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Author Topic: How to discourage hoarding - brainstorm  (Read 4337 times)
samadamsbeer
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May 18, 2011, 02:36:11 PM
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First let me say I am excited to learn more about a private currency with no central bank authority to control it. A colleague who I respect though offered the criticism that Bitcoin (BTC) will not get off the ground because people will hoard the currency. Thus even if the BTC economy starts having to use fractions of  BTC it might hinder wide spread usage. I have to say I agree partially with his sentiment, though:

1. the same could be said of any stable thing of value given the rapidly depreciating currencies from governments of the world
2. this will send price signals to the market to encourage better value to entice BTC holders to spend them

However I agree that I want BTC to take off sooner rather than later as a viable currency. I agree with the hoarding fears because I myself have an instinct to hoard as many BTCs as I might be able to get, with my only fear being BTC will not take off or be cracked down on by authorities, thus harming the BTC value.

To combat the hoarding issue, I would like to brainstorm on ideas for making BTCs easier and more commonplace for use. We need projects to encourage and make it easy for suppliers of goods and services (stores, businesses, individuals) to accept BTCs and then the demand that is already there will be more easily met by supply. I think the speed of transactions is definitely a hurdle currently for point-of-sale transactions at neighborhood stores for example. What can we do to spread the idea and adoption of BTC?
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May 18, 2011, 02:39:38 PM
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Walk into a store selling gold. Look at all those outstanding offers. Realize hoarding is a myth.

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May 18, 2011, 02:39:46 PM
 #3

First let me say I am excited to learn more about a private currency with no central bank authority to control it. A colleague who I respect though offered the criticism that Bitcoin (BTC) will not get off the ground because people will hoard the currency. Thus even if the BTC economy starts having to use fractions of  BTC it might hinder wide spread usage. I have to say I agree partially with his sentiment, though:

1. the same could be said of any stable thing of value given the rapidly depreciating currencies from governments of the world
2. this will send price signals to the market to encourage better value to entice BTC holders to spend them

However I agree that I want BTC to take off sooner rather than later as a viable currency. I agree with the hoarding fears because I myself have an instinct to hoard as many BTCs as I might be able to get, with my only fear being BTC will not take off or be cracked down on by authorities, thus harming the BTC value.

To combat the hoarding issue, I would like to brainstorm on ideas for making BTCs easier and more commonplace for use. We need projects to encourage and make it easy for suppliers of goods and services (stores, businesses, individuals) to accept BTCs and then the demand that is already there will be more easily met by supply. I think the speed of transactions is definitely a hurdle currently for point-of-sale transactions at neighborhood stores for example. What can we do to spread the idea and adoption of BTC?

Using fractions of BTC is not a problem. We just move the decimal. The bitcoin economy is growing just fine with people hoarding bitcoin.

elewton
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May 18, 2011, 02:45:55 PM
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I've been thinking about this. If Bitcoin becomes a dominant currency, hoarders could represent future "stimulous packages".

The only obvious potential downside is if one of them dumps too quickly.  I imagine that there will be a market for accountants managing Bitcoin Billionaires.
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May 18, 2011, 02:48:06 PM
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The only obvious potential downside is if one of them dumps too quickly.  I imagine that there will be a market for accountants managing Bitcoin Billionaires.

Rich hobo bitcoiners don't need accountants to manage their wealth! http://bitcoinweekly.com/articles/bitcoin-rising

All they need is the ability to run and escape from anything.

samadamsbeer
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May 18, 2011, 02:50:09 PM
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Walk into a store selling gold. Look at all those outstanding offers. Realize hoarding is a myth.

Have you really tried this? Was this a private store in a rural area? I'd really be curious. I suspect most people would still not know the value of gold. This is slightly dated but I think largely still holds true, here's what happens offering gold to the average American - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAaVK5AkZzI

Do you really think these people would give you *anything* in return for a BTC? Gold suffers from the same problem - how can I really use it to live my daily day-to-day life? Especially since so much of the economic system is setup to discourage alternate currency....
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May 18, 2011, 02:55:48 PM
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Freedom is a tough pill to swallow, eh?  Fear and greed will make it so that hoarding will not be a major flaw of Bitcoin.  We come from such a warped economic system that we find this freedom odd.  In the US debt-based economy, inflation is a problem.  Interest rates are at zero percent.  People with savings are earning a negative return after adjusting for inflation.  Who hasn't noticed rising gas prices?  Rising food prices?  How do these rising prices benefit you?  Do you want your cost of living to increase every year due mainly to monetary inflation?  Only speculators are rewarded in the US system.  They borrow money cheaply and put it into risky assets.  Regular people who save money are punished by inflation.  And this is the system we want?  I choose Bitcoin.

