If the majority of bitcoins are treated as a sort of speculators tool then yeah their value won't have much of a solid base. So I personally agree with people that say that bitcoin needs to grow in economic use. This whole mining thing is blown way out of proportion. I have this uneasy feeling that mining will still be an ongoing central focus for most people until all 21 million coins are minted. I worry that a large majority of newbies are going to treat bitcoin as a cashcow (mine some coins and then dump them as quickly as possible). Heck, hoarding would be better than mining and then dumping them quickly into fiat. Even better would be to buy services and goods or offer their own services and good for them.
I do not agree with not telling people about mining though. I don't think it's a good idea to conspire to keep new bitcoin users in the dark about this aspect of the bitcoin system. It would be pretty damn hard to keep them from finding out about mining anyways. The economic incentive is there so it's hard to blame them for wanting to exploit the potential for profit.
Dare I go so far as to say that we're going to have a "mining bubble" which is going to drive up price and so on and so forth. Eventually the mining bubble will pop as the non-professional miners will get kicked out of the market by the increasing difficulty. So in the end everything will or should work out just fine
@ speeder, I agree with you, there are a LOT of miners out there that don't give a shit about the security of the bitcoin network and they aren't planning to do this for the long term. They just want to squeeze as much fiat money out of this bitcoin thing for what it's worth. I'd have more faith in the early adopters than in say some teenager with his fancy pants radeon that his mommy bought him for Christmas. It's those that have a lot to lose and a lot to gain from bitcoin's success that you can count on to be there for the system when it needs them.Heck I'll mine at a loss if necessary! I don't give a crap about an extra $20 a month in electricity. I want bitcoin to succeed in giving a large portion of humanity freedom and control over their OWN money.
On the flip side I understand that I'm probably in the minority and that not a lot of people share my ideological motivations.
C'est la vie, n'est pas?
i more or less agree. i dunno if i'll mine at a flat loss - but as long as i can cover my electric bill and an occasional cup of coffee i will. i want Bitcoin to succeed as well, and my hardware was paid for some time ago. even now, i'm keeping a nice bunch of BTC, but spending proceeds from my mining.
spending BTC is like hashing - they both secure the network, in their own way.
I'm in the same boat. I've long since paid for my mining hardware. I'm still adding a few hards here and there but due to the increasing difficulty of finding the cards that I want I have to curtail my mining farm expansion until the current generation cards become cheap enough. Who knows if when they do they'll be economically viable given the difficulty level at that time, but the point is as long as I'm not going broke keeping the mining rigs running then It's all good. If my small contribution (even at low profitability) helps out the long term success of the system then I'm all the more happy. I already got my geeky reward building and setting up the systems
I think though that the mining rigs I have will continue to be profitable for as long as there are coins to be mined (I'm one of those "fools" who believes in an ever expanding BTC/USD exchange rate - ie an increasing value of BTC). When the system switches over to a fee based reward structure I'm not sure what will happen. But even then I will still run a few rigs, just as I still seed torrents even though I'm not getting paid for it.
What would be really cool is if in the future as more established companies and merchants adopt bitcoin they setup their own mining rigs and write them off as an expense or a kind of voluntary cost of keeping up the bitcoin financial system. It would be sort of like paying bank fees or account maintenance fees but no doubt be smaller.