logically attacking the assertions?

Nope, I like it Wink

Still consists of energy packed in one way or another, just not as much of it total. Is that a meaningful/useful argument, though? Meh.

Probably not very useful for the categorization of moneys, yet interesting to think about. A difference (between "corporeal" and "real") might be that a "bitcoin" exists as many copies not in exactly one location. Maybe this is a slippery slope to the mind/matter discussion, so I don't know wether we should continue along these lines Wink

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September 11, 2012, 05:23:57 PM
 #123

I would argue bitcoin is tangible for the purposes of the argument presented in the sense that you can lock it away from access to third parties ("physically own it"). "tangible" == "not paper" == "no third party risk".

Maybe it'd be better to say: "Anything that doesn't involve some kind of a promise and can be owned unconditionally will go up" instead?

Unfortunately, in some kind of an economic meltdown situation, bitcoin might become generally unusable for a while. Temporarily nonexistant.

The word tangible means 'perceptible by touch' or 'cear and definite; real' but the etymology for tangibility has more to do with mental sense than corporeal status. It appears to be used to connote realness as opposed to fantasy, delusion or illusion.

I have been thinking a lot about tangibility and how it applies in monetary science in an attempt to formulate a rule or theorem.

In the Information Age I think organized information, information objects, can have properties of tangibility just as clear and definite, or real, as physical objects. Thus, for something to be real it does not have to be corporeal.

The Bitcoin Magazine exists in both a corporeal (paper) and incorporeal (PDF) form. Both are both clear and definite thus they are equally real. One is an information object the other a physical object. But this distinguishment does not go to tangibility as they both exist in the real world and are not figments of imagination, fantasy, delusion or illusion. We would agree that the Bitcoin Magazine Issue #1 is tangible, regardless of of paper or PDF form, and flying fire breathing black dragons are not tangible.

A bitcoin is real because it has clear and definite organization of information therefore making it an information object in the real world and is not a figment of imagination, fantasy, delusion or illusion. Therefore, a bitcoin is tangible.

Anyone up for logically attacking the assertions?

Maybe "bitcoin" is tangible but "a bitcoin" is not.  If you send a bitcoin to my wallet (that has other bitcoins in it), I can't send you that same "coin" back... a bitcoin is not a chunk of bits like a .pdf file, a wallet or the blockchain.
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September 11, 2012, 06:12:12 PM
 #124

I would argue bitcoin is tangible for the purposes of the argument presented in the sense that you can lock it away from access to third parties ("physically own it"). "tangible" == "not paper" == "no third party risk".

Maybe it'd be better to say: "Anything that doesn't involve some kind of a promise and can be owned unconditionally will go up" instead?

Unfortunately, in some kind of an economic meltdown situation, bitcoin might become generally unusable for a while. Temporarily nonexistant.

The word tangible means 'perceptible by touch' or 'cear and definite; real' but the etymology for tangibility has more to do with mental sense than corporeal status. It appears to be used to connote realness as opposed to fantasy, delusion or illusion.

I have been thinking a lot about tangibility and how it applies in monetary science in an attempt to formulate a rule or theorem.

In the Information Age I think organized information, information objects, can have properties of tangibility just as clear and definite, or real, as physical objects. Thus, for something to be real it does not have to be corporeal.

The Bitcoin Magazine exists in both a corporeal (paper) and incorporeal (PDF) form. Both are both clear and definite thus they are equally real. One is an information object the other a physical object. But this distinguishment does not go to tangibility as they both exist in the real world and are not figments of imagination, fantasy, delusion or illusion. We would agree that the Bitcoin Magazine Issue #1 is tangible, regardless of of paper or PDF form, and flying fire breathing black dragons are not tangible.

A bitcoin is real because it has clear and definite organization of information therefore making it an information object in the real world and is not a figment of imagination, fantasy, delusion or illusion. Therefore, a bitcoin is tangible.

Anyone up for logically attacking the assertions?

