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Author Topic: Introducing myself and my thoughts about Bitcoin. Please comment.  (Read 953 times)
scomil
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June 15, 2012, 12:06:14 PM
 #1

Hi Everyone,

I'm 32 years old and have for the past 8 years made a living speculating with interest rate futures. I started out flat broke, made a decent chunk of money three times, after which I returned to being flat broke. I'm now into my fourth run at financial independence and have more or less managed to squirrel away enough money to retire into a debt-free, comfortable, simple life. From early on, I realized what an absolute corruption our debt-based monetary system is and figured that if you can't beat them, why not join them, or at least, earn a living in the markets they manipulate.

Being very aware of how markets work, I have always kept half of my savings in physical gold while the rest has been mostly in cash or some derivative of it. During all these years I have envisioned the day when we can return to a honest monetary system that is more equitable and doesn't siphon work out of the productive classes (which I'm ashamed to say, I have not really been a part of - yet). I first came across Bitcoins early this year when I read an article from Rickard Falkvinge, about how the Swedish Supreme Court refused to hear the Pirate Bay trial, and subsequently looked into what else he had written. During the following month or so I started studying every aspect of Bitcoin, and for the first time, I actually felt hope that we might be able to crawl out from under our current monetary system, or rather, that a possible path, fraught with risks, has appeared. I support Bitcoin philosophically and would like to do so in action as well, where possible.

While trying to read up on all the critiques of Bitcoin, of which there are some valid points that I have yet to find good counterarguments for, I started leaving my four trading computers on overnight running mining programs. After generating about BTC20 in a month, playing around with them, running clients, transferring etc I felt comfortable enough to start accumulating some larger size. Since I live in European non SEPA country without any decent exchanges that can do any volume at reasonable prices, I just went online onto the Bitcoin-OTC IRC channel and found some very trustworthy people there, from whom I have accumulated a decent initial chunk.

My viewpoint, take it for what it is, and don't base any of your own decisions on it, is that now seems like an opportune time to start accumulating with whatever small amount of money you can instantly afford write off. Bitcoin had its disruptive boom and bust phase that hopefully let a lot of the big initial holders of Bitcoins cash out (trust me here, it's a lot better to have the BTC spread out over a lot of people, rather than a few people sitting on a corner of the currency supply). However, I must be honest in that I have no idea about current distributions and I would welcome a knowledgeable discussion. Further, price has stabilized, overall volumes are decent and the inflation rate is set to halve within 6 months. Most importantly, the Eurozone (or rather, global debt) crisis, will go from bad to worse to catastrophic in anywhere between this weekend's Greek vote and a few years out.  The sovereign debt bubble is the last one that they can blow, the previous two being stocks and housing, and this final bubble is on its last legs. Whatever monetary system they come up with, replacing our current regime, will most assuredly not be one that is beneficial to the average working man or helps keep politicians in check. Bitcoins time to shine is possibly soon upon us.

In closing, I would like to make a few requests to the main developers out there.

1) I run a dual boot with both Windows and Linux Ubuntu (Linux being my prefered system, but I need Windows for a number of work related programs). Unfortunately I made my Linux partition too small and have run into the problem of the Satoshi client chewing up all but 1gb of space (this will happen to everyone sooner or later). I love the client, but it's not viable long term. We need more clients like Electrum (which desperately needs to include a function to encrypt a file into which it places the seed info, just like we encrypt our wallets. It's an absolute nightmare learning to use gnupg or anything similar to encypt a textfile into which you paste the seed info). Preferably something looking a bit more like the Blockchain client interface. The Electrum Client could also do with a manual, in plain English, explaining things intelligibly to us non techies. Furthermore, if I want to set up a retirement account, a fund for one of my children's 18th birthday or a present for a friends child's christening the Staoshi client wallet file is not a viable alternative since they'll need a supercomputer by then to download the blockchain. How does one navigate this problem?
   
2) Weneedbitcoins, or some other Bitcoin advocacy group, should make more videos and other advertising material available in order to raise awareness, in multiple languages, regarding the need  for Bitcoins within the context of our current monetary regime. I'd be happy to help here in any way I can.

