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Author Topic: Why don't we just create backing for Bitcoin?  (Read 4235 times)
hashman
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June 26, 2012, 07:57:13 PM
 #41

The hard problem seems to be to find the people to put in charge of the organization.

I think the harder problem would be to find the people to put any money up for it.

The reason the concept of "backing" exists is because otherwise an unbacked form of money has the potential to be devalued through inflation of its supply.  Bitcoin doesn't have that potential problem.  Therefore this "backing" doesn't really solve any problem that applies to bitcoin.

+1 

Maybe it would make more sense to back gold with bitcoins Wink 
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Boussac
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June 26, 2012, 08:52:26 PM
 #42

You know, I didn't come up with this model. The dollar used to be backed by gold as well and it indeed served a function and contributed to the credibility of the dollar.

Right, but gold didn't need to backed by silver, or vice-versa, because gold itself is scarce and the paper used for printing the dollar was not.  Therefore the paper had value because it was backed by something scarce.

Bitcoins are scarce.  The existing and future supply is known. They don't need this backing by gold or anything else.
+1

Backing is a requirement for people who cannot think outside of the box of elastic money.
Scarcity and usefulness of the bitcoin technology are enough to give value to the bitcoin network.
The current value (120 M) of the bitcoin network is dwarfed by the valuation of networks such as Visa, MasterCard or even Western Union.
What is backing those networks ?
Bitcoin is only monetizing a fraction of the value of something called the internet.

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June 27, 2012, 02:40:37 AM
 #43

The current value (120 M) of the bitcoin network is dwarfed by the valuation

Heh, I keep seeing that and thinking I missed a huge rally overnight or something.  I'm presuming you are considering all 21 million BTC, even though less than 10 have been issued ...

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June 27, 2012, 08:35:06 AM
 #44

The current value (120 M) of the bitcoin network is dwarfed by the valuation

Heh, I keep seeing that and thinking I missed a huge rally overnight or something.  I'm presuming you are considering all 21 million BTC, even though less than 10 have been issued ...

That's right, I believe the market price reflects the market expectation that the quantity of bitcoins will reach 21 million.
Therefore the correct valuation of the bitcoin network should be even 134 M with today's exchange rate.
However I expect a rally in early december when the reward gets halved because the market is irrational  Wink

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June 28, 2012, 05:25:31 PM
 #45

There is literally no situation in which trying to back bitcoin with anything physical will have a good result.

False.

Name a situation in which you think it would be good.

Sorry, I'm not interested in expanding upon that.  It's not too difficult to figure out.  Have a little imagination.

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June 28, 2012, 06:01:23 PM
 #46

There is literally no situation in which trying to back bitcoin with anything physical will have a good result.
False.
Name a situation in which you think it would be good.
Sorry, I'm not interested in expanding upon that.  It's not too difficult to figure out.  Have a little imagination.

Translation: You're right, I cannot come up with a single example, but I am not intellectually honest enough to admit it.

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June 30, 2012, 07:07:30 PM
 #47

Then when Bitcoin becomes a threat the banks lobby the US govt who links Bitcoin to terrorism and seizes the gold which combined with the media reports causes Bitcoin to crash.

+1

Bitcoin is a base value, which is backing only by how people value it. Like gold.


+1. OP - why does gold have value? This is a concept people who are less mature in their monetary understanding often fail to grasp. As someone else noted, the only reason to "back" a currency is to provide some known stability to the monetary base. Bitcoin has fully-known supply growth and fully-known ultimate supply size built-in. Bitcoin is fundamental. No need to "back" it.

Gold is similar in that the supply and supply-growth is roughly known (though obviously with a lot less precision than bitcoin), and has other qualities that make it fit to be a unit of exchange (eg, durability, fungability, recognizability, etc), and thereby give it utility (ie, "value"). Bitcoin has those properties as well, except much more explicitly, which is a good thing. You can think of bitcoin as a better gold (ie, fit for transactional use in modern times). Gold is what (historically) "backs" other currency. Bitcoin should be the same.

The only fundamental downside to bitcoin relative to gold is that bitcoin is not supported in a world without computing/internet/technology. But that's fine...I think we all have to gamble that humanity won't go too apocalyptic in our lifetimes.

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.
Best info on Casascius coins: http://spotcoins.com/casascius
GernMiester
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July 03, 2012, 02:22:12 AM
 #48

BTC's backing is as good as any fiat. ....Confidence..... Its why fiat has value.
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July 18, 2012, 08:25:30 AM
 #49

Bitcoin is backed by things like entrepreneurial rig-running miners, state of the art encryption, reliable ISPs, legal tolerance, and belief. Blackouts, disappointed miners, revolutionary quantum physics advances, a bad cybersecurity czar or a bad Satoshi Nakamoto could turn bitcoins into greenbacks. Don't forget that fungibility is a trade-off for permanence: there are hundreds of posts about data loss. Lightning, water, static, forgotten passwords, and theft limit the safety of the currency in a big way.

The most tangible and probable backing for bitcoins are hourly wages. Would you work for 2BTC per hour? Would your geeky CEO tell payroll to set up a bitcoin security deposit option? If companies can accommodate PayPal for email addresses, they might be willing to take an extra step/exchange. Maybe have a single percentage of net wages transferred to an address for that purpose. Backing bitcoin with service work is the best way for the currency to gain traction and stability.

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July 18, 2012, 08:44:07 AM
 #50

Would you work for 2BTC per hour?

In a heartbeat. Are you hiring?  Wink

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ribuck
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July 18, 2012, 11:33:56 AM
 #51

Would you work for 2BTC per hour?

In a heartbeat. Are you hiring?  Wink

So would I.
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July 18, 2012, 04:07:26 PM
 #52

Does gold need backing? And when we "back" money with gold, all we do is say those pieces of paper are better now because they are backed by shinny rocks. It's just a game of illusions really. 

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nevafuse
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July 18, 2012, 06:09:12 PM
 #53

Set up an organization that accepts donations from community members. All donations will be put in gold (alternatively a basket of commodities/government currencies), and the organization will announce that it will forever pay out exactly x gold grams for 1 Bitcoin.

I've heard a lot of bad ideas on this forum, but this one takes the cake.

The only reason to limit the block size is to subsidize non-Bitcoin currencies
fivemileshigh
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July 21, 2012, 04:54:07 PM
 #54

The dollar used to be backed by gold as well and it indeed served a function and contributed to the credibility of the dollar.

Another way to think about this is: the paper dollar was invented as a clever and successful way to gradually separate people from their gold.
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