One major difference between electronic files and bitcoins is that electronic files can be copied.  If I make a PDF copy of bitcoin magazine without paying for it then Vladimir would not suffer as much as if I stole all the physical copies of bitcoin magazine from him since he needs to mail those out and they cost money to print.  (Yes you can use a photocopy machine to copy the magazine too but there is cost to do this.  An electronic copy takes no effort and little or no monetary value to copy.)

If bitcoins are tangible then tangibility needs to be redefined such that tangible objects cannot be easily copied.  You cannot copy a bitcoin.  A bitcoin is tangible because, in addition to being clear and definite, it cannot be duplicated (easily).

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September 11, 2012, 08:47:59 PM
 #125

interesting.. more thoughts:

on the definition of tangibility regarding money: Tangible objects can be in possession by someone (differs from ownership). bitcoins can also be in possession (by knowledge of key). possession in the sense that one can deny access to the object by others (if he has the means). the object can be passed on to a new owner.

I wouldn't call bitcoins "transactions" as chodpaba did, but I think I know what he's aiming at: there is no "bitcoin" per se.
"having a bitcoin" means to possess the key that allows transfer of "ownership" of - basically - nothing (a scarce specific "nothing" to add to the confusion). So like a tangible object, one can possess bitcoin in in the sense that one can deny access to it by other and one can pass it to a new owner (make a transaction).

@chodpaba: thanks for the insight with the proof of transaction, that's something I hadn't thought about when comparing bitcoin to other commodity moneys.

;tldr: "tangibility" regarding money == "possessibility"

funny etymological fact: the latin verb "tangere" (which "tangible" derives from) can also mean: "to cost". funny etymological fact 2: the italian verb "tangere" can also mean "come home to". in that sense: "come home to papa, little bitcoins!"

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September 11, 2012, 10:49:43 PM
 #126

If bitcoins are tangible then tangibility needs to be redefined such that tangible objects cannot be easily copied.  You cannot copy a bitcoin.  A bitcoin is tangible because, in addition to being clear and definite, it cannot be duplicated (easily).

I think you are conflating two issues unnecessarily: tangibility and scarcity. An item, either physical or informational, can be tangible, or in other words be real, and yet not be scarce.

And before we start talking about and discussing property rights with regards to bitcoins I think it is important that we establish that bitcoins are real, or in other words, tangible.

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September 11, 2012, 10:51:57 PM
 #127

The point being, relating to the effect monetary easing has on the value of currencies/commodities—gold has a proof problem that places it at a comparative disadvantage IMO to Bitcoin. The thing that gives Bitcoin transactions their value is the underlying proof. The efficiency of that proof can be expected to increase over time. But there is a limit to the efficiency of proving gold transactions, or transactions of any other commodity.

This proof issue is a huge comparative advantage for bitcoin. In fact, I would assert that Bitcoin's ability to solve the double spend issue is the great innovation and only reason bitcoins have attained any-type of material value.

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September 11, 2012, 11:05:44 PM
 #128

The point being, relating to the effect monetary easing has on the value of currencies/commodities—gold has a proof problem that places it at a comparative disadvantage IMO to Bitcoin. The thing that gives Bitcoin transactions their value is the underlying proof. The efficiency of that proof can be expected to increase over time. But there is a limit to the efficiency of proving gold transactions, or transactions of any other commodity.

This proof issue is a huge comparative advantage to for bitcoin. In fact, I would assert that Bitcoin's ability to solve the double spend issue is the great innovation and only reason bitcoins have attained any-type of material value.
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September 11, 2012, 11:08:15 PM
 #129

If bitcoins are tangible then tangibility needs to be redefined such that tangible objects cannot be easily copied.  You cannot copy a bitcoin.  A bitcoin is tangible because, in addition to being clear and definite, it cannot be duplicated (easily).

I think you are conflating two issues unnecessarily: tangibility and scarcity. An item, either physical or informational, can be tangible, or in other words be real, and yet not be scarce.

And before we start talking about and discussing property rights with regards to bitcoins I think it is important that we establish that bitcoins are real, or in other words, tangible.

personally, i'd like to see someone like you rant about how Bitcoin is "backed" vs. being tangible.  that argument will resonate more with skeptics if you can make a convincing case.
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September 11, 2012, 11:21:03 PM
 #130

If bitcoins are tangible then tangibility needs to be redefined such that tangible objects cannot be easily copied.  You cannot copy a bitcoin.  A bitcoin is tangible because, in addition to being clear and definite, it cannot be duplicated (easily).

