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Author Topic: Is It Time For Digital-Only Dollars?  (Read 2491 times)
BrightAnarchist
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August 19, 2010, 08:56:50 PM
 #1

Found this Bitcoin article online and thought it was pretty great!

http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/commentary/is-it-time-for-digital-only-dollars-2

Is It Time For Digital-Only Dollars?

Written by Phil Maymin    
Thursday, 08 July 2010 16:52

The nice thing about gold as a currency is that no government can easily and capriciously tax it. Paper money is easy: just print more and spend it however you want. But Gold is relatively stable, and it doesn’t go bad and can be stored easily.

But you can’t fit it in your wallet. You can’t easily break it into smaller pieces or combine pieces to make larger ones. Gold is not the ultimate currency.

Currency backed by gold is more mobile, but you have to trust someone to exchange your paper or digital claim for actual gold. And if that someone happens to be a government, that trust is guaranteed to be betrayed.

We are living now in an information-driven world. Perhaps currency can be encoded as bits. Even a decade ago, this would have sounded impossible. But because of the widespread dissemination of powerful computing and interconnected networking, some new approaches have recently been developed.

One example is called BitCoin, a free, open-source, peer-to-peer, anonymous, network-based currency. Its creator Satoshi Nakamoto calls it a “cryptocurrency” because there is no way for a middleman to intercept, prevent or tax any exchange of money. Even the users themselves don’t necessarily know the real-world identities of who they are dealing with. And there cannot be any inflation or currency manipulation. There is no central database for the police to raid and no way for your bitcoins to be stolen. It’s amazing Nakamoto’s algorithm is able to guarantee all these benefits.

Imagine it on your iPhone. You walk around and pay for whatever you want without any worries. Even if your phone is stolen, there is no way to access your money without you. It is stable, private, untaxable and uninflatable. Pretty good. It will be great once you can buy groceries with it.

Transactions will always require the BitCoin network. You may think we will always have a network. There’s no way the government could interfere with the entire internet, is there? Even China could probably be twarted by an electronic currency network.

Never underestimate the hunger of a politician. They will always think of a way to use brute force to get your stuff. Our senator Joe Lieberman has proposed a plan that would allow the president to shut down the entire internet for “national security reasons.” What could drive a politician to insecurity more than the uneasy feeling that there are some economic transactions happening without his hand in the pie?

The “internet kill switch” has a 120-day limit, after which Congress would rubber-stamp a longer web death. They are all in it together, and when they can’t get their coins, you won’t get your bits.

They will argue — as they did with the Patriot Act, the invasion of Iraq, the health care bill and all the bailouts — that they are doing this for our own good, to protect us from systemic failure. Wouldn’t it be terrible if terrorists could shut down our entire internet? The only way to protect ourselves is to shut it down before they can. Let’s shackle ourselves before they do.

The internet itself is virtually unkillable, based on the brilliant way the internet protocol and the transfer control protocol has worked for decades. It automatically reroutes and recovers. It could strike fear into the leeches that polite society calls our elected officials, by circumventing their monopolistic currency in favor of one that actually works.

How about a political kill switch that shuts down Congress for 120 days, unless extended by an anonymous internet poll?

Dr. Phil Maymin is an Assistant Professor of Finance and Risk Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. The views represented are his own.
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There are several different types of Bitcoin clients. Header-only clients like MultiBit trust that the majority of mining power is honest for the purposes of enforcing network rules such as the 21 million BTC limit. Full clients do not trust miners in this way.
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August 19, 2010, 09:52:46 PM
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Freedom is starting to sneak out everywhere on the 'Net!

Let's be ready for it!



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August 19, 2010, 10:13:30 PM
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Freedom is starting to sneak out everywhere on the 'Net!

Let's be ready for it!

If it crosses my path before it crosses yours, I'll grab it and call you to do the kicking Smiley And no, I'm not stalking you, just am in a mood for satire and your comments were the last in the last two threads I visited... see how lucky you are? I hope you're bitmining.
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August 19, 2010, 10:18:28 PM
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Found this Bitcoin article online and thought it was pretty great!

http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/commentary/is-it-time-for-digital-only-dollars-2


I agree that it was a great article, and I'm glad that you echoed it to the forum; because when I went to that link all I ended up with was the Apache2 default webpage.  Looks like this author is already facing some blowback, and perhaps someone has nuked his server.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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August 19, 2010, 11:12:23 PM
 #5

Found this Bitcoin article online and thought it was pretty great!

http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/commentary/is-it-time-for-digital-only-dollars-2


I agree that it was a great article, and I'm glad that you echoed it to the forum; because when I went to that link all I ended up with was the Apache2 default webpage.  Looks like this author is already facing some blowback, and perhaps someone has nuked his server.