//scomil

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June 15, 2012, 09:22:19 PM
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tl;dr
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June 15, 2012, 09:50:36 PM
 #3

Welcome scomil.

To your #1 about a paper wallet. You can use vanitygen or perhaps more simply this python script: https://github.com/weex/addrgen to go offline and generate a single address with private key. If you make a couple hard copies of it and store them in a safe place, it should be as good as the security of your physical storage location.

I plan to release a howto as part of a bigger project that will include the addrgen script for offline/airgapped addresses.

If you open bitaddress.org before you go offline, you can use the Wallet Details tab to double check that the private key either of the above give you correspond to the address to which would be sending larger amounts of funds.

-weex

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June 15, 2012, 11:16:44 PM
 #4

Hi Everyone,

I'm 32 years old and have for the past 8 years made a living speculating with interest rate futures. I started out flat broke, made a decent chunk of money three times, after which I returned to being flat broke. I'm now into my fourth run at financial independence and have more or less managed to squirrel away enough money to retire into a debt-free, comfortable, simple life. From early on, I realized what an absolute corruption our debt-based monetary system is and figured that if you can't beat them, why not join them, or at least, earn a living in the markets they manipulate.

Being very aware of how markets work, I have always kept half of my savings in physical gold while the rest has been mostly in cash or some derivative of it. During all these years I have envisioned the day when we can return to a honest monetary system that is more equitable and doesn't siphon work out of the productive classes (which I'm ashamed to say, I have not really been a part of - yet). I first came across Bitcoins early this year when I read an article from Rickard Falkvinge, about how the Swedish Supreme Court refused to hear the Pirate Bay trial, and subsequently looked into what else he had written. During the following month or so I started studying every aspect of Bitcoin, and for the first time, I actually felt hope that we might be able to crawl out from under our current monetary system, or rather, that a possible path, fraught with risks, has appeared. I support Bitcoin philosophically and would like to do so in action as well, where possible.

While trying to read up on all the critiques of Bitcoin, of which there are some valid points that I have yet to find good counterarguments for, I started leaving my four trading computers on overnight running mining programs. After generating about BTC20 in a month, playing around with them, running clients, transferring etc I felt comfortable enough to start accumulating some larger size. Since I live in European non SEPA country without any decent exchanges that can do any volume at reasonable prices, I just went online onto the Bitcoin-OTC IRC channel and found some very trustworthy people there, from whom I have accumulated a decent initial chunk.

My viewpoint, take it for what it is, and don't base any of your own decisions on it, is that now seems like an opportune time to start accumulating with whatever small amount of money you can instantly afford write off. Bitcoin had its disruptive boom and bust phase that hopefully let a lot of the big initial holders of Bitcoins cash out (trust me here, it's a lot better to have the BTC spread out over a lot of people, rather than a few people sitting on a corner of the currency supply). However, I must be honest in that I have no idea about current distributions and I would welcome a knowledgeable discussion. Further, price has stabilized, overall volumes are decent and the inflation rate is set to halve within 6 months. Most importantly, the Eurozone (or rather, global debt) crisis, will go from bad to worse to catastrophic in anywhere between this weekend's Greek vote and a few years out.  The sovereign debt bubble is the last one that they can blow, the previous two being stocks and housing, and this final bubble is on its last legs. Whatever monetary system they come up with, replacing our current regime, will most assuredly not be one that is beneficial to the average working man or helps keep politicians in check. Bitcoins time to shine is possibly soon upon us.

In closing, I would like to make a few requests to the main developers out there.