I think you are conflating two issues unnecessarily: tangibility and scarcity. An item, either physical or informational, can be tangible, or in other words be real, and yet not be scarce.

And before we start talking about and discussing property rights with regards to bitcoins I think it is important that we establish that bitcoins are real, or in other words, tangible.

I agree that bitcoins are tangible, but why are bitcoins tangible and math equations not tangible? Well, I think it could be possible that tangibility could also depend on scarcity.  Hollywood movies are worth more if the material is new, has a good plot, and that pirated movies are scarce.  If a film is more pirated then Hollywood makes less money.  Hollywood would like to believe that their movies are tangible, but thepiratebay believes information is free and that movies are most likely not tangible.

It seems like if something has value then it is tangible. Value depends on scarcity.  There is an infinite supply of air guitars so these musical instruments have no value and thus are not tangible.  Bitcoins are scarce and have value, and thus, it is one reason they are tangible.




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September 11, 2012, 11:35:44 PM
 #131

The entire tangibility issue is really a matter of proof... Or, the belief in a proof.

If I am holding a gold coin in my hand that serves as a fair level of proof that A.) It exists, and B.) I control it (own it). Once gold is represented by an abstraction layer like a deposit in a gold account there has to be an extension of the proof in the validity of the ledger of those accounts, including proof that the gold is actually there to back them up.

Bitcoin solves this problem very efficiently, and it will become more efficient as economies of scale are realized and technology improves. But there is a limit to the efficiency of that proof for any physical commodity because it must be physically counted, stored, secured, transported, etc.

I can prove I have an air guitar.  I just pretend I have an air guitar, pretend to jam, and voila!  I have an air guitar!  It's easy.  So I don't think the "proof" method works to determine tangibility.

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September 11, 2012, 11:38:05 PM
 #132

If bitcoins are tangible then tangibility needs to be redefined such that tangible objects cannot be easily copied.  You cannot copy a bitcoin.  A bitcoin is tangible because, in addition to being clear and definite, it cannot be duplicated (easily).

I think you are conflating two issues unnecessarily: tangibility and scarcity. An item, either physical or informational, can be tangible, or in other words be real, and yet not be scarce.

And before we start talking about and discussing property rights with regards to bitcoins I think it is important that we establish that bitcoins are real, or in other words, tangible.

I agree that bitcoins are tangible, but why are bitcoins tangible and math equations not tangible? Well, I think it could be possible that tangibility could also depend on scarcity.  Hollywood movies are worth more if the material is new, has a good plot, and that pirated movies are scarce.  If a film is more pirated then Hollywood makes less money.  Hollywood would like to believe that their movies are tangible, but thepiratebay believes information is free and that movies are most likely not tangible.

It seems like if something has value then it is tangible. Value depends on scarcity.  There is an infinite supply of air guitars so these musical instruments have no value and thus are not tangible.  Bitcoins are scarce and have value, and thus, they are tangible.





The entire tangibility issue is really a matter of proof... Or, the belief in a proof.

If I am holding a gold coin in my hand that serves as a fair level of proof that A.) It exists, and B.) I control it (own it). Once gold is represented by an abstraction layer like a deposit in a gold account there has to be an extension of the proof in the validity of the ledger of those accounts, including proof that the gold is actually there to back them up.

Bitcoin solves this problem very efficiently, and it will become more efficient as economies of scale are realized and technology improves. But there is a limit to the efficiency of that proof for any physical commodity because it must be physically counted, stored, secured, transported, etc.

this is exactly one of the problems with gold.  the majority of storage has to be in centralized places like the LBMA, Comex, basement of the FRBNY.  but is it really there?  why do you think several foreign countries like Germany have requested to remove their gold from the likes of these?  b/c they can't trust the caretakers.  neither can the American people.
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September 12, 2012, 12:58:04 AM
 #133

That is proof... And it is worth exactly what air guitars are worth on the open market.