That which is falling should also be pushed.
tomcollins
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May 18, 2011, 03:04:08 PM
 #8

Hoarding is only a problem if the hoarded value is ever dumped at the same time.  If it's gradual, things will adjust fairly well.  Or if they just hoard forever and never spend it, it's like the coins never existed and that's fine.

Eventually we will hit a point that each hoarder will realize he has a lot of wealth and wants to enjoy it.  Just hope it's not all at the same time.
samadamsbeer
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May 18, 2011, 03:16:39 PM
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Hoarding is only a problem if the hoarded value is ever dumped at the same time.  If it's gradual, things will adjust fairly well.  Or if they just hoard forever and never spend it, it's like the coins never existed and that's fine.

Eventually we will hit a point that each hoarder will realize he has a lot of wealth and wants to enjoy it.  Just hope it's not all at the same time.

You'll get no argument from me. However even if I am sold on BTC, unless I can use it down at the grocery store, to buy clothing and energy, it will be of very limited value to me, as much as I like it. BTCers need to consider how to get the mainstream to adopt it because most in the mainstream aren't sharp enough yet to know they need it. If they were there would be riots in the streets. I believe their ignorance is is due to government schooling and government propaganda (which it took me many years to overcome) but recognizing this is an issue and doing something about it are separate actions.

We need to do something about it and if they haven't woken up by now, we need to figure out alternate ways and means to get them to adopting BTC. This may happen anyway but I would like to speed up the process!
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May 18, 2011, 03:21:42 PM
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We need to do something about it and if they haven't woken up by now, we need to figure out alternate ways and means to get them to adopting BTC. This may happen anyway but I would like to speed up the process!

Saying we need is a lot different than doing. Yes, everyone would like the average person to adopt bitcoin. And we're working on solutions to problems anyway.

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May 18, 2011, 03:21:50 PM
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Eventually we will hit a point that each hoarder will realize he has a lot of wealth and wants to enjoy it.  Just hope it's not all at the same time.

It's not even going to be all at the same time for each individual in most cases. And unless people are dumb they're going to try to dump during periods of influx of demand (I assume these will continue, what do I know though?). This will temper spikes.

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samadamsbeer
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May 18, 2011, 03:26:03 PM
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Hoarding is only a problem if the hoarded value is ever dumped at the same time.  If it's gradual, things will adjust fairly well.  Or if they just hoard forever and never spend it, it's like the coins never existed and that's fine.

Eventually we will hit a point that each hoarder will realize he has a lot of wealth and wants to enjoy it.  Just hope it's not all at the same time.

The existential problem for the holders of BTC, potentially is, if people don't spend it, suppliers will see no reason to adopt accepting it. This will harm the value of what they hoard. The market might then adjust to "fix" the imbalance but it will not lead to wide spread acceptance of BTC. We'll just continue to need to use the USD and related currencies... until disaster ensues. I want faster adoption and am merely pointing out an area of market opportunity which I see in my current readings on BTC.
samadamsbeer
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May 18, 2011, 03:27:04 PM
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Eventually we will hit a point that each hoarder will realize he has a lot of wealth and wants to enjoy it.  Just hope it's not all at the same time.

It's not even going to be all at the same time for each individual in most cases. And unless people are dumb they're going to try to dump during periods of influx of demand (I assume these will continue, what do I know though?). This will temper spikes.

OK good - I will be doing some things too. =)
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May 18, 2011, 03:27:33 PM
 #14

Walk into a store selling gold. Look at all those outstanding offers. Realize hoarding is a myth.

Have you really tried this? Was this a private store in a rural area? I'd really be curious. I suspect most people would still not know the value of gold. This is slightly dated but I think largely still holds true, here's what happens offering gold to the average American - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAaVK5AkZzI

Do you really think these people would give you *anything* in return for a BTC? Gold suffers from the same problem - how can I really use it to live my daily day-to-day life? Especially since so much of the economic system is setup to discourage alternate currency....