1) I run a dual boot with both Windows and Linux Ubuntu (Linux being my prefered system, but I need Windows for a number of work related programs). Unfortunately I made my Linux partition too small and have run into the problem of the Satoshi client chewing up all but 1gb of space (this will happen to everyone sooner or later). I love the client, but it's not viable long term. We need more clients like Electrum (which desperately needs to include a function to encrypt a file into which it places the seed info, just like we encrypt our wallets. It's an absolute nightmare learning to use gnupg or anything similar to encypt a textfile into which you paste the seed info). Preferably something looking a bit more like the Blockchain client interface. The Electrum Client could also do with a manual, in plain English, explaining things intelligibly to us non techies. Furthermore, if I want to set up a retirement account, a fund for one of my children's 18th birthday or a present for a friends child's christening the Staoshi client wallet file is not a viable alternative since they'll need a supercomputer by then to download the blockchain. How does one navigate this problem?
   
2) Weneedbitcoins, or some other Bitcoin advocacy group, should make more videos and other advertising material available in order to raise awareness, in multiple languages, regarding the need  for Bitcoins within the context of our current monetary regime. I'd be happy to help here in any way I can.

//scomil

You could just make the posts at their respective forums (Development/Technical subforum). You're hereby whitelisted.  Wink

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June 16, 2012, 01:31:08 AM
 #5

Thanks for you post, I agree with most of your sentiment.

You will indeed find that Bitcoin provides an incredible solution to the root causes of many of the ills in modern society. In whatever way you can, help us build this. We're all working very hard on it. If you want to be part of the productive class, what better way than to contribute to the most important project in which mankind is currently engaged (and no, that's not hyperbole).
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June 16, 2012, 01:51:06 AM
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Welcome to using Bitcoin, scomil.  Glad to have you here.

In response to your concerns in #1, there is research and development being done on how to manage the block chain long term.  I can't seem to find the thread where I read about it now, and the search feature hasn't helped.

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June 16, 2012, 02:06:56 AM
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Furthermore, if I want to set up a retirement account, a fund for one of my children's 18th birthday or a present for a friends child's christening the Staoshi client wallet file is not a viable alternative since they'll need a supercomputer by then to download the blockchain. How does one navigate this problem?

The keys from wallet.dat can be read by pywallet, without any need for the blockchain.  A readly available tool to retrieve the keys from this file will likely be available for a very long time.

If you are talking relatively modest amounts, e.g., maybe $250 or less, of today's funds, you might want to simply buy a bitcoin gift card or Casascius physical coin:
 

 - https://www.giftcoin.net/card/ (not yet shipping)
 - http://www.casascius.com

You can always add bitcoins to them yourself after receiving them as well.

The risk is that the copies of the keys were not destroyed after production of the physical coin, or that somehow the key was compromised enroute so some people aren't comfortable with large amounts on these.

And if there are large amounts involved, it would only be prudent to do production of the paper bitcoin or offline wallet using a secure method, such as using an air-gap to the network, booted from a live CD or other bootable distribution.

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June 16, 2012, 07:59:15 AM
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If anyone here works in financial services, do they know how bitcoin activity is looked on by compliance departments / regulators?   If your trading activity is restricted for compliance reasons, would that apply to small bitcoin transactions, or would it be seen more like changing currencies to go on holiday, or buying WoW gold or something?

I could just ask them, but that's kind of like asking them to say no.
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June 17, 2012, 09:36:21 AM
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If anyone here works in financial services, do they know how bitcoin activity is looked on by compliance departments / regulators?   If your trading activity is restricted for compliance reasons, would that apply to small bitcoin transactions, or would it be seen more like changing currencies to go on holiday, or buying WoW gold or something?

I could just ask them, but that's kind of like asking them to say no.

until the end of last year I used to work as a media designer within a bank in germany.
in my perception the most people there even don't know what bitcoins are.


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June 17, 2012, 10:09:59 PM
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I think your strategy of holding physical gold is very smart on your part. I'm a poor man, so I hold mainly silver but I would like to have bricks of gold in my basement one day.
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June 18, 2012, 11:54:18 PM
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I just bought a physical BTC. I look at it and I'm reminded of Atlas Shrugged.
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June 19, 2012, 12:26:39 AM
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Quote
I just bought a physical BTC. I look at it and I'm reminded of Atlas Shrugged.

I really need to read Atlas Shrugged  Wink

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