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September 12, 2012, 01:44:44 AM
 #134

If bitcoins are tangible then tangibility needs to be redefined such that tangible objects cannot be easily copied.  You cannot copy a bitcoin.  A bitcoin is tangible because, in addition to being clear and definite, it cannot be duplicated (easily).

I think you are conflating two issues unnecessarily: tangibility and scarcity. An item, either physical or informational, can be tangible, or in other words be real, and yet not be scarce.

And before we start talking about and discussing property rights with regards to bitcoins I think it is important that we establish that bitcoins are real, or in other words, tangible.

I agree that bitcoins are tangible, but why are bitcoins tangible and math equations not tangible? Well, I think it could be possible that tangibility could also depend on scarcity.  Hollywood movies are worth more if the material is new, has a good plot, and that pirated movies are scarce.  If a film is more pirated then Hollywood makes less money.  Hollywood would like to believe that their movies are tangible, but thepiratebay believes information is free and that movies are most likely not tangible.

It seems like if something has value then it is tangible. Value depends on scarcity.  There is an infinite supply of air guitars so these musical instruments have no value and thus are not tangible.  Bitcoins are scarce and have value, and thus, it is one reason they are tangible.





Sorry for the offtopic, but the bold sentence is flat out wrong.  The highest grossing films are also the most pirated.  So called pirates also spend more money on movies and music than the average person.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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September 12, 2012, 01:55:17 AM
 #135

That is proof... And it is worth exactly what air guitars are worth on the open market.



Well, you see, that's not the same. Because then you have to deal with the abstraction layer of eBay.

Sheldon? Is that you?
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September 12, 2012, 03:26:39 AM
 #136

The entire tangibility issue is really a matter of proof... Or, the belief in a proof.

If I am holding a gold coin in my hand that serves as a fair level of proof that A.) It exists, and B.) I control it (own it). Once gold is represented by an abstraction layer like a deposit in a gold account there has to be an extension of the proof in the validity of the ledger of those accounts, including proof that the gold is actually there to back them up.

Bitcoin solves this problem very efficiently, and it will become more efficient as economies of scale are realized and technology improves. But there is a limit to the efficiency of that proof for any physical commodity because it must be physically counted, stored, secured, transported, etc.


I can prove I have an air guitar.  I just pretend I have an air guitar, pretend to jam, and voila!  I have an air guitar!  It's easy.  So I don't think the "proof" method works to determine tangibility.

That is proof... And it is worth exactly what air guitars are worth on the open market.

Interesting.  If that is the case then everything including thought, math equations, air guitars is tangible.  It's just that it is worth $0.

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molecular
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September 12, 2012, 01:35:09 PM
 #137

The entire tangibility issue is really a matter of proof... Or, the belief in a proof.

If I am holding a gold coin in my hand that serves as a fair level of proof that A.) It exists, and B.) I control it (own it). Once gold is represented by an abstraction layer like a deposit in a gold account there has to be an extension of the proof in the validity of the ledger of those accounts, including proof that the gold is actually there to back them up.

Bitcoin solves this problem very efficiently, and it will become more efficient as economies of scale are realized and technology improves. But there is a limit to the efficiency of that proof for any physical commodity because it must be physically counted, stored, secured, transported, etc.


I can prove I have an air guitar.  I just pretend I have an air guitar, pretend to jam, and voila!  I have an air guitar!  It's easy.  So I don't think the "proof" method works to determine tangibility.

That is proof... And it is worth exactly what air guitars are worth on the open market.

Interesting.  If that is the case then everything including thought, math equations, air guitars is tangible.  It's just that it is worth $0.

Piss is tangible.

And so, we see the weakness of logical positivism...

I don't get it. Where in this thread did we (even try to) link tangibility with value?

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September 12, 2012, 01:37:14 PM
 #138

€500-bln eurozone bailout gets green light in Germany

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
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September 12, 2012, 01:59:33 PM
 #139


190 billion euro is not enough.
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September 12, 2012, 02:10:24 PM
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hmm, I thought supermario was buying govt. debt with no limit (albeit strings attached)?

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