You miss my point. You say hoarding will hurt the economy because it lowers liquidity. So I refer you to gold. Gold is a deflationary store of value. You perception dictates it should be hoarded. Yet buying gold is easy, and widely available. This is a live example that hoarding won't impact liquidity.

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May 18, 2011, 03:43:19 PM
 #15

I don't think hoarding in and of itself is bad.  People need reliable ways to save for future purchases just as much as they need a way to spend.  Also, if people hoard enough, eventually they will need to eat or buy things and they'll have no choice but to spend.  However, people do need to recognize that each incremental bitcoin they hoard is worth less and less.  For example, if you cornered 90% of all bitcoins, the market price would skyrocket, but the market price would not be an accurate indicator of the true purchasing power of the bitcoins you possess (it would be far less).  If there was some mathematical model that could make a person aware of this in the client, it might help people better gauge when hoarding starts to have increasingly significant diminishing returns.  If you could somehow estimate the portion of the bitcoin price that is attributable to your hoard, you could better understand it's true purchasing power.  That might discourage excessive hoarding.

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barbarousrelic
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May 18, 2011, 03:45:25 PM
 #16

People will hoard until the value of Bitcoin reaches a point where they'd rather spend. This is a self-correcting situation. Not a problem.

Do not waste your time debating whether Bitcoin can work. It does work.

"Early adopters will profit" is not a sufficient condition to classify something as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. If it was, Apple and Microsoft stock are Ponzi schemes.

There is no such thing as "market manipulation." There is only buying and selling.
tomcollins
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May 18, 2011, 03:50:56 PM
 #17



Eventually we will hit a point that each hoarder will realize he has a lot of wealth and wants to enjoy it.  Just hope it's not all at the same time.

It's not even going to be all at the same time for each individual in most cases. And unless people are dumb they're going to try to dump during periods of influx of demand (I assume these will continue, what do I know though?). This will temper spikes.

It probably won't, but it might.  If there was a lack of confidence in the system, or perhaps a panic where people thought "this is the absolute peak, it's going down to 0, better get what I can", you'll see a massive dump.  That would only happen if the actual value of the coin was much higher than the perceived value by the hoarders, and they believed that everyone else was figuring it out as well.

This problem is somewhat magnified by the fact that a very few number of people have a significant amount of hoarded coins.  This means that there are less decision points on when to sell, and it's easier to get a panic when you only need a few people involved.  On the other hand, it means those few people are fairly dedicated and unlikely to panic where a lot of people in a crowd may.  It does create a more volatile market since smaller number of individuals act with bigger forces than a lot of little ones, but it just means things might be rockier than normal.
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May 18, 2011, 07:15:36 PM
 #18

There is only one way to do it. Get more people to accept it, so that would-be hoarders have plenty of opportunities to spend. And here is how you do that:

First, recognize that most businesses in the mainstream (your local supermarket, for example) are totally reliant on state capitalism. You will have to look outside the mainstream economy to find merchants who will accept bitcoin. Look further to find more who are open to persuasion. What we need to do now is to get enough people using bitcoin so that when - not if, but when - the dollar becomes useless as a medium of exchange, bitcoin already exists as an alternative. We won't find those people running brick and mortar businesses that have the approval of the FTC, FDA, and (certainly) the IRS. We will find them online, primarily; but also in the black and grey markets that the government so kindly provides for us by making "legitimate" business so hard to do.

People for whom reputation replaces licensing, and relationships substitute for advertising. Your landscaper who already takes payments under the table. The local farmer's market, where people barter all the time. Flea markets which trade off the books in bullion. Small-time, unlicensed contractors. Underaged laborers, illegal immigrants, used book sellers, greasy spoon restaurants, pawn shops... you can find them wherever you go if you look for them. Get to know them; build mutual trust. And then make an offer. Pay a little extra. Help them get started. Get them hooked - and then tell them to go and do likewise.

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May 18, 2011, 08:03:00 PM
 #19

Concerns over hoarding should be avoided and the energy should be transferred into producing
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May 18, 2011, 08:54:29 PM
 #20

Why would anyone want to discourage savings and investment?

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