That's odd, I got the article when I clicked.

Play Bitcoin Poker at sealswithclubs.eu. We're active and open to everyone.
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August 19, 2010, 11:51:33 PM
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This is actually a very well written and easy to understand article. One of the best about bitcoin that I have read.
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August 20, 2010, 12:31:07 AM
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de ja vu.

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August 20, 2010, 01:27:08 AM
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Misplaced paranoia. The article is there.

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August 20, 2010, 01:30:03 AM
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Misplaced paranoia. The article is there.



I can see it now, but when I looked for it earlier, it was *not* there.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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August 20, 2010, 04:10:51 AM
 #10

Quote
Dr. Phil Maymin is an Assistant Professor of Finance and Risk Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University

I wonder if he would consider doing a university peer reviewed paper about bitcoin?

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August 20, 2010, 04:23:53 AM
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I wonder if he would consider doing a university peer reviewed paper about bitcoin?


That was what I first thought of too... a likely resolver for the wikipedia issue.

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August 20, 2010, 05:01:10 AM
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pmaymin@poly.edu is his email.  who's going to contact him?  noagenda, was that you volunteering?

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August 20, 2010, 06:52:19 AM
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pmyamin@poly.edu is his email.  who's going to contact him?  noagenda, was that you volunteering?


I was just going to thank him for mentioning bitcoin in his article.Any thoughts on what else I should say?


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August 20, 2010, 12:34:25 PM
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That will make three documents the community is sending out; the letter to EFF, the magazine article, and this thank-you letter. Please be careful, and not ratify any loaded terms, especially "Digital-Only Dollars", "network-based currency", "pay for whatever you want without any worries", "stable, private, untaxable and uninflatable", or in any way imply that one can "buy groceries with it".

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August 20, 2010, 05:35:29 PM
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I don't find much to nit-pick. But I'll do what I can :-)

 - "You can buy stuff with them" That's an unsupportable claim.

 - "you can mint Bitcoins yourself" Would "discover" be a better term?

 - "coins" Several instances. Use 'Bitcoins', or some other term.

 - "a user would expect to generate bitcoins in proportion to the amount of CPU power that they dedicate to the task." I think this is incorrect. A user can locate the discoverable Bitcoins in proportion to computer power, but there is a point of diminshing returns.

 - "Others are selling Amazon gift tokens, so that anyone with Bitcoins can buy pretty much anything online." Good selling point, but iffy from a liability standpoint. "Someone with Bitcoins can buy pretty much anything thru independent brokers"?

 - "Some people are buying bitcoins for cash." But NOT THRU Bitcoin! This is freedom at work, but it's done outside of Bitcoin's influence.

Good stuff, ribuck!
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August 20, 2010, 09:19:19 PM
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- "you can mint Bitcoins yourself" Would "discover" be a better term?
"Discover" is a great term. But it's not really "Bitcoins" that people discover, is it? It's keys to a transaction that they are discovering. Unless I can find a simple way to describe that for the target audience, I'll stick with the term "mint" in the first paragraph and the term "generate" elsewhere.
This is probably too pedantic, but,
It's not even keys to a transaction that they are discovering.

People are being rewarded for finding the solution to a difficult problem.

It just so happens that the best way we know how to solve this particular problem at the moment is just to try it lots of times and hope to get lucky.

In which case none of 'discover','mint' or 'generate' seem appropriate.
But 'generate' seems to be the most generally used term and it's not too misleading. (but I don't know if it's on fresno's approved words list.)
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August 21, 2010, 02:02:41 AM
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ribuck: I'll sign off your changes. Good work, and thanks for taking the initiative!

Insti: My "approved" words are intended to keep us out of hot water. I think you want me on that job, until we get a real Church Lady.

Generate, discover, mint, are not in this category, but I've noticed some disappointment when new people learn that more power doesn't necessarily equal more Bitcoins. Generate is a misleading term in this respect. I actually like mint from a newspaperly point of view. It makes the story more interesting, but it also takes us into that touchy area of money, commerce, etc.

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August 21, 2010, 04:31:52 AM
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I've rewritten that part of the article to say "There's an element of randomness, but in the long run a user who dedicates more CPU power to the task would expect to generate more bitcoins."

In the long run most of us will generate fewer and fewer coins assuming more and more people join in and the difficulty keeps going up. Also the "every 4 year, half reward" thing kicks in in the long run.
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